Originally Posted by int2str
Step 0: Alignment
Go to Mighnight Oil Motorsports on Miramar (tell them Andre sent you) or Oceanside Motorspots and ask them to do an aligment. A proper "go-fast" alignment will do wonders for turn-in.
Step 1: Light weight wheels & sticky tires!!!
Either go 17" (cheaper/faster) with Kosei K1 wheels and 235 NT-01's or Hankook RS-3. Or go 18" Apex EC-7 or ARC-8 with 235/245 RS-3's or Dunlop Star Specs. A square setup is much preferred and also reduces cost since you can rotate tires back<->front and make them last a bit longer.
If you don't want to switch wheels just yet or have a second set of wheels, just get Dunlop Star Specs or Michelin PSS tires. They work well for auto-x and can still be daily driven without problems.
Step 2: Camber plates
Just adding camber plates will allow you to run more negative camber up front which really helps with turn-in.
Step 3a: Springs
If you don't want to do coil-overs right away, go with springs first.
Step 3b: Coilovers
Not really all that necessary at first.
I really don't think coil-overs should be anywhere on your radar right now. If this was your first autocross, continue focusing on driving at first. Remember what your instructor told you and try to implement it next time around. Don't do too much to your car yet since you won't be able to focus on your own improvement if the car under you keeps changing.
That said, camber plates and decent rubber make a huge difference on our cars. They're also quick & easy upgrades that don't break the bank. Go for it!
If I'm not running in TM next event, your biggest competition will be in a N55 135i with just camber plates, springs & good tires. I think you'll need to find 2-3 seconds if you want to beat him.
If I am running in TM and don't get FTD, you'll have more work to do
Hope to see you in October!
Find me and say Hi!
If you have any more questions, I'll be glad to help you out.
Wow! Thanks for all of the feedback guys.
Andre - I defiantly value your opinion, i was eyeballing your car the whole time and yours is the car i plan to chase down in our class as soon as possible - but with an 8 second gap in our times, i have a lot of work to do!!! I was hoping you would chime in actually because i am very curious as to what set-up you have (Saw the write-up in Farhen Affairs) I will most certainly be registering for the October Event as soon as it opens, so i will see you there for sure if not before... I might have to ask you to meet for a coffee or something to talk me through all of this and get some driving tips!!
Regarding Class - I am currently only planning on doing the BMWCCA Auto-X events for now and given my tune, etc i am in the Turbo-Modified class... no restrictions in this class as far as i am aware regarding TIre compund, susp. mods, etc...
So alot of great info has lead to MORE questions...
The Wheels/Tires i have are what they are - A square set-up is not likely to happen before i choose to do other things to the car. I dont think i mentioned i got Hankook Ventus V12's so hopefully they will work out a little better than the stock tires. ---- If not, would i be better off getting another set of tires for Auto-X only and putting them on my Stock 264's and using the ones i just ordered for street driving only? Maybe keep running the stock tires?
Alignment - Do i do this Pre-Camber plate install or post? I won a GC to Midnight Oil so i will defiantly use them - What should i be asking for?
Camber PLates - What exactly do they do and why is there such heavy emphasis on these? Do i only get these for the front or is there rear camber plates also? Is there a recommended brand/set-up?
Springs - Of course, not being one who will play around very much with the Rebound/Compression YET, springs are much more appealing given the cost - Which ones/Rates would be best knowing i intend to Auto-X as much as possible and take the car out to the mountains on a bi-weekly basis - Also with the springs, should i buy new shocks at the same time to pair them with?? (I dont care to lower the car at all if i can avoid it - an inch is ok but much more, ehhhhh)
Lastly - What about everything i have read about getting M3 Bushings, Arms, Sway Bars, etc...??? Is that stuff best kept for WAY down the line or just not as impactful as the things mentioned above??
Again - I really appreciate you guys lending your time and experience to help me out! Everyone was a noob with this stuff at one point or another right??