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      07-31-2019, 10:17 PM   #1
TulaneAg
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Finally committed to the M4 for the next track season...

I've previously tracked my Porsche 996 and now my 981 Boxster S. I've turned the Boxster into a razor-sharp track weapon over the past 2 years with suspension mods, headers, tune, etc. My wife came into my office in June and said she wanted her fun car back...so I returned it to stock over the course of the summer.

I tracked the M4 once in the spring at COTA and put down significantly better lap times than my Boxster but it felt fat and rolly polly through the S's...the only reason it was faster was because of the hp and top-end speed on the 3 long straights. That experience sent me looking for a 996 Turbo or a 997.2 C2S manual but couldn't find what I wanted in my price range.

So I sat down yesterday and ordered some track goodies for the M4 to try and sharpen it up a bit. This is my way of committing myself to learning the car and giving it every opportunity to excel on the track for at least a year. This is what I bought:

1. KW P&P DDC Coilovers - My gut tells me I'm going to end up with a more track oriented JRZ in the future but I wanted to give these a shot as I'd like to keep the EDC controls active and useful.
2. TC Kline Racing Camber Plates - My indy shop guy recommended these over the Ground Control units so I went with his recommendation. Plus they're a few bucks cheaper...
3. Titan7 T-S5 18" forged wheelset - I went with a staggered setup. I bought into the Titan7 guys' story I've read posted a few times. For ~18lbs a piece forged wheels at $2,100 total I figured they're worth a shot.
4. Hankook R-S4 tires - These are some seriously meaty tires. The section widths on their 265/275's match or exceed almost everyone else's 275/285 setups so we'll see what happens for ~$950 for the whole set. Plus I like the durability of these tires as compared to an RE-71R. I like to slide and throttle steer my cars around the track so I didn't want some big 295/315 R7 setup that wouldn't let me do that. I can always upsize a touch and/or move to a stickier compound if I find these don't offer enough grip.

I had already done Castrol SRF fluid and Power Stop Track Day pads for the COTA weekend in the spring...so the minimum brake upgrades are already taken care of... I'll keep an eye out for incremental upgrades to better track pads vs. Girodiscs vs. the need for full BBK's. I'm also planning to do some coding to grab some of the GTS and ZRP settings...coming from the naturally aspirated Boxster, the turbo lag on this car just kills me so I've got to find the right combination of throttle response and RPM/shift points to minimize the feeling of that lag.

Kudos to Tire Rack and Bimmerworld. I ordered everything at lunch yesterday and the tires and wheels were already delivered today.

If you guys are interested, I'll come back to this thread and share my thoughts as I make each of the upgrades and after each of my AX and DE sessions throughout the fall and spring. First up is an 8/25 AutoX w/ PCA for a shakedown cruise and then a COTA weekend with CHIN over Labor Day. Let me know if you have any questions.
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      08-01-2019, 07:45 AM   #2
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Definitely post your impressions. It is very hard to go wrong if you follow Bimmerworld's advice

Out of the list you've described I think you will regret the suspension. It's too soft. MCS with reasonable springs is quite comfortable even if you do lose the EDC settings which I also like.
I've dailied a couple M3s with 700/1000 springs and MCS suspension. The biggest issue with dailying either of those cars is they have race seats and harnesses, not the suspension.

I've also had JRZ but found them to be considerably noisier


On the rear of my CS I've vaporized the dust boots in two weekends. In the front I had a PFC BBK since the beginning. I don't think you can track this car seriously without at least a front BBK.
The gyrodisc or racingbrake rear rotor is probably a good option but I can't see this working for the front
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      08-01-2019, 02:14 PM   #3
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Well, first fly in the ointment... Got a call from Turner Motorsport this morning and they said KW has discontinued their P&P DDC product. So my options are to try the Bilstein Damptronic or jump straight to a 2way track coilover. Again, I like the idea of the EDC control so I chose to go with the Bilstein solution for now. We'll see...
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      08-01-2019, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulaneAg View Post
Well, first fly in the ointment... Got a call from Turner Motorsport this morning and they said KW has discontinued their P&P DDC product. So my options are to try the Bilstein Damptronic or jump straight to a 2way track coilover. Again, I like the idea of the EDC control so I chose to go with the Bilstein solution for now. We'll see...
if I remember correctly the B16 Damptronic has rates that are similar to the KW Clubsport but with EDC functionality. Seems pretty interesting as a dual-duty setup
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      08-01-2019, 06:15 PM   #5
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What product are you talking about when you mention MCS suspension? I haven't been in the BMW world long enough to understand what that means...

And I'm also just starting to learn the coilover/suspension world as well. I'm assuming I'll have the option to adjust spring rates on the B16 Damptronics if I'm not happy with them out of the gate?

If that's correct, the big limitation with this system will be 3 preselected modes of damping and rebound vs. 20+ 'clicks' up and down of damping and rebound with a traditional 2-way coilover....do I have that right?
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      08-01-2019, 06:53 PM   #6
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Sent you a PM!

Also, it seems like you are using a 200tw tire for durability. Iím a big fan of Dunlop zII for that purpose. Durable and consistent but not as sticky as re71r
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      08-04-2019, 10:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulaneAg View Post
I've previously tracked my Porsche 996 and now my 981 Boxster S. I've turned the Boxster into a razor-sharp track weapon over the past 2 years with suspension mods, headers, tune, etc. My wife came into my office in June and said she wanted her fun car back...so I returned it to stock over the course of the summer.

I tracked the M4 once in the spring at COTA and put down significantly better lap times than my Boxster but it felt fat and rolly polly through the S's...the only reason it was faster was because of the hp and top-end speed on the 3 long straights. That experience sent me looking for a 996 Turbo or a 997.2 C2S manual but couldn't find what I wanted in my price range.

So I sat down yesterday and ordered some track goodies for the M4 to try and sharpen it up a bit. This is my way of committing myself to learning the car and giving it every opportunity to excel on the track for at least a year. This is what I bought:

1. KW P&P DDC Coilovers - My gut tells me I'm going to end up with a more track oriented JRZ in the future but I wanted to give these a shot as I'd like to keep the EDC controls active and useful.
2. TC Kline Racing Camber Plates - My indy shop guy recommended these over the Ground Control units so I went with his recommendation. Plus they're a few bucks cheaper...
3. Titan7 T-S5 18" forged wheelset - I went with a staggered setup. I bought into the Titan7 guys' story I've read posted a few times. For ~18lbs a piece forged wheels at $2,100 total I figured they're worth a shot.
4. Hankook R-S4 tires - These are some seriously meaty tires. The section widths on their 265/275's match or exceed almost everyone else's 275/285 setups so we'll see what happens for ~$950 for the whole set. Plus I like the durability of these tires as compared to an RE-71R. I like to slide and throttle steer my cars around the track so I didn't want some big 295/315 R7 setup that wouldn't let me do that. I can always upsize a touch and/or move to a stickier compound if I find these don't offer enough grip.

I had already done Castrol SRF fluid and Power Stop Track Day pads for the COTA weekend in the spring...so the minimum brake upgrades are already taken care of... I'll keep an eye out for incremental upgrades to better track pads vs. Girodiscs vs. the need for full BBK's. I'm also planning to do some coding to grab some of the GTS and ZRP settings...coming from the naturally aspirated Boxster, the turbo lag on this car just kills me so I've got to find the right combination of throttle response and RPM/shift points to minimize the feeling of that lag.

Kudos to Tire Rack and Bimmerworld. I ordered everything at lunch yesterday and the tires and wheels were already delivered today.

If you guys are interested, I'll come back to this thread and share my thoughts as I make each of the upgrades and after each of my AX and DE sessions throughout the fall and spring. First up is an 8/25 AutoX w/ PCA for a shakedown cruise and then a COTA weekend with CHIN over Labor Day. Let me know if you have any questions.
Looking forward to seeing another BMW frequenting COTA. Going to be out there Labor Day too. How did your M4 handle the temps in the spring?
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      08-05-2019, 02:32 AM   #8
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You will pretty much have the EXACT components that I have if you get the Bilsteins. The only non matching part is the camber plates as I have the ground control ones. I track and canyon with my b16 dampers and I like them for what they are, but want more. Itís just that itís my daily so wanted adjustability AND MY WIFE HATES MY BUMPY CAR, so needed comfort mode.

Also I aligned and corner balanced my car and that helped a lot. It sticks well.

You should probably go with an aggressive coilovers setup as opposed to the edc compatible ones. It still feel roly poly, but composed and sticks to the ground. Not as flat as youíd like it because the bilsteins were never meant for track duty. Even in sport plus.
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      08-06-2019, 06:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulaneAg View Post
What product are you talking about when you mention MCS suspension? I haven't been in the BMW world long enough to understand what that means...

And I'm also just starting to learn the coilover/suspension world as well. I'm assuming I'll have the option to adjust spring rates on the B16 Damptronics if I'm not happy with them out of the gate?

If that's correct, the big limitation with this system will be 3 preselected modes of damping and rebound vs. 20+ 'clicks' up and down of damping and rebound with a traditional 2-way coilover....do I have that right?
MCS = Motion Control Suspension.

I assume you are able to update the springs to stiffer ones in the B16 kit, however, your valving is fixed to those 3 preset conditions so they won't handle springs that are substantially stiffer.

I'm sure the B16 will work fine, they just won't be ideal.
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      08-06-2019, 04:37 PM   #10
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Sorry guys, I was away from the computer for a few days. Thanks for carrying on the conversation...

OG Shark - I ran the M4 at COTA in late March and it was still relatively cool so no problems with the heat. I don't' run summer DE's anymore. Much too hard on the equipment plus the driver. I'm honestly worried about this Labor Day COTA session...I usually don't get back to the track until late Oct 1st but I felt like I need some extra reps with the change to the M4 this year. We'll see.

jpy1980 - That's good feedback and I've admitted I'll probably end up on a more track-oriented coilovers but we're going to give the Bilstein's a shot...they're already on their way.

SYT - Thanks for all your posts. It sounds like you're a few years ahead of me on the M4 track journey and I appreciate your lessons learned.

nicknaz - I appreciate the PM. I'll let you know what unfolds the next year w/r/t the 996

Progress Update: Titan7 wheels, RS4 tires, and camber plates have all arrived. I'll get the tires mounted this week, but need to wait on the Bilstein's before doing anything with the camber plates. I signed up for an AutoX on 8/25 as a quick shakedown cruise before heading to COTA 8/31-9/1. Hopefully I'll have Bilsteins by then. If not, I'll have to make a decision whether to run the camber plates w/ stock suspension at COTA and then re-align everything when I install the Bilsteins.

Apex had a smoking deal on PFC11's, and my Power Stops don't have a full weekend left in them, so I went ahead and ordered them. $470 for a full set. It might be cool to do a Sat/Sunday A/B test between the pads if I can talk myself into changing pads at the track. Which gives me a thought...anybody run RS4's in the wrong direction in the dry? Feedback? If I'm pulling the wheels to swap sides anyway...might as well change pads while I'm in there.
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      08-06-2019, 11:29 PM   #11
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Shipping notice received for Bilsteins. Anticipated delivery date is Monday so should be able to get everything installed for AutoX shakedown. Then Iíll have a few days for any tweaks before COTA the next weekend. Iím excited.
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      08-07-2019, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulaneAg View Post
Which gives me a thought...anybody run RS4's in the wrong direction in the dry? Feedback? If I'm pulling the wheels to swap sides anyway...might as well change pads while I'm in there.
In the dry you won't notice the difference. It's in the wet when you can have some interesting moments!

My F80 is actually pretty stock other than the seats/harnesses.
Before its first track day it had 6 points/race seats, camber plates and a front BBK.
After a few weekends it's getting MCS 2WNR suspension and a rear BBK. I don't do a lot of mods as I have to drive my cars to/from the track

By the way, which sizes and offsets are you running with the Titan7s?

Last edited by SYT_Shadow; 08-07-2019 at 12:53 PM..
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      08-07-2019, 02:31 PM   #13
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wheel sizes

18x9.5 et22
18x10.5 et34

I'm starting with 265/285s then may upsize to 275/295 on my next set of tires depending on how much grip I have w/ the RS4s
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      08-10-2019, 01:55 PM   #14
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Update

Had the RS-4's mounted on the Titan7's this week and went to pick up today and the tires were way too stretched for the rims. Wanted to keep the RS4's and move the 275's to front and buy a 295 rear but they're sold out all over the internets. So...

I got on Discount Tire Direct and ordered NT01's so this is what I'll be running now:

F: 275/35-18 NT01 on 18x9.5 +22
R: 305/35-18 NR01 on 18x10.5 +34

I've seen confirmation of several people running that size rear tire with that offset successfully but not a lot...has anybody seen any specific instances where that width and offset did NOT work?

I'll also be running some rear camber and don't mind rolling my rear fenders so I think it will ultimately work out fine, but the +34 offset on the rears is a curious offset.

Last edited by TulaneAg; 08-10-2019 at 07:27 PM..
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      08-10-2019, 07:26 PM   #15
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Video camera trials

Started testing out my camera options today. My daughter has a Gopro Hero5 and I just purchased a refurb Garmin Virb Ultra 30 for $280.

I crawled all over my car interior trying out a couple of different mounting locations and ended up liking the view from just over my shoulder the best. So I grabbed one of the 3M sticky mounts and stuck it to my dome light. Then I built a vertical drop extension ~5" long to get the camera down a bit so it's closer to looking straight out the window.

I made a couple dozen runs around the block with both cameras. The GoPro wouldn't stay connected to the phone app so it was very tough to change video and audio settings on the fly, which got frustrating pretty damn quick. And the voice control seemed pretty suspect. With the bad connection, it was tough to play with the infinite settings enough to get the right balance between the dark car interior shooting through a bright window. I was never able to get it looking very good.

Garmin's voice control was spot on. It stayed connected to the app on my Android phone throughout. And it dealt with the dark/light contrast between the car and the windshield much better straight out of the box. And on video playback on the phone it automatically overlayed speed, GPS position, etc. so it looked like a finished video already. On the downside, it didn't seem to have any stabilization on by default so the first few videos were pretty shaky...once I stopped and turned on the digital stabilization it worked fine. I think I also liked the default audio of the Garmin as well. Wind vs. vehicle noise wasn't as distracting as it was on the GoPro.

I'll continue to play with the settings of each on my way to/from work over the next few weeks leading up to my DE weekend at COTA to see if I can dial it in.

I'm also thinking about letting the Garmin control my data recorder for easier video plus data overlays and letting my RaceChrono app control the GoPro and then try to edit the two videos together. The idea would be to put one camera on the exterior or on the windshield recording the car/track and the other camera recording my hands and head movements inside. It's got to be easy and automatic though...I'm not one to fight a bunch of technology and cameras on the Grid.
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      08-12-2019, 12:31 PM   #16
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I used a Virb30 for good bit. Would still get some gps drift every now and then which was slightly annoying but it did a really good job out of the box. Their editing software was really user friendly too. Went back to GoPro since I'm working on a new data setup that should be a little more accurate for lap analysis.
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      08-13-2019, 12:46 AM   #17
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Thx for sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by F80Speed77 View Post
I used a Virb30 for good bit. Would still get some gps drift every now and then which was slightly annoying but it did a really good job out of the box. Their editing software was really user friendly too. Went back to GoPro since I'm working on a new data setup that should be a little more accurate for lap analysis.
Thx for sharing...I havenít had very many people who have used a Virb for track video so I feel like Iím blazing new trails here.
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      08-13-2019, 04:02 PM   #18
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Aim smartycam is the easiest but it costs. Iíve been trying to hold off.

Do you have the hero5 black? Trying to figure out if thatís worth my while or if I should step up to Hero7.
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      08-13-2019, 04:08 PM   #19
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I just have a hero 3 and it does the trick fine for racecar things (60fps + HD). Battery kind of sucks though so maybe they've made improvements there over time.
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      08-13-2019, 10:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulaneAg View Post
Thx for sharing...I havenít had very many people who have used a Virb for track video so I feel like Iím blazing new trails here.
I've been using one for a couple of years.
Good quality video but the GPS kind of sucks, lap times aren't accurate and it is up to 20kmh off at high speeds.

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      08-24-2019, 10:41 PM   #21
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I picked up car today with the Bilsteins B16 Damptronics installed. I put the track wheels with the NT01s on it and the Powerstop Track Day pads for an AutoX tomorrow (Sunday). It looks like it’s going to rain all day. I’d usually run my stock wheels w/ street tires in the rain but I left them with my guy to fix the curbed edges and powder coat them gloss black.

So I get to try out the NT01s for the first time in the rain...should be fun. I just need to take it slow to the course and back as it sounds like they’re pretty sketchy on the street in the rain.

Had a setback on the TC Kline camber plate install. There wasn’t enough thread on the Bilsteins to get these installed properly so got to do some research and find some that will work. Withe the 3/4” of lowering out of the coilovers I was able to get -1.8 neg camber out of the fronts so it looks like that’s what I’ll be running at COTA next weekend.
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      08-26-2019, 06:39 PM   #22
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Update after my 1st shakedown cruise...

I wanted to update after my 1/2 day AutoX:

Suspension: Bilstein Damptronics installed and aligned without the camber plates...I'll explain that below. I wasn't after a serious ride height adjustment with the suspension change so I instructed my guy to leave the ride as tall as possible. I ended up with about a 1/2-3/4" drop and I got about -1.8 degrees camber out of that setup. The Bilsteins added a little bounciness to the ride in Comfort that wasn't there before which I'm not thrilled about that...but I understand there's going to be a tradeoff for such things. I made 6 runs on the AutoX course in Sports+ and the verdict so far is WOW! The car felt very flat, stable, and solid. Unlike before, I wasn't waiting for big weight transfers before my next steering and throttle inputs. The best way to describe it is that it took one variable out of each turn and I could totally concentrate on throttle and steering. This is what I wanted out of the car. Only open question so far is that I was doing this at 35-65 mph on autoX course and I'll be doing it at 75-100 at COTA next weekend...so can it perform similarly at higher speeds and loads. Really encouraging results so far.

Camber Plates: I didn't get TCKline camber plates installed because there wasn't enough thread on the Bilsteins to reach through the thickness of the camber plates. I called Turner, talked to TCKline, etc. for a while today to finally figure out there was an adapter plate that's supposed to be purchased with my setup. I'll blame the confusion on the last-minute swap between KW DDC and Bilstein Damptronics. Turner is overnighting the adapters to me so I should have them by Wednesday. Hopefully, I have time to install and re-align before I leave for Austin Friday ~Noon.

Wheels: Titan7 T-S5 forged wheels in sizes offsets noted previously received the 275/305 35-18 NT01s. I was worried about fitting that 305 rear with the +34 offset but it fit just fine. No rubbing at all. The autoX course we ran had a weird old/worn asphalt top that I didn't love so I'm going to blame some of the lack of grip on that...but my first impression of the NT01's wasn't fabulous. Of course, I'll play with alignment, camber, pressures, etc. but first impressions are that my Nexen SUR4Gs on my 981S were every bit the equal of these tires, maybe more so, at almost 1/2 the price. I plowed through some understeer where I should have had more front grip and I spun a time or two with some oversteer that I thought the tires should've handled a little better. This was also first time out so maybe there's some compound break-in that needs to happen even though I ordered them heat-cycled from discounttiredirect.com.

Overall impressions are that I had some understeer moments that I didn't expect and I had some oversteer moments that I also didn't expect. The car felt fairly well balanced...just a touch disappointed in the overall lack of grip. I could control it with throttle steer through carousels and out of turns much more confidently than in the past so that was good. It remains to be seen whether I need to adjust my expectations on overall grip or we can find more grip while keeping the balance. I have 3 days worth of data at COTA on stock setup so this coming weekend will be the true test.

Coming this week: Stage 2 tune for smoother throttle response, plus GTS/CS coding for DTC, Diff, Steering, and EDC via Alex at Alpine. I'll update the thread after COTA with my thoughts on those changes as well.
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