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irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
2/5/18 5:20 p.m.

Psh, not like you haven't detailed the engine bay this winter ;)

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/6/18 9:44 a.m.

Alright, let's get this motor back in the car!

I took my cheap-o Ebay clutch/flywheel combo to a machine shop to have them balanced.  Seems like the flywheel was well machined to begin with, as it didn't need to have any material taken off to be balanced.  The guy marked the spots on the clutch and flywheel for where they are balanced together, so that's where I mounted them up:



I had to re-do the wiring for the electric fan:



This silicone hose for the M50 manifold swap didn't like staying tight on the CCV, so I put a little red RTV in there to make sure there are no leaks in the future:





I replaced the rubber throttle cable bushing with an aluminum one from Garagistic:



I removed my cruise control a while back since the aftermarket steering wheel doesn't support it...



My buddy Patrick had this nice set of leather parts for his E36 that he never used, so I got them for real cheap.  I'm not sure where they're from, but they are so much softer and nicer than the old stock stuff!





Hello, my lovely E28 shift knob...



The old foam things on the side of the AC condenser disintegrated during disassembly, so I got some weather stripping and replaced it so try and keep the air going where it needs to:



Earlier, I had swapped over my nice new Stewart water pump, OEM thermostat, and OEM plastic housing to the new motor. 



I also replaced some underdrive/lightweight water pump pulley on the new motor with the OEM one from my old motor:



I immediately noticed that the insides on the new motor were all brown/gold, where my old motor was nice and clean looking:

Old motor:



New:



Old:



New:



There was also some nasty brownish residue inside the radiator, so I decided to try some Evaporust Thermocure to clean things out.  This stuff smells terrible, but damn if it doesn't seem to work!



After!



Brown residue gone!



There were many rounds of burping and flushing, trying to get air pockets out of the system.  Eventually, this came out:











To fully get the Evaporust out of the system, you need to do two or three fill-ups with pure water.  Eventually after driving with each for a while, the stuff finally starts coming out cleaner...



It was a PITA, but it does seem to have worked!  Even the ends of the radiator are nice and clean now.  Oh, and in my desperation to burp the cooling system, I followed the advice of a few people and drilled a tiny hole in the top of the thermostat to aid burping:



Hose fittings on the new motor needed to be cleaned up...









I had bought new coolant hoses when I bought the car, but never installed this one going to the firewall.  That leaves the other one as the only hose I haven't replaced on the car.



I sent out my old injectors to be cleaned and rebuilt while I had time.  One of the injectors that was on the new motor had lost it's pintle cap somewhere along the way, which probably wasn't good.  Another fell apart when I removed it from the rail.



Flow chart!



Both new and old motors had M50 manifold swaps, so I got to choose between the Bimmerworld kit and the M50manifold.com kit.  I liked the M50manifold kit better, so that's what I went with.



This guy from the new motor was missing its retaining tab/clip, so I used my old one:



Oh, and while the motor was out, I cleaned up the engine bay with some Purple Power.  It's the best!













I even cleaned up all the grounds on the new engine harness:





And this guy too...





The difference between my old, clean oil filter cover and the filthy one from the new motor had me a little concerned about what had been happening inside my new motor...







It of course got a new filter...



And after spraying a ton of brake cleaner in it to clean out the gunk, new crush gaskets and tape for the oil distribution block:



The previous owner strongly recommended that I use Mobil 1 15w-50, which is rather difficult to find...



I also picked up a new/used foam DME cover and plastic caps since my old one had seen better days....





Holy crap, it's back in!



Had to use some RTV to seal up vacuum leaks in the area....



It's been something like 6 months now, and after I figured out how to burp the damn thing, it's been running like a champ since!  A local guy tuned a spare DME for me to take full advantage of the M50 manifold and cams, and also kept it from throwing a code for the deleted SAP and also raised the idle to 900 RPM.  It's working great so far as well!

bluej
bluej UltraDork
2/6/18 4:17 p.m.

I haven't washed a damn thing on my car since the last RX event. You're kind of giving me a complex now.. cheeky

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/16/18 10:45 a.m.

Hey guys, I've got another, but hopefully simpler cooling system question.

I've gotten into the habit of monitoring my coolant temps, and I noticed something that worried me a bit coming home from the first race of the season. At the race, temps in grid stayed around 203* (monitored via Torque app on phone). Ambient temp was about 80* with average humidity. When cruising at 80 mph on the highway, temps stayed around 200-205*. On the way home, I turned on the AC for the first time in a long time. Obviously, my coolant temps started rising when the heat from the condenser started getting pushed into the radiator. I started getting worried when the temps rose to 210*. I was going up a very long and pretty steep hill, so there was a significant load on the motor. Once coolant temp reached 210* I shut off the AC and waited to turn it back on when I started going downhill again. I took longer than I expected for the temps to drop back down to their normal range. This happened a few times during the drive.

I know 210* isn't that much higher than 205*, what worried me was how it seemed to struggled to drop back down, given that I was going 80 mph and had plenty of airflow through everything. I didn't want to leave AC on and see how much higher it was going to go. In my other car where I can monitor coolant temps, they NEVER go above 205*, even with AC on on a hot day. I had never really thought about it, but there seemed to be a hard limit of how high temps could go.

So my question to you is this: What do your coolant temps look like when you turn on AC? When parked? When on the highway? How high are you comfortable letting your coolant go before taking some action?

The only thing I can think of as a contributing factor is that there was a significant amount of dust in the condenser and radiator from the race. I took my leaf blower to them the following day and cleaned them up real good. Aside from that, I'm drawing a blank. Am I just freaking out over a few degrees or is something funny going on here?

Thanks!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/26/18 8:25 p.m.

Alright, it looks like I need to go backward before I can go forward, so here's the puny list of what I did over the winter with the car.  After that, I'll get to the encouraging racing results.

I started getting an occasional warning on the OBC about a tail light bulb being out, but it would always go away.  I eventually took a look at it and saw something inside the housing, the bulb, floating in water!



Or should I say, a bulb.  There was still a bulb in the socket, and it was lighting up.  Why in the world was one just hanging out in the housing?  I easily got it to drop out after removing the tail light when I drained the water out.  It appeared as if the water was entering from some cracks in the lenses, so I sealed them up with some clear RTV silicone.  We shall see if it solves the problem.

Next up was replacing my oil pressure gauge.  It would often fall to 0, but if you tapped the gauge it would go back up.  That was just a little too freaky to see every day, and since a new gauge is only $30, I figured why not? 





The new gauge works great, but seems to read much higher than the old one.  And unfortunately the color of the lighting doesn't match up (it's white) like the old one.  Crap.  Oh well, at least it isn't always dropping to 0!

Next up was the rubber seal around the front DS door.  Mine was kind of shriveled up and was letting water drip onto the seat.  I picked up a few while visiting junkyards over the last 6 months or so, and finally got a great one on my third try.

Here's the original one:





Then I got two, and this was the better of them.  It seemed to seal better, but it was far from perfect. 





Then I happened upon one and knew I had found it.





Finally, a tightly sealed door!  Now I just need to do the huge one for the window.....okay, maybe not right now.  Instead, let's try and figure out which rear springs to put on the car. 

I took the car to two events at the end of the season last year after getting the motor running right.  At the first one I disconnected the FSB.  For the second, I also disconnected the RSB.  Partially due to very wet conditions, partially due to no RSB, the car understeered badly at the event and just wasn't very fun to drive.  In addition, as the course dried out and got faster, the car was coil binding in the rear, making an awful sound and likely upsetting the balance momentarily.  All my buddies with E30s said I needed to go back to a beehive-style spring, as opposed to the straight coilover-style spring I had been using since they rarely coil bind.  But finding beehive springs with an advertised spring rate at lengths I was looking for was damn near impossible.  The stock rear springs are something like 9.25" tall, and I had been running 7" 350 lb Hypercoil springs with a Bilstein ride height adjuster.  I looked at 9" coilover springs so I could get the ride height adjuster out of the equation, but decided to take measurements instead.  I had three sets of springs to choose from: some no-name 8" 300lb springs, the 7" 350lb Hypercoils, and the OEM springs (not shown).  That's the new guy on the right, but we'll get to him in a sec.



Anyways, I spent most of a day doing different spring combinations and taking all sorts of measurements on thing like total free space between coils, percent of travel used up at static ride height, etc.  The coilover springs did not fare well, and it did not appear as if the ride height adjuster negatively impacted available travel, so I knew I could reuse it if necessary.  I had been looking at a set of 7" springs that TC Kline makes.  They make a few actually, and they're all beehive shaped and all list spring rate.  The lowest they have is a 400lb spring, but since I was already at 350lb, and frustrated by understeer at the last event, I was leaning towards a stiffer spring anyways.  After months of hesitation, I pulled the trigger and bought them.  They were not cheap.  I installed them with the ride height adjuster at max height again (1.5") but added OEM rubber pads top and bottom to get that last little bit of height.  I should really get new ones, and get those thick 15mm lowers.  I then took it to RRT, a local BMW race shop for an alignment.  They have done the previous two alignments as well.  The most recent was about two years ago after I installed modified rear trailing arm brackets to get more toe out.  It seemed as if my frame was heavily tweaked back there from a previous accident I didn't know about.  The extended brackets fixed 80% of the problem, but couldn't get the toe perfect.  I remember that I tried to use my Dremel to grind down some little bits of whatever I thought was in the way, and it seems as if I was successful, because for the first time since I've owned this car, it is actually aligned in spec (pretty much)!  I though I had uploaded the printout, but it seems that was for my other car.  Anyways, this was cause for a celebration!  It was finally time to install my fancy wheels with summer tires!



They some Apex ARC-8s 17x8.5 with I think +40 that came off my buddy's old E46.  They came with okay Toyo tires for the front, but the rears were toast.  I found two Michelin PS2s on CL for $80, but when I went to look I discovered both had holes drilled in them.  I ended up getting them for free, and then properly patched with the proper plug/patch combo thingy and mounted for $50, which is a steal.  RRT wanted about $170 to do the same thing!  The car is finally back on summer tires and 17" wheels, and it feels great!

Anyways, next up: race review!

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
4/26/18 9:58 p.m.

Heard about your results at the first event - back on the wagon, so that's good. Will see you out there on the 6th, while I see if I can remember how to do this rallycross stuff, lol.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
4/26/18 9:59 p.m.

btw, can't you just switch the bulb from the old VDO gauge into the new one? The gauge color is just a "colored condom" over the bulb in VDO gauges - though I changed all the gauge bulbs to LEDs in the Porsche and will do the same to the e30 soon.

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/27/18 8:02 a.m.
irish44j said:

btw, can't you just switch the bulb from the old VDO gauge into the new one? The gauge color is just a "colored condom" over the bulb in VDO gauges - though I changed all the gauge bulbs to LEDs in the Porsche and will do the same to the e30 soon.

I have no idea, but I sure hope you're right, because that would be awesome.  I'll have to check.

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/27/18 9:10 p.m.

I forgot to post up pics comparing the stock springs to the TC Kline springs:





And here's that alignment:



Not long after, we finally had the first rally-x event of the year after a one month delay.  In terms of setup changes, I've got slightly stiffer rear springs that won't coil bind, I reattached my RSB, and I've got a proper alignment.  We couldn't use the farm we've been racing on for two years this season, so we had to scramble to find a new place.  It's called Panthera Training Center, and it's in the middle of nowhere up in the mountains of WV.  They do police training, so they have a paved place, and and even more extreme off-road setup with jumps.  We raced on their very well kept and well used path on top of a hill.  Since it's used so frequently, it's very hard packed and resists rutting up.  I should qualify that by saying it was dry when we were there and hadn't rained in a while.  There was however more dust than I've ever seen, and at this point, that's saying something.  All sorts of fun things were coming out of my nose when I blew it.

Here's what the area looks like:



Yes, Jim uses one of his stock S2000s for rally-x.  He is now the coolest guy at rally-x.





Getting to PTC is a 2 hour drive for me, which means I need to leave my house by 6:30am.  I learned on the way to the event how little clearance my new summer tires have with my rear fenders when I run my 12mm spacers and load the car full of all my gear.  It wasn't bad enough to pull over and do, but it was always slightly worrisome when it rubbed.  Otherwise the car was feeling great, but I didn't really know what to expect.  I thought I had made to correct setup changes to the car, but who knows?  In the 2+ years I've had this car, I've probably only done like five events in it, so I have very little seat time.  And let me tell you, I need to get some seat time, because this car feels POWERFUL in the dirt, and I know I'm not getting 100% out of it yet. 

PTC's course is something like 3 miles long, and we only used about half of it I think.  It's smooth and flowing and had lots of grip.  Basically, it's great, and it's a lot of fun.  I started off the day in 5th and worked my way up to 3rd by lunch, 1 second behind 1st place.  For the first time ever, I actually was loving racing this car!  Previously, something always felt off with the suspension setup or balance, and I never felt very comfortable pushing the car.  Surely some of this must come from the surface change from the dirt at the old farm vs at PTC.  Maybe it's that the PTC course just felt a little more wide open and allowed me to exploit my significant power advantage.  For reference, all the other fast cars in the unlimited RWD class are gutted E30s with various engines: M44 (~140 HP), M20B25 (~170 HP), M52B28 (~200 HP).  At this point I think my class (modified rear-MR) has the most people in it of the nine, and is filled with great drivers and fully prepped and tested cars.  I'm pretty sure I'm the heaviest of the group by at least 400 pounds, but I've also got something like 260 HP (M50 manifold, mild cams, intake, tune). 

On one of the four morning runs I set the fast time, and I was only one second back from first, so I decided at lunch to try and push harder.  In the afternoon they added more to the end of the course, which extended it by like 30%!  On the first run I jumped into first and held it through the finish!  We got five runs and I got fast time on four of them!  Heck, I was the fastest 2wd car at the event and 5th overall out of like 70 drivers!  I didn't hit one cone, but then again neither did Stephen (2nd, M20 E30) or Eric (3rd, different M20 E30).  TurboJosh (M52 E30) was nipping at their heels in 4th, about 8 seconds back from me, but he hit two cones for 4 seconds of penalty.  Regular Josh (M44 E30) was on vacation, but probably wouldn't have been a factor due to the course rewarding powerful cars.  By the end of the day I was stunned by how well the car drove.  I've driven a number of cars in different venues and I'm not sure if I've ever felt a car so "right" as my car felt that day.  There was no area of performance that left me wanting more.  I didn't feel any understeer, and oversteer was gentle and controllable.  Power was obviously abundant, and braking feels great to me.  The car is even comfortable on course, likely thanks to those huge struts/shocks that came with my coilover kit.  I was blown away.  How is this the same car I drove last season, what happened?  Well, not constantly coil binding in the rear certainly has its benefits.  I haven't taken measurements yet, but I bet my new springs give me at least 50% more rear wheel travel before coil bind than my old straight linear spring, which is probably a big deal.  I really wonder if alignments are as important in the dirt as they are on pavement.  Does anyone know?  Anyways, for the first time ever (with this car), I actually had a total blast driving the car all day long.  It was a 14 hour day all in, and there wasn't a single problem with it.  The car was perfect on course and pretty nice on the road, and all the work from the last 2.5 years getting the car up to snuff finally paid off.  With the rear wheel spacers removed for the drive home, I left PTC with a grin on my face, already eagerly anticipating the next race.  Finally!







I need to put on my loud muffler so my videos are cooler!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5zesDm5iaE
 

 

 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
6/8/18 3:39 p.m.

Hey guys, I need some advice on wiring up a new negative battery wire for my 93 Maxima, and also my buddy's 93 240sx.  The OEM wire is a single/continuous piece of wire that goes from battery negative to a weird body ground, and then on to the engine.  I wish I had a good picture of it right now, but I don't.  The body ground is the thing that's confusing me, but there's a chance I'm very much overthinking this whole thing.  If you're good with wiring and electricity, help me out! 

The body ground uses a section of the wire with the insulation stripped off, and is then clamped with a bracket that is then bolted to the body.  All exposed portions of the wire are corroded, and I want to replace it, but I don't want to pay OEM money to get OEM results.  However, I want to be damn sure I'm not downgrading my car in the process.  I've got some quality copper welding cable (4 awg and 1/0 awg), closed copper lugs/terminals, and glue-lined heat shrink.  I even bought a "fancy" lug crimping tool that will do the large stuff perfectly.  I'm trying to figure out if I should try to reuse the OEM body ground and stay with the single piece of wire, or if I can use two separate pieces of wire and have them meet at the body ground (battery to body, and then body to engine).  I'm also wondering if using lugs/terminals will be as good of a connection as the current body ground.  I'm ALSO wondering if it would be better to instead go from battery to engine, and then engine to body, using the engine as the intermediate point, versus the body being the intermediate point.

Here are my thoughts on it all from what I've read.  Please correct me if I'm wrong!  Regarding the route of the wires, I believe keeping the stock orientation of having the body be the intermediate point between the two wires would be better than having the engine be the mid point.  I say this because on my E36 the battery is in the trunk, and the negative goes only to body, so clearly this is a fine solution that's acceptable to BMW.  I'm also pretty confidant that using two separate wires that meet at the body will provide as good of a connection as a single wire, assuming that my lugs are crimped properly.  My assumption is that Nissan used one piece of wire mainly just to save money and keep things simple, rather than for any sort of electrical benefits.

So, what do you guys think?

bluej
bluej UltraDork
6/8/18 3:43 p.m.

Oh E36 M3! Sorry. Will text ya.

bluej
bluej UltraDork
6/8/18 7:29 p.m.

I agree that you should keep the two grounds to the body at the same point. 

Could use something like this to keep the setup similar:

https://m.grainger.com/mobile/product/TE-CONNECTIVITY-14-to-2-AWG-Splice-Kits-6HKD9

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
6/13/18 10:35 a.m.
bluej said:

I agree that you should keep the two grounds to the body at the same point. 

Could use something like this to keep the setup similar:

https://m.grainger.com/mobile/product/TE-CONNECTIVITY-14-to-2-AWG-Splice-Kits-6HKD9

Yeah, for sure if I do two seperate wires they will meet at the body at the same point.  Just trying to figure out if there was any benefit to it being one continuous ground wire, or if I can use two without causing problems.  I take it the ideal path would be battery to body, instead of battery to engine?  That's an interesting looking distribution block type thingy, but I'm not sure how well it would work for my application.

bluej
bluej UltraDork
6/13/18 2:26 p.m.

"ideal" path could vary by vehicle, but I wouldn't remove/reorder major stock ground points. Without knowing for that vehicle specifically, there's the potential to create issues w/ the sensors and ecu by creating higher resistance grounding paths than expected.

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
6/28/18 8:26 a.m.

I forgot to post up all of the awesome pictures that Steven Phillips took of my car at the first event!  Steven takes tons of pictures for the group and just got his website up:

https://dcrallyphotos.smugmug.com/

Big thanks for the pictures Steven!!!























I also never got around to doing a recap of the second event, but that's because it wasn't much of an event.  This season we are split between two venues; the Panthera Training Center (PTC) way far out in the middle of WV (where event 1 was held) and we're also back at Summit Point (also in WV), but not on the old tracks we used 4-5 years ago, we're in some new fields now.  The second event was at Summit Point and I didn't know what to expect in terms of surface or potential layout.  The forecast was all over the place and rain was a potential problem, but they decided to have the event after the forecast improved the night before.  Well, it got worse the morning of the event, and it was raining after a few runs.  It then rained continuously for about 4-5 hours, delaying much of the event.  My run group didn't get to go out until after lunch, by which time the clay was completely soaked.  When I tried to launch the car, it just spun the tires for about ten seconds before slowly leaving the start line.  My tires are 205 wide, while others have narrower 195s or 185s.  A few people even had mud-specific tires.  After the first run, I was something like 30 seconds behind first place.  Fantastic!  We ended up getting three miserable and pathetic runs for the entire day, and I finished in something like 12th place.  All in all, I wish I had just skipped the event.  I can't tell you how much time I spent getting all of the mud/clay out from every crevice of the car, but I must have removed over 100 pounds of the stuff.  Event three was postponed due to rain, so event four is coming up in two weeks.  I'm praying for dry weather, because my car clearly has no chance if things are wet.
 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
6/28/18 10:15 p.m.
95maxrider said.  Event three was postponed due to rain, so event four is coming up in two weeks.  I'm praying for dry weather, because my car clearly has no chance if things are wet.
 

And my car has no chance at Panthera unless it is ;)

ojannen
ojannen Reader
6/29/18 7:41 a.m.
95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
6/29/18 7:44 a.m.
ojannen said:

Did the wet event look like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62XRjUZEE4k&list=PLf0SepbCe06p9ChvJRNkPF3FBV8sf6iSB&index=3

LOLOLOL that was fantasic with the music!  You got off the line much faster than I did, that's for sure!  But the speed of the turns sure seemed about right.  Maybe I will post up a video for the lulz...

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
6/30/18 11:26 a.m.
ojannen said:

Did the wet event look like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62XRjUZEE4k&list=PLf0SepbCe06p9ChvJRNkPF3FBV8sf6iSB&index=3

lol.,...like that, except with hills and red clay is even more slippery. Most of the 2WD cars were getting 2-3 people to push-start them at the beginning of each run.

spandak
spandak Reader
6/30/18 7:26 p.m.

This car looks like so much fun! I love it 

To comment on the ground wire question, shouldn’t matter too much. I would run two wires and have the body be the intermediate point personally. But functionally you should be fine either way as long as the cables have low resistance. 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/21/18 10:23 a.m.

Hi everyone, I need some advice on the value of my tired S52 motor. It's the original motor out of my 1998 M3/4/5 and it has about 225k on it.  I pulled it from the car last year due to what I thought was a blown head gasket and oil consumption.  Turns out the HG is fine, my problem was due to incomplete burping of the cooling system.  I purchased a CO2 tester and it didn't show any CO2 in the coolant system.  It never overheated during my ownership (about 1.5 years at the time), and it ran great at rally-x and auto-x events.  Here are the leak down numbers from a month or so before it was pulled.  Cylinder one couldn't be tested due to the heli-coiled spark plug threads in the head, which came out with the plug.  The plug went back in fine and was raced on without issue.

#1 cold: XXX hot: XXX
#2 cold: 98% hot: 97%
#3 cold: 96 hot: 94
#4 cold: 70 hot: 71 (air coming through crankcase, so rings are bad)
#5 cold: 82 hot: 85 (if leak down improves from cold to hot, I believe this means the rings are going out, but correct me if I'm wrong)
#6 cold: 74 hot: 96 (again, large improvement from cold to hot)

This corresponds with the compression test results:
1- XXX
2- 230
3- 220
4- 190. Went up to 200 with oil added.
5- 225
6- 225

As it sits now on the engine stand, it's pretty much just the long block.  An 80a alternator is on it but not much else.  The water pump, thermostat, M50 intake manifold, injectors, starter, and exhaust manifolds are all off the motor, but I still have them if the buyer wants them.  Compared with the 175k engine I installed in its place, the internals of my old engine were pristine compared to how the 175k engine looked.  It was burning about a quart of oil every 500 miles.

I know S52 cams go for $400, the crank is worth $100-200, rods/pistons are another $100-200.  I assume the block is worth about the same as well.  Is $1,000 a fair price for it?  It is a running, driving S52 motor, but it does burn more oil than usual, and will probably need a rebuild at some point in the future.  I would prefer to sell it complete, but if parting it out will get me more or make it easier to sell, then I may go that route.  What are your thoughts?  Thank you!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/25/18 1:14 p.m.

Time for another event recap!  Event 3 was postponed due to rain, so this is a recap of event 4.  Event 3 will now be held in November or something.

For this event, we were back at Panthera Training Center (PTC) way out in the middle of WV.  Weather conditions were near perfect, and to make things sweeter, this was a two day event!  The course on Saturday wasn't my favorite, as there were some tight and tricky sections, and I couldn't really use my power to my advantage.  I had one mistake where I carried too much speed into a corner and went wide into the deep silt, slowing me down about five seconds.  At the end of the day, I think I was sitting in 4th place out of something like 15 drivers.  Not my best driving, but nothing terrible either.  IIRC, I set the fastest time for the MR class in the AM session, which is always nice.  However, in both the AM and PM sessions, my first runs were something like 3-4 seconds slower than the leader, but by the end I was right with him.  I need to get better about going fast right out the gate!  Later that night as we were all hanging out and eating, we learned that the course for Sunday was huge and wide open.  I was excited to make up time, since it sounded like the course was purpose-built for my car to excel.

Sunday morning came around, and what do you know, I start out 3-4 seconds behind the rest of the pack.  WTF?  Tragedy struck on my third run in the AM when I carried too much speed into a corner, grazed a wrong pedal, and spun the car, going off course in the process.  Going off course carries a 5 cone/10 second penalty, which dropped me back into something like 10th place.  I was pissed!  With nothing to lose, and much to gain I set off of my last run and beat almost everyone's best time for the AM by about two seconds.  Only one driver beat me (Bee in his SC'ed NA gutted Miata), but due to his wild driving style and cone hitting habit, he was never really in the running.  Still, 2nd fastest time for the AM is nothing to sneeze at.  The PM session rolled around, and I still had nothing to lose and much to gain.  I finally started off a session strong, going 2-3 seconds faster than everyone else.  Rinse and repeat for the second run.  I was catching up fast, especially since others were hitting cones and I was running clean.  On the third and final run, Josh (M52 swapped E30) laid down a smokin' run, beating my fast time by about 0.5 second, securing his spot in 4th for the event, while I ended up in 5th.  Had Josh not gone so damn fast (fast time for MR in the PM!), I would have been in 4th.  I finished the event 0.8 seconds behind him, and some 14 seconds behind 1st place (Stephen Nichols in a 325i E30).  Given that I lost about 15+ seconds on my spin in the AM, it looks like that might have cost me the win in the end.  Crap!

In the end, I only hit one cone over the whole weekend.  Stephen hit 3, Josh (M42 E30) hit 5, and everyone else was pretty much in the double digits.  So again, I've proven I can drive clean, and I can also drive fast.  Hell, I can do both at the same time.  What I NEED to do now is work on going fast on my first run.

I didn't get any pics from the event, but I did get video of three of my better runs from different run groups, so check it out!  I put the aftermarket catback on the car, so it finally sounds good again in the videos!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh6anJDg_6

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
8/1/18 9:50 a.m.

Before the last event I wanted to get a few things taken care of, one of which was reinstalling the plastic shrouding around the radiator.  The lower part had ripped off on the highway about 6 months ago, due in part because the DS plastic was broken and the lower part didn't have anything secure to attach to.  I picked up replacement side and lower pieces and got busy installing them.  Installing just the lower one would have been simple enough, but to install the side piece, you have to take the entire front end off the car....



New vs. old:


 

My radiator is properly shrouded again!  I'm pretty sure this was the cause of my very slight "overheating" I experienced on the way home from the first event where the coolant temp crept up to 210*.  On the way home from the last event on the same roads with the AC on, temps crept up to 208* IIRC, but the system was able to bring them back down to 203* without me having to turn off the AC, so I think the issue is resolved.

The automatic door lock on the front PS door hadn't worked in a while, so I picked up a used actuator and slapped it in.  Thankfully, it worked, and all my auto door locks work again!



One of the first things I bought for the car were new exterior door handle seals.  The rubber gaskets for all of mine were rotted away, but I never got around to installing them.  Turns out it's extremely easy once you know what to do.  Once the door panel is off, you use a screw driver to push a little metal tab/bracket from a hidden hole on the side of the door to release the exterior trim piece.  Took all of two minutes!  I only did the front doors so far since those already had the door panels off, but I'll do the rears soon enough. 

Old vs. new:



Gasket pretty much gone...



That's so much better!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
8/13/18 8:02 a.m.

Rally-X #5 event review!

We had our fifth event last weekend (#3 got rescheduled) and we were back at the Panthera Training Center.  The guys set up a great course, using a good amount of the large venue.  Times were generally in the 100-110 second range, so it was a nice long course.  There were a couple of tight "pinch" spots where ruts were bad, but overall it was an open, flowing course, and suited my car well. 

One of my goals from last event was to be more competitive on my first few runs, as I seem to always start out slower than everyone, and get faster as the day goes on.  I did a little better this event, with my first run only 1-2 seconds behind the fastest guys.  By my second run, I was only 0.5 seconds behind the fastest driver, so I was feeling pretty good.  Third run was pretty much like the second.  By this point I was in third or fourth place, and I knew I needed to catch up.  I tried to psych myself up a bit before the fourth run, and gave it all I had.  I dropped over three seconds from my fastest time, ending up with a 102.3, which was the fastest time of the MR run group, so I was very pleased by that!  But more importantly, Stephen and Josh both hit cones on their fourth runs, dropping them back to second and third.  So when we broke for lunch, I was somehow sitting in first place out of 17 drivers.

As lunch was drawing to a close, a nasty thunderstorm rolled through and parked itself over the area for about an hour, forcing us to cancel the afternoon session.  And with that, I had won my second event of the year!  Well, I wouldn't say I won it as much as Stephen and Josh both lost it.  I beat Stephen by 1.9 seconds, so if he hadn't hit his one cone on that last run, he would have beat me by 0.1, and if Josh hadn't hit two, he would have beat me by about two seconds.  Oh well, that's why I make such an effort to drive clean.  Not hitting a single cone won me this event!  I'm now tied for second place with Josh (24 points each) behind Stephen who has 28 points.  We have one more event at PTC, and then the remainder are at Summit Point.  I really need to win the next event if I'm going to have a chance at catching up to Stephen!

And with that, it's video time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f7ieYK9HOA

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
8/13/18 4:12 p.m.

berkeleying cones...... :/

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