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      10-04-2015, 06:24 PM   #1
RyanDavies
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Ryan's 2012 128i MSport STX / Daily Driver Escapades

I'll likely blog a bit more of this stuff as time goes on, but figure I'd get something started on here. I plan on being pretty much totally public with my build, and document just about everything I can for public edification.

I've been autocrossing for around a decade now. Up until 2013, I don't think I did more than 3 or 4 events a year top, and wasn't particularly very good. I started out in this, an E36 non-sunroof 4dr. Nothing too crazy while I autocrossed it, but enough to get me doing a few events while I was in college at Florida State. I think my first event was in 2006, and ran this between 2006-2008.



After that, I had a couple other neat autocross cars, and some poor ones. Mazda3, Miata R-Package, '93 MR2 hardtop. But again, I was sitll really only doing a couple events a year, and wasn't particularly good. I decided to change that in 2013, and a good friend of mine offered up a seat in an '01 S2000 he'd built for STR.



2013 resulted in me attending my first Nationals (bottom third of the field), and my first three ProSolos. I started making improvements as a driver throughout the year, and decided I wanted to campaign my own car.

So I bought a 2006 S2000 to build myself. I went fairly whole-hog on it between 2014/2015 seasons, and learned a lot about setup and driving.



2015 was somewhat of an unusual year, where life interruptions / car breakage kept putting a damper in my ability to commit to the season. I decided I was done with the S2000 around May, but continued to run it when I could. I've been a BMW guy for a long time, and met Kyle last year when he was first starting his build, I actually think at the Toledo event he'd won. I hadn't paid much attention to the E82 chassis before, but his success piqued my curiosity. I went and test drove a giant pile of shit 128, white M-Sport with 91K or so on it, sunroof. That said, I loved it. It was basically my old E36, but built in 2012. Simple, nice interior, ample power, and fun. Kyle had demonstrated that it could be developed to run up front in STX. So I began my search (and Kyle being bombarded with questions, along with another friend of mine, Terry Baker, who runs a BMW shop in the Virginia Beach area, and also campaigned a 128 this year). I found out pretty quickly I wanted a 2011+ MSport, no sunroof. I wouldn't let myself accept a car with iDrive, or anything other than a black interior, so my options were pretty limited. I found another MSport in California the week before Nationals, but it sold immediately. The day I got home, I discovered this car, and had it shipped from Mississippi. It finally arrived yesterday.



I quickly turned it into an autocross car.



The immediate plans are to do a couple little things that'll improve it as a daily driver, and run it in F-Street at an event or two this year as a shakedown. I want to replace the start/stop button, as it's a little scuffed, as well as install a BMW Performance shift lever. I've got a pair of 225/45/17 Bridgestone RE71R to run up front (leftover from testing on a friend's BStreet S2000), and will toss some 245s in the back that I've got from another friend. I've ordered the UUC front sway bar already as well, and that will basically be the extent of things for the 2015 season. Nothing crazy.

That said, I've began the process of figuring out how I want to take it to STX. Again, Kyle has been instrumental in helping make some of these decisions, both by answering my questions, and my observing his car on course.

I had Motion Control Suspension (MCS) dampers on my S2000, and those helped the car ride better than stock, even with 800lb springs up front, so I plan on continuing the route of "nice shocks", and have ordered JRZ RS Pros (Two-way remote reservoir) from my friend Brian Karwan at Karcepts. While they're known for being a Honda shop, he's able to get a myriad of parts for me, and has been a big supporter of both the S2000s I campaigned over the past couple years, so I'm continuing to give him my business.

I elected to go with JRZ's camber plates up front as well, along with their helper setup, and am starting well on the soft side of springs, like Kyle, with 400lb front springs, and 700lb rear springs. I'm fairly confident I'll end up going up in rate, but as the car will be somewhat of a daily driver, this is a decent starting place.

Next, I absolutely detest how the Kosei wheels look on Kyle's car (they were available for the S2000 as well, I chose to run Enkei wheels on it this past year). Between that, and the large spacer required to fit up front, I was trying to figure out something else. When I came across this picture, my question was answered.



I got a hold of Terence Chang at FRSport (another autocross friend, this community is excellent!), and he's got 17x9 Forgestar F14s in progress for me. I elected to go with a 50 offset rear, and a 35 offset front, per Kyle's advice.

2016 will likely be a "light" year for me, so this isn't a 100% build by any stretch.

The remainder of the season's prep will consist of the following:
- M3 Subframe Bushings.
- Active Autowerke Tune / Simon Tool
- E46 M3 Transmission Mounts
- UUC Rear Sway Bar
- New Rotors / Ferodo DS2500 Pads.

How much farther down the rabbit hole I go next year consists of a number of things, but I'd really like to get a diffsonline (Dan Fitzgerald) diff in the car as well, then get the car nice and light (exhaust, seats, battery), and find some additional power for 2017. We'll see how it all progresses!
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      10-04-2015, 11:17 PM   #2
lowside67
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Congrats and welcome to the fold! Small detail but I am quite sure Kyle runs a 12mm front spacer on his +45 wheels ending up with an effective +33. +35 will definitely clear but may rub the strut if you are planning on running the very wide 255 RE71R under hard cornering.

Also, consider your rear swaybar choice very carefully as it is a real pain in the ass to change - you are right on the money doing it while you do the subframe but you are going to have to live with it. I believe Kyle runs the Eibach, and I run the Hotchkis which are both quality products - I had a UUC Swaybarbarian on my E36 and it was just fine but there have been some mixed reviews for the E8X/E9X product and I was personally not willing to risk it.

Just food for though, good luck!

Mark

PS I also have the same Kosei wheels and also hate the way they look...
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      10-05-2015, 06:15 AM   #3
RyanDavies
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Thanks, Mark!

Yeah, I'm planning on picking up a front spacer if needed. I'm running smaller spring diameter than Kyle, first, and second, if that doesn't help clear, I'll run a 2mm spacer or so. Better than a giant one, IMO.

As far as I know, Kyle has run the Eibach front / UUC rear bar as long as he's been running the car. Mixed reviews how? It either fits or it doesn't, a sway bar is a sway bar. I believe he's switching front bars to run the UUC as well, but I could be wrong.
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      10-05-2015, 07:38 AM   #4
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I actually have some rubber marks on the shock strut. Impressive?

I run the UUC 19mm rear. The Eibach up front was okay besides the fact the bushings were a PITA. They just didn't fit and bolt to the frame correctly, they seemed like the bushings were too big for the actual bracket. So I purchased 28mm E90 M Powerflex bushings and brackets for the bar. And those fit fine.

The bushings for the UUC bar were perfect, no need for concern. I bought a 27mm UUC bar already, I think I had too much bar up front.


Also, don't hate my wheels. They were my option at the time
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      10-05-2015, 08:09 AM   #5
RyanDavies
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Interesting. I'm throwing 225/245 Stones on the stock suspension for a local in two weeks, hopefully they'll fit. I don't own any tires smaller for either end. I need to call Rob @ UUC and see when the bar is due to arrive...
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      10-08-2015, 08:06 AM   #6
RyanDavies
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Well, looks like I'll be running an event while I'm on a mini-vacation in Connecticut. Bone-stock on the runflats. Was talking to Mark Daddio last night, and I predict we'll have a 5 second PAX differential (running on FStreet PAX) . Looks like the last of the new data acquisition stuff is showing up tonight, so I'll be able to use the event as a test for that.
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      10-08-2015, 09:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanDavies View Post
Thanks, Mark!

Yeah, I'm planning on picking up a front spacer if needed. I'm running smaller spring diameter than Kyle, first, and second, if that doesn't help clear, I'll run a 2mm spacer or so. Better than a giant one, IMO.

As far as I know, Kyle has run the Eibach front / UUC rear bar as long as he's been running the car. Mixed reviews how? It either fits or it doesn't, a sway bar is a sway bar. I believe he's switching front bars to run the UUC as well, but I could be wrong.
I think he was talking about this:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217262

Seems like some had issues even with the revised version of the front sway.
I'm looking into doing front/rear sway bars over the winter and ran into a couple of similar reviews.

Let us know if it works out for you(or Kyle).
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      10-08-2015, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpho View Post
I think he was talking about this:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217262

Seems like some had issues even with the revised version of the front sway.
I'm looking into doing front/rear sway bars over the winter and ran into a couple of similar reviews.

Let us know if it works out for you(or Kyle).
Great.....
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      10-08-2015, 11:58 AM   #9
RyanDavies
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It appears looking through that thread that the issues were fixed.
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      10-13-2015, 01:44 PM   #10
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Interesting weekend running the car in completely stock trim. Got a phantom cone on my last run, or would have been 14/90 in PAX, 3.3 PAX seconds behind Daddio. I feel being within .5sec of him on PAX on this particular course would have been where a full-prep, equal driver in an STX 128 would have landed. The car is probably more than a full second off the pace of a top-prep E92 M3 ZCP (where the FS PAX is set), and the AS pax is rather friendly as well. As it stands, I'm estimating I've got around 5 seconds of time to find in STX prep, it seems. I'm guessing that switching to Bridgestones alone is probably 2.5 of that, and correct-size Bridgestones and wheels another 1. 1.5 from bone stock to full-prep sounds about right for the rest of the build.

I was absolutely positive the most hateful part of driving the car was going to be the runflats. While they were pretty bad, this car is so softly sprung and underdamped from the factory, even with the M-Sport package, it was much worse. Kyle has continually mentioned how big of a deal the subframe bushings are on this car as well, and I've never been in a car where bushings mattered THAT much, but both driving to CT from DC on rough roads, and during the event, it was VERY noticeable how much compliance there is. A friend mentioned to me that in a slalom, it's like a fat chick walking. Her legs move, and then a couple tenths of a second later, the ass follows. really weird. The runflats turn in immediately, then it's like a car that has WAY too much compression damping, and the tires are instantly overloaded. I didn't muck with pressures or do anything other than have fun.



Was also testing out the ProClip and all the data stuff, and missed a config setting somehow, so none of my videos recorded, but have all the data. Haven't investigated peak G's, but I'm sure it's rather comical.

The data setup consists of the following:

- GoPro Hero4 Silver w/spare Wasabi Power batteries
- Google Nexus 7 (2013)
- ProClip Console Mount + Tablet Mount
- QStarz BT818XT GPS
- Shapeways QStarz GPS Holder
- OBDLink MX
- SoloStorm Application

Anyways, I've got a local event here in DC next weekend. I'm codriving Matt Jones' (2nd place GS at Nationals this past year) STX Subaru BRZ in the competition session in the AM, then will run non-comp in the 128. Will be swapping over to Bridgestones RE71Rs on the stock wheels (225F, 245R), and these came in as well, so those will go on tomorrow with the new tires.



In addition, I've adjusted my future plans to use the AKG subframe bushings instead of the OEM M3 bushings. Similar price, and would rather run a more solid bushing there. I've also ordered the BMW Performance shift lever, clip, bushing, a replacement start/stop button (mine is scuffed, only real cosmetic flaw inside of the car), and E46 M3 transmission mounts. I'm hoping to get them both in next week for my final events of the year (Sat/Sun combo in Hershey, PA).

Last edited by RyanDavies; 10-13-2015 at 01:52 PM..
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      10-19-2015, 12:23 PM   #11
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So, the past week or so was kind of interesting.

A friend had some E90 Eibach Bars (28mm and 15mm) laying around, I picked them up from him as something temporary. Tossed the front on and listed the rear up for sale, as I know I'll go to something bigger. The stock bar is VERY bound up on the car. I'll still be getting rid of this for the UUC bar when it arrives, so if anyone wants an Eibach bar cheap...

Studs also went on, which was nice, so now I can more easily change wheels.

And that's where the positives end. I decided I wanted to get some time in my car, so opted not to run Jones' car in the AM, and just run mine. "How bad can it be?". He and I have driven together several times in either car, and are usually PRETTY close (few tenths either way, tops).



8/17 in STX. A mile back. Would have been just as far off of a win in FS (John Vitamvas codriving an FS E90 M3).

I had no idea how bad the car would be, and Matt and I agreed on a 2 second raw time "beer bet". He got me by some absurd margin, 3.6 (on a 70 second course)? Monstrous push everywhere, yet still one tire fire. It was better than on run-flats, but just barely so. I don't think I left more than a few tenths on the table. I guess my frame of reference are cars like CS Twins -> STX twins, and BS S2000s -> STR S2000s, where full prep to full prep, they should only be about a second apart. This car will gain probably triple that in prep, maybe more. Depressing result, and I'm canning the car until I get get the JRZs/Forgestars under it. Probably going to do a diff before next year, earlier than I thought.
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      10-26-2015, 12:43 AM   #12
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When I drove my friend's stock suspension 128i with some square but smaller (225?) Michelin PSSs, I was 3.2s back of the leader in STX.

Today I had the first chance to run in my car and with the new differential, damaged coilovers with no adjustment, and my 255 RE71Rs I was 1.8s back from the same car.

Some more setup is going to easily drop another 1/2 second off this car - we were guessing on everything from alignment to tire pressure. I think realistically if you have got the Forgestars, JRZs, swaybars, and the LSD then I think you are probably 1 second off of a full tilt car. Some weight reduction, better brake pads, and making some more power via a header and tuning will close that gap.

Mark
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      10-26-2015, 02:46 PM   #13
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Header and tune will now be coming before next year.

I ordered my diff from Dan at Diffsonline. Same one Kyle has. The Forgestars are coming in this week, and the JRZs are now 2 weeks out. AKG subframe bushings (from Harrison Motorsports) show up Wednesday, and I'm try to figure out when my rear bar is going to arrive, and pick a time when I can get it that and the bushings installed at Terry Baker's.

If you're still guessing on alignment, shock settings, and tire pressure, there's a lot more than a half second to come out of setup.

How long are these courses you mention? Saying "1/2 second back" on a 30 second course is very different than a 70.
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      10-26-2015, 05:28 PM   #14
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These are on a 50 second course give or take. And yes lots of guesswork although alignment and rake share a lot of commonalities with the e36 I campaigned before this car.

The car really felt like it was fighting the LSD tremendously, I need to rule out a few things, it should help improve things a lot.

After the first day, I can't overestimate the importance of an improved set of brake pads, in the dry for smooth braking I really couldn't activate ABS no matter how hard I put my foot into it.

Good luck, I'm excited to see the car!
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      10-27-2015, 02:24 PM   #15
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Thanks! I'm looking for a ballpark on ride height. Any idea what the max camber you can get in the back with stock adjustment is? I plan on starting at around 3.5F and 2.x rear, depending upon what I can manage. 1/8 total toe in or so. The E36s loved to have a nice low rear, and a not particularly low front. Same with the E46s. We shall see how this plays out. I also am curious how much rear ride height impacts camber/toe (IE, with a quarter inch change at the wheel up/down, I wonder what the specific effect is).
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      11-13-2015, 07:10 AM   #16
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Shit just got real.
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      11-13-2015, 08:44 AM   #17
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Stupid shocks are stupid
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      11-13-2015, 12:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RyanDavies View Post


Shit just got real.
Good lord. Looks like you got the revised version as well judging from the canisters. I've driven my buddy's 335i with these and they are unreal, have fun
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      11-13-2015, 01:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kgolf31 View Post
Stupid shocks are stupid
It's good to see somebody doing a serious build the right way on one of these cars, Kyle.

I have to buy another daily driver now. .
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      11-13-2015, 01:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanDavies View Post
It's good to see somebody doing a serious build the right way on one of these cars, Kyle.

I have to buy another daily driver now. .
LOL first post:

Quote:
2016 will likely be a "light" year for me, so this isn't a 100% build by any stretch
But yes, at least someone is doing it right this time around
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      11-13-2015, 03:52 PM   #21
RyanDavies
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Bahahahahaha .

Yeah, I think the "light year" ship has sailed.
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      11-14-2015, 12:06 AM   #22
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Nice work!

Do you have to convert to the M style rear lower camber links or do these work with the OEM rear camber links?

Mark
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