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M3 Track: Racing and DE Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start!


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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 05:12:59 PM   #1
klodkrawler05
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Default E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

Instead of posting little bits and pieces all over various threads here I thought perhaps I should make a condensed build thread of my car in case the hive was interested (and the weather is finally such that it's bearable to be outside messing with cars)

I bought this car like this:



It was kind of higher miles but seemed well cared for and had every single part Dinan has ever offered for the car, which was perfect for me. Turning a stock car into a racecar means I wind up with a pile of parts nobody wants to buy that I feel bad about throwing away.
Starting with a Pile of dinan parts means i've got a pile of parts I can turn into cash for racecar parts.

On that note the car did come with lots of spares, we drove my TDI jetta 10 hours away to pick up the car and then had to figure out fitting all this into the m3 and the tdi.


All the stock parts for the car as well as 4 snow tires and 4 used Michelin super sports. Between MI and MN I found a set of 18x10 apex ec7 wheels for sale on craigslist, I arranged for picking those up on our return trip as well because the 19" dinans on the car were heavy, expensive, and staggered

The Dinan savvy will be waiting for pictures of the supercharger, this car doesn't have that. instead it has an ESSTuning V550 kit. A fair trade off IMO, This kit has a massive intercooler and ESS tests the kits by doing hot laps at the Nurburgring so it should be fairly reliable.

It seems I don't yet actually have a picture of the engine bay so, here is a photo from autocrossing it last fall, the 18x10's work great with 255 hoosier A7's and are plenty quick enough to contend for FTD at our local auto-x events:


I only got 1 auto-x and 2 lapping days on the car before winter hit, but that was enough to at least start a list of changes.

Step 1, replace the rubber rear bushings with bimmerworld sphericals, additionally while the Dinan 3.92 lsd was probably pretty nice for a stock power m3 the shorter gearing just meant you arrive at redline that much earlier for Auto-x and track days, traded for a stock diff 3.62 differential plus enough cash to cover the spherical upgrades!


Next, the car was already fairly heavy as far as e46 m3's go, it had about every option, plus I added a roll bar which was even more weight. Note: factory seat replaced with OMP saved a few lbs:


So I canceled the roll bar weight gain by replacing the dinan exhaust with a bimmerworld race exhaust! this cost nothing as the dinan systems are fairly sought after and I found the bimmerworld used for cheap and didn't have to ship:


Alright, now how to make the car lighter? also, I need to paint the roll bar before it rusts.....Oh! I know:o)

(:o)(:o)



That project was scary, once you drill the first spot weld out there is no going back, it's actually not very difficult in hindsight just time consuming and nerve wracking. The various e46 forums have some pretty detailed how to's for this. I lost about 55lbs off the highest part of the car after adding up sunroof and all associated bits. Bonus, I gained an extra inch of helmet room after switching to a non sunroof headliner.

It certainly does give you a better angle for painting the roll bar though!


The trickiest part of gluing in the new roof was finding enough clamps....and figuring out how to hold the sides down, we had to improvise with a 2x8:


This was about the moment in the process where it started looking like a complete car again and I had confidence it would run again:


One last winter upgrade before the maiden spring voyage. My friend Matt (who competed in One Lap with me) decided to upgrade to Remote Reservoir shocks so I purchased his MCS 2 way non remote reservoir shocks to replace my dinan JRZ suspension setup:



I got those on my car just before we went to One Lap, dropped the car off for alignment and then ran out of time for a test drive! DOH!

The day after we returned home I took it on a maiden voyage to visit our local clubs first auto-x of the season. The bimmerworld exhaust is too loud for me to run at this particular venue so shakedown would have to wait until a bit later but it made the trip to-from the track just fine:

All back together in 1 piece!


This past weekend was the 2nd local auto-x of the year at a venue with no noise concerns, the event was held at our local amusement park which makes for a cool back drop. I haven't seen any pictures of the car in action yet but hopefully some surface soon. So far I'm pretty happy with the changes, the car feels much like it did last year but a bit tighter and more responsive/agile.

Our next event is in 2.5 weeks at Gingerman Raceway. Gridlife time attack. with over 130 cars signed up for time attack it's one of the biggest time trial events in the midwest. This event also includes exhibition drifting, a car show, hpde sessions and a music festival in the evenings. Over 5000 people turn up and it's pretty surreal at the grassroots level to have turns/straights filled with cheering spectators while you're driving.

I've got a few things I want to finish on the car before then and now that I've officially started a build thread hopefully that reminds/motivates me to take more/better photos.

I have some more photos of the above projects but was trying to condense as much as possible as I know I have a tendency to ramble on.

Last edited by klodkrawler05; Wed, Oct-04-2017 at 03:12:53 PM.
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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 05:19:33 PM   #2
klodkrawler05
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

Spent the memorial day weekend working on something entirely new to me. It's refreshing to mess around with new clean things, after banging away in the garage I was hardly any dirtier than when I started.

Step 1: find large cardboard (with an enthusiastic helper):



Step 2: put cardboard under car and plot points using plumb bob:



Step 3: (this was invaluable later) make square corners of known measurement:


note: in my case class rules state the splitter must extend no more than 5" from bodywork as viewed from above. I wanted straight ends on the splitter so I arbitrarily chose 3" wide from the rear corner of the bumper and then went straight forward from there until I hit the 5" mark, that resulted in the square corners seen above.

Step 4: cutout cardboard template:



Step 5: transfer cardboard template to large sheet of paper and find center based off square edges:



Step 6: fold in half, pick the side you like better, cutout template while folded in half, then transfer to your plywood:


Step 7: cutout plywood, sand edges etc:


Step 8: scratch head, how to attach, under the car we go! the stock undertray attaches to a pretty beefy aluminum plate, it uses those stupid speed clips for threads but there must be a better way, there is! enter rivnuts, this was my first time using them successfully (proper install tool helps a ton here) here you can see the rivnut conversion in progress, so rear of splitter will be held on with 3 M8 bolts:



Step 9: bolt back of splitter on and use jackstands plus wood scraps to set front height you can also see the pockets I had to notch out to allow the brake rotors to clear the splitter:


I'm adding an ebay lip to the car to make for a flat surface for the splitter, so how that lined up basically set the nose height of the splitter:


Step 10: With splitter in place roughly, trace wheel well openings, remove splitter and cut out here you see the final shape, My first set of holes for rear attachment wound up having the splitter more than 5" forward so I made a 2nd set and notched the splitter to clear the jacking pad:


Step 11: time to start working on the front mount, I'm skipping lots of cardboard aided design, head scratching and failed ideas for working around the intercooler piping here and moving straight to what I decided to do which is similar to some off the shelf options but with a twist. The OEM crash beam bolts to the frame horns and has these funky metal spacers glued to the back of it, perfect lots chop some of that off:




Step 12: Vertical support fab: The shape of the crash beam gives me some space to work with but not quite as much space as my 2" aluminum angle takes up, a little trimming and a couple holes drilled later I have this:



Step 13: Put crash beam back in place and check clearances and fitment several more times, then create mirror image for the other side:


With the extra angle leftover you can start to see where I'm heading here:


Step 14: After lots more head scratching it was decided to modify the bumper slightly:


Peeking through the bumper opening you can get an idea of why the bumper was modified (I ultimately wound up cutting a notch with the circular saw for the bumper to slide into the vertical upright as well but forgot to grab a picture of that. This turned out to be surprisingly helpful as the bumper lines up into the splitter frame before it engages any of the spots where it clips into the crash beam so now I can simply line those up and clip the bumper into place


Step 15: Not shown is the process of adding 3 1/2" diameter carriage bolts through the splitter and framework.

Step 16: This according to the internet is the most critical step, if someone can't stand on the splitter your work was for naught. I'm not sure I buy that a plywood plank can generate so much force that it will have over 100lbs in a downforce point load as this simulates but regardless, I tried it, for science. my wife graciously posed as ballast while I photographed. Test Success!


Step 17: I called the splitter done and decided to do one more final test fit before removing splitter for sealing/painting. This also shows order of install/removal should service be needed:

Crash beam in place:


Bumper clipped onto crash beam:


Lip clipped onto bumper: (still need to sort how to attach this)


Checking angle, there is a 1" per 3" rake to the splitter so hopefully some meaningful downforce will be generated from below:

Last edited by klodkrawler05; Wed, Oct-04-2017 at 03:30:01 PM.
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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 05:24:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

This post catches up on 2 weeks worth of going's on with the car and brings us up to current/today.

After the faux pas with the wing mounts we got to learn all about how to bend 5/16 thick 6061 aluminum without cracking it, took the approach of making 3 small bends per upright as there was no tooling readily available to put a large radius bend. it worked well but I didn't take pictures.

Next up was making things look pretty before final assembly. I wanted to powdercoat the aluminum bits so they'd hold up better but we didn't have time so black rattle can it is:


for the splitter I copied a buddy and used truck bed liner. I sealed the wood first using some random deck sealer we had left over at the house from previous owners. That turned out to be a mistake as it left a waxy residue and the bed liner is already chipping off.


While I was waiting for paint to dry I started messing around with the Race Capture Pro mk3. So far this thing has been nothing but a headache. lap timing wise it seems to work ok but my whole goal was to be able to log CANBUS stuff and despite it recognizing channels it won't let me add them and then display them. To be fair electronics aren't my strong suit, I'm an apple user normally and I've not spent more than 10 minutes on this at any one time. It's certainly not plug and drive like my old traqmate was though.


After paint was dry it was time to mount everything and make sure I was below level and legal for Gridlife on my wing, yup!


I liked this sticker placement:


Splitter Mounted:


Haven't bled the brakes since last year, nothing exciting but I figured I'd show my setup, this makes brakes such an easy mess free 1 person job:


This Schwaben brake fluid bottle is really the key, the special nipple on the end fits over the bleeder screw snuggly and makes for hands free fluid capture:


When the racecar is done ahead of time might as well start putting some street miles on it to prepare for One lap right? Parked next to my coworkers schoolbus wrx:


And now off to Gridlife! Reunited with my buddy Matt's M3 (that we took on One Lap this year)


Started off with shocks set as they were last year and had some terminal understeer. Knocked a bunch of the front compression out and the car was superb for Friday Practice. Coming into the pits for a shock adjustment:<img
Saturday morning was clear and cool low 70's and looked to be the ideal session for fast laps as the rest of the weekend was supposed to be 90+ degrees. Unfortunately this is where I learned about boost leak testing. The couplers holding the intake manifold on popped off the ITB's. Upon fixing this issue we learned the previous owner had mix and matched various size clamps and some of them didn't get tight enough, they were snug but not tight. Why this became an issue this morning instead instead of the previous 2 track days and 3 auto-x event's I've done so far I don't know.

All fixed and ready to go:


except we forgot to plug the TPMS sensor back in after we finished tightening the clamps....and we learned that the linkage hits the stud of the T-Bolt clamps if they aren't situated exactly just so. Thankfully there was a BMW whiz there to help us sort through those issues Saturday afternoon in time for the final session on Saturday.


Track conditions still seemed to be quite poor. During One Lap Matt and I were both able to turn 1:40 lap times at Gingerman, in his car Matt was stuck in the 1:42's on the Conti's so he switched to sticker re71's and managed to drop down to a low 1:41. In my car I was able to run a 1:40.9 before the car started getting dangerously hot and I called it good.

Sunday morning was about the last chance to go fast but probably not as fast as the missed Saturday morning session. Double checked all the boost connections were attached and headed out! I managed to slightly better my time with a 1:40.4 which is almost exactly 2 seconds faster than I went in this car last fall with much better conditions. So I'd say the modifications have helped although it's still tough to get a great barometer of how much they've helped as the track felt quite dusty.

Since the weather continued getting warmer I knew that my driving wasn't going to be able to get me any faster lap time. So I opted to try to learn something and put Tom O'Gorman in the car (:o)


Timing him by stopwatch on his warm up lap he appeared to be on pace to run with my best lap time "feeling out the car" on a track he'd never been to until the day before.
He crossed the start line and began his hot lap and it was pretty awesome to see, my wife and brother in law both said he was carrying noticeably more speed through corners. As he turned onto the long back straight we could suddenly tell something was wrong, his speed dropped dramatically and he let several cars pull past him before exiting the track. When he got to us he said the car felt like it suddenly stopped making power so he brought it in. The manifold had once again popped off and this time there was a small tear in one of the boots. With no spare boots I had no choice but to call it a day. I knew I wouldn't go faster but I was disappointed I wouldn't get to see a lap time from Tom in the car. (note to self, bring extra couplers and clamps to one lap)

All said and done the car drove itself onto the trailer (albeit without boost) and was faster than last time I was at the track so I called that a success. It turns out my time was good enough for 2nd place in class and 25th overall! So I'm calling this event a great success.


The next Gridlife takes place at Autobahn Country club in 3 weeks so I've got a few issues to fix before then!

1) The brakes were pretty soft, the stoptech street pads certainly aren't up to the speed this car can generate so I'll replace those with some PFC08's like we ran on Matt's car.

2) The car can only do 2 laps at best before oil temps approach 300 and coolant starts climbing past the halfway mark so I've ordered a bigger oil cooler and radiator stack to hopefully alleviate that.

3) Fix the boost leaks, talking to the RS guys they dislike t-bolts because it can pinch the boot oddly vs normal hose clamps, they run Breeze brand worm drive clamps which are rated for 150 ft/lbs of torque on the worm gear so I'm going to try those out (not at that much torque) and they noted lots of oily residue on the ITB couplers and the ITB's themselves and pointed out both should be extremely clean before I reinstall to prevent slipping more easily. They also mentioned the couplers getting soft over time so either new couplers or using hairspray when putting the couplers on to help prevent sliding.
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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 05:49:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

Cool build.

I'm no expert on s/c engines, but I've heard from Frank Smith TTSF that you could easily convert over to run e85 fuel and not only does it generate more hp, but more importantly keeps engine way cooler.
You might want to look in to that if that fuel is readily available in your area.



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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 06:08:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

Thanks for sharing! Nice to see a SG on the track. Also it's always a good idea to call it a day when things start going downhill. It's always "that" one last session that usually ends up in some form of regret when you know you should have just called it a day.
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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 06:16:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

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Originally Posted by nasieg View Post
Cool build.

I'm no expert on s/c engines, but I've heard from Frank Smith TTSF that you could easily convert over to run e85 fuel and not only does it generate more hp, but more importantly keeps engine way cooler.
You might want to look in to that if that fuel is readily available in your area.



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Talking with a couple of my friends that race Evo's they suggested the same thing! It's on the list of things to study for potential upgrade!

I placed an order Tuesday and this stuff showed up from Bimmerworld today. CSF radiator, will switch from 50/50 coolant/water to 100% water + water wetter.
C&R Oil cooler and BW divertor valve, will be switching from LiquiMoly 10w60 to Redline 15w50

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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 06:47:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by klodkrawler05 View Post
Talking with a couple of my friends that race Evo's they suggested the same thing! It's on the list of things to study for potential upgrade!



I placed an order Tuesday and this stuff showed up from Bimmerworld today. CSF radiator, will switch from 50/50 coolant/water to 100% water + water wetter.

C&R Oil cooler and BW divertor valve, will be switching from LiquiMoly 10w60 to Redline 15w50





Curious to hear if it does the trick. Good luck!


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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 07:44:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

Love the splitter and the test!
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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 07:53:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

Nice job on the splitter.

Did you weigh it? 3/8" plywood?
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Old Thu, Jun-15-2017, 08:13:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build

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Nice job on the splitter.

Did you weigh it? 3/8" plywood?
I haven't yet but I can this weekend when I remove it to install the cooling stuff.

I'm also thinking of switching from the shoulder bolts to large riv nuts because taking the bumper off to remove the splitter is an extra step that's just annoying.
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Discussing E46M3 Time Attack - One Lap - Gridlife Build in the M3 Track: Racing and DE Forum - Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)