December 26, 2010 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Current daily driver as a future track car?

I was a driver in the SoCal 24 of LeMons race this month and I want to further this exhilarating hobby.

Car is an '08 e90 M3. What can I do now and for the foreseeable future (7 years or so) in terms of maintenance? It seems that the suggested BMW schedule is rather Spartan and does nothing more than keep the car going until the warranty runs out. The car is not modified in any way now. I put about 8,000 miles per year on it.

I understand all the safety and performance mods that will have to be completed. Roll cage, stripping for weight reduction, etc.
posted by Cuspidx to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The guy who writes the tech column for Bimmer magazine is a bit of a fanatic/crank on the subject of BMW's current recommended maintenance schedule. If you write him, he will mail you a copy of his recommendations for maintenance (which are heavily based on, if not identical to, BMW's old maintenance schedule).
posted by asterix at 6:54 PM on December 26, 2010

If you own the car, why not track it now? So long as you don't crash, it's a pretty durable car, and a few track days a year (BMWCCA tends to hold a lot of driving schools and trackdays) are well within its duty cycle given proper maintenance for tracking...

...which is to say, you may want to increase the maintenance (or at very least, inspection) frequency for things like suspension, cooling system, and brakes (brake fluid changes may become more frequent for better braking performance on the track, for instance).

In any case, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and all that, so make sure it's squared away ahead of time, keep an hawklike eye on it, and get to apexing!
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 2:55 AM on December 27, 2010

You know it's gonna be a looooooong time before an E90 could be considered a LeMons car, right?

The guys who run E30s still have to get junkers and sell off most of the parts to get under $500.
posted by hwyengr at 10:45 AM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: We had trouble dumbing down two early '70s 2002s to pass tech. I don't even plan on getting my daily into a LeMons race or on any other tracks soon. Two friends putting their cars into walls has made me leery.

I'm pretty happy renting low hp cars (Miata, Sentra) to get the feel for momentum and smoothness right now. Once I get a better at getting around a track, I'll jump up in hp.

(Sorry about the fb link. It's the only pic of our car online)
posted by Cuspidx at 11:20 AM on December 27, 2010

IMO, an E90 is far too nice to put on the track, unless you're absolutely made of money. Get your SCCA or NASA Competition license and jump into Spec Miata club racing. Wheel to wheel racing beats the pants off of even timed solo events, and Spec Miatas are among the cheapest race cars to own and operate -- they still cost a fortune, but a smaller fortune than most other cars.
posted by LordSludge at 8:51 PM on December 27, 2010

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