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Berck
Berck New Reader
1/22/22 7:50 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

I think I got things mixed up. If that's a ZF it's a 310 (5-speed) and if it's a Getrag (6-speed) it's a G420. Both were used on the e39 - the five for the 6-cyl cars and the six-speed for the 8-cyl cars. So if you have 5 speeds, it's likely a ZF 310. 

Okay, perfect--sounds like it's a ZF310 which makes sense.  Mostly I was trying to pin down which fluid to buy.  This whole ATF in a manual transmission thing is weird, but much of the internet says they like Royal Purple's Syncromax which is apparently "ATF fluid for manual transmissions."  

Berck
Berck New Reader
1/22/22 8:07 p.m.

I started working on the brake stuff, but realized that I still don't have enough fittings to get it all done.  So I abandoned that and thought I'd pull the axle shaft and replace the torn boot.  It turns out that my only 30mm is a 3/4" impact socket which won't quite fit in there.  So I ordered a 1/2" 30mm impact socket...  Because no matter how many tools I buy I never seem to have the right one.

So I started focusing on what I could do.  Mudflaps.  The car came with 1, ARA says I need at least 2, 4 seems like the responsible thing to do.  I'd ordered the cheapest thing I could find on Amazon that claimed to be rubber.  They are nut rubber, but the semi-flexible cutting mat material stuff.  Oh well.

 

I still somehow managed to spend an hour at that.  Anyway, I ran out of things to avoid getting started on this:

The car is over 30 years old and sat for the last 5.  The goal is not to replace anything that might break, but replace anything which in breaking might keep me from finishing a rally.  So, all cooling hoses must be replaced.  This is worse on some cars than others.  BMW decided that with the exception of 2 radiator hoses, all cooling hoses would terminate underneath the intake manifold and be completely inaccessible without removing it.  So here goes nothing:

I'm sure once you've done it before it goes faster.  This took me half the day.

Josh asked if the throttle body warming hoses are still there.  The answer is yes.  I think I'll do the popular thing and remove all that, getting rid of a lot of the cooling and vacuum hoses and the weird places where they run through each other.  Normally, I tend to believe that auto manufacturers have reasonably good reasons for most of the hoses they install.  But even if they did, in this case, I'd like to minimize the chance that one of these fail. And since they can't fail if they're not installed, and much of the internet seems to be okay running without it, I'll go ahead and follow their lead.

I'd only ordered the cooling hoses that I could see--I didn't realize the extent of the mess BMW made here.  So even though I'll be removing most of it, I still need some extras along with some barbed reduction couplings because now none of the junctions I need to make are the same size on both ends.

The cool front-hinged bonnet is less cool while trying to work on the on the front of the engine, so I pulled the hood.  I'm starting to wonder if this car is going to become a permanent fixture in my garage.  Fortunately, I'm changing jobs and I scheduled some time off between jobs.  It sounds like I'll spend most of it cursing BMW for randomly selecting either 10mm or 11mm bolts/nuts and placing them next to each other just to screw with me.  As usual, I'd rather work on a Miata!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/23/22 3:35 p.m.

There is one e36 hose that can be slightly cut down and is a perfect fit to go from the water pipe to the head, which replaces all that preheater stuff. Mine should be here in a couple days so I'll post up the part number for you when it gets here. Also, it's a good idea to replace that hard plastic water pipe. They do fail when they get brittle and you can't buy one at the local parts store or improvise it, so best to go with a new one (Uro makes one if you're cheap, but the BMW OEM one is said to be better quality). 

Yeah, the 10mm and 11mm thing is almost certainly an M42 issue, and I myself was getting annoyed with it the other day while taking apart my M42. I don't think they did that on any other engines that I know of (not on my M50), but I could be wrong. The only place I've found 11mm is on the M42 intake manifold and some other casing parts. Odd. 

Berck
Berck New Reader
1/23/22 8:50 p.m.

Funny you mention the Uro hard water pipe.  I ordered one of those because it was the flavor that Rock Auto stocked. I should have known better--I swore off buying Uro parts for my Audi, but for some reason thought I'd try my luck here.  The Uro version does not sit flush in the cylinder head when the bolts are torqued down.  I can't tell if it's going to seal or not...  So I ordered the BMW one.

Let me know which E36 hose that is and I'll order it rather than playing the hose barb game with normal water hose I was going to play.  My plan may well end up with kinked hoses, but I don't think I care how well it flows.  In fact, given that it's making a quick exit from head to return, one could argue you don't want it to flow very well there at all.  Maybe blocking it off is even better.

I also discovered that one of the hoses that Rock Auto calls a heater hose is, in fact, the reservoir to coolant pipe hose.  So I have two of those, and am missing a heater hose.  I don't really know why this hose exists or why the Germans can't build cooling systems that look anything like other cars.  It's less ridiculous than the maze in my A4, but still ridiculous.  Anyway, it turns out that as far as I can tell, there's no aftermarket "heater inlet" hose for the E30 M42.  So I ordered a BMW one from Autohaus for $35, as opposed to the $45 everyone else.  Which is suspicious and further complicated by the fact that Autohaus weirdly believes that a 1991 318is is an E36, so I had to punch in the part number.  The hose in the various photos (including realoem) only sort of looks like the hose that I removed...

Since at this point I'd run out parts for the spaghetti junction under the intake manifold, I thought I'd start with the front of the engine.  Managed to get the thermostat and water pump replaced.

I also went ahead and ordered a new timing chain tensioner.  Seems like cheap insurance at $40, and maybe replacing it along with the sealing washer there will stop some of the oil leaks.

In any case, I'm pretty sure all these parts are original 30-year-old things.  I don't think any of these hoses have been replaced.  Thermostat was Behr, not sure if that's OEM or not?  I didn't look too hard at the water pump, but it was stuck in there like I'd expect a 30 year old water pump to be.  All in all, I think I really did need to do all this stuff, which is slightly consolation.  I'm in awe of those of you built a rally car--I bought one and it's taking and insane amount of time to get ready.

Berck
Berck Reader
2/6/22 8:24 p.m.

Okay, finally some progress.  I've gotten the engine buttoned back up.  All cooling hoses, and most of the vacuum lines are new.  The throttle body heater thing is now bypassed, and the vacuum lines simplified.  New belts.  Radiator is replaced with a new unit and mounted almost how BMW intended, instead of the previous zip ties.  Mostly thanks to you guys, I ordered almost all the right parts.

Here's some photos of the radiator mounts that the M42 uses:

Here's a photo of the driver side one in the incorrect location:

There were some options when ordering mounts.  Something about A/C or no A/C.  I picked wrongly, and went with the option that uses 2 of the same lower mounts.  I needed the one with the different driver side style. That plastic bit actually needs to be located just slightly inboard of where it is, instead being where that big hole is.  In addition to being in the wrong place, the correct place means it's supposed to be a different part.  I made it work by hacking it up a bit on the bandsaw and attaching it with safety wire.  Because if I'd used zip ties, I couldn't say it's now mounted without zip ties. 

I still need to replace the timing chain tensioner, and figure I'll pull the valve cover and look and see how pointy the cam gears are and replace the valve cover gasket.  Otherwise, I think I'm done with the engine.

I ordered a fire suppression system in December from Jegs, who said it'd ship from the manufacturer on Jan 31.  I thought that was a suspicious date, and they've now updated the date to Feb 28, which confirms my suspicions.  I might need to re-evaluate, but realistically I'm probably not going to be doing anything with this car before summer anyway except maybe play on some forest roads.

Crenshaw
Crenshaw New Reader
2/6/22 9:15 p.m.
Berck said:

I ordered a fire suppression system in December from Jegs, who said it'd ship from the manufacturer on Jan 31.  I thought that was a suspicious date, and they've now updated the date to Feb 28, which confirms my suspicions.  I might need to re-evaluate, but realistically I'm probably not going to be doing anything with this car before summer anyway except maybe play on some forest roads.

Maybe time to sneak in a CHCA event?  Tech days are mid april and the first event at the end of April.  CHCA rules say two extinguishers good to go, no need for suppression...

Berck
Berck Reader
2/6/22 9:55 p.m.

In reply to Crenshaw :

That could work... is there a schedule somewhere?  Their website has 2021 still, and the faccebook page doesn't list anything before Temple Canyon May 21/22?

Crenshaw
Crenshaw New Reader
2/7/22 10:31 a.m.

This was the tentative schedule, though they may have made some changes since.  I think they were still working some of it out and that's why it's not on the website yet.  EDIT:  I see what you're saying about that first event.  I would guess they're still working on the schedule, however it's possible that Temple Canyon may be the opener....

 

April 30/31 Rangely

May 21/22 Temple

July 9/10 Monarch

Aug 6/7 Lands End

Sept 10/11 Temple or Monarch, still working that out.

and

Colorado Springs tech day will be April 9th and Denver April 16th

Berck
Berck Reader
2/8/22 8:35 p.m.

Engine is running, and the cooling stuff works.  It idles at about 1,800rpm when cold and about 1,500rpm when hot.  Which seems too high.  No obvious vacuum leaks (and many fewer vacuum lines now).  Not really sure how much I'm going to worry about this.  I did investigate the Check Engine Light--blinky codes say purge valve.  Which I guess is to be expected since there's no charcoal canister, and thus probably no purge valve.  The line going from the canister to the throttle body is capped off.  I'm not sure if the high idle is something I did or not--I think it was idling pretty high before this, but I've only driven it briefly once.

On to brake things.  I ended up with a bit of an absurd stacking of adapters for parking brake valve that I'm not loving.  Especially since the 1/8NPT fittings leak:

Apparently 1/8 NPT fittings need a fancy sealant, unlike flared fittings.  The chain of adapters are because it's hard to get from male 1/8NPT to male 3AN in steel.

I initially wanted to replace the flex line with hard line.  I might still do that, but given the hour it took me to make the above-pictured 6" line, I'm wondering how much I really want to mess with, here.

In unrelated work, I repaired my skid plate.  The car came with a beautiful giant aluminum skid plate.  It's got vertical pieces welded to the plate that brace it against the subframe, which is clever.  Only, one of the vertical plates was broken off.  I don't TIG weld, or in fact, weld at all.  But I am building an airplane that has lots of aluminum joined together with no welding.  If you don't have a TIG welder, but you do have a rivet gun, everything looks like a rivet.

First, I sanded the broken welds flat:

Cut and drilled some aluminum angle:

Counter-sunk the exterior holes for flush rivets:

And riveted it back together.

The correct rivet size ended up being -11, and I had -10 and -12.  -10 was too short, and -12 wanted to fold over.  Probably 3/16" rivets would be more appropriate given the size of the material, but I think this will work.  The shop side of the rivets are some of the ugliest I've managed collectively.  But it'll work fine for this, and was way easier than finding someone to weld some aluminum.  And given how well the original welds held, probably stronger too.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/9/22 7:07 a.m.

Maybe a little late but would this adapter help?

Berck
Berck Reader
2/9/22 9:21 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Maybe a little late but would this adapter help?

That's the one I'm using.  Problem is the input to the brake valve is male, the output from the brake cylinder ends up being male as well.  So there's a female-female 1/8NPT and another female-female 3AN coupler in there so that I can use that adapter.  What I really need is a female-female 1/8NPT to female 3AN..

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/9/22 9:32 a.m.

Well that's certainly annoying.  I'd be tempted to replace that whole adapter stack with a hard line and mount the shutoff valve to something, so at least you don't have to have the 90 and several additional leak points.

Berck
Berck Reader
2/9/22 9:55 a.m.

That's a good idea.  The valve is in a fairly awkward location when belted in, anyway.  If I just mount it to the transmission tunnel, it'll be easier to get to and solve the whole adapter mess at the expense of some hard line.  Not obvious how to mount it, but I can probably come up with something.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/9/22 10:19 a.m.

Mounting that might be possible with just a couple of hose clamps assuming there's enough clearance from the lever to the body.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/9/22 11:36 a.m.

Definitely want to mount the lever separately, the fittings are not going to like having all that weight levering off of them like that.

Berck
Berck Reader
2/9/22 11:45 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Definitely want to mount the lever separately, the fittings are not going to like having all that weight levering off of them like that.

Reasonable point as well.  Which also means replacing the flex line to the tee under the car since it's not long enough in that position.  Might as well do it right.

Berck
Berck Reader
2/10/22 3:54 p.m.

Okay, handbrake reworked.

Seems functional, easier to get to, and the adapters are spread out instead of the silly precarious tower.  Permatex 54540 on all the 1/8 NPT joints stopped the leaks.  I don't know what the stuff is, but I can't believe I paid $50 for a bottle.  It's cheaper online, but I paid the premium to get it now.

I pulled the half shaft with the torn boot and wasted an hour of my life trying to separate the outer joint to replace the boot.  I schwung der big hammer until my arm got sore and didn't make any progress.  I'm apparently missing some trick.  New shafts are $43 on rockauto, and they come with new everything, not just boots, so I'm just going to do that.  I suspect there's a reasonable chance that my welded diff will destroy axles on pavement, so replacing both of them preemptively and carrying another couple as spares seems reasonable at $43/each. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/10/22 4:04 p.m.

$50 a bottle!  I always just used a couple rounds of 89c a roll Teflon tape.

Berck
Berck Reader
2/10/22 4:34 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

$50 a bottle!  I always just used a couple rounds of 89c a roll Teflon tape.

I was tempted, but I wasn't sure if that stuff would stand up to brake fluid? Probably just should have asked here. The 1/8NPT to double-flare adapters that came with my brake proportioning valve had some sort of loctite-looking stuff on them and I was trying to find something similar.  A quick internet search landed me on this Permatex stuff which is designed for the application... but quite expensive.  Of course, each joint only needs a couple drops, so I'm set for life.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/10/22 5:23 p.m.

Well... it's Teflon, it technically stands up to everything.  Nothing that could damage Teflon won't also wreck everything else in the brake system.

The only thing is you must make sure none of it extends past the threads. The danger is if a piece falls loose into the brake system and plugs a passage or, more likely, gets stuck between a bore and a seal, causing a leak.

A dab of semiliquid sealant is the idiotproof method, which is probably why they do that.

Berck
Berck Reader
2/13/22 11:46 p.m.

Among other things, I spent some time fixing the reverse lights.  Because rules.  Of course, there's no sign of the original reverse light wiring or the connector that goes on the switch.  After a stupid amount of time trying to convince some spade connectors to go on the switch, I finally gave up, pulled the switch and soldered some wires to the connector.  With heat shrink and everything:

I threaded it in, and tightened it down, only to feel the previous hour drift away:

I really didn't feel like I tightened it too much.  I wanted it snug so no fluid would leak out, and.. whatever.  Fortunately, the auto parts store had a generic version that works with spade connectors so I didn't have to solder leads onto the new one.  Neglected to take a photo, but it works great.

After a bunch more messing about, installing the skid plate, deciding I have no idea how the HDPE plate over the diff is supposed to work, and many other boring things, I got the the thing out of my garage!

 

And then.. I went and got it dirty!

So, my first real drive!  I *still* don't have the title, but fortunately forest roads aren't well-patrolled.  The welded diff takes a little getting used to.  Initial turn-in is nothing but understeer, but bouncing on the throttle a bit gets it to rotate and it's pretty well balanced once it turns in.  There's something weird where it'll be happily going down the road then suddenly dart to the right for no apparent reason.  Feels like maybe some toe out.  It pulls a bit to the right in general, so I'm guessing an alignment would be a good plan.  We'll see who wants to deal with the aftermarket camber plates and that ride height.

Speaking of which, I think the ride height is okay?  I think that's really all I get out of the rear.  I could easily jack the front up into some serious Carolina Squat territory, but this seems reasonable?

Given what seems to me to be seriously aggressive spring rates, I'm kind of shocked at how well composed it is over some seriously rough ground.  The shocks seem well-matched to the crazy spring rates and it feels good.  I'm pretty stocked to actually drive it for real.

Oh, the temp gauge stayed right about here the whole time:

Given that most car manufacturers in my experience seem to think that normal should be "left of halfway", this makes me wonder.  It didn't climb, and the hoses/radiator felt fairly cool--so this is likely the thermostat-regulated temperature.  It's a Mahle 88C thermostat.

Other than that, I drove nearly 50 miles on dirty/snow with no real issues.  The plowed roads weren't quite as aggressive as I might have hoped for, but the OHV trails were under about 6" of snow, and after getting stuck a couple times and having to rock my way out, I gave that up.   It's on some Michelin X-ice tires that are a little undersized for this car (purchased for the Miata, 175/65-14), but seem just fine.

There are 3 major things (and 1.3 million minor things) left to do before I can take it to a rally: windshield brace bars, catalytic convertor, and fire suppression.  The fire suppression should be fairly easy if the one I ordered ever gets here.  The windshield brace bars and catalytic convertor are going to require people that weld.  I'm pretty much at the mercy of a muffler shop for the catalytic convertor--and with Colorado's new laws I'm thinking I may be required to buy a CARB-certified one.  Might have them do something a little more acceptable about the "muffler" that's on there.  It's a straight-through, (probably cherry bomb glass-pack style) that's totally rusted out.  It's not just loud, it sounds terrible.  A rubber bushing or two isolating it from the cabin might be nice.

Crenshaw
Crenshaw New Reader
2/16/22 1:00 p.m.

I think a fairly common setup for ARA is to stick the cat on the very end of the exhaust.   There are many aftermarket cats out there for <$100 that I assume would pass tech for ARA.

My car is currently setup with the very tail section clamped on, which can then quickly and easily changed from muffler to straight pipe, or cat.  Granted my car isn't terribly loud (big holset shaped plug in the exhaust) so it's tolerable to just run without a muffler most of the time- maybe your setup could involve an upstream resonator and a clamped on cat at the tail.  Just food for thought that may not involve tracking down a welder or an exhaust shop that's all freaked out on CARB compliance.  

I know it's not convenient, but if you find yourself around Salida ever, I can metal-glue some stuff together for you if you need it....

What airplane are you building?  I fly a Zenith of my friend's off and on up here that was built by some genius in Texas...I would never have the patience or attention to detail to complete my own...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/16/22 11:11 p.m.

If it makes you feel better, I've done the same thing not once, not twice, but three times in the last decade...............

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/16/22 11:16 p.m.

Regarding the temp gauge - literally pay no attention to that thing at all. It isn't even remotely accurate to pretty much anything. Literally if it's in the blue, you just turned the car on. If the car is running, anywhere between the blue and red is pretty much normal, and if it's in the red, you are already overheating. It's barely a "real" gauge and is absolutely not quick-acting. 

I highly recommend aftermarket water temp gauge/sender. I run water temp (usually hangs around the 215 mark in competition with the M50), as well as oil temp and oil pressure. All three have saved my engine at one point or another.

Berck
Berck Reader
2/17/22 10:20 a.m.
Crenshaw said:

I think a fairly common setup for ARA is to stick the cat on the very end of the exhaust.   There are many aftermarket cats out there for <$100 that I assume would pass tech for ARA.

So, it might pass tech, but its not going to actually work like that.  Cats need to get to hot to work, and they won't get hot at the end.  I suspect they'll also clog up easily back there.  It seems like if I'm going to go through the trouble/expense of installing a cat to meet the letter of the rule, I might as well install it where it'll actually do some good?

I know it's not convenient, but if you find yourself around Salida ever, I can metal-glue some stuff together for you if you need it....

Yeah, that's a 1.5 hour drive, but I'll keep it in mind.  I really need to just buy a welder and start practicing, unfortunately the sticking point is that I don't have enough electricity in my garage to run one yet.

What airplane are you building?  I fly a Zenith of my friend's off and on up here that was built by some genius in Texas...I would never have the patience or attention to detail to complete my own...

An RV-10.  I should have finished it years ago, but racing is not helping me along.

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