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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 10-13-2004, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guy i have a big question! Is it okay to just drop the front of your car wit h&r spring and shock without changing the back or is it better to just change the back as well.

The thing is i dont really want to drop the back of my car but really need the front dropped at least 1.5"
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if ur not dropping it THAT much, its prolly ok..

but it looks reallllly stupid if u have the front and the back at the same height.. the car looks nicer, not sure about how it handles, but it looks nice when the back is a little bit higher than the front
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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heres a pic of my ride with only 1.5" dropped in the front.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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another angle
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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so you only dropped the front, eh? are the springs a lot harder in the front than the back now?? how is the handling? And is there a different aftermarket spring that is the same height, just harder? thanks.
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i was wondering about the same thing.. my rear end has virtually no wheel gap... however i has about an 1.5-1.75in gap in the front.

is this FRONT ONLY drop something i can do myself? which spring kit would be best to do this with?
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I had considered just dropping the front of my car but decided against it and dropped the whole car, MUCH happier with it that way. I was afraid of the handling being unbalanced between the front and rear. I got some adjustable ground control coilovers and love them! And yes it looks way better in my opinion with the back dropped. In reality the suspension in the rear isnt any lower, its the fender itself is set lower on the body therefore making the wheel gap less in the rear...
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It's a bad idea. Here's why..

Spring companies design springs with different spring rates, that is not a problem. Having stiffer spring rates front or rear will change the handling, but that's just like changing to stiffer suspension up front or in the rear. However, what does change is the spring rates progessiveness. OEM Springs are very progressive, meaning they start out soft and get stiffer as they are compressed. Most aftermarket springs are still progressive, however the spring rates are a lot more linear, meaning they will start out stiff and continue to be stiff when the spring is compressed, there is very little change in the spring rate. That is going to give you some really funny handling. You're going to get 100 yards of squeeling understeer, it'll be like driving a FWD Honda. If you're going to do ghetto mods which obviously means you don't care about handling whatsoever, why not cut or heat your springs? :nana What most people do when they mix springs is for eg. putting H&R M3 rear springs on and H&R 325 front springs to get the more aggressive spring rate in the back. It's not just the ride height that changes, there are actually different design specs for each spring. Mixing springs of different brands is just foolish.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well said, Autotecnica. However, you omitted one even *bigger* reason for not having a fully-coordinated set of shocks/springs front and rear: HARMONICS

I know that doesn't make sense...but hear me out. As you drive, your car goes over bumps and the up and down motion creates a frequency, much like a sound wave. When the front and rear frequencies are mis-matched, the car will go through strange oscillations. Engineers spend hours designing the car so that when you're driving at different speeds and going over bumps, the frequencies smooth themselves out.

Go try this. Have you ever driven on a concrete freeway at 55 and then again at 75? In my case, the expansion joints ar placed at a location that due to my 325s wheelbase and spring rate, it feels much smoother at 75 than at 55. (Autobahn tuning, thanks very much!)

Anyway, if you put a much higher spring rate in front and leave the rear stock, be prepared to experience strange oscillations and unpredictable handling. It is not advisable.

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