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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Track Days; What Mods are Required



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      09-08-2009, 11:31 PM   #1
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Track Days; What Mods are Required

Hello,

Assuming a piggy-back tuned 335i sport: what systems absolutely need to be addressed to have a good track day with no limp mode.

I will only be at the track or in extreme heat occasionally and would like a minimalistic approach. I am thinking FMIC, but would like more thoughts.

Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death I am a bit new.

Thanks,
John

Last edited by JPA; 09-08-2009 at 11:33 PM. Reason: precision
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      09-08-2009, 11:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA View Post
Hello,

Assuming a piggy-back tuned 335i: what systems absolutely need to be addressed to have a good track day with no limp mode.

I will only be at the track or in extreme heat occasionally and would like a minimalistic approach. I am thinking FMIC, but would like more thoughts.

Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death I am a bit new.

Thanks,
John
I think two required things are an Oil Cooler and a Front Mount Intercooler for sure. Also, depending on whether your running a Procede or JB3 stick to Stage 1 or Map 3 for optimal performance.
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      09-08-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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You dont need anything if you dont push it hard. Any car can be on the track and do fine. Its how hard you go. Watch your temps if you dont have any cooling.
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      09-08-2009, 11:43 PM   #4
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Your best bet is to go completely stock. Then you will have a better idea about which mods to make. You will find the driver mod is by far the best.
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      09-08-2009, 11:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowess Symphony View Post
You dont need anything if you dont push it hard. Any car can be on the track and do fine. Its how hard you go. Watch your temps if you dont have any cooling.
But you usually go on a track to push your car hard :/


if the temp is over 90 though, you'll prly be best on a simple map 3 on the jb3 or just going stock

FMIC will def help
an intake as well

But stock is really the best way to start :P
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      09-08-2009, 11:58 PM   #6
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I understand driver mod is the best...can't improve if car is over heating
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      09-08-2009, 11:58 PM   #7
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Too much power would hinder your learning process, if you are a beginner. So run stock boost if you are beginning. Also no mods required for starters. Just go stock for the first few times. Then you can do these:

Oil cooler
Square wheels/tires
Suspension

When you get better, upgrade:

Brake pads
Camber kit
sway bars
suspension parts
intercooler
LSD

Tune should be the last mod IMHO
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      09-09-2009, 12:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA View Post
I understand driver mod is the best...can't improve if car is over heating
I still would run it stock. If it is a hosted track event and your first time, odds are you are not going to overheat the car running in the beginner group. Power mods are a waste for first time track days. Really if you want to do any mod at all, I would say a good set of squared up tires - no staggered sets. Get a set of 17's if you can as the tires are much cheaper and lighter.

Skip the power and suspension mods until you determine what you want to improve. As someone posted above, power mods should be the last mod you make.
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      09-09-2009, 12:08 AM   #9
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The Procede Canbus should lower boost at high temps preventing temperature related limps?
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      09-09-2009, 12:10 AM   #10
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For me the track is an occasional thing, and I want to have as much fun as I can while learning the limits of my car with the set-up I drive everyday which includes a bit more power than stock.
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      09-09-2009, 12:17 AM   #11
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That's cool, but you will soon find that to be fast on track, that vision and smoothness (smoothness abour everything, steering, braking, throttling....) are the 2 most important things, not hp/tq. HP/TQ are only good on the straights and the faster you go on the straights, the harder it is for you tobrake and take the curves smoothly and ......fast.

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      09-09-2009, 12:18 AM   #12
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But I definitely hear you about square 17's, and I understand that power can mask imperfections. In essence I am really looking to try to keep the car in the best possible condition while I am out there.
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      09-09-2009, 12:47 AM   #13
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Some suggestions:

1) Good tire pressure gauge. Remember to start at a lower than suggested PSI as the tires will heat up quickly. Change pressures to suit your style.
2) Blue painters tape. Tape headlights, leading edge of hood, leading edge of inner fenders behind front and rear wheels, mirrors, and as much of the front bumper as possible. Looks geeky, but your paint will thank you.
3) Seat belt tensioner. This will lock the seat belt to keep you in place.
4) Move the seat closer to the steering wheel. You will have better car control.
5) Good helmet with good ventilation. Cooler and lighter head will make track time more fun.
6) Check to see if your insurance covers track days. Otherwise look into 3rd party providers
7) Remember, slow in, fast out. Late apex is usually safer.
8) With the Beemer be prepared to change pads, maybe rotors and tires after a few track days.
9) Best mod for faster times might simply be a set of track wheels and competition tires. However, higher g forces might cause oil starvation in the motor.
10) Never block a faster car. Let them pass. Follow their line (if similar car) and learn.
11) Do not engage your parking brake between runs. Just put in gear and raise the hood.

Have fun. I miss track days.
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      09-09-2009, 01:02 AM   #14
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      09-09-2009, 12:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA View Post
But I definitely hear you about square 17's, and I understand that power can mask imperfections. In essence I am really looking to try to keep the car in the best possible condition while I am out there.
Actually added power will not mask imperfections in your driving - it will accentuate them.

Track driving is all about being smooth. Lap times are decreased by the driver's ability to turn and brake smoothly, following the ideal line around the course.

Don't bother with power adders for your first day. Tires first, then good brake pads would be the only two mods I would consider. After that, you may decide on suspension needs to help the boat (I mean the 335) around the track.

Going totally stock though is the wisest as it really tells you more specifically the mods that have the biggest improvement for the dollar. One track day stock and you will find that added power is definitely at the bottom of that list.
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      09-09-2009, 03:04 PM   #16
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An oil cooler is all you need.

I am new to tracking and with a tune installed, the stock car with sport suspension was beyond my ability, which I already knew going in.

Now, a few track days later and I felt an LSD was the most worthwhile handling upgrade over suspension mods. This was because I always felt very restricted in the turns following the slow in fast out theory, and I am now comfortable with the lines.

Hope my impressions as a new person to tracking helps!

So a tune & LSD should keep you until you 'graduate' to intermediate, then mod at will with all those cool m3 bits, coilovers, m3 rear sway, etc etc.
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      09-09-2009, 03:05 PM   #17
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Thanks for all your posts. I am not disagreeing with any of you about increased power and one's ability to be a better track driver, I got it. I am still concerned about overheating the car which is what I originally asked about. Are any mods beneficial to not harming the car during hard driving -- does this car require a larger FMIC or radiator/fan or oil cooler? Are there known trouble areas for this car when on the track and what are the solutions?

Thanks,
John
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      09-09-2009, 03:11 PM   #18
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Thanks. Do I need to upgrade the existing oil cooler that came with the car or just make sure mine is in place? If upgrade is required, is there a consensus on the top couple of models/manufacturers?

And yes definitely a LSD -- strange this car doesn't come with one.
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      09-09-2009, 07:09 PM   #19
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I had the OEM Oil Cooler retrofit (free, approved by BMW NA), and my oil temps have been stable at all of my track sessions (not a single overheat trip). Prior to that, it would get seriously high in just spirited street driving. So if you already have the OEM one, there's no need to upgrade to a Dinan or aftermarket at this time. Re-evaluate when you have more power mods.

Just make sure yours is in place. Check under the front right wheel well and if you see a 'vented' mud flap piece (dunno the right terminology), then you have have an oil cooler. I understand that not all stock cars w/ sports package comes with the OEM oil cooler.

Good luck and have fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA View Post
Thanks. Do I need to upgrade the existing oil cooler that came with the car or just make sure mine is in place? If upgrade is required, is there a consensus on the top couple of models/manufacturers?

And yes definitely a LSD -- strange this car doesn't come with one.
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      09-09-2009, 07:25 PM   #20
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If you have the stock oil cooler, your temps will be fine. Just keep an eye on it at the end of your sessions. Once you hit intermediate group and perhaps even advanced you will likely be pushing the car consistently harder, that's when you might run into problems.

Even then, some folks never get temp problems even if pushing it, others do get into problem. So better wait and see. I believe temps also depends on which engine oil you use, the type of track you are on etc.

Stop worrying and get to your track event and enjoy.
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      09-09-2009, 09:44 PM   #21
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Well it is your car. Do what you feel you need to do. In the beginner run group you will not overheat your car. Very few people that are even advanced track drivers would notice the need for an LSD opposed to an open diff.

Just go out and drive and have fun. It is very addicting and eventually does lead to major car mods. The reason I am suggesting stock is from experience. Starting stock really helps you identify the issues instead of assuming what the issues will be. Mods are expensive, especially cooling mods. I would focus your money on the first mods that will eat money - brake pads and tires.
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      09-10-2009, 09:40 AM   #22
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I have to chime in and recommend an upgraded FMIC. The stock one is just crap. This is the worst part on our entire car by design. FMIC can help reduce temps and stress under the hood (mostly with the turbos) and keep your power more consistent... consistent power is a must for the track to help maintain the feel and smoothness of the car (and also the predictability!).

Stage 2 (more advanced driver): As they wear out you will want better brake pads as well, you might even consider some SS lines, RBF-600 fluid, and slotted rotors. I tend to avoid drilled rotors because they have tendancies to crack. Make sure the slots don't go all the way to the edge of the rotor. Don't run 19's, use 18's or 17's and get some stiff sidewall'd sticky tires. You will also find a stiffer/stronger rear sway will help cut down on the stock understeer. Basically you want to lower the front and stiffen the rear a bit to help balance it out (later on down the road, once you have pushed the car past it's limits of handling).

HAVE FUN don't get too overly competitive that you lose the fun aspect, and good luck
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