PB of the day was 1:40.05. This was my first time here on Big Willow. Turn 8 definitely has a lot of speed that could have carried through. But it is so bumpy and it feels very sketchy. So my head tells me to just take it easy. It would take a few track days for me to go faster there. But I’m happy with my lap time... it’s what I came to achieve. Hopefully I can be much faster if/when I return to this track. Shaky vid because mount failed... 😑 #bmw#m3#e36#e36m3#willowspringsraceway#trackday#trackdayjunkies#e36fanatics#e36life#turn8trackdays
This morning was interesting. On my way to a training seminar in Stamford things got real, real hot. Long story short: the engine in this car is likely a write off. Long story long please continue reading:
A few weeks ago the E36 overheated on the highway after work. I diagnosed this to a bad radiator. The concern with M50's and M52 (and S50 and S52's) is head gasket and/or cylinder head damage after an overheat. I did my due diligence to check everything over and verify there were no problems such as a leak down test and cooling system pressure test. No problems found whatsoever. I did a track day on Thursday and drove the car home after. There were a few things on that day that got me thinking including a high RPM/high load running condition that was intermittent and a tiny coolant leak from the lower radiator hose at the end of the day (which went away). Yesterday I did a post track day inspection which included a pressure check again on the cooling system to check for leaks. I drove the car early in the morning with no issues. The car sat for close to 10 hours and I was surprised to find that the cooling system had quite a bit of pressure in it. This is where I should have stopped.
Bottom line is I am pretty confident that the cylinder head developed a crack from the original overheat. This crack when the engine is cold doesn't allow for a leak (or substantial one) but when the engine warms up the crack opens, combustion pressure gets into the cooling system, and the pressure continues to build until the system can't handle any more pressure.
I have a spare engine and I will be using to get this car back into proper running condition. My mistake here was not trusting my instincts and solely relying on the tests I performed. I plan to attend another track day on September 30th. I'll have some work to do but I think I can get it done quickly.
Big Willow is fun and it is the fastest track I ever driven. Turn 8 is a high speed right hand sweeper. I can only handle 118mph. The faster you get the bumpier it seem it gets. I would need another day or so to build up confidence there. Followed by a super late apex of Turn 9 leaving you looking for it for a long time. It is easy to over cook Turn 3 & 5. Overall I’m happy with the car and how it performed today. @isc_suspension N1 Track/Race coilovers is a huge gain with suspension performance everywhere on the racetrack.
Awesome track day @turn8trackdays!! #bmw#e36#e36m3#trackdays#wsir#e36trackcar#e36life#m3
Busy day on the car today up early this morning to pick up a purple tag rack from the scrappy then fitted the spacers and lowered the front more and also sorted the parcel shelf out oh and gave her a bath 😂 #e36#e36life#e36compact#e36fanatics#bmw#bbswheels