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Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

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  • #61
    Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

    Originally posted by Fair! View Post
    I picked up a new blade yesterday. Installed it last night while McCall was drilling, and something looked... wrong. Dammit, the teeth are pointing the wrong way! It cannot cut with the blade oriented backwards, and you can't flip it without cutting and re-welding the blade - gotta get a new one today.
    Pure genius!

    Yes, he did figure out how to flip the blade.

    '11 Mustang GT / '95 Frankenpreza

    "A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster."
    - Dr. Clarkson


    • #62
      Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

      Mini update for June 30, 2010: Terry has a brain fart....

      Originally posted by Fair

      I broke the blade on my crappy band saw last Saturday (forcing me to use a cut off wheel on a die grinder to complete my E46 seat brackets - and pissing me off royally), so I picked up a new blade yesterday. Installed it last night while McCall was drilling, and something looked... wrong. Dammit, the teeth are pointing the wrong way! It cannot cut with the blade oriented backwards, and you can't flip it without cutting and re-welding the blade - gotta get a new one today....
      Wow, I'm such a doofus!... before more of you send me PMs or emails, yes, I figured out the "flip the blade inside-out" trick today while standing in the store about to buy a new band saw blade. I was literally standing in line and "BING!" the light bulb went on. About 4 days too late, but oh well... :confused

      I dropped the new blade where I stood, hopped back into my truck, drove back to the shop (in a rainstorm), and it was after 6 pm so Paul M was already there to help for tonight... I asked him flip the existing blade inside-out, and it worked like a charm. I used the band saw (and drill press and 12" disc sander) tonight after he left, cutting the 1/2" plate for the rear caliper bracket...

      There's still a little clean up to do on this one, then we'll trial fit it and if it works, I'll make a copy then tack them in place with the calipers "air locked" to the rotors, then go to town laying the final welds. That will then button up the back brakes... finally!

      I'll do a proper update after the main Thursday night - most of what Paul and I worked on tonight cannot be shared just yet.

      BMWCCA racer and former auto bodyman Greg Snyder came by to pick up his loaner E30 M3 front fenders (which were a huge help in figuring out how to make the flares) and he had a lot of ideas on the big flares, bodywork suggestions, better roof repair ideas, and one more brace/bracket we need to add (the OEM M3 Cabriolet strut tower-to-fender brace). We might even have him talked into being our paint and bodywork guru... fingers crossed! The car is looking SO good with that big V8 underhood and those fat 18x11" CCWs and Hoosiers (our UTCC wheels) it was hard for Greg to look at it and NOT want to work on it.

      More updates Friday...
      Last edited by Fair!; 06-30-2010, 11:20 PM.
      Terry Fair -
      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


      • #63
        Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

        Update for July 6, 2010: We had a large crew here last Thursday, and I'll start with that work first. Over the 3 day holiday weekend I put in about 30 hours on header fab (and some other stuff) and had some help on Monday from 3 different folks. We'll talk about that, too.

        First thing that is show-able is the hood gutting... Costas and Chris spent much of the evening plasma cutting most of the structure away from the hood skin, then used heat gun and a putty knife to get the adhesive off. They pried away the structure and then got a weight. Cut away about half the weight of the original ~51 pound hood/hinge/brackets/latches to get it to 27.3 lbs. We'll pin or Dzus on the hood and trunk instead of using the heavy stock latches and hinges.

        They cleaned up the goo on the backside of the hood skin, too. Then we plopped the hood onto the fenders to check clearance over the motor - there was some doubt but I knew it would fit. It did, with room to spare. So we won't have any hood bulges or "scoops" to mar the lines of the car, at least.

        The guys worked on a bunch of other stuff Thursday night that we don't have pictures of (it was too crowded and hot and bug swarmed to get many pictures), namely - removing the radiator brackets we built and cutting off the lower rad support flange. Gotta do that stuff over. This will let us lower the radiator about 3" (great idea, Costas) to clear some room to route hoses and such at the front of the motor. McCall started making the 2nd rear caliper bracket. There was some work at the back of the car (I forget now) and we all got pounded by June Bugs - there were thousands of them swarming the shop, crawling all over us, etc. The floor, open drawers, shelves, and boxes were all littered with them the next day - everywhere.

        Saturday morning I scored a new gauge cluster (the 325 "eta" tachs only go to 5000 rpm; normal E30s have a 7000 rpm tech) and a LF fender (in better shape than ours) off of a CraigsList seller for nearly "couch change" as well as some fiberglass fender flares we might try to use for UTCC (temporarily) if we run out of time (which we are, rapidly). Sold the same guy the E30's old KYB shocks, strut inserts, and lowering springs. Cannot recoup anymore to the budget (once the price of the original car hits $0, we cannot reduce the hit any budget further), but it was still cash in hand. I spent much of Saturday futzing with my new bandsaw, trying to fit a proper metal cutting blade to the thing. No luck - the longest blade I found locally was 2" too short. So I ordered some custom length blades online, which should be here sometime next week. That won't help me for header fab over the weekend much! Had to use my crappy old band saw. Then I burned the rest of Saturday trying to come up with a master cylinder/booster solution, so I could design the headers around them. I looked and found I had a lot more used/junk E30 and E36 brake parts than I thought, and wiled away hours and have nothing to show for it. I did start cutting up some cheap eBay headers we bought from somebody for a song, made for a different engine and car, hoping to mine some usable collectors and bends.

        Sunday morning I spent 2 hours salvaging the first collector and cleaning up the inside, then I broke out the big IceEngineWorks "header legos" I bought to help with header fab. This stuff is pretty slick and supposedly cuts header fab time in half. I haven't ever built a custom header, so I figured I'd take whatever help I could get. I had the bends from this eBay set of headers as well as some rusty and not-so-rusty bends I bought at a swap meet. Well dammit if the (expensive) IEW kit had 4 different bend radius "blocks" (2", 3", 4", and 6") but all of the bends I had scavenged and found were all 2-1/2" or 2-5/8" bend radii. GRRR!!! I wasted another hour figuring that out.

        That was a kick in the teeth, but oh well - I still had bends, a welder, and 2 full days to burn on headers. Surely I could figure this out on my own? I remembered from watching other fabricators (Taylor @ DP and others) that you start by getting your header flange on the heads and your collectors mounted in the location you wanted them to end up, so Sunday morning I made a little bracket that I bolted to the car and hung the collector from it.

        I got pretty far (or so I thought) on the header Sunday and stopped with one side "75% complete" at 7:30 pm, and went to enjoy what remained of July 4th with some friends at the lake. Blowing up hundreds of dollars of mortars and fireworks was a nice stress release, but I still felt guilty for not working that night. Monday morning I got back at it and quickly had some help. Chris came by early and worked all day - thanks! Then Doug Worth and his son Addison stopped by for a couple of hours and buttoned up the wiper system (which was all in a box when we bought the car) and cleaned up the cowl panel and put it back on. Doug's 12 year old son could really wield air tools well and made quick work of the insulation and various studs on the cowl panel!

        Chris and I went at lunch to get some fittings for the fuel pump (unsuccessfully) and got a call from another CraigsList seller who had some E36 bits we might need, so we went and completely gutted the parts from his car for a while. Then we got back at it and again worked until 7:30 pm.

        Here you can see a primary tube started at both ends then "joined in the middle" with a bend

        We both worked all day Monday and got the first header built and rebuilt (had to re-do two tubes I thought would fit) until it was completely tacked together and cleared everything on the passenger side. Some of the gaps between the tubes are good enough to fusion weld (TIG), some are pretty big and need the MIG, and others are so bad they'll need a patch to fill the gap. Again, these are my first set of custom headers, and I'm using cut-up-header-pieces to save money (we are definitely NOT saving any time this way - we burned a good 3-4 hours just salvaging the collectors, which aren't especially good).

        It took 2 full days of work and I only had one side tacked up - yep, this is a bunch of work. Chris got the other donor header chopped up and we got the first 3 primary bends mocked up on the driver's side, but that's it. We might could have done shorties in less time, but these will ADD power to our V8 instead of choking back some. Still a LOT of work left on the driver's side (which is a lot tighter with the steering shaft and brakes in the way) so I better stop here and get back to work.

        More later this week.
        Last edited by Fair!; 07-06-2010, 02:48 PM.
        Terry Fair -
        2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
        EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


        • #64
          Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

          Update for July 13, 2010: Bah! Nothing is going right this week. Been working night and day to get ready for the July 23rd UTCC event at VIR. Spent 20+ hours in the shop all last weekend, every weeknight for weeks, etc. And we're still boned.

          I'll start with the bad news first: the junkyard motor we got is locked up. We were about 4 hours from starting the thing and I hooked up the starter to get it to turn over. BRRR..... wouldn't budge. Tried a breaker bar. STUCK!??

          I called some of the guys on the team... "didn't we turn this thing over on the engine stand?" Nobody remembered checking. WTF! We've had this motor for months and nobody tried to rotate the crank?! Nope. My friend - who knows these engines and was at the shop at the time - advised me that "something is seriously wrong - with the plugs out it should turn over easily. It must have rust in a bore or a part fell into a combustion chamber." Ninja, please! No way... we were so careful. We taped up every port, kept the motor under plastic, etc.

          One thing leads to another... reluctantly I pulled one head and it looked fine inside. Pulled the other, and 3 bores had standing water in them and the pistons were rusted in place. FUUUUUUUUUUUUDGE!!! I felt SICK. This ensures we were not going to have the car running and ready to test at a local track within a few days. So we're scoping out a replacement engine and trying to get the salvage yard I bought it from to warranty this one.

          Oh well - whatever we do, its still "budget neutral" - since we could buy 100 engines and only the one we use counts to the budget. At least it is cheap and these things are plentiful. Still... it sucks, and eats up more time. To top all that off I hurt my right hand working on the damn car - I can't even turn a doorknob and even typing is excruciating. And I'm supposed to race the DSP car at an SCCA Divisional this weekend - ha, I can't even row a shifter.

          OK, so UTCC is out, but the GRM Challenge itself is still only 10 weeks away, so we're still under the gun and not letting up. I'm about to go build the rest of the exhaust system tonight (if I can hold the damn welding gun) and some of the guys are coming by to build a seat bracket/slider set-up for the car and start mounting the harnesses. We still have a LOT of work to do, including ALL of the bodywork and paint. Here's a small part of what went down last Tuesday & Thursday work nights and over the weekend:

          The custom rear brake caliper brackets (for our E36 non-M hubs and brakes on the E30 trailing arms) were cleaned up, beveled at the mounting edge, tack welded in place (with the caliper clamped to the rotor using compressed air at the right locations), then I finish welded them. Had the largest wire in the machine with the settings turned all the way up - the weld got hot! We took our time and I had a helper cool the trailing arms with a wet towel as I welded up the brackets a little at a time. Didn't want to fry the bearings. Its all wrapped up and bolted together and looks good - the pad faces are completely over the rotors.

          The gauge cluster I picked up for $10 (which has the proper 7000 rpm tach) was disassembled, cleaned up and is going back together - using the best bezel, surround, etc. There must have been 500 dead ants inside this thing. Jason and Magyar inverted all of the bolts on the roll bar, to gain ground and tire clearance.

          I am so sick of welding. First thing Saturday morning I put a new muffler on my E36 and did a follow up sound test on thee new 3" Hushmaster muffler, then spent the rest of the weekend finish welding the headers. All day and all night, welding, welding, welding, and more welding. Water testing each tube, more welding. Test fitting and more welding. Too much work to even want to talk about again. Blech!

          One piece of good news was a quick weight check of the car with 99% of the parts installed and its only 2240 pounds, which is way lighter than I expected. This car has all of the OEM glass and all steel panels, dash, heater, big V8 and T5, etc. Pleasantly surprised... but it doesn't make up for the dead motor. Hopefully we can find the replacement in the next few days or on the weekend. We might have lost this one battle, but we're not giving up! We'll bring the car to the GRM Challenge this year, and we'll be back for UTCC next year after its running and sorted, by damn!

          More soon.
          Last edited by Fair!; 07-13-2010, 07:32 PM.
          Terry Fair -
          2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
          EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


          • #65
            Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

            Update for July 16, 2010: We've been hacking away at the GRM $2010 project car a bit this week, and worked a little both Tuesday night (me and The Two Pauls) and again Thursday night (me and Chris); Wednesday night I worked on Paul M's '95/07 Frank-Impreza, and we got a big chunk knocked out on his project car.

            Anyway, here's what we've worked on:

            After finishing a complete A/C system replacement on Amy's '97 M3 (a/c clutch was rattling like mad!) we started mounting the slider for the used UltraShield we got for cheap off CraigsList. The seat needed a little piece of aluminum plate welded on to line up with the sliders, but that was an easy fix on the TIG (thanks T!). We've still got to make the floor brackets but it only needs another half hour or work and we've got the seat in.

            After we got everything lined up to bolt the cleaned-up E30 halfshafts to the "E30 diff" we bought from our of state, we realized that the flanges on the diff didn't match the halfshafts. We have a couple of E30 diffs now (all but one is an open diff) and all of the E30 bits used a 6 x 3.4" diameter bolt circle (86mm). The "E30 LSD diff" we bought for $100 had a 6 x 3.8" bolt circle (96mm). Hmm... that sucks!

            Chris was over last night and he knew the flanges popped right out of the diff with little effort. I was dubious, but he showed me and they came right out. He bolted a length of chain to the diff flanges and gave it a yank and POP! the damn thing came right out. Hmph! We popped some out of one of the E30 diffs and cleaned everything up... under the grimy exterior the flanges looked great!

            The proper E30 flanges popped right into the LSD diff and we were good to go!

            We have piddled around a bit on the rear exhaust work but I'll post up on that when we have finished. Oh yea, the new OEM replacement soft rubber flex lines are also visible in the shot above - all 6 pieces came to about less than $50, but they don't count towards the budget since they are OEM replacement brake parts. Brian got those installed last week.

            Never underestimate the power of our team's elbow grease and my strict cleanliness standards!

            We have a replacement junkyard engine lined up that I'm picking up tomorrow, and Sunday I'm going to be out at MSR-Cresson with some of our E30 team, crewing and helping with shock set-up on Costas' GT1 car. Just got AST 5200s from us and it should be quicker with his new motor. He's taking it to UTCC and we have high hopes that he'll represent our team well, even without our E30 crapcan in attendance. I think his tube-framed race car might be a hair quicker than our E30 anyway... Good luck Costas!

            Have a nice weekend, folks!
            Last edited by Fair!; 07-16-2010, 05:59 PM.
            Terry Fair -
            2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
            EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


            • #66
              Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

              Update for July 26, 2010: Worked on the car a little last week, but the scheduled Thursday work night went to Paul Costas' GT-1 car, as it is being run this coming weekend for the first time in a while at TWS (too much work was looming to make UTCC - I know how that works!). The new AST and Vorshlag sticker power will add some speed, for sure! Took a ton of pictures, so I'll start a proper thread for this car on the vomo forums when I get caught up on other pressing matters.

              We also found some time to go get Matt @ Vorshlag's personal 95 M3 roller out of storage to bring to the shop here, to finally get the LS1/T56 drivetrain (which has been sitting in the shop for a year!) install done on his car. Some more little parts for our E36/LS1 swap can finally be perfected on this in-house install.

              OK, back to our little $2010 GRM Challenge E30. Last weekend a week ago (?) I started the exhaust fabrication and realized quickly that it was going to be tight under the car, and installing V-band clamps - to be able to easily remove the rear exhaust from the headers - was going to take some planning. My first exhaust iteration was cut off and scrapped, and I marked all new locations for the V-bands (one pretty far forward at the collector and one downstream on the opposite side - both fitting into small clearance openings in the chassis). Wait... we're adding V-bands on a $2000 car? Well yes, thanks to our friends overseas, and sellers on fleaBay and CraigsList, there's some very inexpensive V-band options out there. But of course you get what you pay for... the pair we scrounged up didn't fit our 3" header collector or rear tubing we had scavenged for the rest of the exhaust. The I.D.'s were too small. Great...

              But we do have a little lathe... so Tuesday night Paul M stopped by to fix the cheap 3" V-band flanges. He carefully opened up a bit of a step on the inner diameter of each one, and custom fitted each one to fit at each tubing or collector location. Then I tack welded each one up, then later TIG welded them in place (fusion welds). Only about an hour or two of work needed that night, but it let us finally finish the headers for the last time (I hope) out of the car, to prepare for the final (I hope) V8 install before it runs, and to move forward on the rear exhaust fab.

              Another night last week we got the accessories, the valve/cam covers (hmm - guess which?), and flywheel/clutch/PP installed and torqued to the replacement junkyard V8 motor that I picked up a week ago. It was all buttoned up to the trans and ready to go in, but it sat like that until this last Saturday.

              I needed more hands to get the drivetrain installed, so I burned Saturday morning jacking with/removing/modifying the holes/reinstalling the rear axle center assembly. The pinion angle was never perfect on this and causing all sorts of installation issues within the subframe assembly - the center section was not able to go in-out of the subframe without major cursing/prybars/dubious work. After I slightly opened up 2 of the 4 subframe diff mounting holes, and added small shims to all 4 axle mounting holes, it now fits properly within the subframe - with the driveshaft dead center in the opening and the pinion angle now matching the opposite trans angle. This was a nightmare 3 hour stint in 100°F heat working with a busted wrist, but now all of the custom and stock bits for the rear axle and driveshaft are totally cleaned, lined-up, installed, double-checked and torqued. Finally. I hope.

              Saturday afternoon (after doing the "after" sound test on McCall's '91 E30 318is, with the new HP2 Hushpower installed - wow, what a difference!) I got some helping hands from McCall and Paul M. Together we put the drivetrtain in the car and bolted up and "the difficult header" in like 90 minutes - it helps to have 3 people for this one, as the driveshaft yoke has to be slid into the trans during the install, otherwise you have to pull the rear axle (don't ask). McCall and I also flipped and reinstalled the steering shaft we made from before, and now it clears the installed driver's side header with even more room. The steering wheel went on so the car finally steers again. Hot damn!

              Left: E30 as bare as it gets. Right: The E36 is a lot easier to get drivetrains in and out of!

              Not being able to pull the front radiator support off of an E30 chassis (like on an E36) makes pulling or installing the drivetrain MUCH harder than it needs to be. We've come this close to cutting that whole damn section off and making it removable via bolts... At least we managed to get the drivetrain in/out as a unit and without dropping the subframe this time - practice makes perfect! It also takes a tilting motor chain set-up.

              Sunday morning I spent a good long while getting the coolant/heater hoses routed, fitted, lined-up, and clamped-up perfectly, so all of the coolant lines except the radiator hoses are done and tight. Sometimes a slight amount of OCD pays off. Can't show any of this cooling stuff yet, dammit. But I can show the exhaust work I knocked out Sunday afternoon, if I'm careful...

              It ain't pretty, but the dual 3" into single 3" merge above took me hours to get lined up, marked, cut, and welded right. Yes, it looks pretty rough, but please remember - I'm building an exhaust system out of mostly recycled/old/used bends and tubing thrown away by others, or scrounged from old projects we did here long ago. Some of my slowness also comes from the fact that I've never before scratch-built custom headers + full custom exhaust for a car at the same time in my life, so I'm learning as I go!

              In this exhaust there's some old stainless junk, some rusty carbon steel bits, some powder coated bends from the old EVO X exhaust, and some aluminized steel bends. Differing wall thicknesses and alloy compositions and coatings make for some interesting welding, heh. Sometimes I can't find the right bend needed and have to piece together a series of angled cut straights... its pretty ghetto, but its cheap! For the flow capacity of this V8 engine I think it'll be overkill. Its definitely something I'd want to go back after the GRM Challenge and "do right", given a couple hundred dollars of proper 18- or 20-gauge stainless 3" mandrel bends. Or, if I was smarter, just let Taylor at Dallas Performance scratch build a new set-up - his exhaust work is so damn pretty, and always makes great power. Respect.

              This big bag of nasty is craptastic, but cheap!

              Another used bit getting re-purposed on the E30 is the old 3" Flowmaster Series 50 muffler from my wife's M3. It has a hole in it (from my crappy mounting tabs + several years of use), has seen better days, was gong to take some work to fix, and the M3 needed to be a bit quieter, so that car got a 3" Hushpower and dropped several dB. So now the old Series 50 (which I know sounds great and makes good power behind any V8, as I've used them on Ford, Chevy and BMW V8s) is getting cleaned up, patched up, and the old tubing ends cut off to be mounted to the E30 when I get some time to finish the rest of the exhaust.

              We're meeting Tuesday and Thursday nights this week, with lots of little stuff to bolt up and wire up and plumb. This week is a bit hectic, with lots of updates and upgraded parts going onto my DSP E46 330 Coupe, in preparation for a Divisional event this weekend. Pulling the trans to get at the clutch/flywheel has not been fun!

              More soon,
              Last edited by Fair!; 07-26-2010, 09:07 PM.
              Terry Fair -
              2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
              EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


              • #67
                Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                Update for August 12, 2010 - part 1: Holy crap, no update since July?? Well we've been working furiously on my DSP E46 a lot (Nationals is in 3 weeks), and the "oil pressure problem" suffered on that car last weekend has gobbled up more time this week. We got Matt's 95 E36 M3 in the shop and cleaned up, ready for another LS1 install and some more kit part development. Some other cars have been in the shop, too. Anyway, we did work manage to get in some night work on the E30 including last Thursday, this past Sunday, this past Monday, Tuesday and we're going to attack it again tonight. This is all we've been able to manage due to the other projects on the front burner right now, and its put us a bit behind. The high temperatures in August (its still 100°F at night in the shop) here have also made the number of volunteers... thin out considerably.

                OK, the exhaust was finish welded and completed a week ago. Sean and Matt worked on the rear section without me one night and the routing went over the driver's side halfshaft in the rear, necessitating a tight bend there and a 3rd V-band (to be able to remove the system without dropping a half shaft). Maybe they could have tucked the 3" pipe under the halfshaft near the diff housing with a straighter section, which would have allowed the entire exhaust to come off without another V-band... but oh well. It looks good and should still flow plenty well.

                By the time I saw the routing it was tacked up so I just made sure they pulled a spring and compressed a tire to check clearance to the halfshaft at full bump travel. Looked good, so I asked Sean MIG weld up all of the seems with the exhaust off the car. We looked at the pile of scrap left over from the old/used/scrapped EVO X exhaust and there was only one old bend left. Its SO much more work making an exhaust out of used scraps than from new bends (as we noted when building the 3" E46's exhaust last week; it took 1/4 the time!). Proof once again that "building on the cheap" can add LOTS of extra work.

                Since we were using the World's Cheapest 3" V-Bands (that don't fir over 3" tubing!) I asked Paul to re-machine yet another one for the rear section, and he test fit each tube into each flange again. Then we welded that on the next night and finished the exhaust system. You can see the rear exhaust hanger/mount we added from using an old end link bushing, bolt and piece of strap steel.

                With the exhaust being wrapped up, Chris spent that evening doing some repairs to the non-ETA E30 gauge cluster (7000 rpm tach) we bought, and it should work correctly now. Complete with cheesy smile picture.

                Last Thursday night McCall and I worked on a seat bracket floor brace to mount below the (purchased half-complete and cheap) Sparco slider. We found this old discarded piece from a tire trailer I built 5 years earlier (that I later sold to Chris, who still has it) that didn't fit when it was finished welded for that trailer, but it donated all the material we needed for the seat bracket. McCall cut off two sides and mocked it up for me to tack weld, then Sean TIG welded the "square".

                The next Sunday Matt and I spent a few hours marking, drilling, clearancing, changing the design, welding on extra parts for the slider to land on, drilling some more, and finally got the seat bracket wrapped up and the slider mounted.

                Due to some sketchy measurements and a partial re-design midway through fabrication, its not the prettiest seat bracket I've made, but plenty strong and the slider mechanism and fore/aft seat range works great for this car and roll bar. On this past Monday night I made a adjustment handle (these sliders usually come with this, but it was missing and hence VERY cheap on CraigsList) out of more of the scrap tubing from the old trailer piece - never once using a measurement device. It is a little ugly, but functional.

                Getting the seat in felt like a big step... I don't know why, it just makes it seem more like a real "car" now instead of a hulk of metal we've been pushing in and out of the shop for the past 10 months. We got started on the harness mounting, and now have the sub's mounted as well as the shoulder harnesses. Once we get the clip-in ends for the lap belts (ordered today) we'll have our seat and harness 100% complete.

                more below...
                Last edited by Fair!; 08-12-2010, 06:04 PM.
                Terry Fair -
                2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                • #68
                  Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                  Update for August 12, 2010 - Part 2: I've been farting around this week at night making new radiator brackets. We had to lower the used E36 radiator 3" to clear some stuff on the front of the motor so I had to yank off the brackets I had built and scratch build new upper and lower brackets, after Sean cut a slot in the lower radiator support to clear the lower part of the rad.

                  I used some 1" strap steel and some bushings from an old and discarded rear shock mount, which gives a nice cushion to the lower radiator mounts. To attached the brackets to the radiator support I pre-drilled some holes in the brackets and used some self-tapping roofing screws to zing them home. Cheap and fast.

                  The upper mounts were a bit trickier, but they start by going down into the E36 rad's upper mounting slots. We lost the OEM rubber inserts for those so we used some cut lengths of old heater hose for the upper rubber isolators; they slid down into the plastic tank slots fine. The brackets are made from .10" thick strap steel, cut and bent to shape and welded together.

                  So the radiator is now held in place in its new lower location, and isolated from metal-to-metal contact. Last Tuesday Chris and I worked on the fuel pump assembly and I worked a bit on the throttle cable and a custom bracket for that.

                  We had a discarded Subaru fuel pump assembly to scavenge and source the pump (the stock OEM in-tank pump was a low pressure "pusher" feeding an external pump; we ditched the external and used the Subaru unit for the in-tank portion), fuel pump strainer/sock and part of the Subaru's in-tank wiring/harness. Chris soldered the harness wires from the pump to the stock E30's wiring plug, so it will be a plug-in deal.

                  So that's the past two weeks on the E30 project. We've gotten a bit of work done but I've been so slammed that I was tardy on the updates.

                  More soon!
                  Last edited by Fair!; 08-12-2010, 06:13 PM.
                  Terry Fair -
                  2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                  EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                  • #69
                    Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                    Update for Aug 17, 2010: Final update before we fire it up! I swear, no more mundane, boring brackets or nonsense. The next one after this - It goes VROOM, or I will refund your price of admission!

                    Objects on screen are closer than they appear

                    OK, where were we? Last time I detailed the seat bracket/slider, radiator relocation is done (nape: yep, the lower brackets do need more meat to them, I agree), exhaust fab was shown in painful detail, and the gauge cluster was fixed. Plus a lot of other stuff I didn't show on the motor. Since then we've knocked out some more bullet points, thanks to a LONG Saturday at the shop last weekend - big thanks to Costas and McCall, and to Chris for coming Monday night. Amy and I raced on Sunday (the repaired oil pump on the E46 did great!) and I'm going to tackle some solo work tonight on the E30.

                    The giant hole in the trunk floor (long ago we cut out the rusty spare tire well) is finally covered up with some aluminum sheet. I went to Garland Steel and Scrap Yard and traded 56 pounds of old E30 exhaust and 30 pounds of aluminum bumpers for this small piece of relatively clean sheet, that was in a pile of drops/scraps there. It fit trunk floor's hole nearly perfectly without cutting - sometimes you get lucky! I'll drill some holes and put Clecos in place until I decide weather to screw or rivet that down.

                    Above you can see the 7000 rpm gauge cluster (from a 318is) in the car (I hope it works now!) as well as the V6 Camaro shifter in place. You can see the repairs we had to do to the BMW trans tunnel, mostly from a giant hole a previous owner put in there (for some weird reason?) and then fiberglassed over (facepalm!). The new sheet metal is cut to fit around the V6 trans location and our motor placement, and its not the stock hole. The shifter angle/placement itself is a bit odd but the price was right! (it came with the trans) The normal V6 Camaro trans is at a 15° tilt but it is no longer, so its angled a bit to the right. If it feels weird we'll make a new shift handle. We're going to put the giant "8 ball" leather Camaro knob on there, too. Speaking of brakes...

                    We have some goodies mocked up and ready to go in place of the E30 ABS pump, but I'll talk about more of that when its done. The E36 master cylinder is being used, since we have E36 non-M brakes on both ends of the car. Why mess with the proportioning/balance? We're now using a complete E36 braking system, sans power booster. The booster got in the way of the V8, so I laid out two patterns - the E30 firewall holes and the E36 master cylinder, and managed to scoot the MC up and to the driver's side, sharing the top right hole.

                    Check out the high tech equipment in the Vorshlag shop! Yep, that's an old $40 table top drill press. I have a big $900 beast of a drill press, but its a paint to remove the spring perch fixtures from it we use on a weekly basis, so half the time the $40 hoopty gets used. The extra hole drilled into the firewall was done with the engine in place, using a regular drill and a 90° adapter. Worked like a charm - especially when wielded by a left-hander like McCall. Sorry, some of that photo was redacted by order of the president (National Security concerns, of course), plus parts of the next two.

                    OK, what else? We finished the throttle bracket and cable and tested that. The power steering pump was pulled, the pulley removed, a different bracket installed, and all that put back together. Some other hydraulic lines were mangled/remade. Serpentine belt installed, plus all fluids in the motor/trans/diff. We nearly burned up the donor battery cable, but we got part of it shortened and attached to the starter and another to the alternator. The power steering cooler (cheap swap-meet trans cooler) kit was installed. The old cooling fan is remounted and ready. I was wasting hours trying to design/cut crazy F1 style mounts for the cooler, and Costas knocked some sense into me - it was installed with 1 bolt and 2 roofing screws in 5 minutes, done his way. Yes, its vertical now, and not behind the fan (which was making my layout nearly impossible without moving the fan - again!) but the cooler lines are far from the lowest part on the car. Sometimes I over-complicate things...

                    We're still doing a lot of recycle/reuse/save the planet/save a buck tricks. More re-purposed hoses from various sources (old cars, old projects, old washing machines!) were installed and buttoned up, plus lots more used clamps from the old motor were cleaned up and installed. We've gotten good at cleaning up old crap! So much extra time is being burned to save $1 here, $5 there, but that's the nature of this contest. We found a set of throw-away 275 Hoosierss this week, plus a set we bought for cheap, so we can do some testing on the correct 15x10" steel wheels and tires soon and save the throw-aways for the GRM event.

                    I'm really, honestly hoping we can fire it up this week. Two small pieces of fuel line are left, two radiator hoses need to be cobbled together, and the air inlet piping. Chris is finishing up the engine harness this week - just a few more wires to extend and terminate! We've got all of the pieces and parts here to do that. This week we wrapped up a custom exhaust for Hanchey's ex/future World Challenge Subaru race car and the DSP E46 was completed enough with prep for Nationals (no more additional projects on that until winter), and the 2011 Mustang GT we ordered in early JUNE won't get here in time to do our last minute sneak attack F Stock entry at Nats, damn it. That's probably good news for my sleep deprived brain - getting this E30 cleaned up and running and sorted and do bodywork and paint will gobble up every hour after work between now and Sept 30th, as it is.

                    Next up - videos from "first crank" and exhaust sound tests!
                    Terry Fair -
                    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                    • #70
                      Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                      This isn't a project update - this is a serious of questions.

                      Why do E30s have such terrible wiring schematics? I've been fighting with final wiring of the motor and car for the last week and its making me nuts (as well as wrapping up the last of the fuel/power steering/brake lines/trunk floor). Doug stopped by Saturday (thanks!) and we put the battery back in the car (first time in 8 months) and, after a little digging and a wire repair, got power to the fuse box and to parts of the interior of the car. Headlights work, some other systems work but others don't - there's power to some fuses/circuits, but not many.

                      Whenever I need to reference a wiring schematic, it rarely matches what's in the car. The wiring references in the Bentley manual are a JOKE - I wish I could meet the guy that put this book together, and punch him in the face. Little clips of the schematic sections here and there, and they don't always match the car. Chris found some more complete online schematics but, once again, they don't always match the car.

                      Half of these wire colors match the wiring at the connector!

                      So the wiring is kicking my butt. I don't know E30s well to begin with and we're trying to splice in the engine harness and computer from another vehicle to some of the E30 systems. Its usually pretty simple stuff in an E36, which has relatively good wiring schematics, and what we're trying to splice in are very simple systems (start, fuel pump relay, tach, brake, Check Engine Light). We've got everything on the donor harness identified/pared down/lengthened/connected to the engine, I just cannot get accurate connector pin-puts for the E30's wiring connectors for some of the last 5 wires we need to splice in. Some of the systems just aren't behaving like they should, too.

                      Question 1: The current (ha! a pun!) problem I'm having is trying to get a 12V positive "START" wire to trigger the starter solenoid. The "connector 50" 12V lead from the BMW engine harness to the BMW starter is long gone (we sold the engine harness with the motor) so I went upstream to the ignition switch, and the C200 connector under the steering column:

                      The connector doesn't look exactly like the numbering diagram (why aren't wires 9 & 10 shown in the picture above, right?) and many of the color coded wires are incorrect (from Figure 10-11, above). Apparently "Terminal 9" (black/yellow wire) is the start signal that becomes "Terminal 50", but at this wiring connector it is a microscopically small wire. There's no way that little thing can handle the juice needed to energize a starter solenoid. Did this "Terminal 9" go through a relay or circuit somewhere to become the larger "Terminal 50" wire that triggers the BMW starter? Or is it "Terminal 10"? Its so damn hot in the shop right now its hard to think, and once inside the car (with the windows stuck up!) you just sweat like mad and can't see within 2 minutes.

                      I've done continuity tests with the key in OFF, ON and START positions - and damned it if I can find the right circuit, or verify that "Terminal 9" is even the wire we want. The one we need only makes a 12V circuit when the key is in START. Once we get a 12v signal to a starter solenoid we can crank the engine. Sure, I could throw a momentary push button switch in the car to energize the solenoid, but the ignition switch and key WORKED BEFORE and I don't want to clutter up the car more than it already is with unnecessary custom buttons and switches. I've already burned hours on finding this wire... one stupid wire. (facepalm)

                      Question 2: The power windows no longer work, and they did before we tore the car down last year. I traced the schematic for this circuit back to fuse # 17, and there's no 12V power even when the key is ON. It shares the fuse with the sunroof, which we completely removed all traces of. Thoughts? The wipers worked for about half a stroke, then stopped. A closer look at the firewall routing for the wires to the wiper motor looks like it was cut then put back together by a previous owner (just twisted together - not even taped), so all that needs to be removed/re-soldered. I'm so sick of soldering and heat shrinking I could scream.

                      Question 3: Does anyone recognize this wiring bundle, located back at the diff? This cable was cut and dangling under the car when we got it, and it has 3 wires: red, blue, & yellow/green. Probably not critical, just want to get the mess of wiring as cleaned up as possible before we crank it. Its not the speedometer wiring, which was spliced together with speaker wire ends just and smashed onto the speedometer sensor terminals (ugh), but is now properly spliced/extended and has weatherproof spade connectors clicked onto the 2 terminals there.

                      Question 4: I've also got to trick the fan to come on when the key is in the ON position. Need to find an accurate diagram for the aux cooling fan, and try to decipher the hi and low speed circuit and relays for that.

                      Question 5: What do the K5 and K7 relays do?

                      If anyone has any answers, please feel free to share. Also, if you are in north Dallas and know a bit about E30 wiring, we're working on the car tonight - let me know if you want to come by and educate the E30 Ignorant!

                      Terry Fair -
                      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                      • #71
                        Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                        Originally posted by Gnarles
                        Question 1: This connects to the starter relay and eventually feeds to pin 18 on the C101 connector at the firewall.

                        Question 5: I believe K5 and K7 are unloader relays for the starter circuit.
                        Originally posted by FredK
                        Not only does C101 Pin 18 handle the start signal (pull in coil) on the starter, it also energizes Terminal 85 on K5 (windows) and K7 (blower motor), such that during START, power to the windows and blower motor are interrupted.

                        C200 also must be plugged in.

                        Has your fusebox been tampered with, and do you still have a C101? It's the round 20 pin connector that is connected to the fusebox.
                        Thanks guys. We have one side of the C101 round connector and we have it mapped for some of the wires we're trying to tie into. It sounds like we need to dig deeper into this guy for most of our issues...

                        Since neither the blower motor or power windows work (a-ha!), it sounds like we need to trick the K5 and K7 relays into triggering them back on. I'm breaking out the ETK/Bentley and moving on to more work at C101.

                        Terry Fair -
                        2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                        EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                        • #72
                          Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                          Whew... electric nightmare averted! Thanks to everyone on all 5 forums where we post up about the E30 V8 (corner-carvers, bimmerforums, r3vlimited, SCCAforums, & Vorshlag forums) that pointed out what the K5/K7 unloader relays do (disconnect many circuits during "START" to maximize voltage to the starter), and to Larry from Corner-Carvers for giving us a call and making me check the build date on this car (02-86... so this is an '87 model!?). And the suggestions several folks had to go to the round 20 pin "C101 connector" (engine bay, near the fuse box) were what Chris had been saying all along - easy access to the harness, and the pins are actually numbered on both sides of the connector (in the tiniest font EVAR).

                          Costas with a test light is like a surgeon with a scalpel - precise, quick and potentially deadly! He scoffed at our attempts to find the perfect wiring diagrams, and figured out the start wire we needed in the C200 connector within 5 minutes of probing. He and Chris had the starter solenoid wired up and working (from C101) with a turn of the ignition key within 20 minutes, schematics be damned. After Costas jumpered the two K5/K7 relays we also had working power windows, heater blower motor, and everything else worked again - even the aux cooling fan! He was mashing various buttons on the interior and the "recirc" button on the HVAC turned the aux cooling fan on...?! That's the fan we're using to cool the E36 radiator in this car (the same a/c aux electric fan worked well on E36 LS1 cars we built, so why not our little E30 V8?). I had plugged the fan into the factory connector so I guess the jumpered unloader relays completed that circuit? That was easy.

                          Question 5: Anyone know the trick to triggering the K5/K7 relays correctly, so that during START they kill power to their sub-circuits but remain on during "RUN"? Remember - we don't have the original DME in the car anymore, if that is what controls it, so we need to trick it from just the "START" wire. Its probably another jumper from Pin 18 at C101, but we're going to skip ahead to the fun part and keep the relay jumpers in place for now.

                          Chris couldn't stay long but he managed to solder wires for the starter solenoid at the C101 round (20 pin) connector as well as from the fuel pump relay we've got connected to our engine computer to part of the fuel pump (I finished that this morning). Costas stood on his head under the dash for a while and got the brake pedal out so we could make a custom pushrod to connect the pedal to the E36 master cylinder we are using without a brake booster. While cleaning it up I managed to crack one of the low pressure nipple fittings (clutch hydraulic supply) on one of the better of the two E36 brake reservoirs we had scrounged up, so my friend Mr. JB Weld came to the rescue and that's all fixed up and cleaned, ready for final installaiton.

                          I did a little welding on the brake pedal bracket and then started to remove the lower part for relocation of the pick-up point on the brake pedal itself - right up until the power went out to half the town. Costas thought we had tripped a breaker, but the whole area went dark. Eventually we went and grabbed food. After 2 hours of waiting we gave up, Costas headed home, and Amy and I went to the movies (Scott Pilgrim vs The World = hilarious, crazy, different). I went out this morning and after a little testing to find the correct positive and negative leads on the E30 fuel pump assembly connector, I finally made the fuel pump go WHIRRR!, so we're very close to making the big loud and revealing update that people are waiting for...

                          Thanks again everyone for your helpful electrical suggestions!
                          Last edited by Fair!; 08-24-2010, 11:17 AM.
                          Terry Fair -
                          2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                          EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                          • #73
                            ...vroom vroom...

                            Update for September 1, 2010: I said I wouldn't do another update without a video of the car running - so here you go! Please ignore the chuckle-head announcer in the video, and just listen to the sweet V8 melodies....

                            Click for video of the first fire of the Vorshlag E30 junkyard V8 - 51 MB, 1:13 in length

                            Can you guess the engine now? Some of you nailed it already (and some of you on corner-carvers gave us the idea in the first place - I had no idea those engines were this cheap yet, or this lively!). This sound should just about give it away. No, that isn't the stock camshaft(s) - it was a used set-up we purchased second hand.

                            Also, no, this engine/computer has not been tuned whatsoever - hence the copious clouds of black smoke (fuel rich). Once it can drive safely around the block, we'll get a bit of a tune on it. It was running last Friday, but dumping fuel everywhere (3 fuel leaks). We've been hacking away at tons of little issues that cropped up for the past week and a half. The biggest fuel leak is fixed, I've done a ton of small wiring re-dos and clean-up, LOTS of brake system/lines/pedal/pushrod work, the upper radiator hose was reworked/rerouted for the 4th time, engine fluids were filled and bled and rechecked, a battery tray was built, and more of the interior was installed last night.

                            Custom brake pedal pivot bracket and pushrod - to work with E36 manual brake MC

                            The E36 master cylinder is giving me fits - it won't bleed. I've tried the manual push pedal/open bleeder valve trick, gravity bleeding, vacuum bleeding, but nothing works. We can't get a drop out of the MC. It was bone dry when it was installed so we're trying a pressure bleeder tonight (thanks for the loan, Greg!), but the hydraulic clutch circuit is giving me similar fits (it shoots fluid all over the place, but won't firm up). When those two issues are sorted we can do our first test drive - and the drive-by video and engine reveal. Hopefully before I leave for the SCCA Solo Nationals, this Saturday!

                            Battery tray made of scrap aluminum angle and some old/bent end links (Mustang? Datsun? Some old junk I had)

                            Today I rounded up some loaner woodworking tools (tanks Dave B!) to help with fender flare wooden buck construction that I'll hopefully start tonight, and we're also making some dash panel inserts to cover holes in which we'll place a few crucial (and dirt cheap/used) mechanical gauges. I'll try to make a small aluminum heat shield for the open element air cleaner tonight, too. We're still looking for a few last minute bits before its ready to race - hopefully it is tuned and running properly enough so that we can race it for the first time in about a week (we don't have much time left after the Solo Nationals and before the GRM Challenge, arg!).

                            If anyone has the following parts for sale cheaply, please PM me!
                            • 4th gen Camaro shift knob - stock? aftermarket? V6 or V8? anything inexpensive - we don't care (we might just whittle something on the lathe)
                            • A pair of used but usable E36 front Bilstein Sport struts - and I mean cheap

                            If you're gong to the Solo Nationals and need AST decals (for contingency) or Vorshlag decals (represent!), come find us at the back of the paddock. We'll be at the big red Vorshlag trailer from Saturday to Saturday, Sept 4-11th. If I'm not there I'm probably near the courses (walking/driving/helping/working), but we'll leave plenty of decals out for the taking when elsewhere. I'm running Thursday/Friday in DSP... hopefully the weaknut M54 doesn't blow up!

                            Terry Fair -
                            2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                            EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                            • #74
                              Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                              Update for Sept 16, 2010: It runs! It Drives! Nothing caught fire or fell off! Hot damn!

                              I've worked every day and night since this past Sunday, after returning from the sound drumming I took at the Solo Nationals. Thanks to everyone that has come by and helped this past week. We've had a LOT of frustrating work days fighting with bad brake master cylinders, a bad clutch master, and wiring woes. Chris got the wiring ALL sorted out - the "unloader relays" are in and functional and he's started on the ABS wiring harness. McCall, Costas, Matt, and Paul M have also pitched in in the past week, in the final push to get it driveable.

                              Without further ado, here's the first drive video and engine reveal...

                              edit: Vorshlag E30 V8 - First Drive Video

                              Some of the hydraulic failures could have been avoided by NOT using used hydraulic parts. Lesson learned. This insanely low budget has led us to make mistakes in judgment. Sometimes there's a fine line separating "cheap" and "stupid".

                              The 3 massive fuel leaks are all finally fixed, with 3 separate repair jobs done to the fuel rail alone!

                              So after the 3rd fuel rail fix I had the car back together and did a quick test drive around 6:30 pm last night. Amy took the video for the "reveal video" (she had never used this vidcam yet so its a bit shaky). The "walk around" video is below. I talk about some of the aspects on the motor that we've not shared over the past 11 months.

                              Click this for "walk-around video"

                              Briefly, I'll fill in some blanks on what we've got: this car has a 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 truck engine called the LM7, as many of you correctly guessed. Iron block, aluminum heads, 5.3L of displacement, made in the hundreds of thousands each year so they are abundant and cheap. In the trucks they make 315hp but we've taken off the uber-tall truck intake manifold and gone with a lower profile (not some say lower flowing) 5.7L Camaro intake manifold and throttle body.

                              The LM7 is a "Gen III" engine like the LS1, so all of the sensors and layouts are identical - except the LM7 has an electronic throttle body. We lost that with the truck intake so it now has a cable operated Camaro throttle body. The original and massive truck accessories were sold to recoup budget room to pay for used Camaro accessories, which package shorter in length and narrower in width - to better fit the small engine bay of the E30 better. A used, modified GTO oilpan was used to clear the subframe. We built motor mounts and a trans crossmember similar in style to what we use on our E36 LS1 kit, but they were of course completely different. The Camaro driveshaft was shortened to fit the car.

                              The uniqueness of this swap is that it was built for $2010, as well as being coupled to the the unloved V6 Camaro T5, which we used no only for budget reasons but also for low weight (we had mocked it up with the V8 Camaro T5 originally but they are fairly pricey). The T5s are much lighter than the T56 normally used behind an LSx, and it paid off with a very lower total weight for our car. The V6 T5 has a Ford front bellhousing mounting pattern, so we used a scattershield made for an LS1 to use a Ford Toploader trans, and that made it all work. Scattershields are an allowed safety expense and the one we used doesn't ding our GRM Challenge budget.

                              I'm sorry if some of you are disappointed that we didn't use something more exotic or silly, like a Northstar V8 or a Ford Mod Motor, but ALL of the DOHC layout V8s are massively huge and won't fit without major surgery. And they don't make good power when you have a budget this tight. The LSx engines are compact, inexpensive, powerful, reliable, and supported better in the aftermarket than any other modern V8. We're pretty happy with the finished engine install, and we have had really good results with LS1 powered BMWs in the past. We still have a lot of work to do to the car, like building flares, dialing in the suspension, and testing it it on a dragstrip. The car has driven under its own power for about 1000 feet, and we have a week to go before the GRM Challenge. (facepalm)

                              We're under the gun on time, I'm dead tired and busy as hell with regular Vorshlag work, so I'll post up more details soon.
                              Last edited by Fair!; 09-16-2010, 01:48 PM.
                              Terry Fair -
                              2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                              EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                              • #75
                                Re: Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

                                Update for Sept 22, 2010: We've been working damn near around the clock since we got the 5.3L V8 running and driving, thrashing to finish the bodywork and to iron out a few unfinished details on the fuel system and some other aspects. Let's start with where we are today, then I'll back up and go over how we got here...

                                We've been busy for the last week and Paul, Jason and I have knocked out the work required to custom make new rear fenders/flares. We've never done something like this before, so we were flying blind on several fabrication techniques we had only read about or seen done on TV.

                                Jason and Paul M worked their flare magic last Friday night after adding the 3 Dzus fasteners to the gutted trunk (Matt played "Trunk Monkey" and marked the inside locations on the underside of the trunk). We worked until almost 2 am last Friday night so my memory is a bit sketchy on all of the details...

                                Here's how we did the rear box flares - the first step was to make cardboard versions. We are making the flares fit the larger 18x11" wheels, as the 15x10" steel wheels are only being used for the GRM event.

                                The cardboard looked so good I was dying to get to work on the steel versions, but that was just finished in cardboard (many iterations) done at about 1:30 am Friday night. Costas and I had been making the "de-castered" camber plates all night, which came out pretty good for about $5 in scrap steel and 2 hours of work.

                                The finished result took us from +15° front caster to around +7°, which is more reasonable. The weight jacking that +15° of caster causes with steering input was horrendous! 7 degrees is livable. The camber is still "adjustable", but its pretty ghetto and only has 3 stepped camber settings (-4.7°, -3.5°, and one less than that). We'll test with the -3.5 setting and hope for the best. We hacked up the strut tower pretty bad to make this work - moving the top of the strut forward 1.7" to dump all of that caster. This excessive caster situation was due to the E36 front suspension swap we performed on this poor E30.

                                OK, so Saturday Paul M and I burned the whole day making the wooden buck for the left rear flare, which you can see in the above pictures. Then we hammer formed the 14" radius for the top flare piece by clamping the sheet steel to the buck and hammering it over the routed bend in the wood. The flimsy 20 gauge steel now was super rigid, with the formed radius along the outer edge. This was welded to the fender and two braces were added, tilting the top flare piece down at 24.1° from level.

                                We then traced the cardboard mock-up onto the steel, cut that out, and hung it from the top piece. Once the fit was tweaked and the lower bodyline was marked, we added a slight ~30*° bend in the lower section, then lined this up with the bodyline at the bottom edge of the door. It flows nicely there, visually.

                                We used Paul's pneumatic "crud buster" to remove the paint on each body panel edge that the flare would be welded to. Great tool! That work above burned the entire day and well into the night on Saturday. Again, we didn't know what we were doing, so there was a lot of trial and error, but we stumbled upon a good method (thanks to Greg for the hammer forming/buck tips!). I spent Sunday making two lower wedge sheet pieces that braced up the bottom of the side of the left rear flare, and welded them to the body. Now the flare is welded on all edges and is rigid as hell - it can take a cone hit at any speed, no worries, but its all fairly lightweight (20 gauge) steel.

                                I spent all day Sunday finishing the left rear flare and started finished the second buck, cut the steel, and hammer formed the top for the right rear flare. I welded it on Monday, but made some mistakes trying to do this work solo. Always have some extra hands (and eyes) when welding on big, long bodywork pieces! I have a "dip" on the top section of the RR flare that will need some serious mud.

                                We spent this past Monday night finishing up odds and ends on the flares, and Costas made this antenna hole plug which we welded in place flush with the fender. Tuesday night was spent grinding welds and such, and Chris worked on the custom ABS wiring harness (with parts stolen from an E36). Somewhere in there we got the used 275mm Hoosiers mounted to the 15x10" steel wheels, tried to get a dyno run in (but the fuel filter imploded), and worked on the brakes and clutch a bit more (finally getting them more reliable and "right").

                                I'm not going to spill the beans about the dyno numbers... but its somewhere between 300 and 400 whp. If its too high people will call BS, and if its too low, well... it would be embarrassing. Its in the believable range, but its not embarrassing or stellar. The GRM event is in a week so we'll share more after that (and then go back and fix SO many ghetto shortcuts we've had to make for cost reasons!).

                                We've also added the used E36 sedan front bumper cover to the front as well as laid out the front fender in cardboard (Paul M worked on that last night). I am out of room for pictures in this post so I'll show that after the first front flare is done in steel. Costas just rolled up with a smoking deal on a used E36 rear bumper cover, so we'll get that mounted and lined up with the flares (I hope that fits what we've built!). Paul M has already started on the wooden bucks for the front fender flare and Costas is putting the new fuel filter on (this one was fuel injection rated, and we ghetto-ized it pretty good to work with our weirdly-sized/used/existing E30 fuel lines). We have put the E30 KYB rear shocks back on that came with the car, and we're just adding some more fluid to the leaky and very rusty (and locked up adjuster) $10 pair of E36 Koni front struts we bought many moons ago. Those will go on the car probably tomorrow and we'll try to make some autocross runs Sunday out at Mineral Wells with the local BMWCCA chapter.

                                More soon!
                                Last edited by Fair!; 09-22-2010, 08:18 PM.
                                Terry Fair -
                                2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                                EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev