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

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    Not much news. I got the snow tires mounted up on the white wheels and put them on the car with the plan to rallycross last weekend. As it turns out, one of the wheels is bent, and it is slightly noticeable, though probably tolerable.

    But as luck would have it, didn't have to drive up to the mountains anyhow as the event was postponed due to some circumstances with the sanctioning/insurance. It's been rescheduled for a "doubleheader" on November 22/23, which promises to be a VERY cold weekend up there. According to a local, around Thanksgiving it's usually in the 30s with snow and lots of wind. Will need to make a decision about whether to run snow tires or rally tires if that's the case. Should be interesting.

    The weekend will be two separate events, and I have to win both of them to take the season championship. So will have to drive all-out and slightly reckless to stay ahead of Nick, depending on the course layout.

    here's a couple pics of the car with white wheels. Very 80s rally, lol...



    Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
    Track/street e21 build
    visit Condor Speed Shop
    visit Motorsport Hardware



    [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

    Comment


      Season 3 wrap

      Another season in the books, as we had a double-header event this weekend to close out the schedule. Quite a bit to talk about at this one, but before I get to that I want to throw out some thanks: First of all, to Adam Kimmet, Katie Orgler, Shawn Robers, Matt Berkebile, and all the other people who make these events happen. It’s a ton of work, especially at a venue so far from home for all of us, and it’s greatly appreciated and you guys make the program and events run smoothly. Also want to throw out thanks to Carlos at Condor Speed Shop for his moral and material support throughout another season, as well as Motorsport Hardware, Blunt Tech, Red46 Sump Armor, and a few others for their support/deals on stuff I use on this car :)

      So, before I get into the event, we got some bad news this weekend. The site owner, who is one of the largest landowners in western Maryland and has been extremely supportive of our program this year, tragically died in a mid-air collision between a plane and a helicopter locally a few weeks ago. It was big news at the time but I don’t think most of us knew it was him. So prayers and wishes out to his family of course. While it’s still likely we’d be able to run at Frostburg next year at the site, the plan is for several of us to look for some new venues a bit closer to the I-95 corridor (Baltimore/DC/Virginia) which is where most of our drivers live, so we can get turnout numbers up.

      I’ll be perfectly honest. The Frostburg venue is huge and makes for some fun courses for sure. It’s also a lot of work for the organizers (heavy equipment needed), a long way away, and lends itself to high-speed “power courses” that don’t really give me any advantage in my light/low-power car compared to more technical courses on grass/dirt. That, or I just suck at driving on really loose gravel, lol.

      So on to this weekend. I went up a day early to help Adam set up. We worked all afternoon in temps getting into the teens, lol…
      Preface this all by saying that I had to (essentially) win both days to win the season Championship over Nick, who had 4 event wins to my three coming in.



      Day 1 started with the usual….Nick and I and Josh S. battling it out with a bunch of close times. After 5 runs there was 1 second between Nick and I, and I was running slightly faster. Then, disaster struck. At the start the AWD cars had been digging a trench with their launch control. On my 6th run I set up and launched, but the car walked sideways into the trench and as it dropped my muffler dragged along the hard center section and I as accelerated it pulled the catback backwards and detached it at the slip-flange behind the cat, and let it drop to the ground. I saw them waving the red flag after 2 turns and I had to pull off and take a DNF for the run (pulled the rear hangers off along side the course and got the car back to paddock). Unfortunately, the 20-second penalty (from the slowest time in the class) put me in a hole I couldn’t recover from. Eventually I clawed back some seconds in the afternoon but ended up in third about 15 seconds behind Nick in first and Josh S. in 2nd. First time I’ve ever lost to an e30 other than my own……and knocked me out of a points championship possibility. Also the first run I’ve ever DNF’d in almost 30 rallycross events.
      On the plus side, the car sounded pretty badass with no catback. An M42 with only a cat and no muffler sounds surprisingly good on course – not raspy/high like a Civic, but more like a real race car, lol.

      On the minus side, I knew that slip pipe was a problem last event when it was loose afterwards. I tried to cinch it up with an extra hanger, but apparently that didn’t work. I should have done a more thorough job, but I always hate dealing with exhaust. Lesson learned for me. I could blame the poor start setup that allowed such a giant trench there, but this is rallycross so that would be a lame argument. I spend a lot of time setting up this car with the greatest of care, and my own laziness on this one cost me the season.

      Nick and I and Josh did some car-switching, and I basically laid down the same time in Nick’s car as I had been in mine, which is discouraging. His e28 is big and heavy, and feels like a freaking V8 in terms of its torque and power delivery compared to my M42. I’ve driven Nick’s car before, but not since he sorted out his engine and suspension. After driving it, I’m having some doubts if it is beatable in any fast courses so long as Nick continues to drive so consistently.
      So…..on to Day 2.
      Turned out that a camera crew from Discovery Channel/Velocity TV was coming to the event for a show they’re doing on a rally car build. The freshly-built car was there (a Focus) along with a 323 Mazda stage car as well. The crew did a ton of filming all over the venue, and I’m guessing my car got in a good number of shots so that would be cool if that’s the case. Not sure when this show will come out. I will note that I put down better times than either of the FWD rally cars :).

      I went into day 2 planning to go for a win for nothing other than pride. The course was pure power, nothing tight, and played to Nick’s driving and car strengths. I kind of said fuck it and decided to put on more of a show for the video people with more sideways then usual. But still managed to stay within a second or 2 of Nick for the first few runs. I started just going all-out aggressive at that point, but then I overcooked the final turn into the finish. Cocked sideways coming to the line there was a good chance I was going to take out the timing box next to the finish gate. I stepped all-in on the pedals and stopped the car with the bumper touching the finish cone (not knocking it over), and the front wheel 6” short of the timing line. I jacked it into revers and finished the run “clean” but losing about 7 seconds. After that I just drove full-on and had pulled it back to about 4 seconds at the end of the morning session.

      Afternoon course had a fairly long slalom (good for me) but a dreadful entry setup into the turnaround loop. No way to enter fast. Deep gravel there. Low-power car, essentially screwed being out of my powerband but too fast for 1st gear. Could not find a way to get through quickly and it sucked. Tried to compensate on the other transitions and picked up a few cones, and by that point it was all over.

      I did take one final run in the ETA boys’ car (with a passenger, as a favor to one of the other drivers). And even with that stock-engine, beat-to-hell chassis, and full interior, with Comfort Seats…..somehow I knocked down a time about ½ second slower than in my own car. More frustration really. I had considered my car to have an advantage but now I’m not so confident and may have to re-address some things with my setup in the off-season. If I can jump into the e28 and a beat ETA for the first time in forever and drive them just as fast as my car, who knows. That said, the course was better set-up for a car with torque and weight, so who knows….
      So……all done.
      Just had to load up the trailer and go home and stew. Uh…nope. Trailer has those crappy ramps for heavy equipment (with big “ruts” in them so the car kind of “bump, bump, bumps” up the ramp). I’ve loaded the trailer a dozen time with no issue, but for some reason as I was driving up, the rear wheels actually kicked the ramps off the trailer lip and dropped the rear end of the car on the ground (with the fronts on the trailer. Just hung up lightly about midway on the body, no big deal, and we were able to tilt the trailer and use a jack to get it off and reloaded properly. But not really how I wanted this season to end. At least the tow home was fast and uneventful, lol….
      So, that’s about it. Nick takes MR in the e28 and I’ll be a few points back. The ETA boys took 2-3 in PR being beaten by Shawn, whose thrashed RX-7 (which only runs due to black magic, I’m sure of it) continues to win. I know it’s not the car, so it’s quite certainly the driver.

      Time to think about what I need to do on this car, what is in the budget, and whether I will do stuff this winter or wait until I finish the e21 further. Will update when I figure it out. Hope everyone has a happy holiday season/merry Christmas/etc…..

      Will post up some pics and vids later this week, kind of worn out and a bit
      annoyed at the moment so that’ll have to wait…
      Here’s a few quick ones



      Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
      Track/street e21 build
      visit Condor Speed Shop
      visit Motorsport Hardware



      [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

      Comment


        Josh, great update. I'm sorry the season diddn't go your way, sometimes shit happens.
        For example, I broke my foot this summer, and missed a single race weekend in the SPECe30 season because of it. Throughout the season, I had the most first place finishes, but it still wasn't enough to contend for the championship. :(
        In any case, let us know what you need for next season, Condor Speed Shop will be happy to support you in 2015.


        Comment


          Originally posted by silence View Post
          Josh, great update. I'm sorry the season diddn't go your way, sometimes shit happens.
          For example, I broke my foot this summer, and missed a single race weekend in the SPECe30 season because of it. Throughout the season, I had the most first place finishes, but it still wasn't enough to contend for the championship. :(
          In any case, let us know what you need for next season, Condor Speed Shop will be happy to support you in 2015.
          :D

          Do you happen to make any parts that drastically increase horsepower M42 engines?
          Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
          Track/street e21 build
          visit Condor Speed Shop
          visit Motorsport Hardware



          [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

          Comment


            Originally posted by irish44j View Post
            :d

            do you happen to make any parts that drastically increase horsepower m42 engines?
            You need a DASC
            Patrick Henry

            1989 325iC build: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316880


            Comment


              Originally posted by irish44j View Post
              :D

              Do you happen to make any parts that drastically increase horsepower M42 engines?
              lol


              Comment


                Originally posted by phenryiv1 View Post
                You need a DASC



                That, or I've got a turbo that'll probably be for sale soon. :p
                Last edited by bluej; 11-25-2014, 01:37 PM.

                Comment


                  oh look! local(ish) and just posted yesterday...

                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=340784

                  Comment


                    Lol. For that much I could LS swap, s52 or plenty of other options...
                    Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
                    Track/street e21 build
                    visit Condor Speed Shop
                    visit Motorsport Hardware



                    [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

                    Comment


                      OFF-SEASON PLAN OF ACTION

                      So the car is "winterized" to some extent...some interior back in, snow tires on, all my gear put away, fluid changes, and a few other things. Throughout doing that I spent a lot of time considering what I'm going to do with this car and stewing over blowing a season in which I won the first few events handily.

                      First off, let's talk about the competition. Nick clearly out-drove me in the second half of the season in terms of consistency. If this was autocross I would have won the season since I had the fastest runs in the class in almost every event. But this isn't autocross, and I was inconsistent with my driving an picked up far more cones than I'm used to. Nick drove amazingly clean in his e28 tank, and put up times that were just a bit slower than mine for the most part. I drove his car at the last event and it is mightily powerful for a rallycross car (SuperETA), even one as big and heavy as his. It felt really fast and well-sorted (his dreadful interior setup notwithstanding), and I already knew that Nick could drive from years of autocrossing with him.

                      I don't know exactly what his plans are (he's more circumspect than I am), but I know he's looking around for possibly an M30 swap, which would add some weight but add a lot of power for him.

                      As to Josh S., he's tired of the ETA with the cobbled-together turbo. He drove fast this season on occasion, but also made even more mistakes than I did and, to boot, had all kinds of mechanical issues with the engine. I know he's looking to get rid of the turbo ETA and drop something else in there. I expect to see him back next year with an M50/52 under the hood, or something comparable (he's a better fabricator than I am, so he may look outside BMW engines).

                      Meanwhile Eric Eisele and his co-driver will ditch their subie and run next year in a 325i with a freshly-rebuilt M20B25.

                      So basically, I'm going to be even more out-powered next year than I was this year.

                      I spent a lot of time in the last few weeks researching various engine swaps or Jake's M42 turbo kit as possibilities. But finances are going to be limited this winter. A B25 swap might be doable, but I don't think that makes a big difference over the M42 when the extra weight is considered. M50/52 and the turbo setup simply aren't in the budget. Hmm. If Nick swaps to an M30, I could buy his SuperETA, but I really like the light, balanced character of this car and think six up front would kind of ruin that for me.

                      Then got to thinking about last season, watching some of my vids, etc and realized that it really wasn't so much power that got me as simple inconsistency. I was 1-2 cones away from winning two events that Nick won, and probably another win if my damn exhaust hadn't gotten ripped off. I think the car has "barely" enough power, but I think it can still win by being lighter and quicker in the tight stuff.

                      Add to that the possibility that we might be at a new venue next year, and there's no guarantee that it will be a big, wide-open space like Frostburg that is best suited to open, power-oriented courses. My car is better at tighter and grippier surfaces, and there's a decent possibility that any new venue would have more of both of those things than the giant Frostburg gravel site. Not to mention I drive better on those surfaces than the gravel.

                      Thinking back to my biggest problem, other than my lapses of concentration, was the uncharacteristic "wildness" of the car's handling as I pushed it harder later in the season, trying to catch the power cars. It rarely felt settled and at the last event it was downright antsy. Plus it was really crashing through ruts and dips and potholes - starkly different from Nicks car and the ETA boys' car, both of which seemed to "eat up" the rough stuff much more nicely.

                      So since power-adding to any real extent isn't going to be in the budget, I think I'm going to have to address the two things that are in the budget:

                      1. weight. I have to keep it street-legal, so I can't go too far here. Lights and bumpers need to stay. Front windows need to stay. But I have some plans and ideas that may let me take another 100lbs out of the car, perhaps. We shall see how that goes.

                      2. suspension. historically I've been a "suspension guy" but with the e30 I've never really gotten it to where I want it. The stock stuff was too unruly for my liking (that's the only way I can describe it). The H&R setup on it now was great last year on the smooth, hard clay at Summit Point and the dirt in Ohio at GLDivs, but has proven to be too soft and low this year on the rougher gravel surfaces and I spend far more time on the front bumpstops than I want to - to the point that I was consciously steering around a few giant holes at the last event to avoide the bone-jarring hits - while losing time doing that.

                      So that needs to be addressed. After a good bit of consideration and throwing around various springs (keep in mind, I don't have the budget for a high-end coilover setup), I think I'm going to go with a Ground Control setup. Had some discussions with some of the e30 rallycrossers throughout the country and am narrowing down spring rates at this point. Up front I'm pretty set on about 250lb springs (and with a nearly .99 motion ratio, that's pretty straight-up), and will try to put it around "stock 318" height (which is higher than the car sits right now). For the rear, the motion ratio is roughly 0.65, so I'm leaning toward about 350lb springs back there (giving an effective rate of about 225). As this car is pretty balanced, that seems about right for my purposes. An since this will be a linear rate, I think it will improve car control in faster transitions that I had the most problems on for much of this year. Another option is to go up to 400 in the back and ditch the rear sway (yeah, the little stock paperclip-thickness one), but we'll see. The plan is to keep the rear end a bit lower than the front because I like the feel of the rear end sitting down (and to help with weight transfer). Subjective point on that one.

                      I have a bit more to think of regarding that, but at the moment I think that's the direction I'll go. In the preseason I'll toy around with some other swaybar stuff (front on/off, rear on/off, larger?) and I still need to see where my alignment is sitting at the moment (I slacked on checking it for the past few events, so it very well could be all wacky).

                      May also keep my eyes open for a lighter driver's seat, and I have a few other small ideas for projects. I also need to get my ass in gear and moving on the e21 project (also with M42, an that will one definitely get a turbo at some point), so trying to minimize e30 expenses and spend some money on the other car if possible.

                      So that's about it for now. One last thing. As I mentioned, I hate the steel ladder ramps that the trailer came with. They're heavy, suck for loading, and only 5 feet long so not a great angle for any car lower than the rallycross car (like our Chumpcar e30). I was at my parents' place over thanksgiving and looking at some aluminum ramps online. Dad walked up behind and wanted to see them on my laptop. Next thing I know he hands the laptop back and says "merry Christmas, they're on the way."

                      And so they arrived today. 18lbs each, 6' long. Both together are lighter than one of the original ramps (which I'm selling on CL now).

                      So that's an upgrade at least, lol

                      Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
                      Track/street e21 build
                      visit Condor Speed Shop
                      visit Motorsport Hardware



                      [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

                      Comment


                        Hmm....after I emailed Ground Control about their thoughts on spring rates, I got the response "based on your description I would recommend 375# front springs and 550# rears, as well as a set of large aftermarket sway bars." :whatthe:

                        I'm thinking he either doesn't know what SCCA rallycross is, or he misread and thought I was talking about euro rallycross or stage rally. That sounds like a road course setup, lol.

                        After much discussion with fellow e30 rallycrossers (in the US and in Europe), I'm actually leaning toward 250# up front, #350 in the rear, and stock sways at most, lol.
                        Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
                        Track/street e21 build
                        visit Condor Speed Shop
                        visit Motorsport Hardware



                        [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

                        Comment


                          So in other news, I've kind of gotten bored with the e21 project. With no real end-goal for it, it's a lot like working on the e30, except parts (like LSD diffs) are way harder to find and more expensive. So I'm cutting bait on that car and selling the shell and everything else non-drivetrain-related.

                          As to the freshly-rebuilt M42 I had for it, I think I'm going to put that in the rallycross car for the winter at least so I can check out the thrust bearings on the rallycross car, which I didn't do when I did the top end refresh 3 years ago. So I pulled that engine out of the e21 tonight and at some point I'll swap it into the e30 this winter.

                          In other news, SCCA has announced a restart of its RallySprint program (which is kind of like stage rally, but with shorter courses I guess). With that being a good stepping-stone to stage, I'm seriously considering putting a cage in this car in the fairly near future. We'll see how this year's work bonus looks :)
                          Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
                          Track/street e21 build
                          visit Condor Speed Shop
                          visit Motorsport Hardware



                          [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

                          Comment


                            So....while selling the e21 now I've gotten about a dozen emails about buying the M42 (and only a couple about buying the rolling shell :/ )

                            I don't think I"m gonna sell the rebuilt engine. I want to see if it works, since it's my first full rebuild. So it's going in the e30. If it works, I'll sell the one out of the car for less.

                            So what do you know....there's an e30 in my garage for the first time in a year. And there's a fresh M42 next to it



                            After pulling some stuff off the engine to see what's going on in that dirty-ass bay, I opened a little box that I got in the mail today. Try to contain your excitement when I tell you it's a working inside latch for the rear door. For the last couple years that door almost never latches fully and has flown open once while driving (yeah.....). So it's been closed and locked for the most part for the last year, except when Josh S. accidentally opened it in Ohio and it took me 10 minutes to get it latched again.

                            So after some heat on the screws to free them up after 29 years, it was out and a new (used) one is in. Nice to be able to open the door again and have it close.

                            Yeah, this is some hardcore stuff yo...

                            old


                            new


                            yup. So I did something on the car.

                            More to come in the next few weeks. Then we order some suspension after Christmas.
                            Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
                            Track/street e21 build
                            visit Condor Speed Shop
                            visit Motorsport Hardware



                            [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

                            Comment


                              i didn't know! i felt so bad :( that was a rough weekend.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by bluej View Post
                                i didn't know! i felt so bad :( that was a rough weekend.
                                I'll give you a pass, lol. Your weekend was just a *bit* rougher!
                                Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
                                Track/street e21 build
                                visit Condor Speed Shop
                                visit Motorsport Hardware



                                [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

                                Comment

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