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      06-20-2018, 01:12 AM   #1
dmitriyo
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Lightbulb BWM E90 M3 LSL Project - Limousine Sport Leichtbau

BMW e90 M3 LSL
Limousine Sport Leichtbau
2009-10-21 Build Date


2010 BMW M3 Sedan
4.0L V8
DCT
Silverstone Metallic II
Novillo Palladium Silver


IG: instagram.com/orlovdesign
Los Angeles, CA

Will keep this thread updated as things progress over time.

The BMW CSL vehicles were based on coupes with performance and weight reduction enhancements. Over the years BMW has made a few special sedans like the E90 CRT and now the F80 CS which follow the same mentality. I was always attracted by the notion of minimal, performance oriented machines like the E46 CSL and the spartan GT3 Porsche which maintained street sensibility with full track readiness.

While the E90 M3 CRT was a great technical exercise in carbon technologies it was still a fully loaded sedan which, in my mind, contradicted its purpose. It is also unobtainable. The sedans are unique, well proportioned vehicles. The S65B40 is a phenomenal engine, clearly built with purpose with the large intake, port matched individual throttle bodies and equal length headers. When paired with the DCT makes for quite the driving machine. Being around the Porsche PDKs brought me over to the double clutch world. The BMW DCT is a very solid unit, especially with the GTS update. My only real preference when seeking out the E90 M3 was to have minimal options along with the DCT transmission. I also liked the Silverstone Metallic II color as its less common and quite elegant in person. A 2010 sedan with 85k miles popped up with the sunroof and the leather seats as the only things I didn't care for. The car had failing throttle actuators which were an easy replacement and needed some general maintenance to refresh critical components. It came with lowering springs, primary cat delete and “exhaust mod”. It’s almost the perfect platform to start with to build the e90 M3 LSL (Limousine Sport Leichtbau). Its a sedan based nod to the CSL and how I believe the CRT could’ve been to some extent.

I am a professional working in the automotive aftermarket and motorsport industry and this is my personal R&D project building an E90 M3 LSL. I've had the M3 for about 8 months now and some work has already been done.

335i Out, M3 In




Refresh and Maintain

Primary concern was the engine and its health. Oil analysis of what was inside when purchased was perfect, and now, about 5 oil changes later, its still consistently clean with no sign of excessive wear. The actuators were slowly failing and I replaced those with new units. All else on the engine is clean, with no leaks or issues.

I serviced the vehicle fully with new Motul engine oil (Xcess 10w60) and now most recently with Torco SR-5R with which it runs great. Have yet to do an oil test with the Torco, but seeing how it performs in the Porsche engines - I don't think there is much to worry about, especially with its MPZ chemistry.

Replaced the differential fluid with Motul and had a full DCT flush, filter and pan refresh done by the experts at Performance Technic when I visited the Bay Area along with a full alignment check.

Installed new plugs, cabin filters and new engine air filter on the pre-existing AFE intake as well. Suspension showed normal wear and tear and is slated for upgraded anyway. Brakes were worn out and I just recently overhauled the whole setup.

The felt undertray thing was pretty beat up and was missing one side. It seemed only logical to go with a metal unit and I opted for the Turner part. Very strong unit thats well designed and rigidly mounts to the bottom of the car. I've now scraped it a few times, but it holds up well.

The car is driven 70ish miles a day and runs like clockwork. Only major things left would be a coolant flush (with a cooling system upgrade) and power steering flush. Need to get the GTS DCT calibration done as well.

A full paint correction and ceramic pro treatment was completed by Polished Detail in Orange County which brought the Silverstone paint back to showroom look along with a deep shine. All the gloss black elements are back to new as well. Being skeptical at first - the ceramic pro layers really do wonders for keeping the LA dust and elements from sticking to the surface. A quick wash every week or two is a much easier affair with the right soaps. The wheels got a treatment too and its night and day with keeping them free of brake dust.








Wheels and Tires

The E90 M3 was presented with 220 Style 19" wheels which featured a machined face and a 10 spoke design. The Fuchs-manufactured design fits the platform very well, but they are heavy at 29lbs and a bit narrow.

Commonly underestimated - the wheel and tire combo massively affects performance of a chassis. Low rotating mass, good grip and wheel rigidity is essential.

A forged wheel is a must and I went looking for something in the 18" range. I really liked the Style 219 wheels in that gunmetal color with the concativity and spoke design, but they are still a bit conservative on widths. Combing through the usual offerings I stumbled across the Titan7 brand via EAS. The manufacturing specs were very good as well as the price point. My usual go-to would be the Apex wheels, as they are a staple and I've owned a set before, great wheels to daily on and not worry about. As with the day-job - we try to stay on top of new brands, tech and offerings. The people behind Titan7 have a vast history in the industry and track record. The products resonated with my own standards for detail, design and execution. My other choice would've been the Bimmerworld wheels, but I wanted to deviate from the classic design some. Ill be looking to pick up a set of 18x10 for a square track setup, but for now the 18x9.5 and x10.5 fitment is just right. The wheels are designed for the platform so no spacers are needed, no rubbing of any kind and they are light at about 19lbs each. (also easy to clean!)

The tires for a daily application were a no-brainer - Michelin. I opted for the PSS tires because at the time the PS4S was not available for the front size of 265/35R18 (rear is 285/35R18). In my mind - these PSS tires are a gold standard with great wet/dry condition and cornering performance. The car sees a 70 mile daily commute and they maintain a level of comfort and holding their ground when called upon.

The car came with what looks like Eibach spring kit - so it sits well. All that will be refreshed too.







Braking
The used M3 sedan came with 85k of unknown miles. There was a shimmy in the steering under hard braking and as in any case - its wise to review the braking systems on an any vehicle.

There was plenty of pad life, perhaps a recent update. The rotors were grooving a bit and some of the holes had started to form hairline cracks. I doubt this car was heavily tracked, but perhaps was a canyon carver? In any case - the shimmy was getting annoying and a refresh was in order.


I started looking at OE brake components, upgraded replacements and such and was disappointed with the direct replacement rotor options. I was looking for something that provided decent long terms serviceability and high quality that was't the OEM cross-drilled parts. The nicer units are priced fairly high like the PFC and StopTech products though are very nice pieces. There seem to be even less rear rotor options.

Now all this didn't even address the calipers, which I feel like are one of the shortcoming of this car. A decent rotor, pad, SS line and fluid combo goes a long way for track durability and longevity, though many still report fade and poorer performance.

The e90 M3 CRT was built with a set of Brembo calipers with some larger OE style rotors (perhaps Brembo as well?) which I found interesting. The 6-piston front and 4-piston rear setups seem like a much more logical solution for this platform. BMW shipped F30 and F80 platforms with mono bloc calipers from the factor, perhaps acknowledging the need and appeal. Since I am building this M3 as a road/track ready machine - I skipped over OE replacement upgrades and started speccing out a balanced brake system.

Criteria was simple: front and rear paired systems with great functionality and support for servicing, plug and play obviously with easy 18" wheel fitment. I also wanted something that wasn't a bright color. After looking at the market options I really liked the Brembo GT-R system with all the features and the nickel finish. Its quite a high dollar system which put it out of my range until I came across a new setup from Brembo - The GT-S Systems. The guys at Brembo / Race Techonologies were very helpful in outlining the differences and benefits of this and how it falls between the GT and GT-R lines. The main being the pistons, featuring the higher grade heat exchange characteristics and no external dust seals. The exterior finish is a hard anodize black with the classic motorsport Brembo red lettering.

The kit I opted for was the smaller unit which ensured more wheel compatibility while maintaining great performance. Front rotors are at 365x34mm and the rears are 345x28mm and come with adapter brackets, hardware and stainless steel braided lines. Standard issue TS20 pads all around.

I flushed the whole brake fluid system, removed all OE pieces. Because I have OCD - the front and rear uprights got hosed with cleaners and the front dust shields were cleaned in the ultrasonic tank. Who knew they were gloss black! The Brembo pieces went on smooth and the install was finished off with some new Brembo HT64 brake fluid and a thorough flush.


Needless to say the build quality is great. The whole setup as an OEM-like look, disappearing into the shadows of the wheel. Braking is now massively predictable, consistent and stable. Modulating brake force is a lot easier with much better feedback from the system. I am very much looking forward to putting these to use on the track once some other bits get upgraded on the car.










Suspension
(coming soon)

Weight Reduction
(coming soon)

Cooling System
Well after some damage the car went through a front end overhaul. Discovered that these cars come with a carbon fiber crash beam too! Either way - this was a good opportunity to update the cooling system with the full suite of CSF performance goodies.

Fit and finish was great and install was rather easy, especially when rebuilding the whole front end. Will report back when the car has hit the track and see how the temps are managed.

Last edited by dmitriyo; 12-04-2018 at 06:49 PM.
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      06-20-2018, 04:38 AM   #2
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Nice car! May I ask how much it costed to do the paint correction and the ceramic coat?
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      06-20-2018, 08:05 AM   #3
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Funny that you mention PDK's influence in checking out the DCT. I started working for Porsche Jan 2017 and I was pretty hellbent on a 6MT E46 but the first Porsche I drove was a 991 GT3 RS and it made me rethink. I checked out the E46's SMG and hated it and at the time, I forgot BMW made the E90 so I decided to check those out. I've always preferred sedans. Met my friend Bart here on the forums and he let me check out and drive his E90. I fell in love and now I own one. The DCT is amazing. Especially for when it came out. I have the GTS flash as well and it's honestly just as enjoyable as the PDK. Obviously not as fast but it's so good. Especially the rev matching when you downshift in S4. It's addictive.

This is what it's all about. Congrats! Cant wait to see what else is in store
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      06-20-2018, 12:49 PM   #4
dmitriyo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erickuokwa View Post
Nice car! May I ask how much it costed to do the paint correction and the ceramic coat?
Depending on the effort needed for paint correct and layers of ceramic pro - its between 1500$ and 2100$. Mine was at the top range as it needed some work since the previous owner had the roof wrapped, which stained the paint a bit after I removed it.
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      06-20-2018, 12:54 PM   #5
dmitriyo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 954MM View Post
Funny that you mention PDK's influence in checking out the DCT. I started working for Porsche Jan 2017 and I was pretty hellbent on a 6MT E46 but the first Porsche I drove was a 991 GT3 RS and it made me rethink. I checked out the E46's SMG and hated it and at the time, I forgot BMW made the E90 so I decided to check those out. I've always preferred sedans. Met my friend Bart here on the forums and he let me check out and drive his E90. I fell in love and now I own one. The DCT is amazing. Especially for when it came out. I have the GTS flash as well and it's honestly just as enjoyable as the PDK. Obviously not as fast but it's so good. Especially the rev matching when you downshift in S4. It's addictive.

This is what it's all about. Congrats! Cant wait to see what else is in store
SMGs are indeed crappy, sort of like the early Audi R8 single clutch DSG stuff.

PDKs are indeed great - responsive, reliable and snappy.

Looking forward to getting the GTS stuff dialed in.
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      06-20-2018, 02:55 PM   #6
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Hope there is a carbon roof on the menu for weight reduction :-) love to see where this goes!
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      06-20-2018, 04:02 PM   #7
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Subscribed. Can't wait to read the progress.
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      06-20-2018, 04:35 PM   #8
dmitriyo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff@autocouture View Post
Hope there is a carbon roof on the menu for weight reduction :-) love to see where this goes!
Indeed - sunroof delete + cf roof is on the menu for a later time!
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      06-20-2018, 04:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by derbo View Post
Subscribed. Can't wait to read the progress.
Thanks! Itll be piece by piece, but very calculated!
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      06-20-2018, 09:02 PM   #10
dmitriyo
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Updated with Wheel/Tire setup
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      06-20-2018, 09:56 PM   #11
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Enjoyed the write-up! You're doing right by this M3 with the maintenance you're focused on.
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      06-21-2018, 05:38 AM   #12
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Those wheels look terrific, any profile pics with them on? I’ll be replacing the OEM 220s on my E90 at some point, was thinking Comp pack wheels but these look awesome!
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      06-21-2018, 01:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJBO View Post
Those wheels look terrific, any profile pics with them on? I’ll be replacing the OEM 220s on my E90 at some point, was thinking Comp pack wheels but these look awesome!
Ill do another update tonight to bring this build to current state - that has some more photos of better quality.
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      06-21-2018, 01:46 PM   #14
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What are you using as a maintenance guide to refresh the M back to its original splendor?
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      06-21-2018, 02:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincE92M3 View Post
What are you using as a maintenance guide to refresh the M back to its original splendor?
No guide per se. Just a combination of experience and mechanical evaluation and assumptions about the car's previous life.

From a pure maint. perspective each vehicle has wear items, "expiration dates" on fluids and rubber pieces so to say. Depending on use and environment they may wear faster or slower. Obviosuly if the car is babied in a great climate - everything could last 500k miles.

For example: I have a full set of new front control arms and tie rods. They are currently not worn out, but between my current commute and mileage on car, I could see them nearing the end of life. Engine mounts are on their way out too I think.

Fluids just need to be serviced at intervals that match the use of the car.

Things like radiators and coolers can wear from road debris and such - when the fins get crushed, they whole unit looses its efficiency. Eventually this need replacing as well.

I hope that addresses your question! Let me know if you have questions. I am in no way a certified mechanic nor a BMW engineer - just all things I see from being around cars and motorsport.
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      06-22-2018, 12:35 AM   #16
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Nice!
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      06-22-2018, 09:18 AM   #17
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Awesome! Love seeing threads like this

Let us know if we can help your project along in any way
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      06-22-2018, 05:07 PM   #18
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looking good!
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      06-22-2018, 09:11 PM   #19
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Updated with the braking system upgrade, which brings me up to date.

Next up is some suspension stuff or exhaust bits as I get those pieces together.
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      06-22-2018, 09:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@IND View Post
Awesome! Love seeing threads like this

Let us know if we can help your project along in any way
Thank you! Always loved your projects and detail.

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Originally Posted by ChadB View Post
looking good!
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sales@wheelsdc.com View Post
Nice!
Thank you
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      06-23-2018, 09:04 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmitriyo View Post
Updated with the braking system upgrade, which brings me up to date.

Next up is some suspension stuff or exhaust bits as I get those pieces together.
The brakes look great! Any reason you ruled out StopTech or Sparta?
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      06-23-2018, 01:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincE92M3 View Post
The brakes look great! Any reason you ruled out StopTech or Sparta?
Id say some brand loyalty and experience from previous purchases, sizing and spec and the black hard coat anodize finish drove the decisions home.

Part of this is what the car could've been from factory. Brembo is an OE supplier and this is a great configuration along with a very subtle OE-like look. (I think even better than what would come, given the caliper spec and multi-piece, serviceable rotors).
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