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  #21  
Unread 05-06-2011, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

Project update for May 6, 2011: Costas and I have been to McCall's twice to work on his Z3 since my last update, and McCall has worked on it off and on since then as well. Most of this work involved wiring, but some other systems and mini-projects have been tackled as well. The first wok night covered here was about a week and a half ago...



The stand-alone LSx wiring harness was installed and connected in about 30 minutes. That was the easy part. There's about 14 wires that have to be tied into the chassis and factory harness, which takes a lot longer. Heh.



There's all sorts of T-taps and wiring hacks that have to be undone, plus a LOT of extraneous wiring is being removed. The basic systems will remain (power windows, front lights, brake/turn/license plate/running lights, gauges) but the rest is coming out. Lots and lots of wires have been traced, marked, and cut out of the harness. And we're not half-assing it, we're taking out wires back to the fuse box.



There's a lot of harnesses to confuse you. There's the stock Camaro LS1 take-out harness that came with the motor (not being used), the stock engine harness for the Z3 S52 motor (that will be untouched and sold), the chassis side Z3M harness, and the stand-alone LSx harness. The first work night we did in this update ended with a MASSIVE hail storm that lasted 30 minutes, but luckily none of our cars or trucks were damaged. Whew!



Two nights ago we all met up again and tackled more wiring work. The new 4" offset shifter from McCleod arrived and it fixes the weird shifter location (too far forward) that the Z3 chassis forces. This along with an offset shifter (not shown) should put the shifter right in hand.



McCall had already built his own cold air tubing and mounted the filter and MAF (using Spectre products) as well as mocked-up more of the interior bits (center console and gauges.



Costas brought boxes of his wiring supplies and he spent the evening adding weatherpack connectors to things like fans, soldering/heat shrinking ring terminals to various wires, and tracking/cutting out extraneous wiring. He's the wiring master! I spent most of the night buried in the Bentley wiring schematics, being mostly useless.



McCall installed his new power steering hoses, the clutch hydraulic lines, and several other items underneath the car that I can't remember. He was under the car all night. Oh yea! He mounted the swaybars properly - took grinding on the poly swaybar bushings and some testing with shims, but he got it to spin freely with "pinkie finger effort" before installing the end links. It was bound up like MAD before, which is all too common. The suspension on the car is very temporary, but the bars will stay, so he did these right.



I got the OEM main power junction block installed, with some custom brackets to mount it to the steel fender liner. I complained about MCCall's supplies (alum angle and bolts), lack of every power tool known to man, and lack of a band saw. I was belly aching all night but they are pretty much used to that.



Costas had a box full of removed wiring at nights' end, plus more that were traced/cut back up to the dash (he'll get out every inch of unused wire when we're done - he's crazy like that). McCall is still trying to track down a missing wiring terminal for the fuel pump and a few little things like that, then we can finish off the wiring.

Getting close to firing it up!

Last edited by Fair!; 05-07-2011 at 02:05 PM.
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  #22  
Unread 05-06-2011, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

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Originally Posted by Fair!
i complained about MCCall's supplies (alum angle and bolts), lack of every power tool known to man, and lack of a ban saw. I was belly aching all night but they are pretty much used to that.
Yes, he was in raw form. The only tool I didn't have was a band saw but not all of us with a small two-car garage can have one of those laying around waiting for him to use it.
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  #23  
Unread 05-06-2011, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

Terry,

So will you guys offer a Z3 specific, LS swap kit????
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  #24  
Unread 05-07-2011, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

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Terry,

So will you guys offer a Z3 specific, LS swap kit????
We already do: different length driveshaft, custom steering shaft. The headers and other mounts are the same.
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  #25  
Unread 05-18-2011, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

Project Update for May 18, 2011: There have been two more work sessions on the Z3 in the past two weeks. On the first day we just continued to hack away at more wiring. Again this is WAY over the top, crazy, insane, more-than-necessary wiring clean-up. And this car he started with was a non-running, hacked-up mess that needed some wiring repairs anyway. On Sunday May 8th we started in the morning...



I brought some "reclaimed wiring" from some previous BMWs, in case we needed a connector or some weirdly colored BMW wire. Costas brought his wiring gear, of course. I made a quick run to Autozone to pick up a pre-made 2 gauge wire for the junction block tot he starter, then loomed it and everything bare on that side of the motor. While I was at AutoZone McCall called asking for some metric nuts and bolts, and I found this awesome Dorman bolt and nut kit selection for $25:



500+ pieces, with hex head bolts/nuts/washers in various M4, M5, M6, and M8 sizes. If you have a German car, and have an AutoZone near you, go get this kit. Look at the bottom shelf of the nut and bolt area and pick up one of these metric assortment kits. Good quality hardware in SO many sizes, for a great price.



Costas pretty much spent the day under the dash tracing, marking, and removing wire. By day's end he had a box with TWENTY POUNDS of wire that had already been removed! (see below, left)



I was still in a lot of pain from my fractured rib, so laying under the car or contorting to get up under the dash was out of the question for me. I became the gopher and wiring schematic guy for the day while Costas and McCall did the heavy lifting.



Once he had the cabin wiring to be kept all marked and bundled, Costas moved on to the underhood fuse box. He spent the rest of the day paring out circuits we won't be needing. McCall, meanwhile, mounted a bunch of brackets with the big assortment of metric bolts I found, then re-routed a bunch of hoses and wires underhood, like the steam tube vent hoses. It will look clean and tidy once everything is buttoned up. He also picked up an Odyssey PC680 battery that went into the trunk.



At some point the guys helped me mock up the hood and we noticed from looking underneath that the hood hit the cold air tubing. So I took it all apart....



And re-routed the bends and filter so that the MAF and hoses cleared the hood and the K-tech manual belt tensioner. By then we were out of time and called it a day. Yesterday afternoon Costas went by and helped MCCall some more, and I stopped by on my way back from looking at a totally beat-to-sh!t E36 M Technic (such a waste of a rare car, oh well). I brought my scales with me and we weighed the nearly complete car while I was there. Before we scaled it the three of us guessed at the weight - this was with drivetrain, fluids, seats, door panels, all glass, center console, dash, and the CCW wheels/Hoosier race tires.



As you can see, my guess was closest - within 8 pounds. Suck it! So the car is at 2410. Not bad considering the heavy wheels, glass, etc. It will gain a little weight with exhaust, but this is pretty close. And the minimum weight for X Prepared is 2390 [1200 lbs + (200 lbs/liter * 5.7L) + 50 lbs for ABS], so it won't need much to make race weight. Sure, its still WAY heavier than the 1770 lb boosted CF Lotus that wins XP, but that's a letter writing campaign of its own.



The cross weights were pretty funky, but it got better by 2 points when McCall sat in the driver's seat. We can get it to 50/50 crosses with proper set-up/balancing of ride heights after the new suspension goes on (the GC ADs and plates on the car are going to be sold; just on there from previous owner). The front/rear bias kind of sucks, too... When you gut most BMWs they get front heavy and this Z3 is no exception. The E36 Alpha car was around 55%F:45%R, too. "It is what it is." We'll play around with the mounting of some things not nailed down yet to improve F:R balance as much as we can.

Since I was still pretty pissed about the CraigsList "find" that was a dud (he claimed it was an 8/10 and it was really a rusted out 2/10 car), after wasting 3 hours driving to go look at it for 90 seconds, I didn't stick around past 9:30 pm - but they worked later. The Z3 still needs some more wiring rework, but the wiring removal looks to be completed. Again, most of this work for the past 3 sessions was optional, just to find that 20 pounds of useless wiring that most people just leave in the car. For a race car, 20 pounds matters. They also decided on a revised ignition/starter wiring schematic last night. Should work well and look pretty slick. It is coming along nicely....

More soon,

Last edited by Fair!; 05-18-2011 at 04:12 PM.
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  #26  
Unread 06-24-2011, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

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Originally Posted by Fair! View Post
We already do: different length driveshaft, custom steering shaft. The headers and other mounts are the same.
Terry,

Great to know that this option is available.

Is it possible to still keep the car obd2 compliant so that it could pass TX inspection?


bump for a great project
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  #27  
Unread 06-24-2011, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

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Terry,

Is it possible to still keep the car obd2 compliant so that it could pass TX inspection?
Not very likely, no. This car has lots and lots of sub-systems going into the BMW DME, which would need considerable "black box" programming and wiring to make it work. Nightmare.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

Project Update for July 11, 2011: Costas and I have pitched in on McCall's Z3 project a few times since the last update, mostly in June. It has almost all been wiring work, which has grown continuously as we have delved deeper into the Z3M wiring harness. There's more work here than necessary, as Costas and McCall are trying to remove every unnecessary wire on the car, pairing the harness back whenever a system is being removed. It's a LOT of work to save another 20 pounds in wiring - which could have been left alone, unused, and in the car. Just know that if you wanted to integrate the LS1 harness into any BMW, and make the main systems work, it would be a TON less work than this.



Not to mention McCall keeps buying new stuff to add to the wiring workload, like this new switch/starter panel, shown above left. It is mounted in the dash and beginning to be wired in. What are all of the switches for, you ask? Nobody knows... McCall wants to move sub-systems to these switches "because it looks cool", I guess. (facepalm) Starter, fuel pump, fan, electric water pump, etc. Oh well, all this custom and over-the-top wiring rework is making us all more familiar with the BMW wiring schemes, we know wiring colors in German shorthand, and Costas has improved blood flow to his brain by being inverted for hours at a time (under the dash).



At least the engine is wired and ready to start, and the last Friday night we worked on it Costas wired up the starter circuit enough to crank it over. That was a nice sound! Then he wired in the fuel pump and made it spin for a moment, also progress. Still need to connect the PCM, as the engine won't start and actually run just yet. Once the PCM is installed it needs to be reprogrammed to remove the "VATS" (security crap), as that system shuts the car off after 3 seconds if it doesn't see some signal from the original (GM) key. Its simple programming done via LS1 Edit, HP Tuners or any of the many software systems made for the LS series engines. Once we get it to start and run (and an exhaust built) we'll tow the car to a tuner shop for a VATS fix and an initial dyno tune.



We were able to fire the fuel pump and turn the starter because we finally got the battery wired in. This took a couple of nights of effort, first by McCall - who mounted the Rennline battery mount hold-down - then by me, who reconfigured the box, mounted the remote kill switch, and wired it all up. The Rennline box/mount is pretty slick, and bolted into the existing "battery well" box bolted to the trunk floor. There's a remote cable operated main battery kill switch the comes with it and bolts onto the mount, too.



The main positive battery cable on the Z3M has an explosive charge disconnect end (like the E46) that I carefully cut off. Then I stripped back the outer cable jacket and used the tooling above to crimp the new "lug" end on, which goes to the main battery disconnect switch. Then from the other side of that switch we used an 18" Autozone battery cable with an end already installed to go to the Odyssey PC680 AGM style battery's positive post. The negative post goes to the OEM ground cable, mounted to the rear of the chassis.



The factory positive cable was plenty big, and used a #1 crimp on lug that I bought at a welding supply store. I got the "crimp-o-matic" tool (fake name) there, too. This $17 tool is used to crimp the end over the stripped battery cable, and it worked like a charm. You can solder the ends on, with the right "solder pellet" and a torch, but this crimp method worked so well - it was quick and easy and we were able to crimp it with the tool in the trunk, with the cable mounted in the chassis. That lug is not coming off anytime soon.

So while we've been plodding through the work on this Z3 for the past 2 years in McCall's home garage, in the very near future we'll have more room to work on it. This car is coming to the new (and 4 times bigger!) Vorshlag World Headquarters and Brewery next month. There we can use the lift to finish the exhaust and wrap up the last little bits of work before it makes its first autocross run. I'll post up a thread showing the progress of the new shop space, and when the Z3 moves in I'll make another update here.

More soon,

Last edited by Faerus; 07-11-2011 at 12:06 PM.
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  #29  
Unread 07-11-2011, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

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Originally Posted by Fair! View Post
Not to mention McCall keeps buying new stuff to add to the wiring workload, like this new switch/starter panel, shown above left. It is mounted in the dash and beginning to be wired in. What are all of the switches for, you ask? Nobody knows... McCall wants to move sub-systems to these switches "because it looks cool", I guess. (facepalm) Starter, fuel pump, fan, electric water pump, etc.
Dork. You are right, who in their right mind would want a seperate switch in a RACECAR for their ignition, fans, water pump, data logger, or lap transponder???

Anyways, things are progressing and I can't wait to get it over to the new place! BTW, Costas is da wiring king!
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Unread 07-22-2011, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: McCall's Z3 M Roadtser LS1 Project

Project Update for July 22, 2011: Costas and I met McCall last night for some more work on his Z3, with Paul M joining us later for support. It was damned hot all night, as it has been for 2 months, and this makes for slow going. When we left at 10:11 pm it was down to 103F. This heat sucks. I'll skip the wiring quagmire Costas was stuck in and go over the little crap McCall and I worked on first.



McCall had swung by Vorshlag at 4 pm and made this little adapter plate from a template he and Ed marked up a few weeks ago. They want to take one of Vorshlag's ABS relocation bracket assemblies and mount it onto these two mounts on the trans tunnel, and this flat adapter plate McCall made today will allow it to bolt on. Moves the mass of the ABS pump to the middle of the car, which is always better placement for weight on any race car. Not practical on a street car, of course, which has all sorts of dash innards mounted there.



The next two are simple. First, the ground strap ($10) will go from the engine block to the frame, for better electrical grounding. The installation of a new oil pressure sending for an aftermarket gauge unit was less simple. First, to get the stock oil pressure sending switch (for a dummy light on a Camaro; we'd all rather see a real gauge) out of the LS1 block took a Oil Pressure Switch socket tool from Nook & Tranny. Trust me, I've tried to use a regular deep socket (doesn't work!) and this $10 tool is worth the cost and hassle of getting one. Then this LS1 block adapter (also from Nook & Tranny) goes into the block, which adapts the big stock hole to 1/8" Female NPT. The Autometer electric sending unit uses 1/8" NPT male, but it won't clear the intake manifold, so an 1/8" NPT 45 M/F adapter from Earl's went in between. Its tight in there, but it all just barely fit, and I didn't have to remove the intake manifold (whew).



McCall installed the stock LS1 dipstick (that's Costas pointing it out in the picture), and bent it to clear the hood and headers. It bends easily. He also installed an Autometer "short" sending unit and adapter to fit the LS1 head on the passenger side, for a 1/4 sweep elec Autometer gauge (there's no other off-the-shelf solution). While he hacked away at those I worked on the throttle cable installation, using this too long 48" Lokar LS1 universal throttle cable. The quality is great, but the hardware is all SAE, so leave your Metric tools in the box if you use this brand cable. It doesn't fit the hole in the firewall well at all (I used big washers on both sides), unlike the BMW part number throttle cable I normally use on E36 LS1s, but it does fit the intake manifold bracket better. Very adjustable, too. I bolted one P-clamp around the cable to the fuel rail to secure it and left the ample excess length behind the block. Shorter cable would have been a cleaner installation, but it works.

So that's really the last of the "other little stuff" that needs to be done before the engine fires up. We've got it plumbed and bolted in and ready to run (still some brake line work needed to drive it, but we've been waiting on some custom bulkhead adapters for the brake lines for 5 weeks).

Let's move to the last of the engine wiring...



Costas had already final wired up the starter switch on the Longacre switch/light panel, and tested the fuel pump last time. Tonight he was wanting to finish wiring the electric fan, electric water pump, fuel pump and ECM into the new Longacre switch panel we gave McCall so much grief for adding to the mix. Once these basic systems were wired in then we could finally fire the damn motor. Once it fires and runs (briefly, due to the security restraints from VATS) it could be loaded up and taken to my shop, where we could build the exhaust. The last of the brake line bits could also be taken care of, so it would have 100% all new E36 M3/Z3M brake system and E36 M3 4-channel ABS (this car started with craptastic Wilwood drag racing brakes and a line lock). Then it could be taken to a local tuner shop to have the VATS removed and a dyno tune performed, and actually test driven.

After the dyno tune and test drive there is still some tedious wiring to tackle (due to the hacked up chassis/light harnesses from prev owner + the massive wiring removal McCall and Costas due into + some other little things), which Costas could tackle at his shop (an hour away), and work on at his own (frantic) pace, without us slowing him down. The switch panel wiring here should only take another 1-2 hours, doing it right. Well...

That Longacre switch/light panel has several problems. First, its pre-wired for crap. See, they have indicator lights that glow when a switch is turned on and a circuit is made. Nice feature to remind you which circuits are on. Once the electric water pump and fuel pump were wired up and switched on, the panel the indicator lights would switch on and off, and the circuit would get 13 volts, but the pumps wouldn't turn. WTF?

Lots of head scratching, volt meter probes, and jumper testing from the battery ensued. If we ran a wire straight to the battery each pump would turn on fine, but not through the switch panel. So out comes the cheesy $80 switch panel for a closer look. Let's see... so the pre-wired panels have the entire circuit feed wire run though the little damn light (instead of in parallel), which we found out limits the current dramatically to whatever you are trying to power. Also, this means if the bulb fails the circuit is dead! Useless point of failure and a moronic way to wire a panel. We will instead wire these indicator lights in parallel with the switches and jumper the output from lights together to a common ground, as it should have been done from Longacre's Chinese sweat shop.



So Costas starts pulling the entire panel apart to rewire each switches output to a separate wire (in parallel with the lights) to go to each circuit, the right way... and then wiggles the posts on the switches, and each one is VERY LOOSE. WTF? Upon closer look the included on-off switches are cheap Chinese junk. No way is he going to spend hours and hours wiring up this car with twenty five cent switches. So he told McCall to buck up and buy all new Mil-Spec switches from Aircraft Spruce (if its good enough for an airplane...). This morning McCall has already ordered 6 new switches (see picture, above right) + nylon switch covers (weatherproofing) from Aircraft Spruce and they should be here shortly. Then this car will finally leave his hot ass garage, get an exhaust, and then a dyno tune!



One hilarious distraction all night was not the buzzing of a giant locust and a huge dragonfly trying to kamikaze into the lights, but McCall swinging a broom like a crazy woman trying to kill them. He was knocking over everything in the shop. Big Paul (observing and conversing with us after his 2 week Alaska trip) was a real man and just grabbed the damn things and threw them out the door.

Yes, we know you are ALL ready to see this car run, and probably tired of seeing little updates on small odds and ends, and endless wiring work. Trust us - we are ALL sick of doing these little updates and NOT seeing it running and driving now, and SICK of the endless wiring work, too! The unusually complicated nature of the later Z3M (similar to E46 LS1 we're about to start wiring - so its not wasted knowledge) is what's kicking our asses - everything runs through the factory DME, which has long since been removed. So we're having to re-wire many sub-systems we normally wouldn't. That magic "20 pounds of wire" removal was some work, and this $80 Longacre switch panel (don't buy it) has added a LOT of extra tail chasing, too - lesson learned.

More soon,

Last edited by Fair!; 07-22-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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