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      04-26-2019, 05:16 PM   #1
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Suspension upgrade questions

Hi all, I'm looking to possibly upgrade my suspension on my 135i and I have some questions.

First, what I currently have: 2008 135i with 111k miles, stock sport suspension except an H&R front sway bar, and solid rear subframe bushings. Those were done about 4 years ago at ~72k miles.

For wheels I am running Apex EC-7's
F: 18x8.5 ET45 Profile 1 - 235/40/18
R: 18x9.5 ET58 Profile 1 - 255/35/18

On my stock suspension I get a little rubbing on the fronts. I have also been told by Apex that I should be able to go to 265 in the rear without rubbing and would like to do that soon. I would love to stop the rubbing in the front.

On to my questions,
I feel like after 111k miles things could use a little refresh. I am looking to spend around $1000-1500 on shocks/struts or coilovers. This is my daily driver and while I have tracked it in the past I would use it more for commuting and spirited driving on the weekends. I don't know much about suspension, and am not exactly sure what I would prefer it to feel like. Are there things I can pay attention too to determine what would set different setups apart? Looking around and reading descriptions of various kits doesn't mean much to me and that makes it difficult to choose one.

Secondly if I were to go with something like the Bilstein B14s (ex: https://www.ecstuning.com/b-bilstein...64-space-~bil/), does that come with everything I would need to provide my local shop to do the install? Or would I need to buy other parts to make it work?

Lastly, I am open to suggestions on what to buy, I have been searching the forums and everyone seems to have their own preferences, it isn't something where a is faster than b making it easy to pick between them. So if you want to chime in on what you think would fit my setup best that is great too!

Thanks!
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2008 BMW 135i 6MT -- MHD Stg 2 -- BMS DCI -- VRSF CP w/ HKS BOV -- VRSF 5" Stepped Intercooler -- VRSF Catless DP -- Berk Midpipe -- Corsa Axleback -- FuelIt Stg 2 -- H&K Front Sway Bar -- Delrin RSFB -- UUC SSK -- Apex EC-7 w/ MPSS
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      04-26-2019, 06:07 PM   #2
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Do you know where the fronts are rubbing? Might just need a little trim and shave on the fender to bumper attachment?

Good daily driver, nothing crazy suspension I imagine would prob be a set of Koni Shocks with like BMW performance springs, dinan springs, or even Eibach lowering springs.
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      04-27-2019, 08:33 AM   #3
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I'm not 100% sure where it is rubbing, but I believe it is just on the outer edge of the tire and only over specific bumps at highway speeds with lots of compression. So I am guessing it is just a little part of the inside fender.

And thanks for the recommendation, I'll take a look at koni shocks!
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2008 BMW 135i 6MT -- MHD Stg 2 -- BMS DCI -- VRSF CP w/ HKS BOV -- VRSF 5" Stepped Intercooler -- VRSF Catless DP -- Berk Midpipe -- Corsa Axleback -- FuelIt Stg 2 -- H&K Front Sway Bar -- Delrin RSFB -- UUC SSK -- Apex EC-7 w/ MPSS
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      05-03-2019, 11:10 AM   #4
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Sub'd.

I'm basically in the same boat but, don't have wheels.. yet.

Found a good read here, may go this route.
https://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=873692

Last edited by Elboz08; 05-03-2019 at 10:35 PM.. Reason: included info
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      05-14-2019, 05:55 AM   #5
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Little bit of front camber will fix your rubbing. M3 control arms and an alignment maxing the front camber should do the trick. The bushes in the stock arms would be stuffed at that mileage so great opportunity to upgrade/refresh.
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      05-14-2019, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titium View Post
Little bit of front camber will fix your rubbing. M3 control arms and an alignment maxing the front camber should do the trick. The bushes in the stock arms would be stuffed at that mileage so great opportunity to upgrade/refresh.
The M3 arms add camber by pushing the bottom of the wheel out. Since the top of the strut is fixed, that means the top of the wheel is also pushed out which will make the rubbing worse. Camber plates add camber by moving the strut mounting location inboard, which will reduce rubbing.

The M3 arms do add NVH due to the stiffer bushings so for a DD I would suggest doing only camber plates, which will help with rubbing and handling without the downsides of the M3 arms.
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      05-15-2019, 09:23 PM   #7
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I have heard of someone else on the forum experiencing slight rubbing with the 235 tires up front. As a result, I went with the 225 size just to be safe and haven't experienced any.

However, I am curious about the NVH associated with m3 control arms though. Getting ready to have those done soon since the overall experience that most report here is positive.
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      05-15-2019, 10:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomahawk997 View Post
I have heard of someone else on the forum experiencing slight rubbing with the 235 tires up front. As a result, I went with the 225 size just to be safe and haven't experienced any.

However, I am curious about the NVH associated with m3 control arms though. Getting ready to have those done soon since the overall experience that most report here is positive.
There are a couple of reasons people rave about M3 arms. The first is that they add negative camber, which helps with front end grip. The car turns in better and feels more neutral. Second, they have firmer bushings which transmit more road feel to the steering wheel. You can really feel a lot more of what is happening with the front tires when you have the M3 arms on. This is important when pushing the car hard, but less important when cruising around.

The flipside that people don't talk about is that you will notice a lot more road bumps with M3 arms, and you'll hear more road noise. Every bump is a touch sharper because the firmer bushings don't absorb as much of the impact. And if you're already rubbing the front fender, you will rub even more with M3 arms, all else equal. Nothing is without compromise... if M3 arms made the car handle so much better with no difference in NVH, our cars would have had M3 arms from the factory. Most people buying a non-M BMW are looking for "luxury" so the lower NVH of the rubbery stock bushings is preferred.

If you like the isolation (i.e. comfort) your car currently gives you, a set of fixed Dinan camber plates might be a better option than M3 arms. These will give you some negative camber and reduce the likelihood of rubbing, but will add 1/4" of ride height to the front of the car. They shouldn't affect NVH much.
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      05-17-2019, 03:21 AM   #9
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TL/DR: Get the m3/1m control arms, refresh your old bushings, replace your diff bushings. Your budget isn't big enough to get new dampeners on top of the above, but you could always replace those later if you can't swing them now?

Long rambling explanation:
m3/1m arms don't increase NVH much, but they certainly will a tiny bit. My 1st car was an e30 325ix and I needed a car in my life that could handle somewhat similar to that, but I was wanting a bit more on the track day setup bias as it is my fun car. So... I modified my 135i.

In my 135i got the m3/1m arms with turner monoball bushings in the front (basically making them free of any deflection), replaced every suspension bushing to polyurethane other than the rubber bushings included on the rear m3/1m control arms, powerflex black subframe bushings, powerflex purple diff bushings, I have a strut tower brace front and rear, standard OEM sport suspension, and eibach sway bars front and rear. My overall chassis and suspension is much stiffer than from factory as a result. I value the engaging drive and was frustrated to no end in the lack of precise "tossability" (while autocrossing) that my e30 was so good at.

I wouldn't want this as a daily driver because of the noise... of my nearly straight piped exhaust and catless downpipes. The road noise doesn't bother me as it isn't much of a difference for the returns I get in handling. If you do lots of road trips or 75mph commuting, that's where my turner monoballs would bother me, but I doubt that the more solid RUBBER in the standard m3/1m bushings would be anywhere near as the zero deflection in my monoballs. If my NVH is only slightly higher than what most people would want, I'd say it's a home run if you get the standard m3/1m arms. One of the bigger downsides that nobody mentions is actually how the negative camber sniffs out uneven road surfaces. You have to pay attention to where you're going much more because your car may want to follow the undulations in the road more where heavy traffic wears ruts into the road.

You won't have rubbing issues with 235/40's once you get the negative camber up front from the m3 arms. Apex has a very extensive fitment guide on their website you should check out to prove so.

If you have the fluid filled OEM diff bushings, you may want to look into getting that floppy garbage swapped out with something stiffer to finally plant your rear end, especially if you're at 100k+ miles. The limited traction under power and the e-diff makes your diff flop around a lot when powering out of a corner.
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      05-17-2019, 05:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalku View Post
You won't have rubbing issues with 235/40's once you get the negative camber up front from the m3 arms. Apex has a very extensive fitment guide on their website you should check out to prove so.
It's been confirmed in other threads that adding only the M3 arms increases likelihood of rubbing. The strut is mounted to a fixed point at the top, and the longer M3 arms push the bottom of the wheel out to add camber. The best explanation I've read is to hold up a pen at the top and push the bottom to one side. The entire pen moves out, not just the bottom. The amount a particular point moves is dependent on how far it is from the top of the pen. Accordingly, adding M3 arms pushes the entire strut and wheel assembly out. The top of the wheel moves less than the bottom of the wheel, but does move toward the fender some amount. Camber plates move the top of the strut inboard, so imagine holding the pen at the bottom and moving the top over to one side. The entire strut/wheel assembly above the arm attachment point moves inboard, adding fender clearance.

Also, I am not sure I agree with the suggestion to forego replacing dampers in favor of going to full poly bushings. OP is talking about a suspension refresh on 100k+ suspension. I think dampers are where I would start. My struts were shot at 80k last year and I went with Eibach pro-kit springs with Koni Sport dampers ("yellows"), and did Dinan plates, M3 arms, and Whiteline 2-piece subframe bushings at the same time. The car is noticeably firmer and harsher, and works great at the track. I don't think you can go wrong with Konis or the Bilstein B12/B8 option as they seem to be available again.

Last edited by rowsdower; 05-17-2019 at 06:04 AM..
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      05-17-2019, 10:50 AM   #11
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I understand what you're talking about, but either I didn't read something properly in the thread or you're making assumptions that the OP is having rubbing issues on his fender. I am running oem 18" wheels until my tires come in from backorder for my apex wheels (same as OP's). I am running 15mm spacers up front and have zero rubbing issues with my oem sized p zeros in 215mm width and my -1.46 degrees of camber up front. I would imagine the OP is rubbing on the inside of his fender liners OR struts w/ his current tire setup based on my actual experience, not what I read on the forums.

Go to the Apex website for the fitment guide.
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      05-17-2019, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalku View Post
I understand what you're talking about, but either I didn't read something properly in the thread or you're making assumptions that the OP is having rubbing issues on his fender.
From the OP

Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeYourMind View Post
On my stock suspension I get a little rubbing on the fronts. I have also been told by Apex that I should be able to go to 265 in the rear without rubbing and would like to do that soon. I would love to stop the rubbing in the front.
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      05-17-2019, 06:01 PM   #13
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EscapeYourMind With regards to that Bilstein B14 kit.. you will still need a few more parts.

For the front suspension... new upper strut bearing mounts will be needed. Sometimes you can get away with reusing your old ones... but sometimes they just fall to pieces when you disassemble them. They are cheap. Also some MOS2 grease for them(to smear inside the bearings) isn't a bad idea.

For the rear suspension... I would replace the rear shock hardware and bushings. DINAN makes a great kit that comes with everything you need for ~$100.

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I would also replace the lower shock(rubber) mount and e-torx bolts. The rubber mount where the bottom of the shock attaches to the 135i rear control arm. This part is also mostly shot with your car's age. I would also check the rear suspension arms for wear and tear. They can be easily worn out.

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I also ordered new rubber pads for my new Eibach springs(front and rear, upper and lower).


IF you decide to install M3/1M rear control arms/links this would be a good upgrade to do. There are two per side of the rear suspension.

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IF you upgrade to the M3/1M rear control arms.... but that requires a different rear shock... because the M control arms don't use the cushy rubber but hardened rubber bushings.

135i rear lower control arm...
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M3 rear lower control arm... Notice how the shock mounts differently requiring a different shock absorber.
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Here is an old(stock) foto from my collection of someone going down the suspension rabbit hole... only thing missing is the M3 rear control arms.
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rowsdower I am also planning to replace my stock 135i suspension. I have the M3 front control and thrust arms(two per front side)... I also have the DINAN camber kit. I ws planning on installing both... but maybe I should only install the M3 bits> on the front end???

DINAN camber plates...
https://www.google.com/search?safe=a...zQ1t-4#imgrc=_


Also... does anyone know of the part numbers for the M3/1M tie rods ? I am also thinking of replacing the tie rods on my car as well.

thanks,
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      05-17-2019, 06:14 PM   #14
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Arrow Gone down the suspension rabbit hole...

Here is my hoard of suspension parts...

I decided to go with the EIBACH BILSTEIN B12 PRO-KIT. I just wanted something better than stock and I didn't want to be messing with the ride height. The roads here in Germany are quite smooth.

I also bought wheel spacers and new front and rear sway bar end links. I figured they probably worn out, after almost 100K miles on my 135i. I didn't take pics of the TRW M3 front control arms. I should do that. I bought new suspension bolts(since they are stretch bolts) from ECS Tuning.

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BKA papers to prove the suspension is approved by TUV and legal on a German plates car.
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      05-17-2019, 08:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titium View Post
Little bit of front camber will fix your rubbing. M3 control arms and an alignment maxing the front camber should do the trick. The bushes in the stock arms would be stuffed at that mileage so great opportunity to upgrade/refresh.
M3 arms will make it worse, as they move the tire out further. A set of Dinan camber plates, which will move the tire inwards, will help prevent rubbing. Bonus, extra front grip!
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      05-17-2019, 10:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
rowsdower I am also planning to replace my stock 135i suspension. I have the M3 front control and thrust arms(two per front side)... I also have the DINAN camber kit. I ws planning on installing both... but maybe I should only install the M3 bits> on the front end???
I'm not sure I follow, only the M3 arms? There isn't much of a reason not to do the Dinan plates. I would do those if you have them already. Install is super easy compared to the arms, assuming you already have the struts off the car. I have the Dinan plates and M3 arms on my 128i and I like how the car handles. My street tires are square 225s on stock 7.5" wheels with tons of room left between the strut, tire, and fender and no rubbing under any circumstances. My new track wheels are 245s on 9" wheels and they rub the fender a tiny bit, but I've got a smaller spacer on order to rectify that... possibly a fender roller, too
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      05-18-2019, 03:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowsdower View Post
I'm not sure I follow, only the M3 arms? There isn't much of a reason not to do the Dinan plates. I would do those if you have them already. Install is super easy compared to the arms, assuming you already have the struts off the car. I have the Dinan plates and M3 arms on my 128i and I like how the car handles. My street tires are square 225s on stock 7.5" wheels with tons of room left between the strut, tire, and fender and no rubbing under any circumstances. My new track wheels are 245s on 9" wheels and they rub the fender a tiny bit, but I've got a smaller spacer on order to rectify that... possibly a fender roller, too

I guess my question is... I will install the DINAN camber plates AND the M3 front arms... Will this give me too much negative camber? Or will I be Ok. ?

I have stock 18"wheels and 225/255 tires.

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      05-18-2019, 06:22 AM   #18
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Oh, that is up to you to decide. Perhaps do either the camber plates or arms first, then decide if you would like to do the other later if the car is not turning in the way you would like?

You can clearly see my front wheels are cambered from outside. To some who are not car enthusiasts, it may look like my suspension is broken. The tires may also wear unevenly if you don't drive the car very hard. I have read this is not too bad of an issue provided you get a quality alignment immediately after install to reset toe back near zero. I don't care that much about tire wear characteristics since this is my fun car, but that may be more important to you.
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      05-18-2019, 07:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowsdower View Post
I'm not sure I follow, only the M3 arms? There isn't much of a reason not to do the Dinan plates. I would do those if you have them already. Install is super easy compared to the arms, assuming you already have the struts off the car. I have the Dinan plates and M3 arms on my 128i and I like how the car handles. My street tires are square 225s on stock 7.5" wheels with tons of room left between the strut, tire, and fender and no rubbing under any circumstances. My new track wheels are 245s on 9" wheels and they rub the fender a tiny bit, but I've got a smaller spacer on order to rectify that... possibly a fender roller, too

I guess my question is... I will install the DINAN camber plates AND the M3 front arms... Will this give me too much negative camber? Or will I be Ok. ?

I have stock 18"wheels and 225/255 tires.

Dack
You want both! The more front camber the better. I run both and sit at -2.2 degrees in the front. Tire wear is even, understeer is greatly reduced. Also allows fitment of 245's in the front, which are the same diameter than stock, unlike the 225's or 235's.

When you get your alignment after, have them set front toe to +0.03 minutes per side, for a total of 6 minutes total toe in. Will have nice high speed stability and prevent inner tire wear.
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      05-19-2019, 01:57 PM   #20
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Is there anything wrong with just doing the M3 front arms? This is my first time modding any suspension, and I’m trying keep things simple.

My plan is just the front arms, performance suspension, and M3 rear subframe bushings. I read all this stuff about camber plates and all that, and I end up getting lost in the weeds.
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      05-19-2019, 03:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaputt View Post
Is there anything wrong with just doing the M3 front arms? This is my first time modding any suspension, and Iím trying keep things simple.

My plan is just the front arms, performance suspension, and M3 rear subframe bushings. I read all this stuff about camber plates and all that, and I end up getting lost in the weeds.
There is nothing wrong with just doing the arms.

Fixed camber plates are very straightforward. Normally, each strut mounts to the car with 3 nuts (you can see them on each side of the engine bay). With camber plates, the strut mount gets secured to the camber plate and the plate mounts to the car where the strut mount would normally go. The bolt holes are arranged such that the top of the strut is positioned inboard of the normal mounting spot, which tilts the strut. It is difficult to visualize but here is a picture of fixed plates. You can see the 2 sets of 3 holes are offset by about an inch or so.


You have to press out an alignment pin in the strut mounts but that can be done in 30 seconds with a bench-mounted vise. The strut has to come out of the car to do this but it sounds like you are replacing the struts anyway, so the fixed plates add about 10 minutes of work to the job.

M3 arms are more work to install, as you have to remove the four existing arms (which you typically would not do with a suspension refresh) and put in the M3 arms. They are tight, and have to be beaten in with a deadblow hammer, then you need to use new bolts as they are one-time-use. It is not a bad job but more involved than camber plates and more expensive.

The work involved with the M3 rear bushings is more than all of this. Read up on Whiteline 2-piece bushings. I used those and they are quite a bit easier to install.
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      06-25-2019, 09:39 PM   #22
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Sorry to barge in on this thread but are camber plates absolutely necessary or which situations would define when you need them?
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