Project E36 M3: Part 3 – Suspension Version 1.0


BMW OEM versus HVT 6100i mounting pointsThe mounting points alone show just how over-engineered the struts are.  The original BMW strut housing on the left (with Koni insert) looks a bit sad next to the HVT casing.  
Hanchey Vehicle Technologies mounting bracketThis is another view of the beefy mounting points.  They’re incredibly robust, and all of the welding is like fine art.  HVT used their GRAND-AM crash-damage data to isolate weak points, and erase those from worry.  They’ve had zero failures with other prototypes in heavy crash conditions that showed failures in other designs.

The only thing I dislike about parts that are this well designed is that I always want a second set to put on display. Luckily I can always look at the photos to remember how shiny they once were.

HVT 6100 adjustment knobThe adjustment knobs for the struts are on the bottom of the casing, and offer 20 clicks of adjustment.

This set currently adjusts for rebound with a little bit of compression component tied in, which is perfect for a dual-duty car like this.  They can be made to adjust for rebound-only for certain applications where racing or competition rules dictate that need.  From full-soft to full-stiff makes a substantial difference in trying to compress these by hand, and we’ll get full track testing completed in a future article. 

With three years in development, the stiction, or “the static friction that needs to be overcome to enable relative motion of stationary objects in contact” has been reduced to the lowest rates of any strut on the market.  Where the GRAND-AM 44mm-shaft struts exhibited over 200 pounds of stiction and a twin tube street coilover showed 65 pounds, the stiction on this particular set was only 10 pounds!  All HVT designs have show only 10 to 50 pounds of stiction at most.

HVT stiction comparison chartA side-by-side comparison of the GRAND-AM struts versus HVT shows the significant difference in stiction rates between the two.  Side load testing with their new strut design has been the best they’ve ever tested, too.
HVT 6100 spring perch and sway bar tabNo need for adjustable sway bar end links with the HVT struts, as they have an adjustable bracket.  We lucked out as they were already preset to the appropriate height.  Here you can also see the twin-ring style height adjustment lower spring perch.

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