Toy Box

Winter has struck our humble lands , which means less driving, more wrenching! The long-running project ‘Carte Blanche’, E30 S62 still sits on the hoist waiting for fabrication of engine mount- and final drive reinforcements, whilst the Alpina M70 V12 conversion in the E28 is also kicked-off. Where the E30 is a project aimed at driveability and everyday-use, the E28 is mainly for drifting and the occasional trackday, meaning I can cut corners sacrificing comfort and road-legislation for all-out pace and low weight. Should provide a welcome change in the driftworld dominated by turbo Nissans lacking front-bumpers

The V12 came out of an E31 that got upgraded to a 5.7 engine, throwing the 350hp M70 into our lap. At first, we contemplated selling it, however the more I looked at it, the better it would suit our driftcar. A Hartge M30 3.5 with triple 48-mm DCOE SP Webers had been in the stars for this car initially, but the V12 M70 got better cards in the torque department and exclusivity.  With some Wheelmen looking at current values of Alpina M70’s, Hendrik and I decided to throw it in ASAP to avoid any further discussion 😉

I was particularly pleased to see the V12 , stripped from its ancilleries, to be more compact regarding shortblock than the M60 V8. The 60 degree angle makes for more room for the indirect steering box we prefer on the E28. Things as A/C compressor etc won’t be used and especially on the RH side of the car, a lot of room emerges. Because of the smaller suspension turrets and equally wide chassis legs, the V12 has more room in an E28 than in an E31/32.  Having worked extensively on the latter in all guises, I vaguely remember thinking about suicide when replacing brake master cylinders or alternators. Short of an E34 V8 or MB SL600, not many cars have as little room to operate as an E32 V12. A problem the E28 can do without, as we don’t want to be packing up and leaving for home in the middle of a track/driftday because an inaccessible  € 10 part failed.

On the ‘big’ 4-pillar hoist, the indefatigable E30 (Alpina 2.5) is waiting on the rear brake conversion, since we wish to keep the 4-lug pattern  (gazillions of 4×100 rims lurking about) our options were limited for the rear axle. A 4-pot alloy Wilwood set-up with Z1 rotors will see us through. Having upgraded the front to the highest-spec pads and rotors Wilwood has on offer, we’re very pleased with its performance and saw it out-braking 996’s and EVOs on hard-braking tracks such as Zandvoort.  Front wings are glassfibre, and still need Delphingrau painting, but we wanted to have them settled-in before that.

In the back, a white 1984 320i (for sale) with 86.000 km . The M535i in the middle just saw work on the top of the engine and is probably one of the best E28’s in Europe.

More to  come, including pictures of the 2008 E28 driftcar build and the V12 conversion


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4 Responses to Toy Box

  1. dan says:

    Hi, I’ve built a E34 race car and im having trouble with the power steer, it basicly stops working as I try and balance the car through the middle of the corner and it gets f’n sketchy when it starts working again.. Do you know if this is this a common problem? Or what I could do to sort this out?

    • wheelmen says:

      Hi Dan. E34 racecar, that’s very nice. Are there pics to show? Where do you race it?

      My first guess would be, the power steering pump. It seems to feed intermittantly, either the belt is slipping or the pump itself is faulty. There’s always some dead center on E34’s due to the recirculating ball setup which is less direct than the rack-and-pinion found on 3-series.

      However, if you feel its mostly due to power assistance failing to work, the pump would be the first thing on my list!


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