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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 05-02-2005, 01:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a 1990 E30 325is coupe and I noticed that the car does not drive as well 89 E30s due to the airbag steering column difference, especially around corners, how can I improve handling of the car?
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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swaybars, lowering, also easyiest way is to lean opposite way from the way your turning
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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what do you mean, due to the airbag?

thats just the steering wheel, it shouldnt affect handling...unless the previous owner drove your car into the ground and killed your shocks, and your bumpstops and rubber bits and peices are all shot.

but i agree, springs, shocks and good sway bars are the best way.
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Old 05-02-2005, 03:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomsbmw325is@May 2 2005, 01:00 AM
how can I improve handling of the car?
[snapback]340021[/snapback]
Just like the previous two guys, I suggest you get yourself some lowering springs and sport shocks.

What are your intentions with the car - daily beater/track rat?
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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daily driving
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Old 05-03-2005, 12:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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if you want to go cheap go grab some m3 stock springs, they lower you about 1 inch and they are a good bit stiffer to enhance handling but soft enough to qualify as a normal stock ride.

Second easiest way to get better handling is buy some decent soft tires that are wider. If you have the IS rims which are 6.5 inches wide you can go up to 205 70 14 for a little more footprint, i like dunlops, they are pretty soft for a non performance tire.
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Old 05-03-2005, 12:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i suggest doing a full inspection of stock suspension parts first. check all the bushings, the controls arms, shocks, and springs. springs, shocks, and sways are silly on worn out bushings. if there's slop in your steering response, check the tie rods and steering guibo too. when all of that is up to snuff, then look into the big stuff. you might want to check out the bilstein bts kit. that alone should make you happy with a daily driver.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomsbmw325is@May 2 2005, 12:00 AM
I have a 1990 E30 325is coupe and I noticed that the car does not drive as well 89 E30s due to the airbag steering column difference, especially around corners, how can I improve handling of the car?
[snapback]340021[/snapback]

Hm, upper front and rear strut bars, front and rear sway bars and adjustable coilovers sound like a good deal. 32 way adjustments, I mean what more could you want? It just sounds like your stock suspension is worn and needs to be replaced....

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Old 05-04-2005, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you want to have a car that handles better don't put sway bars and shocks etc. on it until you have a good set of (sick set of) tires. Your car will handle better stock with some Falken Azenis on it then with shocks and sway bars. I just bought a set of Falkens, not Azenis, for $300 including balancing and mounting. Azenis you can get pretty cheap too since everybody wants them but it will be more than $300.

The reason I don't recommend shocks is that it sounds to me like you want your car to handle like a '89, which I have and I think it handles alright. To put shocks on your car, if you are doing a correct job, you will need springs, shocks, after market shock mounts, camber plates so you don't change tires monthly, alignment, harder bushings and please don't make me go on. And if you think about it for a second that is almost $2-3 grand man without instillation. Now swaybars are not that cheap either hence you are just better off getting some good tires man.

ALSO YOU WILL NOT KILL YOUR RIDE IF YOU CARE ABOUT COMPFORT!!!!

Make sure your kidneys are ready for the ride when you want to seriously tune your bimmer.
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by XtremeDream@May 4 2005, 08:40 AM
If you want to have a car that handles better don't put sway bars and shocks etc. on it until you have a good set of (sick set of) tires. Your car will handle better stock with some Falken Azenis on it then with shocks and sway bars. I just bought a set of Falkens, not Azenis, for $300 including balancing and mounting. Azenis you can get pretty cheap too since everybody wants them but it will be more than $300.

The reason I don't recommend shocks is that it sounds to me like you want your car to handle like a '89, which I have and I think it handles alright. To put shocks on your car, if you are doing a correct job, you will need springs, shocks, after market shock mounts, camber plates so you don't change tires monthly, alignment, harder bushings and please don't make me go on. And if you think about it for a second that is almost $2-3 grand man without instillation. Now swaybars are not that cheap either hence you are just better off getting some good tires man.

ALSO YOU WILL NOT KILL YOUR RIDE IF YOU CARE ABOUT COMPFORT!!!!

Make sure your kidneys are ready for the ride when you want to seriously tune your bimmer.
[snapback]340776[/snapback]
you dont need to kill comfort by putting a sporty suspension on an e30.

this is where quality is key..

tokico or eibach makes good springs neither of which will kill your kidneys, and tokico, kyb, and a few others make great shocks which wont break your bank. the kybs tend to be a little on the stiff side though.

you dont need camber plates on an e30 unless you drop it more then 1.5". dont be fooled into that mindset. as long as you drop it a reasonable ammount camber is not changed enough to warrant the $200+ camber correction plates.


you can have a good suspension for your e30, replacing shocks, springs, and the old rubber pieces here and there for under $500 not counting labor. you can also EASILY spend 2-4 grand on a coilover system with sway bars, poly mounts, strut bars, etc. before even looking at installation cost.

most people will never truly enjoy the full benefits of that kind of system, and most e30 owners i'd never tell them to spend over $1000 on suspension mods unless they track/autox their car. if you're gunna buy a e30 and spend 4g's on suspension just buy a m3.
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Old 05-06-2005, 08:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Also a good set of tires are Toyo Proxies are really cheap, about 85 avg per tire. That will give you a good bite on the road for cheap.

Greg Heart
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Old 05-09-2005, 05:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This is what I have planned:
First, replace stock rims and tires (14") with 17" rims on Toyo Proxes tires (225/45/17), and see if it handles better.
If not, replace stock shocks with Bilstein shock and H&R Race Springs.
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Old 05-09-2005, 06:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomsbmw325is@May 9 2005, 02:06 PM
This is what I have planned:
First, replace stock rims and tires (14") with 17" rims on Toyo Proxes tires (225/45/17), and see if it handles better.
If not, replace stock shocks with Bilstein shock and H&R Race Springs.
[snapback]342616[/snapback]
225/45/17 will throw your speedo off, just as a warning.
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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what do you mean throw your speedo off?
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomsbmw325is@May 2 2005, 02:00 AM
I have a 1990 E30 325is coupe and I noticed that the car does not drive as well 89 E30s due to the airbag steering column difference, especially around corners, how can I improve handling of the car?
[snapback]340021[/snapback]
Someone enlighten me here, I did not think there was any difference in suspension between '89 e30 and '90 e30...
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