Category Archives: E30

All things e30.

Project Ares – Pandem (rocket bunny) supercharged LS1 E30

So on to the exterior of the E30 ls1 car we named Ares. Being that the Car will have a supercharged LS1, we wanted this car to be functional. Very functional. No air ride and lots of tire to put down the power with. So we though, we should go widebody! Then we picked the wrong widebody kit……

We picked the Pandem E30 body kit. Why? Because we thought it looked really cool, gave us the ability to run some wide wheel, and there wasnt too many of them around. Little did we know, that this kit is not meant to be functional at all. After getting the kit, we realized, this kit was meant for a car that was going to be parked on air at shows, not put fast lap times down at the track. Every builder who has used this kit on an e30 used it with air suspension for a reason. The wheel arches on this body kit are incredibly high. Meaning cutting the car very very very high. No big deal right?  Ever notice how none of the E30s with the pandem kit have their wheels turned when they are slammed? Yea, thats because they cant turn at that ride height. It would touch the body kit. Thats why the wheels are always straight in the pictures.

So we made a mistake. What were we going to do with this very expensive body kit or the custom wheels made for this car? Cut up the body kit? Not with a price tag that it had.  However, with some serious chasis modification and creative thinking we came up with a solution.

The first thing we had to do was cut the rear wheel arches. Very high. There was no going back now. It was like performing surgury and making sure there was enough “skin” to sow it back togther. We cut the outer skin and left the inner skin to use it to close up the new fender gap.

The front was a little trickier. After realizing that the car wont be able to turn with 9.5 in wheels because it touched EVERYTHING. At the ride height the Pandem kit was expected to “look” right at, it would rub on the inner fender seem. So we cut it out and welded it shut. On turning it touched the wheel well corners (inside cabin). We  had to cut a massive section out to get it to turn lock to lock. On the front the corner of the engine bay had to go for the same reason.

Now being that the car was going to be so low to the ground, we  would also need to make the whole front end removable very quickly. This would make it loading onto the trailer to get to track events/shows/etc a little easier. Its not like we could just air up the car at will. The car has a functional coilover system all the way around compliments of ground control. This includes true rear coilover rear setup like the old DTM cars had. We did mention we picked the wrong body kit right? We will explain how we made the front end removable here.

All LS1 parts can be found at the Garagistic Store.

Project ares – E30 diffuser system and spare wheel well delete

We wanted to experiment with the aero on Ares. So the trunk wheel well had to go. We made a delete panel and removed the spare wheel well because the new diffuser system would then occupy the space that it use to be in.

So we made a delete panel and modified it from our production version by adding a quick release system. This would give us an panel to be able to check on the differential and some rear suspension components when we needed to without needing the remove the diffuser setup.

We want the diffuser system to run most of the length of the car. There would be a cut out for our M coupe diff cover to stick out from so it can do what it does best. Cool the diff.

That meant that the exhaust would need to go somewhere else. We didnt like the idea of a side dump (and we didn’t want to kit our Pandem kit). So we decided to have a similar look to the DTM E30 cars and run it through the trunk. Why not?

It runs through the spare wheel well delete and on either side of where the licence plate would go. It would be tucked away so it couldn’t get damaged and at the same time away from our diffuser setup. We then welded up the stock cutout panel because it would no longer be used.

For all E30 LS1 parts visit us at Garagistic!

Project Ares – Boosterless E30 brakes

Being that we are going with a V8 in the Ares E30, we had to go boosterless. Although there are Hydro setups out there as well retrofitted e32/e34 booster relocation kit out there for the e30. They all have serious faults. For Example, the hydro-setup is incredibly cluttered in an already packed engine bay. The e32/e34 us cluttered as well and means more fabwork to brace the wheel well that it gets bolted to. We had it on our M60 V8 E30 Lela and it left alot to be desired from the brakes.

Our boosterless setup is very well thought out. When most people think boosterless, they think, turn the car off and roll down a hill and try to stop the car kinda feeling. Its not like that at all! To make up from not being vacuum assisted, the bore sized on our wilwood boosterless setup is much smaller. 5/8 for the front brakes, 5/8 for the rear and 3/4 for the clutch. Not only are the bore sizes smaller which make the effort to stop the car less, but the pedal ratio is now 6.25:1. This further assist you in braking effort.

We made a few tweeks to our production version for the Ares project to make it easier to work with with. We welded the nuts onto the bracket and the top 3 bolts to make it a one man job to remove them.

We also wanted a way to mount a neat tilton reservoir, so we modified our production version upper plate to include a 90 degree bend to hold the tilton setup/fluid.

This then brought on the creation of our Boosterless plumbing kit.  We needed a way to block the stock boosterless hole setup and a way to route the new lines cleanly through.

We will also be installing a Tilton Remote Brake Bias Adjuster Knob to be able to fine tune everything.

In the future we will be installing a wilwood big brake setup. For now, we had e36 m3 laying around, so we used that for the front setup and z3 stuff out back.  Something we will need to revisit soon.

Project Ares – E30 removable front end

The car was meant to be low. Very low. Very very low.  And ride height was static via ground control coil-overs. That made the front valence very low. And we wanted to keep that way because we had some aero mods in store including a fully functional diffuser system. So what do we do? Loading it onto trailers would be an unthinkable task. We made the front end removable.

We did this buy buying an OEM late model front valence and cutting it up. Yup. A brand new valence. We did this because it had to be perfectly straight. We practiced with a questionable unit and we knew what we had to do to make it removable. We had to make the OEM piece into 2 pieces. An upper half and a lower half. We would then make sure the upper piece stayed on the car as the original engineers had intended. But the lower half would come off with the bumper.

We used the 2 stock bolt locations to run pins to be able to pull on to remove the bumper setup and the lower half of the valence in a couple seconds.

That pair with the e30 removable core support, we would be able to service the car in a hurry if we needed to.

Project Ares – Deleting the sunroof

Anyone who races cars knows that weight is evil. More or less anyway. However, weight at the top of the car is the worst kind of weight. Especially the sunroof. You want the center of gravity to be as low as possible. So we did away with the E30 sunroof.

Its not exactly a small en devour.  After removing the sunroof itself, all motors, cables etc, we then had to remove the inner cassette that the sunroof fits into when opened. You can drill the spot welds out and it will eventually pop out.  This modification saves you about 50lbs off the roof! This changes the handling dynamic of the e30 dramatically. At first we welded the roof shut with our delete panel. We then decided, lets save even more weight, cut the whole roof off and use a carbon fiber unit instead. So we did.

The new carbon fiber roof weights in at 3lbs. The metal we cut out was another 18lbs. So a total weight savings of 68 lbs off the roof was removed. Not bad!

To make it look right, the guys at Kings auto body then riveted on the roof and blended it in to make it look as OEM as possible.

Being that this was one of those “while we were at it” mods that we did not account for, we realized that our half cage wasn’t really a safe idea anymore. So eventually a full cage is needed.

Project Ares – Steering setup on the Super e30

Sticking with the modular theme, we wanted the steering system to be no different. Obviously we were going to go with a quicker steering setup over the school bus setup of the e30. That ended up being a Z3 rack. Paired with our steering rack conversion kit it bolted right up. For the outer tie rods we made adjustable versions that were a little lighter, beefier, offered more adjustment and allowed bump steer adjustment. These are made to order. Common use is for guys who use e46 lower  control arms.

For the steering column we went with our competition steering shaft. Its made from 2 e46 steering shafts. It is more compact which allows the LS1 headers to wrap around (and its still a tight fit). It also make the shaft much tighter feeling because it eliminates the stock rubber rag unit that disconnect the feeling of the road from the steering wheels.

We then added AN conversion fittings so we can retain power steering and run lines to the LS1 power steering pump. More details to come!

The road to SEMA

Garagistic is proud to announce we are entering the arena of brilliant minds and innovators all around the globe. We’re beginning our journey to the largest auto trade event in the world: SEMA.

Egge Speed Shop - originally posted to Flickr as IMG_9796
SEMA 2008

You read correctly. We will be joining industry leaders from around the world this coming November 2016. But we are not about to go empty handed. We have a treat for you guys; a project car that will be singularly the most ambitious stunt Garagistic has ever tackled. We have named it, Ares.

Violence and control. The fury of war merged with military strategy. This is the embodiment of the offspring of Zeus and Hera. The power of American muscle and the poise of German engineering. This is the son of Olympus, Ares.

Ares, Greek god of war, classically depicted.

We’ve been dancing with V8s long enough now, and damn it we have it down to science. Besides that we have our high caliber specialty suspension we forge here in the shop. Combine these ingredients with a 1989 325i and it all comes together as a street legal, track ready, easy to build, easy to modify, weapon of a car.

ls1 e30 garagistic
Corvette power in a lightweight BMW 3 series.

These are our products. Everything you will see on Ares is either items we make that are currently in production or a custom piece built directly from am existing Garagistic piece. But don’t worry, there is nothing on Ares that would be unavailable to you. One of the objectives when we were conceiving the plans for Ares is to produce new performance parts that can be used in any application.

Vehicle: 1989 BMW 325i
Power train: Supercharged Chevy LS1 5.7
Horsepower: 550*
Torque: 575*
Transmission: T-56 Getrag 6-Speed Manual
Curb weight: 2800 lbs
Wheel width: 17’x11′
Exterior Body Kit: Rocketbunny / Pandem imported from Japan

Certainly we have a massive amount of work before us, however we’ve begun working on this already. Click here for a link to the completion map to see how far we’ve progressed, and keep following us for the next post where I will explain in detail how much we’ve already done to Ares and everything yet to complete. We have a long way to get to SEMA but as they, you never really finish you just run out of time.

Checkpoint 1 – 10 Day Build – E21 S54

So 10 days is over. Now I’m posting in checkpoints. Every few days I post updates. I won’t be working on it as much, so daily updates might not be worth the post, so I’ll have probably 3 of these checkpoint postings until I’m done with the car. Some of the things I was going to do if I had the time is – Paint red, Euro Bumper Shortening. I must wait for that for a while.

I’ve made some progress since day 10. I managed to use the MSS5X binary tool to re-flash my MSS52HP to the specifications below. Remove Post O2 Cats, Remove Secondary Air Pump, Remove EWS, Increase rev limiter, sport mode, changed sport mode settings for my accelerator pedal.

First, I got my license!

capturemss54hp-reflash-snapshot-1 mss54hp-reflash-snapshot-2 mss54hp-reflash-snapshot-3


Then I completed the shifter assembly using Garagistics bushings!img_5280


Wired up the battery cable from the trunk to the starter. I added power wiring to the Fuse Box as well as power to the ECU as well. img_5281 img_5282


Upper Radiator Hose Mocked up. img_5283


Then I went into the details of replacing the oil pump chain and E34 M50 Oil Pumpimg_5286 img_5287 img_5288 img_5290 img_5296 img_5298 img_5299 img_5300


Drilled out the oil pan, tapped with 9/16-18 thread for an O-Ring fitting allowing a barbed hose to drain from the head.  I used a 9/16-18 nut just in case the thinner walled oil pan didn’t take the threading. img_5301 img_5302 img_5303 img_5359


Finally I started doing some other preparations, like rebuild the rear calipers and exhaust work. img_5289 img_5294 img_5295


My next post will be in another few days. If I’m lucky, I’ll have this thing running and driving by week’s end!

Day 8 – 10 Day Build – E21 S54

It’s clear that this will not be a 10 day build. More like 13-15 days. But I’ve done my best and Garagistic has been an excellent proponent. Today, I got the Differential reluctor ring installed. It involved contracting the carrier by freezing it overnight….img_5199

Putting the reluctor ring in the oven at 500 degrees F for 1hr….img_5200

Then immediately, after install it. Within 10 seconds, it will have contracted enough to stay on. Then after 1hr, almost impossible to remove without a press. Very easy way to install!


Got some front subframe work done today. It’s not pretty, but it works, and now the S54 sits on its own weight in the car. Nice an aligned!!img_5203 img_5204 img_5205

For the driver side mount, using the E36 Arms, I found out that I was only able to utilize 2 of the bolts. So I had Garagistic cut me a custom piece that adapted 2 other holes, thereby allowing me the use of at least 3 holes in the assembly. img_5208

Had to shave off the Aluminum arm to make room for the 11ga bracket. img_5209

I might end up utilizing an additional hole. Not sure yet. img_5211

Shortened the shifter mechanism. Just need to weld it up!img_5213

After final alignment of the drivetrain, I couldn’t push the engine back any further. Disappointing because now the driveshaft is just too short to feel comfortable. Therefore, I’m having the rear half lengthened and re balanced professionally.

Stay tuned for tomorrow – no welding work, but alot of ancillary tasks like intake, brakes,

Day 7 – 10 Day Build – E21 S54

It may not look like it, but a lot of progress was made this Satuday, Day 7. I was able to effectively place Garagistic’s M60 80A poly mounts in place on the modified/shortened E36 M50 Arms. The Arms bolted right to the S54 Block. The Driver side mount only has 2 bolts utilized, so I must add an adapter plate to adapt the 2 unused holes to the block’s other holes. Not a big deal. More on that later this week. Here are some of the pics: Final pics will not be posted until later this week:

Passenger Side:


Drive Side:


I also took some time to update the subframe brackets. While Garagistic works hard at creating my custom offset rear subframe bushings, I am working on holdiong those bushings down by virtue of the modified brackets, now holding down on the OUTSIDE of the body as opposed to the inside. The reason for this is because of the wider E30 subframe would make contact with the weld nuts on the existing version E21 subframe bracket. So with some modifications of the bracket, weld bolts, we’ve got a pretty solid setup!


I also had a chance to shorten the shifter lever arm as well as the shift carrier, but I have not welded it yet. More on that this coming week.

Due to the final placement of the drivetrain, I had to modify the placement of the center bearing location and I decided to add rivet nuts as opposed to weld studs. This was actually pretty easy to implement.


Day 8 is Monday. I’m taking off this Sunday, so no work or progress is being made today. I want to accomplish the following:

  1. Weld the entire Front Subframe complete – Paint it.
  2. Side Radiator Clearance – Cut/Weld if necessary
  3. Install rear subframe bushings – Weld Diff Mount to Frame
  4. Measure rear driveshaft length – send out for lengthening
  5. Weld downpipes.

A lot planned – Stay tuned!