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Refreshing my suspension

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  • Refreshing my suspension

    Hello gents,

    This month, my goal is to refresh the suspension on my M3. I will be getting coilovers, but I'd like to know what you would recommend replacing at the same time. As far as I know, everything on the suspension is original from 1988.. I'm thinking bushings, subframe reinforcements, etc.. even motor/tranny mounts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated in order to improve drivability. This is definitely a "while I'm in there I might as well do...." type of question

  • #2
    I think you have probably answered your own question. Put the car up on jackstands, strip the whole suspension off the car and rebuild with all new bushings/motor/engine/subframe/trailing arm/anti sway bar/differential bushings/mounts. Check your subframes for cracks, particularly the front. Change your guibo/center bearing if you haven't done it ever or for quite some time. IE: look at everything under there.
    William Buchanan
    '91 M3
    Bastos/Castrol DTM Tribute
    259000 miles and still an immense pleasure to drive.
    "The original M3 is utterly brilliant in ways the people at M have either forgotten about, or choose to ignore"


    • #3
      Correct - beware though, because some special tools are required, such as an arbor press. For example, (I think - memory is fuzzy on this one) the sub frame mounts must be pressed in/out, sub frame / front strut reinforcement kits need to be welded on, offset control arm bushings need to be pressed in and out. You may also want to install the adjustable camber/toe kit for the rear sub frame - again it must be welded in place.

      Check your brake and fuel lines, fuel filter, exhaust mounts/hangers, etc.

      If you're an OCD type, you may seize upon this opportunity to also give the undercarriage a good clean :^)

      Peruse Gustave's archived site for hints and tips, many of which pertain to the underside of your car:
      Alles Beste!

      B. Wheaton
      1989 E30 M3, Owner since June 2000
      2008 E61 535xiT - The DD and work horse

      Register your E30 M3!


      • #4
        Once you drop the subframe save yourself the hassle and have a shop press in new bushings. The trailing arm bushings can be done via a 2" diameter steel pipe, a socket, a threaded rod, and some nuts.
        1987 325is - 185-195k
        1988 M3 - 141k


        • #5
          While you're in there, have reinforcements welded to the engine mount tabs on the subframe.



          • #6
            The rear subframe bushings were the dividing line for me. I need to do work on my DD Audi so can't take that last step. Subframe and trailing arm bushing will precipitate more "while-you're-in-there" activity (and $$$)

            If you do drop the rear carrier you'll have greatly improved access to a few bits including:

            - the flexible brake lines that go over the rear carrier to the hard lines on the trailing arms
            - the "T" for the rear brakes (which I won't be touching because I'm not dropping the rear)
            - parking brake cables (these aren't very sophisticated to get out but they'll be exposed)


            You'll obviously be opening the braking system which leaves room for some attention there...caliper rebuild (if they haven't been touched in a while), e-brake freshening, new brake lines, etc...

            If you don't have the SIR Tools bearing puller, while the rear suspension is out, maybe time for wheel bearings since you could bring it to a machine shop and have them extract and install the new bearings.

            I also realize now after taking a good look around that the "connection pipe" on my gas tank looks like a fire hazard. Going to do that too.

            Certainly not meant to discourage you though. If it needs it, it needs it and she'll be fantastic when you're done. These are just things I hadn't previously considered that I wish I had. It would have changed how I approached the work I'm doing.

            It started as an axle job.

            - Dave

            1988 "ALPNWEIB"


            1986 944 Turbo
            2003 Audi S6
            2007 Touareg V8