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klodkrawler05 Reader
7/27/19 7:52 p.m.

Its just the regular silver not the blue silver. Did a little precursory investigation today, found a leaking vacuum hose and some majorly fouled spark plugs (look at that gap!) 

it seems to be running pretty strong now and has gone from 11 check engine lights to 1 for pre cat o2 sensor 

My favorite part of the car was this hot air intake, the spring is supposed to keep it from flopping down and there was a coat hanger underneath for more support. I found a factory box in my storage pile that had a mouse nest in it, but better than what was on the car 

So far so good! Other notable issues are a weeping radiator and a wobbly driveshaft.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon SuperDork
7/28/19 3:05 p.m.

It’s always nice when a simple tuneup makes a big improvement.

Check the guibo for wear, unless you’ve already done that. I just know it’s the first thing anyone says when talking about driveline wobbles in a BMW. Also, transmission mounts are probably worn and super easy to replace.

klodkrawler05 Reader
7/29/19 6:55 a.m.

The guibo is on the list of things to check at first glance it seemed ok and I thought I could see some play in the u-joint....but I'm peering through small 3" inspection holes in the heat shielding so I won't truly know until I get the exhaust dropped and can observe the entire shaft better.

klodkrawler05 Reader
7/30/19 9:59 p.m.

Made a bit of progress tonight, kazoo....something (username escapes me) came over tonight and we did a bunch of scheming and a bit of wrenching. Exhaust came out in 1 piece and the old driveshaft was removed. The center support bearing is shot and the rear u-joint has pretty excessive play. 

The jam nut which is supposed to hold the shafts together was not even finger tight so I have a suspicion someone replaced the CSB once before incorrectly torquing things which lead to another failure in short order. 

klodkrawler05 HalfDork
8/29/19 9:31 a.m.

Haven’t had a chance to work on the silver e36 at all, but I did finally pick the M3 motor back up!

machine work gets expensive... I could’ve skipped some of the cleaning/checks but since I wasn’t planning to use the motor for the challenge any more I figured better safe than sorry. 

Oh, and I picked up an M3 bumper locally pretty cheap, kazoospec is going to work on repairing the crack for me, looking forward to seeing his process for that inside the challenge budget! 

klodkrawler05 HalfDork
9/16/19 7:29 a.m.

Finally found a suitably cheap replacement driveshaft to keep me under challenge budget.

Replaced that this weekend and went for a more extended test drive, (40 miles) out to Grattan raceway to visit some friends participating in a BMWCCA track day. 

Overall the chassis itself seems in a remarkably good level of maintenance. No clunks, shimmies or other weirdness, steering is tight, shocks aren't overly worn etc. 

However my simple tune up doesn't seem to have been enough to fully fix the misfire/weird idle. Under heavy load/wot the car shakes a bit. 

Aside from that it seemed fine but then I drove it to work this morning (45 more miles) and the shake got progressively worse throughout the trip. However I noted it is most noticable from idle to 3,000 rpm's approximately. At moderate loads and high RPM it's still smooth.

I'm going to scan codes at lunch and see if anything new popped up. If there isn't anything I've still got the extra coilpacks in the trunk that the previous owner gave me with the car. I may swap those in before the drive home to see if there is any change in the symptoms. 

After that if still no fix it'll be time to start going through the usual e36 culprits, ICV, MAF, crank sensor, fuel filter etc.

klodkrawler05 HalfDork
9/17/19 7:16 a.m.

Realized at lunch yesterday I didn't bring a basic tool set. (could've used the 10mm wrench in the trunk kit but that's not as easy as a ratchet) so waited until I got home. Cylinders 5-6 were showing mis-fires, weird, as they haven't shown misfires during my brief ownership. Pull the coilpacks to swap in a different pair and get greeted with this:


Combined with visible water in the spark plug holes. Well, that would certainly explain the misfire. But also........how/why is there water in there? This being an e36 my mind immediately goes to a headgasket failure of some catastrophic nature, but no, the car isn't running hot, and AFAIK there is no water passage near the spark plug holes.......to the google! 

Turns out it's actually a somewhat common/known issue, when your windshield cowl weather seal wears out (mine is really bad) and you remove the beauty covers (you know to work on fixing misfire issues) and then you get a heavy rain (like the Tornado's we had 3 miles from the house last week) you wind up with water running down through the cowl onto the valve cover and then leaking into the spark plug holes. Which is apparently what happened to me.

So, for any e36 owners, this is not the ideal location to have your beauty covers:

So I used an air hose, blew out those holes, pulled all the other coilpacks to ensure they were dry, pulled the plugs, inspected those, and replaced everything. There was still a bit of idle surging and I was already greasy so I also pulled the ICV and PCV systems to clean those out. the ICV looks to have been recently cleaned as there was almost no gunk inside it and it operated freely. I was able to get the PCV system a big cleaner but it's still fairly gunky. So it's on the list of items to watch and potentially replace (hopefully not until after challenge)

While cleaning those systems I did find the vacuum canister which operates the exhaust flapper valve had broken off, and was leaking, this was a source of vacuum leak so I capped it off and my idle is nearly perfect now. 

Drove the car to work again this morning and it was significantly smoother than yesterday! There is a bit of white smoke during take off if you really romp the throttle but otherwise it seems ok. Hopefully I now have the car mechanically sorted enough to start working on the fun stuff for challenge!

spacecadet Dork
9/18/19 6:29 p.m.

Gastropod E36 Challenge Plans.. 


Time of Death 9-18-2019 6:11pm Eastern Time. 

klodkrawler05 HalfDork
9/19/19 7:15 a.m.

It's true. crying

Last week spacecadet and I had a teleconference with the hotel to make sure whichever of us arrived first could check in, and while confirming dates I thought "huh, that date sounds familiar, and I thought the challenge was closer to the middle of October"

We finished the call and I checked my calendar. And the reason the dates sounded familiar is because I'm supposed to be in charge of a local autocross that weekend. Somehow I missed the memo that the challenge moved dates. My personal calendar and vacation request were for the weekend prior to when the challenge will actually occur.

I've spent the last week unsuccessfully trying to find replacements to cover the autocross for me. Along the way to doing that, the folks who were going to roadtrip down with me for this crazy adventure had to bail.

With the deck stacking against us it seemed better to go ahead and pull the plug now rather than at the last minute.

Another year of living vicariously through the forums, and I'm afraid i've become one of those challenge threads that ends with OP not going to challenge. 

spacecadet Dork
9/19/19 9:10 a.m.

In reply to klodkrawler05 :

Well we're both in that camp, my not a challenge car originally, started thread as a challenge car, now not a challenge car again. 

apexanimal New Reader
9/22/19 5:33 p.m.

at least gltc!

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