Suspension upgrades

front control arm bushing ::  tie rods ::  control arms ::  x-brace :: rear shock mounts :: shocks :: sway bars

¦  E36 M3 front suspension

1) strut bearing covers
2) strut bearings
3) strut
4) brakes
5) tie rods
6) anti-roll bar bushing
7) anti-roll bar /sway bar
8) spring
9) front control arm

 

The Alpina B8 has the front suspension of the base car (328i) and the rear from the M3 3.0.

For spirited drivers it makes sense to reinforce and upgrade the front suspension with M3-spec or aftermarket parts. Suspension parts are wearing depending on driver habits. The car's handling suffers with worn out suspension parts.


 

front control arm bushing: the B8 aleady has M3 3.0 control arm offset bushings from factory. These are stiffer than normal E36 parts and should also last longer. The offset alters the suspension geometry (more caster), which provides better hi-speed stability.

offset control arm bushing

For most applications, the M3 3.0 offset control arm bushings are a good choice. There are even stiffer bushings available on the aftermarket, such as Polyurethan bushings ( http://www.powerflex.co.uk/ ).

M3 3.0 control arm bushings # 31 12 9 064 875, costs ~63 Euro
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tie rods: the tie rods connect the hydraulic steering unit with the front wheels. If these are worn out, the steering feeling suffers and handling is affected. Replace with factory E36 parts.
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control arms: normally only the outer joints of the control arms are worn. The B8 uses normal 328i control arms with replaceable joints. The M3 3.0 uses solid steel ball joints, which are not replaceable (means: if they are worn, the whole control arms needs to be replaced). The solid steel ball joints provide better stability under load and more precise feeling. Possible upgrades for the B8 are the M3 3.0 control arms or the (much cheaper) E30 M3 control arms. Both are made of steel and have the same geometry.

E36 M3 3.0 front control arm: # 31 12 2 227 249 (L), # 31 12 2 227 249 (R), costs: ~135 Euro 
E30 M3 3.0 front control arm (steel): # 31 12 1 127 725 (L), # 31 12 1 127 725 (R), costs: ~90 Euro 

 front control arm

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x-brace: the x-brace stiffens the front chassis and front axle carrier and was a standard part on the E36 cabrio and E36 M3 LTW. It's also used in most E36 M3 race cars.

X-brace (cross reinforcement): costs ~100 Euro + mounting hardware 10 Euro.

for installation info, check here: http://www.logun.org/xbrace.htm or http://www.ohiomotorcycle.com/understeer/xbrace.shtml

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rear shock mounts: A very common problem with the BMW E36 cars is that the rear shock rips the rear shock tower mounting holes.  You can then use the M3 E46 cabrio rear shock mounts together with the Z3 rear shock tower re-enforcement plates to help strengthen the top of the shock tower.  Most after market rear shock tower braces also have a re-enforcement plate that mounts the brace on the car.

E46 M3 cabrio rear shock mount (need 2): #33 52 6 754 096, costs ~13 Euro
Z3 rear shock tower reinforcement plate: # 51 57 8 413 359, costs: ~10 Euro

Aftermarket parts: Ground-control has very good rear shock mounts ( http://www.ground-control.com, available at http://www.bimmerworld.com )

 

Ground-Control rear shock mount

 

 

rear shock assembly

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shocks:

 

The B8 comes with Bilstein shocks/struts which are great for street driving. For very spirited road driving or track use, a stiffer setup is welcome. Adjustable shocks allow for the extra stiffness when needed or a stock-like setup for everyday use.

These are adjustable (compression + rebound) shocks/struts for BMW E36 (Road&Track Series: BMS 7A00/BMS 8A00) made by Öhlins. http://www.ohlins.com 

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sway bars (anti-roll bars):

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(c) 2004

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