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AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car

Posted by Dan McGinn 
Dan McGinn
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
May 22, 2014 11:41AM
Any clue what the cause of the s50 failures was Dave?
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DaveK
Dave Kern
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
May 22, 2014 11:53AM
Quote
Dan McGinn
Any clue what the cause of the s50 failures was Dave?

First failure was that I had a stock S50 with the crappy early "M3" retainers that were not any better than the M50 parts. They were too soft I believe and were known to let go when the engine sat on the limiter for short amounts of time. After the failure I learned this was a reasonably common occurance amongst autox guys as well who would ride it for just a few seconds. With all the torque and loose surface driving, mine spent quite a bit of time against the limiter, and on my first or second day with it set to to the factory limit of 7k it let go.

Pulled the engine apart and one of my valves looked like Gonzo's nose. Head was cracked around the valve seal, so had to buy a new head. Ended up getting a good deal on a freshly rebuilt one with Ti valves from a guy who hooked me up with some 15" compomotives from back in his BMW rally days (early '00s). Used the newer retainers, and since the Ti valves were lighter, we re-used the factory springs thinking they were plenty adequate.

Second failure I still really don't know what happened. I drove the car on to the trailer at the end of the event, drove it back off when it was unloaded at the shop. The car sat for 2 months and when I tried to fire it up, it wouldn't start. So, like an idiot I tried to pull start it across the lot. Valve head fell off and was embedded in a piston...and then hammered into the head...but all looked like it was done with the engine not running because the damage was in just one location, there were no bounce around marks like I'd expect if it happened with the engine running.

If I had to make a recommendation on these motors it'd be to drop the limit 500rpm and hammer on it all day long. Also, make sure the oil pump nut has been welded on, or loctite, or safety wire. Change to the all metal t-stat housing and get whatever the good water pump are (composite?) and it should be pretty solid!

Dave
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Dan McGinn
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
May 22, 2014 11:59AM
Quote
DaveK
Quote
Dan McGinn
Any clue what the cause of the s50 failures was Dave?


If I had to make a recommendation on these motors it'd be to drop the limit 500rpm and hammer on it all day long. Also, make sure the oil pump nut has been welded on, or loctite, or safety wire. Change to the all metal t-stat housing and get whatever the good water pump are (composite?) and it should be pretty solid!

Dave

Great advice, I've ordered up the VAC upgrade for the oil pump nut as well as the baffle for the oil pan. I'll be careful about the rev limit, maybe Turner or someone can re-zap the chip (OBD-1 car) to bring the limit down. I didn't know that about the thermostat so I'll have to order up the metal housing.
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Dan McGinn
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
June 17, 2014 10:50AM
all susupension bushings replaced, cage 99% done, car is painted, seats going in today tomorrow, NEFR entered, everything on track for fun in Group 2! Loooks like 2 other bimmers and a slew of other G2 cars, 8 of us so far, should be a blast!

No just need those suspenders from John, don't let me down baby!





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2014 10:52AM by Dan McGinn.
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john vanlandingham
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
June 17, 2014 10:56AM
Quote
Dan McGinn
all susupension bushings replaced, cage 99% done, car is painted, seats going in today tomorrow, NEFR entered, everything on track for fun in Group 2! Loooks like 2 other bimmers and a slew of other G2 cars, 8 of us so far, should be a blast!

No just need those suspenders from John, don't let me down baby!


I have your stuff, and inserts ordered. Be jumping on the knuckles tomorrow..



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

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NoCoast
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
June 17, 2014 11:38AM
Look forward to seeing what you are doing with the front struts.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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Dan McGinn
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
June 20, 2014 05:07AM
Quote
NoCoast
Look forward to seeing what you are doing with the front struts.

Me too, when I chatted with John he said he's basically milling it down and welding on ears so it's more like the Subaru-style, or the later e36 style. Having the ears is definitely a major improvement over the stock style.

I'll post some pics up when they get here.

In the meantime, cage is done.

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Dan McGinn
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
July 08, 2014 10:58AM
Quote
john vanlandingham
Quote
Dan McGinn
all susupension bushings replaced, cage 99% done, car is painted, seats going in today tomorrow, NEFR entered, everything on track for fun in Group 2! Loooks like 2 other bimmers and a slew of other G2 cars, 8 of us so far, should be a blast!

No just need those suspenders from John, don't let me down baby!


I have your stuff, and inserts ordered. Be jumping on the knuckles tomorrow..

How we looking John? I'm leaving for maine a week from tomorrow.
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Dan McGinn
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
August 07, 2014 08:53AM
So, suspension didn't come in from John so we had to run Bilstein HD with convertible springs in front and 'ix' springs in the rear. It worked okay as in it didn't break, but coupled with the fact that the first time I drove the car in anger on gravel was stage one, it was a steep curve. THankfully we kept it, mostly, on the road and finished day one. By stages 4 and 5 I really started to get more comfortable with the car, despite the fact that we broke a rear shock mount and it we had unimabginable wheel hop on the right rear.

Day two, 1.2 miles into the first stage we came into a downhill into L3, hit some ruts, hopped the ass end, accelerated and snapped the right half shaft and our rally was done.
We're getting signed up now for BRS in a month or so.

My thoughts: fuckin' ridiculous fun with that power and RWD. After the first stage, we switched from 1st to 2nd for our starts, 1st gear just dug holes. Up around 95mph the car starts to float too much, with the current weight, and those springs, we had about 8" of clearance on the skid plate and almost 10 on the diff=way too high, but the car only got on its feet for the first time right before we loaded the trailer.

John, are you getting me that suspenion? Otherwise I'll have to figure out something asap. I could deal with the half-ass setup at Maine, but too many jumps at BRS for half-assery.







All images were taken by DaggerSlade Media - great shots!
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heymagic
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
August 07, 2014 10:00AM
Glad you basically survived, what a great looking car on stage. No suspension after 2 and 1/2 months?
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hudson
Andrew McNally
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
August 07, 2014 10:12AM
Car looks great.. shame about the DNF, but at least you didn't wrap it around anything.



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MConte05
Matthew Conte
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
August 07, 2014 11:46AM
I bet a little clever aero on the front end would help with your floaty feeling. Just a big air dam to cover the sloping skid plate will help a lot.
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Dan McGinn
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
August 07, 2014 11:54AM
Quote
MConte05
I bet a little clever aero on the front end would help with your floaty feeling. Just a big air dam to cover the sloping skid plate will help a lot.

Agreed, thats an aero nightmare!
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DaveK
Dave Kern
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
August 07, 2014 11:58AM
Quote
MConte05
I bet a little clever aero on the front end would help with your floaty feeling. Just a big air dam to cover the sloping skid plate will help a lot.

Back when I had a GTX, the cheap airdam was one from a chevy S10 pickup. I'm thinking the front of the E30 might be about the same as a GTX? They were super flexy, took a decent beating and were pretty cheap from what I remember.


Dave
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MConte05
Matthew Conte
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Re: AWD to RWD conversion...of myself; a/k/a/ e30 gravel car
August 07, 2014 12:36PM
What a lot of guys do (and I do too) is lawn edging. It helped a bit on my old OL legacy, as I had that floaty feeling past 80 mph or so as well, but in a frontal view, you could easily see the skidplate sloping down. Put on some stiff plastic lawn edging with some self-tapping screws, and made the car feel much better at speed.
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