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      03-03-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
Phil G
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Stripped/caged 335i for track use - terrible idea?

Yes, I know the E30s and E36s are lighter, more nimble, and cheaper to run....just hear me out!

For some backstory - I did European Delivery on Heidi (my E92 335i) back in March of 2007. Had saved up for years as a kid for the car, and had the time of my life picking it up in Germany, going through the Alps, and driving 150mph on the Autobahn. 10 years and 150,000 miles later, I still love the car as much as the day I picked it up!

Due to the age and mileage of the car, it is no longer my daily driver (have an Acura TSX for that now). It is now my weekend car that also is seeing more HPDEs. I am getting fast enough now where I feel full safety equipment is needed (cage, harnesses, etc). So, this of course means cutting up the car. I figure I may as well strip the car to save weight....no going back!

I would do all of this over buying an E30/36 because the car's backstory has created an attachment, I just can't fathom selling it! The only way I could justify selling it is if I start club racing and NEED an E30/36.....in which case I would start a new story with a new Euro-delivered 335i (I'm at least a few years from "reasonably" affording that).

My question is - if I do get into club racing and end up needing to sell my car, would someone actually buy a stripped/caged 335i for dedicated track use? I have only seen one on the whole internet, let alone for sale! Obviously it would need a very upgraded cooling system. Thanks for the help!
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      03-03-2017, 03:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil G View Post
My question is - if I do get into club racing and end up needing to sell my car, would someone actually buy a stripped/caged 335i for dedicated track use? I have only seen one on the whole internet, let alone for sale! Obviously it would need a very upgraded cooling system. Thanks for the help!
Are you saying you'd convert this car into a class-specific race car and then if you needed to get out of it you'd want to know if you could sell it? Yeah, probably but only for a few grand if you were very very lucky. Probably not even that if you're talking about leaving the current engine in it while thrashing it on the track, might be just scrap at that point. It costs a stupid amount of money to be track worthy and safe so it'll pass tech and all that counts for nothing when selling it, mostly.
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      03-03-2017, 08:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justpete View Post
Are you saying you'd convert this car into a class-specific race car and then if you needed to get out of it you'd want to know if you could sell it? Yeah, probably but only for a few grand if you were very very lucky. Probably not even that if you're talking about leaving the current engine in it while thrashing it on the track, might be just scrap at that point. It costs a stupid amount of money to be track worthy and safe so it'll pass tech and all that counts for nothing when selling it, mostly.
Interesting, if it would be worth so little as a stripped/caged car, now I'm wondering if it would make more sense to just save the interior in case I decide to club race and sell the car. That also would allow me to transfer full containment seats and harnesses to the race car if I started racing.

I guess the chances of finding a quality removable full cage would be low, so I would lose money on the cage when I cut it out (around $3-4k?), and I would have a net loss on sold aftermarket cooling parts (around $1k). Anything else I would lose other than depreciation and consumables?

Mind you this is just a HPDE car for a current C-level (Intermediate) student. I wouldn't be actually racing it. I just want additional safety as I do hit 120+mph on some straights. Thought about a removable bolt-in cage with welded reinforcement plates for the contact points, but I'm concerned it won't provide adequate enough roll protection.
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      03-03-2017, 09:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil G View Post
Interesting, if it would be worth so little as a stripped/caged car, now I'm wondering if it would make more sense to just save the interior in case I decide to club race and sell the car. That also would allow me to transfer full containment seats and harnesses to the race car if I started racing.

I guess the chances of finding a quality removable full cage would be low, so I would lose money on the cage when I cut it out (around $3-4k?), and I would have a net loss on sold aftermarket cooling parts (around $1k). Anything else I would lose other than depreciation and consumables?

Mind you this is just a HPDE car for a current C-level (Intermediate) student. I wouldn't be actually racing it. I just want additional safety as I do hit 120+mph on some straights. Thought about a removable bolt-in cage with welded reinforcement plates for the contact points, but I'm concerned it won't provide adequate enough roll protection.
There's no such thing as a quality removable cage, at all. You won't be able to swap it back to stock once it's a race car, no way.

You said club _racing_ but if it's just an HPDE/track car then the previous and above don't apply.

I top 110 in intermediate on technical tracks and don't need a roll bar or cage but I've progressed far enough to make good use of race seats and they weren't possible without a four point. The car can't be returned to stock and all the parts were binned including hood and trunk. Sold the full leather sport interior (45K miles) for five hundred bucks and that's it. The rest couldn't be sold even though it was like new so it was thrown out right down to the sunroof, radiator, airbags, radio, speakers, door cards, etc.
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      03-03-2017, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil G View Post
My question is - if I do get into club racing and end up needing to sell my car, would someone actually buy a stripped/caged 335i for dedicated track use? I have only seen one on the whole internet, let alone for sale! Obviously it would need a very upgraded cooling system. Thanks for the help!
No club racers will not buy your car unless you sell it without taking a ridiculous hit; e46 m3 will always be the preferred choice which happens to be similarly priced as an E90 335i

No point in gutting unless you're going to w2w and trailer the car. Remember it's always better to pick your class and build around that. Till then if you're just focused on improving safety for DE, I would pick up a HANS, take out the back seat (for weight), throw in Recaro Sportster type seats and use Schroth Quickfits.
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Last edited by 3002 tii; 03-03-2017 at 10:03 PM.
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      03-04-2017, 01:15 AM   #6
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I say go for it! I am building one myself right now. In the next 2 weeks I am completely gutting the interior and I am installing Cobra Suzuka Pro GTs in side. I am doing a sunroof delete also. After that it is off to the race shop for them to build a half roll cage.

My goal is to drop the weight by 300 - 350 lbs before the roll cage goes in. Should be doable.
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      03-04-2017, 02:40 PM   #7
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By the way I'm not knocking the 335i, great car and I certainly know how it feels when you want to take your car to the next level while you're on this DE high... but there' real practical considerations you should think about.
  • The cost of gutting, full cage, etc will run you $3000 or so depending on your region.
  • Car with full cage can't be driven on street so that leaves with you now having to trailer. If you were only doing half cage then gutting isn't necessary.
  • If you've converted to race car then you've killed resale value and your only hope is to find another track guy who will give you 'fair value'....
  • but classing rules generally are not favorable for the 335i so you really have to think about what class you'd run and how competitive will you be. If this is just for fun then you're spending a lot of money to potentially not be competitive. And that would be the case for any buyer down the road.
  • And with regards to classes, you also need to consider what classes even draw out a crowd in your region. You might find a group where your 335i may work but if there's no other competition it's pointless unless you're going to drive 6+ hours to a different region.

End of day do what makes u happy, all I'm saying is plan for the future. At least with the Quickfits you can always resell those after you know for sure you want to go full race car. But till then there's minimum downside risk. If the Sportsters are too expensive, then you can look at Corbeau's or something similar.
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      03-04-2017, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3002 tii View Post
By the way I'm not knocking the 335i, great car and I certainly know how it feels when you want to take your car to the next level while you're on this DE high... but there' real practical considerations you should think about.
  • The cost of gutting, full cage, etc will run you $3000 or so depending on your region.
  • Car with full cage can't be driven on street so that leaves with you now having to trailer. If you were only doing half cage then gutting isn't necessary.
  • If you've converted to race car then you've killed resale value and your only hope is to find another track guy who will give you 'fair value'....
  • but classing rules generally are not favorable for the 335i so you really have to think about what class you'd run and how competitive will you be. If this is just for fun then you're spending a lot of money to potentially not be competitive. And that would be the case for any buyer down the road.
  • And with regards to classes, you also need to consider what classes even draw out a crowd in your region. You might find a group where your 335i may work but if there's no other competition it's pointless unless you're going to drive 6+ hours to a different region.

End of day do what makes u happy, all I'm saying is plan for the future. At least with the Quickfits you can always resell those after you know for sure you want to go full race car. But till then there's minimum downside risk. If the Sportsters are too expensive, then you can look at Corbeau's or something similar.
$3000! I shoulda been so lucky.

And sure you can drive a caged car on the street but ya'd hafta be an idiot....oh, wait....dammit....
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      03-06-2017, 01:58 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! So it sounds like others here are not too concerned about a half cage or QuickFits being safe enough for DE (even for a high powered car like a 335i)?

My friend who is a HPDE instructor/Spec E30 club racer/German tuning shop owner recommended the half cage idea. He said reinforcement plates could be welded into the places where the cage is bolted in (like the E92 M3 GTS), and the cage could be removed and sold later with no (visible) damage to the interior if I upgrade to a full cage. I do have a fear of the car rolling and crushing my spine if I'm held upright by the seats/HANS if I only have a half cage though. He didn't seem to think the risk is huge of that happening, and I know he really knows his stuff. What are your thoughts?

He isn't a fan of Quick Fits due to the angle of the shoulder harnesses (says half cage harness placement is much safer).
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