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Thread: Teach me about ITR 325's

  1. #1
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    Default Teach me about ITR 325's

    I was looking at the 92-95 325i/is classed at 2765 in ITR. I am finishing up my Prelude and will be building a second car for the wife I was going to build another Honda but thought I would do some research on other options so I can make a informed decision.

    A few questions

    1. Are there any common problems things that break etc. for this car?

    2. What size tires can fit under it in ITR

    3. Why the allowance for a trunk mounted fuel cell is the sock tank in a dangerous location?

    4. What to junkyard replacement motors for these run?

    5. What do replacement transmission run?

    6. Are final drives and LSD easily available, what is the typical cost.

    7. How are the brakes on the car? I don't enjoy cars that are under braked?

    8. How difficult is this car to work on? What are the ECU options?

    9. Oh yeah and how are they at making weight does a 215lb guy stand a chance in this car?

    10. Anything else anyone can offer?

    <---Sorry for all the questions Honda guy trying to broaden his horizons.
    Last edited by ekim952522000; 02-13-2009 at 02:34 AM. Reason: more questions.....
    Mike Uhlinger



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    Quote Originally Posted by ekim952522000 View Post
    I was looking at the 92-95 325i/is classed at 2765 in ITR. I am finishing up my Prelude and will be building a second car for the wife I was going to build another Honda but thought I would do some research on other options so I can make a informed decision.

    <---Sorry for all the questions Honda guy trying to broaden his horizons.
    Mike, it's a good car, easy to build, easy to drive, reliable and low-maintenance. 245s will fit. Brakes are plenty capable and low-maintenance. I don't know the specifics on engine and transmission costs, but they are probably more than Honda stuff ... but you won't need them. Good stock used diffs are a few hundred, fully-built race diffs are a couple thousand. But you won't break one, so it's a one-time cost. ECU: I'm not sure about what you can do to a stock one (mine is different, it's well-programmable) but Motec works as a replacement. As for the weight, I thought this was for your wife :-)

    Also, there are already-built cars for good prices out there. Mike Courtney's might even still be for sale ... it's well-built, fast, and local.
    Josh Sirota
    ITR '99 BMW Z3 Coupe

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    1. Are there any common problems things that break etc. for this car?
    Yes, but the great thing is they are common and can be planned/corrected for and there are not a lot of them

    2. What size tires can fit under it in ITR
    Wheel width is 8.5" so a 225 would fit nicely and a 245 would as well and work with just a bit of fender rolling; stay close to the stock et38 offset

    3. Why the allowance for a trunk mounted fuel cell is the sock tank in a dangerous location?
    Very safe location. We kept the stock tank in our BMWCCA Mod class car as it is also mounted low and close to center.


    4. What to junkyard replacement motors for these run?
    A few hundred to a couple thousand, many to choose from though. You should be looking for a >94 as this is the VANOS motor which gives you variable intake valve timing

    5. What do replacement transmission run?
    About as much as a Valentine's day dinner with a nice bottle of wine

    6. Are final drives and LSD easily available, what is the typical cost.
    Good searching will net you a stock clutch pack type <$500. Many "is" models come with them

    7. How are the brakes on the car? I don't enjoy cars that are under braked?
    BMWs get flak for poor braking systems as they have stuck with the single piston slider type for years while recently most manufacturers are using multiple piston, fixed calipers in their performance models. Fresh fluid, well bled, rebuild kit (rubber bits and cheap) and a good choice of pads will give you a more than adequate braking system

    8. How difficult is this car to work on? What are the ECU options?
    Very easy and very reliable. ECU is called a DME. Believe you can use anything that fits in the stock DME box which gives you many options. As anything, depends what you want to spend and spend some time with the rules on this one.

    9. Oh yeah and how are they at making weight does a 215lb guy stand a chance in this car?
    Making weight is not a problem but to fully answer your question a)Not sure how good the 215lb guy in question drives and b)I thought this was for your wife!!

    10. Anything else anyone can offer?
    Lots of hard development work previous done on this chasis for you to pull from. That counts for a lot.
    Matthew Olson
    ITR '94 BMW 325is
    RoadRaceTech.com

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    Hey guys just because the car is going to be for my wife doesn't mean I won't want to drive it sometimes. Ya never know I might end up liking it better than the prelude and trade her.

    Thanks for all the info it sounds like a solid platform.

    So it sounds like I would want a 94 or 95 coupe?
    Mike Uhlinger



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    Coupe or sedan will be equal performance. Some prefer the sedan as the B pillar ends up being about even with your shoulder so the theory is greater side impact protection. Best aspect of a good donor is no rust. Where the rear sub-frame attaches should be reinforced (many rip out) and having rust there will make this a miserable job.
    Matthew Olson
    ITR '94 BMW 325is
    RoadRaceTech.com

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    Except, unfortunately, that's illegal.

    Where the rear sub-frame attaches should be reinforced (many rip out) and having rust there will make this a miserable job.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    Except, unfortunately, that's illegal.

    Where the rear sub-frame attaches should be reinforced (many rip out) and having rust there will make this a miserable job.
    Not if it matches the factory repair which has been close to an outright recall for the e46. At a certain point in their production cycle, both e36 and e46 chassis had this from the factory. Rust and wear can still wreck the factory reinforcements though. Not seam welding or anything along those lines, this is installing OEM parts. I don't think this violates item 8 under Suspension Mounting Points. I would not race an e36 chassis without these parts installed.

    http://rrtracing.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=223

    edit: Item H under 8. Body/Structure
    All chassis/structural/electrical repair, if performed, shall be in concurrence with factory procedures, specifications, and dimensions. Unless specifically authorized by the manufacturer for repair or allowed by these rules, no reinforcement, i.e., seam welding, material addition, etc., is permitted.

    Knew it was in there somewhere.
    Last edited by Olson-RRT; 02-13-2009 at 03:21 PM.
    Matthew Olson
    ITR '94 BMW 325is
    RoadRaceTech.com

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    Here we go again......

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    Coupe or sedan will be equal performance. Some prefer the sedan as the B pillar ends up being about even with your shoulder so the theory is greater side impact protection. Best aspect of a good donor is no rust. Where the rear sub-frame attaches should be repaired (many rip out) and having rust there will make this a miserable job.

    How's that.
    Last edited by robits325is; 02-13-2009 at 03:10 PM.
    Rob Driscoll
    ITS 25
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    Quote Originally Posted by robits325is View Post

    How's that.
    That be better

    Kinda like "may" and "shall"... Subtle yet quite different.
    Matthew Olson
    ITR '94 BMW 325is
    RoadRaceTech.com

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    Sorry Ron, I know I shouldn't start. But, this one always irked me.

    Did the cars come from the fact with the reinforcement or not?

    If not, illegal.

    Everytime this starts, we get a BMW guy first say "you should reinforce the subframe mounts" which after being pointed out as illegal, becomes "it's just a repair."

    If it never came from the factory reinforced, it's illegal. The reinforcement kit, OEM or not, is illegal. If you are repairing it back to teh way it was when it came from the factory, that is legal.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    Sorry Ron, I know I shouldn't start. But, this one always irked me.

    Did the cars come from the fact with the reinforcement or not?

    If not, illegal.

    Everytime this starts, we get a BMW guy first say "you should reinforce the subframe mounts" which after being pointed out as illegal, becomes "it's just a repair."

    If it never came from the factory reinforced, it's illegal. The reinforcement kit, OEM or not, is illegal. If you are repairing it back to teh way it was when it came from the factory, that is legal.
    Yes, they came from the factory "reinforced", the part used is intended to bring older or damaged cars to factory spec. Also see my edited post above.
    Matthew Olson
    ITR '94 BMW 325is
    RoadRaceTech.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    Sorry Ron, I know I shouldn't start. But, this one always irked me.

    Did the cars come from the fact with the reinforcement or not?

    If not, illegal.

    Everytime this starts, we get a BMW guy first say "you should reinforce the subframe mounts" which after being pointed out as illegal, becomes "it's just a repair."

    If it never came from the factory reinforced, it's illegal. The reinforcement kit, OEM or not, is illegal. If you are repairing it back to teh way it was when it came from the factory, that is legal.
    Hmm maybe the E36 has bigger problems then I thought.

    Jeff does that still apply if the factory has a recall on a car to change something? I would think that would become the new way a car is supposed to be fixed.
    Mike Uhlinger



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    This thing has been hashed out here endlessly before. I'll give you my two cents on this, take it for what it is worth.

    E36s have subframe mount issues. It's something that needs to be looked at on a regular basis, and probably proactively repaired, not reinforced. This is like many cars that have a weakspot/weakness.

    However, it's become a de facto standard on E36 track cars of all flavors (NASA, BMWCCA, etc.) to reinforce the rear subframe mounts -- the old "everybody does it" argument. The argument is bolstered by claims that (a) this was done by the factory as part of a recall or (b) later E36s came with the reinforcement plate from the factory.

    One at a time. On the latter point, no one has ever provided evidence of a 325is E36 coming from the factory with the plate. The anecdotal evidence suggests that it was installed only on late E36 328s and M3s. Click here:

    http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/3-s...ame-48392.html

    If the anecdotal evidence is true; illegal.

    On the former point, apparently BMW would take a look at the subframe mount and in some cases use the reinforcement plates but if the mount was in good shape, they wouldn't touch it. So, it wasn't a true recall in the sense that ALL cars were called in and retrofitted. The argument here is that "since the factory repairs it this way, I can" but in my view the GCR doesn't allow that since the car never came from the factory that way.

    So it goes. I would never protest a BMW over this, but it does irk me, especially when the safety card gets played, because by spending dollars checking the mounts and repairing them legally and correctly -- i.e. spending money -- back to stock you will be just fine.

    Last, full disclosure, I started racing in 2004 at the height of the unrestricted 325is E36 dominance in ITS, and I'm still smarting from that...215 rwhp and 2850........yikes.......so I'm not entirely unbiased.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

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    Again, a repair not a reinforcement; very different meaning and the wrong word used in my initial text. And as in the edit of my previous post, from the GCR:

    h. All chassis/structural/electrical repair, if performed, shall be in concurrence with factory procedures, specifications, and dimensions. Unless specifically authorized by the manufacturer for repair or allowed by these rules, no reinforcement, i.e., seam welding, material addition, etc., is permitted.

    Rusted/weakend/torn bit cut out, OEM repair part welded in. Does this not meet GCR section above? And keep in mind we are talking about a few sq inch flat plate replacing an existing piece of flat metal plate. The point of the repair is to better spread the load of the weld nut in the improved design to the frame where it is mounted to prevent it from ripping out along with the rear suspension. This simply allows the mounting point to operate, as designed, and does not improve performance.

    So perhaps I am confused in the sense that this offers no performance improvement and meets the GCR so why all the consternation?
    Matthew Olson
    ITR '94 BMW 325is
    RoadRaceTech.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Earp View Post
    Here we go again......
    https://improvedtouring.com...ad.php?t=12163

    Start there.

    BTW, the Autotechnica photo links on the first page no longer work. But, remember, nothing on the web ever disappears. Just add "http://web.archive.org/web/20050404233644" in front of the failed links, such as:

    http://web.archive.org/web/200504042.../gallery/car11
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    Wow. Just, wow. Seems things were wound a bit tight five years ago. Got a few replies down and couldn't deal with reading any more.

    They are reinforcing the subframe itself, not the chassis mounting point. The pics in the link to the old post are not the reinforcement, or repair, I am referring to. Again, please look here to see what I am talking about:

    http://rrtracing.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=223


    Jeff, understand where you are coming from just a *bit* more now.
    Matthew Olson
    ITR '94 BMW 325is
    RoadRaceTech.com

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    So I think I read through all of that, and I've known about this repair for years from the BMW forums, but I still have never seen any factory directive about its use to reinforce cars that didn't come with the reinforcement from the factory. Near as I can tell, only M3s came with it from the factory. Not the 325i, not the 328i. Those reinforcement plates are not listed as superceded parts for anything either, since they are additional parts, not replacement parts. Seems to me that someone just "figured out" that the M3 had reinforcement that the non-Ms didn't have, so it became the de-facto way to repair this problem.

    So quickly, did any factory documentation ever turn up?
    Josh Sirota
    ITR '99 BMW Z3 Coupe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olson-RRT View Post
    Seems things were wound a bit tight five years ago.
    Five years ago...? Well, I guess we've moved a lot of our tight-woundedness to the Sandbox...

    Anyway...to summarize that thread, Matthew...I don't know enough about what I'm looking at to defend or contradict what you're trying to say. But, generally speaking, you can do whatever the factory did when they built the car, whatever your factory shop manual shows as an acceptable repair for the car, and whatever any technical service bulletins shows as an acceptable repair for the car.

    The safest and most-legal action, of course, is to replace that whole ripped panel with a new one from the factory.

    However, if at any time you perform a "repair" that deviates from original build or any of those official records, you are illegal. One thing that stuck out on that link you posted is "This is an E46 M3 Competition Package shown." Without further knowledge, that implies to me to be illegal to the IT rules.

    Make it back to stock, and you're legal. Deviate from stock and you're treading on thin ice.

    GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

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    Matt, no problem. I do get worked up over that one, need to settle down.

    I agree 100% with Greg (on rare occasion, that happens, because on rare occasion, he is right...lol....I'm kidding you Greg). He laid out precisely what you can and can't do with a repair.

    I also can't tell from you link if that is a legal repair but it sure looks a hell of a lot less like illegal reinforcement than what those Autotechnic photos showed.

    Time for me to move, thread got jacked.

    Mike, bottom line for me is the E36 is one of those "just great" race chassis. I don't know of anyone who raced or races one that regretted it (outside of the rules crap it suffered through, and despite my believe that 215 whp in ITS it was a mess, I also felt the SIR was a debacle for the car owners). Honestly, while I like the Lude a lot and the build looks great, the E36 is probably a better base for a race car.

    Have fun with both!
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

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