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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 04-17-2013, 05:33 AM   #1
Leooo
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Post E46 330ci track prepping

Hi guys,

I'm planning on making my '02 330ci with 245.000 km on the clock track ready.
My budget is limited because I just started working a real job but for for e.g. the suspension i know that you can't settle for a 300 euro coilover set because the gas pistons will be rubbish. However, I really don't know which brands are really good value for money. Yes, I do know brands like Eibach and Bilsteiner but I lack the experience, so I hope you guys can help me.

What I'm planning to do:
- 1. Strip the car

- 2. Racing seats (sparco?)

- 3. Roll cage (Fabricate it my self with some help from friends)

- 4. Change the clutch --> But do I need a performance one? Or is a regular stock replacement good enough? Will also replace the flywheel and pressure plates.
And while I'm at it, put in a short shifter + tranny will be cleaned by a professional

- 5. Really need new suspension (don't have M package so suspension is ****) But what brand? (budget +/- 1000 euro) --> Will probably also install better sway-bars but again --> What brand?

- 6. Brakes, (Disk, callipers and pads) --> Any advise? My dad has a 911 with PCCB and those brakes are phenomenal but I don't have a 10k budget for brakes I prefer re-using as much as I can from the stock braking system (due to budget reasons)

- 7. Racing steering wheel of course

I'm planning to keep the car street legal to begin with because I need to drive it to and from the track due to me not having a licence to have a trailer attached to the car (Dutch law bla bla).

I also read something about the oil pump nut? Whats all that about?

Final remark, in a year or 2 I want to participate in a Dutch competition so I need FIA certification for seats, roll cage etc. And of course I need to cut corners due to my budget restrictions but when I need to invest 25% extra in order to get a lot more safety or way better performance, I will do that of course.







For people that think why would you use an engine with 245k on the clock? Here is the story:
It was originally bought by my dad back in 2004 (2nd hand with 40.000 km) and used as a daly driver. When I turned 18, me and my sister were using it as 'our' car but she stayed near my parents and I went to the university in another city so it turned in to 'her' car. So although it has a lot of milage on it, it were easy miles because my sister drives like a 80 year old.
I finished my master and my dad initially wanted to sell it because the clutch needs fixing and for european standards the fuel economy is not economical at all. However, I told him I would like to have it and convert it to a track car. I've been go karting since I'm 8 years old so it was an easy yes
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
Bayerische E46
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I think you're putting the car before the horse. Buy yourself a new OEM clutch (you don't need a fancy clutch), decent brake pads, stainless brake lines, and brake fluid. OEM brake rotors are fine. Check all your bushings and ball joints and replace as necessary. Change and top-off all your fluids. Save the rest of your money and spend it attending track days. Do NOT strip your car. You should keep the factory steering wheel so that you can retain the air bag. Do NOT remove any of your air bags. Not only is removing factory safety equipment unsafe for you, it is unsafe for your passengers.

If you want a better suspension, order up some Bilstein shocks, some springs, some sway bars, and some sway bar end-links. That's more than what you'll need.

Last edited by Bayerische E46; 04-17-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
Leooo
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@Bayerische E46,

Thanks for your concerns. However, I maybe didnt make it clear in my story but I'm not going to use it as a daily driver. I will only use it to drive it to and from the track. (about 5km)

Yes I'm not a very experienced cart driver. I only drive 10 or 15 times a year on indoor tracks. However, on every go-kart track I go I drive within a second of the track record eventhough I'm 90kg (Does that say something about me or the other people on the track.. yep thats a valid argument). Nevertheless, I simply didn't have the funds when I was younger in order to do competitive cart driving. And my dad wouldn't let me have it otherwise I would turn in to a spoiled brat

Again, thanks for your concerns however I do think you have some frustration regarding previous guys stating that they could drive or something and crash in to you (I don't know). I just posted this because I thought there must be a lot of knowledge on this forum regarding experiences and little tips and tricks. And I could benefit from it.

And yes I want to go in competitive racing (in 2 years) so I have time to learn on trackdays. Also racing on a budget is always possible, maybe my budget is 500,000 euro?? Of course it isn't but everybody has a budget. Mine is around 5,000 euro and growing each month.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:52 PM   #4
GrayGhost
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BayerischeE46 is right, you don't ahve to make all the mods you are talking about to have a good track car. Sure, if you don't have to drive it on the street very much, you can strip it some, even install racing seats, but I wouldn'tt spend any significant money doing that. The stand brakes are fine until you get to the all-out racing point. Just put some good track pads on and go with the standard rotors. The brakes on 330s are really oversize for the car. For suspension, springs (H&R Race are good, but you could go stiffer if you don't have to srive on the street very much). Blisten shocks/struts go well with the stiff springs. Definitely stiff sway bars front and rear. Obviously, a high temp brake fluid is needed. I wouldn't put in a full roll cage until needed for real racing. You should, however, put in some form of 4 or 5-point harness; it is amazing how much better driver a good harness will make you. I assume you currently have poor street tires and either smaller wheels or the staggered set-up. You wil probably want a set of good wheels and some good rubber to put on them. If you can, resist the temptation to go directly to R-Comps; you will learn better and faster on some good summer street tires. Wear out a set of stree tires, then go to the R-Comps.
Your 330 is much more capable than you probably realize. Carts are a good training ground, but cars doing 130+ MPH on a track is much different. You will need some time to adjust.
By the way, you mention only having to drive 5km to the track. I don't know anyone half serious about driviing who is satisfied with just driving at one track. I'd suggest you leave your car streetable enough that you can stand to drive it to more distant tracks.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
Leooo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayGhost View Post
BayerischeE46 is right, you don't ahve to make all the mods you are talking about to have a good track car. Sure, if you don't have to drive it on the street very much, you can strip it some, even install racing seats, but I wouldn'tt spend any significant money doing that. The stand brakes are fine until you get to the all-out racing point. Just put some good track pads on and go with the standard rotors. The brakes on 330s are really oversize for the car. For suspension, springs (H&R Race are good, but you could go stiffer if you don't have to srive on the street very much). Blisten shocks/struts go well with the stiff springs. Definitely stiff sway bars front and rear. Obviously, a high temp brake fluid is needed. I wouldn't put in a full roll cage until needed for real racing. You should, however, put in some form of 4 or 5-point harness; it is amazing how much better driver a good harness will make you. I assume you currently have poor street tires and either smaller wheels or the staggered set-up. You wil probably want a set of good wheels and some good rubber to put on them. If you can, resist the temptation to go directly to R-Comps; you will learn better and faster on some good summer street tires. Wear out a set of stree tires, then go to the R-Comps.
Your 330 is much more capable than you probably realize. Carts are a good training ground, but cars doing 130+ MPH on a track is much different. You will need some time to adjust.
By the way, you mention only having to drive 5km to the track. I don't know anyone half serious about driviing who is satisfied with just driving at one track. I'd suggest you leave your car streetable enough that you can stand to drive it to more distant tracks.
Thanks for the advice!
Indeed, I currently have poor wheels, just the stock 17 inch rims with continental sportcontact 5 rubber. I'll be using those until they aren't street legal anymore. You're also right about the more distant tracks However, I do have 2 questions, If you don't have a roll cage, how can you easily secure the 5-point harness to the car? The other question I have is regarding the clutch, should I keep using the stock clutch?

Thanks so far!
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
lejeunebimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leooo View Post
Thanks for the advice!
Indeed, I currently have poor wheels, just the stock 17 inch rims with continental sportcontact 5 rubber. I'll be using those until they aren't street legal anymore. You're also right about the more distant tracks However, I do have 2 questions, If you don't have a roll cage, how can you easily secure the 5-point harness to the car? The other question I have is regarding the clutch, should I keep using the stock clutch?

Thanks so far!
Since you're on stock power just keep using your stock clutch until it gives up the ghost, then look at upgrades.

As far as the harness goes look for a Schroth Ralleye 4 point harness. It's what I use and it is extremely popular here. It attaches using factory locations, so no need for a roll cage.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
GrayGhost
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I have the Schroth Ralleye 4 point harness also and love it. It is not a full 5-point, but I think it does a great job. I'd use the clutch until it fails. The clutch will handle the power just fine, but for top performace driving you probably want to go to a lighter clutch/flywheel combination to give you a little quicker response, such as when blipping for a downshift. If noone has already done so, you probably want to remove or disable the Clutch Delay Valve, it will give you much betterr clutch feel.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:00 AM   #8
Leooo
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Both lejeunebimmer and GrayGhost, thanks for the info!
But my clutch is almost gone because it is still the factory clutch that came with the car back in 2002 so it has done 245.000 kilometers. I'm not quite sure how to say this in english but the clutch only engages when the peddle is almost in its 'resting' position. You barely have to touch it (compared to 4 years ago). So do you guys know a good brand which is better capable to handle harsh gearshifts? I've read some topics about the UUC clutch/flywheels and pressure plates but I'm not familiar with that brand.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
lejeunebimmer
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E46 330ci track prepping

I have the UUC lightweight flywheel and e36 M3 BMW Motorsport clutch in mine; however if I were to do it again, I would go with a JB Racing lightweight flywheel.


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Old 04-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #10
GrayGhost
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I still have my stock/origional clutch (65K Miles) so I cannot comment from my own experience. I have heard good things about the UUC combination. I don't think you would go wrong with it, but if lejeunebimmer has other recommendations, I would listen closely.
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