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Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:28 p.m.

This is actually the second time I've had a set. I kind of wonder if they're actually the same set, since there's not that many total sets out there, and even less in gun metal. 

Previous set, with 285 square mounted up:

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:28 p.m.

Did this garage mod last night. Should make rebuild the M5 a more pleasant experience (not that I've heard back yet if it's totaled or not).

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:28 p.m.

I got a copy of Paffy's awesome MSSMapper software.

For those that don't know, MSSMapper lets you load up to 8 tunes on to your ECU and the switch between them on the fly using your steering wheel cruise control buttons (when cruise control is off-- when its on, cruise control functions as normal). It then indicates which tune your on by the tach needle briefly going to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 7 (to indicate tune 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7).

Video of the software in action: 


Screen shot of the software interface: 

My tune plan is:
0: 87 octane map
1: 91 octane map
2: 93 octane with 7800 rpm rev limiter map (going to use this for drifting to lower what it's bouncing off of
3: 93 octane 8200 rpm redline map (this will be the default map the car starts up in)
4: Map 3 but with small burble/pop
5: Map 3 but with medium burble/pop
6: Map 3 but with lots of burble/pop
7: Race fuel map

I'm excited!

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:28 p.m.

Had the M3 professionally and abrasively polished, for the first time ever. Addressed the swirls permenantly, and addressed the clear bra line. Looks better than it's looked in a decade :roll:

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:29 p.m.

I had a chance to install these on my car last weekend, and I'm exceedingly pleased with them! They are completely silent, did not add any perceptible NHV, and being sealed from the bottom should keep the monoball operating freely (and silently) for a long time to come. 

Here's excited for them...
Traditionally there's two types of RSMs: Bushing based or monoball based. Both have tradeoffs. 

Bushing based RSMs must to be soft enough the angle of the shock to change, at various points on the suspensions travel (so that the shock doesn't bind, and/or ruin its seals-- more important on higher end shocks, but always useful). This solution meant low NHV, but the precision with which the shock could control the wheel was significantly restricted by the need for fairly soft bushings. Most of my cars life has been on these. 

Traditional monoball based RSMs allow complete shock articulation and 100% precision, but transferred NHV is very significant (annoying). Over time, the monoballs themselves can get noisy as they are not sealed from dirt. Good for race cars, not great for street cars or street driven track cars. I ran these for ~10,000 miles before I got fed up with them. 

ECS's new Polyurethane-isolated monoball RSMs are very much the best of both worlds. They have a bushing, but that bushing is only responsible for NHV control-- the monoball is there to allow to shock to articulate. That means they can use a much stiffer bushings, allowing the shock to be much more precise in its wheel control. They also include a gasket to seal the bearing from below, which should keep the monoball operating as new for a much longer time than traditional, unsealed monoball RSMs.

The result is just kick ass. Almost all of the precision of a full monoball RSMs, no perceptible increase in NHV. It's the perfect RSM for anything other than a dedicated race car, IMO!

Some pictures from ECS's site, because I didn't remember to take any:

I'm super pleased with them 

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:29 p.m.

Had a snow day today, so started digging into a fairly large project on the M3-- my Avin3 project... with associated "while I'm in there" items. 
Basic concept: 
-replace every module in the trunk with the avin. This will mean plugging the speakers directly into the avin, using its internal amp
-since all modules are removed, remove the entire stereo wiring harness. This should save 15-20 lbs by itself (not yet clear on the weight of the nav stereo harness)
-relocate the battery under the hood, to the drug big (since my 5.7 lb battery isn't contributing to weight distribution). Eliminate the way overkill for my battery mounting brackets
-remove the 8 lb battery cable that runs from the front of the car to the rear
-remove all the US only padding behind the dashboard (the USA has a safety standard for unbelted occupants, that the dash need a certain about of squish. I wear my seatbelt, so that does not concern me
-mail my LCM to Terra for software updating, since I won't be running the intravee anymore and still want triple blink 
-update my cluster to black gauge faces 

The first step in this is removing... pretty much the entire interior. For various aspects of the project I need the dash out, door cards out, carpet out, trunk liner out, etc etc... so... pretty much all of it :lolhit:

Everything but the dash is now out. Still trying to figure out what securing it by the pillars, but it might just be the weather stripping. Alex is going to send me a picture of a removed dash in that area tomorrow, so I can make sure I didn't miss any fasteners. 

Parts are mostly contained in my (not yet road ready) e39 530i storage locker:

Attached Images


Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:29 p.m.

Pulled the US spec padding off the steering wheel trim already:

Attached Images


Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:29 p.m.

Terra pointed out to me that the euro glove box is different (lighter, more spacious) than the US spec one, because of the lack of padding built into it... so I guess I'm going to have to order one of those up

Attached Images


Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:29 p.m.

One more project tonight— convert the gauges to black. My thought process was: I prefer black to grey on the e39 M5 (it came with both, depending on year), higher contrast makes them easy to read, and this should have less light bleed through.

I should have put the rubber bits back on the knobs before taking a picture

Attached Images


Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:29 p.m.

This is feeling like a very 1 way road I'm going down. 

Got the dash out, and an amusing pic of my new, light weight washer tank 

Attached Images


Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:29 p.m.

Coming soon 

OE BMW seat header pads installed by Cobra, with adjustable lumbar, to be installed on factory BMW e46 sliders. 

I'm excited!

Attached Images


Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:30 p.m.

This wiring project is taking WAY longer than I expected, and I don't recommend anyone ever do it 

That said, I like it spiral a bit out of control-- the project expanding to include redoing all aftermarket wiring, including adding it to bespoke fuses in the factory fusebox. Plus the battery relocation. And I'm redoing all the wiring in factory style tape bundles with factory mounting clips. Endless.

Anyway... the end is finally starting to be in sight. Couple of pics, just for fun... 

New battery location, along with my 1 pint washer tank (I rarely need it with how I use the M3 these days, but don't want to be stuck without any fluid). Battery is only 5.7 lbs, so it wasn't doing anything meaningful for weight distribution in the trunk. The battery cable that runs to the rear of the car is 8 lbs... heavier than my battery 

Hopefully moving the washer fluid tank back against the firewall will undo some of the weight distribution change from the light weight battery...

And the area that used to have the stereo in it. As a reminder, I'm losing no functionality losing all this stuff, as it's all internal to the Avin: 

Hoping to have it finally back completely together in a week or two.

Really hoping she'll be under the symbolic 3000 lb mark, with full interior and a quiet muffler, after this project. It's going to be close either way!

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:30 p.m.

Other than seats (and airbag-- waiting to make sure the steering wheel is straight to put that in), the car is finally back together. I'll be putting at least the driver seat in today or tomorrow.

This project spiraled WAY out of control. As in, I spent 100+ hours on this. I'm not going to say I'm glad I did it (sooooo much work), but I am going to say I'm super excited for the results! 

In total, the project consisted of... 
-remove all factory stereo modules, the stereo wiring harness, and all factory stereo mount brackets. Replace with Avin (which has all the stock module functionality built in) and make a new (tiny) wiring harness for the speakers, plugging them directly into the Avin
-do the above without altering the factory chassis harness at all. I did this entirely, 100% with the Avin only connecting to the chassis with the factory 7 pin chassis to stereo harness plug behind the dash. My goal here was to not have the chassis electronics be compromised in any way. This harness has everything you need for the Avin-- ibus, interior light dimming, ignition power, antenna power
-fuse all aftermarket electronic systems through new fuses in the factory fuse box. No vampire clips or inline fuses exist on my car any longer
-integrate aftermarket system functionality to factory buttons 
-wrap all wiring bundles (OE and aftermarket) in OEM fabric tape, secure all wiring to the chassis with OE mounting hardware.
-relocate battery to the "drug bin" The idea here was that the 5.7 lithium polymer battery I'm running isn't meaningfully contributing to weight distribution, but the 8 lb battery cable that runs from the rear of the car to the front is making it heavier. 
-relocate and downsize the washer tank to the drug bin. This car is no longer a DD, and never sees winter use, so I don't need anything like a full size washer tank... but I also don't want none, in a pinch. So, I have a ~1 pint tank in the drug bin now, as well. With the stock tank being in the front bumper, this should restore some of the 50/50 lost from not having a heavy battery in the trunk. It'll also make it easier to add brake ducting down the road.

And, add a ton of functionality via the Avin Avant 3, which is the first head unit that's look stock enough that I was comfortable running it in my car: 
-YaV1 to add GPS filtering to the V1
-Extra gauges and code pulling on the fly via Torque 

Between the seats and the electronics reduction (without functionality reduction), the car should be well over 100 lbs lighter  (not including the battery).

Some pics...

New, Harmon Kardon branding free, speaker covers

Increased trunk space carpeting (no door/rack for the CD changer/nav)

What's behind that carpeting now

Vs before (not my car)

New battery location, with the washer tank visible (pump not installed yet)

And in the area where the battery used to be installed, it turns out BMW makes a deeper storage bin! Key pictured for scale.

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:30 p.m.

Some integrated bit…. 

Front fog light button is now brake light kills (cluster indicator still reminds me when this is on, stock functionality no longer required because I’ll be doing a CSL bumper)

Rear fog light button kills all rear lights (with cluster indicator to remind me when this is on)

e39 high intensity wash button is wired up to activate M track mode (currently requires CSL/ZCP MK60 unit)

HK button is now Laser jammer power (retains memory of on/off from last drive, and power status light)

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:30 p.m.

And the interior all back together, minus seats/airbag. Probably looks like nothing to most of you, but having been looking at chassis and wiring for the last couple months, this is like magic to me :roll: 

I'm pretty pleased with the new, black gauge faces, too!

Removed wire:

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:31 p.m.

I am just going to start with pictures, because I know everyone is going to skip to that either way. Please read on, after, as there are a ton of very specific reason why I think this seat is THE best seat on the market for cars that see track and street use-- and quite different that other offerings currently on the market. 

Pretty spectacular, in my opinion! 

Seats are a project I have been pondering doing on my car for over a decade. In that time, I’ve run a bunch of different seats in different cars (specifically Sparco Evo IIs, Recaro SPG XLs, and Recaro Pole Positions) and found them all to be unacceptable in a street driven car for a variety of reasons. 

I view my car as a tracked street car. Every modification I do to it is done with that priority set in mind. That means I am not willing to do anything that makes the car less safe on the street (which lots of track focused seats do), less practical, or too much of a pain to hop in to go grab milk. In the context of seats, I want to improve the car on track as much as possible, without making it worse on the street.

I also do not want to do anything that degrades the quality of the car. One of my favorite things about the M3 is that it is a high quality, well made object, which uses premium materials.

My primary concern was not making the car less safe on the street. There are two areas where traditional aftermarket seats negatively impact street safety. 
1. The factory 3 point receiver has nowhere to go. This is well exemplified in this picture of the Recaro SPG XL mounted in my M3 wagon (since removed):

Using the factory 3 point receiver, you have to choose between pulling the belt over the top of the side of the seat (which creates a gap between you and the belt—unsafe) or feeding it through the hole—which causes it to jab into your side continuously and be orientated off the load path of the belt. A common solution to this is to run a back seat receiver in the front, but doing so comes at the expense of the factory belt pretensioner functionality, as well as the seat belt buckle sensor. Factory fixed back seats address this by coming either with low sides, like BMW did in the CSL/CRT, or with cutouts specifically designed for the seat belt receiver, like Porsche does with their factory buckets or BMW does in their GTS cars. 

CSL seats

CRT seats

Porsche’s every modern car CF bucket

M4 GTS factory seats

If you look at the Nogaros, you will see Cobra went the same route as BMW did with the CSL—the sides are low enough in the seat belt receiver area to allow the belt to pass over the seat, unobstructed. I don’t know of any other fixed back seats on the market that play nicely with the factory 3 point receiver. 

2. Many aftermarket fixed back seats have little to no head padding. This was true of the Recaro in my wagon above, and the Evo II I ran in my track car. For race/track use, where you are wearing a helmet, this is fine. For street use, if you get into a crash where you hit your head on the head rest (which is pretty much any front or rear end crash), it is a serious safety issue. Again, if you look at the pictures above, you’ll see that factory fixed back bucket seats always have head padding. On aftermarket seats, this is pretty unusual!

3. The Cobra Nogaro is the ONLY fixed back seat on the market that is approved (by Schroth) to be used with a Quickfit harness. This is a huge improvement in on track safety over the factory 3 point in all crashes, and allows for the use of a Hans device (enabling further safety). 


1. The Nogaro has considerably more padding than any other non factory bucket seat that I have experienced (I’m starting to sense a trend here). This makes it more comfortable to sit in for an extended period of time. That said I had Cobra make me an extra thin bum cushion (that was there terminology for it on the invoice) specifically for track use—allowing me to sit lower, and have the side bolstering be higher relative to my body. 
2. The lower sides (which, again, I have only seen on factory fixed back seats besides these) mean ingress and egress are considerably easier. You do not need to have a strategy for getting into and out of the car—you just sit in it, and get out when you are done. When I had the SPG XL in the M3 wagon, my wife refused to drive the car because of the entry exit procedure. She prefers the Nogaro to the stock seats
3. Adjustable lumbar-- In a fixed back bucket seat, installed by Cobra, at the factory. Different people need different amounts of lumbar support, and lumbar support is hugely important to how comfortable and supportive a seat is. 


1. Starting with the obvious, mine were done in Imola leather with Imola thread. This was done by Cobra, at the Cobra factory, on their standard production line—meaning it is 100% factory quality/fitment. Cobra has a number of leather options, and is adding more, but, based on samples they sent me at the time, none were the 100% match to Imola I was looking for. I ended up getting samples from ~15 different leather suppliers before I found one I was happy with (thanks to a recommendation from Braymond141): Relicate. https://relicate.com/ . My experience with other seats makers has always been that they are not willing to work with you at all—any customization has to be done after the sale, by a 3rd party shop—more expensive and likely not as good as factory. 
2. Thread spacing. I actually didn’t even think of this on my own—it was Cobra’s idea. They had me take a picture of a tape measure held up against the stock stitching, and then matched it when sewing the seats—meaning the stitching on my seats has the same spacing as the stitching on the door cards/stock seats. A small detail, but also completely awesome, in my opinion! 
3. Factory BMW e46 seat heater pads are installed in my seats (also installed by Cobra)! This means they are plug and play with the factory seat wiring harness, and work with the factory seat heater controls in the center stack. Great for brisk spring/fall track days, first thing in the morning, with mandatory windows down! 
4. Extra, thin bum cushion. I had Cobra make me an extra bum cushion (their terminology) which is just a piece of neoprene—wrapped in Imola red leather, with BMW seat heater pads. This allows me to sit lower and have more side support while on track, similar to a more track focused bucket seat. 
5. Seat occupancy sensor. This is something I didn’t choose to do, as the BMW occupancy sensor tends to be unreliable, but something they were willing to do (so I thought I should mention if others wanted it)—they were more than happy to install this, at the factory, as well. I opted to not get it, and coded the errors. The downside to my approach is that the passenger airbags will go off in a crash, whether there’s a passenger in the seat or not—making a crash more expensive. 
6. Adjustable lumbar support. As mentioned above (in the comfort section), I have adjustable lumbar support in my seats. This can be adjusted on the fly by a small hand pump/release valve that I have tucked inside the leather on the tunnel side. 
7. The shells are offered in GRP (22 lbs seats) or CF (12 lbs per seat). I opted for GRP because of the price difference… which I might regret one day (I could have had an additional 20 lbs of weight saving with no detriment to functionality/comfort).


1. Brey Krause has an upcoming line of Nogaro specific mounts for the e46 (as well as 911s, Caymans, e9Xs, F8Xs/F3Xs, and some other cars), which attach to the factory BMW sliders. Having car specific, seat specific mounts gets you as close to a factory optimized seat setup as you’re going to get. My car was the development car for the e46 mounts, so the version pictured may not be the final production part—but it should be close. I choose to run a power slider on the driver side, for precise adjustment and because it lets you get the seat lower, and a manual slider on the passenger side, for faster back seat access. 
2. The Brey Krause side mounts use the factory sliders. Unlike aftermarket sliders, the factory sliders are designed to have seat belts mounted above them—which means the seat belts stay properly located to your body, regardless of seat position (including sub straps, using the Brey Krause sub strap mounts for stock sliders—R-9228 and R-9229). For my car, I went with the factory e46 sedan/wagon sliders, as they add an outboard lap belt mount point (unlike the coupe’s sliders). While this wasn’t necessary, as the Brey Krause lap belt kit (R-9225) can add a lap belt mount point to the coupe sliders, I like factory parts.
3. Using the factory sliders also means the factory 3 point belt receiver on the slider is retained. This means the pretensioner functionality is retained, as well as the “seat belt not buckled” sensor—all of which also goes through the factory seat plug. 
4. The factory BMW sliders have ~double the travel of aftermarket sliders. This makes the back seat still useable, both for people or for loading track tires into the back seat. 
5. Using the factory slider means no Swiss cheese adapter plate is required—the slider just bolts to the floor of the car, just like stock. 
6. Slider slots: The Cobra Nogaro has another unique feature that I have not seen on any other seats—slots in the seat base, that would otherwise be wasted space, to clear the slider. This means the seat can be mounted lower in the car before it runs into interference. As someone who is 6’4, with most of my height in my Torso and often wearing a helmet in the car, this is a huge win for me—this seat will allow me to be in the car without a reclined seat for the first time, ever! I can actually fit an entire fist over my head while sitting in the car, now.

E46 Manual slider with seat installed, with Brey Krause R-9227 manual slider release handle.

E46 Power slider without seat, with sub strap mount showing. Slider is controlled by an e30 window switch—I grabbed a factory e30 window switch wiring harness from an e30 that was getting parted out for an OE plug install. All wiring goes through the factory seat plug, so installing/removing the seat is as easy as with the stock seat—one plug for everything.

Weight savings 
Excluding the fire extinguisher, but including the mounts and sliders, I saved 59 lbs—almost exactly the weight of a stock power/leather seat! I did get the GRP buckets—had I ponied up for the carbon buckets, it would have been another ~20 lbs of weight savings. Perhaps equally importantly, the setup lowers the COG. Most of the weight of the seat setup is in the base of the seat (side mounts, sliders, seat base). Additionally, my seating position is a couple inches lower than stock—not an insignificant amount of weight to get mounted lower!

Driving Impressions
Driving in the Nogaro is very similar to other fixed back seats, if you have experienced that. Having your seat bolted directly to the car, instead of sitting on box spring, means you’re much more in touch with what the car is doing at all times. Having a competent suspension becomes more important, but in exchange you are provided with more information about the cars behavior than you could even get from a stock style seat. The seat also holds you in place far better than stock, which means you spend far less time bracing yourself in place and far more time focusing on driving the car. Having a bucket seat doesn’t make the car itself notably faster, but it does enable you to be a faster driver. On track, no contest compared to a stock seat—at no point am I fighting to hold myself in place, as you do with stock seats. They aren’t as supportive as a dedicated race seat, but they almost are—without the huge street tradeoffs associated with a race seat. 

This post went on longer than I planned, but seats are a project I have been pondering for years. I wanted to fully flush out how I ended up, where I ended up. 

The Cobra Nogaro occupies a unique place in the market, with several benefits over competing seats that are not immediately obvious. For a car that still sees street use, I believe they are the only non OE fixed back bucket seat that comes without significant compromises. The Nogaros gets you 90% of the benefit of a traditional race seat with almost none of the tradeoffs normally associated with a fixed back bucket. Additionally, they’re 100% made in Great Britain—no Chinese parts here! It is the only aftermarket seat that is made with the same priorities that the car manufacturers use when they do fixed back buckets for street driven, track designed cars. 

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:31 p.m.

I was holding off on my post because I wanted to try them on track, as well as a longer road trip to/from the track before I posted anything. 

Anyway, last weekend I did a track event, and forum member burnurass sent me some pics from it (below). It was pretty great-- I've been tracking other cars instead of this one for the last couple years, and it really felt like coming home, being back in this one. Can't wait for the next one 

E46 M3 Car show

And some of my own. 

Blew a coil, but that's happily one of two spare parts I always keep with me (other being a TPS):

Had a session get red flagged while I was in the octopus, because of an e90 M3 that had brake failure and went into a tire wall 

And then a huge storm rolled in. We had ~3" of rain in ~20 minutes, with some strong winds to match. 



Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:32 p.m.

Magic hour shot at NJMSP yesterday.

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:32 p.m.

I received this part for free, I believe because I helped it come into existence. That said, I have been a happy SuperSprint customer for years, on multiple cars. On my M3 coupe, I paid for my SuperSprint headers (V1 stepped), Section 1 (catted), previous section 2 (resonated), and muffler (street with race tips). I would have paid for this part, had they not offered it to me.


Around 1-2 years ago, it became apparent to me that the section 2 becomes a restriction point on more heavily modified s54s. It was Nick’s car that first triggered my radar, follow by Hassan’s car, then reading up on some exhaust theory. E.g. this:

SuperSprint’s original section 2 was developed in a time before people knew how to tune the S54. For the first ~10 years of the e46 M3’s existence, getting more than ~310 SAE rwhp out of a streetable/stock ecu/vanosed S54 was pretty unheard of. SuperSprint, reasonably, designed a section 2 that was optimized for that level of power, that matched the pipe diameter of most (non V1 stepped) headers. If you're doing a more mild build, this part still makes sense (and is probably superior to the new option). 

In more recent history, s54 power modding has become much more effective. This has largely been the result of the ecu finally being understood (allowing real tuning), MAP based engine management making CSL airboxes more effective/viable, and attainable data logging solutions. 

Combine a CSL style airbox, cams, SuperSprint V1 headers/section 1, and you have a setup that is flowing significantly more than stock.

Note: the SuperSprint V1 stepped headers and SuperSprint V1 section 1s use 2.5” tubing. This is not true of most other headers on the market, including eBay, OE Euro, and SSV2 headers. To take full advantage of this section 2, you need headers/section 1 that use 2.5” tubing. 

Low end/mid range torque on the S54 can be completely gutted if the crossover/merge is not in the correct (RE: stock) location. That was something I was not willing to do. I also wanted a resonator in my setup, because I don’t like any significant level of rasp from my car. 

So, I started to look around the market for a section 2 that met my criteria:
-2 x 2.5” 
-Stock merge/crossover location 
-Well made

… and it didn’t exist. Everyone running something along those lines was running a “custom” setup. So, I started pushing my desired setup both directly to my contacts at SuperSprint and to Turner/ECS (who is SuperSprint’s US importer). Unbeknownst to me at the time, Leighton was doing the same thing at the same time, though through his GB contact.

In April this year, SuperSprint posted this: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=597650

And ~2 weeks ago, mine arrived 

Clearly the shippers didn’t treat the box very well:

But Supersprint’s packaging was sufficient that it remained 100% undamaged:

Welds and build quality in general look excellent! As has been the case with all my previous SuperSprint products, as well. 

I delayed installing it immediately because I had a track event, and at some point, with enough repetitions, I had it banged into my head that you should never install a new part before a track event. I needn't have worried-- I finally got around to installing it, and it went on perfectly and painlessly:

Side note: I am a big proponent of using different hardware than either BMW's stock mid pipe hardware or SuperSprint's hardware. The OE BMW exhaust bolts that attach the stock headers to the stock section 1 are inconel. This does mean that they're a bit pricey, but it also means they're FAR more corrosion resistant than any normal hardware. Normal exhaust hardware gets rusty quite quickly, which makes removal down the road for other projects a huge PITA, often snapping the bolts and requiring replacement. These are pricey up front, but rarely/never need to be replaced after that. They are a larger diameter, which means you have to slightly expand the exhaust gasket bolt holes, but the larger diameter also guarantees exact alignment between the exhaust sections, optimizing flow. I use these on the section 1 to section 2 joint and the section 2 to muffler joint:

bolt: 11621318568 nut: 18301317898. 6 of each required for section 1 to section 2, 4 of each required for section 2 to muffler. If you kept them when doing V1 headers, you already have 4. Nuts are one time use, so replace every time they're removed. 

I've only had these on the car briefly, so the car has not been dynoed yet. I'll update this thread when it is. In the short term, take with as many grains as salt as are necessary. If that's what you're looking for, check out Paule claude's results-- much more obective data/dyno than I can provide, yet (though he can't take full benefit as his car is RHD and therefore can't run the V1 stepped headers).

But: the car feels significantly, noticeably FASTER. I would not be at all surprised if I have gained 20rwhp. I will be surprised if I gained less than 10rwhp. Low end/mid range power is completely uncompromised-- in fact, mid range power feels notably stronger. 

Sound wise, the car is pretty unchanged vs the previous setup. It may be slightly quieter than the SuperSprint single pipe section 2 I ran before, but if so it's only just so. Tone is completely unchanged. I'll update this with a video ASAP (maybe tonight). 

If you're doing a full S54 build, which pretty much always includes SuperSprint V1 headers/section 1, these are a no brainer option, IMO. They don't cost more than previous options, and they continue the 2.5" exhaust flow from the SuperSprint V1 Section 1. 

If you're doing a more standard build, it probably makes sense to stick to a more traditional section 2.

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:32 p.m.

Got to drive Laguna Seca yesterday. Awesome track! Too bad it's on the opposite coast :P

Doing the universal M3 owner wave.

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:32 p.m.

So pleased with CarPlay now that they've added 3rd party nav support (ios12). Waze on the nav screen using the phones data plan is what I've always wanted, and can't imagine wanting much more. Well, no, I lied-- can't wait till someone releases a wireless CarPlay dongle for this thing! 

Since all the processing is done on the phone, everything is smooth/reliable/fast. 

Waze running:

If you open your phone while it's running to waze, it provides the turn by turn list so that both screens are useful:

And other features, podcasts:

Visual voicemail functions as you'd expect:

And you can browse all your music with a nice interface (album art subtly in the background):

Hopefully Harry's GPS lap timer adds support, soon!

I'm seriously pleased with my Avin now that CarPlay does all this. I think as soon as wireless CarPlay becomes a thing, all the cars will be getting these.

Can't imagine wanting any factory nav/infotainment over this, from any company in any time period. Cop locations on OE looking nav!

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:32 p.m.

A friend of mine detailed the car for me for the e46 M3 only meet in NJ this weekend. Looks great, IMO-- Makes me wonder if I should clean it more often :P


Paint doesn't look terrible for... 
~150,000 miles
~10,000 track miles
~10 PA winter DD use
-never having been resprayed

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:33 p.m.

Made some inserts to make the factory strut bar not slotted. You can see mine has been traveling in those slots some, over the years :P

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:33 p.m.

I've started running Race Technologies LLC RE10 brake pads on track. Racetech (brembo's US distributor) claims these last twice as long as traditional track pads. We shall see! 

My context is performance friction PF01s, which I have been running for 14 years and have nothing bad to say about. But, if I can get twice as much use out of these, that's a significant value improvement. 

My favorite ever street pad is Brembo's high performance street pad, so I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

One weekend on the RE10s used .042" of pad. I'm back at the track in my car this thursday/friday-- will report back after. So far, they are wearing ~half my PF01 wear rate.

They certainly have less bite that the PF01s.

So far, I think I like them. The pedal feel on track with these is very similar to the pedal feel with my Brembo street pads on the street-- eliminates the need to relearn the brake pedals when I first go out on track, if you know what I mean. 

That said, that PF01 bite really inspires confidence (perhaps falsely, since they're not out braking other pads)

Obioban New Reader
12/17/18 1:33 p.m.

Inspired by Doogan's thread, my projects for this winter:
-Convert my alternator light to be canbus based
-Inspection 2 (all fluids, valve adjustment) 
-replace the aux coolant pump with the one used in the CSL
-brake ducting, remove stock washer tank
-create adjustable rear end links for the OE rear sway bar, install 
-corner balance the car. Use those results to choose new rates for the car, probably different at every corner. Re-corner balance 
-BMW Motorsport subframe mounts (to recover suspension geometry) 
-CSL front kingpins 
-add soft velcro to the seat belt receivers to protect the center console from scratches, ala OE porsche seat belt receivers

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