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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 04-08-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
orionstrident
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Beginner who has some questions

So have an e46 325 and have done a large amount of suspension work to the car however now i have another car so the bmw isnt my daily driver. So now i am going to slowly turn it into a dedicated track/race car.

http://forum.E46Fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=896307

I dont plan on doing anything more in terms of performance to the car just maintenance but i do want to start to change some safety thing/lighten the car.

However i have a few questions about everything i have seen.

My plan is to put a bolt on roll bar with 2 fia approved seats and 5 point harnesses. Looking at some Recaro proefi spg seats right now.

Now for the questions:
I have a feeling that a small fire extinguisher is a must.

I have also been looking at the idea of putting an electrical kill switch in. Will this provide any saftey benefit over the stock battery cut off in an accident.

Also i have seen other race cars that have tons of switches on the dash. What do those typically control?

thanks for any help i look forward to learning more about my car and tracking i have some track time already.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
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heres a very comprehensive place to start: http://forums.my330i.com/showthread.php?t=8770
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the read beans that was a great thread!! Learned a lot to bad his car detonated though after all that work and money he put into it.

But still would you guys recommend a Jill switch even If it isn't a 100% track car just for saftey?
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:26 PM   #4
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Not to be a debbie downer, but if you are planning on making this a track car, a 325i probably isn't the best base to start with. Regardless, you can do it if you like. Anyway, I would suggest against getting a bolt-in rollbar. They don't strengthen the ridgity of the car much, they're noisy, a pain to install, you have to drill holes to bolt them in, and in a roll-over they are bound to bust through the floor. Find a good cage builder in your area is what I would suggest. A fire extinguisher is unnecessary unless you are in the higher run groups. A kill-switch is over the top for a street car. The switches can control anything from the electric fan, to a camera, or lap recorder, or numerous other things such as ABS, DSC, the starter, etc. The only one you'll probably need is the electric fan switch, assuming you have one.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
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heres a very comprehensive place to start: http://forums.my330i.com/showthread.php?t=8770
All that and he went for heavy ass beyern mesh wheels. Wow.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:24 PM   #6
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All that and he went for heavy ass beyern mesh wheels. Wow.
I was kind of thinking the same thing haha he spent so much money and went with cheap rims.


As for the 325i i am not going out to try and win any races or anything i dont really plan on racing in this car this is for me to learn. I dont need a high powered car to learn lines and become a better driver. I have access to more powerful cars (z4m) if i needed however i want to make myself better before i worry about wether the difference between a 325 vs 330 will make me faster. I just want to have fun and stay safe. As for the bolt in i never thought about these things. For those of you with custom roll cages how much did they typically run you?
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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For those of you with custom roll cages how much did they typically run you?
cost depends on materials used and complexity of the cage. A friend of mine is a fabricator and does nhra legal cages quite often for s13/s14's, vw's, and hondas. He is quite reasonable on prices (as low as $800 installed plus the cost of any time spent modifying the interior).

pm me for his email if youre interested, he's in nj.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:49 AM   #8
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Opps, I went through the entire thread. He changed up the rear wheel. Man, the work he did is INCREDIBLE!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:50 AM   #9
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op,

if youre going to slowly turn it into a dedicated track/race car, might as well do things right the first time with bigger ticket items such as cages/wheels/seats etc. it will save you a lot of money in the long run

if you dont already have an lsd, i would suggest looking into one of those as well
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #10
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op,

if youre going to slowly turn it into a dedicated track/race car, might as well do things right the first time with bigger ticket items such as cages/wheels/seats etc. it will save you a lot of money in the long run

if you dont already have an lsd, i would suggest looking into one of those as well
Thanks for the advise I have kosei k1 lightweight wheels and have done suspension but seats and everything after would be done right.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advise I have kosei k1 lightweight wheels and have done suspension but seats and everything after would be done right.

OP, you never made any mention of your budget for this project. Are you dealing with an unlimited budget, or you need to make every dollar count budget ?

I ask this important question because I've built, & have had built many SCCA race cars. Based on your answer to this question, I can give you very good advice based on real world experience, not theory or supposition.


Good luck,
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:39 PM   #12
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OP, you never made any mention of your budget for this project. Are you dealing with an unlimited budget, or you need to make every dollar count budget ?

I ask this important question because I've built, & have had built many SCCA race cars. Based on your answer to this question, I can give you very good advice based on real world experience, not theory or supposition.


Good luck,
Rob.
Its an every dollar counts budget. so any advice is appreciated.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:06 AM   #13
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Its an every dollar counts budget. so any advice is appreciated.
This will cover needed race car / track car safety equipment.

1) The Cage: If you can afford a custom built cage great, cost from a known cage builder will be about $2500-$3500, but figure higher than lower. If not, that's OK, spend your money on a Autopower Roll Cage, cost is about $1000. The trick with a bolt-in cage is to, Not bolt it in. Assemble the cage yourself in the car, then take it to a welder & have him weld it in. The best thing would be for the welder to "box" the area where the roll tube meets the floor plate, this will make it extremely strong & add a lot of structural rigidity to the chassis.

2) Seats: Buy two of the same seats, a $300-$400 budget race seat made out of fiberglass or steel frame, with a weight of 16 LBS or less. The drivers side gets an adjustable sliding rail frame, the passenger side is fixed.

3) Window Nets: Both the driver & passenger seat needs a window net with a quick release mechanism.

4) Electrical Cut Off Switch: You need one. Make sure it's mounted where not only YOU can get to it while strapped down tight in your race seat, but also where any track worker can reach in & turn it off.

5) Fire Suppression: A three nozzle fire suppression system (Motor,Driver,Trunk) is a great thing, but not cheap. A race car fire extinguisher is a must, make sure too position it so YOU can reach it while strapped in. Both would be the best case scenario, that's how I run it in my race car.

6) Race Seat Harnesses: Purchase two of the same 5 or 6 point cam lock ($200) or latch & link ($80) race harness.

7) Driver Gear: Never pilot your Bimmer at the track without the proper gear, jeans & a long sleeve shirt are not it. Purchase a one piece three layer Nomex suit ($275 on sale), Nomex race driving gloves, Nomex high top race shoes, Nomex balaclava (Hood), & Snell SA2010 helmet.

Now, from a safety standpoint, you & any instructor that you put in the car are covered. If you ever have a major unfortunate incident, your chance of survival is very good, I would know, I've had several. You can't put a price tag on being able to get out of the car & walk away.


This is a solid company to order from, very helpful, knowledgeable, & good pricing.
http://www.teamdi.com/

Good luck,
Rob.
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Last edited by Rob43; 04-13-2012 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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are you guys really recommending a cage for a first timer on the track? the OP hasn't indicated any prior track experience, so i'm assuming he's a first timer.

if you're car is well maintained, has plenty of tire and pads/rotors, then you should be able to go to the track. you'll quickly learn that the car is already plenty fast and that the money spent on driver time will get you faster than any mods that you put on the car.

again, remember HPDE is all about EDUCATION. not lap times.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #15
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are you guys really recommending a cage for a first timer on the track? the OP hasn't indicated any prior track experience, so i'm assuming he's a first timer.

if you're car is well maintained, has plenty of tire and pads/rotors, then you should be able to go to the track. you'll quickly learn that the car is already plenty fast and that the money spent on driver time will get you faster than any mods that you put on the car.

again, remember HPDE is all about EDUCATION. not lap times.
Quote:
Originally Posted by orionstrident View Post
So have an e46 325 and have done a large amount of suspension work to the car however now i have another car so the bmw isnt my daily driver. So now i am going to slowly turn it into a dedicated track/race car.

....................... i have some track time already.

This is your answer.

So yes, when an E46F forum member says they want to turn their street Bimmer into a "dedicated track/race car", that's one good way of how to do that.


Good luck,
Rob.
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Quote:
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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #16
k.beans
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you'll quickly learn that the car is already plenty fast and that the money spent on driver time will get you faster than any mods that you put on the car.
in addition to what rob said, the op also stated he was more interested in improving the safety of the car than improving the speed of the car. that being said a cage is a pretty solid idea.
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