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Center of Gravity

There is always just a hint of trepidation when the concept of altering body or framework is on the table. By this point in time, IND has performed a great many such operations, especially with respect to roof panel replacement. The list of models we have installed carbon fiber roof panels on is quite extensive, including the E46 M3, E90 M3, 1M, and of course our ongoing F10 M5 project. Regardless of how proficient we may have become over the years, there is never a full desensitization to what is essentially cutting up the very fabric of what BMW painstakingly created only a short time ago. Watching that industrial equipment begin to work away at the carefully designed metal inevitably turns the stoutest heart to consternation, if only for a brief moment.

This was precisely the direction that Colin, a dedicated client of Andrew’s, was facing head-on. As a young professional who had put his heart and soul into his work to obtain his dream car, he wanted to put an equal amount of heart and soul into the car itself, and turned once again to IND for the next step. While even the most casual viewer could clearly see that Colin’s E92 M3 was far from stock, his desire was to create an even more aggressive presence, all the while continuing the clean design of the M division, even to the point of maintaining a color scheme of white, black, and blue — similar to BMW’s Roundel theme.

Initially the M3 coupe was purchased with the sunroof option, but Colin quickly discovered that not only did this feature receive little use, he longed for the lighter weight and lower center of gravity a carbon fiber panel afforded. We were only too happy to assist with another industry first, and promptly replaced the heavy existing roof panel with an OEM BMW carbon fiber E92 piece, matching the factory design precisely. Since we as enthusiasts have a difficult time changing only one thing at a time, Colin worked with us to enhance a great many other facets of his M3 as well.
Previously, we had graced this particular coupe with a sinister Eisenmann Black Series exhaust, matching Volk TE37 wheels in black under Hankook RS3 rubber, a set of KW Variant 3 coilovers to provide that purposeful stance, and a handful of minor cosmetic touches. This time, our focus would be providing more depth to the appearance, with the exception of swapping over to a set of Falken RT615K tires in 275/35/18 at the front and a monstrous 305/30/18 at the rear. To accomodate these steamrollers, we had our best bodywork specialist carefully and almost imperceptibly widen the rear fenders, as with a few previous Portfolio Projects.

Even those significant modifications melt into the background when you see the front and rear of Colin’s M3. The entire front bumper was replaced with a paint-matched LTBMW piece, dramatically altering the head-on appearance. Completing the new look is a Slek 1M lip painted a contrasting black. Similarly, the rear holds a great deal of unique alteration, as Colin wanted something very different from the usual combinations. Intrigued, we decided to take a modified Arkym upper section, paint it gloss black, and fit the infamous Varis lower diffuser in full carbon fiber to form a truly aggressive rear end. Naturally, the resulting effect is just too eye-catching for only one glance, and quickly you begin to realize what clean and vicious can look like when merged correctly.

Continuing with more contrast to offset the white paint, we added a myriad of gloss black pieces, including front and rear bumper mesh, front grilles, side grills, mirror caps, hood vents, and a carbon fiber BMW performance lip spoiler on the trunk lid. Inside, to complete the BMW Motorsport feel, a Performance steering wheel and BMW competition e-brake handle were installed. While our client was extremely pleased with the new attitude given to his E92 M3, it was no secret to us all that Colin would return again for even more work in the near future. Until then, we here at IND are not only proud to be a part of the very first E92 OEM carbon fiber roof swap, but also of the ongoing evolution Colin has planned.

 
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Uncharted territory- Creating IND’s first F10 M5 Portfolio Project

Perhaps the effect will wear off in time, but for now seeing an F10 M5 in the flesh feels like peering into a toy store. For our client Tom, who has already brought several of his cars to us for some special touches, even a stock twin-turbo super sedan cannot be left untouched. Tom has been an ardent BMW enthusiast since medical school, jumping right into the fray with a supercharged E36 M3. Today, with his X5M having departed, we knew this new replacement would have to really turn heads.

 

Despite the power output of his new M5 topping even his R8 V10 right out of the box, Tom felt that both sound and output could be improved, so of course we happily obliged with the recently-introduced Eisenmann Sport rear section exhaust system for some added throatiness. This was ordered specially with the rare oval tip option, which will further distinguish this particular F10 from its peers. To make these fit properly, the exhaust was combined with the innovative Eisenmann rear diffuser painted gloss black for sharp contrast with the Alpine White body color.
Matching the rear diffuser is a gloss black Revinora front lip, which fills in the lower end of the bumper for an OEM Plus look. We added IND’s Cosmetic Package, including custom painted gloss black front grilles and side grilles in Alpine White with light LED tint. Our rear spoilers with CRT theme have gained popularity quite rapidly, and we installed a lightweight one from BMW Performance with an Alpine White stripe setting off the carbon fiber perfectly. Rather than leave the existing rear M5 trunk badge chrome, gloss black paint was applied to again bring relief against the light-colored body.

Stance and handling have always been an integral foundation of any project we undertake, and the new F10 is no exception. The factory wheels were swapped with a gorgeous set of BBS RE in 20×9.5 front and 20×10.5 rear, painted silver, which singlehandedly changed the presence and feel of the car. The proper ride height was achieved with a new Variant 3 coilover kit from KW specifically designed for the F10 M5. These come with an EDC delete module that eliminates any errors caused by disconnecting the original BMW EDC dampers.

In addition to providing many levels of damping with respect to compression and rebound, the F10 M5 coilovers supply mildly progressive springs while maintaining optimum shock travel. For compliant ride comfort, custom bump stops are used, and ride height has a wide range of adjustment to obtain the best possible stance. We never tire of the colorful purple and yellow used by KW, and the fit and finish quality is absolutely world class as always. Even more importantly, confidence is inspired by the relentless amount of testing and calibration done by the engineers at KW, from their state-of-the-art computer simulated environments and test rigs to world-renowned race circuits such as the Nurburgring and beyond.

Our client and friend Tom now has an F10 M5 that is not only set apart from any other on the road today, but also can hold its head high when parked alongside any of his other cars. Standing out next to something like an R8 is a difficult prospect for virtually any car, but we all feel proud that this new M5 has been improved well beyond OEM while staying within BMW’s amazing engineering standards. We here at IND consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to enhance such an iconic new machine!

 
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F10 M5 KW Suspension from IND Distribution.

KW Automotive is a name synonymous with something more than just suspension performance and excellent handling. For 20 years KW has strived for a level of excellence far beyond the norm among performance suspension manufacturers. KW engineers have consistently invested in the highest levels of training, technology, and equipment, making the company uniquely qualified to manufacture suspension parts for Porsche, AMG, Dodge, and of course the coilovers found on the amazing M3 GTS.

KW’s Fichtenburg, Germany based manufacturing, warehouse, and research facility covers 250,000 square feet of space and houses a 7 post suspension testing stand- 15 7 post test rigs exist in the world today, and are mostly used by 9 of the 12 current Formula 1 teams. KW’s in-house 7 post test rig allows dynamic simulation of road conditions as well as cornering loads, giving KW engineers the major advantage of a computer controlled environment before any real-world suspension testing begins. Additionally, all KW suspension products are also verified at the Nurburgring, Hockenheimring, and in racing events worldwide.

IND is proud to present the new suspension program for the F10 M5. Two types of KW coilover kit for the F10 are already here at IND, awaiting installation:

 

KW Variant 3

 

The Variant 3 coilover suspension allows for damping adjustment in compression and rebound for those who wish to achieve a custom tuned level of performance. The V3 coilover uses a mildly progressive rate spring and original BMW upper mounts for an excellent combination of comfortable ride and handling performance. The V3 coilover also come with an EDC delete module that eliminates any errors caused by disconnecting the original BMW EDC dampers. Helper springs are used in the rear to maintain an ideal spring length while maintaining good shock travel in droop, and custom bump stops ensure that the ride is comfortable throughout the shock’s travel in bump. Ride height is of course fully adjustable, to give each M5 the perfect unique look and stance.

KW’s ClubSport coilover are available with two and three way damping adjustment, and IND has elected to import the three way ClubSport coilovers first.

KW ClubSport

The KW ClubSport 3 way is a truly impressive product- KW’s engineers started with the goal of bringing racing shock valving technology to the road, and integrating race winning performance with an OEM-like durability. To that end, the three way adjustable ClubSports include external fluid reservoirs, high speed and low speed compression adjustment, and rebound damping adjustment for an extremely effective shock package, while maintaining the composite perches, stainless steel shock housings, and specially designed shielded spherical bearing upper mounts to maintain an OE level service life. Linear rate main springs and front and rear helper springs maintain an ideal shock travel in bump and droop, which is carefully matched to bump stops of the appropriate length.

 

 
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Yin and Yang- Two very different E92 M3s from Singletrack and Team Plutonium

The Yin and Yang concept of Chinese philosophy represents a balance found everywhere in life and nature. In its most simple form, it is the idea that opposite and seemingly opposing concepts cannot exist without one another. You can’t have a concept of light without knowledge of darkness; it is not possible to have a definition of hot without understanding cold. In this same way, whatever appeal either of these M3s have individually is magnified by the presence of their counterpart. We were fortunate enough to have both cars at our facility this past week, and were able to see how these radically different approaches to modification have created two great cars.

Philip (Team Plutonium on this forum) and Chris (Singletrack) are not strangers to IND’s offices. Both are great clients and great friends of the IND staff, and have completed several projects with us:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=691439

http://www.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=678036

Both are avid M enthusiasts and appreciate a clean and purpose-built car, but their approaches to modifying their M3s are nearly polar opposites. Chris and Philip made their way to IND last week to take their next steps with each M3.

Chris’ M3 has always been a journey to build the perfect “OEM-plus” sports car. BMW has already created a wonderful M3, and Chris has been incredibly careful to ensure that the parts added are true enhancements to the car, and change the overall style in the most subtle possible way. Prior to his visit Chris had removed the M3 badge on the trunk for an even cleaner outside appearance, and IND had sent him a ZCP carbon fiber spoiler, painted completely in Silverstone to improve the functionality of the car without adding complexity to the rear of the car. Chris has retained the factory ride height and original 19” wheels to maintain a simple and understated appearance.

Chris has already used his M3 at several race tracks on the east coast, and during this visit planned to address the few issues the car has as a multi-purpose track and street tool, while also finishing the car cosmetically. We installed a Brembo 365/345mm GT kit with Pagid RS29 pads to add stopping power, but kept the original black finish and replaced the Brembo logo for an even simpler version in Silverstone for a very subtle appearance. The car’s power steering system was improved by adding a 3D Design power steering overflow reservoir, to prevent any boiling issues at the track, and the intake manifold, air filter cover, and Macht Schnell intake elbow were refinished in a beautiful gloss black with silver pinstripe to maintain the simple and elegant style found throughout the car’s exterior. A Stack gauge package was installed to monitor engine vitals, and finally a custom painted CRT style front lip and Euro bumper perfectly finished the front of the car without a major departure from the original BMW design.

Philip’s M3 was the opposite and counterpart to Chris’ during their trip to IND last week. This car is no stranger to IND’s shop, having been here several times before, and each time seems to have moved in a clear design direction. During this trip to IND, Philip’s car undertook some of the biggest changes of all, in contrast to Chris’ more mild transformation.

We started by upgrading the car’s already potent engine package from the ESS VT2-600 kit to the even more incredible 625, pushing the envelope even further than the standard ESS kit allows. A Varis rear diffuser was added as well- a piece so visually striking that it is absolutely impossible to miss from the rear of the car. Finally the most major change of all came in the form of Volk TE37SL wheels and Falken 275/315 width tires. The square spokes and proven design of the Volk wheels add an element of purpose to the car’s personality, while the enormous tires and pulled fenders needed to accommodate them combine perfectly with the Varis diffuser to create an impossible to miss stance. Although Philip plans to add a few finishing touches to the car over the next year, I feel that this trip to IND made the biggest impact on his M3’s overall design and personality, and to me the car is quickly approaching perfection.

The dichotomy of these two M3s was not planned or forced, but rather an extension of our two client’s unique approaches to modification. It is precisely this aspect of work at IND that gives me the greatest joy- the opportunity to help our clients express themselves and their tastes, and to see how the unique personalities of our clients transform the blank canvas of the E92 M3 into the creations that leave our facility. These two cars are truly yin to the other’s yang, and the opportunity to see both simultaneously helped all of us at IND to appreciate the style of each.
Enjoy the photos!

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Motorsport24 carbon fiber dash from IND!

Part of the reason we love being the North American importer for M24 products is simply having the opportunity to see and touch a seemingly endless supply of cool race parts. This week we imported an incredibly light (4lbs!) Carbon Fiber dash for an E46 M3, to be used in a track car build by our friends at Fall Line Motorsports.

 
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Challenge F10 M5 Carbon Roof

One of our favorite additions to the M car was the use of a carbon fiber roof, first introduced on the E63 M6. BMW had of course already used advanced composites in the construction of their M cars for many years, but the use of a bare carbon fiber roof made a unique statement that set the M brand apart forever.

Over the years IND has helped E90 M3 and 1M car owners make the same statement by developing our own carbon fiber roof panels for the cars not given this privilege from the factory.

This week IND introduces the brand new carbon fiber roof panel for the F10 M5, designed in collaboration with and manufactured by Challenge Engineering. This roof panel is available in a variety of weave styles to match OE carbon fiber or to deviate from the factory look instead. The Challenge roof panel weighs in at a featherweight 11.5lbs, removing a tremendous amount of weight from the most critical area of the car.

IND will be installing this roof panel on our own F10 M5 project car in the very near future and will update this thread with installation photos.

 

 

 

 
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Breaking Bad – Silverstone E90 M3 Sedan

Breaking Bad – Silverstone E90 M3 Sedan

We have great relationships with our local European car scene so when of our own is looking to spice things up, we start discussing the end goal right away.

With Adam’s 2009 E90 M3 we started off getting some unique wheels for him. Volk offered a special magblue color TE37 in the M3 fitment that he saw and wanted it right away. Then he was interested in lowering the car without ruining the ride quality has this is his daily driver. As i have raved about the KW Sleeve Over kit previously on my car, he also went this route and could not be happier.

Next up, making the car sound a bit more aggressive to match the looks. Since it was a daily driver and Adam must take phone calls for work, we agreed on Eisenmann Sport for his needs.

Adam wanted to break the mold and try some items from Arkym. He ordered the hood, front lip and rear diffuser in carbon fiber. He then decided to paint the rear and front lip in gloss black to give it more of a smoother look, we agree as it came out looking great! Following that, we ordered him the double sided carbon fiber Challenge bootlid and painted it bodycolor with a little carbon fiber exposed. As a finishing touch the car received the IND cosmetic package that included painted reflectors, gloss black front grilles and gloss black side grilles.

 
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IND attends Another Level Car Show 2012

Published on July 31, 2012 by in Uncategorized

 

IND’s staff headed out to Another Level Car Show this weekend, and although we do not normally make it to all of the local shows, Another Level was a great excuse to get the local IND clients together and spend the day relaxing and enjoying cars.

Grenn Hell and Red Death both took home awards with Green Hell winning Best Track Inspired and Best BMW, and Red Death won Best German car!

 

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The next step: Refining the Silver Ghost

 

Many members of M3Post know Arash’s Silver Ghost E90 M3. This SilverStone sedan is one of the most impressive of it’s kind, and just like we’ve described in previous stories a real reflection of Arash’s personality and lifestyle. Arash is at a point where the car is no longer something that can be built from the ground up- it is “complete” in every sense of the word. Over the years we have had the opportunity to help Arash’s E90 to grow and progress into the machine it is today.

So what do you do when you have your vision of the perfect M3? You refine. Instead of making major changes, this year we’ve focused on refining what’s already there for a more perfect overall package. The refinished Brembos in our IND Motorsport theme work perfectly with either the polished street wheels or an aggressive track wheel. The new Silverstone painted interior trim brightens the inside of the car and adds a more custom feel while the IND shifter extension makes shifting quickly as easy as possible.

The ultimate additions to the car this year are found under the hood. Although the car already had a potent VT2-600 supercharger kit from ESS, pushing the envelope of what’s possible is certainly part of the pleasure of modifying a car and this E90 is a prime example of that. During the car’s stay at IND we installed a host of components by Motorsport 24 including their radiator, oil cooler, and headers, and the ultimate upgrade from ESS- the VT2-650 kit. The crank pulley on the S65 engine was changed in favor of a special pulley from ESS, and this coupled with a new supercharger pulley and injectors produces 8.5psi of boost and easily the fastest ESS car I have ever driven!

Although the car is visually similar to it’s look last season, we managed to sneak it over to one of our nearby photo locations for a quick shoot with Green Hell, before Arash made the 8 hour trek back to Toronto. Enjoy the photos!

 

 
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Exponential Growth: Quest for a Front Lip Gone Right

Published on July 23, 2012 by in BMW, Uncategorized

“IND as a company is nothing if not extremely lucky”

Used in the introduction of our Meaner Than Hell project this sentiment is felt on a daily basis by every member of the IND team. With the amount of E9X M3′s that come through the shop it is always refreshing to have a new chassis roll through our doors. Hunter5179 first came to the shop looking for a front lip to give his Dark Graphite F10 550 a more menacing presence. We knew Hunter was a true enthusiast when he absolutely needed a front lip in the dead of winter during one of our first big snow storms. That is dedication.

From that winter storm came a full out assault on the Dark Graphite F10. Out of the box the 550i has enough juice to make even the most pedestrian enthusiast giggle. This power was simply not enough as the vehicle was soon upgraded with the full Dinan stage 3 kit. A need for a front lip spawned into a desire for something more comprehensive. For the aero the folks over at Vorsteiner delivered with their F10 VMS kit. We have seen Vorsteiner create exceptional aerodynamic solutions for many models and the kit for the F10 M-sport was the perfect balance of luxury and performance. After lowering the car on ACS springs Hunter5179 and I immediately knew it was missing something. After looking over the stately 550i it was apparent the car needed wheels, but not just any wheels. It was determined that the F10 would be planted to the pavement via the Vorstiener VS310 wheel. Finished in Vorsteiner’s enigmatic brushed shadow silver finish. The wheel finish like the aero is second to none. Picking up any surrounding light the wheels are constantly changing hues and colors further enhancing the threatening spoke design.

Going from the need for a front lip to the end result seen below is truly fascinating. We know this will not be the last we see of Hunter, but in the interim all of us are incredibly happy to have the opportunity to see this thing in its natural environment.

 

 

 
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