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OctoberFAST #13 mechanical failures and fixes


ColinO
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Sean and I tore into the car tonight to find out why the clutch was giving me difficulties last weekend. I noted that the clutch was slipping during comp school, but wrote it off to the long sessions on Friday. Saturday's qualifying included a somewhat mild, but concerning 'money shift' from 3rd to 2nd, and the second race included another slightly worse one from 4th to 3rd. The second one came on the front straight as I was battling George and Mark for middle of the pack, and this time it presented a heavy odor of clutch. I had power but was really worried that I damaged the engine or transmission, so I ran the lap with a lot of caution, driving off line and pointing everybody by. As I came to pit out I saw the white flag and since there were no issues with the engine I decided I had enough to finish and went around again with a little more confidence that the car was not going to fail me.

 

After the checkered, the symptoms were, tough shifting I mean really tough shifting. It kind of knocked into gear. In the paddock we noted that the clutch would not fully disengage (clutch in push into first and it would roll) I had to sit out Sunday's fun race.

 

So tonight, Sean and I just finished replacing the clutch & pressure plate, seals, tranny mounts, engine mounts, and all of the shift linkage bushings. (to be accurate, Sean did these things and I shagged tools) This was far from our first time doing this to an E36, and Sean is really talented at knocking these things out. The first surprise was that the inside of the bell housing was a mess and it was covered in fibers. The second and fully expected issue was that the pivot for the fork was worn down to just a nub. We've seen that on every clutch job we've done on our E36's. This is why the clutch wasn't fully disengaging at the track and may have been the cause of the money shifts, although old mounts or shift linkage bushings may have been the issue too.

 

So, here are some pictures of the carnage beneath my feet.

 

The clutch was completely FUBAR'd, the pressure plate side (thankfully) of the clutch had the friction disk separated completely from the clutch and rivets had worn a grove in it ('made in China' was still clearly marked). The missing friction material is the source of the fibers that covered the bell housing.

 

VIROct2011Sunday_319.jpg

 

The pivot point in here is nylon and in every clutch job we've done this piece has been completely worn out. Make sure you replace it. Note how little is left of the protrusion on the old one compared to the new one.

VIROct2011Sunday_323.jpg

 

Engine and tranny mounts were replaced because they were of unknown age and could be contributing to the money shift issue and because we had some from a donor car.

 

Hopefully exposing my problems will help prevent yours. This could have easily (and may still have) resulted in serious engine damage. If you don't know the condition of the super cheap clutch assembly components, then friggin replace them before next season.

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Just to make sure you know - the rules allow aftermarket engine and tranny mounts. Since most are stiffer than stock, it will limit the movement of the driveline under load, and provide much more reliable gear changes.

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My moneyshifts has been due to driver operation. Cheap fix unless you tear up valves :/ Good writeup Colin and thanks for the advice. I was in there once. Dont enjoy the job to get there and back. Best replace what you can if you're there.

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Just to make sure you know - the rules allow aftermarket engine and tranny mounts. Since most are stiffer than stock, it will limit the movement of the driveline under load, and provide much more reliable gear changes.

Yeah, thanks. I think they are UUC mounts that we put in.

 

Added brake ducts and took it for a spin in my neighborhood this morning. All seems good, so I plan to run CMP next weekend with SE.

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  • 2 months later...

Kind of an old message at this point, but I wanted to share my experience with the UUC red motor mounts. The UUC mounts are not a bolt through design. There is basically a lump of urethane with two metal "cups" pressed down into the urethane and then more urethane sealed around it. The cups have the bolts attached to them.

 

My 130hp 318 managed to rip one of the cups out of the urethane so I ended up with the bolt and "cup" still being attached to the mount on the motor, but then it was not attached to anything else. Made for quit the experience coming through turn1 at sebring. Luckily it was just a warm up lap and I wasn't going that fast. The motor ended up just dropping down onto the subframe and no further damange was done to the car.

 

Had I been at full throttle when this happened, or had this happened in an I6 car it is very possible that the cooling system, mechanical fan, etc.. all would have been damaged when the motor mount failed.

 

For this reason, I recommend the complete bolt through design motor mounts like vorshlaag sells.

 

UUC has stated that they had a production run issue that caused this problem for some of their transmission mounts. I had their red transmission mounts and saw that it was starting to deform and pull the inner plug out and was able to get them replaced before it failed on me. They now have a lifetime warranty, so it could be that they have completely fixed the issue for the transmission mounts, but I felt a better designed mount is what was really needed. My mounts were around 2-3 years old when they failed, and a lifetime warranty was not offered at that time. I need to see if I still have the failed parts to send back in since they say the warranty applies backwards to all products sold. The only bad thing is that the vorshlaag mounts for my car were four times as much money, but they are a much much nicer mount.

 

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showpost.php?p=22138713&postcount=63

 

Also, make sure you don't remove the heatshield on the passenger side mount, or if it is already gone, make sure to make a new one as the heat from the headers will destroy the urethane pretty quickly.

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Ugh, I really wish I hadn't read that thread. The only UUC part I have on my car are those tranny mounts. Bought in 2008.

 

I guess I'll be up under the car checking them before heading down to Homestead this weekend. Like I don't have enough to do.

 

And I am still on my original clutch...100K+ miles, 8 years of autocross, 3 years of HPDE...

 

And it's my first race event...

 

What can possibly go wrong?

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Arrggghh! Both my UUC red "race" tranny mounts are "cracked". Now I gotta figure how to get new ones by tomorrow.

 

Yeah, I found mine like that when I added camber/toe plates to the rear of my car. Not sure if spec3 allows it, but I've had good success with their black street version with the metal "cups" added. Of course, only one year and maybe 12 days on them.

 

The red is either to stiff and prone to crack, or the heat from the transmission wears them out quickly. I just plan on avoiding this companies bushings and powerflex bushings moving forward. Rouge has good stuff though.

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The red is either to stiff and prone to crack, or the heat from the transmission wears them out quickly. I just plan on avoiding this companies bushings and powerflex bushings moving forward. Rouge has good stuff though.

 

I think it is the heat from the transmission. When I pulled them out, it was clear the rear of the tranny had "sunk" into the urethane. The shape of the mounting flanges are impresses into the bushing by about 3/8". And they are cracked too.

 

I threw some stock ones in until I get around to ordering some better aftermarket ones.

 

Missed you at Homestead this weekend. I hope it is because you are building a Spec3

 

Somenody better soon...

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Matt,

 

The FLA region has stolen one of the Mid-A's best in John Felton. John will be managing your track operations, I think, and is one of the original people who helped to set up Spec3. I hope John will be helping to promote the series in your area when he arrives.

 

All the best and please reach out to him as he is a really nice guy.

Jon

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Matt,

 

The FLA region has stolen one of the Mid-A's best in John Felton. John will be managing your track operations, I think, and is one of the original people who helped to set up Spec3. I hope John will be helping to promote the series in your area when he arrives.

 

All the best and please reach out to him as he is a really nice guy.

Jon

 

Jon ran his first event down here this past weekend (check the Florida forum for all the chatter). He did a truly awesome job. All while getting things ready for HMS with HPDE, TT, and race, he spent the time prior to the event getting me cleared to do my first race (talking to the race director, getting me my written test, etc.). At the track, got tech'd, turned in my medical, did my exit test, and was on track for the warm up at 9AM. Qualified an hour later, and ran my first race in my Spec3 at 1:30. Got 3 more races in, all clean, and finishing up my provisional.

 

Had a good time mixing it up with the two SpecE30s. Even though I out qualified them, my first few starts were pretty bad, but I was able to quickly pass them and build a nice gap. It would be more fun dicing it up with other Spec3s though!

 

Jon is truly committed to building NASA FL, and I hope he brings the formula the makes MA so successful.

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[quote name="matt325"

 

Had a good time mixing it up with the two SpecE30s. Even though I out qualified them' date=' my first few starts were pretty bad, but I was able to quickly pass them and build a nice gap. It

[/quote]

 

 

Come to the dark side...Spec E30 is growing fast this year. There are three cars being built/prepped now.

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