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Old Sat, Feb-19-2011, 06:09:38 AM   #11
FL-M3Vert
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Default Re: E46 performance on a budget (AKA bang for the buck)

Performance on a budget? Buy a faster car. Its cheaper. Seriously. On a naturally aspirated highly tuned engine like ours its hard to get more usable power without adding a SC or turbo. Then if you add that much power you have to reinforce everything else to handle the power. Cheapest bang for the buck performance would probably be tires and brake pads. Intake, exhaust, headers = better noise for a lot of money.
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Old Sun, Apr-26-2015, 05:09:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: E46 performance on a budget (AKA bang for the buck)

1. Drivers training. You will get more from this alone than anything else.

+1
For our Lemons car at Buttonwillow and Sonoma Raceway, the lap time delta between our fastest and 2nd fastest driver is about 5 seconds. The delta between our fastest and slowest is 15 seconds. Same car, same tires. At Thunderhill running the full 5 mile course, the delta is 8 seconds between fastest and 2nd fastest and 25 seconds to slowest. No mod to the car will make as much of a difference as learning to drive. Sign up for a performance driving clinic and get some seat time.

After that if you really want to mod the car, get better tires. For Lemons we're limited to 200 treadwear tires or harder and everyone runs the BFG Goodrich Rivals, Dunlop Direzza Star Spec IIs, or the Falken Azenis RT-615. Pretty soft tires if you're trying to get mileage, but lots of grip and can take the abuse for a shitbox endurance race. Tires help acceleration, braking, and cornering. Basically helps everything. No point in getting more power or better brakes if you're running crap for tires.

If you've done both (though you'll never be done with learning), then I'd start poking around at other stuff.
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Discussing E46 performance on a budget (AKA bang for the buck) in the E46 FAQ Forum - at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)