NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

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TaylorGoesFast
Upcoming E21 fanatic
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:53 pm
My E21(s): 83 320i, 95 325i Spec 3 Race Car
Location: Washington, DC

Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by TaylorGoesFast »

Jeroen wrote: Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:47 pm Glad you didn't encounter any significant issues!

However, I heard another rumour that saddens me!
Yes, the rumor is unfortunately true. I hope to be back some day.

Single mass flywheel conversion finished, cool suit installed, new transponder wired up, cleaned car and redid my sticker/vinyl placement, also I was gifted the Spec3 test wheels so I'm now rocking some 17x8 Konig Hypergrams. Drove to Raleigh on Thursday to pick up my new enclosed trailer (financed, zero down, yolo) and then drove essentially straight to PittRace with a stop along the way to load the car.

The weekend went well. I had not been to PittRace since 2019 and I've never raced there (was in HPDE2 in 2019). The first day was really just to get my feet wet and get comfortable going door to door with folks on a foreign track. The trailer was an absolute blessing and gave me a place to sleep, relax, change, and store my stuff out of the rain. My goal for the weekend was to improve my times to a 2:08, which I smashed in the first warm up session sunday, running consistent 2:07s. The car developed a severe clunk, however, and I had to figure out what that was. It turns out my diff bolt and subframe bolts had started to back out a little bit. They were "tight" but not tight enough. I snugged all of those down and was good to go.

Qualified 6th on Sunday and finished 5th.

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2011 F150
1995 BMW 325i Spec 3 Race Car
2008 BMW 128i 6 Speed Sport Package
1983 BMW 320i
2005 Kinetic SC
User avatar
Jeroen
Site Admin
Posts: 27648
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:23 pm
My E21(s): '81 323i Baur
Location: The Netherlands
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Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by Jeroen »

Always the trouble with diffs! But other than that... sounds close to perfection.



Apart from selling the E21, of course :sealed
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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TaylorGoesFast
Upcoming E21 fanatic
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:53 pm
My E21(s): 83 320i, 95 325i Spec 3 Race Car
Location: Washington, DC

Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by TaylorGoesFast »

Before this last event here at VIR, I didn't manage to do much work except install a radiator duct and do a nut and bolt check on the car. The car seemed to be in good enough shape anyway.

Saturday went well, picked up about a second every session I went out. In the race on Saturday, some wires under the dash melted and forced me to retire early. It took a lot of time digging around to find what all had melted, and eventually it became clear that it was nothing I could fix at the track. I'm going to need to pull the whole harness out and get it thinned out properly.

The fix for the time being was to run without a gauge cluster so that the worst wire that was completely melted was not powered. The qualifying session went pretty well and I started the race in 6th of out 9 racers. Driving without any gauges is harder than I thought and I missed quite a few shifts. I went off in T1 after starting to pull away from the folks at the back and dropped to last, but this was a blessing. The rest of the race was a lot of fun trying to get past the guys that got around me, but it was extremely clear to me that my car was down on power by a lot compared to the other folks, which was frustrating.

Near the end of the race, the engine became more and more sickly and eventually started misfiring bad enough for me to pull back into the paddock. I had no gauges at all, so I had no idea if it was running hot, but it has since become clear that the head gasket failed around cylinder 5 and that cylinder 2 has/had bad rings (which explains why I haven't had any power). I cancelled my registration for nationals and will be sourcing a new engine, and thinning my harness properly. I hope to be ready for Hyperfest in October.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpCK0H59GBc
2011 F150
1995 BMW 325i Spec 3 Race Car
2008 BMW 128i 6 Speed Sport Package
1983 BMW 320i
2005 Kinetic SC
User avatar
Jeroen
Site Admin
Posts: 27648
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:23 pm
My E21(s): '81 323i Baur
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by Jeroen »

Oops! Well on a positive note you have something to do the upcoming weeks... hope you'll find a new power plant soon!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

Also see our E21 Facebook Group!
TaylorGoesFast
Upcoming E21 fanatic
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:53 pm
My E21(s): 83 320i, 95 325i Spec 3 Race Car
Location: Washington, DC

Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by TaylorGoesFast »

Picked up another engine from a guy in DC. Decided I would NOT open it up unless it seemed completely needed since I was clearly messing up something along the way with the last engine. Pulled the current engine and found that the head gasket failed on the driver side of cylinder #5 for no apparent reason and that Cylinder #2 was low on compression as well from the bottom end. The radiator seemingly took a big lick when something flew off another car and broke out my grill going into Oak Tree, but I'm not sure that really affected cooling capacity. 

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 Installed my baffled oil pan, safety wired oil pump nut, new gasket, new o ring for the dip stick, valve cover gasket, rear main, and some other seals on the "new" engine and also found that my oil filter housing had a huge piece of plastic jamming the drain back valve open which answers my question about why the engine took so long to build oil pressure on startup. I also bought all new equipment for the cooling system (new CSF radiator, aluminum expansion tank, stewart water pump, hoses, thermostat, etc), Installed the engine and got everything bolted back up and started going through my wire harness to fix whatever caused the small fire I had. It seems one wire I cut actually had THREE ends, and thus was still connected even though I cut one end. It was the 12v charge signal from the alternator to the gauge cluster that controls the alternator light and also excited the alternator itself. I ran a new wire for that and double checked everything else. I think I should be fine to run one more race before I send my harness off to a pro to get thinned.

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2011 F150
1995 BMW 325i Spec 3 Race Car
2008 BMW 128i 6 Speed Sport Package
1983 BMW 320i
2005 Kinetic SC
TaylorGoesFast
Upcoming E21 fanatic
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:53 pm
My E21(s): 83 320i, 95 325i Spec 3 Race Car
Location: Washington, DC

Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by TaylorGoesFast »

Well... it happened AGAIN.

Junk yard motor was amazing until it wasn't. Battled some issues with the cooling system to start the day, but got it sorted and ran a new Personal Best by 2 full seconds (consistently) and qualified 5th out of 15 drivers for the Friday race. My mirror fell off during the race, but I ended up in 4th place with the 3rd place guy in my sights and running similar times, then with 2 or 3 laps left... I dropped a valve.

Lesson learned? Replace valve retainers on these cars before anything else. I've got some horrible luck (no one else has seen a failure rate like I have), but also that's on me for slapping a junkyard motor in all willy-nilly like that.

I picked up a built head from a fellow racer, but the head is undocumented, meaning I don't know for sure what was done except valve seals, and 14 new valves. I'm 80% certain the valve retainers were replaced, but I'm not sure I want to chance it. Depending on when parts get here, I may try to have everything back together for an even I'm instructing at next Thursday. Fingers crossed.
2011 F150
1995 BMW 325i Spec 3 Race Car
2008 BMW 128i 6 Speed Sport Package
1983 BMW 320i
2005 Kinetic SC
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