Tires: Phenomenal dry and wet grip. Where the Toyo RA-1ís would require being brought up to temperature for maximum grip, the Falkenís seem to be working 9/10 from the get-go. Although, the RA-1ís are classified as a true R compound, the Falken RT-615ís were my top pick for a streetable R compound Ďlikeí tire with extremely capable dry/wet weather and wear performance.
Turn-in is 10/10, where I would rate my old Continental Sport Contact IIís a 7/10. In fact, I dare to say the turn-in and dry level grip surpass the BF Goodrich KDWís I installed previously on my 328is. Road noise is minimal, slightly quieter than the Contiís in fact. Although, this could be a result of the heightened aspect ratio, where the Falkenís are thicker (255/40/17) vs. the Contiís that I had on there (245/40/17). Wet weather performance has yet to disappoint. More to the point, dry tram-lining does not occur whatsoever.
As Falken Tires are not well known (yet!), call Doug at President Tire Distribution (1-800-667-0004) if youíre interested, theyíre located in Mississauga. Let it be known I have no affiliation with either company. I thought that a first had review of these tires would be of interest, especially given the fact that theyíre much less expensive than the comparable R compound tires (and much more streetable as well!).
Rear Shock Mounts: The Ground Control RSMís that I installed are street/race spec. A solid billet aluminum plate with high density poly-urethane inserts helped eliminate the deflection experienced by the stock RSMís and yet keeps the road noise to a tolerable level. Truth: I did experience an increased level of road noise, but itís more in the way of a Ďthudí sort of a sound. On the other hand, tunability is increased because the RSMís can now be accessed via the wheel well (removing the carpeting is no longer necessary). As I have the Koni adjustables installed in the rear, I save at least 2 hours worth of time not having to remove all the carpeting, plastic and what-have-you from the boot to change the settings on the dampeners. In addition, the Ground Control RSMís also have a Ďhorseshoeí like plate welded in-place, which sandwiches and bolts the units to the body. Unlike the stock RSMís, which only bolt to two holes in the body. Iíve herd stories of e36ís and e30ís ripping out the area of the body out where the RSM mount is located. Therefore, mounting the Ground Control RSMís to more surface area distributes the force of holding the dampener in place, minimizing the chance of the body dislodging itself at this location.
Solid control arm mounts from Treehouse Racing have yet to be installed. Although, I have to say that the craftsmanship is world class. Once installed, I expect there to be much more feedback via the steering wheel, but less deflection from bumps and irregular road surface will help picking and sticking to the intended line. Solo-One here I come.
Ö.while Iím at it. Thereís no real performance gain by way of the next modification Iím about to write about but I have to tell you guys how impressed I am. I installed a 4300K (9006 bulbs) H.I.D. xenon kit. Purchased from a contact I have in N.Y. for a great price, much less than anyone in Toronto is asking (shipping, dutyís and taxes included). In fact, I bought three kits in total (as I converted my parents Lexus RX300 and a friends Mercedes C320).
I had reservations because the MZ3ís do not have built-in projectors in their headlights, but I installed the kit thinking it would still be beneficial if I could get three times more light within the existing beam pattern. Verdict, better than expected. The 4300k bulbs are a pure white color without the blue seen in higher rated kits but the output (rated in lumens) is the highest achievable light output capable using zenon gas. I was also concerned with the amount of glare directed towards on-coming traffic but the headlights do in fact have a built-in diagonal cut-off (towards the passenger side). Parking the car at night in a long dark parking lot eased my worries (not only about blinding traffic but having problems with the police), there seems to be no increase in glare directed towards the direction of on-coming traffic. And yet, driving at night with these new HID units is almost entertaining seeing how much better everything is illuminated. Itís like a night and day difference!
If anyoneís interested in seeing for themselves, Iím more than willing to lightíem up and even order up as many kits as there are willing purchasers.
See everyone at the M-coupe cruise May 12.