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Old 09-20-2012, 05:24 PM   #21
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I think a turbo setup would be more useful at the track. The problem you'll run into is heat (turbo or SC) so you have to solve that first. Keep in mind that FI track cars require a LOT of maintenance. So if you're stepping into an E46 M3 because they are affordable, I'd reconsider going FI. Its costs a lot.

So can you run FI on the track? Depends on how deep your wallet is. Is FI going to make you the fastest one on the track? No...only skill can do that.

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Old 09-21-2012, 06:12 AM   #22
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have you looked into getting another 135i and adding the Vishnu single turbo kit? high 500 whp (no need for meth or race gas to make that power either), with a small, quick spooling turbo, a fat torque band that pulls till redline and costs a little more than half of what even a stage 1 HPF kit costs and makes plenty more power than that. i don't believe Shiv has installed one on a 1 series yet but the 3 series kits have already proven themselves to be an enormous bang for the buck mod and still able to live with as a daily driver. might be worth at least looking into.
I am not interested in the Vishnu products or a big single in that motor. If I were to go back to the N54 platform I would look at a twin upgrade option like Rob Beck or the newly announced stage 3 Vargas turbo solution which contemplates twin Garrett GTX28 turbos.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:24 AM   #23
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I believe before you go either route Turbo or S/C you should test out your car on the track. The E46 M3 is an Amazing Platform to start out with on any track or road course. I would recommend doing a Hooked on Driving Event, Autocross Event or BMW Driving school to feel the characteristics of your vehicle on the track. Both F/I applications provide fantastic power.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:55 PM   #24
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I believe before you go either route Turbo or S/C you should test out your car on the track. The E46 M3 is an Amazing Platform to start out with on any track or road course. I would recommend doing a Hooked on Driving Event, Autocross Event or BMW Driving school to feel the characteristics of your vehicle on the track. Both F/I applications provide fantastic power.
Viral speaks volumes of wisdom. I mentioned the same thing as well. But now, we need to stress the importance of you DRIVING, not just riding in BOTH types of FI. Should be appropriate sized to what you want, Super Charged car and the same for a Turbo car. (Sadly, being the driver may be somewhat difficult)

It should be on the track, not just the street. I am certain you can arrange SOME thing through one of the clubs Viral mentioned. Beg, borrow, or even rent time. Be a PASSENGER if you have to. That may be the only way unless you want to spend weeks/months gaining trust in a club situation. Passenger is far from ideal, but better than nothing.

It is such a split decision for everyone that there is no right or wrong answer. It will come down to what YOU like, in the end.
Money/costs may also be a factor.

So far no one has posted any wrong or bad information. It is up to YOU now, not us. Good luck and have fun in your decision making process. Don't stress over anything. No mods have to be permanent!

EDIT: Please make sure to read this recent thread! http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=920450
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #25
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Appreciate the feedback on driving school, it does make good sense to get some seat time in the E46 stock which is part of my plan. That said, I want to focus on the question at hand as I know I will not be satisfied with stock power.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:50 PM   #26
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+1 for getting a handle on the tracks youll be frequenting most often in NA form first.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:58 AM   #27
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I've had my 2001 since new. I've tracked it at Mosport, Shannonville, dunville and toronto motorsports park. I'm not quite sure how many km i put on total between all those tracks but one time at mosport i did 320km in a day, it was awesome. The M3 is a great track car. All of my mods were focused on suspension and braking...spherical bearings, sway bars, coilovers, bbk with track pads and better fluid, R6 hoosiers with light weight wheels and harnesses. With all that stuff the car is seriously fun and extremely capable in my opinion. Could the car use more power? Sure, but as usual most people are really good at the straights but it is the corners that slow people way down. After 11 years of ownership i felt the car needed some more excitement and decided to put a turbo on it, HPF stage 2. I have not driven the car with the kit but i'm sure it will be fun and fast. One really important thing you will need to address with the E46 M3 chassis is all the weak spots to prevent failure. I've torn up my rear floor (needed replacing) and both front strut towers. At the end of the day tracking cost money and every so often really big failures happen and it sucks. Superchargers do heat soak after X amount of time and turbos have their own issues in the heat department.

I say turbo
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:14 PM   #28
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I've had my 2001 since new. I've tracked it at Mosport, Shannonville, dunville and toronto motorsports park. I'm not quite sure how many km i put on total between all those tracks but one time at mosport i did 320km in a day, it was awesome. The M3 is a great track car. All of my mods were focused on suspension and braking...spherical bearings, sway bars, coilovers, bbk with track pads and better fluid, R6 hoosiers with light weight wheels and harnesses. With all that stuff the car is seriously fun and extremely capable in my opinion. Could the car use more power? Sure, but as usual most people are really good at the straights but it is the corners that slow people way down. After 11 years of ownership i felt the car needed some more excitement and decided to put a turbo on it, HPF stage 2. I have not driven the car with the kit but i'm sure it will be fun and fast. One really important thing you will need to address with the E46 M3 chassis is all the weak spots to prevent failure. I've torn up my rear floor (needed replacing) and both front strut towers. At the end of the day tracking cost money and every so often really big failures happen and it sucks. Superchargers do heat soak after X amount of time and turbos have their own issues in the heat department.

I say turbo
This is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Really appreciate it. I am getting more serious about the E46 M3 as I really love the car and I think my plan will be to run it stock and build out the suspension, brakes and subframe reinforcement similar to what you have done. After learning the car then I will add power.

Did you ship your car to HPF for the install or did you have it done locally? I would appreciate any insight you have with respect to the install and credible local shops that can help with the car. Thanks again.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:59 PM   #29
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This is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Really appreciate it. I am getting more serious about the E46 M3 as I really love the car and I think my plan will be to run it stock and build out the suspension, brakes and subframe reinforcement similar to what you have done. After learning the car then I will add power.

Did you ship your car to HPF for the install or did you have it done locally? I would appreciate any insight you have with respect to the install and credible local shops that can help with the car. Thanks again.
No problem, hope i can help. I did the install myself. I do all the wrenching on my cars so i know exactly what is going on. The HPF install is quite time consuming but with the detailed instructions included i don't see why almost anybody can't do it...getting the exhaust manifold with turbo on there really is a I'm quite anal with my car and it really is my baby so i don't trust it in anybody else's hands. Being a machinist working with really tight tolerances and applying the mindset to cars makes people

My advice to you is start with pads & fluid and a harness (so you can focus on driving rather then keeping yourself in place) i use schroth quick fit since i don't have a harness bar. Coilovers next to help get rid of the understeer. Sways front and rear and bushings last. Bushings, spherical are crazy, love em! All slop is eliminated and you become one with the car. If you can do it all at the same time great but you'll never know what did what. First things first...reinforce the rear floor and front strut towers.

You'll love the E46 M3 on the track. I know mine has and a few people, good times All my tracking is for fun and smile are the prize.

I'm sure others will add or correct what i've said.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:30 PM   #30
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Irishace, I think you are right to run the car stock for a while before you crank up the power. A stock E46 M3 is pretty damn fast. I don't know how much track time you've had, but the first times I took my car to the track I found the throttle to be somewhat of an enemy. The very first thing you should upgrade, IMO, before the suspension, is the brakes. My first track day with my car was at VIR with the car stock. I boiled my brake fluid and had a change-your-underwear sort of moment when the brakes faded at 135mph. The E46 is not light, and the stock brakes will not hold up if you drive it hard on a brake-intense track. I've had no worries with my BBK, but SS lines, pads, etc might be fine, especially if you stripped some weight out of the car.

I went SC at a time when turbos really weren't out there for this car. I've got about 110K miles on this motor (60K miles and a bunch of track days since putting on the blower) and it has held up well. I have had some heat issues on a couple of very hot days down here; that might not be such a problem for you up there, but agree w the others that the biggest issue with any F/I on the track will be cooling it. I will also say that now that I'm used to 462hp, it is an utter blast on the track. I really can't imagine what I'd do with more, but if this motor ever blows up I'll probably have HPF rebuild it and turbo it, so maybe I'll get to find out.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:45 PM   #31
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To be the black sheep here, I would take the thousands that you would spend obtaining, installing, fixing, perfecting, and maintaining an FI setup and instead spend it on tires, brake pads, and more track days. More power means more things breaking, and/or more expense--you can never really escape that part. Enjoy the car n/a IMO, and do suspension mods first.
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