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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Was gonna take the Spec Miata to Reno/Fernley...decided on the 335i instead



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      04-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #1
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Was gonna take the Spec Miata to Reno/Fernley...decided on the 335i instead

Lets see how she does at that 4 mile track. Hope I dont lose a fuel pump.
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      04-10-2007, 11:13 AM   #2
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Have you driven that track yet? It looks like fun. I might be tempted to make a road trip up there later this year. Post a report!

Richard
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      04-10-2007, 11:16 AM   #3
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Have you driven that track yet? It looks like fun. I might be tempted to make a road trip up there later this year. Post a report!

Richard

No...this is my first time there...

I have been to and driven at the following tracks:

Thunderhill
Laguna Seca
Infineon/Sears Point
Buttonwillow
Willow Springs (big track)
Spring Mountain (Pahrump NV)
Miller Motorsports Park (Touele UT)
Second Creek Raceway (Denver CO)
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      04-16-2007, 02:36 AM   #4
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Let me know next time you plan on coming, I'll drive out and track my 330. Reno is my backyard
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      04-16-2007, 07:54 AM   #5
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Lets see how she does at that 4 mile track. Hope I dont lose a fuel pump.
I look forward to hearing your report. Pictures and video would also be excellent! Good luck!
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      04-16-2007, 09:43 AM   #6
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Well...I got back at 10pm last night..and I am bushed...I drove 294 miles from Fernley to San Jose in 3 hr 45 minutes..yes, I was haulin. I am getting a CD with a ton of track shots of me on track from my buddy at Motorsports Visions Photography...I will post when I get them.

Short report here...longer one in a couple of days when I have time to fully document my findings...here are the high points though:

Location: Fernley Nevada
Elevation: approximately 4200 ft.

Conditions First Day:
Partly Cloudy AM, showers in early PM, clearing in late PM.
Temperature: Low of 38 to a high of 55 degress

Conditions Second Day:
Sprinkling AM, Snow mid day..yes, snow, clearing in PM
Temperature: Low of 38 most of day...up to 50 degrees at about 4pm

Overall Impressions:

The good:

1) Car hauls butt down the straights - I hit 125 on the main straight on a couple of sessions...mostly about 123. And, I wasnt late braking at all..actually braking too early...since the esses afterwards were kinda hairy at 120 mph with the ZSP suspension. As a comparison...brand new 997 turbo was hitting 143 mph in the same section...and he has like 450 bhp.

2) Car brakes worked very well...no fade...no surprises...only two places on track with what I would consider hard braking..and it handled them just fine. I am most impressed with these stock brakes. All I would do to change them for the next year would be to get some Porterfield R4S pads for street use (lower dust) and get some dedicated track pads.

The not so good:

1) Run flat tires stink for grip on the track...pure and simple. I was trying to hang with a half dozen Stage 3 B5 S4 Audis on track...most with Rcompound tires..and some even on Hoosiers and Stasis Motorsport suspension and brakes. That was a mistake. I could hang decently with some of them on the straight..but in the corners...no way.

2) Car understeers...Yes, I can officially say this car does not rotate well in stock form. This car needs a bigger sway bar in rear to get some rotation.....I would make mincemeat out of a spec miata friend of mine in the straight..and by the end of turn 2 he was on my butt...not good. I was a good 1/8 to 1/6 of a mile ahead of him at the end of the straight.

The Audi crowd seemed very impressed with the 335i on the track...and since they knew my car was brand new and stock...they were even more impressed.

Anyway, more detailed impressions when I get a chance..and when I get my images from the photographer.

BTW, the Reno/Fernley track is 4.7 miles long in the last configuration we drove...pretty long.
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      04-16-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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Nice writeup. Useful observations.

How was tirewear? How was the oil temp?
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      04-16-2007, 10:18 AM   #8
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Sounds like fun and that the car did pretty well. When you lack skill and experience like I do, the stock run flats perform just fine!

At my driving school at Road Atlanta, my instructor had a 2007 328i that he had purchased a few weeks earlier. He was also complaining about the car not wanting to turn. After I showed him how to disable the electronic nannies, he said it was much better, but it still wasn't doing all that he needed it to. Sounds like the same experience you were having.

Looking forward to the pictures....
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      04-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #9
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Oh yeah...oil temp never got over 255 degrees no matter what I did. Tire wear was bad on left and right front tires..rear had very little wear...I will take a pic to show you guys what they NOW look like..oops.

I gotta read the frickin manual..where the heck is the oil dip stick? I wanted to check the oil level..and couldn't.

Lastly..had to turn off DTC...or the car would turn off in most of the corners I went though.
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      04-16-2007, 10:40 AM   #10
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No dipstick. Just an oil sensor. Bring up reading via OBC.
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      04-16-2007, 04:05 PM   #11
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2) Car understeers...Yes, I can officially say this car does not rotate well in stock form. This car needs a bigger sway bar in rear to get some rotation
Thank you for your report, some things are encouraging, while others don't seem to change between generations.

Anyway, try the "free neg camber mod" before messing with the sway bars - who knows it may give you sufficient extra front bite. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the procedure - I did this on my E46.

(You do this by suspending the car on jacks at the front, then drilling/removing the 2 (one per side) protruding aluminum strut locating pins - they stick out from the shock towers. After that, you unbolt the top shock nuts on each side and shove it as far inboard as it will go. You must put new nuts each time as on the E46 they were one-time-use items, and you must do an alignment after. But oh what an improvement...).
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      04-17-2007, 11:15 AM   #12
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(You do this by suspending the car on jacks at the front, then drilling/removing the 2 (one per side) protruding aluminum strut locating pins - they stick out from the shock towers. After that, you unbolt the top shock nuts on each side and shove it as far inboard as it will go. You must put new nuts each time as on the E46 they were one-time-use items, and you must do an alignment after. But oh what an improvement...).
I dunno about that. Camber plates arent expensive...

S4to335- thanks for the writeup, that's about what i expected to see, all except for your impressions on the rfts. i have not tracked this car yet, but i do see an actual improvement in handling from the rfts, i guess due to the reinforced sidewalls. did they just overheat too quickly for you or what?
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      04-17-2007, 11:22 AM   #13
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I dunno about that. Camber plates arent expensive...
This mod is very common on E46 cars, giving you a little additional negative camber (up to 0.5 degree extra) - but it does absolutely the same thing from a suspension geometry point of view as a camber plate, which is to move the top shock mounting plate inboard. No magic here...

It doesn't give you the full adjustability of a camber plate, but at $0 it's hard to beat.
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      04-17-2007, 12:08 PM   #14
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I dunno about that. Camber plates arent expensive...

S4to335- thanks for the writeup, that's about what i expected to see, all except for your impressions on the rfts. i have not tracked this car yet, but i do see an actual improvement in handling from the rfts, i guess due to the reinforced sidewalls. did they just overheat too quickly for you or what?
I think it was me trying to hard to hang with the heavily modded Stage 3 B5 Audi S4s..that did them in...yeah..probably heated them up to much. It was about 40-50 degrees out..I thought I was pretty safe..but I guess not. I really think I would have been fine with tiny bit of tow out up front...a bit of negative camber...some Hoosiers...and maybe an LSD...a bigger rear sway...and Procede of course
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      04-17-2007, 03:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I think it was me trying to hard to hang with the heavily modded Stage 3 B5 Audi S4s..that did them in...yeah..probably heated them up to much. It was about 40-50 degrees out..I thought I was pretty safe..but I guess not. I really think I would have been fine with tiny bit of tow out up front...a bit of negative camber...some Hoosiers...and maybe an LSD...a bigger rear sway...and Procede of course
now youre talkin! all but the procede. i know its an awesome mod and all, but really, i think it would make the car harder to handle and more of a maintenance headache in the end. I don't find 50hp as useful as about a hundred different other things when im on track.
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      04-17-2007, 03:19 PM   #16
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now youre talkin! all but the procede. i know its an awesome mod and all, but really, i think it would make the car harder to handle and more of a maintenance headache in the end. I don't find 50hp as useful as about a hundred different other things when im on track.
Well, racing a momentum car...spec miata...I understand that the most import thing to improve is the nut behind the wheel. However, those guys with Spec Miata sunbelt/rebello engines really piss me off going up the hill on the backside of Laguna Seca...I am like "yeah, right..we got the same engine...NOT". Some guys just walk on me and my pseudo junk yard engine. Sure would be nice to have that extra 20 bhp they have...but my wallet would be missing about $15-20K.

Procede will probably be last...but who knows if I start drinkin and change my mind.
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