3 4 5 6 7
thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
4/10/19 3:01 p.m.

As far as those two pins for the window supports goes, have you thought about adding a loop of string or cable through each pair? That one you could get both pins out with a single pull. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/10/19 4:21 p.m.
artur1808 said:

In reply to irish44j :

Interesting about the camber plates. Did you run them at rallycross or stage rally? I'm wondering if decreasing tire pressure a little might help with that? I want to do some testing with different tire pressures on gravel tires.

 

I didn't notice any white dots but I'll have to get back under the car and check. U-joints seemed alright, no slop or significant resistance when I try to rotate them. 

rallycross. And I run very low pressures on gravel tires, like low 20s, and I had fresh DMacks. At the end of the event it was pretty apparent looking at the lack of wear that the outer edges were not doing much work. Of all the e30s running with us, I can't think of anyone who has increased camber (though I could be wrong, maybe bluej - Sennett - does). In fact, most people of course have more positive camber than stock due to raised ride height. 

But in short, with the plates the front end felt like it had lousy grip and turn-in response. I took them off at lunch that day and the car steered much better. Maybe on a really hard-packed surface they'd be of more use where there's less need for the outer edge to "dig in," IDK. 

I know it differs for different cars, but if you go to most (gravel) rally events, it's actually kind of interesting to see just how little camber even the top cars have (some even have positive front camber). I know in the DIRT games, like most racing games, negative camber magically gives more cornering grip, but I don't feel that's realistic at rallycross speeds at least.

I posted up in the e30 rally FB group and Dan Downey (an instructor at Team O'Neill and a very fast e30 rallyist) says he runs full stock setup in terms of camber, FWIW. 

But again, worth a try. Your experiences may differ from mine seeing as we have different suspension setups, driving styles, etc. 

-

As to the driveshafts - yeah, every e30 DS I've ever seen has a small white dot on it on each half near where they meet in the middle on either side of the CSB.  Could be rubbed/washed off after all these years, but if you look close enough you can probably still find them. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/10/19 5:01 p.m.

I'm actually gonna revise my prior statement, since it's been so long since I set up this suspension I actually forgot that I do have a bit more camber than stock up front, since I have the offset M3 lollipops as well as the offset OEM top hats - though that is primarily to gain caster vice camber. I did those to offset the positive camber gain from having the suspension a lot taller than stock.  I did measurements at one point and found that going up one inch in front spring height resulted in a reduction of about 1 degree of negative camber. With the "tall" front suspension, lollipops, hats, and camber plates, I measured at about 2.25* negative.

trying to recall, but I think I'm about 1.5* negative at the moment (and pretty tall). Next time I have the car on a flat surface I'll check and see what it is currently sitting at in terms of camber. 

 

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/10/19 8:49 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Great, thanks for all the feedback! I commented in that Facebook post as well, I appreciate how helpful everyone is. Could you notice a difference between -2.25* and -1.5*? I’ll probably still give them a try, but the logic I’m hearing makes sense. I had figured that it would be such a small amount that it wouldn’t hurt. 

 

And I’ll definitely be double checking my driveshaft!

 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/10/19 9:36 p.m.
artur1808 said:

In reply to irish44j :

Great, thanks for all the feedback! I commented in that Facebook post as well, I appreciate how helpful everyone is. Could you notice a difference between -2.25* and -1.5*? I’ll probably still give them a try, but the logic I’m hearing makes sense. I had figured that it would be such a small amount that it wouldn’t hurt. 

 

And I’ll definitely be double checking my driveshaft!

 

yeah I always forget who is and isn't in that group lol - should have remember you were in there already. Yes, could definitely tell a difference. And to be honest, now I'm thinking that a bit less might be beneficial, actually. Might actually try it. As Downey noted, close to vertical, the better, for outside edge bite. He and Noyes (who commented there too) are a couple of the fastest BMW rally guys out there (relative to how fast their cars are, at least) and know how to set them up. Granted they are talking more toward stage rally so there is some difference (i.e. caster is more important at high speeds), but I definitely would limit the amount of negative camber you run up front. switching plates out isn't all that hard (I actually did it without removing the suspension since I have springs with minimal preload), so it's worth trying just so you know the difference and can use it to fine-tune the way you want things. 

I think you also mentioned toe. Most e30 rally guys i know like pretty much straight zero toe, or maybe 1/16" toe in. As for me, I mostly do my toe alignment with tape measurses, so I just shoot for zero and am probably someplace fairly close to that. On gravel it matters less than on tarmac.

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/11/19 6:44 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

haha no worries. That definitely makes sense, and I'm in no position to question their judgement (or yours for that matter) since I have significantly less experience than you guys. Unfortunately my springs have some preload and my inboard balljoint doesn't have enough travel to allow the whole assembly to just swing out. I remember seeing in your thread at one point that you were able to swap srings without separating the outboard balljoint and it makes me wonder if different manufacturers use different balljoints on those control arms to allow for more/less travel. 

I've got some basic camber plates at home so I'll be doing the same thing.

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/11/19 8:09 a.m.

In reply to thatsnowinnebago :

I hadn't really thought about that, but it's a good idea. However, with the cotter pins holding the pins to the door, I already have to fiddle with each one independently to remove it. At that point, I might as well just pull them independently. 

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/11/19 12:02 p.m.

Alright, I need someone to learn me about cooling systems. I've noticed that my radiator has a leak where the plastic ends meet the core, and figure this is a good opportunity to upgrade to a nicer radiator. Unfortunately, I have an "early" e30 and have yet to find an aftermarket unit for an early one, all that I've seen are for a "late" e30, and is the same for e36. So I want to convert my system to work with a newer radiator, but want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything in my plan. 

 

 

 

So what I'd like to do is remove hoses 1 and 2 in my "early" system and replace them with 4, 7, 8, and 11 from a "late" system. This would allow me to use a "late" radiator because it would switch the radiator inlet and outlet, but it would still allow me to retain my expansion tank and the dual outlet water pump that I already have (and purchased a new one for when I do my timing belt).

The assumptions I've made here, which may or may not be accurate are as follows:

1. Radiator inlet is always the upper one, and outlet is always the lower one. (red and blue in the pictures)

2. Radiator mounting points are irrelevant. I have a welder and scrap steel, I should be able to make something work. 

3. I could simply extend the "overflow" hose. My expansion tank is on the passenger side, but the later radiator has the nipple on the drivers side. 

 

I did some reading on forums, and it seems that most people try to convert the water pump, expansion tank, and all other hoses to a "later" system in my case in order to do a "complete" swap. I'm struggling to see why all of that is necessary. However, I've been wrong countless times and have a feeling that may be the case here. So please, if I'm missing something, correct me. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/11/19 12:08 p.m.

One thing I'd suggest - buy one of the all-aluminum ebay radiators from China. They hold up great (mine is going on 8 years now) and don't have any of the fragility issues that OEM-style ones with plastic end-caps have. 

I use an e36 m3 radiator myself, with a "late" expansion tank on the driver's side (neither of which is like the stock setup)

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/11/19 12:12 p.m.

Cleared up the diagrams to better explain my understanding of the cooling system and what I'm planning on doing with my "hybrid" system:

 

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/11/19 12:13 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Yeah, I was planning on that. Ideally I would have just bought an ebay all-aluminum one for an early e30, but no such thing exists as far as I can tell. Whereas the late e30 and e36 ones are the same cost as an oem replacement with plastic end tanks. That's what's driving this whole change.

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/16/19 6:27 a.m.

Alright, I didn't hear any objections, so I might be onto something. Hoping to get my new "late-e30-and-e36" radiator in this week. Might as well do the timing belt while I have everything apart. 

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/18/19 9:20 p.m.

Started work on the cooling system today. Since I have everything apart, I’m doing the timing belt and water pump as well.

Timing belt didn’t look too bad, but the bearing in the tensioner was making some noise when I spun it by hand. Glad to have that swapped out, and the water pump that was in there was pretty gross:

And apparently at some point in this cars life, someone couldn’t be bothered to remove the timing cover to access a water pump bolt, so they cut their way to it...

 

I pulled the valve cover off at that point just to see how things looked in there. The valve cover was scary:

But the valvetrain itself looked super clean considering this car has over 200,000 miles on it. 

 

Got everything buttoned up, slapped some paint on the valve cover, replaced the thermostat, and installed an aftermarket temp sensor that’ll eventually go to a gauge in the dash. Still need to fabricate mounts for the new radiator, but ran out of time today so that’ll have to wait.

 

adam525i
adam525i Reader
4/19/19 1:49 p.m.

DId you do a valve adjustment while you were in there? It's pretty easy to do and can make a noticeable difference in the performance (at least as good as a +5hp sticker), it'll also help your rockers last.

Actually, on closer inspection those are replacement Febi rockers which means this thing has likely broken one in the past and had the head gone over, still a good idea to make sure things are still in spec. That also explains why things are so clean in there despite the underside of the valve cover looking the way it does.

Adam

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/20/19 4:06 p.m.

In reply to adam525i :

Good eye, that explains why everything looks so nice! Only a couple needed adjustment, but yeah I checked and adjusted them. 

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/20/19 4:16 p.m.

Had a few hours today so I went out to the garage and got started figuring out how to mount the new radiator. 

The newer style radiators have these little downward-facing nubs that I assume are used for mounting it, so that’s where I’ll start:

I found some scrap steel and made a couple of brackets to support the radiator. Using rubber grommets at these nubs to help isolate some vibration. 

 

 

Welded these to the frame rails and sprayed them with a bit of paint:

 

Already loving that there’s actually some space between the radiator and the engine. Still need to make an upper mount and plumb it all, but that’ll have to wait for another day.

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/22/19 3:23 p.m.

The new mounting of the radiator didn’t use the lower pads, so I cut those tabs off and made a little bracket that would hold the radiator from the top.

 

Not the prettiest thing in the world, but it should get the job done

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/22/19 10:13 p.m.

Had some nice weather for a change so I decided to pull the trailer out for some repairs. I clipped this side marker when I was dragging out of my snowy yard this winter, and have never really loved these big brackets sticking off the sides of the trailer:

 

So picked up a pair of these low-profile LEDs and moved the license plate up to the fender. Cleans up the back of the trailer quite a bit, and I’m hoping the LED lights last longer than the old bulbs. 

Don’t mind the graveyard of harbor freight drill bits laying there. This trailer was much tougher than what they’re used to. 

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/26/19 6:32 a.m.

Great news! I finished plumbing the cooling system and finally had the opportunity to start the car. Ran it for a while to burp the system, but I still need to finish wiring up the electric fan so I didn't let it run all that long. Planning on finishing that wiring after work today, checking the driveshaft balance, and taking it for a drive. Should be ready for a shakedown autocross this Sunday and then rallycross the following weekend!

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/26/19 7:58 a.m.

I used to kill my shins on my trailer with those same kind of light brackets, and did the exact same thing you did (LED strips under the back edge)....so much better :)

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
4/29/19 6:49 a.m.

Unfortunately no picture updates, but I took the car to an autocross yesterday as a shakedown before re-starting the rallycross season here. The cooling system seemed to work great, fan kicked on just fine with the switch in the radiator and the car stayed cool. The 15 year old Street tires I have on it, on the other hand, proved to be quite disappointing. I'll admit that I was pushing pretty hard because I wanted to make sure the car could handle the abuse, but the tires weren't having any of it and I was sliding all over the place. Made for less-than-impressive times, but it was an absolute blast! 

Picked up a driveshaft and transmission from a friend who is swapping his e30, so hopefully I can get my driveline noise/vibration figured out by swapping those in.

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
5/8/19 7:17 p.m.

Driveline noise update:

Swapped out the driveshaft, which actually had the alignment marks, and experienced no change in the noise. Big bummer but not totally unexpected. 

Finally got the transmission out today and after fighting with it for hours I wish I’d just borrowed my buddies engine hoist and pulled the engine/trans out together to do it. It probably would have been faster. At any rate, here’s what I found when I got the trans out:

 

Well that doesn’t look OEM. The pressure plate has “LuK” stamped on it, but I found this on the friction plate:

 

So naturally looked up the part number and found this:

I don’t love that it seems to be an “eBay special”, but that definitely explains why the clutch has been so grabby. Seems real excessive for a stock m20, but whatever. 

I was considering replacing the clutch/pressure plate if it looked worn, but I’m guessing this is pretty close to new. So the transmission I picked up will get some new seals and go in. 

 

For those that are more knowledgeable than I, is this a normal shape for the little “fingers” on the pressure plate? 

Aside from being really sensitive the clutch seemed to work fine, so I don’t have any real reason to be concerned, but just wanted a quick sense-check while I have everything apart.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
5/8/19 8:49 p.m.

the fingers on a stock clutch actually curve upward at the end (i.e. toward the back of the car) not downward like that. Those look a lot thicker than stock too. I mean, ebay special clutch likely is made of cheap metal, maybe they're bent, maybe they come like that, IDK.

Personally, I just use stock clutches. 8 seasons of rallycross, rally, and driving on a stock M20 clutch (most of it behin an M42 engine, admittedly) and it still looked pretty much like-new when i put it on the M50 last winter. I can't see any reason to have a "stage 3" clutch on a stock M20 engine, other than getting a really tired leg in traffic and having a grabby interface. Pretty sure we even have a stock clutch in our M20 endurance racing car (though don't quote me on it, since it's not my car and I didn't install the clutch). 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
5/8/19 8:52 p.m.

stock clutch

Image result for e30 clutch plate spring arms

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
5/8/19 8:58 p.m.

 

Hmmm. I thought it looked a bit off. I whole-heartedly agree that a stock clutch and pressure plate would be fine for what I’m doing, but I’m debating whether I want to spend the money since this one seems to be holding fine and I doubt it is the source of my driveline noise. I admit that it is significantly more grabby than I would ever want to deal with day-to-day, but since I will rarely be commuting in this car, I’d be okay with leaving it in there. If the fingers are, in fact, bent then I might as well just replace the whole setup. I’ll do some more digging.

3 4 5 6 7
Our Preferred Partners
di65fkl29i8KZf8EEl2LEtzMJljZKqQvmBX0rQxY7j7guvBOoAK0iQZXU5Vz8ljh