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Old 06-24-2010, 05:53 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ajax
Posts: 2
BMW noob needs some input!

like the title says, i'm a total BMW noob. i don't even have one, i'm a VW guy. a few years back i took my Corrado out on my first track day and have been hooked since. problem is that the more i've done, the faster i've gotten. the faster i get, the greater the potential expense i have should i go off cuz i'm hitting things harder. Bending a corrado is not fiscally responsible! plus, really, FWD is getting a little boring i must admit.

I'm finally catching a break career wise and so i'm starting to look for a dedicated track rat. i use the term rat because i'm lookin for cheap thrills here! the 2 main candidates are a miata with FI of one sort or another or a BMW. I am not gonna ask BMW or Miata here cuz i can guess what that answer will be!!! the question is, which BMW? trying to decide between E30 and 36. and if E36, sedan/coupe or hatchback? i'm assuming any 5-series cars will be too heavy so they're not being considered.

the main consideration here is cost of buying the car and setting up the brakes and suspension for a coupla years of fun and then maybe have some fun with the powerplant. Low cost is also desired because I fail to see the sense in spending 15-20k on an old 911 or way more on a shiney new 135 when, if i'm lucky, will only put on 2000kms a year. other considerations of significance are cost of body parts. that is the main reason (aside from sentimentality) for me wanting to retire the Corrado from track use....i'd be lucky to score a good fender without rust for $400 outta the states somewhere now. just to ease worries tho, i am not shy about spending big money on proper parts. I've learned that lesson the hard way on my Corrado. I just don't wanna have EVERY part costing mucho dineros!

right now, my WAG for budget is ~$3K-5K to get up and running. we're just beginning the process of selling our house in Ajax (anyone wanna buy it?! lemme know!!!) and moving to Ottawa so this track season is more or less out. i have time to consider the options.

Thanks for any input guys, i appreciate it
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:11 PM   #2
3rd Gear Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 447
if it's a dedicated track car I'd be inclined to take the Miata likely. Doubt you could get one and supercharge it for $5Gs all in though. You definitely won't get much of a BMW for $5Gs, you'd have to go with an E30 likely if your budget includes track tires/brakes/wheels.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:32 AM   #3
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ajax
Posts: 2
thanks for the reply.

i've been sent links from a friend who recently bought a 95% track prepped supercharged miata for 6.5k outta california. read an ad for more than a few for ~5k. I was surprised too!! i gotta say tho, i like 3 series cars alot better than miatas. as well, these 5k supercharged miatas don't include the airfare to the states (they inevitably come from Cali) and gas/hotels to get back.

i'm finding a plethora of <$1500 E30 and even E36s out there. even saw an ad for pair of e30s for $800. but i imagine we're lookin at alot of rust there.... for a track rat, that might not be an issue but unless i know i can get it down to ~2000lbs to make it towable (with a dolly) with my A4, it's probably best to get it plated. i've seen a few pics of flintstone edition E30s and i can see the costs of repairing that being not worth it.

as for prep, I'm thinkin the following (and would appreciate some direction too!)

- tires - ~$600. likely be sticking with whatever wheel is on the car at the time to control costs. hell, the shittier the tire the better to start i think so that i can learn how the car reacts when the limits are low. maybe i just run whatever baldini specials come with the car and burn them right the heck up for free.99!
- brakes - to start i'm thinking SS lines, good rotors (slotted?) and good pads (had good luck with HP+ on my Corrado). Have a hard time seeing that get beyond $750 but i haven't actually priced yet. i've been amazed at how well the OE brakes have worked on the corrado. all i've got in there are SS lines and said pads and i somehow manage to piss off some 911s in braking zones.
- suspension - this is a big black hole for me. yeah, i could get me some nice coilovers for what, $1500, but then the rest of the suspension is likely bagged out. i;'m thinkin because this is a track car, the better/cheaper solution is a good set of shocks n springs because the handling matters, not looks. so the ability to slam it on the ground is pointless! then there's dealing with said bagged out suspension. haven't had time yet to even think about how many bushings/balljoints there are to deal with. is refreshing that another $1000?

Crap. you've forced me to thing about this more and it's starting to look like 5k for any platform is gonna be a little skinny! the above list gets me to ~5k without even touching the engine and any repairs it may need! i'm not too concerned about the engine because the end goal eventually is to get an E36 M3 engine in it. so maintenance not mods are the priority there.

i'd be stripping the interior and all non essential mechanical bits out of it. experience with dubs tells me that any number i have in my head in terms of revenue from the parts sale is about 10X too big. i'm guessing i'm looking at getting $200 to $300 best. that seem about right?

as mentioned at the outset, i am a total BMW noob here. By all means if people can suggest appropriate brakes/suspension components (as well as any areas that i've missed), i'd be appreciative. i WILL spend money to get the RIGHT stuff the first time so please help me figure out what that is!

Thanks again.
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