Thursday, April 30, 2009

15. Diet plans

I'm thinking about diet. Not for me, but for my Beemer. Let's face it - 200 horses under the hood isn't much. My guess is, that they would perform better if they had less weight to pull around. :)

So, here's a little list of my Beemer-Diet ideas:

1. Removed Interior [done]
I obviously don't need rear seats in my drift car. I also don't need the roof padding, carpetting... Rule: Everything you don't need - throw it out!

2. Replace Driver's (and Co-Driver's) seats with racing seats [to do]
Two racing seats weight the same as just one regular seat. Do the math. ;) Besides that, you can fit racing belts to them, and they hold you in position when going fast troug corners.

3. Replace seat belts with racing harnesses [to do]
Regular seat belts have that stupid roll-on mechanism, different mechanisms for adjusting... everything in the name of comfort. And those things weight a lot. Comfort is the last thing I need...

4. Replace rear windows with plastic ones [to do]
Not only that plastic windows save weight, but they are also cheaper and harder to break. Not to mention ride's center of gravity... ;) I'm not joking! Windows are placed high on the car, and that can't be good for the car's c-o-g.

5. Replace hood and trunk door with fiber-glass ones [to do]
Right. I don't need to explain this too much. All the benefits from earlier points apply here. There's one plus though, fiberglass can be easily patched if we crash it :)

6.  Replace headlights with plastic covers (or air intake's) [to do]
Three bonuses here: You won't crash your lights, you'll get tons of fresh air to your air intake, and you'll save weight. Enough said.

Well, there's a lot more of ideas... I'll write them here when I come up with them. For now, I have a nice list of TO-DO things... :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

14. DIY - Service indicator reset

If you change your own oil, you may wonder, "How do I extinguish that annoying OIL SERVICE light?" It is a simple matter of sticking a piece of wire under your hood for 4 seconds. Well maybe it's not that simple, but that is the basic principle. No need to go to the dealer and pay them $75 for 4 seconds of work.

First, pop your hood and find the diagnostic data port. It is located on the side of the engine bay near the strut tower.

Unscrew the cap. You will see a big Pac-Man shaped hole and twenty little round holes. WTF is a Pac-Man? Never mind. We are only concerned with pin 7 and pin 19 (note: the words "pin" and "hole" are used interchangeably in this text). Refer to the picture below to find pins 7 and 19.

What we will be doing in this exercise is connecting pins 7 and 19 with a paperclip for four seconds. This will reset the oil service light. Simple, no?

Bend your paperclip it so it looks like this.

Well it doesn't have to look exactly like this, but you get the idea. Use pliers if you have to. We want those little loops at the end to maximize the contact with the conductors in the holes of the data port. If you can't make those little loops at the ends, that's okay. Just don't go running around with sharp objects.

Note: you probably will not be able to recover the original shape of the paperclip, so please don't use paperclips you can't afford to lose

Turn the ignition key to position II, but don't start the car. Get out of the car and go to the data port. Always connect pin 7 first. Once you've inserted one end into pin 7, insert the other end into pin 19 and hold it there for 4 seconds. Then remove the paperclip. Check the dash and the oil inspection lights should be reset. The reset occurs upon removal of the clip. DO NOT HOLD IT THERE FOR LONGER THAN 10 SECONDS or you may inadvertently reset your inspection I/II interval.
Pin Terminal Description
  1. TD - TD Signal
  2. Not occupied
  3. Not occupied
  4. Not occupied
  5. Not occupied
  6. Not occupied
  7. SI - Service Interval Reset
  8. Not occupied
  9. Not occupied
  10. Not occupied
  11. Not occupied
  12. 61 (D+) - Generator Charge Indicator
  13. Not occupied
  14. 30 Voltage - Hot at all times
  15. RXD - Diagnostic Data Link
  16. 15S Voltage - Ignition Switch in Run
  17. Not occupied
  18. PGSP - Programming Line
  19. 31 - Ground
  20. TXD - Diagnostic Data Link
This is a Copy/Paste from: Here!

Ah yes, If you want to do this in a safer way, check out this:
Some tools that can ease the process...


13. DIY - Conclusion

This is the FINAL scheme for the installation of kill switch and start button:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

12. DIY - Race panel

Tuning & car parts stores offer a wide range of similar panels, but I don't like them, because they're too flashy. That's why I decided to build my own. Here's how:

What do you need?

  1. A piece of plastic or thin sheet metal
  2. Your buttons & switches
  3. Screws
  4. Spray paint
  5. Thin cardboard

Tools for the job:

  1. Jig Saw
  2. Drill & bits
  3. Files (I'm talking about tools here!)
  4. Bench grinder

Warning - Before we start:
Playing with power tools is dangerous. Be sure you know what you're doing. And wear your safety equipment. Melted plastic flying around isn't something you would want in your eyes! And, you are responsible for any damage that you may cause to your car following this DIY tutorial.

First step is to go to your car, and take a piece of thin cardboard with you. Then shape the cardboard so it fits the desired spot for the panel. I used a big, heavy cardboard, and because of this, my panel doesn't fit perfectly. Here's my 'template':

Ok, then I needed to find a perfect piece of material for my panel. I started looking at the hood of one of my old cars, but then I, somehow, managed to spot a perfect piece: Beemer's glove box compartment. I don't need it in the car, and it had perfect texture! So, I took my jigsaw and here's the result:

Note: I used a fine saw blade, intended for cutting metal. And a little tip: It's better to cut out a bigger peace than you actualy need. You'll fine-shape it later!

The next step is to draw the positions of our switches. You noticed that I've left a piece of plastic that comes out of the panel - I've noticed that this will hook up to the dashboard niceley. Now, take your drill, and the biggest bit you have. You need to drill holes big enough for your JigSaw to go trough. I used bits for metal, but since plastic is soft, you could use almost any bit you have.

After I drilled the holes, I used my jigsaw again to cut out most of the plastic. Be careful not to cut out too much, because some switches don't cover a lot of extra space around them. I used files to 'fine tune' the holes, constantly checking if the switches fit.

It's nice to have files in various sizes, shapes and grades. It's going to take some time before you manage to put all of your switches on your panel. My next step was drillig the holes for the KillSwitch screws. Put the killswitch in it's slot, and drill trough the holes. After that, shape the outer edges of the panel on a bench grinder, so the panel fits into your dash perfectly. 

Ok, that's almost that. Now, you can drill the holes for screws that will hold your panel on your dashboard, and you're ready for paint!

I used regular spray-paint for this step. Black-matt. Safety tip: Do this in a well ventilated area, and don't do it near open flames. OK, paint your dash and wait a couple of hours for it to dry. I didn't wait and I messed half of my panef :( Don't repeat my mistakes! ;) Asemmble the switches on the panel, and you're finished!

Ok, I was kind'of sloppy when I was making this. I guess I'll make another one, but, the procedure is going to be the same. :) Hope you enjoyed this! :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

11. DIY - Start Button & Kill Switch

As I prommised - here's a little DIY for installing a Start Button, Battery Cut-Off Switch and ignition Switches into your BMW E36. The car I'm working on is a earley European 325.  There are some chances that it's not completley like yours. And, by-the-way, I'm not responsible for any damage you make on your car.

My setup eliminates the key completley. I have two switches:

  • ACC - the 1st position of the key
  • IGNITION - the 2nd position of the key

I have a Start Button, and a Kill Switch.

To start the car, there's no need to set the ACC to on. Since I'm building a 'race' car, I don't have any music in the car. But if you plan on putting this in a daily driver, you could find this switch usefull, since it controls power distribution to your head unit.

Fasten your seatbelts! We're taking off!

What do we need?

  1. On/Off Switch [x2]
  2. Start Button [x1]
  3. Kill Switch [x1]
  4. Wire
  5. Terminal connectors


  1. Wire cutters
  2. Wire strippers
  3. Wire crimpers
  4. Isolation tape
  5. Plasma torch

(yes, #5 is a joke)

Ok, so what's the procedure? First take off any plastic you have under the steering column. Then find the wires comming out of the ignition switch located on the left side of the column. (The ignition lock is on the right) Follow the wires until you come to a connector. It should be attached to the steering column with a plasic holder. Disconnect the connector, and then about half-way to the ignition switch cut the wires. (Make sure there are red, green, black+yellow & purple wires there).

Here's a drawing:

  1. Ignition switch
  2. Connector

Blue line marks the cut.

Ok, now, here's how the new components go in:

A - Start Button
B - ON/OFF Switches
C - Kill Switch

Be sure you isolate every connection! Stick the connector back where it was, and try it! :)

Probably, it would be a good idea to put a couple of circuit-breakers (fuses) in there... but, hey, it's up to you.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, do ask.

A couple of photos from my car:

Switches, wires, pliers... :)

Ah! Here are the connectors (after disconnecting)

This is the interesting bit.

Spaghetti, anyone?

In a day or two, I'll post a DIY for the dash panel that will hold my switches :)

A couple of cool things...

Start button for $33.11!

Kill switch for $14.95!

10. It's Alive

It works! I've managed to start the car without a key! And here's the proof:

(I'll write a DIY in a day or two!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

09. Electrics... ?!

I thought that playing with car electrics is fun. Well, that was, until I've decided to do a proper job.
In my older projects (Marlboro Tipo...), I've always connected the kill-switch between the car's battery and the power distribution box. That was fine, but there was no effect when I've killed the power. The car's engine continued to run. The only effect was that starting the car with no kill switch was impossible. Basicaly, I've used the kill switch as an anti-theft device, and not like a safety device. Well, to change this, and to eliminate the ignition lock, I've decided that I'll study my Beemers Electric Schematics before I run into the garage. So, Here's what I've came up with:
So, In the above picture, there's a Black/Yellow wire. I guess I'll connect it to the green one (on the picture below).
Ok, I marked the positions of components I'll install. Hey, This is just a plan, so don't rush into your garage with wire-cutters! :) I'll test this today, and I'll let you know the results! I'll take a picture or two...  
Hope this stuff works!
I took these electrics diagrams from the E36 service manual. You can download the manual (free) from our download page! If you like it, buy it! 

Friday, April 17, 2009

08. OZ Racing

So, as I promised, here are a couple photos of the 16" alloy rims I just bought:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

07. A few new toys

Just a little update:

We bought a nice racing Kill Switch, made by Hella. And we bought a red starter button. So, we'll be playing with electrics in the next few days! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

06. Virtual progress

So, what did we cook up in the time between my last blog entry? A lot. We've bought alloy wheels for our Beemer, 16" OZ's. I'll take a couple pictures today, and post them in the next days. And the paintjob is decided. :) It's going to be completley different from the sketches I've posted :) No, I won't tell or show you the idea. You'll have to wait and see! What next? In the next couple of day's I'll try to fabricate a switch pannel, add a start button, and a few other smaller things... Unfortunatley, the progress is going to be a little slower in the next two months.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

05. Stickers anyone?

Since there's no real progress on the Beemer, I've played with CorelDraw, and made a nice collection of vector graphics. Most of them are available for free download on our main site:

Werewolf Customs

The download section is on our Forum. You have to register to see the Download Section.
Did I mention that our Forum contains a Service and Workshop Manual section? Yes, we have the E36 manual, among other BMW manuals, available for free download. :) So, check it out!
The collection is growing every day, so check it regulary! :) See you there!

Friday, April 3, 2009

04. Thinking about paint

Since there was no actual work done on the car yesterday, we took the time to think about the paint job. We want the car to stand out. Here's what we thought of:


Feel free to comment, and to give us your opinion and ideas.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

03. Wow, it's a car!

Heh, yesterday we managed to fill most of the holes in our Beemer. And it's finally starting to look like a car! :) Besides that, we managed to find a M3 front bumper, fix the front fender, and so on... :) The last thing we did was reseting the OIL inspection lights. :) Smooth progress... for now. Hope it lasts.

And, some picture updates:
(The black 316 belongs to our team-mate Rok.)