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gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
7/26/23 11:59 a.m.

In reply to Berck :

What rack is in your car? Stock power rack is 4 turns lock to lock. Several off the shelf options exist in the 2.7-3.2 range, and it makes a massive difference. Offset control arm bushings helped mine in the feedback department as well, if yours are still stock centered ones, but that's on a pavement car. If everything is working, it should actually feel pretty good, though if you're still running power steering it does tend to be pretty overboosted. 

Berck
Berck Reader
7/26/23 12:20 p.m.

In reply to gearheadE30 :

I'm pretty sure it's the stock rack.  Upgrading it is on the list, especially if I can grab a cheap aftermarket one that'll bolt up with minimal fabrication?

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
7/28/23 12:27 p.m.

Gotcha, that's a huge opportunity for improvement then. I really disliked the steering on my E30s until doing a swap, really makes the car feel more responsive and modern, though the latter is probably more important for a daily than a race car. 

It's been probably a decade since I last researched this, but maybe this will help start the search at least. E36 racks were the common swap, they bolt in with a few spacers as the E30 subframe ears are further apart. People have been known to use washers. Normal E36 and 1996+ M3 are 3.2 turns lock to lock, 1995 M3 is 3 turns, Z3 is 2.7. I think it was the Z3 rack that has different, tighter steering stops, so not great for rally. I have a 3.2 turn rack in my 318is, at the time they were cheap and easy to get and probably still are. The 325es has the stock rack and feels like a bus in comparison. 

I believe some people are using E46 racks as well, but I don't know anything about those. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/28/23 12:48 p.m.

In reply to gearheadE30 :

The Z3 is probably the same ratio as the others.  My Volvo has 2 turns lock to lock steering, but it is the same slow steering as a base model, just with enormous steering stops.

 

I'd be inclined to splice a quickener in, myself smiley   Fast steering is incredible to have.  A quickener is not exactly an evening's worth of swapping parts like changing the rack is, though.

Berck
Berck Reader
8/10/23 7:50 p.m.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/11/23 8:48 p.m.

Well.  That de-escalated quickly.

 

What happen?

Berck
Berck Reader
8/11/23 9:09 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

See the writeup and video a few posts back?  Just updating with a few professional photographs... 

Srob1107
Srob1107 New Reader
11/23/23 1:46 p.m.

What do you guys think of pitting on thrust washer surface very small maybe 1/4 inch and dimples inwards will I have issues? M44b19 engine going in a z3 

Berck
Berck Reader
11/23/23 5:19 p.m.

In reply to Srob1107 :

I'm no expert, but I wouldn't want to waste labor installing that crank as-is.

Berck
Berck Reader
6/3/24 10:31 p.m.

Still here. I haven't given up, but boy have I thought about it.  First off: more tire help/advice please!  While there's theoretically enough of the Maxxis gravel tires I bought awhile back to get me through another rally, they're cracking.  Mostly in between the tread blocks:

Given that they're only like 2 years old, this is annoying.  Of course, they were cheap.  And stored outside in Colorado the whole time.  The one that has never run and spent most of its time in my trunk looks okay.  But I'm pretty sure that enough stuff will go wrong at my next rally that I don't need to worry about this.  So as much as it pains me to do, I need more tires.

And I can't find *any* cheap rally tires.   And barely any expensive ones.  These Maxxis are apparently no more.  There are no MRFs and no Federals in stock that I can find.  Pirelli K4s comes in a much better size for me, 175/70R15, but there are none of those to be had as far as I can tell.

That leaves two terrible options:

Murray has some Yokohama A053 Mediums in 160/640R15.  I have no idea what that actually is, but some Googling makes me think it's roughly equivalent to 195s.  They have some softs in 150/625, but I'm skeptical about a set of softs getting me through Rally Colorado.  In any case, the medium 160/640 are $149.49.  Which sounds very reasonable!  Only, shipping is *also* about $150/tire.

That leaves Hoosiers.  I have no evidence, but Hoosier just... pisses me off.  Mostly this is about Formula Vee, but they managed to win out being the spec tire for SCCA Formula Vee.  They took their super-grippy FV tires, made them have less grip, but still cost as much and wear out just as fast but of course they sell plenty of them because they're a spec tire.  I race one of the few vintage groups that still runs slick tires, and this move has made the much better but cheaper American Racer slicks near-unavailable.  I'm angry about the whole thing, and it's probably not actually Hoosier's fault, but... ugh.

Regardless of my poorly-conceived prejudice about Hoosiers, they're stupid expensive.  Worse, there's currently only a ridiculous hodge-podge available.  From their closeout section, I can get some 185/65R15 x-hards for $125!  That sounds great!  Only, they're only available in Rights.  I can get some 195/65R15 in x-hards for $175, which is also fine, but they're only available in left.  I'm....  considering it?  What's a little right-turning tendancy going to matter, anyway?

In a less ridiculous idea, I can get current 185/65R15 Mediums for $313.  This is too expensive, and my biggest concern is that Mediums might not even make it through all of Rally Colorado.  Rally Colorado is very hot, very rocky.  My goal is not to win anything but to, you know, on my THIRD attempt maybe finish a berkeleying rally.  Mediums don't seem like a great idea, but this is probably my best option?  If I do go this route, can I cheap out and just buy 4 and carry the least cracked of my 195 Maxxis as spares?  Or is that really dumb, too?  If I buy 6 of them, are these going to age out just as quickly as the Maxxis?

I'm hoping that you guys know about a source that I haven't checked and there's some cheap 195-or-skinnier gravel tires out there somewhere.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/4/24 6:57 a.m.

A lot of people order their Pirellis from Four Star Motorsports in Canada- not any cheaper than the Hoosiers, though.

You could reach out to rally.build and see when they'll have more Federals in stock.

The obvious answer is find used tires, but there's no easy source to point you to- Tim Wickberg and Steve Olona are both friendly and Colorado based, maybe they have some or know somebody nearby who would?

I have been very happy with the Hoosiers, the expense is offset a bit by their contingency program although it's not as generous as it was a few years ago. I would run Hard or XHard for an event as hot as Colorado gets, the Mediums will melt. If you want to keep it cheap, I doubt you'll notice if you run directional rally tires the wrong way around- it's a pretty minuscule difference. 

In your shoes I'd buy the 185 XHard Hoosiers on closeout and pretend they're not directional. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/4/24 7:20 a.m.

On the cracking Maxxis tires, I'd probably air them to a low but serviceable pressure (20psi or so) and go for a drive on normal paved roads.  If they're not throwing tread blocks or vibrating like crazy by the time you get home, perfect spares.

Berck
Berck Reader
6/4/24 9:35 a.m.

Thanks, as always!  If running 2 of them backwards isn't a big deal, then the $125 x-hards are a steal so I went ahead and ordered 6 of them.  Some of the vendors do claim to have the left side, not sure if this is real or not, but I'll try to order some of those as well.

Thanks for confirming that the medium is too soft for Rally Colorado--this is what I figured, but Hoosier Tire West doesn't have the hards or xhards.  I can be as annoyed as I want at Hoosier, but if they're the only tires available...  (Four Star is sold out of all the Pirellis except 205s, they don't appear to ever have K2s and K4s may be too soft.)

The contingency program requires that you place.  Which also requires that you finish.  Something I've never done.  I guess stranger things have happened, so I should go ahead and register in case everyone else DNFs again this year.  There were 5 L2WD cars at Rally Colorado last year and only one of them finished. The ARA contingency details I can find on their site are dated 2019--is there an updated form somewhere?

Car update: Thanks to your hotbits contact, I was able to get my suspension repaired with little hassle and for a very reasonable price.  There are suspension bits back in place in the front left corner:

I've purchased a welder and have been zapping things.  I'm not any good at it, but I was able to cut out much of the destroyed sheet metal.  The floor had started to rust in the usual spots, so I cut out some of that and replaced it.  The crashed corner was rusted as well as ripped apart.  The shape was too complicated for me to manage welding most of it, so it's riveted.  It's not going to win any awards.

So yeah, under the seam sealer and underbody rust coating stuff is mostly rivets.  Some welding, but mostly rivets since that pulls stuff together.  The seam on the flat floor is all welded.  Incompetently, but welded.  The four holes left are for mounting the diamond plate floor pan.

The car spent most of the last year just sitting on the trailer.  After last year, I was sort of expecting ARA to declare my grandfathered cage illegal, and I was going to use that as an excuse to quit.  But no such thing has happened so I'll soldier on.  I've purchased a containment seat on the off chance that keeps me safer.  Mostly I'm relying on the fact that I'm slow and not trying to win to keep me alive.

FooBag (Forum Supporter)
FooBag (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/4/24 10:39 a.m.
Berck said:

Thanks, as always!  If running 2 of them backwards isn't a big deal, then the $125 x-hards are a steal so I went ahead and ordered 6 of them.  Some of the vendors do claim to have the left side, not sure if this is real or not, but I'll try to order some of those as well.

Thanks for confirming that the medium is too soft for Rally Colorado--this is what I figured, but Hoosier Tire West doesn't have the hards or xhards.  I can be as annoyed as I want at Hoosier, but if they're the only tires available...  (Four Star is sold out of all the Pirellis except 205s, they don't appear to ever have K2s and K4s may be too soft.)

Chris already answered for you, but yeah definitely don't use the mediums and I'd even question using hards for that.  I delaminated  one brand new Hoosier hard and broke a belt in the other in a SINGLE rallycross event on my SRT4 at an event with medium hard dirt and 90 degree air temp.  Hoosier then put a bad taste in my mouth by saying the tires, even though having never been used previously and basement stored for  ~18 months, were past their service life.  I was told that their tires should be discarded at the two year from date code mark. angry

Berck
Berck Reader
6/4/24 11:20 a.m.
FooBag (Forum Supporter) said:
I was told that their tires should be discarded at the two year from date code mark. angry

Yikes, now that I just potentially ordered more than I need for one rally, and only seem to manage 1 rally per year.  Given the state my Maxxis are in after 2 years (not sure how old they were when I got them, they might not even have date codes?), maybe this is typical of rally tires.  I've definitely never had a problem with 2-year old race slicks.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/4/24 12:42 p.m.

In reply to Berck :

Don't leave them outside, keeping UV off them and temps above freezing should prolong their service life quite a bit. 

Berck
Berck Reader
6/5/24 1:04 a.m.

So after much measuring and guessing (thanks Irish44J!), I went ahead and ordered an OMP HTE-R XL over the winter without being at all sure it was going to fit.  After painting the floor again last night, I went ahead and installed the seat tonight.  I'm happy to report that it fits fine and I fit great in it.  For visibility, I'd probably have preferred to be about half an inch higher, but that's just not possible and it's probably safer that I'm a little lower anyway.  I'm stoked this fits, because I really don't fit in the HTE-R 400 I've got for the co-driver so I probably wouldn't fit in the normal HTE-R either.

Berck
Berck Reader
6/7/24 5:33 p.m.

Tires solved.

I ordered the 6 rights on closeout because I thought I couldn't get lefts, as Hoosier Tire West didn't have them in stock.  But Hoosier Tire GP did.  So then I ordered 3 lefts.  Now I have a stupid amount of tires, but assuming I make use of the rights before they age out, I saved quite a bit amount of money on them.

I'm also hoping that Hoosier Xhards might have a little more grip than the Maxxis hards.

I also don't understand why Hoosier ships these in boxes.  Individually.  I now have a stupid amount of cardboard to throw away.

Is there a way to decipher a date on these?  They're not DOT, so there's not a DOT date block.  There is a weird 4 digit alphanumeric stamp in an oval, though.

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