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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Summer Tire Swap and Winter Sport 4D Review

After a seemingly never-ending winter, high temperatures eventually rose into the middle 50's consistently this week so I decided to swap the winter tires for my Super Sports. The job went off without a hitch.

While I'm certainly glad the car is now back on high performance rubber I have to commend the performance of the Winter Sport 4D. They handled flawlessly through several snowstorms and there were times I almost forgot there was snow on the ground. Because the E36 is equipped only with ASC and not DSC, it's typically possible to goose the throttle in the snow just enough to spin the rear wheels and induce oversteer. However, the 4D's resisted much of this playful behavior. Performance at speed in dry and wet conditions was also outstanding and there were times I almost forgot I was running on thin winter tires. If there is any noticeable difference between the 4D and an all-season tire of equivalent size it's in the imprecise nature of quick lane changes, but that's to be expected given the flexible tread pattern and numerous smaller tread blocks.

Inspection Reveals Corroded Rear Swaybar

I've developed a habit of inspecting the underside of the vehicle every time I put it up on jackstands so I naturally conducted the inspection during the summer tire swap. When I had the rear up in the air I paid particular attention to the suspension components because I have been hearing a faint random clunking noise while going over irregular road surfaces coming from the rear of the vehicle. Most people would probably dismiss the noise but I know this car so well that I can instantly detect anything out of the ordinary.

While the inspection didn't reveal any problems that might cause a clunk I did find something unexpected -- the rear swaybar is severely corroded in one area...to the point that I will need to replace it. I'm planning to install a stock part simply for reasons of cost and simplicity but if that is no longer available I have the option to install virtually any compatible aftermarket swaybars, including larger bars, as I have already reinforced the rear subframe swaybar attachment points.

Mileage: 247200