1 2 3 4
bluej
bluej SuperDork
2/12/16 3:46 p.m.

Depends highly on how much progress we can make this weekend on wedding planning. I'm hoping to go, but won't be able to say until after the weekend. sorry :/

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
2/12/16 5:53 p.m.
bluej wrote: I don't have input on the diff fluid, but have you decided if you're going to WMWR?

It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to make it. My work/office is moving the following weekend and I'm gonna need to put in some OT next weekend to make sure everything is ready to go. Sorry I can't make this one, but I would like to come to the next!

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
2/12/16 5:54 p.m.
irish44j wrote: by "hot" they mean "on the track for extended periods." Your diff isn't going to have heat problems on short autocross runs, regardless of the temps at autocross. FWIW I use Royal Purple in the diff. And yes, need to know what your and Josh's plans are for WMWR (or not).

Ok, I get that, but wouldn't a day at Summit Point get it rather hot?

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
2/12/16 6:23 p.m.

oops, must have missed that part...

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
2/18/16 1:32 p.m.

So I've been trying to get some 15" wheels over the rear M3 brakes, but after taking a chance on some Style 27s that people said would fit with light grinding, they are far from fitting. Here's a repost from the original thread: LINK:

Well after about 2 hours of grinding on the rear calipers, some 12mm spacers, and a set of style 27 15x7 wheels.....I still couldn't get them to fit.

This is what we thought people meant by "light" grinding:

Well, that wasn't even close. Much later, the calipers looked like this:

This is what I ground off from one side:

And yet they were still not even close to fitting. Can anyone help me out here? How much more grinding am I supposed to do?

Oh, and this happened on the way home. Hooray for high mileage!

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
3/7/16 2:26 p.m.

I finally had a few days off work and I was able to get some things done, just not nearly as many as I had hoped. First, and most importantly, I was able to get the style 27s to fit over the rear M3 brakes! It just took another two hours of grinding.

Next up was some small maintenance items. First, the car needed new wiper blades, so Bosch Icons to the rescue!

Then I debadged the faded M3 emblem on the trunk. Unfortunately, the paint underneath is pretty nasty (obviously not done when the trunk was resprayed), so I need to decide if I'm going to put on another emblem (M3? 318??) or just leave it.

I then noticed a vacuum line without a clamp on it, so I fixed that right up.

Then I did some poking around under the front of the car. Anything rubber is shot.

Thankfully I'll be replacing all of those parts!

Next up was putting on the non-M front bumper. I found the HID ballasts taped to the inside of my old bumper, which I didn't like very much. I was worried that if I ripped off the new bumper at a race and reattached the ballasts the way they were, they would come with the bumper, and I would have to drive home without headlights. So instead, I taped and zip tied them to the bumper support arm:

Before:

After:

I didn't finish installing the bumper because I'm waiting on new fogs to arrive and I'm lazy.

Next up was an oil change. I went with a Mahle oil filter and Rotella T6 5w-40 oil. Not that I really needed it for this task, but my copy of "101 Performance Projects for your BMW 3 Series" had just arrived and I found it to be quite the excellent companion to my Bentley manual. Big shout out the to the guys at Pelican Parts!! I've bought so much from them for this project, and this book is icing on the cake!

That's it for now, hopefully I'll have much more to report on over the next 13 days, as the first race of the season is on the 20th, and I've got a lot more to do!

bluej
bluej SuperDork
3/7/16 2:31 p.m.

Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it fairs, especially against Josh's now full rally spec e30.

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
3/7/16 2:39 p.m.
bluej wrote: Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it fairs, especially against Josh's now full rally spec e30.

Thanks man. Feel free to come help out next weekend What's up with you, is the Volvo going to make it out, or are you too busy with wedding stuff?

buzzboy
buzzboy New Reader
3/7/16 3:11 p.m.

I had to grind my e36M3 brakes to fit the 16s I wanted. That's a lot of metal removal

bluej
bluej SuperDork
3/7/16 4:28 p.m.
95maxrider wrote:
bluej wrote: Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it fairs, especially against Josh's now full rally spec e30.

Thanks man. Feel free to come help out next weekend What's up with you, is the Volvo going to make it out, or are you too busy with wedding stuff?

We're in Hawaii for a good friend's wedding that weekend. As if I'm not busy or traveling enough..

Volvo needs a trans solenoid (have), a trans speed sensor (on the way), and some sort of skid plate (not too hard to fab, I think) before it's ready for any sort of rallyx. Realistically looking at event #3.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
3/7/16 5:19 p.m.

You get any of the welding done yet? Stop messing with HIDs and get down to the dirtywork, lol....

btw, when are you guys doing the welding - because I have stuff I need to take care of fairly soon so will need my welder and gear back in the not to distant future. I thought that's what you guys were doing this weekend?

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
3/7/16 5:20 p.m.
bluej wrote: Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it fairs, especially against Josh's now full rally spec e30.

a.k.a. basically the same car as last year, except with a bunch of weight added. Is that what "rally spec" means?

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
3/7/16 5:58 p.m.
irish44j wrote: You get any of the welding done yet? Stop messing with HIDs and get down to the dirtywork, lol.... btw, when are you guys doing the welding - because I have stuff I need to take care of fairly soon so will need my welder and gear back in the not to distant future. I thought that's what you guys were doing this weekend?

Nope, no welding done. Eric couldn't make it down, so hopefully we can take care of it next weekend. How soon do you need your gear back?

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
3/7/16 6:10 p.m.

I can hold off another weekend. It's mostly small projects I need it for at the moment, nothign I have to do before the first rallycross.

bluej
bluej SuperDork
3/7/16 7:15 p.m.
irish44j wrote:
bluej wrote: Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it fairs, especially against Josh's now full rally spec e30.

a.k.a. basically the same car as last year, except with a bunch of weight added. Is that what "rally spec" means?

What a sandbagger!

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
3/7/16 9:06 p.m.
bluej wrote:
irish44j wrote:
bluej wrote: Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it fairs, especially against Josh's now full rally spec e30.

a.k.a. basically the same car as last year, except with a bunch of weight added. Is that what "rally spec" means?

What a sandbagger!

I only speak the truth!

(or perhaps I put in an S52 and didn't mention it...)

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
3/10/16 1:21 p.m.

Only found this thread when it was updated a couple of days ago. I've been busy reading your old E28 thread on R3vlimited. What an awesome car. I just love the look of it.

Something about that bumperless shark nose, jacked up with those awesome looking wheels really rocks.

So, quick Q for you rallycross guys. What makes a good chassis? You and Josh seem to be neck and neck when your cars are both working properly. what do you think works? A longer wheelbase and more power but with a weight penalty, or the smaller lighter E30 with less power all other things being equal?

What is your view of a Miata, Vs an E30, Vs an E36 with similar prep?

Pure curiosity, I have no dog in the fight, just wondering.

P.S. So sorry it came to an untimely end, especially right after you seemed to get it de-bugged and running great. Are you not the sole owner of the M3 after having a partner with the E28?

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
3/10/16 6:12 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: Only found this thread when it was updated a couple of days ago. I've been busy reading your old E28 thread on R3vlimited. What an awesome car. I just love the look of it. Something about that bumperless shark nose, jacked up with those awesome looking wheels really rocks. So, quick Q for you rallycross guys. What makes a good chassis? You and Josh seem to be neck and neck when your cars are both working properly. what do you think works? A longer wheelbase and more power but with a weight penalty, or the smaller lighter E30 with less power all other things being equal? What is your view of a Miata, Vs an E30, Vs an E36 with similar prep? Pure curiosity, I have no dog in the fight, just wondering. P.S. So sorry it came to an untimely end, especially right after you seemed to get it de-bugged and running great. Are you not the sole owner of the M3 after having a partner with the E28?

Thanks for the kind words; as flawed as it was, it was still an awesome car. It wouldn't have held up very well in an accident, but not having the front bumper made it look so much better. Yes, I am the sole owner of the M3. It was just too tough trying to coordinate working on the car with my buddy, and now that I moved a bit it would have been even harder. That, and we didn't quite see eye to eye on modding the car ($$$).

Your first question about E30 vs. E36 vs. Miata is one for the ages, and one I struggled with for some time. I was originally leaning heavily towards an NB Miata to replace the E28. A Miata has been on my list for a while now, and I've seen how well they can do when driven properly (Shawn), so I figured I would give it a shot. But after sitting in a few and realizing that my meager 5' 10" frame barely fit with a helmet, and thinking about the hassles of a tire trailer and driving it to events (no tow rig) I went back to what I knew (relatively) and stuck with BMW. I knew that I didn't want an E30 simply because of old car rust problems (that plagued the E28), but that doesn't mean they aren't excellent rally cars, because they obviously are. Having driven Josh's very well sorted and light E30 318, it was just a completely different experience than the boat of the E28. And as different as they were, they basically put up identical times. Some courses favored one car, and some the other. I really can't say which chassis is better for this, but rather it comes down to what kind of car you want to drive. The light 318 E30 is nimble and flickable, while the E28 just kind of pounded the ground into submission and ate up bumps. Of course, who knows how an S52 swapped E30 would fare? I would expect very well.

For me, it came down to what kind of car would I enjoy driving around town, and not just at rally. My E28 was so gutted and miserable that I really only drove it to and from events, and the same goes for Josh's E30. They were/are just no good on the street. I knew that I could make an E36 M3 more livable day to day than an E30, and I just plain wanted it, so I got one. Rally-x will always be more about the driver than the car, and as you said, if the cars don't break down, it's always going to be close. That being said, I think I'm going to be pushing the limits of how much power a RWD car will put down in the gravel at small venues like rally-x, so it's going to be very interesting.

More updates coming very soon!

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
3/10/16 7:11 p.m.

I'll chime in on that as well to say "DRIVER". I think e30, e36, Miata, RX7 are all comparable for rallycross, depending on surface and course style. Shawn is consistently as fast or faster than all of the MR class guys, and he's in a lightly-prepped PR Miata (and the RX7 before that). Meanwhile, both Nick and I beat Evan and Pete Remner at GLDivs last year in my car (yes, Evan had some issues and Pete debeaded on a run, but our times were comparable when they were running clean). My 4cyl e30 has never lost to any other e30, but I suspect that I could be faster on some courses with a 6cyl e30 or e36. All in all, in four seasons of rallycross running in several different regions against different groups of competitors, I've found that there is no "right" car in the RWD Mod class, but there are a half dozen that are probably the fastest (assuming you're not going to do something crazy with a newer car like a BRZ). With RWD, traction is always the equalizer.

As to long wheelbase/heavy vs. light/smaller I'd go with the latter. Nick did well with the e28 because he's an excellent driver and knew the car well. He ran just as fast in my e30 and I suspect with an e30 set up they way he wants it (and/or with a 6cyl engine), and more experience driving the car, he would have been faster in an e30. It's a testament to Nick that he did so well in the e28, because I personally think the car was at a disadvantage vs. mine and Eisele's e30s (having driven all three myself). Nick is a better rallycross driver than I am, which I'll fully admit. The car is the main reason that I beat him last season (both the setup and, especially, the reliability factor). Meanwhile, Shawn drove my car earlier in the season and I dont' think he much liked it (and he was slower than me in it)...but he can whoop my ass in a clapped-out RX7 with blow suspension. So YMMV. Drive what car you can set up the way you like it, and more importantly RALLYCROSS A CAR THAT IS BUILT WELL AND RELIABLE. Because you're not going to win if your car keeps breaking, and that's one thing that held Nick back from a second season title.

moxnix
moxnix HalfDork
3/10/16 9:33 p.m.

Miata is always the answer.

But any of those cars are good enough right now. I looked around at E36's before I ran into a deal on the miata. But it came down to knowing miata's a lot better than BMW's mostly.

Josh's car was a little twitchy when I drove it. I am sure with a bit more time in it I would have been fine but we had been planning on running the miata that afternoon and switched cars after the drivethru so it was a last second how do I drive this thing???? My times were right around the same once you subtract the cones from my times

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
3/21/16 7:58 p.m.

Okay, I've got a small problem and I need some help. I ordered some JVAB rally suspension and I went along with John's suggestion to convert to Subaru front strut mounts, as they kind of "go up" while the BMW ones all "go down". It should give me about another inch of suspension travel, which seemed large enough to warrant the headache, and they are pretty much bulletproof to boot, since the bearings are a lot bigger. Unfortunately, I was not aware that they were going to require such intensive work to install. The problem is that the center/main hole in the front strut towers needs to be enlarged by about 1" in diameter to accommodate the larger Subaru mount. I'm worried about taking off that much material from the center of the already weak tower, and I'm also in need of help in figuring out how to do this work while being able to achieve a factory/even alignment without any problems. The three bolt holes will also need to be re-drilled further out from center.

I've got a couple ideas going through my head and I need some help sorting them out. The first suggestion I keep hearing is to cut out some front strut towers from pretty much any Subaru from the last 15-20 years and graft the whole thing into my car. I understand the concept, but it sounds like a HUGE amount of effort/complexity, and I can't figure out how I would get it in at the right angle and everything so that I can align the car properly after it's all done.

The second idea is to just to cut out a larger hole in my existing towers with a hole saw. I would bolt up a piece of wood under the tower and trace lines between bolt holes from above on the wood until I found the center point of the tower. I would then use that as my reference point for the appropriately-sized hole saw to make the hole larger. My concern with this is having a weaker tower, but there are some hopefully simpler remedies for this than the first option. First up is the $195 VAC front strut tower reinforcement kit:

My thought was to weld the circular part on the flatter (non-ribbed) underside of the tower, and then make the center hole larger when I do the tower. I feel like this would keep my angles from changing as much as a completely new tower from a different car while still being strong enough.

Then I came across a 318ti with this work done:

in here.

Wow, that's a lot nicer than anything I'm going to be able to do.

But THEN, I found these $30 Subaru shock tower reinforcement plates:

Maybe I could weld this on top of the tower to reinforce after cutting the main hole? Would the VAC kit be necessary if I used these properly from above? The only problem is the tower has 6 reinforcement ridges which means there's no real flat surface to weld to from above, but below it's pretty flat.

So what do you guys think, should I try to retain as much of my stock shock tower and just cut and reinforce, or should I try and graft an entire Subaru tower on?

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
4/4/16 1:58 p.m.

Long time, no updates! That should probably be the motto of this thread.....

I've got so much stuff to post up, I'm not really sure where to start. So I'll start with the small stuff and make you wait for the fun stuff!

When I emptied out the trunk I noticed that the vent tubes going to the charcoal canister (???) in the trunk looked a little funny. Closer inspection revealed some body damage in that area, probably from someone backing the car into a high curb or something. I wanted the grommets to seal up tight to limit the amount of dust getting into the car, so I hit things with a hammer until they looked good enough.

Good enough!

I'll have to make a more detailed post when I'm at home and I have my spreadsheet in front of me, but for now you will have to take these boxes of parts as evidence of the enormity of the project:

In anticipation of replacing every bushing and ball joint on the car, I picked up a 20 ton press from Harbor Freight for $160 after a 20% off coupon!

I got a set of 328 front brakes/spindles so I could get some 15" wheels on the front.

It remains to be seen how bad they will throw off the brake bias with the stock M3 calipers in the rear. Either way, they should be fine for rally-x.

I cleaned up my old Motorsport Hardware studs with a wire brush to replace the ones that came on the M3. There was a lot of crap built up in the threads!

This is what my old brake lines looked like:

Thank god I ordered new SS BimmerWorld lines!

And after much waiting, my JVAB suspension finally arrived, minus rear springs (that's another long story...)

Holy crap, these things look awesome! I've never seen a piston as large as the ones for the front struts!

Pile of old crap:

And here are most of the new lock nuts I ordered from the dealer. It's always good to have spares!

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
4/4/16 2:10 p.m.

I've been lurking on E36 forums for years and have heard enough about weld-on chassis reinforcements to know that they would probably be a good idea for a car that was going to get abused in rough stuff, so I decided to go with AKG for all my weld-in parts. First up is the front subframe. When I pulled off the original subframe and cleaned it up, I noticed that it took a pretty good hit and one of the nutserts for the x-brace was cocked sideways. This might have been fine if I weren't going to install an x-brace, or spend time welding on reinforcements, but if I'm going to go to all this trouble, I'm going to do it on a non-bent subframe. Luckily, a local member had one out of a convertible, so I didn't have to install new nutserts!

Original front subframe:

One of the "inner" AKG reinforcements didn't quite line up perfectly with the hole for the motor mount, but it wasn't a big deal. Thankfully, I had Josh (irish44j) come over and put his welding skills to work. Thanks Josh!!!

Here's the "inner" part welded in and painted:

And now for the "outer" piece:

Here's the one hole that didn't quite line up:

So I busted out the drill and made it work:

A few coats of paint later and it was all done!

So that's one part of the car reinforced...there are many more to come.

95maxrider
95maxrider New Reader
4/4/16 2:17 p.m.

And now for something really exciting, exhaust hangers, woo!

The ones for the muffler that came on the car were obviously shot...

The new ones (two different aftermarket manufacturers) were of a different design than the ones that came off the car:

The ones further forward weren't doing much better. I had ordered one poly hanger just for fun before I realized that both needed to be replaced, so I had to rush and get an OEM-style one.

No broken/hanging cat-backs for me!

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
4/4/16 3:11 p.m.

Nick, NOBODY needs to see my welds that close-up in so much detail

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners
X61f8V2xXDIt6Ef9v2e73JbLHYT8gf2dW1tAZcn5X2XHPEJh512Fkvrti2wU60dk