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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 03-27-2004, 10:05 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Playing in the trunk...

I'm not sure if I'll even be able to use this once the repair has been made by BMW. I'm still waiting to see which way the fix will go but I'm not sitting on my thumbs in the meantime.

I mocked up the reinforcement for the inside of the trunk this evening. I used 10 gauge sheet metal but in reality, 14ga. or maybe even 16ga. would probably be adequate. While I didn't weigh the finished piece(s) yet, I expect them to be in the 5 to 7 Lb. range.

There are worse things in life than adding little weight directly over the rear axle in a nose heavy car.

I wasn't able to get the top stamped from one piece like I had wanted; no room to do back to back bends that close with the dies they had. Instead, I used 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/8 angle and ran it through the mill to get the required heights to match the embossments in the trunk floor (bevels and all) and fabricated it from nine (9) pieces.

The angle pieces that fit over the longitudinal rails were cut in half from my original planning. This would still allow gradual deformation in the event of a rear shunt, once the cavity deforms to the point of the axle anyway.

This is still under construction so it's not pretty!

Still have to finalize a design for the underside, should have the two eared cover and OEM brackets early next week (surprised when they didn't arrive Thursday, probably not that many people ordering things like that).
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Last edited by Randy Forbes; 04-01-2004 at 01:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2004, 10:25 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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I forgot to mention...

If I get this all smoothed out tomorrow (meaning Sunday), I'll put the battery, cables, trays, floor, et all back in to see what still fits and what doesn't.

I didn't remove the factory studs that were in the way, I just milled or drilled to get around them for the time being. The (cheap) plastic nuts won't grip the studs as they are now, I would either thread the plate or put studs on it in the same locations.

BTW, I am not advocating this mod in any way. It's just something that I'm doing to satisfy my own curiosity.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2004, 10:47 PM
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2004, 03:29 AM
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2004, 04:33 AM
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Looks like your welder showed up.

How do you like it?
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2004, 07:20 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone
Looks like your welder showed up.

How do you like it?
Just like old times...

I also put O2 sensor ports in the Healey's collectors (for an l.e.d. mixture indicator) and got the mufflers fitted up so I can set the carbs without killing the neighbors.
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2004, 03:23 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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I checked the fit of some of the trunk fixtures and was pleased to see that very little needs to be done to make this work and be invisible to the untrained eye.

Specific to the S-54:
the battery cover portion that goes over the cables
tool tray needs to be trimmed
fasteners for the battery cable guards

The rest looks okay...

Haven't had the chance to test fit the pice to the S-52 yet.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2004, 04:57 PM
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The final step is to weld the pieces to the floor?
I was looking around for 1/8" plate strips myself to add as a stiffener but you're way ahead of me.
If it fits, are you considering selling a "kit" to weld on the trunk floor & diff ear??
(probably a strong demand for 300+ Coupe/roadster owners)
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2004, 05:37 PM
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late comment

I haven't spent as much time looking at this as many of you have. but...

I thought a plate down below, between the existing bracket which the diff ear bolts to, running straight up thru the floor to a bar would work.

Or assuming the existing bracket below is strong enough as is, a bolt with a big washer straight up thru the existing bracket then up thru the floor to a bar, would also work.

Randy, sounds like you have your car with BMW for a warranty fix?
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2004, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
I checked the fit of some of the trunk fixtures and was pleased to see that very little needs to be done to make this work and be invisible to the untrained eye.

Specific to the S-54:
the battery cover portion that goes over the cables
tool tray needs to be trimmed
fasteners for the battery cable guards

The rest looks okay...

Haven't had the chance to test fit the pice to the S-52 yet.
Why not trim the reinforcing plate rather than the OEM plastic bits?
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2004, 08:06 PM
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Hey randy,

This looks like very nice work.
Will you be selling this as a kit?
If so, I'm interested.

Minsoo
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2004, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGRMLN
Hey randy,

This looks like very nice work.
Will you be selling this as a kit?
If so, I'm interested.

Minsoo
Ditto on the nice work and the kit.

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  #13  
Old 03-28-2004, 08:53 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LmtdSlip
Why not trim the reinforcing plate rather than the OEM plastic bits?
The reinforcing plate is made the width it is to sit directly on top of the xmbr flanges that are underneath the trunkfloor. Once welded in place (plug welds through holes in the trunk floor NOT just to it) it will tie the lower xmbr to the plate in the trunk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MGRMLN
Hey randy,

This looks like very nice work.
Will you be selling this as a kit?
If so, I'm interested.

Minsoo
Thanks. I doubt it, too much production variance. I'd be willing to do it on a custom basis though. Also, I'd need someone with a Coupe to come by so I could measure and take into account the different brkts that you guys have holding up the trunk floor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bob lindquist
I haven't spent as much time looking at this as many of you have. but...

I thought a plate down below, between the existing bracket which the diff ear bolts to, running straight up thru the floor to a bar would work.

Or assuming the existing bracket below is strong enough as is, a bolt with a big washer straight up thru the existing bracket then up thru the floor to a bar, would also work

Randy, sounds like you have your car with BMW for a warranty fix?.
You're reading my mind Bob. I still have the underside to mock up, maybe have something ready to look at by next week. I'm thinking about a vertical membrane. Be pretty hard to bend 3-some inches of steel edgewise...

BMW hasn't given me the answer yet, but I'm lead to believe it will be positive...


Quote:
Originally Posted by elfhearse
The final step is to weld the pieces to the floor?
I was looking around for 1/8" plate strips myself to add as a stiffener but you're way ahead of me.
If it fits, are you considering selling a "kit" to weld on the trunk floor & diff ear??
(probably a strong demand for 300+ Coupe/roadster owners)
Correct. Well, not so much to the floor as THROUGH the floor.

Ten gauge is .120" (1/8" is .125").

I'm motivated by two (2) cars with structural problems

To many issues of fit and finish right now, have to wait and see how this plays out with BMW too. Stay tuned for more information
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
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1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2004, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
Also, I'd need someone with a Coupe to come by so I could measure and take into account the different brkts that you guys have holding up the trunk floor.
What part of Ohio do you live in? I'd be willing to drive over if it's not to far. Let me know.
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Old 03-29-2004, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BobC
What part of Ohio do you live in? I'd be willing to drive over if it's not to far. Let me know.
Thanks for the tip. I'm in Toledo...
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  #16  
Old 03-29-2004, 06:34 AM
yetiboy yetiboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
Thanks. I doubt it, too much production variance. I'd be willing to do it on a custom basis though.
On my list of life's "To-do's" - Visit Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and see a OSU-GoBLUE showdown in the Big House in Ann Arbor. Maybe kill three birds with one stone...it's only a 2400 mile drive from sunny Nocal

MSH
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2004, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
The reinforcing plate is made the width it is to sit directly on top of the xmbr flanges that are underneath the trunkfloor. Once welded in place (plug welds through holes in the trunk floor NOT just to it) it will tie the lower xmbr to the plate in the trunk.
I realize how and why...my point was that perhaps you could make the cut outs in the reinforcement piece before welding them in that way the battery cover and the tool tray would drop right in without have to trim the OEM pieces. I think this would be more appealing to someone buying it as a kit.

Just a thought...but nice work you did there regardless.
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:30 PM
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Last year sweating as you installed short-shifters will be nothing compared to this year at homecoming with the welder.
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DannO
Last year sweating as you installed short-shifters will be nothing compared to this year at homecoming with the welder.
Should I figure out how to bring my 4500W 'portable' generator with me? Hmm, if disassembled, it might fit in the trunk... oh, right, not a good idea until _after_ the trunk has been fixed.
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Old 03-29-2004, 03:07 PM
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I have a 6500 watt generator, and another welder.

Hard to bring in the Roadster.
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Old 03-29-2004, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Forbes
Thanks for the tip. I'm in Toledo...
I'd be up for that road trip. It would be a good excuse to go to Cabela's. Let me know.
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Old 03-30-2004, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
homecoming with the welder.
ha.... second cup of coffee and alot of bizzaro things come to mind for HC this year. Everyone can show up with their welding hoods, "Got Crack?" t-shirts... bad idea, Bubba's Welding is the newest vendor in the parking lot..I'll stop now.
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  #23  
Old 03-30-2004, 02:37 PM
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HAHAHA - Got Crack - that's great!
I've already started thinking about this year's t-shirt... that's a contender, along with //M-Bark's "COUPE de'tat" suggestion regarding Coupes boycotting the new hotel and going back to the old one or choosing another one all-together.

COUPE de'tat seems like the perfect fit for us and our misfit cars.
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Old 03-30-2004, 03:24 PM
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work goes on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob lindquist
I thought a plate down below, between the existing bracket which the diff ear bolts to, running straight up thru the floor to a bar would work.
Bob,
I said you were reading my mind...

Made it through another segment of the project today. It's also a stopping point as I can't go any farther without actually modifying my car. Not a good idea while waiting on replacement trunkfloor(s) from BMW.

All along, it has been my intent to have a vertical membrane to connect the existing lower xmbr to the new reinforcement plate.

What is the point of reinforcing the top if the lower xmbr can still break away?!

The OEM differential brkt is made of (just under) 12 ga. steel (mount=.076"/12 ga=.081"). This could be fortified any number of ways without getting complicated.

I'll deal with the two ear issues in another post...
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Old 03-30-2004, 04:03 PM
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You've got to really want to do this...

Here's a few shots of the E-36 M differential cover.

Capacity looks to be the same, baffles are different and almost a lack of cooling fins (this could be remedied).

Height and offset of ears are different than the single ear Z3///M cover. Mount isolators are also smaller/more rigid and appear as though the bracket is in a single plane (as opposed to the Z3///M that wraps around to two planes).

It's already been done, and it would lend itself well to my proposed reinforced trunkfloor/xmbr modification.

I would suggest that something like the Ireland Engineering sub-frame bushes be utilized to limit travel considering the firmer isolators on the differential cover mounting lugs.
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