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Old 04-09-2014, 09:42 PM   #1
da Vinci
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 174
My Ride: 2003 BMW 330i ZHP
330i NASA TT & SCCA STX Build

The car is a 2003 Titanium Silver ZHP 330i.

I won the car on an Ebay auction 09/2011, picked it up in Las Vegas and brought it home to Denver, Colorado. The timing of the auction was perfect, it ended while I was at the airport headed to Las Vegas for the Interbike trade show so I found out I won the car right before I got on the plane.

I have a company called da Vinci designs and we build tandem bicycles. We have a machine shop, a lift, one of the best welders in the bicycle industry and deep affection for motorsports.

This is a long overdue build thread and I have been so busy building that I failed to post anything.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:42 PM   #2
da Vinci
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To avoid a lot of repeating, here are a few links to the start of this project.

I started with some Hotchkis swaybars. I wanted to make it easier to make trackside swaybar adjustments so we made this little bracket to keep the linkage bolt from spinning so you could change the swaybar with only a socket wrench. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=890661

Next I wanted to replace my RTAB's and use the limiters. I wanted to take it a step further, but not add the harshness of poly bushings. These extra limiters prevents toe out on acceleration or braking, but did not add harshness or limit the articulation of the rear bushings. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=890156

Next AST 4200 coilovers. I still make a slick caster camber plate for my last car, an Acura RSX, but unless I have something I feel is better, I just assume buy what is available, so I bought the Vorshlag camber plates. I was not able to go with max caster and max camber so I made a spacer and modified some of my custom shoulder bolts. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=888005 The setup was getting better, but I still had some issues and It took a year to get get it all figured out. I will share that in a future post.

In case you are interested, here are the RSX plates http://dvrace.com/caster/
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
da Vinci
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Recap continued.

Next I picked up a UUC Short shifter kit. When I was installing it, much of the remaining shifter slop seemed to be coming from the bushing at the back of the shifter carrier. This slop was reduced by filling the void on one side of the bushing with silicone. See details here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=893779

Here is a DIY on dropping the oil pan to install VAC baffles and oil pump shaft/nut. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...077&highlight= I was really expecting the to eliminate the lifter ticking after an autox run. I think it helped, but it did not go away.

Race seats. I really like the Sparco Roadster seats for a trackday and autocross car that is driven on the street some. The bolsters are not so tall that it takes two hands to get out of your car, but plenty tall to hold you in place. This thread is a DIY on the passenger occupancy sensor and some custom seat mounting brackets and oem seatbelt bracket. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...678&highlight= I have since found an occupancy sensor matt and removed that bypass.

All the strut tower bars I found had bends in them. Whenever you bend metal, you are creating what is effectively a spring. A straight bar is far more efficient in tension. I wanted a light bar that is truly very stiff. Here is my custom strut tower bar. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...551&highlight= I had a couple of the production machine shops I deal with quote the job, but it was just too expensive. I am still considering fabricating strut bars using .125" stainless plate and welding rather than machining it out of huge chunks of aluminum. The bar is stiff enough that my son can stand on it without it touch the engine.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:43 PM   #4
da Vinci
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One more filler.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:09 AM   #5
da Vinci
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I am going to jump ahead to a project that was just finished early this year, 2014.
This is a track worthy, light and inexpensive to maintain brake kit.
The heart of the kit are the AP Racing calipers that take the 7751 brake pad shape (Wilwood Superlite) The importance of that pad shape is, everyone make a pad to fit it and they are substantially less expensive that other pad shapes with the same volume. I think it has something to do with it being a popular shape for Nascar. This make the cost of ownership very low.

I cut the dust shields in the rear an kept the parking brake intact.
RacingBrakes makes a nice floating rear disc with an aluminum hat and steel liner for the e-brake. This was the lightest track worthy option I could find for the rear brake. 328mm x 22mm and 12.8 lbs. The rotors were designed for a M3 and the offset it not correct for a 330i, but I am making my own mounting brackets so that did not matter. The drum is slightly bigger on the M3 so I thought I may need to use the brake shoes from a M3, but a slight adjustment is all it took. ZCP rotors were a contender for the rear 328mm x 20mm and 14.6 lbs.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:18 AM   #6
da Vinci
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I had a lot of offset to deal with so I ended up making a double shear aluminum brake mounting bracket for the rear.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:26 AM   #7
da Vinci
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The rear caliper was made for a smaller rotor so it needed to be opened up a bit at the ends. See the 4th picture.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
da Vinci
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The front AP Racing caliper are radial mount. I used a Wilwood hat for another application and the 332mm x 32mm) 13.06 x 1.25 GT rotors.
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Last edited by da Vinci; 04-13-2014 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:29 AM   #9
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I am jumping ahead again. This is a year long project that I should have finished tomorrow. Headers with cats and single 3" exhaust.

I started with some Bimmerbrakes Gen3 headers. The design and quality looked good and people said the fit was good. The first problem with them that I was the three into one merge. The single tube outlet was stuck into the merge rather than fit over the merge. I cut the header just downstream of the merge and sure enough there was a huge lip facing the wrong direction inside the merge. The tube was stuck way into the merge. See the first photo, this was taken right after I started to grind out the lip. 2nd photo is after grinding off the lip.

The 3rd photo is a quickie boundary fixture to make it easier to to fit the high flow catalytic converters.

4th photo: These are the custom high flow catalytic converts I had made. They have a 3" O.D., 3" length 100 CPSI metallic substrate, 3.5" lung stainless case. The company had a 10 piece minimum so I have 8 extra cats for sale.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:05 PM   #10
da Vinci
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I used 2" V-Band clamps to mount the headers to the 2:1 merge collector.

The mounting holes for the headers are huge. That makes it easier to install them, but alignment can be all over the place so I made some little cone wedges to center the headers for fitment and were used for aligning, but not left on the car for the final install. See photo 4.

Photo 5 is a little tool to make it quick and easy to install the header studs.

Hanksville in Littleton Colorado crafted the 3" stainless tube from the merge back. They got it tight and with very few bends.

I did add a 4" OD 200 CPSI metallic substrate Magnaflow cat because those little 100 cpsi are probably not enough to pass emissions. The extra cat is much further downstream and also very high flow. The rear muffler is a Borla XR-1 Multi-Core 40575
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:50 PM   #11
da Vinci
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Exhaust review: It is bloody loud and the 2200 to 2800 rpm drone is horrific. The Traqmate dyno shows the biggest hp gain I have had yet at 15 hp. I have a stretch of road that is flat and I can do a 1200rpm to redline run in 2nd gear. I have done this stock, with the disa rebuild, Magnaflow catback, Carbonio cold air intake, Epic tune, and nothing has had much impact.

I had a two day NASA event in Pueblo, CO (PMP) and took 1.1 seconds off my best time at PMP. The car sounds right at home on the track, but the 110 miles to and from left my head ringing. What have I done, the stock headers and Magnaflow catback sounded to nice, deep, and tough. I have been reading about Helmholtz resonators, but have not found anything definitive. If any of you have any good info, please pass it on.

Before going to the track, I had to replace my alternator after the exhaust project and discovered a lot of ZHP's were built with an alternators from a 3.0 Z4. The plug is oval instead of rectangular like the rest of the E46's.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:38 PM   #12
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Nice! What TT classification are you shooting for?
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:57 PM   #13
da Vinci
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With Aero and R-comp tires, I am in TTD.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:35 PM   #14
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I'm assuming the Rocky Mountain region? If so, TTD would be a good group. I know there are some pretty quick drivers in TTC out there though if you want some good competition.
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:37 PM   #15
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Whoa, awesome to hear that you got the cat setup to fit, nice work!

Do you have a picture of the headers after you cut them up and added the cats? Would love to see how that ended up looking.

I'm loving the bimmerbrakes V3 headers, I installed them last weekend with stockish exhaust now that the car is retired from STX.

I love all the engineering that's gone into your car.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:53 PM   #16
da Vinci
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Here they are coated and the start of the wrap. Overkill probably.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:06 PM   #17
Solidjake
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Good work on the car. Post up some vids
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by da Vinci View Post
Here they are coated and the start of the wrap. Overkill probably.
Did you just say that coating and wrap are overkill, after posting the rest of this thread??

HAH! Awesome work dude, if my car were still in STX I'd be sending you money until you considered making another set.
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