Once again I have to spend 10 minutes cleaning up a post that worked fine on half a dozen other forums. I have to go into HTML mode and add line breaks manually on every single post I put on this forum. My patience with the broken UBB code on SCCA Forums is wearing thin... its a big hot mess. Project Update for Dec 15, 2011:
Wow, long time no update here. Last entry was July!? That was right before we started de/reconstruction on our new shop here in Plano, TX. That gobbled up a few months of time, as did the wait for the new balancer we wanted to produce.
Long story there, but a prototype balancer was going to got thousands
so the car sat for a bit. Around November we checked some of our new OEM supply sources and found a stock replacement balancer for a very good price - less than half of what BMW wanted.
So we got the balancer, it looks great, and we put it on once the E46 was brought to the new shop. Fit great. AJ changed all the fluids in the car and we put in the normal Mobil1 sythetics into the "new" 2005 M54 motor for the first fire fire-up. Mobil1 and most synthetics is super
detergent and tend to clean out any built-up junk that may have been in the motor sat at a junkyard the past year or two (car it came from had a great CarFax with regular maintenance at a local BMW dealer so I wasn't worried). Motor turned over by hand nicely, so I figured it would start right up - which it did. So we fired it up and it sounded like sh!t!
Listen to this mess...
http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-E46-330Ci-DSP-Build/10265982_pxNvfP#1540658881_ZqFQGcg-A-LB = more pics and video from this track event
As you see in the video, I only had one lap without traffic, and that lap had two stupendous driving mistakes and it was a 2:07.9 lap, meh. I'm not happy with these lap times, but I never intended to run my quickest laps in the first session
in this car. It was the first session of the day and was VERY cold (34°F), there was moisture on the track from the previous night, the brand new "sticker" Hoosiers were still being scrubbed in, and brakes never really felt great (I found out later we had HP+ pads on there - WTF?). Still, that's 3 seconds faster than its previous best lap at ECR, which was a TTD record. So, its a start.
Other than the mediocre lap times in that first session, the car felt great. Motor was crisp, turn in was perfect, the AST 4200s soaked up the bumpiest parts of that track with ease, the OS Giken diff made it easy to drive out of corners, but the brakes got a little warm. Unfortunately I didn't make another
session in the BMW because it developed a coolant leak, which didn't start until I was already in the pits after this track session. A local racer (thanks, Kwan!) spotted a small trail of steam coming out of the front grill when I pulled into our paddock spot, as I was running up to the hot pits to switch cars and lead some lead-follow green group drivers. I stopped and popped the hood - Hmm, that's odd... just a tiny waft of steam.
We looked around, then he saw a tiny stream of water coming out of the bottom of the stock coolant reservoir. CRAP.The reservoir had moved under load, we think, and rubbed against a drive pulley - so it was done for the day after this one session. Oh darn... I had to drive the Mustang!
Amy and I both doubled-up on sessions in it, running in Yellow and Red, and I even did lead-follows for Green group several times in it. By days' end we had put two tanks of fuel through the Mustang and had a blast.Repair Track Issues Right: Last time the 330 and M3 are parked side-by-side... the M3 has gone to a new home in California
So we get the E46 back to the shop and Monday our tech AJ pulled the whole radiator/bracket/reservoir assembly out and apart and did indeed see some flex in the mounting. The reservoir and its mounting bracket were replaced with new items from BMW, less than $100, so no big deal. Everything was triple-checked and reinstalled and now, no flex. There's only about 1/2" clearance from this reservoir to the pulley, and with Hoosiers + the old bracket + enough cornering power I guess it was enough to let it move around and touch. Now we can yank on it and get no movement - something we'll check E46s for from now on. What's Next?
Just picked up a set of 285/30/18 Yokohama AD08s (see below, left), from someone's aborted E46 M3 STU build, that have a whopping 4 autocross runs on them. We'll put these on the 2nd set of D-Force 18x10s, for street use on this car. Its got room for 285s so it might as well use 285s, for track and street. The old 265/35/18 Yokohama A032s on that set of wheels are long since worn smooth, and driving the BMW on the street with these worn out tires in the rain yesterday was "a one way trip to Hoonville".
We're also going to re-do the exhaust and add a 3" high-flow catalyst to it, then get it re-inspected and put some street miles on this car. With the stock seats and steering wheel back in it is once again fun bombing around back and forth to work in (on my 6 mile commute) for Amy or me. It needs to be painted one color again, too.
The only other casualty at the track were a couple of center caps that melted (see above, right). Lost one on the E46 front and two more on the Mustang, both of which I was pushing the brakes on pretty good.
We had worked up a KILLER new build-sheet for TTD that included massive aero (+6 for "real" big front splitter and +4 for huge rear wing), with the switch to the uber-ringer 255/35/18 Hoosier R6 (-9) and swapping the stock airbox back on (-1). This tire was known to be as wide as the 275mm Hoosier, but was marked a 255. Tons of people built entire cars around this very tire, but 2 years later NASA finally made a ruling on this one specific Hoosier size and now its considered a 275mm tire, like it should be. So... damn! No big aero for this car in TTD. Oh well, at least I can keep the home-built cold air filter on there (and yes, I've asked my fab guy to finally make a real heat shield and better mount for it).
I had Hanchey drive the E46 when we were diagnosing the suspension clunk (which ended up being the bad LCAs) and he noted that the 2005 motor felt a lot
peppier than the 211 whp plot would otherwise indicate, which was a number from the old
100K mile 2001 M54. Amy said the same thing, "This car is making more power than the M3!" (which puts down 224 whp) Maybe they are right... it does
feel a bit more spirited than the old motor, but its been so long ago since I drove it with the previous M54, and I'm pretty ruined from driving the Mustang a lot (more than double the M54 power), so maybe I'll get another dyno pull done and see? This motor did have half the miles of the old one.
That's all for now... more soon