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Old 12-21-2007, 07:39 PM   #1
JamesClay
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Winter Fun - BimmerWorld E46 M3 Racecar Build

It's that time again. Cold, dark early, and no track time without travel. I spent all year at the track, traveling and dreaming up cars to build and what would be super cool to play with. Now, its time to turn the dreaming into something drivable!

When I came up with this, I was on the way home from driving Chris Lewis's awesome E46 M3 CM car at VIR. That car was soooo fast right out of the box with just a good combination of the right parts - and so easy to drive. It is rare that a car is that impressive, but his is.

So now the wheels are turning - if we built this thing fully in-house, how would I do it? It is very straightforward - really an E46 World Challenge car, but with a wide open rulebook. So now all the cool stuff that we couldn't do, we can!

Unfortunately, the big stumbling block for me was time. If I built this thing, I would have to use it - we already have a building with some expensive dust holders and I don't intend to add another. I was at the track about 100+ days in 2007 in addition to running a business and a race team - a commitment to do more wasn't so smart...

But! A friend and I started discussing cars and I mentioned Chris's and that was the spark for the fire. Fan a little bit by some talk of a trip to TX, CA, etc for the 2008 BMW CR season. Now we get all the fun of building what I think will be a stellar club racing car, I have a great driver to drive it, and I get to jump in and play when time permits - win-win-win!

This project will result in a very solid car, but nothing so far on the exotic end that it takes black magic and some guy in a dark shed to recreate- no one offs allowed! The engine package will be fully based on our coming E46 M3 tuning line for street cars, including wet sump oiling. The suspension is not specially valved, just what all the companies involved tweaked through the years of racing E46 cars that is now incorporated in off-the-shelf parts. The brakes are Performance Friction, but out of their yet to be released street lineup which takes $3k monobloc calipers (per) and turns them into a $4k brake kit (OK - maybe there is some black magic involved). The chassis components will be lightened, but no widebodies and nothing wild. Add plenty of race goodies and more fabrication than you can shake a stick at and off we go!

As we go through the build process, we will post a lot of pictures and progress reports here.

First pictures coming shortly!
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:29 PM   #2
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HA!!

I love it!

Will this be the grey or black car?
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:32 AM   #3
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It is starting black. Grey is in my garage
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:24 PM   #4
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Looking forward to it and if you need anymore test mules, let me know.

Clint
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:41 PM   #5
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:35 PM   #6
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So when are you coming back down to Texas James? This is Greg with the black 330Ci from the club race school at Oktoberfest.
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:27 PM   #7
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So when are you coming back down to Texas James? This is Greg with the black 330Ci from the club race school at Oktoberfest.
Hi Greg-

Next year for some race. I would like to go to Eagle's Canyon, but I wouldn't mind hitting TWS again. Have to figure it out when all the schedules are out.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:13 PM   #8
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Somebody email JamesC with directions how to use a camera!

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Old 01-01-2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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Somebody email JamesC with directions how to use a camera!

James Needed a subject first! Here are the first pictures of the donor car. It was a track car pre-incident (tire wall contact, fairly cosmetic), but we were able to save a bit of money by only taking the main car and a few goodies and letting the PO sell the rest that we were going to replace.

The good side:




Front:


The damage:


Damage close-ups - notice the door seam and fitment is still correct - the pillars didn't move. I don't like to fix wrecks and starting with a twisted shell may save some money up front, but I steer clear unless it is a real budget car. This cosmetic work will clean up nicely when it goes to the body shop:




Next step - strip it!
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:19 PM   #10
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Looks like an awesome project! I am somewhat sad you aren't going to add a wide body kit and put on some crazy wide tires or anything but either way I can't wait to see the outcome. Make sure to take plenty of pictures!
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:36 PM   #11
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I am somewhat sad you aren't going to add a wide body kit and put on some crazy wide tires or anything but either way I can't wait to see the outcome.
Maybe later. For now we are intentionally sticking with something that looks stock, doesn't have a dry-sump, etc to show that it doesn't take all that stuff to have a fast winning racecar.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:15 AM   #12
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Ug!!! After seeing an E46 coupe with Bimmerworld cagework, I'm going to want to start over with my project.

Great to see another "build" thread on the forum though, if you need any tips feel free to PM me.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:18 AM   #13
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Ug!!! After seeing an E46 coupe with Bimmerworld cagework, I'm going to want to start over with my project.

Great to see another "build" thread on the forum though, if you need any tips feel free to PM me.
Does a good project ever end? Thanks - email me your cell # and I will call for the last minute issues while we are trying to get it to the track
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:22 AM   #14
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Does a good project ever end? Thanks - email me your cell # and I will call for the last minute issues while we are trying to get it to the track
Sorry, I don't give out my #.

Any more hints on the parts list? I'm really interested in the brakes you mentioned before...
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:35 AM   #15
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At some point the parts list will be fully public - we aren't trying to hide much on this car. The brakes are Performance Friction for their new street line. They have taken their full race calipers which typically cost about $1250 for a 2-piece and $3k for a monobloc per and made them less expensive. The coolest thing about this is they didn't cut big functionality out so what you get is really similar to what is run in World Challenge, Grand Am, CART, NASCAR, etc. It is a fully individualized program so we can put the kits together per customer for your specific application - and painting any color (ANY, including matching paint codes) is no charge. Fronts start at $2800, rears at $2000 for 2-piece, a little more for monobloc.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:15 PM   #16
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Updates?
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:21 PM   #17
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Sorry - have been full speed on the WC cars getting ready for Sebring, plus building a new E36 car for the same weekend. Stripping finally started today. Everything comes off, sound deadening out, then off to be baked/dipped.

Still a good place to store all the junk (and some good stuff)


Hardly looks wrecked now! And some wheel pictures for Greg.


Starting to get there inside


Notice the prefered tool - I didn't even ask...
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:27 PM   #18
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Mmm... Nice wheels.

Thanks for showing the pics, I can't wait for more!
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:30 PM   #19
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Mmm... Nice wheels.
BBS RG-R - our shop rollers. Now if any of them were straight they would be really sweet...
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:29 PM   #20
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Here are a few tips from me, the ultimate BMW guru (me):

-It'll take the next size up ball peen hammer to get that engine out of the car.
-Use a #10.5 Knitting needle to punch 5 holes in that latex glove. This will give you the proper amount of airflow and the required filtering for that engine.

Other than that, the car looks like a winner.
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