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Vorshlag $2010 GRM Challenge car - BMW E30 V8

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

    Project Update for Oct 27, 2011: Just had a few updates to the car to share, Costas' blog write-ups from the Auto-x Test and GRM Events, and a request for help located upgrade parts.

    Costas' Blog Updates

    Costas found this pic on the GRM Forums - The turbo rear engined Honda600 2-wheelin it!

    Let's start with the two GRM write-ups Costas wrote to his own website (, which are both very detailed, informative and hilarious. For those of you interested in his point of view about the event, plus his little side-trip to go fly a plane right before the welcome party, make sure to read up. He has different and a wider variety of pictures and details on some of the nicest GRM Challenge competitor cars, too. I learned several things about some of the other team's cars there, and I was at the event. Good stuff!

    Vorshlag Scrap-E30 Updates

    Our Scrap-E30 sitting on fancier wheels, parked at its new home

    Like I said in my previous post, we are not taking this E30 to another $20XX GRM Challenge again. The plan is to fix the issues we ran into due to budget compromises, and then see what we want to do with the car. Sell it to a new owner that will appreciate the big thumping V8, the engineering, the look, the racing pedigree (ha!), and the 1500+ hours of work we put into this car? Or keep it and continue to develop it for track use? Whatever we do, the transmission needs repair once again and a few braking system issues need to be addressed. We also need to install a passenger seat, two I/O port seat-back braces (from seat backs to roll bar), a 2nd 6-point harness, and some other little improvements and upgrades.

    Now that we are out of the GRM Challenge restrictions, and can actually spend some money and work on this car in the shop. With real Vorshlag employees wrenching on the clock we can finally get some work done quickly. AJ has already swapped out the non-M E36 front spindles/brakes/control arms for the larger M3 rotors, calipers, spindles, and arms and he and Ryan have re-bled the system. The 18x11's are back on for good, then the dead 15" HoHos will be removed and the shiny 15 x 10" wheels will be sold off.

    Aluminum Block LSx?

    One of the fundamental problems with the car was the heavy front weight bias... 61% on the front nose hurts everything. An easy way to remove 80 pounds off the nose is to switch to an aluminum block, so we're looking for a running, aluminum block, sub 100K mile longblock. Something like the all-aluminum L33 5.3L? Anyone have a lead?

    There's nothing wrong with the iron block 5.3L in the car, other than its iron block weighs so much more. We'll use this in another project or move it along. Any leads are greatly appreciated! We are always looking for aluminum 5.3L L33, 5.7L LS1, 6.0L LS2, and 6.2L L92 and LS3 engines, as well as '98-02 Camaro/Firebird T56 transmissions. Now that we are doing turn-key builds these are always on our shopping list.

    Transmission Repair or Upgrade?

    As for the trans, we have some easy options and some not so easy upgrades. We've thought about countless other transmissions we could use, like going to a T56 6-spd, but each has its drawbacks. The T56 is 125 lbs, and will likely require changes to the headers, which I am loathe to do. All of the external rail shifted 4-spds "seem" cheap but when you shop around for a nice M21, T10 or Toploader, they get up into the $1000-1500 range for rebuilt, close ratio units. And 4-spds are a step backwards from a 5-spd. We did make a trans crossmember for the 3rd gen Camaro V8 T5, and the 90-92 versions had great gearing and were "World Class" rated. They've gotten pretty scarce (and thus costly), and these would not work with our existing scattershield or shifter, and the LSx starter didn't line up, but at least the GM clutch and GM driveshaft would not need to be altered. Meh, its more unknowns and work for nothing stronger...

    The 3rd gen V8 Camaro T5 has not only been in the car, but we made a crossmember for it (dead end)

    One major point of contention against all of these other transmissions above: I have nearly $600 invested in this SFI scattershield, and I don't want to "toss that out the window". After seeing a T56 lose its input shaft and scatter parts through the aluminum bellhousing, I don't want to lose that added safety, either. Keeping the scattershield is going to alter the transmission choices, but I'm OK with most of the options. We can stick with the Camaro V6 T5 (easiest, cheapest option) and just finally break down and get one rebuilt and maybe even slightly upgraded (help on this is requested!). Couldn't afford more than a junkyard dog for the $2010-11 budgets, but a rebuilt and upgraded T5 might be all it needs to stay reliable. Avoiding shock-loading with any T5 is key, like not letting the rear tires hop-hop-hop under load or wheel spin wildly down a wet drag strip.

    Left: The two T5's we've played with. Right: 4th gen Camaro V6 T5 crossmember in the E30 now

    We could also use a Ford Mustang T5, but its not any stronger than the World Class 4th gen V6 box we have (300 ft-lbs), yet the gearing is slightly better. Then there are the "big brother" Tremec 3550/TKO500/600 options. All of these work with this scattershield but need new driveshaft and clutch disc. There's also the provisions on thie scattershield for a Jerico 4 or 5 Speed, but those are $2500+ used, and don't have synchros. That makes them harder to drive, which might limit the pool of folks that might want to drive it (or buy it).

    The Scattershield

    Quicktime SFi-rated spun steel bellhousing ($540 on Summit)
    Chevy 1999-2009, 4.8/5.3/5.7/6.0/6.2/7.0L, to Ford T5/Tremec Manual Trans., Kit Part Number: QTI-RM-6037

    Notes from QT's application chart for this part number:
    • Engines: Chevy LS1/LS2/LS3/LS6/LS7/LS9 SB/BB CHEVY
    • Trans: Ford TKO 500/600, TR3550, T-5 Mustang
    • Clutch Operation: Std LH Clutch Fork & Hydraulic Release Bearing
    • More notes from the QT product page: (looks like QuickTime has now been bought by Lakewood?!)
    • - 3D motion rendering of this part

    Specificaitons for RM-6037 - LS Bellhousing to Ford TKO 500-600/TR3550/T5 Mustang Transmission
    • Height = 6.925
    • Trans. Bore Ø = Universal 4.850/4.910 (looks like it has an adapter ring included)
    • Engine = Chevy LS-1, LS-2, LS-3, LS-6, LS-7, LS-9
    • Trans. = Ford TKO 500-600, TR3550, T5 Mustang/Jerico 4-5 Speed
    • Clutch Ø = 11"
    • Flywheel = 168 tooth or 153 tooth (LSx flywheels are usually 16
    • Weight = 22#
    • Full engine plate, trans ball and grade 8 bolts included
    • SFI Certified @ 6.1

    So this scattershield is staying, is made for an LSx block, and mates up to a number of Ford style transmissions. We got lucky and it also worked with the GM V6 T5 (which has a Ford front pattern for some reason), after we made a long pilot bushing for the block. This allowed us to use GM LS1/T56 clutch assembly and the Camaro V6 hydraulic slave/TOB. Cheap, plentiful, and it works.

    After looking around I can find a Mustang T5 for ~$500, and I've run across some Tremec 3550s for at or even slightly under $1000. The 3550 has larger shaft spacing & gear widths, so it is fundamentally stronger. Both of these choices will take a new clutch disc, new driveshaft input yoke, and some work cobbling together a working clutch slave (or worse - conversion to a fork and cable?!).

    So we're still contemplating the options. If we find a Camaro V6 T5 and a good T5 guru that can rebuild & upgrade it for us for a reasonable price, we'll probably go that route. We have 3 of these broken "cores" to rob for parts, but all have broken 3rd gears, so we need another "good one" to start with before any upgrading. And no, not going to do the $2500 Astro or G-Force upgraded T5s with custom gears and no synchros! I'm anxious to get it back out on track this year and another 4th gen Camaro V6 T5 this is our easiest path back to "running and driving." Whatever we put in there won't be some junkyard dog this time, that's all I know.

    I am looking for these used parts:
    • 5.3L aluminum L33 longblock
    • Ford style Tremec 3550/TKO500/600 transmission
    • 4th gen Camaro V5 T5 transmission
    • A T5 specialist that can do rebuilds/upgrades - affordably!

    Thanks with any help on finding these parts.

    Last edited by Fair!; 10-27-2011, 05:54 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


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

      Someone needs to post a pic of Scrappy in the comments section. Anyone have a jalop acct?

      cars and such...


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

        Project Update for May 16, 2012: Long time no update, right?! Well a lot has happened with our $2011 GRM Challenge winner over the past few months and now I am going to try to catch up the build thread with reality. There will be a few update installments as we are still wrapping up some final things this week. Something YOU can potentially be involved with is happening NEXT week! First thing this morning I got my June issue of GRM Magazine and what do I see on page 150? This ad (below left) for the $2012 GRM Challenge...

        Left: Page 150 of June 2012 GRM issue. Right: Cover of April 2012 GRM

        Not to mention the cover of the April issue, shown above right. That art car look is very photogenic! You can click on either picture above to see a full sized version. Now this April cover was the early artwork that they had before they photoshopped out the Vorshlag banner. Long story - stuff happens and it's mostly our own fault. Kumho deserves the space, as they ponied up the $$ for the event... and for the set of 315/35/18 Kumho V710s we won for taking the $2011 GRM Challenge. Amy and I have had a blast racing these Kuhmo's on our 2011 Mustang in both autocross and road course events!

        The fat loot from winning the GRM Challenge! Kumho V710s in 315/35/18 size being used on the front and rear of the Vorshlag Mustang

        After we got back from the GRM Challenge event last October, we had planned on several "upgrades" to the Scrap-E30. Since then we kind of got carried away and replaced a LOT of the junkyard parts we had used for the magazine shootout. Now that we are not restricted to a $2012 budget, there were so many things we wanted to fix, replace, or upgrade. We have replaced major components like the engine, transmission, wheels, shocks, springs, brakes, interior, camber plates, and more. It still looks similar on the outside, but so much of it is new and improved.

        Above left is the T5 that gave its life on the wet dragstrip at the GRM Challenge. The unit above right is a fresh T5 from a 2000 V6 Camaro in conjunction with a new T56 hydraulic throw-out bearing assembly (the old V6 unit still worked, but since we had it out we replaced it). Then we replaced the junkyard LS1 Camaro clutch and flywheel with fresh LS7 Corvette parts.

        The iron block 5.3L "LM7" we had used for 2 years of GRM competition was a bit of a heavy lump, and it had a nasty camshaft that made it a bit of an on-off switch. I had wanted to replace this with an aluminum LSx motor, so we swapped them once we had a replacement motor lined up. After a couple of months of looking we found a low mileage "L33" engine locally, which is an all-aluminum 5.3L used in a small number of GM trucks to save weight. We wanted it for the same reason - to lose 80 pounds off the nose of the car. It looked like this L33 engine spent most of its life in Oklahoma due to the red dirt "staining" on the bare aluminum, which is common in that region.

        After sealing up all of the ports, the block was pressure washed and scrubbed clean, and the red staining was mostly removed. Short of a full-on high temp acid bath, it's as clean as it's going to get. The insides of ports and heads looked clean with the intake and valve covers off, too.

        We swapped over the modified GTO oil pan, a Camaro LS1 intake manifold, and the truck coil packs from the iron LM7 onto the aluminum L33. We replaced all of the gaskets with new FelPro parts, installed a new PowerBond balancer + OEM crank bolt (which took a positively massive torque wrench - that was fun!), new NGK spark plugs, new serpentine belt, and some Castrol GTX oil for the first oil change flush (I always go with a quick 50 mile oil change after opening up any motor). It fired up on the first crank and runs like a champ - I have driven it around several times and now that it has street tires, it will be getting some street use (more on that in a bit). The stock L33 heads and cam are darned good, and I suspect it makes pretty close to the horsepower numbers it made before (which was 355 whp). The car has lost weight too (I'll take a corner weight picture of it tomorrow), so it should be as quick, if not quicker than before.

        This extremely budget restricted car has had numerous leaks, and each time it was moved we had to clean up coolant, diff fluid, power steering fluid, and sometimes fuel. When there's no money left to replace seals and gaskets, you do what you gotta do. Now that we are done with the $20XX budget event I wanted the guys here at Vorshlag (and yes, my own shop techs can finally work on this car on the clock, which is a huge relief! No more need for all-volunteer work effort) to get this thing "leak free".

        First up was the diff side and pinion seals, which were all replaced with new seals from BMW. Since the halfshafts had to be popped out to remove the diff, the sketchy looking CV joints and boots were replaced with a pair of new halfshafts - just because we can. The very used E36 steering rack in this car leaked ever so slightly for the past 2 years, but then a month ago it started puking fluid each time it was started (internal seal blew). We found a rebuilt E36 rack for under $300 and it went in this week (that was fun). We still need to chase down the slight fuel leak, which just started on Monday - the car is going on the rack tonight for a look. So now the little E30 is almost 100% house-trained. One more leak fix and no more "potty pads" or unwanted puddles.

        I will cover another gaggle of updates (brakes, seats, belts, coilovers, camber plates, CCW wheels/tires, lights, gauges, and state inspection?!) in my next project update, later this week. Why am I covering all of this now? Well... we need room in the shop for some upcoming V8 swap projects so we're going to sell this "$2011" beast. Just like the Vorshlag E36 LS1 "Alpha" car, this one is going to have an eBay auction, and all proceeds will go to the charitable foundation titled "Vorshlag LS1 Swap Addiction" (money from the sale of this car will fund our next LS1 swaps!). I will talk more about the upcoming auction in my next update.

        More soon,
        Last edited by Fair!; 05-16-2012, 07:10 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


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

          Where's the pic of the hilariously large torque wrench used on the crank bolt?


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

            Project Update for July 5, 2012: While other work was being performed on the E30 in the past two months, I kept seeing little things that bugged me - various fluid leaks that were easy to ignore on a $2000 race car, corners that were cut during construction to meet the budget, etc. Since this car has long surpassed any hopes of returning to $20XX GRM Challenge, I have held up the sale of the car so we could fix all of these issues.

            In late May, after a small fuel leak was temporarily fixed, I test drove the E30 around town (with a fire extinguisher inside) and it was... interesting. The car gets a LOT of looks on the street, as you could imagine. Whoever buys this car shouldn't be a shy introvert. After some miles around town I decided to soften the spring rates (900# is a bit much on the street) and found a few little things I wanted to tweak before we try to get the state safety inspection. We did some of these things and then the car passed with flying colors - its street legal now and never has to have another emissions check (at least in Texas) since its 25 years old.

            After the inspection was passed we knew there was still more to update. We've addressed all of the big stuff (new T5, fresh aluminum L33 5.3L V8, AST suspension, CCW wheels, second seat added, etc) and have been focusing on the little things. And of course, the "little list of little things" has snowballed into two months of work, to the point that we've gone overboard. But as I keep saying, for as much as this car is going to likely sell for (I've turned down three different offers for $15,000 so far) it's going to be worth it to the new buyer, in the end. Gone are the $10 shocks and $2000 worth of new ASTs are in their place. The 15x10" steel wheels have been replaced with 18x11" CCW 3-piece wheels. And on and on until we've got a substantial chunk of money invested into this car well beyond the "$2011" moniker. And I don't even want to contemplate how much work we did to the car before (with the volunteer crew of 15 workers) or after the Challenge event (at Vorshlag, by our technicians)... it's too painful to try to put a value on 1000+ man hours.

            Driveability and Reliability Updates

            As I mentioned in my last post, the steering rack was replaced with a remanufactured E36 unit, along with the tie rods and is now 100% leak free. While the steering rack work was going on, we put in some more reasonable spring rates. The 800 #/in front and 900 #/in rears were pulled in favor of some 450 #/in fronts and 550 #/in rears, almost cutting the spring rate in half. We don't know who the next owner will be, or what he will use this car for, but I didn't want this the E30 leaving our shop sprung so stiffly; it was "unpleasant" on the 18x10s with 285/30/18 street tires and the old spring rates. In case you are wondering, 900#/in rates are outside of what off-the-shelf-valving AST 4100s can deal with effectively (duh!). With the new springs (Hyperco front, Swift rear) the street ride has improved immensely.

            There was also a small fuel leak that had started earlier this year, which come to find out stemmed from re-using some 25 year old fuel hose, to meet that insane $2011 budget. This is one of the areas that I think could be improved in the GRM Challenge rules - a little flexibility when it comes to safety items. The various CrapCan road racing series don't ding their $500 cars for fuel or brake parts, and now I see why. So many compromises have to be made on such a strict "dollar budget" build, but we can go back and fix all of that now - and we have.

            My buddy Ed owns a hose and fitting shop and he came by, worked with Ryan on the list of parts needed, and ordered a gaggle of AN fittings and a couple dozen of feet of -6 and -8 braided line. So after a day of measuring, cutting, fitting the hoses into the fittings, installing new fire sleeve to both engine bay lines, and then attaching the completed assemblies to the car with P-clamps, the E30 now has a fuel system "done right". Safe, leak free, good looking, and rugged as hell.

            Another thing I learned from my street driving in May, when I drove the E30 across town in stop-and-go traffic to get the safety inspection, was a tendency to run warm. It was almost 100°F out and the little OEM a/c auxiliary fan just wasn't moving enough air to cool the E36 radiator in the car.

            We ordered a single 2800 CFM electric fan, Ryan made custom aluminum mounting brackets to get it spaced close to the radiator, then wired it into the car with GM style weatherpack connectors, new wiring, a proper relay and a dash-mounted switch. It is wired to run when the ignition is on, but you can switch it off manually if needed. That puppy moves some air! The old evap fan went into the dumpster, where it belonged. There are tons of GM weatherpack connectors on this car now - everything Ryan has re-wired has been done so with these modern, water-tight connectors (these are the standard for use on race car wiring).

            Above you can see the new fan wiring work being completed as well as a shot of the interior (from a few weeks ago). Every auxiliary gauge is plumbed and working, and an oil leak was found and fixed on the engine during the process (the car is now 100% leak free - a first!). The bundles of OEM wiring visible under the driver's side of the dash will soon be covered by a replacement OEM lower "knee pad" dash piece and brace, which were missing on our car for the past two years that we've had it. This and some other interior clean-up work will be shown in our next update. The original dash is in PERFECT condition, as are the door panels - this was why I bought this particular car way back when, and we've managed to keep them in this condition through two years of thrashing.

            A Cosmetic Tweak + a Little Bit of Aero

            While the interior work will be shown in the next update, some exterior updates have also happened lately. Of course the "Art Car" theme improved the looks from 2010 to 2011, but we've been doing some other little bits as well. One thing that always seemed "unfinished" to me was the underside...

            Here you can see the massive expanse of "exposed underbelly". This makes for extremely poor under-car aerodynamics and an overall incomplete look. Since this E30 has an E36 front (and rear) bumper cover, and it has an LSx V8 underhood, there wasn't an easy off-the-shelf aluminum undertray or splitter we could just buy and slap onto this car. So I decided that we should make an undertray, and while we were at it, let's go ahead and make it extend past the bottom of the bumper cover to create a splitter.

            The 2011-2012 Leguna Seca splitter is $700 and made from ABS plastic

            What material to use? We looked at aluminum, Alumilite, composite, and even ABS plastic. The splitter on my 2011 Mustang is a 3/8" thick sheet of ABS (from the factory Leguna Seca), and it has held up remarkably well after many many months of street driving, autocrossing, and road course lapping. It only scrapes on an extreme driveway entrance angle, but so far this material has been completely unharmed by the occasional road scrapes, or crashing into cones at an autocross.

            So we priced a 4'x8' sheet of 3/8" thick ABS from multiple local sources... but when I saw the $450 price tag I nearly choked. When it comes to splitters, don't discount the low cost, rigidity, ruggedness, wear resistance, and ease of manufacture of PLYWOOD. I picked up a 4'x8' sheet of 5/16" thick plywood, and might even suffer the extra weight of 3/8" if we were to do this again. Splurge the extra couple of bucks and get one that's finished smooth on both sides. I have seen plywood splitters in club racing and pro racing paddocks for years... there is some stigma attached to it, so just call it "carbon-based, multilayer composite!"

            Step-by-Step Splitter Construction:

            Using plumb bob, mark the outline of the bumper on some corrugated cardboard.

            Mark the mounting holes by piercing the corrugated cardboard at any factory holes you can find, while mocked up on the car.

            We welded some nuts to open holes in the subframe.

            Transfer the corrugated template to the plywood, then cut it to shape using a jig saw. There is a small rectangular hole cut-out to clear the E36 steering rack, which has a slight protrusion.

            Paint or stain the wood in the color of your choice...

            Here the four mounting struts are shown, bolted in place. Two mount to the front core support and two were hung on some aluminum angle brackets Ryan made.

            The bumper cover was notched around the struts and re-installed.

            The lower mounting brackets that came with the struts were bolted to the splitter and the lengths adjusted.

            The final look worked out great! There is still a gap at the front from the bottom of the bumper cover to the splitter that needs to be covered up. We will use sheet metal to cover the gap from the splitter to the bumper, and I'll show this step in a later post. In the end this will clean up the underside airflow greatly, improve radiator airflow, and should even provide some front downforce at speed.

            Getting close!
            Last edited by Fair!; 07-21-2012, 03:32 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


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

              Project Update for July 17, 2012: We are nearing the end of this project thread, as we've done the last tweaks to the E30 before it goes for sale. Here is what has gone down in the past two weeks on this little beast.

              Front Splitter Work Finalized

              The front splitter I showed in the last installment was not quite finished. There was a nearly 2" gap between the top of new splitter and the bottom of bumper cover. To effectively keep the air from going under the car or from pouring into the engine bay like a parachute above it, an "air dam" needed to be built to seal the splitter surface from the front bumper cover.

              We had looked at three different methods to fill this air gap: 1) With an air dam of sheet steel that attached to both the bumper and splitter, 2) A piece of metal that attached to just the bumper cover and laid on the splitter, or 3) Just a cosmetic plastic piece that sort of sealed the gap. After messing around with some materials and failed attempts at making a "quick and dirty" air dam, we went with a better, more time consuming option: a strong, free-standing structure of aluminum that bolts to the splitter and pushes snugly against the lower/front face of the bumper cover - for a rigid, nearly air tight seal. This air dam would not attach to the bumper cover, which should make splitter removal quicker.

              Vorshlag's fab man Ryan B. made a template of the bottom mounting face of the bumper cover in corrugated cardboard. Then the air dam itself was shaped around this template from a piece of 2" x 2" x 1/16" thick aluminum angle that was cut/bent/formed/welded into the matching shape. This took a couple of hours of shaping, fitting, and TIG-welding back together. The final result shown below is a strong, structural piece that weighed less than a pound.

              Once the shape was finalized and test fit several times, it was painted black and bolted to the splitter. It is shown below with clamps and Clecos holding it in place while the holes in the plywood were drilled. Pan-head 10-32 bolts were installed from the bottom with nuts and washers on the top of the aluminum, which are hidden out of sight.

              The aluminum was painted black and bolted to the splitter, then the final splitter/air dam assembly was bolted to the car and the four front support struts were attached (these bolt to the chassis behind the bumper cover). The entire splitter can be unbolted in a matter of minutes, with two bolts at the rear/subframe and the four splitter support struts up front.

              I test drove the car aroung the shop a few days later and the splitter worked fine on the street, as long as speed bumps and steep driveway inclines were "managed". It's a track and street-worthy splitter that is a bit more durable than most, and covers much more of the underside of the car than many splitters (it extends back to the bellhousing flange). Very happy with the final result, and we will likely build another like it for a dedicated track car soon.

              State Registration, Various License Plates, and More

              I had some novelty "euro" plates made up for this car and another project car we're building in house (we had a similar "VoRSHLAG" euro plate on the E36 Alpha car years ago) and I might add the "GRM 2011" plate to the front of this car, but not with any drilled fasteners. Like a lot of Euro plates, we'll just use some double-sided tape to secure it to the front bumper. Then again, I might leave it off and let the next buyer handle that, in case they don't like the idea. This car will also be sold with a mounted and framed copy of the 4-page October 2011 GRM article, a NASA log book, and a bunch of spares.

              The last formality for this car's "paperwork" was getting current registration completed and the car finally re-titled. I went to the local tax office to get new tags and the state sticker, and by my 2nd trip I had all of the right forms and signatures. Now this car is nominally "street legal". It has zero emissions equipment, so street legality will depend greatly on your local laws. Since the car has turned 25 years old, it's exempt from all emissions checks in the State of Texas, and just has to pass an annual safety inspection - your own laws may vary. We did add LED turn signals, fixed the horn, replaced + rewired the windshield wiper motor/arms/blades, and fixed several other exterior lights to make it pass the safety check. The electric windows still work, which is a plus - the car can be driven in the rain, but I wouldn't recommend doing so on the bald Hoosier A6s which are on the car (we swapped on some 285/30/18 Yokohama AD08s from another BMW we have to pass the safety check).

              Test Drive, Interior Clean-up, and "For Sale" Pictures

              Amy and I drove the car around Plano last Saturday to test the new spring rates, the cooling capability of the new electric fan, the splitter's streetability, and to find a good spot to shoot some pictures. The ride is phenomenally better on 450#/in front and 550#/in rears with the AST 4100s than it was on $10 shocks and 800/900# springs we used for competition in the $2011 GRM Challenge! The engine temps never went north of 185°F on this hot day, so that fan is working great.

              The guys at our shop also mounted a fire bottle to the roll bar and cleaned up the interior. Lots of vacuuming, detailing, and finish work was knocked out last week and the interior pictures came out great. The dash pad, door panels, and steering wheel are in near perfect shape - surprising given what this little car has been through. The fact that this was always a Texas car and the interior's condition was why I bought this car in the first place. The new "knee pad" panel added under the steering column was a nice addition, covering up the factory wiring and under-dash area, thanks to an eBay find.

              Several little dash opening "block off" panels were made in our shop out of aluminum, painted, and then bolted into place. The auxiliary gauges added before the 2011 GRM Challenge event are also visible here. Nice and tidy in there, but it's still no show car - more of a "clean race car look". The 4-point roll bar that we had powder coated in crinkle-black finish looks pretty darn good, and makes for a nice in-car camera mount and a place to hang the G-Force harnesses.

              There is a pair of I/O port seat back braces bolted to the cross bar as well, for more on-track safety. The left side seat still has a slider and the seat back brace can be re-drilled for each driver's position. The trunk lid is lightened and held in place by three 1/4-turn Dzus fasteners. The hood is similarly lightened and held on by 4 hood pins. So yeah, it is more of a race car that can be street driven.

              The ride height is a tad low, so I will have the guys raise it up another 3/4" all around later this week. Makes for stance-y looking pics, but not a very realistic street ride. For track use it is fine though.

              That's all I have for now. Next up - gotta write the ad for the online auction. As soon as that is live, I will post up again and let you all know. It should be within the next couple of days, and I will let the auction go for at least a week.

              Get ready... I will update this thread soon with a link to the auction!
              Last edited by Fair!; 08-08-2012, 02:35 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


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

                GO GO GO GO GO!!!!! If you need a place to store the car during the auction to make room for another car, I would then have a free space in my garage.


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

                  Project Update for July 31, 2012: The eBay auction ended last Sunday at noon, finally. It was a nerve wracking week of waiting (luckily we were insanely busy on another project, which kept us preoccupied), with over 6000 views of the auction, nearly 100 watchers, and 34 bids. When the dust cleared and seven days were up, the E30 had met reserve, selling for $18,000.

                  To some of you that might seem like a lot for a "$2011" budget car, but in reality that's a fair price for what you get. It could have gone for more, but I'm not complaining. Remember, we had a LOT of labor hours in this car (say... a thousand+) and in 2012 upgraded major components that were originally purchased under the old $2011 budget, swapping them for proper parts that were well beyond that price cap. The new owner will be bombing around road courses in California soon, which is a perfect use for this car. Already paid for, title already sent out, transporter coming soon.

                  The E30 has been sitting in our shop behind the Brianne Corn Racing 2005 Subaru STi Hill Climb car (under a car cover), waiting to be sold. We've been thrashing on this Subaru for two straight weeks doing way more work than should be possible in that time frame. You can read more about that project here.

                  A couple of days before the auction ended I was surprised to see the eBay auction and a write-up on Bring-A-Trailer, where vintage and/or race car featured on their site. There were some funny comments on there, of course, like: "This thing looks like it just drove through a herd of My Pretty Ponies. And hit every single one." Cracked me up!

                  Epic E30 Picture

                  Here's a nice picture taken of the E30 today, that our new photo/media guy whipped up for fun during lunch. Wow. Yea, Brandon has skills (he took some of the most memorable pics of the E30 previously, like this one, and that one). We'll try to get him to take a few more shots of it before the car is gone. You can get a full sized copy of this picture above, if you want a desktop background. Great, great shot... was a composite image of 6 or so individual shots with unique spot lighting on each. Expect more amazing photographs on Vorshlag project builds, race event coverage, and product pictures than you've ever seen before. He's going to Pikes Peak for the week and we will have those photos to show later in August.

                  Its going to be a sad day when this little E30 goes away - just like when we sold our silver STU-prepped 1997 M3 in February, or the E36 Alpha car in 2009. Having spent so much time working on this car, testing, tuning, upgrading, repairing - its always hard to let these long term, big effort projects go. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this build. An extremely frustrating 2010 showing, then the amazing 2011 victory, and a rebirth with all new wheels/tires/brakes/suspension/drivetrain in 2012. I wanted to give a big thanks to everyone here who read the build thread, made suggestions + helped guide us through this project, who cheered us on, played "guess the engine" (you were good sports!), and to all of those that chipped in volunteer labor. We're going to have a party for the volunteers once this car is gone, too.

                  Last edited by Fair!; 07-31-2012, 10:49 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