No announcement yet.

The Black Widow <> Project Log ~Now with 100% more S50!~

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The Black Widow <> Project Log ~Now with 100% more S50!~

    The below is copy pasted from my thread on another forum.

    Since I wrecked my old 240sx project I decided to pick up another of my first love. I had an 85 318 from the time I was 14 until college. It was a clunker, but it taught me a lot about cars, and how some cars have more soul than others.

    I picked up up this 8/90 prod 318is from Raleigh. ODO is broken but shows 180k on the clock. I brought the car home 9/2010

    It needs a lot of TLC, little fixes, etc for the most part, but will probably get more major suspension and drive train overhauls down the road.

    My plan is to basically restore and tastefully mod/upgrade the car into a sexy street cruiser and twisty eater that will see occasional auto-x and track use.

    Why black widow you ask? Because the PO was doing a walkaround on the phone for me and stuck his hand into the wheel well only to find that he stuck it into a black widows web as well. She wasn't happy. When seats gets reupholstered I'm thinking a little dark red stitching will be nice :-)

    Better pix are to come, but for now here we go!

    Its got a lot of little chips and scratches and what not, as well as a few more major dings and a dent in the drivers door. All will be fixed in time with bodywork and a respray, but for now i'm just going to focus on fixing these and making it a good 10 foot car on the cheap.

    Interior is not in the best of shape. Usual sport seat tears and the carpet is pretty dirty, but not torn or or anything. Seats are mechanically very sound.

    Naturally the glove box was busted shut. Somebody had tried to get it open at the back, breaking the piano hinge off from the rest of the box. I'll repair that with bondo hair or something so its reusable. Once I got it open I found a few years worth of maintenance records and a pack of brand new roundels for meshie centercaps. Car has spent most of its life in NC, with TX and OK before that. WIN!

    I got bored the other night and used the only polish I had handy just to see how easy the oxidation would come off. This is the result of about 5min of work. Yes, that is a factory slicktop ;-)

    Here's how it looks after one application of meguiars polish. It'll still need rubbing compound then polish in a lot of places to take out all the clearcoat scratches and other fixable stuff, but its coming a LONG way with just a little work.

    Next cosmetic upgrade will be tinted corner markers and cleaned up turn signals. Not sure if i'll black out the turn signals, depends on how the others turn out. I intend to red out the corners on the tails.

    Finally got the car up on stands today. I need a lower pofile jack. I had to jack up the front one corner at a time. I found out that it does have LSD and is in dire need of tie rod ends, as well as it has some leakage/seepage of oil(s) up front. Not sure if its power steering, oil, or a combo. I might just go ahead and do an E36 M3 rack swap while i'm working up there.

    I like the guy who ordered/bought this car. Leave off every option except IS and LSD and give me Diamond Schwartz Metallic!
    Last edited by lbreevesii; 09-03-2012, 08:19 PM.
    I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

    91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow

    Been doing lots of little stuff the last couple of days. Pics of it to come, but thought i'd share this. I think for the time being i'm going to just properly fix all the chips and scratches and polish everything nicely.

    Used some 2000 grit, 3m rubbing compound, and meguiars polish.

    For reference- Same spot after just polish:

    Projects to come in the very near future:
    Fix door handles
    Glove box and latch repair
    cleaning...lots of it
    blacked out parking lights
    Tie rods
    I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

    91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


      I repaired the broken bits of the glovebox using bondo hair.

      Also got a new latch. Gotta do some fitting there. I don't recommend the off brand replacement latch...

      I used plast-x on the lenses and then blacked the corners using VHT niteshades from advance. I should have held off and tried to get the proper smoked paint for my airbrush from the hobby shop- I sprayed properly and still got a shitty finish up close. From normal viewpoint its fine though. I used three coats.

      I pulled and fitted a couple of the enkei's from the deceased 240. They're gonna be quite flush. I hope they clear the fenders when I drop it... Fronts will require spacers...which I can't find after moving -_-

      I've gotten or am ordering quite a few parts from pelican parts

      Lower oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, intake mani gaskets, fuel filter, oil filter, and a lot of other random parts.

      One of the things on the way- brakes. All the rotors are in need of replacement, front pads were thick...but one had separated so it had munched away the rotor. I've got Stoptech pads, new rotors and SS lines coming.

      Tie rods were shot. Replaced those with febi parts from pelican as well. They weren't as gritty as the ones that were in the nissan, but god were they loose.

      Didn't take pix, but I dropped the oil pan. All the troublesome inner bolts that like to loosen up were perfectly tight, and for the most part it was pretty darn clean.

      I did an oil change and used motor flush as well. One bad result, some of the thinned out oil leaked through the rear main seal. Hopefully the rear seal will be fine with some 5w40 and a little lucas...

      I got sick and some parts orders got slowed down. But I started on brakes and lca's.

      I knocked out the old lca's and go the new ones along w/ powerflex offset bushings.

      Installed the outer bushings into the lollipops.

      I installed one of the LCA's...but F these bushings. I had to force it on. I did more searching and found others having the issue. Called bimmerworld and they said "nature of the beast" Once i'm feeling better i'll force the other on and go with it for now. If they don't feel right i'll get regular m3 offset cab's. Won't be buying these again, thats for sure.

      Tore down the brake calipers and got the pistons popped out. OMFG the fronts were full of shit. Never seen a caliper so nasty. I sand blasted them and painted black. Rebuild kits will be here later in the week.

      Started prepping the mirrors for fresh paint. Gonna need more sanding...

      I finally tackled one more PITA issue I ran into. Last time I reinstalled the drivers seat I sat the rail down on one of the front mounting bolts. It popped out of place and into the frame rail. Thought process went like this: -_- I thought. but wait! Some genius put an access hole under it! But crap it fell over!! Seriously? its too short in there to maneuver it back upright!!?! OK, no prob, i'll just grab it and pull it out the access hole and then feed it back in. WTF hole is too small!!?! Finally opened it up with a dremel grinding wheel. Stock size of the hole is like the one in the bg. Once I opened it up it went right back into place and works fine now.
      I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

      91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


        I thought it might be a good idea to clean up the slide holes so I used a drill and brass brush. I thought they were clean...

        I got my brake rotors, rebuild kits, and SS lines in. I was a bit worried about the quality since they came from a small supplier- KNS brakes out of Raleigh. Nice guys there. Lines turned out nice, they're coated, have rubber boots, etc. Rotors are centric premiums. Painted hubs so no worries about rust. Pads are stoptech street performance. I'll report on those once I try them out.

        Got some redline fluids from bimmerworld. You can get em cheaper, but for $10 I got them overnight via ups ground. Something to be said for them being in VA!

        My trans has the ATF tag but I have heard of people using MTL in them rather than ATF, but thats no bueno to me. However I want to get something a bit thicker going on there. So I'm using a quart of D4 and and used a mix of MTL and MT90 I had left to top it up.

        For the diff i'm using a mix as well. Redline makes a 75w-90NS that increases lockup for racing applications. Basically it doesn't have the limited slip additives. I'm using a 50/50 mix of that and regular 75w90 to hopefully restore some of the lockup lost in the last 20 years. I'm not terribly concerned with longevity considering how many miles I intend to put on it and the fact that i'm hoping to find myself a torsen LSD out of a Z3 to put into it when I eventually swap the motor.

        tonight/tomorrow i'm going to fight that other control arm bushing on.

        I've been busy replacing lots of little crap and starting on bigger stuff.

        AKG subframe and RTAB's are on the way along with rear sway end and bushing mount reinforcements. Just got some new hoses and what not to refresh the cooling system. Planning to Pull the intake mani's and valve cover soon to blast and paint.

        I spent a ton of time with the steam cleaner cleaning carpets in this thing. Many many tanks came out like this.

        and its sitll not very clean...I'm thinking some vinyl dye may be in order.

        Box o' goodies from pelican parts. Eccentric bolts, trunk seal, and some misc stuff.

        Replaced the ripped trunk seal

        Started a project to fix up my fogs. One was broken, and both looked crappy. I got new lenses from is ok, but nothing amazing), cleaned up the reflectors, projectors, and framing before gluing on the new lenses.

        I started on new sway endlinks and bushings. The rusty hardware has been blasted and treated with a phosphate de-ruster for now. Planning on something much better later.

        Replaced the fuel filter. It isn't the original one, but bloody hell its old!

        I've started cleaning up the wiring a bit. Its been hacked to bits under the drivers side, the central locking isn't working, etc. Crap like this is par for the course...

        Next up:
        Seats are off at Rhoades upholstery shop. They're gonna be sessy. Black vinyl bolsters, microsuede inserts, and red french stitching. ;D

        I've decided i'm going with coils on it. GC's with camber plates run about 1600 bucks total. Starting to save for those, paint, and a new windshield.

        Dropping the rear subframe, new bushings, refinishing, and toe/camber adjustment tabs.
        I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

        91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


          AKG 80A subframe bushings, 75D rtab's, trailing arm sway bar reinforcements, and sway bar bushing mount reinforcements.

          Picked up the seats, they look bad ass. No pix yet though.

          I just finished refreshing the cluster. The perspex was cloudy, scratched, etc. and the odo didn't work. I got a new set of odo gears from and a set of alu rings to spruce things up a bit. I'll probably do red needles later.

          Odo's in E30's go out because a few of the gears were the wrong material for the lube used. Over time they basically turn to wax.

          Got everything disconnected from the subframe and tried to drop it only to find it was seized to the car. I plugged the bottom of the bushing holes and filled them with PB Blaster to help loosen them. Then I went all hulk on em. Pictures tell the tale.

          makeshift slide hammer ftw. Also worked brilliantly for removing the bushes from the subframe after a little heating.

          Removed the SHOT trailing arm bushes

          Axels finally out of trailing arms. They were stuck in there good.

          Subframe getting prepped for toe/camber adjustment tabs and eccentric bolts. These are all done now, just need final welding.

          All the rear suspension parts will be blasted and refinished with these goodies:

          Decided to tackle the "mess under the intake", replace all hoses, and paint the intake and valve cover.

          Wonder if this is making my idle suck?

          Lots of crud down here...

          Finishing touches...

          One last bit of goodness- more parts form AKG.
          Delrin shifter carrier bushes, 80A poly E21 trans mounts, Poly diff mount, and some new axle bolts.

          Car is now getting prepped for paint. Brian(dean_s13) has been helping me out with some bodywork. Pix of that to come soon .
          Last edited by lbreevesii; 05-21-2012, 01:24 PM.
          I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

          91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


            Subframe is getting ready to be por15's and chassis coated along with the rear trailing arms. Getting ready to sand the whole car down.

            Picked up a near perfect dash to replace my hella cracked one. While the dash is out i'm going to tackle the mess of wiring that has been screwed up over the past 20 years.

            On the list for the near future:
            - Repaint shadowline trim
            -clean clean clean
            -paint prep
            -delete windshield washers
            -Reassemble interior
            -new suspension
            -new side skirts

            Got the first batch of a big parts order today. The small sections of my factory IS sideskirts, mounting hardware, and some various other hardware. btw, if anyone needs some of the BMW roundel grommets hit me up. The only way I could get em from blunttech was to buy whatever quantity bmw wanted to send...which was like 25. So yeah I have 40 bucks worth of these little things. They're used on various places on the E30, so hopefully some of you guys can use em. I'll practically give em away!

            I finally got around to doing a mini-project that i've bee putting off. I got a BMW lock cylinder repair kit . Basically its a disassembled lock cylinder with enough wafers to rekey a lock. I didn't think this process would be bad, but I felt a bit daunted when i unfolded the instructions to find that it was a bunch of engineering blueprints and two big paragraphs entirely in german... All in all, it was actually easy and the lock feels a lot tighter than the 20 year old one.

            Last edited by lbreevesii; 05-21-2012, 01:21 PM.
            I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

            91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


              the car is officially out to the paint shop! SRM Paintwerks in State Road is doing it. As an E28-phile(and E28 M5 owner) I think he will treat her right. Once it is back from paint it will get a suede headliner by Derek and Alan, new windshield, and the rest of the interior will be put back together.

              I'm working on painting the wheels that were on the 240, for the time being they will be used on the bmw for now as well. gotta get some big wide wheels for the swap though. Its going well. They won't be perfect but they will look a ton better.

              The next big project is getting the S50 drivetrain prepped and ready to go in. I've got to save some cash for the big parts, but its going to be sick. Motor came from gonshiki's wrecked 95 m3 with 95k on the clock. It will be running a custom intake setup, larger injectors, euro maf, shrick cams, ECU tune, light weight flywheel, M5 clutch, and likely a drive shaft shop one piece drive shaft. doing to a 3.25 medium case LSD out back.

              Motor is getting all new seals, new valve spring retainers, upper valve spring plates, vanos rebuild, and bearing inspection. Hopefully I won't be pulling the head and won't need new bearings, that would just open the can-o-worms for putting ARP studs everywhere possible.

              yumm schrick

              Waiting on the rest of the parts and tools to pull the cams and replace the valve retainers and plates as well as do the vanos.

              got the rest of my parts. All new seals for engine and trans, diff rebuild parts, new valve retainers and upper spring plates, etc. Few hundred bucks worth of crap there....

              Stopped by the paint shop this morning. Car will be primed by the end of the day!
              I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

              91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


                Started working on the top end. First problem i ran into is that normally you use a big pin to lock the fly in place so it can't move from TDC. Unfortunately You cant fit it on the stand with the fly. So I had to come up with a way to keep it at, or at least have a good reference for TDC. Ended up using a bolt and nut through the crank sensor hole. It hits the notch on the harmonic balancer perfectly.

                Pulled the vanos:

                Alright so the vanos rebuild/rattle kit install didn't go well at first, bunch of things culminated in the piston getting galled/marred where it goes through the cover. Can't move it without putting it in the vice. Oops...

                Fortunately...I hoard parts. sooo I had a spare. Wasn't anywhere near as clean as the one off my motor, but its all good. I can fix that(right Bryan?!)

                All Clean

                Tore down both pistons in the end. All the parts are stacked.

                All the parts laid out- washers, piston ring, bearings, and center washer. The rattle kit replaces the ring that all of it rides in to make for a tighter axial fit. Just put it all back together and do a little sanding for proper fit. It makes a big difference in the tightness of the vanos. No more rattles and they say cams like the schricks like this part of the vanos to be nice and tight.

                Rattle kit done, time to replace the seals. Its a rubber o-ring that keeps tension on an outer teflon seal. In classic vanos failure fashion, the o-ring was just as hard as the teflon.

                The biggest project on this S50 is refreshing the top end with new valve spring collets and spring plates. Unfortunately that means removing those nice long hollow cams...awesome lets not break >$1000 in schrick cams.

                Taking the vanos anti rattle bit and the cam position sensor trigger.

                Per the pelican parts article, the best way to do this without the nearly $2000 bmw tool is to put the cam so that only the first set of valves are being activated(and as little as possible). This minimizes the chances for warpage or breakage. I was too preoccupied to take pix of taking the cams out, not that its too interesting.


                Wash, rinse repeat. Intake side was a little more hairy. it made more noises and took more nut turning before things got loose. I'd guess its due to the longer duration resulting in a smaller sweet spot for this operation.

                And the other project i've been working on is a mini-alternator rebuild. The bearings were kinda shot so I got replacements from NAPA and a supplier who has the oddball sized bearing for the front. I'm probably going to tear it back apart to replace the tolerance ring since its kinda broken, but it shouldn't matter much if I don't.

                Don't have final pix, but I finished the valve spring seat and keeper replacement. Aside from a few of them being little waffleswaffleswaffleswaffless, it went ok.

                I used a fitting so that I could pressurize the cylinders to keep the valves from falling. Since the plugs are recessed I had to make a release loop on the air hose so I could get it on and off. Use 1,582,098 of paracord and duck tape

                I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

                91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


                  Cams are back in, nothing broke! yayyy!!1

                  But I did notice something upon going to put it all back together. I think that whoever did the cam install didn't time it right. I don't have full reference pix to prove it, but i think this is the case.

                  First problem area:


                  I don't THINK this part realllyy matters that much, but never the less every guide i've found is gung ho about lining it up this way.

                  The big issue is that when i took off the secondary chain I zip tied it together. Upon reassembly I realized that the way it was sitting, it wasn't getting full travel when the vanos activated, so it was never fully advanced(I think its advanced, not retarded). Either way, it wasn't doing everything it was supposed to. It still ran ok, but not like it should have been. I'm going to see if i can get an install guide from bimmerworld tomorrow. Reference pix below.

                  Bottom end is all back together with the Ishihara-Johnson crank scraper fitted

                  I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

                  91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


                    Excuse the crappy cell pic, but the paint is coming along very nicely.

                    This is the reflection of the garage door and its windows on the hood. Its been wet sanded and compounded, but not polished yet.
                    I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

                    91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


                      WOW! Way to bring it back. I do wish your pix were bigger though. Nice work. :up:

                      Where in NC are you?



                        I'm in the booming metropolis of North Wilkesboro, about an hour west of winston.

                        I neeed a decent camera. Most of these pix were taken with an iphone since i always have it handy when working on the car(pandora ftw).
                        I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

                        91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


                          Nice job so far!
                          Yours truly,
                          Originally posted by Rigmaster
                          you kids get off my lawn.....


                            Thanks guys.

                            I really really need to take some pictures of the seats. They are gorgeous. Microseude for the bottoms/backs and black vinyl bolsters with red french stitching.

                            I should have the car back from paint sometime this week. they have a few spots to do just a little more wet sanding on, then compound and polish the whole car.
                            I don't always wreck cars, but when I do I wreck them into trees.

                            91' 318is S50 swap - The Black Widow


                              Originally posted by n2mye30 View Post
                              wow! Way to bring it back. I do wish your pix were bigger though. Nice work. :up:
                              Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.
                              89 E30 S52
                              Transaction Feedback.