10 Day Build – PrePost E21 S54

Some of you may remember me from a while ago when I did my E30 M30, then a new E30 M60, then transformed that into E30 S62. I still have that E30, but now I’m on to smaller and, frankly easier, projects. In short: I’m teaming up with Garagistic LLC to undertake a risky project. The risky part being a somewhat aggressive build schedule, posting updates daily AS I MAKE PROGRESS. That’s right! That is a 10 day S54 build in the forgotten 3-series, my E21.

You want more technical detail on each of these daily updates? You’re at the right place!

Ok, so here are the bullet points of the near term overhaul.

Intro: Start with bone stock 1980 E21 320i FI M10

  • S54B32 101k miles from 2001 M3 w/ ZF S5D-320Z-HCH
  • Complete E30 Rear Suspension with offset TA bushings and S3.46 Medium Case, rear disc
  • Rota Slipstream 15×7.5 ET25 on Hankook 205/50-15
  • Full GC Coilover 350/400 suspension
  • 80A Poly bushings all around, new bearings, brakes.
  • New Windshield

Exit Criteria: Fully Functional E21 with new drivetrain, suspension. I won’t have any HVAC, no P/S, heat, No power anything. No creature comforts. Without a roll cage (yet), this will be a near race ready e21. Making custom mounts, exhaust, shifter, program ECU, harnesses…etc. All that jazz.

Here’s some history:
I bought this 300k mile E21 in February as my daily driver to/from work. I was getting 30+mpg for a while until I sprung an oil leak in July on my 50 mile commute home, no indication of lost oil pressure resulting in a blown connecting rod slip-slappin’ inside the case. So the motor was toast. What a better time to do a motor swap than now!? So I’ve spent the last 2 months collecting parts with Garagistic, planning schedule, and getting ready to tear into it. The time has now come.

Yes, this is as live as it gets with swaps and there’s a chance I won’t do it in 10 days.
Yes, the car was plasti-dipped when I got it. I plan to re-spray it next year.
Yes, There’s surface rust, but the rest of the car is solid (except under the driver pedals).
No, I don’t plan to issue a formal write-up about it, but will document here on the forums.
No, I won’t be answering every single question. Won’t have the time.

I plan to get the car running in 10 days. Next build post will be this Saturday, September 10th, after I get the car to the shop and start tear down!

Here are some pictures:

IMG_4842 IMG_4838 IMG_4777 IMG_4281 IMG_4259 IMG_4226 IMG_4223 IMG_4221 IMG_4211 IMG_4204 IMG_4175 IMG_4180 IMG_4181 IMG_4183 IMG_4201 IMG_4172 IMG_4159 IMG_4122 IMG_4088 IMG_3506 IMG_3507 IMG_3976 IMG_3978 IMG_4084 IMG_3421 IMG_1895 IMG_1816 IMG_3182 IMG_3180

So there you have it. Daily updates posted around 10pm EST starting this Saturday night!

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