E9X 3DM Motorsports Ohlins Suspension Review

Torgus

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Nov 6, 2016
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ACF 6466 E92 + METH
I drive a 2007 335i E92 6MT with an ACF 6466 tuned on 93 octane + 1100 CC meth injection in the CP. After I installed my VM 6466 Single Turbo it became VERY apparent that my suspension was not up to the task of handling the power. This is a bit wordy feel free to skip!

I started looking around for a good set of coilovers and doing research in the fall of 2018. My car lives in hibernation mode from December to April in New England so I had time. I was looking to spend 3k or less initially. I had to goal that I wanted a suspension that would behave on the streets but that I could drive to and use for events on the weekend. I did not want ‘full race’ dedicated coilovers as I honestly am not skilled enough to set up 3 or 4 way adjustable coilovers(low/high-speed rebound as well as high and low-speed compression etc.) correctly and once dialed in I would have to re-adjust immediately for the street. This means jacking the car up to adjust EVERY time. While this is my ‘toy’ car I have a family and a busy life and I just do not feel I need that level of adjust-ability or the desire to constantly be messing with it. Not to mention most real ‘race’ coilovers start well above 3k and have basically no warranty see KW Club Sports etc. Ohlins 2 years vs. nothing on KW Club Sports.

I have had friends with KWs, FortuneAuto/Broadway, STs, and the usual in that sub 3k above 1k price bracket. I’ve road and driven some of the E9Xs with them and they were fine. No one complained about their choices and they all seemed ‘ok’ but ‘ok’ was not what I was looking for. I really wanted coilovers that would be a bridge between street and track coilovers, but not need to be endlessly adjusted or a compromise aka too much of a street or too much of a track coilover setup.

Here is a good read on the various coilovers available for the E9X ranked by tier: https://blog.modbargains.com/best-coilovers-for-the-bmw-3-series-e90e92/

I spent a few months just reading reviews, taking notes, making spread sheets, etc. on the various E9X forums and the internet of every name brand coilover out there. I like to research and spend my money once. I hate buying anything twice and have learned in life paying a bit more for quality can really pay off. I finally stumbled upon a few threads started by Barry@3DMMotorsports and it was obvious this guy had forgotten more about vehicle suspensions than I had learned in my entire life. I started with sending him a PM. He answered very quickly and it was obvious he knew his stuff. I literally pestered him almost every day with another question: 9 inch rear springs ok? What about rear adj extenders? 800 lb rear too aggressive? Spring Thrust sheets? What about X suspension component and how will it interact with Y? All the RSB endlinks on the market are exposed, what do I do? Why not the KW V3s or JZ? He was extremely helpful, we spoke on the phone and asked what my goals were, usage of the vehicle, etc. I asked if he would supply or suggest the best parts for my suspension based on my budget which he did.

All the text above is how I ended up where I am today.

I currently have installed all suspension/feels related:
900 rpm idle
Stock 6 speed w/ redline fluid
UUC SSK with DSSR
Spec Light Weight Flywheel
Spec Stage 3+ clutch
Solid rev shift 80A motor mounts
Rogue engineering tranmission mounts
Solid aluminum subframe bushings
Solid aluminum differential bushings
Diff lock down kit <--probably does nothing with the solid diff bushings but it's cheap insurance I guess.
Quaiffe ATB LSD with Royal Purple and E diff coded out



List of parts from 3DM:
335i front shock revalved
Swift 400 lb/in front spring
Vorshlag front camber plates
Front ARB adjustable linkages
Front modified Eibach ARB
Ohlins M3 rear damper revalved, droop limiter installed
Rear damper clicker extender
Swift 700 lb/in rear spring
Bearing upper shock mount
M3 rear lower control arms with new hardware
Entire rear ball joint conversion arms
'Middle' SS brake lines
Rear stock anti roll bar, modified to make 3-way adjustable
Rear extended adjusters w/ custom caps for trunk
Swift spring thrust sheets for springs

Other parts I installed at the same time:

There is a plenty you can read online about the Ohlins R&T Coilovers and the DFV and how it works. This is part of what sold me as it being the best compromise between street and track. It turns out, as you can see from my list above, picking the Coilover dampeners was only a piece of the suspension pie, so to speak. I wanted custom spring rates not the off the shelf Ohlins which are rated all the way from a 325i 328i 330i 335d to a 335i. This is also where Barry comes in with his great knowledge. Given the spring rates I decided upon, with Barry’s help(Front 400lb, Rear 700lb), it meant I needed them revalved. DO NOT believe anyone when they say a revalve is not needed when changing springs any significant amount. The next thing barry customized on the shock was a droop limiter(not standard on many coilovers). This was needed because of the fully ball jointed arms. They hang lower than the stock with rubber bushings.

Normally the suspension arms have rubber bushings which are good for a street DD but they do not allow the suspension to work as well as it can as the rubber flexes, deflects, etc. So next up was the custom ball jointed front m3 arms and rear custom ball jointed arms all from 3DM. This allows for the suspension to do the actual work and not the rubber bushings getting in the way. I also wanted all of the rear M3 arms, which Barry@3DM sourced for me, and rear Ohlins m3 struts to go with them as they together are a significant upgrade from the stock 335i rear arm and Ohlins 355i rear strut in my opinion.

Settled upon a front sway bar/anti roll bar by Eibach(solid not hollow) 28mm in diameter which is the largest off the shelf solid bar offered with 3DM customized adjustable mounting points. 3 position adjustable: Position1 = 52 N/mm (297 lbs/in) + 53% stiffness, Position2 = 59 N/mm (337 lbs/in) + 73% stiffness, Position3 = 64 N/mm (366 lbs/in) + 88% stiffness over stock. The stock rear bar was modified to have 3 adjustable mounting points as well. The idea being you ideally want a large front bar with smaller rear.

The rest of the parts are self-explanatory like the Vorshlag front camber plates and if you have any questions please ask Barry@3DMMotorsports. He is the expert here and I am parroting most of what he said the best that I can remember.

Picture time:

IMG_20190926_141623.jpg


IMG_20190927_123327.jpg


sus1.jpg


sus2.jpg


sus3.jpg


OEM bushing vs. Balljoint:
sus4.jpg


Not my rear end but same m3 arms etc. Picture just showing what it should looks like:
sus5.jpg


sus6.jpg


sus7.jpg


sus8.jpg



I normally turn all my own wrenches but I had this work done in August. I spend my summers up at the lake on the weekends and I don't have time or desire to wrench. I sent the car to Max @ NorthEast Autobahn in Walpole MA https://neautobahn.com/ and he performed the work flawlessly as expected. When I picked it up we went for a spin. I commented on the fact the car felt slower. He had been in my car before for a ride mind you, his response was, "I think it just doesn't feel like it is trying to kill you anymore" and he was right.

The cah:
Ignore the demon eyes I was just seeing if they still worked. Still does the colors of the rainbow.
Resized_20191013_161816.jpeg


Different tips on the PE exhaust now but you get the idea of the ass end of her. Amber blinking euro lci tails FTW:
20161104_162228_zps53nmf5mm.jpg


Side shot. No one can probably tell but I have it sitting at least an inch and a half higher than before for more suspension travel. It used to be REALLY low. The car is dirty AF I had it detailed the next week:
20191007_171615.jpg


I picked up the car and could not have been happier. This is exactly what I wanted. It is so confidence inspiring to drive the car and push it hard now. Before it was a bit scary to go WOT now I can go WOT on the 6466 and don't even have to hold the steering wheel. It goes right where I point it. On ramps and off ramps are a joy. I really cannot say enough about how awesome the car feels. The Ohlins R&T are very daily driveable and I am actually going to increase the stiffness. I have both front and rear set to the middle currently. It's now too cold to drive the car basically(no traction on summers) so I only have roughly 2 months worth of driving experience so far but it is just incredible. The suspension just performs and makes driving the car just so much more enjoyable.

I will post the video of my Ohlins shock on the dyno when I can find it. This was when Barry was revalving it for the swift springs.

I will update this 'review' after I get to some 'events' next year and really get to push the suspension.

I highly recommend reaching out to @barry@3DM if anyone has any suspension questions or needs. He is the MAN!




Shout out to the vendors who have helped me along the way with my E92 335i(notice the list is VERY short):

Jake@Motiv [email protected]
Anthony@Ventura Motorsports [email protected]
Barry@3DM [email protected]
Payam @Payam@BMS

If anyone would like, I am happy to make personal introductions to any of them. I would not trust my car in anyone else’s hands.
 
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Torgus

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Nov 6, 2016
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Reserved for future updated review.

The car is basically done in my opinion everything is basically upgraded. Other than race cah seats and a new hood + fenders I think I am done. I'm not going to cage it or gut it or build the engine or head. My goal is to pick up a c7 or c8 in a few years, a real sports car. At least the is my goal currently.
 

ShocknAwe

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Thanks for the review. Been talking with Barry about my build. Gives me confidence in him there more I hear from folks that are happy!
 
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fmorelli

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Wow ... what a write-up. And I cannot believe you guys have as many leaves as you still do. Northern Virginia looks the same. I learned the same thinking, working with @barry@3DM on my Z4 ... we haven't really stayed "stock", and now we're working on a rear TTX-based setup to handle the higher horsepower N54 cars. He's been doing a lot of work developing BMW-based TTX solutions. We're at Summit Point today doing testing on the 3DM developed track E46 M3 TTX Öhlins kit.

Interested to see your second post get filled out, once you have more seat time.

3dc5ad26-eba0-4ab2-b93d-1728b3501a79.jpg



Filippo
 

island road

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Nov 21, 2016
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I'm still waiting for a ride or even to drive this beast! Look good must feel amazing on the street. Sadly looks like we will have to wait for the springtime.

Def a suspension setup done proper for a 335!
 
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doublespaces

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Good to see people still put quality suspension parts on their vehicles. I'm curious how it drives as well
 
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Torgus

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Nov 6, 2016
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No limited slip diff? Sick build tho!

Oops sorry I have a quaiffe atb lsd: https://store.vacmotorsports.com/mobile/quaife-atb-limited-slip-differential-bmw-335i-p1673.aspx

One of the 1st mods on the car!

edited my 1st post to be more clear.



This is your stuff on the shock Dyno.

Filippo

Thanks for posting and introducing Barry to the forum!



I'm still waiting for a ride or even to drive this beast! Look good must feel amazing on the street. Sadly looks like we will have to wait for the springtime.

Def a suspension setup done proper for a 335!

This spring! Car is basically in hibernation mode now. No traction. You have to take it for a spin man!

Good to see people still put quality suspension parts on their vehicles. I'm curious how it drives as well

Thanks. I try to only install quality parts on it! Buy it once and do it right.That being said the RTD style shifters are tempting...
 
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ShocknAwe

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Jan 24, 2018
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Thanks. I try to only install quality parts on it! Buy it once and do it right.That being said the RTD style shifters are tempting...


Nothing wrong with RTD. That said I'm not sure I want a chassis mounted shifter and haven't yet identified a quality unit for my car.
 

Asbjorn

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Mar 10, 2018
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This is just awesome. So glad you did both the bearings and coilovers. Looks like you got some great advice as well. You said you wanted stiffer and I just wanted to recommend adjusting the swaybars as an alternative to the dampers, you should be able to feel a big difference there as well.
 
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Torgus

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Most of them are quite tall, heat transfer, noise, throws can be overly stiff and short.

You like them or hate them. I need to drive one on this car. Used one before but every trans is different.

That is a good point. @Budgetbimmers are in RI I think and have one in their ST. I will have to ask to take a test drive. To spend that money to not like it would be a bitch.


This is just awesome. So glad you did both the bearings and coilovers. Looks like you got some great advice as well. You said you wanted stiffer and I just wanted to recommend adjusting the swaybars as an alternative to the dampers, you should be able to feel a big difference there as well.

That is a good point. Playing with the sways is on my list of spring 'to dos' with the car!
 

fmorelli

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Hoping to see some updates on this thread, as we head into spring. We're behind on my car (as usual) ... it's the pebbles in the shoes problem ...

Filippo
 

MaxNix

New Member
Jul 20, 2020
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Hoping to see some updates on this thread, as we head into spring. We're behind on my car (as usual) ... it's the pebbles in the shoes problem ...

Filippo
I guess his car got the virus? I hope he did not.
 
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Torgus

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Nov 6, 2016
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I guess his car got the virus? I hope he did not.

Still alive!

With the covid lockdown I haven't even looked at running at a track. I have kind of given up this year. I am very close with my inlaws and my parents and given their age I am extremely cautious of covid. I also help both out a good deal given they are all 70+ they are very susceptible and also all have their own health issues which comes at their age. I currently do all their grocery shopping and I take care of all maintenance inside/outside the house, cars, etc. I'm not going to be the one who gives them covid and kills them ;)

Working from home I just try and find excuses to take my car out for a drive now. Been trying to coordinate a few cruises where we could have fun and drive aggressively with some locals in the NorthEast but no luck @zero2sixtyZ @island road !!!

On the street the suspension is phenomenal and is everything I wanted. @barry@3DM is the man! If you need a suspension or just want to talk suspension related topics he is who you should speak with in my opinion.