We decided that the car needed a few modifications to try and squeeze some more pace out of it. The start of it all was at the front end, currently the front suspension has to be quite high and stiff to protect the E34 sump which has the large oil well at the front therefore making it quite susceptible to damage.
The plan was to refit the original S50 twin pick up sump and oil pump, problem being it will not clear the cross member. It also needs the antiroll bar removing and steering rack brackets changing.
There is also not much available in the way of a quick steering rack, the Z3 at around 3 turns lock to lock but are not cheap. Well, if the cross member needs modifying then might as well do rack also!!
So, managed to get a MK2 Escort 2 turns rack. Made up mounts to fit onto cross member and got a splined steering shaft with group 4 knuckles to go from rack, past exhaust manifold to bulkhead.
In the meantime, the next part of the project arrived.
With the original rear axle removed the new axle was sat in place and a plan was hatched as how to hold it all in place.
So, I ordered a heavy duty four link kit from Rally Design and set about making a mk2 Escort kit fit a Volvo rear axle into a E30 BMW.
Now, there was a lot of original boot floor in way as well as chassis rails and cross members.
There was just about enough axle travel without cutting chassis rails but seeing as we were going this far it seemed daft not to get maximum suspension travel, you can never have enough.
After researching this for ages I decided on notching the chassis rails and then inserting a diff and prop tunnel.
Problem with the E30 floor pan is there is no integral strength to hold these large body boxes.
I needed to fabricate something to hold the boxes in and stop the axle pulling the rear of the car apart.
So, that gave plenty of axle travel but to use original suspension chassis mounts I would need coil overs that were only 4 inches long at full travel.
Next job then, fabricate some turrets.
OK, so now got plenty of vertical axle travel, tunnels for it all to move in, turrets for suspension, now need to locate axle laterally.
After looking at both panhard rods and watts linkages, I decided on a Watts set up because there is more control with that, however the ultimate way according to my research on race set up is to have an adjustable pivot. This allows for the rear roll centre to be adjusted in accordance with the ride height.
Out with marker pen and some steel then.
And then some axle brackets to make.
And then something to not only replace a chopped out cross member but also to hold Watts pivot and offer some adjustment depending on ride height.
Once done the boot and under back seat floor was sorted.
Next was to get axle built, a Eaton Truetrac Helical diff was sourced from the States, this is basically the same as a Quaife ATB but cheaper. A gentleman called Pete Fidell was recommended to build the diff into the axle, a man with no less reputation then an ex employee from CC Racing, Kirkbymoorside (Built the Gordon Spice race Capris) and who builds most of the Atlas axles for the rally boys in this area.
As this axle was a bit wider than the original E30 axle the arches would need to be sorted, That'll be the next job then. I sourced a fibreglass M3 bodykit to start with and modified each panel to suit.
So after a while it was starting to take shape.
So, with bodywork taking shape, axle in, steering rack (MK2 Escort 2 turn) and column (Corsa C EPAS) fitted, we were heading towards paint and finishing off. If only it all happened as quick as that in real life? Lydden Hill is in two weeks time, can we make it?
Well as you can see the cars are loaded ready to go, at last!!
Lydden Hill August Bank Holiday Monday in the middle of summer!
Should be a nice weekend then............
Arrive on site and set up, then a beer or two perhaps..
Some have more to do than others!!
The next day was looking good, all was ready and practise loomed.
Then the rain started, and the next time it stopped was when we were on A64 near York about 12 hours later.
Lap 2 of practise on a nicely prepared circuit saw Gary come in with this.
Coverage from the heats:
John also had a good first day in the Mini, no issues at all and not far off the pace.
Next stop is our local circuit at Croft in 6 weeks time.
Round 6 British Rallycross Championship 2014 and
the British Rallycross Grand Prix at Croft circuit.
Forecast for a reasonably dry but windy weekend, a bit more testing with new setup as last time was a bit wet for any real comparison.
It was a surprise to be on the pace with Mike Howlin, Alan Tapscott, Guy Corner and co.
So much so that we qualified 3rd for A Final. Never expected that :)
A Final first corner tussle..........
and four laps later......
A second place piece of silverware, and one very happy Team.
There is some very good footage on You Tube by AMG TV, around 2 hours covering round 6 here:
Our Heat 1 : 24.00m
Our Heat 2 : 1.00.00m
Our heat 3: 1.28.12m
A Final: 1.56.47
John also had a reasonable run in his final after some frustrating issues during qualifing.
The guys from Mad 4 Mini were on hand though to offer their expert help in rectifying the problems and also helping with spares.
John collected a third place in his final along with a nice trophy
All in all a very good weekend for The Yorkshire Terriers on home soil.
The BTRDA event at Croft circuit is to be the last time out this year.
There will be some new decals on the E30 for this event, Gary's boss thought he may as well try to drum up a bit of local interest.
Lets hope it brings some good luck....