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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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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.

BMW328is: First Powdercoated Parts Arrive

Monday, August 21, 2017

Not much time spent in the garage but a lot of work accomplished. The first powdercoated parts have arrived. I also picked up a couple parts from the last order including the tunnel heat shield and ordered another batch of parts I'll need for the assembly process. I think it's safe to say that I've reached the half-way point in this very long and complex project.

BMW328is: Removed Front Support

Sunday, August 20, 2017

After a bunch of diversions to other matters I finally got around to removing the front support. This will be reworked or replaced and then painted. This process will also facilitate replacement of the hood latch receptacles and related cabling. Best of all, the vehicle has been transferred to the two post lift for the next phase of the overhaul.

BMW328is: Reconditioned Fuel Injectors Installed

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Today I went to the garage with the intent to pull the front support but wound up cleaning the intake manifold inside and out, installing the reconditioned injectors, preparing some vacuum lines, developing another short list of parts I need to order, and staging more items to be blasted.

BMW328is: New Cylinder Head Arrives

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I received notification a couple days ago that the new head would arrive today from Autohead and it arrived on schedule. The surprise was that I received the AMC cam carriers along with the head and that wasn't originally part of the deal. More after the click.

BMW328is: Parts to Powdercoating

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today I assembled a few items that require refinishing and took them to my local powdercoater. I also took delivery of a huge number of parts required for assembly. A couple of the parts turned out to be unavailable until next year so I'll have to make due without them, but it's nice to know BMW Classic is still trying to support these cars.

BMW328is: Hood Latch Work Begins

Monday, August 14, 2017

Over the last couple of days I've been researching parts needed to bring the vehicle up to snuff. I rediscovered a power steering hose part number descrepancy, placed what I think is the last big order with my dealer, and began work necessary to replace the hood latch cable and receptacles. As usual I have discovered a few more items I need to address.

BMW328is: Engine Bay Cleaning Begins

Friday, August 11, 2017

With all the major subassemblies now in the hands of vendors it was time to start preparing the chassis to accept the new drivetrain. I started to clean the engine bay of dirt and grease and identify various parts that need to be reconditioned or replaced. I also received the final quote from the machine stop and removed the fuel injectors so I can send them out for service. Lots more to talk about in the latest entry in the project.

BMW328is: Parts Delivered To Machine Shop

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

After a slight delay I managed to deliver the parts to my local machinist today. I spent a good 30 minutes talking with the shop owner about the project and I think we're off to a good start. I'm expecting a bit over a week turnaround time. Until then I'll be working on the chassis and ordering yet more parts.

BMW328is: Head Rework Complete

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I attacked the crust on the block with an end wire brush chucked into my die grinder and the results are good, but inadequate for painting. I also finished my prep of parts going to the machinist. Finally, I received an invoice from Autohead indicating that the head rework is complete, but I am also faced with an important decision about the head. Lots to talk about. Check out the full story.

BMW328is: Crank Removed and First Measurements

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Today I removed the crank, inspected the main bearings and journals, removed the oil squirters and, lastly, the crank position sensor. Then I took the block outside again and used my spray wand to wash down the block with mineral spirits so I could take a few initial measurements of the cylinders. The news is all good.

BMW328is: Bottom End Disassembly Begins

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I degreased the block and then began disassembly of the bottom end. The pistons are out of the block and an inspection of the bearings reveals why oil analysis is such an important tool in engine diagnostics. More detail and pictures, as always, are ready and waiting.

BMW328is: Cylinder Head Shipped

Monday, July 31, 2017

I managed to inspect the head for obvious cracks and then package it for shipment to Autohead. I also took a tablet full of pictures to my technician to get his opinion on the state of the top end. The good news is we generally agree on the condition. The bad news is if I want to do this correctly I may be forced to buy some parts I did not factor into my budget.

BMW328is: Cylinder Head Removed

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I managed to remove the oil filter housing and cylinder head today. A few of the intake cam bearing surfaces are in less than ideal shape and the VANOS unit will definitely need a rebuild but overall the condition of the engine is as expected. Lots of detail awaits in the latest installment. You know what to do.

BMW328is: Engine Disassembly Begins

Friday, July 28, 2017

I spent a few hours today on the engine and managed to remove most of the external parts (pipes, hoses, etc.) as well as the water pump and thermostat. Removal of the valve cover has revealed a top end in good shape, at least cosmetically, but as far as I can tell the engine is mistimed. This may explain a few of the engine operating characteristics I've noticed lately. Check out the latest show and tell.

BMW328is: Engine On Stand

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I spent a sizeable portion of the day reclaiming the vehicle and all of the parts my tech removed from it and mounting the engine to the stand I'll use anchor point for the rebuild. Seeing no point in putting off the start of the transmission overhaul I transported it directly to the local shop for a complete rebuild. Check out the full story including pictures.

BMW328is: Drivetrain Disassembly Complete

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My technician called me this morning to let me know the engine, transmission and driveshaft had been removed from the vehicle and he would be ready for me to pick up everything tomorrow. A cursory inspection of the engine reveals it to be in pretty good shape, but I will need to do some additional work on the body. The full story and some pictures await in the latest installment of the drivetrain overhaul project.

BMW328is: Drivetrain Disassembly Begins

Sunday, July 23, 2017

After a short delay I finally delivered the car to my tech for disassembly. I also managed to mount the vise to my new table as required to overhaul the VANOS, among other things. The good news is I'm finally off and running on the drivetrain overhaul project. The bad news is any remaining hope for a "lazy summer" is out the window. August is shaping up to be an exceedingly busy month.

BMW328is: Another Parts Order

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Over the last couple of weeks I've purchased the last of the parts I feel comfortable ordering ahead of the teardown including new transmission oil cooler pipes and the oil pump. I also acquired some hardware I expect to use to lift the engine and confirmed the break-in procedure for the new INA lifters. The car is headed to the shop on Monday so this will be the last entry before the real work starts.

BMW328is: High Temp Paint Options

Saturday, July 1, 2017

This week I researched high temperature paint options for the engine block, accepted delivery of the oil pump shaft upgrade and magnets I'll use to retain the lifters in the cam trays, bought an engine stand and shop crane, and finally, revised my plan for the break-in process. Lots more geeky stuff to talk about in the latest update to the drivetrain overhaul project.

BMW328is: Oil Pump Upgrade Options

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I'm within a few weeks of pulling the engine now. I've made a decision about the transmission overhaul, received the new set of lifters, purchased an upgrade for the oil pump to address some common failure modes and managed to complete assembly of the table that will serve as the centerpiece of my workstation. As usual, all the details can be found on the other side of the click.

BMW328is: First Engine Parts Order

Friday, June 16, 2017

The drivetrain overhaul project continues to ramp up. This week some critical tools including the torque plate arrived and I completed the first of a few big parts orders with my dealer. The ShureShop table also arrived and I managed to partially assemble it with my brother's assistance but that didn't go as smoothly as expected. This and more awaits in the latest installment.

BMW330ci: Driver's Airbag Replaced

Friday, June 9, 2017

After waking the E46 from its deep winter slumber I conducted another low utilization oil service and then made an appointment this week with my technician to replace the driver's side airbag under BMW's Takata airbag recall campaign. I also acquired an article recommended by my technician that explains the history of the recall and why, if your vehicle is subject to this recall, that you definitely want the bag replaced. For the details, as always, check out the full story.

BMW328is: Pistons Arrive

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The pistons and a lot of other miscellaneous tools and supplies have arrived. I bought the Beisan Systems Vanos overhaul kits and clarified why no thrust bearings are included. I also made some progress on the 100W LED task lighting project and found the initial performance promising. My drivetrain overhaul project is starting to (forgive the pun) rev up, so you'll want to check out the latest installment.

BMW328is: First Tools Arrive

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

After a ridiculous amount of research and bargain hunting I began to order the special tools and equipment I'll need to complete the drivetrain overhaul project. The bore gauge set, M52 timing toolkit, and the first components associated with a task lighting experiment have arrived so far. Have a look at the new tools.

BMW328is: Piston Clearances Clarified

Saturday, May 20, 2017

While trying to write up instructions for my machinist I received a call from Steve at Top End Performance to clarify how I should bore the block. I also met with my technician to discuss some logistical issues, researched work bench options and even found a reasonably priced digital torque angle gauge. The prep continues in the latest installment of my drivetrain overhaul project.

BMW328is: Pistons Ordered

Friday, May 12, 2017

Research on the transmission overhaul continues. I have learned more about the process, tools and equipment needed to tackle this job. I also managed to find a decent supplier for the torque converter overhaul, which is an essential component in any proper rebuild. And finally, I ordered the JE pistons with thermal barrier coating option. They are expected to arrive in about a month. Check out the latest installment in my drivetrain overhaul project.

BMW328is: Drivetrain Overhaul Parts List

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Over the last couple of weeks I collected a list of tools, equipment and parts I'll need for the drivetrain overhaul. I also developed a blueprinting spreadsheet that I figure will come in handy when I'm rebuilding the bottom end of the engine, contemplated rebuilding the transmission myself, and sent a few more questions to the JE Pistons rep. If you've enjoyed reading the ramp up to my drivetrain overhaul you don't want to miss this installment.

BMW328is: Engine Overhaul Update

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I discovered the reason why my first choice piston vendor was not answering their phone and wound up researching additional options for piston replacement. I also got around to making the compression ratio calculations to determine the consequence of boring the block to 84.5mm, had the first detailed conversation with my head rebuilder and even researched the specialized tools I'll need to assemble the bottom end. Lots of geeky technical stuff ahead.

BMW328is: More Engine Overhaul Research

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Seeking to purchase another BatteryMINDer I found the models I own are now discontinued, but I may have found a suitable replacement. I also continued my engine overhaul research and discovered a great new series of videos that document a stock overhaul of the M52/M54 series of engines. Lots to talk about so do yourself a favor and start reading.