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phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:46 a.m.

Time for some updates:


So a few updates...

I snagged a 3.73 LSD to replace the 2.93 open that came in the car, which we discovered is not very good for rallyX.

We also (at the first event) discovered a noise from the external fuel pump, so we need to figure out what to do anbout that. I also found that the eta just does not seem to like revving. Maybe the 3.73 will feel a bit better, but if not I think that an M20B25 swap may be in order.

So a few pics from the final prep (my kids picked the color scheme to match WVU colors):

And a couple shots from the test & tune:

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:47 a.m.


So more info/updates...

The 3.73 LSD arrived, looking pretty clean. Came with a spare cover and 1 complete axle (P.O. could not figure out how to unbolt it with the input shaft not locked in a fixed position. I bolted it to an 8' 2x4 and removed the allen bolts).

I may hold off on the install and use that clean diff cover with a fresh Condor Speed Shop diff bushing, but the funds are tight.


Also removed the pinstripe form the side as I get ready to prep it for paint. Can I really do that...get ready to prep? Sounds a bit redundant.

The fornt fenders will be replaced, so I did not bother de-striping those.

Lastly, started sanding the peeling clearcoat off of the hood. On most of the car, there were no jagged edges at the clearcoat, but on the hood it was bad. I took a razor blade to it and the results were comical. THICK clearcoat and some filler/primer. This looks like a job for a D/A sander.

Last item- sent payment on a Walbro 255 fuel pump already installed in an e30 sending unit. It had about 40 minutes of run time on an S50 swap. Comes with the screen/sock and wiring. My external pump has been squaking at me and I might as well go with a single pump conversion.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:47 a.m.


Working on the paint. Got the trunk done and installed the spoiler.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:48 a.m.


So not much progress...

Ordered a ton of small parts to rebuild the shifter assembley, a new timing belt kit (in the event that I do a b25 swap, as planned), fuel filter, and new front strut bearings (the old ones looked bad).

I received the fuel pump but have not yet installed it, and I installed the differential (well, hung it on the subframe but have not attached the driveshaft).

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:49 a.m.


So the car survived the first actual race event, and held up well (as far as I can tell).

First, pictures:

With the fun part out of the way, now the results:


I finished 6th out of 9 in my class, just 6 seconds behind Josh (Irish44j) who has a lot more seat time than do I. I do have a more powerful car, but his is prepped better. All in all, the event is really hard to compare because they used the water truck a toff times throughout the day. I had 1 run in total dry conditions that they wiped out because they watered down the track mid-heat, so I had to re-run. Other times they watered the track but did not give re-runs, so the dry times were allowed to stand.

In the end the event was fun and the car seemed to hold up well. We really felt the difference in swapping from a 2.93 open diff to a 3.73 LSD. It made the car so much more fun to drive. We had no power to the ground with the 2.92, and the car had no control to boot. With the 3.73 LSD we had full use of 2nd and even got into 3rd, and the car had much more control in the wet/loose stuff. There was even a section that was grass- often wet (fun for a RWD car with a lightened rear end).

We have really looked at the car and what it needs, and have a fairly solid plan for future action. We need to:

Get the fuel pump setup corrected, Remove the heavy and ill-fitting (but brand new) OEM-replica ANSA exhaust (with cat-delete and possibly a side-dump) Replace all of the worn shifter bushings (we have all of the parts) Replace the upper strut mounts (and the control arm bushings and ball joints)

We are also waffling on what to do about the motor. The car has 217 but the timing belt is fairly new, but we found a 150K M20B25 from an other '87 that we might buy to swap in. It has a trans and comes with a new clutch. Before the diff swap I was hell-bent on a motor swap, but with the 3.73 in the rear, the car has enough power to handle the 3 tracks where it will be driven. In the wet, that power is all wasted, though in the dry it might be nice to have the improved accelleration. We might buy the motor and just keep it as a spare.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:49 a.m.


Some (minor) progress:

Got both fenders off and began prep on the replacement fenders. They are from an ix, but they were cheap. I'll plug the holes with some sort of cap and paint over them.

Note now much mud fell out of the fender liners when I removed them.

I also need to source a replacement fender liner for the passenger side. Mine is more than a little hacked up from the damage that the PO had to that side.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:50 a.m.


No, this was not the final product.


I got in a pack of revised spray nozzles for the final couple of coats of paint. The Rustoleum paint has good properties once on the car, but the spray pattern is terrible and has no adjustment. I bought a pack of 10 "fat" caps from a graffiti supply store to give a more uniform spray pattern. Apparently there are not a lot of places that sell caps for the revised Rustoleum cans, but I found this place after an hour or so of searching.

I also got a can of Krylon yellow stained glass paint for my foglights. Delayed by the weather, but on the way to me now.

Lastly, the weather did a number on my tape-and-masking job. I still need to look it over and redo some of it before I do the final spray.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:51 a.m.


"Finished" this round of painting on Friday, Nov 2:

Then this weekend I got the fenders back on:

Found this wonderful hole in the floor from coming down on...something:

We'll need to get that patched up...

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:51 a.m.

Initial pictures from the final event. Details (and hopefully more pics) to follow.

And some action shots of the car during the last event:

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:51 a.m.


It has been a while since my last update, and in that time, not too much has gone on with the car.

I did get tired of chasing the oil leak at the rear of the engine, plus we wanted a little more power than the eta B27 was putting out, so we found an M20B25 to swap in during the offseason. I have a pile of parts accumulating so far, and hopefully will get some time to work on the installations.

I need to pick up some Condor motor and trans mounts since I will be pulling all of that stuff out of the car with the motor. And they are all busted to $hit. The B25 needs some refreshing so that will be priority #1 in the coming months.

I did get some HD rear upper strut mounts, a poly diff bushing (now pressed into a very clean diff cover). Not sure if I mentioned it above but I also picked up a full set of stainless brake lines.

In future actions, I am looking to snag some iX front springs to bring up the nose just a bit. I also have some new upper front strut mounts/bearings to go on, so I'd like to replce the old stock springs at the same time. While I am in there I might as well do the control arms and CABs- maybe tie rods as well. And while th emotor is out, an e36 rack swap might be a good idea.

I need to find the budget for those but I have some time.

In other (related) news, I finally bought a lift for the house. After years of wishing that I had one, I finally bit the bullet and picked up a midrise scissor lift for service work at my house. Most people would think that dropping $1K on a lift was an unnecessary expense, but I put off or simply don't do a lot of work because I hate being on my back under a car. With the lift, 99% of what I do on my own will be more simple.


The lift is an Atlas TD6MR. They run about $1600 shipped and I got it for $1000, gently used. The guy flaked on giving me the truck adapters (which I need for my truck) and they run $160. He actually called me the day after I picked up the lift to tell me that he has them but has not called back or answered the phone in 2 weeks.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:54 a.m.


More updates to come, but so far I have a 173 DME, water pump/t-stat kit, and rebuilt 17# injectors on the way to me. That should help with getting started on the build...

I also got a look at the 2.5L "i" motor that I bought. It isn't pretty, but it is here.

Took part of the day to remove a HUGE shelf and replace it with my new toolbox. Most of what was on the shelf was wasting space, so I consolidated some stuff and tossed out other unneeded things. I found oddball tools that I forgot that I had...into a cabinet with those.

So the results:

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:56 a.m.


More new parts...

Injectors (17# M50s, rebuilt and flow tested)

Water pump and t-stat (though with the purchase of another motor, I may not need that. I might be returning the motor from a few posts up...long story.

I also placed my order for Condor Speed Shop M20 motor mounts, transmission mounts, and offset M3 control arm bushings!

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 9:56 a.m.

Current (as of posting date):

This weekend was a fairly productive one on several fronts.

First off, some parts arrived...

173 DME with a chip. Can't remember now which is cloned. This is in prep for the motor that I am getting this Friday, which also includes a stock DME.

Next up, I installed my Momo Montecarlo steering wheel. I still need a horn button. (Horns are needed in RallyX to indicate that a cone was down or to warn spectators/courseworkers of a hazard.)

Also, I pulled the ratty headliner. I will be working on the sunroof panel at a later date, and I still need to remove trim near the visor to ge tthe last of the headliner. And I need to remove the foam-like crap on the rear windshield pillars. It is not coming off easily and I had other things to do.

In other news, I ordered more parts...Febi/Bilstein weighted euro shift knob and a generic short shifter. I'd have never ordered the generic shifter but one of our competetors has one and I tried it out a few months ago and actually liked it.

I also went through some random shifter refersh parts that I had accumulated over time and I found that I have almost everything that I need to do the refresh. I am only missing about $20-30 of the over $100 in parts (counting the rear bracket, which is almost $58 on its own).

I also found 3 of the throttle cable parts that I was about to buy. Not a bad find.

So just some general info on my local RallyX class, as well as some potential future upgrades/purchases (Some of this is from Irish44J's thread, but I will re-post here...):

I am scrambling to get the e36 swap rack before I do the motor swap. Money is getting tighter and tighter as I buy all of the "while-I-am-in-there" parts...short throw shifter, shifter busing/refresh parts, weighted shift knob, motor trans mounts, strut mounts, injectors, etc. With the motor and trans swapping out, I am trying to do anything that will be easier with the motor out of the car.

I still need to get an electric fan (might as well delete the mechanical fan while the motor is still out of the car) and I am considering a header (again, might as well install while the motor is out).

All in all, my RallyX class- Morified Rear Wheel Drive (MR)- will be a LOT more competetive this season. Several people have mad esignificant mods to existing MR cars that shouldmake them faster and/or more reliable, and a coupl eother guys have modded their cars out of "Prepared" and into Modified- and they were already fast in Prepared.

Last season, I managed to be right in the middle of MR once I started running in the middle of the season. That positioning made me the leader of the "new" guys. Next season it looks like I will have to step up my driving, as I won't be able to blame the car for shortcomings.

With my B25 going in in place of a tired B27, I think that I may have to look into rally tires. Even on fresh winter tires, we had several times in every run where we went from oversteer to understeer (or vice versa) in a second. Summit Point clay is just plain slippery! We really were traction limited at times, and I have been considering looking for a wider wheel and a 205 winter tire once we see how the car puts down the "new" HP. Either that or rally tires.

That is it for now...hopefully more updates later in the week.

Adrian_Thompson SuperDork
1/15/13 2:22 p.m.

Great build.

Can you post a link to the place for the replacement rustoleum nozles please? I've got some paint work coming up on the Saab and I plan on using black rustoleums finest for that high class look I've done nothing more than shoot the inner fenders so far, but for the front edge of the hood I want at least a chance of it looking OK.


phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 2:29 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: Great build. Can you post a link to the place for the replacement rustoleum nozles please? I've got some paint work coming up on the Saab and I plan on using black rustoleums finest for that high class look I've done nothing more than shoot the inner fenders so far, but for the front edge of the hood I want at least a chance of it looking OK. thx


These are MUCH better flow than the regular Rustoleum caps and the coverage is much more smooth and consistent.

Tom_Spangler Dork
1/15/13 2:49 p.m.

Still shaking my head at the fact that "graffiti supply store" is actually a thing.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/15/13 3:17 p.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: Still shaking my head at the fact that "graffiti supply store" is actually a thing.

It does seem a bit odd, but it is fortunate for car guys who use Rusto for cheap paint jobs!

fidelity101 HalfDork
1/15/13 3:30 p.m.

Your events look fun! I gotta come down there and check it out sometime

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/22/13 9:55 a.m.
fidelity101 wrote: Your events look fun! I gotta come down there and check it out sometime

They are a blast. We have 3 different courses in out region, and all of them are very different.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/22/13 10:12 a.m.


Friday was a great day for the rallycar...MUCH was accomplished.

First, loaded up the M20 that I got a few weeks ago to return it. It turns out that the mileage was not what I was told AND several accessories were removed or not included (about $125 worth) and the seller would not refund the cost accordingly, so I returned the whole motor. Normally I'd say I lost on "buyer beware" but I had the car co-owner (who really just writes checks, drives the car, and shuttles parts) pick up the motor and the seller was supposed to have everything ready to go. My co-owner trusted that what he picked up was what he was supposed to get. When I inspected it, it was all wrong. On the positive, the seller (a R3v member in name but not spirit) did refund the motor.

Now for the GOOD part...

While I was in the area, I picked up this recently rebuilt/refreshed beauty (for less, I might add, and with all accessories):

119K, recent refresh, new hoses and seals, all painted up. Needs a few gaskets and a new oil pan (plug is crossthreaded), but VERY solid. Also got a spare G260, oil cooler, "i" exhaust, DME, and many other parts.

I got home and found these in the mailbox:

Generic eBay short shifter

Bilstein/Febi weighted Euro shift knob

Last but not least, Condor Speed Shop offset M3 CABs, M20 motor mounts, and G260 trans mounts:

I also snagged some tools from HF while I was in the area, but I'll post those later.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/22/13 10:15 a.m.


Ouch...that stung a bit.

I just ordered a LOT of new parts to the tune of $151.


11761711717 3-hole gasket at manifold (need 2)

18301737774 M10 copper nut at manifold (need 6)

07119912524 M8x55 bolt joins 2 sections (need 4)

11621711954 M8 nut joins 2 sections; attaches manifold to head (need 4 + 12)

18111723541 45mm gasket (need 1)

18111245960 42mm gasket (need 1)

11621728489 Manifold gasket (need 2)

Shifter parts:

25111220912 Rubber boot

23411466110 Ball cup bushing

25111434194 Rubber Buffer

25111203682 Tension Bushing

25117519669 Bushing (support lever arm at transmission)

25117571899 Shift rod circlip at shift rod joint (need 2)

23411466134 Dowel pin

Tie Rods:

32111124540 Locking plates (need 2)

Still need to order the actual tie rods (32111125186 Complete).

I also ordered myself a rear strut tower brace with integrated strut tower reinforcement plates to help prevent a tear-through on the rear upper strut mounting points. I saw another e30 have that happen this season in RallyX and I am in no hurry to have it happen to my car.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/30/13 8:50 a.m.

Some lame updates:

Went to take her for a spin in the snow but no-start. More on that here:


Dead battery due to an interior light that never worked but now does and works all of the time. I disconnnected the light and we are good to go. Except that then she would crank but not start. Oh well- I am pulling the motor this weekend anyway so I'll sort it then. I had been meaning to find the time to hook up my solar charger to serve as a battery tender and I finally got that done. Now I have a solar-powered e30.

Also, got in a lot of parts:

Sure does not look like $250...

I also picked up this little gem:

It is a printed Bentley manual to go with the hardcover one that I bought by accident. The spiral-bound one is nice because it lays flat on the workbench.

In other news:

I removed the last of th eA/C lines from th eengine compartment and from behid the glove box:

I also took some inspiration from the "offroad e30" build and removed my lower fender liners:

Lastly, I got the manifold-to-y-pipe connection undone and the driveshaft disconnected at the back of the trans, all in prep fo rthe B25 swap this weekend.

phenryiv1 New Reader
1/30/13 8:51 a.m.

So I was home yesterday with a cold (I did not feel horrible but I did not want ot spread it to my co-workers) and I got a chance to upload some pictures and spent some time outside to get some fresh air, as it was in the 50s-60s yesterday.

First, I found 3 of these while at the store this weekend:

Next, I got in some more parts. Volvo fan:

Rear strut reinforcement plates (though they won't be used...more on that below):

I happened to be outside when this little gem arrived (thanks White325is!):

Since I was outside and had tools close by, I actually installed something. I am really good at buying parts, but really bad at installing them. Since this was a 5-minute thing, I went ahead and did it.

So as you cna see, unless I get extended studs to press into the rear upper strut mounts, there is not enough thread on the mounts to add in the reinforcement plates as well as the rear strut bar. The bar does cover more than half of the mounting surface, so in effect it is a reinforcement plate in and of itself. Some of the other e30 rallyX guys might need the reinforcement plates, so I will offer them up to the other teams.

In other news...Damn the BMW engineer(s) who designed the mounting pattern for the OEM exhaust manifolds.

I knew that most of the gaskets on the motor were replaced during the refresh, btu the exhaust manifold gaskets were still the originals. THe heat shields looked like @$$ and I was not sure how they were as far as providing a seal, so before I installed th emotor I wanted to swap them out for new gaskets. I ordered the gaskets (VR) and 15 copper 12mm nuts (a few spares, of couse) and figured I'd be good to go.

So the removal did not go so well. As most of you are well-aware, four nuts on each half of the M20 manifolds are easily accessable, but the other two are a real b!+ch to remove. Here is what all I had laid out to do the removal:

It took a combination of a #6 and #7 nut remover, 12mm pass-thru sockets from HW, adjustable wrenches, vice grips, and traditional sockets, but I finally got all 12 of the nuts and/or studs removed.

Unfortunately, I had about 3/4 of the nuts seized to the studs, which pulled the studs out of the head. Of course, I had not planned to replace th estuds and with the engine slated to go in on Saturday, getting the exhaust manifold studs in time was going to be a challenge.

I made a quick call to Turk and Levent at Guten parts (http://www.gutenparts.com/) and wa sdismayed to find that they were all out of them but they got on the horn and 10 minutes later they had 15 of them (again, spares!) drop-shipped to me with arrival in time for the install. I also got to shoot the breeze with them on some possible future actions for the car, so that was awesome.

Ironically, while the heat shields looked terrible, it seems that the actual seals were still fully functional.

So with the manifold removel out of the way, I went about cleaning up what I had in front of me...

Some wire wheels and some Purple Power degreaser were applied to the manifolds in prep for a coat of high-temp paint:

I cleaned all of the mating surfaces and used the wire wheel to remove some deposits on the insides of the manifold.

Next I applied the wire wheel to the head, again using a small wire wheel to clean off both the mating surfaces and then the insides of the exhaust ports:

My only issue right now is that the manifolds that I just removed from the motor are missing one of the 3 studs that go down to the "Y" section of the stock exhaust. I need to either remove one of those from the existing manifolds (the ones in the car now) and double-nut it into the manifolds that I just cleaned or I will have to remove a manifold from the 2.7 and paint it quickly, then install that complete manifold onto the B25 that is going in the car.

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