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    Kong’s E46 M3 Track to Street Car Journal

    Edit: Photos in posts 1-14 disappeared. Don’t know what happened, but post 15 and on should contain photos.

    Just realized that I didn’t start a journal on here for documentation purposes, so here we go.

    Current mod list:
    Engine/Exhaust
    Karbonius CSL Race airbox
    Supersprint V1 headers
    Supersprint V1 catted section 1
    Supersprint 2.5” dual pipe resonated section 2
    Supersprint Sport muffler
    Bosch 62431 386cc injectors
    TMS IAT relocation kit (sensor on lower intake duct)
    HTE Performance AlphaN tune
    SAP delete
    Post-cat O2 and EGT delete
    Aux and mech fan delete
    SPAL 2049 fan w/ N15 mounts

    Suspension
    13.5”F/13.0”R (might raise by 0.25”)
    Ohlins R&T TrackDay coilover kit thru 3DM
    336 lb/in Swift springs F
    628 lb/in stock Ohlins springs R
    Ohlins (Vorshlag) camber plates
    Rogue Engineering RSMs
    Rogue Engineering upper control arm reinforcement plates
    3DM strut spacers
    TMS monoball FCABs
    Hotchkis front sway bar
    OE endlinks
    TMS monoball RTABs

    Drivetrain
    OE motor mounts
    Rogue Engineering trans mounts
    Bronze clutch pedal bushings
    Delrin brake pedal bushings
    OE E31 pivot pin
    Autosolutions 25% Autocross SSK
    CDV delete
    AKG 95A diff bushings (don’t recommend)
    AKG 95A rear subframe bushings (don’t recommend)

    Wheels/Brakes/Steering
    Apex ARC-8s - 18x9.5 ET35 squared, hyper black
    Motorsport Hardware wheel studs
    F&R 996 Brembo calipers
    Rally Road caliper brackets and lines
    OEM Textar pads
    OE ZCP/CSL rotors
    Castrol SRF
    ZHP steering rack

    Cosmetic/Body
    Carbo Project painted CSL diffuser
    S2R sunroof delete panel
    Roof wrap in gloss black
    Black grills/gills
    30% Suntek Evolve tint

    Lighting
    OE LED tail lights w/ outer ring mod
    LED interior and license plate kit
    Bosch Mini projectors with bi-xenon/quad high beam functionality
    Osram CBI D2S bulbs

    Interior
    OE broomstick
    Avin Avant 4 w/ wireless CarPlay adapter
    Cobra Nogaro seats
    BK Nogaro seat mounts
    Sedan manual seat rails
    VIOFO A129 dash cam hard wired to fuse box
    H6 battery
    Deleted everything but amp behind left trunk liner
    New trunk liner (51478266567) and tray to improve trunk space
    Removed OE tire inflator (keep an M12 inflator in the trunk)
    Rubber padding thing under rear seat removed
    Sound deadening on floor R&R w/ Second Skin Damplifier Pro
    GS Specialties Nappa leather steering wheel (thicker than stock)

    Future Mods/Projects
    Summer 2024
    TMS sway bar endlinks
    RACP reinforcement 2.0
    - Vincebar
    - OE UCA, LCA, sway bushings
    - TMS RTABs (switch out V1 for V2)
    - Diff cover + front mount
    - CMP subframe bushings
    - GC ARCAs
    Corner balance and align
    OE CSL trunk
    Karbonius CF roof with slicktop headliner
    Cover headliner, pillar covers & rear deck w/ 9002 alcantara
    OE or TMS monoball FCABs

    Some future projects way down the line
    Imola Red interior
    Schrick 280/272 cams
    Euro front bumper


    And now we begin…

    I guess I should start from the beginning, though I won’t list most of the details prior to this car becoming a track car. I bought it on June 12, 2013 at 16 y/o, first car. At the time, I thought tracking was cool but figured you have to be rich to participate in the hobby. ThunderMoose and Ortho281 helped me realize that tracking wasn’t as expensive as I thought. Ortho, who was my orthodontist, would invite me to track events he was attending at every appointment. Eventually I caved, and I signed up for the TWS PDS event on July 2015 I was hooked after that.

    Before the flooding, I had set up the car to be a good street/track car—not too loud, not too harsh, etc. Comfortable and practical enough to drive twice a week while I was in school. So here we are in August 2017...

    Ready for the last TWS PDS event ever

    And one week later, my final event at TWS
    With new ARC-8s and NT01s


    RIP, my dude


    Farewell, TWS






    Goodbye 08/20/2017 5:12 PM


    COTA one week later


    Up next, the death of my E46
    Last edited by SQ13; 01-11-2024, 03:12 PM.
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    #2
    So the car was ready to go for COTA, but Harvey caused heavy rains in my area and water levels on roads were too high to get the E46 out of my neighborhood. Rain would not stop, so I was forced to max the car out on jack stands in hopes of saving the car in case it got flooded. Water is just starting to enter the garage in this photo.







    A few days later, I was able to get a ride on a military truck to get essentials. Discovered that water has gotten inside the car but could not do anything about it bc I was not allowed to stay (nor did I want to..)








    Back at the house about nine days after evacuation. Removed the front carpet and put a dehumidifier inside and kept it running for a week. Did not have time to remove the sound deadening. The car was declared a total loss because it got floodwater inside. Insurance was not willing to fix it.

    Ok. Cool (Hook em). I know the car will be fine or can be parted out, so I’ll keep the car and take the insurance money. Win for me, loss for you bastards

    It was a sentimental value type thing too—I had put too much effort and money into the car to just let it, a fully functioning car, go. I had wanted to keep the car for double duty before the flooding. That meant keeping every mod reversible, because I wasn’t going to sell it (and still don’t, turned down a $40k offer recently) and wanted to eventually bring it back to stock. So this car was supposed to go back to stock, and I would buy a caged E46 M3.

    Well, after the flooding I decided that wasn’t going to happen anymore. I would turn this into a track car and buy another M3 to use on the street. As of this post (2017/2018), I’m 22 y/o and plan on going to med school, so I really don’t need a trailer and tow vehicle as I won’t be settling down and making good money for at least eight years. So, I will be driving the car to/from events. So far, everything except sound deadening removal is reversible. I went with a harness bar instead of cage bc I’m still driving on public roads. If/when I decide to go the full cage route, I’ll simply unbolt the harness bar. IMO, the car is as safe as it can be for the track + driving to/from events.


    You can see where the floodwater got to. Luckily most of the wiring was spared.













    Next weekend (Sept 16), got the car back on the ground and had it towed to ABR Houston for flood inspection. Kept the battery disconnected bc I did not want to potentially damage the car. Insurance settlement still not completed bc POS geico put together a fraudulent valuation report. I was coming back to Katy from Austin every weekend for a while, while taking a bunch of difficult college courses. What a PITA









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      #3
      Picked up this 1999 E36 M3 with 97k miles on it on Sept 28


      Drove the car back to Austin next morning to go to class. Got a call later that morning that the E46 is ready, so I drove back to Houston that day to pick it up. Changed motor, trans, and diff fluids; lubricated brakes; cleaned electrical connectors. Car runs great, felt like a racecar after having driven a rental car for about a month. So now I’m driving this totaled car that’s value has still not been settled.






      It was showing signs of starter failure, so I ordered a new one and left it parked in the garage while I went back to Austin in the E36

      Fourteen days after buying my E36, a retarded sorority girl in her stupid tiguan backed into my E36 and totaled it...in a ****ing parking garage.


      Drive it home so I can bring the E46 back to Austin for DD use. Before I do that, I have to replace the starter. I was in a rush to get back to Austin and did not think to clean the ICV and ITBs, which I later regretted




      Back in Austin. Doing another alignment after making some spring and ride height changes


      New eBay diffuser


      At the 24h Series race at COTA. Picked up a set of scrubs for free.




      Fuel pump is going out. Good thing I had a new OE unit sitting in the trunk




      Installing the CSL diffuser. Not happy with fitment but whatever




      Love the more aggressive look


      Tire hoarder


      Cleaning the dirty stock wheels



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        #4
        12/16/2017
        First track event since flooding. Car ran great. Installed AKG 75D trans mounts before the event, and they introduced terrible NVH














        Cracked a fog light so I went ahead and deleted them


        LED interior and license plate lights






        Looks like the LEDs are brighter, but they really aren’t






        I could still smell floodwater inside the car, so I had a feeling it was coming from the sound deadening, which looked filthy. Had time to remove it and so I did. Discovered a little bit of floodwater underneath. I was surprised how much all that sound deadening weighed.


        Took this photo later that day. I think I replaced the rear pads



        That’s it for 2017. Going from a street/track car that was very compliant for primary use, to transforming it into a dedicated track car.
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          #5
          I had been eyeing the RTD shifter and an Alcantara wheel for a while, and I finally decided to pull the trigger in Jan. The shifter is a custom V1 model that will accept a BMW golf ball shift knob. Took a few weeks to produce, and I was able to install it with the help of a friend two days before a DE at COTA. I should have gone with black alcantara..can’t do anything about it now.






          Alignment after installing Turner monoball RTABs, FCABs, and RSMs, then off to a buddy’s house to install the shifter




          One last thing I needed to do was install a new oil temp sensor. I did this the evening before the event, bad idea. Turns out that ABR overtightened the oil drain plug, causing the oil pan to strip when I removed the plug. I was not able to tighten the plug anymore, so the leak would prevent me from tracking my car.

          Sitting overnight


          So in the morning, I went ahead and drove to COTA, picking up a spare E36 drain plug that my friend had on my way there. Get to COTA, unpack, attend drivers meeting, then get to work to see if the E36 plug will work. Luckily it did and all I missed was the 30 min warm up session.

          Boom. Done


          Car ran great aside from the brake issue I’d been chasing for over a year (soft pedal for about 1”). My new Federal FZ-201 tires lost half their tread at the end of the day.



          Last edited by SQ13; 12-13-2020, 05:06 PM.
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            #6
            Post-flood DE #2. Car ran great all day until halfway through the happy hour session. I noticed the the red battery light flickering during braking. Decided to bring it in a couple of laps later but no worries since that was the last session of the day.

            I have a habit of doing things to the car the day before the event, and for this one, I installed a Brey Krause harness bar the night before.




            A ride in my instructor’s 993 RSR


            Another alignment...

            Installing six point harnesses


            Doing my second paint correction (first was the E36)




            Attempting to fix soft pedal issue by replacing calipers, rotors, and flushing with Castrol SRF. Pedal is even softer now, so I figure some driving will help get any tapped air bubbles out.

            At ABR to have time sert installed on oil pan drain hole bc whoever did the last oil change overtorqued the drain plug.



            Traded my stock 18s plus some cash for 18x9.5 ET22 ARC-8s

            Installing alternator before DE. Also bled brakes again after ~200 miles


            MSR Houston with DxB










            Discovered broken sway bar mount when I got home

            E36 was finally repaired so I figured I should take photos

            Sold the SS Race muffler


            Bimmerworld Race exhaust arrived


            Looks like crap, but function > form on this car, I guess

            Removed sway bar so I could take the car to Austin to have mount repaired and reinforced


            Having to wear earplugs on your drive is always fun

            Fixed


            S2R sunroof delete panel finally purchased

            E36 decided to start leaking coolant, so I had that towed to Houston and drove the E46 around Austin


            Car kept stalling on me on the street, and having the car turn off in the middle of intersections was starting to get annoying. So, ICV cleaning had to be done.



            Friend took this at a meet

            Got me a Sparco Circuit for safety reasons. I was worried I’d be too fat to fit, but it actually fits me great.


            State inspection

            Car wash was long overdue


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              #7
              Went to a free autocross event in January


              Hit a coyote driving from Austin to Houston









              I had more important stuff going on, including studying for the MCAT (which I took on June 15), so I decided to park the car and worry about repairs after the MCAT.
              Sold the E36. Their last day together


              Picked up another E46 in March


              Another wash




              Tucked away again

              Done with the MCAT, so time to uncover it

              Too many spares

              Back to work after a short drive around the neighborhood


              Removed the PSS10s to install MCS 2WNR coilovers. Put the Bilsteins on the blue car.



              I need to install the following: cooling system components, AC condenser, CSF oil cooler, SPAL fan, and all of the other parts that the coyote broke
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                #8
                Repairing coyote damage

                New right brake duct bracket


                Removed AC condenser and radiator




                Mahle-Behr condenser in. All of the R134 has already leaked out, so no need to evacuate it


                OE radiator in. Also put a 1/4” screen in front of the condenser to protect the fins from large debris


                CSF oil cooler


                New air duct in


                Deleted aux and mech fans, and put in a SPAL fan instead


                Wired to aux fan controller






                Letting it idle for a bit to monitor for leaks or abnormal temps on gauge


                Driving around the neighborhood, the oil temp was higher when I was moving relative to idle temp. I’m going to see if higher speeds brings the needle down






                Never forget


                I’m hoping to drive the car at COTA on Friday. Still need to install new front pads, relubricate caliper guides, regrease FCABs and F sway bar, install sunroof delete panel, and do tech inspection.
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                  #9
                  Removing headliner and installing sunroof delete panel. I was going to wrap the delete panel silver later on, but I got this terrible idea of painting it with “titanium silver” spray paint. Note to self: Never attempt any kind of paint work ever again. Left the headliner off because the fabric was sagging in some areas, so I had to use zip ties to secure wires and attach the dome light.







                  Terrible fitment in the back, so I didn’t bother sealing it. I think I’m just gonna wrap the whole roof black.


                  Front plate so police have no reason to pull me over


                  I thought I had a new set of front PFC 08s in the garage, but apparently not. Luckily the blue car had thick 08 pads installed up front, so I took those out for the silver car and put stock pads in.




                  Weighs 3060 lbs without driver and fuel. Not bad, but I’m gonna shoot for <3000 eventually.




                  Arrived at storage place for at least the next couple of months


                  Arrived at COTA for COTA After Dark event




                  A rear caliper bolt backed out during the third session, so I had to get it towed back to storage


                  No worries though. Prepped the blue car and drove it for the last two sessions after dropping off the silver car.


                  Went back to storage after the event to drop off spares and tools and take a closer look at the damage.







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                    #10
                    Some videos and photos from COTA






























                    New calipers


                    Dropping off new NT01s, rear calipers, and rear springs


                    Bonus


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                      #11
                      Working on the rear brakes, I decided to remove and inspect the rotors. I was surprised to find both rotors cracked almost all the way around on the inside





                      Which may have been caused by this. Accidentally drove on the street for a few miles with the parking brakes up a while back.












                      This part made contact with the wheel


                      I rebuilt the parking brakes, installed and bled new rear calipers, and swapped to shorter and stiffer rear springs. 650F/750R






                      I have two sets of rear rotors in Katy, so I’ll bring a set to Austin and install them sometime soon. I also need to bring my bleeder so I can properly bleed the brakes. I’ll also spend a day going through the car and retorquing all of the hardware I can get to and do a tech inspection.

                      After that, I hope to do a shakedown. Planning on doing a day at MSRH or Harris Hill in Sept. In Oct, I’m hoping to go to NOLA with NASA, then MSR Cresson for two events in Nov. I may do another event in Dec at COTA, MSRC, MSRH, or ECR. So many options lol.

                      I suspect I experience pad knockback at COTA due to worn front wheel bearings. I’m going to replace the front hubs to address that, but no idea if I’ll be able to get to it before NOLA.
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                        #12
                        Back in Sept 2019... New street/track tires. Was curious how they’d do considering they cost $422. (They were okay)




                        Needed something to cover the big space left by the deleted fog lights. So I got fog light covers and riveted on plastic sheets. These should be able to hold up to debris. $23 all in.








                        Pretty good cupholder


                        Beware




                        Replaced the rear rotors and pads and did brake flush.

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                          #13
                          Attended a DxB event in mid-Sept. Everything stemmed to go well, but after getting lunch with friends after the event, I discovered a puddle of PS fluid in the lot.



                          Lots of bugs died that day.

                          I tried to fix the leak in early Oct by replacing the affected hose.

                          That didn’t work out so well. Fluid leaked at the quick disconnect bc apparently it was not seated all the way...the PS cooler end was damaged, so I had to order a new one.



                          NICE

                          I ended up driving the blue car at the MSRH member day.

                          PS leak fix take three

                          Had to sacrifice some blood for the racing gods



                          It works!

                          Moved to its new resting space

                          Garage kitty supporting me while I wire up AIM SOLO to CAN and for continuous power.

                          Oil change and tech inspection, then drove it around for a bit. SOLO wiring was successful, and no issues with the car except for what sounded like tire rubbing in the rear.
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                            #14
                            Nice to see another M3F member make the transition here! I remember your journal from then.

                            Instagram: @_Frank_Stone_

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                              #15
                              I had to take the MCAT in late Jan 2020, and I decided I would stop doing car stuff until after I took it. I was supposed to do a track event in late March, but I cancelled because covid was starting to take over in Texas. Before that happened though, I worked in the COTA medical center during the WEC and GT World Challenge races and got some cool people including Bill Auberlen, James Clay, and Kevin Estre to sign my now retired helmet. Asked Bill to make his signature the biggest one.

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                              Hyper black ARC-8s look pretty good.

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                              At this point, the track car is tucked away in the garage while I take a road bike and use my street E46 M3 for groceries. I also started buying lots of guns, and that took away from my car hobby budget.

                              In June, the street car started to give me SMG issues. The car should’ve been swapped six months prior, but the $3-3.5k cost made me put it off. Here I am stranded at the grocery store, replacing the salmon relay.

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                              Three or so months later, the SMG became problematic again, so I said fuck it, parked it indefinitely, and used the track car as my primary car. Ever drive your car while wearing a shirt with a picture of your car?

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                              At around this time, a buddy invited me to do W2W racing in his Spec Miata. Well I was hooked, so I purchased my own racing suit, boots, and socks (owned everything else needed). And since I have this safety gear now, I figured I’d use it at all track events.

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                              How to turn a poverty spec helmet into an expensive helmet in one step.

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