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Thread: BMW love/HATE rant

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Default BMW love/HATE rant

    I love BMW's and really want to race one. I found a perfect 2011 M3 coupe DCT gearbox 30k miles pristine to turn into a racecar. I think the BMW is the best value and cheapest get in fee for a DCT with maximum reliability of that kind of box. Plus there are BMW tuners out there to juice up the gearbox more. So I'm all hot on jumping in on this M3 and I can stay in my T2 race class and I just blew my T2 C5Z motor. Perfect timing.

    Then my BIL needs some work on his E92 328i. The problem is an aging cracking coolant vent line that if it breaks is a catastrophic failure. And of course BMW has that hose go into a thin piece of plastic nipple on the main upper radiator hose. So you remove the vent hose and the nipple breaks off. I did that on my daughter's 328i...STRIKE 1. BMW also does not use traditional hose connection where you can in an emergency cut another formed hose to fit and just clamp. You know like when you have a trackside failure...STRIKE 2. That is a really big issue. We need to be able to kluge repairs trackside. Who is going to have a BMW part you can pick up Saturday at 4pm in Buttonwillow so you can race on Sunday? Then the "coup de gras" you can't pull the stuck on O-ring in the upper radiator hose off with any force or you will break the neck off the plastic radiator header and you will need a new radiator...STRIKE 3!

    So the only gentle way to get the old hose off is to use 2 different cutting tools and cut the hose then cut the plastic connector NOT cutting into the radiator male fitting and breaking the old connector off...Strike 3 cont... A normal car would need a screw driver to do this job. The BMW needed 2 cutting tools, pliers, screw driver, torx sockets. How much more junk do I need in my trailer to service a BMW? Add this simple little job to my other list of BMW "hates". Well that's it. I'm not buying a BMW for a racecar. I'm so bummed

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    I share your sentiments.
    How much screwing around would be required if you made a list of all the dumb things that BMW decided to do in their infinite wisdom and solved them?
    Swap plastic bits into better materials for the job?
    Switch fittings into AN style where possible, etc..?

    The initial build will take some sweet time, but the possibility of making everything easier to service down the line can turn around your decision.

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    This is why I have no desire to own a late-model BMW.

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    JJ1
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    Wait, a BMW with cooling system issues!!!!!! I'm shocked.
    tq3z, Blackbird and deng like this.

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    I love BMW's and really want to race one. I found a perfect 2011 M3 coupe DCT gearbox 30k miles pristine to turn into a racecar. I think the BMW is the best value and cheapest get in fee for a DCT with maximum reliability of that kind of box. Plus there are BMW tuners out there to juice up the gearbox more. So I'm all hot on jumping in on this M3 and I can stay in my T2 race class and I just blew my T2 C5Z motor. Perfect timing. Then my BIL needs some work on his E92 328i. The problem is an aging cracking coolant vent line that if it breaks is a catastrophic failure. And of course BMW has that hose go into a thin piece of plastic nipple on the main upper radiator hose. So you remove the vent hose and the nipple breaks off. I did that on my daughter's 328i...STRIKE 1. BMW also does not use traditional hose connection where you can in an emergency cut another formed hose to fit and just clamp. You know like when you have a trackside failure...STRIKE 2. That is a really big issue. We need to be able to kluge repairs trackside. Who is going to have a BMW part you can pick up Saturday at 4pm in Buttonwillow so you can race on Sunday? Then the "coup de gras" you can't pull the stuck on O-ring in the upper radiator hose off with any force or you will break the neck off the plastic radiator header and you will need a new radiator...STRIKE 3! So the only gentle way to get the old hose off is to use 2 different cutting tools and cut the hose then cut the plastic connector NOT cutting into the radiator male fitting and breaking the old connector off...Strike 3 cont... A normal car would need a screw driver to do this job. The BMW needed 2 cutting tools, pliers, screw driver, torx sockets. How much more junk do I need in my trailer to service a BMW? Add this simple little job to my other list of BMW "hates". Well that's it. I'm not buying a BMW for a racecar. I'm so bummed

    Attachment 11272
    Well, reading your title i initially decided you have finally came to the dark side. I felt a bit sorry for you. Then i figured out that you are staying to the bright side. And i felt a bit sorry for you
    What can I tell you, if you really like the car and the equipment you can convert most of the systems to a simple stuff and leave almost all the plastics out. For a race car you have to replace all the cooling systems anyway, so that is not a biggie. But there are things that will need more than spit and haywire once the fail.
    I have bought a 2009 Z4 with the twin turbo engine and DCT that i plan to convert to a race car. I did not pull the trigger yet, but will probably start the build next year. There will be a million things to break, but 500/500 in a 2700lbs car with DCT sounds like too much fun to pass on.

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Yeah you gotta deal with cooling but everyone like bimmerworld race radiator uses the wire lock oem connectors so oem hoses work. So if you loose a hose on track you better have a spare and a bag of tools to change it. There is no chance for a NAPA autoparts kludge.
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    I was going to echo Bawareca’s comments: aftermarket cooling system overhaul. As for day to day stuff, I have a close friend with a Worldpac account. Atlanta has two Worldpac warehouses, so when stuff like you describe breaks, and has, I sweet talk my friend into grabbing the parts directly from the warehouse and I buy him a meal.

    BMWs work best when you have a slightly OCD/do-it-once/what-else-should-I-replace-while-I’m-in-there sort of mindset. Yeah, the plastics are maddening, so you’re always second guessing if you’re using too much force removing a part. I think I suggested this on another thread, but I usually look up exploded views of assemblies on realoem.com before making repairs.
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Double post.
    Last edited by bawareca; 10-08-2017 at 07:06 AM.

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Yeah you gotta deal with cooling but everyone like bimmerworld race radiator uses the wire lock oem connectors so oem hoses work. So if you loose a hose on track you better have a spare and a bag of tools to change it. There is no chance for a NAPA autoparts kludge.
    The OEM hoses are actually pretty heavy duty and the connection is very secure. I have never seen one to pop out or leak. The new generation BMW engines cooling system work at pressures up to 40 lbs pressure and temperatures up to 230F and lasts at least 80k miles. Once you replace the hoses you will be good for years. The radiator plastics, and the upper radiator hose crack because of the high pressure/temp. The lower hoses that are not exposed to the extreme heat usually last for the life of the car.
    The wire lock connectors are 3 sizes. You can buy assortment new/used hoses, grind the clamps away and you will have hoses and connectors available for emergency situations. Or, you can use the plastic connectors for the engine side, have custom hoses clamped to them, and from there on you can use any cooling equipment that you choose. BTW, 5 and 7 series have a fully aluminum radiators from the factory. This is the way i plan to do it.
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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    How do you delete the EDC SLS thing? I don't care about MIL's. Can you just rip that stuff out and put in adjustable shocks? Will the E92 limp mode if certain stuff is gone?

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    How do you delete the EDC SLS thing? I don't care about MIL's. Can you just rip that stuff out and put in adjustable shocks? Will the E92 limp mode if certain stuff is gone?
    It will go to limp mode only if the communication with the DSC(stability control) is lost. You can leave the car with 4 wheel speed sensors, steering angle sensor and a acceleration sensor and it will work fine. The data acquisition system can also pull all required data from the OBD port. All the 1, 3 series ~'06-'12 and '09 and up Z4 are built on the same platform. There are many built race cars that work just fine. There is a vast amount of knowledge for these models so I dont expect any unpleasant surprises. I say go for the project and I will give you a hand for the electronics stuff/wiring.
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    There must be a way to make simple, reliable racecars out of BMWs. Racetracks are full of them. Don't shops like Turner and Bimmerworld make more durable replacements for all the plastic pieces?

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    There must be a way to make simple, reliable racecars out of BMWs. Tracks are full of them. Don't shops like Turner and Bimmerworld make more doable replacements for all the plastic pieces?
    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the plastic connectors. When they get old, 80+k miles, they crack. That would be 10++ years life in a well used racecar. They are also not expensive to replace. There are options to keep the stock configuration and have a metal radiator/expansion tank. Along with the upper radiator hose these are the most critical parts.
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    New hoses and radiator are pretty much SOP for any race car. I actually like the BMW connectors. Really easy to take on/off the hoses. I haven't seen one fail yet but I am sure it has happened. I plan to carry a spare upper and lower hose and call it a day. No different than what I do now for the Miatas. Tons of bmw's at the NASA West Champs last weekend. I didn't see any real issues with the cars there though most were of E36/E46 vintage.
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Carl, do you do your own engine work? Doesn't that era M3 have some expensive engine maintenance items? Wasn't this the type of car William shared his repair bills for? I know as a Miata guy anything else sounds expensive.
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    Carl is a Ferrari guy, if he says BMW is idiotic to work on, I believe him....
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    Carl is a Ferrari guy, if he says BMW is idiotic to work on, I believe him....
    For me the Japanese and the Domestic cars are idiotic. I am not used to work on them, so the reason could be in me, or could be in the cars. Go figure
    On a serious note, of the German cars BMW is the most logically build and easiest to work on, except the very recent models. Mercedes is insanely complicated, the bolts are 3 times longer and 3 times more than common sense will justify.
    VW/Audi is a complete mess.
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    Bawareca has a point. If you can get a handle on the engineering philosophy, a lot of BMWs are really logical to repair. Some things that seem asinine are actually pretty clever in hindsight. The newer models, that completely changed and does not apply. There are repairs on every car that frustrate me, but a lot the BMWs I've owned were easier to repair than my Miata. The Miata is easy for me because they are owned by cheapskates (guilty) and have a large DIY ownership. The parts are also pretty cheap. BMW parts aren't that much more, in comparison, IMO. If you maintain a Miata like a BMW, it's bulletproof, but if you maintain a BMW like a Miata, you're going to have more issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Carl, do you do your own engine work?
    Yes I can build my own motors and gearboxes too. I don't have machine tools for motors but I can and have sent out for machining, measure everything and assemble when I have time. I got caught out twice with my LS6 vette motors for not making the time hence my kablamo at Indy runoffs last week after only 6 weekends on a "new" motor.


    Trackside with minimal tools and only an O'reilly autoparts there seems to be few ways to solve problems on modern BMW's. IMO the pinnacle of BMW engineering was the E46 years. From E92 years onward BMW has out engineered itself like designing a bullet-proof war plane that is too heavy to fly.

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post

    Trackside with minimal tools and only an O'reilly autoparts there seems to be few ways to solve problems on modern BMW's. IMO the pinnacle of BMW engineering was the E46 years. From E92 years onward BMW has out engineered itself like designing a bullet-proof war plane that is too heavy to fly.
    As a matter of fact E90 models are improvement of E46, but not a revolution. Again, the models following E90 sometimes could not be fixed even in the dealer. But I see someone has done a race prepped M4 of the newest generation, so we'll see how that goes.

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