Day 1 – 10 Day Build – E21 S54

Ok, so one day down, and yes, it was purely a tear down! Not much technical info here. Took us 4 hours to get to this point on a Saturday Afternoon.

Car got picked up today from my place:

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Made some space and put the car on the lift:

img_4933Major components removed today.

Front Suspension – Going 100% poly and GC:

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Engine/Transmission/Driveshaft/Exhaust. It’s was leaking something fierce.

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Rear Suspension – Dropped right down:

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Some pics of the underbody and tunnel:

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Compared the driveshafts. Most likely, that will dictate the location of the engine position and as a result, i must define that position as soon as possible. If I determine that the position is too far forward, I will have no choice but to cut the driveshaft and position the assembly further back. This will result in time lost and more cash spent, but it’s important, and a one-time deal.

You can see below that the new driveshaft is much shorter, and the Center bearing location is much further back. This can easily be remedied by welding some metal relocation brackets. This will be documented in the next few posts

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You look below you can see some new products coming out, using a custom Garagistic part for E30-LS1 driveshafts. This U joint will handle up to 1000hp easily and be provided exclusively by Garagistic’s LS1 powered E30.

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Sunday is an off day .Restarting on Monday, at which point, I have the following list to-do.

  1. Siphon the gas out of the tank, if necessary.
  2. Do whatever it takes to get that E30 rear subframe to fit
  3. Cut out all unneeded sheetmetal from the assembly. Battery, trans tunnel, rear wheel well.
  4. Hang muffler in place.

Standby for more on Monday!

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:

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