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captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
6/29/18 9:39 p.m.
Stampie said:
captainawesome said:

Can anyone confirm that if I move the battery to the trunk I ABSOLUTELY HAVE to wire in a kill switch for the Challenge? From what I can tell I won't have room under the hood and plan to use e36 or e30 battery cables/junction posts set up like a factory car. Is there ANY way around this?

I should specify that I don't want an external kill switch, I think I could manage one in the dash area.

Last year we ran a small motorcycle/lawn mower battery at the Challenge. They're much smaller but it tuned over our Infiniti V8 no problem. 

What size did you use? I think I can possibly fit one on the passenger side where the washer reservoir currently resides.

Stampie
Stampie UltraDork
6/30/18 7:48 a.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

Originally we used a lithium ion battery which I can't find the specs on. After catching it on fire half way through the first autocross run we grabbed an Exide GT-R battery from Tractor Supply Company.  The battery fire was the fault of an over charging alternator not the battery.

Exide GT-R $33

 

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
7/2/18 9:58 a.m.
Stampie said:

In reply to captainawesome :

Originally we used a lithium ion battery which I can't find the specs on. After catching it on fire half way through the first autocross run we grabbed an Exide GT-R battery from Tractor Supply Company.  The battery fire was the fault of an over charging alternator not the battery.

Exide GT-R $33

 

Saw one of these style and sized batteries at Lowe's over the weekend branded Magna Power. The reviews look to be better than the TSC ones, but I think this is definitely the $30 answer. The nice thing is I'm about to move in September, so I can get a 10% off coupon from Lowe's to reduce cost a little. Thanks for the tip!

Unfortunately the slave cylinder and possibly even the clutch master is on the way out. I went to pull the car into the garage this weekend with the pedal going mostly to the floor with little resistance. I now have about 1-2" of travel to engage the clutch. I've read the rules a few times, and it's hard to tell if it's a budget hit or not. I didn't notice any signs of fluid or pedal travel loss through my 1 plus hour drive home with the car so it wasn't a planned or known issue at purchase. I just want to be transparent and fair with with how it's represented. Definitely have fluid dripping from the slave and slight amount at the master pushrod.

Some good news though is I found a set of used Bilstein Sports for $120 shipped to me! I just need to find some 83ish GTI front Bilstein Sports for the fronts at a decent price to make a full set.

 

 

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
7/2/18 12:19 p.m.

So I was checking the price difference between the shorter GTI Bilsteins vs the e21 Bilsteins. Low and behold Amazon has one GTI damper in stock for only $57.91 after tax shipped! I ordered it immediately, so hopefully it wasn't an error and they ship it to me. A brand new one in most places sells for $150-175 so I'll have saved about $93 overall for two new front dampers. Once I get shipping confirmation I'll feel confident in the purchase.

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
7/6/18 2:10 p.m.

I know it's a bit early for cosmetic upgrades, but this story needs told. One of the first e21's I ever purchased was too rusty, and when I sold the car/parts car with it, I happened to have a pile of parts go with it. One major item of note was some fiberglass Motorsport/euro bumpers I had shipped all the way from Latvia for a little over $400 IIRC. I lost my shorts on them when selling off the car(s), but figured it would be easier to send them on with the car/parts car than try to ship. Much to my surprise when this current challenge car came up for sale, those bumpers and the cars I sold the kid shows up on Facebook Marketplace. His mom listed them for $400 and I figured I would try to pay no more than $200. She agreed to the $200 price, but we just haven't been able to meet up until today. So, basically I bought them twice, but the second time around was budget friendly. I split the purchase with bill of sale receipts to $100 per bumper just in case I can't fit the rear into the budget. I can always install them post challenge. She still wants way too much for the cars I sold, and is currently unwilling to part them out piecemeal. Oh, I also got in my one $57ish dollar GTI Bilstein damper in the mail, and won an ebay auction for $35 e46 camber plates. I'm hoping a redrill of the strut towers will get the camber plates in place, but won't know till they show up. Still waiting on the rear Bilsteins to show up as well.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
7/6/18 7:15 p.m.

Sweet!

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
7/6/18 8:55 p.m.

So looking at your pics.....wow. That M42 actually must have been taken care of for a good while, since it appears to have the upgraded timing chain rail, and the cam gears and lower timing chain sprocket teeth look awesome (definitely not original if the car has 200k+ on it). Hell, those by themselves are a steal. Guys like me who race M42 are always on the lookout for timing components in that good of shape!

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
7/6/18 10:03 p.m.
irish44j said:

So looking at your pics.....wow. That M42 actually must have been taken care of for a good while, since it appears to have the upgraded timing chain rail, and the cam gears and lower timing chain sprocket teeth look awesome (definitely not original if the car has 200k+ on it). Hell, those by themselves are a steal. Guys like me who race M42 are always on the lookout for timing components in that good of shape!

I'm still baffled by it. I mean, the intake boot was more or less a bundle of red duct tape, and the guy I got the car from is pretty good at ignoring maintenance or regular upkeep in general. The car it was pulled from was a good example of how little mechanical sympathy he had for it, but maybe he had it for less miles than I was led to believe? I'll be pulling the lower oil pan before too long to look inside there, but as of right now I feel pretty lucky that it's in such good shape internally.

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
7/26/18 12:41 p.m.

I'm still here. Nothing has been done so far other than parts collecting and budgeting properly so I can still stay within the challenge budget. I now have a complete set of front GTI Bilstein sports. I also ordered and received a pair of $35 camber plates originally intended for an e46 from ebay. Is it the best quality? Not sure yet, but doesn't look too bad considering the price point. The brand is Maxpeedingrods and I think if I flip the direction and drill new strut tower holes they should do the trick as the bolt pattern is incompatible. As of right now, the parts collecting phase will continue and all work will be held off until after the 31st of August. Our current house has been sold, and our new house should be finished by the builder hopefully on time. We shall see.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr
 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Reader
7/27/18 2:29 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

Really curious to see how this works out for you. My camber plates are in desperate need of replacement.

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
7/27/18 3:14 p.m.
AxeHealey said:

In reply to captainawesome :

Really curious to see how this works out for you. My camber plates are in desperate need of replacement.

What brand are you running?

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Reader
7/29/18 1:45 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

No clue. There's no brand marking that I've seen. I assume it was just something the guy found that fit back in ~'93 when it was first prepped.

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
8/3/18 10:37 a.m.

I'm tinkering with rear coilover stuff. I didn't think too hard on what may or may not work with the ebay coilover sleeves and top hats until I started putting the puzzle together. The top shock mount has a rubber bushing that buffers the shock movement, and all spring pressure is applied to the steel hat. With my aluminum top hats and 2.5" springs it places ALL pressure on the rubber bushing. I have confirmed at least one guy has ran his like this in autocross for years, so I'm going to give it a shot for now and consider going over different options after the Challenge. At least if the bushing fails, the top hat will keep it from pushing completely through the mount. The blue spring is just a mock up, the rears will be 10" 300lb springs that I have on the way. Still trying to find a cheaper set of 350lb 7-8" springs for the front. I got my eye on a pair of 364lb for $49.99 but would like to get closer to the $35 mark like the fronts. Everything in my price range appears to either be 10" or taller. Maybe I could place the spring perch lower to compensate?

This is how it should all look once assembled.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Inside the top hat is the shock isolator pressed in, and you can also see the stock spring pad which gets removed.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

The cone washer that keeps the shock poking through the trunk if it fails.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Aluminum spring hat from the ebay coilover kit. I had to enlarge the holes slightly to fit the shock shaft.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

So to recap my budget spendings so far:

320is - $1000

e30 field rat stuff - $45

ebay coilover sleeves- $39

rear bilsteins - $120

front GTI bilstein - $53.87

other front GTI bilstein - $151.28

COP coils - $18

COP stainless allen heads - $1.48

COP stainless washers - $.82

COP nuts - $.45

hood - $47.48

fender - $38.57

air intake TB boot - $30

camber plates - $35

delrin rear shifter bushing - $7.85

delrin front shifter bushings - $9

rear axle bearings - $14.18

300# 10" rear springs - $35

center support bearing - $24.05

fiberglass front bumper - $100

fiberglass rear bumper - $100

Total spent: $1886.02

I haven't officially sold anything yet. As soon as I get situated in the new house I'll start pulling parts and selling whatever I can live without.

 

 

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
8/20/18 3:25 p.m.

A week or so ago Ebay had a 15% off deal. Like any other budget minded person I immediately depleted my watchlist and pushed it into the purchase history. Last Monday they all flooded in, and today after 3 weeks of waiting, my rear springs finally showed up as well. On top of that I took my phone with a broken screen to Batteries Plus. While there, I had a chat with the associate about a lawn battery I had been eyeballing, but was curious about why they wanted a core charge on it. He said that the core charge will be waived, and because it was for the Challenge, he knocked a few bucks off the 300 cca matching the price of the 230 cca. SCORE! It's physically the same size as the 230, so I'm not losing any space for the extra cranking power.

So to recap my budget spendings so far:

320is - $1000

e30 field rat stuff - $45

ebay coilover sleeves- $39

rear bilsteins - $120

front GTI bilstein - $53.87

other front GTI bilstein - $151.28

COP coils - $18

COP stainless allen heads - $1.48

COP stainless washers - $.82

COP nuts - $.45

hood - $47.48

fender - $38.57

air intake TB boot - $30

camber plates - $35

delrin rear shifter bushing - $7.85

delrin front shifter bushings - $9

rear axle bearings - $14.18

300# 10" rear springs - $35

center support bearing - $24.05

fiberglass front bumper - $100

fiberglass rear bumper - $100

COP aluminum plate - $4.43

Batteries Plus battery - $34.99

poly steering rack bushings - $19.55

HD m20 engine mounts - $19.04

364# rear springs - $42.49

15mm wheel spacers - $46.53

16 wheel studs - $17.75 BUDGET EXEMPT

16 lug nuts - $8.46 BUDGET EXEMPT

Total spent: $2053.05 - BOLD ITEMS NEWLY ADDED

A couple years ago I found a pdf file to create a home brew coil on plug bracket. I work in a blueprint shop, so I printed a few sets to scale for free and glue or tape it to the aluminum. Some cutting and drilling should yield a fancy bracket to hold some coils.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Rear springs are in, I may have to move the snap ring to the lower setting. The previous owner had a groove cut lower on the shocks so 10" springs could be used which is a nice bonus. I guess we will see if that's needed in my case or not.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Front 364# springs.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

HD motor mounts. They are shorter than the stock m42 mounts, so I may have to raise them up for bellhousing clearance.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

4x100 15mm hubcentric spacers.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Poly steering rack bushings. Apparently the stock rubber ones turn into mush after so many miles, especially with any oil leaks.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Wheel studs and nuts.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

I think this battery should do the trick. Dimensionally it is fairly small, and from my measurements keeps me from having to move the battery to the trunk requiring an expensive amount of wire and a cutoff switch.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

I officially move into the new house next week, so HOPEFULLY I can start to strip the car down to sell off parts and install what I have now. I'm ready to actually do some work.

 

 

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
8/31/18 12:07 p.m.

Pre/post Challenge plans have always been somewhat of a driving force on what this car will eventually be. My 318is is fun in autocross, but I have been held back on how far I can prepare it since it's my daily driver. The e21 gives me the opportunity to build to the rule book and not worry about comfort. Unfortunately after reading the SCCA rule book for the SM class 300+ times, it looks like I'm limited on what can be removed for weight, and the minimum weight allowed for my displacement is 2180 pounds. I was hoping to just gut the whole car, but I don't think I want to jump in the Prepared class for now at least until a turbo is added. Rear seats, a/c system, stereo equipment, headliner, sunroof cassette and controls, passenger side gas tank, spare tire, etc. can be removed. I'm thinking lighter front seats, fiberglass bumpers, and the previously mentioned stuff should put me close to minimum weight. If I can put together a rear disc setup that gives a proper brake bias there could be some pounds shaved there since brakes are wide open for SM. I "believe" the m42 is slightly less in weight than the m10, but won't know officially until I pull the m10/trans to see. I'll weigh the new lawn battery to compare to my existing one, but I'd guess it's quite a few pounds lighter. All of this is strictly related to pre/post Challenge stuff, but things I need to consider when modifying so everything is reversible. I'm also considering a lighter weight set of 13" or 14" wheels to reduce unsprung weight and only run the 14" weaves for the Challenge.

Anyway, my closing date on the house got bumped to the 13th. I couldn't sit around anymore, so I chose to do a little parts swapping and weight reduction. The hood and fender were swapped for the better ones I got from the local U Pull It. The front bumper and shocks were removed, and now I can take some time to fit the fiberglass one.

The hood first. I plan to use the sheet metal from the bent up one to patch the floor pan or anything else that requires sheet metal.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Then the fender.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

It's got a decent bump that I may or may not try to lessen later on.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

With all the bumper stuff removed it's got quite the ugly overbite.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr


And then a pic of all the parts I just got in from FCP Euro and CarID. I've got one more shipment coming in from ECS Tuning.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr
 

 

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
9/11/18 8:35 a.m.

So Sunday morning I came to the realization that I ordered B6 GTI struts, which happen to be the HD version, not the B8 sports I was intending. It looks like I could still use these, just they won't be an optimal performance choice for dampening. I'm hoping someone has some used B8s they want to part with, and I can just sell these off to stay flush on cost. Anyone.....??

Anyway, Sunday I had to spend a few minutes putting the e21 nose back together. I move to the new casa in a few days, so it has to be road worthy. I figured it made sense to do a quick fit up of the motorsport bumper to get some visual motivation as well as planning the necessary modifications to make it a permanent fixture. The side "wings that meet the bumper will require a captive nut bracket epoxied in place, and the lower valence area will need some sort of brace.  That's about it. Future plans include some sort of splitter, but at the moment it's on the back burner.

https://flic.kr/p/2aT2EfA">Untitled[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/29357525@N06/]hatchethairy[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/28cs7sm]Untitled[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/29357525@N06/]hatchethairy[/url], on Flickr

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2aT2E6Y][url=https://flic.kr/p/2aT2E6Y]Untitled[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/29357525@N06/]hatchethairy[/url], on Flickr

I have a new set of 225 50 14 A7s rolling in today, with the plans of running them on my e30 this Sunday at the next SCCA autocross. It's my first time running on real race rubber, so I'm excited to see how well my times improve overall. These tires will probably be my "free" set if I can manage to not use them all next season, but I highly doubt that's how things will shake out. I really want to develop a set of 13x8 wheels and 225 45 13 A7s, specifically because I lose 10-25 pounds depending on which wheels I choose and drop 1" without upsetting suspension geometry. The possibility of a sticky tire wheel package weighing only 106 pounds makes me giddy since it's only 2 pounds heavier than the stock 13x5.5 wheel and tire package.

Speaking of weight, I have been weighing everything I plan to take off, and everything that makes it's way back on with a cheap bathroom scale. There are some losses and tiny gains so far, but just with the front bumper stuff, rear seat, front seats, and the lawn battery I shed ~130.25 pounds. SM minimum weight is 1959.2 lbs for my motor size, and I think I can get into the 2200 range without too much fuss. If I can employ some patience before tearing the car apart, a trip to the local dump would give me a good starting place as I see stock weight ranging in the 2500-2600 depending on who you ask. Removing the carpet padding/floor tar, sunroof cassette, rear bumper, lighter flywheel, rear sway bar, driver side gas tank, and a lighter exhaust could get me in the right place. I think. Unfortunately the m42 weighs ~30 pounds more than the m10 from my research. With all the accessories minus the alternator removed, I think I can get back to less than m10 weight.

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Reader
9/11/18 1:06 p.m.

Looking good! The bumper seems to have really nice fitment.

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
9/11/18 2:03 p.m.
AxeHealey said:

Looking good! The bumper seems to have really nice fitment.

It's okay. It doesn't help that this front end has had quite a few dings here and there to mess up some alignment of body panels. The passenger side bumper wing alignment to the fender is a bit off. Not sure how I'm going to address that yet, but in the end cosmetics are going to be lumped in with "good enough" since it won't really be much of a street car.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Reader
9/12/18 10:49 a.m.

I understand the "good enough" mentality entirely. Note the freshly painted front valence on my car that doesn't match.

captainawesome
captainawesome New Reader
9/18/18 4:18 p.m.

Last week I got my first set of Hoosier a7s in for $415 shipped in 225 50 14. I got them mounted up before moving into the new house Friday, and had enough time to still make it to the local SCCA autocross on Sunday.

Daddy like!

I'm hooked. So much so that I ordered another set for the same $415 shipped price so I have a backup set for the Challenge. I figure these are going to be toast by the time the Challenge rolls around and I want a set of fresh tires for that event. If they still have some in a month or two I may get a third set. From my math they knocked about 4 seconds off my time, with room for more I think.

 

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

 

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

 

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41992235_2325223454160511_3207281680284909568_o by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
9/18/18 5:50 p.m.

There's a reason they're called purple crack. After two years not using Hoosiers we're back on them this year. 

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