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      07-24-2010, 03:20 PM   #1
Brigadier General
aajami's Avatar

Drives: Space Gray '09 E92 M3
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA

iTrader: (4)

Just finished ZCP retrofit

For anyone who frequents the suspension subforums, it will come as no surprise that I have been on a quest to retrofit my car with ZCP suspension for over a year now. It started when rldzhao first noticed that the JDM E92 M3 sat lower than ROW models; was compounded when BMW announced a revised suspension for the Edition model later that summer; and came to a head when the ZCP option was announced earlier this year. After a bit of research from Scott at BMW of Houston and Jason at Tischer BMW in Maryland, we quickly determined that all three variants had the same suspension components. At that point, it was simply a matter of importing the struts from BMW AG (not as easy as it sounds), matching up my car's options to the appropriate springs, and importing them -- also from BMW AG.

The suspension was installed at EAS yesterday, and even though I haven't had an alignment yet, I took the car for a quick sprint around the hills that overlook Irvine and Newport Coast last night. The difference is noteworthy. I was initially a bit surprised to find that the ride was somewhat softer than before. But after a few minutes, I realized that it wasn't softer per se, but more planted. In the past, the car had a slight tendency to become a bit unsettled on uneven pavement under acceleration while cornering in Sport mode. With the new setup, the car feels much more solid... much more confident.

I have more rubber on the road now than before too, as I installed a new set of wheels with 255f/275r PS2s, which is one size wider than our OEM 19" tires. Part of the confidence the car now exudes is undoubtedly due to the wider patch of contact that it has with the road, but the stability that the car exhibits because of the ZCP suspension is definitely noticeable as well. I plan on taking the car out on some more serious twisties next weekend once I have the alignment done, but I'm very happy with the change so far.

A few other notes:

1) No, this wasn't cheap. But for a component as critical as suspension, I would never opt for a non-OEM solution, even at a considerable discount over the premium that I most surely paid. I took this tack with my S2000, and it served me well then.

2) No, you can't really see the drop. I had a two finger gap in the rear and a three finger gap in the front before that are now down to one in the back and two in the front, but it's barely noticeable.

3) Pics are forthcoming. Tom's crew at EAS took some pictures during the installation process, and I'll post them up as soon as I have them.

On a separate note, this forum (i.e. its members) is really an invaluable source of information. I would never have been able to perform this upgrade without the wealth of knowledge on this site. Don't take it for granted!

Edit: Here are some pics:

More here:
'09 E92 M3: Space Gray, Black, Carbon Leather | ZTP 2MK ZPP 2MT 6FL | link 1 / link 2
Mods: M Performance exhaust | ZCP retrofit | Euro airbox | GTS DCT flash | JPN 240 ECU flash | Euro LCI taillights | CRT lip | OEM alarm retrofit | Space Gray bumper plugs | BMW Performance: Mk. II spoiler / Mk. II non-electronic steering wheel / mirror caps / front grilles / side gills / intake louvers / emblem

Last edited by aajami; 07-28-2010 at 07:32 PM.