2001 E46 330i Sport Auto - daily drive - advice please for occasional track day modifications

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  1. 2001 E46 330i Sport Auto - daily drive - advice please for occasional track day modifications 
    #1
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    JB_330i's Car Details
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    Hi all
    I have recently purchased a 2001 E46 330i Step for daily (business) commuting with the intention of using it for the occasional track day.
    It is totally standard with 84K miles & Full BMW Service history etc.

    Whilst I don't really want to throw lots of money at it I expect my first visit to a track will highlight some weaknesses in the standard set up - ie I am expecting the brakes to fry and the suspension to be on the soft side.
    Has anyone taken a similar car out onto the track, or can you suggest the first steps / basic mods to make the car more fun out on the limit please? I purposely chose a 330i for this 'dual purpose' use and I figure my money would be best spent on handling & braking rather than straight line speed, although I hope it won't be too outclassed by too many other track day cars!

    Would consider a ECU re-programme, possibly a K & N panel filter (or 57i kit?) but want to keep the standard (stainless) exhaust to keep the noise down.

    Not sure how the Steptronic will respond / cope too?

    Many thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
     

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    I would suggest doing bushes, brakes and suspension first before spending money on engine mods. If you don't want really stiff suspension then bilstein shocks with eibach springs are a good combo.
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonniec View Post
    I would suggest doing bushes, brakes and suspension first before spending money on engine mods. If you don't want really stiff suspension then bilstein shocks with eibach springs are a good combo.
    second that...your braking and suspension are whats really going too take a battering...get a spare set off tyres...dont waste your money on a k&n57i...your stock filter is superior too this....the 57i kit is too open too engine bay heat and you will lose power...if youve got a few quid too spare...pipercross panel filter...about £40 or push the boat out with a gruppe m £640!!!inbetween..simota is a gruppe m repica and bcm ramair box s £187...tho you will eed too modify your own feed to the maf...
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by gap141070 View Post
    second that...your braking and suspension are whats really going too take a battering...get a spare set off tyres...dont waste your money on a k&n57i...your stock filter is superior too this....the 57i kit is too open too engine bay heat and you will lose power...if youve got a few quid too spare...pipercross panel filter...about £40 or push the boat out with a gruppe m £640!!!inbetween..simota is a gruppe m repica and bcm ramair box s £187...tho you will eed too modify your own feed to the maf...
    Thank you for your replies gents. The Pipercross panel filter sounds good to me but I hadn't thought about uprating the bushes. I understand these are a potential weak point on this car and uprated (nylon?) bushes are available.

    Also I like the idea of a spare set of tyres (or tyres on spare wheels?!) good idea.

    Would you forsee any issues with the auto box and do you have any experience of track use for this type of car??
     
     

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    not sure mate...persnally i wouldnt have my 330 auto anywhere near a track unless it was a straight drag number...i would magine the common let down with the auto is being too slow changin down coming into corners..thats all...they are solid reliable units and so are the engines
     
     

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    I agree with the others. Sort the suspension, brakes first. In my (fairly limited) experience, later braking (that doesn't fade fast) and faster cornering will improve your times so much better than spending a small fortune on extra BHP. Although I also agree with the last post that being an auto might get a bit frustrating!
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    I agree. I accept the car's not going to be the fastest thing out there and it won't win any drag races, but it IS my daily / business drive and I spend a lot of time stuck in London traffic hence the auto (which I know was always going to compromise ultimate track performance / control compared to a manual box).

    Regarding the spare set of 'track day' wheels & tyres, does anyone know whether I'd be limited to another set of 18"'s (as are on the car currently) - would E46 M3 alloys fit for example?? I guess there may be issues with the offset etc (couldn't find other threads to help)
     
     

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    for good handling i would suggest fitting eibach sportline springs. ive fitted some to my 325 Ci Sport and the car handles great now. in my opinion its not to bad around town either, but everyones perception of comfort is different. im happy fo sacrifice the comfort for the handling.

    as for induction ive fitted a K&N 57i induction kit to mine and the throttle response is alot better than the standard panel filter. Ive also fitted a heat shield to it aswell as when i first got it, it was drawing in alot of warm air once up to temperature and wasnt running to well. with this shield fitted & a cold air feed from under the car its great and i cant fault it. thers alot of people on here who say its no good, but have they tried it before as im havin no trouble and the car feel generally faster (slighlty).

    as for E46 M3 wheels, i dont think these fit as the rears are wider & scrape on your arches. ive never tried it, but at one point i was going to buy some for myself & everyone i spoke to told me they wouldnt fit. so i could be wrong
     
     

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    Cool thanks Mikey
    Jonniec also suggests Eibach springs and bilstein shocks so they may be the best option. Did you upgrade the bushes as well, or just the springs?
     
     

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    ive just put springs on mine. uprated shockers would be a good idea to but in my opinion the m-tec shockers should be able to handle a slight drop. although im not sure how they will do with track use.
    as for the bushes ive left them. i know that the bushes will wear alot quicker now its lowered, but untill they do im not going to waste my money. id suggest leaving your bushes for now and checking them after each track day. if they look to be splitting alot then replace them, unless they are allready looking a little worn now, then id probably replace them for peace of mind.
     
     

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