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dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/2/17 9:57 a.m.

So starting to revive this with some upcoming work and updates on what's done.

Finished installing the glove-box replacement panel - fabricated from ABS and covered in a carbon fiber wrap to match the rest of the car's new interior. Also just received my safety equipment - firecharger system and extra pull cable. Also starting fabrication of the door panels and new latch system. I've decided to simplify the door panels by not trying to cut out the existing interior door handles and instead, will be replacing them with simple VW bug latch mechanisms that connect to the existing door cable system. These are about as simple as you can get, but they function oddly, so you have to drill through the spring mechanism and pull it out. I'll replace the spring by connecting it to the door body so they return once the door handle is pulled to open things up. I'll also be using these red door pulls. The white cardboard cut-out is the shape of the panel, and the black pieces behind it are 1/8" fiberglass plates. Cutting them is going to be messy, but once done I think it'll make for a clean door system.

These are the super simple door handles I'll be using. They attach to the VW latch mechanism pictured next with the red door pulls.

Door handles - billet

Latch mechanism and handles

I'll be installing the fire suppression next. Still trying to figure out where to mount the bottle. I may mount it to the rear shelf if I can fit it back there with the top down.

Firecharger system with extra pull cord

These are the interior door skins I'll be creating (white template) from the black fiberglass panels behind it.

Interior door skin template and FG panels

I created this using ABS and melted it to form a nice angle that gives a fairly substantial amount of knee room clearance compared to the stock glove box.

Glove box panel

I cleaned up the engine bay a bit and installed the new strut bar. I'll be replacing that cone filter with the stock airbox, wrapped in aluminized fiberglass cloth heat shielding.

Cleaned up engine bay with strut bar

For some reason I couldn't figure out how to embed the pics from my google pic account.

XLR99
XLR99 Dork
4/2/17 12:23 p.m.

I have nothing useful to add, but very cool car! I happened to check your profile page, and discovered you live in my hometown!

I was trying to figure out the photo sharing issue, but doesn't seem to be working for me either. Hopefully someone smarter than me, with experience sharing from Google will have some input.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
4/2/17 1:23 p.m.

What club do you plan to run this car with? And will you be using a hardtop?

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/2/17 1:25 p.m.
XLR99 wrote: I have nothing useful to add, but very cool car! I happened to check your profile page, and discovered you live in my hometown! I was trying to figure out the photo sharing issue, but doesn't seem to be working for me either. Hopefully someone smarter than me, with experience sharing from Google will have some input.

Can you access pics through the links?

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/2/17 1:27 p.m.
Woody wrote: What club do you plan to run this car with? And will you be using a hardtop?

I was planning to run with local clubs during non-competitive track events. As rules evolve though I'm unsure what issues I'll run into with the vert/roll bar. Thus far it appears it'll pass with COM, BMWCCA and a couple other local chapters as long as I don't try to actually race.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/2/17 1:32 p.m.

Test fit the VW door mechanism and it looks like it'll be a very easy modification. Spring action from the lock appears to be sufficient so I'm not sure I even need to add anything. This was done just using a bent piece of clothes hanger and it opens things up as well as a stock latch system.

Latch test fit

I have a little work to do so that both ends are screwed into something but that should be an easy fix.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/16/17 12:35 p.m.

Spent some time this morning getting the door panels ready. A bit of a messy job working with fiberglass panels, and it was hot out so I'm glad it didn't take long to cut them out. Here's a pick of the finished panel prior to fitting and putting holes in for securing to the door. I'll be using threaded rivet nuts to secure it to the door. This is 1/8" black fiberglass paneling (G10-F4) that's fire rated. Pretty lightweight stuff but not as light as carbon fiber, but I couldn't justify the cost for an extra couple pounds of weight.

Fiberglass Door Panel

I also decided to send it to the paint shop - although I liked the black/silver I've decided to get the front end sprayed to match the rest, and once back from paint I'll be putting some silver stripes or other design that's a little more subtle. Hopefully this is getting close to track ready - starting to look for new tires now, and while those our out getting mounted and balanced, I'll be throwing in the adjustable coilovers. More to come soon.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/29/17 9:24 p.m.

Spent way too much time on this but it is functional, that's all that matters at this point.

Mechanism Test Fit

Door Skin Fit

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
5/9/17 5:19 p.m.

Car is back together, trim and all. A few minor details to do, such as permanently installing the seats and harnesses, and its ready to go.

Finished Car

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
5/9/17 5:24 p.m.

One other question for those interested in helping - I've been toying with the idea of creating a custom mount for a small 7" tablet and connecting it via bluetooth OBD2 sender and replacing most of my gauges. A few pretty cheap software packages are available that can do both gauge display and data logging. Has anyone done this? Interested in feedback. I have a couple different software packages on my phone I'm starting to play with - dash command, track addict, etc.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/6/20 11:46 a.m.

Well this has come full circle since last posting.  I had finished the car, was ready for inspection to get the salvage title removed, and things well, failed.  I became pretty discouraged but ran across someone selling a clean Z3 titled car on the cheap that had a good solid FL chassis, and figured why not just move the entire car to the new chassis.  Thus an entirely new phase began of stripping down the old car, and prepping the new one.  Here's where things currently stand.  Ultimately I'm taking a same-year Z3 1.9L and converting it to a Z3M.  Since I had wanted to modify most of the suspension and upgrade the entire drivetrain, the only real difference was that I could now do all of these items as I moved parts from one car to the next.  Everything is being cleaned and upgraded.  Pics to follow.

dculberson (Forum Supporter)
dculberson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/6/20 1:17 p.m.

In reply to dcteague :

It happens to us all. Not to pick at a scab, I hope, but did you actually fail the salvage title inspection? If so, what failed? Leaning about and from failures is often more informative than the successes.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/6/20 2:02 p.m.

I never got to the inspection but met with the officer who was managing the process and learned that there were several failure points in what I had done that would have cost me so much rework, it wasn't worth the effort to fix given what other work I wanted to do.  

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/6/20 2:16 p.m.

So here's the chronology of some things since I completed the car.

Car that had been largely completed aside from some suspension work I had planned.

Stopped work on it at this point and moved on to car #2 and the swap.  A narrow body clean chassis from FL. 

I broke down the blue Z3 over time, and finally left it in this state before having a metal collector come grab the rest for scraps.

Wasn't a lot left on it at this point that wasn't either available on the clean chassis or I had planned to replace with a performance oriented version or new parts.

I then stripped the interior of the new chassis for cleaning and track use, reinstalled the roll bar, and added more refined floor panels.

Door cards were moved over as well:

While all of the wide-body components were removed, I did all of the work I had intended on the original car but was too lazy to do at the time - this is a mock-up of my rear brace that will tie the rear strut towers to the diff mount via welded plates and steel box tubing:

Removed the original subframe, cleaned it all up, welded in toe/camber adjusters, installed solid aluminum bushings and delrin, and refinished the differential and cover.

More coming next on some basic engine changes.

 

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/6/20 2:25 p.m.

On engine changes, I had already installed a new pulley system from TMS, silicon hose systems, but am now in the process of deleting the SAP, adding the M52 intake, catch can, larger MAF, and purchased a used Dinan ECU with EWS delete and matched to the 3.5 Porchse MAF.  I'll post those as the work is completed, in the interim, I had a new flywheel and clutch balanced and installed this, and new hearders while its out of the car.  Replaced the rear crank seal, and checked for other leaks - in hindsight I migth have to reseal the crank seal carrier when I remove the oil pan to install a baffle kit.

Added the headers for fit while I await new studs/bolts to perm install them.

Now starting to remove parts from the new chassis to transplant the engine and drivetrain, front and rear suspension, and if all goes well, this thing will be running by mid-summer (so says the enthusiastic DIY'er that's been working on this for years).  Luckily the new chassis is already registered and plated, and with COVID keeping me home I've had a ton of time to tinker.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
4/6/20 2:35 p.m.

One other note on this you'll see shortly - as I strip off the old body panels, all of the blue ones are being used to replace them, so ultimately the car will remain blue.  However, since the rear end of the M was wider I chose to swap over both body and chassis components as I freshened up everything with solid/delrin mounts and bushings.  If I could put the entire chassis on a rotisserie I probably would but don't have one - would sure make some work easier if I did though (maybe time for an investment!).

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
6/10/20 9:28 p.m.

Removed the old engine, it's posted for sale.  Will spend some time this weekend pulling out the engine bay accessories, and prep for a clean spray.  

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
6/13/20 8:31 p.m.

Time to clean up the engine bay, and the new transplant items. Was surprised how quickly these cleaned up with just am all purpose cleaner and a pressure washer.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
6/13/20 8:33 p.m.

Engine Bay has a little work before I can clean and paint.  Removed the rack and front suspension if anyone wants a z3 front suspension.  I'll be keeping the rack!

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
6/13/20 8:37 p.m.

Last note of the day, sucks that I leaned the chassis harness needs to be swapped.  Was hoping to avoid this but glad I kept the old one before I dumped the original chassis.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/20/20 8:24 p.m.

Finally got around to cleaning up the engine bay and cleaning things up, painted, and pulled the harness through the firewall.  Time to disassemble the interior again (probably 5th time), and install the Z3M harness from the donor car.  A few things I've decided to do while I have things pulled apart.  

I've purchased a ChaseBays BBE to remove the brake booster and simplify the brake lines front and rear.  This comes with a bias valve, and since I'm lucky to have a manufacture date that didn't have ASC or DSC, my ABS can be removed without creating too much of a electrical challenge. 

I'm also going to remove the oil pan and do some preventative maintenance before it goes into the clean chassis - I'm also doing the M50 intake swap, installing AN fuel lines attached to a Nuke fuel rail, upgrading the MAF, and dumping the SAP system and installing a catch can to get rid of the stock mess.  

Will post pics as progress continues.

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/20/20 9:26 p.m.

Curious why you want to remove ABS and also to hear more about how the Chase Bays BBE install goes.

I've got a 96 E36 that has either deleted or just non-functional ABS and I've been eying up the Chase Bays setup.

My car has an S52 swap from the original S50 and your point about removing the interior and dealing with the harness reminds me that when I stripped the interior of my trunk I ended up discovering a second harness coming from the body that simply cut. That's definitely on my punch list to tear out once the weather turns and the car is in garage hibernation.

When you've pulled the oil pan what are your plans there? Dealing with leaks or looking to add a safety wired oil pump but and/or replace the oil pump? Welding in baffles?

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/20/20 9:44 p.m.

Part of it is my interest in simplifying the car and electronics as much as possible.  I lucked out in that the 98 model year didn't yet get ASC so I can mess with the system without creating other negatives.  I can always add it back, but taking it out with the engine installed would be a bit challenging.   It cuts down a decent amount of weight - that pump and various electronics probably total around 40lbs when you add in the booster weight.

I'll be wiring the pump nut and adding a baffle.  I'll likely check the rod bearings but doubt I'll do them unless there's a real problem - if I find something I'll probably pull the engine apart and do both main and rod bearings together after having things polished.  I know that'll be needed at some point, but hoping I can get thru a couple seasons on the track before I have to pull the engine again for a rebuild.

The harness is going to e a real pain.  I can begin to reinstall the old donor harness tomorrow, and the one thing BMW did well was use so many different connectors throughout the car - its hard to get confused where they go.

Randy_Forbes
Randy_Forbes New Reader
7/21/20 1:25 p.m.
dcteague said:

Part of it is my interest in simplifying the car and electronics as much as possible.  I lucked out in that the 98 model year didn't yet get ASC so I can mess with the system without creating other negatives.  I can always add it back, but taking it out with the engine installed would be a bit challenging.   It cuts down a decent amount of weight - that pump and various electronics probably total around 40lbs when you add in the booster weight.

I'll be wiring the pump nut and adding a baffle.  I'll likely check the rod bearings but doubt I'll do them unless there's a real problem - if I find something I'll probably pull the engine apart and do both main and rod bearings together after having things polished.  I know that'll be needed at some point, but hoping I can get thru a couple seasons on the track before I have to pull the engine again for a rebuild.

The harness is going to e a real pain.  I can begin to reinstall the old donor harness tomorrow, and the one thing BMW did well was use so many different connectors throughout the car - its hard to get confused where they go.

Famous last words...

The first BMW that I modified (not counting the trunkfloor/diff mount work) was putting a turbo on an S52 M Coupe.  I managed to mix up a couple of the plugs__IIRC, the intake air temp and maybe it was the gulp-valve (tank vent?) that used a 2-conductor plug.  It was easy enough to sort out though.

That's quite a trip from the Estoril M Rdstr to the picture I saw this morning on Bimmerforums__you definitely have "stickwithitness"! 

Good job!

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/21/20 1:57 p.m.
Randy_Forbes said:
dcteague said:

Part of it is my interest in simplifying the car and electronics as much as possible.  I lucked out in that the 98 model year didn't yet get ASC so I can mess with the system without creating other negatives.  I can always add it back, but taking it out with the engine installed would be a bit challenging.   It cuts down a decent amount of weight - that pump and various electronics probably total around 40lbs when you add in the booster weight.

I'll be wiring the pump nut and adding a baffle.  I'll likely check the rod bearings but doubt I'll do them unless there's a real problem - if I find something I'll probably pull the engine apart and do both main and rod bearings together after having things polished.  I know that'll be needed at some point, but hoping I can get thru a couple seasons on the track before I have to pull the engine again for a rebuild.

The harness is going to e a real pain.  I can begin to reinstall the old donor harness tomorrow, and the one thing BMW did well was use so many different connectors throughout the car - its hard to get confused where they go.

Famous last words...

The first BMW that I modified (not counting the trunkfloor/diff mount work) was putting a turbo on an S52 M Coupe.  I managed to mix up a couple of the plugs__IIRC, the intake air temp and maybe it was the gulp-valve (tank vent?) that used a 2-conductor plug.  It was easy enough to sort out though.

That's quite a trip from the Estoril M Rdstr to the picture I saw this morning on Bimmerforums__you definitely have "stickwithitness"! 

Good job!

I guess once I started down this path, I figured it'd be a shame not to finish and I had invested significantly in various parts and components of the original Z3M.  Now its mainly elbow grease and time.  I also labeled all of the engine connectors when it was pulled - I didn't however label the chassis harness connectors which is what might be more challenging.  I am likely going to install and remove at the same time so the connectors go back to where they are now.

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