Hot E30 M3 in France

Discussion in 'Welcome & Introductions' started by Alex Wagner, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Alex Wagner

    Alex Wagner Member


    I am in the south of France, near Avignon. I have owned about 20 different sports cars over the years, almost all of them either Ferrari, Porsche, or ///M BMW.

    I have wanted an E30 M3 for some years now.
    I had never driven one but all the mangazine reviews spoke of a very special chassis with sublime handling balance. And as I value tactile pleasures more than anything else in a car, it was only a matter of time...

    I was afraid that a standard S14 might be dissappointing and, as a "driver" rather than a "collector", I tend to be attracted to upgraded / enhanced cars. Also, I go on annual hardcore driving tours in the Alps and need enough power to hassle more modern sports and supercars on the narrow passes. So I wanted something special, out of the ordinary.

    My usage profile for the E30 M3 is fast road driving on deserted country roads, plus the annual week in the Alps, plus maybe a trackday here and there (we'll see).

    I did consider a swap (S54 if possible) but the ones I saw for sale always had something in the spec that didn't suit me (I want a road car interior, not a gutted shell, for example). Also, I felt that the S14 carbon induction noise was in keeping with the E30 M3, and not a silky straight 6. Not to mention that I would forever be wondering what the handling would be like with less weight in the nose... So ideal would be a pretty hot (270 BHP) S14.

    I saw this very special car for sale a couple of years ago:
    I almost had a heart attack : my perfect E30 M3!
    Unfortunately the timing wasn't right for me and I missed it. :-(

    So when the exact same chassis came up for sale again last month in England (after having a few cosmetic changes), I jumped on it! It is now mine! :)

    I drove it down to the south of France yesterday. Here are some photos taken today.




    It's quite an extreme car : no fun for daily driving (that crazy engine is only happy from 5000 RPM), but deeply impressive (engine and chassis!) when out on a sunny day enjoying driving for driving's sake. It is clearly the perfect car for my week on Alpine passes. I hope I get to use it enough the rest of the time, as it only really enjoys being driven hard...

    I look forward to discussions on this excellent forum.

  2. Alex Wagner

    Alex Wagner Member

    This is the ex car of Ulrik on this forum.
    Ulrik built the engine, estimated to produce 300 BHP.

    Here is the full build spec:
    - New sport Evo 3 engine block with oil spay nozzel
    - New sport Evo 3 Crankshaft
    - New Sport Evo 3 Oilpump
    - New Bmw Motorsport crankshaft bearing
    - New Bmw Motorsport crankshaft bearing rod
    - Bmw motorsport connecting rod (595 Gram)
    - Oil pan Gr.A baffel
    - New Chain and rails and deflection wheel and Bmw E36 M3 3.2 Chain tensioner
    - Sport Evo 3 Flywheel
    - Sport Evo 3 clutch
    - New pistons JE Gr.A 12.6 with coated skirt standard Evo 3 bore 94,80mm
    - Cylinder head flowed like Gr.A
    - Bmw motorsport 320 cam inlet bmw motorsport 308 outlet cam
    - Bmw motorsport SRD7 valve springs with titanium spring pocket
    - Bmw motorsport shim under buckets
    - Bmw motorsport slotted sprocket whell
    - New Evo 2 valve inlet 37mm outlet 32mm.
    - Carbon 50mm Airbox for 48mm slide throttle bodies.
    - Emerald K6 ECU (added by English owner for smoother running, not in original Ulrik build).
    - Gr.A injection tube with Bosch 5 bar adjustable fuel regulator with Dtm bracket
    - 355cc Injektor valve
    - Gr.A head gasket 1.3mm
    - Gr.A oilfilter house with constant flow.
    - Full supersprint race exhaust.

    Chassis spec:
    - Wheels: BBS 17s staggered 9 1/2 rear-8 1/2 front.
    - Brakes: AP racing calipers with 330mm discs.
    - Fully adjustable coilvers.
    - Front and rear strut braces.

    The engine is built to run well in excess of 9000 RPM. I don't use more than 8000 however, as that's quite enough in road use and provides a wide band of very strong power from 5000 to 8000.

    What is such an engine like on the road?
    - Up to 4000, it is capable only of moving the car along very gently indeed, like a grandmother is driving. It feels like a sub-one-litre engine. That said, it does have very good manners, even around town. No stalling or caughing or anything like that. Just a complete absence of torque.
    - From 4000 to 5000 it feels as I imagine a stock S14 might. Useable, but not impressive.
    - At 5000 it suddenly wakes up and goes crazy, pulling very strongly and cleanly for as many revs as you want! It's very exciting, like an old-school turbo engine.
    It's a PITA in daily use and is sublime when on deserted roads and in the mood for DRIVING!
  3. John

    John 2.7l S14 Forum Supporter

    For back road use I would consider swapping the differential. 3.46 is a very good compromise for street and autobahn use (high speed). 3.73 is a good compromise for almost all back roads and race track. With a 3.73 and 17" wheels you will top out about 260 kmh at 8000 rpm. That is plenty for back road use. The added benefit is that the car will pull a bit better in each gear. If in doubt, try a 3.46 first. I answered you already in another thread on this forum. IMO, for your usage profile and given your used max rpms, MS 312/292 would probably be more to your liking. It will probably help you get out of the corners better when running in the Alps passes.

    I mentioned this last week already. Despite being in south France, consider coming to Hockenheim to the revival (it should be on Pfingsten, so mid May). Then you will be able to see other similar s14 setups. You will be able to get rides, test your car against other cars (in a safe manner), and get a feel for differences. The track itself is rather easy to drive with lots of run-off except for one area where you need to be a little careful -- so perfect for comparison purposes. You will learn more in 1 day than you will reading the forum for a year :) and, we dont bite, everyone is friendly and helpful, a really nice atmosphere.

  4. Alex Wagner

    Alex Wagner Member

    Hi John,
    - Yes, the car is crying out for a shorter final drive to take advantage of the rev range being shifted up the scale. I have already purchased and received a 3.73 final drive, which will be fitted soon I hope. It will compromise motorway driving and I accept that compromise.
    - Yes, I'd like to fit slightly less wild cams but am keen to limit spending for now. Maybe later! :) As it is, I'll clearly need to double de-clutch into first for tighter corners, which is not a problem.
    - The Hockenheim Revival sounds great! I have done quick a lot of track days in air-cooled Porsche 911's. I'd like to make it... but I have a lot of activities so not sure yet...