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      01-10-2021, 11:52 PM   #1
TridenTBoy
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Cool Shocks are likely dying - upgrades with squared setup in mind?

So, as you can see, I have an E88 135is. I've never wanted to really modify the car. I've kept it almost 100% stock except for white LEDs in the halo's instead of amber. (I find the amber look really dates the car) Buuuuut then I got my alignment done and couldn't get the car in spec perfectly. He said the suspension is probably going bad - he thought shocks.

So, I'm thinking:

- Squared setup, 8.5x18 in the front. 313's to keep the stock look. If I could squeeze 255 in front without much rub then that'd be amazing because I think 255's are cheaper than 245's. That said, my car is rubbing with 225's right now because the tires are new and the suspension is likely going out on the front faster than the rear. I want squared not for handling as much for cost. I go through a full set of michelin's every year, if not more. The guys at the shop aren't giving me warranty discounts anymore and are making me pay full price for each set because they hired people who read the staggered warranty part now.
- Coilovers? Could do corner balancing then, yeah? (Not like I really care) I don't want the car any lower. It's pretty low as it is and causes enough issues.
- New bushings? I've heard for a while that the rear subframe bushings are pretty bad for stock and this might improve how the car reacts to bumps in the rear?
- New control arms? This is something people talk about as well.

Overall - my complaints with the car are: Tires wear out way too fast. I get 10k on rears. 15k on fronts. I need square setup to get full 30k warranty and at least get those tires for cheaper. The car kinda "floats" or bounces a bit too much when it encounters bumps at speed these days. It's hard to tell when suspension is getting worse or the roads are - as the roads can degrade really fast around here. The bumps can cause the car to bounce to the point where it will almost lift off the ground if there are enough bumps in succession (280 in SF going north- you know the one!). Last night, this really set in. I was on a particular road here in the SF Bay Area (17) and a god damn Honda Accord 2.0T Sport was way more controlled on that road than I was. We were going way too damn fast (I was surprised - I was like, "What the fuck is an Accord doing at this speed?! HOW IS IT HANDLING THIS ROAD SO WELL?! IT'S AN ACCORD!!!") They were able to carry speed over the bumps quite well. I didn't see their car getting too uncontrolled whereas mine would easily jostle over these bumps in the road and TSC would flash a lot. I have these same issues off Skyline and other roads here. I know there are limits with what a person can do with bumps in the road but - in general - the car doesn't deal with bumps very well at all. So, I've been guessing for a while that the shocks are getting worse and worse... It's just day to day driving, you don't notice it as much and it's not to the level of horrific unless you're really pushing it. (And if the road is smooth - it's not too bad) But last night - seeing another car, a damn accord, easily have no issues whereas I felt like I was at a rodeo about to get bucked off... Yeah, it set in that my shocks are probably roasted.

So - what are the best steps forward? B12 (obviously those are not coilovers - what are the benefits over stock? What would coilovers allow (more clearance options cause I could raise height maybe?)?), 3M/1M arms, buy some 313 rears and spacers, and some bushings from somewhere? I'm not sure what it takes to get the 313 rears on the front with 245 but I'd really like to do that in this change.
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      01-11-2021, 12:21 AM   #2
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I don't see how you can be rubbing in the front with only 225s on there. Your front wheel should be 18x7.5 et 49 right? You should be able to run 18x8.5 et 52 square, with maybe a 5-7 mm spacer to keep you off the strut. The front will be pretty close, but you could probably run 245s all around with some camber. Has your car had a hard life? You don't mention how many miles you have on it, but it's a little early for your suspension to be shot. Regardless, it sounds like you need new shocks if an Accord is keeping up with you.

I had the opposite reaction a long time ago. I had a 97 Prelude and I poured about $5k in suspension upgrades with Tein coilovers and just about every mod I could make. I thought I was hot shit until a stock looking mid-2000s 325i blew past me on a tightly curving road. I realized at that point no matter what I did, I would never have the that level of balance and control. What temperature is it there? If you're on summer tires, an Accord could easily blow past you with a good set of all-season tires. I put a set of Conti ExtremeContact DWS on an Outback and I can keep up with nearly any car on summer tires when the temperature gets below 50.
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      01-11-2021, 12:32 AM   #3
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It was warm enough last night. Probably 50F+. I'm very sure the tires were quite warm by the time we were really going. But it being 70F+ would've likely helped a little.

The car has 73k miles. Accidentally deleted that. I've definitely driven it much harder than most people drive their cars...

The rubbing only happens at near full-lock. Parking lot maneuvers. I noticed it today when I was like, "What's that noise...? Oh damn. Am I rubbing? Really?"
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      01-11-2021, 09:09 AM   #4
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Thunderguts has great advise as he runs 245 on his 128i. Search for his post on fitting 245's on 17x8 45mm offset. You'll have to do some math normalize a 8.5 width and 52 offset to your application.
https://www.1addicts.com/forums/show....php?t=1785918

Also Apex wheels has a good guideline on e82 fitment. They use 18x8.5 45mm offset so you'll have to add 7mm to the spacers to get the same fit as they describe.
https://support.apexraceparts.com/hc...-Fitment-Guide

Copied from Apex link:
Front & Rear: 18x8.5" ET45 with 235/40-18 tires
Popular fitment.
Available only in ARC-8 and EC-7 designs.
  • Direct fit with stock suspension, lowering springs, and a variety of aftermarket coilovers. 5mm front spacers required for certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
  • 245/35-18 tires can fit with 5mm front spacers and approximately -1.5 degrees of camber or more. Larger front spacers may be required for certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
  • 255/35-18 tires can fit with 5mm front spacers and approximately -2.5 degrees of camber or more. Larger front spacers may be required for certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
  • For a spacer-free fitment, see alternate fitment below.

WRT 245 vs 255 cost, they are similar in pricing +10%. Check out Tirerack. Go for the UTOG 400+ for longer tire life. they should be good for 30k miles but obviously shorter life with more camber.
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      01-11-2021, 01:21 PM   #5
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I run a square setup 255/35/18 using 4 rear OE 261M wheels (I think same specs as 313) at the front with a 12MM spacer (This is very close to the strut, new tires rub the paint off a little). However I'm also lowered on coilovers, and with camber plates and M3 arms have 2.5* of negative camber.

I think you can run 255 square at stock height using dinan camber plates and the spacer though, but not 100% sure. I could make it fit some time ago but I was also using the B12 kit, but also had M3 arms which was adding camber, but screwing the geometry of ideal wheel fitment.
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      01-11-2021, 02:00 PM   #6
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The car is a vert, so heavier/lower than a coupe. This should be considered when getting new suspension parts and tires.
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      01-11-2021, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
The car is a vert, so heavier/lower than a coupe. This should be considered when getting new suspension parts and tires.
Are there any suspension setups that improve fitment rather than harm fitment? It seems like all the coilover kits drop the car even more - which I don't think will help anything. I could stick with stock stuff I guess but I figured coilovers would allow for more flexibility like even raising the height a tiny bit if necessary. But it sounds like the clearance issues are mostly due to rubbing on the shock body itself and not rubbing on fenders or anything of that sort.

In which case - I guess I need the thinnest damn shocks I can get or something that moves the shock further away from the wheel... :P (Which I guess the camber plates do a bit - but -2.5 degrees of camber sounds like quite a bit for a street car when it's normally setup for ~-0.7)
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      01-11-2021, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TridenTBoy View Post
Are there any suspension setups that improve fitment rather than harm fitment? It seems like all the coilover kits drop the car even more - which I don't think will help anything. I could stick with stock stuff I guess but I figured coilovers would allow for more flexibility like even raising the height a tiny bit if necessary. But it sounds like the clearance issues are mostly due to rubbing on the shock body itself and not rubbing on fenders or anything of that sort.

In which case - I guess I need the thinnest damn shocks I can get or something that moves the shock further away from the wheel... :P (Which I guess the camber plates do a bit - but -2.5 degrees of camber sounds like quite a bit for a street car when it's normally setup for ~-0.7)
Check tjswarbrick's posts. He has a convertible and was assembling a suspension a while ago. Might be some good info for you there.
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      01-11-2021, 05:22 PM   #9
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Took a lot of reading but seems like he went with Koni's. https://www.1addicts.com/forums/show...1233372&page=8

"I got the Dinan plates/Koni Sports/Swift Spec-R's/Powerflex RSFB's done a couple weeks ago. Set F&R camber at -1.7. Rear shocks at 3/4 turn from soft; fronts at 1.5 from soft."

He hasn't got squared setup yet though in that post AFAICT. So, that's the only hiccup there so far. No square at all in any of that thread.

That is the wrench for using that guy's setup. Also - he complains of rubbing and the car being a bit too low. So, it's clear that I need to get larger springs than what he got.
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      01-11-2021, 06:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TridenTBoy View Post
Took a lot of reading but seems like he went with Koni's. https://www.1addicts.com/forums/show...1233372&page=8

"I got the Dinan plates/Koni Sports/Swift Spec-R's/Powerflex RSFB's done a couple weeks ago. Set F&R camber at -1.7. Rear shocks at 3/4 turn from soft; fronts at 1.5 from soft."

He hasn't got squared setup yet though in that post AFAICT. So, that's the only hiccup there so far. No square at all in any of that thread.

That is the wrench for using that guy's setup. Also - he complains of rubbing and the car being a bit too low. So, it's clear that I need to get larger springs than what he got.
Not a square setup.
I did find the Spec-R's too low, and a little too stiff.
I replaced them with a set of Eibach's Pro's which, while lower and firmer than stock M-Sport, raised it up and softened it up enough to pair perfectly with non-RFT's.
I did have trouble finding the Eibach's for the convertible. They cross-referenced to the set for a E92 328i. 2091.140 / ECS Tuning ES#3659550.
Very happy with the Koni's. Though I do wish I could access the rears more easily to see if I could optimize the rebound for the new springs.

I rubbed at the rear with 245 MPSS's and 12mm spacers on the Swifts. Spacers removed resolved the issue, and even 255's were no problem. Currently running 255 PS4s with the Eibachs, and no rubbing. But I do only have 225's up front - still with 12mm spacers. Maintaining about max available negative camber for my setup.

To date, I got a little over 20,000 miles out of each set of MPSS. Only have about 12k on the PS4s, and plenty of life left.
An Accord kept up with me, once, on a twisting mountain road. But he was scary to watch - crossing the line, squealing the tires, jumping all about. I was just out for a nice enthusiastic cruise.

I DID run a single 245/40 for about 300 miles (down from Redding) when I got a flat. Handling was buggered, so I certainly didn't try anything extreme, but don't remember rubbing rearing its ugly head.

I live right off 280, but a bit south of SF. (Magdalena exit.) I know those bumps well!

At 73,000 hard miles, your shocks might very well be tired. But your springs really shouldn't be. I wonder if there's something else amiss down there causing you to rub. Worn bushings? Out of tolerance knuckles? Plastic underbody covers no longer aligned or coming loose? Camber out of whack? Just seems odd to me with the 225's.
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Last edited by tjswarbrick; 01-11-2021 at 08:35 PM..
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      01-12-2021, 01:13 AM   #11
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1) Which adjustments was the alignment tech unable to get into spec? What were the values?

2) Can you find the marks where the is rubbing is occurring? Are both fronts rubbing or just one? Is it rubbing while turning on flat ground?

3) Have either of the front wheels ever been replaced?

4) When replacing the front tires, is the remaining tread depth even all the way across? Is any elevated front wear nearer to the inboard or outboard face?
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      02-14-2021, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TridenTBoy View Post
New bushings? I've heard for a while that the rear subframe bushings are pretty bad for stock and this might improve how the car reacts to bumps in the rear?
IMHO, address this first.
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      02-15-2021, 01:36 AM   #13
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I had stock 313's on my 1er. Everything is stock except the Dinan tune and some cosmetics. The original owner put PSS 225 on before I bought it and they didn't rub. I've since changed to Apex with their recommended offsets and running a 235 PS4s upfront. They fit, but if I hit speed bumps at speed (20-30 mph, did it a couple of time just to try it out) I'll hear a rub. Otherwise, I'm way good.

That said, your stock wheels should be ok at 225. But IDK, worked with mine.

I would look at suspension before tires and wheels
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      02-15-2021, 02:32 AM   #14
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I bought offsets.

Opps sorry re-read the original post. If you want to keep your tire warranty, maybe square is for you. My understanding is you can run the same size stock wheels front wheels on the back, if you want to keep 313s.

Suspension is gonna get expensive. I don't like the bouncing/rubber band feeling either. I already did the easy thing, wheels and tires. But suspension? I'm with you. New M3 RSFB? Shocks and coils? M3 parts underneath? FBO? This can go down a rabbit whole real fast (5 k? open check book?).

While I love my 1er and I can afford her, I have to think about my options and what I want most. And I wanna have those M3 parts, but I wanna keep her stock
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      02-15-2021, 02:41 AM   #15
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Ooopps, re-read your original post. My set up is still off set. If warranty is your issue then my understanding is that front size 313 wheels will fit on the back.
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      01-21-2022, 11:49 PM   #16
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I've basically given up on a squared setup. I've run the dead suspension for the last year. It's absolutely trashed.

I'm going to likely just replace with either completely stock parts or maybe the Bilstein B8s.

Unfortunately - over the last year my car has taken a lot of damage from random construction vehicles doing hit and runs. Due to this - I have little interest in really putting more money into the car. I want to just put enough to get me through to the next car I purchase - as I expect this car will go into the ground or get crashed into before I sell it.

It's unfortunate but due to living in the city and not having a parking spot - I can't realistically pour money into this car anymore. I'm very sad about it.
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