The first two parts of the Project E36 M3 articles were about getting some of the basics sorted out, as well as setting some ground work for future changes to the car. The future officially starts now, with the introduction of Version 1.0 of our suspension upgrade path. The Hanchey Vehicle Technologies (HVT) 6100i “coilover” suspension you see above is the groundwork for our handling package. While this is a custom prototype setup at the moment, you’d never guess that by looking at the quality of the components, let alone the actual quality of the internals.
The front struts appear almost indestructible in their build quality, and would make for nice pieces of art hanging on the wall of any car guy’s garage or man cave. The mounting points make those on the original factory parts look like cheap knockoffs in comparison. HVT took everything they’ve learned from years of experience, including their vast work in GRAND-AM, and poured all that knowledge into this casing design.
We were only able to get the dampers, springs and new end links installed for Part 3, as well as dialing in what should be optimum ride heights for a combination of street and track use. That height could very well be adjusted depending on the amount of snow we get this winter, as Project M3 has no intention of becoming a snow plow.
The ride so far is absolutely incredible. While we opted for a bit of a compromise spring rate, erring more towards comfort and grip, it’s still considerably stiffer than OE springs. That said, the ride is much better than it was on stock springs, even with relatively new Koni Sport shocks and struts. The dampers soak up even the harshest of bumps, yet are somehow able to communicate the road surface to the driver with great detail. Body roll, even with the stock anti-roll bars, is reduced greatly. Part 4 will include the addition of our new anti-roll bars, which I’ll refer to as sway bars from this point forward out of habit, as well as a few more stock replacement parts and upgrades.
Follow Project E36 M3 here: