Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well I have been driving the car for more than a year now and it has been quite enjoyable. I still have yet to finish the A/C or cruise. I have replaced 2 tires already. Boy is it fun standing on the gas.

I've enjoyed the BMW so much that I decided my next project would use the same platform. Next project will be an electric car. Planned performance will be better than that of the BMW engined car (obviously slower than the LS1 powered car). Here's a pic of me towing the donor chassis home and a link to a post where I discuss more of my plans

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Suspension upgrade

Well I am not sure exactly when but some time this summer I put on a set of new M3 struts and swaybar links and a used set of M3 springs. The original struts were completely shot so it was a big improvement. The ride is just what I was looking for. firm but not harsh.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Living with the BMW

Well I've still been enjoying the BMW. I have used it for a number of runs to lowes with the trailer as I installed a trailer hitch on it some time ago. I aways get good looks when I'm towing the trailer with the BMW. I really got a look when I left a 240sx in the dust at a light with a water heater in tow on the trailer. Always good fun.

I bought a new set of front brake pads. I installed the LH ones no problem. When I went to install the RH ones I found one of the caliper mounting bolts loose. Uh...not good. I had never had that caliper off. I put in the new pads and find the bolt that was loose is totally stripped. Ugh. I'm going out of town to Charlotte tomorrow. I had planned on taking the maxima (get all the miles I can on it before I replace it). Not sure I want to leave it with the wife this way. Well I guess it's been this way for almost 2 years so I guess one more week won't hurt. I buy a caliper and caliper carrier assembly off e-bay just for the carrier. A week later its all installed.

While I was shopping for parts I ordered a set of M3 struts, strut mounts, sway bar links etc. I've got a big box of parts now. I've just got to get some time to put them on.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

FIRST oil change! and Misc.

Well after the trip to the big city the car had enough miles for it's first oil change and most my previous cars were nissans or Rx-7. I remove the filter and compare to the new one my wife picked up for me. no chance these are the same. She must have gotten the v-6 one. Quick trip to the store and we are back in business.

Weather starts heating up and I've still not got a good resolution to my heating issues. Having the second fan run all the time was too noisy. I decide to wire the fans to both come on at the same time. I make the wiring change and proceed to test the set up. The primary fan doesn't come on at all. What? Some checks with the volt meter and some looking at the wiring diagram I find that when the relay trips to turn on the second fan the first fan goes off. Well that's not what I want. How'd I miss that. It's an easy change. I test again and they both come on. However I notice the main fan is spinning the wrong way. Humm... These two issues explain my heating problems. Well it should be ok now.

Oh I also found that my front fan lost a blad somewhere along the line. Very strange. I break off the blade on the opposite side to balance things out until a replacment can be obtained.

Heat issues seem to be gone now though I'd still like the fans to come on sooner (guess I should have asked for that when I had the ECU programmed).

My brother comes to visit with his Audi A6 with mods. I easily pull away from him on the on ramps even though my car is carring easily a few hundered more pounds of passengers. He says. "your car's not loud". I still don't get it.

Follow up on the maxima accident. Insurance writes it off as a total loss. I buy the car back for salvage value $264. I straighten the front sheet metal and replace the right fender. Pound out the rear quarter panel and replace a few lights. Total cost about $250 and the car is back on the road. I spend $300 on a lawyer to go to court. My wife is found "not guilty" of reckless driving. (sliding on slipery pavement in VA is reckless driving). The balance of the insurance money and the Rx-7 money can go to getting her a nicer unsmashed car.....Maybe.

Monday, March 10, 2008

LS1 BMW takes a trip to D.C.

Well sorry it's been a long time since I wrote. There hasn't been much exciting to tell. I've just been driving the car. Nearly every day. It has been super reliable. Guess I can tell you about the BMW's first big trip away from home.

I Sold my Rx-7 and was going to meet up with the buyer about 2 hrs away from home to exchange the car on a saturday morning. The Friday afternoon my wife totals the family car (nissan maxima). Uh.... now what do we drive. Well what do you know my hot rod's a family car too. 4 doors room for four people. That'll work. Oh wait my wife just wrecked her car. Is it such a good idea to have her driving my high HP custom car. No real choice guess I'll have to risk it.

We decide that after we hand off the rx-7 to it's new owner we'll head on over to the nations capital to visit family. The car has had some heating issues in stop and go traffic. Since we're heading to the big city I decide not to risk disaster and I wire the second electric fan to be on no stop.

The BMW makes the drive to winchester VA at the hands of my wife and Rx-7 hand off is completed. Bye Bye Rx-7 my first swap projet. You will be missed.
I'm back in the BMW driverseat and we point the car toward's D.C. A few hours later we're in the captial in crowded streets, big buildings and endless stop lights. Not what the car was built for. We make our way to the National zoo to see the Panda's and meet up with some family. All goes well.

During our stay I take my Nephew Grant, who appreciates good cars, for a ride in the BMW. Hard to find a place to show off the blazing acceleration but we hold up traffic on an on ramp long enough to flare tempers but create enough space infront of the car for a full throttle, wheel spinning run from 20 mph to freeway speeds before having to hit the brakes to keep from plowing into the slow cars in front of us as we merge on to the freeway. We visit a few sites and then sunday head on home.

All goes smooth until a Virgina police officer decides to pull us over. What the..? Wife asks why we are being stopped. I reply "I don't know" Wasn't speeding at the time (a few hours before... well that's another story). Officer comes up and starts asking about my muffler. What? He's kidding right? I was so shocked I didn't know what to say. Wasn't sure I should be mentioning that the one he's looking at is only ONE of the mufflers. There's another buried farther up stream. He seems to be clueless that the car now has a V8 though it idles the whole time we talk. I figure it's not in my best interest to mention it and just take the ticket. I figure it could only get worse. I figure he stopped me more for the look of the muffler than sound. It's not excessively loud. I've passed numerous local police and state troopers near my home with no questions asked. When I went to pick up my wife from her crashed car I drove by a sheriffs officer with his window open then got out and talked to him. But nothing can be done and I wasn't going to drive 2 hours to fight a ticket even if something could be done. I sprayed the muffer AND exhaust tip with flat black high temp paint. Been through many speed traps and followed by police since and no problems. I think the other guy had something against BMW's.

Car performed well and got 23.7 MPG for the one tank of gas that was consumed during the trip. Though the car was a bit smaller than the Maxima we all made the trip in relative comfort.