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Thread: 330 zhp SCCA Solo STX build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    330 zhp SCCA Solo STX build

    So figured I'd put a few posts/pics surrounding my STX (that is a class of Sports Car Club of America Autocross racing) build on my 330.

    To start, I picked this up as the foundation for my build:



    It's a 2003 330 zhp that's a pretty rare non-sunroof with fixed rear seat and very few options, about as lightweight as e46 non m 330's come. It's fairly high mileage at 128xxx but that allowed me to pick it up relatively cheap and therefore clears my conscience a little when i strip out the front seats for race buckets and make it a very uncomfortable ride with 750+lb spring rates.

    The hotter cams, faster steering rack, better gearing and ability to fit wider tires will hopefully make it a nationally competitive car.

    First weekend I had it none of my parts arrived so I decided to take on an completely unrelated-to-autocross project and did the headlight restoration work. They were in pretty bad shape:



    During:



    And After:


    Not perfect, but a big improvement.

    Now, autocross related, these showed up at my door today:



    More to come as the build progresses. Things are starting off slow as I'm still trying to nail down possibly the most expensive part of my build (coilovers).
    Last edited by bcleaver; 05-12-2011 at 07:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Nice. Looking forward to following this project thread.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    For the record I saw a ZHP pull off top BMW time of the day at a recent BMW CCA autocross... Go get em', bcleaver.

  4. #4
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    Very cool! Did you remove the fogs?

  5. #5
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    I'll be watching this build.

  6. #6
    spencers Guest
    I have good feelings about this thread.

    Be sure to outline motivations and reasonings for STX class. As an autocross newbie, I'm not familiar with requirements for classes, and what modifications and parts constitute putting a car in a new class. Will be a good learning experience!

  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr330zhp View Post
    Very cool! Did you remove the fogs?
    One had a broken tab and wouldn't stay in and the other a cracked lense, so I'll be replacing them both at some point.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencers View Post
    I have good feelings about this thread.

    Be sure to outline motivations and reasonings for STX class. As an autocross newbie, I'm not familiar with requirements for classes, and what modifications and parts constitute putting a car in a new class. Will be a good learning experience!
    I looked at a lot of different cars/classes before deciding on STX to build this car. I was thinking about getting something that could be competitive in a 'stock' class which only allows you to modify very few things (primarily swaybars and struts) but then you are forced into buying r-compound tires, which over a season can add up...big time. A friend of mine running a SuperStock zo6 vette spent over 12K last year on tires alone. So it's a small investment up front in mods, but then a big investment over the season in tires. That ruled out a lot of fun cars like a 370z and cayman s.

    ST* classes (including STX, STU, STR, STS) all run 'street' tires of treadwear 140 or more. They allow other modifications: springs, sturts, sways, diffs, seats, etc. which add up, but are one time costs. Tires are cheap, relatively compared to stock classes. So it's a little more setup and expense on the 'go fast' parts, but then little investment over the season. I picked a ZHP because it places the car in STX which has a good PAX (basically a handicap) and makes it competitive. I didn't go with, say, and m3 because it falls into the STU class, and they seem to be less competitive (I'm not going to start an argument about the ability of an m3 to compete in stu on a bmw forum, but they have struggled in this class) than other cars (evo's and sti's). So the 330 zhp is the most powerful and performance oriented non-m 3 series allowed in stx, hopefully making it competitive. The specifics as to what's allowed are very, well, specific so if you have any specific questions I'm happy to answer them.

    other competitive STX cars include the rx8, wrx, 328is 330m3, 325; so a fun class.

    Then you can get into 'prepared' and 'modified' classes, which allow for the same modifications as stx (and much more) and also allow r-compound tires (so the best (fast), and worst ($$)) of both worlds.

    My goal was a 'cool' car that could be nationally competitive in a class that would allow for minimal in-season expense. So it was street tire class of some sort. The 330 seemed to fit the bill, and I just had to find the right one with no sunroof and few options.

    The other cool thing about the 330 is it's 'the car' to have in DSP. So if I ever get bored with stx I can 'move up' to that class.

  9. #9
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    In getting quite an education here- great thread!

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  10. #10
    Sounds like it will be a cool build, I'll be watching. I like the no-sunroof


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