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H&R Sport spring ride height reduction

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  • H&R Sport spring ride height reduction

    car is a 39k mile 88. it had all its original suspension bits. the dampers were really shot. could move the front pistons up and down with two fingers when out of the car. rears were not much better. all were BOGE.

    replacement was in order, so got new
    rear Koni SA's
    rear "lifetime" upper shock bushings

    front Koni SA's
    SACHS upper strut mounts

    H&R Sport spring set.

    measured ride height front and rear before the swap, right after the swap and after about 50miles of driving.

    results seem odd to me. H&R advertises 1in front drop, 0.75in rear drop.

    I got 1.0in rear drop and 0 (zero) front drop.
    rear was more than expected, front non-existent. seems odd, and looks odd.

    is this normal with these springs for an M3?




    not exactly the same camera angle, but this is a "before" shot.


    75 M2
    88 M3

  • #2
    springs take a few months to settle... 6 months?
    how you like the koni's? what did you set the shocks at? I heard start full soft and then stiffen to likeness.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mcubed91 View Post
      springs take a few months to settle... 6 months?
      how you like the koni's? what did you set the shocks at? I heard start full soft and then stiffen to likeness.
      i have never had any springs take more than a short drive to settle. ... and would hope the rears aren't going to settle anymore!

      love koni's. have DA's in my M2/02 track car, have SA's in my E36 M3. only koni's that suck are the STR-T "OE replacement" dampers. have them in my E46.

      set these at one turn from full soft.

      75 M2
      88 M3

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you sure your springs are seated in the perches/hats? If the dampers weren't shortened to match the springs, when the car is unloaded the spring can come out of the hat.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mick View Post
          Are you sure your springs are seated in the perches/hats? If the dampers weren't shortened to match the springs, when the car is unloaded the spring can come out of the hat.
          yes, springs are seated in perches. springs do not fully unload when damper is fully extended, so they don't move.

          stock springs were "green" banded front, "white" banded rear. stock spring pads are "two dot" in front, 5mm rear.
          75 M2
          88 M3

          Comment


          • #6
            Honestly, this is the very reason there was a mass exodus away from sport springs to H&R Race and coilovers around the early 2000's. There was hardly any noticeable difference between sport springs and stock M3 springs. Even the rates are similar. First thing I'd do is confirm you have the correct front springs. H&R is known to cobble together sets for different E30 models. Make sure the fronts are in fact E30 M3 springs. Another thing you can do is remove the upper spring pad. The M3 pads are the thickest I've seen on E30's. Those are about 1/2" thick IIRC. If you want it lower, you will have to go to Race springs or coilovers.

            88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
            89 M3 - ALPINEWEISS II/SCHWARZ
            85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ
            91 M TECHNIC TURBO - MACAOBLAU/M TECH


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            • #7
              was less concerned about lowering it, than that the springs lowered the rear out of proportion to the front (and not as advertised). seems like there are A LOT of folks using these springs (not the race ones) and wondered if others had same results and what they did.

              yes, i have the correct part numbers. unfortunately looks like same part number now applies across the e30 line. (50406?) when i put this same kit on my 325e years ago, the drop was almost exactly what was advertised.

              yes, front spring pads are thick! looks like there is a thinner pad available. i dread having to take the struts apart again. the koni's "center" the piston when not loaded so you have to massively compress the spring to get it short enough to get the upper strut bearing on. also looks like there is a thicker rear pad that may help.
              75 M2
              88 M3

              Comment


              • #8
                If you want to tweak the height, you can do a few things:
                E90 upper spring perches (about 12mm, IIRC)
                Swap the 9mm pad for a 3mm pad
                Cut a dead coil

                Or some combination. I’d probably start with the pad and E90 perches.

                As I recall, the Sport springs should be short enough that you don’t need a spring compressor. Just pull the shaft out by hand and hold it in place while you drop the strut hat assembly on and get a nut threaded.

                Edit: It’s worth noting that I have found near zero correlation between H&R ride height quotes and reality in my experience.
                2011 BMW M3 Alpinweiß
                2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD
                1990 325is Brilliantrot

                1989 M3 Alpinweiß
                Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo
                Hers: 1989 325iX Zinnoberrot

                Comment


                • #9
                  Had the Sports and Hated them for this reason. Keep in mind that the front arches on these cars are Higher than the rear and it Only Appears to sit higher in the front.
                  if you're looking for a more aggressive look where the front and rear compliment each other then best to look else where because the sports will never put a smile on your face.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also, I’d probably want to run E36 M3 bump stops with the ride height reduction.
                    2011 BMW M3 Alpinweiß
                    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD
                    1990 325is Brilliantrot

                    1989 M3 Alpinweiß
                    Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo
                    Hers: 1989 325iX Zinnoberrot

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nrubenstein View Post
                      If you want to tweak the height, you can do a few things:
                      E90 upper spring perches (about 12mm, IIRC)
                      Swap the 9mm pad for a 3mm pad
                      Cut a dead coil

                      Or some combination. I’d probably start with the pad and E90 perches.

                      As I recall, the Sport springs should be short enough that you don’t need a spring compressor. Just pull the shaft out by hand and hold it in place while you drop the strut hat assembly on and get a nut threaded.

                      Edit: It’s worth noting that I have found near zero correlation between H&R ride height quotes and reality in my experience.
                      thanks Nick. will probably be looking at the smaller pad front, and the bigger pad in the rear. as i said, not look for lowering, just want to avoid the "hang dog" look of the rear lowered more than the front. it looks quaint on a 2002, but....;-)

                      the sport springs are shorter, BUT...the Konis do not extend by hand past halfway. impossible to pull the shaft out..even with two people. even if you can get it out, it springs back in to the mid-extension point. once under spring pressure, it extends. (and yes, rebound set on full soft). the Koni's for my E36 M did not do this.

                      75 M2
                      88 M3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pauliecarzz View Post
                        Had the Sports and Hated them for this reason. Keep in mind that the front arches on these cars are Higher than the rear and it Only Appears to sit higher in the front.
                        if you're looking for a more aggressive look where the front and rear compliment each other then best to look else where because the sports will never put a smile on your face.
                        the front arches of pretty much all cars are higher than the rear. something about needing room for the wheels to steer.......

                        it doesn't just appear higher in front. it is higher as measured from the sills. there is now a slight negative rake, and too much rear camber. part of the solution will need to be raising the rear a bit.
                        75 M2
                        88 M3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have these springs. My car sat slightly higher all around after i went with that setup

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by scrv1 View Post
                            I have these springs. My car sat slightly higher all around after i went with that setup
                            Thanks. Good data point!
                            75 M2
                            88 M3

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mlytle View Post

                              thanks Nick. will probably be looking at the smaller pad front, and the bigger pad in the rear. as i said, not look for lowering, just want to avoid the "hang dog" look of the rear lowered more than the front. it looks quaint on a 2002, but....;-)

                              the sport springs are shorter, BUT...the Konis do not extend by hand past halfway. impossible to pull the shaft out..even with two people. even if you can get it out, it springs back in to the mid-extension point. once under spring pressure, it extends. (and yes, rebound set on full soft). the Koni's for my E36 M did not do this.
                              This is not an issue with the E30 M3 Koni struts I just threw in the trash because they’re blown. Also not an issue with the GC Konis.
                              2011 BMW M3 Alpinweiß
                              2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD
                              1990 325is Brilliantrot

                              1989 M3 Alpinweiß
                              Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo
                              Hers: 1989 325iX Zinnoberrot

                              Comment

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