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      02-15-2011, 12:51 AM   #1
RickyBobby
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AST 4200 & Vorshlag Camber Plate Review

I have been running the AST 4200 coilovers with Vorshlag camber plates since October and wanted to post a quick review. I stumbled on the AST brand when I was at a track day last year and got a ride along in a 135i that had AST 5300’s (triple adjustable remote reservoir shocks). The handling and ride quality totally blew me away! As an instructor for 8+ years, I have experienced all kinds of cars and setups, and the 5300’s were one of the best I’ve felt! I spoke with the owner of the car a bit and learned that he operated a local shop with his father called BRracing and the 135i was one of their project cars.

BRracing
A few months later, I checked out their shop and was very impressed. They weren’t just your average repair shop, but a fully capable, knowledgeable race shop with practical experience. I also noticed that my car was the cheapest car in the joint so they must be doing something right. A few emails and phone calls later, I ordered up a set of AST's and became the M3 beta tester.

Vorshlag Camber plates
They work.. High quality, easy adjustment and NO NOISE. What more can you ask for? I arrive at the track, jack up the front of the car, loosen 3 bolts and max out the camber to -3.5 deg. Front end grip is phenominal with the additional camber. Tire wear is even and tire temps are right where I want them.
Vorshlag as a company was awesome to deal with and were very patient with me as I hounded them for various spacers and top rings to get M3 application just right (which we did).
This is the first upper mount that I've ever owned that doesn't make any noise.


AST 4200’s
I daily drive my M3, but still want a setup that is more track focused. The beauty of the AST’s is that even though they are very capable on the track, they also behave very well on the street when dialed down. And just like the Vorshlag plates. They don’t make any noise! This is an important point for me. For the 1st time ever, I have a track capable car that doesn’t sound like a popcorn machine.


While not quite as trick as the 5300's, on track the 4200's feels very crisp with well controlled body motion. The shocks react quickly and absorb bumps without upsetting the chassis. Each click of adjustment makes a difference that you can feel in the balance of the car.
I just got back from the NASA TT season opener at Infineon and was pleasantly surprised to muster up a 1:53 with a baby seat in the back . Of course my GoPro died just before that session but I’ll try and dig up something from the morning run and post it up shortly.


Here are some pictures.
#1 shows the AST rear spring perch that sits right inside the stock cup. One attention to detail includes a small rubber ring for noise isolation. Oddly enough they leave the bottom of the spring right on the bare metal of the lower control arm, but as I mentioned, no noise here.
#2 shows the compression adjustor on the bottom of the front shock. Easy enough to reach with the wheels at full lock.
#3 shows the rear compression adjustor. It's reacheable with the car on the ground if you snake your hand behind the back tire. Don't even think about it after a hot session though.
#4 Look closely at the sway bar end link tab. Notice that it is adjustable on the shock. Nice detail, although moot here because the stock end links are too long and won't work. I got shorter links from Turner. Vorshlag camber plate up top.
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Last edited by RickyBobby; 05-13-2011 at 07:12 PM.
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      02-15-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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NICE.
It's good to see more suspension options for our car.
So these are monotube single adjustable?
Any pic's of the plates?
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      02-15-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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what rates did you end up going with ?

4200 are double adjustable and 4300 triple.
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      02-15-2011, 02:08 PM   #4
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Nice review - thanks for sharing!
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      02-15-2011, 09:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
NICE.
It's good to see more suspension options for our car.
So these are monotube single adjustable?
Any pic's of the plates?
They're monotube double adjustable. Rebound is on the top and compression is on the bottom. The adjustment clicks are very positive and solid feeling too.

Here is a picture of the camber plate.
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      02-15-2011, 10:28 PM   #6
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Nice!
Ive heard good things about AST over the years at the track and have been curious about them since.

So your kit is the 1st developed/designed for the e9xm3?

What spring rates did they recommend?

How many adjustment clicks do they go front and rear bound and rebound?

What is the proposed MSRP?
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      02-15-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the write up.
AST have been fairly popular with a lot of the E46 M3 guys that track their cars.
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      02-15-2011, 11:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastek View Post
Nice!
Ive heard good things about AST over the years at the track and have been curious about them since.

So your kit is the 1st developed/designed for the e9xm3?

What spring rates did they recommend?

How many adjustment clicks do they go front and rear bound and rebound?

What is the proposed MSRP?
Yes, I was the beta tester and this kit is specific to the e90 M3. They have 11 clicks of adjustment.
Retail should be the same as the other BMW models, not sure exacts though.

Spring rates: I generally don't share my spring rates because all the internet engineers that have never set foot on a racetrack start posting how poor the choice was. You can ask 10 people for their recommendation and get 10 different answers.
I will say that I picked the springs based off of my intended use and driving style. The vendor you buy them from should be able to recommend rates based off your use. Looking through their reseller list, AST has chosen vendors that should be able to recommend rates without throwing darts at a springrate chart. Bimmerworld, vorshalg and BRracing come to mind as knowledgeable dealers.
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      02-15-2011, 11:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastek View Post
Nice!
Ive heard good things about AST over the years at the track and have been curious about them since.

So your kit is the 1st developed/designed for the e9xm3?

What spring rates did they recommend?

How many adjustment clicks do they go front and rear bound and rebound?

What is the proposed MSRP?
Actually, we had these available for the E9x M3 back in 2010. A couple of kits were sold, but only in the 4100s, which is just the single version of the AST coilovers.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...&highlight=ast

http://www.hpashop.com/product.sc?pr...categoryId=216
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      02-15-2011, 11:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Actually, we had these available for the E9x M3 back in 2010. A couple of kits were sold, but only in the 4100s, which is just the single version of the AST coilovers.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...&highlight=ast

http://www.hpashop.com/product.sc?pr...categoryId=216
Thanks Harold, I believe that yours were sleeved non-M AST's. Now they offer M specific kits.
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      02-16-2011, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyBobby View Post
Thanks Harold, I believe that yours were sleeved non-M AST's. Now they offer M specific kits.
There is no difference between in the struts. Struts don't need to have such large diameter body, most if not all are adapted using an add on or intergraded sleeves. The struts are basically a 135/335 front strut even if some manufacture will deny it.
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      02-16-2011, 12:32 AM   #12
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Glad to hear you finally have a kit that you enjoy my friend

Also do you have any schematics of the internals? I am still struggling to understand how the bottom compression valve works in a monotube w/o a reservoir...
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      02-16-2011, 12:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
Glad to hear you finally have a kit that you enjoy my friend

Also do you have any schematics of the internals? I am still struggling to understand how the bottom compression valve works in a monotube w/o a reservoir...
Yes I am enjoying them.. I haven't know what to do with myself in the last 4 months because I haven't been installing and troubleshooting suspension

I don't have any schematics but I found this cool video on youtube



Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
There is no difference between in the struts. Struts don't need to have such large diameter body, most if not all are adapted using an add on or intergraded sleeves. The struts are basically a 135/335 front strut even if some manufacture will deny it.
Harold, don't quote me on this, but I think the M specific struts are shorter than the non-M.

Last edited by RickyBobby; 02-16-2011 at 01:07 AM.
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      02-16-2011, 01:58 AM   #14
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Thanks for the video. This explains it. The adjuster goes through the nitrogen chamber and floating piston to reach the bottom valve.
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      02-16-2011, 02:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyBobby View Post
Yes I am enjoying them.. I haven't know what to do with myself in the last 4 months because I haven't been installing and troubleshooting suspension

I don't have any schematics but I found this cool video on youtube




Harold, don't quote me on this, but I think the M specific struts are shorter than the non-M.
I have this question for you then, when would the M need shorter struts then the none M?

I'll have to get a pair from AST to make sure that is true. TCK Koni's are the same for both M and none M.
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      02-16-2011, 02:26 AM   #16
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Ricky, do you have to removed the strut to adjust the plates? It looks like you can't get to all the bolts in the pic above.
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      02-16-2011, 02:54 AM   #17
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Loosen the three 13mm nuts, you can then adjust camber. To adjust caster you will need to remove the camber plates.
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      02-16-2011, 05:36 PM   #18
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Maybe it's just the angle, but the right nut seems like it's covered?
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      02-16-2011, 06:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
Maybe it's just the angle, but the right nut seems like it's covered?
For camber the three 13mm nuts are easily reached. The caster portion of the adjust will be tough, you can see one of the allen bolt is either missing or covered.
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      02-16-2011, 10:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Ricky, do you have to removed the strut to adjust the plates? It looks like you can't get to all the bolts in the pic above.
Like Harold says, the bolts that you are referring to are the castor adjustment bolts. You can see 3 of them and one is hidden under the plate and not missing. Honestly, I've never touched them because I don't feel like the car needs more castor. Camber is adjusted by loosening the 3 outer bolts that go through the strut brace. It takes 2 seconds when I arrive at the track to adjust the camber.

Here's a video of a run on Saturday. I ran two full seconds faster on Sunday after some tuning, but of course the GoPro battery died. I'll be back in March to knock off some more time


Last edited by RickyBobby; 02-18-2011 at 07:19 PM.
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      02-17-2011, 06:07 PM   #21
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Are the Turner links adjustable?
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      03-06-2011, 05:16 PM   #22
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Any more updates?
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