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

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

Post by cek »

Some parts came yesterday, so I made progress on AC. Got the low line from the evaporator to the compressor built.

A challenge has been adapting the E46 line (with it's strange connector to the compressor). The hose is a reduced barrier line, that is #10 on the outside and much bigger on the inside than normal barrier hose. Finding crimp on style fittings has been challenging, but I have some on order. Meanwhile I found this oketer-style crimp on fitting via some hot rod forum that could ship quick and figured I'd give it a try. Slick design and the way it went on inspired confidence, esp. for the low side.
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Once my AC guy comes and forces nitrogen in the system I'll know for sure how good it is. If it fails, it will be trivial to re-do it with a different style fitting. I dig the quality feel of this fitting with the aux port; many of the crimp-style fittings look like they were made in China (because they all are).

I got some fiberglass lined heat shield sleve from McMaster Carr and it installed beautifully, creating the OE look I wanted.
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A new dryer is installed and connected to correct hoses with new seals (using AC oil). I fought with the condenser setup for several hours and still need to get it sorted. It's tricky given the routing of the new hoses. I'm waiting for some more fittings to fab the high line from the compressor to the condenser; should come today.
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

Oh, in typical two steps forward, one back, I forgot to order pins for the connector that came yesterday.

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

Post by Foonfer »

I'm just here to express how happy I am that one of my suggestions was incorporated... even if it was just for the soundtrack of this thread :laugh:

This project is seriously a thing to behold - Saying it is "awesome" or "something else" or any of those staple expressions pays a disservice to the endurance required to maintain the level of OCD and of quality of documentation that Charlie has demonstrated here.

Looking at the running product, I'm glad there's a discussion on the wheels, and even more glad Charlie steers away from 17-inchers. Friends don't let friends go larger than 16"s in E28s. With that topic settled, I saw the way those wheels almost brush against the coilovers. Here's a question: Is there an absolute NEED for 225s, for anything wider than 8" and/or for staggered wheels? Of course I have no idea what the requirements are to command 350 ponies in one of these, but I'd be curious to see how a square set of E28 M5 wheels (7.5"wide), shod with 215/55s or 215/50s, would work in this setup.

The RZs are the worst offenders I think... perhaps it's just a pet peeve of mine to see wheels that seem to look wider than the tires.
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

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

Post by Philo »

if it were only a 4S
BoogerEater
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by BoogerEater »

Can’t really put a finger on it but something seems very familiar... :laugh:
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

Last week I dropped the car off at Hoglunds Top Shop in Everett; the shop that did the interior and stereo work. They needed to fix a few things that weren't quite right including: Headliner fitment issues, the left rear sunroof drain tube they knocked out of place, the trim pieces that go on the sides of the rear seats to cover the gap in front of the fender, remove the dorky rear-window-sticker antenna that came with the Blaupunkt, enable the blinkers to flash on the remote lock/unlock, add a set of speaker-level wires from headunit to DSP/amp so I can easily swap in a different headunit (e.g. MCR 1016BT which doesn't have line-level outs), and to finalize how the trunk carpet fit with the battery box.

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David Hamack, the owner was super gracious agreeing to meet me there on Saturday to pick the car up since I couldn't get up there Friday. He's a class act and runs a great shop. He started there sweeping floors in the early 70s and bought the shop in the 90s. They do really great work and even though it's pretty far from Bellevue, it is now my go-to shop for interior work. Not cheap, but when it comes to this kind of stuff you get what you pay for (usually).

See the tube? I do. Sure glad I noticed that.
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Glued a piece of plastic on the back of the a carpet so that it folds into place above the battery box tight. This is very low tech, but works really well. I can store my bag of tools and spare parts on the left side next to the battery and they'll always be out of sight, and when stuff gets put into the trunk and slides forward it will not disrupt.

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Just some pr0n:
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Driving back from Everett (again, the car has great freeway road manners) this happened. Something ain't right with the alternator wiring.
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Monday I take the car into 425 to have them knock off a bunch of things from the punch list. Some are fairly major so it may be there for a bit...
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Some of this is my fault, for example I failed to provide the shop the heat shields because I procrastinated cleaning them and thus forgot about them. I fixed that earlier in the week:
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If I could remove one person from history, it would be the idiot that decided to spray these cars with cosmoline before shipping them across the Atlantic. I hate that stuff, but I have to say it's pretty rewarding once it's all off.
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My daughter arranged a Beaver ride to an alpine lake nearby for her BF's birthday. Man, I love DHC-2!
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sail_or_drive
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by sail_or_drive »

Yer making me all nostalgic with the Beaver pics. Flew in those almost daily doing ice scouting runs for planning seismic lines on the Beaufort sea in the late 70's. Those things take off like a fast Otis Elevator at need; best carnival ride I have ever been on. Thanks for posting!
Adam W in MN
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by Adam W in MN »

Great photos. I can't decide if I like the photo more of the plane at rest on the water or your car with that beautiful paint and perfect wheel choice.
Smileyboy
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by Smileyboy »

That is quite the detailed list!

Now that you've had the car for a bit..,.. What is it like driving a S54 powered e28? Whats the road behavior like? What's road noise like vs the m30?
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

Smileyboy wrote: Oct 03, 2020 10:13 PM That is quite the detailed list!

Now that you've had the car for a bit..,.. What is it like driving a S54 powered e28? Whats the road behavior like? What's road noise like vs the m30?
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The car has been off the road since the 2nd week of August. I took her into 425 to have the punch list punched. The biggest three items being the transmission whine, the wrong springs on the suspension, and the exhaust being too low.

Mitch re-welded the exhaust before removing the transmission, and so that's done. Fits tight now. No idea why this SuperSprint system hung so low while the same model on Vlad was fine. Oh well.

We determined transmission whine was from the input shaft bearing. Input shaft must have gotten damaged during one of the many removals/installs since it was pulled from the donor car (be careful not to let the weight of the transmission be held by the shaft). 420G transmissions are not repairable; neither BMW nor Getrag provide any parts or support. I contacted many 'experts' around the world, including those who convert 420G SMGs to 6-speeds. None could offer any help with the input shaft bearing. Just the cost of having someone TRY would end up being many thousands of doll hairs. I decided to write the old transmission off and source a new one. Yes. New. There are (were) two of them left in the world. It should be here this week.

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The new H&R springs are ready to go on too.

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And I couldn't say no to these.

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To answer your questions:
What is it like driving a S54 powered e28?
It is silly fast. I've had to change the throttle response map to be really gradual, or it just wants to leap. But with it tuned, the car is as drivable as my other E28s. I've tuned "Sport Mode" to still have a pretty aggressive throttle response, so I can still be silly. The power is everywhere, but the S54 does come extra alive above 5000-ish. I've resisted revving it too high during break-in, and the rev-limiter is set to 8200. I could go higher (according to Steve Dinan) but have no desire to do so.

I will go through rear tires fast on this car. 225s are really not enough meat for this amount of power. But options for going any wider just don't exist. There's no shortage of throttle-induced oversteer, as you'd expect. :rofl:
What's the road behavior like?
I've never driven a brand new E28 before. But I imagine they felt like this car does. That said, Vlad is a very, very solid car. Tight. Minerva is the same. The M5 steering box makes a dramatic difference in steering feel. The suspension is not quite right yet; too low and too soft in rear. The new springs will help.
What's road noise like vs the m30?
I can't really answer this yet. First, the transmission whine really dominates and annoys. Second, I still have never had the dashboard/console fully buttoned up, and there's still holes in the firewall. But the SuperSprint exhaust does an nice job of muffling the sound. I was worried the car would be too loud (I think Vlad borders on too loud) but it's fine.

Cheers!
Nick1984
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by Nick1984 »

Amazing car! respect :shock:
Smileyboy
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by Smileyboy »

Awesome build!
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts in a few months.
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

Finally

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Also, in case I don't like the "no smoker" version I restored yet another ashtray. This is my new specialty.

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vinceg101
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by vinceg101 »

Nice.
Tool Kit courtesy of Mr. Doug?
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

Actually a combination of Mr. Doug and Dr. Ben.
Bonsaibacker
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by Bonsaibacker »

cek wrote: Oct 12, 2020 4:20 PM Finally

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:bow: :rockon: ala Wayne's World
cek
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by cek »

Picked Minerva up at 425 today. She has a brand new transmission, taller H&R springs, and the new Cocomats my daughter bought my for my birthday. Plus tons of punch list items have been taken care of. From here on out I will be doing all work on the car.

I learned a ton about using a checkbook wrench with this project, as expected. I have nothing but great things to say about 425Motorsports and Dan, the owner. And Mitch the tech. It took a long time, was horrifically expensive, but they did what they said they would do and they did it all right in the end. I would do another project with them, for sure. I'd do a lot of things differently next time, but I'm pretty sure I will commission work like this again in the future. I'm also sure that I could have done 60-70% of what I paid to have done myself to the same level. But time is money, as they say, and given where I currently am 'in life' the car would still be in parts if I hadn't decided to have them do the work.

There's only three outstanding items that prevent me from transporting the car to Utah and making it my daily driver there:

- I need to finish getting the AC sorted and the console back together
- I need to debug the ABS system more. One of the front sensors is giving trouble, even though I just replaced them with a brand new set from Ivo.
- 425 could not reproduce the alternator/voltage issue I experienced after several long drives - current suspicion is the battery, which was purchased in 2016 when we first tested the S54 in the chassis, is failing.

I went on several drives today and really enjoyed the car. I love the increased ride height and stiffer springs. I can cause tire rubbing, but I really have to try now. The new transmission is silky smooth and quiet. The steering is tight and quick. The power is addicting.

The Recaros came with lumbar pads, but they were not put in originally. In addition the seat belt receptacles were mounted so high they dug into my love handles. Both of these have been addressed making the driving position perfect for me.

As soon as I get the car to Utah I will have my guy there (Dusty at Envision Detail; he did Vlad) to a full ceramic coat and cover the front clip with film (exactly as I did on Vlad). Vlad will come back to Seattle. I may drive Vlad back here first so I can have all three E28s together for a family photo or two.

Some pr0n from today:

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

Post by piperbrothers »

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

Post by cek »

Cross posting here from the Suspension Ride Height thread:

H&R Coilover 28808-9 kit
Front: HRF200060 springs (200mm length, 60N-Rate), ZF-100-12.5 tender springs
Rear: HRF250060 springs (250mm length, 60N rate) ZF060-025 tender springs

Front: 558mm L / 559mm R
Rear: 545mm L / 545mm R

I think that's about perfect.

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

Post by Philo »

Great job Charlie! Love the Coco Mats. Hey, I just ordered the CSL/MAP ECU firmware upgrade from Kassle, will let you know how it turns out. Yes, the power is addicting for sure.
BenGerman
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Re: Minerva: The S54 powered, better than new, daily driver

Post by BenGerman »

Certainly appreciate you using a metric tape measure!!! ;)

The car looks fantastic.

I would still consider having the wheels modified to get rid of the last bid of rubbing, if you have the room on the inside.

Also, Yokohama has the A052 in 245/45/16. Maybe worth a try, the additional width and 200TW should be helpful dealing with the S54.
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