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BMW drifters and their set up

This is a discussion on BMW drifters and their set up within the TECH Discussion Forum forums, part of the TECH Discussion category; I know there are a few people who drift bmw's and i was wondering how they set up their car ...

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Old 04-12-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
TeamBM
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BMW drifters and their set up

I know there are a few people who drift bmw's and i was wondering how they set up their car to drift. What suspension did you use? what other mods have you done to your cars.
I have 97 328is if that helps.

I have searched but i mostly found threads about photos of bmw drifting but nothing really on their set up.

thanks for the help.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:41 AM   #2
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Well i had a 96 328is that i did a little drifting with basically i just thru some lowering springs at it and turned off the traction controll you have to enter corners at extremly high speeds to get the tail to kik out i find that feint techniques work well basically juke the wheel twards the outside of the turn then wip it back inwards to kick the tail out then lay on the gas if you get to side ways just let offa the gas and return the wheel to zero an it goes straight be carfull though if you get to side ways its flat spin time
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:53 PM   #3
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I've been drifting a e46 325Ci for about three years now. It was a struggle at first, because of the differential (BMW stopped putting limited slip differentials in all non-M series cars in '95) - so I drifted for over a year with an open diff... which, around the time I put the KAAZ in the car, wasn't half-bad to slide. BUT - once that KAAZ went in, the car became EXTREMELY driftable.

I've seen people like Sean Love taking the limited slip out of the Z3 (e36 as well), and using them as a direct bolt-on for e36 3-series. This doesn't work for e46, but would work for you.

My suspension setup until now has not been very condusive to drifting: Bilstein Sport Shocks/UUC Springs/UUC Swaybars: no adjustability, and way too soft for such a heavy car. I would get too much body roll, but knew how it all responded enough to make ends meet. My suspension setup has completely changed in the past three weeks, with Turner Motorsport aluminum subframe/differential bushings, Bilstein PSS-9 coilovers, Turner Motorsport rear camber arms, KMAC front camber/caster plates. I haven't had a chance to thouroughly test the new setup & dial things in... so I can't really comment on it just yet.

Suspension aside... the single most important mod I've done to that car to make it driftable is the KAAZ LSD. If I had to start the car over again tomorrow, that would be the first thing done. We've also been working to reduce the weight in the car, which has helped immensely.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to give you a complete breakdown of all the mods I've done if you want. I would LOVE to see more BMW's out there! They are very capable... albeit, a far cry from a budget drifter.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:24 PM   #4
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i would just like to point out without pissing you off that their are easier and cheaper platforms to start with. people like andy have had pretty good success with his setup, but i bet he would have progressed even faster if bolt on power had been cheaper. i actually started on a bmw, and had a really hard time learning for my first 8 events or so. my problem was i was blindly modding the car, i suppose because i had nothing better to do. my setup was an m3 with ground control coilovers/springs setup, super charged motor, completely stripped car, racey everything, big ap racing brakes, ect. i had no idea what i was doing lol.

i jumped in a stock 350z, tossed in a diff, and started learning at an increadible rate. let me restate that i sucked in my bmw, i'm not sure why other than i'm not a mechanic and the thing was always giving me small trouble. now with all my other japanese toys i never touch my m3, and its been sitting without being taken to an event for over a year. i've probably put a total of 20 miles on it in 12 months. i've always thought the e36 m3 is over rated, but for the time period it was built in, i suppose it was pretty darn good. just look at how bad the 95 mustang was.

i had an e39 m5 though, and that thing was awesome once you got used to the weight. the stock clutch was weak, as well as the steering angle, but you absolutely didn't need anything extra to drift around happily with it. screw japanese chasers, gs300s, cefiros.... the e39 m5 is an amazing 4 door that you can buy for mid 20s now, that is awesome stock. i'm going to pick one up eventually again and use it as a drift car.
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronlosey
their are easier and cheaper platforms to start with. people like andy have had pretty good success with his setup, but i bet he would have progressed even faster if bolt on power had been cheaper.
This is VERY true. BMW's are an expensive drift car, no doubt. I don't even want to begin to assess the amount of money that has been A: put into the car in modifcations; B: put into the car in maintenance/repair. Hahaha... actually, I just did a rough estimation in my head on what I've spent repairing damage from drifting into things... and it's scary.

While I may have had a certain level of success with the car, I feel that I have definitely hit a glass ceiling with it... because of power (179hp/168tq - 3300lbs). Aaron is right - bolt on power (big power) for these cars (at least mine) starts at $5k. Now that I'm close to having the car where I want it with the overall setup... big power is next on the list - but at that price still not close.

I haven't done anything to increase steering angle in my car... and it actually gets a surprising amount angle on track. I don't really know how it compares to the e36 chassis, though. I'm using an OEM e34 M5 clutch/pressure plate - which is rated for 400hp... and stands up to my 179hp + massive (and I do mean massive) amount of clutch kicks without issue.

I'm not a mechanic either (well... I should say wasn't). BMW labor is just as expensive as the parts are... and as I break things, I have to learn how to fix them, because paying BMW $115/hour to fix it is out of the question.

So while BMW's are very capable drift cars in a functional sense... the expense may overshadow that functionality to a certain degree.

I guess it depends on how far you plan on going with the car.
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
and stands up to my 179hp + massive (and I do mean massive) amount of clutch kicks without issue.
massive doesn't even begin to describe it. when i drove with you at the feeder series, on the dry day before, we were laughing hysterically counting your clutch kicks going around the course. i've NEVER seen someone use so many of them, i think the highest we counted for one lap was 15 or so. we caught you clutch kick the first corner FOUR times. it took me awhile to realize they were clutch kicks, as you used so many of them i thought it was just the sound of your throttle work!

you do drive your car very well though, and its fun watching someone overdrive the car to its potential on a track, simply man handling it and trying to squeeze out every last bit of hp.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronlosey
you do drive your car very well though, and its fun watching someone overdrive the car to its potential on a track, simply man handling it and trying to squeeze out every last bit of hp.
Thanks, killa! I appreciate the kind words. I never really thought of it as over-driving the car... but now that you mention it, it sorta makes sense. Those constant stabs at the clutch have definitely worked their way into my style. I have fun driving like that, although for judged runs I try and keep more of a smoothe foot - since that seems to be what most judges are looking for these days.

Now... GO GET THAT M5, and we will battle!
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamBM
what other mods have you done to your cars.
I just posted my press video for 2006 in the video section - it has a full list of the modifications to the car prior to the adjustable suspension. Hope that helps!

Click here
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:31 AM   #9
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A certain level of success? Hell man you tear it up dude. Any chance someone gets to watch Andy slide is fun, he is consistant, rarely makes mistakes and goes ball out at any event he goes too no matter what may happen (Black Hills event "Shudder" broken subframe ftl).

The car was a little too nicey nicey though but it is starting to look like a battle hardened veteran now Mr Sapp. Keep it up.
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:36 PM   #10
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If you are running a regular e36 reinforce the rear subframe. that sucker's going to tear right out under hard driving.

i second the kaaz LSD. this mod will feel like you got new suspension for the car. the stock bmw lsd found in other models only has a 25% lock if i'm not mistaken.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:04 PM   #11
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost of Duluth
A certain level of success? Hell man you tear it up dude. Any chance someone gets to watch Andy slide is fun, he is consistant, rarely makes mistakes and goes ball out at any event he goes too no matter what may happen (Black Hills event "Shudder" broken subframe ftl).

The car was a little too nicey nicey though but it is starting to look like a battle hardened veteran now Mr Sapp. Keep it up.
Aww... thanks buddy!!! Bwahaha... she's starting to look more and more like a war machine every day! She's definitely come a long way. Nothing quite says battle like a rollcage and woodgrain!
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinker
I would recommend calling turner motorsport and ordering the rear subframe reinforcement panels (they are OEM pieces that were used on the M3 chassis), having them installed professionally and if you get a cage done, have the cage braced into the rear shock towers (for a later upgrade) and also braced through the trunk floor into the subframe pickup areas.
Good point Sean!

If you're going to be doing serious drifting in a BMW, rear subframe reinforcement is a must. Both e36 and e46 subframe mounting points are notoriously weak. They tried fixing the problem on the e46 with a cross-member that connects the front two mounting points - but as a result, directs that stress to the left rear mounting point.

About a month ago, I cracked my subframe where the differential mounts to it, and upon removal of the entire subframe, I found that very mounting point had begun to fatigue and crack. The subframe was on it's way to tearing itself out of the car. Luckily, I caught it at the right time. Both myself and TMS were surprised that the damage was so minimal in respect to the amount of stress I have put that car for the past three years.


Click here for a full write up.

Turner Motorsport is a godsend in the subframe department. All of their racecars are fully reinforced with the kits they sell online (I would highly recommend professional installation). They also offer a full line of aluminum/race bushings (subframe, differential, trailing arm, etc) that make a world of difference. I stand by their products 100%.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:29 AM   #14
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My bmw is a early E30 325is with factory 3.73 lsd.There's a couple of E30 drifters on here,but anyways I drifted the car
100% stock, at first, for two reasons. 1) Wanted to get use the feel of the
and 2) Had no money to spend on mods haha.

But now that I gotten use to the car and got a job at a friend shop ,
here's my setup (so far)

-Koni Single Adjustable Shocks/Struts.
-Ireland Engineering Stage 3 springs(which are seen as the best springs for the E30s)
-Z3 steering rack conversion,only 2.7 turns lock to lock vs the stock 4 turns.
-Ground Control rear shock mounts
-Ireland Engineering Exhaust
-Front Zimmberman cross drilled rotors.
-Akebono ceramic pads.

Engine is basiclly stock except for a rebuilt head.

Hope that gives you or possibly anyone interesting in drifting a e30 an idea.
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Old 05-03-2006, 01:18 PM   #15
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any chance youd wanna sell that E30? :-D

this is the best thread that drifting.com has seen in years.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FD3S_pilot
I drifted the car 100% stock, at first, for two reasons. 1) Wanted to get use the feel of the and 2) Had no money to spend on mods haha.
That is an excellent approach! It refines your learning curve for when you mod the car. That is how I started with my e46. I spent my money saved to mod the car on travel to drift events for seat time. I feel that it created a solid foundation for me now that I'm modding the car. I feel it really helped me understand the dynamics of what the car is doing/about to do. Now that I'm modding the car, everything seems much more fluid behind the wheel.

Earlier I was saying that the expense of my e46 may overshadow it's feasibility as a drift car for most people... I think an e30 would be more within reach for the masses. You can find them cheap, they weigh about 2400 lbs, 50/50 weight distribution... they even make kits to shoehorn in an SR20DET.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:59 AM   #17
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Noob here.

I have the opportunity to pick up a 95 M3 for $1700. I've been searching the internet a few days now to see how good of a platform for learning to drift this car would be.

Also, the car needs a clutch, and was wondering; With setting a car for drift would it be benificial to go with a clutch upgrade and lightened flywheel, or would i be causing myself more grief.

When reading up on all the different techniques it seems there are benefits and setbacks.
Lightened flywheel;

benefits:
better throttle responce possibly used for breaking traction in power overs, and also clutch kicks

setbacks:
with less inertia for the crank it may be harder to keep a steady throttle during wide corners. plus i haven't seen a price for an M3 flywheel for less than 750.

Clutch upgrade;
Benefit:
strunger clutch to with stand my brutal learning process of drift techniques. and will have stronger clamping force than stock.

setback:
more advanced techniques may be harder to learn due to having to press down fully on the clutch to get it to disingage.


I appreciate any feed back possible.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysapp
That is an excellent approach! It refines your learning curve for when you mod the car.
Yup.


Quote:
I think an e30 would be more within reach for the masses. You can find them cheap, they weigh about 2400 lbs, 50/50 weight distribution... they even make kits to shoehorn in an SR20DET.
Haha, though many bmw purist will be pissed with the idea of a non-german engine in a german car,but i for one would love to rock one. There are a small group of people in euro land that are dropping RB's,SR's,and 1jz's in their e30's. There is alot of info now about swaps now that one can build his/her own kit. I already done much research and when I feel its is time, I will have a SR or 1jz in mine or stick with bmw and drop a S50 in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ice
Noob here.

I have the opportunity to pick up a 95 M3 for $1700. I've been searching the internet a few days now to see how good of a platform for learning to drift this car would be.
Well I think for $1700,there has to be more problems than just a clutch.
Also the with a E36 M3 you would be spending more triple the cost of the car in maintaince,repair,labor and such.
Ideally you dont want a car that you cant afford to maintain in the first place.I dont know what backround your coming from but oweing an E36 is going to cost a pretty penny.

But whats the details of the car?
Is it salvage title? Engine condition?Frame damage?

Where is the car located? I want the engine

feel free to aim/pm me.

-Frank
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:36 AM   #19
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Old 05-26-2007, 06:52 AM   #20
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That's lucky, at last i found someone who drifts bmw's as well I live in Moscow now, and it is such a funny feeling to go against crowd of JDM cars, when they look at you WTF beemer is doing here So hard to find techs info anywhere, all is purely experiment for me. Thanks for nice thread!

My car in action:
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:33 AM   #21
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I would have to say, Andy has had great success with his Bimmer, but unfortunately that car is probably the only thing holding him back from really busting out and going big time. The skill is there, the experience and everything is there for him to go big but the car holds him back. It's a kickass car no doubt but as he said, glass ceiling. It will take a ton of cash to make that car what he really wants and needs it to be and with that money he can have a cheaper car that will do what he needs it too until he can grab a sponsored ride.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:14 AM   #22
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yeah man these cars are a money pit. hehe. i love my e36 m3 but they are expensive to maintain. i spoke w/ a world challenge team out here on the west coast and BMW was actually talking with them about running a drift car next year.

who knows if this will happen any time soon though.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:13 PM   #23
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ANDY SAPP!!!! want to learn the secrets?

hello all,

this is my first time posting on the drifting forums, i have been a member of the bimmer forums for a while...long enough to know they dont like drifting over there...so i came here.

Hello Mr Sapp,

i also live in atlanta and am familiar with the batlgrounds team. I have seen you in compitition and your kung fu is strong...(dont mean to sound like a stalker)...but my question to you is, i also have been preparing my car for drift also, ive been learning and basing my upgrades off of other ppls success stories, however, i dont think that my car is whats holding my skill back. I have a e36 that is ready for turbo...but when im drifting, i cant seem to keep my car in the power band when i clutch kick...u being the master of doing so...how do you survive?...

thanks for the info,

-Evinn
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:09 PM   #24
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Whatsup

Im new to this forum but my friends an i have been drifting for a while. For some reason im in love with my 1999 E36 M3 and i went to tun it for drifting. My friends all have nissans 240s and i feel as if its gonna be hard for me to meet those standars sence my car weighs 400pnds more stock. The good thing is that my car already has better torq and a faster engine but i need some help with my setup. I was thinking about putting a Dinan S3 setup suspention with the Dinan front and rear strout bar, but then i was thinking about the eibach swaybars with the eibach strout bars and thn H&R springs with Blistein sport shocks. I heard that the stock clutch is relly good so i wasnt thinking about changing it. I dnt know if i need to chang the differential, coil over setup, arm bushings and e-brake. i have heard from other beemmer drifters that the subframe needs to be renforced. For the engine i was thinking about just putting a dinan air intake and fuil throttle. Im also in the process of changing my doors, hood, and body kit, for a Mashaw gtr hood and bodykit. Can some one please give me some back up info on what i shd also change or what woud be better. thanks

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Old 05-26-2008, 07:09 PM   #25
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Stock E36 M3's are great drift cars. Really the only thing you need to change and or get is a set of camber plates for the front and dail out the front toe to around 0* and the rear toe get it around 0.02* and run a bit more negative camber in the front. The stock diff is pretty good. Just practice a bit and you should do fine.

Heres a couple of my videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tE-eBdyVsw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4C7Xflnjxw

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