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Old 02-24-2010, 05:38 AM   #1
TheShadowWRX
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Default Autocross/Track Car - Also Great Dailyish Driver

Hey Guys,

I'm looking to build up an Autocross car that I might take onto the real track at some point as well. I also want to drive the car around town when I just don't feel like driving the WRX, but it won't be my primary vehicle...

I was thinking about a 2001 A4... Heavy, but fun to drive and AWD.


What do you guys think?


Thanks,

Mike
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:52 AM   #2
Craigs
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Audi? Horrible idea.

Get a miata.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:14 AM   #3
RB5 Clone
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Expand your skills set, go with a Focus SVT
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigs View Post
Audi? Horrible idea.

Get a miata.
^+1 or an older n/a rx7, 240sx, civic etc. there are plenty of cheap cars that can be fun if set up well. Why not by another car to drive around in and autox the wrx?
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
wrxtremeWGN
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whats wrong w/ your subie? if not get some cheap to maintain like a miata or honda...
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:08 AM   #6
SoapBox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadowWRX View Post
Hey Guys,

I'm looking to build up an Autocross car that I might take onto the real track at some point as well. I also want to drive the car around town when I just don't feel like driving the WRX, but it won't be my primary vehicle...

I was thinking about a 2001 A4... Heavy, but fun to drive and AWD.


What do you guys think?


Thanks,

Mike
So you have a heavy, awd car. And you want to toy to go with it, so you're proposing another heavy, worse performing, awd car?

You should be looking at cars like a Miata, S2k, SVT Focus, Civic Si, etc. Maybe even a 3 series.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:15 AM   #7
KC
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Corvette

--kC
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:42 AM   #8
Patrick Olsen
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I would say Vette or 3-series Bimmer. Both are very capable cars, even in stock trim, with tons of room to grow, and very liveable as around-town cars.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:35 PM   #9
MasterKwan
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I have to agree. BMW's from the '90's are dirt cheap these days. You really want an M version of a 3 but, they're cheap these days too. 5-8K would get you a decent one. Non-M's are under 5K.

Just keep in mind, unless you like working on cars, don't buy German. If you want a reliable old car, get a Japanese one. BMW's need constant maintenance.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:48 PM   #10
Gonz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadowWRX View Post
Hey Guys,


I was thinking about a 2001 A4... Heavy, but fun to drive and AWD.

So is a WRX.
#1 question: what is your budget ?

Otherwise, I'm going to say Saleen S7

Miata is nice if you want a convertible to tool around in, get good gas mileage, and inexpensive maintenance. If you track it, then you need to really set it up, or you'll be dirt slow. And you NEED a roll bar, plus a new seat so you'll actually fit, etc.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:06 PM   #11
mmiller2002
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here's a really long thread of similar nature

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1867742
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:29 PM   #12
relliMmoT
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Mazda RX7 (FC 2nd Gen) or Mazda Miata.
I run my RX7 myself, and I love it. Real cheap.
Ive run a 2000 Audi A4 with struts, springs, and RT615's and it sucked. I won best in my class with but (but I was the only DSP ) Effing boat.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
I have to agree. BMW's from the '90's are dirt cheap these days. You really want an M version of a 3 but, they're cheap these days too. 5-8K would get you a decent one. Non-M's are under 5K.

Just keep in mind, unless you like working on cars, don't buy German. If you want a reliable old car, get a Japanese one. BMW's need constant maintenance.
I would suggest a mk2 rx7, miata, or a e30/e36 3 series. The E30 is more saught for with the big influx in spec e30. You will end up spending more on a good condition e30 compared to a e36. Both are very proven, predictable, and fun track cars.

Master kwan is wrong about 5-8k on a M3. The e36 m3 i wouldn't spend less then 8k on or else you are going to spend more to maintain the car then its worth unless you find an absolute steal. A cheap e30 m3 (87-91) is a nightmare since parts are rare and very expensive and a project becomes more expensive then the 2001 -06 m3's. Trust me! Get a non-m and do simple suspension components and you will have a great toy for the track that is also streetable as long as you chose your mods wisely (no coils, no solid mounts).

If it was me:

I would get a 92-95 e36 325i

Dont forget, the best mods for a weekend track warrior is standard maint. If the car isn't well maintained you risk failure on the track and it ruins your weekend!

Mods- Clutch/ LTW Flywheel
Bilstien HD w/ H&R Race
Suspension Technique Sways
Vorshlag camber plates
AKG Motorsport Delrin Mounts and bushings.
Bimmerworld upgraded control arms with powerflex bushings
Brembo Blanks
SS lines
Racing brake 500+ compound for fronts only
Standard Hawk HPS for the rear.

For about 5-7 grand you can have a very competitive car if you are able to perform maint and install parts.


Just my 2 cents
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:06 PM   #14
misterwaterfallin
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Im in a similar position as you are, and I think I am settled on a s2000.

You can run them competitiley in the new STR class, while doing most of the mods you want want for the track
Decent to daily. They have a bit more room and more power than a miata, which makes them funner to drive and not so annoying on the freeway and at the track.
You can also find them pretty cheap both ap1's and 2's, and they have no problems making it to 150k
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:10 PM   #15
MasterKwan
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Quote:
Get a non-m and do simple suspension components and you will have a great toy for the track that is also streetable as long as you chose your mods wisely (no coils, no solid mounts).
I'm suggesting the M because it's the best built of a generally trouble-prone chassis. It's worth the extra money to get the factory improvements.

My 97 M3 was $6200. Decent shape. Needs to have the cooling system done again but, that's typical of BMW's. If you don't get the M, you won't get the subframe re-enforcements that the M gets from the factory. No re-enforcements means you run the risk of a torn out subframe. Same for the rear shock towers. They're poorly constructed and the shocks can tear loose. Front strut towers need re-enforcement too. The M's got far better rear suspension bushings than the non-m's. re-enforced trailing arms too and better brakes.

If I bought any 15 year old car, I'd re-do the suspension so, just factor that in. It doesn't matter if it's an M or not, you'll have to do the suspension. I'd do wheel bearings before I tracked it too. Front control arms need to be replaced every two years if you track it. If they fail (which they do), you'll crash.

There's a whole cottage industry that sells chassis re-enforcements for the E36. It's not like the WRX where they're supposed to stiffen the chassis. It's to keep it from cracking and tearing loose. Go on youtube and watch the subframe repair videos.

BMW cooling systems are another weak spot. I'd switch to an AL radiator and maybe a euro-recovery tank because if the stock recovery tank fails (they do) you'll spray all of your coolant on the ground.

BMWidmer's comments are like what you'd find in the BMW forums. They all softpedal the lightweight construction of the E36's and the amount of maintenance they require. I bought my E36 knowing it had upkeep requirement that were far higher than a Japanese car. I'm fine with that, I like working on cars.

I still think the BMW is a good choice but, research it and don't drink the BMW coolaid. The chassis's just aren't built that well.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:47 PM   #16
BMWidmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
I'm suggesting the M because it's the best built of a generally trouble-prone chassis. It's worth the extra money to get the factory improvements.

My 97 M3 was $6200. Decent shape. Needs to have the cooling system done again but, that's typical of BMW's. If you don't get the M, you won't get the subframe re-enforcements that the M gets from the factory. No re-enforcements means you run the risk of a torn out subframe. Same for the rear shock towers. They're poorly constructed and the shocks can tear loose. Front strut towers need re-enforcement too. The M's got far better rear suspension bushings than the non-m's. re-enforced trailing arms too and better brakes.

If I bought any 15 year old car, I'd re-do the suspension so, just factor that in. It doesn't matter if it's an M or not, you'll have to do the suspension. I'd do wheel bearings before I tracked it too. Front control arms need to be replaced every two years if you track it. If they fail (which they do), you'll crash.

There's a whole cottage industry that sells chassis re-enforcements for the E36. It's not like the WRX where they're supposed to stiffen the chassis. It's to keep it from cracking and tearing loose. Go on youtube and watch the subframe repair videos.

BMW cooling systems are another weak spot. I'd switch to an AL radiator and maybe a euro-recovery tank because if the stock recovery tank fails (they do) you'll spray all of your coolant on the ground.

BMWidmer's comments are like what you'd find in the BMW forums. They all softpedal the lightweight construction of the E36's and the amount of maintenance they require. I bought my E36 knowing it had upkeep requirement that were far higher than a Japanese car. I'm fine with that, I like working on cars.

I still think the BMW is a good choice but, research it and don't drink the BMW coolaid. The chassis's just aren't built that well.
I have owned quite a few bmw's and the only reason why i suggested the non-m is because around me a decent M3 (overall 5/10 halfassed maint / rusty chassis) sells for 6k and one worth owning is selling around 9-12k. I am sure you understand where i am coming from because maint adds up very quickly on these cars even if you are doing the labor yourself. I have owned 5 e30's and 2 of which were M's. I was just trying to make a helpful suggestion since most people are not able to find a average condition M3 for 6700. I understand that the e36 isnt gods gift to earth but its a very good platform to startout with thats rwd and 50/50 weight distribution.


He is certainly right about the cooling setup needing to be prepped for hard driving which i forgot to mention.

I am not trying to get in a debate with you, but i am sure you are aware of the two sides of the spectrum when it comes to pricing on bmw's and you get what you pay for.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:17 PM   #17
MasterKwan
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We all talk up the aspects of the cars we like and downplay the downsides. I like my M3. I really do. It's far better as a track car than my S2000 would have been. The S2000 was totally impractical. I'm sure I can fit a set of tires and any of my spares into the M3.

The aftermarket support for the BMW's dwarfs the S2000 aftermarket. I think it's about the same size as the WRX aftermarket. All these are good things. The engines, transmissions and rear diffs are mostly bulletproof too.

I just don't want the OP to jump into BMW's without knowing the downsides. It's like the wheel bearing and 5 speed issues in the WRX's and the poor tunes of the later STI's. We all know about it because we're on the inside but, newbs won't know it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
We all talk up the aspects of the cars we like and downplay the downsides. I like my M3. I really do. It's far better as a track car than my S2000 would have been. The S2000 was totally impractical. I'm sure I can fit a set of tires and any of my spares into the M3.

The aftermarket support for the BMW's dwarfs the S2000 aftermarket. I think it's about the same size as the WRX aftermarket. All these are good things. The engines, transmissions and rear diffs are mostly bulletproof too.

I just don't want the OP to jump into BMW's without knowing the downsides. It's like the wheel bearing and 5 speed issues in the WRX's and the poor tunes of the later STI's. We all know about it because we're on the inside but, newbs won't know it.

You are absolutely correct, a local auto-x'er has a tow hitch on his c6 vette (GJ Dixon, if you don't know the name look it up) and keeps his tools and set of r-comps on a small trailer because there is no other way unless he traveled to and from on R-Comps.
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