Today, 07:59 AM
Final assembly is definitely taking more out of me then I expected. At this point, it's like riding a wild horse: in too deep to do anything but hang on and try to tackle each new unexpected obstacle as it comes. Because I've literally left so much of my blood on the floor during this build - - and since this is a hot rod where my mantra whenever asked "why?" has been a simple "just because" - - I just had to incorporate into the final design. Here's a sneak peak of the not quite finished, finish work the boys at Active Autoworke are doing on the plenum. The Hugh brothers have been amazing to deal with throughout this project and I'm super pumped with how they've outdone themselves here!!! It's been color matched to the yellow powdercoat and my too late to turn back now final color choice of House of Kolors Trublue Pearl. (note, I have no interest, pecuniary or otherwise, in any of the vendors mentioned other than the desire to recognize truly outstanding work!)
Sample of Garage Stains:
Sneak peak of the plenum:
Feels like a zillion work streams simultaneously to get it out to paint, but here's highlights (and lowlights!) of what I've been up to:
Rear Suspension: Putting the rear back together has thrown an obstacle at every step. Although the 14.6 mile donor showed no signs of rear end injury, and the rear end looked good during assembly, discovered several different issues when putting back together in addition to the deformed bushing mount outlined in last months post. When the boots came off the axles for paint to match the powdercoat discovered damage to the cv joints. A quick call to Frank at the Driveshaft shop and a few days later my rebuilt axles reappeared. Frank earlier did the carbon fiber driveshaft and has been another critical vendor throughout this project with great advice every step of the way.
With the axles back I thought I was finally ready for reassembly, only to notice the interior of the hub with the splines somehow egged out and would take another week for new hubs to come. BMW does not use cotter pins to hold the castle nut, but rather you literally smash the top part of the nut into a notch on each side. To add insult to injury, at the very end, we discovered the thread on the passenger side where it had been smashed on the donor was a little beat up around the notch preventing the new hub nut from going on. Tyler, the BMW tech who's been giving an indispensable
hand when he can, has been out to lend me a hand a couple of times over the past month. After we got the axle pressed out of the hub again, he got the task of hand filing the high points with a mini v-file back so the axle and nut could play nice together. Incidentally, Tyler just left BMW to open a BMW speed shop in Southern New Jersey!!!
Yesterday I finally managed to get it all back in the car, to put the brake calipers back together post powdercoating and finally get the wheels (Michelin PS2, 325/30/19) back on the rear of the car. As a reminder, the rear brake calipers are the Brembo CCM 2012/13 ZR1 version, modified to fit the BMW M3 knuckles, then powder coated and finally installing the RB Racing Brakes high temp silicone seals and boots and stainless steel pistons to better handle heat then the stock aluminum pistons. RB 370X34 rotors on all four corners. With everything locked down, the knuckles chromed and the calipers powder coated, the fit was a wee bit too wide, so I shaved 90 thousands of an inch off the mating surface on the bridgeport and it all bolted straight up.
At the same time as the rear saga was going on when the front was "final" torqued down discovered the e46 M3 hub I had sleeves made for to run on the FFR spindle was maybe 30 to 40 thousands of an inch shorter than the bottom thread, leaving a bit too much slop. The FFR designed nut is NOT designed to come off and completely destroyed the passenger side threads (fortunately had not got yet torqued the driver side). FFR was out of stock of spindles and would only sell by the pair and these were already chromed and otherwise fine. A search far and wide found Bill at Liberty Welding in Pittsburgh who specializes in axle thread repair on large trucks. Bill made a jig to hold the spindle in the lathe, welded on some new material and cut new threads!!! Another crisis solved!!! If anyone has a similar spindle issue, keep this resource in mind as Bill now has the jig!!!
All rewired and fired back up on test. The however was no read to the digital dash. I had sent the dash harness back to KMS in the Netherlands to add a few pins for things like GPS odometer we hadn't anticipated at the beginning of the project. Appears the motor was set to communicate on canbus 1 and the dash now canbus 2. A simple Teamviewer session with KMS to do the trick was scheduled. First, went to boot the dedicated car windows computer and discovered a message that it was taken over by pirates and unless I paid $450 in bitcoins, I'd lose my files. Since it only had the car software on it and that was on a thumb drive, I didn't -- and the pirates destroyed the operating system. Several tries with alternatives and have not been able to get two ports open on alternative computers --one for the dash/ecu and the other for internet. Will reload the windows operating system today and hopefully get that sorted soon!
I'm super pumped that the motorsports chassis harness I designed and painstakingly built over months at my dining room table had minimal bugs on test and is now all sorted and heat shrunk: Klixon breakers, solid state turn signal module, Deutsch DT connectors for high voltage and circular mil spec for data--and all sleeved in Raychem DR25 with Raychem heat shrink boots. An integrated homebuilt dash harness ties the relays and data from my side to the Cosworth/KMS side and low voltage wires running from the dash to a dedicated relay board tucked behind the radiator with sealed relays mounted on a small piece of Corian for the lights and horn. Headlights, sidelights, turn signals, reverse light, brake lights, hazards, etc all working!!! The one weird issue was the three wire aftermarket Harley LED turn signals I used up front worked perfect when run as a two wire turn signal. The moment I attach the side light wire, both sides flash when only one should. I picked up a diode for each side and hoping that will stop the bleed back. Maybe Harley's come with a diode already wired into the circuit???? I need to take some pics of the harnesses.
Although I started this project intending to pass off the body work, I decided I wanted to do the prep and some of the custom work myself in keeping with the build. I've started. Hoping to break the back on it over the next six days!!!
Filled in the taillights so can redo for the F430's
Frenched in the gas fill
Lot's more going on and accomplished, but time to get back out to the garage!!!