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General Forum : Road Racing

- BMW E21 Community
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      - Road Racing
Ladd   Posted Sunday, Dec 3rd 6:19am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 55
1981 320i E10
I want to start racing. What is the best type of suspension set up for cornering? I would like to hear everyone's thoughts - no matter how radical. I am more than willing to custom build and cut sheet metal. (who needs a trunk?!?!?)


BruceH   Posted Sunday, Dec 3rd 7:03am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 1052
Atlanta, GA USA
81 323 Baur, 85 745
Tires in contact with the pavement at all times......

What organization? What class? Rulebook?

velocewest   Posted Sunday, Dec 3rd 10:11pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 552
Oregon USA
e9, e12x2, no E21?
Ladd, have you run any track days yet? The BMW ACA in Portland runs track days from about May until September each year, and also cooperates with the local Porsche and Alfa Romeo club to give access to a driving event almost every weekend through spring, summer and fall.

If you've done nothing to your car yet, I'd start with upgrading the brakes. Easy and cheap is to swap to Volvo Girling calipers on the front with early e21 vented rotors.

Next on the list would be an adjustable rear sway bar. This will let you dial in oversteer better than a fixed bar. Then, a LSD if you don't have one.

Next I'd look for 14" or 15" wheels to get you on more performance-oriented rubber. There are decent choices in 14" 60-series and 15" 50-series rubber, there's not much in 13" 70-series.

Last on my list would be shocks and springs. Depending on how much you want to spend, you could do anything from sport springs and Bilsteins up to a full coil over setup.

Another thing to consider once you've done all of the above would be a rear disk brake swap.

As Bruce noted, the answer to the racing question is going to be found in the sanctioning body rulebook. Generally speaking e21's are not eligible for vintage racing, so you're probably looking at some SCCA class.


Ladd   Posted Sunday, Dec 3rd 11:51pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 57
1981 320i E10
Hey Tony,

Thanks for the info. I have looked into racing the Bimmer in the NW chapter of the SCCA. It needs alot of work, but I have found an E21 that has been raced in several events and is being sold for $6,000. That might be the better route.

The reason for my post was to get feedback from the Bimmer guys because of their vast knowledge of performing in the twists. I am building a street racer (ie. NO Rulebook) that is complete custom. It will look like a mild-mannered '82 celica, but have a stroked 302, a Tremec T-56, and a 9" Ford rearend that will probably be geared 4.86. I'm pretty much decided on Double-A's up front, but still toying with ideas for the rear. I would love to hear any and all suggestions, but I think I will avoid any multi-link set up that I will need a CAD program to design and a Physics Degree to adjust.


BruceH   Posted Monday, Dec 4th 1:32am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 1053
Atlanta, GA USA
81 323 Baur, 85 745

Please keep your racing on the track. Street racing is wrong, dangerous and just plain stupid.

Tony offered you superb advice regarding the BMW ACA. Build it and use it on the track.

Too many lives are lost on the street.


Ladd   Posted Monday, Dec 4th 3:24am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 58
1981 320i E10
I never have and I never would race on public roads.

My friends bought a 3,500 acre ranch here in Oregon with miles of abandoned County road. After we walk them to make sure all of the paving is good we plan to run them for time only and never more than one car at a time.

A few of us are building cars and I wanted to hear people's theroies on suspension as we have put no limitations on our builds.

BruceH   Posted Monday, Dec 4th 3:34am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 1054
Atlanta, GA USA
81 323 Baur, 85 745
That is a different story and I wish I had a friend like that.

Bilsteins, H&R or Eibach springs, bigger sway bars and an LSD will make a huge difference. Tony's advice regarding on the brakes is spot on.

Look at the Kumho ST615 tires.

Ladd   Posted Monday, Dec 4th 4:19am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 59
1981 320i E10
I'll run 335 30 18's (Hoosier slicks if dry and Toyo A-1's if wet) on 18 X 12" rims.

With the 9" Ford I'm using a Detroit Locker, but I am looking for advice on keeping the axel solid and using a trailing arm or cutting it up and going with A's in the back too. Or (hopefully) something better that I haven't thought of.

BruceH   Posted Monday, Dec 4th 3:12pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 1055
Atlanta, GA USA
81 323 Baur, 85 745
You are out of my area of expertise.

jrcook320   Posted Tuesday, Dec 5th 12:08am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Junior Member
Post nr. 1
Van Wert, OH
'81 320i
If you're asking for suspension advice for your 5.0 powered Celica I'm afraid we won't be much help here.

Even if you were dropping the ford iron in an E21 not too many would be of much help here. We know how to make the E21 suspension handle, not a live ford 9" rear end.

I would take notes from late model stangs or camaro's for decent control arm/live axle setups that can handle well. That would be the easiest route.

You better do your research on you geometry, if your control arms go past horizontal under acceleration you'll have unfavorable traction problems, it will cause the wheels to lift. If the control arm mounting points are designed properly the suspension will plant the wheels rather than lift them off the ground.

redmist   Posted Tuesday, Dec 5th 12:28am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 1014
357i , 325i e30 turbo
If you want to go nuts see dave mcintyre's (sp)
re: bruce "tires in contact with the pavement" LOL!

BruceH   Posted Tuesday, Dec 5th 6:04am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 1056
Atlanta, GA USA
81 323 Baur, 85 745
///re: bruce "tires in contact with the pavement" LOL!///

I am glad that somebady appreciates my humour.


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