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  1. #1
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    REVIEW: M3 suspension parts (sway bars, front lower wishbones + tension rods, rear subframe bushings, rear guide rods + wishbones / Alpina_B3_Lux

    M3 suspension parts: sway bars, front lower wishbones + tension rods, rear subframe bushings, rear guide rods + wishbones


    Why?

    If you want your car to drive faster than it can do in stock form, increasing the power output of the engine is only one part of the equation. If driving faster in a straight line on motorways is your only goal, then this might be enough; however, if your objective is also to be faster around corners, bends or even on a racetrack, then an improved suspension and better traction is a no-brainer.

    Let me start by saying that the stock suspension of my car (it was a 335i without M sport suspension) was actually quite good, once you ditch the awful runflat tires and upgrade to Michelin Pilot Sport 2 as I've done. But still, it's a suspension the main objective of which is to make the 335i a fast luxury sedan, and not necessarily to be on the sporty side - pursuant to BMW, that's what the M3 is for. For me, the stock suspension of the 335i has a bit too much body roll in corners, it does not react as fast and precise to steering input as an M3 and does not provide a very good feedback from the road to the driver. You can still drive it quite fast, but you have to sort of guess where its limits are or what you have to do in order to go where you want; I wanted to improve this.


    How?

    The decision on how to upgrade the suspension was complex on several levels. Springs? Dampers? Sway bars? Coilovers? Which type of each?

    I had test driven the Bilstein B16 Ride Control coilover on a similar car to my own last summer in South Africa (thanks to my friend Charles! :thumbsup: here's his review) and experienced it as a passenger on Tony's car (see his review under this link), and had been very favorably impressed with this coilover. However, it also was rather expensive (2000 EUR without install), and together with the LSD which I wanted to install at the same time (see my separate review on that) this was slightly out of my budget at that time.

    In the meantime, however, I had discovered that it is possible to transfer a certain number of components of the M3 suspension onto our cars, thus integrating parts of the superior handling characteristics of the M3 onto the 335i. In particular, this link about various M3 components as well as this review had been quite helpful and instructive in this matter. These parts were somewhat less expensive overall and could also be combined with different springs, dampers or the Bilstein B16 coilover at a later date. Also, none of these upgrades (except the sway bars) exist as aftermarket items, making them even more desirable and indispensable if one is really serious about increasing the handling capacity of the 335i. Another plus is that as they are OEM items, so almost no one will be able to tell that they're not stock - something which is rather important to me as my car needs to go through the TÜV inspection at some point in time.

    It was mentioned by those who already had these pieces installed that while mounting the LSD, it makes sense to install other parts for the rear axle at the same time, in order to avoid duplicate work later on. It seemed therefore obvious to me that I should have at least all rear axle items installed (rear subframe bushings, rear sway bar, rear guide rods, rear upper links); but (yeah, the mod bug got to me…) in the end I just thought "why not do all the rest too if the car is on the jack anyway?" and added the front axle items as well (sway bar, tension rod, lower wishbone). However, I left out those that needed different dampers (rear lower camber links), as I wanted to change them at a later stage (see above).

    I somewhat hesitated as far as the sway bars were concerned, as Birds in the UK (where I went to have the Quaife LSD installed) recommended the Hartge sway bars instead of the M3 ones, the reason being that the M3 ones still induce some understeer while the Hartge ones are stiffer and provide a tendency for mild oversteer. However, I had driven an M3 and found it very well balanced, and a more or less neutral steering appealed to me as I do not want to pretend to have sufficient driving skill to counter any sudden movements from the rear end. Also, the Hartge sway bars seemed excessively expensive to me (around 730 EUR = almost 1000 USD), and I really had to set a limit somewhere.

    I obtained all items except the sway bars from HP Autowerks, as I could then be sure not to miss any vital part. However, I have in the meantime tried to put together a list of all parts and part numbers that were used, as a means of reference. Here it is, along with some explanations for each part (some borrowed from the HP website) - no guarantee is given, of course, and these are the parts for an E90/E92 (most words in brackets are the German words for each part):

    1. Front anti-roll bar / sway bar (Stabilisator vorne)
    Diagram see here)

    31352283515 (Stabilisator vorne)
    31352283516 (Gummilager Stabilisator Unterteil, 2x)
    31352283517 (Gummilager Stabilisator Oberteil, 2x)
    31352283037 (Haltebügel Stabilisator, 2x)
    31352283441 (Pendelstütze vorne links)
    31352283442 (Pendelstütze vorne rechts)
    07119904295 (Bundmutter selbstsichernd, 4x)
    33326768884 (Sechskantbundmutter, 4x)

    That's what it looks like:
    Click here to enlarge


    2. Rear anti-roll bar / sway bar (Stabilisator hinten)
    As delivered the E9x 3 series has excessive under steer and limited roll control. The M3 rear sway bar increases rear roll stiffness by reducing mass transfer forces in corners. That should give the car crisp, quick turn-in response and reduce understeer, making the car feel more planted. M3 anti bars give the driver the ability to rotate the car on corner entry and steer with the throttle when necessary. It also makes the suspension (front or rear) stiffer, which will reduce the grip.
    Diagram see here)

    33552283655 (Stabilisator hinten)
    33552283709 (Gummilager Stabilisator Unterteil)
    33552283710 (Gummilager Stabilisator Oberteil)
    33552283714 (Haltebügel Stabilisator, 2x)
    33556764428 (Pendelstütze, 2x)
    07119906077 (Zylinderschraube, 4x)
    07119903931 (Sechskantschraube mit Scheibe, 2x)
    33326768884 (Sechskantbundmutter, 2x)
    That's what it looks like:
    Click here to enlarge


    3. Tension strut / rod (front) left+right (Zugstrebe Vorderachsträger)

    31102283575 (left)
    31102283576 (right)

    That's what they look like:
    Click here to enlarge


    4. Lower wishbone / control arms (Querlenker Vorderachsträger)
    These add 0.75 degrees of camber, an alignment of the suspension after the install is therefore mandatory. A different xenon light regulation rod is needed (provided in the HP kit).

    31102283577 (left)
    31102283578 (right)
    37142283867 (xenon regulation rod)

    That's what they look like:
    Click here to enlarge


    5. Rear subframe bushings (Gummilager Hinterachsträger)

    The soft stock rear subframe bushings are replaced with stiffer, high performance bushings for a more predictable handling and more control.

    33312283382 (front, 2x)
    33312283383 (rear, 2x)

    That's what they look like:
    Click here to enlarge


    6. Rear guide rods (Führungslenker Hinterachsträger)
    Original guide rods were made to deflect under load, a bad thing for good handling and traction. The M3 guide rods are made of all aluminum, a lightweight component thereby reducing wear and tear on other, more critical parts (rear subframe, control arm bushings etc). Each guide rod weighs just over 1.5 lbs making for a total of ~3 lbs for both parts (stock guide rods weigh 2.1 lbs each). Bushing deflection with a rubber material at one end is replaced by a sealed joint for deflection and noise free operation. Bushing deflection is unwanted because it leads to excess suspension movement. This is bad for handling and traction due to constant camber and toe changes. Plus, any power from the engine can take longer to get to the ground because it has to windup the bushing first.
    Diagram see here)

    33322283547 (left)
    33322283548 (right)

    That's what they look like:
    Click here to enlarge


    7. Rear upper links / wishbones (Querlenker Hinterachsträger)
    Original upper links were made to deflect under load, a bad thing for good handling and traction. The M3 links are made of all aluminum, a lightweight component thereby reducing wear and tear on other, more critical parts (rear subframe, control arm bushings, etc). Each link weighs just over 1.7 lbs making for a total of ~3.4 lbs for both parts (stock guide link weigh 2.5 lbs each or 5 lbs for both). A weight savings of over 1.5 lbs from the rear suspension.

    33322283545 (left)
    33322283546 (right)

    That's what they look like:
    Click here to enlarge
    Here's also a photo of all parts before the install: Click here to enlarge

    The installation procedure of most items was (pursuant to Birds) very straightforward, in particular the tension rods, control arms, rear guide rods and rear upper links were really easy to do - take out the stock part, put in the M3 part, basically plug&play. The rear subframe bushings are a bit harder to do, apparently some force is needed to squeeze them in. Due to the LSD that was being installed, the exhaust had to be lowered anyway, so that access to the bushings was provided for. An alignment was done afterwards (this is a must due to the different camber induced by the lower wishbones in the front!), but no complete KDS (there was not sufficient time).
    Here are some photos of the installation so you see where at least part of the pieces ended up:

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Comparison of stock and M3 subframe bushings:
    Click here to enlarge

    Unfortunately, it proved somewhat difficult to install the sway bars: Pursuant to Birds, the M3 sway bars did not fit into the OEM endlinks, and the bushings for the sway bars that I provided supposedly did not fit either. For the rear sway bar, Birds therefore fabricated custom bushings by re-machining the OEM bushings; but they gave up on the front sway bar. Now, as several here on this forum have confirmed, everything does fit, even though it's a tight affair and you may have to apply some force to get everything in place. Fortunately for me, my local shop in Germany where I have had all my other modifications done, Daum Motorsport, managed to get the front sway bar installed. I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed with Birds over this (also because they charged me extra for the re-machining which I assume would not have been necessary), but am nevertheless glad it worked out in the end.


    Improvements?

    Now, let's come to the part that certainly is of most interest to you - how does it drive now? I held off with my review for some time as the weather was really bad and I wanted to spend some time on a race track - the famous Nürburgring - with the modifications to evaluate the changes properly. Here are two photos from the two days during the Easter week-end in 2010 that I spent there:

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Even though the weather was not ideal, I was able to get almost 15 laps done (around 300 km), and have also driven an additional 3000km on normal roads. Immediately upon taking delivery of my car from Birds, the change was very noticeable. The car felt much more planted, body roll in corners was substantially decreased, and it was much more responsive to any steering input. Although even in stock form I didn't have any serious complaint with the steering response (in particular compared to some other cars I've driven in the meantime…), the car felt much sharper, more awake when going round corners, and any slight change in radius was immediately transferred to the road. Combined with the active steering I have, it is really much more fun to drive now! Going around the 'Ring, the decrease in body roll was also noticeable, the car also felt much more stable at high speed cornering (there are some bends on the 'Ring where you are faster than 150 km/h). In general, you have the feeling that you are more connected to the car and, through it, to the road than before. There is less of a "filter" that delays your input and the car's feedback. It now feels more like a sportscar than it did before.


    Problems / disadvantages?

    Not unexpectedly, the ride comfort will be slightly (and I mean slightly) decreased. This is due to less cushioning in the front, so that you'll get more feedback from the road through the steering wheel; also, the stiffer rear subframe bushings (and upper links + wishbones) lead to a firmer rear suspension, road imperfections will be felt a bit more than before. It's not much, though, comparable to switching from 18 inch tires to 19 inch tires.

    I also noticed that (probably a consequence of the stiffer sway bars and the LSD) if the rear end slides out, it does so less gradually than before and you have to react quickly, even with DSC turned on - but that usually only happens if you drive like you should only drive on the track, and then you're supposed to know what you're doing.
    As a summary, I can say I'm very, very pleased with these modifications and they have transformed the car in a lot of ways. They contribute to my driving pleasure each time I drive a bit faster on curvy roads, and I can sincerely recommend both to anyone who's remotely interested in making his car quicker and more nimble.

    Alpina_B3_Lux
    Current: Audi R8 V10 2013 S-Tronic, daytona grey, carbon side blades, MTM tune, Michelin PSS tires, Capristo x-pipe
    Gone: Audi R8 V10 2010 manual, ice silver, grey side blades, MTM tune, MTM air filters, Michelin PSS tires
    Gone: BMW 335i Individual (Öhlins, PFC brakes, RB turbos etc.)

    Gone: Alpina B3 E46 3,3

  2. #2
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    Moved to 3-Series -> E9X.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Moved to 3-Series -> E9X.
    why?
    please copy it also to 1 series, for it aplies to both chassis.
    I think it belongs in the suspension forum where it was...
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    why?
    please copy it also to 1 series, for it aplies to both chassis.
    I think it belongs in the suspension forum where it was...
    Didn't realize it applied to the 1-Series as well. Ok, suspension it is.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Didn't realize it applied to the 1-Series as well. Ok, suspension it is.
    It is now in some kind of vendor forum? That does not make sense to me - you can buy these pieces everywhere.
    Current: Audi R8 V10 2013 S-Tronic, daytona grey, carbon side blades, MTM tune, Michelin PSS tires, Capristo x-pipe
    Gone: Audi R8 V10 2010 manual, ice silver, grey side blades, MTM tune, MTM air filters, Michelin PSS tires
    Gone: BMW 335i Individual (Öhlins, PFC brakes, RB turbos etc.)

    Gone: Alpina B3 E46 3,3

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux Click here to enlarge
    It is now in some kind of vendor forum? That does not make sense to me - you can buy these pieces everywhere.
    It is not where these parts are available, it was just in what subforum this thread should be placed.
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    It is not where these parts are available, it was just in what subforum this thread should be placed.
    I was addressing Sticky and not you actually. To put this thread into some vendors forum really does not make sense to me at all.
    Current: Audi R8 V10 2013 S-Tronic, daytona grey, carbon side blades, MTM tune, Michelin PSS tires, Capristo x-pipe
    Gone: Audi R8 V10 2010 manual, ice silver, grey side blades, MTM tune, MTM air filters, Michelin PSS tires
    Gone: BMW 335i Individual (Öhlins, PFC brakes, RB turbos etc.)

    Gone: Alpina B3 E46 3,3

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    3- series forum is not a vendors forum...
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux Click here to enlarge
    I was addressing Sticky and not you actually. To put this thread into some vendors forum really does not make sense to me at all.
    It isn't in a vendors forum.

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    Not any more, thanks for moving it again.
    Current: Audi R8 V10 2013 S-Tronic, daytona grey, carbon side blades, MTM tune, Michelin PSS tires, Capristo x-pipe
    Gone: Audi R8 V10 2010 manual, ice silver, grey side blades, MTM tune, MTM air filters, Michelin PSS tires
    Gone: BMW 335i Individual (Öhlins, PFC brakes, RB turbos etc.)

    Gone: Alpina B3 E46 3,3

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    I actually did the front part of this upgrade.
    This improved steering sharpness a lot, but it also revealed that the rear wheel bushings are crap now.
    the car wiggles it's rear when going over a ridge while in a corner.
    I first thought that was due to the soft sidewalls of my PSS tires, but with the runflat winter rubber it has not improved that much.
    This needs to be addressed before the first trackday next year.
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

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    i did this upgrade also I replaced the guide rods with stronger adjustable arms. great improvent over stock suspension.
    ground control coilovers/wavetrac lsd/ full m3 suspension/delrin bushings/ megan racing toe and camber arms/bmw oem performance carbon fiber front lip and rear deck spoiler/m3 strut brace/ecs SS brakelines/CPE dci's, charge pipe, catless dp, fmic/bms OCC/tuningtechfs custom tune/defiv diff lockdownkit,rbpcv valve.

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    So I noticed the rear upper links don't have the accompanying ABS brackets, nuts and bolts like some of the kits the vendors are selling. Do we need them? And if we do, are there part numbers? This is definitely on my list of things to do.

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    Great post Alpina! Exactly what I'm looking for and looking to do.Click here to enlarge

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sharkatron Click here to enlarge
    So I noticed the rear upper links don't have the accompanying ABS brackets, nuts and bolts like some of the kits the vendors are selling. Do we need them? And if we do, are there part numbers? This is definitely on my list of things to do.
    Abs bracket definitely needed.
    34 52 2283017

    Not sure about nuts and bolt reuse.

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    As I have started taking my car to the track monthly - I wanted to upgrade the handling of my 335i

    Been reading a few threads about the M3 bits - but am a bit uncertain with the sway bars as i have read mixed views

    Car has currently installed: KW V3 suspension (lowered), Wavetrack LSD, Defiv Lockdown kit, AA Strut bar

    Looking at getting the following:

    M3 Front Kit - 31102283575, 31102283576, 31102283577, 31102283578, 37142283867

    M3 Rear Kit - 33322283547, 33322283548, 33322283545, 33322283546

    ABS Sensor Brackets x2 - 34522283017

    M3 Subframe Front Bushing Kit (2each) - 33312283382, 33312283383



    With coilovers installed - are the M3 rear and front sway bars required? (will it make it better or worse?)

    I have read that due to having changed my suspension to coilovers and being lowered that the OEM toe arms should be changed as they can't be tuned that much - is that correct?
    If that's the case, which aftermarket one is recommended?
    2009 E92 6AT SG 335i Msport :
    JB4+Flash (stacked setup), AR Downpipes, AA Bov, AA Exhaust, AA Race FMIC, AA Strut Bar, BMS DCI, BMS OCC, BMS Thermostat, WaveTrac LSD, ER Sport Oil Cooler, Michelin PSS, Lux Angel eyes, KW V3 Coilovers, Vossen CV3, DEFIV lockdown kit, Arkym front lip , carbon side splitters

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jake1829 Click here to enlarge
    I have read that due to having changed my suspension to coilovers and being lowered that the OEM toe arms should be changed as they can't be tuned that much - is that correct?
    If that's the case, which aftermarket one is recommended?
    I do not know. You are going to have to ask one of the E46 guys who track. I'm not sure who has toe arms for you either should need them.

    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
    : http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    I think that is correct, the rear gains camber as it is lowered and there is limited adjustibility in the stock arms. Something like the Rogue Engineering ones isn't a bad idea.
    http://www.rogueengineering.com/rogu...RM/E9X_TA.html

    I think the sway bar links are also affected by excessive lowering. You can get different ones like these and for the rear.

    I haven't done either of those things though. I currently have a similar setup to what you are thinking of
    M3 front control arm kit
    M3 rear subframe bushings
    Ohlins Road and Track coilovers with swift springs
    Dinan camber plates
    AA strut brace
    Wavetrac LSD and DEFIV Lockdown kit.

    I haven't changed sway bars and don't feel the need to.
    I'm really happy with this set up as it is right now except the lock down kit which transmits a lot more noise than I was expecting.

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    hey jake1829 I wouldnt waste time on the m3 bits except the front. replace all the rear arms including the toe arm to megan racing adjustable arms, no noise no issues great for the street/track.(used them since 2011 daily driven) Get delrin bushings for the subframe its better, the m3 will work also. you should also change the front tension strut bushing for a quality bearing type like the dinan or bimmerworld. I got the akg which was very high quality and cheaper. It helps with hard braking stability. One of the most important thing also is good tires and brakes. I use michelin pss. I go to the track also and came to the realization i need a real race car. So i rent a spec miata for scca racing and use my car for hpde and pdx's.
    ground control coilovers/wavetrac lsd/ full m3 suspension/delrin bushings/ megan racing toe and camber arms/bmw oem performance carbon fiber front lip and rear deck spoiler/m3 strut brace/ecs SS brakelines/CPE dci's, charge pipe, catless dp, fmic/bms OCC/tuningtechfs custom tune/defiv diff lockdownkit,rbpcv valve.

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    After chatting to Harold @ HP Autosport


    He's recommended that I only get the M3 front sway bar and the RE toe arms with the other bits I have already ordered


    Will update once bits arrive and been installed
    2009 E92 6AT SG 335i Msport :
    JB4+Flash (stacked setup), AR Downpipes, AA Bov, AA Exhaust, AA Race FMIC, AA Strut Bar, BMS DCI, BMS OCC, BMS Thermostat, WaveTrac LSD, ER Sport Oil Cooler, Michelin PSS, Lux Angel eyes, KW V3 Coilovers, Vossen CV3, DEFIV lockdown kit, Arkym front lip , carbon side splitters

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    hey man harold is a good guy im sure but he is vendor and his goal is to sell products.

    Most of my friends who also track their car had these arms fail on them.



    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jake1829 Click here to enlarge
    After chatting to Harold @ HP Autosport


    He's recommended that I only get the M3 front sway bar and the RE toe arms with the other bits I have already ordered


    Will update once bits arrive and been installed
    ground control coilovers/wavetrac lsd/ full m3 suspension/delrin bushings/ megan racing toe and camber arms/bmw oem performance carbon fiber front lip and rear deck spoiler/m3 strut brace/ecs SS brakelines/CPE dci's, charge pipe, catless dp, fmic/bms OCC/tuningtechfs custom tune/defiv diff lockdownkit,rbpcv valve.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TRES Click here to enlarge
    replace all the rear arms including the toe arm to
    megan racing adjustable arms,
    Get delrin bushings for the subframe its better,
    change the front tension strut bushing for a quality bearing
    I use michelin pss
    Nailed it.
    Good post after some deciphering
    I'll co sign what he said
    -Modified safety triangle in trunk
    -Carbon fiber key overlay
    PLANNED MODS
    -Wheel spacers

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the replies

    Yep - won't be going down the RE toe arms as quite a few people have said they don't last

    Do i require toe arms with all the M3 kit ?
    2009 E92 6AT SG 335i Msport :
    JB4+Flash (stacked setup), AR Downpipes, AA Bov, AA Exhaust, AA Race FMIC, AA Strut Bar, BMS DCI, BMS OCC, BMS Thermostat, WaveTrac LSD, ER Sport Oil Cooler, Michelin PSS, Lux Angel eyes, KW V3 Coilovers, Vossen CV3, DEFIV lockdown kit, Arkym front lip , carbon side splitters

  24. #24
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    yes
    ground control coilovers/wavetrac lsd/ full m3 suspension/delrin bushings/ megan racing toe and camber arms/bmw oem performance carbon fiber front lip and rear deck spoiler/m3 strut brace/ecs SS brakelines/CPE dci's, charge pipe, catless dp, fmic/bms OCC/tuningtechfs custom tune/defiv diff lockdownkit,rbpcv valve.

  25. #25
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    thanks

    Which version do I require with the Megan toe arms - the M3 version or the E9x version>?

    thanks
    2009 E92 6AT SG 335i Msport :
    JB4+Flash (stacked setup), AR Downpipes, AA Bov, AA Exhaust, AA Race FMIC, AA Strut Bar, BMS DCI, BMS OCC, BMS Thermostat, WaveTrac LSD, ER Sport Oil Cooler, Michelin PSS, Lux Angel eyes, KW V3 Coilovers, Vossen CV3, DEFIV lockdown kit, Arkym front lip , carbon side splitters

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