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Everything posted by Fetterhund

  1. It would make the project easier if they took it, but at least I can do much of the work during winter. Got a body/paint guy lined up. Did a pretty detailed inspection and took close to 100 pictures. I think I figured out why the trans never went back into the car... multiple broken mounting bolts snapped in the back of the block... My dad might have been short the money at the time to pay for that to get fixed.
  2. Installed new clutch. Mostly. One of the bolts for the guide tube was severely over torqued and stripped out... after trying a few things to no avail, found a bolt similar in size to the head of the stuck bolt, welded the bolts together and then was finally able to get the bolt out with a big breaker bar. Ate up a ton of time and I have to replace the bolt, but could have been way worse. Pulling the engine out revealed whole new areas of deficient maintenance to correct. The crank case vent tube was not only clogged, but brittle, a few vacuum lines were past their due date, and I think I have every last oil seal replaced so it should be done leaking on me. Found the wires for the oil level sensor were only held together by a thick layer of dirt and sludge. I wiped them down while replacing the gasket and the insulation wiped away too... Tomorrow I hope to put the engine and trans back in.
  3. A side project of mine. 1971 Opel GT. It was my father's car. He bought it new. It last ran in 1980. Very minimal rust due to it spending the last 41 years in storage in Southern California. Anyhow, he and my mother had a lot of road trip memories in the car. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year. Their 50th anniversary is next year. I got the family on board with secretly doing a restoration job on the car to surprise my mother with as an anniversary gift. Might have taken some inspiration for the show Car SOS, but skipping the annoying tall British guy. https://gofund.me/28553320
  4. Been awhile since I've updated the build. Got the cage back from the shop, and finally have a good cage in the car. Pulled the engine and trans to do the clutch, mounts, etc, etc etc. Overall going smoothly, outside of finding out the last person to change the clutch stripped all of the clutch mounting bolts. 24 years of dirt, oil, and grime build up has made work go slower than I'd like, so much cleaning! The next race car I build is getting fully stripped and done up from bare painted metal. Of course, doing it in my non-air conditioned garage when it is 117 out doesn't make it any easier!
  5. I am guessing it has more to do with vehicle inspections and they won't pass the inspection with things like roll cages, race seats, and harnesses. In the United States we generally have pretty lax vehicle safety/inspection rules compared a lot of other places, with many states having no inspections what-so-ever (except for restored from salvage, or similar situations). I am betting our Canadian friends are not so lucky.
  6. Visited shop working on the cage. It is a day off for me and have nothing in my garage to work on, so I figured I'd drop by the shop. I am feeling really good about it and I am confident I am going to have a really great and safe cage when it is all done.
  7. Met with a highly recommended shop, and checked out some of their cage work and other cars they are building. Going to bring them the car Thursday, full TIG job. I keep saying it needs to be done right, so... It is going to get done right. On the mechanical side, a bunch more parts coming. Decided since I am doing engine/tranny mounts, clutch, etc... I might as well just pull out the engine and replace other common leaks and maintenance items once the cage is out.
  8. Cool! Not much love of the Opel GT. Funny enough, as soon as I finish the race car, my next project is an Opel GT. My father was the original owner and the car has sat in a garage (and outside a bit) in CA for close to 40 years. Straight body, no/minimal rust. He passed away recently and we are going to secretly fix it up to give to my mother on what would have been their 50th anniversary. Now to be on topic for this event, this would be a nice event to break in the car if it was finished. I am half considering to put out an offer that if anyone joins in and helps get our BMW finished in time for this race then they get nearly free/super low cost seat time in the car. Shoot, if someone can actually weld our cage properly might add in an extra race or two.
  9. Took the car to the new welder to get the cage done... After going over everything they decided to turn down the job. Called a shop that did another team's cage, they won't touch the RCC kit, and quoted $4500 to do a cage. Made the decision that the cage will be pushed further down the line and I will just get everything else done first. I was way ahead of schedule and on budget, but now with the original welder doing a poor job, 2nd welder ruining the original kit and damaging the car, and three other welders flaking I am now behind schedule and at risk of going several thousand over budget because of one single item. Go figure the one thing I am farming out is the one thing not going smoothly. So, I am going to step back from that part and just get the rest of the car done and come back to the cage with a fresh mind.
  10. No way I can get my car done in time, it would take a miracle or two. I might come volunteer if I can get the time from work secured.
  11. Skipped the garage and sat at the computer for hours and went on a spreading spree. Brakes, clutch, suspension, bushings, fire system, window nets, fuel jugs, motor/tranny/diff mounts, etc. 99% of the stuff for finishing the car is on its way. New cage shipped this week as well. Car should be mostly track ready before summer. Giving me the hot months to dial things in a little bit and polish it up. Unless something goes seriously wrong I am ahead of schedule and might even make it to more than one race this year.
  12. LOL right! The installer claimed to have decades of experience and has a shop. One positive from this is that it did spur me to start learning how to weld, and a couple sections of tube I have played with look quite a bit better than this and I did a functional job welding the exhaust, but not going to kid myself into welding a critical piece of safety gear. I have a proven and reputable person lined up for that.
  13. Pulled the garbage weld job roll cage out of the car in preparation for a new cage getting properly installed. I knew it was garbage before, but seeing it outside of the car just p****** me off. I got a reasonable settlement to try and make it right, but I am just amazed anyone thought to even try and pass this off...
  14. E46 options are about the same as the E39. Mostly expensive aftermarket options with not many factory retrofit options except for converting to M car diff or a lot of fabrication work. For my E39 I am planning on just running with the open diff to start and then assess from there.
  15. The 12". Ended up needing a new jack to raise the car high enough. Having all that room under the car, and knowing it was absolutely stable, paid for the stands in just the first time using them. Was able to get it all tacked together under the car, then dropped it out and fully weld it outside the car. I am finally happy with the exhaust, sounds good and is fairly quiet, and not raspy.
  16. Bought a full set of the Race Ramps stands and just flat out wonder why I didn't buy them sooner. Redid the exhaust, finally happy with it. Bonus is that I put my newly acquired welding skills to work and welded the exhaust myself.
  17. Looks like Wild Horse Pass raceway (formerly Firebird Raceway) is not long for this world.... Development at Wild Horse Pass | Arizona Opportunity Zone The development plan pretty much is on top of the existing track. Has to be a pretty substantial worry for Bondurant with them just coming out of bankruptcy... If this happens the only road course left in Phoenix will be AMP.
  18. For comparison the guy who messed up my roll cage weld job did this...
  19. I had some spare roll cage tubing and decided to give it a shot. I learned that the welder will trip the breaker in the garage, and tripping the breaker doesn't help make a good weld (you can probably tell in the pic where I lost power). Still gotta move slower.
  20. Starting to feel more comfortable. Worked through a few machine setup issues, having to troubleshoot a machine issue was a great learning experience. Consistency at travel speed is my biggest challenge.
  21. The E46 manifold has the catalytic converter as an integral part of the manifold where the M50 and M52 manifolds do not. I don't think the manifold is the reason for the power improvement as much as going to dual VANOS and the addition of DISA, different factory tuning, etc. The stock BMW manifolds are pretty decent for a factory setup. So I am guessing the tech desk ruling was trying to give "parity" as other cars could remove the catalytic converter without getting charged points for a manifold swap, so they allow switching to the older OEM manifolds.
  22. Figure the #1 thing that has caused me trouble on my build should the next skill I learn. I have a bunch of scraps laying around and a neighbor let me borrow his flux wire welder. It is more fun than I thought it would be. Some things gone better than others, but I like learning things. Going to practice this a bit more and put a gas welder 9n my shopping list. I just have to remember to not get the gun so far from the piece, and not move too quickly. Edit: removed broken picture
  23. I am going to start with open diff and see how it goes. A LSD certainly help with power delivery exiting a turn, but before I look into making changes there, I need to see just how much of an issue it ends up being. One thing I have learned is how many different diff housings BMW has used... way more than expected, and very minimal swap compatibility (although, admittedly, BMW forums are largely useless as they tend to lean towards "if it isn't an M or you turbo it, then leave it stock, or pay big BMW shops to big dollar items" and actual technical data is harder to find.
  24. I know a 540i has been done before, it will be interesting to find out if the lighter 528i does better with less fuel usage and a bit less weight. The primary weakness of the E39 is that there is no inexpensive LSD option for the car, and I am not a huge fan of welded diff's. Going to focus on getting the basic car done first, then start fine tuning.
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