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

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    I really enjoy seeing the M20 in there!

    "R3V, R3V again
    I like to be here when I can"

    I was up above it, Now I'm down in it ~ Entropy - A Build thread.


      Hey guys, have some exciting updates coming soon. In the mean time I wanted to let the followers of this thread know that I made an Instagram account for the car. If any of you like following E30 accounts, I'd appreciate the follow:



        Originally posted by Digitalwave View Post
        Hey guys, have some exciting updates coming soon. In the mean time I wanted to let the followers of this thread know that I made an Instagram account for the car. If any of you like following E30 accounts, I'd appreciate the follow:

        looking forward to the updates, followed your IG
        '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD



          I was up above it, Now I'm down in it ~ Entropy - A Build thread.


            Is that still the kooglewerks spoiler?

            Hows it working out?

            I was up above it, Now I'm down in it ~ Entropy - A Build thread.


              Well, it's been 6 months. Probably time for an update, right? P.S. I post short updates on Instagram. Follow me:


              It's hard to know where to even pick up again. After the last update, we had one last NASA event to close out the year. Not much had changed on the car before that event, but I was already gearing up for the 2020 season. Happy to say that I picked up some help/support from Bimmerworld and Condor Speed Shop for 2020. These are great people that sell great parts.

              Anyways, Sebring in October, something kicked up by a car in front of my broke my passenger's side high beam. My high beams aren't even wired up, so I swapped over the driver's side light since I have a headlight delete intake there and it was just sitting around. It is oriented wrong, but at least it's there. I have some LaminX to install, so at least glass won't go anywhere if they break again.

              I've been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally removed my oil cooler and installed sandwiched rubber isolators, so the oil cooler is not rigidly mounted any longer. These are made by Setrab. Nice pieces.

              With Bimmerworld on board, the thing I really had my eye was their TE:AL (Technical Alloy) forged wheels. These are the TA16 model in 17x8.5" ET40, machined finish. They are 10,000lb forgings, extremely strong and weighing only 17.0lbs in this size. The best thing is they are priced at around $440 per wheel MSRP. Hard to beat for the price. They are only a little bit more expensive than Apex flow-formed wheels, they are stronger, and they are better looking IMO (not that there is anything wrong with Apex!).

              Moving on, a few photos from the last event of the year. NASA at Palm Beach International in December. The event was pretty low key. I got signed off for my national Time Trial license, so that was good! All set to run TT5 all season in 2020. We had a hell of a time bleeding the coolant on my friend's E36. Thought it had a blown head gasket. He read some trick online Saturday night, got it bled first thing Sunday morning and had no more issues. I'm glad, because it was his first event. Didn't want that to ruin his weekend.

              During their Black Friday sale, I ordered a new DTM Fiberwerkz M1-style vented CF hood. After the December event, I posted my VIS hood for sale. I took the roundel off (never had before) and found this sticker underneath, LOL. Bonus shop 'art' from Carlos @ Condor's wrecked SpecE30. Cleaned the car up after the last event, knowing it'd be going under the knife for a few things before the 2020 season opener.

              Hmm, am I finally ditching the Bilstein + H&R Race combo?

              This is kind of a side bar, but the bolt spacing for E36 M3 brakes are the same as E30 M3, the only (and key) difference being how far offset the rotor and caliper are. In other words, the caliper bolts up, but they won't actually work with E30 M3 spindles unless you space out the rotor by ~12mm. I test fit the ST40 calipers. They are hilariously massive compared to the single piston E30 M3 calipers.

              Picked up these 2 piece welded Boyd Coddington billet wheels back from my brother. If you've known me a while, you'll remember I had these on my montreal blue E36 way back when. Not sure what I am going to do with them yet, they need some restoration work.

              My relatively new water pump, probably 500 miles on it, was leaking from the weep hole already. Replaced it with a Graf this time.

              The hood came in faster than they quoted, I think about 4 weeks from the order date. It was shipped via freight and it was packaged really well. Quite impressive, really.

              Fit of the hood was just okay. No better than the VIS was. It's high by the fenders in the middle (above the wheel arches). One of the vents hit the FPR and I had to create a cutout. The carbon work is good though. Not many flaws in the way the weave was laid out. It's a race part, it's far from perfect. Overall I am happy with it.

              This brings us to the end of 2019. The next update for 2020 coming tonight or tomorrow. In the mean time, a teaser.


                Picking up where we left off. I had spent much of November and even December researching coilover options & suspension upgrades. I had gotten to a level of driving that I felt surpassed the H&R Race / Bilstein Sport combo I had been using for over 4 years now. Not to mention, I spend most of my track time at Sebring, one of the bumpiest and roughest tracks in the country. The H&R/Bilstein combo is very forgiving, and is a great way to learn IMO.

                I looked at literally every option from BC Racing all the way to MCS 2-way remotes. I came close to going with Feal Suspension 442 two-way remotes, but ultimately decided against it since they had never sold a kit for this platform before. It seemed intriguing to be test dummy if you will... but ultimately I decided against it.

                For a while I had seen a set of BMW Motorsport / Bilstein Motorsport Group N coilovers for sale on They kept calling my name. Eventually the seller and I arrived on an agreement, and a few days later they were at my door step.

                They were in very good condition when they arrived. They came with springs, tender springs, older GC Race camber plates, and the coolest brake ducting plates I had ever seen. I don't know who made these backing plates, if anybody knows, please share! They only mount with the hub/bearing removed, so they are totally closed off and air can absolutely only exit through the rotor.

                A little background about this setup. The DTM cars used entirely different front uprights. They looked nothing like the production pieces. They were paired with multi-link control arms and altered pickup points on the body and subframe. Basically, very little in common with the street cars. Reproduction DTM uprights are available and cost a kidney. On the other hand, Group N race cars had a more recognizable setup. Standard aluminum control arms, I believe standard pickup points, and a standard knuckle with a modified strut tube, which is what these are.

                The lower knuckle portion is the OEM BMW cast part, but the strut tube that is welded on is different. The tube is threaded, and has brass guide shafts inside. Think of it as the yellow portion of a Bilstein Sport insert. On the Group N strut, the strut tube itself is the outside part of the insert, and the insert itself is "naked". It bolts to the bottom base of the tube to keep it inserted.

                I went into the purchase figuring the inserts would need to be rebuilt. As it turns out, they were in great shape, but I sent them out anyways. I figured it's better to know that they are 100% fresh, and also to get them dyno'd to make sure they are the Group N "dry" valving. I sent them out to RE Suspension Inc. in North Carolina. They had amazing service. They were inexpensive and turned over the inserts in less than a week. They dyno'd them twice for me. The inserts plotted right on top of each other. They were very well matched. I highly recommend RE Suspension if you want a set of Bilstein or Koni's rebuilt or revalved. They can do just about anything.

                Group N "dry" valving is 300/300 front and 200/200 rear. The pistons/valving are linear, where as many modern dampers are digressive. I am not sure what valving is like for modern racing dampers, but digressive is popular for street use. The Bilsteins can be changed to digressive pistons for a reasonable price, and of course valving can be altered to your heart's desire. I am leaving them linear for now. No need to mess with anything until I am much more familiar with the setup.

                While the inserts were being rebuilt, my local race shop made gussets and sway bar reinforcements for the strut tubes.

                I couldn't justify OEM wheel bearings, so I went with the age old trick of E28 hubs and swapping over the E30 M3 ABS rings. It was easier than I expected, at least with using a hydraulic press to reinstall the ABS ring. It was kind of hard to tap it on straight with a block of wood and hammer. With the press, simple. Just have to match up the original depth.

                Did a small repair on one of the brake ducts using JB Weld.

                Gave the struts a really good cleaning, including chasing all the threads. The threads are finer than most coilover adjustment threads. They are going to be a pain to adjust after they get dirty again.

                Taped them up and prepped them for a fresh coat of yellow paint.

                Turner Motorsport had OEM Group N lockrings in stock still. They were affordable, so I sprung for 2 sets of new ones. One set I am keeping for 60mm springs, the other had to be milled down for 2.25" springs (57mm). Carlos over at Condor Speed Shop kindly milled these for me.

                Brake ducts cleaned up and painted.

                Springs, RSM's, helpers & couplers came in from Bimmerworld. I did not end up needing the helper springs and couplers.

                Strut tubes all done. Cleaned up any overspray. They came out great. That threaded hole on the bottom of the strut tube is how the insert attaches to the tube.

                Inserts back from rebuild.

                The captive stud plate on the Vorshlag camber plates came in bent, but they replaced them graciously.

                Headed to the dyno for NASA TT classing. As usual, all sorts of problems with the dyno. But after a few hours, we got it done.

                These two photos depict the top of the strut tube. I filled it up with fresh Redline CV2 grease and replaced the top wiper seal with an OE Bilstein seal.

                Ohlins bump rubber by way of RE Suspension. Inserts installed, blue loctite on the bottom nut.

                Brand new Group N rear struts installed. They are NLA in North America, but there were a few sets in stock in Europe. I bought these from Demon Tweaks in the UK. They were easy to deal with, and arrived very quickly.

                Time for new rotors?

                Out with the old, in with the new.

                Bought a new Bell M8 Carbon. Think they have enough branding on there?

                Roll center spacers and steering arms torqued to spec. I've taken to using a paint pen. It helps me remember what is done/torqued, and helps with speeding up nut and bolt checks between races.

                Perfect fitment with these brake ducts.

                When you need all the torques. 3/4" ratchet with a jack handle. E30 M3 hub nuts are 46mm. It was hard to find a 46mm thin wall to fit in there. Ended up finding one for about $30 on Amazon.

                Adjustable sway bar end links ensure you have no pre-load on your sway bar, which can throw off corner weights.

                Removed my passenger seat. This is the seat, harness, floor plates, and side mounts total weight:

                Looking good...

                Rebuilt and repainted my calipers. The front right was pretty sticky, which is why I kept cracking rotors on that corner. Brand new PFC 08 pads and OEM rotors went on at the same time. PFC has stopped manufacturing front pads for E30 M3's, so I'm sad that this may be my last set. Will try Hawk DTC-60 next.

                I've had a set of 16x8" Style 5's for sale for months. I had new R888R 16" tires to mount, so I decided to just use these for a bit. Mounted with a 12.5mm spacer, effective fit is 16x8" ET10 with 225/45-16 R888R.

                Headed down to Condor Speed Shop to corner balance the car before the season opener in Sebring back in February. It was very close to where it needed to be. Only minor adjustments to the coilovers and an alignment to 1/16" toe out.

                Needed new brake ducting, mine had a hole in it. I stole this idea from @getblackflagged on Instagram/Youtube. Great way to support the ducting and retain the undertray. The new brake ducts are 2.5". I want to weld on a flange to mate to the 3" ducting, for now I am just using a silicone coupler.

                On my way to Sebring

                There was a very bad accident during the very first race group session on Saturday. First session of the season. The guy got air lifted, but luckily he was okay. The chassis split in half and the car that hit him missed running over his head by less than a foot.

                Saturday at Sebring went well. The car was so significantly different, it took me a while to start working up my confidence level again. By the end of the day I was getting back close to my personal best times. It was enough for me to win TT5 on Saturday. The car felt phenomenal. The limit is so much higher, in fact, I'd say I never reached it all weekend.

                Unfortunately about 3/4 of the way through the last session on Saturday, my car lost power on the 4-5 upshift on the back straight. Luckily that is right before the pit-in, so I brought it in and parked it in impound. The car sounded terrible, like it was down a cylinder. I was pretty bummed. After impound I was racking my brain. I thought it might be a broken rocker. Limped it back to my pit. People were already packing up for the evening. I pulled the valve cover and sure enough, both valves on cylinder 6 were broken.

                Normally I probably would have called it a weekend, but the SpecE30 pits are a scrappy bunch. Everyone is always doing major repair at the track. Fortunately there were plenty of rockers and more importantly knowledge to be shared in the pits. I spent about an hour on it on Saturday night, then finished it up when we returned on Sunday morning. Being on cylinder 6 I was able to tap the rocker shafts forward through the cam gear. It was slow going, but it worked no problem. I missed 2 sessions on Sunday morning, but got the last 2 in. I was kind of in a rush and I did a terrible job adjusting the valves when I was done reassembling. In fact, I installed the eccentric backwards for the cylinder 6 intake valve. I didn't realize until after I got home, and the gap on that rocker was massive. To say the least the rockers were very loud. Luckily, no additional damage. I did a very thorough adjustment not long after the event, and it was all back to normal.

                I forgot to mention on Saturday, both of my widebands died. Another spare stolen from a SpecE30 racer, shout out Tom at Panzer Performance in Sarasota.

                To recap the new setup. I had and have a lot to learn about it. A few changes I wanted to make immediately after the event included:

                I wanted to try a different shifter. I was missing a lot of shifts with my AKG shifter, particularly the 5->4->3 sequence under hard breaking into and through Turn 17 at Sebring. I ended up getting a good deal on an IRP v3 shifter from a local guy. I installed it and set it up to lock out reverse, 1st, and 2nd gears. That means that unless you depress the button on top, you can't money shift from 5th to 2nd when going for 4th. You can also use the adjustment to take out the play between 1-3, 2-4, and from the far side gate for 5th. I haven't driven it on the track yet, but from driving it on the street I think it's going to be a very worthy upgrade. By the way, I love these NGK plugs.

                My intention with the Bimmerworld TE:AL wheels was always to run them with Hoosier R7 slicks. I can't fit 15's, and there are no good sizes for slicks in 16", thus the move to 17". Hoosier makes 225/40-17 R7's, which is the perfect size for an E30. However, they run SUPPPEEER wide. They are 250mm wide, wider than most 245 width street tires. Carlos @ Condor had a set of old Continental Challenge slicks which are made by Hoosier. They were 225/45 though, so very tall. I still used them to test fit the wheels.

                Fixed the backwards eccentric and did a full valve adjustment. Also checked the torque on the ARP head studs (all good).

                The test fit of the wheels was promising. They cleared pretty easily in the front at ET20 and about 4* of camber.

                Going back to changes after Sebring, with the added front camber I could tell I needed more negative camber in the rear to match. I had previously gone with 12mm subframe riser bushings. These help correct the rear roll center, while also reducing negative camber and toe in. They were perfect for when I was running the H&R springs and had limited front camber as well. I had perfect alignment in the rear; about -2.1* camber and 1/16" toe in.

                I still have no desire to add adjusters into the mix. I see them coming loose almost every day at the track. I decided to remove the subframe riser bushings and go back to normal height bushings for now. I think they should have added approx. 0.5-1* of negative camber back in the rear (unfortunately also increasing toe in). I won't know for sure until it's on an alignment rack again, but visually you can see the difference.

                Back down we can see the fenders are nearly sitting on the tire, but actually, they clear! Even under compression. This is with a 12mm rear spacer. I knew that while not perfect yet, I'd be able to run the 225/40-17 Hoosiers.

                Skipping over to my E36 M3. Under quarantine by this point, I started working on this thing again to get it running. The tranny, d/s, and diff were back from Road N Race. They did the detent pins on the ZF, CSB on the driveshaft, and installed a new input flange and seal on the diff for me.

                Picked up a set of 225/40-17 Hoosier R7 scrubs. This shows the height difference versus the 225/45 Contis.

                All mounted up.

                Freaking air filter gets dirty very fast due to the headlight delete and ducting.

                Here's the new setup!

                Two new issues popped out. My exhaust was designed when the subframe was 1/2" higher, so it was hitting the subframe now. Also, one of my axles sprung a leak.

                The previous photo showed a 12mm rear spacer, but I needed a 10mm. This photo is with no spacer in the rear. Plenty of clearance, it just looks silly.

                Mounted up the IRP with rivnuts so it can be removed by one person easily.

                Time for some clearance! Hammered down the exhaust to clear the subframe, and rolled my back fenders some more.

                The diff from the E36 is a nice built unit 3.64 LSD. Cleaned up the surfaces to seal it with black RTV.

                Warning: most of the rest of the post is about the E36 M3. I haven't worked on the E30 much lately, but I've been focused on getting the E36 driving under it's own power for the first time since I've owned it. Got the tranny and part of the exhaust in. Then got the diff in and driveshaft in.

                Brakes re-installed with new SS lines from Bimmerworld.

                With the euro overflow tank on the passenger side, the 1" coolant line loops around the back of the head. I put a heat shield wrap around it just to keep it better separated from the head itself.

                One of the last things in the engine bay was to install and mount a catch can. It goes VC -> baffled catch can -> intake elbow (to pull a vacuum on the VC still, as intended).

                Mounted up a Moroso battery box and a new Interstate group 24F battery in the trunk.

                Rear brakes reinstalled with Condor brass bushings, new pads, new Bimmerworld SS lines. Nice looking AST 4200 2-ways with true coilover rear.

                Put the hood back on and installed the hood pins. Fairly easy to do, I thought it would be more difficult.

                Last Sunday, I drove filled and bled ALL the fluids, and finally got to drive it! It felt good. Not too many issues. Not sure what's next for this one. It's going to be sold, or I'm going to beat the crap out of it on the track (maybe drifting) once tracks open back up.

                That's all for now. We're caught up. Sadly the forums are on life-support these days. Follow me on Instagram for more frequent updates, but I'll try to keep the thread current going forward.


                  Love seeing updates on this! Forums need updates on build threads more often! Keep posting
                  Current Car:
                  -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
                  -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project

                  Make R3V Great Again -2020


                    Wow, that new wheel setup looks incredible!
                    1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread
                    1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread


                      I had to read those updates 3 times to digest all of it. Incredible! Love it!


                        Now that's an update. Nice new front suspension setup, that is some nice stuff. I love those new wheels, they're like mine, but not cheap cast junk
                        '91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 60 trim (18psi), megasquirt, coilovers, Z3 rack, cold AC
                        [b u i l d]
                        [Car of the month: April 2018]



                          Seriously impressive! Absolutely love it. Very few tidy track cars kicking around, you've done well.


                            Your updates rock. Dont ever leave us!


                              So much awesome in two updates. Great job. I like the new hood a lot. And the new wheels are cool. The coil over upgrade was over due. And good for you getting the E36 drivable during our pandemic down time. I look forward to see what you can accomplish with your new upgrades.
                              How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows

                              Could be better, could be worse.


                                Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                                Love seeing updates on this! Forums need updates on build threads more often! Keep posting
                                Thanks Simon!

                                Originally posted by AWDBOB View Post
                                Wow, that new wheel setup looks incredible!
                                Thanks Bob, I'm happy with it, and mainly glad I didn't have to go with something so common like the Apex Arc-8's

                                Originally posted by View Post
                                I had to read those updates 3 times to digest all of it. Incredible! Love it!
                                That's actually my main motiviation for keeping up with the build thread. Every once in a while I go through a section or the entire build, just as a reminder and memory of the process and how far the car is come. It's a reminder that I am blessed to be able to do anything at all with toy cars.

                                Originally posted by varg View Post
                                Now that's an update. Nice new front suspension setup, that is some nice stuff. I love those new wheels, they're like mine, but not cheap cast junk
                                Thanks buddy. Hope we get to get together again soon!

                                Originally posted by NORBY View Post
                                Seriously impressive! Absolutely love it. Very few tidy track cars kicking around, you've done well.
                                Thank you. I take a lot of inspiration from Japanese time attack. They believe the car should look every bit as good as it performs.

                                Originally posted by amcp View Post
                                Your updates rock. Dont ever leave us!

                                Originally posted by rzerob View Post
                                So much awesome in two updates. Great job. I like the new hood a lot. And the new wheels are cool. The coil over upgrade was over due. And good for you getting the E36 drivable during our pandemic down time. I look forward to see what you can accomplish with your new upgrades.
                                Thank you. Definitely a very necessary upgrade to the coilovers by this point, but I am glad about all I learned on the basic suspension setup. Looking forward to autocrossing the E36 and tracking the E30 once tracks open up again.