artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
3/24/20 10:29 a.m.

In reply to adam525i :

This actually has a rack from an e46. Not as fast as the z3 rack or whatever that everyone praises, but it's a substantial improvement over the stock e30 rack. Even so, I'd like it to be faster. Rather than trying to source the correct rack and hope it's in good condition, the quickener was $100 and seems like a good alternative.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/24/20 11:00 a.m.

In reply to artur1808 :

And depending on where you splice it, you can still do a rack swap if you stumble across a cheap one.

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
3/24/20 11:47 a.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Yep, the idea is to change nothing forward of the firewall. It's a solid 3/4" shaft going from the firewall u-joint to the steering wheel, so I'll just need to pick a spot for the quickener, make a bracket of some sort for the turn signals/wiper stalk, and I'll be in business. 

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
3/29/20 4:54 p.m.

The quick release I got is (I think) made for circle track type cars, so I had to make this little adapter plate to get it from 6 bolts on the steering wheel to 3 on the quick release:


 


 

the quick release has a hex shaft that I welded to the quickener:

 


 

so now I just need to attach the other end of the quickener to my factory steering shaft, and make a bracket to hold the whole thing.

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
6/1/20 10:42 a.m.

So I did end up getting the quickener installed and finally had a chance to really try it out this past weekend. We had our first rallycross since February (?) and it was at a brand new venue, so everyone was pretty excited to be there. I think the registration was full within an hour or two of opening. 
 

On the very first parade lap, I could already tell that having quicker steering was going to be very helpful. Changing directions quickly is MUCH easier now, my one complaint would be that it has made the steering noticeably heavier. Still managed just fine at speed, but moving the car through the paddocks, tech inspection, grid, etc. was pretty rough. I've heard a lot of good things about electric steering assists so I might give that a go. Unfortunately now that rallycross has started up, I think we have 3 events within one month, so I'll have to work fast between events. 
 

anyway, the event was a big success. Modified RWD had some stiff competition, but I think at least some were deterred by the rough surface at this new venue. I believe it used to be a parking lot that has mostly returned to the earth, but there were still sections with fairly large chunks of asphalt and rocks. Fortunately I was able to ignore the horrifying sounds that were coming from underneath the car and finish the day in the lead. 
 


 


 


 

I also snapped this picture while I was sitting in grid towards the end of the day, and I'm wondering how concerned I should be. This is with the engine at idle:

 


 

engine still sounds fine and makes oil pressure off-idle, but I have to imagine it should have some more oil pressure than this at idle...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/1/20 10:47 a.m.

Uh, yeah....you should :)

Could just be a bad sender or gauge - do you still have the OEM dummy light hooked up and does it work? I'll have to look and see what mine is at idle (same gauge).

Looks like your coolant temps are nice and low, though. Mine are almost never below 200*

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
6/1/20 10:48 a.m.

Almost forgot: this new venue is technically owned by a drag strip, which happened to be holding a test and tune across the street. There's a small road that ran between the drag strip and the lot we were using. At some point, this gentleman was driving past and simply couldn't contain himself with all of the automotive excitement in the area. He had to demonstrate to everyone the power of the mighty small block Chevy. 


 

Simply perfect.

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
6/1/20 10:52 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I'd be curious to see what yours looks like at the end of a day of rallycross. I don't have the original sender and dummy light anymore, I just mounted the VDO sender in the factory location. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/1/20 11:18 a.m.

Here's after about 15 minutes of, um..."spirited" driving near my house testing out some other stuff. Oil isn't fully up to temp, but this is about what I generally see at idle at between-stage checks during a rally (and yes, I always check). Right around 10psi when the oil temps are as hot as they get (showing about 12 in this pic, but is closer to 10 when really hot). 

Mine is using a dual-port adapter so I have the stock dummy light as well (helpful when you smash the oil pan, since it comes on immediately whereas you may not notice the gauge fall: this is also from direct experience at NEFR). e30 dummy light supposedly comes on at 7psi, and that makes sense since occasionally after a hard run when I do a quick lift, the light will flicker for a second or two as the idle stumbles and then go off when idle returns to normal. 

In any case, I can tell you for sure that my pressure never is below 9-10 psi hot when at a consistent idle. If you're showing zero, something isn't working correctly (hopefully the sender or gauge). 

OT/ My water temps are pulling directly from the port in the head, so they probably read higher than someone using temps from radiator inlet area or elsewhere. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/1/20 11:28 a.m.

I have a hard time trusting electrical gauges for exact numbers, retaining the idiot light is a good idea.  With a 3" red light right in your face smiley

 

Volvo's official word is if the idiot light (7psi) comes on at hot idle, hold the idle up until the oil cools off.  (!!!)  Everyone tells you to freak out.   I switched from 5w30 to 5w40 and the S40 stopped doing that.  Changing oil is a lot cheaper than opening the engine up.  (Replacing the O ring on the oil pickup solved it, btw)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/1/20 11:30 a.m.

I'm actually more curious about why your water temps are so low if this is right after a rallycross run.  That seems extremely low. I've literally never seen temps that low once warmed up - with my M42, with the M50, or in our M20 track car. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/1/20 11:32 a.m.

220 is low?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/1/20 11:37 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

220 is low?

The water temps in his pic is showing 188 degrees. 

The 2nd pic is mine, which is around 210 if you look at it straight-on. Which is about where M50s typically run. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/1/20 11:39 a.m.

Derp.  I see it now.  Yes I was looking at your pic...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
6/1/20 11:41 a.m.

Wouldn't the water temperature just come down to thermostat selection, assuming things have had time and cooled down a bit?  I run a colder thermostat in the Merkur just to give it half a chance at staying below boiling for the first part of a stage.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/1/20 11:49 a.m.

I mean, it's a pressurized system so the boiling point is higher than 212 anyhow, and that's assuming you're just using straight water in it. 

BMW water temp on the M20 is at the pump area as I recall, wheres the M50 its basically in the middle of the head so probably at the hottest area of the coolant path. 

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
6/1/20 11:58 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah my water temp is taken at the head. That picture was taken after sitting in grid for a couple of minutes, so not RIGHT after a run. It rarely gets much over 200 though. I did notice that my electric fan was on a lot the other day, so maybe my fan switch is triggered at a lower temperature than yours?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/1/20 12:53 p.m.

My fan has a thermo, but I manually switch it on immediately after a run and turn it off immediately before a run, so it's on even when the thermostat hasn't told it to be ;)

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
7/16/20 8:26 a.m.

Welp, the controller for the electric power steering did not arrive in time for our event last weekend, so the car barely got touched before going out for our 2-day event. The Detroit Region hosted round 2 of the rallycross national challenge this year, and it was an absolute blast. 

The event starts on saturday afternoon and we run a day/night configuration. So the first set of runs is held in the afternoon, and we the second set of runs on Saturday started around 9:00 pm. The course we run at had the lights on, but there were still a couple of sections where having functioning headlights was helpful. The MR class in our region has gotten more consistent and competitive this year, which has been a ton of fun. Unfortunately, I hit a bunch of cones on saturday, knocking myself out of 1st place. At the halfway point of the day I think I was sitting in 4th or 5th, but luckily I was able to claw my way back up to 2nd place in MR during the night runs:

Then came our hungover Sunday competition. Luckily I was able to get some good sleep in the vanbulance because the heat and dust was starting to take its toll on people. I picked up a co-driver for Sunday because a father/son duo in an MR2 had an engine failure saturday night. The course was significantly longer on Sunday, and having 2 drivers would make it one of the tougher days of abuse that the e30 has dealt with. Fortunately, the car held up great, albeit with the engine still in a questionable state of health. I was still punting cones on Sunday, but managed to pick up enough speed between those cone penalties to pull of a pretty comfortable win in class. 

The only NEW issue that the car picked up was that one of my pop-out window latches got separated from the car so the drivers side rear window was free to swing around as it pleased. Fortunately, the only issue this caused was the cabin getting extra dusty, which was to be expected with the conditions we had. Overall, it was a great weekend of racing and even though we had to make a few tweaks to our usual process for COVID-19, the Detroit region hosted a spectacular event. 

 

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
7/25/20 1:27 p.m.

Another picture surfaced from our last rallycross and someone captured the one time I managed to get this corner right:

 


 

Haven't done much to the car yet because I'm still chipping away at the van, but I did a big wheel/tire swaparoo with a buddy the other day. In exchange for some parts I no longer need, he gave me some 200tw federals and a set of Fittipaldi/OZ wheels. I decided to mount the gravels on these fancy Italian wheels and the sticky tires on the $75 craigslist wheels. 
 

the paint on these has taken a bit of abuse over the last two years of rallycross:


 

enter rustoleum:


 

im not 100% sold on the brown wheels, but they're certainly an improvement over the chipped up paint. Also tried out some sort of metallic grey on the gravel wheels, here's a before and after of both:

 

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
9/1/20 8:08 a.m.

In typical fashion, I neglected to do anything with this car until 2 days before a rallycross. This time, the task was to get the electric power steering working. Luckily, the installation wasn't terribly difficult. The worst part was figuring out how to package the electric motor in a way that it wouldn't get in the way. I pulled out the steering column, took some measurements, and cobbled this together:

 

 

Starting at the top of the picture we have:

-new quick release. The old one was an ebay special with a hex shaft that had a ton of slop. This is a proper QuickCar one with a splined shaft

-Howe 1.5:1 quickener

-Ford Fiesta Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) motor

 

With a bit of finesse, I was able to get it tucked up partially behind the dash in such a way that it doesn't get in the way of the pedals, nor the drivers legs as they try to reach the pedals. A bit of black paint and suddenly it sort of blends in. 

 

I took it for a quick drive to NAPA to get some some oil/filter and everything seemed to work well! The assist doesn't really feel that different at speed, but you can definitely notice it at parking lot speeds.

EPAS done, oil change done, nut/bolt check done, transmission fluid topped off, and I was ready to rallycross!

 

 

 

At this event, my main competition for season points, Sean Grogan, would be co-driving my car. His Boxster fried the clutch at rallyx nationals a couple weeks ago, so I had him give my car a try. My main goal for the day was to not let him beat me in my own car haha

The morning course was a little slick, but had a nice mix of tight/technical and fast sections. On the very last run, Sean noticed that the throttle pedal was acting up. He managed to finish the run without losing much time, but noticed that the throttle wasn't really working as we drove back to the paddock. He noted that when he had the pedal to the floor, the car gave him about 20% throttle. Upon closer inspection, the bushings that the throttle linkage rides in had completely fallen apart, allowing the linkage to fall out of the little tabs that hold it in place. I popped it back in, bent the tabs a bit, and zip-tied them so they wouldn't open up far enough to let it come out again. Good to go! 

After the morning runs, I was sitting in 3rd by about 4.5 seconds. I'm going to blame myself here since I hit 4 cones in the morning.

The afternoon course was noticeably faster than the morning course. Because we were a two-driver car, we were effectively hot lapping the e30. Between runs, we started to notice an increasing amount of smoke coming from under the car. Turns out that the slight transmission output seal leak had gotten worse and was getting some transmission fluid onto the exhaust. Luckily, new seals for the shifter and the trans output were already in the mail! 

My main goal for the afternoon runs was to keep the driving clean and stay away from the cones, which luckily worked out and I managed to claw my way back to first and win the class by about 1.5 seconds! The car seemed to handle all the abuse we were throwing at it, but the lifters were definitely singing after a full day of abuse. The fresh oil change helped, but I might have to start considering refreshing/replacing this engine over the winter...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/1/20 8:47 a.m.

Well that answers a question I had, about how well EPAS would work with a quickener!  I'd like to run the Vue column I have with a quickener on one of my cars.

 

That last photo looks perfect!

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
9/1/20 9:07 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Yeah, it didn't seem to have any issues. I was most concerned that it would struggle in situations where I'm countersteering and then need to quickly change directions. Situations where you might be able to lighten up the grip on the wheel and let it "self-center" so to speak. I can only speak to my experience at this one rallycross event, but I didn't notice it doing anything funky. I actually think the quickener helps in this scenario because it's so much less rotation lock-to-lock. 

artur1808
artur1808 HalfDork
9/29/20 4:12 p.m.

At the last event I noticed some smoke coming up from the middle of the car and a small puddle underneath. Traced this down to transmission fluid, which was leaking and spraying onto the exhaust. So I'm going through and replacing the seals on the back of the trans, which seems to be the source. 
 

Got the output seal done just fine


 

but there's fluid all the way up to the top, so I suspect the shifter seal is the real issue. Anybody have any tips on how to get this seal out? Can't get under any edges...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/29/20 4:39 p.m.

I believe I used a hook type seal puller tool.  Like this one:

 

 

Then I had to modify one of my gasket scrapers to be able to scrape with one of its sides, because there was a burr in the transmission I had to shave out.  Vise + file = new tool.

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