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      11-23-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
mrtrackday
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Talking How I converted my 2008 M3 to a weekend track car

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and while I suppose I could copy and paste the entire blog article here, I prefer to give a link. Since I don't sell advertising on my personal blog or promote anything in particular that will hopefully not be adverse to the forum policies here. In short this is an in depth article about the process (and money I spent) dialing in my 2008 M3 for track days. I'm in the yellow run group so I'm a good driver, but not a great driver. Started with just racing pads, SS brake lines and better brake fluid and had nothing but problems. Looks like my problems might be over finally. Last thing on my list is a front brake kit since the M3 stock brakes are just lame for the track (single piston calipers, rubber lines, no vents for airflow, etc..). In all fairness they are great for street use and will put me though the windshield but they simply cannot hold up on the track under any rigorous conditions.

Here is the story of the tires and wheels
BMW M3 (E92 E93) Racing Slicks and Racing Wheels


And here is an older story about the stock brakes
Why the “stock” BWW M3 E92 or E93 are simply not track worthy

I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning here as well. Been reading this forum for a while now and felt it was time to give back.

~ John
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      11-23-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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Starting with a vert to make a track car? Other than that, everything else looks
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      11-23-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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of course the brakes are going to be worse when you are trying to make a track car out of a vert that is already heavier. I honestly don't even know what else to say and not sound insulting.
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      11-23-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
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I'm sure it'll make as good a track car as almost any car out there. If you want a convertible with good performance an E93 is right up there.

Nice video!
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      11-23-2009, 05:52 PM   #5
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Welcome! Thanks for sharing - nice blog and vid!
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      11-23-2009, 06:09 PM   #6
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do they allow you to track with the top down??? now that must be some awesome experience

nice car... (i'm a big vert' fan, BTW)

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      11-23-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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Sure do but I run with it up. Would hate to slide off track at 90 degrees, catch the outer wheels and wind up on my head.

It's funny how little difference a car makes when a good driver is behind the wheel. I was running down Z06's, Vipers and 996 TT's (all much faster cars) in green and blue as I was starting out, but getting passed by Mini's in yellow as I got better. Sure a coupe is better than a vert stock on the track but a stock vert with PS2's will humiliate a tricked out coupe with the wrong driver every time. Point it everything is relevant, this is my first M, I love the car, it loves me and I have a blast at the track. Coupe or not I wish it had more power on the straights.


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do they allow you to track with the top down??? now that must be some awesome experience

nice car... (i'm a big vert' fan, BTW)

Pat
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      11-23-2009, 07:24 PM   #8
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I also do not understand making a track car out of an E93...
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      11-23-2009, 07:31 PM   #9
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4-seat "verts" should not be track cars.

They can be used on the track casually, but they should definitely not be dedicated track cars. S2k's, Miatas, and others which are dedicated convertibles tend to be much more natural track cars than 4200-pound M3 'verts. The excess weight causes them suffer in acceleration, braking, and cornering.

/thread
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      11-23-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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Awesome blog and video. I been wanting to take my car to the track, but I don't even know where to begin. I am pretty scared to take the car out on the track because I have had no real racing experience. I am glad you put a blog up so I can learn a little bit more about what it takes to start racing an M3. I was wondering if you were in a racing school before ever taking the car out?

As far as everyone complaining that you are tracking your convertible who cares that its a convertible. It's not like you bought a car to become a professional race car driver. If that was the case for how much money you spent you would have bought a true track car.
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      11-23-2009, 08:05 PM   #11
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Jeez, guys how 'bout cut him a little slack? He says he's made a weekend track car, not a race car. Maybe he likes having a vert. I didn't see anything about him stripping the car to shed weight.

If this works for you hey that's great. As it relates to speed down the straight, that's only limited by the size of your wallet.
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      11-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Bear View Post
Awesome blog and video. I been wanting to take my car to the track, but I don't even know where to begin. I am pretty scared to take the car out on the track because I have had no real racing experience. I am glad you put a blog up so I can learn a little bit more about what it takes to start racing an M3. I was wondering if you were in a racing school before ever taking the car out?
I was nervous the first time taking my 335i to the track. I think that is a good thing. If you are nervous, you are less likely to be overconfident.

I have done 5 track days using my bone stock 335i sedan (including run flats), 3 at Putnam Park (Indiana) and two at Autobahn Country Club (south of Chicago). I ended up getting track pads for the last couple of track days. The group I drove with focused on safety as #1 priority as I imagine they all do. Passing only allowed on long straights after you give the driver the signal. It is not a race (we repeated it 3+ times). I encourage you to try it. For your first time, you do not need to change out anything. Buy a nice helmet and track the car. If you enjoy it, upgrade to track pads for your next time out. Do not get race tires until you advance to the yellow group (green = fast, red=slow...me). Race tires will get you in trouble if pushed to limit by an inexperienced driver. Changing out brake fluid is also important as you push your car harder as you get experienced. Water in brake fluid lowers the boiling point.
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      11-23-2009, 09:04 PM   #13
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Also, my track day allowed the free use of instructors to learn how to learn the line, brake, and accelerate. They will ride with you (brave souls) or you can ride with them...great experience. One word of caution if an instructor rides with you. I heard of a few novices running too deep into a turn and went straight into the grass (no walls on the tracks I mentioned above) as the instructor advises to go deeper into the turn before hitting the brakes. I imagine most people are not used to really "hitting" their brakes and cannot make the turn.
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      11-23-2009, 09:55 PM   #14
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Unhappy What the...

Wow.. For a 1st time poster who was willing to share lots of hard earned data, I'm not feeling the love here at all. If this forum is stacked with haters who prefer to be judgemental and don't even bother to read the entire post and especially the "this car was not bought for the track" part, I'm pretty underwhelmed with m3post.com so far. I'm sure there are lots of good people here but the haters are on the prowl.

I repeat...

THIS IS NOT A DEDICATED TRACK CAR !

I drive it to work everyday, my wife, dog and I go cruising with the top down when the weather is nice. I track it because aside from a few hundred extra pounds, it kicks ass as a track car, top up or down. Which part of that doesn't make sense?

I'm running close to 2min laps at TWS which is VERY respectable so how about cuttimg me some slack?
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      11-23-2009, 10:00 PM   #15
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BTW "mrtrackday" was not supposed t be viewed as "mrfabulous" or "mrfantastic", I just wanted a name with trackday in and and everything else was taken. Maybe the name I choose is drawing the heat?
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      11-23-2009, 10:08 PM   #16
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Dude there are about a billion dicks on this board, not the most mature of boards. I don't know how to describe the mentality but stick around a while and you'll see. Just enjoy your car and forget about most of these posts.

On a positive note, that is an awesome diary. Congrats to you, you are getting more track use with your e93 than 90% of the e90 or e92 users. If you want more power there are some remedies for that
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      11-23-2009, 10:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtrackday View Post
Wow.. For a 1st time poster who was willing to share lots of hard earned data, I'm not feeling the love here at all. If this forum is stacked with haters who prefer to be judgemental and don't even bother to read the entire post and especially the "this car was not bought for the track" part, I'm pretty underwhelmed with m3post.com so far. I'm sure there are lots of good people here but the haters are on the prowl.

I repeat...

THIS IS NOT A DEDICATED TRACK CAR !

I drive it to work everyday, my wife, dog and I go cruising with the top down when the weather is nice. I track it because aside from a few hundred extra pounds, it kicks ass as a track car, top up or down. Which part of that doesn't make sense?

I'm running close to 2min laps at TWS which is VERY respectable so how about cuttimg me some slack?


Based on some of the posts I read over the past couple months, I should not take my E90 to the track since it has the "super heavy" sunroof. Only E92 with carbon roof, no bells/whistles, cloth seats are suitable for the track.
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      11-23-2009, 10:21 PM   #18
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Nice man, something different. You just need to understand that at least SOME criticism will come from a bunch of coupe lovers who track their cars alongside yours.
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      11-23-2009, 10:35 PM   #19
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Hey John,

Thanks for posting. I have to admit I misunderstood and thought you had converted an E93 into a dedicated track car. I will check out your blog about the work you have done to it.

Please ignore the negative remarks. I have yet to get my E90 on the track. I had a driving school scheduled but it was cancelled because too few people signed up. I have tracked before and can't wait to get my car out there. Most of the tracks in New England have very strict rules and won't let you track a vert without a roll bar. Most of the tracks around here don't have much run off room either.

Have fun and be safe out there!
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      11-23-2009, 10:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtrackday View Post
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum
~ John
Welcome to the forums John, don't let these guys get to you.

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      11-23-2009, 11:11 PM   #21
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Hi John, welcome, and congrats. Just curious what group you run with with, becasue most of the ones I know require a roll bar at a minimum with verts. What wheesl are you running? Also, spacers are not recommended for track use. Anyway, don't be surprised if this thread gets moved to the track/autocross section
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      11-23-2009, 11:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtrackday View Post
Wow.. For a 1st time poster who was willing to share lots of hard earned data, I'm not feeling the love here at all. If this forum is stacked with haters who prefer to be judgemental and don't even bother to read the entire post and especially the "this car was not bought for the track" part, I'm pretty underwhelmed with m3post.com so far. I'm sure there are lots of good people here but the haters are on the prowl.

I repeat...

THIS IS NOT A DEDICATED TRACK CAR !

I drive it to work everyday, my wife, dog and I go cruising with the top down when the weather is nice. I track it because aside from a few hundred extra pounds, it kicks ass as a track car, top up or down. Which part of that doesn't make sense?

I'm running close to 2min laps at TWS which is VERY respectable so how about cuttimg me some slack?
I hope you didn't take my post the wrong way. I don't think the BMW brakes are completely subpar as you made them out to be in your initial post that drew some ire. The added weight of the vert doesn't help the situation with stock brakes which is more accurate. I didn't mean to offend you in any way.
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