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2009 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge build diary take 3

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    2009 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge build diary take 3

    Well A little history on what my cousin Carlos (Silence) and I have been doing for the past three years.

    our past builds were posted on line here as well

    link for 2007 GRM challenge

    Link for 2008 GRM challenge


    On July 28, 2007, after searching for almost 3 months we found this gem in Tampa. It needed a ton of work, but for the price it was a steal. It had 122,000 miles on a broken odometer that supposedly broke only 5 months prior. No records of timing belt replacement or any kind of maintenance other than a jiffy lube sticker on the windshield. It took us almost 5 hours of wrestling with the steering wheel to get her home. Anytime you went over 40 mph the entire car began to shake uncontrollably. The steering wheel had to be held at 3'oclock in order for the car to go straight. If you let go the car would shoot to the side, it was crazy! It seems that the car had seen some action off road with the previous owner. The good thing was that the engine was in good shape, it did not overheat, or make any strange noises. When we got her home we began to scour the internet and junkyard for parts. The first item on our long list was to do the timing belt and perform the basic maintenance, along with a complete stripping of any part that was of no use for us...

    For the next 2 1/2 months we worked like crazy to get this car built. This was the first time that My cousin and I had ever worked on or owned a BMW.

    After three months and no less then 400 combined working hours we had finally gotten the car ready. Both of us will say that it wasn't easy; Our body's reflected the hundreds of work hours that were devoted to getting the car to competition level. Although the car was still lacking a few more hours or work we were ready to take on the world. The event was held in Gainsville, FL approximately 4 hours to the north of fort Lauderdale. Upon arrival we were quickly humbled by the massive amounts of incredible cars that we saw when we turned into the parking lot of the event hotel. Excitement became doubt and concern for our car now named the "dirtE".

    Once we were in Gainesville, our first priority was to get the car ready for the competition. So Friday morning after waking up at 5am, we drove the car from the hotel to the track. It was about 15 miles, where Carlos and i did some tuning. We basically adjusted the boost controller so the boost would come on smoothly. At the track we swapped our street tires with the Toyo RA1s, and did some last minute adjustments on the car. Carlos took it out for a quick spin on one of the side roads, and it died on him! Carlos had to push it about 1/4 mile back into the pits! After getting some help from Me, and poking our heads in the engine bay we discovered we had a huge vacuum leak. We plugged it up and were ready to run(we still had another vacuum leak that we could hear but couldn't find). Carlos made a couple passes on the autox course, and at one point we were in 8th place!... That is until the professional drivers took the course. We ended up letting a few of the pros drive the car, and they really drove it hard. Carlos' time was about 2 seconds slower than theirs, and when the dust settled we placed in 11th on the autox course. Next up was the concourse portion of the event(pictures from last post). The drag portion of the event was rained out, so based on the concourse score and the autox score, we placed 11th in the final. We had a blast and learned a ton about what to do and how to prepare for the challenge in 2008, We have huge plans for the car(think lighter, more power and more grip).

    So once the challenge was over Carlos and I drove it around for a while, Carlos took it to work a few times, and I made some good videos of it on the road (you can see those linked below), but eventually it started stumbling and running like absolute crap.



    Approximately 3 months later when we were finally motivated to begin working on it in preparation for the 2008 challenge my cousin Carlos went outside to push it onto the garage, and this is what he found!

    During the next few months we knew that we needed to improve in all categories of the challenge. A few things that we had on the list for the year was to make the car lighter, handle better, more grip, look good, and more power. here is a preview of what we did in preparation for the 2008 challenge.

    Our first order of business perform a wire tuck. We wanted the engine bay and cockpit to be completely wire free, so without hesitation Carlos began with the under dash wiring harness. He stripped the entire interior of all wires, and only left what was absolutely necessary. Next he moved to the engine bay where i pulled out the chassis wiring and moved it so that it goes through the fender. It was a lot of work but it think it will be worth it to achieve the look that we want.

    So with less than a week before the Grassroots challenge, Carlos and I began to prep the car for paint. We had an Idea for the look we wanted to achieve. Carlos did a quick photo-chop of our idea about 5 months ago. You can see it below.

    So we began the bodywork, sanding, and paint prep. It took us about 2 days. The body was relatively straight, there were a few door dings, and we had some damage on the roof from removing the sunroof panel. Carlos repaired those areas with bondo, while Me and our wifes Mariana, Christy and friends Sue helped sand and scruff the areas that needed to be painted. We painted the car in a small 1 car garage. You can see the covered tool benches and washer and dryer in the background. There was not much room, but we did the best we could with what we had.The first coat was the semigloss olive green color. I got it from Sherwin Williams. It's an oil based exterior paint. Carlos (Silence) shot the entire lower half of the car with 2 coats. We used less than 1 pt. We didn't take any pics of it, but you can see the next step where we have covered the green with tape and paper, and already sprayed with the semi-gloss black. It sprayed on surprisingly smoothly with the $14.99 spray gun from Harbor Freight!

    We then taped off the sections that were gong to be red and yellow, and Silence painted them in the following nights. We cut out some stencils that Silence designed, and we sprayed the bombs on the fender and the Iron Cross on each quarter panel. We woke up early the next Morning and pulled the car out of the garage. It was the first time we looked at it after completely painting it. Wow it looks so nice! I think the paint scheme came out great! We snapped some quick pics, and started packing for the long drive up

    Last edited by lostbeachbum; 08-06-2009, 08:25 AM.

    FS:///M-Tech Wallets.

    Day of the 2008 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge

    After 5 runs, our best autocross time was a 43.91 second time which placed us in 17th place. We had issues with not having enough grip in the rear tires. I think it was because we removed so much weight the car would not plant it self well. With more time and some more testing i think we could have definitely gone faster. We also were running less boost than last year, so that is also something we can remedy for 2009.

    going through the concourse portion of the competition. Once it was all said and done we placed 13th out of 54 entrants in the concourse.

    Day 2 of the Grassroots Challenge

    So after a long 1st day, we got up early for the drag portion of the event. We drove out to the track, and unpacked all our stuff. We removed the autox tires from the front, and unfortunately did not have drag slicks for the rear so we ran the autox tires at 20psi. We ran into trouble early. The car would not start at 8:30Am. We began to check and double check all of out connections and sensors. 20 minutes turned into 1 hour. We checked for spark, we had it, we checked for fuel, we had it, we checked the injectors, we swapped ECUs, we were running out of options. 1 hour turned into 3 hours. We had a lot of help from some friendly challengers and spectators.

    It turns out that after trying to start the car so many times, we had fouled the plugs. The girls went out to pick up a new set and when they returned we installed them and the car fired right up! only took about 5 hours!
    So we were ready! We only had a couple of hours left to get our runs in for the day, so Carlos (Silence) jumped in the car and drove it straight to the drag strip. His first run was a 14.2 at 104mph. He was not to happy, but he know the car had more in it. he was spinning the tires all through 1st and 2nd gear. It even got squirly in the beginning of 3rd.

    9 runs later, we had two 14 second passes with a highest trap speed of 107 mph. With more traction we think this car can definitely run low 13's. One of the 14 second passes was run starting in second gear with a trap speed of 104 mph! we want to give Bucky Thomas props for porting the intake manifold, and really creating a monster out of this car. The throttle response is amazing! Without the high airflow I doubt we'd have such a high trap speed.

    here are two videos that we have from the challenge the first one is of the autox and the second is at the drags.

    In the end we placed 16th out of 51 and won the award for best visual package.

    Here is a shot that appeared in the February issue of GRM

    Preparation for 2009 GRM Challenge

    New steering wheel & homemade hub!
    Carlos (Silence) ended up pulling this steering wheel off of his daily driver because it would not de-activate the turn signals when turning. Its a great match for this build because of the low cost of the wheel, and the DIY hub. We think it definitely looks more at home in this car!

    Carlos (silence found an old steering wheel at the Junkyard. Carlos really liked the retro look of it, so i bought it for less than $6!

    Carlos brought it home and began looking for a hub that would work. Everything he found was so expensive and he really didn't feel like paying $60 for a new MOMO hub. he grabbed the stock steering wheel, and decided to cut it up into a custom hub/adapter. Carlos began by separating the wheel from the stock aluminum hub. he had to cut and grind a lot of parts off including the airbag wiring and horn wiring.After about 30 mins of cutting, he spent some time sanding the surface smooth on my belt sander. Carlos then drilled 3 holes on the hub and 3 matching holes on the steering wheel.

    Kirkey Racing Seat install

    We've had this seat sitting around since last year's challenge. I'm smiling below because its not in my garage anymore! We picked up this seat for cheap because it was used, and the previous owners didn't fit in it any more (special thanks to Dustin and his marriage). It was mounted in a fiero that I believe now competes in the 24 hours of lemons. You can see the large aluminum panel we had to cut off of the back of the seat.

    Working on Wide Body.

    We're back and we're working on the car big time now. We want more grip for the autox, and we still want the car to look good, so we have devised a plan that will blow your mind. We were able to find out the general idea on how to do this while searching online. We have never worked with fiberglass so I hope it works out. Here is what we have so far.

    This page will be updated as often as possible this will serve as our build diary as we prepare the car from the October 8th Grassroots Motorsports Challenge. So stay tuned we will have much more to come!
    Last edited by lostbeachbum; 07-22-2009, 07:29 AM.

    FS:///M-Tech Wallets.


      wow. looks cool. nice idea on the fenders haha
      AW 89' 325i Vert - SOLD


        awesome post! keep us updated!!!


          hahaha.. I love it how your t-shirts match the car ! :up:
          Looks like fun !
          gOOd luck and post more pics


            Your paint scheme is fucking awesome! Nice work guys!

            SOLD: My feature


              Sick post man thanks for sharing
              1990 Islandgrun 535iM Sedan
              Euro lights + trim | Eibach/Bilstein | BBS RC090 17x8 | EAT Chip | Port + Polish | IE 284 Cam | Built valvetrain


                That paint scheme kicks ass!


                  awesome project.
                  8380 Laboratories
                  M3 Champs Poster


                    thanks guys, we have a new paint scheme in the works.


                      Nice, thanks for sharing!


                        Nice work! I love the Luftwaffe insignia.


                          sweet project. i like the fenders, hopefully you guys will be able to get some more grip


                          @michael.colby on Instagram

                          "All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road"


                            Great project, I love the paint and effort that went into this car. Quality teamwork my friend!


                              wow! nice work guys!!!!!!!!!!