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e46 M3 - thoughts? - Page 4

post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post

I think that time will prove the E46 M3, as the ultimate expression of the BMW inline 6, to be a classic.

That's a gorgeous car.
post #47 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
All in all, the car that has given me the greatest whoopee factor is the Elise, but I can't imagine living with it every day like the M3...the M3 remains a brilliant compromise at its price point.

And I really mean it when I say you can take about $1K and improve the experience of how the E46 M3 drives considerably.

I met someone whom I previously did not believe could exist. He has an Elise with the track package (ie. shorter sidewalls, harsher dampers), and convinced his wife to take a road trip up and down the west coast from NorCal to Canada and back in the Elise. They're still happily married AFAIK.

I believe you about improving the M3's drive, but I didn't know it could be done with $1K. I was thinking more like $1.8K.

--Andre
post #48 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roikins View Post
And using RA1s wrapped around RAC RS110s at the track too.



OMG, that is sweet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
That's a gorgeous car.

Thank you, G.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
I met someone whom I previously did not believe could exist. He has an Elise with the track package (ie. shorter sidewalls, harsher dampers), and convinced his wife to take a road trip up and down the west coast from NorCal to Canada and back in the Elise. They're still happily married AFAIK.

Big question: did he let her drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
I believe you about improving the M3's drive, but I didn't know it could be done with $1K. I was thinking more like $1.8K.

--Andre

Well, I'm counting a bit of DIY, like removing the CDV valve, putting in stainless lines, getting more camber up front, etc. For the $1K, I'm thinking short shifter, underdrive pulleys, and simple software, like the Shark. These won't make the car really faster, but more enjoyable for each minute of driving than what it is stock.

But, yeah: new suspension and brakes will blow the budget skyhigh, as would making the gearing shorter. The one thing I still might do are headers.

- B
post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
Big question: did he let her drive?

Ha ha! Of course not, which makes it all the more miraculous.

Quote:
Well, I'm counting a bit of DIY, like removing the CDV valve, putting in stainless lines, getting more camber up front, etc. For the $1K, I'm thinking short shifter, underdrive pulleys, and simple software, like the Shark. These won't make the car really faster, but more enjoyable for each minute of driving than what it is stock.

But, yeah: new suspension and brakes will blow the budget skyhigh, as would making the gearing shorter. The one thing I still might do are headers.

I think we have divergent philosophies. Having gone the short shifter route, I would not do it again. You just get used to it, and then think it's too long. It's also noisier. The CDV is a good mod, but stainless steel lines don't really do much, and you add another maintenance item as they fray over time. More camber might help, but if you just pushing the pins out and getting a tiny bit more camber, I'm not sure it's really worth the effort.

As for power mods, it's not worth it for me to add maybe 3 percent more power at the expense of durability. If you don't know how to use 333 HP, what's the use of adding 10 more?

Aftermarket big brake kits also aren't worth it unless you seriously know what you're doing and are willing to futz around with them for a long time. If your brakes are fading at the track, better pad material and maybe more venting is probably what you need. Club racers use stock brake hardware with appropriate pads and venting, and with R-compound tires, they use their brakes harder than any of us ever will.

My mods would be:

1. Driving schools. As many as you can afford. Lots of $$$, but for the $2500 cost of a big brake kit, you can go to 4 or 5 schools which give you skills you can use on any car. Car mods can't do that and are lower bang for the buck in terms of real performance imparted. The fun factor is also much higher than any car mod.

2. Driving books. The Skip Barber book by Carlos Lopez, the Ross Bentley books, and the Carroll Smith books are all good. This is an adjunct to #1. This is super cheap compared to car mods, and once again is transferable to any car you drive.

3. Better tires. Not necessarily R compounds, but don't cheap out on summer max performance street tires. Better tires will improve acceleration, braking, and handling. No other car mod can do as much as a set of really good tires, and they aren't that expensive compared to car mods. Figure $800 out the door for a 17-inch set, and $1100 to $1200 for 18-inch sets.

4. After you've done 1 for a while, and you start learning the difference between your car's limitations and your limitations, you can then start to tune the car's suspension in really useful ways, and you can start playing with different brake pads.

My $1800 budget was for a set of coilover springs and shocks to soften the ride of the M3, BTW. But $1000 works too as you can get a set of springs and regular shocks.

--Andre
post #50 of 81
Disagree on the header/software/intake route as peak hp means nothing since it's about the powerband and torque curve.

Also, motons and full gc monoball suspension for crazy ass niggas running -3.5 fr/-3 rr.
post #51 of 81
Thread Starter 
Seems like the M3 is fully tuned out of the box eh - not much power can be added w/out serious $$. From my reading a basic header/exhaust combo won't do squat.

I'm still getting an earfull from my friend who drives a 2003 Mustang GT which is supercharged and dyno'd at aprox 375hp and 400 ft.lbs tq at the wheel. He thinks the M3 is weak.

Could be worse I suppose, I could be driving a mustang. :P
post #52 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
Ha ha! Of course not, which makes it all the more miraculous.

Women who drive fast cars are automatically hotter, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
I think we have divergent philosophies.

Maybe slightly in the sense that changing up my M was fun in and of itself. It's a YMMV kind of thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
My mods would be:

1. Driving schools. As many as you can afford. Lots of $$$, but for the $2500 cost of a big brake kit, you can go to 4 or 5 schools which give you skills you can use on any car. Car mods can't do that and are lower bang for the buck in terms of real performance imparted. The fun factor is also much higher than any car mod.

2. Driving books. The Skip Barber book by Carlos Lopez, the Ross Bentley books, and the Carroll Smith books are all good. This is an adjunct to #1. This is super cheap compared to car mods, and once again is transferable to any car you drive.

This is absolutely true, so true that I don't think of it as M3-specific. But yes, this is #1, even if you go to club schools which will not cost you much except in wearing our your tires...which, let's face it, is going to be bucks over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
3. Better tires. Not necessarily R compounds, but don't cheap out on summer max performance street tires. Better tires will improve acceleration, braking, and handling. No other car mod can do as much as a set of really good tires, and they aren't that expensive compared to car mods. Figure $800 out the door for a 17-inch set, and $1100 to $1200 for 18-inch sets.

A stock E46 has about a 50/50 chance of being shod with PS2s out the gate, but even the Contis have their good points. If we're talking street, that's still pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
4. After you've done 1 for a while, and you start learning the difference between your car's limitations and your limitations, you can then start to tune the car's suspension in really useful ways, and you can start playing with different brake pads.

My $1800 budget was for a set of coilover springs and shocks to soften the ride of the M3, BTW. But $1000 works too as you can get a set of springs and regular shocks.

--Andre

That's also a good way to go. I'm not sure that I would use the adjective "soften,"..."tighter" even "harder" would be how I would set things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jet View Post
Disagree on the header/software/intake route as peak hp means nothing since it's about the powerband and torque curve.

Also, motons and full gc monoball suspension for crazy ass niggas running -3.5 fr/-3 rr.

I only achieve crazy wigger status since I run -3.5f/2.5r with GC coilovers.

You know what? All this has inspired me to take a break midday today and wind it up bit out on some twisty country roads.

- B
post #53 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quick question - I've been doing some research on the M3 and came accross the beautiful sound of the CSL airbox. I was wondering if there was an alternative airbox/cold air intake which produced a similar sound? The CSL box is waaaay expensive.
post #54 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by micbain View Post
Quick question - I've been doing some research on the M3 and came accross the beautiful sound of the CSL airbox. I was wondering if there was an alternative airbox/cold air intake which produced a similar sound? The CSL box is waaaay expensive.

Most CAIs' sound will head in the direction of the CSL. The CSL's intake draws from where its foglight used to be, so there will be some acoustic differences.

--Andre
post #55 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
Most CAIs' sound will head in the direction of the CSL. The CSL's intake draws from where its foglight used to be, so there will be some acoustic differences.

--Andre

The CSL airbox also needed the Alpha-N software. At least it did back in the day... not sure if it's changed since the last time I looked into it.
post #56 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by micbain View Post
Quick question - I've been doing some research on the M3 and came accross the beautiful sound of the CSL airbox. I was wondering if there was an alternative airbox/cold air intake which produced a similar sound? The CSL box is waaaay expensive.

Forget you ever uttered those words, csl uses alpha n witch ditches the maf so has no means of measuring airful since it's tps based. No air box will ever sound like a csl.
post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
3. Better tires. Not necessarily R compounds, but don't cheap out on summer max performance street tires. Better tires will improve acceleration, braking, and handling. No other car mod can do as much as a set of really good tires, and they aren't that expensive compared to car mods. Figure $800 out the door for a 17-inch set, and $1100 to $1200 for 18-inch sets.


--Andre

Andre, I won't be spending any time at the track in my car, but I'll be able to use new tires here in about 5000 miles. Right now I've got Dunlop SP Sport 9000s on it. I was thinking of either getting another set of the same Dunlops or an offering from Yokohama. Any other suggestions?
post #58 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Andre, I won't be spending any time at the track in my car, but I'll be able to use new tires here in about 5000 miles. Right now I've got Dunlop SP Sport 9000s on it. I was thinking of either getting another set of the same Dunlops or an offering from Yokohama. Any other suggestions?

Both are fine. I was thinking of the cheap no-name tires people try to find when they see their OEM tire replacement bill. Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, and Goodyear are also fine choices. On the street, the differences between max performance summer tires is pretty minimal.

--Andre
post #59 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
Both are fine. I was thinking of the cheap no-name tires people try to find when they see their OEM tire replacement bill. Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, and Goodyear are also fine choices. On the street, the differences between max performance summer tires is pretty minimal.

--Andre

I agree...performance differences aren't substantial in the real world.

For the street, among max performance tires, I think the three most important things are, in descending order:

1. Change in performance as the tire wears.

2. Noise transmission into the cabin.

3. Tendency to tramline.

This is why I use, and recommend, Michelin PS2s so highly. I'm on my third set, and the first two aged gracefully and gave up little in performance until I approached the wear bars. Once you get past beyond dry and wet grip, I do think the various models differ more on the three attributes above.

- B
post #60 of 81
It all depends on your driving style, I never cheap out on tires since they play a huge role. Having run ps1, two sets of s03s, ps2s in the past none of them compare to my re-01r. However the kind of people who run these are ones who don't complain about tire wear or high camber settings so basically do not get them since you are part of the majority.
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