Tag Archives: 3 series

How are those Cooper’s Doing?

I have not exactly been the best at updating how my Cooper RS-3 G1’s have held up the past several months. So I thought about it: why have I not written more about them? Tires are a pretty important component of the performance car after all. Then it hit me: It’s because they’ve been so damn good. Seriously, it came to a point where I didn’t know what else to say about them.

Last I checked in, it was winter time, and the G1’s handled the California rain onslaught with ease. Credit to the all-season design. Living in the Sacramento region, we received the gift of well over 30 inches last season. Over THIRTY! Normally, Sacramento gets the south side of twenty, so this past year has been wet to say the least. I didn’t mind, however, as I saw more chances to perform subtle oversteer corrections through corners. Yes, they did disconnect a little on roads with an inch deep of standing water, but besides that special circumstance they were quite amiable. Cruising at 70 MPH in the rain? No problem. Even when I did hit the deeper puddles, the car tracked straight and true right through it.

Then summer came with the heat. I literally do not think I ever got these tires to squeal, that’s how much dry grip they possess. My ZHP would show serious body roll in spirited driving and yet the rubber was dead silent, as if they were saying, “oh come on! Let’s go!” They’re named the G1 as to say that they can carry 1 G of lateral grip. And I believe it; They far outperformed the capabilities of my ZHP’s stock chassis and suspension.

Communication through the wheel was terrific as was steering response. The steering could be a bit busy, wandering a bit on the road sometimes but that’s more down to the fact the odometer rolled over 140,000 miles. They were far less meandering than the aging Sumitomo’s fitted prior. Furthermore though, the Cooper’s were dead quiet at speed and comfortable as heck over bumpy roads. Larger impacts of road reflectors and potholes still could cause a shudder throughout though, but that’s to be expected.

But the best part was the tread wear. Even after about 8,000 miles, the tires looked brand new. Wear was very even throughout as well, being not even close to halfway worn. On a staggered setup like on the ZHP, Cooper guarantees the tread life to 25,000 miles, a number that should be attained with ease. On a square patter, that number rises to an astounding 50,000 miles as long as you rotate tires.

So there you have it: Cooper’s Zeon RS-3 G1. For an everyday tire with some serious performance, and longevity, it’s a world class affair. And it’s an all-season compound too, that’s why it works so good in the inclement weather too. Price is quite competitive too and they’re available now on Tire Rack, so if you’re in the market for some rubber, put these on your shortlist. Well done, Cooper.

My Buddy Found this in an M3’s Oil Pan…

You don’t need to be a Nobel Laureate to know that E46 M3’s have a few issues. Let’s see, there’s Vanos, rod bearings, and cracked subframes to name a few. But when these cars work, oh man are they the bestest. I wrote that last sentence like a twelve-year-old, because that’s what an E46 M3 does to me; They make me feel like a kid again. I get all giddy inside and all I want to do is put my hands all over it and go fast. It’s one of the car fountains of youth. I’ll own one someday.

It was yesterday, however, when my friend on the other side of the country set about to take up a mountainous task: Changing an E46 M3’s rod bearings. It’s not his own car, but a friend’s. He used his own as a guinea pig to rather good success, as so he told. And now he’s applying his talents to another specimen. Hope he’s getting somewhat compensated for his journey to Mordor…But, this article isn’t about rod bearings though.

So I’m at work when he sends me the photo above. The caption? “This was in Harper’s oil pan…” Yikes. Doing the rod bearings does require dropping the oil pan. Normally, you should only have oil in there, not metal parts. These look like 9mm bullet casings though. What could they be from?  My friend has pointed to the Vanos system for fault. The car in question was bought with the prior owner stating that the Vanos had been replaced. Why was it replaced? Likely because it exploded, made obvious by the loose gaggle of parts. But, they didn’t fish out the parts that grenaded, just put new in. What are those metal pieces exactly? Could be a roller bearing in the oil pump or drive disc.

Either way, the amazing thing is that the car is fine. Who knows how long this debris has been in the pan. A win on BMW’s part for putting a shield in the pan to prevent the oil pump from sucking it up and distributing throughout the engine. That would’ve made things go bang.

I’m not saying everyone should drop their oil pans just to see if they have metal bits in there. Or you could drop your oil pan and find a gold Rolex. But maybe use it as a buying lesson. The prior owner DIY’d the Vanos, so when buying an E46 M3, make sure you really trust them as a mechanic. If the owner says he did “everything himself” but acts like a clown school dropout, maybe it’s best to walk away. The M3 in question though, it’s not giving up that easily!

The First Ever BMW M4 CS

BMW announced today at the 2017 Auto Shanghai the first ever BMW M4 CS, an exclusive special-edition model produced by BMW M GmbH. The BMW M4 CS lines-up between the BMW M4 Coupe with Competition Package and the uncompromisingly track-focused BMW M4 GTS. The 3.0-liter high-performance engine raises the output of the BMW M4 Coupe by 29 horsepower, to 454 hp. The state-of-the-art M TwinPower Turbo technology allows the BMW M4 CS to dip below the four-second mark for the 0 to 60 mph sprint, stopping the clock at 3.8 seconds (preliminary) while the standard M Driver’s Package raises the electronically limited top speed to 174 mph. With its two mono-scroll turbochargers, charge air cooler, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS fully variable camshaft timing, the inline 6-cylinder engine aims at higher echelons of performance and efficiency. More aggressively styled, the first ever BMW M4 CS continues the decades-long tradition of successful M special editions, which began in 1988 with the E30 BMW M3 Evolution. The first ever BMW M4 CS will be built at the BMW plant in Munich and will be available at U.S. dealerships in 2018 with pricing announced closer to market launch.

Continue reading The First Ever BMW M4 CS