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      04-02-2012, 08:19 AM   #1
bigjae1976
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E90 M3 vs S/C'd E46 330...a track duty comparison

Took a stock E90 M3 to a non-nurburgring track for the first time. PF01 pads and Hoosier R6 scrubs 9255/275).

What a machine! The DCT is cheating, it shifts so fast. Good for a couple of seconds a lap for a beginner or intermediate driver. That rear diff is also awesome. Everytime the rear end gets loose, just stay on the throttle and the car gets straight.

The bad part is the rear end feels really loose under hard acceleration coming out of tight corners. Could be the car's weight showing or maybe I just need to rotate the car more. Its hard to describe but it never feels like it really hooks up. The brakes, although I had PF01s, were never confidence inspiring. They did work and never faded. I can't hear the engine with the windows down. Above 5k rpm it all sounds the same so I was constantly banging against the rev limiter.

The M3 IS superior to the E46 (M or non-M) in every measurable performance stat. But just like on the street, you feel like the car is always in control even if you aren't. You'd have to be doing something REALLY stupid to spin the M3.

Whereas my 330...even without the harnesses I don't get thrown around like a rag doll. The cockit is far better. And it doesn't use 3/8 of a tank of gas per session. You can feel and hear what's going on in a much more tactile way than in the M3. I can already tell, the 330 will be FAR cheaper to run on the track.

So, do I like my 330 or M3 better? Obviously I like the M3 better RIGHT now since my 330's top speed is 0 mph right now. But I still like my 330 better. Maybe its an emotional attachment or the long term relationship I've had with it.

But quite honestly, I think it comes down to cost. Don't think I want or can afford to run an M3 on the track over the long-term. Even if the platform ages and parts get cheaper, tires, brakes, and 6mpgs on the track will likely run up the bills pretty quickly.
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      04-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #2
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You said duty...

Front swaybar is a good place to look for more low-speed traction, it's made a pretty big difference on my car

I'm surprised you feel like you're flopping around in the M3, I think it's pretty good and I'm used to a full-containment seat and 6-points and cages and nets and H&N restraints
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      04-02-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
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How many laps in your 330 have you done? Yes the M is expensive to run but still find it cheaper than a dedicated track car at the moment. And yes, I try to stick to some of the faster tracks where I know the M will shine vs. the shorter more technical tracks where we'll feel the size and weight more, so yes, I cheat a bit in that regard. Be careful, the M is casting its spell, might be tough to go back
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      04-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klammer View Post
How many laps in your 330 have you done? Yes the M is expensive to run but still find it cheaper than a dedicated track car at the moment. And yes, I try to stick to some of the faster tracks where I know the M will shine vs. the shorter more technical tracks where we'll feel the size and weight more, so yes, I cheat a bit in that regard. Be careful, the M is casting its spell, might be tough to go back
I've done almost 40 hours of time in my 330. And yes...I could feel the M castings its spell. I'm trying to resist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
You said duty...

Front swaybar is a good place to look for more low-speed traction, it's made a pretty big difference on my car

I'm surprised you feel like you're flopping around in the M3, I think it's pretty good and I'm used to a full-containment seat and 6-points and cages and nets and H&N restraints
...I did say duty.

My side is killing me from the side bolster digging into my side. I'm sore...I didn't even run this morning. The outside of my knees are raw as well. I guess I've been spoiled by the quick fits in my E46.

I do have a dinan stage II and the rear toe links waiting to be installed. I also will get the GC camber plates. I was waiting to get the M3 on the track in stock form and then go with the Dinan and compare.
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      04-02-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
...The bad part is the rear end feels really loose under hard acceleration coming out of tight corners...
This behaviour stops when you change the dampers. It was one of the most surprising things I discovered when I put the KW CS on mine. Suddenly the back end is planted when you get on the throttle.
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      04-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
bigjae1976
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This behaviour stops when you change the dampers. It was one of the most surprising things I discovered when I put the KW CS on mine. Suddenly the back end is planted when you get on the throttle.
I've got the dinan rear toe link that I will put in soon...I think that may help if it works as advertised.
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