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Thread: Chaplian's Touring Build/Maintenance Log

  1. #1

    Chaplian's Touring Build/Maintenance Log

    First, I want to say thanks for having me!

    So I originally joined this site to find a ZHP 6MT sedan. Instead, I found a ZSP Auto Touring which I couldn't turn down. I figured I might as well make a build thread for it and attempt to update reasonably often. Well, onto the wagon/touring itself: It's an 03 Hellrot Touring with a black interior. It has ZSP, ZCW, and ZPP, and even had factory nav! It's a one owner car from Clearwater Beach in Florida, and actually had some maintenance done to it according to Carfax. I picked it up with 113k miles, and had it shipped to lovely Chicago (don't worry, this will be a summer/weekend only car that is stored in winter) in an enclosed trailer. Fun fact, I found the car browsing CarGurus on a Friday morning, and by lunch at work, I had put a deposit down on it. (This may be the definition of an impulse purchase.)

    Here it is at the dealer before it was loaded up:




    Had the car shipped in an enclosed trailer, where it was loaded up the next Friday. I actually used Chris from Supreme Auto Imports (great guy to deal with) and the car arrived way quicker than expected. I was actually in Dallas that weekend, and I only beat the car back home by about two and a half hours. I meant to grab pics of it coming off the trailer, but there were 45-60 mph winds and it was about 30 degrees, so I wanted to get home ASAP. The car was unloaded about a mile from my house, and it actually came off with the left rear tire flat. I had to run home, borrow my neighbor's battery powered Ryobi handheld compressor (damn you Ridgid for not having anything similar), and then run back. Luckily, the tire held air and the drive was fairly uneventful. Here it is happily tucked away in my garage next to my '95 Impala SS:



    The body of the car is a 8.5-9/10, it's actually better than pics they sent me, I don't think it's ever had any sort of bodywork done on it. Got all four keys with it, and the owner's manual! The NAV unit has been swapped out for a Dynavin N7 with a crappy rear camera install (only seems to work when you slam the tailgate shut a few times.) The backlit buttons don't turn on, so I need to pull it out and splice the wiring according to a doc I found online. Don't know what I'm going to do about the rear camera. The pillars are peeling, as is normal, and the rear trunk carpet panel that clips into the tailgate has broken clips so it falls off when you close it. Other than that, the interior is pretty mint.

    Mechanically, the car needs a bit of work. When I got it, it was hunting at idle, and there was a delay/hesitation on acceleration. The intake boots have been replaced, so I rebuilt the DISA and cleaned out the ICV. Car seems to be running a lot better, but the idle still isn't as solid as my other E46. The CCV is definitely suspect, and I can't decide if I want to retrofit the SULEV valve cover onto it, or just bite the bullet and replace the CCV. I will explain my reasoning for this a bit later. The ET was supposedly replaced at 95k miles along with the hoses and the idler pulley, but I'm just going to redo all of it anyway. I also have a fuel pump on order. The engine mounts are shot, and I think I can occasionally hear the mechanical fan hit the shroud, so that has got to go/be fixed.

    Suspension wise, the FCABs were replaced around 20-30k miles ago, and I have a feeling the control arms were also done, but I will eventually redo everything there too. The front struts are dead, so those are going to be changed very soon. I just can't decide if I want to do struts/shocks and springs and leave the control arms and tie rods alone for now, or just get it all out of the way at once. My bank account is already very unhappy with me, and my last minute decision to not sell my other E46 is definitely affect some of the fun money. The steering coupler is definitely shot, so that's on order also. Front brakes pulsate, so I have a set of 330i calipers and carriers with EBC red pads already sitting, just waiting for stainless steel brake lines and rotors to arrive. I'm also doing the front wheel bearings since I'll be in there anyway.

    Now, you may be wondering what my goals are for the car. As of right now, there are the following: A nice, summer weekend car I can drive on long road trips, daily if I want to, and autocross/hit the occasional track day. Suspension wise, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. I just can't decide what I want to do drivetrain wise. There are three main options I am looking at:

    1. Keep the 2.5, slap on a supercharger, and 6 speed manual swap.
    2. Swap to a 3.0, eventually supercharge it, and 6 speed manual swap.
    3. Go all in and build the wagon that BMW should have, and swap in a S54 and 6 speed.

    Option 3 is probably the best, but I am a bit (read: very) hesitant about the wiring and coding since I have never really touched any wiring/coding beyond wiring repairs/coding with PA Soft. If anybody has some guidance on that, that will be greatly appreciated. I think engine swaps are at least 1-2 years out, but the manual swap is my radar for the end of this year or the beginning of next.

    I welcome/love comments and discussion, and I will try to get some more pics of the car/some of the fixes I am going to do.

  2. #2
    I love it! I want to buy a Japan Red 325it so badly at this point, and as soon as I can, I will. My plan is to take my 330i/5's guts and just swap em right over into the 325it. Nice and cheap and it'll really give the touring the pep that it's always lacked from the factory.

    Stoked to see what you do with it!
    2003 Oxford Green ZSP 5MT 330i - Maintenance Thread

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by dannyzabolotny View Post
    I love it! I want to buy a Japan Red 325it so badly at this point, and as soon as I can, I will. My plan is to take my 330i/5's guts and just swap em right over into the 325it. Nice and cheap and it'll really give the touring the pep that it's always lacked from the factory.

    Stoked to see what you do with it!
    Thanks! Your Oxford Green 330i is awesome, I'd be sad if you ripped the drivetrain out of it. I would understand completely, but still be sad haha.


    As for what I did to the Touring for the past 2 days is:
    1. Front wheel bearings. I slid the old ones off by hand, so they were definitely due.
    2. Next was the 330i brake upgrade. Meyle Coated rotors with EBC Red pads, and rebuilt calipers.
    3. Stainless steel brake lines since I was in there anyway.
    4. Steering Coupler.
    5. New external headlight gaskets/seals.
    6. Replaced the missing antenna on the back.
    7. Replaced the missing BMW logo on one of the center caps.

    (Very exciting stuff, I know.)








    The steering is way better, and finally has road feel without an inch of play. However, while I was under there, I noticed the tie rod boots were torn pretty badly on both sides. Also took a pry bar to the control arms, and noticed an ever-so-slight amount of movement, so it looks like I'm overhauling the front end a bit sooner than I was hoping to. I was going to do engine mounts soon anyway, so I'll knock it all out at once.



    Once the gas tank gets down to a 1/4 tank, I'll replace the fuel pump and fuel regulator also. Speaking of which, I should order the fuel pump relay and swap that out just in case. (Being the owner of a SULEV whose fuel pump failed makes me very, very cautious about fuel systems.)

    It's also really weird working on a Florida car. Everything is so rust-free and doesn't fight you tooth and nail. I had the coupler on and off in about... 15 minutes?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,630
    Wow, great list of stuff.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    5,236
    Oh, boy. How did I miss this one ? ... Congrats !
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    146,000 miles

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    3,876
    Ton of work! Welcome.
    CDV delete, KONI STR-T & KYB Excel-G, Weisslichts, Stewart H2O pump....
    http://s900.photobucket.com/user/othibau/media/Junesig.jpg.html][IMG]http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac208/othibau/Junesig.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    98

  8. #8
    So, I am definitely a couple months worth of updates behind on this thread, I got caught up in my race to get the car 'ready' for summer 2019.

    The first weekend of April, my buddy informed he planned on completely overhauling his Supra's suspension (it's a MKIV) over the course of Friday afternoon and Saturday. We thought it would be totally feasible to replace all the control arms in the front and rear of the car with adjustable and rebuild-able units, along with installing some coilovers. (Spoilers: we didn't make it.)

    I drove home after work, grabbed a bunch of my tools (the trunk area of the wagon was full), and headed on over to start wrenching. This a New Jersey car with 165k miles, so we had our work cut out for us. The body's actually in amazing shape in terms of straightness and rust, but it has a crap paint job, which I am guessing was performed by the PO's high school aged kids. We fought with the front end for just about the whole afternoon and decently late into the night on Friday, and even had to whip out the propane torch. I don't care what anyone says, E46s are way easier to work on than Supras. Some of the design choices made by the design team at Toyota were just mind boggling. We were supposed to do sway bars also, but after taking a look at what the front would we require, we gave up and pushed that off until a later date.

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    Here's a great picture of one of the many issues we ran into: you have to unbolt and move the washer fluid tank to get the upper control arm bolt out. Genius design move.

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    The new suspension did look damn good, however. In the end, we got the front done, and only a part of the rear.

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    The wagon was great, however. It ended up serving as a parts hauler for the weekend, and ferrying us to various locations, such as a machine shop, Dunkin Donuts, and various parts stores. It was even great driving it around on some of the twisty roads in the area, even on its completely blown suspension.

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    Definitely more posts coming soon, I have at least a couple posts worth of backlog.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,630
    LIKE

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  10. #10
    Well, back to doing work on the actual wagon. After refreshing the brakes in the front and seeing the state of some of the items, I decided I should tackle two ticking time bombs: The mechanical fan, and the fuel pump.

    First up was the mechanical fan. I actually forgot to take pictures of this, for which I apologize. Overall, this was a pretty simple job, the hardest part was seating the pulley holder tool onto the water pump pulley. I removed the air box and top intake piece to give myself some room, placed the fan clutch tools on, and gave it a push (remember, it's left handed thread.) The old fan clutch actually didn't look too bad, and the fan blades seemed to be in good shape, but I didn't want to chance it. Dropped the new fan, plugged it in, and left the old aux fan in place just in case. While I was in there, all of the pulleys and belts look new, and the alternator has been replaced with an remanufactured alternator from BMW. I may still replace the water pump, just for the peace of mind, even though I am fairly certain it has already been replaced.

    Next piece of business was the fuel pump, also not hard. First piece of business was driving the car until the gas tank was nearly empty. I got it down to about a gallon left in the tank, I believe.

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    After driving home from work on fumes, it was time to pull the pump. Overall, pretty easy job, just pop the rear seat off, peel back the insulation, unscrew the four bolts holding on the cover plate, and voila. I used the tried and true mallet and screwdriver method to take the lock ring off. I bought a new lock ring, new seal, and a new VDO/Siemens pump.

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    The old pump was definitely the original, but seems to be in good shape. It has gone into my ever-growing pile of spare parts.

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    I installed the pump, seal, and lock ring, and fired the car up to check for leaks. Before putting the seat back, I drove it to the gas station to fill up. Man, it's loud without the cover, sound deadening, and seat installed.

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    And I believe this confirms my thought that I only had a gallon of fuel left, unless the tank is bigger than the 16.5 gallons I remember it being.

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    After I put everything back together, the car seemed to be idling better, and seemed to run smoother. I don't know if the old fuel pump was in a soft-failure mode, or if I'm experiencing the placebo affect, but I'll take it. MPG seems to have improved a wee bit also, but that may be due to the new fuel filter I installed also.

    I planned on covering the rear suspension rebuild in this post also, but I seem to have rambled a bit too much, so that will be in the next few days.

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