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Old 07-31-2010, 01:41 AM   #81
m1356guy
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great update James!

what do you mean by standoffs to mount the undertray to the lip? any more pics on that connection?
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:16 PM   #82
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great update James!

what do you mean by standoffs to mount the undertray to the lip? any more pics on that connection?
No great pics. Standoffs are a metal support bracket that go from the bumper support typically to the flat splitter/undertray. Again, aero is a little beyond typical street/track, but it was important in the speed/value equation. But on a track car, standoffs allow us to knock off a splitter without taking the bumper with it - or vice versa. So many guys mount a lip to the bumper, then and undertray to the lip - then when they go off track and catch it on something, it takes off the splitter, lip, and half the bumper, if not oil cooler and radiator as well...
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:12 PM   #83
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...So many guys mount a lip to the bumper, then and undertray to the lip - then when they go off track and catch it on something, it takes off the splitter, lip, and half the bumper, if not oil cooler and radiator as well...
Who in the world would do something so silly?....

I have thought about what a disaster it will be when (notice I said "when" not "if") my splitter gets ripped off due to agricultural excursion. I need to re-think my mounting technique. I'd much rather just lose the splitter, not the entire front end of the car.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:00 PM   #84
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No great pics. Standoffs are a metal support bracket that go from the bumper support typically to the flat splitter/undertray. Again, aero is a little beyond typical street/track, but it was important in the speed/value equation. But on a track car, standoffs allow us to knock off a splitter without taking the bumper with it - or vice versa. So many guys mount a lip to the bumper, then and undertray to the lip - then when they go off track and catch it on something, it takes off the splitter, lip, and half the bumper, if not oil cooler and radiator as well...
ya i'd prefer a splittler that did what it was supposed to instead of acting as a plough

but that makes sense, having anything independent of each other...ready for more updates!
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:27 PM   #85
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"Finally, an update" you say. Yup. I warned you guys that this was a scramble to build. Stack on the UTCC day at VIR, a PM photoshoot with the car, a tripp 4 hours north to Summit Point, and a weekend instructing the BimmerWorld Club Racing School and I was nicely behind. Now, I am starting to dig out.
...and your excuse is???

Sounds like an episode of Orange County Choppers. I'd love to see a Bimmerworld TV show on Speed Channel!...just a thought...

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And the results are in. On 93 pump gas, no trickery, and in full street trim - 338 rear wheel Hp. BAM!
BW_E46M3STC (61)
That is amazing! That's E9X M3 power! So this is from headers, exhaust, carbon intake plenum, and a lightweight flywheel?

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Old 08-01-2010, 02:55 PM   #86
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That is amazing! That's E9X M3 power! So this is from headers, exhaust, carbon intake plenum, and a lightweight flywheel?
Close to E9X M3 - those make 365 on our dyno, but if you add in the weights of the car, it is on par or better. Correct - although LTW flywheel doesn't show up big on a dyno graph. And don't forget the tune - the software on this car is pretty non-typical - at this point
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:06 PM   #87
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Episode II - The VIR and Summit Point Road Trip/Shakeout/Test

Well, the scheduled Saturday-scheduled update was preempted by me being lazy, so the fun is going to be spread out a little longer. I am going to restrict this update to the performance, observations, and results of the project. I will circle back around in another update to review the build to date and the parts used.

The Ultimate Track Car Challenge was Friday, so we left Thursday afternoon to get there with some sleep. The car is officially a street car with insurance, legal tags, and even an inspection sticker! But I decided to trailer the car to the track anyway since we would be going 2.5 hours to VIR, then Friday night 4 hours to Summit Point, then another 4 hours back home. Too many hours on a car that has had minimal testing and you can never know what to expect in an event like the UTCC where it is run with open passing and a stopwatch to make people a little more greedy for real estate.

I got a call Thursday night from Scott Lear, GRM writer, photographer, and UTCC event planner - he wanted our car in a photoshoot Friday morning. This meant a 6:30AM track arrival to get the car out on track before the day's events started, and since track weekends send me Jekyll and Hyde on sleep, I was up at the crack of dawn ready to rock.

We got to the track, added the event decals to the car, and settled in to our group of 3 cars - a Turbo Cayman and a Ferrari Challenge car. We arrived on the street tires intended to allow us to go around the track to "make sure nothing falls off" - our normal mantra for a new car build. Nothing did, everything worked flawlessly, which was pretty awesome, and so we were then ready to start the first session on our real Hoosier track tires.

Picture from Scott at GRM of the car sitting on grid:
BW_E46M3STC (63)

Session 1 - the morning warm-up. This was the chance for everyone to learn the track (all 65 cars at the same time), shake out the cobwebs, break the stuff that was easy to break, and then roughly split the field in a faster and slower group. It was a little messy with a bunch of yellows as things (not our things) did break, but at the end of the session, we were in the fast group, which gives us a better chance to get a good lap without being held up. At the end of the session, I came in and the guys set the hot tire pressures at 31 (low for slicks).

The car worked exactly as I wanted everything felt right, and it was fast. The rear had a little more roll than I anted at turn exit and the couple wasn't quite right. Quick adjustment was +1 on the rear compression, -1 on front rebound (the front felt a tick too flat as well).

During this session, I did get a few 150MPH runs down the back straight and I heard a flapping - I know the sound well, loose splitter. Well not loose, just not supported enough. We used Alumalite on this, which is corrugated aluminum, so stronger than flat sheets, but only in one direction. And since the 4x10 sheets aren't strengthened in the correct direction given our dimensional requirements, you have to add additional supports on the front lip to hold it up given the air pressure developing. Ryan and Matt (my BW support team) went to town fabricating some supports using safety wire and some borrowed washers - all set. This is the reason we use a carbon piece for a splitter undertray - Alumalite is the prototype/quick to make alternative only.

Session 2 - first timed session. The track was reasonably good - only getting hotter but the surface wasn't totally heatsoaked yet. I went out about 1/3 of the way back of the field, which was roughly gridded by speed. We went out under double yellow with a pace car, so no passing - this allowed me to lag and build a gap between me and the couple of Vettes in front of me. Unfortunately I know VIR very well and I come up to speed pretty immediately and was ready to click off a fast lap the first time by. The Vette directly in front wasn't quite as quick and I had caught him at the top of the uphill esses, he motored clear on the back straight, but I caught again in the downhill. I tried to get another lap but he was fast on the straights, slow in turns, I couldn't get a gap to work with, and yellows quickly came out for a car with a blown power steering - so Lap 1 was the fast lap.

Not a bad session - I planned well except for not estimating my traffic properly - the E46 M3, although making great power for a BMW was not in the same league as the other front-runners and "racing" dissimilar cars like this is tricky. I clicked a 2:06.4 and figured I had another 1.5-2 seconds to go. The Motons responded very nicely to the changes. I was a little worried about coming up in rear compression to help my roll issue because I was using a lot of curb and didn't want to jump the car too much, but the high-speed blow-off in the dampers was awesome and kept the car firmly planted as I hammered the curbs in the flat esses, uphill esses, downhill - you get the point... Measuring tire temps after the session showed the results of climbing ambient temps - the track was starting to go away as we approached 100.

Now, a quick note to thank my friends at Red Line Oils. This car is full of Red Line nose to tail - Water Wetter, Engine Oil, D4ATF in the trans and 75W90 in the diff. So in that session, the engine started to get hot due to the extreme ambient temps and drafting to get a higher straight speed - no clean air hurts a LOT. I knew this was likely and we intentionally ran the car with some less expensive cooling upgrades to determine what we could get away with - the answer is we need to get the coolers that we have in production on the car. But for now, as the oil temp climbed to 300 degrees (indicated, which I know better than on that stock idiot dial), I wasn't happy about the temps, but I knew it wasn't a day-ender either. Normal oils don't like that kind of temp, but I know from our racing program that Red Line will take it for a duration of time and the engine will still be well protected - so we soldier on.

Session 3 - second timed session. I grid up a little late to get some of the bigger Hp cars in front of me. This time I have some Subarus behind me which I know from looking at the time sheets I can handle, and I get a little mroe aggressive on making the gap. The car is working right - no changes other than tire pressure from last session. I go for it the first time by the green at the start stand. I am very happy we decided to add aero. I am flat on the throttle from the transition into Turn 5 until the top of the uphill esses which as I sneak a peek before braking, I am topping at over 130MPH. I get a clean lap and now with the ambient temps right over 100 and track temps around 130, it isn't going to get any faster.

If the last session produced a 2:06.4, I think there is a chance I popped a 2:04. But as I feared, unless you really mess up, the fast laps come early in the day and a perfect lap at 1PM is only a 2:05.9 - 0.5 sec faster than a lap with traffic at 10:30AM. Still, we hit my target laptime. a 2:05 puts our street car in the first few rows of a much cooler April BMW club race - not too shabby. Time to load up - after a solo photo shoot with GRM in some flat evening light. Off to Summit!

I will breeze through the happenings at Summit since the focus for me wasn't on the E46 at hand. My CTC co-driver David White took the car out Saturday - I had enough of the 100+ temps at VIR on Friday and wasn't itching to get in a suit and give it another go. I didn't really plan it this way, but this was a great chance to get another impression of the car, and on a much bumpier track than VIR.

David went out to run a few laps. When he got out, he said the car was too bouncy. GREAT! This is an opportunity to work on shock tuning with a new damper I am not overly-familiar with. Compression is typically on the bottom of the damper and I am feeling lazy, so our planned change is -2 all the way around on the compression to see what it does over the bumps, then we can come out of the rebound easily on the pit lane by popping the hood and trunk. Dave drives a few laps in the next session, comes in the pits and tells me it is way better, and we pull out the rebound (-2 all around) to add data to our matrix.

Final result - the compression most directly affected the bumps and the rebound softened the platform up enough to increase grip in some of the tighter turns where we were having trouble. I added some rebound and compression back based on the F/R balance and we both drove the car to verify our work - the car was pretty dead on. To dial the car in for two very different tracks, on consecutive days, without a crew to help, and exerting a minimal amount of effort - perfect! We both drove the car some the following day and besides our little bit of work on suspension tuning, we torqued wheels, added a little oil, and didn't have to do anything else - the perfect example of how I want a street/track car to perform.

If you are keeping track of the score so far, things we have accomplished:
  • VA state inspection, proof that even the state feels we are street legal - check
  • Street manners - minus decals, check
  • Power well over "typical" - check
  • 2:05 VIR laptime - check
Budget isn't on that list... I have done enough of these to know how this one works and since I, as the customer, didn't set a hard line, the project grew a little from my initial plans/expectations, but we are still close enough to my initial thoughts. More on that later...
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:18 PM   #88
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:07 AM   #89
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Great build!

Details on the exhaust? 3.5" single oval pipe? Muffler brand?

Any info on the software? Custom? outsourced or commercial?

How does the Hotchkis compare to GC race sways? Prefer the Hotchkis?

TIA
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:39 PM   #90
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Details on the exhaust? 3.5" single oval pipe? Muffler brand?
New piece we had produced. All custom to our specs. Fit is super tight to the car.

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Any info on the software? Custom? outsourced or commercial?
Release coming soon. Looks like in a more recent dyno on my street car we are looking at about a 15Hp gain on the software alone versus typical performance software.

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How does the Hotchkis compare to GC race sways? Prefer the Hotchkis?
I like them better these days and the price is nice. GC has a slick adjuster on the front, but the geometry on that bar doesn't work so great - links are perpendicular at the softest setting and I suspect big adjustment range isn't alltogether usable because you are only using the vertical component of the force applied.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:53 PM   #91
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New piece we had produced. All custom to our specs. Fit is super tight to the car.
This is something you are developing to sell or only custom in house offering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesC View Post
Release coming soon. Looks like in a more recent dyno on my street car we are looking at about a 15Hp gain on the software alone versus typical performance software.
So this is going to be from BimmerWorld? Nice! User installed or DME shipped?

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I like them better these days and the price is nice. GC has a slick adjuster on the front, but the geometry on that bar doesn't work so great - links are perpendicular at the softest setting and I suspect big adjustment range isn't alltogether usable because you are only using the vertical component of the force applied.
Good info! thanks

If I wanted to keep the MAF in place (i.e. no Alpha-N), what do you think the HP #s would look like? What intake would you use if you wanted to go with MAF? To keep it street legal in some other states, there may be more restrictions in place in regards to MAF and CATs, etc.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:59 PM   #92
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Any plans on offering portions of the upgrades in some sort of standard package?
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:28 PM   #93
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Working on a full update that will answer this and more... For now, fast answers:

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This is something you are developing to sell or only custom in house offering?
Everything in this project is meant to be sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattman View Post
So this is going to be from BimmerWorld? Nice! User installed or DME shipped?
Yes from us. You have to ship the DME.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattman View Post
If I wanted to keep the MAF in place (i.e. no Alpha-N), what do you think the HP #s would look like? What intake would you use if you wanted to go with MAF? To keep it street legal in some other states, there may be more restrictions in place in regards to MAF and CATs, etc.
If you have a plug-in emissions test, you have to run some sort of cat and your mass air meter - otherwise you will throw some warning codes. We dynoed my street car which is pure stock except for normal catless headers (Jet Hot) and a rear muffler - we made 305 wheel. 10 for the race exhaust, 8-10 for the carbon plenum, 3-5 for pulleys, and the rest from the stepped headers. These are realistic gain numbers when added. So what intake - up to you. We have a carbon plenum that accepts a MAF and will make the most power. Otherwise aFe is my personal choice.

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Any plans on offering portions of the upgrades in some sort of standard package?
Haven't gotten to packaging it yet, but when we do it will be complete sections - full suspension, full engine (headers, some exhaust, carbon plenum, and software) for example. I will sell the complete car upgrade kit
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:55 PM   #94
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As promised, and finally... Warning - this is long and doesn't have any pictures, so you have to read.

Stage 1 Review - Build Commentary


As I mentioned before, I am going to call this Stage 1 because we do still have some additional items we want to do to the car and after some production parts come in. At some point we will sell the car, but it still has to spend a little time in the service fleet here first. But as it sits, we met all our initial goals.

The racers I work with on project planning know my mantra on this the best. I am cheap when I do things, but I save money by setting a clear goal and then doing it right the first time. If I have to buy a part, then sell it at a loss (by definition) and buy another part that is better because the first one didn't cut it, I am blowing money. And as it turns out any project with any sizable scope, maybe more than 3-4 parts that aren't pure grab and go items, benefits from this type of planning.

So off the soapbox and back to the task at hand - how did all this planning work out for us? As discussed in the second part of the wrap-up, we met most of the stated goals set forth at the beginning of the project. What about the last one - budget... Always a tough one to hit and anyone that has ever been on any side of a project like this is aware of creep - it is human nature to want more. So what was the original goal?

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I am going to impose some budget limitations. I am not going to name a number because frankly, I know I will let it creep a little to hit the secret VIR Full Course time I have in the back of my mind.
Now tell me I haven't done this before... I could run for political office based on that! But to be fair, starting out I knew I would be over $15k, although it would have been nice to stay there. I very loosely in the back of my mind set a soft limit of $20,000. Then I started thinking more about the laptime goal and wanting to go faster and I added a few things.

I also blame all of you to some degree. For example I have $1500 retail wrapped up in a passenger seat, mounting, and harnesses that have yet to be used - but it was promoted as a street car and I thought it was cheesy to leave a stock passenger seat or not run one. At the end of the day, you guys are the reviewers of the project.

So first - here are all of the parts we used and why we chose them. I am going to cut it short on some items, expand on others as needed. Then we will talk about final budget, and some good budget-cutting measures. Without further ado...

Engine
  • Epic Motorsports Software - $799.99 (approximately, link pending). Worth 15RWHp over market-available software and super impressive. Bolting on the parts is easy - making them all come together for close to 340 wheel was the software.
  • EVOsport Power Pulley Kit - $249.99 - I don't get into pulley power claims, but these are important on an engine revving this high and do contribute to the final power number. If they didn't - they wouldn't be on the car.
  • BimmerWorld E36/E46 Performance/Track Engine Mounts - $199.99 - VERY important on a track car to keep the engine from shifting back and forth when loaded with lateral Gs. Or more importantly, the transmission, as the result of a shifted driveline assembly, is a changing gear placement, which often leads to missed shifts. These mounts are solid rubber, not solid metal, so they solve the problem to a great degree, but don't add an overage of pesky vibration into the cars cabin. They are street livable.
  • E46 M3 Carbon Motorsport/CSL Airbox - $3199.99 - BAM! That hurts the budget. Does it fit the value/speed equation? Probably not. It is worth 8-10 Hp, so no overwhelming need for it. But My $300 HFM was broken in the wreck... The reason this part went on was to support a cam package later - where it will show bigger gains. It was also probably a good example of kid in a candy store syndrome - we had one sitting on the shelf and they are sooo pretty...
  • S50 Euro/S54 EGR Plate - $22.99 - Nothing fancy here - just pulling some emissions stuff I don't need in VA off the car cleanly.

Exhaust
  • Supersprint Version 1 Stepped Header - $2099.99 - Also hurts the budget, but worth every penny. Through our testing, I feel there are basically three classes of headers for this car - 1)Stock with cats, 2)most aftermarket from the junk ebay stuff that doesn't fit and is made of 202 Stainless so it won't last either up to the nice factory CSL headers - they are all pretty much the same, 2.5) Supersprint V2 Stepped (I lied, this is a new header and it is better than most others, but still necks down at the mating to the Section 1 so it ultimately limits a tick of power, and 3) The OG Supersprint V1 Stepped Header - the one that lasts very well and makes significantly more power than the rest.
  • BimmerWorld E46 M3 Race Exhaust - $999.99 - We used the production sample on this car. The sample was already made on my street car a few months back. This one made a full 10RWHp on the street car with zero tuning - bolt on and go. And as a full header-back system, its 62# lighter than the stock stuff.
Driveline
  • BW Strapless Clutch/Flywheel - $1499.99 - I could probably have cheated and left this one off, but it does help the Hp a little by reducing driveline loss a half percent and does help shift faster. Mostly though, most people want to hold more power and will start pushing a clutch pretty hard on the track when they bang out downshifts. The racers know this one - a stock clutch doesn't cut it.
  • BWSport 3 Series Reinforced Urethane Transmission Mount Set - $69.99 - These supplement the HD engine mounts to keep the engine/trans assembly from slinging around on track.

Cooling
  • SPAL Electric Fan - 16" Pull - $74.99 - The stock electric fan was broken and I don't trust engine fans on cars that see the track. This fan at $75 was a slam dunk.
  • E36/E46 Oil Cooler Diverter Valve - $79.99 - Step I of temperature reduction - makes all the oil run through the cooler versus the factory part that has a bypass. Cooler oil is better - on the track.
  • Motorsport Thermostat - Step 2 of temperature reduction - open the thermostat earlier to keep water temps lower - or really delay the eventual rise. Like a rebound knob for your coolant.
Brakes
  • Performance Friction Direct Drive***8482; Rotors - $1319.96/set of 4 - Good floating rotors all 4 corners. Not the OE production-quality Euro stuff - true performance rotors. Short-term this is more expensive, but long-term the replacement disc cost and the added rotor life due to the nice metal used put them on par - and they are better.
  • Performance Friction Carbon Metallic Racing Brake Pad - $449.98/car set - 01s to be exact. Brake pads are important. These have good torque so they stop well even with stock brakes and full slicks on the car, and the release allows modulation to take the brakes deeper - these help the lap time a lot.
  • BimmerWorld EVO Stainless Steel Brake Line Kits - $119.99 - Stainless lines are standard for any car that gets much time on the track for me.
  • Solid Brake Guide - $109.98/car set - Makes the stock caliper work better. I wouldn't put them on a pure street car or one that gets driven on a dirt road or through salt or similar, but they make a difference on the track.
  • Brake Cooling Kit - $259.99 - Maybe not important for our time trial, but you can't expect any pad to stay happy if you don't cool the brakes. And bottom line, your brake pads and rotors will last longer.
  • E46 Carbon Brake Ducts - $309.99 - They go with the brake cooling kit and fit perfectly. More expensive than what I would want, but without "crafting" something, they work well and look super clean.

Suspension
  • Moton Street Sport Dampers - $3899.99, Link Pending - The initial plan was to use Moton Street Sport Singles to show how track-capable they were - drops the retail price by $1k. Instead Moton wanted me to work with these to test their limits with spring rate and tires. They are awesome dampers and if money allows it, they aren't spending it for nothing. But by definition, if this was a representative Street/Track car my personal buy would have been the Street Sport Single. I think these are more of a high-end, wants the best customer or racer where the second adjustment is allowed and a second matters a lot.
  • Hyperco Spring Set - $299.96/set - Gotta have springs
  • Ground Control Adjustable Camber/Caster Race Plates - $399.99 - Full spherical plate, but after having them on my street car for a few years, they are smooth and even for a street car I like them. The thrust bearing does a lot to quiet spring noise.
  • Ground Control 3 Series Spherical Rear Shock Mounts - $169.99 - Maximize the performance of the shocks by using a solid mount. No one cares how nice your singing voice is if they hear it through a can and string.
  • Ground Control Front Control Arm Bushings - $299.99 - These take a ton of force under braking with full slicks. As a non-load bearing pivot joint, no real noise is added on a street car so I don't have any issues with going for a more solid part like this one for a car that will get a little serious track time sprinkled in.
  • Powerflex Rear Trailing Arm Bushing Kit - $74.99 - One of my favorite parts and one of our most popular ever. Some special features limit noise versus other brands, they are 95A so stiff, and they are durable. We use them on every street car and every race car where a bearing isn't allowed.
  • Powerflex Rear Subframe Mount Kit - High Durometer - $214.99 - The subframe carries the whole rear suspension - if you want it all to work well, attach it to the car with less slop. These do add a little noise and I would use the standard stiffness on a tamer, more street-directed car.
  • Ground Control E36/E46 Adjustable Rear Lower Control Arm - $279.99 - My go-to rear lower control arm. Makes alignment quick and easy (and possible).
  • Hotchkis Sport Swaybar Kits - $404.99 - The most roll stiffness on the standard production market - these are the ones I go to these days when setting up a suspension. Tubular so they are light also.
Aero - Another big, late-addition expense. As discussed earlier in this thread, very important for the intended lap time. Do most street cars have big carbon wings hanging off the back? No. Do I get weird looks pulling in to the grocery store? Yes - and I actually feel that the wing is the largest contributor to the super-aggressive look. So it makes the car fast, draws attention on the street, and I can't park the car outside overnight for fear that someone will like my wing as much as I do. So for the full aero section, I will call it buyer's choice - everyone is different.
  • BimmerWorld Carbon Race Wing - $1899.99 - Read the website for more info. It works just as stated and they are on the cars at the front of the race grid, but not too many street cars I suspect.
  • BimmerWorld Carbon E46 Splitter/Undertray - $1399.99 estimated, link pending - This will be a racer part. No way I would put this on a normal street car - too many low things on the road to hit. Still pending production, but this would be a carbon undertray, proper riser, and a set of standoffs and other mounting parts.

Wheels
  • D-Force LTW5 - 18x9.5 - $1099.96/set of 4 - Light and strong for a non-froged wheel - and cheap. We spend the money for forged on the racecars because we seem to like bending them, but the majority, this works well.
  • BimmerWorld Wheel Stud Package - $104.99 - Again, just one of those things I like on a car that goes to the track. Makes swapping wheels so much less irritating.

Safety
  • Kirk Rollbar - $405 - I know, we built the one in the car, but for most folks, the Kirk bar is pretty close performance-wise to the custom part - it just doesn't look as pretty.
  • SCHROTH Profi II 6-Point Harness - $699.98/both sides - For a good track car, I like them. having used the anti-sub straps before, I appreciate their value with the speeds I intend to go. If I didn't spend 1/3 of my days on the track, I might loosen up my belt requirements and go for something like a Quick Fit street set.
  • Racetech 4009W Seats - $1969.98/both sides - Buying seats is like buying shoes - if you plan to wear them, buy something that fits right. Racetech fits the typical American frame very well and I feel like they are leading the charge in safety these days and it shows in all their seat models.
  • Racetech Mounting Bracket Set - $329.98/both sides - Brackets required for side-mount seats so they can be bolted on the bottom.
  • Seat Mount Adaptors - $399.98/both sides, link pending - Makes seats a bolt-on install - and easy to adjust position to your liking.

Fluids
  • Red Line High Performance Engine Oil - $79.60/8 quarts - 15W50 weight (quality allows a thinner oil than dealer recommended) with a rich ZDDP package that will reduce wear better than, say, the recommended oil...
  • Red Line Transmission Lubricants - D4ATF - $20.98/2 quarts - We have been using this one for most applications recently. You can go with MT-90 if you need a heavier oil for clutch rattle or similar, but this seems to work very well with synchros.
  • Red Line Gear Oil - 75W90 - $23.90/2 quarts
  • Red Line Water Wetter® - $9.95/bottle - We did this instead of coolant - coolant will be added if it goes out in the cold, but that isn't the current plan.
  • Motul RBF 600 Racing Brake Fluid - $35.98/2 bottles - Expensive, but we have a couple that are even more so... You only flush the system once a year (3-4 pumps per caliper only after every event or two) and brake fluid takes a beating on the track in a relatively heavy street car.

So there it is. Every penny we spent on the car, down to fluids. Labor is not added in, but again, almost everything in this build can be bolted on the car with some good mechanical ability and a Bentley manual.

If you are keeping track, that is a full retail cost of $26,582.92 and I would toss in shipping. So if I had envisioned $20k, we are 30% over. In the real world, my wants aren't always met and if I had a real $20k to spend, what would I do... Assuming a real Street/Track car, where streetability is a true factor and I am not so focused on a specific lap time (and remembering that if 2:05 on VIR full is fast, 2:08 is still plenty fast and probably faster than most non-racecars at any given event):
  1. Pull the carbon airbox - that won't significantly affect the speed or laptime, but it does sound nice and look pretty. I will probably wipe a tear on losing that one. -$3199.99
  2. Sub in Moton Street Sport Singles for the Doubles - they will still handle the same spring rates and make them feel very nice on the street even. -$1050
  3. Yank the Aero - It makes a big difference, but it makes most drivers too lazy - the car feels too capable. And even the kids have stopped putting them on Hondas. -$3299.98

So by pulling those three sections, I pull out over $7500 and fall very nicely into my budget of $20k - with almost a thousand to spare for labor for the parts I can't or don't want to do myself. Or I keep in my bank account because I know that something will pop up that I want to spend it on. Another one of those things I preach to my project guys - don't feel the need to spend it all - you will find a use for it at some point...

So there you have it. My idea of a very fast BMW Street/Track car with good reliability and nothing too exotic. Fire away with questions and I will answer the ones I know - or am willing to share with the world
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Last edited by JamesClay; 09-03-2010 at 05:45 PM. Reason: Added Race Exhaust Link
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:33 AM   #95
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Someone in a different thread was saying that the D4 ATF will eat your synchros (brass or copper???). Is this the case for the M3/330LCI ZF 6 sp?

How much gain would a streetable cam package add?

IMO, the wing is not for a street car. Just for the rice comments, looks (good and bad), and most off all....security. How long would it be until you grab the attention of some questionable characters and your car gets broken into?

I'm pretty excited about this. I plan to get a track duty M3 (some street duty) and then retiring my 330 to the street and try to keep its good looks!
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:16 AM   #96
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Awesome info!

JamesC:
Does the exhaust work with normal headers with standard flanges like SS stepped 2 and CSL/ Euro headers?

Any comments on tires? I have a street mostly car but track about 12 days in a year. Slicks or DOT? Looking for consistent grip on a durable tire. Been using NT01s. Been good but hard to find sometimes and can use an alternative.

Springs? Hyperco vs Eibach ERS? Does it matter?

Any thoughts on preventative maintenance or reinforcements? Subframe with high spring rates, shock towers, etc

Thoughts on an aftermarket radiator? Good idea or unnecessary?

Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Someone in a different thread was saying that the D4 ATF will eat your synchros (brass or copper???). Is this the case for the M3/330LCI ZF 6 sp?

How much gain would a streetable cam package add?
I like the D4ATF. Up until this year we used MT-90 in most applications. We have done a lot of testing this year and the D4ATF seems to be the only fluid that is not too slick for the synchros to work, but has enough protection to allow them to work properly so there is minimal wear.

The cams we have are worth about 15, but I am still waiting on production. It has been an incredibly frustrating process...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattman View Post
Does the exhaust work with normal headers with standard flanges like SS stepped 2 and CSL/ Euro headers?

Any comments on tires? I have a street mostly car but track about 12 days in a year. Slicks or DOT? Looking for consistent grip on a durable tire. Been using NT01s. Been good but hard to find sometimes and can use an alternative.

Springs? Hyperco vs Eibach ERS? Does it matter?

Any thoughts on preventative maintenance or reinforcements? Subframe with high spring rates, shock towers, etc

Thoughts on an aftermarket radiator? Good idea or unnecessary?
Our exhaust is a bolt on for a standard fitment header - stock w/cats, SS stepped 2, etc - all of them.

Tires for most trackday cars - I also use the NT-01 on a regular basis. They are cheap, our distributor has a good supply, and they last cery well.

Springs don't matter a ton. Hyperco are typically lighter and have more travel because they are made a little differently - and they are delivered in rate-tested pairs, which is nice.

We didn't do any reinforcement on this car. If it were a racecar, I would. I have a theory that the reason most areas crack the metal is a failed mount. The mount starts to fail, movement increases, now the applied stress is greater due to momentum, and the metal rapidly fatigues. Very common with typical street/track cars - no one wants to replace with proper engine mounts or pull the rear subframe and replace bushings - too hard. So the bushings wear out, then the metal on the car goes.

The cooling system is something I am still working on. I can throw everything at it but I prefer a more systematic approach. I will update the thread as we go on that front.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:59 AM   #98
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  • SPAL Electric Fan - 16" Pull - $74.99 - The stock electric fan was broken and I don't trust engine fans on cars that see the track. This fan at $75 was a slam dunk.
  • E36/E46 Oil Cooler Diverter Valve - $79.99 - Step I of temperature reduction - makes all the oil run through the cooler versus the factory part that has a bypass. Cooler oil is better - on the track.
  • Motorsport Thermostat - Step 2 of temperature reduction - open the thermostat earlier to keep water temps lower - or really delay the eventual rise. Like a rebound knob for your coolant.

James, how important is a an oil-cooler diverter valve? I have a dedicated spal fan installed, larger oil-cooler, stock radiator and no factory aux fan or clutch fan. I have not seen oil temps above 230-240 and good water temps. That said, how much reduction in oil temps could one see with this installed? Would you recommend it based on the oil temps? Does the entire oil filter housing have to be removed in order to install this?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:39 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by ninekrpm View Post
James, how important is a an oil-cooler diverter valve? I have a dedicated spal fan installed, larger oil-cooler, stock radiator and no factory aux fan or clutch fan. I have not seen oil temps above 230-240 and good water temps. That said, how much reduction in oil temps could one see with this installed? Would you recommend it based on the oil temps? Does the entire oil filter housing have to be removed in order to install this?
It is a step to reduce oil temps and by far the cheapest step. If your oil is staying at 240, then you don't need to do anything additional.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #100
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...f your oil is staying at 240, then you don't need to do anything additional.
... except drive faster
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