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Lightening the E30 M3......ideas? (archive)

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Posted by John W on June 28, 2002 at 18:48:03:

Hi everyone,
I have a 1990 M3, Supersprint exhaust, timing chain done, Mintex pads, Momo wheel, but otherwise standard. I think that most of you will agree that the tuning potential of our engines is fairly limited (we do not drive Skylines...thank goodness), but so what? Doesn't that mean it's a good unit in the first place? I reckon that the way to improve the all round performance of a car is to do what Colin Chapman once advised......add lightness. Not only is staight line performance improved, but so are handling, braking, even economy (!).
I was wondering what you all might advise as a weight reduction program for E30 M3's. Imagine an M3 that could be driven every day, but was a lighter car. I'm thinking:
Recaro race shells (practical?)
Remove air-con (ouch...OK in UK...well it is in the North East).
Remove rear seats
Add cage/harnesses
Remove some sound deadening?
Take out spare wheel/carpet etc in boot, replace with "get you home" foam.
AC Schnitzer suspension with negative camber at the front etc, strut brace, basic brake upgrades would add to the experience, but wouldn't lose weight.
Leave in:
Stereo (basic Sony MD + standard speakers in've got to listen to something in the car on your way to the track/work).
Electric sunroof (I like it, probably weighs loads)
Electric windows/mirrors (who would ditch the e/w's? Expensive to replace anyway).
I'm thinking Porsche 964 / 993 RS here. I wouldn't go for glass fibre bonnets and boots (hood/trunk lids.....stay with me Stateside!) because that would be silly when you have an electric sunroof.
I would keep all the stuff I removed in case I wanted to go back nearer standard. How many Kg's could you lose before losing all refinement? Wouldn't this be cheaper (and purer?) than boring the engine to 2.5L and fitting trick cams etc? I wouldn't mind re-mapping my engine, and possibly even chipping it, but isn't the Slimfast plan the way to go?
Don't flame someone who has just had 8 beers. "**$^Hick%**"
John W. (UK)
1990 E30 M3

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