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Sweet and Low

Firming up an E-46 with the help of Eibach

Photography by Cullen Clutterham, Philip Royle

Massive fender gap is a sin, but in some horrific oversight it was absent from the Ten Commandments. Fortunately, BMW designed the E-46 with minimal fender gap, allowing some people to throw wheels and tires on and be relatively content. Faced with increased wheel diameters and decreased tire sidewalls, a Bimmer wearing stock springs looks almost perfect, but something still seems amiss. Like an awkward pause in a conversation, the stock fender gap is just enough to make people hesitate. The pause tells you something is wrong, but not being quite sure what, you continue with the conversation. Eibach paused, reflected, and managed to figure out what was missing—rather, what should be missing. The result was Eibach’s Pro-Kit springs and Pro-Dampers for the E-46, closing the fender gap by 1.4 inches on all corners and moving the Bimmer one step closer to heaven.

The beauty of the Pro-Kit and Pro-Dampers is that not only do they reduce fender gap, but they also firm up the ride, improving upon the cornering reputation that Bimmers and their 50/50 weight distributions have so rightly earned. This is not to say that this Eibach suspension setup is the best for every situation. The idea behind the Pro system is that it is a good compromise between race and stock when it comes to comfort, handling, and appearance. Simply put, if you’re looking to lower your Bimmer, add a little firmer turn-in, and look good in the process without breaking the bank, Eibach is a good place to start. That, coupled with Eibach’s reputation, 50 years worth of knowledge, and the amount of research that is put into every product, leaves no reason not to stop by Eibach’s Web site to see if there is something in your size.

If, however, your dream is to have everything Eibach’s Pro system offers, but increase turning agility, the company also offers front and rear sway bars. Eibach’s sway bars connect the right and left suspension arms on the same axle line, as does every sway bar, but these have that extra Eibach touch in them. Instead of stiffening up the ride to the point of abuse for the driver, Eibach’s sway bars increase cornering ability without beating on the driver in the turns. The result is increased cornering ability with little increase in harshness.

With this in mind, we headed to CEC’s showroom in Los Angeles and followed a full Eibach suspension upgrade on an E-46 decked out with goodies from CEC—four of such goodies were 18-inch wheels. When we arrived, the Bimmer looked good, but, as we mentioned before, there was something amiss about the vehicle’s appearance. We pondered what it could be, strolled around the beautiful piece of German engineering for a few minutes, and then it hit us: The Bimmer was sitting just a hair too high. With little more to say, the BMW was commandeered and Eibach springs, shocks, and sway bars were installed. What follows are the exploits of what occurred after entering the service bay.

CONTACT
Modern Image SignWorks
16582 Gothard, Unit B, Dept. LRE
Huntington Beach
CA  92647
www.modernimage.net
Claus Ettensberger Corporation Showroom
Eibach Springs
17817 Gillette Ave.
Irvine
CA  92614
959-752-6700
www.eibach.com
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