Archive for the ‘suspension’ Category

Coilovers are done!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Sorry it took a couple days to update, I wanted to remove the EDIS mods from my megasquirt since I was getting tons of issues at low RPM and had a couple hangups but all’s well now 🙂

Shortened 2002 coilover construction

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I’m a liar and didn’t update last night, so to make up for it here’s a post

Hmm what could be hiding in here

Rad !! I bought a Ground Control coilover sleeve kit, 8″, 250# springs. These should go well with…


Clearly they are the wrong size! VW insert on the left, 2002 on the right

Well we can do something about that.

Plasma cutters are tons of fun, it’s a good thing I can’t afford to buy one

I felt kinda bad about cutting these off since some of them do rust out and lose the perch but… fuck it



Chop sawwwwwww

Action shot!

These things need to all go together somehow.

BUT the sleeve that Ground Control won’t fit. This I’m sure is because the kit is also made to be used on non-shortened strut housings. The strut housing tube is a little bit wider at the top than the rest, and this piece just clears the wide part.

So I improvised

Supplied piece

Created piece! The D-shaped perch is still the GC part

The tube and top clamped in some square channel, ready to be welded. I made sure to bevel the ends of each piece to get good weld penetration

Weld on the outside of one tube

Weld smoothed down to allow perch to be slid on

Some of the bead made its way into the tube, so I had to file it down with a rat tail file.

Sleeve perch mocked up on strut housing

Prime time!

Painted gloss black, which is about where I stand now. Waiting for them to dry, but tomorrow should be all mechanical – just put everything together and test them out! 😀

In other news:

These are some E9 (3.0CS) Bilsteins that I got for free since they were being thrown away, although they still feel like they have good damping force. I was told that they could be used on a 2002 using the CS mounts. I was mainly interested in using them a) to see if they have more travel than the Bilstein HDs in the rear of the car and b) because they’re inverted – see, the heavier shock body is at the top while the shaft and eye are at the bottom. Anyway they won’t bolt-in because the eye on the bottom is for a much bigger stud than what’s on the 2002 (probably M12 on the heavy E9s vs M10 on a 2002). I’ll keep them around and maybe see about making a bushing.

Really blurry picture but the black cable above the swaybar is one of the new handbrake cables that I installed. I can’t say if it works better yet because the car’s been up on jackstands since there’s no front suspension on it

I found an old Momo wheel my dad had kicking around and wanted to put my junkyard Momo hub to good use. I also like wood wheels but I wish this one had a darker stain to it. Also pictured is a Stack tach that costs an awful lot of money and has no business being in my car… sure is accurate though! There seems to be some problem with the Megasquirt tach signal where it will jump around up to ~1200rpm, even though the engine is, according to the tach, running at about 400rpm. This causes a low vacuum situation, and at “70kPa and 1200rpm” it’s dumping fuel and idling at about 8:1 AFR

More tomorrow!

A preview of things to come

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

More on this tomorrow.

Some new parts!

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I got some fun parts from Ireland Engineering since the last update!

I actually got these for Christmas but haven’t posted about them… They’re double valve springs and steel Crower retainers, which should allow the engine to spin to 7000RPM. After that the rockers get iffy, and after that, the cam simply doesn’t let enough air flow into the combustion chamber. So I’ll be looking to remedy that one way or another 😉 I measured the open and closed pressures and compared them to the factory numbers, but that was months ago and I don’t remember what they were. In any case my valves shouldn’t start to float at 6500RPM anymore.

I had a few beers and got excited about my car even though I have to wait another month to do anything on it (yes I was that bored), and figured out what it might take to make those Epsilons fit. Also my roommate really wants me to go wide… 205/50R15 should be fine. Behold my basic trigonometry skills

Which led me to purchase:

Camber plates! No more will I have between -.5° and zero camber on the front wheels of my car and the problems associated with it. Namely handling like a total pig. I suppose having junkyard tires on the front might have something to do with that, but that shouldn’t be a problem for too long…

Poly steering coupler, VDO gauge restoration, TPS bracket

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Been doing some random stuff the past week.


Actually I was changing the steering column rag joint. The factory manual calls for you to just loosen a bolt that clamps the flange on the steering wheel side to the splines on the shaft, but like that would work with how much dirt/grime/corrosion was undoubtedly in there. So instead I decided to just pull the whole column out.


Now because I’m poor and stupid I decided to “restore” some old VDO gauges that I had lying around that I wanted to use and have look nice.

Water temp gauge:


Sanding some more…

Primed 🙂

It came out decent enough, although I masked a little bit too much off and instead of there being black paint everywhere there’s a little bit of surface rust showing up. 🙁

So I thought I’d try a different method with this tach, leaving some glass exposed so that I could later just go over it with an x-acto knife to clear any stray paint off.

Left side is sanded and the right side isn’t, I think the bezel was found on the deck of the Titanic or something

Getting there


First coat of satin black Rustoleum

Looks good and I’m happy with the outcome. I found the tach on craigslist for $35, apparently it came out of some guy’s old bug. It’s perfect for my car, I ditched the stock tach because it was on the bad side of intermittent, but this one has the same count (8000rpm) and fits right into the trim ring on the factory gauge pod. It also seems to be a little bit more accurate than the other tach in terms of keeping up with the actual engine speed (not flinging around like crazy on rev matches), although unfortunately I think it reads about 100rpm too high. but I have one question: for some reason I have to set it to 8-cyl in order for it to read correctly, any reason for this?

Anyway onto tasks more pertinent to the project at hand

Some new junkyard purchases

’89 E30 325i in-tank fuel pump and level sender. It’s a direct drop-in replacement for the 2002 fuel sender, although it’s about 10mm shorter than the stock one so the tank capacity effectively decreases. However, the level sender still functions as it should so there shouldn’t be any surprises, and I figure with the fuel injection I’ll have the same or better range with less fuel.

’84 E30 318i ICV assembly. The cold start injector is missing, but $15 for something I wasn’t planning on using anyway was a bit too much to ask. I had a busted one anyway that I used the plenum cover for.

VDO apparently isn’t ideal for megasquirt, and I’ve heard that the Bosch unit is the way to go, but there really isn’t much evidence to support that

Closeup of the plenum cover/idle air inlet. I’ll have to make up some kind of blockoff plate/plug for that hole, I’m thinking just an M8x1.25 Allen head bolt with some loctite on the threads should suffice.

I made a TPS adapter plate to allow me to put the Nissan potentiometer-style TPS on the 325i throttle body because the bolts on the Nissan part are much further together than the BMW switch-type.

All finished! I had a hell of a time getting the holes to line up everywhere, but the stepped ring on the TPS fits perfectly into the large hole on the adapter plate, and all the bolt holes line up pretty well now that they’re filed out a little bit.

I didn’t take into account the space the M5x.80 bolts would take up behind the plate, but I made short work of the problem with a few files.

Now comes the problem with using the 51mm M20 throttle body versus the 45mm M10 throttle body. The bolt patterns are a little bit different between the two. meatpotato in his thread bought a part from Tom Rafalski’s 02Again that clocks the bigger throttle body and adapts it onto the intake manifold, rotated so that all the bolt patterns line up. But after looking at how close this one is to fitting on its own, and understanding how little force is on a throttle body, I wonder – Is there any reason at all why I can’t just cut the aluminum from the shorter holes and leave them open-ended, and just file out the closer holes?

I started to play around with putting that pulley on the lathe, unfortunately this 3-jaw chuck we have was out .030″ which is far, far more than ideal. I messed around with the 4-jaw chuck and while I got a lot closer it was frustrating for a newbie like me to make and adjustment and then have the thing go from .018″ out to .113″ out.

For some reason my dad wants to slather some JB Weld on the polished surface, and machine it down leaving the epoxy in the groove left by the front main seal. I’m afraid this will crack, either that or be too rough for the seal after it’s been machined down. I’m trying to tell him to weld a bead on it but he seems reluctant to do that, which I don’t understand because a) we have the means to do it in about 3 minutes and b) it’s not currently centered on the chuck, not even close.

OK I’m done for now.