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Thread: Laminar's M3 5.0 swap: Fünf-Null

  1. #576
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    98 M3/4/5, RIP 528e
    Man, it's always something! As usual, great job on the troubleshooting.

    So I came across this excellent video on YouTube...



    Because I snapped my diff bolt this weekend at rallycross, and am looking for a permanent fix so it doesn't happen again. How has the M14 held up? What do you make of the AA diff support bracket? At $330 it's very pricey, and if a simple M14 will do the trick, then I'd like to keep it simple.

    Edit- Do you remember the M14 bolt length? I don't think it's in the video. Is it 85 or 90mm? My bolt broke towards the end of a run, and I let up when I heard it start making noise but still finished the run. I then had to drive it gingerly back to paddock where I had to load it onto a trailer to get towed home. What are the odds I damaged something like a bearing in the diff? Are there any checks I can do while the diff is out of the car? Or do I just need to reinstall it and see if it makes any new noises?
    Last edited by 95maxrider; 08-30-2021 at 09:43 AM.

  2. #577
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    RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE weekend.

    Prep work completed:
    - Took my 8 year old out for a drive and got a good tune up on the car, I let him run the laptop. After getting the injector replaced and solving all of the misfire issues, it needed some dialing in. Looked and ran really good afterwards.
    - At some point this summer my dipstick broke and I replaced it, but then found that I was way low on oil, which was weird because this thing doesn't burn oil. So I added two quarts. Next time I checked it it was two quarts high. Pulled two quarts of oil out of the engine and it's fine now Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż.
    - Swapped tires front to rear.
    - Did a quick nut and bolt check on the front suspension.
    - Cleaned the MAF sensor.
    - Took a final look at the tune and ended up pulling out the decel pop/crackles. I think having the timing and fueling so far off of optimum on decel occasionally delayed response when getting back on the gas. I also re-enabled the active PID fuel correction so that the ECU can optimize AFRs on the fly if the tune needs any adjustment.

    Got the trailer loaded and ready to go Saturday night, showed up to race Sunday morning.



    Once again we're at Eddyville. They tried to set up a different course this time but due to some messed up pavement they had to reconfigure. We ended up with a 180 turnaround on the bank, then similar to last month, a trip around the oval, over the jump, and through the finish.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CTMv96vgM-K/

    Going into my first run, I knew that most fast people were in the 37 second range, and the CP Mustang that usually whips everyone by a second or two ran a 36.4. I went out and totally blew the first braking zone, forgetting that my brakes aren't available for use until the second braking zone of the day. I ended up with a 36.0, which was the fastest time so far, but it was still just the first run (that's the video above). These Falkens continue to impress me with how hard I can launch. I'm still timid on my launches because I'm used to the RE-71Rs just breaking loose and the rear suspension hopping, so I think there's still more in the tank there as far as launching hard goes.

    With some heat in the brakes and a little confidence I went hard on my second run - downshifted to first at the turnout and squeezed in the power coming out. Got as tight as possible on all of the cones and straightened out the course. Went into third in the last section and sent it hard over the banked exit and through the finish. Landed a 34.3 . And the word "landed" is appropriate because I was well into third gear (>70mph) going over the jump right before the finish. I was a bit overwhelmed at that point, because I figured I had to have missed a gate or something, there's no way that time could be right, and also the car was acting weird. I was hearing a tire rub on the fender liner or something over little bumps...not good. So I hopped out and started looking around, nothing was loose or falling off, until a buddy asked if I was supposed to have positive camber out back.



    Uh-oh. That's the side I repaired the RTA on - I felt up in there and all three bolts were still in place, nothing was loose. So I took a look from another angle and saw this:





    It looks like when I landed, the sway bar came down and punched the lower control arm pretty good. Welp, that's it for the day. Nothing else to do but load up the trailer (very thankful for the trailer).



    I checked with timing and confirmed that my run was clean.

    So I sat there and worked timing, watching everyone else eventually creep into the 34s, but in 8 runs no one managed to best my time, so it stood as FTD...my first ever, and with only two runs ! For the second heat I co-drove my friend's Cobalt and managed a 34.9 in his car, taking it a bit easy over the jump so as not to break someone else's car, too. Second place in raw ended up at 34.5 and third was my friend in his Cobalt at 34.6. The CP car landed at 34.9, but he was bottoming out over the jump on his second run so I think he was taking it easy so as not to trash his car. What a weird concept.



    I already have some camber arms on order, and I may have to consider raising the rear up a bit if we're going to have a similar course next month. Either way, FTD!!

    Last edited by Laminar; 08-30-2021 at 09:52 AM.

  3. #578
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    98 M3/4/5, RIP 528e
    Congrats on FTD, that's awesome! I broke my car this weekend too, but I wasn't doing anything nearly as cool as setting FTD while I did it. See the post above yours for some questions....

  4. #579
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    How has the M14 held up? What do you make of the AA diff support bracket? At $330 it's very pricey, and if a simple M14 will do the trick, then I'd like to keep it simple.
    It has survived Hoosiers, drag strip launches, autocross abuse, street wheelhop, and more without issue for the last 5 years. The only issue I've had with the 14mm bolt is having it back itself out a couple times over the years. But that's because I installed it with antiseize so that if it ever snapped it would be very easy to get the threads out by hand. It's just part of my regular pre-race nut-and-bolt to make sure it's still snug.

    Edit- Do you remember the M14 bolt length? I don't think it's in the video. Is it 85 or 90mm?
    Here's my post from 2016:

    Bolt is BMW# 07129908011, it's a suspension bolt from an X5. M14x1.5, 100mm long. Grade 10.9. $6.62. I looked at McMaster and Fastenal and couldn't find anything in this thread that was long and high grade. Anything close was at least twice the price. I ordered two so I can keep a spare in the car.
    I slotted the end of the bolt so that I could back it out with a flat head screwdriver if it broke. It has about 10mm sticking out the other end of the diff, so it doesn't need to be the full 100mm long, but it doesn't hurt.


    My bolt broke towards the end of a run, and I let up when I heard it start making noise but still finished the run. I then had to drive it gingerly back to paddock where I had to load it onto a trailer to get towed home. What are the odds I damaged something like a bearing in the diff? Are there any checks I can do while the diff is out of the car? Or do I just need to reinstall it and see if it makes any new noises?
    I wouldn't be worried about any bearings, you're probably fine. My only worry would be running the rear u-joint at too high of an angle for too long, but you're probably fine there, too. The second time I broke mine, I drove 60 miles home without the bolt in place, just being ginger on the throttle and letting the poly ear bushings take most of the load.

  5. #580
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
    It has survived Hoosiers, drag strip launches, autocross abuse, street wheelhop, and more without issue for the last 5 years. The only issue I've had with the 14mm bolt is having it back itself out a couple times over the years. But that's because I installed it with antiseize so that if it ever snapped it would be very easy to get the threads out by hand. It's just part of my regular pre-race nut-and-bolt to make sure it's still snug.
    Is there a reason you don't put a nut on the back of it to prevent it from backing out? Heck, you could put a little Loctite on the nut and then you could use a wrench to remove it it the bolt ever breaks instead of a screwdriver.

    Also, how much of a PITA should I expect it to be when I extract what's left of the bolt from the diff? Does it always break off flush?
    Last edited by 95maxrider; 08-30-2021 at 01:18 PM.

  6. #581
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    Is there a reason you don't put a nut on the back of it to prevent it from backing out?
    If I remember correctly, the surface around where the nut comes out isn't actually square to the hole, so a nut wouldn't sit flush against the case. I suppose having a nut on there wouldn't hurt anything.

    Also, how much of a PITA should I expect it to be when I extract what's left of the bolt from the diff? Does it always break off flush?
    I think the threads in the diff housing actually start like 1/2" into the hole and that's where the bolt snapped, so it wasn't flush. I don't remember if I was able to get the bolt out or if I just drilled the hole with the remnants of the old bolt in place. I did get a nice new HSS 1/2" drill bit just for this job, and that made a world of difference.

  7. #582
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    Jacked the car up yesterday and intended to replace the lower arms and be done with it. Well, as usual it wasn't that easy. It looks like what happened is that when I landed, the tire got pushed up into the inner fender, which is what caused the lower arm to collapse. In the process the axle bottomed out and started eating its own boot.



    The Megan Racing arms look decent. Steel outers, aluminum inner. One side is reverse threaded so that the nuts can be backed off and camber adjusted by twisting the arm.





    What I found was that the outer bracket had to be clearanced so that I could actually get the lower bolt in place. Not sure if this is just an M3 thing or what. Here it is with the outer bracket hitting the knuckle:



    I had to take a slice out of the top part of that bracket so it could fit around the knuckle, then everything bolted up.

    Got the passenger side arm installed and put the driver's side upper bracket in place so I could put the diff back. Now I'm just waiting on a new axle, nut, and rear sway bushings.

  8. #583
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    perryville Mo, USA
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    98' 328i
    I have the megan racing arms as well, but I had zero fitment issues with mine. non-m chasis.

  9. #584
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    Interesting!

    I got antsy on Monday and wanted to start tearing apart the RX-8, so I threw the arm back in the M3 so I could roll it out to the driveway. When I let it down to the ground the left side was far lower than the right. It looks like the upper arm may have also collapsed a bit under the force of the spring during my fateful landing. I went ahead and ordered a replacement as I might as well do everything as long as I'm in there.

  10. #585
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    Got a replacement upper control arm and axle and nut. Went to put it on and realized I'd have to pull the diff again if I wanted to get to the upper control arm...no thanks. The existing one looks just a little bent at the spring seat, but otherwise fine. Next time I pull the diff for whatever reason I'll swap it, but not before then.

    Got the new axle in, got everything bolted back up, dialed in the alignment, then went back to the corner balance. Here it is with three 70lb bags of sand in the driver's seat:



    The water on the display is my sweat that was dripping all over it, as it was a balmy 93 degrees while I was working on it. I decided that was close enough and took it for a shakedown run. No problems, should be good for the weekend.

  11. #586
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    This weekend was our 2-day season wrap-up at Adventureland. In preparation, I got the new control arms installed and in the process, found that my rear sway bar bushings were shredded. I ordered some for a Mini that looked to be the right diameter, but they were too big overall and didn't fit in the bracket. So I broke down and ordered the right ones from UUC and paid extra for fast shipping. They showed up on Friday but they sent the wrong bushings altogether. So I ended up taking the Mini bushings to the belt sander to take off like 3/16" all around. With that done, everything was bolted back together and ready to go.



    Day 1's course was nicknamed "Circle-jerk," with three separate double-cone sections to go through twice, including two carousels. It was absolutely the wrong speed for my gearing - too fast for 1st, too slow for 2nd. I thought with all of my changes this year I'd solved the understeering issue, but it turns out the venue we ran all year just didn't have the kind of low speed sharp turns that make the car push. Back at Adventureland with all of these tight turnarounds, the pushing reared its head again.



    I worked on being patient and putting power down when I could and after my last runs I was at 4th place in raw. Well, the other heat ran and 3 cars I had been beating managed to find some time somewhere and leapfrogged me, so I ended up at 7th/51 for the day. One of the cars that jumped me was an automatic E90 M3 - his car was wicked quick and made full use of the full powerband.

    Day 2 I had a co-driver for extra fun. This course is traditionally set up by a couple of the club's more...vintage...members, and usually resembles more of a road course feel with big elements and sweepers. They did not disappoint, and it was an extremely fun course. There were some tight elements near the beginning of the course that were causing push, but the second half was wide open and really let the car shine.



    On my co-driver's final run of the first heat, he ended up spinning right near the end, and I noticed a lot of smoke plus a bit of spray on the windshield. We got back to the paddock and popped the hood and found power steering fluid everywhere. The power steering line came un-fixed and the pulley rubbed a slot in it. So while I was running timing for the other heat, my co-driver ran to the parts store and picked up a splice and some hose clamps.



    We were able to get it fixed and topped off in time for the next heat, plus we put another half degree of camber up front to help with the push.

    Two more runs later, my co-driver was just finishing up his run when things started feeling a bit wonky. He felt like power steering was gone and I could see smoke again. We made it back to the paddock and almost to my spot when the steering wheel went limp - it was free-wheeling. Turns out the steering guibo ripped apart. How much of that had to do with losing power steering and muscling through an unpowered rack I'm not sure, but that's what it was. I got the lower joint and the guibo pulled out (evvvverything was coated in hot power steering fluid) and we headed back to the parts store. We found a Dorman universal rag joint meant for old muscle cars that definitely had the wrong bolt spacing. I jammed it all together and squished the rag joint in place and topped off with the last of the power steering fluid we'd bought earlier. I took the in-town route home which doubled the drive time but halved the speed in case that rag joint didn't want to hold up. Made it home just fine!

    Going into that last heat I was 3rd overall in raw. But yet again, three people managed to someone find a bunch of time on their last 1 or 2 runs and leapfrog me, so I ended up at 6th in raw again. My fastest was a 51.5 that I felt was fairly sloppy and I really thought there was a 50 out there for me, but I wasn't meant to find it.



    For sure it's been my best season ever, with top 10 finishes in every event since getting the fresh tires, including my first FTD. The car will need some help in the off-season, but for now I'm just going to rest a bit.

  12. #587
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    Here's the steering guibo, it's a urethane unit from Ireland Engineering.


  13. #588
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    Man, two failures at one event, that sucks! Great job getting the thing home without a tow. Are you going to get another IE guibo or go back to OEM? And congrats on the strong season!

  14. #589
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    I'm getting the Flaming River FR-1963 u-joint and eliminating the guibo. That part number is their narrow, low-clearance version so hopefully it fits in the tight spot next to my headers.

  15. #590
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    Pulled the race tires off last night and tucked them away in the basement for the winter. The poor left front tire was shredded. The venue we race at most of the time is basically all left turns, and the first course we did on Saturday had three significant left turns/carousels. Even the Sunday course had a couple of hard, slow left turns.



    That poor center rib is worn down to a wedge.



    For comparison, the right rear had the easiest time.



    The tires have about 48 runs on them and probably less than 50 miles of street driving. I'm not seeing the shoulders wiped like the RE-71Rs did, but I'm also not street driving with a ton of camber and toe out like I did on those tires. They should definitely be good for another season once I flip them.

  16. #591
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    Finally got the right power steering fitting in. On the left is the one I bought however many years ago that didn't work. On the right is the one from Wild Horses 4x4 intended for people swapping Explorer parts onto their early Broncos.



    What I found after a lot of searching was this thread. Specifically this part:

    Did a powering steering box conversion from a 6 turn to a 3 turn box. Changed all the lines to use -6AN fittings. Used the aforementioned fitting and lost all power unless I had the engine at high idle. After much trouble shooting and finally dead headed the pump , to find I had no pressure at all. Long story short, the fitting is to long and depresses the bypass valve. In fact, it pushed it down enough to permanent keep the pump in bypass mode.
    I put my new fitting on and hooked up the hose. Started up the car and...no power steering at all. So I think when I cranked down that first fitting, it compressed the bypass valve and possibly jammed it there permanently, so this pump is borked.

    New hose:






    So I'll get a new pump in there and then get the Flaming River u-joint installed and then she'll be ready to sit all winter.

  17. #592
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    New pump did it. It whined for a second or two and now it's silent, steering works perfectly. Just need to get it up in the air to get the u-joint swapped.

  18. #593
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    Good to know with regards to the power steering. Thankfully the fitting I got is like the new one you got, got lucky there I think.

  19. #594
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    Got the u-joint in. Here's my hilarious rag joint hack:





    I purposely avoided the interstate and took the 40mph roads all of the way home from the autocross, thankfully this didn't fall apart.



    New u-joint was a snap to install. The hardest part was getting it on there so the steering wheel would be straight. The E46 rack has a plastic tab to ensure the stock joint is always centered. Here I had to guess and keep rotating the splined portion one tooth at a time until the wheel was finally straight on the road. I went and put half a tank of E0 premium in her, she's ready to park it for the winter. I should probably throw the snows on, too.

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