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Old 01-20-2003, 06:29 PM   #1
tnord
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balancing, blueprinting, and rebuilding.

bah.......i typed a big long thing up in the GRM forum, but it didn't work and i lost it. so i'll make this short.

1) what is involved in the rebuilding process?
2) since the engine is in pieces for the rebuild, is it a good idea to balance and blueprint the engine at the same time?
3) my understanding is that B&B-ing involves taking all the moving parts of an engine down to tighter than factory tolerances by replacing or machining parts that are "out of balance" please add anything else i'm missing
4) can a rebuild be done by a simpleton like me who only has basic maintenence and bolt-on mechanical experience?
5) can any engine build do a sufficient job of B&B-ing, or should it be sent to a builder specializing in that particular engine (noteably the E30 M3 engine. yes, it's looking more and more like my car is about to be sold).
6) anybody happen to know a good E30 M3 engine builder??

thank you, that is all.
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Old 01-20-2003, 08:03 PM   #2
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What is "blueprinting" an engine?
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Old 01-20-2003, 08:27 PM   #3
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not sure really...........i think it's the process of completely disassembling the entire engine, and weighing and measuring every moving part. the balancing part is where they actually do the machining, the blueprinting is kinda like the preparation.

you should see the shops that do this, it's rediculous. they are the cleanest and most well organized operations you'll ever see.
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Old 01-20-2003, 08:42 PM   #4
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Balancing involves making sure that rotating pieces are very close to the same weight, for example, you would weigh each connecting rod to make sure they are all equal. Very tedious work. Also done to the crank, etc.

Blueprinting involes machining piece to the very edge of the factory blueprints or specs. making everything as perfect as possible, also very time consuming.

Thats my understanding of the process.

I personally would not attempt either of these if you do not have previous experience, mistakes will cost ALOT if you screw up. You will see Showroom stock guys have their motors B&B to get every hp out of the engine without going outside the factory spec. Alot of money for relatively small gains. but in SS, thats what it takes.

Sunbelt did my motors originally, it was several thou to have them built for SS.

As for BMW motor builders, I know someone in Columbus Ohio that owns an independant shop. Alan Jensen is also in Columbus, he did TC's motors for a while, but your talking big dollars. I would get a copy of the roundel and look for some engine shops in there, Korman comes to mind. Does the car your looking at have a bad motor or do you have money burning a hole in your pocket?
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Old 01-20-2003, 09:46 PM   #5
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i would definitely not attempt to B&B, but rebuilding i have heard isn't all that difficult if you have plenty of time on your hands. i think an entire offseason would qualify as plenty of time.

the roundel is a good place to look, i forgot about it before you mentioned it though.

i know the gains from this process are minimal, but i figured if i was gonna have the engine out of the car and all in pieces, it would be best to do it at the same time.

i'm not looking at any one car in particular, but as you know mike, these old M3's usually have really high mileage, and aren't exactly babied. i figure a motor with 125k hard miles (seems to be about average mileage for these things) is due for a rebuild. especially if (and i will be) is run hard on the track.

any more thoughts are welcome.
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Old 01-20-2003, 09:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by bbp
Balancing involves making sure that rotating pieces are very close to the same weight, for example, you would weigh each connecting rod to make sure they are all equal. Very tedious work. Also done to the crank, etc.

Blueprinting involes machining piece to the very edge of the factory blueprints or specs. making everything as perfect as possible, also very time consuming.
Thanks for the clarification!!

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Old 01-21-2003, 07:34 AM   #7
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travis, i would love to pick up an E30 M3... i hope you find a nice one! As for a rebuild for one, i would think that those motors are already pretty well balanced..etc from the factory to get the power out of them as they do.

You might also consider picking up an extra used motor that you can build while still enjoying the car! You are made of money aren't ya?!?!?
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Old 01-21-2003, 01:12 PM   #8
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i would really like to know the answers of those good questions.. im planning of rebuilding my KA myself sometimes in the future
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Old 01-21-2003, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by bbp
travis, i would love to pick up an E30 M3... i hope you find a nice one! As for a rebuild for one, i would think that those motors are already pretty well balanced..etc from the factory to get the power out of them as they do.

You might also consider picking up an extra used motor that you can build while still enjoying the car! You are made of money aren't ya?!?!?
you're probably right.......the factory tolerances are already most likely pretty slim.

made of money.........right mike..........been in college the last 4 years.......i got money coming out my ears.
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Old 01-21-2003, 02:37 PM   #10
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I working on rebuilding my motor right now. It is my first time rebuilding an engine, but I've got a few friends that have done it a few times so I can ask questions when I get stuck. I plan to have it running by spring. The only thing holding me back is money right now so I can order parts. Too bad I didn't hook up with you earlier Travis I would have shown you my progress.
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Old 01-21-2003, 03:17 PM   #11
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Why are you taking the motor apart at all? My plan for the Miata will be to leave the motor alone for at least the first year. The way I see it, in a year or two, I might actually need that extra 3 hp that a shop-built motor can yield. Before that, however, I would just be putting mid-pack mileage on a front-running motor - not a good way to spend you money.

My bet is the w-2-w seat time would be more valuable than a a new motor. Besides, what class will you be running in and will you be allowed to tinker? J-stock?
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:16 PM   #12
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you think i'm gonna w2w an M3? i'm not an idiot......i have no where near the skill to handle that thing, much less the skill required to dive down the inside of those GT1/GT2 V8 boys under breaking. it'll be an auto-x car/daily driver for this summer......then the rebuild would take place, along with hopefully the purchase of the miata.

the reason i would take the motor apart would be if it had 125k+ miles on it, which is highly likely with that car.
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Old 01-21-2003, 09:10 PM   #13
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dood, if you blasted around in a SRF then you can certainly handle an E30, M3. give yo self some credit!

It's a great car, but I agree going w2w would be scary just in the body work costs!
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Old 01-21-2003, 10:01 PM   #14
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i think i sense some sarcasm mike, but in case i'm wrong;

the stint in an SRF consisted of about 20 laps iirc, and as you know is far slower than a prepped GT2 car. it wasn't my car, so i didn't particularly drive it on edge (especially after i already spun another car that wasn't mine that day ). i also don't have any formal w2w schooling, and only about 150-200 laps total under my belt.
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Old 01-22-2003, 06:47 AM   #15
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there was no sarcasm...i really don't think it would too much
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Old 01-22-2003, 08:32 AM   #16
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Oh. GT? I assumed J Stock which, iirc, is the BMWCCA class for lightly modded E30 M3's. I thought that was a pretty popular class (judging by the number of people I hear of doing it).

I would have thought an SRF and a relatively stock e30 would be about the same too.

Mark - who would kill for an SRF.
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Old 01-22-2003, 02:08 PM   #17
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i haven't looked into what it would compete with in BMWCCA, i was just considering Midwestern Council, in which the starting grid looks something like this:

1) GT1 C4 vette
2) GT1 C4 vette
3) GT2 M3
4) GT1 C4 vette
5) GT1 F-Body
6) GT1 F-Body
etc.....

maybe i could handle it.........i dunno.

with that said.....i'm getting some pretty negative enthusiasm from GRM forum people about how much it really does cost to run these stupid things..........i may be reconsidering my next car.
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Old 01-22-2003, 02:14 PM   #18
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I bet they cost a pretty penny to maintain. attach an M badge to anything and the price goes up. I would think if you maintained it yourself it might not be to bad, just don't hit anything. I have considered picking one up for a daily driver and fun dayz at the track, but for the same concerns have backed off and now I would consider a E36 325. They are competive in ITS, prolly can run with the E30M3 without the inflated parts costs. They also have improved reliability and better suspension.

Something to think about!
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Old 01-22-2003, 10:18 PM   #19
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Re: balancing, blueprinting, and rebuilding.

Quote:
Originally posted by tnord
[B]bah.......i typed a big long thing up in the GRM forum, but it didn't work and i lost it. so i'll make this short....[B]
1) Rebuilding is replacing every moving part in the engine, and boring/honing/machining down the worn places. This would be valve seats, cylinder walls, combustion chamber, ect.

2)B&B, as said before is expensive. Not only because of the tedious task of measuring and weighing EVERYTHING going into the engine, but because most shops will have to buy multiples of the same part. A shop would rather have too much weight/size and trim down how they want, then too little. But too little always comes in a set of valves and springs and pistons... so the shop needs to order multiples, find the biggest ones, and when they have a complete set of larger items.. start cutting. That is a large chunk of expense.

3)I think bbp took that. If you want an engine to rev as high as possible, you better have it blueprinted and balanced (especially in a v-formation engine). This keeps the same reciprocating mass on both sides of the block. Also.. it allows better sealing on valves and rings, for better compression, and more power (marginally... but if you want every bit possible... you need it.) Balancing is the task of keeping everything the same weight. That isn't a problem. The shop will order 1 set of an item, and weigh them. Find the least heavy, and cut weight off the others to match. A simple balancing is costing me only $100 on my KA-T. The blueprinting part is measuring and so forth, and cost my corvette engine $2,400.

4)A rebuild can be done by you, but you'll need a machine shops help. Honing, boring, hot-tanking the block to remove all crap in it, ect. Also, they will need to press in the wrist pins on the pistons. Aside from that, a FSM and torque wrench is about all you need.

5)Any shop can B&B an engine. It's not complicated. But a specialized shop for that brand car probably has more hook-ups, and can get cheaper prices for that particular engine.

6)Nope.
Am I banned from the motorsports section yet?
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Old 01-22-2003, 10:40 PM   #20
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sigh..........dunno if i'm gonna be able to pull off this M3 thing, maybe i'll start looking for an ITR again.

anybody else got any ideas?
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Old 01-23-2003, 02:18 AM   #21
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How would a MKIV supra work in any of those events? Are they too heavy, not allowed, too expensive or anything like that.
I don't know a lot about those particular events, but I'd like to learn some more about the cars that are taken there and why.
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Old 01-23-2003, 08:58 AM   #22
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e36 325

That car is almost as fast as an e30 M3. Has a great chassis - even if a good bit heavier. Is more reliable, yet fun to drive. Has A+ resale value, but can be picked up in good shape for 10-15 grand.

Cheaper than a teggy, likely as much fun, cheaper to insure, more expensive on maintenance - but 325's aren't POSes either. Oh yeah - and when you have a race car and want a daily driver, a 325 is heads and tails above an ITR. ITRs are not known for being good road cars, they are known for being good mixed use cars. On the streets, they are uncomfortable b/c they are a cheap chassis that is all decked out. A 325 will perform almost as well on teh track, but is a GREAT road car. ...and you ARE buying a driver, not another track car, right?

I recently pushed myself to decide that when I buy my next driver, it will not be an e36 m3. As much as I want them, I already plan on owning one race car. I don't need a second (that isn't just a shell/parts car). 3 series would be great - but not an M. I'm looking at a 540 Sport Wagon, T5r, or maybe a newer A4 wagon. With a wagon, there is an 85% chance I'll be able to keep it off the track. (plus I think wagons are pretty cool)
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Old 01-23-2003, 09:11 AM   #23
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hippo,

well said on the pro/con of the 3 series, i agree completely. I have a 98 328 (wife drives it now, but the stroller doesn't fit in the trunk, so I am going to inherit it soon!!) and it is by far the best driver I have ever owned. I can predict I will have a another(s) in the future.

As for the wagon thing, I am down with that as well. I have been eyeballing a nice 5 series but it is still like 30k. My wifey doesn't like the T5, but likes the 5, A4, or MB wagon. As long as it is german and it is not a minivan she is cool with it. Which is very cool except they cost an arm and a leg.

I'm thinking a silver 535t lowered with some M% wheels and nice exhaust will make a pretty sweet grocery getter. I'll be the pimpest dad picking up the kids at daycare! (in my dreams)
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