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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Tracking a steptronic 335



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      09-12-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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Tracking a steptronic 335

I went to a PCA track day at VIR last week in a SLK55 and had a blast and now I want to make my 335 track worthy. Unfortunately it's a step AND has no OEM oil cooler. What do I need? I was thinking aftermarket oil cooler (vk or ar probably), and possibly a FMIC as well. I'm a noob and can't really go that fast yet. Thanks for reading!
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      09-12-2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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see if you can get the cooler added by the dealer. search around for the Service bullitens and how others got it done.
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      09-12-2009, 08:13 PM   #3
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You won't last 5 minutes at VIR without an oil cooler with a step n54.
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      09-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #4
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I tried to get one through the dealer and they turned me away because I'm the 2nd owner. I'm willing to pay for one. Do you guys think just a cooler will be enough to make an auto trackable?
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      09-12-2009, 09:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
I tried to get one through the dealer and they turned me away because I'm the 2nd owner. I'm willing to pay for one. Do you guys think just a cooler will be enough to make an auto trackable?
I have a step with a VK oil cooler and still have issues with the transmission. The torque converter will lock up when it gets too hot. On a 90 degree day, i will get about 15 hard minutes on the track before I have to call it quits. My friend running at the same events with a 6 speed and VK oil cooler has no issues. Thats why I have retired the 335 from track days and I am on the hunt for a nice used z06.
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      09-12-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90southfl View Post
I have a step with a VK oil cooler and still have issues with the transmission. The torque converter will lock up when it gets too hot. On a 90 degree day, i will get about 15 hard minutes on the track before I have to call it quits. My friend running at the same events with a 6 speed and VK oil cooler has no issues. Thats why I have retired the 335 from track days and I am on the hunt for a nice used z06.
Thanks for the reply, that's what I was afraid of. I'd hate to go ahead and get the cooler and still not be able to run a full session.
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      09-14-2009, 05:36 PM   #7
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Ouch, sorry to hear

But just to give you another data point, I drive a E90 STEP w/ the factory oil cooler retrofit. In my 3 events, my car did not overheat at all in the 20-25 min track sessions in up to 90F conditions.

Although I'm still a noob, I can accelerate just as hard as anyone coming out of the turn, and the main straight is the same for everyone. So minus a few secs of acceleration lost each lap due to my slowness coming out of the turns, I believe I would still be stressing the engine/oil cooling limits at ~95% of the track experts.

Maybe there will be a prob in 100F weather. I dunno, but so far, no probs, except for the HPFP.....grrr!!! hehe

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Originally Posted by e90southfl View Post
I have a step with a VK oil cooler and still have issues with the transmission. The torque converter will lock up when it gets too hot. On a 90 degree day, i will get about 15 hard minutes on the track before I have to call it quits. My friend running at the same events with a 6 speed and VK oil cooler has no issues. Thats why I have retired the 335 from track days and I am on the hunt for a nice used z06.
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      09-14-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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Oil cooler and FMIC will def. help you for now...
you also need a set of track wheels and tires pronto...
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      09-14-2009, 07:57 PM   #9
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I'm tracking with an upgraded oil cooler and FMIC. The oil cooler will certainly help keep temps down, the fmic will help fight heat soak and retain power. A trans cooler would be kick ass if anyone made one. And run at least 93 octane on the track.

BTW, I track pretty hard and don't have any issues like said poster with the locked up torque converter.
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      09-14-2009, 08:14 PM   #10
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Cool, good to hear success stories. I ordered the AR design cooler so we'll see how it goes. I have an intake and JB3 but I'll probably run map 0 at first anyway. Track days are addicting
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      09-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
I tried to get one through the dealer and they turned me away because I'm the 2nd owner. I'm willing to pay for one. Do you guys think just a cooler will be enough to make an auto trackable?
I haven't been to any track events but would like to in the near future. I'm in the same boat with Step and no oil cooler. So if you're the original owner they'd consider an install?/
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      09-14-2009, 09:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90southfl View Post
I have a step with a VK oil cooler and still have issues with the transmission. The torque converter will lock up when it gets too hot. On a 90 degree day, i will get about 15 hard minutes on the track before I have to call it quits. My friend running at the same events with a 6 speed and VK oil cooler has no issues. Thats why I have retired the 335 from track days and I am on the hunt for a nice used z06.

He is right, if you drive hard you'll get lock-up with ATs on high temp days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orionredwing View Post
Ouch, sorry to hear

But just to give you another data point, I drive a E90 STEP w/ the factory oil cooler retrofit. In my 3 events, my car did not overheat at all in the 20-25 min track sessions in up to 90F conditions.

Although I'm still a noob, I can accelerate just as hard as anyone coming out of the turn, and the main straight is the same for everyone. So minus a few secs of acceleration lost each lap due to my slowness coming out of the turns, I believe I would still be stressing the engine/oil cooling limits at ~95% of the track experts.

Maybe there will be a prob in 100F weather. I dunno, but so far, no probs, except for the HPFP.....grrr!!! hehe
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      09-15-2009, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeboarder109 View Post
I haven't been to any track events but would like to in the near future. I'm in the same boat with Step and no oil cooler. So if you're the original owner they'd consider an install?/
They used that excuse on me, but being the 1st owner doesn't mean they'll just hand it over. From what I've read in the thread about oil cooler retrofits, if you bug them enough they generally give in for the original owners but it takes forever. They should have just sent out a service bulletin and given us all coolers.
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      09-18-2009, 11:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
Cool, good to hear success stories. I ordered the AR design cooler so we'll see how it goes. I have an intake and JB3 but I'll probably run map 0 at first anyway. Track days are addicting
You hve a jb3 and youve yet to intall a fmic? damn! You should get that immediately.
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      09-20-2009, 09:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90southfl View Post
I have a step with a VK oil cooler and still have issues with the transmission. The torque converter will lock up when it gets too hot. On a 90 degree day, i will get about 15 hard minutes on the track before I have to call it quits. My friend running at the same events with a 6 speed and VK oil cooler has no issues. Thats why I have retired the 335 from track days and I am on the hunt for a nice used z06.
Have you tried a transmission cooler? Contact Turner motorsports.
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      09-20-2009, 05:04 PM   #16
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Like everyone else has said, oilcooler first. If you'll track a lot, I'd get track rims and rubber (17 or 18" x 8.5 or 9" all around), suspension upgrade bits, tune and FMIC.
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      09-22-2009, 11:04 AM   #17
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Not that I'm an expert, but the VERY last thing I would ever due to a 335i that I was going to track is put a tune on it (unless it's the BMW performance tune with increased cooling). Even if you don't limp, by mid-session power is noticeably reduced due to heat-soak. Adding a tune will only get you to limp faster. Even with cooling modifications it's a waste of time IMHO. The car has more than enough power. I'd focus on cooling mods and tires first. From reading everyone else's experiences and my own experience, it's just easier to track a different car. The N54 auto's are a pain in the ass. I've switched to a Miata (guess what? I'm having more fun too...).
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      09-22-2009, 12:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDomer View Post
Not that I'm an expert, but the VERY last thing I would ever due to a 335i that I was going to track is put a tune on it (unless it's the BMW performance tune with increased cooling). Even if you don't limp, by mid-session power is noticeably reduced due to heat-soak. Adding a tune will only get you to limp faster. Even with cooling modifications it's a waste of time IMHO. The car has more than enough power. I'd focus on cooling mods and tires first. From reading everyone else's experiences and my own experience, it's just easier to track a different car. The N54 auto's are a pain in the ass. I've switched to a Miata (guess what? I'm having more fun too...).
And with more dollars in your pocket to boot!
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      09-22-2009, 10:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDomer View Post
Not that I'm an expert, but the VERY last thing I would ever due to a 335i that I was going to track is put a tune on it (unless it's the BMW performance tune with increased cooling). Even if you don't limp, by mid-session power is noticeably reduced due to heat-soak. Adding a tune will only get you to limp faster. Even with cooling modifications it's a waste of time IMHO. The car has more than enough power. I'd focus on cooling mods and tires first. From reading everyone else's experiences and my own experience, it's just easier to track a different car. The N54 auto's are a pain in the ass. I've switched to a Miata (guess what? I'm having more fun too...).
Thanks for your opinion on the tune. It is just that, an opinion.

I agree on the Miata, though.
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      09-25-2009, 08:42 AM   #20
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Have you tried a transmission cooler? Contact Turner motorsports.
I didn't want to go down the path of adding another cooler since I decided it would be best to retire the 335 from track duty and just use it as my daily driver. I finally found a z06 that I liked and was a good deal.



I am interested in selling my VK Oil Cooler. If anyone is interested send me a PM. It would be a great deal for someone with an e90 since the install would be very easy! I can send you all the parts pre-cut (wheel well liner, oil cooler grate cover, brake duct) and then you can simple bolt in the new cooler and parts.
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      09-25-2009, 06:07 PM   #21
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Nice score. I am looing for exactly the same thing. My E9X XI will be retired as well. Z06 is the best bang for the buck for that kind of displacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e90southfl View Post
I didn't want to go down the path of adding another cooler since I decided it would be best to retire the 335 from track duty and just use it as my daily driver. I finally found a z06 that I liked and was a good deal.



I am interested in selling my VK Oil Cooler. If anyone is interested send me a PM. It would be a great deal for someone with an e90 since the install would be very easy! I can send you all the parts pre-cut (wheel well liner, oil cooler grate cover, brake duct) and then you can simple bolt in the new cooler and parts.
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      10-12-2009, 12:05 PM   #22
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Well I just returned from 2 days at VIR and the cooler seems to have cooled the car effectively. I was hitting 270-280 oil temps on a cool day (67 degrees or so). I think it's safe to say that on a warm summer day the car would overheat with the AR cooler. During my last session the car went into limp mode and the SES light came on and I assume it was the transmission (oil was in normal range). The 335 steptronic is a great street car but not suitable for the track even with the oil cooler. I'll probably end up getting a spec E30 or an E36 M3 to play with.
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