BMW M3 Forum
BMW M3 Forum BMW M3 Gallery BMW M3 Reviews BMW M3 Social Groups BMW M3 Chat M3Forum Sponsors >>
Loading


Mobile M3forum
Go Back   BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X) > BMW M3 Discussions > E46 M3 (2001-2006)
Tire Rack Buy Winter Tires Now!
Not a member? Register Now!
Register Gallery All Albums Garage Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Calendar FAQ

E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 02:31:47 AM   #1
mikymu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,601
Reputation: 0 mikymu will become famous soon enough





Smile M3 - NFL running back style: TC Kline suspension, RTAB and OEM brake upgrade

after driving 997 S recently, can't help but longing it's awesome suspension and brake which our E46 M3 lacks. after much research and talking with some knowledgeable forum members (you know who you are), i have decided to replace the old arthritic joints of our M3 and put some much needed suspension and brake upgrade on our M3 so it can turn, stop and accelerate like fame NFL running back and able to keep up with the best like 997 S

following is a detail DIY and driving impression with TC Kline suspension, powerflex RTAB and OEM brake upgrade. general principle of the suspension DIY can applied to most coilover

OK, why TC Kline and not other brand like ground control, KW or Bilstein? well, again i relied on our forum member's recommendation and went with Dan Law's special (dermotorsports@gmail.com). TC Kline double adjustable (DA) in the front and single adjustable (SA) in the rear since TC Kline's DA rear can be noisy. spring rate? well, it depends on your preference. i loath soft ride so Dan Law recommended 500 front and 600 rear. why powerflex RTAB? again it was recommended by our knowledgeable members like Ian - AKA Obioban.

things you need:

-- one fine sample of E46 M3
-- coilover of your choice. me like TC Kline . powerflex RTAB. OEM brake upgrade parts - will discuss in detail later
-- car jack, stands and good set of auto mechanic tools
-- rent a strut spring clamp/compressor from your local auto parts store to help remove front strut (some late model M3 need this tool. you may want to try w/o it first). a-lot of store charge $40 and refund the whole amt if you return the tool with in 3 days
-- a hefty 36" pry bar like the one made by Stanley and can be had for $10 at Home depot to pry rear OEM spring off the control arm
-- RTAB removal tool. will discuss more later
-- nice box of glove and a bottle of ibuprofen/Tylenol lol

TC Kline DA front, SA rear with 500 front and 600 rear springs. TC Kline suspension and spring look so good ... almost like candy bar lol


36" pry bar and one set of rental spring compressor - again, most M3 does not require spring compressor. try without it first.


get your M3 up and strip the wheels like someone stole it lol


TCK come fully assembled with camber plate if you order from Dan Law. check the allen screws for toe control on top of the camber plate. make sure of the following:
-- it is set at minimum toe (less tire wear) like the pic below and push all the way back toward the rear of the car in the installed position
-- hand tighten it with an allen wrench as much as possible since it will be very hard to tighten it once installed. mine was not tight enough and pop loose after driving.


Let's start from the REAR where it's relatively easy

first, remove the trunk side wall trim liner to expose the rear shock absorber mounting nuts. there is a pesty clip located behind the side bolter of the rear seat that needs to be removed in order to pull back the trim liner


support the rear trailing arm from below with a jack loosen the 18mm nut that secure the shock absober to the trailing arm then remove the top mounting bolt. now remove the 18mm nut - out it goes the OEM shock absorber. do the same on the other side and OK to leave the trailing arm hanging. you need to do this step on both sides so the trailing arm will be at it's lowest position (to facilitate OEM spring removal) since they are connected by stabilizer bar. stablizer bar will keep one side high if the other side is not fully lowered


now comes the hardest part ... removal of OEM springs. BMW service manual calls for removal of drive axle, rear reinforcing V-brace and rear under body splash guard in order to lower the control arm enough for the OEM spring to come out. this route require a-lot of work and not to mention replacement of drive axle mounting bolts.

well, instead of the above PITA steps, we can use the 36" pry bar to remove the OEM spring. first, i applied foam pads at the rear wheel well - the same foam pads used to insulate water pipe - to prevent damage from pry bar. support the trailing arm at it's lowest point with a jack and protect wires and brake line with a towel. get the pry bar under the lower spring rubber pads and gradually pry the spring up and out aiming toward the rear of the car. it will take several "prying" and move the spring small increment at a time to complete the task. be careful not to damage the body, brake and suspension components by "gorilla" the pry bar




one interesting note between OEM spring and the one used by TC Kline. OEM spring uses a variable rate spring where the spring compression rate change as you compress the spring which give our M3 the yo-yo effect during hard side to side turn with a-lot of body roll. the one used by TC Kline has constant spring rate independent of spring compression hence less body roll = "on rail" feel during hard side to side turn

now, install the TCK rear shock absorber. the paper washer sits under the body of the shock mount. the metal mounting ring go on top and tighten rear shock absorber nuts to 25 ft-lbs.


now, the TCK adjustable springs installation. Dan Law's package come with pre-drilled adjustable spring mount to help secure the unit. the adjustable spring mount come w/o the securing bolt if you get it straight from TCK.

remove the securing bolt and all washers and thread it through the opening of the control arm where the old rubber spring mount used to sit. tighten the height adjustable mount until self locking washer become flush. don't torque the bolt - just tight enough so it won't fly off


put the TCK spring on with rubber spring mount on top. lettering on the spring face out can help easy ID of spring rating. once TCK shock absorbers, adjustable spring mounts and springs are installed, you can now raise the trailing arm with a jack and mount the 18mm bolt to secure shock absorber to the trailing arm. tighten the 18mm bolts and don't torque as yet. slowly lower car once front and rear suspensions are done to make sure top of rear spring sits securely on the body mount. torque the 18mm bolt to 74 ft-lbs once the car is at normal load position - off the jack stands and on the ground.


the rear suspension is done. take a break and get something to drink. pop a ibuprofen and sack a village before you start on the front suspension lol

more to come ....... hehe

Last edited by mikymu; Mon, Oct-08-2007 at 05:57:01 AM.
Jump to top mikymu is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Register now and remove these ads
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 02:32:21 AM   #2
mikymu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,601
Reputation: 0 mikymu will become famous soon enough





Default

RTAB .....

Make sure you drive your newly installed coilover for at least 2 weeks to "settle" the suspension before doing RTAB. no need to align the car until RTAB is done

OK, now let's tackle RTAB. why do we need to replace it? because Ian says so lol. our OEM RTAB is pretty lame. it is an old technology carry all the way from E36 - more than 10 years old and loose it's firmness about 50K miles and sooner if you are aggressive. why change it? bad RTAB can throw off alignment and worst of all throttle response. the excessive movement of the RTAB under acceleration soak up kinetic energy that should be translate from the wheel to the ground and push your car forward = soft gas peddle feel

RTAB is located at the end of trailing arm. un-bolt the bracket holding the brake line on the trailing arm. unclip the ABS and brake pad sensor wires from the trailing arm.


remove the plastic shield under the RTAB by removing 3 plastic clips. you do need to remove rear shock absorber on both sides from the trailing arm again to allow the trailing arm to drop low enough for access. mark around the RTAB bracket bolts with a color marker or pencil so the alignment won't be horribly off after install. loosen and remove the 3 bolts holding the RTAB/trailing arm bracket and lower the trailing arm


now, remove the RTAB bolt by using 18 mm wrench and socket. put a jack under the trailing arm so when you yank on the bolt you won't pull down on the trailing arm too much and cause strain to the brake line. no need to mark the RTAB bracket position


here is the Victory RTAB tool. BMW has a tool for it but cost >$300. many forum member rent them out ... so be nice to your neighbors and avoid posting nasty stuff on each other lol


here is view of the OEM RTAB - looks brand new lol. put the small block on one end of the OEM RTAB and fit the U shape bracket on the other end and start "pressing" out the RTAB by turning the center screw and out it comes


you do want to position the U shape bracket on the trailing arm evenly to prevent it from sliding off or damage the trailing arm. RTAB delivered - a very good feeling indeed


now the powerflex RTAB. Dan Law recommended using Loctite copper anti-seize lubricant for the job. it was a PITA to locate the damn thing. none of the auto parts store carry it. you can buy it online if you don't find them locally


goo up the RTAB, the center metal rod, the RTAB bolt/screw and opening on the trailing arm like there is no tomorrow and place them into the trailing arm. you may need to press them in and make sure they are flush against the trailing arm and the center metal rod evenly spaced on both end of powerflex RTAB


now all you need to do is put the RTAB bracket back on and torque the RTAB bolt to 81 ft-lbs. easy ...ya right. the trailing arm moves so it's very difficult getting the damn thing torqued. best bet is to get two 18mm socket and fit large and long wrench on both end. support the trailing arm with a jack to prevent excessive movement and avoid damaging the brake line. after that's done, intall the RTAB bracket and torque the RTAB bracket bolts to 57 ft-lbs and line up the marking around the bolt as much as you can


re-install all the misc items and the rear shock absorber to the trailing arm and remember to torque it to 74 ft-lbs once the car has been lowered

get your ride aligned ASAP

Last edited by Obioban; Mon, Mar-11-2019 at 03:08:45 PM.
Jump to top mikymu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 02:33:26 AM   #3
mikymu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,601
Reputation: 0 mikymu will become famous soon enough





Default

RTAB .....

Make sure you drive your newly installed coilover for at least 2 weeks to "settle" the suspension before doing RTAB. no need to align the car until RTAB is done

OK, now let's tackle RTAB. why do we need to replace it? because Ian says so lol. our OEM RTAB is pretty lame. it is an old technology carry all the way from E36 - more than 10 years old and loose it's firmness about 50K miles and sooner if you are aggressive. why change it? bad RTAB can throw off alignment and worst of all throttle response. the excessive movement of the RTAB under acceleration soak up kinetic energy that should be translate from the wheel to the ground and push your car forward = soft gas peddle feel

RTAB is located at the end of trailing arm. un-bolt the bracket holding the brake line on the trailing arm. unclip the ABS and brake pad sensor wires from the trailing arm.


remove the plastic shield under the RTAB by removing 3 plastic clips. you do need to remove rear shock absorber on both sides from the trailing arm again to allow the trailing arm to drop low enough for access. mark around the RTAB bracket bolts with a color marker or pencil so the alignment won't be horribly off after install. loosen and remove the 3 bolts holding the RTAB/trailing arm bracket and lower the trailing arm


now, remove the RTAB bolt by using 18 mm wrench and socket. put a jack under the trailing arm so when you yank on the bolt you won't pull down on the trailing arm too much and cause strain to the brake line. no need to mark the RTAB bracket position


here is the Victory RTAB tool. BMW has a tool for it but cost >$300. many forum member rent them out ... so be nice to your neighbors and avoid posting nasty stuff on each other lol


here is view of the OEM RTAB - looks brand new lol. put the small block on one end of the OEM RTAB and fit the U shape bracket on the other end and start "pressing" out the RTAB by turning the center screw and out it comes


you do want to position the U shape bracket on the trailing arm evenly to prevent it from sliding off or damage the trailing arm. RTAB delivered - a very good feeling indeed


now the powerflex RTAB. Dan Law recommended using Loctite copper anti-seize lubricant for the job. it was a PITA to locate the damn thing. none of the auto parts store carry it. you can buy it online if you don't find them locally


goo up the RTAB, the center metal rod, the RTAB bolt/screw and opening on the trailing arm like there is no tomorrow and place them into the trailing arm. you may need to press them in and make sure they are flush against the trailing arm and the center metal rod evenly spaced on both end of powerflex RTAB


now all you need to do is put the RTAB bracket back on and torque the RTAB bolt to 81 ft-lbs. easy ...ya right. the trailing arm moves so it's very difficult getting the damn thing torqued. best bet is to get two 18mm socket and fit large and long wrench on both end. support the trailing arm with a jack to prevent excessive movement and avoid damaging the brake line. after that's done, intall the RTAB bracket and torque the RTAB bracket bolts to 57 ft-lbs and line up the marking around the bolt as much as you can


re-install all the misc items and the rear shock absorber to the trailing arm and remember to torque it to 74 ft-lbs once the car has been lowered

get your ride aligned ASAP

Last edited by Obioban; Mon, Mar-11-2019 at 03:10:19 PM.
Jump to top mikymu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 02:33:57 AM   #4
mikymu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,601
Reputation: 0 mikymu will become famous soon enough





Default

OEM brake upgrade ....



OK, without spending 5K large for Brembo like brake kit, how do we maximize our OEM brake potential? well, here is couple suggestions that are practiced by many on the forum. all of the following DIY can be found on M3 madrussian's web site and most of the parts can be had from Dave Z

1. upgrade the rubber brake line to stainless steel to avoid heat induced expansion of rubber lines under hard braking - hence reduce brake fade. i used stop tech SS brake lines and the quality was top notch.


2. i used turner motorsport's caliper bushing upgrade kit and replaced the crappy OEM rubber bushing which can cause excessive movement of caliper under braking. i swear, the OEM brake bushing must be engineer by the same guy that makes the OEM RTAB lol. the change was great
i was able to put back Axxis Ultimate brake pads and it eliminate the incident of pad noise by 98% -- less than OEM pads

TMS vs. OEM rubber bushing


this is the only tool needed to install the TMS bushing - to help put the clip on the end of the bushing


what the TMS bushing look like after install


the marking on the rotors are now much more even and mirror like. it is suppose to have less pad and rotor wear


3. finally, replacing the brake fluid to higher temp ATE blue racing fluid so they won't boil as easily

final look of the brake mod



************************************************** *******

So, how does it drive after TCK, powerflex RTAB and brake upgrade?

one word .... AMAZING

TC Kline suspension with 500/600 springs was slightly less harsh then OEM and it turns like the car is on rail. i can fly through the same canyon road at Auburn California w/o any body roll. OEM setup had me toss from side to side

power flex RTAB: at first i thought it was a waste of money since OEM RTAB looked perfect!? after installing the powerflex RTAB, i thought someone sneak in an extra 20 HP since any gas peddle movement equal to instant acceleration. MAN! was i amazed!!

OEM brake upgrade was simple yet effective and delivered consistent and fad free feel without brake pad noise.

i am sooooo happy i did these mods and will not hesitate to recommend to any forum member that are looking for an edge over the stock setup. so, did i accomplished the goal .... striving for the 997 S feel? well, i not only accomplish it, i won't be surprised if i went beyond it

i would like to thank Ian (obioban) and Dan Law for your help. can't do it w/o your assistance


Last edited by Obioban; Mon, Mar-11-2019 at 03:09:51 PM.
Jump to top mikymu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 02:53:35 AM   #5
bmwJohhnyD
user formerly known as bmwbob
 
bmwJohhnyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Age: 50
Posts: 13,436
Reputation: 0 bmwJohhnyD has disabled reputation
Location: New York #7/Fedic

United Nations




Default

uh oh.. the master at diy write ups is back...

there will never be another question about suspension installs...
Jump to top bmwJohhnyD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 02:56:57 AM   #6
yamashek
@ttsad
 
yamashek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 491
Reputation: 0 yamashek has disabled reputation

United States




Default

Subscribed
__________________
Jump to top yamashek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 03:59:34 AM   #7
Rez
Moderator
 
Rez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 14,941
Reputation: 637 Rez has a reputation beyond reputeRez has a reputation beyond reputeRez has a reputation beyond reputeRez has a reputation beyond reputeRez has a reputation beyond reputeRez has a reputation beyond repute





Default

Damn, you are good
Jump to top Rez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 06:43:52 AM   #8
LiquidM3tal
Registered User
 
LiquidM3tal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,610
Reputation: 0 LiquidM3tal has disabled reputation

United States




Default

mikymu at it again
__________________
Jump to top LiquidM3tal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 06:59:02 AM   #9
unknownmango
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 622
Reputation: 0 unknownmango is on a distinguished road

Israel




Default

good write up!
Jump to top unknownmango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mon, Oct-01-2007, 07:02:08 AM   #10
Wayward
TwinTurbo
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 19,357
Reputation: 0 Wayward is on a distinguished road

United States




Default

jeezus wish I had the time to learn that sh#t.
Jump to top Wayward is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
back, brake, kline, nfl, oem, rtab, running, style, suspension, upgrade

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
TC Kline Suspension from E46 M3 whayes Parts for Sale/Wanted 30 Fri, Jun-27-2008 05:30:41 PM
Garage Cleaning Cont...FS: UUC SS Brake Lines / RTAB & FCAB Tools / OEM LED Left Tail BAV_M_PWR Parts for Sale/Wanted 16 Wed, May-28-2008 12:49:36 PM
TC Kline Full D/A Suspension Peterp Parts for Sale/Wanted 22 Thu, May-22-2008 09:43:13 PM
Issues running 4 oem 18" rear wheels on stock suspension? liuk3 M3 Track: Racing and DE 20 Sat, Apr-21-2007 05:32:27 AM
E46 M3 OEM Brake Upgrade BlueSky Parts for Sale/Wanted 15 Fri, Mar-02-2007 12:09:27 AM



All times are GMT. The time now is 01:10:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
M3Forum.com and M3forum.net is in no way sponsored, endorsed or affiliated by or with BMW NA / BMW AG or any of it's subsidiaries or vendors.
BMW and M3 (E90 M3 | E92 M3 | E93 M3 | E46 M3 | E36 M3 | E30 M3) are registered trademarks of BMW AG.
M3Forum Terms of Service
Copyright 1999-2017 M3Forum.com
Discussing M3 - NFL running back style: TC Kline suspension, RTAB and OEM brake upgrade in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)