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      06-06-2020, 05:23 PM   #1
LeveragedTiger
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Jerez E92 M3 Track Build Journal - "Brutus"

Intro/How it all started

After owning my M3 for about a year, I decided it was finally time to start a build journal. My plan is to slowly transform it from a bone stock 2008 E92 M3 in Jerez Black, to a track-focused (but road legal) weapon.

Here are a few shots after I first purchased my M3. This car essentially fell into my lap; wasn’t really looking but decided to respond to a Craigslist ad and see it in person. The car was the perfect used car to buy; one owner vehicle, full service history since new, both throttle actuators had been replaced, and 53,000km/33,000 miles on the clock. All it needed was some new tires and brakes. The car is a 6-speed manual, and fully loaded: Technology Package, Premium Package (Black Novillo), Cold Weather Package, and 19” Style 220Ms.



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      06-06-2020, 05:24 PM   #2
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The fun begins

Shortly after purchasing the car, I took it to a local autocross event for the first time. Not gonna lie, this car feels heavy and ponderous at autocross. The Pilot Sports were definitely not up to the task either – the front end pushed really hard. Not the ideal environment for it, but picking up a race bucket was fun, however.



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      06-06-2020, 05:33 PM   #3
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New shoes

So as mentioned, the car needed new tires. Before those went on, I had to give the old ones their due send off:



The aftermath:



I replaced the Pilot Sports with Yokohama AD08Rs in the factory sizing. My main reason for choosing this tire was commentary from other members that these tires had fantastic and consistent grip, and had very long life for a 200 treadwear rating tire. So far, I’m extremely pleased with these tires. They also work pretty well in the rain, which is helpful where I live (Vancouver, BC).



Shortly after the new tires were put on, I took it to another autocross event. The difference was astounding. There was still some push at the front end – especially in constant state turning/partial throttle scenarios – but it was materially better than in the past. Much better bite on initial turn in.
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      06-06-2020, 05:37 PM   #4
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Don't skip leg day - prepping for track time

Now I needed to get it ready for proper track work. I didn’t do anything crazy to start. I replaced the rotors with Zimmerman OEM spec, installed Project Mu HC+ pads, Stoptech Stainless Steel lines, and then dropped in ATE Type 200 fluid. I also installed a UUC Short Shift Kit and Dual Shear Selector Rod. Unfortunately I have no photos of the parts as they went straight from the courier to the shop that installed everything.

Shortly after install, I took the car to Mission Raceway for my first track-day event.



Mission is a track that’s notoriously hard on brakes – it’s a compact course with short straits so the brakes never get much of a chance to cool down. Fortunately, my set-up performed FLAWLESSLY. I experienced zero fade through six 20 minute sessions. Not only that, I consistently outbraked a 997 C2S that was running in the same heat. He ended up having to cut his day short by a session or two due to his brakes packing it in while mine kept on ticking.

To give you a sense of how hard the track is on brakes, I started the day at cold tire pressures of 33psi. I had to bleed off pressure four times to get my tires stabilized at 38psi hot. Could’ve cooked an egg on my wheels to boot.

After Mission, I finally got rid of the silly amber bumper reflectors. Funny how such a small change can make a big difference aesthetically.

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Last edited by LeveragedTiger; 06-06-2020 at 05:54 PM..
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      06-06-2020, 05:41 PM   #5
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Bearings are love, bearings are life. And more track time.

After getting a Blackstone analysis done, I decided to pull the trigger on rod bearings to give myself that piece of mind. I ended up going with BE bearings and OEM bolts. Here’s what the old ones looked like coming out.



With the bearings in, I felt comfortable enough to track it again, so I spent Labour Day weekend at The Ridge in Shelton, WA. This track is a huge difference from Mission – much more space to let the M3 stretch its legs as well as give the brakes a chance to catch their breath. After my experience at Mission, I ended up setting my pressures too low to get enough hot temp as the brakes weren’t getting hot enough. Fortunately I figured that out after a session or two and was back at 38 hot which made the car far more planted. It was my first time at the track so I had an instructor with me for the first couple of sessions. He was blown away at the bite of my brake setup, which I think is high praise as he had a garage with a GT3 RS in it, and a Z06 on slicks.



Think I gave the AD08Rs a good workout that day.

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      06-06-2020, 05:43 PM   #6
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Birth of the beast

I thought I was done buying parts for the 2019 season, but then a full Akrapovic Evolution system came up on the local Craiglist page and I had to scoop it up. At the same time, I ordered the Stage 2 tune from Alex at Alpine Motorsports.

These two modifications completely transformed the car. I found the OEM car was a bit too docile, but with the engine in Sport+ now, the engine positively snarls, and the bark out back gives me a grin every time I punch it – I think I’ve rolled the windows down and floored it in every tunnel I’ve driven through. There's a lot more intake noise with the tune as well I find.

Thanks to the change in character of the car, I decided it was time to give it a name. He now goes by ‘Brutus’ because he seems like an angry guy with the new exhaust and tune.





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      06-06-2020, 05:46 PM   #7
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All Season Animal

Winter finally came so I had to get appropriate snow tires as I regularly drive to Whistler for a day of skiing. I ended getting a killer deal from a local Craigslist seller on a full set of 219M’s with Nokian Hakkapeliitta’s in 245/40/18 sizing all around.

I must say that this tire set-up is pretty unstoppable in the snow. I had a few days where I was driving through 4+ inches of powder and the thing stuck like glue – it would drive 20km/hr faster than anyone else and it didn’t feel like I was anywhere near the limit of grip.

The 18” gray look started to grow on me too.



Here’s a photo after a dirty drive up the Trans-Canada highway near Christmas.



Brutus inhaled a bunch of snow during one of the winter storms we saw in Vancouver.

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      06-06-2020, 05:49 PM   #8
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Fancy footwork

The mod bug started itching again in 2020, so I gave it a few scratches. The first step was to order spacers and studs from Apex. I went with 18mm front, 15mm rear, and the 90mm bullet nose studs.



However, the real star was a set of MCS 2-Way Non-Remotes that I ordered through Blitzkrieg Autowerks here in Vancouver. I went for a complete kit: 616lb/896lb F/R Swift springs, Ground Control race plates, Ground Control rear spring perches, Ground Control sway bar end links, and Ground Control Rear Upper shock mounts.



A shout out to both Blitzkrieg and MCS. Blitzkrieg put out some phenomenal pricing on the kit, and MCS was excellent at getting things out ASAP to Vancouver. Both groups have impressed me hugely.

So without further ado, here’s how he sits, hungry for his first track day in 2020.





Initial impressions are very good. Ride is no stiffer than EDC settings on their hardest setting. I have the settings at MCS recommended starting point. The Rebound is a little faster than the OEM valving, but compression feels close to stock. I’m currently running -3 degrees up front, and -2 degrees in the rear. Due to the lowering, the factory rear toe links are maxed out, so I need to get some rear toe links (thinking SPL) before we can corner weight the car and really dial it in. There's some minor rubbing in the rear currently. I'm going to add a bit more camber, or may have to settle for a 12mm spacer. Still undecided.

I also picked up an RTD V4 carbon shifter (300mm length) and DSSR, which will be going in shortly too.
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      06-11-2020, 03:19 PM   #9
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Good looking build Jeff. Cant wait to start modding mine as well.
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      06-12-2020, 09:45 PM   #10
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Coming along great! Can't wait to see the RTD in, and see what you think of it
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      06-27-2020, 06:36 PM   #11
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First day of the season

So with all of the new suspension in, I was ready for my first track day of the year. A local group, VCMC, runs a Time Attack series at Mission Raceway. The format consists of two qualifying sessions of 20min each, and then 4 timed runs of 3 lap each.

Before the day started, I swapped out the 15mm rear spacers for 12mm. The 15mm spacers were just rubbing far too much to be functional, so I wanted the peace of mind while a the track. Fortunately, the 12mm spacers still give a very aggressive 'track tucked' look, so I'm ok with the 'downgrade'.

I started off the day with MCS recommended default settings (Compression at 4, Rebound at 8). As the day progressed, I added more compression and rebound, to end at Front Compression at 8, Rear Compression at 7, and Rebound at 9 all around.

The compression was definitely needed as the car felt very soft to start. However, I didn't want to go too hard in the rear as with the exhaust and tune, the rear end is more traction limited, and I don't want the car to be skittish out back as a result. Even with -3 degrees of camber up front, the front still wants to push on sweeping corners where you need to get on the throttle early. Looks like I'll need to upgrade the sway bars now, but that can wait until next season.

Another development is that the brakes now experience fade, which I attribute to the extra power. Fortunately the time attacks sessions were short enough that I didn't have a problem in the afternoon. I'll be dealing with this through some short-term measures this season, but will have to upgrade to a BBK in the front for next year.

Nonetheless, I started the day with with a fastest lap of 1.19.3, and finished with a 1.17.9. I think with nailing set-up, and getting a few more corners dialed, there's probably 0.5-1 seconds of time still on the table with the way the car currently is set-up. Now to find that over the season!





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      06-28-2020, 01:48 PM   #12
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awesome runs Jeff. Can't wait to do some hpde next year too.
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      07-02-2020, 03:30 PM   #13
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