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SAW's E46 M3 Track Project

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Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:01 am PostPost subject:
E2-SAW
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Joined: 21 Aug 2009
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Location: Falkirk

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Most when going for same width front and rear go for a 9.5" width rather than 10", so it probably is a little bit overkill. I do think it'll bet better than 8.5" front and 9.5" rear though.

But, this might be on hold for the mean time.

Bit of a set back with the car.

Hadn't used it for a couple of weeks so boosted the battery about 10 days before i was due to take it on track. Engine started to sound really terrible. I had an oil change planned for it but didn't think it was that. After already having the Vanos unit replaced by Mr Vanos in June, i was starting to get worried.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anv_fwflkl4

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anv_fwflkl4[/youtube]

Contacted Mr Vanos, who was more worried than i was. He hasn't had a unit fail in the 8 years he's been doing these, so he was very keen to come and see what was going on.

He had a similar call from another customer earlier this year. Similar case. His remedy was removing the timing chain tensioner, working it free of movement and draining the oil from it and all good after refitting.

I went about stripping off the chain tensioner, removing all the oil and cleaning it



Had some bother getting it back together with that circlip constantly not holding in place, so i bought a new tensioner through BMW Cotswold.

Fitted the new one - noise was exactly the same. Nightmare.

Mr Vanos was keen to see what was going on, so he was round this afternoon and had a look round the engine (i didn't do any diagnosis or removing of anything myself due to the warranty of the vanos unit)

Vanos unit all appeared to be ok, all the bolts tight so not an issue there. Strange.

What we could see however, is that the large chain guide (which is on the inlet side of the engine) appears to have some contact points on it from the chain (clean metal mark). The chain appeared tight but it does have some points in it where it is 'lifting' and 'not tight enough' for use of the right term. The chain may have become slack or stretched due to the other chain guide being snapped and renewed previously.

Looking further at the guide in question, it appears that a part of it is coming away or has slipped from its position.

The picture is terrible, difficult to get focus on it with the space and lighting.



So what does this all mean?
Well, to change the timing chain and to change the guide in question, the full cylinder head needs to come off the block and the sump needs to come off also. It would only be right when this far into the engine to renew the rod bearings and bolts due to the mileage of the car and what my intentions are for using it.

The best option at present would be to take Mr Vanos up on his price of a full engine overhaul.
The work would consist of the cylinder head being exchanged for one he has rebuilt already with new stem seals, valves reseated and all that jazz, have the bottom end bearings renewed and new rod bolts fitted, new timing chain and guides, all fluids/consumables supplied and all labour, price coming in at 1800.

Extremely frustrating, but aren't cars just that! All other upgrades for the moment are cancelled, most likely going to put the Grid's up for sale and run with the 219's for a while. I'll look into Mr V doing the steering rack and hose at the same time, as there is the slightest of play in it and the hydraulic hose is weeping (subframe will be full off so ideal time), and if i can manage to get enough money together i'll look into a pair of ARB's to upgrade it as well.

Difficult breaking this to the wife who's looking forward to buying buggy's, car seats and baby gear in the new year, but we'll make it work.

A bit of me thought about saving the expense and selling the M3 as is, getting an E60 M5 and not fiddle with that, but the urge to fettle an M5 would be too much, and i don't think the M3 is worth much needing what it needs, so would be too far away from considering a decent M5.

So i'll stick with it, get the work done early next year when the funds are available and make sure i can get to as many track days as possible to take advantage of the work being done.

To cheer me up, i starts looking at some of the pro pics from Oulton Park.































Roll on 2017 for less mending, less spending and hopefully more driving.
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Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:46 pm PostPost subject:
E2-SAW
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Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 49
Location: Falkirk

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Decided i'll stick with the Grid Drifts. Put the tyres from the BMW wheels on to them, will need to change the fronts over once they are worn down as theres slightly too much stretch for the width of the wheels.

Happy with how it looks though.











One from instagrime
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Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:02 pm PostPost subject:
Ali M
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Joined: 09 Jun 2008
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Glad to see your sticking with it through the issues and seems liked you have a good plan in place.

It sounded awesome at Oulton Cool
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Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:14 am PostPost subject:
E2-SAW
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Joined: 21 Aug 2009
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Location: Falkirk

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Ali M wrote:
Glad to see your sticking with it through the issues and seems liked you have a good plan in place.

It sounded awesome at Oulton Cool

Thanks Ali.
I feel I'm too far in to stop here and lose out on everything else that's been done up until now. The engine 'should' be pretty bullet proof once complete. Hoping to have it down there in a few weeks ready for rebuild once Mr Vanos has space in the garage.

You got yourself an airbox yet? Get involved with the noise Wink
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Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:23 pm PostPost subject:
Ali M
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E2-SAW wrote:
Ali M wrote:
Glad to see your sticking with it through the issues and seems liked you have a good plan in place.

It sounded awesome at Oulton Cool

Thanks Ali.
I feel I'm too far in to stop here and lose out on everything else that's been done up until now. The engine 'should' be pretty bullet proof once complete. Hoping to have it down there in a few weeks ready for rebuild once Mr Vanos has space in the garage.

You got yourself an airbox yet? Get involved with the noise Wink


Yeah, definitely cant stop with it now.

Airbox will sound epic, I need to get that sorted!
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Wed May 17, 2017 12:26 pm PostPost subject:
E2-SAW
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Location: Falkirk

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Not updated in a while - a few things have changed and are in the process since

15th April 2017
So i had a change of heart on the wheels. The 219M's kept looking at me in the garage. Could have sold them plenty of times but i had an idea.

Never seen an E46 run a square set of 219M's, so i thought i'd look into it.

Sold the Grid Drifts pretty quickly, then found another set of 219M's pretty close by (well, in Ellon, so a good wee drive away).

So i am now running them as a square 18x9.5 et23 set. 2 of the wheels are Ferric Grey, another 2 are black and very very rough. They will be painted Ferric Grey in time. I now have x4 fronts to sell on, same as above 2 of them in Ferric Grey and 2 in black and rough as.

Purchased the tyres for them yesterday and had them fitted along with raising the front 10mm. 265/35/18 Yokohama Advan A048's are the choice this time round. Thanks to Andy @ Automek for supplying them, fitting them to the wheels then setting up the height perfectly. They were from his Time Attack car from last year and have done one test session, but are not a controlled tyre for his class this year so are no use to him.

The car looks great on them. Going to try and get 10mm spacers on the rear, then i think stance wise it will be perfect. The turn in with the 9.5" wide fronts along with new tyres and height adjustment is massively improved. Car is a joy to drive, although road noise from the tyres is pretty bad until they are warm'd up.

I've also fitted a small front plate. It's sized perfectly to fit inside the front bumper bar width.















Up next - car is going to Mr Vanos for some work:-
Cylinder Head rebuild
New timing chain and chain guides
Bottom end bearings and rod bolts replaced.
Purple Tag Steering Rack with Hack Engineering Power Steering Pipe

Dropping the car with Mr Vanos next Friday, nice wee drive to Darlington with my old man then a train journey back home after, although he's considering stopping and looking at a new car for him on the way home.
Once the cars complete, will run the engine in, change the oil over, the engine will then be fully live mapped, then it'll be onto getting bucket seats fitted and getting some track time organised. Sounds simple!
April has been some month so far, and is shaping up to be massive overall!!

29th April 2017
Dropped the car with Mr Vanos last Friday (21st April) for engine work to be carried out.

Went over a few of the finer details with Steve once there. We confirmed that a Cometic Head Gasket would be used rather than an OEM BMW item, and that the piston bores and oil pump would be examined with results sent over to me when known.

Monday night, and the engine was out of the car.





Tuesday and the engine was split apart, and some feedback was sent over.

I had complained about a slight misfire on power between 2k and 3k rpm, something which wasn't evident on the map. The below picture shows exactly what the misfire was.



The common S54 head gasket failure, on this occasion between No1 and No2 cylinder.

Inspection of the bores, majority OK but No1 and No2 are bore washed, crowns of the pistons also covered in oil.



Steve commented that the oil had a smell of fuel to it. The previous flash remap, when checked, was overfuelling low down in comparison to that of the current remap for the GSR Airbox (AFR's between 12.8 and 13.1 across all rev ranges on the wideband).

I did also observe that it used some oil during the Oulton Park trackday in October. Possibly a coincidence of the flash map being quite rich, but 150k on this engine seems to have done not too bad compared to many others needing more on lower mileage. Worn piston rings mixed with the over fuelling for 3k miles low down seem to have made its mark on it however.

Decision made from here for a new set of piston rings to be fitted and for the block to be honed.
Oil pump was also found to be worn, so this will also be replaced during the rebuild.

In hindsight, I should probably have both expected this extent of additional work to that originally intended, or have even just planned all of this work in the first place. However, I was unsure on exactly what remedial work had been carried out on this engine with regards to a rebuild prior to my ownership, so could have had some of these parts replaced already. As said, I think it's done well to reach 150k and only need this work now.

Car should be back to me in 3 or 4 weeks. I have something new taking up my time at the moment which is passing the time extremely well.









Baby Hannah was born on Monday 24th April at 1022 weighing a very healthy 8lb 11.5oz. Both baby and mummy doing superbly well!!

The wife, unhappy at additional costs of engine repair, was reassured that it was essential upkeep of our daughters racecar Laughing

A whole new level of love, can't explain it. So happy, she's so adorable and perfect (I am biased of course lol)

Will update with more on the rebuild once I have more from Mr V in-between feeds ad nappy changes Smile

17th May 2017
Update from Mr Vanos yesterday (16th May 2017). Engine back from machine shop and ready to be built back up. Waiting on a couple of parts arriving then it's go time.















Steve reported the shells to be worn on a few pistons so was defo the right time to pull them out and renew. I'm happy with the timing of this all needing doing, it's going to be a very strong engine once ran in.
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Thu May 18, 2017 11:51 am PostPost subject:
Erik
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Joined: 16 Apr 2008
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Between this, the clio and the Corrado, I dread to think what your track miles per ratio is sitting at!!

Hopefully an end in sight though mate Smile
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Thu May 18, 2017 2:06 pm PostPost subject:
Jackstrath
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012
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some effort in this! does the rhs indicator need to come out to remove the engine? lol!

and congratulations on the birth of your daughter ! Smile
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Thu May 18, 2017 11:20 pm PostPost subject:
E2-SAW
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Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 49
Location: Falkirk

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We didn't lose much on the Clio's overall, and the Corrado again we made good breaking that for parts, so I'm not overly at a loss with those two miles per .

The Civic however...... we'll just not go there hahaha

With the expense on the M3, the overall cost isn't actually that big either with the initial purchase price being relatively low, but the sacrifice being the mileage, colour and bodywork being a bit tattier. There are still some E46 M3 (non CS and non CSL) for more money than I've spent and not having any maintenance doing that is deemed essential for a track focused M3 to be reliable.

Overall, I can't complain about per track mile too much. Still enjoyed and enjoy driving the cars away from the track as well, and the M3 should be a solid motor for when I can manage the tack days later this year along with being a good daily driver.

The indicator has to come out to unbolt the coolant expansion tank by the looks of it.

Cheers lads. Be worth it when done.
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Fri May 19, 2017 3:43 pm PostPost subject:
AK
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Congratulations Very Happy
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Fri May 19, 2017 6:02 pm PostPost subject:
rstoughy
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Awesome. Was speaking with Paul about your car the other week. You are doing it right and not cutting corners with the build, this will pay dividends in the long run.
Those wheels in the square set up look pretty damn good....

Keep the updates coming.

Cool
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Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:06 am PostPost subject:
E2-SAW
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Update incoming. Was good then went sour Sad
ERIK, you jinxed it Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing

1st July
Picked the car up after rebuild from Mr Vanos. Car was over fuelling a bit on overrun but not too much of a concern it would damage any of the rebuild. Happy with all the work, including new purple tag steering rack and Hack Engineering braided PAS pipe being fitted.

Quick adaptation reset before heading off. Agreed to have all sensors rechecked when home by paulclaude



Stopped at the border for a roll and tea, car driving great



4th July
Picked up a second seat, finally had a pair of Corbeau Clubsport XL's - also bought some OMP sliders



10th July
Paulclaude plugs in the car and finds EGT Sensor reading only 10degC, meaning car is running cold start. EGT Sensor and post cat lambdas removed from the map, car running much better and smoother.

20th July
500 miles reached and running in oil changed to proper oil at Automek. Rear brake calliper replaced and brake fluid changed. Full health check over the suspension and brakes, all ready for track.

28th July
Seats fitted and then ran on the dyno to ensure engine running healthy and AFR's are perfect.
Running a healthy 348bhp and AFR's sitting bang on with a GSR Airbox







30th July
Tartan Tarmac breakfast meet at SECC, headed along with Marc T. Met a few guys from the forum, car was running really well, very powerful. Booked onto the BMW Car Club Trackday at Knockhill on 4th August, so a good run out before hand.











4th August,
Moved the bottom seatbelt so it goes through the loop on the seat, and tilted it slightly. Got the angle right. Fitted toweyes to front and rear of the car, added full tank of fuel, drove to Knockhill and began the BMW Track Day.
Had rained overnight, track conditions were damp but a dry line was quickly starting to appear. Ambient temps were really good.





















Car was running brilliant. Going really really well, although was suffering a slight clutch slur on gear change. Ha noticed this on the road and had done an adaptation/clutch position reset, and also renewed the Salmon relay. Still doing it, but hey ho.

Was getting some consistent 63s laps on my second session out, getting quicker and getting the lines a bit better, then the below happened at about 1030 (track day started at 0900)

BROWN TROUSER TIME
https://youtu.be/_WR6xCAq19U

So yea, total power loss changing from 3rd to 4th on the way towards the hairpin. Look out the mirror and see white smoke and you can hear plenty of action hitting underneath the car. No ABS, no PAS, total passenger at 100mph trying to slow the car down. Thank god nothing was infront of me or going around the hairpin at the time. Was deep in the kitty litter, then pulled out a little. Didn't get a picture of how far in i was, but the car was 'deed'

You can see the gravel where the car has went into. Oil and coolant all over the place, track shut for 45 minutes while car is recovered and oil is cleaned up.







Obviously at this point I'm extremely apprehensive as to whats happened. Ive just forked out a fair whack on having the engine rebuilt in the hope it would last another 150k. Best case scenario was the oil cooler had gone and dumped everything, worst case we had a leg out the bed.

It was confirmed to be the later this morning. One snapped conrod causing the destruction.





As you can see on first picture, little end on the left and the gudgeon pin on the right. Engine is pretty much a total loss all barring the vanos unit.

Frustrating. I've hardly ever heard of the rods being weak on these engines, so didn't go for renewing them when doing the rebuild. Now it's evident that any engine rebuild needs to be done with the lot for longevity. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Would urge anybody who's doing any kind of track work on a higher mileage engine, or considering a rebuild, to go for new conrods and crowns, not just shells and rod bolts. Save yourself the grief i'm currently dealing with.

Weighed up my options and after the amount of effort with the current engine and time and money put in so far, it's time to cut my losses and start on something else.

The car will be returned to as close to standard as possible, with all the good bits sold off, then the car advertised as a rolling standard car needing an engine. Then can start deciding what to do going forward, whether it be another E46 M3, or look into something else before being lured back.

So yea - RIP to this build. Onto the next one. [/b]
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Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:32 am PostPost subject:
AK
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How much would you be looking for the car as is (without engine)?
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Mini Race Car - SMRC
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Toureg 262 RLine
Track Scotland
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Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:10 pm PostPost subject:
prophead
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Location: Brightons, Falkirk

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That's majorly gutting after all that effort
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Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:20 am PostPost subject:
E2-SAW
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I'll be selling all the aftermarket parts before selling the shell Adam, is the only way I can recoup some of the costs. There's approx 4K+ in good mods to sell off, then the standard shell needing engine, ECU and airbox will be advertised.

Absolutely no idea what that's worth, reckon around the 4K mark going by what's around.
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