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E36 M3 (1995-1999)

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:56 AM
Todd Molland Todd Molland is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMWM3
1995 M3 front suspension and dishonest folks

My BMW mechanic has advised that I need new front shocks. I was surprised to hear that I'm running with E36 shocks but not the M3 shocks. The car was in an accident several years ago and I guess the nice folks at the body shop decided to save some money and not use the M3 shocks. Needless to say I always wondered why the front shocks bottomed out so easy on relatively small bumps. I understand the standard shock is longer than the M3 shock that my car is designed for. That brings me to my question: I need to purchase new M3 shocks. I want the OEM ride but the cost at BMW is about $400 per shock. Any advise on which shock to buy that will compare with the OEM shock or do I have to bite the bullet and buy OEM? Now that the body shop, that is no longer in business, has screwed me, will the M3 shock bolt in or did they change other parts to get the standard E36 shocks to fit? The car is in great shape but it has 210,000 miles on it. Do I need to replace the springs too? Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:56 PM
lovetherideUSMC lovetherideUSMC is offline
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Location: camp pendleton CA
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Mein Auto: e36 m3/e30 325es/NB Miata
I recently replaced my front shocks with the sachs m3 "stock" shocks. At first i was goingto get some good old bilsteins but the roads in my town are a little to crappy. It really depends what you want. Bilsteins last a lot longer and would be awesome for track, or highway driving, but the stocks are a lot more comfortable and still provide plenty enough performance for spirited street driving. I got the stocks for 225 each online, plus upper bearings, bump stops and everything for a little more. The most important thing is to consider your intentions for the car. Somtimes i wish i got the bilsteins, but when i cant avoid a pot hole im glad i still have my front bumper intact! As for the springs... Well thats tough to tell. Maybe because they were run on the wrong shock and they have 200k on them.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:02 PM
lovetherideUSMC lovetherideUSMC is offline
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Mein Auto: e36 m3/e30 325es/NB Miata
I dont know if they had to change anything to fit, the m3 shock hooks up differently i think. I dont think it would be anything irreversible. Your mechanic should be able to tell you if theres anything fishy going on. It should be pretty obvious if its been modified.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:16 AM
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TRaV MaNN TRaV MaNN is offline
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Only thing different would be the sway bar mount. If that is hooked up to the strut housing then everything can be fixed.
You canít spend all your time worrying about where your next Twinkie is going to come from, so follow rule #32 and Enjoy The Little Things.

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Old 01-02-2013, 09:32 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Inspect the sway bar end links. If they really put non-M3 shocks on (I doubt it...) they also changed the "wishbone" so the sway bar had something to connect to.

Like Trav said, if your sway bar end links still connect to the struts, you still have M3 struts, and you can replace them without much hassle.

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this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:23 PM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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Check out Koni for the best OEM-esq ride....

Jared, I think all the wishbones (///m and non-///m) have the hole to mount the sway to.

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