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Thread: 110k refresh advice with expectation of a few track days/year

  1. #11
    I keep seeing a different set of parts suggested for the standard refresh. The shop I'm talking to says I only need shocks/struts and mounts as well as FCA and FCABs. Figure I may as well spend a little more for reinforcement plates and bump stops so that's an easy decision.

    What about sway bar end links and RTABs...what's the cost/benefit of doing/not doing these as part of the refresh (both $ as well as post-refresh performance)?

    Also, roughly how many hours should a suspension refresh take a decent shop (labor cost)?

    Thanks for all the help guys.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Socal
    Posts
    1,048
    I don't know what else there is to clarify. We've pretty much suggested everything based on your original post. For a standard refresh with no track events, of course you can get away with the absolute bare minimum.

    Endlinks you don't really need. But if you're modifying the suspension, you may need shorter ones.

    RTABs, keeps your rear in line. You will probably need to replace them.

    Not sure how much a shop would charge. Could you DIY? Saves money and it's a great way to learn more about the car.

  3. #13
    Would really enjoy giving the DIY a try, but probably would want to do it under the watchful eye of someone who was experienced.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    38
    Suspension: I have just about 120K on my ZHP, and just did a suspension refresh prior to a couple trackdays this past year. I went with the Bilstein HD, which feel a bit harder than the old OEM units. I did the Z4M FCABs, front tower reinforcement plates, and reinforced rear shock mounts. The shop said I didn't need rear RTABs, so I didn't do them (still have them if you want to buy them). What I regret not doing was some caster/camber plates for the front suspension. There is very little camber up there. And the reinforcement plates means you can't even slide the suspension the little bit available from the slotted holes.

    Brakes: I normally use Hawk DTC-60 up front, and an aggressive street pad in the rear. I have a set of slotted rotors up front, too. This last trackday, I had to buy a set of Carbotek XP12 of a guy. They performed with no issues, but I felt like they had less bite than the Hawk pads. If you are going to use an r-compound tire, then you will definitely need a trackday brake pad. Once you have done it a couple times, it only takes a few minutes to swap the pads. I have used street pads with street tires twice. Once was a rainy session at VIR, the other was also at VIR when I forgot to pack my trackday pads. That is how I ended up with the Carbotek pads. I was in the morning on street tires. I just limited my speeds on the front and back straights to about 90mph, rather than running it up to 120+mph.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Socal
    Posts
    1,048
    Quote Originally Posted by nsk040 View Post
    Would really enjoy giving the DIY a try, but probably would want to do it under the watchful eye of someone who was experienced.
    Just skype someone if you run into a problem. I've been one of those people that people skype to tell/show me the problem they were having and how to work around it lol You have a whole forum of people you could ask if you run into a problem. The DIYs on E46f are a great resource. You'll be fine.

  6. #16
    Appreciate all the input from everyone. Think I'm going to try DIY for brakes for the experience, but will let a shop do the suspension. What's a fair labor quote for shocks/struts/mounts/rtabs assuming I drop the car off with all the parts in the trunk?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    1,161
    I got my rear suspension done recently. Things I got replaced were RTABs (with limiters), upper and lower (outer) ball joints, sway bar bushings and end links. The old ball joints and RTABs could sometimes be difficult to pull out. The shop charged me 5 hours of labor - which I feel is quite fair. If you throw in shocks and RSMs, the number should not go up. The rear shocks are very easy to replace.

    The front suspension stuff I got done in early 2015. I got steering guibo, FCABs, control arms, outer tie rods, sway bar end links and bushings replaced. It was a different shop and it took them 5 hours to do all of this. The struts may add another hour to that. You get the idea - the front and rear suspension combined would take almost 8-9 hours to do.
    anandoc

    2004 330i auto | ZPP, ZCW | Schwarz 2 (668) | schwarz (N6SW)

    aFe Stage-1 Pro DRY S intake | Morimoto FX-R 3.0 retrofit | ///M3 Seats (power, heat, bolster adj.) | ///M3 Strut Brace | ///M3 SMG Steering Wheel retrofit | OEM Alarm retrofit | GROM USB | Khoalty angel eyes


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    38
    It can be pretty expensive. I did not go to the dealer, but there is not a great/cheap shop where I live. It cost me $2100 for rear shocks with new reinforced mounts, front struts, FCABs, rear upper ball joints, RTAB limiter bushings, and an alignment; plus install a new theromstat and recharge the A/C.

  9. #19

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