Happy New Year to all.
After a record blizzard the day after Christmas, my M3 was snowed in. I didn’t get a chance to see her until this past week. The battery cut off switch is the best thing that I have purchased. Easy to use and very reliable. Seeing the car completely gutted makes me happy for the future and sad for what the car never enjoyed – a lofty street driven lifestyle. The car was always a second car. Never a primary. Was used when it was not snowing and for casual jaunts. I took her to one auto-x and I was hooked. I do feel bad that I made her into a track monster and didn’t buy an E36 M3 or an E46 330 and convert that into a track car, but oh well, I will get another E46 M3 for sure that will remain 100% street.
I do not know what else to do with the car. The sound deadening is all gone. There are no seats. There are no door panels. All thats left is cold bare metal and more wires than you can image. What to do?
I had spent a lot of holiday evenings reading peoples build threads. I was so amazed at how much wiring these people took out. In a perfect world, I would remove all the wiring from the car and just what was required, but we don’t live in a perfect world. My main concern is that if I remove the wiring, I won’t get it working again.
I decided to work on a few things each time I had the opportunity to work on my car. Last weekend, I decided to remove the headliner and curtain airbags. The headliner removal was simple. Mostly phillips head screws hold up the various mountain points. Once I removed the headliner and the a pillar, I had access to the curtain airbags.. This turned out to be a headache. I removed all the clips that hold the airbags up, but the main canister of each headliner is located within the dash. I was stumped and unsure how to proceed. I had finished what I wanted to do that day so I packed up my stuff and went home – searching the web for how to remove the dash or how to remove the canisters w/out removing the dash.
Most of the information I found was from street car to track car/race car builds. Everyone always removed the dash so they had easy access to the audio harness and the airbags. I really did not want to remove the dash, so I was dreading it. But work needs to be done.
A few days passed and I had slept on a few things
– should i remove the audio harness?
– should i remove the radio?
– should i remove the dash?
– should i paint the interior?
I decided on a few things.
– i would remove the rear audio tower – clears up alot of space.
– would unbutton the audio harness and bundle it up somewhere
– would remove the radio – howard stern is available on my iPhone Sirius app!
– try to remove more sound deadening adhesive nonsense
I worked on the car on Tuesday – the day before the big snow storm.
First thing I did was work on removing some more sound deadening and adhesive. The two remaining patches of sound deadening i had were on the rear wheel well arches. I removed the wiring harness on both sides and removed this sound deadening. The scrapers i bought at Harbor Freight and a heat gun were all that were required. Once I removed those I focused up on the area right between the rear subframe and the rear seat tub. This area is riddled with this heavy hard core tar goo adhesive. I did my best the first time at it, but it was not enough. It just is the biggest eye sore. It really looks AWFUL. I got about 80% off. I still have one corner left that i will get at the next time I work on the car.
There is more to go, but eventually it should look great.
After removing that, I decided to see if I could remove an airbag canister. As shown in this pic, this is where those suckers are
I somehow got to it. I removed the glove box, the airbag cover on the dash, the trim, and the side air vent. Once removed, the canister was in view. 11mm bolt held it. After removing the bolt, i unhooked it off a screw and managed to pry it out.
Next was the rear audio tower. My goal was to maintain radio usage. I hate driving for a few hrs to a track event and not having a radio would make it worse. As I removed the rear audio tower, i realized that the factory amp, was bolted to this tower. So undoing it meant that I had to find a new place to mount it. Unfortunately, there was no room for it. i decided to take the step and removed the amp. I now was left with the audio harness. I have read that the audio harness is its own entity so it could be removed. In order to remove it, the dash has to be removed. A step I am not ready to take. What I did in the meantime was bundle it up neatly right near a small compartment area near the shock tower. I zip tied the wires together so they wouldnt fall. Now the traqmate resides alone where the cd audio tower once was. It got dark before I could take pics but you can see the traqmate in the background here and where the audio harness is all nice and bundled up
I bought a nice mount for the traqmate. I just need some riveting screws to get it into the sheetmetal and I should have a nice clean set up back there.
Before christmas, I dropped off my harnesses at Stable Energies. I have the Profi 2-6. The camlock (the main locking unit) is attached to the crotch. This was fine on the track, but since I no longer run seatbelts in the car, I wanted to have a 4 point set up where the cam lock was on one of the side belts. this would save my crotch on those 4 hour trips to the glen. The cost was $25 and now its much easier to ride around with the harnesses.
Thats all for now. Next week, I actually plan on working on more of the adhesive. Also the sunroof comes off and the CF panel comes on
Here are some shots of the interior.