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Old 02-19-2012, 12:21 PM   #16
325iA
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Don't think of it as a harsher ride, think of it as more precise handling. After all, the suspension takes all of the load. The ball joint is just going to make the suspension geometry more precise.

When you replace the rubber control arm bushing with an M3 bushing/urethane/polyurethane, then you'll notice a firmer ride. I replaced mine with Bavarian Auto urethane on the front, and with Bilstein Sport struts they were a bit pogo-ee on dips in the road, but the handling and braking was excellent. The installers did complain about how hard it was to install them though... I just regret not replacing the rear suspension bushings with something firmer, as the rear didn't perform as well. But the strut bearings were stock (although I replaced those too because they were worn)--overall the ride was very comfortable but firm; never an issue summer or winter, and with 17" rims I even enjoyed a few autocrosses with the BMW club. I did use the Eibach ProKit (only 1-1.5" drop), so really your choice of springs/struts/bushings are going to determine how harsh the ride is, not the ball joints.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcramer View Post
Can you get Meyle arms for an M3 ? I thought they were non-M only ?
You can use the arms for the 3-series but you'll want to change to 95 M3 control arm bushings.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #18
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I believe the control arms between the E36 3-Series and the M3 are the same in the sense that they are interchangeable; the M3 ball joints may be more like the Meyle HD, but the control arm bushings are different---that's why most people replace theirs with the M3 bushing--there's just more rubber to reduce deflection of the control arm during braking and cornering, but still comfortable for street use.

Also, on the M3's the stabilizer links connect to the strut, not the control arm like on the 3-Series, but there's nothing to say you can't do the same. You'll notice that on some struts (like Bilstein Sports) that they have the eyelet to connect the stabilizer link to it, depending if you're using it on an M3 or not---same strut for both M and non-M cars. Mind you, you do have to use the longer M3 stabilizer link if you use that setup.

I have come across postings in the past that have claimed that you can also use the aluminum E30 M3 control arms on our cars, but dunno if it's true, or if you can bolt it up that the suspension geometry is the same. E46's use the same ball joints, but dunno if their control arms are the same---haven't worked on those generations so I can only speculate.

The photos are of a 95 M3 control arm bushing (used on my 92 325i) and a Bavarian Auto Urethane bushing for comparison---that type of urethane I don't believe is sold anymore by Bavarian Auto.

Last edited by 325iA; 02-19-2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:16 PM   #19
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^^ That isn't a 95 bushing. 96-99.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
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You can use the arms for the 3-series but you'll want to change to 95 M3 control arm bushings.
Do you end up with exactly the same geometry with this configuration ?

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Old 02-19-2012, 05:10 PM   #21
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Do you end up with exactly the same geometry with this configuration ?

Dave
Yes. The 95 M3 geometry is the same as the non M geometry.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:12 PM   #22
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Yes. The 95 M3 geometry is the same as the non M geometry.
So for a 96-99 M3 this doesn't work ?
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:29 PM   #23
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So for a 96-99 M3 this doesn't work ?


I don't think you're understanding the concept. Keep it simple and just use the original parts for your car.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:07 AM   #24
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I didn't think it was that difficult.

My question is can you use Meyle HD arms + 95 bushings and get the same geometry as a stock 96-99 M3 ?

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Old 02-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #25
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Where can I buy a pair of Meyle hd control arms? any local places? What's the rough typical cost for the pair?

Thx!
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:45 AM   #26
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I didn't think it was that difficult.

My question is can you use Meyle HD arms + 95 bushings and get the same geometry as a stock 96-99 M3 ?

Dave
No, what you end up with is stock 95 M3 geometry ... which is not much different from 96+ M3 goemetry.
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