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Old 11-14-2016, 04:52 PM   #26
Vorshlag-Fair
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We ordered this ATI balancer with the associated drive pulley in the identical OEM diameter (not an under-driven size), to not run afoul of any pulley diameter changes that we don't have the points budget for in TTD.

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Installing a balancer correctly can be tricky. If done wrong you can rip the threads right out of the end of the crankshaft. Which would be BAD. The best solution we found was to use the ATI balancer installation tool kit shown above (p/n ATI918999) which has various modular, threaded ends for the crank side of the install tool.

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None of the included ends fit the M54 crank snout, so we had to machine a custom threaded end. Just beware of the claims that this kit is "all you need".

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The tool works as a longer bolt with a bearing hub to keep the turning portion of the tool from torquing against the crank as it is installed. Really slick, just wish it came with the BMW thread pitch and diameter we needed.

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Everything that came with the VAC kit was top notch: the balancer, the main pulley and the optional AC pulley. Even the ARP hardware was pro level. I wish we got something better than the OEM crank bolt for $1000, but that's my only quip.

NEW OIL SELECTION - I have been a synthetic oil user since the late 1980s, back before synthetics were cool. I drove cars tens of thousands of miles during an oil test in the early 1990s while working at TWS in college. We saw the results of oil analysis tests done throughout this multi-month test on multiple cars where we racked up 50K miles on each engine. Synthetics work.

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For a long time I was a faithful synthetic Mobil1 user. For years I have run 15W50 weight Mobil1 in our shop cars and have seen excellent wear over long periods. But our friends at Turbo Lubricants have been sending me test results and data showing the differences in synthetic lubricants. We have been slowly switching all of our cars to Motul engine, transmission and differential fluids. Over the summer we switched the 330 to their new 5W50 Ester based oil. I will report back any differences we notice on this car.

OIL PUMP DRIVE UPGRADE - As I mentioned above, the failure of the oil pump drive is bad. So we also added the VAC oil pump drive upgrade kit (below) so we could safely rev the engine past 5000 rpms.

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The oil pump driveshaft issue is detailed in this post my old TTD build thread with the potential for having the drive nut come off or when welded, to shear the shaft clean thru. Both of those failures happened to our old E46's first motor, the first failure being shown below.

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Oil pump nut vibrated loose and came off, eating the first set of rod bearings on our blue 2001 330

Basically the VAC design has a stronger driveshaft for the oil pump, a stronger bolt for the sprocket to attach to the shaft, and a sprocket with a different opening to mate to the shaft.

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At this point the oil pan had to be dropped so the engine was hung from above by using this cross engine brace. We use this tool a lot, actually. With the engine secured the front lower crossmember could be dropped - it hangs on the struts at full droop and gives you about a foot of access under the oil pan.

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I took the oil pan to be hot tanked, which cleaned it up inside and out. With access to the chain driven oil pump (rolleyes) the old oil pump drive, sprocket and nut were replaced with the VAC bits. We installed those with RED Loctite and torqued to the factory specs. Some people safety wire or even tack weld that in place - we haven't found that necessary.

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OIL PAN BAFFLE - The stock oil pan has very little internal baffling. This is a concern when high lateral and braking g's are possible in the car (forward acceleration is not much threat, yet). With big cornering grip numbers (1.3g) and braking (similar) possible in this TTD prep level, we wanted to do more to keep the oil pump pickup screen submerged in oil at all times.

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The oil pan baffle kit, that we also sourced from VAC, includes a drop-in baffle for the stock pan with several "trap door" mechanisms that are routed in such a way as to keep the oil pump pick-up screen submersed in oil even when under hard braking or lateral acceleration. The details above show what is included.

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Before this kit can be installed you need to have the oil pan off the car, take it somewhere to get it sonic cleaned or "hot tanked", as it must be SPOTLESS inside before TIG welding.

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Then the unit needs to be fitted to the oil pan, then TIG welded in place. This one required a bit of trimming to one of the trap doors to clear the cast oil pan in one tiny corner. We inspected the oil pump pick-up screen and it was clean and intact, so that was not replaced. It fits down inside the round hole in the baffle and should stay submerged in oil, with the trap doors closing under braking and turning loads. I feel a bit better now that this baffle is installed.

SWAYBARS - The E46 non-M specific swaybars showed up from Whiteline after a bit of a wait (these are made in batches) and were installed by Donnie.

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Left: Whiteline 30mm E46 non-M Adjustable Front Sway Bar. Right: 20 mm Adjustable Rear

Some might question why we took two points for aftermarket swaybars (changing one or both equals +2 points). The amount of body roll is something we couldn't ignore - after looking at pictures of the car loaded in corners it just had too much lean, even with 600#/in front and 750 #/in rear springs. More spring rate would have helped, but again, this is supposed to be the "Daily Driven Track Car", and more spring rate will make it ride worse. We also appreciate the adjustability.

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We installed the front bar with a pair of new OEM E46 end links, but on the MCS strut (with a lower swaybar mount) we needed a shorter end link. They were touching the control arm with the OEM endlinks installed. I found some old E36 length adjustable/spherical end links laying around that worked well enough. Why did we pick Whiteline bars? For one we are a dealer, but I'm actually ambivalent about swaybar brands - as long as they are bigger than stock and adjustable, I am game. The most important thing is to make sure they are mounted properly.

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What we tend to see is when aftermarket swaybars are added, they come with poly bushings that are too tight. When installed, these tight bushings cause massive binding no matter what brand you start with. So we go to the extra effort of trimming the bushings and fitting it to the swaybar so that it rotates with "pinkie finger effort". Then we drill into the swaybar bushing shells and through the entire bushing, then tap the shells for a grease zerk. Twice yearly grease addition to these bushings keeps them from binding further and squeaking. This way the swaybar car rotate freely within the mounts and the twist of the entire bar is what resists roll, as designed.

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