12 13 14
4/7/22 5:44 a.m.

In reply to Neslie : I've got the same sort of tacho in my rally 144. I got rid of the ugly shift light it came with and found a led light that's used to light up numberplate lights on trailers. It wired straight up. I mounted it on the dash in my line of sight. Works well.


Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/7/22 7:25 a.m.

Would you mind taking an interior view picture of your a pillar plate gussets? Im always seeing the dimple die recess pointed towards the windshield, but never the other side. 

Its idle curiosity, so please don't go out of your way for me 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/24/22 10:24 p.m.

I happened to be over at Thomas's dad's place and saw the Lolvo there, and he showed up so i gave him crap about not getting it finished yet lol....

So here's a thread update for him:

Neslie Reader
5/20/22 11:56 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Sorry I just saw this, haven't been on grm in a while! Anyways here's a pic for you. They're hidden from view when seated

Neslie Reader
5/21/22 12:23 a.m.

Just finished up the semester so time for more E36 M3box activites


Made a pair of brackets to hold the climate control panel:


And another pair to slightly relocate the fuse panel further out of the way:

They're done up with riv nuts on the backside for easy removal of the fuse panel. It's tucked in as far as possible but still slightly in harm's way. Time will tell if I can manage to keep from kicking it mid run.


Anyways.... Current goal is rallycross in 2 weeks. I have some small stuff to knockout before then (wheel bearing, oil change, harness, etc.) but it should be doable, unless I'm forgetting something. Will be the first time this car has seen dirt (or even been driven more than 50 ft) since well before the cage went in, so I'm definitely excited!!

Neslie Reader
5/29/22 2:07 p.m.

Harnesses are in.


For the lap belts I used the OEM seatbelt mounting points on the tunnel, and made some plates for the outer mounts:


Passenger side:


Drivers side:



Currently keeping an eye out for a used halo seat. Hoping to get something before rallyx but it's not looking too promising.

Neslie Reader
5/29/22 2:19 p.m.

Oil change was slightly concerning:


No shreddies or anything at least. This is the first regular oil change since the cam went in (it got one after break in) so it is probably (hopefully) that. 

Neslie Reader
5/29/22 2:57 p.m.

Finished some other small stuff on the car.


Swapped the coolant temp sensor to the one that came with the gauge. Old on the left vs new (screwed into an 1/8 NPT to 5/8-18 UNF adaptor) on the right. 




Also got the horn working, step one of which was trying to fish the wire out from inside the dash. Also had to modify the plate that goes between the wheel and the hub, which grounds the horn and also holds in place with the inner ring. Unmodified it looks like this:


Issue is that that inner ring doesn't let the plate or wheel to sit flush against the hub:


Just flattened it out in the vise:

The horn doesn't quite want to stay put in the ring but that is an issue for a later date. 


Installed the cage padding (minus that for the windshield bar, as I'm still figuring out a solution for a rear view mirror). Not a great pic but I'm not home so this'll have to do for now:


Also started to address the front wheel bearing clunking. When I went to remove the castle nut it wasn't even hand tight, so I'm thinking things just shifted and loosened up after I replaced them last. Races looked fine so I put everything back together and retorqued.

Neslie Reader
5/30/22 10:44 p.m.

Made it through a test drive. This thing is so much louder than I remember, which isn't helped by the fact that to you really need to use all 70hp to get up to speed.


irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/31/22 4:42 p.m.

I had the same issue with the horn (I have a sparco wheel). In the end, I ditched the center-mounted horn button anyhow after we got some accidental horn blaring on stage a couple years ago. Now we just have a button on both sides of the car that does the horn. I never touch mine, I let Jim deal with it :)


V6Buicks Reader
6/2/22 12:35 p.m.

Considering the condition of your fuse panel and the type of racing you do, have you considered getting the wagonmeister blade style fuse panel?  It's plug and play and you won't have to deal with those dang bullet fuses rattling and potentially losing power or burning your car down!

Neslie Reader
6/6/22 1:15 a.m.

Well I did some things on the car.... Really wanted a passenger seat for rallyx as I got my brother out to codrive. He's quick and going sideways is way more fun when there is someone sitting next to you to see it. Anyways after searching Facebook marketplace for a few weeks I ended up having to pull the trigger on a nicer and more expensive than I wanted sparco circuit II. It's halo, and weighs like 3lbs, and as I realized a few minutes after I bought it it's also bigger than standard size seats (why do they have to make it a circuit II instead of just calling it a circuit XL?????). Whoops... Anyways its still fairly snug, especially on the legs, and the harness cutouts are awesome for tallish individuals. I didn't realize it was XL until I read it on sparcos website so I'm obviously not swimming in it. And I'm pretty skinny (6'1 150lbs). So here's a cool pic of the car with it in it:


Besides that, my dad fixed some electrical stuff for me. The drivers side front window wasn't working which was fixed by banging on the regulator. Rallycross broke it again so I'll have to address that... He also fixed the wipers not working by *wait for it* plugging in the wiper motor. Same deal with the blowers in the cabin. Truly thrilling stuff. Next post will be rallycross recap!

Neslie Reader
6/6/22 3:15 a.m.

Pic dump 

rallyxPOS13 Reader
6/6/22 8:06 p.m.

I must have been behind you for 5 or 6 runs before I figured out the best part of this build....

the L!

Neslie Reader
6/8/22 1:33 a.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

All credit to the PO!

Neslie Reader
6/8/22 1:33 a.m.

06/04/2022 Rallycross 

This was obviously a shakedown event for the car, and the first time I've driven it in almost 2 years (and my first rallycross in over a year I think?). I suppose it hasn't had much done since then, just the cage and the dash/cluster iirc (and disconnecting/removing a bajillion things), but the state of chaos the car has been in was not confidence inspiring. Step one of getting that confidence back was driving it to the event. We had the trailer and the e30 aswell, which is very streetable (and a whole lot more pleasant than the volvo), so worst case we'd be able to swap the cars. So besides fixing some of those small electrical issues that were keeping it from being a decent road car (getting working wipers, windows, and blowers) we also put the exhaust back on and ziptied a rear view mirror to the cage. 

With all that being done, I have to say this thing is actually pretty nice on the highway. I mean yea, it has a 4.10, makes like 80hp, has solid mounts, a loud exhaust, race seats and harnesses, no AC, no speedo, fairly awful resonance at highway speeds, etc, but it's weirdly peaceful to drive. Just pop some ear plugs in (or not... I did the first hour without them and my ears remained blood free) and enjoy the hum. The visibility is awesome (like seriously best of any car I've ever driven), the new driving position is perfect, and the drivers seat is 10/10 comfy. I could even maintain speed up most of the hills near Panthera. Rallycross was off to a good start!

Onto the race itself – the morning course was insanely tight and on the slower side for panthera. The volvo is definitely not e30 sized so we were at a bit of a disadvantage from the get go. But the car also makes like 80hp and my driving is rusty as hell so was the extra size really the deciding factor in our finishing? Lol. The morning runs mostly ended up being feeling out the car and trying to remember how to avoid all those orange things. Towards the end of the morning I realized the gas cap was leaking and gas was covering the side of the car. Tightening the cap didn’t work, nor did duct tape (who would have thought that gas eats through adhesive??) so we abandoned the volvo for the bronzit e30 that my Dad and his codriver Stephen usually run (and Eric and I used to drive in PR, see profile pic) for the last run of the morning. (The gas cap issue ended up just being that the cap was cross threaded… In my defense, it felt completely normal when tightening and clicked as normal.) The car and number swap took a few minutes that we didn’t have to spare as we were already behind, so sorry for holding everyone up!! Anyways, Eric managed to put down the fastest raw time of the morning (+1), after like 2 years of zero rallyx or even driving the e30. In his first run of the day in the car. So apparently he’s not as rusty as I thought! Onto my run: the extra power and ability to spin both rear wheels really went to my head (it always does….) and I went full sideways through the entire course. +4 cones on that run left me at a total of 13 over the 4 morning runs. 

The afternoon course was a lot more forgiving. It was the same layout as the morning course, except with everything opened up a bit. I also somewhat figured out my driving – picking out my lines instead of driving cone to cone (which I was repeatedly punished for in the morning because of the tight gates). I was starting to get some consistency back, with the exception being the run that Eric’s girlfriend rode along with me where I hit 4 cones. Not sending it extra hard for new passengers just doesn’t sit right with me. Besides that, conditions were quite challenging as well. A couple places on the course started to gather silt to an impressive degree, and not just on the outside of corners but on the racing line as well. The prime example being a  tightening radius corner which was essentially entirely silt, and you just had to kind of lightly trail brake into it and float the car through the corner. 

Eric and I both managed a few clean and fairly quick runs in the afternoon that ended up being about 3 seconds a run off the pace of the top of MR (over a 70+ second course). Not bad for an 80 whp brick!!!! The car has a bit more in it as well I think, as I’m still figuring out the car - both how it drives as well as how wide it is. Tire pressures were pretty high as well. I will say though, I think layout wise the afternoon course was about as advantageous as panthera can get for this car. There wasn’t really anywhere where I felt more power would have done me any huge favors and most corners were low enough speeds that the locker would engage on the way out.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how the car performed. Turn in was awesome (even in the silt, somehow), as were the brakes. Like seriously on the few runs where I just straight line braked down into the hairpin (instead of locking them up for a nice lil scandinavian flick) the car had me hanging from the belts. Pedal pressure was perfect, no squishiness, super easy to threshold brake. Coming into the slalom bit (at the end of the little straight up at the top of the hill) trail braking got the car rotated beautifully. The only thing I’m not too happy about is that the rear end feels a little too light. It makes sense, as the car has like 50lbs of sprung weight in the rear, but just makes for some slightly pitiful launches and not handling the bumps particularly well. I really need to feel it out in some faster courses to see how the lightness/lack of grip plays with the locker (which only engages under 25mph) on faster corners. On the upside, that rear end did feel better than it ever has. Oversteer on corner entry (from silt, trail braking, or just flicking it) all felt quite natural, and even when the locker wasn’t engaging on acceleration it wasn’t awful by any means. No bottoming out that I could feel either (using stock rear springs). Seems like the suspension is sorted, at least for the time being. Time to focus on stuff that the car needs for full stage events!


The event did leave me with a bit of a list to fix:

  • Loud clunk in the rear when going over bumps (possibly just the exhaust bouncing around??)
  • Brake lights
  • Rear running lights
  • Tach backlight not working
  • Driver's side front window flaky (rallyx broke it again)
  • Investigate slow oil leak/loss
  • Interior blower fans stopped working
  • Reattach headlight cover


Currently playing with the thought of doing the Friday at The Track on Aug 5th. The car is parked and I won't be back to fix it until July 29th, so it’s a bit of a stretch, but doable I think. Would be cool if I could get Eric out in his e46 (or any other DC rallyx friends). There is also a Rausch Creek rallysprint on the 6th and 7th, but Stephen (prospective co-driver) has a thing and I don’t really have any options for getting the car to and from the event.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/8/22 10:10 a.m.

In reply to Neslie :

Just FYI you don't really need a co-driver for the roush Creek stuff. If you sign up for it you are welcome to borrow Jim for some of your runs, I think he gets kind of bored with me once I memorize the course after a couple runs lol. You might even be able to convince him to tow you out there with his new trailer ;) 

Neslie Reader
6/13/22 9:24 a.m.

Pics from the last event

Suspension is working!

Neslie Reader
6/20/22 9:06 a.m.

Currently in Thailand and spotted this 


12 13 14
Our Preferred Partners