ZOO Dork
3/31/10 3:25 p.m.

My first track day in my new-to-me M3 is approaching (April 30th). Here's my checklist of things I've done to ensure it is ready. Am I mssing anything?

New rotors and pads (Hawk HP+)

New brake fluid (ATE Superblue)

New SS lines

New fluid in differential (Redline 75/90)

New fluid in transmission (Redline DT4)

UCC transmission mounts and cups (want to avoid the money shift)

Coolant is fresh -- cooling system redone by PO not long ago (I will add Watter-Wetter)

Replaced both tie rods

New R888s

Will have an alignment (any spec recommendations)

And of course I will be doing fresh oil and filter beforehand


Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Reader
3/31/10 3:51 p.m.

I'll be interested in how this goes. I just got one too and would start as well. I'm thinking full tuneup:
-spark plugs
-oil change
-trans/diff oil change
-air filter
-cooling system check
-brake fluid flush
-brake pads?

To add to this and not threadjack- Do you need to bring a full additional set of tires/brake pads, etc? After my rallycross tire experience a week or so back, I don't want to risk too much, but don't want to spend another $1500+ on tires and wheels.

WilberM3 New Reader
3/31/10 4:01 p.m.

when i used to do pretrack inspections i'd check the subframe bolts, motor mounts, brake carrier bolts, strut bolts, and diff bolts with a wrench for tightness too.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
3/31/10 4:18 p.m.

Check your power steering lines for leaks. When the motor is spinning at 7300 RPM all day long they have a tendency to pop and make your front tires very, very slippery.

Make sure the cooling system is bled very well. Elevate the front, bleed, drive for a while, elevate, bleed.

Check the radiator neck at the hoses for brittleness.

Check your motor mounts.

Check the rubber muffler hangers - they break easily when dry rotted.

Serpentine belt and tensioner. This one will end your day and overheat you at the same time.

...as for "money" shifting - 99% of the time it is because people are in too big a hurry when downshifting entering a turn. Start earlier and be able to brake and downshift at the same time BEFORE you get to the track. Do the gears in order even if you know you can go from 5->2. Get used to a cadence and repeat it like mantra until its muscle memory... brake-downshift-turn.

Stiffer mounts will make all the shifts feel better and are a good idea but despite the love people have for blaming the hardware... they have to be totally shot to allow the trans to shift enough to choose the wrong gear. I'm not saying it doesn't happen... just that it doesn't happen to people who don't overdrive the corner very often ;)

bludroptop SuperDork
3/31/10 6:51 p.m.

Upper rear damper mounts? Rumor has it they are a weak spot. And they are cheap.

nderwater Reader
3/31/10 9:00 p.m.

Ditto the above - you've done the brakes, so make sure your cooling system, motor mounts and suspension bushings are in good shape. The rest is gravy.

ZOO Dork
3/31/10 9:07 p.m.

Thanks for the tips on the money shift -- I am not an 11/10ths guy at the track, or even a 10/10ths guy, so I am not that worried. But I don't mind a bit of insurance, too.

nderwater Reader
3/31/10 10:35 p.m.

bleed, as in get any air bubbles out. This isn't as big a chore in the E36 as it is in my wife's E39.

motomoron Reader
3/31/10 11:10 p.m.

You've got it pretty much covered 'til you're really beating the living bejeebus out of it.

My M3-e36 formerly beautiful street car turned noisy, harsh, barely streetable track day car has all the crazy handling, safety and power stuff, but the things that made the biggest difference at the track were replacing every last bushing in the car, a Zionsville race cooling system and a really good alignment and setting of cross weights.

I did my first event of the year last weeked; an instructor clinic @ Summit Point Shenandoah circuit. The car is just transferred w/ seats, harnesses and a roll bar. Stiffer, more immediate, much better feedback.

It was sort of spendy getting the car just right and using all good parts, not cutting corners - but the result is just awesome on track, session after session after session. It was a really good street car, but it's an even better track tool.

That e36 M3 is my favorite car I've ever owned.

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