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Thread: Cuda's Cars, v2.0

  1. #1141
    It has been pretty quiet in my garage for a while. In a way that's good - nothing is breaking! But it's so weird and boring not doing much of anything with cars. I replaced some suspension parts on my Mom's Camry a couple weeks ago and detailed it, and that has been it.

    The E90 has been amazing in a lot of ways. I think I got a really good one. When I've been working hard and my low back starts to get tired/sore, just sitting in the BMW for a little while is such relief. The seats are glorious, really. Like I've mentioned before there are so many cool features of this car that makes me not want to be without them in future daily drivers. In that way BMW has me hooked. It's extremely competent and smart. (Not marketing-speak "smart.") I really like the color combo.

    Overall, though, it seems to be too boring. For the first time in my life I'm driving an anonymous car that isn't really an enthusiast choice. My instinct is to wave or thumbs up another sports car or interesting car on the road, but now I hold back, feeling like an imposter since nobody can tell I'm in the manual sport package RWD version. It's like it's too subtle. It's not a vanity thing, it's more like that experience of being an enthusiast every day is missing for me now. This leads me to thoughts of a different BMW (I know, already ). The E9x M3 is the obvious choice and although they're getting cheaper (mid to high 20s for a ZCP) they're not a wise financial reality for me. The 135i might fill that gap, and some of them are not terribly expensive, but an N55-powered one would be my choice and those are a bit more ($14k perhaps). I'm not ready to buy anything, just thinking about the future. The 135i is still missing LSD, crucially, but at least would be more fun on the street. My 328i feels a little bit too heavy, and the 1-series isn't that much lighter but every bit should help. On the downside I'd give up a little bit of luxury inside with the 1-series.

    Looks like I never posted about the new struts here. The fronts were stubborn (the springs were wound so strangely that I had to take them to a shop to compress them and put them on the new struts) but worth it in the end. The ride is *much* more controlled and I no longer feel that much lateral movement over bumps. It's firmer without being harsh, a great thing. The old dead struts were so soft the car just wallowed around like a 70s Cadillac. I went ahead and pulled out the alignment pins at the same time to get that extra 0.3* (or whatever it is) of negative camber. Because of that and the higher front ride height from the new not-collapsed front strut mounts, the car needs an alignment. I hadn't planned on going very far for a while this spring so I put that off to wait for the new strut mounts to settle a little bit. Now of course I don't want to take it to a shop for obvious reasons. Good times.

  2. #1142
    Bit of a post-summer update (the smoke has made temperatures drop prematurely!).


    After 28 years the foam seal that keeps dust/debris from crossing between the footwell and frunk crumbled. This goes around the steering shaft and leaves a surprisingly large hole. It's one of the few parts still available new for these cars. I replaced it, with several moments of akward body contortions and removing a length of steering shaft. Hoping for another 28 years at least!



    I autocrossed the car for the first time this year, the second time on 200TW tires. It did better than expected. I figured the slow tight course on the small local lot we have would be a bigger disadvantage for the early 90s style turbo lag where nothing happens, ever, below 3500rpm or so in 2nd gear. Other than that it's still a super fun car to autocross. Every time I do it (about once a year) I keep getting reminded after the first run that you have to drive this car through the course. You gotta work for it. It's more physical than most cars, mostly because of the slow steering combined with short wheelbase and eagerness to change direction. In a way modern cars are too good these days.

    What are the odds my bright orange numbers would match a factory painted car? (I noticed my crooked letters and fixed them later!)

    One of these days I'll get that exhaust replaced. It has a hole where the hangar attachment broke off, and as such it sags, and the tip finish has definitely seen better days. I think I'd like something with dual outlet to visually fill the space on the other side of the car, but all of those are either too quiet (Fujitsubo Legalis R) or look very boy-racer and are not technically by-the-book here (Berk, TKO). I actually have a Berk brand new in box sitting in my closet for a couple years now. I bought it and then got pulled over and given the royal F-U by the govt in the blue Z for the tiniest of technicalities, so I kinda got scared off of that path. GReddy just released a new Evolution GT exhaust for the MR2 which looks pretty good and sounds nice from the one clip I've found, if a bit farty at low RPM. But $600+ seems like a lot for a car I drive rarely, with so many other more important expenses piling up. So nothing ever gets put on the car.


    The launch might be my favorite part. This thing launches so, so well. It's in boost as soon as you take off (I'm surprised about this, I wouldn't figure free revving would create enough boost) and first gear is dispatched in no time. Whee! Video doesn't do it justice at all.

    A vacuum hose that controls the idle circuit kept popping off every run, resulting in a high idle. Easy enough fix when I get around to it. I think the hose is just stretched out at that end, a new hose should fix it.

    Speaking of mid-engined cars, I think I only posted this on IG but I got the chance to do some track sessions in this bad boy earlier this summer. Doing coilover development work. Not a bad day at the office!


  3. #1143
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Did you ever get the headlight circuit trouble figured out?

  4. #1144
    The random pop-em-up pop-em-down issue when turning them on or off? I replaced the headlight control relay box years ago and that fixed it. I still have the old relay just in case I want that party trick for whatever reason. It's easy to replace.

  5. #1145
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Don't let Keith know you got to drive a C8.

  6. #1146
    Ask me about my bottom br FaultyMario's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndMoparMan View Post
    Don't let Keith know you got paid to drive a C8.
    There, fix'd.

  7. #1147
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Cincinnati, OH
    I spotted that when it was posted on Instagram
    Get that weak shit off my track

  8. #1148
    There's in-car video out there somewhere, I don't know if it will ever get published. It's not anything super special as I wasn't going for the fastest lap and we were on street tires. But it was fun anyway.

    The track is a bit less than 2 hours from home and I took the comfy cruiser there. One of the KW employees has an M3 sedan, so this quick photo op seemed the right thing to do. It's pretty amazing how the handful of mostly subtle styling changes combine to make the M3 look so much more sporty than its plebeian root form.

    This'll do as a transition for the long overdue BMW update:

    In June I planned a cross country road trip as the safest way I could figure to go see T. Packed all my own food, slept overnight in the back seat at rest stops, but of course had to use public restrooms (had a strategy for that too with sanitizer and masks of course). A couple weeks before the trip the car started making a noise I felt uneasy about but I didn't know what it was. I had the general idea/area down fairly quickly (as it turned out - I wasn't so sure at the time) but it took a good while to track down the actual culprit. Long story short it was the alternator pulley, some kind of special clutched overrun pulley. In the process I replaced the idler pulley, tensioner, and drive belt. The tensioner was making noise but wasn't the 'bad' noise I was chasing. The tensioner was a BMW replacement part and only had something like 20k miles on it, but it was looking a little wobbly and they're a weak point in the car, so I replaced it again. Anyway I was fortunate the noise wasn't an expensive fix, as the alternator pulley is available separately and the alternators for these cars are not cheap. I did, though, have to buy a special tool just for this alternator pulley removal/installation job. German car life.

    Fan removal is required to have space to replace drive belt parts. I was amazed with all the modern manufacturing techniques to see old fashioned weights on a couple of the fan blades.

    While I had the front in the air I took the opportunity to clean off the old dried wax from the underside of the air dam. Weird.

    Back to the alternator pulley. The new one had taken a fall somewhere and was unprotected inside the box so it was bent on the end. I didn't have time to wait for another one to come in covid-delayed mail. So I spent a long time that night with pliers and whatever else I could find and bent the outer ring back into place, more or less. There wasn't much material to work with. Unfixed, it would have likely contacted the edge of the belt on every revolution. This fix felt jankier than I like, but I think it functions fine.

    IMG_20200606_204932.jpg IMG_20200606_211925.jpg

    Problem solved, it was time to hit the road. I like a good road trip now and again. I always wish I had more time, though, to stop and see things/people along the way. But as usual I was on a mission. And going east is tougher because you lose an hour each day. My longest day was around 16.5 hours behind the wheel.

    IMG_20200608_183516 (1).jpg
    Tape job still looking fresh in Williams, AZ, Gateway To The Grand Canyon (one day I'll stop and see it!).

    The second night, driving though Louisiana I was treated to the craziest light show I've ever seen. We don't get lightning like this in CA. Not even close. This short video, taken with my phone on its mount, is only a small taste of the awe-inspiring lightning. It went on for probably a couple hours at least, with varying amounts of rain. The lightning was lighting up the entire sky (and surroundings) every few seconds the whole time. It was awe-inspiring. Video does it no justice.

    At the Louisiana rest stop, I saw the tape was still more or less holding up somehow.

    The car made the trip to FL and eventually back home with no problems. I had a new water pump, thermostat, lots of special tools (torxes and whatnot) and the old drive belt in the trunk just in case. Taking no chances with 100k-mile German car ownership.

    It is, as you'd expect, a killer road trip car. The only complaint was my MPG average was just shy of 29, I'd have thought a 3.0L SULEV engine could break 30. I blame all those tiny Texas ghost towns with 25mph speed limits and/or traffic signals that pepper the state.

  9. #1149
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Cincinnati, OH
    Nicely done on the fix and the drive I hate driving in those kinds of storms, but I can see draw of having a dry seat for nature's fireworks.
    Get that weak shit off my track

  10. #1150
    Why do you hate them? I know I'd not enjoy them if there was a lot of traffic. In this case there was hardly any.

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