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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 Wed, May-02-2012, 01:34:12 PM   #1
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Question High Mileage M3 as Track Car

I've been toying with the idea of selling my car and picking up an 01-03 M3 with higher mileage, specifically for HPDE use.

I use my car as an HPDE/weekend car now, but it's so "nice" at 35K miles that I'm hesistant to do anything permanent to it, like drilling holes for a roll bar, rolling fenders etc. I figure if I get an older E46 with 100K+ miles on the cheap, I won't mind ripping it apart in pursuit of a better track day car. Plus, the savings will allow for more mods/track days.

However I'm a little concerned with how a high mileage E46 will hold up at the track. Anyone regularly track an M3 with 100K+ miles?
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 01:36:23 PM   #2
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People usually buy high mileage cars jut for the track. 100k is nothing for the e46 an should preform well


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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 02:22:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

Mine is at 96k...
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 02:59:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

i'm gonna look at a 02 car with 140k miles this week - for NASA time trials.
Just cautious about the engine.
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 03:10:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

Do a compression and leakdown test on the motor for sure, S54s aren't known to be particularly high mileage motors. Obviously anything rubber on the car is going to have deteriorated from time and miles, but you can make this a positive. With the money saved, you can refresh these essential parts with replacements best suited for track use. I don't think it's a bad idea unless you end up spending the money you save "modding" the car instead of doing maintenance first.
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 03:28:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

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Do a compression and leakdown test on the motor for sure, S54s aren't known to be particularly high mileage motors. Obviously anything rubber on the car is going to have deteriorated from time and miles, but you can make this a positive. With the money saved, you can refresh these essential parts with replacements best suited for track use. I don't think it's a bad idea unless you end up spending the money you save "modding" the car instead of doing maintenance first.
This is a good point, I'm meticulous about maintenance on my current car and know that everything is well sorted. I'd have to see how much additional $$$ would need to be spent on bringing an older, higher mileage car up to spec.
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 05:00:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

Whats the highest mileage S54 you guys know of?
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 05:12:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

Just turned over 100k and will be looking to do a ton more HPDE's this year. Hoping to get ready for TT by the end of the season. Need more driving time though.

As everyone's already said, higher mileage just comes with higher maintenance.
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 05:21:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

A couple of things, but first check the common frame stressed areas on any high mileage chassis - rear susp mounts, etc. Make sure it's track-worthy. Then, what about getting a track-prepped E46 unless you're planning to enjoy the build-up from stock. Good luck, and keep us updated
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Old Wed, May-02-2012, 05:42:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: High Mileage M3 as Track Car

don't do it buddy!

your car is wonderful.

just modify it slowly. you know you are not going to sell the car. maybe in like 10 years, but then, you will be so attached to the car you wouldn't want to do it.

get some nice seats and a roll bar and thats it. run harnesses when you are at the track, and have some nice seats for when you take it for a few joy rides.

i don't know your intentions, but unless you plan on w2w racing, i don't see a need to go as extreme as my stupid ass went (i am just really competitive and want fast fast fast lap times). you also don't need to get a high mileage car, you are just going to spend a lot of money making the car ready. and the money you think you saved for HPDE/Mods will go towards fixing this or fixing that.

you know your car, strengthen what you believe needs strengthening - as your pace improves, safety should be your first concern. some nice fixed back seats and a roll bar and harnesses and a hans device should be perfect. keep the interior in tact and just rip hard. get some real race suspension, some proper bushings, and enjoy the car on the weekend and on the track.
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