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Tastes Like Petrol

My thoughts on the BL5 Legacy and R56 Mini Cooper S

Im still carless, and its seemingly one of the hardest decisions to make. What do you replace an M3 with?

Ive been researching more and more to find cars that might be up to it, and today i went and test drove a couple more.

2007 Subaru Legacy GT (BL5)

Ive test driven one of these before but it was the pre-facelift model with the 5 speed manual. This one being a 2007 was face-lift, which means updated exterior, Si-Drive and a 6 speed manual box.

Its a good looking car, much better to look at than the pre-facelift model, especially in the pearl white of the one tested. Theres also one other small changes here and there.

This one looked great in the photos online, but unfortunately in person it was a bit rough. It looked like it hadn’t been washed since it had been listed a month or so ago and there were various cosmetic issues around the place (namely a small hole punched through the front bumper). The car also smelt like stale smoke, a common import issue.

The interior is comfortable, and laid out ok. The seats aren’t well bolstered, which is starting to point towards where the Legacy went from a sport saloon to a luxury sport saloon. Back in the BD5 days, the seats were actually pretty well bolstered and they were definitely sport saloons.

I couldn’t test the stereo as the display didn’t work, meaning i couldn’t tune it. I suspect it wouldn’t have had a band expander anyway.

This dealer was pretty rubbish, and the old guy i spoke to was rude and uninformed about what he was selling (unable to tell me when the cam belt was done even though there was a japanese cam belt sticker on the slam panel). Despite having enough cash to buy the car outright, i wouldn’t bother even if it was perfect. They dont deserve my cash.

Laggy lag lag

My thoughts on cars. Volkswagen Golf R32, Toyota Blade Master G, Nissan 350Z

After selling my M3 its been a long slog deciding what I want to replace it with. Long nights trawling trademe, lots of questions to various sellers about their cars yet nothing has really made me go “WOW, I MUST OWN THIS!”.

Today I decided to go try a few cars on the watchlist and see if I liked any of them. The lucky victims today were a VW Golf R32 MK5, a Toyota Blade Master G and a Nissan 350Z.

First was a trip to Turners, who had the Golf R32 and Blade. They also had a manual Golf GTI that I wanted to nosy at.

Registered to test drive, like usual (not my first Rodeo) and walked into the warehouse. R32 and GTI on the left, a pair of Blades on the right. First was to actually view the cars before driving them. I already knew what Golfs were like inside, so off I went to look at the Blades. First one I come to, stick my head near the open window. Ugh, stale smoke. Nope Nope Nope. Hope the other one is better.

Toyota Blade Master G

The first thing I should mention about the Blade Master G is that Toyota took their highest spec Corolla Auris (usually fitted with a 4 cylinder up to 2.4L) and shoehorned the 206kw 2GR-FE 3.5L V6 from a Camry into the front. They only came out in Automatic.

I jump in, no smokey smell here, yay. Its a 2007 Toyota Blade Master G in White. First impressions of this one is that it’s pretty low spec, no leather, no dual climate, no cruise and some awful fake woodgrain on the dash. Like a lot of imports these days it has a colour screen in dash radio, but of course being an import everything is in Japanese and it has no band expander meaning it’s restricted to lower frequencies. As mentioned this one had only single zone climate control, but one thing I did notice was how unintuitive the vent controls were. one button to cycle though and the display being on the passenger’s side of the console not the drivers. odd.

Along with the lovely woodgrain theres a helping of Alcantara in various places, like the usual seat bolsters and door cards but also strangely, on the lid of the passengers top glovebox.

Speaking of seats, comfortable but not very aggressive bolstering. Not heated in this model.

One quick note is just how awesome the name is. Blade Master G. Seriously, its like its a hiphop samurai or something.

Useless info for the day – E39 M5 S62B50 Oil System

The S62B50 engine as used in the E39 BMW M5 is designed for some pretty heavy use. One of the features the crazy guys over at the ///M Division put into this engine to make sure it can last longer during a good thrashing is a pair of oil scavenge pumps and a pair of control solenoids.

The main function for these is to keep oil going to the right places under heavy cornering. Most engines unless they have a baffled sump will tend to have the engine oil slosh to one side under heavy cornering. Some cars (including the BMW V8s) also suffer from oil building up in the heads and unable to drain. This means disaster if it  causes the oil pickup in the sump to draw in air instead of oil. Its a very quick way to running a bearing.

A solenoid will activate at over 0.9G of cornering force, allowing the scavenge pump for that side to draw oil from the engine head and return to quickly to the sump. This helps to keep the rear of the sump topped up with oil and keep the oil pickup submerged.

Just goes to show how far the ///M Division went in order to make this engine special and make the E39 M5 the beast that it is.

M3 Exhaust

Chucked the Actioncam on the back of the M3 the other day and recorded the exhaust. Standard exhaust, cats have been replaced with resonators. No O2 sensors, so running a bit rich.

Has a hearty rasp, thats for sure!

E36 M3 Heater Valve

Right, so the moment i got home today i decided to carry out some work on the M3.

Since i got the car the heater hasnt worked (i knew this when purchased). Neither side changed temp at all, just stuck at cold. I knew this was the heater control valve (HCV), as they are a common failure point as they are easy to block and jam. I purchased some parts from Ray at HellBM, which included a replacement valve.

Its not a hard part to get to on the M3, just a bit tight due to the header tank, and there isnt a lot of space to twist and pull the hoses.