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Thread: After Hours Autosports E36 Pro-Am build

  1. #1
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    After Hours Autosports E36 Pro-Am build

    Hey everyone, I am starting a re-build on my buddy and our sponsored drivers E36, so I figured I'd document it a little bit here. I haven't taken hardly any pics so far, but I'm going to start now.

    First Some History.
    Josh's E36 spent a year as a turbo M52 before he decided to see the light and go LS. He did the original build himself, and the car was very well sorted. He put in a cammed LS1 / T56, got it caged by a local shop (Tandem Auto), added an SLR ultra kit, Welded Diff, and all the other goodies to make drive well. After 2 seasons with this setup he has won multiple local events and podium-ed in the series overall. Colorado has quite a few decent powered cars in our tandem class (400+) up to a few 600+ cars, so even with the cam he was on the lower end of the curve power wise. For 2019 Josh decided he wants to make a serious run at the Pro-Am series, so some beers were drank, plans made, and here we are.

    The Plan:
    I ended up with a 9700 mile LS3 from a 2015 Camaro SS, so that is going in place of the LS1. Before that it will be getting a Texas Speed makeover with a Stage 2 cam and supporting mods which should be good for a bit north of 450hp (480hp according to TSP assuming 15% loss). It will be mated to a rebuilt/upgraded T56. We are also going to be cleaning some things up, making things easier to service, and upgrading other parts along the way. The end goal is to have this car be super functional, clean, and reliable so he can enjoy driving it in the Southwest Drift, Lone Star, and possibly Drift League pro-ams next season.


    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Last Season tandems with our other teammate Ian

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    LS1 pulled out, ready to start cleaning

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Beginning to shave/prep for stitch welding

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Starting to pull the interior for upgraded safety and also a shave / repaint

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    All glass removed for switch to Lexan and adding some gussets

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Parts are showing up now for the build and the schedule is finally a little clear enough to take a deep dive in to it, so there should be some decent progress happening in the coming weeks!

  2. #2
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    Hell yeah man. I wish you guys luck.

  3. #3
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    Finally made a little progress tonight. Stripping the interior out all the way. Still debating between paint and Lizard Skin for the floor, but we will be adding some gussets and painting the interior either way.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    This bay is kicking my ass. Getting the seam sealer out from between the layers is impossible and makes all the welds pop and look like turds. I finished the towers but now I am strongly debating not doing the firewall.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    The old LS1 pan swapped and ready to head to its next swap (in a mustang)

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    The new LS3 starting to get torn down for some goodies.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  4. #4
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    I like that there's a whole cult around putting ls1s in mustangs. It's like the exact wrong thing to do to a mustang to piss off the community.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  5. #5
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    He had a procharged 4.6, the first one blew the bottom end out on the dyno right away and the replacement has never quite ran right plus it developed a bad miss at the last event of the season, so he's just over it.

  6. #6
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    Nerptech gussets and Condor engine mount reinforcements burned in

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  7. #7
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    Getting the operating room ready

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flick

    Old cam is out
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Some handy DIY tools
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Texas Speed Stage 2 Cam w/ ARP 3 bolt conversion in
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Half the PAC 660s in
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  8. #8
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    Looks like a great build! Keep Documenting, I'm running southeast pro-am next year and I'm interested in how you will set up the rear for grip, and how you'll stiffen the chassis up with the LS in the bay. Seems my front end flex's a lot without having an x-brace (due to the LS pan). Also, How you will seal the cabin from smoke. I sealed mine up pretty well, but still get smoke coming through somewhere.

    What are those tools for? Cam and Balancer?

    Lastly, I'd like to see your maintenance and prep for each event. Now, I change oil and plugs for every event, and fix any damage.

  9. #9
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    The car was pretty well sorted before, but we are changing a lot. The plans for the rear include a new subframe with a quick change. I fought toe issues on this thing all last season so this year it is getting nerptech offset rtab bearings and I'm considering modifying the RTAB brackets as well depending on what the bearings get me. We've never noticed much flex but the car is caged and he did have a strut tower bar. I stitch welded the whole bay, added the NERP strut tower gussets, and the strut tower bar will be going back on. I am likely going to add a bar between the front framerails as well.

    The tools are for the cam. The LS3 stock one is a single bolt and the new one is a 3 bolt, so they take different tools.

    As far as sealing the cabin goes, we made block off plates for the holes in the firewall. We will also be adding the HARD motorsport HVAC block off plate, as well as their rear deck panel kit and rear bulkhead delete. The trunk area has to be completely sealed off from the cabin due to the fuel cell we will be adding, so from there there is only a few holes in the floorboard that need sealed up and we should be good. I know a lot of people go to town with a can of great stuff to fill the gaps but I am trying to avoid that haha.

    Usually I just lift the car, do a quick visual for things leaking or damaged (we are painting the bay white to easier spot and ID leaks) and just go from the back to the front with some wrenches and quick check that nothings obviously loose. Check the fluid level, drive it around the block and listen for new clunks/rattles, etc. I usually run a whole season on the same plugs unless something happens, and usually only change the oil every 3-4 events. I've been meaning to send some out to blackstone for sampling for the last year but never remember.

  10. #10
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    Had to modify the LS3 windage tray to accept the F body baffle, still ended up taking more material off after this

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    You can see where the pan hits the oil pickup tube (and has been). It's bad enough that it actually holds the pan up a bit from the gasket until you torque it down. I'm not stoked knowing that they're touching in there but it's been fine and there's not much that can be done about it.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Engine is pretty much done. Waiting on Josh to make some decisions on color and style so I can drop the manifold off to by hydrodipped, and the headers are off being ceramic coated.

    Now that the engine is ready, time to start swapping over some parts to the new "stage 2" trans!

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Unfortunately the remote bleeder that Hinson sent has the wrong fitting in it (they sent the one for the c6 on accident) so I am stuck not being able to install the bellhousing for another week.

    Made some A pillar gussets, DME box and fuse/relay box hole covers, and primed the bay to double check for anything else that needs smoothed / filled before we move forward with paint. Found a few small things to work on.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novablue454 View Post

    Half the PAC 660s in
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr
    No Knock Sensors !?

  12. #12
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    Gen 4 knock sensors are on the sides of block, since we are converting to DBC using a Lingenfelter box, we had to get harness extensions for those plugs.
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cei-109081

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  13. #13
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    Preliminary trunk floor cut
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Header's ceramic coated
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    first coat on the engine bay
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    made a lil patch panel for where we cut the rear seat nonsense out
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Filling all the holes in the rear bulkhead, these will all get flapped smooth before paint
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    4 coats of white and 3 coats of clear later (don't worry about overspray, anything that's not masked is either getting re-painted or replaced)
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    The fun is just getting started!
    Last edited by Novablue454; 01-16-2019 at 07:06 PM.

  14. #14
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    The engine just about ready, waiting to get the intake back from Ison Hydrographics then I can add the new rails and bolt it all up
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  15. #15
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    Pulled the front subframe for reinforcement and today turned in to cleaning day. Dropped the car on to our welding table and rolled her out. 3 full degrease / pressure wash cycles later

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Front Sub reinforcements
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    SLR kit, Coilovers, Sway Bar all scrubbed to like new, not pictured are the calipers and knuckles but we did those too
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Some VHT Chassis paint on the sub and ready to bolt it all back in tomorrow!
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr
    Last edited by Novablue454; 01-17-2019 at 06:49 PM.

  16. #16
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    Coming along pretty good. Front sway bar - does that attach to the control arms?

  17. #17
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    Yep, hard to see in that photo but the SLR arms have ears for sway bar attachment

  18. #18
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    The car is going to a body shop next week to get the rear end fixed, so I need to have it a roller soon.

    Got everything we removed to clean / paint re-installed, torqued to factory specs and then marked with lines using a paint marker. That should make it a bit easier to catch anything loosening during nut and bolt checks. We also sanded down / repainted the booster as it was looking pretty rough.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  19. #19
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    a quick under shot of the rough cuts. I am afraid I am going to have to remove the channel right behind the rear diff cover, but I guess we will find out when the new diff arrives. I got scared so that halted the work in the rear for a little bit.

    EDIT; Just watched one of Micah Diaz's videos and yep, that channels gotta go. That is going to be interesting

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr
    Last edited by Novablue454; 01-18-2019 at 07:39 PM.

  20. #20
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    What channel and why does it need to be removed?

  21. #21
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    This part
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    It's definitely seems structural, but the few pics I can find online it doesn't look like anyone is reinforcing after cutting it out. Here is a screen shot from Micah Diaz's install video, he even had to go through the upper floor pan

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    These diffs are MASSIVE, but I won't know exactly what needs done until it gets here and mocked up

  22. #22
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    Oh ok, I thought I was looking at remnants of the spare tire well.

  23. #23
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    Here's 2 fancy little adapters I wish I knew existed when I did my build. The rear one keeps the OEM pressure switch while giving you a port for a gauge or hose, the front one just replaces an oem plug with a port for a sending unit. The front sending unit is a oil pressure shut off switch for the ignition panel, the rear will be for the gauge.
    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Knowing the failure prone LS3 timing chain tensioner was in there was keeping me up at night, so I made some backwards progress on the engine. I have a LS2 "dogbone" style damper on order to replace it with. This also gave me an excuse to take the pan back off and correct the pickup tube interference.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    Made a quick little disconnect switch mount on the cage. The rulebook states that they must be on the cowl panel, but BMW hoods go all the way to the windshield, so that's really not an option. That leaves the choices to mount it on the hood, but that requires long battery leads to be able to open the hood and is ugly when the hood is raised, mounting it in the bay with a pull cable coming out (how I have both mine) but a grumpy tech inspector might not like it, or mount it in the passenger A pillar near the front where it can be accessed through the window. After seeing a few cars at Winter Jam with this setup this is the route Josh decided to go.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

    And with that, the car is off to the body shop to get the rear quarters repaired, and the cage / floor painted. We are still waiting on a handful of critical parts to arrive, so hopefully I'll get the car and all the parts back in about 2 weeks and really be able to make some progress, as there is still a ton that needs to be done in not a lot of time.

    Untitled by novablue454, on Flickr

  24. #24
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    Beautiful build -- subscribed!!

    Quick tangent question/bump: Do you know what cheapass flares would sort of work on an E36 sedan? I'm thinking maybe some generic garbage from eBay..

    By the way, good info on the LS3 timing chain tensioner! I had no idea about that. I'll slap in the black plastic one I have that just goes in between the chain, I'm guessing that is the dogbone one you mentioned.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tptrsn View Post
    Beautiful build -- subscribed!!

    Quick tangent question/bump: Do you know what cheapass flares would sort of work on an E36 sedan? I'm thinking maybe some generic garbage from eBay..

    By the way, good info on the LS3 timing chain tensioner! I had no idea about that. I'll slap in the black plastic one I have that just goes in between the chain, I'm guessing that is the dogbone one you mentioned.
    Exactly, its just a damper, I guess only the LS2 came with them? The LS1/LS6 don't have anything. Some people were saying to just run with nothing but that sketches me out.

    It looks like Duraflex makes some fiberglass ones for the E36 Sedan, I'd prefer plastic/poly personally though
    https://www.carid.com/duraflex/rbs-s...QaAtcJEALw_wcB

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