F30POST
F30POST
2012-2015 BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > Tracking / Racing / Autocrossing > 328dx Wagon at the Track, and What I Learned
Extreme Powerhouse
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      01-09-2018, 12:21 AM   #1
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

328dx Wagon at the Track, and What I Learned

This past weekend I went with ACNA (Audi Club) to Thunderhill for their two-day HPDE. This was my first HPDE, and first time taking my F31 diesel to the track.



Prior Experience:
In the past year I've done a couple of events at the BMW Performance center in Thermal, including a 2-day M-School. I also did the BMW CCA GGC's car control school (which was with my F31 diesel) I thought this would give me a decent basis, but boy was I wrong!

The Car:
-2017 328dx Wagon (180hp, 280ft-lbs)
-M-Adaptive suspension w/ Dinan Shockware (how it should've come from the factory)
-KC Design front and rear strut bars (front made a very noticeable difference in cornering stability, rear wasn't worth it)
-M3 mid-chassis reinforcement plate
-M-Sport brakes (taken off of a totalled 2016 340i with 20miles on it, the brakes were basically brand new!), stock BMW DOT 4 fluid
-M-Performance V2 steering wheel
-BMW 405m 18x8 forged wheels (square)
-Continental DWS06 235/45-18 tires

A couple weeks prior to the event I had an alignment done at Edge Motorworks in Mountain View, CA. I told them I was going to track the car and daily drive it as well (including a bunch of off-pavement driving I do). They maxed out the front camber (only -0.6deg) and zeroed out the toe. The difference was immediately noticeable in highway driving while making turns at speed. The car was more neutral through the corners and had much less understeer.

Day 1:
Day 1 started off with some car control exercises such as emergency lane change, ABS/Threshold braking, and slalom. This is the same stuff that they do in the BMW CCA car control school, but not as much of it. One thing that was different, is that after learning ABS braking, they had us work on threshold braking (feeling ABS just start to engage, then backing off just a bit to not have ABS going). None of the other places I'd gone to in the past year had me do this. They always just had me go full ABS.

These exercises went pretty much the same as I remember them. The F31 is HEAVY. You really feel the body rolling around when tossing the car in a lane change or going through the slalom. I can only imagine how much worse it'd be if I didn't have shockware, or even worse, had the base suspension.

I may have clipped this cone with the back


With car control exercises in the morning, it wasn't till the afternoon I got my first session on the track. Driving around the track at a leisurely pace initially to learn it, scope out flag stations, ect, the F31 diesel felt at home. Cruising along and taking the various corners was pretty relaxing. When the flags turned green though coming back onto the front/main straight, everybody else shot away! Being the slowest of the Fxx 3/4 series, I saw right away how the car lacked power.

Getting left behind by the S5 and 435i on the back straight


In a way, maybe the lack of power and knowing I'd fall way behind on the straights was a good thing. It made my competitive side "give up" and allowed me to focus more on learning a good line on the track and technique through the rest of the weekend. The first criticism my instructor had was that my driving wasn't smooth. Techniques I was taught elsewhere, like getting on the brakes hard immediately and staying in ABS were very crude according to my instructor, and not conducive to me going around the track faster. This was puzzling to me, since the instructors at the BMW Performance Center told us to go full ABS braking before corners, and when riding along with them, their braking is anything but smooth... Another thing to work on was looking far enough ahead so I could plan and make my steering more smooth. Going from turn 5a into turn 6 in particular was one spot where I struggled to have a smooth transition. We continued to work on this through the next session too, but lots of it just wasn't clicking with me.

One thing I should've done was lower my tire pressures more. The DWS06 has a pretty soft sidewall, and when I did the BMW CCA car control school before I had the tires at 38PSI and got wear all the way down the shoulders to the sidewalls... Since then I typically run the fronts at 40PSI front and 42.5PSI rear on the street to account for the 48.5/51.5% front/rear weight distribution of the car. For Thunderhill, I only lowered the tires to 38PSI front and 40.5PSI rear. During the second session I definitely noticed my grip starting to suffer towards the end of the session. I brought up the TPMS page on iDrive and saw my rear tire pressures at 48-49PSI!

In my instructor's last session of the day he had me ride with him in his TT-RS. That thing really FLIES! Watching the line and feeling how the TT-RS behaved with the instructor driving caused a lot of light bulbs to go off for me and I understood what it meant to be smooth. I really wished I had rode with him earlier, since I didn't have anymore sessions on the track for day 1 to try what I had realized. I made sure to write down my observations in my notebook (that I got from the M-School) for reference the next day.

The instructor (and a super fast M2 driver who was also one of the quickest).


There were a bunch of things I noticed during my instructor's session that I had questions about. I noticed that coming off the crest in turn 5 on a downhill slope my instructor blipped the throttle, then lifted off a bit to maintenance throttle. He told me this was to shift some of the weight off of the front so that the car wouldn't push/understeer into the next turn. He also had a decent amount of late apexes relative to the reference cones that were placed on the track. Watching him though, it made sense and made me wonder whether some of those would make sense for my car or not. I had a lot to think about in my sleep that night.

Coming off of the crest at turn 5. Check out that suspension loading/unloading!


Day 2:
Day 2 started off with an instructors session. I took the opportunity to ride with a different instructor than my own to see how they did things. The instructor I rode with had a supercharged Miata. It was fascinating to see how little braking he needed, and certain weight transfer management techniques like blipping the throttle out of turn 5 wasn't needed. Towards the end of the session the car made a subtle rumbling noise and there was a bit more vibration. We took the car in early, but nothing was obvious looking into the engine bay and inspecting things. Unfortunately, in the next session this car was in, it threw a rod...

When my session came I made sure to read through my notes from the day before, and worked first and foremost on being smooth. This meant letting off the throttle and getting on the brakes in a smooth, single motion, and generally much earlier than I felt I needed to. My instructor noticed a massive improvement in this and said that we would work on speed next.

Over the next few sessions I ironed/figured out my line pretty well, and just tried to be smooth and consistent. I got to the point where I was able to hit my max speeds through various corners, and made sure to take note of the speed and corner in my notebook after each session. I still got dusted in the straights by every other car in my group, but could usually catch them in the corners from turns 2-6.

I figured out my tires liked to be in the 40-44PSI range. Below that they felt a bit squishy and not as in control, and over that I started to lose grip and couldn't take corners as fast. Having a HUD was particularly helpful in realizing what my max speed was through various corners and noting my consistency. I felt like the DWS06 and suspension were pretty well matched. Just as I felt the body start to roll over a bit too much the tires would start to chirp a bit, letting me know they were at their max grip. I think running the fronts a bit lower than the rear also helped the car feel neutral and natural through the corners. It was very easy to control the turn with throttle and lift off. I ran in Sport+ mode so some tire spin was permitted. It wasn't hard to rotate the car with a bit of lift off, and even get some lift off oversteer if I wanted to.

Turning into turn 5a from the base of turn 5. Holy body roll, Batman!


Post Event Thoughts:
The two items I've been thinking about changing since the event are tires and tune. It felt pretty pathetic how down on power the car was. One thing I vividly remember about the M-School was just how careful/smooth of the throttle I had to be with the M3/4 or you'd kick the rear end out. I tried to see if I could do something similar with the 328dx, but even if I punched the throttle a bit too early before unwinding the wheel in a turn it didn't come close to breaking loose (or accelerating nearly as much as I expected). On the front/main straight my max speed was only 102mph, and typically only 98-100mph if I didn't come out of turn 15 into it smoothly. I found it amusing at points where my instructor would tell me, "Now floor it." when I had already been doing so a half to one second earlier. For tires, I'm sure I could carry more speed through the corners with summer performance tires. As tempted as I am to go to some Pilot Sport 4S or Extreme Contact Sports, I'm also wondering if I'm going to be giving up my dirt/mud abilities. There's also tire life to consider. I'm going to be lucky to reach 25k miles on these DWS06 (and I rotate them every 7500mi).

One piece of equipment I felt did a very good job were the M-Sport brakes. I never got any brake fade (OEM fluid held up just fine), and threshold braking was easy to modulate. Before the event I was considering getting some of the more popular track pads, but now I think I'll wait till I wear out the BMW pads to do that. I'm sure when you get to much faster cars the M-Sport brakes start to get deficient, but even for the F32 435i that was at the event the M-Sport brakes were just fine.

A fun note, was that I averaged 15mpg over the sessions (manually calculated), and didn't even use a full tank of fuel over the two days.

The friend of mine who invited me to the ACNA Thunderhill event (Porsche Cayman GT4) is going to Laguna Seca Feb. 17-18 with HOD. He told me to join him at that event too, and I think I will (I did buy all those HOD certificates at Bimmerfest last year...). In the meantime, I may change tires, and hopefully the CSF intercooler I ordered over Thanksgiving comes in. I'm interested to see how that affects the diesel motor since I'm always on boost to some extent.

Some More Pics:
ACNA sponsors paid GotBlueMilk for photos over the weekend. They came out great (IMO)! I'm glad I did a quick detail on the car in the mornings.

Making a slow car look fast, tracking out onto the back straight.


Going up the crest at turn 5.


Turn 5a


Coming out onto the back straight.

Last edited by FaRKle!; 01-09-2018 at 12:44 AM..
Appreciate 3
      01-09-2018, 08:45 PM   #2
rbreding
Second Lieutenant
48
Rep
236
Posts

Drives: 328d, 335d, x5d
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: OKC

iTrader: (0)

Very nice writeup. You can Stage 2 tune JR and still keep the stock emissions since you are in Kalifornia. My '16 328d coupe has been fully deleted with stage 3 and has some significant pickup in pep which would help you out on the track a bunch.
Appreciate 0
      01-09-2018, 09:51 PM   #3
MSCD
Brigadier General
MSCD's Avatar
United_States
2418
Rep
3,459
Posts

Drives: 328i Convertible
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: PA

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Looks like you had fun and learned a lot! You mentioned tyre rotation- do you not have a staggered set up?
__________________
2012 BMW 328i E93 | Deep Sea Blue Metallic - 2015 BMW 328i F31 MSport Sports Wagon | Alpine White - BMW CCA DelVal
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2018, 09:20 AM   #4
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbreding View Post
Very nice writeup. You can Stage 2 tune JR and still keep the stock emissions since you are in Kalifornia. My '16 328d coupe has been fully deleted with stage 3 and has some significant pickup in pep which would help you out on the track a bunch.
I've thought about it. I'm not sure how much I trust it when JR says their stage 2 doesn't stress the DPF much though. Mission Tuning says their stage 2 definitely reduces DPF life significantly and they don't really recommend doing stage 2 unless also deleting it. Their employee that daily drives their stage 2 + DPF delete car said that with those mods he definitely gets a dirty bumper from the particles fairly quickly.

I think I'd be more open to it if JR had a remote OBDII flashing option too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MSCD View Post
Looks like you had fun and learned a lot! You mentioned tyre rotation- do you not have a staggered set up?
The 405m 18" only comes in square sizes. I also wanted square for less understeer. Tires are 235/45-18. The 8" tread width of these DWS06 matches the 8" rim width well.
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2018, 09:56 AM   #5
rbreding
Second Lieutenant
48
Rep
236
Posts

Drives: 328d, 335d, x5d
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: OKC

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
I've thought about it. I'm not sure how much I trust it when JR says their stage 2 doesn't stress the DPF much though. Mission Tuning says their stage 2 definitely reduces DPF life significantly and they don't really recommend doing stage 2 unless also deleting it. Their employee that daily drives their stage 2 + DPF delete car said that with those mods he definitely gets a dirty bumper from the particles fairly quickly.

I think I'd be more open to it if JR had a remote OBDII flashing option too.
I would assume that a stage 2 would likely reduce life of the DPF, but how much, no idea. More regens are likely.

Remote ODB programming is available now. Mine was updated that way for some additional changes.

JR st3 tune is not smokey and I do not have particulate accumulation on my bumper, however I cannot advise on the smokiness of the mission tune.
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2018, 12:12 PM   #6
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbreding View Post
I would assume that a stage 2 would likely reduce life of the DPF, but how much, no idea. More regens are likely.

Remote ODB programming is available now. Mine was updated that way for some additional changes.

JR st3 tune is not smokey and I do not have particulate accumulation on my bumper, however I cannot advise on the smokiness of the mission tune.
Hrm, I'll have to call them about that and find out.
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2018, 12:37 PM   #7
Johnny250
Lieutenant Colonel
632
Rep
1,868
Posts

Drives: 328d Wagon
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Los Angeles

iTrader: (37)

First of all, that's awesome that you took the car to the track! I'm actually sending in my DDE to andrew right now for the stage 2 tune, so i'll let you know how that goes. If you're ever in socal, let me know and you can ride in the car!

Where did you get the kc design strut bars?
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2018, 01:04 PM   #8
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny250 View Post
First of all, that's awesome that you took the car to the track! I'm actually sending in my DDE to andrew right now for the stage 2 tune, so i'll let you know how that goes. If you're ever in socal, let me know and you can ride in the car!

Where did you get the kc design strut bars?
Andrew didn't have a remote OBDII flash option? I wonder if only JR has that capability currently.

Here's KC Design's website. You can also email them directly to place the order (what I did) at kc7133@gmail.com.

The front strut bar was $169, rear was $126, and air mail shipping was $42 to the Bay Area ($31 for surface shipping).
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2018, 01:17 PM   #9
Johnny250
Lieutenant Colonel
632
Rep
1,868
Posts

Drives: 328d Wagon
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Los Angeles

iTrader: (37)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Andrew didn't have a remote OBDII flash option? I wonder if only JR has that capability currently.

Here's KC Design's website. You can also email them directly to place the order (what I did) at kc7133@gmail.com.

The front strut bar was $169, rear was $126, and air mail shipping was $42 to the Bay Area ($31 for surface shipping).
Andrew didn't give me that option since some codes needed to be cleared after an obd tune and i didn't want to deal with that.
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2018, 04:26 PM   #10
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny250 View Post
Andrew didn't give me that option since some codes needed to be cleared after an obd tune and i didn't want to deal with that.
I spoke with JR and they said that if you do the remote option they can clear the codes with the remote adapter.

If you do go the remote OBDII flash route with JR/AAR you pay a $1000 deposit for them to mail you the OBDII flash device.

I don't understand why they can't do something like AAW's Simon 3 which you can buy for only $225 (and despite the product page saying it only works up to E9X, their F30 N26/N55 tune pages say they use the Simon 3 to OBDII flash now).


I also asked again about their stage 2 and DPF life. They said the the DPF on the 328d is really robust, and shouldn't have a drastically shorter life. I'll likely end up going with their stage 2 before my next HPDE in Feb.
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2018, 08:39 AM   #11
rbreding
Second Lieutenant
48
Rep
236
Posts

Drives: 328d, 335d, x5d
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: OKC

iTrader: (0)

FYI OBD F30 tuning from JR via andrew went fine. Just made another update just now via OBD and it was quite painless. First time OBD programming looks to take about 9 minutes. Subsequent programs seem much shorter and only took 3 minutes.

Code clearing via the software also went fine. There is a button for that to clear the DTC.
Appreciate 0
      02-03-2018, 11:36 PM   #12
alohasurftoad
Colonel
United_States
1574
Rep
2,780
Posts

Drives: 428i gran coupe
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: hawaii

iTrader: (0)

how about increase to 18x8.5 with 245/40 or 18x9 with 255/40 square with michelin pilot sport 4s or continental extremecontact sport?
Appreciate 0
      02-05-2018, 03:08 PM   #13
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alohasurftoad View Post
how about increase to 18x8.5 with 245/40 or 18x9 with 255/40 square with michelin pilot sport 4s or continental extremecontact sport?
I'm not looking to get new wheels, but I did just toss some Conti ECS on there in 245/40-18. Found them for $600 new.
Appreciate 0
      02-05-2018, 09:51 PM   #14
alohasurftoad
Colonel
United_States
1574
Rep
2,780
Posts

Drives: 428i gran coupe
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: hawaii

iTrader: (0)

Nice. The extra width and upgrade to a max perf summer tire should make a noticeable difference. I think the conti ecs are next for me as well.
Appreciate 0
      02-06-2018, 03:27 PM   #15
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alohasurftoad View Post
Nice. The extra width and upgrade to a max perf summer tire should make a noticeable difference. I think the conti ecs are next for me as well.
I definitely notice more grip over the DWS 06, but nothing else like steering response. Like the DWS 06 they tend to feel better when at a higher pressure (didn't start to feel really connected to the road till the 40-45PSI range).
Appreciate 0
      02-08-2018, 04:28 PM   #16
Solidjake
\_(ツ)_/
Solidjake's Avatar
Poland
602
Rep
1,309
Posts

Drives: '13 328i Msport 6MT
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NYC/Philly

iTrader: (2)

Nice thread dude! How was it with the brake swap to your 328 especially when it comes to the rear calipers?

Btw that photographer is a joke. Didn't even clean out the dust from his lens.
__________________
Tensioner/belt DIY | Side skirt extension DIY

Apex SM-10/PSS | 400m/X-ice Xi3 | Injen Intake/Exhaust
Stoptech SS Lines | 335 Brakes | Hawk HPS 5.0 | RBF600
Bootmod3 Stg 1 93 | ER Charge Pipes | Wagner Evo Comp 2 FMIC
Appreciate 0
      02-27-2018, 07:11 PM   #17
e30
New Member
United_States
0
Rep
7
Posts

Drives: 435i
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Idaho

iTrader: (0)

Looks like a blast! My first HPDE was in an RX8.

To dial in your tire pressures you can mark the edge of the tire with chalk. The tire has an arrow on the top of the sidewall showing where the maximum contact can be. The goal is to make sure the tire wears all the way to that point. The chalk will help you find that out because the chalk will wear away up to where contact patch really is. Adjust the tire pressure accordingly to optimize.

Of course at HPDE you are supposed to have enough air in the tire to handle the high speeds. That's my disclaimer.
Appreciate 0
      02-28-2018, 11:03 AM   #18
FaRKle!
Colonel
United_States
1612
Rep
2,092
Posts

Drives: '17 328d Sport Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Nice thread dude! How was it with the brake swap to your 328 especially when it comes to the rear calipers?

Btw that photographer is a joke. Didn't even clean out the dust from his lens.
The brake swap was pretty easy. Same mounting points so it was just unbolt the calipers, take off the rotors, and put the new ones on. Blocking off the master cylinder by depressing the brake pedal all the way and then keeping it held down was super helpful in preventing any brake fluid from draining while the lines were disconnected. The car definitely has way more braking power than needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e30 View Post
Looks like a blast! My first HPDE was in an RX8.

To dial in your tire pressures you can mark the edge of the tire with chalk. The tire has an arrow on the top of the sidewall showing where the maximum contact can be. The goal is to make sure the tire wears all the way to that point. The chalk will help you find that out because the chalk will wear away up to where contact patch really is. Adjust the tire pressure accordingly to optimize.

Of course at HPDE you are supposed to have enough air in the tire to handle the high speeds. That's my disclaimer.
Good tip. I'll have to try that at the next event. Unfortunately I didn't have my arrow markers on the shoulder of the tires anymore due to the BMW CCA car control school I did last March. Should've ran higher tire pressures (I was at 38PSI)...
Appreciate 1
Solidjake602.00

Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 PM.




f30post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST