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My Forever Car: '89 325i Touring

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  • -J-
    replied
    Originally posted by D.Martijn View Post
    Here's a link to the lachssilber door I found;
    https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-...98724-223-9397
    Thanks for the link. I'll look into shipping.

    In the meantime I decided to change my S54 from this:



    Into this:



    Disassembling the engine was oddly therapeutic. Everything came apart cleanly and as expected. I just put on a playlist and leisurely knocked out the teardown over the weekend.

    I took a ton of pictures for my own reference but I'll include the important bits here.


    The flywheel looks pretty tired...



    ​​​​​​...As does the clutch. Guess I'll add that to the list.



    This thing is diiiirty. Everything will need a hot tank.


    The all-too-common upper chain guide failure. It'll be replaced with the Besain part.



    The head looks good, just dirty. The valves all have uniform coloring and no signs of damage.


    Same for the pistons.


    Found this potentially terminal bit of metal in the pan after I pulled it off. Decision to rebuild the engine: validated. I looked at every piece of the engine and can't figure out where this came from. This engine was lucky it didn't find the timing or oil chains.


    My camera refused to focus on it, but this is the front oil pickup screen. With a hole in it. A bit of research told me that S54 screens are know to start coming apart with age, but not quite like this. Also they're not individually replaceable; you have to buy the whole thing. For 750. I'm going to try to find a suitable replacement and weld it on. If not, peace out 750 bucks...


    The crank looks good, with no gouging or nicks. A good cleaning and a micropolish and it'll be good to go.

    And now the bit anyone who knows S54's has been waiting for: the bearings.




    Holy hell. It's a good thing I opted for a rebuild.


    Also the mains. This is the worst one. Change your oil regularly kids!


    The bores look good minus this strange bit of corrosion. Fingers crossed a re-hone will clean it up.

    Now that I know what I'm working with I pulled the trigger on some rebuild bits:

    -OEM top and bottom end seal kits
    -Various one-time-use bolts
    -Timing and oil pump chains
    ​​-Water pump
    -Belts and auxiliary pulleys
    -Plugs and coils
    -VAC/ATI vibration damper

    Once the block and crank get a once-over from the machine shops I'll order up bearings, rings, and possibly pistons (if an overbore is required.

    Also still need to select a flywheel/clutch combo. Does anyone have any recommendations for an S54 flywheel/clutch? I'm trying to avoid idle chatter if possible since this is mainly a street car, but I'm willing to give up some comfort for those sweet sweet S54 revs.
    Last edited by -J-; 02-27-2020, 10:39 AM. Reason: Accidentally hit post too soon. Also, formatting.

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  • D.Martijn
    replied
    Here's a link to the lachssilber door I found;
    https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-...98724-223-9397

    Leave a comment:


  • -J-
    replied
    Originally posted by D.Martijn

    This, You'd be suprised how good it might look. In the meantime you can search for a replacement.
    I've found one on Ebay-Kleinanzeigen (German craigslist) in the same color as yours, 60€.
    That's way cheaper than I expected. Do you have a link?

    Originally posted by 2mAn View Post

    Yup, I had a smaller banged rear quarter panel and when I went to the PDR guy he literally pushed the panel from the inside and got 80% of it out and then spent about an hour smoothing it out to get it back to 98% Its only obvious when you look really close.

    Give it a shot, I walked away with money in the pocket
    Originally posted by rzerob

    Maybe it is the angle of the pictures but that does not look that bad. I have seen PDR guys pull out way worse than that. It will need some body work and paint to make it perfect but that does not look like you have to replace it.
    I thought about that initially as well. However when I went to the body shop for the quote they pointed out that the door frame itself was tweaked. When the door is shut the ends are pulled in ever so slightly. That said, the tech said that it might be possible to bang it out but based on the amount of work required to bring it back it'd cost about the same to get a new door. I mentioned that it'd have to come from Europe and he didn't seem phased.

    I haven't gotten a shipping quote yet, but in the meantime I'll try to pound it out (giggity) and see what I get. It's not like it's going to look worse.

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  • rzerob
    replied
    Maybe it is the angle of the pictures but that does not look that bad. I have seen PDR guys pull out way worse than that. It will need some body work and paint to make it perfect but that does not look like you have to replace it.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2mAn
    replied
    Originally posted by D.Martijn View Post

    This, You'd be suprised how good it might look. In the meantime you can search for a replacement.
    I've found one on Ebay-Kleinanzeigen (German craigslist) in the same color as yours, 60€.
    Yup, I had a smaller banged rear quarter panel and when I went to the PDR guy he literally pushed the panel from the inside and got 80% of it out and then spent about an hour smoothing it out to get it back to 98% Its only obvious when you look really close.

    Give it a shot, I walked away with money in the pocket

    Leave a comment:


  • D.Martijn
    replied
    Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
    Take off the door panel and hammer that thing out!
    This, You'd be suprised how good it might look. In the meantime you can search for a replacement.
    I've found one on Ebay-Kleinanzeigen (German craigslist) in the same color as yours, 60€.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2mAn
    replied
    Take off the door panel and hammer that thing out!

    Leave a comment:


  • Glaede
    replied
    Sorry about the door!

    If you have trouble finding a new door for a Touring, you could just get a door for a sedan and switch/weld over the upper window frame part from your damaged Touring door.
    My buddy did that once (10-15 years ago though, so can't remember the exact details). Or maybe I can source you a door here in Europe. I just think that shipping is gonna be crazy expensive from Denmark to US.

    Leave a comment:


  • mike.bmw
    replied
    Sucks about the door. Good luck getting it fixed. Post was a good read though!

    Leave a comment:


  • wworm
    replied
    aw MAN what a bummer of all bummers. Hope something comes through soon!

    Leave a comment:


  • -J-
    replied
    So, super long time with no update. Mostly because of this...



    ...But lets Tarantino this and jump back to where we left off.

    After letting the flares cure for a few days, I mounted them back up. The paint match was surprisingly good, but as I suspected the metallic didn't lay out as well as I would have liked. Time to get a real spray gun.


    Color matching was absolutely the right call.


    After all that suspension work an alignment was a must.


    Good enough. For those keeping track, that'd be 3,036lbs with driver and full fuel load.

    I dialed in about -2.5deg of camber up front and -2.0deg in the rear. Total front toe is around 0.5deg out with zero toe in the rear. Bars at full soft. Tire pressures at 34psi square. Front ride height at 169mm (at the front pinch welds) with 12mm of positive rake. Dampers retained their pre-work settings.

    Next up was diff break-in. I drove gingerly for the first hundred miles or so, especially from intersection turns. I followed that up with a few minutes of parking lot figure-8's. After that, I let the diff cool and swapped the fluid again (AMSOil Severe Gear 75w90). I also inspected the gear as best I could from the drain holes and didn't see anything concerning.


    Here's what came out. The oil's base color is the ruby red you see around the edges. The dark pool is all of the break-in particulates. There were some larger flakes, but they crumbled when handled so I'm not concerned.

    Following diff and engine oil changes I was finally able to beat on the car. Driving impressions: Holy shit. The grip is absurd. This thing can do no wrong in the corners. Every on-ramp is now a pin-it-'til-you-have-to-merge maneuver. The humble M20 could not possibly hope to spin these Michelins. Even with the aggressive setup the chassis is noticeably more stable on the highway. With the smaller DZ102's the fronts wanted to follow every groove in the busted-ass Michigan pavement. The ride is also markedly improved, which is the most surprising thing to me. I figured it'd get worse. I don't know whether to contribute the newfound ride stability to the PS4S construction or their larger size. It's likely a bit of both.

    All-in-all, mission accomplished. The chassis feels better in every way, and even though I'm sure I'll make setup changes as I explore the limits, I was pumped to have my car back and was loving every second of driving it. With summer winding down in Michigan and things mercifully cooling off, I decided it'd be the perfect time to road trip it. Some friends were going to compete in the Empire Hill Climb up near Traverse City and I had a wedding to attend on the West side so I packed a suite of tools, loaded up, and hit the road.


    The Empire Hill Climb was awesome. Pictured is the recce car ahead of Group 1 on grid, about to head out.

    There were a ton more spectators than I expected for a small hill climb in northern L.P. Michigan. I'm used to SCCA club racing where the spectators are either crew, friends, or family. This event seemed to draw people from all over. My friends were running an LS swapped FD RX7 as well as debuting their freshly Merc-V12 swapped 240Z. That thing is expectedly amazing: https://autoweek.com/article/diy/eng...12-datsun-280z. Following the hill climb I attended a wedding, and the Touring didn't skip a beat.

    The next morning I had to run to my mom's place to swap a valve cover on her Cruze to fix a rough idle. It was an easy enough job until I heard the sickening crunch of bending metal... My mom was living with a room mate at the time and shortly after arriving the room mate mentioned that she had to take off. I had parked her in, so before starting the car work I moved the Touring. She was amused to see a right hand drive car and made the typical do-you-deliver-mail-joke I've become accustomed to. No sooner had I turned the first wrench, I heard a dull thud. I was confused for a second but my mom's expression said everything I needed to know...


    I had unwittingly parked in the turn around portion of the driveway and despite having just seen me park there, my mom's room mate made the same turn she always does and put the mother of all door dings in my Touring-specific left rear door.

    I had a lot of.... feelings, lets say.... in that moment. I was doing my best to be civil but in my head I was screaming. I just kept staring at it and thinking "four months straight of work... only to get hit on the first weekend I have it out. How?" We exchanged insurance information and I finished the valve cover on the Cruze. As I drove away I screamed at no one in particular in the car. Just at the universe.

    After cooling down for a bit I took stock and realized it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. The door was hit basically square and there was only a scuff on the front door. The B-pillar was completely in tact. The rocker panel was untouched. The freshly installed flare, wheel, tire, and suspension were unscathed. The door still closed, the car still drove. It absolutely could have been worse.

    Mechanically the car is solid. Cosmetically, she's hurt. It certainly wasn't a show car before but now there was glaring body damage. I laughed to myself upon realizing that I always judged modded cars with body damage when I had seen them on the road. "Why would you spend all that money on parts before fixing the damage?!" Now I was that guy and it wasn't my fault. I don't judge anymore.

    A month or so of back-and-forth with the insurance company netted me about 1500 bucks for repairs. I wasn't happy with that but the insurance company wouldn't budge on the quote. They probably wrote it up as a US market sedan, despite having taken it to a shop that specialized in BMW's. Whatever. With Michigan's shitty no-fault system I'm glad I got anything at all. I slapped a comically-oversized bandage on the damage and drove the car until MDOT salted the roads.


    So, anybody got a Lachsilber Touring left-rear door they want to sell cheap?

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  • moatilliatta
    replied
    Originally posted by -J- View Post

    Interesting. Even the track-focused M cars run square?
    At the shop, the track / Race cars run:
    E36M 245/40R17 9 Wide
    E46M 275/35r18 or 285/645r18 slicks 10 Wide

    You can go wider, but rubbing becomes the battle under stock fenders.

    Zach

    Leave a comment:


  • -J-
    replied
    Originally posted by moatilliatta View Post
    Most track orentated E36, E46, E90 runs square setup.

    Most Rear / Mid engine Rear wheel drive cars are staggered.
    Interesting. Even the track-focused M cars run square?

    Leave a comment:


  • moatilliatta
    replied
    Most track orentated E36, E46, E90 runs square setup.

    Most Rear / Mid engine Rear wheel drive cars are staggered.
    Last edited by moatilliatta; 09-17-2019, 11:22 AM.

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  • -J-
    replied
    Originally posted by moatilliatta View Post
    Why 255s? 245’s fit 17x9 better IMO.

    Thought about going that route?
    I did. Here's the thought process: I'm trying to fit as much tire as possible in order to balance the chassis to the impending S54 swap. Most performance FR cars run stagger, including the M3's from E36 and up. I believe this is done to help balance corner exit traction, but I've never talked at length to a chassis engineer about stagger, so your guess is as good as mine. Using Tire Rack's tread width measurement, the average stagger for M3's is about 1.2in across the E36-E92 range. It's important to look at the Tire Rack measurement and not the notoriously unreliable DOT width rating for the reasons outlined here: https://motoiq.com/how-to-properly-select-and-size-tires-for-performance/2/. Since the Touring has more ass weight that the M cars, it should need less stagger, so I made a scientific wild-ass guess and shot for 0.8in. I know I can fit a 9.5in tire in the rear, so now I just needed to match the fronts to that. In the Continental sizing, the 255 measures to a 8.8in, resulting in a 0.8in stagger. Perfect.

    That said, the Conti 245/40 measures to 8.6in, which is very close, and has a 0.3in smaller diameter. The smaller diameter would only help fitment, and the chassis could be balanced out with bar and ride height tuning if necessary. If the 255's refuse to fit this could be an option.

    Leave a comment:

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