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

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Old 07-31-2019, 12:39 AM   #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, 10:13 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, 12:13 PM   #23
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It's cool that McLaren owners actually track their cars.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:23 PM   #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, 01:19 PM   #25
Bennett
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Looks like some great projects and work George!

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Old 08-11-2019, 12:24 AM   #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, 12:28 PM   #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, 10:55 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, 11:34 PM   #29
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Nice update, George. Fun projects, as always.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:54 AM   #30
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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, 10:18 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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Old 09-02-2019, 11:15 AM   #32
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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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Old 09-03-2019, 03:14 AM   #33
Onizukachan
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A great look behind the curtain, George. Thanks.
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a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
Mostly because I like puns.


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Old 09-03-2019, 09:00 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, 07:02 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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Old 10-13-2019, 02:27 PM   #36
George Hill
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It's been a little bit since my last update.

We have had some major family changes over the last weeks. My 88yr old grandfather passed away rather unexpectedly, leaving a large whole in everyone's heart but mostly my grandmothers as they had been together since
they were 13yrs old. He was quite an impressive man having started his own business in the 50's building instrumentation used for water quality testing. He's entrepreneurial spirit trickled down through all of his children and a few of his grandchildren who have all owned or still own their own business, me included. He was a very hard worker and I can surely attribute where I am in life to the work ethic he instilled in me at an early age. He will certainly be missed. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/st...5507&fhid=5106

During this time period my sister married and we welcomed her husband into our family. My wife and I at the wedding, which was held a beautiful Vineyard north of town.




But in the meantime the shop has been jamming, lots of big projects coming through the shop.

This 42k mile Carbon black on Cinnamon M3 came in for a SMG to manual conversion.




The transmission bellhousing was modified in house and all new parts were used including this sweet Auto Solutions shifter.








Next the car got Dinan springs for a bit of sharpening in the handling department.




Then we got rid of the brake caliper covers, rebuilt and powder coated the original calipers.




And finished the car off with an alignment at our local race shop.





SteveM3 sent me his Porsche calipers for modification, this is a nice upgrade to the M3 brake system. To fit there are a couple of companies that make brackets but a few mm need to be milled off the caliper mounting surface.






Click the pic for a fun video of the machining:





I bought a Branick 7600 strut compressor and had some fun tearing all of my misc struts apart.





Alfredo brought his F30 335i for a shock replacement. We went with the Koni FSD kit (now called special active) and deleted his EDC shocks replacing everything except the springs and put new thrust rod bushings in while we were in there. I have done lots of E series coding but not a lot of F series coding. As busy as the shop is I decided to farm this part out. Joe @ http://Facebook.com/codemyride did the remote coding for us to remove the EDC options and everything turned out like OE. Koni shocks ride great, good improvement for this car.









We had MarkSeven's, JAWillis's, Julianne's and my S54 wagons all at the shop the other day...







I have (2) M3 tourings in the shop that need their instrument clusters modified so I went ahead and knocked out all my other clusters at the same time in preparation for future swaps. The M3 cluster will bolt right into the chassis but to be correct they need the LEDs for the rear doors added to the circuit board and then need the VIN programmed into them to remove the manipulation dot and sync the vehicle mileage. Both of these tasks require completely disassembling the clusters.





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Old 10-13-2019, 10:43 PM   #37
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I was planning on adding rear door LED's. Today I actually had a rear seat passenger and noticed the car icon lights up when rear door is opened.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:16 AM   #38
yjsaabman
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Sorry to hear about your grandfather, George.

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Old 10-14-2019, 07:57 AM   #39
George Hill
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Sorry to hear about your grandfather, George.
Thank you.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:17 AM   #40
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Thank you.
He sounds like he was a lot like my grandfather who we lost early this year. It's never easy, but they live on in all of us.

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