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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I must first give a HUGE Thank You to James (Reesy_csl) for helping and putting up with all of my many questions over the past month or so. Without his help and guidance I would have been completely clueless in my selections.

I've been tracking my M6 for about a year now with the OE 19" wheels, and a couple of different sets of street tires. They were fine in the beginning, but as I have progressed, street tires are just not doing the job anymore as I'm sliding around pretty good. I decided it was time to upgrade to R compounds. I had planned to just stick with 19's, but got sticker shock when I started looking at prices. I then discovered James' thread with his 18" track set-up. From that moment I decided I wanted to go with 18's.
The biggest challenge was finding a 18" wheel that would clear the M6 calipers. As much as I would have loved to follow James' footsteps, I knew a set of Volks was out of the budget. None of the vendors I contacted seemed to know one way or another what would work. One vendor would say a certain wheel would clear the calipers, then another vendor would say that same wheel wouldn't clear:confused:
Not a lot progress was being made and I was about to give up on the idea when I came across the ARC-8 by Apex Wheels. Their write-ups says that they are roll forged, lightweight, and they clear BBK's.... so I sent them an email. They responded back confirming their wheels would clear the M6 calipers. I got so excited I ordered right away:biggrinbounce:
Since they don't make wheels with M6 offsets I ordered a set with E90/E93 M3 offsets, which were the closest they make that would work with spacers.
Here's their website.....
ARC-8 18x9.5 Wheel: Low Offset

I decided to do 18x9.5 squared in the Anthracite color. I decided to go squared because it is suppose to make the car feel more neutral, and I will have the ability to rotate at the track as needed to help prolong tire life.

Here are the wheels fresh off the UPS truck..






Apex says they weigh in just over 19 lbs. I decided to weigh them on my scale and they weigh 18.8 lbs on my scale:grinyes:

For tires I decided to go with the Nitto NT-01's in 275/35/18 which I ordered from Discount Tire. I also had them heat cycle them.



This past weekend was the Rolex race here locally at Barber Motorsports Park. I went by the Turner Motorsports tent and scored a set of their 275/35/18 Conti slicks that they had used on their #97 car for one practice session. Tons of life left in them. I will use them first....once I finish them off, I will swap over to the Nitto's. Hopefully I won't have their bad luck. This happened the next day during Rolex Race....hit the wall twice, front and rear



I got the Conti's mounted up yesterday...




And finally pics of them mounted on the car. It was beginning to rain so I was only able to take it for a quick spin around the neighborhood.











 

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OMG! I actually like 18s more then 19s on an M6...:eek:oohhh::eek:oohhh::eek:oohhh:
 

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They look great!! Good man. I'm glad it all worked out well, and they fit perfectly. Looking forward to hearing how you get on with them at the track. Bet your excited to get out on them now!
 

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Great to hear of an 18" wheel that seems to work. (I run the 17x9 version of these on my e36 M3 race car.) Do check them regularly for cracks, as we should any wheel, especially non-forged ones. Also, the Conti slicks are a very different animal from the Nittos. They should provide a lot more grip but also will break away with much less warning. Those who use slicks also claim they take longer to come up to temperature. For future consideration, a step up from the Nittos would be the Hoosier R6 and BFG R1.

I will be interested to hear what you think of the 275 size. Back in the dark ages when there was no viable 18" option for our cars and the list of 19" R-comps was very short, I used 265-wide Michelin Pilot Sport Cups when tracking the M5 (the next size up was something like a 305 at the time). They were very grippy, but clearly 265 was not enough width on the rear and the car was more fidgety in the rear.

Is Barber your track or do you go elsewhere?

Have fun, good luck, be careful, and keep us posted.
 

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Oh, and what are you using for brake pads and brake fluid?
 

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Looking good Keith!!! I'm glad you got everything sorted out. After the NT01's try the Hankook Z214's those are LEGIT! I run them on my M3 and I love them! I used Hankook F200 slicks for the rears and there were amazing but I had to run r comps in the front.
 

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Thanks for the write-up. I actually like the look of those 18's. Please update us when you take it to the track. I have been considering tracking my M5, but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Currently I have the OEM 19's as an extra set, but maybe should look to sell those, and get a set of 18's. You mind PMing me the price you paid for the set of wheels?

Keep us posted....
 

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Thanks for the write-up. I actually like the look of those 18's. Please update us when you take it to the track. I have been considering tracking my M5, but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Currently I have the OEM 19's as an extra set, but maybe should look to sell those, and get a set of 18's. You mind PMing me the price you paid for the set of wheels?

Keep us posted....
18" are the way to go! I ran 19" on my m5 then changed to 18" and I loved it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Great to hear of an 18" wheel that seems to work. (I run the 17x9 version of these on my e36 M3 race car.) Do check them regularly for cracks, as we should any wheel, especially non-forged ones. Also, the Conti slicks are a very different animal from the Nittos. They should provide a lot more grip but also will break away with much less warning. Those who use slicks also claim they take longer to come up to temperature. For future consideration, a step up from the Nittos would be the Hoosier R6 and BFG R1.

I will be interested to hear what you think of the 275 size. Back in the dark ages when there was no viable 18" option for our cars and the list of 19" R-comps was very short, I used 265-wide Michelin Pilot Sport Cups when tracking the M5 (the next size up was something like a 305 at the time). They were very grippy, but clearly 265 was not enough width on the rear and the car was more fidgety in the rear.

Is Barber your track or do you go elsewhere?

Have fun, good luck, be careful, and keep us posted.
Thanks everyone!

Just curious...have you heard of the ARC-8's cracking? There seems to be a lot of race cars shown on their blog that use them. At least they come with a 2 year structural warranty. I will keep close tabs on them though.
I am a little concerned about running a slightly skinnier size tire on the rear...but Tire Rack and a bunch of others said it wouldn't be a concern...we'll see I guess. I may do 285/35's squared next round if I have issues with the 275's.

Barber is the track I use the most. It is only about 20 mins from my house. There are a couple of others in the area, and Road Atlanta is only a couple of hours away.

As far as brakes....OEM pads and rotors for now. Brake fluid on the other hand I use ATE Super Blue

My next track weekend is in a couple of weeks. I'll def report back and let everyone know how the set-up did.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looking good Keith!!! I'm glad you got everything sorted out. After the NT01's try the Hankook Z214's those are LEGIT! I run them on my M3 and I love them! I used Hankook F200 slicks for the rears and there were amazing but I had to run r comps in the front.
Thanks Joe!
I did look at the Hankook z214's, and Hoosier R6's. The Hankooks look sweet!. How many sessions have you gotten out of the Z214's? My biggest issue with the R6's is they are pricy and like the Z214's they only have a 40 tread wear:eek:oohhh: I would imagine they don't last long at all. The Nitto's have a 100 treadwear, so they should last a little longer..we'll see...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the write-up. I actually like the look of those 18's. Please update us when you take it to the track. I have been considering tracking my M5, but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Currently I have the OEM 19's as an extra set, but maybe should look to sell those, and get a set of 18's. You mind PMing me the price you paid for the set of wheels?

Keep us posted....
Thanks man...

I ordered the wheels from Apex directly. I think they were $314 for the 18x9.5's. The link to their website is in the first post.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Anyone know anything about these Conti's I got from Turner? They are the Conti Extreme Contact DR. They must make them ONLY for the Rolex Series....every race car out there had them on Saturday, but I searched for them online and can't find any info on them...even on the Conti website
 

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If I was regularly tracking a heavy M6 on R compound tires I would be looking for a set of monoball front control arm bushings ..and maybe a lighter/stiffer brake setup :D

-Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One thing at a time my friend.....unless you are going to provide the funding of course:cheers:
 

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One thing at a time my friend.....unless you are going to provide the funding of course:cheers:
I know, I know.. These things can add up pretty quickly. Keep an eye on the board's classifieds, however, and you'll be amazed what you'll find.. A set of 500 mile Dinan monoballs popped up a few weeks ago for 50% of msrp and a front 405mm (useless to you as it wouldn't have fit behind 18" wheels) Brembo BBK was listed this week. If you act fast, high dollar parts can often be snapped up for a fraction of what they cost new. Now if someone will just post a set of coilovers for the E60... :haha2:

-Craig
 

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If your focus is braking perforrmance, not appearance, think long and hard before dumping thousands on a "big brake kit". The stock brakes already ARE a big brake kit. You can improve braking performance by using track pads (like Pagid RS19), and should enhance the safety margin by using stainless steel brake lines and a track-oriented brake fluid. The stock calipers are not the limiting force here. (You will be amazed by the hugely increased stopping force by going to the R-comp tires, for example.) An aftermarket BBK may offer a marginal improvement in brake modulation but you likely won't feel that. To my knowledge, no one has yet documented that an aftermarket BBK results in shorter stopping distances.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, I plan on keeping the OE calipers/ rotors, and just upgrade the pads. The dealer just put new rotors and pads on last month covered under warranty, but as soon as I burn through the pads I will def upgrade the pads. The stock pads are actually not that bad. I haven't noticed any fade out on the track as of yet...(knocks on wood). I did swap to ATE race brake fluid about a year ago.....and will flush with some fresh fluid next week. Good idea on the brake lines......that made me remember someone told me recently they blew a stock rubber brake line on his 370z, and ended up off the track.....so that's def on my short list to do....thanks for the reminder!
 

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Yeah, I plan on keeping the OE calipers/ rotors, and just upgrade the pads. The dealer just put new rotors and pads on last month covered under warranty, but as soon as I burn through the pads I will def upgrade the pads. The stock pads are actually not that bad. I haven't noticed any fade out on the track as of yet...(knocks on wood). I did swap to ATE race brake fluid about a year ago.....and will flush with some fresh fluid next week. Good idea on the brake lines......that made me remember someone told me recently they blew a stock rubber brake line on his 370z, and ended up off the track.....so that's def on my short list to do....thanks for the reminder!

You won't want to use track pads on the street -- way too much noise. Swapping pads before and after a track weekend if not a big deal once you get used to doing it. Also, when you change pads, don't allow the caliper to hang by the brake line -- can cause a line failure even if the line is stainless (ask me how I know . . .). I also loved having the rotors and pads replaced under the free maintenance plan -- what a deal. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
oops, yeah thats what I meant....swapping track pads in/ out.
Yeah, brake pads are just about as easy to swap in/ out as doing an oil change.....piece O cake
 
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