emo Mark's BMW E36 Compact

01 May 2016 21:26 #25981

Great story/make over. That will be a very fun ride with the new engine. I very much envy how you have a workshop like that at your disposal.

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05 May 2016 09:34 #25999

Bad news. After putting on the exhaust so that the engine would run quieter when started, it was found that something is knocking quite badly. I believe the correct term is “knocking it’s tits off.” We’re not entirely sure what it is, or how it’s happened – I don’t see how an engine can fail when it’s been sat whilst still full of oil, whilst not doing anything at all. Seems to be top end, rather than bottom end as well, which is weird.

So, the decision was made to use the M52B25 2.5L engine from the donor E36. Not the worst choice, however I’m not as much of a fan of this engine compared to the M50B25 that was initially put in the car. The reason for this is that the newer engine is purposely restrictive, in both the inlet manifold, exhaust manifold and exhaust. This isn’t the end of the world, since the inlet manifold can be taken from the damaged engine and swapped over, and the exhaust manifolds and the rest of the system can be changed at some point, but it’s just more work that has to be done before it’s at a similar power level. Also, the original 2.5L engine’s ECU was chipped and mapped, resulting in over 200bhp. The replacement engine isn’t so again, more money and work to get it up to a similar power level. Also, this engine has single VANOS (variable valve timing) which is a good idea, but has a reputation of failing at extended high RPM whilst doing a skid. Not too much of a problem, but something that I’m going to have to keep an eye on. The engine also needs a new water pump, since the current one seems to have a lot of play in it.

Both engines (the one on the right is the old one):

New engine being prepared:

And in place:

It starts and runs (with no knocking!) but still needs some work. Changed the water pump for a new one since there was a little bit of play in the one that was on the car. Also had to change the EWS (immobilizer) from the donor car onto mine, in order to allow the car to start. Which was fine, just a bit of a faff. We're basically at the point that we were at a few days ago with the previous engine, Clocks will also be changed so that the mileage for the engine is genuine at least.

1998 Daihatsu Mira L512 TR-XX Avanzato R4
1996 BMW E36 Compact
Last Edit: 31 May 2016 08:41 by loopdeloop.

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09 May 2016 09:22 #26010

It’s more or less complete now. Still got a couple of things to do, like tidy up the wiring. Currently not running any coolant – just water, solely to see if it leaks from anywhere. Just because coolant is surprisingly expensive!

Had to replace the plastic thermostat housing with a metal one from the original M50B25 engine that was knocking. The plastic one must have cracked at some point when we were putting the new engine in place, so the metal one is a nice upgrade. Made the power steering lines all match up and work, and luckily there’s no fluid leaking from it at all. It’s now a combination of the new engine’s pump, with the old engine’s brackets to hold it in place, as well as a union fitting from the original engine.

Had an issue with the dipstick not fitting into the sump correctly, so we ended up tiger sealing it into place. Going to be keeping an eye on this for a while to make sure it doesn’t leak, but so far it seems fine.
Gave the engine an oil and filter change (twice, actually) and the oil that we’ve put in is already filthy once again (after 10 miles). I’m probably going to perform an engine flush at some point this week, with a new oil filter. Hopefully that’ll sort it. I’m assuming this engine was neglected in the later years of its life, hence the condition of the oil.

Had an issue with the engine sucking too much air, causing it to misfire/splutter/cut out on idle. After some searching, it appeared that a breather had been knocked off, causing the engine to run unmetered air – and it got the mixture a bit wrong. Runs perfectly now, though.

The exhaust was a bit of a bodge. The issue is that BMW never officially sold a 2.5L Compact in the UK, so finding a used exhaust that fits straight on is more than tricky. The exhaust from the donor car nearly worked; it all bolted up and the brackets were more or less in the same place, but the backbox stuck out about 12 inches past the rear bumper. So to sort this, we cut down the connecting pipe from the mid-section to the backbox, added a joint and welded them together. Exhaust sealer came in handy at this point too. Brackets were also welded and seem to work okay. Again, this is only a temporary solution at the moment, until I can afford to get a performance full exhaust system from Germany that is specific for a Compact.

That’s all for now. Seems to run perfectly well, pulls nicely, idles properly and isn’t leaking any liquids. Gearbox feels ace as well. Ordered a new pod filter to replace the dirty one that’s on there at the moment. Sounds fantastic at the top end, too. ;)

I'm now part of the "Euro" scene, apparently. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. The way I see it, is that by having a car like this, learning to drift and then selling it on would allow me to purchase something JDM. At least I've got my priorities right in the long run, I guess? B)

1998 Daihatsu Mira L512 TR-XX Avanzato R4
1996 BMW E36 Compact

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31 May 2016 08:38 #26091

Engine's been running sweet. No coolant or oil leaks in the 250 miles that I've driven it for. Been looking at getting an electric fan for the radiator if I'm going to be going on drift days with the car, since most BMWs solely rely on a viscous fan, which isn't really up to the task of cooling the engine when going sideways. Need to measure it up, but I'm going to try and get away with running two 14" fans on the front of the radiator to push the air through it (since there's no room at the back since the viscous fan is in the way). Should do the trick nicely until I upgrade the radiator at some point in the future.

Ordered a new pod filter which should be arriving shortly. The one that's on there at the moment is pretty dirty and was only intended to be used temporarily. I would have preferred to have used the factory airbox, but we forgot to keep it when the donor car was sent to scrap. The pod filter on the car does sound good, though!

The exhaust is okay for the time being. It's sitting particularly low since the routing of it is a bit weird, and I'm going to have to adjust the position of the sleeve that's connecting the centre pipe to the backbox, since it's protruding a little.

Other than that, not much else has happened. Bought another set of M3 wheels for £30. Not bad considering their condition, and the fact that they have legal tyres on as well (all Toyo Proxies, too!) Going to look at the condition of these compared to the other set that I have, and decide which ones I'm going to use as skid wheels.

Planning on giving the engine an oil flush and another oil and filter change soon, since the oil was particularly filthy when it was initially removed. That should help get rid of the build up of crud that has accumulated over the past 20 years.

1998 Daihatsu Mira L512 TR-XX Avanzato R4
1996 BMW E36 Compact

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16 Oct 2016 02:47 #26418

Little bit of an update since I've been driving it around for a while now.

All is not well. The car occasionally lacks power and sometimes cuts out when driving (though more commonly on idle). It doesn't happen a lot, but it can do, especially once the engine is warm. I think it's the MAF sensor or lambda sensors, or both. So I'm going to change them at some point soon.

The diff has began to leak from one of the drive shafts. So I may need to replace the seal there. Also, there's a small power steering leak which I also need to address.

A leaking rocker cover gasket was changed last week. The entire rocker cover was covered in what can only be described as "charcoal". Crusty, black, old engine oil that appeared to be baked on, which took quite a bit of effort to remove. I can only assume that it's as a result of poor maintenance from previous owners.

Fitted some new plugs too - some NGK Iridium BKR7EIX's. I have no idea when the plugs were last changed but they were pretty black when they were removed.

One of the lollypop bushes has began to perish, so I have purchased a set of Powerflex Black Polybushes. Should be fitting them pretty soon. Also looking to completely replace the rear subframe and diff bushes with the same. Already got some and have more on the way. It's going to be easier to remove the subframe to do this, so I'm looking to get a set of new rear arms with disc brakes, since the ones on my car at the moment can only take drums. Probably going to get the whole back end shot blasted, stone chipped and undersealed whilst it's off. Might as well to protect it.

Fitted a new thick core, Direnza alloy radiator today which should help with cooling. Surprisingly, it was 100% "bolt on" and fitted perfectly. Was really impressed with how easily it went on.

Old radiator:

New radiator and high speed electric fan (yet to be installed):

In place:

One of my window scissor mechanism killed itself (a very common problem on E36's. Mine has already been changed at some point by the looks of it (since it has breaker's writing on it), so I'm going to purchase a replacement next week.

Seems to be down to poor design, mainly. Especially since they all tend to do it.

That's about it for now. Not sure what I'm going to be doing for an exhaust yet. Could go for a standard 325i exhaust and modify it to fit, but I've found a guy that does nice stainless ones for not very much money, so I'm tempted to try him out.

1998 Daihatsu Mira L512 TR-XX Avanzato R4
1996 BMW E36 Compact

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