EfiniMotorsport New Reader
4/7/20 10:13 p.m.

After searching for a while I picked up a new e92 BMW to replace my very custom e46. It ws cheaper to buy a newer turbo BMW than it would have been to turbo the e46. I also bought an Xdrive so I have the bonus of AWD (or I can turn it off so I can have plenty of RWD fun). iT took me a while to find a cheap enough car that I didn't have to sell my current one first. I've got a few things to fix on it and I will be putting it up for sale to fund the new build though. I ended up getting an 09 335 6spd Xdrive coupe with navigation and only 109k. Of course it's the wrong color inside and out and in pretty rough shape. I first found the car a few months ago about 90 mins away from me and had my brother go look at it. The car was hit in the front fender and the guy took it to a body shop. The shop took his money and had the car for a year or more and started selling parts off it before "going out of business". The guy got the car back missing the front bumper, head lights, grilles, rear bumper and with a trunk that leaked. I offered the guy $800 or $1000 if he could get the car to just turn on, not even start. He wanted $1300 and after going back and forth for a few weeks I didn't hear anything else and continued to look for another car. A few weeks later I found one that was the same color but a little closer to home. Emailed with the guy for a few days before talking on the phone and it turned out to be the same car. The second guy picked it up for the engine for another project car that fell through. He sold a few things but now he was at $2000 for the car, plus I had to replace what he sold. In the end I paid almost $1000 more for the same car. 

Because the car sat for a few years most of the suspension arms and subframe had some surface rust and the engine and transmission were fuzzy with oxidation. I'm not in a rush to put the car on the road and because my MO is to go way overboard on custom stuff I'm doing a geound up restoration on the car. Or at least I'm calling it a resoration, not sure if it's too new a car to be classified as that. I've already pulled the engine, drivetrain, sub frames, brakes and suspension. I've blasted down all the suspension, knuckles, backing plates and a bunch of brackets already and painted them with gloss black SEM rust trap. Once I get the brake lines, fuel lines and wiring stripped out from under the car I'm going to paint the bottom with white SEM rust shield. The entire car will be repainted Alpine White (all my cars are white) inside and out. You'll never be able to tell the car wasn't white. I picked up black interior door and rear panels and a back seat for $200. I haven't decided how I'm doing the interior but it will be black. My e46 was swapped to black with suede inserts in the door panels and seat centers that were diamond stitched with burnt copper thread. I also painted the brakes and suspension with burnt copper and red polyurethane bushings everywhere. 

When I got the car the guy had a set of catless down pipes and a larger intercooler. I also picked up a CSL carbon fiber trunk and ordered a full set of polyurethane bushings for the suspension, diff and subframe. I'm having my sand blaster blast down the subframes and diff end they'll be repainted in gloss black too. I'm also going to paint the calipers and coilovers in the same burnt copper. I'm going to replace pretty much all the rubber under the hood as well as all the external gaskets, water pump, thermostat, clutch, etc. , etc. , pretty much a full refresh. I'll also be upgrading the turbos, fuel pump, intake and turbo piping. Should be capable of 600 awhp when it's done. The power capabilities on the N54 motor are ridiculous. There's guys making 800 whp on stock engine internals. 

Here's the obligatory pic on the trailer when I picked it up, I know that's mandatory on here, as well as some of how the car sits now. I'm going to be building a cart to put the shell on so I can roll it around to work on it easier and push it out of the garage to clean and paint. 


Mr_Asa HalfDork
4/8/20 12:00 a.m.

Me personally, I always felt that restoration is when you have to go to a specialist for parts.  If it is just easier to go to a specialist that supplies those parts, but you can still get them from most any place, then it's still repairing to me.

That hunt and research is what defines it for me.  But what do I know?

Looks like you've got a lot of work ahead of you, lookin forward to seeing it

APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/8/20 9:01 a.m.

Cool build.  I don't think restoration has anything to do with age.  I think the question is if it's restoration or a repair.  A repair corrects a functional defect while a restoration restores to as new or better condition. This sure looks like a restoration to me.

OjaiM5 Reader
4/8/20 9:35 a.m.

This has turbo fun written all over it! Sounds like it came with some cool parts as well. 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/8/20 9:57 a.m.

Yes, definitely a restoration and a cool project!

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
4/8/20 6:00 p.m.

It definitely should be a butt load of fun when it's done. I got most of the engine compartment stripped down today. I'm hoping to get the cart done soon so I can start working under it easier. The yellow tape flags are studs I'm cutting off to smooth things out some.

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
4/13/20 9:20 p.m.

Got the cart built for the chassis today. It's nice having all this time to actually get work done. Down side is I don't have money to spend on dumb E36 M3. The material for the cart was free or stuff I had laying around. The main beams are industrial shelving and the gussets were some 1.5" square tube I had laying around. I'm hoping to get the body on the cart tomorrow, just need to finish taking out the fuel, evap, brake lines and battery cables. I still need to drain and remove the fuel tank but I think I can do that on the cart.​​​​​​​

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
4/14/20 9:25 p.m.

I probably should have made the cart about 6" shorter. It was a pain to get it up high enoughand will barely clear the garage door. It will work and I'm damn sure not putting it down now. 

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
4/17/20 7:35 p.m.

My car now has a feature no other BMW car has ever had. A kickstand! Without the engine or anything in the car it's a little tail heavy and the last thing I want was for it to flip backwards.

Had my little buddy in the garage trying to help. His name is Bimmer too. 

I'm just working on getting the interior stripped out. It's getting changed to black because I hate the gray. While it's out I'm going to repaint the inside white. When the car is done you'll never be able to tell it wasn't a white car. 

JAGwinn New Reader
4/17/20 8:36 p.m.

Bimmer looks concerned...

In for the cute dog pics!

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/18/20 10:08 a.m.

Cool project!

And your dog kinda looks like mine smiley

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
4/22/20 8:59 p.m.

He's just hurt I wouldn't let him into the car to help. I keep telling him there's not much he can do without thumbs.


I got most of the interior stripped out today. Carpet is shot but I already bought black carpet for it. I need to leave the dash and steering wheel in for now. A buddy of mine is a BMW tech and suggested making sure the engine runs before I do all the work on it. The upside of making the cart as high as I did is I can just roll the engine in on the stand and hook everything up to fire it. I don't have to actually install it. I'm also working on a wiring and brake line tuck and would need the engine in place to work on that anyway so it works out. 

I'm going to repaint the interior because I don't want anyone to ever be able to tell this wasn't a white car. Yes I know I'm the only one that will know but It's getting done. I have some rust in the trunk I need to deal with too. Does anyone know of anything I can treat the painted surfaced with to prep it for new paint. Trying to scuff sand everything would take me weeks and since almost all of it will be covered it doesn't have to be perfect

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
6/7/20 9:20 p.m.

I know it's been a while since I've updated this but I have been making progress. I got the transmission wire wheeled down and painted. That sucked. I started wire wheeling the engine but gave up, I'm just going to give it to the sand blaster to do. He's also got the subframes and last of the suspension, brake and engine parts. Once I get them back they'll all get painted. I'm working on prepping the bottom inside and engine compartment on the chassis but I've got a few questions. I used a wire wheel on an angle grinder to get rid of the excess seam seal and some tiny rust bubbles. There was a ton of both though and I'm not sure if I should just wire wheel everything down to bare metal or if that will just be making more work for myself. I tried sanding the metal after I wheel it and it looks and feels like it should be smooth enough to not show through the primer and paint but I'm just not sure. I've always tried to avoid paint and body work. With as much work as I'm putting into this I want it to be right though. The underside of the car is going ot be painted with white SEM rust shield so it doesn't need to be pretty. Just a thorough cleaning, scuff and shoot. Interior is pretty much the same.

This is one of the many little rust spots. Most are probably 3/16-1/2" or less. Should I just clean all the little spots or just wire wheel the whole engine comprtment to bare metal?

The whole trans was fuzzy white with oxidation. Here's what it look like after wire wheeling it and after paint. Looks brandy new. If anyonee knows an easier way to remove oxidation from aluminum and clean it for paint let me know. Wire wheeling sucks.

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
7/14/20 9:19 p.m.

I realized a few days ago I hadn't updated this thread in a while. Progress isn't as fast as I'd like but I'm building the BMW and the sand rail at the same time. There only so many hours a week and change in my pockets. I have made some good progress though. Got the engine compartment and trunk wire wheeled down (for the third time). The first time I let it sit a week or two and it rusted over. I wire wheeled it down last saturday and figured I'd prime it sunday. With the heat and humidity it rusted over again over night. It wasn't as bad so after an hour or so it was ready for etching primer. At least now I don't have to worry about it. Once I get the underside prepped and painted and finish inside I'm going ot bring it into work to paint the interior, engine compartment and jambs. After that I'll bring it home for reassembly then drive it back up over the winter or something to paint the outside. I'm still trying to weigh my options for fixing the damage and maybe a metal Pandem style widebody.

After washing the engine 3 times it was finally ready for paint. I used purple power, aluminum brightener and a pressure washer to get it clean. It wasn't spotless but it was a whole lot cleaner than when I started. I think it came out pretty good. Once I sell my ZHP I'm going to star ordering new parts. The engine is getting a new valve cover, all gaskets, new cooling system, rod bearings, etc. I'm going to clean and paint the oil pan and front diff when I have them off as it will be much easier. 

Tex06 New Reader
7/16/20 4:19 p.m.
EfiniMotorsport said:


 If anyonee knows an easier way to remove oxidation from aluminum and clean it for paint let me know. Wire wheeling sucks.

Media blasting. For light oxidation like that a soda blaster will usually do the trick and it cleans up with water. Harbor Freight has a few cheap ones that will do the trick.


I have a blast cabinet with glass beads that I use for all of my smaller stuff....it does leave a textured surface which some people don't like.

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
7/19/20 9:21 p.m.

I've got a blast cabinet I use for whatever I can fit in it. Couldn't fit the engine though. I do have a small handheld blaster but it uses so much media it's not worth using.

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