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E46 Touring
The E46 touring forum. Talk about your sport wagon E46 here.

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Old 07-30-2019, 11:39 PM   #21
George Hill
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Since the last update I had the #44 and #88 M3 endurance race cars in the shop for some minor maintenance before a trackday at CoTA. Nothing to crazy just normal stuff that happens when cars get beat on repeatedly. Then I went out to the event and hung out with my friends from Soul Speed Performance who were offering support for these and a few other cars that night. It was pretty cool to see these two cars that I had a hand in building mixing it up with McLarens, Lamborghinis and Porsches (to name a few) at CoTA during their night event.




























My buddy Joe, is climbing the highest point of every state and Colorado was on his list. I sent him off with my wife's wagon and he picked up this great Natural Brown interior from Lawlence in Denver during his trip. I don't think it fits with Steel Gray so I'm not sure what will happen with it, but hopefully I'll find a slicktop in blue or white to swap this into.




The next big project is a E39 525iTa getting a M54B30/5MT conversion. The owner bought a complete sedan donor car and was extremely lucky to find one that was a stick shift as well. Overseas you could get a 530iT so we are basically using that formula to build this one with plan being to swap everything 3L/5MT over but reuse the automatic 3.46 rear gear (manual is 2.93). From there we will install the 530 front calipers and replace all the brake pads and rotors as well as all (6) rubber brake lines for stainless steel parts.






I applaud you guys who do engine swaps in the driveway without a lift, I've done them that way in the past, but what a miserable experience that is. I'm spoiled now and don't even use a engine crane.






During the conversion we focused on the driveline first. We replaced any wear item and nearly every gasket, only some of the extensive parts list made the pictures.








Everything was very grungy so there is almost as much time in cleaning as there is in the mechanical work.
















And started on the pedal conversion.






I also have been acquiring parts for my track wagon project. It is planned to be a M54B30/ZF5spd based setup. I have a 323iT as a donor, but want the larger suspension and brake components from the 330 cars and a spare M54B30 is always welcomed. I ended up finding a donor sedan in Houston on Facebook Marketplace. It came with an extra set of M-Sport wheels, it has a black sport interior, a complete drivetrain (auto trans), HARD motorsports over fenders, M3 replica front bumper, MTech2 replica side skirts, Megan Racing coilovers and some other misc items. I already sold the coilovers and factoring in how much the over fenders would cost me, the car is almost free at this point, SCORE!





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Old 07-31-2019, 09:13 AM   #22
yjsaabman
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I can identify with you on using a lift. I'm currently doing a trans in my Jeep in my driveway and my shoulders are complaining. Lol! Currently pricing my options, and also scouting CL for 5 speed Cherokee to donate its stick shift bits, but haven't found a donor suitable to my budget, yet.

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Old 07-31-2019, 11:13 AM   #23
markseven
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It's cool that McLaren owners actually track their cars.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:23 AM   #24
Steve M3
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The 5er is cool, but not as cool as getting to go to that track day

Sounds like you got a steal on the sedan from fb!
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:19 PM   #25
Bennett
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Looks like some great projects and work George!

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Old 08-10-2019, 11:24 PM   #26
George Hill
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More work going on with the E39 touring. The swap is basically done, just putting miles on the car and buttoning up the odds and ends.

Wiring is pretty straightforward. Wired in the clutch switches, one for starting and one for cruise control. Robbed the wiring out of the parts car and wired it in to the factory locations for an OE install. The cruise wire has to go all the way to the DME and its a bit more of a pain, but worked out well.








We wanted to use the automatic final drive, but the CV flange for the input shaft is 80mm on the auto and 86mm on manual. To use the manual driveshaft on the auto final drive I ended up swapping the pinion flange. I'm normally not a fan of this option as I am always leery of the different flange changing the pinion depth. I pulled both flanges and measured their thickness and both are withing .25mm so I think it's going to be fine in this application.




One of my wagons we refer to as No Lights and No Surprises killed its auto transmission a few months ago. I've been putting off fixing the wagon because I really didn't want to spend money putting in a replacement auto trans as I have been thinking about manual swapping it. But as it would be the E39 trans is the same. I ended up putting in the E39 trans into the E46. Here is the old trans, the front pump bushing welded itself to the torque converter, killed the seal and then puked it's fluid out.








"Phyllis" the E46 endurance race car came in for an engine swap and then swapped the Evolve plenum to the Karbonius. Sitting on the stand I wasn't into the red valve cover, but in the car I like it quite well.




Next up an E92 M3 was in for rod bearing replacement.




He had a blackstone labs analysis done on the oil and no red flags were found. We ended up replacing the rod bearings for peace of mind and good thing we did. These bearings only have 78xxx miles on them and (5) of the upper bearings are showing copper. We used BE bearings and their spec'd ARP rod bearing bolts.








Also got new engine mounts and an engine ground strap



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Old 08-14-2019, 11:28 AM   #27
Steve M3
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The E9x M3s are tempting at their current pricing, but their need for new bearings is no joke!
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:55 PM   #28
George Hill
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Well the E39 Touring is done and I must say it sure is fun to drive. Why BMW didn't import this setup into the US is beyond, it completely transformed the driving experience of the wagon. The leather was deteriorated and the seat adjustment cables were shrunk so we also took the opportunity to refresh the seat and get it back in lines with the rest of the car.








Started prepping for an E46 M3 SMG conversion. I try to keep all aspects of the repair and modifications for any job in house so I machine the bell housings as needed for missing components. You can save some money by using used parts but the price difference usually doesn't make it worth it knowing all the parts are brand new. And we are coupling this with an Auto Solutions shifter. This one is still in process as like most things we've added to the scope of the build and are now waiting on parts.








Next picked up a couple of parts car for future builds...

1. This is a clean 115k miles 330/6MT car that rolled out of the owners garage, down the driveway, across the street, down an embankment and blasted a tree. Needless to say it's totalled, but it's perfect for us as the damage was 100% cosmetic. It ran and drove onto the trailer.












2. This is a 330/5MT slated for a wagon. When you buy a car at auction this is how they deliver it to the trailer. I've got a video on my Instagram page, but not sure how to link it here @HillPerformanceBimmers.








One of my customers and his son have a 318ti. They got a good deal on a 323cic parts car and did the heavy lifting by swapping the 6 cylinder long block into the ti. Then brought it to me to finish, big project but turned out well and rounded out with a M50 intake manifold conversion and a custom tune. This little thing rips, very fun car to drive.






One of the original S54 wagons was dropped off for some refreshing. The orient blue car was built around 2010 and has been owned by Juliann here since 2011. In a weird twist of coincidence Jason was looking for a S54 for his wagon conversion (the silver gray car). We found one and when we went to purchase it we found out it was the engine from Julianns car. We rebuilt it and stuffed it in Jason's wagon and here they are reunited, lol.

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=826372

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Old 09-01-2019, 10:34 PM   #29
markseven
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Nice update, George. Fun projects, as always.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:54 AM   #30
mjweimer
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That 318Ti should be a fun little car - awesome build.

Holy #$%! I cannot imagine what would be going through my mind if I walked out to the garage, found my car had disappeared, and then find it down a hill. What a bummer.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:18 AM   #31
yjsaabman
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How much for that grey-green Mtech1 bumper shipped to PA?!?! Lol!! That left corner is too rough to just bolt it on, though.

Great stuff as always, George. Wish I was closer to you.

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Last edited by yjsaabman; 09-02-2019 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:15 AM   #32
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yjsaabman View Post
How much for that grey-green Mtech1 bumper shipped to PA?!?! Lol!! That left corner is too rough to just bolt it on, though.

Great stuff as always, George. Wish I was closer to you.

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I think the Mtech bumper is also mangled. I'll have to see if I can still get to the auction photos still.

[edit]. Checked the pics. Some scuffing that might buff out. I'd imagine the mounting bracket is torn off. George could verify both for you. I haven't seen it in person yet.
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Last edited by Geo31; 09-02-2019 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:14 AM   #33
Onizukachan
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A great look behind the curtain, George. Thanks.
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If I were to give my Touring a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.

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Old 09-03-2019, 08:00 AM   #34
George Hill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yjsaabman View Post
How much for that grey-green Mtech1 bumper shipped to PA?!?! Lol!! That left corner is too rough to just bolt it on, though.

Great stuff as always, George. Wish I was closer to you.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo31 View Post
I think the Mtech bumper is also mangled. I'll have to see if I can still get to the auction photos still.

[edit]. Checked the pics. Some scuffing that might buff out. I'd imagine the mounting bracket is torn off. George could verify both for you. I haven't seen it in person yet.
Yes the bumper is trashed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjweimer View Post
That 318Ti should be a fun little car - awesome build.

Holy #$%! I cannot imagine what would be going through my mind if I walked out to the garage, found my car had disappeared, and then find it down a hill. What a bummer.
I know, the pics don't do it justice. It rolled a good 150' and they could barely see the tail light sticking up in the air. That embankment is a good 8-10' below the street surface.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:02 PM   #35
Panzertank831
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Amazing work George! Keep posting this stuff is making me excited to s54 or 3.0l swap my wagon for sure!
that 330 is a sad sight, but what a score for a swap. Still a very unfortunate day for that guy...
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