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My name is Ryan, and my wife Heather and I are the Bearded Ryno Rally Team. Between the two of us, we have zero experience competing in a performance rally. So, we decided to jump in head first and 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. God help us. 

It's been months now since we dropped our introduction blog. I figured it would be a good time to give everyone an update on the current state of the car and our new, super exciting plans. I'll be the first to admit that we are pretty far behind schedule, but progress is being made on a weekly basis in one way or another. If I'm not in the garage working on the car, I'm researching and ordering parts, or plotting in my head what my next move will be. My initial goal of this build was to basically toss it back together quickly to get us out having fun faster. However, the further I dig into the build, the more my plans for the end result change. 

BMW E36 M3 FCP Euro Roll Cage

BMW M3 race car rally car welded sunroof

 

The Process:

I suffer severely from the car disease of "while I'm there," which means that my plans are ever changing and that I can't leave well-enough alone. I always have to search for something better. Whether it's rebuilding, replacing, or upgrading, I have a hard time leaving the part in my hand alone before it goes back on the car. This will undoubtedly result in a better end product but it comes at the cost of taking longer and costing more money. I'm not the kind of guy that just throws things back together.

Our initial plan for the 2019 rally season was to aim small and to have the car ready to compete at the Central U.P. Rally in June. Plans have changed and we decided to step it up a notch to shoot for the Southern Ohio Forest Rally in May. The SOFR is going to be a three-day event with some amazing stages including one right in downtown Chillicothe, Ohio. How can we pass that up? This is going to be a big event so we need to make sure the car is one-hundred percent ready to go in just five months from now. With only five months to go before our first-ever rally, we are going to need to focus hard on putting the car back together in a timely manner. It may not look like much, but we have made a lot of quality progress since our introduction blog. Here is a list of the work we have performed in the last two months:

  • Front strut towers have been reinforced.
  • Sunroof panel has been welded in place.
  • Seam welding of the underside of the rear trunk floor has been completed.
  • Rear trailing arm pockets have been reinforced.
  • Interior, roll cage and engine bay have been painted.
  • Rear trailing arms have been rebuilt with all new bushings and bearings.
  • Rear subframe has been reinforced, painted, and new AKG poly bushings have been installed.
  • Front knuckles have been refreshed and have new wheel bearings/hubs installed.
  • Bimmerworld fuel starvation kit installed to replace and upgrade the cars original 1995 fuel pump setup.
  • Brake calipers rebuilt with ATE rebuild kits and Garagistic brass ATE caliper slides.
  • Rear control arm inner bushings have been replaced with Powerflex performance bushings.
  • Ordered tons of exciting, and not so exciting parts for the car.

BMW E36 M3 Fuel Pump upgrade

BMW E36 M3 Front wheel bearing hub

 

Continuing Forward:

There's still a daunting laundry list of projects that need to be completed as the season quickly approaches. At this point we still need to:

  • Install gas tank.
  • Install rear subframe and suspension.
  • Install all-new brake system
    • Dual master cylinder setup/booster delete.
    • Hydraulic hand brake.
    • Route the rear brake lines through the interior of the car.
  • Modify factory heater box to fit around roll cage.
  • Install fresh air scoop on roof.
  • Replace front suspension.
  • Remove front subframe and install reinforcements.
  • Install wiring harness.
  • Install dash.
  • Install new ZF transmission shifter detent kit.
  • Install new light-weight flywheel setup with new clutch.
  • Install engine and transmission as one unit.
  • Install new radiator.
  • Have a new windshield installed
  • Install pusher fan setup.
  • THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO! 

 

The faster we can get this thing together, the more seat time we can get in it. Everyone knows that seat time is the key to success. My wife and I still have a LONG way to go, though, so fingers crossed that we don't run into anymore setbacks. At about this point in a build, things start to fall in to place. Stay tuned for more build updates, job-specific posts, and eventual rally content! To get your motorsports fix in the meantime, get caught up on the Paddock season 1 before season 2 releases in the coming weeks.

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Written by :
Ryan George


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