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Thread: Simple M3

  1. #126

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    It was worse before it was better

    Right so, I owe some updates. And I’m not sure what order to give all my information in because there are a lot of moving pieces. So I’ll tell it chronologically, and hope it makes sense.

    After getting my clutch done, I was still frustrated that I was feeling a ¬ďwobble¬Ē in the driveline. Everything was new, so there was no reason for this to be happening. However I decided to leave it be until it got worse, so I could finally identify what it was. Oh boy, did it get worse. More on that in a minute.

    I actually took the car on a long road trip up to Northern Arizona. 3 hours up and down, and some back roads driving in between, to break in the clutch. The car did well, I didn’t notice anything too alarming as I kind of babied it with the new clutch. But once we cracked 500 miles of street driving I started pushing a little more, and discovered it was still acting up.






    I drove it back down and everything seemed mostly ok, so I was content to leave the car as is. It was time to focus on the interior, so I went to buy some seats from my friend, a pair of Sparco QRT-Vs out of his 930. I took the M3 because it was finally driving well enough for me to trust it, and frankly I was enjoying it more than my Acura.

    Leaving his house, I gave it a ¬ďlittle¬Ē gas because, well why not. At the top of third the whole car felt like it hit a wall, and when I came off throttle I could hear a horrifically rattling. The car also felt like it was slipping the clutch, like one of the clutch pads was missing and it was skipping. It was a really weird sensation, and the rattling noise from inside the car sounded like it was transmission. I managed to limp it a block home.

    Frustrated, and thinking it was clutch, I just sent it back to the shop that just did the clutch without digging any further. This is where everything went wrong for me honestly, I should have carved some time out to wrench and diagnose this issue myself.


    The shop came back and said, eh nah not clutch it must be a seized pulley. Red flags, alarms going off, this isn’t at all consistent with a seized idler pulley. But I figured if they have the car in front of them, they must have taken the time to dig through it. I order the parts, overnight delivery and drop them off.


    So they take a couple days to do this (days... for pulleys), and then give me a call.

    ¬ďWell, honestly it changed nothing. And when I put on the belt I noticed your crank pulley was loose. Checked the bolt, it¬ís hand tight.¬Ē

    Well, shit.

    A few things, one this tracks with all the vibration issues I’ve had. I suspect the pulley has been slightly loose since I purchased the car over a year ago. Under rapid load, it wiggles and shocks the drivetrain. Alarming for crank longevity, but let’s ignore that. The other thing is, it is likely that I made the problem WORSE by going to a lightweight flywheel. Despite being a reputable brand and balanced piece, it appears that there is some documented history of this happening to others. The harmonics change, and if anything is loose it rattles it free on the engine.

    Solution?








    An extremely overpriced ATI Damper from VAC. For the record, after looking at this thing closely, I cannot imagine why this is so expensive. However it seems to be the only fool proof way to ensure this doesn’t happen again. I also ordered new hardware, woodruff keys, pins etc.

    The logic was, as long as nothing was damaged on the crank snout, this (properly torqued to spec) would hold together much better than OEM with the added vibration of the LTW flywheel.

    Let’s now ADD some complication to the situation. The shop where the car was refused to do this. They said they were uncomfortable being responsible for the repair, and hadn’t done this before. 1. Alarming for a BMW specialty shop, 2. The car was still broken and I needed to move it. So I once again asked my friend to bring his Raptor and trailer over, and we hauled it back to my house. But we’re still not out of the woods yet friends. I had the parts in hand, and I had the car, but to properly torque the center crank bolt, you need to hold the engine in place and crank it to 300ft/lbs. While I’m capable of doing a lot here at home, I don’t have the tools to hold the rotating assembly in place, nor do I own an torque wrench that goes anywhere near that rating.


    So yesterday the car hopped on yet another trailer, and it was off to a shop I knew could handle it. I should have gone there in the first place, they have been the only people I trust other than myself to work on my cars over the years. Literally in the same day, they had it done and running like new.


    That was taken this morning. It runs just as it should. I feel no difference with the ATI damper, other than the elusive vibration I have been chasing for a year is finally gone. I imagine another OEM damper would have done that, but it’s impossible to buy a NOS one. So I had to pay a premium for this one.

    Takeaways

    So there you have it, the M3 is finally fixed. But at what cost?

    Here are my takeaways, and I’m treating this as a learning experience. I went to a shop for all of this work because I’ve been swamped with work and particularly unmotivated to wrench. I went to a shop I was unfamiliar with because of availability, and it bit me in the ass. I should have taken the time to go through the car myself. Even though it would have been sent to a shop regardless (due to a lack of proper tools) I would have saved two weeks of headaches and about $250 in parts I didn’t need to change.

    I’m stoked the M3 is 100% again, but what an annoying adventure to get there. You may publicly laugh at my stupidity

    I want to end on a high note though, so let’s talk about something more fun. I bought new wheels!

    New Wheels

    My friends know me as a real wheel snob. I like old school, authentic and rare wheels, and have a particular disdain for replicas and knock offs. Since I bought the M3, I’ve had this idea kicking around my head to run a specific wheel. But there were some challenges in doing this. 5x120 as a bolt pattern sucks, the quality wheels are limited and the really cool stuff is horrifically expensive IF it shows up at all. Someone show me 5x120 concave TE37s that have sold recently. You just can’t find them.

    Likewise, adapters are not my thing. Not only does it give you limited room for good fitment, my experience with them has been sketchy at best. Though I know plenty of people have run them without issue, it’s just simply a no-go for me.

    I found, just by random chance, a company in New York called Core4 Motorsports that actually make redrilled E36 M3 hubs. They sell this as a kit, but I reached out to Tom, the owner, and he was willing to sell me just the hubs and a template to redrill my E46 rotors. They’re actually in route now, and will be here next week, but I had to explain that these were coming to make this next part make sense.


    Here¬ís a teaser for my new wheels. Yes, for those in the know, these are Regamasters. They are one of my favorite wheels of all time, and I canít wait to get these on the M3. While Iím certainly not the first to do this, I hope my take will be unique.

    Iíll have more to talk about these soon, but I thought it¬íd be fun to share here.

    So that’s my update. I actually have even more to talk about, but I’m going to pace myself. So stay tuned.

  2. #127
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Temple, PA
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    Glad to see you finally got it fixed up. Cant wait to see the new wheels. I wanted to change my hubs so bad when I had the m3.
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

  3. #128
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    Aug 2016
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    N.Ireland (Norn Iron)
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    Regamasters are epic, do them white ;-) Glad you've everything sorted, I felt your pain right through all of that post lol
    My BMW E36 318ti Steel Blue Compact build thread -
    http://www.stanceworks.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=88271

  4. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinrichs View Post
    Glad to see you finally got it fixed up. Cant wait to see the new wheels. I wanted to change my hubs so bad when I had the m3.
    Thanks man. Sad to see your M3 gone, but onto bigger and better things. The hub conversion thing has been something Iíve been wanting to do since before I got the car. Iím convinced 5x120 is one of the most disappointing options for cars haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by realjoyce View Post
    This build looks amazing and I am glad that it did turn out well.
    Much appreciated! Itís coming along slowly but surely haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_318ti View Post
    Regamasters are epic, do them white ;-) Glad you've everything sorted, I felt your pain right through all of that post lol
    Thanks! Definitely was the source of a few headaches over the last few weeks. I think Iím going to be refinishing them silver. I thought about white, but I donít think it would work well on a silver car. TBD I suppose!

  5. #130

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    wheels should look awesome.... to what pcd did you change?

  6. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by C2_mad View Post
    wheels should look awesome.... to what pcd did you change?
    Thanks! I'll have 5x114.3 on the M3 now, which will open up many more wheel options in the future.

    And for everyone, because I feel like I owe more photos to this thread, my second pair of Regas arrived. I had to source two pairs to get a square setup (more on fitment later). These are in a little rougher condition, with some minor rash but it should refinish nicely. I dropped them off for refinishing yesterday, so hopefully in the next week or two I'll have them back.








    Side note, my daily driver has one of the most useless wagon hatches ever. The shock towers come so far into the cabin you can't fit four wheels laid down on their side without folding down a seat. Oh well.

  7. #132
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    Aug 2016
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    Reason I suggested white, gotblkr's silver Evo from down under on whites rock, silver will work absolutely I just think silver over white is a bold combo ;-)

    My BMW E36 318ti Steel Blue Compact build thread -
    http://www.stanceworks.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=88271

  8. #133

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    Parts Collecting Pt. 21.5

    Not a lot of substantial updates, but parts are trickling in. And I did a few things.

    Prior to sending the wheels off to be refinished I did fit them on the M3. Just a mock up to see clearances.






    Looks great, fits pretty well. My Brembos do add a bit of headache, since it just barely interferes. Looks like a 3mm spacer will fix that, so no huge deal.






    My Core4 hubs have arrived. I neglected to also order all the rear bearing parts, so those are en route from FCP. Regardless, I now have the parts in hand that will make the whole 5x114.3 swap possible.


    New tires arrived as well. I went with Dunlop Direzza ZIIIs. Substantially beefier than the Hankooks on my car now.

    Alright, nothing substantial beyond that, but we¬’re getting there.

  9. #134
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Temple, PA
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    The test fit looks good, good choice in wheel and the 5x114 swap. Tires look like they are gonna be fun to test out.
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

  10. #135

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    Fitment is an Art Form












    So I’ll start with a photo dump. Took some days off work, went back road bombing with a friend of mine. I think I’ve showed his car before, but it’s a 500whp widow maker. Needless to say, alignment problems or not, the M3 does not keep up.


    So a small problem on the Regas. I took them to get powder coated. The two black ones had just been ¬ďredone¬Ē by the previous owner, and when my guy stripped them all back it was clear they were blasted to hell. He was able to smooth them out and make them look pretty good, but some of the grain and roughness now shows through. You can¬ít see it unless you¬íre a foot away, but annoying. Very annoying.

    Regardless, I think they turned out awesome.


    This morning I went and got the tires put on. 245/40r17 Dunlop ZIIIs if anyone is digging this thread for fitment information haha.


    I also went a little crazy on finding Rega center caps. Spot the two white ones that someone promise were silver?

    But this gives me enough to make one passable clean set. I’ll be polishing those tomorrow and putting them on the wheels.










    Some more fitment goodness for you. So I had secretly hoped I could get away with a small spacer to clear the brakes and keep things tight to the hub. But I’m an idiot, and never accounted for the bulk a 245 tire puts in the space. With a 3mm spacer, the tire hits the strut. At 5mm it maybe clears? I tried a 10mm as well, which pulls the tire away from the strut more than enough, but then we start running into fender problems. I’m counting on camber solving that.

    So there’s another test fit, I know it’s getting boring but we’re getting close. Hub swap next, then we get them on for good.

  11. #136
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    Feb 2010
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    Oh man are those going to look good. What are you thinking for the final alignment up front?
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

  12. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinrichs View Post
    Oh man are those going to look good. What are you thinking for the final alignment up front?
    That’s an excellent question, and I’m not 100% sure yet. I’ve gotten a few suggestions, a lot of people recommend ~-3.5 of camber up front. Toe is kind of up in the air, because I’m trying to find the balance between the car feeling snappier, and not burning up my tires in 100 miles haha.

    I’m still totally open to suggestions if you have any!

  13. #138
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    Feb 2010
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    I think I ran -3 camber 0 toe front, -1.5 or 2 camber 1/8 toe in out back
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

  14. #139

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    not boring at all.... keep the updates coming. looking great so far.

  15. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by hinrichs View Post
    I think I ran -3 camber 0 toe front, -1.5 or 2 camber 1/8 toe in out back
    Thank you! I imagine I will be doing the same here soon. Especially after this update haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by C2_mad View Post
    not boring at all.... keep the updates coming. looking great so far.
    I appreciate it! I guess my own impatience was killing me

    Test Fit

    So the day has come. My hubs are on, the car is officially 5x114.3 and I can test fit these wheels I have been preparing for what seems like forever. One small note, I did get these wheels professionally ceramic coated. I figured I've gone to all this trouble so far, and my brakes generate so much dust, I may as well get them protected while they are fresh out of powder coat. No photos of this because, well they look exactly the same before and after haha. I've never done this before though, so I'm looking forward to seeing what difference they make in a real world applicated. I struggle to keep my fifteen52s at all clean, so it's definitely something I hope makes a big difference. But enough on that, here's the good stuff.




    Here's the front and rears for you. You can see on the front, both patterns are usable at any time. On the rear, you have to rotate the rotor to change patterns. But both 5x120 and 5x114.3 are in fact usable on the car itself. That's a big deal for me, because I'm sure I'll find 5x120 wheels I'll want to swap to at some point. Or possibly even stocks when I'm feeling extra OEM. My wheel addiction knows no bounds, this has opened up a world of bad decisions for me.








    So there's the first test fit, and the wheels on the car fully bolted on and on it's own weight. I'm stoked, I can't explain how cool this is to me. Bolt pattern swaps are something I've talked about for years, which is stupid but true. I keep getting into cars with bolt patterns that just don't have cool options. Or, at least not as easily and widely available as 114.3. I would have killed for 4x114.3 conversion hubs for my Miata. I'm fairly anti-adapter after some bad experiences with them in the past, so really this is the best solution. Plus I now have fresh wheel bearings at all corners. It didn't need them, but I have them. So that's kind of nice.

    In terms of fitment itself, in these photos I have an 8mm spacer up front, and no spacer in the rear. With my current alignment, it's about flush in the front and 100% rubbing in the rear. I need to realign the car as previously discussed, and I'm hoping that'll solve some of the clearance in the rear. In the front, I'm planning on adding camber, which to me says I'll probably need to step up to a 10mm spacer to accommodate for the fitment change.

    So up next I plan to send the car off to get aligned to more aggressive specs, and then test fit again. If it fits, great, if not it'll need more fender rolling in the rear. Then I need to, and this is the shittiest part so far, order custom spacers. Not because 8mm spacers are hard to find, but rather hub centric BMW spacers in 5x114.3 are non existent. I don't want any wobble or vibration on the freeway, and the only way I can think to do this is order spacers that are 5x114.3 but with a 72.56mm hub bore. The Regas are miraculously a 73.1mm hub bore, which means I can add a centering shim (I ran them on the fifteen52s as well) and I'll be in good shape.

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