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Spec E46 racing class forum
Official Spec E46 racing class forum.

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Old 11-28-2013, 06:51 AM   #1
Nick325xiT 5spd
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Parts selection

Out of curiosity why are we going with comparatively expensive suspension parts that allow ANY adjustment? The most successful BMW Spec series gives you Bilsteins and H&Rs. It doesn't have to be that specific combination, but why change what's worked?

And why allow an LSD at all? If no one has one, it's really not a big deal. Whereas the rules basically make it a $3,000 increase in build cost. (And I already have a Diffsonline 3.46 LSD, so to be clear, I really don't have a specific dog in this hunt.)

I'm concerned that "spec" here is looking like a lot of nice parts that are completely unnecessary in a spec class.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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SPEC cars are not always supposed to be castrated dogs. You should talk to ton of SE36 folks how much they don't enjoy their suspension. It really doesn't work all that well. Some adjustability will just help to adjust the car to YOUR driving style rather than doing the other way around, which is much much harder and not satisfying.

Have you recently pushed a car to its limit without LSD? Especially with the much higher TQ numbers on lower RPMs from this engine, you will get wheelspin. Especially with highly sprung suspension, push harder you will see.

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Old 11-28-2013, 10:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evice View Post
SPEC cars are not always supposed to be castrated dogs. You should talk to ton of SE36 folks how much they don't enjoy their suspension. It really doesn't work all that well. Some adjustability will just help to adjust the car to YOUR driving style rather than doing the other way around, which is much much harder and not satisfying.

Have you recently pushed a car to its limit without LSD? Especially with the much higher TQ numbers on lower RPMs from this engine, you will get wheelspin. Especially with highly sprung suspension, push harder you will see.
The SE36 formula always looked terrible to me. But that's a matter of getting the formula wrong. SpecE30 guys don't seem to hate their suspensions.

The more adjustment you allow in the car, the less "spec" the class is. A great non-adjustable damper would be fine with me.

As for the diff, well, so what if you get wheel spin? If everyone else has it, who cares? Sure, it's annoying, but when a diff costs more than the donor car, it's a significant expense that does not actually improve the racing.
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd View Post
The SE36 formula always looked terrible to me. But that's a matter of getting the formula wrong. SpecE30 guys don't seem to hate their suspensions.

The more adjustment you allow in the car, the less "spec" the class is. A great non-adjustable damper would be fine with me.

As for the diff, well, so what if you get wheel spin? If everyone else has it, who cares? Sure, it's annoying, but when a diff costs more than the donor car, it's a significant expense that does not actually improve the racing.

I certainly don't speak for the founders of this class, but I am very excited that a spec class has been created that allows for cars that are reasonably quick and have parts that are more closely related to actual race car parts. Open diffs and a street intended shock make for a slow frustrating race car.

To move from a garbage shock to a proper race shock is a very marginal cost increase in the grand scheme of building and campaigning a race car. Same goes for the addition of a proper diff. These changes will pay big dividends in raceability and desirability of the series. Spec series don't have to be slow and poorly equipped, hopefully this series will deliver.

As far as shock adjustability I thnk that is paramount to aiding in driver development and growth. It allows for experimentation, this type of learning should always be a focus in amateur racing.

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Old 11-28-2013, 11:18 AM   #5
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nick you should spend a few minutes reading the spece46.com website, most of your points have been addressed
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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I'm concerned that "spec" here is looking like a lot of nice parts that are completely unnecessary in a spec class.
Nick I actually agreed with you for quite a while as we were first dreaming this up months ago. The issue is that with some cheap suspensions and open diffs, these cars won't be any more fun or faster than an SE30, Spec3, etc. So why bother building the class at that point?

Those existing low budget classes already fill a great need in the club racing world, what's missing is that level of spec competition - in a real car. Our goal is to fill that void and watch people build some great race cars and compete, not to take anything away from the existing Spec classes.

Also - I think you're right that the SE30 suspension is pretty good. Having raced one for years, it makes for a quick-enough and compliant car that you can abuse the heck out of. That said - you have to get new shocks every year if you want to run up front, they don't _actually_ handle well by race car standards, and the spring rates are way too soft. What they have works for them, it's a different class and a lower end car. This will make a nice step up for people who wanted a newer, faster car but don't want open class racing.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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nick you should spend a few minutes reading the spece46.com website, most of your points have been addressed
Yeah, I've read it. I don't agree. IMHO, the more adjustment on the car, the less focus on driving. I still don't see what a limited slip diff adds to competition, either. (And remember that I actually already own the diff.)
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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Yeah, I've read it. I don't agree. IMHO, the more adjustment on the car, the less focus on driving. I still don't see what a limited slip diff adds to competition, either. (And remember that I actually already own the diff.)
it doesn't add anything to competition, it makes it a better car that more people actually want to drive. there's more to a successful race series than vehicle equality, otherwise we'd all be racing "spec chevy cavalier".
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:47 PM   #9
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it doesn't add anything to competition, it makes it a better car that more people actually want to drive. there's more to a successful race series than vehicle equality, otherwise we'd all be racing "spec chevy cavalier".
*shrug*. As I said - what I see is at least $5k extra up front that adds not very much when no one else is allowed to have it. Honestly, the M54B30 isn't *that* powerful. The open diff is not that annoying on track. I've run as high as 1,300lbs. rear springs with an open diff. The E46 has good enough traction.

IMHO, more up front cost discourages participation. I'm willing to agree to disagree, I just don't see how this would help. The great irony here is that it would cost me personally MORE money to run the 2.93 as I'd have to go buy one. I was planning on slapping another B30 in my car, but this will change how I do it.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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So... this is where it's tough for me to set aside my personal desires, and do what's best for the class. Nick I do somewhat agree with you - my budget is tight, and I don't look forward to spending that much on a diff. But this idea is pretty well baked over the last 6 months, we're not bringing it here as a brand new thought. The majority of demand for the SE46 class is coming from people with higher budgets who just aren't worried about it. There's still a _big_ jump to the open classes, you can spend over $100k on a GTS car, but truly spending more than $20-25 on a Spec E46 will stop yielding lap time gains in a hurry. In fact, if we were to drop the LSD and spec bilsteins and H&R springs, there would be 0 people building cars right now instead of the 6-7+ we already have with donors, including Bimmerworld.

There seems to be a high demand for a moderate budget Spec, a level above the lower cost Spec options currently out there. Truthfully it might be tough for me to run in my own class, but the goal here was successfully building a proper SE46 and getting some great racing going - this seems to be what it takes to do it.
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