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  #31  
Unread 02-20-2010, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

And now some new parts we've acquired for the project:


Derek scored this "sweet" eBay steering wheel. The 1.5" smaller diameter will help for auto-x and track use


Derek also offered up a used steel Camaro driveshaft, which we'll use pieces of to make our driveshaft. Seats we're test fitting team members into

So why are we worrying about better seats, now? Aren't the eBay reclining seats good enough for auto-x, drag race, and the car show? Well, these seats are as comfortable as sitting on a piece of plywood, and aren't up to snuff for track use, so they're going to be sold. Wait... did I just say TRACK USE? Why would we worry about that on a GRM $2010 Challenge car.

Because we're going to take the E30 to the 2010 GRM Ultimate Track Car Challenge (UTCC) in July.

Assuming everything goes as planned, we can have the car completed in time, track worthy/safe, and maybe even sorted. We had planned on going to UTCC this year with team member Paul Costas' ungodly fast tube framed GT1 car (see below). He went to the UTCC in 2007 and was very fast, but plagued by a rushed build schedule. He wants a rematch at VIR's big course this year. So since we're towing to VIR, and have a 2 car trailer... why not take the $2010 GRM E30! It made sense to me, at least after a few beers.


Costas' GT1 Camaro

So yesterday I talked to the guys at GRM and they loved the idea. Since a $250,000 Daytona Prototype won last years UTCC, its getting a little beyond "grass roots". Maybe bringing a dose of reality in the form of a $2010 crap box will slightly realign UTCC with the magazine that sponsors it? And it'll be a damn good shake down for the October $2010 Challenge event. I mean, if the E30 survives 150+ mph straight away speeds and corners at VIR, then it should withstand 5 drag runs and a few minutes dorking around in the parking lot for the $2010 Challenge, right?

We're going to throw down the gauntlet on the GRM forums and challenge more $2010 Challenge teams to drag their low-buck builds to the 2010 UTCC, and Per Schroeder has offered up a free beer and a cheeseburger to the fastest $2010 Challenge car at UTCC. A beer and a cheeseburger? I've done crazier things than this for less.

So we're upping the attention on the E30 project to add more emphasis on road course safety and speed. We're going to add a Kirk Racing 4-point competition roll bar for sure (ordering 5 of these units on Monday for various Team members' cars, including my DSP E46 project and the E30), as well as a good FIA harness (G-Force Pro 6-point). Neither of these items will count against our budget, according to the folks at GRM - whew. But the seat will... so we have to sell the eBay seats in the car now on CraigsList for maximum $$$ to afford one racing seat we'll need. The Pate swap meet is coming up so we'll be trolling the aisles for a good deal on an aluminum Kirkey or UltraShield seat, or maybe even a composite road race seat from Sparco or Cobra? We can only dream.

The car has to pass NASA tech inspection before it can run at UTCC, so we'll try to finish it sooner than originally planned so we can run it at a local NASA Texas Time Trial event, and get a full tech inspection and a log book issued before we drag it to VIR in July. This moves up the schedule and ups the ante considerably, but our $2010 budget isn't going to change. Can we do it? Can we make a safe, sorted track car for $2000 that isn't embarrassingly slow? We'll see. We'd be happy if we go to UTCC and beat the bottom 3rd of the field, but even those cars are going to be stupid fast and have at least $30-40K+ in their construction. Time will tell if we bit off more than we can chew...

After a noted engine builder stopped by last weekend and checked out our motor, the horsepower plans have ratcheted up a bit. He knows these motors better than almost anyone on the planet, had some really good low-cost ideas, and we're going to follow his advice. We aren't sharing ANYTHING about the motor until its in the car and running. The oil pan we need (and have horse traded 3 levels deep to get!) is arriving this week, then we can finally do our mockups in the car with the actual oil pan and trans we're running for the Challenge event. We've already done drivetrain mock-ups with.... another trans.

No more details - I've already over-shared, so I'll stop there. Back to to the shop to thrash on my DSP E46. We spent a couple grand yesterday buying parts for that car, and I need to put the mountain of parts I already have here now to get ready for what's inbound. Then hopefully I'm going target shooting with McCall (haven't done that in 3 years). Guns and cars - not a bad way to spend a Saturday!

Stay tuned for more.
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  #32  
Unread 03-05-2010, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Project Update for Mar 5, 2010: Wow, we haven't had an update since early February!? Believe it or not the GRM team has met every week and worked on the E30, and I burned the entire weekend last Saturday and Sunday, mocking up and building motor mounts and a transmission crossmember. The final parts are done and look great, if I say so myself. Of course I cannot show any of this...


These pictures don't show much detail on purpose... and that's a borrowed trans.

Last night we pulled the mockup drivetrain out, removed the borrowed trans, and started to tear down the engine for the last time. The modified oil pan was cleaned (yuck! it was like mud in there), the intake manifold was disassembled and cleaned, injector seals were checked and oiled, connecting rod and thrust bearing clearances were checked and looked great, and we started to button it all back up for the last time. Since we're not revealing the motor we're using just yet (be patient!), that's all I can say about that, so I will discuss some of the other mods we're working on.

More on the 5-lug swap: We need the 5x120 mm 5-lug to be able to use GM pattern 15x10" steel wheels. The front E36 non-M spindle and brake parts we've added to the E30 are already documented here. The non-M E36 bits are never coveted by BMW folks, who usually chuck them in favor of larger E36 M3 spindles/hubs/brakes. So we were able to pickup several sets of spindles, rotors, calipers, and hubs for nothing. Of course our budget will take the usual hit of "fair market value", as found on a nationwide salvage yard website price list. Some GRM Challenge teams put $0 towards their budgets when they use free parts, but you're supposed to use Fair Market Value, and we will because its The Right Thing To Do.

The rear brakes are still 4-lug stockers for the moment. This is holding up our 15x10 wheel/tire/flare mockups. We thought about just re-drilling the rear 4-lug E30 hubs for the 5-lug pattern. So last week one of the GRM Team members pulled the rear brakes apart and we did a quick visual check with an E36 front hub. There's not enough metal to properly support the larger bolt circle of the 5 x 120mm BMW pattern. The 4 x 100 mm circle is a good bit smaller. See the pictures below.



So this weekend we're going to prowl the junkyards looking for the Z3 rear brakes and hubs we need, based on knowledge we learned on R3vlimited forums and this guy's excellent tech article on E30 5-lug swaps. We found one junkyard willing to sell the Z3 rear hubs for $25, so we'll swing by there if we strike out elsewhere.

Seats: We've got a pair of eBay specials in the car now that "look pretty" but pretty much suck at supporting a driver in hard cornering. For auto-x and drag racing they might do the trick, but since we're gearing up to run the 2010 UTCC event at VIR, these seats have got to go. They are not cut out for road course used.

To help reduce the cost of the $500 car, these seats will be sold. To avoid spending many hundreds per seat on race seat or seats, since seats are not considered a pressing safety item and DO count against our $2010 budget, we're going to MAKE OUR OWN SEATS. Yes, we're crazy... but we were inspired by watching this show:

http://www.spike.com/full-episode/al...gos-race/32997

We've used aluminum seats in several of our other race cars, from UltraShields in McCall's '91 BMW 318is to Kirky Road Race seats in Costas GT1 car. They are simple, comfortable, strong, lightweight, and very easy to mount.



So we'll make some cardboard patterns based on one of those aluminum seats, buy a sheet of aluminum, cut our patterns, do some bending and TIG welding, and try to build a seat or two for this car. Since the car is already stupid light, we'll likely make them stronger than many of the aluminum seats we see other racers using, so don't fret about safety. This way we minimize the budget hit for real race seats, get a better/more supportive seat(s), and get to be probably one of the only teams to have homemade seats at the GRM Challenge.



More safety: Since we're going to (hopefully) be bombing down the straights at VIR at 150+ mph, we're going to step up the safety preparations significantly. We just bought a pair of G-Force Pro 6-point FIA cam lock harnesses for the E46 330 that I'm racing this year, and they are affordable at only $153.set. We'll get some for the E30 as well (and these are safety items that don't count towards the budget). We'll get another SPA 5 liter fire suppression system for the E30, the same as we used on the LS1 E36 Alpha car. This is money well spent, and also not counting against our budget, nor is it performance enhancing at all. I really dislike car-b-ques and crispy skin.

Rearend: We're going to hit the junkyards this weekend and look for a cheap diff while we search for the Z3 rear brakes. Fingers crossed...

More soon,

Last edited by Faerus; 03-05-2010 at 12:19 PM.
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  #33  
Unread 03-05-2010, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOOLEAN View Post
Terry, why even bother with setting up a passenger seat and all the equipment that goes with it? Seems unnecessary.

Good Luck!! Nate.
We have like 9 people on the team, so we'll have passengers aplenty for most autocross runs. Some track test days we attend regularly (member days, privcate test sessions, etc) allow passengers as well, and many of the team members are instructors for NASA and other HPDE groups, so that 2nd seat would get well used in the near future. At about 15 pounds and for roughly $40 in aluminum, it won't ding the weight or cost budget much to have that 2nd seat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kablammo View Post
http://denver.craigslist.org/pts/1623893896.html

-edit: ratio is problably not right for your application though.
Yea, with the tire height, trans mission gearing, and rev limit of our V8, that rear end ratio is not ideal (3.73). Neither is the price. We need "pick-a-part" prices, hence, the junkyard crawl we have planned for tomorrow. :stickoutt

Quote:
Originally Posted by lughed View Post
Can you take a side shot of them seats? From the front they look like they have plenty of bolstering
Which? Here's the lovely eBay specials we have now, along with the aluminum seats we plan to copy.


Left: UltraShield Rally Sport seats. Middle: eBay specials that came in our E30. Right: Kirkey Racing Intermediate Road Race seat

We'll be copying either the aluminum UltraShield Rally Spot seats in McCall's '91 318is, or Costas' GT1 car's Kirkey Intermediate Road Race seats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt32 View Post
Terry sent you a pm, have a set of good calipers for you
Sweet! I'll respond shortly...
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  #34  
Unread 03-23-2010, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Some scattered ideas on the E30...

Still looking at options for fixing the wheelbase issues. The '95 M3 offset LCA bushings we have in the E30 right helped move the wheel forward some, and so did the '96-99 M3 LCAs, but it still needs to push forward more. The proper solution seems to be to swap in 96-99 E36 M3 spindles as well, but I just tested our 15x10" wheels ($200/set on closeout - so cheap!) on my '97 M3's stock front brakes - no joy.



The 15x10" wheels won't clear the E36 M3 front brakes (12.5" diameter). The inner barrel of the wheel hits the caliper badly, even with lots of spacer. So this is not gonna happen with the wheels we can afford to use on this $2010 project. Just for fun I slapped a 16x8" Camaro wheel on there. That's all the E36 M3 needs to clear these larger rotors/calipers, a 16" diameter wheel:



So long story short - we aren't going to burn $70 in the budget to get a pair of used '96-99 E36 M3 spindles, and we'll stick with the 11.5" diameter E36 non-M brakes we have instead. As much as I'd like to have the M3's larger 12.5" diameter brakes (for UTCC) and a better fix to the wheelbase solution, the calipers will never clear our 15x10" steel wheels - and that's the only way we can pull off this much wheel for this little budget.

There's no 16x10" or 17x10" wheel in this insane $200/set price range, of course, and 16" and 17" tire selection is even worse (all too narrow and/or too tall). The only tire that's gonna fit our little car well is going to be the 275/35/15 or 285/30/18, and we cannot afford the 18x10" wheels, either. So we'll make do with our 15x10" steelies for the GRM autocross and just have to modify the front Lower Control Arm, as we had planned. No big deal.

Now for the last wheel test fit of the day: Some used 18x11" CCWs I just bought for the hell of it:



They fit the E30 well - too bad we cannot afford the hit to the $2010 Challenge budget! But outside of the GRM Challenge itself, these wheels could be used on this car. There's a good 10mm of room to the strut, and the wheel only sticks about 2" outside the fenders (these E30 M3 fenders won't be used, but they have don't even have any extra flare width over the stock E30 non-M fenders), which is the same as our 15x10" wheels. We can make the flares clear these wheels, too.



I've been playing with all sorts of wheel/tire combos this week:


18x10" D-Force with 285/30/18 on BMW E46 330Ci, with M3 front fenders slapped on

Cheers,
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Unread 04-06-2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Update for March 25, 2010: Better late than never? I'm a little tardy in updating the E30 project from work we did 2 weeks ago. We've had some thrashing on the E46 since then, including the first autocross in it (at the Texas National Tour, where it took 1-2). And we've had the busiest week of business ever here at Vorshlag, followed by the new busiest week on record.



Anyway, the GRM Gang of 8 met on Thursday March 25th and we had 3 crews going at once (3 of us met again last Thursday, but sat around and watched an F1 race instead of working - doh!). One crew was busy cleaning - the T5 transmission was thoroughly cleaned (externally), and the rear calipers were cleaned as well. Amazing what you can do with a brass wire wheel brush and a parts cleaner. They calipers will be rebuilt with new seals, pads and rubber lines (and under the safety umbrella none of it will ding the budget - yay!) but the T5 will remain as-is. Don't wanna crack open that case, or risk screwing something up (bad karma). And yes, its a $100 T5. And we have another identical $100 T5 as a spare. That's not some crazy deal, just simple CraigsList searches, done locally. Its not a popular T5 version - its one everyone ignores. More about this not-so-special T5 transmission soon.



We had another group that bolted the trans to the bellhousing and played with some other parts I can't discuss, but if I show any of that I'll spill all the beans - so it'll have to wait.



We had another crew of team members removing the stock halfshafts, diff, and 4-lug hubs. That was a bit of a chore, but we had the tools and the know-how to get 'em off - and we did it clean. The rear wheel bearings went unscathed, thankfully. We'll be sliding in the 5-lug hubs (junkyard sourced from a Z3) soon enough, along with the Z3 rotors and rear calipers.



We have a LSD equipped E30 diff in a very desirable (for our build) 2.79 rear ratio in hand, delivered all the way from Nebraska free of charge by a kind soul that was coming down to the Texas Tour two weekends ago. Saved us a bundle in shipping this 90 pound lump! Thanks again Christy. Not much to see with that yet - its still in a garbage bag, and its oily.

The car is temporarily sitting on the wrong trailing arms and 5-lug hubs - these rear arms and hubs are straight out of a Z3, and widen the track by a whopping 3.5". With the hubs swapped into the proper E30 trailing arms we only gain about an inch of track width over stock, or so my crude measurements make me think (see rotor pics at the bottom of this post). We raised the rear ride height all the way up, thinking the little 15x7 bottlecaps wouldn't clear the fenders. It looks... hilarious. We just wanted to get it off the dang lift so we could prep the E36 M3 and E46 330 for upcoming track and autocross events they are being run at this Saturday and Sunday (we just don't have enough on our schedule).



The E30's old M20B27 motor and Getrag 5-spd trans are being sold this Friday for $300, and that will take the purchase price for the E30 back to $200 in the budget. Once the front and rear seats are sold that should bring the sum down to nearly $0 - which is a common achievement among $200X GRM competitors.



We've got a bit of reinforcement work to do on the stock E30 rear trailing arms, subframe, trunk floor/diff mount, and several bushings to whittle out of some scrap Nylon that Derek found, but that's going to have to wait until next time.



Cheers,
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  #36  
Unread 04-14-2010, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Updates from April 8, 2010: We worked on a bunch of little stuff last Thursday. First off was a mock-up of the new LSD equipped E30 diff we scrounged for the car, but we wanted to put it in with an E36 rear diff cover for added strength.



We got a dual eared E36 rear diff cover for almost nothing and cleaned it up. The plan was to slap this onto the E30 diff and make new mounts in the chassis and reinforce the trunk floor to hold the added torque from the V8. The single-ear E30 diff mount is prone to ripping a big hole in the trunk when high grip/hp is applied to the rear subframe. We're hoping to have lots of both, so....



Well, the dual eared mount E36 rear diff cover doesn't quite just "bolt onto an E30 diff housing" as we've been told, of course. The reluctor wheel for the speedometer sticks out of the E30 case farther than in an E36 housing. This wheel hits the speed sensor and deeper dished E36 cover, so we'll be cutting those down to make the E36 rear cover fit.

Our Kirk Racing 4-point roll bar is here, which we want to have to mount harnesses to and for just more on-track safety (for UTCC), so we removed the front and rear seats to prepare for the install. None of those seats are going back in, and here's why: The rear seat becomes useless when you add a 4-point roll bar, and it weighs close to 30 pounds. The front seats don't look like they'll be good enough for track use, and replacing them with aluminum seats (used or homemade) will lower the weight even further. The goal is to lose 60 pounds in the front/rear seats, which is what the 4-point bar weighs. We hope to offset the weight of the roll bar completely.



We're also trying something different - just to see if it works. The Z3 rear 5-lug hubs stick out 1" wider than the 4-lug E30 hubs (see pic above, left), which is moving our wheel package outboard WAY too much. When we're dealing with a 15x10 and 18x11 wheel packages, this is critical. One of our team members (Chris) had an old E36 non-M rear 5-lug hub, rotor, and half-shaft, and we took some measurements - wow. Using this hub and rotor moves the hub/rotor face inboard .45", for a reduction in track width from the Z3 hubs of almost three inches overall. All of the other hub dimensions are the same, and it can work with the existing E30 rear hub bearings and E30 half-shafts (the E36 half-shafts are about 1" longer).



We slapped in one of the E36 non-M rear hubs onto the E30 trailing arm and it looks good. REALLY good for our big honkin wheels. This not only moves the wheel face inboard, but moves the rotor inboard by the same amount, so we'd need to make custom brackets to fit the calipers to the trailing arms to the E36 non-M rear rotors (we mocked all of this up but didn't take pics). This is still a work in progress so... "don't try this at home". It might be more trouble than its worth, but we're going to try it. We need to reduce track width badly, and this might work.

Speaking of reducing... we need to reduce the purchase price of the car within our GRM budget, so here's some stuff for sale! All of these parts came in this 1986 BMW 325e when we bought it, so we can reduce our purchase price by the amount each piece is sold for (up to the total price of the car). Once we have the car price down to $0, we're good.

FOR SALE



Front Seats, brackets and sliders - brand new! = $150 + shipping.



Stock Rear E30 Seat, upper and lower, good condition = $75 + shipping.



Stock E30 4-lug bottle cap wheels and tires = $85 + shipping. Re-painted gloss black this week. Murdered out! Tires are all the same size (195/60/14) and condition (crap) but from 3 different tire brands.

I really don't want to ship this stuff, but if a buyer insists I will. Shipping charged would be straight UPS Ground costs, no discounts or "bundled prices". We have to account for every penny on all bought/sold transaction on this project, guys. Send me an email with your address and what part(s) you want to buy to fair (at) vorshlag (dot) com and I can get you UPS Ground shipping quotes on any of these items. And no, I won't break up the wheel sets, seats, etc.



BMW E30 2.7L motor + 5-spd trans + DME = $300 (we will not ship this). We've had some interest from our CraigsList ad, and almost had it sold last Friday, but the guy cannot get it all back to Lubbock. Anyone making a trip from North Dallas to Lubbock sometime soon willing to help transport this drivetrain and help this guy out, please let me know! I'll get you in touch with him and yall can work out a price/logistics. Or if you want to buy it, its still for sale. Engine, accessories, trans, harness, DME = all for a package price.

One more thing... I looked at a Vorshlag/AST customer's E30 M3 at a BMWCCA Club Race last weekend that had the "right parts" (according to the experts) for a proper E36 front suspension swap: E36 struts (4200s), Vorshlag E30 camber plates, '96-99 M3 LCAs, '95 M3 offset LCA bushings, and '95-99 M3 spindles/brakes. Beautiful car, and fast. Anyway, the wheel is still not centered enough for my liking, and it has +10 of caster - which is enough to make for some weird weight jacking at high steering angles (seen in auto-x), we think. We already know we cannot fit the E36 M3 12.5" diameter brakes inside out 15" wheels, so this E36 M3 spindle swap is not going to happen in our project. We are going to make custom tubular LCAs instead - its cheaper and it can fix the wheel centering issue "more". We'll lose some of the caster with our custom fixed top mount we're going to whittle out of some scrap steel.



Next up: This week we start work on the sunroof delete (lowering weight, adding headroom, adding strength, and the old headliner was trashed). Team member DaveB has a method of re-using the old outer sunroof skin that I've never seen before, and it more than covers the hole in the roof while preserving the dual curves of the roof line. He did it to his E36 last week for $0, and it looks perfect. Never seen one look this clean and cost so little. We'll around play more with the rear hubs/brakes, and start tinkering with the custom front LCAs we know we're gonna need. The roll bar goes in after the sunroof delete is complete, too.

Anyone that has a line on some used aluminum 1-piece fixed back racing seats, please send me a PM. We might have found one for $50, but it would be nice to have 2.

Thanks!

Last edited by Fair!; 04-14-2010 at 07:10 PM.
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  #37  
Unread 04-16-2010, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Update for April 15, 2010: The crew showed up last night and we got a lot of work done. The best part - everyone got to plasma!

We had a special guest - JeffD from corner carvers forum was in town from Chicago and joined the team for a long night of destruction on the E30. Jeff had some great insight on E30s, as well as products from ZF/Sachs/Lemforder, for which he is a rep. He even had some suggestions for a clutch for my DSP E46. Thanks for the help, Jeff!


Jeff was kind enough to stop by and lend a hand - and do the nastiest of the plasma cutting inside the car!

Costas spent the night in obscurity, running the numbers for pilot bushing engagement with our "never before attempted" trans to motor adaptation. Once he had the setup of parts that had enough pilot bearing/input shaft support he bolted the pressure plate, clutch and bushing onto the block. McCall is getting us one little fitting we need today to hook up the hydraulic throwout bearing that came with the T5 we're using. No pictures of this work performed, as it would give too much away...



Meanwhile the rest of the Thursday night crew attached the sunroof and trunk, cutting away a lot of dead weight. We had originally tried to emulate the pretty and proper Sunroof cassette/frame removal tips from some online sources, but that was, like, hard. Instead, we went straight for the plasma cutter. Everyone loves sparks!


I spent some time with the cutoff wheel trying to do the sunroof structure removal "the right way". Screw that noise.


Looks like about 35 pounds of crap associated with the sunroof.

We'll skin the sunroof, flatten the lip/edge, trim it to fit the hole, and weld it in place this weekend.


Derek and Chris gutting the trunk lid. Me at far right, holding a beer in one hand and heat gun in the other.

Derek and Chris attacked the underside of the trunk lid, with plasma, heat gun, and putty knife. They got the bulk of the structure out, and the hinges, dropping another 7-8 pounds off the back end. The paint still looks OK and the trunk is still strong enough to support aero loads and such. Next up - the hood, where 50+ pounds awaits to be gutted away.



More work this Saturday - the April work push has begun.

Last edited by Fair!; 04-16-2010 at 03:54 PM.
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Unread 04-27-2010, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

I have some updates to make later today, but I wanted to first share some video of an AST racer's E30 that I thought you guys might like:

Bob Ederer's LS1 powered E30. 2300 pounds, 411 whp, AST equipped, race car


Bob Ederer's LS1 e30 Racecar on the dyno - made 411 whp


In-car video from Hallett - Comma GT Feature Race - April 25, 2010

E30 LS1.... that's a neat idea!

His car has the target weight we're shooting for, and similar wheel/tire/flare package we are going for, but it has a tick more power than we'll have in July at UTCC.

Bob is an awesome cage maker in Oklahoma City, so if you have a BMW that needs some bars, he's the man.

Good stuff!!!

Last edited by Fair!; 04-27-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Unread 04-27-2010, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Update for April 24, 2010: Couldn't get any takers for last Thursday night but Jason popped by to help me a bit on Saturday, after we went to Ft Worth to look at this heap of crap he wanted to weigh and possibly buy... [insert 3 hour distraction]



Mazda 323 GTX, AWD turbo rally car built in 1989. 1.6 Mazda motor with a turbo, intercooler, cockpit selectable center diff, tiny little thing. Seems GREAT on paper and it looked classed very well for SCCA Solo, so he wanted to see what it weighed. We heard 2600 but its so small (95" wheelbase, 63" outer track) so how could that be? We had bench raced it to 2400 pounds in our minds... but reality was worse than we had feared. 2703 pounds for this little PoS?! Uhh... this is NOT the car to oust the Civics in ST. Back to the shop we went.



So that burned up most of Saturday morning. We got back and started cutting up the trunk floor. I found some 2" x 2" scrap tubing on the steel rack that looked perfect for the rear diff mount. We just needed to get the old structure out of the way first. Jason started with the plasma cutter and I was on "fire duty", dousing the flames caused by the burning undercoating. That crap is super flammable! I can see why racers go to such lengths to get it off the bottom of the old street car chassis...


Left: The stock trunk floor. Right: Time to cut all that up!


Left: Stock rear diff mount structure coming out. Right: Its gone

He had to bail after a bit of this nasty, smelly work so I kept at it, stopping to put out the flames every few seconds. 3 dirty, smoky, flaming hours later I managed to cut this out:


Left: What was removed. Right: Rear E30 trailing arm beefed up

Got the rear trailing arms beefed up (see above), and we'll be painting those Thursday night, and pressing in the E36 rear hubs and old bearings soon. The remnants of the sunroof structure are all gone now, too. The handful spot welds came out easily (Thanks Sean!) and the rest of it just fell out. Not much weight was left, just looked ugly. Now its pretty and clean in the roof. Dave has the sunroof panel and is doing his surgery now.



We also worked the previous Saturday, with Chris and McCall (is that right? I can't remember that far back) pitching in a lot of work. We test fit 3 different struts and even the E30 spindles and struts again, checking droop, bump travel, ride height, and strut lengths. What we learned after selveral hours of testing was - we really need E36 front struts that are 1" shorter than stock E36 lengths, so if anyone has any used E36 Bilstein SPORT front struts for sale cheap please PM me.


Left: E36 ASTs and E30 stock struts at full droop. E36 AST struts are probably too short for an E30. Right: E36 AST at full bump

Some of the inner fender structure was cut/clearanced to clear the 275mm tires at full lock up front. Yea, the wheel is not perfectly centered - to hell with that for now. We've got to get it going and we don't have time (or budget) to totally re-engineer the front suspension to center the wheel. We can make the flares look right and everything clear the 275mm tires.



Still have a lot of work to do on the body, but its coming along. The main rust patch in the firewall is patched and we have two more rust patches to do on the floorpan. We should have the E30 diff with the E36 rear cover mocked up in the car Thursday night so we can figure out where the 2x2" tubing should go, then we'll get to welding that in place and fabbing the rear diff mount brackets. We lack one little clutch fitting to get the motor/trans back into the car for header mock-up and construction, too.

More soon,

Last edited by Fair!; 04-27-2010 at 11:51 PM.
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Default Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

Update for April 29, 2010: The shop was a buzzing hive of activity last night! We had four people working on the E30 project (Derek, Chris, Sean and me) and we got a lot done in only 4 hours. First up we took a lot of measurements then sketched a design for the Nyon rear trailing arm bushings. Chris first cut several round blanks from a chunk of scrap Derek got for free a while ago. Meanwhile Derek made four steel sleeves (the M12 bolts will slide through these to prevent wear to the Nylon as they pivot) from some 5/8" OD steel tubing I bought last week for another fab project. I whittled down the round blanks into press-in bushing halves, pretty much spending the entire night on the lathe. I didn't quite finish all 8 pieces, but its close...




The 6 steps to making homemade trailing arm bushings - for cheap!

As you can see no exotic machinery was used to make these bushings - just a hole saw on a drill press, our cheap manual lathe, and a band saw were about the extent of it. Some clean up was done with a bench grinder and pneumatic die grinder. Probably 5 hours of work to make them - but time is free. Derek had a box full of Nylon scrap somebody gave him so we're going through the whole car making Nylon bushings to replace anything rubber... the car is slowly morphing into a race car it seems?





Sean spent the evening (his first GRM work night!) cutting the trunk floor to bits. After we laid out some ideas on the horizontal bracing we want to add between the frame rails (2x2" square tubing) and mocked-up the diff to see where everything should be placed, he and Derek cut the spare tire well out of the floor. It was just in the way of where everything needed to be. Dropped over 10 pounds from removing that, but we'll add some of that back when we make the "plug" for this massive hole as well as the structure for the rear bracing (the section of 2x2" tubing was 11 pounds all by itself - but its pretty beefy).





Sean then used a pneumatic air saw to cut a precise slot for the square tubing to protrude up through. It will stick above the trunk floor not even 1/4" - just enough to give us a landing pad for any additional bracing we may want to add (like some tubing between the shock towers and this brace?) The tube can be stitched welded to the trunk floor to add plenty of rigidity, and we'll mimic Bob E's spare tire well reinforcement tricks he shared with us.



That was some LOUD and messy work - the floor is a mess!

Derek and Chris spent the rest of the evening pressing the old floppy rubber subframe bushings out. Wow, those things are nasty! The factory presses in these two steel/rubber/void filled bushings into the subframe housing then uses a pinch press to stake the housing, keeping the bushing from falling out. This makes it a REAL bear to press out the old bushings. It took cutting the centers out with the SawsAll, making a press sleeve to push against the bushing's outer metal sleeve, and it deformed the press sleeve during the press-out process. This now custom shaped press tool made the 2nd bushing press out a LOT faster, though.




Left: Press sleeve we made is now the perfect shape for pressing out stock subframe bushings. Right: Semi-completed trailing arm bushing

We then sketched up the design for the 2 Nylon subframe bushings that we'll replace the flimsy rubber stock units with. Those new bushings plus our dual eared mounting structure/mounts should firm things up quite a bit and stabilize the rear differential and subframe. With the subframe bolted in place at the two stock rubber bushing mounts it takes almost zero force to pivot the rear subframe up and down at the rear. Couple that with a single rubber rear mount and its no wonder these E30's break subframes, rip mounts out of the trunk floor, and have all sorts of slop out back. That would be scary with 350 whp and 275 Hoosiers. Not a problem for long!

More work on Saturday, then a 2 week break on the project while I'm in Spain. If you are at the Barcelona F1 race, look for the Vorshlag crew. We'll be sticking Vorshlag decals on everything I can and snapping pics in the paddock. When I get back it will be a mad thrash to get the drivetrain in and running by.... the end of May?

Cheers,

Last edited by Fair!; 04-30-2010 at 12:20 PM.
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