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mslevin
mslevin New Reader
9/24/21 11:27 a.m.

Just read through the thread, love it. Looking forward to following as you head into Spec3. If there was any real Spec3 presence on the West Coast I would've built one instead of my ST4-hopeful E36.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
12/10/21 9:55 a.m.

In reply to mslevin :

Thank you! Mine looks like the ugly step child compared to yours though.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
12/10/21 10:00 a.m.

Slight progress. Pulled the rear suspension out to press in the RTAB bushings required by Spec3. I was hoping to remove and save the Condor parts but they didn't want to come out so the big bad hammering screwdriver was used. Front suspension is also currently off. Getting new spherical bearings for the camber plates and then they will go in. 

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
12/10/21 10:02 a.m.

I also just picked up my head and oil pan from the machine shop yesterday. New valves, seals, top plates, retainers and a very good cleaning. Looking forward to getting the engine back together.

 

They baffled my oil pan too.

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
12/10/21 11:12 a.m.

This has me inspired to make it to a day or two with my e36, just waiting on control arms to arrive then the front is getting completely replaced so I can get it aligned (just to oem spec) and a set of tires on the 17's then I should be golden to start finding what the car actually 'needs' (other than a replacement driver seat, but watching for something inexpensive)

Good to see it's back!

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
12/10/21 12:01 p.m.

Excellent! Yeah, I dream of reaching that point where you are just tackling one thing at a time, too. I really need to stop restarting the build cycle right when I get the car together.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
12/16/21 11:29 a.m.

So the reason the head got all new valves is every single exhaust valve was bent. Evidently at some point the engine jumped timing (how does that even happen with a timing chain? Bad tensioners?) I looked close at the pistons last night and you can definitely see where the valves slapped. below is cylinder 6, which is the worst. I think I'm just going to get rid of the high points with a dremel or something and then assemble. Terrible idea?

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
12/20/21 9:51 a.m.

Thanks to GRMer jimgood I now have the correct ratio diff for Spec3. I had a 3.23 LSD in the car previously but the rules call for a 3.15. Jim supplied the 3.15, however he had upgraded the lsd unit from 2 clutches to 6 clutches in the past. Spec3 calls for the original 2 clutch setup. Jim swapped the LSD units between the two diffs, putting the 6-clutch unit in the 3.23 and the stock 2-clutch unit in the 3.15. The 3.23 will go on his car and the 3.15 will be in mine.
 

Then he came over and spent time showing me how to rebuild the LSD unit from start to finish. not a terribly difficult process, just tedious. I ordered new clutches and will post photos of the rebuild when I dive in. 
 

Cheers to Jim. 
 

jh36
jh36 Dork
12/23/21 7:02 a.m.

Well done fellows!  I'm looking forward to diving into this next phase with you. Looking good. . 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/10/22 5:01 p.m.

Rear suspension back in. Front next and then it's rolling outside for a bit. 

on the front suspension the Spec3 rules allow you to insert up to 0.13 inches of shim between the kingpin and strut housing. I combined the middle shim from Bimmerworld's shim kit with a set of washers to result in a 0.1295 inch shim. That's close enough for me. Max camber achieved. 

Shavarsh
Shavarsh Reader
1/10/22 5:47 p.m.
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham said:

 I think I'm just going to get rid of the high points with a dremel or something and then assemble. Terrible idea?

Its a fine idea from my view. I made valve reliefs in every piston with a dremel for my motor and it runs just fine.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/10/22 7:39 p.m.

Well that is comforting. I still haven't done it yet just because of how uncomfortable it makes me lol. I'll give it a shot. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/3/22 9:23 p.m.

During a build day at jh36's place, JimGood helped me through the limited slip rebuild. New clutches and friction plates. I could post the process here but he has already outlined it thoroughly Right here.

Thanks Jim!

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/3/22 9:29 p.m.

Also the suspension is all done. Haven't put the M3 front control arms on yet as I want to index them when the car has the weight of its drivertrain on board. 
 

Vorshlag camber plates sourced from another GRMer worked perfectly. Had to trim some of the inside lip of my shock tower reinforcements to get full camber adjustment. 

99jroach
99jroach New Reader
2/10/22 6:01 p.m.

Really enjoyed reading through this thread instead of paying attention to class :). I just picked up a 328is a couple months ago and I was able to take it to the last SCCA event at Summit Point (I'm based in College Park MD, so not very far from you), it has been awesome getting to read all that you've done to your car. I spent the winter getting it the car as ready as possible, wheel bearings, hub and most suspension bushings, easy to say reading this thread encouraged me to finish despite all the stripped/rusty hardware on the car.

Looking forward to seeing what you are able to do in spec3, definietly will be checking this thread often to get updates.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/10/22 9:49 p.m.

In reply to 99jroach :

Thanks for the kind words. And that's awesome! College Park is not far away at all. Maybe we'll see each other in passing at some point. Oh and if you need any little bits for your car feel free to drop me a line. I may have what you're looking for lightly used. Changing to Spec3 has left me with lots of good stuff on the shelves. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/10/22 9:52 p.m.

This past weekend the race car rolled out and the parts car rolled in. I need to use the getrag transmission in the parts car. Just finished yanking all the guts out tonight. Tomorrow the parts car goes back out and the race car comes back in. 
 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/14/22 10:12 a.m.

Saturday was a group shop day. Lots of fun hanging out and knocking some stuff out on the car. 
 

Diff got filled with the prescribed Red Line gear oil. 
 

Jim mocked up and cut panels to make a raised floor for the driver and also a raised floor on the passenger side that will have various accessories tied down to it. 

jh36 grabbed the rotary tool and sandpaper and took the high points off the piston faces where there had previously been some valve-on-piston attrition. Glad he did it. I didnt really have the guts to do it myself. 

Then the engine got flipped and we added the oil pickup tube and the new baffled oil pan. 

Next is head gasket and head, set timing and hope the valves don't slap the pistons again.

jh36
jh36 Dork
2/14/22 8:59 p.m.

That was a very nice day. I have a good feeling about this car. Good bones. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/22/22 11:19 a.m.

The long weekend was extremely productive. Head and head gasket got installed. 

Rebuilt the VANOS unit with new seals. 

Then timed everything and installed the vanos unit. It seemed like every set of instructions on setting the timing were slightly different and doing so is kind of an art. Fingers crossed that I didn't botch it. 

Then added exhaust manifolds, valve cover, engine wiring harness, sensors and a power steering pump. Yeah.... I'm putting power steering back in. It was pretty darned heavy steering with the amount of caster I'm running. Planning on pulling double duty with NASA Spec3 and AER and I can't imagine doing that for a full AER race.

Then I installed the flywheel and clutch. Spec3 requires the stock dual mass flywheel, but there is an exception for using this specific Valeo single mass flywheel conversion kit. So I did that. 

Then transmission got bolted up and the whole shebang got tossed in the car.

When I lowered the engine down onto the mounts there were some loud cracking noises. I'm going to hope it was the bits of wood between the car and Jack stands experiencing the added weight. That better be all that was. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/22/22 11:25 a.m.

Oh and it should be noted that since at some point this engine's timing jumped and the valves hit the piston I replaced the primary timing chain tensioner with a new one. Hope that doesn't happen again.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/28/22 12:06 a.m.

Spent all Saturday hooking up everything in the engine bay. I had to use an M12 to 1/8 NPT adaptor for my aftermarket temp gauge to run it into an existing port in the head. I don't like how far out of the stream the sensor is but it'll have to do. If it seems to give bad readings I can order an M12 sensor. We'll see. 

put in the driveshaft and Spec3 exhaust. All good there. The exhaust was a shockingly good fit. Just cut some stock headers right after the Y and this exhaust slipped right over and runs perfectly to the rear. Excellent work from the great Richard Mitchum. No clamps on there yet, just hung it up for a test start.

Finished everything else up and was ready to give it a crank that night. Turned around to the shelf and realized I didn't have any oil. Womp. Called it a night in this state. 

 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/28/22 12:11 a.m.

Sunday I went out and bought some Rotella T6 and gave it a try. Cranked and coughed and then fired! Sounds good. Doesn't sound like any misses and I don't think I heard any valve crunching, but I haven't driven it yet. Need to button more stuff up first. But it lives!

Bummer: None of my aftermarket gauges are working. They all have 12 volts. I'm guessing it's a ground issue. But that'll take some tracing. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/28/22 12:18 a.m.

One thing I also addressed while I was rolling around on the floor was the rear sway bar end links. With the Eibach sway bars using stock end links the sway bar was sitting uncomfortably close to the lower control arm. 

Replaced the stock end links with adjustable ones and ran them up some to have the sway bar sit roughly half way between the lower control arms and axles. 

Looks a lot better. But now I'm wondering if there's some special way to make sure the end links are the exact same length on each side. I just kind of eye-balled it when I installed them. But I imagine preloading the sway bar in one direction would have ill effects. 

jh36
jh36 Dork
2/28/22 2:05 a.m.

In reply to PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham :

I don't know if this was intentional but you are picking up different swaybar "hardness" points on those two images, in addition to the link setting. Sort of looks like if you set the current setup to hard, it might get close to the suspension again. 

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