Motivated by General Geekery

Richmond Clutchfest — The Aftermath

Written By: der5er - Dec• 19•05

It was a great day for wrenching. The sun was out, it wasn’t too chilly, and there were plenty of hands around for turning wrenches and lifting parts. I’ve got to say, replacing a suspension (shocks/struts and springs) is much easier if you’ve got extra hands around to hold the parts in place!

Jon’s clutch and shifter were replaced without too much trouble. I didn’t work much on this project, except to hand tools over when everyone else was gone.

I worked mostly on Leonard’s suspension, with only a couple of road bumps. He had what appeared to be factory original Bilstiens in the rear and one factory original Bilstein and one Boge TG in the front. We are pretty sure that a previous owner of his car had paid for 2 Boge TG, but the shop only installed one because the factory Bilstein was stuck in the strut housing. Leonard, Alex, and Andrew scoured a local junkyard for a replacement strut housing with no luck (I knew there was a reason I shouldn’t have thrown out the ones from my parts car). In the end, enough heat and enough pounding from the BFH and the old Bilstein finally gave up.

Leonard also wanted to replace his sway bar bushings. I can’t stress how handy a couple of small clamps come in to hold things in place. It would probably be better to only replace one side at a time, but a clamp would still come in handy to help get the new parts lined up. One more thing about sway bar bushings…Use loctite and don’t tighten the bolt too much. I did exactly the opposite. I got the first bolt lined up and started tightening it…then realized I forgot the loctite. So, I just figured I would torque it down. This was a bad idea. I ripped that bolt in two like butter. A few hot drill bits and a broken easy-out later, and we were searching for a bolt to replace the one I broke. If this was a daily driver, Leonard would probably be ok, but he likes to take his car to the track. I’m not positive that the bolt we put in to get him on the road would hold up under autocross conditions.

I finally got to see Aaron’s Frankenbimmer…at least that’s what I call it. It’s an e28 with a 4.0L v8. He hasn’t finished the exhaust yet, so with only a resonator, this thing sounds MEAN. I did not get a ride in it, but Alex and Jon did. They claim that the butt dyno says it has quite a bit of torque and hp. Unfortunately, about a week after Aaron had it finished enough to put on the road, the clutch in the 6-speed tranny started slipping, so he’s not able to make quick starts off the line. There is video of the car, but we’ve got to wait for Alex to get back from vacation.

Now, would I have all of this fun and not take any pictures to show you? You bet. I completely forgot my camera that morning. So, I’m waiting on Alex and Jay to post their pictures.

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