View Single Post
Unread 12-18-2009, 12:27 PM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
I blame the internet
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,081
Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Project Update for Dec 18, 2009: We got some hacked-up E30 M3 fenders installed last night (local BMWCCA club racer Greg Snyder gave them to us since they aren't class legal for his M3 anymore):

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

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

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

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

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

E30 bits came off and E36 parts went back on in no time

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

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

Finally have the rear lowered. DME + harness = 8.7 lbs

We haven't tackled the 5-lug rear conversion yet, but we have a solution, and have the custom-built slide hammer hub removal tool (thanks Teucci!) needed to extract the correct rear hubs (Z3 or 318ti) at the junkyard. We did slap in some shorter springs in the rear and its finally got the right stance and spring rate to match the front. The Motronic DME for the M20B27 + the entire engine harness was removed last night (which will be sold with the old engine + trans) and now we're ready to tackle the engine install and all of that associated fun. More soon on that!

Last edited by Fair!; 03-05-2010 at 10:56 AM.
Reply With Quote