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About this blog

The story of my 1972 2002tii and its life in my hands!

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More Fab Work / Big bars, more interior work

Over the last few weeks Ive been driving Meintii everyday! As of today Ive put about 450 miles on her. Im trying to drive as much as possible to prepare for a cannonball run style rally/race Im participating in GA in 2 WEEKS! Im driving there, 1000 Miles each way, PLUS the race which is about 400 miles, PLUS driving around after the race at the beach! Should be an epic trip, however I am feeling the pressure to get the car ready in time.    Attached pictures show - My 3d-printed center console face, covered in brushed metallic vinyl. I shortened my handbrake by 4"s to allow for my custom center console made by @esty to fit without clearance issues. I should be installing that soon! More interior work continues with sounds insulation installed on both doors, along with the door panels installed as well. Hopefully carpet will go in this weekend along with the passenger seat!    Pictured - Comparison shot of old tii rear bar and the IE bar I installed last night. Biiiiig difference! I already had the BIG IE bar up front, car feels waaaay better with both on now   Im still having cooling system woahs, the cap on my plastic coolant reservoir continues to leak when the car is hot - Ive replaced the cap and the RES with new bmw parts, they still leak. Im over it, bought a JOES racing reservoir and a couple different PSI caps, that should solve my issue, plus it will look real racey   This week/end plans are to install carpet, passenger seat, finish wire looming under dash, mount console face in console if its arrived. Change coolant reservoir, verify issue is gone. Possibly change rear subframe/trailer arm bushings to urethane. Hammer out dent in fuel tank to regain proper pick up and fuel range for road trip/race. Finish wrapping turbo spoiler, trim fender flares and mount it!    Stay tuned folks! Im trying to get back in the habbit of taking more pictures

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Car is driving, HUGE update!

Exciting new everyone!    This is baby is driving!! I haven't been posting or taking tons of pictures throughout the process but I do have a handful to post.    Car progress    Drives! Engine bay is 95% done. Car drives well, is probably a bit too loud. Will be adding two long bullet style resonators to quiet her down. Apparently my enormous radiator is too big for fall Texas weather (mid 80's). After blocking 75% of the radiator I've managed to get it up to 160ish.  I will do a more thorough blocking soon that will be removable, also verifying the thermostat is in the proper direction/working.   Car is 50% vinyl wrapped, see pics for the transformation from primer to wrap!   Wiring is done other than looming! Interior needs to be fully assembled, just a drivers seat in for now.    Still need to install and wrap the turbo spoiler for the front, didn't want to put it on until I was more comfortable that I wouldn't need a tow.    I'll post many pictures!   It's been 6 years since I've driven the car, was a very special moment to drive it to work on my 27th bday, for the first time. 13 years after getting the car for my 14th bday. Truly special.    Thanks to Jim Gerock, MLytle, Harry Bonkosky, Jason ( and Karie ) Gibson, Harrison Krix, Jeff Chang, BJ(and Mae)  Barbieri, Grice Mulligan, Andrew Adams, Steve Blunt and Esty Anderson, along with Ireland engineering, blunttech, koogleworks for supporting me through the years and helping me with the project either through reference material, motivation to get going, or supplying parts to complete her. I really appreciate you guys helping me since the beginning when we first met and hung out at the vintage in 2010, and before that through the FAQ.    Cheers to all, and I'll try to post more pictures as I continue to move forward in the next month   

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Back from paint temporarily

Hello FAQ'ers   Its been an exciting week as I finally pulled my car out of the body shop to finish getting it driving before the end of June! It is not done with body work yet but is much closer than it was 2 months ago.   This is a place holder update for more to come soon. Too busy/tired to do a full update. For now a few pictures of the work i did this weekend.    You will find in this post , a custom brake fluid resivoir bracket (the old one broke off), oil temp sensor install/ fab video, oil cooler AN line plumbing, oil pressure sender adapter installed, river nuts on everything to avoid dealing with hardware outside of the engine bay walls, and a picture of how it ended up after the weekend of work. Note! There is alot not pictured that got completed as well

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Car to body shop!

Now that I've laid most of the ground work out for the car to be running and driving, it was time to go to the body shop. I can't have a car that's all f’d up after putting this much time/money into it. The major issues to resolve are the rear quarter damage, filling the huge gaps from (jason rose) doing a horrible and careless job cutting the rear wheel wells for the turbo flares, painting the engine bay/nose, fixing misc scratches/ dents /rust bubbles etc. Hopefully it will be done in a month (early april ‘17). Until then I'll be continuing the interior refurb and some other misc projects I have around.

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Build full dual exhaust system from the headers to tail pipes

This was quite the project. I've never build an exhaust system before so the challenge was a steep one.   A quick note: Why didn't I just run a “Y pipe” and run a single pipe all the way back. Yes it would be easier, cheaper, and more compact. Ill counter your question with another - Why are there no performance exhausts for sale for any I6 or v8 BMW that utilize a single pipe? The answer (in my opinion) Is that #1, I6 motors sound like POOP with a single pipe, like, really bad. #2 There is also the efficiency of the motor to take into consideration. Clearly BMW as designed and the aftermarket has maintained that two pipes are better than one for performance. So why mess it up?   Rant over on that front, on to the fun stuff   Here's my pile of pre-ordered guess at what I would need to make this a reality. Summitracing.com and siliconintakes.com were my vendors of choice… along with a few random ebay add ons in there (v-bands). 100% stainless including the mig wire used to weld everything, and boy is that fun to deal with - as you can tell by my crappy welds.
Didnt end up using the x-pipe.. still considering adding it later though.    The first and possibly most annoying task was to make two flanges that mate up to the stock manifolds I'll be using. For this task I sources some ⅜” thick stainless plate from our local metal supplier. I proceeded to use a stock exhaust gasket as a template for what i was creating. After about 4 hours and a lot of cussing I had my flanges. This task would have been impossible without a mill that could turn as slow as 80 RPM.
  After the flanges were done, I started the process of building the downpipes. I've had issues in the past with long tube headers snapping off at the collector, so I added a small flex pipe to each tube in that area to help everything be happy. Added a mount to the trans bracket after notching it ( this will be changed slightly, i'll mount a longer rod across the bottom instead of meeting it against the tube, before the final product is done). Then added a v-band for each pipe just past the trans, staggered for ease of removal, and clearance .  
  Ran the two pipes up into the tunnel and back and over the axle on both sides, adding another v-band on each side before the turn down to get below the cv axles, again for easy removal.     Now since this is (was) a tii, the stock external fuel pump hangs out right where I ran the over axle pipe on the passenger side, so that will need to be relocated/replaced when its back on the lift next.   At this point it was time to figure out what and where my mufflers and tips were going to be doing in this set up. My boss recommended connecting the mufflers as an assembly with some strapping, then connecting the tips how I wanted them, then connecting the pipes from the car to the muffler/tip combo. So I did! This ended up being quite a complex project, but I eventually figured it out. I also needed to finally cut the rear valance in the center for the dual tips. Funny since Ive had a center exit exhaust on this car since Ive owned it. I also closed up the right side stock exit hole.     Although, I knew this wouldn't fit with the spare tire well. So I did what I’ve been meaning to do for years anyway and cut the damn rusty thing out! After that there was PLENTY of room for mufflers! No problem. Now all I had to do was connect the dots. Bing bang boom. Dual exhausts. The downer part about this is I have no idea how it sounds because I had already taken all my other work apart to sand/prime the engine bay to send it to paint as soon as this was done. All to more to look forward too! This car is probably going to be pretty damn loud.     Here are the three sections removed so the car can go to paint, and I can finish welding a few tubes that are still just tacked. Will still need to make some hangers for the rear but that shouldnt be too hard.  

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Strip/sand engine bay to prepare for paint

This was kind of a last minute decision. The paint job done every other time I've attempted to do it has been shit in the engine bay. Despite all the time and effort spent the last time it got painted it got left outside and flash rusted under the paint causing a very very rough finish before it cured fully (thanks jason rose). So knowing that the engine is all pretty and all the other stuff under the hood will be so nice looking, I couldn't not try and fix it again. I proceeded to sand every surface in the nose and engine bay down until it was smooth to a  400 grit level. I proceeded to prime it all so all that left for my paint guy to do is scuff it and paint the shiny part. I will hopefully be painting the underside of the hood as well, but we will see if my paint budget will stretch that far.  

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3d print new intake elbow for air filter

Problem solving at its best! There are lots of options to buy adapters to run a standard round style air filter directly from the MAF. However, they all point the air filter straight from the MAF. I thought, well, it would be much nicer if I could point the air filter at an angle toward the headlight away from the rad hoses. So what else did I do but design it up in solidworks and print an elbow that mounts to the MAF that puts the filter EXACTLY where I wanted it. No silicon couplers, no bull shit. Just an ABS solution to the problem.   Here we have the first attempt print, turned out pretty good.     I tweaked the angle a bit to make it land a little further from the inner fender on the final product below.     This one was "vapor smoothed" for a smooth finish that it also water tight and stronger than the first "prototype" print. I also made it a few thousandths thicker. Its super strong and will withstand the heat of the engine bay no problem.

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Mounting/plumbing oil cooler

With this I also decided to go a route that I haven't seen yet. Instead of mounting it with some crazy bracketry on the nose of the car, I decided to mount it in front of the rad, also on the nose with a small piece of aluminum tubing to space it down where I needed it to be. I guess I don't have a picture of it mounted up yet, but it's right behind the center grill, and the AN lines run down through the inside of the nose, along the frame rail and to the oil filter housing. Hopefully the nose is still rigid enough for this and the rad to be attached, we will find out. It feels reasonably rigid still.     I actually changed how this attached to the cooler than pictured above. I ended up cutting al the mounting tabs off the cooler, and welding this tube to it directly, with rivet nuts on the top, it will just bolt through top of the nose into this with two button head M6 allens. Pics later.

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Lots of lists , M20 swap running!

Hello FAQ’ers. It has been another long hiatus from the blog through the off season while I was one various vacations and off season race events. As of October my car was done at Terry Saythers and running! (although without an exhaust, oil cooler, or radiator). See the video below for the first start!   (click to play)     Terry saythers did a fine job, although there are a few things Ill be re-doing, not because they did anything wrong, but because Im around race cars all day everyday and have adopted a non normal way of doing things. Check out the work they did below.    
This was a huge accomplishment and very motivating to get this thing finished! This list of things I needed to do is still huge, but it's more than I can afford to pay those guys to do, so off to my house it goes!       Back in the driveway/garage. I couldn't help but start it again once my roommates came home, aaaaaand then it spit some flames out of the open manifolds and started a small fire hahaha. Luckily it didn't hurt anything, but that's the last time it will run until the exhaust is built!   My next tasks to tackle were( [✔] means it's done already!):   [✔] Engine bay wiring/ wire wrapping [✔]Building a new front harness and running it through the fender to keep it out of the engine bay [✔]Install rebuilt heater box [✔]Finding and mounting a giant radiator big enough for the texas heat [✔]Plumbing new radiator [✔]Mounting/plumbing oil cooler [✔]Strip/sand engine bay to prepare for paint [✔]Test assemble new master/booster/brake lines [✔]3d print new intake elbow for air filter [✔]Build full dual exhaust system from the headers to tail pipes [✔]Car to body shop! [✔]Ruin car in the eyes of purists   To be done once returned from the body shop:   Design and 3d print e30 engine plug mount (designed but not yet printed) Find new home for aftermarket external fuel pump and filter Finish exhaust hangers Re-install cooling components/bleed Re-install brake components/bleed/adjust Install new IE Sway Bars Install billet gas pedal/adjust Install Urethane steering coupler Pin new headlight connectors Build spare tire delete panel from aluminum Oil temp and pressure sending units for VDO gauges Misc interior wiring/tidying Mount ECU in/near glove box Patch frame rail rust Build hood shock setup Wire loom rear wiring harness, mount and route Close up stock trans hole on tunnel 3rd brake light? Hood snap pins instead of latch Mount hood Install front/rear spoiler Install turbo flares Measure for wheel spacers Powder coat wheels black or order new wheels Order new tires! Refurb/reinstall wiper system 3d print custom center console face Finish off floor repairs/weatherproofing Install sunroof/cables Install new Esty carpet kit Order/install Esty long sided console Speaker wiring Cover rear speaker deck Mount speakers Figure out bluetooth head unit replacement Design / 3d print iphone mount in stock ashtray Wire extra blade fuse block to power interior accessories Finish refurb of door panels and install Headliner? Nut & Bolt Everything Alignment Final weight/ set up info/ set down   My plan is to have this be the place for my list so it will encourage me to come on here and update/check things off, instead of updating 2 times per year. Next I'll do a post for each item already checked off to bring this up to speed.   Attached media is the first running video, some pictures of how I got it from terrys, and the tii back in its resting place for further work!                  

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Engine Bay wiring and front harness

The front harness and engine wiring has been a long time issue that I've been chomping at the bit to dive into for years. The original wiring that ran to the headlights, turn signals, alternator etc was all ridden with wear through and old randomly splices connections, and it's been driving me crazy. So I decided to replace it all all the way back to the fuse block with modern “TXL” lightweight wire from wirebarn.com and adhesive heat shrink connections, as well as all new connector to the headlights and everything else. Another goal in doing this was to get it out of the engine bay to make for a much cleaner looking install.   TXL Wire, highly recommended for automotive wiring.         I removed the old harness from the car, and ran string as the “wires” in my new routing from the fuse box through the fender, through the nose and across the inside of the bottom of the nose. After laying out each wires’ “string” I bundled and labeled them and removed all of them as a harness. I then spread the string out on an old tack board I had and marked where each wire would be terminated. After that it's as easy as replacing each string with the proper wire color/size, and cutting to length.     After I drilled a few very large holes for appropriately sized grommets I ran the wire through and used UV resistant zip ties ($$) and cradles to mount the wires where I wanted them through the fender and into the nose.Then I set to wrapping them with my split loom wire covering. Normally you would loom and add the connectors to the harness while it's still laid out on your string board, but since I'm using split loom I decided to do it once it was on the car.   After making one central ground location for everything on the front end with a rivet nut and a bolt it's all pretty much ready to go.     I then set out to re-loom the stock e30 harness in the sections that run up to the relays and a few spots where the original covering was so stiff it cracked when you tried to move it.     See pics for the type of adhesive heat shrink I used, as well as the heat shrink connectors and ceramic headlight connectors.   Spade connectors with built in adhesive heatshrink     Adhesive heatshrink and non- insulated butt connectors for tapping into the stock harness   I will take some better pictures and show how I ran the wires through the fender and nose, as well as how Im securing them.   Once all of that was out of the way it was time to move on to the radiator.                    

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Finding and mounting a giant radiator big enough for texas heat

For this project, I ignored everything people had used for this swap and went my own route, because copying someone else would be to easy and make too much since.   -Finding a radiator   For this I decided that I would cut the nose despite what I originally intended. The motor mounts I ended up using (only 02’s)  would have made it very difficult to do so without cutting anything. So that meant the sky was the limit as far as what I could try to get to fit in there. I calculated that I should be able to fit a rad that was around 30” wide and 14” tall. I did a quick summit racing search and found someone that left a review for a radiator exactly this size and they said it fit a 2004 celica GTS. I then went to autozone to pick the one they had in stock up, verified that it would be correct, it was, then returned it, went on ebay and bought an all aluminum race rad that was 2” thick for $100! Once it arrived the fab began!   Here is the autozone rad in place, clearly way too thin   The Ebay rad when I got it with cardboard mounts   And now the ebay rad fitment and figuring out the mounts I made, after I cut the stock vent and top mount pegs off.     I built some angled tabs out of steel that bolt to the frame rail, they have a stock GTS rad bushing installed in them, I angled the rad for max clearance to the engine.
For the top mounts I built some rectangles with rubber inside that retain the tops of the tanks and bolt to the remaining piece of the nose.   Now onto the plumbing!   I REALLY wanted to build the cooling hoses out of AN hose, but -16AN stuff is so expensive, and I decided to just try to use stock e30 hoses and figure out something for the other bits that didn't work with those.  
I was able to use stock e30 hoses everywhere except where they connect into the rad. To make my life easier for the lower rad, I cut the stock m20 hard coolant pipe, and welded a pipe at a 45* angle, so that it points to the lower rad outlet rather than pointing below it that causes the need for a crazy hose like the stock one. The welded pipe and in the bead roller   Here are where the e30 hoses ended up with the new rad, not quite going to work     Off I went to O'reilly to search their collection of rad hoses in hopes of finding something that would work without too much modification or joining 2 hoses together (which drives me crazy). And I found ‘em! Luckily the inlet/outlet are actually pretty close to the location of stock rad. Now if I need to replace a rad hose of the road, I'll be able to do it with an off the shelve part, not some custom hodgepodge.   The rad had two coolant drain screws, one on the top and one on the bottom. I used the one on the top, which happened to be right inline with my over flow reservoir, as the breather with a selection of AN fittings to get me to a right angles barb pointing to the reservoir. Nice and clean!   All plumbed up and mounted! (Click for video)    

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Install rebuilt heater box

Not much to say on this section other than I had to build my own bolt to hold the pull cable that opens and closes the heater valve. More details on that when I can find the pictures of what I did. I mostly followed the FAQ article here.

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The Tii is worked on once again!

Hello FAQ'ers!   Its been a very long time yet again but Im here and happy to announce that my swap is still going and moving forward!   Ive moved my tii to a local 2002 expert , terry sayther, and they have been busy while I have been away winning races in the IMSA Conti series !    They have finished most of the assymbly of the motor, and just today finished mounting the 323i trans and shortened driveshaft (pics of that later).    My REAL life goal is to have this car running and driving before the end of 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!    The shop is going to get the car as far along as they can for my budget, and the rest will be up to me.    The main things they will be working on are - wiring the new engine, fixing the chassis harness, getting the engine almost running (ill be building the exhaust, rad and oil cooler mounts among final pedal box and brake projects)    Anyways, here some pictures from today My car is in good company!    

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Wiring Stuff Looking Good!

Recently I mailed Jason a big box of stuff ive been collecting for the tii and with that he got to work on getting the molex connector for the engine harness wired up! Check it out! Hopefully soon we will get the flywheel and pressure plate back from the machine shop and the dssr back from the tig welder, and the engine can put in for final install! Check out the pics below

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So, On To The Tii

The tii is not here with me in Texas. However, it is in the capable hands of Jason Rose @ heritage motorsports /UUC in North Atlanta. My dead line to finish this project is before my lease is up in March, where I will then have a garage to keep it in! Ive been slowly gathering and sending funds for this to get finished, plus Jason moved shops, so it is about to go full swing in the next month or so (hoping to have it driving before xmas). New goals/details in the project that developed at my last visit to Jason, Also, some pics of new parts! Engine bay : We are going to build a new body wiring harness to control the headlights/turns/driving lights/ etc and run this harness through the fender and get it out of the engine bay. We are using lightweight TXL wiring for this, along with using BMW Weather pack connectors for the connections instead of spade connectors (just something that has always bugged me). As for the engine harness, we will be using the stock E30 325i engine harness. However, we are going to be using a 31 pin Molex connector mounted on the firewall for super easy removal when the engine has to come out (hopefully not often ) Exterior All fender flares/turbo spoiler will be held on with Torx screws and aluminum rivet nuts for easy removal. We have semi straightened the rear quarter damage, may paint it to hold it over until I get the car repainted. Also need to paint the sunroof, inside of the hood , and do damage control on pass front fender Also Still need to cut the rear quarters for the turbo flares Interior New carpet courtesy of Esty! So Stoked for this! Its Saltish pepperish . Will look awesome! Decided to run no center console just for a simpler look. Switchs will be relocated to awesome stock looking locations. Alpina (or turbo) style 3 gauge pod in place of the tii clock. Using VDO Vision series gauges. Hopefully jason will pop up on here with a comment every once in awhile if hes not too busy but otherwise I will be updating this as I here from him!

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First, A Life Update (For Those Who Care) :)

Ok so, Ive graduated the Motorsports degree program at Lanier Technical College. I shortly there after went to truck driving school! 10 long weeks later I got my Commercial Drivers License and immediately moved to Austin Tx for a full time job at Laivins Race Cars /CJ Wilson Racing. (Moved here 3/13) If you see our truck(s) honk at me!

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Wow This New Site Crazy Different... Ive Been Away Too Long!

Well Im BACK with lots of new things and plans happening for the tii and my life in general. First off, see the old blog (now an archive) here for the first million pages of this,and to see how this all began up to this point. http://www.bmw2002faq.com/topic/94532-the-adventures-of-meintii-the-no-cut-m20-swap/

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