Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

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cek
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Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

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Purpose: Go through the experience of building my perfect E28 daily driver, from the ground-up. When complete, the car will be a refined, sporty, daily driver that will provide shit-eating grins while driving and will induce lustful look-backs when parked. The level of restoration and refurbishment will justify the zero-mile odometer in the instrument cluster. The journey will be more important than the destination; some things will be done simply for the experience of doing them. Every part will be either new or restored to like-new condition. I will be doing almost all work on the car myself; the exceptions being things that require craftsman-level-skills to do right, such as paint and body work. I'm open to (even eager for) other's ideas, suggestions, and input, but this car is for me.

Budget: I budget ~$15k/year for cars for me (not including insurance or fuel). This covers ALL of my personal cars (but not my wife's or kid's) and thus will not all be spent on this build. I expect this build to take 3 years total (clock started ticking last summer when I bought the chassis). I do not plan on keeping a ledger on spending, just generally keeping within my $15k/year budget. I'm sure I'll end up spending more than rationally makes sense.

Completion Goal: I like having a date-based forcing function to drive a project, so I'm using 5erWest 2019 [Edit: original plan was 2017] as the goal for completion.

The starting point for this project is an Arctisblau on Pacific 1985 BMW 528i (Euro) with a 5/85 Build-date. The car was originally an automatic, but converted to a 5-speed at some point. This car was once in @alpinass' hands and I bought it from @cooperman. As is typical, Kohler knows more about the history of this car than anyone.

The car has been resprayed (poorly) and while completely rust-free requires all new paint to meet my standards. None of the original interior pieces have survived and thus I have a nice blank canvas for the cockpit. The chassis came with a ton of new and good parts, some of which had already been installed. For example, the front suspension is all new with 750 upper thrust arms, tie rods, center drag link and idler arm, and new Lemforder aluminum lower control arms. All of these will come off first, though. It came with a brand new OE windshield, brake lines, heater core, and more. Interestingly, while the BMW build sheet indicates ABS, the car did not have ABS on it when I got it (and didn't have it when @cooperman got it either).

For completeness, here's the BMW build info:
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Until now, other than cleaning the chassis I've not done any actual wrenching on this project. I've spent a lot of time (and money) collecting thoughts and parts though. I now have almost everything required to finish the car in-hand, hence the creation of this thread.

Below are my current plans, on a sub-system by sub-system basis. I'm sure many of these details will change as I make progress, but they represent my current vision for the project:

Chassis/Body:
  • Color: Porsche Minerva Blue. Update (mid-2018): I changed my mind. Now Porsche Arrow Blue which is the same tint as Minerva but without metallic.
  • Painted euro bumpers & mirrors.
  • Shadowline trim.
  • M5 front spoiler. Black.
  • No rear spoiler (or maybe something customer and super subtle like that found on the E39 M5).
  • Tinted windows. Update (mid-2018): Starting with a set of OE bronze glass.
  • Glass moon-roof.
  • Entire chassis (including under-carriage) will be stripped bare and re-finished.
Engine:
  • S54B32 from a 2005 M3 Coupe (25k miles) controlled by the original MSS54HP DME re-programed to delete EWS and work optimally on an E28. Update (mid-2018): I was convinced I needed to update the rod bearings even though the engine is 'young'. The cost of that led me to just saying eff-it and going 'all in'. Motor has been rebuilt by Steve Dinan and is now his 3.3L Street Engine Rebuild.
  • Engine mounts from e28goodies.
  • Z3M wiring harness.
  • Z3M air box with custom elbow.
  • M50 oil pan, pump, and pickup.
  • Oil cooler - TBD
  • E36 radiator; overflow swapped to passenger side; E39 540 overflow tank.
  • E28 aux fan controlled by an E46 PWM control module via the MSS54 DME.
  • Headers - E46 sans cats.
  • Exhaust - SuperSprint.
  • Battery relocated to trunk (spare tire well)
  • TRE-340 255 lph in-tank fuel pump.
  • Will have cruise-control (I have line of sight on a solution that will work with the e-throttle of the S54).
Transmission:
  • Getrag 420G 6-speed manual from a 2005 M3 Coupe (25k miles)
  • Shifter - TBD
  • 3.73 LSD
Rear Suspension:
  • E28 rear sub-frame with Ireland Engineering adjustable toe/camber kits.
  • E32 740/750 rear trailing arms.
  • E34 M5 trailing arm "Rotary Arm bushings"
  • E28 drive flanges
  • H&R Springs + Billie Sports
  • 19mm Dinan sway bar
  • PowerFlex subframe bushings
  • 528e diff mount
Front Suspension:
  • 25mm Dinan sway bar
  • Re-enforced subframe (steering box)
  • M5 E28 steering box
  • Ground control coil-overs
  • 750 upper thrust arms.
  • Lemforder aluminum lower control arms with Moosehead LCA bushings
Brakes:
  • ABS (chassis originally had, PO removed)
  • E32/E34 calipers & rotors
  • SS lines
  • 924 booster
Wheels:
  • TBD
Interior:
  • Recaro seats, with houndstooth inset. Matching custom rear seat.
  • Color: Black/Anthracite with houndstooth.
  • M-tech II steering wheel.
  • Lighted M shift knob.
  • Light, stock looking headliner - actual material TBD.
  • Coco mats.
  • Audio system that basically clones what's in Vlad. Amp under rear seat.
  • S54 sport mode button. Sport mode LED. Both integrated in a very OE looking way (details TBD).
Here are some pics of the raw materials.

The chassis:
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The motor:
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The transmission:
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Join me for a fun adventure!
Last edited by cek on Jun 28, 2020 11:27 PM, edited 11 times in total.

1st 5er
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by 1st 5er »

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

... and there's more where that came from. ;)

LSXBeemer
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by LSXBeemer »

You've got my attention. I'm sure there will be more to follow.

Blue Shadow
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by Blue Shadow »

Nice.


About that SA code 295, the newer explanation is the style 96 (a 3er (36&46) wheel. I have seen it before and it is in the wheel section of the codes but I don't know what it really is. From the looks of your car it means mixed forged and cast TR wheels with round black tires or some such thing. Some of the rest is good stuff to have or use to fund the project.

Adam W in MN
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by Adam W in MN »

What a cool project and end state vision, excited to see the progress.

white chocolate
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by white chocolate »

I am very excited for this

cddallara
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by cddallara »

I was with you until the power seats.
And the audio.
Other than that, carry on.
.
Excited to see the progress!

EventuallyAyrton
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by EventuallyAyrton »

Cek I'm soooo looking forward to this build. Sub'd and bookmarked. I really hope/know you'll finish it and see it through to the end instead of selling a car with a motor and Trans halfway in and boxes and boxes of parts. Goodluck sir!

OcCoupe
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by OcCoupe »

This looks like a great project!
Last edited by OcCoupe on Jan 19, 2016 1:28 PM, edited 1 time in total.

OcCoupe
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by OcCoupe »

Adopt a pet today!
Last edited by OcCoupe on Jan 19, 2016 1:29 PM, edited 1 time in total.

OcCoupe
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by OcCoupe »

its a good time to invest in nitrile gloves.
Last edited by OcCoupe on Jan 19, 2016 1:33 PM, edited 1 time in total.

bkbimmer
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by bkbimmer »

Sounds cool.

cddallara
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by cddallara »

Mike, I've heard of trolling before but wow, that's a whole other level.
:rofl: ?

cek
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by cek »

OcCoupe wrote:vomit
Dick.

bkbimmer
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by bkbimmer »

DICK VOMIT, good name for a band.

Karl Grau
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by Karl Grau »

Did someone hack Mike's account? :?

cddallara
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by cddallara »

Vomit. Vomit everywhere.

lizard
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by lizard »

cek, thanks for taking the time to write up your detailed plan and sharing it with us. Looking forward to this thread :up:

wkohler
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by wkohler »

Good luck.

tschultz
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by tschultz »

I believe you mean 25mm front sway bar, and 19mm rear, is that correct? You wrote the opposite above.

Sounds like it will be a great combination when complete!

carlb
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by carlb »

Looks like an awesome project. I'm in the process of putting an s54 in my partner's e30. I can't wait to get it all together. But, we've got a crap ton still to do. The suspension, front and rear, is refub'd. Front seats re-upholstered, backs in progress. Still have a long list of parts to get on, including the need for body work and paint. I love the s54 engine - one of BMW's best. I had a Z4M coupe for awhile and the engine amazed me everyday with it's flexibility and rev-happy nature. Good luck with the project.

cek
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by cek »

tschultz wrote:I believe you mean 25mm front sway bar, and 19mm rear, is that correct? You wrote the opposite above.

Sounds like it will be a great combination when complete!
:oops: Fixed.

Thanks!

Adam W in MN
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by Adam W in MN »

Cheering on this project!
Last edited by Adam W in MN on Jan 19, 2016 7:08 PM, edited 1 time in total.

EventuallyAyrton
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by EventuallyAyrton »

Is there any way to get rid of that crap from OcCoupe? It's making it difficult to enjoy this wonderful thread

ldsbeaker
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Re: Project 'Blue': The perfect, S54 powered, DD E28

Post by ldsbeaker »

Ummmmm, this car has practically already been built.
While I don't feel that it is a bad route to go, I thought you might be a little more creative.
(No hate, Charlie. Truly.)
That being said, having driven Sia's S54 E28 (w/M button), you are correct, it will be a hoot to drive. I would get a lawyer now. :cool:

Also, a few clarifications to your 'spec' sheet...

944 Booster - Vacuum, correct? I'm sure it's assumed, but a 25mm Master cylinder should be on your brake upgrade list.
Steering box - you're not going with an M unit? Have you tried one? Maybe you want slower steering... But I would think that there will be plenty of opposite lock going on...

Wheels, as much as I lovelovelove 16s on E28s, 17s are pretty great, too. Plus you can still get the Pilot Super Sports in 17". I think you will want some pretty serious meat to put the power down, but I would try to stick to a square setup (wheels AND tires) for simplicity's sake. (LOL, simplicity in an S54 car... Ha!) You may have to get creative IRT wheel offsets and tire widths when you start messing with the 750 trailing arms. I'm sure you've referenced my thread. If not, I would suggest it. There are some compromises, but nothing that I think you would be averse to. But it is something I would test fit extensively before your body and paint work.

Hmmmmmm. This should go at least 150 pages. :rofl:

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