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      12-04-2014, 07:18 AM   #41

Drives: '15 AW M3 6MT Stripper
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SE PA

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post

You can't simply do an alignment to solve a geometry problem. It's the toe-change with wheel travel curve that is set in stone when the suspension is designed. If you tried to set the static toe at a more toe-out setting to arrive at less total toe on full loading, you'd create an unstable situation in straight ahead driving (i.e. rear toed out on both sides). So alignment will not be able to solve this designed in geometry. It is what it is on the F30 by design.

Re F30 overall, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I've been driving BMWs since 1974, autocrossing/tracking/racing them starting in 1976. The F30 is the first step by BMW "to the other side". After driving both the F30 328i and 335i and having a loaner 328i for a weekend, and then renting an F30 328i for over a week in San Francisco (and being able to wring it out in rural CA...what a beautiful area btw), my gut feeling is that the F30 is the perfect Lexus. This is not a derogative description like some want to make it however. It instead describes what BMW's target market has evolved toward, and they are aimed solidly down that path. Getting back into the E90 (either the 330i or M3) feels wonderful after driving the F30s...solidly connected, precise feel/communication, etc.

I doubt the same rear suspension geometry is used on the F80 as the F30. BMW simply wouldn't do that to the M3 imo. The M3 is a different beast in *many* important ways, and BMW still has the proper focus and intent with the F80 imo.


I'll be the first one to say that you are far more experienced, far more deeply experienced, and a far more knowledgeable guy than me when it comes to BMW's overall and suspension setup.

So with that being said, let me clarify: What you said about alignment may have missed what I was saying. You can't change the toe-in under compression setup of the suspension geometry BUT YOU CAN alter other characteristics if you want more neutrality or less understeer in your f30 - you can do this with alignment (different static camber setups front vs. rear), tire choices, and of course suspension alteration.

I know my opinion of the f30 is unpopular. I've driven everything through a 435i and just can't get over the steering - like I said, it's a bad flaw.

But aside from that, the f30 chassis and suspension setup is worlds better at sporty daily driving than any prior BMW 3-series in my opinion and I get up in arms over the lexus comment. BMW moved away from historical suspension setups by 5-10% in favor of comfort and stability - but they leapfrogged it with a far improved chassis. If they had kept an excellent steering setup, most fans would praise the F30. But it's numb and dead.

When you take that out of it and just toss the car around, it's far more tossable and yet stable than any prior 3-series I've driven.

One last comment, and maybe this is damning with faint praise: My two favorite f30s I've driven were historically considered the worst performers: 328i x-drive models.

Maybe it's because they weren't trying to be the sporty models. About 4 months ago I took a loaner 328xi wagon and had cackling rally driving madness fun with it on a huge dirt drive. It was so intensely easy to control and yet egging me on to toss it against the dirt and enter slides. I look back fondly on those 30 minutes.
AW/Carbonstructure 6MT 2015 M3 picked up 8/22/2014. Stripper except for adaptive suspension. Weighed at 3,450 pounds with 1/4 fuel. 70,000 miles as of February 2020.