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      05-22-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
docsdoc
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2012 E93 Coming Soon

So my E93 is currently being built and I'm thinking about mods already

My vert is fully loaded with EDC, DCT, 19's

I hope to improve on the handling characteristics and get some additional power while staying naturally aspirated. I have no plans to track, but might want to autocross.

Some ideas I have:

Dinan Stage 3 suspension (to lower center of gravity & get less roll on curves)
Dinan carbon fiber front strut tower brace (to stiffen up vert)
12 mm wheel spacers (better cornering)
Brembo GT 380 mm brakes

Minor performance tweaks -
Dinan ECU Flash
Dinan underdrive pulley
High flow intake

Cat-back exhaust - not sure which

Got any suggestions for me?

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      05-22-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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congrats on the car. you are going to love the top down experience.
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      05-22-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by williocom View Post
congrats on the car. you are going to love the top down experience.
I regret giving up my E46 M3 vert years ago...won't make the same mistake again.
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      05-22-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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If you're not going to track (and especially if you just think you "might" autocross), a BBK is a total waste of cash unless you just like the look -- and StopTech and AP Racing both make BBKs that cost less than the Brembos and work just as well. See how your stock brakes hold up first; they're PLENTY for the street and probably even for autocross. If you do somehow experience brake issues, a soft pedal will likely be first, which is easily and cheaply cured with better brake fluid. If you then experience pad fade, that can be fixed just with better pads (StopTech Street Performance is a good combo street/track pad, and there are of course better pads dedicated to track use). A full-on BBK is only for skilled and frequent track junkies and typically only necessary to withstand the levels of brake heat generated by running competition tires or slicks. If you're thinking that a BBK will somehow reduce your stopping distance, think again. They don't reduce stopping distance AT ALL except when compared to an OVERHEATED stock brake system. Stick to better fluid and possibly pads unless you outgrow those much cheaper, more practical, and more easily reversible mods.

As for the rest, honestly I don't think you'll notice a handling improvement from any of that on the street, maybe not even in autocross since the speeds are lower. I'd strongly recommend getting a feel for what your car can do from the factory before you think about ways to "improve" it. Odds are its stock limits will already be way higher than your driving skills, in which case your money would be far better (and more enjoyably) spent on HPDEs to improve said skills. I've done 4 track days in this car bone stock, next month will be the first time with upgraded fluid (plan to upgrade pads later), and I feel absolutely zero need to change anything in the suspension, never mind the engine, because I can't drive my car anywhere near as fast as it can go the way it left the factory. Hell, my instructor is faster than I am while he's driving his E36 M3!

Which leads me to my question: Why DON'T you have plans to visit the track? A well-run HPDE with good instructions is the best possible way to experience your car, highly educational, and one of the most fun per dollar experiences you'll find.

Seriously OP, stop reading about all the ways to give your car "more" this or "better" that in your (completely understandable) anticipation of your new baby -- you don't even know what the baseline is yet! I think you'll find that she's plenty capable the way she is, and if she's not, the primary bottleneck is probably you not knowing how to drive her better -- in which case she'll thank you for taking her to the track and you'll both have a lot of fun.

Remember, the most significant speed modification that can be made on ANY car is the driver. After that, it goes tires, brakes, and THEN suspension and engine.
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Last edited by jphughan; 05-22-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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      05-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
If you're not going to track (and especially if you just think you "might" autocross), a BBK is a total waste of cash unless you just like the look -- and StopTech and AP Racing both make BBKs that cost less than the Brembos and work just as well. See how your stock brakes hold up first; they're PLENTY for the street and probably even for autocross. If you do somehow experience brake issues, a soft pedal will likely come first, which is easily and cheaply cured with better brake fluid. If you then experience pad fade, that can be fixed just with better pads (StopTech Street Performance are a good combo street/track pad, and there are of course better pads dedicated to track use). A full-on BBK is really only for skilled and frequent track junkies, though. For the occasional HPDE in the lower run groups, the stock brakes, especially if you have better fluid, will be fine. And if they're not, pads should be all you need. If you're thinking that a BBK will somehow reduce your stopping distance, think again. They don't reduce stopping distance AT ALL except when compared to an OVERHEATED stock brake system.

As for the rest, honestly I don't think you'll notice a handling improvement from any of that on the street, maybe not even in autocross since the speeds are lower. I'd strongly recommend getting a feel for what your car can do from the factory before you think about ways to "improve" it. Odds are its stock limits will already be way higher than your driving skills, in which case your money would be far better (and more enjoyably) spent on HPDEs. I've done 4 track days in this car bone stock, next month will be the first time with upgraded fluid (plan to upgrade pads later), and I feel absolutely zero need to change anything in the suspension, never mind the engine, because I can't drive my car anywhere near as fast as it can go as it is. Hell, my instructor is faster than I am while he's driving his E36 M3!

Which leads me to my question: Why DON'T you have plans to visit the track? A well-run HPDE with good instructions is the best possible way to experience your car, highly educational, and one of the most fun per dollar experiences you'll find.

Seriously OP, stop reading about all the ways to give your car "more" this or "better" that in your (completely understandable) anticipation of your new baby -- you don't even know what the baseline is yet! I think you'll find that she's plenty capable the way she is, and if she's not, it's probably your fault for not knowing how to drive her well enough -- in which case she'll thank you for taking her to the track, because the most significant speed modification you can make on ANY car is the driver, plus you'll both have a lot of fun.
Thanks, I really appreciate your thoughtful advice. I guess my major concern is that the E93 vert is not the same driving experience as the E90/92 being 400 lbs heavier and not as well balanced. I will certainly drive it stock for at least 3-6 months before any mods. I do plan on taking track lessons as you suggest, but I am not sure about track requirements for verts.
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      05-22-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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      05-22-2012, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docsdoc View Post
Dinan Stage 3 suspension (to lower center of gravity & get less roll on curves)
Dinan carbon fiber front strut tower brace (to stiffen up vert)
12 mm wheel spacers (better cornering)
Brembo GT 380 mm brakes

Minor performance tweaks -
Dinan ECU Flash
Dinan underdrive pulley
High flow intake

Cat-back exhaust - not sure which

Got any suggestions for me?

Congrats on the purchase. A few thoughts:

The stage 3 kit will help with handling but doesn't lower the car much compared to other springs/kits

Strut tower brace won't do much (if anything) more than the stock brace

Spacers won't get you better cornering (at least anything you will notice) - they are really for appearance or adjusting wheel offsets for things like clearance

Brembos are a waste if you won't track it (and I wouldn't do it in a vert anyway) - buy them if you like the look

You have a lot of mods listed, some with the wrong reason. I would suggest getting know the car a bit then add the mods like exhaust, springs, etc. And while I like Dinan products, in many cases there are better/cheaper alternatives.
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      05-22-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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Brembos are a waste if you won't track it (and I wouldn't do it in a vert anyway) - buy them if you like the look
......
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      05-22-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docsdoc View Post
Thanks, I really appreciate your thoughtful advice. I guess my major concern is that the E93 vert is not the same driving experience as the E90/92 being 400 lbs heavier and not as well balanced. I will certainly drive it stock for at least 3-6 months before any mods. I do plan on taking track lessons as you suggest, but I am not sure about track requirements for verts.
Convertible requirements on tracks vary by the event organizer's policy. Some say no verts under any circumstances, but lots of others allow verts as long as they have rollover protection, which the E93 does (pop-up roll bars).

Yes, the added weight and consequent softer suspension will ding you a bit compared to the E92/E90, but the cost of all the mods you listed would buy a LOT of track weekends, which would put far more grins on your face and help you go much faster in your car than mods. Swapping hardware is no substitute for driver improvement.

And remember, it's not as if the E93 has the weight of a Dodge Challenger and the suspension softness of a Lexus. It's still biased heavily toward all-around performance, so weight and suspension won't become the real issue until you've been on track a few times. And on the street, other than losing some straight-line acceleration, I doubt you'd really notice much if at all. A stock E93 M3 can still corner at unsafe-for-public-roads speeds.
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      05-22-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
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......
Biting your tongue? Not ripping on verts being too slow or heavy at the track (my E46 M3 vert was my favorite car) but not safe in a track environment IMO. I wouldn't track it without at least a partial cage.
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      05-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Biting your tongue? Not ripping on verts being too slow or heavy at the track (my E46 M3 vert was my favorite car) but not safe in a track environment IMO. I wouldn't track it without at least a partial cage.
I am pretty confident my e93 is safer than an older Honda.... or a s2k or a miata lol
(those are actually amazing track cars though)
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      05-22-2012, 09:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
I am pretty confident my e93 is safer than an older Honda.... or a s2k or a miata lol
(those are actually amazing track cars though)
Quote:
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Biting your tongue? Not ripping on verts being too slow or heavy at the track (my E46 M3 vert was my favorite car) but not safe in a track environment IMO. I wouldn't track it without at least a partial cage.
OP: Look up Motorsport Ranch Houston (4 hour drive from Austin) or Motorsport Ranch in Cresson (4 hours drive from Austin). Or other HPDE (High Performance Driving Events) that are going on around the state. Suggest you go to one of them as an observer and see what people do/bring and make friends. Then register for the next one and participate! Having done many Track-Days with motorcycles, last month was the first for me in a car (M3 Cabriolet)...and it was a frakking blast! Seems like the best "mod" you can do for the car is buy a set of extra wheels with disposable rubber to scrape on the track -- and save your OEM tires for the street.

It has the automatic roll-bar safety system (you can YouTube for video examples of it) which makes the convertible qualify for most Texas-area Track-Days that I've searched. Last month I did all 90 miles with the top-down around MSR Houston -- it was amazing and fun. No, it won't be as fast as a typical E90, a low-budget Bugatti Veryon, or a five-year old Lamborghini -- WhoTFCares? Have fun!

(and get a GoProHD2 before your Track Day!)


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      05-22-2012, 09:27 PM   #13
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you are going to love the top down experience.
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      05-23-2012, 09:30 AM   #14
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OP: Look up Motorsport Ranch Houston (4 hour drive from Austin) or Motorsport Ranch in Cresson (4 hours drive from Austin). Or other HPDE (High Performance Driving Events) that are going on around the state. Suggest you go to one of them as an observer and see what people do/bring and make friends. Then register for the next one and participate!

(and get a GoProHD2 before your Track Day!)
My original version of this post recommended Driver's Edge for Texas track weekends, but the OP is in New Jersey. Ah well.

A GoPro can very fun, but honestly until you get the fundamentals down I don't think they're that helpful. Once I get a bit better I may look into the Harry's LapTimer iPhone app since it can take video as well map your laps on GPS (to compare your line lap to lap) as well as display speed, braking, and even RPM data from each point on the track if you get the proper accessories. But studying all of that your first few times out would be putting the cart before the horse IMHO.

Quote:
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you are going to love the top down experience.
It's funny, I've wondered for a while what the all fuss was about with verts and finally got a chance to try one this past weekend. At our CCA chapter drive, I swapped my M3 with a friend who had a Z4 M Roadster. I realized the convertible experience wasn't for me. You can't have a conversation at 70 MPH, I got sunburned, it was a little TOO hot and at least that car's AC didn't help with the top down, and when I'm out to go DRIVING I can't spend a lot of time looking up and around me to enjoy the view, never mind behind me. I can see the view being great for passengers or maybe for me when driving slowly through downtown San Francisco or in a narrow canyon, but I don't buy my cars for my passengers' enjoyment.

In the end I realized that for me, my E92 with the windows down and the moonroof open gives me plenty of wind from outside with better temperature control capability while still giving me almost the same view above and side to side (the only part blocked is the relatively small area between the top of the side windows and the edge of the moonroof). So for me a convertible would be paying a bunch of extra money for downsides, including the extra weight, softer suspension, roof mechanism liability, and the fact that the ONLY convertible I've seen whose looks I can stand with the top up is the current Z4. The E93 is close since it's a hardtop (hate ragtops) but the chopped-up roof, lack of shadowline trim, and strange way it touches down on the trunklid just don't do it for me personally.

That said, I absolutely LOVED the Z4M drive. If the only current Z4 had an M coupe variant rocking an S65... (And no, the GT3 doesn't count!)
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Last edited by jphughan; 05-23-2012 at 09:52 AM.
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