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Undr8d_Empire: Scarlet (#Project333Ti)

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    Undr8d_Empire: Scarlet (#Project333Ti)



    Before anything I want to thank all my sponsors for all the help they given me on this project, it wouldn't have happened without all of you! Sorry this took so long for me to do, it should've been done a long time ago!

    @CastroMotorsport - WWW.CASTROMOTORSPORT.COM
    @Bimmerheads - WWW.BIMMERHEADS.COM

    I've built a few cars over the years that have all been a bit different and that I enjoyed in different ways, but my favorite build to date was my old OBD1 S52 E30 named Scarlet. I built that car my freshmen year in college and enjoyed it for about 4 years as a daily driver, canyon carver, and overall fun car, and I've missed it since the day I sold it. It was such a great car because it was unique at the time, plenty of fun to drive, reliable as hell, and surprised everyone!

    I sold it after finding my dream car - my former E30 M3, that was built from the ground up with no expense spared. I couldn't afford to buy the M3 at the time, so I borrowed the money from my dad and promise him I would sell the Scarlet as quickly as possible. All in all it was worth it, as I got most of my money out of Scarlet, while being to enjoy her for so long and using the money to build my dream car. The M3 build was a long process and I always had a mediocre/boring car that I would drive as a daily driver in between the project. After enjoying the m3 with the s14 and then building it with the s54, it truly was the most impressive all around car I had built and driven to date. The problem was that it was always going to be just that fun weekend car, as I didn't want to put mileage on it, or put it at risk for an accident any more than I had to. I sold my M3 over 2 years back for great money to Frank Ocean for various reasons.

    Next I embarked to swap an LS6 into and e46 m3 rolling chassis I had purchased. Things took way too long and didn't end up working out, but I still wanted to build another fun car.

    Fast forward a bit and I saw my friend Nathan (m3mobbin) had posted his 318ti rolling chassis for sale. I immediately called him, as I knew the back story on the car, and wanted it to go to a good home. Nathan had the chassis painted, what he thought was Imola Red years back and the car sat under a cover in his garage since before I met him.

    He always talked about building it with a m/s/52, but was always preoccupied building his sedan. Any how everything was "there" for the interior and the car to be put together and on the road, minus a motor and trans. I had already been itching for another project car and decided I didn't want to build another non-M e30 (I've owned 6), but something more unique, that I hadn't owned before. I had A LOT of parts to build the car from years of hoarding, including motors, suspension, transmissions, wheels, etc. So I figured why not?! Then my favorite part of the build began - planning!

    All my friends know that I come up with tons of ideas and plans for project cars all the time. Mechanically I knew exactly what was going on the car, I wanted to simply make this a slightly better, Ti version of my old S52 E30. I had a spare s50 and another custom built motor m52 bottom end, a spare ZF trans, and a couple differentials to swap in, so the power plant and drive train were pretty straight forward. Here's the spec sheet on the motor and drivetrain:

    Engine + Power Mods:
    m52 block
    Custom 3.3L m50 diesel crank shaft (by a former race shop that RMS used in the late 90s)
    135mm s52 rods
    s52 bore 11:1 JE forged pistons
    0.080 - 1 step oversize MLS head gasket (to drop compression a bit for 91 octane)
    ARP2000 head studs
    Custom M50 non Vanos head by Bimmerheads: rebuilt, ported and polished and modified to accept a Vanos unit
    s52 camshafts
    All new engine gaskets, belts and timing components
    Stewart water pump
    New aluminum thermostat housing, with lower degree thermostat
    Mishimoto aluminum radiator
    Ported Schrick intake manifold
    OBD2 m3 throttle body
    Dinan 3.5" cold air intake
    s52 injectors
    Racleand long tube headers
    3" custom single exhaust - 2 resonators, and 1 Borla ProXS muffler
    Off there shelf RK-Tunes OBD1 s52 tune

    ZF 320 5 speed trans
    z3 2.8L shift lever
    F1 racing chromoly lightweight flywheel and stage 1 clutch
    New clutch master and slave cylinders
    2.93 LSD
    Z3 MCoupe axles

    Since this is an e36 chassis, I knew I wanted to swap in m3 front suspension with brakes. I initially put together some coil-overs that I ended up selling to another Ti guy, to fund the TC Klines that are currently on the car. At the time I had futureroadracer's former 5-lug E30 chassis, which I had snagged stupid cheap and initially planned to build before buying the Ti. The nice part was that his car had a full Z3 MCoupe 5-lug swap with all the polyurethane bushings already done! I thought about taking the full suspension and brakes off the E30, including the Ground Control coil overs that Ryan had on the E30. The problem was that the entire GC set-up was e30 specific, and the fronts wouldn't work on my Ti. Therefore I left the front suspension alone and decided to take only the complete rear suspension and brakes, and swap my Ti rear suspension onto the e30. Luckily I had front e36 M3 spindles, strut housings and brakes, and the Ti had new 96+ M3 control arms on it already. Castro Motorsport had various pairs of coil-over springs and lowering springs that I could use, the best option was 400# 7" fronts, and some progressive rate rear springs from an e36 m3 Bilstein PSS9 set-up. I had Chris order me new coil-over sleeves and adjusters from AKG and I got a great deal on some used Vorschlag camber/caster plates through my buddy. I already had a pair of brand new, full height KONI top adjustable struts that I bought on the forums, and then used some spare used Bilstein Sport E30 shocks for the rear. For brakes, I went ahead and ordered some new stainless steel brake lines for the car through Ireland Engineering. Then I got some Ate rotors and pads all around and Ate Super Blue brake fluid.

    Suspension & brakes:
    e36 m3 front subframe, suspension and brakes
    Z3 MCoupe rear subframe, trailing arms and brakes
    Vorschlag camber/castor plattes
    AKG front coilover sleeves and adjusters
    400# 7" Hyperco springs (front) / Bilstein PSS9 progressive rear springs
    New lemforder front 96+ M3 control arms with bushings
    Ireland Engineering polyurethane rear subframe and trailing arm bushings
    e36 m3 front sway bar / 318ti factory rear sway bar
    Ireland Engineering stainless steel brake lines
    Ate rotors and pads all around
    Ate Super Blue brake fluid

    Having owned an e36 m3 previously, dealing with various e36 builds at Castro Motorsport over the years, and being inspired by a few Ti builds online, I had a general idea of the look I would be going for. Also I hoarded quite a few sets of wheels over the years, most sets were low offset, which meant I had to go with wider fenders. I loved the subtle look of the Hard Motorsport rivet-on flares, and based on my research, they could accommodate decent wheels specs with a bit of work. I purchased a coupe set of flares that I was going to have modified, but shortly after Adam came out with the Ti version of the flares. I told him about my project and he gave me a great deal on a set of Ti specific flares. I hadn't seen another Ti with river on flares before, so that was one of the ways I planned to set my car apart from the rest. I definitely wanted to run an m3 front bumper and the car already came with an unpainted Mtech rear bumper. Nathan also included a brand new set of NLA Ti specific Mtech moldings with clips, which I had to have for this project. As for side skirts I was a bit torn. One of the things I ***** about the e36 for years were the m3 "twisty" side skirts! Reason being is that the skirts noticeably hang lower front and rear, than the m3 and Mtech bumpers! I really wanted some AC Schnitzer skirts after falling in love with whitecord's white Ti. Those are pretty much unobtanium, so I had to figure something else out. My friend had some Racing Dynamics skirts for cheap, so I decided those would be different and still give me the look I wanted. I also sourced a BNIB set of AC Schnitzer mirrors for $300 through a forum member, which I was really stoked about!

    For the front lip, I ***** how played out the LTW adjustable lip was, and I loved the Racing Dynamics adjustable lip that m3mobbin had on his sedan when we met. He later sold that lip to Alex at Castro Motorsport, and I loved it on his wide body coupe as well, so I had to find one for myself! I found one for $150 shipped a few weeks later and it was in pretty good shape. One thing I was adamant about was to put a spoiler on the hatch, to take away from how awkwardly square the bare rear of the Ti chassis look. The car came with a factory Mtech spoiler, which I liked, but wasn't in love with. If it came off the hatch at least an inch more I probably would've just stuck with that. I also loved the way that the AC Schnitzer 3 piece spoiler looked on whitecord's Ti (along with normal e36s). I found a Ti specific spoiler online for $100, and jumped on it. Since I wanted to set my Ti apart from the rest I'd seen, I spoke with Victor from Excel Motorsports (from Kings Auto Body Shop at the time) about extending the ACS wing at least 2 inches to make it look similar to an e30 Mtech 1 spoiler. Another thing I was excited about was that Nathan had the sunroof panel turned into a slick top! He also had a couple small details changed on the car - the rear windshield wiper, and the windshield washer nozzles on the hood, were all shaved and I loved the clean look. Finally, for lights, I sourced some used ZKW headlights, got some clear smoked corner lights and the car already came with euro spec clear tails that were mildly smoked. I added some 35W DDM 6000k HIDs for the low beams, and some fog light delete covers for the time being.

    Exterior & Lighting:
    e36 m3 front DDM bumper w/ luxury slats
    Ti specific Mtech rear bumper
    Racing Dynamics side skirts
    Racing Dynamics adjustable 2 piece front lip
    AC Schnitzer side view mirrors
    AC Schnitzer 3 piece rear spoiler
    Hard Motorsport Ti specific rivet on fender flares
    Fog light delete covers
    ZKW glass headlights
    35W DDM HIDs

    Being the wheel whore that I am, I had a few sets already put aside for future projects. The main wheels were going to be one of my favorites - staggered 17" AC Schnitzer Type 2 concave mono blocks, (8.5 et 13 front, 9.5 et 21.5 rear) wrapped in 235/40/17 front and 245/40/17 rear. The other sets included 17x9 BBS LMs, 18x9 Alpina Softlines and 18x9.5 AC Schnitzer Type 2 concave mono blocks. I also grabbed a Motorsport Hardware 90mm stud kit for good measure.

    Wheels & Tires:
    17" AC Schnitzer Type 2 concave mono blocks - 17x8.5 et 13 front (235/40/17 tire) /17x9.5 et 21.5 front (245/40/17 tire) - DAILY SET-UP
    18x9 et 24 Alpina Softlines (Square set)
    18x9.5 et 21.5 AC Schnitzer Type 2 concave mono blocks (Square set)
    Motorsport Hardware 90mm stud kit, with black acorn nuts & Neochrome tuner lugs

    For the interior, Nathan had parted a car with a complete "rare" Millpoint set-up, just missing the front seats. As much as I wanted a pair of fixed back bucket seats, I needed something foldable so I could access the back seats. This was going to be my everything car, so I had to make it as functional as possible for my needs. I found a pair of Bride Cuga replica seats for $700 shipped, which are a great value IMO! The quality is top notch, they fit me well, they're comfortable and they look awesome! Chris from Castro Motorsport modified factory brackets and sliders for me to have full adjustability with both seats. The car came without a headliner, but Nathan had a slick top headliner skin for me to have wrapped, which he included with the car. I hit up my buddy at Hiperion Interior and had him wrap the headliner in black microsuede, and the front A pillars in black vinyl for longevity and to match the look of the B and C pillars. I got new black leather shift and e-brake boots through a forum member, along with Bimmian brushed aluminum, illuminated shift and e-brake knobs. I have a nice steering wheel collection, but I wanted to run one of the less rare wheels I had for daily use, so I got a hub off Amazon and put my Momo Corse wheel on.

    Bride Cuga replica seats
    Black mill point interior
    Custom microsuede headliner by Hiperion Interiors
    Momo Corse steering wheel and hub (daily wheel)
    Other steering wheels: 4 spoke black leather BBS, 3 spoke Momo Hella edition, 3 spoke Alpina

    Last on the list was going to be the sound system, which I would take care of a bit further down the road. I haven't had a nice sound system in any of my cars since my S52 E30, and I really missed having good quality music in my daily driver! I had some pieces from various projects that I would incorporate, namely my 6.5" Hybrid Audio Technologies competition components up front, 5.25" Infinity Kappa Perfect components out back, and an Alpine 4 channel amp. I plan to go with a JL W7 12" with a custom box, and a nice amp to push that. For head unit, I haven't quite decided yet, but I'll get something good quality with nice features. I've always been an Alpine guy, so I may go back to an older unit with amber lighting. I plan to run all new wiring through the car, and run everything through my amps. I will also add Dynamat where it's needed.

    Sound System:
    Head unit - undecided
    6.5" Hybrid Audio Technologies competition component speakers with cross-overs (fronts)
    5.25" Infinity Kappa Perfect components with cross-overs (rears)
    Alpine 4 channel amp
    JL W7 12" sub in custom built box
    Probably a big JL amp to push the sub

    The project started it's life at Castro Motorsport, and the full suspension and brakes were first on the to do list. While that was being handled, I sent my cylinder head over to Shant at Bimmerheads for him to do the full rebuild and to port & polish it. I was already in contact with Adam from Hard Motorsport, awaiting the Ti specific version of his fender flares, as I no longer wanted to use the normal coupe flares I initially purchased. Once Castro Motorsport finished the car, I was going to drive it down to Kings Auto Body Shop to have the flares installed and the paint work completed.

    Here are some shots of the progress at Castro Motorsport. All the parts were thrown into the car when it was towed, so I had to clear it out first and see exactly what we had.

    Next the rear suspension and brakes were removed to prepare for the complete Z3 M-Coupe rear end to be installed.

    I stopped by Bimmerheads a few times to help document the amazing work that Shant had done on my cylinder head! I also dropped off the Schrick intake manifold and my Raceland headers to be ported and port matched to the head.

    Tried to get some close ups of the awesome work Shant for Bimmerheads did on these ports!

    And now with the valve train installed

    Once the head was back from Bimmerheads, Castro Motorsport assembled the motor with all the new parts and got the car road worthy. Unfortunately I couldn’t be around for most of this process, but I got a few shots.

    Car fired up first try and performed great from the start! Since we hadn't installed the flares yet, Chris let me borrow 2 pairs of wheels with usable tire to get the car down to Ayed at Kings Auto Body Shop. The Ti felt stronger than any s52 e30 I had driven (including my old one) and reminded me of my s54 e30 m3 between 2-5k rpms! The 3.25 gears made it feel nice and torquey around town, and made it easier to slide! The 3" exhaust was a bit much (as expected) as we only had one resonator, the Borla muffler and no tips at the time, but it sounded really good! Because of the muffler position, the exhaust droned pretty bad into the cabin. Since I didn't have the right wheels and tires on the car, it was hard to gauge the car's handling, but the ride quality wasn't too bad. Now it was Ayed's turn to take this project to the next level!

    The Ti was dropped off at Kings' for the Hard Motorsport flares to be installed, as well as painting the bumpers, nose panel, hood and finishing the slick top/sunroof delete and painting the roof satin black. The flare install was pretty straight forward for the crew at Kings Auto Body Shop, as they had installed these flares on a few e36s in the past. Pretty much make the markings needed, cut, drill holes, weld the rear 2 ply back together, smooth the metal out front and rear, apply caulking and rivet on the flares.

    I also decided to go with Bushwacker fender flare welting in between the flares and the panels, as well as black rivets. I’ve always loved this look on the 2002 Turbo, as well as the older Datsun Z cars that run rivet-on flares, so it was a must! The Hard Motorsport flares have a decent fender lip on them that we needed to completely remove if I wanted to get fairly flush wheel fitment.


    The color match on the paint work was spot on, even though this was not a normal color!

    The flares completely transformed the look of the Ti chassis.

    The slick top turned out great as well!

    And the day I took it home and washed Scarlet for the first time!

    (Sorry for the poor quality cell pics, didn’t have my camera on me)

    Despite wanting another month at least to situate the car, I was rear ended in my E39 touring while the car was being painted, and I needed to make it as road worthy as possible FAST!

    The Ti became my daily driver in the middle of November 2014 and I was too busy, and ran out of funds to finalize it how I wanted to. Put some new tires on my staggered set of 17” AC Schnitzer Type 2s and started driving it as is.

    (Sorry, more cell phone pics)

    Fast forward to February 2015, I found an amazing deal on some TC Kline dual adjustable coil-overs from a Z3 M Coupe that I had to jump on. While the coil-overs I had handled and rode pretty well, the TC Klines were better in every respect. I luckily found a forum member with a 318Ti that wanted a suspension set-up for their car, so I pretty much broke even.

    Next up I talked to Adam from Hard Motorsport about a rear set of his wider V2 fender flares, as I had rubbing issues with my current V1s.

    In a week the flares came and I was in love! The extra inch width (the mock up obviously make them look even wider) was going to give me plenty of space for my current wheels, and allow me the freedom to run some more aggressive wheels as well! Also, the extra width was going to give the car an even more aggressive look! :)

    I dropped my car off with Victor from Excel Motorsports to make the flares look Ti specific, paint them, install them, modify my M-tech trim to fit, respray my nose panel and rear bumper, paint my luxury slats and install my Racing Dynamics front lip.

    A few progress pics of the flares from Victor’s cell:

    And a few shots from the day I came and picked up the car! I was so excited when I saw the car so close to my goals! Victor really did a great job preparing the car before Bimmerfest for me, with all the work he had scheduled!

    While the car was a lot closer to what I envisioned it to be, I still needed to figure out a wing for the hatch. I initially found an AC Schnitzer 3 piece spoiler that I’ve always been a fan of, but it wasn’t enough. I had planned to have Victor at extend the center section of the spoiler to have it kick outward and upward like an E30 Mtech 1 spoiler. I wanted to extend the square shaped of the hatch (something I’ve always ***** about the Ti chassis) and give the car a sportier look. A big inspiration for the wing style I wanted was Dominant Engineering’s Rocket Bunny spoiler that he put on his awesome Ti. However, before I dropped my car off with Victor, I had been in talks with Mateo from Mateo Motorsports about a custom drag wing for the Ti. I saw the teaser he posted on Instagram of the one he had designed for his coupe and a customer’s sedan, and I started some sketches for one specific to the Ti. After being happy with my sketches, he took my vision and turned it into reality! I still remember how excited I was when he sent me the teaser shots of my wing mounted on @bmwwatermelonti’s car, it was PERFECT! This one piece truly transformed the look of the Ti, and set my car apart from any other compact I’d seen. The drag wing showed up to my door the week before Bimmerfest. I went to Castro Motorsport a couple days later, and Chris and Aram helped me get the wing mounted up. The car looked so aggressive now, and was turning heads everywhere I went!

    The last thing to do before Bimmerfest was to get all my sponsor vinyl installed on the Ti. I decided to go with black for the body vinyl, and satin classic gold for the windows. Now I know most will think that the vinyl is too much, or looks bad, but this isn’t about you or your opinions. I proudly show off the names off all my friends and sponsors that made m,y car what it is. The morning of Bimmerfest felt so good! I rolled up to the Staples Center meet up in Downtown LA to caravan with some old E30 buddies and others to roll out to the event in at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Here are a few shots of Scarlet at the event.

    Last edited by e30polak; 11-02-2015, 01:21 PM.
    Check out Undr8d Empire on Facebook:


    Scarlet V2 - #Project333Ti by @castromotorsport, @kingsautobodyshop, @bimmerheads, @hardmotorsport, @excel_motorsports & @mateomotorsports -

    Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.

    Beautiful car! I've always loved the ti's.
    My Garage
    2001 Z3 2.5i Steel Gray/Black (Lexi)
    1988 325ix Diamond Schwartz/Black (Izzy)
    1989 325i Cirrus Blue/Houndstooth (Stitch)

    Instagram: Stone.Hopkins


      Mateomotorsports stuff rules. He's a cool dude too

      '73 2002 m20 turbo [sold] '87 rat rod 325is [couch modded] '91 vert [daily] '88 325is [spec build v1] '84 325 [spec build v2] '99 323i vert [sold]


        Thanks for the compliment, and ya Mateo is the man! Trying to decide if I want to make a custom center exhaust or leave it as is. Whichever I decide, I'll have Mateo make me a diffuser for it then.
        Check out Undr8d Empire on Facebook:


        Scarlet V2 - #Project333Ti by @castromotorsport, @kingsautobodyshop, @bimmerheads, @hardmotorsport, @excel_motorsports & @mateomotorsports -

        Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.


          A few shots I had taken the day after Bimmerfest:

          Check out Undr8d Empire on Facebook:


          Scarlet V2 - #Project333Ti by @castromotorsport, @kingsautobodyshop, @bimmerheads, @hardmotorsport, @excel_motorsports & @mateomotorsports -

          Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.


            Any dyno #s from this powerhouse?

            How do you like the handling compared with your E30s?
            Current Car:
            -2017 i3 REx, 21st Century E30
            -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project

            Make R3V Great Again -2020


              Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
              Any dyno #s from this powerhouse?

              How do you like the handling compared with your E30s?
              With the Schrick manifold it made 244whp/243wtq, but it was choking up after 6k. I pulled 2 car lengths consistently on 2 other s52 e30s, so it's pretty quick.

              This car handles similar to my e30 m3, but with better brakes.
              Check out Undr8d Empire on Facebook:


              Scarlet V2 - #Project333Ti by @castromotorsport, @kingsautobodyshop, @bimmerheads, @hardmotorsport, @excel_motorsports & @mateomotorsports -

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                I have seen this project on Instagram numerous times now.

                Good to read the backstory!

                You always have awesome cars. Much respect.
                My previous build (currently E30-less)

                A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession


                  No intention of threadjacking , but this m3 ? S54 and same airbox. My PO , ( name , very not important) owned a m3 he later sold which he told me became the one on the nostalgia-ultra cover , who knows. :)
                  1986 LTW M52 (First project 2015- )
                  1998 e36 328ic/5 -
                  Roundie alpina pig cheek’d (1969)
                  1967 2002 parts car
                  1994 318iS junked.


                    ^^^ Frank had a few E30 M3's built by Castro's around the same time.

                    I don't think that's polak's. But he can tell you for sure.

                    The Nostalgia Ultra album came out long before him having a few M3's built by Castro's.

                    To my knowledge he (or the person who put together that album cover) actually stole that picture off the internet of an orange E30 out in the southeast (in USA). The owner was on bimmerforums and I don't think he was ever compensated for the use of said picture, but he was in talks with them.

                    We also have a member here who's orange car is mistaken for that car quite often, but he lives in Germany.
                    Project Thread | Instagram