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blubb blubb blubb
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently did my first driving school and had a really great time. I’ve got a 2001 325xi and it was abundantly clear that the weakest handling part of the car is the tires. The stock all season tires just don’t have the grip that would be nice. So I’m thinking about getting a new set of wheels (BBS RK’s look good at the moment- light and strong) and some SO3 tires to really improve the grip of the car. Should make for some fun track days come the next season. J But that will set me back almost $2,000.

If I improve the tires/wheels will I then notice something else that needs to be improved? Like, say, the suspension. Get some new springs, maybe a set of sway bars (if they become available for the xi’s). A chip or some performance software could be OK, too. And who would complain about having bigger brakes? This all could set me back maybe $5,000.

So it can go on and on. I’d really like to improve the grip and handling of the car. But not if I’ll never be satisfied with it anyways. Hmmmm. Of course, the first thing to improve is the driver. But I had so much fun at the driving school that I’m already committed to doing many more. J So do I start down this slippery slope of modding the car? Or maybe just save the money for my next car. In around 6 years from now, when this car is getting old, I can keep it for a winter car (the all wheel drive is great) and my next car can be a no-compromise, great handling sports car that would be great at the track. Hmmmm…

Just curious to hear some discussion in the topic…
 

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9,901 Posts
This is a very personal, individual question, so I'm not sure anyone can answer it but you.

There is almost always something more you can do to the car and improve its performance in some area. Or improve its convenience, or luxury, or funcionality, etc. Much depends on how you view the car and its place in your life.

For example, I've never been to a driving school, autox, etc. (altough I'd like to -- just haven't gotten there yet). Yet, I've added and ESS Supercharger, UUC Sways, UUC Exhaust, BMW European alarm system, and some cosmetic changes.

I've done these things because my car is a hobby as well as a means of transportation. I expect to dump $$ into brakes, wheels, springs/shocks (probably Bilstein PSS9's), and it will go on and on.

Then I'll probably sell, get an M3c, and start all over again.

Point being, it's really up to you, your tastes, and what you value.
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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11,262 Posts
Jon, another option is to buy an older car that has already had a fair amount of track prep like CD-55 did with his E30. It's possible that for approximately the same amount of money that you might find yourself prepared to dump into the E46 you can get a track car that won't need *too* much initially. Just a thought.

I'm in much the same position as you. There a lot of things that I'd like to do, but I'd rather not spend the money. Also, since I've gotten to the point where I really want to be competitive in autocrossing, everything I think about doing is also with an eye as to how that will affect what class I run in. My own pursuits have been focusing on competitive autocrossing, so I've also been feeling like I don't care what car I run next year...just so long as the car is competitive in its class.
 
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