Tom's Track Car - BMW E46 -Engine Number 3


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Cadwell Park Aug 2020
Another week another update, this time it's another track day in another corner of the country.

Interesting how many people read through this thread on a weekly basis then message me privately on social media or private message. Always interested to hear comments and developments. The more discussion the better, always good to hear what other people would do in similar situations.

Luckily the car was faultless at Snetterton the previous week so the car only needed a wash, some fuel and clean SD cards putting in the cameras and logger, with that done it was loaded back onto the trailer ready to head over to Cadwell Park with Track Obsession. As we always try to do we set off over to Louth the day before saying in a hotel 10 minutes from the circuit.

Cadwell was set to be a great day with a fantastic group of cars going from our track day friendship group.
BMW's - E46 330 - E36 ITB - E36 Turbo - E36 S54 - E36 328
Renault - Clio 197 - 182 - MK1 ITB
Along with a wide range of other friends from track days coming along with their cars was making for a great day.

The morning got off to a nice smooth start, it was great to hop back into the driving seat off the back of Snetterton, the car felt pretty good straight off the bat and only required a slight adjustment in suspension settings on the rear. I went back to the known good set up I ran at Cadwell last year.

Spent the day lapping the car, very little disruption to time on circuit with only a couple of red flags through the day. I did however start to get a louder and louder grumbling noise from one of the wheel bearings which was getting louder and louder as the day went on. Between sessions I had the car on the axle stands and checked over all corners of the car and gave it a quick bolt check. Nothing was found and all wheels were solid, I put it down to a dry wheel bearing that was starting to wear out and monitored it as the day went on.
Had some fantastic sessions out on track with a number of different cars. Have a look at the end of the post for some videos.

If you wondered what it looks like approaching in the rear view

So at the beginning of 2019 I weighed the car at Oulton Park and it came in at 1300kg. During that summer the car went on a little diet when I changed the battery, wiring, heater matrix for a heater screen and repainted the car. I weighed the parts as they were removed and offset that against anything that was refitted or replaced but I wanted to have a proper note of what the car weighed, especially knowing that it had just made 265bhp on the new engine.

I took the car over to the weigh bridge and got it on there, really happy to find out it weighed in at 1250kg, pretty good weight for an E46 considering it still had glass all around and I haven't cut out any of the doors or boot... yet!.

BMW's post weighing

I managed a couple of good afternoon sessions and was finding a good flow on the circuit. Cadwell never fails to impress with the circuit layout and elevation changes.
However just before the end of the day around 4pm the grumbling noise from the wheel bearing turned into a loud crunch and clunking as the wheel went around, this happened at the end of the Park Straight, I turned into the corner and it didn't turn in with the usual precision so let the car run wide onto the grass and brought the car back to the pits.

It was easy to pin point the location of the grumbling now as the front wheel was wobbling ~30 side to side and top and bottom. That was the end of the day for me but really happy with how the car performed and the wheel bearing lasted through the day without causing disruption to the day or much lost time on circuit. Nice easy fit and we'll be out again.

Removed the wheel bearing and this is the state of the damage, one broken bearing race, multiple cracked ball bearings and the ball bearing cage in a number of pieces. This was a higher quality bearing from FAG as some of you may remember me having a number of bearing issues on the front left when I first built the car.

Data from a 25 minute session on track

-Good to see nice and solid coolant and oil temps hitting 105 and 97 degrees,
-Fuel pressure holding nice and solid at 3.5 bar, the little bit of pressure in the swirl pot drops slightly at high loads as the fuel is being consumed by the engine and the in tank pump is replacing the fuel in the pot. Fuel pressure at the rail is maintaining perfectly with only 15L of fuel in the main tank, previously the car has cut out completely at Cadwell with less than 20L in it. Proves that the swirl pot is the perfect solution.
-Diff temp is being logged in raw ADC readings from the Analog to Canbus board, the 245adc equates to 118 degrees for the diff oil. You can see the longer I stay out the hotter and hotter the diff gets. This is something I'm going to log on a couple of track days and may need to address, especially with planned changes.

So since getting into track days back in probably 2015 I have always ran a Federal RSR and it's a great tyre that I've always said give great value for money in terms of grip vs wear vs cost. I have ran multiple sets of them on the Clio and the BMW. Over the past two years with the BMW I have stuck with them as I kept saying I would until I felt like I was driving towards the limit of the tyre. In the past it's been my driving which has held the car back. Obviously with more practise and smoother driving I could get more from the RSR's but I want to experiment with a better tyre choice so i'm going to look at my options and consider something with a bit more grip and a stiffer sidewall. At the moment I am leaning towards the Nankang AR1.


Cadwell Highlights

Cadwell Following MK1 Clio ITB and E36.
Last edited:


POTM Winner - June 2017
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Is there any reason why you went with the Arduino as opposed to something like a Pi Zero? Looking at doing something similar myself with an LCD/OLED/e-ink display and would only need one analogue input but any advice you could provide would be appreciated.


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Is there any reason why you went with the Arduino as opposed to something like a Pi Zero? Looking at doing something similar myself with an LCD/OLED/e-ink display and would only need one analogue input but any advice you could provide would be appreciated.
For the logger and the screen it was purely the simplicity of the Arduino and they’re much more robust in design and function, especially in an environment which is full of vibration and electrical noise, also has the benefit that it can be powered on and off easily without having to worry about powering it off correctly.
Also programming in C with Arduino is something I have done before and can work with nice and easily, never using a Pi before would have meant starting from scratch.
The display has worked out great for me, even better now it is combined with the Analog - Can board taking in as many analog sensors as I want and then displaying them on the screen. Much easier to take a glance down on the straights and have a look at temperatures etc.
Room for future developments with that with more sensors and more data displayed.
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Post lock down #2 Oulton Park

ECU Adjustments.

Idle control
Spent a little bit of the lock down learning more about the MS43 standard ECU despite the long term plan is to replace it with standalone. The main reason behind it was since fitting the new engine with bigger cams the way the idle was mapped to use the throttle body rather than the idle control valve which has been removed now the engine was not able to control it's own idle and was stuggling at 600rpm, I had tried to nudge the idle up with some timing but the throttle body wasn't opening enough at idle. After doing some research into how the idle duty cycle is calculated and looking what values were put into the idle contro maps when I deleted the ECU I was able to rescale a couple of them to get more throttle opening at a given idle control duty cycle and set the required idle to 1000rpm and it idles perfectly now at 1000rpm even with the headed screen on which turns out was perfect for the next track day.

Coolant temp
I also looked at how the coolant temps were controlled in the ECU and noticed there were two additional set points and thresholds in the ECU for the electronic thermostat control.
The first one being a minimum oil temp, the oil has to get to this minimum temperature before the electronic thermostat starts to target coolant temps set by a 3D map. This was orignally set to 105 degrees, Funnily enough the exact temperature the engine was holding steady for 5 back to back laps at Cadwell within a degree.
The second was a coolant set point used until the oil temp reached the set point below.

With this new knowledge I pulled the oil temp minimum to 95 degrees and set the coolant set point to 90 degrees.

Tested it at Oulton Park yesterday and look at the consistent oil and coolant temps. More track days especially in warmer temperatures will tell how stable it stays but it's an interesting find, something I had overlooked in the past.

To the Track Day

Track days under Covid restrictions are a bit different at the moment without the passengers and the group of friends it usually brings with it, this one as well was forecast a very wet start to the day but everyone was just happy to get out in their cars and get some miles in on track before the end of the year.

In the morning the track was very wet, the focus was trying to drive as smooth as possible and focus on putting together some consistent laps.
In these wet conditions the heated screen in the car was a fantastic addition. It was fitted last summer and I've rarely had a chance to use it, only on the odd cold morning but yesterday It was on while on circuit all morning keeping visibility perfectly clear, definitely a worthwhile upgrade.

After lunch I went out to find a dry line had appeared in the 20 minute prior to lunch and an hours sun on the track during lunch time had really made an effect to dry the circuit, I was straight back into the pits to get the new AR1's fitted to the car and clicked the dampers up a couple of clicks, still left it reasonably soft as some sections of the track were still wet and wanted to adjust to the new tyres. The first lap was a very slow with brand new tyres on which hadn't been scrubbed in, it started with spinning the rear wheels half the length of the exit from the pit lane but after a slow lap to get them scrubbed in and get a little bit of temperature into them it was great to be back out on a drying track with semi slick tyres on again. In a nut shell first impressions of the tyres are really good, feel really positive on turn in and they really do grip well even in the dryline/damp conditions. Look forward to getting used to them further next year on a dry circuit.

Here's a video from one of the afternoon sessions. Once again the new engine ran flawlessly and has totally changed the driving experience of the car. Combined with the shorter FD I fitted earlier in the year it works really well now were in March the 3.73 final drive was too short for the old engine.

I do normally have more video footage but I was using this track day to experiment with in car cameras,which went really well during the morning session but during one of the afternoon sessions the camera turned it's self off 7 minutes into the sessions so I don't have as much dry running footage as usual.

To sum it all up it was fantastic day on circuit for a winter track day. The last two sessions of the day really made it worth while all the effort to get the car out on circuit in the middle of winter. I do have a short list of things to mess with over the winter period to make sure the car is ready for the start of next year, most of it just being small bits of maintenance, hopefully march will be the next time I get out on track again.



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Always good to read the write-ups on your 330 Tom. This car is part of the reason I bought my 330!

I could probably read back and check but what tyres did you run before the AR-1? I have in my head you ran 595RSRs but I could be wrong. I only ask as my phone doesn't like this forum...


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Always good to read the write-ups on your 330 Tom. This car is part of the reason I bought my 330!

I could probably read back and check but what tyres did you run before the AR-1? I have in my head you ran 595RSRs but I could be wrong. I only ask as my phone doesn't like this forum...
I was running the Federal RSR. I've ran them since day one of doing track days in the Clio and think they are a fantastic tyre in terms of grip vs cost. They last a really long time too. I thought it was a good time to try a more expensive tyre with more outright grip considering the lengths I've gone to in every other avenue with the E46.

First update.
I haven't managed to achieve anything too exciting yet over the christmas period, I've mainly been taking things apart and planning what small changes I want to make before we get back into track day season.

The first one trying to get a bit more weight out of the car.

I'm currently at 1260kg @ 265bhp = 210bhp/t.
Kerb weight of an e46 330ci = 1400kg.
In 2019 at Oulton it weighed in at 1300kg we're heading in the right direction but I think think I'll be able to get sub 1200kg without replacing panels for fibre glass.

However with some of the modifications I have got planned I wanted to drop a bit more weight out of the car to offset it.

When I first built the car I removed the lower door cards, airbag and window motors bringing the doors down from approx 40kg to 31kg as per the photo below.

I set about cutting excess material from the door and removing the window mechanism as the windows stay up all the time now.
This brought the weight of the doors down to 23kg saving 8kg per door.
While the door was off and split I weighed the glass which was 4.3kg which I would half by moving to 4mm lexan. Probably something to do later in the year.

I am in progress with some more weight saving around various parts of the car but i'll update more on that as I get to it and weight it as we go.

Obviously I wont be leaving the doors exposed as they are above, I will be covering them in a thing 3mm HDPE or Foamex sheet. Still to be decided due to price and availability of sheet size for the door cards being slightly longer than the standard 1000mm length it's supplied in being a coupe with long doors.
So for the time being I have made card templates ready to cut the material when I get some ordered in the new year.

Adding in another sensor. I already have an oil pressure sensor going to the Innovate gauges on the dash but I am unable to log this. I did look at spending some time figuring out the serial messages sent from the gauge but decided It was much easier just to add a 0-100psi sensor next to the other one and feed it onto the CANBUS which can easily be picked up by the dash and logged on the logger

I've also tided up the footwells with replacement grip tape on the boards. I know the tapes go in different directions. It annoys me slightly but not enough at the moment to take one of them off and replace it as they're never normally seen side by side

Other jobs in the pipeline which I will document further in coming weeks.
-I've removed the centre console switch panel for a more updated version which will probably hold the logger screen.
-Relocated the logger under the dash now rather than having it mounted on the exhaust tunnel.
-Removing the handbrake mechanism from the car. Car isn't used on the road so not required, it is ineffective as a lot of bmw handbrakes are and they sometimes fail on track causing the brake shoes to rattle around inside the brake disc so all that will be doing removed too.
-Boot will be removed of excess weight and mounted on pins
-Bumper will be mounted on pins too as the standard mounts are awkward now with the splitter fitted - Need to remove the bumper to remove the headlight to replace the side lights for something brighter more visible on track.

Spent a little bit of time today with the squib removed from the car as I'm looking at replacement steering wheels, while I'm doing that I have decided to move some of the switches and controls closer to me including scroll buttons for the logger screen and functions to make it easier to view when driving rather than using the touch screen.
I have made a number of laser cut switch panels for friends cars in the past laser cut from plastic, it's about time I sorted my own car out with one.
However in other cars they've used coiled cable which is a great idea and worked really well but I thought I would use what I have in front of me.

So when I thinned out the wiring in 2019 I kept some of the plugs and wiring loom from the rear of the squib. there is a connector with 10 pins on which I am going to use become steering wheel switches to do various functions at my finger tips. Made up a small loom to a temporary connector for testing purposes before pinning it into a proper plug and wiring loom.

As usual I will be posting more about the car and track days throughout 2021 on social media


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Productive Sunday on the E46 today resulting in making a good impact on the to do list, I like these type of days were things start to get back together rather than constantly taking things apart.

To continue to work through the rearranging of the dash the first thing was to relocate the fuse box out of the dash panel and mount it below, I cut all that area of the dash out to give a nice clean look when I rebuilt the car last year so a nice laser cut plastic fuse box holder which can be mounted on the underside of the dash was designed and cut.

I also did a test 3D print of the screen holder and the new centre dash panel. Moving the fuse box has given room for the screen as well a couple of additional switches.

Testing the adjusted version of the switch panel with a smaller design with 4 switches, always lots of templates being made with this car to get things right.

Laser cut the new steering wheel panel and mounted some switches into it. Two momentary switches and push latching for different purposes. Only using two for the moment, when the other two functions are required I'll add the engraving.

Test fit with the steering wheel

Mounted the fuse box to the centre console and put the dash board into the holder in the centre of the dash, needs a good wipe down with some brake cleaner but it's nicely packaged together.

Steering wheel is up in the highest position here while working on the car, normally pulled down and towards the driver when in use.

Material for the door cards turned up this week. Ended up going for 2000 x 1000 x 4mm HDPE.
Used the card template I mocked up last week to transfer the shape and cut the material out.

Fixed into position with 8mm black trim clips, love how this has turned out, I wish I had done it sooner but I wanted to get all the doors stripped out properly before making them, I have spent a lot of time getting the standard glass mounted in the doors correctly to get to this point.

Interior looking fantastic, still a little bit of wiring to finish off under the dash in the passenger side but that'll get finished off next weekend, as there is still an awful lot on my to do list with planned changes before it goes back out on track again.

One thing that has always been a pain with this car since fitting the splitter is access to the front end due to how the bumper is bolted to the chassis legs from the underside of the bumper.
I had the front end off to replace the side lights for something brighter, so while I was there I looked at making the bumper removeable on a couple of pins

Separated the crash bar from the bumper skin and bolted that to the chassis legs so it's always fixed to the car. I put pins in that structure and the receivers in the bumper skin, mounted them just below the washer jets. Nice and simple to pop the bumper off in 10 seconds now. Nice to have access to the coolers and the front of the car for when checking it over or doing small jobs without taking the splitter off.

Another interesting bit of information.
When I built up the engine fitting the Schrick camshafts there was a note in the technical information which said to check valve clearance with those cams which it didn't say on the smaller lift cams, At the time I spent a lot of time measuring parts of the engine, block, pistons and cams to calculate a theoretical clearance between the pistons and cams with the block and parts I had infront of me. I had it all written down in a note book but while discussing engine clearances with a friend building a new engine at the moment I took the chance to put it into excel with formulas and make it clearer to read.



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Been a couple of months since the last update in January, I've been holding back on post anything but I thought I would do an update on some of the bits I've been working on, nothing too major but hopefully interesting stuff.

Starting off was some simple little modifications, there was nothing more annoying than getting in the car in the middle of winter or at night and not being able to see anything in the dark interior. I 3D printed a little holder for some LED circuit board that fitted to the role cage and put it on a small plug. I'd already wired in a switch to the dash when I redid that earlier in the year.

It does a great job at night lighting up the whole interior of the car. It was great for working on the car when we still had some dark nights, powered from a perminent feed so can be switched on without the key in the igniton,

Steering wheel cover to keep it clean from my grubby hands and fading from the sun as I don't run a quick release boss.

So earlier in the year I had already been on the search for reducing some weight out of the car. I found 16kg in the doors as well as finding another approx 6kg of additional weight in things like hand brake mechanism and hinges from the boot. I have this in a box for weighing so will do a more accurate post on weight soon.

I mounted the boot on two quick release pins but kept the boot latch working on the key, mainly because it gives a solid mounting point as well as locking the boot onto the car.

However the boot wasn't just done for the purpose of saying a few kg's from the hinges...

The purpose was to enable proper mounting of this to the chassis...

1.6m wide fibreglass wing.. here is a photo of it when it arrived... Explanation for why I've gone down this route is at the end of the post...

However prior to this I had been doing some CAD work. Actual CAD work not just Cardboard Aided Design this time.

First job was drawing the profile of the wing I was planning on purchasing into CAD to ensure proper mounting, with suitable adjustment to give a range between 0-9 degrees, with the aim to run somewhere between 4-7 degree of wing angle.

With the legs I went for my own style of design mounting to the standard hinges, I wanted the legs mounting parallel to each other for aesthetics mainly so the little cut out at the rear is for the mounts to clear the bodywork.

I went for a standard BMW looking end plate often seen on a lot of E46 M3's and E92's

I did some testing of the material and had no issues of it being made from a much thinner material with cut outs but for the sake of a few grams I decided I would make it from 8mm aluminum, I also prefer the wings without cutouts, but I might make a second version with cutouts in the future just to test.

Before actually making them I did a quick test of the profile by cutting out some MDF and mounting the underside brackets.

Looks quite high with the boot removed but I reduced the height of the wing down by 100mm from version one. At this point the aero foil is just placed on the underside brackets as they require profiling and then bonding to the underside of the wing

From the CAD model I had the legs laser cut from the 8mm Aluminum, pictured with the fibreglass mounts for the underside of the aerofoil

Quick test fit to test the aluminium hardware I machined to take up the angle offset in the body work.

Boot marked out for cutting.

Mounts painted in BMW Black Saphine paint the same as the body work.

Mounted in position, You can just see the aluminium bosses to mount it to the factory hinge mounts. The last job now was to laser cut the end plates, at the moment I have just laser cut the profile from some plastic to get an idea for mounting, shape and style, will laser cut a final version soon or make some carbon end plates. The underside mounted were also bonded to the underside of the wing as well as bolted into the captive nuts in the underside of the wing.

Sat on the wet wheels but it gives a good idea on the appearance and height of the wing.

Still plenty more to come but I'll leave it there for the moment. Have been doing some more research into engine modifications and will be doing some final tweeks and developments with the wing but I'm really happy with the progress of it so far. I wanted to make something that was functional, not just an aesthetic item, for that reason I wanted it to be correctly mounted to the chassis rather than just mounted to the boot. Lots of 330's run the Tegiwa wing but I think it looks a little narrow for my liking so I went down the route of making my own.

I also wanted to see what difference some downforce onto the rear of the car would make, I have often found the car a little tail happy, if you're seen some of the youtube videos you might have seen, I've ran different spring rates, alignment, dropped the rear ride height etc but It would be a lot more confidence inspiring with a more planted rear end which led me at the point where I wanted to make something that functions well, as well as putting it all together myself, we'll see if it makes a difference to how the car handles.


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April update - Will be interested to hear any comments on this one...
Been holding back on this update for a while as it hasn't really yielded any of the results I'd hoped for. But decided to document it as it has been an interesting process even through no progress has been made at all despite the work that's been put into it.

Starting back in July last year I ran the the new engine in but at the time It turns out I had a faulty cam sensor so it was ran in with the cams in their fail safe position, 120 degrees and -105.
This is the printout from July 2020, Good considering the cams were in the failsafe Vanos position which is where they would be above 5500rpm anyway.

Earlier in the year I was looking for things that could be improved, Possibly improve higher rpm airflow, as well as getting back to the dyno with working Vanos. I had heard some internet myths that the M54 inlet was better at higher RPM and wanted to try it with the bigger cams. It was also reported online that the bigger throttle body that Dinan made also picked up horse power so I looked into big bore throttle body for M54. Couldn't find anything on the market so designed my own.

M54 Big Bore throttle body adaptor

Throttle body mounted in place going up from 69mm to 76mm, also machined a blank for the Idle air control valve and removed the DISA valve as I don't have wiring for it anymore.

March 2021

This is the result on the dyno... unexpectedly a drop in power, we spent a little time adjusting the timing and moving the vanos around, we picked up 5bhp, it's a great shape graph holding power to 7,000, the smoothing on the graph rounds the power off at the limiter.

255 bhp and 257 ftlb - Ignore the fact that the limiter looks like it's set at 6700RPM the sync with the dyno was slightly out by 300RPM (This has no effect on the power reading of the dyno)

Logs from the dyno:
Peak numbers:

Load/Mass vs RPM for the M54 manifold with the bigger throttle body.

Overall at this point I am really happy with the figures logged especially compared with load and mass logs from other cars including standard engines but not really the expected power figures.

So I took the car away and went back to the original set up that the car was run in at with the M54 throttle body and M50 manifold, at this point I am starting to think the M54 inlet manifold is the restriction (It's not)

April 2021

Back to the dyno I went last week to continue to work on the puzzle and data log.
Strapped the E46 back down on the dyno and off we went again.

This is the end result of the dyno from the day, 255bhp / 257ftlb.
Leading up to this I experimented with with Vanos angles everywhere, Inlet being fully advanced in the mid range and fully retarded at the top, I spent a bit of time working on the transition from fully advanced to retarded and picked up a fair mount of power/torque in the 5000-5500 range, I do know now what the vanos needs just to remove the dip at 4750rpm. I did some experimentation with removing timing and adding some but the net result was pretty much the same or less.
Unsure why it completely flatlines at 5500rpm pretty much to just before the limiter at 6900rpm

Logs from the dyno run

Peak numbers:

Comparison of the Mass and Load values against the M54 inlet posted above, considering the sample rate I am able to log at the values aren't too dissimilar.

Final test - Air Filter
I've always ran a standard paper filter in the car and never felt any need to change, anyway for the sake of comparison and wondering about restrictions and why the power is so flat at the top I pulled out the air filter and did another power run. Exactly the same as the two previous runs. No change in the power curve anywhere all the way to the limiter so no effect there either.

Post Dyno thought process

Not exactly the outcome I was expected but I have managed to learn a lot through this process, unsure why the car made slightly more power when running in last year so I start off doing some basic testing, I have checked the cam position of the cams when they are in the failsafe position by unplugging the solenoids while the car was running to see what position they defaulted to so see if it was any different to the 'max' I was setting the cams to in the ECU but they sit in exactly the same place. Inlet 126 degrees and exhaust -105 so no change there, the basic ignition maps for the ECU when it is in failsafe mode has an additional 1.5 degrees of timing, not enough to make a difference but something I will log when I next have the car out.

Final this today was to get the compression tester out and just check the heath of the engine across all cylinders as well as giving me a bench mark for the future.

Cold engine
175psi across all 6 cylinders, all making exactly the same compression.

For the next track day I am going to fit a pressure sensor into the exhaust manifold and log the pressure in the manifolds, I know the exhaust is getting louder and louder but I don't think there is a restriction there but I'm going to rule it out.
At the moment with this engine set up that's all she's got to give. Impressive areas under the curve and power throughout the full rev range.


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Perhaps it’s worth doing a leak down as opposed to compression?
Yeah something to consider in the future but i’m not worried about those numbers and it’s consistent and what i’d expect it to make, it’s on 3% difference in power. I do have one final thing to log and check next time it’s out and it’s the timing map used when the vanos is in fail safe mode. But logging that will give me a better indication.
Will see how the next 3 track days go and i’ll decide what I want to do next with it.
Anglesey in June. Followed by Cadwell and Snetterton in August.


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Dyno Graph...
The hunt for the lack of power with the new engine continues. Scanned in some dyno graphs of the old engine vs the new engine to see what difference there is between the engines.

Clear to see where the Schrick cams are making more power with the same intake and exhaust set up.
One thing I have come to find out now though is I have an assumption that Schrick have ground the exhaust cam with the centreline as -114 degrees rather than -105. So when I'm looking at a cam reading of -105 I am inclined to believe it is actually -114 and the exhaust cam is actually 9 degrees further advanced that standard centreline. This is something I am going to measure with the engine after Anglesey but it requires making room at the front of the engine as well as removing the rocket cover to DTI the cams, I will however try running the car with the exhaust cam 9 degrees retarded at Anglesey and see if there is any noticeable difference, doubtful but I will explore and log.

Prep for the track day involved finishing off some jobs around the new spoiler. The last job on the list was to cut some laser cut end plates out of some 6mm plastic rather than the 3mm prototypes I have on at the moment.
That finishes off the wing besides the setting up of the wing angle but I want to do this properly with a accurate angle gauge on a flat surface so I will leave this until alignment. Decided to set the wing to 4 degrees for Anglesey. which seems like a good compromise and starting point.

I know the wing isn't to everyones taste. Personally I wanted to have a proper sized wing on it which was mounted slightly lower than the usual height of the M3 wings due to it being mounted on a 330. I also wanted to have solid mounts. I may in future laser cut another set with some material removed but when I set out to design it the solid legs was the style I wanted to go for.

I took the car down to a friends workshop to do the alignment, weighing and corner weighting after the changes this year.

Pulled the car onto the ramp and everything was already set up as we'd spent the morning aligning and corner weighting two friends E36's ready for the Anglesey track day the following week.

When I was at Cadwell Park last year I gave it a quick weigh and It came in around 1288kg with 30L of fuel. At the time I thought It weighted about 1250kg minus fuel but when I checked the logs there was 30L so about 22kg in fuel, leaving the weight around 1266kg. I did take some weight out over the winter from the boot hinges, cutting the doors, I added some weight back in with the wing and passenger foot plates.
On the scale this weekend it weighed in at 1258kg with 13L of fuel so 9.5kg leaving the weight at basically 1250kg. Not bad for a lardy E46 with a 16 point cage, rear strut brace, two seats and full glass.

We made a few adjustments to the corner weighting with me sat in the drivers seat and got it within a few tenths of a %. Happy with that for a track car that often has passengers in and out and varying fuel loads.

After that is was onto the alignment...

So with the changing from Federal RSR's to Nankang AR1's I wanted to run a slightly more aggressive camber on the front.
Front Camber
3.3 degrees

Front toe (Out)
1mm each side

Rear Camber 2.3 degrees

Rear toe (In)
0.5mm each side.

With passengers not really being a thing at the moment on circuit due to some form of pandemic, I thought I would have a look at slightly different camera angle. Keeping the standard front and rear cameras in place I've relocated the go pro to above the passenger seat to give a bit of a passengers eye view from inside the car

With that the E46 was all set for Anglesey minus the fitting of the front splitter which I've not refitted properly yet due to doing some fibre glass repairs.



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Anglesey 2nd June 2021

Last time we were here at Anglesey Circuit was the beginning of the summer 2020 but I was only here helping friends run their cars as I had build the new engine and had it booked for running in on the dyno. So I haven't been to Anglesey in the E46 since 2019 when we did exactly the same layout. International circuit in the morning and Coastal circuit in the afternoon. It's always a great day to combine the two layouts on a track day with a swap over at lunch.
This time however it was a little bit different to the usual set up of open pitlane as due to Covid Anglesey Circuit are running 20 minute sessions throughout the day, splitting the attendees into 3 groups.

We set of Tuesday afternoon down to Anglesey. 5 cars on trailers and couple of minis following closely behind and booked into a hotel at Bangor the night before.
Tucked the van and trailer into the corner of the carpark and forgot to take a landscape photograph!

Set off to the circuit at 7am to arrive at 7:30, plenty of time to get unloaded and make sure everything was set up prior to sighting laps, AR1's already fitted to the car with the rainsports loaded onto the trailer just incase.

Decided to change the map on the car prior to going out moving the exhaust the previously mention 9 degrees and log the load values during sighting laps and see if it there was any noticeably difference. I ran some graphs and there could be a slightly increase in air flow through the engine possibly 5% but difficult to show due to the noise of the values and the sample rate. The car felt good and reved nice and cleanly through the rev range to 7000rpm so decided to stick with it. The only way to actually tell would be to dyno it, but I don't want to do that on the standard ECU now and will wait till I have actually measured the cams to see how they physically measure up.

So the morning was the international circuit. The longest circuit at Anglesey, wasn't really a fan of it in the Clio with two long straights and a hairpin but I really enjoy it now in the E46 with more power and torque for the hill up to the hairpin and more drive out of the corner.

Video from a couple of laps of the international circuit

Back in 2019 my best lap around the international was high a 1:49. With all the changes made to the car over the past two years I've managed to get down to a lap time of 1:42's. A nice drop of around 6 seconds. Which I was not expecting at all. The car felt totally different, loads more grip, better turn in, felt a lot more planted and confidence inspiring which helped massively around the back section at Anglesey. The car was noticeably better under braking and this is something I've been trying to improve with my driving over the past year braking technique.

After a fantastic morning session consisting of 4 20 minute sessions the track was changed to the Coastal layout.

Video of the second to last session
Trying out the new camera angle with the go pro.

Caught at the end of the session driving back into the pits. Love the current set up of the E46 in this photo. Exactly the sort of car I envisaged building probably 8 years ago but didn't think it would ever happen but here we are.

Video of last session - Favourite of the day

Finally of my favourite things about track days is getting out on circuit with a group of friends and getting in some good quality laps.
Doing my best in this session to keep up with some faster cars and much faster drivers. Two e36's both over 300bhp and The Pinderwagen.

Overall the car did 6 sessions on track, It was pretty warm in there so I was doing doing the full 20 minutes for the majority of the sessions with the odd one bringing it is a few minutes before the end of the session. Really glad to have kept the fans in the car with just the air being blown at the driver on speed 4.
The car ran flawlessly all day without having to touch it besides checking the tyre pressures which was great as it was a really hot day out on circuit and the logged temperatures weren't too bad to be honest with Coolant reaching a max of around 105 degrees, Oil around 110 degrees and Diff around 112 degrees.

Things to develop
Obviously I want to keep messing with the engine so I will be measuring the cams now the track day is done and see if that highlights anything.

You can hear in the videos quite a bit of wheel slip from the rear end in some of the corners. Something that was apparent when picking the car up on the ramp during alignment was there is a lot of stiction in the rear end with the polybushes and the wheel is very slow to droop. So under tight off camber corners it is picking up the inside rear wheel slightly causing the Quaife to have an unweighted rear wheel leading to some wheel slip. This is something I'm going to look at changing between now and the next track day in the summer so it'll give me something to think about, probably make some parts and have something to post about between now and then.



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Brilliant read as usual Tom, love your write-ups.
Anglesey is still someplace I haven't driven, been a passenger a few times now, on my wish list.

Is that a PSDesigns shifter you have? the 360mm one? How do you find it?
Can't wait to see you on track so I can nosey round it.
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Brilliant read as usual Tom, love your write-ups.
Anglesey is still someplace I haven't driven, been a passenger a few times now, on my wish list.

Is that a PSDesigns shifter you have? the 360mm one? How do you find it?
Can't wait to see you on track so I can nosey round it.
Anglesey is such a good circuit. I did it a lot in the Clio... Including one of the Renault Sport days there. Here's some early photos of the 200 before the cage was fitted. Some of my favourite Clio photos

Yeah it's the RTD Shifter from PSDesigns. They are all very similar in design to the CAE shifter. It is the long race shifter at 360mm combined with the DSSR linkage between the shifter and the box and it's amazing, feels so precise and makes driving the car much more enjoyable.
Be good to let you have a look around it at some point as I know you've always taken a great interest in it. a few of us have booked Snetterton with Track Obsession in August if you're around.


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Anglesey is such a good circuit. I did it a lot in the Clio... Including one of the Renault Sport days there. Here's some early photos of the 200 before the cage was fitted. Some of my favourite Clio photos

Yeah it's the RTD Shifter from PSDesigns. They are all very similar in design to the CAE shifter. It is the long race shifter at 360mm combined with the DSSR linkage between the shifter and the box and it's amazing, feels so precise and makes driving the car much more enjoyable.
Be good to let you have a look around it at some point as I know you've always taken a great interest in it. a few of us have booked Snetterton with Track Obsession in August if you're around.
Yep I remember seeing your old 200 there, it's just one of those tracks I've never got to go on (that and Spa), I will definitely get out there.

Awesome thanks for that, been looking at a few, like you said they're all so similar.

Yep I'm at Snet then, I'm back in a track E36 328i (in Boston Green), so it would be great to have a chat and catch up.
Keep the posts up, always a great read Tom


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Yep I remember seeing your old 200 there, it's just one of those tracks I've never got to go on (that and Spa), I will definitely get out there.

Awesome thanks for that, been looking at a few, like you said they're all so similar.

Yep I'm at Snet then, I'm back in a track E36 328i (in Boston Green), so it would be great to have a chat and catch up.
Keep the posts up, always a great read Tom

Sounds good, be good to have a chat, Look forward to seeing the the E36 too.
Got plenty to look at and develop before then though. Will give me something to write about and post about on the thread between now and then.

Photos from Anglesey

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