Turbine
Turbine Reader
9/11/19 2:17 a.m.

My wife came home from work yesterday with this note from one of her coworkers. 

Originally, he was asking for help selling it, but is now saying he’d sell it to me for $200. I’ve been dreaming about building a rallycross car one day and this seems like a good candidate, but I have a few hangups. 

-most of what I’ve read says that an overheating m44 means bad a bad headgasket. Which means a new head. And at that point, I might as well replace the engine

-it’s an automatic, and it sounds like the trans isn’t in great shape anyway

-I’ve never pulled an engine, let alone done a drivetrain conversion

-I’ve already got an e36 m3 project that’s been stuck in limbo for a while

On the other hand, it’s super cheap, I’ve got the space, and I’m already familiar with the platform, and have several of the specialty tools needed to work on e36’s. It’s also in pretty great shape cosmetically. 

What do you think, GRM? Is it worth taking the plunge, or would I be better off passing and holding out for a manual car at least. 

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Dork
9/11/19 3:07 a.m.

With one stalled-out project and your lack of experience, I think a solid runner with a rough body and interior would be a better bet. 

But.... the price ain’t bad. it needs to be investigated first if you’re serious.  Are you sure it’s an auto? I assumed manual and bad 2nd gear synchros.  Re overheating, it could be a number of things besides the head gasket.   And it depends on how bad it’s been overheated.  

Again, might be worth while to look at it but if it’s an auto and the cooling system is solid and the fan is coming on and it looks like the head gasket really is blown, it might not be the car for you.  

Turbine
Turbine Reader
9/11/19 5:41 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

That’s the way I’m leaning too, honestly. 

As far as auto vs manual, I’m not really sure. The way he described the issue, I would’ve thought it’s a manual, but my wife swears it’s automatic. I’ve only seen the thing from a distance in the parking lot. 

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
9/11/19 8:32 a.m.

never heard of an auto grinding.

 

I would like to know what the term "overheating" means. The M44 is a pretty robust little unit, but can be a bit finicky to bleed all the air out of. It also, like most BMWs of that era, uses a plastic impeller on the water pump and the whole cooling system is a wear item

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
9/11/19 11:23 a.m.

For $200, you can hardly lose. 

So go and win!

slowbird
slowbird Reader
9/11/19 11:25 a.m.

what are your local rallycross's rules on engine swaps? just throw an LS or a 5.0 in it :D

_
_ HalfDork
9/11/19 11:37 a.m.

It’s strange how linkage can get bent. You never hear of this in Japanese cars. The “wear out” items on German machinery cracks me up. 

kazoospec
kazoospec UltraDork
9/11/19 11:43 a.m.

"Linkage is bent" sound like a cheap-sounding way of describing a non-functioning transmission.  Sort of like "needs a recharge" as a reason the air doesn't work.  Might be true, or might just be something that sounds better than AC/Trans is FUBAR.   On the other hand, you could probably get your $200 back from a scrapyard, so it's pretty low risk. 

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
9/11/19 1:02 p.m.
_ said:

It’s strange how linkage can get bent. You never hear of this in Japanese cars. The “wear out” items on German machinery cracks me up. 

there actually is linkage on BMW cars.

 

 

Looking at the picture: If he blew the guibo at one time, he could have done some serious damage to the linkage.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
9/11/19 4:26 p.m.
mad_machine said:
_ said:

It’s strange how linkage can get bent. You never hear of this in Japanese cars. The “wear out” items on German machinery cracks me up. 

there actually is linkage on BMW cars.

 

 

Looking at the picture: If he blew the guibo at one time, he could have done some serious damage to the linkage.

Many hondas (before the cable shifters) used HUGE shifter linkages....

spandak
spandak Reader
9/11/19 4:41 p.m.

I’d say it’s worth looking at. The drivetrains in these cars are pretty solid in my experience. The shifter is full of parts that wear out and add significant slop. None of the parts are too expensive. 

My first thought in regards to the overheating is the system wasnt bled properly but it could be anything really. My car has overheated because the heater core fitting broke and drained the coolant. Things happen but there isn’t much on these cars that’s terribly difficult to fix. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
9/11/19 5:17 p.m.

Are you sure it's an automatic?

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