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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 03-24-2005, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi Guys,
I'm about to buy a suspension from a '97 M3 (struts, shocks, sways) to put it onto my '93 325i. Has anyone done this before? If so, i would really appreciate any insight you can give. I'm definitely planning on doing the rear (seems easy enough, idon't even need a spring compressor), but i'm not so sure about the front. Anyone with experience with this sort of swap would be greatly appreciated before i jump headfirst into this. Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Shouldn't be a big deal. Just make sure you get everything from the suspension. The bushing the strut housing ect. Use it all. The front is like almost any other car with coil spring/strut. There is a DIY that I did with pictures for how to do the front spings/struts and the rear strut. The spring is easy for the rear, a five year old with the right ratchet could do it. Good luck.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i have no experience with putting M suspension in , however i did take mine out to replace it with my current setup. the rears are easy like you said, just remember to use your spring pads. also, the front you will need a spring compressor , without it your not gonna get it done, all in all its not tremendously hard, however for the first time and with lack of proper tools it can be quite a headache and nightmare. do your rears like you said you were gonna do, than either decide to rent a compressor for the fronts and do it yourself or send it in to get done, shouldnt be an arm and a leg, seeing how you already have the parts, your just paying the labor.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have seen "manual" spring compressors at Autozone for $30. I guess you attach this clamp looking like thing to the strut and you twist two knobs similar to a vice and compress the spring. Just a thought..

For the rear springs, the bentley says to disconnect the final drive. Is this how you did it? Can you give me a quick write-up on how you did the rears?
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot for the info guys.

TheKid, Can you tell me where is your DIY write-up for the fronts?

Furious, you mention that without "proper tools" it might be a headache. What tools canyou think of that I'll need other than a socket set (probably some crescent/flare nut wrenches) and the spring compressor do you suggest I need?

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Old 03-24-2005, 03:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/inde...howtopic=10053
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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excellent write up man. very helpful.
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Old 03-25-2005, 12:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I now have in my possession front and rear struts, shocks, springs and swaybars from a '97 M3, ready to be installed. The only problem is...I don't have a spring compressor. I'm looking to rent or buy one. This is the cheapest one i could find:

http://www.drivewerks.com/catalog/ShopCart...T500_pg28.htm#4

Anyone know anything about it or ever used it? i know this isn't a tool i should go cheap on, but my pockets ain't that deep.
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Old 03-25-2005, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Might be note worthy.. but I think it was EuroTuner Mag.. or one of the Euro mags.. that just did a none-M M3 suspension swap.. .its good reading.. you should search around for it... its good stuff...

Good Luck,

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Old 03-25-2005, 01:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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They did the EXACT SAME THING in this months, and last months EURO TUNER magazine. e36 325is to e36 m3 suspension. They showed things done step by step, and there are many other little things you should look for. Youre also going to want to change the control arms and bushings, and the spring hats they reversed(L used in right and R used on left) to get a negative offset. You should try and grab the march issue, it has pictures and explainations and everything.
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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unless I'm mistaken, the M3 suspension uses different linkages than the 325 setup. I believe that in an M3 the sways mount to the suspension differently. I'll get fruity to post here, he knows all about that shit.
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ya. M3 sway bars connect to their respective struts. So, as far as i can tell, so long as i use the M3 struts, it should all work out. Any additional input would probably would be helpful though.
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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what kind of advantage does having the sway bars attached to the struts provide?
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Old 03-25-2005, 08:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I believe the spring perches and/or strut housings are different as well... any one able to confirm that?
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