Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

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SteveKerwin
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by SteveKerwin »

"Then I went skiing."
Not gonna lie, that's actually my preferred way of ending the day as well. ;)
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

Today I bypassed the stoplight active check circuit so that I could get the right brake light to work.

Left: Analog
Right: Analog
Result: Both work; no Check light.

Left: Any form of LED
Right: Any form of LED
Result: Left works, Right does not, Yes check light

Left: Any form of LED
Right: Analog
Result: Left works, Right works, Yes check light

Left: Any form of LED
Right: LED w/out circuit to 'fix' check lights
Result: Left works, Right works, Yes check light

Left: Any form of LED
Right: LED WITH circuit to 'fix' check lights
Result: Left works, Right does not work, Yes check light

It was all just pissing me off, so I just tied GN/RD, GN/WH, and GN/YL together and said fuck it for now.

Note center stop light is wired without check light circuitry because it's an '85 harness.

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tuffode
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by tuffode »

Woww. I remember going through this thread 2-3 years ago, crazy to go through and see the progress that has been made since then. The car looks so good all finished up! I saw your post on instagram about the fuse box retrofit, which reminded me to get on this site again. Haven't been on here in a while!
rlfletch
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by rlfletch »

Is there a secret to painting the side view mirrors? I bought unpainted replacements to get painted off the car but have noted they do not disassemble.
Ju@n
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by Ju@n »

rlfletch wrote: May 08, 2021 1:46 AM Is there a secret to painting the side view mirrors? I bought unpainted replacements to get painted off the car but have noted they do not disassemble.
To remove the mirror element, you must twist a ring in the mirror itself. This is achieved through a small hole in the bottom if I recall correctly. After that you should either mask or remove the whole motor assembly.
Ju@n
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by Ju@n »

cek wrote: Mar 28, 2021 10:52 PM It was all just pissing me off, so I just tied GN/RD, GN/WH, and GN/YL together and said fuck it for now.
The checkbox for the rear lights (the unit in the trunk that actually checks if the actual bulbs are ok or not) use reed relays, they are a very 80s way of doing that :laugh: .
It shouldn't be hard to improve that design with more modern componentry.
rlfletch
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by rlfletch »

Ju@n wrote: May 08, 2021 9:16 AM
rlfletch wrote: May 08, 2021 1:46 AM Is there a secret to painting the side view mirrors? I bought unpainted replacements to get painted off the car but have noted they do not disassemble.
To remove the mirror element, you must twist a ring in the mirror itself. This is achieved through a small hole in the bottom if I recall correctly. After that you should either mask or remove the whole motor assembly.
Yeah, I got that part but the outer mirror housing does not appear to separate from the corner mount or disassemble at all, so I wasn't understanding how to get good paint coverage on the surfaces that overlap/rub against each other. Some very careful painting I guess?
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

rlfletch wrote: May 15, 2021 1:45 AM
Ju@n wrote: May 08, 2021 9:16 AM
rlfletch wrote: May 08, 2021 1:46 AM Is there a secret to painting the side view mirrors? I bought unpainted replacements to get painted off the car but have noted they do not disassemble.
To remove the mirror element, you must twist a ring in the mirror itself. This is achieved through a small hole in the bottom if I recall correctly. After that you should either mask or remove the whole motor assembly.
Yeah, I got that part but the outer mirror housing does not appear to separate from the corner mount or disassemble at all, so I wasn't understanding how to get good paint coverage on the surfaces that overlap/rub against each other. Some very careful painting I guess?
You can get good results just being careful. I've done it twice.

However, you COULD get even better results by painting in two steps:

1) Rotate mirror on base about 45 degrees so normally covered area is visible. Prep and paint that part. Let cure.
2) Rotate mirror back to fixed position, prep, paint, etc...

I don't think this is necessary.
rlfletch
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by rlfletch »

Thank you, confirms I wasn't missing anything.
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

Back in Utah for a bit and some fun adventures.

First, I'm coming clean: The real reason I brought Minerva to Utah was to get it titled and registered. This is a topic I've avoided here because there was a small risk it wouldn't turn out and I didn't want to point fingers without all the facts. Here's the story:

I bought the chassis from @cooperman back in 2015; he had bought it from Ladue in CA and shipped it to AR. It came with a CA title and all seemed to be in order. Researching the VIN (WBADA810609380393) showed the car was an 5/85 build-date, Euro car in Arcticblau over Pacific Vynil. It was a manual with ABS and tons of options. While the car was just a shell, it did have the wiring harness and fuse box; oddly the fusebox cover was in French.

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As I dug into the build, I noticed some oddities: There were no mounting brackets for the ABS pump and the bracket for the clutch slave was missing. This made no sense given the build-sheet showed the car was a manual and had ABS. Weird. But I just moved on.

After the car was completed last June I set about getting it registered in WA. This is when I discovered that I had lost the title. I actually had a color scan of it, but somewhere in the last 5 years, I put the title somewhere and now can't find it.

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I figured: No big deal, I'll just go through the lost title process in WA... However, due to COVID, WA state had a massive backlog for anything DMV-related. I checked with the Utah DMV and not only did they not have a backlog, but their processes were significantly simpler. "Cool, I'll just transport the car to Utah and do it there. Vlad needs some work done anyway, so I'll bring IT back to WA."

In Utah, the first step in doing a title search is to have a local police officer verify the car has a VIN. Seriously, all they do is verify there is a VIN on the chassis. The apartment we have in Utah is right next to the Sandy, UT police department. So I filled out the lost title paper work, writing down the VIN from the color copy of the title above, and drove the 100 feet to the police station parking lot. A nice officer came out and we popped the trunk...

He looked at my paperwork and the VIN plate and said "These VINs don't match".

Da Fuq?

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The VIN stamped in bumper sheet metal reads the same: WBADA810609380398

Note the 8 at the end vs. the 3 on the CA title?

The entire time this car has been in the US, it has been mistitled. Someone wrote a 3 instead of an 8 and because the car was never registered outside of CA since nobody noticed!

So, what's the real story of this chassis? Here's the build info:

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Interestingly, two cars built on the same day, 5 cars apart were both Articblau. One with a vynil Pacific interior and one cloth Pacific.

This also explains the missing ABS and clutch brackets. It ALSO explains the French fuse box cover! Minerva's French!

Now I have a clean UT title with the correct VIN and was able to get plates this week (temporary; personalized are coming...).

I'm ISO a new French market fuse box cover, BTW. ;-)

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Austin Cacacavo is visiting Utah right now, so we've connected. On Sunday we met up at Minerva's first 'show', a Cars & Coffee hosted by Envision Detail who did all the paint correction, ceramic, and clear film on both Vlad and Minerva. I was having so much fun talking to peeps about the car that I didn't take any pics. But the car definitely attracts attention.

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I wanted Austin's perspective on how the car drives, so this happened...

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The day before yesterday I joined up with another Austin who has S54 experience doing valve adjustments. I have all the tools/parts to do the 1000 mile adjustment (Steve Dinan recommneded this) but have never done one where shims are involved. Austin, who I met at the Cars & Coffee invited me to his house to do it. The car now purrs even more like a kitten.

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Last night, Sam hosted a BBQ has his house and we had 5 E28s, a 944, a clown shoe, a Landy Classic, and several other cool cars. A great time was had.

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Austin, Sam Hurly (he took those amazing photos of Vlad last year), and I drove Guardsman pass on Monday. Minerva's got some temperature issues, so I drove Julie's M4. The temperature issues, apparently, are due to me being an idiot. My goal with this car was to have every part either be new or restored to like-new condition. Somehow I missed putting a new fan clutch on...and the old one has failed.

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cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

MInerva got her first oil change, apartment parking garage style.

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Not bad for a brand new engine. Oil sample is off to Blackstone for Analysis. You know I'll report back; good or bad.

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Hit another cars and coffee yesterday. Massive event. The E28 was well represented with Minerva, Surly ("The PatinaE28"), and Austin's amazing 360k mile M5.

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I fell in love with this 210, which the owner let me drive. It's like a tiny E28.

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Tons of hard driving later, in the hot Utah heat and even with the new fan clutch I haz heat problems. I was warned the Misimito radiators are crap. Time to source something different, because this will not do.
Adam W in MN
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by Adam W in MN »

Sorry to hear about the overheat problems. I have the Ron Davis unit in my b35 535is, do they/will they make one for your S54 application?

Cool story about the vin research and titling quest.
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

Now that the car is properly titled and registered and has had its 1000 mile valve adjustment and oil change, I decided to get it back to WA so I could properly wrench on the rest of the punch list items.

But first, I needed to do a Vlad-like photoshoot with @heyrr (if you missed those Vlad photos, check them out here. They are fantastic.)

We did the shoot up Big Cottonwood Canyon/Guardsman Pass in the early AM.

While he was using real cameras, I used my potato-cam to take a few myself:
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Still looking for NOS French one of these...
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I wish I could say the drive from SLC to SEA was uneventful. But it wasn't. I decided to break it into two days, starting off in the evening to avoid the highest temps. I drove SLC to Boise, arriving around midnight and got a hotel. Then got up early for the 2nd half, arriving SEA around noon yesterday. This was a good call because my temps never got above 12pm.

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Overall the car drove beautifully. Like any other E28 I've driven long distances, it just ate up the miles comfortably. The car tracks perfectly, the suspension is great, has plenty of power (duh), etc... It is noisier than I had hoped. There are little issues with the console where I"m likely going to be pulling it out again, and I may just remove the dash and add more insulation up there. I also don't think we got enough Killamat in the doors.

These photos are of someone else with an E28 and S54 swap, because, of course, I'd never exceed the speed limit (even if it is 80mph as it is in Idaho). But they represent what this car can do. The stock S54 has an 8250 rpm redline and Steve Dinan says my motor will do 9k all day long. I have the rev limiter set to 8000 because I'm a pussy. So the fact that I'm turning 3500 at 85mph is 'fine'. But these numbers do encourage me to continue building the large-case S3.07 (the car currently has an S3.25 in it).
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I made one tactical mistake: I had forgotten the washer sprayer was in-op. This was incompatible with driving in Idaho at dusk. I had to stop at gas stations a few extra times to be able to see.

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This thing kills bugs, fast.
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On day two, I stopped at my buddy's distillery, restaurant, coffee shop, of course. Worthy if you are ever in the area!

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Home is where you hang your hat.
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Now for the bummer part:
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About 200 miles in, I was pulling out of a gas station and I heard a clunk from the rear. As I drove on, each time I'd hit a bump there was another clunk from the left rear. And if there was any lateral movement during the bump, the car had that same feeling you get when subframe bushings are toast: the rear end felt floaty.

I stopped several times and looked up under the car the best I could. The subframe bushings were fine. The welds on the adjustable IE subframe thingies were fine. the bolts on the top of the rear strut mounts inside the trunk were fine. The bolts at the top fo the struts looked fine*.

When I got home, I immediately put the car on the lift. After jacking it up I saw this:
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which led me to pull the left rear strut, where I discovered this:
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425 didn't put the top large washers (#8 in the diagram) on. Fu*k! Very disappointing and annoying and scary and a bunch of other bad things.

I have another set of mounts inbound today, along with the washers. No damage was done and it's a pretty easy to fix. Glad it's back in WA where I can work on it, and I'm glad I have the time these days to do it myself!
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

Yesterday I acquired two new strut mounts and a set of the proper washers.

I also checked my other cars to ensure THEY had the proper washers (since I did the work on them). Yep. Here's Vlad:

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Once I had the parts, I dove into the job. Of course, I have a custom subwoofer box that makes it impossible to remove the fuel evap box that blocks access to the right side mount. This meant I needed to remove the rear seat.

And, since this is the first time *I've* had the rear seat (and subwoofer) out, I needed to fix a few other things that weren't done quite right.

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Namely:

- The rear headrests were just loosely set in place. There are receivers that are supposed to mount to the back of the firewall and for whatever reason, 425 didn't install these.

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- The bolts & nuts used to mount the subwoofer were a) imperial sized, and b) too long making removal/installation overly painful. I fixed this by using some proper metric bolts and nylon locknuts.

Here's the right-side strut, clearly showing that top washer was not installed. This mount has not broken through (yet).
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New strut mounts acquired in record time (thanks for the help Spen!):
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Both strut assemblies re-assembled with the proper parts:
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All back together and proper... And those rear headrests now can be elevated.
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Oh, and along the way I realized I had completely mis-rememberd what LSD I had in this car. I thought it was an S3.25. Nope.
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So the S3.07 large-case I'm building is going to have an even more dramatic impact than I expected...
Spen
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by Spen »

On my visit to Charlie's man palace of a garage, I took a whiff of his E28 interior as the door was no longer a door, it was ajar. And boy did it smell like a new car. And a good one. Car scent is possibly underappreciated. That fresh neutral scent plus nice leather has left an imprint on me. The rest of it, from my quick glance was spectacular. I'd love to get some good S54 experience!
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

Spen wrote: Jun 12, 2021 1:06 AM On my visit to Charlie's man palace of a garage, I took a whiff of his E28 interior as the door was no longer a door, it was ajar. And boy did it smell like a new car. And a good one. Car scent is possibly underappreciated. That fresh neutral scent plus nice leather has left an imprint on me. The rest of it, from my quick glance was spectacular. I'd love to get some good S54 experience!
Spen, I owe you big time for the strut mounts etc... thank you!!
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

First, let's talk cooling. Not only is the Musimito radiator suspect (and going to be ejected in favor of a Ron Davis (probably)), but I now realize the oil cooler is mounted too high, and is blocking air flow to the radiator. When we were fitting the M5 valance we had a clearance issue with the oil cooler. I didn't really recognize this, but the fix was to mount the oil cooler higher up. In addition, I failed to remember that the M5 valance has provisions for cut-outs in the plastic for an oil cooler. So they were never cut out.

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So new plan to address the cooling issues:

1) Replace the POS Musimoto radiator with something better. LIkely a Ron Davis. Key is that my overflow tank is on passenger side and so their standard M5 model would need to be modified.
2) Pop open those holes in the M5 valance.
3) Relocate the oil cooler down significantly so it's behind those holes and not in front of the radiator.

Still up for debate is going with all-electric cooling vs. fan clutch. Many opinions, lots of complexity, etc... I'd love THIS peanut gallery's thoughts. Seriously.

This is not urgent as long as I avoid driving the car in 85+ degree weather. I've not been able to reproduce the high temps on a cooler day even with driving the snot out of it.

Next, working on some little annoyances now that I have the car back in WA...

These zinc bolts have always annoyed me.
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Much better.
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Driver's window has never worked quite right. Slow, clunky, and sketcy. So I tore into it. Discovered a loose bolt, poor lubrication, and a few other things. All fixed now.
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While I was tearing into all the doors to check the other regulators I decided to address a noise issue: The new door cards have half the weight/thickness of OE, esp. since the OE vinyl-backed-with-foam pieces are missing. So I went to Joanne's Fabric and bought some heavy-duty vinyl and made my own version.
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@vinceg is probably rolling his eyes since he just did the same thing, except HE DID IT PROPERLY by actually replicating the OE foam on the back of the OE vinyl. Regardless, this all adds a bunch of bulk to the door cards and should reduce noise. I also put some more kil-a-mat in there.

Some dude is making billet aluminum door handles. I was like WTF? I've never had one break. So why? Well, I broke one yesterday. So there you go.
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Y'all may recall that I upgraded Maytag's interior (Beige to Anthracite) while Minerva was in process. I used a bunch of the "tits" interior trim parts I had originally sourced for Minerva for Maytag. Oops. So now some stuff, like the upper door trim pieces are... not so good. Resulting in some of the rattles and squeaks driving me nuts. I was able to fix the front and rear passenger units...
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But the driver's rear is beyond repair, realistically. Thus I'm now ISO one of those. Halp, please.

Some undercarriage sluehting showed me this, which is mildly disturbing for a 2000 mile car:
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Finally, say hi to Remington and Marco. Marco is like 265lbs. Supposedly Remington has even bigger bones. Kohler, if you're reading this I've been told that you or your 'rents have photographed Marco.
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jayjaya29
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by jayjaya29 »

Having the oil cooler in front of the radiator does not affect radiator performance as much as one would think. A better performing radiator should solve the issue. My vote is for a typical fan clutch, they move a ton of air when needed and properly shrouded. But an electric fan will work fine too and it frees up a couple horsepowers.

As for the trans mounts cracking, you could try these:
https://www.rogueengineering.com/Rogue- ... p_137.html

I run them on my car with no NVH penalty.
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

jayjaya29 wrote: Jun 15, 2021 8:13 AM Having the oil cooler in front of the radiator does not affect radiator performance as much as one would think. A better performing radiator should solve the issue. My vote is for a typical fan clutch, they move a ton of air when needed and properly shrouded. But an electric fan will work fine too and it frees up a couple horsepowers.

As for the trans mounts cracking, you could try these:
https://www.rogueengineering.com/Rogue- ... p_137.html

I run them on my car with no NVH penalty.
Thanks! I've ordered a set!
objectgroup
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by objectgroup »

cek wrote: Jun 14, 2021 11:22 PM 1) Replace the POS Musimoto radiator with something better. LIkely a Ron Davis.
Have been considering a zionsville autosport rad/oil cooler for my s52 (with supercharger) build. Curious to see how the Ron Davis pans out.
Tiit
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by Tiit »

I don’t see any shrouding around the radiator. Properly shrouded cooling system is A LOT more efficient.
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

Tiit wrote: Jun 15, 2021 7:33 PM I don’t see any shrouding around the radiator. Properly shrouded cooling system is A LOT more efficient.
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There's a shroud. It's a modified E46 M3 shroud and it shrouds pretty properly.
LeiseyJr
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by LeiseyJr »

Ah that's normal. I tear those in 2000 mile ;)

Might be a good idea to refabricate that trans mount, angle looks wrong based on the picture shown. However the mount looks a bit wimpy, so maybe the Rouge mounts won't hurt.

I think a good OE, zionsville, or koyo radiator will help with the overheating issues.

Overall car looks like it's having pretty minor issues for completely redesigning it. Very cool to see!
BDKawey
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by BDKawey »

LeiseyJr wrote: Jun 16, 2021 10:16 AM
Might be a good idea to refabricate that trans mount, angle looks wrong based on the picture shown.
id agree, the angle of the mount doesnt look parallel to the mounting ear of the transmission. but who knows how it was sitting since we're looking at a torn bushing anyway.
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, E28

Post by cek »

BDKawey wrote: Jun 16, 2021 3:33 PM
LeiseyJr wrote: Jun 16, 2021 10:16 AM
Might be a good idea to refabricate that trans mount, angle looks wrong based on the picture shown.
id agree, the angle of the mount doesnt look parallel to the mounting ear of the transmission. but who knows how it was sitting since we're looking at a torn bushing anyway.
I agree it looks cockeyed. I'll take a closer look when the new bushings come and if it's wrong I'll make another mount.. because I can!
LeiseyJr wrote: Jun 16, 2021 10:16 AM Overall car looks like it's having pretty minor issues for completely redesigning it. Very cool to see!
Thanks. I agree; while there is a long list of little things, they are all pretty little. I went for a spirited shake-down drive last night after butting up the interior and MY GOD IS THIS THING FUN TO DRIVE.
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