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Thread: 1996 328i - MN Garage Queen to HPDE transformation

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    885
    My Cars
    1998 BMW 328i
    Quote Originally Posted by addbhp View Post
    Following, great progress so far. I have a track 98 323is, and am on the look out for a LSD. Notice we have similar corrosion here in Southern Ontario, and curious if you are going to do bushing in the rear subframe sometime in the future. I have avoided doing the rear reinforcements, or bushing out back for fear of breaking the carrier bolts. Looking at your picture yours look very similar to ours, in that you can't even see the threads.

    Attachment 596560
    That looks like the front bolt, which is actually a stud with a captive nut threaded into the car. I doubt it'd break, but it would probably back out of the car. No issues there, just remove it, hold the nut on the top side while you break loose the nut on the bottom side. I'll post a pic of what it looks like totally removed.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    885
    My Cars
    1998 BMW 328i

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Aurora, Ont., Cdn
    Posts
    116
    My Cars
    2001 330Cic,1998 323is
    Thanks XnWarden, I knew that was the front bolt and is threaded into chassis, but all four of mine are quite rusty, that was one i just saw equally rusty to mine. But thanks for the tips, once warmer weather, will see if that is on our radar for 2017.
    Quote Originally Posted by XnWarden View Post
    That looks like the front bolt, which is actually a stud with a captive nut threaded into the car. I doubt it'd break, but it would probably back out of the car. No issues there, just remove it, hold the nut on the top side while you break loose the nut on the bottom side. I'll post a pic of what it looks like totally removed.
    Mark
    2001 330Cic Daily Driver
    1998 323is Track Car
    2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (Wife's)

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    Quick update on exhaust:
    I installed the read seat delete panel from MKAH Motorsports, fit was perfect (http://mkahmotorsports.com/e36-rear-...-delete-panel/), and it helped some for the noise but not as much as I hoped even after putting a light automotive carpet on the trunk side of it. I added some screws and holes to secure it a little better, but overall it is a good panel. Cleans up the interior a bunch and stops tire noise efficiently.

    After that was done, I ran the car for a few weeks this spring and later put it back up on the lift to check the exhaust bolts. Some were a little loose, which after tightening, shortened the duration of the droning start up from about 30 seconds to closer to 10. I figure the heat of the exhaust expands and seals whatever minor leak is occurring. Between the panel and the bolt tightening, it's at least tolerable now.

    Next up: Taking the rear rotors off and checking out a highly suspicious parking brake.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
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    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    Back at it again this winter - pulling the engine fan in favor of an electric fan. I'm planning to replace the entire cooling system while I'm in there: new all aluminum radiator from Bimmerworld, more hoses than I care to count, water pump, thermostat, etc. Also included in this mid winter farce is fixing an old oil leak at the banjo bolt near the Vanos and a gasket under the oil filter housing - we shall see how those fare.

    Prior to surgery


    Engine fan removed
    Last edited by Gary328i; 01-30-2018 at 09:03 PM.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    Removed the broken secondary air pump while I'm in disassembly mode. I have a simulator for the future to avoid the P1421 code that likes to pop up currently. There's a little more clean-up and fabrication work to do with the solenoid/hose removal and vacuum tube cap.

    Last edited by Gary328i; 02-01-2018 at 03:17 PM.

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    Back at it again this summer boys and girls! Where to start? What's changed I suppose:

    1- Depo Headlights with Lamin-X tinted film from ECS Tuning
    2- Secondary Air Pump Removal and simulator install from Bimmerworld
    3- Cooling System redone completely - Misumoto electric fan, CSF Radiator, Metal impeller water pump, new hoses, etc...from ECS and Bimmerworld
    4- ASC delete from Bimmerworld
    5- AFE Intake from Bimmerworld
    6- E-brake engaged!
    7- Front Brake Cooling Kit from Bimmerworld
    8- Wheel Studs from Bimmerworld
    9- Aero Part 1 - High DTM Wing from BavAuto

    Car was in a front end incident in 1998 and got an M3 bumper after that bit. What I learned is that some folks cut corners when they repair cars and never bothered to bend the tabs to hold the headlights properly. You can see my level in the one photo as I was "adjusting" the sheet metal back to a useful position.

    Headlights out:
    No headlights

    Headlight Surgery (These are the depo units from ECS tuning. Nice enough glass, but the angel eyes are fairly dim compared to others. Good enough for a track car for sure, the beams are so much better than the stock garbage)

    Headlight Surgery-1

    After surgery with Lamin-X film installed in the outdoor photo (light tint film to protect the glass, you can tell the difference between the garage shots and the outdoor one)

    Headlights Done 1

    Headlights Done

    Clean Summer2017

    Clean Side Summer2017
    Last edited by Gary328i; 06-12-2018 at 11:25 AM.

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    When your secondary air pump fails, a replacement is quite expensive. I picked up a simulator from Bimmerworld for $70, and it works great - no more CEL.

    Here's the wiring where it ties into the sensors:

    Simulator Wiring Near Fuel Rail

    It's a pretty clean install right next to the positive battery terminal block. There's a screw you can remove and use to secure the unit right there.

    Simulator Mounting Point

    Here you can see the red sheet metal piece I made to block the snorkel/vent. I made it from a thin piece of metal that I then coated in whatever thermal resistant paint I had at the time. There's also a vacuum tube you need to block off with a cap, I think it was a 5/16" that I used to cap it from Autozone. You can also see how I routed and protected the wires coming from the fan (2 for power, one for the temp sensor that kicks the fan on automatically).

    Radiator Pass side2
    Last edited by Gary328i; 06-13-2018 at 10:18 AM.

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    For the cooling system, I can say having a lift is awesome - many thanks to my friend Paul for letting me mess up his garage yet again. And coolant dumped *everywhere*, glad we had it contained and the floor protected. For this job I got a Misumoto fan and controller from ECS Tuning, and the CSF radiator, water pump, thermostat, hoses, reservoir, coolant sensor, and other misc stuff from Bimmerworld. I installed the fan controller over by the SAP simulator, and routed 2 wires through the fire wall below the SAP to add manual fan control to the fog light switch - I knew I left that in for a reason! Getting through the fire wall wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I ended up pulling back the passenger footwell carpet and actually drilling a hole in the grommet itself between two red power wires. Amazingly, there was plenty of room to drill there and it worked great. This job took all day since this was original 22 year old cooling equipment with just a touch of buildup/residue. Anyways, photos:

    Engine Fan removed
    Engine fan has gone missing

    Cooling System Surgery
    Cooling System Redo 1

    Some fun residue to remove - if I had to do this again, I'd just order this part.
    Cooling System Redo 2

    - - - Updated - - -

    Fan controller install
    Fan Controller Install

    Fan has little to no space between it and the belts

    No space btw electric fan and belts

    While I was doing the cooling system, I put in the AFE Intake and deleted traction control with the silicon intake hose, both from Bimmerworld. I was surprised at how much quicker the car feels with the intake, no ASC, and no cooling fan. Sounds great too.

    AFE Intake and ASC Delete


    Bimmerworld Silicon hose to delete ASC
    ASC Delete
    Last edited by Gary328i; 06-13-2018 at 10:14 AM.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    E-brake adjustment

    First off, my e-brake was sketchy at best. Turns out they're not that hard to adjust. My local shop didn't want anything to do with my e-brake, so I ordered the shoes, springs, cables, etc. The end result is that I needed zero parts and just had to have patience adjusting them. I find it reassuring to have an e-brake when on the track, just in case...

    E-brake surgery

    E-brake surgery 2
    Last edited by Gary328i; 06-12-2018 at 01:37 PM.

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    Brakes, brakes and more brakes

    Now on to the regular brakes:

    I was planning on bleeding the brakes in advance of a HPDE at BIR on June 1st, but discovered this on the front of the car, which unfortunately ruined the schedule for making that event.

    Cut brake line sheath:
    Front brake line cut 1

    Front brake line cut 2

    Removal of the brakes was easy aside from the flexible lines. Those flare nuts are made of something akin to butter, and I managed to get 5 of 6 removed. But one is complete mess and has created my latest project: cutting the steel brake line and re-flaring it. Definitely possible, but not a quick fix. Some techie stuff: 3/16" line, bubble flaring tool, M10-1.0 3/16 steel flare nuts. I bought a line bending tool as well and a 6" pre-bubble flared piece so I could make my cut and flare in a more convenient place. Stay tuned for progress there.

    So for the stuff that came off, it got the steel brush treatment followed by brake cleaner and isopropyl alcohol cleaning, and then finished with engine temp paint:

    Paint booth photos:
    Brakes painted 1

    Brakes painted 2

    This is the best they will ever look:
    Brakes painted

    Trimmed backing plates on the rear of the car to even out rotor cooling. Used a couple different sheet metal shears and then finished using a dremel tool for smoothing it out. If you cut pie piece style lines into the backing plate, it'll fatigue right along the curved inner lip nicely. Takes patience but looks great I think. Also allows me to retain my e-brake. I think a lot of track cars remove the e-brake for simplicity, but I like the safety factor.
    Rear brake backing plate trimmed

    Front Cooling Kit Backing plates for my stock 328 brake calipers from Bimmerworld. I painted these as well. I installed these since the car Hawk HT-10 pads are insane to start with and have plenty of stopping power for the speeds the 328 does. Now the brakes should last longer too. I think it's great they make these even for the non-M cars.
    Front Brake cooling kit painted

    Front Brakes finished. Yes I know the white clip will last about 10 seconds before it's black again. At least it will rust more slowly this time.

    Front Left Brakes and Studs with spacer


    Front duct intake on the M3 bumper - not a great photo but you get the idea
    M3 air inlet with duct
    Last edited by Gary328i; 06-13-2018 at 10:12 AM.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    Wheel Studs

    Front and rear, got the shorter ones since I'm running only little spacers up front.

    Rear without any frills
    Rear Wheel Studs

    Front

    Front Left Brakes and Studs with spacer

    Front with wheels on

    Front Wheel Studs

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    brake line update

    I tried fabricating the line I need to replace the hard line I had planned on cutting.

    Bending = easy with a decent tool.
    Flaring was a mess though on the practice pieces I tried. Steel is rough to work with compared to copper, plus the coating on the steel likes to shred and let the tube slide as you form the flare.

    So I ran out of material to practice on and thought I should give the flare nut one more try. And I got the damn thing off finally. It took the vice-grip from hell to do it, but it's finally apart. On the plus side, there's enough of the chewed up flare nut to still work with that I might be able to avoid cutting the hard line entirely. Unfortunately, the rust on that area was so bad I had to go to the dealer to get the small spacer clip ordered, as the one in that location was more rust and dirt than actual metal.

    Still, it's progress.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    I did get the brakes back together, but the vice grips from hell must have bent the hard line. I put the pressure bleeder on the car and created a little fountain right from that very spot. So back to cutting and forming...

    edit/update 6/28/18: Cut the hard line last night, which was pretty uneventful. Issue at the moment is the flare tool slips on the BMW brake line, so I'm just pushing the brake line, not forming it. This is after sanding away the external brake line coating and going all out out on tightening the flare tool. Disappointing since that combo yielded good results on the extra practice material I picked up and worked on for a while. Might need a different tool...and I'm open to ideas if anyone here has run into a similar issue.
    Last edited by Gary328i; 06-28-2018 at 02:49 PM.

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    55
    My Cars
    1997 M3 Coupe
    Over the years, I've discovered I hate trying to flare brake lines. I typically order them to length, pre-flared, with fittings on them. Then you can just bend them to match your old line, or make up your own bends. To get the length you need, just use a piece of string taped to your old line, then straighten out the string.

    I haven't bought any in a decade or two, but a random search turned up
    https://www.inlinetube.com/straight-length-tubing
    Note I have never ordered any from here before, just pointing out it shouldn't be hard to find a place to buy the straight lengths from if you know the fitting size, tube size, and length you need.

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i
    Agreed, not much fun, and if you're impatient like I was and actually buy the cheap $25 tool from Auto Zone, you're not doing yourself any favors, as that tool sucks big time. The $50 On-Vehicle Micro Brake Pipe Flaring Tool - Bavarian Autosport worked awesome. Only issue was on my part, as I needed to clean the steel line with brake cleaner first since one drop of brake fluid is actually quite slippery. But then it worked so well I took the pre-flared piece from the store and cut it too. So I ended up with a new fitting and flare on the original brake line, a coupler and then the fabricated piece that roughly mimics the stock bend. I think turned out really well (see below):

    The car stops fine, I can tell it needs another bleeding (system was empty for a month or so) though. When I get it aligned and tech inspected for the track soon, my plan is to have the shop bleed it so they get the air out of the abs unit too, since I believe they can cycle that unit.

    Bubble Flare Coupler
    Last edited by Gary328i; 07-09-2018 at 12:20 PM.

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    Question Sparco Ergo Race seat and 6 pt Schroth Profi 2x2 install

    Took out my Planted bracket, Recaro SRD and Recaro slider and went with the incredibly sturdy looking Bimmerworld Solid Aluminum Mounts to start:

    Bimmerworld Solid AL mounts

    A little more carpet to trim near the transmission tunnel to make it fit, plus I cut/tore the rear vent out from under the carpet for both sides of the car. Looking good I think.

    Then I added a slider to the driver's side, just in case someone aside from myself gets the chance to drive it. The slider makes it just across the spacing, and is on the innermost set of holes on each side. Note that the slider needed some custom drilling to make it work correctly since the spacing/slotting is so far off front/back. Note the original hole that's not used and the one that is occupied (I made that).

    Sparco Slider - Installed


    Sparco Slider - Drilled

    I put the seat in several times to finalize the position, so the holes used in the photos aren't the final selection, but I don't think I moved it much, maybe 2 holes on the Bimmerworld bracket.

    I got the car up to my friend Paul's again, where I worked on installing the eyelets for the Schroth Profi 2x2 6 pt harness. 5 of 6 points are easy, but the last one (inner lap belt) kinda sucks.

    Paul's Garage Front

    Paul's Garage Rear

    Shoulders go to roll bar = easy.

    Drill 2 holes in bottom of car and install eyelets with backing plates for crotch belt = easy, but lift makes it easier. Watch out for the brake and gas lines right under the inner crotch belt on the drivers side. That would a terrible thing to hit with a drill if you're drilling from the top!

    Crotch Strap Mount Points

    Lap belt on the outer part goes in the stock seat belt retaining hole, fits perfect = easy.

    The only one I worry about is the inner lap belt and how the forums suggest mounting a plate in the tunnel. I think that's great if you want to remove the exhaust and heat shield, but wow, what a pain, especially on a mid pipe/cat that been in there 22 years already. ANd don't get me wrong, I'm not at all about skimping on safety. But if I can get the similar safety from a different solution, I'm all for it. My question about that one is what about drilling a through hole in the Sparco seat mount, and then having an eye bolt on one side and a trimmed down backing plate on the other side? So sandwich the Sparco Seat mount like the photoshopped image below? It effectively would be the same idea as a stock seat belt setup with a bolt/eyebolt in shear in a thick piece of steel from what I can tell. The Sparco metal is thicker than the car sheet metal on the tunnel too. This would put more stress on the rear inside Bimmerworld bracket mount point, but again, that's the stock design setup. And there's just not that much good info out there on alternate mounting points that are not the tunnel. Best kept secret I guess. Opinions welcome.

    Sparco Steel Seat Bracket Lap Belt Install Idea
    Last edited by Gary328i; 07-10-2018 at 07:37 AM.

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    Lap Belt mount to Seat Mount vs additional piece (VAC Lap Belt Mounting Kit)

    Still looking for input on what others have done - I found the VAC Lap Belt Mounting Kit, which looks interesting. The advantage being that the failure points would shift. You'd still have the extra stress on the floor mount (again, same as stock design), but the VAC piece would be the only structure in the chain that the lap belt would rely on. You'd bypass the bolts holding the Sparco Seat mount to the Sparco Slider and the bolts holding the Sparco Slider to the Bimmerworld Solid AL floor mounts, plus any sheet metal failures that could occur in between: Sparco Seat Mount - not going to happen; Sparco Slider -highly unlikely to happen.

    Both seem like legit routes to go.

    I'm ordering a set of the VAC mounts (since passing safety inspections is key). My guess is a professional vendor supported method would be accepted better than my mechanical engineering napkin theory.
    Last edited by Gary328i; 07-10-2018 at 11:46 AM.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    Almost ready for PCA at BIR July 27-29

    VAC mount arrives tomorrow, so that'll be done soon. Just need to re-torque the swaybars and install some new exhaust mid-pipe hangers at Paul's and then it should be ready for alignment, re-bleeding the brakes on a power unit that cycles the ABS, and finally inspection at Orr Autosport for the PCA event July 27th-29th at BIR. Hopefully this all goes smoothly.

    Also ordered a new helmet and HANS device from Simpson, that should complete the safety prep.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    549
    My Cars
    1996 328i

    Track Car

    Starting to look like a track car now in my opinion...even more so with the dirt and pollen on it.

    BMW with seats belts and wing

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