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JeremyJ New Reader
3/21/18 11:46 a.m.
docwyte said:

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...

I was looking at a '97, back in about '04. I'd assume the aftermarket has spread out and become a bit more affordable by now. I just remember looking at a header for about $1,200, a cold air intake for five or six hundred, and thinking, "no thanks." I was pretty broke at the time and driving a stock vehicle sucks the soul out of me. The car drove like a dream, though. Great handling and pretty decent acceleration. 

I appreciate the work you're putting in and the documentation. This is the kind of stuff that motivates people like me to take the plunge and rescue one of these older M3s. 

docwyte SuperDork
3/21/18 1:58 p.m.

Some stuff like headers are available cheaply on eBay, but the good quality stuff still runs into money unfortunately.

Got good news from MCS today, they got my suspension all done and its shipping out today.  Going to arrive this Saturday, so I'll have Sunday to put it in, which works out well.  They were more than fair with me on the cost as well, really took care of me!

dannyzabolotny Reader
3/22/18 2:21 a.m.

Haha you E36 guys have no idea how good you have it. At least you *have* cheap performance parts available. Good luck finding a reasonably priced set of headers for an M62/S62 V8, now that's where it really gets insane.

docwyte SuperDork
3/22/18 8:05 a.m.

Lots of E36's were made and they were embraced by the track crowd very early on, so lots of development for parts was done.

I love E39 M5's,  but they were never meant to be track cars, so lots of companies just made basic stuff for them and charge tons for it as they don't expect to sell very many units...

pimpm3 SuperDork
3/22/18 9:31 a.m.

Do you still have the GC camber plates.  I am looking for a set for my 1998. 

Your car is awsome by the way. Can't wait to see what you think of the MCS setup.

docwyte SuperDork
3/22/18 9:38 a.m.

Unfortunately the camber plates are sold, they went to a friend of another GRM'er for their chumpcar.  You would've needed to have gone to a full coilover setup to use them, they were setup for 2.5" race springs.

Thanks for the compliment!  I've been putting a ton of work into the car, despite starting with a good base. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing how much better the MCS' are compared to my old single adjustable Koni's.  I'll be sure to report back!

docwyte SuperDork
3/24/18 9:59 p.m.

Well, the suspension arrived today, around 3:30.  

When I got home from the children's museum with my son at 5:30 I went to work.

got everything set up and installed.  Think my front ride height is too low, need to find out how much rake I should be running.

Also swapped the poly tranny mounts for a set of e21 rubber mounts with the akg Motorsports metal reinforcement cups.  Had to hog out the holes on the tranny cross member a bit but otherwise a direct bolt in.

first time wheels have been on for weeks.

I noticed my bridge jack wasn't quite square on the deck, so I tried to move it.  Freaked out when it dropped off the deck!  Luckily it caught on the lower lip of the deck.  Thing weighs 300lbs so if it fell it really would've sucked.

after a bit of struggle I managed to use my huge jack stand to support one end get it back up and into place....


docwyte SuperDork
3/25/18 11:54 a.m.

Drove the car around the neighborhood!  Front ride height is too low, rake is too much by quite a bit, its supposed to be 1/2".  Rear shocks are clunking, I have a massive exhaust leak and the check engine light is on.

Ok, back up on the lift.  I raised the front ride height as much as I think I can, plus any higher is just too high.  Rake is now 1".  Looks like I need to lower the rear of the car 1/2", but the old Ground Control rear ride height adjusters are totally galled up.  Hmph. 

I did manage to get on all the exhaust nuts/bolts today, so I fixed the exhaust leak.  I tightened up the top jam nuts on the rear shocks, rear shock mount bushings are deflecting a little now.  Still clunks, but not as bad as before.  

Plugged in my laptop to find out what the code is and my Epic software is having a hissy fit.  I took a screen shot and sent it to Randy, I'll wait to see what he says.  I'm thinking the code is for the rear O2's, that's the only thing I swapped over since the last time I started the car and it was check engine light free at that point.

docwyte SuperDork
3/25/18 6:49 p.m.

So, met up with another bmw guy today.  He had boxes of stuff he was selling for the princely sum of $100.

a lot of it I don't really need, but will be useful to have as spare parts, like a complete stock suspension, stock fog lights, stock front turn signals and rear tail lights, car cover, back half of a black interior and what I was really after, a racing dynamics strut bar.

my current UUC bar is great, but I can't fit the adjuster knobs for the MCS struts on with it in place.  It looked like they'd fit with the RD bar.

I've installed these before and they're easy.  Three nuts on each Strut tower and then the two bolts holding the actual bar in place.

well, the bar wasn't lining up at all on my car.  So I jacked the front end up, which made things better, but still no go.  I ended up having to enlarge the holes for the retaining bolt on one end to get it to fit and it's a snug fit!

Took way too much time, but result!!

docwyte SuperDork
3/27/18 7:09 p.m.

Ok, managed to get my scan software to work and I scanned the car.  As I suspected, rear O2 codes and a rear O2 code heater circuit.  I did have a momma of an exhaust leak that I fixed, so I cleared the codes and crossed my fingers that the exhaust leak caused the issue.  

Key turned, car started and no more check engine light!  Also no more exhaust leak!  Woohoo!  Car is ready to run through smog testing now, I may try to get that done this Thursday after work.

I also ordered a set of rear ride height spring perches from Rogue Engineering the other day.  They have a very clever design that sandwiches the stock lower spring perch and lets you put a 14mm rachet onto the adjuster from below the car, with the car on the ground and wheels still on!  So no more car up in the air, wheels off, make an adjustment, wheels on, car down, measure, rinse, lather, repeat until you get the height where you want it. 

So those will go on next week before I get it aligned, then the alignment in 1.5 weeks and the car is basically ready for the track.  I still need to install the Trackspec hood vent, but temps in mid April will be cold enough that if I don't get to it, there won't be an issue.

docwyte SuperDork
4/6/18 5:11 p.m.

No pics today, was working and swearing a bunch.

Got the Rogue Engineering rear spring perches, they're a very clever design that lets you adjust the ride height with the wheels on and car on the ground. 

Had to install those and play with ride heights, front needed to come down 1/2" and rear 3/4".  Getting the old Ground Control stuff off took some effort.  It's been on there for years and was happy in its home.  Luckily it all came off intact, I'll list it for sale soon.

Next up was setting the ride height, which was pretty tedious, especially the front.  Wheels off, rotate down, wheels on, car down, measure.  Car up, wheels off, etc, etc.  Finally figured out 12 rotations was 1/2", so the other side was much faster.  Then had to play with the rear again as things were getting weight jacked around.  Finally got it.

Last week I got the car through emissions, which was great!  Was worried it wouldn't pass with the new cams, bigger MAF, injectors, tune, etc.  It passed HC and CO fine and squeaked by on NOx.  So that means off comes the cats and on goes the AA track pipe again, along with the rear O2 sim box.

Next up is an alignment next week, then I need to get it weighed and dynoed.  Then finally get that hood vent installed...

docwyte SuperDork
4/7/18 7:44 p.m.

Finally got my code reader software to cooperate with me. Turns out the cheap round diagnostic port adapter cable I bought decided to stop working.

Code read and cleared, won't have to worry about it again as it was a post cat O2 code and I've installed the post cat O2 simulator...

docwyte SuperDork
4/13/18 3:09 p.m.

So today I got the car aligned and corner weighed.  I had the alignment close, but the rear ride height had to come up a bit.  Happily that worked out fine.

Next up was the dyno.  Unfortunately that did NOT go as I'd hoped.  Turns out the car is running pig rich, like off the scale rich up top, lower than 10.0:1.  Car does have really old fuel in the tank, dating back possibly as far as last summer, definitely no newer than last fall.  Not sure if that could cause this tho. 

Power is easily 25-30rwhp less than what I'd expect to see given the setup.  Sent the dyno files off to the tuner, guess I'll wait and see what he has to say.  Hopefully he send me a few revisions.   I'll burn through this tank of fuel, which won't take long since its acting like its got a big block in it!  Then refill with fresh fuel from Shell and get the car back on the dyno with my laptop there so I can upload different maps as I need to...

docwyte SuperDork
5/3/18 8:31 a.m.

So I had a little laundry list of things that needed to get done on the car.  Between them and it still running rich, I just took the car into my friendly local shop.

Some stuff was easy, like adjust the e brake cables, look over the rear suspension and verify its just my new MCS' knocking, change the fuel filter.

Last one is a potential doozy tho, figuring out why the car is running so rich.  Its running so rich it actually threw a check engine light on the way to the shop for running rich!  I was hoping it was just old fuel but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Now a leakdown is going to need to get done and if it comes back bad I'm going to be really upset that I spent all the time/money doing a top end rebuild last summer/fall and approximately 100 miles ago.  I should've just pulled the motor and done an S54 swap at that time.

Hopefully its just a bad MAF (doubtful since its new) or a really large vacuum leak or O2 sensors plugged in the wrong places or etc....

docwyte SuperDork
5/8/18 3:24 p.m.

So good news!  My motor is fine.  Compression and leakdown tests came back with very good results.  So now gotta find out why the motor is running rich.  Two main culprits are a fuel pressure regulator that's bad, or my basically brand new MAF is bad.

MAF takes 5 minutes to swap and we should be able to return it if it doesn't fix the issue, so unless we discover the fuel pressure being way off, that's the next step.  If we swap MAF's and the car is able to go into closed loop, then its fixed.

Very much debating an S54 swap tho, a complete, wrecked E46 M3 convertible popped up locally, with the 6 speed transmission.  I could buy it and have a running, driving car, take everything I need from it, sell the transmission, rear diff and some other parts, along with my S52 and almost even steven it....

docwyte SuperDork
5/28/18 9:57 a.m.

Ok, so MAF was swapped in and it looks like that's fixed the issue.  No more check engine light, car seems to be cold starting better and I think I'm not going through fuel like a big block anymore.

Reason why I say "I think" is the only driving I've done with the car since the fix was at the track, where I blow through a bunch of fuel naturally.

This past Saturday I went to High Plains to run in the Time Trial group with the BMW Club.  I loaded up my trailer and hooked it up to my "new" tow vehicle, my wife's old GS470.  Discovered I had to get another tow hitch for it, the 2" drop one I had didn't have enough drop to it.  The GX is much taller than my old Cayenne Turbo apparently.  Ran to O'Reilly's and grabbed a 5 1/4" drop hitch, that seems to have done it.

Towing with the GX is "adequate".  It moves the load, albeit slowly.  Stability is ok, with it being so tall its a bit more susceptible to cross winds compared to my old Cayenne Turbo.  Got a whopping 10mpg on the way to the track, seems to have done better on the way home. 

Since I don't tow very much, or really very far, it'll be ok.  Otherwise I wouldn't recommend the GX as a heavy tow rig.

It was hot and windy at the track, temps hit a high of 95.  We didn't run until 10:30am, so I didn't really get a cool session to run in.  This was the first time out on track for me since last July, so I was pretty rusty.  Running a 4 year old set of Toyo RR's, which even when new, aren't all that sticky.

Ran a 2:11.8 the first session, feeling things out.  Next session it was quite a bit warmer but I managed to drop almost a second and ran a 2:11.1.  Come back in to find that I must've been hit by a piece of clag or a rock.  It shattered my right front turn signal.

Last session was really hot and windy.  Second lap in, my Traqmate tells me its memory is full and it stops recording.  Doh!  I didn't realize I had to delete my old runs in it.  Sigh. 

I push the car pretty hard, I think I'm going faster.  My goal is at least a 2:10, would like to drop to a 2:09.  Come back in, find out I ran a 2:12.  Also find I lost the hose clamp holding my passenger brake duct hose.  Ok.  Last session is at 5:30.  If I run it, I won't get home in time to unload the trailer and drop the trailer back off in storage.  I kinda want to take the family out to breakfast tomorrow.

Decision made to load up and head home and skip the final session.  It was just as hot, I went slower and they were combining the TT group with the instructors.

A fairly successful outing, minor breakage, car ran well.  No issues with overheating.  Saw a max water temp of 220* on the gauge, even in 95 degree heat.  I still need to man up and put in the hood vent.  That's supposed to drop temps 15-20 degrees! 

Need to get back onto a dyno, car didn't seem to have the pull I'd expect it to have with cams, etc, but that could just be in my head.  Next event is with the PCA in about a month...

docwyte SuperDork
6/4/18 8:57 p.m.

Got a little box from ECS Tuning today.  Decided to take all of a few minutes to install my new front turn signal and oem grills.

OMG do the oem grills fit so much better than my old aftermarket matte black ones!  Although they're so new looking they make me wanna repaint the entire front end of the car....

docwyte SuperDork
6/14/18 8:27 p.m.

So was planning on hitting the track next weekend but got caught up.

Friends from out of town are coming here to move their daughter in and my daughter will be home from camp for a few days.

So next track day isn't until the end of July.  Sigh.  Then there aren't any events in August.

Maybe three more events for the rest of the season for me.

Really debating either selling the M3 to get a street sports car like a 911 or convert the M3 back into more of a street car.

Ie put the oem interior back in and a softer set of springs/raise the ride height... 

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