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Third time's the charm: 1989 Lachs/Cardinal

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  • #76
    It's been a busy month. M3 has been mostly idle since the big road trip.

    I got tired of rolling around on the stock 15s and ancient tires. Jon loaned me his 16" BBS RS. I don't know the model numbers but they're 16x8 with et 24 up front and et11 in the back. Looks nice!









    Tons of space in the back even with ET11. Tires are 225/40.

    I received a big box in the mail from Germany.



    The cams (284/276) and flywheel (Evo, despite my labeling) have been on the shelf for a while. Airbox and A-N is new. The car will be heading to Sacramento this weekend with Josh
    jibbajabba.

    It's time to wake this 2.3 up!
    1989 Lachs
    1988 Lachs - sold
    1988 DS - sold
    Car blog
    Bay Area M3 FB group

    Comment


    • #77
      Car is looking great! Now I really want a cardinal interior. Will see you soon Pall!
      1988 E30 M3 S38
      1970 E10 2002 S14

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by jibbajabba View Post
        Car is looking great! Now I really want a cardinal interior. Will see you soon Pall!
        Sorry to thread hijack slightly....but Jibba I remember you had your car on the market a while back....did you ever sell it?

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Ironhead View Post

          Sorry to thread hijack slightly....but Jibba I remember you had your car on the market a while back....did you ever sell it?
          Still have it!
          1988 E30 M3 S38
          1970 E10 2002 S14

          Comment


          • #80
            It's been a quiet month, as the car has been in Josh's hands out in Sacramento.

            These next four photos are from him - credit to jibbajabba .









            Josh can speak more if he's feeling descriptive, but the car is right in the thick of the camshaft swap and I think the Evo flywheel is probably installed at this point as well. He reports that the clutch looks good. I don't know if I mentioned it before but I am going with BMW motorsport valve springs. Image above shows a test spring installed for P-V checking.



            2020 just gets better and better, California is on fire and I'm beginning to think the earth has decided to shake off the human infestation. With public spaces closed down due to Covid, and the air unhealthy outside, I'm locked in my house going nuts. I've never watched so many movies in my life.

            I've been a bit stir-crazy looking for some car projects to do. The Focus and the GT-R don't really need anything at the moment. The M3 has needs but it's out of my hands. I am theoretically expecting to receive my BBS E50s some time in the coming weeks, but I've heard nothing since purchase. So I'm inventing work for myself.



            I have a set of AC Schnitzer replica mirrors that I ran on my old car. I loved how they looked, but I could hardly see a damn thing out of them because they came with flat glass. The issue was the same with the passenger-side mirror that came on the silver car - simply too much 'zoom' to be useful. See this post for a visual. They're also not powered. I only use the mirror motors for one thing, but it's an important thing, especially with fancy wheels on the way - I point them down when I'm parallel parking to keep an eye on the curb. [note: the photo above is a couple years old but the air is smoky from the fires we had THEN, geez]

            So, I set out to try to fit a mirror motor to my ACS mirrors. First, I had to go find some spare mirror motors, and since this was for the sake of geometry I didn't really care if they worked. Off to Pick-and-pull I went.



            I was able to get a couple assemblies from some dead 80s BMWs. E30s barely last a minute at the scrap yard - they are honestly stripped to nothing in a matter of three days - so one of them came from a dead 5er. I only started going to junkyards recently, and it's always a fascinating excursion. As someone who loves cars and all the experiences I have on account of my cars, and the people I know, it's fascinating to see cars... dead. Some are wrecked, some are abandoned tow-aways. Many of them are full of personal effects.







            Someone forgot their tool in this one.







            If I had a young relative interested in wrenching, I think this would be the first stop in the education. You can see the ins and outs of how cars are made and how they work. You could practice wrenching with no consequences.



            Mercedes 90s interiors are seriously indestructible. I don't know what they used but those seats do not tear even out here in the junkyard. It all looks good as new. Incredible.

            Anyway. I got home and tried fitting a round peg into a square hole. It seems I didn't take any photos, but with this particular ACS mirror replica, there is simply no robust way to mount the original motor assembly. The depth of section is not enough to receive the OE mirror assembly, and the walls are too thick top/bottom as well. I would have to hog out a serious amount of material and put the integrity of these mirrors at risk, it's just not worth it. They weren't cheap.

            So plan B: cut some convex glass to fit the ACS mirrors. I've been googling around looking at how to go about this. I think it's fairly simple for someone who knows what they're doing, the problem is getting someone willing to do it. When I search for "automotive glass" places I get windshield shops, when I search "mirror glass shop" I get building contractors. I don't think I'm going to find someone local willing to do a 4" square of glass for me. So, since I'm bored, I watched a couple YouTube videos and decided to take it on myself. I have ordered an additional three convex mirrors from Latvia (same as the last one I bought) and a glass cutter tool. I am going to trace the flat mirror to the convex mirror and see if I can get a decent result. Unfortunately with the mirrors coming from Latvia this project might not happen for a month or two. Will we still be alive by then? Hard to say.
            1989 Lachs
            1988 Lachs - sold
            1988 DS - sold
            Car blog
            Bay Area M3 FB group

            Comment


            • #81
              Plan B complete.

              I bought a glass cutting tool and shipping from Latvia was surprisingly quick. To cut my convex glass, I had to pry it off of the E30 mounting plate. This is done easily with some plastic wedges, as they're secured only with double-sided tape.



              Just have to make this look like that.



              Thankfully I caught this error before I got started... I was about to mark and cut the pattern backwards, onto the wrong side of the glass.



              Some tips from a glass-cutting newbie. There's nothing particularly tricky to it. You buy a glass cutting tool, which is really just a tiny diamond-tip roller on a handle, apply some cutting oil, and score the glass in the desired shape. Then you tap the glass lightly to get that score to fracture through, and it breaks apart along your line. When the glass wraps around corners, to make this fracture easier, you want to score some relief lines to make it break into smaller pieces. I practiced on spare junk glass to get a feel for the scoring pressure and technique. Not motivated to buy dedicated "glass cutting oil" I used tapping fluid, which appears to have worked fine.



              My first attempt did NOT go fine. Trying to keep the shape faithful to the original, my plan was to leave the template glass in place and score around it, using the edge as a hard guide. Unfortunately this did not allow me to score hard enough. As you can imagine you don't want to have to stop-start your score, if it can be avoided, and it's hard to go back over something precisely if you didn't go hard enough the first time. I feebly put in some relief scores and you can see that it was a total failure. It fractured right through the glass. Well, this is why I bought 3!



              For the second successful attempt, I just traced the original shape and then cut free-hand. I didn't get the ultimate control I wanted, but I focused on keeping it continuous and getting a good score through the glass.



              From here it was a lot of sanding to get the final shape and check the fit. I used a Dremel to knock back the larger areas but found that it had a tendency to chip away the reflective coating on the glass that makes it a mirror. It would take little half-moons along the edge out pretty quickly so I went back to hand-sanding. A 150-grit dry paper was the sweet spot for removing material without putting too much heat into it or chipping the film. From there you can wet-sand and go to finer grit to your preferred level of finish. I found wet 250 was fine and softened the edges nicely.





              Final verification will have to wait for when the car's back but I'm very pleased with the result. Score one for the DIY guys. I was encouraged enough by the outcome that I ordered some clear tail lamp lenses from eBay and will embark on a faux Startec project when they arrive.

              While I wait for the M3 to come home, here are some other covid car adventures.



              With movie theaters closed, the (sole remaining) drive-in theater in San Jose seems to be doing a good business. We saw Tenet. For $17 for two it's a good value, the Model 3 has a nice sound system, and it's fun to watch in your own little private 'room.' Picture quality obviously isn't going to compete with IMAX - I'll have to see this movie again properly at some point - but we had a good time!



              Spotted my first new Defender in the wild. Neat. Finally, I've been using the GT-R to scratch my driving itches. Cars and Coffees are starting to re-emerge so it's been making the rounds.





              It's always a big hit with my fellow youths...
              1989 Lachs
              1988 Lachs - sold
              1988 DS - sold
              Car blog
              Bay Area M3 FB group

              Comment


              • #82
                r32 looks great, and very nice work on the glass. Those mirrors are the perfect setup. DTM are just a little too small for me to feel comfortable running. Hopefully a set of these magically appears when I start looking.

                Comment


                • #83
                  It's time for some big fat updates. First one will be about the M3. Please note: Josh is the technical expert and I am sharing the information as best as I understand it. If you have deeper technical questions I will have to defer to his expertise.

                  At last check, jibbajabba (Josh) was fitting the Schrick cams. The cam sprockets had to be slotted to achieve the recommended timing.


                  Photo credit: Josh / jibbajabba

                  When that was done, he was able to time everything to spec and check piston-valve clearance. Unfortunately it was found to be inadequate. So, options at this juncture:

                  1. Modify the stock pistons valve reliefs to achieve required clearance
                  2. Aftermarket pistons to achieve required clearance
                  3. Abandon the cams
                  4. Time the cams in a non-optimal way for the required p-v clearance

                  We discussed the options and went with #1. No sense coming this far and not going through with it, and no point timing the cams in such a way that they don't do what you installed them to do.


                  Photo credit: Josh / jibbajabba

                  In the process of reinstalling the pistons, Josh noticed end play on the crankshaft. Excessive end play, 2-3x what it should be. This is an unpleasant surprise - obviously one of the big appeals of this car was that the motor was rebuilt about 6k miles ago. Josh sent me an email containing the phrase "ticking time bomb" with some images of my thrust and main bearings.


                  Photo credit: Josh / jibbajabba


                  Photo credit: Josh / jibbajabba


                  Photo credit: Josh / jibbajabba

                  Excessive wear on the thrust bearings and unhappy, premature wear on my main bearings. Josh's hypothesis is that the crankshaft, which was machined to first under (over?) size when the motor was rebuilt, may not have been done quite true. As a result we had another choice to make.

                  1. Weld material back on to my crank, have it re-machined and re-coated
                  2. Find a good used 2.3 crank
                  3. 2.5L crank

                  So at this point, motivated to turn lemons into lemonade, Josh and I agreed to increase the displacement. We are going to bore to 94.5mm to leave a bit of extra meat on the cylinder walls, and Josh has ordered a custom piston from JE with a little bit lower compression (10.8) to help with the CA 91 octane gas. By his calculations I think this brings my 2.3 up to a 2.44L. Obviously it's a bummer that my motor was not healthy, but I am glad that we found this issue sooner than later, as it obviously would have started to cause huge problems. And while it was never in the cards for me to increase the displacement, since I was not expecting to have to touch the motor any time in the next decade, now that the opportunity has presented itself I think it's worth doing. The parts are in stock and the motor's in pieces anyway. I am hopeful that the net result will be a seriously pumped-up motor from my stock 2.3L, with more torque and power across the range and the throttle response and sound of the A-N setup. I think it's the right combination of ingredients for a fun street motor, without getting into the really expensive stuff.
                  1989 Lachs
                  1988 Lachs - sold
                  1988 DS - sold
                  Car blog
                  Bay Area M3 FB group

                  Comment


                  • Konig
                    Konig commented
                    Editing a comment
                    To correct myself - we are upping compression from stock, but doing a lower compression than the commonly-used 11.25 compression pistons.

                • #84
                  I was hoping for an update to this thread and, damn, you did deliver.

                  Sorry about the unforeseen engine work, but good you're tacking everything in the right way. Looking forward to seeing the progress as usual.

                  Comment


                  • #85
                    A couple of weeks ago I flew home to Atlanta to see my parents and attend the BMW CCA foundation fest event in South Carolina. We'd been planning to attend the Vintage - my second time, having flown out for that event in 2017 - but it was canceled, only after I'd booked my flight. Thankfully the BMW CCA stepped in and put together an event called the "Foundation Fest" at their headquarters, adjacent to the BMW Spartanburg factory and performance driving center, for the same weekend. Dad and I signed up online and decided to take both of his BMWs.

                    This was my first time flying since the pandemic started, and I wasn't sure what to expect. In fact I think this is the longest I've gone without flying in my adult life. The round-trip ticket with Southwest from San Jose to Atlanta was an unbelievable $258, a price I don't expect to ever see again. Southwest is keeping their middle seats open through the end of November and I found the whole experience to be about as good as it can be. Everyone had their masks on and kept their distance, and it was all uneventful. I felt safe.



                    Greenville is a brief rip up I-85 from Atlanta, but what's the fun in that? We took the long way up through the mountains, passing through Highlands and Cashiers in North Carolina before diving back down into South Carolina.



                    Dad's 2002 is fresh off of a body refurb and full paint, looking better than ever. He and my mom tucked into the old timer while I drove the E46, top down the whole way. The weather was fantastic and we were able to enjoy the fall colors.



                    It's been a very long time since I've been up in the Cashiers area. Looking at the map, I thought that at 3pm on a Thursday we'd have sweeping mountain roads all to ourselves. Unfortunately, the reality turned out to be mostly new SUVs on Florida plates lumbering around under the speed limit. Bummer. I pulled off to give myself a bit of a buffer and used the opportunity to snap some photos of the M3. To me, the phoenix yellow MAKES this car. If it were silver it would have a totally different feel to it, but there is something about the bright color that gives it personality.





                    My stopping also gave mom and dad a chance to catch up.





                    Things improved when we turned south from Brevard on 276 and went through the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. We were mercifully unimpeded for most of the run.



                    We rolled into the Hyatt Regency in Greenville just before dark on Thursday night. I don't think I've ever been to Greenville before, it's a nice little downtown.


                    On Friday morning we drove the 17 or so miles east out of Greenville, meeting up at the BMW CCA Foundation building. If you’re not familiar with the area (I wasn’t), it’s all in very close proximity: the huge BMW factory, the BMW Performance Center, the CCA headquarters, and the CCA foundation building are all clustered together. At the factory they build the X (SUV) line of vehicles; at the performance center they do driving schools and new vehicle deliveries; at the CCA foundation building they have a museum space, where the “Genesis” exhibit is currently running. We didn’t really know what to expect from the whole weekend, not having seen any notable BMWs on the way in to town, so it was a nice surprise to find a few dozen exciting bimmers parked in the grass.

















                    The keen-eyed among you may recognize the red M3 as Michael Washington’s. I introduced myself and it was a pleasure to meet him after seeing his name on the SIG, FB, and on the forums through the years.

                    [broken up due to image limit]
                    1989 Lachs
                    1988 Lachs - sold
                    1988 DS - sold
                    Car blog
                    Bay Area M3 FB group

                    Comment


                    • #86
                      After checking in at the foundation and grabbing a bite to eat, we drove next door to the performance center for an autocross event that the CCA had arranged. A $70 donation netted 7 runs on the course that they'd set up on the north end of the main track area in their M240i fleet.



                      This turned out to be a bit more serious an event than I'd anticipated. There was a big crowd interested in trying their luck behind the wheel. Every red-blooded driving enthusiast, no matter how much we posture or joke about driving skill, gets competitive when a stopwatch is introduced. The course was arranged so that everyone waiting their turn watched everyone as they drove, and front and center was a timer to provide immediate judgment on your driving prowess. Trial by fire!









                      The cars were pretty new M240is with automatic transmissions. Rules dictated that the cars had to remain in Sport mode with traction systems in place. I spent my first few passes learning the course and found that the biggest hinderance to a fast time was the traction control system - upset it, and the motor bogs down and your quick run is toast. I ended up pretty satisfied with my time, I think something like a 23.5 against the best time (at least while I was there) of around 22.9. Ironically the prize for best time of the day is a day of performance driving school... in theory awarded to the person who needs it the least! Ha.







                      With that out of the system, we returned to the Foundation building for our scheduled viewing time for the Genesis exhibit. They had time slots set up to keep capacity at healthy levels. I have to admit that I am pretty ignorant when it comes to pre-war cars, and also under-informed when it comes to BMWs made before the 2002. But it was enjoyable to step back into the coach build era, where every car was a one-off in its own way. It was also a real pleasure to finally meet Dirk de Groen, president of the BMW Classic Car Club of America (CCCA, different from CCA). I've corresponded with him and provided photos to his magazine over the years but this was my first time actually meeting him in person. Super nice guy. He had two cars in the exhibit, the white 328 and the blue/yellow 315 as well.











                      I was also pleasantly surprised to see our very own SteveWalker 's 700 on display.





                      I also peeked behind the curtain at some of their museum items in the storage area.



                      I was impressed by the foundation's assembly of these unique vehicles from all over the country. I think they've produced an online version of the tour to make it more accessible to everyone in 2020. Worth seeing it in person if you're able to make it!

                      [broken up due to image limit]
                      1989 Lachs
                      1988 Lachs - sold
                      1988 DS - sold
                      Car blog
                      Bay Area M3 FB group

                      Comment


                      • #87
                        On our way back toward the hotel, we detoured to the BMW Zentrum as they would not be open on Saturday. I couldn't resist putting the cars in front of the building for a few photos.







                        I guess the Zentrum is a museum of sorts? They had the first car built on a pilot line at this factory (the E36) and some other vehicles that were built here as well.







                        This very tidy white M3 was there, not quite stock though - 16" wheels, some racy stripes, exhaust.



                        If I remember the placard correctly this was the last M Coupe built. I quite like it in white with the M flag decals. It's pointless to make the claim now, but I promise, I always thought the wide-hipped M coupe was amazing even when everyone else thought it was awkward. Unfortunately now everyone agrees with me and they're $$$.



                        This was the rather uninspiring "made here at the factory" portion of the exhibit... though to be fair, I would like to try one of the new M SUVs.







                        We made our way back to Greenville with the Friday evening traffic. On Saturday morning we returned to the BMW hub, this time for the Cars and Coffee put on at the BMW CCA headquarters.







                        I warned my dad but he didn't listen: "If you don't want to talk about your car all morning, you better step away from the car." Something I practice with the Skyline. But he didn't, and so he was there chatting with people for a couple hours. To be fair though, he was enjoying himself and meeting nice new people. His 02 received some really nice compliments and that's always fulfilling.









                        [broken up due to image limit]
                        1989 Lachs
                        1988 Lachs - sold
                        1988 DS - sold
                        Car blog
                        Bay Area M3 FB group

                        Comment


                        • #88
                          There were two E30 M3s in attendance, unfortunately I did not get to meet either of the owners. Both red. The first was this absolutely pristine car, which according to Facebook is owned by Brian H and fresh off of a 3-year restoration. He had so many great parts all the way down to the license plate!





                          The other car, also red, was set up on these beefy HRE wheels.





                          Here's an original owner 1602 to finish off the photos from the C&C event.



                          For the drive home, we decided to try a different route. I was nosing around on Google maps when a name caught my eye. Pumpkintown. And just down the road from that - Salem. What better destinations for the week before Halloween? So we set the GPS and it wound up being a really nice route through farmland and smaller roads. I think both the M3 convertible and the 2002 were in their element on these sweeping, quiet lanes.



                          Departing...





                          Pumpkintown, as it turns out, is the intersection of two small roads. There's a Dollar Tree on one side and the Pumpkintown General Store on the other. Best food in town! In my head I was planning a really nice photo of both cars posed in front of the building, instead it was busy with a Saturday lunch rush.





                          Salem had a bit more going on, but... not much on this particular day.





                          We laced our way around and across Lake Keowee before rejoining the larger roads on the final stretch home. At this point driving fatigue was starting to set in from a busy weekend and I stopped snapping photos. About 30 minutes from home the heavens opened up and were doused with rain. I was lucky to be able to pull over beneath a conveniently-placed overpass and put the roof up before I got soaked.



                          Here's roundie rolling down the driveway, having safely completed the 500-mile trip without one hiccup. Both cars performed flawlessly, in fact. We'd talked about swapping seats for different driving legs but in the end dad wheeled the 2002 the whole way and I enjoyed the E46.

                          The M3 convertible is extremely well-suited for this type of travel, and it was affirming to experience it myself. It's not the car I would buy for myself, right now, based on the way I like to drive - aggressive windy roads mainly - but as a long-distance GT it was a great place to be. The S54's induction noise comes to you from all directions with the roof down, it has heated seats, cruise control, and modern conveniences, the ride is comfortable (at least compared to my own cars). The seats didn't tire me at all. I did subject it to "my style" of driving when we found the clear twisty roads. The run-flat tires and 300 lbs. extra of the convertible don't do it any favors, and it certainly doesn't grip like my E30, but it was still enjoyable despite the lower performance threshold, if that makes sense. Yes it rolled a bit, and the grip was lower, but it still had the excellent steering feel and dynamic experience I'm used to from my cars and my old E90. The motor is also so enjoyable to use, linear and ready to roll all the way out to 8k. No wonder so many people drop them into our E30s, I'd love to try one in a light car.



                          To wrap up the trip, the 2002 took me to Mellow Mushroom to pick up dinner. It's like reuniting with an old friend!

                          Thanks for following along if you read all this. All the car stuff is fun but at the end of the day it was all about spending time with my parents. That's what cars do for me, for my life... they open up all these awesome adventures and opportunities to spend time with loved ones, friends, and new friends. Go for a road trip!
                          1989 Lachs
                          1988 Lachs - sold
                          1988 DS - sold
                          Car blog
                          Bay Area M3 FB group

                          Comment


                          • #89
                            Hey Pall,
                            It's Brian, the owner of the first red M3 at the BMWCCA C&C event.
                            Thanks for the kind words and for sharing all of the killer photos from your trip. Unfortunately we arrived at the tail end of the event and didn't get to see half of the cars or get a chance to chat with many people.

                            I love following along with the progress on your M3, it's such a killer car. It's a shame that you're having to tear into the S14 again so soon after the last refresh but you will not be disappointed with the new found power of a 2.44L S14.

                            2001 AG M5 -- DD
                            1991 AlpinaWeiss 318IS (S54 Swapped) -- Weekend warrior
                            1988 Zinno M3 (2.5L S14) -- Undergoing light restoration

                            Comment


                            • #90
                              Originally posted by iliad View Post
                              Hey Pall,
                              It's Brian, the owner of the first red M3 at the BMWCCA C&C event.
                              Thanks for the kind words and for sharing all of the killer photos from your trip. Unfortunately we arrived at the tail end of the event and didn't get to see half of the cars or get a chance to chat with many people.

                              I love following along with the progress on your M3, it's such a killer car. It's a shame that you're having to tear into the S14 again so soon after the last refresh but you will not be disappointed with the new found power of a 2.44L S14.
                              Bummed we couldn't meet! Glad my information is helpful. Your road trip looked amazing.
                              1989 Lachs
                              1988 Lachs - sold
                              1988 DS - sold
                              Car blog
                              Bay Area M3 FB group

                              Comment

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