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Thread: What's going on in my shop currently...

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Austin, Tx
    Posts
    122
    I"m trying to take the day off, which turns out means I'm just at my desk instead of the shop lol. Here's an update I forgot to post here.

    Updates are a bit lacking mainly because I have been working on a few big projects and I wanted to finish them before posting or let the owner post if they want to. Here are some of highlights.


    I'm trying to focus my own extracuricular activities and that includes a specific track car. In the past I've used whichever car was most sorted at the time, but there was always a concern of bining my nice car, enter Eileen the '02 325iT. She was bought cheaply off of craigslist, then I got her running and started striping out non essentials.






    A cheap set of coilovers, lots of camber, tire and a nice alignment.








    I then loaded her up and headed to Hallett Motor Racing Circuit with absolutely no testing... what could go wrong, lol. Luckily nothing did, the car did great and was a total blast. HMRC is a fantastic track, I can't wait to go back. A couple of BMW CCA chapters joined forces to set up this event and it was great. Highly recommend, I will be back there next year 9/18-20/2020, mark your calendars.






    After that I didn't do much, just drove her around a bit and then back on the trailer last weekend to Motorsports Ranch Cresson with The Driver's Edge. This was just an easy trip, just my wife and I. The wagon was the talk of the paddock, lol, everyone loved seeing the long roof hussle around the track.






    We woke up to some extreme fog, but it quickly burned off and turned out to be a great day.




    This is a link to a video of me chasing down a setup 330Ci, check the wagon out break him multiple times, so much fun!




    One of my customers was racing a CoTA for the WRL end of season endurance race. They blew up the engine in the car saturday afternoon and decided to swap it overnight. I went out Sunday and helped them trouble shoot and tie up some loose ends.













    Click the pic for a Video from one of the bridges.




    JaWillis, another friend and I then spent some time on the dyno testing S54 conversion muffler setups. The final info is still being compiled.










    And swapped a M54B30, 6MT, and B30 front brakes and rear suspension into a Geo31's touring.







    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Gray 332iT, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT, '04 IR ZHP Sedan

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    184
    Fantastic update, thanks!

    I'm interested to see the outcome of the muffler-shootout. I know you mentioned final numbers are still being compiled, but any surprises you could share in the mean time?

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    886
    Hey George, your updates are great! Thank you for sending them out.
    I am glad to see so many cool tourings!


    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,972
    That is living the life, what a blast. Thanks for the updates.
    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. #45
    Damn. I was at Hallet, saw your car there. I wasn't driving but my brother was there in the green group with my Supercharged Topaz Blue 330i. Hallet is pretty awesome.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Austin, Tx
    Posts
    122
    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Fantastic update, thanks!

    I'm interested to see the outcome of the muffler-shootout. I know you mentioned final numbers are still being compiled, but any surprises you could share in the mean time?
    Thanks Will, I didn't realize anyone replied until I got a notification this morning. I need to compile the data and update the post, but the jist is the Stromung, BMW Performance and Dinan made 315whp+/-, Everything else (incl the SS) made 307whp+/-, the 325 did made some good numbers initially but dropped off hard as we made more pulls. Stromung is loud, BMW Performance is NLA and hard to find. The ideal muffler is either the Dinan or ZHP IMO.


    Quote Originally Posted by RUS_ZHP View Post
    Hey George, your updates are great! Thank you for sending them out.
    I am glad to see so many cool tourings!


    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    Thanks, you'll love this next update then.


    Quote Originally Posted by johnrando View Post
    That is living the life, what a blast. Thanks for the updates.
    I'm trying, lol.


    Quote Originally Posted by GMBBS View Post
    Damn. I was at Hallet, saw your car there. I wasn't driving but my brother was there in the green group with my Supercharged Topaz Blue 330i. Hallet is pretty awesome.
    Was it a sedan? I think I recall it, I'm hoping to come back this year, stop by and say hi.
    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Gray 332iT, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT, '04 IR ZHP Sedan

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Austin, Tx
    Posts
    122
    Another S54 wagon is done. Matt (MJWeimer on the forum here) sent me his gorgeous 2001 325/5MT for the full treatment. If there was ever a "unicorn" this is probably it. Alpine white, black interior, manual, RWD and a slicktop. And Matt has done a fanatical job of keeping it pristine with subtle mods here and there that you don't even notice unless you really look at the car. Now I have to start off with saying this is one of the nicest E46s I have seen in a long time, I don't think it is to much of a stretch to say this car is about as close as you could get to a time capsule. It was quite a honor to be a part of this cars history.

    *Also note, this forum post while lengthy is still just a general overview of what we did for this car. There is so much work that goes into one of these projects it's hard to document each and every little item.

    *From looking at these pics you will see that none of the body work was touched, but otherwise EVERYTHING under the car was removed (minus brake lines) and just about everything from the windows down in the hatch and just about everything windows down in front of the seats. A build like this is an extensive undertaking.

    The goal for the build was to make a slightly sharper version of a S54 M3 touring if BMW was to make one. We did not stray to far away from stock where possible and added just a few touches here and there where we could get away with it. The number one goal was to make the car a pleasure to drive and so most of the parts were picked with NVH in mind. Here is the pile of parts we started with.




    For any of these conversions to do them "right" you need a donor car, there are just to many small items that should be transfered over that would nickel and dime you to death if bought separetly. Another customer of mine put us onto a relatively low mile convertible in Houston. It just so happens Matt has family that way and they set up the purchase and then my wife and I headed down there and picked up the car.




    And a few days later the touring was shipped in... had to pick it up with another S54 touring (JAWillis72).




    Most all E46s have Takata airbags in them which are mostly under a replacement recall. Matt's passenger side needed the airbag replaced and so I worked with BMW and got that done for him as well, the drivers was the newer style already.




    The convertible had been seen for an extended period of time, just because no real reason it appears. It was a bit dirty and cosmetically it was pretty rough, so no tears were shed when it's fate was determined, certainly a worthy
    candidate for the swap.














    M3 engine bay aftermath:




    Engine is disassembled to a shortblock for cleaning and maintenance.




    And cleaned up.






    Bottom end coming apart for new rod bearings. Unless we have history of these being replaced recently (not just for the recall) then these get replaced, this is a must for any of my swaps.




    And this is why:




    Oil pump disassembled, cleaned and inspected, no damage found so it got put back together and installed.




    Next is the Vanos, this is another item that is not negotiable, they get sorted out as part of a swap. There are a multiple issues with this part of the engine.
    1. The bolts the attach the timing chain sprockets to the cams can loosen, the fix is new hardware loctited in place
    2. The high pressure oil pump in the Vanos is driven by (2) tabs on the exhaust cam hub. These tabs can break off and the theory is there is to loose of a tolerance between the hub tabs and the bores of the oil pump. The accepted repair is to drill new holes in the pump for a tighter clearance to the tabs.
    3. The upper chain guide breaks, Beisan Systems which is the pioneer behind fixing all of these Vanos issues makes a chain guide replacement.
    4. The Vanos oil accumulator line can fatigue from vibration and crack, BMW implemented a new design with multiple mounting locations.
















    The engine went back on the cleaned subframe which got new control arms and bushings. From there the Euro headers were installed, RMS replaced and the JBRacing lightweight flywheel and stock clutch pulled from the donor were reinstalled.






    Next was the rear suspension. This was mostly good to go, so the only things we replaced were the subframe bushings and RTAB/J.








    Ball joints in place of the RTAB is my new favorite modification. I will not install poly bushings or limiters in these locations so its stock rubber or ball joints. They really seem to sharpen the rear of the car, these particular ones are from Syncro Design Works. David the owner is a very helpful guy and even has a E46 Touring track car!




    The final drive was removed and all bushings were replaced, along with all of the seals and gaskets.

    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Gray 332iT, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT, '04 IR ZHP Sedan

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Austin, Tx
    Posts
    122
    Now into the touring phase, rear end coming apart.






    And after a good power washing.




    And going back together with the M3 parts.






    There are lot's of heat shields and insulation specific to the M3, all of these were transferred over, even if the difference was just a "M3" embossed on it, it was swapped.




    S54 in the touring.






    Front suspension and brakes assembled, Koni M3 shocks and struts with Dinan M3 springs. Calipers painted black, Stoptech rotors and Akebono pads with stainless steel brake lines.




    Euro Cats installed. Wiring was completed using the Euro transmission wiring harness and wiring looms. (1) of the US O2 sensors had to be modified as it is to long.










    Matt's wagon had the electric fan setup and we decided to keep it as opposed to installed the aux fan in front of the core support and mechanical fan on the engine. The tourings electric fan is to "tall" for the M3 radiator and oil cooler
    setup, so I modified the electric fan shroud and expansion tank bracket and it turned out quite well.




    Starting on the wiring. I used to pull the entire body harness from the donors, but that is just to much work, lol. So now I cut the front carpets at the seats and then cut the harness there and remove the entire front section.






    One of the subharnesses I had to assemble. The '01 while it has a MK60 DSC it uses the old style separate DSC sensors. So we converted it to the new style sensor and wired it in.








    During disassembly of the touring I observed it was low on refrigerant, this doesn't get discussed as much as other items but in Texas it is much more common and just as costly to remedy as the Vanos or Rod bearings (if doing as
    preventative). So I inspected the A/C system and found the evaporator was leaking, which is what I expected from experience. This job requires removing the dash to pull the heater case out to get at the evaporator. We decided this
    was the time to do that and it would allow a more proper routing of the wiring.






    It's hard to photograph but in the middle of the evap you can see discoloration and debris, that is where the oil from the refrigerant builds up on the core and traps dirt indicating a leak.






    With the dash out the wiring was completed, which included running wires to the instrument cluster, SZM (switch center in the console), fuse box, IHKA and DSC sensor (under the drivers seat carpet). I also removed some old wiring
    for a radar detector.








    It also allowed for an easier time routing the wires into the E-box. Most just go through the vent opening, but I pulled the cover and routed the wires through the loom with the original wire set.




    This is ready for assembly. If you look closely you can see some of the wires I ran as the loom is wrapped tightly in spots and I try not to disturb the factory wrap is possible.




    And the E-box all back together with the MSS54 DME installed.




    Interior going back together.




    Next was the hatch area to swap out the shocks. Rear shock mounts were installed to facilitate removal from the bottom so this should never have to happen again, lol.




    VIN, Correct mileage and M-Track mode coded to cluster (which was also modified for the rear door indicators, not shown).




    And then last minute we swapped the original 325iT bezel on after Mark (MarkSeven) suggested it for his touring.




    Engine bay is just about done here. We chose the Dinan CAI as it is a clean modification but then allows us to use the non-M3 headlight as the Xenon control module is in the way of the M3 airbox. The donor headlights were not in as good of shape as the tourings. Note: the BK E36 washer tank solution. Matt requested this as i would generally have pushed for the M3 tank since he has the MTech2 bumper. But after the install I am happy with this setup and would
    certainly install one again.




    On the alignment rack with my old wheels to ensure the AC's don't get scratched.




    This build wasn't without issues. We had a few crop up. There was some noise from the transmission at low RPM and with the clutch pedal fully released, sligth pressure would make it go away. I pulled the transmission back out and found the throughout bearing had some defects. I normally apply a very slight amount of grease to the throughout bearing (even though BMW says not to) and this time I assembled it dry as per BMW. But after seeing the bearing I put a new bearing in it and went back with my old grease method and no issues.




    Secondly, after a bit of miles were put on it I discovered a an odd clutch operation issue only at high(er) RPM. It turned out to be something in the clutch/flywheel system. When we intially assembled the car Matt and I decided to reuse the LW Flywheel but after some time of driving it and now this clutch issue we decided to go back to a DM Flywheel. But since we suspected something in the clutch, the transmission came out again and this time we replaced the clutch and flywheel and that fixed the last of the issues. Considering how much work went into this build I am ok with that being the worst of the problems and otherwise has been extremely trouble free. And now headed back home.






    Matt sent me this picture with the car home with his wife's ZHP.




    I'd like to wrap this up with one last picture.




    I was going to go out on a Sunday morning cruise with some guys from the area CCA chapter. I had a couple of car options, but still wanting to put shakedown miles on Matts touring I asked if I could take it out. He without hesitation said yes (and it would have been fine if he had said no). When I met the guys there was a lot of interest in the touring because it is so clean, then someone said "What's under the hood, that doesn't sound like a M54." I showed them the car and we all started talking. I mentioned this was a customers car and they all looked shocked like I can't believe a customer would let you do that.

    As the morning drive progressed I thought about that last statement and as I think about all of my customers, there is not a single one that I wouldn't ask and expect to get the same reply. When I left the dealership to open my own shop I would not have imagined to be where I am now. I am very fortunate to be allowed to work on these cars but more importantly am glad to have met so many people I would call friends and appreciate the relationships I have formed with them. This build just highlights why I am doing this and am thankful Matt gave me the opportunity to be a part of it.
    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Gray 332iT, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT, '04 IR ZHP Sedan

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    5,688
    This is amazing, I always enjoy your updates. Great pics and detailed info. Just curious, where does Matt live ? I don't see TX registration stickers on his cars.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    150,000 miles

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    16,972
    Def awesomeness going on in here.
    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

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