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Questions re 318/M3 on the track

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by Slow Old poop, Oct 27, 2008.

    Slow Old poop guest

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    I have a 1996 318/M3 conversion w/Konis, lowered, all stock 1997 M3 parts (drivetrain, brakes, suspension).w/235x17street tires. Just did my second track day with the car. It runs good, keeps up with older M3s, but gets waxed by new M3s.

    Got a few questions.

    1. At the track yesterday (Boo Bash in Council Bluffs, Iowa), an M3 driver asked me what it's like driving on three wheels. Say what? He says I'm lifting the inside front wheels on turns. I've seen pix of the car, and know it has body lean, but I didn't know I was lifting the wheels. What's the fix?

    2. I get fuel starvation on long rights. I understand there's a dual-pump fix for M3s, but not for a 318 because of the different gas tank. Any solution other than running with a full tank?

    3. I'd like to bring the engine up to Yurpean specs. What's involved? Intake, exhaust, chip? Essentially, I'd like another 40-50 hp, but I don't want to "mod" the car to the point where it becomes unreliable or troublesome (I've run highly modified cars before, and I never want to go through that ordeal again).

    4. I hear that the Dinan chip eliminates ABS and traction control. I don't have traction control, but I like my ABS. How can I keep the ABS? (yes, I know, the really good drivers turn it off, but I hate flatspotted tires).

    5. I've been keeping the revs down to 6500 whilist I learn the car. Am I giving up too much by not going the extra 500 rpm? What is the ideal shift point for an M3 motor (the reason I ask is because we dynoed my previous car, discovered that hp and torque fell off at high rpm, so I always shifted where the dyno said max hp).

    6. I'm not sure what it has for brake pads (I bought the car already converted). What's a good street/track pad? I am partial to Carbotechs, but open to suggestions. This is not a daily driver, just my toy/track car.

    7. The 17x235 tires just barely fit in the rear. I saw another 318 with 17x255 tires, but it sat higher in the back and the owner had rolled the inside fender. Is there much advantage to the wider tire? I recall a Tire Rack test, where they showed wider tires are not always best. What's the ideal size for a 3 Series?

    8. What's the best street/track tire? I'd like something like the old Toyo Proxes, which you could drive to the track. Anything like that available? I hate changing tires at the track.

    When you offer advice, note that I don't plan to run anything more serious than some NASA TT events, so it will never be a "race car." I drive to the track, run laps, and drive home. I just want to have fun again. It's been a long time since I had fun at a track, and this little M3 clone is making it happen. .

    Jeron guest

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    1) Lifting the insode front wheel is normal even if the suspension is setup properly. I would not try to fix it unless you have other issues. The solution is a stiffer rear spring.

    4) I would be suprized if a Dinan chip removed the ABS.

    5) The engine does fall off at 6500 rpm. A M50 intake may help.

    6) Driving to the track, otherwise no street? Hawk HP+ or EBC Blue.

    7) It's a matter of offset. You should be able to fit 245/40R17 all around with no rolled fenders. You need about +40to42et rear and +35 to 37 front (which is same as rear with 5mm spacer). 255 needs rolled fenders in the rear.

    8) Dunlop Direzza Z1

    Slow Old poop guest

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    Thanks

    I drive it on the street, but not as a daily driver. I tried Hawks once, but they ate my rotors. I tried a whole bunch of different pads (on a 3000GT and an Eclipse), and finally settled on Carbotech Panther Plus, because they work when cold, so you can use them on the street.

    I'm not sure what wheels/offset are on the car now, but they have five spokes and a BMW logo in the center. I can barely stick my fingers between the rear fender lip and the 235x17 tire. Sounds like you are telling me if I get +40to42et rear and +35 to 37 front offset wheels, I can run 245x17 tires. Got any particular wheel in mind?

    As for the Dinan chip, that's what I heard from a M3 driver.

    Jeron guest

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    Hawk makes a lot of diffent pads and some will eat your rotors, not the one I suggested. If you like Carbotech stick with them.

    Pull the rim you have, check the rim width and offset, it is stamped on the back. Look for +xx ET to get the offset.

    I suggest you get four 17x8.5 rims +42 ET and use a 5mm spacer in front.

    You dont need a finger width of space, you need about half of a finger width, 5mm.
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    CRKrieger

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    Stiffer rear springs already mentioned, but you could also go with a softer or disconnected front antiroll bar. The question is, why would you want to? If your car is handling as well as it can, then an inside wheel will eventually lift and you probably want it to be the front one. If you "fix" the problem so a rear wheel lifts, it screws you when you need it the most: accelerating out of a turn. Look at photos of lots of BMW race cars with a wheel in the air. Which one is it?
    These two questions, as well as a couple of others, suggest that you don't trust, or don't identify, what your car is telling you. The "best" thing for you is to have a car that handles neutrally for the way you drive it, so you have to be able to identify when that is, or isn't, happening. Is it understeering? Oversteering? Spinning a wheel in turns? What? If you're going to drive this thing in competition, those are things that you should know how to identify. We can tell you how to address any of them, but asking whether you need a wider tire is like asking us whether your car is green. We don't know. You need to provide enough information for us to help with an answer. For all I know right now, you might need a narrower rear tire.

    Whenever you wonder about changing your car, the first question to ask is, "What is my car doing (or not doing) that I want to change?" Then ask yourself, "Why do I want to change that?" Use the first example above. You identified what you wanted to change (inside front wheel lift) but not why (there's no good reason to change this).

    Slow Old poop guest

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    I always thought that a car should use all four tires to corner, and if a wheel is off the ground something isn't working right. But if all BMWs do this, then I guess it's OK

    I haven't pushed it hard enough to find out. I'm still learning how to drive a RWD (I used to run AWD cars), so I am re-learning all the lines. As near as I can tell, except for body lean and picking up a wheel, it seems to be fairly neutral, stable and controllable. OTOH, I haven't had an agricultural excursion yet, so I haven't pushed it to the limit. I followed an instructor in a slightly modded M3 (chip, cold air intake, race tires) around to learn the lines and managed to stay with him, so there is nothing wrong with the car that I can see.

    I was just trying to find out what the best setup is for my car. I figure you guys have added a bunch of demon tweaks to your M3s, so there probably is a "formula" for adding stuff. Last time I did this, we built up an AWD Eclipse for TTA and had to figure out everything on our own, because nobody races Eclipses. When I ran the Eclipse against M3s, I could beat most of them, but there were always the pesky ones that were considerably faster than the rest of the M3 mob. I have no complaints about my car, but I'd like to improve it over the winter with some mods.
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    CRKrieger

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    Ah, there's the logical explanation! Yes, an AWD should try to keep all four on the ground because all four are working. But look at the FWDs cornering hard. An inside rear might be a foot or so off the ground, but that's no problem. It isn't a driven wheel, you don't really need much in the line of braking when you're just past an apex, and, frankly, a little oversteer (if the rear would slide) usually wouldn't hurt. RWD cars at their limits should pick up the inside front wheel. Either that or they snap roll (can anybody say "E36 M3"?). Sounds like you're on the right track - just learning a new style of car. I wouldn't change much of anything until you do get it beyond its limits. Then, you'll know what limit you need to address.

    Slow Old poop guest

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    Not as bad as I thought

    Although some people reported the front wheels lifting, my photog buddy couldn't capture it. Maybe it only happens on the high speed stuff. These are fairly slow third-gear turns. Turning left is after heavy braking into an immediate sharp left--turning right is coming out of a slow turn onto the front straight.
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    steven s

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    >2. I get fuel starvation on long rights.

    The cheapest fix is to top off the tank during lunch, or bring extra gas.
    Ultimately dual fuel pumps are the answer, or take it a little easier when you get low on fuel.

    I get fuel starvation below 1/2 tank on fast sweepers.
    You also might be getting oil starvation as well.

    Slow Old poop guest

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    Ouch!

    I've heard about the dual-pump solution, but somebody said a kit is not available for the 318 body. Do you know of a kit? Or a DIY?

    Ouch! How do you spot that? Watch the oil pressure gauge? Is there a fix, such as a baffled pan? Or run an extra quart?
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    steven s

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    I always assumed that the gas tanks were all the same.
    Looking at Bimmerworld's kit, I guess they're not.



    You shouldn't be watching gauges anywhere other than straights and when traffic allows. There is a baffle kit but most run extra oil. Don't know what is available for a M42/M44.

    Jeron guest

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    I still haven't found a good solution for oil starvation. The Euro pump and pan don't seem to fix it. Baffles don't seem to fix it.

    I get it on tight lefty's. Fuel starvation was on rights's so at least they dont happen at the same time. :)

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