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Thread: NASA Spec3 Build v2.0

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Spec3 & MCoupe

    NASA Spec3 Build v2.0

    After building up a '94 325is coupe from leaky daily driver to HPDE champion (see the build thread, here), I stuffed it into a tire barrier backwards at 57mph at PittRace (see the video here).

    IMG_1167[1].jpg

    The rear end was totally ruined so I started pulling parts and purchased a new donor -- this time a sedan with a blown motor of some kind.

    IMG_1218[1].jpg

    I organized a weekend and the Spec3 guys came over to strip down the new donor -- which fought us every step of the way. Much beer was procured:

    IMG_1341[1].jpg

    And much stripping ensued:

    IMG_1344[1].jpg

    IMG_1345[1].jpg

    Next up is welding in reinforcements while both subframes are out of the car followed by stripping the interior to prep for a full cage.
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 02-19-2017 at 04:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Noblesville, IN
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    98 328i, 79 911SC
    In for the new build!
    always trying to make it lighter and faster

    ^^former build: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...-neglected-M3/
    current build: http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsc...car-build.html
    instant grams: doktor_b

  3. #3
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    99 328is, 03 X5
    No trailing arm pocket reinforcement?

  4. #4
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    Nevada City, CA
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    E36 M3 Coupe
    Sweet! Looking forward to this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Neverlift View Post
    No trailing arm pocket reinforcement?
    No. Yes, trailing arm pocket reinforcement.
    IMG_1343[1].jpg
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 02-06-2017 at 04:37 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCRentAPopo View Post
    No. Yes, trailing arm pocket reinforcement.
    Gas tank will need to be dropped as well. Doesn't look like that was done in the photos.

  7. #7
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    Stripped the interior, including pulling the carpet in one piece. That was a real PITA.

    IMG_1370[1].jpg


    I also trimmed the front strut reinforcement plates and added some paint to prevent corrosion.

    IMG_1363[1].jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Neverlift View Post
    Gas tank will need to be dropped as well. Doesn't look like that was done in the photos.
    Yup, that's next. Then replacing some pretty crusty rear brake lines.

  8. #8
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    Lots of little projects lately including removal of the window motors, tidying up the wiring harness, dropping the gas tank, and replacing the rusty rear brake lines.

    I discovered that the gas tanks are slightly different. My old car (1994 coupe) has an additional fuel line running on the top of the tank between the fuel pump and the sending unit. The new car (1995 sedan) lacks this line. I have no idea what it does but I plan to install the old tank because I never had fuel starvation issues with it, despite only running one fuel pump.

    1994 Coupe Tank:
    IMG_1382[1].jpg

    1995 Sedan Tank:
    IMG_1381[1].jpg

    On a related note, anybody know how to delete the charcoal canister in the trunk?

    Also, I installed the Bimmerworld coolant block-off plate and will eliminate the "spider" hose under the intake manifold. For anybody that wants to delete their heater core AND the spider hose, I made a handy diagram (red = delete, green = keep). Alternatively, you can just loop the hoses that flow to the heater core and keep the spider hose.

    Heater Core Delete.jpg
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 02-20-2017 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    Finished the very smelly job of removing all sound deadening from the interior. Used the heat gun and plastic scraper method followed by xylene. Worked pretty well. Also cleaned up the wiring a bit more, re-routed the trunk wiring through the middle of the rear bulkhead, and installed the steering wheel and heater core block-off plate.

    IMG_1396[1].jpg
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 03-10-2017 at 09:22 AM.

  10. #10
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    E36 M3, E90 328i M-Sport
    FYI - You don't need to drop the tank.

    Keep the side of the tank wet whilst you're welding - it'll be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Neverlift View Post
    Gas tank will need to be dropped as well. Doesn't look like that was done in the photos.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjwilson89 View Post
    FYI - You don't need to drop the tank.

    Keep the side of the tank wet whilst you're welding - it'll be fine.
    I leave that up to the welder. He's the one that will be on fire if the tank blows. And I had to drop the tank to replace corroded rear brake lines so it was a no-brainer.

  12. #12
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    E36 M3, E90 328i M-Sport
    In that case - yes it's a no-brainer if you need to do it anyway.



    Quote Originally Posted by OCRentAPopo View Post
    I leave that up to the welder. He's the one that will be on fire if the tank blows. And I had to drop the tank to replace corroded rear brake lines so it was a no-brainer.

  13. #13
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    Front subframe reinforcement plates are welded in and I added a few coats of grey paint.

    IMG_1401[1].jpg

    IMG_1402[1].jpg

    Rear end is assembled and ready to go.

    IMG_1404[1].jpg

    IMG_1403[1].jpg

  14. #14
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    Wrenched for about 16 hours on Saturday. With only my two hands and a leaky engine hoist, I managed to get the front subframe, steering rack, motor, transmission, and driveshaft mounted up.

    The engine hoist has a slow leak so I had about 15 seconds to position the motor before I had to pump it up a few times. Also, I started with the passenger side motor mount arm installed up-side down. Good times.
    IMG_1406[1].jpg

    Motor securely mounted:
    IMG_1407[1].jpg

    Complete drivetrain installed:
    IMG_1408.jpg


    Next up is the front suspension, brakes, radiator, and front body panels.
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 07-19-2017 at 02:42 PM.

  15. #15
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    I was hoping to get the motor started for the first time today. Fail.

    It will crank but not fire. The fuel pump isn't doing anything. I changed the fuse, fuel pump relay, main relay, and DME. I suspect the problem is that my 1994 engine harness doesn't have connectors for the more complicated 1995 fuel supply stuff -- namely the two things pictured below.

    IMG_1409[1].jpg

    IMG_1410[1].jpg

    Any ideas before I start the work of swapping to the 1995 engine harness?
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 03-25-2017 at 09:14 PM.

  16. #16
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    1971 2002
    Any chance there was a security lock out added in '95?

  17. #17
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    I jumped the fuel pump relay and got plenty of pressure -- which promptly squirted fuel all over the place. The hard feed line between the fuel pump and the fuel filter was quite corroded. I replaced it with some flexible fuel hose.

    With the fuel leak fixed, the engine runs great -- at least with the fuel pump relay jumped. I tried swapping the fuel pump relay, main relay, and DME with no luck. Rather than swap in the 1995 engine harness, I will just bypass the fuel pump relay with a manual switch.

    She lives!

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    98 328i, 79 911SC
    *like*
    always trying to make it lighter and faster

    ^^former build: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...-neglected-M3/
    current build: http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsc...car-build.html
    instant grams: doktor_b

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCRentAPopo View Post
    Also, I started with the passenger side motor mount arm installed up-side down. Good times.
    Sweet! So I'm not the only rookie out there!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by doktor b View Post
    *like*
    Thanks, Dok!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jakermac View Post
    Sweet! So I'm not the only rookie out there!!
    If you're looking for dumb rookie mistakes, I got that in spades.

  21. #21
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    Received a little package all the way from Lebanon. RTD shifter!

    IMG_1419.jpg

    But quickly discovered that both of my selector rods are unusable. Top rod is from the new car and is rusted to hell. Bottom rod is from the wrecked car and is bent to hell. A buddy is hooking me up with his selector rod later this week so I can finally install the shifter.

    IMG_1420[1].jpg
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 03-29-2017 at 09:59 AM.

  22. #22
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    I scored a Works Bell quick release for $80 bucks on craigslist. Even kept a functional horn for slow Porsche drivers in DE.
    IMG_1422[1].jpg

    Getting the shifter installed was royal pain in the arse. BMW beefed up the "gear shift rod joint" starting in 9/1994 and also made it 10mm shorter. To accommodate this, the selector rod was lengthened 10mm. A friend gave me his old selector rod, but it was from a 1993 car, so it was 10mm too short. The result was that I couldn't select 2nd or 4th. After some head scratching, I figured it out and thankfully still had the gear shift rod joint from my (dead) 1994 transmission. I swapped it over to the 1995 transmission and everything now lines up. In the photo below, the pre-9/94 linkage is on the bottom with the post-9/94 linkage on top.
    IMG_1426[1].jpg

    Up to 09/1994
    Selector Rod - 25111221547
    Gear Shift Rod Joint - 25117503525

    From 09/1994
    Selector Rod - 25111222664
    Gear Shift Rod Joint - 25117580281

    I deleted the factory hood latch and installed aerocatch hood pins. They were also a huge pain to install but I really hate the look of typical hood pins. Note that my hood doesn't quite close all the way using these locations. I learned later that it's best to install aerocatch pins in the middle hump for clearance. Close enough.

    IMG_1434[1].jpg

    IMG_1430[1].jpg


    - - - Updated - - -

    Got the seats, dash, and shifter installed, but no belts or cage yet.

    IMG_1429[2].jpg

    The RTD shifter is very nice but it's hard to compare to my old Bimmerworld shifter with all the other changes -- i.e. a whole new car and different transmission. I'll gather some thoughts once I've had more than a 10 minute test drive.


    The end result of all this work is that she lives!



    Another weekend of wrenching in the books and the car finally runs and drives. Only took 8 straight weekends of ignoring all other responsibilities and most non-car friends. Only remaining issues are that the thermostat housing leaks a little and I need to put the sunroof skin back in there. New thermostat, housing, and water pump are on the way.
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 04-03-2017 at 10:07 AM.

  23. #23
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    Damn, nicely done! Sounds like you're getting closer to having it all buttoned up.

    Any plans to re-locate the Aerocatches? I know they're a royal pain to install...
    2011 F-150 FX4 | 1997 BMW M3 #404 GTS2 | 2006 BMW M3 Convertible
    Out Motorsports

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brake_L8 View Post
    Damn, nicely done! Sounds like you're getting closer to having it all buttoned up.

    Any plans to re-locate the Aerocatches? I know they're a royal pain to install...
    Nah, the hood only sits like half an inch higher than usual and that little rubber seal in front still makes contact with the nose panel. I declare it sufficient. And I dunno what I'd do with the holes that are in there now. Can't just put fancy vents in there for Spec3. This is no GT$ car!
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 06-23-2017 at 01:27 PM.

  25. #25
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    Driving down to Powhatan, VA for some minor welding / reinforcement. Props to my wife (Subaru in front) for driving 2.5 hours each way with me.

    IMG_1436[1].jpg
    Last edited by OCRentAPopo; 04-09-2017 at 07:58 PM.

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