In Reply to: Best Mods that I have done posted by PeterE on April 24, 2000 at 11:27:51:
I first experienced this many years ago with muscle cars. I changed from a stock 3.73 to 4.11 to 4.56 then to 4.88 and finally to a 5.12 gear. It was a drag car! I had many street driven cars that were around 4.11. They weren't a lot of fun to take on a longish trip, taching up high rpms for hours on end! But they were loads of fun around town and for the short bursts here and there!
The low rear-end gearing is one of the main reasons why our M3's feel as strong as they do. There are other more sedate cars on the road with about the same horsepower, torque and car weight as the M3 that don't perform like our M3s mainly because of the taller or higher rear-end gearing. (When I say perform, I talking about the feel of power.)
The M3's gearing is already pretty low for a street driven car especially if much highway driving is to be done. Lowering the gearing even more should make 4th gear feel more like 3rd, etc.
Have fun with it!
: Man, after spending way too damn much money on my car, putting everything from bigger wheels to a blower on it, I finally found what I think is the best bang for the buck. I put in a 3:46 rearend and took out the stock 3:23 on my '97 ///M3-4 this past weekend. What a difference in off-the-line and mid-range performance this made. It's like a completely different car. Unlike my blower, which doesn't noticeably kick in until 5K rpm, the low-end pull from the ratio change is immediate, and cost me about 1/4 the cost of my blower.
: The other modification that I just did and highly recommend, (but probably will get me flamed or this thread pulled) is a short shift conversion, using the factory shifter from a ///M roadster. The shifts are much shorter now and the side-to-side slop has also been reduced, and all for the price of only $50.00 in parts!!!! You can't beat that, and it only took about 45' to install.