imirk New Reader
12/23/10 12:46 p.m.

So the 25 hour has come and gone for the year and it leaves me with the idea of putting together an endurance racing team centered around a TDI four-banger.

The Ideas:

TDI Cup Racer: affiliated with SCCA and all of them are owned by VW, why doesn't VW put in a entry with the top 4 from the TDI Cup? Anyway not too practical, you could build one from a street car, but you're giving up quite a bit vs. the cup racer, and it is still expensive unless you go back to a 1.9, A New Beetle Enduro Racer would be pretty unique. :P

The R1.9/R2 TDI Endurance Sports Racer: So the ESR class is almost always beat by ES dues to reliability issues, so if you could solve this, maybe grab a salvage TDI, and have dreams of grandeur. This could go either way, you could mid-engine locost it with a full sports racer body, or spend cubic dollars for the works.

Also did Mercedes ever import the CDI C-class, if you could find a ratty one that could be a pretty cool endurance racer.

SVreX SuperDork
12/23/10 12:49 p.m.

I've got a Miata with a Mercedes diesel motor in it... wanna give it a shot??

Ignorant SuperDork
12/23/10 1:27 p.m.

There was an article way back in GRM about a diesel BMW racer. The owner was a BMW junkyard or BMW mechanic shop proprietor. Hopefully someone else will remember more details. It think it was a 524 or something...

mndsm Dork
12/23/10 1:29 p.m.
SVreX wrote: I've got a Miata with a Mercedes diesel motor in it... wanna give it a shot??

Miata+mercedes diesel? The masses (namely me) demand details.

SVreX SuperDork
12/23/10 1:45 p.m.

It's an unfinished Challenge project. Honestly, I haven't done much with it. It was started by the Gainesville crowd, and I bought it with a non-Challenge game plan, but circumstances have changed, so it sits.

That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/23/10 2:12 p.m.

I wondered what happened to that thing. Wish I had time or money to take it off your hands.

SVreX SuperDork
12/23/10 2:15 p.m.

There's probably a few lost projects in my back yard...

Osterkraut Dork
12/23/10 2:35 p.m.
SVreX wrote: It's an unfinished Challenge project. Honestly, I haven't done much with it. It was started by the Gainesville crowd, and I bought it with a non-Challenge game plan, but circumstances have changed, so it sits.

Ah, my poor baby. I'm half-tempted to buy it back to repower the Land Cruiser... a small half, but still.

SVreX SuperDork
12/23/10 3:35 p.m.

I'm sad I had to show that to you, OK.

minimac SuperDork
12/23/10 3:45 p.m.

How about if you sell me the Miata cheap? You get to be happy($$), Oster can buy the Merc diesel from you (more$$!), and you're even happier. I'm happy, Oster is happy, you're happy, and Mrs.SVreX is really happy, another lawn ornament disappears.

SVreX SuperDork
12/23/10 4:15 p.m.

Are you making an offer?

I've also got a decent running dd Miata (looks similar, without the too big motor sticking out of the engine bay), if you'd prefer one that runs.

Make you a deal on the pair!

Sorry for the thread jack.

M2Pilot Reader
12/23/10 4:51 p.m.
Ignorant wrote: There was an article way back in GRM about a diesel BMW racer. The owner was a BMW junkyard or BMW mechanic shop proprietor. Hopefully someone else will remember more details. It think it was a 524 or something...

I believe that would have been Rev. Alfonso Taylor. If I recall correctly he ran it on soybean oil & even got a bit of sponsorship from some NC soybean farmers association or NC Dept. of Agriculture.

M2Pilot Reader
12/23/10 5:47 p.m.
Ignorant wrote: Hopefully someone else will remember more details.

I think the 524td engine was in an e30.

Slyp_Dawg Reader
12/24/10 12:05 a.m.

I know that Top Gear ran the Britcar 24h race at Silverstone in a diesel BMW E36, placed quite well despite colliding with a Molser during the night and having "penistown" and "arsebiscuits" on either side of the car, might have even won their class if memory serves, but don't hold me to that, it's 1:05AM and my mind hasn't been working terribly well all day. more specific than that, I couldn't tell you, but digging it up on the net shouldn't be too hard

Ignorant SuperDork
12/24/10 6:38 a.m.

Some info on Al Taylors BMW. His Webpage is down.

There is a GRM back issue with the information, but I can't find it right now.

I found the text of it of the GRM article on a web archive. Hard to read due to some horrible text color selection.

Veggie Tales Al Taylor Intends to Clean Up With His Soy-Fueled Racer story by marjorie suddard • photos as credited “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” said Robert Duvall’s character in the movie “Apocalypse Now.” “The smell, you know that gasoline smell…. Smelled like… victory.” A lot of racers can relate, since the mere whiff of race gas is usually able to light up their senses as well as their smiles. It’s an unmistakable odor, and one that, like all smells, follows prehistoric pathways straight to our memory banks. The odor wafting from Al Taylor’s BMW race car is equally recognizable, although it’s probably more familiar to children than adults. It’s the smell of the county fair: equal parts popcorn and french fries, with maybe a touch of marshmallows thrown in for effect. This is no passing amusement, however. Taylor, who is the reigning national champion for BMW CCA Club Racing’s B Modified class, is dead serious about his racing. He’s also a committed advocate for the alternative fuel known as biodiesel. He Runs His Car on What? Biodiesel, which is a renewable fuel made from fryer grease, is the reason Taylor’s BMW smells more like a popcorn popper than a race car. This “green” fuel is biodegradable, nontoxic, free of sulfur, and reduces emissions of particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxides and sulfates compared to traditional petrodiesel. It’s also produced domestically, which means it has the potential to free us from our dependency on foreign oil sources and all the political ugliness that entails. Heck, you can even make it at home. While the benefits of a clean-burning, renewable fuel that can be produced here in the U.S. of A. are obvious, its use in a track car campaigned by a grassroots-style club racer is more of a stretch. After all, alternative fuels are usually far removed from our daily life, existing only as impractical or prohibitively expensive options offered by manufacturers desperate to showcase their token progress toward a government-mandated goal. No one but the green-party activists and the press agents takes much note, and the rest of us get on with our fossil-fueled lifestyles. Sure, we wish things were different, but how can we change them? Actually, it’s quite easy: Just open the fuel tank door and pour in the biodiesel—assuming, of course, that the tank in question is fueling a diesel engine. (The diesel engine was, in fact, originally designed to run on vegetable oil, and Mr. Diesel himself ran his new creation on peanut oil at its first exhibition.) No other changes are necessary, and no hippies will come to call. Talk about your quiet revolution. Al Taylor’s involvement in the biodiesel movement is a recent development, although he comes equipped with the right background. “I had been somewhat aware of the environmental benefits of burning vegetable-based fuel in a diesel,” he explains. “I worked for an environmental lobby group when I was first out of college.” Combine that early experience with a profound (some might say crazed) interest in sports cars, especially BMWs, and you begin to get the recipe for a racer with a different angle. Al’s yard in rural Whittakers, N.C., is literally covered in cars—including, according to him, “Every BMW known to man.” The situation has given rise to a business, Al Taylor Sports Cars Inc., that supplies cars and parts to enthusiasts all over. His 2003 championship-winning car, a 1972 BMW Bavaria, was already a step off the beaten path. This season’s 3 Series BDR (BioDiesel Racer) jumps right off into the woods. “I know that there are neat diesel-powered cars in Europe that we do not get over here, and I had always had in the back of my mind a project to put a BMW 524 Td motor into a 3 Series with a five-speed and run it on fryer grease,” Al says. “What put the plan into motion was an announcement that a group was planning to build a soybean fuel oil processing plant in eastern North Carolina. Why? Our local farmers were hurting; tobacco was on its way out. Soybeans would be a great alternative crop.” There were at least three other reasons for his decision, Al explains. “We need to show that racers can be environmentally friendly; racing is a great place to develop technology and expose people to alternative fuels; and if diesels are to be successful in the U.S., they need to be marketed as a performance vehicle.” Al’s Gone Racing So Al Taylor set about building a race car that would help the local farmers, the economy and the environment. The first step was to find a suitable chassis. “I wanted to use an E30 [3 Series BMW] due to lightness and the number of off-the-shelf suspension and brake parts available,” Al says. “I remembered a car I had sold a few years ago that was a BMW CCA race car, then retired. I bought it back as a roller, with a bolt-in cage.” Next came the engine. Al found a wrecked 1985 BMW 524 Td in nearby Greensboro, and scavenged the 150,000-mile turbo diesel for his project. “I stripped it, mounted the motor with a five-speed 325e tranny on a subframe, and dropped the body on top of it all with my loader,” he says. “I was surprised to find that the 5 Series exhaust downpipe worked, and a slightly modified 325i oil pan was used.” Al completed the installation by modifying the diesel engine’s fuel pump and pickup to work in the 3 Series chassis’ fuel tank, plumbing an oil cooler, and rigging up the necessary hoses to match a radiator from a BMW 325i. Since this is a race car, the suspension has received a good bit of attention. “The front brakes were some calipers I had used on the Bavaria with VW Corrado rotors; I custom made the mounts,” Al reports. The suspension uses Ground Control coil-overs with camber plates, paired with Koni shock absorbers that were originally purchased for the Bavaria race car. The car made its debut at the last spring’s BMW CCA weekend at VIR, where it finished all three races with no problems. It’s been running B50 fuel, meaning a 50/50 mix of biodiesel and petrodiesel, with no ill effects. “The biodiesel actually runs cleaner in an engine, because the sulfur is reduced,” he says. The reduction in sulfur is also the biggest reason that biodiesel smells better than petrodiesel when it burns. There are other benefits, Taylor reports. “Even a 5- to 10-percent bio blend allows you to move back oil change intervals, because the soy adds lubricity.” He does mention one caveat: Since the biodiesel has a detergent effect, engines that have been running on straight petrodiesel may experience clogged fuel injectors and filters as sludge and debris is cleaned from the fuel system after a switch to biodiesel. Is Biodiesel the Future? There is one big question that remains, and for racers, it’s probably the biggest: Does running biodiesel fuel have any negative impact on performance? In a word, no. Biodiesel’s physical and chemical properties are similar to petroleum diesel, and biodiesel contains a similar number of BTUs—which translates to similar engine performance in torque and horsepower. Al hasn’t had his car on the dyno yet, but says he can tell no ill effects from the biodiesel, both in terms of performance and reliability. Although diesel engines have long been dismissed domestically as dirty, smelly and inefficient, the advent of biodiesel could help transform the compression-ignition engine into the brightest new star in energy since the solar panel. It’s a well-earned respect that has been a long time coming: Diesel engines remain the most fuel-efficient energy-conversion devices in production today, and the newest generation, direct-injection engines take that efficiency to the next level. Al Taylor says he’d like to move up to the more modern BMW M51 engine, and is currently researching the possibility of getting a couple of used ones shipped over from Germany. In the meantime, he plans to run a full schedule of events with the car again this season. There is one biodiesel-related problem he’d like to solve, though: “If I walk around the back of my car and get a whiff of it, I immediately get hungry.” general car (year, make, model): 1985 BMW 324BDR (BioDiesel Racer) class: BMW CCA DM club: BMW CCA competition record: 3 starts, 3 finishes sponsors: Potter Oil Co., Grain Growers Coop engine and drivetrain engine make: BMW type: M21 Turbo Diesel displacement: 2400cc builder: BMW output: 115 horsepower camshaft: stock fuel injection: Bosch connecting rods: stock crankshaft: stock cylinder head: stock engine management: stock exhaust system: custom 3-in. all the way back injectors: stock intake system: stock lines and fittings: some Aeroquip oil: Shell Rotella 15W-40 oil cooler: CV products oil filter: stock oil pan: ATSC modified BMW E30 pistons: stock clutch: BMW, hybrid differential lube: Red Line differential type/gears: 3.25:1 open BMW flywheel: ATSC modified BMW 325i shifter/shift kit: BMW 325i transmission: BMW 325e transmission fluid: Red Line interior/safety equipment belts: Sparco gauges: VDO pedals: stock roll cage/roll bar: Safety Devices, Rigmaster Modified seats: Sparco steering wheel: Momo suspension type, f/r: coil-over strut/adjustable spring perch alignment settings, f/r: zero toe, .5 degree neg camber anti-roll bars, f/r: 325iC/E30 m3 bushings, f/r: Delrin shock absorbers, f/r: Koni springs, f/r: Eibach brakes fluid: ATE Super Blue lines: stainless steel pads/shoes, f/r: Hawk Blue type and size, f/r: Wilwood Superlite III, Corrado rotors/stock other brake mods: ATSC front caliper mounts wheels and tires tire brand/size, f/r: Goodyear Eagle Sports Car Special 23.0X9.0-15 tire pressures, f/r: 22/24 psi wheel brand/size, f/r: BBS RS 15x7 in. body body construction/mods: Lexan rear and side windows, hood and truck skinned paint/graphics: “ECU art school students will be doing soybean mural/graphic on car for school credit this year.”
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