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Old 12-05-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
badfast
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e46 323i build for NASA PT "E"

Currently I am building a 323i to compete in NASA's Performance Touring (PT) Series E class (Great Lakes Region). PT works on a points based system. Each car starts in a particular class. Modifications are assigned points and 20 points moves you into the next class. There is also a HP/Weight ratio limit for each class. Stock the 323 is assigned to the F class with 7 points. Here is the proposed list of points the car will accumulate in the build:

PTF +7 (the 323 is assigned 7 points right out the gate)
Air intake +1
Bumpsteer kit +2
Header +2
Cat Removal +1 (because the header removes the cat I take this hit as well)
Electric Fan +1
Differential +3
Springs +2
Shocks +3
Swaybars +2
Front bumper +3 (ouch )
Total: 27 (13 remaining)

I have moved up into the E class by 7 points. However, I have not added the points for tires. I am still trying to determine what I want to use but my potentials are:

Nitto NT-01
Hankook C51
Hankook RS-3

Leaning more towards the first 2 and use the 3rd as a test tire.

This is what the car looked like during the track days:


And this is how is currently sits:


And other pictures of the progress:


AKG Poly bushing with aluminum motor mounts/transmission mounts. Aluminum suspension mounts are +3 points. Poly are +0, same with metal motor/transmission mounts.



Ground Control bump steer kit (+2) and Adjustable rear perches (+0)


Interior being gutted:


Some rollbar that got installed while I had the car in Germany.







And no more supercharger (will be for sale )

Last edited by badfast; 03-03-2014 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
badfast
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I have the rear end almost back together (just need the brakes, springs, and shocks to go in). I just realized I didn't get any pictures of the bushing installed and the subframe being reinstalled.

Shots of the interior (still in progress):



I don't like the only way the back brace will fit the Corbeau seat. That location is where the bolt hole is for the seat, but the brace would fit nicely between the harness holes. May consider a new seat.

And my Master Battery Switch and Radio delete for the car:


I just wrapped the radio delete in a carbon fiber wrap. Drilled a hole and made a cover for the master switch.

I just received this in the mail today!




And scales:



ISC Race suspension. Roughly a 560 lb/in spring rate. 1 way adjustable dampers. I could use upto 2 way adjustable without acquiring additional points. However, the 1 ways were significantly more affordable.

More to come! The goal is to have the car finished by February, test in March, and the first race will be at Mid-Ohio in April.

I am certainly glad I chose to build the car myself. I am not an engineer and doing this has forced many to buy many books, read many articles, and devote many hours to learning to principles and processes that go into building a race car.

Last edited by badfast; 12-05-2013 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
e46techtuner
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Awesome build, I cant wait to see the finished product!
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:00 AM   #4
E46Moonlight
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e46 323i build for NASA PT "E"

Nice!! Sub'd


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Old 12-07-2013, 01:10 AM   #5
unevolved
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Future cage plans?
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
badfast
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Originally Posted by unevolved View Post
Future cage plans?
The cage is in. I ordered a Kirk bolt in from BimmerWorld. With the PT class you must have a cage that abides by NASA CCR which is a 6 point. And that is it. Any additional bars or chassis attachment points will dock you points (+2 per attachment).
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:50 AM   #7
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Gotcha. Are you planning on welding it in at any point?
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:02 AM   #8
badfast
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Gotcha. Are you planning on welding it in at any point?
Unsure. But the door bars must be welded in. The cage is well constructed. I am not entirely concerned about whether it is a weld-in or bolt-in cage. Even after seeing the pictures of the mustang whose rollbar (no cage installed) pushed through.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
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Yeah, if your landing plates are big enough you should be safe. I was thinking more about stiffness, though.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #10
badfast
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Yeah, if your landing plates are big enough you should be safe. I was thinking more about stiffness, though.
Hmm...I should consider it for added stiffness. Along the lines of chassis stiffness I was thinking of foaming the frame. I remember reading about those that tried it, but more research on my end is needed before I commit.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:50 PM   #11
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I think you'd get much better results from welding in your cage (or switching to a fully-welded design that's a little more space efficient).
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:30 PM   #12
badfast
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Posting a few updates as progress has been made. I feel as though I am behind because the weather has been absolutely horrible. Good thing is the car is down on the ground, has been driven around the parking lot and got its first weight.

Bought some OBX pulleys (cheap). Easy to install and fit nicely:


Fidanza flywheel next to the stock flywheel. The weight difference was significant:


Flywheel installed:


Solid motor mounts installed:


Finally on the ground:




The interior is almost complete:


White Brakes behind the black rims. I like this look, but keeping it clean will be additional chore. Worth it


The tow vehicle finally got a hitch:



While I had a down day because of the snow I organized the tools I will take to the track:


The first weighing of the car had it at 3058 with driver. The competition weight is 3153. After that first weight I removed the A/C and installed the lightweight flywheel. I am hoping to be somewhere around 150lbs below weight. I will make that up with ballast. Next on the list is the doorbars. Those need to be welded in. I can finally start setting it up! Get the weights correct, find out my CG, and move on from there.

Certainly trying to get it together to get it the first race in April at Mid-Ohio. It will be untested when it arrives (sounds fun ).
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:17 PM   #13
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If I were you, I'd reclaim those front bumper points and use them on tires. You want the best tire (and largest) you can run to be competitive.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:02 PM   #14
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If I were you, I'd reclaim those front bumper points and use them on tires. You want the best tire (and largest) you can run to be competitive.
I agree. Right now replacing the bumper is not feasible. And with the point structure of PT the best and largest are often in competition against themselves. For example a 235 NT-01 is 11 points which is over half of the class points. A 225 NT-01 is worth 8. And a 245 RS-3 is worth 9. Is the 245 RS-3 faster than a 225 NT-01. I don't know and I am sure that is highly dependent on the driver. Right now, I will have to take the hit for the bumper and try and make up for the lack of points somewhere else.

Do you run in NASA?

Last edited by badfast; 03-03-2014 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Do you run in NASA?
If you plan to be competitive nationally, you'll have to run some size on slicks. The fast "street" tires just won't be competitive.

I run TT's in NASA Central in a TTB Honda S2000. It is fully caged and was used in Honda Challenge by the previous owner in his region, but we don't have any HC drivers in Central yet. I'm also part of the admin staff so my track time is limited. I do know a lot of our PTE drivers and the previous owner of my car is the 2013 PTE champ (Jason Kohler in your region).

Last edited by Mahjik; 03-03-2014 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:29 PM   #16
badfast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahjik View Post
If you plan to be competitive nationally, you'll have to run some size on slicks. The fast "street" tires just won't be competitive.

I run TT's in NASA Central in a TTB Honda S2000. It is fully caged and was used in Honda Challenge by the previous owner in his region, but we don't have any HC drivers in Central yet. I'm also part of the admin staff so my track time is limited. I do know a lot of our PTE drivers and the previous owner of my car is the 2013 PTE champ (Jason Kohler).
Yes, heard of Jason Kohler. I will be in the same region and class as him (Great Lakes PTE). The NT-01s aren't certainly the end all tire. But it will provide me with a good base locally until nationals (which I plan on attending). The first race being in Apr I have many other important things to get accomplished aside from a bumper.

It seems as though the Great Lakes region has a good amount of PTE drivers. And while sporting an orange plate I have to hit the ground running, but overall I am fairly confident in my build setup.

Last edited by badfast; 03-03-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:32 PM   #17
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Good luck with everything bro! I'm keeping my eye on this build.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:41 PM   #18
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Good luck with everything bro! I'm keeping my eye on this build.
Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badfast View Post
Yes, heard of Jason Kohler. I will be in the same region and class as him (Great Lakes PTE). The NT-01s aren't certainly the end all tire. But it will provide me with a good base locally until nationals (which I plan on attending). The first race being in Apr I have many other important things to get accomplished aside from a bumper.

It seems as though the Great Lakes region has a good amount of PTE drivers. And while sporting an orange plate I have to hit the ground running, but overall I am fairly confident in my build setup.
I know Jason was running Hoosiers last year, as he runs for contingencies. In most cases, Hoosiers (like R6's) will be good for at least 1-1.5 seconds over a RS3 or NT01 depending on the track. I'm not trying to sway you either way, just pointing out there is a big difference with race tires verses sticky street tires. It all depends on what your goals are in the end. If you are just trying to get the car on the track, those will do.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:36 PM   #20
badfast
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Originally Posted by Mahjik View Post
I know Jason was running Hoosiers last year, as he runs for contingencies. In most cases, Hoosiers (like R6's) will be good for at least 1-1.5 seconds over a RS3 or NT01 depending on the track. I'm not trying to sway you either way, just pointing out there is a big difference with race tires verses sticky street tires. It all depends on what your goals are in the end. If you are just trying to get the car on the track, those will do.
I appreciate your input. For me being competitive isnt the primary goal of the first couple of races(it is an important goal though). Learning is. Getting the car shaken out and ensuring the programs I am creating are effective and efficient. Doing my best while absorbing as much as I can is goal one.
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