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Monday, June 24, 2024

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Break-In Update

After taking a 200 mile round trip to my friend's place in PA and running the usual errands I've managed to put around 1000 miles on the engine since the overhaul. The power and responsiveness of the engine continue to impress me.

(Image: Old vs Newly Rebuild M52)

On the way home from my friend's place one night I was focusing intently on the road and the vehicles around me, all of whom were far exceeding the speed limit. Seizing the opportunity I pressed down on the accelerator a bit and found that even while turning over near 4000 RPM the engine still managed to press me into the seat. After just a few seconds I briefly glanced down at the speedometer to find the needle pointing where, due to our misguided and artifically low speed limits, I've only seen it a handful of times in the twenty years I've owned the car. As expected, the vehicle was completely stable at speed and the engine clearly had more to give. If only I lived in Germany.

I hope to wrap up the formal break-in process shortly with yet another oil service. That will be critical in determining the state of the break-in. I received new oil sample kits from Blackstone and plan to take a sample this time around, mostly to identify the metals present, but also to start recording data so I can identify any trends.

Winter Tire Swap

As I managed to wrap up my driveline overhaul project a bit later than planned and was having so much fun driving the car again I really didn't want to succumb to winter and install my set of Winter Sport 4D but in late November, as temperatures began peaking only in the upper 40s or low 50s I was forced to swap my Pilot Super Sport summer rubber for my set of Dunlop Winter Sport 4D.

Since I didn't drive on the Winter Sport 4D more than 1000 miles last season I found they were in pretty good shape. The rears were more worn more in the centers (indicating slight overinflation), while the fronts were worn more on the edges as expected, but the fronts are clearly wearing much better than my last set of winter tires. This is the case with my Pilot Super Sport rubber as well, a fact I attribute to the custom alignment I had done in 2012 that reduces the front toe to about half that specified in the stock alignment specifications. Less scrubbing means less tire wear even when driving in a straight line.

I truly hope that I will be able to garage the E36 along with the E46 and buy a beater in 2018, but business will need to meet expectations before I commit to owning a third vehicle. If that happens I will be able to finally retire this set of Winter Sport 4D as well as the original set of 16" wheels, as the plan will be to store the car during the winter months and keep the vehicle on 17" wheels and summer rubber indefinitely.

Driveline Project Resources

During this project I took many hours of video. While I had originally planned to release only a few shorts on specific topics such as the oil pump and vanos rebuilds, I ultimately decided to edit the remaining video down to produce a set of nine videos covering the engine build. Those who subscribe to the dvatp.com YouTube channel have no doubt seen these already, but for everyone else I figured I'd provide links to the related playlists. The first contains the engine rebuild series while the second includes a bunch of features related to the project in general.

I have also published the latest version of my M52 engine blueprinting spreadsheet, which is available from my DIY page. This version contains all of the clearances for an M52 engine and the data obtained during my project.

This wraps up the work planned for my driveline overhaul. If you have found the extensive information I've provided during this project helpful please consider making a donation.

Mileage 270870