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Guest gliding_serpent

2002Tii suspension for street/track.

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Guest gliding_serpent

As my engine gets rebuilt this winter, I am thinking hard about a suspension refresh/upgrade for the Tii. I have done a lot of searching and reading on the topic and would consider myself marginally informed (nothing beats real world experience) of what I think I want for what would be a dual purpose track/road car (i.e a back road burner on far from perfect roads with the occasional track weekend for kicks). I want and to keep the car pretty unmolested as it is original.

My list currently would be:

- IE stage 1 springs (1.25 inch lowered ride height)

- IE adjustable sway bars (22inch)

- Camber plates for some negative camber (nothing extreme maybe -1, but lowering will require it, and I am tempted by the IE adjustable camber plates)

- Bilstein Sport front, and HD rear shocks.

- Fresh bushings (poly given the swaybar, but I need to think more about what could be rubber vs poly for overall compromise)

Any thoughts/experience on the above combo? My only concern with the IE stuff is that it might be a bit too extreme for my needs, but I am only guessing. I am always open to alternatives.

In case anyone searches on the topic, I will include the following link as it is excellent and the single best resource I found on my ventures of the web.

- essential article for newbies and experienced alike: http://2002tii.org/kb/324 NOTE: Like the author mentions, a warning to searchers that opinions vary based on need and preference of individuals. There is no magic answer.

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I am pretty much in the same boat as you, Tii that I want to use a lot for the street and track/autoX. I just got in the IE stage II springs and their sway bars. Only issue at the moment is that the car is not quite yet running, that may change in a few hours but as of now I cannot say how it has worked out. I can say that you are thinking along the right track as IE has more experience than just about anyone in racing these cars, if they recommend and sell, then I am sure that it is very good stuff. I also got their windage tray, that should keep the oil from creeping up the block walls on hard corners, pick that up as well if you get all this stuff and have the engine being worked on anyways

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Guest gliding_serpent
I would seek out other 2002 owners and ask for rides in their cars. It's really the best way to find out for yourself what would work for you.

I have been trying, but we have very few in my area (East Coast of Canada). I am part of the BMW club club Atlantic and when I joined a number of people were quite interested in my car given the local rarity. One other member has a Tii with stock suspension that needs refreshing as the rear springs are sagging. Another (non-member) I know of, who is quite local to me, has a Ti. I am unsure of his setup but have been hunting him down. Pretty sure it is stock. Finally, the guy who is rebuilding my engine has a 2002 touring, and just went to the states to possibly buy another 2002. I am pretty sure he runs stock suspension on his touring but will ask about his new car (if he got it) this friday when I speak to him.

I would be all over test driving if I could but there just aren't the numbers locally, thus my post. No one around here knows of IE let alone their parts. There are advantages to California.

I also plan to call IE and discuss but I just don't want to knock on their door yet given that I am on a budget and need to get a better idea of the rebuild cost before I go spending willy-nilly.

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Couple of thoughts:

Camber plates aren't worth it if you don't go to smaller diameter springs (ie switching to "coilovers) because the big stock springs (among other things) will hit the inner fender before you get anywhere close to -1 degrees of negative camber, ESPECIALLY on a lowered car.

Also, try to ride in a car with solid mounted camber plates before committing to them. NVH goes up pretty noticeably. Also, the bearings in them do wear out at fairly regular intervals. If this were a track only car, that is ok but for a daily driver you might find that they are not meeting your needs.

I have a project blog here which shows how I went about this task and I have been very happy for it for many miles (I drive the car daily!)

http://www.bmw2002faq.com/component/option,com_forum/Itemid,0/page,viewtopic/t,357266/sid,5b87110dfb7d65a4ba777c578e460b80/

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Guest gliding_serpent
I am pretty much in the same boat as you, Tii that I want to use a lot for the street and track/autoX. I just got in the IE stage II springs and their sway bars. Only issue at the moment is that the car is not quite yet running, that may change in a few hours but as of now I cannot say how it has worked out. I can say that you are thinking along the right track as IE has more experience than just about anyone in racing these cars, if they recommend and sell, then I am sure that it is very good stuff. I also got their windage tray, that should keep the oil from creeping up the block walls on hard corners, pick that up as well if you get all this stuff and have the engine being worked on anyways

I would love to hear your reports when the time comes. I have contacted them about the rebuild as I am in rebuilds parts exploratory phase (will know full extent of rebuild Friday) and they have been very helpful (as have JayMic in England) and obviously know their stuff . I will keep the tray in mind, thanks. Will likely go with who can get me all of the parts I need at the best price.

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Yeah, that's tough. But maybe it's worth it to travel to an event or a city with a larger number of cars. Think of it as an investment in getting what you want and being happy with your car. Better than buying multiple suspensions.

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Build something for the street.

A track car wants to be so much more so that it's pretty unpleasant on the street.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the stiffest street car is ALMOST ready

for the track...

That said, getting a bunch of negative camber in front (by any means)

goes a LONG way to making a fun track car, and then you don't mind the

body roll... so much...

t

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Build something for the street.

A track car wants to be so much more so that it's pretty unpleasant on the street.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the stiffest street car is ALMOST ready

for the track...

That said, getting a bunch of negative camber in front (by any means)

goes a LONG way to making a fun track car, and then you don't mind the

body roll... so much...

t

Or you could say "set it up for the track and then just live with it on the street BECAUSE RACE CAR."

I know which one makes you cooler!

But seriously, I can't imagine running track spring rates on the street. Toby is on point as always about the camber. THe only downside is that it makes the car "tram line" quite a bit and a little squiggly under braking but that is way easier to live with then stiff springs.

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Guest gliding_serpent
Couple of thoughts:

Camber plates aren't worth it if you don't go to smaller diameter springs (ie switching to "coilovers) because the big stock springs (among other things) will hit the inner fender before you get anywhere close to -1 degrees of negative camber, ESPECIALLY on a lowered car.

Also, try to ride in a car with solid mounted camber plates before committing to them. NVH goes up pretty noticeably. Also, the bearings in them do wear out at fairly regular intervals. If this were a track only car, that is ok but for a daily driver you might find that they are not meeting your needs.

I have a project blog here which shows how I went about this task and I have been very happy for it for many miles (I drive the car daily!)

http://www.bmw2002faq.com/component/option,com_forum/Itemid,0/page,viewtopic/t,357266/sid,5b87110dfb7d65a4ba777c578e460b80/

Thanks. Makes me wonder if a more conservative 1 inch ride height drop with new springs with the 20-30% increase in rate (said to be tolerated by stock suspension while still leaving wheel options open), and Bilstein HD's might be the way to go. A pretty safe bet with fresh bushings. Track that a few times and decide if thicker sway bars (19-22), modern tires, or +0.5 fixed front camber plates would be of added benefit.

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As far as bang for your buck when it comes to handling, it's hard to beat thicker sway bars. Even when my car was on stock springs, the larger sway bar really made things feel tighter and made the car feel more stable in cornering.

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toby and colin are spot on. building a track capable car is a slippery slope that will end up with a car that is very unpleasant on the street. i speak from experience. my 02 rocketed down the slope to track car. still looks sorta stock on outside, but with full race suspension, s14, custom exhaust, no back seat, roll bar, 3.5deg camber, etc...it is brutal to drive on the street. 87db inside the car at 60mph. stereo is useless.

but....OMG is it fun on a track or auto-x.

your original proposal is a nice compromise. only change i would make would be billy hd's all around. def get the fixed camber plates.

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fat anti sway bars will make your car miserable in rain and slippy

roads - stock bars with new urethane bushings will be great for

road, track, poor weather conditions. It's the seats and seat belts

that make the huge difference in handling when locking

you in place while cornering!

do not mix HD with Sport Bilsteins.

Use either both HD's, or BOTH Sport shocks

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I recently replaced the original front and rear subframes in my non-tii 73 with totally refurbished tii ones with poly bushings everywhere possible. Added IE vented and cross drilled 320 rotors and calipers up front. Stock tii drums in the rear. I used Eibach progressive lowering springs and Bilstein HDs on all four corners. New stock strut mounts and stock sway bars with poly bushings front and rear.

My car is not a daily driver and I have never had it on a track (yet!). I mostly use it for weekend trips into the country, go to a car shows, run errands, etc. I am very pleased with the improved braking. I am satisfied with the improved stability while cornering and how it soaks up bumps. I am less than pleased with harshness of the poly bushings. Not a problem on a nice smooth road, but anything less is very jarring - almost unpleasant. I find myself watching for rough patches in the road surface and trying to steer around them which distracts from the fun of just blasting off down the road and through corners. Based on my experience, my advice would be use poly on the sway bars, and go rubber every where else.

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A few thoughts based on my experience - just some stuff to think about.

I have a '72 tii that, as of a few years ago, had a tired stock suspension, and the steel wheels with cheap tires. It now has the reissue early alloys, Avid 4 tires, and a completely rebuilt stock suspension with Bilstein HDs. All the suspension bushings, etc were replaced. Eurotrash on this board did the work, and there's a thread on it in the project section that shows many pics of the front and rear suspension taken completely apart if you are into that sort of thing.

Only non-stock parts we used were urethane sway-bar end links. The car drove SO much better after the rebuild. It basically handles great now. Still body roll, sure, but overall a huge improvement. So depending on how tired your suspension and tires are now, that will factor in to how you feel "post" the changes.

Having a car that handles quite nicely now, I can tell you that it is challenging to access that better handling with stock seats and steering wheel. I have driven many an 02 with better seats, and smaller diameter steering wheel. This (at least to me) changes the feel of the car a great deal, and if I were to track my car, I would almost surely have to upgrade those two things. The small diameter wheel makes the car feel like it changes direction much quicker; it feels more responsive, and the better seats hold you in and make you feel like you're part of the car vs. sitting "on" a seat. You didn't mention if you've already done these upgrades, so I thought I would throw it out there for you to consider.

Since I don't track my car, I don't worry about brakes. Don't know if stock brakes hold up to track use or not. Someone with more experience can weigh in on that.

Last thing is that wheels and tires will make a big difference in handling as well. When I went from cheaper tires to Yoko Avids, that alone made a discernible improvement in handling - stickier feel, more stable feel. It appears that it makes sense to consider the tires and wheels you'll use as you figure out the suspension - to me, the supension/tires/wheels are one system that delivers the handling and feel of the car vs. parts and pieces that are independent.

I'd love to know what you decide and what you think after you've made the changes. Fun stuff.

Scott

Scott

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