Jump to content

New team, new build. E39 - Phoenix, AZ


Recommended Posts

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

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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). 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

IMG_20200818_172742_828.jpg

20200818_153457.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 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.

IMG_20201002_200011_963.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 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 not 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. 

20201118_133933.jpg

Edited by SC-WildWest
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I followed their measurement sheet and instructions, and sent it to them. The turn around was fairly quick and RCC was very quick to respond to questions I had along the way. Tubes came notched and cut. We'll see how it goes once it gets installed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Do your self a favor. Take a picture of you couple welds when start your cage. Then send them to inspection or Mike. They are looking for penitration and heat. Dont grind anything. I was at a race this year and a team next to me had issues with welds and had to scrap it and start over. 

 

 

 

 

20200919_182324.jpg

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, 333 Kinkle said:

Do your self a favor. Take a picture of you couple welds when start your cage. Then send them to inspection or Mike. They are looking for penitration and heat. Dont grind anything. I was at a race this year and a team next to me had issues with welds and had to scrap it and start over. 

 

 

 

 

 

Good advice! Overall we are not happy with the welder we hired, so if we have to scrap it and start again maybe it will be better to know sooner than later. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, obscene said:

having the tubes come pre-notched seems worth it alone

I am very pleased with Roll Cage Components. After the welder messed things up, Jim @ RCC has been very helpful at making things right. I would go through them again without hesitation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finding out at the track is a real gut punch to your weekend. Also it's really an Item your life will depend on in a bad crash. Dont skimp on this item nobody in the series wants anyone hurt. I put my son in my car and that's enough to decide I needed a new cage. If it's not safe for my family it's not safe for anyone to race in my car.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, 333 Kinkle said:

Finding out at the track is a real gut punch to your weekend. Also it's really an Item your life will depend on in a bad crash. Dont skimp on this item nobody in the series wants anyone hurt. I put my son in my car and that's enough to decide I needed a new cage. If it's not safe for my family it's not safe for anyone to race in my car.

Definitely on the same page.  Lots of liability in other people driving your car, and crucial safety equipment needs to be squared away.

 

I can confidently say, before anyone is in my car and certainly before going to the track with it, everything will be done right. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, 333 Kinkle said:

I just about bought the roll cage from roll cage components.  Yes, great and very helpful. But, I found a circle track fabricator near Fort Worth who put the cage all in for $750. Jay during tech felt that was the buy of the year and liked the install a lot. Good luck and be safe.

750 installed and done? WOW, that is and incredible deal! Nice!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thought I would share a follow up. This a bit long winded, but my morale and motivation have been pretty low, but I am hoping others (lurkers thinking of a new build, people doing research on a future project, etc) find this update helpful. Tech pretty much agreed with my assessment that the work done to my cage was crap. They generously called it "poo poo". They suggested it was pretty bad but possible for good welder to save, IF it wasn't too bad when looked at in person and the welder was up to the challenge. I think maybe that was being generous. So, basically, $1600 spent and starting from scratch on the cage... That is a huge setback and a kick in the teeth.

 

When I was just starting this project another team out west here offered to connect me with the shop that did their cage, but admittedly that $3600 amount they told me they paid to get it done had me looking at other options. So when the 1st welder, one that I ended up not using as I wasn't satisfied with some exhaust work, (friend of a friend) offered to weld for free (he is retired) if I provided the cage, I went with the Roll Cage Component kit. Excellent kit and service. If I actually had a solid welder to work with, knew how to weld, or live by their shop, I wouldn't hesitate to use them. So good on them. Once my 1st welder fell through, I looked around for a welder, one didn't really want to do the work and said if I still wanted them to do it it would be $3500, a few others never got back to me or returned phone calls. In the end my neighbor said he had a guy that had 45 years of welding experience and so I met with the guy and he claimed to have done roll cages before and would do it for $80/hr giving a 20% discount off his normal rate. 

 

I made a poor choice an went with this guy. So even if I got a new cage done for under $2000, I will be at the same cost of had I just went with the expensive, but known to be good, guy in the first place. I talked today with a reputable cage builder highly recommended off the NASA AZ page, and he would do a cage from scratch for $2500, I looked at a car he was in the process of welding a cage for, and his welds are really nice. Either way, the big mile stone of turning the car into a "race car" not just a "gutted crap box", has turned into a bit of an expensive mess. Looking other builders, I found some "cage builders" listed online are using pictures stolen from other builders showing quality work, but instead put out crap. Definitely feeling down about the whole thing. I even considered scrapping the project entirely, but my wife talked some sense into me and I am going to get this car done and out to race. I was hoping to make Laguna Seca in Nov 2021, might end up slipping back to our first entry being in early 22. 

 

I decided to share this for anyone who is considering stepping into doing a new build to give a perspective of some of the pitfalls and not just the happy progress bits. Also, if you are going to have someone do welding or fabricate a cage, asked to see current work of theirs or a referral to a few customer's cars. Look at it and inspect it. Don't take their word or even a recommendation. Look, see, touch. Also, be willing to bite the bullet and pay more up front, it will either save money in the long run, or you will break even with a better product. 

 

Some people might come up with some way to get a cage with crap welds so it "passes tech", but frankly I am not concerned with just passing tech, I want it done well, my life and that of anyone else I have drive the car might rely on it. I will not skimp on this. As a day job I'm a traffic cop and driving instructor, I am very familiar with vehicle collisions and what happens in them, even at low speeds, let alone high speed. 

  • Thanks 2
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very sorry to hear about your experience. Are all of the cage components from the kit scrap? That's definitely the worst case scenario. If you were closer I'd love to help out, far from a professional though. 

 

Hope you can push through and finish the car. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...