This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been after the cake. I installed linear rate springs in my F30 328i, too. I should have learned my lesson. But that car didn’t have dynamic dampers like the E9X M3’s equipped with EDC, or Electronic Dampening Control.
EDC includes 3 modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport. What that actually does is adjust the rebound – that is, the return of the dampers. The quicker rebound in Sport mode results in less body roll and more responsive feeling through the steering wheel. Rebound in Comfort mode is slower and helps the chassis better absorb road irregularities. This is the mode to configure if you want to keep the wife happy.
Again, enter Swift Spec R’s. They’re designed with spring rates optimal for the factory dampers and will work even better with aftermarket high performance solutions. But why Swift? Well…
“Swift made a name for themselves on tracks world wide by defying all accepted concepts and speculations about the future, if any, in coil spring science. When many other companies were looking at expensive and brittle titanium composites to create the next evolution of springs, Swift was looking at reinventing the entire science of coil spring dynamics. Swift saw that most others were using the old regular silicone chrome material, which was not strong enough. They used a heat tempering method that damaged the strength of the material requiring more coils, and in turn, more weight. The material was also suffering from a short life span. With springs like this leading the industry, Swift saw room for improvement.”
I didn’t write that bit and I’m honestly not sure who did. But according to Swift’s website their priorities are:
1. The most consistent spring rate throughout the stroke
2. The largest amount of stroke
3. The highest durability against loss of spring height
4. The lightest in weight
Swift’s R&D team created a material called H5S.TW, which is stronger than the regular silicone chrome material. Because of this material Swift could make the spring wire thinner and could wind the springs with fewer coils, which greatly decreased weight while dramatically increasing the available stroke.
Back to my own wordsmithing.
So for $300 (plus labor and an alignment), I could pair a decent EDC system with replacement springs from Swift, arguably the best spring manufacturer in the world, that are the lightest and retain the most stroke, consistently. Giggity. And they won’t saaaaagggg.
So yes, cost was a factor. Isn’t it always? If it wasn’t we’d all have Bilstein PSS10 or Ohlins equipped cars. The Swift Spec R springs have received praise from those who drive their car similar to myself. It makes sense. So I did it. And here’s how it went:
The installation took more work that we anticipated. The entire front suspension needed to come undone. The brake rotors, calipers and knuckle all come off in order to make room for the front spring and strut assembly to come out. Honestly though, it wasn’t too bad of a job. We got the left and right sides mixed up during the re-install and was able to correct it all in ten minutes or so. Don’t be intimidated.
Post install, I drove the car around for a few days before heading over to one of my favorite performance shops, PTUNING. They have a state of the art alignment machine. Because it’s in-ground it’s perfect for all performance cars. Stanced and bagged cars included.
Without any additional parts, just the Swift Spec R springs, I was able to get -1.9 degrees of front camber and -1.7 degrees of camber in the rear. To give you an idea, stock springs with pins pulled from the strut hats tend to get right around -1.4 degrees of front camber. So not bad. I was hoping for -2.0 degrees up but I’ll take what I can get.
Swift Spec R Springs Specs
Part Number: 4X903R
Spring Rates: 279 lbs/in Front / 670 lbs/in Rear [Compared to 160/550 stock]
Drop Front: -1.0″ drop
Drop Rear: -0.7″ drop