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General E46 Forum
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:15 PM   #1
Gtmatthew
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Just bought a 325 to turn into a tack car....Now what?

Hello BMW world, I'm a new guy to BMWs but my brother and a few of my friends have had them for years. Anyways I wanted to get into autocross and track days, so on Craigslist I found this 01 325 it had 2 engines and 3 trans and a ton of parts, got it for a steal. The interior is mostly gone, no engine in it currently, have a 330 engine to put it in with the 6speed is the plan and sell the 2.5 and 5 speed that came out of it. So my question what does the community think are essential things I should do to the car to have fun at the track, this will not be a daily driver.

I'm thinking, race seats, 5pt harness, race steering wheel, ss brake lines, 4pt cage. If I can afford it new wheels and tires.

Any other suggestions? Thanks
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:31 PM   #2
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Lots of things.
-assuming that the subframe isn't damaged(common on the pre MY 2002)
Better breaks. Better suspension. Wheels/tires are paramount for a track car. Make sure ALL of the routine maintenance items are up to par. Start with that stuff before you start into roll cages, etc. car won't look cool, or be fast if the engine overheats on the first lap.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:21 PM   #3
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maybe start here: http://spece46.com
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:24 PM   #4
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Thanks, that's what I have been reading and finding out, the m54 motor I'm putting in it is out of the car, thinking I should do any of the seals that are hard to get to, like the rear main, oil pain, valve cover, any others anyone can think of?
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:33 PM   #5
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ATI damper. New rubber brake lines not SS. New fluids everywhere. Muffler delete to reduce weight. Possible a fully stainless radiator and a stainless expansion tank.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:03 PM   #6
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OP,

You might want to search the threads I've created.....

Keep the 2.5L & sell the 3.0L.



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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:56 PM   #7
Gtmatthew
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Thanks rob, I think that's what I'll do, you know anyone in the market for a 3L and a 6speed? Haha
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:56 PM   #8
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ATI damper. New rubber brake lines not SS. New fluids everywhere. Muffler delete to reduce weight. Possible a fully stainless radiator and a stainless expansion tank.
Why not the ss brake lines?
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:17 PM   #9
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Because brake lines are a wear item when racing and should be replaced every season. SS don't really offer much benefit compared to a brand new rubber line. And rubber lines aren't going to break the bank every year.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:48 PM   #10
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A 5 speed 325 with a 3.46 diff is a respectably quick car. I'd get the diff, headers, and poly/M3 bushings where applicable.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:08 PM   #11
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Keep the 2.5L & sell the 3.0L.
Why?
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:08 PM   #12
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Why?
Certainly a good question.



3.0L motors have a Much Higher tracked failure rate.

2.5L motors don't.




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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
SUMMIT POINT WV 1:24:229 SCCA
(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gtmatthew View Post
Hello BMW world, I'm a new guy to BMWs but my brother and a few of my friends have had them for years. Anyways I wanted to get into autocross and track days, so on Craigslist I found this 01 325 it had 2 engines and 3 trans and a ton of parts, got it for a steal. The interior is mostly gone, no engine in it currently, have a 330 engine to put it in with the 6speed is the plan and sell the 2.5 and 5 speed that came out of it. So my question what does the community think are essential things I should do to the car to have fun at the track, this will not be a daily driver.

I'm thinking, race seats, 5pt harness, race steering wheel, ss brake lines, 4pt cage. If I can afford it new wheels and tires.

Any other suggestions? Thanks
I'm thinking lots of maintenance first. Cooling system. Suspension bushings. Control arms. Track pads.

All the stuff you're thinking is gee-wiz, but if you really want to enjoy it as a track car, start with the basics.

The car I first drove in SCCA school and my first races (in IT) had a stock seat (yep!), stock steering wheel, stock struts with Pro-Kits, and a bolt-in cage. Not exactly glamorous. But it was dead reliable and we added the gee-wiz stuff as we went along.

The LeMons car we raced (same platform as our SCCA IT car) was every bit as good, and perhaps even better.

Take care of ALL the basics first. You can show up on a track day with all the fun stuff and if your car doesn't run you look like an idiot.

Of all the things you mentioned, the race seats are about the only thing I would call a priority, and even that's not a given. SS lines would come after track specific pads (changed out upon arrival at the track and just before leaving).

I've race on and off more than half my life. What I can tell you works best is seat time. That means reliability. If you're building a race car, you need to read the rule book. Then read it again with a highlighter and make notes in the margins.
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Old 06-26-2016, 06:22 PM   #14
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Thank you all for all the suggestions! I'll get all the Maintenon stuff done then worry about the cool stuff
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:20 AM   #15
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Just bought a 325 to turn into a tack car....Now what?

I think you learn better if you make incremental improvements to the car instead of all at once. Focus on working your way up the HPDE classes first, mods second. Safety and reliability step 0.

Last edited by pvaultguy; 07-07-2016 at 07:40 AM.
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