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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've always been a BMW guy. My first car was an '88 528e wreck that I rebuilt, which kicked off a long line of BMWs; an E36 328i, a '95 M3 (which eventually become a road racer), an '88 M3 with an Evo 2.5l motor, the first ZHP 330i in the country, a Dinan S2 X5, and my current E46 M3 (a 2002 model I bought back in '05). During this time I always tracked my BMWs, but back in 2006 I switched from road racing to rallying, running a Mitsubishi Evo IX RS at Targa Newfoundland and then in the Canadian Rally Championship. After taking a job at a software start-up (read-as: no money and even less free time) I decided to take a break from racing. I sold the Evo at the end of 2011, and have had to feed the addiction solely with track days since.

I suspected that wouldn't last.

Track days are fun, but when you're used to racing it's just not enough. So, I've decided to take my beloved 2002 BMW M3 and convert it into a racer. The plan for the car is a unique one; it'll be converted to Rally America spec and raced at the Empire State Performance Rally, the New England Hill Climb series (capped off by the Climb to the Clouds up Mount Washington) and -- if budget allows -- a return for my 6th run at Targa Newfoundland.

This thread will track my progress on the build. So, comment below and follow along as I convert the car. Enjoy!

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Let's start off with some of the "before" pictures. The car started out as a pretty special E46: Imola Red over black leather, with no sunroof and manual heated seats. It's a 2002 with just over 80k miles. The best part? It was purchased to be a track car, and has been so it's entire life. :)

Going through the Carousel at Sears Point:


Slip-slidin' through T10 at Sears:


In the hot pits at Thunderhill:


At Mosport:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
First things first -- a delivery of some race goodies to kick off the build.

Momo seats, seat mounts, steering wheel and hub, Macht Schnell bases, and a PTG driver's floor pan:


OMP harnesses, spare wheel tie down, and carbon fiber co-driver's foot rest:



I kicked off the work by gutting the interior and getting it ready for the cage.

Interior gutted, dash out to clean up the extra wiring.


Dash reinstalled:


Trunk emptied out:


Seat and steering wheel fitted:


Sitting notably higher with so much less weight:
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
With the cage done and seats/harnesses installed, I shook it down at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with the White Mountain BMW CCA Chapter.


As for weight, I seemed to have traded the weight of the interior for the weight of steel tubes:


For the record, my fastest lap of the weekend was a 1:15.3. This lap was with the oval, on 2 year old Nitto NT-01's. Not a bad lap, but there's definitely some more to be had with the car aligned and corner weighted for the new weight of the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In fitting the co-driver's foot rest, i ran into a bit of a problem: the floor of the M3 is uneven. In looking at ways to fit a bracket to get the foot rest level, I figured out that with a little bit of adjustment I could adapt the old passenger airbag bracket for the purpose!






I also fitted the Sparco drink bags to the seat backs. These are basically a camel back that is easily secured to a race seat and has an extended drink tube you can attach to your harnesses:



 

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Discussion Starter #13
NICE!!!!!! Love it man. Any way they could have used less tubing to still make the body rigid so some weight could have been reduced?
Actually, the tubing is all there for crash protection. The only "extra" bars outside of that are for the rear differential, but I believe that's worth the performance advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Did a little more work last night; installed a PTG floor pan in the driver's side foot well, and installed a Rennline battery tray and kill switch. Check it out.

Had to trim the panel a bit around the gas pedal, as I chose to lay the floor pan on top of the base of the pedal (instead of cutting a hole in the floor pan to pass the base of the pedal through). I then pop-riveted the panel in place.



For the kill switch, I used a Rennline pull cable attached to the switch, and drilled a hole in the body work to pass the cable through. A plastic grommet keeps things tidy and let's the cable slide freely.



And the finished result.



This is the Rennline battery tray I used (bolted through the floor of the car). It holds an Odyssey PC925, and has a built-in kill switch. You can see the routing of the pull cable in this shot.

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I changed all of the driveline fluids today in preparation of putting the car into storage later this month (I keep it in a garage off-site). While i was at it, I also installed a navigator's light. It's an OMP rally map light that I mounted to the center console and is powered by the same wiring as the lighted shift knob.



This is now starting to look like a nice office for a co-driver:

 
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