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Thread: Track Setup Help

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Track Setup Help

    I am about to take the plunge and put a track suspension in my E36. Thoughts on Ground Control (not advance design) vs. TC Kline vs. Turner Group N?? I drive the car to the track and around town once a week or so. I am leaning toward the Ground Control parts. Thanks- Ted
    Ted
    1994 325is
    2004 Mazda3

  2. #2
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    Check the spring rates of what is out there. I would go with Turner. Always had good service from Will and you know where to find him. Consider camber plates etc. Who will do the install? And remember on the rear suspension to make sure everything escpecially rear subframe is torq'd to spec not just tightened dwon with an impact wrench.

  3. #3
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    I was going to have Gary Martin install the parts, I have heard good things about him –thoughts? I plan to do the whole deal – to include camber plates, sway bars, and chassis bracing. All these guys to a number of spring rates – I don’t want the car to be too unyielding in the wet, what does everyone suggest for rates?
    Ted
    1994 325is
    2004 Mazda3

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    G-c.
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    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
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  5. #5
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    I would go with Turner since he specializes in BMWs and his staff generally knows what they are talking about. Go with as stiff of a spring as you can tolerate. Adjustable shocks are nice but finding the time to to adjust and tune is difficult for a car that is not raced. I prefer Bilsteins. Do not go big with anti sway bars go small with adjustibility. Use the bars to fine tune the car not to make it corner flat.

    The reason I said get spring rates is because there used to be and may still be a lot springs out there that lower the car but are softer or have the same spring rate as stock. This was a big problem with E30 many years ago and there were problems with spring bind and bottoming out.

    Again make sure they torque all suspension nuts and bolts to torque. My mechanic claims many of the failures on E36s and E46s are a result of not torque things to spec and putting to much torque on critcal parts.

  6. #6
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    Depending on the track, "as stiff a spring as you can tolerate" can be VERY bad advice. Relatively soft springs (500-700lbs. range) are well complemented by lots of sway. The "sway bars are only for tuning, and you should use really tiny ones" mantra becomes less and less valid as the target track gets bumpier and bumpier. With no rear sway, a soft front sway, and LOTS of spring, my track car is superb at VIR. At Summit, it's almost undrivable thanks to the bumps.

    If the target is a configuration that can be driven anywhere, you'll want a monster front sway, a moderately large rear sway, and relatively soft springs.

  7. #7
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    I ran my current set up with stiff springs and small bars back in the good old days when Summit Point had not been repaved etc. Problem with big sways is they either require reinforcing the mounts or they will rip right out. Haven't encountered a paved race track that is as bump as the back roads of Clifton or my herding instructors dirt/gravel road with is about a 1.5 miles long as is a blast at speed. Again the biggest problem with finding a good set up for the track that is tolerable on the street is finding decent spring rates. There is a lot of crap out on the market.

    One option would be M3LTW springs, Bilstein shocks and a nice set of adjustable bars to go along with camber plates. Ask Pete sometime about what he thinks of stressbars and BMW's

  8. #8
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ncbted
    I am about to take the plunge and put a track suspension in my E36. Thoughts on Ground Control (not advance design) vs. TC Kline vs. Turner Group N?? I drive the car to the track and around town once a week or so. I am leaning toward the Ground Control parts. Thanks- Ted

    Ted,
    The first question you should ask yourself is:
    Are you currently able to drive your car on the track at 9/10ths or 10/10ths?

    If not, IMHO, it is premature to upgrade your suspension.
    Just my $.02.
    Barry
    Barry
    BMW CCA Instructor
    SCCA National racer
    =====================================
    2007 328xi Coupe in sparkling graphite
    2007 GT3
    ======================================
    1999 Civic Si: Races in SCCA showroom stock C
    PHOTO OF RACECAR:

    http://www.motorsportsimaging.com/SC...01_04_0067.htm

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwnedbyDuncan
    I ran my current set up with stiff springs and small bars back in the good old days when Summit Point had not been repaved etc. Problem with big sways is they either require reinforcing the mounts or they will rip right out. Haven't encountered a paved race track that is as bump as the back roads of Clifton or my herding instructors dirt/gravel road with is about a 1.5 miles long as is a blast at speed. Again the biggest problem with finding a good set up for the track that is tolerable on the street is finding decent spring rates. There is a lot of crap out on the market.

    One option would be M3LTW springs, Bilstein shocks and a nice set of adjustable bars to go along with camber plates. Ask Pete sometime about what he thinks of stressbars and BMW's
    What rates are your stiff springs? Given that the guy said he wants to go with GC, TCKR, or TMS Gruppe N, he's looking at linear rate springs of a rate that HE specifies, or they specify according to what they think his needs are. I don't believe that they even have springs that he could use that are less than stock.

    I have this sneaking suspicion that given how focussed you are on the spring choices that he isn't even looking at (and aren't even relevant to any of the suspensions he's considering), your idea of very stiff is my idea of quite soft.

    ...and I guess that must be where the "spring must be better" thing came from. E46es don't seem to have any issue with big bars.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  10. #10
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    my definition of a stiff spring is >800lbs....right ballpark?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle
    my definition of a stiff spring is >800lbs....right ballpark?
    Sounds about right to me.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry
    Ted,
    The first question you should ask yourself is:
    Are you currently able to drive your car on the track at 9/10ths or 10/10ths?

    If not, IMHO, it is premature to upgrade your suspension.
    Just my $.02.
    Barry
    I fully agree with Barry, only because I didn't follow his advice. It is much harder to figure out the limits when you are trying to figure out the car at the same time.

  13. #13
    At O'fest I saw TC Klines E46 M3 run the autocross and then later got to drive it.

    I was IMPRESSED. The car looked very nice on the autocross and set a mid to upper 53 second time, with FTD at 53.2. So right there. I ran a coned 56.4 run in the LTW, good enough for 2nd in class, but it was a HP course.

    Driving it on Thursday the car rides better on 19s and lowered than my E46 M3 does on 18s with stock springs and Koni SAs.

    The kit he is doing for street with some track/autocross running is his Koni double adjustable kit with 400 pound springs. With the shocks set full soft the car is a great street car, but with better ride and handling than stock. Set 1/2 - 3/4 stiff all around the car is killer on transitions and on stock sways. If you add the camber plates you go from about 1 degree negative for street up to 3.5 degrees or more for autocross, and in between at about 3 for track use. Setting 0 - 1/16 toe in for street gives nice toe out for track and autocross.

    For serious trackers, swap in the 500 pound rears at the track as you swaap tires and set the shocks. If you want to add sways, go for it, but you are just going for fine tuning, according to TC. I spent a good bit of time talking to him.

    They have kits for all E46 and E90 3ers, not just M3s. Can also do E36 and Z3 and Z4 suspensions. $2100 for the shocks, springs, adjusters and rear shock mounts. $550 to add camber plates. Get some people together to buy 2 or more setups, he will do free shipping.

    Nick ran this setup with much stiffer springs. And Bren now runs it.

    I am ready to order it, I was that impressed with it as a dual use setup.
    Terry Carraway
    02 Topaz E46 M3 SMG
    00 Dakar M Roadster
    95 Alpine E36 M3 LTW
    SCCA Spec Racer Ford Red/White

  14. #14
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    The TCKR setup was great for the street. However, a big front sway AT THE VERY LEAST is not simply for tuning. It's absolutely critical to getting the M3 to turn well. It's also so cheap and easy that anyone who spends $2,600 on them without spending an extra $200 on a front sway can safely be called extremely foolish. Without a big front sway, the M3 takes an absolute eternity to turn in.

    One major issue with the TCKRs is that the rear shocks are just too damned long. The shock body is too long, and worse yet, they have too damned much travel. Rear springs falling out are a very real worry with the TCKRs, and they are very prone to bottoming out if you don't run them much higher than you really want to. Just ask Brendan about his drive to Topeka. :eeps:

    That said, I really liked my TCKRs. They were great street shocks that also do damned well on the track. I got rid of mine because they don't transition as well as I would like them to, and because they can't handle the spring rates I like on my track car.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  15. #15
    We are putting Turner sways on the cars also.

    But the setup with 400 pound springs does turn in a lot better than stock.

    Also a bit more compression setting will help also, and Yes, I know you don't agree Nick.

    And more frton sway does help balance steady state cornering.
    Terry Carraway
    02 Topaz E46 M3 SMG
    00 Dakar M Roadster
    95 Alpine E36 M3 LTW
    SCCA Spec Racer Ford Red/White

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