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      05-09-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
tlee55
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1st time Auto - X with the 135i(pictures inside)

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=16says&s=6

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=ioiwt2&s=6

Just bought my 135i(2009) ~ 1 month ago. Current mods are: AST 4100 coilovers (550 /784 hypercoil springs), cobb stage 1 linear, vorshlag camber plates(set at ~ 1.85), hankook v12's(came with the car used)

Got a chance to take it out to auto - x with speed ventures. Had a blast learned alot about how to drive the 135i throughout the day. I believe I did pretty decent compared to the rest of the "competition" there. Placed myself about where I would expect(slower then the evo 9's, miata's etc, but fast then the mustangs, 335i's, prelude's etc.)

Impressions: I definitely felt the understeer, especially on the sharp S's. Overall felt good. This was however a LOW speed course were it was very difficult to "put the power down" at any spot on the course(yes yes I know its an autocross course). I think the fastest you could get on the course ~ 45 mph maybe 50.

As for the AST 4100, I think they were great....eliminated most body roll and the ride quality is great (even on the crazy pot holes over the 10 freeway). In fact I think the ride quality and comfort is on par with stock M suspension if placed on the softer dampening settings. For the auto x I was running stiffest in the rear and 3 clicks from stiffest in the front. Anyways had a blast, I think my camber in the front and better tires next time running will help my times alot(Rs3's!, ~-3 degrees camber)

Last edited by tlee55; 05-09-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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      05-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlee55 View Post
Just bought my 135i(2009) ~ 1 month ago. Current mods are: AST 4100 coilovers (550 /784 hypercoil springs), cobb stage 1 linear, vorshlag camber plates(set at ~ 1.85), hankook v12's(came with the car used)
Great car and looks like it's got all the right mods for an autocross!

Quote:
Got a chance to take it out to auto - x with speed ventures. Had a blast learned alot about how to drive the 135i throughout the day.
I would highly recommend doing your next autocross with a BMW club chapter. Either the LA chapter, which runs their autocrosses also at Auto Clib Speedway AND/or the San Diego chapter, which runs their autocrosses at Qualcomm stadium in San Diego.

LA chapter (next auto-x May 20th):
http://www.bmwclubla.org/calendar.php

San Diego chapter (next auto-x May 12th):
http://sdbmwcca.com/

With the BMW club, you get top notch FREE instructors and will learn so much more than you can learn all by yourself. The're a great bunch of people coming to the BMW events and I'll bet you'll leave not only with a whole lot of new driving skills, you'll also make a ton of friends there!

Also, the BMW club is usually a bit more safety minded than Speed Ventures seems to be (still can't believe they put a slalom that close to that curb):


Quote:
Impressions: I definitely felt the understeer, especially on the sharp S's.
To quote my favourite instructor: "Slow in, fast out...."

Quote:
This was however a LOW speed course were it was very difficult to "put the power down" at any spot on the course(yes yes I know its an autocross course). I think the fastest you could get on the course ~ 45 mph maybe 50.
As you said - it's an autocross. While I've done speeds in excess of 80+ at Qualcomm, that's certainly not the norm. Part of having a safe autocross is keeping the speeds down.

That said, the large parking lot at Qualcomm does allow for higher speeds:


Quote:
As for the AST 4100, I think they were great....eliminated most body roll and the ride quality is great (even on the crazy pot holes over the 10 freeway). In fact I think the ride quality and comfort is on par with stock M suspension if placed on the softer dampening settings. For the auto x I was running stiffest in the rear and 3 clicks from stiffest in the front.
I think that's a bad idea. For the autocross you WANT some body roll. I would (and I am not) running anywhere near the stiffest settings. I would probably operate a lot lower towards the soft end of the travel. Your mileage will vary of course.

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Anyways had a blast, I think my camber in the front and better tires next time running will help my times alot(Rs3's!, ~-3 degrees camber)
Yupp! The tires alone (RS-3's or Star Specs) will make a HUGE difference! You won't believe how much more grip & confidence you will have.

Come down to San Diego or do the next event at the Speedway with the LA chapter! You'll have even more fun than you're already having!

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      05-09-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
tlee55
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Thanks for the tips. I will definitely play around with my dampening settings to get a better feel for what is better(I started at 4/4 in the beginning of the day).

I was there that day when the corvette crashed. The crash was definitely a mix of a series of unfortunate issues(driver skill or lack there of and bad course design, which btw was set up by the Porsche club of america's orange county safety instructor =), his name is Chuck).

I will definitely check out the BMW autocross events, especially considering speedventures is not hosting an autocross until august.

Anyways thanks again for the tips.

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      05-16-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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Wow that space is huge compared to what we have in Colorado. I have been considering a similar coilover set up but was going to go with a ~350lb front spring. I am glad to hear it is still comfortable with that much spring.
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      05-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
tlee55
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Wow that space is huge compared to what we have in Colorado. I have been considering a similar coilover set up but was going to go with a ~350lb front spring. I am glad to hear it is still comfortable with that much spring.
AST 4100 are amazing dampers.....feels great at 550.
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