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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 06-30-2010, 01:18 AM   #1
JamesClay
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BimmerWorld - E46 M3 Street/Track Car Build

Summertime. The racing season has slowed down a little bit and it is time to look at some non-race projects. In the back of my mind, I have been thinking for a while that I see a lot more E46 M3 cars at the track these days. Then when Grassroots Motorsports announced that their 2010 Ultimate Track Car Challenge (UTCC) would be held at VIR again this year, the wheels started turning.

Anyone know this car?
BW_E46M3STC

Unfortunately, it was rearranged last year at Mid Ohio, but maybe this shot of it is a little more familiar?
BW_E46M3STC (1)

The owner contacted me after the wreck with an offer to buy the car which he had fortuitously insured with nice trackday coverage from my friend Ryan at Lockton Affinity. So with the insurance company looking to offload what was still an awesome car and at a more awesome price, I jumped and squirreled it away thinking it might be a driveline donor for an S54 swap or something.

Then this whole GRM UTCC think popped up and remembering that I know a guy names Steve Bassen, bodyman extraordinaire responsible for many miracles in our race program, we shook the dust off of the E46 M3 that we had in storage. After a couple of weeks of his magic, the car was back in our shop and ready for a dose of our own.
BW_E46M3STC (2)

My goals in building this car is to build something representative of what people take to the track. We have built E46 M3 racecars and this isn't one of them. It is hard to contain myself to a good degree - I am working on the build list and surrounded by parts sitting on a shelf looking for a home. Compound that with the fact that I like to win and knowing I am coming into the UTCC with self-imposed limits isn't usually my preference, but I am going to do my best to stay true to my initial vision.

So what does this mean? I am going to impose some budget limitations. I am not going to name a number because frankly, I know I will let it creep a little to hit the secret VIR Full Course time I have in the back of my mind. But it means I am approaching this with some absolute objectives that I won't compromise on [much at all]:
  • This car will be street legal. Maybe not a date car, and you guys in CA may not want the CARB guys poking around, but it will have tags and an inspection sticker.
  • Nothing will be put on the car for bling. This is a performance car and in deciding the budget, the parts used will be to provide speed and enough flexibility to allow road use.
  • We will be making new BimmerWorld products for the project where none exist that fit the budget, performance, or quality (or some combination of all of these) that work in the goals of our build. Due to the tight timeline, we will be using prototypes in some areas or skipping some parts I feel are important and revisiting in future updates.

So for example, I will pony up for a Moton suspension so it can be mild on the street and fast on the track, both with a decent amount of spring behind it. I will NOT be throwing on big brakes - I love the Performance Friction parts we sell, they make a difference and are a good performance part, but the incremental difference in lap times doesn't justify the cost for this project.

With an event date of July 23, less than a month away, it is time to get started. I am usually behind the shop a little, and they have been starting on the roll hoop and some light stripping of the car. And since I am declaring some vacation time, I will have to catch up on the pictures and updates next week most likely.

Until then, enjoy!
James
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Last edited by JamesClay; 06-30-2010 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:23 AM   #2
invictus
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I am very interested in this.
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:28 AM   #3
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Cool! Reminds me of my first DE instructor. He had a silver M3 like that with just a dinan suspension, PFC pads (not sure of the compound), and R-Comps on the same style of wheels.

I went for a ride when he drove in the instructor group. He passed EVERYONE. Can't imagine what the Bimmerworld drivers could do with this!
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:13 PM   #4
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Subscribed! I am liking the direction this project is taking... I also like how you are not going BBK! Last week I delt with Jamie from you shop to order a set of PFC 06 pads. I had them at the track this weekend and I totally fell in love. Much better then the Carbotechs I was running last season! I had to adjust my driving a bit but once that was done they performed amazingly! I must give a huge shout out to Jamie... he was down right amazing to deal with and his customer service have made me a customer of yours for life! Give him a pat on the back for me!
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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Cool, I'll be interested to see where this goes, especially whatever parts you decide need to be created. (offset control arm bushings for more caster? Camber plates which locate the adjuster below the strut towers?) My own build has a fairly similar goal, (DD & national level STX autocrosser 330i) so hopefully there are some things I can apply.

For whatever it's worth, I think you can do DD comfort on track rates for a lot less money than Moton, my AST 4200s have served me well driving to work every day in the crap-road heart of the midwest in fixed back race seats. (though if you have the Motons sitting on a shelf, I could see how that might be a cheaper write-off for you)
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by murph1379 View Post
For whatever it's worth, I think you can do DD comfort on track rates for a lot less money than Moton, my AST 4200s have served me well driving to work every day in the crap-road heart of the midwest in fixed back race seats. (though if you have the Motons sitting on a shelf, I could see how that might be a cheaper write-off for you)
Not going to get in brand battles here, but it is bang for the buck and I am looking to maximize performance for minimal price. I intend to use a little more spring rate than non-custom AST can handle. The spring rate is critical to meet the time goal, thus the damper choice.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:47 PM   #7
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #8
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Oh I see a car up there that I know something about. Is that the infamous CM #175?? Oh it is.... Subscribed.. Chris
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:51 PM   #9
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Oh I see a car up there that I know something about. Is that the infamous CM #175?? Oh it is.... Subscribed.. Chris
Haha nice
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:58 AM   #11
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The spring rate is critical to meet the time goal, thus the damper choice.
ok James, this is where you can't leave us hanging, what spring rates do you have planned???
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:01 AM   #12
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:52 AM   #13
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ok James, this is where you can't leave us hanging, what spring rates do you have planned???
I was running 700/750 on the street with Moton Club Sports on my E46...I imagine it will be a good step above that for VIR. The "Uberwagon" as I remember was pretty stiff for the 2007 UTCC...
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:06 PM   #14
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this is going to be great. cant wait!
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:13 PM   #15
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I was running 700/750 on the street with Moton Club Sports on my E46...I imagine it will be a good step above that for VIR. The "Uberwagon" as I remember was pretty stiff for the 2007 UTCC...
I didn't know yours were that stiff! Wow. Mine are 550/700 and everyone was telling me I was crazy. It's not bad at all, there's definitely forum fear out there about spring rates.
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:53 PM   #16
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this is gonna be epic!





And street legal???
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:36 PM   #17
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:40 PM   #18
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:58 AM   #19
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great!!! let's see.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:19 PM   #20
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cant wait to see what plans r being made for this car!!
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