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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > Suspension | Chassis | Brakes > Coilovers vs. Springs + Sways vs. Sways only
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      07-06-2015, 01:10 PM   #1
RacrX
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Coilovers vs. Springs + Sways vs. Sways only

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Hi guys- new 2014 F30 owner, and it's great to be here.

I'm looking for a good dual-purpose setup, I have a 60 mile r/t commute to work and about 6 track days a year. Most of them are at the Auto Club Speedway Roval, so a combination of the straight and bank at 150mph down to the twisty road course.

The stock non-adjustable setup on my 335i is nice for the commute, but coming from a 2011 ISF it certainly (of course) doesn't seem like it will inspire the same confidence on the track. I'm a bit budget minded with all of the mods I have planned, so I'm looking to see what the best setup would be without going crazy on the cash.

My preference would be a good set of sways/links and a good set of rubber, either Michelin PSS or Protenza RE080s, I've had good luck with those in the past. The body roll in this car definitely needs to be dealt with.

On the higher end, I like the idea of adjustable coilovers as well, but that's a big outlay.

A friend said if I was doing sways I should also do springs, but my worry is that I'll end up stuck with a stiff ride that's good for the track but not good for my daily commute.

What do you all think? And thanks!
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      07-06-2015, 04:50 PM   #2
johnsjmc
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I would expect you to do sways eventually with upgraded springs or coil overs Therefore I would start with the sways only and then decide if you want further improvements as budget allows.
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      07-07-2015, 11:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice...although I was able to pick up an inexpensive pair of slightly used H&R springs last night, so for $300 or so total cost with install, it looks like that's where I'll start. In the meantime, I'll be saving my pennies for a set of Dinan sways and the pricey install!

Will report back after...
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      07-07-2015, 11:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacrX
Thanks for the advice...although I was able to pick up an inexpensive pair of slightly used H&R springs last night, so for $300 or so total cost with install, it looks like that's where I'll start. In the meantime, I'll be saving my pennies for a set of Dinan sways and the pricey install!

Will report back after...
Look for a DIY garage where you can rent a lift and the tools and do it yourself. That's what I'm planning to do with my KW V3s and soon to be ordered Dinan sways.
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      07-07-2015, 12:06 PM   #5
Polo08816
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This is where it really helps to have a friend in the military and nearby installation with an auto skills center....
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      07-07-2015, 12:58 PM   #6
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My goal isn't a race car, I'm looking for a balanced car thats easy to drive fast.

I started my car with new tires, conti dw for the street are perfect. This eliminated a bit of body roll and made the car feel much for confident. For the track i'd probably get the dunlop z2 or hankook rs3. I had h&r springs installed for about 1000 miles. The car handled a little better, but nothing huge. With my wheel and tire setup, 255/275, it was too low in the back and would rub a little.

I now have bc coilovers and the car feels amazing. Theres barely any understeer and it'll only oversteer if i force it too. My next move is a larger rear sway bar to make the back end a little looser and help eliminate even more understeer to help get the car to rotate more. Hopefully that'll get the car perfect, if not my next move will be trying 255s all around.
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      07-10-2015, 11:46 PM   #7
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Sways matched with good tires are more beneficial to handling than any coilover or shock spring combo.
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      07-11-2015, 11:43 AM   #8
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Thanks! Any recommends on a good set of sways?
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      07-11-2015, 12:08 PM   #9
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I did some nice beefy sways on my 2010 camaro (which didn't suck at handling to start with) and I never regretted it. My wrx that I had before had some seriously weak sways and it would be like the leaning tower of pisa in any turn. The stiffer sways really made the camaro shine, making it feel much more nimble and precise. Response is greatly improved and cornering becomes amazing. The only negative is that when one side hits a bump and the other does not, it transmits that force side to side much easier than before. This is characteristic of any high performance car with stiff anti-sways though. They don't make your ride quality worse in terms of bump absorption per see, but they do stiffen up the ability for the suspension to work independently of the other side.

I used Eibach, which are quality components, but anything from the more reputable companies would be fine I'd wager.
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      07-11-2015, 10:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacrX View Post
Thanks! Any recommends on a good set of sways?
Dinan just came out with a set. I think hotchkis and eibach also offer f30 sways.

I like Dinan because they are 3 way adjustable and you can fin tune to your driving style. I.e. More oversteer or understeer orrr keep it neutral.
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      07-12-2015, 09:28 AM   #11
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Springs are nice because they lower the car's center of gravity along with increasing the spring rates... But any spring kit I've purchased didn't change the oversteer/understeer characteristics as much as sways. That being said, I've experienced more of a sacrifice in ride quality with sways than springs.
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      07-13-2015, 01:12 PM   #12
RacrX
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Hey guys- lots of great information here, thank you all.

Another member suggested that instead of sways, I just switch out to an M3 control arm. Any other thoughts on this?
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      07-17-2015, 11:41 AM   #13
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Picked up some used springs, haven't put them in yet. The sways are pricey, wow!

Eyeing a set of coilovers at a good price, thinking about starting there and selling the springs...thoughts?
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      07-27-2015, 03:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennQNYC View Post
Springs are nice because they lower the car's center of gravity along with increasing the spring rates... But any spring kit I've purchased didn't change the oversteer/understeer characteristics as much as sways. That being said, I've experienced more of a sacrifice in ride quality with sways than springs.
Suspension is all about balance.
Too much of any part without compensation on another is going to cause a not so great result.

Sways are the last part of the suspension equation.
They are a fine tuning piece, not a part to substitute for the lack of the primary springs and dampers.

Sways could be the answer for some drivers who are looking at only a little bit of fine tuning of the stock setup.
Bars effectively increase spring rate on cornering, and that could be just the little bit someone wants.
But sways aren't going to help with drive or lift or fore and aft balance into and exiting a turn where heavy braking can unbalance the chassis causing a not so great turn entry and exit.

It really depends on what one is trying to do.
The biggest benefits I've experienced has come from springs and dampers first then sways.

In one FWD I had the thick sway bars made for worse handling.
Once I upgraded the dampers, ahh, then the sways made sense on that car in particular.

People overstate what ticker bars can do in the overall equation.
As I said, they may feel a certain improvement likely because the minor change is what they wanted, and/or they don't push their car hard enough to feel the where the base suspension may be lacking.
But that's ok too. If one doesn't drive that hard on the street, then they aren't using the full capacity of the base suspension. There the sways are adding a nice touch, and that's great.
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