How did you prepare your E39 for the track? - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 34 Old 18th May 2007, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Question How did you prepare your E39 for the track?

I'm purchasing a '01 M5 next week. Nearly perfect in every way. I will be tracking the car 3-5 times a year. Would be interested in what others have done to their cars to increase longevity, reliability, cooling and then what you've done to increase the braking and handling for your car. I live in Colorado, and the streets here are just horrible, so I'm going to have to be more conservative than I'd like with the suspension set up so I don't ruin the street driving experience. Here's what I'm thinking at this point: (these are similar mods done to my last two M3's but this car is HEAVY!)

Cooling: 80/20 mix distilled water to BMW Coolant with Redline Water Wetter of course back to 50/50 before the first freeze here.
Longevity: Redline 10/40, tranny and gear synthetic oils
Brakes: Open up the closed factory brake ducts with Euro grills and stock tubing. Euro Floating rotors with Pagid Blue Race compound pads for track, probably stock pad or something else recommend on this board for the street, steel braided brake lines and Motul brake fluid.

Suspension I am undecided on: Considering the Koni FSDs and Eibach pro combo kit with Eibach bars and Dinan Camber Plates for another 1/2 degree negative Camber. Also considering possibly a full Dinan setup. I love Dinan's monoball lower control arm bushings and JRZ shocks, but they're spendy, would like to know what others have done with their suspensions, keeping in mind I have terrible roads around here It looks like Dinan's wheels can't be beat for light weight, I'll probably look for a used set, would like to know what other light weight wheels others have discovered.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 34 Old 18th May 2007, 09:08 PM
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I'll copy from a post I did in another thread in the E39 section this week:

================================================== ====
At a minimum going with camber plates and a Dinan rear bar is required, and as for brakes opening the brake ducts, Motul 600 fluid, and Hawk HT-10 race pads is a start. Note however even this brake setup was not nearly enough with R-comps and all-out laps at VIR for me (i.e. I melted dust covers and a brake piston seal), so I ended up going with Stoptechs.

Track day fun and no worries:

(1) Ground Control Koni coilover kit with camber plates set to max negative (all you can get is about -2.3 degrees which is where I leave mine all the time).

(2) Dinan rear sway bar set to middle position.

(3) Rear OE rims up front (9.5") with 3mm spacers from Tire Rack and 275/35-18 Nitto NT-01 R-compound tires all around -- start with about 30-32psi cold and shoot for hot pressures of 38psi.

(4) Stoptech front brake kit with PFC-01 pads, Ti brake shields, Motul 600 fluid, brake ducts open, backing plates removed.

The above is my setup except I have the Dinan springs which are still too soft for track use imo. However, the car handles wonderfully and is a blast to drive. It is so much different than driving a stock setup that I've forgotten what stock is like.

================================================== ======

I would stay away from the euro floating rotors...search the posts on this board by Dave Zeckhausen on how these are made, etc. It is apparently a poor design.

For opening up the brake ducts, I drilled out the stock grill holes on each side, used the OEM ducts to connect to the already-on-the-car aluminum ducts, and ordered the fender liners with the holes already cut in them.

If you do not want to do Stoptechs up front (STRONGLY recommended!), then I would go with a full race pad and get the Ti shields from www.bimmerworld.com. Note you either need an inner pad with no piston clip/rivet on the back of it, or you need to completely remove that rivet so the Ti plate can sit flush with the pad -- else you'll get a knockback-type problem. Motul 600 is what I use for fluid.

I would suggest the Ground Control coilovers that come with their adjustable camber plates too. You could pick the "Family/Street" spring rates, and it would still be a much better track setup than the Dinan springs.

Running the rear rims/tires all around makes a huge difference also, and is essentially mandatory for track work. Luke at TireRack is well familiar with people ordering 3mm spacers and lug bolts for the M5.

Chuck

Current stable:

2019 M2 Competition 6MT LBB, slicktop
2011.5 M3 sedan 6MT Silverstone, slicktop: Dinan front swaybar, Eibach rear swaybar, pins-out-max-camber-up-front, Dinan exhaust, Michelin PS4S, Apex EC-7 9.5/10.5x19
2007 328i wagon Silver/gray: Eibach 28mm front swaybar, E93 M3 rear swaybar, 219M M3 wheels, Michelin PSAS3+
1975 CanAm 125MX2: Stock, original owner
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post #3 of 34 Old 1st June 2007, 02:28 PM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
I'll copy from a post I did in another thread in the E39 section this week:

================================================== ====
At a minimum going with camber plates and a Dinan rear bar is required, and as for brakes opening the brake ducts, Motul 600 fluid, and Hawk HT-10 race pads is a start. Note however even this brake setup was not nearly enough with R-comps and all-out laps at VIR for me (i.e. I melted dust covers and a brake piston seal), so I ended up going with Stoptechs.

Track day fun and no worries:

(1) Ground Control Koni coilover kit with camber plates set to max negative (all you can get is about -2.3 degrees which is where I leave mine all the time).

(2) Dinan rear sway bar set to middle position.

(3) Rear OE rims up front (9.5") with 3mm spacers from Tire Rack and 275/35-18 Nitto NT-01 R-compound tires all around -- start with about 30-32psi cold and shoot for hot pressures of 38psi.

(4) Stoptech front brake kit with PFC-01 pads, Ti brake shields, Motul 600 fluid, brake ducts open, backing plates removed.

The above is my setup except I have the Dinan springs which are still too soft for track use imo. However, the car handles wonderfully and is a blast to drive. It is so much different than driving a stock setup that I've forgotten what stock is like.

================================================== ======

I would stay away from the euro floating rotors...search the posts on this board by Dave Zeckhausen on how these are made, etc. It is apparently a poor design.

For opening up the brake ducts, I drilled out the stock grill holes on each side, used the OEM ducts to connect to the already-on-the-car aluminum ducts, and ordered the fender liners with the holes already cut in them.

If you do not want to do Stoptechs up front (STRONGLY recommended!), then I would go with a full race pad and get the Ti shields from www.bimmerworld.com. Note you either need an inner pad with no piston clip/rivet on the back of it, or you need to completely remove that rivet so the Ti plate can sit flush with the pad -- else you'll get a knockback-type problem. Motul 600 is what I use for fluid.

I would suggest the Ground Control coilovers that come with their adjustable camber plates too. You could pick the "Family/Street" spring rates, and it would still be a much better track setup than the Dinan springs.

Running the rear rims/tires all around makes a huge difference also, and is essentially mandatory for track work. Luke at TireRack is well familiar with people ordering 3mm spacers and lug bolts for the M5.

Chuck
Chuck,

Thanks for the information.

Regarding running with the OEM size rims in the front, do you run into any tire rub? I can't quite picture the back wheels in the front without running into some interference for the tire. Or, maybe the better question would be do you leave the rear OEM wheels on for non-track use? Maybe you have a picture with the wheel turned out?

When you track, how do you protect your lights and paint? I was concerned about several areas:
- the fog lights
- the headlights
- the wheel well fender paint edges

Do you put tape on those areas to prevent any debris from coming up and chipping the glass or paint?

To the interior, what kind of harness do you use? Kind of a strange situation to me in that the beast is meant to be driven and you have to actually do some autocrossing and tracking to enjoy the car , but I don't want to do that damaging the "luxury" of the interior. I have seen a couple of four point harnesses, but they don't seem to be recommended due to submarining. Just curious if there are some five point harnesses that don't need a bunch of interior construction to mount.

Appreciate your time and answers.

Kenny the "D"

///M Power (Wheeeee...)

MY2002 E39 ///M5 Carbon Black (Pictures of Pixie)
MY1997 Honda Accord EX

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post #4 of 34 Old 1st June 2007, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wi_KeD_M5 View Post
Regarding running with the OEM size rims in the front, do you run into any tire rub? I can't quite picture the back wheels in the front without running into some interference for the tire. Or, maybe the better question would be do you leave the rear OEM wheels on for non-track use? Maybe you have a picture with the wheel turned out?
I have no rubbing at all except on full steering lock to the right (parking lot) when there is very minor inside wheel well rub -- nothing you can even see on the tire. I have two sets of OE 9.5" rear wheels, one for my track tires and one for the street. I've been running the 9.5"/275s up front on the street now for about 3 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wi_KeD_M5
When you track, how do you protect your lights and paint? I was concerned about several areas:
- the fog lights
- the headlights
- the wheel well fender paint edges

Do you put tape on those areas to prevent any debris from coming up and chipping the glass or paint?
No protection and those areas have paid for it a bit, mainly the front air dam. I'm going to have it and the hood repainted soon and do clear bra I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wi_KeD_M5
To the interior, what kind of harness do you use? Kind of a strange situation to me in that the beast is meant to be driven and you have to actually do some autocrossing and tracking to enjoy the car , but I don't want to do that damaging the "luxury" of the interior. I have seen a couple of four point harnesses, but they don't seem to be recommended due to submarining. Just curious if there are some five point harnesses that don't need a bunch of interior construction to mount.
Personally, I wouldn't use any sort of harness in a car without a substantial roll bar since it will prevent the factory belt design from saving you in a major roof incident. Also, if using a harness, a proper location for the shoulder belts coupled with a HANS device is mandatory imo. Additionally, I woud add that a proper race seat designed for the HANS and belts would be mandatory also -- all way too much for a street driven car. To date, I've used the factory belt and a CG-lock. At some point, I'll probably build up a track only car (looking at an E46 M3).



Here are some pictures of the 9.5"/275 up front:










Chuck

Current stable:

2019 M2 Competition 6MT LBB, slicktop
2011.5 M3 sedan 6MT Silverstone, slicktop: Dinan front swaybar, Eibach rear swaybar, pins-out-max-camber-up-front, Dinan exhaust, Michelin PS4S, Apex EC-7 9.5/10.5x19
2007 328i wagon Silver/gray: Eibach 28mm front swaybar, E93 M3 rear swaybar, 219M M3 wheels, Michelin PSAS3+
1975 CanAm 125MX2: Stock, original owner
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post #5 of 34 Old 2nd June 2007, 06:19 AM
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pressure for street tires should be 42-44 hot

i wouldn't recommend running Dinan or other expensive wheels on the track - sooner or later you'll go off and bend one or two - practically, the car is so darn heavy that you won't notice the wheel weigh

i don't think Redline in the tranny is a good idea - there are some old threads on this - i tried it with poor results, but Royal Purple seems to be okay with the plastic bits in the tranny

for tracking 5-6 times a year and good ride on bad roads, Dinan is probably the way to go. the suspension is too soft for the track and made worse by the variable rate springs which result is too much car movement on turn-in and braking -- the GC coilovers are much better on track, but the shock calibration isn't happy with sharp bumps -- the two-way adjustable konis (if now available) might solve this problem -- you want the 400 +/-# front spring option, the softest option is not stiff enough, and the track option (which i have) is not that great on bad roads (but i think this is more a problem with my single adjustable konis than the spring-rate)
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post #6 of 34 Old 2nd June 2007, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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More suspension, brake Q's and any Denver board members?

Hey guys, thanks for the help. I just went and took the final test drive and all the repairs have been worked out with the previous owner, price set. Probably pick up the car Monday. Car does not have a mark on it anywhere. Oil changed every 3K miles w Castrol TWS, all services accelerated. Absolutely bone stock. We had a vibration problem with the car, found out BOTH rear Goodyear F1 GS D3's were defective. Had trouble sourcing new ones (BO at the Tirerack), but finally tracked some down and car is smooth now. Alpine White with every option (except EDC) including Caramel Full Leather. This car has balls and is so damn comfortable, it's hard to believe I'm already considering modding it. It's a addiction.

As far as suspension set up, I like the idea (and cost) of running 275's all around with the stock rear rims and spacers up front, but my suspension choices are limited in terms of clearance if I use this tire/wheel set up. And I still have the challenge of the poor roads here in Denver. I really wanted to use the Koni FSD's but someone mentioned they rub with the 275's as the strut body is slightly larger in diameter than the Koni Yellows. Bummer, really wanted to try the FSD's and see how they would work on Denver's crappy roads. I suppose I could run 265's, but then I loose the ability to rotate tires to maximize track and street tire life. Anyone running the stock rear wheel/spacer/Dinan set up with this tire/wheel/spacer combo? (I'll do some more searches).

Did some hard stops on the car, thrust arm bushings seem fine for now, well see after a day or two of hard braking at the track though. Car has 33K miles.

Dinan set up uses Koni Yellows or optional JRZ's. I called Dinan a week ago, and forgot to ask about clearance with the 275's though, the JRZ shocks are supposed to be awesome, but are very expensive (his set up is spendy already) but the tech I talked to owns a 540 and said the JRZ's rock. They are also on back order for a month or more.

I'll take this slow and in stages, first, opening up the brake ducts, using Pagid Yellow RS19 compound pads all around (got a nice price on these from the Racer's Group) with SS brake lines and Motul fluid. Stock suspension and street tires. It'll be soft and lean like a mule, but we'll have some fun. I'll also try to get the IAT sensor relo kit installed before I hit the track in two weeks. I'll take a few photos. Brakes should be fine, remember, I'm at altitude, so my 400HP beast turns into a 316HP beast so it won't be as hard on brakes and I'll do a few cool down laps before pitting each session. I decided against the Euro floating rotors for now, the stock rotors are brand new on this car, I'll burn these up and replace them when they're done with something different. Slotted Centrics look interesting and are throw-away cheap. Other brake ideas: Has anyone ever retrofitted the M5/M6 E60 front brakes on a E39 M5? The E46 CSL/competition package slotted/drilled front rotors are a direct bolt on to the rear of our cars I believe, that would certainly look good (I'm normally not a bling guy!) These rotors actually aren't cross drilled, as I understand it, the holes are cast in at the foundry, so there shouldn't be cracking issues. Whoa horsey! I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was pretty happy with the Schroth Snap/bolt in Harness on my M3, anyone use a similar set up or have better suggestions for this car? I have a set of CG locks in the garage I can use for this first outing.

Anybody know anyone on this board that lives in Denver and owns a Beast?
Anybody know of someone selling a used Dinan Suspension?
Anybody have some used rear stock rims for sale?

Trying as hard as I can to keep my credit card in my pocket, no easy feat, keep you updated with my progress...and I'll try to keep the shiny side up

Last edited by S62PWR; 3rd June 2007 at 10:34 AM.
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post #7 of 34 Old 3rd June 2007, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S62PWR
Alpine White with every option (except EDC) including Carmel Full Leather.
Wow! That is an awesome color combination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S62PWR
Anybody know of someone selling a used Dinan Suspension?
I'll probably have Dinan springs, Dinan Konis and Ground Control camber plates (that fit stock style (Dinan) springs) available in a few weeks. They have been on the car for about 12k miles.

Chuck

Current stable:

2019 M2 Competition 6MT LBB, slicktop
2011.5 M3 sedan 6MT Silverstone, slicktop: Dinan front swaybar, Eibach rear swaybar, pins-out-max-camber-up-front, Dinan exhaust, Michelin PS4S, Apex EC-7 9.5/10.5x19
2007 328i wagon Silver/gray: Eibach 28mm front swaybar, E93 M3 rear swaybar, 219M M3 wheels, Michelin PSAS3+
1975 CanAm 125MX2: Stock, original owner
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post #8 of 34 Old 3rd June 2007, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

The color is beautiful...I'm already dreaming of replacing the wood trim with carbon fibre....dope slap! Performance mods please, not bling! Still, I think it would be sporty and tasteful. Dude, LeMans Blue, I don't think there is anything more sexy (Okay Avus, Estoril and Interlagos blue all rock too!) And while we're talking color combos...your color combo choices on your cars are exactly what I would choose if I had my choice of colors:

LMB Silverstone - awesome, Caramel would rock too
ZHP with Amola red Alcantara cloth - choice, few get this, they don't get it.
330i with ER and Black...I also love ER mit RED interior
Audi S4...nearly bought same 2006 with same color combo, bought the M5 instead
V Wagon, ah, well, um, not a Volvo guy so don't have an opinion there.

In any case, let me know if you plan to sell your Dinan/GC suspension bits. I'm interested.

Cheers!




Last edited by S62PWR; 3rd June 2007 at 10:47 AM.
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post #9 of 34 Old 3rd June 2007, 02:55 PM
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I see I don't even have the Volvo color listed, lol. It is red with tan leather/Alcantara interiour. I've had it since it was new, and it is now our beater/hauler/bad weather car. Not such a bad car actually...240HP, 3200lbs...it has IPD sway bars, Eibach front camber kit and 8x17 rims with BFG KDW2 tires -- other than that it is 100% stock at 145k miles. I've been pondering its replacement with a 540iT.

Current stable:

2019 M2 Competition 6MT LBB, slicktop
2011.5 M3 sedan 6MT Silverstone, slicktop: Dinan front swaybar, Eibach rear swaybar, pins-out-max-camber-up-front, Dinan exhaust, Michelin PS4S, Apex EC-7 9.5/10.5x19
2007 328i wagon Silver/gray: Eibach 28mm front swaybar, E93 M3 rear swaybar, 219M M3 wheels, Michelin PSAS3+
1975 CanAm 125MX2: Stock, original owner
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post #10 of 34 Old 4th June 2007, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Another nice color combo!

I love the touring cars. Some you can even find with manual trannys! Were you considering new or used? When I was on my search quest for the M5, I discovered you can go to bmwusa.com and search for CPO cars nationally and specify transmission. I was surprised at what a selection of CPO cars there was. I didn't know the new 545/550 was available with a manual, but there were some for sale.

Once upon a time, one of my track buddies and I were considering converting a 540 Touring for use as our track car tow vehicle. Hitch is an option in Germany, but not here....never happened though.

My Mom's boyfriend has a '99 Touring with a manual tranny, great cars!



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