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The MR E30 Project Thread - 97 M3 #2 Edition

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Mike0032 View Post
    Lucky, lol.

    I just did a lot of the same, it was very satisfying to reinstall everything when it was done. Glad to see this project is moving again!
    Definitely very lucky. If anyone is ever searching for an older used car, check AZ first.

    I told my wife that last night. Taking it apart was fun, but putting it all back together with freshly cleaned and painted parts, along with new bushings, etc. will be much more enjoyable!


    • #62
      February 22nd, 2021

      Got a bit of work done to the M3 this past weekend.

      I met with a Tacoma friend who is a proficient welder and we scheduled the install of the RTAB Pocket Reinforcement Plates.

      I prepped both sides with a grinder with an 80 grit flap disc, then worked the smaller areas with a Dremel with a small 80 grit flap wheel.

      M3 Work Round 3 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

      Proceeded to prep the rear subframe for the swaybar reinforcement plates. Started by pulling the two plastic housings that connect the wear sensor and ABS sensor. Scrubbed off all large clumps of dirt and grit, followed by Simple Green, and then Goof Off to get it fully cleaned. Sprayed it with a hose and took it over to another friend who does stellar welding work.

      Before all of that I removed the (4) bushings by heating the subframe with a MAP gas torch (burns hotter than propane or butane) and placed a piece of 2x2 (wood) on top of the bushing and hammered them out with a mini sledge. Very easy to do, taking ~90 seconds to get 2/3rds pf the bushing hot enough for rather gentle taps to free the bushing from the frame. The addition of the piece of wood means you don't damage the subframe with an errant swing. Definitely preferred to the expensive bushing removal tool.

      M3 Work Round 3 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

      Today I prepared the (3) gas tank straps for reinstallation once the fuel lines that run on top of the gas tank get delivered and installed. Stripped down to bare metal and then painted them gloss black and clear coated them. I'll reinstall the (3) pieces of foam to protect the gas tank from excessive rubbing once they dry. Marked down the location of each one, so they'll be replaced in the same location.

      M3 Work Round 3 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

      I probably won't get any more work done on the M3 for the next week as I have a 5-day overland trip across AZ this Thursday, but you never know!

      I have all of the rear subframe upgrades and replacements picked out, so I just need to clean and prep each piece for reinstallation.

      Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 240


      • #63
        April 27th, 2021

        It's been quite a while since I've given an update, and not a whole lot has happened to the M3 due to winter and other commitments, but a few things have happened.

        The rear subframe had the swaybar brackets reinforced with weld-in tabs. It was then re-cleaned and painted. I wrapped it up by installing Garagistic poly bushings. It is now 100% ready to be fitted back into the M3. I dropped everything as one assembly when I removed it, but I will reinstall everything piece by piece.

        M3 Work Round 4 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        My Tacoma friend welded in the RTAB pocket reinforcements. Went a bit overboard on some of the welds, so I need to grind the area flat so I can properly torque the three mounting bolts down to 57 ft*lb.

        M3 Work Round 4 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        The front end was just about finished. My Detroit Axle steering rack kit did not come with the locking nuts and retainers, so I order those and have them ready to go. Everything is in, but the tie rods are not yet connected.

        I scrubbed the entirety of each wheel well before replacing the suspension. Not too dirty, relative to the area around the rear subframe.

        M3 Work Round 4 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        My rear end bushings arrived this morning. Went Lemforder and spherical to match my AKG adjustable lower rear control arms. Definitely a more aggressive setup, but I couldn't help myself. I apparently didn't learn anything with my E30, but oh well. Life is short. Plus, back then I didn't have a couple of Tacomas to drive around in when I wanted to relax.

        M3 Work Round 4 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        I have an appointment with a friend for this Friday to use his press to replace all of the bushings. After that I'll get all the pieces cleaned and painted before reinstalling them in the M3.

        My AKG adjustable lower rear control arms should arrive early next week.

        My Vorschlag 4-bolt rear input flange for the diff arrives this Thursday. I purchased a rear diff refresh kit from online, so I'll get that entire thing refreshed, and the flange swapped (need to look up a detailed procedure for this) before putting it back in the car. Diff will be the last thing installed.

        I need to chat with the Driveshaft Shop about their high horsepower rear axle builds. I pulled my OEM ones out of the rear trailing arms already. Apparently you have to send them in so they can use some of the pieces to make their beefier finished product.

        After I can get the car back on the ground I will bring it back to my own house to keep the project rolling. I'll get the brakes done at that point in time. Need to rebuild the rear calipers and determine if I want to rebuild the fronts or just upgrade to a BBK. Decisions decisions.

        On a side note: My Tacoma rental business has been booming. Scooped up a 2021 TRD Offroad 4x4 Long Bed with tech package to help ease the burden on my 2016 TRD Offroad. Already looking for a third one as well. Or another E36 M3. or an E46 M3. Who knows.

        IMG-2010 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        Also, don't know if any of your watch Matt's Offroad Recovery on YouTube but I was able to meet him and his crew a couple of weeks ago at their shop! Cool experience.

        OVRFLG meets Matts Offroad Recovery by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        OVRFLG meets Matts Offroad Recovery by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        Until next time (which hopefully isn't quite so far away)!

        Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 290
        Last edited by MR E30; 04-27-2021, 10:07 AM.


        • #64
          May 13th, 2021

          It's been a while, and updates have been lumped together, but I am working to get back on track with consistent updates now that warmer weather has arrived.

          So, where were we? Ah yes, the reinforced trailing arm pockets and bearings/bushings arrived.

          Since that time, the M3 has been relocated back to my driveway. Even though it was only 10 or so minutes away, in a heated garage, I didn't get nearly as much done on it as I wanted to this past winter. However, that's the past.

          I will say, having the main carcass nearby makes working on everything so much easier. Oh, you just finished cleaning and painting this small bracket? Walk 5 feet and bolt it on! Boom, another thing refined and completed. Onto the next! This is very effective for me, as opposed to bringing a box full of stuff home and then randomly sifting through it. Plus seeing the car numerous times everyday gets me excited to work on it.


          Used my 2021 Tacoma to tow it back home and park it in the driveway. I installed the rear diff carrier, upper arms, and AKG adjustable lower arms and threw on the 4 tires to get it loaded onto the trailer.

          M3 Work Round 5 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          Lots of parts and pieces have been arriving, one of which was the BavAuto rear trailing arm bushing removal kit, so I made quick work of the two bearings in the trailing arm, and replaced the front bushing with the spherical bearing.

          This kit is worth its weight in silver. I cant imagine trying to do these with a traditional press. Just find the right components, installed the nut on the bolt, and crank the 24mm nut down until you're done. A piece of cake. No binding, no skewed bushings, nothing. Just effective removal and installation. Happy to share this kit if anyone needs it, fyi.

          M3 Work Round 5 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          M3 Work Round 5 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          I used seam sealer to close up the welds around the reinforced trailing arm pockets. It's a very light grey (as pictured) but I hit the area with a medium dark grey spray paint to protect against corrosion. After cleaning the inner wheel well (highlighted below) the difference is nil. I tried to texture the sealer as the factory did, but I may or may not have done a good job of that. The important part is that it is protected, so my concerns are taken care of. This car will be a driver at the end of the day, and the underside will get dirty and forgotten about most of the time.

          M3 Work Round 5 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          After that was done I went about starting to clean the underside of the rear end that was outside of the rear diff carrier. I started with rags and simple green, but the mess was too thick, and I wasn't making good progress.

          So out comes the electric pressure washer and a foam cannon.

          M3 Work Round 5 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          Thirty minutes later, with my clothes fully soaked (thankfully it's warming up out here), it's pretty darn clean. Both rear wheel wells and the entire rear underside was done. Pressure washer is only 1800 psi, so I had to work it in close, but the ~10 dousings of simple green over the course of three days really broke everything up, letting the high pressure water get to the original material underneath.

          M3 Work Round 5 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          This was the final big part of the rear end. With all of this clean I can start installing things once more. Which I have already started.

          Ordered Garagistic SS brake lines, those came in and I installed the four rear lines along with the hard lines on the trailing arm. Everything is still getting scrubbed, cleaned, painted, and perfected (or as close to it as possible without being superman) before reinstalling.

          Ordered a Walbro 255lph pump to install in my stock housing to satiate the fuel demands of the V8.

          Many things are arriving from ECS, one of which is caliper rebuild kits. I'll rebuild and clean each caliper, though I will probably only keep the stock rears, as I bet I'll upgrade to a BBK in the front before long.

          Chase Bays has their BBE brake line kit and proportioning valve on their way to me as well. Aiming to wrap up the brake system next, and I'll work on the rear diff refresh on and off at the same time. I want to get the diff in before having the machine shop go over the LM7 block (heads are already ready to rock and roll) so I can prep to install the engine once it's done.

          After that I'll need to prep to drop some big bucks on the T56 Magnum-F, short shift kit, bellhousing, clutch kit, and Vorschlag driveshaft before I can work on getting the engine buttoned up (wiring, cooling, etc.)

          Little by little, it's coming along. I feel like the initial tedious part is over, the intense cleaning and scrubbing, and now I can simply bolt stuff together. But something always slows me down a bit!

          Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 335
          Last edited by MR E30; 05-13-2021, 05:20 PM.


          • #65
            Originally posted by MR E30 View Post
            May 13th, 2021

            I used seam sealer to close up the welds around the reinforced trailing arm pockets. It's a very light grey (as pictured) but I hit the area with a medium dark grey spray paint to protect against corrosion. After cleaning the inner wheel well (highlighted below) the difference is nil. I tried to texture the sealer as the factory did, but I may or may not have done a good job of that. The important part is that it is protected, so my concerns are taken care of. This car will be a driver at the end of the day, and the underside will get dirty and forgotten about most of the time.

            M3 Work Round 5 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr
            If you need the PN for the plug in the wheel well, 41007140848 worked for me. I also sprayed some cavity wax in there before putting the new plugs in.
            Last edited by stephen; 05-14-2021, 09:40 AM.


            • #66
              Originally posted by stephen View Post

              If you need the PN for the plug in the wheel well, 41007140848worked for me. I also sprayed some cavity wax in there before putting the new plugs in.
              Thank you. Adding that to my cart now. Need to go find all the other missing holes as well!


              • #67
                May 16th, 2021

                More progress.

                Went ahead and spent several hours cleaning all (4) of the brake calipers in their entirety. The pistons and their respective chambers all look great (no surprise here, no rust anywhere on this chassis or its parts), so once my rebuild kits arrive this upcoming week I will be able to slip those in and torque down the calipers. The Chase Bays BBE brake line kit arrives on Wednesday, so I will have the entire system installed (though not filled and bled until I connect the clutch feed line setup) and I can cross that off of the list.

                Started with stuff that looked like this, fairly gritty/dirty with brake dust:

                M3 Work Round 6 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                And after about 1.5 hours per caliper I ended with things that looked about like this:

                M3 Work Round 6 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                The red paint still looks great, so I didn't respray any of the pieces. The brake pads are also full of life so I will leave them be for now.

                Next up was to fully refresh the rear diff. This included new output flange seals and circlips, new input flange (from 6 bolt to 4 bolt to use the Vorschlag 1-piece driveshaft), new cover gasket and Redline fluid, and of course as thorough of a cleaning as I could give it with a pressure washer, simple green, and a gallon of goof off.

                The insides looked gorgeous as well. No issues spinning before or after all of the work.

                M3 Work Round 6 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                Wife brought out some garage bacon. Was delicious.

                M3 Work Round 6 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                I ended the day by installing the new plugs with the O-rings, as opposed to the crush washers, torqueing down all of the flange and cover bolts to spec (found some conflicting info here, went with 30 ft*lb on the cover, also added a small amount of gasket maker to paper gasket per numerous recommendations online) and filling her up.

                Left it in the garage overnight, no leaks (I know that isn't a long time, but the car won't be moving for quite a while still so I'll keep an eye on it) so this morning I am going to install it into the final drive carrier and get this big chunk of metal off of my list too!

                I'll go about reinstalling small rear end components (covers, nuts/bolts, etc.) and then I'll reinstall the rear bumper for now. Pulled it to prep it for paint, but my plans have changed a bit so I will handle the exterior body after the car is drivable under its own power.

                I need to put in an order at Vorschlag for engine and tranny mounts and then get the engine (minus heads) over to my local machine shop for some work.

                Not sure how long that process will take, but after that it'll get dropped in and we entire the final phase!

                Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 353


                • #68
                  May 20th, 2021

                  The rear diff went in without issue, and I torqued the rear bolts down to their values and the front bolt to its torque value. Plugged in the speed sender and clipped its wire into the small bracket. Still no leaks, so the final drive is complete!

                  A small group of parts I arrived, the most notable is the Chase Bays BBE brake line kit and proportioning valve.

                  M3 Work Round 7 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                  The caliper rebuild kits were in that pile, so I got to work getting all 4 calipers reassembled after their deep cleaning. Figured out the strategy for getting the seal on the piston and into the caliper, which saved some frustration.

                  With those replaced, in they went, torqued down to 50 ft*lbs. I ran the brake wear sensor to its connector on the subframe, but I have removed the ABS wiring. I cut the wiring at the sensor and attached it into its respective hole so that debris doesn't fall in. I'll do the same to the front.

                  The rear end is looking better every day! (Shock is getting replaced as it is blown, but this old one keeps things in place for now)

                  M3 Work Round 7 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                  M3 Work Round 7 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                  The rear swaybar also went in, with new end links and everything completely clean. Had the bar backwards the first time, and the small nibs on the mounting bracket didn't quite line up with the upper control arm. Got it spun around and all is well.

                  I spent more time cleaning random parts (they are truly never ending), disassembling the fuel system (pulled everything except for the pumps for now), figured out how to best mount the C5 Corvette Filter and FPR using the OEM BMW mount, and cut and flared the fuel line that was too long for this set up with my new flaring set.

                  I blasted more of the undercarriage and the engine bay with the foam cannon and pressure washer. Trans tunnel is fully cleaned as well. All that is left is the front wheel wells, which I will get to once I put the rear end back on the ground.

                  I wrapped up the day by figuring out and installing my AN lines for my brake lines. This kit keeps the two factory hard lines to the rear and ties them into the system with an 'F' fitting. Two new AN lines run to the front calipers. The set up includes a proportioning valve with an easy to use handle. All in all a nice way to get this system set up.

                  M3 Work Round 7 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                  Also called Vorschlag to get their lead time on E36 LS1 engine and T56 transmission mounts. 2 weeks. So I dropped a nice chunk of change on a few chunks of metal, which will arrive sooner than I need them, but it's nice to get the purchase out of the way.

                  My kitchen remodel is almost done, so I can focus more time on the M3 and life in general (haha, hopefully) in the near future. Except I will then have to tear out the old kitchen and turn it into a living room. And then lift the roof off of my garage to add two bedrooms upstairs. And then build a front deck......... Yeah, maybe extra time isn't a reality.

                  Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 370
                  Last edited by MR E30; 05-20-2021, 05:25 PM.


                  • #69
                    Making good progress. Are those AKG rear camber bars? They look nice and beefy.

                    Past: '99 Hellrot/Dove M3/2/5 | '97 S14 1JZ | '06 Triumph Daytona 675 | '01 330I M-Tech I | Current: '96 Estoril/Black M3/2/5



                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Mike0032 View Post
                      Making good progress. Are those AKG rear camber bars? They look nice and beefy.
                      Thank you.

                      A few more things have happened that I will post about, but it's time to have the engine looked over by a local machine shop, so progress will slow for a bit.

                      Yes they are. A mid-priced option (~$300) but definitely pleased with the quality. They do have bearings for the upper connection, so corrosion may be a concern for some folks, but I did not let it deter me as I live in an incredibly dry place. The car will be a driver, but never in the snow and most likely very infrequently in the limited rain we do receive.. Though I will keep an eye on their condition over time.


                      • #71
                        May 26th, 2021

                        A small bit of overall progress, but a decent amount of time, has been accomplished since the last update.

                        I learned all about the C5 Corvette Fuel Filter/FPR combo before installing it. It is used with a 'returnless' rail, as the FPR is within the one body of the overall piece. Two lines on the "inlet"/fuel tank side, one is 3/8" (this receives the input from the fuel pump, located in passenger side of tank) and a 5/16" return line (this is connected to the drivers side of the fuel tank where the level sender is located). There is a single 3/8" output.

                        The two connections on the input side were simply soft hose connected between the hard lines (one shortened) and the filter. EFI hose clamps were used, and all worm type hose connectors throughout the rear of the car were swapped over to this appropriate clamp.

                        The output is an AN fitting, and I will continue the AN up to the fuel rail as it is a single hose and won't be expensive or difficult to figure out.

                        I used the OEM fuel filter mount, painted black, and wrapped a piece of sticky foam around the filter/fpr to ensure a nice, snug fit to the chassis.

                        Very happy with how this turned out. Once I swap in the Walbro 400lph (need this size to feed the 80lb Deka injectors recommended for this swap) that should arrive this week into the fuel tank I will test the pump and lines with a car battery to ensure everything up to the output of the filter/fpr is functioning properly.

                        M3 Work Round 8 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                        That involved a lot of getting under the car and back out to get things done appropriately, but it is worth it.

                        With that done the rear end went back on the ground, finally.

                        I immediately put the front end in the air to get it up to snuff.

                        In went the rebuilt calipers, torqued to 81 ft*lbs. I removed the OEM hard lines to both front wheel wells and ran the Chase Bays AN lines to the mounting points in the front of the wheel wells. Recleaned both front wheel wells with the pressure washer and foam cannon. ABS sensors, with the wires cut at the sensor, went back into each hub to protect from erroneous debris. Installation of the stainless steel brakes lines to the AN lines was a piece of cake.

                        Front swaybar was reinstalled, only to discover this issue

                        M3 Work Round 8 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                        OEM swaybar end link is much too long to use with my FK coilovers.

                        So I headed to NAPA after doing some internet research and picked up a few different end links from various cars to test out.

                        The winner ended up being a pair from a 2000 Chevy Impala SS. Fitment is pretty darn spot on, they fit the area well, and the are greaseable to boot! I picked up the items necessary to transform the OEM BMW set into an adjustable set, but was satisfied with this setup to avoid messing with those. For now.

                        M3 Work Round 8 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                        Now I need to go pick up the LM7 from the Garage Mahal and get it dropped off at Coconino Motors for its professional cleaning and look over, camshaft seal replacement, crankshaft polish and inspection, main bearings, and installation of the F-body oil pan kit that I purchased a long time ago.

                        After that I'll drop it in and start ordering accessories to get it completed.

                        Slowly but surely.

                        Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 382
                        Last edited by MR E30; 05-26-2021, 10:26 AM.


                        • #72
                          June 3rd, 2021

                          Another small update.

                          Went ahead and disassembled, checked, cleaned, and reinstalled the fuel level sender on the drivers side of the fuel tank beneath the back seat.

                          It all looked great, no damaged wires or corroded parts. I didn't buy a new one, but if it doesn't work for some reason I'll get it replaced once the car is running.

                          M3 Work Round 10 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                          My Walbro 400lph came in the mail after a slight delay. I need to disassemble the fuel pump side of the tank, clean it, install this new pump, and reassemble. Might do that this afternoon. If not I'll do it next week after I get back into town.

                          M3 Work Round 10 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                          A small package from ECS Tuning arrived containing clips for the front M sill plates, the door sill trim, and body plugs as well as Genuine BMW brake fluid for the brake system.

                          M3 Work Round 10 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                          Got those installed easily.

                          I am in conversation with Monster Clutches about the appropriate clutch setup to grab for my particular build. Once that is discussed I'll get one of their clutches on order.

                          I am also researching more and realize I need to upgrade the clutch slave cylinder to an aluminum version to function correctly with the Vorschlag hydraulic T56 throw out bearing. My M3 came with the nylon version, which is not compatible. Watched a video and crawled under the dash and realized, while uncomfortable, it won't be overly difficult to replace.

                          So I'll order that, the T56-LS1 aluminum bellhousing and modified TOB setup from them after I hear back about the clutch.

                          On a side note, did the BHLM (black headlight mod) to my 2021 Tacoma and it really changed the look of the front end of the truck. The process is difficult, but worth it.

                          M3 Work Round 10 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                          M3 Work Round 10 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                          Still need to get the LM7 to the machine shop, but I am thinking I can get it over there next week. Life's been a bit busy!

                          Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 393
                          Last edited by MR E30; 06-03-2021, 11:30 AM.


                          • #73
                            Received confirmation from Monster Clutches as to the validity of my setup.

                            Ordered Aluminum F-Body Bellhousing, remote bleeder for E36, and aluminum slave cylinder from Vorschlag.

                            Then ordered the Monster S Twin Disc Clutch for F-Bodies from Monster Clutch.

                            All that is left is the T56 Magnum-F from Vorschlag, and the transmission portion of the build will be purchased. I'll order that next week.

                            Now I really need the LM7 cleaned up! Tranny and engine mounts arrive tomorrow.


                            • #74
                              June 7th, 2021

                              More progress has been made while expensive parts are on order.

                              Started by getting my clutch feed line connected to the Wilwood brake fluid reservoir. I picked a location that let the Chase Bays line flow naturally. Used a 1/2" bit to drill through the plastic, and a crescent wrench and 17mm socket to tighten the connector to the reservoir.

                              M3 Work Round 11 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                              Tossed it back on the master cylinder and connected the clutch slave feed hose.

                              Got nice and comfy in the drivers side footwell and pulled the old nylon bodied master cylinder from up in the pedal bracket area. Came out easy enough, and I cleaned all the various bits that are a part of that system. I'm trying to figure out why I didn't address this while the dash was out, but I can't remember why. Oh well, either way it's getting worked on now!

                              I'll need a new grommet for the master cylinder penetration through the firewall, as the old one was falling apart and very sticky. I'll get that on order tonight.

                              I dove into the fuel pump next.

                              The car had a Walbro 340lph in it from the previous owner and the S54 swap, so the assembly was modified slightly to install that pump.

                              Though the wiring was not up to par, so I pulled the old pump and wiring and set it aside.

                              M3 Work Round 11 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                              I'll use the stock pins to use the stock connector in the backseat.

                              I cleaned it up before beginning the modification of the aluminum sleeve that houses the pump. The PO had cut it along its length, which came in handy for me. However, the Walbro 400lph has a fatter bottom section, so I cut ~2 inches off of the aluminum sleeve to make it fit.

                              After that I used a thin piece of rubber between the pump and the sleeve to make it a tight fit once I snap the white plastic piece onto the aluminum sleeve.

                              Connected the wiring to the pump, then soldered and crimped the wire connector onto the OEM pins (all of the wire had been snipped off by the PO). Installed a piece of fuel hose and EFI clamps, put the sock on, placed the assembly in the tank, and secured everything in place. It took a while to get it figured out and done to my liking, but I think it came out great.

                              M3 Work Round 11 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                              I then went and picked up the LM7 from the Garage Mahal.

                              Bobcat loaded it into the back of the truck with ease. Strapped it down so I can transport it to the machine shop (after I remove extraneous bolts and throw them into labeled bags). I have everything ready (except for the -10 AN fitting I am having welded to the F-body oil pan I purchased for the turbo oil return line) to take over to the machine shop.

                              They won't do a ton of work to the engine, but they will clean it and look it over to make sure it won't explode when I first fire it up. The engine turns over well, at the appropriate torque with the heads off, so I'm confident that it's in good shape, but the extra piece of mind won't hurt. Plus I bought a huge gasket set that I'd like to use up as well. No oil leaks for me.

                              M3 Work Round 11 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                              While I was picking up the engine I spent a couple hours helping swap a new small block chevy in place of an older gen 1 small block chevy that has a flat cam. Bobcat made that a piece of cake too.

                              M3 Work Round 11 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                              Wrapped up the day by receiving my one of many packages from Vorshlag.

                              M3 Work Round 11 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                              These things are pretty. The powder coat is thick, the welding is spot on. The fitment between bushing and plate is also very high quality. I like the parts very much. Two gripes though:

                              1) No instructions. You think for over $1,000 I'd get at least a sheet of paper that tells me how they go in. I know I'll discover it along the way, but when it comes time to load the engine and transmission in, I'd like the peace of mind of knowing that things are already in in the correct orientation. Now I'll go searching through pictures online to figure out how to install them.
                              2) Not part specific, but Vorshlag in general. No discounts or sales of any kind. Ever. Not that they have to, I just think it's lame as hell. Almost every other company I deal with, and all the overlanding companies I deal with, offer discounts to Veterans, first responders, police officers, teachers, etc. Hell, I run a small business that is just getting started and I give discounts to fellow vets, among others. The clutch I ordered for this monster came with free shipping (50 lb shipping weight) due to a military discount. Alright, rant over.

                              Clutch arrives this Thursday. Engine goes to machine shop tomorrow. Transmission gets ordered this week. Transmission parts from Vorshlag arrive as soon as they send me a tracking number.

                              Good things await. Excited to have the drivetrain installed in the car, because I can then again begin the process of getting all of the tiny details in order.

                              Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 408


                              • #75
                                June 9th, 2021

                                Alright, so slight change of plans.

                                Local machine shop had a change of heart after having two separate conversations with them. Apparently, the only way they will touch the engine is if every part gets replaced, as they want to ensure the engine functions properly after the teardown. I can understand wanting to have a solid reputation, but telling me you need to replace each piston due to their age isn't why I went with this swap anyways. The iron 5.3 is supposed to be reliable and bulletproof right out of a wrecked Chevy.

                                So, after having a conversation with a friend who knows these engines well, I decided on a new route.

                                To start, added a late 90's-early 2000's Chevy 2500 to the notification list that the local junkyard sends out to my email. This vehicle has the coveted LQ4 or LQ9 in it, the 6.0l Iron V8. It's very easy to have high horsepower while being reliable with this engine.

                                So, when the JY gets one of those I'll pull it and have it fully rebuilt by the pros to install in the M3 at some future date.

                                Back to the LM7. I will be leaving the rotating assembly in place, untouched, replacing the small things folks recommend (pushrods, head to block alignment pins, etc.), and cleaning the outside of the engine.

                                And that's it. I'll leave it like that and run it as it is. If the engine is unsuitable, I will notice low oil pressure when I first start it. They don't explode, or go off the hinges, just low oil pressure. If that's the case I'll figure out what to do at that point in time. But for now, progress!

                                To work on the block I purchased an engine stand from Harbor Freight, and I borrowed an engine hoist from a friend.

                                I didn't have the right bolts to connect the block to the stand, so I began phase 1 of the cleaning process while the engine was on the hoist.

                                Not a terrible amount of nasty grease, as most of it is filled with dirt, so it wasn't too messy, but still a pain in my butt.

                                Passenger side.

                                Engine Work Round 1 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                                After ~2.5 hours the engine was 3-4 lb. lighter from all the grime being freed from its shell.

                                Engine Work Round 1 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                                Phase two may occur tomorrow, if not next week. It will involve simple green and rags to get the block as tidy as possible.

                                Then, new oil pan kit and head installation. Need to order ARP studs to make that happen though.

                                'til next time!

                                Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 419