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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been building out my '04 330CI ZHP as a "track" car for the past 5 years bit by bit. It now has been driven 50+ track days. Over time I have made many track mods. It has just turned 105K miles. It's no longer a daily driver and I'm considering the next steps to trailer it to/from track. It's still a bit of a looker as it won BMW CCA 2017 Concours d' Elegance 3rd place Modern Super Clean award and its that nice (kind of rare) Mystic Blue color. Some of the things I have done includes: Dinan intake/exhaust, Dinan High Flow Throttle Body, Dinan tower and shock braces, Supersprint headers (with cats deleted), Schrick (272/256) sport camshafts, GSR 4 bolt oil pump shaft & pan baffle kit, Epic performance tuned ECU (deleted Dinan Stage-3 tune for the EPIC), Volschlag camber plates, Wavetrac (3.46) LSD, Koni Struts/shocks, H&R springs, Hotchkis sway bars, Brembo brakes, Race Technologies pads, Apex ARC-08 wheels, Toyo R-Compound 235/40/18 R888R tires. M-54 naturally aspirated engines have limited output and this car puts out 275HP and 233HP at the wheels - (Turner Mustang Dyno measured -February 2020). I've just added an AIM SOLO2 Lap Timer DL. It's wired to my ECU. I'm trying to figure out 1) how to use it and 2) How to integrate with Video. I have been using a Hero 7 Black, but it looks like I might need to switch to a smartycam (but thats a different discussion). Anyhow, that's my car. Comments and suggestions welcome!
 

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Nice looking car and selection of mods! I just recently picked up an '03 ZHP that I will be tracking on occasion.
 

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Wow, amazing. What a machine right there. Nice to see that LSD with a more aggressive ratio. The gains of 40hp on the NA is impressive as well. In your opinion, what were the real contributing factors to that?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Thanks for your interest and asking. Great questions. I have measurable information on how I got the last 22HP at the crank & 18HP at the wheels but this leaves two questions: 1) Where did the 1st 18HP at the crank (no data on HP at wheels) come from and 2) Would I have gotten the last 22 HP unless I did all the other mods as a foundation? - Probably not. So, let's discuss the last 22HP. I had the car Dyno measured (Turner Motorsports - Danvers MA) on a Tuesday in February 2020 and it put out 253HP at the crank and 215HP at the wheels (@~5700 RPM). So this initial gain, over 235crank OEM HP is representative of all the other engine mods made prior to the camshafts to date. So on Wednesday it went back to the shop and the Schrick 272/256 camshafts were installed. On Thursday (with no other tunes), the car was put back on the Dyno - It produced 275HP crank / 233 Wheels (+22HP at crank and + 18HP at the wheels). So the answer I guess is the biggest "final boost" (i.e. the secret sauce) was the camshafts. Again, without everything else, there is no way that camshafts alone would have done it. Here is another bright spot - the dyno showed opportunity to custom tune the EPIC ECU. After COVID-19 and things get back to normal, we feel that the EPIC tune can be adjusted live (while on the dyno) and that the car can push another 10HP at the crank. So, that would be great for a naturally aspirated M54 to be pushing 285 at the crank. Again, thanks for your interest, as clearly I enjoy talking about this stuff!
 

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My best early track modification by far was going to a Limited-Slip-Diff.
Limited slip is something i definitely want to do soon-ish. I was on Wavetrac's site and I don't see a 3:46 option that fits the E46. Can you get me the part number you installed and which diff you sourced? Any mods to get that diff to play nice with the stock driveshaft and axles. Please forgive my ignorance but I'm kinda new to BMW and not yet familiar with part swap compatibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hum, I'm trying to be helpful. My Wavetrac LSD was installed in 2014. This is the shop list, absent part number detail (below). I see many references to final drive 3:46 when doing a search, but I see what you mean when you do a search. As you can see, at the time I spent some $. Since this was a ZHP base, it came with a 3:07 as OEM. I'm going into shop on Monday (for new rear pads) and I can ask the model # of LSD and where sourced from, in my records, if you like.

INSTALL 3.46 WAVETRAC LSD DIFFERENTIAL ($3,164.77)
REAR AXLE ASSEMBLY, REBUILT WITH WAVETRAC - $2,499.00
E46 FRONT DIFFERENTIAL MOUNT - $31.22
E46 DIFFERENTIAL MOUNT - $57.05
SHOP LABOR REPLACE REAR AXLE ASSEMBLY AND BUSHINGS - $577.50
 

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The wavetrac for e46 comes in two variants, those for less than a 3.15 drive ration and one for more than 3.15.

I stayed with the 3.07 because of boosting the car, a higher ratio and both 1st and 2nd would be useless gears.

Nice car Greg, looks beautiful.

What spring rates are you running?

My MCS dampers show up tomorrow and I'm giddy, can't wait to get them installed and get out to my next HPDE in May.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi, thanks so much for responding! You are on target and better than me (as I can't answer some of your good questions). A few thoughts: the WaveTrac was a great upgrade (and track reliable since 2014) because of the LSD itself (and not because of going 3:07 to 3:46). Let's be frank to serious track drivers - the ZHP just can't be track competitive without one. (I'd like to hear from anyone that thinks differently). You can't race an M'3 any other challengers without a LSD, period. So, going to 3:46 has made 1st and 2nd useless (my zero to 60 times stink - using solo-2 timings) and my 3rd-4th rpm's are constantly fighting redline @6800, on short tracks. When coming onto straightaway (like palmer ma) I can get to ~120+MPH in 4th redlined. But going to 5th part way down will reduce RPM's but wont help with speed or technical work in cocckpit (i.e. downshifting from 5th to 3rd t end of straight).

Finally - Geez I have a quote to do do MCS Racing Shocks And Springs (pricy). Please let me know details..Greg
 

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I can't imagine trying to track without the LSD.

Technically, in a perfect world, youd be able to adjust your gearing for the track you're on. At Gingerman, with my 3.07, I'm just starting to run out of third gear into a couple of the turns. Makes me wish I had another 1000 RPM on the tach. I have to make that decision whether to shift to 4th, or just let off the throttle and coast at 6k RPM in 3rd for the breif moment before the turn. Stuff like that makes me start thinking about an S54 swap and the 8k RPM that comes with it :) :)

My ZHP still has original dampers and springs with 150k miles on them. I've been running the M3 front sway bar and it helped with some body roll but not even close to enough. I run 200tw tires and the vorshlag camber plates and the car has good grip, its just way overworking the suspension.

So I felt if I was going to install fresh springs and dampers in this car I wanted to do it right. Billsteins and Ohlins were on my radar but the more I researched the more I started leaning towards MCS. Vorshlag's experience with Billsteins and Ohlins and MCS helped sway my decision. The Billsteins are decent monotube shocks but the springs they provide are low rate street oriented (and I think they are even progressive rate intead of linear). The ohlins were a pretty good option, and I think they would have been pretty darn close to equal to MCS. What pushed me towards MCS is that by the time your talking Ohlins vs MCS the price difference isn't much, you get to pick your spring rates with MCS, and MCS is what the SpecE46 class uses. So these dampers would always find a home, whether I eventually decide to build a SpecE46 car or if I have to sell them to someone who does, there's a market there. And SpecE46 has an appeal, I look at it as a very good spec for an e46 race car, so I've started building my car in that direction (e.g. spec dampers, spec brakes, spec tire and wheel sizes, etc).

I've also heard a ton of reports that MCS handle higher rate springs so well. And I still daily my ZHP during the summer months, so I do still care about road comfort.

I ordered the 550/650# hyperco springs that Vorshlag says shoudl be a good balance between street comfort while still being a huge improvement at the track. I'm eager to find out!
 

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Umm, open diff ZHP over here! Granted only 3 track weekends so far, but I've noticed I will get a teensy bit of wheelspin if I power out of turns too quickly in third gear. Also, the tracks I've been on are quite large; Road Atlanta and VIR. When autocrossing it is much more of a battle to avoid the inner wheel spin. And you have a bit more power than the rest of us Ryan!

For adding N/A power to this car, take a look at John V's build threads for his DSP E46. Basically stock ZHP engine bored to factory limits. M50 manifold with headers and he peaked around 250 whp.

Can we link to other forums? Also dead pic links :(
http://forums.carmudgeons.com/showthread.php?t=122215&page=2

M50 manifold swap thread
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1030015

It also sounds quite good
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtHFaHOC68w
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, this is all good with different viewpoints on doing this or that. Each application makes sense and the performance is great. A few comments, if I can. I'm in the Northeast and some tracks (e.g. Palmer Motorsports Park has up to 190 ft elevation changes), and anyone who has driven NHMS (turn 3 up the hill) understands the inner wheel spin without having a LSD (it's essential to stay competitive on these tracks).

So I have the Koni setup with H&R springs and Hotchkis bars (see above stats at start of this thread). So a shout out to "Rkneesahw" who says he's going MCS. I'm sitting on a quote from my shop to do MCS Single Racing Shocks & Springs and rear adjustable camber plates too (kind of pricy) but the right move (can't go wrong)! However, I might put a subframe reinforcement first as eventually with all the improvements I've made, something will fall apart soon. Even the subframe stuff and solid mounts is a bundle of $.

To Mjdarg - that looks like a cool example and to push 250 at wheels is great! However maybe the overall cost of that mod was more costly than just ditching the M54 engine to begin with? I ask as I know the cost of the HP gains (which are difficult) on an M54 (again see my spec sheet - each HP costs big bucks - as you know)

So, in closing, if I can get another 10HP out of my M54 (to 285 at crank) with ECU fine tuning, for a few hundred $, great. That said, for track driving, an E46 with that power and suspension (with a good driver - which I don't pretend to be) can be highly competitive on the 1.5 - 2.7 mile tracks in the NE). Yes, if more is needed the E46 330 ZHP M54 won't do. Just my view :)


Best Greg
 

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Damn now you have me researching cams for my build, thanks. LOL.

Give the Fortune Auto coilovers a look too. I was going to buy the MCS SpecE46 setup too and I couldn't justify the spend. I took a chance with the FA setup and have been very happy. Lot of info on both in my build thread and review.

I also highly recommend the subframe bushings and reinforcement. It won't make you faster, but it does strengthen a critically weak spot in the chassis and add value to the car. I consider it a must-do for any E46 track car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes Strebor - thank you as its inevitable that after 50 track days on my ZHP that without the reinforcement that I'm going to go through tech-inspection or post race evaluation only to be told of subframe cracks and game over. My current quote is around $3100 (reinforce subframe mounting points, install solid mounts for subframe & differential, install adjustable rear lower camber arms. spherical bearing trailing arm bushing cartridges & track alignment).

I'm still looking at MCS suspension. There are so many choices. I might to go for a quick improvement of a 2nd fuel pump (i.e. fuel starvation kit) as I drive on tracks with significant elevation changes and on run 4 the tank can be empty and or I don't want to pack the car full of fuel. What do you all think?
 

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The subframe bushings and reinforcement is a nasty and difficult job for sure. That seems like a reasonable price for all that work. I did it all myself and probably had 20 hours in it start to finish.

You may consider the M3 fuel baffle. That's what I'm using. It is cheap, takes 20 minutes to install, and works great. I routinely see 1.2g sustained cornering forces and can run till the light comes on before having fuel starvation.
 

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+1 on the M3 baffle. Cheaper than another pump and installs quickly in the tank.

https://www.bimmerworld.com/Intake-Fuel/Fuel-Filters/Genuine-BMW-Fuel-Baffle-Fixture-16112229656-E46-E46-M3.html

In OE form, the little transfer pump on the driver's side just transfers fuel across the center tunnel over to the passenger side where the fuel pump is. When low, you can still slosh the fuel away from the pump pickup and get starvation.

The baffle connects to that transfer line and creates a small pocket where fuel is always gathering for the pump to pickup. I haven't had any starvation issues since installing the baffle. Works great!
 

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There's the baffle itself which you have linked, and in that link there is another link to a full kit that appears to delete the sucking jet pump altogether. Which one is better?
 

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I installed the M3 baffle and don’t have any problems with fuel starvation at 1/4 tank. I run Hankook RS4 200 tw tires, not slicks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There isn't much to do lately. I did put new rear brembo pads (Race-Technologies TS-20) on last week. Went through the bedding procedure for 60mph to 20mph at 60% braking force 20+ times last Sunday. Geez it take a bit of time to do that without getting noticed driving up an down a street jamming on the brakes. Well they are bedded but too bad no track to drive on but at least I'm ready.
 
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