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      02-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #1
drburton
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"Needs a Drop"

It seems there is a bit of an obsession on this forum with dropping the M3. Everytime pictures are posted of a car that isn't riding on the bump stops there are multiple posts that say, 'needs a drop'.

I'm starting to believe I may be the only forum member with a stock suspension.

For the few of us who have a stock setup, I thought I would share some reasons why the M3 does not 'need' a drop and some owners are choosing not to drop:

1) The M3 is already pretty low compared to most cars, I'm not sure why there is an obsession with having no gap between the tire and the fender.

2) The appeal of the M3 to me is that it is a very capable car that can be used as a daily driver. If dropped, a number of clearance issues come up in daily driving - parking curbs, speed bumps, slanted driveways etc...

3) To add on to #2, if you live in a state that gets snow, clearance is a key variable. I can't imagine navigating a Minnesota winter with a dropped car.

4) A drop impacts ride quality. If I wanted a stiff ride and no clearance I'd buy a GT3

5) I think there is a valid argument that BMW did a nice job engineering the suspension for the M3. Not sure why I would want to potentially upset the balance by throwing in aftermarket springs (comment doesn't apply to coil over)

The intention of the post isn't to judge the members with a drop. I'm just providing some reasoning why some M3 owners don't 'need' a drop.

Stock suspension rocks

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      02-25-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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yes it needs a drop...thats why i got ZCP...cuz its dropped from the factory..which is what sold me on this car.





(i will never put aftermkt suspension parts on this car. perfect as it is. My last 3 cars were lowered or "dropped" w/ aftermarket suspension parts and each and every time i have regretted it to the fullest...noises, tire wear on the neg camber, rubbing, squeaking over bumps, hitting or scraping every driveway, bottoming out at high speeds etc. All three times ive had to uninstall everything and part them out on craigslist...im through with that...ive learned my lesson....)

Last edited by ES_TRADER; 02-25-2011 at 12:56 PM.
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      02-25-2011, 12:48 PM   #3
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i still have a stock suspension and as much as id like to change tif or kw v3 .... i just dont have the money and if i did would i because like you said the stock suspension rocks
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      02-25-2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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I agree with you. I dont want to drop it, even though our weather is ALOT better, there are alot potholes, messed up driveways, etc.

It does look good though
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      02-25-2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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since I'm not 18 nor 22 anymore, I'm way over the "hella flush" crowd

I'm no longer planning on tracking my car every other weekend, but just here and there, and I'm leaving my car stock. If I wanted a dedicated track car, I'd get a GT3.

I'm pretty sure the M engineers and their research, testing, and design teams, know more about suspension and how to make it match the M3's chassis much better than we all could.
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      02-25-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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I'm staying stock for exactly the same reasons.
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      02-25-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compm3e92m3 View Post
It does look good though
+1 on the looks but its just not practical imo..pita to angle driveways 80% of the time and then my heart skips a beat everytime im approaching a huge steep ramped driveway and have to end up aborting the entry and going home because my car couldnt make it up the ramp)
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      02-25-2011, 01:00 PM   #8
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i AM STOCK. ZCP just gave it 10mm which is pretty much nothing. I do not plan on dropping it either.

Only mod to date is tint.
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      02-25-2011, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richpuer View Post
yes it needs a drop...thats why i got ZCP...cuz its dropped from the factory..which is what sold me on this car.





(i will never put aftermkt suspension parts on this car. perfect as it is. My last 3 cars were lowered or "dropped" w/ aftermarket suspension parts and each and every time i have regretted it to the fullest...noises, tire wear on the neg camber, rubbing, squeaking over bumps, hitting or scraping every driveway, bottoming out at high speeds etc. All three times ive had to uninstall everything and part them out on craigslist...im through with that...ive learned my lesson....)
+1.

Stock or ZCP.. Either way this car is low enough. No need to over do.
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      02-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drburton View Post
If I wanted a stiff ride and no clearance I'd buy a GT3
I don't think it's that easy for most people. It's not like hmmm, M3 or GT3, price is a huge factor there.

More like hmmm... M3 or GT-R (which is still pricier but not a huge barrier), or corvette, or mustang etc.

And yes, almost every OEM sub 100K car from the manufacturer needs a drop if you want it to look good and perform better. Facts of life.
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      02-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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Love the stock look also, I don't want it any lower. I did install 15mm and 12.5mm Turner Motorsports spacers yesterdaythough. I like the way the tires fill the wheel wells now, more aggressive stance too.


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      02-25-2011, 01:14 PM   #12
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      02-25-2011, 01:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erhanh View Post
+1.

Stock or ZCP.. Either way this car is low enough. No need to over do.
yes, i already find myself scraping the bottom of the front bumper on moderately steep driveways...i dont know how people who lower it AND get the lip can endure it...its gotta hurt every time u hit it...but i can understand if they have show cars and hardly drive em
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      02-25-2011, 01:16 PM   #14
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stock ride height is no good.
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      02-25-2011, 01:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonteCarloM3 View Post
And yes, almost every OEM sub 100K car from the manufacturer needs a drop if you want it to look good and perform better. Facts of life.
Any reliable measured facts you would like to mention?
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      02-25-2011, 01:36 PM   #16
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facts? on M3post?
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      02-25-2011, 01:38 PM   #17
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I understand where you are coming from. The stock suspension is very good, but I still feel it's just a touch too high. Eibachs which give a 19mm front 14mm rear drop look just about perfect to me.

Any lower and the car seems to look worn out and tired. IMO
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      02-25-2011, 01:41 PM   #18
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e93s have WAYYY too much of a gap in the front

rear is perfect.. but front sucks

if i had the e92 zcp front drop I'd be happy :P
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      02-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
facts? on M3post?
OH REARRY? WHARE?



No, but I'm kind of in the same boat as you, it looks and rides decent, although I did end up modifying my suspension. I just felt the car could use a teeny tiny drop, and ended up putting Eibach springs on my ZCP M3. That's only a 10mm difference, and really not all too noticeable. I kinda wish I had another 5mm, but I enjoy not scraping on speed bumps, etc.

As for my KW V3, they're sitting in the garage. Don't get me wrong, I loved the KW's, but I just really like EDC. I dunno, maybe I'm just getting tired of compromises in an overall uncompromising car. Dunno what I'm going to do with the KW's yet.
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      02-25-2011, 01:53 PM   #20
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I didn't do it for the way it looks, I did it for increased spring rate. The OE spring rate is fairly soft.......

My wife DDs the M3 and she couldn't tell a huge difference in ride quality between OE and H&R Race springs, but there is significantly less body roll.
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      02-25-2011, 01:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvai View Post
Any reliable measured facts you would like to mention?
other than the fact that the car looks way better with a nice drop??

AND do you really need convincing that a lower center of gravity and firmer shock rebound/dampening improves vehicle handling?

i can't even remember the last time i scraped the car going over a bump, although i don't have it slammed.
the M3 clearance is pretty damn good compared to other cars i have owned and put on suspension mods.
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      02-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #22
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I went with dinan stg 3 and thought it actually improved handling and feel and did that after my first track day with the car. The car handles great stock, but at the track a few weakness come out and wanted to address that while maintaining EDC, and feel dinan is more of a performance over aesthetic mod. Like a bit less fender gap but the "slammed" look is a bit much for a street car
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