Jan 21, 2008 update to the BMW 325is project car

Spec E30 Post-Repair Shakedown

This isn’t the kind of thing you like to see the week before you make the tow up to the big race.
The chains were pulling on the Bilsteins at a slight angle on the trailer, and it was enough to pull the damper body free of its large bushing.
A big metal washer should prevent any future pullouts.
Pristine new Vorshlag Motorsports engine mounts will keep the engine firmly in place.
Our repaired brakes seem to be working properly, and the engine runs much better with the new gas tank.
Hey, with the brakes no longer binding up, we’ve got enough power to kick the tail out. Whee!

We’re happy to report that the long list of repairs seems to have done the trick. The car performed better than ever at our Ocala test track

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.

While we were going through the list of things we’ve done to the car since the last in-magazine update (look for the next installment in the April 2008 issue), we recalled a few other fixes that have taken place.

First up was the replacement of the completely fried engine mounts with some more rigid Vorshlag Motorsports units. These aluminum and nylon mounts cost $159 for a set of two from Vorshlag.com and installed easily. Having a friend handy to work the jack or engine hoist while you tighten up the four bolts helps, though.

Another snag we had almost forgotten about was the discovery that one of our Bilstein dampers had pulled completely off its lower mount bushing while on the trailer. We’ve been using chains to keep the back end of the car from misbehaving while in tow, and the slight inward pull was enough to wiggle the damper tube free. A trip to the hardware store gave us a pair of big washers that should fix the problem.

We’re happy to report that the long list of repairs seems to have done the trick. The car performed better than ever at our Ocala test track. After a lot of brake bleeding (with lots of help from Margie in the pedal pumping department) we’ve got a firm brake pedal and no signs of rear brake drag. The engine even ran well, and it sounded wicked with a cutoff exhaust.

Soon we’ll be bedding in a fresh set of Carbotech brake pads and bolting up the new, just-released spec exhaust system. We’re looking forward to doing more racing than troubleshooting in 2008.

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