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Old 10-09-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
irish44j
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Pitchblack Motorsports Rally e30 318i (soon with M50TU) + my Porsche 924S

**Apologies to those who can't see the years' worth of photos hosted by Photobucket. In September 2017 I started uploading photos to Imgur. For those who have Chrome, there is a "photobucket hack" out there that will let you see hotlinked photos in this thread, so if you can't see the photos now, check that hack out, it works!**

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The story of my 1985 BMW 318i, M42-swapped, getting dirty in the mid-Atlantic rallycross scene. Also some autocross stuff, some of my other projects, and some recaps of racing a 1986 325e in Chumpcar/Lemons, and closing in on the stage rally build for 2016, with any luck.....

Oh also...these guys have been with me from the beginning and always thankful for their support (both moral and material). Go check out their site for some great BMW performance products:




2017 Season - started off with a winter rally, which we finished (if not fast) and kicking off another rallycross campaign to defend my 2-time championship title in the DC region. We also plan to do at least two more stage rallies (STPR and Black River Stages) this year, so stay tuned!

2016 Season: caged the car, got it logbooked for rally, and entered our first stage rallies. Also won the RallyCross SCCA East Coast Championship as well as the Wshington DC regional championship.

2015 Season started the long journey toward making this car legal for SCCA Rallysprint and Rally America/USRA stage rally by 2016. Also won the Northeast Division and Washington DC Region MR class championship

2014 Season Begins with a win, ends with a loss. Post #1346 wrap-up.. Won three local events and took 2nd in four others. Came up short of the WDCR Championship by a few points to my buddy Nick Drymalski in his e28. During 2014 Nick and I also drove my car to a 2-3 finish at the Great Lakes National Challenge rallycross in Ohio, with me losing by less than a second, and beating the 2014 rallycross national champion. So that's not nothing I guess!

2013 Season - Took 2nd in MR class for the season, lost by only 2 points. I did win 3 of the 7 events though. Time to work on the e21. Rallykar is gonna hibernate for the winter

2012 Season - Finished 3rd in MR class running with stock suspension and the 200k mile M10 motor

April 2013 - New suspension setup, first event win!


Quote:

Event Results

2012 Season - 3rd Place Overall (Season)
18 Mar - WDCR Summit Point - 3rd/5 (Big Course)
29 Apr - WDCR Summit Point - 2nd/5 (Barn Course)
20 May - WDCR Summit Point - 4th/5 (Gravel Course)
10-11 Jun - WDCR "Conquer the Summit" - 2nd/6 (all three courses)
9 Sep - WDCR Summit Point - 3rd/7 (Barn Course)
14 Oct - WDCR Summit Point - 5th/9 (Big Course)
11 Nov - WDCR Summit Point - 2nd/9 (Big Course)
18 Nov - Susquehanna SCCA York, PA - 3rd/5

2013 Season - 2nd Place Overall (Season)
24 Mar - WDCR Summit Point - 6th/8 (Big Course)
21 Apr - WDCR Summit Point - 1st/10 (Barn Course)
26 May - WDCR Summit Point - 2nd/8 (Big Course)
22-23 Jun - WDCR "Conquer the Summit" 2-day - 1st/12 (all three courses)
14 Jul - WDCR Boonsboro non-points event - 1st/3 (25 total runs, 2 courses)
Aug - WDCR Summit Point - 2nd/15 (Big Course)
20 Oct - WDCR Summit Point - 2nd/7 (Gravel Course)
10 Nov - WDCR Summit POint - 1st/12 (Big Course, extended)

2014 Season
14 Mar - WDCR Frostburg, MD - 1st/8
13 Apr - WDCR Frostburg, MD - 1st/4
18 May - WDCR Frostburg, MD - 2nd/3
13 Jul - WDCR 2-day event - 2nd/4
(yeah, I need to update the rest)
2014 SCCA Great Lakes National Challenge - Hebron, OH - 2nd/10 (1 second from winning, and beat the MR national champion)

some pics (newest to oldest)




Washington Auto Show in the SCCA Display











Before I start, just want to give a hearty thanks to the following Rev members who have contributed to this project, either through providing cheap parts, giving great suggestions and knowledge, general inspiration, or other random kinds of help: Stuart (FunfGan), dnick, Jeff Ireland, Yoshi (shiboujin), TurboJake, Brandon Campbell, 87vert30, farwest92, ejnight, ill4noreason, Leeroy, wh33lhop, evil_twin, iamcreepingdeath, masterofpuppets, PoorBoysRacing, Jason Reynolds, Pat Henry, Spencer Sheckells, Gunnar Gehrmann, and many others I'm surely forgetting...Not to mention several guys over on GrassrootsMotorsports and DirtyImpreza forums

Intro:
So....I have a WRX, but it's an 09, it's a daily driver for my long commute, it's far from being paid off, and it is setup for autocross and would need ALOT of changes for rallycross. It's morphing toward a trackday car eventually, so wrong direction.....

I decided that I'm a bit burned out of autocross after a decade of doing it, and the DD WRX is more or less how I like it so no more money into it for that moment. Unfortunately, a good daily driver setup is not ideal for winning at autocross (though I'll still do it too)

........So time get a RallyCross car. Wanted to do something RWD or AWD and something dirt-cheap....e.g. Under $1k for a running, driveable car. In this area it's next to impossible to find a half-decent impreza for twice that cost, and didn't want a legacy/forester/outback because I will be working on the car in my garage all winter, and with all my other crap in there a larger car simply won't fit.

After months of searching I decided to get something slow and not built for RallyCross.....but something with alot of cheap/used/interchangeable parts with better models, good aftermarket support, and old enough to get vintage tags on (so no inspection/emissions!). And even as slow as it is, fun to drive.

The goal for this car will be mostly to have fun, but of course I would love to make it semi-competitive - to the extent that can be done with a low-power car not built particularly for this kind (or any kind) of motorsports. It looks like here in WDCR region, that class is primarily e30 325's and 1st gen RX-7s. The car will be built to M2 class, since I don't like dealing with limitations/rules, lol. I paid about $1k for the car and all the spare parts, so the goal is to keep the improvement/modification budget as low as possible as well.

Note that I'm doing a few mirror build threads on this to get the best information/comments from a few very different sources
1. here (the best source for e30 information)
2. GRM (the best source for improvisation/doing things on the cheap)
3. DirtyImpreza (I have a WRX as well, and it's the best rallycross forum out there IMO)


So off we go:
The starting point is a 1985 BMW 318i 4-door that appears to be more or less stock. Mileage is showing at 188k miles, but the ODO is broken as seems to be the case with all high-mile e30s. Who cares. The car is 98% rust-free, with the only rust spots I can find are one small part on a rocker seam, and a few other very small parts. Good, I suck at rust repair. I can't find any body filler anywhere, so that's a plus. Paint appears to be original but it's in good shape - seems to have been a garage-kept car for most of its life. The car came with a truckload of spares, including a set of BBS wheels, a set of bottlecaps, a spare 5-speed tranny, and a spare M10 engine (and about 10 other boxes of all kinds of new and used stuff from new copper manifold bolts to spare MAFs to spare ECUs to three new sunroof seals, lol).

The only part that may or may not be stock is the diff. It is the BMW small case (as came on the car), but the metal tag shows it being a 3.91 LSD diff. I've found that this diff was available on canadian early 318s, but haven't verified that US models got it (still investigating, nobody seems to know for sure). Someone also noted that it may have come from a e21 320is. Either way, it's allowable in M2, so it's academic anyhow.
edit: yes, it is the stock diff

Initial projects for this car will be as follows: (updates in red as of 11/22/11)
* Minor electrical/interior fixes done
* Bilstein HDs (preferably used) with 325 front and rear suspension/brakes done
* new bushings everywhere mostly done
* reinforcement of rear strut towers have some ideas, but already partially taken care of
* new rear wheel bearing done
* possible swaybar upgrade put 325 bars on
* possible race seats (used or cheap!) went with Porsche 944 seats for now
* possible roll bar (we'll see) keeping my eyes open
* shifter bushings or STS Z3 shifter installed, and entire linkage refreshed
* armor (skidplates) done
* tires (preferably used for now), with higher profile than stock - the car can't get much slower, so why not! Will likely go with Firestone Winterforce, since they seem to be the current popular Rallycross tire out there. got some used Yokohama gravel tires for rallycross on the bottlecaps, and some Star Specs on the euroweaves 15s
* M42 swap - this winter, currently refreshing the engine

And will go from there. Will stay on the stock springs for the moment, since they're not bad, and they give tons of wheel gap and ground clearance.

Any advice, criticisms, comments, ideas, or general knowledge anyone here has is welcome. And no, I have no engine swap plans in the near future (and yes, I'm well aware of my options in that category). I have virtually no experience in BMWs, previously having done italian cars, british cars, Nissans, and Subarus....so apologies if I sound pretty new to certain things on the car - it's because I am...
A few quick pics, and off we go...


some (but not all) of the spare parts stash that came with the car. There's also a complete M10 engine and a couple other wheels not in the picture.


with my daily driver/autocross car. Yes, ironic that I have a WRX and instead I'm using an old BMW for rallycross.


where the four little hampsters hang out

Last edited by irish44j; 02-04-2019 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
irish44j
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new parts in boxes that came with the car
23411666133 Lever Rubber Buffer Ring - Inside Shaft Lever Assembly used it
25111220228 Lever Rubber Cap - Shift Lever Assembly used it
26111225089 Cover Plate for Center Support Bearing used it
07119932863 Selector Rod Circlip used it
25111209078 Rod Spacer (7 of them) used 2 of them
25111208580/270 Shift Tower Mount (2 of them) used it
25111203682 Tension Bushing for shift rod coupler used it
23121205340 Output shaft seal
25111207744/9 Ball cup bushing used it
25111434194/9 Bushing for shift rod buffer at transmission used it
25111220199/9 Shift Rod Spacer used it
25117571899/9 Shift Rod Circlip used it
(5) 07129964672/9 hex locknuts (look like M10)
25111204422 Buffer stop for shift lever used it
23111228314/213/EC Input Shaft Seal
25111221243/213/EC O-ring for shift rod joint used it
25117501301/200 Shift Rod Joint used them
23411466134 Dowel Pin
23121282394 Selector Rod Seal
23411466110 ball cup bushing
Guibo (new) traded for iS trunk spoiler
3201713AO815 accessory/drivebelt
(2)54121906999 Sunroof seal
18211707807 muffler bracket, lower rear
0280160249 Bosch fuel pressure regulator (?) with hoses
26121225071 wheel bearing
(10) copper M8 nuts (manifold?) used 2 of them for shifter brackets (perfect fit)
(10) 51411870718 Trim Fastener new + 15 more used ones
34321158467 Unk trim fastener
distributor cap (new) and rotor (new)
(3) 51211876043 Door handle trim pieces
(4) 451141889489 unk trim clips
(10) 51411922138 "Clip, lower part"
11141706785 Rear Crank Seal
12311715490 Lower Alternator Bushing

used parts that came with car(2) M10 x 35mm bolts w/washers - full thread
(2) M8 x 35mm bolts w/washers - full thread
(4) torx head M7 x 50mm bolts w/washers - 25mm shank
(full set) used exhaust manifold bolts
Jetronic ECM
distributor/wires/new rotor
A/C mount bracket
ICV host (l-shaped with bracket), not cracked
unknown disc with 8 holes and stubby bolts, unknown
MAF assembly, complete
intake elbow, uncracked
throttle body
(8) working window switches FOR SALE
(3) power window motors, working FOR SALE, 3 OF THEM
full power window track/assembly FOR SALE, 4 OF THEM
(2) fuel injectors
complete set of used grille hardware
(2) door handles
bag of good-condition brake caliper sliders, pins, etc
6 used Hood/trunk Roundels in various condition
(2) orange sidemarker reflectors/lights in good condition
transmission, Getrag 240, unknown condition
various clutch pressure plates and used discs
powder-coated silver exhaust manifold installed
intake manifold, good condition but dirty
complete car wiring harness
trunk battery cable from 325 e30
full stock tan interior - back seats in very good shape, front pass good, front driver poor/fair FRONT/BACK SEATS FOR SALE
unknown underbody skidplate of some sort - powdercoated gray, in excellent shape.
complete 318 stock suspension/spindles/arms/shocks FOR SALE
complete 318 M10 longblock w/accessories
two complete headlight assemblies with sealed-beam lights
two complete taillight assemblies and parts and bulbs

Recently-relaced parts on the car by previous owner:
- PPG windshield
- PPG rear windshield
- 1 x rear window
- transmission rear mounts
- guibo
- complete exhaust (within last couple years)
- transmission rear seal (I think)
- 4 x Infinity Reference 6" speakers
- low-end Blaupunkt CD player


Wheels(4) 14" bottlecaps in good condition/good paint
(2) 14" bottlecaps in decent condition/some chips/curb
(1) 14" bottlecap, painted white but otherwise in good condition
(4) 15" Euroweaves, dirty as hell, paint is bad, but overall good shape (no center caps) Have been repainted in gunmetal(5) bottlecap center caps, various condition

tires(2) good 195/60/14 BFG Touring T/A, near-full tread
(2) totally shot BFG Touring T/A, no tread/corded GONE
(4) Gisveld NordFrost3 185/70/14 90% tread GOING ON BOTTLECAPS
(4) 195/60/15 Dunlop Direzza Star Spec - new



Things I've bought in addition to above (not comprehensive), with prices for used stuff as I can recall :
- Gisveld tires ($120 for the set)
- Rear Bilstein HDs in great shape ($75)
- Front Bilstein OEM sport model HDs in poor condition ($30) SOON TO BE SOLD TO SOMEONE ELSE FOR REBUILD
- New front Bilstein HDs
- Remanufactured CV axle
- Turner Motorsports front upper camber mounts - NEW ($50)
- Porsche 944 "comfort" seats, black, functionally good, cosmetically poor ($100)
- New hood (to replace dented one) ($75)
- Extended wheel lugs and lugnuts (set of 20) to replace lug bolts (boo)
- Complete 325 front and rear spindles and brakes ($250 shipped for all of it)
- Ireland engineering trailing arm bushings
- OEM rear subframe bushings
- replacement CV boots (inner and outer)
- replacement axle bolts (all) - McMaster
- Ireland engineering upper rear shock mounts/reinforcement plates
- used grilles/bmw logo ($20)
- complete set of working/used locks and keys
- 318 gauge cluster with everything working and new circuit board batteries
- Ireland engineering stainless brake lines
- OEM rear disc brake lines (new, why take a chance)
- Sport model trunk spoiler (used, gotten by trade)
- Remanufactured CV axle
- New e-brake cables (ATE)
- M3 offset LCA bushings (OEM)
- All new balljoints for LCA (Moog)
- OEM offset front shock tower mounts (-camber)
- New rear rotors
- Complete set of Jurid brake pads (OEM), 95% new. Gotten free from GRM member
- 1985 Porsche 944 seats - structurally good, covers in bad shape



Fluids
- Redline 75W90 for diff
- ATE Blue brake fluid
- Rotella 15w40 (engine)

Last edited by irish44j; 01-17-2012 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
irish44j
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--------

10/5/2011

Also did an oil change with some Rotella 15w40 (couldn't find any 20w50 as I wanted, but it's just temporary anyhow). The drain plug was....interesting. The filter is not really in a very convenient location.....






While I was under there I took a good look at the undercarriage. A few minor rusty spots but nothing much of note. One small hole in the driver's footwell where the drain plug used to be. More interestingly, the entire undercarriage above the driveshaft was oily, and there was oil on the crossmembers below it. I can't tell where the heck this oil is from though. The DS isn't oily, and this is a couple feet toward the back of the car from the transmission output flange. The tranny is also very gunky, but didn't have any fresh oil on it, and isn't dripping. Will investigate this further with the car in the air sometime soon.






The mailman brought me a little package - lockset with key off ebay. I only did the doors for the moment (since one didn't work and the other was missing), so now I can lock the car. Of interest, when I opened up the door cards, I found that there was all kinds of crap in there....little broken plastic pieces, some random screws, and what appears to be the assembly for power locks, just hanging there by their wires and not actually attached to anything. Probably don't work anyhow, so I just unhooked the power actuator plate thingy and took it out of both doors rather than have it banging around in there. Also cleaned up the door cards nicely, they look pretty good now






Last project of the day: some interior cleanup. Took out the passenger seat (would have been easy, but the tracks were very difficult to slide). As I already knew, some P/O had carpeted OVER the original carpet with what appears to be some home carpet remnants :P So I ripped that out, and found that the OEM carpet was pretty nasty, stains everywhere, etc.






So out that came too. Once all the foam was pulled out, had access to the floor. OVerall, it's pretty good. Some surface rust and there was a bit of moisture in the footwell (will investigate for leaks), but not much. THe floor was solid, but did have one small rust-through spot in the backseat footwell, and then another little rust-through spot on the left side of the front footwell. Both should be pretty easy fixes with some fiberglass. For the rest, will POR-15 everything. Not sure what I will do about replacing it. The foam was nasty, the carpet was nasty. It's all in the trash now. Will have to see what the rules are in terms of not having carpet (but still having the rest of the interior in there), or "how much" carpet I would need to put back in for PR (e.g. floormats?). Really, I'd like to just hit the entire floor with spray-in bedliner once I have it all fixed up, and not deal with getting new carpet that will just get all dirty and muddy anyhow, lol


It looks worse than it is. Almost all of that is surface rust, except the smal hole on the far left (outside of the "circle" in the floor) and another little hole near the bottom of the transmission tunnel. After doing British cars, this stuff is nothing.....



10/7

Today not much on the car since I was working.


Canceled a previous order for some 45mm Bils... I'm going to source up full later e30 suspension with the better rear trailing arms, better brakes, and 51mm struts. Easier to find parts for, more stout, and better stopping are all good things for rallycross.


The P/O (who only had the car for a few months) also got in touch with the owner before him to check on some maintenance items. The P/O2 said (though had no documentation) that the water pump was replaced "about a year ago" (so I'll assume 2 years ago) and that he "thinks" the timing chain was done at the same time, but he didn't do the work himself apparently, he just paid a shop/dealer to do it....so who knows.

I have a water pump on the way anyhow, so will probably do it just to be safe. If the old one is still good I'll just keep it as a spare.

Today's quick project was to rip out the drivers-side carpeting. more shattered glass (someone must not have been happy with a previous owner since it's just glass and no sign of any panel replacements or anything). I really should get an autocheck/carfax done but I'm too cheap (anyone out there have an account?)

The good news on the driver's side is that the rear floor is perfect, not a sign of rust anywhere. The front floor has some surface rust, but does have a small hole just below the gas pedal. Should be an easy cut-out-and-fiberglass fix, especially since there is a reinforcing bar there anyways where the pedal bottom mounts. Also one stud for the seat mount apparently fell out of the chassis, so there's a hole there from it (will just push a new one through, it's not rusted or anything). So all in all I have 3 smallish rust holes in the entire floor pan to fix. Pretty pleased with that.


For seats I've been thinking about what I want to do. The thought of some Sparco Evos is in my mind (they can be found used fairly cheap), but I kind of want something that will be a bit more comfortable and adjustable for regular driving, especially since the local rallycrosses are a good ~2 hour drive from here.


I'm leaning toward looking for some Porsche or possibly Miata seats. There is a pair of black leather 944 seats local for cheap, so might go check that out and take some measurements. I've always like sitting in Porsches and felt the seats were pretty supportive and comfortable at the same time. If I get the leather ones, I'll get them recovered in cloth probably. Not a big fan of the e30 "sport" seats, and M3 seats are usually beat to hell, or if they're decent they're $$$.



A few quick pics:



Last edited by irish44j; 12-22-2011 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
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10/9

Today was planning to attack the floors and some other things, but got hung up for longer than expected helping a friend do a battery relocate in his car so only did a few quick things to the e30.



1. pulled out the rear seats. major accomplishment (lol)




2. did the front bumper tuck mod....taking the diving board there and compressing it about 5" in. This required drilling out the hydraulic pistons mounts and getting the oil inside all over the place (even though I thought I had prepped sufficiently to avoid a major mess). Then compressed them with a vise and re-installed. Reinstallation is a bit tougher since with the bumper pressed in it's pretty tight accessing the mount bolts. Will likely get rid of the rubberized "spats" that go around the bumper edges to cover the gap that is no longer there..







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Old 10-09-2011, 07:16 PM   #5
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Take the platinums out and replace with bosch copper. Your car will run better for longer. The platinums get fouled quick in old motors.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:25 PM   #6
irish44j
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and in case anyone cares, these are my other project cars (for context?)

2009 wrx (bilsteins, RCE yellows, most other suspension/bushings, stage1 tune, brake upgrades, various wheels/tires, etc...This is my daily driver, ski-trip car, and autocrosser. Incidentally, I've run with NCC BMWCCA autocross for the last few seasons and won the X2 (non-BMW 2) class in 2010 and should win it for 2011 as well, though basically that's just due to "good attendance" lol. For SCCA the car is SM class, and not terribly competitive at the moment.



1970 Triumph GT6 (built up from a bare frame, still have a bit of minor work to do, plus bodywork and paint). This one has been in the family since new. If anyone cares, I have a build thread on it HERE


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Old 10-09-2011, 07:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2002maniac View Post
Take the platinums out and replace with bosch copper. Your car will run better for longer. The platinums get fouled quick in old motors.
noted for future reference, thanks. my local auto parts store sucks, and this is all they had. Will change once the car is on the road again in the spring.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:31 PM   #8
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Great project! I love the GT6. I have no doubt that your E30 will turn out great.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:41 PM   #9
irish44j
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thx, by the way - I randomly found your BBK caliper braket kits page a few weeks ago, so if I ever change over to a 15" wheel, that will definitely be on my list of things to get (I'm assuming they do not clear the bottlecaps or the BBS 14's?)
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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I always cry a little inside when I see someone installing/repairing the AC on a car destined for race use.

But seriously, good luck - it looks like a good foundation.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets View Post
I always cry a little inside when I see someone installing/repairing the AC on a car destined for race use.

But seriously, good luck - it looks like a good foundation.
ah I think you have me wrong....not installing or repairing it, just bolting it up so it doesn't bang around until I can get the car down to the local garage to get the freon drained, and then I'll remove all the A/C stuff as soon as that's done!

but, then after I read your post I decided to go out and check the shrader valves and lo and behold....no freon in there. Which means....I had a project for the evening:

goodbye A/C! (still have to do the AC radiator and the stuff under the dash, but cleared out the compressor, mount bracket, and lines underhood tonight)


Also pulled the battery to check out the pan, after I noticed that my passenger-side water leak was coming down near the firewall/box junction there. Sure enough, some rust-through on the pan and on the side lip. I did some test drainage through the air intake vents with the car on level ground.....and whatever German designed that drainage path was a moron.....water pools nicely exactly where all the rust is. Oh well, nothing some fiberglass won't be able to fix...


Time to get some shuteye...

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Old 10-13-2011, 06:06 PM   #12
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The org wasnt good enough for you josh? :grinno:
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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The org wasnt good enough for you josh? :grinno:
:hide:

who dat?

I haven't been on the org much in a couple years...just drop in every once in a while to start trouble, lol.

Spent some time on NASIOC and the subie forums for a bit while I got the WRX set up, and now it's on to the next project!
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:58 PM   #14
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nice triumph! we have had several.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:49 AM   #15
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Subscribed. More e30 rally cars = more awesomeness in the world.
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Looking for a clean e30 shell for a project.
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