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irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/25/13 7:44 p.m.

So here we go again. The rallycross e30 is mostly done (a few tweaks to make) and the GT6 has a few things left, but it's time for a new project.

I've really enjoyed working on the e30, but I can't just do the same car again, that wouldn't be as much fun as something different. So I went with something similar but not the same.

I'll update this post with more information when I have time (rallycross tomorrow - need to pack the e30), but here's the quick and dirty on this new one:

'77 BMW e21 320i Cost: $200 Engine: I think this is the 2.0L version of the M10. Supposedly ran when parked (I actually believe the guy) but I coudln't get it to turn over with the starter after it was sitting for 6 or 7 years. Will look into that later.

Overall appears to have been well-loved by the previous owner until he died 6 years ago, unfortunately. The toolkit is complete (but rusty from a trunk leak). The factory jack is still stored. The spare tire is mint. All panels and trim are there (I mean ALL of them, there is NOTHING missing that I can tell). The service and owners manuals, in perfect shape, still sit in the glove box. THe seats had fitted leopard-print covers on them.

The car looks rusty on the outside but it's all surface rust and no rust-through that I can identify. This being a non-sunroof car it actually doesn't seem to have leaked at all, aside from the trunk. The floors and rockers are very good with far less rust than my e30 had (which wasn't much). The interior is complete and in very nice shape (aside from a broken seat mount).

Anyhow, the plan: Strip it Sell most of the interior stuff that's worth selling Sell the OEM 13's Sell the engine/tranny Drop my spare M42 into it (modify front subframe) Brake upgrades Suspension (haven't decided yet) Pretty it up (I hate bodywork, but guess I'll have to learn to like it for a bit). Go to the track.

I may in the short-term make it a Chump/Lemons car and eventually make it nicer and better. We'll see. A $200 car and a $150 engine/tranny are a good start for the former...

This is going to be a much slower build than the e30 was (I'm busier with other things, my budget is pretty tight at the moment, and I still have some other projects to do on the e30)...but hopefully you guys will have some comments/advice/thoughts on whatever I end up doing.

I'm going to do carbons of this thread on R3V, bimmerforums e21 section, and Grassroots Motorsports, in anyone cares. I like varied perspectives :)

mazdeuce
mazdeuce Dork
5/26/13 11:07 a.m.

If this car is as complete as you say it is, why strip it and make it into a race car? Is it too far gone for a light restoration, or is the car just not worth that sort of thing?

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/26/13 5:55 p.m.

Dunno....I just don't have much used for a restored car/weekend driver (I already have my GT6 that I don't drive enough). If I go the Lemons/Chump route, I figure I can sell off all the interior bits to offset some "go-fast parts" costs or something. IDK, I know some people just want to do a restore on older BMWs and put some nice wheels on them and go to cars-n-coffee and gutenfest, but that's not really my thing. And a 320i isn't terribly rare or well-loved by most BMW people it seems. Figure the nice parts could be useful in someone else's restoration...

But.....all that said who knows, I could change my mind. We'll see.

nicksta43
nicksta43 Dork
5/27/13 12:48 a.m.

Nah, that car is no where near rare enough for a restoration from the condition it's currently in. If I had an early car I would likely buy the interior. All of my experience is with late cars, don't know how much translates to early cars.

jr02518
jr02518 New Reader
5/27/13 1:47 p.m.

The '77 would make a good starting point for a track car.

  1. The front rotors are vented.
  2. The M10 is a 2.0. Replace the injection with a Weber 38/38.
  3. Keep the 4 speed, save the money and grief of changing it to a 5 speed.
  4. Have the diff welded up, saves the cost of a LSD. I would start looking for another set of half shafts.
  5. The early cars have unique control arms, front cross-member and front sway bars. It is worth the effort to locate the struts from a 323. Every thing is bigger/stronger.

That said, your car has been sitting long enough that the fuel distributor is going to need to be rebuilt. The cam/ distributor spin backwards compared to the early M10's, if you change the head change to a 2002tii disy. The motors stock compression only need a 284 cam, everyone goes for to much duration and kill the bottom end torque.

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/27/13 4:55 p.m.
jr02518 wrote: The '77 would make a good starting point for a track car. 1. The front rotors are vented. 2. The M10 is a 2.0. Replace the injection with a Weber 38/38. 3. Keep the 4 speed, save the money and grief of changing it to a 5 speed. 4. Have the diff welded up, saves the cost of a LSD. I would start looking for another set of half shafts. 5. The early cars have unique control arms, front cross-member and front sway bars. It is worth the effort to locate the struts from a 323. Every thing is bigger/stronger. That said, your car has been sitting long enough that the fuel distributor is going to need to be rebuilt. The cam/ distributor spin backwards compared to the early M10's, if you change the head change to a 2002tii disy. The motors stock compression only need a 284 cam, everyone goes for to much duration and kill the bottom end torque.

Thanks - I've been doing a lot of research on my options, and since this is a "no rush" project, I'll do a lot more research and thinking before I choose what direction to go. I swapped an M42 into my M10-powered e30 318i (the M10 is a nice little engine, but simply not enough performance in N/A form for me), and I have another M42 (and G240 5-speed) sitting in my garage, so I'll almost certainly put those in (which are in good condition) rather than try to refurbish the M10 and get it running right. To make the M10 a real performer (e.g. Weber, cam, etc) would cost ten times what I paid for a good-running M42/G240 anyhow, and the swap seems pretty straightforward (plus I've done it before, albeit without the front subframe modifications).

Plus if I do Chump/Lemons initially with the car, I figure I can sell the M10B20 and tranny for about what I got the car for (I sold my other M10B18s pretty easily), to offset costs.

Already keeping my eyes open for 323 stuff (both front and rear) if it pops up at a reasonable price. The thought has crossed my mind to do the e30 rear subframe/diff swap simply for the discs and diff availability, but I'm not sure if I'm confident up in my fabrication skills to a sufficient extent for that yet.

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/27/13 5:54 p.m.

After rallycrossing Sunday (see my e30 build thread for pics/discussion)

today's job was to get the car to the backyard out of sight of my neighbors, who are probably tired of my car collection :)

gave it a good wash/scrub and took off 7 years of grime and nasty. Also noticed that the car has a very good (and legal) tint job on it :)

Think I took off some deteriorating paint as well, lol

The aluminum on the bumpers and trim is surprisingly very good once cleaned up

And tucked away in the shed until I get a chance to do some work on her (probably in late June after the next Rally-X and Lemons race.

The rest of the crew back where it belongs

jr02518
jr02518 New Reader
5/27/13 11:29 p.m.

When you pull the interior and if it has a non AC center console please let me know.

davidbarrish AT charter dot net

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/28/13 2:37 p.m.
jr02518 wrote: When you pull the interior and if it has a non AC center console please let me know. davidbarrish AT charter dot net

what does that look like vs. the AC center console? I don't think this car had AC.

jr02518
jr02518 New Reader
5/28/13 8:24 p.m.

If yours looks like this it had an AC unit at one time.

The condenser/fans unit weighs more than 20lbs. Add it to the list of things that you can sell.

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/3719919525.html

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
5/28/13 8:48 p.m.

Looking forward to this build thread, your E30 thread is one of my favorites on here!

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/28/13 8:56 p.m.

Thanks, trying to keep it interesting! This one may not be as cool if only because it won't have rallycross action pics, haha. Also because the e30 was done at such a manic pace, and this one will definitely be a longer build, since I'm also trying to work on the GT6, a few other things on the e30, as well as the e30 Lemons/Chump team car this summer. Car budget will really need some winter-job rejuvenation!

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/28/13 9:00 p.m.
jr02518 wrote: If yours looks like this it had an AC unit at one time. The condenser/fans unit weighs more than 20lbs. Add it to the list of things that you can sell. http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/3719919525.html

nope, then mine wasn't an AC car, since it looks nothing like that. Here's a pic. I'm not going to pull the interior out just yet since I'm not totally set on the direction I'm going on this car, but remind me later in the summer and if I'm going to sell that console, I'll let you have first dibs on it. Is it just the lower section you want (the parcel tray and shifter surround) or do you want the whole center dash piece?

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/28/13 9:08 p.m.

So I guess I'll post up some other pics I took detailing some parts of the car, just for posterity:

toolkit is complete, but rusty. I may media-blast them and try to sell it as a set

floorpans surprisingly good

muffler still has stickers on it, as if it was never driven. Exhaust overall is in pretty good shape it looks like, not that I'm going to use it anyhow if I swap...

engine bay

backseat, in great condition

nifty aftermarket speaker enclosure on the back deck. This is apparently a 70s-80s era part that is very nicely built and a perfect fit on the rear deck. This will be a sale item once I find out how much it may be worth.

tires are shot, but wheels are in pretty decent shape. Will sell these since finding decent 13" tires is next to impossible these days

factory jack and lug wrench in great shape still in stock location

trunk in very nice shape other than a bit of moldiness from the leak. Almost no rust anywhere (that's just rusty staining at the forward end)

jr02518
jr02518 New Reader
5/28/13 9:16 p.m.

The whole thing.

I would get on realoem.com and check the vin#. You might have a very early car, the lack of a sun roof could prove the point. You might want to keep it all.

The Hazard switch looks like it it jammed with something to keep the button down. The turn signals only work with the switch in this position. The late 2002 has a switch that looks very similar. Pulling the switch apart and getting it to work correctly is a rite of passage on these cars.

The door mirrors are also unique to the early cars. Again the later 2002 units look the same. The price you could get for these would make your car free.

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
5/28/13 10:11 p.m.
jr02518 wrote: The whole thing. I would get on realoem.com and check the vin#. You might have a very early car, the lack of a sun roof could prove the point. You might want to keep it all. The Hazard switch looks like it it jammed with something to keep the button down. The turn signals only work with the switch in this position. The late 2002 has a switch that looks very similar. Pulling the switch apart and getting it to work correctly is a rite of passage on these cars. The door mirrors are also unique to the early cars. Again the later 2002 units look the same. The price you could get for these would make your car free.

Build date is 11/76 based on the VIN.

Yeah, there's some kind of clip on the hazard switch - I was wondering what that was all about. THe turn signals do work though.

Interesting on the door mirrors. They're actually quite nice, move freely, and are in really good shape. I can't imagine wanting to mess them up racing, so thanks for the info on their value, if I decide to sell.

The dash center section I'll have to see on, again based on what I end up doing. The first plan is to get the car running and driving (and street-legal), and then built it toward something to use on the track I think. So I may not be ripping the dash and certain other things out immediately, especially when I have my e30 and the lemons e30 to have fun with racing :)

irish44j
irish44j UberDork
6/1/13 8:47 p.m.

So, I said this was gonna start slow and it has, seeing as we have the LeMons race in the ETA in 2 weeks, and the weekend after that a 2-day midseason finale rallycross in my own e30.

Spent yesterday working on the LeMons car, and after some yardwork and garage cleanup today I decided to do some e21 projects. Not exciting, but stuff that needs to be done.

First attacked the trunk with various odoriferous bathroom cleaners and Dawn to get 6 years worth of dead stinkbugs, mold and other nastiness out of there. There is surprisingly little rust back there considering it was leaking so much. I aired it out all week in the shed, and then sat in ther with a sponge and hose today and scrubbed.

Came out pretty good. A few small rust spots but nothing deep or bad in my book. Now it's practically clean enough to eat off of.

Also drilled a new drain hole and inclined the car to drain the hose spray to it. It's the size for OEM e30 drain plugs, which I have a bunch of, so that's good.

This is the area up by the seatback. There's rust staining here, but it's on TOP of the sealant for the most part, so when I scrape that stuff off I expect the metal should be pretty good underneath

the sides are really in great condition. no rust and perfect paint (the original trunk trim was installed and is in great shape as well, if not a bit moldy). Only issue point is up on the driver's rear shock tower, but it's not too bad and mostly just the paint peeling up. I plan to reinforce the towers anyhow, so that's not a big deal.

ALSO decided to pull out the other M42 (my $150 spare/backup one for the rallykar) and the tranny and start to get them cleaned up, maintained, and see how they are. I know they came out of a running/driving car so I have high hopes that I won't have to replace much, just do a lot of cleaning, new belts, timing inspection, and might just do a head gasket since I have lots of time. Considered doing some internal work, but we'll see what stuff I can find cheap/free and how much patience I have.

The whole black fleet got a good wash today, except dIrTy (the e30)....made me think about the fact that I am going to keep this e21 probably white, and not do yet another black car, lol.

more when I have more.....

jr02518
jr02518 New Reader
6/1/13 11:22 p.m.

Before you spend the time and effort of putting the M42 into your E21 I would spend the time really driving a car with that motor.

We had a family 1991 318i 5spd that only came alive above 3800 rpm. It had nothing down low.

Your E30 will fog the driving experience of a M10. Our 1994 325is M-Tech feels like a tank compared to the 1.8 E21.

Spend some time working out what the car will give you. Everyone that has driven both of our cars picks the E21.

Momentum wins.

irish44j
irish44j UberDork
6/1/13 11:45 p.m.
jr02518 wrote: Before you spend the time and effort of putting the M42 into your E21 I would spend the time really driving a car with that motor. We had a family 1991 318i 5spd that only came alive above 3800 rpm. It had nothing down low. Your E30 will fog the driving experience of a M10. Our 1994 325is M-Tech feels like a tank compared to the 1.8 E21. Spend some time working out what the car will give you. Everyone that has driven both of our cars picks the E21. Momentum wins.

You mean like this?

I have an 85 318i, which I drove and raced for a year with the M10, then swapped to and M42 (with Conforti chip) last winter. It's not that I dislike the M10, it's fine other than never being able to get my M10B18 to idle well (and yes, I tried all the tricks/fixes). But frankly the M10 in stock form simply doesn't have the grunt that I want for the track or fast street. And I would prefer to race with a stock/stock-ish engine rather than try to build an M10 for the power I want.

All that said, if the M10B20 in this e21 was actually in running condition, I'd probably keep it for a while (I may anyways, since the M42 is not a priority). The problem is that EVERY hose, tube, and rubber piece is no-good on it, the intake boot, etc is shot, and I don't even know if the motor itself is any good (haven't done a compression test, haven't tried to spin it yet). Sitting all those years there are a number of issues that would definitely have to be addressed.

So my choice is basically to 1) spend a lot of time and money to get the M10 in running shape, replacing everything on it, and still also have a 4-speed stick to boot. Plus I sold off two M10s 6 months ago, as well as every single spare M10 part I had (three large boxes, many new things), so then I'd spend all that time being annoyed at having to re-buy stuff I had. I kept the M10 in my 318 for the first year because it was running well and didn't need much work - so it was worth it.

my other option:

2) spend less time and less money on an M42 that was running when it was pulled (so likely needs less work), plus I've already done one M42 and have tons of spare parts, half a dozen DMEs, and a good 5-speed G240. And I know much more about M42s than M10s and think the upside is higher (staying N/A).

Don't get me wrong, I do like drivetrain originality - my 1970 Triumph GT6 still has the original heavy, low-power near-tractor-engine that it came from the factory with (never even rebuilt!), which I could have years ago swapped for something more modern with twice the power. And for a "nice day driver" I woudln't mind.

But this car is going to end up doing track days (at least) and the M42, IMO, has no weight penalty to affect handling (like a 6cyl swap would), it's a pretty easy swap, and it's an engine I know well. Plus it has 30% more power and gets better fuel economy to boot, and is less finicky.

I thought the M10 in my 318 was fine, nice motor. I actually felt kind of guilty taking it out (since e30 guys don't have much love for them and I tend to go against the "what's popular" grain often...). That said, I much prefer the M42 it has now though, at least for my style of driving and needs.

--

And I may keep the M10 and build it in the future. Nothing to say I can't swap back if my goals change :)

jr02518
jr02518 New Reader
6/2/13 8:17 a.m.

Pull the valve cover on the E21 motor, what does it look like inside? People reuse old hoses on fresh motors, BMW's have lots of them. A good tell would be the front timing cover, is it dry or crusted with gunk?

irish44j
irish44j UberDork
6/2/13 9:09 a.m.

Like I said, I haven't even taken more than a cursory look at the engine on the e21 yet, as doing (whatever) engine for it will be a project for this winter. I plan to do bodywork first, then get the brakes/suspension/steering up to snuff, and THEN get the engine running.

I plan to refurbish the M42 either way (if I use it in the e21, or just to have a refreshed spare for the rallycross car, especially since I want to build it to stage rally in the next few years), so my pulling it out now isn't specifically linked to the e21 in stone. It's just something I can work on late at night quietly when the family is asleep (can't do bodywork or suspension stuff...too loud).

I've been working on cars a long time, and can say that there are very few hoses (if any) in the e21 currently that I would re-use. The M10 timing cover is crusted with gunk, and the valve cover is one of the nastiest I've ever seen (and I work on British cars, so that's saying a lot!). That said, the M42 is also extremely gunky.

--

Of course, the other point of "budget build" that is applicable is that the M10B20 and tranny can probably fetch some money that would offset my costs for completely updating the M42. If I start of with LeMons/Chump that budget offset is important, since many nice parts of the car can't be sold to offset performance parts (e.g. seats, mirrors, windows), while the engine/drivetrain stuff can.

Either way, we'll see. I'll move the e21 up front to the main garage in the fall and then I'll pull the engine and check it all out good then.

irish44j
irish44j UberDork
6/2/13 8:18 p.m.

A bit of quiet garage time this evening during the thunderstorm, figured I'd start pulling apart the M42 for lack of anything better to do. So got all the wiring stuff, water pump, etc off for cleanup this week.

Personal Garage Rule #1: When doing anything dealing with draining old nasty dirty coolant into any kind of container, I will always somehow spill said container all over the garage floor. And damn I hate coolant. Would rather have my head put in a vat of motor oil than my hand in a vat of coolant. IDK why, just do....lol

yep, that's one dirty-ass engine.

irish44j
irish44j UberDork
6/9/13 7:12 p.m.

So, in between some rallycross e30 prep for our 2-day event in two weeks, and more prep on the LeMons e30 I'm driving at Hyperfest next week, I did manage to get a bit of work in on the M42. Whole outer timing case apart and started cleaning stuff out.

I think someone has been in here not too long ago, since the main crank nut actually came off with my impact gun (as opposed to my other M42, which took about 500ft-lbs on a giant breaker bar/cheater pipe). The timing chain looks to be in excellent shape, and the timing sprockets all look good (square teeth still on the main ones, which is good news). Bad news is that the guide rail on the driver's side is the old design, so that will have to be updated.

So now I have to start rounding up all the stuff I need to do the refresh (AGAIN)....last time most of it was direct-order from the big retailers. This time since I'm in no rush at all I'll try to score as much as possible secondhand off other forum people and e30 guys....so far already managed to get a few gaskets and such still brand-new.

Here's my "master list" so far. I forgot about how much stuff I replaced on the old one, and since this car probably is NOT going to be for Lemons/Chump at this point, I might as well do it right.

Just wrote it up in about 15 minutes, so sure I forgot things (or used the wrong names), but it's for my own use, so who cares :)

M42 Refresh Parts List 11141247849 Profile Gasket (inner case) 11141247837 Profile Gastket (outer case) 11141439570 Forward Shaft Seal 11141721802 Lower Timing Case Gaskets 11141721919 Upper Timing Case Gaskets 11311247470 Updated Chain Guide Rail (make sure to get the one different-length bolt) 07119919629 The bolt 11311743187 Tensioner (new design) 11131739592 Upper pan gasket 11131709815 Lower pan gasket O-rings for dipstick (use HF set) Oil filter assembly gaskets and o-rings* 11531714738 Coolant hard line connector 11531709157 O-ring for ^^ Full crank bearings? 11531709157 Rear Main Seal Gasket 11142249533 Rear Main Seal Shaft Seal 11121721876 Valve Cover Gasket/Seal (also get the plug hole seal kit) 11121721876 Head Gasket (not Victor Reinz) 11121721939 Head Bolts or studs (ARP?) 11611717761 IM Gasket 1 11611734684 IM Gasket Injectors (Mustang – make sure they’re good ones!) 11621728983 Exhaust Manifold Gaskets (2) 18301711969 Exhaust Manifold Gasket (lower dual) New exhaust manifold studs and nuts (same as other M42) M20 flywheel/clutch assembly Output shaft bearing (make sure it’s the right size!) Correct-length flywheel bolts 11511734602 Water Pump (check old one?) - steel impeller only 11531721218 Thermostat O-Ring (check might have one) 11511714519 Water Pump O-ring (check) 11537511580 Thermostat (check, might have a good one) All hoses (including MUTI delete stuff) M42 radiator (aluminum pref.) Fuel Filter Fuel hose Fuel Injectors Intake Elbow

And a few pics of "progress"

I fabbed up a "loft shelf" to put all the M42 parts on to keep them separate from all my other crap. It's on wheels and just high enough to slide over the GT6 :)

irish44j
irish44j UberDork
6/19/13 9:51 p.m.

So I spent all last weekend racing at the LeMons Capitol Offense at Summit Point, where we finished all 16 hours without any significant incidents in a 325e e30. We finished 18th overall, which is pretty good for first-timers with a 350k mile stock ETA and a non-working LSD. A few pics from that. I did some work on the car, but most of the mechanical and prep was done by the owners (Spoth and others that aren't on here). I did most of the painting, decals, cosmetics, etc (except for our LeMons hood, which is different from the "regular" hood. And my old satellite dish actually made for a pretty effective rear spoiler, and did provide noticeable downforce.

Judge Phil giving us a black flag penalty, while his likeness resides on our hood

The alfa in the foreground hit a deer, so they engineered a temporary windshield for the last 8 hours of the race...I'm sure most of you have seen the screen capture of the deer hit on the internet by now, it's pretty much gone viral.

Now prepping for the 2-day rallycross this weekend in my own e30, which should be a lot of fun.

In the meantime, did some parts searching and found someone on r3v selling a bunch of M42 parts leftover from an aborted rebuild (where he instead swapped to a different engine). In any case, for $80 shipped I managed to score a good lower oil pan (which I needed) and about 90% of the gaskets, seals, o-rings, etc that I need for redoing the M42. I'll have to order a few things, but overall I'm really happy with the deal he gave me, since all these parts bought new from a distributor would have run me about $200+....so that's a good start on getting this engine in good running condition.

granth
granth New Reader
6/19/13 10:43 p.m.
irish44j wrote:
jr02518 wrote: Before you spend the time and effort of putting the M42 into your E21 I would spend the time really driving a car with that motor.

You mean like this?

I have an 85 318i, which I drove and raced for a year with the M10, then swapped to and M42 (with Conforti chip) last winter. It's not that I dislike the M10, it's fine other than never being able to get my M10B18 to idle well (and yes, I tried all the tricks/fixes). But frankly the M10 in stock form simply doesn't have the grunt that I want for the track or fast street. And I would prefer to race with a stock/stock-ish engine rather than try to build an M10 for the power I want.

Bingo the key words are " race with a stock/stock-ish engine rather than try to build an M10 for the power I want." I have been down that road with a built M10 fun while it lasted plus race gas. Now I have no drivetrain in my 2002 race car, would like 150/160WHP from stock/stock-ish engine what do you think? I have 150WHP (JDM/ECU and bolt on's) in a 1900lbs miata tons of fun how can I make the same happen in the 2002?

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