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-   -   Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8 (http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7295)

Fair! 07-17-2012 11:43 AM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Project Update for July 17, 2012: We are nearing the end of this project thread, as we've done the last tweaks to the E30 before it goes for sale. Here is what has gone down in the past two weeks on this little beast.

Front Splitter Work Finalized

The front splitter I showed in the last installment was not quite finished. There was a nearly 2" gap between the top of new splitter and the bottom of bumper cover. To effectively keep the air from going under the car or from pouring into the engine bay like a parachute above it, an "air dam" needed to be built to seal the splitter surface from the front bumper cover.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2757-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2756-S.jpg

We had looked at three different methods to fill this air gap: 1) With an air dam of sheet steel that attached to both the bumper and splitter, 2) A piece of metal that attached to just the bumper cover and laid on the splitter, or 3) Just a cosmetic plastic piece that sort of sealed the gap. After messing around with some materials and failed attempts at making a "quick and dirty" air dam, we went with a better, more time consuming option: a strong, free-standing structure of aluminum that bolts to the splitter and pushes snugly against the lower/front face of the bumper cover - for a rigid, nearly air tight seal. This air dam would not attach to the bumper cover, which should make splitter removal quicker.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2760-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2767-S.jpg

Vorshlag's fab man Ryan B. made a template of the bottom mounting face of the bumper cover in corrugated cardboard. Then the air dam itself was shaped around this template from a piece of 2" x 2" x 1/16" thick aluminum angle that was cut/bent/formed/welded into the matching shape. This took a couple of hours of shaping, fitting, and TIG-welding back together. The final result shown below is a strong, structural piece that weighed less than a pound.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2763-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2768-S.jpg

Once the shape was finalized and test fit several times, it was painted black and bolted to the splitter. It is shown below with clamps and Clecos holding it in place while the holes in the plywood were drilled. Pan-head 10-32 bolts were installed from the bottom with nuts and washers on the top of the aluminum, which are hidden out of sight.

The aluminum was painted black and bolted to the splitter, then the final splitter/air dam assembly was bolted to the car and the four front support struts were attached (these bolt to the chassis behind the bumper cover). The entire splitter can be unbolted in a matter of minutes, with two bolts at the rear/subframe and the four splitter support struts up front.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2770-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2773-S.jpg

I test drove the car aroung the shop a few days later and the splitter worked fine on the street, as long as speed bumps and steep driveway inclines were "managed". It's a track and street-worthy splitter that is a bit more durable than most, and covers much more of the underside of the car than many splitters (it extends back to the bellhousing flange). Very happy with the final result, and we will likely build another like it for a dedicated track car soon.

State Registration, Various License Plates, and More

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2917-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2503-S.jpg

I had some novelty "euro" plates made up for this car and another project car we're building in house (we had a similar "VoRSHLAG" euro plate on the E36 Alpha car years ago) and I might add the "GRM 2011" plate to the front of this car, but not with any drilled fasteners. Like a lot of Euro plates, we'll just use some double-sided tape to secure it to the front bumper. Then again, I might leave it off and let the next buyer handle that, in case they don't like the idea. This car will also be sold with a mounted and framed copy of the 4-page October 2011 GRM article, a NASA log book, and a bunch of spares.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2928-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2944-S.jpg

The last formality for this car's "paperwork" was getting current registration completed and the car finally re-titled. I went to the local tax office to get new tags and the state sticker, and by my 2nd trip I had all of the right forms and signatures. Now this car is nominally "street legal". It has zero emissions equipment, so street legality will depend greatly on your local laws. Since the car has turned 25 years old, it's exempt from all emissions checks in the State of Texas, and just has to pass an annual safety inspection - your own laws may vary. We did add LED turn signals, fixed the horn, replaced + rewired the windshield wiper motor/arms/blades, and fixed several other exterior lights to make it pass the safety check. The electric windows still work, which is a plus - the car can be driven in the rain, but I wouldn't recommend doing so on the bald Hoosier A6s which are on the car (we swapped on some 285/30/18 Yokohama AD08s from another BMW we have to pass the safety check).

Test Drive, Interior Clean-up, and "For Sale" Pictures

Amy and I drove the car around Plano last Saturday to test the new spring rates, the cooling capability of the new electric fan, the splitter's streetability, and to find a good spot to shoot some pictures. The ride is phenomenally better on 450#/in front and 550#/in rears with the AST 4100s than it was on $10 shocks and 800/900# springs we used for competition in the $2011 GRM Challenge! The engine temps never went north of 185F on this hot day, so that fan is working great.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2906-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2907-S.jpg

The guys at our shop also mounted a fire bottle to the roll bar and cleaned up the interior. Lots of vacuuming, detailing, and finish work was knocked out last week and the interior pictures came out great. The dash pad, door panels, and steering wheel are in near perfect shape - surprising given what this little car has been through. The fact that this was always a Texas car and the interior's condition was why I bought this car in the first place. The new "knee pad" panel added under the steering column was a nice addition, covering up the factory wiring and under-dash area, thanks to an eBay find.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2911-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2908-S.jpg

Several little dash opening "block off" panels were made in our shop out of aluminum, painted, and then bolted into place. The auxiliary gauges added before the 2011 GRM Challenge event are also visible here. Nice and tidy in there, but it's still no show car - more of a "clean race car look". The 4-point roll bar that we had powder coated in crinkle-black finish looks pretty darn good, and makes for a nice in-car camera mount and a place to hang the G-Force harnesses.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2912-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects.../DSC2938-S.jpg

There is a pair of I/O port seat back braces bolted to the cross bar as well, for more on-track safety. The left side seat still has a slider and the seat back brace can be re-drilled for each driver's position. The trunk lid is lightened and held in place by three 1/4-turn Dzus fasteners. The hood is similarly lightened and held on by 4 hood pins. So yeah, it is more of a race car that can be street driven.


The ride height is a tad low, so I will have the guys raise it up another 3/4" all around later this week. Makes for stance-y looking pics, but not a very realistic street ride. For track use it is fine though.


That's all I have for now. Next up - gotta write the ad for the online auction. As soon as that is live, I will post up again and let you all know. It should be within the next couple of days, and I will let the auction go for at least a week.

Get ready... I will update this thread soon with a link to the auction!

jatoth 07-17-2012 03:58 PM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
GO GO GO GO GO!!!!! If you need a place to store the car during the auction to make room for another car, I would then have a free space in my garage. :devil look:

Fair! 07-31-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8
Project Update for July 31, 2012: The eBay auction ended last Sunday at noon, finally. It was a nerve wracking week of waiting (luckily we were insanely busy on another project, which kept us preoccupied), with over 6000 views of the auction, nearly 100 watchers, and 34 bids. When the dust cleared and seven days were up, the E30 had met reserve, selling for $18,000.


To some of you that might seem like a lot for a "$2011" budget car, but in reality that's a fair price for what you get. It could have gone for more, but I'm not complaining. Remember, we had a LOT of labor hours in this car (say... a thousand+) and in 2012 upgraded major components that were originally purchased under the old $2011 budget, swapping them for proper parts that were well beyond that price cap. The new owner will be bombing around road courses in California soon, which is a perfect use for this car. Already paid for, title already sent out, transporter coming soon.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Vorshlag.../DSC2739-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Vorshlag.../DSC3140-S.jpg

The E30 has been sitting in our shop behind the Brianne Corn Racing 2005 Subaru STi Hill Climb car (under a car cover), waiting to be sold. We've been thrashing on this Subaru for two straight weeks doing way more work than should be possible in that time frame. You can read more about that project here.


A couple of days before the auction ended I was surprised to see the eBay auction and a write-up on Bring-A-Trailer, where vintage and/or race car featured on their site. There were some funny comments on there, of course, like: "This thing looks like it just drove through a herd of My Pretty Ponies. And hit every single one." Cracked me up! :D

Epic E30 Picture


Here's a nice picture taken of the E30 today, that our new photo/media guy whipped up for fun during lunch. Wow. Yea, Brandon has skills (he took some of the most memorable pics of the E30 previously, like this one, and that one). We'll try to get him to take a few more shots of it before the car is gone. You can get a full sized copy of this picture above, if you want a desktop background. Great, great shot... was a composite image of 6 or so individual shots with unique spot lighting on each. Expect more amazing photographs on Vorshlag project builds, race event coverage, and product pictures than you've ever seen before. He's going to Pikes Peak for the week and we will have those photos to show later in August.

Its going to be a sad day when this little E30 goes away - just like when we sold our silver STU-prepped 1997 M3 in February, or the E36 Alpha car in 2009. Having spent so much time working on this car, testing, tuning, upgrading, repairing - its always hard to let these long term, big effort projects go. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this build. An extremely frustrating 2010 showing, then the amazing 2011 victory, and a rebirth with all new wheels/tires/brakes/suspension/drivetrain in 2012. I wanted to give a big thanks to everyone here who read the build thread, made suggestions + helped guide us through this project, who cheered us on, played "guess the engine" (you were good sports!), and to all of those that chipped in volunteer labor. We're going to have a party for the volunteers once this car is gone, too.


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