AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/15/21 12:41 p.m.

Well, the event was pre-paid so Sunday morning I loaded up the Z and drove out to Bremerton to attend my first and probably last autocross for a while. We walked the course and realized this was a long fast course that would probably play well into the Z's abilities. Then it started raining...

36 degrees and pissing down rain it was clear that this was going to be a pretty miserable day. I was working first running second and I witnessed a number of cars overestimating their grip as they spun around.  At one point I even had to run for my life as a rotating miata crashed straight through my work station. Later while I was running an LS-swapped porsche beetle spun off the course, across 250 feet of grass and crashed arse first through a fence onto an active airfield. 

We decided to take it easy and run between 50-75% and just get a solid time. Boring video below.


Then we slowly drove it home and parked it. Good times were had by some, I assume.

Now I'm full on into finding a new job. If I can find one by the next event I'll be at it.

GCrites80s HalfDork
3/15/21 1:54 p.m.

I do not like autocrossing mine in the rain. New cars seem to do a lot better in the rain than these oldies, even with their traction and stability controls turned off. Not sure what it is.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/17/21 5:28 p.m.

A few weeks back SWIMBO needed to use her car and I found myself running to work in the Z. It was early in the morning and I got pulled over. Fortunately I am a very white dude in a T-top Camaro so instead of being murdered I was let off with a warning for a headlight out. My plan was to swap to a set of celebrity one piece headlamp assemblies, but my timeline was suddenly truncated. I started looking for headlamp upgrades that wouldn't need any extensive custom work.

All of the LED bulbs were just cringy spider-eye monstrosities with halo rings and colour changing bullE36 M3, and I didn't want to go that route. Then I stumbled across a set of retrofit housings that would allow an H4 bulb to fit inside a stock appearing glass housing. For around $160 I was able to retrofit all four housings.

Here's the LED low beam (outside) compared to the halogen high beam (inside)

A literal night and day difference.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/17/21 10:02 p.m.

That looks amazing

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/18/21 1:10 a.m.

While I was at it with the lighting I turned my attention to the taillights. The stock tails are in rough shape with small spider cracks in the lenses. I few years back I did a quick and dirty spray tint to try and mask them until I found a nice set of grids, Over time I decided I didn't want to update to grids and decided to stick with the stock style early lamps. Those early lamps are much harder to find. In the 3 ish years since I tinted them the tint has faded and worn off leaving the lenses pretty much stock appearing. Except for my hasty runs... they stayed.

I decided to rectify this... finally. I started with 500 grit sandpaper, wet with soap and water.

Then 1000 and 1200.

Then I set to polishing with a headlight restoration kit.

It turned out pretty well.

A couple of coats of tint and we're getting that blackout look.

I love unmasking... you can see the light coming in through the bulb-sockets shining on the back of the lens. Even though they're near blackout, they will light up perfectly fine.



AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/18/21 5:20 p.m.

Forgot to mention, the lights got a few coats of clear this time around, hopefully they hold up a little better.

docwyte PowerDork
3/18/21 5:24 p.m.

Not a fan of the black out look.  Think they look way better stock.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/18/21 6:28 p.m.
docwyte said:

Not a fan of the black out look.  Think they look way better stock.

I'm not a fan of the spiderweb cracked look...

GCrites80s HalfDork
3/18/21 8:05 p.m.

Funny part is, 15-20 years ago you couldn't give away the solids -- especially the ones with no black line across the middle and *gasp* the Berlinetta ones with the trim. Everybody wanted the grids. Maybe they all got tossed, I don't know.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/18/21 11:16 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

That's sort of the story of third gens in general. They were garbage throwaway cars (mine for example) and all of a sudden they're creeping towards $10K for so-so examples.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
6/12/21 11:06 p.m.

Still no job, but I did get a present from my employed past. Something I had ordered and forgotten about showed up at my door today. 

I started by pulling the stock spoiler...

Drill a couple of holes and thread in some bolts...

and bam... all the downforce.

only real downside is between the wicker bill and the cage I have almost no rearward vision. I'm really considering an always-on rear facing camera.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
7/14/21 5:50 p.m.

Not a lot of progress. Covid era PNW in the wake of the 737-max shutdown seems to be exactly the worst time and place to start a career in machining. At least I've got student debt now.

I did a bit of interior work, trying to make the car less crappy to drive. I pulled the shifter plate, ground all the rust off and gave it a few coats of paint.

I also fitted a set of door pulls so that I can close the doors as the armrest/handles had been removed to make room for the cage. This is a precursor to replacing all the weatherstripping (most of which I already have) as I currently just stick my hand between the window and door panel to pull the door closed now. This won't be possible once I replce the window felts.

Little steps. I need a new set of door panels, door handle trim, and the plastic top caps. and maybe a new T-top centre panel and we'll be ready to go.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
7/17/21 8:47 a.m.
AClockworkGarage HalfDork
7/28/21 2:24 a.m.

Here we are again. A few weeks back it was a little bit warm up here in the ol' PNW.

Fortunately that climate change thing is a hoax, otherwise we'd be royally berked. Unfortunately my electric fan chose that weekend to call it quits. I had hardwired my fan in so even troubleshooting it proved difficult. I ended up cutting the wires and running test leads to the battery. The fan came on so I was a little relieved it wouldn't be too expensive to fix. I checked the fuse and relay and they seemed fine. Now there is a big difference between a mechanic and a parts replacer.

I am a parts replacer. I swapped out the temp sensor, relay, and circuit breaker. While I was in there I added a weatherpack plug to the fan in case I needed to test or replace it in the future.

Once everything was put back together I fired the car up and sat in my driveway revving, trying to get the temps up. after 15 minutes the car had not gotten hot enough to kick on the fans. Then I realized I was stupid, closed the hood, and watched the temps climb. The fans kicked on right when they were supposed to and brought her down to a reasonable operating temp.

So things are... ok again.

Also I received an offer letter today, so hopefully I'll soon be transitioning from Time and no money to money and no time. Fingers crossed.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
7/31/21 4:09 p.m.


On a more serious note, I start a new job on monday so hopefully the build can continue at a reasonable pace.

AClockworkGarage Dork
8/14/21 11:51 a.m.




It took 6 years, but I did it.

AClockworkGarage Dork
9/29/21 3:24 p.m.

Sigh. I've been at my new job for about 6 weeks now and it's kicking my arse. 4 12's overnights. Been picking up parts and trying to get her ready for next years season. A new T-top bar, interior trim parts and, some suspension components are on order. back order.

A few parts did actually arrive so I threw them in.

When you remove the rear seats in a camaro you're left with exposed mounts sticking through your tattered carpet. A set of fabricated powder coated delete panels clean up the area and really draw attention to how E36 M3 your carpet looks.

New carpet will happen after the floors are patched and the weatherstripping is replaced and hell has frozen over.


Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/29/21 3:33 p.m.

Spray paint the carpets, then use floor mats. Race car pretty. 

AClockworkGarage Dork
9/29/21 3:54 p.m.

It's more of a health thing. This car has been leaking for 40 years. 

Mezzanine Dork
9/29/21 7:02 p.m.

The Doug flag is a nice touch. Aside from the tough shifts, how's the new gig? 

AClockworkGarage Dork
9/30/21 4:06 p.m.

It's an arse-kicker. CNC machining job shop with no CAD. Everything is manual programmed on the console. It's a huge adjustment from everything I've done before.

iansane HalfDork
9/30/21 4:28 p.m.

My convertible had grey carpet that I yanked and bought a local's black carpet to replace it. I didn't realize how bad ACC carpet was. Well, since I never put my top up the black carpet faded. Overtime it turned a nasty shade of green/black. There were many jokes about my bright red convertible with green carpet. Thankfully I've replaced it.


Congrats on the new job, sucks that it's so intense.

GCrites80s HalfDork
9/30/21 8:34 p.m.

Not having those covers on there is kind of a gray area in CAM rules upon my last interpretation. You have to have rear carpet but must all the floorboard be covered? I don't think anybody gives a crap at the local level though.

AClockworkGarage Dork
10/1/21 9:28 p.m.

I don't think anybody gives a damn about rules until you find yourself at the point end of the field, and being that I still have the stock 305. I'm really running at the blunt end. My car is technically illegal due to  few missing interior panels and the fact that I don't have a working horn. Of course a few years back a pinto won CAM-T nationals in spite of the fact that a pinto is a CAM-S car so rules don't seem to mean E36 M3 anyway.

The carpet is pretty rough in there because T-tops. it rained a bit yesterday and this was the floor today.

AClockworkGarage Dork
10/1/21 9:33 p.m.

With my birthday rolling around I received a pile of gift from my favourite person. That's right. I bought me things.

Inside these boxes are some door panel trim parts, A UMI torque arm:

and some new numbers.

They were a right pain in the arse to install and I can see every single flaw, but they look damn good from 20 feet at 20 miles an hour.

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