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Old 02-16-2018, 10:47 PM   #131
blee
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(Hey everybody! Been kinda busy, turns out that being a surgery resident is hard work...)

The latest project: cooling system refresh. Replacement parts include:
-Radiator
-Radiator hoses
-Water pump
-Water pump pulley
-Thermostat (replaced just before I bought the car, but while I'm in there...)
-Cooling fan switch
-Fan clutch and fan
-Expansion tank and associated lines

Of course, I've been hit with a case of ///Mission creep along the way. I was hoping to have it all buttoned up tonight but I noticed that my idler and tensioner pulleys are pretty loose. Unlike my truck (which, incidentally, needs those items replaced as well), it's a real PITA to get to those parts. Rather than get the car back on ramps, take down the intake (which requires removing the headlight module cover), the fan shroud, the underbelly tray, etc., I just ordered new parts and I guess the car will sit until they arrive. I guess I can at least pour the coolant back in the car. I could also just put in the belts and fan, and leave the shrouds off until next weekend.

Gotta say, it's tough to finish even simple projects like this when I often have less than an hour of free time before I need to get some sleep during the week. Oh, well...it'll be that much sweeter when I'm done.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:16 AM   #132
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Quote:
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(Hey everybody! Been kinda busy, turns out that being a surgery resident is hard work...)
Gone a long way from talking about the future during a drive back from Detroit. Awesome to see!

Quote:
Gotta say, it's tough to finish even simple projects like this when I often have less than an hour of free time before I need to get some sleep during the week. Oh, well...it'll be that much sweeter when I'm done.


Truer words, man!
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:56 AM   #133
blee
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Gone a long way from talking about the future during a drive back from Detroit. Awesome to see!
I was thinking about that trip recently. It's pretty interesting to see what's changed, and yet what's stayed the same. Even down to the continued, unexplained presence of RX-8s in our midst.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:58 PM   #134
blee
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Drove the car to work today, and in true blee fashion, I got the dreaded EML and SES lights. The tire pressure warning light came on shortly afterwards.

The car seemed to be running fine, although I didn't gun the engine. I parked the car and checked under the hood...oh, yeah, maybe I should've reconnected the throttle position sensor harness. I hope that takes care of it. I was hoping to get the car to a safety inspection station on my way home tomorrow morning; any guesses on whether the SES light will be out? Tire pressures were fine all around, if a little bit high; I last put air in the tires when it was 30 degrees cooler outside.

Side note: Now it's time to tackle the original suspension. I think I've got it down to Bilstein PSS10 vs. Eibach/Konis, or just EOM/Konis. (plus all of the associated rubber and maybe camber plates) Any thoughts?

Side note, x2: It's probably also time to tackle the differential bushings and the rest of the rear suspension bushings, with the exception of the subframe, as those were replaced when I had the plates welded. It looks like a PITA without a lift.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:46 PM   #135
blee
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So I bought some coilovers a few weeks ago. KW V2, stainless steel struts/springs with rebound adjustment.



I also used Ground Control street camber plates and Powerflex street rear shock mounts. My new jack made this job much simpler, allowing me to avoid the BS with driving onto ramps and such. My ride height, measured from center of wheel to arch, was 14.5" on both ends prior to install. New right height is about an inch lower. The car also rides more serenely and just feels better on the road.

Crappy before pic:


Crappy after pic:


I'll drive it a few miles and do an alignment.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:16 PM   #136
wdc330i
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:55 PM   #137
rumatt
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It's actually more more comfortable than stock?

Any negatives?
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:06 AM   #138
blee
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It's actually more more comfortable than stock?

Any negatives?
Definitely more comfortable than stock, by a considerable amount. Keep in mind, though, that I don't know how many miles were on the parts that were replaced. They don't look like replacements, so they could be 15 years and 105000 miles old. Or less, I suppose. In fact, during my buyer's-remorse phase as I waited for them to ship, I found myself thinking that the springs were fairly well-damped and everything couldn't be that old.

The estimated ride height ranges for these coilovers max out around 0.5-0.75 inches lower than stock and can be lowered about another 0.8 inch. KW offers three packages in their street offerings (not counting their ST brand) -- V1 has pre-set shocks and is height adjustable only; V2 has rebound damping and upgraded inox bodies to prevent rust; V3 offers rebound and compression damping. The springs in V2 and V3 are the same, I don't know about V1. I bought V2. They're around $300 cheaper than the Bilstein PSS10 kit and $600 cheaper than the V3. Interestingly enough, Bilstein's kit features a single knob that simulatenously adjusts compression and rebound. All of these kits use progressive rate springs and ride hide adjustment via threaded collars.

Back to your question: I drove the M3 to work today to let everything settle before doing an alignment. The ride is noticeably more comfortable on typical neighborhood roads. Bumps, manhole covers, and cracks are less jarring, although I can tell that I'm riding on firmer springs. Onramp cornering is vastly improved, as you would expect, and the highway ride is superb. To me, it feels the way an E46 should feel on a new suspension -- firm, with excellent road feel, but well damped and comfortable. I haven't gone down any truly terrible surfaces yet; I would expect it to be unpleasant, but probably not unbearable.

One of my gripes with my car was the fact that it seemed to crash too much over road imperfections, and while I suspect that the shocks and rubber bits were just old, my new suspension fixed all of the crashing and then some. I'm sure I'll find a ramp or speed bump that will disagree with my front bumper eventually, but for now, the lower ride height isn't affecting me at all, and I can always go up a bit...I didn't buy the kit for stance.

Biggest con is price. Compared to replacing the struts and shocks with OE parts, along with the associated mounting hardware, you'll spend $500-$1000 more for coilovers. And, I guess, once you're dialed in, you probably won't play with the settings very much, unless you hit the track or go to an autocross. But I'm very happy with my purchase. I'm curious to compared them to the Bilsteins, but I'd recommend KW to anyone.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:28 AM   #139
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nice, I have heard good things about KW which you are confirming
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:04 AM   #140
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One of my gripes with my car was the fact that it seemed to crash too much over road imperfections, and while I suspect that the shocks and rubber bits were just old, my new suspension fixed all of the crashing and then some.
The original E46 M3 shocks were horribly valved for the car. Brand new, it uncomfortably crashed over road imperfections and they never seemed to be in sync with the springs. I think he off the self single adjustable Konis made a huge improvement to the point the car was comfortable. I remember driving Nick’s blue M3 down 895 one night when the suspension was completely stock and all I could think was “how can people say this is a great car?” When the Only thing different were the Konis, it was really nice.

Now that I’m thinkgonna Ng about it, maybe it wasn’t Konis, but some other brand. Hmm....
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