Rich's 328 Compact Project

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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby Foxy » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:38 am

Looks very good so far Rich, the fabrication looks top notch! I'm thinking of the same setup for the front suspension on my car (not quite as far along as you), using the blank bodies and welding on the brackets so I wanted to pick your brains.

Have you gone for the long or short dampers and bodies? I've done some brief measuring up on the existing but I'm struggling to find clear info on the open and compressed length for the dampers so I'm alittle lost which ones to pick...

Cheers, Dave
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:00 am

Thanks for the comments Dave. I have used long strut bodies (14.5") available from Motorsport Tools. The part number is 'RX765' and they are made by Rix Engineering. I don't know of anywhere else who makes or sells them as a strut only. I have also used the standard (long) Bilstein escort inserts, for example 'RAL2061' from Ralloy. I have done tarmac only so far as I will get the car running on tarmac first. I guess you could also contact Bilstein and get inserts made/valved to suit your car but like me you probably need a starting point first.

Getting the length right isn't as easy as I thought it would be. You do need to add a sleeve onto the bottom of the strut blank to extend the length by approximately 60mm. This was my first mistake as I welded the brackets to the bottom of the strut blank and I did not have enough travel in droop. Mild Steel Pipe 60.3mm OD x 4mm thick works for this and is available in short lengths off ebay. After you remove the weld seam from inside the pipe it will sleeve over the top of the strut blank.

My advice is if you are trying to work out lengths from your old strut assembly then try focusing on max bump first. Measure it on the car with a rally wheel/tyre on it and the old spring removed. Jack the wheel right up to work out where you think the max bump should be. Once you have your max bump sorted this will give you the compressed length of the strut. Max sure you have used all the shock travel before the wheel fouls the body. Add the shock stroke length and then you have your max droop length. Adjust up or down if necessary. Getting the balance right isn't easy as it depends on ride height, ground clearance etc and what road conditions you a planning for. I am not really sure I have it quite right yet even after two attempts and I wont know until the car is complete but there is enough travel with the parts above to do a good job of it. It is a lot of work but the parts are cheap compared to off the shelf rally suspension and I think it will pay off if you ever want to make a second set or you bend a strut.

I hope that helps and feel free to ask any more questions. Rich
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby Foxy » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:56 am

Thanks for the info, saw the strut bodies on Motorsport tools and same as you I thought they'd make the most cost effective option, plus I do like a project!

I'm going to do what you have suggested and see how many times I can get it wrong! Good luck with the rest of your build...
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:03 pm

Wiring Loom

I always expected the wiring loom would be a tricky job but I never appreciated the time it would take to complete. More weekends than I care to remember were spent in a tangle of wires and burning my fingers with the soldering iron. For info if folks are not aware the full BMW wiring diagrams (compact is 427 pages) are available on the net and a quick google would find it.

I did the loom in two stages. First I removed everything I could that was not essential including EWS, ABS, ASC, airbags, front fogs, stereo, GE module, door looms, rear wiper, rear locks, A/C, heater. I then reinstalled the loom and did a sanity check that everything was still working and the engine would start without the EWS. Enda (Endtuning) did a great job remapping the ECU for me including EWS delete. He was also very helpful on the phone with the questions I had and helping me get the right ECU as not all 328 ECU's a reprogrammable.

I then added into the loom spotlights, nav light, intercom 12V supply, monit trip meter connection, micro screen heater and a second fuel pump on a switch. The second fuel pump just transfers the fuel from left to right in the tank instead of the return feed powered pump. I repositioned the fuses and relays into the passenger foot well and moved all of the switches to a centre console. The end result was 24 fuses and 8 relays and a significantly less complicated and much lighter loom.

The starting point.

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Checking the lights still work.

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The finished loom fully tested and wrapped.

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Compared to the spare loom from the E36 328 doner car.

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The fuse board and console panel.
I have a good connection for laser cutting so I had some panels cut to mock up the positions and hold everything in situ. The fuse panel will need to tuck further back in the footwell as the front loom is a little tight. The toggle switches on the centre console are :

2nd fuel pump, rad fan override, screen heater fan, headlights/park lights (not shown, doesn't fit yet!), spot lights, nav light, interior light and fog light. Also aux gauges for voltage, oil pressure and oil temp. Horn is at the top.

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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:19 pm

Exhaust

I fabricated a 2.5" mild steel exhaust using Jetex madrel bends and silencers. I did it as one piece and have kept it as high as possible under the car. I will use some exhaust wrap if it rubs or rattles against anything. I skidded both silencers and welded on a wear plate where it runs under the rear beam. Noise wise it sound like any other BMW at idle but from 4000rpm and upwards and its very raspy and not like every other BMW. I think it should be under the noise limt but it certainly isn't quiet.

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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby mef » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:34 pm

That certainly looks very neat, very similar to my own but in the end I removed the middle box as it was far too quiet. Mine has a cat after the Y piece, maybe that adds to qietening it.

Martin
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby is-si » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:10 am

Well done, a few more milestones passed! esp' for getting past the wiring! 8)
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby martine30rally » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:25 am

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Can I ask where you got the flanges that bolt up to the e36 manifolds from? or was it a custom made job. I though id save time by buying some off the shelf but all the ones I've found don't have bolt centres that match up to the bmw parts.
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:19 pm

Hi Martin

These were custom made from 5mm plate. Likewise I looked around online but couldn't find any that worked.
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:10 pm

Ok, I have a lot of catching up to do as I have made good progress on the car but fallen far behind on the forum updates.

Kevlar Sumpgaurd
I did a mould making and resin infusion course with http://www.easycomposites.co.uk 12 months ago as that is something I am quite interested in. FYI the course was really interesting and I think very worthwhile. The guys at easy composites have been a great help with projects so far. What I have learnt so far is that making composites is actually 95% sanding moulds!

So my first composite project was a kevlar-hybrid sumpgaurd.I made a mould from MDF. The ribs are to give it a bit of rigidity and the black paint is a pattern making coating.

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The laminate is 20 layers in a combination of kevlar and diolen. Kevlar is on the outer layers for stiffness and impact strength and diolen is used on the inner layers to make up the thickness. Diolen is £5 per square metre verses £20 for kevlar. At this point I didn't even know if the resin infusion was going to work properly so there is no way I was going all kevlar.
Diolen is a polyester based fibre, along similar lines to Kevlar which although not as strong in tensile strength as Kevlar, is reasonably close in performance (especially with regards to impact strength and abrasion resistance) and considerably cheaper.


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All bagged up with a vacuum pulling the epoxy resing through.

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There was a few very typical problems throughout the entire process which I think is all part of learning something new. I didn't get a perfect vacuum on the bag and just could not find the leak. I definately didn't get a good enough mould surface as there is a knack to that and using the materials correctly despite my many evenings perfecting my sanding technique. I also should have used a different mould release agent. So the part stuck to the mould as can be seen in the photo. Removal destroyed the mould however due to the strength and stiffness of the sumgaurd the part was fine. I just sanded off the bits of MDF and it now looks like its just done a rally or two. I will chalk it up as a success.

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The end result is a large sumpgaurd that really covers the underside of the engine bay weighing around the 7kg mark. As for how strong it is we put the large off cuts into the vice at got :twisted: angry with the large club hammer and it took a lot of work before there was any signs of damage. There is no question about its strength and impact resistance. The only way to really know is after a few rough rallies. I am running a standard 328 block so I am confortable taking a chance to keep the front end weight down. Watch out for my holed sump posting :roll: .

There has been another composites project however this was a total disaster which resulted in taking an expensive carbon fibre mess to the tip. So the composites work is parked for now whilst I get on with the rest of the build but have more planned for next year.
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:22 pm

Bulkhead Plate

I made a sheet metal panel and tacked it in to close the bulkhead off as I have removed the whole heating unit. The two holes are for the water pipes going to one of those little http://www.t7design.co.uk micro heaters for demisting the windscreen.

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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:39 pm

Spit

After all of the welding and grinding I have done under the shell ..... I only wish I made these sooner.

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For info if anyone else is thinking of making a set of these then the centre of gravity is at a guess 200mm higher than the line of rotation I have used. I have just used the bumper mounting points on the front and rear of the shell with a small offset as they are not in line. So the shell is a bit top heavy like this. However I can still rotate it over easy enough on my own by hanging on the underside to offse the weight. Only once has it got out of control and I have ended up on top of the car :lol: .


More to come soon as I have more photos on photobucket so if I get some more time this week then I will get them loaded up. What resolution do people use when saving photos on photo bucket? I am using 640 x 480 but photos are still getting cropped on screen and are all left of centre. Any tips?
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby bruvs1 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:09 am

Nice work! One question, how are you going to access the wiper motor?
http://www.bruvsmotorworks.co.uk 320is, 330is rallying!
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby rally_rich » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:18 pm

Good question! As you know the inner skin of the bulkhead has a large aperture in it as well. I have a removable aluminium plate that closes this off so the heater unit is closed between the bulkhead skins. Just a little bit of safety if the water line bursts. Anyway I can get the entire wiper drive unit in through that aperture. I put a couple of tacks on that bulkhead plate and then checked I could install and remove the wiper unit. It is a bit tight and awkward but in the event of needing to change the wiper unit then it won’t be an issue.

I do like what you bruvs have done by removing the outer skin completely. I never noticed this until after I had closed mine off otherwise I think I would have considered that. It must give better access to the back of the engine and fuel lines etc.
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Re: Rich's 328 Compact Project

Postby bruvs1 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:27 pm

it does help, mainly with access to the wiper motor and arms, but also got some wiring out of the road as 6 pot is tight on space mostly around the arkward top bellhousing bolts.
http://www.bruvsmotorworks.co.uk 320is, 330is rallying!
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