aka the wallet diet

Melted IE motor mount; fixed

January 19th, 2014 Pierre

On the way home two weeks ago the M started to act up. First, it started overheating. Then odd noises from the driveline. The engine was vibrating at higher rpms and clanged when started and stopped. The overheating issue was determined to be a static fan caused by a shifted fan shroud. Odd, but I was more worried about the driveline issues. I preliminarily diagnosed it to be a bad clutch or transmission. Fast forward to the weekend. Up on the ramps, a quick look at the underbelly resulted in the real cause…a collapsed right side motor mount. The shifted engine caused all of the noises and vibrations. Even the overheating when the fan hit the shroud and got stuck. So why did this happen? My car had the heat shield missing that protects the mount from header heat. It didn’t have a chance. I replaced the Ireland race pieces with a spare 740 set. Pics say 1000 words.

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BMW E30 M3: 14 Days to Victory

September 14th, 2013 Pierre

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BMW E30 M3: 14 Days to Victory

In the land of Monsters.

July 8th, 2013 Pierre

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BMW E30 M3: A Day in the Life Part II

June 16th, 2013 Pierre

Part II of my everyday series of videos chronicling upgrades and the everyday use of my M3.

This video illustrates the everyday tractability of the ss91 Iigo chip and 276/264 cams. Nice gain in torque between 3000 and 6000 rpm. Little bump in top end. Great idle too. Will probably gain up top with an afm delete or standalone; and acquiring a real 276 cam, not just a regrind (more lift).

Oily, Leaky S14 Solved

May 28th, 2013 Pierre

I feel I have won the battle of my leaky S14. 1-Up! It must be said the problem initiated when the donor engine was swapped. I had all of the oil pan and timing cover surfaces re-sealed while the engine was out. Unfortunately I used Hylomar, a product not familiar to me, but supposedly very good. Well, it didn’t work well for me. In all honesty, it’s probably user error. Oil was seeping out of every surface, or it seemed. Several two-inch puddles were left every time I parked. This time around I used something else, something I’m used to – regular silicone gasket maker (Hondabond HT) First, some basic steps in re-sealing the front timing cover and both oil pans without having to remove the head:

1. Pre-soak crank nut with penetrating fluid overnight. I used PB Blaster.
2. Drain oil and coolant
3. Disconnect and remove alternator, AFM/Airbox assembly, and hoses attached to the front timing cover. Also remove lower air valance.
4. Removing the water pump is optional. I didn’t remove it from the timing cover.
5. Lock the flywheel with a specialty tool, or jam a large screwdriver in the driver side bellhousing view port. I do the latter, works every time.
6. Using a powerful 1/2″ impact gun or 3/4″ – 1″ breaker bar with a 36 mm socket, remove the crank nut (right thread). FYI, I don’t like using the breaker bar method. IMO, puts a lot of stress on parts. Probably just me. If the nut doesn’t want to break loose, use a propane torch to carefully heat up the nut. Do this slowly and do not heat the pulley! The crank nut should now come loose. I used a 1/2″ air impact gun (~400 ft-lbs) from Harbor Freight. The nut broke loose after 5 seconds of full power.
7. Remove flywheel inspection cover, oil pump, and both oil pans. I only had to remove the driver side sway bar links to remove inspection cover. Upper oil pan slides out easily. Keep note of all bolts.
8. Clean all flange surfaces. This is where a can of Goof-Off really works nicely. It may seem like a docile home product, but it’s a super solvent. Use in a well ventilated area only! Spray it on the oil pan flanges and it’ll easily remove old grime, grease, and remnant sealer. Do the same for the block flanges. Use a Scotch pad if necessary. Finish with a wipe of brake cleaner.
9. Use your preferred sealant. I used Hondabond HT, it’s some of the best sealing stuff around. Only need to place it on one side, I opted for the cover and pan side for ease. Re-installation order is timing cover, upper pan, then lower pan. Place a 4-5 mm bead all the way around the cover/pan flange then smear it flat with your finger. The entire surface should be covered with a thin coat of sealant (no more than 1 mm). Also place a small bead in the upper timing corner where the block, head, and timing cover meet. This is a known leak zone. Attach the cover/pan to the other mating surface after one minute (for Hondabond). Do this for all then torque down normally.
10. Reattach all ancillaries and add fluids
11. Hondabond hardens after 3 hrs, and fully cures in 3 days.
12. Check for leaks

I have no leaks after a few days of driving. The dreaded upper timing case area is dry and everything has a nice gray bead. Now time to pressure wash my driveway. Arrg.

Sorry no pics! Hands too grimy.

IIGO chip and 276/264 cams

March 10th, 2013 Pierre

Soooo…it was a busy weekend. I decided to tackle two upgrades I’ve been waiting to do for 2 years. Last week I recieved my IIGO chip from Luis Marques. What a great chip! Pulls stronger and idles better. The AFR’s are right on target. Second, I installed my 276 regrind in the intake and moved the 264 to the exhaust side. The cam came in a 284/276 set – regrinds from stock 248s. Didn’t want to do the 284 just yet because of PV clearance and lash issues, so I started with the 276. I installed both at stock timing. Checked the PV clearance just by pushing on the buckets until the valve touches the piston. On my visual check, I had about 2 mm’s. This makes sense as they’re regrinds without additional lift. …maybe I can add that 284 after all.

That said, this combo really woke up the S14. Much more punchy in the 3000-5000…and a good bump above that. I’ll have a video up this week.

So far, my upgrades are:

- Lightened stock flywheel
- Evo Airbox
- IIGO chip
- 276 regrind on intake
- Evo II cam on exhaust
- 3″ exhaust
- Burns stainless Y-pipe (2 3/8″ throat to 3″ out)
- PLX Devices WB02 kit with narrow band output to DME
- K&N filter

Soon to be done:
- CR transmission
- 2.64 diff
- shim under buckets
- HD valve train
- MAF kit

Bmw E30 M3 vs Honda S2000

February 27th, 2013 Pierre

Hard to find this video, but here it is:

Not too shabby for an 80′s chassis.

BMW E30 M3: A Day in the Life – Part I

January 5th, 2013 Pierre

S14 Head Extraction Part II

July 5th, 2012 Pierre

Today I got around to resuming the head removal. I didn’t have much left so it went pretty quick. The intake and exhaust manifolds were left on for ease…or lazyness.    Once the head was off I didn’t find anything catastrophic, although the head gasket was pretty beat. No cracks that I can see. I checked the head surface with a steel straightedge – good there too. The coolant holes on the gasket seemed cruddy and rusty. I assume there wasn’t a good seal between cylinders 2/3 and the oil/coolant passages. I noticed while removing the head bolts that the bottom (exhaust side) ones seamed to come off easier. The top ones came off with a good snap – the bottom ones with a mild snap. Maybe the bolts just needed tightening?  Also, 3 of the exhaust side bolts were corroded with what almost looks like carbon deposits (pics soon). I’m not 100% sure what went wrong. I’ve got a new BMW head gasket going in on Saturday. Hopefully it’s just a leaky gasket. No mulah to spend on a rebuild right now.

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S14 Head extraction: Part I

July 1st, 2012 Pierre

Last night I began the lengthy, for an amateur, process of removing the head. The only other head I’ve removed was from my old M30 528i. This is much different – there are so many more things to unscrew. Good thing I like doing this sort of stuff! Removing the valve cover and cams, this is what I saw…

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Proof positive. Definate coolant and oil mixing…and not from condensation. These photos show triple banding of clean oil, milky oil, and dark oil. The previous owner probably used non-synthetic oil at long intervals, hence the dark staining. Now its running Mobil-1. The first oil change was even run with some Sea Foam. It’s very obvious the extra detergency of the oil coupled with Sea Foam is cleaning out the crud.
I quit here for now – Part II in a few days.