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Advice on track mods, please (long, sorry) (archive)

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Posted by Patrick FitzGerald on February 09, 2000 at 09:25:45:

Okay, so I am driving a '95 M3 Lux Autobox as my daily driver. I attended my first drivers' school at the weekend (at Carolina Motorspors Park), and really learned a lot about the car's limits and my own limits. I have quite a bit of improving to do, but I am hooked, and am committed to several upcoming drivers's schools.

My car in essentially stock (I purchased it in '98 and I've got 44K miles). The only mod to date are Racing Dynamics sway bars. I've got to replace the tyres (rears are cooked) and brake pads (routine) and perhaps the rotors (I guess with standard kit).

I am interested in replacing the original suspension with a Dinan Stage I kit, in order to tighten up the handling. I don't think I need the Stage II, since I've already got the RD sways. I am not interested in lowering the car much, per se, but tightening it up is ideal. The shocks and springs are original and have 44K miles on them (32K of which are mine).

The only other performane oriented thing I'm thinking about is a Dinan auto tranny chip. I've got the five-speed box (with fifth as an O/D gear I guess). In 'manual' mode, the shift points are pretty high up there in the rpm range, but in 'sport', which is how I like to set it normally, the shift points could be better. Does anyone out there have experience with the Dinan auto tranny chip? Would installing such a chip allow my local mechanic/tuner (Dinan certified) to fine tune the programming, allowing me to play with the shift points to get the best combo? I.e. the biggest pain on the track was the gearbox shifting on me in the middle of a corner, which tends, of course, to disrupt the car.

Any advice would be valuable. Thanks.


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