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      07-18-2018, 08:38 PM   #1
bmwlaguna
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Drove a 128i M-Sport today

Well, I just bought my base model non-M Sport 128i like 8 months ago. Love the car. But today the local Carmax got an M-Sport version of my car and I had a little drive.

First- I love the seats, but I would also lose iDrive/Nav.
But more importantly, what did they do to the base suspension that makes it M-Sport and makes it so much stiffer and fun? Is it the addition of a sway bar or different springs or what exactly is it??

Mostly so I can go out and get it modified without having to just wait forever for an M-sport model to come out of hiding and trade mine for it
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      07-19-2018, 11:24 AM   #2
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I have no idea, but I have an m sport suspension sitting in my basement from my 135is. Not sure where you are, but if youre interested lmk
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      07-19-2018, 12:41 PM   #3
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M sport has the bolstered seats. Probably the biggest reason to get the sport package.

Suspension wise, they also have a 12mm rear sway bar. Non sports have no sway bar, although I wouldn't prioritize it unless you're already doing rear subframe bushings.

They also have stiffer springs and upgraded shocks. If you want to upgrade your non sport BMW, these mods would improve handling the most in order:

- M3 rear subframe bushings, add in the 12mm rear sway bar at the same time.

- I would just slap on some Koni Yellows mated to a matching spring set or just go with bilstein B12 kit. You can add in Dinan rear shock mounts while you're doing those.

- Add in Dinan camber plates while struts are removed. If you corner hard in city driving, I would also add in M3 control arms. I have both with a little over 2 degrees of camber and get even tire wear but I drive more aggressive than most.

- Top it off with a front M3 front sway bar.


I have not done the rear subframe bushings, but have done everything else on this list. Car is still sloppy and that's only because of the stock rear subframe bushings. It's cheaper to do than shocks and springs (despite the high labor cost) and I feel the car would benefit way more from the rear subframe bushings than anything else on this list.
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      07-19-2018, 01:42 PM   #4
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The importance of the sport seats cannot be overstated. As noted above, the only real suspension difference is the rear sway bar. Beyond that, it's incremental.

It's easy to replicate the suspension with bolt-on parts, and the M3 arms and rear subframe bushings (I just used the Whiteline inserts, which are simple, cheap, and still a big improvement) can be used to improve it further without going crazy. But if you do all that you'll quickly realize why the sport seats are so important.
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      07-19-2018, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhb View Post
M sport has the bolstered seats. Probably the biggest reason to get the sport package.

Suspension wise, they also have a 12mm rear sway bar. Non sports have no sway bar, although I wouldn't prioritize it unless you're already doing rear subframe bushings.

They also have stiffer springs and upgraded shocks. If you want to upgrade your non sport BMW, these mods would improve handling the most in order:

- M3 rear subframe bushings, add in the 12mm rear sway bar at the same time.

- I would just slap on some Koni Yellows mated to a matching spring set or just go with bilstein B12 kit. You can add in Dinan rear shock mounts while you're doing those.

- Add in Dinan camber plates while struts are removed. If you corner hard in city driving, I would also add in M3 control arms. I have both with a little over 2 degrees of camber and get even tire wear but I drive more aggressive than most.

- Top it off with a front M3 front sway bar.


I have not done the rear subframe bushings, but have done everything else on this list. Car is still sloppy and that's only because of the stock rear subframe bushings. It's cheaper to do than shocks and springs (despite the high labor cost) and I feel the car would benefit way more from the rear subframe bushings than anything else on this list.

Would you ditch the runflats before any of this?

Last edited by bmwlaguna; 07-19-2018 at 06:31 PM.
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      07-19-2018, 07:40 PM   #6
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Ditch the runflats if that's your long-term plan. You should build the suspension to suit your planned tire choice (and vice-versa); in other words, everything works together as a system, so develop a plan first, then build to it.
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      07-19-2018, 09:10 PM   #7
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The M-sport suspension sucks for real driving. The spring rates are way too low and there is no adjustable damping. It's for going to the golf course and feeling sporty.

As others have mentioned if you want a good suspension, go aftermarket: Ohlins, KW, even Bilstein.

To qualify all that, you won't notice the M-sport sucking much on the street unless you drive like a maniac in total disregard of the law. However, other more expensive dampers WILL give you much smoother ride quality with the same firmness, so you can get benefit from them even if you don't drive too hard.

Then there's air suspension. Like riding on a cloud. 10/10 for street use if you can afford it.
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      07-20-2018, 12:14 PM   #8
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Didn't want to start a new thread, so I'll add this here. I have a 128i M sport as well that I'm looking to improve the handling on.

With the M Performance Suspension now hard to find, how could I essentially build my own version of it?

Would the following be a good set-up?

BMW Performance Springs
Bilstein B8
M3 Front Sway bar
M3 Rear Subframe Bushings

Anything else I'm missing that would equal what parts are provided in the performance suspension?
I really just want the car to be a super fun car for the street and back roads.
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      07-23-2018, 03:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaputt View Post
Didn't want to start a new thread, so I'll add this here. I have a 128i M sport as well that I'm looking to improve the handling on.

With the M Performance Suspension now hard to find, how could I essentially build my own version of it?

Would the following be a good set-up?

BMW Performance Springs
Bilstein B8
M3 Front Sway bar
M3 Rear Subframe Bushings

Anything else I'm missing that would equal what parts are provided in the performance suspension?
I really just want the car to be a super fun car for the street and back roads.

Are you planning on any track days? or just a daily fun car?

Those rear subframe bushings.....so much comes off the rear, may make more sense to save for a locking diff and rear sway bar.

Suspension wise....there are so many options, i went KW V3 and it transformed the car. Granted it felt strange at first, but that is because the KW dealer who installed them set them up strangely (made the rear seriously stiffer than the front). Went to KW"out of the box" settings and it is miles better, that is the beauty of coil overy, within minutes one can adjust to the needs.

Take a look at eibach sway bars, if i am not mistaken they are the same as M3 ones in diameter but significantly cheaper and come with bushings.
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      07-23-2018, 03:57 PM   #10
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I would urge much caution about swaybars. Nothing will screw up your handling easier with good intentions than swaybars. I would say setup the car on stock sways and get the rest of your suspension setup totally figured out, then MAYBE change sways to fine tune. Also, the rougher your road the less you want anti-roll.

Replacing all the chassis bushings and putting in a locking diff is a must if you want to drive the car even halfway hard. Forget about geared LSDs, they are for posers and maybe drag racing. You want a clutch plate type. I believe MFactory has the least expensive clutch plate type LSD for these cars.
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      07-24-2018, 07:54 AM   #11
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stiffer suspension for the RFT tires

nice car, love driving mine, either cruising or pedal to the metal
mine has idrive/nav

depends on the options, mine has CA package

electric/lumbar/memory heated seats, interior dimming,

WHAT I really miss and should be on a 40k car

is 1> an alarm
2> Exterior dimming and folding mirrors

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwlaguna View Post
Well, I just bought my base model non-M Sport 128i like 8 months ago. Love the car. But today the local Carmax got an M-Sport version of my car and I had a little drive.

First- I love the seats, but I would also lose iDrive/Nav.
But more importantly, what did they do to the base suspension that makes it M-Sport and makes it so much stiffer and fun? Is it the addition of a sway bar or different springs or what exactly is it??

Mostly so I can go out and get it modified without having to just wait forever for an M-sport model to come out of hiding and trade mine for it
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      07-24-2018, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaputt View Post
Didn't want to start a new thread, so I'll add this here. I have a 128i M sport as well that I'm looking to improve the handling on.

With the M Performance Suspension now hard to find, how could I essentially build my own version of it?

Would the following be a good set-up?

BMW Performance Springs
Bilstein B8
M3 Front Sway bar
M3 Rear Subframe Bushings

Anything else I'm missing that would equal what parts are provided in the performance suspension?
I really just want the car to be a super fun car for the street and back roads.
Absolutely do the M3 front arms.

These cars will never handle well until you greatly increase the front camber.

Our cars push everywhere like Ron Jeremy on holiday.
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      07-24-2018, 09:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaputt View Post
Didn't want to start a new thread, so I'll add this here. I have a 128i M sport as well that I'm looking to improve the handling on.

With the M Performance Suspension now hard to find, how could I essentially build my own version of it?

Would the following be a good set-up?

BMW Performance Springs
Bilstein B8
M3 Front Sway bar
M3 Rear Subframe Bushings

Anything else I'm missing that would equal what parts are provided in the performance suspension?
I really just want the car to be a super fun car for the street and back roads.
For a street driven car that should do you very nicely. I've done the Bilsteins, E93 M3 front sway and Subframe inserts (due to cost). Quite satisfied with the results on a twisty road. As mentioned above, a little more negative front camber wouldn't hurt. You can look at the M3 front arms or Dinan fixed camber plates but really your list with some quality rubber will make a great driver.
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      07-29-2018, 07:46 PM   #14
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Here is what I am thinking as of right now:

BMW Performance Suspension, M3 Rear Subframe Bushings, M3 Front Control Arms, and then eventually square up the wheels and tires with a 17x7.5.
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      07-31-2018, 06:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaputt View Post
Here is what I am thinking as of right now:

BMW Performance Suspension, M3 Rear Subframe Bushings, M3 Front Control Arms, and then eventually square up the wheels and tires with a 17x7.5.
Sounds like a good plan! However, I will wish you good luck on finding the performance suspension, I believe it's recently been made NLA...
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      07-31-2018, 07:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
Sounds like a good plan! However, I will wish you good luck on finding the performance suspension, I believe it's recently been made NLA...
Actually found one! There were still a handful left for cars “Without Sport/M-Sport Suspension”. I have an M Sport, but the only difference between the kits is that it adds a rear sway bar. My car already has that as an M Sport, so I just won’t install it.
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      08-19-2018, 08:57 PM   #17
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Not trying to hijack your thread but I just bought a 2012 128M package car with 50K. Im turning it into a race car, so all suspension and interior is for sale if anyone is looking. Im from ontario canada.
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      08-19-2018, 10:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Steve Barnett View Post
Not trying to hijack your thread but I just bought a 2012 128M package car with 50K. Im turning it into a race car, so all suspension and interior is for sale if anyone is looking. Im from ontario canada.
God I wonder if it's worth getting your seats hmmmmm....
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