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Old 06-03-2002, 01:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 337
My Ride: 1999 E46 328i
Question Car prep for Road Atlanta

Anyone ever tracked their car at Road Atlanta, especially you Atlanta boys/girls? I'm going in Novemeber and am wanting to know how to prep the car if needed for the track. I have the Sport suspension, but it is stock. I was thinking of replacing the brake pads (they are almost gone), and replacing the brake fluid with Ate Super Blue Racing Brake Fluid.

Is there a need for strut tower braces? I would like to upgrade the sway bars and add strut tower braces, replace the rotors with crossdrilled, add Brembo calipers, and replace the tires with S03's, but time and money is limited, if you know what I mean.

Will I have problems with the frame/body bending, warping, or flexing under hard cornering?


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Old 06-07-2002, 07:49 PM   #2
Slow in, slower out
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,646
My Ride: 325it
Can I assume this will be your first day of driver school? The sport package suspension is a very capable combination so don't worry about suspension upgrades for a while. My one day at Road Atlanta was at Oktoberfest in 2000. I ran the car absolutely stock including the factory brake pads and the awful Bridgestone Turanza 225-45/17 tires that came on the car. My car was only a few days old at that point and had just passed the 1200 mile break-in. Definitely put in fresh brake fluid before the event. Ate Super Blue (my personal preference) and its amber twin Ate Type 200 Gold are more than adequate at the track.

Don't worry about strut braces or chassis stiffening right away. The E46 is very stiff so you probably wouldn't notice any difference with a strut brace until you have a few days of track experience under your belt.

Cross drilled brake rotors are basically fashion items. They don't help with cooling that much and are prone to cracking. Big aftermarket brakes are overkill until you learn how to push the car. Wait until you have about 10 days of track experience before considering aftermarket systems. The stock brakes are fine for initial track use. Ask your instructor about race pads at the end of your first day for a recommendation of brand and timing.

Swaybars are great (I love my UUC bars) but another unnecessary upgrade for the first few track days. If you have the cash now, get the UUC bars if you want. This is one upgrade that you can enjoy both on the street and at the track.

Basically, leave the car stock during your first few track days and learn as much as you can about how to drive it. No matter what you do to the car, there will always be someone faster in a "slower" car. I've been passed by enough E30 318's to know. Then again, I have passed quite a few Corvettes, 911's, and M3's in my Touring.

Here are a couple of my posts about driver schools:

Safety Equipment:

Track prep:

Mod the driver. Participate in your local BMWCCA autocross or driving school. Have you joined BMWCCA yet?

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