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      01-14-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
BerkTechnology
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Berk Technology installs M3 front control arms/wishbones/sway - Lots of pics

This was an easy install that any regular weekend warrior can finish. We called up Harold at HP and ordered up the front suspension bits from the E90/92 M3. We had a few objectives in mind.

1. More camber
2. Less toe change during bump/rebound
3. Higher quality bearings for more precise steering

Parts ordered were

-Front lower wishbones
-Front tension arms
-Front sway w/ brackets & bushings
-Headlight regulating rod

Here's today's subject, the fastest 135i in the country - Berk Technology's Time Attack 135i. And it will be faster after this!


Get the car in the air. And remove the wheels and underbody panels. There are 1 to 1.2 million little 8mm screws to remove.


Getting the stock parts off is a snap. All of the arms/sways came off in under 20 min. I spoke with Larryn before the install and he had trouble with the bolts but that could be a weather thing with him being on the east coast. Orange County CA has the benefits of great weather, the beach, beautiful women, and our bolts usually come of pretty easily. Off the top of my head, you'll need the following tools.

21mm socket
18mm wrench/socket
13mm socket
10mm socket
Pliers

Here are the sways. They are about the same except in this area where the stock sway bar narrows down and is effectively softer than the M3.




Here are the control arms side by side. The M3 arms look to be forged aluminum and have much better ball joints/bushings/bearings. They are also longer than stock which is a good thing. More neg camber and a wider track. Quite a bit longer than expected. (That's what she said.)







Installing the lower control arm. I measured the width of the bushing and the M3 bushing is about 1mm wider than the stock 135i/335i. So I had to use a mallet to push these things in. No biggie.



Pic of the tension rod.


Cool, M3 arms on a 1 series.


Here's what the sway bar mounting brackets look like. The M3 ones are installed, stock is in my hand.
M3 = aluminum
stock = stamped steel


Here's how you remove the stock regulator rod from the headlight adjuster. Pliers and a 10mm wrench.

Here is the regulating rod side by side.

M3 on left, stock on right. It's like a little tiny sway bar end link, how cute.


Here's what it should look like when you're done. Make sure to leave the BMW part number tags on there so people know you're running M3 parts!

And here's a tip, when you're installing the arms on the right side, turn the wheel to the right to give yourself better access and vice versa.


Another shot. And notice our brake ducting that cools the back of our Rotora Big Brake kit. The ducting hose is removed but that's how they look from behind. There is zero brake fade with our setup. I wish I could say the same about the OEM Brembo's that came on the car. The OEM brakes look impressive on paper but proved otherwise in real life.



Your toe setting will be WAY off after the install. Go by Larry's install tip where he had to go 10 turns toe in on each side to get it kind of close so you can at least drive to an alignment shop. I haven't checked the alignment yet but I'll be sure to let you know where we sit after this upgrade.

We're going to tackle the rear end next when we install our new OS Giken LSD in to the car.



Thank you to Harold, Orb, and Larryn for their input on the install!
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      01-14-2010, 12:30 AM   #2
Eddy@ApexRaceParts
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Great right up. I can't wait to see it on the ARC-8's too at the end of this month. A lot is happening to the car this month it seems!

curious, what it costs people to upgrade these arms. If these aluminum control arms are priced anything like the E30 M3 aluminum control arms, then they cost an arm and a leg.

I know it's a popular mod, so I'm just curious if it's more cost effective to do camber plates before this particular mod, which only adds an ever so slight amount of negative camber.
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      01-14-2010, 01:14 AM   #3
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Great write-up.


I have to ask, why did you guys elect to go with OS-giken rather than the qualife and others?
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      01-14-2010, 01:52 AM   #4
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Nice write up!

Concerning the brake cooling ducts - can they work with the stock brembos, and if so where can we get them?
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      01-14-2010, 08:17 AM   #5
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Agreed.....great write up!!!

My only apprehension stems from curiosity about what the M boys might be crafting up. We all know that it is now official they are building an M1. So there is a chance they might have crafted up suspension arms for the 1er that could even be better than these E92 arms.
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      01-14-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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Great write up, Bryan!! The nuts I had an issue with were the control arm/tension ones. The locktite in the colder weather is the likely culprit. We had to heat the nuts in order to get them undone. It looks like you went with the E92 swaybar. The E93 one is a couple mm larger in diameter (for future, in case that one is not stiff enough for you).

You'll notice the distinctly more direct steering feel, even driving on the street.

How about some before and after max camber numbers? I didn't get that much additional, but any is better than none.
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      01-14-2010, 09:58 AM   #7
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Awesome project.

Off topic, what is your overall opinon of the Rotora brake system for track use?
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      01-14-2010, 10:09 PM   #8
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Thanks guys for your comments!

Quote:
Great right up. I can't wait to see it on the ARC-8's too at the end of this month. A lot is happening to the car this month it seems!

curious, what it costs people to upgrade these arms. If these aluminum control arms are priced anything like the E30 M3 aluminum control arms, then they cost an arm and a leg.

I know it's a popular mod, so I'm just curious if it's more cost effective to do camber plates before this particular mod, which only adds an ever so slight amount of negative camber.
For what it is they are priced reasonably, especially being an OEM part. The arms, camber plates, and your alignment are all working together in a system. The arms are just one piece of the puzzle. If you were to calculate dollar per degree of camber, the camber plates are definitely a better value. If you must do only one mod, then camber plates only would give you a better bang for the buck.

Quote:
Great write-up.


I have to ask, why did you guys elect to go with OS-giken rather than the qualife and others?
We already installed an entire Quaife final drive on the car about a year ago. It's a great diff for street cars but the Quaife and OS Giken are two different animals.

The Quaife is a torsen type which comes OEM on many cars. OEM's like them because they are noise free, have no wear parts, only work under acceleration, etc. Better suited for a street car that may see some track days.

A clutch type diff like the OS Giken is more of a race orientated diff. Works under acceleration and braking, and will still work if you unload one wheel. Torsen diffs stop working when one wheel is off the ground and is essentially an open diff. The new diff is going to be one of the keys for us to put power down more effectively while we are cornering and thus lower lap times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDR_UK View Post
Nice write up!

Concerning the brake cooling ducts - can they work with the stock brembos, and if so where can we get them?
If you have some basic metal working tools and a welder you can make them yourself. Less than $100 in materials but there was at least 8 hours of fab time.

Quote:
How about some before and after max camber numbers?
Yep, coming soon!

Quote:
Awesome project.

Off topic, what is your overall opinon of the Rotora brake system for track use?
The Rotora brakes are absolutely bad ass. We have had zero issues with them and have been beating the crap out of them at some of these short tracks with tons of braking zones. About 6 months of use, haven't had brake fade once at any of our events.

At Autoclub Speedway in Fontana CA we were using 1/2 of the NASCAR oval. Coming out of the banked oval we're going about 140mph then need to get on the brakes back down to 50mph, we had to do this fro two days straight.

In a racing environment like this our brakes HAVE to work. I don't want to know what would happen if we were to run into fade issues that this track.
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      01-14-2010, 10:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for the writeup. I ordered control arms and a Quaife last week from Harold. This will help me and my mechanic with the install!
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      01-14-2010, 11:08 PM   #10
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Nice work! This will be an exciting season!
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      01-15-2010, 12:28 PM   #11
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amazing! makes my itch to get those bits even more! would love to see the performance after those parts were installed
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      01-15-2010, 01:13 PM   #12
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awesome!!!!! I cant believe you guys had the stock sway bar in.
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      01-15-2010, 01:41 PM   #13
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Nice... Thanks for posting!
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      01-15-2010, 01:42 PM   #14
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Geez I'd like to take that BERK car around a track one time, er 5 times.
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      01-15-2010, 02:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrutled View Post
awesome!!!!! I cant believe you guys had the stock sway bar in.

They had the H&R front and rear. They're for sale in the For Sale section right now.
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      01-15-2010, 02:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryn View Post
They had the H&R front and rear. They're for sale in the For Sale section right now.
The stock rear has been in the car for a long time. We took the H&R front out and put the stock back in for the last test day we did to see if it helped the balance of the car a bit more since we were having entry/mid corner understeer.
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      01-15-2010, 03:13 PM   #17
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awesome work guys!
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      01-15-2010, 09:37 PM   #18
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Wow - thanks for sharing this info! Great write up and pics.

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      01-16-2010, 08:16 PM   #19
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LOL....I thought you already had these parts on your car!!! I thought they made a huge difference on mine. Can't wait to hear your impressions.
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      01-16-2010, 08:49 PM   #20
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Hard to believe you waited this long to put these in!
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      01-18-2010, 06:30 PM   #21
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Camber update - just did a quick measurement for you guys using my angle finder. It looks like we are a hair under 3 deg camber on each side. So we gained 0.3 to 0.4 degrees of camber. I still need to set toe properly but this gives you an idea of what you'll end up with. Reports from people say that you get about 0.5 degree which seems about right.

After a proper alignment if we at 3 degrees I'll be a happy camper.

Now what to do about rear toe problems.....
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      01-18-2010, 07:24 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerkTechnology View Post
Now what to do about rear toe problems.....





I really think that the camber is possibly the lesser benefit of the M3 tension and control arms. Those bushing on the stock parts are mushy in comparison. The much firmer bushings make a really big difference in steering input and feel. I imaging that the deflection of the much firmer rubber components would make the front suspension geometry be less likely to change under extreme pressures.

Either way, I can't wait for your review of these changes at the track.
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