BMW 330CI E46 Build thread.

BMW 330CI E46 Build thread.

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tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
Introduction
I've decided to move over onto PH after spending 3 years messing around with Clio's on the 197/200 pages and used to frequent ClioSport forum a little bit over the past few years but mainly reading rather than posting.
I've wanted to branch out onto here for 6-12 months especially now I'm well on with this new E46 Build. I thought these dark nights were a good opportunity to sit down and document the work I've done this summer on the new track car. The following first posts are all covering everything I've done on the BMW since buying it in May this year....

Before the purchase of the BMW E46 I used to run a Clio 200. Here's a few photos of the old car and a spec list...







Engine

Clio 2.0 F4R – 201.5 BHP 165 FTLB mapped at EFI Tuning
7750 RPM Limiter
ITG Panel filter
Clio 197 gearbox TL4 003
4.73 Shorter final drive (137mph @ 7750RPM)
Braided Clutch line – Solid to chassis leg – Braid from leg to box slave.
Genuine replacement Clutch and Slave.
Redline MT 90 Gearbox oil
Toyo manifold
Miltek resonated exhaust
AC Delete kit
Smaller lightweight pulley
Purple Polybush Torque mount
Purple Gearbox mount
Solid Lower Engine mount with custom PU Bushes.

Suspension/brakes

Black series Wishbone bushes
Purple ARB bushes
Gaz Gold adjustable Dampers 600F/350R Linear springs
Gaz Gold adjustable top mounts.
335mm Compbrake two piece rotors
DS1.11 Brake pads
Motel RBF600 Fluid
Hel Braided lines
Clio 200 Cup wheels 9.3KG
Federal RSR
Clio 197 Std wheels 10.4KG
Uniroyal Rainsports
Pure motorsport Toes and Camber shims


Interior
Safety devices R020 Cage – Double Rear Cross
Sparco EVO LF
L-TEC 6 Point harnesses
Arduino data logger


This is a car I used on the road and track days for 2.5 years, it was a fantastic car to learn to drive in and start of doing track days in but after that time I had become a little bored of it, I had bought and built a Megane turbo engine top go into it but before dropping it in I changed my mind and I decided I wanted to stay NA and build a different sort of car, something new which was going to be a new challenge and would require me to learn a lot more about driving, inevitably it had to be RWD.

The New Project

Not long after returning from Spa Francorchamps from two days on track there in the Easter 2018 I started looking at what I could change the car to. M3, MX5, S2000, 330's were the main cars I were looking at at the time. I saw this for sale on Autotrader and went down the Cannock to look at it, 15 minute test drive on the road. A quick auto scan with ISTA showing no major faults and a folder full of paper work to back up the service history of the car, the deal was done and I'd made the change the RWD.





I kept it standard on the road for a month, wanted to put some miles onto it, find out if there were any problems with it, anything that needed to be addressed while the car was off the road. The plan for this car was to do everything in the car from top to bottom in one hit over a couple of months.

The car was parked up on the drive and put onto axles stands for a little while



Started the strip down... Front and rear subframes removed and stripped down







Everything was stripped down and sent away for blasting, dipping and powder coating.





While everything was away being made to look like it hadn't spent 20 years at the bottom of the channel it was time to start on the shell...

First to go was all the interior and dash





Any old brackets, sound deadening and the rear parcel shelf had to go too to make room the cage I planned on fitting.





Once this was complete I started to turn my attention to the underside of the shell... Finding what is very common on these now is that the rear subframe mounts had started to crack.





Templates there made out of steel, the cracks where drilled at the end, ground back and welded up.



The underside of the shell was Zinc primed along with the plates. Welded around the edges and through the plates, reprimed, painted and then sealed. This wasn't a job that was on the original plan but I'm glad i checked and found the problem and got it sorted while everything was stripped.



At this point it was time to prep for the cage, after following the 750MC Racing during the 2018 Season helping friends racing the Roads Sports and Club Enduro I had spent a bit of time looking around the 330 Challenge cars. After seeing the cages in those cars i had made my mind up, that is the cage I wanted to fit to the car.



Also a set of Gaz Coilovers arrived, similar set up to what I had ran on the Clio




Along with that a full set of Strong Flex suspension bushes in 90ShA. However for the rear arms I was going to continue to the run ball joints top and bottom to keep everything solidly mounted rather than the bushes strong flex supply.



Engine mounts, Gearbox mounts, Gearbox oil, new backing plates for the rear discs, Carbon Loraine RC5+ pads all around, Driftworks stud and nut conversion for the car. The list of parts ordered was getting longer and longer



The fitting of the cage started with the rear strut brace which picks up the rear strut towards as well as being welded to the boot floor.



Everything was mounted up, wire wheeled and then tacked into position initially



The rear section went in and the same done with the foot plates.



Finally with the front section all test fitted and tacked all the foot plates could be welded in properly





For now that is all the major prep work done on the shell and all of the welding done... More to follow.










sparks_E46

11,032 posts

163 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
It’s quite rare for a 330ci of this age to have cracked subframe mounts. Most of the affected non M3 models were up to a certain point in 2001. My 2002 330ci is solid. Great write up, look forward to more!

tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
sparks_E46 said:
It’s quite rare for a 330ci of this age to have cracked subframe mounts. Most of the affected non M3 models were up to a certain point in 2001. My 2002 330ci is solid. Great write up, look forward to more!
Yeah it was a shock when I found it, I didn't go looking for it I just thought i'd tidy up some of the little bits of surface rust with a wire wheel and then it became apparent what was hiding under it. At least it was found early and sorted.

Even though the car has a massive amount of service history with lots of parts already swapped and changed like SMF and clutch, Shorter 3.38 FD from an Auto but retaining manual shafts, Range of genuine engine sensors, Power steering rack and pumps, front and rear brake calipers I think the car has had tough life along the way and has been used properly or improperly. Mainly due to both rear drive shafts having play in the inner CV's which caused knocking when on and off the power which I originally put down to being knackered diff mounts. To try and solve the problem I've swapped the diff over to another 3.38FD diff and swapped the passenger side shaft. Still need to source a drivers side as the one I was sent was incorrect lengths...

The Build Continues

The focus on this car is to make it as track focused as possible and to give the best feedback and feel on track as possible. Anything that has a rubber mount on it was to be replaced. Out with the rubber steering mount and replaced with an aluminium steering bush.



Made my self busy in work where i have access to Lathes and Milling machines and made up some brass sliders for the front and rear calipers. The standard rubber bushes have so much play and flex in them it's unreal, causing such a soft pedal as well as wearing the pads on an angle. Not good for expensive pads. This first version was a prototype I made in my break at work just to check the clearances and length of the bush before making 8 of them in the future.



Also found some drawings for the detent bush tools required for replacing the detent bushes on the gearbox, Made my self a set of these too for the future. Not a job I've got around to yet but will do in the future.





Onto some Engine Modifications

Started with basic things like the chain tensioner and crush washer. These can to weak over a period of time, I'm planning on reving the engine slightly higher in the future depending on further engine mods so always a good idea to replace as much as I can



Some goodies for the inside of the engine.
Vac motorsport oil pump shaft and pulley, some ARP Rod bolts and some new rod bearings too while I was doing the bolts



While the subframe was off it was a great time to get it done... Oil pump removed, New bearings going in and ARP's Torqued up




Oil pump split apart and cleaned



Shaft pressed out of the oil pump inner to be replaced.



Reassembled together with a new sump gasket and dip stick o ring too.



While going to all this effort it was only right that I found a way of monitoring what the oil was doing in the engine. With stand alone being something I wanted but a long way off into the future I decided on an Innovate combined oil temp and pressure gauge.
I set this up with alarms at 120 degrees for oil temp and less than 5psi oil pressure.



Knowing the standard manfolds were a rubbish design I started to look at options for the RHD M54 Engine. While I couldn't see anything that was really going to do the job that I wanted without spending a stupid amount of money I managed to find a set of S50 Manifolds for sale.
The problem with these is that each runner has 4 bolt holes the M54 Head only has 2 per runner except the ends which has a few more. To get around this I designed and had laser cut some adaptor plates that I could put some M7 studs in to in some locations and in other bolt through to the block, this second benefit of this adaptor was it allowed the manifolds to clear some of the webbing on the side of the block.

Laser cut and threaded for the studs

[pic]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/851/29750650708_1d9649ed62_z.jpg [/pic]



Now it was time to do something with the manifolds, I had removed the standard exhaust, which turned out to be an after market cat back system and sold it on the BMW forums with a view to make a new system front to back.

I order some swaged pipes, 2-1 collector and a V band and started to mock it up in the car, trying to make sure everything cleared the standard subframe and cross brace under the car and keep it tucked up under the car as much as possible. This was the final outcome after chopping the manifolds back slightly.





Test fitting the manifolds into position was a ball ache of a job that took a good couple of hours with different length studs, 4 gaskets but it all went together and worked perfectly.



While all this was going on all the parts had come back from powder coating. I had obviously gone for a bright colour for the underside of the car while everything else was going to be black



Everything was rebuilt, repainted, new bushes fitted, I drilled out the threaded bosses in the diff housing so I could run a nut and bolt just in case the diff bolts ever did snap on track they could be knocked out and removed easily without having to remove the diff and then mess removing the snapped bolt in the casing



The front assembly built up with the new coilovers. Trying to limit putting any old parts back onto the car if possible.



Subframes could now be bolted back into position.



While this was done I ran new copper lines from the engine bay... That joined into new braided lines which then ran over the fuel tank into the rear subframe



Clutch line was replaced with a small copper run and a braided line, removing the clutch delay valve while I was there



Everything coming together nicely on the underside of the car.



Time for some very important parts

Full brake rebuild on for the front and rear, fitting the brass bushes for all calipers, these were the final version I made after making the original prototypes.



Front set up with drift works studs and nuts too



Same set up for the rear too,



With that done there were only a few jobs to do before the inside of the car could be prepped for paint.
After seeing my friends car with a CAE shifter there was no way I was staying with the tiny BMW shifter so something had to be done.
Firstly, obviously as the theme goes the gearbox and engine mounts had to be swapped the PU mounts



I'd ordered a new linkage, rush rod kit and bushes from BMW along with a new RTD shifter with Dual Shear linkage. This is going to feel amazing when driving on track! I obviously went with the longer race version of the shifter.





When I sent everything away for powder coating I sent two sets of wheels. One for wet tyres and one for semi slicks
Had them both done in a metallic anthracite



Test fitted the wheels ready to drop it down onto the floor, not a lot of droop in this set up.




Edited by tombate911 on Saturday 8th December 20:35

tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
What's changed
So with the car dropped down onto it's wheels, I'd taken about 4/5 weeks to get to this point, working on it in the summer evenings from 4-10pm as well as full days on the weekends. From the outside it didn't look any different, except it had new tyres and freshly powder coated wheels.



The main goal for getting it rolling at this stage was to get it rolling so that I could take it for an exhaust. This is one of the the few jobs on the car I wouldn't be doing for myself.
Twin rolled tips tucked nice into the cut splitter at the rear



2.5" exhaust ran through the car from the manifolds, joined together with a V band. Two straight through silencers fitted to try and keep the noise levels at something sensible on track while still giving a great sound combined with the S50 manifolds. At this point i'm dying to get the car running.



Time to finish it off

Next job was to get the inside painted. I asked a few friends and no one really fancied it or wanted to do the job for a sensible price and I had set myself a budget for this build and didn't want to cut covers in other places so I decided to paint it myself, spent a week prepping the inside of the car, flatting and cleaning all of the panels, priming any sections which had be ground back of welded on. On a weekend I got the car into my friends unit and started the painting process on the Saturday morning.



Got the car masked off and gave the car a good wipe down ready to start the painting process. Decided to go with nice and simple gloss black in 2K paint



Over the years of modifying campervans... (I may post somethings about that at some point in the future) I've painted quite a lot of parts and wheels for my own project. I learnt more about painting though painting the inside of this shell in a couple of hours than I have in a few years painting! I didn't expect the car to come out with a show car finish but I just wanted it all to be the same colour throughout.



I left the car there for the remainder of the Saturday and Sunday inside were it was nice and warm waiting for the paint to start to harden.
I picked it up on the Sunday evening taking it back home on the trailer and left it for another 5 days before starting to do anymore work on the inside of the shell.

The first job was to run the loom back out to the rear of the car and start with fitting the roll cage back into the shell.





Fitted the front section of the cage into position during the evenings after work. The cage is such a tight fit inside the shell now. Obviously with the cage being a MSA cage that is used in the 330 Challenge Race cars it's a perfect fit and looks the absolute works.



In the past I've made my own seat bases but found some E36/E46 seat bases for sale which took into consideration of the offset seating position and were a straight bolt in solution



Cut the dash to fit around the cage and kept the centre console.. Will add more about this soon.
Also refitted the standard wheel for the time being just to get the car running and driving.
Cut the bottom of the door cars and removed all speakers and wiring from the doors. Also removed anything from the shell to do with the radio.
Airbags have also been completely removed. Airbag Computer gone including crash sensors, I didn't intend to ever use traction control in this car so it all went in the bin when the car was stripped back to a shell.



Finishing touches added to the floor on both sides, some grip tape, after driving the car without a false floor in i figured I quite liked the floor the way it was to decided against fitting the floor I had planned and just applied the tape directly to the floor,



With the car all together with seat mounted, harnesses and cage fitted it was time to get the alignment done.



Kept the settings quite safe and neutral. Little bit less camber on the rear than the front. Parallel toe upfront but retaining a bit of a toe in on the rear to make learning to drive RWD in such a modified car straight away a little easier.



The none starter



So at the point of having the exhaust fitted I came around to getting the car running to be able to move it around for the exhaust and painting... Everything was plugged back in that I thought it would need to be able to run and turned the key... nothing...
Well that was a bit of a shock which took a few long nights fault finding. The main relay wasn't being powered by the ECU which meant there was no power to injectors, coils or fuel pump. In the end, all earths checked, wiring and fuses but still no luck.
In the end I thought I was an Immobiliser problem so cracked open the ECU. Completely flashed a new software version onto the ECU with a few tweeks like Immo delete to see if it fixed the issue. No change.
Sourced a spare ECU from 5 miles away and tried that still no change.
After a few hours going back to basics tracing wires from the relay back to the ECU and checking it against the ECU pin out. The culprit plug on the ECU wiring was found! It is possible that one of the plugs in the ECU can be plugged in backwards! Yes I know!
We'd had this part of the loop apart to figure out which of the 4 Lambda plugs we were going to use with the new manifolds as I was only going to run the precat lambda/
Swapped the plugs around and started first time. Just took a lot of problem solving and brain power to get to the bottom of it.

While we had the ECU out and new software flashed onto it a few changes have been made now. Immo Delete, top speed restriction removed which means there no lower Rev limiter if the ABS isn't plugged in or working. Also adjusting the drivers request map/table for the throttle to improve the throttle response but at this stage before it's been properly tested I'm leaving it at that

In the future I'll do some more experimentation with rev limiters and adjustment the Cam/Vanos tables to improve the mid range torque but want to get some miles driven in it before changing the maps and making too many changes.

At this point I could pretty much call the car done...




tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
The first track day


All Loaded up on the Thursday evening we set off down to Anglesey ready to camp over the night before. BBQ's packed, enough food to feed an army from the Tesco at Bangor and we were set for two nights camping at the Circuit.

Unloaded from the trailer ready to drive into the garages the following morning. At this point the weather was holding dry, we set up tents, pulled the awning out from the side of the van, opened a beer and sat around talking for the evening.





Morning broke and it was still dry but overcast. Dry tyres fitted in the garage ready to scrub them in on sighting laps. At this point the car had done may 10-15 miles on the road, but hardly a proper test for the car that had been completely rebuilt.



Photo of the finished interior, roll cage padding added to the cage, along the door bars and around the heads of the passenger and driver Even though all the radio wiring was removed I've kept the centre console with a tablet fitted to the centre console of the dash controlling Go Pro and also running Harry's Lap Timer. In the past I have run this set up with OBD logging but due to the limitations of the MS43 ECU it can only log at 1-0.25hz at this moment in time.




Videos

So the morning session started on the International Circuit which is a longer circuit with two straights out of fairly slow corners. It was nice and dry at this point, perfect to get to grips with the car.


Link to Video for dry Anglesey Laps



Made a few changes to the set up of the car, made the rear a little softer, lowered the rear ride height down by 15mm on the rear and spent as much time out there lapping and getting used to the car in the dry conditions.


The afternoon session was wet, very wet. Weirdly these are the conditions that I wanted in the afternoon to be able to learn to drive the E46. I would have felt short changed if it had been dry all day. After all I bought this car to learn more and challenge myself.
Here's a video of a smooth lap from the afternoon session, one of the faster laps.


Link to Video of Wet Lap


In the afternoon the track started to get damper and damper, normally in the past I'd just straight to wet tyres for the most grip but decided to go out in the wet on the RSR's to get a better feel for the car and driving RWD in wet conditions. After doing that for a session I flipped over to the Rainsports and set off again learning the car.



Some good bits from all of the sessions of the day. Yes I was trying to provoke the car and play with the limits of grip at times. Pointless staying in control of the car all the time. The only way to learn how to drive RWD is to slide it, spin it and develop the feel for the car.

Blooper Reel and fun bits.


Overall... From a driving perspective one of the best track days I've had. Made all the hard work and late nights over the past 8 weeks totally worth it. The car feels and sounds amazing on track and in my opinion looks the part too! Everyone's been asking me how it compares to the Clio. The Clio was so fun to drive and so chuckable on track and was great for 2.5 years. However this car is such a thrill, really does make you a little bit nervous. I've never concentrated as much on track as I did on Thursday but it is so rewarding to drive and the feel of the car is totally different.

LanceRS

1,476 posts

87 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
Brilliant, keep it up.

Montyjsr

25 posts

71 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
Fantastic right up, really enjoyed reading this!
Hugely impressed at your skill and dedication to the car. Love the idea to powdercoat everything underneath in a bright colour, keeps the purpose nicely hidden.

I have a couple of 330s currently and really enjoy getting them out on track, they’re aren’t anywhere near as hardcore as yours but they’re a great laugh. I too made the switch from FWD to RWD and the extra challenge it represents is really enjoyable. Although having said that I found on RSR’s in the dry it’s very difficult to provoke any sort of movement.

What’s your plans for the car from here?

alec.e

1,164 posts

74 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
Top quality work, amazing skills!

davepoth

29,395 posts

149 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
Awesome build. The only thing I'm a bit surprised about is the oil pressure warning; The 5 PSI warning light on my car is known as the "the engine has exploded" light. If you can, I'd set it at 20 PSI which is more like the "switch off the engine now if you don't want it to explode" that you are probably looking for. wink

tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
Montyjsr said:
Fantastic right up, really enjoyed reading this!
Hugely impressed at your skill and dedication to the car. Love the idea to powder coat everything underneath in a bright colour, keeps the purpose nicely hidden. What’s your plans for the car from here?
Future plans are to get some lighter weight wheels and fit a diff over winter... Still a couple of updates to follow to get up to how the car stands right now...

Photos from the first track day...





Between Track Days

So since the first track day I didn't really touch the car for a few months. I'd worked so hard on it in the 8 weeks leading up to the track day mostly 12 hour weekends and then another 6 hours on it after work most evenings it was really rewarding to drive it on track but needed a little break away from it.
Aside from building my own car this year I've been helping two friends with racing this year in both Road Sports and Club Enduro with 750MC

So far this year we've had a lot of bad luck with the likes of a blown engine from fuel starvation, been crashed into under yellow flags at Rockingham, Gearbox shatting it's self at Cadwell and a number of smaller problems along the way meaning the car has only finished one race this season and only completed on average 35 mins on track each race.
With a freshly built gearbox with around £1400 worth of new parts the team raced at Anglesey in the Club Enduro which is a 3 hour race with two driver swaps and fueling each time too.
All the updates and write up's are online from the race but we were really happy to have completed the 3 hour race and also finish 4th in Class! Fantastic weekends away racing!
The rest of the racing season consisted of Road sports and Club enduro at Snetterton followed by= by the 12 hour Mission Motorsport Race of Remembrance at Anglesey in November.


The Final Race

Race of Remembrance was the last race of the year for us. It consists of a 12 hours endurance race through the day and night, split into two 6 hours sessions combined together to make 12 hours of track time. This was pushing what we had learnt this year as a time to unprecedented levels. Over this 12 hour period we were expecting to refuel the car between every 45-60 minutes, swapping drivers and tyres when required. Little did we know how challenging the race would actually be on the car and the team




During the race we had to take on a range of major fixes to the car which included removing the gearbox to replace a broken clutch 3 laps into the race, replacing sections of the wiring loom to fix broken wires due to fatigue, chasing fueling faults which ended up being caused by a slowly occurring blockage to the fuel pressure regulator and then finally limping the car across the line at the end after snapping a drive shaft clean off in the diff 20 minutes from the end of the race. We were able to remove the damage shaft and limp it across the line only running one shaft. There will be more updates to come on this on Facebook.




Amazing experience to be part of for the full weekends with a large marquee set up at the Anglesey Circuit for the weekend. Racing in both the day and night was an amazing experience.

Back to the BMW

Bit of maintenance before the next track day continues.
Put plates on the car and drove it over to EFI Tuning just to run it on the Dyno and log the AFR's to see how the car was running with the new manifold, exhaust and engine work and also to see what power it makes.

Ran on the Dyno 238bhp and 245ftlbs, changed to a slightly different map that had slightly safer fueling, happy with those results, wasn't really chasing power gains just interested in the safety of the map and how it was running.

Interesting to see that the cars power stops increasing at 6200rpm and holds it nicely to around 6500RPM much higher though than with the standard exhaust manifolds which started to tail off around 5500. So no need to start chasing a higher rev limiter as there's no extra power to be made. I have however left the limiter set at 6800 which gives a little more room on some tracks to rev it a little bit higher if needed instead of shifting up for a split second vs bouncing the limiter. Handy with the shorter FD Diff fitted.






Great torque curve additional 40bhp and 85ftlbs of torque over the Clio.
Blue line shows the Clio Power and Torque 201bhp and 160ftlb



Oulton Park Round 1

The week before the track day I pulled the car out and took it for a test drive, checking basics over on the car, I still have the luxury of having the car on the road, taxed, MOT'd and insured to am able to test it.
First thing I noticed was the grumbling front wheel bearings so ordered them the weekend before the track day and swapped them over, fresh front hubs fitted to the front and the studs transferred over.
Other than that the car felt perfect. It was loaded up onto the trailer ready to take it down the Oulton Park.



As usual we're/I'm the first person to turn up at the Circuit on a track day, normally also the last to leave after running the car right to the end of the last session of the day. Turning up to the circuit in the middle of November and the track being dry first thing in the morning was an unusual feeling. Fitting the dry tyres onto the car for sighting laps felt a little odd too but the conditions for the day were prime with warm weather and patchy skies.

The car was faultless again all day at Oulton. I'm still getting used to driving the BMW as this is only the second day out on track that I've driven it, also the first time at Oulton in this car having lapped it many times before in the Clio
During the first few sessions I took it really easy just driving around in some clear track getting used to the car again and the lines, weird to see a few Clios over taking me in the first few sessions as the car is a totally different machine to drive.



As the day progressed the lap times started to fall, by dinner time I had managed to get the lap times down lower than my fastest ever lap I managed at Oulton in the 2.5 years of owning the car. The BMW has so much more grip in the corners and the the way it's able to push it's self out of corners with the drive from the rear is incredible, combine that with 245ftlb of torque across most of the rev range it's a much quicker car with the potential to go a lot faster if I'm willing to push it!



The problem
With the track day only expected to run till about 4pm I had an amazing 30 minute session that ended at around 3:30, just before the fuel light came on I dove into the pits to call the day a success. Jumping out the car I pulled the laptop out and the SD card from the front facing camera which had been running connected to my phone call day via bluetooth. Only to find 30GB of photos from the sessions throughout the day!

Knowing I only had 30 minutes left and zero video footage from the track day. I quickly grabbed another SD card from the van, friends of mine grabbed 20L of fuel and threw that in the car, picking up a good friend as a passenger we set off to make the most of the final 30 minutes of day light left before the chequered flag. This turned out to be one of the best sessions of the day with hardly any cars on track and went on to be the fastest laps of the day. I'd managed to at least get 30 minutes of video footage from the BMW's first time out at Oulton.



I've used a little bit of that video footage to make a Clio 200 vs BMW E46 comparison video. This is the most common question I get at the moment is how do they compare? You can see for yourself.

Both of these are good clear laps around Oulton. Bearing mind I had 2.5 years of seat time in the Clio compared with 2 days on track so far in the BMW.

Click here for the link to the comparison video




Finally.
Click here for the link to a few bit of footage from the last session

Ready for Oulton Park Round 2...




Edited by tombate911 on Saturday 8th December 23:41

tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
davepoth said:
Awesome build. The only thing I'm a bit surprised about is the oil pressure warning; The 5 PSI warning light on my car is known as the "the engine has exploded" light. If you can, I'd set it at 20 PSI which is more like the "switch off the engine now if you don't want it to explode" that you are probably looking for. wink
if I'm honest it probably set closer to 10-12PSI, thinking back now, I tried to have look through all the photos from when I programmed the gauge. When I was at Anglesey on the first track day I looked at what oil pressure the car makes at idle with oil temps hot around 100 degrees which was just below 20PSI IIRC. Which is normal for these engines and set the pressure warning just below this. All this was set up after seeing a friend of mine lose a oil pump nut at Cadwell back in 2017 and end up doing half a lap of the circuit with zero oil pressure, learning from other peoples mistakes I've rebuilt the pump and set the warnings in the gauge.

tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Saturday 8th December 2018
quotequote all
1st December

So will the car being so flawless over the last two track days I had a chance to go back to Oulton Park the following weekend. A friend of mine was taking his freshly built 182 down there for testing so it was a no brainer. Once I know the car had survived the track day. The following week the car was booked in. I left everything packed in the car and the van ready to go again the following weekend...



The night before the track day I gave the car a once over, quick bleed of the brakes just to make sure, swapped to wet tyres ready for the wet weather that was forecast. The conditions were completely the opposite to the previous weekend. Very wet track, lots of spray and as everyone knows Oulton is a very greasy place in the winter months. Turned the coil overs back 4 clicks on the front and 6 on the rear.



The car ran a dream throughout the day, with only one little off through Hislops on next to no throttle at all. Video doesn't show a reason for it either.
The track dried out as the day went on, there were a few forum members booked on to so it was good to have a good chat with friends between sessions.



Managed to get the dry tyres on for 2 hours at the end of the day just as about 50% of the circuit was showing a dry line except from the last couple of corners. Learnt so much over the past 3 track days in this car. Brings it a lot more attention and really proved it's self in the wet conditions at Oulton. Only passed by a total of 3 cars on circuit all day.

After 3 track days I'm at the point now where I'm going to take some time over winter to check the car over, make some improvements and iron out a couple of flaws. Only managing to put in 3/4 laps before the oil temps are reading 120 degrees, so must get around to finishing the oil cooler install, got a strange vibration through the whole car too which I just drove through over the afternoon sessions, found some play in the front left wheel bearing which was replaced 2 track days ago, something to investigate.

Finally, I learnt my lesson from the previous weekend and double checked the camera was in the right settings.
Put together a couple of Youtube videos....

Few laps from the last sessions before the chequered flag.

Video Link to a few laps from the last sessions before the chequered flag.

Video link to Interesting moments and Highlights

This now brings this thread up to date. Following on from this second date I have a few things I want to get worked out on the car. I have a vibration through the steering wheel and the whole chassis under braking which I have diagnosed at the moment as being a faulty wheel bearing. These were replaced just after Anglesey before the first Oulton date so ordered a replacement for that and will see if it cures it.
Will save the rest for the new update in the coming week.


Sf_Manta

1,737 posts

141 months

Sunday 9th December 2018
quotequote all
Interesting to see how the S50 manifold's given you higher torque but lower peak power. Are you still running the stock cams?

Also great to see another 330i being saved, they really are underrated but quite capable cars.

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&... Would be my Touring which i've been doing steady work on through the past 2 years if you wanted a look.

Nunga

325 posts

58 months

Sunday 9th December 2018
quotequote all
I really enjoyed the write-up, so thanks for going to the trouble. I’ll hahe a look at your Clip story, too.

Who did your cage? I’m impressed you did everything else; your fabrication and machining skills put my rudimentary efforts into maintaining my M3 to shame.

I suppose your reasoning for the 330ci comes down to a competitive purchase price and affordable/plentiful parts, compared to say the E46 M3? I imagine it’s probably only losing a couple of seconds over the course of a lap depending on the track, despite being some 100HP down. You’re a handy steer by the looks of it.

Looking forward to hearing more about this!!!

tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Sunday 9th December 2018
quotequote all
Sf_Manta said:
Interesting to see how the S50 manifold's given you higher torque but lower peak power. Are you still running the stock cams?

Also great to see another 330i being saved, they really are underrated but quite capable cars.
Yes still running Stock Cams for the moment. I know some people have used stock cams to be able to get to 260's BHP with throttle bodies and stand alone.
Interesting over stock it makes 25ftlb more torque and 10bhp. That's still running the standard map so purely breathing mods from the manifolds and exhaust. With so much compensation in the ECU and the fueling being spot on I don't think it's worth having the the standard ECU mapper for the time being.



Nunga said:
I really enjoyed the write-up, so thanks for going to the trouble. I’ll hahe a look at your Clip story, too.

Who did your cage? I’m impressed you did everything else; your fabrication and machining skills put my rudimentary efforts into maintaining my M3 to shame.

I suppose your reasoning for the 330ci comes down to a competitive purchase price and affordable/plentiful parts, compared to say the E46 M3? I imagine it’s probably only losing a couple of seconds over the course of a lap depending on the track, despite being some 100HP down. You’re a handy steer by the looks of it.

Looking forward to hearing more about this!!!
I did all the prep work with the cage and tack welded it in with a friends help, There is a guy that my friends have used who came down to my house and finished the welding of the cage off on the drive too. Really good job done with the benefit of not having the move the car anywhere.
The choice of the 330i was the initial outlay for this car was £2400 and the running costs are considerably lower and the overall build cost for the car is considerably lower as a knock on effect.
Interestingly if you compare the lap times from the M3 Challenge cars and the 330 Challenge car around Oulton Park the M3's are doing 1:52 and the 330's are doing 1:59 so actually according to those race times there's 7 seconds in it a lap. What you have got to take into consideration there though is the 330 challenge cars are limited to standard brakes a 225 tyres all around and standard engines where the M3's are able to run more modified cars within their regulations. Will be interesting to see how fast this can go over the new couple of years of modifications and driver improvement!

Sf_Manta

1,737 posts

141 months

Sunday 9th December 2018
quotequote all
tombate911 said:
Sf_Manta said:
Interesting to see how the S50 manifold's given you higher torque but lower peak power. Are you still running the stock cams?

Also great to see another 330i being saved, they really are underrated but quite capable cars.
Yes still running Stock Cams for the moment. I know some people have used stock cams to be able to get to 260's BHP with throttle bodies and stand alone.
Interesting over stock it makes 25ftlb more torque and 10bhp. That's still running the standard map so purely breathing mods from the manifolds and exhaust. With so much compensation in the ECU and the fueling being spot on I don't think it's worth having the the standard ECU mapper for the time being.
Surprising, cause I've seen a couple of cars making 260bhp with the stock management, a friend of mine has a M52 that's done that with stock management, with cams, BBTB and a similar manifold.

The Siemans ECU is pretty capable to being refined post build, there's a couple of tuners around whom can do so, Wayne at Chipwizards does all the Kumho cup cars.

Andrew-b90y3

96 posts

18 months

Monday 10th December 2018
quotequote all
Great write up OP and some really nice fabrication work done.

I watched the Oulton Park video that you put together and the car sounds great.

I want to do a project similar to this for my next track car!

Keep up the good work cool


scottos

444 posts

74 months

Monday 10th December 2018
quotequote all
Thats a great write-up, i wish i had more fabrication skills/ know how! Generally anything bodywork-wise, welding, paint etc just makes me run a mile!

ECG1000

327 posts

92 months

Monday 10th December 2018
quotequote all
Really enjoyed reading that. Top work biggrin

tombate911

Original Poster:

56 posts

14 months

Monday 10th December 2018
quotequote all
Thanks for all the comments guys, this thread appears to have been really well received so far. Much more than I had initially thought.

When I first got into car and vans a few years ago I didn't really know a lot about them, only the basics. Only thought starting to push the boundaries of what I knew and taking on new projects and challenges did I learn more and more about cars. I only know a tiny amount compared with some of the guys I've built cars with over the past few years. That was also another big reason for me moving from the Clio to the BMW was the mechanical challenge of taking a standard BMW from the early 2000's and making it fit for track rather than driving something that was really well set up out of the box as the clio is.

It really has made me realise how much work went building the E46 in such a short period of time writing this whole build thread from scratch over the weekend, with doing that I have now written a spec list which shows all the parts in detail that have been changed.

Engine

BMW E46 M54 – 240BHP 245FTLB Ran @ EFI
Custom M54 > S50 Exhaust adaptor plates
S50B32 Exhaust manifold
2.5” Custom Stainless Exhaust
Vac Motorsport M54 Oil Pump Kit
ARP Rod Bolts
New Rod bearings
New sump gasket
S54 Oil Filter housing with AN10 oil take off for cooler
AN10 lines with 19 Row Oil Cooler
Thermostat delete
New Cam Chain tensioner
Redline Shock Proof Gear oil in the Gearbox
Titan |Syn MC 10W40 Engine Oil
Poly bush Engine and Gearbox mounts
New Copper and Braided Clutch line
Single Mass Flywheel and Clutch.
3.38 Shorter FD Rear Diff

Suspension/brakes

All running gear front and back powder coated red
Full BMW E46 strong flex 90ShA
Gaz Gold adjustable Dampers 750F/400R Linear springs
Gaz Gold adjustable Front top mounts
BMW Strengthening Plates for the strut tops
Gaz Gold Solid Rear top mounts.
Carbon Loraine RC5+ Brake pads F+R
Custom Brass Bushes/Sliders
ATE TPY200 Brake Fluid
Hel Braided lines front a rear
New copper lines from engine bay to fuel tank
New pair of handbrake cables
Solid Aluminium Steering Bush
2 sets of BMW MV1’s Powdercoated Anthracite
Federal RSR & Uniroyal Rainsports Fronts -225/40/18 Rear- 255/35/18
Front and Rear wheel bearings replaced
Track rods and rod ends replaced
Upper and lower ball joints replaced in the rear arms
Rear subframe plated and painted.


Interior

Safety devices 330 Challenge Cage – 16 Point weld in cage with rear strut brace
Sparco EVO LF
BMW E46 A-Tech Motorsport side mounts
L-TEC 6 Point harnesses
RTD Race 360mm
RTD Dual Shear Selector Rod Linkage
Innovate Oil Pressure and Temp Sensors and Gauges
OMP Steering wheel and boss


Geometry

Front Camber – 3 degrees
Front Toe – 0 degrees
Rear Camber – 2. degress
Rear Toe – 0.14” Total toe in