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Turbine
Turbine GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/5/21 12:17 p.m.

In reply to dcteague :

Awesome! Thanks. I'm not really sure what my block is. It came in a box of parts when I bought the car. The gauge and sender are both VDO 

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/5/21 12:51 p.m.

The block you're using might be creating a problem depending on how its designed.  It may be more for temp than pressure which could be the problem, or the gauge and senders may be mismatched.  What pressure is it reading?

Turbine
Turbine GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/5/21 1:41 p.m.

In reply to dcteague :

I don't think I've seen my cold idle go over 30psi. Hot idle is 3-4. Pretty low on both. 

It could always be that my oil pump is tired, but I don't see any other signs of that. I need to get a mechanical gauge on it to verify. 
 

Good call on the block too. I went ahead and ordered the one you linked. Sorry for the thread jack!

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/5/21 1:50 p.m.

Came across this online - might be useful to validate against your numbers.  I haven't had mine up and running recently so don't recall cold/hot pressures:

PSI at idle.
S52
Minimum 0.5 bar
Regulated maximum 4.0 bar

S54
Minimum 0.7 bar
Regulated maximum 4.0
 

Turbine
Turbine GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/5/21 1:59 p.m.

In reply to dcteague :

Great! Thanks again!

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/9/21 9:56 p.m.

Spent some time working on my electrical connections and modifying the stock airbox to accommodate a larger hose than stock since I've upgraded to the 3.5" MAF.    For this I've cut out the original connection fitting, as well as the raised part that looks like a partial tube on the top.  I've purchased a 4" ABS elbow that's usually used in woodworking shops for vacuum systems.  I'll cut a right angle out of this, then glue it back onto the stock airbox using epoxy, then recover everything in heat protective foil.

 

This is the original flange.

This is the adapter from the 3.5" MAF.  Since finding a 3.5" coupler and hosing is much harder than 4", I'm going to use 4" for anything before the MAF.  I assume this will provide more flow.  I was originally going to use the pictured flange and attach it to the box with epoxy and then found the elbow and think I can recreate the original design with a 4" flange.

After cutting away all of the housing that's associated with the flange structure, I ended up with this.

Now I just need to make sure I get a good cut on this elbow, and it should fit right over the hole I created and will be ready for epoxy.  I also bought a 1/4" sheet of ABS in case I screw things up.   Here's the elbow - $8 modification with some elbow grease.

Here's a cut-line added so it makes more sense.  This will fit over both the face of the box, and also fill the hump on the top.  If I can get a good cut, there will be minimal gaps that can't be filled with epoxy before I cover in protective heat shielding.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/10/21 4:37 p.m.

Did a bit of electrical work today, figuring out the schematics and prepping for installation once I get the materials for my center console - a thick piece of FR4 fiberglass - a material that's easy to work with, comes in black, cheap, and is pretty rigid (much stiffer than ABS of similar thickness).

Installed an aux fuse box with 6 connectors - 1) gauges, 2) SPAL fan, 3) electric defogger fan - the rest are spares.  The relay next to it is for the SPAL fan, and another will be installed for the electric defogger fan.

Spent more time than I'd like installing connectors so I can work on things without having to rewire constantly.  These aren't bad once you get used to how they go together - they're waterproof and if soldered, are good connectors.

I did some testing with the connectors, and made sure it all worked in my living room, using a battery jump starter - much easier than having to test in the car and rewire if it was wrong. Not sure my wife was happy about it though :)  Used my old center dash vent panel for testing - you can see my cardboard template for the center console in the background.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/11/21 5:48 p.m.

Had a bit of success tonight on a buddies bandsaw to cut the elbow to match up to the box in place of the stock looking hose fitting.  Turned out pretty close - will fine tune it with my belt sander to get it perfect from here, then epoxy it into place, and cover back up with heat shielding.

 

 

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
1/12/21 1:45 p.m.

I like your ducting work - very clean.  Curious to hear if the foil makes an appreciable difference in AIT numbers.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/12/21 1:50 p.m.
84FSP said:

I like your ducting work - very clean.  Curious to hear if the foil makes an appreciable difference in AIT numbers.

Thanks - I'll know soon, but I figured it can't hurt and its likely going to be much better than most CAI on the market.  I'll figure out where to route the other end once I get the headlights on, and know how much room I have to route additional ducting to a clean outside source of air.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/13/21 9:33 a.m.

After some of the most toxic epoxy I've used, I was able to get a solid connection between the new duct attachment and airbox.  Not the prettiest, but definitely will work and is strong enough for any stress put on the box from the various connections.  I'll probably remove a little excess epoxy but not too concerned about how this looks.

 

I mounted it to test fit, and its almost perfect but will require some major cutting back on the silicone connectors so that the entire path fits within the stock space between the throttle body and airbox - the MAF is larger than stock so length is now the challenge but I think I can make it work.  Will post the pic of the full path once I have them trimmed and setup.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/17/21 5:04 p.m.

Spent a lot of time sorting wiring.

I made a new harness that combined the SPAL, all gauges, and relays, and associated grounds and it includes all power and grounds at the gauge pods and new center console/panel I mocked up.  I have 2 relays to run my SPAL and new defogger, and a 6 terminal fuse box wired into the main power.  I used water proof multi-pin connectors throughout to make it easy to remove everything.  I'll add some pics later.

My center console will have the following:

  • 4 gauges (oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, volt - the first 3 have a tri-alert warning system so they don't need to be watched but are good for evaluating/monitoring off track and tuning.  may add fuel pressure later if I can't tap into ecu for this.
  • accessory power toggle
  • kill switch
  • window toggles
  • hazard toggle
  • warning light toggle
  • SPAL fan toggle
  • defogging/heater toggle
  • brake bias knob

Still figuring how to layout various items - this pic shows the initial fitting before I mount any toggles or gauges.  This is cut from the same material I used on the door cards but a little thicker - a FR4 fire resistant panel.  Not sure if I'll cover it or just leave it as-is, and I may cut a copy from aluminum to see which is less harsh on the eye in sun or hard to see at night (for drives home from the track). 

I'll attach the base to the trans tunnel with a hinge so I can flip it forward if I want to disconnect things.   The top portion that replaced the center vents has 2 brackets behind it to attach at the top, and just below that another stock location (you can see a hole) - I'll make a small bracket from aluminum to span the gap but that should make it pretty sturdy.

SPAL is done, and started to figure out oil cooler location - will post some pics once that's done, along with the radiator overflow tank, etc.

 

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/20/21 3:16 p.m.

Did the drilling and cut out the gauge holes, test fit things, and am pretty close to installing.  Need to find a small bracket I can use to run an extra pull cable to the kill switch, and install the starter button still.  Will organize all wires by installing clips to the back, and 2 distribution bats for ground and misc power.

 

dcteague
dcteague Reader
1/21/21 5:12 p.m.

For the console, and wrapped up the SPAL install.

Also test fit the oil cooler.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
2/3/21 8:22 p.m.

Finished off most of the wiring, a pain.  Also installed the paddle style horn button to avoid running wires thru the hub.  I'll be testing this over the next few days, then start to focus on body work.

Also wired up the shift light and configured it with a battery charger.  Nice little unit.

Here's the steering wheel setup.

​​​​​​

Shift light.

 

 

 

 

 

dcteague
dcteague Reader
2/10/21 9:59 a.m.

Added a small panel to my shift light to hold warning lights for oil/water temp/pressures separate from the stock units - these run off a dedicated alert system linked into the 3 gauges with custom trigger points.  

I'll be installing this above the steering column once I can figure out how to increase the height so its visible over the steering wheel itself.  All of the wiring has been installed using a new harness that includes all of the various new wiring I've bundled to run the center panel, triggers, and lighting.

I'll post some pics of the center console and harness install once finished up.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
2/11/21 5:33 p.m.

Finished the center console, ready for install.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
4/9/21 10:20 a.m.

Progress continues.  Reinstalled the entire center console now that the electronics are sorted although getting the wiring to look neat is nearly impossible so I'm just going to go with it as-is.  


Started to reinstall body components finally - and came to my first challenge.  Now that I've reinstalled the brake lights they're not working consistently and need to sort that out before continuing.  If I can't get them to work I'll likely just wire them direct to avoid having to sort out the BMW modules and gremlins they create.  

Also installed a set of road seats for those periodic casual drives in the mountains that don't require a 6 point harness and my fixed back seats.  Maybe use them for sorting the car at SCCA track night events and autoX until having the fixed back installed makes sense.  

Found my harness bar is too high - its the cross-bar from my HardDog racing track bar but it could never work in a sanctioned/inspected car given its height in relation to any fixed back seats.  Its so high you'd have to raise the seats to the point your head would be 3-4 inches above the main hoop, and I'm only 5'8".

dcteague
dcteague Reader
4/21/21 1:36 p.m.

Finally finished putting the body back on, and getting the dust partially cleaned off from being stored in the attic for 2+ years.  Having a bit of an electrical gremlin with my high beams but think its a bad light switch so waiting to confirm once a new one arrives.  Brakes were rebuilt and reinstalled - need to bleed them and finally get my exhaust installed - another challenge when you're working solo under  car on jack stands.  The flanges aren't aligning well, so may have to take it to a more robust shop to finish things off, and get an alignment while there.  Otherwise, I'm pretty close to seeing if I can get this to pass an inspection.  It passed last time with a similar setup although more of the interior is now removed and the change to the center console might raise some eyebrows (hopefully they'll skip a visual of the undercarriage and suspension, exhaust, and other changes for track use).

dcteague
dcteague Reader
4/30/21 8:02 p.m.

Spent some time getting the last minute items solved and installed.  Started thinking I'd put the Quick-Latch hood locking system but found the depth of the locking mechanism was too close to the core support (after I put holes into the hood of course).  Then decided I'd check out the Aerocatch system in, but that also couldn't clear the core support.  I finally decided to go with traditional hood pins but spent a bunch of time finding good quality ones, and decided to go with Drake Muscle Car - really nice quality pins, top plates, and other hardware.  I couldn't use their pins though because the threading didn't give me enough room to lower them so they were tight, so had to use some other pins (I used Allstar Performance).   Once the lights are installed, the cables should rest at the corner of the headlight and hood.  Headlights will go back in once I get the right corner marker bulb sockets - mine won't fit.  Here's a picture of the mounting points when I tried to install the quick-latch system - I used the same spot for my final hood pins.

 

Great quality pins and scuff plates - if the pins they provided would have worked, they would have allowed for a flush fit to the plate so I'll keep checking on options.  The original pins were drilled at 15 degrees to allow for hood contour, but since they stood too tall for my hood I had to use the other style which are drilled square.  Hopefully Drake can provide the right pins but if not I'm not disappointed in the fit of these.  These have a nice channel for the latch to rest, rubber seals and a guide for the hood pin to use for imperfect hole alignment.  Overall, I was very impressed with them compared to the E36 M3 I got from Allstart (aside from the pin itself - the rest of the hardware is not realiable for a track car).

I also installed the windshield washer system - an aftermarket tank and pump I attached to the ECU box (probably not the best location due to water near the ECU, but figure if it gets wet due to an accident, I have a lot more concerns to manage than if I got my ECU wet).  Its sealed anyway, and there are a couple other electronics that are nearby, but nothing that would stop the car.  Here's the kit I installed - worked out well considering the original tank was 3x its size and would have required reworking my coolant reservoir.  Given its cost, if it allows me to get through an inspection I'm good!


I used the tank and mounting hardware, and then ran the stock wiring to the new pump and it worked like a charm.  Not bad for a $20 replacement.  Probably 10x less expensive than a stock unit and is far more compact.  Given the car's purpose, it has plenty of fluid capacity.

 

Overall, its damn close to drivable and I expect by end of day tomorrow, I'll be close to taking it out for a shake-down and alignment and a few minor safety items before I hit a real track with it.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
5/5/21 8:17 p.m.

Final stages are nearing as the most important part is added - the extreme HP boosting stickers.  

 

dcteague
dcteague Reader
7/26/21 10:53 a.m.

So I've been spending some time on the rear brakes to ensure they'll balance well with the front Porsche upgraded calipers I'll be installing soon.  I found a good setup but it took some time.

Wilwood calipers and bracket specific to the e36 rear works very well with minimal modifications - only a slight trimming of the dust sheild.  I originally thought I'd have to swap out the rotors to fit the caliper setup, but then found the stock rotors were a better fit.  Here's a list of the parts:

Wilwood caliper bracket - 250-10901 - A lug mount bracket that will fit several different calipers from Wilwood.

Wilwood caliper - 120-9703 - Dynapro lug mount.  There are others, but for my setup the piston surface area balanced well with my front setup.

This setup uses the 7812 pad selection, so plenty of options there for strett to track/enduro.  Oddly enough, this is not normally sold as a kit for some reason even though its essentially a stock rotor setup.  I had to use a small shim between the caliper and bracket to get them centered, but well within Wilwood specs (<4mm).  The final setup looks largely stock and there's plenty of room with the stock 17" roadstars installed.

 

Here's the install with stock rotor.  This setup places the pad just below the outer paremeter of the rotor.  

This is the same setup but using a e34M5 rotor, that is the exact same size in the rotor hat, but the disc itself is 300mm vs stock 312mm in diameter.  This left almost all 12mm of the pad touching no rotor at the outer most edge of the disc.  

This image is just before I added the shims between the caliper and bracket, you can see they sit just slightly off center of the rotor - with the shim, it now sits perfectly in the middle.

dcteague
dcteague Reader
11/7/21 4:42 p.m.

A few updates.

had a proper harness bar installed since the one that comes with the Hard Dog bar is way too high behind the seat for the harnesses to sit right - it puts the harness well above my seat slots.  I had the bar welded into place instead of the bolt-in.  

Also finally finished the exhaust - headers to SuperSprint resonator mid-section.  Removed the cats, and the exhaust now terminates just at the rear subframe with short down-spouts.  Its pretty loud but it passed inspection in MA since its over 15 years old and doesn't go thru smog anymore.

 

The car is track ready once I install the front undertray and my new front brake caliper brackets arrive.  I've decided to go with 6 pot Wilwood up front to match the rear setup.  It'll use e46M3 rotors, while the back retain the stock rotors with 4pot calipers.  Balance will shift rearward slightly, but not by much and with a cabin adjustable bias valve, I should be good to go.  Will post pics of those once installed, then I'm done!

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/10/21 10:03 a.m.

I really love the attention being paid to all the little details.  I'm really looking forward to videos in the future!

dcteague
dcteague Reader
11/10/21 10:15 a.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

I really love the attention being paid to all the little details.  I'm really looking forward to videos in the future!

Thanks - I'm hoping to squeeze in a track day on Nov 20 but worried the weather may make it a bad decision for a first day out in this car given location (New England).  If not, I'll definitely have a few up in the spring.

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