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



  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Today was a big fat fail.

    Began with the clutch slipping badly. Kept cutting down the pushrod and it kept getting better.

    Got to the point that I thought it was right, then the bloody thing wouldn't start.

    It cranks over and fires occasionally, but then struggles like a cylinder is full of water or petrol, or like the ignition timing is too advanced. Spark plugs are all clean and dry, so not a leaky injector or blown head gasket.

    It also pops through the exhaust some of the time too.

    My best guess at this point is that a crank or cam sensor has died.

  • Started trying to work out what it owes me. So here's the regular money post that bores everyone except me.

    Actually, your money posts don't bore me. I really like how you demonstrate that thinking things through, and use of imagination and ingenuity quash the notion that deep pockets are needed to have a quick and competitive package.

    You're the master of getting bang for bucks.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Fixed the Small Car.

    The bolts that hold the crank pulley onto the crank hub had come out. The pulley also holds the trigger wheel for the crank angle sensor, hence the timing was all over the shop.

    The missing bolts weren't immediately obvious because the tension on serpentine belt held everything in place.

    This was 100% my fault, and would have gone wrong when I removed the AC pulley off the crank. Not sure if I misunderstood how it all went together, or if it just got missed in the period of *variable enthusiasm* followed by busting my leg and ignoring it for a few months...

    Also managed to do a burnout in the driveway, so it looks like the clutch is working properly.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited July 29

    And then there were six E36 Compacts in my life. Again.

    This is a 1998 model with the 1.6 motor and airbags in the doors - a spec that I didn't know existed until today.

    Bit of a story about how this came into my life:

    Someone posted up on the local community noticeboard page that their car had broken down at Woolies and they needed help to move it. So I messaged back saying that I had a trailer and asking what sort of car it is.

    As soon as she said it was "a little BMW hatchback", I knew the car immediately - I drive past it on my way to work, about 200m from home. After arguing with a self-important shift manager/ idiot at Woolies, I dragged it to the nearby mechanic for her.

    Anyhow, the mechanic reckoned it is too far gone so she offered it to me. I paid $250 for it which included a bit of voluntary sympathy contribution.

    I haven't looked at what is wrong with it. It turns over but doesn't fire - fuel pump or crank angle sensor are the obvious suspects straight up, but that's speculation until I have a proper look.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Here’s a random photo. For reasons.

  • These little nuggets' have a habit of finding you don't they.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Quick look at the 316 today.

    No spark. Not crank angle sensor or coils. Didn't dig deeper because I needed the time to work on the rally car so it can get the Autronic fitted and by dyno'd tomorrow.

    Also relocated the battery out of the engine bay, to the navigator's footwell (in front of the footrest).

    They do appear to...

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited August 2

    Yesterday was a disaster. Problems with crank sensor (mostly) but also cam sensor trigger wheel and ignition coils.

    Got there at 8am, car didn’t run until 4pm, and didn’t run properly until 8pm. No dyno time at all.

    I had a bunch of things to tidy up which took up this morning.

    Back at midday today, was going to have to wait until 3pm for the dyno, but got straight on.

    Tuner Chris had a few fiddles to do, actual tuning started about half an hour ago. I have nicked off to get lunch and have had my first chance to breathe since Tuesday evening.

  • :S Ah man, sorry to hear of your bad luck there.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    And it all appears to have worked out in the end:

    It actually ended up better than that - he tuned out the dip before peak power and found another couple of kW everywhere before it.

    Also no Shitout Mode or funny ‘compensation’ factors either.

    It actually feels pretty flat on the road, but then you look at the speedo and you’re travelling about 20kph faster than you thought. Ever other rally car I’ve driven that felt like that, punched above its weight, so hopefully this one does too.

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Woop, a result!

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited August 3

    Narooma Rally 2019 was today.

    Slightly over-seeded at car #18.

    SS1 was aborted due to a RA60 Group B replica having a big crash. Word is that the navigator has a suspected broken leg. If it’s only a broken leg, then he got off lightly - everyone commented on how rooted the car is.

    I sucked in SS2 due to being sleep deprived and rusty.

    Drove better but not great in SS3.

    SS4 was better but the clutch started to slip.

    SS5 the clutch was ok at first but cost us a bunch of time in the middle of the stage. Oddly, it got better toward the end. Seems to have cost us around 30 seconds on the incomplete list of stage times I saw. Our main benchmark crew had fuel pump problems which makes it hard to say.

    We had a wait before the start of SS6, and booked in late to give the clutch more time to cool down.

    Started fine, then got REALLY bad and we were firmly in “finishing slow is better than DNFing fast” mode. Seems to have cost about a minute, maybe more. Clutch was pretty much perfect for the last couple of kilometres, which makes no sense to me.

    Frustrating, but the car is SO much better to drive. Was still a fun day, and made the pain of the last few days much more palatable.

    Beer now.

    Edit: 19th outright. Not great, but not unhappy with this, all things considered.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Random other point: I’m struggling with hairpin corners in this car. Can chuck it in fine, but it seems to stop rotating too early. My second attempt at the spectator point was more aggressive and resulted in a half-spin, right in front of a particular photographer...

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited August 5

    /\ Start of SS4. Listen to the clutch slip...

  • Still cool!

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited August 22

    Finished sixth at Cheap Car. A total of four cars finished without penalties - we were the worst placed of the four.

    It was an insane day. Lots of carnage, lots of shit driving and tons of penalties.

    The damage to our car was a knobber very agressively blocking our ring-in driver’s attempted pass in turn one. Both cars got black flagged. Even now that I have calmed down, it was 75% their fault.

    Shit happens, right. But the other team carried on like total pork chops to the point that I went and handed the torn-off BMW side skirt to the Pulsar driver with the words “this is all yours, Champ”. ☺️

    I later had a fairly rational discussion with the driver, and ended up shaking hands over it, but their “team owner” is a total knob who is a blight on this series despite his history/credentials.

    El Wifeo was held up for almost an entire stint by the other Pulsar, despite frantic blue flag waving and the fact that they were already multiple laps behind.

    Apparently the #10 Lancer is no longer. Very late in the day, they were overtaking a much slower car and thedriver of the slower car expected them to go past on the right but accidentally squeezed them into the wall on the left. The driver of the slower car described it as “it’s gearbox is on the ground next to it”...

    So yeah, it was an interesting day.

    Late edit: Qualified 13th again, with a 63.7 again. Old tyres.

    New tyres on the front saw a 63.3 in the race.

    The progressive LSD is worn to the point of being useless. Can buy new Torsen type LSDs off ebay for $1000 delivered, rebuild used single-plate clutch type BMW LSDs for $1200, or new OS Giken multi-plate for $2800(!).

    They all have their drawbacks.

  • I hadn't realised, my little brother whom is way cooler then I, has been competing in a BMW at those Cheap Car Events with his mates from work.

    They scored a DNF on the weekend, I haven't heard what happened yet.

    I'm assuming all the BMW's are friends because that is logical yes and so very German?

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.
    edited August 19

    Ah, yes. We get along with the other Compact guys! One of them has just bought a T4 for a laugh. I wondered if it was yours, but its silver.

    They split a radiator.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Rally car news...

    Has new clutch, single mass flywheel, different gearbox, firebomb, and a few other tweaks.

    Because it is off to do the Victorian round of the Australian Rally Championship this weekend.

    ...but not in my hands.

    Short version of a long story is that my semi-regular navigator and her husband are doing well in the 2WD class but were suddenly left without a car, after they’d committed to the event.

    They’ve moved heaven and earth to get a start - I just hope that they don’t fall asleep on the first transport.

    Because my car was built to club/state level standards, they had to get special dispensation for a few things, which wasn’t confirmed until Tuesday. Ethan & I had a big day on it today, but it was only one step in their mammoth journey to do this event.

Sign In or Register to comment.