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      11-07-2018, 10:49 AM   #1
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M3 vs. 335i for occasional HPDE and wknd fun car

Hi all,

I'm sure this comparison has been beaten to death on this forum, but I wanted to get opinions on my particular situation. So I have been doing HPDE's with the porsche club (My dad is a member) for the past 4 years or so in my 335i. No more than 3 events a year and that seems like an acceptable amount to continue to progress while not breaking the bank. So my current setup is as follows:

08' 335i E90 6spd 122k miles, factory oil cooler, K&W v2 coilovers, M3 front control arms, Poly sway bar and rear subframe bushings, ST sport pads, RBF 600, stock 18's, TOYO r888r's, ECS lightweight aluminum trailing arms, BMS dual cone intake, Dinan axle back exhaust.

TOYO r888r's, ST sport pads, RBF 600, all Poly bushings, and Dinan axle back were all added since my last event in the spring of 2018 at carolina motorsports park where I was experiencing quite a bit of brake fade on my street pads and standard DOT 4 fluid. I think it is worth mentioning that I was also on nankang all season tires for all of my HPDE's in this car before getting r888r's a month ago.

We are heading to VIR next weekend and since buying this car about 4 years ago I have steadily been watching the price of e90/92 m3's drop. 4 years ago when searching I didn't view splurging for an M3 as a realistic option. What I would be considering is selling my 335i and looking for a 6MT m3 that I could buy for the same purpose. I'm thinking/hoping for 10-15k on top of what I get for my car. The reason I am considering this is up to this point I have believed that I have been improving the performance of my car as my experience improved at an equal if not modification heavy rate.

I believe however that I have reached a point where further modifications ie. BBK, lsd, M3 steering rack, or aftermarket wheels will all be big money items and still not get me on par with m3 performance. So realistically all I would do to my car if I kept it is get some nice rotors when mine wear out and perhaps braided lines, and continue to maintain it. I say this knowing that any car I have ever owned has spent very little time in stock form so take this statement with a grain of salt. Just wanted to get some opinions on what I should do. Thanks alot in advance.

PS. Another important factor is that my dad has a 996 turbo and while he does drive very cautiously in the earlier sessions allowing me to get point byes by the later sessions on Sundays he is too much for me to handle. I know the m3 would help with that issue.
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      11-07-2018, 10:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRCE90 View Post
Hi all,

I'm sure this comparison has been beaten to death on this forum, but I wanted to get opinions on my particular situation. So I have been doing HPDE's with the porsche club (My dad is a member) for the past 4 years or so in my 335i. No more than 3 events a year and that seems like an acceptable amount to continue to progress while not breaking the bank. So my current setup is as follows:

08' 335i E90 6spd 122k miles, factory oil cooler, K&W v2 coilovers, M3 front control arms, Poly sway bar and rear subframe bushings, ST sport pads, RBF 600, stock 18's, TOYO r888r's, ECS lightweight aluminum trailing arms, BMS dual cone intake, Dinan axle back exhaust.

TOYO r888r's, ST sport pads, RBF 600, all Poly bushings, and Dinan axle back were all added since my last event in the spring of 2018 at carolina motorsports park where I was experiencing quite a bit of brake fade on my street pads and standard DOT 4 fluid. I think it is worth mentioning that I was also on nankang all season tires for all of my HPDE's in this car before getting r888r's a month ago.

We are heading to VIR next weekend and since buying this car about 4 years ago I have steadily been watching the price of e90/92 m3's drop. 4 years ago when searching I didn't view splurging for an M3 as a realistic option. What I would be considering is selling my 335i and looking for a 6MT m3 that I could buy for the same purpose. I'm thinking/hoping for 10-15k on top of what I get for my car. The reason I am considering this is up to this point I have believed that I have been improving the performance of my car as my experience improved at an equal if not modification heavy rate.

I believe however that I have reached a point where further modifications ie. BBK, lsd, M3 steering rack, or aftermarket wheels will all be big money items and still not get me on par with m3 performance. So realistically all I would do to my car if I kept it is get some nice rotors when mine wear out and perhaps braided lines, and continue to maintain it. I say this knowing that any car I have ever owned has spent very little time in stock form so take this statement with a grain of salt. Just wanted to get some opinions on what I should do. Thanks alot in advance.

PS. Another important factor is that my dad has a 996 turbo and while he does drive very cautiously in the earlier sessions allowing me to get point byes by the later sessions on Sundays he is too much for me to handle. I know the m3 would help with that issue.
The M3's suspension is completely different from the 335. On a track there is no competition between the two. The 335 is a great road car but you're on the track and that is where the M will truly shine. Plus you'll never grow tired of the high revving V8
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      11-07-2018, 11:39 AM   #3
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If you are serious about track on your 335i, replace those street pads with something that actually works on track. You'd also want better engine cooling. A upgraded radiator and oil cooler will help a lot with heat - turbo cars generate a lot of heat and the 335i is known to overheat on track.

Or, you can just buy an M3, get some upgraded brake pads and call it a day.

It's really up to you, if you love the 335i, you can upgrade it to a point where it's as fast or faster than the M3. But budget wise, the M3 is a better deal for what you pay for.
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      11-10-2018, 02:44 AM   #4
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Honestly i have both E90s 335i automatic XHP and M3 DCT, however my 335i has all M3 sub-frame suspension brakes rotors, basically everything underneath the car is M3 and still the M3 drives 100 times better on track.
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      11-10-2018, 02:18 PM   #5
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No comparison here if you're driving them hard. If you just like turbo power then there's that but the M3 is quite a different package.
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      11-10-2018, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRCE90 View Post
Hi all,

I'm sure this comparison has been beaten to death on this forum, but I wanted to get opinions on my particular situation. So I have been doing HPDE's with the porsche club (My dad is a member) for the past 4 years or so in my 335i. No more than 3 events a year and that seems like an acceptable amount to continue to progress while not breaking the bank. So my current setup is as follows:

08' 335i E90 6spd 122k miles, factory oil cooler, K&W v2 coilovers, M3 front control arms, Poly sway bar and rear subframe bushings, ST sport pads, RBF 600, stock 18's, TOYO r888r's, ECS lightweight aluminum trailing arms, BMS dual cone intake, Dinan axle back exhaust.

TOYO r888r's, ST sport pads, RBF 600, all Poly bushings, and Dinan axle back were all added since my last event in the spring of 2018 at carolina motorsports park where I was experiencing quite a bit of brake fade on my street pads and standard DOT 4 fluid. I think it is worth mentioning that I was also on nankang all season tires for all of my HPDE's in this car before getting r888r's a month ago.

We are heading to VIR next weekend and since buying this car about 4 years ago I have steadily been watching the price of e90/92 m3's drop. 4 years ago when searching I didn't view splurging for an M3 as a realistic option. What I would be considering is selling my 335i and looking for a 6MT m3 that I could buy for the same purpose. I'm thinking/hoping for 10-15k on top of what I get for my car. The reason I am considering this is up to this point I have believed that I have been improving the performance of my car as my experience improved at an equal if not modification heavy rate.

I believe however that I have reached a point where further modifications ie. BBK, lsd, M3 steering rack, or aftermarket wheels will all be big money items and still not get me on par with m3 performance. So realistically all I would do to my car if I kept it is get some nice rotors when mine wear out and perhaps braided lines, and continue to maintain it. I say this knowing that any car I have ever owned has spent very little time in stock form so take this statement with a grain of salt. Just wanted to get some opinions on what I should do. Thanks alot in advance.

PS. Another important factor is that my dad has a 996 turbo and while he does drive very cautiously in the earlier sessions allowing me to get point byes by the later sessions on Sundays he is too much for me to handle. I know the m3 would help with that issue.
I didn't read your whole post but coming from a 335i that I tracked I will say the M3 is a completely different car and about 100x easier to drive.

My 335i was modded very similarly to yours.
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      11-13-2018, 11:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great responses . I am going to VIR this coming weekend and will see how it does with the new mods before putting it up for sale. Hopefully real life wont get in the way of me adding more money to my addiction . Thanks again.
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      11-13-2018, 11:04 AM   #8
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Nobody has ever upgraded from an M3 to a 335.
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      11-13-2018, 07:49 PM   #9
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Doesn't the 335 have an open diff?
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      11-13-2018, 08:53 PM   #10
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Doesn't the 335 have an open diff?
E-diff. IOW yes
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      11-13-2018, 09:41 PM   #11
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Look at the total cost of ownership. The 335 will eventually depreciate to almost nothing. The E9x M3 depreciation has already seemed to have flattened out and (hopefully) will increase.
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      11-13-2018, 09:52 PM   #12
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E9xM3 are down below $20k for the cheapest. A lot of car for the money. 335i are below $10k.

For track use, the E9xM3 is better. For daily driver use, I am of mixed opinion. The torque of the turbo 335i, at least a modified one, is great. You donít have to work the car hard to keep the rpm up to get good power. Of course the E9xM3 is not hardcore so you can daily driver it no problem.
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      11-13-2018, 10:47 PM   #13
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E9xM3 are down below $20k for the cheapest. A lot of car for the money. 335i are below $10k.

For track use, the E9xM3 is better. For daily driver use, I am of mixed opinion. The torque of the turbo 335i, at least a modified one, is great. You don't have to work the car hard to keep the rpm up to get good power. Of course the E9xM3 is not hardcore so you can daily driver it no problem.
I saw a 335 for like $3600 today. I've seen a few people complain recently that their turbos are leaking. That's $2500 in parts for a car worth under $4k.

At least when I do my rod bearings for $2500 my car is still worth $25k or so.

I'd have a hard time buying a 335. The maintenance cost to car value ratio would be hard to swallow.
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      11-14-2018, 07:21 AM   #14
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I think the $3600 price reflects the needed work. Otherwise it might be an $8k car. An M3 that stopped running due to bad rod bearings might be an $8k car since it could need $10k in parts.
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      11-14-2018, 09:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
I think the $3600 price reflects the needed work. Otherwise it might be an $8k car. An M3 that stopped running due to bad rod bearings might be an $8k car since it could need $10k in parts.
You're correct, I just looked at 335 prices and it's closer to 10k.

And I meant rod bearings being preventative maintenance, not a fix.

I guess my problem with the N54 engine is personal. My 535 needed 17k worth of work (thankfully under warranty). My experience was awful. I spent a lot of time driving a 328i loaner car.
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      11-14-2018, 11:45 AM   #16
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I have had an 08 535xit for 8 years and 105k of its 135k miles. Great car. Had an extended warranty until 2014 but the only major work under warranty was replacing the rear hatch hydraulics and wiring. I have maintained it since. It did break a front spring a few months ago, so it got new front springs and struts. I think itís a great car. I run a JB4 on it for a little more power. Yes, the turbos will eventually need replacing, but that is a day of work and $1000 in parts.

Out of warranty, I am not sure I would want to own any BMW and pay shop rates. I do my own work. People with M3 have spent a bunch at dealers on actuators and brakes. A few have spent massive amounts on new engines. I do think the M3 is generally reliable ó I think repairs to my 08M3 over the past 8 years have cost less than repairs to my 08 535xit. I think an $8k E60 535 or E90 335 is a great value and I think an $18k E90M3 is a great value.
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      11-15-2018, 08:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
I have had an 08 535xit for 8 years and 105k of its 135k miles. Great car. Had an extended warranty until 2014 but the only major work under warranty was replacing the rear hatch hydraulics and wiring. I have maintained it since. It did break a front spring a few months ago, so it got new front springs and struts. I think itís a great car. I run a JB4 on it for a little more power. Yes, the turbos will eventually need replacing, but that is a day of work and $1000 in parts.

Out of warranty, I am not sure I would want to own any BMW and pay shop rates. I do my own work. People with M3 have spent a bunch at dealers on actuators and brakes. A few have spent massive amounts on new engines. I do think the M3 is generally reliable ó I think repairs to my 08M3 over the past 8 years have cost less than repairs to my 08 535xit. I think an $8k E60 535 or E90 335 is a great value and I think an $18k E90M3 is a great value.
totally agree with this guy
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      11-18-2018, 06:45 PM   #18
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I transitioned from 07 E92 335 to 11 E92 M3. 335's are great cars and with a few mods they can pull very hard. Problem is the last 33% of power band is a loss and heat soak drags ya down after a while. I had my stock turbos fail so I rebuilt them with billet internals and balanced. Removed and replaced myself. Not a big deal if you can have your car on jacks a week or two. The track width of an M3 in comparison is awesome as well as its ability to take a shitwhipping and not overheat is even better. I prefer an M3 but I have love for 335.
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      11-18-2018, 09:36 PM   #19
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335s will not last a full track day. My buddy got maybe a half day in. Reduced power the rest of the day due to heat soak.

335s are just not meant for track abuse. Still a great car.
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      11-20-2018, 05:49 PM   #20
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335s will not last a full track day. My buddy got maybe a half day in. Reduced power the rest of the day due to heat soak.

335s are just not meant for track abuse. Still a great car.
I haven't experienced the limp mode from overheating issue, but the risk of this exact scenario is why I continue to run at mostly stock power levels and try to avoid track days when the weather is warm. This is difficult living in SC. JB4 would only serve to build more heat in the motor I believe and I don't want to spend my weekend stressfully watching my temp gauge. Turbo's is another main concern of mine since I am not the first owner and I am not sure if they have ever been done. Car is at 123K right now. I just had a great time with the car at VIR this past weekend and I know there is definitely more potential in the car than what I am able to access with my current skill level. I guess my main concern is once I move up to the upper skill groups there are mostly gt3's and M's in those groups. I wouldn't want to be outgunned still even after spending a good bit more on upgrades for the 335i. Thoughts?
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      11-21-2018, 01:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imserious View Post
335s will not last a full track day. My buddy got maybe a half day in. Reduced power the rest of the day due to heat soak.

335s are just not meant for track abuse. Still a great car.
I haven't experienced the limp mode from overheating issue, but the risk of this exact scenario is why I continue to run at mostly stock power levels and try to avoid track days when the weather is warm. This is difficult living in SC. JB4 would only serve to build more heat in the motor I believe and I don't want to spend my weekend stressfully watching my temp gauge. Turbo's is another main concern of mine since I am not the first owner and I am not sure if they have ever been done. Car is at 123K right now. I just had a great time with the car at VIR this past weekend and I know there is definitely more potential in the car than what I am able to access with my current skill level. I guess my main concern is once I move up to the upper skill groups there are mostly gt3's and M's in those groups. I wouldn't want to be outgunned still even after spending a good bit more on upgrades for the 335i. Thoughts?
I wouldn't sink too much into a 335 with the intent of tracking. Just not the best platform.

If you just want to have fun and pull away from Ms in the occasional street race go for it.
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      11-21-2018, 02:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imserious View Post
I wouldn't sink too much into a 335 with the intent of tracking. Just not the best platform.

If you just want to have fun and pull away from Ms in the occasional street race go for it.
Combo dd/track car an m3 is a good choice

Track car mainly with another dd? That opens up a lot of other choices.
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