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Thread: Looking for a trackcar

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Looking for a trackcar

    I'm thinking about an E36 325is, E36/E30 318is or a E28 535is. I'm not prepared to give much more than $2k, so it might be alittle uncared for, but needs to run and not have many major things going on.

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    With the cars you listed, that might be a little tougher than you'd imagine... I've been looking for a car to beat on for the last few months to no avail. I've found a few, but with that starting price, it'll be tougher to find one without major things going on. Keep scanning craigslist, online forums, and the used car sites; maybe you'll get lucky.

    Does it have to be a BMW? Don't forget to take into consideration cost of tires, brakes, shocks, and other consumables.

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    Most definitely have to be a BMW What else could possibly be a better alternative except Porsche or Ferrari? I'm afraid my soul is sold to BMW.

    I've seen some E36es around 2k, so I thought that could be good. But then I guess I gotta spend another grand to get it up and running properly. But I have to start somewhere I guess.

    Except to get the car into good working order, where would you put the first upgrade on a trackcar? tires? suspension? brakes? engine? weight reduction?

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    do you have previous track experience? first upgrade shouls always be more track time for the driver. forget performance mods for the car.

    unless you are very lucky, $2k will only get you a junker e36 that needs a ton of work before going anywhere near a track. i would plan on min $2-3k in maint work to get any car in that vintage/price range up to basic maint snuff before going to a track with it. cooling system(rad, hoses, water pump), control arms, all suspension bushings and bearings, calipers, rotors, pads, brake hoses, wheel bearings, engine/tranny mounts, etc, etc....all will need replacement.

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    Shame you werent looking last year in July. I sold my 90E30325i for $600
    had 237K miles on it. For the track needed rotors and pads all around, maybe bushings replaced. I would have rebuilt the calipers and changed out the braided brake lines after 15years. Clutch would have waited a year or so. Engine was not burning oil and strong. Front A frame had a crack and needed to be welded. For about an additional $1500 you would have had a decent track car with a year old driveshaft, a 2 year old new R134A AC compressor. Suspension consisted of camber plates 2.5degrees of negative camber front and rear, adjustable eibach sway bars, eibach E30M3 comp springs and Bilstein sports. E20 325i is a better choice than a E36 for the track. Came stock with a LSD diff.

    Dave Apker

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
    do you have previous track experience? first upgrade shouls always be more track time for the driver. forget performance mods for the car.

    unless you are very lucky, $2k will only get you a junker e36 that needs a ton of work before going anywhere near a track. i would plan on min $2-3k in maint work to get any car in that vintage/price range up to basic maint snuff before going to a track with it. cooling system(rad, hoses, water pump), control arms, all suspension bushings and bearings, calipers, rotors, pads, brake hoses, wheel bearings, engine/tranny mounts, etc, etc....all will need replacement.
    I know the driver does wonders. I have been on the track a couple of times in Norway and I just had a two day event at VIR where I drove my 2000 528i. My point is that I'm not a saver, so I don't load up on money before I buy, but somehow they keep coming in, slowly but steady

    I just saw this:
    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...432330045.html

    High milage is my main worry here, and I kind of wanted an E36. But an '89 E30 has always been in the "To own" folder. Not a beauty either, but I'll leave that to my 5'er.

    And I guess I'll have trouble hauling it to and from the track in the near future since my Tahoe now needs a rebuilt engine and trans I guess I should go for next season anyhow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwnedbyDuncan View Post
    Shame you werent looking last year in July. I sold my 90E30325i for $600
    had 237K miles on it. For the track needed rotors and pads all around, maybe bushings replaced. I would have rebuilt the calipers and changed out the braided brake lines after 15years. Clutch would have waited a year or so. Engine was not burning oil and strong. Front A frame had a crack and needed to be welded. For about an additional $1500 you would have had a decent track car with a year old driveshaft, a 2 year old new R134A AC compressor. Suspension consisted of camber plates 2.5degrees of negative camber front and rear, adjustable eibach sway bars, eibach E30M3 comp springs and Bilstein sports. E20 325i is a better choice than a E36 for the track. Came stock with a LSD diff.

    Dave Apker

    wow! I guess that could have been something! BTW: how can I tell if the car's got an LSD diff onboard? Will I have to look at the diff or run specs somewhere?

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    There is a metal serial number tag on the side of the diff. If the number ends with "S", it is limited slip.

    I paid $1300 for my E30 325is last year. I didn't know much at the time - it was worth maybe $500 tops. Anyway, I've put probably $2000 worth of repairs into it (parts only) and maybe another $2K in improvements (parts only).

    It has been well worth it. I can thrash this car to within an inch of its life and it doesn't break. Love it!
    Scott Lowrey

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    Many folks have stored E30325i and is's throughout the country for future use as track cars Maybe when the economy goes into the worse depression ever under prez Hil you can pick up one cheap.

    I am not sure with E36s but I belive the only model with a LSD was the M3.
    Wasnt even an option on other models if I remember correctly.

    Dave Apker

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    I have even played with the idea of getting a E39 540i 6speed and just part out the interior on eBay or something. I know the 3 is better and lighter. But someone needs to represent the 5 also except for the M5 here and there.

    I guess I could get a high mileage 97-98 540i for about 6-7k. How much do you think I'd get for the seats and such? $2000? or more? That would be cool! Then I also get to only deal with E39 parts but I need more money.

    Would the E39 540i be able to compete in any racing events? I'm not planing on it, but it would be nice to know if I got crazy enough, or sold the car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scany View Post
    I have even played with the idea of getting a E39 540i 6speed and just part out the interior on eBay or something. I know the 3 is better and lighter. But someone needs to represent the 5 also except for the M5 here and there.

    I guess I could get a high mileage 97-98 540i for about 6-7k. How much do you think I'd get for the seats and such? $2000? or more? That would be cool! Then I also get to only deal with E39 parts but I need more money.

    Would the E39 540i be able to compete in any racing events? I'm not planing on it, but it would be nice to know if I got crazy enough, or sold the car.
    I don't think that would be a good idea. I wouldn't like having a 5er for track events because it's really heavy, it has bigger wheels/tires, bigger brakes (maybe?), and a V8. If you're on a budget, I don't think a 5er will work for you.

    If you have to have a 5er for a track car, the E28 would be a great option IMO. The best overall bang-for-your-buck is going to be a *well-maintained* E30 or E36. You should be able to find one that is track ready for $3-7k easily, but you just need to keep scanning all the outlets I mentioned before.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggins View Post
    I don't think that would be a good idea. I wouldn't like having a 5er for track events because it's really heavy, it has bigger wheels/tires, bigger brakes (maybe?), and a V8. If you're on a budget, I don't think a 5er will work for you.

    If you have to have a 5er for a track car, the E28 would be a great option IMO. The best overall bang-for-your-buck is going to be a *well-maintained* E30 or E36. You should be able to find one that is track ready for $3-7k easily, but you just need to keep scanning all the outlets I mentioned before.
    So you're saying maybe a 318 sedan would be a good start? See you the 20th I hope.

    Scany - come to the BMW Autox on the 20th. Maybe you can take rides in various E30/E36s to help you feel the differences.
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwnedbyDuncan View Post
    Many folks have stored E30325i and is's throughout the country for future use as track cars Maybe when the economy goes into the worse depression ever under prez Hil you can pick up one cheap.

    I am not sure with E36s but I belive the only model with a LSD was the M3.
    Wasnt even an option on other models if I remember correctly.

    Dave Apker
    not correct. lsd was an individual option on regular e36's and was part of the cold weather package that was fairly common.

    at least up until 96, when traction control replace the lsd option on normal e36's.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
    not correct. lsd was an individual option on regular e36's and was part of the cold weather package that was fairly common.

    at least up until 96, when traction control replace the lsd option on normal e36's.
    seriously? I never knew that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gspot35 View Post
    So you're saying maybe a 318 sedan would be a good start? See you the 20th I hope.

    Scany - come to the BMW Autox on the 20th. Maybe you can take rides in various E30/E36s to help you feel the differences.
    Hi there, so u are alive? did u get my emails? Anyway, Ill try to be there on the 20th.

    I dont know. I know the 5 will be more expensive and all, but then again, it is a great car, that could do well on a track with the right equipment. not cheap! I agree, and thats the main concern. A 318 is a good suggestion, Ive been eyeing up some 318Is' but I feel they might be too pushed on energy as it is. A 325i might have some more energy to spare if you provide the right "excuses". then again, I think the 540i would be great as a different track car on for instance VIR were the speeds are high. Maybe a 535is would be even better?!? But I could buy a e39 and swap some goody parts for my "wifes" e39 and get off with some wife points. or doesn't it work that way? I'm not quite there yet so I wont know..

    Well well, maybe i wont get the car for next season after all. i find it hard to sit out on all track events next year. Maybe I could be a crew memebr somewhere??? Gspot54, any maintenace needed on the e46 during trackevents? (highly unlikely from last event). i might just end up spending all winter rebuidling that damn Tahoe engine that was suppose to haul the track car, and then next year focusing on the track car itself.

    and the e30 and e36 sounds like the reasonable choice. but an e39 540i would be cool right? or would it not even be that??
    Last edited by Scany; 10-08-2007 at 09:45 AM.

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