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Last Post 19 Dec 2011 10:36 AM by  Fair
Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project
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Fair
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24 Nov 2009 08:13 AM
    Nov 11, 2009 Update: I've become a little tired of autocrossing in Street Touring (2005-2009), and we just sold the E36 LS1 powered "XPrepared" autox/track car. So at the 2009 SCCA Solo Nationals I looked at hundreds of cars and dozens of classes to try to figure out what I want to build next. I decided on a D Street Prepared build but was unsure of the right BMW chassis to use. I looked initially for an E36 325is and 328is, then moved to the more powerful E46 330Coupe chassis.

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    On November 7th, 2009, I bought two E46 cars. One was a 1999 323i 5-spd [I]without a sunroof[/I], Hellrot Red, which will likely become my wife Amy's commuter car. CraigsList find that we got for a song (thanks for the lead, Adam!) and it was hard to pass up. Other than some nice D-Force wheels and an iPod interface cable/box, it will likely remain mostly stock and serve as a 4 door people mover. It drives great and looks absolutely flawless, inside and out.

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    Later that same day we bought this 2001 BMW 330Ci 2 door, 5-spd car. I waited 3 weeks for the seller to get the title reissued, and was so glad when he called and said "its ready!" Its an unusual Topaz Blue color, which I fell in love with, and it has the black leather interior I like (seems like 95% of these E46's are tan or gray inside). The paint is in great shape and it runs very well, but it has one or two items I'll want to fix soon ("cam sensor" CIL, noise from the steering rack). Another CraigsList Houston gem that was apparently a Canadian car at some point, since it has all "metric" dash and gauges, plus optional HID headlights and later model LED tail lights. Looks great inside and out, and we also got it for an incredibly good price.

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    Ideally I'd start with a ZHP equipped E46 coupe without a sunroof, but those were very hard to find, and the ZHP package didn't start in the Coupe until 2004. That means - more initial cost, and this 2001 was really clean and priced very attractively. Like: so low, I don't mind cutting it up a little to make it competitive.

    To do the DSP 330Ci build I want (which allows update/backdate combinations that the factory never made) I had to either do a no-sunroof roof swap on a later ZHP 330 Coupe or build a ZHP motor for a 2001-03 330Ci without a sunroof, but in my case I gave up looking for a no sunroof 330Ci after 6 weeks so I'm going to have to do both. Yay.

    After driving this sunroof equipped E46 for a couple of days I do really hate having the sunroof. My head is always touching the damn headliner, as the sunroof internals cut away inches of headroom. Driving our non sunroof E46 4 door is a completely different seating/driving experience! That sunroof stuff adds 30+ pounds up high, also.

    So here's the initial weight data from about an hour ago on the sunroof equipped '01 330 Coupe. Not super light, but remember, this is still bone stock. My E36 M3 wasn't much if any lighter than this stock and we managed to get about 200 pounds out of it for STU use (it got down to 2950 lbs race weight, with 2 race seats, 18x10s, and the full a/c installed).

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    [I]'01 330Ci 5-spd, sunroof equipped, tons of options, no spare tire installed, fuel level as shown. The STU E36 M3 is in the background.[/I]

    Gotta get this pig on a diet! I've already got the following parts ammassed or on order...

    [LIST]
    [*]18x10 D-Force LTW5 wheels, Yokohama 265/35/18 R compounds (tires were from a former project)
    [*]AST 4200 coilovers (monotube doubles), Hyperco springs, AST RSMs - on the way
    [*]Vorshlag camber plates/RSM reinforcements/RTAB limiters/motor mounts/trans mounts/wheel studs/spacers/etc
    [*]Mason Engineering "Race" aluminum strut and shock tower braces - on the way
    [*]Cam lock 5-point harnesses
    [/LIST]

    More details soon. As parts arrive we'll document their installaiton. Trying to make the AST track day Nov 30th at ECR... hope the shocks get here in time. 8) Of course I'm going to track this car also - I'll check the NASA TT classing and run it wherever it ends up.
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:17 AM

    Nov 12 update:

    I am shocked at how light that E46 is, seems like a good starting point. ... You are going for at least 285s right? You might want to go bigger than that.

    Yes, 285/30/18s are the plan, and most people that know me know how much I favor that tire size. The initial testing will be done on 18x10 D-Force wheels with a set of 265/35/18 Yokohama A032s, which we got from Yokohama earlier this year for going to a track event and giving ride-alongs in the EVO. I used them at an autox 6 weeks ago on my E36 M3 and they were pretty good, but I'll get the 285 Hoosiers coming in time for the first autocross event in February.

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    [I]The 18x10 and 265/35/18 Yokohama A032 combo on our E36 M3 on TMS Road Course (won both BSP and "W" classes on these)[/I]

    I'm fairly certain that the 18x10 and 285/30/18 will fit the E46 chassis with little more than fender rolling, and I've heard some E46 autocrossers have managed to squeeze the 305/30/18 on the rear as well, without flares. The E46 is bigger than the E36 chassis, and this is where it helps. I have a pair of Hoosier 305/30/18s in the shop so I will test them at some point, too, and the 295/30/18 looks promising. Probably need to get another set of D-Force 18x10s to use for testing, and later for a track-specific set of tires (might be in the same size as the autox set, just Hoosier A6 and R6). Hoosier has great NASA contingency.

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    [I]A Bimmerhaus-built, DSP prepped E46 coupe. 18x10s and 285s (but they added M3 fender flares)[/I]

    Are you allowed to use a CF roof since the E46 technically came in a trim with a CF roof? This thread comes to mind (although I'd want to use the cross-support beam): [url]http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1325363[/url]

    SCCA Street Prepared allows you to swap major components and even drivelines between similar models that are listed "on the same line" in the classing Appendix, via that category's "update/backdate" rule. For DSP class this means that I can use the best bits from the Coupe and Sedan versions of the North American market 330, 323, 325, and 328 E46 chassis cars. The E46 M3 is on a different line (its not considered the same model, and its classed *terribly* in BSP), and the carbon roof equipped M3 CSL wasn't ever offered in North America, so its out.

    This still gives me nearly infinite rear gearing choices, multiple transmission choices, and the best ZHP bits (steering rack, +10 hp cams/engine) and pieces to choose from:

    Matteucci: One of the big negatives of the E36 and one of the possible positive of the E46 is the gearing. The only realistic gear to use in the E36 is the 3.15, the other two options are 2.91 and 3.91. The 2.91 sucks even worse than the 3.15 and the 3.91 is crazy short. Something like 40MPH at the top of 2nd. The 3.15 is soggy on the low end and I vary rarely hit the rev limiter in 2nd much less shift to 3rd in my DSP car.

    Taking a quick look in the ETK, between the manual, automatic and AWD E46 variations, you can run about any gear you can imagine. 3.07, 3.15, 3.23, 3.38, 3.46 and 3.64 are all options. You could "fine tune" your gear for a particular course if you really wanted to!

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    One of my first upgrades will be the battery (PC680). The E46 OEM unit is so massive it has its own moons! 54 pounds down to 14. I already have the mount built for the E46 battery tray...

    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:19 AM

    Nov 13 Update:

    Ledbetter: It would be interesting to see its weight also.

    Swapped cars with Amy today so we could have the 323i and Matt and I just weighed it:

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    As you can see its about 42 pounds lighter than the 330Ci. Which is close to what the sunroof weighs, the major difference between these two cars. I'm not surprised at this number, actually. Fuel levels are almost identical, and the appointments on both cars are similar. Both cars have the aluminum block inline 6 (M52TUB25 2.5L vs M54B30 3.0L), manual seats, 5-spd manual trans, and both are bone stock. Interesting, according to [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M54"]this Wiki[/URL], the 3.0L M54 has a forged crankshaft and connecting rods.

    So the 4 door isn't any lighter than the 2 door E46. Take out the sunroof weight difference and they'd nearly be identical.

    Eunos
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    25 Nov 2009 10:59 AM
    Fair wrote:

    Taking a quick look in the ETK, between the manual, automatic and AWD E46 variations, you can run about any gear you can imagine. 3.07, 3.15, 3.23, 3.38, 3.46 and 3.64 are all options. You could "fine tune" your gear for a particular course if you really wanted to!

    You might want to double check whether all those ratios are legal.

    Fair
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    30 Nov 2009 11:11 PM
    I had planned a weekend thrash to get the E46 ready for the [URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/AST-Test-Day-at-ECR-Nov-30/10498128_qSozo"]AST Track Day at ECR today[/URL], but several things conspired to squash those plans. One, I got too wrapped up in the $2010 E30 V8 project the two weeks before the track day and didn't do a thorough check of the 330. I have spent way too much time on that little car lately - cleaning the chassis/engine bay, messing with multiple motor test fits, doing some body mods, wheel mockups, flare mock-ups, trips to the junk yards, etc. So that put me behind on checking out the 330 for a track day - I only put the car on the lift and pulled a wheel for the first time this past Wednesday, and that's when I noticed the rear brakes...

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    Uh-oh. No rear pad material at all, and the rotors were toast. ECR is a brake intensive track, so the random AutoPartsChain brake pads would not do. I had already ordered new front race pads from RacingBrake.com, for both the 330 and for DaveB's 325i, but neglected to check the rears on my own car. Doh! Due to the holiday shipping constraints of last week my hastily placed order for new rear rotors and pads won't get here until... tomorrow.... the day after the AST track event. Damn it, I need to be [I]stocking [/I]this stuff here at Vorshlag. In the end I was also out of a few other parts I needed for the suspension swap, but the AST 4200s did arrive on Saturday. They look SO nice... Oh well, poor planning gets all of us sometimes. I'll get the suspension on & aligned, and start bugging some members at the local tracks (MSR or ECR), and try to get on track with the 330 soon. Weather has been too nice lately - maybe December will be sunny and warm, too?

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    [I]DaveB's 325i and my M3 @ ECR. I got to thrash around track in both of these today, but I sure wanted to drive the 330![/I]

    OK, so what [I]has [/I]been done? The first little mod I did do to the 330 was a set of Vorshlag 75mm Competition Wheel Studs and lug nuts. I took the 330's wheels off and on to check the brakes, and after fiddling with the ridiculous wheel bolts to remount the stock wheels for 10 minutes, I tossed the bolts [I]right [/I]into the trash. It took no time to install the studs; I just don't have the patience for freagin' wheel bolts.

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    [I]6 minutes to install all 20 studs... time & money well spent[/I]

    As you can see above, I also test fit the 18x10" D-Force LTW5 wheels onto the car. This was with a set of (relatively tall) 265/35/18 A032 R compounds (we had these from the EVO X and I've been racing my E36 M3 on these wheels and tires the past 2 months, including all day today at ECR). The rears worked great with no spacer - just bolted right on and they have gobs of room. The front needs more camber and a ~8mm spacer. I'll retest the wheels on the front after the AST struts and Vorshlag plates are installed. It might be tight on the 285mm tire, but if I have to flare the fronts, so be it.

    More soon...
    Fair
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    16 Dec 2009 06:41 PM
    [U][B]Update:[/B][/U] OK last week was completely nuts. Not only did we get absolutely buried in orders, we had to prep 3 cars for a track day (last one of the year), two of which had never been on track ever, for last Saturday at Eagles Canyon Raceway. This was the final chance for 2009 to hit this track in the 330. I was already regretting not bringing it out to the AST test day the week before (I took the E36 M3 instead), to get some (slow) baseline testing in the E46 with the OEM suspension and tires, but it would have been miserable like that. ;)

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    [I]The 4200s I used have these same 4000 series revisions. That's my 4200 strut at right[/I]

    So we were stuck waiting on some parts for the camber plates until 8 pm Friday, the night before the track day. We got the AST 4200s (latest revisions) onto the car plus our Vorshlag camber plates, Nylon motor mounts, trans mounts, and the 18x10" D-Force wheels (with our our spacers and studs). Added new (PBR) rear rotors and some temporary PBR Metal Master pads, changed the oil to Mobile1, and the manual trans fluid to Redline MTL. Some gorilla over-torqued the oil filter top so the filter didn't get swapped - oh well.

    Everything went on well enough, but due to the delay on the anodized coating for the plates we didn't wrap up the 330 prep until after 11:30 pm, then we started changing all the pads, lines and fluid on Matt's 350Z, not finishing it up until 12:30 am. Long....[I] long [/I]day.

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    [I]Didn't get a ton of pics on the front install, as we were severaly pressed for time[/I]

    Oh, and I bought a 1 ton diesel Dodge MegaCab diesel, and picked up a trailer sometime during that same day, too, so I got to tow the 330 to the event Saturday. Loaded the car in the rain Sunday morning - woo. Good thing we got to tow to the event (100 miles away), though, as we had no time to align the car other than via my calibrated eyeball. :D A quick tweak to the toe and camber was as good as it got. Ended up tracking straight and true so I guess we got lucky.

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    [I]Motor mounts were a b!tch to swap out - had to drop the K-member and raise the motor. Trans mounts took minutes.[/I]

    We're a RacingBrake dealer at Vorshlag, and while learning about E46 brakes we're trying to help RB figure out some pads and models for the BMW market along the way. The sport package 330 has pretty damn big stock rotors: 13" diameter front and 12.8" rear. That was big for a Corvette during this same time period that this 330 came out (2001). The new rear rotors and pads are shown below.

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    The front subframe has this flat, formed sheet metal cover / structure that ties the front K-member together. Its kind of a sad joke, and was wadded up like a gum wrapper in several spots. Some previous owner probably ran over something and it tore it to bits, but the underside of the car looked unaffected. I noticed a tubular version on RealOEM, I think for the convertible? I'll investigate and probably purchase that. Thank goodness DSP allows update/backdates. :)

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    [I]L: Pumping in the ~1.3 qts of MTL. R: Final front camber was roughly -4° front, -2.5° rear[/I]

    The car had a set of nearly new BMW front pads & rotors and I found some "PBR Metal Master" pads and new PBR rotors for the rear, until we can find the correct RB 2-piece rotor and pad solution. We tried one RB ET500 front pad profile that wasn't quite right, and ran out of time to get the proper front pads in time. Surprisingly it stopped better than I expected with these OEM style pads, never fading once, and I was into the ABS on many corners (I LFB into nearly all corners, braking pretty deep and late). I was shocked at how well this car stops with this very stock pad/rotor setup - much better than the E36 M3 did a week earlier, at the same track, and on the exact same wheels/tires. My M3 has 2-piece Euro M3 front rotors (12.5" dia) and Hawk HP+ pads front and back. So I can say with confidence that [B]the 330 has better brakes than an E36 M3.[/B]

    The 18x10" D-Force wheels fit great in front, with zero fender rolling and a 10mm spacer. It was sitting up about 1/4" higher than I like, but I wanted to be safe up front on the first outing and didn't have time for the usual corner balance and thorough road testing. The rear wheel used no wheel spacer and looked like an even better fit than the front, but it rubbed on the outside at full cornering load, once the track dried out, so I took it easy and only did 4 sessions. Rear needed a tick more ride height, some fender rolling and a firmer RTAB setup (didn't have time to do anything about that yet) and it should work fine with the 265s. We'll take a look at everything once I get 285s on the car.

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    The track was cold, wet and nasty all morning - but the car still handled like a dream, right out of the box. It always went where I pointed it, soaking up the many bumps at ECR, and made for easily controlled drifts when pushed past 10/10ths. I have started off with the stock swaybars and 600# front, 750# rear spring rates (our Hyperco/GTR package), which felt great. Since it was wet all morning, I kept all of the adjustments at full soft, to keep everything from being twitchy.

    I pushed the crap out of the car and had a blast on track in each session, only needing to let a couple of the fast instructors by. This was a CTS-V and KenO's E46 M3, both of which had more power, so the 330 couldn't match their pace on the straights. For the most part I had a clear track and got a good feel for the car. The 330 definitely needs more power, and I hope the new header and exhaust I'll build behind that will help. When the track dried the lack of a real LSD diff was very apparent. That needs to be remedied SOON.

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    [I]I took pictures between sessions but didn't get a picture of my car on track all day[/I]

    Since the track event I've ordered new front control arms, a header, new cam sensor and harness (throwing a code), and some other bits and pieces. Still looking at race shifters, but the switch to our Nylon motor mounts and 95A trans mounts made a HUGE difference in shift feel already. I've got aluminum Mason braces for the front and rear that we'll install in the next week or so - just ran out of time before ECR.

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    [I]Amy took the M3 to ECR that day; she had a blast driving the car[/I]

    I borrowed Matt's new in-car vidcam setup and got one wet session on video, but its not too impressive since its raining the whole time. I might post it up later, for grins.

    More soon...
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:09 PM

    Have a question for you BMW gurus out there. Here are some pictures of the lower subframe "reinforcement plate" I mentioned in the post above. Its mangled a bit on one corner, and I cannot leave it alone. Its made of an easily bendable, formed section of thin sheet steel.

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    [I]This is the stock unit that came on my 330Ci. Its a bit mangled[/I]

    Looking on RealOEM at the various E46 offerings I have found these 3. I've checked several versions of 323, 325, 328 and 330 (all of the US models) in Sedan, Coupe, Wagon and Convertible and they all seem to show this one:

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    [I]This is the unit shown on most non-M E46 models.[/I]

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    [I]This is the E46 M3 version. It seems to be slightly similar, but has a different shape and a jacking point,
    so its possibly made of a thicker plate material? Exact same price though[/I]

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    [I]And then there's this mystery model....with the odd duck control arm, too?[/I]

    So, [B]does anyone recognize the tubular style shown in the last picture?[/B] Looks like it may be made up of aluminum and/or steel bits (notice the joints? That's not a welded piece) Its obviously some factory fitment for an E46, as it shows up as a potential sub-section under "Front Axle" for several E46 models, but on every variation that I look up it with it always says [B]"No parts found matching your car."[/B]

    If this wasn't available on a non-M in North America I'll just suck it up and get the basic replacement unit, shown at the top. DSP doesn't allow anything more than a 2-point lower subframe brace, so I'd stick with the formed sheetmetal 4 point brace that it came with. At least its light. :o Its not a huge area for improvement in any case, but I'm always looking for new things to test.

    Thanks,

    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:10 PM
    I just put the 1999 323i up on the lift and sure enough, the early E46 cars have that tubular brace.

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    It is indeed tubular and could possibly be stronger, but here's the rub: it only attaches with 4 bolts instead of the later version's 8 bolts.

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    Hmm... I'm going to have to think on this one.
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:11 PM
    Got lots other parts in this week that are ready to go onto the E46: Eibach adjustable aluminum rear lower control arms and Eibach E46 non-M swaybars (we sell all of these, BTW), new front lower control arms, Goodridge brake lines (we sell these, too), the cam sensor and harness, and more. The Sparco harness bar is back from powder coat and the the Mason braces are all ready to go on as well.

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    [I]These "shop floor pics" are pretty poor - we'll take studio pics before they go on the car, to use on our website.[/I]

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    [I]The offset LCA bushings are for the $2010 E30[/I]

    Lots to do over the next week/holiday period. I'm slated to work on no less than 4 of my own cars and upwards of 4 local racer's cars, so who knows when this E46 stuff will go on the car.
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:12 PM
    Not much to add on the E46 this week other than some pics and OEM spring rates. I did the spring rate testing on the OEM front and rear springs from my 330Ci, before sending the entire OEM suspension to a customer (who needed them so he could do an AST swap between two E46 BMWs he owned). The rates were nearly identical to the another pair of E46 330i sedan sport front rates I had checked before, and barely softer than the ZHP rates tested (ZHP rear was a bit stiffer, though).

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    [I]The fronts have several inches of preload. Takes a l-o-n-g spring compressor to even get it off the strut.[/I]

    The 130#/in rate for the fronts is a popular OEM BMW front spring rate. The E46 ZHP had a whopping 140 #/in fronts - Woo-wee! That 10 #/in stiffer rate for the ZHP is a joke. Our softest AST spring package [I]starts [/I]at 450 #/in and I'm running 600#/in fronts and 750 #/in rears on the 330 now. You can see all of the OEM BMW rates we've checked here: [url]http://www.vorshlag.com/tech_springrates.php[/url]

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    Last Wednesday was beautiful here in Texas with sunny skies and mid 70°F temps, so I drove the still clean 330 onto the back of my property and finally took some pics with the ASTs, 18x10s and some sunlight. Less than 24 hours later we had a freak snowstorm - it was snowing sideways, sustained 40 mph winds, several inches of accumulation. First "white Christmas" in Dallas in recorded history. "Typical Texas Weather". :?

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    I took off the front license plate, which is a huge radar + laser reflector and eyesore, so there are a couple of holes in the front bumper cover now. Oh well, at least the plate is gone.

    Cheers,
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:12 PM
    [U][B]Update for Feb 7, 2010:[/B][/U] Since my last update I haven't done much to the 330, except order more parts. Not a very exciting update, or a productive afternoon in the shop, but I re-learned some valuable lessons. I'll share, so maybe someone out there doesn't make the same mistakes.

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    One of the many parts I ordered in December was a cheap cold air intake kit from a vendor on eBay (that should have been a red flag, right?) It was to be an interim solution until an entirely new intake manifold and throttle body system is procured and installed (at the earliest: late 2010). The stock air filter box and ducting looked pretty hideous, and the one on this car was a bit mangled (one of the retaining clips was missing so it wasn't even sealing 100%). I won't mention the brand name of the cold air kit I bought, as I'm hoping they will RMA this big box of crap - because it doesn't even come close to fitting the "2001-2005 E46 330" as stated in their eBay ad. I knew better than to buy a cheap cold air kit ($55 + $18 shipping) off eBay, but I figured "how bad can it be" and rolled the dice... and lost.

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    I hadn't had a chance to put the car on the lift in our shop for weeks, other than a brief stint unsuccessfully trying to roll the rear fenders ("its hammer time"), but I finally got it back on the lift this past weekend. Took apart the stock airbox and various ducting from the 2001 330Ci, and it was a dirty mess under the stock bits. Of course I had to clean everything (its a sickness) then spent an hour building this block off plate from sheet aluminum, to cover a big hole in front of the radiator (to keep all of the air stream going to the radiator).

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    This hole was created because this secondary factory air inlet ducting was removed. This would have left either non-functional ducting or a big gaping hole above the inlet to the radiator. The rest of the inlet air for the factory air box came from a tiny, narrow opening at the bottom of the LF corner, which is where most cold air inlet kits draw from.

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    Once I got it all clean and finished the aluminum block off panel, which I spent extra time on to make it 100% SCCA/DSP legal (it replaces the factory inlet ducting and mounts with [I]zero [/I]mods to the surrounding pieces), I took a look at installing this cold air kit - and quickly realized that this kit doesn't fit. At all.

    First issue was the 3" OD steel tubing and 3" ID conical air filter in the kit is smaller than the factory tubing and MAF by 5/8" of an inch in diameter. That's a negative for performance, but I was willing to ignore the undersized tubing for the time being if everything at least fit the MAF, and the tubing routed behind the headlight, as this was only be used temporarily.

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    I next realized that the 3" to 3.5" OD silicon piping adapter included to attach to the obviously larger MAF doesn't even fit (which is actually 3.625/92mm OD), as shown above. Its off by enough that it would have to be stretched significantly, and even then might never fit. The material used is so stiff I couldn't stretch it enough without possibly marking it up, and I was hoping to send this entire order back for a refund.

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    Lastly, the steel tubing included in the kit could only route one way (per their poorly translated instructions), and doesn't even come close to fitting the opening behind the factory headlight leveling motors (the tubing might fit on the cars w/o these HID lights, I suppose, but our car came with these headlights, as did many 2003+ E46 models). Its off by [I]inches[/I]. This kit was not really made to fit this car and I can't use a single piece of it. Bleh.

    I realize this was a super low cost cold air kit, and cost is usually a huge clue as to the fit and finish of anything, but we were hoping that it actually would fit the 2001-2005 E46 330 as their eBay ad stated. Shame on me for thinking that cheap, imported eBay junk would actually work. I'll see what the vendor tells us before I name drop them here, but as it is this cold air kit is never going on this car. I would have had better luck and less frustration from setting fire to $73 in cash. I'll probably just chuck the entire lot in the trash and just make my own air filter solution.

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    [I]Mock-up with cardboard (left) then final aluminum (right) heat shield for a 9" K&N round filter I made for my E36 M3[/I]

    I could just acquire a longer conical or round K&N air filter with the proper 3-5/8" inlet diameter, then build a sheet aluminum heat shield around the filter and MAF, which would be semi-sealed to the underside of the hood (it doesn't have to be air tight) and allow air to flow in from behind the headlight and underneath the bumper. I've done this on previous cars (see above pics) and it works great.

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    [I]More parts to install (left) and to buy (right)[/I]

    Still had a ton of other parts to install, so after I punted on the cold air I started tackling the two cam sensor replacements next (its been throwing a CIL, and the motor is a complete [I]DOG [/I]under 3000 rpm or so), but that quickly bogged down, too. Two cam sensors exist on the car, but I neglected to buy new bolts and O-rings, per the Bently manual instructions - poor planning strikes again! Just put in a big BMW parts order from our favorite BMW dealer, too. Oh well - another order is going to follow that for all sorts of bits and pieces for the 330 (including some E46 M3 fenders - for future use with steel flares - and a new lower K-member brace, to replace the mangled one shown above). Have to remove one of the VANOS solenoids to replace the sensor on the driver's side of the head, and I can't even [I]see [/I]the other side. It was approaching SuperBowl kickoff time, so I pushed the install of these until another day.

    More soon....
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:14 PM
    [B][U]Quick followup from Feb 9, 2010:[/U][/B] Well I went out and re-measured the K&N that is on my E36 M3 (that we raced in STU for years with) and it was in fact only 9" long (I had a 14" K&N on a former Mustang - it was stupid huge), so I've updated the last post above. I have always tried to fit the biggest round or conical K&N filter on whatever inlet setup I make, but it didn't look like the 9" long round filter I have on the E36 would fit the E46, either from length or inlet ID (the OD on the E46 330 MAF is MUCH bigger than the stock E36 M3 MAF).

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    We needed a 92mm inlet and could fit a cylindrical or cone filter less than about 7.5" to 8" long. Matt did a few minutes of searching on K&N's website and quickly found a cylindrical round filter that would fit the MAF and the engine bay perfectly. It had a 92mm inlet, nearly a 6" Outer Diameter, and a 7.25" of filter length. K&N has an integrated store locator on their website (cool) that could search for stores with this particular part number (E-0773) in stock, and I'll be damned, the local Autozone 3 blocks away had it in stock. The funny thing was it cost the exact same ($55) as the junky, no-fittin' fleaBay cold air kit, except it wasn't padded with an overpriced shipping charge.

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    5 minutes of work and it was on the MAF. It fits the confines of the engine bay perfectly, and more importantly, its [I]not [/I]smaller than the OD of the MAF it attaches to. I'll fab up an aluminum sheet metal shield to keep hot air and fan pulses away from the inlet air stream next (MAFs don't like to see air that is pulsing, like from the exhaust of a cooling a fan) next.

    Terry, I'm not sure if you had other reasons for blocking it off, but most of the "good" intake kits are essentially a cone w/ shield like you did on your E36, but they maintain the factory ducting from the kidneys and feed it into the shielded area, as that part is apparently a pretty good design. I'm not sure if the flow from the lower left hole is enough without some other kind of ducting from the bumper.

    I don't think I've ever seen a race 330 that didn't use that stock ducting, or that did use a "cold air" intake like the ebay one you tried.

    I thought about keeping it on there, but the little exhaust port from this factory upper air scoop is no bigger than the ignition key. Its teenie tiny.

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    I mean, sure... it wouldn't hurt, but I don't think it'll help much, either. I suspect the commercially available cold air kits keep the stock inlet because its easier than making the block off plate that I made (it was a little tricky). I am fairly confident that it won't matter for horsepower, one way or the other. For a true race car air inlet, sure, I'd steal as much high pressure air as possible and jam it into a sealed airbox, using a bigger opening on the bumper or grabbing more of the air from the BMW "kidney grills". Unfortunately I cannot modify the openings on the bumper or kidneys per the SCCA Street Prepared rules, and it costs points for NASA TT if I did the same. So its gotta be either drawing from the itty bitty stock air inlet above the radiator and/or just pulling from "free air" under the car and behind the headlight, of which there is quite a bit.

    It'll make more sense when I show it from underneath, with the heat shield in place. Its not going to be a sealed airbox at all, so it should allow the filter to draw from underneath, from behind the headlight, and even a little from the engine bay. This isn't a car that's going to see super high speed tracks or ever see a wind tunnel, just an autocross car (low speed) and Time Trial car. I'm trying to use the K.I.S.S. method here, for this temporary air inlet set-up. 5 minutes and $55 worth of filter, and its nearly done. It has to be better than the stock filter, which was full of dirt and [I]sucking through a straw.[/I] :)

    [COLOR="Magenta"][I]edit: the eBay vendor that sold me the cold air kit issued a refund. They said they had some text in the ad saying it would not fit a car with HIDs. I looked and looked... and it was buried in the description, but they were right. It still doesn't explain the "too small" inlet tubing or mis-matched adapter hose, but they are issuing an RMA and I'll get some of my money back. I'm happy for that at least.[/I][/COLOR]

    Thanks,
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:15 PM
    [U][B]Update for Feb 18, 2010:[/B][/U] We didn't have much time before the $2010 GRM crew arrived last night, but Matt and I managed to get the front Eibach swaybar installed onto the 330 as well as the new OEM aluminum subframe brace.

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    Mangled OEM aluminum lower subframe brace being removed and replaced with a new one ($153). Looks so pretty. :)

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    The stock 24mm front bar was replaced with a 27mm Eibach adjustable bar + Eibach poly mounts. Beautiful product that's adjustable - essential for quick trackside setup changes. We put off installing the rear bar until after the new diff arrives.

    [URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Instructions/Eibach-swaybar-installation/11286526_jw7Ka"]Eibach swaybar instructions[/URL] - hey, some people need all the help they can get. ;)

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    New bar in place and subframe brace as well (not shown - plastic undertray went back on, of course). Upcoming work for this weekend: front strut brace, race seat install, and more fender rolling work for 285s.

    The March NASA TT event at MSR Cresson is fast approaching, so prep on the E46 is moving into high gear. Today we ordered a full set of Powerflex poly bushings for the LCAB and rear subframe from BimmerWorld (nobody makes a poly diff mount bushing for the E46 non-M, so we ordered a stock replacement one and will model/design/build our own). Diffsonline is building a 3.38 geared, OS Giken equipped LSD differential for us already. Just scored a Cobra Suzuka Kevlar race seat, and we're mounting that this weekend (and buying another for the passenger side) with a Sparco dual locking slider. G-Force Pro 6-point camlock harnesses were just ordered (FIA + SFI approved).

    The harness bar we bought has been sold and that money is going towards a Kirk Racing 4-point roll bar. Just didn't feel safe strapping the harnesses to that single bar, so we'll just take the ~60 pound hit for the 4-point roll bar.

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    Scored this Euro E36 M3 ITB intake for a song, but its likely a 2011 season part.

    More soon,
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:15 PM
    Wasted part of the afternoon trying to install the aluminum 1-piece "race" strut tower brace Mason built for my E46 330. Its a 1-piece design that I had hoped would fit the car without having to use his adjustable width brace (which I never liked). Bought it months ago, just never got around to installing until today.

    The 3 strut top mounting holes are slotted in the top of each strut tower on an E46, so I figured I would have to slot the strut tower brace to match, to maintain full camber adjustment. To get started I had to temporarily move the remote positive battery terminal out of the way for the strut brace mock-up:

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    Then I placed the brace evenly centered on top of the two strut towers. Uhh.... doesn't fit. At all.

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    I have the car set at max negative camber in the strut tower holes, and on the plates themselves (-3.8°). The strut brace doesn't even come close to fitting, nor is there enough room on the main flate plate portions to slot the holes to fit. :frown:

    [B]Anyone want to buy an E46 strut brace for cheap? [/B] It might work at full positive camber setting, but I'd never use this on an E46 that wanted an aggressive negative camber setup. Its very light, very pretty aluminum. :D I had one for the rear as well (adjustable length - the 1-piece brace never fit any E46 I tried them on) but sold it before I had time to install it. Id' rather make a 1-piece design for the rear anyway, too. I'll take pictures of it and put it for sale in our "clearance" section next week.

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    [I]Even the $75 Chinese/eBay hinged brace has slotted holes for camber adjustment[/I]

    I would still like to have a strut tower brace on this car one day, and I like the basic layout, but it looks like I'll have to make my own if I want it to fit and still have negative camber adjustments. The hinged crap I've seen on eBay is garbage, or attaches at one point per side and doesn't cover the top of the (weak) strut tower sheet metal. I don't like the adjustable braces I've seen, or the plethora of blinged-out carbon fiber/aluminum/unobtanium crap, either. Bleh.

    [URL="http://www.rogueengineering.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=RE_CF_STB&Category_Code"]Rouge's design[/URL] looks stout, but it covers up the entire top of the strut tower - and my AST's rebound adjuster knobs. Oh well, if we ever make our own line of bolt-on chassis bracing, I at least know how not to make them.
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:16 PM
    [U][B]Update for March 5, 2010:[/B][/U] Paul M came by Wednesday night to help me work on the 330. I've been so swamped with working on the GRM E30 project, other cars, and with the business in general the 330 has been ignored. Time is running out, though, as the first NASA TT race I'm going to try to make is March 13-14. So instead of our weekly work night to attack [URL="http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6964"]Paul's SMOD Subaru project[/URL] or [URL="http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6822"]McCall's Z3 LS1 project[/URL], we worked on my 330 this week.

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    Still have a pile of parts to put on the DSP car, as you can see above. I decided to replace the entire cooling system as a preventive measure, since the car has 100K miles and looks to have had only spotty maintenance. I'll keep all the parts we pull in the trailer, for emergency use spares.

    As soon as we got the plastic covers off this otherwise clean engine, lots of dirt was revealed. Ack! Of course I couldn't have that, so I did a little cleaning while it was apart.

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    Paul started on the valve cover gasket replacement and the cam sensor swaps. Once the valve cover was off some milkshake looking gunk was spotted near the VANOS units. WTF is that? Coolant?! Hmm... its only present in this small area, and the rest of the cam/head area looked like fresh oil.

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    The old gasket was of course turned to hard plastic, and part of it was stuck to the head. He dressed the area like a surgeon and pried it off, piece by crackly piece. Paul had that gasket swap wrapped up with new spark plugs by night's end, while I worked on the cooling system. I pulled the belts, water pump pulley, radiator hoses, water pump, and thermostat housing. Got the new housing and water pump installed, but we stopped before it got too late. The intake cam sensor is a b!tch to disconnect and re-route under the intake manifold, so its still partially disassembled. I have ordered new VANOS sea & O-ring repair kits, so I might put those on next week if they get here in time. We only had about 2 hours to work on the car, so it rolled off the lift incomplete so the $2010 E30 could go back on. So we made a little progress... more on Sunday.

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    I'm going Saturday to PST to pick up the new Cobra GT seat, 2 pairs of Cobra side brackets, and the first set of 285 Hoosiers for the car (285/30/18 A6 for auto-x use; we'll get 285s for TT use soon), and get the tires mounted to another set of 18x10 D-Force wheels. Then I can start the work to clear the 285s... lots of rolling, maybe some hammer forming of fender lips, and as a last resort - the plasma torch.

    More soon.
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:16 PM
    While working on the 330 this week I stumbled upon the [URL="http://www.beisansystems.com/index.html wrote:
    Beisan Systems website[/URL] that sells a [URL="http://www.beisansystems.com/products.htm wrote:
    VANOS repair kit[/URL] for the M54:

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    [I]Double vanos seals repair kit (6-cyl) (BS001) $60/each, vanos gasket (11-36-1-433-817) 6.73/each, 2 qty vanos oil hose/pipe washer (32-41-1-093-596) $.25/each[/I]

    [URL="http://www.beisansystems.com/faq.html wrote:
    Their description of a failed VANOS system[/URL] on the M54 sounds just like the lack of power under 3000 rpm I've been complaining about in my 330:

    [QUOTE][B][I]What’s wrong with my vanos?[/I][/B]
    [I]If you own a BMW 6-cylinder single vanos car, engines M50TU, M52, US S50, S52, 1992-1999, or double vanos car, engines M52TU, M54, M56, 1998-2006. , then your vanos is experiencing a failure. These vanos units utilize engine oil and pistons/cylinders to manipulate the positioning of gears to facilitate variable valve timing. The seals on the pistons are leaking due to deteriorating seal O-rings. This leakage is causing the vanos to fail in its function.[/I]

    [I][B]What are the symptoms of a failing vanos?[/B][/I]
    [I]Overall loss of torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Uneven power distribution and RPM transition. Engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Louder idle and intermittent idle RPM hiccups. Difficult takeoffs. Loss of power and bogging when AC on. Increased fuel consumption[/I].


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    So I ordered their $60 repair kit and I'll slap those bits in after the NASA event, hopefully before the SCCA National Tour here in Texas at the end of March. This could potentially make a huge difference in low end power, which is especially important for autocross use.

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    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:21 PM
    [U][B]Update for March 7, 2010:[/B][/U] Went to PST yesterday and picked up the new Cobra Suzuka Pro seat, brackets, and the first set of Hoosiers. Had these 285/30/18 A6 autocross compound tires mounted by the guys at PST onto another set of lightweight D-Force 18x10" wheels. Man, these tires look big...

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    I just slapped these on the 330 for an initial look, and so far, so good. I started by removing the E46 length front swaybar end links, as this would free up about 2mm of inboard tire room, as the AST swaybar bracket was pretty high on the strut. Using an E36 length front end link will allow the adjustable AST bracket to sit below the tire, so the same 12mm spacer I used in front before on the 265s cleared with ample room on the 285s. I might even go with a 10mm to gain a tick more room on the outside, to the fender lips. No spacer was used in the rear.

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    Its going to take some serious fender massaging at both ends, but hopefully [B]not flares. [/B]That was a job I was dreading. I will work on getting the fenders rolled, hammered and pulled this week, and if they are ready in time I will test this set of 285s out at MSR at the NASA TT race next weekend.

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    I plan on primarily running the 265/35/18 Yokohama A032s (shown above) for the TT event, but I will run the A6s for a couple of laps, just to see how well they fit under racing conditions (I can run either set and still fit within TTD class points). The real test for these A6 Hoosiers is the following 2 weekends, at an SCCA Regional autocross then an SCCA National Tour autocross event. My first autocross in the car! I'll pick up another set of 285/30/18 Hoosiers in the R6 road race compound before the next NASA Time Trial event, for some extra speed out there, and keep the 265mm Yokohama A032s as rain tires for track or autocross use.

    Back to work...
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:21 PM
    [U][B]NASA Classing & Points:[/B][/U] NASA Time Trial is a type of competition that bridges the gap between HPDE lapping events (where you are never timed, have to get point-bys to pass, and safety items are lax) and wheel to wheel club racing. TT is more like qualifying... your laps are all timed, you have open passing but aren't racing to the checkered flag so there's no need to make dangerous passes, and only your single fastest lap of the day counts towards the competition. You might make 40 or 50 laps during your 4+ sessions that day, but you only need one fast lap to win. There's also real contingencies and payouts (you can win up to 4 Hoosiers per NASA weekend, if your class is big enough)

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    I'm a long time autocrosser and was doing track events as far back as the 1980s, but have only been doing NASA TT since early 2008. I'm no TT expert, hardly, but I'm definitely hooked. The main thing about doing "Driving Events" that bugged me was... there were no prep rules, no times, [I]no competition[/I]. It quickly becomes a contest of "who can outspend who". That's OK, and can still be a lotta fun, but for an old autocrosser I was jonesing for the competitive element. TT gives you that, without the sheet metal risks, without the safety prep costs, and without much of the costs associated with club racing.

    We [URL="http://www.vorshlag.com/tech_timetrials.php"]wrote a little article on NASA TT[/URL] back in 2008 that's worth a read if you've never heard of this event style. SCCA is (slowly) trying to get on the bandwagon with their PDX events (they used to have Solo I, but the safety gear needed matched that of club racing).

    So once you've become a "DE Champion", and if you get signed off for your NASA Time Trial license and pay your $10 (cheap!), what's next? You have to figure out what class your car runs in for a TT event, you have to get a transponder (AMB is the only game), and slap on some class and number decals or magnetics. That's it. No HANs, no mega-cage or fire system, no driving suit are needed. It doesn't [I]hurt [/I]to have these safety items, of course, and safety upgrades are never a points mod in NASA TT.

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    The classing for NASA Time Trials is very different than what you see in SCCA Solo, which I come from. Instead of putting all cars in Stock class groups, then allowing a certain allotment of mods for everyone, and having categories where you advance the car as you advance to the next level of preparation, NASA TT is a points based deal.

    For NASA Time trials every car is given a "Base Class". Any mod you do is ranked with points (some are 0 points), so you can pick and choose the modifications you want to do for each advancement in class you make. Say you want to concentrate on suspension and tires, so you avoid the "power" mods. Or you want to do power and brakes, but keep the tires and suspension nearly stock. There's so many different ways to build up a car, even within the same class, This is half the fun of running TT: configuring your car for a class [I]your way[/I].

    There's TTA (Corvette Z06) at the top and TTF (some E30s) at the bottom of the TT ladder. Lower performance sedans and coupes start out towards the bottom, and the faster sports cars are classed higher and higher. If your car starts in TTA and you bump up a class with mods, of start in a lower class and you do a LOT of mods, you can go into the top TTS-> TTU -> TTR classes. These 3 classes are (mostly) not mod/point based, so you can go mod crazy and just class the car on the power to weight ratio (based on a real dyno test at a registered facility, which is required for these and all TT classes). There are some tire size/compound associated points for these 3 classes, but that's about it.

    You can do up to 19 points worth of mods and stay within your same base class. If you do +20 to +39 points worth of mods, you bump up one class level. Each base class has a base tire width, so every +10mm you run wider gains you points, but if you run narrower then [I]you get points back.[/I] There's also a power-to-weight limit for each class you have to keep an eye on, too. Lastly, the base class assigned to each car can sometimes include handicapping "base points". Like if a particular model of car is a bit faster than the other cars in that same base class, they will add +7 or +14 base points to it right off the bat. The "number of stars" equates to added base class points. One star is +7, two stars is +14. So if your car is based classed as TTC**, then you get to start off in TTC with +14 base points, and only have 5 points worth of mods left before bumping to TTB.

    If this sounds confusing, don't worry - it is. I wish there was an online NASA TT "configurator" (its a word, trust me), that had base classes for each car, the mods you wanted as check boxes, and added it up for you. [I]note: there used to be a TT class configurator, but it hasn't worked the past 2 years.[/I] There is going to be [I]some [/I]interpretation for some mods, of course, so it helps to have someone experienced to help you class your car. The NASA forums are a place to ask for classing help, but those guys go a little off the deep end sometimes and start coming up with points for silly stuff that shouldn't be points, so you don't want to "overshare" on there. :D

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    It also pays to plan ahead. If you know you're going to add some whiz-bang part later in the season, and it might bump you up to the next class and you want to run the same TT class for the year (for Regional champion points), you might step up to the next class up the ladder early so you don't amass points in 2 classes for the season.

    OK, here's the 2010 NASA TT PDF of the rules: [url]http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/time_trial_rules.pdf[/url]

    Let me go over a classing example: my 2001 BMW 330Ci. This car starts in TTE with no base points, so I can get the full 19 points worth of mods and stay within TTE, or 19-39 points worth of mods and stay within TTD (one class up). Those are both relatively "slow" classes, and I think this car could do well in either with the right choice of modifications. My very first NASA race in this E46 is this weekend, and here's 2 configurations I could run, both well within TTD class points:

    [B][U]265mm Yokohama config for 3/13/10:[/U][/B]
    [LIST]
    [*]TTE Base Points: 0
    [*]265 Tires 7
    [*]Yokohama A048 7
    [*]Air Intake 1
    [*]AST 4200s 3
    [*]Springs 2
    [*]Sway Bars 2
    [*]Spherical RSM 0
    [*]Camber Plates 0
    [*]Motor and Transmission Mounts 0
    [*]Rolled fender lips/Fender Flares 0
    [*]Lightweight Battery 0
    [*]Non-metallic Replacement Suspension Bushings 0
    [*]Race Brake Pads 0
    [*][B]Total = 22 points[/B] (just 3 points out of TTE!)
    [/LIST]

    [B][U]285mm Hoosier A6 config for 3/13/10:[/U][/B]
    [LIST]
    [*]Same as above except....
    [*]285 Tires 13
    [*]Hoosier A6 13
    [*][B]Total = 34 points[/B] (can go to +39 and stay within TTD)
    [/LIST]

    I won't run many laps at the TT event on the A6 Hoosiers this weekend, as these are really my autocross tires, and there won't even be enough cars in TTD class to be eligible for Hoosier contingency. I just want to run a lap or two on them, to scrub them in before an autocross event next weekend and a National Tour the following week. I also want to see if the fender mods we've done are going to cause the 285mm tires to rub. Once we get the fenders right for these bigger tires on track I'll get some 285 Hoosier R6s coming for use at the rest of the track events for this car this year. This season the Hoosier A6 compound has heinous mod points (+13) vs the R6 (+10) road race compound, and the wear is worse.

    [U][B]Future TTD config:[/B][/U]
    [LIST]
    [*]TTE Base Points: 0
    [*]285 Tires 13
    [*]Hoosier R6 10
    [*]Air Intake 1
    [*]Headers+Cat+Catback 5
    [*]AST 4200s 3
    [*]Springs 2
    [*]Sway Bars 2
    [*]Added OS Giken LSD 3
    [*]Final Drive Ratio Change 0
    [*]Spherical RSM 0
    [*]Camber Plates 0
    [*]Motor and Transmission Mounts 0
    [*]COBRA Suzuka Race Seats 0
    [*]6-point FIA/SFI Racing Harnesses 0
    [*]4-Point Competition Roll Bar 0
    [*]Rolled fender lips/Fender Flares 0
    [*]Lightweight Battery 0
    [*]Sunroof removal and cover roof hole 0
    [*]Lightweight Flywheel 0
    [*]Non-metallic Replacement Suspension Bushings 0
    [*]Race Brake Pads 0
    [*][B]Total = 39 points[/B] (the limit for TTD)
    [/LIST]

    That's the setup (above) that we're aiming for for later in 2010, just within the limit of TTD. Can't do any aero, suspension or power mods to the car without moving up to TTC from there, of course.

    Cheers,
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:22 PM

    [B]A small update on the DSP car's progress[/B]: Matt and I worked on the car Tuesday night and got the rear bar installed and started on the LCA bushings. Pulled the alternator and had it tested, because I heard a crazy loud bearing noise. Turned out to test perfect, and silent, and both idler pulley bearings were shot. Got those yesterday from the dealer; easy fix.

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    Paul came by last night and we finished the LCA bushing install, and the old control arms were swapped out for new stock pieces. Good thing - the ball joints on the old LCAs were [I]totally shot.[/I] Clunk-clunk... lots of up/down movement. Installed E36 length end links as well, and adjusted the mounts on the AST struts lower, to clear the 285mm tires. Lots more inboard room now.

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    We also modified the existing Eibach poly front swaybar bushings (chamfered the edges, which were digging into the bend radius of the swaybar) and spaced the mounts down about 2mm, due to inherent bind that was in the setup after we installed it a week ago. This is something I've seen many times on poly swaybar bushings, and I used the same fix that has worked in the past. A swaybar should rotate freely with almost no resistance, with the end links disconnected. As installed, the front bar was totally locked up, which can add a lot of effective front spring rate. Its all fixed now. (I'll do a tech article on this someday, because its happened too many times).

    - Terry, did you get the PowerFlex Purple + Black design for your E46? ...Because that is the old design that PowerFlex has supposedly discontinued according to Bimmerworld (due to problems with it cracking). They sent me the stiffer, all black ones as a result.

    Fantastic! :confused

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    [I]As you can see we have the black & purple poly LCA bushings[/I]

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    [I]Getting the old bushings out & new ones in was a breeze, with a 12 ton press and the right cylinder diameter[/I]

    - Terry please tell me you'll have the diff in before the Tour!

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    I'm hoping these will make up for the lack of a real diff this weekend, but Dan from DiffsOnline shipped our OS Giken 3.38 diff out yesterday, so it should be installed before the Tour (along with a suite of poly bushings on the rear subframe; there is no diff mount poly bushing available, though)

    Cheers,

    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 04:23 PM
    [U][B]Update for Friday March 12, 2010:[/B][/U] Last week's thrash before the NASA event included a lot of late nights to complete the following work:

    [LIST]
    [*][URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Instructions/BMW-valve-cover-replacement/11548628_8DCna#813348984_wwDRb"]Valve cover replacement[/URL] - it was leaking, like all M54 valve cover gaskets do
    [*][URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Instructions/BMW-cooling-system-swap-E46/11548594_2Zvsu#813345553_bLMQg"]Cooling system replacement[/URL] - pre-emptive maintenance
    [*][URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Instructions/BMW-E46-Front-Lower-Control/11569291_8so77"]Front LCA and poly LCA bushing replacement[/URL]
    [*]Alternator testing and idler pulley replacement (both idler bearings were shot)
    [*][URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Instructions/Eibach-swaybar-installation/11286526_jw7Ka#813326328_8nddt"]Front swaybar endlink re-do and poly bushing mount tweaks[/URL] - the swaybar wouldn't rotate freely and was bound up. Not anymore. Added E36 endlinks for more tire clearance
    [*][URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Instructions/Eibach-rear-swaybar/11548514_4zKfG#813339782_ZZxy8"]Rear swaybar installation[/URL]
    [*][URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects/BMW-E46-fender-rolling/11548906_JtHpK#813371319_erMsW"]E46 fender rolling[/URL] - this was to fit the 18x10's and 265s for the track event. Just rolled the rears enough for these tires, for now.
    [/LIST]
    You can click on each subsection and see the work done in each. Some of it has step by step instructions or tips, most of it is pretty boring...

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    [I]Of course I didn't replace that sensor, and it leaked[/I]

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    SCCAForums Image SCCAForums Image

    Everything was wrapped up by 9:30 pm the Friday night before the race. Then I had to wash the car, apply decals, and load the trailer with the 330 and Amy's M3. We lacked 4" to get the 2nd car into the trailer (doh!) so she drove out to the event, following me in the trailer. Reconfiguration of the trailer is coming to allow the E36 and E46 to both fit.

    I'll talk about the NASA event in a separate post...
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