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Half-Life | '91 DS 318iS Slicktop | Track & Weekend Warrior

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    Half-Life | '91 DS 318iS Slicktop | Track & Weekend Warrior











    INTRO
    1991 Diamantschwarz 318iS | Slicktop | E30 M3 5-Lug | M20B25 9.7:1 284/272 Long-tubes | Extensively Lightened (2,410lbs wet) | Half-cage Seats Harnesses

    This car was purchased in May 2016 from the original owner. It was the perfect blank slate for a track/autocross/weekend warrior. Having owned E30s on and off for over half my life, this has been a fun build to rekindle my appreciation for this platform and take a build in a direction I had never tackled before.



    UPCOMING AGENDA
    • New wheels and tires
    • RHD Engineering ITBs??
    • New coilovers/suspension setp



    SPEC LIST

    Engine
    • M20B25
    • Mahle 9.7:1 forged pistons
    • Schrick 284/272 Camshaft (11.4/11.0 lift 110/100 duration)
    • VAC Performance valve springs
    • Febi rocker arms (updated design)
    • Back cut valves and bowl blending
    • ARP head studs
    • Ireland Engineering oil pan baffle
    • Ishihara-Johnson crank scraper
    • 24lb/hr Bosch GenIII EV6 injectors
    • KAMotors carbon fiber airbox, high beam delete intake duct
    • Custom 2.75" AFM delete tube with IAT sensor
    • Gates timing belt
    • Ireland Engineering long tube headers (Jet Hot ceramic coated)
    • Burns merge pipe after headers (Jet Hot ceramic coated)
    • Single 2.5”, mandrel bent, stainless steel custom exhaust
    • Vibrant V-band flanges at headers and merge pipe (3x)
    • Magnaflow muffler with downturned tip
    • Silicone vacuum lines
    • Silicone intake boot
    • Aluminum Euro M20 engine mount arms
    • Condor Speed Shop UHMW engine mounts w/ heat resistant wrap


    Engine Management/Electronics
    • Megasquirt 2 PNP by DedericMS (Microsquirt based)
    • Tuned by @varg
    • Launch control/2-step
    • Nexus 7 tablet dashboard using Shadow Dash MS (rooted, overclocked, Tasker for automations)
    • Dual XGPS160 10hz external GPS for speedometer and lap timing
    • Spartan 2 wideband controller
    • E36 variable TPS
    • GM IAT sensor
    • Custom 2.75" AFM delete tube
    • Delphi 3-bar MAP sensor (external)
    • Early model 2 port intake manifold vacuum cap
    • AiM Solo2 Laptimer
    • Mylaps X2 wired transponder


    Fuel System
    • Radium Fuel Surge Tank (single, in-tank) with bottom mount bracket
    • Walbro 190lph GSS250 fuel pump in surge tank
    • New OEM Bosch 318iS fuel pump in stock tank (low pressure lift pump)
    • Radium -6AN PTFE fuel lines
    • Radium 100psi fuel pressure gauge mounted above surge tank
    • Vibrant -6AN 90* bulkhead fittings
    • Vibrant -6AN to 5/16" barb adapters


    Driveline
    • Refreshed G260
    • FX Racing 6-puck sprung ceramic clutch disc
    • Sachs HD Pressure Plate
    • JB Racing 8.0lb aluminum flywheel
    • Braided stainless clutch line
    • AKG Motorsport Quick Shifter Stage 2
    • AKG DTM Selector Rod
    • E30 M3 4.10 LSD
    • M-Coupe Finned Diff Cover
    • Condor Speed Shop UHMW diff bushing
    • Condor Speed Shop 70A Poly Transmission Mounts
    • Transmission vented w/ 1/2" hose + breather filter


    Cooling
    • Custom N15 Design center hood vent, E36 side hood vents
    • CSF aluminum radiator / Bimmerworld
    • SPAL 16” puller fan
    • Massive Lee aluminum fan mounts
    • Ireland Engineering black silicone hose set
    • Heater box and throttle body heater deleted
    • Mishimoto sandwich plate (-10 AN)
    • Mishimoto 19-row oil cooler


    Fluids
    • Redline 10W-40 motor oil
    • Redline MTL transmission fluid
    • Mobile 1 75W-140 gear oil with LSD additive (diff)
    • Distilled water, 3L Pentofrost SF coolant, 1 bottle Redline Water Wetter
    • AP PRF 660-degree brake fluid


    Engine Bay
    • Partially shaved
    • Partially tucked wiring
    • Relocated ignition coil
    • Relocated main relays
    • M42 wiring cover


    Suspension
    • E30 M3 five lug conversion
    • Bilstein Sport shocks (trimmed front bump stops)
    • H&R Race springs (1 coil cut in front)
    • Ground Control SpecE30 camber/caster plates
    • E36 steering rack conversion
    • Turner Motorsports 16mm steering rack limiters
    • AKG polyurethane steering flex disc
    • Suspension Techniques 22mm front / 19mm rear sway bars
    • AKG front / ST rear adjustable spherical sway bar links
    • AKG welded reinforcement plates
    • Garagistic 13mm front roll center spacers
    • Condor Speed Shop UHMW bushings:
      • Eyeball arm CABs
      • 12mm subframe riser UHMW subframe bushings with diff spacers
      • Eccentric trailing arm adjusters/bushings
      • Diff mount
      • Engine mounts
      • Clutch and brake pedal bushings
    • Sparco front strut bar
    • Garagistic rear strut bar
    • Aluminum RSMs
    • Condor rear shock towing tabs


    Brakes
    • E30 M3 five lug calipers and discs
    • E32 25.4mm brake master cylinder
    • Rebuilt factory calipers
    • Performance Friction “08” track pads (F/R)
    • Turner Motorsports brake backing plates
    • Condor Speed Shop neoprene brake ducting
    • OEM Sport Evo blank front rotors
    • Brembo blank rear rotors
    • Condor Speed Shop braided stainless brake lines w/ PVC coating
    • Turner Motorsports solid brass caliper guide pins (F/R)
    • AP PRF 660-degree brake fluid


    Wheels/Tires
    • 16x8” ET23 forged BMW Style 4’s (refinished)
    • 225/45-16 Dunlop Direzza Z-III
    • 5mm front spacer to clear brakes
    • Motorsport Hardware 68mm bullet nose stud kit w/ open end lugs
    • Mild rear fender roll


    Gauges
    • Nexus 7 tablet dashboard using Shadow Dash MS (rooted, overclocked, Tasker for automations)
    • Dual XGPS160 10hz external GPS for speedometer and lap timing
    • Shadow Dash MS digital gauge cluster (interface with Megasquirt)
    • Mishimoto sandwich plate (1/8 NPT & -10AN)
    • Innovate MTX-D Oil Pressure / Oil Temperature (dual function)
    • Innovate MTX-D Water Temperature / Voltage (dual function)
    • Innovate MTX-L Wideband UEGO
    • (Gauges mounted in center air vent)
    • FastWRX oil pressure sensor remote mount kit (-4AN)
    • Ecliptech Shift-P2+ programmable shift light
    • BavRest restored tach/odometer


    Interior
    • Custom adjustable steering column bracket
    • MOMO Prototipo 350mm
    • MOMO Hub
    • NRG 2.0 red/titanium quick release
    • Alpina dead pedal
    • Condor Speed Shop ABS door card blanks
    • Condor Speed Shop aluminum rear firewall/seat delete
    • HVAC, heater box, radio, sound deadening delete
    • Partially trimmed wiring harness
    • E36 window switches
    • Switched USB charging port
    • Custom switch panel (controls electric fan, launch control, ABS cutoff, reverse lights, defroster, charging port)
    • Flat black interior paint


    Safety
    • Custom 4-point weld in roll bar done by Road N Race (1.750 x 0.095” DOM)
    • 2x OMP HTE-R 400 fixed back containment seats
    • VAC aluminum floor plates
    • Motion Motorsports aluminum side mounts
    • Schroth Profi II-H (2-3” HANS - driver)
    • Schroth Profi II (3” passenger)
    • HANS III device
    • Lifeline 1.75L foam fire extinguisher


    Exterior
    • VIS carbon fiber hood w/ custom N15 Design center and side vents
    • OEM EvoIII hood seals
    • DTM Fiberwerkz carbon fiber DTM cup mirrors
    • Euro bumper trim (F/R)
    • Euro grills
    • TC Design red aluminum front tow hook
    • iS front lip
    • Kooglewerks aluminum front splitter
    • Kooglewerks aluminum rear spoiler
    • Longacre aluminum spoiler and splitter supports
    • iS side skirts (not yet installed)
    • Condor Speed Shop drilled door handles
    • Depo smoked ellipsoid headlights
    • DDM Tuning 5,000K HID kit
    • Smoked turn signals
    • Fog light blanks
    Last edited by Digitalwave; 11-04-2019, 01:12 PM.

    #2
    FIRST, A LITTLE BACK STORY

    I was very fortunate that my parents bought me an E30 as my first car. It was a sterling silver 1990 325i that was purchased from a close family friend. It was stock at the time of purchase, but it didn't stay that way for long. I owned that car for about 6 years, and in that time it went through a lot of changes and iterations. At 16 years old, I just kind of dove into an auto-manual swap as a summer project. I definitely learned a lot with this car and made a lot of mistakes along the way. It was quite the experience owning it. I hope to buy this car back some day. Help me track it down!












    TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW[ER]

    After 6 years of ownership (all without a/c, silly me), I was bored of the E30. In hindsight, I wish I had held out a bit longer until I could afford to both keep it AND get a modern daily driver. The E30 was sold and immediately replaced by a montreal blue 1997 328i. I actually drove the E30 from Florida to Georgia to sell it sight-unseen, picked up the E36 (also sight-unseen) in the same area, and then drove the E36 back home to Florida. The E36 was pretty well sorted when I purchased it. I put coilovers and a few other things on it, and then changed the wheels out a lot. I even went through a bit of a stance phase with Mike Burroughs at the time, before Stanceworks even existed. I can't say as though I miss that stage, but it was fun at the time.












    TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW [not new-er]

    I owned the E36 for about 6 years as well. Towards the end, the car was starting to become less reliable and just declining in general. We all know how E36 cooling systems and interiors hold up. It was time to replace my car with something newer, safer, more reliable, and this time with a warranty. After a lengthy search and debate, I ended up buying a brand new satin white pearl 2012 WRX. I somehow managed to keep this one stock for about 2 years, just driving it and enjoying it was. It ended up pretty heavily modded, but thankfully it retained it's comfort and daily drive-ability. I still own and daily drive this one. With 330awhp/350awtq and 255/35-18 Pilot Super Sports, it's a hoot to drive, while remaining quite civil and comfortable.














    ...SOMETHING WAS MISSING

    Within a couple years of selling my first E30, I knew I had goofed by selling it. Not only was it my first car (talk about sentimental value), but I just really loved E30s. I knew I'd own another E30 at some point. The opportunity pretty much fell in my lap in 2014. A long time friend of mine had an E30 that had been within his family and friends circle for more than a decade. He didn't have the space to store it at the time, but wanted it to stay in the "circle." The car was far from perfect, but along the way it had picked up a lot of cool parts and it had a lot of stories to tell. This was going to be the perfect project car to tinker on. It was also nice to have a car I was comfortable tracking, without the risk of damaging or crashing my daily driver.

    The car was a British Racing Green 1987 325iS. It had a 2.8L M20 stroker mated to a great sounding exhaust, an E30 M3 5-lug setup, Euro bumpers in excellent shape, a genuine Alpina front valance, and many other cool parts accumulated throughout the years. The car was originally red, and the BRG respray was a 10-footer. The respray was part of a front end collision repair (more on that later). The stroker had a Miller MAF conversion, and it was running very poorly when I took ownership. That was part of the challenge and fun of the project for me.


    As I received the car in late 2014:




    The vinyl had to go, and I detailed the car after removing it all. The paint was glossy and looked good for what the car was.




    Next up was a slew of maintenance items, diagnosing issues with the MAF, and a new tune from Jesse @ SSSquid Tuning.





    [/url]




    Then the wheel collecting began again.




    More maintenance work was done, this time the clutch master/slave, guibo, and CSB.




    Cleaned up the interior and threw in a set of black vinyl sport seats. It was looking pretty good inside.




    Exterior shot. It still had the Style 3's with hard-as-a-rock 7 year old Azenis tires on it.




    At this point the car was running pretty well. It still had some minor issues with cutting out at high RPM's, but it was good enough that I started autocrossing and tracking it.








    Along the way I had the Style 4's refinished and mounted up with a set of 225/45-16 ZII Star Specs. I'm now on my 3rd set of those. They are awesome tires!








    The front end collision that had occurred before I owned the car was never 100% repaired. The frame was still pretty bent and I was having trouble aligning the car. The car went in to a body shop to have the frame pulled again. It helped, but even after being pulled, the camber plates still had to be set as pictured to have equal left and right camber. Definitely less than ideal.








    I decided to live with the frame for now as it was still a very fun car to drive and wrench on.
















    As time went on, the high RPM misfire got worse and worse. It took a while to diagnose the issue. Finally it was discovered that the "Jesus nut" on the crank had been slowly loosening, causing the toothed crank wheel to start wobbling. This was noticed by chance when looking at the CPS while the car was running. The inconsistent reading from the CPS was causing the misfire. The car was running great once that issue was solved.

    By this point I was tracking the car once or twice a month. Fully hooked!










    REALITY SETTLED IN

    With as serious I was getting about tracking the car, the bent chassis started to become an issue. I wanted to have a welded-in roll bar installed so I could install race seats and harnesses. I also had terrible alignment specs to deal with. The frame pulling had helped, but I couldn't justify spending the money to install a permanent roll bar into this chassis. I knew I wouldn't be happy with it in the long run.

    The decision was made in the spring of 2016 to move on from this car. My plan was to remove the parts I wanted to keep, and sell the car as a solid 2.8 stroker with a lot of cool parts and history remaining on the car. I had the car professionally detailed before I started taking parts off of it.

    As I had mentioned before, this car had spent over a decade within the same circle of family and friends. Thankfully another friend was ready to carry the torch. It was agreed that he would buy the car after I removed the parts I wanted to carry over to my new project E30, whatever that ended up being.









    In the mean time I helped my friend turbocharge his Miata track car. I soldered a Megasquirt 2 DIY kit for him. Fun project! I was shocked when it fired up immediately after first installing the MS. I figured I would have messed at least one thing up and we'd have a lot of diagnostic work to trace it.







    TIME TO MOVE ON

    The search for my next E30 was pretty painful. My main criteria was that the car had to be a coupe and had to have a perfectly straight frame with no major rust (bonus points if the paint was salvageable). Since this BRG car had kind of fallen into my lap, I wasn't very up to date with the state of the market for E30s. I checked out many frustratingly bad cars in person, and even drove 5 hours each way with a truck and trailer to try and buy a stripped shell that looked promising online. It was unfortunately not as advertised, and had previously been rear-ended.

    My search continued for about 4 months, when again a car kind of fell into my lap. More on that in the next post where we pick up with the current project.
    Last edited by Digitalwave; 05-01-2017, 10:40 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      ON TO THE GOOD STUFF

      In the midst of a frustrating search for a new E30, a friend of mine sent me a text saying that he saw a clean E30 coupe at the grocery store and left a note on it. I figured it was a slim chance that they'd be interested in selling, and kind of forgot about it. Surprisingly, 2 weeks later my friend got a call from the owner. She was the original owner of the car (!!) and was thinking about selling it pretty soon. You could tell she was pretty attached to it, but also ready to move on. We arranged to meet up and check out the car further. I drove the BRG E30 over to show her that her car would be going to a good home, and she was blown away by all the cool modifications that can be done to these cars.

      I didn't know much about her car before meeting, except that it was a black late model coupe. I was pretty excited when I pulled into the lot, because it turned out to be diamantschwarz and the paint looked great. After giving the car a thorough combing over, a few things were apparent. First, the paint was not original and it was a pretty crappy respray (another 10 footer). The second is that the car definitely had never been in any major accident before. The third is it was perfect for what I wanted to do with it.

      Patty had bought the car brand new in 1991 and it had been her daily driver until she retired. The car had racked up about 120k miles early on, but was sparingly driven after she retired. In 1994 the M42 had been replaced by BMW NA due to a major cooling issue. The car was maintained its entire life by a reputable Euro shop in town that I was familiar with. She had every single receipt for anything and everything that had even been done to the car. They were all provided in a 6" binder. I have been keeping up with that tradition, and have added another thick stack of receipts over the last year.

      The car had a very nice tan vinyl sport seat interior. The M42 ran strong and shifted nicely. The exterior had been repainted DS a few years earlier. She said that the paint was pretty faded from always sitting outside, and after a branch scratched the car up during a hurricane, it was time to respray it. It's a 10 footer with some questionable areas, a few large dents, and a fair share of chips/scratches. However, it's all one color, and it's glossy, which is more than I could ask for on a track car.

      The car was rust free save for a few minor sections in the trunk and the underbody, which would be easy to fix. The frame was straight as an arrow. The engine bay was very faded and chalky, but I had plans for that.

      A deal was struck, which included me promising to give her periodic updates on the progress of the car. Of course I was glad to oblige. The car headed to my shop where it would remain under the knife for a while.










      The first thing I did was give it a good wash, and then I stripped the purple tint off the windows. After washing the car I realized the paint was in worse shape than I had realized. I always saw the car in the bright day-time sun, and always assumed it just dusty/dirty. I could see the paint was pretty oxidized once I had it inside under florescent lights. It was time to call up my detailer again.

      Around the same time, I had picked up a wrecked drift car to part out. It had a lot of nice mods on it and a strong M20B25 that I planned to swap into the 318iS. I was essentially taking my parts collection and 3 different E30s to combine into one ultimate keeper. The BRG car would get sold with a combination of parts, and whatever remained would be sold off (which I'm still working on...!).





      Here's a "during" shot while the detailer was cutting the paint. Dramatic difference!








      Picked up one of these fiberglass duckbill spoilers. The iS lip wasn't removed when they painted the car, and there was a big dent on the driver's side of the backside of the trunk. I figured this would take care of several issues in one swoop, but I am not sure if I am going to end up using it or not. We'll see.




      Pretty well worn set of ZII Star Specs that came off the BRG car. These got replaced with a new set of the same tires once the car was closer to getting back on the road.




      These Corbeaus and side mounts came in the parts car. They turned out to be too large for me and I sold them to a local E30 guy.




      Finally got down to some real work on transitioning to the new platform. The main thing I was keeping was the E30 M3 suspension and brakes off the BRG car. I also took the Momo Prototipo steering wheel and a couple other tid bits, but other than that the work on tearing down the BRG car went pretty quick.




      5-lug out and in need of a lot of restoration before being swapped over to the new car.




      The stock suspension out of the 318iS went into the BRG car. I repainted the basketweaves and called it a day. The car was ready to head back up to Nashville. It hung out the shop a bit longer, but didn't change after this picture.




      Some parts started arriving for the 318...






      I wanted to get out of my comfort zone with this project. One thing I had always wanted to do was learn how to weld. I got this Weldpak on loan from a friend that wasn't using it and started experimenting. After about an hour of practice I got to it! Welded AKG sway bar reinforcement tabs onto my training arms. They weren't pretty, but it was strong enough and I learned a lot in the process.


















      All of the suspension components were cleaned up with a wire wheel and then sprayed with a few coated of matte black Rust-oleum. They are holding up great and looked a lot better afterwards. I kept the Bilsteins, H&R Race,
      and Ireland Engineering race camber plates in there. The setup still had stock bushings, which were all swapped out for very nice pieces from Condor Speed Shop. I used as much new hardware as I could. (as you can tell by the floor, I was thrashing at this point)





      Cleaned up and refreshed a nice low mile 4.10 LSD. Repainted the cover temporarily (more on that later).




      Took the time to clean up one evening rather than working on the car. It was worth it for my mental state.




      The 5-lug setup went in without any issues.








      More goodies were arriving by the day... I was happy to have gotten a good deal on an M-Coupe finned diff cover from a friend that upgraded to an Alpina double-ear cover. Unfortunately I had already installed my diff and subframe, so swapping this out later on would prove to be a hassle.








      With the car back on its feet, it was time to get started on the M20 swap. The parts car didn't really get "driven" because of how wrecked it was, but I was able to warm up the car and compression test it. The number were really good (185-195psi) and the motor was responsive and idled great.








      I refreshed just about everything external and easy to get to on the motor. All new seals/gaskets, all new ignition and cooling systems, cleaned and repainted a lot of parts, and a few mods. After talking it over with Jesse @ SSSquid, I went with a KAMotors intake, refreshed AFM, 20lb 4 pintle injectors (flow matched by MEPEH), IE long tube headers, and a 2.5" single exhaust. Plus, of course a great SSSquid chip tune.

      The M42 got crated up and sent to Jake @ Classic Daily for a 2002 swap.





      You can see from the following photos how faded and chalky the paint in the bay was. Getting out of my comfort zone, I decided to do a partial shave of the bay, especially since I wouldn't be using some of the huge brackets that previously supported M42-related items (like the coil bracket). I made a few mistakes when chopping off brackets, which created more work with welding and filling. In the end, it turned out great, but it wasn't a fun job.












      Example: I cut the bracket from the photo above too deep and went through the fender metal. I ended up chopping the whole section out and welding in a new filler piece. With my limited welding skills, that took forever.






      The heater box was removed from the interior, and I also wanted to delete the throttle body heater. Chopped off the nips and filled with JB Weld, then smoothed and painted the piece. I installed an IE oil pan baffle. These ship with bolts and nuts that have different thread pitch, so plan on buying your own hardware for it. IE was not helpful when I raised that issue with them.

      One of the block off bolts on the thermostat housing was commandeered for my Innovate water temp sender, by using a brass adapter. I believe it was M12 or M14 to 1/8 NPT.









      Started test fitting the high beam intake. It's ricey, sure, but I've always wanted to do it. It looks good with the smoked headlights.






      With the metal work done in the engine bay, it was time to do some body work and then lay down the paint. I chose not to mess with any of the seam sealer in the bay. It's ugly but doesn't bother me, and I knew the project would have gotten too in-depth if I had started messing with it. It only took a few light skims of Bondo to smooth out the fenders nicely. It was followed by a few applications of primer, followed by more sanding. Then the entire bay got primed.














      I should have mentioned whole bay was done with rattle cans. The color-matched paint from Automotive Touchup is really good quality. The bay is not show-worthy, but it doesn't need to be!

      I had only ordered 3 cans of color, and that really cut it close. 4 cans would have been preferable. I decided against clear coating the bay. Our bays usually aren't cleared as far as I can tell, and I didn't think I would have done a good job with rattle can clear. The DS basecoat has a nice semi-gloss sheen to it.







      The a/c was running in the shop when I sprayed the bay. The filters were black with paint when I was done. Good thing I masked the entire car off, and pulled the other cars out!

      Around the same time, some other details were getting back from the respective shops they were at. I had some pieces powdercoated, and the collectors on the headers were shortened and v-banded by RareFAB.







      With the bay ready, the time had come to drop in the motor! I should mention that the swap was incredibly easy. The only thing I really had to do was run switched 12v power to pin 20 of the C101. That is because the '91 chassis had the ABS relay on the ABS pump itself, instead of inside the cabin like the wiring harness did (out of the '89 parts car).












      On the M20 harness, the 3 main relays are wrapped in a bundle with the AFM connector. I cut back that sheath and re-wrapped both sections separately in order to mount the relays under the M42 wiring cover. That was a nice little detail I thought.






      Some time around this photo, the car was started the first time. It wouldn't fire up at first. It was by chance that we noticed the coil was blazing hot after attempting to fire it up. I had relocated the coil and extended the wires in order to reach. Unbeknownst to me, one of the wires has a grounded shielded insulation around it. When I spliced the wire, I spliced the shield into the wire, grounding it out. An old thread on r3v tipped me off to that! After cleaning up that mistake, it fired right up.




      The car had so much toe-in after the steering rack swap, it would barely roll. I guess I should have measured the tie rods before installing them. A quick tape measure alignment got the car rolling. It got towed over to Road N Race to have the rest of the exhaust fabbed. A Vibrant merge was added after the v-bands off the headers, and after the tranny, another v-band was added. This gave me an easily removable center section. The exhaust is 2.5" single into one Magnaflow muffler with a downturned tip. The pics show it tacked up before final welding. He also put in two O2 bungs, one for the stock narrow band and one for the Innovate MTX-L wideband. I didn't want to mess with the analog simulation.








      Still had some details to button up in the bay, but it was looking good...






      With the car running, it was time to get the new tires installed, and get the car aligned at Ernie Bello Motorsport.








      Finally got the M-Coupe diff cover installed. I was lazy and didn't want to drop the diff, especially since my raised subframe requires spacers to drop the diff back down. The job was a pain in the ass, and in hindsight I should have just dropped the diff. Not to mention all the 75w140 I spilled when re-filling the diff.






      I had another car Opti-Coated, so while the detailer was back (again), he clayed and sealed the E30 again. I had him touch up the oxidized VIS carbon hood. It's still not perfect, but look at the before (top) and after (bottom)!










      With the car aligned and running well, it was time for its first shakedown. There was a huge "Spectoberfest" SpecE30 race and E30 meet in October at Sebring. I did the on-site autocross that day with a few friends, and got to see the Spec E30 races and hang out with a hugggeee turn out of E30s. It was a great event.

      The car ran well. My wideband lost calibration, and my oil temps were reading through the roof, which I figured was an issue with that gauge as well. More on that later...







      The turbo yata's wastegate arm broke on the way to the autocross. We piano wired it to last that day, but I welded it back for him when we got back.




      It was time to start working on the interior some more. I didn't make a lot of progress unfortunately. The wiring harness was cleaned up a lot, the dash gutted, and the wiring for the gauges cleaned up some. I started on the switch panel.








      Washed up and put away!





      Last edited by Digitalwave; 05-01-2017, 10:40 AM.

      Comment


        #4
        DISASTER SOON STRUCK

        In November, I finally got the car on the track for the first time. As I mentioned during the autocross, oil temps were high but I foolishly thought it was either a problem with the gauge, or the sender was getting heat soaked by the aluminum sandwich plate. I did notice that throughout the day my oil pressures were going up each session, and my temps were maxing out the gauge by about 5 laps in (280*F). Also, my rear main seal was leaking and it got worse throughout the day. It got to the point that my clutch was slipping.

        The motor was strong all day and the car felt awesome. The suspension upgrades I had done versus the BRG car made a huge difference. I had a blast and couldn't wait to get back.

        The turbo 'yata ran as well. We thought he put a hole in the block because he dumped all his oil on the track. It turns out he just popped on of his oil cooler lines off. That stock 1.6 block will never die.


















        The following weekend I changed the oil and quickly realized my temps really were that high. The oil was like glittery water. Looks like I cooked it! There were shavings in the filter as well.

        Since the temps were ALWAYS high even since I installed this motor, I think it had a pre-existing rod bearing issue. I definitely did it in by tracking it with the issue, but I don't think I caused it in the ~200 miles I put on this motor before pulling it. After I saw the oil, the car got driven one more time to a meet nearby at Road N Race. Then I pulled the motor out.













        Before I had too much time to think about my course of action, I found a good deal on the r3v Facebook for a mildly "built" M20B25, and I snatched that up. About a month after I pulled the motor, I had this one freighted down from New York. I swapped over as much as I could from the recently refreshed motor that had just come out. I did new gaskets and everything again on this motor as well. It wasn't that pretty on the outside, but it cleaned up well. The internals looked excellent, which is all that mattered to me.






        Started swapping parts over between the two.






        Installed a new FX Stage 2 clutch (6 puck ceramic, sprung) and JB Racing 8lb aluminum flywheel this time around. The ceramic coated headers still looked like new.






        Dropped the new motor in.








        This time around, the first startup went without a hitch. This thing sounds incredible with the 284/272 cam. I'll post up videos at a later time.




        The parts car was really well picked over at this point, so we hoisted it out and junked the shell.












        Due to the long tube headers, I had extended my O2 sensor wiring. I was getting an intermittent CEL (lambda control). Turns out one of the wires had pulled out. I ended up replacing it with a MUCH longer E34 M50 O2 sensor so I didn't have to have a splice in it anymore.




        So back when I was pulling the wiring harness out of the engine bay for paint, I stripped one of the rusted-in front bumper bolts. I ended up yanking off the turn signal connectors to get the harness out of the bay. Over the last ~8 months I've tried everything to get the bolt out, from using extractors, to welding on tools. That sucker would not come out. I wanted to get it off eventually so I could reconnect the turn signals.

        Finally I removed all the plastic rivets and took off the bumper skin, then drilled the bolt out from the top. I messed up the bumper shock and the brackets in the process, but I had those from the parts car. Finally, the bumper was defeated!









        That weekend I also installed new wheel studs from Motorsport hardware. I chased the threads carefully to clean them out well before installing the new studs.

        I had been meaning to replace all the soft fuel lines around the fuel tank. It was surprisingly easy to do, except one hose clamp that is up above the tank on the driver's side. I ended up drilling an access hole there which made the job (and any future re-do's) much easier. This pic was a before pic, I forgot to take an after.





        The turbo yata got a new built 1.8l motor dropped in.

        I modified the stock radiator support bracket to fit nicely with the taller Mishimoto radiator.







        I debated for entirely too long on which seats to buy. Wine Country Motorsports was patient with me as I sat in seats for hours at a time. I ended up with a pair of OMP HTE-R 400's, Schroth Profi II harnesses, VAC floor plates, and Motion Motorsport side mounts.










        The seating position above was kind of a temporary mock up. The steering wheel is in such a terrible position, especially for someone with long legs. More on that later.

        Obligatory Cars & Coffee photo.





        The new motor had a few small issues to sort out (naturally). The front main seal (!!) was leaking. I've never had that happen on an E30. And of course I bought the tranny output seal but didn't install it when the tranny was out, and that was leaking.

        I did a shake down run at an autocross. The car was PLANTED and a blast to drive.

        My one observation was that after driving an hour on the highway at 4k RPM (4.10 FTW), my oil temps were a bit higher than I am comfortable with. I was getting up to about 235* F. Installing an oil cooler is on the short list before the car gets back on the track again.













        I picked up a set of GC SpecE30 camber plates to replace my IE plates. I am hoping these drop the front of the car a little more, giving me some more static camber in the front. I haven't installed these yet. I am going to trim my front Bilstein Sport bump stops at the same time.




        The interior is a mess right now. I pulled the dash again to fab a custom bracket for lowering the steering column. The car had an airbag originally, and the steering column is designed differently, making it harder to lower. This custom u-shaped bracket did the trick. It allowed me to add a quick release, lower the wheel, and move the seat back for a better leg position. Much better now!








        The pic above includes some of the E30 parts I need to list for sale! The bracket got painted after that pic, and the interior pic was before the bracket went in, so the steering and seat setup hadn't changed at all at that point. Peter at Road N Race had this nuked M20 in the shop... ouch!






        Did the brakes on the Subaru, and did some work on the yata. The bullhorn exhaust is temporarily until we can get the new downpipe fabbed.






        Another obligatory C&C shot:




        WE'RE CAUGHT UP

        That pretty much brings the thread up to current day.

        The car is kind of limbo at the moment. I don't want to drive the car any longer until the roll bar goes in, so I can install the harnesses and have a proper setup for the fixed back seats. I'm scheduled to have the roll bar done in 2 weeks. After that, I will turn my focus to finishing the interior. I have Condor door panel deletes, a new quick release, and the harnesses to install. Then I need to fixed a couple rust spots, and paint the interior. Then the dash and gauges need to be reinstalled.

        The next priority will be the oil cooler install. I am going to mount the biggest oil cooler I can down in the lower valance area. I'll be taking measurements for that this weekend.

        The car will need to be aligned again, so I will make sure to get the GC camber plates installed before that.

        Once those items are done IT'S BACK TO THE TRACK!
        Last edited by Digitalwave; 05-01-2017, 10:40 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Good read and nice car! Look forward to future updates :up:

          91 Alpinweiss2 318is OBD2 S52

          Comment


            #6
            Looks great! I remember the silver car from way back, when I first got into BMW's, good to see you're still around. You're definitely doing all the right things with the car, and getting in to the track stuff with the right attitude and progression. Planning to come up to Road Atlanta at all?
            - '88 m54 coupe

            <3

            Comment


              #7
              Excellent read.
              Looking forward to future updates.

              1991 325iS turbo

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ClausE30 View Post
                Good read and nice car! Look forward to future updates :up:
                Originally posted by ak- View Post
                Excellent read.
                Looking forward to future updates.
                Thank you!

                Originally posted by Jb325is View Post
                Looks great! I remember the silver car from way back, when I first got into BMW's, good to see you're still around. You're definitely doing all the right things with the car, and getting in to the track stuff with the right attitude and progression. Planning to come up to Road Atlanta at all?
                Thanks! I just caught up on your thread too. I love your car, it's very inspiring. Sebring track time is next (hopefully this summer), but I'd love to do Road Atlanta and Roebling Road as well.
                Last edited by Digitalwave; 05-01-2017, 10:43 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  i love to read treads like this, glad to see this car getting so much love and attention! Must be a blast to track this, and big fan of the wheels
                  Instagram : makeitsnap

                  1985 e28 520i

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Holy hell what a thread
                    Fantastic progress and very nice work

                    Satin White Pearl 08-14wrx crew unite!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Wow. This is awesome. 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


                        #12
                        Awesome thread. Great work great
                        Documentation.

                        Just read everything for the last hour or soo.

                        When you get the cage installed. Consider having the eyebolts welded in.

                        The inner lap belts in the trans tunnel are challenging to do. The center support bearing inside the tunnel is kinda in the same spot as to where the eye bolts need to go.

                        So the eye bolts need to be in front of the bearing or behind it.

                        There are pics of this in my build thread.


                        -
                        Project
                        Parts for Sale
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                          #13
                          Nice thread and glad to see you back on an E30.

                          I remember E30sport and BY!!
                          -Nick

                          M42 on VEMS

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                            #14
                            Wow is really all I have to say sir, what an incredible and clean job you've continued to do on all your cars. I applaud you sir

                            And man that BRG early model was to die for, sucks about the frame issues but man.... that color, euro bumpers and stroker motor are what dreams are made of.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by bostonvert View Post
                              i love to read treads like this, glad to see this car getting so much love and attention! Must be a blast to track this, and big fan of the wheels
                              Originally posted by rzerob View Post
                              Wow. This is awesome. Subscribed.
                              Thanks guys, much appreciated!

                              Originally posted by squidmaster View Post
                              Holy hell what a thread
                              Fantastic progress and very nice work

                              Satin White Pearl 08-14wrx crew unite!
                              Glad to have had your help in the project! Just wish you were still in Florida to tune my Megasquirt setup. It's ready to drop in, but honestly I'm delaying it because your chip tune has been running so well.

                              Originally posted by iwantspeed View Post
                              Awesome thread. Great work great
                              Documentation.

                              Just read everything for the last hour or soo.

                              When you get the cage installed. Consider having the eyebolts welded in.

                              The inner lap belts in the trans tunnel are challenging to do. The center support bearing inside the tunnel is kinda in the same spot as to where the eye bolts need to go.

                              So the eye bolts need to be in front of the bearing or behind it.

                              There are pics of this in my build thread.
                              Thank you! And yes, the plan is to weld in reinforcement plates to attach the eyebolts to for the harnesses. It seems like the sub-belt eyebolts are going to be simple, but the trans tunnel ones will be the difficult ones. I will definitely check out your thread for reference.

                              My seat is pretty far back. The side mounts slightly overhang the floor plates in the back (but are still mounted very securely). We'll be taking measurements to make sure the harnesses are at the right angles, then seeing what we have to work with for the plates and eyelets.

                              Originally posted by wazzu70 View Post
                              Nice thread and glad to see you back on an E30.

                              I remember E30sport and BY!!
                              BY and E3S, now that's a throwback! Thanks for checking out the thread.

                              Originally posted by mr. View Post
                              Wow is really all I have to say sir, what an incredible and clean job you've continued to do on all your cars. I applaud you sir

                              And man that BRG early model was to die for, sucks about the frame issues but man.... that color, euro bumpers and stroker motor are what dreams are made of.
                              Thank you! The BRG car really was beautiful. I never used to be an early model fan, but that car totally changed my mind. I wish it had worked out that I could have kept that one, but it went to a good home, and I'm happy with the new project as well. It just turned out being more work than I had bargained for. Similar to jb325is, I wish I had been enjoying the car more over the last year rather than having it on jack stands. That will change in the near future though, and it will have been worth the wait!
                              Last edited by Digitalwave; 05-01-2017, 10:40 AM.

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