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Rebuilding the build that never was - S/Ced schwarz e36 vert

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    Originally posted by ak- View Post
    Nice man. I'm super interested in your CCV setup once you get to it.
    What pump are you going to use?
    Thanks! I'll be using the secondary air pump from the e36. They flow a lot, they're cheap, and they're pretty robust. There are a few guys in the bimmerforums FI section running a similar setup.

    Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
    '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


      Finished the audio install over the weekend. This whole project took a deceptively long time to finish, but man it sounds so good!! For the first time since I've owned the car I can actually hear the music clearly with the top down, and with the top up its amazing. I think I just need to fine tune the adjustments and I may make a thread for that in the audio section to get some input on the best way to do that between the HU controls and the amplifier controls since I'm using a combination of amps and the HU to power everything.

      I got a little carried away clearancing the bottom left corner of the sub box and accidentally trimmed off the spot for the bolt But 3 points is plenty to keep it solid.

      I decided to mount the remote bass control knob and found the perfect place. Since I don't smoke, nor does anyone who rides in my car, I decided to mount it in the rear ashtray.

      Clearanced the plastic trim and the ash tray and mounted the control.

      '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


        Glad to see a fellow e36 vert owner here! Amazing job you have done with it, speaker upgrade looks fantastic! I should give it a go soon

        The vert was my first car to and I just cannot imagine ever selling it, such fun cars and the longer I own it the more the design grows on me
        Instagram : makeitsnap

        1985 e28 520i


          Originally posted by bostonvert View Post
          Glad to see a fellow e36 vert owner here! Amazing job you have done with it, speaker upgrade looks fantastic! I should give it a go soon

          The vert was my first car to and I just cannot imagine ever selling it, such fun cars and the longer I own it the more the design grows on me
          Thanks man! The speaker upgrade was wayyy overdue. I don't ever intend to sell this car; It'll probably be an endless project. I also really like the style once it's been tastefully modified a bit. It contrasts nicely with the e30 in my driveaway :)
          '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


            Alright time to get this updated since I've been heavily working on it.

            Going back to February 2 years ago...

            After the e30 got smashed, I started dailying the e36. It was not ideal since the car really needed some tlc, but I had no choice. Unfortunately, I was involved in another accident which occurred in very similar circumstances. One of those typical idiotic and impatient LA drivers driving like a fool in the worst circumstances. On my way to work traffic was slowing due to a lane closed for construction. I noticed in my rearview mirror this guy weaving through the slowing traffic behind me. I kept my eye on him. As traffic slowed further he ended up in the lane next to mine, blew past me and then cut me off merging into my lane as traffic slowed in his lane. Right after he cut me off he slammed the brakes since the car in front of him started to brake hard. It was like slow motion... I knew what was going to happen before it happened and I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it. This is the aftermath.

            I was devastated. Had the car flat bedded to my house and parked it nose first into a corner so I wouldn't see the damage. I knew it would be a while before I was able to work on it since I wasn't even midway through getting the e30 up and running, but I also didn't think it would take THIS long to really make progress on it. "Finishing" the e30 took far longer than I thought it would. I kept adding stuff to the list continuously for a solid year and as components on the car were changed/modified, that would cause new issues to crop up and further testing and refining to make everything work the way I wanted it to. I'll also be honest, I kinda lacked the motivation to even dig into it. Having just gone through nearly the same process on the e30 I was kind of burnt out to the whole idea and I became obsessed with "perfecting and finishing" the e30 instead. Weeks became months became years. Literally. A couple of times I made some effort to find parts, make lists of items I needed, look for deals and I picked up some items, but the passion wasn't really in it and I got discouraged quickly. I didn't even open the hood for at least a solid year to survey the extent of the damage and figure out what was salvageable. Add to that a kind of roller coaster year for me personally and you start to get the picture. I quit my (very good) job nearly a year ago to pursue another (better) opportunity which blew up in my face. I got laid off 3 weeks into the new job which led to unemployment for a few months. Luckily I picked up a job as the purchasing manager for West Coast Customs which was really cool and fun for a while but didn't pay well and included no benefits aka not really a good long term solution. In the meantime I moved into the aforementioned house and garage which was/is awesome. Since then I started a new job with an aerospace component manufacturer which finally rounds out the year of turmoil and leaves me actually MUCH better than I was when I left the first job to begin with.

            That said, here we are. Back on track. I feel that I finally got the e30 to an awesome level of completeness were I can drive it and enjoy it while I revive my beloved e36. As of now I have finally transported the car from the old garage to the new and started to rebuild it in earnest. To be fair I did make some decent progress over the past couple of months. Mostly I did a lot of dirty work that I wasn't looking forward to.

            First step was to pull off the smashed pieces and push it out of the corner so it could get washed and clay barred. Surprisingly it wasn't that hard to get it shining again. This was January 2017

            [IMG]A month later I sold the stanceworks zero clearance AST coilovers because well, they were super low. Needed to free the funds to have another set of coilovers made to my spec.[/IMG]

            I got a set of blown shocks and springs and stuck those on the car to keep it rollable

            It was a filthy mess. I got discouraged again. Bought a new daily in the meantime. I made sure that I didn't like the car to deter me from doing any modding or deciding to keep it. I hate sedans. But I do like the wheels. Sold the set of polished RSs that came with the car and picked up these. Had them powdered light grey.

            Finally in June I got into it again. 5 months after the car went in the garage I finally put my hands on it.... for an afternoon.

            2 months later in August I surveyed the damage and went to a junkyard to start finding parts. Sawzalled some pieces of a junkyard car and grabbed a new core support plus nose panel.

            Also moved the engine stand and crane in front of the car hoping some good samaritan would pass by and do me the solid of pulling the motor and bolting it to the stand.... didn't happen.

            Since it was clear the only person that would help me was me I rolled up my sleeves. Cut out the crushed inner fender. Man its filthy in there.

            Pulled the motor

            The end of the frame rail flange got a bit mangled so I cut that off too

            In the meantime, I noticed that the pilot bearing was starting to disintegrate. Glad I caught that before it gave serious trouble.

            Welded the new end on the frame rail

            A month later in September I tacked the inner fender in place and checked fitment (apparently not well enough because a week ago I put a fender on that side and it was way off :hitler:)

            About two weeks later I worked up the courage to get really messy. Pushed the car out of the garage and lifted it on stands as high as it would go. Bought two gallons of industrial degreaser.

            Also took this opportunity to clean out the garage

            Getting a much needed underbody bath. This was awful to do. Really messy, but the end result was worth it. No more black greasy grime all over the bottom of the car. I can actually work on it now without needing to industrial degrease myself right after.

            Some of the "before". This was already after one pass with degreaser and a brush.

            After the cleaning and removing the fenders, some rust was exposed. I wire wheeled it and sealed it. Wasn't that bad.

            Here it is all cleaned up. I honestly didn't know the underbody seal was tan colored. Thought it was black because of all the greasy dirt.

            Degreased the engine next

            In october I finally found motivation to finish the engine bay. Welded some holes shut, cut off some brackets and then filled sanded and primed the fenders

            Ready for paint


            3 months later I brought the engine to my new garage and the fun really begins.

            Started breaking down the motor. Pulled the head first because I needed it for the e30

            Looks like normal oil staining with age

            VR HG. Like most 24vs this old it's had the HG replaced.

            Made a tool to remove the crank bolt. It was easyyyyyyyy now

            Head back from machining

            Here's the block. Relatively clean. The deck is dead straight.

            Bottom end looks relatively clean too. All the bearing surfaces looked immaculate. No scores

            Continued disassembly

            Deck is dead straight. Couldn't even get a .02mm feeler gauge to slip under the edge anywhere

            Soaked as many parts as I could in berryman's chem dip. This stuff will literally melt the varnish off of parts. They come out looking brand new. I should probably get an ultrasonic cleaner and fill it with the stuff... would make my life easier.

            Wire wheeled the entire block after masking it. Never again. What a tedious and messy job. I did it this way because cheap and I'm on a budget, but next time ill just have it blasted for sure.

            I primered it and then hit it with the metallic base coat

            The next day I finally moved the car to my new place :D

            And painted the color coat on the block

            Here you can see it better in the light. Pictures don't do it justice. It's candy red.

            More to come
            '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


              I reused the "old" main bearings since they looked fine (a few still had the machining marks on them) and also measured out perfect right in the middle of the tolerance range.

              Crank in

              Laid out all the pistons and rods getting ready to assemble and gap rings

              At this point I hit a little bump in the progress. I started measuring ring gap and was getting high numbers outside the tolerance bmw speced in the TIS. This let me to wonder if the motor had been overbored and rebuilt in its past. So I "measured" piston to wall clearance to see what was going on.... Initially I measured it wrong - I was looking at piston width at the top, instead of piston width at the skirt. I overreacted instead of double checking my facts and went to the junkyard and pulled another block (at unnecessary expense and effort...) after I got the junkyard motor back to the garage I pulled the head and checked a cylinder and found the same results. Nearly the same piston ring gap too. Now I was stumped. So I started doign more research that I should've done from the beginning. What I found was that A) I didn't measure piston width correctly and B) after talking to a few people who've built a bunch of these 24v motors and a shop, BMWs published ring gap tolerance referenced in the TIS is very tight and not a good value to aim for. BMW references .1 - .3 mm (.004 - .011"). Here's the quote
              I don't know what they are smoking with the spec of "BMW TIS the top ring end gap should be between .1 mm (.0039") and .3 mm (.0118")" But those are totally absurd numbers. If you put a motor together with .004" ring gap you wouldn't make it around the block without cracking all the ring lands. No bmw I have ever take apart had a ring gap this small. A normal spec for that bore size on an NA motor is .014" top and .017" 2nd.
              Based on that, my gaps are right on target. So I wasted resources trying to solve a problem I didn't have. Moving on...

              In the meantime I blew apart the rear suspension. I wanted to replace all the bushings and do all the reinforcements.

              At the junkyard wasting time pulling a filthy motor

              You can fit a long block 24v motor in the trunk of an e30 along with a sub box and leave room to spare. I'm impressed

              After I figured out the piston ring debacle I continued assembly

              Gapping rings

              Installing pistons

              Installing bearings in the rods. I replaced all the rob bearings. The old ones were worn pretty nicely and two were showing copper

              Front cover getting prepped. I use curil-t to supplement all gaskets and seals. It works quite well. Nothing leaks anymore.

              Head and cams installed. Looking like a very nice motor.

              '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


                thanking the lawd for more build threads from you. as aalways, love the meticulousness
                1984 Delphin 318i 2 door


                  Amazing work as always!

                  Are you self-taught in body repair/paint work? I'd love to be able to do that stuff but I'm not sure where or how to start...other than trade school.

                  '91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
                  '05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
                  '03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
                  '91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold :sad:
                  '91 325i auto coupe - Sold
                  '90 325iC - Sold
                  '91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold


                    Originally posted by wworm View Post
                    thanking the lawd for more build threads from you. as aalways, love the meticulousness
                    hahaha thanks man. Believe it or not I'm getting worn out from the time and financial commitment. Trying to wrap this one up quickly.
                    Originally posted by Codym42 View Post
                    Amazing work as always!

                    Are you self-taught in body repair/paint work? I'd love to be able to do that stuff but I'm not sure where or how to start...other than trade school.
                    Yea, kinda. I personally wouldn't attempt to repair anything more serious than cosmetic damage though. This was just on the line of being more than I could handle. It's easy enough when you have multiple points to help you locate the part in place (core support, fender, hood, nose panel) after that it's just welding and body filler.
                    '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


                      How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows

                      Could be better, could be worse.




                          Originally posted by rzerob View Post
                          Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
                          :) updates soon. Engine is done. All the rear bushings are pressed out and my roomate took everything to work to sandblast the light rust (NJ car) and get it ready for the weld in reinforcements.

                          Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
                          '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


                            Finished the motor

                            My amazing wife got worried one night that I was going to eat dinner too late so she delivered dinner to me in the garage. Some BLTs with heart toothpicks :D I sure am lucky to have her

                            Really got into the rear suspension last weekend. One of my friends gave me a hand manhandling the parts on the press. Took a little finagling but we figured out good combinations of sockets and DIY tools to press everything out. There are A LOT more bushings in the rear of the e36 than the e30. 14 bushings/ball joints were pressed out in total.

                            Kinda proud of the ingenuity to make this tool. The e36 non-m rear trailing arms have an upper ball joint and a lower bushing for the upper spring perch/control arm and the lower control arm. I picked 2 "new" control arms from the junkyard because my NJ arms were really cruddy and rusty and one already had the axle frozen in the hub. However, I had already replaced the 2 ball joints in the old arms and wanted to reuse them and would need to press them out without damaging them.

                            So we pressed out of the junkyard arms a ball joint and a bushing and then gutted both parts. I was left with the outer race of the ball joint and the outer sleeve of the bushing. I slit the sleeve along its length and welded it back together. Now it is a very snug fit over the ball joint - giving clearance not to damage the boot but snugly fitting through the hole to press firmly on the outer race of the ball joint. Then I welded this modified sleeve to the gutted outer race of the ball joint I pressed out. Voila. A BMW rear ball joint tool is made. Paired with the harbot freight press it made the removal of the other ball joints a breeze.

                            The rear subframe is kinda rusty at most of the weld joints. I have some reinforcements to weld into the swaybar tabs. It's a known weak point of the rear e36 suspension. With larger swaybars the tabs tend to crack/break off over time. I intended to wire wheel the whole subframe and paint it but then my roomate offered to sandblast it first, I do the reinforcements, then he has it epoxied at the shop (WCC). So that's the new plan for all the rear suspension.

                            So the plan for this weekend is to do all suspension and chassis reinforcements (swaybar tabs, rear subframe mounts, trailing arm pockets, front subframe engine mounts) and then with whatever time is left sand/polish the engine bay and start putting things back together.
                            '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD


                              My previous build (currently E30-less)

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


                                Originally posted by MR E30 325is View Post

                                Installed exhaust studs. This is a little trick... N54 studs are a slight bit shorter and have a torx head for easy install. No more jam nut fiascos. Just a tiny wipe of anti-seize on the threads and you'll never have a frozen stud again.

                                Finally started some rear suspension reinforcement. The oem rear control arms are kinda a joke. There is ONE small weld holding the entire piece together. If you try to press the bushing out it crushes the end. Ask me how I know... Most people just replace these with adjustable arms but I'm on a budget and this isn't a track car. As much as I want the ball joints, adjustability and bling, I don't need it. The quality ones seem to retail around $250-$400 for a set. I'll pass. Instead I just cut some metal and reinforced the whole thing. It'll be totally solid now and has enough adjustment for a street car (there are also reinforcement plate kits for sale).

                                Here you see the side of the arm that has no welds at all. It's just two pieces of stamped steel.

                                Here's the end with no weld

                                And the end with a weld. Pathetic.

                                Reinforcement plates

                                One of the ends with the reinforcement tacked

                                I've got rear subframe reinforcements, front subframe reinforcements, rear subframe mounting points, and rear trailing arm pockets left to do.... and por15 on order to coat it all. Really aiming to start assembling it this weekend.
                                '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD