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de80q Reader
8/18/18 8:20 a.m.

You will also want to retorque the studs after about 10 heat cycles, than again about about another 20.  ARP recommends retorquing after first heat cycle, 500 miles, and 1500 miles.  The mileage is hard to do on a car like this.  Just remember to do it at least one more time.  I've lost 2 head gaskets to forgetting to retorque my head studs.

kodachrome New Reader
8/18/18 8:28 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

It's been on fire a number of times laugh

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/18/18 10:48 a.m.
MrChaos said:

Nah I'm really leaning towards picking up a classic mini and running SF until I get tired of the engine and taking it to SuperFast Mini's(aka Mini-tec) and having a b or k series put in and then terrorize MF.  That was the first merkur I have seen for sale.

Local region has at least 1 other classic mini running SF atm though I think he is also building a rwd Honda powered mini...

My main issue with rally-crossing a classic Mini is by the time you find a good one in the states and then get it to be reliable, you'll have one very expensive car you'll be beating the snot out of.  After after driving my classic on the cobble-stone streets of Philly (which broke the front suspension), my day-dreams of rally-crossing mine faded pretty quickly.  I can't imagine what the service was like when these cars did stage rally back in the day.  Plus, after watching Josh's videos (since those events would probably be the ones I'd end up at) I'm pretty sure the car would be high-centered in the ruts by the second or third run.  Mine had pretty much no ground clearance to speak of.  That said, I still want another classic.  As much as I like my R53, I don't think it'll be a "forever" car.

Chris - sending you a PM...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/18/18 6:52 p.m.

Ran the engine again- all is well at idle, but when revved it pushes coolant out through the radiator cap.  Head is good, I think the deck surface is good, so this can only be a crack in the actual block somewhere, right?  Somebody tell me I'm wrong and somehow the water pump or thermostat or something can cause this sort of crap.

In lighter news, I drove the little yellow MR2 and I love me some space wedge.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
8/18/18 7:25 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I don’t know E36 M3 about these cars, but I presume when you revved it you were under boost? If so, are there coolant lines running to the MAF(or anything in the intake) that could allow air to be forced through? Or maybe a air/water intercooler?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/18/18 7:33 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

No boost, zero vacuum.  There is some coolant that runs through the intake manifold, but if that were cracked it would pull it through under vacuum and burn the coolant/push it through the exhaust, which it isn't doing.

I think I may remove the thermostat tomorrow just to see if that changes anything- maybe a plugged thermostat or radiator or something could be making the coolant take the path of least resistance?  I don't really know but need to eliminate all reasonable possibilities before I can accept that this engine needs to come all the way apart.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/18/18 7:40 p.m.

Get a coolant system tester and pressurize the cooling system and figure out where the coolant goes. 

Another option is to pull plug wires one at a time and see if disabling one cylinder stops the leak. That cylinder would have the crack.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/18/18 8:02 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I used a coolant tester previously (WITH the bad head) and found nothing at 20psi before the tester broke.  Plug wires are a good idea though.

I also realized I can rule out potential flow restrictions by stopping the flow- just need to pull the belt off the water pump, if there's any coolant movement happening after I do that then we have a big problem.  It's on the list for tomorrow.

irish44j UltimaDork
8/18/18 8:16 p.m.

Hmm....well, that's a bummer

Happy Birthday nonetheless ;)

GPz11 Reader
8/18/18 8:39 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/19/18 12:01 p.m.

Update: with no water pump flow, it doesn't do it at all.  Still does it with the thermostat removed.  Radiator and upper hose are the next suspects.

Indy-Guy UltraDork
8/19/18 12:14 p.m.

Hope you had a happy birthday. yes

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/19/18 2:36 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy and irish44j:

My birthday was excellent with the exception of this car, thanks!  Went to an auto museum and saw the "World's Fastest Indian" land speed bike, a GT40, Daytona Coupe, a 917, and a bunch of other cool stuff.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/19/18 2:53 p.m.

OK.  So this morning I established that what we have is (hopefully, I think, my brain is tied in a big angry knot at this point) a coolant flow issue.  With the water pump stationary our coolant reservoir geyser didn't happen.  This would indicate that there's a blockage somewhere making the coolant take the "path of least resistance" through the heater loop, which includes the reservoir, hence the sudden massive increase in coolant and pressure there when the pump spins faster.  I think.

So the first thing I did after putting the belt back on the water pump was pull the thermostat- my reasoning being to work my way down the path the water travels to find the restriction.  This did nothing, and in fact the temperature still came up pretty quickly with this arrangement.

Next was the upper radiator hose, which is one of those spiral wound universal ones.  I couldn't get a good shot down it, but if I held it just right I could see a mangled, folded up section of the rusty steel cable in the middle:  

At this point I thought I had my culprit:  

Since I was already pretty far in there anyway, I pulled the radiator and flushed it with a hose- lots of rusty junk came out but it was otherwise OK.  I reinstalled everything and used a cut down piece of an old GMC Yukon hose I had laying around as a temporary upper hose:  

At this point I filled the thing up with water (I'll put actual coolant in it when I feel like I'm done repeatedly draining it) and started it.  The system seemed to bleed much better, and everything seemed fine initially, but then I noticed a stream of water coming from the front of the car.  Look in the left third of this picture:  

The wet spot and stream are a pinhole leak in the radiator I just flushed and bolted back in.  It was at this point that I decided to say berkeley it and not touch the car for the rest of the day- I ordered a new upper radiator hose, thermostat, and thermostat housing, and I have another radiator to swap in... so tune back in next weekend for the next episode of "berkeley this berkeleying car holy E36 M3 what the berkeley"

RossD MegaDork
8/19/18 7:41 p.m.

I saw two XR4Tis on the road yesterday. Well technically one was on the road and one was using a battery pack to jump himself in a parking lot. I thought of this car. 

It seems like the kid in the parking lot had the same sentiment as your last line.

irish44j UltimaDork
8/19/18 8:21 p.m.

when you feel like "berkeley this car" just remember.....


Image may contain: car and outdoor

759NRNG SuperDork
8/19/18 8:40 p.m.

This too shall pass and once again gravel will be slung upon the masses as it was in the beginning  as it will be in the future and Ms. Nonack will continue uttering those course notes  as you try to catch some shut eye...ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/25/18 7:40 p.m.

Went to swap radiators and discovered that the person who put the last one in didn't follow the first commandment of putting the wrong parts on your race car: thou shalt modify the car, NOT the part, lest ye need to replace it in the future.

So I made a new radiator hold down which should work for any Saab 900 radiator or another of equal height:  

It works well but makes installing the intercooler a bastard and a half, so I'll probably trim some stuff next time it's apart.  I put everything else back together, filled it with water, and drove the car:  

Of course now it has some sort of stutter above 5psi of boost, but it didn't overheat or push all of its' coolant out so I'm calling it an improvement- I am still deeply suspicious of this engine, though.


irish44j UltimaDork
8/25/18 9:17 p.m.

you are a glutton for punishment. 

I like that radiator bracket design though. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/26/18 3:16 p.m.

Working my way through the sputtering issue but the car still isn't overheating- I'll post when I figure out what it is, suspect either ignition related or TPS doing something strange.

As a little pick-me-up, I put on the decals Brian (Paranoid_Android) made for us- he copied the exact sharpie scribble from our RX7 and it looks amazing!

paranoid_android UltraDork
8/26/18 3:27 p.m.


I’m glad they worked out ok despite the crappy transfer tape.  That is some strange E36 M3.

Teh sharpie scribble that was used:


759NRNG SuperDork
8/26/18 4:27 p.m.

irish44j has mentioned  elsewhere here that your current weapon of choice is on the portly side when compared to the other kids......by how much may I ask?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/26/18 4:47 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

This thing weighs about 2850lbs loaded with fuel and spares, but sans crew- so it's anywhere from a few to a few hundred lbs heavier than many of the other 2wd cars.

759NRNG SuperDork
8/26/18 5:41 p.m.

I'm sorry, but had you mentioned the prodigious use of a hole on this already?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
8/27/18 6:11 a.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

A hole...saw?  I feel like you may be missing a word there cheeky

Rally cars get really hot, especially on slow stages, hence the hood vents and holes in every surface that stands between the radiator/oil cooler/intercooler and fresh air.

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