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'Waiting for Charger game to start; so thought I'd share S3 experience since project was completed more than 1 year ago. 'Not a whole lot to say; you know, just a "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" type summary. To reiterate, I'm the original owner. 'Car was stock almost 3 years; "full monty" S2 mods completed Jan. '05; full S3 conversion done 2 years later at year-end '06.

She has accumulated almost 70k miles; with only very minor "issues" (leaking review mirror/pixels out/front fan clutch/fuel gauge sending unit/lower front control arm bushings) having required repair/replacement during this entire time. I've never had even an SES light come on; let alone anything major go wrong with this car. 'True, 'been anal about proactive maintenance; replacing every single sensor/filter/plugs (regardless of having no symptoms) @ 53k miles, for example.

"The Good" - S3 power is "as advertised" (already reported verified on Dinan's dyno when I picked up the car there); 530rwhp and 507 lbs tq (assuming standard 15% drivetrain loss). Locomotive and linear, she's quite docile when just cruising around; but ready to "play", from any gear @ any speed, when it's time to "get it on". I've pegged the speedo a couple of times (in Mexico:)) in 5th gear; and she was still pulling like a freight train.

To me, even more impressive than power, are suspension/handling, brakes, clutch, and oil cooling (latter being Dinan's bespoke high capacity oil cooler for S3). Whether "hot foot'n" on back country 2 laners or going 10/10th's @ "Big Willow's" 2.5 mile road race track, she stays completely "glued", oil temp never gets to 210 mark, BBK w/Ferodo pads goes all day with no noise/dust/fade, and Dinan's very beefy, designed for specific S3 application, very smooth clutch/flywheel set-up holds power/torque without protest.

IMO, 'sum and substance of S3 is that, top to bottom/ stem to stearn, it's a complete pkg that tranforms a stock M5 from an already great car, into a superb performance sedan. 'Economics (cost) of this "transformation" have been well discussed here on the M5Board. For me, it was an easy decision to do an S3 upgrade. 'Cost was far, far less than suffering $$$ differential to acquire a new car. Besides, after having an opportunity to spend several days with a completed S3 (Martin @ AGA had bought S3 #001 from Dinan); and comparing it to all the new sedans/big coupes I'd tested during '06, no car ("M" or otherwise) came remotely close, IMO. It was a "no brainer".

"The Bad" - A few months ago, 'tranny began experiencing intermittent 1st gear "pop-out"; especially when cold. AGA opened it up and discovered a worn part ('can't remember exactly what) that was the cause. Martin told me he could fix it with some expert welding on the affected part. Fortunately, AGA also had a used M5 tranny (pulled from a wrecked '03 w/14k miles). I opted to buy that as a replacement for mine. So, for WAY less than cost of new tranny, 'replaced my 65k mile Getrag with a relatively fresh one. End result is just like new; "snick, snick, snick", as it should be.

"The Ugly" - 'Not related to S3, but poor luck. 'Have had to repaint my front end 3 times; 2 blowing sand occurrences and getting caught behind a caravan of gravel trucks spewing pebbles. These were "comprehensive" insurance claims and I have zero deductible; so no cost to me. Each time I took the car to the highest end body/paint shop in San Diego County. And each time it was a fight with State Farm to get them to approve the "right" way to repair/repaint ($8k+ for every instance; example is getting them to relent to completely stripping each affected body part; then 2 primer coats/4 color coats with color sanding between each one/3 clear coats). Well, the shop owner and I were bull dogs about it. 'Good news is the car looks brand new. 'Hope I don't get trapped in any other mishaps. 'Plan to keep her 'till the wheels fall off.

Anyway, by my count and not including AGA's car, there's only five S3 owners/members on this Board. Other than "Kelster" (who reported tribulations getting his software "dialed in"; then his exploits at 1/4 mile drag racing), nobody has said anything about S3 experience as owners. So 'hope this little summary was informative.:cheers:
 

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'Waiting for Charger game to start; so thought I'd share S3 experience since project was completed more than 1 year ago. 'Not a whole lot to say; you know, just a "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" type summary. To reiterate, I'm the original owner. 'Car was stock almost 3 years; "full monty" S2 mods completed Jan. '05; full S3 conversion done 2 years later at year-end '06.

She has accumulated almost 70k miles; with only very minor "issues" (leaking review mirror/pixels out/front fan clutch/fuel gauge sending unit/lower front control arm bushings) having required repair/replacement during this entire time. I've never had even an SES light come on; let alone anything major go wrong with this car. 'True, 'been anal about proactive maintenance; replacing every single sensor/filter/plugs (regardless of having no symptoms) @ 53k miles, for example.

"The Good" - S3 power is "as advertised" (already reported verified on Dinan's dyno when I picked up the car there); 530rwhp and 507 lbs tq (assuming standard 15% drivetrain loss). Locomotive and linear, she's quite docile when just cruising around; but ready to "play", from any gear @ any speed, when it's time to "get it on". I've pegged the speedo a couple of times (in Mexico:)) in 5th gear; and she was still pulling like a freight train.

To me, even more impressive than power, are suspension/handling, brakes, clutch, and oil cooling (latter being Dinan's bespoke high capacity oil cooler for S3). Whether "hot foot'n" on back country 2 laners or going 10/10th's @ "Big Willow's" 2.5 mile road race track, she stays completely "glued", oil temp never gets to 210 mark, BBK w/Ferodo pads goes all day with no noise/dust/fade, and Dinan's very beefy, designed for specific S3 application, very smooth clutch/flywheel set-up holds power/torque without protest.

IMO, 'sum and substance of S3 is that, top to bottom/ stem to stearn, it's a complete pkg that tranforms a stock M5 from an already great car, into a superb performance sedan. 'Economics (cost) of this "transformation" have been well discussed here on the M5Board. For me, it was an easy decision to do an S3 upgrade. 'Cost was far, far less than suffering $$$ differential to acquire a new car. Besides, after having an opportunity to spend several days with a completed S3 (Martin @ AGA had bought S3 #001 from Dinan); and comparing it to all the new sedans/big coupes I'd tested during '06, no car ("M" or otherwise) came remotely close, IMO. It was a "no brainer".

"The Bad" - A few months ago, 'tranny began experiencing intermittent 1st gear "pop-out"; especially when cold. AGA opened it up and discovered a worn part ('can't remember exactly what) that was the cause. Martin told me he could fix it with some expert welding on the affected part. Fortunately, AGA also had a used M5 tranny (pulled from a wrecked '03 w/14k miles). I opted to buy that as a replacement for mine. So, for WAY less than cost of new tranny, 'replaced my 65k mile Getrag with a relatively fresh one. End result is just like new; "snick, snick, snick", as it should be.

"The Ugly" - 'Not related to S3, but poor luck. 'Have had to repaint my front end 3 times; 2 blowing sand occurrences and getting caught behind a caravan of gravel trucks spewing pebbles. These were "comprehensive" insurance claims and I have zero deductible; so no cost to me. Each time I took the car to the highest end body/paint shop in San Diego County. And each time it was a fight with State Farm to get them to approve the "right" way to repair/repaint ($8k+ for every instance; example is getting them to relent to completely stripping each affected body part; then 2 primer coats/4 color coats with color sanding between each one/3 clear coats). Well, the shop owner and I were bull dogs about it. 'Good news is the car looks brand new. 'Hope I don't get trapped in any other mishaps. 'Plan to keep her 'till the wheels fall off.

Anyway, by my count and not including AGA's car, there's only five S3 owners/members on this Board. Other than "Kelster" (who reported tribulations getting his software "dialed in"; then his exploits at 1/4 mile drag racing), nobody has said anything about S3 experience as owners. So 'hope this little summary was informative.:cheers:
Great to see she is holding up as advertised and you are still having a blast. With the upcoming horsepower wars, 620 will just be "adequate". Unbelievable!:dunno:
Keep enjoying her and keep us updated so we can enjoy vicariously!:thumbsup:
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Guys i was lucky enough to get a ride on Dan's S3 ( for awhile i was hesitant to go because i will know the outcome ) and yes my hunch was right ...it's a Monster!...It was very comfortable, feels like nothing till Dan opens her up and all bets are off:haha: n(it pulls and stops on a dime):eek:h: i was trying not to hold the arm rest too tight (playing it cool:cool:) but my toes are trying to grip on my shoes:1:...very clean car and a sleeper S3 indeed:cheers:
 

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Hi Dan,

About the clutch, is the effort to depress it much greater then the stock E39 M5 clutch?

Also, if you drive with the DSC on, does the system cut down the power before you can get some serious speed going?

Thanks,

Gene
 

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Thanks for the update Dan. It sounds like everything Dinan claims for the S3 has worked out, so that's great to hear. It lends support to the argument (that this board has gotten into in the past) about Dinan pricing and why it is worth buying a fully sorted, well-engineered product with a complete warranty (and CARB approval) which is never the cheapest product on the market.

The only sad part about the E39 M5 to me is that we are entering the "decline" phase of the majority of them. Prices have fallen to where people who will not maintain them are buying them, low mileage cars are now rare, etc. All to be expected of course but a bit sad still.

Thanks again for the update and go enjoy the S3!

Chuck
 

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Dan! What a nice report. You indeed have a real gem. As one who has experienced 'Martin's Wild Ride' in your car, I can say I'm honored to have experienced her at 10/10ths. Just amazing.

With the upcoming horsepower wars, 620 will just be "adequate". Unbelievable!:dunno:
Another way we might look at it is that the S3 keeps the old gal relevant, even with the upcoming horsepower orgy.. :eek:

The only sad part about the E39 M5 to me is that we are entering the "decline" phase of the majority of them. Prices have fallen to where people who will not maintain them are buying them, low mileage cars are now rare, etc. All to be expected of course but a bit sad still.
On the other hand, the economics of taking a nice, depreciated e39 and upgrading her to an S3 look more attractive. As Dan alluded, it can make more sense than going out and buying new.
:cheers:
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hi Gene....

Hi Dan,

About the clutch, is the effort to depress it much greater then the stock E39 M5 clutch?

Also, if you drive with the DSC on, does the system cut down the power before you can get some serious speed going?

Thanks,

Gene
Clutch effort is quite light; no different than stock. Even better, clutch action occurs very low to floor board; which makes it easy and quick to acheive full engagement before nailing the throttle.

DSC on??hmmm Umm, DSC is overly intrusive in a stock car, let alone a modded one. 'First thing I do is turn it off. Frankly, S3 handling dynamics are so neutral, balanced, predictable, and consistent, 'driver would have to be really ham fisting the car to get it dangerously out of shape. Contrary to some accounts, RA-1's give me plenty of audible warning when limits are approached.

'Will admit, 'first time 'had her on a road race track last April, I was overly tentative 'cause 'needed to "discover" limits and 'afraid to go off track into the desert rubble, and f**k up my newly minted S3. 'Was able to watch a pro drive her @ 10/10th's for half that day; and 'was amazed (so were the HPDE instructors) at how fast and smooth 'car could get around "Big Willow". 'Following month I took her out again, emboldened by prior practice and great input from Martin @ AGA and Simon @ Evosport (latter was chief driving instructor). 'Was very comfortable all day keeping her "on the edge" with no drama at all. She's no modded Porsche TT, but the big sedan can flat "get it".:noSMG:
 

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Here is a short take on the S3 recently and with R comps...this is what i call gone in 16 seconds:haha2:
 

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Dinan S3 CARB approval?

I have just been told that the Dinan S3 is still not CARB approved for California street use. The Dinan site seems to verify this as well ("emissions pending").

I was thinking of going the S3 route since I have found that cars supercharged after the factory are illegal in California and I'm forced to rebuild my engine. I assumed that by going with Dinan S3 I'd be ok but it seems that they still don't have the executive order from CARB.

Given that there are some S3 owners in California that are running these cars I'm wondering if there's some way to legally pass smog or if these cars are registered in another state or something else.

Can anyone tell me (PM?) how you/they are getting around this? Dinan is closed now so I thought to ask you guys. I did a search as well that led me to this thread.

I am having my Discovery Automotive M5 engine completely rebuilt (3k miles) because it was built with the timing way off and the pistons were not matched (too large a piston diameter) to the cylinder bore which resulted in damage. I'll post this latest episode of that nightmare soon. Rebello Racing, who found these problems, are doing the engine work in conjunction with Edge Motorwerks.

My M5's registration is due and a smog is required so I am looking at all possible options. Thanks.
 

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I have just been told that the Dinan S3 is still not CARB approved for California street use. The Dinan site seems to verify this as well ("emissions pending").

I was thinking of going the S3 route since I have found that cars supercharged after the factory are illegal in California and I'm forced to rebuild my engine. I assumed that by going with Dinan S3 I'd be ok but it seems that they still don't have the executive order from CARB.

Given that there are some S3 owners in California that are running these cars I'm wondering if there's some way to legally pass smog or if these cars are registered in another state or something else.

Can anyone tell me (PM?) how you/they are getting around this? Dinan is closed now so I thought to ask you guys. I did a search as well that led me to this thread.

I am having my Discovery Automotive M5 engine completely rebuilt (3k miles) because it was built with the timing way off and the pistons were not matched (too large a piston diameter) to the cylinder bore which resulted in damage. I'll post this latest episode of that nightmare soon. Rebello Racing, who found these problems, are doing the engine work in conjunction with Edge Motorwerks.

My M5's registration is due and a smog is required so I am looking at all possible options. Thanks.

My friends usually pay "that guy" some rediculous amount of dough... and they end up getting a sticker.:dunno:
 

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I have just been told that the Dinan S3 is still not CARB approved for California street use. The Dinan site seems to verify this as well ("emissions pending").

I was thinking of going the S3 route since I have found that cars supercharged after the factory are illegal in California and I'm forced to rebuild my engine. I assumed that by going with Dinan S3 I'd be ok but it seems that they still don't have the executive order from CARB.

Given that there are some S3 owners in California that are running these cars I'm wondering if there's some way to legally pass smog or if these cars are registered in another state or something else.

Can anyone tell me (PM?) how you/they are getting around this? Dinan is closed now so I thought to ask you guys. I did a search as well that led me to this thread.

I am having my Discovery Automotive M5 engine completely rebuilt (3k miles) because it was built with the timing way off and the pistons were not matched (too large a piston diameter) to the cylinder bore which resulted in damage. I'll post this latest episode of that nightmare soon. Rebello Racing, who found these problems, are doing the engine work in conjunction with Edge Motorwerks.

My M5's registration is due and a smog is required so I am looking at all possible options. Thanks.


Hope you get it running I was gonna part my car out today but had a change of heart


I hope you have better luck this time...
 

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Basil-check PM.
 

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My friends usually pay "that guy" some rediculous amount of dough... and they end up getting a sticker.:dunno:
The issue is that, if found out, the car can be taken away permanently I'm told - by "that guy" who helped out the first time after D/A.

I'm trying to find a way that offers some piece of mind if possible.
 
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