Why Team Bearded Ryno Is Turning A BMW E36 Into A Rally Car
My name is Ryan, and my wife Heather and I are Bearded Ryno Rally Team. We decided to build a 1995 BMW M3 into a rally car to compete in NASA Rally Sport, Rally America, and American Rally Association events in and around the Midwest. We also plan on attending local rallycross and ice racing events to help hone our skills and to help shake the car down for our future racing adventures. Between the two of us, we have zero experience competing in a performance
I acquired our 1995 BMW M3 in April of 2017 with a seized motor. The oil pump nut had fallen off which led to its demise. I spent the next few months looking for a good motor for it, and I finally found one an hour and a half away from home for $500. It was a 200k-mile motor that ran great when pulled, but needed some TLC. I proceeded to disassemble the engine for inspection and to fix all of the oil leaks that it had. We ended up completely going through the engine to refresh, replace, or upgrade parts as necessary.
First things first, we installed an upgraded oil pump shaft and sprocket so that we would never have the issues of the old motor. Other upgrades included a revised oil pickup tube, Achilles Motorsports oil pan baffle, and a Stage 3 Vanos from Dr. Vanos. We ordered all new gaskets, rod bearings, and timing components through FCP Euro to finish it off just in time for a winter autocross at Road America in March of 2018.
From there I daily drove it for a few months before deciding to park it in the garage in June to start the current rally car build. Currently, our M3 is a rolling chassis that was recently caged by Thompson Racing Fabrication in Maple City, MI. We are in the process of finishing up some seam welding and closing up the sunroof hole so that we can get the interior painted before we make the big push to get it all back together. The current goal is to get the car put together in order to attend a few ice racing events this winter, and some rallycross events next spring. These events will not only get us seat time but will help to shake the bugs out of the car so that we're 100% ready for our rally debut in the summer of 2019. If everything goes as planned, our first automotive performance rally is scheduled to be the Central U.P. Rally in Powers, Michigan in June, followed by Ojibwe Forest Rally in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota in August, and Lake Superior Performance Rally in Houghton, Michigan in October.
Bearded Ryno Rally Team has a dedicated Instagram and Facebook page where we post updates on the car regularly. In the near future, we'll have a YouTube page where we'll have video highlights of the car, team, and racing events.
I would like to give a shout out to those that have helped us along the way so far. Thank you to our sponsors FCP Euro and Garagistic for believing in us and helping make this dream a reality. Thank you to my local welder/fabricator Adam at Final Fabrication and Repair in Trevor, WI. Last but not least, THANK YOU to my wife, friends, and family for putting up with all of my racecar shenanigans and aspirations.
Stay tuned to FCP Euro's DIY Blog for more blog posts about our rally car build and race updates!