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      11-19-2012, 10:21 PM   #1
freeman727
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Need advice on modding for tracking

Hi Guys and Girls,

I got my e90 M3 during the summer, but because of move and new job have not had the time to take HDPE and track. I promise I will when spring comes after surviving a Binghamton winter.

What is the order of mods: wheels/tires > brakes > suspension > supercharger?

I imagine supercharger last because the last thing a noob needs is more power before he can handle 414 hp.

Also is the r56 MCS a good car to learn on? I've got one laying around that I can't sell.

Thanks for your inputs in advance.
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      11-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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If you're new to tracking, I'd just keep it stock.
The car is WAY more capable than most people who do track, including me. A lot ofids are just to compensate for poor driving, IMO.

Eventually, the brake pads/fluid will need upgrading, but I've been in M3's where the instructor is flying around the track in a stock car, including the brakes.

.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      11-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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I would do the following:

Brakes - lines - suspension - wheels - add on mods
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      11-19-2012, 10:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
If you're new to tracking, I'd just keep it stock.
The car is WAY more capable than most people who do track, including me. A lot ofids are just to compensate for poor driving, IMO.

Eventually, the brake pads/fluid will need upgrading, but I've been in M3's where the instructor is flying around the track in a stock car, including the brakes.

.
+1..learn to max the car in stock form first
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      11-19-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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I've taken my 100% stock E93 on three track days this year.

Each time I've gotten better lap times.

Until you've bottomed-out and aren't making any improvements, why spend any money for modifications?

At the last track day, I learned enough about the car to start wondering what would be next:

I can tell you, though, that it will be track-only tires. I have 16,000 miles on my 18" wheels and the wear-bars are now flat-on the tire. Basically, they're done. These were Mich PS2's.

Fortunately, previously I bought a set of spare set of 19" wheels/tires, and those are the daily driver as of last week; and I'll buy track-only tires for next season and toss those on the 18" wheels.

So my relatively-inexperienced advise is: keep it stock until you can't get better times; and then get ready to spend money on tires.

Just go have fun!


- V


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      11-19-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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E90 mods for a newb:
* first time out - nothing

As you get more experienced, and quicker:
* Recovery towing hooks/belts back and front
* CG seatbelt lock
* Brake fluid - Motul RBF 600 is not too pricey
* Track dedicated brake pads
* Brake cooling ducts
* Track dedicated Wheels and tires
* Big Brake Kit
* front camber adjustment
* Schroth Quickfit Pro Harnesses - the Mini ones work perfectly
* Suspension
* note that I have not mentioned power yet... learn to drive fast, rather than trying to buy fast

R56MCS
* one of the most fun cars to drive, period. Great on the track
* same modding sequence as above, except for the brake hardware
* it will cost much much less to track than the E90
* Different driving style

If it were me, I would track the hell out of the Mini
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      11-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMcV3y View Post
I've taken my 100% stock E93 on three track days this year.

Each time I've gotten better lap times.

Until you've bottomed-out and aren't making any improvements, why spend any money for modifications?

At the last track day, I learned enough about the car to start wondering what would be next:

I can tell you, though, that it will be track-only tires. I have 16,000 miles on my 18" wheels and the wear-bars are now flat-on the tire. Basically, they're done. These were Mich PS2's.

Fortunately, previously I bought a set of spare set of 19" wheels/tires, and those are the daily driver as of last week; and I'll buy track-only tires for next season and toss those on the 18" wheels.

So my relatively-inexperienced advise is: keep it stock until you can't get better times; and then get ready to spend money on tires.

Just go have fun!


- V


.

Great advice. Any idea what tires you're looking at? You should stick to street tires until you max them out before R-compound.

.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      11-20-2012, 12:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus
Quote:
Originally Posted by VMcV3y View Post
I've taken my 100% stock E93 on three track days this year.

Each time I've gotten better lap times.

Until you've bottomed-out and aren't making any improvements, why spend any money for modifications?

At the last track day, I learned enough about the car to start wondering what would be next:

I can tell you, though, that it will be track-only tires. I have 16,000 miles on my 18" wheels and the wear-bars are now flat-on the tire. Basically, they're done. These were Mich PS2's.

Fortunately, previously I bought a set of spare set of 19" wheels/tires, and those are the daily driver as of last week; and I'll buy track-only tires for next season and toss those on the 18" wheels.

So my relatively-inexperienced advise is: keep it stock until you can't get better times; and then get ready to spend money on tires.

Just go have fun!


- V


.

Great advice. Any idea what tires you're looking at? You should stick to street tires until you max them out before R-compound.

.
Good question. My Contis are almost worn out and then it's on to PSS.

I will do HDPE on both but probably track the Mini and make the e90 a track car when I can afford a 991. Maybe in 4 years when I turn 40.
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      11-20-2012, 07:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeman727 View Post
Also is the r56 MCS a good car to learn on? I've got one laying around that I can't sell.
You're getting some great advice! For now all I'd add (M3 or MCS) are track pads, fluid and SS lines. Keep the car stock for a couple of seasons and then start modding...

I have an R56 MCS. Although it's a blast to drive, it requires a very different driving style compared to the e9x M3. However, starting with the Mini, IMO, will make you a better overall driver when you finally take the M3 to the track because the MCS will allow you to develop proper driving skills (M3 "hides" mistakes) as well as maximizing corner speeds (it's a "momentum" car ) and threshold/trail braking.
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      11-20-2012, 08:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
Great advice. Any idea what tires you're looking at? You should stick to street tires until you max them out before R-compound.

.

Thanks.

Maybe the BF Goodrich qForce R1, or the Yokohama A048. I'd like to think eventually the Hoosier R-compounds, but they are typically more expensive.

- V
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      11-20-2012, 09:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Please don't be advising r-compounds to an obvious rookie this is dangerous and bad advice. I don't mean to call anyone out I just think we need to be mindful of the ability of the drivers we are giving advice to. It is in their best interest that new drivers don't leap to r-compound tires otherwise this could happen http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=694316

Anyways, HPDE is not about lap times and chasing speed through car modifications. It is about chasing speed through better driving. Street tires will make you a better driver before r-comps do. Street tires allow for higher slip angles, more cushion, more progressive break away, more car control to play with, limit at safer speeds. R-comps reward a slightly different driving style that, in my opinion, isn't as fun!, but drivers education should be done on street tires in slow cars.
+1

[I found Nitto NT-05 a good street tire for track days - 200 wear rating and durable]
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      11-20-2012, 09:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Please don't be advising r-compounds to an obvious rookie this is dangerous and bad advice. I don't mean to call anyone out I just think we need to be mindful of the ability of the drivers we are giving advice to. It is in their best interest that new drivers don't leap to r-compound tires otherwise this could happen http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=694316

Anyways, HPDE is not about lap times and chasing speed through car modifications. It is about chasing speed through better driving. Street tires will make you a better driver before r-comps do. Street tires allow for higher slip angles, more cushion, more progressive break away, more car control to play with, limit at safer speeds. R-comps reward a slightly different driving style that, in my opinion, isn't as fun!, but drivers education should be done on street tires in slow cars.
1000x this! R comps for a new driver restrict learning and are dangerous. Stick to true street tires for at least a few track days, then to a mid grade r comp like a PSC or NT01, then to slicks or R6/R1 if you want to go that far. Good advice in here, no need to mod much while you're new.
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      11-20-2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3SQRD View Post
You're getting some great advice! For now all I'd add (M3 or MCS) are track pads, fluid and SS lines. Keep the car stock for a couple of seasons and then start modding...

I have an R56 MCS. Although it's a blast to drive, it requires a very different driving style compared to the e9x M3. However, starting with the Mini, IMO, will make you a better overall driver when you finally take the M3 to the track because the MCS will allow you to develop proper driving skills (M3 "hides" mistakes) as well as maximizing corner speeds (it's a "momentum" car ) and threshold/trail braking.
So should I start with HDPE on the Mini if that is what I'm looking to track and then track with the Mini? I would of course slide in 2 or 3 M driving school days. Do you think the M driving school is worth it? Even though it is expensive, they provide the cars
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      11-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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I'd just do brakes. you'll know when you're ready for wheels/tires.
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      11-20-2012, 12:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeman727 View Post
So should I start with HDPE on the Mini if that is what I'm looking to track and then track with the Mini? I would of course slide in 2 or 3 M driving school days. Do you think the M driving school is worth it? Even though it is expensive, they provide the cars
M school is definitely worth it. make sure you're a member of BMWCCA to get the 20% discount.
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      11-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
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M school is definitely worth it. make sure you're a member of BMWCCA to get the 20% discount.
Awesome, I just joined. Do I just tell them my CCA member number or do I have to book it through BMWCCA?
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      11-20-2012, 02:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeman727 View Post
Awesome, I just joined. Do I just tell them my CCA member number or do I have to book it through BMWCCA?
Just did the 2 day M School - just call and give them your BMWCCA number. You can also register online. Google BMW M School and it should pop up.
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      11-20-2012, 02:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shosholoza View Post
E90 mods for a newb:
* first time out - nothing

As you get more experienced, and quicker:
* Recovery towing hooks/belts back and front
* CG seatbelt lock
* Brake fluid - Motul RBF 600 is not too pricey
* Track dedicated brake pads
* Brake cooling ducts
* Track dedicated Wheels and tires
* Big Brake Kit
* front camber adjustment
* Schroth Quickfit Pro Harnesses - the Mini ones work perfectly
* Suspension
* note that I have not mentioned power yet... learn to drive fast, rather than trying to buy fast
+1 Have fun and be safe!
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Last edited by ortho281; 11-23-2012 at 10:19 AM.
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      11-20-2012, 04:37 PM   #19
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I'm new to my M3 and have the same q's as the OP. This thread and the one linked regarding r-compound tires have been very helpful.

I have a further question on brakes though. My car is 99.9% daily driver. I could see how stainless lines could be beneficial and not be a problem on the street but is high temp brake fluid strictly a track thing? Also, do those running track pads really change back and forth when getting back on the street?

I've been on a track once at NCCAR in a friend's M3, which I put off the track bass-ackwards and sideways. I plan on the M school in April and after that, tracks as often as possible. However, given my job and location, hitting the track may only be once or twice/year.

Also, where is the best place to have SS lines put on, dealer or an independent shop?
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      11-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Has anyone been to BMW's M school and another racing/driving school that could offer perspective?
Most other HPDE and schools I've been to have you use your own car. The SCCA and PCA in our region hold these pretty regularly. Plus, it's a crap shoot as to the quality of instructor you may get. Some are awesome, some OK, and some not so good. I would also say that your time on the track is less too as you are usually split up into 2-3 run groups. When you aren't running you are sitting around watching.

M School uses their cars on a custom made course that includes elevation changes, a polished concrete wet skid pad, all sorts of corners and curves, plus the best instructors. These guys are all pros and were very comfortable to be around - not intimidating or critical, just good tips and comments that helped you improve constantly. Plus, the course is so huge that you spend maybe an hour in class in the morning then it's all car time. You swap from the M3 to the M5 to the 1M (and now the M6 which will replace the 1M). Their tires, their brakes, their car - you crash, no problem. No insurance issues. It was a fantastic experience - they provide all food, lodging, transportation from hotel to school, plus you get a custom painted helmet to keep, shirts, caps, and other swag. 1st class experience all the way!!!

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      11-20-2012, 05:07 PM   #21
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I disagree with waiting on tires because tracking destroys your stock tires. Pickup a cheap set of wheels (e.g., Apex) and throw on what will be your "track" tires. That does NOT mean R-comps, or even the best street tires (e..g, RS-3, etc) but can still be NT-05s or whatever else. Tracking on cheaper tires will often lead to chunking and excessive wear. I would also track on 18s as opposed to 19s as the tires are cheaper (as well as the wheels).

As for the Mini... I would not learn to track on a FWD car. Not that they are not capable, but there are fundamental differences to the driving style vs RWD. But I'm also a fan of Purple Derple's advice re getting a cheap track car (if you have the space for another car).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fastdoc View Post
I have a further question on brakes though. My car is 99.9% daily driver. I could see how stainless lines could be beneficial and not be a problem on the street but is high temp brake fluid strictly a track thing? Also, do those running track pads really change back and forth when getting back on the street?
SS lines are not necessary. And especially if you are going to be tracking irregularly (1-2 times/year is irregular), it is definitely not needed.

I don't change track pads back and forth because it is annoying and not needed. If you are going to only go 1-2 times/year, then a dual purpose pad will be fine (e.g., Stoptech Street Performance) to run all the time.
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      11-20-2012, 05:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fastdoc View Post
I have a further question on brakes though. My car is 99.9% daily driver. I could see how stainless lines could be beneficial and not be a problem on the street but is high temp brake fluid strictly a track thing?
The fluid shouldn't affect your daily driving. I leave mine in all the time. I'd almost recommend running on stock fluid for now until you feel your pedal getting mushy after some heavy use. Get an actual handle for what your car "needs".
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