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collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
10/19/16 8:18 p.m.

So I bought a new toy this past weekend from a fellow GRMer. I plan to use it as a fun commuter while I prep it for track day duty. It's been 6 years since I've had something other than a truck as my only street vehicle, so it is nice to supplement my truck's daily duties with something a little sporty.

I'll basically be picking up where BlueInGreen44's Thread left off. I loaded it up on a Uhaul trailer - what a pile of garbage it was. Note to self: don't ever use one of those again.

But we made it home. I haven't done much of anything yet, other than get it registered in Ohio and put a GRM sticker in the back window. With a little more garage organization, it should fit inside with the truck.

I've started getting a little ahead of myself, because I've already been looking for lightweight flywheels and spring damped clutches for it... but I need to slow down a little bit and focus on other areas. I plan to replace worn suspension bushings with harder versions and put a stiffer spring/damper package on it. I haven't decided if I want to step all the way to coilovers (KW V2) or if a Bilstein or Koni strut and lowering spring will be enough for me.

I plan to convert the front brakes to a larger E46 vented rotor setup, but haven't decided which diameter (325/328 or 330i) to run. It'll be partially dependent on what wheels and tires I want to run. I have a line on some crusty craigslist "contours" to see what 17's look like.

Eventually the seats will be replaced with racing buckets and it'll see a roll bar and harnesses. The shifter is pretty whooped out, so I've ordered an oem z3 shifter to replace it with. This will shorten the throw a bit, but keep the factory niceness.

I'll keep this updated as I make progress.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
10/20/16 10:08 a.m.

In reply to collinskl1:

You should buy My beater E36 M3 and build yourself an OBD1 S50 powered ti!

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
10/20/16 11:01 a.m.

As of now, I plan to run the M44 until it pops. If that day ever comes, an S5X or LSX will surely find it's way under the hood.

BlueInGreen44
BlueInGreen44 Dork
10/24/16 1:31 p.m.

This makes me happy and I'll enjoy watching your progress. Sounds like you plan you do all the stuff I probably would have done if I had the time and $$. I'm glad the car will get to live up to its potential!

jr02518
jr02518 Reader
10/24/16 1:54 p.m.

I would look into the local BMWCCA chapter and research their track day schedule. I ran two weekend events this year in my 1994 325is and the instruction was great. I ran in two different chapters and was in the "D" group both events. But based on my cars lack of horsepower, I was in the right spot. You will catch just about everything in you group in the corners and they will run away from you in the straights. Yes, you can find cheaper groups to run with, but they might not get the bimmer thing.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
10/25/16 7:31 a.m.

I picked up some black plastidipped staggered M3 "contour" wheels over the weekend. There is plenty of room in here - I doubt I'll need a tire trailer when the track time comes calling.

They have decent tires on them... except the one that has a huge bubble in the sidewall. Since I've recently changed jobs from a steering engineer to a tire engineer, I'm keenly aware that driving on this tire is a bad idea - so I had to hunt down a new tire before I can get back to driving little red. I should have it all mounted up for pics tonight. I'm a little afraid to peel off the plastidip, because I don't know what's underneath.

I found myself in a bit of a conundrum, because the other three tires have a lot of life left in them, but they are far from a premium tire. I was planning to run them until they were used up and put snows on these new wheels for the winter, but now I think they'll last much longer than that. Working for a large tire company has its perks, but they still aren't free. I can't bring myself to throw away tires, and I a staggered set of used unmounted tires would be hard enough to craigslist away - not to mention when I only have 3 of the 4.

jr02518 wrote: ...but they might not get the bimmer thing.

I'm not sure I get the bimmer thing quite yet. I find myself still using the turn signals all the time.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
10/25/16 6:09 p.m.

Got the tire mounted, balanced, and installed it on the car. I also painted the chrome grille surrounds flat black. Not much for real progress, but baby steps.

I have a few shipments inbound from Turner Motorsport, Bavarian Autosport, and Ebay. Those should keep me busy for the next couple weeks.

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
10/31/16 6:32 a.m.

Well, this weekend wasn't as productive as I had hoped. Saturday was beautiful and I had hoped to spend the day working on what has now become known as "little red." Unfortunately, my girlfriend had to have her thyroid taken out on Friday - because cancer - and I spent the rest of the weekend hanging out on the couch with her. Some things are more important than cars.

I did however get to do some more research and order some more parts. It's official, I've spent more on the car than I did for the car... and it makes me happy.

Parts that are ready to go: foglight hole covers, clutch pedal bushings, z3 shifter and bushings, and a tilt steering column because I need the wheel to be closer to my lap.

Parts that I've ordered: poly front control arm bushings, poly rear subframe bushings, oem rubber rear trailing arm bushings, and a wheel stud conversion kit. I also went very un-GRM and sent hundreds of dollars to Coby Wheel for some alcantara interior goodies.

I need to dig into the accessory drive on the engine, because it has a squeal on cold startup. The interwebz point to alternator pulley.

I discovered recently that Summit Racing is headquartered 15 minutes from my house, and Turner Motorsport was bought a year or so ago by ECS Tuning which is headquartered 35 minutes from me. Summit will let me pick up directly from their warehouse, but ECS/Turner won't. Either way, it's dangerous for my bank account.

ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) Reader
10/31/16 9:24 a.m.

Interesting news about ECS and Turner Motorsports, I guess always assumed Will Turner owned both the shop and the race team.

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
10/31/16 9:44 a.m.

In reply to ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual):

Looks like he did until July of 2015

Turner Announcement

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
10/31/16 3:40 p.m.

Black out the center caps

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
11/17/16 6:49 a.m.

Progress is slower than I had anticipated. I've had boxes of parts waiting for me, but have been out of town for work a lot.

Last night I started on the steering column and wheel swap. While I didn't find any rusty fasteners, the job wasn't easy. The two main bolts that hold the column to the cross-car beam are shear bolts, and have no features to remove them... There wasn't grinder access, so that took a lot of work with a chisel and hammer. Once those were out, the intermediate shaft yokes were stuck on their mating splined shafts pretty well.

Lots of loud noises and swearing and I finally got it out - after 5 hours. Bottom came out, top is going in.

I still need to swap the ignition switches/steering locks. I tried for about 30 minutes to get the tumbler out, but couldn't seem to get the technique down. I plan to just use my whole original module... hopefully it fits.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
11/17/16 7:34 a.m.

I LOVE THE 3-Series Hatch! There, I said it. I love the look of it, I love the combination of sport and practicality, the hatch, the clean lines. I'll be watching this thread with envy.

docwyte
docwyte Dork
11/17/16 9:53 a.m.

Wow, I didn't know that about Turner and ECS. Guess there's really no point in cross shopping the two now...

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
11/17/16 10:17 a.m.

I have found that they don't stock the exact same stuff and that their prices aren't always the same.

For example, ECS has PSS9 coilovers for a few hundred bucks less than Turner, but doesn't have Turner's camber plates available.

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
11/27/16 5:47 p.m.

I spent some time in the garage today and was able to wrap up the rest of the adjustable steering column and other interior bits. My driving position is much more comfortable now, I don't have a squeak when I turn anymore, and it looks a lot better (IMO).

I also installed a z3 shifter with new bushings. This shortens the throw ~30% from stock. While there is less play than there was, the "selector rod" link between the shift lever and the transmission (?) is the next weak link. I can't find an upgraded replacement for the 318ti, so I have to deal with some play for now.

I put some new hatch struts in today, too. The ones that came out would hold the hatch open, but it would slowly start to sag and come down.

Still to do with parts on hand: suspension bushings, wheel stud conversion, alternator pulley.

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
12/9/16 5:56 a.m.

No progress on the 318 except for snow tires. It's been far too cold in the garage for me to muster up the motivation for wrenching. I didn't even want to do the wheel bolt to wheel stud conversion in the cold.

I did get it a new bunk-mate though. Bye truck, hello RS. I never thought I'd be the owner of two small German hatchbacks.

JMcD
JMcD New Reader
12/9/16 8:53 a.m.

PPO (previous previous owner) here. I bought it in Ohio when it had 120k on the clock. Sold it to BlueInGreen44 6 years later w/ ~184k miles after I bought a FoST. Every time it snows I miss having it.

If you need any background on the car, shoot me a PM! Hope it serves you as well as it did me.

Durty
Durty New Reader
12/9/16 9:16 a.m.

Congrats, the car looks great. I didn't know there was a tiltable steering column available.

I love the ///M stitching on the wheel. Is there still an airbag in there?

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
12/9/16 9:44 a.m.

The column I got is from a convertible, but I'm not exactly sure what vehicle/option combinations got it.

While there are versions of that wheel with airbags, mine doesn't have one. The horn doesn't work either.

Since I plan on racing buckets and harnesses, I'm not too worried about it. I do tend to be a liberal horn honker though when someone deserves it, and I do miss that.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
12/9/16 10:11 a.m.

There was a guy on r3vlimited who made custom DSSR's

FS Post

It looks like he's stopped for now, but it can't be hard to whip one up if you're so inclined.

Love the steering wheel/shift boot combo. I've always thought these looked like fun.

BA5
BA5 New Reader
12/9/16 10:16 a.m.

I can go visit Summit Racing during lunch. It's problematic. Nice 318! I love 'functional' restorations.

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
1/12/17 11:59 a.m.

I haven't been driving the 318 as much recently, since I got the RS... heated seats and such will do that. I do get it out 2-3 days a week though. If it's especially nasty out with snow or rain it pulls duty. Snow tires and an RWD LSD in a car that I can walk away from is a lot more fun than the thought of wadding up the RS.

When it was just my truck and the 318, the braking performance seemed fine - both took a while to stop. Compared to the RS's overly touchy and aggressive brakes, the 318 needs some help. I also started to hear it grinding - but only the first few stops of every trip (odd).

I ordered e46 front calipers, brackets, rotors, and pads, replacement 318 rear pads, and stainless lines from rock auto. The e46 fronts will bolt on and give me a larger diameter for more swept area and thermal capacity. Apparently the only bolt on rear upgrade is the M coupe/roadster, but that also requires some other stuff to change. The internet says control arm, hub, and axle. I haven't studied up yet to see if a hub change would do the trick. I need to do rear wheel bearings in it anyway, so if it's as simple as a hub change at the same time, I'll do it.

I still haven't ordered new dampers/springs. I was basically set on coilovers, but now am leaning to koni inserts and stiffer springs. I just can't spend the couple grand for coilovers when my gut tells me a few years from now this car will be a crapcan racer. Coilovers won't fly there, and I won't get my money back out of them used because of the 318ti niche.

I'll swap the brakes soon and keep driving on the crapped out bushings and dampers until it warms up. Then I'll make a decision and do that job.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
4/30/17 8:03 p.m.

The last couple weeks I was made some minor progress. It all starts with the pesky E36 window regulator grease issue that is so well documented. Of course, common problems don't apply to ME, so I deferred the grease maintenance. And promptly trashed the driver side regulator and motor one cold morning while swooping my badge into the parking deck at work. Instead of fixing it, I decided that my eventual plan for lexan windows has been accelerated.

I also went a little wild with weight reduction while I removed the glass. I haven't gotten the lexan yet, but emptied the doors. Coroplast door cards replaced the stock panels.

I also took everything out of the car behind the front seats. Everyone in front of the b pillar is still there (except the door panels) but the rear is gutted. I've taken out 175 pounds without removing the rear windows or hatch glass yet. Nothing too aggressive has happened yet... just unbolting and taking things out. The serious diet will come later.

Today, I started in on the important stuff. Rear suspension and brakes were a big job that I was eager to knock out. The car has been clunking, squeaking, and grinding over bumps, around turns, and while slowing. I got oem trailing arm bushings because I didn't want any side effects from polyurethane that I've read about. The subframe bushings and diff bushing are poly. I've decided on revalved bilstein struts with 500 lb/in springs front and rear. I got spherical bearing upper strut mounts for the rear.

It took a couple hours to get the subframe assembly out of the car. Then I started removing bushings. None of them were as torn up or worn as I had thought (or hoped) they would be.

When I got the rear struts out, I learned where the noises and poor handling stemmed from. Totally blown struts... no damping at all. The mounts were ok though. These are the old and new (to me) struts. The old ones fell to the collapsed position when I got them out of the car.

I got all of the new bushings installed except the diff bushing... which apparently I forgot to order. This sucks because I really wanted to button it up tonight... oh well. It will wait for me until I get the part and return from a week I need Oklahoma for business. I replaced the rear brake calipers and pads with stoptech sports and stainless braided lines. Here it sits ready to go in when I get back.

I have front struts sourced, but need to send them to bilstein for some new damping magic. I also need to order some camber plates. I have the front brakes ready to go on whenever I get to it. I need to decide what Tom do for control arms - heavy duty metal ball joints sounds nice, but so do aluminum arms. I'm not sure if I can have both. I also want a z3 steering rack for a quicker steering ratio. The 318 c-factor is way to old slow for track duty I need my opinion.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
4/30/17 9:21 p.m.
collinskl1 wrote: I've started getting a little ahead of myself, because I've already been looking for lightweight flywheels and spring damped clutches for it... but I need to slow down a little bit and focus on other areas. I plan to replace worn suspension bushings with harder versions and put a stiffer spring/damper package on it. I haven't decided if I want to step all the way to coilovers (KW V2) or if a Bilstein or Koni strut and lowering spring will be enough for me.

Your best option for flywheels is the single-mass FW out of the 325i e30/e36. It should bolt right up with the 325i clutch. It's a lot lighter than the dual-mass that comes in your car (and a lot cheaper than the aftermarket ones). In my experience, the M42/44 doesn't like super-light flywheels, but that may just be a personal preference.

collinskl1 wrote: I plan to convert the front brakes to a larger E46 vented rotor setup, but haven't decided which diameter (325/328 or 330i) to run. It'll be partially dependent on what wheels and tires I want to run. I have a line on some crusty craigslist "contours" to see what 17's look like.

The stock brakes on that car with good pads, lines, and fluid should be more than sufficient for drivign and some track duty. I've seen e36 sedans (heavier than yours) do full Chump/AER enduros on stock brakes with good pads.

collinskl1 wrote: Eventually the seats will be replaced with racing buckets and it'll see a roll bar and harnesses. The shifter is pretty whooped out, so I've ordered an oem z3 shifter to replace it with. This will shorten the throw a bit, but keep the factory niceness.

Good choice. The z3 shifter is a good feel, though still not a short-shifter by any means.

For bushings, check out: https://www.condorspeedshop.com/

and remember, your rear suspension is essentially an e30 setup, not e36!

EDIT: sorry, should have read down farther lol.

Oh also, regarding " While there is less play than there was, the "selector rod" link between the shift lever and the transmission (?) is the next weak link. I can't find an upgraded replacement for the 318ti, so I have to deal with some play for now."

What makes you think the selector rod is the weak link? I have the M42/G240 setup and have never had any issue in 6 years or rallycross/stage rally/hard street driving/track/autocross.

The only real way to get rid of play is to get a DSSR setup. But that will get rid of any smoothness you have...super-short, notchy, and really just fun on track and noplace else (we have one in our track car).

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