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Last Post 31 Jul 2012 11:47 PM by  Fair
Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car: BMW E30 V8
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Fair
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24 Nov 2009 08:21 AM

    ...or "How to build the perfect autox/track car for $2K"

    Nov 2nd Update: Starting the build thread for this project here on SCCA Forums, but it will be mirrored on several other forums. Feel free to ask questions in this thread, but PLEASE BE CONCISE and don't quote the entirety of one of my gigantic posts, or I'll trim/delete them. Thanks.

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    Inspiration for the look we're striving for on the Vorshlag "$2010 GRM Challenge car"

    Project Update # 1 - The Project Idea + Buying the Car: So I was on the phone with our ad guy at GRM recently and we got to talking about the various GRM hosted competition events. We discussed their UTCC event (Ultimate Track Car Challenge), which Vorshlag entered in 2008, and how extreme the entries have become (a $220,000 600hp GTP car won the 2009 UTCC event). I wasn't too keen on entering that again, but then he suggested the GRM $200X Challenge. Why doesn't Vorshlag build a car? I didn't think you guys wanted "shop built" entries? Sure, as long as you follow the same budgetary rules as other teams. Hmm...

    wrote:
    What is the GRM $2010 Challenge? A team builds a car with a budget of $2010 or less, then enters it in the Grassroots Motorsports annual event which consists of an autocross, a drag race, and a car show. Your best times in both competition events + your car show placing are factored and the winner is the team with the most points. Labor doesn't count against you so most teams use considerable fabrication, home brew engineering, and cleaver eBay buys to make for cool car concoctions. Every year the budget cap goes up by $1. Here's the 2009 rules: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/events/2009-challenge/rules/


    The Dirt E30 Team placed 3rd at the $2009 GRM Challenge in their turbocharged, box flared E30

    So... I started brainstorming some ideas with a few local gear heads and we came up with an outline that could potentially be a lot of fun: BMW E30 + V8 + wide wheels/tires/flares . We're already known for BMW's with V8 swaps, so why not do another one on the cheap? The Vorshlag LS1 powered E36 "Alpha car" also sold this week , and I already miss that car, so this E30 V8 project is a good way to begin the healing. :D

    Honestly, I've always wanted to build a GRM $200X Challenge car, but only if it could be fast as hell. We always had some crazy fast race car around the shop until now, so the timing is finally right. This ain't going to be like 24 hours of LeMons here... we wouldn't be wearing funny costumes or dolling up the vehicle like some clown car (although some GRM Challenge teams do "get in the spirit" like this - that's just not my bag, baby). GRM has recently updated the Challenge rules to avoid tube framed cars and have even closed the "Zamboni loophole", and the teams themselves can protest other teams for BS overspending now. They also allow for a few select safety upgrades that are outside the budget, such as a 4-point roll bar, harnesses, and even new OEM brake hoses to replace the old/rotted junk.

    Again, I only want to build a GRM Challenge car if it could be a legitimately fast track/auto-x car, and somehow tie-in with the Vorshlag business (maybe another V8 swap kit, based on things we learn in this project?). Hell, I'd even consider taking it to UTCC if it survives the $2010 Challenge. We already know that a lightweight BMW 3 series with a cool motor swap is fast, and with the right bits and tweaks it even handles and stops very well. We will have to build it on the cheap to meet the extremely low Challenge budget, using a lot of home built ingenuity and fabrication. That sure works for this crazy economy!

    The rules/points are somewhat biased towards the autocross results, but the drag strip times and car show results are still important. We'll focus mainly on the autocross performance and get it done early enough to test the crap out of the setup. Then we will "make it light", then "make it pretty", and at some point get it to the drag strip to test the standing 1/4 miles times, too. Reliability will be a very high priority task - I hate race cars that break!

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    L: Cleaning underhood. R: "Uhh... we're gonna pass on this suggestion"

    This array of events and skills needed to build a GRM Challenge car fits my personal background (drag racing/autocrossing/fabrication), as well as many on the talented crew of volunteers we've assembled for the Team. After our first meeting this week I'll post up the names of the Vorshlag Challenge Team and some of their backgrounds. Hell, we might even have a better team name by then. ;)

    [COLOR="Red wrote:
    Want to get in on the insanity? If you live in the North Dallas, TX area, think you have the talent to help build/paint/tune a V8 swapped E30, and are interested in volunteering your own blood/sweat/tears into this harebrained project, please drop me a PM. This is a purely volunteer effort, and this project won't be worked on by any paid Vorshlag employees. Our first team meeting is Thursday Nov 5th, 2009, @ 7 pm here at the Vorshlag World Headquarters (ha!), in the north Dallas area. We're going to meet to work on the car regularly on Thursday nights 2-4 times a month, and at least one Saturday a month. As an added incentive, we will hold a driver's shootout in the E30 among the active team builders at the time of its completion, to find the GRM event auto-x driver. Only team members that have "put in the hours" are eligible for the driver's shootout. Or if your name is "Lewis Hamilton".[/COLOR]

    Here's the rust-free $500 Craigslist find we are starting with:

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    L: McCall, Amy and I looked at and paid for the car in the dark (never smart). R: We dragged the car to the shop the next morning

    Its a 1986 BMW 325 coupe that doesn't quite run (fuel leak and dead battery), which looks a little raggedy, but has a partially restored interior with new carpet, seats, door panels, even a new dash. That's a lot of work, and it looks so nice that we're leaving much of the interior in place - which was not what we had intended to do. We were going to gut the car to the bone to get the lightest weight possible, but now we might leave it semi-street worthy, unlike the Alpha car. The stock 2.5L motor and 5-spd will be sold off to recoup some room in the budget, and we've already had some interest in that. This little gem was located about 8 miles away (sometimes you get damn lucky on CraigsList!), and team member, long-time Vorshlag Tester, and Z3M-LS1 builder Jason McCall and I dragged it to the Vorshlag shop using his truck and trailer.

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    L: We lucked out with this pristine/restored interior and cool seats. R: McCall fixing the hood release cable (so we could finally see the engine!)

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    L: Much of the car is disassembled. R: It cleaned up OK, but the paint is totally fried and the body is banged up

    In the next thread update I will detail the drivetrain choices we're looking at using in the E30. Its not going to be the typical V8 we're known for here at Vorshlag, as the $2010 budget does not allow for an LS1 swap, not even close. Instead we're looking at lower cost V8 motors from 1990's sports/luxury cars. Don't try to guess what we'll use, because we don't even know for sure yet, but the 3 potential engine choices we've narrowed it down to are all very cool engines. I will also explain some of the other non-V8 motor choices and cars we explored, but dropped, and why. Just wait for Project Update #2 , later this week.

    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:23 AM
    [U][B]Project Update #2:[/B][/U] The first Team Meeting last night (Nov 6) went great (5 of the 7 initial team members were able to make it) and we fleshed out a good plan for the entire project. Costas and others on the team talked me out of even more "crazy" (like Lexan, custom intake/throttle bodies, E36 5-lug spindles swap, and some other unnecessary mods I had talked about early) and its going to be a very reasonable, and much more believable build now. 8) We're aiming for an [I]honest-no-bullsheet![/I] street car, which should still be a very capable track, auto-x or drag strip terror, and hopefully much easier on the eyes and engineering brain than some other low cost swaps out there.

    The guys did the gearing and tire height calculations and we settled on a final drive ratio (3.23), tire (275/35/15 Hoosier), wheels (lightweight steel 15x10"), and transmission (T5). Came up with a motor plan, suspension plan, autocross test plan, aero plan, and agreed upon the flares and some other subtle body mods. We're are also keeping the full interior, fully functional doors, and all OEM windows. Why not do all the weight savings possible? Well, for one, this car's interior is too nice, and for two, the damn thing is already lighter than we had expected.

    Here's the first bit of useful tech for the project - the starting weight:

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    This 2436 pound weight is with everything stock, at full weight, A/C installed, full interior, heavy stock exhaust, etc. Well, it does have a lighter than stock battery, and the radio is missing, but that's it. Big cast iron straight six isn't super light, and we've got several weight savings mods in the works, so we think we'll meet or exceed our target weight even with the interior and glass.

    Next, after two weeks of hounding him via phone and email, I finally got a local guy selling a complete VH45 motor on CraigsList to meet us this afternoon. Got lucky again, and it was only 15 minutes from Dave's house. We rolled up, unloaded the engine hoist, grabbed the motor and the [I]wheelbarrow full of parts[/I] (which included all of the accessories, ECM, full harness, and everything he had partially disassembled), paid the guy $60 cash, and off we went! :D He said he only paid $90 for the entire package from a local "U-Pull-It" discount salvage yard, so he didn't lose much money when he canceled his VH45 + 240SX swap.

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    [I]L: VH45 longblock + alt + intake was 430 pounds (not bad). R: Complete motor + accessories was 514 lbs (sprockets, covers, balancer, and accessories were heavy!)[/I]

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    [I]L: Exhaust manifold was a bit portly. R: Entire engine is 28" wide, but I think we can trim that considerably by relocating the oil filter. [/I]

    Worst case - this motor has some terminal flaw, or ends up being too big to fit this chassis, and its only used for mock-up purposes. At $60 it was well worth it, and the harness and ECM are a big bonus if we end up going the VH45 route. Next week we're focusing on weighing several other major components from the car and getting the old motor running. Then we'll yank the stock drivetrain (to sell it) and mock-up the VH45 for the first time...

    More soon.
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:24 AM

    question: I'd be really interested to see the weight difference. The M20 isn't nearly as heavy as a M30 from my experience lugging the parts around, and I've never seen an actual accurate weight measurement of the M20. If it's possible, please weigh the old engine/tranny combo?

    Of course the old BMW M20 + trans will be weighed. For reference here's a weight on a BMW M42 + Getrag from an E36 4 banger, and an LS1 + T56 drivetrain that went back into that car (E36 LS1 swap). We haven't had an M50/52 car yet to weigh, but I've seen pictures of M50 weights taken like this that were within 10 pounds of the LS1 motor:

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    [I]L: BMW 1.8L M42 + Getrag = 427 lbs. The [URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects/BMW-E36-LS1-Beta-Project/Cimg5231/142053393_itd4w-L.jpg"]trans alone was 68 lbs[/URL]. R: Aluminum 5.7L LS1 + T56 6-spd = 609 lbs[/I]

    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:25 AM
    [U][B]Project Update #3:[/B][/U] I worked for about 6 hours on the E30 Saturday (Nov 14) and got a lot of little stuff done. Beautiful weather, nicest day of the year to date. Measured the starting ride height & camber at each corner, track width front and rear (63" and 63-1/2" from outer sidewall to sidewall - that's narrow!) and then measured a bunch of other random stuff. Once it was on the lift I cut off the rotted OEM muffler to keep from banging my head on it, as it was hanging down about 20 degrees from horizontal.

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    [I]Yummy - a diff leak we'll surely have to address. Looks like fairly new Voughtland springs and KYB Gas-A-Just shocks[/I]

    The goal became "get some weight off" and we did. Thanks to Paul M for stopping by from 1-3 pm to help - we got the front and rear bumpers and supports off, all of the bumper trim pieces, and both horns. I also swept the bottom of the car free of cob webs (there were a LOT!) and blew out pounds of dirt and mud from the bumper areas.

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    [I]~78 pounds of crap removed[/I]

    Just for grins we test fit the 18x10s to the car, but I will say this one time: [B]we cannot afford to use the 18x10" wheels on the car for the GRM Challenge[/B]. Just wanted to get an idea of what a 10" wide wheel would look like. We're looking at lightweight steel circle track wheels for our final solution. So this was hardly the technical test fit that the car needs, just a quick "lets take a look" picture or two of the 18x10 D-Force wheels with 265/35/18 tires slid under the fenders of the E30 with the suspension near ride height. It looks like the flares we will end up with should only be 2-2.5" wide, which is manageable. This would put our track width on 10" wheels at around 67" wide - which is still pretty narrow (that's about what the E36 M3 is on stock wheels, which is a narrow car).

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    And here's a quick comparison of the E36 non-M 5-lug brakes to the E30 stuff.

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    [I]Our selection of cheap 15x10 steel wheels in 4x100 is "zero". The potential E36 5-lug swap opens up our wheel (and strut!) options considerably[/I]

    Once I got the old 14x6" E30 wheels back on I rolled it outside, washed the whole car including the newly revealed areas under the bumpers, and claybarred the hood, trunk and a fender (didn't help - that paint is dead!). Rolled it back in, stored all of the removed parts, and put the 1 full pound of nuts and bolts that were removed today in the "used bolt box".

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    [I]The bumperless look isn't terrible, but we'll still cover these areas up with some smooth sheet metal - aluminum or steel[/I]

    All told [B]we pulled nearly 80 pounds out of the car[/B] today. Each aluminum bumper was 15-18 pounds each, the bumper shocks were fairly heavy, the muffler was over 10 pounds, and it just all added up. [B]Weight is now down to 2359 lbs[/B] (that's already 15 pounds lighter than the 4 cylinder '91 318is was when fully prepped for STS), so a 2300 pound goal should be achievable. Good stuff.

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    [I]We re-weighed the car for all of the doubters... [/I]

    Until next time,
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:26 AM
    [U][B]Update for Nov 16, 2009:[/B][/U] Got bored and yanked the hood off, plus all of the associated crap that goes with it. I had a feeling that the hood would be heavy so we have an alternative solution in the works. My guess was 45-50 pounds for the stock hood. I know, that seems crazy, right?

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    Stock hood and brackets/hinges/bolts came in at 44 pounds (39 + 5).

    Yesterday morning Costas found a smokin deal on a new set of circle track 15x10" "lightweight" steel wheels in the right bolt pattern and offset and those should be here next week, along with a free 275/35/15 Hoosier that Chris rummaged up for us (it was a throw away - heat cycled out). I'll mount that tire and we can start doing wheel and tire mockups in the next 1-2 weeks, then I can cut the fenders and get started on the flares.

    Next up - getting the stock drivetrain to run and then yank it out...
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:26 AM
    [U][B]Project Update # 4:[/B][/U] That previous update was small, but this one is a biggie. We had the whole team of 7 Project members over last night (Nov 19) and knocked out a big chunk of work. I had the car on the lift, the hood off and pizza on the way by the time most of the guys showed up. But just 30 minutes earlier Chris and I fired up the M20B27 for the first time since we picked up the car:

    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI4aHko6Lek"]SCCAForums Image[/URL] SCCAForums Image
    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI4aHko6Lek"][I]video: the M20B27 engine starts, and runs great.[/I][/URL]

    Don't know what changed, but after sitting 3 weeks and with a fresh battery it cranked right up. Hell yea. So... anyone that needs a good running M20B27 engine, transmission, wiring harness and DME its for sale! $500 and its yours. :)

    When the gang all showed up, and had injected enough pizza to kill a horse, we tore into the car with the goal of getting the stock drivetrain out [I]intact[/I]. I couldn't remember if the front end came off as completely as the E36, so we wasted a little time trying to unbolt a welded on front radiator support, but eventually we figured out what had to be done - the drivetrain, crossmember, and front suspension needed to drop out from the bottom. No worries, we could raise the car up on the lift.

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    It was a frenzy of activity with as many as 6 people working underneath, on top (sometimes on a ladder), and inside the car at the same time. The car was grimy and greasy underneath and once we started unhooking hoses it was leaking fluids of every color. There weren't enough drip pans in Texas to catch all of that mess.

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    All sorts of engine bay clutter was pulled out - radiator, electric fan, condenser, charcoal canister, fuel filter, washer fluid reservoir, a/c lines and compressor, overflow tank, power steering reservoir, air filter assembly, and more. Once the bundle of engine wiring was unplugged and removed, it was time for the driveshaft, body mounted shifter housing extension, transmission wiring, steering shaft coupling, brake lines, clutch hydraulic slave, trans crossmember and and K-member bolts. Then we removed the strut top nuts and raised the car off the engine and K-member...

    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCihDbGFh94"]SCCAForums Image[/URL] SCCAForums Image
    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCihDbGFh94"][I]video: Up up and away....[/I][/URL]

    Once the body was out of the way we hooked up the engine hoist and got the engine and trans into another bay, out of the way. While we were at it we weighed it on the corner weight scales. The M20B27 + 5-spd was 497 pounds.

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    Chris pulled the rotting transmission tunnel insulation mat off, as this tunnel might going to need some "persuasion" to fit the transmission and bellhousing we have in mind. We took some measurements and the framerail to framerail distance on the E30, at the bottom where its tightest, was 27". The VH45 engine is 28" wide, so it won't be going in from the bottom for mockup...

    It was a good 2 hours of work, and everything came out cleanly and quickly, [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_YN_ZjGWxY"]not bad for a bunch of E30 noobs[/URL]. This weekend I'll get the engine bay, old motor, and K-member pressure washed and cleaned up. Then we'll drop the VH45 motor in from the top and see if it fits... if that doesn't work we've got back-up motor plans that look to be more exciting than even this DOHC V8. Stay tuned...
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:28 AM
    [U][B]Project Update #5:[/B][/U] I tinkered with the E30 for several hours Saturday and some more hours Sunday, getting it cleaned up after we pulled the motor last Thursday evening. This was after looking at a car with Team Member Chris on Saturday morning and after working half the day on [URL="http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?p=54462#post54462"]Team Member Paul's race car project[/URL] on Sunday - which made for two long days, and sore arms, hands and back, but I got a lot accomplished over the weekend. It helped that the weather was [I]perfect [/I]for both days.

    Saturday I fashioned a rolling chassis stand for the front of the E30 (K-member and suspension were removed) and with Amy's help pushed the E30 outside. Laid out all of the parts we had removed from the car, plus the wheels, and the [B]grease-caked[/B] K-member, and fired up the pressure washer. After 4 hours had disappeared I ended the day covered head to toe in the nastiest funk from the engine bay. Have you had to take GoJo hand cleaner into the shower before? My face and arms were just filthy, but at least the car was clean. :D

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    The pressure washing started underhood first with just water, then I moved onto the K-member and wheels. That K-member was absolutely [I]CAKED [/I] in greasy muck. Cleaned everything within an inch of its life. Then degreased the engine bay and the other bits, and pressure washed it all again. Then I laid on the concrete and pressure washed the nasty looking diff and rear subframe, all four wheel wells, and the underside of the car where I could get to it. Then I hand scrubbed the engine bay with a brush and Dawn soap, then pressure washed it again. Then started with my secret detailing techniques (that mostly involve a lot of elbow grease) and got it all shining.

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    After all that, the 23 year old engine bay looks pretty damn good. Sunday I removed several brackets that protruded out from the fender structures towards the engine, ground the areas fairly smooth, and cleaned up the mess that made.

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    The K-member cleaned up nicely - you can eat off of it all now. On Sunday Amy and I bolted the crossmember and stock suspension back in place, then the front wheels, to make it easier to wheel the car around the shop. We also need the K-member in place for Q45 motor mockups later this week.

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    The inside of the fender wells cleaned up pretty well, but I'll attack them more diligently later. You can see a big Hoosier tire on the background on that last picture above, and we'll show that and the new (cheap steel) race wheels in the next update. They just showed up late today!

    On Monday night (tonight) we ended up with 3 Team members at the shop in the early evening, a bunch of new parts had arrived, so we had an impromptu work night for a couple of hours. McCall's cousin David was in town and loved the E30. He's a paint and body man and BMW owner, and was quickly drafted to the team - he's the tall guy in the black Vorshlag.com shirt. Jason and David removed the LF fender (that was some fun!), which was pretty mangled by a previous owner, and David took the body hammer & dollies and worked out two major dents in no time flat. Thanks!

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    More soon...
    Fair
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    24 Nov 2009 08:29 AM
    [U][B]Project Update #6:[/B][/U] Sorry for the double update on the same night, but I didn't get a chance to update after the weekend cleaning thrash and we had an unexpected work night tonight, on a Monday. I broke it up because they were totally different aspects of the project... this is the [B]Wheel and Tire and Flare update[/B] which many of you have been asking for. :)

    I got back to the shop late Friday afternoon from dropping off and picking up parts only to find four big boxes from Aero Racing Wheels had arrived. This was the 15x10" steel "lightweight" wheels that someone on Corner-Carvers found on Aero's "overstock closeout" web page for $50/each, then Costas noticed and called me about early one morning, and I bought them minutes later. $50 each for chrome 15x10" wheels is insane, but its totally legit. First thing we did this evening was open a box and weigh a wheel...

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    The observant ones here will notice - "hey, those are 5 lug GM pattern wheels!" Right you are. We had [I]planned [/I]on using custom built, steel 15x10" wheels made with the BMW 4 x 100mm pattern, but the costs on custom built steel wheels exceed our budget constraints. Hey, I'd use D-Force 18x10s if we had room in the budget, but you gotta do what you gotta do. So yea, we have to do a 5-lug swap to make them fit, but we managed to get the parts cheaply.

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    We rummaged around the junk yards and bought some 5-lug E36 non-M hubs E36/rotors/calipers for [I]dirt[/I] (who wants the non-M stuff, anyway?) and even found some used E36 front struts for a song, so we're going to swap to a 5-lug and E36 brakes/front struts. Opens up a lot more options to us, really, as the E30 front suspension is kind of an albatross. The E30 front strut housing is welded to the spindle, so your strut choices are [I]very [/I]limited. We really didn't want to go to 5-lugs, but it allows us to use inexpensive and plentiful GM pattern circle track wheels, and this was cheaper in the end.

    We were excited when we saw the wheel weights at only [B]21.5 pounds [/B]because many steel wheels in this size can exceed 25-30 pounds (the D-Force 18x10" is 19 pounds, for comparison, so its not [I]that [/I]much heavier). Aero makes this "85 series" steel wheel for circle track cars with a thinner gauge material, but its still rated for both dirt and asphalt (high grip) use on big 3500 pound cars, so our little 2300 pound E30 should be no problem. The 5 x 4-3/4" (120.6mm) GM bolt circle is [I]close [/I]to the BMW 5 x 120 mm bolt circle, so with the E36 5-lug swap it should work well enough. Normally I would never recommend using these differing bolt pattern wheels & hubs together, but for auto-x speeds (and our extreme budget constraints!) its "safe enough". We don't even have bumpers, so its not like this will be a daily driver or W2W race car, you know?

    Team member Chris also got his hands on a [I]free [/I]275/35/15 Hoosier A6, which is totally worn out but good for mock-up testing. We weighed and measured it too.

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    The 275 looks comically wide next to the E30's 195/60/14 tires... but remarkably is almost the exact same height.

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    [I]Left: side-by-side comparison. Right: E36 rotors/hubs/calipers fit within the 15x10" wheel[/I]

    So once we weighed the wheel and tire it was time for some mockups on the car, of course. McCall got the RF wheel in place with a tiny spacer and the rear went on with none, so we got the backspace almost dead nuts perfect on the first shot. Damn, we're good.... :D

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    [I]Left: Bolted the wheel on the rear with no spacer and it has a fingers width to the control arm. Perfect. Center: Rear wheel sticks out ~1.5". Right: Front wheel sticks out about 2"[/I]

    The wheel is held on with one lone stud and lug nut at each corner, only good enough for mockup (we haven't done the 5-lug swap yet). While McCall and David worked on the LF fender repairs, Matt and I started mocking up flares for the right side wheels. The finished mockups looked better than any of us had imagined, but we're in for some fun turning these into steel! I'll go mount the 275mm tire on one of the wheels using the tire machine at a friend's shop this week, then we can do the 5-lug swap and mount the wheel/tire combo on each corner "for real".

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    [I]Matt and I made a new rear fender mockup in corrugated[/I]

    Once we get the car at ride height I can then start cutting the stock fenders for tire clearance and then start looking for sheet steel at the scrap yard to make the flares out of. Someone showed me a trick to make the edges of box flares have perfectly rounded corners, which also gives you a structure to build off of, so I'm going to try this technique on this car.

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    [I]So far so good... the steel versions get started soon[/I]

    As great as the wheel and flare mockups looked, David found a picture of an E30 he built previously that looked so amazing we ignored the wheels. He gave us some incredible ideas for front and rear bumper covers that cost under $30/each. I'm not allowed to share more than that for now, so I'll just end this update with the usual "more soon..."
    Fair
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    01 Dec 2009 11:10 AM
    [U][B]Project Update # 7:[/B][/U] Here's the Q45 motor test fits that Chris and I did last Saturday. We got the motor dropped in and we're moving on to the transmission next.

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    The big vacuum brake booster has to go, but the motor will fit.

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    [I]Going in....[/I]

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    [I]VH45DE in place on the K-member.[/I]

    Motor will move back several more inches when the brake booster is removed (manual brakes - here we go). Lots of little stuff left to do, but that's all we're going to bore you with on the motor for a while. We'll post more pics once we've got a running motor in the car.

    Between some junkyard trips on Saturday, some other distractions on Friday, and completely losing Sunday, we didn't have time get to the 5-lug/E36 non-M front suspension swap done, but we should be able to tackle that later this week. Two more sets of free/used 15" tires should be arriving later this week from a corner carvers member, and we had another free set of E36 spindles/brakes/rack get dropped off from a bimmerforums member cleaning out his storage unit - another "its going in the dumpster if you don't want it" offer. Once we get these bits installed we can finally move forward on proper fitting of the wheels & tires, and then make the hub-centric spacers/adapters.

    Friday I helped Project Team member McCall on a Kirk 4-point roll bar install into his E30. We had a track event on Monday and he really wanted to get some harnesses installed in the car before then, and I just wanted to see how it fit. Using a lift made it so much easier but he still spent most of the day getting it all wrapped up cleanly. Lots of test fitting, trial and error, and fighting with the seats to get them back in place. I will admit that removing and installing the front race seats is a bit tiring, due to the way I built the seat brackets when we owned the car, heh. The installed bar looks so good we might add one to our Challenge car (this is one of the few safety items we can add that doesn't count against budget):

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    [I]Kirk Racing 4-point bar installed. Couldn't have fit better if it was custom built on site[/I]

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    [I]A before and after weight of his car, an ST prepped '91 318is[/I]

    As you can see the 4-point bar added 62 pounds to the car so we'd have to see how that impacts the final weight target on the $2010 E30. During the install we weighed the back seats and the upper and lower bolsters are 29 pounds, not including the sound mat underneath. Since the back seat becomes useless with the bar installed, we could keep it out for only a net gain of about 30 pounds. (McCall has to keep the seats in place due to ST rules)

    More soon...
    Fair
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    18 Dec 2009 10:28 AM
    [U][B]Update for Dec 18, 2009:[/B][/U] We got some hacked-up E30 M3 fenders installed last night (local BMWCCA club racer Greg Snyder gave them to us since they aren't class legal for his M3 anymore):

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    [B]We won't likely use these M3 front fenders in the final build [/B]- we just wanted to see how well they fit, how much additional front tire clearance they gave us, and to use them for a template to make our more exaggerated box flares we'll need to clear the 10" wheels. Greg stopped by and shared a wealth of E30 knowledge with us, giving us all sorts of good ideas and offering up some potentially nice horse trades on parts with us, between our GRM car and the LeMons E30 he's building.

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    [I]25 year old seam sealer can be pretty hard. A chisel and hammer knocked it loose[/I]

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    [I]Team member David R gave us this idea and it worked great! A damn sight better than the hideous chrome bumpers that this early E30 had stock[/I]

    Above are pics of the E36 non-M bumper cover that was donated. The car had been wrecked so the bumper beam was trashed. I took out the beam and just cut/trimmed/grafted the E36 bumper cover to fit the contours of the E30. It fits pretty well, as you can see below. A brand new E36 non-M bumper cover from Certifit is $24.95, so we might even spring for a new one if we have room left in the budget. :)

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    [I]Cleaning up the E36 non-M suspension bits - they were somewhat rusty and the threads all had to be re-tapped[/I]

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    [I]E30 bits came off and E36 parts went back on in no time[/I]

    Yes, before you sharp eyed readers cry foul, we've [I]temporarily [/I]thrown some used AST E36 struts on the front (just so we can roll it around the shop), along with some junkyard sourced E36 non-M spindles, rotors, calipers, lower control arms. The [B]ASTs on the front won't fit within the budget, of course[/B], so we're looking for a cheap set of E36 Bilstein Sports. Unfortunately many people selling used Bilsteins on eBay and elsewhere on forums want "crack money" for their used struts, often times [I]more than they cost new. [/I]This does not make sense, but I guess some people are just very attached to their old things. :) We'll find something appropriate, eventually. We do have some old, used-up, stock Sachs E36 front struts we can use, if we have to. Whatever we use will get a cheap, home built coil-over conversion. We've already got the used coilover springs on the car we'll use in the final build, just need the right E36 struts to hack up.

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    Note: A straight [B]E36 front suspension swap is not the perfect solution for an E30[/B], however, as it moves the front wheel rearward inside the fender opening by over an inch. This makes tire clearance worse, and loses a good bit of positive caster. I am working on a tech article that will explain all of this in more detail. We're working on a solution - its not finished yet. And we can cut the fender openings however we want on this car, too. Don't take these early pictures as proof that an E36 suspension swap onto an E30 is fool proof and a perfect solution to the goofy, one-piece E30 spindle+hub+strut or an expensive 5-lug E30 M3 spindle swap - again, its not perfect.

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    [I]Finally have the rear lowered. DME + harness = 8.7 lbs[/I]

    We haven't tackled the 5-lug rear conversion yet, but we have a solution, and have the custom-built slide hammer hub removal tool (thanks Teucci!) needed to extract the correct rear hubs (Z3 or 318ti) at the junkyard. We did slap in some shorter springs in the rear and its finally got the right stance and spring rate to match the front. The Motronic DME for the M20B27 + the entire engine harness was removed last night (which will be sold with the old engine + trans) and now we're ready to tackle the engine install and all of that associated fun. More soon on that!
    RACERSD2
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    26 Feb 2010 07:46 PM
    This sounds like a fun swap. Very very cool
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:51 PM
    [B][U]Project Update for Feb 5, 2010:[/U][/B] We had a group of 4 of us working on the GRM $2010 E30 last night, including new team member Derek! He stopped by the shop yesterday to sell us some engine parts needed for the V8 swap, fell in love with the little E30, and now he's on board. This project seems to be a magnet for local car guys!

    The main item on the night's agenda was to finish our E36 front suspension/brake/5-lug swap. We spent the entire evening mocking up, measuring and installing control arms and spindles to try to fix the "altered wheelbase" issue that accompanied our E36 front suspension swap onto the E30 chassis. We were told to try early E36 spindles with late LCAs, so we tried that - and a hullva lot more permutations.

    We didn't find the magic combination that allows an E36 spindle + strut to be used on the E30 chassis - because we feel that there is no magic bullet. The "Easy 5-lug and E36 strut swap!" theory is a myth. Check out these pics and I'll explain further.

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    In the pictures above you an see the E36 spindle, brakes, and E36 coilover strut (not our final strut solution for the $2010 budget - just an interim AST coilover we had laying around until we found a cheaper solution!) installed onto the E30 - and the massive alteration in wheelbase. This tiny stock 205/60/15 tire and stock 15x7 E36 "bottlecap" wheel tire is rubbing like crazy at the back of the wheel arch and inner sheetmetal when turned, at this lowered ride height. Of course we had the maximum offset on the rear LCA bushings... we ran out of room there long ago.

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    This tire rub issue is because the front wheel has been moved rearward by over an inch, and is interfering with the fender opening and even the inner sheetmetal and unibody. It will have changed the caster in a bad way as well. Well, damn that...

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    Here you can see the various "non-M" Lower Control Arms (LCA) available on the E30, E36 and E46 chassis. We've tested the E30 M3 and E36 M3 LCAs and they all look very similar, but will round up examples of these M versions (all on cars in the parking lot including Matt's '95 M3, my '97 M3 and an E30 M3 we can borrow). All of the E30 and E36 LCAs we measured were [I]IDENTICAL. [/I]To the mm. The "A" distance was the same on all of the E30 and E36 arms we tested, with only the E46 arm having a different "B" number (1" longer). The hypotenuse (and any fore-aft offset of the spindle mount) was also the exact same between all E30 and E36 LCAs we tested too - so the differing part numbers between early and late E36 LCAs seemed to be only cosmetic in nature.

    We still installed and test fit wheels with all of these LCAs, "just in case" and there was no difference in the wheelbase issue, of course. The E46 LCA was indeed longer, but this only caused a huge amount of negative camber, and didn't affect the caster/wheelbase issue at all.

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    [B]What's the solution? [/B]How can you use E36 suspension parts in an E30 and keep the wheel centered in the wheel opening? Well I'm fairly certain [B]there's not going to be a solution that uses factory spindles and control arms.[/B] That parts-bin solution seems to be a total myth.

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    If you look closely at where the LCA mounts to the spindle on an E36 and E30, there lies the problem. On the E30, where the spindle and strut tube are one piece (a retarded and very limiting design) there's no room to get to the top of the LCA ball joint mounting nut... so this mounting hole its moved rearward on the spindle by about an inch compared to the E36. On the E36, the strut un-bolts from the spindle, so since yoiu can gain access to it they have moved the lower mounting hole on the spindle to [I]almost [/I]right under the strut axis itself, and when this spindle is used on an E30 its going to pull the wheel backwards about an inch. Bad.

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    [I]Notice the offset from the strut axis to the spindle mount on the E30. On an E36 this is very different[/I]

    We're going to try to make or modify one of the many stock steel Lower Control Arms to allow the E36 spindle and brakes fit. Why? Well we [B]REALLY [/B]need the 5-lug pattern from the E36 bits, to be able to use the cheap GM 5-lug pattern circle track wheels we scored (new 15x10's for $50 each don't exist for 4-lug BMW pattern), which will give us a grip advantage with some used 275/35/15 Hoosiers. Also, the cheap-to-free used E36 spindles and brakes are a big upgrade over the E30 bits (11.5" diameter E36 brake rotor vs 10.5" from the E30). Lastly, there are TONS of low cost, used E36 struts out there, but decent/used/cheap E30 strut [I]inserts [/I]are few and far between.

    We'll include these pictures and more detail on our final solution later, in a full blown tech article. There's got to be an affordable way to run E36 suspension on an E30, and by damn, we're going to find it.

    Stay tuned...
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:53 PM
    The '96 M3 Lower Control Arms showed up, thanks to a cool BimmerForums user, and they look great.

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    They are actually going to help... it might not be enough different to [I]completely [/I]fix the wheelbase problem, but it might be enough with the shorter 275/35/15 Hoosiers we are using.

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    The plan is to put these on the car Thursday night and test it. If its not enough we'll make some LCAs...
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:53 PM
    [U][B]Project Update for Feb 18, 2010:[/B][/U] With last week's Thursday work night snowed out (we had over 12.5" of the white stuff - a 24 hour record for Dallas) and some missed work nights over the holidays, the team was getting itchy. We had 6 of the $2010 Team members here Thursday night to turn wrenches on the E30 again - it was bedlam! :D I'm behind on posting pics so here goes:

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    [I]Chris and Paul pressing in the '95 LCAB bushings. We might go back with poly or Nylon (we'd machine them to save $). The "composite" bushings (aka: wood shim!) had to go [/I]

    We had 2 different teams working on different things to stay busy, and in less than 2 hours we had the pair of '96 M3 LCAs on, new offset '95 M3 bushings (eBay) in the LCAB "lollipops" in, the E36 steering rack installed, with trial fits along the way. We also decided to up the scheduled "first test" date by 3 months, including some [B]road course testing[/B] (more on that at the bottom).

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    [I]Costas, Dave and Derek thrashed on the LCA's and E36 steering rack[/I]

    The old E30 steering rack brackets were bent up pretty well. Once we finalize the up/down location we're going to beef up the lower mount with some steel. Hopefully this will then withstand the higher cornering loads of 275mm Hoosiers at high speed track events.

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    [I]The rack mounts were cleaned and straightened[/I]

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    The E36 rack has about 1/2" gap to the factory E30 mounts. This is nice - it will allow us to shim the rack up/down to correct for bump steer[/I]

    The holes on the E36 rack lined up perfectly with the E30 brackets, and the end-to-end length was fairly close to the E30 rack. The E36 rack moves the power steering hose ports to the outside of the rack, away from the V8 motor we're adding. Its also a lot faster ratio rack than anything that came in an E30 - and was a freebie! A cool customer who had swapped in a Z3 rack into his E36 track car donated this well used (275K mile!) E36 325is rack to the cause. Don't let the cleanliness fool you - that's just my pressure washing and OCD detailing on what was a dirty old rack. :p

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    [I]The '96 LCAs on and the rack in place[/I]

    The wheel has indeed moved forward, but as expected after reading the great write-ups on these swaps on R3vlimited forums, this is far from perfect. The right fix probably does involve E36 M3 spindles, but we cannot and will not do that for this project car. Why? It will pound our budget, and doesn't fit the theme for this car - a fast car built with cheap parts that nobody wants.

    Going to E36 M3 spindles mean we'd need M3 rotors, calipers, and more. We're not going to even try to pull that one over. The two sets of E36 non-M spindles/rotors/brakes we've picked up were free because [I]nobody wants them[/I], and that's why we're going to use them. The non-M E36 brakes are still 1" larger than the E30 4-lug garbage, so its still an upgrade. The stock 24" tall tires on the car now just barely clear the inner unibody structure at full lock, which they didn't even come close to doing before. If the shorter (275mm) Hoosiers can work like this, we'll keep it as-is. Otherwise we'll modify or build a LCA to correct for the E36 spindles in the E30 chassis. We came up with a game plan if this proves necessary, but we're going to move onto the rear 5-lug swap next, for now.

    more below...
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:54 PM
    And now some new parts we've acquired for the project:

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    [I]Derek scored this "sweet" eBay steering wheel. The 1.5" smaller diameter will help for auto-x and track use[/I]

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    [I]Derek also offered up a used steel Camaro driveshaft, which we'll use pieces of to make our driveshaft. Seats we're test fitting team members into[/I]

    So why are we worrying about better seats, now? Aren't the eBay reclining seats good enough for auto-x, drag race, and the car show? Well, these seats are as comfortable as sitting on a piece of plywood, and aren't up to snuff for track use, so they're going to be sold. Wait... did I just say TRACK USE? Why would we worry about that on a GRM $2010 Challenge car.

    Because [B]we're going to take the E30 to the 2010 GRM Ultimate Track Car Challenge (UTCC) in July.[/B]

    Assuming everything goes as planned, we can have the car completed in time, track worthy/safe, and maybe even sorted. We had planned on going to UTCC this year with team member Paul Costas' ungodly fast tube framed GT1 car (see below). He went to the UTCC in 2007 and was very fast, but plagued by a rushed build schedule. He wants a rematch at VIR's big course this year. So since we're towing to VIR, and have a 2 car trailer... why not take the $2010 GRM E30! It made sense to me, at least after a few beers.

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    [I]Costas' GT1 Camaro[/I]

    So yesterday I talked to the guys at GRM and they loved the idea. Since a $250,000 Daytona Prototype won last years UTCC, its getting a little beyond "grass roots". Maybe bringing a dose of reality in the form of a $2010 crap box will slightly realign UTCC with the magazine that sponsors it? And it'll be a damn good shake down for the October $2010 Challenge event. I mean, if the E30 survives 150+ mph straight away speeds and corners at VIR, then it should withstand 5 drag runs and a few minutes dorking around in the parking lot for the $2010 Challenge, right? :D

    We're going to throw down the gauntlet on the GRM forums and challenge more $2010 Challenge teams to drag their low-buck builds to the 2010 UTCC, and Per Schroeder has offered up [B]a free beer and a cheeseburger [/B]to the fastest $2010 Challenge car at UTCC. A beer [I]and [/I]a cheeseburger? I've done crazier things than this for less.

    So we're upping the attention on the E30 project to add more emphasis on road course safety and speed. We're going to add a Kirk Racing 4-point competition roll bar for sure (ordering 5 of these units on Monday for various Team members' cars, including my DSP E46 project and the E30), as well as a good FIA harness (G-Force Pro 6-point). Neither of these items will count against our budget, according to the folks at GRM - whew. But the seat will... so we have to sell the eBay seats in the car now on CraigsList for maximum $$$ to afford one racing seat we'll need. The Pate swap meet is coming up so we'll be trolling the aisles for a good deal on an aluminum Kirkey or UltraShield seat, or maybe even a composite road race seat from Sparco or Cobra? We can only dream. :D

    The car has to pass NASA tech inspection before it can run at UTCC, so we'll try to finish it sooner than originally planned so we can run it at a local NASA Texas Time Trial event, and get a full tech inspection and a log book issued before we drag it to VIR in July. This moves up the schedule and ups the ante considerably, but our $2010 budget isn't going to change. Can we do it? Can we make a safe, sorted track car for $2000 that isn't embarrassingly slow? We'll see. We'd be happy if we go to UTCC and beat the bottom 3rd of the field, but even those cars are going to be stupid fast and have [I]at least [/I]$30-40K+ in their construction. Time will tell if we bit off more than we can chew...

    After a noted engine builder stopped by last weekend and checked out our motor, the horsepower plans have ratcheted up a bit. He knows these motors better than almost anyone on the planet, had some really good low-cost ideas, and we're going to follow his advice. We aren't sharing ANYTHING about the motor until its in the car and running. The oil pan we need (and have horse traded 3 levels deep to get!) is arriving this week, then we can finally do our mockups in the car with the actual oil pan and trans we're running for the Challenge event. We've already done drivetrain mock-ups with.... another trans.

    No more details - I've already over-shared, so I'll stop there. Back to to the shop to thrash on my DSP E46. We spent a couple grand yesterday buying parts for that car, and I need to put the mountain of parts I already have here now to get ready for what's inbound. Then hopefully I'm going target shooting with McCall (haven't done that in 3 years). Guns and cars - not a bad way to spend a Saturday!

    Stay tuned for more.
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:55 PM
    [U][B]Project Update for Mar 5, 2010:[/B][/U] Wow, we haven't had an update since early February!? Believe it or not the GRM team has met every week and worked on the E30, and I burned the entire weekend last Saturday and Sunday, mocking up and building motor mounts and a transmission crossmember. The final parts are done and look great, if I say so myself. Of course I cannot show any of this...

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    [I]These pictures don't show much detail on purpose... and that's a borrowed trans.[/I]

    Last night we pulled the mockup drivetrain out, removed the borrowed trans, and started to tear down the engine for the last time. The modified oil pan was cleaned (yuck! it was like mud in there), the intake manifold was disassembled and cleaned, injector seals were checked and oiled, connecting rod and thrust bearing clearances were checked and looked great, and we started to button it all back up for the last time. Since we're not revealing the motor we're using just yet (be patient!), that's all I can say about that, so I will discuss some of the other mods we're working on.

    [B]More on the 5-lug swap:[/B] We need the 5x120 mm 5-lug to be able to use GM pattern 15x10" steel wheels. The front E36 non-M spindle and brake parts we've added to the E30 are already documented here. The non-M E36 bits are never coveted by BMW folks, who usually chuck them in favor of larger E36 M3 spindles/hubs/brakes. So we were able to pickup several sets of spindles, rotors, calipers, and hubs for nothing. Of course our budget will take the usual hit of "fair market value", as found on a nationwide salvage yard website price list. Some GRM Challenge teams put $0 towards their budgets when they use free parts, but you're supposed to use Fair Market Value, and we will because its The Right Thing To Do. :)

    The rear brakes are still 4-lug stockers for the moment. This is holding up our 15x10 wheel/tire/flare mockups. We thought about just re-drilling the rear 4-lug E30 hubs for the 5-lug pattern. So last week one of the GRM Team members pulled the rear brakes apart and we did a quick visual check with an E36 front hub. There's not enough metal to properly support the larger bolt circle of the 5 x 120mm BMW pattern. The 4 x 100 mm circle is a good bit smaller. See the pictures below.

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    So this weekend we're going to prowl the junkyards looking for the [B]Z3 rear brakes and hubs[/B] we need, based on knowledge we learned on R3vlimited forums and [URL="http://www.torque-bound.com/5-lug.htm"]this guy's excellent tech article on E30 5-lug swaps[/URL]. We found one junkyard willing to sell the Z3 rear hubs for $25, so we'll swing by there if we strike out elsewhere.

    [B]Seats:[/B] We've got a pair of eBay specials in the car now that "look pretty" but pretty much suck at supporting a driver in hard cornering. For auto-x and drag racing they might do the trick, but since we're gearing up to run the 2010 UTCC event at VIR, these seats have got to go. They are not cut out for road course used.

    To help reduce the cost of the $500 car, these seats will be sold. To avoid spending many hundreds per seat on race seat or seats, since seats are not considered a pressing safety item and [I]DO [/I]count against our $2010 budget, we're going to [B]MAKE OUR OWN SEATS[/B]. Yes, we're crazy... but we were inspired by watching this show:

    [url]http://www.spike.com/full-episode/altered-e-gos-race/32997[/url]

    We've used aluminum seats in several of our other race cars, from UltraShields in McCall's '91 BMW 318is to Kirky Road Race seats in Costas GT1 car. They are simple, comfortable, strong, lightweight, and very easy to mount.

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    So we'll make some cardboard patterns based on one of those aluminum seats, buy a sheet of aluminum, cut our patterns, do some bending and TIG welding, and try to build a seat or two for this car. Since the car is already stupid light, we'll likely make them stronger than many of the aluminum seats we see other racers using, so don't fret about safety. This way we minimize the budget hit for real race seats, get a better/more supportive seat(s), and get to be probably one of the only teams to have homemade seats at the GRM Challenge. :D

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    [B]More safety:[/B] Since we're going to (hopefully) be bombing down the straights at VIR at 150+ mph, we're going to step up the safety preparations significantly. We just bought a pair of G-Force Pro 6-point FIA cam lock harnesses for the E46 330 that I'm racing this year, and they are affordable at only $153.set. We'll get some for the E30 as well (and these are safety items that [I]don't [/I]count towards the budget). We'll get another SPA 5 liter fire suppression system for the E30, the same as we used on the LS1 E36 Alpha car. This is money well spent, and also not counting against our budget, nor is it performance enhancing at all. I really dislike car-b-ques and crispy skin.

    [B]Rearend:[/B] We're going to hit the junkyards this weekend and look for a cheap diff while we search for the Z3 rear brakes. Fingers crossed...

    More soon,
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:56 PM
    Some scattered ideas on the E30...

    Still looking at options for fixing the wheelbase issues. The '95 M3 offset LCA bushings we have in the E30 right helped move the wheel forward some, and so did the '96-99 M3 LCAs, but it still needs to push forward more. The proper solution seems to be to swap in 96-99 E36 M3 spindles as well, but I just tested our 15x10" wheels ($200/set on closeout - so cheap!) on my '97 M3's stock front brakes - no joy.

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    The 15x10" wheels won't clear the E36 M3 front brakes (12.5" diameter). The inner barrel of the wheel hits the caliper badly, even with lots of spacer. So this is not gonna happen with the wheels we can afford to use on this $2010 project. Just for fun I slapped a 16x8" Camaro wheel on there. That's all the E36 M3 needs to clear these larger rotors/calipers, a 16" diameter wheel:

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    So long story short - we aren't going to burn $70 in the budget to get a pair of used '96-99 E36 M3 spindles, and we'll stick with the 11.5" diameter E36 non-M brakes we have instead. As much as I'd like to have the M3's larger 12.5" diameter brakes (for UTCC) and a better fix to the wheelbase solution, the calipers will never clear our 15x10" steel wheels - and that's the only way we can pull off this much wheel for this little budget.

    There's no 16x10" or 17x10" wheel in this insane $200/set price range, of course, and 16" and 17" tire selection is even worse (all too narrow and/or too tall). The only tire that's gonna fit our little car well is going to be the 275/35/15 or 285/30/18, and we cannot afford the 18x10" wheels, either. So we'll make do with our 15x10" steelies for the GRM autocross and just have to modify the front Lower Control Arm, as we had planned. No big deal.

    Now for the last wheel test fit of the day: Some used 18x11" CCWs I just bought for the hell of it:

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    They fit the E30 well - too bad we cannot afford the hit to the $2010 Challenge budget! But outside of the GRM Challenge itself, these wheels could be used on this car. There's a good 10mm of room to the strut, and the wheel only sticks about 2" outside the fenders (these E30 M3 fenders won't be used, but they have don't even have any extra flare width over the stock E30 non-M fenders), which is the same as our 15x10" wheels. We can make the flares clear these wheels, too.

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    I've been playing with all sorts of wheel/tire combos this week:

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    [I]18x10" D-Force with 285/30/18 on BMW E46 330Ci, with M3 front fenders slapped on[/I]

    Cheers,
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:57 PM
    [U][B]Update for March 25, 2010:[/B][/U] Better late than never? I'm a little tardy in updating the E30 project from work we did 2 weeks ago. We've had some thrashing on the E46 since then, including the first autocross in it (at the Texas National Tour, where it took 1-2). And we've had the busiest week of business ever here at Vorshlag, followed by the new busiest week on record.

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    Anyway, the GRM Gang of 8 met on Thursday March 25th and we had 3 crews going at once (3 of us met again last Thursday, but sat around and watched an F1 race instead of working - doh!). One crew was busy cleaning - the T5 transmission was thoroughly cleaned (externally), and the rear calipers were cleaned as well. Amazing what you can do with a brass wire wheel brush and a parts cleaner. They calipers will be rebuilt with new seals, pads and rubber lines (and under the safety umbrella none of it will ding the budget - yay!) but the T5 will remain as-is. Don't wanna crack open that case, or risk screwing something up (bad karma). And yes, its a $100 T5. And we have another identical $100 T5 as a spare. That's not some crazy deal, just simple CraigsList searches, done locally. Its not a popular T5 version - its one everyone ignores. More about this not-so-special T5 transmission soon.

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    We had another group that bolted the trans to the bellhousing and played with some other parts I can't discuss, but if I show any of that I'll spill all the beans - so it'll have to wait. :devil look:

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    We had another crew of team members removing the stock halfshafts, diff, and 4-lug hubs. That was a bit of a chore, but we had the tools and the know-how to get 'em off - and we did it clean. The rear wheel bearings went unscathed, thankfully. We'll be sliding in the 5-lug hubs (junkyard sourced from a Z3) soon enough, along with the Z3 rotors and rear calipers.

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    We have a LSD equipped E30 diff in a very desirable (for our build) 2.79 rear ratio in hand, delivered all the way from Nebraska free of charge by a kind soul that was coming down to the Texas Tour two weekends ago. Saved us a bundle in shipping this 90 pound lump! Thanks again Christy. :) Not much to see with that yet - its still in a garbage bag, and its oily.

    The car is temporarily sitting on the wrong trailing arms and 5-lug hubs - these rear arms and hubs are straight out of a Z3, and widen the track by a whopping 3.5". With the hubs swapped into the proper E30 trailing arms we only gain about an inch of track width over stock, or so my crude measurements make me think (see rotor pics at the bottom of this post). We raised the rear ride height all the way up, thinking the little 15x7 bottlecaps wouldn't clear the fenders. It looks... hilarious. We just wanted to get it off the dang lift so we could prep the E36 M3 and E46 330 for upcoming track and autocross events they are being run at this Saturday and Sunday (we just don't have enough on our schedule).

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    The E30's old M20B27 motor and Getrag 5-spd trans are being sold this Friday for $300, and that will take the purchase price for the E30 back to $200 in the budget. Once the front and rear seats are sold that should bring the sum down to nearly $0 - which is a common achievement among $200X GRM competitors.

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    We've got a bit of reinforcement work to do on the stock E30 rear trailing arms, subframe, trunk floor/diff mount, and several bushings to whittle out of some scrap Nylon that Derek found, but that's going to have to wait until next time.

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    Cheers,
    Fair
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    10 Jun 2010 03:58 PM
    [U][B]Updates from April 8, 2010:[/B][/U] We worked on a bunch of little stuff last Thursday. First off was a mock-up of the new LSD equipped E30 diff we scrounged for the car, but we wanted to put it in with an E36 rear diff cover for added strength.

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    We got a dual eared E36 rear diff cover for almost nothing and cleaned it up. The plan was to slap this onto the E30 diff and make new mounts in the chassis and reinforce the trunk floor to hold the added torque from the V8. The single-ear E30 diff mount is prone to ripping a big hole in the trunk when high grip/hp is applied to the rear subframe. We're hoping to have lots of both, so....

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    Well, the dual eared mount E36 rear diff cover doesn't quite just "bolt onto an E30 diff housing" as we've been told, of course. The reluctor wheel for the speedometer sticks out of the E30 case farther than in an E36 housing. This wheel hits the speed sensor and deeper dished E36 cover, so we'll be cutting those down to make the E36 rear cover fit.

    Our Kirk Racing 4-point roll bar is here, which we want to have to mount harnesses to and for just more on-track safety (for UTCC), so we removed the front and rear seats to prepare for the install. None of those seats are going back in, and here's why: The rear seat becomes useless when you add a 4-point roll bar, and it weighs close to 30 pounds. The front seats don't look like they'll be good enough for track use, and replacing them with aluminum seats (used or homemade) will lower the weight even further. The goal is to lose 60 pounds in the front/rear seats, which is what the 4-point bar weighs. We hope to offset the weight of the roll bar completely.

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    We're also trying something different - just to see if it works. The Z3 rear 5-lug hubs stick out 1" wider than the 4-lug E30 hubs (see pic above, left), which is moving our wheel package outboard WAY too much. When we're dealing with a 15x10 and 18x11 wheel packages, this is critical. One of our team members (Chris) had an old E36 non-M rear 5-lug hub, rotor, and half-shaft, and we took some measurements - wow. Using this hub and rotor moves the hub/rotor face [I]inboard [/I].45", for a reduction in track width from the Z3 hubs of [I]almost three inches[/I] overall. All of the other hub dimensions are the same, and it can work with the existing E30 rear hub bearings and E30 half-shafts (the E36 half-shafts are about 1" longer).

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    We slapped in one of the E36 non-M rear hubs onto the E30 trailing arm and it looks good. REALLY good for our big honkin wheels. This not only moves the wheel face inboard, but moves the rotor inboard by the same amount, so we'd need to make custom brackets to fit the calipers to the trailing arms to the E36 non-M rear rotors (we mocked all of this up but didn't take pics). This is still a work in progress so... "don't try this at home". It might be more trouble than its worth, but we're going to try it. We need to reduce track width badly, and this might work.

    Speaking of reducing... we need to reduce the purchase price of the car within our GRM budget, so here's some stuff for sale! All of these parts came in this 1986 BMW 325e when we bought it, so we can reduce our purchase price by the amount each piece is sold for (up to the total price of the car). Once we have the car price down to $0, we're good.

    [SIZE="5 wrote:
    [B]FOR SALE[/B][/SIZE]

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    [URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects/E30-V8/9984510_8vwcG#692308199_3msou wrote:
    Front Seats[/URL], brackets and sliders - brand new! = $150 + shipping.

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    Stock Rear E30 Seat, upper and lower, good condition = $75 + shipping.

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    Stock E30 4-lug bottle cap wheels and tires = $85 + shipping. Re-painted gloss black this week. Murdered out! :D Tires are all the same size (195/60/14) and condition (crap) but from 3 different tire brands.

    I really don't want to ship this stuff, but if a buyer insists I will. Shipping charged would be straight UPS Ground costs, no discounts or "bundled prices". We have to account for every penny on all bought/sold transaction on this project, guys. Send me an email [B]with your address[/B] and what part(s) you want to buy to fair (at) vorshlag (dot) com and I can get you UPS Ground shipping quotes on any of these items. And no, I won't break up the wheel sets, seats, etc.

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    [URL="http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/pts/1692534839.html wrote:
    BMW E30 2.7L motor + 5-spd trans + DME[/URL] = $300 (we will not ship this). We've had some interest from our CraigsList ad, and [I]almost [/I]had it sold last Friday, but the guy cannot get it all back to Lubbock. Anyone making a trip from North Dallas to Lubbock sometime soon willing to help transport this drivetrain and help this guy out, please let me know! I'll get you in touch with him and yall can work out a price/logistics. Or if you want to buy it, its still for sale. Engine, accessories, trans, harness, DME = all for a package price.

    One more thing... I looked at a Vorshlag/AST customer's E30 M3 at a BMWCCA Club Race last weekend that had the "right parts" (according to the experts) for a proper E36 front suspension swap: E36 struts (4200s), Vorshlag E30 camber plates, '96-99 M3 LCAs, '95 M3 offset LCA bushings, and '95-99 M3 spindles/brakes. Beautiful car, and fast. Anyway, the wheel is still not centered enough for my liking, and it has +10° of caster - which is enough to make for some weird weight jacking at high steering angles (seen in auto-x), we think. We already know we cannot fit the E36 M3 12.5" diameter brakes inside out 15" wheels, so this E36 M3 spindle swap is not going to happen in our project. We are going to make custom tubular LCAs instead - its cheaper and it can fix the wheel centering issue "more". We'll lose some of the caster with our custom fixed top mount we're going to whittle out of some scrap steel.

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    Next up: This week we start work on the [B]sunroof delete[/B] (lowering weight, adding headroom, adding strength, and the old headliner was trashed). Team member DaveB has a method of re-using the old outer sunroof skin that I've never seen before, and it more than covers the hole in the roof while preserving the dual curves of the roof line. He did it to [URL="http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/BMWCCA-MSR-April-10-2010/11792667_woeAh#832920769_woykT wrote:
    his E36 last week[/URL] for $0, and it looks perfect. Never seen one look this clean and cost so little. We'll around play more with the rear hubs/brakes, and start tinkering with the custom front LCAs we know we're gonna need. The roll bar goes in after the sunroof delete is complete, too.

    Anyone that has a line on some used aluminum 1-piece fixed back racing seats, please send me a PM. We might have found one for $50, but it would be nice to have 2.

    Thanks!
    Fair
    Veteran Member
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    Posts:1021


    --
    10 Jun 2010 03:59 PM
    [U][B]Update for April 15, 2010:[/B][/U] The crew showed up last night and we got a lot of work done. The best part - everyone got to plasma!

    We had a special guest - JeffD from corner carvers forum was in town from Chicago and joined the team for a long night of destruction on the E30. Jeff had some great insight on E30s, as well as products from ZF/Sachs/Lemforder, for which he is a rep. He even had some suggestions for [URL="http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?p=55268#post55268"]a clutch for my DSP E46.[/URL] Thanks for the help, Jeff!

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    [I]Jeff was kind enough to stop by and lend a hand - and do the nastiest of the plasma cutting inside the car![/I]

    Costas spent the night in obscurity, running the numbers for pilot bushing engagement with our "never before attempted" trans to motor adaptation. Once he had the setup of parts that had enough pilot bearing/input shaft support he bolted the pressure plate, clutch and bushing onto the block. McCall is getting us one little fitting we need today to hook up the hydraulic throwout bearing that came with the T5 we're using. No pictures of this work performed, as it would give too much away... :devil look:

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    Meanwhile the rest of the Thursday night crew attached the sunroof and trunk, cutting away a lot of dead weight. We had originally tried to emulate the pretty and proper [URL="http://r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=135991"]Sunroof cassette/frame removal tips[/URL] from some online sources, but that was, like, hard. Instead, we went straight for the plasma cutter. Everyone loves sparks!

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    [I]I spent some time with the cutoff wheel trying to do the sunroof structure removal "the right way". Screw that noise.[/I]

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    [I]Looks like about 35 pounds of crap associated with the sunroof.[/I]

    We'll skin the sunroof, flatten the lip/edge, trim it to fit the hole, and weld it in place this weekend.

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    [I]Derek and Chris gutting the trunk lid. Me at far right, holding a beer in one hand and heat gun in the other.[/I]

    Derek and Chris attacked the underside of the trunk lid, with plasma, heat gun, and putty knife. They got the bulk of the structure out, and the hinges, dropping another 7-8 pounds off the back end. The paint still looks OK and the trunk is still strong enough to support aero loads and such. Next up - the hood, where 50+ pounds awaits to be gutted away.

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    More work this Saturday - the April work push has begun.
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