The fourth post in this series is about Type One suspensions – coil-over springs – and the M3. It’s been talked about already in the second post, but it’s time to close the loop.
The M3 front suspension is travel-challenged, a problem for the spring designer, and a blessing for the tires. You’ve got two inches at static OEM ride height to use for compression travel. How do we use them wisely?
First, what choices are there? My survey turned up:
- Two H&R spring sets – sport and race
- Dinan springs – stage doesn’t matter, the springs are the same
- Eibach springs – sport setting
- RD Sport Suspension kit - Bilstein non-adjustable dampers, RD Sport fixed springs
That was about it. All types seem popular, the reviews of the users are varied. Dinan customers, with the smaller drop and increased travel, seem to be happy. Actually, everyone seems happy, but some do say the suspension is choppy on rough roads. Given the design constraints (see Post #2) it’s not a surprise.
My opinion (here’s another one) is that track handling will be WORSE with lowering springs. Good track handling is built on travel and spring rate. Lowering springs don’t improve either. That said, if it’s as good as stock, it’s still pretty good.
So, should you expect with lowering springs? A better look, for sure. Handling will vary. Ride will be roughly stock - spring rates won’t vary much and with the exception of Dinan, you’re mostly running on the stock bump stops anyway. If you don’t change the dampers, the car will handle OK. With new dampers, it might handle better or it might not. You have to try it to know.
Last edited by JAJ; 01-10-2010 at 12:41 AM.