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Originally posted by croddy:
I didn't say the car was perfect, I just said that a few track days should not destroy the car. I drive hard enough to be competitive in my class, but try to be smooth as possible also. I have to drive the car every day.
Originally posted by cartman300:
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how hard were u driving? I found the opposite when it come to brakes. THe brake are very prone to fade and faded on me after three sessions at the track. With that said I was driving it very hard....
[/QB]
is this a road course that ur driving or an autoX?
 

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Originally posted by cartman300:
is this a road course that ur driving or an autoX?
Both, but I was talking about road course driving. I agree with your comments, I just don't think that a car should fall apart after a few sessions at the track. Like Chris said, his problem was only a loose sway bar anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Sounds like the IS300 problems could be solved by brake lines, DOT 4 fluid & better pads. The understeer is tougher to solve but then for novices it's a good thing (I don't mean you guys). Sway bar will help.
 

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Originally posted by ckolsen:
Sounds like the IS300 problems could be solved by brake lines, DOT 4 fluid & better pads. The understeer is tougher to solve but then for novices it's a good thing (I don't mean you guys). Sway bar will help.
You may have a point there(don't until you spend the cash) but I still say that the 300 brakes DIDN"T cook and it DIDN'T fade atfer the same sessions. That says alot for the BMW stock for stock.
 

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I've put 32+ track days on my 330i. For the first 30 of those I used stock pads and rotors. They are simply amazing as stock brakes go and the E36 M3 owners (often instructors) who've taken my car for a spin at the track invariably assumed that I ran race pads. My car stops at least as well as the M3, and my rotors are not near as prone to warping at the track. M3 rotors are notorious warpers. With that said, I recently went to race pads (PF-97s). More and more, as I've been getting faster and stopping harder I'd been experiencing fade. The PF-97s solved that problem, but, perhaps surprisingly, they did not significantly improve stopping distance. Just another testament to the awesome stock brakes on the 330i.

By the way, one thing to consider when deciding on your car is the type of track modifications you plan for it. I had trouble finding race pads for the 330i. The PF-97s were the ONLY ones I could find, and even those had been originally designed for the 330xi, which used the same front pads as the 330i, but different rears. There is, of course, no end to aftermarket performance parts for E36 M3s.

Another consideration is price. 330i stock brakes are relatively cheap ($35 a pair for pads and $50 per rotor at Pacific BMW). Very important as I've gone through 4 sets of stock pads and 3 sets of stock rotors...though that's nothing compared to the rate that a good friend of mine goes through her M3 rotors...something like a set of rotors for every 1-3 days at the track. Ouch! M3s eat rotors for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

[ September 13, 2001: Message edited by: Young ]
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Hey Young, thanks that's good to know, another negative against the M3 (and plus for the 330i). I wonder if that's true for the rotors on my 325i, though they are fine after 4 track days. But only the last two days at Mont Tremblant have I really hammered my brakes. A day at that track is like 3 days at Pocono or NH Speedway.
By the way, someone told me that NH Speedway has open track day every Weds., I gotta check that out.
 

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Either way you cant go wrong. I going to assume to moderatley modded 330s and is300s on the track will come down to the driver. I heard of swapping the is300 rotors for supra ones which might give you some cost savings.
Sentinel
 

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Benz's are for old people and guys that can't drive. I have seen maybe two Mercedes on the track in more than 20 days of driving schools vs. hundreds of BMW's.

Chris,

I think I know who that guy with the 3.8 is (he is on our yahoogroups M5 list). There aren't many of them as they had to be imported and federalized. Gotta love a wagon that can do that. Other than the RS4 it is the most insane wagon ever built by a factor.

So tell me, isn't the S38 (now you get my name) the best sounding BMW engine ever?
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Hey S38, no Benzes at any of my 3 events yet. Lotus, Ferrari, Porsche Turbo, Lexus LS400, but no Benz, not one.
My instructor was Will Zaraska, driving a purple '95 M5. while waiting for him to pick me up, I went out to pit lane and stood behind the concrete barrier to wave. He went by at 120mph 5 feet way, that was incredible!! That is the sweetest car, i was in awe! It's not a wagon though, not sure what you mean.

Originally posted by S38:
Benz's are for old people and guys that can't drive. I have seen maybe two Mercedes on the track in more than 20 days of driving schools vs. hundreds of BMW's.

Chris,

I think I know who that guy with the 3.8 is (he is on our yahoogroups M5 list). There aren't many of them as they had to be imported and federalized. Gotta love a wagon that can do that. Other than the RS4 it is the most insane wagon ever built by a factor.

So tell me, isn't the S38 (now you get my name) the best sounding BMW engine ever?
 

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Originally posted by Young:
The PF-97s solved that problem, but, perhaps surprisingly, they did not significantly improve stopping distance. Just another testament to the awesome stock brakes on the 330i.

Another consideration is price. 330i stock brakes are relatively cheap ($35 a pair for pads and $50 per rotor at Pacific BMW). Very important as I've gone through 4 sets of stock pads and 3 sets of stock rotors...though that's nothing compared to the rate that a good friend of mine goes through her M3 rotors...something like a set of rotors for every 1-3 days at the track. Ouch! M3s eat rotors for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

[ September 13, 2001: Message edited by: Young ]
What do you mean stopping distance? Since the stopping distance is a function of mass, velocity, and friction, I don't see how pads can effect it at all. If you want to reduce the distance, you could make you car lighter, tune the brake bias (effectively tuning weight transfer), don't go as fast (which no one wants to do), and/or get more traction (high coefficent tires/bigger contact patch). Maybe I'm missing something? *shrug*

You paid for worm pads and rotors? 5shifter mentioned BMW pays for all that up to 3yrs/36K. I guess the second time around they get suspicious. I guess you can't really abuse the brakes then, huh? *shrug*
 

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ckolsen, you ever considering just getting a newer version of your car and upgrading it?

It'll be cheaper then the M3 for sure, it'll be a E36 and not a E46, and you'll probably feel more at home. *shrug* (I gotta stop shrugging so much...)
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Lexus, you mean like a 328i? I've considered that, but only if my car develops problems. The reason I got my car over a 328 was cause it was like $6000 cheaper for similar mileage cars. I didn't think it was worth it for the slight power gain. I'll probably keep my car til it becomes problematic.
BMW won't pay for abnormal wear, so if you go in there every 2 months, they'll get wise. Also you're right about stopping distances, but only if your brake friction is at maximum - meaning depending on your tires & brake pads, you may not be getting the maximum possible friction. But yeah, basically pads don't make you stop shorter, just fade better. They may even make stopping distances longer, esp when cold.

Originally posted by LexusIS886:
ckolsen, you ever considering just getting a newer version of your car and upgrading it?

It'll be cheaper then the M3 for sure, it'll be a E36 and not a E46, and you'll probably feel more at home. *shrug* (I gotta stop shrugging so much...)
 

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Chris, I do know of Will. I assumed it was a wagon because many of the 3.8's imported were Tourings.

Young, I can't believe Margaret (I am assuming that is who you referred to) is using up rotors like that. If they are warping she needs to upgrade them to Euro rotors or slotted. More importantly she should add some ducting. I never warped rotors on my M5 when I was running stock brakes with PF pads.

Brake performance is very dependent on the track and skill level of the driver. Unless you want to spend TONS of money, even when you get fast you have to learn how to manage them (better to brake hard for short periods than softer for longer periods). As for pads, a race pad won't stop any better than stock the first time but when they are hot they are incredible and do provide much more friction and torque. I use stock '95 M5 Nurburgring brakes in front (including a stock Textar pad) which are 4 pistion ATE's with 345mm floating rotors and stock brakes in back with PF Z Rated pads. I am also running super blue but do need to bleed every event.

There are very few street cars other than say a Porsche that will really stand up to aggressive track braking.

Lastly, as for BMW warranty stuff, Young is getting a new engine for free after abusing the crap out of it on the track and I really don't beleive a factory should have to warranty wear and tear from 25 track days a year. They keep maintenance info on a network and using up pads and rotors every 6000 miles would be rather suspicios.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Hey S38 - I noticed Will's M5's brakes started shuddering at the end of the session, is that warping or does it go away when they cool down? I didn't know that about brake management, I'll try to keep that in mind. In my (limited) experience, I seem to gain the most time on faster cars in the braking zone - by braking later and more aggressively. So many people seem to brake really early - some times I'd do that and end up at my desired cornering speed 50 yards before turn in!

Originally posted by S38:
Chris, I do know of Will. I assumed it was a wagon because many of the 3.8's imported were Tourings.

Young, I can't believe Margaret (I am assuming that is who you referred to) is using up rotors like that. If they are warping she needs to upgrade them to Euro rotors or slotted. More importantly she should add some ducting. I never warped rotors on my M5 when I was running stock brakes with PF pads.

Brake performance is very dependent on the track and skill level of the driver. Unless you want to spend TONS of money, even when you get fast you have to learn how to manage them (better to brake hard for short periods than softer for longer periods). As for pads, a race pad won't stop any better than stock the first time but when they are hot they are incredible and do provide much more friction and torque. I use stock '95 M5 Nurburgring brakes in front (including a stock Textar pad) which are 4 pistion ATE's with 345mm floating rotors and stock brakes in back with PF Z Rated pads. I am also running super blue but do need to bleed every event.

There are very few street cars other than say a Porsche that will really stand up to aggressive track braking.

Lastly, as for BMW warranty stuff, Young is getting a new engine for free after abusing the crap out of it on the track and I really don't beleive a factory should have to warranty wear and tear from 25 track days a year. They keep maintenance info on a network and using up pads and rotors every 6000 miles would be rather suspicios.
 

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Originally posted by LexusIS886:
What do you mean stopping distance? Since the stopping distance is a function of mass, velocity, and friction, I don't see how pads can effect it at all. If you want to reduce the distance, you could make you car lighter, tune the brake bias (effectively tuning weight transfer), don't go as fast (which no one wants to do), and/or get more traction (high coefficent tires/bigger contact patch). Maybe I'm missing something? *shrug*

You paid for worm pads and rotors? 5shifter mentioned BMW pays for all that up to 3yrs/36K. I guess the second time around they get suspicious. I guess you can't really abuse the brakes then, huh? *shrug*
Other BMW owners who have gone to race pads report much improved stopping distance. A friend of mine with a 328is claims to have halved his stopping distance with the simple addition of race pads (Hawk blues). As I've ridden with him at Laguna Seca (the supreme test of brakes), I believe him. His braking points are considerably later than mine, and I'm a notoriously late and hard braker. As S38 mentioned, I assume it's because race pads are simply stickier (apply more friction) than BMW stock pads and stock pads aren't braking maximally.

As for the BMW dealership replacing my pads and/or rotors, I just don't trust them to. They messed up their only attempt to bleed my brakes (they overfilled the reservoir and left off the lid strainer), and now I do all of my own brake work. And, as you mentioned, it wouldn't look good to go back every month or two for new pads or rotors.

[ September 14, 2001: Message edited by: Young ]
 

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Originally posted by S38:

Young, I can't believe Margaret (I am assuming that is who you referred to) is using up rotors like that. If they are warping she needs to upgrade them to Euro rotors or slotted. More importantly she should add some ducting. I never warped rotors on my M5 when I was running stock brakes with PF pads.
She has Euro floating rotors (she bought them specifically to prevent warping) and she's been warping them like mad. She went to race pads recently and I think her rotors are now less prone to warpage...you would think though that the race pads would heat up the rotors even worse than the stock pads. I'll suggest the ducting to her. I've been wondering if she has some sort of alignment problem.

At any rate, M3 owners in general tend to go through rotors very rapidly at the track.
 

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Chris,

He would have the same front brakes that I do. They sometimes leave a bit of pad residue on the rotor on the track which causes a bit of shuddering. I thought I had warped mine a couple of times but it goes a ways after a few weeks. There is still a tiny bit of shake but nothing to replace a $180 rotor over. We don't have many tracks out here where the average car (14-15 second 1/4 mile type cars) can get much over 120mph. On average your top speeds are more in the 110-115mph range.

Ducting is key and lots of the newer BMW's have it built in. You just have to open it.
 

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If you want to track the car, there is no question the M3 is the best choice. I've got both the IS300 and a '93 325is. Even if the IS300 can match the speed and handling of a 330Ci, it's going to be much more demanding of the driver. The balance, steering, feedback, and responsiveness of the IS is not as good as the BMW. And as BMW's go, it's a tick higher in the E36 M3 over a 330Ci, as the E46 feels a lot less 'raw' than the E36. However, there is no doubt that the IS beats the BMW in build quality and amenities.
 
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