Friday, December 16, 2011

First donut

Sorry it has been a while since a blog update. Went down to Road Atlanta for the last event of the 2011 season. Entered in the NASA Santa's Toy Run with over 90 cars on track at the same time. Was a fun race and I netted a win, but I also got my first donut!

Car was having some weird air temperature sensor issues and something was keeping it from making full power between 5000-6500 RPMs. I think I have it figured out, but cannot test until 2012 season starts in Feb!

Video of my first donut:

Monday, October 3, 2011

First win in the new car!

What a wet, cold and rainy weekend at Watkins Glen. I did ok in the rain, qualifying on pole for the Sat race, but I eventually would finish 2nd in that race. The 2nd race of the weekend proved to be dry and I stepped it up. Unfortunately I forgot to check tire pressures in the rush to swap over from wet to dry setup. I got passed early on, but then reeled the competition in and passed him after he got caught in traffic slowing his momentum.

See notes in video:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mid-Ohio Shakedown

What a weekend. Decided to make the last minute trek to MidOhio with BMWCCA for a club race to shake the car down. Spent a good amount of time a few days prior making sure the car was ready. Fresh interior paint, but didnt have time to do the exterior scheme but all in all the car looked great!

Ran the first practice session and immediately noticed an alternator failure. This is what shakedowns are for right? I ended up borrowing a battery charger from a fellow racer, Julie Wolf, THANKS! That was enough to charge the battery and hopefully maintain the charge for a 30 minute race. For those who do not know the BMWCCA rules, my car was automatically lumped into C-Modified thanks to some modifications that were on the car when I bought it. Namely, the carbon fiber roof and trunk. The car was really a H-Prepared car meaning the other guys had LOADS more horsepower and WAY less weight. I managed to finish w/ a respectable midpack order.

The most fun I had came in the "fun race" when I got to chase aforementioned Julie Wolf in an I-Prepared E36 M3. Unfortunately just as I was about to be able to do battle, my battery konked out. The lights started flickering and my dash reported 11.7Volts.

For the Enduro, I had Mike Skeen co-drive. He was about 1.5 seconds faster than I was and it was his first time in the car. Mike coaches a lot of people and I highly recommend his services ( We were on pace to have a 4th overall finish when more shakedown blues occured. The fuel pump and/or fuel pump relay died. This ended my race and I parked it for what seemed to be an eternity on the side of the track.

Goal for the weekend was to shake it down and look for minor issues before the car's real debut at NASA Hyperfest @ Summit Point. Fixing these problems and hoping for a troublefree NASA weekend!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Interior Paint!

Dropped off car about a week ago w/ Givens Collision. Looking forward to getting it back! You can follow progress of the job using their nifty Check Vehicle program. I am car #12223.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Car returns!

I got an email from James Clay @ Bimmerworld earlier in the week teasing me and telling me the car is near completion. He didnt say much more and I suspect it was an attempt to keep the suspense high for me. Super Dave Taylor arrived Sat night and delivered the racecar. Fantastic!

It was dark so I could not see much but I could not goto sleep. I wanted it to be daytime so I could pull it out of the dark trailer and have some sunlight! Sunday comes and it is a perfect and sunny 80 degree day. Below are some pictures of Bimmerworld's completed project. The welds are nice, and there were a few finishing touches that I did not ask for (nice pieces like the dead pedal, etc). The passenger side foot protection extends further inboard to give me added strength from a supported frame structure, there is a nice downtube from the doorbars that give me a jack point (unwelded), and there is a nice horizontal bar below the driver X for more strength and safety. They unverted the stock hood latch so now all I need to do is push it and viola! They also ditched the VAC floor mounts and custom made a seat mount tied into the cage structure. Im very impressed and highly suggested the skilled artisans at Bimmerworld who do cage work!

Next: The car goes back to Givens Collision mentioned earlier in my blog to paint the interior!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mystic Monster cage update

Cagework progressing on my self-dubbed "Mystic Monster". Not much else to add so far, other than Bimmerworld is working hard. Looking forward to updating with more pictures soon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pista Pista

In my old E36 M3 racecar, I used an AIM Pista for datalogging and as a display. Nothing changes for the E46 M3 build. Im familiar with the AIM and the software is easy to use. It is very powerful. The one major change is the E46 M3 uses a CAN-BUS to communicate between all the various sensors and the DME. You can literally hookup the Pista to two wires and get a wealth of inputs!

I wanted to play around, but the E46 M3 racecar is currently at Bimmerworld. Good thing I have a twin street car! I hooked up the Pista to a used cigarette lighter adapter and said CAN BUS wires. Viola! Only weird thing is that it is reading 6V (odd because Pista requires 9-15VDC) so Im not sure if this cig. lighter plug Im using is funky or maybe the ground not being direct is messing with things. Some of the other CAN BUS inputs arent logging anything (values of 0), like brake pressure. I'll have to talk to some other E46 M3 owners who are running a Pista to see if this is even an available input.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A small update

Small update. While the car is getting cage work, it's time for some Epic Tuning. Randy Mueller of Epic-motorsports will do some tweaking to get me some newfound horses to compete with some of the more powerful Porsche GT3s in GTS4. Or maybe Ill find a way to yank power out and run GTS3? Hrmmmmm Clouded in a shroud of mystery.

If your E46 M3 is looking for some more power, look into the Epic Motorsports Software (offered at Bimmerworld). Dyno proven to make more power than typical off the shelf software:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Car ferry

Wow, diesel has gotten expensive lately. I can't imagine what it will be like once "driving season" starts! So the car has been ferried down to Bimmerworld thanks to The Transporter (aka Dave Taylor).

Hopefully within the next coming weeks, I'll have some more updates for you guys with pretty cage pictures and more. The goal of course is to have the car complete and ready to race for the first NASA Mid-Atlantic event the weekend of Feb 19th!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pre-cage car prep complete

So this weekend with the help of Seth again and Stephen Dubovsky, we finished installing the rear subframe reinforcement kit, Diffsonline diff, new RTABs, rear calipers and all fluids. My whole body is sore from all the lifting of parts. That rear subframe w/ the diff and axles all attached is NOT for the weak! Not to mention trying to get it perfectly lined up so we could reinstall it!

I wish I took a picture of the whole rear of the car off, but we were crunching for time. Speaking of crunching, I forgot to set the pads and when loading into the trailer, I managed to crash into my cabinets :( Sigh.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mix and Match ordeal

So everything was coming along together nicely after the last post. The next step was to replace the rod bearings. Everything was still going along very nicely. As pictured, an engine support held the engine up while I dropped the front subframe for access to the oil pan. Once removed, I started to remove the rod bolts. Thinking I was just getting new ones, I did not bother to mark them (more on that later). With new parts in hand, I replaced one of the rod bearings (dont remember if it was #3 or #4 now) and they looked fairly worn. Upon reassembly, the new rod bolts did not fit!!!! The new bolts were M10 which are the updated BMW rod bolts for the connecting rods after the whole recall debacle. Mine were M11, which was odd.

BMW stopped making engines with the M11 somewhere in late 2002 and this car being a 2004, that was SUPER odd. Some further research on a serial # sticker on the side of the block led me to some deciphering PDF designating this motor as a BMW Reman. built in 2002. So at some point in this car's prior life, someone blew the motor and put in a replacement. All done outside of BMW since there is no service history to this. Even more perplexing is the previous owner bought the car around 50k miles which would make it even more odd that the owner before him would have done something outside of warranty. Anyhow, it is what it is.

Now that I know my car has the older M11 bolts, the BMW recall procedure says you can reuse the rod bolts ONLY if you mark them and put them back in their original rod bolt locations. WHOOPS! What now? BMW doesnt make the M11 bolts anymore. So I ended up having to procure some ARP Rod Bolts from our friends at VAC Motorsports in Philly.

The rod bolts have been reinstalled and Im glad I took the opportunity to inspect and replace the rod bearings. See picture for crazy wear, especially on the #2 cylinder (top row, 2nd pair in picture). The connecting rod ride of #2 rod bearing even had a little copper showing, which means it was almost worn through!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bimmerworld Strapless Apparatus installed

Strapless goodness. Dont google that, all you will get are a bunch of sexy dresses. This part though is equally sexy. Bimmerworld has come out with a "strapless" pressure plate clutch package. Often known as the weak point of E36 and E46 pressure plates, the straps often snap. This unit utilizes a design which does away with those pesky straps. Add to that a lightweight flywheel, performance clutch and you have a great package. Not to mention, all parts are individually rebuildable! Spent the bulk of this day after New Years to install with the help of my BMW OEM parts pusher, Seth Weiner. Thanks Seth!

Definitely not a hard job to do, but a helping hand is invaluable when you have to support a heavy transmission. Actually Seth did most of the wrenching, but since I already had the Bimmerworld 3.5" Single pipe exhaust, there was not much to remove. The installation was pretty straightforward and actually ran into relatively few problems! No stripping of the old pressure plate bolts and everything came off easily. Installation was just as simple with the transmission lining up on the FIRST try! AMAZING. On prior clutch jobs, Ive always found myself trying to do this multiple times before I achieved success.

While the trans was out, I took the opportunity to replace the slave cylinder and the pivot pin/spring. Everything is bled. Did not reinstall the driveshaft and other associated components because I will be dropping the rear subframe to reinforce it, install solid mounts and my next secret weapon from Diffsonline !

Oh, I did think of one annoying thing. Prior owner used ATE Super Blue. How I despise the stuff. Don't believe people when they claim it wont stain your lines, or how it is so AWESOME for bleeding because it changes colors. BS! Dont believe it. We sell ATE, but if you must, get the gold over the blue. Better yet, get something like Motul RBF600 or Wilwood EXP600. Skip the blue.