Jump to content

14th Annual SoCal Vintage BMW Meet 2021! “All couped up”

Registration is still open. Rally from NorCal is scheduled for Friday. Post your event photos.

SoCal Vintage is Here! 

Post your photos!

Thinking about building a Lemons or CHumpcar 02


Recommended Posts

Ok I am back to thinking about doing this. We have been running a E30 for the past 2 years and done quite well. We have have a 2nd and 3rd place finish with the E30. Since these type of races have become more like real racing and less demolition derby, I am considering using a 69 shell I have.

Here is a list of all the parts I have. 1 complete E21 320is, I was planning on grabbing the complete rear axel- diff . The 5 speed/

A set of Volvo front calipers.

A 2002 engine with dual webber side drafts and a header. I think it also has a mild cam. Complete set of springs, Bielstiens ans swaybars from ground control.

A turbo off a 1988 Saab 900. with all the plumbing.

Now after doing a few of these races I have seen some of the 02s do quite well, but also noticed some older British cars being really slow out on the track. The E30 can hold its own out there and I would like the 2002 to be some what peppy. VS a rolling road block that some of the other older 4 cyl cars can be during a race.

The Lemons Judges are all about " Ghetto charging" where you make your own turbo set up. Run low boost.. like 5 to 7 lbs. I thought that this would give the 02 a good bump to be able to be competitive.

So my questions, since I have not delt with racing a 02 nor Turbos.

Is the Garett T3 to big for the engine?

Can a Fresh rebuilt engine take being turboed with stock parts?

Should I not worry about the turbo and go with a big cam and head work.

Since Labor is free and one of my drivers owns a machine shop.

Yea I know were talking a little more than $500 here. Now if any one has done the series every one pushes the $500 limit. You build a car that is dependable and if the judges feel your are cheating to much you take your penalties and go out and drive and have fun.

With all this said. Can I get a 02 to be a fun track car. or should I just stick to the E30s?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the offer, but I have found its very important to have builders vs parts. It easily takes six 10 hour stints to get a car together. Thats if the car is already running .

Its just allot work and bodies are really the key factor.

I have a 2 year old prepped car and still need to take 4 days off prior to a race to fix things we find wrong. Like clutch, or bad crank shaft. The last race we had to pull the engine a week prior and replace the crank and bearings.

Now the head gasket is blown from the last race. So before Dec we have to replace the head, head gasket then we can run the Lemons Dec event.

I figure its going to take at least 6 months to get this car ready because I still have the E30 to keep running in parallel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

#1 brakes... yes volvo fronts with 320i dear drums... Rec Hawk HPS front pads with no name shoes. A Tii or E12 528i master cylinder, good fluid I like the Ate Blue or Typ200 (gold) myself. Stainless braided hoses are also a must. With this setup we had no problems in all the LeMons races we've run in our '76 02, even at the brake heavy Sears Pointless.

#2 suspension... 22/19 bars, bilstein hd's, ST springs (old black ones that "Look" stock) cut one coil in front. We made sure all the bushings were up to snuff. New front radius rod bushings are a must, as are good strut mounts and rear subframe mount bushings. Added front camber is also a must, we cut the front strut towers to move the struts in and back as far as the stock diameter springs would allow. We set the front toe to 1/16 per side, 1/8 total toe in, usually in a track car you'd set the toe out that same amount for better turn in but it tends to make the car a bit twitchy and we had many green drivers on our team that needed confidence rather than a twitchy car. we later added poly bushings in the rear as we "found" a set in a friend's stash, but they're not necessary.

#3 drivline... A 5 speed is NOT necessary, many spare good 4 speeds are! OK, One of the stronger 245 5spd trannies might last longer but the added time and expense of the shortened/balanced driveshaft might not be worth it. We snuck in a 320i 3:90 Limited slip diff, and that is a must.

Engine.... a well modded 32/36 or 38 is a must... While you have the head off, have it shaved to the max to increase compression.... Buy some valve lapping compound and one of those suction cup valve lapping tools for a drill and polish those valve seats... A set of new valve guide seals is a must while you're in there. We opened up the intake for the Weber and gasket matched both the intake and exh manifolds... If the rules allow an exhaust than spend the money on a good build by a muffler shop. Be sure it's not too loud for the tracks you're racing at. We removed the engine red fan and installed a simple electric fan for hot days/slow tracks and while in the pits. It is usually not necessary while racing. A good radiator is a must. Good hoses are also a given. We later found a cheap "known" motor with 9.5:1 and a 284 cam. :)

We originally removed the wipers and heater but later re installed them due to possibility of rain and foggy windshields in cold weather.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info.

The 320 I have has rear disks so Upgrade.. bounus there.

I have a set of the piano top pistons. Also a cam. But Im trying to decide build a turboed engine. OR a high compression one.

Id like to be able to build a car that is capable to get a top 10 finish.

So even after building a M10, I dont think it will be fast enough.

Or maybe a M20 swap.. but then Brakes would be a problem.

Im just looking for something that the Lemons Judges would like. a cool swap ( maybe a IOE award) that could make a fast car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our first race we won LeMons IOE trophy coming in 24th. Since then we almost got 15th but settled for 18th after running out of gas with 2 laps to go.....

The Hurling Moss '02 is prepared in a very similar manner to our "Stella" and has gotten as high as 7th place and is usually in the top 20 when they race... NOW realize that they are all experienced racers and it begins to make sense.

I believe that a well prepared very well driven and lightened '02 can win overall even with a NA M10 motor... adding a turbo to the M10 better be done reliably... OR an M20 better be in budget. I've thought of doing an M20 build and even picked up a 323 4spd to do the job without cutting the tunnel. I figured it would be the easiest trans to install with an M20. We backed out when we found our current 9.5:1 cammed M10.... You can buy our 323 4spd for $250 plus shipping f you go the M20 route.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Hurling Moss guys are very quick, mostly because the car is well sorted and their drivers are excellent.

I've been trying to get by them for 4 races... This is the closest I came, right before we threw a rod through the side of our block.

Someday..... I'll get them. Good luck with your build!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Video you see that the Fd Ex E30 passes you and also gets past the Moss 02.. So the e30s are still a bit faster..

When we were running our E30 at the Lemons Tx race there was a 1600 BMW.. that was killing us in the turns and could almost hang with our 325is in the straights. It was really surprising how well- fast the car was.

I have a few options laying around the yard for a lemons car. I have 71 Bavaria with an unkown engine and an Auto. So it would need a swap. I have 2 round tail light 02s. both with rusty floors and trunks. So I am not sacrificing a nice 02 to do this. And I have already started on a 69 VW. its caged and a roller. But the VW pro on my team cant get the engine and trans rebuilt for another 4 months. SO I am going to start a build in Parallel and see which one gets done 1st.

Thanks for all the info.. At some point if any west cost drivers wanted to work out a seat swap Id be interested RE I have a car on the east coast that I will hold an open seat in trade for a west coast spot. A arrive and drive sort of deal.. plus covering the race costs of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...