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e46 v8 wagon

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UPDATE

 

Progress has been slow, mostly due to finances but slow and steady wins the race.

Engine bay was smoothed with a bunch of unneeded brackets and metal removed.

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A bunch of sanding, then its high build primer and more sanding

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Then its time for bmw black sapphire metallic followed by clear. Thanks go to @325_driver for a good deal on his leftover paint.

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With the engine bay ready to receive some parts it was time to work on the front crossmember. The stock crossmember has a bit of a weak spot where the engine mounts afix so I wanted to strengthen that. Here is the crossmember upside down - I cut some 2mm sheet steel to fit inside the two 'pockets'.

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These were then welded in and other pieces were cut to fit on top 

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And then these are welded in too (above picture of the left side, below picture of the right side).

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Then it has a hole drilled in it so a socket can still be inserted to bolt up the engine mount. Then undercoated in zinc primer ready for topcoat.

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For those interested here is the comparison of the e46 crossmember with the e39 v8 crossmember.

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It was then painted with the same paint I used on the engine bay, and then installed along with the steering rack which was painted in satin black to match the powder-coated suspension parts.

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New msport control arms were purchased and I spent quite some time polishing them. They were then clear coated so the polish doesn't fade and partnered with new lollypops which I also polished and clear coated, and some alloy and polyurethane powerflex bushings.

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You're my hero. And an inspiration. Truly. I was wondering only yesterday evening how you were getting on and had thought of calling today.

I can find any number of reasons excuses not to get on with stuff, and then you pop up with progress despite everything.

Great work. 🏆

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UPDATE

 

Here are some more photos that show more detail. Firstly the powerflex control arm bushings pressed into the lollypops.

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Here is an image that shows one of the control arms mid polish. I taped one side so you can see the difference.

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Steering rack cleaned up and painted (even the metal lines). This is before the boots were replaced.

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Anyway, the front 330i spindles were sandblasted, painted and installed and I started fitting the front coilovers.

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This is the other side with the springs and sway bar links installed.

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Here is the old sway bar link next to the new one. Quite the size difference.

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I got xyz adjustable camber mounts from a friend, but the colour just wouldn't work with the clean, minimal look I'm going for, so I stripped and painted them in satin black.

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These were installed, but not before the strut tower strengthening plates. Most people just sit the plates in loose, but I siliconed them in so it will be easier in the future should I need to remove the coilovers for any reason.

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Then the 330i discs and reconditioned calipers were installed. The discs were just sprayed with a rattle can to resist rust, but I will remove the paint from the contact patch before the car is moved for the first time so the brake pads don't get compromised. The calipers were sandblasted and powder coated, and then had all new seals, boots, bleed screws etc installed. 

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I got some goodies from garagistic. Really excellent quality at a reasonable price.

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The brake lines are Teflon, wrapped with a stainless steel braid and stainless fittings. They are burst tested to 6000 psi and have a lifetime warranty.

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They really add the finishing touch to the strut.

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I got e46 m3 front and rear swaybars secondhand for a good price, and these were prepped, painted and installed with new rubber bushings. The m3 bars are 26mm front and 21.5mm rear, compared to my old msport ones which were 23.5mm front and 18mm rear.

I used my Christmas money to give the steering rack new inner and outer tie rods and new boots, and can be seen here attached to the 330i spindles.

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Fronts are all done now, so now I just have to finish off the rears. I'm really happy how its coming together.

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13 hours ago, gjm said:

You're my hero. And an inspiration. Truly. I was wondering only yesterday evening how you were getting on and had thought of calling today.

I can find any number of reasons excuses not to get on with stuff, and then you pop up with progress despite everything.

Great work. 🏆

Thanks Graeme for your kind words.

To be honest its been hard to keep motivated sometimes, especially in winter as I don't have a garage or any cover. When I make a mistake or encounter a problem I tend to get discouraged, and the low budget slows things down too.

But when I finish a section that I'm happy with its all worth it.

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Looking good - really enjoying following your progress! keep it up!

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