SSR Competition Wheels with Kumho V700 Tires

Subject: SSR Competition 17″ x 8.5″ Wheels
Kumho Victoracers V700 225/45-ZR17 Tires
Cost: $ 2,118
Good: Sticky, Light Weight, Good Cost vs. Performance Ratio
Bad: Dedicated for racing – off goes the stock system and on goes the racing system and repeat. Plus, I need to put on a “GASP” trailer hitch and pull a trailer with my Z!!!!
Installer: Mounted, Balanced & Heat Cycled by The Tire Rack. Mounted on car by yours truly

When I started autocrossing my car, I used stock 16″ tires & wheels, even though I race in the ASP class in North Carolina & Virginia, which allows for larger & wider systems. I found myself a consistent 2 seconds back from the winner. So I promised myself that I would go to the next step to start winning some races if not close the gap, by purchasing a tire/wheel set for autocrossing.

After viewing past posts on the message board and the Tire Rack Q&A section. I made a list of things that I expect from this investment.

1. Best Cost vs. Performance ratio for the tires & wheels

2. Best Lightest weight vs. Strength ratio for the wheel

3. Capable to rotate tires from front to back to maximize usage

Wheels: The list of wheels I looked at was BBS RK & RX, SSR Integrals, Forge Lines, IFG, and various other lightweight track wheel manufacturers. I wanted my wheels to be spoked, so that the maximum amount of air can cool the brakes and make it easy for me to clean the wheels. I came close to purchasing either the SSR Integrals or the BBS RKs. But this past Christmas, I saw those new SSR Competitions and saw the estimated weights and costs and I was sold on them. After calling Aaron of The Tire Rack (www.tirerack.com), we determined that the 17 x 8.5″ wheels would work for me. I want the wheels to be the same size all the way around so that I could rotate my system from front to back. Aaron informed me that he weighed one of the wheels and it came in at 15.1 pounds. Now I could not verify his weight, because, I had Aaron mount and balance my system before shipment. The cost of the wheels was: $ 365/ea

Tires: The list of tires were of-course Hoosiers, BF Goodrich, & Kumhos. Since the Kumhos were the least expensive tires and the “new-kid-on-the-block” for track tires, I searched the website for people that has experience with these tires & The Tire Rack has an article on how to use the V700. I found that they were satisfied with the purchase and any down falls were minimal. This was good news for me, because of the Kumho’s low cost versus the other brands’ high costs. I originally wanted 235/40-ZR17, but after looking at the Tire Rack’s ad and talking with Aaron, I had to be satisfied with 225/45-ZR17 tires. Kumho does not offer a 235 in the V700s, only 225 & 245. I also had The Tire Rack heat cycle the tires, so that they will be ready for racing. For those persons who do not know what heat cycling is, The Tire Rack has a good explaination. The cost of the tires was: $ 130/ea, The cost to heat cycle them: $ 15/ea.

When the system arrived it was nicely packaged so that the wheels would not be damaged during shipment.

The wheels also included mounting bolts that works with the SSRs and a center hub adaptor to make the wheel hub centric. Now I would rather wished that SSR made the wheels dedicated to the BMW, but that is only wishful thinking. I do love the look of those center adaptors. They are made of aluminum and anodized black with the “Mille Miglia” logo printed on the surface.

Conclusion: I did a brief drive around my neighborhood. Of course I could not do any speed trials or see how she corners. I did not feel like using up my tires before I could race them. But, I can say this, that I could tell the difference in stiffness and stickiness of the rubber – – WOW! All due to the larger rim diameter, thicker sidewalls & slower durometer of the tires. I will give an update later during the racing season after I have a couple races under my belt with these new tires and wheels. Plus, I might bring home a trophy =:o

Update: I recently talked to my friend who autocrosses a Mustang 5.0L in the ESP class and he told me I could use the 245 on an 8.5″ wheel with no problems, because he does. I guess I know what tire size I will be purchasing next.

Hartage Classic Wheels

19″ Hartage Classic’s Wheels

19″x8″ (front)

with 235/35/19 Yokahama AVS Sport

19″x”9.5 (rear)

with 265/30/19 Yokahama AVS Sport

Laguna Seca

The Night Before – Preparation time! I checked and topped off all fluids and set the tires to slightly over track psi because there is not air at the track… it is better to have too much then to little. You will adjust these at the track. If you have been running on the same air filter and oil filter for a while you might want to swap these out. Make sure to bring water and possibly some bananas. Tracking is a very tiring de-hydrating exercise and the getting a leg cramp at the wrong time can be fatal! Luckily a friend warned me of this. Unfortunately I wasn’t warned about the need to bring tools. The tech session described below outlines this problem. Don’t forget the helmet and get lots of sleep.

5:30am Alarm – Ouch! I woke up, drove from beautiful scenic Salinas to Laguna Seca. On the way to the track, I filled up the tank of gas. Don’t forget to do this, because track gas, if available at all, is very very expensive! You will use a full tank at an all day track event.

Doug Peete7:00am Laguna Seca Racing Paddock For Tech Session – Here the cars were checked to make sure they are in good working order. Being a guest of the Miata club made things a bit difficult because they didn’t have the tools required to inspect my car. My recommendation to guests at other car make’s events is to make sure you bring a full set of the appropriate sockets and wrenches, a torque wrench and any manuals required to prove you are using the proper torque settings. Also make sure that all of your car’s fluids are at the proper level (don’t overfill) and are not leaking.

Foggy MThe tech session was also a good time to size up the other cars at the event. I would guess that we had nearly 50 cars at the event. While every form of Miata from stock to supercharged was well represented there were also a few other “oddballs”. Namely we had: a vintage Shelby 350, an early ’90’s Mustang 5.0, a C4 Corvette, three Porsche Boxsters, three Honda S2000s, an e36 M3, an e34 M5 and a Ferrari 355. Woohooo! It is very neat watching and listening to the other cars turn laps.

* Some tips for the beginners at their first track event: Remove the floormats and any loose items from the cockpit. I ditched all of the items in the glovebox, the items in the cargo net, the items in my Leatherz armrest, the mobility kit in the trunk and all of the tools.

* The side windows were required by the track to be down. I also found I preferred the top down and I used the tonneau cover to make sure any “agricultural excursions” didn’t result in a dirty liner.

* Ear plugs are highly recommended (yes, in addition to the helmet) as the wind noise will scare you into driving slower due to the perceived speed from the wind noise. Don’t worry, you can hear the engine, brakes and tires just fine with the ear plugs and the helmet.

* Get the tires to the right pressure. I had the tires at 34 psi from the night before and dropped them to 32 psi at the track. Street use for my setup is 30 psi.

* Dig into a banana and water… it is never too early to start hydrating.

8:00am Class – Class consisted mostly of describing proper track etiquette (hand signals for passing and indicating a lowering of speed as well as thanking the corner workers), the flag system in use for our event (my head hurt from cramming in all of the flag meanings) and a short introduction to the instructors. We also were divided up into three groups ranging from first timers (me) in Group C to the old pros in Group A. The entire day was divided into 20-minute sessions that rotated the Group which was on the track.

* To sum up a few points: Our Flag System (Not the definitive flag system!!!):

o Green – go,go,go

o Standing Yellow – proceed with caution & no passing

o Waving Yellow – danger ahead, proceed with caution & no passing

o Blue with Yellow Stripe – passing is okay

o Red and Yellow Stripes – surface problem on track, slow to a stop and await instructions from track worker

o Red – some sort of major problem, slow to a stop and await instruction

o Black – you did a “no-no”, proceed to the pits for a talking to

o Checkered – final lap, no passing cool down lap

* Always give some waves or thumbs up to the corner workers on the final lap. They spend all day in their boring towers keeping your butt safe, so thank them on your cool down lap!

The Starting Grid

9:00am First Lap – The first session is a very slow “follow the instructor lap”. Speeds are kept to under 50mph. The main goal is to learn the proper lines to take on the track. In 20 minutes we were able to get several laps around the track. Tip: In the starting grid try to get as close to an instructor as possible. Remember the “telephone game” where a large group gets into a circle and someone in the circle whispers a message to the person next to them and that person passes the message to the person next to them and so on until the message returns to the recipient. The message never is the same when it returns to the first person… such is the follow the instructor game – the car behind the instructor takes a slightly sloppier line, the next car is sloppier and the next is sloppier still.

Also, the speeds on the first lap are very slow. At slow speeds the lines demonstrated by the instructor don’t make sense and seem exaggerated – they aren’t! At this point the best thing you can do is turn on your mental tape recorder and record the lines… you will be happy later on when you are at speed and the lines begin to make sense. Not following these lines will result in an “agricultural excursion” for you and your car.

The track initially seems docile until the back set of laps starting with a left turn resulting a quick elevation change up, a flat tight ess turn followed three-story plummet of an ess turn known as the Corkscrew. I never knew that racing consisted of elevation changes as well as the usual left/right turns. Driving along on the flat ess and then watching the road literally disappear from sight is an unnerving feeling!

* Some tips for the beginners at their first track event: Never ever set your parking brake following a session. This can cause warped rotors.

* Always give the car a cool down run after the session. I usually took my checkered flag lap at 8/10ths except for 1 or 2 of the turns which I really wanted to work on and then would follow my lap with a slow run around the parking lot inside the track to get the engine and brake temps down.

* Have some more water and chant the following mantra “I will not cramp, I will not cramp…”

9:40am My First Session In An Instructor Car – Ace driver and tuner, Rick Weldon of PR Motorsports – Hayward gave me a ride inside his race-prepped Miata. The car was an early model Miata stripped of many of the interior parts, outfitted with a tuned suspension, a tuned intake and exhaust and ready to roll at just over 2500 pounds and 140hp. A reasonable power-to-weight ratio, but the beauty was watching Rick drive. While there wasn’t any lap timing going on, it was easy to see that Rick’s performance was several seconds faster than ANY CAR on the track… high performance German and Italian metal included. The old adage that the first nut that needs to be tightened is the one behind the wheel is very true. It was hard to notice actual speeds during the white knuckle ride, but Rick was easily able to pile at least another 5 mph on top of my speeds through the Corkscrew!

It was amazing to be in the car with Rick as he told me how to approach each section of track. Again my brain recorder clicked into the Record Mode so that I could attach his sound bytes to my track visuals I was also mentally recorded. Throughout the rest of the day I replayed Rick’s words over and over to encourage myself to find the same smooth flow that Rick showed me on the track. Rick also provided me with one really neat experience… the final lap of our session he told me to narrate the flow of the lap as he had been doing throughout the previous laps. This really helped cement all of his words permanently into my mind. I am not sure if this is a standard instructor tip, but it was an awesome way to prep me for my next lap. Thank you Rick! Tip: Get an instructor ride ASAP so you can feel the right flow around the track! Just following the line in the first lap didn’t give me the insight in to the track that the ride-along gave me.

10:00am My Second Session – No instructor this time. This session was mostly a get acquainted with the track driving session. My laps were slow as I learned the lines and learned how to get a good “scan” (Rick’s vocabulary) of each section. Proper setting up of a turn starts with looking through the turn, then scanning the corner workers for flags, scanning for other cars, and then sighting through the turn again. The scan took some practice to perform initially but quickly became routine and can keep you out of trouble by respecting the corner worker’s flags.

The Starting Grid

10:40am Rick Drives The ///M – Wow! Rick took the wheel of my car and gave me a ride as the instructor of one of the advanced sessions. It was incredible to feel what the car is capable of in the proper hands. Rick seemed very impressed with the capabilities of the car saying that it is a really solid and balanced vehicle. The current limits of the car were more based on the stock pads (he experienced a bit of fade) and tires (he drives DOT approved racing tires on his Miata) and not mechanical. It looks like I know what my next upgrades will be!

11:20am My Third Session – I finally started to get a better feel for the track and was able to begin picking up speed. It was during this session where I began pushing the car into some drifts around turn 2 and turn 3. Despite the Stage I Dinan suspension, I could still feel the car tending to understeer in the drift, causing me to drift farther to the outside of the turns than I wanted (am I just rationalizing the adjustable roll bars in addition to the new pads and tires Rick recommended? Nah!)

On a related note, the engine in this ///M pulls just as bly as any car in the straight aways. On this lap I spent time with both the GT350 and the Ferrari and neither was able to pull an inch on the ///M. Also when I came off the track, several people commented on the exhaust note the car generated. “Your car is the coolest sounding car on the track!!!” Very cool indeed. Apparently the GT350 was louder, but the Dinan Cold Air Intake made an insane growl for the spectators standing in the pits. All this despite UPS losing my Supersprint (yes, it currently is lost… it scanned into Oakland Airport and never made it out), so I was running the stock pipes. I need to get a video camera so I can tape this next time. Anyway, whether the Dinan Stage II chip/Cold Air Intake make any horsepower is mute when these products make the car sound better then the Porsches and Ferraris with which you share the track.

Straightaway1:00pm My Fourth Session – Following lunch, we get our fourth session. Basically things start coming together on this lap. My times were consistently faster and I start learning how to four-wheel drift in turns. Just as I am starting to feel good about my experience an e34 M5 passes me with a 3 passengers in the car. Luckily it was an instructor driving, so I don’t feel too bad, I think an instructor could pass me with a bicycle! Another good reinforcement that it is the driver and not the car that makes for good laps.

My increased speeds and harder breaking really begin to heat up the stock pads. I began to feel a bit of fade towards the end of my laps. In order to avoid the infamous brake rotor warping, I take my checkered flag laps at a slightly lower pace, so the car can breathe. And hey, it is easier to wave “thank you” to the flag workers this way. Also, I drove the car for a slow victory lap around the inner-parking lot following the last lap to further blow cold air onto the brake rotors and the engine.

2:00pm My Fifth Session – The session was late because the Mustang drops some radiator fluid onto turn 3 which promptly sent an M3 and a Boxster into a spin… luckily into runoff areas without any damage. This was a great reminder that even a perfect driver can and will eventually find themselves venturing off the track. Tracking is full of random occurrences and about the only sure thing is that something strange will happen. Pay attention to flag workers and remember how difficult it is to explain to your “significant other” over the telephone that half of the car is in turn 2 and the other half is in turn 3.

After the track was cleaned (I didn’t see how) we began our fifth session. I couldn’t see any remnants of the cleanup, but we were kept under a standing yellow flag for the first two laps. This was a good time to cruise the track reminding myself of the proper line without worrying about speed and other cars. The next laps were some of my best yet, but still far from the laps Rick had in the ///M. Rick offered to sit in with me for a few laps so I pulled in and took him up on the offer. He was able to quickly identify new areas for me to concentrate on and corrected several bad habits. I should have taken him up on the offer sooner in the day since there was only one last track session for me to apply his recommendations to. The specific advice I received is moot… the instructor will give you the advice you need. Make sure you get an instructor to ride with you at least twice in the day (once in the morning to talk you through the track and then once late in the day so they can correct any bad habits picked up throughout the day.

2:35pm The Witching Hour – Late afternoon at track events is commonly called the witching hour. People are tired from running hard all day and are a little too comfortable with the track for their own good. One of the Miata’s in the Group A class (the top class) pushes it too hard in turn 2 and ends up bending a tie-rod. Apparently something always happens during the witching hours, so don’t let it be you. If you find yourself going through the motions, check yourself. Maybe it is a good time to pull into the pits and get some water and a banana!

2:50pm The Last Session – Best laps of the day by far… I even finally got a good line through the backside including the Corkscrew and turn 9, a weird off-camber turn that looks easy but somehow is quite challenging.

3:15pm The Day Is Over – Time to drive back to the East Bay. What a day!

Turn 3

Racing Dynamics Swaybars

Pros: Better handling, adjustable, solid design, more durable
Cons: Installation kit incomplete
Cost: $339

If you like to take exit ramps at speed or participate in Driver’s Schools and Autocrosses, larger Sway Bars will significantly improve the ‘turn-in’ of your Z3 and reduce understeer. The Racing Dynamics Swaybars sets include a 27mm front bar and a 17mm rear bar along with all of the mounting and reinforcement hardware necessary for the proper installation.

It took a lot of thinking to talk myself into trying this upgrade. After all, the Z3 handles better than any car I have ever been it (let alone driven). It was on the last day of the first Z3 reunion that I got a chance to talk to Mark Hughes who owns and drives the BMW sponsored Z3 race car. There were four or five of us talking to him when the conversation turned to what improvements he would suggest for the stock Z3. To make a long story short he stressed how well the Z3 was designed to be a performance car, but how the design was compensated to meet mass market approval. He said that a good first step would be thicker sway bars. He cautioned against stiffer springs and shocks if the Z3 was your everyday car, but said thicker sway bars would improve handling without compromising ride comfort.

Okay so that’s how I got talked into it, now that I have them I’m going to track down Mr. Hughes at the next reunion and buy him a beer, or two, or three. Just like he promised I haven’t been able to tell any loss of ride comfort, but put the Z3 into a hard turn and you’ll immediately notice how little the car leans. It will take you most of a Saturday to install the things, but it’s time well spent. If someday I upgrade from my 1.9 to a 2.8 these things will moving with me.

Sold By:

HMS Motorsport

www.hms-motorsport.com

(888) HMS-3BMW

Install Front Swaybar




This is an OCR/Scan of the original instructions.

FRONT & REAR SWAY BAR KIT

BMW Z3 6 CYL 97> / Z3 4 CYL 6/96> E36

PART # 196.81.36.013

READ INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY BEFORE BEGINNING INSTALLATION.

2 POSITION ADJUSTABLE 27mm FRONT SWAY BAR

1. Jack the vehicle up and place on jack stands. DO NOT WORK UNDER THE VEHICLE WITHOUT USING JACK STANDS. I used a pair of jack stands on the left and right front jack points, so during installation of the front sway bars the Z3 was kind of doing a wheelie.

2. It is suggested, but not required, to remove both front wheels to ease installation. I did not find it necessary to remove the front wheels.

3. Disconnect the stock sway bar end links from the stock sway bar ends by slipping the open end of a 16mm combination wrench between the tire rod boot and sway bar. Then loosen the tie rod nut using a 17mm combination wrench. The picture on the right shows how I accomplished this task. Be somewhat gentle so you don’t damage or tear the rubber boot on the wheel side of the sway bar.

4. Remove the bushing clamps holding the sway bar to the chassis using a 10mm deep socket, and remove the stock sway bar and rubber bushings. After unbolting these clamps the sway bar will be free of the Z3.

Once the front sway bar was removed I compared it too the replacement front sway bar. As you can see the racing dynamics (green) bar is larger and ticker than the stock (black) bar. In this picture you can also compare the stock rubber bushings (black) to the urethane replacement bushings (blue).

5. Lubricate the insides of the urethane bushings with a lithium or moly based grease before installing on the bar in the stock location. NOTE: Failing to grease the bushings will cause them to squeak and wear prematurely. The grease didn’t come with the kit, so make sure you have some before you take your Z3 apart. I found some lithium grease at the local hardware store. Would have been nice if they could have included a small tube of in in the kit.

6. Secure the new bar to the chassis using the factory bushing clamps. but do not tighten the nuts. Because the urethane bushings do not compress as easily as the factory bushings, it may be helpful to spray the outside of the bushing with lubricant, then secure the clamp with a vise grip while aligning the holes. Make sure the bushing seats correctly in the clamp. I used a little of this lithium grease on the outside of the urethane bushings to make them slide in easier. The warning about not tightening the nuts is because they want the rod to move freely until you lower the car. Then once the bar is in it’s natural position under the weight of the Z3 you will tighten it.

7. Attach the sway bar ends to the stock sway bar end links. For more under steer, choose the sway bar: hole furthest from the end of the bar. For less under steer, choose the hole nearest to the end of the bar. Don’t get too tied up with the two different settings right now. You will enjoy feeling the effect of the two different settings on your own so I recommend you start on the loose/outside/hole nearest the end of the bar setting. I started on the loose setting, then went to the tight setting. I prefer the tight setting on the front sway bar.

8. Reinstall the front wheels and lower the vehicle so the full weight of the car is on the suspension. While checking for adequate clearances and proper bar centering, torque the bushing clamp to floorpan hardware to 20 ft/lbs. Okay here’s where is gets difficult. The instructions tell you to lower your Z3 then crawl under it and torque these nuts. Well folks most of us don’t fit under our Z3 without a little help. I ended up parking the Z3 at the end of the driveway where there is a slight drop off to the street. That way I could lay in the street and get under the Z3 to tighten the nuts.

9. Retorque all hardware after 500 miles. At 500 and again at 1000 miles I rechecked the torque and found that additional tightening was not needed. (but to be safe I’ll would still recommend checking.

Install Rear Swaybar


This is an OCR/Scan of the original instructions. Original instructions are in black my additional comments and suggestions are in red.

FRONT & REAR SWAY BAR KIT

BMW Z3 6 CYL 97> / Z3 4 CYL 6/96> E36

PART # 196.81.36.013

READ INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY BEFORE BEGINNING INSTALLATION.

2 POSITION ADJUSTABLE 17mm REAR SWAY BAR

1. Jack the vehicle up and place on jack stands. DO NOT WORK UNDER THE VEHICLE WITHOUT USING JACK STANDS. I used a pair of jack stands on the left and right rear jack points, so during installation of the rear sway bars the Z3 was kind of standing on its head.

2. It is suggested, but not required, to remove both rear wheels and the spare tire to ease installation. Okay this time you definitely have to remove the tires and the spare tire.

3. Disconnect the stock sway bar end links from the lower control arms using two 13mm combination wrenches. It is not necessary to remove the links from the sway bar.The picture on the right shows how I accomplished this task. The vise grips were very handy since I really couldn’t get both hands into this area very easily.

4. Remove the bushing clamps holding the sway bar to the chassis using a 10mm deep socket. After unbolting these clamps the sway bar will be free of the Z3. However this sucker is going to be a pain in the ass to remove. It will be like trying to trying to solve a rubix cube. With the bends in the sway bar you’ll keep getting hung/stuck on the cage that holds the spare tire and other things. I ended up lowering the exhaust a little by removing one of the exhaust rubber hangers and that helped.

5. Remove the sway bar towards the passenger side of the vehicle noting its original position. If necessary the rear control arm can be supported with a jack while the lower shock bolt is removed to allow the shock to pivot clear as the bar is removed. Like I said in the previous step, this sway bar thing is really tough to get free of the Z3. The suggestion about “lower shock bolt is removed to allow the shock to pivot clear” kind of scared me because it sounded like they wanted me to mess with the shock and I didn’t want to do that. Don’t get too frustrated, like I said it’s like solving a rubix cube. Take your time and you will figure out how to get it out of there.

6. Install the new sway bar with the arms facing toward the front of the car. The middle of the bar should be bent downward and positioned above the differential housing. Getting the new bar is easier than getting the old bar out (thank god). By now you should be VERY familiar with how everything is positioned so this won’t be very difficult.

7. Lubricate the insides of the urethane bushings with a lithium or moly based grease before installing on the bar in the stock location. NOTE: failing to grease the bushings will cause them to squeak and wear prematurely. Same grease as on the front sway bar. Put a little dab on the outside too.

8. Secure the new bar to the chassis using the two factory bushing clamps, but do not tighten the nuts. Because the urethane bushings do not compress as easily as the factory bushings, it may be helpful to spray the outside of the bushing with lubricant, then secure the clamp with a vise grip while aligning the holes. Make sure the bushing seats correctly in the clamp.

Here’s where the shit hit the fan in my installation. If you look at the picture on the left you will notice two different brackets. The bracket on the left is the stock rear bracket off my October ’96 produced Z3. Trouble was the new urethane bushings were designed for a bracket like the one on the right (apparently BMW changed bracket designs sometime between October 1st 1996 and January 1st 1997). Problem was I didn’t have a bracket like the one on the right (BMW Part number 31-35-1-124-995), and this is not something that the local BMW dealer stocks. I called HMS and they in turn called Racing Dynamics, who located the correct brackets and shipped them too me. The Z3 remained in this stage for three days until the new brackets came. So be sure and take a look at your rear brackets before you start. If they look like the one on the left hold off installing the rear sway bar until you can locate a pair of brackets like the one on the right.

Once the new brackets arrived I still couldn’t get them to go over the protruding bolt until I bent them a little. The picture on the right shows how (using a hammer) I slightly bent them so the hole would be perpendicular with the protruding bolt. Even then I could just barely get the bolt to come through the hole, I ended up having to use vise grips to get the bracket down over the bolt (slightly messing up the threading on the bolt but not enough to hurt anything). Look back at the first picture on this step to see what I’m talking about.

9. The metal break lines mounted to the inside of the rear control arms must be moved downward to avoid interference with the end links. Rotate the clips that anchor the line to the arm so that the line runs under the screw that holds the clip to the arm. Or remove the the white plastic clip and metal stud from the control arm altogether. Brake line is secured at both ends of control arm by other clips. I tried to figure out a way of moving that white clip but was unsuccessful. I ended up removing the white plastic clip and metal stud. It made me nervous to do it but after seeing the finished result I’m okay with it.

10. Attach the sway bar ends to the control arms with the end link hardware provided (see diagram). For more oversteer, choose the sway bar hole furthest from the end of the bar. For less oversteer, choose the hole nearest to the end of the bar. Mine is on the loose setting. One of these days I’ll try the tight setting but after finally getting the rear sway bar installed I’m really not looking forward to getting back under there, removing the spare tire, and messing with it again. The adjustment would have to be made while the car is under its own weight (ie not on jack stands).

11. Reinstall the rear wheels and lower the vehicle so the full weight of the car is on the suspension. While checking for adequate clearances and proper bar centering, torque the busing clamp to chassis hardware to 16 ft/lbs and the rod end hardware to 20ft/lbs. 8mm end link bushing hardware should be torqued until the bushing just begins to bulge. OVERTIGHTENING WILL DAMAGE THE BUSHINGS. Once again this is a lot harder than it sounds. The instructions tell you to lower your Z3 then crawl under it and torque these nuts. Well folks most of us don’t fit under our Z3 without a little help. I ended up parking the Z3 at the end of the driveway where there is a slight drop off to the street. That way I could lay in the street and get under the Z3 to tighten the nuts.

12. Retorque all hardware after 500 miles. I must have originally torqued a little too much because after 500 miles I actually loosed the hardware a little.

Note: the drop link does not have to be perpendicular to the sway bar, nor does the sway bar need to be parallel to the ground for proper operation.