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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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#1 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 10:48 AM
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Ride Height

I was referring to the Bentley manual for ride height. Now I'm not sure what is going on. I thought my car was awful low, but never checked it. My tires are wearing strange in the rear and I had my mechanic look at it for rear shocks. He seems to think the car is lowered and the rear was never realigned.

Anyway Bentley says:
Front 23.19"
Rear 20.91"

I'm at:
Front 22.5
Rear 21.375

Now the Bentley manual says it should be measured with 500Lbs of weight in the car which would bring the rear close. The front is already low. My car did not come with the sport package, I checked the VIN with the dealer.

The measurements are from the fender to the lower edge of the rim as shown by Bentley.

I haven't gotten under the car to look at the springs to see if they have been changed. Hopefully tonight.

Has anyone checked their ride height and compared to the Bentley manual?

Greg

97 328iS, Manual, Stock
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 12:33 PM
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Are the rear shocks and springs factory part numbers?.. It is common practice for aftermarket and factory shocks to have a large sticker on the side depicting what they are. Factory will have the part number and aftermarket will have something to that order but for their own company and the name of the shocks.

Right height is going to be in relation to the condition of your shocks and springs no matter what. The Bentley manual is in reference to a new car from the factory.

Best bet. If you feel your car is sloppy or is not performing like it use to; get new shocks and springs.

As for the bad wear in the rear. That can be because of many thing.
First it could be because of worn rear lower control are bushings.

Second it could be because your shocks are worn..

Your car was lowered and never aligned again.

There are many reasons that this could happen. You need a qualified mech that knows what he's looking at to actually tell you the problem. Its not hard to take the rear shock off... one bolt and two nuts on top. If your shock is worn beyond what it needs to be then you would be able to tell by doing that. Its rather easy.

Good Luck,

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1997 E36 M3 1990 E30 325i
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 12:46 PM
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The shocks are Sachs original. They are not leaking or rusty. They are 8 years old with 74k on them now.

My mechanic drove the car and feels the shocks are OK. I think the car drive well too. It has started wandering and that's when I noticed the tire wear.

If it is lowered, I want to be sure. I'd like to get shocks that are tuned for a lowered car if I'm going to replace them.

Greg

97 328iS, Manual, Stock
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 12:50 PM
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Getting shocks that are tuned for a lower car without making sure that you have lowering springs will make the end result bad! If the car is wandering around then that is why you are getting unusual wear patterns, something could be bent, or out of alignment. I would recommend finding out what springs are on there to be sure and also copy down the model numbers of both. Because when you get shocks that have been designed for a drop it really helps to match up the valving of the shock when you order it to the rate of the springs. If you have model numbers the company you order them from can help you.

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#5 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 01:08 PM
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Well, yeah I understand that. I'll get under the car tonight.

Greg

97 328iS, Manual, Stock
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:49 AM
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Here's a pic. What do you think? I didn't get a chance to check the springs last night.
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Greg

97 328iS, Manual, Stock
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 11:41 AM
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That looks similar to mine. I think you have a stock ride height. Is your car an I or an IS? because the sport suspension sits just like that.

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#8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 11:58 AM
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It's a 97 328iS. But it doesn't have the sport package. Supposedly in 97 iS didn't mean it came with the sport package like it had in the past. The S denotes coupe in 328iS. 328i e36's are sedans. Both could be had with the sport package. I ran the VIN at the dealer and it didn't have sport suspension. The original tires were on it when I bought it. They were 225's. Sports came with 235's.

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