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Old 03-22-2011, 11:21 PM   #1
SoloII36
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E36 - '92 325IS Coupe build thread - AutoX/DD

I've been on this forum for a bit, seems like a great community with lots of activity. I made a build thread on my local autox forum but I figured I would toss one up here too.

Here goes:

The car is a high Km 325IS that was offered to me by my father. It's a solid car that needed some work. I live in the Maritimes and the car and my father were in Kitchener so I booked a flight and came up for a little over a week.

The plan was to strip down a parts car and swap a manual transmission into the coupe. The task was fairly ambitious for the limited time we had but I had access to a shop, air tools and a hoist so how hard could it be?

Here was the car when we started.








The first couple days went as follows:









The stripping down process was fun, nothing was going back on that particular car so that made life a little easier.

Engine ready to come out for good,


out!


the shop is starting to fill up a little
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:22 PM   #2
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after a couple days this is what was left, we pushed the chassis outside and then jacked it up and took the subframes out. Not much left of her after we were done.





Kind of sad really...



Well that's it for tonight, I have more to post and lots more to the story. I'll update soon.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
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So this is part of what we were left with from the parts car.



Most of this stuff is going on the coupe. The front struts are in good shape but they are for the pre-05/92 suspension. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to use the struts but I took a few measurements and it seemed like they should fit in the coupe, which is a '92 as well but it's a post May version.



The center bit was a smaller diameter than the opening in the coupe's strut tower so this strut fits, but a newer strut likely wouldn't fit the pre-May 92



Anyway... on to the task at hand. The shop was ready to pull the red car in and start turning it from boring auto to fun manual

We started taking apart the red car to get at the transmission. The plan was to drop the tranny with everything still on the car.









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Old 03-23-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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looking good so far man, keep the pics coming!!!!!
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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We got as far as taking the intake manifold off before we realized that we were in for a little bit more work. Cylinder number 4 (from the front) had some pretty green fluid in it....





So there were two options:

1. Leave the motor in and fix the leak problem later.
2. Swap in a spare motor that came out of another parts car, this motor had less than 200k on it (the motor in the car was around 350k)

We elected to go for the more difficult and time consuming route of swapping in the other motor instead of leaving a problem engine in. I had to make a 2000km journey in less than a week so the last thing i wanted was a bad motor on a long road trip.

The process of taking apart the front-end began...


I'm a big fan of the whole front of the car being removable.









Here is the "new" engine, it's nice to have all sorts of parts kicking around.

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Old 03-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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Very nice build with pictures to show each step Love it!
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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Work continued on the engine swap. Having a shop and proper tools was really quite useful in this process.

Anyway, on to the pictures:











Hoists FTW!




Engine out!



Here are the old plugs, the wet one was in cylinder 4
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:00 PM   #8
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Not much to explain here, the "new" engine went in and the process of hooking everything back up started.



Here she is getting ready to find a new home


Bam!





Poor sad broken engine and GM transmission


Had to modify the stock plastic to fit the clutch pedal.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:10 PM   #9
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Alright, now we had to get it all back together and running.

I had to zip tie the clutch hose as there wasn't a little bracket where I thought it would be.


Had to grab this little guy and slide the little black bit all the way forward, now the car thinks it is in park. (I'm sure there is a better way to do this, if you have any input pm me or let me know here.)




Got it all back together, but just couldn't get it to start. We were overtired and at a loss for what to do. Then we plugged the Auto Tranny ECU back in...turns out that needs to be plugged in




Auto tranny computer!


It lives!



Got all the fluids changed up and backed her out



And here she is all ready to make the journey back to PEI (I crossed my fingers at this point)




The rest of the day was spent packing up the car and getting ready for the trip in the morning. Still couldn't believe I was doing this while we were packing up the car.

For anyone wondering why the stance is all funny (front looks all jacked up) we had time to do the rear suspension with the H&R Sport springs but didn't get time to swap out the front suspension. I really should have thrown the stock rear springs in, but oh well.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:06 PM   #10
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WOAHH MANN absolutely amazing! Loved the pictures. I really like those rims too, where would one pick those up from?? I've been searching for a while now.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:36 PM   #11
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the car looks to be in pretty good shape. good luck on your trip back
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
SoloII36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M325i View Post
WOAHH MANN absolutely amazing! Loved the pictures. I really like those rims too, where would one pick those up from?? I've been searching for a while now.
I'd like to know what they are too, they came on the parts car. They are made in the US and I have yet to measure the offset.


Anyway, I made it home without an issue (which i found hard to believe) and drove the car all summer last year. The suspension needed a huge rebuild, most every bushing on the car is shot and in need of replacement.

Here she is back home resting for a bit and getting an oil change, next on the agenda was to swap in a set of M3 brakes (from euroguy) and the Bilstein/H&R front suspension.




Unfortunately I lost a bunch of pictures last fall, so I'm not sure if they'll turn up somewhere ever. Anyway, I didn't do a whole lot with the car last fall other than the M3 brake swap and the front suspension. As you can see here it really helped the look of the front to drop it.



This is how it sat before I put it away for the winter, new paint this spring I hope. I'm going with Hellrot, not much of a change but I like the look of any Hellrot e36 I've seen.





Here it is as it sits right now. I have the rear suspension dropped and I'm redoing some bushings. I need to get it back together pretty quick, the next month or so should be fun.





Here is a sneak peak at some bushings I machined in the past few months, there are more to come. I will update here.

Subframe bushings, I thought about making these out of Delrin (I still might make Delrin ones, solid should be fun anyway)



I needed new front control arm bushings, so I made these: the insert is delrin

Last edited by SoloII36; 04-04-2011 at 11:14 AM. Reason: wrong pic
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
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Very nice ... keep posting up the build pics
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:16 PM   #14
///M325i
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AWESOME DUDE!! The front suspension made a huge difference to the stance of the car, looks way better like this.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:07 AM   #15
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enjoyed every part of your build dude.....
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