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      10-25-2019, 09:19 PM   #1
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//steve\\ - New guy in town - 2012 Alpine White E92

I've been a member for several years now mostly just occasionally poking around to see a cool build or browse through classifieds. I've had M3s on my mind for a few years now and each time I thought I was ready to part with the S2000 I'd change my mind. Fast forward to today and I have two young kids (neither of which I had when I purchased the last S2000) and it is what I'll say got me over the hump to finally getting serious about the M3. It's still a weekend toy/3rd car for our family but I like the idea that it's still something I could throw a car seat in the back of if I wanted.

I've almost exclusively been playing around with Honda S2000s for the last 10+ years and just sold my 4th. You can find me as //steve\\ on S2KI. It was the one I thought I'd keep forever and the most built up of all that I had owned. It's pretty much all I've known. Maintenance is cheap and you can just really get out and drive them without worrying about much. It will spoil every future fun car I own.

For me it's always been about quality over quantity so I'd rather have a couple really nice parts that are worth their cost than just throwing tons of cheap parts at a car to stack a "mod" list.






I got extremely lucky with the M3 I found and it's still a little hard to believe it's mine. If you've been around you're sure to recognize it. This all started when I was browsing Instagram and it may have been a post from slicer_m but I noticed this car in particular had Georgia plates on it. Find the owners page and sure enough it's very local. Message him just to first say I love the car and I've been interested in M3s for quite a while and I'd love to see it......and then for kicks I asked if he had a price. We all have a price in our head that if someone pays we'll let it go. At least that's always been true for me. Maybe I just haven't found that car that's so good I can't ever let it go. I did a little more homework and decided I'm in. Immediately had the S2000 for sale and was just keeping my fingers crossed someone else wouldn't come in and do the same and buy it before me or that the owner would change his mind about selling at all. In the end it all worked out. It felt like it's been months since that first message but it's probably been 4-5 weeks.



This was Dom's car (ebisu8 or ebisu8_m on IG)
https://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1622599

I would consider myself to be very picky with parts and especially finer details of a car and this thing just felt like something almost exactly as I'd build it.

I almost hate to change anything but I will. I'll want to make it feel like my own car. Exterior is likely to stay as is or very very minor changes. The GTS aero was one of the things that truly won me over. Inside will see a couple more changes but the most significant thing will be that I have every intention on removing the supercharger. I know everyone thinks this is crazy but it's just not something I'm interested in. I have the most fun in a car going around corners and cruising mountain roads. Chasing power isn't for me. The car will likely retain a basic NA setup and if I actually upgrade anything it will be to a more motorsport oriented suspension setup (and even then there isn't much to do other than a shock change). Dom really did it all. I'm incredibly thankful we could work something out and I get the chance to own the car.

I do know myself well enough to say everything is on the table though. If this car has something you just have to have message me and ask. Maybe it's for sale, maybe not. The things I definitely will change you'll find in classifieds soon enough.

I've got a lot to learn here too. First time in over 10 years that I'm in a totally new platform and my knowledge is seriously lacking. I know enough to be dangerous but not enough to say I'm a know-it-all. I'm very much looking forward to digging in.

I just got the car registered under my name today and I intend to enjoy it exactly as is for a few more weeks until I really dig into anything.

PINCH ME! I must be dreaming

Last edited by //steve\\; 11-18-2019 at 07:45 AM..
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      10-25-2019, 09:41 PM   #2
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Sad to see Dom sell it, but happy it went a good home! Cheers, I hope to see you log your adventures with it here! Are you also on IG?
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      10-26-2019, 02:30 AM   #3
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You found a goody for sure. Congrats and I hope you stick around!
I also started this passion with multiple S2000s. Fantastic little toys they are, still love them!
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      10-26-2019, 08:13 AM   #4
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Congrats on your new M3!!! Your S2000 is beautiful! I had always wanted one but since my daily was a 2002 Civic EX, I went for a 2008 Z4 3.0si for my weekend/fun car. 8 years later, I still have my Z and I just picked up my M3 last year.
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      10-27-2019, 12:15 PM   #5
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Congrats on the new whip! AP2 was gorgeous. That build is one of the cleanest AWs I’ve ever seen.
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      10-27-2019, 08:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uusunn View Post
Congrats on the new whip! AP2 was gorgeous. That build is one of the cleanest AWs I've ever seen.
Congratulations. This is one of my favorite M3's around.
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      10-28-2019, 08:02 AM   #7
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Wow, can't believe Dom sold his car!

But from seeing your S2K, it looks like this car went to the perfect owner

Are you going to keep the CAE shifter as well?
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      10-28-2019, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifter2090 View Post
Wow, can't believe Dom sold his car!

But from seeing your S2K, it looks like this car went to the perfect owner

Are you going to keep the CAE shifter as well?

Thanks! I think Dom felt pretty good that the car was going into good hands.

I wasn't sold on the CAE shifter until I felt/drove the car. As wild as it looks I do think it fits the car and I plan to keep it. I could change my mind about this down the road but no plans at all now but to use it
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      10-28-2019, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //steve\\ View Post
Thanks! I think Dom felt pretty good that the car was going into good hands.

I wasn't sold on the CAE shifter until I felt/drove the car. As wild as it looks I do think it fits the car and I plan to keep it. I could change my mind about this down the road but no plans at all now but to use it
Yeah true! Keep us updated
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      10-31-2019, 03:16 PM   #10
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Yeahhhh, Steve!
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      11-01-2019, 12:22 AM   #11
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One of the best e92's in the country. Well done!
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      11-04-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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I was able to get the car out this weekend for a quick spin and stopped for a quick picture.

I've already changed a few minor things in my pursuit to make it my car.
  • Mirror caps were changed back to the OE Alpine White. I'm still not 100% sure what I'll do here. The white looks clean but I also like the bit of contrast the carbon fiber mirror caps provide. My big complaint on the mirror caps is they are a 2x2 carbon weave while the roof is 1x1 and this bugs me a little.
  • Side marker LEDs swapped back to clear. I just like the clean bright look of clear vs tinted.


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      11-04-2019, 09:28 AM   #13
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Couldn't have gone to a better home! Looks really good, Steve!
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      11-04-2019, 09:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebisu8 View Post
Couldn't have gone to a better home! Looks really good, Steve!
Thanks! You couldn't have built a more perfect car. I know I've said it before but it's RARE that someone builds something so close to what I would have envisioned myself.

This car will be well loved in my hands I'm already planning a full detail over the winter months.
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      11-10-2019, 09:32 AM   #15
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nice pick up
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      11-10-2019, 05:53 PM   #16
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awesome car. if you ever buy 1x1 cf mirror caps I’ll take the 2x2 off your hands.
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      11-18-2019, 08:18 PM   #17
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It's hard to believe I've had this a month now and I'm settling in nicely. Still puts a huge smile on my face every time I walk out into the garage.



I was able to put the carseat in the back and take my son out over the weekend and that alone felt like a huge victory. It was something I just couldn't do with the S2000.



I'm still very much back and forth on a lot of small parts and exactly what I want to change but here are my current thoughts....

Steering wheel
Part of me absolutely loves the M Performance electric wheel and the other part of me thinks it just looks too over the top. I generally prefer something more understated. I do love the color and basic gray stitching as opposed to the very common M tri-color stitch. The one thing I do LOVE having is the data right in front of my face. That may ultimately be what leads me to keep it. I do think I can still get the older M Performance wheel that has the gray stitch and yellow stripe but then I'm wondering if the yellow stripe won't conflict bad with the red seat belts. The light-ish blue stripe on the M Performance wheel I most commonly see I just can't do. Maybe I need to go see one in person.

CAE shifter
Another part that in the function category it just hits a home run. Every shift is crisp and direct. I don't think I actually want to get rid of it but I wouldn't mind if it was 2-3" shorter. I usually prefer a taller than stock shift lever but this is on the extreme side of tall. I don't see myself ever going back to stock but maybe the RTD shifter is a compromise. It looks a tad more OE. I haven't done a lot of looking to see if I can just get a shorter lever CAE, if so that might be the ticket. No rush to change this though but it's on my thought list.

CAE shifter trim
Only thing I might change is the material or color used. I wonder how it would look in some kind of matte carbon or an alcantara color that matches the steering wheel. The trim is more gray while the steering wheel a bit more black. I realize they are never next to each other and in pictures they look like they match but in person there is definitely a difference.

Red IND seat belts
The only real driving factor to me changing this up is the steering wheel choice. If there is any accent color on the interior I want just one color. Tempted to see if anyone has a yellow set they'd like to trade or if I can get enough on a sale of these I'll just buy yellow ones. I also saw there is an OE gray option which doesn't pop as much but still looks like a nice little touch that would work well with my interior.



A few changes I did make were putting the OE armrest and e-brake handle/boot back in. These are just the basic black leather. I think I like them a little bit better than what was there but I'm still on the hunt for what I think to be the perfect solution. Possible a plain solid alcantara e-brake boot to match whatever I decide on the shifter trim. Also thinking about trying to find the basic non-split armrest and also recovering that. Still digging around for pictures of what others have done for some inspiration.




I'm always on an endless hunt for just the right thing to build the perfect car and I'm a lunatic for the finest details that people usually overlook. Over the years I've become a bit more of a fan of the less is more mentality. I'll take a few quality items over many lower quality items 7 days a week.

I'm hoping to get one good drive in the mountains before it gets much colder and then I'll be parking it to start the supercharger removal. I intend to go back to 100% stock on the motor side of things for a while and just see what I think. I know I won't keep it that way but I'm going start there as I prep the car for the spring driving season.

Stay tuned for more!

Last edited by //steve\\; 11-18-2019 at 08:27 PM..
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      12-02-2019, 09:31 AM   #18
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Driving Thoughts

I was able to get the car out for a drive on Friday and had been antsy to see just what I'd think. I knew this car was going to be very different from the S2000 but I was curious to know just how different. It's already much much better for any kind of "commuting". The extra space, the nicer interior, better sound, quieter interior, etc all make for a better experience during normal driving. The question I was most curious to answer was, how would it be when I want to go have some fun?

My thoughts are mostly positive

All of the extra power was really nice. I'll be curious to see what it's like driving it again in the near future with no supercharger and stock tune. The roads I like to drive don't require big power to be fun and if anything they best suit a car built to go around corners.

You can't hide the extra weight. I felt this most in the tight/slow corners and on bigger/longer curves it wasn't as obvious. Some of this could just be me getting used to something all new. Despite this car being much heavier and overall larger I didn't feel like the size difference was an issue. The M3 is a good bit bigger than a S2000 but on the road the size difference wasn't as apparent as the weight difference.

Steering feel in this is ok. I'm not sure I actually liked the heavier feel you get in M Dynamic Mode. I didn't focus too much on thinking about it so this is just what I remember.

Suspension was actually a surprise. I've been trying to find info on the Bilstein Damptronic (B16) in terms of spring rates and can't find anything conclusive. I thought somewhere I saw that it might be around 400/700 which is pretty close to the Ohlins R&T and enough to be a good bump over stock. Before this drive my I was certain it was just going to be way too soft because it rode so well on the street. It's still a tad soft for me but was able to hold it's own better than I anticipated.

Recaro Sportsters are a good balance between comfort, looks, holding ability. They look OE in the car which I love and for the most part I think they were great. Could use a tad more leg bolster but I know it's not designed to hold you like a bucket seat. My S2000s have all had Recaro Pole Positions so I'm used to sitting in a true bucket seat. I still have it and at some point might grab a rail to try it out but what I don't like that seat for is all of the other normal driving. The PP is awesome when you want performance and just ok when you don't.








So what's next?

I'm hoping this coming week/weekend to put the car on jack stands and tear into it. Supercharger coming off and the engine getting put back 100% to stock including the exhaust. The car has a BPM tune on it now so I'll likely look to just do stage1 for now. I want to get a good feel for it NA.

I can tell you that one of my dream mods is a shorter final drive. I don't care if it doesn't make the car faster, it will certainly make it more fun. Based on the long stock gears and powerband I imagine it would actually be both faster and more fun.

While I do like the suspension I'm most likely going to change it up at some point to something more performance oriented. Maybe I'll look into the possibility of just putting a bit more spring on the Bilsteins? Hard to say at this point. They weren't disappointing by any stretch. My short list would be 1-way MCS or JRZ, KW Clubsports, revalved Ohlins R&T. Maybe depending on pricing I'd look at 2-way MCS or JRZ but I also like the idea of keeping it simple. I had Ohlins with just a little more spring on my S2000 and while they weren't completely perfected when I wanted max performance they were 95% there and for the rest of the driving I did I still had a very comfortable shock. I need to do more homework/research.

In the midst of all of that will hopefully be a lot more driving!
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      12-02-2019, 12:30 PM   #19
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Awesome to follow your real-world impressions now that you've got some seat time behind you.

I recently drove my gf's E90 NA and it has me also contemplating going back to that setup, but adding 4.10 gears—the engine seems to wind up with eagerness at any point in the rev range without a supercharger bolted to it. Certainly doesn't have the all-out acceleration that the SC brings, but I like the road behavior quite a bit without it.

Happy to help you with any suspension questions—I've just recently dialed in the rear of my E90 and really satisfied with the upgrades.
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      12-02-2019, 04:54 PM   #20
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Love this car and the direction you're taking it! Be sure to post and share more with us.
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      12-04-2019, 06:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM5 View Post
Awesome to follow your real-world impressions now that you've got some seat time behind you.

I recently drove my gf's E90 NA and it has me also contemplating going back to that setup, but adding 4.10 gears—the engine seems to wind up with eagerness at any point in the rev range without a supercharger bolted to it. Certainly doesn't have the all-out acceleration that the SC brings, but I like the road behavior quite a bit without it.

Happy to help you with any suspension questions—I've just recently dialed in the rear of my E90 and really satisfied with the upgrades.
I drove a friends DCT car a few years ago that was basically all stock and I also thought at the time that it got up and moved plenty quick enough. 4.10 gears would probably help make the 6MT a little closer to DCT gearing. You can only go so fast on public roads anyways which is where my car spends all of it's time now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wyatth View Post
Love this car and the direction you're taking it! Be sure to post and share more with us.

Thanks! Will do.

I'll be using this thread as my place to document and share everything I do with the car. I've got quite a few things on my to-do list to ultimately have the car buttoned up before spring when we really get good driving weather back.
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      12-04-2019, 09:51 PM   #22
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Can I sit in the passenger seat next time I'm in Atlanta haha
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