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

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Old 10-29-2019, 08:20 AM   #81
Steve M3
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Entirely too many. And they all need something.

1) M3 coupe - paperweight; no time to diagnose a throttle wiring issue, no sense of urgency because I have other cars
2) M3 convertible - daily, needs a detail and I need to install these rod bearings.
3) original wagon - need to install a throwout bearing; pending sale.
4) Slickie wagon - needs a window regulator (en route)
5) 330 vert - needs a hood and front bumper so I can sell the damn thing. (It's only got 87k miles and a ZHP natty brown interior so it'll sell easily if I can ever find a damn bumper)
6) this new sedan; blown headgasket. Taken as downpayment on original wagon. Dirt cheap, the M3 wheels are worth more than the car cost, and the interior is black and optionless. This is a really nice starting point.

Those are the Alpine White ones.

7) totaled silver M3 coupe (donor; not stored at my house)
8) 06 Interlagos ZCP slicktop M3. Will be for sale whenever I finally get sick of it taking up the garage space.

I have every intention of paring this down to one of each body type. There's just the issue of actually doing it, since work is just crushing me lately and ruining my will to live.
That doesn't sound overwhelming at all

One dog to one car is a good ratio to be honest, so I'd say you're doing it right.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:37 AM   #82
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Well for a while I had the perfect 5:5 ratio, but then Moose died and I scooped up a donor and two slicktops...
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:18 AM   #83
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Also, sunroofs are dumb.
QFT.

The Interlagos car sounds amazing.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:51 PM   #84
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It is. It still feels showroom new and makes me feel bad about all my other cars. It's soooo nice and composed and perfect, even though it has less power and no mods. Maybe I'm just old now, but it has really made me appreciate stock.
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:01 PM   #85
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It is. It still feels showroom new and makes me feel bad about all my other cars. It's soooo nice and composed and perfect, even though it has less power and no mods. Maybe I'm just old now, but it has really made me appreciate stock.
Having a stock car makes me appreciated modded, and having a modded car makes me appreciate stock
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:45 AM   #86
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Right before quarantine I was screwing around and put M3 Eibach springs on the rear of the slicktop touring. Without thinking, I undid the top of the passenger side front strut and decompressed the spring by jacking up the car, as I have done many times before.

It wasn't until after I did this that I remembered that the Xi has a different front suspension because of the axles, and so even a non-sport Xi spring is shorter than the sport spring from other E46s. (Before this, I was also unaware that the inner diameter of the upper spring was also different meaning that M3 springs can also not be used without their own top hats, and also, M3 top hats can't be used on the non-M shocks either because of the height of the cutout at the top of the piston... just in case anyone was wondering!) This meant that I had to put it all back together, so I started to remove the shock... and the 18mm bolt through the knuckle snapped itself off. On the Xi, the front shock is notched so it can't slide out if that bolt is there, which it is. Permanently.

Brilliant.

So I couldn't remove or fix that, meaning I couldn't make the space to compress and re-install the spring, which meant that I had to put the car back together without a spring. My convertible's steering rack also blew a seal at the same time (and Rack Doctor, which warranties it, dropped off the face of the earth), so the timing on this couldn't have been better. I took the wagon up to Garage Yourself to see if I could find a way to get the shock and the broken bolt out... and promptly got a flat tire on the driver side. It was at this point that I started semi-seriously asking George if he just wanted to send a car carrier to grab all my E46s and get them out of my cursed life.

Anyway, a crooked car isn't exactly road-worthy, and it hardly seemed worth the effort and expense of going to the junkyard and grabbing a knuckle/shock/axle assembly to repair it.

So...

screw it:


2005 M3 donor goes up...



112k mile engine comes out



tossed the subframe back in to wheel it out to its final resting place



and the wagon takes its place



170k M54b25 comes out. (Anybody want it? It runs perfectly and has new cooling bits.)



And now we have our starting point.



I would not say I am exactly *ready* to take on this job; I've got a big work deadline and very low motivation to work on cars... but when a shop with a lift offers to help out because they're bored, who says no to that? Not like I really even had a choice, anyway... out of the blue after not having heard from them for weeks I got a text "your motor is almost out of the car." So here we go.


I already have rod bearings, every power steering component except a rack, and OE bushings and ball joints for the entire rear end. The donor car has brand new control arms and motor mounts, so I got a bit lucky there; the only things I had to order for this one were OE FCABs (it has Rogue blue ones; not acceptable for this car's purpose) and I chose the Syncro Monoball RTABs. I may still ultimately decide to go with solid rear subframe mounts and save these rubber ones for the convertible (where I meant to put them when I bought them), but probably not. The plan will be to drop the rear end from the M3 while on jack stands, wheel it out, and replace everything. We'll do the rod bearings while the engine is out, and I'll worry about Beisan-ing the VANOS later, since it's not really any easier to do outside the car than in. Plus the sooner we can get everything assembled in the wagon, the better, since I'm clogging up a lift at someone else's shop.

The plan is to test fit the motor and transmission on Tuesday, at which point we will measure for the custom transmission bracket. That's the one real hurdle here, because this slicktop is an Xi.

Xi transmission brace:


M3 tranny mount brace:


Obviously it's entirely different, both to clear the wider tunnel span and to wrap around the transfer case cooling fin thing. It looks like the two holes where the M3 bracket would mount exist on the passenger side, although one may need to be tapped differently (won't know til we test fit)... The rail and holes on the driver side are totally different, though, thus the need for the custom piece. The OE ones are both aluminum, so there'll be no magical combining of the two of them; a place down the street will be making something out of steel. I think. I really know nothing about fabrication, including how to even measure this reliably/precisely.

With the way my car luck has been running, I'm expecting them to end up telling me that no, they can't (or don't want to) do it, now that the motor is out of the car and the project underway. That seems to just be the way things work for me.

But if they do it well, then I should have a mechanically set car fairly soon, as well as, hopefully, a few extra custom brackets available for anyone else out there that finds an AWD starting point and wants to do this.

The plan:

- keep the AA exhaust setup and tune, minus section 3 (I'd rather go OE Euro but these are already there)
- Koni/Eibach all around to start
- stock brakes for now (not my preference, but I'll upgrade later)
- reinforce rear subframe; I'd much rather do Vince or CMP bars, but in the interest of time and access, I'll probably have the plates welded. Can always add foam later.
- custom metal front fenders to accommodate the M3 front end. I don't want to worry about air flow, cooling, or wiper fluid relocation; The rear body work can happen at a later date, but they have a body shop so screw it, I'm paying to do the front end.

Then I'll trailer it home and worry about the wiring and coding myself. And by "myself," what I really mean is "pay someone else to walk me through it," because I don't trust myself to clear any hurdles or unexpected issues, and the last thing I want is an unfinished project that sits forever. I have always been Mr DIY 100% with no help, but the older I get, the wiser I am... I know where I'm likely to fail, and while I'm not rich by any means, I do well enough now that it's worth paying someone. So if there's anyone willing... let me know and name your price.

Initially I assumed I'd be harvesting the entire MK60 setup from the M3 - it's an 05 - but Shawn, having recently built an Imola M3T from an Xi starting point, told me it's easier to just retain the 5.7 that this car came with. I don't really need it to do anything fancier than the on/off that this is capable of, so I should be fine with that.

That said... it's not like it'd be that difficult to run the hard lines for the MK60 and do that, and I already own it and they're accessible, so it kind of does still make sense to switch to that.

I'm still undecided. But I'll need to figure that out soon.

For the muffler I'm going to first check to see the diameter of the piping on the fake M3 muffler that's currently still bolted to the 330Cic. If we can custom fit that, it'll do, temporarily. If not, I'll probably just go the E36 M3 route instead based on cost. I'll live with the power loss for now since it will also be temporary.

I'll be finishing the interior swap (sand to black) during the process, as I figure it'll be way easier to do the pedals and wiring while the dash is out. The front seats will obviously be M3 seats, of course. So the finished product *should* end up being a white on black slicktop M3 wagon in near-stock form and near-new condition. The M3 donor was in really great shape for its mileage, and if I hadn't already had all the replacement parts on hand, it would still be a very solid car if I was to rush the job just to get it out of the shop and use the donor parts as-is. But I'm a big fan of making stuff brand new, so that's what'll happen.

So... wish me luck. If the custom bracket can be built, this should come together very, very quickly. (How very unlike me.)
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:42 PM   #87
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My opinion is if you have the MK60 and you'll have the touring apart and the interior out, you should MK60 it.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:26 PM   #88
simsima325
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nice project, GL with it!
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:00 PM   #89
Geo31
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I have always been Mr DIY 100% with no help, but the older I get, the wiser I am...
Yep. Same here. Done several swaps (even a 3-4 hour job on a race car with a blown engine at midnight so we could race the next day). When it came right now to it this time, I just knew I didn't have the time and probably wouldn't for awhile and my B25 just felt like it was getting tired. I normally don't trust anybody else with my cars, but with George relatively close, it was a no-brainer. He's the only one besides me who has touched my car except a few oil changes and the airbag recall.

Great project, great info and love the pics.

I'm surprised no one has created a jig to relatively quickly and easily fab cross members to go from AWD to RWD. There certainly is some demand in the touring community and if they were reasonably readily available, the market for project cars would open up a lot more.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:05 PM   #90
Dave
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My opinion is if you have the MK60 and you'll have the touring apart and the interior out, you should MK60 it.
Exactly. It's just another piece of the puzzle where I don't have expertise, which means another failure point. I know it ought to be fairly simple, but lots of things make sense to me until I hit a hurdle, and all alone down here, suddenly things turn into disasters that have me texting you to take all my cars away from me.

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When it came right now to it this time, I just knew I didn't have the time and probably wouldn't for awhile
What sucks about this all for me is that I *do* have the time. My motivation just sucks and I'm too easily distracted without a partner in crime/wrenching.

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I'm surprised no one has created a jig to relatively quickly and easily fab cross members to go from AWD to RWD. There certainly is some demand in the touring community and if they were reasonably readily available, the market for project cars would open up a lot more.
The hope is that this place, Mitchell's, will do that.

edit: Just saw how much MK60 conversions are selling for. Holy crap. I had no idea. Is it bad that I'm now tempted to leave the crappy 5.7 in place so I can sell the MK60 parts?
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