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Spec 3: 1995 BMW 325i NASA Race Car Build

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by Taylor, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. Jul 7, 2020 at 7:31 PM
    #1
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Member:
    #74417
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    1,313
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    This is going to be a long one, so buckle up. I've had a bunch of cars in the last few years during college and in the time since graduation. E30s, Miatas, obviously a few Toyotas, a burnout Mini van, etc. I think the important one to focus on here is when I was scorned by my 4th gen 4Runner and first E30. I was broke, tired, and feed up with fixing broken things, so I sold everything and bought a new GTI (make all your jokes about broken VWs, I'll wait). The GTI was reliable, fast, fun, and gave me the chance to do some HPDE events with NASA Mid Atlantic to get my feet wet. I had done quite a bit of autocross in my Miatas, but this was my first foray into real track duty. One thing to note is that I also work for NASA at these events, so I've been around the track for years and got a good discount on track time. Don't forget I was a broke recent grad at the time!

    As I enjoyed the new, warrantied car life, I started to save money. At the same time, I kept my mind busy dreaming of what race car I would have some day in the distant future and what class I would eventually race in. I eventually narrowed it down to two classes: Spec E30, the tried and true perennial favorite of BMW fans who enjoy cheap and fun racing, or Spec 3, the small, but endearing class meant to replace Spec E30 with the next generation chassis but retain the cheap and fun spirit Spec E30 has embodied for so many years. The decision was soon made for me as I got a deal on a good E36 chassis that I couldn't pass up.

    That's where the story begins. January 2019. The car, a 1995 BMW 325i sedan. 190,000 miles or thereabouts, repainted oxford green. About a million different owners (half of which I knew!).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One thing to remember is this is the ultimate budget build. I picked this class because E36s are a great chassis and the class rules call for an affordable and reasonable parts list. First up, burn the plastic money car at FCP Euro on a full rebuild of the front suspension and also install a roll bar from Bayside Fabrications.

    [​IMG]

    The car went into hover mode as I waited for parts. New control arms, bushings, tie rods, sway bar end links, etc. My friend had just started up an automotive blog as well, so he chronicled some of it there.

    https://outmotorsports.com/2019/01/woulda-coulda-shoulda-longest-spec3-build/

    https://outmotorsports.com/2019/01/longest-spec3-build-disassembly/

    [​IMG]

    If any of you have owned an old BMW, you know how much of a pain replacing rear trailing arm bushings is. This was the 5th or so time I've done them and it still gave me a hell of a time. It didn't want to come out with the special bimmerworld tool that I managed to break. Lots of drilling, hammering, and cutting, and the RTAB finally submitted to my will.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Did I mention almost all of this was just to get the car to pass inspection? I needed to be able to drive it to the track and it was still a year away from being eligible for antique tags!

    45d78dde0d8082e06e0f6f40249e8139_2f9c2bb2a6b32897f950f8ebd33ad2cd66fc1961.jpg

    Installed the recommended front subframe brace that came as part of the "trunk kit" on LTW M3s. It stiffens the chassis and also protects the oil pan.

    Stock :

    [​IMG]

    with x brace:

    [​IMG]

    Time for the first shake down! It was early March and the first track event of the season was nearing, so I wanted to do something to make sure the car wouldn't fall apart. There was an autocross an hour away, so I took it there for the day and put down some sad, un-competitive times. The car did not fall apart, so I was ready for the March VIR event with NASA Mid Atlantic.



    I'll just post my original write-up of the first event in the car for reference:
    Monday, March 25th, 2019



    [​IMG]

    The next event in April went well at Summit Point. I was signed off by my instructor to drive solo, so the weekend was focused on improvement and consistency. The next things done to the car after was more weight loss. I cut a lot of the interior out and spent some money on a steering wheel.

    [​IMG]

    DIY headlight intake

    [​IMG]

    The next event was the may VIR event and I had finally sold the GTI that originally got me on track in order to buy an F150. I rented a uHaul trailer and towed the car down. I'll post my write up from that event in a quote below

    Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

    Halfway through my first season with the car! This is getting long, so I'll split it into the next post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  2. Jul 7, 2020 at 7:31 PM
    #2
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Member:
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    Messages:
    1,313
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Monday, June 10th, 2019




    Between events, I installed the Spec Exhaust and sway bar end links that used the M3 strut mounts I had, which stiffened the front a lot.

    Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019



    More weight loss. Thinning wiring harnesses SUCKS

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    [​IMG]

    More MORE weight loss

    7397bfff2f101d0a4723820716d9bf81_eb3e869aca75633bc80270d400ecc3de57aa532d.jpg

    Tuesday, August 20th, 2019



    Deleted the heater core and installed a water temp gauge. This is a bear of a project, but needed to get down to weight, get hot water away from your legs, and clean up the under dash area. Installing the water temp sensor involves remove the intake, which is a fairly involved process on these cars. The heater core delete requires some hose rerouting, so I'm keeping this handy guide alive and searchable on the internet because it was so valuable to me.

    64fd162a1834d2f5169d38a88993f265_29168ee7e6f2a07500208b39c54e636b70b5a760.jpg

    MORE wire harness thinning. I seriously didn't think I'd ever get the car running again after this.

    aa1dda0905e8b0c6b040bd7f0b69153b_b34a016d99f7b270ee3ddde3ea447f4f9bdae079.jpg

    793376a03fa2459908a28777a87801f8_da874ac888ac969465fdb04426ef69f3af729b07.jpg

    Blocked off hole where the heater core was.

    15eb14acee2420d7a9a7a423e5e25ef1_717f934a26873f90e22ea3cfa708e89562e86b4c.jpg
    .
    HOURS spent with a heat gun and a scraper to get rid of all of the sound deadening on the floor

    a6733f1c914dba41a338b6d9a1a84c3a_46a2b26915dfe45dd337ca43ac9165e7f46efd32.jpg

    Painted the floor a clean color after removing sound deadening. Big improvement

    214aa76a38e8a182a3193f47b6fedfec_2d57396a671d5507794eb4b25c1533c4216b4ddf.jpg

    Monday, October 28th, 2019



    Monday, November 11th, 2019
    [​IMG]

    That's a wrap for the 2019 season! On to the off season! Who knew it would be as long as it ended up being?!??!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  3. Jul 7, 2020 at 7:32 PM
    #3
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Member:
    #74417
    Messages:
    1,313
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    2019-2020 off season. The most important work!

    Made a crappy switch panel

    33f614ef9a561bbee3e9ee46c4c85b3e_474b2b3edc8474d09c8c2d495bff411892f8c16a.jpg

    Dropped the front subframe to get reinforcement welded in. These cars have the chance of unthreading the nut on the oil pump nut sprocket if you spin the motor backwards on track. Common fix is to safety wire the nut, which I did.

    701f72d903f957542a7a3e3cfbb6e40a_f9a81637a9adbdc90594b8c4753931f9a35f95db.jpg

    Baffled oil pan going in. These cars oil starve under high G corners, so most people run a quart or two over full. Doing that + a baffle should keep me from grenading the motor.

    ec77d3a5018a92e55ef270566130f11e_26fc70ed2943258a0bdfb08dec5ff2fcb9b76e68.jpg

    D'OH. I'm a dummy. Put the wrong bolt on the wrong place and cracked my rear main seal housing. I didn't expect to be learning how to pull a trans, but it happened.

    23e2979e79ab047a8d0876cbc32d42fb_efda46a336a98e3eeed272eb41961055b2205255.jpg

    4e611671b2514125125bd450896c59f6_db6aba892d1c472d56dcece23b8b994e60b2623d.jpg

    Was a good opportunity to replace my throw out bearing and the clutch fork pivot pin which is plastic on these cars from the factory. I replaced it with a stainless steel part from the E31.

    4a92edcb82592c59c6c5060efbe41d18_0462003e1625ba23651c30b1a099e66d6048bfba.jpg

    Reinforced oil pickup from the Z3

    ea3dfc4613cf8704156db4f2fb7436c4_fbb56604b593c4069562138e9109fb55dfc04529.jpg

    All in all, while I had the car out of commission, I knocked out the following stuff in December-January

    Rear main seal
    Rear main seal housing
    Pilot Bearing/
    Throw Out bearing
    Pivot pin
    Removed trans tunnel insulations that was falling down and crumbling, replaced with aluminum tape
    New Guibo
    Inspected clutch, flywheel, pressure plate
    New oil pan gasket
    Loctite and safety wired oil pan nut
    reinforced oil pickup
    baffled oil pan
    cleaned trans, steering rack, oil pan, engine, subframe
    reinforced subframe
    brass caliper bushings
    headlight intake installed
    new 96-99 M3 control arms with new ball joints
    new control arm bushings
    brand new eibach sway bar kit

    Made a floor pan and installed a bigger fan.

    1df8d248e7ed6f8fe11162b46ce15bba_40a7d4ecf740fc1e6b40b350e689fac1fd4828ec.jpg

    Last but not least, I finally got a slot with an affordable cage builder

    46dcdca7f681ddbc280bd94594ed7889_fbf021d4567b33dba6fb67eff9dbb3db92d4bf63.jpg

    4695f22b8fb9214acff83c3e271288bc_6109a16f2bd500785b6d799932e62a64c3970a19.jpg

    Only a few more weeks before this car's first event of 2020. A few more really expensive items left (fire system, new seat, new belts, transponder) and the car will be a real Spec 3 race car and I can do competition school.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  4. Jul 13, 2020 at 7:58 AM
    #4
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Spec Suspension installed. Much needed camber.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Aug 4, 2020 at 8:26 AM
    #5
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    #74417
    Messages:
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    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Not so HyperFest 2020

    Best time: 2:21.19

    Weight: 2997

    HP: 188

    Tq: 167

    First event with a cage and all of that jazz. It's been a VERY long off season and I hadn't driven the car is 9+ months so I was pretty nervous. I was driving open practice Friday, then DE3 for the weekend and it took a lot to shake the rust off. Started out running 2:25s on Friday just because it was like starting over after so long off and a car that was so radically different.

    On friday, I was using hoosiers that I had traded a friend my RRs for so he could do comp school and the grip felt nice until it didn't. Car got light at the top of esses and I got into a tank slapper. Kept the car straight and spun through the infield, debeading a tire and knocking some vacuum lines off, requiring a flat tow for me.



    I swapped back over to my Toyo RA1 rain tires with 45+ heat cycles on them and got back on the horse. However, at this time, I did notice the car was burning/leaking a lot of oil. I'm not really sure what the main culprit is, but the dipstick tube did come loose, so I'm assuming that's a part of it. Not looking forward to cleaning up that mess and figuring it out.

    I picked up a lot of speed and all of us in DE3 started vibing well and playing around. I did my TT checkride at the end of Saturday and the instructor told me to pit after 2 laps so he could get out. "You don't need me in here, go have fun" he said.

    I dyno'd my car Sunday morning and it reported in at 189 horsepower on average, which is a bit below the max allowed for spec 3 but it's certainly not unhealthy. Sunday was uneventful besides picking up more speed and pushing my braking zones deeper and deeper with great success. Saturday and sunday I ran 2:22 just about every single lap that was clear, then I started to push into 2:21s at the end of Sunday. I was on pace for a 2:20 but dipped a tire off in my second to last session so I decided to call it quits and just accept a good weekend. Overall, I'm pleased, especially not being too far off race pace for Spec 3 while being 200 lbs heavy and on 50 heat cycle rain tires.

    All I need is a seat back brace, new belts, rain light, and a fire system to do comp school, but I've ran out of money for now and I'm getting low on consumables. I also have things on the car I need to address such as dropped more weight, new wheel studs, and other things I should probably spend money on before rushing to comp school. I'll probably run TT5 for now and see how things shake out.
     
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  6. Sep 17, 2020 at 8:20 AM
    #6
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Long story short. Car was still leaking oil out the dipstick which was very annoying. Then the motor blew up in my first TT session. Probably dropped a valve. Piston looks pretty bad from what we could see with the bore scope. Will dissect and diagnose later, but I'm a little tied up with other stuff for now. All I know for sure is it made a lot of noise, the engine doesn't run, and this is the spark plug from that cylinder.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:31 AM
    #7
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Still looking for a motor. Pulled mine out and started taking parts off of it.



    [​IMG]
    1008×756 197 KB



    Oh yeah, and it definitely dropped a valve



    [​IMG]
     
  8. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:31 AM
    #8
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    10 hours of driving and I have a low mileage engine with parts to sell. Work begins tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
    1008×756 166 KB
     
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  9. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:32 AM
    #9
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Member:
    #74417
    Messages:
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    Male
    First Name:
    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Took a break from the e21 and did some stuff to the Fiesta which then let me make more space in the garage so I could work on the engine again. Finished disassembling down to the block and crank. Exhaust cam bearing surfaces did not look good. Intake cam looked fine, but then that intake valve that dropped did not look good at all.

    Got the other engine off the truck and into the garage. Taking a break for now after a full day in the garage and I’ll pick back up tomorrow after tending to the F150. Need to swap the water pump, oil pickup, oil pump nut and safety wire (ordered new), exhaust manifolds, engine mounts, fuel rails, install new oil pan gasket and valve cover gasket, remove ac compressor and bracket/pulley, swap over coolant block off plate from head and coolant temp sensor. Inspect sensors and wires, install new rear main seal, flywheel, clutch, then bolt up the trans and throw it back in.

    [​IMG]
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  10. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:32 AM
    #10
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    I have the new engine torn down. It’s pretty gross inside and out, so there’s been a lot of cleaning. Two of the timing chain guides were broken, but the one that is not broken can’t be replaced without pulling the head, so I’m at a crossroads right now where I need to decide to button it back up now with just the two new guides, or jump in with both feet and pull the head and do all of that stuff.

    [​IMG]
    756×1008 185 KB
     
  11. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:32 AM
    #11
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    I ended up biting the bullet and pulling the head. Dropped it off at a machine shop out near Dulles and work begins next weekend when I get the head back.

    1. install safety wire oil pump nut
    2. swap windage tray
    3. install z3 reinforced pickup tube
    4. new timing chain guides
    5. reinstall head with new bolts/head gasket
    6. new vanos chain guide
    7. reinstall cams, vanos, time engine
    8. install new rear main, flyweeh, clutch, pressure plate
    9. attach trans and reinstall in car
    10. Wash underside of the car
    11. hook up driveshaft and such
    12. torque new crank bolt
    13. reinstall wiring, accessories
    14. do everything else
    15. racecar
     
  12. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:33 AM
    #12
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

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    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Finally got started. Windage tray installed, bimmerworld safety wired oil pump nut installed, cleaned the block deck in preparation of head gasket install. I got the timing cover back on and realized I'm missing a circlip for the chain guide. Quite nervous about putting it all back together. I suppose there's no reason I can't have the engine back together this weekend. d46da981fff80066a3029e1fc6a32223_5d75fe0c2137a9c855f9ac69f2a489f0ffad9bc9.jpg
     
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  13. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:34 AM
    #13
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    #74417
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    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    New head gasket, picked the best lifters from each motor to make a set that's hopefully more quiet than before. Head installed, engine timed, vanos installed and timed, baffled oil pan installed, new read main, new front main, new pilot bearing, new oil filter housing gasket and other seals such as valve cover, timing cover, exhaust gasket, etc). New flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate, and then transmission installed on engine and engine loosely mounted back in the car. Work resumes tomorrow and I hope to get the engine started. 46b7ca1c317f6933f7236adc45af2b1b_cfd9977f261678e02dcf0786869f4ef9e1c914d1.jpg
     
  14. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:34 AM
    #14
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

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    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Honestly just guessed at where most of the connectors went and I guess I got the important ones right. Hooked up the battery jumper and it fired right up and idled for about 5 seconds before I turned it off. I guess I'll go ahead with getting the front end back on the car so I can get the radiator hooked up and get the engine full a coolant before I try to get it up to temp and figure out what I DID mess up. I'm sure some of the sensors have to be flipped around. The engine wire harness is an absolute mess and I'll probably have to pull the intake again to reorganize it.

    I also have a new adapter for my coolant temp probe that I'm waiting to get in the mail, so pulling the intake will help with that. I hope to spend New Year's doing all of this and that potentially means I can put it back on the ground and take it for a spin up and down the street this weekend. If all goes well, I'll register for a refrigerator bowl event either Jan 10 or early February to see how the car holds up and brake in the clutch before Comp School in March.
     
  15. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:34 AM
    #15
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

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    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
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    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Stewart water pump, 2 new knock sensors, and my external water temp gauge all installed. Pulled the intake and redid the wiring harness, got the temp gauge in the cluster working and got all of the other connectors in the right spot, I think.

    Got it fire up and up to temp, then took it for a romo down the street. It seems to be running well. However, after the car runs for 5-10 minutes, the engine will start to idle at 3k and the CEL comes on, then when you turn off the car, the battery is completely flat. It was charging the other day, so I'm not sure what has changed. Since the battery is flat, the CEL is gone and I can't check it. Will try to tackle this in the daylight tomorrow and get the rest of the front end back on.

    After I get the car sorted out in that regard, it's time to use the OG Racing gift cards I got for Christmas and snag some of the following

    - fire system
    - rain light
    - seat back brace
    - new belts

    Then install my hood latches and I should be ready for comp school.
     
  16. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:35 AM
    #16
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    #74417
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    1,313
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    Male
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    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Car is back together. Runs and drives without issue as far as I can tell. Throw some green paint I picked at random on the m3 bumper it's almost kind of close. Installed the aerocatches (what a pain) and signed up for a refrigerator bowl in February to shake the car down.

    I think I'm going to lose a lot of sleep over thinking about every bolt I could have torque wrong or forgot to torque. Mainly the engine crank pulley bolt. I snugged it down with the max setting on my impact and blue loctite, but the torque spec is like 400 lb-ft which I don't have a reasonable way to achieve. I guess we'll see.

    9b9011d87c202be3b28fb05625a29d04_d9fd44d9a8f9a299ee488c9915e28114065188b2.jpg
     
  17. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:35 AM
    #17
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    So, story time. I’ve been scrambling to finish my Spec 3 for comp school. Got the engine rebuilt and back in, had to installed new safety gear, rain light, fire bottle, kill swtich, etc. Wrapped it up just in time. After driving 2 years in HPDE, I was finally eligible for Competition School, so I was signed up for Friday. I drove down Thursday night in the pouring rain to unload and work in Registration that night. Friday morning I had my first classroom session for Comp School where we went over the CCR and plans for the day. We were out on track doing a “half track left” drill at 8:50. This mean we had to drive at speed,only using the left side of the track. We were supposed to be doing this in a combined group with other racers doing a “test and tune” which mean there would be 50 other cars out there NOT doing this drill that we would have to also watch out for. The rain was so bad that the only people that ended up out there were the 10 folks in Comp School who had no choice but to go out. The rain was so bad that I could only do about 6/10 pace even on fresh rain tires. The spray from cars in front of me was so bad that I literally could not see a car in front of me on the straights, so I made a point to pass anyone I got behind so I could at least see out the windshield. That plan worked until my windscreen fogged up so bad that I lost all visibility out the windsheild. In the video above, you see me look out the pasenger window to see the flagger on the other side of oak tree. When I looked back forward, I had lost the track and went off. In the dry, it would have been a quick 4 off and back on track, but the wet grass was like ice and I slid right into the wall.

    I got pulled out of the wall and limped back to the pits. I had no time to fix my car as the nexst classroom session started right away, so I left my two friends to work on getting my car back in a presentable state.



    [​IMG]


    Classroom ended and I went back out for my second session. This time we were doing a half track right drill. The track was dryer so I was pushing a big harder. Passing some folks and doing well. Then my car developed a severe, but random misfire. I limped it along for a few more laps until my ABS failed going into turn 1. Luckily the runoff is huge there, so I just slid through the grass and I’m really lucky I didn’t flip. I limped it back to my paddock spot

    I had no time to work on the car, so I went back to class. The next drill was a leap-frog passing drill. I was partnered with another E36 and we were tasked with passing each other at every available turn. For 35 minutes we jumped back and forth, but my misfires kept getting worse and worse and worse. Unfortunately, we had back to back sessions. We came into the hot pits after the drill, but were scheduled to go right back out, so I had to yell to one of my friends to go search for some ignition coils for me to try to swap around. A few minutes later, we were back on track for our “start” practice. We did one warm up lap, then did a simulated “Standing start” . We did one more, then 2 rolling starts, then one single file restart. Then we raced for one lap and came back into the paddock. We were instructed to not leave out cars. Some folks with stop watches came by, and when they said “go” we had to get unhooked and out of the car in under 15 seconds, or else we failed comp school. (Video soon to come)

    So, at that point, the only thing left for Comp School was the “dust off” race. The comp school students would start at the back of the pack and race against everyone else. I had about 30 minutes to try to get my severe misfire fixed, or else I’d be a rolling roadblock for everyone. We were scrambling to swap coils, check grounds, etc to figure it out. With 20 minutes to go, Jake said “Stop messing with that and just take my car”. I lined up and went out for my first real W2W race. A couple laps in, we catch a full course yellow and we get bunched up in a big pack on the back straight right as the flags drop and we go back to racing. I’m three wide coming into the roller coast and I see a honda challenge racer try a late pass on the outside of me. I leave him room, but as he gets to the side of me, he gets loose, dips two in the dirt, and darts track right, hitting me right in the door and sending me spinning off the track through the dirt.

    I fill out the body contact forms and submit my video to compliance, then head straight to the classroom for my written test to finish everything up. I’m in class until 7PM. After that, I’m out of light, so I can’t work on my car anymore. Unfortunately, Jake was done for the weekend as well. I end up hearing back that it was ruled the other driver’s fault and he was suspending for one race for the move.

    At this point, I wake up at 6PM Saturday morning and work on my car some more. I took my DME out and checked for cracked solder points or an unseated chip. I put it all back together and head out for the Lightning warm up. The car still misfires. I come back in and borrow someone else’s DME and swap it with mine. After that, I was finally able to pull a code for a bad crank sensor. It took about 2 hours, but I got that swapped out and the car was as good as ever. I went out for qualifying and placed 6 out of 8 in my class (27 out of ~50 overall). A few hours later, I started my race and finished 5th out of 8.

    Sunday was smoother sailing and I could focus on my driving since my car wasn’t broken anymore. Jake took my car to run GTS2 just to get points for starting a race and completing a lap as well. Sunday, I qualified 5th out of 8th in the Beast of the East race.




    In the race, I had a bad start and dropped back to last in my group. I fought my way back and passed on guy in turn 3, and the next guy in turn 12. On the next lap, the guy ahead of me spun in 10 and hit the tire wall track left. At this point, I pulled away from the guys behind me and the leaders of Spec E30 ended up catching me. I let them by (to avoid out of class racing), but the Spec E30 leader used me as a rolling road block to cut off P2 in SE30. I gave P2 a point by into 14 and he overcooked it and spun. He ended up catching back up to me and I signaled to him to catch my draft. Spec 3 cars are faster on the straights, but I’m a bit slower in the turns than the top SE30 drivers, so they usually tuck in behind us on the straights for a draft, then dive over and outbrake us at the end. I sling shotted him ahead and let him go on to catch P1 in his class.

    For the rest of the race, I maintained my lead on the Spec 3 guys behind me and no hope of catching 3rd place, until apparently he pulled off track and retired, so I ended up finishing 3rd in my third overall race and might get some free tires!

    And that’s that. One more race to complete my provisional license and I’ll be an officially licensed racing driver. I’ll have to complete 5 more races to lose my “rookie” status.

     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
    mjp2 likes this.
  18. Mar 23, 2021 at 6:39 AM
    #18
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously through myself Moderator

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    Scaffolding and a painted grill
    This is the kinda content I like to see :pccoffee:
     
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  19. Mar 25, 2021 at 6:17 AM
    #19
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
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    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
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    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
  20. Mar 28, 2021 at 3:32 PM
    #20
    Taylor

    Taylor [OP] Wants to learn all about his Taco.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Member:
    #74417
    Messages:
    1,313
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Taylor
    Sterling, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    03 4x4 TRD SR5 College build
    Extra badges, painted skidplates, grey wire mod, Kenwood double-DIN headunit, pioneer amp, 12 inch MTX sub, playstation 2 under seat, Uniden CB with 5 foot Wilson 1000 antenna, deckplate mod, 4xinnovations sliders, diff breather mod, bilstein 5100s at all 4 corners, OME Dakar Leaves, BAMF BPV bracket, Wheelers greasable shackles,
    Wasted no time tearing into this. Summit Point in April will be here before I realize. Guessing, using some eye measurements, I hammered and pried the fender back out to where it looked decent-ish. I also bent the jack posts back and cut them down shorter so I'd stop hitting them on the trailer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I started looking for a parts car with no success, so I checked local junkyards and found one about an hour away with 1 325i and 3 non M50 powered Sedans, so I made couple trips.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also put in some orders on Rock Auto. Turn signals, fender liners, rotors, grill mesh, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Disassembled everything to assess damage. Damage was a bit worse than I expected. Driver frame rail was bent in a bit, inner fender was totally out of whack. The bumper shocks were also bent and the studs were knocked out of the frame rail. The hood was also bent at the front and bowed in the middle. The nose panel was ruined, the frame connector was bent, the bumper core itself was bent as was the core support. The door and rear quarter are also scratched, and of course, the mirror was broken. Basically everything on the front of the car needed to be replaced. Luckily, my trips to the junk yard had been fruitful, so I had everything I needed. I also picked up some spares at the yard like a fuel pump, wheel speed sensor, extra mirrors, etc.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sanded, primed, and painted the old M3 bumper and the fender from the junk yard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    New wheel liner

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This bumper has seen better days, but it looks completely fine at 100 mph. $10 m3 grill mesh from Rockauto is much better than cutting up gutter guard to fit. Not sure how it's supposed to be fastened though.

    [​IMG]

    Lots of positioning, hammered, and prying later and we have a car again! Hood is still bent.

    [​IMG]

    Pulled some vinyl off and washed it. Hopefully getting some new numbers (22 was taken with NASA MA anyway) soon.

    [​IMG]

    Bonus shot of the cul de sac de BMW

    [​IMG]
     
    Clark27 likes this.

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