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Old 07-17-2003, 08:21 PM   #1
silnv
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Question 240sx, M3, and s2000

Here is a question for those of you who are more experienced that the track.

1998 BMW M3 stock
2000 Honda S2000 stock
1993 Nissan 240sx modified to compete in power range

Ok now the question: All on same track driven by the same driver which one would produce better lap times? I know all cars handle extremely well and they all have diffrent chassis specs. I guess what I am trying to say is which one would you want to drive at the track on a daily basis?
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:40 PM   #2
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Modified to equal power/weight but stock otherwise?

I'll go as far to say the 240SX wouldn't stand a chance. I haven't driven either of the other two cars...so this is speculation, but educated speculation, nonetheless.
Both the M3 and S2000 have independent suspension in front as opposed to McPherson struts on the front of the 240sx...that yields a camber gain advantage. I believe both the M3 and S2000 have standard LSD, whereas the typical 240 has an open diff. The stock suspension stiffness and damping would be better in the other two cars as well. Wheel size is another thing. What is it...6-6.5" for the 240SX, 7-7.5" for the S2000, and 8-9" for the M3...something like that?

The 240SX handles well...for the its pricerange...in some cases, above its pricerange. But with company like that, I think it would need a little help from the aftermarket--better shocks and wider wheels at least--to be competitive.

Between those three cars, I'd love it if my wallet was big enough that I could have a BMW M3 racecar.
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:56 PM   #3
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I guess I should have included suspension and wheelsize into the the mix as well. See this is why I asked for the more experienced to help
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:09 PM   #4
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Macpherson struts aren't the end of the world suspension-wise... the Porsche 924/944/968 uses them up front, and that car is a benchmark for RWD coupe handling.

The advantage that the M3 and the S2000 have is a far less compromised FACTORY setup that's been engineered to the last detail. You could arrive at something just as good with a 240SX with aftermarket tuning, but it's going to take a lot of planning and a lot of trial and error.

At the end of it all, stripped to their bare essentials there's nothing about the 240SX's layout holding it back from a car like the M3 or the 944. The S2000 has a pretty significant center of gravity advantage though, it carries its weight all very low and very close to the center of the car.

The 4cyl BMW E36 cars (except for the very lightweight 318ti) are in a SLOWER autocross class than the 240SX, so it stands to reason to me that the only thing holding the 240SX from matching the M3 is tuning.
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Old 07-18-2003, 09:25 PM   #5
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Aren't M3's macpherson? I know the older 3 series are all struts in the front.
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by DuffMan
Aren't M3's macpherson? I know the older 3 series are all struts in the front.
Yes. http://www.siastuning.com/yellodetails.htm
..and just look at the front struts; camber plates!
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:44 AM   #7
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I thought the new M3 had independent front. Not true?

Your right...McPherson isn't the end of the world, but I think independent is better, especially with alot of body roll due to soft factory suspension. Add stiffer springs and the difference probably wouldn't be that great. Like I said...the 240 just needs a little help from the aftermarket in the suspension/running gear department.
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:50 AM   #8
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Uhhhh... what are you saying?

McPherson struts are independent... left is not connected to right except via the stabilizer bar.

There hasn't been a production CAR with a solid front axle in decades.

The E46 still uses the McPherson strut type independent front suspension.
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:00 PM   #9
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oops!...
by independent, I meant double A-arm
sorry, really bad terminology on my part
<==feels like a

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Old 07-21-2003, 04:44 PM   #10
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what a dope

Throw enough money at any car and it will beat other cars at a certain discipline. Heck, for enough $$$, I could make a sub-10 second Civic drag car.

Two considerations: 1) how will it be for other chores? and 2) what is it worth when you are done with it?

The M3 and the S2000 are proficient at the track and very livable on the streets (to the extent a 2 seater can be livable). By the time you make a 240 that rivals their track prowess, you are running the risk of a very harsh street ride. Reliability is another factor. Turbos are not as reliable as NA - period - and the 240 will need less reliable boost to compete. Engineering is a front loaded process -- re-engineering is much harder.

Second, what amount of money? A late model E36 M3 or an early s2K can be had for $25K or less. By the time you turbo the 240 and drop the necessary money into the suspension, you are talking as much as $15K to compete on the track (not counting the extra expense to make it equally streetable/reliable or the labor you put into it vs. a turn key M3 or s2k). Wait one year and sell any of the three. The M3 and S2K will be worth a fraction less (say 10-15%) while the 240 will take a minimum of a 30% hit. If you drive them all one weekend, you will see no loss in return on the two, but the same 1/3 hit on the 240.

I guess my point is you can throw money at any car and make it more than it was meant to be. And while you can put $10K into a $5K car and compete with a car that costs $25K, at the end of the day you have a less balanced car that is worth 1/2 what you have in it. I always get a good chuckle hearing some guy who took a $15K Civic (for instance), did $7.5K in mods, then brags about killing a Mustang... that's worth about $10K. Heck, put $1.5K into the Moose and it won't lose to a Civic again.

Mark - who reminds you that laptimes have little correlation to the amount of enjoyment you can get from your car.
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Old 07-21-2003, 05:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Mark - who reminds you that laptimes have little correlation to the amount of enjoyment you can get from your car.
Greatest quote ever!

I have a blast in my SR'd 240 all money aside. Total invested $8k (including car) I was killed by a 350Z at VIR and I know for a fact that my instructors M Coupe would have murdered me also. Did it make a difference in how much fun I had....h311 n0! I had a blast. And have been auto-xing in it (still getting killed) and having the greatest time of my life.

Get what you can afford and have the best time possible with it!
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:36 AM   #12
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Having driven my car (http://www.240sx.org/atlanta/brandons_s14.htm)back to back with a buddies E36 with intake and exhaust, i'd have to go with the M3 on this one. if ONLY power were equal I'd have to give the nod to the M3. now make up the difference in prices with stuff for the 240 and yeah its a different story. mines close to his M3 price (he got a deal and I've put some money in) and I'd have to take mine. despite the roominess and oh so nice cockpit of the M. but I hate the window switch location
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:37 AM   #13
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See sig

I'm just pontificating about the other stuff. But if someone can show me what's the difference between:

A front engined rear drive coupe with mcpherson strut front and a multi link rear with a hamburger on the front

and

A front engined rear drive coupe with mcpherson strut front and a multi link rear with a roundel on the front

Then by all means fill me in

If it matters, choice #3 when I was car shopping behind a 240SX or an FC was an E36 318ti...
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by HippoSleek
what a dope



yeah, yeah...

good points...and as always, cool closing line.
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:22 PM   #15
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definetly the BMW M3..... thats the car i would wana drive, the s2000 and the 240 have no chance vs the M3.
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:34 PM   #16
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Actually, the S2000 and E36 M3 are very evenly matched vehicles, though there are certain cases where one or the other ends up quicker. They're often found competing head to head in the same racing classes.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:50 AM   #17
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I've been in or driven all three cars on track, and I'd have to give the win to the S2000. The M3 has good power but too much weight (in stock form) to be a great track car. It's still awesome, but the S2000 feels more suited to the track.

The "power added" 240 would run out of brakes. Also, the stock suspension in the 240 is awful. It would take about 280-300hp to put it up to the level of the S2000 or M3 if all else was equal.
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Old 07-24-2003, 03:20 PM   #18
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I haven't driven a stock 240 in a long time, but from what I remember, it didn't seem "awful". What about the 240SX suspension do you think makes it awful?

Not attacking your statement, just curious.
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Old 07-24-2003, 07:38 PM   #19
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The 240 is sprung very soft for track duty and the anti-sway bars are tiny...especially the rear. With even mildly upgraded suspension, the car really changes though.

The stock bushings (especially in the rear) give the car an impercise, slushy feel that only a full spherical swap or at least urethane bushings will completely cure. I don't know how the car was when the bushings were new (better I'm sure), but my 10 year old rubber bushings were awfully soft.

Also, it doesn't help that almost every set of struts I have replaced on 240's have been blown or pretty close to it. I guess any part that moves a lot and is over 10 years old is going to be pretty worn and sloppy. (no pun intended)
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