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Old 10-04-2017, 02:40 AM   #1
NoobsaurusRect
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Default Offset control arm bushing AND m3 offset strut mounts?

Hey all I'm building a front suspension, I was planing on using my stock '95 318ti top hats, until I saw a killer deal on a set of 96+ m3 offset strut mounts. I have bilstein sports and h&r race springs and offset control arm bushings. I read some info on installing the m3 mounts "swapped", but never found if also having offset control arm bushings would cause issues.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoobsaurusRect View Post
Hey all I'm building a front suspension, I was planing on using my stock '95 318ti top hats, until I saw a killer deal on a set of 96+ m3 offset strut mounts. I have bilstein sports and h&r race springs and offset control arm bushings. I read some info on installing the m3 mounts "swapped", but never found if also having offset control arm bushings would cause issues.
Offset (LCA) control arm bushings just give you caster, what people normally do with "swapping" the m3 top hats is to get more camber. It can also give you more caster, but only because you are moving the top of the strut back, and not because you are moving the wheels forward. I guess it depends on what your trying to do.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoobsaurusRect View Post
Hey all I'm building a front suspension, I was planing on using my stock '95 318ti top hats, until I saw a killer deal on a set of 96+ m3 offset strut mounts. I have bilstein sports and h&r race springs and offset control arm bushings. I read some info on installing the m3 mounts "swapped", but never found if also having offset control arm bushings would cause issues.
I guess I should be more specific to the question, if you decide to swap on the offset M hats you can still drive the car, and nothing catastrophic would happen, it is safe. Just make sure you have a alignment.

I'm not making any claims on how "optimal" it is, just that it will still be functional.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:01 PM   #4
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If you want to take advantage of the offset bushing use all the pieces. The 95 M3 LCA and the offset LCA bushing and the proper upper strut bearing. keep in mind the steering knuckle is different as well. Having a donor car is the easiest method.

I just purchased new LCA's from eEuroparts oem for 135 each, adding my e46 ZHP rack at the same time should be enough for now.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:38 PM   #5
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... 95 M3 LCA and the offset LCA bushing and the proper upper strut...
Are the m3 LCAs offset themselves?? I thought I heard they were the same as non m ones but they're lighter. Right now I'm using stock 318ti LCAs w hd ball joints. I figured having offset bushings (actually I have offset solid "treehouse" mounts) and offset strut mounts would give me a wider stance with better handling. I'm on bilstein sports and h&r race springs, 18x7 z3 wheels with 225s. The goal is to swap in a m50, do some chassis stiffening, brake upgrades, and an exhaust so I'd like to get a little more grip outta the front end to keep me safe.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:46 PM   #6
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... I guess it depends on what your trying to do.

I want more grip and control up front. Not that I don't have enough now, I'm just kinda an "overkill" type person. When the stock parts fail I lIke to get aftermarket stuff when it provides a benefit.
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:54 AM   #7
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If you start mixing an matching you might end up with something that's not streetable.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:16 PM   #8
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The lower perch on the strut of an M3 is smaller than the ti. If you put TI struts on an M3 mount the strut will hit the inside of the strut tower on turns. I've already done this. So i use all m3 parts and then cut the springs down to get the ride height i wanted
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andakn View Post
The lower perch on the strut of an M3 is smaller than the ti. If you put TI struts on an M3 mount the strut will hit the inside of the strut tower on turns. I've already done this. So i use all m3 parts and then cut the springs down to get the ride height i wanted
What do you mean about the strut, perch?

The lower perch for the spring is smaller on the m3, but the m3 strut mount I think will fit fine on non-M strut? I haven't tried, not sure

Preferable to not cut the spring!
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:56 AM   #10
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The perch is the cup of the strut that the spring sits in. On non m3 struts it is wider to fit the wider springs and its also flared out. When you add the m3 offset mounts the flared part of the strut will hit on the inside rear of the strut tower.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andakn View Post
The perch is the cup of the strut that the spring sits in. On non m3 struts it is wider to fit the wider springs and its also flared out. When you add the m3 offset mounts the flared part of the strut will hit on the inside rear of the strut tower.
Cool, thanks for the clarity.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:09 PM   #12
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Hence the don't mix and match on a weekend with a daily driver, if you have time to different things then sure E36's are lego's.
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