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The "Basket Case BMW" Project by Blacktree
Started on: 07-19-2020 09:21 AM
Replies: 66 (656 views)
Last post by: Blacktree on 03-24-2021 04:26 PM
Blacktree
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Report this Post12-24-2020 09:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I still haven't completed the sunroof delete. I blame the holidays.

However, I was able to tackle a minor maintenance issue. Both rubber boots on the steering rack were torn. Thankfully, the inner tie rods were still tight. So I removed the old boots, cleaned out the crud, and installed new ones. I also put some grease in the tie rods, before re-assembly.

I bought some rack boots that are designed to be installed without disturbing the alignment. The outer end of the boot is large enough to fit over the end of the tie rod. And it has a rubber boot to fill the gap. It makes the job easier, since you don't need to mess with alignment settings. Just unscrew the tie rod from the steering rack, replace the boot, and reinstall.

Here's a photo of the new boot, with the rubber donut. It's split, so you can slip it over the tie rod without disassembling it.



I used a Dremel tool with a cutting disc to cut the band clamps, and a utility knife to cut the old boots.



I didn't have a wrench big enough for the tie rod. My biggest one is 32mm. I think it's 34 or 35mm wide. So I used channel-lock pliers.



After cleaning out the crud, and re-greasing the tie rod end, I slipped the new boot on, and installed the rubber donut.



Then I re-attached the tie rod to the steering rack, and slid the boot into place. Last but not least, I crimped the band clamps. And the job is done!



The job went pretty quick. I was pleasantly surprised. And I was able to cross something off the to-do list. Works for me!

Merry Christmas, everyone! 🎄🎁
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-05-2021 09:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I finally got the sunroof delete panel installed. That was a bit of a project. Here's what it looks like, from inside the car:



I still need to caulk the seam. I'll probably do that tomorrow.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-09-2021 02:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I finished installation of the sunroof delete panel. I also tested it for leaks. And it passed!



In the process, I also removed the headliner and some other stuff from the roof. Altogether, about 34 pounds was removed from the roof. That should help with handling. It will also make some room for a roll bar.

Here's the video:



So far, I've removed a total of 281 pounds from the car.

Have a nice weekend!
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-21-2021 04:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I took a break from the weight reduction stuff, to install some new headlamps. The old ones were basically trashed. Plus, I think they were the wrong headlights anyway. My car is a sedan, and these appear to be coupe headlights.



Along with the headlights, I also got a 3rd brake light, and some LED strips for the interior. And I found some trim pieces that go below the headlights.



It sure is nice having headlights that actually fit!

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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-23-2021 03:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
After installing the new headlights, I also installed the 3rd brake light. Plus I had to fix an electrical issue with the tail lights. The ground wires (and the electrical connections) were burnt to a crisp. So I re-routed the ground wires directly to the ground strip in the tail light housing.



I talk about that in more detail, in the video.





The drag strip opens at 6PM. It's usually dark by the time I get there. So having functional lights is pretty important. I have a little bit more weight reduction to do, then it's back to the drag strip to see how much difference it makes.
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davylong86
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Report this Post01-25-2021 11:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for davylong86Send a Private Message to davylong86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Look forward to seeing track times. Road course should be a lot of fun also.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-26-2021 12:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Unfortunately, I won't be able to do any road course or autocross stuff until the suspension is addressed. The shocks and struts are completely worn out. The car floats like an old Cadillac. The plan is to hit the drag strip one more time with the weight reduction, then put the car on jackstands and completely re-do the suspension and brakes.

There's an autocross club in Orlando. I'll hit them up after the suspension is done. Should be fun.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-27-2021 12:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Over the weekend, I paid another visit to the salvage yard. I was able to find some miscellaneous parts that the car still needed. For example, both of the brake cooling ducts were missing. But I found a couple. Also, one of the grille pieces that fills the fog light holes was missing. I found one of those, too. I also found the air intake snorkel, and the air duct for the alternator.

My car was also missing the belly pan (aka splash guard) under the engine. The salvage yard removes them, so they can drain the fluids from the engine. So finding that part in the salvage yard is basically impossible. But thankfully, I was able to find one on fleabay. See photos below.





I got excited, when I saw a BMW with drilled and slotted rotors.



I was about to snag them, but decided to measure them first. Good thing I did, because they were too small for my car. Oh well.

Anyway, I was able to find all the remaining bits and pieces that were missing from the front end. So it's all good.

It's ironic how I'm trying to "complete" the car, while I'm also stripping out the interior. LOL
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Monkeyman
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Report this Post01-27-2021 08:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:It's ironic how I'm trying to "complete" the car, while I'm also stripping out the interior. LOL


I was about to ask about that. Let's lose 400# to make the car faster but I'll ADD 100# so it looks better. (I know. Most of your "additions" have nothing to with looks except maybe those new spiffy headlights. )
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Blacktree
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Report this Post01-29-2021 02:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In my defense, I'm adding parts that should have been there to begin with. Or at least, that's my story. And I'm sticking with it.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post02-06-2021 12:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The A/C compressor went bye-bye. The system didn't hold a charge, anyway. And I didn't see the point in fixing it, just to remove it later.





I expected it to weigh more. But no biggie. There's still more dead weight to be removed from the car.
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Report this Post02-13-2021 06:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm calling the weight reduction project a success. I've picked all the low-hanging fruit at this point. I'm sure there's more weight that can be removed, but we can worry about that some other time. Here's what the interior looks like now.



Now we need to take it to the drag strip again, to see how much difference it makes.
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Report this Post02-14-2021 02:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS - 413.4 LB / 187.5 KG

Also, here's the video as promised. I was in the mood for some 80s techno, and some of that made it into the video. Hope you don't mind. 😎



According to my calculations, the car should weigh about 2875 pounds now. When I go to the track, I'll weigh it again to be sure.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-14-2021).]

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Monkeyman
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Report this Post02-14-2021 03:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A question and comment, please?

I'll bet you can get that weight savings up to 500# if you would block the windows to keep them up and then remove the window motors and power lock motors. Also, I'd remove that heavy drivers seat and replace it with a nice lightweight racing bucket instead. I'll bet the drivers seat/motor weights 50#, at least. The power window/lock motors probably weigh another 15#. If you then remove the 50 miles of wiring you don't need, I'll bet you hit 500#.

My question is this. You bought a Beemer to race but removed all the stuff that makes a Beemer what it is, to lighten it up. Seems like it would have make more sense to buy a more "generic" car to start with that might have more power? I mean, you're not going to daily drive the car and luxury isn't really what you're after. Not ragging on you, just asking.
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Blacktree
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Report this Post02-14-2021 04:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The passenger seat was 60 lb, so I'm sure the driver's seat is similar. I have a racing seat and 5-point harness ready to go, but am holding off until I get a roll bar installed. I want to install all those things at once. The BMW seatbelt mounts to the seat. So if I remove the seat, the belt goes away also. But the 5-point harness needs a bar to attach to. So yeah...

The reason for getting a BMW... it's complicated. Let me explain. I wanted a project that is front engine / rear wheel drive. I also wanted something with decent handling, and good aftermarket support. Plus there needed to be cheap used examples of said car. Those criteria basically narrowed it down to 4th-gen Camaros or older 3-series BMWs. I literally got this BMW because the seller responded faster than another guy selling a Camaro.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-14-2021).]

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Monkeyman
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Report this Post02-14-2021 06:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

The passenger seat was 60 lb, so I'm sure the driver's seat is similar. I have a racing seat and 5-point harness ready to go, but am holding off until I get a roll bar installed. I want to install all those things at once. The BMW seatbelt mounts to the seat. So if I remove the seat, the belt goes away also. But the 5-point harness needs a bar to attach to. So yeah...

The reason for getting a BMW... it's complicated. Let me explain. I wanted a project that is front engine / rear wheel drive. I also wanted something with decent handling, and good aftermarket support. Plus there needed to be cheap used examples of said car. Those criteria basically narrowed it down to 4th-gen Camaros or older 3-series BMWs. I literally got this BMW because the seller responded faster than another guy selling a Camaro.



I get that.

I was thinking something older, maybe even '80s era.
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Report this Post02-15-2021 01:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Can't speak for everywhere, but good '80s cars tend be very pricey here... you could buy several basket case BMWs for what one decent fox or f-body goes for. And, generally, the power to weight really isn't there *unless* you plan on doing a motor swap. In the '80s, 200hp was a lot. A C4 made 240hp, a damn Ferrari only made 260hp. A run of the mill E46 makes nearly that much and has modern handling to boot. Take out the weight of all those modern conveniences and you're sorted.

I've been going through this exact process myself - finding an inexpensive, fun to drive RWD platform for track days. I thought I had a magic formula to beat the beater BMW equation but nope, I definitely could have bought a 330i by now. Although then I'd be replacing VANOS solenoids and whatnot, so maybe I made the right call.

[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 02-15-2021).]

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Report this Post02-16-2021 01:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I did a cost analysis of the 4th-gen Camaro vs E46 BMW. For the Camaro, I could get a V8 engine with decent power. But the chassis has a lot of flex, and needs reinforcement. Plus the suspension is mediocre, and would need to be completely re-engineered. For the BMW, it's the opposite situation. It has a good suspension, but the engine isn't very powerful. So the entire drivetrain will need to be re-engineered. According to my calculations, the total cost of building either car would be about the same.

With that said, the BMW will probably be getting an engine swap sometime in the future. I haven't decided which engine, but am looking at a few options. The obvious choice is the LS series V8. There are even swap kits for it. I'm also interested in the GM Vortec 4200, and the BMW N52. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I want to refurbish the suspension and brakes first.
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Report this Post02-21-2021 06:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I wanted to hit the track on Wednesday, but the weather didn't cooperate. We'll try again next week.

In the meantime, I was able to install all the parts I scrounged from the salvage yard. I also fixed an issue with the steering, and gave it an upgrade.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-21-2021).]

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Report this Post02-25-2021 10:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Last night, I took the BMW to test-n-tune at the drag strip. Fun times were had. Also, I was able to weigh the car. It's now 413 lb lighter than stock. And the weight reduction made a big difference in quarter mile results. Once again, I was able to drive an hour each way, plus race the car, with no major issues. No fluid leaks, no overheating, no broken parts, etc.

Here are some photos.







So now the car weighs 2874 lb, with 1/4 tank of gas. It previously weighed 3287 lb. That weight doesn't include me. I weigh about 155 lb.

Now I need to get all the video off my phone. That might take awhile.
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Report this Post02-25-2021 05:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
We need a "Like" button.
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Report this Post02-27-2021 12:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here's the video, as promised. In the video, I also go into detail about the weight loss, and how it affected performance. Enjoy!



If you're short on time, here's the breakdown:
Weight Loss - 414 lb (187.8 kg)
Trap Speed - 3 mph (4.8 km/h) faster
Elapsed Time - 0.8 sec faster

The old rule of thumb is 0.1 second faster for every 100 lb of weight loss. If that were true, my car only would've been 0.4 second faster. I'm sure there is some situation where the rule of thumb is accurate. But not my situation! The lesson here is: rules of thumb are not gospel.

There's another lesson to be learned. And that is, if you have a slow car (like mine), then just about anything you can do to make it faster will help. Pulling weight out of the car cost me almost nothing (except my time), and made the car almost a second faster in the quarter mile. The low-hanging fruit is easy to pick, and gets results.

I think the next mod will be a differential swap. Last time I was at the salvage yard, there was an X3 with a 3.91:1 diff. That should be fun.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 02-27-2021).]

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Report this Post02-27-2021 01:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for LitebulbwithaFieroClick Here to Email LitebulbwithaFieroSend a Private Message to LitebulbwithaFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Did they put the DA on the time slips? I am guessing the air was a bit better this time around
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Report this Post02-27-2021 01:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by LitebulbwithaFiero:

Did they put the DA on the time slips?

No, they didn't. But weather conditions were similar. Although in the previous drag race, I think it was a little cooler.

Also, in the previous drag race they put more effort into track prep. This time around, it seemed they just wanted to get the cars down the track ASAP.
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Report this Post03-16-2021 04:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had to take some time away from the BMW, to work on another project. But that's done. I made another trip to the salvage yard, looking for more parts. This time around, I picked up a transmission cooler, a power steering cooler, and another instrument cluster.

I replaced the instrument cluster already, because the original one died. The replacement one worked, with one exception: the PRNDL display didn't work. I didn't think to make sure it was from the same year and same transmission, so maybe that's it. This time, I made sure to get one from the same year and transmission. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

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Report this Post03-21-2021 02:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There's nothing major going on at the moment. But I was able to address some minor stuff. It feels good to cross things off the to-do list.

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Report this Post03-24-2021 04:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just a quick update: I entered the BMW into a car show! This is not a normal car show. This one is geared toward DIYers. It's called the InterNETional Car Show 2021, an online event hosted by Deboss Garage. Here's a link: https://debossgarage.com/ics2021

And here's a link to my entry:

https://debossgarage.com/ic...-the-basket-case-bmw


Also, here's the video I made for the entry. LMK what you think.




Wish me luck!

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 03-24-2021).]

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