MINIzguy Reader
Nov. 29, 2013 11:03 p.m.

The start of my Ti purchase was a rough one. It was the first car I bought with my own money and the first car that was titled to me. I planned to drive it to school in St. Louis for a year, and then start the repairs. Much to my dismay, the 1 hour drive back home showed many problems and I deemed it unsafe to drive 2000 miles away from home. I parked it and decided to fix a little bit of it every break I have from school.

I'm one of the contributors to the YouTube channel E39Source. I used to have an E39 M5 which I miss dearly. I sold it for the 318ti and will continue to make DIY videos for the channel.

Now the fun begins.

What it looked like after sitting under a car cover for 3 months. The interior is clean besides a destroyed drivers door panel.

The first thing I did when I came home was a valve cover gasket. I also did the oil supply seal, spark plugs, micro filters, air filter, and an oil change with 0W-40 while I was in there. I also made a video on the valve cover gasket DIY for E39Source.

The plugs and engine was clean even though the car seems to have been neglected.

Due to it being Thanksgiving, I also made a large haul of parts. I'll have photos of the online orders when I'm back for winter break, but in the meantime, here are two things I was able to pick up.

Yes, I managed to get 8 Star Specs (thanks to a GRM member!) and a BavAuto suspension kit with Bilstein Sport shocks for less than 4 bills. #winning

Entropyman Reader
Nov. 30, 2013 6:03 a.m.

You probably already know but 318ti.org is a great resource. Be sure to go through the cooling system and make sure you have the water pump with the metal impeller and change the plastic coolant fittings. There is a cooling system rebuild thread in the knowledge base section of 318ti.org, good info that will save you big problems down the road.

duetto_67 New Reader
Nov. 30, 2013 11:24 a.m.

my favorite BMW evar... need to own one some day.

great score on the parts.

PLEEEEEASE start a dd build with brakes, wheel bearings, steering. i guess you're well on the way with the shock / spring stuff, there's a lot of 'while you're in there' with shocks. not too expensive new parts though...

Woody MegaDork
Nov. 30, 2013 11:27 a.m.

Nice! How many miles on it?

MINIzguy New Reader
Nov. 30, 2013 12:29 p.m.

Thanks guys!

I bought it with 164k neglected miles.

I'm done working on it for Thanksgiving break. The next time I see it will be in 3 weeks for my winter break. I have front brake parts, control arms and struts going in thanks to the Black Friday sales. The car should be highway driveable after these repairs, since there is approximately 1-inch of play on both from control arms now.

The common cooling system overhaul and some more engine gaskets (still leaks from the oil filter housing) will be done in the summer. I haven't heard any complaints from the wheel bearings, so I will check them out after I remove all the play from the shot control arms.

MINIzguy New Reader
Dec. 18, 2013 8:31 p.m.

Everybody likes update pictures!

Doing this oil filter housing gasket now.

Buttoning it up tomorrow morning...and then control arms!

MINIzguy New Reader
Dec. 20, 2013 11:30 p.m.

My car is so oily underneath that I can't tell if it is residual oil dripping or if there is still a leak. I was under my car for a long time today and think my power steering lines need to be replaced too. Whatever it is, it is just weeping as I get a few drops over the span of a couple hours.

I put on Meyle HD control arms, Powerflex FCABs and Bilstein Sport stuts with BavAuto springs today. Also put on my reinforcement plates; my strut towers were mushroomed and it was very noticeable with the plates as they didn't sit flush. A little persuasion with the sledge and a block of wood, the plates fit like a charm.

Let's start it off. I let the techs at my summer job torque the lug bolts last summer. Check out the cheater bar I used to get them off!

And it's all installed!

I also shimmed my steering knuckle to gain some camber. I'll do some geometry tomorrow to find how much I actually got.

2002maniac HalfDork
Dec. 21, 2013 1:36 p.m.

Weird. I never knew the ti had solid rotors. Is standard, non-M E36 stuff a bolt on upgrade?

MINIzguy New Reader
Dec. 21, 2013 6:38 p.m.

Before some time in '98, the ti had solid rotors all around. I can't just bolt up vented rotors; I would need new calipers, carriers and rotors if I wanted to go vented. Getting everything from a similar era 325i would probably be very cheap but I've never looked into it.

It doesn't really matter to me. I plan on autocrossing this, so the brakes will never get hot enough to overheat. I can always rig up some cooling ducts since my bumper has so many openings too.

westsidetalon Reader
Dec. 22, 2013 10:14 a.m.

I have some brand new genuine BMW 318ti solid rotors for cheap, $10 each

MINIzguy New Reader
Dec. 29, 2013 1:07 p.m.

I have front rotors that I got for $20 a pair too. I'm holding out on brakes until I do my subframe. I'm lazy like that and would rather only bleed my brakes with fresh fluid once.

Anyway, I made myself a new door panel. The old one was busted and held on with wood screws. This new one looks much better and has racecar inspired door pulls.

I also finished up my damper overhaul. I heard clunking in the rear, so I decided to change the rear shocks and springs. The rear shocks didn't rebound once I compressed them. I also Plastidipped the wheels red for a Christmas theme.

Dec. 29, 2013 6:26 p.m.

In reply to MINIzguy:

like the red wheels

yamaha PowerDork
Dec. 29, 2013 11:08 p.m.

I'm probably going to steal your door panel idea.....good progress though.

Also, a guy on the Facebook 318ti page listed an M3 front brake setup for $300 a few weeks ago IIRC. I only passed on it due to already having e46 330 brakes.

MINIzguy New Reader
Dec. 30, 2013 8:05 a.m.
Billy_Bottle_Caps wrote: In reply to MINIzguy: like the red wheels

You may be the only person to ever utter those words. I even hate it. Good thing it's plastidip!

yamaha wrote:

I'm probably going to steal your door panel idea.....good progress though.

Also, a guy on the Facebook 318ti page listed an M3 front brake setup for $300 a few weeks ago IIRC. I only passed on it due to already having e46 330 brakes.

The door panel turned out well for only being corrugated plastic. Probably a $15 project overall. I still need to put on the vapor barriers being that this is my daily driver. Road noise isn't bad at all with the panel in place though.

As much as I would like to upgrade my brakes, I just can't. I have a set of rotors and Stoptech pads just sitting in a box! I'm sure they will do fine for my autox abilities and DD duties.

I still have many leaks from the engine bay... It may be a steering rack but I'm not 100% sure. The weather as been constantly wet or cold, which has hampered my desire to get under the car again. I really hate trying to get this thing jacked up high enough for jack stands, and I don't want dirty road water dripping into my mouth!

Storz Dork
Dec. 30, 2013 9:01 a.m.

Great project, love the 318ti! I had a '98 5spd for a while.

MINIzguy New Reader
Dec. 30, 2013 12:02 p.m.

Some better pictures. No cool wheels, shiny paint or hot girls here! Project36_06 Project36_07 Project36_05 Project36_04

Sky_Render Dork
Dec. 30, 2013 2:48 p.m.

That's actually in really good shape. I like it!

M3Loco Reader
Jan. 1, 2014 8:41 p.m.

Hopefully a "Ti" will be our next project. We'll see.. Good luck!

Mr_Clutch42 New Reader
Jan. 2, 2014 2:33 p.m.

That car is too nice to be called a hooptie. Especially after you paint the front bumper.

westsidetalon Reader
Jan. 2, 2014 5:56 p.m.
MINIzguy wrote: I have front rotors that I got for $20 a pair too. I'm holding out on brakes until I do my subframe. I'm lazy like that and would rather only bleed my brakes with fresh fluid once. Anyway, I made myself a new door panel. The old one was busted and held on with wood screws. This new one looks much better and has racecar inspired door pulls. I also finished up my damper overhaul. I heard clunking in the rear, so I decided to change the rear shocks and springs. The rear shocks didn't rebound once I compressed them. I also Plastidipped the wheels red for a Christmas theme.

Seems mandatory every project Ti has door panel issues or lack of. My project ti is missing the driverside and this fix is in the near future as well.

MINIzguy New Reader
Jan. 2, 2014 10:16 p.m.

Yep. I've been asking all junkyards around for Ti parts still. I need a door seal, some plastic pieces and an exhaust support bracket. Still no luck so far...

The paint is a solid 20-footer. It was "repainted" at one point, but I seriously question how it was repainted. The top half of the car doesn't even seem like it was wetsanded when the clear was put on. And there are places where the clear coat has cracked, revealing a decent clear coat layer underneath! Not sure what happened with this car, but I plan on wet sanding the clear and seeing what is really underneath the paint. The bumper is going to get rattle canned and cleared with some good 2K clear. I also plan on getting rid of all the surface rust and doing some rust prevention. I want this car to last a loooong time.

westsidetalon Reader
Jan. 3, 2014 8:37 a.m.

In reply to MINIzguy:

about to have a interior part out soon what do you need?

yamaha PowerDork
Jan. 3, 2014 10:31 a.m.

Unfortunately, mine was dove grey interior

MINIzguy New Reader
Jan. 3, 2014 10:42 a.m.

Unfortuneately, the interior parts I need are the driver's door panel and driver's door seal. I want the OEM panel just in case I sell the car and the buy doesn't want the custom ones. Usually they are bad, or people still need the seal for their running car.

Other parts are also needed for running cars. I want jack pads, fog light plugs, and a exhaust support bracket. Mainly want to exhaust bracket so my exhaust can stop rattling; the two rubber mounts don't do enough of a job when that third mount is gone. I want jack pads for cosmetic reasons as well as plugging up holes in the rocker panels after I do some rust prevention. The fog light plug was ripped off when the bumper was ripped off I think, so I need a new one of those.

I did have a a lot of fun in the snow we got last night. However, now all the junkyards are covered in snow and it will make it horrible if I go searching for parts. Shenanigans!

MINIzguy New Reader
Jan. 10, 2014 3:04 p.m.

It's been a week and no big updates. I put on a perforated leather steering wheel wrap and new (used) door seal.

The extreme cold has made it unbearable in my garage with everything being below freezing. There is a whistle from the engine, and oil leaks are back again; I'm attributing this to a frozen PCV. The power steering fluid is also black and weeping. I bought new hoses to replace my vacuum lines and fluid leaks but I'm not going to replace anything now. I also need to clean the PCV...but not in this freezing weather.

I also have a small collection of body trim pieces to install. I have fender liners, brake ducts and fog light wiring to fix what the previous owner destroyed. I want to do new undercoating and to get rid of some surface rust, but the weather is way too cold for that too. Eventually, I'll buy some spray paint and 2K clear to rattle can the front bumper back to body color.

The list just keeps on growing with this car. I'm a little burnt out right now working on the car, and really disappointed I can't work on it more due to the frigid weather. I'm currently battling a cold that I got from working on this car so often...

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