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Old 12-28-2005, 07:17 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,798
Mein Auto: '04 330i
Originally Posted by Mike Moss
Are there any available chasis rigidity numbers that bear out this perceived increase in
solidity? I know this comparison has been beat to death, and I know this particular
thread is over a year old, but it's the only one that I've seen that mentions this "difference" in the chasis. I've read that the E36 is louder, rattles more, and
has a more viszeral feel. But after reading recent articles in Bimmer (#49 & 51), I
started to wonder. Bimmer Mag stated that anyone "adding horsepower or cornering
ability, should buy every chasis reinforcement sold..." It mentions everything from
front/rear subframes, front/rear sway bar mounts, and shock mounts as being potential
problem areas. Being that these cars are viewed as being very close performance
wise, though in different ways, this could be a deciding factor for me. I can appreciate
a more direct feel from the M3, but if I have to spend $2500 - 3000 (Bimmer's est)
just to bring it's chasis up to the quality of the 330's, then I had just as soon use that
money to buy the newer car. Since BMWs are just as much, if not more, about
handling than sheer power, the quality/rigidity of the chasis is of utmost importance.
I can handle not being able to take a Corvette in a straight line, but I can't handle tearing
loose suspension componetry while going through a good S-turn.

Any comments or info would be appreciated.

I guess you searched on 'rigidity' and came up with this thread?

Having just gone from a '95 325i to a 2004 330i, the E46's rigidity is definitely a big advantage - on rough pavement. On smooth roads, you will not really notice, but go over bumps and the E46 feels much more solid.

No question the E36 is more involving to drive though, so if fun is the biggest factor, the E36 is the way to go. For me, I was willing to accept the trade-off.
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