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  #21  
Unread 03-05-2012, 10:54 AM
PianoProdigy PianoProdigy is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

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Originally Posted by Fair! View Post
The BMW tax is fairly brutal on some of these items, and in the end it might be better to make a new subframe to mount the 8.8" aluminum IRS center onto, with custom halfshafts to fit the E46.
I am 99% buying an E46 already swapped with an F1-Procharged SBC running a built 700R4 and a stock 323ci rear (eek). I am obviously EXTREMELY interested in an upgraded rear and subframe of some sort whether it is a Ford 8.8" or something else heavy duty that can take high 3-digit rwhp launches on a drag radial or a slick.

What could be the realistic time frame on the development of a full bolt-in solution? Willing to put money down to get the ball rolling as a priority. Feel free to e-mail me separately to keep from cluttering this thread PianoProdigy@gmail.com if you wish.

Last edited by PianoProdigy; 03-05-2012 at 10:56 AM.
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  #22  
Unread 03-10-2012, 10:48 AM
PianoProdigy PianoProdigy is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

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Originally Posted by PianoProdigy View Post
I am 99% buying an E46 already swapped with an F1-Procharged SBC running a built 700R4 and a stock 323ci rear (eek). I am obviously EXTREMELY interested in an upgraded rear and subframe of some sort whether it is a Ford 8.8" or something else heavy duty that can take high 3-digit rwhp launches on a drag radial or a slick.

What could be the realistic time frame on the development of a full bolt-in solution? Willing to put money down to get the ball rolling as a priority. Feel free to e-mail me separately to keep from cluttering this thread PianoProdigy@gmail.com if you wish.
So that 99% went to 100%. Car will be here Monday. Thoughts?
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  #23  
Unread 03-12-2012, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

We are a little too swamped to attack the 8.8" IRS diff swap in the E46 this month. It might happen in April - but it has to happen. If you can be patient we might be able to supply you with the parts needed - we will post the pictures and details here.
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  #24  
Unread 03-12-2012, 04:05 PM
PianoProdigy PianoProdigy is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

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Originally Posted by Fair! View Post
We are a little too swamped to attack the 8.8" IRS diff swap in the E46 this month. It might happen in April - but it has to happen. If you can be patient we might be able to supply you with the parts needed - we will post the pictures and details here.
Ok, I will try to baby her for now.
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  #25  
Unread 04-18-2012, 05:37 PM
PianoProdigy PianoProdigy is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

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Ok, I will try to baby her for now.
Anything exciting to report?
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  #26  
Unread 04-19-2012, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

Project Update for April 19, 2012: Sorry for the delay - we have been busier than ever once we (quietly) started doing service and race prep work back in January. The E46 LS1 Alpha car hasn't been worked on seriously since December, but all of that is going to change now. We have a goal. The E46 was back up on a lift and attacked for the past week.

Let me back up a bit - remember how I said that our first prototype "Alpha" E46 LS1 will become a perfect, nice, fully functional street car? That "Option 2 or 3" car discussed in my opening post in the thread? Well... that was the original goal, but this 330Ci we have is kind of a mess. The former owner pretty much destroyed the dash, wiring harness, all of the lines and hoses, and several other key systems were either taken off or mangled badly in his quest to salvage the wiring and sub-systems for another project he had in mind. Hey, we got the car cheap for a reason. Long story short, after looking at everything closely, this chassis is just too far gone to effectively make into a nice street car. Too many parts are missing to make for a proper HVAC or fully functional gauges. Too many interior parts are trashed or gone. But... it could make a really nice race car.

E46 Alpha Track Rat!

So we've changed directions and that's where we are going with the E46 Alpha chassis - Option 1, which is sort of like how our E36 Alpha ended up back in 2006... a very capable race car that was light, fun to drive, and was a great test bed for pushing the production kit parts to their extreme limits. Hey, I know most of you want the best of both - a perfect street car and all out track terror. So do we, but the extra work it takes to make a true street worthy car adds a lot more time to the prototype project, and we've got people hounding us daily for the Stage 0 bits ... and they want them NOW. Parts we've already built in prototype form that could go into production quickly, if we could just get a running car out there putting miles on them to verify the design. So a short cut "Race car build" will get these Stage 0 parts into production a lot sooner, and get our most antsy customers the parts they need.


Deja vu all over again... hey, it worked the first time!

Like many racers we tend to work best under a deadline, so we have set an unrealistic goal of having a functioning/driving/safe E46 LS1 track car built for July's GRM Ultimate Track Car Challenge event at VIR. It won't be the final iteration of that car by then, but it could still be quick. That's like 12 weeks away, which is tight, but if we can manage to not load up our service and fab shop with too many customer cars we can do it. I have been putting our own cars on the service schedule lately, otherwise I get bumped for customer work. Dang paying customers!

So from now on I'll be posting up progress of the E46 LS1 Alpha Track Rat. A giant LSx motor is being built now. We ordered a radiator already and its here. We have fenders, wheels, tires, plastic window material, and other bits staged. Here's what was accomplished in the past week:

Prototype Headers REALLY Finished



Ryan cut out and reworked one of the passenger side primaries he wasn't completely happy with the first time around, and now it has more clearance at the starter. Next the collectors for both sides were located, tweaked and welded in place. As of this week the prototype headers are effectively done - yay! These will soon be removed, welded up a little more, then sent off for CMM measurement, fixture construction, a single production-test set will be made and then trial fitted to the car.



While the mock-up drivetrain and headers were still in place we mocked up the accessories (forgot to shoot pictures), the front end was bolted back on, and an all-aluminum Mishimoto E46 M3 radiator was installed and checked for fit (above right).



We have repaired and welded-in Turner E46 Subframe Reinforcement kits on two E46 M3s here in our shop during the first quarter of this year, and our guys have gotten damned good the surgery required to install these. So after looking at those two repaired M cars and our mangled 330Ci again, we've come to the realization that our 330's trunk is a total write-off. It was cracked, then the guy drove on it for at least another year and just flat ruined it. The rear subframe is completely torn out of this car on one side and the trunk is badly cracked on the other. Terminal damage at all 4 points of contact and way beyond what the Turner kit is made to repair. Instead of spending serious coin on all new BMW trunk sheet metal, burning dozens of hours reconstructing the OEM trunk, then adding the Turner kit to this car, we're going to cut out the bad bits, fabricate and weld-in some plate steel for the areas that need repair, and then tie them into a proper roll cage. Race car + cage = faster and better fix.



One other point of contention on this build is what to do with the cast steel rear differential housing. As you all know the E46 M3 has a 210mm ring gear Limited Slip Differential from the factory, but our 330Ci and all other non-M cars have a 188mm open differential. It is quite costly to upgrade the E46 open diff 188mm housing with a Limited Slip. The subframe/uprights/halfshafts and diff housing are different between the M3 and the non-M chassis, and unlike the E36 M3 ("where we tell folks just go buy the take-out rear subframe brake-to-brake") the E46 M3 bits demand quite a premium. Upgrading to a aftermarket differential and other gear ratios in either style BMW differential is also quite expensive.

So.... just like with the engine and drivetrain in this swap, we're looking at domestic sources for a lower cost and/or stronger solution. Enter the 1999-04 Ford Mustang Cobra, which had an all aluminum 8.8" (223mm) ring gear IRS differential housing. Dallas Performance put an aluminum 8.8" into Scooter's "Beta" E36 LS1, after it broke the 188 M3 diff with his 540 whp motor and his own brand of "extreme track use". That was a clean swap that looks like it will be the perfect fix for the lack of an easy 188mm LSD diff for the non-M E46 chassis.

The Ford 8.8" IRS is larger, stronger, lighter, and less expensive. Gears ratio choices are abundant and inexpensive ($200/set), aftermarket LSD differentials choices are abundant and inexpensive ($300-1000) and the differential can be made to fit just about any chassis (the Ford IRS diff popular swap in FD RX7 LS1s, Hot Rods, etc). Ford made a variety of rear covers/mounting styles for this 8.8" housing for use in the Cobra, Thunderbird, Mark VIII, Explorer, etc. The stronger 31 spline aluminum housing is from the 2003-04 Cobra, but you can get 28 spline cast iron units (just like BMW makes theirs from) from a decade long production of 1990s Thunderbirds and modern Explorers.

We have spare E46 330Ci subframes and once we tackle this first 8.8" swap we'll start making them to order.



Hopefully we can attack this car every single week and I will post up progress as often as I can. If the July date looks impossible I reserve the right to adjust our "deadline" accordingly.

More soon,

Last edited by Faerus; 04-19-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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  #27  
Unread 04-19-2012, 12:46 PM
PianoProdigy PianoProdigy is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

Sounds like a plan. Doesn't solve my need for an LSX in my DD E46 M3, but I am pleased to hear that you gave the green light to the 8.8 setup for my other E46. Let me know when I can put a deposit down!

Last edited by PianoProdigy; 04-19-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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  #28  
Unread 04-20-2012, 12:05 PM
bfitz bfitz is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

Terry, let me know if you want to spend some time learning VIR on my iRacing rig. I raced the Grand East config last week, and that track is a beast. It took numerous laps to learn it, even without worrying about trashing a car.
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  #29  
Unread 04-24-2012, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

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Terry, let me know if you want to spend some time learning VIR on my iRacing rig. I raced the Grand East config last week, and that track is a beast. It took numerous laps to learn it, even without worrying about trashing a car.
That would be sweet!
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  #30  
Unread 05-15-2012, 07:20 PM
MurphysLaww MurphysLaww is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag E46 Alpha - 330Ci LSx Build Thread

Terry,

Shawn Murphy here. Following this thread with great interest. By the time you have the bugs worked out the 08' WRX will be just about paid off, the 2012 Autocross season will be just about done, and I'll have available whatever the stupid-high resale value for WRX'es are...

I had thought about an Active Autowerkes' supercharged 330i for SM, but I think I'd rather dual with Vitek B. in his Banshee. Everyone in the Spokes club seems to be building something for prepared class, and I'm getting the fevah' too.

The Ford 8.8 is interesting too as this project will be practice for building a Factory Five roadster at somepoint(when my son has the attention span to help) and putting together an 8.8 would be decent choice for that as well likely.

Good luck with it!

Last edited by MurphysLaww; 05-15-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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