• entries
  • comments
  • views

About this blog

My 2002 M20 build

Entries in this blog


Moving Day.

Heading to the mechanic to start putting it all back together.

Moving day. Heading to Bimmer Motor Werks.






The two kids got to spend a little time together.


I also delivered a car full of new and used parts to Aleks. He's going to get working on everything this week. I'm sure it will be a couple weeks before I see any real progress. He's doing most of the work himself.


Flares On!

Stopped by a few days ago and they had it all shiny.



Turns out inka is sort of a hard color to photograph. None of the pictures really do the color justice.

Stopped by again today and they had the flares and side skirts on. Super stoked to see it all together again. There is a minor fitment issue with the rear drivers side tire. For some reason it is no longer centered front to back on the flare. I'm note sure if they put the flare on weird, or if maybe my subframe shifted... It does have adjustable camber and caster. Would that effect it?





After a couple of failed attempts I managed to find someone to give my pedal box a quick blast. I'm totally glad I did too. There was no way I was going to get it that clean by myself. I thought about having it powder coated, but in the end I decided to just hit it with a couple coats of rustoleum gloss black. I'm sure it will be fine. It's not like anyone will ever see it once it gets in the car.


I also had a chance to swing by the paint shop to check out my car. The whole thing has been sprayed, and they were working on wetsanding the exterior. It's a little disconcerting to see them sanding away on my brand new paint job, but I get it. It was GREAT to see it all orange, but I still can't wait to see it when it's shiny, and especially when it has the flares etc on. I think it was probably mostly finished by the end of the day friday, but I didn't have time to swing back by to look at it. I've already contacted a glass guy and I'll be dropping by the glass and seals I have on Monday for him to look at. Not sure if I can reuse seals or not...











More baby steps.

Basically all of the interior has been painted orange. They still need to black out the subframe and steering linkage, and wetsand. They were about to start on the hood (outside only, it's carbon fibre and the inside just gets a clear) and flares etc today. I think they are going to work on it a bit over the weekend, and it should be ready for reassembly next week sometime. That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

I got a rebuild kit for my pedal box (thanks Blunt!), so I'm going to strip that down over the weekend and get it all freshened up. It's one of the first things that goes back in so I want to be all ready. I also got some new OEM wiring harness wrap. I need to dig out the old one, clean it up and get ready to freshen it up.










Final primer is on. They'll wet sand it, then do two coats of finish paint, then another light wet sand and it should be ready for assembly.








Lot's of priming and blocking to do on this car. There was a lot of metal work done to the panels, two levels of trim holes welded up, gas cap delete, front and rear side marker deletes. Once they get it all smoothed out they will do a final layer of primer, then two coats of paint. I'm hoping this time next week they will be starting with the final painting. Interior and trunk are all epoxy primed and ready for some Inka love.

The painters have been great to work with. They will be doing seam sealing, fresh black paint in the wheel wells, the carbon fiber hood gets orange on top, but will just get a clear coat underneath.

I am looking for input on one thing. I told them to leave the hinge support for the hood black, thinking it would be less obvious showing through the grill. Looking at pictures it seems like OEM is to do it body color. I'm sort of torn which way to go...


Ready For Paint.

Sometimes I forget what my car started out like when I dropped it off at Bonnevillains.


I managed to get them to finish up all (mostly) the things I wanted for a fair price. New trunk floor is in, fuel tank mounted (fun surprise coming on that one) muffler mounted (staggered twin tip, from an S4 I believe) and BMP side skirts on. I'm really happy that I went ahead with the side skirts. The fit isn't perfect, but I do like the more modern look it gives the car. Plus if fits the overall theme of my build which is trying to make an OEM looking modern version of the 2002.

Just talked to them and they shot these pics as they were getting ready to roll it next door to get painted. Should be about two weeks (hopefully for real this time) before it's all orange.







I suppose I do have a few minor updates to give.

Bonnevillians has been working on some small punch list items. They were able to tub out the inner fenders in the front so that my wheels now have clearance and my turning radius won't be effected. They did a real good job too. One front tire was hitting on the fender flare which was really bumming me out. I was questioning their work as they had the whole nose of and the fenders were loose. I was worried they welded it back up crooked. Turns out they just had the rear wheel on the front on that side. Easy fix.

They were also able to finally get the front valence on. I was very pleased with this. I really went out of my way to get OEM flares and valence so the fit would be good.

Also, the quad grills are pretty much done. They still need to work on getting the buckets all finished up.



They are working on my rear suspension right now. The coilovers are a little longer than I had hoped. I'll have to have them dialed all the way down do get the tires to tuck in a little. Hopefully I still have plenty of travel. If not I'll have to try and get shorter ones from GC or raise my shock towers.


FYI 16 x 205/50's up front and 225/50 rear is a lot of tire for this little guy.

Here's a little peek of my custom rear subframe. Also, it's been a long time since I was under this car. I was please to see how clean and rust free it was under there. The diff of the 2002 can't handle the power I'm planning on. This subframe (made by 2002haus) uses an E30 diff (with E36 diff cover) and custom axles to make sure the power goes where it should. I also just took delivery of a 3.73 LSD that is ready to go in.

It was really fun to compute all the RPM / speed based on all my miss matched parts. The 3.73 seems like a sweet spot for this project. Cruising speed (75mph) will put me at 3000 rpm. 90 is 3,600. It's very similar to my M3. It's a little taller maybe, but that should give me good MPG. Also, since I am ultimately going forced induction, I didn't want to go to short, as that doesn't give the turbo time to spool. Other pertinent RPM/MPH numbers. 60mph in second is 6,600rpm (stock redline starts at 6,250 most chips raise it between 6,500 and 6,900). Theoretical top speed, 5th gear 6600 rpm? 163, aka pooping pants.


Radiator is mounted, all the trim holes and rust spots are finally taken care of. Now they just need to mount the front spoiler, and get the quad headlights mounted.




Rear brace and battery holder is done as well. Still need to mount the fuel cell and delete the spare tire well so there is room for the exhaust. Unfortunately that wasn't included in the original bid. Also, still waiting on the rear subframe so I can install the rear coilovers.


Shot of the front adjustable camber/castor.


Here is a picture of my quad headlight setup. Pretty rare, should make the car nice an unique.


and a reference of what they look like installed.



Crossing my fingers for a big tax return. Mark, don't fail me now. ;)


Gahhh, this thing is never going to be done.

Baby steps below.


Lower offset camber plates, correct my geometry to take into account the shortened coilover struts. Offset for even more negative camber and increased track width.


All OEM turbo flares and front spoiler. I was lucky to get a set as the front right fender flare has been on backorder from Germany for over a year now.


E30 M3 rear seat. I'll eventually recover it to match my front seats.


Fuel cell (with internal baffles). Most 2002's aren't fuel injected so it's a bit of work to get the OEM tank to work with the M20. This is easier, safer, and when trunk mounted lets me shave the fuel cap of the side for a cleaner look.


I finally found a body shop that would work on it. It was literally like pulling teeth. I couldn't give my money away. Crazy. Carbon fiber hood (shown) along with ditching the front bumper and moving the battery to the back more than make up for the extra weight of the M20.

Unfortunately in moving it around prior to the body shop my nose got smashed, so they'll have to replace that (found OEM fresh nose) along with all the rust repair and cutting fenders for the flares.


After a good sand blasting. Luckily no big surprises were found. Stripping all the old sound deadening from the inside looked quite labor intensive.


After the wheel wells got all cut out for the fender flares. That should give me a bit of extra room for tires.


Flares on. I'm deleting all the trim and any extra side markers etc that were added for the US market. It's a lot of little holes to weld up.


Test fitting the new nose. Wheel gap much?


Part one of the rear strut bracing. It will eventually tie into the floor and have an integrated battery holder. There was a lot or reinforcement to the shock towers for two reasons. #1 it's known failure point. #2 Normally that is just a mount point for the shock, the spring goes to a perch under the car. I'm converting to a true coilover rear that will mount to the shock tower so it's a lot of added stress to that area. Fingers crossed.


Finally got my front coilovers on. You can see them (powdercoated in Inka orange) peeking through. Not shown are the nice adjustable camber tops. GC did nice work. The struts are from a Tii which gets me bigger wheel bearings. They've also been shortened 2" to get me lower. This picture makes my pants tight. I've been dreaming about this for a long time. It's nice to finally see it.


Thanks again to Jay for the killer deal on the wheels. I really wanted BBS RS but these were literally 10% of the price. Wheels are 16 x 8 ET 0. I was a bit worried the 16" would look too hot wheels, but I think it's just fine. Front tires are 205/50 rear are 225/50. I went with a Continental Extreme Contact DW tire. Reviews were quite positive, especially wet performance. Should do fine for Austin weather. Coilovers are set about half way in this photo, so I should be able to go lower if I want to. I will need to do a little trimming of metal on the inner wheel well where it rubs under a hard turn. No biggie.

I have a custom rear subframe and axles (2002haus) coming at the end of the month. Once that gets here I can weld in the lower perches for the rear coilovers. Hopefully after that it's only a few more weeks until I can get it to paint.

Unfortunately after it's painted, I'm out of money, so it may need to sit for a while more. :(



This is where the project stalls out. I ended up getting a divorce and had to put it in storage until I can get some equity out of my house sale. We ended up doing a lease with purchase option (15k non refundable down) so it could be anywhere between 1 - 18 months before I see the money. :(

Good news is when I do get the money the project should take a HUGE leap forward. :)


To add insult to injury while moving it to storage the nose panel got smashed in. Ugh.


M20 Power


I ended up going with a new subframe with M20 mounts from 2002Haus. Rob was amazing to work with, and it worked wonderfully. I couldn't be happier.




I may have mentioned it before, but the tearing apart really is my favorite part. Maybe that's why I never finish a project. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am almost at the end of the road for removing things. With the M10 engine out it was time to clean up the engine bay as much as possible. The reasons are twofold. First I will be repainting the whole car, so I want to get it cleaned up for paint and bodywork, second, the new M20 takes up a little more space than the old engine, so I needed to make some room.


For the sake of painting, I removed the brake booster and pedal box, along with the complete wiring harness. With those out of the way it was time to break out one of my favorite tools, the grinder. After a lot of sparks and smoke I was able to cut out the battery tray (I'll be relocating the battery to the trunk) a good chunk of the front nose support, and the dreaded "big bumper" reinforcements found on the late model 2002's. You can see the nose material prior to cutting in the first picture, and a keen eye will spot the bumper reinforcements in the second picture. What I was left with, besides a nose full of black boogers, is a nice big open engine compartment.


Hopefully it is enough room for two extra cylinders, a turbo and if heavens permit, some AC equipment. Before any I start any body work I need to do a bit of reinforcing in the nose area, as well as mock up locations for the new radiator, electric fan and intercooler which will all require some custom brackets. I have decided to get those little bits all squared away before I even think about paint. Unfortunately that means I need to acquire a M20 engine, radiator, intercooler etc BEFORE I can do any body work. That means my original schedule to get it in paint by summers end might be a distant dream.


The Beginning

The end goal is a M20 powered 2002. Square tail, turbo flares and fenders. Not a restoration by any means, but a recreation. I would love to someday add a turbo to the M20.

Color is still up in the air, although I must admit lately I have been leaning towards LSB.


My car ADD is well documented, but in a seemingly futile attempt to find a car that can keep my attention for more than a couple months I have gone back in time, way back. I picked up not one, but two BMW 2002's thanks to a little help from a friend.


While it started out as a low budget purchase, ($500 for both cars) I'm sure that the whole restoration will be much closer to the $10,000 mark. Luckily I'm in no hurry to get it done. I plan on spending the next year or two auto geeking out about every single little detail of the car, and what I want to do with it. The green car shown below is going to the crusher now that we got all the good parts off of it. I'm now in the process of starting to strip the yellow one down to a rolling shell and then I'll save my pennies to ship it off for body work and a paint job. Any votes on what color to do it?


If I get on the ball enough I'll be documenting the whole process here. Stay tuned....