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irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
2/9/19 7:45 p.m.

"my car is so fast, that I'm re-installing my interior and making it nicer while the rest of you locals are desperately trying to make your cars faster." wink

parcel shelf turned out nice though. I think you should put a box with some 15s in the trunk, with some big, heavy amps. 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/10/19 8:26 a.m.
irish44j said:

"my car is so fast, that I'm re-installing my interior and making it nicer while the rest of you locals are desperately trying to make your cars faster." wink

parcel shelf turned out nice though. I think you should put a box with some 15s in the trunk, with some big, heavy amps. 

Don't you worry, I'm making it faster too :)  The rear seat is the only thing that weighs anything consequential, and it will be pulled when racing season starts up.  It's mainly in there now to keep noise from the trunk out of the cabin.  As far as a sub is concerned, I've considered an under seat model, but there isn't room under the Recaros.  I may just mount it behind the driver's seat and pull it for races....

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/17/19 11:13 a.m.

Hi everyone, I've got water leaks into the interior and I could use some help tracking them down!

First, the sunroof on my car has been removed and vinyl is over the roof, so I think I can rule out the sunroof drains as potential culprits. All of my rubber door and window seals appear to be in good condition now after I've replaced a number that were beat up. I opened up the cowl area to see if the elephant trunk drains were clogged, and as far as I can tell they weren't completely clogged, although I did vacuum some debris out of the area.

The reason I know I have water in my interior is because I saw it draining out of the little round floor drain plugs on the passenger side when my car was parked uphill in my driveway a few days ago. None of my floor plugs are missing or out of place, although some of the tabs were bent in the wrong direction (I since fixed that).  My coolant level isn't low, so I'm pretty sure this is just water.

Access into the cowl area is very limited, and so is access to the elephant drain tubes. I'm pretty sure they're clean, as I could just barely get a finger or two on them and them seemed to be fine. Should I keep digging around the cowl looking for problems, or should I start looking elsewhere? I read that the foam seals around the HVAC unit can go bad and let water in, but I'm not sure how to check those, can anyone give any tips? Aside from the two elephant drains, are there any other drains for the cowl area?
 

Thanks in advance!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/18/19 12:02 p.m.

A while ago I noticed that after sitting in my garage unused for a few days, that my intake air temperature was reading way differently than my water temp sensor (air temp in the garage was about 55*):



Which brought back memories of running the car in the summer at PTC and seeing IAT temps around 190*.  Hmm, maybe I should look into this?  One thing led to another, and I figured out there was a good chance that I had an M50 IAT in my intake manifold rather than the correct S52 IAT.  This IM came with my "new" motor, and I didn't know about the different IATs when I installed the motor back in 2017.  By the time I learned this, I already had a new IAT in hand, but not the pre-modified version you can buy online to work with the M50 manifold.  Still, I wasn't sure that I didn't have the correct sensor and it had just gone bad, so I got to work taking everything apart to get to it.

To give you an idea of where the IAT is, it's a little behind the dip stick, and on the underside of the manifold. 



I tried my best to get it out without taking off the IM, but it was no use, the IM had to come off.  Crap.  Many hours later I had the IM off the car, and was greeted by an incorrect M50 IAT (on the left):



You can clearly see that the new plastic S52 IAT is a clip-in style, where the M50 IAT is threaded.  So I brought out the grinding wheel on my dremel and made a mess.  Once I got off enough excess material, I was able to thread the sensor with an M12 x 1.5 die.





To ensure I didn't have any vacuum leaks, I used some Permatex non-hardening form-a-gasket sealant.  I spoke with a Permatex rep and he said that was the product best suited for what I was trying to do.  One of my other products wasn't compatible with plastic, and I didn't want something that would harden in case I needed to remove the sensor at a later date.  I did let this stuff cure for two days before starting the car.





Installed:



In the reassembly process, this little focker snapped, so I had to order a new one:



And with that, my car now knows the actual temperature of the intake air, which apparently is mostly used to change your A/F ratio.  I was hoping the higher temps would pull timing, and thus this would give me a good HP bump, but it sounds like I'll probably just get better fuel economy and a few HP from running leaner.

While I was in there, I noticed that the wires coming from my oil pressure/temperature sending unit were in bad shape, so I re-did those to make sure they were giving a good signal to my gauges:





Some of the wires were broken, and they were certainly not sealed from the elements.  I fixed them up with new terminals and my glue-lined heat shrink.  Much better!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/20/19 11:12 a.m.

Time for some more small, stupid updates!

I've been running Mobil 1 15w-50 at the recommendation of the previous owner of my engine, but decided to make the switch to Motul at the recommendation of my local BMW tuning/race shop, RRT.  It's not that much more than Mobil 1 if you buy online, so I figured I should give it a try.



Now, to be fair, that 15w-50 isn't really within OEM spec, but even so, I was rather surprised at how much smoother the engine starts and idles with Motul in it.  My oil level wasn't low, and it only had like 2,000 miles on it, so it's not like it was worn out.  I noticed an even more dramatic improvement when I put the Motul in my I30, so right now I'm a big fan of this stuff.  Let's see how it holds up to racing, and if it can help reduce my mild oil consumption.

With a cache of spare speaker parts, I decided to replace my busted tweeter housing in the driver's door.



I only had good non-HK housings, so I had to gut the inside a bit so it wouldn't block the tweeter from projecting into the cabin. 



Hooray, no more broken speaker housings!



Even since Josh helped install my mud flaps way back in the day, my side skirts had been popped out of place due to the placement of some screws.  I finally grew tired of looking at them, and bought some clips to put it all back together.  Over time, some screws holding my mud flaps had fallen out, so they needed to be reattached as well.





New screws:



New clips!



Passenger side:



Fixed!



Also, a clip had broken on the PS rear door, so with a little work....



Much better!



And with that, most of the aesthetic problems with the car have been resolved.  I think I finally found the correct bearings for my rear shocks, so I hope to get those installed this weekend.  If that works, it will get rid of the only annoying noise in the car, and those long drives to events will be that much more pleasant.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
2/20/19 9:24 p.m.

It's annoying how bmw constantly changes the sensors and the impedence of them. For the M50 swap I have to change out ONE sensor in the head (coolant temp) to one from an e30 to make my gauges work right. Why they couldn't just keep using the same one is beyond me....

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/24/19 8:21 a.m.

I've been trying to replace the spherical bearings at the bottom of my Bilstein rear shocks for a while now, and I'm having a hard time finding the correct replacement parts.  I'm unable to get in contact with the guy who built these for me, and the two replacement bearings I've ordered have been slightly off.  If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate the help!

I was pretty sure the second set I ordered were going to work, so I pressed out the originals:



Here's what I'm working with.  The original is on the left, the Bilstein bearing is in the middle, and the most recent one from RE Suspension is on the right.





Unfortunately, when I went to press in the new ones, they just dropped right in the hole with no need for a press.  Turns out 0.6 mm is a lot when it comes to this stuff!  Also, the outer race is too wide, making it impossible to reinstall the second circlip.

So here's my problem: the bearing dimensions for the bearing from Bilstein (center) are incorrect, and the outer race dimensions for the bearing from RE (on the right) are incorrect.  Here's a chart summing up the problem areas:



Making things more complicated are these spacers for each side of the bearing:





I have no idea if these were custom made or if they're an off the shelf part, but I need to use them.

I'm going to reach out to Bilstein and RE Suspension again tomorrow when they open, but I wanted to put this out here in case anyone knew of other places I should check.  Please let me know if you have any advice on how to proceed.  Thanks!

bluej
bluej GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/24/19 10:56 a.m.

what happens if you skip those "spacers" (bushings), and use the bilstein bearing with just the stock bolt for that location? I bet that's what the bilstein bearing is sized for..

stock bolt as pulled from Real OEM

If you're not feeling good about that tolerance, you could try swapping to something like This from mcmaster (verify lengths to get the shoulder length correct).

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/24/19 4:22 p.m.
bluej said:

what happens if you skip those "spacers" (bushings), and use the bilstein bearing with just the stock bolt for that location? I bet that's what the bilstein bearing is sized for..

stock bolt as pulled from Real OEM

If you're not feeling good about that tolerance, you could try swapping to something like This from mcmaster (verify lengths to get the shoulder length correct).

Sorry, I should have included some other info in my original post!  So here's how it looks installed on the car with the spacers on either side:

The bolt there is an M12x1.5, with a diameter of 11.75mm/0.462".  The ID of the spacers is 12mm/0.475".  The ID of the Bilstein bearing is 12.72mm/0.5", which would allow too much play around the bolt if the reducing spacer wasn't used (which it can't be).  When I showed it all to the owner of a local BMW racing shop, he mentioned that milling down the existing spacer wouldn't leave enough material on the lip where it goes into the bearing for necessary strength.  But your idea of a shoulder bolt is a good one.  But don't I need these spacers in there to allow the shock to swivel a bit?  Or is that not providing any real benefit?  This would hard mount the shock to the spindle assembly, which is I guess how it was stock.  What benefits are there to having a spherical bushing there, allowing the shock to swivel a bit?  Would I lose anything by hard mounting it and basically bypassing the utility of the spherical bearing?

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
2/24/19 7:06 p.m.

I've never really understood why there is a spherical bearing there anyhow. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work just fine with a regular rubber (or urethane) bushing. We've run stock rubber bilstein lower bushings on the rally car for 9 years now and have never had any failures or issues. Isn't the M3 stock lower shock mount rubber?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
2/25/19 6:02 a.m.

I'm surprised your sphericals are having trouble already.  These look really close to your measured dimensions: pricy SKF bearings.

These Aurora one look close too.  I think you can probably find something that fits, although it's weird that the Bilstein ones don't fit- maybe John reamed that bore out to use a different bearing that he could get cheaper?

John makes those big spacers from scratch, so you're out of luck there.  I think the bearing in the shock itself is most likely either a Bilstein circle track part or a standard off the shelf size.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
2/25/19 6:28 a.m.

Also what Nick means by "can't reach the guy who made these" is "I don't have time to spend 5 hours on the phone with JVL listening to stories just to get a bearing...." lol.

 

GPz11
GPz11 Reader
2/25/19 10:02 a.m.
irish44j said:

Also what Nick means by "can't reach the guy who made these" is "I don't have time to spend 5 hours on the phone with JVL listening to stories just to get a bearing...." lol.

 

Holy crap, ain't that the truth!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/25/19 1:59 p.m.
irish44j said:

I've never really understood why there is a spherical bearing there anyhow. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work just fine with a regular rubber (or urethane) bushing. We've run stock rubber bilstein lower bushings on the rally car for 9 years now and have never had any failures or issues. Isn't the M3 stock lower shock mount rubber?

I'm willing to put in some poly, I just don't know how to do it properly.  I'm pretty sure the stock bushings are rubber.

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/25/19 2:07 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

I'm surprised your sphericals are having trouble already.  These look really close to your measured dimensions: pricy SKF bearings.

These Aurora one look close too.  I think you can probably find something that fits, although it's weird that the Bilstein ones don't fit- maybe John reamed that bore out to use a different bearing that he could get cheaper?

John makes those big spacers from scratch, so you're out of luck there.  I think the bearing in the shock itself is most likely either a Bilstein circle track part or a standard off the shelf size.

They started making noise a few months after they were new.  At first some cleaning and lube was enough to quiet them down, but they're long past that point now.  But woah, it looks like you found a bearing that matches my specs!!!  I just ordered two and they should arrive soon, so I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed!  Thanks Chris!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
2/25/19 2:09 p.m.
irish44j said:

Also what Nick means by "can't reach the guy who made these" is "I don't have time to spend 5 hours on the phone with JVL listening to stories just to get a bearing...." lol.

 

Well, yes, but not really.  I'm unable to get him on the phone, and his voicemail is full.

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
3/24/19 9:22 a.m.

With the help of Laminar on BimmerForums and Chris here on GRM, I was able to locate the proper bearings for my rear shocks!  The PTFE lined bearings were somehow over $100 each, so I settled for a non-PTFE lined version for about $30 each.  The vendor I bought them from assured me all SKF stuff is made in the USA.  Well, he was mistaken.



Ok, fine, as long as it works I don't care.  I then played with the bearing a bit and noticed how sloppy it felt in comparison to the other new bearings.  It felt like there was as much play as the worn out ones!  The finish was also completely different (on the right):



Thankfully the dimensions were spot on and I installed them in short order.  I lubed them with a new product I bought with the hopes they stay lubed but won't attract dirt:



Removing the stupid circlips was made easy after I purchased a few different awls.  These things are great!



I was anticipating lots of noise from the new bearings given how much play was in them, but I was pleasantly surprised that they are perfectly silent!  This eliminated the last rattle from the car, which not only makes daily driving much less grating, but should also mean I'm not constantly worrying about noises from the car when I race.

In preparation for the start of the season, I reinstalled the skid plates and aftermarket muffler.  The skid plates went on fine, but I snapped a bolt for one of the muffler hangers:



I'm usually pretty good about applying anti-seize, so this was a bit of a surprise.  Thankfully, it's not the first one that I've broken, so I had some spares lying around.  I chased the threads, applied a bunch of anti-seize and put it all back together.  Good as new!

I also adjusted my wiper arms, since I got tired of the one on the DS hitting the A pillar every time it moved.  Initially it seemed like I couldn't lower them any further, since they interfered when I lowered/raised the hood, but I decided to just press down and slightly bend the arms until they would clear the hood in their lowered position.  Mission accomplished!  The white dots represented the previous wiper locations.



With that, the car is ready for the first race of the season next weekend.  As always, there will be more and faster cars in the unlimited RWD (MR) class than last year, so I need to bring my A game if I want to stand a chance.  Thankfully, my car is better than even too, so I'm getting excited!  Woot!

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/24/19 6:39 p.m.
95maxrider said:

  This eliminated the last rattle from the car,

The only rallycross car in the nation with no rattles. I would expect nothing else from you, lol :D 

bluej
bluej GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/24/19 7:36 p.m.
irish44j said:
95maxrider said:

  This eliminated the last rattle from the car,

The only rallycross car in the nation with no rattles. I would expect nothing else from you, lol :D 

Yeah, this. When my car is quiet, I immediately start looking for what fell off of where...

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/24/19 8:03 p.m.
bluej said:
irish44j said:
95maxrider said:

  This eliminated the last rattle from the car,

The only rallycross car in the nation with no rattles. I would expect nothing else from you, lol :D 

Yeah, this. When my car is quiet, I immediately start looking for what fell off of where...

I will say, with a Stilo helmet and the noise-insulating ear cups, my car sounds pretty nice inside. Now, when i drive it with no helmet on....that's a different story lol. And I think the new engine is exacerbating a lot of rattles and squeaks. 

So now we've figured out how to beat Nick. We just put something in his car that rattles around. Like a tic-tac box with some little pebbles in it.  He'll spend the entire event searching for it instead of concentrating on driving :D

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
3/24/19 8:25 p.m.
irish44j said:

So now we've figured out how to beat Nick. We just put something in his car that rattles around. Like a tic-tac box with some little pebbles in it.  He'll spend the entire event searching for it instead of concentrating on driving :D

LOL, it's not about the racing, it's about the daily driving!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/7/19 7:40 a.m.

WDCR SCCA Rally-x Event #1 recap!

The 2019 rally-cross season started last week with our first event held at the awesome Panthera Training Center, out in the middle of nowhere in WV.  Temperatures were in the low 40s and winds were blowing pretty good all day, but it was dry at least, so let's race!  Many of my top competitors have done serious work to their cars in the off-season, while I had spent most of the time making my car nicer to be in.  I won two of the eight races last season, did I still have a chance with all the faster competition?  I normally start the day off slower than everyone and slowly catch back up, but I started off the race with the fastest first run of the MR group.  Somehow, possibly for the first time ever, I stayed in first place from the first run through the entire day and was able to fend off Jeremy in his 328 E36 by 0.15 second!  In a class with like 15 people, and nine people capable of winning the event, holding on to the win felt great!  As usual, I didn't hit a single cone all day, but then again neither did Jeremy. 

The only real change I made to the car in the off-season was to reattach my FSB, and I think I'm going to leave it on the car as it keeps the car flatter and the steering more responsive without limiting droop travel.  I still really need to re-do my entire steering system with a Z3 rack and a rebuilt column, but aside from that the car felt perfect.  Good balance, good power, good brakes.  Sure, it would be great if it weighed 500 pounds less, but I'm pretty confidant in saying that I have the nicest MR car to drive on the street, and there's real value in that.  I'm really considering dropping the ride height a bit to improve handling further.  Jeremy runs lowering springs in the back of his car (not sure about the fronts, may also be lowered), so if he can get away with it, well than so can I!  Aside from that, I'm pretty much out of ideas on how to improve the car, aside from a 3.5" MAF and bigger injectors.  As crazy as it sounds, I'm pretty sure I could use even more power!

Here's my video of the event, showing my best AM and PM runs.  It's kinda boring, since I don't slide around much, but at least I put the aftermarket muffler back on so it sounds good!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBH1LK-Uuoc
 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/8/19 6:13 p.m.
95maxrider said:

 As usual, I didn't hit a single cone all day

wink

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/8/19 9:22 p.m.
irish44j said:
95maxrider said:

 As usual, I didn't hit a single cone all day

wink

What can I say, I must have imagined it! ;)

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/8/19 9:25 p.m.
95maxrider said:
irish44j said:
95maxrider said:

 As usual, I didn't hit a single cone all day

wink

What can I say, I must have imagined it! ;)

lol, oh I know you have video of every run. Hey, we all know that if it ain't called you didn't hit it. 

but I'll remind you of this every time you claim "I haven't hit any cones this season" :) You'll have to use the phrase "no cones have been called in on me this season" hahaha....

(note: I've already hit four cones this season)

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