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Pitchblack Motorsports Rally e30 318i (now with M50) - and some Porsche 924S stuff.

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  • econti
    replied
    Sounds good?

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  • irish44j
    replied
    Today I started finishing up the exhaust setup. I already had the exhaust mostly complete, or at least tacked together, so today's goal was to finish welding stuff up and add armor. I ordered some ebaywafflesexhaust hangers like the one suggested by Nonack, so will install a couple of those when they get in. Of course, as soon as I started, I ran out of Argon. grr. Luckily, Jim was not too far away and brought his tank with him, so I went and met he and Mike and Amanda (who were working on her e30) and got the tank.

    Then cut some pipe longitudinally in half to create my armor, and welded it on in areas I know from experience take the worst hits.







    yeah, it's some ugly welding. whatever. This exhaust is not going to look pretty anyhow....

    After that, got everything oriented, and finished welding the whole system together. Before I attached the muffler I made a couple of ghetto-fabulous mounts to attach it to the stock e30 hangers, which are really quite strong and a great design, IMO.waffleswaffles





    For the other side, I used a steel bracket leftover from a Thule roof rack fairing. It's some pretty thick stuff, actually. Since it had to go farther, I used a different design. Looks kind of funny but should be strong. And it's adjustable to some degree as well,. which is good since I want to make this exhaust system pretty tight to the car.





    Other stuff I didn't take pics of - I installed the O2 sensor and ran the wiring to the engine (adding some flexible plastic tubing over it for protction).waffles

    I ran the car for about 10 minutes and noticed oil dripping around the pan. WTF??? After looking around, I identified the leak as coming from my distribution block, which has the pressure and warning senders installed in it. The block has a third NPT port that I didn't use. And apparently I didn't tighten the bloc-off screw on it much at all. So that's where the leak was. Tightened it up and should have no more leak there.waffles

    After that, I put the car on the ground so I can take a test drive tomorrow. As I was standing in the garage looking a the car, man, the back wheel camber and toe look really bad. This is a common e30 problem for rally cars in particular, bending the trailing arms, but somehow I've managed to not bend them in all this time. Well, I have now. My toe gauges showed a combined toe-out of almost 1/2"...which is a ton. Not to mention a lot of negative camber. Just visually, pretty sure this is mostly/all on the driver's side. I didn't notice it before, but I suspect this happened at NEFR and was the reason for the excessive rear tire wear, which I had just written off to really long transits. Whatever, car still handed fine at WMWR. Rear toe doesn't seem to have nearly the effect on loose surfaces as it does on pavement.waffles

    So, now I know what my next project is - pulling down my spare trailing arms and reinforcing them (using a combination of the Garagistic kit and the stuff that Hooper did to his e30 a couple years ago). Don't think I'll do that before the first rallycross, but no biggie since I'm towing there anyhow. Will definitely have it done by the second one. I haven't pulled the RTA's in like 7 years, so I will get to remember how little fun that is haha...

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  • irish44j
    replied
    Kept going on the exhaust today. I had to settle for a couple of 45* elbows from the local parts store since I didn't order enough mandrel-bent ones, but whatever. In any case, I have the entire exhaust tacked together and had started full-welding it and ran out of Argon (arrrrgh...).

    So here's where I'm at. Right now it will have a clamp at the header, and as it sits now a clamp before the cat (but I think I may just weld that up as well).waffles



    And here's a shot under the car to show how it tucks up in the tunnel, much better than the OEM exhaust. Except of course going under the subframe. I got out my baby sledge BFH and flattened out the top of the pipe like the stock exhaust for a bit of extra clearance, but as with the front, I think the answer is just going to be to put a bit more height on the suspension



    Also installed the springs I got from Kevin, though I won't be able to adjust the height until I get the car on the ground, of course.

    As you can see, these are slight beehive-shape and not perfectly straight. This is what Kevin had and I like the idea since mine do foul the upper threads on the faux-coilover sleeves. He doesn't have much clearance inside the wheel on his RX-7. I have plenty of wheel/tire clearance so can run these springs no problem.



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  • irish44j
    replied
    Down to the nitty gritty of finishing this stuff up. First, a guy from Texas, who was in town for work, decided to buy my old M42 (and some other M42 stuff). So he showed up with a pallet, lots of tape and shrink wrap, and we set it all up for freight shipping, and it'll be picked up tomorrow. So I sold the M42 for what I bought the e34 for. That's pretty nice.



    Then I spent the rest of the afternoon on and off building the exhaust. I'm not doing anything too complicated, but without a tube bender big enough for 2.5" exhaust I am using 45-degree elbows, which work fine except when you need more or less of an angle. I only had to improvise on one section (coming off the e34 y-pipe), so it doesn't look all that pretty but should work. Once I have the whole thing set up I plan to "armor" a few parts that tend to take a lot of impact from rocks and stuff.





    you can see in this one, i added a bung for the O2 sensor in the best place I could find to keep it away from getting hit. I may build some kind of shield for it, we'll see. The exhaust I'm building has only a very small cat and no resonator, so it tucks up pretty nicely in the driveshaft tunnel, higher than the OEM exhaust I had. Still going to stick down farther than I like going under the rear subframe, but nothing much I can do about that other than armor it up back there. Still working on ideas for good hangars - that will probably be the next project once I have a complete system.



    here you can see where I am to (right before the rear subframe) and where the muffler inlet is. Looks like I'll just need a couple elbows, though ideally I'd just have a mild s-bent pipe go directly. Wonder if I can get away with two mild bends with my HF tubing bender. I have more pipe than I need, so I may just try, we'll see.



    And, got a package from fellow rally driver Kevin Schmidt (who is on here and who I competed against and lost to by 1 second at the Great Lakes Divisional Challenge in like 2015, before either of us did stage rally. Some springs that he'd tried (and not used) on his car. Same length as my current fronts, but up from 200# to 225#, which will hopefully compensate for the additional weight up there now.

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  • TeXJ
    replied
    aww ok, I bet that would be a pain to do haha

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  • irish44j
    replied
    Originally posted by TeXJ View Post
    great progress! any video clips of the exhaust? lol

    I see on your list you are looking to do a better mount for the DME. Would be good to see how you do that. Mine is stuck above the glove box with some plumber's tape wrapped around and then some foam around the actual DME...no bueno
    yeah, the upside is I have no glove box and no dash on that side, so it's really just a matter of building some kind of platform to mount it on up against the firewall. I keep on delaying on doing it since working under there is a pain with the cage lol.

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  • TeXJ
    replied
    great progress! any video clips of the exhaust? lol

    I see on your list you are looking to do a better mount for the DME. Would be good to see how you do that. Mine is stuck above the glove box with some plumber's tape wrapped around and then some foam around the actual DME...no bueno

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  • irish44j
    replied
    Got some quick shipping packages from UPS today. First, all my exhaust-building supplies from Jegs. Nothing too fancy - 2.5" pipe and elbows, a cheap cat (only because it's required for rally), and a decent Vibrant black muffler, just because it will look good on the drive to the first rallycross of the season (and less good after that). And also because I'm done with muffler-swapping and want something that sounds good when racing, but also is tolerable when driving around in a car with no sound insulation. Plus an 02 sensor bung and some other stuff that i may or may not use





    Also got in a box from Greg the e36 parts guy. With the PS pump not working and not knowing if it's a bad pump or bad pressure line, Greg pulled both off one of his parts cars and sent it my way. They were a bit gunky and the line doesn't look great, but should work anyhow. Cleaned up the pump a bit and installed. Happy to say the e36 pressure line is almost a perfect fit, with only a minor adjustment needed to prevent it hitting the engine mount arms. Then I refilled and bled the system and it seems to work fine, though I didn't put the car on the ground to try it. But I can tell the pump is working now - which was not the case before.



    I do appreciate how easy it is to take the serpentine belt off and put it back on just by levering the tensioner. That said,, I will have to remember to put the correct allen key into my race toolkit in case we ever have to change it on stage.

    Greg also sent me the shifter carrier and rod from an e36 318. The carrier is a pretty close fit with the G240 setup (and Condor Speed Shop front and rear delrin bushings). It's probably about 1/2" back from being centered, but that's fine. The M20 carrier apparently ends up about 1" too far forward, which would be pretty close to my dash switches and stuff.



    Installed the front end with a bolt (with a long unthreaded section) and locknut instead of the "bitch clip." It's just easier.



    The e36 318 shift rod was, unfortunately, far too short. So got the saw out and cut about 2 inches off my e30 318 rod in the center, and welded it back together.



    And installed, with the shifter in neutral. I feel like it has a bit too much backward lean, so I may have cut it just a bit too short. I have another e30 one sitting here, so good chance I'll just cut that one slightly longer and swap it out, since it's not that hard.



    So with that stuff in, I could finally install the driveshaft (with all new metal-lock nuts and a new guibo).



    had some fun with it...since the old driveshaft when I bought the car the PO had written some Top Gear Clarkson quote on it..



    Then started goofing around with exhaust a bit, but I'll do that this weekend. I did want to hear what the car sounded like with this muffler on, so I just stuck it on after the y-pipe..



    so, that's it for now. The list is getting shorter. A couple other things on the way and I shoudl hopefully have this wrapped up soon.

    In other news, looks like someone is buying M42 engines tomorrow, as well as a bunch of other M42 stuff (I've already sold quite a bit). When i'm done I'm going to tally everythign up and see just how much I ended up spending on this swap (won't count other stuff unrelated to the swap). I think I should be able to stay under $500 all told, if not less. So that would be pretty cool.

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  • irish44j
    replied
    Not much going on today, since I have to do some work on my bathroom sink lol. Did bleed the clutch and drill the 2nd "2nd" support bolt on the transmission mount, and install the new gas pedal bushings, which tighten things up nicely.

    Tomorrow's UPS should bring a box from Greg the e36 guy with some stuff i need: (hopefully working) PS pump, an e36 PS pressure hose, and the shifter carrier and rod from an e36 318i, which by my measurements is perfect dead-center on my shifter hole with the current setup. I was going to use Jim's spare M20 stuff, but those are about an inch shorter so the shifter won't be centered in the hole. Let's just do this the right way for a few extra bucks.

    All my exhaust stuff should be here tomorrow from Jegswafflesas well, so can start mocking up stuff.

    Also noted that it's time to replace my lug studs and lugnuts, as they're feeling kind of "loose" these days after a couple years of impact guns.

    Also pulled the cover off the Porsche to run it for a little bit since it's been sitting for most of the winter. Upon initial start it had a hell of a clatter to it. I thought for a minute I might have a bent valve or something, but after a minute or two, and shutting off the car and turning it back on a couple times, it mostly went away. So seems like a sticking lifter. I think before driving season starts I'll put a quart of ATF into the crankcase and run the car for a little bit and then change the oil. That seems to be the trick that most 944 guys use to quiet down lifter noise.waffles

    So not too exciting, but feel like I'm on the home stretch now. rallycrosswafflesseason registration opens tomorrow and I basically have 2 1/2 weeks to have everything ready to go.

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  • TeXJ
    replied
    haha, nice :D

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  • irish44j
    replied
    Originally posted by TeXJ View Post
    very nice! How did you bend the tubing for the skid support? Was thinking of making one myself but without a bender, not sure how I can do that.
    I'm just re-using the old one. Ozgur actually bent it for me when he bent the cage. I just keep cutting out and replacing the center (straight) bar when I've bent it a few times lol.

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  • TeXJ
    replied
    very nice! How did you bend the tubing for the skid support? Was thinking of making one myself but without a bender, not sure how I can do that.

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  • irish44j
    replied
    Checking things off the list now. Placed an order with Jegs to get some exhaust tubing + cheap catalytic converter (required for stage rally) + muffler. So will look to tackle some exhaust work next weekend. Also got some .025 wire for my welder, since I just have a bunch of .030 and.035 right now and thinner wire should cover better for my shoddy exhaust welding, lol.waffles

    Speaking of welding, got going and re-fitted the skidplatewafflesbrace bar, which had to be cut off to clear the longer engine. I ended up having to move it up about 3" total, and also make it a bit taller since this oil pan (unbelievably) sits even lower than the M42. Plus, it's a 1-piece pan so breaking it = big time hassle (M42 has a 2-piece pan).

    So, added a couple inches onto the existing brace



    cleaned it up, welded it, and painted stuff



    and after some fiddling around and making extended base plates on the frame rails, welded it up. Man I hate welding under the car!



    I left more clearance this time than I had with the M42. I don't want the skid to be anyplace close to the pain at this point...I'll jack up the front suspension height to compensate, lol.



    When I took the hood off, three of the six bolts holding it to the hinges sheared off. Rusted in place from the inside. So i had to drill those out and re-tap them. Once that was done, I figured what the hell, let's put the hood back on since I'm mostly done in the engine bay itself



    Unfortunately, I found that my slick stock e34 wiring cover was too tall and the hood wouldn't close at the back end



    So, I guess I'm going to have visible wires there. Will clean them up a bit and put some protective wrap so it doesn't look so trashy...



    And, recalibrated the tach for a 6-cyinder (since I had been showing 1200rpm at idle, when it was actually 800 haha...)

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  • irish44j
    replied
    wafflesToday I got all my extensions out and somehow got to the upper starter bolt, and got that secured. Ran out to Walmart and bought some antifreeze, oil, and ATF (for power steering), and filled everything up. After spending 15 or 20 minutes checking things, it was time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J9K8zR72rI

    So yeah, that worked pretty well :)

    It sounds so good with the open pipes, I almost don't want to put exhaust on it, haha....

    After verifying the engine works, I started with some other button-up details, like making some modifications to my strut bar to clear where I put the x20 (C101) plugs.waffles



    I also added my secondary bolts for the transmission mounts. I had previously extended the transmission mount carrier to strengthen it, but it requires drilling holes through the floor (in an area that has 3-layer overlapping panels, so nice and thick). Anyhow, had to drill new holes since the new ones are now 2 1/2" too far forward.



    So, one thing i noticed when I had the car on was the power steering appeared to be doing nothing at all. No noises, no bubbles in the reservoir, nothing. When I got the e34 the PS was pretty noisy like it had air in the system. Now it seems like it's doing nothing at all. Not sure if that's the pump, or the possibility that I kinked one of the rigid PS pressure hose sections. I mean, I did kink it a bit, but I thought it was pretty mild. Hm.

    Looking around, the LUK PS pump on this car has a BMW part number on it that only comes up online on a few German-language sites. So that's pretty odd. e34'swaffleshad several different PS pumps that depended on if the car had adjustable suspension and other stuff. From what I've gathered the e36 PS pump is almost identical other than slightly different hose positions. And also way more available. So, I called Greg (who sold me the driveshaft) and he is sending me a PS pump and pressure line from his stash. Not a big deal, just a bit annoying since PS fluid always/ALWAYS makes a mess.

    part number also not on realOEM...odd.waffles



    And, I took my cardboard templates and cut out a filter box of sorts using whatever material I could find. As it happens, had some leftover Lexanwafflessheet, so hey, let's do some minor fabbing. It's gonna get scratched to shit in no time of course, but until then it looks kind of cool I guess, and lets me see how dirty the filter will be getting, and should protect the filter from most of the dust and heat from the engine bay area (or that's the idea). As you can see, the top piece is just secured by zipties, which is in purpose, to make it more easily removable.



    of course I slapped a sticker on it, lol

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  • irish44j
    replied
    A few things today:

    - went out in search of the appropriate wrench locally to be able to access the last three header bolts. The only way I could figure to do this was with a flex-head 11mmwafflesratcheting wrench. Of course, almost no sets sell 11mmwafflesratcheting flex-heads. $20 on Amazon for one, but then I'd have to wait a few days. Went to Home Depot and of course you can buy individually every damn metric size except 11mm (why are exhaust nuts 11mm???). Luckily, 7/16" SAE is only a couple hundreths off 11mm, so got one of those, and managed to get the job done with much working out of my fingers.

    - I had ordered new radiator hoses, but for some reason I bought e34 hoses (as part of a larger hose set), which don't work with the M20 radiator, since the e34 radiator has an integrated overflow tank. I messed around trying to bodge something together with them and my old M42 hoses, but no dice. So found a local parts store that had e36 hoses, cashed in some online discounts and SpeedPerks, and now the radiator is all hooked up and should be good to go.

    - Then, made a few measurements and cuts on the 2-1 collector pipe that I kept off the e34 on a whim. As luck would have it, it almost exactly lines up with the ebaywafflesheader outlets! Had to do one tiny adjustment to the pipe, and they matched right up. That's some great luck there, and saves some time/trouble/money. I do have to add an 02 sensor bung since the e34 bung is on the pipe going into the cats, which I'm not going to use.







    And sketched out what to order from Jegs to build an exhaust system. Decided not to go with a stock M20 or e36 system, since they're dual-pipe. Instead going with full 2.5" single pipe (which I will "armor" in strategic places). Since rally requires a catalytic converter, and I want the car to be tolerable on the street, will get a cheap cat and a decent muffler. We'll see how this goes. I'm not great at exhaust welding ...

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