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95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
4/11/19 1:06 p.m.
irish44j said:

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)

 

Hey, it's a forward facing camera, no evidence of cone hitting in there :)

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/1/19 7:08 p.m.

Something very awesome happened since the last time I updated this thread: my car was featured in Grassroots Motorsports magazine in the June 2019 edition!  If you flip to the second to last page (153) you'll see a little summary of the car you've been reading about this whole thread!  GRM is my absolute favorite magazine, and since I get something like 7 car magazines per month, that's saying something!  So to be featured in my favorite magazine is just one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me.  Here's an early markup of the page:



It doesn't always show up in pictures, but I always run a GRM magnet on the back of my car whenever I race!



Ok, now let's do a quick recap of rally-x event #2!

We were back at Panthera Training Center (PTC) for event #2 due to some complications at our other venue, Summit Point.  This suited me just fine, as PTC is way more fun to drive than SP, and is usually more friendly to my car.  Unfortunately some unexpected rain rolled through the night before the event, so the course had to be re-made to avoid the worst areas, and things were still a little slick when we ran in the morning.  Josh had started to get the hang of his M50 swapped E30 in the second half of the first event, and came out swinging at this event, quickly building up a huge lead.  Jeremy in his 328 E36 was driving fast too, but 3 cones on his last run allowed me to beat him by 1.1 second.  I laid down some reasonable times, but nothing fast.  I think by lunch I was in fifth place or something.  Not great, but considering the depth of talent in the class, nothing to be ashamed of.  By the end of the day, I had squeaked into third due to faster drivers hitting cones.  Honorable mention goes to TurboJosh who put down two smoking fast runs at the start of the PM session.  Both myself and Neil (M20 E30) didn't hit a cone all day, and that got Neil into second.  Josh won the event handily with an 8.5 second lead over Neil after 10 runs.

As usual, my video is boring as chit and isn't worth watching.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuBcp6co6cM

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/1/19 8:07 p.m.

you need to get some inside vid going. I want to see your driving style (i.e. hands, etc), which is almost certainly less frantic than mine :)

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/4/19 3:18 p.m.
irish44j said:

you need to get some inside vid going. I want to see your driving style (i.e. hands, etc), which is almost certainly less frantic than mine :)

I have inside video going, but for the last event at least the camera was set too far forward, and most of my hands are cut off in the shot :(  I'll try to post something up.

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/4/19 3:19 p.m.

For a very long time, I have wanted to install a Z3 rack in my car, but due to cost and my nervousness at never having done a rack swap before, I kept putting it off.  Well, I happened upon a Z3 rack not too far from my house already pulled at a junkyard for $80, and that set off the rest of the job.  I initially had planned to spend $500 on a re-manufactured rack by Rack Doctor.  Rich was super helpful with advice, but an $80 rack was just too cheap to pass up.  If I ever need to get mine rebuilt, I plan on sending it to Rack Doctor.

Part of the job was originally going to include rebuilding the entire steering column and removing it from the car.  To save some more time and money, I decided against this as well.  I did however splurge on a new intermediate shaft/joint.  They used to cost about $175, but now prices have risen to about $250.  Oof!  Here's the intermediate shaft with a new rubber guibo at the bottom.  I have known for a few years that my guibo was worn out, which was part of the impetus behind the job.



Thankfully, unlike one of my competitors (Hi, Jeremy!), my guibo never sheared at an event and left me without steering.  But it was definitely at the end of its life:



While draining the system, I came across this PS hose with a hose clamp around it.  Hmm, that sure is weird, what's the clamp doing there in the middle of the hose?  Turns out there's something inside that hose; all replacement hoses look exactly the same.  I'm not sure what exactly is in there, but it seems like it's meant to be in there.  Anyone know what's going on in there?



Removing the guibo from the intermediate shaft was difficult, but I finally got it off.  However, no matter how hard I tried, I just could not slide the intermediate shaft off the main column.  As far as I can tell, the only way to get it off while the column is still in the car is to remove the engine.  Otherwise, you just need to drop the column.  CRAP!  I tried so damn hard, sticking my hands in unimaginable positions, just to try to yank that thing off the main column, but it just would not come off.  I could feel some play in it, which made me want to remove it even more, but NO!  It was totally stuck.  I'm kicking myself for not having done this when I had the motor out two years ago.  So in the end, all the car got was a new guibo to go with the used rack.  I re-used my tie rods since they only have like 5,000 miles on them and still felt tight.

To reinstall everything in the car, I centered up the rack on my bench, measuring the length of each side with a digital caliper.  The steering wheel was held at center position by the wife, and just like that the rack was back in the car!  I bought new lock plates and locked the old tie rods to the rack, not making any adjustments.  In the end, it seems the Z3 rack is ever so slightly wider than the original rack, as the car was toed out pretty good, but otherwise drove perfectly straight.

I used a piece of PVC to act as a spacer for the cooler, as the Z3 rack is missing a bolt hole the original rack has.



Old dusty rack is out!



As usual, I took the car to RRT for an alignment.  There's an improvement for sure, but if I'm honest, it's not as much of a difference as I was expecting after reading some reviews of the Z3 rack.  I would like it to be even quicker, but what can you do?  The car felt right at home doing 80+ on the highway, not nervous or twitchy, like some people theorized might happen.  Maybe I'll think more of the rack when I finally get the snow tires off the car and put the summers back on, but for now, it's a bit of a letdown.  I'm glad I did it, my guibo needed to be done either way, and for $80, I can't be too mad.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/6/19 3:29 p.m.
95maxrider said:

 There's an improvement for sure, but if I'm honest, it's not as much of a difference as I was expecting after reading some reviews of the Z3 rack.  I would like it to be even quicker, but what can you do?  The car felt right at home doing 80+ on the highway, not nervous or twitchy, like some people theorized might happen.  Maybe I'll think more of the rack when I finally get the snow tires off the car and put the summers back on, but for now, it's a bit of a letdown.  I'm glad I did it, my guibo needed to be done either way, and for $80, I can't be too mad.

you could have just asked me, since i've used the regular e36 rack (same as your stock one) and have the z3 one now.

I only "upgraded" because my e36 rack was leaking profusely. But the bottom line is that no, there isn't a "huge" difference. The Z3 rack is a little bit quicker on-center since it's linear. but that's really for only the middle 10% or so, otherwise it's exactly the same as any other e36 rack. I certainly have never thought it feels "twitchy" or "nervous" on the highway (and my car is surely not in good alignment, either), nor that it feels appreciably "quicker" in other than the initial 1/8 turn off-center or so. 

Also, are you positive you got a z3 2.8 rack, and not the 1.8 (edit: meant 1.9)? the 1.9 rack is identical to the e36 rack rate, but with shorter overall travel (EDIT: see my next post for clarification). 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/6/19 5:36 p.m.
irish44j said:
95maxrider said:

 There's an improvement for sure, but if I'm honest, it's not as much of a difference as I was expecting after reading some reviews of the Z3 rack.  I would like it to be even quicker, but what can you do?  The car felt right at home doing 80+ on the highway, not nervous or twitchy, like some people theorized might happen.  Maybe I'll think more of the rack when I finally get the snow tires off the car and put the summers back on, but for now, it's a bit of a letdown.  I'm glad I did it, my guibo needed to be done either way, and for $80, I can't be too mad.

you could have just asked me, since i've used the regular e36 rack (same as your stock one) and have the z3 one now.

I only "upgraded" because my e36 rack was leaking profusely. But the bottom line is that no, there isn't a "huge" difference. The Z3 rack is a little bit quicker on-center since it's linear. but that's really for only the middle 10% or so, otherwise it's exactly the same as any other e36 rack. I certainly have never thought it feels "twitchy" or "nervous" on the highway (and my car is surely not in good alignment, either), nor that it feels appreciably "quicker" in other than the initial 1/8 turn off-center or so. 

Also, are you positive you got a z3 2.8 rack, and not the 1.8? the 1.8 rack is identical to the e36 rack rate, but with shorter overall travel. 

 

I don't have my notes in front of me to confirm part numbers, but my rack is off a 2.8 Z3.  According to Rich, The Rack Doctor, all non-M Z3 racks are exactly the same.  Also, according to him, only the 95 M3 rack is progressive, all others are linear.  IIRC, he said 96-99 M3 racks are 3.2 turns to lock, and the non-M Z3 racks are 2.7 turns to lock.  Where did you find that the 1.8 rack is the same as an E36 rack but with less travel? 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/6/19 7:45 p.m.

Sorry, misspoke on the Z3 racks. Anyhow, dug up my old notes from when I was talking to a BMW racer who confirmed most of this with a friend at ZF (who made the racks). there's so much misinformation out there, who knows who to trust (including rack doctor and RealOEM - which has been proven to be wrong on this). I'm going with what i consider the most credible sources and my own personal measurements (which I consider very credible). 

The Z3 2.8 rack is linear and 2.7 turns lock to lock. I know this because I measured it personally, and it's what's on my car right now. It is a 14.5:1 linear rate, as I recall (53mm per revolution).

The Z3 1.9 racks are a mixed bag. Seems that some of them have the same rack as the 2.8, and some have one with 3.2 turns and progressive, said to be the same as the standard e36.  I've personally measured one taken directly off of a 1.9 and it was 3.2 turns and was progressive.  I wish I remembered what year, because I suspect BMW did some changes over years for one reason or another. Maybe it wasn't original to the car or something, IDK. There's a lot of conflicting information otu there and RealOEM is definitely not correct on this point. 

e36 regular racks are  15.4:1 VARIABLE rate (45mm per revolution)  (I measured this directly off the two sets I've had)

Z3 M racks are identical to regular e36 racks (progressive) but shorter travel due to smaller wheel-wells, according to everything I've ever read (though I've never had one myself). IIRC it's a 15.4:1 VARIABLE rate. But, these are pretty much unobtanium on the open market, so who really cares......

e36 M3 racks 92-94 are a slower ratio  (not sure exactly what, but ZF had it listed as 39mm per revolution, so the slowest), and are either linear or mildly variable, depending on who you trust. I think that's a ratio of something like 17:1 but don't feel like doing real math.

e36 M3 1995 rack is actually the worst of all of them all. still variable and 39mm per revolution, but a different variable ratio due to different steering geometry. Everyone agrees the '95 rack is the worst of all of them. Who cares, don't get a '95..... 

e36 M3 1996+ racks are the same overall ratio (45mm per revolution) and travel as the regular e36 racks, but are linear supposedly. IDK. M3s I've driven certainly didn't feel like they had linear racks to me, but whatever. I suppose there could be a small variable rate at center, smaller than on the e36 non-M, or not. Maybe they set the lash different from the factory to make it feel that way. IDK. I mean, you have your old rack from an actual M3 sitting there. Go do some measurements..........let us know. 

Oh, and just so you know...the stock e30 rack is a pathetic 20.5:1 ratio, or right around there. So don't be surprised you can out-turn the e30s that still have the OEM rack on it lol. 

In any case, the Z3 2.8 (and at least some 1.9s) definitely has a quicker ratio than your stock M3 rack, but it's not a night-and-day difference, based directly on the numbers. Most of the reviews you read about how amazing they are were probably from e30 guys, lol....since it IS night and day vs. an e30 rack. IDK. 

bottom line is the Z3 2.8 is the best rack for e30/e36 (IIRC the e36 rack is a similar ratio as well, but IDK). So, you have the best rack. Several of us have those racks locally and I've never heard anyone call it twitchy or nervous, though. But, that's the internet for you. 

--

turns lock-to-lock is irrelevant to ratio. Just like suspension bump-stops, racks can have their stops adjusted to account for tire/chassis clearance. So a rack with 2.7 turns lock to lock CAN be the same ratio as one with 3.8 turns lock to lock. But the latter may just turn a tighter angle due to large wheel wells or something.  In any case, that's the fallacy with saying "oh, this rack is faster because it's less turns lock to lock" without actually measuring how far the rack itself is actually extending......

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/7/19 8:13 a.m.

Rally-x event #3 got postponed due to rain, but we did have event #4 last weekend, so let's do a recap!

Event #4 was our annual two-day event, and we were back at Panthera Training Center.  It was hot, over 90*, but we did get some good winds for most of the weekend.  On Saturday we ran on the slower, more technical section of the hill, and on Sunday we moved to our normal side, which is usually a little more open and faster.  This was my first event with the Z3 rack and new guibo, so I was hoping for good things.

Stephen, with new tires and new coilover suspension on his M20 E30, jumped out into an early lead on the first run.  They copied Josh Hickey's suspension setup that he's been using for years on his E30 with great success, so I was concerned about how much faster they were going to be (Stephen co-drives with Chris).  At event #2, Chris went off course and shattered the oil pan on a rock, and apparently it sounds like the loss of oil pressure may have caused some damage to the engine, as three cylinders were low on compression.  My guess is that they were down at least 20-30 HP from normal, which clearly worked in my favor.  For the next four runs in a row, I put down the fast time, and by lunch I had built up something like a 5 second lead.  I came back and ran more fast times in the afternoon, building up my lead to about 11 seconds.  At the end of the day, I had the fastest runs of both the AM and PM sessions.  The results were likely due to Josh Hickey using worn out tires and the power loss of Stephen and Chris's car. 

Sunday rolled around, and Josh put on some better tires.  He immediately started putting down some very fast times, and was chipping away at my lead.  I think by lunch my lead was down to like 8 seconds.  With two very fast runs to start the PM session, Josh got even closer, and I was operating under a code brown!  Ending the race in first is obviously great, but being in first for pretty much an entire weekend is quite stressful.  Being in first and then losing it at the end of a race is a miserable feeling, and I wasn't looking to experience that again.  For all of our other sessions, we got four runs.  Well, for our final session (PM Sunday) they decided to give us five runs.  Crap, that's one more opportunity for Josh to catch up to me!  I matched him on the third run, and with that, Josh basically threw in the towel and berkeleyed around on his fourth run, hitting two cones, pretty much ensuring my victory.  With an extended lead, I took it easy on my final run, and finished up some 8.5 seconds ahead of Josh.  Once again, I didn't hit a single cone all weekend, and Josh hit four.  Josh was 8.6 ahead of Jeremy (328i E36), who hit 7 cones.  Stephen drove very clean with only one cone and took fourth.  TurboJosh gets the Cone of Shame award for this event, having hit 12 cones (6th place), while Neil joined me for the second event in a row with no cones and finished eighth.  Of our 17 runs over the weekend, I had the fast time in seven of them, while Josh and Jeremy each had four fastest runs. 

I was able to do a little picture-in-picture editing for my video this time, but the interior camera was too far forward to see much of my hands, so I'm not sure how useful it will be.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CeMNUZogF8

That's all for now!

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/7/19 1:17 p.m.

Yeah, there was no catching you with that Saturday lead, knowing you weren't going to hit any cones on Sunday lol.

It's going to be hard to resist slapping these brand-new Federallies on my car for the next doubleheader (but, I will resist, since I want them new for STPR in September). 

For all the stuff you've done, don't sell short how beneficial the JVAB setup was for these bumpier courses, Watching your car on course, it's pretty amazing how they soak up all the big bumps and keep your tires on the surface. When you got it I was a bit leery of whether they would be good for rallycross vs. stage rally, but it's pretty clear those were a good choice by you.

 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
8/28/19 8:19 p.m.

We were supposed to have back to back events this weekend, but due to heavy rain on Friday, the Saturday #3 event got postponed (again).  Event #5 on Sunday was still on though, so I headed out to Summit Point with a touch of anxiety thrown in for good measure.  I've never won an event at Summit Point since it's smaller than Panthera and I can't use as much of my power, and Josh tends to do very well here, so I was concerned about how I would fair.  There are two courses, Barn and Tree.  Barn is harder packed and I can do okay there, and Tree can get messy and rough and so far I haven't done well there.  Welp, we were racing on Tree.  Crap. 

The course was pretty power friendly and was a bit of a point and shoot design.  This was unlike anything I remember at Tree, and definitely played to my advantage.  Things started out as I expected, with me about a second back from the fastest guys, but I started picking up the pace and got a couple fast runs in.  With no cones hit I was in second place at lunch, something like 2 seconds behind Stephen in the M20 E30.  Josh hit a bunch of cones and was out of contention after his third run of the day, so it was nice to not have to worry about him.  After lunch however, I really turned things up, and I had the fastest times for 3 of the 4 runs.  After my second run, I had passed Stephen and was in first.  At one point he got called for a cone, and I thought it was over, but he got a re-run and didn't hit a cone, so things were still very tight. 

Going into the fourth and final run, I had a 0.3 second lead, after Stephen clawed back 0.2 on his third run.  I knew I had to drive as hard as I could, and of course, not hit a cone.  I knew Stephen would be doing the same.  I came in with a 49.2, and Stephen came in with a 49.4.  That time ended up being the fastest of anyone in my class, and fourth overall out of about 60 drivers.  When the results came out, I couldn't believe my eyes, I had the overall combined FTD at 403.8!  Adam, one of the organizers for the events, has probably won 90% of FTDs in the last 5+ years in his various Subarus, but I guess he hit more cones than usual and ended up at 411.5, which allowed me to sneak into FTD.  This will probably never happen again, so I'm gonna savor it! 

I've now won three of our four events so far this year, so that's awesome.  But what's more awesome is the car, it's fantastic.  Not only does it do exactly what I want when I drive it, but it has been rock solid reliable after I installed the motor.  Being able to drive this thing to events, enjoying myself along the way, and having trust in the car is such a huge deal, and something I'm really grateful to finally have.  I feel totally comfortable just beating the ever loving sheets out of this thing, and that's just awesome.  But I guess when you rebuild pretty much every system in the car, things should work!

https://youtu.be/4bmZgqUsDco

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
10/28/19 7:42 p.m.

Hey everyone (all three of you!) I'm a little behind on race results, but before I post them up, my car broke and I need some help diagnosing it!

To keep it short, at the race this weekend, I noticed the car was getting harder and harder to get into first gear.  In the middle of the PM runs, all of a sudden the clutch pedal dropped to the floor.  It came back up (due to the spring, I guess), but there was no resistance until the bottom 1" or so of the travel, and I couldn't get it into gear.  After the day was done we towed it back to the parking lot and I discovered that the clutch fluid part of the brake fluid reservoir was empty!  Thank god it's split off from the fluid for the brakes!  But since the window into the clutch fluid section is so small, even doing a quick check of the brake fluid wouldn't raise any suspicions.  So I start looking around for where it was all going.  The slave cylinder was bone dry and showed no signs of leaking, and I pulled back the interior carpet and the firewall/carpet/clutch master cylinder were all dry too.  Upon closer inspection, I found that the little plastic eyelet at the end of the clutch master cylinder (where it attaches to the clutch pedal) had split in two as well, likely from me pressing on the clutch pedal so hard trying to get it into gear.  We did a temporary repair on the eyelet with a zip tie and some electrical tape, but there was still no resistance in the clutch pedal.  By this point I had topped off the reservoir and tried to bleed the slave cylinder.  A few drops came out of it, but after a bit it just stopped and nothing more would come out.  I ended up driving the car home 120 miles with no clutch since a tow was going to cost like $700, and nobody who towed their car to the race had street tires to drive home on.  Thankfully I didn't hit much traffic, and most of it was on the highway in 5th gear.

I looked at the car some today, but am no closer to figuring out where all my clutch fluid went.  I pulled the slave cylinder from the transmission and it appeared to be bone dry on the inside as well.  I see no trace of brake fluid on the firewall or on the line leading down to the slave.  When the new master arrives, I'm going to pressurize the whole system and see if a leak presents itself anywhere, but I'm really confused as to how I can lose all that fluid and not see a trace of it.  Where could it have gone?  The line going to the slave is a nice SS BimmerWorld part, and I replaced the slave two years ago when I replaced the motor.  I always bleed the brakes and clutch with a Motive power bleeder, so I know the clutch portion of the reservoir was full two years ago.


EDIT- To clarify, the E36's brake fluid reservoir has a separate chamber for the clutch fluid.  When you pour brake fluid in, it first fills up the chamber for the brake fluid.  When that chamber is full, it then starts overflowing into the little window that leads to the clutch chamber.  I believe it's designed in a way so that if the clutch chamber loses all fluid, the brake chamber remains full.  So that's how I was able to lose all fluid for the clutch without losing any for the brakes.  It also makes it harder to know if your clutch chamber is topped off without pouring a little fluid in and seeing if it spills over into the clutch chamber.


Any help would be greatly appreciated!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
10/30/19 10:51 a.m.

I posted up a thread elsewhere and someone thought that the booster could have "eaten" the fluid.  I'm not familiar with how boosters work, is this a possibility, given the way the brake and clutch fluids are separated in the reservoir?  I noticed no change in brake pedal feel.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
10/30/19 3:53 p.m.

That's actually a good point, which I thought was an issue when the Sequoia kept loosing brake fluid (turned out to be a loose line fitting). The brake master is attached to the booster, and if it's leaking at the rear seal, all the fluid will just go into the brake booster and just stay there, forever, and not drip on the ground or anything. That's what all the Toyota guys were saying that happens "all the time" in Toyota trucks when the M/C rear seal goes bad. 

If that's the case, your two-chamber master cylinder reservoir actually somehow goes both ways. As the brake system was losing fluid it was drawing fluid from the clutch system to a certain point until the clutch got low enough it started sucking air. The car bouncing around in rallycross probably lets the fluid slosh "up" through the hole under hard braking or something. Hey, you know we are always stopping on really steep hills and stuff. 

So, that *could* be the case I guess. The easy way to tell would just be to unbolt the brake master from the booster and pull it out, and see if there's fluid in there (maybe you could even use a micro-camera of some sort to just look through the booster port where the vacuum line goes in?

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
10/30/19 6:49 p.m.

Well I did some more searching and came across this page:
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=934321

Where a member said this:
"As a safety measure, the clutch portion of the reservoir is up higher, so if the brake fluid drops, the clutch is likely the first thing to have issues and to save fluid for stopping the car."

Which makes sense. The other day when I sucked out all the old fluid from the reservoir in anticipation of bleeding everything and putting new fluid in, I noticed that after I sucked fluid out of the main/brake section, fluid from the clutch section would drain into the main section from a little hole at the bottom. But this only happened when the fluid in the brake section got real low. So it appears that if there's a leak from part of the braking system, it will "pull" fluid from the clutch section of the reservoir so that you have still have brakes. However, I'm not sure this squares with what I saw on Saturday. When I first opened up the reservoir, the brake section was topped off, and only the clutch section was depleted. To me, it would only pull clutch fluid if the brake section was very low, in which case I would have found the "brake" fluid low as well . The e-brake/low brake fluid light never came on, which I would think it would do if the level got so low as to pull from the clutch section.

I think I'm more confused now than ever....I wonder if leaving my pressure bleeder on the car for a few hours would help me determine if there's a leak somewhere?

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
10/30/19 6:53 p.m.
irish44j said:

That's actually a good point, which I thought was an issue when the Sequoia kept loosing brake fluid (turned out to be a loose line fitting). The brake master is attached to the booster, and if it's leaking at the rear seal, all the fluid will just go into the brake booster and just stay there, forever, and not drip on the ground or anything. That's what all the Toyota guys were saying that happens "all the time" in Toyota trucks when the M/C rear seal goes bad. 

If that's the case, your two-chamber master cylinder reservoir actually somehow goes both ways. As the brake system was losing fluid it was drawing fluid from the clutch system to a certain point until the clutch got low enough it started sucking air. The car bouncing around in rallycross probably lets the fluid slosh "up" through the hole under hard braking or something. Hey, you know we are always stopping on really steep hills and stuff. 

So, that *could* be the case I guess. The easy way to tell would just be to unbolt the brake master from the booster and pull it out, and see if there's fluid in there (maybe you could even use a micro-camera of some sort to just look through the booster port where the vacuum line goes in?

I have one of those micro cameras, but I'm not sure it's small enough to see much in the vacuum port.  But I'll certainly give it a try.  I found some articles about how to check the brake booster, so I'll test that too.  But you're thinking the seal for the brake master cylinder could be the issue?  So no brake fluid is supposed to be inside the booster?

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
10/30/19 7:13 p.m.
95maxrider said:
irish44j said:

That's actually a good point, which I thought was an issue when the Sequoia kept loosing brake fluid (turned out to be a loose line fitting). The brake master is attached to the booster, and if it's leaking at the rear seal, all the fluid will just go into the brake booster and just stay there, forever, and not drip on the ground or anything. That's what all the Toyota guys were saying that happens "all the time" in Toyota trucks when the M/C rear seal goes bad. 

If that's the case, your two-chamber master cylinder reservoir actually somehow goes both ways. As the brake system was losing fluid it was drawing fluid from the clutch system to a certain point until the clutch got low enough it started sucking air. The car bouncing around in rallycross probably lets the fluid slosh "up" through the hole under hard braking or something. Hey, you know we are always stopping on really steep hills and stuff. 

So, that *could* be the case I guess. The easy way to tell would just be to unbolt the brake master from the booster and pull it out, and see if there's fluid in there (maybe you could even use a micro-camera of some sort to just look through the booster port where the vacuum lthine goes in?

I have one of those micro cameras, but I'm not sure it's small enough to see much in the vacuum port.  But I'll certainly give it a try.  I found some articles about how to check the brake booster, so I'll test that too.  But you're thinking the seal for the brake master cylinder could be the issue?  So no brake fluid is supposed to be inside the booster?

the booster is just a sealed metal canister with a rubber/metal diaphragm inside it (which uses vacuum to give you power brakes). It's totally dry, no lubricants or other liquids (other than a bit of grease on the shaft). The M/C pushrod is pushed by another rod inside the booster (which is what is hooked to your pedal - the master cylinder isn't actually attached to your pedal at all). You can take the M/C off without disconnecting anything inside the car, basically. 

In any case, there should be NO liquid inside, like brake fluid. IDK how hard it is to get to the bolts on your car, but if you can unbolt the M/C from the booster, you may be able to slide it out far enough to see inside (maybe, maybe not). 

Turbine
Turbine Reader
12/22/19 5:16 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Sorry to threadjack, but do you think the z3 rack would be a worthwhile upgrade for my 95 m3, or would I be alright with a new steering giubo and tie rods?

Thanks for the info. I've been trying to find definitive info about the racks for a long time

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
12/22/19 10:58 a.m.
Turbine said:

In reply to irish44j :

Sorry to threadjack, but do you think the z3 rack would be a worthwhile upgrade for my 95 m3, or would I be alright with a new steering giubo and tie rods?

Thanks for the info. I've been trying to find definitive info about the racks for a long time

 

My understanding is that the 95 M3s have the worst rack of the bunch, so you would probably benefit more from the Z3 rack than I did.  The E46 ZHP rack is also something to consider.  I think it's technically a little slower, but some people say they prefer the feel of it versus the Z3 rack.  I'm considering it myself.  If you can find a true Z3 rack for cheap in a junkyard, I say go for it.  Be careful of rebuilt racks that claim to be Z3 racks but are not.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/10/20 9:47 p.m.

3 months and no posts, Nick. You must be cooking up some secret stuff this off-season that you don't want to tell the rest of us about ;)

Or did you go buy a Miata? cheeky

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
3/11/20 8:46 p.m.
irish44j said:

3 months and no posts, Nick. You must be cooking up some secret stuff this off-season that you don't want to tell the rest of us about ;)

Or did you go buy a Miata? cheeky

No, I didn't go and press the Easy button.  But if I post up about my super-secret mods now, that may give others time to try and copy them, or make other changes to compensate.  No, I think you will just have to wait until the first event to see everything.  Or maybe I'll post them up the day before the event just to keep you up at night ;)

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/11/20 9:28 p.m.
95maxrider said:
irish44j said:

3 months and no posts, Nick. You must be cooking up some secret stuff this off-season that you don't want to tell the rest of us about ;)

Or did you go buy a Miata? cheeky

No, I didn't go and press the Easy button.  But if I post up about my super-secret mods now, that may give others time to try and copy them, or make other changes to compensate.  No, I think you will just have to wait until the first event to see everything.  Or maybe I'll post them up the day before the event just to keep you up at night ;)

 WAIT. Oh E36 M3, did you put some stickers on the car? Did you discover my secret to winning???? :D 

The only thing you could do that would keep me up at night would be if you hit 2 or 3 cones at an event. Then I'd lose sleep worrying you might be suicidal after that ;)

That, or if you got air-conditioned seats. That E36 M3 would make me go crazy with jealousy :)

I changed my oil and got some heavier wheels this offseason. So bring it!

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
3/12/20 7:36 p.m.
irish44j said:
95maxrider said:
irish44j said:

3 months and no posts, Nick. You must be cooking up some secret stuff this off-season that you don't want to tell the rest of us about ;)

Or did you go buy a Miata? cheeky

No, I didn't go and press the Easy button.  But if I post up about my super-secret mods now, that may give others time to try and copy them, or make other changes to compensate.  No, I think you will just have to wait until the first event to see everything.  Or maybe I'll post them up the day before the event just to keep you up at night ;)

 WAIT. Oh E36 M3, did you put some stickers on the car? Did you discover my secret to winning???? :D 

The only thing you could do that would keep me up at night would be if you hit 2 or 3 cones at an event. Then I'd lose sleep worrying you might be suicidal after that ;)

That, or if you got air-conditioned seats. That E36 M3 would make me go crazy with jealousy :)

I changed my oil and got some heavier wheels this offseason. So bring it!

I have been saving up stickers for YEARS in anticipation of this moment.  No paint will be visible through my force field of horsepower!

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/12/20 8:32 p.m.
95maxrider said:
irish44j said:
95maxrider said:
irish44j said:

3 months and no posts, Nick. You must be cooking up some secret stuff this off-season that you don't want to tell the rest of us about ;)

Or did you go buy a Miata? cheeky

No, I didn't go and press the Easy button.  But if I post up about my super-secret mods now, that may give others time to try and copy them, or make other changes to compensate.  No, I think you will just have to wait until the first event to see everything.  Or maybe I'll post them up the day before the event just to keep you up at night ;)

 WAIT. Oh E36 M3, did you put some stickers on the car? Did you discover my secret to winning???? :D 

The only thing you could do that would keep me up at night would be if you hit 2 or 3 cones at an event. Then I'd lose sleep worrying you might be suicidal after that ;)

That, or if you got air-conditioned seats. That E36 M3 would make me go crazy with jealousy :)

I changed my oil and got some heavier wheels this offseason. So bring it!

I have been saving up stickers for YEARS in anticipation of this moment.  No paint will be visible through my force field of horsepower!

make sure to put a bunch on the windshield. That's where they make the most torque. 

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/5/20 2:22 p.m.

Well I sure let this thread die, didn't I?  Not to worry, the car and I are doing just fine, but with the 2020 season about to start, I figured it might be a good idea to wrap up the 2019 season and go over the very few things I've done since then.

We left off after I had mysteriously lost enough brake/clutch fluid at a race to break my clutch master cylinder, causing me to come in 4th at event #3 (10/26/19), and basically miss event #7 the following day (10/27/19).  The day my car broke we were part way through the PM runs, and I was able to finish off the day in Shawn and Katie's new to them (but very much used) turbo NA Miata that was built for auto-x (IIRC).  I couldn't really get the hang of it, but that probably didn't really change my finishing position for the day.  I think I was in 3rd at lunch, and with some rain in the PM my M3 didn't fare as well as the lighter cars, and I just didn't know what to do with the Miata.  It looks like I got a video of my final AM run, which IIRC was the fastest run in the session:
 



Once again I didn't hit any cones for the day.  Dan was nice enough to let me drive his Porsche 944 the following day.  I forgot the 944 didn't have ABS, so I locked up the brakes in one corner and hit three cones, my first of the season!  The 944 had overheating problems after a few runs, so I called it quits and gathered up the courage to drive my car home without a clutch.  The night before everyone assured me it was totally easy, but I was still weary.  I did some practicing in the parking lot and then hit the highway.  Thankfully 90% of the 120 mile drive was on the highway, so I only really had trouble when I got close to home on surface roads.  There was some minor gear grinding, but nothing serious.  I guess everyone was right, it really wasn't too bad.  I got a DNF for the day, and 0 season points. 

Josh came in 2nd place at event #3, and 1st at event #7, and all of a sudden jumped into first place for the season.  That left the final event as my only chance to catch up, and I would have to beat him by at least one place, possibly two.

In the heat of all that, I didn't post up the results to event #6, which happened three weeks before events #3 and #7.  Event 6 was back at PTC, but due to a lack of rain in the preceding weeks, the course was very dry and turned to moon dust almost immediately.  It was also a relatively tight course, and cars struggled for grip the whole day.  Since I was in first place for the season, that meant I was the first car on course for our group.  On the drive through I missed where one turn was due to some high grass, so on my first run I took it REALLY slow there so I didn't go off course, as I still didn't really know where the turn and cones were.  This put me something like 4-5 seconds back, which in our group is an eternity.  Jeremy jumped out in front with a very fast first run, but had to retire after his second due to a broken diff mount.  That left Stephen to walk away from everyone else the rest of the day, only hitting one cone.  Unfortunately for him, he just barely went off course on one run, which dropped him back down into third behind me.  Josh ended up in first, some 2 seconds ahead of me.  Again, I didn't hit any cones for the day.  Here's a video:
 



And so we get to the final event of the year.  We were back at Summit Point on the non-tree lined course.  It was mid-November and temperatures were in the mid-30s, maybe getting above 40 in the afternoon.  In similar conditions at our final race in 2018, it seemed like snow tires were the ticket to going fast, and almost everyone was running snows for this event.  Everybody except Stephen and Chris.  I should note that the only event that Chris has won in MR was this same course at the final event in 2018, although he was on gravel tires then as well.  Well, Stephen and Chris defied the snow tire rule and just absolutely destroyed everybody while running their normal gravel tires.  This was the first time I had ran on snow tires with the M3, and the lack of lateral grip was appalling.  Don't get me wrong, I had more fun sliding and drifting around than I do when I run my gravels, but it was not fast.  Josh also was running snow tires, and stayed ahead of me the whole day, but he too was getting destroyed by Stephen and Chris.  It was clear by the PM runs that I was not going to get ahead of Josh and that the season was his, so I let a little loose on my final run, and actually hit a damn cone in my own car, the first of the season.  So for the event Stephen came in first, Chris in second, Josh in third, and me in fourth.  It was a fitting end to a disappointing season with Josh in first, me in second, and Stephen in third.



I'm fairly certain things would have been different had my car not broken, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.  Time to regroup and make sure that doesn't happen again in 2020!
 

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