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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 3:36 pm 
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Joined: January 7, 2010, 11:08 am
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Location: Trenton, Ontario
Well I thought I'd at least announce my intentions. I'm currently in the planning stages. I have purchased a 1992 BMW 325i with a 2.5L I6 and 5spd manual to use as a doner car. The plan is to use a modified 442 chassis to accept the extra length of the engine along with a couple of tweaks I'm hoping to work in. I'm *hopefully* going to be making the car out of 304 SS 1-1/2" square tube so I don't have to worry about corrosion (I'm a little paranoid about it), strength or painting it. I'm planning on doing a independent rear end using the BMW bits. I know the stainless won't be cheap but I'm hoping to have it around for a very long time. I'm going to make a custom intake manifold and exhaust system as well as install a dry sump system on the M50 engine (gotta shorten it somehow), maybe megasquirt too. The plan is to use this as a daily driver and occasional auto-X car, but mainly Daily driver.

I'm sure many people out there (with perhaps the exception of you V8 guys) are wondering why the heck would I use a straight 6. Well the short answer to that is: I'm obsessed them, one of the very few naturally balanced engine configurations(don't even get me started on v6's), tons of potential for stupid amounts of power, and for this application relatively narrow. The goal is a weight of about 1400-1500lbs wet and 350 WHP.

I'm currently slated to race in the Chump-car race in shannonville on the may long weekend, so I'm hoping to really dig into the Locost project just after that.

I'll throw up some picks of my doner car when I get home tonight. :mrgreen:

-Phil


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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 4:18 pm 
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Joined: March 23, 2010, 4:57 pm
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Location: coloRADo
Interesting, I am also starting my project. Im curious what the engineers are going to say about a stainless chassis. I know the material is stiffer but I was under the impression that it is a bit more brittle than you'd want for a chassis. Anyhow I too love the bimmer engines so I'll be interested to follow your build.

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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 4:23 pm 
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Joined: February 16, 2006, 3:56 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Austin, TX
Hi Phil,

If you go to the yahoo groups on locost, there is a user called Dr. Hess that is building a locost out of stainless. You can also google the username and find his build site.

I had an E46 with the 2.5l straight six, I LOVED that car and engine so I can understand your obsession.

best, Greg


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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 6:48 pm 
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Joined: January 7, 2010, 11:08 am
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Location: Trenton, Ontario
Picture Time!!!
Why I got a perfectly running BMW 325i for Dirt Cheap:

Image

Front Quarter Shot:

Image

The Glorious Beating Heart!!!!!

Image

Little video of it running:



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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 9:25 pm 
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Joined: January 5, 2007, 6:23 pm
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Location: Charlotte, NC
+1 on the 304. Cost is about 3x hot rolled steel. Assemble once and you're done!


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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 9:28 pm 
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Location: Buffalo, NY USA
GM V6's balance out AWESOME though! offset rod journals and all, LOL! just kidding, i know exactly where you're coming from.


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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 10:04 pm 
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Joined: August 2, 2009, 3:34 pm
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Location: Alberta
Lord Mulgath wrote:
I'm *hopefully* going to be making the car out of 304 SS 1-1/2" square tube so I don't have to worry about corrosion (I'm a little paranoid about it), strength or painting it.


Welcome aboard Phil, good luck.

What are you going to do about your welds?

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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 10:36 pm 
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Joined: January 7, 2010, 11:08 am
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Location: Trenton, Ontario
I can't say I'm looking forward to the purchase of the 304, but that is still quite a ways down the road. Besides the missing tools I need (ya, need... thats it, need.) I still have to get the BMW pulled apart and everything measured up and drawn.

As to the question of welding the 304 I'm going to be buying a Tig welder shortly, and one of my friends is a professional welder..... either I'm going to try and sucker him into doing a lot of the critical welding (Beer is a good persuader), or I'm going to get him to teach me to be a much better welder. I can currently MIG weld quite well but I know that is hardly the same thing. I have TIG welded on several occasions but not nearly enough to call myself experienced.

I'm doing my best to bite my tounge about the horrid balance of a V6.... SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL!!! :boxing:


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PostPosted: April 30, 2010, 11:00 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
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Don't count on a buddy's help for welding. It consumes many hours, which isn't really fair to assume he'll gladly want to give up many of his weekends. More importantly is to consider his potential liability. If anything ever happens, your buddy might wonder if you (or your survivors :? ) could sue him. Not saying he's thinking that, I'm just saying it's best to assume you'll be doing the work.

Regarding a stainless chassis, welding heat changes the metal (drives chromium out) and it'll rust on each side of every weld, so expect that if it's not painted.

Regarding drysumps to lower the engine, unless the flywheel is also made smaller, the transmission bellcrank probably hangs down as far as the pan does now. So while a drysump is great for oil-control, it doesn't necessarily mean the engine can be lowered...

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PostPosted: May 1, 2010, 11:01 am 
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Joined: November 14, 2009, 1:32 am
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Location: Rosser manitoba canada
Just to clarify what Kb 58 said about the welds rusting on either side.
The problem of stainless "rusting" is allmost alllways traced back to an outside contamination. For example when you cut the stainless you will use the disc you cut with on stainless only. The same will hold true for the wire brush and so on.
I have 30+ years in the piping trades and we absolutely do not get rust unless we introduce it. No ferrous wire wheels, stainless only. Use cutting discs designed for stainless and use them on that only. Dont lay the stainless on steel racks without a boundary layer(cardboard) ever. Dont put steel on top of the stainless ever.
Do you see what I am getting at here. Stainless will NOT rust from the welding procedure, but are all the precautions something you are willing to take.
As for someones comment earlier about stainless being more brittle that is just not the case.Stainless also "warps" or deforms tremendously during the tacking and welding procedure, this can be allowed for but I work with other fitters that havent gotten this figured out after 20 years. Honestly the best stainless welding that I have seen personally is the guys in the dairy industry.

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PostPosted: May 3, 2010, 7:06 pm 
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Joined: January 7, 2010, 11:08 am
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Location: Trenton, Ontario
Thanks for the heads up on some of the finer details on the stainless stuff. I will be sure to be as careful as possible when handling it.

I will be sure to keep from depending too much on others for help, but I know my friends pretty well. And like I said in the first post, as long as he can teach me enough so that I don't totally botch the job then I'll be happy.

As for the dry sump on that engine, I was checking out the oil pan last night and it drops a fair amount, about 1-1/2 to 2" below the bell housing on the transmission. as you can see here(stock photo):
Attachment:
File comment: big pan
genuine_engine_oil_pan.jpg
genuine_engine_oil_pan.jpg [ 77.99 KiB | Viewed 6012 times ]


And with an engine that is already that tall I'm just trying to get every fraction of an inch I can get!

I do have a quick question for anyone reading this. is it possible to find a manual rack and pinion that has a variable rate of travel?

PS: how the heck do I get the pictures to shrink to a smaller size so that they have to be clicked on for full size??


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PostPosted: May 3, 2010, 8:51 pm 
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Joined: November 25, 2008, 9:01 pm
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Location: 1 mile west of turn 3, Indy 500
Looks to be an interesting build Phil. I6s are an interesting breed, I'm tempted to do a Ford 300 in my +442e,trying to determine length without a donor handy. Straight sixes in open wheel cars just have an old GP feel about them. Something visceral about rowing through the gears with a big six in a corner. Get going I'm waiting for pictures!!

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PostPosted: May 17, 2010, 1:49 am 
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Joined: May 17, 2010, 1:25 am
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I'm currently trying to choose a donor for my build. I have a free 89 Toyota Van, (double wishbone in front, live axle in back) with a 4YE engine that needs a new head gasket. It's an auto, so getting the right bell housing to match up a manual transmission would be a bit of a search, since I'm on Maui, there's a lot less to choose from.

I also can get for free, an '82 BMW 528e that is very rusty. It hasn't run in 3 years, but the engine does turn over. I've read up on how to convert the front McPherson struts/axles to work for the Locost, but I'm wondering if anyone knows if the rear bearings are separable from the trailing arms. I've read that some IRS setups are difficult to convert to the type of arms usually used in the Locost. If I can't remove the hubs from the trailing arms, can I use the trailing arms as is in the Locost frame?

I like the idea of using the BMW I6, but there is the weight and length issue, oh and it's an auto too. I do have a Toyota 22R engine (needs head gasket and distributor, has a carburetor) and 4 speed transmission I got for $100 so I'm leaning that way for the engine.

Thanks for any tips.

Ian


Attachments:
File comment: A very rusty donor, but the price is right, IF I can use it.
BMW_528e_rusty_front800.jpg
BMW_528e_rusty_front800.jpg [ 81.1 KiB | Viewed 5341 times ]
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PostPosted: May 18, 2010, 8:12 am 
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Joined: January 7, 2010, 11:08 am
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Location: Trenton, Ontario
Hi Ian:

I realize I am probably not the best person to answer your question of what to choose, as I have barely started my build, but I would strongly suggest starting with a doner car that is already running. As great as an I6 would be, you will probably have enough work just getting the frame and suspension worked out without having to fight with your doner motor.

And don't get an autotragic transmission. It would make me cry :cry:

On a more posative not with my build, I will be ripping into the BMW to start pulling it apart in a couple weeks. Chumpcar race is this weekend, then I have a wedding to go to next weekend and then I am free to start my locost!


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PostPosted: January 21, 2011, 4:16 pm 
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Joined: January 7, 2010, 11:08 am
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Location: Trenton, Ontario
Well I'm not dead. But my friends convinced me to run that BMW in this seasons chumpcar season. So this spring I'll be pulling the motor and transmission for a rebuild before the racing season. During which time I'll measure it up and try and flesh out the frame design. By the end of the year I should have the car well sorted, and a build table in place. Assuming all goes well (cause that happens a lot :roll: ) I should have a solid frame design and the material ordered and ready to assemble.

Glad to see that some other people have been doing BMW builds during my absence. More brains for me to pick!


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