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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-13-2005, 10:42 AM
adc adc is offline
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Location: DC-MD-VA
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,641
Mein Auto: E90 M3
UUC Sways on 03 ZHP (day 1 report)

Well yesterday after a full 6 hour battle in which a friend and I managed to install a set of UUC sways, 2 sets of front pads and 1 set of rear pads - I got to test the sways this morning on the way to work. This is not a professional review, I don't have charts or graphs to prove what I'm saying (just some dirt under the fingernails and scratches on both arms).

Of course, this is just a first impression really, I took it easier because I've set them up to dial out the understeer, and boy does it work! As a general impression at low speeds, the ride is "grittier" meaning more of the road surface irregularities get transmitted into the cabin, particularly if the left and right sides of the road are different. No surprise here, it's what a sway bar does for a living. Turn-in doesn't seem any better than before, which is a little strange.

On a tight 2nd gear hairpin corner, the attitude changed from heavy understeer to 4 wheel drift with mild oversteer hints. So far, so good. On a high speed (80 mph+) corner that used to generate a lot of lean, it's now much flatter and more neutral, but again with a slight oversteer tendency. Keeps getting better... (well I didn't take this one full on as I'm still feeling my way around the changed handling, but the change is readily apparent).

The way it seems to work is that the roll stiffness is not completely linear - it seems to me that when I now throw it into a corner, it leans more at the beginning and then it stiffens considerably and after a point there is almost zero additional lean. The total lean to my butt-o-meter seems to be about 60% of the OEM sways, give or take 10%.


*********************
A word about installation: it's not terribly difficult, as long as you abide by the instructions. I've found these to be very useful:
http://www.my330i.com/mod13.php
The only thing not mentioned there, that I think would help anyone who is thinking about these sways, is how to adjust the rear endlinks. I've found (through trial and error) that the way to do it is with the car's suspension loaded. You can back the car up the ramps, then wiggle the sway bar up/down until you find a midpoint on the muffler side about halfway between the exhaust pipes and the suspension arm. Then adjust the endlink length until the bolt goes easily through the bar and endlink. Then use a jack to raise the car so the suspension drops (with the endlinks just temporarily bolted in) and check if the clearance is ok. If it touches someting lower the car, adjust accordingly and repeat the procedure. Now finally tighten them on both sides of the car. The last step is to squeeze the 17mm wrench flat against the car's underbody, from the rear, to tighten the captive nut on the endlink body to "freeze" the current length.

Initially I had adjusted the length with the wheels off and suspension unloaded, but then when I drove around the block the exhaust would bang every now and then on the swaybar.

I am not sure if I explained this the right way, but if you have questions please drop me a line and I'll be happy to expand on my explanation.
************************

As an aside, I also put some Cobalt Spec-VR pads on the front, in anticipation of this week's school at VIR. Once you heat them up a little, these things brake like crazy. The bite is ferocious and I almost lost my sunglasses when I decided to test at 80mph . So far, .

Please feel free to ask for any specific questions. If you live nearby I can give you a ride, if you are sitting on the fence about this mod.

Overall I think they work exactly as advertised, but I will need to keep a close eye on the handling to make sure I adjust to the new characteristics. So far, I am very impressed with these sways...

adc
03 330 ZHP

Last edited by adc; 06-13-2005 at 01:06 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2005, 07:08 PM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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I have a set of these sways sitting in the box awaiting install too, they arrived last week.

Did you use the endlink settings from the install at the My330i site? If not, where did u put them?
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2005, 10:57 PM
Hobbes330i Hobbes330i is offline
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I set them with 8 thread showing. I have not had any problems. When the car is stationary, the swaybar is centered between the axle and the control arm.
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  #4  
Old 06-14-2005, 05:22 AM
adc adc is offline
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Location: DC-MD-VA
 
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Mein Auto: E90 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr530i
I have a set of these sways sitting in the box awaiting install too, they arrived last week.

Did you use the endlink settings from the install at the My330i site? If not, where did u put them?
No, I didn't - the reason being that initially I adjusted them with the suspension dropped (no wheels, car on jacks) - which was wrong. I guess if you allow 8 threads to show and attach them to the bar with the suspension loaded (car on ramps, wheels on) it could be fine.

But I still found it not too difficult to adjust the length under the car, bolt them in, then tighten that captive nut. It may look like you won't have room to slip the wrench in for this, but you do.

Did you get the latest, 3rd gen product? Supposedly it has self-greasing endlinks, not sure if any other improvements. I wonder if it's worth it to upgrade to the latest links at some point in the future...

adc
03 330 ZHP
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2005, 06:57 AM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,824
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by adc
Did you get the latest, 3rd gen product? Supposedly it has self-greasing endlinks, not sure if any other improvements. I wonder if it's worth it to upgrade to the latest links at some point in the future...

adc
03 330 ZHP
I did get the latest version. They were on backorder, so I placed my order back in early May. I thought they had 3 settings front and rear, but maybe the latest and greatest have variably adjustable end links. Guess I should open the box, eh?
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2005, 09:20 AM
Andre Yew Andre Yew is offline
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Mein Auto: 2000 E46 328Ci Bright Red
There are three settings (two holes) in the rear, and 6 settings (three holes) in front for bar stiffness. The endlinks' length is continuously variable. On my car, I found that the 8-thread rule made the endlinks too long. Adc's adjustment method works, and Rob from UUC has posted here about a similar adjustment method. I adjusted my links with the suspension fully loaded.

--Andre
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