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Last Post 17 Apr 2013 06:37 PM by  jrubins
M3 swap e36 325is class
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jrubins
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11 Mar 2013 01:47 PM

    Hi all, I'm looking at buying an e36 bimmer. I was looking for a 325 or 328 i/is (I'm not picky ) but I came across a 325is that had an m3 conversion done. My question is: can this be classed as an M3 for the purpose of stock or street touring or not? If not what class could it run in - Street Mod or .... ? 

    Its a '93 with the engine and trans from a 93 m3 (s50) 

    Thanks for your help,

    JR

    The Nebulizer
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    11 Mar 2013 01:59 PM
    For stock and Street turing, you would need to do a complete conversion before it would be legal - obviously not feesible. SP is not an option for the same reason. Street Mod is unfortunately the place you would have to go with that car. On the otherhand, a 325/328 or M3 could be competitive in several lower classes like Stock, ST, or SP.
    mrazny
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    11 Mar 2013 02:01 PM
    I think you mean a 95 m3. There was no 93.

    Engine swap equals SM or XP depending on the engine, and can only slip into SP if it's on the same line (not in your case). If it was an M52 from a 328, then it'd still have DSP potential from Update/Backdate.
    jrubins
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    11 Mar 2013 02:46 PM
    Posted By mrazny on 11 Mar 2013 02:01 PM
    I think you mean a 95 m3. There was no 93.

    Engine swap equals SM or XP depending on the engine, and can only slip into SP if it's on the same line (not in your case). If it was an M52 from a 328, then it'd still have DSP potential from Update/Backdate.

    You are correct, my mistake. There were euro m3 models prior to 95, but not in the US. It's a US engine, so it is indeed a 95. 

    Thanks for the feedback on classing. I wonder when the SCCA might give up it's byzantine rules system for a more straightforward classing like NASA uses. 

    JR

    mrazny
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    11 Mar 2013 03:00 PM
    NASA-X isn't around everywhere anymore. There are reasons. Road-racing is a different story of course.
    Z3papa
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    11 Mar 2013 03:43 PM
    Is this the car which is being sold in IL by chance?
    jrubins
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    11 Mar 2013 04:24 PM
    Posted By mrazny on 11 Mar 2013 03:00 PM
    NASA-X isn't around everywhere anymore. There are reasons. Road-racing is a different story of course.

    Mostly because of desire, organization, and funding, really. Certainly, NASA-X didn't do poorly because of having a *much* easier to understand and work with classing system. Seems that SCCA is the law of the land for AutoX, so I'll have to make do 

     

    No, the car I'm looking at is in CA. 

    85rx-7gsl-se
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    11 Mar 2013 06:13 PM
    Honestly for all of its faults, I still greatly prefer the scca's rules to those of nasa-x. While its true some of the scca rules result in somewhat arbitrary results (ie a c5z that is bone stock with the exception of a short shifter is now sp), but its also much more clear on how to build a car for class. Nasa's rules end up pitting full on race cars against streets cars and is just a mess for anything greater than local fun imho.
    jrubins
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    11 Mar 2013 06:25 PM
    Posted By 85rx-7gsl-se on 11 Mar 2013 06:13 PM
    Honestly for all of its faults, I still greatly prefer the scca's rules to those of nasa-x. While its true some of the scca rules result in somewhat arbitrary results (ie a c5z that is bone stock with the exception of a short shifter is now sp), but its also much more clear on how to build a car for class. Nasa's rules end up pitting full on race cars against streets cars and is just a mess for anything greater than local fun imho.

    No to drive my thread too far off the rails .... 

    But I disagree, I think that's an implementation issue, not one of design. Considering the umpteen years that SCCA has had autocross going, it's had the time to tweak the rules. That has lead to truly byzantine legalese that you must *build a car to* versus a system that allows you to build what you like and be classed accordingly. Yes, that means that very different cars can be run in the same class, but that's part of the fun, and with a few years of national level experience, the ruling body can tweak the points system for what makes sense in AutoX (where NASA classing was really based on TT). 

    That's just my perspective as a newcomer(though I ran a locally competitive car in NASA-X for a couple of years). Since AutoX is generally the newcomer's entry point to motorsports, we should strive to have a simple, easy to understand system that allows for a run-what-you-brung mentality instead of a I-pushed-the-rulebook-farther-than-you mentality. 

    That's just my humble $.02 

     

    mrazny
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    11 Mar 2013 06:52 PM
    Posted By jrubins on 11 Mar 2013 06:25 PM 

    No to drive my thread too far off the rails .... 

    But I disagree, I think that's an implementation issue, not one of design. Considering the umpteen years that SCCA has had autocross going, it's had the time to tweak the rules. That has lead to truly byzantine legalese that you must *build a car to* versus a system that allows you to build what you like and be classed accordingly. Yes, that means that very different cars can be run in the same class, but that's part of the fun, and with a few years of national level experience, the ruling body can tweak the points system for what makes sense in AutoX (where NASA classing was really based on TT). 

    That's just my perspective as a newcomer(though I ran a locally competitive car in NASA-X for a couple of years). Since AutoX is generally the newcomer's entry point to motorsports, we should strive to have a simple, easy to understand system that allows for a run-what-you-brung mentality instead of a I-pushed-the-rulebook-farther-than-you mentality. 

    That's just my humble $.02 

     

    It's a potentially meaningful conversation.  Why is the SCCA successful and why things are done the way they are aren't entirely mutually exclusive in my mind though.  It varies from region to region, but the most active behind the scenes and keep the club going people tend to have a bigger much more national viewpoint and scope in our area (greater chicagoland, and milwaukee fwiw), AKA, many of the essential people that keep the local SCCA events humming compete at a National level.

    It works on a National level *because* the rules are as they are.  This club focuses on classes of competition, not fitting all cars into somewhere.  This also allows some control over the variances for PAX creation and the like.  Nothing is perfect, but the SCCA works when it does because of that different focus.  The points thing is there from other local clubs if its desired.  You could race that car with BMWCCA's (though every one of them has a different system).


    Milan
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    11 Mar 2013 11:44 PM

    Hey, you can build what you like and bring it to a SCCA autox. As long as it passes tech, i'm sure there's a class

    for your car.

    Frank05v
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    12 Mar 2013 11:46 AM
    Exactly Milan, too many people get caught up in making a car fit a class early on in autox and that takes most of the fun out. Just show up and drive. Get better, enjoy your car, if you chose to pursue it further, find something that is "the car for the class".
    jrubins
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    12 Mar 2013 11:51 AM
    Posted By mrazny on 11 Mar 2013 06:52 PM
    Posted By jrubins on 11 Mar 2013 06:25 PM 

    No to drive my thread too far off the rails .... 

    But I disagree, I think that's an implementation issue, not one of design. Considering the umpteen years that SCCA has had autocross going, it's had the time to tweak the rules. That has lead to truly byzantine legalese that you must *build a car to* versus a system that allows you to build what you like and be classed accordingly. Yes, that means that very different cars can be run in the same class, but that's part of the fun, and with a few years of national level experience, the ruling body can tweak the points system for what makes sense in AutoX (where NASA classing was really based on TT). 

    That's just my perspective as a newcomer(though I ran a locally competitive car in NASA-X for a couple of years). Since AutoX is generally the newcomer's entry point to motorsports, we should strive to have a simple, easy to understand system that allows for a run-what-you-brung mentality instead of a I-pushed-the-rulebook-farther-than-you mentality. 

    That's just my humble $.02 

     

    It's a potentially meaningful conversation.  Why is the SCCA successful and why things are done the way they are aren't entirely mutually exclusive in my mind though.  It varies from region to region, but the most active behind the scenes and keep the club going people tend to have a bigger much more national viewpoint and scope in our area (greater chicagoland, and milwaukee fwiw), AKA, many of the essential people that keep the local SCCA events humming compete at a National level.

    It works on a National level *because* the rules are as they are.  This club focuses on classes of competition, not fitting all cars into somewhere.  This also allows some control over the variances for PAX creation and the like.  Nothing is perfect, but the SCCA works when it does because of that different focus.  The points thing is there from other local clubs if its desired.  You could race that car with BMWCCA's (though every one of them has a different system).





    true enough... The SCCA is definitely a well-run national organization, who I'm sure weigh classing rules like Cardinals in Conclave, but the classes as they exist now are flawed - which i  suspect I can prove. If you look at the 2012 nationals results, you'll see that many classes overlap in time by quite a lot - indicating they shouldn't be distinct classes. If I could get my hands on the Nationals results in a spreadsheet format, I could run some statistical analysis on them to demonstrate this effect. 
    mrazny
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    12 Mar 2013 12:42 PM
    Posted By jrubins on 12 Mar 2013 11:51 AM 

    true enough... The SCCA is definitely a well-run national organization, who I'm sure weigh classing rules like Cardinals in Conclave, but the classes as they exist now are flawed - which i  suspect I can prove. If you look at the 2012 nationals results, you'll see that many classes overlap in time by quite a lot - indicating they shouldn't be distinct classes. If I could get my hands on the Nationals results in a spreadsheet format, I could run some statistical analysis on them to demonstrate this effect. 

    Course conditions, course design, ambient temperatures, how those classes would respond in the wet.  There are a ton of variables, even within a single Nationals.  There's a thread out here about making a National Tour rating that hashed a lot of this and some of the variables, but a results only look doesn't do enough to isolate variables.  Introduce more variables into classing is a recipe for overdogs IMO.  Maybe not always the same overdog on each day, but how is that balance regulated?

    The Total Classes are more likely than not at critical mass, but there is no easy button.


    jrubins
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    12 Mar 2013 01:03 PM
    Posted By mrazny on 12 Mar 2013 12:42 PM

    Course conditions, course design, ambient temperatures, how those classes would respond in the wet.  There are a ton of variables, even within a single Nationals.  There's a thread out here about making a National Tour rating that hashed a lot of this and some of the variables, but a results only look doesn't do enough to isolate variables.  Introduce more variables into classing is a recipe for overdogs IMO.  Maybe not always the same overdog on each day, but how is that balance regulated?

    The Total Classes are more likely than not at critical mass, but there is no easy button.




    the issue isn't overdogs/underdogs - there's plenty of that now within SCCA.  A few years back when I first started Autocrossing, the SCCA had 1 STS class. Now they have to have 6, largely because the rise of the 89si. Of course, the SCCA can respond to these overdogs ... in a year or two. 

    What I'm proposing is far simpler and more responsive. 

    1. Have a broad range of initial "stock" classes. These classes would encompass nearly all cars in their stock format. 

    2. Assign points based on modification/goodness. A certain modification adds a certain number of points. Cars that are ahead of their class can be assigned additional points

    3. After X points, you move into the next class. Now you are competing against cars that are roughly equivalent in speed. 

    It's remarkably like PAX, but built into the classing system. It's simple and quite effective. It can be very responsive to the rise of new mods/cars/combinations. For instance if the Civic Si is dominating a class, in fact running into the same time range as the class above, you move the class for that one car. If the Civic Si is dominating it's class after some particular modification, but is still within the class time range stock, then add some additional points to the car stock so that it stays within class when stock, but the mod in question adds enough to move it to the next class. 

    And sure, some variables will benefit some cars more than others. That's racing. That's the fun of it. If it were just a numbers game it wouldn't be fun. 

    What's not fun is showing up with a c5 with a short shifter and having your a** handed to you in SP. 

     

    Exactly Milan, too many people get caught up in making a car fit a class early on in autox and that takes most of the fun out. Just show up and drive. Get better, enjoy your car, if you chose to pursue it further, find something that is "the car for the class".
    That's exactly what I'm saying, but in current SCCA regs, that means buying a new car unless you're already in a 'vette, evo, m3, rx7, or Si .Also, it's darn difficult to get better if you are being compared to cars that are much better prepared than your car. E.g. our c5 with the short shifter. In those cases pax doesn't really help, either. The purpose of the classing I'm proposing isn't to have 'a class for everyone' so much as it is a way for nearly everyone to be competitive in a class, regardless of prep.
    There are a ton of variables, even within a single Nationals.
    You have to look at a single set of results because of the rules changes from year to year. Fortunately with 40 drivers in some classes, 2 courses, and 3 runs each, that's a lot of data. I'd be willing to bet money that the SCCA classing system is overclassed by half.
    85rx-7gsl-se
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    12 Mar 2013 02:27 PM
    I think the inherent difference is the amount of faith one places in the ability of a Nasa-X style system to bring better parity and react more swiftly to disparities. When I had to run my basically stock cobalt ss/tc on street tires against an EP CRX on purple crack, I didnt find that much better lol.
    jrubins
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    12 Mar 2013 02:40 PM
    Posted By 85rx-7gsl-se on 12 Mar 2013 02:27 PM
    I think the inherent difference is the amount of faith one places in the ability of a Nasa-X style system to bring better parity and react more swiftly to disparities. When I had to run my basically stock cobalt ss/tc on street tires against an EP CRX on purple crack, I didnt find that much better lol.

    Purple crack? LOL I had to google that one... I'm sure HR is looking into my browsing history right about now  

    That's just an artifact of having a time trials based classing system. I'm sure at VIR, you'd own the CRX, even with gorilla snot on its rims. 

     

    mrazny
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    12 Mar 2013 07:15 PM
    is a short shifter really all that neccesary for a Corvette? For Autocross? Do we really need to change to a points system to allow short shifters?

    Said Corvette short shifter guy probably has a TON of *driver* improvement to go through before he no longer has his @$$ handed to him. Making it easier to have a short shifter is not a net positive Club Level solution.
    jrubins
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    12 Mar 2013 08:01 PM
    Posted By mrazny on 12 Mar 2013 07:15 PM
    is a short shifter really all that neccesary for a Corvette? For Autocross? Do we really need to change to a points system to allow short shifters?

    Said Corvette short shifter guy probably has a TON of *driver* improvement to go through before he no longer has his @$$ handed to him. Making it easier to have a short shifter is not a net positive Club Level solution.

    Baby...bathwater. Don't throw one out with the other.  

    You should care if the short-shifter guy can come out and at least have a decent time. He should be able to at least figure out what class he's  in without reading a 352 page document . Autocross is many people's first experience with motorsport and it shouldn't require a PhD in rocket surgery to have a decent time with it, improve, and eventually be competitive. 

    mrazny
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    12 Mar 2013 10:21 PM
    Posted By jrubins on 12 Mar 2013 08:01 PM
    Posted By mrazny on 12 Mar 2013 07:15 PM
    is a short shifter really all that neccesary for a Corvette? For Autocross? Do we really need to change to a points system to allow short shifters?

    Said Corvette short shifter guy probably has a TON of *driver* improvement to go through before he no longer has his @$$ handed to him. Making it easier to have a short shifter is not a net positive Club Level solution.

    Baby...bathwater. Don't throw one out with the other.  

    You should care if the short-shifter guy can come out and at least have a decent time. He should be able to at least figure out what class he's  in without reading a 352 page document . Autocross is many people's first experience with motorsport and it shouldn't require a PhD in rocket surgery to have a decent time with it, improve, and eventually be competitive. 


    Or he can ask Tech.  It's not that complicated.  If that competitor needs to win a trophy to enjoy entry level racing for doing nothing at all, not a person we need.  Done.  If the run itself isn't enough to have a decent time, said "competitor" is a waste of our time and effort.

    Bottom Line:  It's actually not hard to take the sport seriously.  And it's also incredibly easy to enjoy it and NOT take it seriously.  If we pander to people that have no interest in taking it seriously, everyone loses.  It's actually a really easy angle to understand.  Not sure why it's going over your head.

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