Jump to content

New team, new build. E39 - Phoenix, AZ


Recommended Posts

30 minutes ago, Max said:

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. 

 

Oh yeah, this car is getting done. Just a bit of a frustrating and upsetting delay. While I sort out the cage, I have a TON of other work to do. Actively ticking off an item or two of the project list will get me back in the grove.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The old saying "if you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself" is sadly far often the truth regardless of what you are willing or able to pay.

 

I am almost never satisfied with anything I contract to have done.  People want you to pay them but hardly anyone wants to put the work in to do a good job.  They just wanna slam bam through it and get your money in their hand and run.

 

When possible, I weight the cost of buying the equipment to do something myself against paying someone.  Yes, you would have to practice but eventually you would get the hang of it and could do it yourself.

 

Anyone in the world can weld.  SO, if they can learn to do it, I am sure you can too.

Edited by Bill Strong
inappropriate wording
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The last half of December I took a little break to regroup. Now I am going into the new year fresh and refocused. Going to finish up making the interior look nice and clean up the wiring. In another thread or maybe it was on Facebook, someone (I am paraphrasing here) said that you can often judge the quality of the rest of the car by what the race car's dash looks like. So, this is will be a huge focus of mine for January. Car should be 90% ready to go by summer. At the least it should be good to go get some track days knocked out. I am targeting Laguna Seca in November as the debut race. 

 

Side note: A neighbor has offered to let me borrow his MIG welder to just practice with and learn with. Been watching a ton of videos and reading about welding techniques, and have some spare metal scraps and exhaust scraps that might be good practice. I will still let someone else do the cage (getting with them next week to see if they can salvage the current cage) but it might be a fun side project to just learn.

 

I am now officially looking to grow to the team and updated the team's webpage and over the next couple of days will do some social media promoting and recruiting. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have a reputable welder with proven work lined up. Had them inspect the existing cage. The previous welders work was described as "chicken poop" but perhaps with less kind language. So, ordering a new cage. All told, I have learned a ton through it, so not a total loss, perhaps an just expensive lesson. In the meantime I started planning a major clean up of the wiring and elimination of the BMW LCM and GM3 modules. Ordered a new fuel sender unit and will be re-pinning the factory sending unit connector a previous owner the car damaged. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, TiredBirds said:

Didn't read all the posts but I'd love to do this w/ my 99 540i sport 6 speed, but it is my daily driver. Good luck

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Fetterhund said:

 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. 

I'm struggling with this on my car as well.  Not ready to fork over a grand+ for a quaife.  I've always talked crap about drifters that weld their diffs, but I've read that they're always faster in an FR car than open diff. We struggled a lot with inside wheel spin in tight turns... dang near had to coast through the chicane. Are you going to try the open diff first?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Fetterhund said:

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.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/e39-1997-2003.103/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

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.  

IMG_20210201_200232_387.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Fetterhund said:

Bought a full set of the Race Ramps stands and just flat out wonder why I didn't buy them sooner.

Hah! They are so good. So much room under the car for activities. Way less stressful building exhausts under a car with that much room. What height did you get? 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Max said:

Hah! They are so good. So much room under the car for activities. Way less stressful building exhausts under a car with that much room. What height did you get? 

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Fetterhund said:

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.

 

Good for you.  I went with the 10" and was happy because my jack had to be MAXED out to fit the cribs under the wheels.  12" would be nice if you have a tall enough jack.  I'm amazed at how much space you have to work under these things. You're right, stable and better than any jack stand purchase I've made. 

 

Good job on the exhaust.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

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! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I've been pretty bad at updating this thread! Still pushing though on the car. I really want to get it Laguna Seca this year. Admittedly, since I will need rental drivers I am hesitant since it will be its first race, but if not there, then the next race would simply become its first race. Of course, first race or 100th race the risk of something like a connecting rod exiting the block is there. I want to do the best I can for renters to have a good experience. That, and being about 24k into a $750 car and however many hours I put into it, I want it to be good. In my day job I am a driving instructor involving high speed driving, I have standards! lol

 

With that said, have the front suspension completely rebuilt. There wasn't a bushing, bearing, or ball joint in serviceable condition. So, it was all replaced. Realized the steering knuckle for the E39 is not an easy part to find and not cheap, but I might buy a couple extra for spares. My old ones were warped where the factory pressed in bushings sit and had play, but I think they might have been originals with something close to 300k mile... I did decided to spend points and get adjustable swaybar links. I was replacing the links anyhow and instead of buying stock and then decided to get these later, I just decided to go for it. The E39 528i has 50 points to play with, so I think I can afford it, and if I need points elsewhere more so, they are easy to swap out. 

 

Since I was replacing everything I also cleaned up and repainted brackets and bolts so it all looks fresh and new. Made for a nice instagram picture! Took it for a loop around the block and the steering feel improvement is night and day. Can't wait to finish the back suspension and go get an alignment and corner balance.

 

Still troubleshooting an annoying oil leak. I was able to adjust the back of the oil pan to sit better after replacing the oil pan gasket, and it is no longer leaking there, and where I though the new rear mail seal was dry, I put a camera in the inspection port and used the angled mirror attachment and found part of it shows signs of being wet. Less so than the amount of leakage seems, but the pan was dry now. I think this is biggest issue, though admittedly, I am not looking forward to dropping the trans again or pulling the engine again to fix what was already "fixed." Either way... Having no leaks is kind of a big deal.

suspension.PNG

  • Like 2
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...