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      11-20-2012, 08:06 PM   #23
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I say go with your M3 at the track, it really is the best place to enjoy and appreciate the capabilities of the car. IMO, no need to start with a beater or your Mini.

As many others have said, as a newb, just keep the car stock. You probably won't even need to upgrade the brakes for the first few events. Most definitely stick with street tires for the first few seasons.

If you do get hooked to the sport, you can start looking at mods that will improve safety like better track brake pads.

I am a firm believer that the best component worth modding is the one between the seat and the steering wheel .

And most importantly, HAVE FUN

Last edited by CanAutM3; 11-20-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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      11-20-2012, 08:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhouck View Post
I disagree with waiting on tires because tracking destroys your stock tires.
I agree in general, but, I don't think a novice is going to destroy the tires...

The only thing a novice needs to do is make sure the car is properly serviced.

After a few track days, start thinking about track pads and high temp brake fluid.

After the first set of tires are gone, then consider a second set of wheels that offer a square setup so you can rotate the tires (still street tires).

I highly recommend against any r-compound tires unless you want to start down a very expensive slippery slope of upgrades. For example, the stock brakes are fine with track pads and some cooling ducts as long as you stick with street tires (upper end like AD-08s). Once you put on R-compounds, you'll likely overdrive the stock brakes and you'll start to feel like the car moves around too much on the suspension. You'll conclude you need big brakes and coil overs, sway bars. Then, you'll think the car needs more power, on goes the supercharger. Then you'll move to Hoosiers and need a pickup and trailer... Ask me how I know

I drive in the advanced groups, normally with a dedicated track car, but this year I drove 20 days with my E90 M3 family car with only these mods (track car, a Palatov D2, is being built and will be ready in the Spring so M3 will be back to DD duties):

- Camber plates (-2.2)
- Pagid Yellow pads
- Brembo brake fluid
- Cantrell Cooling ducts
- Apex 18" wheels with a square tire setup (265s) using RE11, AD08 and PSS tires

And I had a blast The E9X M3 is an extremely capable track weapon in mostly stock trim.

Save the money for gas, tires, pads and driving schools Bondurant's 4-day is excellent for novice to intermediate drivers. I'm sure Skip Barber and Russell Racing are also superb schools if you can't do the M School.

Have fun!

Pete
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      11-20-2012, 11:05 PM   #25
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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?
I did a one day /M event when they offered it out at Fontana, and it was ok. We didn't have an instructor in car so I didn't get much learning. The CCA has incar instruction, which is really helpful when you're starting out. It's the safest organization out there. Once you get faster, you may not like it but its a perfect way to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fastdoc View Post
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?
Another tip for OP. KEEP THE DAMN TRACTION CONTROL ON!!!

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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."

Last edited by aus; 11-20-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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      11-20-2012, 11:32 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepless View Post
I agree in general, but, I don't think a novice is going to destroy the tires...

The only thing a novice needs to do is make sure the car is properly serviced.

After a few track days, start thinking about track pads and high temp brake fluid.

After the first set of tires are gone, then consider a second set of wheels that offer a square setup so you can rotate the tires (still street tires).

I highly recommend against any r-compound tires unless you want to start down a very expensive slippery slope of upgrades. For example, the stock brakes are fine with track pads and some cooling ducts as long as you stick with street tires (upper end like AD-08s). Once you put on R-compounds, you'll likely overdrive the stock brakes and you'll start to feel like the car moves around too much on the suspension. You'll conclude you need big brakes and coil overs, sway bars. Then, you'll think the car needs more power, on goes the supercharger. Then you'll move to Hoosiers and need a pickup and trailer... Ask me how I know

I drive in the advanced groups, normally with a dedicated track car, but this year I drove 20 days with my E90 M3 family car with only these mods (track car, a Palatov D2, is being built and will be ready in the Spring so M3 will be back to DD duties):

- Camber plates (-2.2)
- Pagid Yellow pads
- Brembo brake fluid
- Cantrell Cooling ducts
- Apex 18" wheels with a square tire setup (265s) using RE11, AD08 and PSS tires

And I had a blast The E9X M3 is an extremely capable track weapon in mostly stock trim.

Save the money for gas, tires, pads and driving schools Bondurant's 4-day is excellent for novice to intermediate drivers. I'm sure Skip Barber and Russell Racing are also superb schools if you can't do the M School.

Have fun!

Pete
How would you compare the three tires you used in overall grip, break away tendency, wear and wet grip if you had a chance to drive in the wet?
Thanks.
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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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      11-21-2012, 12:24 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
How would you compare the three tires you used in overall grip, break away tendency, wear and wet grip if you had a chance to drive in the wet?
Thanks.
I'll post a separate topic tomorrow .
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      11-21-2012, 12:34 AM   #28
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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.
@Purple Derple:
Uh, if you read what was written to me as a question "Any idea what tires you're looking at? You should stick to street tires until you max them out before R-compound." Then I responded with what I am thinking about doing. I did not offer that as advice to anyone, but what I am thinking of. In an earlier post, I DID provide advice that one should drive stock for awhile before changing anything. (So you are calling me out, but without accuracy.)

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      11-21-2012, 05:08 AM   #29
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I recommend getting a set of track wheels+tires (18's preferably) to start. R-compounds will offer more grip and stay driveable for a longer period. Street tires will rapidly decrease performance on cornery tracks, as they get very greasy when hot.

You'll also feel way more comfortable knowing that you'll still have your street tires for "the day after", if you were to go through your set at the track.

Next is race brake fluid and better brake pads.

Then I would look into suspension: camber plates are a must, coilovers eventually.

That should set you up well, until you get more experienced at the track.
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      11-21-2012, 05:34 AM   #30
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1. Go to the track stock and don't go nuts on the stock brakes
2. Potentially have an instructor sit in a few laps to provide tips
2. Upgrade pads
3. Tyres that provide a balance between track and street (on the assumption you are not going to be having dedicated track wheels and you are not going to the track every weekend etc)

If you are going to go beyond the occasional dabble at the track and as you become a more accomplished driver then it may be a case for bigger upgrades!
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      11-21-2012, 06:44 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fastdoc View Post
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?
I have been tracknig my E92 for four and a half seasons at the rate of 15+ days per season. I am running an practcally stock brake setup (rotors, lines, calipers, fluid, no cooling ducts) except for track performance pads with no issues. Never lost brakes or suffered significant fade.

The stock brake system (pads included) with street tires should be able to manage a novice driver without problems .

IMO, SS lines are really not required and are a waste of money

Upgrading the brake fluid will definetly add a layer of safety without detrimental impact on the DD

Track pads are a compromise. For better track performance you need to live with sqealing and maybe rattling sounds on the DD if you do not swap your pads every time . Up to you.

But as you start to gain more speed, I would definitely recommend upgrading pads .

Naturally it all depends on the track layout, but in general, the M3 drivers that have issues with the brakes are the intermediate to advanced drivers that are starting to haul serious speed but have a tendency to overbrake or do not fully manage their brakes. Or at the other extreme, the pros/semi pros that are looking for that last bit of performance edge.

Last edited by CanAutM3; 11-22-2012 at 06:13 AM.
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      11-21-2012, 09:58 PM   #32
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I agree you should keep the car stock until you know you will be going to the track often enough to justify proper track mods (10+ a year or more). If you've made that decision, then the basic items to get would be:

-Racing Brake Fluid
*ATE Super Blue works for me. You won't need it first couple times out, but once speed start to increase, better safe than sorry

-Racing Brake Pads
*Performance Friction 08s - Endurance Compound
*Don't screw around with stock pads at the track, they will turn into dust quickly at your level since you'll be using them often. Yes, it's true, instructors drive on them, but don't be fooled you can too without some level of consequence / risk.

-Camber Plates
*Negative camber will save your tires from wearing too quickly and help you a tad on the turns. Might be optional at the novice level though

-18 inch Track Wheels and Tires
*Keeps you from changing out costly 19 inch tires regularly. Also, R-comps come more readily in these sizes. 18x10 APEX EC7 Rims and NT-01 Tires should work well.

-Clear Bra
*Keeps the car from getting dinged too much from track debris or if you don't care it's optional. You could also just use painter's tape, but it gets old putting that crap on every time.

-Equipment?
*Check out Harbor Freight Tools. Get a jack, impact fun, torque wrench, etc. so you can check your own car out and rotate tires for even wear. I guess you could just borrow this stuff on the track, but if you have the means to get it yourself - it's worth it.

-Others
*Supercharger is unnecessary and only will aid in burning up consumables (pads, tires, etc.) at a much quicker rate, even if you're a great driver. You're simply going faster and it takes more to slow you down or take turns. Also, it's another thing that gets heat soaked or can simply go wrong at the track - more hassle. I can't tell you how many serpetine belts I've helped change for my supercharger buddies...

*Suspension - coilovers would be ideal and will be a great add-on later. The truth is the stock M3 suspension is very capable. If you're serious about the track, try to avoid springs or a sleeve kit. They aren't horrible, but if you're going through the motions of a suspension upgrade, do it right the first time and get coils.

Good luck at the track and get yourself some track insurance. You may be a good driver, but others not so much Watch out.

If you need any more advice before going to the track, feel free to PM.
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      11-22-2012, 03:16 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Yes street tires will burn up before r-comps, and they will come back faster than r-comps too. But don't you think it is a useful skill to learn, to look after the tires, on a tire where it happens more easily and is more easily felt and controlled?

Am I wrong about this thread? Is the focus here about learning the most or is it about the ultimate HPDE speed setup?
I agree but my point was that street tires may heat up and get greasy so quickly that it spoils the learning process and the overall experience. On some tracks, street tires may hold up longer than on others though.

And a beginner won't/shouldn't drive r-comps to the limit. However the extra grip margin may come in handy if a corner was underestimated.
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      11-22-2012, 03:01 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
I dont think you're learning if you aren't on the limit. This is why I think street tires are better for learning because the limit is lower and more progressive. If you're driving with grip margin you're just driving and not performance driving IMO.
Not trying to argue, but I don't think ANY beginner will drive the limit of a car like the M3
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      11-22-2012, 11:28 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
It was meant for anyone giving advice to you too. BFG r1s? Yokohama a048s? I don't think you ought to be on those after three track days. I also don't think they should ever go on an e93.


This is a general response to the forum:

Everyone on this forum gets excited about gear and stuff to buy for the track, but they also forget that none of that stuff is going to make you a fast driver, it is only going to make your car faster. What? Are they going to win HPDE? The more go fast stuff you put on your car, the more you disguise the learning. The faster your car goes without the driver getting faster, the more in over your head you get.

That's why I initially said it should all be done in a slow car. No one is ever out driving their car at HPDE and saying 'well I need new shocks so I can get more rear rebound because I don't like the way the back moves under braking.' before upgrading their suspension. Everyone wants to make their car fast and change the car instead of changing the driver. Look, we all are driving m3s in here, we all like to spend money on things, I get it, we're all material girls. We all like to get our new piece of gear and talk about it and show it off. We also like that little ego boost when we've passed more cars than passed us in a session. But that isn't driving fast. That's just putting your foot down harder than the other guy. It's just having more go fast parts than the other guy. They don't even teach speed in HPDE, they just teach safety.

"What's the point of this rant dude?" My point is, don't be so eager to make your car fast. Don't be so eager to spend money on speed gear. Do the smart things, not the popular things. You won't become a better driver by making your car faster, you will just be out the money you spent. I think it is smart to get an extra set of cheap wheels and tires for the track to save your street tires. I think it is not smart to make those extra tires r-compound even DOT rated, but it certainly is popular. If the point of going to the track is to be a better driver, then make the car as difficult as possible to go fast in and then you'll have to work to find the speed and then you'll become a better driver. What if we do the opposite. What if we make the car so good that it is effortless to go fast in? I think the M3 is already easy to go fast in from the factory. It doesn't lend itself to making us better drivers though unfortunately. So with that in mind, I think the entire thread is misguided starting with the title. But this is all just imo, naturally.

Well...okay, it's an opinion. I have to say, though, that the not "ever go on an E93" is off the mark. It's like the person that keeps writing that E93's are an "afterthought" which is totally bull. If I want my E93 to perform better, who cares what model it is? (At the last track day, with a totally stock E93, I was getting better times than several E90's and E92's, and other makes of cars...not withstanding the variances in driver capabilities.) I have a semi-racing background with motorcycles, and some of that is transferable to cars.

But one of the main reasons I'm looking at those tires I mentioned earlier is that at under 19,000 miles, I have destroyed four Michelin PS2's that came with my car, and that's just three track days. I need to replace them. TireRack.com has the fronts for $295 ea, and rears for $371. Whereas a set of track-specific BFGoodrich q-Force R1's are $177 each. I'll save at least $624 going to the BFGoodrich's...that will only be used at the track. I have a 4-set of 19"s that I've put on my car for daily use.

I'll certainly post a follow-up next season on what kind of difference there is on the track. Even if it makes zero lap-time difference, it will make a difference in my wallet.


Disclaimer: to any new drivers or rookies considering what tires to place on your car, please note that I am not a professional, highly-experienced M3 driver as many on this forum are. It's only my lowly opinion. Please don't crash your car with R-compound tires and then file a lawsuit against me, or the forum.




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      11-23-2012, 12:58 AM   #36
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You'll kill r-comps a lot faster than street tires. The difference is the R-comps will cord pretty quickly unless you manage the tires. I've seen two guys cord a brand new Hoosier r6 in 6 sessions.

I agree with Purple, beginner and even intermediate drivers should stick with street tires. I see too many people blaming tires for understeer/oversteer issues on street tires when it's clearly a driver issue. Then they go to an R-comps to fix their skill issue which then makes that driver issue much more difficult to diagnose. AND they'll be a lot harder on the tires. You really should be very comfortable with knowing what the car is doing at the limit of grip otherwise it gets ugly really quick since you are carrying even more speed. Must also be smooth with the controls. I see too many hacks running r-comps and slicks.

Honestly, I'm maybe giving up a second per lap for 2-3 laps with my street tires every 20 min session. Otherwise, I'm running comparable times. Gotta ask yourself is it worth it? Tire changing, managing the tires, hard to drive in the rain, loading/unloading, etc. For me? Not worth it. I still pass plenty of cars on r-comps and slicks. FWIW, I run RS3s on my 330 and Dunlop Z1*'s on my M3 (just put on RS3s on my M3).
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      11-23-2012, 01:08 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus
Another tip for OP. KEEP THE DAMN TRACTION CONTROL ON!!!
I disagree. The sooner you get off the DSC crutch, the better. I don't know how any intermediate or advanced can even drive it in MDM. It interferes to much on exit, does not allow you to maintain any slip angle. It will let you slip the rears for a short bit but kicks in at the worst time. It has actually put me into a hairy situation twice, almost dropped 2 wheels off leading to something worse.

DSC will start kick in on exit right when the car starts to slip (maximum traction). I'm using the slip to rotate the car from apex to exit so I can be on full throttle. DSC kills that slip angle in the tires and will point me right off track so it becomes a wrestling match...me vs DSC.
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      11-23-2012, 09:18 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Yes street tires will burn up before r-comps, and they will come back faster than r-comps too. But don't you think it is a useful skill to learn, to look after the tires, on a tire where it happens more easily and is more easily felt and controlled?

Am I wrong about this thread? Is the focus here about learning the most or is it about the ultimate HPDE speed setup?
+1, beginners should learn on good street tires before going R-comp. It has a level of safety that is useful for beginners. There are also many street tire options that are close to R-comp performance that one can use.
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      11-23-2012, 10:06 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S65NAPWR View Post
+1, beginners should learn on good street tires before going R-comp. It has a level of safety that is useful for beginners. There are also many street tire options that are close to R-comp performance that one can use.
Also, agree 100%. R-comps are not for beginners and even most intermediate drivers. IMO, starting with R-comps will result in a driver developing a lot of bad habits as well as thinking they are "great" drivers until something goes wrong, very wrong....
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      11-23-2012, 10:06 AM   #40
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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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      11-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #41
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I would also say street tires all the way. I think a big factor, at least for me, that nobody really talks about is FUN. All anyone talks about is becoming a better driver, well I'm in it for the fun, and if I just happen to become a better driver, great! I mean, I'm not going pro, this is my DD, and like mentioned earlier you're not giving that much up to people on R-comps with the present state of streets out there. I get plenty of life out of my AD08's (6-10 events depending) and can drive it on the street as storage is an issue for me. Just go out and have fun, you'll figure out what you will/won't need relatively quickly as you talk to others on the paddock. Just remember, shiny side up
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      11-23-2012, 12:06 PM   #42
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I think a big factor, at least for me, that nobody really talks about is FUN. All anyone talks about is becoming a better driver, well I'm in it for the fun, and if I just happen to become a better driver, great!
Yes, you should be having fun while at the track but you also should be learning. The more you learn about car control, etc, the more fun you'll have at the track (this is a general statement, not directed at you). Over the years I've witnessed so many incidents at the track that could (should!) have been avoided but the driver's reactions/inputs were all wrong when things started to go "bad" and they only made things worse!

Yes, keep the shiny side up
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      11-23-2012, 05:05 PM   #43
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I haven't read the whole thread but I just want to shime in to say that the E9x M3 is a complete beast on the track even with minimal mods.

Mine came with lowering springs. To which I added a pair of camber plates then got it aligned properly.

Also installed brake lines and high temp fluid. I swap race pads (in the front only) and run sticky street rubber.

The car is a total animal.

So those would be my recommendations for a starter/budget track setup that would make even advanced drivers happy.

The E9x is one hell of a chassis.
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      01-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #44
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Just to add to what kaiv said, the m3 doesn't need much. I've only track pads, wheels, rbf600, and ss lines. The car is a blast. Have camber plates on order but other than that you have to keep in mind that its a 3600lb luxury car. Just have fun and make changes when they become absolutely necessary unless you will be cheating yourself.
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