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      09-13-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
MM135
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Autocross: First Mod?

Hi All,

Just did my first autocross this past weekend (Got 1st place in Class and 2nd place overall for "Novice" WOO!!!) and i am HOOKED!

Up-to this point i have done nothing to improve the handling of my 1er, only the power - In light of my new addiction i now want to make my car purpose built to Autocross while still being my DD.

With that - I just bought a new set of Wheels/Tires 225's in front and 255's in back to get rid of my stock RFT's and help stick to the road a bit better.

What would be the suggestion for my first mod to help the car handle better when im out Auto-xing... Or in what order would you piece together the suspension and with which parts to build the best platform on our cars to Auto-x.

I was thinking - DUH - Coilovers are your first mod, but as i read through all these threads, i am not so sure any more.... and if Coilovers are the first mod.... WHICH ONES???

Sorry for the long post - and thank you in advance for all of your help!!!
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      09-13-2012, 12:39 AM   #2
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Camber plates so you can run 245 or 255 square.
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      09-13-2012, 01:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MM135 View Post
Hi All,

Just did my first autocross this past weekend (Got 1st place in Class and 2nd place overall for "Novice" WOO!!!) and i am HOOKED!

Up-to this point i have done nothing to improve the handling of my 1er, only the power - In light of my new addiction i now want to make my car purpose built to Autocross while still being my DD.

With that - I just bought a new set of Wheels/Tires 225's in front and 255's in back to get rid of my stock RFT's and help stick to the road a bit better.

What would be the suggestion for my first mod to help the car handle better when im out Auto-xing... Or in what order would you piece together the suspension and with which parts to build the best platform on our cars to Auto-x.

I was thinking - DUH - Coilovers are your first mod, but as i read through all these threads, i am not so sure any more.... and if Coilovers are the first mod.... WHICH ONES???

Sorry for the long post - and thank you in advance for all of your help!!!
Check what your club allows.

Front sway bar is generally a mod that all clubs allow to run in a low class and not compete with people that have totally tricked out their rides.

or... Tires! Direzza star specs, Bridgestone RE-11's, or Yoko AD08's!
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      09-13-2012, 03:46 AM   #4
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Hankook RS-3 tires is the best for their price! for coilover, kw v3 is good, if you have the money, kw club sport is even better; however, they are 2 way adjustable, so you need to learn how to set up your shock. moreover, I think LSD is better choice to improve the handling.
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      09-13-2012, 04:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love67
Hankook RS-3 tires is the best for their price! for coilover, kw v3 is good, if you have the money, kw club sport is even better; however, they are 2 way adjustable, so you need to learn how to set up your shock. moreover, I think LSD is better choice to improve the handling.
Kw's always seem overpriced

$1500 for non adjustable? Ugh
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      09-13-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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First best thing you can do is get a square setup on tires vs the staggered setup you have now. Add in real camber plates and you're on a really good start. You'd be amazed how much those two things will improve the handling of the car.

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Originally Posted by MM135 View Post
Hi All,

Just did my first autocross this past weekend (Got 1st place in Class and 2nd place overall for "Novice" WOO!!!) and i am HOOKED!

Up-to this point i have done nothing to improve the handling of my 1er, only the power - In light of my new addiction i now want to make my car purpose built to Autocross while still being my DD.

With that - I just bought a new set of Wheels/Tires 225's in front and 255's in back to get rid of my stock RFT's and help stick to the road a bit better.

What would be the suggestion for my first mod to help the car handle better when im out Auto-xing... Or in what order would you piece together the suspension and with which parts to build the best platform on our cars to Auto-x.

I was thinking - DUH - Coilovers are your first mod, but as i read through all these threads, i am not so sure any more.... and if Coilovers are the first mod.... WHICH ONES???

Sorry for the long post - and thank you in advance for all of your help!!!
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      09-13-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MM135 View Post
Just did my first autocross this past weekend (Got 1st place in Class and 2nd place overall for "Novice" WOO!!!) and i am HOOKED!



Quote:
What would be the suggestion for my first mod to help the car handle better when im out Auto-xing... Or in what order would you piece together the suspension and with which parts to build the best platform on our cars to Auto-x.
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.


Quote:
I was thinking - DUH - Coilovers are your first mod, but as i read through all these threads, i am not so sure any more.... and if Coilovers are the first mod....
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.

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      09-13-2012, 07:25 PM   #8
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Please look at what is allowed in each class and decide what class would make sense for you. Based off you winning your class with a 100% stock car I assume you are in SCCA and D stock so I am writing this with the SCCA in mind.

In stock classes you can change wheels (if within 5 mm offset of stock and same size as original stock wheels), any tires including r comps, front sway bar, shocks, and break pads and fluid. So, if you want to stay stock I would do an alignment and shocks. Hold off on r-comps for at least season as it would be beneficial to learn to feel your car and your mistakes where r comps will hide errors. You can also dd street tires. Most of the national winners on street tires were on Dunlop Star Specs. Nationally integras have owned this class for a while.

For Street Turing Ultimate you can only have street tires but for the most part any suspension mod as long as you don't change mounting points or replace rubber parts with metal ones. All exhaust mods as long as you have one cat I think. Intakes and tunes that don't change boost are okay. I am pretty sure you can do roll cages, harneses and racing seats. I race in STU and am competitive locally with my mods but not nationally. I have very nice coilovers, the front m3 bits, camber plates, and lightweight wheels with as much rubber as I can fit without rubbing.

I would advise against kw unless you go up to KW Clubsports and for that much you have better options in my opinion. The KW 1, 2, and 3 all have progressive springs which are made more for the street than the track. While square tires is an easy way to give you a more neutral balance they will decrease grip. You are probably better off dialing out understeer in other ways and getting a bigger rear wheels. I don't wear through my tires unevenly side to side so it does not save money to rotate other then the smaller tires being cheaper. If you don't have camber plates plan or chewing through front tires at an alarming rate as they will roll over the edges and you may get camber sheer.

I may not win nationally but I am building my car how I want it. I suggest you do the same. In that case I recommend decent tires, shocks or coilovers if you can afford them, camber plates, and as much seat time as you can get. If you want it to be easy to rotate the back of the car then maybe a square set up makes sense for you, just be aware you are not getting 1000 points with it. Make sure to focus on what you want and not nessisarily what will cut the time because you are going to enjoy your car not to win a key chain.
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Last edited by Clovef; 09-13-2012 at 10:26 PM. Reason: I am a dumb jerk so I often need some editing. Sorry
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      09-13-2012, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovef View Post
Please look at what is allowed in each class and decide what class would make sense for you. Based off you winning your class with a 100% stock car I assume you are in SCCA and D stock so I am writing this with the SCCA in mind.
You assumed wrong.
He raced with the BMW CCA.

Quote:
So, if you want to stay stock I would do an alignment and shocks.
He already has a tune which puts him out of stock even with SCCA IIRC.

Quote:
Hold off on r-comps for at least season as it would be beneficial to learn to feel your car and your mistakes where r comps will hide errors. You can also dd street tires. Most of the national winners on street tires were on Dunlop Star Specs.
I agree. Star Specs or RS-3s as I mentioned.

Quote:
I may not win nationally but I am building my car how I want it. I suggest you do the same. In that case I recommend decent tires, shocks or coilovers if you can afford them, camber plates,
Agreed on building the car you want. Which contradicts your first paragraph by the way. Since camber plates are so essential to making the 135i handle better on the street and off, I again have to disagree on any emphasis on coil-overs over camber plates.

Quote:
If you want it to be easy to rotate the back of the car then maybe a square set up makes sense for you, just be aware you are not getting 1000 points with it.
You're not making much sense here, I'm afraid. A square setup is all about turn in, not rear rotation. It's been wildly successful on out cars as far as I can tell and I wouldn't want to go back to a staggered setup for sure.

Anyway, while I like a good discussion, let's not confuse the OP.

My recommendation remains the same: Alignment, tires, camber plates is all you need initially. That's a great setup to have fun.
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      09-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by int2str View Post





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??
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Last edited by MM135; 09-13-2012 at 10:45 PM.
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      09-13-2012, 10:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MM135 View Post
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...


Quote:
i got Hankook Ventus V12's so hopefully they will work out a little better than the stock tires.
*Anything* is better than the stock tires . The V12s aren't great, but certainly much better than stock. If you still have a choice, again, Star Specs or RS-3 are much better.

Quote:
Alignment - Do i do this Pre-Camber plate install or post?
Installing camber plates will require a new alignment. So if you plan on doing camber plates soon (which you should ), don't worry about the alignment first. If you're not doing camber plates soon, get an alignment first and ask them to pull the alignment pins on the top of the shock towers.

Quote:
I won a GC to Midnight Oil so i will defiantly use them - What should i be asking for?
Ask Seth for his "go-fast" alignment

Quote:
Camber PLates - What exactly do they do and why is there such heavy emphasis on these? Is there a recommended brand/set-up?
The 135i (and most recent non-M BMWs) has a very neutral camber setup (<1 degree). Camber plates allow you to adjust camber to a much wider range. For autocross you'll probably want around -2.5 to -3 degree camber out front.

This will do 2 things:
1. Your car will turn-in much quicker and handle better
2. Your tires will wear more evenly and you won't ruin the shoulders on your tires.

It quite transforms the handling of the car.

Mine are from TC Kline (who've just released a new model that looks interesting):
http://www.tcklineracing.com/webdocs...Details811.cfm

But most here recommend Ground Control:
http://www.ground-control-store.com/.../II=842/CA=206

Quote:
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??
I really would take it easy with the mods in the beginning. Trust me, between stickier rubber and *maybe* camber plates, you'll improve quite a bit - especially with additional seat time.

Quote:
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??
Absolutely! I've done my first auto-x about 2 years ago and haven't missed one since .
I'm very happy to help out.

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      09-13-2012, 10:53 PM   #12
MM135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by int2str View Post




*Anything* is better than the stock tires . The V12s aren't great, but certainly much better than stock. If you still have a choice, again, Star Specs or RS-3 are much better.



Installing camber plates will require a new alignment. So if you plan on doing camber plates soon (which you should ), don't worry about the alignment first. If you're not doing camber plates soon, get an alignment first and ask them to pull the alignment pins on the top of the shock towers.



Ask Seth for his "go-fast" alignment



The 135i (and most recent non-M BMWs) has a very neutral camber setup (<1 degree). Camber plates allow you to adjust camber to a much wider range. For autocross you'll probably want around -2.5 to -3 degree camber out front.

This will do 2 things:
1. Your car will turn-in much quicker and handle better
2. Your tires will wear more evenly and you won't ruin the shoulders on your tires.

It quite transforms the handling of the car.

Mine are from TC Kline (who've just released a new model that looks interesting):
http://www.tcklineracing.com/webdocs...Details811.cfm

But most here recommend Ground Control:
http://www.ground-control-store.com/.../II=842/CA=206



I really would take it easy with the mods in the beginning. Trust me, between stickier rubber and *maybe* camber plates, you'll improve quite a bit - especially with additional seat time.



Absolutely! I've done my first auto-x about 2 years ago and haven't missed one since .
I'm very happy to help out.


Perfect - I definatly still have time to change my tires... The set isnt due in until 9/27 so i can change the order... I will see what else the company offers.

Camber plates - DONE - I saw the vorshlag ones, looked very easy to adjust, but if the ones above come recommended, i will have them before the next event

What about springs... Eibach Pro kit, H&R Super Sport?? When i change the springs should i also change the shocks??
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      09-13-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
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Perfect - I definatly still have time to change my tires... The set isnt due in until 9/27 so i can change the order... I will see what else the company offers.
Dunlop Direzza Star Spec Z1 (not the D-whatever a lot of companies try to petal)
Hankook RS-3
Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Those would be my top 3 recommendations. Either one is good.

Quote:
Camber plates - DONE - I saw the vorshlag ones, looked very easy to adjust, but if the ones above come recommended, i will have them before the next event
Dang, forgot about Vorschlag - they are highly recommended, too. I suggest you make a separate thread on that or search past one. I'm no expert on these, but I think you can't go wrong with either.

Quote:
What about springs... Eibach Pro kit, H&R Super Sport?? When i change the springs should i also change the shocks??
No idea on the springs. I hope somebody else will chime in.
Maybe save your money for now and don't get shocks and get coil-overs later?
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      09-15-2012, 12:10 AM   #14
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Ok - so in light of the advice I have the following:

New rims and tires on the way, staggered. Hankooks v12

New springs: eibach pro kit

Camber plates: Ground Control

I think the October Autox it should be a lot better! That'll be it for now - until I get a few more under y belt an some solid seat time with that set up...

So with the camber plates - what should I run when I'm driving daily? I know go all the way to -3deg at the events, but what on the street??
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      09-15-2012, 12:51 AM   #15
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Hankooks v12
I thought you could still change that?
Oh well - better than nothing

Quote:
I think the October Autox it should be a lot better! That'll be it for now - until I get a few more under y belt an some solid seat time with that set up...
Excellent choices made! You won't believe how well the car is going to turn in now! This will really hold you over for a while. The more you learn and the more you push, the better you'll be able to identify exactly what you'd like to change next (if anything).

Quote:
So with the camber plates - what should I run when I'm driving daily? I know go all the way to -3deg at the events, but what on the street?
I personally run almost -3 at all times, both auto-x and street. Go for a good in-between setup. Maybe -2.5 - -2.8 up front and -2 or so in the back (ask Seth for a good suggestion)

My tires show no abnormal wear on the street. In fact, my tires wear more evenly now. And this way you don't have to keep adjusting back/forth.
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      09-15-2012, 02:02 AM   #16
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So i am clear.... Camber plate are only for the front... right???
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      09-15-2012, 08:47 AM   #17
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So i am clear.... Camber plate are only for the front... right???
Yes.

The rear camber is already very adjustable with the stock suspension.
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