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      12-02-2011, 12:32 AM   #1
MINI135i
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"Minimum Suspension" Track Data for the 135i (Video)

Many of you know I had a fully prepped 2008 135i, before the 2011 135i DCT, with TC Kline DA coilovers, springs, camber plates, Ht-10 brakes, M3 subframe bushings, etc., so I have some pretty good data on how a 135i can feel in good form on a track.

Well I have been wanting to take the 2011 135i DCT out on the track, so I thought I would see what the "minimum set up" might be to have some fun on track days. I have been driving a 2006 Lotus Elise as a track dedicated car, so the 2011 135i has remained stock and been the daily driver.

Anyway here is the starting minimum set up:

Hotchkis front sway 32mm hollow bar (95% stiffer than stock)
Hankook R-S3 225/255 on stock wheels
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
M3 wishbones

Here is some video of the 2011 DCT in action (BTW- the DCT is fantastic for the track, like it quite a bit. Use headphones to hear all the action as the wind noise is covering up the DCT shifts):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43yRx9XXwTA

Here is the data:

Stock brakes, of course, have to be driven with care. I was touching 130mph at the end of the straight and being very careful with using too much brake. We all know they will cook if driven hard, but I seem to be able to push into the 6 or 7/10ths range of effort and still maintain them usable. Enough to still have fun. When I pushed beyond that, goodbye brakes. The Motul fluid is the winner here, helps a lot.

Tires, fantastic, absolutely necessary. The R-S3 is better than the Z-1 on the track, and I love the Z-1.

Tire wear on outside front edges, extreme. I thought the M3 wishbones, coupled with the big sway bar might help preserve the R-S3 some, but camber plates are needed if you don't want to chew through tires quickly. I would not even bother with the M3 wishbones and just go straight to an adjustable plate with at least 2.5 - 3.0 degrees negative camber.

Stock springs (linear rates on the 2011, way better, but still softies) and shocks...well, the car moves all over real funny like, BUT, was very grippy overall (thank you R-S3), and once you got used to the unnerving bushing/suspension movements in the turns, it really was quite manageable, surprisingly grippy, and a lot of fun.

Using that data, I will be adding the Ground Control street camber plates this coming week and report back. I think the "minimal suspension setup" will be:

Hotchkis front sway 32mm hollow bar (95% stiffer than stock)
Hankook R-S3 225/255 on stock wheels
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
Camber plates (you can skip these if your willing to go through tires fast)

Did I mention the DCT rocks!!

Cheers

Last edited by MINI135i; 12-03-2011 at 09:47 PM.
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      12-03-2011, 08:53 AM   #2
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Data thread needs actual data, the reviews are good but lap times, cornering g's, corner entry/exit speeds aren't subjective
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      12-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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OP, how do you compare your lotus elise to 135i on the track?
Nice driving by the way. Agree about DCT. Its fantastic. But keep in mind, that if you push it really hard, like 10/10th, in 90F+ this tranny may overheat. In that case sometimes DCT refuses to downshift.
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      12-03-2011, 07:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 09 AND135I 11 View Post
OP, how do you compare your lotus elise to 135i on the track?
Nice driving by the way. Agree about DCT. Its fantastic. But keep in mind, that if you push it really hard, like 10/10th, in 90F+ this tranny may overheat. In that case sometimes DCT refuses to downshift.
135i and Lotus are two different beasts but both a lot of fun to drive:

The Lotus is raw, and pure and doesn't feel so top heavy like the bigger, heavier, 135i. High rpm's and little torque, nearest feel to a shifter kart of any production car I've ever driven. On short tracks it rules, but gets out gunned on the big long straights these days. (Ignore the stupid video commentary, as I was talking to a ride along about the Corvette we were chasing down, only to watch him speed away in the straight. Ultimately, passed him after five laps of pestering him through the turns.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgp4xqUOTzs


I'll have to keep an eye on the DCT thing as here in Phoenix I will have plenty of chance to test heat issues, that's for sure. It was a beautiful 70 degrees when we ran it last at the track. We did six, 20 min sessions, with zero issues.

I really am trying to make this 2011 135i a good "in betweener". A car that can be taken to the track and driven for fun while not searching for every last 10th of a second and still drive it to work every day. I figure there are others out there that might be considering the same. I am hoping with these few simple suspension mods it can be just that. The way it is going, it looks promising.

Does your M3 DCT have the same issue with heat?

Last edited by MINI135i; 12-03-2011 at 09:50 PM.
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      12-03-2011, 07:44 PM   #5
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I am going down the same road as far as “in-between” car. I have a Trans-Am Corvette for a hardcore racing car.

I also have M3 front wishbones and Hotchkis front sway along with Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 225/255 on stock wheels. I have Dinan Camber plates ready to install, but I am considering selling them and getting the ground control as well. My previous set of RE-11’s outer edges were burning up.

I run Hawk DTC-70’s on the front and DTC-60’s on the rear. I need to replace my front rotor and I am trying to determine if I need the Racing Brake rotors.
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      12-03-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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MINI135I, i have not tracked my m3 yet. Its my daily driver, so i cant answer your question. The main reason for that is, it is fully loaded(about 3700 pounds), too havy for a dedicated track car imo.
On the other hand, i am very impressed with my 135i.
It has m3 conversion kit, kw3 coilovers with swift springs(400/800), camber plates(-3 on both front sides), upgraded brakes, APEX wheels with BFG r1(245/265). The weight is reduced by 200 pounds, stock engine for now.
I am waiting for COBB AP tune and with catless downpipe this car will be a little track monster
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      12-05-2011, 08:46 AM   #7
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Feels accurate to me, thanks for the opinions.
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      12-26-2011, 11:01 PM   #8
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Well, got back out to the track with the Ground Control camber plates and really like them.

Set them at negative 3 degrees camber, with toe at zero. Pretty much solved the uneven aggressive tire wear on the outside edges. Front end grip is much better. I daily drive this set up at 3 degrees negative camber and zero toe. Even though they are adjustable I am always one to set them and forgot them. Importantly, get that toe at zero and get to the track often to balance out any inside tire wear!

With the M3 wish bones and GC Plates, I can get 3.5-4.0 degrees negative camber, so if you skipped the M3 wish bones (which I recommend if you are going with the GC plates), then 3.0 degrees negative should be easy with just the GC plates.

For reference, those who have run the "Main" track at Firebird International Raceway here in Phoenix, my best lap time was a 1:11.9 with this setup, so not super fast, but not too shabby either. Brakes were hurting though, so 1:13's seemed to be the compromise. With my prepped 2008 135i, 1:09-1:10 was pretty regular on the same track.

So minimal set up is:
Hotchkis front sway 32mm hollow bar (95% stiffer than stock)
Hankook R-S3 225/255 on stock wheels
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
GC Camber plates

Stocks brakes pads do suck if you start getting aggressive, but that is a given. Definitely had to bleed all the softness out of them after the track day. I kept kept telling myself 6/10ths effort only...but you know how that goes sometimes. Good time overall, might try the Ferodo DS2500's in the future.

Had to put a couple of washers under the factory strut braces as they tend to flex and tap (make noise) the bolts that protrude from the plates, no big deal.

A couple of pictures to show the set up:
Attached Images
  

Last edited by MINI135i; 12-27-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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      12-26-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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that's a lot of neg camber for street.
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      12-26-2011, 11:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szcyxzh View Post
that's a lot of neg camber for street.
Not when you track or autocross a lot
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      12-26-2011, 11:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINI135i View Post
Not when you track or autocross a lot
GOOD JOB
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