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Thread: Simple M3

  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinrichs View Post
    I think thats what I was commenting about, since the S54 is my end goal if I keep my car. For me its a lot easier tho since I dont need hardly anything extra on the engine to work other than it running haha. I feel like that will keep the costs down. I think I might join you and order the bushings I have pushed off for a while and maybe finish the rear end at least. I have a mean shimmy around 100 I need to solve and hopefully thats where my issues are.
    I find a lot of the cost comes in the form of wiring harnesses for me. But then obviously maintenance items like rod bearings, etc. It’ll definitely be cheaper for your M3, but I think a bulk of the cost is wrapped up in the same items. I have a spreadsheet with all the parts I’ve identified as needed for this swap, I can share it with you if you want to give you a good idea haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by 19birel View Post
    This car is really shaping up nicely! What's the advantage of the ZHP steering rack, quicker ratio?

    BTW nice daily, I've always liked those TSX wagons, you never really see them around
    Thank you! ZHP steering rack has a 3.0 lock to lock ratio and is very linear. The stock M3 rack is progressive, and is a fair bit slower. The Z3 rack has been the go to swap for most people for years, but stock is getting scarce and I’ve heard that it is very twitchy on the highway. The ZHP rack is supposed to be the best compromise, quick for the canyons but stable at high speed.

    And I had no idea how rare the wagons were until after I bought it. I was on the hunt for a first gen, manual TSX but couldn’t find any. A friend suggested looking at second gens instead, and I stumbled on this wagon that met all my criteria and then some. I pulled the trigger, and after getting it learned that they only brought ~10k wagons to the US from 09-14 haha. I’ve been loving it as a daily so far.

  2. #77

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    Quarantine Time

    Well, since Iím not going anywhere, tons of free time to fuss with the M3. Today I started finishing up the M3.


    I got the Garagistic X brace installed, along with the new CABs installed. I opted for Garagisticís street poly, after ordering the wrong bushings the first time around. They slid on easy, and the brace... well that was kind of a pain to install. So it turns out one of the threads for the lollipops was ruined at some point. Definitely cross threaded, and when I tried using the Garagistic supplied hardware, it became pretty clear this wasnít going to work. I, unfortunately, do not own a tap set, so I found the bad bolt in question and put that in. This will have to be addressed pretty quickly, I donít trust having shorter threads there, but for now itíll let me get the car done and tested.


    For the first time in a while, the engine wasnít dangling by a support brace. I got everything seated and happy, and started nutting and bolting the car. Iím still a ways from being done, but itís coming along pretty nicely. Having tons of free time can be nice I guess.


    Finally, I test fitted the front brakes for the first time. Things fit well, Iím happy with the look. I thought I was going to need spacers for the front for some reason, but there are zero clearance issues with my current wheels.

    Not bad progress for a Saturday afternoon.

  3. #78

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    Racekor
    working this fast you'll finish it in a heartbeat!

    Is the x-brace protruding under the body lines? Or does it still sit higher than the bumper/skirts? I should do something with mine too but it's still low-ish, don't want to add something that ends up banging the ground every 3 seconds

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  4. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    Racekor
    working this fast you'll finish it in a heartbeat!

    Is the x-brace protruding under the body lines? Or does it still sit higher than the bumper/skirts? I should do something with mine too but it's still low-ish, don't want to add something that ends up banging the ground every 3 seconds
    It doesn’t hang lower than the frame rails, but is a slight bit lower than the subframe. If you’re extremely low, then it will probably cause some problems. Obviously I’ve yet to drive with it yet, but I’ll report how it goes.

  5. #80

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    So Close, Yet So Far

    Well I had a number of set backs that delayed me, and just as I thought I had finished one final one cropped up.


    Back tracking a little bit first, the first problem I ran into was one of the rear brake hard lines was stripped. This is the piece that connects to the trailing arm. Fortunately a friend of mine was parting out a couple of E36s and brought that by for me. I soaked it in ATF and freed it. Swapped the line and bracket on the trailing arm and we were good to go. That problem cost me a couple days.




    Then, once I thought I was completely done, disaster struck as I was backing out of the garage. One of the pins in the caliper body was considerably indented inwards. I didn’t notice that it would interfere with the rotor face in the air with no wheel on, I guess because I didn’t have set screws in. Anyway, I backed up out of my garage and immediately knew the rotor was destroyed. I’m not sure how I missed this, but looking through all my old photos of the calipers it’s clear to see this pin has always been not flush. Fairly embarrassing, but no sense in hiding my mistakes. I rushed, and that’s what I get. I’m sure I could have this rotor turned pretty easily, the damage isn’t that deep. But with COVID running amuck, I really don’t want to go out to shops or anything like that right now. Take a look at the following comparison pictures:


    Ruined side


    Normal side

    So everything was done on the car, bled and ready to go, but now I’m waiting for a new rotor in the mail. I’m going to attempt to Dremel the pin down slightly to clearance it. As much as I’d like to press the pin in, I don’t have a press or the means to do that. So If I can gain just enough clearance to fit, I’ll call it good enough for now. What a bummer, so close to getting to enjoy the car again.


    At least this looks good. I can’t wait for a proper test drive. So my stupidity aside, the car is finally back together. For just plugging away during weekends, actually that wasn’t so bad.
    Last edited by bwwaaaa; 04-19-2020 at 07:27 PM.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Temple, PA
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    Damn that sucks about the rotor and caliper issue. Can you use a large c-clamp on the pins possibly? Not sure if it would ruin the powder or not.
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

  7. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinrichs View Post
    Damn that sucks about the rotor and caliper issue. Can you use a large c-clamp on the pins possibly? Not sure if it would ruin the powder or not.
    It would but that could probably be prevented by using a piece of plastic backed with some cloth between the caliper and the clamp

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  8. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinrichs View Post
    Damn that sucks about the rotor and caliper issue. Can you use a large c-clamp on the pins possibly? Not sure if it would ruin the powder or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    It would but that could probably be prevented by using a piece of plastic backed with some cloth between the caliper and the clamp
    Yup, I’m going to attempt to squeeze it back in. Not feeling confident I have the tools to do that safely, but fortunately it’s very easy to remove the caliper from the car and try.

  9. #84

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    Fixed-ish

    So after attempting to press in the studs a number of ways, I gave up and just ground them down. Is this ideal? No. However after weighing my options I wasnít sure how else to handle the situation. Because of the powder build up on the posts and the face of the caliper, Iíd have to cut the powder and use substantially more force than my hand tools provided to move them. I consulted with a few people, and they said it should be fine to ground down the posts since Iíll have the same effective length.






    So I took a dremel and very slowly removed material until it was the same length as the opposing side. I then hit it with some caliper paint to seal it. Hurt to cut into my freshly finished pieces, and I feel like Iíll likely replace this caliper in the future because I feel like itís a bit compromised, but I guess this gets the job done for now. New rotor showed up, I put it on, rebled the system and took it out on the road.






    So a few things from that test drive.

    1. As questioned before on this thread, the Garagistic X brace does hang lower than anticipated. It definitely scraped going over a speed bump.
    2. Something is up with my alignment or my steering rack. Currently it feels as if the caster is way off, as the rack is not self-centering anymore. If I turn left or right, the wheel will either stick at that angle, or continue to follow that path until it reaches full lock. I only did an eyeball alignment for the front, so I suspect I did something wrong, but it is a little concerning. Some suggested greasing the upper u-joint on the steering column, I donít see how that could be it but I will try that. Otherwise I need to get an alignment and hope that helps. If not, Iím open to suggestions, anyone else have a similar issue?
    3. Brakes need more bleeding. Theyíre still a little soft, so Iím not ready to speak to the 996 Brembos effectiveness.

    So back to the garage we go. Nearly done, but still have a ways to go.

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
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    225

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    Hey, that doesn't sound right about the rack! Double check if you routed the hoses correctly.
    I think the caliper will be just fine, even if you don't do anything more about it.
    Cars looking great!
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  11. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    Hey, that doesn't sound right about the rack! Double check if you routed the hoses correctly.
    I think the caliper will be just fine, even if you don't do anything more about it.
    Cars looking great!
    The lines seem to be all correct, I’m not getting violent feedback from the wheel like I would if I reversed a PS line. The more I read on the subject, the more it seems it’s either a bad rack, or my alignment is hilariously wrong.

    On the caliper issue, it should work just fine but it bugs me that those pins are sunken in. Someday, when I have nothing else better to do, I’ll probably address that. Not a big deal, but something that will bug me haha.

  12. #87

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    Self centering issue sounds like super toed-in alignment, never had a bad rack tho so can't be sure about that

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  13. #88

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    Car is looking great man!

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SoCal
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    Great read, silver looks soooo good on e36's.

    𝔣𝔬𝔩𝔩𝔬𝔴 𝔪𝔢
    @𝔳𝔦𝔳𝔢_𝔪𝔢𝔪𝔬𝔯_𝔩𝔢𝔱𝔦

  15. #90

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    Thanks all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    Self centering issue sounds like super toed-in alignment, never had a bad rack tho so can't be sure about that
    That’s my bet too. I fussed with it a little, and it seemed to get marginally better but clearly the toe is waaaay out of line. The rack seems fine otherwise, no leaks or other indicators that would point to it being bad.

    Small update with no photos, dropped the car off this morning with a local fabricator to get the rear trailing arm reinforcements done. I’m also having them do all the rear subframe/trailing arm bushings while they’re at it. It’s not that I can’t do it, but I’m getting really sick of working on the ground on jack stands. Pulling the rear end sounded like a nightmare, so I’m just going to let them do that.

    After that, it’s time to finally get an alignment.

  16. #91

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    Just in time

    Got these photos from the fabricator today. Looks like I got to the RTAB pockets just in time.






    Fortunately heís welding in plates and fixing that all up. Hopefully more photos soon, I literally got those photos a few hours ago. As mentioned prior, heís doing all the bushings while there, since I really have no ambition of doing another rear subframe drop on the floor again. Until I get a lift, Iím done dropping subframes

    Iím thinking about celebrating with a track day, once track days are a thing again of course. Iíll need some different wheels for that though, so... time to source another set?

  17. #92

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    Jesus, all these cracked e36s pictures have me worried about mine lately, hope it will hot be too late when I can manage to do the reinforcements

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  18. #93
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
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    225

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    Sorry to see that common e36/e46 manifested on your car, but happy you caught it in time and getting it fixed.
    Fruttolo, you should do this sooner than later.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  19. #94

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    I want to buy an E92M3 in the next year or two, but stuff like this RTAB issue scares me. For the life of me, I can't understand why BMW can't get simple stuff like subframe mounts and rod bearings right.

  20. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    Jesus, all these cracked e36s pictures have me worried about mine lately, hope it will hot be too late when I can manage to do the reinforcements
    It's worth checking at the very least to see if they're failing already. But if you have the time, I'd definitely recommend it. Even if your car never experiences this failure, it's relatively cheap insurance. If it fails, I've seen it take out quarter panels from the wheel smashing in. I was going to do it regardless if mine was damaged or not, but turns out I timed it just right!

    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    Sorry to see that common e36/e46 manifested on your car, but happy you caught it in time and getting it fixed.
    Fruttolo, you should do this sooner than later.
    Thanks! All good, I've seen cars with more severe damage get repaired, so I'm not stressing it too much. Definitely glad I caught this now before it got too bad, had it failed completely I would have had a very, very bad day.

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybadger View Post
    I want to buy an E92M3 in the next year or two, but stuff like this RTAB issue scares me. For the life of me, I can't understand why BMW can't get simple stuff like subframe mounts and rod bearings right.
    In my experience, these issues are mildly annoying if you catch them before they become a big issue. The aftermarket has solutions for everything, so if you find an E92 with service history on the bearings and you're willing to do some preventative maintenance to add that level of insurance, it's pretty much a non-issue.

    The big issue with BMWs is buying a car with no known history and then not taking steps to prevent future damage. That's where most enthusiasts run into trouble. You'll read countless forum posts about people saying they never reinforced their E36, or never did the rod bearings on their S65 and they're just fine. And like sure, you are until you aren't. And then typically what was a "relatively small" job, suddenly becomes a full blown engine rebuild or rewelding your floor back together.

    I'd say if you're in the market for an E92, don't let the rod bearings scare you off, just make sure you do your due diligence to make sure the car you get either has had it addressed, or it will be immediately taken care of on purchase.

  21. #96

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    Welded


    So fortunately everything is fixed with the trailing arm reinforcements. Just goes to show there's no need to panic over these, but if you own an E36 it is definitely something to be aware of.


    After all of that, the only poly bushings we ended up installing were the subframe bushings. The trailing arm bushings were brand new, and the diff bushings look ok. I may go back in and do the diff bushings myself at a later date, but for now I'd prefer to leave the rubber ones in. Less noise in the car that way.

    Today it got aligned, went back to that shop briefly to fix a small mistake with the speedo sensor, and was then dropped off for fresh tint. So progress is happening as best as I can while the world is upside down.

    A brief question for all E36 owners: has anyone had PCV valve (oil separator) failure that resulted in high crank case pressure blowing out the seals? You may remember I had the same problem in my Miata a year ago. After facing continued oil leak issues, it occurred to me that this is only happening after driving the car hard. If I get it high into the RPM and park it, it seems to leak oil pretty badly. If I put around, it doesn't. A friend of mine noticed that a small amount of smoke was coming out of the exhaust when I floored it, which is consistent with PCV failure, but I wasn't sure if that really translated into crankcase pressure becoming so high it's pushing oil past the seals.

    I already ordered the parts, but I thought I'd ask if anyone else has gone through this. It's driving me a little nuts.

  22. #97

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    Pandemic Productivity

    Lots of small updates lately because itís not like I have anything better to do. First, I got the car back from alignment. If youíve been following the thread, youíll know I had some concerns about my steering rack and the handling of the car after doing all of that. Iím pleased to report it was just my own horrible home alignment. The toe was so far off on the front axle that it wouldnít self steer. One fresh alignment later, and the car feels perfect. The ZHP rack feels tight and linear, and has a great lock to lock ratio (3.0). Huge upgrade from the blown stock steering rack.

    Unfortunately now Iím dealing with other weird handling dynamics. I think I just discovered some flaws in my plan. The front feels sharp and direct, but the rear end of the car feels washed out and too soft. A number of problems come to mind, the narrower tires on the rear over stock, the less grippy compound that Iím running now compared to before, mostly using rubber bushings vs. poly in the front. Of course dampening settings could play a large role in this as well. So Iím going to take some time to fiddle with the rear shocks and see if I canít improve it.

    I have a feeling in the next few months youíll probably see me change up my entire wheel, tire and ride height situation to get the car to feel a little sharper. I think I probably slammed it out a little too much.




    Also, less interesting but still exciting for me, I finally got the car retinted. When I bought the car it had horribly bubbled tint on just the rear glass. I love the fish bowl look, so I had it all redone in 70% ceramic. Living in Arizona, weíve already started hitting over 100F temps the last few weeks, so I wanted to make sure the AC had a fighting chance. I got Xpel XR Plus ceramic tint put on all the way around (minus windshield). Itís a dumb foot note on the car that Iíll never mention again, but in case anyone was wondering what a nearly invisible tint looks like, here you go.

    Up next, I am still waiting on the PCV components to arrive. I need to install the ACS delete boot, as well as my intake back on, and fuss with a few loose ends in the engine bay. Iím also slowly collecting pieces for paint, I had a whole bunch of rubber gaskets/window seals arrive for the car this week. Iím just trying to collect every bit I need before I send it off later this Summer.

  23. #98

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    I was 99% sure the steering problem was just the car screaming for an alignment LOL glad it was, too
    Are those garagistic rear subframe bushings? If yes keep an eye on them, just yesterday I was reading a thread on e36 world groups talking about those failing due to being low quality and having no sleeve for the bolt, hope they don't fail on you too.

    Rear end dynamics tho are worth discussing further, your ride height is not that dramatically low IMO

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  24. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    I was 99% sure the steering problem was just the car screaming for an alignment LOL glad it was, too
    Are those garagistic rear subframe bushings? If yes keep an eye on them, just yesterday I was reading a thread on e36 world groups talking about those failing due to being low quality and having no sleeve for the bolt, hope they don't fail on you too.

    Rear end dynamics tho are worth discussing further, your ride height is not that dramatically low IMO
    They are Garagistic bushings, and I’ll keep a close eye on them, thanks for the heads up. I know AKG bushings don’t have a sleeve either, so I had noticed that when ordering but assumed it was ok. I’ve always heard about Garagistic quality issues, but I’ve never experienced any for myself after years of using their products. However, definitely a point of concern if others are experiencing failures. I’ll keep a really close eye on it. I was discussing this with some friend’s last night, it’s very likely that when I S54 swap this car I’ll pull out the whole rear end again for a second refresh to change a few things. So they just need to last until then if they are poor quality.

    On the handling point, yeah I didn’t think I was too low but I’m struggling to figure out what has caused this. I’m going to have a very comprehensive post in the near future of me setting the dampening and fussing with the setup until I’m happy with it again. I may need to ask you some questions from a track perspective and see what I can do to sharpen the car up. But I’ll message you on Instagram about that later haha.

  25. #100
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Temple, PA
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    4,395

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    Whats your rear alignment?
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

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