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      07-29-2020, 07:51 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
Got around to wiring in and installing our Solo2DL last week. Ended up mounting it on the far driver side air vent with an aluminum bracket we made up. Out of the the way when driving but easy to glance at and still able to get a strong GPS signal so we're happy with this location. Nice to be able do data analysis with this car now.










Was at the track on Saturday and Sunday this past weekend and got some good track time in. Got to put the Solo to work and are very happy with it thus far. Lots of data to go over. Aim experts - what parameters are you primarily looking at when analyzing lap times? I was using GPS speed, TPS and Brake pressure to compare lap data. Anything else I should be looking at that would be helpful?

Decided to run our 275 NT01's this weekend to burn them up (still got life left on them, they just keep on going lol), so wasn't expecting much. Seems like we're really starting to get the setup dialled in though, both of us ran PB's on the 2 year old NT01's and got within a second (9 tenths to be exact) of the ST3 lap record that's held for the last 4 years! That's been our benchmark and to get that close on mediocre tires is very encouraging. With the 295 RR's we expect at least a 1/2 to 3/4 second gain, super happy with how the car is working. The plan is to test the car with some 295 A7's (with some extra weight to remain ST3 legal) later this season to see the difference between lighter car with 295 RR's and a bit heavier with a much stickier 295 A7.

Only downside this past weekend has been our OEM brake setup. As mentioned from our last track day we started to reach the limits of our brake setup. This past weekend was more of the same. Pushing the car harder and going considerably faster than last season has shown that the weakest point of the car is our brakes. With a stickier tire the problem would just be even worse. This is something we are looking to address in the near future and hopefully will have an exciting update from the brake department coming soon
You should have zero problems smashing that record with the BBKs and some stickier tires! Awesome work!
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      10-25-2020, 10:46 PM   #90
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Love your build. I am about to embark on gutting my interior during the off season. I have an '08 M3 as well. Appreciate the great write up and the level of detail you guys put into your build.

Question on the padding that was on the underside of the carbon fiber roof. You mentioned it took about 4 hours to get off. What did you find effective to use?

Appreciate any info.
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      10-25-2020, 10:49 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by trackwork_orange View Post
Love your build. I am about to embark on gutting my interior during the off season. I have an '08 M3 as well. Appreciate the great write up and the level of detail you guys put into your build.

Question on the padding that was on the underside of the carbon fiber roof. You mentioned it took about 4 hours to get off. What did you find effective to use?

Appreciate any info.
Thank you!

Ya that foam on the carbon roof was a PITA. Heat gun and a plastic scraper to get the majority off. Then wax and grease remover and some persistence will eventually remove what's left.
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      10-25-2020, 11:09 PM   #92
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looking back through the thread, i think you doctored the oem brakes up about as much as you could. an upgrade is a good opportunity to shed weight.
what about a lightweight battery?
edit- nevermind, we talked about this. lol
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      10-25-2020, 11:36 PM   #93
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End of 2020 Season

Well, since this thread got bumped anyways I figured I'd post a little update.

Our season has now come to an end, our last track day was back at the end of September and the car is now in storage patiently waiting for next season. Snow on the ground this week is a definite sign that track season is over

Overall, a very good season. Not many changes on the car compared to before but being a relatively new build we were/are still familiarizing ourselves with the car and fine tuning the setup to our liking. After burning up the last of older tires, at our last event we threw the 295 square RR setup back on the car with the hope of getting closer or breaking the ST/TT3 record. Unfortunately, track conditions were against us (at least that's our excuse lol). Ambient temps were in the high 50's the last 2 events out and VERY windy. Track temps were very cool in the high 40's to low 50's, making it a real challenge to get the tires into a good working range for fast laps. While we're disappointed to not break the record, we are inching closer and that leaves us with something to continue to strive towards for next season.

Current ST3/TT3 record is held by a friend of my father, Allen. My dad and Allen have raced against one another many times over the years, back when we had the E36. His car is a very light (sub 2000lbs) tube-frame RX7 running big slicks and he's a fast driver.


Last update I mentioned we got into the high 26's. In the last event of the season we improved slightly - despite the cool temps:


Ugh, less then a half second away! Oh well.. next season we'll get it We got some Hoosier A7's to run next season as well. Didn't want to bother running them last day out given the lousy conditions.. With the A7's we're really hoping to get into the mid to low 25's, even with the extra ballast needed from running Hoosiers vs. the RR's. Still hoping to break the record on the RR's though, then just beat it further once we slap the Hoosiers on.

Next year will be an exciting year as there are 2 new tracks within an hour and half of us that are expected to be completed and open next summer. The current track we've been going to (Castrol Raceway) has been our home track for the last 7 years and the only track within a ~10 hour drive from us. To go from 1 to likely 3 tracks will be a new, exciting and certainly welcome change!

We're looking at reworking our spring rates for the following season. I made a brief post in OG Shark build thread, but long story short is we want to try something different. Most E9X's are running very front-biased setups, with very high effective front wheel rates relative to the rear. This creates an understeer biased handling balance in the steady-state. I plan to make a separate thread to go into this in much more detail but we're going to try something less common on this platform. A combination of a softer front spring (not sure how much yet exactly), stiffening the rear, and either running no rear sway bar or going back to an OEM rear sway bar that we'll modify to be adjustable like the current Hotchkis bar is.

Where we stand now, our current wheel frequencies (this is based off of wheel rates, sprung, unsprung weight and weight distribution) are 3.01Hz front and 2.31Hz rear. The new setup will have the rear at at slightly higher frequency then the front. This is going to be a big change and the setup of the car might need to be altered quite drastically to suit the new spring rates, but we feel like this is a step in the right direction. Lots of information out there for anyone curious about wheel rates, wheel frequencies and pitch vs. flat-ride spring rate setups. Again, I'll go into more detail in the separate thread, but that's the plan at least!

Last edited by tsk94; 10-26-2020 at 12:00 AM..
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      10-25-2020, 11:56 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastbeef View Post
looking back through the thread, i think you doctored the oem brakes up about as much as you could. an upgrade is a good opportunity to shed weight.
what about a lightweight battery?
Ya, I'd say we're running about as modified as OEM brakes can get. Proper ducting into a backing plate that actually blows into the hat.. not on the rotor, goes a long way (still don't understand the hate for the Hard backing plates, one of the few that's actually designed properly lol). The plan was to stick with OEM rotors unless they caused issues, which they haven't yet, as free replacements from FCP Euro is nice on the wallet..

Might still see a brake upgrade coming for next season though.. stay posted.

The way the car is now, we're already at our minimal weight. We've gone to a lighter (but not ultra lightweight) battery. I believe in my earlier post it was something like ~30lbs vs the stock one at 56lbs. Not worth going lighter imo. The rear of the car is already too light, and to buy a lighter battery just to have to stick a steel plate somewhere for ballast doesn't appeal to us at the moment.
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      10-26-2020, 12:04 AM   #95
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right. i forgot we talked about it. i remember reading that a lighter car that is faster takes more energy to stop than a heavier car going slower.

did you ever do the rear and rear quarter windows? plastics4performance has a nice kit that might work well for your car that isn't too expensive.

it would be interesting to talk with a pro driver or race engineer to hear their opinion on losing weight just to add it back in with a ballast. its way above where i'm at, but its fun to think about.
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      10-26-2020, 12:14 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by roastbeef View Post
right. i forgot we talked about it. i remember reading that a lighter car that is faster takes more energy to stop than a heavier car going slower.

did you ever do the rear and rear quarter windows? plastics4performance has a nice kit that might work well for your car that isn't too expensive.

it would be interesting to talk with a pro driver or race engineer to hear their opinion on losing weight just to add it back in with a ballast. its way above where i'm at, but its fun to think about.
Still glass in the rear window and quarters.

Losing the weight and putting it back in ballast will always be faster. As you can position the ballast low and where you want it. It's just a question of is it worth your time and money? That's something we did at the end with the E36, but the way the car is now, being still a newish build, there's lots of other areas to focus on before getting down to these small details - at least in my opinion.

I think a good example is the suspension updates/tweaks we want to do. I strongly feel our time and money will be much better spent trying to work out our new suspension setup then play around with small amounts of weight removal and ballast placement.

Polycarbonate, while lighter, is not substantially lighter then glass. Full Lexan windows, like the rear, once mounted and braced (as required by the rules), is usually minimally lighter. Polycarbonate also scratches much easier then glass - which is a pain.
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      10-28-2020, 01:04 PM   #97
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Soooo cool? Where are you located? If close to so cal Id love to see it out and about!
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      10-28-2020, 01:52 PM   #98
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Soooo cool? Where are you located? If close to so cal Id love to see it out and about!
Thanks. Unfortunately not! We're up in Canada
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      10-29-2020, 08:13 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
...
We got some Hoosier A7's to run next season as well. Didn't want to bother running them last day out given the lousy conditions.. With the A7's we're really hoping to get into the mid to low 25's, even with the extra ballast needed from running Hoosiers vs. the RR's. Still hoping to break the record on the RR's though, then just beat it further once we slap the Hoosiers on.
...
We're looking at reworking our spring rates for the following season.
...
As keen as I am to see your suspension rework, it would be ideal to try to break the lap record next season with the A7s (and RRs) before you change your spring rates, etc., to determine whether the (hopefully) new lap record and/or PB is attributed to tyres only - it would also set a new baseline lap time for your subsequent suspension changes.
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      10-29-2020, 09:08 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by 135 View Post
As keen as I am to see your suspension rework, it would be ideal to try to break the lap record next season with the A7s (and RRs) before you change your spring rates, etc., to determine whether the (hopefully) new lap record and/or PB is attributed to tyres only - it would also set a new baseline lap time for your subsequent suspension changes.
Yes, this has been a consideration as well. With that being said, if we do change the suspension before the start of next season, we at least have good references/baseline as of now with lots of data from last season.

We'll be running RR's again next season, so hopefully that would provide a good comparison to just see the differences (hopefully improvements) as a result of the new spring rate & sway bar setup, eliminating the tire variable.

I have a feeling we'd do the first day of the next season with the current setup, just to familiarize ourselves with the car as it is after the long winter break. Then switch to the new setup and see the differences it makes, both in terms of lap times, data wise and driver perception.
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      10-29-2020, 09:56 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
Yes, this has been a consideration as well. With that being said, if we do change the suspension before the start of next season, we at least have good references/baseline as of now with lots of data from last season.

We'll be running RR's again next season, so hopefully that would provide a good comparison to just see the differences (hopefully improvements) as a result of the new spring rate & sway bar setup, eliminating the tire variable.
Yes, true, if you're going to continue to run RRs then you should have more than enough data for comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
I have a feeling we'd do the first day of the next season with the current setup, just to familiarize ourselves with the car as it is after the long winter break. Then switch to the new setup and see the differences it makes, both in terms of lap times, data wise and driver perception.
This sounds like the best plan.
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      11-04-2020, 01:38 PM   #102
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tsk94 Great thread, idk how I missed it!

I look forward to your upcoming suspension thread!
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      11-13-2020, 05:45 PM   #103
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I know a few people have expressed keen interest in a detailed suspension thread, unfortunately I won't be making it any time soon. If I do make it, it will likely be around Christmas time/in the New Year. If I do it, I'm going to do it right and do lots of research, provide references, explanations and fairly detailed technical analysis/explanations. I wouldn't want this to be just another 'thread' on a forum where the information can be hit or miss. I would want it to be an accurate source of applicable information for people trying to setup their suspension - specifically relating to spring rate and roll stiffness.

Small update of the process I'm going through right now with my car:
As it sits now, we are running 800F/570R (rear coilover, so equivalent to 1150# spring in a divorced setup). Which results in frequencies of ~3.012 front and ~2.292 in the rear. With our Hotchkis sway bars, at there current settings, we have a front-roll couple distribution of ~64.9%. So the front stiffness of the car is quite a bit higher then the rear - this would explain the steady-state understeer we are experiencing now. Turn 3 and 4 at Castrol Raceway are both very long right and left handers respectively, and the steady-state handling balance is apparent and easy to monitor using these turns.

Initially I wanted to go to a 'flat-ride' setup, where the rear frequency is slightly higher then the front. As you can see, the way the car is now is far from flat-ride lol. However, most of my calculations see a flat-ride setup resulting in the rear being very stiff relative to the front. Most flat-ride setups I've calculated range in the 55-57% FRC (again, I'm at ~65% right now). For reference, changing ONE hole in an adjustable sway bar (using my Hotchkis' for reference) results in a change in FRC by ~0.5%. Most would agree that changing a sway bar by one settings results in a small, but noticeable, change in mid corner handling balance. So I'll leave it to you to imagine how big of a change going from a 65% FRC to a ~55% FRC would be...

As of right now, our plan it to start with around a ~60% FRC for next season. This can be achieved a few ways, depending on what spring rates and sway bar settings we want to use. The first option is to leave the front springs at 800# and go to a 742# rear coilover spring (KW uses N/mm). This would result in a ~60.30% FRC with adjustment available by tweaking the sway bars. The other option is do 742# up front and do 685# in the rear, resulting in ~59.64% FRC.

The front Hotchkis bar provides lots of adjustability with 4 holes of adjustment and rates ranging from 295lb/in at the softest setting, to 430lb/in in the stiffest setting. The rear bar is 3 hole adjustable, but given the direction we're going, we want more soft settings to play with. We plan to modify the rear bar to make it 5-hole adjustable and each hole will provide ~25lb/in reduction in spring rate, allowing more fine tuning:




The plan is to see how the car works at the start of next season with ~60% FRC. I'm sure other aspects of the setup will need to be tweaked accordingly, but the plan is to get the car setup to our liking, but with the lower FRC. Ultimately, the goal would to be eventually try running a flat-ride setup (~55-57% FRC) and know what needs to tweaked to make it work effectively for us. I believe a flat-ride setup can have inherent benefits, it's more so a matter of making the rest of the car work around it.

One of the biggest difficulties with suspension setup is the driver. What on paper should be the fastest, is often not the same as what the driver would be fastest in. This human element, and how every driver has a different preference on handling balance, makes coming up with a 'definitive' setup almost impossible. I hope to find a rough starting point for most people then fine tuning the car around the individual can be done via alignment, ride height, tire pressures and shock settings.

Hopefully more to follow in the future..

Last edited by tsk94; 11-14-2020 at 06:18 PM..
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      11-13-2020, 06:29 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
I know a few people have expressed keen interest in a detailed suspension thread, unfortunately I won't be making it any time soon. If I do make it, it will likely be around Christmas time/in the New Year. If I do it, I'm going to do it right and do lots of research, provide references, explanations and fairly detailed technical analysis/explanations. I wouldn't want this to be just another 'thread' on a forum where the information can be hit or miss. I would want it to be an accurate source of applicable information for people trying to setup their suspension - specifically relating to spring rate and roll stiffness.

Small update of the process I'm going through right now with my car:
As it sits now, we are running 800F/570R (rear coilover, so equivalent to 1150# spring in a divorced setup). Which results in frequencies of ~3.012 front and ~2.292 in the rear. With our Hotchkis sway bars, at there current settings, we have a front-roll couple distribution of ~64.9%. So the front stiffness of the car is quite a bit higher then the rear - this would explain the steady-state understeer we are experiencing now. Turn 3 and 4 at Castrol Raceway are both very long right and left handers respectively, and the steady-state handling balance is apparent and easy to monitor using these turns.

Initially I wanted to go to a 'flat-ride' setup, where the rear frequency is slightly higher then the front. As you can see, the way the car is now is far from flat-ride lol. However, most of my calculations see a flat-ride setup resulting in the rear being very stiff relative to the front. Most flat-ride setups I've calculated range in the 55-57% FRC (again, I'm at ~65% right now). For reference, changing ONE hole in an adjustable sway bar (using my Hotchkis' for reference) results in a change in FRC by ~0.5%. Most would agree that changing a sway bar by one settings results in a small, but noticeable, change in mid corner handling balance. So I'll leave it to you to imagine how big of a change going from a 65% FRC to a ~55% FRC would be...

As of right now, our plan it to start with around a ~60% FRC for next season. This can be achieved a few ways, depending on what spring rates and sway bar settings we want to use. The first option is to leave the front springs at 800# and go to a 728# rear coilover spring (KW uses N/mm). This would result in a ~60.30% FRC with adjustment available by tweaking the sway bars. The other option is do 728# up front and do 685# in the rear, resulting in ~59.64% FRC.

The front Hotchkis bar provides lots of adjustability with 4 holes of adjustment and rates ranging from 295lb/in at the softest setting, to 430lb/in in the stiffest setting. The rear bar is 3 hole adjustable, but given the direction we're going, we want more soft settings to play with. We plan to modify the rear bar to make it 5-hole adjustable and each hole will provide ~25lb/in reduction in spring rate, allowing more fine tuning:

[IMG]
View post on imgur.com
[/IMG]


The plan is to see how the car works at the start of next season with ~60% FRC. I'm sure other aspects of the setup will need to be tweaked accordingly, but the plan is to get the car setup to our liking, but with the lower FRC. Ultimately, the goal would to be eventually try running a flat-ride setup (~55-57% FRC) and know what needs to tweaked to make it work effectively for us. I believe a flat-ride setup can have inherent benefits, it's more so a matter of making the rest of the car work around it.

One of the biggest difficulties with suspension setup is the driver. What on paper should be the fastest, is often not the same as what the driver would be fastest in. This human element, and how every driver has a different preference on handling balance, makes coming up with a 'definitive' setup almost impossible. I hope to find a rough starting point for most people then fine tuning the car around the individual can be done via alignment, ride height, tire pressures and shock settings.

Hopefully more to follow in the future..
These posts are awesome and much appreciated!

Also a good dose and reminder to how truly novice I am in every respect of this hobby. It's a long journey
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      11-13-2020, 08:51 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRLane View Post
These posts are awesome and much appreciated!

Also a good dose and reminder to how truly novice I am in every respect of this hobby. It's a long journey
Glad people seem to find them interesting.

Always more to learn and more knowledgeable people you can learn from, whether it's on the driving side or the setup side I'm always trying to expand my knowledge and hopefully I can pass on a thing or two to others along the way.

For anyone interested in what their current setup is for wheel rates, frequencies and/or FRC, I'm happy to calculate it for you and let you know. I'll need to know your corner weights, spring rates and sway bars (sway bar rate if possible). They won't be 100% accurate as there will be slight variation I can't take fully into account (namely small differences in unsprung weight from different suspension, brake and wheel/tire combinations) but it will be very very close. If anyone is interested in this send me a PM.
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      11-14-2020, 02:20 AM   #106
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I'm looking to do an RTD V4 shifter this off season to stop all of my friends making fun of my terrible shifter. It's honestly a miracle I almost never miss shifts! I see you went with BW engine and revshift trans mounts. Which durometer revshift, and would you recommend this combo with the RTD or something different?
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      11-14-2020, 10:27 AM   #107
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Quote:
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I'm looking to do an RTD V4 shifter this off season to stop all of my friends making fun of my terrible shifter. It's honestly a miracle I almost never miss shifts! I see you went with BW engine and revshift trans mounts. Which durometer revshift, and would you recommend this combo with the RTD or something different?
I think you'll be very happy with the shifter. I've used a CAE and don't think it can justify more then double the price of the RTD. The RTD quality is great - lead time is a while but during the off-season that's not an issue.

I'm happy with this combo of BW engine mounts and revshift trans mounts. Initially we started with the BW + 95A (green) trans mounts, swapped the 95A to the 80A (blacks) as we were having some weird vibration issues that we thought were related to the trans mounts (it was not, the exhaust was rubbing and rattling against the rear cross brace). This season we swapped back to the 95A and it's been good. You'll definitely notice an increase in NVH with the stiffer trans mounts. The motor mounts aren't that much of a change, but the trans mounts make a big difference. However, you don't want to go too soft with a chassis mounted shifter to prevent misalignment under load while shifting. With the 80A's we would occasionally have a grind downshifting from 4th to 3rd - didn't like that. So we went back to 95's, which has seemed to help that problem.
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      11-14-2020, 01:53 PM   #108
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PSDesign has a new shifter for our cars that looks identical to the RTD and still cheaper than the CAE.
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      11-14-2020, 02:16 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
I think you'll be very happy with the shifter. I've used a CAE and don't think it can justify more then double the price of the RTD. The RTD quality is great - lead time is a while but during the off-season that's not an issue...
Thanks man! I'll go with the stiffer mounts and not be a baby about it. It seems going with softer bushings doesn't play out too well with this car, as I've learned with softer poly diff bushings over solid.
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      11-14-2020, 02:24 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //steve\\ View Post
PSDesign has a new shifter for our cars that looks identical to the RTD and still cheaper than the CAE.
Cool. Always good to have multiple options to choose from. The PS Design one looks nice and very similar to the RTD. The one thing the RTD has going for it over this new option from PS Design is the RTD one is proven. They've been around for many years now and lots of experience with the BMW platform. Regardless, the PS one looks good, so definitely an option for someone that's in the market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartledoo View Post
Thanks man! I'll go with the stiffer mounts and not be a baby about it. It seems going with softer bushings doesn't play out too well with this car, as I've learned with softer poly diff bushings over solid.
It seems that way. I wouldn't be jumping to go solid engine or trans mounts, as I feel some compliance in the driveline is good.. But when you get those 95A mounts you'll feel they are pretty darn hard - but in theory will have some compliance. Best compromise imo. Also, it won't be as bad if you still got front interior in your car. I'm assuming your car is mostly used just for track, so the NVH increase isn't that big of a deal. I wouldn't want these on a daily driven car though, that's for sure.
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