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My track car, from NS to NS in 1,5 years

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  • My track car, from NS to NS in 1,5 years

    Would like share with you my project, which started late autumn 2008 near Nordschleife. I had just finished last lap of the season in my Mitsu Evo IX, when near my garage I saw this blue and shiny M3, which had developed engine knock earlier in the day. Owner was from Ireland and had now to trailer car back home.

    I had already decided to change my standard Evo with something more purpouse built for next season. Although I havent thought about its replacement yet, suddenly E30 M3 looked perfect option. So I bought the car at the the dark. Price was negotiated hard, for sure it was a "deal" - although I had no idea, how much those cars do actually cost ?

    It was still looking good next morning

    I was told that engine is 2,5 and it had carbon intake & Alpha-N. Didn't know anything about those cars, but sure CF under the hood looks good.[peace]

    Few weeks on and car is in the workshop back in Estonia, where I live. Time to face the truth and I guess most of you saw it coming...

  • #2
    ouch.....i think it's got the black lung. do you plan to restore the body?

    interior looked great before stripping.
    Last edited by PostmasterNY; 04-19-2010, 07:44 AM.


    • #3
      Not what you want to see for sure. But if it's going to be a track car and you got it for a "bargain" then get stuck into it and weld some new steel in and enjoy. It looks like it has some nice bits, coilovers, cf airbox etc.

      PS... Get re-aquainted with your bank manager :gotcha:


      "But most of all...
      ... I like the way you move......"


      • #4
        Actually this happened 1,5 years ago and project is finished by today - so yes, I know my bank manager rather well. But story continiues.

        all body sealing was stripped and body seam welded

        little extra room for front wheels

        rust damage repaired

        mounts for rear coilovers

        after 1,5 months dealing with rust, it was time to install the cage

        new roof skin was installed to eliminate the sunroof

        strenghtening in the rear

        and in the front


        • #5
 didn't take any shortcuts on the body resto or cage.....NICE JOB MAN!
          cage looks real solid. keep them pics coming!
          Last edited by PostmasterNY; 04-19-2010, 08:55 PM.


          • #6
            colour choice took some thinking, but finally went with white and may-be at some stage it will be wrapped.

            here you can see the choice of wheels - used them mainly because of good brake clearance and affordable price

            first bits were attached to the car

            choice of suspension was in the end between Intrax and AST and latter had better customer service.

            Meanwhile engine was opened and it had spun rod bearing probably because of oil starvation. Fortunately crank was reuseable, so it went back after balancing and with Eagle rods & Wössner pistons. Block was bored with torque plate, most other items replaced with new.

            Head had already large valves, so they were replaced with same size Schrick items together with 296/284 cams.

            engine back in

            some heat management

            Still we managed to melt this AKG engine mount on dyno, later heat shield was added and mount itself wrapped with header wrap.

            Moroso oilpan

            some suspension geometry adjustments

            bits underside the car

            Finding place for suspension reservoirs was bit tricky, heat wrap was later added to protect shock line from heat.

            metal to metal connection with body = lots of noise


            • #7
              that is some serious restoration project ! I love it


              • #8
                Next the braking department. Here I did go little bit oversize route, but at least brake pads will last longer and no extra cooling is needed even on tighter tracks than NS.

                Fronts 345 mm

                Rear 328 mm

                and they are controlled with this:

                Braking performance is excellent and pedal feel very good, although you have to push quite hard.

                Undrehood wiring is standard, with all unnneccesary wires removed. Cabin wiring is custom made.

                Most important switches are under drivers hand, shifter is UUC.

                Doors are cut moderatly

                Rear bumper is standard with removed beam, front bumper is GF aftermarket and it needed aluminium structure to fit good enough:

                Intention was to keep car standard looking outside, so it has glass, not plastic windows. Trunklid and bonnet are GF. Inside there is some CF for drivers feelgood factor, doorcards and dash. Dash needed work:

                It has no cabin heater, but there is enough strong fan to keep windshield clear even when temperature is close to 0 C and it's raining.


                • #9
                  Engine compartment completed

                  Underside completed, that Miltek exhaust looks old now, but it was in ok shape after some repairing.

                  For oilpan protection:

                  Later also plastic panels were fitted, so underside in the front is closed.

                  Oil and PS cooling

                  visible parts of fuel system, some lines are missing on the pic

                  After fitting everything we realised, that front wheelarches must be enlarged, similar to Sport Evo


                  • #10
                    Car first time out of garage, had to pushed to the trailer as track tires are not that good on snow.

                    Going to corner weighting, chassis setup and dyno tuning:

                    Heres the result

                    We didn't manage to iron out those two "holes" in torque curve. Car came with several dyno printouts done in UK and torque curve looked on those similar. I guess that issue is with engine chip (its unknown what is in there) ? On the track I can't feel those fluctuations, but for best performance it clearly needs 6 k. rpm.

                    Only change from performance point of view, compared to previous setup, was larger intake cam and result was 14 KW up. Of course dynos are not comparable, but at least it didn't got worse. We kept rev limiter standard, considering trackday use, reliability is important to me. I'm planning to do about 10 k. track km each summer in this car.

                    Do you think my assumption about the problem with the chip could be correct ? What could be the best way to solve it ? I don't want to install aftermarket engine management at the moment as that engine is only moderately tuned and standard ECU should handle it.


                    • #11
                      Havent managed to take good pics of finished item, but here are few detail shots, made by someone else. Still missing here (besides steering wheel) are labels for fuse switches.

                      Main power switch, starter, cooling and ignition are on center tunnel, all other switches are on center console and there is also brake bias adjuster. Info is provided by Stack display, additional gauges are Innovative WB lambda and fuel level.

                      That helmet box is very handy in stripped car.


                      • #12
                        i'm guessing that you would need better management for a better power band (alpha-n / kms / etc). 296 intake cam & cf airbox should require fine tuning.
                        your power curve would most likely even out and you would probably get more power and torque and you can tune it to your "track usable" power band. i don't see why you would want to short your motor when you put all that work into the rest of the car?

                        outstanding track m3 you got there. get some real engine management please.
                        Last edited by PostmasterNY; 04-20-2010, 06:17 AM.


                        • #13
                          And finally week ago and 1,5 years later car is back in Nürburg and goes straight out:

                          It was crazy moment and not only because of finally being able to drive it (first time actually), but also as there was snow all over when we loaded it to trailer back home, we didn't manage to test it. When we arrived to the track, it was going to open for short evening session so I sat in, drove 3-4 kms from my garage to the entrance and went straight out.

                          Sure I doubted, but imagine that you have built a car for that long, now youre finally driving it very close to open gates of Nordschleife. What would you do ?:yeah:

                          Fortunately everything worked during two careful laps which I did this evening.

                          One day and 20 laps later and I was going to participate in private trackday

                          Main straight was open, so it was possible to make flying full laps and 5 laps on the row was no problem. Managed to hit limiter coming down from Döttinger Höhe @231 kmh GPS speed. Front got very light, wheels barely touching the ground - probably because of DTM flap and standard size front splitter combination ?

                          Thats for 9 laps:

                          Although I'm still getting used with the car, it feels right and especially suspension feels very good. Its firm, but manages to keep the wheels down on bumpy track like NS, even when I drive agressively over cornerstones. And as mentioned, those Alcons really can stop what is 1165 kg. with 1/2 tank and me in it. So its about 1050 kg empty. Based on my experience with many different cars on this track, its probably low 8 min BTG car with average driver like me, but I havent pushed it anywhere near the limit yet. I mention the time just to give an idea, on this track you really don't want try to achieve best laptimes. To stay in one piece, respect and self control is needed, hopefully I have enough of both...

                          To end the story, few pics from track thanks to local photographers:

                          Come to say hello when you see me in the carpark and no problems to give pax laps if you would like to experience how such car feels on the track ? Hopefully I manage also to participate in E30 M3 meet, which is planned for this summer on Nordschleife.
                          Last edited by ott69; 04-20-2010, 06:58 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PostmasterNY View Post
                            get some real engine management please.
                            I was may-be not clear, it has Alpha-N, which we were using for tuning. We didn't do anything with chip in the ECU.

                            I'm not tuning expert, but the guy said he can't make the torque curve more flat. As previous tuning results by UK companies looked similar I think it may-be not the fault of the tuner, but something related to the chip ?

                            If anyone knows good tuner in lets say 100 km area around Nürburg, please PM me. Alpha-N manufacturer Maxx-Automotive is also not that far away, but I'm not sure if they provide any tuning services ?


                            • #15
                              And one more thing I would like to say. As I mentioned in the beginning, I had no idea about these cars - so when I got one, I came here and started to look after the information. When project went on and I had a question, using "search" function here usually gave me answers, so I even didn't have to post much.

                              Therefore part of that car is knowledge of the people who contribute to this message board. So my little story is also thanks to everyone here, who have helped me with this project.
                              Last edited by ott69; 04-20-2010, 07:26 AM.