View Full Version : 1992 318is / LS1 aka: "Alpha E36 LS1"

09-14-2007, 05:21 PM
With this car coming back to Vorshlag this weekend we figured we'd go ahead and start the "Alpha LS1 E36 Team Car" page here. Should have added this when Teucci got it running earlier this year. This car will continue to be campaigned in XPrepared for SCCA Solo, G class for BMWCCA, and whatever Time Attack/Time Trial class it gets dumped into. :p Me, Hanchey, and even Teucci on occasion will race it at Texas area events in 2008 and one of us will run it at Nationals in 2008 as well. DIBS! :D (Amy will continue to run the '97 M3 in STU at most events)

Initial set-up, early 2007, with 17x9 D-Force wheels and 255/40/17 Kumho VictoRacer tires

Teucci is dropping the car off Saturday morning, Sept 15th, and we'll be racing it at the $100-entry-fee (ack!) Oktoberfest autocross on October 1st, out at Mineral Wells. Before that event we need to...

Add a power steering cooler
Swap the trunk and rear wing over from the other white E36
Get a passenger seat in it!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/155049831-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/155046547-S.jpg

This car hasn't been weighed in a while so we will do that this weekend and post the numbers (should be in the 26XX range). Teucci has been running the car at regional and divisional events this year and has set TTOD in the car more times than not. We want to change little if anything for now, because it works so damn well! :D Eventually it may get more lightweight body panels, a roll cage, a DASH2 digital display, AST 4300s, and some other goodies.

It has the following parts:

low mileage bone stock LS1 engine and T56
Custom full length headers, dual 3" exhaust and cats feeding into and a single 3" MagnaFlow muffler
C5 Z06 clutch and pp, 12 pound Fidanza flywheel
3.91 gearing in a BMW M3 188mm diff housing
17x10F, 17x11R CCW 3-piece wheels
275/40/17 front, 315/35/17 rear, Kumho V710 DOT race tires
Carbon Fiber rivet-on flares
Stock 325 radiator and pusher fan
Mostly gutted interior
CF sunroof panel and aluminum LTW doors
Sparco EVO driver's seat
Registration and inspection stickers
Lots of work by Teucci!

Mid-2007 set-up with 17x10/275mm front, 17x11/315mm Rear CCW wheels and Kumho V710 R compounds

We have been gathering R compounds for our now-aborted XP3 build-up and have amassed 18 race tires for use with this car including eight 17" and ten 18" Kumhos and Hoosiers, including a mix of 275s, 285s, 305s and 315s. We will probably migrate to two different sets of wheels and tires unless one set shows to work well and still provide acceptable wear rates for both types of events.

For track events and Mineral Wells autocrosses, the existing 17" CCWs and Kumho Victoracers in 275F/315R sizes will be used, for better wear and cost effectiveness.
For Solo use a set of D-Force 18x10" wheels and softer compound V710s or Hoosiers will be used in 285/30/18 and 305/30/18 sizes (we have 2 sets of Hoosier S05s in these staggered sizes already).

We are so psyched to get this car! Its even street legal, so we'll drive it to some local meet-and-greets. :) Thanks again to Teucci for selling the car back to us after doing all of the hard work getting it up and running. It saves us countless weeks/months getting our white 325is converted to a V8 and then into a competitive race car and lets us focus on much more pressing matters within the business while showing off a fast LS1 E36 sooner. With the E36 LS1 kit finally going into production this is a very important time saver for us.

Late 2007 set-up with 18x10 D-Force wheels and 285mm Front, 305mm Rear Hoosier S05 R compounds

Check back soon for a LOT more pictures, updates, changes, videos, and data logging numbers. Make sure to ask for a ride on the passenger side at local events - it will blow your mind.

Caution: we are not responsible for excessive spending after riding in this car.

09-15-2007, 05:33 PM
OK, just drove it. This car will make you rethink your life priorities. :)

2450 pounds, 350+ hp, 1.4g of lateral grip. Yeah, I'm in for at least two. :cool:

09-15-2007, 06:38 PM
When does the kit go on sale? I may have some priorities to re-evaluate.

09-15-2007, 11:12 PM
Lots of test drives and yelps of joy. I actually scared Punky, which was pretty funny. She was nervous as we experienced wheelspin at 50 mph. Get used to it! :p

Some pictures from today's work - just washing, detailing and waxing.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/196085156-S-1.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/196084283-S.jpg
http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/196087134-S-1.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/196089740-S-1.jpg

List of immediate updates:

Harness for passenger seat. With nothing to hold onto and a 3-point factory belt, its a slip-n-slide over there. :D
Power steering cooler
Add some M3 style side mirrors
Add a dead pedal
Put more gas in it!

This this is a total BLAST to drive.

09-17-2007, 08:29 AM
When does the kit go on sale? I may have some priorities to re-evaluate.

We're going to make a run of 10 kits pretty soon. Headers are ready, motor and trans are close. Driveshaft is ready. Cooling is ready. Making some progress.

09-17-2007, 09:04 AM
What about the wiring harness? I guess that is my biggest concern since I know you guys have solved the other issues.

- Will the A/C work?
- Will ABS work?
- Will cruise control work?

09-17-2007, 09:07 AM
What about the wiring harness? I guess that is my biggest concern since I know you guys have solved the other issues.

- Will the A/C work?
- Will ABS work?
- Will cruise control work?

Wiring is probably the easiest part. There is very little overlap btwn the engine harness of the LS1 and the body computer of the BMW. I think it will be around 4 wires, that's it.

A/C is not a huge deal. Yes, we will make that work.

ABS, of course. This is what makes this kit different. We are keeping BMW's brakes "as is". Not touching them.

Cruise. We can address this as well. Either the LS1's cruise or adapt the BMW's cruise to the LS1. This is a lower priority but not a huge deal. The BMW cruise is a seperate computer that uses the speed signal off the dash. All of that will be intact.

09-17-2007, 11:22 AM
We're going to make a run of 10 kits pretty soon. Headers are ready, motor and trans are close. Driveshaft is ready. Cooling is ready. Making some progress.



09-17-2007, 11:35 AM

Working on that. It will be under what all the current kits are going for which is $6-7k.


09-17-2007, 10:15 PM
ok so the first thing on my list when i get back from china is going to be buy E36 BMW to put LS1 in

10-02-2007, 06:48 PM
I got great video today at O'Fest. Hoping to post it tonight including the "pan view" of the camera spinning off the mount and into the foot well! Must have been from the lateral g's.

The video won't do it justice though. I think everyone that rode with me today got out and first was speechless, then said about every cuss word in the book. It is simply a blast to drive.

My only complaint? We need to put the door seals back in. My left arm and leg are coated with brake dust and tire dust. My leg was black when I got home.

10-02-2007, 09:37 PM
Hey, somebody has to test this stuff. I hate to do it, but I will drive this thing if forced. hehe

A couple of notes. We just put a power steering cooler on it. The system still had some air in it hence the whine you can hear. Typically that goes away soon, but the car has literally run 20 minutes total since putting it on.

I was doing back to back runs so the tire pressures were climbing and the car was getting more and more pushy and loose.. And after all, this was my first event in the car. OK, I drive like cr4p in the videos. hehe

Fun Run with half the course mowed down

Camera loosening up here

This was my 42psi run. BIG HEAD passenger. We have to get a race seat. Poor passengers are getting thrown around like crazy.

Camera wasn't tight. Notice how quickly the world goes by when you accelerate!
<still loading video.....>


10-02-2007, 11:16 PM
OMG, I just watched the 5 videos you added. My favorite was when the camera came off the mount! We were crying laughing! :p

Looked like a bit of a handful on the LaGrave lot, but a damn sight more fun than when we ran that course at the Divisional (it was Sunday's course). :cool:

10-03-2007, 07:29 AM
Video camera was my favorite too!

10-11-2007, 09:58 AM
Updates for the Alpha car:

Sparco steering wheel (suede) - purchased (need quick release hub)

Flowmaster 10 Series 4" in/out race muffler - purchased/installing this week

bigass rear wing! (caution: parking Porsche 911s on rear wing not recommended)

10-12-2007, 03:56 PM
:eek: oh snap! The car with the new 4" Flowmaster Series 10 muffler sounds gooood. :D

10-15-2007, 01:55 PM

Videos: (lots more here (http://www.youtube.com/user/vorshlag1))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r82qX2VjqZc - Fair driving the Alpha at a BMWCCA TMS autocross 10/13/07. G class winning/FTD run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-PX65YaK9M - Hanchey driving the Alpha at a BMWCCA TMS autocross 10/13/07. Z class winning run.


10-22-2007, 02:39 PM
Weighed the Alpha LS1 car this weekend:


2550# w/o driver

50.1% cross weight and 46% rear bias, w/ driver and helmet (200#);

Still have lots left to pull out - there's an easy 200# we can get to, and another 100-150# that would be "difficult" but doable. We still have: OEM steel hood and trunk, OEM passenger seat + adjuster (60#), heavy wheels/tires, rear glass and windshield, 60# battery, heavy exhaust+cats, etc.

edit: the 10# Flowmaster 10 series muffler added a week ago helped a little.

10-23-2007, 04:08 PM
After 4 events in the car now, the airbag-less stock steering wheel is both ugly and too large. A smaller wheel would have been nice at the last few events that had some tight slaloms and pivot cone turn-arounds. I was palming the wheel one-handed in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r82qX2VjqZc) at the finish, rally style.

Updates for the Alpha car:

Sparco steering wheel (suede) - purchased (need quick release hub)


quick disconnect $30
Yeppers, I found cheap quick connects in 3-bolt (stock car) and 5-bolt (grant) patterns all over, but nothing affordable in the 6-bolt momo/sparco pattern (6 x 70mm Bolt Cirtcle).

What we need is the Sparco hub adapter for a BMW steering shaft ($65) plus the quick release assembly ($329), but we can just use the hub adapter and bolt the wheel onto it for now.

If anyone knows of a good source on a Sparco style quick connect, please share. The type of disconnect we want is the not the "ring style" release (like the $329 Sparco made unit), not the pin-release style (the $30 one above).


Here's the Sparco unit (http://www.rallysportdirect.com/shop/sparco-quick-release-tuning-gold-p-1461.html) for $329. Ouch!


This is how they go together. Complete assembly at left, shown "released" at right.

edit: just seems crazy... there are $30 quick releases for other patterns but for a 6-bolt you have to pony up +$300 more!?!

10-23-2007, 04:21 PM
Found TCDesigns quick release for $225...


might do that instead of the sparco

11-09-2007, 04:41 PM
Measured the rear track with the 315s on the 17x11s = 70.5". There's about 1" we could narrow overall with new wheels (ugh) or new rim halves on these same 17" CCWS (also ugh). Hopefully the D-Force wheels can knock out even more track width.


The 18x10 D-Force wheels are mounted with the Hoosiers and ready to go onto the Alpha next week, for the SCCA event at LaGrave on Nov 18th. 285/30/18F, 305/30/18 rear.

Also spruced up our YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/vorshlag1

11-20-2007, 12:38 PM
The Alpha car ran at two Solo events this past weekend. Matteucci, Hanchey and I all drove it on Saturday at a BMWCCA event at MW. Super tight course, it was a beatin' and the car was a' plowin'. We cut the day short after our morning runs exposed steel belts on the front tires. Set-up couldn't have been more wrong for that surface. I'd rather forget that whole event. :sneaky2:


New 18 pound Deka AGM battery is in and worked great all weekend, and knocked another 20 pounds out of the car, so it should be sitting at 2530 lbs. Sunday was a lot more enjoyable, perfect weather and the car handled 100% better. Amy and I both drove the Alpha on a radically different suspension tune and wheel & tire set-up. This was at the SCCA's last Solo event for 2007, at LaGrave Field. Wheels are now the familiar 18x10 D-Force LTW5s that we ran on our STU M3 last year. Tires are some old Hoosier S05 scrubs we picked up used, for testing - not the freshest of tires, but at least they are "round" and "hold air". :D


Took some fiddling with spacers in the pits, but the 285/30/18 front and 305/30/18 rear tires now fit with these wheels and the oversized flares (could use a lot less flare). Lots narrower track out back than the 17x11 and 315/35/17 tires we normally run. The set-up was good enough to beat the EMod crowd of 6 cars (no one else to run against in XP), where we placed 1 & 2, but still a little off the pace of where we should be running with the car (didn't PAX as well as I'd like, and I tied Jim Harris' SMOD EVO's best run, down to the .001 sec). At least we have it handling a LOT better now, and with fresh rubber (this would help immensely), a set of AST4300s just shipped in from Holland (sitting in customs), and some other winter tweaks, we should be posting better times at events in January and throughout 2008.

Need to make some adjustments to the Alpha to get it road course ready (NASA Time Attack and/or HPDEs?), as well: some additional cooling (fan + fabbed aluminum radiator), some brake ducting, a fabricated front splitter, a fabricated cage, an all new exhaust, some "Vorshlag" vinyl, maybe a little paint work, a second race seat, install the Sparco steering wheel, a new array of Stage 0 kit parts applied to this car - lots to do in our short winter break! We could find some places to race in December, but after another year with 25+ competition events, we need a few weekends of down time to catch up on the Alpha, the Beta, the E30 STS car, and to finish fabricating the Stage 0 parts.

Beta should be driving around a road course very soon...

11-25-2007, 09:20 PM
Measured the front and rear tracks with the D-Force wheels and the wheel swap made a huge reduction in width at both ends. We will be experimenting with some more changes over the winter break to reduce the track further. Narrow track = great for autocrossing, slaloms, etc.

For road course events (HPDE + Time Attacks?) we'll stick with the less costly 17" race tires and the CCW wheels. A wider track isn't as detrimental on a road course, and in some ways actually increases lateral grip.

02-29-2008, 09:53 AM
Finally got our AST 4300s on Alpha. Part of this swap out was to try out some Hypercoil springs. Hypercoil came out with a new spring that has a slight beehive shape that gives you more usuable travel, lighter weight, more consistent rate, blah blah blah.

I did weigh the springs.

Eibach 6", 2.5", 500 pound spring = 2.2 pounds
Hypercoil 6", 60mm, 500 pound spring = 2.0 pounds

Eibach 6", 2.5", 700 pound spring = 2.9 pounds
Hypercoil 5", 2.25", 650 pound spring = 2.0 pounds

Neither is an exact comparison, but at least the car lost 2.2 pounds. :)

Fairs are taking it out Sunday for a practice day. We'll see how it performs!

We are looking at getting a distribution agreement with Hyperco and make a few custom length springs while we're at it. I think 11 Grand Am teams switched this year from Eibach to Hyperco and haven't looked back. I'm sending one of them to get spring rated. We'll see what the graphs look like.


02-29-2008, 12:46 PM
Oh yea, forgot to post this work done a couple of weeks back:



With help from DaveB and McCall we got steel E46 flares welded to the Alpha car! :buttrock:

Tons of pics starting here: http://www.vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/3801498_oxt2Q#248985614

Gonna get some bodywork done and paint this beast sometime, too. Its so ugly now it has to get some paint! :D

02-29-2008, 03:34 PM
I've used hypercoil springs in the last couple years in autocross as a friend did some testing on them and they held their rates longer after use compared to eibach.

would love to see you guys carry them, and even offer them as an option for AST's w/ your plastic adapters for 2.5" springs.

I would prefer Hypercoils on my coilovers personally.

07-28-2008, 05:43 PM
Long time no post... lots has happened to the car in the past 5 months. Finished the flares. A full roll cage was added, AST 4300s, new seats, ran the car on several road courses and even the Ultimate Track Car Challenge. Car dyno'd at 323 whp and 340 wtq. Hood pins added. New harnesses. New video camera mount. Lots of little stuff.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/323505566_hvPTc-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/323506219_SRwH3-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/321663597_csKH4-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/321663482_CgNBx-S.jpg

After that event in California the car was looking pretty ratty, so we tore it down to the tub for a repaint. We're going to put it back together with a new front K-member that will allow us to use our Vorshlag LS1 swap kit parts including: motor mounts, transmission crossmember, stainless steel headers, steering shaft, and driveshaft. Can't have the car apart and not slide in a new camshaft, so that should be here any day from HKE Racing Engines (Koenig). The small-ish exhaust is going bye bye and a new dual 3" into 3.5 or 4" exhaust is going in over at Dallas Performance.

Anyway, its back form paint today, so here's the Updates for 7/28/08:

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/340702363_LWSzq-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/340702595_5g29x-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/340702957_AjQtr-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/340703002_stMh7-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/340703013_L3hCv-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/340702446_sEnLN-S.jpg

As soon as the new K-member arrives we'll put the 4300s and the race wheels wheels back on (temp suspension and wheels installed for paint), then get the drivetrain in place and head to DP for the new exhaust fab work. Trying to make the August 9th race at TMS...

07-29-2008, 10:55 AM
Looks AWESOME guys!!!


08-01-2008, 12:53 PM

09-03-2008, 08:51 AM
Update for 8/29/08: We've been working on the Alpha car late at night, re-assembling it after the "strip to the tub" repaint. Business during the day keeps pushing off more and more work, and this isn't the only race car we've got torn apart for upgrades, but its almost done. It needs fluids, new plugs/wires, and its on the ground for this weekend's race.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/356441266_HjRpn-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/356445340_ZqBe5-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/360158126_dAbQM-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/360732678_xqYAU-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/360733491_ua7Wa-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/360734184_wqQr2-S.jpg



Might not look like it, but a lot of rework went into every part existing that went back on the car, and a ton of new parts went in along the way. New: front K-member, headers, motor mounts, steering shaft, trans mount, driveshaft, and tons of wiring and hardware clean-up. Its pretty plain for now, but at least no longer looks like a multi-colored eye sore. ;)

I'll snap some pictures this weekend at the event, where is should get some vinyl. We'll do the after-header exhaust next week, hopefully...

09-03-2008, 08:53 AM
Update for 9/3/08: Car was wicked loose at the SCCA/TMS autocross last weekend. Me thinks these tires are dead.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/364462520_Fnywd-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/364476887_gZS9D-M.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/364466334_g4hp3-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/364133775_fC6JV-M.jpg

Need to order a new set of tires ASAP... SCCA Nationals is in less than 2 weeks. Other than the tires the car ran flawlessly, if a bit loud (open headers, until we can get a new Y-pipe built).

Re-corner weighed the car. Just about perfect, and 2508 soaking wet with the new cage.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/364132307_9tvgB-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/364133310_NyLaw-M.jpg

09-03-2008, 10:36 AM
The car looks GOOD! Needs BIGGER stickers though ;-)

09-03-2008, 11:00 AM
And M3 side strips and front & rear Roundels. Looks great though! An M3 rear bumper wouldn't hurt, but that would cost a bit more.

09-26-2008, 12:09 PM

That picture pretty much sums up my 2008 SCCA Solo Nationals experience. The car worked brilliantly on the Sunday warm-up event, and was posting times that were extremely competitive... but 2 days later I noticed on my first competition run that the brakes were very VERY grabby and kept locking up - and this was in 55°F temps on dead cold brakes. My first run was OK, and 2nd fastest in class, but that ended up being my only clean run.

Sure enough, on my 2nd and 3rd runs with warm brakes the problem got a LOT worse, and on any corner where I needed to brake aggressively that was over ~40 mph the rears locked badly. Those lock-ups ended up as big "ice mode" ABS moments, where the brakes wouldn't come back at all, and ultimately DNF runs.

The same thing happened on Day 2 - my first run was tentative and the brakes were very iffy, but I tagged a cone so that run was blown. Runs 2 (that's shown in the picture above) and 3 were terrible and the ABS nonfunctional. We didn't have a spare ABS unit and there was nothing I could do but brake like a wuss... and with something else amiss in the brakes (fronts were fried) the rears kept locking. My 3rd run on Day 2 was tip toeing on the brakes and dropped me to 8th overall in class. Bleh.

I took in-car video of all 6 competition runs but we have to edit them HEAVILY due to some language that has to be censored. I was none too pleased with the behavior of the once unflappable brakes, and kind of lost my cool when they took a sh!t on course. :devil look:

I am putting new pads on the car today and will try to test it again at an autocross tomorrow, held on the Texas Motor Speedway road course. Its going to involve a lot of high speed braking so if the problem is still there it will show up tomorrow. The ABS is still borked - so I may have to run with it disconnected Sunday.

We need to do the Aero that Bob T had on his car last year. He ran in EMod this year, which doesn't allow a rear wing (only a spoiler).

Next year I plan to keep racing the car in SCCA XPrepared and NASA TT, and Hanchey will run it too between stints in his EVO X MR. We know we need to address several issues on the Alpha, such as adding a lot more horsepower (especially for NASA Time Trial/road course events), but also potentially a full brake system upgrade (bigger/better rotors and calipers), put the rear wing back on and develop the car with real aero (splitter on front), and also a possible wheel change. The 315mm rears were not scrubbing to the edge well squeezed onto 17x11s. An 11.5" or 12" wheel would be better for this tire size, we think.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/374176420_Hhsi9-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/374174114_tDDUK-S.jpg
First and second place cars in XP, both mid engined and lightweight.

The car showed to be 2558 pounds at the HPT scales (but was 2508 on ours the week before). Regardless, it is 200 pounds overweight for the class, and the top finisher in XP was an 1800 pound supercharged Lotus Elise on slicks, with 2nd place going to the V6 powered MR2 that was about 1950 pounds. Our minimum weight is 2375 and we can easily achieve this - Lexan in place of glass, composite trunk and hood, gutted doors, and that sort of thing. Of course we will chronicle every pound removed in this build thread.


Stay tuned,

11-06-2008, 07:19 PM
We're bad about updating this thread...

Update from Oct 7, 2008:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?p=14337102#post14337102 - updated the "kit" thread with new parts.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/385615713_cQth8-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/383187364_uTfcm-S.jpg

I did a high speed autocross held on Texas Motor Speedways road course a week ago and the brake lockup was still pronounced. I made one run with the ABS unit disconnected and the only change was that I had a light on the dash - brakes still locked up the same way, so the ABS system is completely ineffective. Hmm... I've got it on the lift now trying to get to the bottom of it. We have a NASA Time Trial this weekend at Eagles Canyon so we're running out of time...


The ABS problems were from a failed ABS computer, which we fixed right after this event. The fix was easy once we got a replacement computer. I finally uploaded the video from my 2nd run that day where the ABS started to wig out:

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/394579106_sZLrk-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C/1/394579106_sZLrk#394579106_sZLrk)
click for video

11-06-2008, 07:20 PM
Update from Oct 13, 2007:

The Vorshlag crew attended the Saturday races on the inaugural NASA weekend at Eagles Canyon Raceway (http://www.eaglescanyon.com/2008/facilities.php). The track has been partially repaved/repaired and they deemed it ready for racing. 2.5 mile track with 11 turns and 70' of elevation change. A really fun track.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392433561_F4YTc-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392437456_aufYA-S.jpg

Getting to the site was a bit of a trek into the back country, as it was ~16 miles off of any highway down country roads. The remoteness was probably to avoid encroaching development and looming noise restrictions, but it makes it difficult to leave the site to find food, hotel, parts, etc - its all 20 minutes away. Luckily they now have food on site, fuel (of sorts), bathrooms, a driver's lounge, a small bleacher section on a hill that overlooks most of the track (see pics), and almost enough paddock space for all racers to setup on pavement. They still don't have garages, landscaping/erosion control is a bit of a mess, they still need more paddock space (we parked in a gravel pit), and the track is pretty damn bumpy in two areas. There's some nasty runoff areas that could use attention as well. All in all, pretty good for what's really their first year of operation.

OK, so Amy, Brian and I all signed up for the NASA event online - Amy for HPDE1 (beginner - she hadn't done a DE in 10 years), and Brian and I for Time Trial. We get there and had a bit of trouble finding the place, so that put us on site a bit late (7:45). To say it was a bit disorganized would be a fair statement - the huge tech line hadn't started to move yet, registration was a bit unsorted, but the beginner's class had already started so it was a bit of a cluster. We got the cars teched eventually but found out there were only 4 instructors for all of the beginner DE drivers, so I was "deputized" to be Amy's instructor. That worked out great and she and I had a blast during 3 of her 4 HPDE1 sessions. They also had 5 loaner transponders - we had rented 2 but only got 1, so Brian and I had to swap it out to both get times in TT. Several TT competitors never got a transponder on Saturday.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392412940_QbDvM-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/393100035_yTPNP-S.jpg
Our paddock was on gravel, but we later just parked in a little used pre-grid area and left them there all day when not on course.

We saw lots of folks out there - our friend Jeff Wirtz kicking butt in his CMC classed 3rd gen Camaro (set pole in qualifying and won the first race). We also saw Stuart and the Maxey's, plus Dave B, a forum member here. Dave was a big help all day and stepped in while I was on course to get the EVO aligned after Brian's first plow-intensive session proved it needed as much camber as the soft stock suspension would allow. Thanks Dave!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392433917_8tFjY-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392437729_kbqnh-S.jpg
The EVO X is a leaning machine...

I'll let Brian go over his impressions of the EVO X, running in TTB. The Alpha car ran in TTU and I had a blast driving it. My first session was fun and informative, but I quickly got stuck behind slower TTU and TTS cars for most of the first session. Still, it let me learn the track while forcing me to drive at 8/10ths. I finally had the (now charged) rental transponder on the car for session 2 and started near the front of the grid, so I got a clean track and 5 good laps in without seeing another car in front or behind, posting a few 1:59s and a best of 1:57 on the 2.5 mile course. I didn't run session 2 and 3 for the day but from the times I saw posted, the closest any TT competitors got were 2:02's (a heavily modded TTS RX7-TT and a TTU C6-Z06 with mods) on Saturday. No telling what they ran in session 4 or on Sunday, but I think my time was enough for the TTU win? Who knows when NASA will post results.

I was very happy with the handling, brakes (ABS was fixed by replacing the ABS computer, yea!), and the power was adequate... right until I head a terrifying knocking sound at the end of session 2. :(

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392435684_7sPpH-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392438163_QP4Fs-S.jpg
The Alpha car was fast and furious... until it wiped a rod bearing?

We think its a rod bearing; our soon-to-be engine builder told me what to check and there's a remote chance its only a collapsed lifter. Normally we run +1 qt in the LS1, as these motors need the extra volume on a road course, but I was lax and ran it with only the normal ~6 qts of oil (just at the "full" mark). With lateral cornering in the 1.5g range on long, sustained corners it must have sucked air and wiped the bearing. I shut it down seconds after hearing the noise but the damage was done. Once the motor cooled off (oil thickened) the engine fired up and sounded fine, but we know its probably "not long for this earth" so we'll start a tear down immediately. Oh well, it was only a junkyard motor that has been abused for 2 years of racing. Now we have an excuse to do some power and reliability mods. Oiling system improvements are on order, of course. Accusump at the very least.

I will edit the in-car footage from the Alpha car and get it posted. You can hear the poor motor's last death throws in the video, too.

Pictures http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/6220603_T6jYA

11-06-2008, 07:23 PM
Update from Oct 21, 2008:

In-car video from the Alpha car at ECR. This is from my 2nd session at ECR during the NASA event, a week and a half ago. Its about a 5 minute video and has a couple of hot laps plus the fateful corner where the Death Rattle begins.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/400011567_GhNzZ-M.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#400011567_GhNzZ)
click for video

Yes - there are loads of driver errors and I'm not pushing the car hard in many/most corners. This was still a new track for me and I was still getting my bearings, since I hadn't tracked it since May. Excuses, excuses... :)

http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=993488 - This is a link to results from the 2nd Saturday Time Trial session. A little hard to follow, as it just has a name and number, no class designation or car description. This is the free web results generated by AMB, their transponder supplier. From the pictures we took, car #67 was the black RX7 Turbo (TTS) and #117 was the black C6 Z06 running in TTU with me.


11-06-2008, 07:58 PM
Quick update for Nov 6, 2008: Hanchey and I have been working on all sorts of little projects on the Alpha car for the past two weeks. We got some under trays from MotionMotorsport that we've needed to install for a while. Nice parts - got one on the M3 and about to put one on the Alpha car next. We'll make an extension for a front splitter from this.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/388991540_FW7Mj-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/394775909_8dUn9-S.jpg
Left: Alpha car's underpinnings are an aero mess! Right: Newly installed aluminum panel on our E36 M3 is clean and replaces 5 (broken) plastic parts

We threw the dice for a long time and the stock lower rear control arms didn't buckle, but why take chances? We've been putting a lot of load through these arms with 315mm R compound tires through long corners, so we replaced them with much heavier duty aftermarket arms from Mason Engineering during the down time waiting on the motor. Stout stuff, but only 0.3 pounds heavier than the cheesy stock stamped steel junk.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411545221_Lnid8-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411545309_CkhZJ-S.jpg
Mason adjustable lower control arms/spherical ends replace OEM

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411545628_Se7Zn-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411545780_7wGeQ-S.jpg
This job is a whole lot easier on a lift! The diff housing has to come partially out to make access for the inboard bolts

We've also installed this trick shift boot cover assembly that covers the gross hack job on the shifter hole (this Alpha car has had 3 different motor mount iterations, and each moved the shift hole location). This snap-on boot is fire proof, includes an aluminum base frame, and was very easy to install (10 minutes) and fit perfectly. I'll post more info next time I shoot pics. Also working on a driver's side window net and then a remote main electrical disconnect install and battery relocation (putting that thing back in the trunk since we need to re-run battery cables anyway). Fire system and seat back brace is coming as well. Safety upgrades that were all long overdue on a track car of this capability - kudos to Hanchey for pushing the issue before any of it was ever needed.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411289404_EU93o-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411298233_EChwW-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411302404_KVNK9-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411303799_qYVW8-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411302533_AP7xZ-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411299009_nm4u4-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411304671_hHCGR-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/411303694_RN8WN-S.jpg

I spent a day at HK Racing Engines in Houston a week ago, they build a lot of high end LS1 race engines, and we have a very over-built LS2 motor being built now. Got to see Warhawk & LSX and LS2/LS7/LS3 blocks, every flavor of LS1 head/piston/crank/rod, etc. The LS2 based engine we chose should easily meet our 500 whp limit that our current TTU chassis weight dictates (with an inlet restrictor). We're going to make the LS2 oil pan fit (it looks like it will clear the crossmember after some review), as it has a much better sump and windage tray. Accusump going in, too.


11-12-2008, 04:47 PM
http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/415718922_AmAHF-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/415718903_WdmDV-S.jpg

The fire proof shift boot we added to the Alpha car last week. Works well with our race car, not so much on a street car. Just received a crap load of brake ducting hose for this car and the EVO, plus some mesh screen for rock guards.

11-12-2008, 04:55 PM
Not only that but it keeps the hot air from under the car coming into the cabin. A current treat on August days. :)

02-25-2009, 02:21 PM
The new LS2 motor is finally wrapping up so we're going to pull the old motor on Thursday, Feb 26, 2009. Calling all hands!

MOTOR PULL PARTY! Thursday night! 7 pm until 11 pm ish. Step up! 8)


John in Houston
02-25-2009, 03:13 PM
Sorry... I'll be in FLA kicking back on the beach.

02-25-2009, 03:50 PM
Sorry, we're going to a Stars game with half our office.

02-25-2009, 05:16 PM
I think I can make it. As long as I get out of work in time.

02-25-2009, 05:18 PM
I can help tomorrow guys. Keep the fridge stocked.

02-26-2009, 06:05 PM
7:00 tonight?

02-26-2009, 06:15 PM
Yes, 7 pm tonight. Car already ont he lift ready to be de-engined. :)

03-01-2009, 01:04 AM
Sorry I missed it. Guess I dont get on the forums enough =(


03-01-2009, 09:42 AM
How'd the engine removal go?

03-01-2009, 10:06 AM
I think it went good.....well better than the header that jumped on Fair when he was under the car.:cursing: First time for me pullin an LS out of an E36. We (Brian, Fair and me) were done by about 10:30

03-02-2009, 10:58 AM
Thanks for coming by to help, Dave. With the three of us working it went pretty smoothly.

Here Hanchey and DaveB get to work pulling the drivetrain out

About 2 hours later



Some hasty reassembly over the weekend will keep all of the front end parts from laying around the shop

Ready for the LS2!

03-20-2009, 06:22 PM
Koenig has the new LS2 motor ready! I've got to pull the oilpan and rear cover off the old motor this weekend and ship it to him, then its ready to go into the car. Installed a new Camaro LS1 oilpan baffle kit that looks pretty trick.

So excited!

04-10-2009, 11:41 AM
btw speaking of LSx oilpan baffles i bought this a few months ago its a really nice welded piece which you or others may find useful. http://www.improvedracing.com/product_info.php?cPath=2_3&products_id=30&osCsid=8a672af6dcd0c83208078287a0ea08b9

Thanks for this tip - we ordered one of these and our engine builder liked it so much he got another for a customer's engine. We picked up the motor last weekend while we were in Houston at an SCCA National Tour. We're pretty swamped at the shop but Brian did find time to get us a new Fidanza LS2/LS7 aluminum flywheel and an LS7 factory clutch and pressure plate. Today he spoke with a guy at Canton/Accusump for about an hour and we've got an oil cooler, 3 quart Accusump, and all sorts of accessories that go along with these parts. We might even be a dealer for Canton soon? Good stuff. Anyway, here are the pics:

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/486220240_WZjVH-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/506710601_DY5Cm-M.jpg
Left: Old 5.7L LS1 motor and Camaro pan next to LS2 pan (LS2's much longer sump gets in the way of BMW crossmember). Right: Dropping off old motor at HK Racing Engines (http://hkracingengines.com/)

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/506710432_d9dqF-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/506711103_dGCYD-M.jpg
The new LS2!

As soon as the new flywheel and Canton bits arrive we can finally get the motor back in this car. :redspot

04-14-2009, 02:53 PM
Flywheel arrived today so we're working on the LS2 motor on the Alpha car TONIGHT! 7 pm until 11 pm or so...

04-14-2009, 05:59 PM
See ya in a little then.

04-21-2009, 09:59 AM
We had a day Saturday opting to not drive down in the rain to TWS we worked on putting the accessories and intake on. Thanks to Matt for the help. We'll be working again tonight getting the flywheel, clutch and transmission put together. Maybe sticking it in the car?

After that we have a bunch of little projects like mounting/installing the oil cooler, Accusump and fire system. Plenty to do!

Probably starting around 7:30PM tonight.

04-28-2009, 11:15 PM
Some updates on the Vorshlag E36 LS2 install from the last few weeks. We've been chasing down all sorts of hardware needed for the LS2, for the new C6 Z06 clutch/pressure plate, and for the addition of the Accusump and Canton oil cooler.

A beautifully built LS2 as delivered from HK Racing Engines in Houston, TX

Factory oil pan baffle in the LS1 Camaro pan (in the pan) next to the Improved Racing version

The modified baffle after 2.5 hours and 14 iterations of grinding/cleaning/bolting in/test fitting. It now clears the pickup tube (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/7972177_iYqz3#517902580_F9CUP).

Powerbond balancer, ARP crank bolt, and LS2 front cover - supplied by HKE

Oil Cooler Adapter

Accusump 3 QT accumulator kit. "Some assembly required"

04-28-2009, 11:22 PM
More updates from the LS2 install...

Race duty power steering pump. Billet underdriven pulley with bolt access and safety wire, lower flow pump internals. 10 GPM instead of 15 GPM. Mo Power, Less Heat, Mo betta.

Our stock LS6 intake wouldn't fit our CNC'd LS6 heads. WTF?

Actually this is pretty common on LS1/LS6 factory intakes. Just grind the bosses on the bottom a little and it pops into place.

Old stock Camaro water pump after many years of "water only". Crusty!

New water pump hotness + power steering, alternator, and lots of cleaning.

Big thanks for help from Matt P, Dave B, Paul M. Brian and I appreciate it!

04-28-2009, 11:52 PM
More LS2 updates... clutch/pressure plate and flywheel

Since we're adding about 200 hp we figured our LS1 Fidanza flywheel and used C5 Z06 clutch and pressure plate (despite looking brand new after 3 years of abuse) might not be up to the task. After doing a little searching bought the LS7 aluminum flywheel ($400 retail) and LS7 factory clutch and PP ($220), which is rated at 505 hp from the factory. A lot more surface area on the friction surface and a much heavier pressure plate. In our little 2500 pound car this should work nicely.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/517906981_Y35om-L.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/517907549_6aAV8-L.jpg
LS1 Fidanza (L) and and LS7 Fidanza (R) look very different but weigh the same

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/517905976_BwtnM-L.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/517906434_LbaGF-L.jpg
The C6 Z06 (LS7) OEM clutch & PP were almost 5 pounds heavier than the C5 Z06 (LS6) OEM version, though

More pics of our various LS1/6 to LS2/7 differences shown in this gallery (there were quite a few): http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/7972177_iYqz3

The damn flywheel bolts - 3 iterations and lots of lessons learned

First off let me start with some excuses - we're suspension guys and don't build a lot of LS1 motors. :D Luckily we know some good engine builders (Erik at HKE) and tuners/builders (Taylor at DP) that have been very helpful when we ran into snags.

We never have time during the day to work on this stuff so we attack it in small chunks at night and on the weekends. The flywheel has been kicking our butt the last 3 times we've tried to work on the motor. First we figured out the factory LS1/2/6/7 flywheel to crank bolts are M11 (an oddball bolt size, even for Metric!), which we had used before on the stock motor/Fidanza flywheel. We bought replacements from GM. They almost worked in our aftermarket crank... which we found out quickly is made for 7/16-20 SAE threads (Small Block Chevy style). Oops. Then we rounded up some aftermarket SBC bolts (shown above) but the heads were too short for the LS7 Fidanza flywheel's recessed bolt pockets. After 2 weeks of this we just received proper ARP flywheel bolts for a SBC (from HKE). These flanged head, 12 point reduced socket drive, super strong bolts work like a charm. Almost there!

04-29-2009, 04:22 PM
Good progress guys!

05-06-2009, 11:47 AM
After a very busy week we found some time last night to tinker with the LS2. After a few hours of work the flywheel bolt issues have been resolved, the clutch/pressure plate were assembled, the trans re-attached to the motor, and the motor+trans installed back into the car. Thanks to Matt P for coming in to volunteer late last night with Brian and me.

ARP 12 point, reduced head flywheel bolts worked like a dream.

C6 Z06 clutch and Pressure Plate went on with new factory bolts, without a hitch.

Always looking for a shortcut we stabbed the T56 trans into the engine out of the car and then stuffed it in as an assembled unit.

We popped the front end off and dropped the K-member (20 minutes of work) to make the install SO much easier.

Brian nudges the motor+trans in place while Matt "supervises"

Working underneath I re-connected and routed the transmission harness, we attached the motor to the mounts already on the K-member, then with a jack raising it upwards Brian and I re-attached the K-member and LCA "lollipops"

Motor is bolted back into place - that's a good stopping point.

Now all we need to do is plumb the new oil cooler and Accusump, add a few more gauges/sensors, pop in the new injectors (42#/hr), reconnect everything from before (fuel lines/regulator, coolant hoses/radiator, various wiring) and then bolt on the front end. We have a bunch of other projects we're going to tackle soon as well - fire system install, DASH2 digital dash, relocate the battery and add a remote kill switch, add side and center window nets, and more. Once the car is fired up it goes to DP for a re-tune and dyno pulls. We want to get it together before the Vorshlag May 31st Test-N-Tune at Mineral Wells - to break in the motor out there and then get to a track event soon after.

Stay tuned for more.

05-15-2009, 01:35 PM
May 14, 2009 update: We had some volunteer help (DaveB!) last night and logged a few hours on the LS2 install. We're putting the motor in but making a number of updates so it is taking longer than we'd like. We got all of the LS1-to-LS2 updates done (an add-on harness from Scoggins Dickey makes it easy). Headers are in there now so we can mock-up the Accusump and oil cooler lines. Front end is back on, driveshaft is in, swaybar and suspension reinstalled, starter and wiring on, all wiring harnesses re-connected, and the new 40# injectors are in.





All the sensors are in the new motor (except one Hanchey broke last night!) so I'm gonna be wrenching on it this weekend installing the new Accusump, oil cooler, and lines. Once that's done its... ready to fire? Its close. :cool

05-15-2009, 01:56 PM
All the sensors are in the new motor (except one Hanchey broke last night!) so I'm gonna be wrenching on it this weekend installing the new Accusump, oil cooler, and lines. Once that's done its... ready to fire? Its close. :cool

I deserve that one. Fair said, "watch out for that sensor when you put the header in...." The rest as they say is "history".

05-22-2009, 02:44 PM
Latest updates: Well we've knocked out all of the tedious re-installaiton steps and now its just down to the new upgrades: new radiator, new gauges, new oil cooler and Accusump. Its taking a longer than we had expected to properly lay out the oil line plumbing/wiring and mount all of the main components, of course. We put in a couple of hours Tuesday night and a few minutes today, after the new aluminum radiator arrived.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/543165073_sspuS-L.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/543165338_ntpbB-L.jpg
L: Headers are back in. R: Then the dual 3" Y-pipe

We finally installed the Vorshlag/DP T56-E36 hydraulic TOB with remote bleeder and custom quick connects

Fuel system is all plumbed up again

After consideration of a bunch of factors the massive 3qt Accusump is in

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/543168693_yhKDt-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/543163190_irkh8-S.jpg
Oil cooler mounts at top and bottom are rigid. Need to clearance the bumper ever so slightly

New aluminum radiator is 60% bigger than the stock BMW unit we had, which never overheated on the 340whp motor

OK, Hanchey and I are gone for a week to Germany and Holland, so we'll pick back up next weekend and wrap this thing up.

06-09-2009, 10:11 AM
Updates: We've been pretty busy with traveling both overseas and domestically, and racing almost every other weekend. Last week we had our first weekend off in a while so I tinkered with the Alpha car a bit on Saturday and Sunday.


Saturday I built this aluminum right side dash panel insert (I'll paint it black before I bolt it in place). It goes where part of the factory glove box and 2 HVAC vents went. We're going to install a new aux circuit breaker into this panel. I then dyed black, modified and reinstalled part of the center console and shifter cover. We need this in place to run in the "Modified" class for Redline Time Attack, and it only weighs ~2 pounds. I'll make more aluminum panels to fill the giant gaps in the console then install the new oil temp and oil pressure gauges into them. Looks more like a "real" car again with these two faux interior bits back in place. :p

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/559109041_HVDSH-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/559109249_Rhobd-S.jpg

Next I did a little interweb searching and found a great place to mount the sensor for a Autometer Oil Temperature gauge we're adding. The factory F-Body "oil cooler block-off plate" has a cast hole that's made for this - its very easy drill this hole thru and then tap it for a common 1/8"-27 hole for aftermarket oil pressure/temp sensors. Took like 5 minutes and it was done - thanks for making it easy, GM! This plate bolts to the motor right above the factory oil filter.

Lastly, there were several stainless braided -10 AN lines for the oil cooler and Accusump plumbing.




Canton oil filter "sandwich adapter" with two -10 AN lines for feed/return to the oil cooler + Accusump circuit

Got these wrapped up, just need to make one last line to the Accusump... then its ready to fill with fluids fire up? Tuesday night we're attacking the last of it.

06-09-2009, 10:20 AM
Cant wait to see it terrorize more parking lots!

06-09-2009, 02:09 PM
Are going to take it to the Divisional in CS

06-09-2009, 03:00 PM
Are going to take it to the Divisional in CS
Well... no. 2 reasons:

1. The Alpha car might be together and running in 2 weeks but it won't be re-tuned, sorted or remotely ready for any serious competition (Divisionals)
2. We have an obligation to Yokohama bring the EVO to MSR on June 20th. We got another set of free tires as a bribe, as well as free track time all day, so it was worth it.

06-10-2009, 07:12 PM
Update: Brian, me, DaveB and SeanB worked about 3 hours last night and got a lot done. Not a lot to show but we're even closer.


The Accusump was disassembled, all fittings were Tefloned, re-assembled, wired, pressure switch installed, and plumbed.


The last -10 hose was built and routed through the firewall (through a grommet) to the Accusump. Brian wired up a new custom LS2-to-BMW dash gauge water temp sensor and checked the LS2 oil pressure sender as well. Dave re-worked the glove box panel I made and added mounting holes, spacers so that it sits flush, and then cut out a spot for the new aux wiring circuit panel and relay box (not shown) to mount.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/459040146_JWpW6-S-1.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/560421127_UWgCf-S.jpg

Brian was on the lathe making some prototype parts from Nylon for a Mustang coilover kit (rear spring seat adapters) and had a huge chucnk of material left over... now he is machining a new shift knob for the Alpha car. "You know race cars always have custom Nylon shift knobs...", he says. :p

06-25-2009, 05:31 PM
Updates: We've hacked away at the car a couple nights a week the past two weeks... so many little changes and upgrades, ack. Here's a little bit of what we've done:

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564622893_xWM4z-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564623239_YoQ8N-M.jpg
Made this convoluted little bracket to hold the MAF. Attaches to new radiator

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564621920_WU2wU-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564622274_jR4au-M.jpg
Mounted aux fuse panel/relay circuit added... kinda boring, I know

Had this big gaping hole in the reinstalled center console/shifter cover. Looked like a good spot for gauges so I took a piece of thick paper, made a template, traced it to an aluminum sheet, and cut it out. Used an air nibbler and band saw and left a bit of an overlapped edge that was "fine tuned" on the 12" disc sander, for a better fit. The bend was a little tricky but I faked the large radius bend pretty good by clamping the piece in a vice with aluminum jaws at 3 points and giving it a shove. Once bent the dimensions on top "got long" and it was trimmed to fit. Cut the holes for the 2-5/8" gauges with a 2.5" hole saw and went the rest of the way with an air grinder and aluminum bit. Made the "back face" clamping brackets using a trick I saw on MuscleCar, a fab show on SpikeTV - just a little piece of scrap with a tapped hole and a bend.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/571922109_WqfhZ-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/571922366_7ferH-M.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/571921790_rKBPq-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/571922836_sgVfR-M.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573971552_qDKpU-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573971905_XzVxH-M.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573972586_4VDaC-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573972112_GMTJ2-M.jpg

While I whittled away for hours at the new aluminum panel. Brian wired up the aux circuit breaker, stealing power from the main buss on the passenger side firewall + the "ignition on" wiring. He also added the spark plugs, plug wires and heat shields (only needed on two wires). He then hooked up the oil pressure gauge all except for one missing ferrule. A tick more wiring left on the Accusump (just need to mount the on/off switch) and its finally ready for fluids? How many times have I thought that...

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573991412_cvTmT-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573991625_SvAZK-M.jpg
Need to mount that dangling OBD-II port to the dash panel (used for programming the ECM). Center console sitting in place until gauges and 12V power port are wired

More soon... hopefully some engine noises!

07-06-2009, 09:05 AM
Update and dyno graph:

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/581674449_Ps3S3-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/581674570_GgcDs-S.jpg

Dyno numbers: 488 rear wheel horsepower and 450 rear wheel torque.


Didn't do any work to the car over the July 4th weekend, but I did drive it on some back country roads... wow. It now makes 50% more power but is 100% louder. :D

07-06-2009, 10:39 AM

Brian's first test drive... scaring the livestock!

07-07-2009, 02:03 PM
nice graph guys. Has to be a blast.

07-07-2009, 02:25 PM
nice graph guys. Has to be a blast.

Yea, its pretty nice. :)

The guys that tuned the car said there's another 30-40 hp left... everywhere... with an intake manifold + throttle body change. That'll push it well over 500 whp, but then we'd have to add ballast for TTU, so we're going to "lock it down" as-is for a while.

07-13-2009, 10:21 AM
Car is a handful... just spent 3 days autocrossing (SCCA Divisional) and realized the "you can never have too much horsepower" adage is wrong - we now have too much in this thing for autocrossing. :D


Driving this car last weekend was the most fun I've ever had in a car with my clothes on.

Only issue we had all weekend was the serpentine belt kept wanting to come off. It did come off on Friday at the practice, so we tried 3 new belt lengths until we found the shortest that would fit. It still partially came off again during runs both Saturday and Sunday, so we have to find a better solution. The problem is likely the spring loaded belt tensioner and the increase engine speeds (7000 rpm+). K-Tech makes a manually adjusted belt tensioner that you can tighten and lock in place - I'm ordering one today.

edit: ordered!

John in Houston
07-13-2009, 11:35 AM
It did come off on Friday at the practice....

I'm sure I know nothing about this incident. Nothing!

excuse me while I go drink another gallon of water

07-13-2009, 03:11 PM
I'm sure I know nothing about this incident. Nothing!
I've even got a picture of when it came off... and you'll never guess who was driving it! :sneaky2:



excuse me while I go drink another gallon of water
I heard that... so exhausted! Three days in 105F heat is too much.

John in Houston
07-13-2009, 03:45 PM

Well... at least you know it can still slalom without the power steering (right foot down for left, right foot up for right, repeat as necessary).

Thanks again for the rides this weekend. Sorry I couldn't produce.

07-27-2009, 03:13 PM

wish you guys were closer, I'd like to see this thing in action and ask for a ride-a-long.. and beg for a drive :D

07-27-2009, 03:46 PM
Going to work on some video tonight!

It is pretty fun to drive even on 4 year old Kumhos. I don't recommend that btw.

07-27-2009, 10:57 PM
Below is a little clip of video from Saturday's Texas Time Trials (http://www.texastimetrials.com/) event out at Mineral Wells. The big course was ~1.5 miles and all 2nd and 3rd gear. It was a great shake down of the car. 100 degrees out, good braking zones. You can definitely feel how hard the car comes on at 5k rpm. Terry broke in the motor at the Divisional autocross, now we take it up a notch and make sure all the systems are good before tackling something like TWS which requires everything to be in working order (to say the least).


Unfortunately we weren't able to get it going and tested in time for the Redline Event or UTCC, but these tests have uncovered small issues that are better handled in a low pressure environment than spending thousands to travel across the country and break in front of a crowd. :)


The header was lightly tapping the right lower control arm "lollipop" bushing under load. All it took was loosening the lollipop and moving it a millimeter or so, but the noise certainly sounded "ominous". The Accusump is working quite well. Terry watched the gauge while we ran and there was never a drop below 30 psi. I actually turned on the Accusump while the motor was off and the oil pressure shot up to 20 psi. That's reassuring. The car did seem to run a little hot. We equate that to not having the undertray or overtray on the car. Air is just going by the radiator especially from underneath. We'll install those before the weekend and see if the problem goes away.


The 4 year old Kumhos on the rear didn't do much for traction as you'll see in the video. There is some serious restraint required during acceleration right now. Mineral Wells is so dirty to begin with and 488 at the wheels doesn't help. We ordered some Hoosiers (R6) for next weekend. Even with this setup the car pulled 1.3g lateral. I'm sure it will do more with fresh Hoosiers.

Matt here at the shop made a funny "caution" sticker for the passengers to view after they hop in...


Here is the Video: Crank it up!!
click above for video (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#603848897_BTvPH-A-LB)

Big thnaks to David and Gerry at TTT for letting us come out to their event to test with the BMW and the EVO. Lots of fun!

07-28-2009, 09:53 AM
Good to see the monster back in action. Will you guys be at TWS this coming weekend?

07-28-2009, 10:49 AM
Brian and I are coming down to TWS. Brian is going to run the Monster in TTU.

08-02-2009, 02:22 PM
Well, the Alpha car had an unexpected failure this weekend. Paul Magyar and I headed down to TWS at 3AM Saturday. After a nice 3 hour drive with some good conversation (a must at 4AM) we arrived. We worked all week to wrap up a few fixes and get the car ready. We dropped the car off in our garage space and were ready to go with new Hoosier R6s hoping to cure some of the oversteer we saw at Mineral Wells a week ago.

First session goes by smoothly. NASA was running TWS 2.9 CW. I had never driven this before so I'm the first to admit I wasn't exactly setting the course on fire with lap times. I dropped a second every lap as I learned the track and our "sticker" tires came in. I got down to 2:00. The track was green too since they got major rain the day before I'm told. I spent most of the session just finding braking points and checking the gauges. We had some cooling issues last weekend, but Terry put on a Motion Motorsports under tray and fabricated some additional ducting that was working great. Oil pressure was great, oil and water temp were perfect. Brakes even at TWS were working well although we really need more for a big track like that. They weren't confidence inspiring all say that. :) BTW, it has Euro rotors, DTC-70 pads and ducting, that's it!

I told Paul that there was some vibration on the front straight but it felt like possibly a tire lost a weight, nothing major. Car was very loose as you see in the video (I'm restraining my right foot a lot), but overall drive-able. We definitely need a "big track" setup for this car including aero and more appropriate spring rates. It has never really been driven hard on a fast track like TWS. We did one event here, but the CCW direction is not as fast as CW and it was with the original motor which had much less power and less grip as well.

Next session out I dropped 3 seconds on my first lap (1:57), and again, I'm not exactly pushing it in several corners, but I was in others. For some reason, the transponder did not pick up the 2nd lap, but Paul timed a 1:56. The car is capable of 1:50 easily if not lower if we had some downforce.

So here's the video of what happened next. The first lap out I wanted to try 6th on the straight and see if the vibration went away. It was better, but it felt really slow. So the next lap I went back to 5th and kept my foot in it. You'll see as I cross the start/finish that something goes terribly wrong. I'm not sure if it was luck or "cat-like" reflexes but right when the transmission goes, the motor zings past 7000 rpm and I push in the clutch and let off. Thankfully we spent a fortune on valvetrain good for continued abuse up to 8000 rpm. Motor seemed fine, but I quickly realize I have no gears that work. I have to get towed in and we jacked up the car do find that whether the car was in gear or not, the wheels can still turn. The clutch seems fine, but there is a definite rattle in the transmission you'll hear in the video.

Now that it is broken I can remember all the times (even with the old motor) where the transmission felt notchy. Last weekend it was pretty bad, on my first session it was OK, but not great. Definitely on the 2nd session it was getting worse. Since this is the first time the car has been driven this fast, we never really experienced the drivetrain imbalance. Aside from being notchy, it worked fine. The fluid was super clean as well just weeks ago. I'll be working on it tonight to get started with the pull as the Fair's are in Vail for the National Tour.

Click for in-car video (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#608241938_EFAW5-M-LB)

08-03-2009, 08:21 AM

Next session out I dropped 3 seconds on my first lap (1:57), and again, I'm not exactly pushing it in several corners, but I was in others. For some reason, the transponder did not pick up the 2nd lap, but Paul timed a 1:54. The car is capable of 1:50 easily if not lower if we had some downforce.

08-03-2009, 08:32 AM

Oh nice, I was faster than I thought!

08-03-2009, 02:46 PM
OK, update. I checked the data. NASA gave me a 1:57.1 for my first lap. The DL-1 confirms that. My second lap was a 1:54.79! Not bad!

08-05-2009, 10:17 AM
Hey, is this bad?


08-05-2009, 10:38 AM
If you had the missing piece, you'd just use some tried and tested JB Weld + duct tape and you'd be good to go. What, it disintegrated at 155mph? ;)

John in Houston
08-05-2009, 10:52 AM
Inspection hole. No hole, no inspection needed. Hole, inspection needed.

08-05-2009, 11:38 AM
The input shaft was in two pieces when we pulled it apart last night. Looking for a new transmission now. So far the TR6060 (ZR-1) transmission is looking like a winner. If we could convert to a straight cut box for that I would, but I think it would require flywheel, clutch, starter, driveshaft, etc. Not interested in that. Thoughts?

08-05-2009, 06:04 PM
Here's the carnage:



Flywheel, throw out bearing, clutch and crank are fine, but the bell housing and pressure plate took a beating and of course the input shaft is a goner. Pilot bearing is going to be replaced just in case, too.

So we're looking at rebuild trans options and its almost cheaper to buy a new TR-6060 transmission outright than getting the cheapest T56 rebuilt unit. The motor isn't super ungodly powerful, making around 500 ft-lbs, so we're thinking of going with D&D Performance's T-56 Magnum 6 Speed Transmission:


"The T-56 Magnum is the next generation aftermarket T-56 6 Speed transmission and is based on the TR-6060 transmission, original equipment in the Mustang GT500, Corvette, Camaro, Viper & Challenger."

- 700lb-ft Torque Capacity with 2.97 or 2.66 1st Gear
- Mechanical or Electric Speedometer
- 26 T Input Shaft
- 31 T Output Shaft (Camaro is 27 spline; new rear 31-spline yoke is $89)
- Ratios: 2.66, 1.78, 1.30, 1.00, .80, .63
- Uses Hydraulic Throw out Bearing
- Price $2795

Adding a new Camaro style bell housings adds another $200 and I'm adding some steel plate to the tunnel for foot protection (a scattershield will be too bulky for this already tight BMW tunnel). So for a little over $3000 we get a brand new TR-6060 with custom, closer gear ratios for less than a good "race" prepped rebuilt T56. This gearing will work MUCH better for both autocrossing (right now 1st is completely useless) and track events, with a more usable 1st, 5th and 6th. We figure if this trans is good enough for the Viper and ZR1 it should work for our little 500 whp mill...?

I've bought from D&D in the past and had good experiences. We thought briefly about a lighter race transmission (Jerico, etc), but we don't want to have to re-do everything... trans crossmember, driveshaft, tunnel, clutch actuation, external shifters, starter, flywheel, etc. And those are $5500+ to start. This TR-6060 unit is only a tick longer than the T56, so the driveshaft will have to be shortened, and the shifter moves forward 2-3/4" (which should fit this chassis better), but otherwise its a bolt-in.

The cheapest rebuilt T56 we've seen was ~$2000 for a stock style unit (which is what we had) and upwards of $4000-6000 for a "good" race rebuilt units. Rockland Standard's website is complete garbage but from looking on forums and other websites I can gather that their "Tranzilla" prepped T56 costs around $6000-7000 and the "Son of Tranzilla" is $4000+, which is more than we wanted to spend on a rebuilt T56 transmission. I have heard great things about their products, they are just a bit too pricey.

I really like the closer gear spacing of the TR-6060 but that adds even more cost to a custom built T56. Only 6060's I've seen break in stock form are on turbo Vipers and the like. There are also certain drivers that can break anything, of course, so I always take those internet stories of "so-and-so broke one!" with a grain of salt. We're not drag racers...

So... right now it looks like the TR-6060 is what we'll go with.

08-20-2009, 04:11 PM
Some updates from our T56 to T56 Magnum (TR-6060 based) swap in the BMW E36/LS2:

The Tremec TR-6060 (aka: T56 Magnum) arrived from D&D 2 days after we ordered it. This is the same trans used in the 600+ hp ZR1, and is rated at 700 ft-lbs of torque - probably overkill for this car, but the closer ratio gearing will make all of the gears more usable. D&D shipped a replacement 4th gen Camaro T56 bell housing as well as the heavier-duty 31-spline front driveshaft yoke. Another new C6 Z06 clutch+pressure plate arrived from Scoggins Dickey in a day (they are close by) - the slightly used Z06 pressure plate looked ugly from hundreds of hits from the errant piece of the input shaft, and they don't sell it separately from the clutch disc. Good thing we had a nearly new disc, as the new one got hammered in shipping.

So the parts all got here by Wednesday so after we closed a local racer (DaveB) stopped by for a couple of hours to help Brian and me stab the trans and get the drivetrain all back into place. As with the T56, the TR-6060 is a tight fit inside the BMW's trans tunnel, but we managed to get it stabbed with the motor hanging from our motor mounts and the K-member lowered slightly. Quicker than pulling out the whole drivetrain.

The TR-6060 has an extra boss and is missing one compared to the T56. 5 instead of 6 bolts secure the bell housing, oh well

The T56 reverse lockout swapped over from the T56

Some additional openings between the trans and bell housing are there, presumably for use in other cars

The crossmember bolted right up, but the trans is a good 2.5" longer overall (all in the tailshaft housing)

The supplied shifter puts the stub almost 2" forward of the T56 location. Going to need a custom handle

We buttoned up the rest of the trans install and the drivetrain is all back in place. Now we just need to reinstall the pass. side header, starter, and some other bits. Then we'll measure the driveshaft that needs to be shortened - "about an inch shorter" is what we've been told, with the supplied 31-spline yoke installed on the front. More soon.

10-03-2009, 09:56 PM
So, why are you guys selling this?

10-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Update: I worked on the new driveshaft install and shifter mods the week of September 21st and wrapped up the work from the transmission swap minutes before heading to the Sept 26th Dallas Cars & Coffee car show event.

Big thanks to Matt and Dave for helping me clean up the car and pump fluid into the trans (why is this always such a messy job?!) on Friday. The car now has the new TR6060 transmission and shortened driveshaft as well as a new shifter arrangement.



The "Joe's Racing Products" fire proof shifter boot has this aluminum frame that the boot snaps onto. Screwed a piece of sheet aluminum to cover the old opening that was 2" further rearward then screwed the shifter frame to the floor. The new shifter location with the TR-6060 actually fits the stock console better. The tran's 700 ft-lbs of torque capacity means it won't be breaking behind this 490 whp motor anytime soon. Overkill at its finest.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/672203029_rZj4Z-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/672202734_dbLmz-S.jpg

Red tubing is from the SPA fire system, recently added to the car. The shifter actually feels great in the new location. I took the old Hurst shifter arm and ball from the old T56 and bolted it right to the new TR6060, which came with the lower portion of the shifter. I worried that the shifter would be too far forward but it feels great and shifts beautifully. Love the taller first gear in the 6060, too. The motor still has enough torque in 1st to destroy 315mm Hoosiers, but its still a better ratio. >:D

Everything worked perfectly after ~6 weeks of being apart - hooked up the battery, it fired right up and drove onto the trailer. We trailered it a few blocks from the car show (right next to a police station!) and then drove it in.

Dallas Cars & Coffee pics:

Me and my nephew Chandler took the car to show it off - to try to help sell it, with fliers on the windshield. The car ran, looked and sounded better than ever before! Really hate to see this car go.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/661293258_5geCx-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/661282987_PzjWu-S.jpg
Lots of exotics and classics cars show at the C&C event every 4th Saturday at Classic BMW in Plano

People gawked as we we drove up... its a little loud. :devil look:

In preparation of the upcoming sale of this car we removed about half of the decals, and of course the car was spotless inside and out

Fake euro license plate worked well enough - I drove by a a few cops and that police station on the way there.

Stay tuned for the online auction sale for this car in the coming week! Sell a kidney on the black market, cash out the 401K, do what you have to do - because you could own this legendary BMW soon. 8)

10-06-2009, 11:39 AM

any guesses on what target range on price you guys will go for?

11-09-2009, 07:34 PM
As most of you know, the Alpha car sold on eBay about a week ago, for a fair price, and went to a good buyer (corner carver's member JohnK). The owner lives in PA and is based in NY, so the car will see road courses on the east coast soon. His brother Jerry lives nearby in north Texas, so he was the one who arranged to pick up the car on Saturday Nov 7th. I had the car ready to go and he picked up a rental trailer and came to get it.


I didn't sleep much the night before, and got up super early. I was buying two E46s and selling another E36 that same day (http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?p=54302#post54302), so I was going nuts waiting, but spent part of the morning waiting for him to show up copying receipts and putting together all of the Alpha car paperwork for the new owner. Man, that brought back memories! The original receipt for the purchase of the running '93 318is automatic, back in June 2003. I didn't leave it stock for a month before I had the motor out and the mock-up LS1 in place. All sorts of receipts for various iterations of the car. Wow, what a crazy 6 years its been. "Sad" doesn't describe how I felt to see this car go. I was downright depressed!


When Jerry arrived he wanted to drive the car, and I live out in the country so it wasn't out of the question, but he let me drive since I knew the roads and the car a lot better, and this isn't a car that we just let anyone drive when it was Vorshlag's. I think no more than 6 people have ever driven it in the past 6 years, and they were all very experienced, trusted friends and talented racers.

Jerry is himself a drag racer, and was just doing his brother a favor, but after that ~5 minute ride-along with me, he was coming out of his skin and yelling "I'm sending my brother his check back and buying it myself!!!" He loved the car. I'm glad he allowed me that one brief, final joy ride - sometimes sideways, others with the tires spinning in 3rd or 4th gear - along the back country roads around my place. :D

Matteucci drifting the Alpha car, pre-flares, during when he owned it for ~2 years

Big thanks to everyone who has worked on this car over the years that I was associated with it: Taylor at Dallas Performance for the beautiful cage work, fuel system upgrades, custom race exhaust, hundreds of hours spent doing production LS1 kit development/refinement, and the dyno tuning; Brian Matteucci for the incredible wiring/plumbing work, wheels/tires/first set of CF flares, and the first running LS1 iteration!; Brian Hanchey of AST-USA for the countless hours prepping/tweaking the suspension, brakes, and various drivetrain work we both did over the years we owned it together, and racing the snot out of it; and to all our friends and other shops that painted/tuned/aligned/worked on this thing over the past 6 years, notably: Vorshlag friends Jason McCall, Paul Magyar, & Dave Bubeck; Don Paney (paint); Eurosport (alignments), Louis @ LG Motorsports (last dyno tune), and others I am sure I forgot to mention.

I know John is going to have a blast tracking in this car. We wish him and the car well. :)

11-10-2009, 12:15 PM
Sad day indeed. We need to lift up a few cold ones on Friday @ happy hour to memorialize and reminisce.

but....on to the next project(s)!

11-10-2009, 12:38 PM
Yep, that's one cool car. I wish them the best!

06-10-2010, 12:49 PM
Update on the Alpha car! The new owner is having a blast, racing the Alpha at tracks all along the east coast, including:
Its now offically seen most of the north east tracks including Summit Point, VIR, NJMP Thunderbolt and as of this weekend, Lightening. Still to come, Watkins Glen and maybe Lime Rock. If I get lucky, maybe a Canadian track.

In-car video from NJMP Lightning with NASA May 29th, 2010 (http://vimeo.com/12151729)

He's been having problems with the alternator; apparently they are failing at high rpm, so he's keeping the revs below 5500 rpm until he can source an under-drive pulley for it. I'm sure its frustrating, because from 5500 rpm to 7000 that motor is a beast! >:D


He finally added a real wing to the back and its improved braking and cornering, so much so that it eats rear pads quikly, whereas before it didn't wear the rears hardly at all.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1467624 - more details here

Keep up the good work John! :buttrock: