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Old 05-30-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
E30Jack
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lowering my car...how low should i go?

Hey everyone, so i'm looking into lowering my car and wondering how low i could go...i have a 91' 325i on stock suspension currently. I am going to get new shocks and some lowering springs. according to some measurements my front I can go 2" with about 1/4 inch of clearance (without rolling fenders)...but in the back I can only go about 1" and it would probably need rolling (check pictures). I am thinking my rear springs are shot...how low do people usually lower the front and back to have a nice stance, functional but still low, for a daily driver. Also, how much wheel gap SHOULD there be in the rear of a stock e30?

Any pictures of lowered cars with their measurements of how low would be greatly appreciated!

In case anyone's wondering my wheels are 15x8 +5 on 205/50s

FRONT :


BACK:

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Old 05-31-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
Slowered318
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I would go with Ireland Engineering Stage3 springs. Toss in a pair of the 10mm spring pads (top or top and bottom) to give it a nice rake.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:17 AM   #3
E30Jack
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Not a big fan of too much rake...can anyone tell me or show me a picture of how the ass end should sit on a stock e30? I can't find what the wheel gap should be...need to know to get an accurate drop cause I'm pretty sure I'm below stock right now on those springs
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:19 AM   #4
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But thanks slowered that's the drop I THINK I want. ( not sure cause of my saggy ass end )
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
food
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Just search Google for stock E30. The later cars had lower rear arches so they look saggy. I don't think your rear is lower than normal.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
karmatose
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Honestly, it depends what you're after. If it's slammed and not 100% functional, you can get away with a good 2"f/1.5"r. I have my car on an H&R Cup Kit right now and I honestly wish it were a bit higher. It sucks not knowing if you're going to be able to make it in or out of a parking lot or if you're going to bash your pan when you bottom out in a random pothole at night in the dark.

I'd probably go 1.5"f/1.5"r when I get on some coilovers. It's low, but not too low.

H&R Sports are what you want if this car will be daily driven. Especially in the winter.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:39 AM   #7
BostonGreen
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I am running H&R Sport Cups on my E36, and because of the lowered suspension (about 1.4" drop all around) my rear tires are running alot of negative camber. Although some people prefer this, it wears your tires unevenly (and quicky). I reco purchasing some adjustable lower camber arms with your suspension, as well as an RTAB shim kit which will save your tires a ton. A bit of extra money but well worth it, you don't necessarily need to track your car to install these parts, in my opinion purchasing lowering springs and struts are only 1/3 of the job. Why lower your suspension and then have to change your tires every 6 months right?
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:46 AM   #8
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I only have one pic of a stock E30 coupe, but the rear suspension was blown so not much help. After I lowered the car the rear was nearly the same.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
karmatose
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... With the rear trailing arm setup in the E30 the way to dial out camber and correct toe is with something like this. Basically an eccentric washer that moves up and down in a bracket to reposition the trailing arm at the mounting point. BulletRide recently did this and has a thread on it somewhere. Depending on how far you want to go with it, there's also this option. That said, it's a lot of work and I'm not sure if going this route will mess with driveline geometry.

These things must be accounted for with a big drop in an E30 or you're just going to kill tires like mad. The user food was showing me his setup a few weeks ago at a meetup and he had some very noticeable toe in and camber in his car with his drop. I have the eccentric adjustment for the camber and eccentric bushings in my car to correct these things. This is also why I only recommend going maybe 1.5" tops unless you really want to chase the rabbit down the hole.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:09 AM   #10
E30Jack
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Hmm interesting. Knowing this now ill probably stay away from a bigger drop...im definitely not looking to slam it, just get rid of some wheel gap, especially up in the front. defaultName, how much did you lower?
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
defaultName
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I used H&R Race springs and Bilstein Sport shocks which is around a 1.5" drop.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:49 AM   #12
E30Jack
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Sweet thanks. From what I've read Billy's and H&R are a good set up for a DD with good drop and nice rates. How do you like them?
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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I'm happy with them but they can be harsh on bad roads. Not that I would go with something softer if I were to ever buy another set of springs, just an FYI.

I had a Bilstein blow on me after only a few thousand kilometers. When I tried to replace it under warranty Turner Motorsports would not deal with me because I'm in Canada. They have no problem selling to Canada which is interesting...

I did get it replaced under warranty by Bilstein however.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:44 PM   #14
E30Jack
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Roads where I drive are generally in great condition. Most of the crappy back roads were recently repaved as well. Weird that they tried to void your warrant because your in Canada, but at least Bilstein replaced them!

Last edited by E30Jack; 05-31-2013 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Forgot a word
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:41 PM   #15
Slowered318
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I wouldn't bother with the eccentric rear trailing arm brackets or bushings. They are a lot of work to install and really don't have much positive/negative effect on the camber. My car feels a little strange after I installed them and adjusted to straiten the wheels. You are far better off going with a fairly stiff beehive and adjusting your height up with the 10mm rubber shims, at least that way you know you won't bottom out your rear suspension.

For the front? Lower it as little as possible (IE3's are just right IMO), try to leave as much suspension travel as possible. The car will handle bumps nicely if you don't slam the front end.

Here is my setup! Front would be a little lower without M3 bushings, offset hats and with M20 + A/C in there.


PS. looks a lot lower with 16 or 17 inch wheels.
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