We believe at Spires that vehicle tuning is as much about the detail as the parts to install. All the parts we install on customers vehicles are specifically tuned by us or carefully selected from our product suppliers.
Getting the selection correct and setting it up to maximise the benefit is directly proportional to the end result.
BMW E36 M3 is an amazing car, it lends itself to being a brilliant track day contender. Our customer brought this car to us and asked what was possible. He wanted something with less roll and much more capability on track. He’d read the report about the Dale Lomas – Bridge to Gantry E36 328i we built a couple of years ago and wondered if he could have the same. The car is by far one of the best examples we’ve seen. Very clean, clearly loved and cared for and had already been modified with Bilstein B6 sport dampers and Eibach Pro Kit springs. Half cage, racing seats and belts and stripped out the rear seats and unnecessary trim components, but then refinished with lightweight carpet to ease the drive to and from the track.
The shopping list:
Spires tuned Nitron R1 dampers including camber and caster adjustable top mounts
Spires specified Nitron and Eibach ERS springs
Eibach E36 M3 ARB kit including bushes and drop links
Eibach adjustable rear camber arms
Eibach 20mm front wheel spacers (Extra long wheel studs previously installed)
As previously mentioned, this car has been cared for, so removing the original components was very straight forward, as was the installation of the replacement parts. But as we are driven by the detail, a few tweaks and modifications were made to ensure an installation we at Spires could be proud of. The front wheel travel on E36 is excessive by any standards, but we recognise this chassis enjoys the travel to enable a car to stay in contact with the ground. The Nitron R1 kit as standard has a much reduced damper travel, limiting what the front wheel can achieve, so we extend the damper length and travel to maximise tyre contact with the ground. When combined with our bespoke Spires damper tune, the results are a more competent track day car for UK, European and worldwide tracks.
The other modification was to the front ARB bushes, slightly reducing the pre-load on the bar enables the front wheels to articulate an little easier and making the car easier to drive to and from the track without being pulled in and out of truck ruts.
Once built, we applied our skills to the corner weighting and geometry of the car. The customer didn’t want a ‘slammed’ example so with the car ballasted to replicate 1/2 fuel load, corner weights and ride heights were adjusted to give maximum wheel travel with 50/50 diagonal and 51/49 front rear mass distributions. Rear camber up to -2.2 deg with the aide of the Eibach adjustable camber arms and the front a small amount further with the Nitron adjustable top mounts then combined with significantly more caster than OE for steering feel and precision and front and rear toe settings to finish the set up.
The results are really impressive. A car that feels nimble and fun to drive on the road without too much intrusion form the springs which have almost doubled the wheel rates.
Lots of images of before and after.
The shopping List:
The original parts were simple to remove, as the car had been cared for:
Lots of wheel travel:
The start of the transformation: