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

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Old 02-03-2019, 03:42 PM   #61
Ramajj
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Fallbrook, CA
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My Ride: 04 E46 325iT
Year: 2004
Model: 325iT
Transmission: 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Hill View Post
What are you drilling out on the dash support? How far along are you now?
I'm about to drill out the two bolts, one on each side near the door hinges. I've removed all other bolt holding it down.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:55 PM   #62
markseven
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She's back at home. Now I have the arduous task of breaking in the rod bearings (keeping the revs under 5K for the BMW-recommended 1200 miles).

I'm going to do some mild cleaning and then take some pics.

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Old 02-07-2019, 05:00 PM   #63
markseven
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Anyone in central Texas should visit George Hill's shop. Not only is he uber gifted, he's trustworthy, reliable, and honest. [/sappy]
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:10 PM   #64
EthirD
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This is a great thread. So many thoughts I have to bullet them:
  • Backwards tire: why can't the tire guys get this right? I blew out one of my winter tires and took the wheel and a new tire to the tire store. I stuck a piece of painters tape on the side of the tire I wanted out and wrote "OUTSIDE" on it. Guess which way they mounted it?
  • Wish I was closer to a shop like George's. He obviously knows his BMWs. Very cool.
  • The gutted M3 on plain-jane wagon suspension and wheels is cracking me up. Looks like the 90's Jeep Wranglers that were designed to fit off-road tires but came with little-bitty road tires, for whatever reason.
  • ZHP muffler is a great choice. When I was selling my ZHP, the buyer asked if it was stock because it sounds so nice. A great blend of refinement and just enough sound to remind you to have fun. Will you be welding it onto an M3 pipe system, or is there some bolt-on method?
  • Car looks awesome! Hope it is a blast.
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Last edited by EthirD; 02-07-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:45 PM   #65
velofinds
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It looks awesome and I'm sure it drives awesomer. Enjoy it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:56 PM   #66
Geo31
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Location: Willis, TX, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markseven View Post
Anyone in central Texas should visit George Hill's shop. Not only is he uber gifted, he's trustworthy, reliable, and honest. [/sappy]
Iíll be gettin there. Not sure when. Life will be pretty packed for the next couple of months, but Iíll be there.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:01 AM   #67
markseven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EthirD View Post
This is a great thread. So many thoughts I have to bullet them:
  • Backwards tire: why can't the tire guys get this right? I blew out one of my winter tires and took the wheel and a new tire to the tire store. I stuck a piece of painters tape on the side of the tire I wanted out and wrote "OUTSIDE" on it. Guess which way they mounted it?
  • Wish I was closer to a shop like George's. He obviously knows his BMWs. Very cool.
  • The gutted M3 on plain-jane wagon suspension and wheels is cracking me up. Looks like the 90's Jeep Wranglers that were designed to fit off-road tires but came with little-bitty road tires, for whatever reason.
  • ZHP muffler is a great choice. When I was selling my ZHP, the buyer asked if it was stock because it sounds so nice. A great blend of refinement and just enough sound to remind you to have fun. Will you be welding it onto an M3 pipe system, or is there some bolt-on method?
  • Car looks awesome! Hope it is a blast.
Ethir, are you on r3vlimited, by chance? Your handle is familiar.

Mis-mounting a tire when it's clearly labeled is, uh, I try to limit my interactions with tire / quick lube places, for obvious reasons. It's crazy because the folks that do oil changes and mount / balance tires are performing critical services, yet they are the least trained and least paid.

The donor M3 looks neutered, doesn't it? Maybe George should do a reverse swap, installing the M54B25, AT, open diff, etc.

The car has euro Sections 1 and 2, which do a great job of mitigating the rasp even though they are more free flowing than the US-spec pieces. We considered the Stromung muffler, which would have made this an easy peasy bolt-on deal, but I was advised by a few people that the drone from the Stromung was very apparent / intrusive at highway speeds. So I had a shop weld the ZHP to the Section 2... like you said, the setup sounds great. The induction noise paired with the ZHP's note is like an elixir. I absolutely love it and highly recommend to anyone looking for a low-key performance muffler.

That said, the ZHP inlet pipes are narrower than the M3 exhaust sections, meaning that there is a taper, which may in turn cause power-robbing back pressure. I do not have data to show measurable degradation power though.

And thank you for the kind words. I feel super blessed to have this wagon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by velofinds View Post
It looks awesome and I'm sure it drives awesomer. Enjoy it.
Thanks man. You know I had your car's stance in mind when setting the ride height

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo31 View Post
Iíll be gettin there. Not sure when. Life will be pretty packed for the next couple of months, but Iíll be there.
Hey dude! Please LMK if / when you visit George. It would be good to meet you.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:53 PM   #68
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markseven View Post
Hey dude! Please LMK if / when you visit George. It would be good to meet you.
Absolutely! My wife and I will probably come for a weekend. We can go out and grab a little food and some beer.

My next two months are pretty solidly booked, but pretty good chance in April. I'm starting to keep my eyes open for a donor car for a ZHP or B30 swap. I'll probably have George flash my DME for that.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:25 PM   #69
George Hill
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Thank you Mark for the kind words. As some of you know I had previously been a dealer tech for 14yrs. About 6 months ago I left the dealership to pursue working more hours for less money, lol. I wasn't really sure if I was making the best decision for my family but I knew I wanted to build interesting cars and have a personal relationship with my customers. Only a few months later I was lucky to meet Mark just to talk wagons and BS. That meeting turned into this build. So here I am a few months later realizing I made the right decision to leave the dealer. It's people like Mark that have allowed me to do what I am doing now and I thank him for the opportunity to build this car for him.

It really has turned out better than we had hoped. This car is about as close to a M3 you can get without doing any body modifications. I should have taken more pictures, but sometimes you just get in the groove and the camera is secondary. I'm awaiting Marks pics after he details it and get's it shinning. But in the meantime here are pics from the first drive.




With Mark's twin





And then with my buddies 3L/5MT swap beige wagon
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:15 PM   #70
EthirD
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mountains
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My Ride: '02 325iT, '07 X5
Quote:
Originally Posted by markseven View Post
Ethir, are you on r3vlimited, by chance? Your handle is familiar.
Hah, haven't posted there in years, but yes, this handle has been on R3v, Bf.c and a bunch of others. Bought an E30 15 years ago (it's still in the family, just not in my possession) and I've just kept the handle across various forums as I tried new Bimmers. I originally wanted something like "E30" or "Ethirty," but none of those were available, so the weirdly capitalized "EthirD" was apparently the move to make at the time. Maybe I'll update, someday.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:04 PM   #71
Geo31
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You know, I'm surprised, but I really like the early X5 wheels on the touring.

Can't wait to come visit your shop George. Maybe I'll even have my interior done by then (upholstery and headliner)
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:43 PM   #72
markseven
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I've put approximately 150 miles on the car, and I must say that I am beyond ecstatic. It's been years since I've had the desire to get behind the wheel of a car... the last time I had this feeling, when I would get in the car just to simply drive, was with my first E30. An S54-powered E46iT is quite possibly the perfect daily.

George asked rhetorically, "why didn't BMW build these"? A question for the ages.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:58 PM   #73
Steve M3
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Nice set of wagons!

Glad you are enjoying your car. You'll love it even more when you get it broken in and are able to open it up!
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:29 PM   #74
nextelbuddy
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My Ride: e46 ZHP
Year: 2003
Model: 330i ZHP
Transmission: 6MT
beautiful work George and happy you have the car back ready to enjoy Mark. looks like a perfect built factory spec car to me
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:35 AM   #75
markseven
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Thanks Shawn. My initial ask of George was driveability, reliability, and performance, with execution that gives the impression that the car came so equipped from the factory. Homeboy delivered 100%.

Full details and pics to come...


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Old 02-13-2019, 11:36 AM   #76
markseven
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Thanks Steve. Would love to see your car in person. Maybe George should host a WagonFest


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Old 02-13-2019, 11:48 AM   #77
George Hill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markseven View Post
Thanks Steve. Would love to see your car in person. Maybe George should host a WagonFest


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Actually I think that is in the works.... There is another S54 wagon in town that wants to meet up.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:04 AM   #78
Geo31
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George, if you host a wagonfest, when are you thinking? I'm pretty tied up for the next month, but would absolutely attend any other time.
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Swim: 2.4 Miles
Bike: 112 Miles
Run: 26.2 Miles
Brag: For the rest of your life



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Old 02-14-2019, 05:10 AM   #79
yjsaabman
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I've been looking for a reason to visit Texas... but hadn't planned on driving there. Especially with a 3.5 year old! Lol!

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Old 02-14-2019, 07:08 AM   #80
markseven
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I've been looking for a reason to visit Texas... but hadn't planned on driving there. Especially with a 3.5 year old! Lol!

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It's a great drive! I did it last September, from Hartford to Austin... I drove through Harrisburg, which is not far from Elizabethtown, IIRC.

During my previous career, I would visit our corporate HQ in Wayne several times a year. PA is a beautiful state.
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