So, it’s been close to 6 years since I last wrote on this blog and boy, have things changed!
2013 was a strange year for me. My mom had passed away in 2012, and I became obsessed with running. I also started a job as a Porsche Brand Ambassador, which has occupied my life for 6 years. After I took that job, I quickly realized that I wouldn’t have the time for my M3, for the track, and for my track buddies. The car felt like a paperweight, and I was not going to use it as much, if at all.
My beloved 2003 E46 M3 was sold in February of 2014 to a close friend of mine. I knew that the car would be in good hands, spending its time enjoying the race track, and not torn up becoming a full race car.
Do I miss the car? Absolutely. I missed having such an amazing track car that could do so much. I miss the idea of the car more than the car itself. I miss waking up early and going to track weekends.
I loved 2007-2012. Those 5 years of auto-x, track days, bonding at impromptu cars and coffees in NJ, and the comedy that comes with being buddies with car guys. I miss that.
The sad reality is that people grow apart. We can’t have that 2007-2012 lifestyle forever. Friends got married, bought houses, had kids, and I was at the track. I didn’t let go. I couldn’t let go. Selling the car was the right move. An end to an amazing chapter in life.
In the summer of 2008, I sold my OEM CSL Bootlid in favor of a Stoptech Big Brake Kit. At the time, it made sense. It was too much money – $2300 for the bootlid, $500 for the paint – so $2800, invested on an aesthetic part.
This company called Scorza came around in 2009 or so and they made some amazingly fitting CSL replica bootlids in CF. I found a guy selling one for a good price and am going to pick it up on Wednesday.
I can’t wait to see this booty again….
It has certainly been a while. Had a long and rough summer. The car was doing nothing for a while. Dropped 30lbs off me, so I can’t wait to see how that feels on the track. Only recently have I even begun to fiddle with the car. Here are some quick updates.
My windshield had gone through 9 years of serious abuse from me and the previous owner. While attempting to fix something on my car I accidentally cracked the windshield and decided it was time to get it replaced. I searched M3Forum and everyone talked about SafeLite and OEM. Safelite offers OEM glass and mouldings as well as their own made in America glass and oe quality moulding. I decided to go with Safelite since it was $500 vs. $800 and for what I put the car through – track/highway/track/highway etc. There was no reason to pay the additional $300. I had Safelite come and replace it – a 30 minute job.
People complained about waviness in the glass and I do see what they are talking about. The waviness occurs more towards the bottom of the glass – near the defroster vents. Not a big deal. I can see how some people would dislike it.
I had wanted to put back the interior for a few months. I had a track event last month. On the way there, I had a blow out and had to put on a hoosier and drive to my friend Lightwerkz garage and decided to swap in my interior. I put down the front and rear carpets – which were a pain in the ass since we didn’t take them out the right way and we didn’t want to remove the dash to put it in the right way – it got in and it looks great. Definitely quieted the interior up. I also put in the rear seat cushion and the rear door panels. The car sounds great now and is way more civil.
The past few weeks I have been turning on my car and the battery light illuminates red for a few minutes and then goes away. This is an early sign for alternator failure. If the alternator is failing, that means the car is running on the battery – which will die soon. I decided to go with the ECS Tuning Bosch Remanufactured Alternator. It was around $300 and there was a core return – so I would get back $80 or so. The alternator install is straight forward.
1. remove the strut bar
2. remove the airbox (for me it was removing half the cf evolve air box)
3. undo the 16mm alternator pully bolt
4. undo the 16mm lower alternator bolt
5. undo the voltage regulator sensor
6. undo the 13mm red battery cable
7. shimmy the alternator out
8. reinstall new alternator
I ran into a snafu. The bottom bolt wouldn’t fit. initially i left it off, but read that was a big mistake. I returned to it today and dremeled some clearance for me to install the bottom bolt. Everything is fastened up and ready to go.
Decided to sell both sets of my Apex ARC8 wheels. I initially went with the Apex because I wanted 2 sets of wheels for the price of one set of wheels – the Volks that I had. Since I am finished with the hoosiers, I decided to sell both sets and get one set of wheels and start running some NT01 or maybe even Hankook RS3s. I do love putting down awesome lap times, but decided that maybe maximizing less aggressive tires would be more fun. Only time will tell.
Oh yeah, I bought a set of Takata Green Volk TE37SL. They should be here on Tuesday.
LED Reverse Lights
M3Freak86 over on M3Forum bought some crazy LED reverse lights. I needed to have the same so got them. No error codes and they are BRIGHT as heck! Installed them today.
So far thats all thats been going on
Will update you once I get the Takatas on. Also – have a track event on next weekend. Can’t wait to get out there!
I was at Eurofest today and dyno’ed my car with the Tuning Techniques Dyno Dynamics dynamometer. It has been 110 miles since I installed the air box and the tune. I am not sure how many miles are required for full adaptation, in fact my car actually was surging and stalled before I got on the dyno, but she fired up real quick.
I remember forum member nnacpil ran a 319whp going catless w/the evolve r tune. i was hoping that i would be somewhat close to that, considering i just spent 5k on the air box and tune! I got a 306whp. the weather was around 62 degrees and off we went.
I had never heard a CSL air box. I have previously stated that I can barely hear mine since my car is gutted and I have never heard one on someone else’s car.
The minute I heard it…my eyes widened and a bit of drool formed on my lip! The thing sounds outrageous!
here is the video
It starts getting good at around 45 seconds.
So regarding the #s. I have no baseline with Dyno Dynamics dynos, so I have no idea what the delta was. Overall I am very happy with the over 300 #. I ran on a dynojet with a stock headers, 1,2 and rogue el diablo. I ran a 290. I wonder what I would get if I went catless.
A few years ago, my good friend Lightwerkz had a full superpsrint exhaust set up – SS Stepped Headers, SS Section 1, SS Resonated Section 2, SS Race – on his E46 M3. It was the greatest sounding exhaust I have ever heard in my life.
At WOT, it was just pure terror. I loved listening to that car. The Supersprint Race is a great muffler and accounts for about 75% of the noise, but when you start adding the other exhaust components, especially the headers, the sound changes dramatically.
I have OEM CSL Headers on my car. I never plan on doing a header job again, so I won’t be changing those, but the section 1 and section 2, are another story. As of right now, I am running the Euro Section 1 which have 2 bungs for the o2 sensors. The US Section 1 does not have these bungs. I easily could have 2 o2 bungs and an EGT bung welded on, but I think all that would add up to 200 bucks or so. For another $150 I found a nice set of Supersprint Section 1 pipes.
I can’t wait to put these bad boys on and be able to run the o2 sensors and EGT sensor. Good purchase.
Now the next question is, will I get a Supersprint Unresonated / Resonated Section 2 pipe to complete the set up? Highly doubtful. I had a Resonated Supersprint Section 2 and it was very loud and annoying. It kind of overwhelmed the sound of the SS Race. So for now, I will just keep these 2 pieces from SS and keep the OEM section 2. I also have heard that the OEM Section 2 is the best pipe to create low end torque. Either way, I am glad.
Thanks for reading.
So I decided to clean up my install a bit.
For some reason, my upper radiator hose plastic shrouding was “rubbing” against the front of the CF air box – near the evolve # plaque. I looked at various installs and it seemed like people had plenty of space between the airbox and the shroud. I discovered that after my cooling system rehaul, I did not install the shroud properly.
Initially I wanted to remove it, since the CSL doesn’t even have this shroud, but I didn’t have access to a dremel and realized that if it were fitted properly, it would be fine.
I undid the push rivet and lined it up and put it back in properly.
Once the shroud was installed properly, there was plenty of clearance.
I left the snorkel off the car, but was not sure if it was mandatory to have it on. I know the doesn’t have the upper radiator hose shroud, but does have the snorkel, but thats because the intake opening is much higher compared to the Evolve air box.
I will probably leave it off for now. The next thing that I want to take care of is the driver side front suspension canister. I zip tied it to the radiator support near the driver side headlight. Its fine now, but the adjustment knob touches the upper radiator hose coupling. Obviously this is not good. What I want to do after advising with my friends was get some hose – plumbing hose of some kind – and zip tie it to the radiator hose and have the canister rest on that. Also plan on removing the gold take since I have been reading that the aluminum on the canisters dissipate heat quickly so there is no need to keep the heat in.
Thats it for now.
Thanks for reading!