Pre-Season Upgrades and Maintenance
Apr 28, 2008 update to the BMW 325is project car
Our first race of the 2008 season is just a few weeks away at Roebling Road, so we spent some time during the past couple of weekends making a few minor upgrades and doing some routine maintenance.
Step one was some simple housekeeping. The passenger footwell was something of a mess, with various wires crossing the floor and some surface rust rearing its head. We went crazy with the zip-ties, rerouting several wire clusters so they’re permanently out of sight. Then we cleaned up the rusty bits and performed a tactical strike with Rust-Oleum and then a coat of some generic metallic gray we had from our Volvo wagon days.
A new season is also a great time to do some minor maintenance. We checked the fluid levels and changed the oil and oil filter. Last season we ran Castrol GTX High Mileage, but when we went to the local AutoZone for some new dino sauce they had a killer deal on Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil; $12 off a case of 12. The total for 12 quarts was just 26 bucks. We’re not sure if we’ll see any benefit from the supposedly Extreme Race Level Protection, but it can’t hurt.
With the spring cleaning out of the way, it was time to perform some minor upgrades. First up was a set of hood latches. Last year, we had a qualifying session ruined when the hood popped up on our out lap. A dose of spray lubricant seemed to remedy the hesitant latch, but a set of latches are further insurance against stupid pit stops. Per was installing a set of rubber latches on his Saab, and when he placed the order at Speedway Motors he was kind enough to grab a second pair for the BMW. They’re just $5.99 for a set of two.
After eyeballing a good location, we marked the location of the intended holes and then broke out the spring punch to mark our drilling spots. Some steel rivets with washers ought to keep everything snugly in place. With the latches in place, we pulled the hood release and were pleased to see that instead of jumping forward half a foot in the air, the hood nudged up about an inch at its highest point and was securely retained.
Regular readers will recall that we had an issue a while back with our tie-down chains pulling the Bilstein damper free of its lower mounting point. Our initial fix was to install a large washer at the end of the mounting bolt to prevent the damper from running away again, but Factory 3 Performance has an even better solution. They offer a simple tie-down loop that will both keep the damper in place and give us a dedicated mounting point for tying the car to the trailer. The loops cost $16.99 for the pair.
Factory 3 Performance also has a nifty Oil Pan Protector. On an E30 BMW, the oil pan is the lowest point in the front of the car. A few racers have found out the hard way that, given the opportunity, the curbing at some tracks loves to demolish this somewhat fragile piece. The Factory 3 steel panel costs $39.50 and works like a skidplate to protect this vital low-hanging part. The part ships totally flat, so it requires some simple measuring and a bit of bending, but we got ours measured up and mounted in about 45 minutes. The bolts and speed nuts required for mounting are included with the kit.
Hopefully that means we’re about ready for our race season. We’re going to put the car on our corner-weighing scales and make sure we’re still legal, since the exhaust swap shed a bunch of pounds. Look for us at Roebling in May.
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All 1989 BMW 325is updates
Spec E30 at NASA Champs, Project Wrap
Our BMW 325i Spec E30 project performs well at the NASA Championships and moves on to a happy new owner.
Prepping for the 2008 NASA Championships
Getting those last few items off our checklist before heading up for the NASA Championships
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Our 1989 BMW 325is Spec E30 is SOLD.
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The Return to HyperFest
It was a year ago at the NASA Mid-Atlantic HyperFest that our Spec E30 brake issue first showed up. Would the issue return on its one-year anniversary?
Testing the EdgeCam1100 at Roebling
In-car video highlights from our recent Spec E30 race courtesy of an EdgeCam1100
An Encouraging Run at Roebling Road
Our first race of the season in our Spec E30 reveals the competitive benefit of off-season fixes and exposes a few new problems.
A creative and technically legal solution to our current low-weight issues.
Weight a Minute
Our Spec E30 weighs in for battle after the recent round of modifications.
Pre-Season Upgrades and Maintenance
A few upgrades and regular maintenance for the Spec E30 prior to its 2008 season opener.
Spec Exhaust Excitement
Finishing up the Spec E30 exhaust install.
Like any rule change that involves a spec part, the announcement of a mandatory spec E30 exhaust system caught some racers at the worst possible time. Luckily, we're prepared.
Spec E30 Post-Repair Shakedown
A completely reworked brake system and a new fuel tank leave us with what should be a fully operational BMW Spec E30 race car. The only way to find out for sure, however, is to go drive the thing.
BMW Brake Bonanza
Now that we have a reliable fuel system, we turn our attention to the BMW's brakes.
Fuel Tank Frenzy
We get to the bottom of our BMW fuel pressure problem.
With a number of weird symptoms popping up regularly, it was time to spend a day playing doctor with our Spec E30.
MISSING: Some Horses from the Spec E30 Ranch
Looking on the Dyno for our missing Spec E30 ponies.
Not that fast, and only a little broken
We tackle Mid-Atlantic -- and the learning curve -- in the BMW's first Spec E30 outing.
Spec E30 Debut Looms
With our first Spec E30 outing only a few days away, we tackle last-minute prep.
Back to the Front
Our E30's tail-dragging days are over. We've upgraded the front to match the rear.
Starting at the End
Rebuilding our Spec E30's rear
Ain't She a Beaut?
Every racer knows that stickers are the key to a successful race car.
Ever since we bought it, our BMW 325is has been a reluctant starter.
Get Down on Your Knees and Spray
This past Sunday we donned our DuPont masks and put some paint on the Spec E30.
We cage our Spec E30.
Unchecking the sunroof option box.
Jared can eat it--our E30 just went on a real diet.
Starting our Diet
One of the first steps to building a race car, and arguably one of the most fun, is removing all of that crap that makes a street car a street car.
We spent the weekend tracking down and fixing the typical stuff that goes wrong on an older BMW.
No More Junk in Our Trunk
We spent the evening yesterday cleaning out our visibly neglected E30.
Our Race Car in Disguise
Just in time for halloween, we pick up our Spec E30 race car project, disguised as a neglected 1989 325is.