Spac's adventures in BMW (was: E36 318ti rally project)



  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    Rain has slowed me down on the 316i Small Car.
    Main tangible achievement over the weekend was fitting the bonnet pins.


  • I found them very annoying fit on my car. Talk about the art of measuring 4x and cutting, no pausing to measure again.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited June 16
    Round Five of Cheap Car today.

    Lots of changes to the car before the event: Swapped to AD08 tyres, Ferodo DS3000 pads, different offset wheels, and ABS delete.

    Funny sort of day, entirely because of the rain. Lots of the usually fast cars were WAY off the pace, and some of the usually slow cars were way faster than usual. The #99 Celica usually finishes in the top three, but today I lapped it in the first stint!

    We seemed to run in our usual position, but made more mistakes than usual.

    Qualified 14th, which sounds not-great, but we were bedding in the new brake pads at the start when it was relatively dry. By the time the pads were bedded in, the track was wet again... So a good time was pretty much impossible.

    I started the race, it was pretty wild with cars going everywhere. Picked up a few spots, lost a few, but stayed out of trouble. The car was working well and we were definitely faster than a lot of cars that qualified ahead of us.

    We spent most of the morning in 9th or 10th, then rose to 8th when the #03 Integra DNF'd with a broken CV.


    Picked up an over-drive penalty when Paulie missed the pit board while duelling with another car.

    Has a period of double yellow flags when the Lexus IS200 shortened itself against a wall.

    Progressively rose up to 6th at the end, despite all of us spinning the car at different times (Pete managed to do it during qualifying, which is much better than doing it in the race).

    We were 7th as Petey started the last stint, but he hunted down and passed the 6th place car in the last couple of laps, which was nice.

    EVERYONE copped over-drive penalties - mostly one or two laps of penalties... But we copped three, which dropped us back to 8th. Turns out that we all forgot our pit strategy and f$%ked it up...


    Was a tough day, in a lot of ways. There are lots of positives though. Need to drive the car in the dry to see if the changes were actually positives. Feeling pretty sus about the tyres, but everything else seems to be an improvement,
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited June 29
    Lots of time spent and progress made on the Small Car, but doesn’t look like much...

    Spacer plates from the Cheap Car. 4zlw1hc7d4gg.jpeg

    Two things in this photo: new ball joints and washers for extra neg camber (number of washers is an educated guess based on what I have learned from the Cheap Car).


    Window net. Surprisingly shitty task, TBH. di5b7jsiokpv.jpeg


    Couldn’t put the RHF back together because the wheel bearing is stuffed. Swapped the whole upright with a mate today, so should be able to get that in and the brake on tomorrow.smuc0djku7rj.jpeg

    Can’t remember if I mentioned it, but I managed to explode the clutch slave cylinder and drop the guts into the bellhousing. Ended up hole-sawing into the bottom of the bellhousing and fishing all the parts out that way.
    All back together now.

    Also halfway through the ABS delete. Can’t just use 940 Volvo parts like I did on the slightly later model Cheap Car, so have to wait for the M10x1.0 inline joiner to arrive at the local brake place.

    Gave it an oil change today too!

    Main things left to do are finish putting the dash back together, finish mounting the safety harness and an exhaust. And a million other little things...
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited July 3
    Getting close now.


    Today I got a bunch of fiddly little jobs done:

    Harness shoulder straps mounted;
    Wiring tidied up;
    Clean out & vacuum the interior;
    Fit the cheap crappy gear knob I bought for the Proton all those years ago (but promptly lost most of the parts, so it never went onto a road car);
    Taped up the holes in the floor;
    Mounted the battery (stole the battery and battery tray from the rally car, which should force me to relocate the battery to inside the rally car like I had always intended).


    The big news was the ABS delete. What should have been a simple job turned out to be a prick of a task, for two main reasons.
    1. The earlier ABS module runs the LHF brake line under it, so instead of just a few seconds of wriggling to remove the line, it becomes a bit of an ordeal. Bend the line, move it 10mm. Bend it again, move it 5mm. Repeat...

    2. The T-piece I bought for this car had the reverse flare, not the ball flare of the 940 T-piece I used in the Cheap Car.
    Normally you'd just tighten the fittings down to turn the ball flare into a reverse flare, but there simply wasn't enough thread engagement to do that - and yes, I did partially strip one of the threads before working this out.
    After much faffing about, I simply drilled out the male cones in the T-piece and (amazingly), it all seals up perfectly.

    After all that stress, the brakes bled super easily. I got 99% of the air put just by gravity bleeding, and then it took no effort to get the last bit out by myself.
    The Boy helped me to bleed the brakes properly this afternoon, and literally didn't get any air out at all.
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    Still to do:

    Wire up the reverse light switch;
    Make and fit a false floor so your right foot can actually reach the accelerator pedal;
    Wash and polish;
    Fit the decent steering wheel (I've had good luck with the $60 OMP copies from ebay. This particular one was $40 and broke at the first Cheap Car);
    Cut out and fit a rear windscreen number;
    Install a horn button on the dash.

    Itching to test the car. I really don't know how fast it will be - compared to the other eligible cars, it is in the hunt power wise, and will have the best brakes, but it will also be the heaviest by a fair margin.
    My mate Mikey runs a couple of 1600cc N15 Pulsars in Cheap Car - I suspect that he is going to be the pace setter in the early days of Small Car, so I really need the 316 to be setting times about as fast as his cars.
  • I appreciate how vacuuming the interior makes it on to the "done list"

    I also agree with your philosophy of vacumming now being complete.
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    I appreciate how vacuuming the interior makes it on to the "done list"

    I also agree with your philosophy of vacumming now being complete.

    There’s a wattle tree growing right next to where I work on the car, and it dumps a million itty bitty little leaves every day and they get into everything, everywhere.
    Hence vacuuming deserving a place on the list!

    All the leaves shit me to tears but the tree is awesome for the shade it provides in summer, so I have left it.The tree has borers in it, so the decision to remove it is about to be made for me.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited July 6
    Today’s main achievement: false driver’s floor.

    Also a few other tidy ups: reverse light wiring, O2 sensor wiring doesn’t rest on the exhaust, polished the bonnet, gooped the door handle surround back on.

    Other big milestone was that I drove it for the first time in months.
    Clutch feels... weird. Need to fit a pedal stopper and see what goes on.

    Drove it all of 20m and ran out of petrol. 😆



    It is booked in for an exhaust on Thursday. I am actually thinking about using the rally car’s exhaust on this one, and getting a new, slightly quieter exhaust on the rally car.
    Will drag the rally car out of the shed tomorrow and see if its exhaust will fit this car easily.

  • These things looks so odd, but cool. like 1/2 a car kinda thing. Maybe it's because the short front nose is so classical BMW that your brain melts when it gets past the front doors.

    Re Exhaust, straight pipe out the side right? :P
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    These things looks so odd, but cool. like 1/2 a car kinda thing. Maybe it's because the short front nose is so classical BMW that your brain melts when it gets past the front doors.

    Re Exhaust, straight pipe out the side right? :P

    They're not a classically beautiful car, but whenever I look at an E36 coupe now, I'm all "Why did they stretch the rear out like that? Looks weird!"...

    Rule exclude side pipes. I'd be up for icould probably DIY without much hassle.
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    Started trying to work out what it owes me. So here's the regular money post that bores everyone except me.
    First figure is what it owes me, any figures in [square brackets] is normal market value, if it is different to what I paid.

    Car: $250.
    Manual swap bits: $0 [$250].
    Manual diff: $0 [$80].
    Wheels/tyres: $300 (4x wheels with Hankook RS3s, 4x bare wheels).
    Wheel studs: $40.
    Wheel nuts: $25.
    Seat: $50.
    Harness: $0.
    Steering wheel & boss kit: $90.
    Vinyl for stickers: $50
    Bonnet pins; $45.
    Boot springs: $15.
    Stage 0 (oils etc): $150.
    Chinabay rear springs & shocks: $100.
    Used front Bilsteins & Pedders springs: $50.
    Exhaust: $500 [$350...].
    Balljoints: $80.
    Bushes: $30.
    Fire extinguisher: $15.
    Window net & fittings: $35.
    Used brake pads and rotors: $100 [$250].
    Consumables: $100.

    So about $2k all up.

  • edited July 6
    My wife used to have a 320 coupe, it didn't end well 🤣🤣



  • Jesus Christ!
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    I was thinking more Thích Quang Duc...
  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited July 10

    Rally car got the purple tag steering rack from an E46 330i today.

    Interestingly, internet wisdom says that you have to use the shorter E36 rack ends and outer tie rods, but the E36 rack ends are the same length, so I just changed the tie rod ends.

    Also replaced the hoses to the power steering reservoir. They always leak from where the rubber hose is crimped.

    The road car got the almost-new rack end out of the rally car. The road car had been a bit wandery, and a few weeks ago I discovered one sloppy rack end and one utterly rooted rack end. I replaced the rooted one at the time, but the sloppy one got much worse in about 500km.

    It is a lot better to drive now!

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Small Car on the trailer to get an exhaust tomorrow.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Before /\

    After \/

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited July 12

    If you look carefully at the photo in the previous post, you can see the hole in the bellhousing.

Sign In or Register to comment.