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docwyte SuperDork
12/14/17 12:58 p.m.

Holy Schnikes!  I threw out what I thought was a ridiculous low ball on a Dinan Vortech supercharger  with RMS air/water aftercooler setup on eBay.  I fully expected to get turned down, or a counter offer much closer to the sellers asking price.

Well, he accepted my offer!  Kit looks remarkably complete, even coming with installation instructions and a shipping list.  It comes with a ECU with a tune on it, but the tune is for a 328, not my M3, so I won't be able to use it.  I may be able to use the ECU though.

Plan is to get the kit, go through it to make sure all the necessary parts to install it are there and in good operational shape, then send the ECU off to get the tune I need put on it.

I'll probably run low boost, maybe 7-8psi.  Few reasons for that, #1 Factory Compression ratio.  #2  Lower boost means lower heat load on the motor #3 The more power I make the higher Time Trial class I get bumped up into.



Here's a pic...


Bill Mesker
Bill Mesker New Reader
12/14/17 8:31 p.m.

Ahh the good ole belt driven snail.... Fun times!

docwyte SuperDork
12/15/17 8:38 a.m.

Truth be told I'd rather have a turbo, but a supercharger will install much easier and I won't have to replace my clutch, so win!

Also found someone on bimmerforums that has a dme with the tune I need on it, so potential to pick that up and complete the kit for short cash.

docwyte SuperDork
12/15/17 7:33 p.m.

Ok, well found out some more info on the tune.  It's almost exactly what I need.  Unfortunately, its coded for the stock cams and stock flywheel, not the Schrick cams and ltw flywheel I have.  It also still has the EWS/Immobilizer active, so I'd either have to send it off to get it deleted ($) or take the car to a shop and have the ECU aligned to my car. ($$)

I'm pretty sure the tune would work even with the mismatched cams, but the cold start and idle wouldn't be the greatest and it's possible that it'd die coming up to a stop without the coding for the ltw flywheel.

So as much as I'd love to save some money by buying it, (especially since the tune is by the best tuner in the biz), I'm probably better served by spending more money and getting a tune specifically for how I have my car setup, on my spare ECU and have the EWS deleted so it's plug n play.

docwyte SuperDork
12/18/17 9:51 a.m.

So I had grand plans of getting the MCS shocks/struts installed this weekend.  Then I got sick on Thursday and that killed all motivation to be out in the garage.  Still sick in fact, last night wasn't a lot of fun. 

However, the supercharger kit shows up today!  So at least I'll be able to go through it and clean it up, check the pulley sizes, etc.  From the research I've done, I don't really want anything smaller than a 3.33" blower pulley and a 6" crank pulley, that'll give me ~11psi at sea level, so probably 9psi up where I am, which is fine.

The blower has a 3.15" pulley on it now, I need to measure the crank pulley to see if it's a 6" one or not.  If it is, I'll source a 3.33" pulley and play around a bit.

Also found a like new set of Nokian snow tires for my Cayenne locally on CL.  Will check those out today at the Blizzak DMV1's I have are more than half worn.  Since its so damn warm here I'll rock the Blizzaks at least another month, but I want the Nokian Hakka's sitting in my garage ready to go, esp since they're half price of new and apparently only used 2 months and 1000 miles.

docwyte SuperDork
1/19/18 4:53 p.m.

Nice day today, kids were in school.  Decided to get off my butt and swap in the new transmission crossmember to replace the one I cracked and take off the un-needed AKG trans mount cups.

Was pretty easy but I did have to remove one exhaust piece to get at the passenger side bolts on the trans mount.  

All buttoned up and ready to go...

In other news, I think I'm going to sell the supercharger system.  If I run the amount of boost I want, I'll get bumped up two classes and I'm also worried about water temperatures while on track.  I think I'm better off staying NA and running a restrictor plate to stay in the new TT5 class.

I still have to install the MCS double adjustable, put in new brake duct hoses, install the TrackSpec hood louver and then get the car aligned.

Oh yeah, car is also due to get smog tested in a few months, so I need to upload the tune that turns the rear O2 sensors back on, then plug in the rear O2 simulator box and drive around so all the readiness monitors are set before I take it in to get tested.

docwyte SuperDork
1/21/18 9:18 a.m.

Update!  I posted the supercharger system for sale on some local BMW Facebook groups Friday morning.  Had a conversation with an interested party about it that afternoon.  Yesterday morning he came over and laid a pile of crisp hundred dollar bills in my hand and loaded it up.

So, good.  I may regret selling it as it was a really complete Stage 2 system, but for my needs on the track, I think its the right decision.  Would just be much harder to keep everything together and after the fiasco with the machine shop last summer killing the back half of my season, what I really want is a reliable track car.

I want to drive, not spend track days tinkering on the car because of issues.  Someone also pointed me towards an ITB setup that bolts on and supposedly adds 20rwhp+.  Another guy put it on his M3 with a standalone and made 303rwhp with it, which is amazing!  So I can add that if I want, of course it costs $1800, so I have to decide if I want to spend that cash.

The nice thing about selling the supercharger is I made out fairly well on it, so it mostly paid for the MCS double adjustables I bought.  Nice!

docwyte SuperDork
1/28/18 4:22 p.m.

Ok, pretty nice day today, no kids/wife.  What I should've done is start working on installing the MCS shocks/struts.  Instead I felt lazy and did a few small jobs instead.

First I replaced the torn up brake duct hoses.  Everyone knows orange is faster!  Install was pretty easy, especially when I remembered to clip the metal ring so I could slip the hose over the duct itself.  I bought a bunch of hose this time as I expect this will be a wear item I'll need to continually replace.

Next up was installing the rear O2 sims.  This way I can upload the new tune that turns them back on, so my readiness monitors will read "ready" since I need to get the car smog tested in a few months.  With the sim box in place, the readiness monitors will stay "ready" even after I've removed the cat pipes and gone back to my track pipe.

Next up was to actually load the new tune into the car.  I hate having to do this as the tuner requires me to jump two pins in the round diagnostic port in the engine bay.  Reading what the numbers are on the pins is a huge PITA as they're tiny and well, my eyes aren't what they used to be.  

Anyways, I think I've got the pins jumped correctly, so I try and open up the tuner software.  Argh!  It needs to be updated.  Ok, try and update it.  Here's where my old XP laptop starts to act old.  Took several tries to get the new software up and going.  Then I try to connect to the dme, but its saying the USB voltage is too low. 

Hmm...Oops, I don't have the ignition turned on!  Doh!  Turn the ignition on, notice that the dash lights are pretty dim.  Uh oh.  Plug the battery into a battery tender, dash lights still low.  Sigh.  Ok, time to let the battery charge up, then see if I can upload the new tune...

docwyte SuperDork
2/1/18 8:04 a.m.

Trickle charger light finally went green this morning!  So, Sunday-Thursday, 5 days is how long it took to get the battery back up to full charge. 

Lesson learned, even with a full size battery, you can't just leave it hooked up and not drive the car for months and expect it to stay charged unless its plugged in. 

Plan is to upload the new tune this Sunday morning, before the SuperBowl.  Next Friday I'll tackle the suspension install...

docwyte SuperDork
2/5/18 4:06 p.m.

Ok, so battery is fully charged and I have a little time this afternoon.  Let's see if the new tune will load up.  I'd left everything plugged into the car and had (hopefully!) Pin #14 and 18 jumped in the round diagnostic port still.

Plugged in my laptop, started up the software and success!  Started the car, no check engine lights, result!

A used set of RHD ITB's popped up.  I'm debating buying them, but would like more data points on them.  I only know one guy running them, with a standalone MSPnP ECU setup and he made outrageous power with them.  So much it makes me wonder.  Even used, they're expensive, and kind of a PITA to install.  Plus to get the most out of them I'll have to get another tune, which means putting the car on the dyno and doing a live by internet tune session with Epic.  That means $$$. 

There's another guy I know who has these but hasn't put them on.  I suppose I could wait for him to put them on and then take advantage of his dyno tune from Epic.  Once Epic has it done, they can just email me the file he did on the dyno on his car, since his is setup the same as mine. 

Or I be a good boy, since I spent a bunch of $$ on the MCS suspension and I'll go much faster if I spend the money on a set of Hoosier R7's or BFG R1's vs an ITB setup...

docwyte SuperDork
2/9/18 3:40 p.m.

Little bit of free time this afternoon, so decided to tackle something that's been annoying me.  My tranny drain plug weeps.  Enough that I need to put a catch tray underneath it.  When the shop had my car for the head gasket saga, I mentioned it to them, but they discounted the plug itself leaking, even tho it clearly is.  So they did nothing.  My friend runs a foreign car service shop in San Diego, he said "Yeah, those plugs always leak.  We wrap them in teflon tape and they're fine".  

Ok, that's the plan then.  If you recall my last gear oil change, I tried to use this super cool Motive Power Fill tool, which ended up in expensive Redline MTL getting sprayed all over the underside of my car, me and my garage.  I tried again to see if the filler hook could be properly tightened down, but there's just no way.  It literally falls right out.  I've got a call into (well, now, that's them on my phone right now) them.

Just talked to them, looks like the hook they sent me is defective and doesn't have an internal chamfer it needs.  They're sending me another one.  Woohoo! 

So I ended up buying a $10 fluid pump from O"reilly's instead for this job.  

The offending leak, it was worse, I somehow managed to knock the drip of gear oil off the drain plug right before I took this pic.

And my $10 fluid pump.

I wrapped the drain plug with teflon tape and put it back in, then filled the trans with Redline MTL until it started to ooze out the fill hole.  I'll keep and eye on the drain plug, fingers crossed...

docwyte SuperDork
2/18/18 5:10 p.m.

Beautiful day here today, pushing 70 out!  Took my son to his swim lesson, then went to the playground with him and the dog.  Then had some neighbors over to play and now he's at their house playing.  Was able to sneak in a little wrenching time on the M3.

First up, I went to a car show at the local McLaren/Maserati/Alfa Romeo dealer yesterday and it was awesome!  I decided to take the M3 and it was shaking like a mofo!  Only thing I can think of is those poly transmission mounts I put in.  When I got home I discovered one of the retaining nuts on the trans mounts was loose, tightened it up, hopefully that's all it is.  I've heard that these mounts can transmit a TON of NVH, so if things are still shaking all around, I'll remove them and reinstall the stock mounts but with the metal reinforcment cups.

Anyways, on to today, time to tackle installing the rear MCS shocks.  First, time to use my latest tool, a bridge jack for my 4 post lift.  Took a little figuring out, but it's AWESOME!  So much easier and safer than what I was doing before.

Only two things holding the rear shocks on, a lower 18mm bolt and an upper 19mm nut.  Here's the bolt and my skanky old single adjustable Koni.

Here's the upper shaft of the MCS.  Gotta put the nut on, then hold that little nut with a wrench while you use a gear wrench to tighten the nut down.

Installed, with the adjuster knob on it

The bottom was easy, but you need to put a bottle jack underneath the rear knuckle and jack the suspension up so you can put the bolt back in, as the suspension arm will droop.

I started on the front struts a little, removed the UUC strut brace and marked the Ground Control camber plates for position.  Then I ran out of steam, decided to go inside, take a shower, drink a beer and read my new GRM that showed up a few days ago.

Still need to take the strut assemblies out, pull them apart, match up the coilover spring heights, put the old springs and camber plates on the new MCS struts, then reassemble.  Then get another alignment...

docwyte SuperDork
2/25/18 5:29 p.m.

So, turns out that my current Ground Control camber plates won't fit the MCS struts without a bunch of hardware.  Ground Control does offer it for sale, but it's not cheap.  The guy I bought the MCS' from had a set of Vorshlag camber plates for sale too, so I pinged him.

Turns out he still has them, they're in like new shape and they fit the MCS' without modification.  Well alrighty then.  Decision made to buy the Vorshlag plates and sell the Ground Control ones.  Should be able to about even steven this, or at least less than spending the money on a bunch of spacers..

Hopefully get some garage time tonight to start on the install of the MCS front struts/camber plates etc.

docwyte SuperDork
2/26/18 8:35 p.m.

Ok, well I didn't have any patients this afternoon, which sucked, but did give me the garage time to install the MCS front struts and camber plates.

So here we go, lets get the car up on the bridge jack...

OK, lets get the wheels off and go after the struts.  You have to remove the swaybar endlink, handily it has a 17mm hex on the back of it, hold that with a wrench and nail it with your impact.

Next up there are 3 18mm bolts, two that go straight into the hub, one that hold onto a bracket that sticks out of the hub.  You can see them here.

Then there are three 13mm nuts that hold the strut assembly into the top of the strut tower.  Then you just wiggle it on outta there.

Now I have to take the old strut assembly apart, as I'm reusing the springs and the bump stops.  Getting that top nut off is a PITA!  I don't like using an air impact on struts as I don't want to blow out the seals, but, well, I had to.  Wouldn't come off any other way.

Next up is to put the old and new struts side by side and adjust the coilover collars to get the ride height where it was before.

Ok, pop on the spring, pop on the bump stop, put on the camber plate and put the top nut on finger tight.  Now muscle it into the car, up into the strut tower making sure I have the camber plate orientation correct.  Vorshlag marks the plates right and left and which side is the front.  Now I have to lift the knuckle to line up those 18mm bolts.

Got the strut in!

I put in the other side, wheels on, drop the car down.  Here's where things start to go sideways on me.  First I notice that the drivers side camber plate isn't moving.  It's stuck in place.  A quick call to Terry@Vorshlag and he quickly and correctly notices that I don't have the lower stud plate oriented correctly.  Doh!  So I have to lower the strut down and rotate that plate so the camber plate and move.

Then I notice that the passenger front side is just slammed.  Like, super low.  Ummmm.  Get the car back up in the air, take off both wheels.  Fight a little with the stud plate on the drivers side, but get it lined up properly and put back together.

Look at the passenger side.  Well, I do think a spring is a necessary thing...

Yup, I was a dummy and didn't put the spring in!  In fact, it was sitting on my work bench, right where I put it so I could install it.  Now I pray a little that I can leave the camber plate installed and just whiz off the strut top nut, drop the strut and slide the spring into place, then reassemble.  Thankfully that's all it took.  Much better!

Then I take a look at the drivers side strut top, where the adjuster goes.  Looks like it's popped up somehow, I can clearly see an O ring and two little balls. 

Another call to Vorshlag yields the contact info for MCS.  I send them a picture of it, thinking I'd hear back from them tomorrow.  Much to my delight, Wyatt@MCS gets right back to me! 

Unfortunately, it's bad news, I have to send the strut back in for a rebuild.  Doh!  I take it out in short order, (I'm getting good at this!) pack it up and send it out to MCS.  They promise to get it back to me ASAP as my first track day is in 6 weeks and I still need to get an alignment, flush the brakes, do an oil change and get the car dynoed. 

Here's how the poor car is sitting now.  Two steps forward, one step backwards.  Oh well.  I'd like to send a personal shout out to Terry@Vorshlag and Wyatt@MCS for outstanding service.  Terry helped me out even though I'd purchased this stuff used.  He didn't have to do that and I very much appreciate it. 

Wyatt got back to me instantly, even though it was well after hours for him and said turn around would be quick. 

Thanks guys, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help!


docwyte SuperDork
3/2/18 6:13 p.m.

So when I was playing around with struts I noticed that my hood didn't like to stay up.  Ordered up 2 hood struts for $27 from RM European and installed them today.  Hood is much more self sufficient now and much less likely to try and brain me.  Result!

I also got a set of the E21 3 series transmission mounts, those are the proper ones to fit into the AKG Motorsports reinforcement cups.  I toss those in when I get the strut back into the car, right now the bridge jack is in the way.

Also decided to set the rest of the suspenion dampening today and worryingly I couldn't get the adjuster knob for the MCS to turn or go up/down on one rear shock and the other front strut.  I've sent MCS an email, hopefully they'll give me some instruction on what to do here.  It'd really suck to have to take both the shock and strut out and send them back to MCS...


VWguyBruce Dork
3/3/18 12:01 a.m.

Have you sold your old Koni’s yet?

docwyte SuperDork
3/3/18 4:09 p.m.

Not yet, haven't decided if I'm hanging onto them or selling them....

docwyte SuperDork
3/5/18 4:17 p.m.

Talked to Motion Control Suspensions this morning, not good news.  When I got this suspension used it came with nylock nuts to hold the tops of the shocks/struts.  Well, the only way to run those down is with an impact.  I confirmed online and with a shop that this is ok.

Turns out its not really ok.  The suspension gets shipped with regular nuts that you then use as jam nuts.  The shop must've thought I had those, so they probably only do a very short, quick pulse of the impact to set the first jam nut.

Upshot is MCS recommended that I pull the rest of the shocks/struts and send them in so they can inspect them and get everything moving freely again.  So now the car is totally up in the air off my lift decks, I had the shocks/strut out in short order and they're packed up and winging their way back to MCS. 

At least with the car completely up in the air I can still do the brake fluid flush and oil change I need to do.  MCS said they'd get the suspension back to me in plenty of time to get an alignment, so I should be ok....

docwyte SuperDork
3/9/18 3:27 p.m.

Well, MCS got the shocks/strut yesterday, hoping to hear from them soon about what they find.

Meanwhile I took today to flush the brake fluid and do an oil change.  Used one of my prized cans of ATE Super Blue for the brakes and put in Mobil1 15w50 for oil.

When I get the shocks/struts back I'll install them, then alignment.  Then I need to swap in the E21 trans mounts in AKG reinforcement cups, then a dyno/weigh in, then install that hood vent...  Whew!

docwyte SuperDork
3/9/18 9:50 p.m.

This is how the car sits now.  Sadly up in the air waiting for parts...

docwyte SuperDork
3/16/18 1:39 p.m.

Got my registration renewal card in the mail and it has the dreaded "Emissions test required" on it.  Sigh.  I knew I would need to do it but was hoping I'd passed enough of the mobile units that I wouldn't need to.

This is the problem with having it renew in April vs September, I don't have the car on the road over the winter, so can't pass the mobile units enough.

So, since the car is up on the lift waiting for the suspension, I might as well pull the AA Track pipe and install the factory cats back into place.  Definitely won't pass without the cats, they run the car on a rolling road at different loads and speeds.

Here's the difference between the two, the front part of the AA Track pipe is actually a modified BimmerWorld S54 adapter pipe.  Since I have long tube headers I couldn't use the front part of the AA Track pipe.  There's about 15hp sitting there between the factory cats and the track pipe...


Wasn't hard to install, 4 bolts up front, 4 bolts in the back, 2 O2 sensors and the hanger.  Hard to really tighten down 1 bolt up front and 1 bolt in the rear, but I'm not sweating it since I'll be removing it right after the test.  I have to test every other year, so a little bit of work is worth it.  Cats installed!

I made an appointment for an alignment, just need to get the suspension back, hopefully have it back next Friday.  That way I can install it before I take the family out of town for Spring Break...

JeremyJ New Reader
3/16/18 3:00 p.m.

Super Blue FTW. I love that stuff. I almost bought a silver E36 M3 coupe years ago. The price of aftermarket parts turned me off, though. I think they're pretty underrated in general and I enjoy seeing them get built like this. 

docwyte SuperDork
3/16/18 3:56 p.m.

Yeah, I'm bummed I only have one more can of the Super Blue in my garage cabinet.  The prices aren't like Mustang/Honda Civic prices for sure. 

Luckily most of this stuff was on the car already, or I already had it, or I scored it used. 

These punch WAY above their weight on track, given their relative lack of power...

Turbine GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/19/18 11:21 p.m.

This thread convinced me to buy an e36 m3. Mine already had a decent amount of work done to it too. It’s definitely overkill for my skill level, but I fell in love with the car when I test drove it. I’ve still got a bit of work to do before it’s ready for the track, but hopefully I’ll be able to get to a few events this year. 

So far, I’ve found parts prices to be semi reasonable, and the aftermarket is huge compared to some of the stuff that I’m used to. 

docwyte SuperDork
3/20/18 8:37 a.m.

Congrats on the purchase!  They're great cars and easy to work on.  No issues trying to find cars, even tho they're over 20 years old...

Talked with MCS yesterday, they're going to work on my suspension Wednesday and get it out to me that day.  A little bummed, I was hoping they'd worked on it yesterday, that way I'd have it back to me this Friday to install.  Now I'll have to decide if I want to pay big money for expedited shipping, or get it back early next week and try and work on it after work once the kids have gone to bed...

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