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classicJackets
classicJackets HalfDork
5/25/18 8:18 a.m.

Nice!! Cool to see another TI on the board, especially owned by someone else working in Tire engineering. 

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
5/31/18 8:06 p.m.

Inspired by the GRM live a few weeks ago, I built some string alignment rigs that hang off my car. They store nicely where I keep my extension ladder without being in the way.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/4/18 7:47 a.m.

Continuing to prepare for the front end overhaul, I built a camber gauge over the weekend. It took a couple hours to whip up, with the only difficult part being the slots. No milling machine = angle grinder and file. I have about $35 in this including the digital angle gauge that sticks to the steel angle portion with a magnet.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/9/18 8:41 p.m.

Yesterday afternoon, I helped a friend out a new radiator in his BSP Miata before he headed off to an event for the weekend. While I was in garage mode and had some time to kill, I tackled the remaining front end work on my car. 

The steering gear that I ordered for a z3 took some work to fit. The pressure lines needed to be bent some for it to fit in the subframe. The rack travel spacers I ordered didn’t fit either, so I had to open up the inner diameter a bit to install them. The worst part of that job was getting the intermediate shaft off and back on. The fine spline that bmw uses for the cardan joint doesn’t slide very well on the I-shaft or pinion.

Next was the front control arms and offset polyurethane bushings for the “lollipops.” Fairly straight forward job, but access to the nut on the inner ball joint that mounts to the subframe is terrible. I couldn’t get a ratchet and socket or ratcheting wrench on the fastener, so I had to use a combination wrench and turn the nut 1/6 of a turn at a time.

I still need to bleed the steering with some new fluid and align the car, but I expect it to feel much better now. Pretty much every joint in the front end had play, and the rack and pinion had a fair amount of lash. 

I found out that the high temp jb weld I used on the brake cooling backing plates isn’t sufficient. I’ll fabricate something to mechanically fasten them together.

Also, I found a Stanley 10mm socket that a previous owner had lost somewhere in the engine bay. It was a little rusty on the surface, but tool karma must be coming back around. 

classicJackets
classicJackets HalfDork
6/11/18 10:36 a.m.
collinskl1 said:

 

The steering gear that I ordered for a z3 took some work to fit. The pressure lines needed to be bent some for it to fit in the subframe. The rack travel spacers I ordered didn’t fit either, so I had to open up the inner diameter a bit to install them. The worst part of that job was getting the intermediate shaft off and back on. The fine spline that bmw uses for the cardan joint doesn’t slide very well on the I-shaft or pinion.

 

Is this just the Z3 Rack and Pinion? I've put some thought towards replacing that as well - looking forward to an update on how it is! 

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/11/18 11:51 a.m.

Yeah, just a remanufactured Z3 rack. Once I get it aligned tonight, I'll take it for a spin and see how different it is.

The Internet (tm) says:

Non-M E36 - 3.5 turns lock-to-lock
Z3 1.9, 2.5, 2.8, 3.0 - 2.7 turns lock-to-lock

95M3 - 3.0 turns lock-to-lock
96+M3 - 3.25 turns lock-to-lock
MZ3 use - 3.25 turns lock-to-lock

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/12/18 6:27 a.m.

I aligned the car and bled the power steering last night. 1/8" toe out in the front, and 1/8" toe in for the rear. The steering wheel is straight, but I don't have the rack centered... so there is about half an extra turn to the right... I'll fix that later.

The ratio is right about where I want it - much faster than the stock system. Efforts went up because of the ratio change as well as the added caster from the offset lollipop bushings, but still feels good.

On the test drive, everything feels nice and tight like it should. No more lash in the system or clunking over bumps. The feel is much more direct.

I did notice some instability in the steering with the car sitting stationary under high handwheel velocities on low grip surfaces like my garage floor. I think it is an interaction between the relatively high grip tire and lack of compliance in the suspension. Once the car is rolling, or the surface is more tractive, everything seems fine. I'll drive it some more and maybe bleed the system a little more to see if I can fix it... otherwise, I'll just try to learn to live with it.

Jakejones363
Jakejones363
6/25/18 12:16 p.m.

In reply to collinskl1 :

About to star my m52 318ti swap glad to see 318ti out there I'll be watching your progress!

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
9/4/18 6:58 a.m.

I spent the holiday weekend wrapping up the differential re-build. This consisted of all new bearings and seals. The interchange information on all of the usual sites (Rock Auto, Advance, Autozone, etc) is incorrect for some of the seals and bearings - they call for some standard E36 parts, when the car needs E30 bits.

Once I got that figured out and sourced the proper parts, it wasn't a terribly difficult job. That said, I won't ever do it myself again. I wanted to try, and believe that I succeeded, but once is enough.

The worst part of the job was getting the bearing races off of the shafts. I have a 20T press, but there wasn't good room to get a puller/splitter on the bearing parts... so cutting was required. I cut as far into the race as I could, then split them with a cold chisel and hammer. This took the longest and was the most miserable part of the job.

The races that were in the housing were stubborn too, so I employed the trick I learned from an oldtimer - run a bead of weld around the race. As it cools, the weld will pull the race in, and they literally fell out a minute or two later.

Setting the pinion torque was the most difficult part, and I'm not 100% sure that I got it right.

While I had the car up on jack stands and the exhaust out, I decided to make a change. The stock exhaust is heavy and in the way for several operations... so it was cut out. Summit Racing is just down the road from me, and is a treasure trove of same day pickup goodies.

I cut the stock exhaust off right behind the 4-2-1 header and upstream O2 sensor. This is what I came up with. It dumps right in front of the passenger rear tire. Test drive confirms my fears - it's LOUD. I'm not sure how loud it actually is outside the car, but on the inside it is bad. The lack of sound deadening material and the hatchback makes me wonder if it isn't just an echo chamber issue, but I'm probably going to need a longer muffler, or another shorty one added.

I also picked up some race seats on Craigslist. More on that to come soon.

buzzboy
buzzboy Reader
9/5/18 6:23 a.m.

My TI is loud on the inside with full interior, rear seats up and a full size magnaflow. I think part of the issue is the echo chamber effect of the hatch. I really want to quiet it down a bit inside but I'm still stuck on that one.

artur1808
artur1808 Reader
9/6/18 6:41 a.m.

A turbo would probably make it quieter ;)

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
4/8/19 1:34 p.m.

New tire day!

245/40R17 Hankook RS4 tires mounted on 17x9 +34 Konig Ultraform wheels. I may opt for a 5 mm spacer on the front. There is limited clearance between the tire and the strut tube.

Nothing rubs currently, but I do have some more work to do dialing in ride height - the front needs to come down, but I need shorter springs to do that as my adjustment is maxed out now. I also need to get the car on some scales as my cross weight must be off by a good bit - it turns in much faster to the left than the right.

Champcar has rules for fenders covering tires - this won't pass. I might be able to roll the lips enough to clear, but will likely need to pull the fenders out. Since I plan to vent the front fenders in an effort to eliminate the rust, this is fine with me.

The rears have plenty of room already from "rolling" them with a hammer.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
5/28/19 12:16 p.m.

This weekend I started work on the cooling system. I'm about 11 hours into the job, and am waiting on a few remaining parts to arrive before I can button it all back up, refill the coolant, and pray for no leaks. These are most of the parts that went into the job: Radiator, thermostat, water pump, 13 or 4 hoses, three plastic bits, fuel injector o-rings, and intake manifold gaskets.

 

The radiator, water pump, and thermostat are all fairly simple and straight forward. Typical access and ease of replacement.

 

The part that is a much bigger job is all of the other misc hoses and plastic pipes that run under the intake manifold. Oh, and the intake manifold is actually two pieces.

And the fuel rail is between those intake manifold halves, as is the engine wiring harness... so they have to come out as well. The truly hateful part of the job was a coolant tee that is in the back of the head, but lacks access as it is sandwiched up against the firewall.  Luckily, my hands are fairly small, but there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth trying to get that little guy swapped.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/5/19 6:27 a.m.

This past weekend, I was able to get the cooling system refresh all buttoned up, and bled on the first try. I kept seeing horror stories on the internet about how difficult it was to bleed a BMW, but I didn't have any trouble. Haven't driven it yet, but while running it up to temp to bleed, I found no leaks.

 

buzzboy
buzzboy HalfDork
6/5/19 7:45 p.m.

For my TI the hardest part was bleeding the heater core. I ended up using my shop vac to pull air out of the system which worked really well.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/5/19 8:17 p.m.

I just ran the car with the heater running until it came up to temp. 

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/18/19 7:48 a.m.

I found a couple small oil leaks this weekend. As it turns out, the A/C compressor bracket and tensioner are retained with bolts that also function as timing cover fasteners. When I eliminated the A/C, I left those bolts off. I sourced a couple shorter bolts and installed them - hopefully the leaks are stopped.

I gutted the rear bumper and it's mounting, and added a tow strap. To hold the bumper cover on, I used dzus style quarter turn fasteners. They're a bit of a pain to get fabricated in place, and it took some trial and error on "length" of the fastener to adequately hold the parts together. The total panel thickness that I calculated did not account for rivet protrusion behind the bumper cover.

Clyde the racerdog helping out

I started fabricating a splitter. Cardboard allowed me to create a template with 5" forward protrusion from the leading edge of the bumper.

My plan is to develop a proof of concept with plywood, then eventually move to alumalite or dibond once I have something that works. I added the front tow strap and started with the stiffening structure and air dam mounting face. I'm still not 100% sure how I'll mount it yet. I want it to be quickly removable for trailer loading. I have a few ideas, but need to study it some more. That's the next part to tackle.

I also worked on some rust elimination, which also functions as wheel well venting and flared fenders to cover the tire. Still need to finalize the mounting and do the other side to match.

I have my first track event in the car this coming Saturday morning - SCCA's Track Night in America at Pitt Race. I need to scramble with the front fenders, get the brakes bled, and re-center the steering rack this week so I'm ready to go.

I'm excited, but have never driven that track in the dry. I have about 2 hours and 45 minutes in the wet driving my team's Taurus SHO lemons car, but this will be the first time in this car, and hopefully in the dry. Hopefully I'm not in everyone's way with my low hp car.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
6/24/19 9:02 a.m.

This weekend was the car's maiden voyage on track, and it went well. The car didn't overheat, and it handled predictably. The brakes were sufficient and didn't fade, but the stoptech sport pads I have don't offer the bite that I want.

F3/F4 was there as well, so it was neat to see those cars on track.

My camera didn't record the afternoon laps for some reason, so all I have is the very pedestrian laps from the morning where I was just feeling out the car before turning up the wick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JebGTPW49FM

My next planned track outing is in August at Nelson Ledges. I've never been there, so I'm excited. I'll probably run an autocross or two in between.

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