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trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/29/23 5:19 p.m.

My final event of last year was a two day drivers school at NJMP Lightning with the Delaware Valley BMWCCA where I drove my 2002 E46 M3 weekend car for the first time on track. I had done multiple events with my E36 but the E46 inspired far more confidence and felt more balanced. When I had the chance to ride in my instructors caged E46 M3 on R-comps for some laps the difference in performance and simple bodily connection to the car due to harnesses and fixed back seats was staggering.

Since the event, I decided that I needed to run 5-8 events in the 2023 season and try to build on my experience. I also decided that I wanted to fully commit to a track-specific car rather than modify my current very street focused car.

After losing an auction on a Boss 302, losing another auction on an E9x M3 and test driving a new GR86 I was able to find a local seller (a few miles down the road) with this thoughtfully modified and dead nuts reliable M3 with everything I wanted to focus on driver mod and nothing else.

Named Bruiser for the black and blue theme and the blue metallics in the carbon black metallic paint that make the car read as a dark blue as much as black depending on the lighting.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/29/23 5:29 p.m.

The two previous owners have brought the car to a really solid build state with extensive records going back over the last 6 years

Mods list thus far:

  • Status Gruppe Headers
  • Status Gruppe SCZA Exhaust
  • TTFS Tune
  • RTD Carbon Shifter w/DSSR
  • VANOS Rebuild
  • Rod Bearings replaced at around 90k miles
  • CSF Radiator
  • CSF Oil Cooler
  • E46 Fuel Starvation Kit
  • Injen Evolution Intake
  • Yonaka Anti Rasp Section 1 Pipe
  • Eibach Pro Street S Coilovers
  • AKG 90A RTAB
  • Stainless Steel Brake Lines
  • PFC 331/332 Pads
  • Hotchkis F/R Sway Bars
  • Bimmerworld Brass Bushings
  • Endless Brake Fluid
  • CSL Carbon Trunk Lid
  • Carbon fiber Diffuser
  • Turner Motorspors Subframe Reinforcement
  • AKG 90A Subframe Bushings
  • BW Tow Straps
  • Apex ARC8 18x9.5
  • Kuhmo V730
  • BW 5mm spacers
  • Fallline Motorsports Half Cage
  • Momo Daytona Driver Seat
  • Brey Krausse Drive Mount w/sub mount (2) Momo Start Passenger Seat
  • Schroth 6 Point Harness
  • G Force 6 Point Harness
  • DTM Fiberwerks Sunroof Delete
trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/29/23 5:47 p.m.

With the car pretty well squared away for events aside from consumables, my attention and investment can go toward safety and track time.

On the safety front I'm ditching my old motorcycle helmet in favor of an SA2020 Bell with head sock and Hans. Full suit as well if I can find a place near Philly to try them on and get a decent fit or find an online retailer with an easy and free returns/exchange policy.

I'm registered for a handful of events split between NJMP Lightning and Thunderbolt with my first event in April. I am deliberately choosing multiple organizers to see if one really gels much more than others: Hooked on Driving, PCA and NASA so far and hope to also be able to register for another BMW CCA drivers school and a TNIA or two.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/29/23 5:54 p.m.

I do have a few things to work on between now and April, but thankfully it's all pretty optional so no timeline pressure/stress

  1. Install Garmin Catalyst
  2. Sliders for the drivers seat (so I can get my partner hooked on the car as much as I am)
  3. Switched power and rollbar mount for my GoPro
  4. Figure out tool and fuel jug storage that works around the rollbar
trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/29/23 5:58 p.m.

I've never installed fixed back seats before and I'm wondering if I need to change up my seat mounts in order to add a slider.

I know that Brey Krause makes side mounts that can mount to OEM sliders but I'm wondering if I can mount a slider between the floor and the current side mounts or need a completely different mounting configuration and parts.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/29/23 6:16 p.m.

So far I've registered for

  • 4/8 Thunderbolt with HoD
  • 5/12 Cayman GT4 and 911 GT3 experience
  • 5/20 and 5/21 Lightning with NASA
  • 6/3 and 6/4 Thunderbolt with NASA

I'm hoping to be able to get up to Lime Rock for GridLife Circuit Legends in August and will be on the lookout for one or two Summit Point events that work with my schedule.

I also expect to get back to NJMP in September and October with PCA and BMWCCA assuming my earlier events go well.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/29/23 7:50 p.m.
trumant said:

I've never installed fixed back seats before and I'm wondering if I need to change up my seat mounts in order to add a slider.

I know that Brey Krause makes side mounts that can mount to OEM sliders but I'm wondering if I can mount a slider between the floor and the current side mounts or need a completely different mounting configuration and parts.

I have the e46 BK mounts with e46 manual sliders in my e36. My opinion, skip them ... I used to have Recaro fixed aluminum mounts and switched them in order to get my son in the car and they feel flimsy. The seat moves with them and they don't inspire confidence like the Recaro do. Again, its my opinion, but I had both. 

See if Recaro has something. I believe there is a planted mounts + Recaro combination. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/29/23 7:53 p.m.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/29/23 7:56 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

Thanks for the perspective and pics here. I definitely want to find a combo that doesn't feel sloppy.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
1/30/23 9:26 a.m.

I used Recaro sliders/side plates attached to VAC motorsports mounts on my E36, I'm sure they have the same for E46.  Didn't see the vanos fix on your list of stuff...

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/30/23 9:37 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

As mentioned above, I am using e46 rails on my e36. I would assume they work the other way around as well. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/30/23 9:38 a.m.

In reply to trumant :

Also to answer your original question, no, those side mounts you have will not work on the factory sliders. They attach differently. I can dig some more pictures in a bit. 

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/30/23 9:59 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Vanos has been done as well thank god

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/12/23 9:20 p.m.

Registered for the 4/26 TNIA event at NJMP Lightning. I can't think of a better reason to take a Wednesday off work.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/23/23 11:20 p.m.

Had to cancel TNIA but added 8/12-13 NJMP Lightning with BMWCCA.

My first event is coming up 4/8 and I'm looking forward to feeling the car out there for the first time.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
3/23/23 11:31 p.m.

Looking forward to the recap

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/7/23 8:37 p.m.

Car is packed for the hour drive to NJMP tomorrow.

Tires are at the point where this is the last session they will ever see. They are my weak point tomorrow and with cold temps I expect traction to be challenging all around.

Didn't get the car back from my local Indy shop until yesterday so going no GoPro and no garmin catalyst because I didn't make time to get them installed.

Success will measured by a safe return home, learning the new car and building comfort and speed on Thunderbolt, a track I haven't been on in two plus years.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/7/23 9:29 p.m.

Have fun!

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/23 3:00 p.m.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/23 3:01 p.m.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/23 6:21 p.m.

I got to NJMP at 8AM, grabbed my class sticker, schedule, checked lugs and tire pressure and then hit the drivers meeting.

Orientation laps were at 9 and it was 43 and windy. Interestingly helmets were not required. Two slow laps later the course was black flagged for a rented caged E36 that went into the wall in turn 5. Driver was fine, car was not damaged much but both exited the event.

After classroom session on flags, etiquette and safety we went out for our first 25 minute session. My instructor and I both needed to adjust our harnesses but couldn't make reasonable progress so we went out with seatbelts. Cold track, cold tires and traction control off made for a bit of tail wagging headed into turn 2 on track entry but after a cautious lap had enough heat to start building speed. Unfortunately with speed came the massive trains of cars. Many a Mustang and modern M3 driven by first timers presumably who had yet to learn how to point by or drive any kind of predictable line.

After a second classroom we went out for session two. First time ever driving with harnesses and HANS and I definitely flailed around for far too long getting everything on and then getting my harnesses routed over the HANS and clicked in. With all the gear on and with the containment seat I quickly learned I needed to do everything by touch because I couldn't see anything.

Same trains but I used the hot pits to limited benefit to get a bit more clean track. Track and air temps were now around 50 and my tires were warm by turn 6. I was building speed here and there as I built confidence. Felt great like I found a good line and consistent pace through turns 3-5 and played with my throttle steering between 7 and 8, and particularly through 10. I was breaking far too early and staying in 3rh through turns 2-4 and missing a ton of 4th gear speed. Oil and water temps were well behaved and I felt like I could trust the tires/grip more than I expected to be able to.

Break for lunch and was expecting 4 more 25 minute sessions after.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/23 6:36 p.m.

During lunch we were informed the schedule was changing. Instructors and advanced had been running together and too many cars and varying talent lead to them splitting into separate run groups. Beginners lost a single session as a result which wasn't awesome.

Intermediates ran while I was still eating and a mustang spun at the beginning of the straight coming out of turn 12. He ran backwards down the pit wall past start finish and came to a rest a few inches from the wall with smoke coming from the back of the car. Track staff were there with an (unnecessary thankfully) extinguisher with an ambulance following 30 seconds behind.

When I went out for session three I was making decent improvements in turns 2 and 3, carrying more speed through 6 and 7 and starting to figure out 11-12. Session ended with a black flag after a Spec E30 went backwards into the tire wall after turn 3.

When I came in I jumped into my instructors E46 M3, MCS 2 ways, fully caged on r comps I got a great passenger ride for a full session. Watching and feeling him run really helped cement the coaching he had done during my earlier sessions. I also realized that I was perfectly calm in the car and felt at ease with the speed which seemed to unlock a bit more speed for me mentally later in my own sessions.

My last two sessions were both strong improvements in my speed through turns 2-7 now in 4th gear from 3 through 4 and improving braking into 5. I experimented a bunch with lines and speed through turns 8 and 9 but never really felt anything particularly click into a consistent line. I was pushing harder and saw some minor changes in my oil temps but the oil cooler did its job and the car cooled quickly once off track. I was really thrilled that the anti fuel starve did an incredible job and I never needed to fuel up all day and ran without any stuttering fuel feed conditions that I've had with my stock E46 M3 in the past.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/23 7:51 p.m.

After this event I will look forward to running with Hooked on Driving again but I am going to steer clear of the beginner group and run in intermediate if they will have me.

I'd much rather give point-bys and maintain an overall faster avg speed then be stuck behind 400-500hp cars leading a train of 6.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/23 7:55 p.m.

In terms of consumables I could probably get another single day of sessions on the Kumho V730s but my next event is a two day on Lightning so I've got freshies on the way for install this Thursday.

I need to check pads and disks front and back. I suspect the fronts are gone. The rotors already show deep scoring (condition I bought the car in). Rears are likely fine for two more days but I'll need to order replacements to be safe.

trumant
trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/23 8:11 p.m.

While I hated on the Shelby's and Roush and new plain old Ford Mustangs that simply couldn't get the hell out of the way and didn't check their mirrors, these two were both a sight to behold and driven with no lack of skill.

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