The “Another Nurburgring Megane” build

Discussion in 'Megane Projects' started by Pflanzgarten, Jul 22, 2023.

  1. So, here the story starts…

    Do you want a as-good-as-it-can-get basis for a track car Megane 3RS?
    Yes, I do!

    After some experience in my younger years (no, I am not that old) with ClioRS of different generations and having had the privilege of racing them, one car that I never owned was a Meg3RS. I liked the looks, and the fact that they are still and old-school hot hatch, despite the turbo engine and not being NA.

    In my eyes the best hot hatch recipe for driving engagement and fun consists of a manual gearbox, a decent engine, great suspension basics and a three-door body shell, something that seems almost historic today, and impossible to buy new.

    So when a friend called that he’d be leaving the UK for Asia permanently, and if I’d known someone who’d be interested in his Megane, I started smartening up on them.

    His, now my car, was a bit of a naked spec, which would not have been my favourite choice as a daily, but in my head was a great spec for a track build.

    September 2016 delivery, so presumably one of the last ones made.
    Original 6821 miles at the time of my purchase, serviced annually at Renault (not sure if that is a plus, knowing RUK dealerships…).
    White car, literally zero options (manual aircon, no RS monitor) except for tinted windows (was that an option?) and Ohlins suspension. And a set of extra factory Tibor wheels that were intended for winter tyres by the original owner, but were left in boxes (where they still are today).

    So I got the car, got acquainted with it during a few miles in the UK and then chatted with my Mrs about the car, who fortunately is also a bit of a car nut too (daily driving a manual 3.0 current Supra).

    We exported the car from the UK to our house in Germany.

    Let’s make it a bit of another track car (yes, I am a bit fortunate) that we both Mr & Mrs Pflanzgarten can use.
    Let’s keep it in our house in Germany (resulting in TUV headache and compliance, but giving a host of other advantages).
    Let’s do it properly, and also make sure that the car could be eligible to race in the VT2 class of the Nurburgring endurance series (NLS, formerly VLN).

    So. As always these things spiralled out of control, but that is only a complaint my bank will make…

    Car was stripped.
    Entire interior out.

    As mentioned TUV compliance makes things a bit harder than what we are used to in the UK, so the components had to be chosen wisely, not only individually, but also in combination with other modifications.

    Currently a full FIA cage is being installed with as many cross braces as you can imagine.
    Double A pillar, large door cross etc.

    Two things I wanted on the inside: aircon (I like to do longer stints, and the Eifel region can become warmer than one thinks), and I did not want a compete tin can, so most of the plastic interior trim and carpet was modified to be refitted without any insulation etc. (knowing I will be carrying a <7kgs worth of plastic around)

    Once the cage is properly installed two full carbon seats will be installed, accompanied with Schroth harnesses (the only 5-6 point harness legal in Germany)

    The interior will look like a car, rather than a stripped tin can, which I know too well has its appeal, but didn’t float my boat in this case.

    Currently still in discussions with a variety of people (including TUV, the German equivalent of MSUK, and others) about deeper dish steering wheel, as I would like it to come a bit close to me.

    A CAE shifter is already in there, not only for the shorter shift, but also to bring the knob closer to the steering wheel.

    As the dashboard was already out to fit the cage, I cleaned up the wiring harness, throwing out most wires relating to any comfort features, and did the wiring for the AIM datalogger that will be installed including the AIM dash. Brackets, mounts etc were mostly custom 3D printed.

    After installing the fire extinguisher that should be most of the work done on the inside.

    Most of the stuff was done by or with other parties, but I got my fair share of cuts trying to fiddle there too…

    One has to bear in mind that the car will be on German plates (components limited) and that I also intend to get the car homologated to VT2 class, the latter meaning that panels and windows need to remain stock and crazy power is not an option.

    So engine wise the main things that will be done is some extra oil cooler, an uprated intercooler and some bespoke air ducts, including brake ducts. And a very mild map.

    Suspension components are already here and I was pretty much forced into the KW Competition 4 way, if I wanted TUV and track performance.

    Wheels are ATS GTR in 9x17, which are rare now, and in quite a demand in Germany, but I managed to find 12 (!) new in box, which I just said yes to (and might sell one set on eventually).
    All are black, but I wanted to try something, so one set is currently being powder coated in matt gold, which might look great, or a bit marmite on a white car with red brembos (the Mrs already dislikes them without ever having seen them!)

    The brakes were always considered to be up for the hard work on track, so a few little modifications were made to the callipers and some new stock plain disks fitted with new Endless pads (endurance compound on the front, which works brilliant on Nurburgring, all day every day, and a slightly more aggressive ME22 in the back).

    That is most of the stuff done really, I know of a few much wilder builds, but I think I will be happy when this is ready, running around 300bhp with me on the Ring and other nearby tracks.

    - full FIA spec cage,
    - two lightweight carbon fibre seats,
    - CAE shifter
    - AIM datalogger including dash (getting info from OBD and external sensors), one geeky fact: I uninstalled the original antenna and used its position for the AIM GPS antenna, so it looks a bit OEM.

    - oil cooler
    - Wagner intercooler
    - custom airducts

    - KW competition with custom spring rates and adjustable top mounts
    - ATS GTR wheels (not available anymore, but I found three new sets hiding somewhere in the Nuerburgring area) in 9x17

    - Stock brembos with different gaskets
    - Motul RBF 660 fluid,
    - Brembo stock plain disks with Endless MA45B endurance pads up front and ME22 in the back

    - few weight shedding exercises: all insulation is out, but carpets refitted, everything behind the plastic interior trim is gone, but the trim back in, original door cards had to be modified so they could stay, but would fit with the cage, rear wiper gone, and most of the work was in stripping the harness.

    Pictures to follow when the car is ready.

    Any questions, fire away, I will do my best to answer them!
  2. I forget the new diff in there too.
    And different lower engine mount.

    But that should be all...:astonished:
    EthanMenace likes this.
  3. This thread needs more pictures!
    Very jealous of your ATS find too. I’ve been looking for a long while now.
    EthanMenace likes this.
  4. It does!
    And I'll get some nice once eventually. Wish I had more time for car/play stuff.

    I had the ATS on another car in the past and I liked them. Plus I wanted something small-ish. If I then add TUV requirement, I believe the ATS GTR is the only 9x17 wheel available.
  5. You can get Protracks too. However I still think the ATS are more aesthetically pleasing.
  6. Get some pics up, Before, During After........ And the pile of parts you are bringing to the UK for a car boot sale....
  7. I like how you have not went mad with power mods. Getting a nice balanced reliable package.

    The Cup-S ECU is slightly different from earlier ones. Can still be mapped done but less people I guess given they probably only made 100 cars or so. You see it listed seperately.
  8. I did not know that the Protracks existed in 9x17 with the right bolt pattern and offset.
    The offset on the ATS is a bit limit, and I would not run them on the front without adjustable top mounts, as they do stick out quite far… Do you happen to know the offset (or different offsets available) from Protrack? Just by googling I could not find any reliable info.

    For me, or us, the car should be fun, fast and reliable.
    I do appreciate a poky engine, but let’s face it, how much time is there to gain by upping the engine to, let’s say, 375bhp on a lap around Nuer. I would guess it’s less than 10 seconds compared to a 275bhp stock car. And that at lots of cost, mainly reliability and running costs.

    My Mrs and I regularly do 500 laps a year together (split between us) in track days and TF alone, so that is of quite some importance. Plus of course that I want the car to be able to race in the endurance series, should I ever want to enter an own car and the silly fact that German TUV is more complicated than the UK, when it comes to bolt on modifications…

    I did not even know that the Cup-S is different.
    I do know that all 275 are different, as they run a wideband lambda.

    That said, with the cooling mods and a light map, we should end at around the 300, maybe 30X mark, which is sufficient to enjoy yourself. Afterall I won’t win a price in TF (although nowadays it appears that too many people are behaving that way during TF or trackdays).

    And that I am spoilt & fortunate and also have the financial irresponsibility for other track cars… some a fair bit slower than the Meg, and maybe also some faster ones. (I personally would love to take my partners Supra and build it, once she is done with that as a daily, but thats only a few months old, so by that time we might not be allowed petrol cars anymore.)
    EthanMenace likes this.
  9. They’re ET45 in 17x9, So you get a little bit more room vs. the ATS’s.
    Pflanzgarten likes this.
  10. Good to know!
    Thank you!
    RS_Rowe likes this.
  11. sounds like a very similar build to mine, which is from Germany but currently in the UK, but have kept it Tuv compliant, as prefer to keep it ready to re register hopefully one day!

    I have Protrack one on mine, both sets and 9x17 et45, and are made for the car perfectly.

    Hoping to bring it back across soon as spent most of May and June there :smile:
  12. I might see you there then!
    Looking at your car, has it ever competed in VT2 in NLS?
  13. Was built to that spec but as a rental. Then I bought it and added all the NLS livery because.. why not!
  14. Ah! What company rented build Meganes at the ring, if you don't mind me asking? I know RSR have a few stock and modified one, but none of which went to such a spec?
  15. This was owned by the Crown last but then i got and refreshed a lot over winter, its only done 25k kms but also had it set up at Kirfel about 2 months ago and that has really made a difference.

    I added the CAE shifter and another set or protracks for road and wet use on ps4 with the ar1 as the dry set. Handles so nicely now with fresh everything and that set up.

    Long term I want to be in Germany full time, I'd go in a heartbeat to be honest! Sounds like you did a good thing getting the house, would love to put mine back on german plates
  16. Jeez.
    So you imported and paid for it to be in the UK and then plan to bring it back?

    I didn't even know the Crown had one, but I haven't been in there for ages. Rather have a drink and barbecue in the garden and have some people over :tearsofjoy:

    I spend quite some time there but wouldn't want to live here full time or in the dead winters.

    The house wasn't really planned, just great timing and luck to be honest.

    Would be fun to see our cars out on track together, as the Meganes have somehow become old news on Nuer since a few seasons. I remember hoards of them being driven properly... but that's progress, I guess.
  17. I would happily be there in the winter, have been in Adenau many times in December, very peaceful :smile:

    Not sure if it is me wanting to be in Germany or just not wanting to be in the UK :smile:

    I did get into a Megane train recently (5 of us in a row, 1 Mk2, 3 Mk3, 1 Mk4) that was a fun lap, bit of swapping places here and there.

    I am toying with the idea, certainly in no rush, but if someone came along with the right money, then I would do it, I dont use my cars in winter and while i am in the UK there isnt really anywhere to go, its either pouring with rain or way over priced :smiley:

    If all goes to plan and i dont sell it planning to come back in September for a couple of weeks to see the season out.
  18. So, after a monumental screw up by an entrusted garage with regards to the cars electronics, I do believe that the car is now running again, airbags and seatbelts all decoded…

    Some say it‘s part of the fun, I just get annoyed with people charging top dollar and doing a sh!t job…

    Cage install should also be finished by Saturday, so hopefully on Sunday I may actually see my car again with some bigger progress made.
    Poppaboost and RS_Rowe like this.
  19. So on it goes.

    After a garage wanted lots of money to get a few coding things sorted (mainly airbag and seat belts) I started having lots of electrical issues.

    It transpired that their competence was mainly based on incompetence.

    Anyway, after reminding myself how bis systems worked, buying a second hand windows laptop and getting acquainted with DDT4, it only took me a few weeks to get that fixed...

    In the meantime some inattentive driver reversed back into my car leaving a nice imprint of their tow hook on the rear bumper of Megane...

    Plus side: the cage is in and will get some padding soon!

    I'm surrendering the thought of driving the car this year.
  20. The tow hook incident isn't good but sounds like progress is being made.

    I am back in September and be out for around 2 weeks including NLS 8.
  21. I'll be around quite a while in September too! "Homeoffice" :tearsofjoy:

    Fortunately I can still drive other machinery!

    Do you already know where you will be staying? Maybe we can have a chat nearer in time and meet up for a drink.
  22. I've got a place in Drees, sounds a good plan

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