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NASA GTS Winter Project

My 2002’ M3 has served me well since I started tracking it in 2007.


It started out as my daily driver and occasional track day car. Over time as my passion for the track grew, I began modifying the car to go faster. These mods also included safety equipment such as a 6-point harness and roll cage.

Now it is a dedicated track car. The engine is still stock except for the tune.  It’s amazing how well this S54 has withstood the abuses of my driving. As a reward, it is out for a complete re-build.

Engine

Engine Bay

The engine bay is embarrassingly dirty. Thinking of putting platinum based foil over it!  Need some input from Josh Smith on this.

Many of the modifications to the car have been done hurriedly over the years. Often we were trying to do projects between races. This winter we are going to tear the car down and evaluate such things as seat position, ballast positions and aero.

Bumper

The goal is to make the car the absolute best it can be for 2016. It needs to be fast, reliable and not leaking fluids. Looking forward to working with my friends in having the best car I have ever driven.

The next step is to tear down the engine. The top of the engine looks good. All of the Liqui Moly oil I have put in the engine over the years has paid off. We buy and recommend so much of their product that they have made us a distributor.

Transmission

Transmission Parts

There was extreme sadness when looking at the transmission and bottom half of the engine. I had a lot of problems shifting at the NASA East Coast National GTS race. Of course, I kept driving it anyways. Throughout the weekend shifting and drivetrain vibration worsened.

The failure of the transmission caused a lot of damage. The vibration and friction were so severe that the flywheel was fused to the crankshaft. It’s amazing to see how much pressure is on the flywheel with an S54 engine.

Crank Shaft

Winter Project

Inside View

The same thing happened on the front of the engine. My ATI harmonic dampener was fused on to the other end of the crankshaft. The good news here is that ATI is in the process of repairing it. So I don’t have to buy a new one.

Clutch

So not a good day at PI. I am looking at an engine rebuild, transmission and clutch to get back on track. The first thing I ordered is the new transmission from Dan Fitzgerald at diffsonline.com. We are now also a dealer and installer for them.

Transmission

This rebuilt E39 tranny is ready for the tack. It is like a work of art. Can’t wait to get it in the car. We have chosen Lang Racing Development as our vendor for the engine rebuild.  They have developed their own custom crank for the S54 engine. We will also be running their rod bearings and pistons. They will also balance the crankshaft with flywheel and harmonic damper while they have the engine. Once I get the dampener back from ATI the engine will be shipped off the Lang.

If you have suggestions or want to reveal some of your speed secrets as we go, feel free to chime in.

Stay tuned for more updates…