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Thread: 110k refresh advice with expectation of a few track days/year

  1. #1

    110k refresh advice with expectation of a few track days/year

    I have a 110k ZHP which is due for a suspension refresh, rotors, and pads. As I'd like to do a few track days each year, what advice would you guys have in terms of refreshing the suspension, brakes...as well as anything else (i.e. oil circulation ok? need to reinforce sub frame?). I did do a few laps many years ago and the OEM pads were fading within a lap so please suggest a decent pad/rotor combo that can handle a little more heat on the track, but doesn't squeak badly on the street. I don't care about brake dust. Not looking to start turning this into a track car, but want to be able to feel reasonably comfortable driving it decently hard for a 10-15 minute session. Thanks

    Additional note: FCABs were replaced at ~70k miles. Control arms themselves were fine at that time. What bushings should I be replacing during the shock/strut job?
    Last edited by nsk040; 10-17-2016 at 05:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Suspension: stock springs with Koni Yellows, unless you go high dollar coilovers. The Koni Yellows are easily adjustable, allowing different settings for track and street. Also replace all your associate mounts and rubber as you do this as it's probably ready to need updates as well.

    Brakes: most on here say stock rotors with upgraded aftermarket pads are all you need for track time & autocross.

    Subframe: what year/model ZHP do you have? 04 on have improved rear reinforcement compared to earlier E46s, better but still not perfect. Do a search on subframe, various options available..

    Frank W.

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by fw_fw View Post
    what year/model ZHP do you have? 04 on have improved rear reinforcement compared to earlier E46s, better but still not perfect. Do a search on subframe, various options available..
    It's an 04 - good to know that year is at least somewhat less prone to issues. No oil starve issues or anything else I should be aware of?

    Appreciate the help; thanks.

  4. #4
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    I would just replace everything that hasn't been replaced already lol

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    I have no track experience with our cars but from what I've heard from other members here I'd say the same.
    Suspension: Go with Koni sports since they're adjustable and last a lot longer than the OEM Sach units. Alternative are coilovers like KWs or Bilstein PSSes.
    Bushings: I'd replace them as well. I went with Z4M units for FCABs and RTABs with limiters for the rear since they're solid rubber as opposed to our factory gel filled ones, and the Z4M FCABs increase the caster a bit. Member Slater swears by Bimmerworld's sealed spherical RTABs. If you plan to track often you could opt for poly bushings. I have a parts list thread for my full suspension refresh here: http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...miles-10-years
    Brakes: I believe the stock rotors are sufficient for intermittent track use. Pads I'd look into something from Hawk or Stoptech that's closer to a race pad. You could always get a race pad that you swap out for your street pads on track days. I'd flush your brake lines with fresh brake fluid before each track day if it's been a while. Consider getting stainless steel braided brake and clutch lines.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    15
    I would agree with everything said here. I have tracked and raced BMW's for over twenty years and they are very competent track cars in stock configuration. Not knowing your level of experience or how far you're willing to take your car from a street setup I would make the following suggestions. Koni adjustable shocks and struts are a very good combination for a street/track car. I would stay away from coilover suspensions they are not really necessary and although the adjustability lends itself to finding a great track setup, unless you know what you are doing and have access to a lift, scales and alignment equipment you can easily go the wrong way in setting them up, especially with the compression and rebound settings of the shocks.

    Any bushings that are old or show any sign of wear should be replaced. Poly bushings are a great choice and there are many quality suppliers for these items. Poly RTAB's with limiters are an excellent suggestion. I would stay away from the sealed spherical RTABs, I don't think they are necessary for your intended use and they are noisy and harsh on the street. Remember, any time you change to a harder bushing material you are going to be transmitting additional load and force to the subframes and additional reinforcements may be necessary.

    I would make sure the brakes are in top condition. Stock rotors are fine but I would suggest upgrading to a race/track pad compound for the track. Stock pads can get overheated at the track and produce significant fade even in a short session. My personal preference are the Pagid Orange RS 4-4. They are not the cheapest but they last a long time and are easy on the rotors. The other pad options mentioned are also good alternatives. Upgrading to stainless steel brake lines is also a good suggestion. Always bleed your brakes prior to any track event. My preference for brake fluid is Castrol SRF. It is expensive but I have never had an issue at the track with this fluid and well worth the money in my opinion.

    I always run fresh fluids in the car before any track event. My preference is Redline for both the diff and tranny, but there are other good products out there as well.

    Remember that the track is going to exploit any weakness or neglected items on the car. If you think something might need to be addressed do it in advance. Otherwise let it rip and have fun!
    Last edited by redrumm3; 10-18-2016 at 09:56 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Appreciate the help guys. Question on the Koni Yellows...where should the adjustment(s) be set out of the gate for a SLIGHTLY more aggressive than OEM feel?

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I set mine at 3/4 turn from soft and haven't touched them since. They're slightly more stiff (but still more compliant) than the factory shocks they replaced and I love it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCurves View Post
    I set mine at 3/4 turn from soft and haven't touched them since. They're slightly more stiff (but still more compliant) than the factory shocks they replaced and I love it.
    Thanks. Before pulling the trigger with something very similar to your refresh....what would rough incremental cost / benefit be of going to coil overs? Don't care about ride height, just want fun to drive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    TIRERACK.com - Revolutionizing Tire Buying
    Quote Originally Posted by nsk040 View Post
    Thanks. Before pulling the trigger with something very similar to your refresh....what would rough incremental cost / benefit be of going to coil overs? Don't care about ride height, just want fun to drive.
    Well if you don't care then it doesn't matter lol Really, it's just adjustability. There's different levels depending on what you get though.

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