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Thread: The Darkness// AutoX/Track/Weekend Canyon Slayer, The Chronicles

  1. #1

    The Darkness// AutoX/Track/Weekend Canyon Slayer, The Chronicles

    Greetings everyone,
    This thread will be used to (continue) documenting my recently acquired sedan. Those of you who stalk the forum probably recognize this car, as I had the pleasure of purchasing it from Whammy, who meticulously cared for and maintained it for a little over four years. Whammy also made some very tasteful modifications. The original thread can be found on this forum if you're looking for a full history lesson!
    -

    First, a little background:
    Earlier this year I got out of the Army, somewhat panicked and sold my beloved track-prepped E46 M3. Though I do not regret it, because the ///M is an expensive letter on the track, I deeply missed a proper sports car. About a month and a half ago, I decided to start searching for an E30 to turn into a track weapon, only to realize that they're not near as easy to find as they used to be. Browsing CL, I spotted this gorgeous machine and realized that this would a better direction to go, and I'm glad I did. This is actually my third E46, the first was an Alp.White ZHP that met its fate stopped on the highway because some young paratrooper thought his phone was more important than driving.
    -

    Onto the car:
    I purchased The Darkness at 185K and have never been so confident in a purchase. Whammy deserves all of the praise, this car is healthier than 90% of what you'll find on the market today. He also gave me a great foundation to work with, it currently sits on an H&R Sport/Billy combo which provides a better ride quality than any other cup kit I've experienced, except for the Koni FSD... but those are too soft for my liking. Stopping the car is a PFC Z-Rated/ECS Slotted setup which is perfect for anything I could want to do on the streets as well as some light track use. Other mods were made, but we'll discuss those later.
    -

    My crystal ball:
    This will slowly evolve into an animal that eats inferior vehicles on the track, autoX course, and in those "Mexican" canyons. It will first serve its purpose as my HPDE car within the next few months, weather permitting. I'm a Mech. E. Student heading into the automotive industry, so the funds to transform her into an M3 Sedan won't be present for a while. Straight line speed will never be a priority, this will be setup to achieve the best handling and overall driving characteristics achievable from an E46. Most importantly, even though this car will not see much daily use, I want to keep it as street worthy as possible. This means that I will keep my full interior and all creature comforts, and I will not *intentionally* modify anything that deducts too much from its factory comfort. I'm hunting for find slip angle in comfort.
    -

    How ECS is going to take my money:
    -BC BR Coilovers, this is an awesome budget coilover, fully adjustable, with a solid build quality. A little worried about the lower pillowballs, but we'll cross that road when we come to it.
    -Turner Sways, the factory front bar is clearly biased towards comfort, and a bigger front sway should decrease some articulation and help us hold the road a bit better... Sadly, I wont have a reason to go bigger in the rear before I find an LSD.
    -Some Ferrodos for the track, or maybe some PFC's!
    -A proper, moderately aggressive alignment for a little more responsiveness
    -Michelin PSS's or Pilot Sport 4S's, what do you guys think? I'm not going to R888's for a while.
    -Subframe Bushings, as well as RCAB's replaced with a monoball design if they exist.

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    - '03 ZHP Schwartz Sedan/6MT: Bistein/H&R, PFC Z-Rated, Square 235's, Supa-Silky-Soft Coby Treatment (186K)
    - '04 M3 Alpine White Coupe/6MT: Track Prepped, Loved, *Sold and Missed (114K)
    - '04 ZHP Alpine White Coupe/6MT: Koni/H&R, PFC08's, *Totaled By a Wild Subaru On The Highway (152K)
    - '03 Lexus LX470 AHC, Night Vision Equipped: Focal/Alpine/JL Audio, 33" BFG's, Comfort Wagon (235K)
    Moderately Impure Purist.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    22841
    Posts
    8,979
    Welcome.

    Glad to see the car stay in the family

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

    His - 2004 Imola Red / Alcantara 330i | 6MT | ZHP |

    Her's - 2005 Black Sapphire Metallic / Black Leather 330i | 6MT | ZHP |

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,228
    +1

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Madison, Alabama
    Posts
    305
    +1 on sway bars. I went with hotchkis fronts.

    Also just swapped the 3.07 differential to the 3.64 differential from an automatic zhp.

    Got cont dws all season street tires on atm. Way too easy to over drive the tires.
    Family that races together stays together
    2005 330Ci 6MT SGM (x2)

  5. #5
    Good plans. Subscribed to see your future progress.
    Quote Originally Posted by lucifer1
    You will notice quickly it is not a Honda. Welcome to BMW, for those who like working on cars just to keep it functioning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    4,910
    Congrats. You found a good ZHP.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    146,000 miles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    703
    There's my girl!!!!
    -Jeff

    '16 Outback 3.6R | Sold: '03 ZHP

    "There is a straight six engine at the front, a manual gear box in the middle, and drive goes to the back. That's page one, chapter one from the petrolsexual handbook." - Jeremy Clarkson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
    Posts
    37,729
    Welcome. Great having you on board.

    Sent from my Note 9 using Tapatalk
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  9. #9
    Thanks for the warm welcome everybody, it is a phenomenal example of a well cared for ZHP.

    Straight away, I knew the FCAB's had a good chance of being toast after 40,000 miles on Colorado roads. For those of you who don't know, we have the third worst roads in the country and these bushings were obviously designed for use on smooth-as-glass Bavarian roads. Even with that being said, the OEM FCAB's were just a poor design. Polyurethane is a better solution provided its lower in the durometer range, but urethane doesn't allow enough fluid motion where its needed because its job is to keep the control arm as static as possible. The solution for me were Turner Monoballs and its one of the best modifications I've made to any of my 46's. I've put about 200 miles on them since install, which was easier than any rubber bushing I've had to install, and the results have been outstanding! The monoball eliminates any improper deflection inside of the housing while still articulating the way the original bushing was designed to do. The result is mental steering and a dramatic increase over the visceral, mechanical feel we all love in our ZHP. If you're soon to be in the FCAB market and want to feel what right feels like, entertain these as an option!

    I'm still running a conservative alignment and DWS06's so I haven't pushed it to the limit with good rubber like I will on track, but an expedient(6/10) drive through my favorite local Mexican canyon demonstrated what it feels like when an E46 isn't having a mid corner suspension geometry identity crisis... and it was intoxicating. We'll see how they hold up now! Sorry for the potato quality photos, but below is a picture of the bearing uninstalled and another photo of the bearing installed with car on the ground, to show its neutral rest position.

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    - '03 ZHP Schwartz Sedan/6MT: Bistein/H&R, PFC Z-Rated, Square 235's, Supa-Silky-Soft Coby Treatment (186K)
    - '04 M3 Alpine White Coupe/6MT: Track Prepped, Loved, *Sold and Missed (114K)
    - '04 ZHP Alpine White Coupe/6MT: Koni/H&R, PFC08's, *Totaled By a Wild Subaru On The Highway (152K)
    - '03 Lexus LX470 AHC, Night Vision Equipped: Focal/Alpine/JL Audio, 33" BFG's, Comfort Wagon (235K)
    Moderately Impure Purist.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    22841
    Posts
    8,979
    Any issues with the install? Also do they come pre-greased or do you have to grease them prior to install using their tool kit?

    His - 2004 Imola Red / Alcantara 330i | 6MT | ZHP |

    Her's - 2005 Black Sapphire Metallic / Black Leather 330i | 6MT | ZHP |

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