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New team, new build. E39 - Phoenix, AZ

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Flashed the DME to a basic tune, using RomRaider and the BMW flashtool for the MS 41.1 DME, mostly to disable EWS and a few minor tweaks, playing with some minor changes so when I do get it on a dyno I will be a bit more efficient with making changes. 


Took out a bunch more wiring. Still have more to go, but it is coming together. I figure I am going to take out at about two more piles similar to what is in the picture on this post. Going to put the remaining wires in new looms and make it look all nice and pretty. Turns out the factory cloth wire tape just turns into a nasty sticky mess and isn't super ideal when not tucked under carpet and plastic panels. 


I was originally thinking of going to a track day in September, but it seems 50/50 on if it will be canceled, and frankly, it is still too dang hot, so I am going to shoot for November. Plus that is more time to get more done on the car. 

20200810_100649 - Copy.jpg

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You're doing a good thorough job on this build.  I should have deleted wiring like you're doing.  Do you just take plugs from components that aren't used anymore, take their wires all the way back to their source, clip them & tape them off there or what?


Keep it up.  Hope you get to the track in Nov.

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Thank you for the compliment on the build!


For the wiring I disconnected the components and pulled out all of the fuses for systems I won't need. Fortunately BMW was fairly smart and mostly used separate fuses and relays for most systems. I think there is only a few shared. Once that was done I undid the existing cloth wire tape and traced the wires between the component and the fuse block and generally removed the wire from the fuse box, one at a time. A few cases, where the wires ran to areas I wasn't ready to get to, I just cut the wire and removed the accessible portion just to remove clutter. 


I have been heavily making use of BMW's ISTA software, which includes some pretty good wiring diagrams, to double check each wire prior to removing it. The quality of resources available for the BMW has made it so easy to work on and I am pleased with stepping outside of my comfort zone (Camaro/Firebird). 


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Started painting the interior, well the trunk for now. Originally I wasn't going to do it, but I decided I want this car to look like care went into the build. Also got some metal for the sunroof hole and trimmed it. And, picked up some metal for the switch panel, going to extend it towards the firewall and add leg padding.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Pulled everything to remove yet more wires. Starting wiring up the switch panel. I need to order the race seat soon so I can also remove the power seat harness amd wires. But the OE seats are back in for now for driving.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Installed seat, removed ignition tumbler and steering lock, ignition/fuel/lights/start switches wired up. Nearly done with the wiring. The next time I build a race car I am just going to strip all the wires out and do it from scratch... This has been a ton of work sweating my arse off in 100+ degree weather, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying myself.


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  • 1 month later...

I post a lot more update on the team Instagram page, but since the last update:

  • Put in a new exhaust (probably going to add an additional muffler though), needs a few minor tweaks before I'll be happy with it. I didn't realize I was going to be so picky about the exhaust.
  • Got the kill switch wired up correctly
  • Wired up a manual over ride for the fan
  • Discovered a previous owner broke the connector to the fuel sender and then did some questionable fixes that will require a new fuel sender unit and new connector (to the junk yard for the connector!)
  • Measured for the cage and ordered from Roll Cage Components. Arrived today! 
  • Fixed a vacuum leak, causing about 4 degrees of timing to get pulled.
  • Fixed loose plug going to the coils. Car was being hard to start and felt way down on power. Visually looked fine, but the twist collar was tight. As soon as I fixed it, night and day difference. With weight reduction, new exhaust setup, fixed ignition issue and correct vacuum leak the car feels strong and ready to tune a bit more aggressively. 


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Nice progress. Did you give RCC custom measurements, and they just bent you a cage that would fit those measurements? Or do they make a kit for your car?  In hindsight, I wish I could have bought a roll cage kit.  They seem to be very cost effective and would have saved me many many days of work. RCC didn't advertise a kit for my car, probably should have called them!

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