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AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/23 1:35 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

I put it back together with one.. How misaligned could this get, anyway?

About three heat cycles before the head gasket blows, in my experience.

Head gaskets are kind of amazing, they have to seal while allowing the head to slide around on the block as it expands and contracts at a different rate with temperature, especially with an aluminum head/iron block combo.  That is why the head bolts are so long - longer bolts allows more lateral displacement.

today i learned...

Berck
Berck Reader
2/21/23 1:39 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Hmm.  This only shows a single dowel. Maybe there's only one?  Oh, nevermind, it says qty 2.  Sigh.  I really don't want to pull it apart again...

 

Berck
Berck Reader
3/5/23 12:48 a.m.

Okay, here we go:

Both alignment dowels are now in place.  Reused the head gasket, but replaced the head bolts.  Again.

Thanks, Pete.  As annoying as it was, it would have been a lot more annoying to DNF my second rally over a $1.98 piece of metal.

Berck
Berck Reader
4/8/23 10:10 p.m.

More minor progress today, now that I managed to prep / race / crash / fix the Formula Vee.  My racing habit seems to dominate every available weekend--most of it in the garage.

Managed to remove the pilot bearing with the grease/bolt/hammer trick.  Every other pilot bearing I've dealt with is in the flywheel, which means it's simple to remove.  Didn't think the grease trick was going to work--the key was getting the gorilla tape the right thickness to seal against the inner race and still slide.  A waste of a bunch of Redline CV2, but it's what was in my gun.

BMW seals are no match for drywall screws, and this came out easily.

Ebay clutch kit with new flywheel installed.  It came with new flywheel bolts (and hex heads even, none of this BMW allen nonsense).  Of course my old pressure plate bolts were M8x1.5, and this one wanted M8x1.25, but fortunately I had plenty of those.

Tomorrow I hope the transmission bolts up with minimal drama, and if I can swap the subframe in reasonable time, maybe I'll even get the engine back in.

Berck
Berck Reader
4/10/23 8:20 p.m.

I did not get the engine back in.  The transmission really happily slid in with about a 1/4" gap and would not wiggle forward.  In my experience, transmissions usually do nothing until the magic angle is acquired then they go *thunk* and seat all the way.  This one refused.  I threaded the bolts in and very gently tightened them and the transmission snugged up happily.  Hopefully I didn't break anything.

So, here's some fun BMW nonsense.  I couldn't figure out why there were 3 ground wires coming from the harness, each with a different sized ring terminal.

Once I'd reinstalled the starter, I remembered that these must be the starter wires.  I'd replaced the starter before, but the absurdity of 3 black wires didn't really register when it was only the starter I was working on.  You'd think that fancy German factory could afford some differently colored wire now and again.

I'm pleased to report that while the Stupidest Starter Bolt isn't easy to install with the engine out of the car, it's a lot easier.  I do have to wonder what anyone was thinking with that design.

I replaced some destroyed bushings:

I could not muster the effort to clean the transmission case.  Which is fine, because I spent all remaining effort for the day on the front subframe.  First I needed to get the car off the trailer and into the garage since it spent the winter outside.  That took awhile, and the very slight incline leading up to my garage was a bit of pain, but I'm going to pretend I'm confident that the car will leave the garage under its own power.

No pictures left from the rest of my day...

First, I removed the control arms.  Everything went fine until the driver's side ball joint simply refused to come out, even after a few minutes of pounding on it with my rivet gun.  Fortunately, I remembered that I did acquire a ball joint separator tool kit.  I managed to get one of them in a reasonable orientation and somewhere around a few million feet-ton of torque, the ball joint popped with quite an explosion.  Completely destroyed the threads on the ball joint, which was a bit sad since I was planning to keep those as spares.  No big loss once I realized RockAuto has replacements for $12/each.  I guess BMW people really do change these things with every oil change.  I noticed because while I acquired replacement control arms, I didn't acquire control arm bushings, and my old ones are in rough shape and good and well fused to the control arms.

The subframe itself was pretty simply to remove.  I'd purchased a fancy reinforced replacement which appeared to be in great shape, unfortunately I think my car is somewhat bent.  It's clear from the skid plate and subframe reinforcement that the bottom of the subframe has taken at least one huge whack in the last 20 years of being of a rally car, which I think (a) flattened the subframe a big, (b) spread the frame a bit, (c) destroyed the flanges the motor mount bolts to (which is why I'm replacing the subframe).  This meant the new subframe really didn't want to go on.  I finally managed to get it by loosely attaching one side, then getting threads on the side started with some serious prying effort.  The bolts threaded in, I hope not cross-threaded, and appeared to actually bolt things in place correctly.  The bolts torqued up correctly, so I'm hoping I didn't cross-thread them or otherwise destroy things.  I'm not removing it to find out.

I wonder how many more orders of magnitude of time I've spent wrenching on this thing compared to the ~40 minutes I've spent driving it on stage...

Berck
Berck Reader
4/25/23 10:53 p.m.

Paging irish44j for some assistance.  I see that you're running an OMP HTE-R 400.  Do you have any idea if the HTE-R XL has a prayer of fitting?  I'm mostly worried about the halo size.  The external width of the halo is 65mm wider on the HTE-R 400.  Worse, it's about 40mm higher on the XL.  I'm thinking there's a likely possibility that I can't close the door with an XL installed.  If you wouldn't mind make a wild guess with a tape measure on yours while it's mounted, that'd be quite helpful!

I'm running into the problem that I don't know that I can find a containment seat that will fit me *and* fit into the E30.  I'm 6'2" and 225lbs.  I have proven that I can mostly fit into the large Racequip FIA Containment seat, and it *might* fit in the car.  It's tighter than I'd like on me, but workable.  I'm working on tracking down the exterior halo dimensions on that one because Racequip only publishes the interior dimension (15 inches).

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/28/23 6:07 p.m.
Berck said:

Paging irish44j for some assistance.  I see that you're running an OMP HTE-R 400.  Do you have any idea if the HTE-R XL has a prayer of fitting?  I'm mostly worried about the halo size.  The external width of the halo is 65mm wider on the HTE-R 400.  Worse, it's about 40mm higher on the XL.  I'm thinking there's a likely possibility that I can't close the door with an XL installed.  If you wouldn't mind make a wild guess with a tape measure on yours while it's mounted, that'd be quite helpful!

I'm running into the problem that I don't know that I can find a containment seat that will fit me *and* fit into the E30.  I'm 6'2" and 225lbs.  I have proven that I can mostly fit into the large Racequip FIA Containment seat, and it *might* fit in the car.  It's tighter than I'd like on me, but workable.  I'm working on tracking down the exterior halo dimensions on that one because Racequip only publishes the interior dimension (15 inches).

Not sure, but my HTR 400 doesn't have much clearance at the main hoop supports that go to the side bar. I guess it depends if yours are curved (mine are straight) and how you mount it. I'll take a few pics tonight.  Sorry for the delay, haven't been online much this week!

Berck
Berck Reader
4/28/23 6:15 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Awesome, thanks.  Since I have an ancient grandfathered SCCA cage, it's got a little mini diagonal that goes from the top piece to the side bar.  It's a a potential issue, but I think I can get the seat in front of the problem area.  But that solves nothing if the halo ears stick out the window:)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/28/23 10:40 p.m.

 

Berck
Berck Reader
4/29/23 10:28 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Hmm.  The photos don't load for me--forgot to set sharing permissions on them?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/29/23 1:38 p.m.

IDK, just standard Imgur upload, same way I always do on my build thre.  Can you see them on my actual imgur page? https://irish44j.imgur.com/all

Berck
Berck Reader
4/29/23 2:08 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Nope.

I thought maybe Imgur or Fastly (their CDN) is mad at Starlink, but it's not working from my phone, either.  Imgur reports all systems operational: https://status.imgur.com/ but I'm not sure how sophisticated that is.

Actually, now my phone is giving a JSON-rendered 500 with the message that "Imgur is temporarily over capacity. Please try again later." (which *should* be a 429 or something, but whatever.   Browsing random viral images on imgur works fine...  The images in your thread load fine in your thread, but only load in a standalone page for me about half the time. 

The links to the photos on your above post are actually Google, not Imgur though?

Maybe it'll show up eventually:)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/29/23 10:05 p.m.

hmm...ah ok, forgot I direct-dropped them into the thread, not imgur. They show up for me but guess that doesn't work public. So trying again:

 

Berck
Berck Reader
4/30/23 12:21 a.m.

Thanks! So, I need an extra 1.25" on each side, and 1.5" taller than what you've got.  These photos sure make it look like it just might be doable!

I like that you left the stock seatbelt.  Wish my builder had done the same.  Probably great for transits.

Today I got the new control arms and tie rods in.  I'd have thought that would take about 2 hours, but it took so much longer.  Even accounting for the brief break to paint some Formula Vee wheels.  I think the engine goes back in tomorrow.

Photo of new subframe, new tie rods, new control arms.  And a lot of dirt.

Berck
Berck Reader
5/1/23 1:04 p.m.

The engine is back in.  For reasons that I don't understand, it appears to be sitting a little farther aft than it used to.  I think it's likely only a problem for the shifter location.  I didn't pay a lot of attention to where things were before, but I'm having a heck of a time getting the shift linkage reinstalled--I may have to grind about 1/4" out of the shifter support to get it to go back in, and even then, it'll be sitting at the aft end of the tunnel opening.

Given that I've replaced subframe and motor mounts with new, unbent things, it's possible there was enough slop in the old stuff that it just worked?  I mean, the right side engine mount had been ripped clean from the subframe, so I guess by definition there was a lot of play.  Also, since the transmission is not one that was ever shipped in an E30, who knows?  Given that the shift rod is a clearly home-made, I know things were different, but I'd have expected things to at least bolt back in where they were...

Berck
Berck Reader
6/18/23 5:16 p.m.

Fired up the engine, sounded fine, and then it made a pretty terrible noise.  It ran for less than 30 seconds, and before I could put my phone away and kill it, the noise stopped, then it died.

Pulled the plugs and inserted my borescope:

 

I'm guessing whatever was bouncing around in there quit bouncing when it got wedged between that valve and the piston and is now impregnated into the head.

Hard to tell from the scope shots, but I'm not sure if the head is even salvageable.

No idea what's in there.   It's either sloppy work on my part, or there was a piece of shrapnel somewhere in the intake from the original implosion that I missed.  I was sure I'd gotten it all cleaned out, so I have no idea.

Rally Colorado is in a month--I don't think there's anyway I'm going to make it this year.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/18/23 11:34 p.m.

ah that's a bummer. If you were closer I'd give/loan you the M42 out of my project car but that's a bit too far lol. 

 

btw, regarding the engine position, check the rotation of the engine mounts. IIRC the M42 mounts have an offset and are easy to have turned the wrong way which will move the engine a half inch or so back. 

Berck
Berck Reader
6/19/23 1:12 a.m.

I'm pretty bummed.

The mounts are definitely offset, but I thought they were offset inside/outside?  I bought some aftermarket ones from garagastic, and they've got a little alignment pin.  After the engine wound up too far back, I had wondered if they were left/right, but I think they're the same?

I assume the bottom end is fine and I just need to pull the head.  That doesn't seem terrible, and it's possible it's fixable, but the machine shop took like 4 weeks last time.  I'll admit to not having worked on it as diligently as I could have, but this has taken me most of the year.  And with a month to go, plus a formula vee race this weekend I think it's not going to happen this year.

I wonder if I'll ever figure out what it ingested.

Berck
Berck Reader
6/19/23 11:07 p.m.

Pulled the head.  Here's some better photos of the gore.

The piston looks worse than the head, to me.  I didn't test, but the valves might even seal?  I'm thinking I can take it to a machine shop in the morning and see what they say.  But...

What I don't know is if the piston absolutely has to be replaced.  If I grind down the ugly metal so it's smooth, can I run a rally?  Or am I just going to blow a hole in the piston in the first stage?

The cylinder bore looks good.

Berck
Berck Reader
7/3/23 12:15 a.m.

I went ahead and replaced the piston.  I found a used set on eBay, put the good piston on the original rod with new rings and bearings.  It turns out you can replace the #1 piston in an M42 by only pulling the lower oil pan, which is super easy.

I'm glad I did, because the top piston ring groove was, in fact, smooshed.  The top ring was pressed in completely flush even after I pulled the piston, and also is compressed to the point that I can't even find the ring gap.  I'm guessing that means I'd have been limted to the second ring for compression, and not sure if that would have gotten me through a rally or not.

For the record, the con rod bolts look a lot like E-something and an E16 fits on them nice and tight. An E16 also will round out long before it will loosen the bolt, because it's actually a 12-point 10mm.  Fortunately, a 12-point 10mm will still remove the bolts even after you've shaved most point of the points off with an E16.

Still unclear if I'm going to make Rally Colorado; the machine shop said 3 of the valves are bent and they're not sure how soon they can get it back to me.

Also, props to irsh44j-I did, in fact, have the engine mounts backwards.  Swapping them left/right moved the forward to where it was before, I think.  The ones I bought are not at all labeled, but once I pulled them out and looked at them, it's obvious that they're definitely not the same.

So, if the machine shop can get the head back to me next week or so, there's still hope I might make it to Rally Colorado..

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
7/3/23 10:20 a.m.

Nice work diving in to get er done.  Hopefully you can make it!   Any idea what the piece was??

Berck
Berck Reader
7/3/23 10:29 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

Looked like a bit of valve seat from the original implosion.

Berck
Berck Reader
7/10/23 7:16 p.m.

The machine shop called to say that three valves were bent, and they were having trouble locating replacements.  I quickly browsed all the German car part sites, and most of them didn't have any intake valves in stock, but ECS tuning did.  That should have been a warning sign, but I just ordered them with overnight shipping and figured it'd be fine.

They called shortly after delivery to let me know that the exhaust valve was correct, but the intake valve was the wrong size.  After much searching, it turns out that the 6mm intake valves on the M42 were only used for one year, and they're NLA from BMW.  After much searching, it turns out that Rock Auto, of all places, actually has some aftermarket ones readily available.  They don't, of course, list the valve in a part search for my car, but once I managed to find the magic part number (RV1359), they appear.  And unlike most sites, Rock Auto actually lists all the relevant dimenstions in a diagram, so I was able to be sure they were the right ones before ordering.  Unfortunately, while RockAuto would happily ship next day, they said they wouldn't ship for 3 days.

Luckily, they lied, and the shop got the valves on Friday, in time to return the head to me on Saturday.

Not good as new, but hopefully good enough:

 

 

A continued annoyance when reassembling this thing: BMW can't be bothered to mark TDC (or anything else) on the M42 crank pulley.  Just... why not?  Yes, the stock flywheel has a hole that lines up with a hole in the case that you slot a tool through to lock the crank in TDC, but I don't have a stock flywheel.  And you still have to *locate* TDC to stick the tool in.  This seems like the most basic thing you do to make an engine serviceable.  I'm so over BMW.  Problem solved for now:

 

I got it mostly bolted together on Saturday evening (at least everything with sealant on it) so it could cure overnight.  Finished up Sunday morning.  Cranked it over to prime the oil system, got 30PSI of oil pressure on the starter motor.  Then flipped on the fuel pumps and hopped out to leak-check the fuel system.

I had a geyser of fuel spraying from one of the braided stainless hoses on the firewall.  It had leaked there once before, and tightening the connector fixed it.  It did not this time.  

I pulled the fuel hose, cut an inch off the end and reattached the AN fitting.  An even bigger leak.  Curious how I bungled that so badly, I did it again, and it leaked again.  This time when I pulled it off, I noticed the rubber hose inside was cracked several inches.  I cut it off past where it was cracked, reattached the connectors and tried yet again.  This time the geyser came from the *middle* of the hose.  At this point, I'd probably been screwing around with this hose for 3 hours, I was drenched in fuel and furious.

After looking it up, apparently it's normal for this stainless braided rubber fuel hose to disintegrate after just 5 years?  This stuff is probably as old as the original build (2007), but what the hell?  OEM rubber fuel lines often last 40 years with no problems!  I think the fact that it spent a year drying out when the engine was disconnected is probably the biggest problem.

Anyway, AN-sized braided fuel line isn't something that auto parts stores seem to have in stock.  I ordered a bunch of replacement stuff from Amazon, this time PTFE (teflon) which supposedly lasts longer than the rubber.  But it won't get here until tomorrow.  And registration for Rally Colorado ended last night.

So, I went ahead and registered even though I have no idea the car even runs, much less drives.  I have 9 days.  I'm sure it'll be fine?

Berck
Berck Reader
7/12/23 12:02 p.m.

It runs!

I overheated it a bit trying to bleed the cooling system.  I have no idea why German cars are so bad about filling cooling systems.  In a Miata, you just fill it up and it's fine.  There's some bubbles that come out of the overflow when it gets hot, and it draws the water back in when it cools off the first time and you're good...

In this case, I had the little bleed port open on the radiator, and the thermostat opened and steam came out of the bleed hole.  I let it keep running and it kept steaming, and eventually the water gauge hit the red so I shut it off.  After it cooled a little, I got another half-gallon of coolant in, but still no circulation when I started it.  Did this a few times and it eventually worked.

I had a significant oil leak coming from the adapter for the oil pressure sender.  Tried tightening it, and it was clearly stripped.  This was the oil filter housing assembly from the old engine, and I think I actually did the damage on that one.  The adapter that I used has to be clocked in exactly the right position to work, and I figured I could get away with tightening it a bit much.  It turns out I could not.

Fortunately, I've got the oil filter housing from the replacement engine, so I'll just swap that out and mount the oil pressure sensor on the front of the engine this time.

The engine produced a truly prodigious amount of smoke/oil on first startup.  I was expecting a bit considering the new piston/rings on one cylinder, but this seemed excessive.  It seems to have calmed down a bit while I was getting the cooling system bled.

My clutch slave cylinder also exploded, fortunately all the pieces were (barely) held together when I removed it.  Must have gotten it misaligned or something when I installed it.  Should be a simple fix.

Barring future unforseen disasters on a test drive, I think I might actually make the rally!

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/12/23 1:13 p.m.

Jeez, you're really being put through the wringer!

For whatever it's worth, the way I avoid the annoyance of bleeding the M10 in the 320i seems to avoid the usual issues. I get the front end up in the air and then fill the engine first, as much as is possible, through the upper hose. You can usually hear it gurgling, burping and the like getting air out. I fill it until the upper hose is full enough that it almost spills connecting it to the rad. I then fill the rad most of the way and sort of massage the hoses to move stuff around before starting it and running with the front end still up high.

Now that I've put this into the universe I'm sure it won't work next time but I always had trouble until working out this method.

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