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Sgt. Shitbox: A Gambler 500 Build

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    Sgt. Shitbox: A Gambler 500 Build

    Some of you may know what the Gambler 500 is: an offroad event centered around 3 core values of land stewardship, scientific research to discover the true meaning of "full send", and beer. For those of you that are unfamiliar, edumacate yourselves here: https://www.gambler500.com/https://www.gambler500.com/

    A few buddies and I have been doing the OG Gambler 500 in central Oregon for a few years now. With 3 vehicles over the last 2 events (one didn't even make it to the start), we now consider ourselves veteran Gamblers. Here our our past steeds:


    The Wu Tang Van (blew a head gasket a few weeks before the event):




    The Wu Tang Van was hastily replaced by the Jeepinator. A Hemi-powered Grand Cherokee that had it's passenger side removed by a drunk driver. Yes, the headlight was replaced with a glowing red eye and it was super duper sweet.




    And a few of you might remember the RallyBenz from my regular build thread. This car was a blast. RWD with some power proved to be the most fun option over the previous years full-time AWD.




    So, that brings us to this year's victim. We hadn't really started to car shop yet but a rolled E30 showed up in my local FB group and I couldn't help myself. Apparently the owner of the car rolled it on a windy mountain road. The shell itself is toast but I was told it ran and drove just fine and all the damage was essentially on the passenger roof/pillars. The car was a shitty primer gray and the guy kept his exhaust and driveshaft but was otherwise complete. My timing lined up perfectly with a certain car addict named Julien's desire to pick up a V70R (that he's already replaced a few times over) and off we went with a flatbed in tow. We figured (hoped) at least one of the cars would get home under its own power. We showed up with a driveshaft in hand, installed it in the dude's driveway, and drove it onto the trailer.

    So $800 later and we brought her home. I know, "$800, are you crazy??" Well, I did the mental math and it all worked out. The car has a decently fresh 2.7i stroker with a Schrick 272 cam, headers, S3.73 diff, H&R Sport springs w/ new Bilsteins, bottle caps with new tires, and a few other items to get our money back on. Anyway... trailer shot!




    Aaaand in her resting place where she sat neglected while I did turbo things on my other car for a while.

    Last edited by the_eskimo_wonder; 09-04-2020, 01:04 PM.
    Build Thread

    #2
    Well, then Auntie Rona came to fuck up our year and the affectionately dubbed "Shitbox" really took a back burner. I managed to get the rear springs swapped out with some stock E36 coils but then we were sure the event would be canceled and we just gave up hope. Life dished out other priorities and when we heard about the Covid-compliant adaptation of the Gambler we decided to pass. But out of the ashes of that idea, a new glorious thought emerged: what if we just do it ourselves, here in the Bay Area? And thus, the Jimbler was born!

    As it turns out, my bubbling excitement for thrashing beater cars offroad and my unwillingness to shut up about it rubbed off on some of my easily enabled friends. A plan was hatched, teams were formed, and cars were purchased. The Jimbler 500 was on!

    With a date set for the end of August and a new fire lit under our ass, we started the transformation, starting with a paint job. A little time on some redneck fishing forums told me that if I mixed a quart of Rustoleum Hunter Green with a quart of Rustoleum Rusty Primer that I would get olive drab. I had been envisioning an army theme for the car so I made it happen. My girlfriend and I painted the thing on the street in front of my house on a 100+ degree day with a foam brush and roller. It actauly came out shockingly good considering it was one coat, no masking, and pretty much no fucks given about quality.



    So it turns out that said color combination gives you really more of a shit brown than an army green. "The Shitbox" became "Sgt. Shitbox" and away we went. Some livery ideas were sketched out and sent off to the printer and we set to work on giving it some altitude. I sourced some E34 540i coils for the front, and some E46 xi coils for the rear because clearly the E36 ones weren't cutting it.

    Here's an interesting side by side of the fronts. Left to right are E34 540, stock E30, E30 H&R Sport.




    I trimmed the E34 springs to be the same unsprung length as the stock E30 coils and threw them in. To say I got a little bit of lift is an understatement. Here it is with the front done, still with the E36 coils in the back.




    And, I finally got around to the rears. I don't have any side by side pictures but all the rear coils I had between the H&R Sport, stock E30, stock E36, and stock E46xi were all the same length. I did measure some thicknesses though and here's what I found.
    E30: 15mm
    E36: 15.75mm
    E46xi: 17mm

    I added a 1/4" spacer I made from one of my gf's plastic cutting boards to bump it up even a bit more (don't tell her). Honestly it could use one more but without further ado....






    That's all I've got in me for now but I'll leave with a small teaser for my next update:

    Last edited by the_eskimo_wonder; 09-04-2020, 01:05 PM.
    Build Thread

    Comment


      #3
      Fanastic.

      I cant wait.

      BTW The MPV Wu-Tang Van is ACE
      Simon
      Current Car:
      -2002 MR2 Spyder


      Make R3V Great Again -2020

      Comment


        #4
        Roll'n in a MVP PHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!
        sigpic84 325e

        Comment


          #5
          Awesome!!! I love this.
          Paynemw
          1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
          the ebb and flow of 325is ownership - In RVA
          1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW

          Comment


            #6
            Cool. How much toe out in the back at that ride height?
            @turbovarg
            '91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 60 trim (18psi), megasquirt, coilovers, Z3 rack, cold AC
            [b u i l d]
            [Car of the month: April 2018]

            0c8b7c9527af628a346878feb14bf757

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by varg View Post
              Cool. How much toe out in the back at that ride height?
              It's not even worth checking. Ignorance is bliss or whatever.

              It drives better than expected and can happily take the neighborhood "speed humps" at 35+ mph so that's been fun.


              Progress has stalled pretty hard. I'm in the SF Bay Area and unless you live under a rock you've probably seen our recent apocalyptic weather. I did, however, get a a medium case 4.10 diff welded up. This car is more for the lols than shaving seconds off a rallycross time so we figured this would be a fun way to make it extra slidey, keep some torque with the big tires, and recoup some costs on the car by selling the S3.73 in it now.

              Build Thread

              Comment


                #8
                #fullsend
                Paynemw
                1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
                the ebb and flow of 325is ownership - In RVA
                1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW

                Comment


                  #9
                  Subscribed.
                  How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows
                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=297611


                  Could be better, could be worse.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm short a couple bolts for the adapters but got the rears on. Teaser:

                    Build Thread

                    Comment


                      #11
                      love it (socially distantly)
                      Build Threads:
                      Pamela/Bella/Betty/325ix/5-Lug Seta/S60R/Miata ITB/Miata Turbo/Miata VVT/951/325xi-6

                      Comment


                        #12
                        someone get this man a skidplate.
                        Paynemw
                        1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
                        the ebb and flow of 325is ownership - In RVA
                        1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This is awesome!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well, it's officially a mall crawler. Fender trimming and flares next.



                            Last edited by the_eskimo_wonder; Yesterday, 02:41 PM.
                            Build Thread

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Very nice. As the owner of a rolled 325i (that I rolled myself) this is exactly what I would want to do one day in the future.

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