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FCP Groton e36 m3 control arms...?

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  • FCP Groton e36 m3 control arms...?

    Hello!
    So, the E30 M3 i bought a few weeks ago is coming along very nicely with how much has been wrong with it. So now to control arms... it already has e36 m3 control arms with offset control arm bushings, but they are far from new. and my front alignment is wack. 0* camber on both sides pretty much, so I am getting camber plates and I think I should get new control arms also, cause they might be bent or something. So I searched and there was a thread about some fcp arms cracking... but fcp now has a lifetime guarantee on all their parts so I dont know! here is a link to the m3 control arms... http://www.fcpgroton.com/product-exe...8M3+Upgrade%29

    I might just go back to OEM E30 M3 control arms...

  • #2
    Ok, so through work (BMW) I can get the OEM steal e30 m3 control arms for half the price of the OEM aluminum ones... $109 each. So I may end up doing this. Since the e36 m3 ones i have now also have offset bushings, would I need to switch back to regular bushings with the e30 m3 steal ones? is there much of a benefit of switching back to the e30 m3 control arms? Thanks! Dan.

    edit: i have been searching around a lot about control arms, there is just so many ifs ands and buts.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KoenigsbergM3 View Post
      i have been searching around a lot about control arms, there is just so many ifs ands and buts.
      The biggest issue with the control arms is the ball joint. If my memory is correct, BMW CCR mandated that the E30 M3 control arms be replaced after two race seasons because of ball joint failure. The advantage of the aluminum vs steel is unsprung weight.

      Mike K.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mike K. View Post
        The biggest issue with the control arms is the ball joint. If my memory is correct, BMW CCR mandated that the E30 M3 control arms be replaced after two race seasons because of ball joint failure.
        Indeed, there were a few series of failed balljoints from people probably having purchased cheap knock-offs. I do 25 track days per year, and my control arms are on their 5th year. Every half season I remove the control arms and check the balljoints. They are stiff as when brand new...

        Moral of the story. Get Lemforders for 10% more, and they will last 4 to 5 times longer than the cheap knock-offs.


        [email protected]

        1969 2002 racecar
        1989 M3 racecar
        e39 Touring

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        • #5
          So I'm definitely not getting the FCP arms now... But if anything I would be good with getting the OEM Steal ones from BMW? I'll look into the lemforders...

          edit: holy moly lemfoerders are expensive!! over $400 bucks a piece! I can get the OEM aluminum ones for $200 and OEM steal for $100. I think I'll stick with those... But would there be much of a benefit with going to OEM e36 m3 control arms?
          Last edited by KoenigsbergM3; 12-22-2009, 01:00 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KoenigsbergM3 View Post
            So I'm definitely not getting the FCP arms now... But if anything I would be good with getting the OEM Steal ones from BMW? I'll look into the lemforders...
            Lemforder makes the control arms sold by BMW. So, you are safe.

            BTW I will never install anythng but Lemforders on my BMWs. I won't waste my time swapping LCA every couple of months.

            Also, if you buy parts, get them from a reputable source. There are lots of counterfeit parts around here...


            [email protected]

            1969 2002 racecar
            1989 M3 racecar
            e39 Touring

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LeeVuong View Post
              Lemforder makes the control arms sold by BMW. So, you are safe.

              BTW I will never install anythng but Lemforders on my BMWs. I won't waste my time swapping LCA every couple of months.

              Also, if you buy parts, get them from a reputable source. There are lots of counterfeit parts around here...

              Listen to this advice, it's bang on.

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              • #8
                So I should get the aluminum ones from work since they are apparently lemforders. and for $200 bucks, i get a huge discount compared to the internet... should I also get the offset control arm bushings? thanks a ton guys!

                I was searching through this thread, and everybody was also saying the aluminums are stronger... http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread.php?t=26939

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                • #9
                  Keep your money. Get the steel ones. The aluminum units were mi=ost likely made available for homologation. They are indeed lighter, but i doubt anyone can feel the difference. Get offset control arms.


                  [email protected]

                  1969 2002 racecar
                  1989 M3 racecar
                  e39 Touring

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LeeVuong View Post
                    Keep your money. Get the steel ones. The aluminum units were most likely made available for homologation. They are indeed lighter, but i doubt anyone can feel the difference. Get offset control arms.

                    ahhhh! I'm never gonna be able to make up my mind... How come you get the aluminum ones then still?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KoenigsbergM3 View Post
                      ahhhh! I'm never gonna be able to make up my mind... How come you get the aluminum ones then still?
                      Several reasons 1. we want the proper correct part, so we buy generally from a BMW dealer. 2. If you think saving a $100 or two is worth having a ball joint failure at speed on the track & than paying the repair bill. The math does not work out in the end.

                      My track car gets new control arms every two or three years, seat belts are in current date ranges, new hoses every two years, cap rotor every three years, fluids at least once a year. I use a Hans device, & Recaro Proracer seat. I want a safe & reliable car at the track. Between two cars & seven years of DE events, I've only missed one session & towed once (stupidity, I ran out of gas). I refuse to wrench on a car at the track, so I bring a reliable well maitained E30 M3 to a DE & just relax for the weekend.

                      Mike K.
                      Last edited by Mike K.; 12-22-2009, 03:22 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mike K. View Post
                        Several reasons 1. we want the proper correct part, so we buy generally from a BMW dealer. 2. If you think saving a $100 or two is worth having a ball joint failure at speed on the track & than paying the repair bill. The math does not work out in the end.

                        My track car gets new control arms every two or three years, seat belts are in current date ranges, new hoses every two years, cap rotor every three years, fluids at least once a year. I use a Hans device, & Recaro Proracer seat. I want a safe & reliable car at the track. Between two cars & seven years of DE events, I've only missed one session & towed once (stupidity, I ran out of gas). I refuse to wrench on a car at the track, so I bring a reliable well maitained E30 M3 to a DE & just relax for the weekend.

                        Mike K.
                        makes complete sense... I'll have my parts dept. order some nice new aluminum ones then when I go into work thursday since I'm almost positive we dont have them in stock... we rarely have many e30 parts, especially e30 m3 parts. and for $200 bucks I really can't complain when they are normally over $400 for the general public. Thanks a lot! oh, and do you use offset bushings also? which ones if so? I can probably just get OEM of them too I'm guessing for cheap.

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                        • #13
                          The steal arms are stiffer. And heaver. But only half of the arm is really un-sprung mass, the other half only pivots.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by george graves View Post
                            The steal arms are stiffer. And heaver. But only half of the arm is really un-sprung mass, the other half only pivots.
                            But they have a weaker ball-joint that wears out faster supposedly...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KoenigsbergM3 View Post
                              But would there be much of a benefit with going to OEM e36 m3 control arms?
                              Why you want use parts that dont fit like original?
                              e36 M3 control arms move your front wheel to wrong place. (3,0 and 3,2)

                              Is somewhere in internet a secret e30 M3 tuning community that claims those e36 M3 control arms make e30 M3 better to handle?

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