Vorshlag Motorsports Forum

Vorshlag Motorsports Forum (http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/index.php)
-   Engine Swap Discussions (http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=42)
-   -   Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8 (http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7295)

Fair! 11-02-2009 08:58 PM

Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
...or "How to build the perfect autox/track car for $2K"

Starting the build thread for this project here on Vorshlag, 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!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects..._T4mHx-S-1.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...30_FV3sV-S.jpg
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...

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/eve...allenge/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!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...07_u9mtV-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...78_pNS6e-S.jpg
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. ;)

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".

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

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...70_yf33m-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...87_77A2t-S.jpg
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.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...41_w3fis-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...28_9cW6X-S.jpg
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!)

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...44_czyiG-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...64_ke7YJ-S.jpg
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! 11-05-2009 05:11 PM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
First Team meeting tonight at 7... see yall here!

John in Houston 11-06-2009 10:06 AM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
... and?

Who is the team?

Fair! 11-06-2009 10:11 AM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Project Update #2: The first Team Meeting last night 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 honest-no-bullsheet! 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:


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 wheelbarrow full of parts (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.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...49_TCDXq-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...73_PDazg-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...75_dFv8T-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...45_PdJYm-S.jpg
L: VH45 longblock + alt + intake was 430 pounds (not bad). R: Complete motor + accessories was 514 lbs (sprockets, covers, balancer, and accessories were heavy!)

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...89_c3Nnj-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...84_AHZZs-S.jpg
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.

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.

Shortcutsleeping 11-06-2009 11:00 AM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Ya know....when the guy who build/ran a v8 monza rally car, does LeMons events and has a homebuilt Gt1 car becomes the voice of reason then you know we coulda REALLY ended up way WAY out there...

It's a good starting plan though, looking forward to seeing it progress. I think we're on the right path.

cars and such...

HPDE30 11-06-2009 02:48 PM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Hey, how about an Ecotec instead...:devil look: (Brian D at CC)


Originally Posted by Fair! (Post 54270)
Big cast iron straight six shouldn't be much if any lighter than the aluminum V8 we're using,

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?

I'd love to have more power in my car, but most of the options just don't appeal to me. This is an interesting way to go, but I'm waiting to see what happens when you actually lower the engine in...

Fair! 11-06-2009 04:31 PM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Originally Posted by HPDE30 (Post 54284)
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:


http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects..._w3v4X-S-1.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...57_YfRmL-S.jpg
L: BMW 1.8L M42 + Getrag = 427 lbs. The trans alone was 68 lbs. R: Aluminum 5.7L LS1 + T56 6-spd = 609 lbs


Originally Posted by HPDE30 (Post 54284)
I'd love to have more power in my car, but most of the options just don't appeal to me. This is an interesting way to go, but I'm waiting to see what happens when you actually lower the engine in...

So are we... so are we. :D

DBeck 11-06-2009 04:45 PM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Look like, so far so good to me.

Fair! 11-16-2009 11:45 AM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Project Update #3: I worked for about 6 hours on the E30 Saturday 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.

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

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.

~78 pounds of crap removed

Just for grins we test fit the 18x10s to the car, but I will say this one time: we cannot afford to use the 18x10" wheels on the car for the GRM Challenge. 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).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...38_DstH5-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...07_gogjp-S.jpg

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

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...02_iFCRH-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...22_iuAZc-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...18_34i9j-S.jpg
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

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".

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...33_MMEDE-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...92_eSkit-S.jpg
The bumperless look isn't terrible, but we'll still cover these areas up with some smooth sheet metal - aluminum or steel

All told we pulled nearly 80 pounds out of the car 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. Weight is now down to 2359 lbs (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.

We re-weighed the car for all of the doubters...

Until next time,

Fair! 11-20-2009 10:28 AM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Update for Nov 16, 2009: 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?

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...44_XvjWJ-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...25_LPNXX-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...76_WfY3N-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects...63_2LQsN-S.jpg

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...

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.