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

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    That's awesome! Congrats at capturing some lap records!

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


      Great job man!
      How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows

      Could be better, could be worse.


        Thanks guys! Full update and probably some more videos coming soon.


          really dig this thing. especially the M20. Is there a separate thread for the E36?


            Thanks! I ended up selling the E36.


              I've been long overdue to catch up on this thread, and it's hard to believe it's been just over a year since any activity here! It will probably take me a while to catch up, and my memory on some things is going to be iffy, but I'll give it a go.

              I think we left off not long after I backed the car into a tire wall at Sebring. I had beat the TT5 record by almost 2 seconds in that session, but since I went 4 off... I was DQ'd. To add insult to injury.

              Washing the after an event:

              Working on getting rid of my piece of shit Innovate gauges (avoid them!). Replaced all with digital AEM X-Series gauges.

              I guess these photos were pre-crash, because that 1/4 panel is still looking minty in the photo above.

              Don't forget that the rocker shaft key can hold the valve cover up and cause leaks if it's not flush with the head.

              Homestead in early 2021. Fun event, I set the TT5 track record there.

              Homestead is always a nice experience in my opinion because we get to pit in the NASCAR garages. They are nice and cool, have lighting and power, and nice smooth surfaces.

              TT5 record by over 4 seconds, and it was barely 1 second slower than the TT4 record that was set the same weekend.

              Looks like we head to Sebring now, February 2021 I believe. The cooler events in late winter usually have a good draw, sometimes over 300 drivers.

              Dorked it exiting turn 5 and backed into the inside tire wall. Damage is all cosmetic. Oh well. As a track only car and after 5+ years of being abused, it was only a matter of time until I ran out of talent. This is what I bought the car for in the first place.

              Those laps were the TT5 record by 1.3 seconds! Oh well, I'll get that record officially one of these days. The spoiler got ripped off and turned into a taco, but I've watched Forged In Fire, so I hit it with a hammer until it was straight again.

              1/4 panel dent before picture:

              After popping it out with a 2x4:

              Straightened the rear valance out, it was completely pushed in and wrapped around the spare tire well:

              Looks like a real race car now I guess!! Replaced the broken tail light and spoiler support rod and it's been the same ever since. We'll get to it more later on, but I will indeed have it professionally fixed some day. The car is probably going to become more of a street car again later this year. More on that later.

              Love those Hoosier steamrollers:

              There's no bottoming out these Group N coilovers with their short bodies, as illustrated on the dust line after a weekend at Sebring.

              Moving on to my last event before the big move to North Carolina. We were back at Sebring in April 2021. The weekend started out with a last second transmission change on the Condor Speed Shop SpecE30. Luckily we got to do it in the air conditioning.

              This IRP shifter is kind of high maintenence, but I still love it. I need to take it out of the car one of these days to clean and re-lube everything, and re-assemble with blue loctite. A lot of the screws tend to back out.

              May 2021 we moved my family, my business, and one of my employee's families up to Charlotte, North Carolina. We were all just looking for a change and a better place to raise our kids. South Florida wasn't it. It was a big, exhausting move, but writing this a year later we all truly love it up here and it was well worth it. Here is the car about an hour after arriving, unloaded and tucked into the garage. I had the epoxy floors professional done a few weeks prior to moving in, since we had closed on the house about 2 months prior to actually moving up. I'm super happy with the floor.

              We can fast forward to July 2021, the car wasn't touched in that first couple of months while I focused on settling into the house and our new office. Long tiring days of unpacking and getting set up! And long lead times for the new furniture we bought for both places! In July I prepped the car for a Track Night in America event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, running the roval for the first time. My garage was not setup or unpacked AT ALL yet, but at least all the moving boxes were out of it and I could access my tool box again.

              While the event was fun and the CMS Roval is a great local track, going into turn 1 I let out a 5->3 downshift too early and over-revved up to about 7,200 or 7,300 RPM. I thought I got away with it because I went several more laps before a rocker let go. Thinking I'd gotten away easy, I pulled the valve cover when I got home and was surprised to see that the cam had broken in half between cylinders 4 and 5. The rocker had broken on both the cam and valve sides, and it seems like one of the chunks had taken out the cam when I was limping the car back to the pits.

              To say the least I was pretty bummed, because the damage looked bad enough that the head should be replaced and I didn't know if there was any damage lurking on the bottom end. I pulled the manifold and was glad to see I did not drop a valve and they still seem well seated, as cylinders 5 and 6 were full of fuel still. I pulled the head and was glad to see I didn't hit a piston and the bottom end was 100% fine. I wasn't sure what was next, though, as I was in a new city and had no connections to race shops or machine shops anymore.

              The next weekend I went karting, which has been a new hobby of mine because we have a world class track about 40 minutes north in Moorseville. If you are ever in the area, go up to the GoPro Motorplex! It's a 0.7 mile track that has some elevation and challenging corners, and usually some good competition even with randoms running rentals.

              This is a good stopping point for today, ending in July 2021, as the car has to sit for a bit whilst I figured out the head situation AND get to building out the garage. The garage build will be the next update picking up in August 2021.


                Between the quarter and the engine, you had your share of bad luck. The cam is surprising, but I'd rather break a cam than a rocker journal!
                Originally posted by priapism
                My girl don't know shit, but she bakes a mean cupcake.
                Originally posted by shameson
                Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your e30


                  We'll get back to the E30 in a bit, but after taking off the head to assess the damage I knew it'd be sitting for a bit while I figured out the next steps. In the mean time it was time to build out and set up the garage. I knew after downsizing from a ~1,200sq/ft warehouse to having my shop at home in an only slightly above-average 2 car garage, that I was going to have to be very efficient with storage and utilizing the space to the max. That meant cabinets, lockers, shelving, and going vertical. It also meant purging, which I did a lot of before the move.

                  After doing a lot of research, I settled on the New Age Pro Series cabinets. There really wasn't anything else out there that offered the same flexibility in configurations, quality/materials, and colorways that New Age offers. I just loved the white and grey combination, and new it would look great with the white/grey epoxy floors. Having recreated the garage layout in 2D CAD, I experimented with different cabinet and shelf configurations until I was happy with the layout. Pulled the trigger on the order and then waited. Luckily they stayed true to their ~8 week delivery projection. The only hiccup in the process is that the items came over multiple days with multiple trucking companies, and there was a lot of confusion as to where the remaining items were and when they'd be delivered, because I was only given one tracking number and it was only for a few of the items. Even though their customer service wasn't helpful in figuring any of that out, the stuff ended up showing up within the same week anyways, so it was much ado about nothing.

                  It was a task to even fit everything into the garage, which of course it had to come back out for assembly and installation. So it was a lot of back and forth of putting the car and cabinets into the driveway, working on it for a few hours, and then putting everything back inside the garage. The tall lockers, when on the pallets, barely fit under the garage door, maybe by an inch.

                  Once everything had arrived, I started assembly and installation. No real surprises during that process. Just had to patiently use a stud finder to verify stud locations, which didn't always make sense (they weren't always 16" apart as expected, especially nearing corners). The cabinets are heavy, so some of the lifting and hanging was a challenge, but all in all the process went pretty smoothly.

                  And here is the final result!

                  To this day I still have some things to add and finish up. There are still only two measly fluorescent lights on the ceiling, and since there is a support beam in the middle, the half of the garage closer to the door really doesn't get good light. I need to add a lot more light to the ceiling. I also have a stainless steel wash basin over by the water heater that isn't plumbed up yet. Other than that, the whole setup has been working great. I am very happy with the New Age cabinets, lockers, and shelves. Not much is needed to improve on besides the lighting and installing the sink!

                  The next update will be the NASA Championships in Daytona, September 2021.


                    NASA Championships 2021 -- Daytona International Speedway, 24 Hour Course

                    I was really looking forward to attending this event because it was on the east coast and at a relatively local track. Even though I moved to NC, it wasn't too far of a drive, and I had a decent amount of experience at the track. Unfortunately having broken my cam and not having found a replacement head yet, I had to rule out competing. I committed to coming down for the event anyways, and help out the owner of Condor Speed Shop, Carlos. He was fielding two cars, a SpecE30 and the new Spec E9X debut car running in Super Touring 5. Carlos is a previous Spec E30 national champion, and he had a great chance of being very competitive in both classes. That said, as a privateer, a national event is a ton of work both in prep and in staying on top of things during the event. Thankfully we had his wife Christy, myself, and two other friends there to help work on the cars during the event and make sure things were going smoothly.

                    I came down on Wednesday afternoon, as practice started on Thursday. We only ran the Spec E9X during practice, because that car was not very extensively tested at that point, and we had to make some changes to the car and setup to fit as well as possible into ST5 (a power:weight class). Testing went well on Thursday and we were showing good pace. I wanted to see the car down in the low 2:10's, and we were close. Had to sandbag with no transponder in the car and still backing off some in the straights. From what we could see the car was going to be competitive.

                    Rolling in at the track:

                    The car ready to get loaded up:

                    Our pit at sunrise:

                    Friday was warm up, qualifying, and qualifying race 1 for both cars. That meant 6 runs between 8:30 AM and 2 PM that day. It was the busiest day by far. There was only one run group between both cars so it was always all-hands-on-deck. The Spec E30 was showing good pace, around the middle of the top 10. Carlos was happy with that but truthfully it felt like we were a little bit off pace. Most of the racers saw Carlos as a threat and didn't really want to work with him in drafting. In the Spec E9X the car was clearly a front runner... to the point that we sandbagged some more in qualifying, and did just enough to stay up front in qual race 1.

                    The Spec E9X was kind of perfectly classed for ST5 ** for this track.** Daytona has an infield, sure, but you spend quite a bit of the lap on the NASCAR oval going... 155mph+ in this car. ST5 is usually a car dominated by full-aero cars and Hoosier tires. Since the spec tire for the Spec E9X class is going to be Toyo RR, we were running those, which give you a power to weight advantage for the class. The car was also running BTM aero (Base Trim Model), no aero mods over stock. That again gave us a power advantage, which really helped. The other 4 of the top 5 cars all had Hoosiers and aero. That means that they tore up the E90 in the infield, but it didn't really matter, because the E90 would always dust them on the NASCAR oval and all the way to start finish. It was a lot of cat and mouse, but most of the laps the E90 was out front by the start/finish line.

                    E30 went to the dyno early voluntarily, and was back on it 3 more times over the weekend since it was a front runner. These dynos were reading quite low for everybody.

                    Had a bit of a run-in at the start of qual race 2 in the E90. Another car parked it in turn 1 right in front of Carlos, and the P3 and P4 cars tried to pass him on either side. They basically sandwiched him and literally pinched the front end of the car by the wheels which lifted the front end off the ground for a moment. Thankfully no real damage except a slightly bent control arm and some rub marks on the car. They both got rub marks from the wheels.

                    Ended up qualifying P1 in ST5 and P3 in Spec E30. The ST5 feature race for the E90 was a nail biter. He did get passed by the runner up E36 M3 several times in the infield, but with less power, aero, and less than ideal gearing, he was running a good ~10mph less on the straight-aways and just couldn't hang. Carlos ended up winning ST5 but it was truly an exciting race.

                    In Spec E30, due to some disqualifications and mechanical failures on front running cars, Carlos had a good chance here. He was comfortably running in the front pack of 3 cars, and due to a mechanical issues, it became a break away pack of him and Scott McKay. They worked together well most of the race to put distance between them and a large mid-pack of 6-7 cars that stayed tightly together. Carlos lead most of the race. Scott made his move pretty early, in NASCAR 2 on the final lap. This was his downfall, as Carlos got a much better run exiting the bus stop and passed Scott pretty easily in NASCAR 3-4, taking the win by a few car lengths.

                    That was double national titles for Carlos!

                    It was a really fun weekend and I was glad to be a part of it. Here's the team in the winners circle, L-R Matt, myself, Carlos, Christy, and Raul.


                      Right before leaving for FL, the new head for the E30 arrived. I was lucky and found a Bimmerheads head second hand. A guy was selling it for a good price after selling a project he never completed. It was more or less what I would have ordered myself anyways, and I got a good deal on it and didn't have to wait for BH's normal lead time. The seller even build a wooden crate for it himself, and it arrived in perfect condition.

                      Specs on the head:
                      • "Race" head w/ welded coolant passages
                      • Extensive port work including the combustion chamber
                      • 280/274 regrind cam
                      • Supertech black nitride valves with upgraded springs
                      • HD rocker arms
                      The welded coolant jackets are the one thing I wouldn't have done, but the PO had built the head for an intended boosted engine. The head was new, never installed. I am impressed by the quality of work.

                      After moving, settling in, breaking the car... it was time to get it back together so I could get some track time in! I started reassembling the car in mid-October. It didn't take all that long, of course, but I like to move slowly and meticulously rather than thrash on the car, so I took my time with it.

                      Used an OEM head gasket again. The extra cost is worth the peace of mind.

                      Roloc bristle discs to easily clean up old RTV from the manifold:

                      Any watch guys out here?

                      Knowing I'd have to touch up the tune anyways, I had wanted to try a BBTB to see if it made any difference with the vacuum the car pulls at high RPM. Already have a very free intake tract besides the stock TB I was running. I bought one from Riot Racing, and the experience wasn't great. It took much longer than he had quoted, and it arrived with a broken bushing and a throttle plate that was binding when the TB was bolted to the manifold. That was not necessarily his fault, as the new throttle blade seemed to be the correct size, but it seemed like the shaft was potentially bent. I ended up giving up and going back to a stock TB again.

                      Had to do a valve job of course. I mark the ones I've done with a paint pen so I don't miss any.

                      Fired right up! Started re-tuning. It didn't need a lot, less than I expected, actually. Mostly just changes at idle and some mid-throttle stuff.

                      After driving it about 2 hours, I re-checked the valves and re-torqued the ARP head bolts. A few of the rockers had loosened up a bit.

                      Some nice cold start soot from the downturned exhaust tip. I'm not used to all the condensation/steam on cold starts from this cooler weather in NC

                      Was double checking spacer chamfer compatibility with all of my wheels. Pocketed spacers and wheel hubs. Weight savings yo.

                      Picked up this cool set of Rays G07WT wheels in 17x9", just because I loved them. Not sure what I'll do with them or not. 9" is just too wide for my narrow body car (with big tires, at least).


                        I had finished up the tune on the E30 in early November, but there weren't any events going on in November. It's my busiest month at work, anyways, so no big deal. In November, the Spec E9X came up to NC to spend a few weeks on Ohlin's shaker rig for developing the spec suspension kit. Since the car was only 2 hours away from me, Carlos sent the car my way to bring to Road Atlanta for testing in December. I actually did two weekends back to back with the car. Road Atlanta, then the car was picked up the next morning and brought back to FL where I drove it again at Homestead. Carlos has been working hard on promoting the class while still racing his own Spec E30, so I've been driving the car quite a bit to make sure it's always at the track. We've also been developing the setup for the car. It's been a learning curve coming from E30s and E36s.

                        On the Ohlins shaker rig:

                        Tucked my car to the side in the garage to make room for it, I had it for about a week before going to Road Atlanta and then the car was sent back to FL right after.

                        Had to test fit the Rays on the E90... for science.

                        Made it to Road Atlanta for the NASA SE Santa's Toy Run event. It was much warmer this year... in the 60's, versus the 30s/40s of the year prior.

                        Super cool Spec E46 liveries. They had a huge group, like 35 cars. I've heard at a recent BMWCCA club race there were over 60 Spec E46's. Big class in this region.

                        Spec Miatas be wilding

                        Back down in FL a few days later:

                        Thought I had more photos from the Homestead event, but this thread isn't about the E90 anyways I suppose!

                        That brings us through the end of 2021. Onwards to 2022.


                          Originally posted by Digitalwave View Post
                          Spec Miatas be wilding

                          Current Car:
                          -2017 i3 REx, 21st Century E30
                          -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project

                          Make R3V Great Again -2020


                            First event of 2022 was a cold event at Roebling Road Raceway in Savannah, GA during the second week of January. I wanted to make some tweaks to my seating and steering wheel position, as well as install my new Narita Dogfight / Tanida suede steering wheel (which I absolutely love).

                            I thought I was going to be able to move down from TT5 to TT6 (slower class) where I would hopefully be more competitive. However, I ended up making more power than I expected, and also there were a lot of changes to the rule books between 2021 and 2022. They made the gap between TT5 and TT6 larger, and I just wasn't able to swing it. I had removed the spoiler and carbon mirrors to claim BTM aero to help squeeze into the lower class, but since I wasn't able to, the parts were swapped back to the larger spoiler and DTM cup mirrors again.

                            Headed to the dyno the week before the event. I had checked the valves again and I made a dumb mistake. I had put a ratcheting box end wrench on the crank to turn it, and I left it on the crank loading the car on and off the trailer. I had noticed some ticking that was way louder by the time I unloaded -- when it dawned on me what I had done. Thankfully the ratchet just mostly spun around and didn't do any real damage. It did, however, loosen the "Jesus bolt" crank bolt. I had to tighten it the best I could at the dyno, and then I retorqued it properly after getting back home.

                            So the car made quite a bit more power on the new Bimmerheads head than the old setup did. To refresh your memory, my car has a stock 2.5L bottom end with Megasquirt (speed density) and long tube headers. On the old head, which was stock but with a Schrick 284/272 (too big), the car made 161whp and 145wtq. With no major tweaks to the tune, just changing the BH head, the car made a max of 175whp and 170whp. That was a 14whp increase and 25wtq increase! The curved looked about the same, just higher all the way around.

                            Back at the house, I had some final prep to do on the car. I noticed one of the brake backing plates was loose, so I retightened both sides to be safe.

                            Touched up the toe/alignment and weighed the car (no corner balance so I didn't have to use the levelers). I also changed the rear springs to be 100# softer than I had previously been running. Re-adjusted the rear ride height to match the previous height.

                            I was sick of seeing all my mis-matched vinyl on the car, that had been done at various times. None of the colors matched, things were just kind of added over time... I knew I'd get a lot of use out of it, so I bought a vinyl plotter and started doing it myself. With the ability to change stuff easier in the future, I wanted to try something fun & different, so I went with metallic purple for the windshield banner and some of the accent vinyl. Found a vinyl that was a near perfect match to the purple powdercoat used in the engine bay.

                            Finished product. I think it came out great, especially on black wheels.

                            The Roebling Road event went pretty well. It's a challenging track. The layout is seemingly simple, but it's high commitment, high speed, and it's hard to be "fast" comparitively there. My first time out though... so it will come in time.

                            Headed back to FL a couple weeks later for one of the last races at my old home track, PBIR. Kind of sad to see it go! Not a lot of pictures again for whatever reason. My friend Matt was thrashing the night before to prep his new E90. Saw a race winning IMSA DPi car there... weird track to flex that thing at, but it was awesome to check out. Super nice S54 E36 stuffed it hard. Incredibly clean E46 M3 race car interior (inspiration).

                            One thing I've been figuring out with my E30 is that after driving the E90, a modern car on modern suspension with modern high end dampers, I'm not that happy with the Group N coilover setup on my car. It's linear and very stiff. It's fast when you are perfect, but it's not very forgiving. I've been working on that, and will probably ultimately trade it out for something else.

                            Since my car has E30 M3 suspension, I've always run the front struts with roll center spacers between the strut tube and steering knuckle, because it just felt like the right thing to do. That meant I had to run at least 16" wheels. There are almost no wheel or tire choices available in 16" anymore, though. That is why I had moved to 17" wheels a couple years ago. There are a ton of 5 lug 17" wheels (for E36's etc.) and there are a lot more tire options. The problem is, a Hoosier 225/40-17 is a super stiff tire (in general) made worse by a small sidewall. Plus, no matter what, even with my lightweight forged 17" wheels, they still weigh more than a smaller setup would.

                            It was time to try out 15" wheels for the first time. I bought some TRM C1's off of Carlos. He shipped them up with some big meat Larry Hoover 245/45-15 Hoosiers. Definitely wouldn't fit but it was funny to see them next to the rubber bands on the 17's.

                            I bought some more Sparco FF01 15x8" wheels as well since they are on close out sale. Cool wheels for the money. The change to the 15" wheels brings about a 16lb reduction in rotation mass slash unsprung weight on the car. It's definitely noticeable. I am back to having way too many wheels.

                            Removed the roll center spacers so I can fit the 15's. We'll see if it makes any difference.

                            The 225/50-15 Hoosier R7 just didn't fit my car. I don't have enough rear camber to clear them with the ET20 wheels. I had to quickly order the same size tire in the Toyo RR which run a bit narrower, mainly because they don't have rim protectors and the side wall is way less bulky than the Hoosiers. The tire rubs on the rear fenders under compression. Fenders are rolled and pulled as much as I want to take it on this car.

                            Here is the 225/40-17 Hoosier versus the 225/50-15 Hoosier.

                            Here we are with the Toyo RR 225/50-15. I made some more alignment changes in light of what I was saying before. I had previously moved from toe out, to 0 toe, now I was going to try slight toe in (1/16"). I also reduced the front camber from -4.2* to -3.5*. I'd rather have added rear camber instead, but I don't have adjusters. This should reduce overall mechanical grip in the front. Not necessarily what you want to do in the pursuit of outright speed, but it should help balance the car better than it was.

                            Did an oil change and some light maintenence / bolt check, and the E30 was ready for the next event. It just happened to be at Roebling again, so I got to do some back to back testing with the wheel change. I also tested on the 17" wheels again, first, to see how the alignment changes felt.

                            Made a stacked lip setup with an "i" lip and an eBay lip underneath. Kind of like it.

                            Back at RRR, did a track walk on Friday evening.

                            Happy to report that all the changes were positive. The car was more balanced and I was more comfortable pushing it, especially back on sticker tires. The Hoosiers I'd been running were pretty toasted. I went over 2 seconds faster than my previous best at the track (only my second time there). Still a good bit off the pace for TT5, but I'm not really willing to do what it would take to make this car competitive in the class, so I am happy as long as I'm improving.

                            If you are interested in an in car video of my fastest lap from that weekend, I have it uploaded here.

                            That brings me pretty up to date to now on the E30, though you may notice some teasers in these photos above. Next update will be a good one.


                              225/50/15? Any reason you didn't go 225/45/15?
                              15s for life!


                                That's a hell of a HP and TQ gain from just a head and re tune. Awesome. Imagine if you ran ITBs as well. Probably get you in the 190+ HP range and better throttle response. Again awesome stuff you got going on.

                                88' Seta 2.7i