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      06-04-2019, 07:23 PM   #1
GFerrara
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High Mileage Track Car?

Am I crazy for wanting to slowly transform my 117k mile M3 into a more track focused car? I bought the car last summer with 102k on the clock, proceeded to hit NJMP, Lime Rock, and Watkins Glen before I moved to LA and did a 3500 mile road trip with the car. Since then I probably have done 10 track days in SoCal, with Ohlins coilovers,fresh rubber, and new rotors and pads being installed at some point. I have done stainless lines, high temp fluid and had DCT and diff fluids changed when I first purchased the car. Car has had rod bearings and throttle actuators done previously. Water pump, Thermostat, DTML pump and steering rack were some of the items that I've had go bad on my car but was able to fix myself, minus the rack. I'm just wondering if any E92 track veterans have insight on if a high mileage build is a bad idea. I don't think I would go full racecar, but would start with removing all seats for buckets and maybe a half cage, front sway bar, 18's with stickier tires, RK tune and eventually a BBK.

Insights? Advice? All welcome.
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      06-05-2019, 09:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFerrara View Post
Am I crazy for wanting to slowly transform my 117k mile M3 into a more track focused car? I bought the car last summer with 102k on the clock, proceeded to hit NJMP, Lime Rock, and Watkins Glen before I moved to LA and did a 3500 mile road trip with the car. Since then I probably have done 10 track days in SoCal, with Ohlins coilovers,fresh rubber, and new rotors and pads being installed at some point. I have done stainless lines, high temp fluid and had DCT and diff fluids changed when I first purchased the car. Car has had rod bearings and throttle actuators done previously. Water pump, Thermostat, DTML pump and steering rack were some of the items that I've had go bad on my car but was able to fix myself, minus the rack. I'm just wondering if any E92 track veterans have insight on if a high mileage build is a bad idea. I don't think I would go full racecar, but would start with removing all seats for buckets and maybe a half cage, front sway bar, 18's with stickier tires, RK tune and eventually a BBK.

Insights? Advice? All welcome.
If you're asking from a money standpoint, the fact is that a high mileage E9x M3 is not worth a ton of money now. So, from a financial risk standpoint you're not really risking a whole lot if the engine blows up.

If you're asking from a will-I-blow-up-my-engine standpoint----well, you've replaced a bunch of the standard problem items already like rod bearings and throttle actuators, so now it comes down to the question of, can the block and the original internals handle it. No one can answer that. There are many examples of these engines demonstrating they can do high miles. But high miles and track duty will always be a guessing game with stock internals.

One last thought: If this is your only car and you can't be leaving it at a shop all the time, then maybe I would hesitate because I'm sure stuff will be coming up as you track this aging car. But if you have another car that can be used as a daily driver while this car is down, then it's more palatable.
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      06-05-2019, 09:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbone View Post
If you're asking from a money standpoint, the fact is that a high mileage E9x M3 is not worth a ton of money now. So, from a financial risk standpoint you're not really risking a whole lot if the engine blows up.

If you're asking from a will-I-blow-up-my-engine standpoint----well, you've replaced a bunch of the standard problem items already like rod bearings and throttle actuators, so now it comes down to the question of, can the block and the original internals handle it. No one can answer that. There are many examples of these engines demonstrating they can do high miles. But high miles and track duty will always be a guessing game with stock internals.

One last thought: If this is your only car and you can't be leaving it at a shop all the time, then maybe I would hesitate because I'm sure stuff will be coming up as you track this aging car. But if you have another car that can be used as a daily driver while this car is down, then it's more palatable.
This

Maybe get something like a Mini Cooper S (2015+) or Golf GTi as a daily driver so you have some kind of backup.

I double-dutied a E46 M3 until it had 180k miles. Then I sold it and it was turned into a full track car. It was then sold again and the owner tracked me down and said he's still loving it! Stock internals except for the rod bearing replacement.
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      06-05-2019, 12:06 PM   #4
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Buy any V8 Toyota as a backup car/truck? Peace of mind is worth a lot of time on a racetrack

Last edited by Richbot; 06-05-2019 at 12:52 PM..
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      06-05-2019, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
This

I double-dutied a E46 M3 until it had 180k miles. Then I sold it and it was turned into a full track car. It was then sold again and the owner tracked me down and said he's still loving it! Stock internals except for the rod bearing replacement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbone View Post
If you're asking from a money standpoint, the fact is that a high mileage E9x M3 is not worth a ton of money now. So, from a financial risk standpoint you're not really risking a whole lot if the engine blows up.

If you're asking from a will-I-blow-up-my-engine standpoint----well, you've replaced a bunch of the standard problem items already like rod bearings and throttle actuators, so now it comes down to the question of, can the block and the original internals handle it. No one can answer that. There are many examples of these engines demonstrating they can do high miles. But high miles and track duty will always be a guessing game with stock internals.
Wow! Well that's certainly reassuring that the motor held up that well, 6 speed I assume though? I left a Saab 9-3 Arc in NY with my brother that was my daily throughout the years when I had my high horsepower LS cars a few years ago. But out here I have a Ducati Cafe Racer I can commute on if the car is done and I plan on getting another daily down the road as the M3 becomes more track focused.

Dogbone your car has been an inspiration to me, I've seen you being posted up on the bimmer challenge before I moved out here and I love how clean your build is. I had no idea it was supercharged until the read your writeup recently. Part of my concern would be the DCT failing, your car is DCT right any complaints after heavy track use?
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      06-05-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GFerrara View Post
Wow! Well that's certainly reassuring that the motor held up that well, 6 speed I assume though? I left a Saab 9-3 Arc in NY with my brother that was my daily throughout the years when I had my high horsepower LS cars a few years ago. But out here I have a Ducati Cafe Racer I can commute on if the car is done and I plan on getting another daily down the road as the M3 becomes more track focused.

Dogbone your car has been an inspiration to me, I've seen you being posted up on the bimmer challenge before I moved out here and I love how clean your build is. I had no idea it was supercharged until the read your writeup recently. Part of my concern would be the DCT failing, your car is DCT right any complaints after heavy track use?
Glad my ramblings have been useful to you! Maybe I'll see you out there on track one day since you're in Cali now. As far as the performance of DCT, I have absolutely ZERO problems with DCT. It's awesome. You know how I know it's awesome? All the 6MT guys give me crap (translation: are jealous) that I can downshift anywhere I want to. It really is great. The only technical issue really any of us have run into is: once you have a really high grip car, the shifting can be a bit funky during sustained high-G situations because the transmission seems to suffer from oil starvation. This was basically solved by the Slon Workshop DCT pan. I have no hesitations in recommending that pan. It has been great. The owner of Slon Workshop puts group buys together 10 people at a time. Really beautiful product. You can see my write up about it here: https://www.m3post.com/forums/showth...158445&page=33
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      06-05-2019, 12:32 PM   #7
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Sounds like you done most of the things to ensure it can be a reliable track car, usually you'll be changing parts or upgrading things fairly often. The only concern I would have is the main bearings, if you were able to get the mains changed then I think it could be a reliable track car for sure.
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      06-05-2019, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFerrara View Post
Wow! Well that's certainly reassuring that the motor held up that well, 6 speed I assume though? I left a Saab 9-3 Arc in NY with my brother that was my daily throughout the years when I had my high horsepower LS cars a few years ago. But out here I have a Ducati Cafe Racer I can commute on if the car is done and I plan on getting another daily down the road as the M3 becomes more track focused.
Yes, 6 speed. The DCT however is incredibly reliable. Add the do88 cooler and the slonik pan and you're golden.
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      06-05-2019, 01:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tdott View Post
Sounds like you done most of the things to ensure it can be a reliable track car, usually you'll be changing parts or upgrading things fairly often. The only concern I would have is the main bearings, if you were able to get the mains changed then I think it could be a reliable track car for sure.
(Getting the main bearings done is no small task......as I understand it, you need to pull the engine....once the engine is out, it makes sense to replace a bunch of other things....this ends up costing a ton of $$$---usually more than $10k.)
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      06-05-2019, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
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(Getting the main bearings done is no small task......as I understand it, you need to pull the engine....once the engine is out, it makes sense to replace a bunch of other things....this ends up costing a ton of $$$---usually more than $10k.)
Agreed, but there is no other way. Just saying after everything else is done to get the car track/racecar ready, that would be the only concern left.
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      06-05-2019, 03:13 PM   #11
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Properly maintained the S65 is a rock. I will be running VIR Labor Day weekend with one of the posters who responded above. I'll be running my dual purpose street (daily driver) and track (3-6 events per year, higher end this year) at the event.
I'm at 143,000 miles with DCT and so far no problems. Don't even have to add any oil after any track event or between changes (7,500 mile interval irregardless of track use or not, it's worked for me).

I've always been of the opinion if you use your car regularly on the track you should consider upgrading the cooling system. I run CSF radiator, M24 oil cooler and Do99 DCT cooler. Can't complain, runs decent temps in the hottest weather. I say go ahead if you're confident the regular maintenance has been good.
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      06-05-2019, 03:18 PM   #12
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The Do99 cooler is even better than the Do88

Not sure why I typed 99.
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      06-05-2019, 03:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbone View Post
(Getting the main bearings done is no small task......as I understand it, you need to pull the engine....once the engine is out, it makes sense to replace a bunch of other things....this ends up costing a ton of $$$---usually more than $10k.)
yes, engine out for sure. Maybe one day pbonsalb wants to tackle this job with my brother and I and we can make a nice DIY
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      06-05-2019, 03:39 PM   #14
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yes, engine out for sure. Maybe one day pbonsalb wants to tackle this job with my brother and I and we can make a nice DIY
hehe you mean a DDNDIY—-Definitely Do Not Do It Yourself!!!?
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      06-05-2019, 04:27 PM   #15
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hehe you mean a DDNDIY—-Definitely Do Not Do It Yourself!!!?
it has to be documented at some point!! And I'm sure it's not magic either... none of these jobs are.
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      06-06-2019, 11:35 AM   #16
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deansbimmer didn't do a DIY per se but he did do a nice post on what's involved with photos. It's not something I'd do unless I was planning to refresh the whole engine top to bottom anyway
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      06-07-2019, 09:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbone View Post
Glad my ramblings have been useful to you! Maybe I'll see you out there on track one day since you're in Cali now. As far as the performance of DCT, I have absolutely ZERO problems with DCT. It's awesome. You know how I know it's awesome? All the 6MT guys give me crap (translation: are jealous) that I can downshift anywhere I want to. It really is great. The only technical issue really any of us have run into is: once you have a really high grip car, the shifting can be a bit funky during sustained high-G situations because the transmission seems to suffer from oil starvation. This was basically solved by the Slon Workshop DCT pan. I have no hesitations in recommending that pan. It has been great. The owner of Slon Workshop puts group buys together 10 people at a time. Really beautiful product. You can see my write up about it here: https://www.m3post.com/forums/showth...158445&page=33
Damn thats really great to hear about the DCT, I am not used to how the DCT operates but one of my friends with an E92 warned before I got it that its more like a manual than a traditional auto, I guess the slippage between drive and reverse had me a little worried. Are people replacing the clutch pack with the upgraded ones or is it unnecessary? I actually have seen your car at the track before, my first event on the west coast was the bimmer challenge at buttonwillow right before Christmas. Some beautiful cars there, yours is one of my favorite, as well as that nardo grey coupe with the sweet body work.

I appreciates everyone input. Will wait to see if this car I was eyeing becomes available again on racingjunk otherwise I think I'm going to jump on a set of status seats from a forum member and begin the process, next steps would be camber plates, set of 18s with better tires, half cage, and harnesses, also am going to order the GT3 brake ducts for the front control arms since my only complaints with the stock system is slight fade at the end of the straights at ACS and Big Willow.
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      06-07-2019, 10:38 AM   #18
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Are people replacing the clutch pack with the upgraded ones or is it unnecessary? I actually have seen your car at the track before, my first event on the west coast was the bimmer challenge at buttonwillow right before Christmas. Some beautiful cars there, yours is one of my favorite, as well as that nardo grey coupe with the sweet body work.
I have 150+ supercharged track days on the stock transmission. No issues. I don’t think you need to mess with the clutch parts. I recall reading on the forum years ago that someone found out that the stock transmission could handle up to 440 ft lbs of torque. My supercharger doesn’t even put that much torque out.
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      06-07-2019, 10:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbone View Post
I have 150+ supercharged track days on the stock transmission. No issues. I don’t think you need to mess with the clutch parts. I recall reading on the forum years ago that someone found out that the stock transmission could handle up to 440 ft lbs of torque. My supercharger doesn’t even put that much torque out.
This. No need to mess with the tranny. Just get GTS software to reduce slippage a bit and do the mods Dogbone discussed earlier.

DCT is a huge, huge asset at the track. It isn't so much an issue of speed but of consistency.

The DCT is almost indestructible as well.
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      06-07-2019, 11:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFerrara View Post
I actually have seen your car at the track before, my first event on the west coast was the bimmer challenge at buttonwillow right before Christmas. Some beautiful cars there, yours is one of my favorite, as well as that nardo grey coupe with the sweet body work.
That last Bimmer Challenge in December was a fun day. Good competition and good conditions. You should have come over and said hi!

The gray car is James Paick's. That car looks great both inside and out.
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      06-08-2019, 01:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I have 150+ supercharged track days on the stock transmission. No issues. I don’t think you need to mess with the clutch parts. I recall reading on the forum years ago that someone found out that the stock transmission could handle up to 440 ft lbs of torque. My supercharger doesn’t even put that much torque out.
I come from the GM LS world, their current 8L90E is rated to handle 900lb ft of torque in stock form, the older 6L80E was rated for 800lb ft, my first car, the Pontiac G8 GT was equipped with one of those and I was pushing 750hp with no complaints
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      06-08-2019, 02:01 PM   #22
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FWIW, I have a 2010 E92 with 161k miles on it with 26 track days and original rod bearings. I daily'd it for 3.5 years and it's now just a weekend/track car. Semi-stripped interior with 2 fixed back seats and harnesses and a slew of other comfort ruining mods.
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