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Tree to Tree See Eye - 2021 Hopefuls


TFears
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Well, we have officially begun building a Champcar.

 

We had/have an overly complicated build based around a base SOHC 3000GT but due to time and availability constraints, we have back-burnered that indefinitely.  Kinda sad cause I now have 2 VR4s, a diamante, and a Base 3000GT just laying around...

 

Anyhow, we figured going with an e46 would be easier since there is far less points available to modify things.  This should help rein in the scope of the build.  We went with a 323CI.  Luckily its ruined and has lots of sub-frame damage... great.

 

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So far, we have stripped the car down about 95%.  Need to reduce the wiring before we go too much further.  Not really looking forward to that part.

 

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Here is some gross soup in the battery compartment... Yum!

 

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I was able to get a lift installed this past week to aid in the process which is a life goal realized.

 

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Hopefully, the end product and documentation of the build will be on par with Darring Greatly's build.  If anyone has any E46 Tips they would like to share to save me lots of time and money that would be very appreciated.

 

Regards,

Thomas

Edited by TFears
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  • 10 months later...

UGHHHH, update finally.  Pulled the rear end to install reinforcements.  Had to clean up a few things.  Car had a lot of drive train damage when we bought it.  Guibo blew out and the car had a welded diff so probably drift life damage. Guibo failure took out the Driveshaft, driveshaft carrier bearing, transmission tail-shaft and rear uni-body are all damaged.  Turns out we bought a terrible starting point.... Great.  At least I over paid so that is good.

 

Had to get a new trans, driveshaft, diff, and have to fix a bunch of torn e46 uni-body sheet metal.  Anyway, its a work in progress.  Went ahead and cleaned up a bunch of the rear end parts for reassembly.  Enjoy

 

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Edited by TFears
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For wiring I would look up Kevin Tulay on the SpecE46 Facebook group. He does a lot of the harnesses and his price seems very reasonable if you account for how much time it would take you to do the same thing. 

 

Damsun Racing runs a 323 and won the Championship in 2019 with it. Good car, great drivers. 

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On 11/30/2020 at 10:22 AM, jakks said:

For wiring I would look up Kevin Tulay on the SpecE46 Facebook group. He does a lot of the harnesses and his price seems very reasonable if you account for how much time it would take you to do the same thing. 

 

Damsun Racing runs a 323 and won the Championship in 2019 with it. Good car, great drivers. 

 

Thanks for the advice!  I will definitely get a hold of this guy when the time comes.

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Today was a really good day.  Got the rear camber arms ready for paint and also got the rear subframe blasted finally.  Real pain to get that thing blasted properly in my cabinet.  Just barely fits.  I upgraded the lights and put new glass in there so I could see what I am doing... that helped immensely. I have photos of that but not sure if anyone wants to see that.  I also put in media in there and bought a regulator.  Apparently, you never wanna go over 60PSI on the aluminum oxide or it starts to get damaged too quickly and breaks down.  The last nugget to success was I took the "floor" or the grating out of the cabinet temporarily which gave me more room to get to the hard to reach spots on the rear sub-frame weldment.  I am going to use some Eastwood internal frame coating on the hard to reach internal cavities of these parts (Arms and subframe) and then I will paint the outside.  All coming together!  Gonna be a roller again soon hopefully!

 

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2 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Hmmmm!  Miller tig!  Very nice.

 

Do you need to pay material points, or is that repurposed from the inner roof skin or something?

Not sure yet.  These were from a kit but if I have to buy an extra set of arms and make my own plates from repurposed materials to make the points come out right then I will down the road.  Same thing with the front camber plates.  I bought fixed camber plates so I can copy the design and make them myself using the store bought ones for patterns.  Pretty  dumb rules in my opinion as it doesn't save someone like me any money as I am just going to buy the parts and then copy the design and reproduce them but  whatever. 

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6 hours ago, TFears said:

Pretty  dumb rules in my opinion as it doesn't save someone like me any money as I am just going to buy the parts and then copy the design and reproduce them but  whatever. 

I don’t think you are typical of the series... most would look at a kit like that and then make something from

scratch. Same with the camber plates... decide what needs to be made and a general shape and then do it. So it does incentivize spending less and I think for many teams it does result in a lower build cost. 

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22 hours ago, enginerd said:

I don’t think you are typical of the series... most would look at a kit like that and then make something from

scratch. Same with the camber plates... decide what needs to be made and a general shape and then do it. So it does incentivize spending less and I think for many teams it does result in a lower build cost. 

 

Yeah, I suppose.  I just see the E46 chassis as something that has been done a million times.  I'd have to be pretty delusional to think that I could improve  upon commercially available and proven designs.  If was using a platform that was very uncommon or  not  well supported in the aftermarket then sure it would be worth deriving your own solution but I'm not gonna spend my precious time reinventing the wheel.  Just deciding what fixed camber setting to go with would be a pain in the butt.  I'd rather just buy a version  that is generally accepted to be good and move on.

Edited by TFears
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  • 3 weeks later...

This is not a removable piece... its supposed to be welded inside the uni-body and the sub-frame bolts up to it... but it got ripped out. Here you can see the side that is visible from the underside of the car. You can see the ripped metal that is still spot welded to it.

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It is supposed to have 3 welds but as you can see, only one factory weld penetrated. Great job BMW.

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In order to weld the part back in, you have to cut part of the trunk floor out temporarily. I marked out the area.

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Cut'em bud

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Drivers side (Damaged side) you can see the welds that got ripped out.

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Passengers side... this is what it is supposed to look like from the factory. Even if done right like on this one, the factory design in still far too weak so I will add more weld. When the welds are bad it is a guaranteed failure.

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Since I was on my own, I used a jack and a hammer to hold the piece in place while I tacked it into place from the trunk.

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Then, I jigsaw puzzled the piece into position and put a few tacks in place. Not much left to line it up to but it was enough to feel confident that its in the ballpark.

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I moved back into the trunk and begun to remove some material so I can add extra weld.

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While I had the piece out of the car that isn't supposed to ever come out, I made a little template to give me an idea of were it is relative to the bottom weld. This helped me pick out the area to cut and weld to.

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I opened up the slits I cut with the death wheel using the carbide burr bit.

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Smooshed it down with the hammer.

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Passengers side Welded

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Drivers side Welded.

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Shot some of this stuff in the holes before closing the trunk back up.

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Magged

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Welded

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Ground

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Drivers side welded

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Drivers side Ground

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Top Side done... Bottom side To Be Continued...

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I had a E46 convertible once, once, and I seem to recall they had issues with the rear subframes ripping out. I don't think that was convert only, but common over all E46's, but I'm no Beemer expert.

 

I do know it's a good idea to replace essentially all of the cooling system. The expansion tank with square corners was a fine design...

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Made some good progress today:

De-painted

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Before

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After all the cracks were welded

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Crack Welds ground down

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Template

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Tracing

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California?

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After a lot of grinding

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It fits! Finally

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Almost forgot to get a pic before grinding

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After grinding. Now the damage is all repaired, I can add in the reinforcement plates. That will come tomorrow.

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My Teammate Marcus has been installing all of the Derlin and poly bushings.

 

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Rear Diff Bushing angle 1

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Rear Diff Bushing

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Front Diff Bushings

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Knuckle, Angle 1

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Knuckle, Angle 2

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Blurry shot of Marcus

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All the Sub-frame Bushings Installed.

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Upper Control Arm Bushings

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Lower Control Arm Bushings

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Almost ready for reassembly

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This will be the last update for a while.  I was hoping this post would be more celebratory after completing what I hoped would be our first test drive of the car but we still have not been able to drive the car yet.  I had to get this thing back on the wheels so that mission was accomplished.  The project has now been moved from KC KS, to STL MO but my new shop is not set up at all yet and I don't even live in STL yet so its gonna be a while.  This past weekend was my deadline weekend for moving it so I did accomplish that goal.  It is now a rolling chassis again.  The rear end is mostly race ready but we ran into a bunch of BMW incompatibility drive-train BS I hadn't saw coming so still we have not driven our  crap box car.  I bought a real stinker.  I should have bought a better starting point.  I lost the motivation to take anymore pictures once I realized we were not gonna have what we needed to actually see the car run under its own power so when the new shop ready and I have it back up in the air, we can take a look at the parts we chose to run suspension wise.  I also cracked the aluminum brace that spans the front two sub-frame mounting positions and ties into the chassis which means now all the time I took to sandblast and paint it was a waste.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.  Don't be lazy, look up the torque specs.  I grab another one out of the junkyard.

 

The drive-train issue we ran into is that this car came with a broken driveshaft and transmission and it has a welded diff.... but we were not told about anything other than the guibo being bad.  I couldn't see under the car when we went to buy it so I took the risk and bought it.  When the guibo failed, the driveshaft tore up tons of stuff under the car and ripped the body where the driveshaft center bearing support studs are as well as breaking the transmission case and the driveshaft itself was severely damaged.  SO, if your counting, we have to replace almost the entire drive-train.  I had just finished swapping a 6spd into my daily driver 330i and so I though we could just use my 5spd trans and driveshaft for now so we bought a diff from a junk yard and thought we would be good to go. Well, the 330 stuff isnt compatible with the 323 stuff long story short.  Now, we were always planning on getting 323i stuff anyway so we didn't incur points for swapping things, but we thought that would be down the road after we had a few test and tuns under our belt and we were ready to sign up for a race but I guess this bumps it up the priority list.

 

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I'm not a fan of vehicle specific allowances, but there is a tech desk ruling stating that the E46 can use any transmission from that chassis.  As far as I know, the 5-speed ZF box in the 330 is the same as the 328.  Other than the ratio, I think the 328 diff is the same as the 323, so you might be able to get by with just a 328 driveshaft.  It's very much not clear to me if the driveshaft would be points (though I've seen posts elsewhere on the forum stating it's not).

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17 minutes ago, Grufton said:

I'm not a fan of vehicle specific allowances, but there is a tech desk ruling stating that the E46 can use any transmission from that chassis.  As far as I know, the 5-speed ZF box in the 330 is the same as the 328.  Other than the ratio, I think the 328 diff is the same as the 323, so you might be able to get by with just a 328 driveshaft.  It's very much not clear to me if the driveshaft would be points (though I've seen posts elsewhere on the forum stating it's not).

Don’t count on that “any e46 generation transmission” allowance being around forever. I just submitted a petition Saturday hoping to formally remove / rescind that tech desk response and I have confirmed that there is (at least) some BOD support for the petition.

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2 hours ago, enginerd said:

Don’t count on that “any e46 generation transmission” allowance being around forever. I just submitted a petition Saturday hoping to formally remove / rescind that tech desk response and I have confirmed that there is (at least) some BOD support for the petition.

Why? Just why? Unless the trans has an LSD in it, why does it matter? Under this what I see as a silly rule change, you could say without creating another possible e30 specific rule that an e30 325i can't run an e30 325e trans without claiming it with what I assume as a point add. Even though they are the same ratio, they are different part numbers and different housings, but easily used with no part changes.

 

Speaking of e46 differences. What are the viable performance enhancing differences between them? Nothing.... If someone wanted to run the pretty much inferior 330 6 speed trans, let them. The only advantage is maybe using it at Daytona with the 6 gear overdrive. All the other race-use gears are almost the same ratio.

 

323i / ci 4.23   2.52    1.66    1.22 1
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325i / ci 4.23 2.52  1.66 1.22 1
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328i / ci 4.21 2.49 1.66 1.24 1
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330i / ci 4.21 2.49 1.66 1.24 1
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330i 6sp   4.35 2.5 1.66    1.23          1           0.85
330i zhp 4.35 2.5 1.66 1.23 1     0.85
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1 hour ago, jakks said:

Why? Just why? Unless the trans has an LSD in it, why does it matter? Under this what I see as a silly rule change, you could say without creating another possible e30 specific rule that an e30 325i can't run an e30 325e trans without claiming it with what I assume as a point add. Even though they are the same ratio, they are different part numbers and different housings, but easily used with no part changes.

 

Speaking of e46 differences. What are the viable performance enhancing differences between them? Nothing.... If someone wanted to run the pretty much inferior 330 6 speed trans, let them. The only advantage is maybe using it at Daytona with the 6 gear overdrive. All the other race-use gears are almost the same ratio.

 

323i / ci 4.23   2.52    1.66    1.22 1
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325i / ci 4.23 2.52  1.66 1.22 1
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328i / ci 4.21 2.49 1.66 1.24 1
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330i / ci 4.21 2.49 1.66 1.24 1
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330i 6sp   4.35 2.5 1.66    1.23          1           0.85
330i zhp 4.35 2.5 1.66 1.23 1     0.85

Because it isn’t OE.
 

This series cannot go out and make and verify a 200 page list of every item that people claim is “close enough to not make a difference and I should be able to run it because I have one laying around and I don’t want to have to go get the right part.”

 

Not OE, can’t be used for 0 points. End of story. Don’t go making model specific rulebook exemptions. That’s the gist of the petition.

 

edit:

the question / answer I read was specific to interchanging getrag and ZF transmissions, which, according to the internet, have measurable performance / strength differences and are not equal for racing purposes. 

Edited by enginerd
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9 minutes ago, TFears said:

I got my hopes up reading Grufton's reply but then enginerd ruined it.... Thanks 😭

Well, it is highly unlikely for you to place well enough in your first event to draw scrutiny. I suggest that for now you use whatever transmission you have that fits and use that. Come out and race, have a blast, learn about the series, look at the other cars and draw as much info from them as you can. As you are doing more work on the car prepping for your second race you can get your hands on the correct trans and install that.

Also, perhaps I'm wrong and that exemption is upheld.

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9 minutes ago, enginerd said:

Well, it is highly unlikely for you to place well enough in your first event to draw scrutiny. I suggest that for now you use whatever transmission you have that fits and use that. Come out and race, have a blast, learn about the series, look at the other cars and draw as much info from them as you can. As you are doing more work on the car prepping for your second race you can get your hands on the correct trans and install that.

Also, perhaps I'm wrong and that exemption is upheld.

 

I have one two-hour stint under my belt (engage smug mode) but yeah your probably right.  I do plan on finishing the 1st race, from a mechanical point of view, without any issues.  As far as driver errors go, all bets are off.  I am confident in my driving but my teammate has a smooth brain so there is no telling what may happen.  Not to mention, I still gotta find a couple more guys who can actually drive quick and relatively sensibly.  I ran Indy 2020 in the slowest, ugliest, cheapest car on the  track and we finished 19th overall I think so I plan on setting my sights pretty high from the get go.  I  intend to win the series within 3 years time.  That's the target.

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