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E30 Rally Car Tips

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by Bimmerdude3, Dec 2, 2010.

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    Im building a "rally" car, mostly focused on snow/ice, gravel and dirt trails. But it must stay street legal. Probably gunna turbo it eventually im just looking to get a lot of traction in incliment weather. So far for traction ive got tires, + weight, shocks maybe...

    Im using a 1987 325e 4dr as a base.
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    Any tips on what to get for added traction?
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Adding traction to an E30

    Sure: a 325iX!

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    I would love an iX but that ate into the turbo budget to much. I haven't seen a good one of them for under 1500, love them and the possibility of unhooking the front transfer case.

    Might be getting some new ebay rims, 15 x 8s and some Articmax Studded tires.
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    MGarrison

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    I doubt Satch has time to relay everything it took to reinforce, strengthen, rebuild, and tweak to make his E30 325ix something that could be relied upon to survive the rigors of running through the remotest arctic areas on all kinds of roads in the worst of conditions and temperatures. But, if you dig around, I suspect you might find a few others out there in the rally world that could lend some insight, that maybe have even done up E30's.

    If you're not gonna go for an 'ix, plus all of it's particularly unique issues, then obviously traction is only via the rear wheels. If you're talking a bunch of hp, you may find you have to strengthen the entire drivetrain. - clutch, driveshaft, transmission, differential, all their mountings, bushings, and reinforcing the base sheet metal at any attachment points. The E30 drivetrain can absorb some extra stress from bumping hp/torque, but you might want to have conversations with others who've done something similar if you're gonna go over... I'm gonna guess 300 crankshaft hp.

    Since you only have the rear wheels working for you, you're gonna have to get a pretty beefy diff setup - if you're only going to drive it on loose-traction surfaces, maybe a full-locker or welded-up diff. A little difficult to get one of those around turns though if you're on asphalt. I guess if you want it street legal/driveable, maybe 75% lockup. I don't suspect something like a quaife is appropriate for rallying, if one wheel's off the ground (entirely possible in rallying, even if only momentarily), it'll freewheel.

    Protecting the front underside's pretty critical. The oilpan is _right_ there and exposed, so you'd want a skidplate that'll take the abuse and uh, not pass it on, as it were. I would think it would be more ideal to beef up chassis rigidity with a substantial roll-bar and cage, plus some additional tieing-together of the frame rails, similar to the E36 x-brace. And the shocktowers, with more than just tower-to-tower stress braces. If you keep the stock fuel tanks, those would probably need some extra protection too.

    Once you're reliably getting power to the rear wheels, your suspension and tire choice will be the determining factors for getting it to the ground. I don't know the stress limits for the halfshafts and cv joints, but worth keeping in mind if stock ends up not holding up there, then you have to end up engineering your own solution.

    So.... good luck with the project!

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    EDIT: By the way, I dont want to know all your tricks and secrets, those are classified! But I would like to see a picture of anyone elses rally car!!!


    Awesome! Thanks for the pointers, I was thinking about skid plates and protecting the bottom but I wasn't thinking past buying some plates lol. The reinforcement I agree with a rally car probably goes through hell twice and back compared to most race cars.

    I dont want to say im giving it a half assed attempt, but the roll cage is out of the question temporarily. I want to build it up as a daily first and then later on down the road beef it up the all out way. I will be reinforcing the drivetrain, subframe, etc. In due time, since its a daily by choice im going to piece meal it. Getting running nicely, then some cosmetics then all focus on the mission. Its still waiting on its paintjob.

    As for a diff I wasn't sure what would be better, if traction is minimal I was thinking a lower ratio might be better like a 3.15. I gunna have to do some more research there.

    As for power I was thinking around 240-280 wheel, im probably going to run some cheapo turbo parts since im keeping the boost low and this cars not one im going to punch it and stress it a lot. Thats what the e36 is for =).

    My current project is to redo the interior, mtech steering wheel, mtech bumpers, paint, etc. And start the turbo project. Ill update this thread as my build thread if this is the proper location for that sort of thing.


    Again thanks for the tips ya'll

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    Okay so shes about to turn over and then the real work will commence, if it doesn't explode in flames. Im in the market for a chip, ive been hovering over the W.A.R. chip from miller performance, just based on its user involved programability. Im sure its limited but now it also seems the shark injector has created a USB functional bred.

    Does anyone have a USB compatible Shark Injector??

    Basically im just looking for something user programable, that I can run a couple N/A tunes from and a few turbo tunes aswell.


    The next few things on the list include:

    - Drill out the stupid wheel locks

    - New lighting all-round

    - Re-wrap headliner (got some cool fabric)

    - Z3 shifter or SSK

    - Installing the turbo or atleast making some progress on the turbo front
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    MGarrison

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    afaik, the self-tunable options are the war chip and megasquirt. I found the whole megasquirt thing to be a bit intimidating, so I went for the WAR chip, which is a bit more of a package install (still took rigamarole to get it up and running, and installed, so it's not exactly a pop-it-in, fire 'er up-an-go, but it's a good way to go if you want a MAF conversion). There was some buzz on bf, roadfly, or elsewhere (forgot where) about development of a self-tunable system from Conforti, I think it seems that's been put on hold. With the engine in stock form, there's only so much that can be gained from chip tuning - you may not gain much from the WAR until you start some engine mods, so perhaps just a standard chip for the moment would work as well. However, if the money's at hand, you'll be one step along, and beginning to gain familiarity with the WAR (or megasquirt, whichever you might choose).

    If you really have a concern over fuel leaks, check those out before you get it running - fuel injector seals in the manifold and fuel rail, fuel lines, etc.

    http://www.diyautotune.com/catalog/bmw-motronic-55-pin-adapter-pcb-p-194.html

    The WAR doesn't have logging built in, but the stock 02 sensor isn't sensitive enough for that ideally anyway. For tuning yourself, you're going to need to be able to log 02 data, or expect to throw some money at dyno runs. Even if you diy-tune, one problem is getting runs safely. Kinda hard to find someplace to run up to redline thru 3rd gear without risking tickets or a reckless driving ticket. Driver's schools however...... :D

    http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/products.php

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    I really want to thank you for taking the time to respond. I think im going to go with the W.A.R. chip simply because it seems the most straight forward at the time. The closest to plug and play while being user alterable. I also was a fan of them on a few forums before the idea panned out so ive been reading up on there idea for awhile. Im curious to the hacking abilitys to use other programs with the chip, which I have heard are possible.

    I actually haven't taken the time to research megasqirt, ill do that when I get some time on my hands though. However you said you have a W.A.R. chip, would you recommend it? Im pretty much sold on the deal, just would rather get tires with that 300.

    As for the tickets I guess I could buy like a 7.01 LSD and see what happens merging onto the highway, lol
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I'd recommend it, but with a note of caution that a self-tunable chip also opens up the possibility for one to screw some setting up royally, either inadvertently or unknowingly, with the result that you kill your engine. As long as anyone understands that risk and does their homework before diving in with the tweaking, they should be good-2-go.

    However, from what I'm seeing perusing the Miller site, they don't have a chip or tune setup for your stock ETA M20 engine. E30 applications are the 318is, M3, and 325i, not the 325e. If you call them and ask directly, you'll get an answer if they've done anything for eta's, but if so, I'd presume they would have made it available for sale. So, unless you decide to build that eta into an 'i' or throw your M50 into the car (maybe you want to hit craigslist in my parts - somebody around here is asking under $3k for their M50-converted E30, which I think was a mostly completed project), I think you're going to be out of luck for the Miller MAF conversion and WAR chip.

    The E30 is not a bad base for any particular project (unless it's consumed with rust), but the basic eta M20 in stock form isn't going to get you very far real quick for mods and builds. Read the "Performance" section here at the bottom - http://www.e30eta.com/ec.htm. If you really want a reliable turbo motor, you _may_ well be better of starting with the 2.5l 'i' engine, or building one starting with a 325i as your base. However, all that's expensive, which has made the M50-type conversions extremely popular; 200 or more hp with the reliability of a stock M50 or S50, with capability for more from standard relatively inexpensive mods (cams, breathing, chips, etc). However, not having pursued that, I would certainly defer to anyone who has; if you know folks that have turbo'd an eta with a reliable result, they could be a good "go-to" for starters.

    perhaps pertinent reading for you (just from some quick googling, search for yourself and I imagine you'll find more) -

    http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48288
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-1421313.html
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-1180756.html
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-1167961.html
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-420580.html

    If you find someone with a 7.01 gearset for E30's, let us know, I imagine folks will want to see links and pictures - :p Problem is, might be too short of a pull - hitting redline in 5th gear at a top speed of 47 mph. I don't think will get you the datalogging results you'd need for tuning!

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/2078565076.html

    Now, I suspect that it _could_ be possible to go the megasquirt route and make a MAF conversion work on an eta, but uh... good luck on figuring out how to do that (not being a fuel injection expert nor an engineer, as I mentioned, there's so much to figure out with the megasquirt setup that it's a bit intimidating). And, your initial tune might have to be pretty dang rough, or a at-best guesstimate. But, never-say-die, I would think it's possible.

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    Wow thanks for all the info man. My plans where to do the 327i budget stroker deal but the running 325is I found for 500 bucks fell through so my plans where put off. Too bad to, it had an mtech steering wheel and bumpers, SSK and alot more.

    Question for you all; Laguna Seca, Interlagos, Alpine, or Techno Violet??

    Ill have to look into the WAR chip and megasquirt somemore. Maybe ill have to do the swap earlier and just fix this current vehicle up for sale. Ive gots ome reading to do.

    Im planning on building a SE36 so I can do some club racing next season. Trying to build it over winter well see. I let you guys know how the painting goes cause I havent even inspected the underside of this car ever. It was so cheap I said screw it lol.
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    tiFreak

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    E30's always look good in Alpine, other than that I'd say it's between Techno and Interlagos, LSB doesn't really do it for me on E30s

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    **** lol, LSB won for now atleast. I agree alpine looks great but there are too many it felt to boring. I really wanted to do interlagos or techno but my skills arent on par for it. There metallics and PITA ones at that which make it pretty hard to shoot them. My last techno piece turned black, then silver, then like doo-doo mix all in two hours while drying.

    The LSB mostlikely will be temporary maybe. Ill proabbly get lazy, but my race car project coming soon will definatly be techno.

    Just did a quick color coat on the trunk...
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    This and that

    Okay: Cover of Roundel, maybe August 2008? 2009?

    Meanwhile: Techno Violet?! EEEEEEwwwww! If you must use purple, go DAYTONA Violet. There was actually an E30 color very similar called Something-Or-Other Blue (I'll look it up, if you like: Macau Blue, maybe?).

    Alpine White is better if you want to add graphics. . . like Motorsport stripes or flames. :eek:

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    I think I need to collect some old issues. Mauritis Blue? What kind of blue are we talking?

    Laguna for now, I half assed it and did a crappy job anyway so the final color is yet to come but it looks way better than 10 shades of primer. Alpine may win by default, its too common for my taste on such an old car but oh well still looks good.

    Ran into a huge problem jjust now trying to jack the rear end of my car up it appears there is no rear jacking point. Probably rusted away this is weird.
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    MGarrison

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    I can't remember where I saw it lately, it was a post on some other forums, with a diagram of where to jack and what to use. The points on the side rails where you put the factory jack for changing a flat have that lip, which will get crushed by a floor jack. At the front, use the beefy part of the in-board frame rails, at the rear, ideally, the rear subframe. I typically will jack up at the rear subframe bolt, but that's less than ideal as the weight is all on what essentially is a long bolt. If you have a lot of rust, jacking at the rear factory points or the subframe bolt could be a problem, but I would think you should be able to get a wheel off the ground by jacking on the rear subframe - which could be rusty too, but is much beefier than the sheet metal sills, and you wouldn't expect it to be rusted out.
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    Brian A

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    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    Yeah, I didn't realize it was that little lip with the amount of rust on this car my initial thoughts were NO WAY IN HELL! Then I got ****ed because I threw these 205/60 snows from my e36 "is" on my borbets that were running 195/60. Great news fronts rub but the rear fit fine and there a little wider by a half inch. Very pleased, planning a snowboarding trip next week well see how she does in the snow before I start ripping apart the suspension.

    Bimmerdude3 guest

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    Instead of cluttering the thread I figured id just post up a link to an album, you can view it via the link below.

    http://s586.photobucket.com/albums/ss301/bimmerdude03/E30 Rally Car Project/

    This is the first time I looked underneath this car and inspected any of the components. The reason I hadnt was because I had a hunch and well I was correct. Everything is crap, everything is going to need attention and/or replacement. Hopefully its not a rust bucket but if it is were looking for a new shell.

    First assessment:

    - if I had a more recent tetnis shot I would have wiggled the brakes into chips on the garage floor.

    - The PO took the rotor retaining screws out and never replaced them (..... who does that)

    - Sway Bars must be useless given the condition of the mounts, and would be better off the car for weight reduction, lol.

    - Tie rods look like they could snap any minute

    - SHocks are shot, springs look crunchy, Exhaust is surprisingly still attached to the car (im not sure why though)

    The GOOD!!!!!

    - Chassis looks recoverable, 325e parts are cheaper than dirt coming from an M car, it turns on at the moment. That is all!

    Yeah thats the only reason I figured it out and I was still in disbelief. Great picture though in so many ways, thats a great way to work on the underside of your car.

    So im down to this overheating problem, which I think is just coming from having air in the system. If I bleed it, it may correct. We'll see.

    Other than that, finishing the paint job and fixing the shifter and I should be ready for plates!!
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    tiFreak

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    MGarrison

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    And if you have only two jackstands, don't center one on the front subframe, and center the other on the rear subframe. :p

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