1994 BMW 325is race car project!

My new project car has arrived, a 1994 BMW 325is.

It’s about time for an update and boy, do I have a good one today! 🙂 It has been a few months or so since I sold my last autocross and track car, the 1999 Mazda Miata. That car was outfitted with quite a few suspension goodies and was a blast to drive. However, after driving Miata’s for the past couple years, I felt like I needed a change. I wanted something with a fixed roof, was relatively lightweight, RWD,  and cheap. It also had to be a good platform for an autocross and track car. After much consideration, I decided to look for a e36 generation BMW. These cars meet all my requirements and on top of that, are hugely popular and have tons of aftermarket support.

The search was on and it took about 6 months of on and off craigslist hunting to find the car that met my requirements and was in my budget (<$2000). Finally, I found a 1994 BMW 325is with about 197k miles on it, for a mere $1700! The car is jet black with black interior and runs strong with a good shifting 5 speed manual transmission. It is in need of some cosmetic care and minor maintenance, but what 20 year old car isn’t? As for the future plans, I will be preparing the car for the STX class in SCCA autocross. Stay tuned as I plan to video log all my upgrades as well as racing activities on my YouTube channel, The BTR Garage.

1994 BMW 325is

Tekno EB48 unboxing

My new 1/8th scale buggy is the feature in this Tekno EB48 unboxing video.

I picked up a 1/8th scale electric R/C buggy for outdoor racing. The quality of this kit and buggy is top notch. The Tekno SCT410 is very similar, which is my short course R/C truck that I already own. In this Tekno EB48 unboxing video I go over all the kit parts that come with the kit. In addition, I also go over the various electronics and other parts that will complete the build. I plan to race the new EB48 at a local outdoor R/C race track that is very large. Once the kit is together, and the electronics are in, it will be time to get this big beast out to the track!

Tamiya F104v2 beginner tips

Tamiya F104v2 beginner tips for the new on-road R/C racer.

I made it out to my first race with my Tamiya F104v2 Pro R/C car this past week. The track was an indoor carpet track at 5280 Raceway in Lakewood, CO. It was quite the learning experience as I have never raced on carpet before! I put together some Tamiya F104v2 beginner tips for those of you like me, who are new to on-road R/C racing. The F104v2 is a great Formula 1 replica kit to begin with. However, these tips and tricks will help you out before starting your first race.

Tamiya F104v2 unboxing

Showing off my new on-road R/C race car in this Tamiya F104v2 unboxing video.

It was only a matter of time before I got back into on-road R/C racing. That is where it all started for me some 20+ years ago with a BoLink Eliminator pan-car! In my Tamiya F104v2 unboxing video I go over the kit contents and my plans for the car. This kit is unique in that is a “Black Edition” which includes all black anodized parts instead of the standard blue parts. I also grabbed a Ferrari 2012 replica Formula 1 body kit and plan to build this kit to scale realism.

Tekno SCT410 vs. Losi SCTE 2.0!

Two short course R/C trucks go head to head in this SCT410 vs SCTE 2 video.

Friday night club racing features my Tekno SCT410 vs. the Team Losi SCTE 2.0 driven by my little brother. The Tekno SCT410 has been the big dog on the block recently. However, the new Team Losi SCTE 2.0 is proving to be a tough challenger. The Tekno SCT410 is big and rugged while the Team Losi SCTE 2.0 is more lightweight. Which one will come out on top? My SCT410 vs SCTE 2 video features head to head racing at Unser Underground.

 

2013 Rocky Mountain Match Tour

2013 Rocky Mountain Match Tour in my 1999 Mazda Miata.

The SCCA National Tour team came through town this weekend. Pikes Peak International Raceway is the venue for the 2013 Rocky Mountain Match Tour. The event proved to be a great success with its multiple race format weekend. Saturday consisted of a normal 4 run autocross event while Sunday was a bracket type shoot out.  32 drivers from Saturday qualified for the Evolution Super Shootout, which is on Sunday. In addition, a last chance qualifier would add another 16 drivers into the shootout. Lastly, 8 drivers would be drawn randomly and the top 8 ladies made up the final 16 driver bracket. My 1999 Mazda Miata performed well and I also had a decent run into the Sunday shoot out!

SCT410 first race

My Tekno SCT410 first race is in the books.

After recently completing the build of my SCT410, it was time to test it out at the track. The Tekno SCT410 is a very durable and large “short course” style R/C truck. The truck is very fast and also very fun to drive. My Tekin and Futaba electronics proved to be very reliable as well. For this race I driving at the Unser Underground, which is an indoor off-road R/C track. In addition to short course truck racing, they also have off-road R/C buggy racing. My SCT410 first race was definitely exciting and I am itching for more!

1999 Mazda Miata

This blue beauty is my 1999 Mazda Miata, 10th Anniversary Edition!

I bought a 1999 Mazda Miata to use for various racing activities. The Miata will be primarily for autocross but also HPDE or Time Trials events. This particular car is a 10th Anniversary Edition model which includes nearly every option available for the cars. This includes an LSD transmission and hard suspension. In addition, it has unique leather interior and styling. Furthermore, it has anti-roll bars and strut tower braces that complete the 10th Anniversary package. I am currently getting it race ready by getting some regular maintenance completed. This is one great looking Miata and I really look forward to getting it out for some autocross and track action!

Dinan exhaust BMW 335i

Dinan exhaust sounds from my 2009 BMW 335i.

Dinan is well know for their high quality performance parts for BMW’s. They produces various parts from engine upgrades to suspension upgrades. In addition, they also have engine tuning options which change the ECU variables for more power. This company is unique in the aftermarket world because their parts still support factory BMW warranty. My personal BMW 335i has a handful of Dinan upgrades including a stage 2 ECU flash and suspension. In addition, I have the Dinan axle-back exhaust as well as some cosmetic upgrades. The Dinan exhaust produces a unique sound for the turbo-charged 335i which can be heard in my startup video below!

BMW gloss black grills

A couple cosmetic upgrades for my BMW 335i including BMW gloss black grills.

I bought a couple more cosmetic parts for my BMW 335i just recently. A set of paint matched Alpine White front reflectors that replace the stock amber colored reflectors as well as some OEM BMW gloss black grills. The install of the reflectors was a bit tricky. You must peel the stock reflectors from their double sided tape on the inside of the fender. I ended up pulling off the wheel well splash guard to make things easier. In addition, I used a wood chisel to slowly pry them off. Be sure not to twist the blade when prying the reflectors off, because it will bubble the outside of the fender. The instructions (from JleviSW) say to use a flat head screw-driver but that will very easily damage the outside of the fender. In any case, take care when removing the stock reflectors.

The BMW performance gloss grills were a snap to install. Simply remove the 4 hex screws that hold the bumper on the top, reach behind the bumper, and pop off the snap tabs one by one until you can pull out the grill. Snap the new ones in then re-install the 4 screws and you are done.  A few pictures below and more notations on the picture site: