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Season 2 – EP 7

Randy heads to the states for another round of Street Outlaws (No Prep Kinds) and tells us about the wild cars and world of 1/8th mile drag racing. See if you can count how many times David’s jaw drops in pure astonishment. Speaking of David; Peaches (his C5 from the last episode) was finally taken to the track. As fun and fast as that was, it came with it’s own host of problems to sort out as well.

Yet another trend hits the phones this week, be it instagram, tik tok or youtube shorts there is no shortage of short clips for you to oogle over. See what I did there about the short thing? It’s true though, we digest content at 2 – 60 seconds at a time and being a car enthusiast means your scrolling thumb gets just as sore as a single twenty something male on tinder.

It’s not to say that longer format content is dead. All it takes is a quick trip to the online world to see Larry Chen, Petrolicious, Hoonigan, Donut media or any number of great content producers. Including ourselves here as 11Tenths and Milk4coffee (just search youtube). But the majority of content we see is quick and breezy. First it was countless images of our favorite cars on instagram. “Oh, I like that build” or “I like that look and I want to replicate that” turned into a follow. Then we got hit with stories and it quickly became a measure in tagging your friends to show their car booty or a throwback on a Thursday.

Now it’s spiraled in a mass of quick flipping images timed just so perfect to music. Or a trend of cars spitting flame or recording the lumpiest of idles. Sometimes it’s a crazy pass or a Porsche hitting the curbing just perfectly at the apex. What we’ve done here is come to a world where we judge cars in less time than it takes most cars to reach 60 miles per hour! We don’t like the colour, swipe. We don’t like the model, swipe. We don’t like the tacky stripes, swipe. We are taking for granted the sheer amount of different cars we ingest while cracking the porcelain throne!

Why does that matter? Simply because it is becoming more difficult to maintain a proper outlook on your own progress. I’ve found myself weighed down by too many options and not enough time or funds. Seeing what I want my ride to be and not being able to just click and add to the shopping cart. Getting bogged down that the time frame to do something right is just not soon enough. It can actually get quite depressing, when the whole point of this hobby is to be challenging and exciting.

Money is the main thing that finishes an elite level build. Even if you’ve got the talent and elbow grease to make an amazing car you still need the ability to spend time on it and there is nothing more expensive than time invested. Just ask a proper paint shop.

So how can you expect to stack up to every single build you swipe through? I’m here to tell you to take a minute and enjoy where you are at right now. If it’s your first car or your first race car. Your daily driver or your pristine show queen. Appreciate the fact that at the current moment you are at a place of change. Change is the most consistent expectation as an automotive enthusiast. As the snow melts and you wash your car, you’ll find a new rust spot. It’s possible that you’re even still waiting on parts thanks to the supply chain issues in the market. If you’re lucky you might just be completing that first golden oil change before you set out to your first track day of 2022 somewhere warm.

No matter how you digest or produce your content don’t forget to take a moment and enjoy the journey because a flash in the pan under thumb moment isn’t everything. Especially when there is a potential unrealistic bar your mind is setting for itself. It’s about getting to that point and where you’re going next. Dirt, tarmac, track, street or show carpet. Focus on the next dollar, the next bolt, the next tire, the next wax, the next show, the next apex….see you out there ‘on the line’.

 

Written By:
David Balazic
@milk4coffee

The best time to modify your vehicle is the minute you decide to do it. This allows you to get the most value for the modifications throughout the lifetime that you own said vehicle. Some may be concerned with the chance that warranty is voided with certain modifications, so keep that in mind with the type of upgrades you plan to do. Cosmetic changes such as wheels, aero, window-film etc.. are generally warranty-safe and can add some new ‘spice’ to an older vehicle you may be getting bored with. 

Today’s modern turbocharged engines take very well to an ECU flash/tune which will dramatically increase the power and torque. Engine upgrades are most likely to void your warranty and cause serious grief should you incur major issues down the road. If you’re past the warranty period, then a flash tune, intake system and exhaust are common and value-packed upgrades to dramatic improve the sound and feel in today’s modern car.

Generally, if you have plans to sell the car in the near future, I wouldn’t recommend spending any money on modifications, as they rarely increase the resale value of your car. Some modifications can be carried over to another vehicle, if you stay within the same brand and platform type (wheels, intake etc).

It’s also recommended that you modify a car that does not require any maintenance, so make sure everything is in perfect working order before spending money on (arguably) non-essential parts.

 

Written by:
Randy S.

If the last round of lockdowns didn’t convince you; then maybe checking the long term forecast will change your mind. Snow is here, among many of the reasons to stay inside. In case you haven’t watched the 1st Episode of this season’s podcast let me remind you Ontario people: pulling your handbrake in the snow now definitely counts as reckless driving! Maybe it did before, but surely any type of parking lot or drifty drift in the white stuff is not worth the risk of impounding your car and losing your licence. So what’s the alternative to all this doom and gloom?

Simple, simulator racing. For the third season running I’ve been hosting my own Milk4coffee Sim ‘Beer League’ of sorts. Why do I simplify its description as a beer league? Because it is simple, easy and cheap. Oh and a lot of participants choose to race inebriated in one way or another. Which I remind you is completely legal! Unlike in real life. In case you couldn’t tell, the goal is fun. This essence is the goal of every single simulator out there, no matter how serious they take themselves.

On the level of professional to arcade-y the order of “games” goes something like this:

(1)  ARCADISHSIMULATORISH (10)

(1) Forza Horizon (2) Forza Motorsport (3) Formula 1 

(4) Gran Turismo (5) Project Cars 

(9) Assetto Corsa (10) iRacing

The last two there are interchangeable and arguable, there are also many other racing titles. But this is your most basic summary of the most popular titles out there. The difference is that an arcade style game is more easy to play and a little less realistic in it’s driving dynamics to achieve a more fun play style and atmosphere. Where the simulator is meant to be as close to the real thing as possible. Your understanding of a simulator being never as good as the real thing is a must. Get over yourself, it never will be “real”.

Enter the money game. The more realistic you want it to be, you are most likely going to end up paying more money. As with anything in life you get what you pay for. Better pedal and wheel setups versus better consoles or computers. It’s all relative. So be prepared for that. 

Next we need to talk about competition. The range of skill is just like anything else. Some people can’t swing a hammer. Others can barely hit a nail. Others wield a hammer like Thor. So keep in mind there’s lots to learn and don’t get frustrated if you’re not the best out there right off the mark. The learning curve is just like a track day, continual! There’s always room for improvement. Once you go racing in online multiplayer there is literally a whole world of people to race with and against! I’m going to take a moment and thank the nearly 20 different people who joined my league this year because we’re only a few races in and it’s already been an absolute blast. It truly is arguable that just hopping online with your friends is better than popping down to tims and standing around in the cold drinking coffee and staring at cars. Simply because it’s the same comradery but with some playful competition. I’m sure every single person would agree.

Let’s talk shop. HOW MUCH $$$?  As a baseline I’m going to use my “beer league” as an example. We play Forza 7, a game which is now a few years old and costs <$40 to play in most cases. You can play on PC or an Xbox One X, all things that are more easy to come by because they are not the latest generation. Plus you can race with a controller or a wheel. So that’s wide open. But let’s get back to the costs. Setting yourself up on a used seat and used Logitech G27 wheel which is also a couple years old will be in and around the $500 dollar mark altogether. So if you get everything used including the game, you’re looking at $500 – $800 for the console, seat, pedals and wheel to get you going. Anything less than that and you’ve got a bargain or something that might just be made with 2x4s and wood screws (yes it’s out there). The price goes up from there. The skynet, I mean metaverse, I mean sky….is the limit.

Now here’s the main thing. For that relatively marginal amount of money you can drive any car in the world on almost any track in the world, with almost anyone in the world. For that, you have to admit it’s a pretty good deal. Not a bad way to travel the world and brush up on some apex basics locked in the comfort of your own home.

 

Yours,

David Balazic

@milk4coffee 

What do you get someone that seems to have really picky taste in car-related items? Well, here are some ideas that you can rest assured they’ll appreciate! All of these items are available at 11Tenths Racecraft, call first for availability!

1. Floating BMW Wheel Center Caps – $125.00+hst

    • This new style BMW center cap uses an internal counter-weight to balance itself and always remain upright even as the wheel spins. It remains “fixed” in place with the “BMW” at the top instead of spinning with the wheel. The emblem cannot be perfectly upright all the time and will shift around a bit but will settle into a steady position. Different sizes offered (depending on wheel style) – call for details.

2. V900 HD 2-ch Dashcam – $298.99+hst

    • Stay protected this winter with the Lukas V900 dual channel (front & rear cameras) HD dashcam offering 1920×1080@30fps resolution, auto night vision, 3.5” LCD touchscreen, dual-band GPS, 16GB Micros SD card included with low voltage cutoff and voice guide functions. Compact size allows stealthy installation and G-sensors will automatically bookmark any events it senses.

3. BMW Golf Sport Umbrella – $66.50+hst

    • Let’s face it, when it’s raining hard enough that you need an umbrella… why settle for the “compact” novelty ones when what you really need is to keep more than your upper-body dry with the larger surface area of a 130cm Golf Sport umbrella. Designed with wind channels to prevent it from flipping inside-out during high gusts this Golf Sport tool will get the job done right.

4. Element50 Fire Extinguisher – $109.95+hst

    • You never know when you’ll need an extinguisher until it’s too late. Element’s E50 model offers 50 seconds of fire fighting protection, recommended for professional use in automotive, power sports, garage, marine, etc. E50’s extremely small and lightweight construction allow for storage almost anywhere and able to extinguish all fire types (A, B, C K), doesn’t expire and no residue on discharge. Internationally tested and certified.

5. LED Door Projectors – $170.00+hst

    • You’re guaranteed to get a conversation started with your passengers the first time they lay their eyes on your BMW Puddle-light replacements. These direct-replacement LED lights project either the BMW Roundel, ///M Logo, or BMW word mark or X Drive logo on the ground when the door is opened.  Installation is a breeze, easy as replacing a bulb.

6. XS PowerBank PB-13.0 – $249.99+hst

    • Nothing is worse than finding out your car battery doesn’t have enough juice to start on that cold winter morning. The XS Power PB-13.0 is a 13,000mAh Powersports PowerBANK, the perfect way to take power on the go being lightweight, portable, and have enough juice to jump start a car numerous times. Store it easily in your glovebox or door pocket and rest assured you won’t be needing CAA for a boost.

7. M-Performance Stainless Pedal Set – $220.00+hst

    • The BMW M Performance Stainless Steel Pedal Covers match the new design of the M footrest make a striking addition to the footwell. The asymmetric, three-dimensional design of the rubber sections gives the footwell a truly dynamic feel. The pronounced rubber profiles of the brake and clutch pedals offer good grip and protect against slipping. Fits Manual and DCT transmissions only.

Written by: Randy Sparre

We’re back! Season 2 of the 11Tenths Podcast is on the way. In this episode we lightly review the 2021 season and how our hobby and passion wavered through a new ‘pandemic’ influence. Some things were the same, a lot were different. From driving school changes to takeovers and new reckless driving laws in Ontario. It’s been interesting in and out ‘lockdown’. Randy get’s excited for SEMA 2021 while we also introduce Brad Crane with his 1999 Honda Civic Type R Spoon clone.

Historically speaking, if you wanted to extract power out of a BMW, you’d have to be prepared to loosen the purse strings, a lot.

While this is inherently engine dependent, this tends to be true of most BMWs prior to 2007. Using the E46 M3 as a basis, a tune could cost you anywhere from $800 to well over $1,000; each yielding marginal gains in the range of 10 hp or so. Looking for more noticeable power gains? Well, that comes at a substantial premium. Headers could give you an additional boost of ~20hp, but range from $500 for Ebay headers to the holy grail being Supersprint stepped headers. But these could hit your wallet for close to $4,000 landed at your front door. Install is roughly 7+ hours, so budget another $1,000 to get them fitted. Still feeling the urge to splurge? A BMW Motorsport intake, based on the limited production CSL variant of the E46 M3, could be had for close to another $4,000 landed; and these could net you another 15-20hp. Very quickly, you can burn through $10,000 just to get 40-50 more hp over the factory 333hp.

If going the naturally aspirated route doesn’t satiate your appetite, forced induction is always a choice. But going that route starts at $10,000 and can quickly rack up. I’ve seen some options that come with a price tag of $50,000!

Then in 2007, all of this changed with the introduction of the BMW 335i. Known in enthusiast circles as the modern 2JZ (the motor that came in the MK4 Supra), the N54 motor equipped in this car came turbocharged from the factory and was a tuner’s heaven. A quick ECU tune could yield you an extra 100hp without any supporting mods. Quickly swapping out a few factory parts with aftermarket go fast bits could help boost this number even further. Common bolt-ons such as an upgraded intake, downpipes, charge pipe, upgraded intercooler and even methanol injection could yield you an additional ~200hp on top of the stock 300hp. The best part of it all is that it can be had for $5-6,000. Of course it’s wise to ensure the car is reliable first, taking care of any worn items and maintenance. But then again that’s true of any car.

As time went on, BMW continued to develop a variety of turbo-charged engines and applications. The N54 was succeeded by the N55, which too has been replaced by the current B58 motor. If you’re in the market for a BMW that you can quickly get a lot of power out of, then do your wallet a favour and start off by looking for a platform featuring one of these 3 engines.

 

Written by:
Kaizer P

Looking to get into your first BMW that is sporty, fun to drive and reliable? We compiled the perfect list for you. The smaller 3-Series is definitely spotted more with young car buyers as it is ‘reliable, comfortable, attractive, fun to drive, economical, practical and most of all, it’s safe!’ – AutoTrader

  1. E46 BMW 3 Series (1999-2005)

     The E46 3-Series is one of the top selling models made. Many consider the E46 to be one of the best-handling BMW’s balancing both 50/50 weight distribution and frugal size & heft. It’s analog enough to be engaging and simple to repair, yet modern enough to encompass all the latest safety equipment.

  2. E9x BMW 328i (2007-2011)

    This vehicle can be called BMW’s most reliable modern car using their last version of a naturally aspirated (non-turbo) inline-6 powerplant (N52), a staple in BMW’s lineup since the 1970’s. This model can often be described with just two words – Analog Glory. Drivers experience the rawness and directness of a true sports sedan.

  3. BMW 1 Series Coupe (2008-2013)

    This car is in the higher price range for first-time BMW/car buyers. It is a fun sporty car to own and drive. The most popular in its series is the 128i with its tried & tested reliable N52 from the larger sibling 328i. If your thirst for speed is real, opt for the turbo charged version 135i making a lofty 300hp/300ft lb from BMW’s smallest package.

  4. BMW i3 Electric (2014+)

    BMW spent a small fortune in the design & production of their full carbon bodied i3 city cars. These innovative, quick, fun commuter cars are quite expensive when purchased new, but a bargain on the used market due to high depreciation. They are available as full electric or with a “range extender” gasoline generator motor which adds another 80km of range once the battery is fully depleted.

Image sources, in order: AutoEvolution.com | BMWBlog.com | Edmunds.com | CarBuzz.com

Written by:
Randy S.

This list will help you when looking for your FIRST used BMW to purchase.  The list is in no particular order and assumes you already checked the VIN history for accidents, or bad-titles such as salvage, stolen or floods which can all severely hinder the reliability and resale value of any brand car.

  • Oil leaks: BMW’s are known to have oil leaks due to their gasket design.  Typical leaks consist of valve cover gaskets, oil filter housing, oil pans, differentials and rear main seals.  Power steering lines are also known to leak on older models (1998-2006).
  • Coolant: Many older BMW’s are prone to coolant leaks either through the radiator plastic end-tanks, brittle overflow hose, coolant sensor o-rings or cracked expansion tanks.  Check for “low coolant level” cluster warning, or simply look at the reservoir level on a cold motor.
  • Tire Wear: Due to the geometry of BMW rear multilink suspension, many models are prone to wearing the inside edge of the rear tires prematurely.  If you glance at the tread level of the rear tires when inspecting a prospective purchase, make the extra effort to get on your knees and look under the car at the condition of the inside edges.
  • Subframe Tears: On E46 (1999-2006 3-series) coupes & convertibles the rear floor tears away at the subframe mounting locations.  It’s sometimes hard to spot by looking underneath as the subframe bushings can cover the tear initiation points.  If a previous owner has done the subframe reinforcement work, this is a bonus and can greatly extend the life of your E46.
  • Front Bushings: BMW’s are prone to wearing out the front control arm bushings, sway bar links, ball joints and wishbone.  Take the prospective car to a mechanic and have them inspect the entire front end for any of these worn items.
  • Flex Joint/Guibo: The rubber flex joint (or guibo) is an item at connects the transmission output shaft to the driveshaft assembly.  These rubber guibo’s usually last 10yrs or 100,000km before requiring a replacement.  This part is impossible to inspect without the vehicle being on a hoist.  A severely worn-out guibo can be detected on a test drive by pulsating from a standstill to a slow pace.
  • Rod Bearings/Actuators: On E9X V8 M3’s (2008-2013) the two weak points of the S65 motor is prematurely worn connecting rod bearings and faulty throttle actuators.  The rod bearings must be replaced before (almost certainly) catastrophic failure occurs. Aftermarket rod bearings are offered with very tough coatings more resilient to wear.  Throttle actuators are prone to failing and can leave you stranded roadside. Check the service records on these cars for this work done.
  • M60/M62 V8’s: Older non-///M BMW V8’s have certain issues.  The M60  (1993-1996) 3.0L & 4.0L V8’s are prone to having premature chain guide wear.  Many times, when you hear the chain rattle, the damage is done and a new motor is around the corner.  The M62 (1997-2005) 4.4L, 4.6L, 4.8L V8’s have lots of cooling issues including a common water transfer pipe that runs across the center of the “V” configuration.  Check for smells & low coolant level during inspection.
  • Water Pumps: In 1992 BMW water pumps used a plastic impeller blade that often disintegrated with age.  This would leave you stranded curbside and potentially catastrophic failure if you didn’t catch the overheating motor quick enough.  In 2006+, BMW decided to go with an electric water pump on their inline 6 motors that tends to fail at the 100,000km mark.  Check to see if this has been replaced by the previous owner.
  • Windows & Doors: BMW from late-90’s to late 2000’s are prone to having their window regulators break due to their plastic construction.  Check to make sure all the windows work.  Door actuators are also known to go.
Main Image: @tsikourlis (Instagram)

Written by:
Randy S.

You might be used to car shows, but there is a whole other realm the average consumer doesn’t have access to. This is the world of the automotive trade show! Trade shows like SEMA, PRI, JRP etc. are for industry involved companies to demonstrate as well as learn all about each other and what they offer. There’s a lot out there.

Listen to the Podcast here: