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E30 Front Legs

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  • E30 Front Legs


    On te E30Zone Forum, which some of the other UK members of this Board also frequent, a Member, Glenn, is currently fitting a E39 M5 Engine and Box into a E30 Shell.

    While that is no mean feat in itself and has accumalated quite a following, and is now up and running, I could not help but noticing that he has installed E36 M3 Front Legs onto the project vehicle.
    He has achieved this as a straight bolt on exercise,with the only modification being the E30 top mounts replacing those of the E36.

    I am curious to know if their are any benefits or gains in this respect for M3's ?.

    He has also fitted E36 M3 Front Calipers and discs, which have forced upon him a 17'' diam wheel. [These are still the clasp type calipers, and very heavy]

    Given that these front Struts were bolted staright on, and appear to widen the front Track of the vehicle slightly, something that the M3 strives for, it does start to open up many questions.

    For instance, if using E36 M3 front Struts as the core leg, are any suspension set up's available that otherwise might not ? are Big Brake Kits easier to come buy [secondhand] , does wheel offset change to make differing wheels more accessable ?

    Give that a lot of E30 owners have nabbed standard M3 front legs for 5 stud conversions, and that many existing ones are exchanged for coliover set ups, standard front legs are not as nearly as common as they were, so are these a possible option ?

    There just maybe some real gains out there for small money at the end of the day.


    The Gorilla.

  • #2
    Bump on this


    • #3
      Interesting............ any photo documentation ?????


      • #4
        Here is a discussion:

        There are others out there on e30 forums.

        Let us know what you end up doing.



        • #5
          for a start he will be able to adjust camber!
          And there is the option of Bilsteins PSS9 kit:OMG:

          Goodbye M3, you served me well.


          • #6
            The main benefit of using e36 M3 struts is the improvement in brakes, and marginally the wider selection of rims. BMWs e36 and e30 control arms and struts can be interchanged. Many e36s use e30 control arms, because of the much improved feel of the solid ball joints. On e36, the ball joints are incased inn a rubber sleeve. They are great for those who do not like to drive, but an annoyance when you need to feel your steering. Not to mention that those "rubber" control arms need a change every year.

            [email protected]

            1969 2002 racecar
            1989 M3 racecar
            e39 Touring


            • #7
              the guy on use a mix of E36 M3 wishbone and E36 323Ti rear arms. I know it's in german, but the pics and part codes might be of some use


              Goodbye M3, you served me well.


              • #8
                You must use E36 M3 3.2 control arms otherwise the wheels will end up to far backwards and they wouldn't be in the middle of the wheelwell

                so use the e36 M3 3.2 control arms, the excentric e30 M3 controlarm bearing, and e36 topmounts.

                the e36 topmounts you need because the hole in the e30 topmounts is to small so fit the nut on the shockabsorber. you wouldnt be able to fit a socket in there.

                so get a pair of e36 top mounts, punch out the 3 bolts, and drill 3 new holes so the distance between the bolts will fit the e30 M3.

                also important: you can ONLY use E36 M3 shocks, or height adjustable shocks with a small diameter spring.

                the normal e36 shockabsorber uses springs with a diameter that is to big to fit the e30 chassis. they would get stuck if you try steering...

                The e36 M3 uses the same spring diameter as the E30 and E30 M3, so you can still use your old springs.

                also it is important that if you want to use e36 M3 front brakes (315X28mm) you can only use them if you have the complete E36 M3 hubs.

                on the rear the E36 Ti arms fit the e30 and E30 M3, no different axles needed, but there is nothing better about those than the e30 m3 ones. in fact, the e30 M3 ones have bigger brakes.

                normal e36 rear brakes don't fit the E36 Ti arms without adapters and modification.

                if you need bigger brakes on the rear you'll need to get complete Z3-M arms
                Last edited by Dtm1992#43; 10-26-2005, 05:30 AM.
                stock cars suck...period


                • #9
                  Here is a good info on swapping to Mroadster rear susp/brakes.

                  318is 2litre


                  • #10
                    I see no gains in performance by switching to other factory (street) components.

                    a) BBK setup for front and rear is not hard to do; there is top
                    notch parts available to get the job done properly.
                    b) there are plenty of wheels for the e30 m3
                    c) camber adjust is a non issue due to adjustable camber plates
                    d) going to coilover suspension typically requires only the bottom piece of the
                    strut -- Id still use new struts for this which makes for a known history (fatique, geometry, etc.).
                    Especially if you get a more expensive coilver setup.
                    More higher end coilovers (like Oehlins) use their own strut housing. No part of the M3 strut
                    is required.

                    There is a strut that I think is quite nice and gives more clearance to things like wheels,
                    especially important when you are trying to fit a large wheel/wide tire with big brakes inside
                    the fender housing (without going to some widebody setup) -- the magnesium DTM struts.

                    Danny, perhaps you just want to plan in a front/rear Oehlins 3 or 4 way adjust using their
                    custom strut housings and solid/spherical bearing mounts. Costs a bit more, but the
                    quality is excellent and it saves you a bunch of messing around.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John
                      Danny, perhaps you just want to plan in a front/rear Oehlins 3 or 4 way adjust using their
                      custom strut housings and solid/spherical bearing mounts. Costs a bit more, but the
                      quality is excellent and it saves you a bunch of messing around.

                      John [/B]
                      So costs a bit more in John's terms means 2-3 times

                      I know, I know, you get what you pay for. (which sadly in 90% of the cases is true)

                      Goodbye M3, you served me well.


                      • #12
                        magnesium DTM nice..but how many m3 owners can afford that??

                        same for the big brake kits...nice to have AP stuff, but e36M3 stuff can be found way cheaper... i paid less than $400 for complete E36M3 front struts, with all the brake stuff on it, hubs,control arms etcetera...

                        now way i can have the same stopping power any cheaper...even a good pair of camberplates are more expensive....
                        stock cars suck...period


                        • #13
                          Hey John, you just get a bonus or something.... :-)