BMW M3 suspension upgrades


Asked by Jan 22, 2009 at 04:43 PM about the 1997 BMW M3

Question type: Car Customization

Does anyone have any suggestions to upgrade a stock 1997 BMW M3 suspension? I am looking to have a weekend track car, yet still streetable, and less than $2000.  I was thinking double adjustable coilovers would satisfy my needs, but I was wondering on a brand.

13 Answers


Are you kidding? That's an M3 Bimmer! The suspension should be fine as is. If anything, replace the struts due to age and wear. Then you should be good to go! You may want to go with Koni or Bilstein though. However, factory BMW should do nicely!


It will be used mostly for autocross, and right now it has ALOT of body roll


Body roll isn't necessarily a bad thing if the chassis is designed for it, you make it too tight and the tires will want to crush the sidewall and skip. Best recommendation I can give is to find a bimmer club where they autocross and see what some of the better guys are running with. My guess is shocks and torsion/sway bars are the main thing to look at, especially in the front. However I'm not a BMW driver and I've definitely never prep'ed one.


Again!..You're driving an M3 which is the high performance version of the car. I think you said it's a 1997 model; it's 12 years old! Change out the struts! Chances are they are the original ones. After you've done that, re- evaluate what you have? I think you'll be just fine with the factory suspension. Those cars were tested originally in the twisties of the Black Forest and Nuremburg Ring. They are geared to run triple didgets and be responsives to high speed braking! Trust me, I've driven the Autobahn on a daily basis while stationed in Germany. That suspension should be more than adequate for an autocross.


Sound advise but that's an M3. That suspension is already lazer tuned from the factory. His struts are more than likely worn out.


are you kidding man, it's M3 never think about any upgrades for it it's perfect car perfect as it is without any changes or upgrades .


i want to ask a question plz what kind of upgrades u wanna do ..... u want to upgrade the machine performance, external shape , add luxury options or what ??


Well right now it is professionally supercharged, with their tune (although I could have done it myself, doing it right is hard without a dyno), intake, exhaust. Planned is suspension (double adjustable), and a new rear gears around 3.73 would be nice, although already on the highway it is screaming at like 3000, 3500 just doing 80. With the interior I am hoping for new seats, and right now there is 5 point harnesses.


Sorry Matt; sound to me like you have money to spend and you're planning on doing so wether you need to or not. Unlike us workin class guys, must be nice to have disposable income to blow like that.


oh I am still budget minded, but like you mentioned before it is time for new suspension all around, its just at the end of its life. But I was thinking while I am at it, instead of putting it back to stock upgrading it for hopefully just a little more. I have not looked into prices for what stock would be but knowing BMW there is no way it is going to be cheap. And just like every other guys car, the upgrades are planned pending funding :)


Well based solely upon the age of the car, the struts are suspect and should be changed. You'd be better off checking the price on M3 replacements and an aftermarket upgrade. Compare the price and do the install; road test and see where you are. It's foolish to buy parts for the sake of experimentation. Especially if you can't return them!


hmmmmm good point. without a doubt it needs struts and it has the infamous BMW rear suspension rattle, so I know it is time for new everything but I will price out a stock set up, to see if they are cheaper, as of now it seems to be 1500 for the whole set up


The M3 suspension was almost perfect, if you are looking for a weekend racer I'd advice you on adjustable coil overs and a strut brace.

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