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Bringing my dad's car back to its former glory and beyond

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    Brought the AC lines into work with me this morning and prepared to start calling mechanic shops to see if they could do the crimping for me. Sure enough I hit gold on the first call! Pretty sweet little mom and pop shop with an older gentleman working the desk. Brought him the lines and he looked them over. The feed line with the #10 to #12 splicer looked good and he agreed to crimp it, but he brought an issue to my attention with the #8 line. While the #8 splicer fit the e30 portion no problem, the e36 line was new and apparently an updated design with a significantly smaller OD. The ID was the same, but the OD would prevent the crimp from sealing correctly. We chatted for a bit about possible solutions and basically just decided that I'd bring the car in after I got it running and have them fabricate a line for me. So I left the feed line to be crimped and headed back to work.

    While at work I did some more thinking and a bit of research and realized that aluminum brazing was a fairly regular method of fusing AC hardline, and I just so happen to have purchased some MAP gas and aluminum brazing rod a few weeks ago. At the end of the day I stopped by the shop to pick up the crimped line and discussed my idea with the guy at the counter. He provided me with a few pieces of scrap aluminum line to work with and I headed home to see what I could do.

    Here you can see the issue at hand


    And the pieces I'm working with






    First I went into the engine bay and installed the newly crimped line... fit perfect!






    Then I test fit the e36 line on the compressor and the e30 line at the condenser. One of the annoying parts was that while it would be a relatively straight shot to get them to line up, the e36 line took a dive straight down, which required you to pull a 180* and come back up to meet the e30 line. Time to make it better!


    Cut the e36 line at a spot that would keep it angled up, and cut an end of the 90* #8 to #8 splicer.


    Took them back to the car to test fit again and measure the distance between the two.


    I used a smaller diameter flexible piece of aluminum tube I'd picked up, and added an extra 3/4" of length for my cut point. Cut it with the grinder, filed down and chamfered the outside edge.


    Then took a drill bit that was slightly larger than the OD of the smaller pipe, and drilled out the e36 fitting and #8 splicer so the length of tube would fit snugly inside them.


    Pressed them all together and went for another test fit. Voila!


    Took a sharpie and marked the orientation and took it back to the vise for brazing.


    After it cooled down I test fit it one more time and marked the orientation of the e30 soft line in the #8 splicer, and tomorrow I'll take it back into the shop to get crimped.


    Honestly pretty stoked at how perfectly this worked! I'll be dropping it off at the shop again tomorrow before work and will have the entire AC system buttoned up this weekend!
    Last edited by dadsbmw; 12-13-2019, 12:30 AM.
    2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
    1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
    1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

    Comment


      Nice job and a ton of good work. Can't tell you how rewarding it is to finally have working A/C and I didn't have nearly the amount of work to do as you did
      Albie

      '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

      Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

      Comment


        I drove years without ac in my swapped E30 and fell in love with the car again after I installed it.
        How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows
        http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=297611


        Could be better, could be worse.

        Comment


          This car has always had a working AC and there was no way I was going to let the motor swap change this. It's definitely been extra work and stress, but glad I'm doing it right the first time! I know there's no way I'd go back after the fact and add it.
          2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
          1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
          1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

          Comment


            Well... it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post and the car still isnt running! Ugh, I know. Weekends have been busy with family and such and I've barely found any time to work on the car, however a few things have been accomplished.

            Received the new AC condenser, since I smashed the last one when installing the engine.


            Threw the stock fan on it and installed along with the final AC line.


            Installed it and hooked up the final AC line


            Then I could finally place the radiator and 16" SPAL fan. First I had to mount it and replaced the broken drain valve.




            Didnt quite clear the edge of the AC compressor, so did some slight trimming.


            Also trimmed up the lower radiator hose and installed along with the upper hose, lower temp fan switch, and reconnected the stock fan and AC compressor electrical lines.


            I also dreamed up a fix for my steering linkage. At first I ended up taking a grinder to the oil pan, which worked decently, but the lower bolt and nut still hit. So I bought a low profile allen key guy to clear.






            Oh and I also finished up mounting the steering rack with oil pan shield, mounted the charcoal canister and PS reservoir, installed the power steering pump, and installed the front swaybar in it's new spot. Its seriously so close! Just need to finish up a few coolant hoses, install the intake manifold, and finish up the last connections on the wiring harness. Of course there are some finishing pieces to clean it all up, but thats all she needs to run! My brother is still in town until Saturday night, but I'm hoping to have her running by the end of the weekend!
            Last edited by dadsbmw; 12-27-2019, 10:02 AM.
            2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
            1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
            1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

            Comment


              Interested to see the clearance you get with the X3 booster from the manifold. I bought one recently at the yard to either upgrade the 944 booster in my mtech, or use in the current S50 build. Great build so far


              1992 M tech 2 Convertible - S50 Swap
              1992 e34 Touring- S50 Swap
              1992 325i-S50 Swap

              1995 e36 M3 Mugello Red - S50
              1991 325i Convertible Laguna Green (SOLD)
              1987 325i (SOLD);1992 M tech 2 Convertible (SOLD)
              1988 325i Convertible Alpine White (SOLD)
              1991
              Brilliantrot Convertible 80k Miles (SOLD)
              1992 325i Convertible Schwarz (SOLD)
              1992 318i Convertible Project-Finished (SOLD)

              Comment


                Purchased a new overflow container and windshield washer fluid reservoir. Although the old ones worked, they were unsightly.




                Originally posted by KIRIEIW View Post
                Interested to see the clearance you get with the X3 booster from the manifold. I bought one recently at the yard to either upgrade the 944 booster in my mtech, or use in the current S50 build. Great build so far
                Well as luck would have it, I have come to find that the brake fluid reservoir certainly doesn't fit with the 540i throttle body. Had to order parts to relocate the reservoir.


                I'd also been contemplating removing the bracket that the stock airbox attached to. This car was in a pretty big accident back when my dad owned it and much of the front clip area was replaced. While performing this swap I've been running into some of the shoddy work performed that is now beginning to rust out, including the welds that held said bracket into place. With the IM test fit I decided I did indeed want to remove it.




                Pretty sure I've already said it several times now, but I'm hoping to have it all together by the end of the weekend!
                2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                Comment


                  Originally posted by dadsbmw View Post
                  Pretty sure I've already said it several times now, but I'm hoping to have it all together by the end of the weekend!
                  Just keep plugging away and it will be done soon. Your life will change with the 24v motor in there.
                  Simon
                  Current Cars:
                  -1986 BMW 325e & 1968 Datsun Roadster 2000
                  Previous Car Count : 21 ... and climbing...

                  Make R3V Great Again -2020

                  Comment


                    I remember those cold January nights with my 24v swap, outside in a driveway laying in the rain. Be patient and she’ll be on the road soon! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                    1992 M tech 2 Convertible - S50 Swap
                    1992 e34 Touring- S50 Swap
                    1992 325i-S50 Swap

                    1995 e36 M3 Mugello Red - S50
                    1991 325i Convertible Laguna Green (SOLD)
                    1987 325i (SOLD);1992 M tech 2 Convertible (SOLD)
                    1988 325i Convertible Alpine White (SOLD)
                    1991
                    Brilliantrot Convertible 80k Miles (SOLD)
                    1992 325i Convertible Schwarz (SOLD)
                    1992 318i Convertible Project-Finished (SOLD)

                    Comment


                      "Worked from home" today, which as a sales guy who just hit his yearly number with an SE that's on vacation until next week, meant car work from home. Wired up SPAL fan in an orientation I'm hoping is correct:
                      • 80*C low/88*C high switch on radiator
                      • stock wiring for AC electric fan
                      • tapped black wire (low speed power?) as + for SPAL puller
                      • tapped black/brown wire as - for SPAL puller
                      My understanding is this should cause the SPAL puller to turn on at 80*C and then the AC electric fan to turn on at 88*C


                      Also finished up the last 3 cooling lines under the IM. I couldn't find any preformed lines at O'Reilly that would fit well so despite my ever constant desire to "do it right" I squashed my inner voice and pieced lines together with hose I had laying around, male to male extension pipe, and 90* bends.


                      Lastly, I removed the brake fluid reservoir to begin installing the intake manifold. I'd managed to drain most of the fluid out with a large syringe I had laying around and managed to pull it off without making too big of a mess.


                      Then placed the new grommets and little adapters


                      Went to install the IM and it now had plenty of room at the master cylinder, but alas does not clear the booster. I'm so fed up with this shit, I can't even tell you. I spend a ridiculous amount of my free (and not free) time researching this stuff so that when it comes to the time to implement, it will all be straight forward and WORK. So frustrating. I guess I'll be using the 944 booster and stock MC after all. I mean it's all I've got available at this point and I'm sick and tired of waiting on parts. It must have been 7 parts orders ago that I thought I was done ordering more parts.

                      Hopefully tomorrow will be a less frustrating day.
                      Last edited by dadsbmw; 01-03-2020, 06:15 PM.
                      2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                      1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                      1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                      Comment


                        In my frustration I moved on to a couple new projects this evening. Grabbed the 944 booster from the For Sale pile and decided I'd have to do something with it if I was actually planning to install it in the car.


                        Took a wire wheel to it and stripped the paint and rust off


                        Gave it a few coats of epoxy paint


                        Then decided I'd see if this intake elbow was going to work. Was going to wait to do this when the IM was on the car, but I was over it. Gave it a quick trim with a razor.


                        and cut a hole to fit the adapter for the ICV hose... frankly it worked decently! Sure it'll probably need some sort of sealant, but for a temporary solution I'm not too mad about it.










                        2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                        1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                        1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                        Comment


                          Well good news, I've calmed down since the other day! After prepping the 944 booster I gave it a quick test fit and found that the IM barely fits. Great news! But as my rational mind had taken back over, I knew I still wanted that firmer brake pedal and was willing to wait a bit longer to have it. In fact, I'd decided not to try and hold myself to any sort of completion date, and just make sure I did things right. So with that, I went on ebay and purchased an e92 brake booster and master cylinder. Ended up welding on a M10 1.5 bolt (IIRC) so I could thread on the stock clevis and have adjustability. Went to install it and sure enough, it fit directly in the stock holes. That X3 booster setup was a pure nightmare, whoever posted that as a possible better option was smoking crack! DO NOT EVEN TRY THE X3 BOOSTER!! You have been warned.

                          So anyway, the e92 booster went on without issue, and like the 944 booster, the IM just BARELY fit. Im talking like 1mm-2mm, and that's with the fins shaved off.




                          I removed the brake fluid reservoir and installed the grommets and adapters to mount a different reservoir. If I were using the stock TB I could definitely just mount the e34 (?) reservoir directly to the master cylinder, but the 540 TB is just too big and in the way. In the vein of wanting to do things right, I decided to just custom make new brake lines instead of frankensteining the stockers. I'd need to do this on my other project car as well, so I figured I might as well learn it now. Ordered copper lines, fittings, and a bubble flare tool kit. Put together a couple lines that I basically thought would be good enough, but after sleeping on it, knew I needed to get them perfect. Don't want to mess around with a less than perfect braking system!




                          Started tying up loose ends with the intake manifold. Found a preformed hose that fit perfectly for the ICV to throttle body elbow


                          Then started work on the throttle cable mount. There's very little info on the 540TB, let alone how to mount the throttle cable. So I took the stocker, cut it off, and went to work.


                          Still working to figure this one out, as it will basically have to sit back underneath the intake manifold. While doing some other work which required me to turn the steering wheel, I found that the steering linkage is once again contacting the oil pan. So despite not wanting the extra NVH, I ordered a Condor unit. Hopefully will be here mid week.

                          A few more parts came in the mail as well. Installed studs all around and 8mm spacers in the rear


                          Was perusing CL as I always do, I ran upon an offer I just couldn't pass up. Set of essentially new condition Arc 8 wheels (17x8 +25) for $575. Knew they wouldn't be listed for long so picked them up the very next morning. Not sure if I'll like them or not but in the midst of considering a few different styles. I'll be doing some rather hilarious test fitting in the future.
                          2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                          1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                          1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                          Comment


                            So I got my parts order in for the week, and made some good progress today. Purchased a new brake flaring tool because the first one wasn't producing good quality flares and eventually broke. I bit the bullet and went with a more expensive unit that could do both bubble and double flares and it was definitely the right choice! Soooo much better than the first one. Perfect flares every time!






                            Installed at they fit pretty darn good. I bent them to follow the stock path and fit in the stock guides.


                            Also finished mounting the relocated brake fluid reservoir


                            Filled it up with fluid and bled the brakes and clutch. This thing pushes a LOT of fluid... what used to take 25 pushes of the brake pedal with the stock booster, took 6 with this one. Very hopeful for the final feel! The Condor steering linkage came in as well, and while it wasn't quite as small in diameter as I'd been hoping, it does barely clear the oil pan! No more binding!




                            With all of that squared away, I'm finally in a place I can actually install the intake manifold. With any luck, the first (attempted) start will be tomorrow!
                            2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                            1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                            1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                            Comment


                              Woke up this morning with the thought of a first start in my head. I'd fabricated a new throttle cable bracket yesterday and let the pain dry overnight, so first order of business was to get that working.


                              Test fit it on the IM and it was the correct distance from the TB and fit in the engine bay as well, however the angle to the TB was off.




                              Took the grinder out and cut a slot to bend the bracket a bit and welded it back up. Not perfect, but certainly workable!




                              This was basically the last fabrication step I was waiting on, and went ahead and installed the intake manifold.




                              Got it all basically together and filled her with oil and decided to go ahead and try the first start. Hooked the batter back up, got the in the drivers seat, turned that key and... whir...
                              Turned it again to hear the same whir of the starter spinning but not engaging. Shit. So at this point I'm thinking either I have a bad starter, which is totally possible, or there's a spacer of some sort on the flywheel that I didn't install? I don't hear the kickout of the starter gear like you usually would, so I'm VERY hopeful that it's the problem. For now I think I'd rather save some disappointment and enjoy the day with a round of disc golf. Tomorrow is a holiday so I can always address this then.
                              Last edited by dadsbmw; 01-19-2020, 04:53 PM.
                              2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                              1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                              1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                              Comment


                                Damn that's sad to heard the news about the X3 brake booster. My crazy self just bought another e30 this afternoon and already have a S50 in my garage.. Safe to say you see where this is going. Was the X3 booster that much wider then the e90 or what was the big issue with fitment? Hit the manifold? Kinda weird but my X3 booster is Silver and yours seems to be Black. I'd be interested to see if the non painted boosters aka silver in color from X3's are wider then the black ones. I know mine is forsure a X3 booster cause I grabbed if from pick n pull.

                                I really don't want to go the 944 booster route with my new build.


                                1992 M tech 2 Convertible - S50 Swap
                                1992 e34 Touring- S50 Swap
                                1992 325i-S50 Swap

                                1995 e36 M3 Mugello Red - S50
                                1991 325i Convertible Laguna Green (SOLD)
                                1987 325i (SOLD);1992 M tech 2 Convertible (SOLD)
                                1988 325i Convertible Alpine White (SOLD)
                                1991
                                Brilliantrot Convertible 80k Miles (SOLD)
                                1992 325i Convertible Schwarz (SOLD)
                                1992 318i Convertible Project-Finished (SOLD)

                                Comment

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