Friday, July 31, 2009


So the car project that I should have finished by now... hasn't even started yet. Hopefully progress will be made soon (ie: starting).

One thing I did accomplish was relocating my car's battery to the trunk. It was a pretty simple job, bought a tray from Schucks, some hardware from Ace, drilled a few holes, mounted and installed and called it a day.

Project updates pending...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rear coolant pipe aftermath

Here's just a snapshot of the plastic rear coolant pipe after being replaced, wish BMW used a metal design but I'm sure BMW saved quite a bit by going plastic...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Project underway in 2 weeks

Will begin the secret project in approximately 2 weeks and will need to be finished in 1-2 days, it will be quite a feat if possible... Here's to hoping everything will work out...

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Just a little update:

Fixed the cooling system issue, the broken piece was in-fact the plastic Y-shaped bit. The cooling hose and clamp had completely snapped off with a ribbed portion of the piping inside of it. Had to remove the battery, battery box, some ducting stuff, and the main wiring harness to gain access to the area. Whole job took about 3 hours or so, refilled the system with coolant / water, bled the system and was good to go.

Will be receiving the core part of my secret project tomorrow, hopefully everything I'll need will be there so that I won't need to scramble for miscellaneous bits later.

Also, in order to improve the driftability of my car I've determined that I'll need more positive caster. This basically affects the rate of steering-wheel return that will be achievable (being able to flick the wheel in the direction of the drift and catching it) while drifting. My car's caster is fairly neutral and my steering wheel doesn't seem to return very well or very fast at all. I think some new 96-99 M3 upper strut tower mounts are in order to get some more positive caster.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A day full of grief

Woke up way early for a drift event in Bremerton, everything was going well, I was in the first run group and got 2 really poor runs in before an instructor hopped in and taught me how to clutch-kick it. Clutch-kicking really does help with initiating drifts especially in my low-powered 318.

Next run I let the instructor take my car for a spin and while he wasn't perfect, he did seem to show me that the car has some drifting potential. I was all excited to get back into my car and start practicing when a horde of people starting running over to my car saying oil was pouring out from the bottom (my heart sank when I heard this since this wasn't the first time something like this happened to me during a "racing" / motorsports event). I quickly pop the hood and a white mist is pouring from the rear of the engine, fluid is dripping onto the ground and liquid spray is coating most of the rear engine bay--turns out it thankfully wasn't oil but coolant.

After being relieved that it was only coolant, my anxiety grew once I realized that I knew what was likely causing the problem; a black Y-shaped plastic coolant fitting that bolts to the rear of the engine head between the firewall. The piece was invisible to see and I couldn't feel it either since the area was intensely cramped and covered in engine bits. Post probable diagnosis I began to worry about how I was going to get home. I called up my insurance company's roadside assistance and told them where I was and that I needed a tow back home, 70 miles away. I was shockingly told that roadside assistance covered a maximum distance of 15 miles and that I would have to cover the rest of the overage charges accrued. I questioned how much these "overage charges" would cost and figured I might as well foot the bill if around $100 or so. Unfortunately the real figure was no where near this prediction as I was quoted for a sum of over $3-400!! I died a little inside when I heard this amount, I definitely could not afford an expense of that magnitude at this time. I told the operator that I would think about my options and call him back if I wanted to arrange for the towing service.

I thought for a while and determined I had no choice but to try to limp the car back home on my own, which is an extremely dangerous idea (the engine temp guages by BMW are known to be poorly accurate since they use averages to draw the needle in the center of the display--meaning that by the time the needle is past center damage has likely been done). From the suggestions of others, I filled up a few water bottles with water and poured them into the radiator and went off to get to the Ferry back to Seattle which was around 5-10 miles away. I made 4 stops to flush the radiator of boiling liquid (steam) before getting to the Ferry. Coincidently, the 4:00pm ferry was full so I had to wait 1.5hrs for the next one. I eventually arrived in Seattle and dangerously made only 1 stop (the needle was touching red) before finally getting home.

In summary, today was terrible but hopefully I can replace the broken cooling bits with minimal expenditure and look forward to the future...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

FD Round 5

Formula Drift round 5 (Breaking Point) at Evergreen Speedway is just around the corner (Saturday, August 8th), I can't wait! Last year's event was a blast even though it was pouring... It better be dry this time, I want to see some tires smoking!!
I will be there for sure.