Is a more expensive suspension setup better than an inexpensive one?

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Mar 4, 2024 | suspension | Posted in Shop Work , Suspension & Handling , Features | From the Dec. 2019 issue | Never miss an article

Photography by Tom Suddard

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

Does more money equal better results?

Yes. No. Maybe.

More likely, the answer is the usual: It depends.

Take a suspension setup. Today’s market offers the full range of options, from simple, comfortable upgrades to hardcore, race-spec hardware. Do you need to jump to the head of the line in …

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Comments
nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/28/20 8:31 a.m.

Great article!  I would have liked to see the impact on lap times too.

And jeez, what ever happened to the days when you could take your bone stock BMW to track days without worry of everything breaking.  Carbon residue? Clutch slip? Bad rod bearings? James spent an age to find a good clean example of a 335i and still had to spend *thousands* to get it track-ready.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/28/20 8:56 a.m.

Is there a major typo in the spring rates for the first kit? Based on the others, it should probably be about 319 for the front springs - unless there was a drastic change in handling that wasn't acknowledged.

The testing was a little messy here. Camber changes (and did the toe get reset?), big swings in spring rate - the main thing that changes with more expensive suspension is the quality of the damping but too many variables were changed to evaluate that. Two sets of the shocks were adjustable but weren't actually adjusted. I understand there were time limitations but I'm not sure any real conclusions can be drawn. We've done similar testing and if the data is too noisy, it gets thrown out.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
2/28/20 9:02 a.m.

When the less-expensive suspension is MaxPeedingRods, then yes devil

mykola_m3
mykola_m3 New Reader
7/2/20 4:39 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

They wanted to test it accordingly to Koni setup that does not have ability to change the suspension height, however, it is not important cause we still having very understandable picture of what does what and lowering them won`t change results, especially, if we are not presented with lap times

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
7/2/20 6:47 p.m.

A 6 MPH difference between setup 1 and 2? That's a good bit higher than I'd have guessed.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/2/20 7:40 p.m.

But was that due to the new springs and shocks or the extra 2.6 degrees of front camber? We have no idea. How many laps, and was that the maximum speed recorded or an average of X laps?

GRM usually tries pretty hard to do real testing, but this is not very well done.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/2/20 7:50 p.m.

Does the first kit come with marshmallows for front springs?  What is happening there?

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/2/20 7:57 p.m.

Bimmerworld doesn't list a spring rate for the Pro-Kit for this chassis. Neither does Eibach, just a "lowering range". The Bimmerworld description does say they're "proprietary" spring rates, so I guess we're not supposed to know.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/2/20 7:58 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Bimmerworld doesn't list a spring rate for the Pro-Kit for this chassis. Neither does Eibach, just a "lowering range". The Bimmerworld description does say they're "proprietary" spring rates, so I guess we're not supposed to know.

I'm guessing because Eibach, they are progressive and that number is the initial rate, but it quickly reaches 300+lbs with minimal loading

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/2/20 8:32 p.m.

They don't look progressive to my eyes. 
 

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