SSR Competition Wheels with Kumho V700 Tires

Subject: SSR Competition 17″ x 8.5″ Wheels
Kumho Victoracers V700 225/45-ZR17 Tires
Cost: $ 2,118
Good: Sticky, Light Weight, Good Cost vs. Performance Ratio
Bad: Dedicated for racing – off goes the stock system and on goes the racing system and repeat. Plus, I need to put on a “GASP” trailer hitch and pull a trailer with my Z!!!!
Installer: Mounted, Balanced & Heat Cycled by The Tire Rack. Mounted on car by yours truly

When I started autocrossing my car, I used stock 16″ tires & wheels, even though I race in the ASP class in North Carolina & Virginia, which allows for larger & wider systems. I found myself a consistent 2 seconds back from the winner. So I promised myself that I would go to the next step to start winning some races if not close the gap, by purchasing a tire/wheel set for autocrossing.

After viewing past posts on the message board and the Tire Rack Q&A section. I made a list of things that I expect from this investment.

1. Best Cost vs. Performance ratio for the tires & wheels

2. Best Lightest weight vs. Strength ratio for the wheel

3. Capable to rotate tires from front to back to maximize usage

Wheels: The list of wheels I looked at was BBS RK & RX, SSR Integrals, Forge Lines, IFG, and various other lightweight track wheel manufacturers. I wanted my wheels to be spoked, so that the maximum amount of air can cool the brakes and make it easy for me to clean the wheels. I came close to purchasing either the SSR Integrals or the BBS RKs. But this past Christmas, I saw those new SSR Competitions and saw the estimated weights and costs and I was sold on them. After calling Aaron of The Tire Rack (www.tirerack.com), we determined that the 17 x 8.5″ wheels would work for me. I want the wheels to be the same size all the way around so that I could rotate my system from front to back. Aaron informed me that he weighed one of the wheels and it came in at 15.1 pounds. Now I could not verify his weight, because, I had Aaron mount and balance my system before shipment. The cost of the wheels was: $ 365/ea

Tires: The list of tires were of-course Hoosiers, BF Goodrich, & Kumhos. Since the Kumhos were the least expensive tires and the “new-kid-on-the-block” for track tires, I searched the website for people that has experience with these tires & The Tire Rack has an article on how to use the V700. I found that they were satisfied with the purchase and any down falls were minimal. This was good news for me, because of the Kumho’s low cost versus the other brands’ high costs. I originally wanted 235/40-ZR17, but after looking at the Tire Rack’s ad and talking with Aaron, I had to be satisfied with 225/45-ZR17 tires. Kumho does not offer a 235 in the V700s, only 225 & 245. I also had The Tire Rack heat cycle the tires, so that they will be ready for racing. For those persons who do not know what heat cycling is, The Tire Rack has a good explaination. The cost of the tires was: $ 130/ea, The cost to heat cycle them: $ 15/ea.

When the system arrived it was nicely packaged so that the wheels would not be damaged during shipment.

The wheels also included mounting bolts that works with the SSRs and a center hub adaptor to make the wheel hub centric. Now I would rather wished that SSR made the wheels dedicated to the BMW, but that is only wishful thinking. I do love the look of those center adaptors. They are made of aluminum and anodized black with the “Mille Miglia” logo printed on the surface.

Conclusion: I did a brief drive around my neighborhood. Of course I could not do any speed trials or see how she corners. I did not feel like using up my tires before I could race them. But, I can say this, that I could tell the difference in stiffness and stickiness of the rubber – – WOW! All due to the larger rim diameter, thicker sidewalls & slower durometer of the tires. I will give an update later during the racing season after I have a couple races under my belt with these new tires and wheels. Plus, I might bring home a trophy =:o

Update: I recently talked to my friend who autocrosses a Mustang 5.0L in the ESP class and he told me I could use the 245 on an 8.5″ wheel with no problems, because he does. I guess I know what tire size I will be purchasing next.

2.8 SuperTrapp Exhaust

Subject: Muffler system upgrade for a 2000 2.8 Z3 Roadster
Cost: $150 for the exhaust plus installation (approx $75), I just checked the website and the price increased to $160.
Good: Customizable sound & performance, low cost AND lightweight
Bad: Non-that I am aware of at this time.

Why do this: As the immortal Tim Allen said “MORE POWER”. One of the first things I did to get more power out of my 2.8 was to Fogg the cold air intake (CAI). Even though Shawn never did a 2000 2.8, I took his ideas and suggestions from both his instruction on the 1.9 and from communications with the immortal himself and I was able to modify my CAI to work similar to his.

Of course this was not enough. So the hunt was on for a more affordable power upgrades. So I started looking into exhaust system replacements. I looked at every type possible, even asking about replacing the exhaust manifold and/or catalytic converter, not without screwing up my emissions & computer. So I concentrated my search to muffler replacement only. I looked at Bola, Dinan, Supersprint, etc. I searched for all types of information (horsepower increase, cost, material type, etc.) that would help me decide what muffler to purchase. I read all the articles from the MZ3 website on exhaust/muffler systems.

To my surprise, I found that all the stainless steel mufflers’ costs were in excess of $300 to $600!!!! Not including installation. Plus I was not convinced that the performance versus cost ratio was worth the money spent. I then remembered about the SuperTrapp system. They were primary an aftermarket motorcycle muffler. But, I saw them on cars in the past, about the late 70s. Plus I knew that they made systems that were stainless steel and lightweight. So the hunt was on.

First: I found their limited website http://www.supertrapp.com/default/atv_splash.htm not a great site to see what was available. But it did explain on how their system works.

Second: I found a supplier (there were not many in my area): http://www.racesearch.com, Part number: 543-2519, http://www.racesearch.com/CGI/mhp?mode=sbpn&pn=543-2519

Third: I found the one I wanted Stainless steel 5″, now granted if you called SuperTrapp & view the Z3 Coupe message board, they recommend that I use a 4″ system for horsepower up to 250 Hp. The 5″ system is rated up to 400 Hp. The reasons for the 5″ is simple with the wider inner diameter, the exhaust gasses would flow easier, less noisy and the 5″ outer diameter fills the factory muffler exhaust cutout nicer.

Arrow points to the location where the stock exhaust tube was cutWhen I had my muffler installed I had the installer hack off the original muffler and it’s supply piping back to the rear axle. If you look at the picture, you will see that the bend to the muffler has been reduced. He then made some custom hangers to hang the muffler at the stock points. Due to the heat generated from the exhaust gasses and the many discussions on the message board on melted bumper fascias due to the muffler. I instructed the installer to have the muffler hang a little lower and poke out more than normal. Giving it less of a chance of the muffler from melting the bumper fascia.

What is with the metal disks and cover???? The SuperTrapp muffler is basically a “glass pack”, where you have an inner tube that has holes and an outer tube that has insulation between the two tubes. Since there is no bends or baffles within the muffler, the gasses are unrestricted to flow toward the end of the pipe. Now the glass pack system has been around for a long time, if you had a hotrod or muscle car, you will know what I mean. Now for the metal disks and cover. The disks that you see on the side of the muffler are really spacers that have been stamped to allow the exhaust gasses to pass between two spacers. The metal cap is to help tune the performance of the muffler and car. Now the easiest way to explain this is to imagine that you have a large bucket with some holes in it. Now fill the bucket up with water, you will see that the water takes a long time to empty out. Now add more holes to the bucket and add water, you will now see that the water will empty out quicker than before. So the more holes you add the faster the water exits. Now there is more to the SuperTrapp system, which deals with vanturies that help pull the exhaust gases from the car. View the SuperTrapp website for more information.

Basically this is how this works with the car: The less spacers you install on the muffler, will produce more backpressure on to the system. Thus, increasing your torque, decreasing overall horsepower and a more quiet sound. With (6) spacers, the noise was a similar to my stock system. The more spacers you install on the muffler, it will reduce backpressure. Thus, decreasing your torque, increasing overall horsepower and a more robust sound. I ran both (12), (18) & (24-max) spacers. I normally run (24) spacers as a daily driver. Which is has a nice growl during idle and a cool roar during hard acceleration plus, I have had no complaints from my neighbors. I did try the system with NO spacers and it was too loud for normal driving.

I have raced my new exhaust with only (12) and no spacers, only to find that no spacers worked best. I will try my (24) spacer setup to see how it fares. Since the installation, I have not conducted a horsepower comparison, my fault. It will be hard to see if my new muffler has done anything, because I have done a ton of things to get this car quicker than stock. Check out my website for details: http://www.z3power.net

Summery: I am happy with the purchase of this muffler and I would do it again. In addition, if I did not have any performance gains in torque or horsepower, I have reduced the overall weight of the car. Which is always a good thing for our heavy cars.

The FOGG/FONG’ed 2.8 Cold Air Intake

Pros: Increased performance, low cost, keeps stock air filter
Cons: Do not screw up cutting the plastic cover for the headlamp
Cost: $30 and 2 to 3 hours of your time

First I want to thank Shawn Fogg for the original idea to supply cold air to the intake, WITHOUT spending up to $500, and labor. His instruction and basic concept to modify the air intake helped me to modify the 2.8’s airbox & intake delivery system.

* Tools needed: 10-mm open/boxed end wrench.

* Metal File

* 8-mm ¼-inch socket wrench.

* 6″ long ¼-inch socket extension.

* Flat head screw driver-med.

* Philip head screw driver-med.

* Dremel & cutting wheel OR a keyhole saw.

* Magic marker.

* Hot glue gun with heavy-duty glue sticks.

* Hair dryer

* Things to Buy: Go to the nearest Home Depot or the like and in the ventilation section get an aluminum 5″ to 4″ duct adapter. This is a tubular piece to allow a 5″ hose to plug into a 4″ hose.

* Buy a 4-inch aluminum flexible duct tube. This will be the new air supply tube.

* Buy a 5-inch stainless steel hose clamp.

* Hot glue gun and heavy-duty glue sticks, if you do not have any.

** NOTE THAT ANY DIRECTIONS I MENTION IS IN BODY POSITION **

PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS. You will notice that the pictures show the completed product and not before modification.

1. Basic design of the 2.8 (00) airbox and air supply route: The stock unit’s air supply comes from the driver side of the radiator. It funnels through a 3.5 X 4.5-inch triangular opening.

2. That opening then feeds into a semi-enclosed space that surrounds the rear of the headlamp assembly and wire harness.

3. From there, the air funnels once more through a 3-inch tube that goes into the airbox.

4. The air passes through the filter then into another funnel (3-inches diameter) that leads to the air-mass sensor.

1. Making the Intake: First thing you need to do is to make the 4″ inlet out of the adapter you bought at Home Depot.

2. To do this on the expansion funnel (between the 4″ and 5″ tubes) you need to drill out the two rivets. This lets you separate the adapter into 3 pieces, the 4″ tube, the expansion funnel and the 5″ tube.

3. We only need the 4″ tube with the ‘rib’ on the side that was connected to the expansion funnel which opened up to the 5″ piece.

4. Using the hack saw, take the 4×36″ diameter tube and cut it down to 6 to 8-inches. Make sure that the tube IS NOT EXPANDED when you are measuring and cutting. This will become your inlet into the airbox.

5. Now dry fit the adapter and tube together. It will be a very tight fit. You might need to cut a 2″ slice, either on the tube or adapter, to make the tube slide onto the adapter correctly.

6. Once you are satisfied with the fit, take apart the tube and adapter and place it aside for later

1. Removing the 2.8 (00) airbox from the engine compartment: Remove the stock paper filter and holder from the airbox.

2. Use the flat head screwdriver to unfasten the (2) snap clips that holds the rubber hose & air mass sensor. Slide off the hose from the airbox. When removing the unit, there will be a rubber O-ring between the airbox & runner hose. Its purpose is to maintain a good seal between the plastic & rubber.

Tech Tip: When reinstalling the O-ring, install the O-ring, then wet your CLEAN finger and run it along the inside diameter of the O-ring. This will allow you to slide the rubber hose together with the plastic airbox when you are ready to reassemble the components.

3. Snap off the overfill hose from the radiator. It is located on top to the passenger side of the airbox.

4. To unbolt the airbox, you only need to unbolt (1) 10-mm nut, located on the driver side, plus the rubber hose to the engine. You do not need to undo the nut all the way.

5. Now this will take some fannagling, the small overfill hose to the radiator will be in the way during the removal of the airbox. To remove the airbox, you will need to pull & stretch the tubing around the airbox, as you are pulling the air box out of the engine compartment. The easiest way I was able to remove the air box is by stretching the tubing towards the passenger side of the airbox.

6. Once the airbox is out, you will want to clean out all the little bugs, dust and rocks the filter has trapped. It is also a good time to replace the filter – – mine had almost 18,000 miles.

1. Removing & modifying the air restrictions within the airbox for the 2.8 (00) When looking inside the airbox, you will see a plastic funnel that is attached to the driver side of the airbox. The funnel can be unattached by unscrewing the Phillips head screw on the outside wall of the airbox. The funnel can be pulled straight out of the airbox.

2. Now is time to put on your SAFETY GLASSES. You will be cutting the funnel in half. Starting at the widest portion of the funnel, (the side that empties into the airbox).

* Take the hacksaw and saw from the widest portion of the funnel towards the inlet of the funnel.

Tech Tip: There is a line that you can see that is called a parting line. The term is used for injection molded components. You can use the parting line as a guide.

* Now stop short of cutting into the ribbed area.

* Take the hacksaw and start cutting on the side that DOES NOT have the screw boss that attaches the funnel to the airbox. (You need to be able to remount this in the airbox).

* Use a file to smooth the edges. Then use a damp cloth to clean the surface. Once that is done, you may reinstall the modified funnel. Do not forget to use the screw to hold it back in place.

1. Removing the 2.8 (00) headlamp and fog lamp assemblies First, we will remove the fog lights (the easier of the two).

2. Using a medium sized flat head screw driver, remove the plastic cover that is towards the passenger side of the fog lamp.

3. You will see (2) 8-mm hex head bolts that hold the lamp in place. Remove them.

4. To remove the lamp assembly, just pivot the lamp from the passenger side edge and pull towards you (front of the car).

5. To remove the wiring, it is located behind the lamp. There are (2) pressure clips on either side of the wire harness. You might need to employ someone with small hands (your wife, girlfriend, your young son or me… LOL) to be able to reach behind the lamp and squeeze the clips together.

6. Once the wire harness has been released, remove the fog lamp and place in a safe spot.

7. Second is the headlamp assembly.

8. Located behind the lamp and in front of the airbox location. You will see a plastic housing that has the wiring for the headlamp going into through rubber grommets.

9. Those grommets are on plastic doors, that are removable from the plastic housing.

10. You will need to reach inside the housing to twist and remove the individual light bulbs from the headlamp.

Tech Tip: Do not touch the surfaces of the bulbs with your fingers (the oils from the skin will help DECREASE the life of the bulb).

11. Now is the fun part of unscrewing the headlamp from the car.

12. There are (4) 8-mm hex head bolts. You will need to use the 6-inch extension arm with the 8-mm socket.

Tech Tip: Use a magnet to magnetize your sockets. This will help you REMOVE and not loose the screws down within the car body.

* (2) are easy to see – they are located on top portion of the headlamp.

* (1) is on the passenger side, accessible through a steel hole.

* (1) is on the driver side accessible through a steel hole.

13. Once all the screw bolts are free, remove the headlamp and place in a safe location.

1. New Air Supply Tube You will notice once you have removed the headlamp, you will notice on the bottom portion of the plastic headlamp housing, there is a 2 ½-inch hole that appears to be plugged. How ever, you will be able to remove that plug by pressing in the (3) plastic clips towards the center of the hole. It will just fall down towards the fog lamp.

2. Now you get to cut things up. You will now follow the instructions of Shawn Fogg (with the necessary modifications to make it work for the 2.8 (MY00) Z3.

* When I cut my new air supply hole, I did not remove the plastic cover from the car. I believe that it is possible to remove it, but it would be a problem to remove and reinstall. BMW used a something similar to a drywall expander nail system. It is easy to remove the nail, but not too easy to remove the expander part that is in the wall. To remove either part, you would need to use flat head screw driver and needle nose pliers. You would have a greater chance of scratching the paint, during the removal of the units. That is why I left the plastic cover in.

* Now comes the fun part, you need to cut a 4″ hole where the stock hole is. Put the 4″ side of the inlet over the hole and draw a new circle on it with the marker. Do not center the new hole over the old one. You want the new hole to be as far to the passenger side of the box as you can make it. There is limited real estate to enlarge the hole. In addition, the surface of the area is not flat.

Tech Tip: INITIALLY CUT THE HOLE SMALL AND WORK YOUR WAY TO THE CORRECT SIZE. YOU ONLY GET TO CUT THE PLASTIC ONCE!

* If you have kept the plastic cover installed, I HIGHLY SUGGEST covering any exposed areas that hot plastic bits might fly to.

* Now PUT ON YOUR EYE PROTECTION!!!!! – Using whatever method you decided on, cut out that 4″ circle. This is the most time consuming part of the project. If you use a Dremel, you will experience hot, nearly liquid plastic flying around, so be careful!

* When I cut my hole, I had to make sure I had some land area to allow the new air supply funnel to be mounted on a semi-flat surface. This way it would be easy to apply the hot glue.

3. After you cut the hole, test fit the inlet into it. The inlet should fit through the hole but stop at the ‘rib’ on the inlet. For the test, it is easier if you just put the 4″ side through the top of the plastic cover. If you cannot get it to fit use the Dremel’s grinding wheel or a file to smooth and enlarge the hole. The fit needs to be tight as possible, WITHOUT distorting the inlet.

4. After you are satisfied with the fit, you may dry fit the aluminum tubing. This way you can determine if you need to resize the length of the tube.

5. Now is the time to clean the inside of the box.

6. Scrub out the inside of the air box with a brillo pad or something similar to remove all the plastic bits that got thrown around when you cut the hole.

7. Also, use a damp cloth to wipe down & remove any particles remaining.

8. After you get it all cleaned out, dry it.

9. Now put the inlet into the airbox for real.

10. Attach the aluminum tubing to the 4-inch adapter. Keep the aluminum tube UNSTRECHED and UNBENT. Do not attach the hose clamp at this time.

11. You will install the assembly from the TOP of the plastic cover (over the fog lamp). The side with the rib goes inside of the box with the 4″ tube & aluminum tube will be pointing down towards the fog lamp. The rib will keep the inlet from pulling through the box if you cut the hole properly.

12. Now slide the hose clamp from the bottom of the aluminum tube and tighten. Make sure to have it snug up against the bottom of the plastic cover. Do not overtighten the hose clamp as you could deform the inlet.

13. Now the top of the plastic cover, you will be applying hot glue between the rib and the floor of the plastic cover.

14. A slight air leak here isn’t critical, as it’s still before the air filter, but do the best you can. Do NOT use silicone glue as it could cause problems with your O2 sensors.

15. Let the glue cure for a hour, good time for a beer break – – if you are of legal age =:o

16. After the glue has cured, you will now need to stretch and bend the aluminum tube down and towards the front of the fog lamp assembly.

17. You will notice that my aluminum tube is bent slightly towards the plastic cover for the fog lamp. I am leaving that cover off to have a semi-ram-air effect to the air box. However, as Shawn said in his discoveries, he did not notice any difference when he place a scoop below the fog lamp. In addition, there was enough air movement going around the complete fog lamp to allow plenty of cold air to enter the tube.

18. The use of aluminum helps keep the tube in position and is easy to relocate, if you are not satisfied of its current placement.

19. You will need to use the fog lamp to determine good placement.

20. Once you are satisfied, reinstall everything like before.

21. One thing that I did before I drove my car with the modifications, was to disconnect the power from the battery for at least 24 hours. During the workweek is the best time.

22. Please note that I have NO modified computer chip. Therefore, I expect better results with persons who have the modified chip

* After thoughts: I did notice an increase of torque using my butt-seat-sensor. I sold my old G-tech unit, so I cannot verify any decrease of 0-60 times.

* The sound is deeper than stock.

* I still have the stock exhaust. I am looking at a Supersprint unit.

* I do not have a modified computer chip. I am debating between a Land Shark or a Dinan chip.

* Some people might be thinking why not just, run the new air supply from the fog lamp area to the air box directly. After talking with Shawn about Hydro-lock, I felt that connecting the tube all the way might up the possibility of it actually happening. Having the tube not connected will almost eliminate that chance.