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  #11  
Unread 11-20-2009, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Project Update # 4: That previous update was small, but this one is a biggie. We had the whole team of 7 Project members over last night and knocked out a big chunk of work. I had the car on the lift, the hood off and pizza on the way by the time most of the guys showed up. But just 30 minutes earlier Chris and I fired up the M20B27 for the first time since we picked up the car:


video: the M20B27 engine starts, and runs great.

Don't know what changed, but after sitting 3 weeks and with a fresh battery it cranked right up. Hell yea. So... anyone that needs a good running M20B27 engine, transmission, wiring harness and DME its for sale! $500 and its yours.

When the gang all showed up, and had injected enough pizza to kill a horse, we tore into the car with the goal of getting the stock drivetrain out intact. I couldn't remember if the front end came off as completely as the E36, so we wasted a little time trying to unbolt a welded on front radiator support, but eventually we figured out what had to be done - the drivetrain, crossmember, and front suspension needed to drop out from the bottom. No worries, we could raise the car up on the lift.



It was a frenzy of activity with as many as 6 people working underneath, on top (sometimes on a ladder), and inside the car at the same time. The car was grimy and greasy underneath and once we started unhooking hoses it was leaking fluids of every color. There weren't enough drip pans in Texas to catch all of that mess.



All sorts of engine bay clutter was pulled out - radiator, electric fan, condenser, charcoal canister, fuel filter, washer fluid reservoir, a/c lines and compressor, overflow tank, power steering reservoir, air filter assembly, and more. Once the bundle of engine wiring was unplugged and removed, it was time for the driveshaft, body mounted shifter housing extension, transmission wiring, steering shaft coupling, brake lines, clutch hydraulic slave, trans crossmember and and K-member bolts. Then we removed the strut top nuts and raised the car off the engine and K-member...


video: Up up and away....

Once the body was out of the way we hooked up the engine hoist and got the engine and trans into another bay, out of the way. While we were at it we weighed it on the corner weight scales. The M20B27 + 5-spd was 497 pounds.



Chris pulled the rotting transmission tunnel insulation mat off, as this tunnel might going to need some "persuasion" to fit the transmission and bellhousing we have in mind. We took some measurements and the framerail to framerail distance on the E30, at the bottom where its tightest, was 27". The VH45 engine is 28" wide, so it won't be going in from the bottom for mockup...

It was a good 2 hours of work, and everything came out cleanly and quickly, not bad for a bunch of E30 noobs. This weekend I'll get the engine bay, old motor, and K-member pressure washed and cleaned up. Then we'll drop the VH45 motor in from the top and see if it fits... if that doesn't work we've got back-up motor plans that look to be more exciting than even this DOHC V8. Stay tuned...
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  #12  
Unread 11-23-2009, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Project Update #5: I tinkered with the E30 for several hours Saturday and some more hours Sunday, getting it cleaned up after we pulled the motor last Thursday evening. This was after looking at a car with Team Member Chris on Saturday morning and after working half the day on Team Member Paul's race car project on Sunday - which made for two long days, and sore arms, hands and back, but I got a lot accomplished over the weekend. It helped that the weather was perfect for both days.

Saturday I fashioned a rolling chassis stand for the front of the E30 (K-member and suspension were removed) and with Amy's help pushed the E30 outside. Laid out all of the parts we had removed from the car, plus the wheels, and the grease-caked K-member, and fired up the pressure washer. After 4 hours had disappeared I ended the day covered head to toe in the nastiest funk from the engine bay. Have you had to take GoJo hand cleaner into the shower before? My face and arms were just filthy, but at least the car was clean.



The pressure washing started underhood first with just water, then I moved onto the K-member and wheels. That K-member was absolutely CAKED in greasy muck. Cleaned everything within an inch of its life. Then degreased the engine bay and the other bits, and pressure washed it all again. Then I laid on the concrete and pressure washed the nasty looking diff and rear subframe, all four wheel wells, and the underside of the car where I could get to it. Then I hand scrubbed the engine bay with a brush and Dawn soap, then pressure washed it again. Then started with my secret detailing techniques (that mostly involve a lot of elbow grease) and got it all shining.



After all that, the 23 year old engine bay looks pretty damn good. Sunday I removed several brackets that protruded out from the fender structures towards the engine, ground the areas fairly smooth, and cleaned up the mess that made.



The K-member cleaned up nicely - you can eat off of it all now. On Sunday Amy and I bolted the crossmember and stock suspension back in place, then the front wheels, to make it easier to wheel the car around the shop. We also need the K-member in place for Q45 motor mockups later this week.



The inside of the fender wells cleaned up pretty well, but I'll attack them more diligently later. You can see a big Hoosier tire on the background on that last picture above, and we'll show that and the new (cheap steel) race wheels in the next update. They just showed up late today!

On Monday night (tonight) we ended up with 3 Team members at the shop in the early evening, a bunch of new parts had arrived, so we had an impromptu work night for a couple of hours. McCall's cousin David was in town and loved the E30. He's a paint and body man and BMW owner, and was quickly drafted to the team - he's the tall guy in the black Vorshlag.com shirt. Jason and David removed the LF fender (that was some fun!), which was pretty mangled by a previous owner, and David took the body hammer & dollies and worked out two major dents in no time flat. Thanks!





More soon...

Last edited by Fair!; 11-23-2009 at 09:39 PM.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Project Update #6: Sorry for the double update on the same night, but I didn't get a chance to update after the weekend cleaning thrash and we had an unexpected work night tonight, on a Monday. I broke it up because they were totally different aspects of the project... this is the Wheel and Tire and Flare update which many of you have been asking for.

I got back to the shop late Friday afternoon from dropping off and picking up parts only to find four big boxes from Aero Racing Wheels had arrived. This was the 15x10" steel "lightweight" wheels that someone on Corner-Carvers found on Aero's "overstock closeout" web page for $50/each, then Costas noticed and called me about early one morning, and I bought them minutes later. $50 each for chrome 15x10" wheels is insane, but its totally legit. First thing we did this evening was open a box and weigh a wheel...



The observant ones here will notice - "hey, those are 5 lug GM pattern wheels!" Right you are. We had planned on using custom built, steel 15x10" wheels made with the BMW 4 x 100mm pattern, but the costs on custom built steel wheels exceed our budget constraints. Hey, I'd use D-Force 18x10s if we had room in the budget, but you gotta do what you gotta do. So yea, we have to do a 5-lug swap to make them fit, but we managed to get the parts cheaply.



We rummaged around the junk yards and bought some 5-lug E36 non-M hubs E36/rotors/calipers for dirt (who wants the non-M stuff, anyway?) and even found some used E36 front struts for a song, so we're going to swap to a 5-lug and E36 brakes/front struts. Opens up a lot more options to us, really, as the E30 front suspension is kind of an albatross. The E30 front strut housing is welded to the spindle, so your strut choices are very limited. We really didn't want to go to 5-lugs, but it allows us to use inexpensive and plentiful GM pattern circle track wheels, and this was cheaper in the end.

We were excited when we saw the wheel weights at only 21.5 pounds because many steel wheels in this size can exceed 25-30 pounds (the D-Force 18x10" is 19 pounds, for comparison, so its not that much heavier). Aero makes this "85 series" steel wheel for circle track cars with a thinner gauge material, but its still rated for both dirt and asphalt (high grip) use on big 3500 pound cars, so our little 2300 pound E30 should be no problem. The 5 x 4-3/4" (120.6mm) GM bolt circle is close to the BMW 5 x 120 mm bolt circle, so with the E36 5-lug swap it should work well enough. Normally I would never recommend using these differing bolt pattern wheels & hubs together, but for auto-x speeds (and our extreme budget constraints!) its "safe enough". We don't even have bumpers, so its not like this will be a daily driver or W2W race car, you know?

Team member Chris also got his hands on a free 275/35/15 Hoosier A6, which is totally worn out but good for mock-up testing. We weighed and measured it too.



The 275 looks comically wide next to the E30's 195/60/14 tires... but remarkably is almost the exact same height.


Left: side-by-side comparison. Right: E36 rotors/hubs/calipers fit within the 15x10" wheel

So once we weighed the wheel and tire it was time for some mockups on the car, of course. McCall got the RF wheel in place with a tiny spacer and the rear went on with none, so we got the backspace almost dead nuts perfect on the first shot. Damn, we're good....


Left: Bolted the wheel on the rear with no spacer and it has a fingers width to the control arm. Perfect. Center: Rear wheel sticks out ~1.5". Right: Front wheel sticks out about 2"

The wheel is held on with one lone stud and lug nut at each corner, only good enough for mockup (we haven't done the 5-lug swap yet). While McCall and David worked on the LF fender repairs, Matt and I started mocking up flares for the right side wheels. The finished mockups looked better than any of us had imagined, but we're in for some fun turning these into steel! I'll go mount the 275mm tire on one of the wheels using the tire machine at a friend's shop this week, then we can do the 5-lug swap and mount the wheel/tire combo on each corner "for real".


Matt and I made a new rear fender mockup in corrugated

Once we get the car at ride height I can then start cutting the stock fenders for tire clearance and then start looking for sheet steel at the scrap yard to make the flares out of. Someone showed me a trick to make the edges of box flares have perfectly rounded corners, which also gives you a structure to build off of, so I'm going to try this technique on this car.


So far so good... the steel versions get started soon

As great as the wheel and flare mockups looked, David found a picture of an E30 he built previously that looked so amazing we ignored the wheels. He gave us some incredible ideas for front and rear bumper covers that cost under $30/each. I'm not allowed to share more than that for now, so I'll just end this update with the usual "more soon..."

Last edited by Fair!; 11-24-2009 at 12:49 AM.
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  #14  
Unread 11-26-2009, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Project updated for 11-26-2009: Well everyone on the $2010 Team is bored with the holiday already and itchin' to turn some wrenches on the E30, so we've planned another thrash day for Friday Nov 27th and a junkyard day for Saturday. We're installing a Kirk 4-point roll bar into McCall's E30 (we might get the same thing for our Team car - its only $400 but doesn't count against our $2010 budget), prepping my 330 for the AST track day at ECR on Monday, and possibly doing some work on my E36 M3 (if the 330 prep hits a snag and isn't going to make it for the track event) or the E46 323i (there's a "clunk" in the driveline I need to check up on the lift).


Some quick wheel&tire mockups from late Friday


On the E30 we're planning on doing the E36 5-lug front suspension swap, more wheel and tire test fitting, and dropping in the motor. Should be a productive day - weather has been great all week.

Last edited by Fair!; 03-05-2010 at 10:55 AM.
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Unread 12-01-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Project Update # 7: Here's the Q45 motor test fits that Chris and I did last Saturday. We got the motor dropped in and we're moving on to the transmission next.



The big vacuum brake booster has to go, but the motor will fit.


Going in....


VH45DE in place on the K-member.

Motor will move back several more inches when the brake booster is removed (manual brakes - here we go). Lots of little stuff left to do, but that's all we're going to bore you with on the motor for a while. We'll post more pics once we've got a running motor in the car.

Between some junkyard trips on Saturday, some other distractions on Friday, and completely losing Sunday, we didn't have time get to the 5-lug/E36 non-M front suspension swap done, but we should be able to tackle that later this week. Two more sets of free/used 15" tires should be arriving later this week from a corner carvers member, and we had another free set of E36 spindles/brakes/rack get dropped off from a bimmerforums member cleaning out his storage unit - another "its going in the dumpster if you don't want it" offer. Once we get these bits installed we can finally move forward on proper fitting of the wheels & tires, and then make the hub-centric spacers/adapters.

Friday I helped Project Team member McCall on a Kirk 4-point roll bar install into his E30. We had a track event on Monday and he really wanted to get some harnesses installed in the car before then, and I just wanted to see how it fit. Using a lift made it so much easier but he still spent most of the day getting it all wrapped up cleanly. Lots of test fitting, trial and error, and fighting with the seats to get them back in place. I will admit that removing and installing the front race seats is a bit tiring, due to the way I built the seat brackets when we owned the car, heh. The installed bar looks so good we might add one to our Challenge car (this is one of the few safety items we can add that doesn't count against budget):


Kirk Racing 4-point bar installed. Couldn't have fit better if it was custom built on site


A before and after weight of his car, an ST prepped '91 318is

As you can see the 4-point bar added 62 pounds to the car so we'd have to see how that impacts the final weight target on the $2010 E30. During the install we weighed the back seats and the upper and lower bolsters are 29 pounds, not including the sound mat underneath. Since the back seat becomes useless with the bar installed, we could keep it out for only a net gain of about 30 pounds. (McCall has to keep the seats in place due to ST rules)

More soon...

Last edited by Fair!; 12-01-2009 at 12:33 PM.
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  #16  
Unread 12-17-2009, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Terry,

I'm mesmerized by your starting weight. Our '87 325is in similar configuration, w/o back seat, but will carpet and full interior, a/c in place, lighter than stock exhaust, AST 4100's, stock fresh brakes, no rear swaybar, and some 16x8 w/ 225/50-16 star specs was mid to upper 26's. So I'm just blown away really that you're in the 24's stock.

Still scratching my head... did the seller replace the shell w/ CF??
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Unread 12-17-2009, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

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Originally Posted by GotCone? View Post
Terry,

I'm mesmerized by your starting weight. Our '87 325is in similar configuration, w/o back seat, but will carpet and full interior, a/c in place, lighter than stock exhaust, AST 4100's, stock fresh brakes, no rear swaybar, and some 16x8 w/ 225/50-16 star specs was mid to upper 26's. So I'm just blown away really that you're in the 24's stock.

Still scratching my head... did the seller replace the shell w/ CF??
Yea, we've had a lot of folks doubting the weight, and a few people outright calling us liars on another forum. It does seem a little low, but the scales are accurate and have been re-verified on several cars. We think the low "starting" weight on the not-quite-stock 325e was from the following:
  • This car has some aftermarket carpet installed. BMW carpet is usually very heavy with inches thick insulation in some areas.
  • This car had some aftermarket seats already installed
  • The battery was missing so I swapped in a used Odyssey I had lying around that someone gave me for free (14 pounds)
  • The radio was completely gone
  • Wiper motor was removed (in the trunk but not when we weighed it)
We've since removed the stock engine, trans, exhaust, most of the a/c system, horns, bumpers + supports, hood and hinges. Its really light now! Of course the V8 + trans going back in won't be as light as what came out, and the 15x10" wheels and tires might add a handful of pounds, as will the final exhaust. We hope to meet our target weight without gutting the interior or removing any other items needed for a potentially semi-streetable finished car.

We've done a lot since my last update, and are scheduled to work on it again tonight, so maybe we'll have a forum update soon.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 12:27 PM
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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.
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Unread 01-22-2010, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

has been too long w/o an update. ;D
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Unread 01-23-2010, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

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Originally Posted by GotCone? View Post
has been too long w/o an update. ;D
Sorry... we've done work to the GRM car, but it has all been top secret.

I'll post up about work we'll do later this week, that we can share.
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