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Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
6/16/22 4:03 p.m.

So what rates would you guys suggest for an E36 with Koni yellows?  Only consideration is tracks in the Southeast.  Most of the time CMP, Road Atlanta, maybe Barber.  I know a lot of people are running mid-500s front and 600-700 lb/in rear, but my concern is what the yellows can handle.  There's a popular-but-old bimmerforums post on this subject that implies 600+ is pushing the konis too far.  That said, my first concern is overall balance with the caveat that revalving dampers to match isn't in the budget.  I'm not the only one driving the car so while I'd like to adjust the rotation in the tight turns using the loud pedal, a forgiving nature isn't a bad idea either.

dps214
dps214 Dork
6/16/22 6:06 p.m.

From my experience, probably not more than like double the stock rate. Also depends on the condition of the tracks and how much curb hopping you plan to do. The konis can usually do decent handling control for quite a bit of spring but when you start bringing bumps or bouncing off curbs into the equation they go downhill quickly.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
6/17/22 10:10 a.m.

The car is an endurance racer so we try to stay off the rumble strips just from a don't-want-it-to-break perspective.  That said, I've run koni yellows on a couple of other cars in the past and haven't experienced the drop-off you describe.  Those cars were only used for autocross and the occasional track day though.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/18/22 10:07 a.m.

As an old bimmerforums regular, I share that belief. But I never actually tried it.

I had the GC coilovers on my E36 with the SA Konis and I believe it was like 600 f, 700 r for the spring rates. Felt pretty good to me, still understeered more than I liked in autocross even with -3.5 degrees of camber. I never tracked it.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/18/22 7:25 p.m.

I feel the E36 is a much better track car than autox car. I think the super stiff spring rates come from trying to control roll (and camber) in front for grip and then having to increase the rear to match.

I also think the h&r springs with koni yellows is basically magic sauce on E36, I always prefer a bit more softness on track. 

None of the above is scientific, just what I always felt.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/18/22 7:37 p.m.

I have TC Kline SAs on my M3 with 400/500 and it feels good. They are Koni yellows in the rear, not sure if they are custom valved though.

Caperix
Caperix New Reader
6/19/22 6:46 a.m.

Is there any place to find the spring rates on the h&r's? Once the last of my parts arrive I will be installing h&r oe springs & koni yellows on my 95 m3.  The rears are enough of a pain to adjust I would like to find a good baseline setting before installing them.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/19/22 4:58 p.m.

I'm not sure where to find that info. Maybe from H&R?

Here is some info from bimmerforums, but not sure how reliable it is. Post 9 says 200 F, 380 R.

https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1047333-H-amp-R-Spring-Rates-OE-Sport-vs-Sport

My memory is that there was a "race" and a "sport" version of the H&R springs for E36s. I don't know what the "OE" version is that you refer to, must be same height but increased rate? 

The story I got from people I respected in the E36 world told me that the "race" springs were garbage for everything other than stancing the car. Too short/not stiff enough. The "sport" were more desirable in that they weren't too short for the given spring rate. 

Caperix
Caperix New Reader
6/19/22 5:37 p.m.

The h&r oe springs say minimal lowering with increased spring rate.  They only list for the 95 with the different spring size for what ever that is worth.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/19/22 10:46 p.m.

Between the two, I'd go sport for over OE sport for lower CG. E36s ride pretty high form the factory. 

Honestly, I'd only go that route in a budget situation as I prefer more spring on the E36. I DD'd my E36 with 600 F, 700 R springs and it did not feel to stiff on street with the Koni SA on full soft, and felt pretty flat on autocross courses. Never tracked it though, but I can't imagine wanting less spring there either. YMMV.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
6/20/22 9:35 a.m.

I ran 400 - 450lb fr/500 - 550 lb r setup on track and was happy with it (with a GC coilover conversion kit). At the time the fairly common knowledge was not to press past 550-575# on the OTS Koni yellows. Keep 100 - 150lb split front to rear. Make sure not to go TOO low where the LCA's are past parallel or you will go backwards with regards to handling. 

No point in over springing an e36 IMO as part of the character of the chassis lends well to body movement during transitions based on my HPDE only experience over the years.  

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
7/25/22 4:22 p.m.

Somehow I lost track of this thread, but I appreciate everyone's responses.  

CyberEric - it's encouraging to hear you didn't have a problem with the 600/700 rates on the OTS yellows.  I've read somewhere that going above the 575lb rate Olemiss540 mentioned overworks them.

Robbie - while the H&R springs are tempting from a cost perspective, I think we're ready to go stiffer for a dedicated track car.

Olemiss540 - there's a post on bimmerforums that recommended a similar setup in the 500's.  Seems like that might be a good place to start.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/25/22 9:57 p.m.

You know what, I'm thinking about it now and I may have had 500/600 f/r rates. Crap, I am having a hard time recalling. It was 15 years ago so my memory is a little fuzzy. It was the rates everyone recommended. But yeah, it was never a problem. I put them on full soft on the street and it felt fine to me. It was also really composed on autocross. No pogo-ing, no BS. I saw a lot of Subarus and Evos bouncing around like porpoises. 

I never tracked it, so maybe lower rates would be okay there, but on autocross it was nice to have a lot of spring for transitional stuff.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/26/22 9:11 a.m.

Good deal. I would recommend starting on the soft side (400/500) and bumping up if necessary. The e36 chassis doesnt mind the smoother transitions and it really is a blast to drive feeling the bit of extra body roll in transitions IMO. 

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
7/26/22 2:21 p.m.

In reply to Olemiss540 :

Makes sense.  Even at 400/500 it'll be a huge improvement over the progressive Eibach Sportlines and tired Bilsteins that are on the car now.  We also usually have new drivers at each event so having something a little more forgiving is probably a good idea.  That said, most spring kits I see have a larger split between the front and the rear implying that we might want to go 400/550 for better rotation. 

The other thing that occurred to me is we're running stock sway bars.  Did you guys also upgrade your sway bar setup?  

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/26/22 5:41 p.m.

Front sway bar is a DEFINITE need as it helps maintain negative or zero camber on those front struts. Hopefully the struts have the M3 droplink attachment. I left the rear bar stock. Didn't ever feel a need for more spring rate back there and you stress the rear sway bar mounts (known weak point with weld in reinforcement kits available) even more risking failure point unnecessarily. 

Much more important is front camber on these cars. 3 degrees is bare minimum front camber, more the merrier. Thinking i am somewhere around -3.5F/-2.5Rish but straight line braking does start to take a hit.

Are you using Ground Control Camber plates and Coilover conversion kit?

 

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
7/27/22 9:30 a.m.

10-4 on the front sway bar.  I'll add it to the list.  I don't know if the Konis have the M3 droplink though.  I shipped them directly to my partner-in-crime who stores the car.  What's the benefit there?

I am planning on the the GC coilover and camber plates, but I haven't purchased yet since I wasn't settled on the rates.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/27/22 11:08 a.m.

If I remember correctly just attaching the regular bar to the m3 locations is an upgrade (maybe stiffer than m3?). 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/27/22 11:42 a.m.

The droplinks on a standard e36 attach to the lower control arm and the droplinks on the m3 attach to the front strut bodies. The front strut body connection allows for a longer lever arm so much more stiffness from what I read. 

If you are putting koni inserts and a GC coilover conversion on, you might look into buying a set of blown front M3 struts for really cheap and then use them for the conversion. Would give you a backup set of struts and the benefit of an M3 droplink.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
7/27/22 3:18 p.m.

Thanks for the explanation.  Unfortunately I already purchased non-insert Konis for the 328 that have their own housing.  I'll just look for a nice thick boi bar.  

I realize that last sentence can mean something entirely different.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/27/22 5:15 p.m.

I echo the comments about the need for neg camber on the front of these. I ran about -3.5 and have even seen people run -4. 

Don't bother with the GC camber plates, they make this awful popping sound. Get Vorschlag, much better. 

I also agree that a big front bar helps too. I had a stock rear bar. I have heard conflicting benefits from the location of the M3 bar on the strut. Yes, it does offer more stiffness, but I knew one national champion who mounted his on the LCA because he thought it caused less binding and preload. Just a thought, I never tried doing that. 

I did feel like the car understeered more than I liked even with all the neg camber, big bar, springs and shocks. But mostly in really tight stuff that you are unlikely to see on track.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
7/27/22 6:51 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

I've heard the Vorshlag's were better, but noone explained why.  I have a set of front GC plates waiting to go onto my MR2 so hopefully they don't have the same issue.  First I've heard of the popping issue so fingers crossed?

Thanks for the grain of salt on the swaybar link location and possible understeery behavior.  Rather than the biggest one I can find I'm leaning more towards something adjustable.

This Hotchkis looks about right.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/28/22 11:31 a.m.

If popping issue is a concern, a very cheap set of thrust washers on amazon below the spring (on top of the bottom perch) should help with spring binding on the front for 5 bucks. 

Hotchkis is the ticket. These cars have been sooooo heavily tracked there is nothing you cant find on bimmerforums with a search. 

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
7/28/22 3:41 p.m.

In reply to Olemiss540 :

Spring binding makes sense.  

Good point on the bimmerforums.  I like the signal-to-noise ratio around here, but I'll nose around there a bit more.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/29/22 9:35 a.m.
Matt B (fs) said:

In reply to Olemiss540 :

Spring binding makes sense.  

Good point on the bimmerforums.  I like the signal-to-noise ratio around here, but I'll nose around there a bit more.

Its fairly quiet over there on bimmerforums but googling through threads there for issues is a VAST wealth of e36 specific setup/diag/knowledge above and beyond any other site. I hang out in the track section once in a while with a few remaining geezers.

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