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not e34 m5 but my susp. exp. for reference...long (archive)

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Posted by Will on July 08, 2002 at 22:22:04:

In Reply to: I understand that, looking for peoples experiences posted by JOhn on June 24, 2002 at 16:01:51:

I'm usually on the e28 board, but here's my experience with redoing a suspension and perhaps it could be a helpful reference for you.

When I decided to redo my suspension, I brainstormed with a couple mechanical engineering/gear head friends to make my car handle and balance like a BMW should and not like the 14 year old it is. One of the most popular suspension upgrades for my car is H&R springs and Bilstein Sport shocks. Many people are happy with the results, but after riding in a friend's car with that setup I felt the suspension was still too soft and "wallow-y". Turn-in is improved but the body roll was still there, and this is in addition to a set of racing dynamic sways (set on their 'softest' setting, but still larger in diameter than stock). We decided that the best way to go was with Ground-Control.

Their coilovers and camber caster plates are well engineered and their finish/tolerances are awesome. Jay took into account not only the vehicle I had, the probable loads it will see, the purpose of the car (daily commuter, driving clinics, track etc) and so on, until he chose a spring rate for me. 450 front, 300 rear both linear ( H&R's are about 230 or so, variable rates), I was eager to see if the bilstein sports had enough rebound for it.

The coilovers allowed my car to have 52.4%/47.6% weight distribution with near 50/50 cross weight. It also allowed me to dial in 1 degree negative camber in the rear (semi-trailing arms). The fronts are dialed in at 1.75 deg. negative with the camber plates. The results are stunning. I though I would have a jarring ride bouncing all over the place running relatively high spring rates, but the ride is supurb and the handling is awesome. The car feels so beautifully balanced and handling is precise. MY car used to "waddle" when I did quick steering inputs but now body roll is minimized to the point that I'm questioning the value of a sway kit for my car (still running stock, soon to be disconnected for a test of their benefit to my already firm suspension). When I drive over rough roads (Santa Barbara,CA has it's share of rough pavement) the suspension works in such a controlled manner, the higher spring rates are properly damped on compression and rebound. When I had to do another suspension, it'll have to be ground control. -check out their Advance Design struts and shocks with some cool internals.

Best of luck
Will, '88 e28

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