Saturday, January 22, 2011

81. E39 to E36 Steering wheel retrofit DIY

Well, I got tired of my steering wheel... And, I found a nice wheel from a E39... so, this was kind of expected:

My old wheel:

Removing is simple. First, disconnect the battery. You don't want that airbag blowing into your face. And, you certainly don't want to see that pesky air-bag light on your instrument cluster. Wait for about 30 minutes for the system to discharge. Unscrew the torx bolts that are in the back of the wheel. Torx 30 should do the job. Take the air-bag gently off the wheel. Unscrew the central bolt (16 mm socket) that holds the steering wheel, and disconnect the two connectors. Pull the wheel towards you, and that's it.

This is the E39 leather, 3 spoke wheel that I installed. It's like new. :)

Installation is reverse of the removal.

Well, I had to take it out a couple of times, to center it, but it wasn't that hard... :)

80. 323 - End of the road...

Well, my friend's yellow E36 coupe had some ups and downs over the past few weeks...

We decided to restore the M3 look... see for yourself...



But, unfortunately, the test drive wasn't that good... :(

I don't want to be a pig, but - this was a classic example of a woman behind the wheel... My friend was properly turning left, when she rammed him from behind...

(Girls, i'm not putting you all in the same category. - I know that girls can be damn good drivers. My fiancée is probably a better driver then 80% of men that I know.) :)

Well, the insurance already covered the damage (total), and the car is already sold... It's end of the road for this one... :(

79. Grobnik SNOW track-day

Somehow, I decided to take my E36 daily driver (1.6L engine) to a track day.
The weather forecast was promising snow, and that meant that I had some chance to have fun on a real race track. Well, I know I don't have a LSD on my daily driver, but that didn't bother me much. I wanted fun, not record-breaking performance. :)

The night before the track day, I decided to mount a bucket seat into my E36. That's because I didn't want to find myself flying around the car, while drifting. (If I can call it that)... :)

So, here's a picture of the seat mounted...

The mounting process was really straight-forward. The mounts were already made to fit an E36, so I practically had to take 4 bolts out, replace the seat and put the bolts back on. Well, so I thought. Somehow, when I wanted to test-drive my 'upgraded' E36, I found out that I forgot about the seat-belt buckle. Original seats have them mounted at the side, but bucket seats don't. After a minute, I decided to take the rear-seat, central buckle and mount it to the racing seat. Well, it worked. But that meant I had to take the seat out again, mount the buckle, and put everything back in the car.

Moving on. The next morning, I woke up and saw that the snow was really there. :) But, I didn't expect THAT much snow. Well, here are a couple of pictures of my trip to the race track:

Well, I don't really have to tell you that I had so much fun driving on a snowy road... And, the whole 60 miles of it were completely empty! It was sideways all the way! :)


When I came to the track, I saw this:
The access road to the pits wasn't plowed. :( And, I was the first to arrive... Well, there wasn't really much to do, except to wait...

And then, other enthusiasts started to show up:

We decided to make our own road to the pits... A couple of 4x4's went ahead, and made way for our little RWD machines... But, it didn't go smooth as we planned. Our little (mostly BMW) convoy stopped every 200(or so) meters, to dig someone out... :) Team work all the way! :)


Well, finally, here are some shots of the track, and cars that were there. Unfortunately,  there was too much snow to have fun in our BMWs... But, it was a really great day, nonetheless.

This beauty had to sit this one out:

Wow! I realized it's already 2011! Huh... how time flies... it feels like I started this blog yesterday... :)