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M3 Track: Racing and DE Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start!


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Old Sun, Apr-15-2012, 05:23:05 PM   #1
mtrtm
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Default Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

Hi everyone,

I did a day of autocross and a day on the track last year. I really enjoyed it and I'm planning to do 5 days of autocross and a few days on the track this year. I have stock 19's with ps2s right now and would like a second 'track set' so I am not worrying about my daily driver tires burning up.

I am not quite sure what to go with for a beginner setup though. I know from searching the forums there are a lot of varying opinions out there, but it sounds like 265/35/18s on 18x9.5 et35 square setup are a good, flexible choice but wanted to see if anyone has gone this route and regretted it.

For my new setup, I want no rubbing and I don't want to roll my fenders. I would like to have the option of using spacers but don't want to HAVE to use them right away. This will be the first mod, but I figure my second mod will be coilovers and I don't want to buy rims/tires that will rub/not fit if I do suspension work. I am planning on getting rims in the $200-300/rim range so if I do something bad to them I won't start crying.

Q1) What rim/tire measurements should I get for a good all-around setup?

Q2) I know R compound tires put you in a diff category in autocross. Should I do that even though I am a newb?

Q3) This is the first time I am looking into rims, and not sure about rims being hubcentric/lugcentric. Is it important the rims are hubcentric or are adapters fine for track use? How would I order hubcentric rims?

Anything else I need to know/am missing? I would also be interested in what brands rim/tire worked well for your first setup.

I don't need the craziest setup with microns to spare - I just want something that is the average setup and is flexible enough that if I want to do something more this or next year it will work.
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Old Sun, Apr-15-2012, 05:37:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

A1) 18x9.5 et 35 is a popular size for a square set-up that'll be used for the track and it will allow the used of spacers, specifically at the rear if you'd like to run them (10 to 12mm spacer). I noticed that you don't want suspension mods just yet, which is actually a good thing, BUT fitting a wide wheel up front will require camber that you're OEM set-up might not be able to accommodate (free-camber mod pending ~ see MadRussian's free camber mod). With a 9.5" wheel, a 265/35 tire would be ideal, but you may want to look into a 255 tire if fitment is a concern. Overall you've picked a good wheel size, but you should consider camber plates just so you have peace of mind should your tires start to rub up front. I'd wouldn't worry about the rear even with spacers and no fender mod.

A2) Yes, R comps will definitely bump you up in a class where cars are most likely heavily prepped; you can be in A Stock (AS) where you can put R-comp's on stock size wheels and the car not modified, so consider this an option.

A3) Hubcentric


Brand rim: APEX seems to running m3forum, but their wheels are top quality, are cheap with respect to other track wheels like Volks , and are readily available Tires, Hankook RS-3 would be a good start (265/35)
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Old Sun, Apr-15-2012, 06:45:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

This may not be the answer you're looking for but if you are a beginner you already have the best possible set up. That would be the stock wheels/tires that you are used to driving with. You shouldn't be going crazy with changing the balance of the car to make it "better". If you've already done a day you should know how much you have to focus on where to be on the track. Now imagine all that, people passing you, and ALSO dealing with possible oversteer when you didn't expect it. Yes you'll wear down the tires faster but you already have them so you'll have more money for the best mod you can buy: track time.

That said, I understand the desire to get shiny new toys so if thats part of your motivation it sounds like you have a good plan. I went 18x9 OEMs with 265/35 all around. The fronts hit the fender at full lock but that situation doesn't come up too often. This is at -3 camber. Then I went to town with the spray paint. Doesn't get much cheaper than that.
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Old Sun, Apr-15-2012, 11:34:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

Hey guys, thanks for the input.

Achilles, even with the extra space of the stock suspension you think I will need camber? Not that I would know, but that surprised me since it seems like some guys are running coilovers which lower the car and they still have room (yeah, they have camber but does camber make that much of a difference!?) I am definitely not knowledgeable in this area so please feel free to explain.

Terps, I have a 04 Tacoma too Its not so much that I want something shiny and new, but my track days are almost all paid for already and I really want something that if I bend a rim or kill a tire I won't have to worry - its what they are for. That and I can get home. The couple days I did on the track really did a number on my ps2s, so much that I had to get a new set, and when I was talking to a guy with a e46 M3 he said I would be lucky to get 5k out of them taking them to the track. So I really would rather have a track set and a normal set. Also, I was running in the middle of the pack for all my times against more experienced people, so while I have a lot to learn I was handling it pretty well.

That said, why did you choose 9s instead of 9.5s?
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Old Mon, Apr-16-2012, 12:25:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

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That said, why did you choose 9s instead of 9.5s?
I already had 2 OEM 18" rears and picked up 2 more from the forum for $150. So I got my full track wheel setup for 1/2 the price of a single new wheel.
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Old Mon, Apr-16-2012, 04:49:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

If I get Hankook RS3s, that still keeps me in the standard tire class, right?
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Old Mon, Apr-16-2012, 06:32:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

Lots of members use the 18x9.5 +35 wheel setup with no issue on stock suspension. Generally, people will run a spacer in the rear, but it's not necessary. There's a member on here (jph28, I think) who ran this setup with TRMotorsport MT-1 on stock suspension for a while. Another member (BlazenXLT) ran four OEM rears on stock suspension as well. Both ran the free camber mod and their cars seemed to work perfect.
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Old Mon, Apr-16-2012, 09:40:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

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Originally Posted by vtn86 View Post
Lots of members use the 18x9.5 +35 wheel setup with no issue on stock suspension. Generally, people will run a spacer in the rear, but it's not necessary. There's a member on here (jph28, I think) who ran this setup with TRMotorsport MT-1 on stock suspension for a while. Another member (BlazenXLT) ran four OEM rears on stock suspension as well. Both ran the free camber mod and their cars seemed to work perfect.
I ran the exact setup as jph28 on 100% stock suspension for multiple HPDE's, no issues whatsoever.
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Old Mon, Apr-16-2012, 10:04:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

If you are budget minded them do square rear oem 18s (not that great cause the wheels r so heavy and makes for slightly heavier steering). If you have the cash get some cheap apex arc or mt1 wheels. 18x9.5 +22 or +35 offset. Stick to some aggressive street tires for as long as possible as you will learn the car better. R-comps hide mistakes and you wont even know how to use them properly.

I'm guessing you are running stock suspension? If so, then do the camber plate mod for max negative camber. To be honest, I would just rock a full oem setup until yoe're ready for a nice single adjustment suspension and wide wheels/tires.
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Old Tue, Apr-17-2012, 07:29:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Looking for advice on beginner track wheel setup

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm thinking of going with 255s just to have a little more room. Anyone have any feedback on that?
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