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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've decided its time to retire the M5 from track use and add something a little more affordable for track/race duty to the garage.

The M5 isn't going anywhere. I love this car and may never sell mine. The problem is that as much as I like wrenching it becomes cost prohibitive if I'm trying to get more than 5 events a season and get into wheel to wheel racing again. I want to learn how to drive and the best way to do that is something that is easy to fix and can race in multiple classes. Fortunately, we have a great E30 community in the northwest and I'll be shooting for competing in many Pro3 races this year. Some of the local endurance races also sound like a blast and I've been able to recruit some helping hands locally to get this build off the ground.

So, for a little more than a dealer tuneup on the M5, here's the beater!

1988 325is
5 speed
3.73 LSD
160k Miles

Complete Build Thread is here: http://vandersmith.tumblr.com/




Project Order:
1. Pull/Cut exhaust and Detach Driveshaft
2. Pull Engine/Transmission
3. Drop Front Suspension - Add Coilovers/Bushings/Swaybars/Paint
4. Cut Front Towers for Camber Plates
5. Front Brakes - Rotors/Calipers/Pads/SS Lines/Ducts/Wheel Hubs
6. Tie Rods/PS Delete/ABS Delete
7. Install Front Suspension/Brakes
8. Drop Rear Suspension and Subframe - Add Coilovers/Bushings/Swaybars/Reinforcement/Paint)
9. Rear Brakes - Rotors/Calipers/Pads/SS Lines/Bearings
10. Condition Differential - Clean/Gasket/Plug/Redline
11. Engine bay - Radiator/Oil Cooler/Fan Delete/Elec Fan/AC Delete
11. Engine Work - All Gaskets/Seals/Oil Baffle/Scraper/Pressure+Temp Sender/Clean/Paint
12. Transmission Work - Clutch/Slaves/Mounts/Bushings/Shifter/Clean/Paint
13. Engine/Transmission Installed
14. Sort out wiring and Mount seats
15. Bleed brakes
16. Cage Install
17. Dash Re-Install
18. Gauges/Shift Light Wired
19. New Doors/Fenders Hood
20. Exterior Paint
21. Race wheels/tires mounted
22. Race Alignment and Suspension Setup
23. Go!

Parts:


Engine
Stainless Headers (exhaust to come after)
TMS Performance Wires
Bosch Ignition Cap/Rotor/Coil
Turner Head Gasket Set
Ireland Oil Pan Windage Tray and Baffle
Condor Solid Motor Mounts
aFe Pro5R Air Filter
GMB Water Pump / Thermostat
Timing/Alternator/PS Belts
NGK ZGR5A Spark Plugs
Rotella 10w40 Oil
Bosch Fuel Filter
Mann Oil Filters
Fan Delete Stud Nut and Electric Fan
TMS Valve Cover Gasket Kit
TMS Performance Chip
New Starter and Alternator
Ireland Urethane Alternator Bushings
Drivetrain
Short Shifter
Condor Shifter Bushings
Condor Solid Differential Mounts
Condor Solid Transmission Mounts
Condor SubFrame Bushings
Ireland Bronze Clutch Pedal Bushing
Ireland Driveshaft Center Bearing
Ireland Driveshaft Guibo and HW
Stainless Clutch Line
Differential Gasket
Transmission Shift Shaft Seal
Differential and MT Plugs
F1 Stage 2 Clutch
New Clutch Master and Slave Cylinders
UUC Selector Rod
New MT and Differential Oil

Suspension
D-Force Stars 15x7 Wheels with Toyo RA1 225/50/15 Tires
D-Force Stars 15x7 Wheels with Toyo RR1 225/50/15 Tires
Ground Control Race Coilover System (F-600 R-750)
Suspension Techniques Front and Rear Sway Bars (F22mm/R19mm)
New Front Control Arms Condor Control Arm Bushings
Adjustable End Links
New Rear Spring Pads/Front Mounts/Bump Stops (backups)
New OEM tie rods
Ireland Front Strut Bar
eBay Rear Strut Bar
Ireland Rear Camber/Toe Kit
Front and Rear Sway Bar Reinforcements
Condor Rear Trailing Arm Bushings
Condor Power Steering Delete
Ireland Urethane Steering Coupler
New Front Wheel Hubs and Rear Bearings

Exterior
Race Skids Skid Plate
OEM 325is Spoiler
Stock Black Kidneys
Generic Hood Shock
Yellow Headlight Tint
Still need new doors, fenders, headlights and a windshield to comply with race condition rules
Buckets of paint

Interior
Race Components Cage - will be installed locally by a pro
Momo 350mm Steering Wheel
NRG Hub and Quick Release
Condor Shifter and Bushings
Bride Low Maxx Seats
RaceQuip 5 Point Harnesses
Recaro Racing Seat Mounts
AC Delete

Brakes
Front and Rear ATE Calipers
Ireland Brass Caliper Guides
Hawk HT-10 Race Front Pads
EBC RedStuff Rear Pads
Ireland (OEM) Front and Rear Rotors
Stainless Lines
Harrison Brake Cooling Ducts + Hoses
Motul RBF600 Brake Fluid
New Sensors and Parking Brake Shoes

Welding Req’d Reinforcements - need to check Pro3 spec first
Ireland Front Sway
TMS Rear Sway
Ireland Rear Strut Tower
Front and Rear Subframe


The Garage Workshop:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Not really a whole lot to it, car is just about ready to go out of the box.

Track Setup:
1. Swap to Track Brake Pads- I use EBC Yellowstuff
2. Bleed Brakes- I use Motul RBF600
3. Change oil and filter with OEM (not necessary but I always like to be sure)
4. Mount OEM Wheels (i only use these for track) with Hankook V12s, get them balanced and double check lug torques.
5. Get a more aggressive alignment
6. Bring food, water and track tools/gear (extra oil/brake fluid/etc). Fold out chairs.
7. Attend classroom sessions and listen to instructors when available. Watch faster drivers and note their lines.
8. Check tire pressures throughout the day.
9. Stay hydrated.
10. Lose any ego and have fun.
 

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Nice man. My e60 will get seriously tracked. I'm very excited. Currently I track an 04 cobra and 00 Lightning. I run the same pads.

Back on subject.. I'm anxious to see how your new project comes out. I found a e30 for real cheap and might make a lemons race car out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice man. My e60 will get seriously tracked. I'm very excited. Currently I track an 04 cobra and 00 Lightning. I run the same pads.

Back on subject.. I'm anxious to see how your new project comes out. I found a e30 for real cheap and might make a lemons race car out of it.
Awesome! There are a lot of great tracks out in TX.

If you're going to track the E60 a lot, I'd really look at the usual suspects=brakes/suspension/tires. This is a heavy car and although the brakes are huge they will fade after multiple laps. BBKs would be the best. Finding track tires isn't easy on 19s and I never found a set of affordable lightweight 18s that could clear the brakes.

All of that being said, I was able to get 5 track days last year doing just the above and had a blast. You have a few more options in your area and should definitely let the beast loose!
 

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First track day is the 29th of this month! Will get pics and video. Going to Texas world speedway. :)
Find some RDSport sway bars for your e60, and you can say good-bye to stock understeer. HUGE improvement over stock. There are several threads on RDSport sways.

OP~ can't wait to see your e30 build!
 

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That looks like a lot of fun!!! love the garage!!!! good luck!
 

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Awesome! There are a lot of great tracks out in TX.

If you're going to track the E60 a lot, I'd really look at the usual suspects=brakes/suspension/tires. This is a heavy car and although the brakes are huge they will fade after multiple laps. BBKs would be the best. Finding track tires isn't easy on 19s and I never found a set of affordable lightweight 18s that could clear the brakes.

All of that being said, I was able to get 5 track days last year doing just the above and had a blast. You have a few more options in your area and should definitely let the beast loose!

There's a thread on the E63 M6 forum about guys being able to use 18" Apex ARC wheels. I use these wheels (in the 17" size) on my e36 M3 race car, and they are a great combination of strength and price. When I tracked my M5 (was one of the very first starting in 2006), I could not find an 18" wheel that could be used. Remember, it's not just a matter of finding a wheel that will fit over the caliper, but one that will leave enough space between the caliper and the interior of the wheel to allow heat dissipation. There are more 19" track tire options now too. For example, the Toyo R888 is available in 245/35/19 and 295/30/19. Hoosier makes the R6 (a good step up from the R888) in sizes that are not as close but may work too.

Brakes are not the limiting factor on this car. Tires are. If you move to an R-comp tire, you will see a dramatic improvement in stopping power, as I found when I used Michelin Pilot Sport Cups. I did not have fading problems on the VIR Full Course, which has several hard braking zones. But this is very track dependent. For example, the much shorter VIR South Course, with lower top speeds, is noticeably harder on brakes because they don't get time to cool on long straights.

A big vote in favor of as much negative front camber as you can reasonably find. Without camber plates, you can get up to -1.75 degrees. With camber plates you should be able to get -3.0 or even -3.5. This will help turn in and tire wear a lot, but isn't suitable for street driving.

Finally, guys, a big caution about safety. Looking back on my year and a half of tracking the M5, I feel that I really got away with something. Hitting 163 mph each lap with nothing but a three-point seatbelt and a helmet was downright stupid. At that speed if something goes wrong -- and if you do this long enough, something will go wrong -- the consequences are likely dire. Now that I track only the race car with a full cage, harnesses, HANS, fire suppression, etc., I can't get into a car without that safety gear and go as fast. So, yes. it's a blast, but be careful and if you have found that the track bug has bitten you hard, consider strongly getting a dedicated track car with the proper safety gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Week 1 Update:
Lots of work left but we're making progress.
Dry iced interior sound deadening.
Cooling system is out.
Front Suspension and Brakes are out.
Engine, Transmission and Driveshaft are out.
AC and Power Steering Deleted.
Transmission, Intake Manifold and other parts are ready for paint.
More parts have arrived - Thanks Turner Motorsports!

Tomorrow:
Cleaning underbody, wheel wells and engine bay.
Prepping a few parts for paint.
Removing Headliner and some wiring.

Week 1 Start (Saturday the car was running):

Radiator out and headlights out:

Radiator Comparison (CX Racing Left/Stock Right)

Removing front suspension/brakes:

Drilling Out and Tapping Rotor to Hub Bolts:


Day 1 of Teardown Complete:


Day 2-
Manifold Off:

Engine/Tranny Ready to Pulled:

Break Time:

1.

2.

3.

Out!

All of the parts we've pulled so far:



Day 3: Cleaning
30 Years of Built up Grime and Grease:

Engine Preview before cleaning and rebuild:



Degreasing Transmission and Brackets:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Week 2/3 Update:

Nearing the final phases of the tear down. Busy couple of weeks!
-Updated Main Build Page: http://vandersmith.tumblr.com/
-Painted Transmission
-Painted Engine/Transmission Mounts and other brackets
-Removed Rear Suspension and Subframe
-Engine Rebuild Started

Rear Subframe and Suspension Removal:

First things first, check these rear brakes out:



Pulling the Differential Out First:


3.73 LSD Condition:





Time to get started on the Subframe:


The car came from a city near the the Pacific Ocean, "Ocean Shores" and it appears the PO took it for a few spins on the beach as you can see a few pounds of sand in my garage that fell out of the bumper when we were trying to hammer the subframe bolts out. There isn't any rust on this car anywhere except here. Throughout the entire tear down we'd been joking about what the first real snag was going to be as pretty much everything had been going pretty smoothly. That changed pretty quick.

Subframe Bolts were a nightmare. They were both bent and frozen. The Steel had fused to the Aluminum sleeves within the OEM Bushings due to corrosion. We had to use an air chisel to remove most of the bushing then a long 3/8" drill bit to make holes in the top hat where the bushing meets the frame. With a little more hammering and prying we were able to get it to drop. Many on the forums had mentioned torching the bushing out and I think you'd have to be insane to put heat that close to the fuel tank. No business but monkey business here.

Since the bushing came out leaving the bolt still fused to the sleeve, we had to grind and sawzall those mothers out.



Here's what the bolts looked like after the battle:



Rear Suspension Graveyard:



Primer Gray Transmission. May end up going a little brighter:


Engine Clean Up

Starting Point:




Couple of Bottles Later and a Wire Brush:



First Wave of Cleaning Done:




Few More Waves with Wire Brush:




Final Wire Brush - Almost Paint Ready:



Engine Rebuild Begins:







More Goodies Arrived!

Turner Motorsports Delivered:
-Head Gasket
-Exhaust Gaskets
-Recaro Seat Mounts
-Oil Filters



Ireland Engineering delivers!
Congrats IE on the new building and thanks for getting these out the door so quickly during the move!
-Front Strut Bar
- 14” Electric Radiator Fan
-Rear Billet Strut Mounts and Reinforcements
-Brass Brake Guide Bushings
-Oil Baffle and Scraper
-Poly Steering Coupler
-Poly Alternator Bushings
-Brass Clutch Pedal Bushings
-Frame Reinforcements
-Driveshaft Bushing and Guibo


Roll Cage Arrives!
Provided by Roll Cage Components out of VA who specialize in selling precut kits for thousands of cars and applications. We ordered their E30 kit with 1-3/4” x .120” DOM tubing, NASCAR style doors for driver/passenger, dash cross beam, rear x-bar and 6 mounting points.
Welding starts as soon as we finish the engine rebuild and bolt up the suspension. Waiting on a few parts until we can get that started.



M5's Last Track Day (for now)

The M5's final track day is this Saturday at The Ridge in Shelton for my IRDC Competition Licensing course. This is the next big step in meeting all of my requirements for Novice racing this season in Pro3 before getting out there with the big dogs. I'll take plenty of photos and will try to get some video of a few laps.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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I was actually just thinking that when it arrived. TMS didn't have the manufacturer listed on the Head Gasket Kit they sell. I think I'll return this one and order either OEM or the steel gasket IE sells and seal it with copper.
I second your idea. You know what you're doing, and you don't need me to tell you that. Sometimes though it's nice to get some positive affirmation.

By the way: much e30, very like.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I second your idea. You know what you're doing, and you don't need me to tell you that. Sometimes though it's nice to get some positive affirmation.

By the way: much e30, very like.
I definitely don't know half of what were doing but I know how to use the search function well and can find what we need. Thankfully E30 community is full of people with a lot of experience and are willing to share their knowledge. A lot of that same spirit shows up here too.
 
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