E46 sports suspension upgrade?

i've sold my old '96 318iS, now looking to buy to an E46, 2000 - 2002 would fit price range.
looking at 320i and 318i motorsport, i really liked the sports
suspension on my old iS and missed it when test-driving the 2.2 6cyl 320i, it was a 'nice' ride but not as fun to drive. (heh being a jap import it also didn't have leather which was a shame, but i'd rather avoid a singapore import for my next bmw).
i live in new zealand and 320i/325 msports are quite rare and really more than i want to spend. its for city driving so i don't mind the lower powered cars, and like the fuel economy. i have no idea how much it would cost to get a standard 320i modified with sports suspension or even if that's a bad idea, not knowing how it would perform...?
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My experience is that the 'sport' versions are very hard. It all depends on the quality of the roads you drive on. If the surfaces are good and you are used to a firm ride I would recommend the upgrade. Surprisingly, here in the UK where roads are bad and getting worse all the time most 325/330 E46 cars were 'sport' models, although I suspect this had more to do with clever marketing and the way the cars look rather than individual owners assumptions of the best ride/handling compromise.
David
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On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 10:44:19 -0000, David Haggas

I live near Boston, Mass., where the roads are utter shite and getting worse. The ride on my E46 coupe is almost unacceptably harsh. Granted, this is my first experience with owning something other than a family slushbox and I love what this car can do on a *good* road. But I can't help thinking that a car like this would be happier somewhere like California or Florida where decades of freeze-thaw cycles haven't made the roads appear as if someone had used them for artillery practice.
I have a theory that the town I live in deliberately dis-maintains the roads in order to keep people from driving on them. It's the only explanation that seems to make any sense.
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wrote:

The "Bermuda Triangle" potholes in the greater Washington, DC area are also legendary and as a result, my wife replaces a tire/wheel assembly on her Saab every other year on average. Although my '99 328i with Sport Package has a satisfactory ride (and great handling), I have sustained some wheel damage before I learned to avoid the worst of our roads, especially in the Spring. If I were to buy an E90 with it's runflats, it would have the basic suspension and 16" wheels.
Tom K.
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"Biker Geek" wrote

Just curious, what size and model tires do you have?

The problem with FL is that even though the roads are generally OK, they are very boring for the most part... I am longing for some hilly terrain like the mountain ranges of West Virginia... otherwise, a tight-handling ultimate driving machine is under-utilized here as well... :)
Cheers, Pete
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If you want to make things interesting then put some really old suspension on, drill out the bushes, dis-align the geometry and put four different bald tyres on it. ...or buy american ;-)
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"adder1969" wrote

Yeah, thanks. :) I'm already trying to figure out why my car feels floaty at hwy speeds, like an american boat/cruiser, despite having correct alignment and the suspension only having 32k miles on it...
Pete '02 e39
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Summer: Michelin Pilot Sport, 225/45-17 front, 245/40-17 rear Winter: Dunlop Winter Sport A2, 225/45-17 all around

Perhaps you're familiar with US129, the "Tail of the Draagon" at Deal's Gap on the TN/NC border. It's well known to the sportbike crowd. The slogan is "318 curves in 11 miles", and it's written on many a t-shirt.
There's a parody shirt that says, "Florida: 11 curves in 318 miles." Having visited Jacksonville, I'm inclined to believe it.
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wrote:

Living in Florida, I'm familiar with the 318 miles, but not the 11 curves. Can't be more than 3 in the whole state.
And no hills.
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<snippage>

LOL. That made me chuckle.
That reminds me of one time when I was in West Palm and needed directions. A local told me to go three blocks and turn left. My destination was right after the hill.
I went the three blocks, turned left and saw nothing but a flat, straight chunk of road. I proceeded along and there was a rise in the road of (maybe) two feet. I guess that was the hill because the place I was looking for was right there - right past the two foot mountain.
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Bognor Regis, W.Sussex, England, UK
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I put Eibachs on my E36 coupe which already had BMW sport suspension and the ride quality actually went up, as did the cornering etc. I wouldn't hesitate to put them on an E46. I drove a 330 clubsport and the suspension was very hard and bouncy and if I had one of those the suspension would get changed out too. If you can do the job yourself then it's not *very* expensive.
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Check out Dinan. You can probably purchase the parts and have them shipped to you.
http://www.dinanbmw.com /

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