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View Poll Results: Ideal E9x track tire/wheel setup: square vs staggered?
Square (same size tires front and back) 14 28.57%
Staggered (wider tires at the rear) like stock 31 63.27%
don't know / don't care / you tell me 4 8.16%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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      12-08-2008, 04:44 PM   #1
masmole
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Those who have tracked or plan to track their M3...

Based on how the car has behaved for you at the track or based on how you feel the car behaves in general despite your current track experience (or lack thereof), what are your thoughts on optimal tire setup? Square or Staggered?

A lot of E46 M3ers favored the square setup for driving near the limit on track but since the E9x is even more balanced in stock form, is a square setup really the way to go?

I understand that the Turner motorsports E90 M3 runs a square setup with 275s all around but after watching the in-car videos of that car getting a good flogging, it seemed to me that it had a stronger tendency for oversteer based on all the frequent opposite lock that had to be dialed -in by the driver in the corners. Granted, the driver was very highly skilled and was driving the wheels off that car, but that was my impression.

I ask because I'm torn between going square vs staggered when deciding on what wheels to order for a track set up, and although I will be using R-compound tires with a high-torque brake pad compound, I have no plans to use camber plates since this is a daily driver first foremost. I would consider myself an intermediate to advanced driver with about 30+ track events in my resume over the past 8 years (about 4-5 weekend events a year). There's only so much I can learn from driving the car on public roads without having driven it on track, and I would appreciate comments especially from those who already had track time with the E9x M3.

All feedback welcome and to make it interesting, how about we make this a poll....
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      12-09-2008, 12:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masmole View Post
Based on how the car has behaved for you at the track or based on how you feel the car behaves in general despite your current track experience (or lack thereof), what are your thoughts on optimal tire setup? Square or Staggered?

A lot of E46 M3ers favored the square setup for driving near the limit on track but since the E9x is even more balanced in stock form, is a square setup really the way to go?

I understand that the Turner motorsports E90 M3 runs a square setup with 275s all around but after watching the in-car videos of that car getting a good flogging, it seemed to me that it had a stronger tendency for oversteer based on all the frequent opposite lock that had to be dialed -in by the driver in the corners. Granted, the driver was very highly skilled and was driving the wheels off that car, but that was my impression.

I ask because I'm torn between going square vs staggered when deciding on what wheels to order for a track set up, and although I will be using R-compound tires with a high-torque brake pad compound, I have no plans to use camber plates since this is a daily driver first foremost. I would consider myself an intermediate to advanced driver with about 30+ track events in my resume over the past 8 years (about 4-5 weekend events a year). There's only so much I can learn from driving the car on public roads without having driven it on track, and I would appreciate comments especially from those who already had track time with the E9x M3.

All feedback welcome and to make it interesting, how about we make this a poll....
You and I asked pretty much the same question:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184694

The consensus in the thread I started is that both square and staggered work on the car - it's your call on which works best for you.

Personally, I ran 265's (non-R comps) square and the car was neutral to pushy but others felt that a staggered setup was more balanced. YMMV quite a bit apparently.
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      12-09-2008, 02:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
You and I asked pretty much the same question:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184694

The consensus in the thread I started is that both square and staggered work on the car - it's your call on which works best for you.

Personally, I ran 265's (non-R comps) square and the car was neutral to pushy but others felt that a staggered setup was more balanced. YMMV quite a bit apparently.
Cool, thanks for posting the link.

Curious which wheels that come in 18x9.5 ET25 did you get for your square set? Are you certain that 275 tires will not have rubbing issues front or back? Is your car lowered? Post pics of the wheels if you have them I know Volk RE30s can be ordered in that exact spec with the +25 offset, which seem ideal. I was also given the option of 18x9.5 Volk TE37 or CE28N with +22 offsets and they are all tempting because of the lightweight forged monoblock construction and the relatively low cost compared to other forged wheels.

My current thinking right now is that even if a square set does sacrifice some neutrality (if any at all), it would be worth it just to have the flexibility of rotating the tires to get the most out of them.
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      02-09-2009, 01:48 AM   #4
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I voted for wider in the rear- its faster and more stable - but i run SQUARE in the track, its cheaper and you can rotate tires to make them last longer, and i have a very patient right foot.
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      02-11-2009, 10:16 PM   #5
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With the type of power M3's have...staggered is a good idea......sure same all around is easier and cheaper.....but most powerful racecars run staggered setups
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      02-17-2009, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemang17 View Post
With the type of power M3's have...staggered is a good idea......sure same all around is easier and cheaper.....but most powerful racecars run staggered setups
agree - but Square is more fun at the autocross!!!
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      02-17-2009, 11:03 PM   #7
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agree - but Square is more fun at the autocross!!!
Seriously, is that because it's faster or you like to slide? or is it something else?

Thanks,

Dave
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      02-17-2009, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
Seriously, is that because it's faster or you like to slide? or is it something else?

Thanks,

Dave

'I would like to know also
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      02-26-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masmole View Post
Based on how the car has behaved for you at the track or based on how you feel the car behaves in general despite your current track experience (or lack thereof), what are your thoughts on optimal tire setup? Square or Staggered?


I understand that the Turner motorsports E90 M3 runs a square setup with 275s all around but after watching the in-car videos of that car getting a good flogging, it seemed to me that it had a stronger tendency for oversteer based on all the frequent opposite lock that had to be dialed -in by the driver in the corners. Granted, the driver was very highly skilled and was driving the wheels off that car, but that was my impression.


.
Imo the reson behind turning the opposite lock in the turn might be that the driver rotated the car too much at cormer entry.
However, before you spend thousands of dollars on wheels and tires, spend 30 bucks on a book.
Carl Lopez: Going Faster! available on Amazon.com or ebay.
I promise you wont regret it. I tracked 15 days in '08 and this book helped me along a great deal to understand the driving dynamics of track driving from slip to yaw angles, car rotation, trailing throttle oversteer, throttle understeer, etc.
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      02-26-2009, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
Seriously, is that because it's faster or you like to slide? or is it something else?

Thanks,

Dave
steering with just the throttle is fun....back in out. but not the fastest.
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      02-26-2009, 04:08 PM   #11
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steering with just the throttle is fun....back in out. but not the fastest.

Ok, as I thought.

Thanks for getting back to us.

Dave
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      02-26-2009, 04:14 PM   #12
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Staggered works well for me, both in the Nurburgring as well as local tracks in the UK. Handling feels solid.
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      02-26-2009, 09:51 PM   #13
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by the way, go square, you'll get more grip at corner entry.
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      03-16-2009, 01:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
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by the way, go square, you'll get more grip at corner entry.
true but in most cases corner exit speed is more important than entry speed.
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      03-26-2009, 06:40 PM   #15
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you are absolutely right about the exit speed. I noticed a lot of understeer going into corners, and it made me shave off speed in order to make it to the apex. With the extra grip resulting from the wider tires upfront, i think this problem would be less noticeable if not absent.
Also i see pretty much every regular track attendee with square setup.
Mind you, I'm still in the process to get my square set, so take it for what it's worth-pure speculation.
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      03-26-2009, 06:50 PM   #16
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If the goal is to maximize grip, then staggered is the choice because no matter what you do up front, you'll be able to put something wider in the rear.
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      03-26-2009, 08:41 PM   #17
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Staggered works for the simple fact that more is better when it comes to quantity of rubber on the ground. You put the most you can in front, then the most in back, then tune to get the most out of it. Square is more practical, however.
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      03-26-2009, 08:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
Staggered works for the simple fact that more is better when it comes to quantity of rubber on the ground. You put the most you can in front, then the most in back, then tune to get the most out of it. Square is more practical, however.
You said it better than I did RJ...
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      03-26-2009, 10:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Staggered works for the simple fact that more is better when it comes to quantity of rubber on the ground. You put the most you can in front, then the most in back, then tune to get the most out of it. Square is more practical, however.
in that case we should all run 265/315' s.
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      03-26-2009, 10:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
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in that case we should all run 265/315' s.
As dumb as it sounds, that's right. Just run stiffer springs in the rear. That's the tuning part. I didn't say it would be easy to get the car balanced. But even unbalanced the car will be faster with the most rubber you can get on it. Might not be as fun, however.
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      03-27-2009, 02:22 AM   #21
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Quote:
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As dumb as it sounds, that's right. Just run stiffer springs in the rear. That's the tuning part. I didn't say it would be easy to get the car balanced. But even unbalanced the car will be faster with the most rubber you can get on it. Might not be as fun, however.
but maybe 275 /315 is better?
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      03-27-2009, 11:47 AM   #22
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but maybe 275 /315 is better?
Can you fit 315 in the back without rolling fenders?
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