gchristofi

Budget Track Day Car

67 posts in this topic

On 4/10/2017 at 17:37, jurgt said:

Hi,

I'am from the Netherlands and bumped onto this tread by google. I was wondering how the NJT Coilovers are holding on the track? Is it any good for the money? 

Thanks!

Hi, they're holding up extremely well...  I would have no issues if I'd payed 4 x the amount the cost to be honest.  First signs of minor corrosion on the outside of the rear shocks but the car is used on salty roads and left outdoors.  All adjusters still free and moving.  In fact last week I raised the front suspension 20 mm with ease.  I recommend them.

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Hi gchristofi, cool thread! I'm looking to do the same a you: just put a holding deposit on a 330i SE saloon to convert as a track slag. To start with I'm just going to service it, strip it, yellow pads and discs, and put NS-2Rs all round. I'll give that a try on track but having driven an SE as a daily I know the suspension is a bit wallowy (nice and comfy for road but too soft for track). I'm on a budget as well so will take time to save up and do mods as I go along. What suspension mod would you do first? anti rolls bars, coilovers, powerflex bushes? Thanks for your help!

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On 6/2/2017 at 11:21, thegentleway said:

Hi gchristofi, cool thread! I'm looking to do the same a you: just put a holding deposit on a 330i SE saloon to convert as a track slag. To start with I'm just going to service it, strip it, yellow pads and discs, and put NS-2Rs all round. I'll give that a try on track but having driven an SE as a daily I know the suspension is a bit wallowy (nice and comfy for road but too soft for track). I'm on a budget as well so will take time to save up and do mods as I go along. What suspension mod would you do first? anti rolls bars, coilovers, powerflex bushes? Thanks for your help!

Hi.  The 4 door makes a great starting point for a track car.  What year is your car?  If it's early you'll also have the boat like slow steering rack as I did (3.2 turns lock to lock).  I've done a recent upgrade to the purple tag rack from later and club sport model 330ci (2.8 turns lock to lock) and it's made a huge improvement to the steering feel for track work.  Most corners can now be taken without lifting a hand from the wheel, even hairpins.

I don' have the benefit of knowing what the handling would have been like if I'd done the Anti roll bar upgrade prior to the lowering on coilovers but I suspect it would not have worked too well being too stiff without any rebound control for grip.   I I set my dampers too soft, I can have all sorts of issues braking with early cut in of ABS, especially downhill i.e. Cadwell Park!.   You're going to get a tonne of under steer and wallow on track with the standard SE setup, especially if it's all still original.  Given the relatively modest cost, the coil-overs would be first port of call along with brake fluid change and track pads.  I think Jom NJT extreme are even cheaper now at around £280 and for that they're an absolute bargain.

http://www.venommotorsport.com/suspension/jom/njt-extreme-coilovers/bmw-3-e46/

 Of course, it's also the ideal time to add camber plates and upgrade suspension bushes but that is all budget dependent.

Start stripping weight if it's just for track.The 80 odd kg stripped made a difference.

Enjoy and let us know how you progress and which track you're heading to....

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On 2017-2-9 at 10:12, RMJ said:

No worries, I always enjoy reading threads like this over the usual build. But in saying that I'm usually quite biased to the more track orientated setup :)

Yeah ive quite a list of mods but I am most importantly choosing the right coilovers right now! I will be following suit with the H&R ARBs as you have done as they are a really good upgrade. Yeah ill be out on the Open days!, you'll have to post up here when you've booked your next session!.

Thats good to know about the weight of MV1s! I didn't expect that at all! will grab a set myself as spares too. The steering rack will certainly be an improvement mate, much nicer feel on track. Post up some pics and let us know how you get on with the seat and harness, I've got a fixed bucket and just figuring out the best method to fit it and swap it out between track days. Im considering getting a spare seat subframe.... an angle grinder and a welder :D 

Its all about the underdog surprising the flagship model, and even better when on a budget! 

 

Hi RMJ. You made it out on track yet?  I'm still looking at the seat in a box as have been distracted by other things recently... when I do get around to fitting the seat and harness, will report back with pics. 

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Hi mate!

July time! Been a nightmare getting things done on the car with the amount of work I have on right now. Just spent a load on a stag do this month too so I'll say end of July to be safe! Will be a proper shakedown for me and the car mind you!.

When are you thinking of going and where?!

 

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52 minutes ago, RMJ said:

Hi mate!

July time! Been a nightmare getting things done on the car with the amount of work I have on right now. Just spent a load on a stag do this month too so I'll say end of July to be safe! Will be a proper shakedown for me and the car mind you!.

When are you thinking of going and where?!

 

I only ever tend to go on Dave's days as they're always well organised and fun..

http://www.opentrack.co.uk/

Also tend to stick fairly local with Bedford, Snetterton, Brands and occasional Cadwell Park visits.  Having said that, like you, there's always something getting in the way and hard to see me making any days in the next month.  I only ever seem to decide the week before so I'll let you know!  

Stick at it, it's worth it. :-)

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14 hours ago, gchristofi said:

I only ever tend to go on Dave's days as they're always well organised and fun..

http://www.opentrack.co.uk/

Also tend to stick fairly local with Bedford, Snetterton, Brands and occasional Cadwell Park visits.  Having said that, like you, there's always something getting in the way and hard to see me making any days in the next month.  I only ever seem to decide the week before so I'll let you know!  

Stick at it, it's worth it. :-)

Brands will deffo be on the cards soon for the touring once I get the test day out the way. Im not lifting up, the car will be at the tracks this year! Ive spent too much time so far getting it there. Definately let me know if you book anything mate, be nice to meet another forum user and I am interested to see this car!

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That's a bargain evening.  I said it's always last minute with me so in true late fashion, will be heading to an evening on the Bedford southwest circuit tonight.... If I can get the rear brake pads swapped out in time!...  Still spaces with opentrack if anyone can make it.

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On 6/12/2017 at 10:33, gchristofi said:

That's a bargain evening.  I said it's always last minute with me so in true late fashion, will be heading to an evening on the Bedford southwest circuit tonight.... If I can get the rear brake pads swapped out in time!...  Still spaces with opentrack if anyone can make it.

How did you get on mate? manage to get to the track?

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4 hours ago, RMJ said:

How did you get on mate? manage to get to the track?

Yeah, I made it... just.  Was a great evening, perfect weather and fairly quiet.  It was the South West configuration and although not as long as the GT, still 2.8 miles and with approx 30 cars there, there was bags of space.

Here's a vid of a session.  Still haven't fixed the wobbly mount so apologies for the blurry images.  It does give a good idea of how much space and runoff is at Bedford though.  Also shows how what I assume is a standard e46 m3 can struggle on track (6m15 - 7m)

 

 

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Good work mate! and smooth driving :)

What do you use with 'Harrys Laptimer' to get the image and OBD? Looking at getting a setup for mine to help with progress monitoring and for memories :)

 

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Thank, yes it's fun recording especially looking back after the event to see what might make the perfect lap and of course catching people spinning off!

Trackaddict app is the easiest option, does most of the telematics from the phone and very easy to use.  Harry's is more feature rich but much more fiddly on the day and less intuitive... although simple enough once used to it's quirks.  There's loads of info on the harrys laptimer website including their recommended accessories.... all of which I ignored and tried my luck with a cheapo WiFi obd2 dongle and it seems to work well enough.  I bought a low profile one so it wouldn't risk dropping under the brake pedal at just the wrong moment!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Wifi-OBD2-ELM327-Car-Diagnostic-Code-Scanner-Vehicle-Tool-For-IOS-Android-/172590688941?hash=item282f34eaad:g:650AAOSwax5Yx6Gz

I have noticed there is a delay between what's happening in the video and the telematics as it never seems to show me revving to 6500 (which is most gear changes) but still good enough for a bit of fun.  It's also clear my lap times decrease on average as fuel is used up as expected. I get fuel surge and therefore power loss on right handers when the tank is approx 1/4 so I'm planning to install the mini baffle from the M3 fuel pump to see if that will help.  I can't justify a full on swirl pot setup for track days but it would be nice to be able to run closer to empty. :-)

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On 6/6/2017 at 14:18, gchristofi said:

Hi.  The 4 door makes a great starting point for a track car.  What year is your car?  If it's early you'll also have the boat like slow steering rack as I did (3.2 turns lock to lock).  I've done a recent upgrade to the purple tag rack from later and club sport model 330ci (2.8 turns lock to lock) and it's made a huge improvement to the steering feel for track work.  Most corners can now be taken without lifting a hand from the wheel, even hairpins.

I don' have the benefit of knowing what the handling would have been like if I'd done the Anti roll bar upgrade prior to the lowering on coilovers but I suspect it would not have worked too well being too stiff without any rebound control for grip.   I I set my dampers too soft, I can have all sorts of issues braking with early cut in of ABS, especially downhill i.e. Cadwell Park!.   You're going to get a tonne of under steer and wallow on track with the standard SE setup, especially if it's all still original.  Given the relatively modest cost, the coil-overs would be first port of call along with brake fluid change and track pads.  I think Jom NJT extreme are even cheaper now at around £280 and for that they're an absolute bargain.

http://www.venommotorsport.com/suspension/jom/njt-extreme-coilovers/bmw-3-e46/

 Of course, it's also the ideal time to add camber plates and upgrade suspension bushes but that is all budget dependent.

Start stripping weight if it's just for track.The 80 odd kg stripped made a difference.

Enjoy and let us know how you progress and which track you're heading to....

Thanks for the advice mate, that's very useful. Unfortunately the car had a blown head gasket. So annoyed with trader for letting me drive 100 miles to waste my time! I'm still looking for a cheap 330 for track work but in the meantime I'm taking my daily 2005 330Ci to Donnington 29 June evening session (book a track). It's stock but I've bought some NS-2Rs, Ferodo 2500 pads and new pagid discs so should be able to have some fun. Thinking about doing Bedford on 10th July as well.

EDIT: PS: Nice driving! I'd be so happy if I overtook an M3. Nearly bought one but couldn't justify running costs!

Edited by thegentleway

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That's a shame, can't stand time wasters and you'd hope trade would know better! I think you'll have fun in your daily... you may even decide it can serve both purposes for a while. Otherwise I reckon the best value starter cars are private sale 4 door 330s with sensible miles but basic spec like cloth seats and no nav etc.

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I've taken her to Rockingham before; it was awesome fun but I was a bit worried about losing back end so didn't push her right to the limit. Soiled myself everytime I went near the wall! Agreed about 4 door 330; can't believe how cheap they are; loads of 325s but I've got my heart set on the 330: want the extra 30 bhp and bigger brake calipers!

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On 2017-6-19 at 16:28, thegentleway said:

I've taken her to Rockingham before; it was awesome fun but I was a bit worried about losing back end so didn't push her right to the limit. Soiled myself everytime I went near the wall! Agreed about 4 door 330; can't believe how cheap they are; loads of 325s but I've got my heart set on the 330: want the extra 30 bhp and bigger brake calipers!

I've not been to Rockingham but heard about the wall.... sounds like a feature to keep you in check!  Enjoy Donington mate. Shame I can't make Bedford on the 10th July, would have been good to meet up.   Let us know how you get on and certainly if you're doing further Opentrack dates.

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