View Full Version : dodint's Automotive Evolution

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November 28th, 2017, 09:50 AM
Really starting to get tapped back into the DMC sphere of influence. I'm weighing the pros/cons of buying something turnkey for around $35-40k or dipping into the mid-$20k range and getting something I would have to make some cosmetic improvements to and catch up on some deferred maintenance.

In particular, this car has my eye. It's in really good shape for the price, about ~$20k, but when I think about how much effort that thing will take to get to the $35k level I get fairly discouraged as I'm a really slow worker in the garage.


There is nothing in there that's irreplaceable but the project list would start out pretty lengthy. I like the idea of doing something like this; for my eventual use I'll need to change and refresh the suspension, brakes, and other stuff on most cars anyway. I just don't have a ton of time because of school.


Forever and always, the most interesting candidates are on the west coast.

December 21st, 2017, 10:24 AM
Offer made on a really nice car with the Stage II motor/exhaust work already done: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1982-DeLorean-DMC-12-STAGE-II/142626650053

Financing is squared away, just waiting to hear back from this guy. For some reason with eBay the seller doesn't have to respond to offers until the auction ends. I swear it used to be they had a window of like 6 hours to accept or decline. I don't think his car will sell for the asking price but the auction doesn't end for 28 more hours so that's a lot of pensive waiting. :(

December 21st, 2017, 10:52 AM
Jeez, that's annoying. :down:

With that mileage, are you gonna pound miles on it like your other vehicles?

Good luck! :rawk:

December 21st, 2017, 11:16 AM
List, offer, counter, counter, counter, accept.

Flying down on the 30th to get it and drive back if the weather holds.

December 21st, 2017, 11:44 AM

December 21st, 2017, 11:48 AM
Siiiiick!! :D :up: #dreamsdocometrue

December 21st, 2017, 11:59 AM
I didn't pay sticker, that auction still says the full price I think. Negotiation went $42.5k, $36.5k, $40k, $38.5k, $39k.

December 21st, 2017, 01:48 PM

December 21st, 2017, 05:14 PM
Yeah that is crazy-cool, Nate. Bravo & congrats!!

December 21st, 2017, 06:03 PM
To answer your question I'm not thrilled about the idea of driving it to work for a few reasons, but I wouldn't shy away from driving it up to school in Minnesota or out to NCM for a Le Mans party. That's why I spent more on a solid runner, so I can drive it.

That said it's going directly into my MILs extra garage bay until the salt is off the roads. :lol:

December 21st, 2017, 08:27 PM

When does it go to PittRace? :D

December 22nd, 2017, 05:02 AM
When does it go to PittRace? :D

Ever fill your trunk completely full of luggage to the point where you have to really slam it just and hope the lock mechanism holds because the deck lid is compressing the load?

Well, the roof of the DMC opens with the door. I have a feeling that once I put a helmet on and try to shut the door I'm going to have to compress my spine in much the same way that luggage is compressed in my illustration. :lol:

As for the car itself I would absolutely take it up there for a TNiA or HPDE day. It already has the upgraded motor, exhaust, new calipers, ss brake lines. The person that owned it two owners ago was a Corvette tuner on Long Island and really put it into tip-top shape. The only thing I think I'd really like to do is get this kit:

http://cdn6.bigcommerce.com/s-xpmvynv/products/1611/images/874/front_lower_control_arm_support_v2__29724.15089390 55.800.600.jpg?c=2

which tightens up the front suspension by converting it into a quasi-double wishbone configuration.

200hp carrying 2700lbs around should be okay in an Intermediate run group. No power steering though, should be a workout. :D

December 22nd, 2017, 07:02 AM
Wow, definitely not your everyday motor :D That is both crazy and kind of cool at the same time. What are these cars like to drive?

December 22nd, 2017, 08:11 AM
Heavy steering, sloppy suspension, wonky 35-65% rear biased weight distribution. Sits really low to the ground.

Like a late 70s Lotus Esprit, but worse. ;)

It was designed to be a grand touring car rather than a sports car though, so much is forgiven. And the healthy vendor aftermarket has solutions for much of it. This car already has the 70hp motor upgrades to fix the low output problem. Those connectors above supposedly really tighten up the front suspension. And someone does make a power steering solution for it if you really wanted that.

December 22nd, 2017, 09:07 AM
Step 1: close door.
Step 2: put on helmet.
Step 3: slouch.
Step 4: profit.

December 22nd, 2017, 09:26 AM
My man. :up:

December 22nd, 2017, 06:20 PM
Is that the PA equivalent of "Bless your heart?" :lol:

December 23rd, 2017, 04:50 AM
"OK, great."

December 24th, 2017, 02:50 PM
:eek: :up:

December 25th, 2017, 09:56 PM
I wondered why this thread was gaining replies ... I'll be darned, I did not expect to see Marty McFly in here.


December 26th, 2017, 04:18 AM
Is that the PA equivalent of "Bless your heart?" :lol:

More like:


That said, tracking the 650i was a little off putting in terms of ergonomics. The edge of the cavity for the glass roof is right where the top of my head is so as I would circulate around the track my helmet would catch on that lip and kind of tilt my head like a confused dog.
The most first world of problems, I know. The DMC should at least provide me a flat surface for my head to grind against. ;)

December 28th, 2017, 12:17 PM
Wait, what?


Congratulations, dodint. :up:

December 28th, 2017, 12:24 PM
Yinz are probably sick of my shit, but I happened to have found what I believe is a slicktop 330CI stripper in PA.



If it's still there Tuesday I'll try and trade the 650i on it on Wednesday. Three coupes is silly, but at least this one can do honest winter duty, is the track car I want, and can haul more than the 650i. Especially with no interior. It would set my fleet exactly how I want it for the next few years.

December 28th, 2017, 02:01 PM
Sex-Fitty, we hardly knew ye! #salute

December 28th, 2017, 02:45 PM
It's a weird car. I'd be happy to keep it forever or watch it fall off a cliff tomorrow. It's the closest I've ever felt to personifying a car as a woman, I think.

December 28th, 2017, 03:04 PM
That is an awesome last line.

December 29th, 2017, 12:36 PM
slicktop stripper

How can you tell? Those photos could not hide the roof status any better.

December 29th, 2017, 12:59 PM
How can you tell? Those photos could not hide the roof status any better.

Two different BWW VIN decoders have the sunroof missing from the build sheet and it is nearly always there.

Going to call and confirm early next week.

December 29th, 2017, 01:55 PM

December 29th, 2017, 10:18 PM
It's a weird car. I'd be happy to keep it forever or watch it fall off a cliff tomorrow. It's the closest I've ever felt to personifying a car as a woman, I think.

You push women off cliffs?

December 30th, 2017, 05:40 PM
Haha, took the DMC on the Tail of the Dragon in the dark. What a trip. Really kind of wish I had setup the GoPro, oh well.

I will post pics later, getting an error from the forum saying they're too big to attach.

The car is solid though, really is what I paid for. No buyers remorse here, it's a really nice example. Not perfect but worth what I spent.

December 30th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Niiiiice :) Looking forward to seeing / hearing more about this ownership and driving experience.

December 30th, 2017, 05:51 PM
The car is very 80s. It does not deliver a modern driving experience. But it doesn't need to.

Speedo is broke, no 88mph for me.

December 31st, 2017, 07:18 AM
Really? The previous owner didn't want to pay to fix that? :twitch:

Looming forward to pics! :up: :up:

December 31st, 2017, 03:36 PM
Home safe.


December 31st, 2017, 04:23 PM
:lol: :up:

Still never been driven in the rain, right?? ;)

December 31st, 2017, 06:38 PM


Technically correct is the best kind of correct.

Also, the speedometer cable broke somewhere in WV so I technically didn't put that many miles on it either.

December 31st, 2017, 07:40 PM
Ah so it broke on you? That's legit then. :shocker:

December 31st, 2017, 10:42 PM
It's not a proper inter-state used car buy if something doesn't break on the drive home. :up:

Can't help noticing the DMC has a BttF dry ice look going on there. ;)

It just dawned on me this is probably one of the most epic GTXf car purchases. That driveway scene is sublime.

December 31st, 2017, 11:06 PM
It really is.

Until somebody buys/builds a General Lee replica, I think the DMC is going to take some beating.

January 1st, 2018, 06:32 AM
Absolutely!! This is up there with Kenji's NSX, the Saleen, the Porsches, and the alien named Cuda! :lol: :up:

January 1st, 2018, 06:52 AM
I wholeheartedly agree!

January 1st, 2018, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the kind words everyone. Money-wise it's not really an unobtainable car by any stretch, I paid a little more than what the starting MSRP is for a 2018 BMW 3-series. The 'cost' of ownership, I think, is the willingness to endure and accept the uniqueness of the car and all that comes with it. As an added bonus the car will not likely depreciate, so it's already ahead of the figurative 3-series on that one.

Everyone has a standing invitation to drive it as our paths cross. It's a car, meant for driving, and I want as many of you to do so if you can and want. Absolutely happy to share this experience with any of you with the hopes of giving you a fun experience and changing (or reinforcing) your impression of the car as a whole.

Ash and I will be at DCS in Chicago in mid-August 2018 if anyone wants to join us for an evening.

We flew down to Atlanta on Saturday morning and rented a car (Chrysler 300) to make the one hour drive up to Monroe, GA to pick up the car. Everything checked out so we gave them the certified check and got on our way; he is using the funds from the DMC sale to build a Cobra replica. The plane was really late taking off in Pittsburgh as it had about 4" of fresh snow on it from sitting overnight and took over an hour to deice. It really put a crunch on us as I wanted to be to my uncles before sunset, but that didn't happen.


Took off right into the Georgia hills after doing some basic checks on systems, tire pressure, etc. It would be a 4hr (199mi) trip through the Appalachian hills.



Scraped the 'Flux' sticker, the NY inspection sticker, and the DeLorean Owners Association stickers off when I got home.

The condition of the mechanicals of the car is quite good. It started every time whether it was 20F at 8am or after a quick fuel fill up. Some DMC owners have hot start issues so it was really reassuring that it fired on first crank every time we wanted to get going.
I only poured gas into the cargo area once when I turned my back while filling. :rolleyes: No big deal, it's just full of papers and clothes, right?


A few hours into the hills, about 30 minutes before getting to the Tail of the Dragon, we stopped at a Huddle House because the roadside stand that we planned to stop at was closed for the season. Never been to a Huddle House, it's basically a Denny's that could fit in a gas station (and some do).


For those that may not know the Tail of the Dragon, this is it:


By the time we got there it was dark. I've driven it a few times in an E46 BMW during the day but nothing like this. The DMC has no power steering, ABS, and is RR configuration. I think it actually handled very well. The steering makes it feel MUCH heavier than the car actually is, but at speed that kind of melts away. The car did feel different than anything else I've driven, you can of place the car where you need it to be at apex and then lay into the throttle, but not sooner. The grip was there immediately if you did this but the threat of understeer really keeps you from mashing the throttle too soon, at least for me.
It was a bit of a workout, I didn't push it too much and it was scary when trucks were coming the other direction as you'd lose your night vision and the next turn is only a few meters away. The only real scare we had was when I dropped the rear passenger wheel partially off the crumbling roadway. It was adjacent to a jutting rock wall and we sincerely thought that I had torn a hole in the rear quarter stainless panel. We stopped at the end and there was no visual damage, we think that when I put the wheel off it kicked debris up into the fiberglass pontoon and made an awful impacting *thunk* but left no visual evidence of an impact.
Part of me wishes I had recorded the run; the rest of me is happy to have the memory to myself as I perceived it in time.

My uncle lives about 10 miles from the Tennessee side of the Dragon, and we stayed there for the night. Here it is parked next to his SCCA prepped Saturn, though he hasn't touched it in 8 years:


He actually offered me the Saturn for free and all of the custom parts he had fabricated for it but I'm really working towards the SE46 project and I feel like I'd end up neglecting it as much as he has if I accepted. I'll keep it in the back of my mind for now.

We took off around 9am for the 8 hour (520mi) drive. It was chilly but dry in TN and VA, but by the time we got to WV and PA it was about 15F at mid day and the roads were a mixture of slush, salt, and ice. Car handled fine on the interstate at what I assume was 80mp or so. There is a vibration up front from either the steering column bushing or perhaps a control arm bushing, but it didn't kill the ride. We stopped in Morgantown for dinner:


And we got home, in the dark again, about two hours later.



Last night I hosed it down as best I could, being sure to get as much into the suspension, brakes, frame, and other attachments as I could. Engine bay is pretty easy to clean for obvious reasons. This morning when I woke up I drove it down to the car wash about a half a mile away and had the car cleaned that way which includes and underbody spray and protectant. Then I put it in the garage and hosed it down one more time. I'm not too concerned with salt but wanted to take whatever preventative measure I could. Now the garage has the DMC and the MINI it it, with the 650 in the driveway. Bad timing as it's not forecasted to get about 20F for the foreseeable future. Oh well, the price you pay. I'm either going to take it to my MILs and put it in her spare garage bay, or keep it here and just endure the cold with my daily driver. There are some small projects I can work on until spring comes.

Driving the car is really interesting. I'm sure those of you with MR2s, Fieros, etc have had pretty comparable experiences. I will say that the driving position and pulling the door down right before setting off gives you that fun Le Mans LMP feeling even if the car doesn't have the guts to back it up. It's surprisingly comfortable over 8 hours, Ash said she was comfortable the whole time and I was fine. Once you get on the interestate and drop it into 5th you can just lean back and relax.

Sort of.

One of the things that I anticipated but didn't fully grasp was just how much attention this car gets on the road. I assumed the gas station comments would come, and they did, and that's fine. But the dumb shit people do on the highway is astounding. Lots of people would speed up to catch up to me and then either pace next to me or speed up to get by and then slow down again to get a look. Ash said people were taking pics and shooting video. I drive assertively and defensively but I have a hard time doing so in this car because everyone around me is so unpredictable. I'll just have to drive more cautiously but it's not always in my hands. We were on I-79 and we could see for miles in both directions, a jacked up F150 pulled alongside and literally drove off of the road while gawking at the car. Just, amazing.

Anyway, I've been studying these cars for 21 years and it still hasn't sunk in that I have one downstairs. It probably won't until something expensive breaks. ;)

January 1st, 2018, 05:43 PM
Chasing dreams.


Rare White Ape
January 2nd, 2018, 02:04 AM

Looks like a burnout time warp.

January 2nd, 2018, 05:43 AM

Are there floormats? Looks like there are but it's hard to tell -- they certainly look unbranded.

How's the '80s-tastic stereo?

January 2nd, 2018, 05:57 AM
The interior carpet, seats, headliner, and dash are all new. The floor mats have a DMC on them but they're under the seat in that picture, if you look really close you can just make out the top left of the "D" in black under the e-brake at the edge of the seat.

Stereo is a modern Pioneer, we listened to music streaming from my tablet when driving through the mountains and then podcasts the whole way the second day. It also has a retractable antenna that you can see slightly poking out of the rear window vent there.
The speakers have no bass to speak of, but I mostly listen to talk radio and podcasts so that's not a huge deal. You can hear quite clearly if you turn it up. Small cabin helps that I'm sure.
Eventually I want to get a flip up nav monitor head unit but for now this is fine.

The motor is loud. The exhaust is much more open than the factory as it's the Euro spec, not the choked US spec. The motor sounds good at idle (and starts writing checks it can't cash) but it sort of betrays itself as a european econo-motor as soon as you get up to a few thousand RPM. That said at highway cruising speed in 5th gear it's subdued enough that you don't really notice it after a while, kind of like the Cobra was.

I also plan to put in a more modern steering wheel. The aftermarket had one for a while but the supply of adapter rings dried up and it costs a good bit to make a new one so nobody has yet.

The car does smell old. Probably the degrading cardboard in the headliner if they used the same backing. Smells a lot like how my M6 smelled.

January 2nd, 2018, 06:55 AM
Shit, my '02 Mustang smells old. :lol: :up:

How did the door pistons handle the cold? Any sagging?

January 2nd, 2018, 07:01 AM
Driver door needs help to get to the top. It will open about 80% (the torsion bar is doing that part) and then you need to nudge it to get it the rest of the way. It was doing it in the 55F weather in GA so I think it's time for a new strut.

The trunk was fine in GA. We were putting gas in somewhere in WV where it was in the teens and those gas struts wouldn't hold the hood up anymore. Ash was holding it open while I filled, thought the struts were going to hold, let go and turned around and dropped the hood onto the gas pump which was in the filler neck at the time. No harm done but she had that same look you get when you drop a baby off your lap. :lol:

January 2nd, 2018, 08:34 AM
Well it looks absolute mint. :up: :up:

You should rig your GoPro up to the MINI's windshield and have Ash follow you through some light twisties and hilly sections this Spring for some sweet DMC movies. :cool: :toast:

January 2nd, 2018, 09:19 AM
I'm seriously stoked for you. :D Can't wait to check it out!

January 6th, 2018, 08:38 AM
Thanks, you have an open invitation.

Was parsing through the binder of receipts the car came with. Found a bunch of scans of old titles going back to 1992, and also this picture:


The snapshot was captioned "#1 Owner Bob Cleary" and has a southeast Ohio are code. I googled the number and found a couple of ads for an airplane and hot air balloons, seems like the guy has had an interesting life.

If figure this shot is either from the 1992 sale to the second owner (at about 11,000 miles) or when he first got it in 1982. Not sure. Maybe a guy like Bill can make sense of the license plate tags.

January 6th, 2018, 09:31 AM
Members Only jacket? Hawaiian shirt? Fly-white Keds?

This guy was King Shit of Ohio. :lol: :up:

January 7th, 2018, 03:37 AM
Looks great in the pics, I'm really glad you finally went and bought one!!

January 7th, 2018, 04:55 PM
That looks like an 80s photo to me, not 90s.

January 7th, 2018, 08:51 PM
I concur.

January 8th, 2018, 08:11 AM
Needs snow tires and mudflaps, stat!

It just dawned on me this is probably one of the most epic GTXf car purchases.

You guys own some amazing cars, but I agree.

January 8th, 2018, 08:39 AM
Thanks again for the kind words everyone. I know it's not exactly what each of you would buy, but I appreciate that you can show an interest in a well preserved historically compelling car.

Bryan, I finally got around to test fitting the car with my helmet on. I can get the door shut but it's such a tight space I'm not sure that it's safe for track use for me. I have to slouch down which brings my knees up, almost to the level of being behind the steering wheel. It makes it somewhat hard to operate the, already tight, pedals reliably. And if did have a front end impact I'm reasonably sure I'd break both of my knees.
I'm going to refurb the speedometer system (convert to a single cable, revert back to the stock 85mph speedo). While I'm doing that I'm going to take out the driver side dash pad and see if that helps things. If it makes it safer I'll consider taking it to a TNiA event but right now I just don't feel safe.

January 8th, 2018, 08:40 AM
Oh, and that photo was allegedly featured in a DeLorean World magazine some time ago, probably submitted by the original owner. I'm going to try and track it down if I can.

January 8th, 2018, 09:17 AM
You might also be able to perform a foam-ectomy like some Miata track drivers do. (I don't know exact details but it basically involves cutting some of the foam out of the butt cushion in the seat to lower your hips).

January 8th, 2018, 09:25 AM
Z3 owners do something similar.

There is 1 to 2" between my seatback and the bulkhead that I might investigate. My seat rails look really clean so I don't think they're binding with rust, but it is a common issue that the seats don't travel all the way back because the carpet gets caught in the rail. Shimming the rail with quarters is the cheap solution. I'll look into it as I'm not precisely sure how far the seat should move back.
The only issue there is that my head exists inside that cutout in the door ceiling. Moving backwards just moves my head back more and the helmet is already resting against the edge of that cutout and the seatback. Much like the foam procedure it's possible it might give me more knee room but I may have to stoop differently to get in. It's weird.

Russ is welcome to come track it whenever he wants. ;)

January 9th, 2018, 05:27 AM
Sounds like you're sitting in the sweet-spot right now.

January 9th, 2018, 05:38 AM
Since I'll be moving slowly, probably slower than the Mustang, I need to make sure I can turn my head and see around me. Will probably have to do the convex mirror upgrade as well since the car does have a pretty big blind spot due to the rear fender flaring being wider than the front.

January 9th, 2018, 05:43 AM
Summit Racingģ Rear View Panel Mirrors SUM-460101 (https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-460101?seid=srese1&cm_mmc=pla-google-_-shopping-_-srese1-_-summit-racing&gclid=Cj0KCQiA7dHSBRDEARIsAJhAHwicMoZ4twUpUoSssvUO CIDw_eddKbopTvtKg5rbyBrqYy03s6_-TXoaAvc2EALw_wcB)? :lol:

January 9th, 2018, 05:47 AM
Amazing. I've never seen that particular one.

The light from the cars/trucks behind me in traffic is already bad enough, can't imagine adding that.

January 9th, 2018, 05:51 AM
Common in taxis south of the border, in my experience.

In all seriousness I'd imagine you'd only use it when you're tracking the car, not just driving around on public roads.

January 9th, 2018, 07:50 AM
It costs nearly twice as much ($34!) but I prefer this style:


January 9th, 2018, 07:51 AM
Also, when I tint the windows I'm going to apply a very light tint to the rear window. It will dull some of those blinding lights. The side windows are getting the same dark tint the MINI has, though.

January 10th, 2018, 08:43 AM
Given the weather the car hasn't left the garage since I washed it. Have started to tool around and do some small things. I took off the front license plate bracket which was a bit of an eyesore really, and unnecessary in my jurisdiction. When I pulled it off it was housing a large puddle of water which had begun to rust the fasteners that were holding it on. This particular bracket used the existing fasteners for the rock shield, so no holes were drilled into the fascia to mount it. I also removed the dead pedal from the footwell. Not even sure why it's there, the car is a manual so it had four 'pedals' down there. It was a bit of a danger because on the highway I would slip my left foot behind it to stretch out and it would be obstructing my ability to cover the clutch and/or brake if I had a panic situation. Now it's all clear.

I'm putting a project together to address the broken speedo. After a little investigation I'm fairly certain it's simply a broken angle drive. There is a plastic disc in the hub that spins a rod, and the force of the spinning rod turns the angle drive that then spins the mechanical speedometer cable. That lower speedometer cable runs from the hub to a box under the dash that counts mileage to activate an idiot light in the dash, it lights every 30,000 miles to remind you to change spark plugs and 02 sensors. A second cable runs from the box up to the back of the speedometer in the instrument cluster. In a way it's kind of nice because if the angle drive seizes and tears up the cable in the process, you only have replace the bottom cable which is easy to access. You can see the yellow lambda counter here, and the upper and lower cables coming from it, they both actually look very new:


That yellow lambda box is simply a coupler that mates the two cables and a single electrical wire that runs up and out to the idiot light. It has a reset lever on it so you can reach under there and roll it back when you've changed out the parts. Then 30k miles later the light will come on again.

The aftermarket has supplied a one piece cable so you can delete the lambda counter. This has the benefit of deleting the annoying idiot light occurrence. Also it delivers smoother operation of your speedometer needle as the mechanical force is routing through fewer joints to get from the hub to the speedometer. As an overall design there are also fewer moving parts to have fail, and there is a theory that over tightening the cable at the lambda box is the reason that angle drives bind in the first place. And, deleting that box and its bracket is one less thing for my giant feet to come in contact with or possibly break. I like the idea of keeping things simple if possible. I have to order the cable from DeloreanGo in Europe but I have plenty of time since I won't be driving it regularly for a few more months.

Further, DMC-H makes a tripometer reset shaft. The one on my stock speedometer is broken as they're a bit fragile so I'll probably upgrade that while I'm in there.

Here is where it becomes a project. 'While I'm in there' I'm going to revert back to the stock 85mph speedometer. And since I have the dash apart for that I'm going to continue converting all of the cars lights to LEDs. It reduces the draw on the electrical system, particularly when you're parked with the doors open at car shows, and they provide a nice sharp light that should outlast the life of the car. The pics are not great but here is the comparison between incandescent bulbs and well selected LEDs:



Including the dome light I need to fix I should need to purchase about 17 LEDs which isn't too bad, they'll be a direct fit into the stock board and housings. My door lights are already converted over.

I have some questions I have to run by the DMC community before I do this but this is the first substantial thing I plan to do with the car. Supposedly taking the binnacle off is a real pain in the ass. Someone suggested swapping the under dash nuts with wingnuts to make it easier to get back in there in the future which is a pretty good idea.

It's supposed to be in the 50s and rain the next two days straight. If it clears up Sunday or Monday I'll probably take it out for a spin to get all the moving parts some exercise. I'm still waiting on the title so for now it's still running the Mustang's plate.

January 12th, 2018, 05:00 AM
The dashlights mod looks like a must-have. :up: :up:

What's wrong with the steering wheel that you want to replace it? Looks 90-95% good...

January 12th, 2018, 05:16 AM
I was troubleshooting the dome lights the other day and got one to work. It probably worked the whole time but was just set to off. The other one just needed the contacts bent a little bit to get it working. It has three setting, delay-off-on. The on works for both, and the delay (door open + 10 seconds) works for the rear one but not the front. I think one of the capacitors in that circuit is toast but I'll have to do actual diagnostic work to find out. The housings are flimsy plastic that rattle. The Porsche 928 had nice metal and glass housings, I'll upgrade to those one day but they're about $80 a piece which is crazy. It'll be one of those 'last mile' things I do after the real problems are sorted.

That's not my car in the LED pictures if that's what you meant. My wheel is fine, but there are some aftermarket solutions that are tasteful and help to modernize the interior a bit more:


The hub adapters are getting scarce, maybe I can pick one up at DCS.

January 12th, 2018, 06:39 AM
Ah ok -- yeah that wheel looks sharp!

January 12th, 2018, 07:03 AM
Yeah, there are a few that look real good but most people have gone with that Momo.

Circling back, this is my foot if I decide to rest it behind the pedals (pic is a bit of an optical illusion as my foot is a few inches behind the pedals, resting on the bulkhead):


If I can dump that yellow box and the bracket it's mounted with, by installing the one piece speedo cable, I think I could free up a few inches of room. Maybe if find a way, later on, to fabricate a kick panel so I don't accidentally knock out some of those modules down there. Maybe way down the road look at a way of moving the pedals back. If anything it would be nice to get the accelerator away from that transmission tunnel. That kind of stuff really makes you start to deviate away from what I'm comfortable doing, though. Not a fan of irreversible mods.

Oh, those red/white wired bundles are the capacitors I was talking about earlier for the dome/door lights.

January 12th, 2018, 10:53 AM
So what's your tire options on this rig? #1.21gigawatts

January 12th, 2018, 11:06 AM
Right now I'm running a set of Falkens that were purchased in 2011:

Stock sizes were:

It's very tough to find that stock combination with matching tread. Right now TireRack only has 2 offerings, both 'all season GT tires' from Fuzion and General, nothing to get too excited about. I may buy a set soon just to get updated rubber on it anyway given the age of the current ones.

Supposedly if you fuss with the sizes a little you can find some stuff to fit. Or you can really open up the options by going with mismatched tread. I wouldn't buy slicks for it because I don't want an extra set of wheels around.

It is pretty sweet seeing tires available for $57. ;)

January 12th, 2018, 11:10 AM
If I go:


I can get these:


There is a guy running them that says they don't rub. But my car is lowered so I'm not sure. I'd hate to buy them to find out they since they're a bit pricier.

And I used to be sold on the raised white letter sidewall but now I'm not so sure anymore.

The front tire with those is 1" taller than stock, and .7" wider. If it fits I bet it would dull a bit of the road feel that I get in the steering wheel. Probably make turning even more stiff, though.

January 12th, 2018, 11:46 AM
Yeah those sizes look suuuper tough to find in this day & age. :|

January 12th, 2018, 12:45 PM
To correct an earlier statement, Tirerack has 0 options in the stock sizes. They have 2 options in the sizes I am currently running.

January 13th, 2018, 07:58 AM
Uh oh:


Looks like a small but significant quantity of coolant. It's clear but really slick/greasy to the touch and if it were water it would've evaporated by now.

Looking through the receipts I can't find many coolant hoses that were upgraded or replaced so I wouldn't be surprised if it's just an old tube or clamp somewhere.

The variable that concerns me is that I haven't driven the car (or turned over the motor) since January 1st. The only thing even closely related to coolant that I did was while I was in the cabin working on a dome light problem.
I noticed that after driving it last I left the climate control in the Heater setting. I went ahead and spun the dial all the way around to 'exercise' it and left it in the Off setting. The next day I come out to the garage to find a coolant puddle.

Not sure if I should be looking at hose fittings or an AC/Heater component. My guess is the leak could've originated anywhere and pooled there because that was the lowest point the coolant could get to before falling off.

I'll probably end up buying a silicone hose kit and swapping out all the hoses in the system this spring as a general precaution, I'm just worried there is a heater valve or something that is also broke.

I just bought all the parts for a speedometer project I'm doing next so I doubt I'll tackle this coolant issue immediately unless the puddle gets worse.

January 17th, 2018, 02:37 PM
Yinz are probably sick of my shit, but I happened to have found what I believe is a slicktop 330CI stripper in PA.



If it's still there Tuesday I'll try and trade the 650i on it on Wednesday. Three coupes is silly, but at least this one can do honest winter duty, is the track car I want, and can haul more than the 650i. Especially with no interior. It would set my fleet exactly how I want it for the next few years.

Came to an agreement to buy this car, assuming it isn't standing in a puddle of its own oil when I get there I will trade the 650i on it on Saturday morning. Since it's a trade in PA and the 650i is worth significantly more than the 330ci I wouldn't have to pay sales tax. Woo.

I'm done falling ass backwards into needles in haystacks for a while, I think.

January 18th, 2018, 11:57 AM
This E46 will be the most stripped BMW I've ever owned as far as I can tell by the build sheet:

S210A Dynamic stability control
S249A Multifunction f steering wheel
S255A Sports leather steering wheel
S354A Green windscreen, green shade band
S441A Smoker package
S459A Seat adjuster, electric, with memory
S473A Armrest front
S481A Sports seat
S520A Fog lights
S522A Xenon Light
S534A Automatic air conditioning
S550A On-board computer
S640A Preparation f tel.installation universal
S645A BMW US Radio
S650A CD player
S661A Radio BMW Business (C43)
S674A Hi-Fi System Harman Kardon
S692A Preparation, BMW 6-CD changer I-bus
S785A White direction indicator lights
S788A BMW LA wheel, Individual
S823A Hot-climate version
S832A Battery in luggage compartment
S845A Acoustic belt warning
S853A Language version English
S876A Radio frequency 315 MHz
S926A Spare wheel
S992A Control of number-plate attachment

Compared to the 650i:

S1CAA Selection of COP relevant vehicles
S229A Dynamic Drive
S248A Steering wheel heater
S255A Sports leather steering wheel
S2SFA BMW LA wheel, star spoke 249
S2TBA Sport automatic transmission
S2VBA Tire pressure display
S302A Alarm system
S319A Integrated universal remote control
S322A Comfort access
S403A Glass roof, electrical
S423A Floor mats, velours
S430A Interior/outside mirror with auto dip
S431A Interior mirror with automatic-dip
S441A Smoker package
S442A Cup holder
S459A Seat adjuster, electric, with memory
S464A Ski bag
S481A Sports seat
S494A Seat heating driver/passenger
S4BKA Alum. interior strips ground lengthwise
S502A Headlight cleaning system
S508A Park Distance Control (PDC)
S522A Xenon Light
S524A Adaptive Headlights
S534A Automatic air conditioning
S544A Cruise control with brake function
S563A Light package
S5ADA Lane departure warning
S609A Navigation system Professional
S610A Head-up display
S620A Voice control
S639A Preparation f mobile phone cpl. USA/CDN
S645A BMW US Radio
S653A High Definition Radio
S655A Satellite tuner
S672A CD changer for 6 CDs
S677A HiFi System Professional DSP
S697A Area-Code 1 for DVD
S6AAA BMW TeleServices
S6ABA Control for Teleservices
S6FLA USB/Audio interface
S6UHA Traffic Information
S760A High gloss shadow line
S823A Hot-climate version
S845A Acoustic belt warning
S853A Language version English
S876A Radio frequency 315 MHz
S8S4A Decoding variable light distribution
S8SCA Telematics access request,country-spec.
S8SPA Control unit COP
S992A Control of number-plate attachment

But, oddly, it does have some interesting features. I'd really like to know more about the person that ordered this thing. It doesn't have a sunroof, has clear corners from the factory, and they ordered a specific steering wheel. It's clearly performance oriented, or at least meant to look that way, but it doesn't have the ZHP package or any other notable factory performance addons. It does have "Dinan" badging but Dinan never made a 330CI itself so who knows what's been done with the car since new.
The ad says in three places it has heated seats but the switches are not there and it's not on the build sheet, my wife will be bummed at that.

January 21st, 2018, 01:02 PM
Bought the car, turned out to be much, much nicer than I was hoping for. I thought for sure the Dinan badge was stuck on there by some teenager as a 'sticker tune' and I was genuinely surprised when I popped the hood.

'Dinan S' serial number, and the intake tubing for the now relocated airbox which is down somewhere under the bumper cover.


There are two ways to get a Dinan 3 badge. One is to order enough Dinan components and install them yourself, they have a points system to see if your cars is Dinan enough to qualify. The other way is to order a car through BMW that Dinan preps before delivery to you. I'm pretty sure that's what happened with this car. Dinan's mods are benign enough that they do not violate the factory warranty when professionally installed. I've contacted Dinan to validate the build and see exactly what has been installed, hoping to hear from them soon. I know it doesn't have everything as it's missing the strut brace, though it could've been taken off or was broken when it got in the accident.


The shift knob is comically small, but seemingly high quality as it's a pretty heavy Momo knob. I've already ordered a cheap eBay replacement. Eventually I'll order the same alcantara knob I had in the E36 but they're about $100 shipped from Germany and I need to make sure I'm still getting steady paychecks for the time being. ;)


Not only is the car better equipped than I thought but it drives straight, engine pulls super hard, and everything feels very stable. It's not perfect, it needs a good wash and the interior has a musty smell. The trunk smells particularly bad, as if the guy was a gym rat and always put his dirty gym clothes in there. It won't matter eventually as all the fabric is coming out but for now it's very noticeable.

It's kind of a bummer that I'll have to strip most of the Dinan stuff out to convert it to a SpecE46 car. I'm going to write up a checklist of everything the car needs to get to SpecE46 compliance. Once I get the build sheet from Dinan I'll see what I can integrate into the build and what has to come out.
I think right now, on slicks, it's probably faster than a SE46 car just because of the closed motor specifications of the class. Even the Dinan ECU tune will have to be changed to the class tune. If I were being a super purist I'd find someone that wants this car for what it is and flip it, but it took this long to find a slicktop I'm not giving it up for that. I haven't actually opened it up to see what it can do, the DCS takes over when accelerating hard in the first three gears. I haven't given it a proper row through the gears.

Right now they're running an odd set of 'staggered' wheels that are taller in the front and wider in the rear. It's stock, though:

F: 225/45-17
R: 245/40-17

The SE46 spec size is 255/40-17 which is a 10" wide tire, only .4" wider than what's on there now so I'm hoping I won't have the clearance issues I had with the E36. I plan to put slicks on the OZs I've been holding onto and will probably square the car with the 255/40's.

TL;DR: The car is nicer than I thought and I was very fortunate to find it, looking forward to driving it really fast around in circles.

January 21st, 2018, 04:26 PM
Can you do car shopping for the rest of us now? :)

January 21st, 2018, 05:36 PM
Hah. What are you in the market for? ;)

It seems sudden, buying both of these cars in less than three weeks. Really I have been looking for them both for years, and was 'trigger ready' on both for the first time ever after years of planning and saving. I was tracking two other slicktop 330ci before this, and countless DMCs.

I am just really happy to have my fleet perfectly set so I can just focus on improving and enjoying what I have.

January 21st, 2018, 06:51 PM
Nate Luck still holds! :lol: :up:

Looks sharp -- after you gut it, what's your daily driver gonna be?

January 21st, 2018, 07:24 PM
Cayman for Ash, then I get the MINI back. It's going to be a slow build. I don't graduate until May 2020, and Ash a year later. Next two years is just HPDE and then my first few competition schools the third year. Once the cage goes in I will turn in the license plate.

When I bought the E36 I tore out the interior immediately and then never tracked it. :lol: I probably won't do that this time. Interior will probably stay in till the second year, anyway. I still need to drive it to St. Paul a few times.

I bought a bluetooth adapter, a shift knob, and phone mount for it already. It definitely has DD duties.

I loved the Mustang, can't say enough about it and the time I spent with it. But being back in a performance minded BMW just feels so comfortable, like putting on an old pair of slippers. I can't wait to get it on track and see how different it is and what I can learn. It goes through the revs so fast I keep red lining it. Might have to invest in a shift light.

Once this rain passes I will try and get out to take some pics. It's a deceptively sharp car, but I'm biased, of course.

January 21st, 2018, 08:57 PM
I admire your clear plans and ability to stick to them. You're doing it right. :up: I have a flavor of the month thing going, so I never know what will end up in my hands when I'm ready to pull the trigger on something. Had I been ready at different times, I could have ended up with a very different car history. :o

Hah. What are you in the market for? ;)

I may turn you loose on something later this year if I can. :lol: Not exactly a unicorn but not the most common thing either.

January 23rd, 2018, 07:50 AM
SE46 thought of the day.

My car (presumably, I haven't actually looked but I'm fairly certain) has a 2.93 open differential. SE46 requires that you run a 3.46 diff in a stock housing, but all internals are free for you to do (spend) whatever you want. There is a sliding scale from about $1,500 up to about $6000 that you can spend on a diff of your choice. This page shows the wide array of choices you have: https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-340178-e46-e39-z4-differential-upgrade-custom-options/?pdk=AQEBDwEB

E46 325i automatics came with with a factory 3.46 differential.

I'm not buying a custom differential until I'm very close to retiring the car as a daily driver. The local u-pull-it yards will sell you a used diff for $67. I'm thinking of going and pulling a 3.46 diff out and installing it in my car. The two benefits are that it will get me the gearing I'll eventually use when I race so I can do my HPDEs with the gearing I'll eventually use in competition so I can build up that muscle memory from the start; second when I do eventually race competitively and buy a custom diff I can keep this one as a track spare in case a grenade the LSD.

Factory differential cross reference chart:

3.07 - 323i/ci (m), 330i/ci zph (m), 330cic/xi (m)
3.15 - 325i/ci (m)
3.23 - 325xi (m) - Very Rare to find in a salvage yard
3.38 - 330i/ci (a) - These are harder to find and usually cost more. (Non-US, also check 316/318/320)
3.46 - 323i/ci/cic/touring (a), 325i/ci/cic/touring (a), 328i/ci (a), 323i/ci (a), 323i/ci (a) - The most abundant and easiest ratio to find.
3.64 - Z4 2.5 (a) - Very Rare to Find in a salvage yard
3.64 - E46 M3 - You'll need addtional hardware to get it to fit.

January 23rd, 2018, 10:17 AM
For $67 and some time in the garage I'd totally get the 'right' gearing in the car now. When you take the car racing, OS Giken is probably the way to go. The Quaife is relatively inexpensive and makes a great street diff, and even good on the track as long as you aren't lifting the inside tire. Curb hopping, a stiff enough rear sway bar, that kind of stuff. FWIW I have a Quaife in the 350Z, it's silent and unobtrusive on the street and works great at autox with the setup I have (stiff springs, tiny rear sway bar, not a ton of rear rebound).

January 23rd, 2018, 04:25 PM
For 70$ and a night in the garage, that bitch would be in there tonight.

January 23rd, 2018, 04:47 PM
Thanks guys, can always count on you all to validate hArdc0r3 choices. :hard:

January 24th, 2018, 08:51 AM
The same yard has a 66 Mustang so my Dad and I are going to go picking on Saturday. 50F and light rain, perfect January Pittsburgh day.

There are two donor cars that might have the right diff, if either are an automatic we're in business.

January 24th, 2018, 08:54 AM
Sweet -- what's he looking for?

January 24th, 2018, 09:03 AM
He's teaching himself to weld and has been replacing the floor pan in the trunk, and also large portions of the rear quarter panels. Not sure specifically what he needs but it won't hurt to walk by and look it over. He already bought new versions of the quarter panels so maybe he's looking for something else.

January 24th, 2018, 09:07 AM
Chicks dig a guy with skills. :up:

Tell him to be sure to keep an eye out for this lying around at the salvage yard (https://www.cjponyparts.com/edelbrock-dual-quad-intake-manifold-and-carburetor-kit-rpm-air-gap-intake-with-thunder-avs-500-cfm-carburetor-silver-finish-289-302/p/EDL2035/?year=1975&gclid=Cj0KCQiA-qDTBRD-ARIsAJ_10yIUL14Xgan01rUbMxthKZ-E2ETbHeOAcBg0qhO5O5TYQadgAPAMEvwaAkpVEALw_wcB). Probably be handy, just sayin'. #shrug

January 24th, 2018, 09:09 AM
I was very surprised when he said he was going the carb'd route. I was hoping he'd learn custom EFI so he could teach me. :lol:

January 24th, 2018, 09:14 AM
Really?? I was just pokin' fun! :lol:

In that case... (http://www.jegs.com/i/Weiand/925/1988WND/10002/-1?CAWELAID=230006180003869314&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=44693592161&CATCI=pla-224824987751&CATARGETID=230006180039219695&cadevice=c&gclid=Cj0KCQiA-qDTBRD-ARIsAJ_10yLJXh-ODc7aGsRnUyrxaeDfi_v49ILV3sHiUIn0KZcjNPmTQ8HF6KAaA o-3EALw_wcB)


Go big or go home! :rawk:

January 24th, 2018, 12:00 PM
I bet that would drive as well as it looks. Not well.

January 24th, 2018, 12:08 PM
Tunnel rams have been around for many of your lifetimes, Tyler -- you'd be wrong. ;) #luv

January 24th, 2018, 08:15 PM
Twin 650 holleys?

Off idle tip in when cold would stumble bad. Tunnel ram or not.


January 25th, 2018, 05:07 AM
Then run Predator carbs w/. a 2" spacer ya delicate tip-in flower. #easybutton

January 25th, 2018, 01:16 PM
I'll just call you stone feet ;)


January 27th, 2018, 05:19 PM


$63 out the door.

January 27th, 2018, 07:19 PM
Wow!! :eek: :up:

January 27th, 2018, 07:50 PM
Fuck yeah

January 27th, 2018, 10:13 PM

January 28th, 2018, 12:13 PM
Veddy nice!

January 29th, 2018, 10:28 AM
Thanks. I finally cleaned off the label and it is indeed a 3.46 open differential, it had 157k on it and came out of a 325xi wagon.
It was *almost* a relatively easy removal. The car was badly damaged on the front end and all the cars in the lot are about 20" off the ground. The motor was on the ground still attached to the transmission. The driveline was intact the whole length of the car. The transmission was being held up by the shifter cable that ran from the shift knob down to the auto transmission. The way it was laying the drive shaft was being pushed back into the differential and no amount of man-force could keep them uncoupled. We figured out to cut the shifter cable and let the transmission fall to the ground and it relieved that tension from the input flange. The diff fell out relatively easy after that.

After work today I'm going to have a look under the car and see if the drive shaft matches the input flange on the 3.46 differential. If it doesn't I need to come up with some kind of solution, it has to be pressed in to a certain pressure where it mates with the spline but doesn't bind up the bearing in there, not sure how to do that correctly. I have some write-ups bookmarked but they're over my head. If I do need to swap the input flange I'll read more into it, hoping I only have to do the output flanges which just pop on and off. Seems to be hit or miss on what's out there between the different years, motors, and differentials.

Ash is out of town and my car is in the garage, I figured I could take 10 minutes this morning and swap over my shift knob. Turns out that didn't go as planned so I waited for lunch (teleworking today) and tackled the job then.

Aftermarket Momo knob, I planned to resell it on eBay but noticed that the clearcoat on the carbon fiber had worn down so it was pretty much useless:


I've removed BMW shift knobs before but this one was the absolute worst. I ended up dremeling out the CF/platic inserts and running a pry bar through the metal loop. It still took a ton of force to get it out. I thought for sure the prior owner skipped the set bolts and used loctite to secure the knob, but the shaft was clean. There was a rubber liner on the shaft, not sure if it was creating a vacuum or what.


New knob went on without much fanfare. It's obvious that my 5th gear detent pin has killed the bearing bushing as the taller knob really shows how the car rests in neutral between 4-5 instead of 3-4. It's a $5 kit to fix it but you have to remove the transmission from the car to do it. I'll wait until I have to replace the clutch and then do that as an add-on project. It won't get worse or hurt anything. It's a very well known problem with the ZF 5-speed transmission that came in the E36 M3 and E46s.


Shifter feels much better now. Someday I'll buy the nice alcantara one that I put in my E36, but this replacement was $13 instead of $90 so it will do for now.

January 29th, 2018, 11:25 AM
Clean... :up:

February 15th, 2018, 06:40 AM
Took the car into my BMW dealer to get the Takata airbag recall done. Now if I stuff it into a tire barrier the steering wheel won't shoot shards of metal into my face. Happy day.

The dealer does a little inspection to find things wrong, they noted my differential is leaking from the pinion and axle seals and offered to fix it for $580. I told them that I have a new diff and the seals, which cost about $27 from Pelican Parts that arrived earlier this week. :P
Also has a leaky valve cover gasket which is pretty standard for this car and age, I'll fix that myself in the spring. They wanted $350 to fix.
Oddly the tires are down to 1/32nd and 2/32nd in the rear which I found to be surprising since they still have good snow traction and look visually okay from a distance. A testament to the strength of the engine tune, I guess. Inspection is due in April so I'll have to start researching what I want for DD tires. Probably Falkens of some sort, they've been my brand since Pirelli stopped making quality tires.

They were also able to finally pull the Dinan build sheet. I was surprised to find that the exhaust wasn't theirs, unless it was done after the initial build.

It has the Stage II Performance Tune and the High-Flow Air Intake. That's it. For my needs that's actually good since all I need to do to make it SpecE46 compliant is put the factory air box back on and put the class ECU tune on. Easy.

February 22nd, 2018, 09:19 AM
Finally going to get around to titling the DMC. Going to go with an antique plate:


It's lifetime registration, no emissions or safety inspection, and allows me to drive it about one day a week + to events, shows, etc. That should be plenty as the DMC wasn't meant to be a daily driver.

Looking for ideas for the four-letter vanity plate. So far the chat brain trust has come up with:

DMC Related:
CHRS (Russ, honestly, even remember what this one was?)
BT17 (Postal code for the factory in Ireland)
82 D
2STR (don't remember what this is, something to do with Stage II?)

BTTF Related (Unlikely, would have to be fantastically clever):
RP 1

Drug Entrapment Related (Not happening, but here for your amusement):

-Law stuff
D B8

Not available from PennDOT:

There isn't a strong candidate that I'm in love with at this point. Any suggestions to add to the list are welcome. If I had to pick right now I'd probably go with '82 D' or one of the Pittsburgh ones.

Availability tool, if it asks go to Specialty then Antique: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/vehicle_services/vrvanity.jsp?navigation=true

February 22nd, 2018, 09:35 AM
CHRS = c-hrs = seahorse => the USS Seahorse was submarine SS-304. SS304 an abbreviation for 304 stainless steel.


February 22nd, 2018, 09:42 AM
And, in reality: "Who's Chris?"

February 22nd, 2018, 10:10 AM
2STR = Two seater?

February 22nd, 2018, 10:22 AM
Yeah, that makes sense. I thought of it originally back in December but couldn't put it together. I really wanted something that worked well with 'Stage 2' but everything is taken.

February 22nd, 2018, 11:36 AM
Postal code is a pretty cool idea

February 25th, 2018, 12:20 PM
PU94 (Plutonium)

February 26th, 2018, 04:51 PM
MY D (doubles as "Mighty!" :D)

February 26th, 2018, 05:09 PM

February 26th, 2018, 06:43 PM
Doctor Doctor?

February 26th, 2018, 08:16 PM
SHNY? (shiny)

BARE (metal)

February 26th, 2018, 09:01 PM
Tapiro or a permutation of?

February 28th, 2018, 06:11 PM
I like BARE a lot but somebody already has it. SHNY is there, though.

AWSM is also taken. Particularly frustrating because it would've been a match to the plate in the chicken picture of my car.

The four letter thing is really shitty and starting to piss me off if we're honest.

I'm supposed to go tomorrow to register it. We'll see.

February 28th, 2018, 08:52 PM

March 1st, 2018, 12:14 AM

March 1st, 2018, 10:41 AM

82 D

in that order, but I think they're all available so I'll likely end up with "AHSM." It's as close as I could get to the "AH SUM" in the chicken picture as I could get, but I like the continuity of provenance there. Russ suggested it, so hat tip to him.

Because I'm a bad owner and should feel bad, I topped up the coolant before leaving and forgot to put the cap back on so I drove the 15 minutes each way with the coolant reservoir open. Got home and the rear quarter windows were steamed and the motor was splashed with the stuff. YAY ME.

March 4th, 2018, 09:51 PM
Better coolant than oil!

I experienced the headroom thing first hand the other day. I'd seen a few DeLoreans but never sat in one before. The racing seat could have raised or lowered the hip point -- never know unless you compare with stock. There are plenty of variables there.


The roll cage was pretty cool. I didn't take time to inspect it from a road racing safety perspective, but as it's a test car not expected to do any wheel to wheel racing, I thought the cage design was well done for that and the integration of the windshield header bar was tight and neat.


Notice anything else unusual? The front steering angle perhaps? This is an autonomous drift car (let that sink in...) built by Stanford students of engineering. I was pretty shocked to learn what it was used for at first, but thinking about it later it seemed obvious. Automotive science/software is heavy into autonomous driving these days, and the kids are into drifting... why not have fun with your engineering work. :)


It had an electric drivetrain, too. Of course.

And it's named Marty.

Anyway, just a little DeLorean run-in story. Back to the regularly scheduled dodint programming. :)

March 5th, 2018, 06:53 AM
Better coolant than oil!

Yeah. It's just after lusting for one of these for decades it's pretty embarrassing to do something as silly as that right away. I probably know more about these cars than 90% of all owners, but I'm driving around spraying coolant all over my aluminum block. SAD!

That day in chat Russ shared the pic of you in it:


To be fair, I knew you were at Stanford because of the Facebook story with the pic in front of the Audi. Glancing at that pic in chat I first noticed the wheels (not bad, assumed they were 5 lug but with your new pics they're still 4 lug, interesting), and then I saw the roll cage and seats and figured it was a pretty extreme car.

One of the more popular DMC vids on the internet is of MARTY:


Looking at your second pic, I'm surprised how much the rear wheel is NOT centered in the wheel well. And yeah, that steering angle is fairly extreme. :lol:

Did you shut the door? It looks like you have a little more room than I do. When I'm driving I have less than 2" of clearance, meaning my hair gets messed up everywhere I go because it constantly rubs on the headliner. I might invest in a small brimless hat.

March 5th, 2018, 08:17 AM
I didn't' shut the door. It's hard to tell just how much relief is there in the headliner and how close it'd be to my head, but it looks tight.

The Sparco in my blue Z sat higher than stock with the Megan Racing mount, and now lower than stock with the Sparco Low mount. So who knows where Marty's seats are height wise.

March 5th, 2018, 08:36 AM
The headliner, as you can see, is recessed to help. From the looks of this comparative shot I think you have a little more room than me:


I look like I'm on the verge of being concussed each time I get in the car. In fact, I often hit my head on the t-bar if I sit down and simultaneously reach for something on the passenger side. It delivers a very cool LMP like feeling when getting in but delivers none of the right foot excitement. ;)

I doubt a racing seat could get much lower than the stock seat, it's really down there.

March 5th, 2018, 09:09 AM
It delivers a very cool LMP like feeling when getting in but delivers none of the right foot excitement. ;)


March 5th, 2018, 09:44 AM
Say I win the lottery and decide to buy a second DMC to build into a bonkers track machine. I think I still stay faithful to the PRV6, and start with the Venturi 600LM setup and work backwards:


I'd blow a lot of money and probably ruin a chassis in the process. :lol:

Interestingly, I can't find a picture of the engine bay itself, all the 'open bay' pics I find are from the front of the car. That can't be good.

April 3rd, 2018, 07:09 AM
Little update since I haven't posted in a month.

The E46:

I was supposed to have the first HPDE on April 21st and a TNiA the following week. But I'm going to Minnesota for two weeks from the 6th-20th and the car now needs suspension work on top of the pad change and diff swap. With school and the general slog of life I just haven't had time to do much of anything. So now I'll do my first TNiA at the end of May. Ho-hum.

I did just put on a set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS for the daily driver duties. Very nice so far, they've been on for less than a week. Was Russ's recommendation and ensuing research that sealed the deal, was also looking at a set of BFG G-Force COMP-2 A/S's and Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2's, but I've heard good things about the DWS's from several sources.
It was when they were doing the tire swap that the found the bad ball joint. I can't feel it in the steering yet but it's too loose for track use right now. And since the ball joint is bad, I might as well replace the Front Control Arm Bushing 'while I'm in there' so I'm converting to this class legal fixed point FCAB:


Spherical bearings are not legal in SpecE46, but these are. They're actually named specifically in one of the SE46 example builds. They're also not significantly more expensive than buying solid FCABs and new carriers. I made the mistake of buying just the bushing and trying to reuse the carrier with our old E46, I'll never do that again and it's a huge pain in the ass to press the bushing in.

So, what needs to be done before May 23rd:

Brake Pad Swap (StopTech Sport)
Front Control Arms
Front Control Arm Bushing Swap
State Inspection (Due 4/30, buh)
Differential Swap

The DMC-12:

Still loads of fun, drove it to see Ready Player One the other day, awesome time as always. My Dad and I are taking it to the 24hr of LeMans viewing party at the National Corvette Museum in June, so I need to get some stuff done before that.

Fix coolant leak
Fix speedometer
-Swap 85mph speedo back in
-Convert to one piece speedo cable
-Lambda delete
-Replace Angle Drive
-Upgrade gauge lighting to LED
Tint windows
Window Switch Refurb/Upgrade
Navigation Unit (Single-DIN)

I'm going to buy the complete coolant hose kit and convert the car from rubber to silicon hoses. Still need to buy the kit.
I have everything from the speedo project, just need the time. I want to shoot a video How To as the only other Angle Drive how-to out there sucks.
The AC works, but I want to tint the windows with ceramic tint so the system doesn't have to work as hard, and if it fails we might be able to get by with the windows down. The car has a big canopy and heats up quick.
I ordered the window switches and the aligning mechanism that keeps all five switches aligned. The console is made of some kind of cheap cardboard underneath and as time goes on the button all point different directions, this part I'm installing is a steel brace that keeps them in line. The new switches are just backlit up/down arrows that match the interior lighting, add a splash of color in a dark part of the car.
As for the Nav, I'm looking at this Clarion NZ503:
It's the only single-din motorized Nav unit on the market that also has a display while the unit is closed. The key illumination is variable so I can turn it green to match the car interior. I think it's visually a better fit than the Kenwood that's in there now, and will allow me to navigate to places without putting my phone on a suction cup RAM mount on the windshield. Installation should be fairly easy as there are only two power wires and four speaker wires in the car for the sound system.

That's everything I want to accomplish before going to Kentucky. The clutch is starting to feel a bit slippery in certain gears under certain conditions, so I might look into doing a new clutch before going to DCS in August, not sure yet. I have a DMC vendor 100 miles away in Akron that will do it for ~$1500. I also think the doors might be slightly out of alignment but I don't know if that's just me being picky or what.

Like I said, I'm going to Minnesota for two weeks starting Saturday, so I won't accomplish anything anytime soon. :(

May 9th, 2018, 07:00 AM
A month later and I've still DONE NOTHING. Except a butt-ton of law school stuff, which ends one way or another (for the semester) on Sunday.

Well, I changed the oil and transmission fluid in the DMC. I've also determined the clutch is going back in the DMC so I'm taking it to a DMC shop in Akron soon so I can have it all fixed up for the Kentucky trip in June.
I'm going to have them repair the leaking axle seal I spotted as well as refurbish all the shift linkages to get a better feel from the gear shifter. It's a bit sloppy even when not accounting for the clutch work.
I'll have them recharge the AC as well, just not sure if it's R12 or R134a at this point.
Have an appointment on June 2nd to get the ceramic tint done.
Still waiting on a part to do the window switch upgrade.
I'm going to fix the speedo before sending it in for clutch work.

The E46 isn't terribly happy with me. I took it to a mechanic thinking I had a bad head gasket and it turns out my oil level was low by 4.5qts, I'm pretty shocked the motor didn't nuke for that. The oil level sender is also bad but honestly I'm a terrible person for never once manually checking the oil level since I bought it.
I also have a tear in the lower air intake boot. I took the car apart and got all the way to the 'lets install the new boot' part of the process and realized I ordered the wrong boot, so that car is sitting in the garage waiting patiently to be reassembled. The correct boot should be delivered this afternoon.
It still needs the control arms to be changed and a state inspection done.

The MINI is just quietly doing MINI things. It has a loose license plate bracket, that's about it.

School is done this weekend, which means I can give the cars (and house) some sustained and uninterrupted attention and clear out these projects.

Oh, I bought a QuickJack. It rules.


Heavy af, tho.

May 9th, 2018, 08:05 AM
That QuickJack is badass!

May 9th, 2018, 11:37 AM
I can now say I've sat in a Delorean, as we've got one in the showroom at work at the moment.

May 21st, 2018, 01:45 PM
If you sit in it and never drive it your opinion of the car will likely remain higher than if you take it out and hoon it. ;)

E46: New control arms and fixed point FCABs are in! Just needs an alignment and inspection and I'm mostly done with projects for it for now. I will need to bring the air intake system down and clean the Idle Control Valve as it's being fussy, but onto other things...

DMC: I had it towed to Akron today to get the clutch looked at and the AC system charged. Turns out the AC system won't hold pressure so we're just going to replace the entire system and switch to R134. Clutch will also be replaced as I expected as it was slipping. Clutch hydraulics look good, though, so that's something. I'm also having upgraded chromed axle flanges put in; supposedly once you make this upgrade the axles rarely leak again as the flanges do not corrode and become porous.

Clutch stuff:
Machine flywheel assembly
New pressure plate, clutch disc, throw out bearing, pilot bearing and rear main seal

Transmission and axle stuff:
Replace axle flange seals/ inner o rings/ Dress transmission case assembly and install chrome hardened axle flanges
Rebuild shift link complete/adjust
Replace cross gate cable assembly (worn through on frame) and cross gate cable

AC stuff:
Replace all lines, compressor, pulley system/belt, flush evaporator core and replace orifice tube, flush condenser, replace accumulator, replace lower pressure switch.
A/C line kit complete with accumulator/ Sanden compressor

Separately, the ceramic tint goes on June 2nd. At that point it will be pretty much ready for the NCM trip two weeks later, I just need to do my speedo project and we'll be set.

MINI: Just goes; used it to move furniture this week.

May 30th, 2018, 10:52 AM
Sooooo, yeeeeeaahhhhhh.....

They went to hook the new AC lines up to the evaporator and the fittings disintegrated in their hands. When they took it apart they found that a prior owner had modified the box and had broken/disabled the defrost vacuum control and tried to repair it with chicken wire. That means the entire interior must come apart now to get to the heater core and evaporator under the dash, adding 11 hours of labor to the project. But, now the entire system will be replaced and should be in tip-top shape for a long while.

When they took the interior apart they found that much of it was assembled pretty poorly by whoever did the interior refresh. Not using the right fasteners, missing fasteners, routing wire harnesses in the wrong places, and even had some components held together with chicken wire. DPI is going to reassemble the interior using the correct fasteners and is replacing the affected wiring harnesses free of charge since they're in there anyway. It should help with some of the random pops and squeaks and generally makes me feel better to know that it is being done correctly.

Some notes:
-Transmission removal/rear main seal/clutch and flywheel replacement went well. Crankshaft seal journal polished without any issues.
-Transmission seal replacement/upgrade went well.
-Clutch hydraulic system, slave cylinder is seizing in the bore partially engaged and will not fully release. They're replacing this and re-bleeding the system with no additional labor charge. Picture of the leaking slave cylinder:


Looking forward to getting it back on Friday, crossing my fingers that nothing else goes wrong. I asked them to glance at the front end and see if there was an obvious reason I have some vibration through the steering wheel, but I want to replace that whole front suspension in the next few years so I probably won't dive into it soon anyway.

July 5th, 2018, 11:54 AM

Had a great drive to and from Kentucky with my Dad. The car is filthy, going to clean it up on Friday and take it to Cars and Coffee on Saturday morning. I took my buddy a few weeks ago but Ash hasn't had a chance to go yet so I'm going again. The upgraded AC has been money well worth it and the clutch/shifter improvements really help the drive ability.



Doing my first TNiA with this car on the 10th. Still has the factory diff and I don't have slicks for it, so it'll be a nice baseline of what a stock Dinan 3 is capable of, I guess.


Just keeps going.

July 7th, 2018, 08:38 AM
C&C was fun today. First real picture of me and the car.


July 8th, 2018, 11:45 AM
Nice. Can't weight to see her in person.

July 9th, 2018, 05:56 AM
Jeez, you get under 200 lbs and now you are makin fat jokes....what a jerk ;)

July 10th, 2018, 08:43 AM
Heh. I didn't even realize I did that.

August 22nd, 2018, 11:29 AM

Doing my first TNiA with this car on the 10th. Still has the factory diff and I don't have slicks for it, so it'll be a nice baseline of what a stock Dinan 3 is capable of, I guess.

I came away from that TNiA very underwhelmed, but I'm going to post a video about it later so I'll not bother getting into it.

I have been doing some hard thinking about what I want to achieve over the next 2-3 years and figured I would map that into a plan. I won't be able to get my competition license and start doing actual racing until we're out of school, so 2020ish. So rather than invest in a racing school I'm going to start digging into the car over the winter. Unless something changes I'm looking at getting this done, hopefully before April:

-Toyo RR 255/40ZR17; rumor is that I won't need to use spacers unlike with the E36. These will go on the 17x8.5" OZ's. Looking very forward to this.

Cooling System
-All aluminum radiator
-New expansion tank
-Performance Water Pump
-Thermostat (eliminating the electric and converting to mechanical)
-Hose upgrade.
When I had the E36 I already upgraded all the same parts so I'm kind of covering old ground again.

-Spec suspension kit, just a whole bunch of fun stuff to replace.
-Rear subframe reinforcement. I need to weld in a reinforcement plate because BMW designed the trunk with a weird empty space in the sub-frame.
--Install the 3.46 differential that I cleaned up and painted, it's still hanging in my garage.

Weight Reduction
-Removing pretty much everything I can behind the front seats. Rear seats, carpet, sound deadening, extra wiring, trunk stuff.

So hopefully next year I can do some HPDEs with a car that is lighter, a bit punchier, and well planted. Not looking to do any motor improvements as I'm building to the NASA SpecE46 specifications.
I would really like to get to an HPDE in either VIR or Watkins Glen next year. And maybe NCM's track or something out west, was talking with Tyler about maybe doing something instead of going to the NCM 24LM Viewing Party.

October 15th, 2018, 08:19 AM
Long time no check in. I'll start with the fun stuff:


If you don't want to watch the whole video (who has that kind of time, right?) I recommend clicking through to 13:20 and watching what I consider the only time I've ever put a car somewhere I wasn't sure where it would end up. It doesn't *look* very dramatic in the video but I puckered pretty good in the moment. In this car the way that kink works is you can hold the throttle flat out and slightly turn the wheel right, letting the car track from right to left as you unwind. There is a split second of a heartbeat where you lift and get the wheel turned straight before applying some medium to heavy braking. Ideally I try to end up on the left side of the track for my turn-in as I begin to unload the brakes. In the video above I talked myself into staying flat out through kink, and somewhere after getting the wheel straight I got really loose under braking and ended up 1.5-3 car lengths to the right, basically on top of the apex before even turning in. Sloppy, scary, and fun!
I think my car is right on the edge of being able to take that kink flat out, it will be fun to practice it and find out for sure. Any suggestion from other drivers is absolutely welcome as I'm not fully sure why the car began to move under braking there.

I did that TNiA back in September and felt MUCH BETTER this time around. Just much looser and more dialed in. I only did two events this summer and as I alluded to in the earlier post the first was a bit of a shakedown cruise and I never felt like I was really getting anywhere close to the limit. The sessions in the video above were much tighter.

Ultimately I ended up turning a 2:17.08 with a top speed of 117mph.
Best lap ever in the SVT Cobra was 2:15.09 with a top speed of 112mph.
Best lap ever in the BMW 650i was 2:05.71 with a top speed of 117mph.

Initially I was really upset when I did the track day earlier in the summer. Despite giving up 80hp to the Mustang I thought the chassis would be nimble enough to get down to 2:10 once I got to the limit. Not true, I still haven't even gotten down to the Mustang. :(

I'm not worried though. I would've matched the Mustang in the last lap of the video above if it hadn't been the end of the session; I was clearly on pace for a ~2:15 when I entered the final straight and I had to lift/coast because the Porsche ahead had slowed (my timing line is the short course flag stand, not the main straight flagstand that threw the checkers). That's the same lap that I had the braking incident above as well, which wasn't terribly clean.
Further, the Mustang was on 300TW BFGs and the 330Ci is on 570TW Continental DWS's. I'm confident with a clean track and >300TW tires I would beat the Mustang time; but not by a ton. 2:13 or so, I reckon.

Moving forward I'm starting to prep the car for club racing with the intent to cage it around January 2020. So through the motorsports season of 2019 I plan to compete in 1 to 3 of the new SCCA Time Trials Nationals Tour events: https://www.scca.com/articles/2008957-scca-announces-new-time-trials-nationals-event
Most likely at PittRace, Heartland Motorsports Park, and maybe NCM. I'm currently annoyed with and debating the philosophical merits of the rulebook with the event organizers but I doubt I'll actually decide to not run at least the PittRace event. Hoping Tyler joins me out there in the C4 or as a co-driver in the E46.

Moving forward.

I'm now actively searching for a tow vehicle and desire most a Ford E350 regular length passenger spec van with the V10 and tow package, trying to pay under $10k. May end up setting for a F series if the right one turns up. This has the dual purpose benefit of doubling as a moving fan which is why I have accelerated the purchase window to now. I'm in the beginning stages of planning a home renovation that includes expanding the garage to 4+ and a lift. Yay! We'll see how it turns out.

I've also been in talks with Nick about buying the GTXF Saleen. He wants to sell, I want to buy, I think it's going to come down to price. We're supposed to pick up discussion on that in May. It would replace the E46 as the fun car occasional DD/TT/TNiA car.

E46 mods to be done before April:
-Rear subframe reinforcement kit
-Replace/upgrade cooling system
-SpecE46 suspension kit (MAYBE).

October 16th, 2018, 05:27 PM
Just watched The Moment a few times. Without having driven there, or the car, [grain of salt CYA here], I'd say it was more the position of the car on entry to the slower corner than anything else. By the time you got to the tight turn the car was all the way to the right. That means you have to turn a much tighter radius to make the corner. I'm quite sure that wasn't your intended line. :) But I'd say 2 things - #1, when you take the fast kink the way you did, you can start to open up the wheel a little bit past the apex which will take some lateral load out of the car and make it more stable/predictable when you lift and/or brake. It's a subtle change but it will make a difference. #2, I'm painting with a broad brush from the amount of video I watched but you might want to practice having more fleet (fleeter?) hands for corrections. Slow hands are great, until one starts moving the car around underneath them. I'd recommend working on this for when you start road racing. Things are gonna happen even faster. We don't want to see a video of you ending up backwards because of a bump (on track or from another car!) or something. :) I've seen time and time again a driver who is comfortable with their car seeming so stable that they will never have to correct... until they actually need a reasonably fast correction.

Here's an example of how it can go wrong when hands aren't keeping up with what's needed. Nobody was hurt, the car luckily didn't dig into the dirt and roll. https://www.facebook.com/groups/86cup/permalink/2160126020870611

Saleens are rad as heck and all, but going road racing in a car you enjoy is a pretty effing cool experience in life. Especially if you've got buds to share in the competition/tomfoolery/camaraderie. I just met a group of club racers yesterday who run with each other at a lot of races, and they have a rule: the bird must be displayed anytime one of them passes the other. :lol: It confuses the corner workers for sure. :D

October 31st, 2018, 10:58 AM
Thanks for looking, I really appreciate the feedback from you, Russ, Cam, T, etc. I would've responded sooner but I'm up in St. Paul doing my residency requirement for law school and things are hectic.

Just watched The Moment a few times. Without having driven there, or the car, [grain of salt CYA here]

You (and anyone, really) have an open invitation to come try it out. PittRace is the most well attended TNiA track in the program, would be happy to share the car.

I'd say it was more the position of the car on entry to the slower corner than anything else. By the time you got to the tight turn the car was all the way to the right. That means you have to turn a much tighter radius to make the corner. I'm quite sure that wasn't your intended line. :)

Yeah, that's the most far to the right I've ever been, it was the John Birch Society of apexes.

But I'd say 2 things - #1, when you take the fast kink the way you did, you can start to open up the wheel a little bit past the apex which will take some lateral load out of the car and make it more stable/predictable when you lift and/or brake. It's a subtle change but it will make a difference.

Yeah, that makes perfect sense actually. Also, the idea of turning the wheel left there, even slightly, seems terrifying. But from a physics standpoint the car is already drifting so maybe my steering input won't have any meaning anyway until the car aligns with the straight again. Will be fun to work on it, thanks.

#2, I'm painting with a broad brush from the amount of video I watched but you might want to practice having more fleet (fleeter?) hands for corrections. Slow hands are great, until one starts moving the car around underneath them. I'd recommend working on this for when you start road racing. Things are gonna happen even faster. We don't want to see a video of you ending up backwards because of a bump (on track or from another car!) or something. :) I've seen time and time again a driver who is comfortable with their car seeming so stable that they will never have to correct... until they actually need a reasonably fast correction.

Here's an example of how it can go wrong when hands aren't keeping up with what's needed. Nobody was hurt, the car luckily didn't dig into the dirt and roll. https://www.facebook.com/groups/86cup/permalink/2160126020870611

Yeah, that's really interesting. But how do you work on it? Smooth is fast, etc. Seems like purposely having more active hands would make you jittery. You're right, faster hands and reflexes are better, but how would I even work on that in the TNiA/TT context? If I work on it in a simulator do you think the fast twitch reflex will translate?

Also, the visor flip was totally baller.

Saleens are rad as heck and all, but going road racing in a car you enjoy is a pretty effing cool experience in life. Especially if you've got buds to share in the competition/tomfoolery/camaraderie. I just met a group of club racers yesterday who run with each other at a lot of races, and they have a rule: the bird must be displayed anytime one of them passes the other. :lol: It confuses the corner workers for sure. :D


Yeah, the Saleen is just something worth picking up because it needs some TLC right now and it gives me a fun car to drive to the track and run in TNiA/TT when the E46 is fully caged and not road legal. Tyler and I are planning at least one, maybe more, track days next year and I'm really looking forward to it. Once we nail down some details we'll probably make a thread or something opening it up to everyone; likely centered around SCCA National TT Tour.

November 1st, 2018, 12:00 PM
I've been looking ahead to a tow vehicle. Russ and Tyler have been fielding my endless and stupidly repetitive questions on the matter. Over time I narrowed it down to a cargo/passenger van. It'll allow me to use it as a moving for moving house next year, let me sleep inside at tracks without a tent, has tons of space, and can tow nearly as much as a full sized one ton truck. Ended up looking hardest at the Ford E-350.

Requirements were:
6.8L V10 petrol, looked at both diesel options and just didn't like the extra work they required.
Pass configuration so it has built in carpet, lights, ac in the cargo area.
Non-extended chassis, did not want the 15 pass/XL version.
The less seats the beter since I plan to throw them all out except for three captains chairs.
Windows all around.
Tow package w/light and brake controller.

After looking for a while and considering lots of stuff (Excursions are very similar and are the hotness in road racing circles) I found this one:

http://houston-used-auto-sales-tx.hammerwebsites.net/vehicles/4b555bf0-92bf-4f61-a21d-894a0789c231-2003-FORD-ECONOLINE-E350-SUPER-DUTY-WAGON?fbclid=IwAR3qAR0Ndd23H7QqGmOayb29ulUu74xDpwr 7NphBJpqQxtQnmyZrFcYb3qY



Looks super clean and meets all requirements, even has the snazzy wheel covers and that baller wind deflector. Lack of door cards is weird. Carfax looks good, mileage is low. Put a deposit down today and bought plane tickets, Ash and I are going to fly down and pick it up next Saturday. Unfortunately Adam is out of town and our trip doesn't run us by many GTXF'ers, so it'll be 20 hours of marital bliss on the way back. :lol:

November 5th, 2018, 01:19 PM
Nice blank canvas. :up:

Bet you can do a sweet burnout in that rig.

November 10th, 2018, 05:17 PM

All the fuel...

November 17th, 2018, 10:06 PM
Ah yeah, that'd be a truly alarming amount of money going in, if you were in NZ. Even a compact Corolla sized car you'd be dumping a good US$60 to $70 from empty, so I'm magnifying that by a 6.8 V10.

November 18th, 2018, 05:38 AM
Did five fillups, 30 gallon tank, about $2.50 or so per gallon for 87. So around $400 to do the 1500mi.

They sold it to me empty, of course.

November 18th, 2018, 12:16 PM
Would have cost US$890 in NZ with our fuel prices.

May 28th, 2019, 08:41 AM


May 28th, 2019, 12:19 PM
Nice save!

May 29th, 2019, 09:43 AM
Wiper activation for extra style points!

May 29th, 2019, 10:13 AM
I only lost 1 second on that TrackSprint pass. It was going to be a really nice time. Oh well. ;)

June 4th, 2019, 05:56 AM
Got in a small rear-end accident in the Delorean. Ash and I were sitting at a light doing that deal where you creep up a few feet, stop, creep up, stop. I was stopped and the kid behind me was looking out his side window into the shopping center on the left and drove into us at maybe 4-5 mph. Wasn't a lot but it startled me and my wife pretty good and was hard enough that we're both sore this morning.

It was a super lucky hit. It was a Ford Focus that had a front bumper low enough that it hit square on my rear bumper cover which pushed directly into the rear bumper crash bar. Surface damage but no structural degradation. Scratched the bumper cover on my car and caused some of the paint underneath to flake. He hit one of my tailpipes square on and it punched a perfect hole in his front bumper cover:


If it had been a SUV/Truck it would've rolled right through my tail light structure and into my engine bay. Can't overstate how lucky it was that it was a car low enough to actually engage the crash bumper on my car. You can see the flaking on the bottom left under the Delorean lettering, and some white scuffing to the right of the 'n.' The bowing below the license plate isn't there, it's a trick of light from that camera angle.


They were some teens/early-20s kids from Michigan. My car was hit perfect where the damage was pretty much superficial. Turning it in for a claim wouldn't get me anything other than higher insurance rates and diminished value of the car if an accident is reported to Carfax. I let them have the option of taking it to insurance or not, which I highly doubt they will. Just glad they didn't get their airbags deployed, would have been a completely different story if they had, I think.

June 5th, 2019, 08:15 AM
Sorry to hear you and Ash are sore, but it looks like otherwise it wasn't too bad.

June 5th, 2019, 08:18 AM
Thanks. I think it might've been the sudden startling reaction to the hit rather than the hit itself that did us in. Like when you slip on ice and jerk real fast. I could be full of shit, though. All I remember is talking to Ash, then feeling a jolt of power coming up through my torso, and then the realization of what happened.

The car is good, though. Have driven it about 60 miles since then, and to work yesterday, and it's all systems normal I think. I'm working as staff for TNiA tomorrow and plan to drive it up there as well.

June 6th, 2019, 04:06 PM
Glad the car is okay, hope you and Ash feel better soon.

June 8th, 2019, 11:06 AM
Look at those Gran Turismo skills on display. :D

June 25th, 2019, 01:23 PM
Slow hands are great, until one starts moving the car around underneath them. I'd recommend working on this for when you start road racing. Things are gonna happen even faster. We don't want to see a video of you ending up backwards because of a bump (on track or from another car!) or something. :) I've seen time and time again a driver who is comfortable with their car seeming so stable that they will never have to correct... until they actually need a reasonably fast correction.

Here's an example of how it can go wrong when hands aren't keeping up with what's needed. Nobody was hurt, the car luckily didn't dig into the dirt and roll. https://www.facebook.com/groups/86cup/permalink/2160126020870611


I've been working on my hands. Is this better?


So just do that, but smoother? :rawk:

June 25th, 2019, 02:22 PM
Yeah that's going in the right direction! The faster you realize a correction is needed, the smaller the correction has to be. More practice with oversteer control will help fine tune the precision of your recovery (muscle memory). Any drift/rally schools in your area? Do you have a FF wheel for Gran Turismo (or other sim)? Those will all help with the muscle memory thing. Additionally, speeding up your brain on track (this is what makes sense to me anyway) is a great way to catch slides earlier and with more authority. "Not in my house!" I mentally say to the car as I'm on track. This can really speed up my hands when needed, and often (but not always) negate the need to do hand-over-hand corrections. Driving a kart or formula car at/beyond the limits is a fantastic way to speed up your brain -- then the next time you jump in the TT car, you'll be thinking "this is so easy!" When you add grip and stiffen suspension, both of those things contribute to a car requiring faster hands and earlier oversteer detection. Something to keep in mind when you start road racing the BMW.

July 1st, 2019, 07:42 AM
Thanks for the breakdown.

Karting is great exercise, it strips away almost everything that complicates racing (setups, car features/issues, etc). The Wilson Circuit at PittRace is really well done, too.
I have a PC VR sim rig with iRacing/rFactor2/Assetto Corsa. What I really need to do is get back into Spec Racer Ford racing on iRacing. They're tail happy, for me, and would be great oversteer correction practice. The problem is, as always, time. Really looking forward to graduating school soon and getting my life back. ;)

I'll have to put some thought into the 'getting ahead of the car' concept. I suppose as I get more comfortable with the car I'll be more willing to push it to the edge to see how it handles on the limit. Right now a lot of what I'm doing is trying to get faster but also never having an off. It's a pretty conservative way to drive but being new to competition and being new to TTN I don't want to be 'that guy' that kills a session by needing a tow out of some mud. I have a greater fear of ruining other peoples session than I do actually hitting anything.

To be completely truthful about that clip above, I had already set my fastest time of the session and knew I only had one or two laps left. I had been talking to the driver of the silver E36 M3 ahead of me through the weekend and we were having fun about who was quicker. I really wanted to close up on his rear view mirror before the end of the session so we could laugh about it during impound. We ended up joking about how he checked the rearview mirror when exiting the corner and he saw me go sideways, he thought I was done for.
What I think happened was I got greedy and carried too much speed through T1 and when I went over that little crest near the cones the car came unsettled, which is normal. But I got on the throttle immediately to try and make a hard run down the short straight to T3. The rear of the car was light as the weight was shifting to the front from that little dip and when I slammed the throttle the rear just started to come around.
If I'm reading you correctly I should be anticipating all of that and then making an earlier steering input to catch the slide before it happens and turn it into a 'drift' for my exit for T2. With some application of turning the wheel to the right earlier I can see how I could get ahead of the car there. It's just not a level I'm operating on right now; I plan to get there with time and practice.

I'm so much more comfortable with the car now. I'm catching slides with greater ease, and my trail braking to induce slip angle at turn in is getting much better. I'm moving beyond "brake then turn" and it is getting me cleaner lines through many turns. I'll post my vid of the weekend and I think (hope?) you'll be able to see that I have a higher level of proficiency and commitment than I had in the TNiA video from last year.

Most importantly, this is so much fun. Nothing else like it.

July 5th, 2019, 11:24 AM
Finally got around to cobbling together my video. First part is the three segments that contributed to my cumulative time. The second part is just a collection of fun traffic and me ham-fisting my way through the wet.


I've started racing the SRF in iRacing lately as well, to work on catching the back end of a car.

July 6th, 2019, 03:05 PM
Very nice.

July 18th, 2019, 09:26 AM
What I think happened was I got greedy and carried too much speed through T1 and when I went over that little crest near the cones the car came unsettled, which is normal. But I got on the throttle immediately to try and make a hard run down the short straight to T3. The rear of the car was light as the weight was shifting to the front from that little dip and when I slammed the throttle the rear just started to come around.

It can be fun to use video and/or data to break down why something happened at the limit. I'm not able to in this case because of the wind noise hiding throttle input sounds and the bounciness of the camera hiding the effect of any bumps. The video is still good for lots of other things as-is.

If I'm reading you correctly I should be anticipating all of that and then making an earlier steering input to catch the slide before it happens and turn it into a 'drift' for my exit for T2. With some application of turning the wheel to the right earlier I can see how I could get ahead of the car there. It's just not a level I'm operating on right now; I plan to get there with time and practice.

Anticipate, yes to a degree. Some of that will come with experience as you build your internal database of at the limit driving (and track knowledge). By correcting sooner and/or faster (rate of movement of the steering wheel), you wouldn't have had to go hand over hand in this case. Another way of thinking about it: the slide was 'allowed' to build because your countersteering timing was slightly behind the rear end slide.

If your goal is fast lap times more than having fun sliding, then your goal in slide correction ought to be more towards arresting the slide quickly with minimal momentum loss, in which case you wouldn't want a slide to turn into a drift. You'd want to make the slide as small and as brief as possible - providing you're still able to stay on a line that allows you to be fast.

Most importantly, this is so much fun. Nothing else like it.
Yeah! :cool:

I skimmed through your recent TT video at HPT. That rain practice is great for what we're talking about. Did you find some people elected not to go out in that session?

And yeah, you do look generally more confident in this video. :up:

July 18th, 2019, 09:40 AM

When I wasn't on track I walked over to T8, a hard braking zone chicane. Lots of folks were absolutely tiptoeing through it. I am not sure many people refused to run, they just went very lightly. I did not, but, I happened to have brought Continental DWS's for wet and I had more traction than most. I know this is how I placed so high.

Anecdotally, at the PIRC TTN event it rained for Tracksprint, soaked the course. Lots of people ended up in the field at the bottom of the drop near T13. Cold wet tires in April.

August 6th, 2019, 08:53 AM
I went back and looked at that video from September, 2018, at the top of the page:

Ultimately I ended up turning a 2:17.08 with a top speed of 117mph.
Best lap ever in the SVT Cobra was 2:15.09 with a top speed of 112mph.
Best lap ever in the BMW 650i was 2:05.71 with a top speed of 117mph.

Initially I was really upset when I did the track day earlier in the summer. Despite giving up 80hp to the Mustang I thought the chassis would be nimble enough to get down to 2:10 once I got to the limit. Not true, I still haven't even gotten down to the Mustang. :(

I went back in May of 2019 and ran one 20 minute session. I was helping out with TTN/TNiA and only had a chance to get out on course once, after everyone was checked in and on their way. I ended up running a 2:14.21 which was good, but given I was on brand new 200TW tires improvement was expected. I'm signed up for a TNiA up there next week and really plan to smash through that, I'm going to push to get to 2:09.99. I don't normally go in with a full head of steam at a TNiA but I want to see what I can do now that I'm much more confident, and I want a better benchmark against some folks I'll be competing with at TTN NCM.


I competed in a TTN event at Gingerman last week. Unfortunately my fastest and most interesting laps in the last two sessions were not captured on video. Each event I do I get more and more comfortable in the car. I'm kind of ashamed at how inconsequential some of the things I've fussed over have been, in light of the things I've been able to achieve in the car since then. Video posted because it's a really fun track, you feel like you're turning the whole time.

I figured out a permanent solution for the shaky video, so I should have some really good quality video from NCM next month.

August 6th, 2019, 10:14 AM
Unrelated to any of that; the E46 is getting caged this winter so I'm hunting for a new daily driver. As I've never owned a convertible before I've decided to give it a whirl. As such I'm currently on a national* search for the right E85 Z4 3.0si. Best candidates so far are in Phoenix and Atlanta.

Really trying to decide how much I love this color combination:


The blue is fantastic, my number one choice for this platform. That tan is slightly too bold for me and kind of clashes with the aluminum trim, but I think it works well against the blue.

*Phoenix is really a stretch, trying to keep it a bit more east if I can; not looking CA or PACNW cars.

August 6th, 2019, 12:48 PM
That looks like Saddle leather, same as my E90 has. I think it looks great in person especially when it's clean. I do have wood trim instead of aluminum - my take is that Z4 has a lot aluminum on the interior no matter the seat color.

August 6th, 2019, 04:18 PM
It's Dark Sepang Bronze. I pull the VIN decoded build sheets on all cars I am remotely serious about. That's the one in Atlanta.

August 6th, 2019, 04:22 PM
It would be pretty easy to swap the three main trim pieces to black. It would look like this:


Which appears to be piano black trim, and it is gorgeous.

August 6th, 2019, 06:56 PM
Much better!

I think Dark Sepang interior is more like this: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2208497&postcount=4

The ATL car you posted sure looks like Saddle or something very close to it. Maybe the owner did an interior swap? BMW Leather Color Chart (https://leatherworldtech.com/bmw-leather-dye-color-chart/).

August 7th, 2019, 06:32 AM
You're right. I got the color from the ad. I did pull the build sheet but I didn't confirm the color, I use it to confirm options like heated seats, storage package, etc. but don't normally have to validate colors. It's 'Vollleder New England/d3 Sattelbrau - LBD3.'

The long shots show a much darker complexion which is why I believed them about the Sepang:


This is the ad: http://www.mariettauc.com/detail-2007-bmw-z4-roadster_3_0si-used-19169093.html

Nice catch!

August 7th, 2019, 10:35 AM
I see. Their photography is inconsistent. Does the interior look a little rough around the edges for 70k miles to you?

Love that paint color.

August 7th, 2019, 10:49 AM
The fuzzy pics don't help but I noticed early on that the panel on the drivers door was pulled out at the seam which is odd.

I happen to have the Carfax on this one as well. It's had ~3 owners. The last owner, down in Florida, got into three accidents in it in the course of a year. Two minor fender benders and a third with a repair cost over $1,000. My guess is that person sucks and didn't take care of any part of the car. Now it's for sale in Atlanta after a quick clean/detail. Notice that they also had to put 4 brand new tires on it; a sign the PO was neglectful.

Luckily, there are always 2-3 of these for sale in Atlanta at a time. And there are always direct flights from PA-ATL for cheap. So if I show up and it sucks I can either pivot to one of the other cars, or just buy a return ticket home. That color has me hooked, though.

This is another ATL car: https://www.atlantaprestige.com/2004-BMW-Z4/Used-Convertible/Decatur-GA/12409750/Details.aspx

It's the lower power motor, same as the one I have in the E46. But it's an SMG. From everything I have read it's not actually bad once you learn it. BUT, the car I'm buying is to be used primarily for bumper to bumper traffic to and from work in Pittsburgh and the SMG is almost universally panned for that use case, it doesn't like to hang around at low throttle with the clutch being asked to hold and slip. That said, when it comes to cars I'm firmly in the "experience all the things" camp and I've never owned or operated one of these. This SMG is a different unit than the ones in the E46. I mentioned it on rrax and was laughed at. ;)

August 8th, 2019, 05:32 AM
Does the SMG not have an auto mode? Or is it, it has an auto mode and it sucks in traffic.

And I'm thinking about getting a fun car again. And I've always liked the Z4, though I would have to get a coupe. I will be keeping a close eye on how this goes for you. :)

August 8th, 2019, 05:55 AM
Yeah, I was referring to the full auto mode. It doesn't like to crawl and many people say it shifts at un-intuitive times. It's supposed to be really fantastic in manual mode under hard driving.

I bought an automatic 650i a few years ago so Ash could drive it when needed. She drove it exactly one time and it was to Aldi's so she could learn the car. So I'm not sure how much emphasis I want to put on that requirement.

If you're interested in a Z4 Coupe this is the only one that has my eye at the moment, you're welcome to call and make an offer: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inventorylisting/mySavedListings.action#listing=238885185

I have always loved the Z4 M Coupe, but they're 3x as much as the 3.0si. I think that one I linked to is a right-sized version of my 650i.

August 13th, 2019, 12:11 PM
I was doing some deeper looking at that blue one I posted above, with the brown interior. The new tires they put on are SuperMax TM-1's; $36 each at Wal-Mart and they have terrible reviews, 600TW. :lol:

August 13th, 2019, 12:23 PM
Look on the bright side - at $36 each, you can afford to replace them often.

August 15th, 2019, 09:25 AM
Here is a guided walkthrough of my no good very bad evening at PittRace with TNiA.


I was working with Russ, Tyler, and Keith on figuring out the big spin at 6 minutes. The first off is still something of a mystery to me. I know, I think, how I could've gotten out of it but I'm not 100% sure how I specifically got into it.

The car was fine. Very lucky not to have torn the radiator out from the bottom.

August 17th, 2019, 12:10 PM
As with many things in life, when we focus on outcome rather than the process or execution, things can get messy. Goals are great - but in driving, chasing a time isn't the right approach to goals. Make your goal something like "I'm going to really figure out this corner complex today" or "I'm going to focus on my braking points and figure out exactly the best spots." There are tons of variables to lap times - weather, track conditions, tire wear, etc.

I think the 1st and 3rd offs were preventable with being more "up on the wheel" as they say in NASCAR. Have you played sports? Done any reaction training? If you'll forgive the term, your reactions and inputs when oversteer starts look simply lazy in those moments. While smooth is fast, there is such a thing as too smooth. Also, one does want to have quick hands when oversteer is involved.

Glad you turned it around in the end! The track looks like a lot of fun.

August 17th, 2019, 04:57 PM
Cuda, always appreciate the support and I understand the tone of what you're saying. Both in sim and real life hot lapping I've always been lazy/dainty on the controls. Part of it is trying to preserve momentum and the rest is just being timid. I've worked really hard this year on getting faster with my hands and I think I've made improvement, this session on Wednesday was largely me taking a completely obverse mindset than normal and not having a positive result.
Last month I went to Gingerman and picked Jon K's brain for a few hours about race driving. We compared drivers that build to speed, and drivers that fully send it and work backwards to stability. I'm very much in the former group; but for the session captured above I was trying the full send plan and it didn't bode well for me. I wasn't true to myself and let externalities dictate my motivation and I made mistakes.

I think my disappointment is amplified by the fact that I had such a good weekend at Gingerman. Really sync'd well with the car and was handling it with confidence. Part of this is I need to find a way to get on track more often than once a month.

The driver in this MX-5 was gridded in front of me. I found his video and was really impressed with his hands (silly gloves aside). He's responding and reacting with a quickness that I don't have, and in watching it I really began asking myself if I'll ever be there. Maybe; but it's pretty contrary to my current style.


I've been reading the Paradigm Shift Driver Development 'The Science of Speed' series. A theme of theirs is about getting from that plateau drivers find when they've reached their comfort zone, and how to break through that by making small changes at the limit to instinctively learn what the car is doing. Rather than building to the limit in my session and then playing with small changes, I went straight to blowing through the limit and well beyond my capability. Again, I went in with the wrong mindset and did the process backwards.

For the spin, I feel like I could have reacted upon detecting the initial rear slide when it occured and saved/used the slide. But as I said in the video, I specifically told myself not to lift and not to make changes to the steering input; I wanted to crest the hill at full throttle and in a straight line. It appeared lazy but what was happening was that I was following a script I had already committed to days before I got to the turn. Boy, that was dumb.

For the first off, I was ignoring the cue of the rear wheels sliding out thinking that I'd be okay and faster if I just let it slide a little. Fast hands would have saved it, but it was so early in the very first session that I just wasn't capable of expecting what was coming. Once the slide became too much I saw the wall coming on my left and 'froze' by correcting enough to drive straight off but not enough to risk additional oversteer that would've sent me into the wall. Again, I'm completely with you that getting ahead of the car and using that slide to my advantage earlier would've been a much more effective outcome.

I'm looking forward to TTN at NCM next month. They've given us an extra day of practice lapping sessions on Thursday with coaches and car control clinics. It's going to be awesome.

August 17th, 2019, 05:23 PM
I see. Yeah. Part of driving at the limit or driving for time is being adaptable and driving the situation you've got - making the best of what's available in any given moment. You're early in the learning curve so mistakes will happen and there's still plenty to learn about yourself and your car.

The ND driver does have pretty quick hands. The other thing is, NDs have ridiculously fast steering ratios. So him moving his hands 15 degrees would probably be like you moving your hands 30 degrees in the same amount of time (this is a rough guess - I've only driven an M3 in the E46 world, and its steering ratio felt slow enough to me). Think about that when you watch his video. :) On the flip side, the ND has a much shorter wheelbase than the E46 so his car will step out faster than yours all else being equal.

Here's a video I ran across today that you might find useful in some way. The driver is a little sloppy/boisterous but this gives you a great idea of the steering inputs required when sliding a car around. You may notice sometimes he causes oversteer by his overly aggressive turn-in. In general though the car just looks slightly loose. This guy sure seems like a "top-down" driver who learns to reign himself in just the right amount to go faster later in the video. You may notice "top-down" drivers are all pretty active in the car. Constantly sliding it around, adjusting it, tons of inputs. They are the ones who need to hear Smooth Is Fast. "Bottom-up" drivers like yourself can benefit from learning how to become comfortable making the car go beyond its limits of adhesion (without going off), and then integrating that with your natural smoothness.

I found that for myself, not being very athletic and being a chill person in general, I had to amp up my brain and body before a race session to get the most out of the car and myself. The sooner I could start catching a slide, the smaller the correction needed to be and the time loss would be less. I'd do little warmups in the car on pre-grid, and on the tire warming lap I'd purposely work the car in a way that I could feel the tire limit without sliding it excessively while warming them up. Everyone is different - there are some drivers who need to calm themselves down before a session. There is a 'correct' range of mental/physical arousal that results in best performance, and part of your job as a driver is to find that space.

J Krolewicz? If you see him again tell him I said Hi!


August 23rd, 2019, 08:45 AM
Found my car, fam:



If it's there in a few weeks, and if I can work around the sellers demand for cash payment.

August 23rd, 2019, 10:35 AM
Scratch that. No heated seats. :(

Absolutely love that color though.

I've been comparing Porsche 986 S's and BMW 3.0si's. Brain says BMW, heart says Porsche. It doesn't help that the best BMW candidates I'm finding are in Phoenix and Lincoln. Feels like there are Boxsters everywhere.

August 25th, 2019, 10:34 AM

Tight...but satisfying.

Went and looked at a local 986 to get an idea about fit. Lots of headroom!

In all seriousness the biggest fit concern is the pedal box is closer than any other car I have considered. The knee space is about the same as the DMC but the pedals are closer. Steering wheel in the lap is about the same as the DMC so that isn't bothersome. There are some clean mods you can do it free up some space, like doing the lower center console delete from the GT3.

This is the one I am most interested in: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/link/249893598

Good service history, optional hard top included, nice wheels, fun interior color. I plan to get in touch with them this week.

August 26th, 2019, 11:53 AM
Both of the 986s that I was watching sold this weekend. Contacted a seller and was talking to him late last night, it was gone (as per the link above) when I woke up this morning.

I'm stuck between this car in NJ:


and this one in AZ:

Both cars are equally compelling in their own way. The Z4 is 'safer' as it is in my comfort zone. With the long weekend coming up I'm thinking about taking Friday off and going to get one or the other. Just not sure which. The Porsche has an airbag light on, haven't looked to see if that's a big deal yet.

August 27th, 2019, 07:47 AM
Decided on the BMW (shocker). Flying out Friday morning and if everything is as represented I'll buy it and drive back. The trip home looks like Scottsdale-Amarillo-Indianapolis-Pittsburgh which will take 10/15/5hrs per day respectively. Will probably stop in OKC or Tulsa for a nice long lunch and to rest up on Saturday.

I'm going to take the Grom Bluetooth adapter out of the E46 and bring it with to save my sanity for the 31 hour drive back. I'll get all of my school lectures out of the way, as well as a bunch of podcasts for sure.

September 3rd, 2019, 06:05 AM
[Judge Smails]Well? We are waiting....[/Judge Smails]

September 3rd, 2019, 08:22 AM
Sorry, that trip wore me out a bit. You'd think sitting there staring off into space for hours on end wouldn't tire you out but I was depleted yesterday.


Somewhere in east New Mexico. This is about where the drive hit flatland and got pretty dull. The first part through the hills of Arizona was stunning, though. I followed a big thunderstorm on the horizon for a few hours, but when it cleared I had a beautiful view of the Milky Way from the highway in west Texas, that was really cool. I ended up staying in Shamrock, Tx that night.



The car is good, very mechanically sound. Has some small issues that I've mostly fixed. The dealer was your typical small time local car dealer. I'm not certain I would do it again if I knew everything I know now. They gave me a $300 discount on it for me being a veteran, but when I got there they slipped in a $295 cleaning fee. They mentioned the cleaning service to me over the phone, but not the cost. It's basically glorified febreeze that neutralizes odor. Ultimately the owner gave me $100 in cash back and they filled the tank after I test drove it, so they met me about halfway on it. Still, it wasn't right and if it were a local dealer I would've gone home. Financially it wasn't significant enough for me to fly back home that day so I chose not to stand on principle.

They claimed they did a state safety inspection and emissions test on it the day before I flew out. That statement may be true, but they failed to mention that one of the xenon headlights is out and the washer fluid motor was dead. Two items that would have failed a safety inspection here in PA. They performed the open recall that was on it, I verified that with NHTSA this morning.

Anyway, on Sunday I:
-Took the washer motor from the E46 and moved it to the Z4; deleted the system from the E46 since I no longer need it.
-Added the bluetooth module, it installed cleanly in the trunk, very nice. It's a Grom I've been using in the E46 for a few years, glad to get continued use out of it.
-Painted a trim piece I didn't like; it was a switch cover in browning clear plastic. I had some trim paint so I made it black. It's a flip cover for a system that isn't used anyway (BMW Assist) and it looks much better this way.
-Ordered some wide angle mirror glass to help with the HUGE blind spots; one of the mirrors is severely browned from the heating 'fluid' that it's embedded with.
-Ordered some Z4 specific luggage made to fit the trunk. Since the car is out of production it was actually pretty cheap.
-Ordered a xenon headlight bulb and igniter. Hope to install this weekend. You have to take the whole front bumper assembly off to do it so I need to set aside some time.
-Ordered a new hood roundel; the current one is blue/chrome and it looks dumb against the silver.

Other notes:
-The tires are square when they should be staggered. The wheels are aftermarket so I'll see if I can accurately measure their width and when I'm done with this set of Bridgestones I'll buy a more correct setup. Doesn't affect drive-ability but it does annoy me.
-The tires are the wrong outside diameter so the speedo reads over by about 6%. Lame.
-It has one of those 3M clear bra's on it that is starting to peel; going to take a heat gun to it and get it off. Looks bad.
-I need to find a phone mount solution that I like. I have a few ideas but nothing is jumping out at me.

The silver is really radiant; it was a compromise to pick a car of that color but it really does pop, particularly under artificial light. Ash really likes the car, it's easy to drive and she loves having the convertible. We'll probably take it down to the beach with us in a few weeks. The hood is so long you don't really feel like you're in a two seater, then you realize you can practically reach behind you and grab the rear brakelight if you want. The cabin is small, everything is a compromise; small glove box, small door pockets, etc. Seating ergonomics is fine, lots of footwell room to stretch out. The car is 'fast' but the automatic gearbox delivers the power so smoothly it doesn't really feel like it is doing anything. But merging onto interstates is easy, you're triple digits by the time you get to the highway if you keep your foot in it.

Overall I'm glad I have it but I'm not sure it was worth it when you consider the totality of the circumstances.

As an aside, with this trip I have effectively driven coast to coast over the course of my life. When I was in the Marines I flew into Phoenix once and drove to San Diego/LA. This is the first time I've flown into Phoenix and driven east. When I got to St. Louis it linked up my collective routes. Pretty neat.

September 4th, 2019, 03:04 AM
Wow, a stunnah! :cool:

September 4th, 2019, 05:35 AM
Wow, a stunnah! :cool:

Totally agree, and the car is pretty nice as well.

September 4th, 2019, 05:38 AM
Oh, you guys!

September 4th, 2019, 10:28 AM
Where's the heart-eyes emoji?

September 4th, 2019, 11:09 AM
:cool: :up:

September 4th, 2019, 04:21 PM
Very nice.

September 9th, 2019, 08:51 AM
Awesome! Always good when the SO likes it too. :)

I love a good road trip in a new (to me) car. AZ is indeed beautiful in the greener, more mountainous areas.

Which engine does the car have? The ad lists HP/TQ specs that are more than the N52/51, and less than the N54/55. Maybe a special tuned version of the N52? The N51 feels pretty adequate in my sedan. I can imagine your car feeling nicely quick.

I think the Z4 is based on the same platform as the E90, or at least shares a lot of parts with it (like the 1-series does). I'd imagine at least some of that speedo error is a factory 'feature.' My E90 has the correct tire sizes and the analog speedo reads a fair bit high. I spent my first 2 days in the car driving I-95 at 5mph below what I thought I was doing. :) I ended up coding the 'BC' screen to add a digital speedo readout, which for some reason is true and accurate (ie, it reads lower than the analog speedo).

Show us your roundel when you get it. I've only ever seen monochrome ones, aside from the factory colors.

For the tires, it's possible a square setup will handle better. Often, non-M BMWs have insufficient front camber and too-narrow front wheels/tires, giving them a lack of front grip and a bias towards understeer. My E90 is this way, although it still produces surprising amounts of overall grip on the Michelin AS/3+s. If a square setup is done right (wheel offset, overall tire diameter, wheel-to-tire correctness), it can be better. Particularly with a somewhat larger front sway bar... *backs away before delving into upgrade-itis*

September 9th, 2019, 09:08 AM
It's a 3.0si which has the N52B30 that I've seen quoted at 255 and 261hp. I assume the higher number is for euro applications. The early Z4s had the same motor as my E46, the M54B30 at 225hp. Then in 2006 they dumped that motor for the N52, and offered it in a 215hp and 261hp output levels. I didn't want to step backwards from the output I have in the E46 so I hunted down a 3.0si.

It feels quick, sorta. I *know* it's fast but the automatic transmission is just so smooth it's hard to tell. 0-100 is achieved in the length of a highway on-ramp but you don't feel it.

This Z4 is a first gen, post-facelift. Takes a lot from the E46-era parts bin. The shifter is the exact same one we had in our first E46, a 330xi automatic. Lots of stuff is very familiar. I was hoping it would be more like the E63 but that wasn't a realistic expectation.

Unfortunately I broke the blue/chrome roundel taking it off. Whoever installed it screwed it on and I thought it was pull-off like stock and I ended up breaking it. It looked like a regular BMW roundel but the white was chrome. I thought at first the white had just peeled off of the backing but it looked pretty clean for that to be the case.

It's a DD so I'm not too bent out of shape about the tires. They're Bridgestone Driveguard runflats. I measured the wheels and they seem to be 8-8.5" so if I want to bump them up later I will. If I want to tack it to a TNiA or bring two cars to a TTN, I will just use my race wheels on it as they should bolt up. It's questionable how close the 255s will be up front, but we'll see. It has 225 square now. I did the math and the size the PO put on there is the same exact OD as the factory size, they're just narrower, so you're right the speedo inaccuracy is baked into it from the factory it seems.

I only plan to keep the car for 2-3 years, so I'm not going crazy modding it. Made some of the little fixes mentioned above, scheduled a date with my tint guy, and that's about it.

September 11th, 2019, 08:26 AM
Interesting. I think my N51 (and N52 in the E90s) is rated at 230hp by BMW - halfway in between the Z4 N-motor ratings. It sounds like the Z4 uses some E46 era stuff and some E90 era stuff (door handles, engines after the refresh...)

September 11th, 2019, 08:54 AM
I really miss the N62 I had in the 650i. Very cool V8. Made a beautiful euro-V8 sound and was quick to spin up. 360hp that felt available the whole way through the rpm range.

My light controller worked so now the headlights are fixed and everything is back together. Predictably one headlight is 'fresher' than the other as they haven't worn at an equal rate; but I doubt anyone will notice or care but me. Was nice to drive it to work today.
I bought some caliper paint a few years ago (red) and never used it. While the wheels were off for the other project I took the pads out of the calipers, cleaned them, and painted them. I know the race car crowd will easily spot that I simply painted my small and stock calipers but it looks good against the black/silver. Fun to indulge in that kind of thing when you're driving a non-serious car.

Also, I got a lot of the 3M clear bra off. It came up mostly without incident using my heat gun. In some areas it did leave film residue that I've been lifting off with Goo Gone and a towel. I got it off the hood and fenders, just need to take some time and work it off of the front bumper cover. Sadly there is a *very* faint difference in the paint color above and below the former bra line but you'd have to be looking for it to see it. Hoping a good wash and wax will help blend it in even better because right now it's dirty above the line and spotless below it which is making the difference seem even more prominent.

We're going hiking this weekend; I'll try to take some nice pics of it near a waterfall or something.

September 16th, 2019, 01:22 PM
Random candid from a trailhead we parked at before hiking last weekend:


There's some weirdo in the background, not sure what that's all about.

I bought some cheap Chinese aspherical mirror glass and installed the drivers side before we left. It's fantastic, completely removed the huge blind spot. It's absurd that the US mandates flat glass, this is so much safer.

November 21st, 2019, 09:24 AM
The prior-prior owner of the DMC, who did the restoration of it, tracked me down and wants to buy it back. He's got a case of seller's remorse. If he'd accept an offer to sell at $45k it would make my amateur racing very comfortable moving forward. As it is it's tough juggling building a race car and having a classic cruiser. They take a lot of the same time and physical resources.

Ash is against the sale and I'm not to keen on it either, we discussed it earlier in the year and decided to just wait till it's paid off that way it won't be a financial liability. But I'm really hooked by time trialing and the eventual move to wheel to wheel and the thought of doing that without a cash flow concern is really appealing.

I do know that if I sell the DMC I won't buy another one. The one I bought was just about perfect and I'm not sure another one would measure up, particularly since they keep going up in value.

The PO sent along some pictures of it while it was being restored. Pretty cool.

November 21st, 2019, 07:30 PM
Sell it and use the funds to buy the new Tesla version.

December 3rd, 2019, 08:24 AM
Extended the offer to the PO. He wants to accept but just switched jobs and his onboarding background check hasn't gone through yet. When it does we'll make a deal, probably around New Years. I wouldn't sell to anyone else, but sending it back to the guy who restored it has a certain poetry to it that softens the blow of letting it go.

Again, selling it would be a huge commitment to racing. Tyler and I want to run One Lap together in 2021 and this would go a long way towards making that not only possible, but financially care free.

December 3rd, 2019, 09:11 AM
Good luck with that. Sounds like an interesting situation, no matter how it turns out.

December 3rd, 2019, 11:09 AM
/me giggles with excitement

December 3rd, 2019, 11:20 AM
Luckily we'll have Bryan to go first in 2020, he can give us some pointers. ;)

December 3rd, 2019, 06:25 PM
Interesting deal with the DeLorean. Does the buyback end up paying for your ownership experience? If so, it seems kind of like a win-win. You got to enjoy something unique and terribly cool for a while, for free. I'm sure having a track toy and a fun convertible will help to soften the loss of the DeLorean, too.

December 3rd, 2019, 07:55 PM
I don't know it down to the dollar, but the offer to sell is about $7k more than I paid for it. And I made about $9k worth of improvements. So for almost exactly two years of ownership you're looking at $1k/yr. And like I told Tyler, I figure with as much as I traveled with it, C&C'd it, shared it with friends, etc. I have probably enjoyed about 85% of the positive DMC owner experiences. Three GTXF'ers have driven it other than myself, for instance.

I just hadn't planned to get *this* into time trialing this soon. The extra cash flow is super tempting. The idea of the DMC turning into a museum piece in the back of my garage is less so.

December 3rd, 2019, 08:01 PM
Oh, I suppose I never mentioned it here in this context. But I am up for a promotion at work that would have me traveling globally for as much as 7 months out of the year. That's what I meant about the museum piece part, with only 5 months of the year left there won't be many days for driving the DMC when you subtract poor weather months and race weekends.

December 10th, 2019, 01:05 PM
The Delorean was a fun drive.

December 13th, 2019, 08:10 AM
The buyer decided he'd rather pay $60k for a car with a stainless steel frame than pay $45k for my car. A stainless steel frame costs $11k. *shrug*

So that's put to bed.

January 8th, 2020, 03:06 PM
Light controller is broke again. I can't remember if it is the one I replaced before or not. It is somewhat reasonable that they would go around the same time since they perform identical duties, but it still sucks. I am going to write the date on this one in sharpie so I know for sure.

Tail light is also bad, ordered a new housing for it today. I never would have guessed I would sink like $700 into this car just on factory lighting components.

I have already been thinking about moving on to something else , I miss the manual too much. And other reasons. So if I can ever get this thing safety inspected I might trade it along soon.

January 9th, 2020, 10:20 AM
Sweet, Rock Auto had my warranty info on file. Just plugged in the order number (I was going to rebuy one) and it let me know I was 121 days into my 12 month warranty period. Sweet.

February 10th, 2020, 12:08 PM
Given my Intrepid history, this may be a de-evolution. And this is the second 2Gen Neon we'll have owned:


The ad, so long as it stays up: https://advancedautogroupllc.com/2005-dodge-neon-srt-4-west-chester-pa-19382/6750602

I bought what looks like a pretty clean SRT4 for $4,100. This car is actually classed above my BMW in SCCA Time Trials classing. I bought it so I could have a car to track while I build up the BMW as with Ash being sick and our decision to move to our other house has resulted in slowed my progress on that. I won't have a car to race on Memorial Day in South Carolina otherwise. I wanted something that was completely different than what I have now (RWD NA I6 German car) so I bought a domestic FWD Turbo 4. :hard: The only car close to this I've ever competed in was a '18 Ford FoST at Nats last year, which I imagine is a bit more refined.

The Dodge Intrepid part of my brain is really geeking out because the stuff I spent thousands on back then for the Intrepids are now 15-20 years old and dirt cheap. :lol: I'm going to drop in a factory nav w/Sirius and reuse a Grom bluetooth I have for a total price of about $125. This is awesome.

The car comes with the factory-style Borla exhaust included, that side exit exhaust in the picture is both dumb and not PA inspection legal. It already has a cold air intake and supposedly no other mods, so it's ready for SCCA TT S3 as is. Going to check it over, add a 5pt harness, put some 225 wide 200tw tires on a set of lightweight wheels and that should be about it for performance stuff.

I also want to go up to Ohio and do some dirt rally events, and this car is perfect for that. Damn near disposable.

This will replace my Z4 as my daily driver, so that will be up for sale soon. By purchasing this it frees me up to buy a three-season car for One Lap of America in 2021. Once the house sells and if the DMC sells I'll start looking at C5Zs and Viper GTS/SRT10s by late summer.

Pretty stoked, honestly. It's in West Chester, PA (near Philly) so I'm going to take off work Wednesday and go pick it up.

February 10th, 2020, 02:54 PM
You change cars like I change underwear. :lol:

February 11th, 2020, 08:38 AM
Cool car. Nice price. Way better than a brand-new car and/or the same thing everyone else drives.

February 18th, 2020, 07:51 PM
I found a buyer for the Delorean. The deal is struck, just waiting for the funds transfer to clear. I am going to deliver it to the new owner up in Chicago on March 1st. I sold it for almost exactly what I paid for it three years ago. I don't feel like this is the end of my Delorean story, I think next time I am going to buy a project in need of mild restoration. Not for a few years though, I have other goals to work towards.

I am thoroughly enjoying the SRT4. It is fun loving something that was so universally scorned in its day. And boy us it great paying domestic subcompact prices for a change. The aftermarket isn't as big as tbe E46 and there are far fewer choices, but the parts you domfind are dirt cheap. I have started upgrading some cosmetic items, and began planning the time trial build. There has never been an SRT4 in SCCA TTNT competition. I think if I build and drive well I can come out of nowhere and collect some podiums in Sport 3. I only need to run 2-3 seconds a lap faster than I was lapping in the E46 to achieve that. The SRT4 has more power and weighs less, so I am optimistic.

I will post more about the build in a bit.

February 18th, 2020, 09:26 PM
Good stuff! You keep finding ways to win at life. :up: Looking forward to SRT-4 in-car video and E46 lap time comparisons.

February 19th, 2020, 04:51 AM

February 19th, 2020, 05:44 AM
Bryan, thanks. It doesn't always go smoothly, the Z4 has required a lot more attention than I planned. I'm going to swap in that upgraded Mustang roof motor and then sell the Z4 when I'm done bolting everything onto the SRT4. Hopefully May/June timeframe. The Z4 is a great car, mechanically it is very solid, but a lot of little things were neglected by the PO who dumped it on that dealer and I ended up fixing a bunch of it.

Going with the evolution theme, these moves are part of a bigger picture. We've decided to sell the house we live in and move out to the country to the house we own outright (no mortgage, yay!). That means going from four garage bays to two, to eventually none when we demolish the old garage to do our substantial expansion of the country house in 2022. Now that I'll have all of my vehicles on one property there is no need to own three automatics. So the Z4 is out; Ash can drive the E350 if the MINI is ever in the shop. I'm done with school now, and am taking the bar in less than a week. Ash is treating her cancer. I missed out on that promotion so my job duties won't be shifting any time soon. Once we move in May/June I'm looking forward to a period of stability that I've never had as an adult. And I intend to spend that time focusing on helping Ash through her fight, and racing as much as I can. Not just time trialing but I want to try to get some auto-x and rally-x in as well; really trying to be a better driver.

The big-time racing goal I have right now is to compete in One Lap 2021 with Tyler, and we're trying to do it in a second gen Viper GTS. We'll start actively searching for one in mid-summer so we can get some seat time in it this year before doing the great binge that is One Lap. If we don't do the Viper we'll likely 'settle' for a C5Z, which is ridiculous to say because they're both formidable cars that will be a stretch for our talents. Well, at least mine, not sure where Tyler places himself in terms of proficiency. I'm okay with it because we're both guys that respect the cars and our limitations. The first year isn't about results for us, we're just excited to be in the game.

As for SRT4 v. E46, I'm really very curious here. I'm not going to be able to get onto PittRace to get some testing in until April so there is a lot of anticipation right now. If I can't at least match the time I'll likely be an also-ran in Sport 3 this year. (E46 was a Sport 4 entry last year).

February 19th, 2020, 10:15 AM
Oh man, sorry to hear about Ashie's speed bump. Hope she'll beat it and come out stronger!

All those plans are part of winning at life IMHO. Having these ideas of where you want to go, planning them out a year or two in advance, and having the ability to make them happen. And having fun along the way, even if not everything goes your way.

A 2G Viper sounds real interesting! Those are the ones that finally got ABS right? :lol: That'd come in handy at OLOA. Have you spoken with J. Rhoades and G. Thomason at all? They've been running Vipers for a while in autox and they did OneLap last year.

I don't know much about SRT-4s other than the basics. Does it have LSD? Can you get very much negative camber up front? If the answer to both is yes, the car should be strong. Size the rear sway bar to suit, and if the tail hangs out just add more throttle. :) Usually getting a FWD car to not want to relentlessly understeer is the hard part. If you can manage that it should definitely be faster than the E46. I know the previous gen ACR Neons handled great.

February 19th, 2020, 11:17 AM
Ash is doing great. Taking it in phases. :up:

ABS came around for the Viper in 2001, so the '01-02 GTS's have it. Tyler prefers it, I don't. But neither of us has driven one so who knows. The third gen Viper SRT is within our purchase scope but reading up in Viper forums the GTS is the more trackable car. Typical complaints about the next model being heavier and more nannies, etc. Truthfully either one would have our hands full, but the GTS is older, cheaper, and arguably more reliable. So it is our focus. We're not going into full blown planning mode until mid-summer, but we're batting around ideas about logistics. Tyler thinks he can fabricate a large bracket that bolts to the diffuser and can carry a spare wheel/tire for each size. We have a picture of a GTS like that except it is a bike rack.
We'll most likely run it declared as a Stock car, both for the trophy shot and because the car will be sold off after about 18 months of owning it so I don't want to do any mods that will seriously depreciate the car. That should keep setup simpler. ;)

You like planning? We have a spreadsheet built of candidate cars. It has about 12-13 candidates running from the MINI JCW up to the Viper. I'll link to it later, it's blocked at work.

Bottom line is like you said while back. Driving a fun car fast with your friends. What can be better?

We need you to soak it all in this year and give us a debrief when you're done. :rawk:

February 19th, 2020, 06:06 PM
Bryan, I had a chance to run a FoST at Nats last year and it was really fun. The lift off oversteer was really counter-intuitive but fun once you learned how to control it. I only got 6 laps in the car and part of the reason I chose an SRT-4 was to try and get some mastery of those kind of vehicle dynamics.

I wanted to address the SRT-4 question separately. And I've been wanting to write out the build soon so I'm just going to do that here.

First, numbers: The 2005 SRT-4 had between 230 and 238 horsepower (260 flywheel) from a 2.4L turbo 4-cyl, is 2900lbs, and 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 153mph. Not a bad package out of the box. Dodge added a Quaife LSD the year prior to help with the torque steer.

My car is nice in that the prior owner was into car stereo stuff, not building up a 600hp show/drag car, so it is shockingly unmolested. It came with a cold air intake and a really ridiculous 3.5" unrestricted exhaust that side exits under the rear driver door. :lol: The PO included the Borla upgrade exhaust in the trunk of the car, I just had to order the correct 2.25" cat/downpipe to mate to it.

I'm building to the SCCA Time Trials National Tour Sport 3 category, the prep level is about the same as SCCA Solo Street category. Common class competitors are 350Z, 370Z, E46M3, Civic Type R, Mustang GT 1994-2014, etc.

This is the ruleset if anyone wants to look it over to see if I'm missing anything obvious: https://timetrials.scca.com/pages/sport-category-full-rules

These are the items I plan to upgrade for racing:

5-pt harness clipped into the body.
Enkei RPF1 17x8" 35mm offset (~15lbs each)
245/40-17 Hankook Ventus RS-4
Hawk HT-10 front pads and Hawk HP Plus rear pads
Mopar Stage 1 Lowering Springs (1" drop) on stock struts
Hotchkis Anti-Roll Bar (29mm front, 24mm rear; hollow)
Cold Air Intake
Replace side exit exhaust with Mopar/Borla
Replace whatever bushings I can 'while I'm in there.'
Gauges to monitor oil temp and pressure.

That's about it. ECU flashes are legal but I don't have any idea what I'm doing there. I'm also apprehensive about those 245s, still doing research on that.

Here is how my car is stanced:

Here is what a car looks like with the Mopar Stage 1 springs:

There are springs that go drastically lower, but if I'm going to run 245s I think the modest 1" drop is as far as I can go. I'm hoping the added stiffness from the ARBs will reduce the body roll enough to make the 245s feasible as well. All of the anecdotal stuff on forums that say 245s are okay are not generally road racers.

This car has the exact wheel/tire size combo I'm looking at, but it's lowered about an extra inch:


Not really great pictures, but as a case study I think they're fine. The tires look beefy but they have a job to do. I'm going to run the regular factory 17x6" wheels with 215s when daily driving so I don't much care how 'silly' the 245s look as long as they're bringing value to the build. I just hope the 245s perform well enough to overcome whatever negatives there will be in heavier steering.

Completely unrelated to racing, I want to get back into detailing like I was before I joined the military and got busy. I'm going to use this car as a test bed to get back into it and maybe go beyond what I used to do. The paint on it is very solid. Cheap, with an orange peel texture, but it's in great shape. I'm also going to do some under hood clean up including powder coating some components like valve covers, intake manifolds, etc. It's going to be fun. It will also give me a chance to replace all the gaskets and seals that may be causing any parasitic vacuum drain. I know it will catch shit for being a 'Neon', but it's going to look amazing doing it.

TL;DR: I bought a fun, versatile project and it's going to be a blast fussing with it.

February 19th, 2020, 07:02 PM
Oh, these things eat axles and hubs every couple of track days. Mopar does not make the axles anymore so I am free to buy a higher quality set from an aftermarket source. And I plan to carry a spare set of front hubs/bearings on track weekends. Luckily they are easy to swap and very cheap.

March 14th, 2020, 02:57 PM
Spent my day in the garage replacing the convertible top motor in the Z4. Replacement motor cost is $650 for the BMW motor and $2,000 labor to take the convertible top off. I used an alternate motor from the 2014 Mustang. I found one for $100 on eBay, from a seller who was stripping out a car for racing. Motor came from the same product line but is slightly larger. Which is nice, it is about 3x faster than the BMW unit.


The BMW motor location is a design flaw. It is technically "outside" of the car, in a rain gutter channel. It is encased in a plastic housing but it inevitability leaks. What I did was relocate the motor to behind some carpet in the trunk. It should never need replaced again, certainly during my ownership. And if it does the motor can be accessed in about 30 seconds instead of the several hours it took to remove the top.

Satisfying little Saturday project.

March 14th, 2020, 11:48 PM
^ Smarter than a team of German engineers. :lol:

March 24th, 2020, 04:50 PM
Iím just hear to say that Series II Vipers are the sex.

March 25th, 2020, 07:09 PM
Phil, go look at this for me: https://www.lwautomotive.com/vdp/16038661/Used-1997-Dodge-Viper-2dr-GTS-Coupe-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-PA-15237

March 30th, 2020, 07:00 AM
The SRT-4 is nice in that the prior owner was into car stereo stuff, not building up a 600hp show/drag car, so it is shockingly unmolested.

I bought a fun, versatile project and it's going to be a blast fussing with it.


So, the prior owner was actually a jagoff. :lol:

The SRT-4 unsurprisingly failed PA inspection, in part because of some small items like no windshield washer system. Prior owner cut the line for some reason and never fixed it. It also needed outer tie rod ends as it couldn't be aligned. No big deal. Ordered new tie rod ends and 'while I'm in there' I ordered new control arms just to tighten everything up because the car was really sloppy up front, like, dangerously bad.
For racing and just general stiffening I ordered a nice set of Hotchkis anti-roll bars to replace the factory front and rear. 29mm/24mm Front/Rear, both hollow. Also ordered the Mopar Stage 1 lowering springs mentioned earlier.

I removed the old tie-rod ends and control arms, as well as the strut/spring assembly. As I'm in there I realize that there is NO FRONT SWAYBAR. The prior owner snapped off all four swaybar bracket bolts and rather than fix it like an adult he left the bolts in the subframe and threw away the sway bar. Russ has a theory that the guy was drag racing with it and wanted the sway bar off, but there were absolutely no other performance upgrades made so I doubt that is the case.

Since drilling and tapping the subframe in place is a notoriously huge pain in the ass I went ahead and found a scrap one on eBay that isn't mangled and bought that. So I'm going to finish dropping the subframe and will just replace it with the recycled one. I could try and drill out and tap the existing subframe but in the interest of getting this project done I hit the easy button.

This is the replacement subframe, I'm going to hit it with a wire brush, POR-15 the exposed metal and then paint the entire unit black before mounting it back up:


Two of the rear swaybar bracket bolts are also broken off but that's my doing, still working on getting those out. Problem is the bolts go into a captive nut in the frame that is inaccessible at the top so I can't just drill it out and get new hardware as there is no way to get a wrench head on the replacement nut.

So, the suspension refresh included the following:
-Outer Tie Rod Ends
-Control Arms
-Hotchkis Sway Bars
-Mopar Stage 1 Lowering Springs
-K-Frame replacement
-Lower Motor Mount replacement

On a more positive note, I did return the tail light housings to the factory version on the left:


I also upgraded the brake light bulbs to a quality set of LEDs, to get that instant on/off for track use rather than the slower illumination of incandescent bulbs. Not a huge upgrade but a nice improvement.

March 30th, 2020, 09:58 AM
I always disliked aftermarket lights. They never work as well as OEM. Sorry to hear of the surprises, but it sounds like you're getting it sorted nicely.

March 30th, 2020, 03:25 PM
Phil, go look at this for me: https://www.lwautomotive.com/vdp/16038661/Used-1997-Dodge-Viper-2dr-GTS-Coupe-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-PA-15237

Wow! I had no idea they were getting that affordable.

And that is like right down the street from you. Although maybe you are social distancing in Latrobe.

March 30th, 2020, 03:32 PM
Yeah, LW is very close. They had a Delorean there last year and a bunch of folks kept mistaking it for mine and texting me when people would test drive it.

I am going to wait until it's safe to go out before looking at it. With Ash's treatment we are pretty well holed up. Red is my least favorite color and its a first year car, but that's a good price and it is in my time zone. ;)

I always disliked aftermarket lights. They never work as well as OEM. Sorry to hear of the surprises, but it sounds like you're getting it sorted nicely.

It's not bad, just feel like I have had the car apart for weeks for what should have been something relatively straightforward. The BMW is worst off, it doesn't even have a working motor.

July 22nd, 2020, 05:12 PM
Shitty modified background photos aside, very excited to have skipped work today to go buy this BMW M6.





507hp, V10, 6-speed, 68k miles, factory carbon fibre roof, Clean Carfax and AutoCheck, etc.

Not my first E63, or my first M6, but it is my first E63 M6. I have been actively looking all of this year. 1 of 323 M6 coupes produced with a manual transmission. It is also the only V10 BMW ever made, it's rooted in F1 technology (which has its consequences).
Got a great deal on it, they didn't know what they had and I caught the listing before it got fully advertised. Turned up at a Subaru dealer in northwest Indiana. Prior owner had a heart attack and decided to sell everything and move to Florida, it wasn't a trade. Car is fully detailed inside and out, looks brand new. Bone stock.

This is replacing the Z4 (traded) and SRT-4 (for sale, make offer).
Of the 13 BMWs I have owned most have been Bangle era (2000s) and this car is the top of that mountain. Very happy with myself right now. RRRRRRrrrrrrreeeeeeee.

This will get DD and track duty. It's HANS device time because this car is well beyond my capabilities. I may never progress enough to catch up to it, if I am honest. This car is One Lap Plan B if Tyler and I do not dig up a Viper in time.

July 23rd, 2020, 09:09 AM
You change cars like underwear. :erm:

July 23rd, 2020, 09:33 AM
More often than some change underwear during quarantine, I'll wager.

Quite a step up from the Dodge Neon. :up:

July 23rd, 2020, 10:03 AM
I just really like to experience things. I enjoyed the 650i from a few years ago so I went back on grabbed the fully optimized version of it. Downside is I don't know what I actually pay for insurance because the policy is always changing and adjusting. ;)

I updated my original post in the thread and between Ash and I this is our 24th car. (19/5 me/her)

We are about to enter a few years of unprecedented stability for us. We're selling our city house and moving into the country house. I'll go from 4 garage spaces to 2 (for now) which is a compromise. But we just paved the driveway and added a very large parking pad. Eventually that house will be renovated and it will have a 5 car garage. Ash and I have kind of pledged to not move again for at least 5 years. I plan to use that time to zero out the bit of consumer debt we have and continue improving our retirement outlook.

Current fleet:

Daily drivers: MINI Cooper, BMW M6
Track only: BMW 330Ci, Dodge SRT-4*
Utility/Tow: Ford E-350

The SRT-4 is for sale, I'm taking it to Track Night next Wednesday and then putting the stock wheels and brakes back on it and putting it on eBay or Craigslist. At that point we'll just have the 4 cars. DDs in the garage, the 330ci in an enclosed trailer, and the van out in the rain.

When Ash graduates school next year and gets a job in her field she wants to celebrate by trading the MINI on a Porsche. Either a Cayman or a Macan if her taste doesn't change. Tyler and I are looking at doing One Lap next year, and if that happens we'll pick up a Viper GTS temporarily but I'll only own that for a few months. But other than those two potential changes we should be locked in with this configuration for a while.

July 23rd, 2020, 10:34 AM
I'll believe it when I see it.

July 23rd, 2020, 10:42 AM
Yeah, who knows. It would be somewhat weird to own the M6 longer than I did the Delorean, but the M6 is capable of year round daily driver duties so it offers a lot in that way. I'm also down to commuting to the city just one day a week so the need for a car at all is superfluous. In reality I could easily drive the van that one day a week. That's part of the reason I can get away with owning something like the M6. In theory I could drive it 30-50 days a year, total.

No harm no foul. I pay all my bills, meet all my obligations, and am saving for retirement. Very soon I won't even have a mortgage and can be even more aggressive in that way.

Maybe at the end of the 5 years I can get that F430 I always wanted. ;)

July 23rd, 2020, 01:42 PM
I thought the Delorean was your dream car. *shrug*

My prediction: Two months from now, you'll change your plan again and buy a different car, because that's what has been happening for the last few years. :lol:

July 23rd, 2020, 02:19 PM
Donít buy a Ferrari though. We used to race Forza with a dude (he was even a member of this community for a while, Cheeto23) that was a tech at a Ferrari dealer in FL. He did not like working there and eventually quit to go back to work for Bentley. He was of the opinion that Ferrari did not care about the customers and only cared about their brand.

July 23rd, 2020, 06:30 PM
Yeah, the Ferrari odometer fraud incident(s) illustrate that pretty well.

I sold the Delorean to enable my track hobby . They were taking up the same resources, both in money expended and weekend hours. It was a painfully hard decision, but I chose enabling experiences over having an asset in the garage. Then I bought the SRT4 to feed the track habit while the 330ci was down. The M6 is replacing the SRT4. It's a pretty straight chain of events. This winter I plan to bring the SE46 back to the track and only use the M6 for casual non-competitive track days. The M6 will pull DD duty that the DMC couldn't.

Trading the van in for a Class C RV that can tow everything to the race track is the most likely next transaction. That's another move that will enable my ability to...get on track. In the last 18 months I have lapped on race tracks in South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Kansas, Connecticut, and Texas. I value those experiences over the tangible acquisition of a collector vehicle, even if it's an emotionally difficult choice.

July 28th, 2020, 07:23 AM
I just came to say that I hope I get to see it before you sell it. :D

Looks awesome! And should be a really fun experience.

July 28th, 2020, 02:38 PM
It is. You hit 80 then shift into...third. :lol:

You literally never have to use 4-6 if you choose.

August 1st, 2020, 06:41 AM
Wow, congrats, that's very cool!

We never got the manual with those here, only the much-criticised single-clutch SMG.

A colleague has one and he's had good luck with it, seems to enjoy driving it hard and sliding it around. Sounds like a good example too, hope it hangs together for you.

August 3rd, 2020, 06:29 AM
It is. You hit 80 then shift into...third. :lol:

You literally never have to use 4-6 if you choose.

A three-on-the-tree retrofit would be pretty cool.

August 3rd, 2020, 06:40 PM
George, I've been driving the E350 a lot because we just moved homes. I sat in the BMW this morning and reached up to the steering column to shift it into drive. :lol:

samoht, yeah, there were only 323 manual coupes in the five years and they were all North American market. I've been monitoring the market for a while and always kept tabs on 2-3 at a time, and this one that popped up at the last second was one of the nicest. There was one that was for sale in California in the early spring with some really tasteful Dinan improvements but it went relatively quick.