#61  
Unread 08-10-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

Epic story, Terry! Good luck preparing the car for Nationals!
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  #62  
Unread 08-11-2010, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

How was the new shifter?
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  #63  
Unread 08-11-2010, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

Lincoln weather does not equal Texas summer though.
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  #64  
Unread 08-12-2010, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

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Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
How was the new shifter?
Totally different. And awesome.

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Originally Posted by hancheyb View Post
Lincoln weather does not equal Texas summer though.
True... but I hate to build the car to only do well at one event. If we autocross 15-20 times in the summer months leading up to Nationals, and they're all in Texas... Its hard to get them cool enough right now. Several other DSP BMWs have stepped up to 315/30/18s. I thought they were nuts - these cars don't have ANY power! - well, until the last few super hot events.

My first run on Day 1 at the Tex Reg Div was fastest, and it wasn't totally because I suck (although that was a majority of the reason). The grip levels are falling off fast in Texas heat, but we're going to try ice water in the sprayer and make sure we get them as cool as possible before the next run.

The problem with anything wider than the 285 in the rear means - all new flares will be needed out back. YEEESH.... I don't know if I have that in me, or will anytime soon.
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Unread 08-12-2010, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

Did Stett get the car back / running? Updates?
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Unread 08-12-2010, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

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True... but I hate to build the car to only do well at one event.

But Nationals is the only event that really matters.
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  #67  
Unread 08-12-2010, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

Update for Aug 12, 2010: I went by Stett's yesterday and surveyed the damaged - its not that bad, which is good news.



The rod bearings have some light scoring but nothing you can hang a fingernail in, so Stett is going to roll in some new bearings and an oil pump and weld on the nut, and we'll run it again this weekend. Yea, I'll be more gentle with the RPMs, and we just ordered a programmable shift light.



OK, so I'm pretty disgusted with this car and BMW in general after this incident, for all the good it does me now. I'm just sick of the fact that BMW motors are both fragile and underwhelming - apparently this is nothing new. One more quirk to put on the M54's problem list is "bad harmonics"... even with the oil pump nut secured with Loctite/safety wire/tack weld, they still have high RPM issues that break the oil pump drive and other things, apparently. I've learned a bit reading about some other M54 horror stories on E46 Fanatics, and some guys there (PEI330Ci then F1004fun) have had ATI make a better balancer for the M54. This ATI aftermarket harmonic damper/balancer (shown above/right) is only $650 and takes an elaborate and custom tool to install. Apparently since there's such a tiny demand for these they cost a fortune (I've got Koenig trying to find a better price for me). That's disappointing, but none too surprising.



While I was there with the car up on the lift I finally snapped some pics of the new exhaust. We've ordered some snap-in harness ends for the 3" lap belts (for this car and the E30), and the shift light should be here for the E46 soon. Other than the repairs and the new anchors for the lap belts, I think this is all we're going to do before Nationals. We'll do a sound test after we get the car back from Stett, hopefully on Friday...

More soon,

Last edited by Fair!; 11-06-2016 at 05:00 PM.
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Unread 08-12-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

Make sure you bring a backup plan for sound for Natls! It is a long way to go to have to deal with that crap but you can't fight city hall!

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Unread 08-17-2010, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

Update for August 17, 2010: Well the repairs done by the guys at Stett Performance in Plano worked flawlessly at the autocross last Sunday. Thanks guys! They did a helluva repair job, especially considering the tight time line and minimal money they charged. So glad I took them the car! The new oil pump, rod bearings, and MOTUL oil never made a tick all weekend once it was fired up. Great work!!! :buttrock


So they finished the car Friday and we took the E46 on Sunday to a Texas Region SCCA autocross at Texas World Speedway (Bus Lot), with another excellent course set-up by JJ and a very well run event by the Texas Region. Hot as Hell but worth the hard work and effort to get to this event to test the repairs and final Nationals suspension set-up. The car ran stupendously well, handled nearly perfectly (considering it had very worn rear tires), and Amy and I posted two class wins (Womens & DSP) and placed 4th and 3rd in overall PAX results (that's where they multiply your time by a class handicapping factor). Amy was fast right out of the box, but it took me a few runs to find my groove. You can see me frighting the rear grip in my video run, but it was Full Driftoro Terry in my other runs. I finally calmed down, cooled down (it was 105F) and let the rear tires give all they had and didn't push further. With fresh rears it could have been considerably faster.


Click for in-car video of my fastest run


The previous 4 runs I was in the 56.0 to 56.1 second range, making huge mistakes each time. I missed 2nd gear twice (something is wacky on shifting this car while cornering!), and I let the car slide ass first around most of the turn-arounds, plus got way behind on the rhythm sections. OK, about that 55.2 run - there's still plenty of driving mistakes, for sure. Amy was already in the 55.3's on her 2nd run. I ran over a cone in the first slalom and it threw my concentration - but the cone flipped up and fell back down in the box, I sh!t you not! In my 20+ years of autocrossing I've only seen that happen a few times, and never to me. Guess I was due for some luck. I was still way behind on the last slalom and had to back off a lot in transitions, due to the rears being worn to hell. The gearing was perfect to keep it in 2nd gear for the whole course, but it pushed past 7000 rpm on one spot. I was dousing the tires after each run, as well as the radiator, but it was barely enough. It was Africa hot.

The motor and oil pump stayed together for all 10 runs by both drivers, with nary a tick or grumble from the engine, so I am not backing off the revs. I didn't touch a shock knob, kept tire pressures where we had them at the Divisional, and its going to Nats just like this (on a set of fresh A6 Hoosiers, with this worn set mounted and ready for emergency spares/practice runs, as well as some Yokohama A032 on standby as wets - 3 sets of 18x10s should about do it!)



This week we did finally drill and install proper clip-in floor anchors for the lap belts, so now they are in there correctly. I re-did some of the exhaust fab work and repairs to the heat shielding and front undertray I wasn't happy with last night, too. The shoulder harnesses are re-routed and tight to the harness cross bar, too. I do have a shift light I am going to try to sneak in before Nats, but we'll deal with it if time isn't there (the E30 GRM Project deadline is looming!).



The coolest part of this event was the placement of AST equipped drivers and Vorshlag Testers:
  • 1st-4th in overall PAX results (all Vorshlag testers)
  • 1st and 2nd in SS (both Vorshlag testers, AST 5200 equipped)
  • 1st and 2nd in STX (both Vorshlag testers, AST 4200 equipped)
  • 1st in STU (Vorshlag tester, AST 4200 equipped)
  • 1st and 2nd in SM (both Vorshlag testers, AST 4200 equipped)
  • 1st in DSP (Vorshlag testers, AST 4200 equipped)
  • 1st in W (Vorshlag tester, AST 4200 equipped)
  • 1st in FP (Vorshlag tester, AST 5200 equipped)
  • 1st and 2nd in CSP (Vorshlag testers, soon to be AST 4210 equipped)

We're starting to see this pattern in areas that have woken up to potential of AST shocks. Nice job, guys and gals! If we run our DSP car one more time before Nats, it might just be Amy driving, as I need to be testing the E30 set-up for GRM event. There's 3 more events we could hit locally, so we'll see how close the GRM car gets - I need to get at least one event in with that thing before Nats.

Cheers,
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  #70  
Unread 08-18-2010, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag BMW E46: DSP Auto-x Project

Update for August 18, 2010: We finally got time to do some sound testing today. First we did the "After" sound tests on Hanchey's unmuffled turbo Subaru Legacy race car. Then we finally tested the DSP prepped E46 330Ci with the new custom 3" exhaust, Stett headers, and 3" Hushpower muffler.



We never sound tested it with the stock manifolds and after-cat exhaust (no "before"), but it was as quiet as a sewing machine, but as choked up as if it had the proverbial banana in the tailpipe. Even with the Stett headers added it was still hard to hear the engine note to know when to shift - super quiet, because it still had a choked up, poor flowing after-header exhaust. The factory after-cat system, which itself weighed 62 pounds, was the reason. Once we removed this monstrosity, made up of two factory catalysts, a secondary catalyst, a resonator and a huge rear-mounted muffler with a bypass valve on one of the exhaust tips, it of course got a LOT louder. But that was to be expected, and with more exhaust flow comes more potential for added horsepower.



Completely "uncorked" 6 cylinder BMWs are usually ear-splitting loud, so we wanted to use a fairly quiet muffler for this car, as it would see sound testing regulations at SCCA events, including at the 2010 SCCA Solo Nationals. But we didn't want to choke off the flow, either.



This time Flowmaster came to us and offered up one of their latest and greatest mufflers - the 3" Hushpower part number 13016100 - for us to test and use on the DSP car, and we were glad to give it a go! This muffler is popping up on all sorts of street and race cars, and we love the unit. It is fairly lightweight, free flowing, and it knocks the hell out of exhaust noise - yet makes for a pleasant sound on everything we've used them on so far. The was the same unit that worked so well to knock down drone and Wide Open Throttle exhaust noises on our STU prepped E36 M3 we sound tested before, as well as their HP2 Hushpower we sound tested on McCall's E30 318is ST car. Its available in many case lengths, materials, diameters, and with or without an integral turn-down tip.


Sound Test 1: 102 db at WOT in 3rd gear


We were hoping for a ~100-102 dB number at WOT and that guess was right on the money. The near 100 dB number we got on our test set-up (which admittedly has a much closer placement of the sound meter to the car than than proper SAE sound testing) means we're in the clear for SCCA sound regs, and we'll update this thread with any test data we get from SCCA at Nationals in a few weeks. The 86 dB note at cruising speed was exceptionally quiet, given the otherwise unrestricted (and not emissions legal!) exhaust on this race car.


Sound Test 2: 86 db at 40 mph cruising speed


Now folks building a BMW like this and using it for street use would have to use some sort of catalytic converter(s), which themselves reduce sound levels significantly. And remember - our sound testing method is way different from SAE tests, or even SCCA Sound Regulation testing - they place the sound meter 50-75 feet from the car, and our meter is only 10 feet from the tip as the car goes by. So the ultimate numbers we tested are always going to be higher than "proper" sound tests. Look at some of our other tests with the Hushpower muffler to see the before/after numbers we've generated, and the HP series muffler is proven to be a good bet for lower noise emissions.

Big thanks to the folks at Flowmaster for the Hushpower muffler they sent us for this test. After the results we've seen, its a keeper!

Cheers,

Last edited by Fair!; 08-19-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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