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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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BMW328is: Fuel Tank Removed

Friday, October 20, 2017

Yesterday my technician removed the fuel tank and I used the opportunity to take some pictures of the vehicle that aren't very well documented. I also finished the fuel tank support and delivered that to my technician, only to have him point out the crusty emergency brake cable brackets.

BMW328is: Chassis Delivery

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

After some last-minute chassis work I managed to deliver the chassis to my technician yesterday and wrap up the engine work by installing the valve cover and coils. Today I met with my technician to discuss the assembly plan and refinished the center fuel tank strap.

BMW328is: Engine Final Assembly

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Over the last couple of days I've gathered a bunch of obscure torque specifications and attached everything I could to the engine in prep for its delivery to my technician. Aside from a few odds and ends I have to order on Monday I consider the engine nearly fully assembled.

BMW328is: Engine Timed and VANOS Installed

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Today I carefully assembled the components required to time the engine and install the VANOS. This required briefly pulling the engine off the stand to lock the bottom end at Cylinder #1 TDC. This is a fairly geeky entry with lots of technical details, but if that's your thing then check it out.

BMW328is: Cams Installed with Special Tool

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

i managed to order a new helical shaft and have my technician install it. Hearing of my failed attempt to install the cams my technician was kind enough to allow me to borrow the dealership's special tool for this task. I also managed to install a few other accessories. Things are looking up again as I get closer to wrapping up the build.

BMW328is: Cam Installation Attempt

Sunday, October 8, 2017

After a very long string of productive days at the garage, today turned out to be the low point in the project. I achieved none of my goals due to two separate issues I encountered today that will stop work until I can address them.

BMW328is: Head Installed

Saturday, October 7, 2017

After a bunch of preparation I managed to install the head today. I'm not sure if it was a function of the oil I applied to the bolts or the quality of the head bolt set, but this process went a lot smoother than it did when I installed the torque plate. I'm now to the ready to install the cams.

BMW328is: Head Preparation

Friday, October 6, 2017

After reviewing TIS documents yesterday I decided to purchase an oversize head gasket after all. While I wait for it to arrive I decided to prepare the head for installation. This amounted to removing the AMC cam carriers, a bit of cleaning and to the vacuum bleeding the lifters.

BMW328is: Oil Pump Installed

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Today I wrapped up the bulk of the bottom end assembly by safety wiring the oil pump bolt and installing the timing chain guides, primary timing chain, timing cover and oil pan. I still have a bunch of parts to attach to the exterior of the block but those will be tackled after the head is installed. Preparation related to the head installation is next.

BMW328is: Oil Pump Installed

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Today I installed a bunch of parts including the new rod bolts, rear main seal gasket, windage tray and oil pump. I encountered a couple issues during the oil pump installation but with some patience and help from Achilles I got the job done. The bottom end is almost wrapped up.

BMW328is: Rod Assemblies Installed

Monday, October 2, 2017

The rods, complete with pistons and clocked rings, have been installed in the block. During a validation step I took some measurements I didn't like so I had to seek advice from TEP. More details in the latest build update.

BMW328is: Crank Installed

Saturday, September 30, 2017

After installing the rings on the pistons and checking the remaining mains clearances I cleaned, lubed and installed the crank. While it doesn't seem like much, this was a huge milestone that sets the stage for the remaining bottom end assembly.

BMW328is: Ring End Gaps Set

Friday, September 29, 2017

Today I managed to file the rings to meet the gap specified by the piston manufacturer. As expected a learned a lot about this process, including that some practice is required to achieve the required gaps. Nevertheless, I managed to complete the task in a few hours.

BMW328is: Cylinder Bores Measured

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I recently realized that in order to properly set the ring gaps I'd have to install the torque plate -- a task I completed with minor issues once the needed parts arrived. I then measured the cylinder bores to double-check my machinist's work. The results were less than ideal but are sufficient to allow continuation of the bottom end build.

BMW328is: Pistons and Rods Assembled

Friday, September 22, 2017

While waiting for the last main bearing to arrive I decided to match and assemble the pistons and rods in prep for matching the rings to the block. Though I dreaded dealing with the circlips the special tool I purchased months ago made easy work of this task.

BMW328is: Bearing Clearance Checks

Thursday, September 21, 2017

With most of the main and rod bearings in hand, today I attempted to determine the clearances that would result from using them. My attempts to measure the rod bearing ID didn't work out as expected so I decided to measure a few of the main journals using plastigauge. Those results are more promising.

BMW328is: Pistons and Rods Weighed

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The high precision scale arrived so I used it to measure my rods and pistons, the point being to duplicate my machinist's data and create matched piston and rod assemblies. The bearings also arrived sans one thrust bearing shell which is due in from Germany early next week. More data than pictures this time around, but it's all good news.

BMW328is: Crank Measured

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The replacement tunnel insulation arrived damaged but in salvagable condition. I applied the top coat of Eastwood Aerospray 2K Gloss Black and unmasked the block the following day. I also managed to measure the crank so I know what bearing types to order. Lots of pictures and data await in the latest update.

BMW328is: Engine Components Returned

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The machinist finally called to let me know my components were ready so I ran over to get them. Back at the garage I remounted the block to the engine stand so I could mask and prime it to prevent any further rust. The top coat is next. I enjoyed my brief break from the project but now it's time for the final push.

BMW328is: Engine Machine Work Update

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I received a response from Beisan regarding the lack of radial play in my VANOS following installation of the rattle kit. I also visited my machinist today to drop off a part and while there saw my block on the milling machine and the crank on the balancing machine. I also received another small batch of parts and assembled the transmission support and intake manifold. More show and tell awaits.

BMW328is: Oil Pump and VANOS Rebuild

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Over the last few days I wrapped up work on the chassis for now and began some prep for the engine build including installation of the Achilles Motorsport oil pump upgrade and a rebuild of the VANOS unit with the Beisan Systems kits. Once again, lots to show and tell.

BMW328is: Front End Assembly Complete

Friday, September 1, 2017

Today I received some additional parts, completed assembly of the front end, began work on the fuel lines and dealt with a rather annoying snapped bolt...and a snapped easy-out. As I was composing this entry I also received pictures from my transmission shop. All are ready for your viewing pleasure.

BMW328is: Front End Assembly Continues

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I continued assembly of the front end today and would have completed the process as planned if it weren't for those meddling kids headlights. More detail and pictures await after the click.

BMW328is: Front End Assembly Begins

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Today I picked up an essential order of miscellaneous hardware and other parts required to begin assembly of the front end. I managed to install the front support, truss support and newly painted bumper shock absorbers. I also completed the installation of the hood release mechanisms and verified that the hood release handle is a lot easier to pull now. More parts are on the way and more work is planned.

BMW328is: Front Support Arrives

Monday, August 28, 2017

The front support and last batch of powdercoating arrived today. I continued my rust remediation efforts, including use of some custom mixed color in a rattle can to refinish select areas of the engine bay. I also managed to do a bit of assembly too. After weeks of putting stuff into bags for safe keeping it feels oddly satisfying to be emptying those bags and throwing them away. Only 50+ more bags to go.

BMW328is: Rust Remediation Begins

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Most rational people rest on the weekend but I wound up lining the garage in plastic, donning a tyvek suit and degreasing virtually the entire belly of the vehicle in prep for my rust remediation efforts. I spent several hours on this task and the results are promising.

BMW328is: Hood Release Cable Replaced

Saturday, August 26, 2017

One job in this project has been taunting me for weeks but I managed to get the challenging portion of it done today. Of course I'm talking about the hood release cable, which I finally managed to route through the fender using the old cable as a snake. My experience pulling wires in the electrical trade came in handy here.

BMW328is: New Cams Arrive

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I delivered the front support to the paint shop, received the new cams and carriers, placed yet another order for miscellaneous hardware and other parts needed to fix stuff found underneath the vehicle and even discovered a disturbing issue with a couple closures in the floor pan. Again, lots to talk about so do yourself a favor and click.

BMW328is: Front Support Nutserts Installed

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Yet another parts order arrived today, and with it the new front support. That cleared the way to install the nutserts needed to eliminate use of those stupid expanding plastic rivets to secure the alternator air duct cover that must be removed to do any work on the front of the engine.

BMW328is: Overhauled Transmission Arrives

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The overhauled transmission is back in the garage awaiting installation. The unit was found to be in surprisingly good shape for its mileage, though some wear was evident. I sent out the second batch of parts to powdercoat and spent the remainder of my limited time in the shop today prepping and painting parts. As usual, I've prepared a bunch of pictures for your viewing pleasure.