What it's like to live with SuperPro bushes on a BMW Z4 (and E46 3-Series)
The following is an article written by SuperPro's South West Territory Manager, Robert Hayward based on his experience fitting SuperPro bushes to his own car back in 2013. It's also worth noting that the E46 3-Series models all share the same components as the Z4 in this article so the experience and behaviours are shared amongst both vehicle ranges:
We purchased this particular BMW Z4, which is an ’07 plate in October 2012. It is the 2.0ltr model with an M Sport pack, ie slightly lowered and stiffened suspension. It also has the 18” alloy wheels with the dreaded (very low profile) RunFlat tyres.
Although a lovely car, the above suspension / wheel combination can make for a particularly “crashy” ride, with very little give in the suspension which can’t have been made any better by the pot holes created by our winter weather and a lack of road maintenance.
We decided to replace a number of OEM bushes in January of 2013 with the SuperPro product.
We concentrated on the front lower control arm, rear bushes, using the Offset bushes for caster increase to give extra “feel” to the steering action. There are two versions on this model, a 60mm and a 66mm. the 66mm being used on this later model.
For the rear we replaced the bushes on the front of the trailing arm. In addition, the Rear Sway Bar bushes and Upper and Lower Link Bushes were replaced.
After replacing these, the car was then given 4-wheel alignment to ensure that all was pointing in the right direction.
With the known problems and cost implications of running the RunFlat tyres, I was hoping to see some benefits in the tyre wear and this seems to be the case on the front with the car still running the front tyres that were on the car when I bought it. However the rears have succumbed to a couple of very costly punctures (the RunFlats are not repairable) so I have not been able to benefit from the improvements in wear.
Since buying the car we have covered around 20,000 miles. The improvement in the ride quality is marked, with the car feeling a lot less “crashy” over even the simplest of bumps. This includes things like cats eyes, which before the bush replacement could sometimes feel like it was riding over sleeping policemen. As you would expect from a roadster, the ride is firm and sporty, this hasn’t changed, but the ride now feels a little more relaxed and “together” than it did before, with additional benefit of a little less “tram-lining”.
With the car feeling much more relaxing to drive over a longer distance, we agreed that it was time to give the car (and ourselves) a treat and go on a Road Trip through France in May of 2014, to see the Monaco Historic GP.
After a 2 ½ day trip from Le Havre to Nice, we ended the drive down on the lovely Route Napoleon from Grenoble to Nice on the last day. This consisted of lovely old French towns, beautiful scenery, tunnels and canyons with the roof down under a warm Mediterranean sun. (Which felt much warmer after leaving the wet ‘n windy UK behind).
This journey would have been a lot less comfortable had it not been for the less jittery ride provided by the SuperPro bushes.
And the only car problems we encountered in France?
The ferry crossing was a little more rough than is normal and when we went to disembark at Le Havre, the car wouldn’t start as it had set-off the immobiliser……..
A special thanks then to the French ferry staff who gave me an initial push start. After that all went well.
The other problem was picking up a puncture in one of those RunFlats!