Now that I have taken you through the long journey of my car’s transformation up to present day, it’s time for a more recent update. Although I’ve been extremely busy with school, a lot has changed since my last update in preparation for a track day I did with SpeedSF at the world famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca back on November 1st 2014. Before I get to that, let me begin where I left off with my last update in preparation for this track day.
First thing I decided to tackle involved replacing my worn OEM engine mounts with brand new Lemforder units. At 75k miles, they weren’t terrible, but did fail the two-finger clearance test between the oil pan and the front sway bar (I had one finger of clearance), so I went ahead and replaced them. Being 11yrs old, the rubber had degraded, lessening clearance between the oil pan and the swaybar, so this was not only for piece of mind, but I knew from previous cars, the difference tends to be drastic.
Raising the engine to remove the old mounts and swap in the new ones. Pretty easy, other than the effort required to loosen the passenger side mount. This was easily rectified once I realized that if you attach the socket underneath the car to the bolt securing the mount to the subframe, it’s effortless. Would have saved me an hour of time. Lol.
Original 11yr old engine mount on the left, new Lemforder unit on the right. IIIRC around a 2-3cm difference in clearance between the original and the new engine mount.
Most of you probably are like “2-3 cm? Big deal. Who would notice?” Wrong! Once I finished, I drove the car around the block and the difference was immediately noticeable, from the moment I disengaged the clutch. Throttle response is much smoother and responsive, blipping is much easier, shifting is smoother since the engine is level with the transmission now, and lastly the car doesn’t buck anymore when I let out the clutch. I have a stage 3 clutch, so your results may vary with a stock unit, but for me, the difference is drastic! I can guarantee you that it’s not just a placebo effect either.
That same weekend, I attended the Performance Technic Annual Open House event and had a few friends meet at my house so we could caravan together to the event. The purple E46 M3 in the middle is not Interlagos Blue like most people would guess. It’s actually an incredibly rare 1-Owner BMW Individual Velvet Blue on cream interior (can’t remember the exact color name).
At the Performance Technic Open House which had a great turnout. Met up with a bunch of enthusiasts and friends I have met over the years within the community. Spotted Eurosonic and his LSB build, as well an a guy who claims to have the second E34 M5 Touring in the Bay Area which has been imported directly from Europe, and a guy who was running the Fluid Motor Union velocity stacks in place of a manifold on the S54. I personally would never do these, but they look and sound cool nonetheless.
With only three weeks to spare and Laguna Seca approaching rather quickly, the real preparation was about to begin. I wanted to pace myself by completing around one task a night or so in order to be able to literally clean my car, tape it up, and head to the track the night before. This also allowed me to not have to worry about school getting in the way last minute, which it clearly did, not even the slightest bit of remorse given.
First I decided to tackle my leaky CPV O-ring using the Mpower22 updated replacement to permanently knock this off my to-do list. Mine was barely leaking, but I wanted this off my checklist, as well as out of my pile of parts to install that was gradually begging to decrease due to my recent maintenance trend.
Replacement wasn’t too difficult; around half the time spent was with me contemplating if I would strip the valve over anything else. The o-ring on mine had clearly seen better days as it was hard as a rock. Went ahead and deep cleaned the reinforcement plate as well.
Received my parts for the upcoming track day, which included:
-PFC-08 Race Pads
-Liqui-Moly 10w-60 Oil Change Kit
-Bimmerworld Brass Brake Guides (F+R)
Wasted no time installing everything.
My car isn’t actually resting on the jack stand for those of you wondering. I was lazy and just placed it under the control arm as a safety net incase my jack was to somehow fail.
Hanging out in downtown Danville after class to conduct some marketing research.
November 1st had finally arrived, and I spent the entire Halloween night taping up my car for the track day at Laguna Seca Raceway with SpeedSF. I’ll take a track day at Laguna Seca over partying any day of the week.
On the way to Laguna Seca, I wasn’t so fortunate had to travel through an area of heavy rain where only the tape on the hood held up, so I removed the rest before I even arrived at the track…
Arrived at Laguna Seca bright and early just in time for the driver’s meeting. The S2k on the right is my friend’s and is heavily modified for competition, while still being his daily driver.
Met up with Ryan (LemansM) and ended up splitting a garage in the paddock with him for the day. The garages are awesome, especially since the weather was spotty up until lunch and I had a research project to work on between sessions. Lol. After lunch, the weather dried up and I was able to move up to a much faster run group as well.
Overall, I had an absolute blast and Laguna Seca is easily one of my favorite tracks to date. Here are some pics I acquired from the photographer who was onsite.
Saw this epic 991 GT3 which already had a set of Recaro Pole Positions installed. My friend made a joke about the silencer stating, “Isn’t it funny how even stock cars can’t pass the 90db sound requirement?” Lol.
I had no issues with my Status Gruppe Muffler, even going WOT in 3rd near the sound box.
Made it home, and my car was FILTHY! Cleaned the front wheels that night just to make sure the race pads didn’t stain my wheels. No problems at all, even going through rain, drying, then tracking for three sessions in the dry. Cquartz held its claim for durability, even through tracking conditions!
Took me almost 10 hrs to clean my car inside and out, over a week period due to time constraints. This included foaming the sides rear of the car, decontamination with IronX, removing and cleaning the wheels, as well as the wheel wells.
After (Note the paint is bare at this point without and wax or sealants):
Since I had stripped all the sealant IronXing my entire car, I reapplied two coats of Klasse sealant glaze for durability.
Decided to realign my front bumper the proper way to fix the dreaded gap that has driven me up the wall for the past few months.
Laguna Seca track layout added to the window to check off on my Nor Cal track bucket list.
All clean and pristine!
Thanks for viewing! My next major update should be around Black Friday when I attend the annual Bob’s Donuts Track Day with SpeedSF at Buttonwillow Raceway on the 28th. I’ll try and throw in some minor updates before then though.