Sunday, December 21, 2008

Repair Progress

The going has been slow, but I've made some progress with the repairs to the e12. I finished off putting the battery in the boot. It looks quite neat, just needs the spare wheel well cleaned up. I'll get on to that once I've finished the front end.

I removed all the bad paint and surface rust from the front of the car. Turned out to be a much bigger job then expected. Especially when my Dremel died half way through and I had to remove the little fiddly bits of paint by hand! I got the undercoat done last week and got some orange on over the weekend. There's some little tidy up bits to go, but it's looking much better.

Next up is the radiator, windscreen wipers and strut brace. Lucky I've got until Easter!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Some Repairs for e12 (at last)

Now that the season is over and there might be some rest for the e12, I thought it would be good to get to some of those little jobs we never seem to have time for. I've got the old girl in the garage for the next couple of months, so I'm hoping to get some good time at it. The plan is:
  • Relocate the battery to the boot (partially complete now)
  • Fabricate a front strut brace
  • Paint the area in front of the radiator under the bonnet
  • Paint the repaired bonnet hinge (it's only been 14 years!)
  • Fix the passenger door lock that was broken by an attempted thief (this one's been 11 years)
  • Remove the rust from the passenger side rear door
  • Cover the holes left by all the speakers that have now been removed
  • Remove the rust under the driver's side tail light
  • Install larger diameter brake cooling ducts
  • Fix the leak in the power steering system
  • Paint the windscreen wipers

So far, I've moved the battery to the boot and run the new cable. Very hard to do as it is so thick and didn't want to bend around corners. It all works now and just needs a new earth cable in the boot (mainly because the blue one looks dagy).

I've taken the bonnet hinge off and underneath looks pretty ugly. Not all that rusty, but the paint is shot and needs to come off. The hinge itself should be pretty easy to paint though. It all looks in good nick and just needs a rub back and a new coat.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Beautiful End to a Great Season

It was a wonderful end to the season at Oran Park over the weekend. The driving rain from Saturday disappeared for Sunday and it was clear and sunny.
We skipped the skills section in the morning on the basis that the e12 could do without the wear and tear but ended up running one of the skills tests.
The afternoon saw the track a little more slippery than last time from all the rain. The pace was still good and the e12 dropped 2 tenths off the best time to a 1:32.4. Some fiddling with tyre pressures improved the front end grip but, by that stage, the brakes were past their best and times didn't improve. At the end of the day it was a win in class B for the day which meant an overall championship win in Class B for the year. A great result for such an underrated car.
Many thanks to Dad for his tireless help during the year. We couldn't have done it without him.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

BMW Beats Porsche - Finally!

After four years of trying, the BMW Drivers Club NSW finally beat the Porsche Owners Club in the annual BMW-Porsche Challenge at Oran Park. The times were incredibly close all day. The event was invite only and there was some serious machinery on show. The Team Orange e12 ran faultlessly all day. Although it recorded the second slowest time of the day, it was still valuable points for the team in our speed class. It was also an improvement of four seconds over our previous best time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day in the Sun

We had both cars out at the BMW Drivers Club NSW Show of Excellence on the 21st. It was a beautiful day and a well attended event. There were over 80 cars ranging from an Isetta to the latest X6.
No prizes for the e12 (it was entered in Track class) but the e21 took home best late 70's. Sadly, it was the only entry! We scored far more points for the e21 this year (82 vs 19!) with a proper wash, polish and under bonnet preparation. Next year I'll tackle the built up grime behind the engine and try and crack into the hundreds.
EFI Trouble Strikes

There was huge anticipation for the Wakefield Park Round of the BMWDCNSW supersprint championship after the upgrade to Microtech EFI and having some new brakes installed. Sadly, there was no time for testing, so the car went straight on to the trailer at Bavaricars and next came off at the track. She sounded sick from the start and was hard to get going. Things didn't improve during the day and power was down enormously.

Much fiddling brought zero result, the program seemed perfect and nothing obvious was broken or worn. Times were down an amazing 10 seconds on expectations! The only good news was that the bigger (3.0CSi) brakes were fantastic!

Fearing the worst, we returned the car to the shop and starting compression testing. It was then that Herbert started getting some shocks from the spark plug leads. Turns out they were no good. Replacement brought instant gratification! We'll have to wait until November for the next round, but we're hopeful that the problems will be solved.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Team Orange gets the Blues!

The e12 stayed in the shed this weekend awaiting it's new brake package, so it was off to Eastern Creek with Bel's e21. We'd spent quite some effort in tidying the e21 up since last time out. It had a new tail-shaft, centre bearing, rear wheel bearings, lower front springs, adjustable camber plates, new steering tie-rod, plus a re-upholstered rear seat top and rear parcel shelf. All up, she was looking pretty good.

The first turn however was a complete shock! With the lower front and 3 degrees of camber, the turn in was amazing. The rear however had gone to the dogs! There was absolutely no grip at the back and it spun up the inside wheel with the slightest application of throttle. It had plenty of straight line speed, but she was so slow out of the corners the terminal velocity was lower than the 4 cylinder e12!

Some fiddling of the tyre pressures helped a bit and familiarity helped work out the best way around the corners. My times improved from 2:18 in the first session (where I think I was in shock!) to 2:10 in the afternoon session. While not all that quick (5 seconds slower than the e12) it was an absolute hoot once I got used to it. The quickest way was to keep as much speed as possible into the corner and let the front end drag it around. Once past the apex, I could get some gently throttle on and start accelerating. The "fast in" method lead to some interesting lift-off oversteer moments when I'd over done it. Going past the turn two apex sideways was probably not my fastest lap.

Some lower springs for the back are definitely on the cards before Wakefield.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Team Orange Road Trip

Team Orange headed to Winton in Victoria for the 4th round of the Supersprint Championship contested with the BMWCCV. It was a cold Winton that greeted Bel on Saturday when she headed out for the driver training sessions. There were some good runs with continuous improvement all day. I got a few rides with other drivers and then a sneaky drive in the last session which gave me a good idea of what I was in for on Sunday.

Sunday was slightly warmer, but still cold. Luckily, the rain held off and the sun came out. The e12 was going wonderfully and the times fell from 1:57 to 1:55 to 1:54. Some tweaking of the tyre pressures got rid of some slight understeer and a quick bleed of the brakes brought them back nicely. Sadly, the pads cried "enough" after the first afternoon session and I tore the rubber rushing to get the new ones in. We missed the last sessions, but it was still a wonderful weekend away. It was unfortunate that there were no other cars in class B, but a win is a win either way!
New Tyres - Different Class

The e12 headed to Eastern Creek to meet up with its new R spec Toyo Poxes R888 race tyres. An amazing difference it was too. Although it had been 2 years since the e12 did a proper time at Eastern Creek, it was 11 seconds faster! The new tyres probably accounted for 4 of these seconds.

Another first in class for the e12 and we ended up ahead of some much faster machinery (an e46 M3 for one!).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Proper Battle Commences!

A depleted Team Orange headed to Wakefield Park for the 2nd round of the BMW Drivers Club NSW Supersprint Championship on the weekend. There was no e21 as Bel had other things to do that couldn't be put aside, so there was just Dad and myself there to fly the flag.

The track was newly surfaced and promised some very interesting times. It was hot (as expected) which didn't bode well for getting any top times though.

The morning sessions went well with an unofficial 1:20.00 being recorded which would have been a personal best. Bleeding the brakes the previous day had brought them back stronger than ever and I had an enormous amount of confidence into the corners. Unfortunately, there was a very slight vibration under braking in the afternoon timed sessions which ruined my confidence and added 2 seconds to the lap time. Investigation revealed nothing wrong with the brakes and what appeared to be a flat spot on the front left tyre, so I headed back out determined to push on.

It was well worth it as the vibration started to fade away and the lap times dropped. I got down to a 1:20.3 then 1:19.6 then a 1:19.0. A wonderful result and fantastic to be in the "teens" with some of the seriously quick guys.

It was a win in class A cementing the e12 at the top of the table after 2 rounds. It was good to see a 5 person turn-out for class A and the competition was inspiring. With some new tyres on the way for next time, there should be some more speed at Eastern Creek.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Good Run For Team Orange

We've had a good run in the last couple of months. February saw a return to the track for the e12 at Oran Park and also the BMW Drivers Club NSW annual presentation dinner.

Oran Park loomed as wet and nasty as Saturday dawned. Luckily, the rain had stopped before we got anywhere near the track and there was only the smallest of sprinkles all day. It was the first proper hit-out at Oran Park for me and the e12 as last time the extractors were hitting the steering box which brought the day to a premature end. We started conservatively and slowly built up a bit of speed. A best of 1:36 doesn't sound great, but I was very happy. There's probably another second in tweaking the car and at least two more seconds in the driver!

The presentation dinner was a wonderful event put on by the BMWDCNSW. We walked away with 2nd in class for the e12 and 3rd for the e21. Belinda also picked up the club encouragement award. Very happy.

Bring on Wakefield Park and the rest of the Championship!