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End of an era...

Posted by NoCoast 
NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Location: Denver, CO
Join Date: 01/11/2006
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 6,740

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Merkur



End of an era...
October 10, 2016 03:54PM
Final video from CHCA hill climb season.





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End of an era for this fairly simple BMW build in the car known as the Goose. Short history of the car...
Bought for $1100 with a bad pinion bearing in 2011 or 2012.
Tossed in a junkyard 3.91 open diff, cheapest Bilstein struts/shocks, cage, pads/rotors and spare safety gear and went and did three Chumpcar endurance races. Discovered during these races the many faults in the BMW cooling system, culminating in a Mishimoto radiator, Spal fan, and aluminum expansion tank. Also eliminated the heater core from the cooling system. Eventually after overheating the car so many times the head gasket truly and properly was screwed so we bought another 325i running and driving car that had been partially parted out for $500 for the engine and 3.15 LSD. And a pile of spares.
During the swap we upgraded to a FX Racing clutch and steel lightweight flywheel. We also removed the oil pan and installed an aftermarket oil pan baffle and welded the oil pump nut.
I then ran the Lands End Hill Climb and CORE hill climb last year.
This year I have done five hill climbs and two testing days for a total of about 200 competitive and fairly hard miles. I have replaced two right side control arms (one bent from jump, one from hitting wall), right side tie rod, and caliper (aforementioned wall), front struts were replaced around 150 miles (but still feel useable but have been moved to spare duty), three junkyard top mounts came apart (damn wall again), I bent six or seven factory alloys, and that has been it.
I rebuilt the shifter with Z3 parts and nylon bushing after the stock shifter got so bad I was having trouble downshifting. ~$50 rebuild or many have opted for the ~$350 AKG part.
I put new motor mounts in it at the swap also.
I eliminated power steering pump experimentally at the start of this season and have not felt the need to put it back.
Midway through this season I put together a dual master balance bar setup using Tilton masters tied in to the stock lines. I also switched from a PFC pad for road racing to the Porterfield R4 pads which have been exclusively used.

Why is this the end of the era? Because I have finally found good sources for clutch plates and dog ear plates so a 4.10 4 pack clutch diff will be built. We are developing a suspension kit with DMS that will hopefully be here this month and be tested and refined over winter. I might start making our own rally chip for the OBD1 ECU to eek a little more power out of the car.
I have a nicer Compact with the 2.8L engine swap already done just waiting to be gone over and finished so the Goose may end up donating a few parts and being sold as a Chumpcar shell.
Or I might just buy that 2007 Escalade for the LQ9 engine and swap that into either of the cars for a ridiculous hill climb monster.
I think I've demonstrated sufficiently that a BMW in stock form is a decent entry level car with mostly stock components strong enough to take abuse. We've figured out what is smart to replace/upgrade and what isn't necessarily that worrisome. While I'm not winning hill climbs, I am not that far off the pace (2-3 sec/mi) of the 300-350 hp that Dave Kern and Ryan McLaughlin have in their S54 M3 powered Compact and turbocharged Integra so it's not been a Sunday drive all the time. smiling smiley



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
Mod Moderator
Location: Denver, CO
Join Date: 01/11/2006
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 6,740

Rally Car:
Merkur



Re: End of an era...
May 25, 2017 04:30PM
Well, a number of factors have led to a continuation of the era.




Basically put a pair of new tires on rear, removed passenger seat and went and raced. I did at least check the oil but that was it since last season when I parked it after the final event.
Probably going to run the car at Rally Colorado in July. After that it's going to sit in Denver and I'll fly back to do a few events a year around there.
I moved to Montana earlier in the month so the new Compact will come back up with me in July to finish prep for rallying in Alberta and BC. Rocky is less than three hours away!
Rally.Build will continue to operate as before, we just have two locations now. Easily done with three partners in the business.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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Robert Culbertson
Robert Culbertson
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Re: End of an era...
May 25, 2017 07:12PM
Where at in Montana? A friend recently moved to just south of Missoula.
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Location: Denver, CO
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Re: End of an era...
May 26, 2017 10:24AM
Whitefish, about two hours north of Missoula.
190 miles to Invermere.
440 miles to Kelowna
590 miles to Shelton
310 miles to Kananaskis
540 miles to Merritt
290 miles to Cochrane
490 miles to Boise

20 minutes to the ski lift, 20 minutes to Glacier National Park, 30 minutes to Flathead Lake
Nice sized lake in town for summer boating activities as well. Plethora of fishing within minutes.
Can't wait to explore the roads to the NE and west of town.
Coming from Denver where closest rally was 850 miles away (100AW) and the ski area 60 miles away could easily have a four or five hour drive...



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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Robert Culbertson
Robert Culbertson
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Re: End of an era...
May 26, 2017 11:13AM
That sounds like a great location!
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Towona
Tony P
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Re: End of an era...
May 26, 2017 12:40PM
Next time i'm in Whitefish...



Runamuck Rally
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Robert Culbertson
Robert Culbertson
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Re: End of an era...
May 26, 2017 02:00PM
If you get the chance, drive through the Bitterroot Valley.
My friend buddy just sent me this picture from his front porch. Not too bad.
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Chad Eixenberger
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Re: End of an era...
May 26, 2017 02:10PM
Swan Valley is pretty awesome too.

Used to love backpacking into Turquoise Lake in the Mission Mountains when I was younger.
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Location: Denver, CO
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Re: End of an era...
May 26, 2017 04:11PM
So back to the in-car video. You often hear people at these events say things like, there is no time left out there or that was as fast as is possible.
When I finish a run I usually look back at two things, onboard video and racechrono to see where I can find more speed and time. One interesting thing with racechrono is you can set splits and it will calculate an ideal time for your car by combining your best splits across all runs.
According to racechrono, I could have run 5 seconds faster with a 3:44 ideal. The 2WD record there is 3:35. Ryan McLaughlin was two seconds off the record in the Rally.Build Integra and he hit 102 MPH on the front straight compared to my 84.

We are loving Whitefish so far. My wife relocated her business, we had the opportunity to relocate it pretty much anywhere (or remain in Denver area) but really wanted to raise our daughters in a smaller community with skiing nearby. Steamboat or Jackson were both high on my list but cost of living combined with proximity of rallying put Whitefish at the top of list. It's also only like 150 miles from the old family ranch and town that my family founded back in the 1860s. (Augusta, MT)



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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Towona
Tony P
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Re: End of an era...
May 26, 2017 05:14PM
So.... when is Rally Montana? smiling smiley



Runamuck Rally
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Re: End of an era...
August 15, 2017 12:03PM
Well I keep changing the plan. I flew back down to Denver for a long weekend in July and spent a few days adding a few bars and gussets and prepping the Goose to be fully rally legal.
Then we entered Rally Colorado.
The event started with a Parc Exposure then a parade through downtown with what seemed like every resident lining the roads. Wish we'd known about it before, would have put some junk tires on. Still did a bunch of burn outs for the kids and a half donut at the end turn around.
Day one we made it midway through the second stage before codriver suffered heat exhaustion and started throwing up. I pulled over and got him out, more hydrated and cooled down. Headed for the FTC where I made the call to end the day and figure out some cooling solution overnight so it wasn't 150 degrees inside the car. It's never been an issue with the shorter and simpler hill climbs but these stages are WAY technical and very busy for a codriver. Safety and health always come first.
Drank a bit too much beer while fixing cars overnight but it was a good time. Lots of friends I hadn't really gotten to hang out with in months to years.
Day two we started with the goal of finishing. The stages on day two had some big hill climbs, big descents, tight and technical sections, smooth and rough sections. As soon as you'd get comfortable and into a groove the whole nature of the stage would change. We were pretty consistently running in 4th in Group 2 of the 12 or so entries and 15-20th overall of 35. I was pretty happy with this pace considering the amount of times I really had to back off to save the car. Having a quality codriver was incredible, I never doubted what he was telling me, that combined with the more relaxed pace made me realize just how lacking Jemba notes could be and how much I have to learn to really take advantage of recce. In the end, we ended up on the podium with 3rd place in Group 2 and finished the rally. Aside from the ducts on the car, I didn't do a single thing to the car all weekend. Checked tire pressures at the start of Friday and cleaned the windows at service. Pretty good for a nearly stock BMW and fairly rough stages.
Here is some onboard. The best stage to watch and get an idea of nature of the event is 9. Long, busy, elevation changes, tight and twisty, exposures and more. 21 pages of Jemba for a 10 mile stage.
Stage 7:



Stage 8:



Stage 9:




Now I'm back up in Montana and trying to figure out how to get the car up here so I can run Kananaskis in October. Hopefully it will lose the Goose spraypaint before the event if I can get it up here in time. Had been aiming for Big White but we are going to PRI for Rally.Build business that weekend so decided on Kananaskis. I'll keep the Compact in Denver for now and work on getting it finished to run a few hill climbs and Rally Colorado in 2018.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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Eric Grochowski
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Re: End of an era...
August 15, 2017 12:13PM
Should put the Knox Mountain Hillclimb in Kelowna in late May on your list one of these years. I think you'd have a great time.
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dreamsofjvl
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Re: End of an era...
August 15, 2017 12:13PM
So you had to back off to save the car, but its a good rally car? Make up yer mind woman! :p

You are in luck that Kananaskis and Cochrane are the smoothest roads you'll rally on, no more excuses for pace winking smiley

Remember, you want a set of studded winters for Kananaskis as you never know what the weather will be. Unlikely to be much snow, but a good chance of there being ice (well, except for last year).
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Location: Denver, CO
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Merkur



Re: End of an era...
August 15, 2017 01:52PM
Quote
dreamsofjvl
So you had to back off to save the car, but its a good rally car? Make up yer mind woman! :p

You are in luck that Kananaskis and Cochrane are the smoothest roads you'll rally on, no more excuses for pace winking smiley

Remember, you want a set of studded winters for Kananaskis as you never know what the weather will be. Unlikely to be much snow, but a good chance of there being ice (well, except for last year).

It's on bone stock suspension, nay, the cheapest Bilstein Touring struts! Knowing when to push and when to preserve is one of the hardest traits a rally driver can learn. You should practice it more. tongue sticking out smiley

The whole philosophy with this car has been nearly stock and simple. Every bushings I have replaced have been with the cheap standard rubber ones. No reinforced subframe mounts or rear camber arms or any of the other "must do" BMW stuff that road racers claim is needed, eliminated stock booster and ABS and replaced with dual master brakes, eliminated heater cores, eliminated leaky power steering pump, upgraded cooling system components, cold air intake, and 2.5" exhaust. The shifter I rebuilt using a nylon bushing and Z3 short shifter kit. 1/4 the cost of the AKG one that everyone else claims is necessary. I have over 24 hours of on track racing and over 400 gravel competitive miles on the car at this point. I go through suspension parts and replace anything worn as needed. I've bent a few things from hitting stuff but that's to be expected and stuff like control arms and tie rods should be treated as wear items on all rally cars.
I am going to upgrade the engine and transmission mounts as they took a beating at Rally CO and one is showing wear. One day I'll find time to build my 4.10 double stacked LSD and ditch the 3.15 LSD with 30 ft lbs breakaway that is in there now.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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DanielSL
Daniel
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Re: End of an era...
August 15, 2017 05:46PM
Nice driving, Grant. Congratulations on the podium finish.
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