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Discussion Starter #1
I know, it shouldn't be a either or question, but if you have $4-500 to initially invest in improving handling performance on a stock M3, especially on a track, are you better off putting it into some good quality Summer tires or a good quality front/rear sway bar set?

My 2012 2.5 M3GT has the stock Yokohama AVID S34 All Season factory supplied tires. P205-50-R17

Please explain why you think one is better over the other.

Thanks,
 

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I'd separate the comparison because I don't think the front bar contributes much to improved handling versus the rear bar and tires...so if I can separate them, I'd say

Rear sway bar > Tires >>>>>> front bar
 

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I'd say tires. Sway bars arent gonna do you much good if your tires suck. I mean the car will feel a lot better but your limits will still be around the same
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd say tires. Sway bars arent gonna do you much good if your tires suck. I mean the car will feel a lot better but your limits will still be around the same
Good point, and several track people gave me a similar opinion, but I would like to hear back from more of you, especially those who do track recreation-ally. Thanks,
 

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Initially a swaybar will be more noticeable. Honestly I'd do a swaybar, then wait for the tires to wear down before upgrading them. Both are solid upgrades and there is no wrong choice though.
 

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Tires for sure. If you get a really sticky tire and mess with tire pressure/alignment and trail braking you can get a stock car to rotate just fine.
 

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If you don't have the money to do both at once. I'd wait for the tires to wear out since it is a bigger initial investment then a rear sway bar is.

But, if your tires were worn I'd say tires first of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's not like your tires won't wear out soon enough, right?

-Crissa
Hehe... no, that's not the point. I probably will keep my stock tires for quite awhile, I don't want to waste money.
My question was which upgrade, for about the same amount of money for either one, would give back the better handling/speed results and it sounds like tires would, but I was curious what people who do track think about it. I've heard that there is a huge difference between all season and summer tires and that you don't have to buy the really expensive Summer ones to get a major improvement. Of course, lots of people probably live where they need all season tires, I'm lucky as I live in a mild climate area.

Thanks for all your comments.
 

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I did rear sway bar first and then tires. The RSB made a huge improvement over the stock handling, even on the stock tires. DO IT!
 

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I've gotten good response from summer tires - but I've also hit a patch of dew and wrecked, too. If it weren't me driving, it'd have been more than a replacement bumper and set of tires, I tell you. It's all-season all the time for me; stiff and dependable.

But now that you know I'm biased, the stock tires won't last more than a couple years anyhow, but the bar should last many more miles. Unless you want to keep the stock tires for winter use or something.

-Crissa
 

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I've gotten good response from summer tires - but I've also hit a patch of dew and wrecked, too. If it weren't me driving, it'd have been more than a replacement bumper and set of tires, I tell you. It's all-season all the time for me; stiff and dependable.

But now that you know I'm biased, the stock tires won't last more than a couple years anyhow, but the bar should last many more miles. Unless you want to keep the stock tires for winter use or something.

-Crissa
I'm sorry but all-seasons are not the best tires for wet, snow, dry, etc. Summers are best in the rain with the appropriate tread pattern.
 

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All season tires suck in all seasons haha

I've heard that there is a huge difference between all season and summer tires and that you don't have to buy the really expensive Summer ones to get a major improvement
I take it youve never had summer tires? If so then do tires. They really are that much better than all seasons. Imagine the point where your all seasons are howling and starting to let go...summer tires are barely starting to perform there :yes:

Theyre not really expensive either, I think. I got my Continental DW in 215/45 17 for ~125 each
 

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Summers have temperature ranges they perform at. It's easy to exceed that temperature range and have them perform worse - or heat up and perform differently. Which is badbad in the mountains unless you're very careful about when and what condition you're driving in.

Then again, I also learned to drive in the snow. So to me, it's consistent stiffness I value, not having great stickiness ... most of the time.

-Crissa
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When I bought the car a few months ago I wish I could have chosen the tires! Oh well...
Here's a good review of budget Max performance Summer tires at Tire Rack. I'm stuck with the Yokohamas for now. Still considering the sway bars..

Crissa: I've never heard of Summer tires having a problem with high temperatures, it's low temperatures they have a problem with, hence their horrible performance in snow and ice because the rubber doesn't stay soft like winter tires or as soft as the All Season tires. And their tread pattern isn't designed for snow. On the other hand, they excel on dry, damp and wet for handling, braking and cornering over All Seasons, and of course over Winter tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
All season tires suck in all seasons haha



I take it youve never had summer tires? If so then do tires. They really are that much better than all seasons. Imagine the point where your all seasons are howling and starting to let go...summer tires are barely starting to perform there :yes:

Theyre not really expensive either, I think. I got my Continental DW in 215/45 17 for ~125 each
Yes, I did, many years ago on my '79 RX7 and they were great, except in the winter in Texas!

Do places buy almost new tires? Wonder if I could sell my Yokohamas on Craigs list?
I was impressed with the Tire Rack review of budget Max Performance Summer tires and I would probably go with the Sumitomo HTR Z III (Max Performance Summer 225/45R17 94Y) at only $77 each as they have the best resistance to bumps, good noise reduction and gave the best track lap times.
 

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If your looking for better lap times go with tires. They are the only 4 things contacting the road so they are going to make the bigger difference and improving them will give you a higher threshold. If your just looking for a good handling car then just go with bar.

On the note of all seasons...You wouldnt believe the difference a good set of snow tires or summer tires will do for you. All seasons are just a cheap compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Got em!

OK, I did it... Tire Rack shipped and I should have them on by tomorrow evening. I went with the Sumitomo HTR Z III (Max Performance Summer) 205/50ZR17 XL at only $77 each and will sell my almost new Yokohamas on Craig's List (knock on wood) Here's that review again of the budget Summer tires.

Couple of more good commissions at work and I'll do the sway bars too. (knock on wood twice).
:cheesy:
 
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