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'94 E34 Touring slicktop, daily driven slow mover. 3L turbo M50 in progress

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  • varg
    replied

    The modified lines installed.
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    And the downpipe stand-in. A piece of 4.25" OD flexible dryer duct. Very close, but it fits. Will not be fun to fabricate. The downpipe crossover tube will also be a real treat.
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    While I had the AC apart I cleaned an ungodly amount of gunk and debris out of the radiator support and passenger side frame rail, and got rid of the grungy old tube and fin condenser.
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    Replaced with a nice junkyard find; a parallel flow condenser.
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    And the result, cold AC even in traffic at 88°F and 71% relative humidity.
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    I'm going to paint and assemble the longblock over the next couple of weeks and use that time to make my intercooling decision. I do not know which path I will take.
    • Air to air between condenser and radiator
    • Air to water with a heat exchanger between condenser and radiator.
    Neither is optimal. Air to air is cheaper, lighter, and more reliable... but the intercooler will obstruct airflow and put the radiator too close to the engine for anything other than a couple of small fans mounted directly to the radiator wherever the accessories don't interfere. Even the best 16" pusher fan will move nowhere near enough air to cool the engine with the AC on while blowing through an AC condenser and 3.5" thick intercooler. Air to water would solve that issue but there isn't a good place to put any off the shelf intercooler large enough for my application. My measurements lead me to believe that the airbox mounting area is too small, and I would have to build a custom unit from a Garrett core. Even if I did have an AC TIG welder, I'm nowhere near good enough to weld up a custom intercooler. I also have the task of building a differential ahead of me, I need to take the 2.93 LSD I have out of an E30 case, rebuild it, and put it in an E34 case. Not trivial. If only BMW hadn't screwed us by putting a 1:1 fifth gear in the ZF310/320
    Last edited by varg; 07-09-2022, 06:28 PM. Reason: Fixed pictures

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  • varg
    replied
    Thanks, guys. I really do like this car despite its flaws and slowness. It is a good car. 269,000mi on it and it runs well and is quiet and comfortable. With its rarity and unusual wheels it gets a lot of attention, which is a bit of a drawback outside of a car show.

    Seems everything in this project has been majorly delayed. I recently got the block back, it's a thing of beauty. Clean, ready to be painted, O-ringed, and oil pump chain tensioner installed. I had ForcedFirebird do the decking, cleaning, freeze plugs, drill the holes for, and install the tensioner pins for me.
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    Using the wagon as it was intended to be used.
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    With the build so delayed I got the AC working. E34 525i AC lines are in the worst possible place for a turbo car, right where the turbo and downpipe need to be. Conveniently E34 530/540i lines are a lot closer to what you need, but I still had them modified by the hydraulic shop for maximum clearance.
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    Continued...

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  • Digitalwave
    replied
    Subscribing, project is looking good Tyler!

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  • DEV0 E30
    replied
    Slicktop wagon owners unite. Loving the way the wheels look on there.

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  • econti
    replied
    I reckon the wastegate will be fine, as long as you don't run a massive one.

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  • 2mAn
    replied
    Solid update.

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  • varg
    replied
    I haven't been documenting it very well but I've had a couple of updates, I dropped the block and internals off at the machine shop for the block to be bored and cleaned, rod bushings sized. No ETA. Was hoping to have it done by the end of April but that looks unlikely. Sorry, all phone pictures here. I'll probably document the build itself better with my real camera.

    I got my rapid spool header, it's nice and shiny. I'm concerned about wastegate routing, it's not going to be easy to route it around to the downpipe. I do not do screamer pipes, they are idiotic. Toward the end of my tuning career I refused to tune cars with them because it made it impossible to hear mild detonation, and the noise could trigger false knock detection on some cars if the exit was near the block.
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    I verified that I can fit an intercooler between the condenser and radiator by eliminating the mechanical fan. I may have to upgrade the stock pusher fan and will put a small fan or two in the corners of the radiator if they'll fit. 4-3/8" from radiator to fan trailing edge. So no water to air intercooling for me. I'm still in the decision making phase for intercoolers, difficult because my flow demand is around 1,100cfm and I do not feel I have room for a vertical flow intercooler with the radiator core being 21" wide and 18" tall, it would require hacking a lot of sheet metal which I'm trying to avoid.
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    Replaced my driveshaft with a used one on ebay, the CSB was completely torn apart because one axis of the u joint was basically locked up, below is a screenshot from a video I took so it's terrible quality. I had to just barely touch the throttle until 20mph or so or the driveshaft would knock around horribly. It squeaked at low speed which was annoying while commuting.
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    The ebay driveshaft arrived with a little bit of notch to the u joints that wasn't apparent with it assembled, and it vibrates just a little at low speed and full throttle from a stop but it was cheap and it's not anywhere near as bad as before. I think it'll last until I have the new drivetrain ready to go. On the plus side with the driveshaft out I was able to verify that the $200 535i driveshaft I bought, which has a greaseable, clipped u joint, will work with the ZF310. That's a major win. Protip for E34 525i owners: you do not have to remove the exhaust to remove the driveshaft, just undo the mounts and prop it up, I used my transmission jack for that. There are two mounts on the muffler, one is a real pain to get to.

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    Oh and I bought a new key from a dealer so I have a master with which to cut duplicates instead of duplicating the worn out one that came with the car. A key is now twice the price I paid for my E30 key years ago somehow so there's that.

    (EDIT)
    I also bought a dragy, which is an interesting little gadget though it is annoying that it doesn't have an off switch. I bought it because can be used to do timed 3rd gear pulls for A-B testing which is critical for good tuning especially with a powerful car. It's a lot easier than using logs to see the elapsed time of a pull. I did a few 0-60 and 1/4mi runs with the wagon, it's so slow 0-60 in 9.77s/9.52s with 1ft rollout, best 1/4mi 17.45s, best trap 80mph. Related news, my local drag strip is closing this month so it will be difficult to do any drag strip runs, a drive of a few hours will need to be made to do so.
    Last edited by varg; 04-02-2022, 04:49 PM.

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  • Northern
    replied
    I've been following on ig when I see posts, but I think it "hits different" when I see the detailed updates here.

    Looking really good.

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  • 2mAn
    replied
    Im digging this progress. No M42 jokes

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  • varg
    replied
    Good news first. I finally got tires on the new wheels and mounted them. I was not sure about them, it was a toss-up between too busy for a simple car and really different and cool, and I'm pretty happy with the result and my offset math was dead on. The fit is close to perfect, I used the 20mm spacers the car came with, maybe if they were 18mm it would have been a little better up front but so far there is no rubbing.

    18x8.5 ET35 front with 20mm spacer, 245/40R18 Extremecontact Sport
    18.9.5 ET40 rear with 15mm spacer, 275/35R18 NT01

    I couldn't decide what tires I wanted, A052s or ZIIIs, availability for both was spotty. My tire guy recommended going with NT01s as a suitable tire for trying to put my power goal to the ground, with a solid streetable tire in the front which will handle rain better. I went with it. I realize that putting a 100 treadwear tire on this car right now is putting the cart before the horse, but the old tires were shot, dangerously shot, so it was time for new rubber and to get these wheels. More motivation to get the engine together and in as soon as possible.

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    On the other hand, the rods I wanted (Molnar) were out of stock so I had to go with IE, who didn't have the hardware. So I had to find the hardware elsewhere and wound up paying more than the Molnar rods would have been in total. Then the crank I bought which was in "good condition" apparently had pictures taken from angles that did not show scoring on the mains, it's at the machine shop right now and I am hoping a not much has to come off to remove the scoring because it was unduly hard to find an M54B30 crank. Of course the machine shop is backed up so I couldn't drop the rods, block and pistons off for boring, pin bushing sizing, and block modification for an oil pump chain tensioner.

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    Calculated compression ratio with this 9:1 M54B30 piston and a 2mm head gasket is 9.1:1. My research indicates the M50TU head has a smaller combustion chamber than an M54 head.

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  • varg
    replied
    Thanks guys. They're as heavy as they look, the fronts are 18x8.5 and 25.4lb and the rears 18x9.5, 26lb. This is a sleek 3,700lb station wagon with soft suspension, it's going to be a daily cruiser with power in reserve not a corner devouring machine like my E30, so the weight doesn't matter much. They're also a headache, when I received them there were partially attached chips in the hubs that were just coated over, finish flaws on the rims, and what looked like tool crash damage on the inside face of the disc. In the end, my recommendation for anyone who reads this thread in the future is don't buy them unless you can put your hands on them and inspect them first.

    I've been encountering a lot of supply chain difficulties on this build so far, so the engine is still a bare block in my garage. It'll be headed to the machine shop for checking, boring and balancing as soon as I find an M54/S52 crank and get my rods. I was hoping to have the engine done by the end of January but that obviously didn't work out.

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  • econti
    replied
    Yeah this thing's going to be cool

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  • eternal24k
    replied
    those wheels are pure sex....
    as far as penetrating oils go, Kroil is king, Liquid wrench, meh... glad it worked out though

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  • mjweimer
    replied
    Struts can be oh so fun....I must say those wheels are going to look mighty fine on this car.

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  • varg
    replied
    The struts were a fight. The nuts were seized so they required grinding and lots of heat. I still wound up bending a pipe wrench using a pipe extension with my buddy's car parked on the wheel. I borrowed a monster 3' long pipe wrench to finish the job. The struts were also rusted in so I had soak them in liquid wrench, then re-compress the springs, heat the top of the tube with a torch and whack the spring with a mini sledge until the strut popped out. The new ones have oil and anti-seize applied so whoever has to do this in the future will have an easy time at it. The rear shock mounting bosses were seized pretty well too so anti-seize went on the new hardware there too.​

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