"An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2020 update

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George
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by George »

I would just vent the breather to atmosphere. Run a dump hose or tube beneath the motor. No need to oil up your intake piping.
delvin
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by delvin »

I have one of these on a SC'd foxbody, 14-16# of boost and no oil in the intake.

http://www.jcsautomation.com/vs%20catch%20cans.html
cek
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by cek »

Great seeing you and this beast at 5erWest, Austin. Congrats on the find and kudos on the determination to 'make it right'.
austin8753
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by austin8753 »

joel323 wrote:Could you take a hose from the Valve cover to the Intake pipe like this?

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George wrote:I would just vent the breather to atmosphere. Run a dump hose or tube beneath the motor. No need to oil up your intake piping.
Joel, while that was the way Dinan did it, what George said summed it up best. Venting it to atmosphere/catch can will be what I do, just need to figure out a way to make it look nice :)
Kyle in NO wrote:Nice developments Austin! If I were you, at this age, I would be tackling the timing chain and guides STAT. Even just the guides and tensioner if the chain and sprockets look good.
Thank you, Kyle. I do not trust thirty-year-old plastic pieces at this point, so I'll be going through that this winter, as well as the upgraded (Fahey) crank hub, the entire cooling system, fuel system, etc...do it once and (hopefully) never worry about it again. Can't really afford to replace/rebuild that engine, so preventative maintenance is key. It will be going to have the tune finished here in the next couple weeks and then it is coming off the road for the rest of the year (and probably most of next year, too).
Blue Shadow
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by Blue Shadow »

Green E28 on the West Coast, I would have known immediately it was a Dinan Turbo M5 as I remember it passing me a couple times at Laguna Seca on the front straight during driving school. It was green then and fast. I don't know which year, I was in NorCal 88-91. Being properly exercised with expected rebuilds about every 25,000 miles when used that way. Well worth putting it right.
T_C_D
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by T_C_D »

Blue Shadow wrote:Green E28 on the West Coast, I would have known immediately it was a Dinan Turbo M5 as I remember it passing me a couple times at Laguna Seca on the front straight during driving school. It was green then and fast. I don't know which year, I was in NorCal 88-91. Being properly exercised with expected rebuilds about every 25,000 miles when used that way. Well worth putting it right.
This is the kind of history stored in the brains of the old timers on this board. I love it!
austin8753
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by austin8753 »

Blue Shadow wrote:Green E28 on the West Coast, I would have known immediately it was a Dinan Turbo M5 as I remember it passing me a couple times at Laguna Seca on the front straight during driving school. It was green then and fast. I don't know which year, I was in NorCal 88-91. Being properly exercised with expected rebuilds about every 25,000 miles when used that way. Well worth putting it right.
This is amazing. Thank you for sharing!!! Hoping to slowly bring it back to its former glory, one dollar at a time...
Philo
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by Philo »

Just found this thread and WOW.., this is a great story and great find. I hate the color but it's part of the history of the car so definitely keep it that way.

Hey, back in the old RoadFly forum days I was looking for an M5 Exhaust and found some guys in Long Beach that bought (short term flip) a black Dinan M5 that they eventually sold to the member "Suzy". Some of the old timers might remember her. The guys that sold Suzy the car had the stock M5 exhaust in Long Beach that didn't go with the car. I purchased it for my car, but they also had the original Dinan turbo exhaust manifold. The part that connects the headers off the S38 to a single 3 or 3.5" pipe to the cat. I need to find it in the garage, I think I still have it, and if you want it it's yours. Just pay for shipping.

Great story and I need to see this car up close and personal.

By the way, in 1998 aprox (I think) I found a wrecked Dinan M6 turbo in a salvage yard and posted pics of everything except for its location. A member, I can't recall who it was, kept emailing me for the location but I refused because I was trying to buy the turbo Dinan parts from the yard. The Roadfly member knew the yard was in Cali so he called every yard he could get a phone number on (pre businesses having web sites). After finding the yard, I think he worked on this for months, he then flew from the east coast to Harout's Salvage in the San Fernando Valley (I hate this yard, will sell his mother for $50.00) and bought the parts. Then he emailed me..., with pictures. I laughed and said enjoy. I think he was doing a Dinan conversion on his M6.

Anyway, you have a very rare car in your possession and a proper restoration is in order.

Have fun in the process. I'll send you pics of the manifold when I find it.

The story about Laguna Seca is great..

Cheers !!
austin8753
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Re: An Emerald in the rough - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - IT LIVES!

Post by austin8753 »

Long overdue, but brief, update...

Turbo engine went bye bye, as seen here...

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...so, out it came...

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...and in came it's 110k mile, stock replacement...

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Hoping to get the car to 5erWest this year.

That is all.
Adam W in MN
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by Adam W in MN »

That's a huge shame to scrap the dinan turbo motor and heritage. I know its simpler but the dinan turbo m5's are rare and cool.
austin8753
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by austin8753 »

Not much remained of the original setup. It was a massive hackjob. The only original components to the setup were the log style manifold, charge pipes and the intercooler. Everything else had been bastardized. I am keeping the parts, since they go with the car's (hi)story, but they will likely never make it back on the car again.

The engine had none of the parts that were advertised to me, except the lower compression pistons. Kind of disappointing, but that's to be expected. Head was cracked in multiple places, and from what the machine shop told me, the head had been worked on at least twice, if not three times, and had an amateur seat job done (of which, one failed).

Keeping the other engine to build something neat out of, which will, hopefully, make it's way into the car, someday. Just would like to go bond with the car, as I never had a chance to before. What a nightmare that turbo bullshit was.
Adam W in MN
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by Adam W in MN »

Wow that's even worse that the car was so far from the original Dinan spec. Sorry to hear but makes sense that you had to do what was necessary.
cek
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by cek »

Looking forward to seeing you and this car at 5erWest!
Foonfer
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by Foonfer »

What a story and what a save. Agree that the original engine with the Dinan bits, however rare, was mangled beyond recognition by the wrong hands and therefore too far gone. Tough pill. Of all possible alternatives, I think your replacement S38 is the safest and most elegant move. Deferential.

It's a shame the car wasn't painted Lachssilber or Delphin or Smaragdgrün...
austin8753
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by austin8753 »

Here's a more comprehensive update, for those who care.

Well, here's a long overdue, and a bit of a disappointing update.

About this time, last year, I decided I was going to get the car ready for 5erWest a bit earlier than I normally would have. I got in touch with someone who came recommended to me for Megasquirt tuning and scheduled to get the car in to his shop for tuning. What a nightmare that turned out to be. 6 weeks later, I get a non running car back, because he was quite inexperienced with Megasquirt and somehow, lost my original tune and couldn't do anything about it. Great.

About this same time, my professional life started falling apart and the car (and all my others) took a back burner until I moved into my new building, a few months back. Upon my arrival here, I had the car towed over from my storage unit and started messing around with it.

Right before the tuning disaster happened, I pulled all the trim off to detail the car and have the trim painted. Got the trim repainted, but never finished detailing the car. First step was to finish what I started. Decided to buy a Griot's dual action polisher and a bunch of Griot's polishes. About 30 hours in, we had this...

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(after about 10-12 hours in, hood was still chalky and stained underneath, this was when i threw in the towel and bought the GG polisher kit)

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(after)

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(left side unfinished, middle mid-process, right side as good as I can get it)

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(getting there)

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(very impressed with these products, 10/10)

Much better, still has lots of deep scratches and stone chips, but it fits the patina of the car - whatever. Yellow/green tape is still on, because I still have another 10-15 hours of polishing left - I'm unmotivated to finish, but I don't want to re-tape everything, so...

Decided to install a rough set of BBS RS212 I had laying around, with some 225/45/17 tires - they just barely clear the pre-rolled fender arches of the M5. Looks muuuuuuch better.

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My friend, AJ, who got the car running, the first time around, came back and helped fix where the last guy fucked the tune up. Got it running and did a few short drives around to see what was going on. We came to the conclusion, that since this is a turbo engine that is also fitted with individual throttles, the computer cannot properly measure the amount of air entering the plenum. We opted to fit a MAF off a 90's Infiniti Q45, as it was a large enough sensor to properly measure the amount of air entering the intake.

Fitted that, changed a few settings on the MS box and fired it up. Ran SOOOOOOOO much better, better than it ever had. The stumbling on idle was solved, no more variances in AFRs (leaning out HARD before on WOT), smoother transition going into boost, etc. I was so happy. Took it out for a bit of a hot lap on a long road, when AJ told me to punch it (I never really tried pushing it to its limit), so I did. Got it to the top of 4th gear (about 120mph) and we hear a "POOF". Look back to a nice cloud of smoke and the sweet, sweet smell of ethylene glycol. Fuuuuuuuuck........I guess the previous owner's suspicions of the head gasket being bad were right...

Pulled over and collected my thoughts for a minute. We weren't that far away from the shop (about two miles), so I babied it up to about 45 MPH and let it coast back to the shop a couple different times. Made it halfway back and it was starting to get warm, so I just shut it down, grabbed my truck and tow chain and babied it back to the shop.

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(obligatory "yo, ma kar fuckin broke, dawg" pics)

Decided to take the cylinder head off yesterday, so I could see what condition my condition was in. I had never touched an S38 very much, and while it all looked very intimidating, it was easier than doing an S50/52 cylinder head removal. The biggest bitch of the job was getting the giant turbo disconnected (which took longer than anything else), so once that was split, away came the intake and cam box and off with its head, of which, the turbo manifold came with (you really aren't removing that in the car very easily).

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Yeah, that isn't a good look. Also, note that one of the exhaust valve seats dropped out and somehow didn't fail completely - probably because of the lower compression pistons that Dinan installed. Wow.

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Took the head down to my preferred machine shop, where they gave it a quick inspection. We discovered that the head had been worked over at least two different times over the years and had some cracks that weren't really cost effective to repair - as I suspected. Additionally, there was some corrosion to the wall of cylinder 3 - like coolant had been leaking into it over the years - hmmmmmm............

So...I made the executive decision to buy another complete engine that I knew of - another S38B35, with 110k miles - and install it in the car, WITHOUT the turbo parts. It was fun while it lasted, and I will keep the parts around, just in case I have a change of heart (and they are a large part of this car's history), but I just want to go enjoy the goddamn car at this point. Sick of staring at a dead horse that I have had to push around more than any car I have EVER owned, lol

The good news is, I can look for a spare head in the meantime, and use my original engine to build a nasty NA stroker out of, later on - eventually, I want to change the replacement engine out for the potential stroker engine, and install the replacement engine in my M-Tech cabrio...whether that will happen or not, who the hell knows, but I don't care.

Anyway, keep watching for updates. I hope that the engine arrives before the end of this month. It's going to be a mad dash to get this car finished for 5erWest!!!

...and if not, I'll just take my shitty E28 pickup truck thing (more on that later)

28 May 2019

Engine arrived, condition was as described in the FS ad.

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The car this engine came out of, lived in Hawaii for most of its life, so there was lava and red clay dust everywhere. That stuff does not like to come off nicely. A couple brass brushes, some Super Clean and a case and a half of brake parts cleaner, we have this:

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A massive hole in my wallet from Kuni BMW, we have this:

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Doing some cleaning and regasketing - not many pictures were taken during this step. I'm terrible about documenting stuff when I'm in the zone and have motivation to just keep working.

(somewhere at this point, i ended up moving buildings, AGAIN, so progress slowed down, for a little while)

Engine in the car:

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Wiring harness installed, cooling system plumbed, accessories fitted - just need to send the flywheel off for resurfacing and install the clutch/flywheel/trans:

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List of parts that got replaced during this job...

-any and all fuel hoses in the engine bay
-all ICV hoses, all intake manifold gaskets, the dancing blue caps that are always broken or missing, all intake boots,
-entire cooling system, any part that could be replaced (with the exception of the water valve and heater core), got replaced - all hoses, thermostat, sensors, water pipe o rings, radiator, water pump
-oil pan gasket, OFHG, VCG, cam seals
-engine mounts
-every single hose clamp was replaced with an OE BMW or a Gemu unit, I FUCKING HATE IMPERIAL HOSE CLAMPS
-Sachs E34 M5 sport pressure plate (since the car already had one, and it was worn out, it just made sense to replace it with what it already had) and a new Sachs clutch kit
-entire shifter overhaul, all new bushings/wear items and E36 M3 shift lever
-CSB and guibo
-Spax lowering springs and Spax adjustable dampers
-B&B tri flow muffler (we'll see how much I hate the drone)

Hopefully, it will be an enjoyable car to drive now. Still on the hunt for a stock airbox - really don't want to have to install some stupid ass Vatozone air filter, but the car has to have something...

29 June -

Got the engine in the car last week, installed as long block with some accessories - plenum and wiring harness to be installed separately. Installed the aforementioned and connected the cooling system, to find that I have a massive coolant leak coming from the coolant manifold (looks to be around cylinder 1). Not sure what the deal is, as this is the water manifold from the turbo engine and looked to be in really good shape - of course, new o-rings were fitted (flanges cleaned with a scotch brite pad and brake cleaner, o-rings installed dry), so we should have been good to go there... Will need to deal with that next, before proceeding any further. After that is sorted, I'll toss the car on the lift and install the clutch/flywheel/trans and overhaul the shifting assembly. Hoping to have this car driving by 10 July, we will see how that goes...not too hopeful. Need to have my factory midsection re-modified to accept the stock exhaust manifolds (PO was kind enough to save it, and it was modified for use with the Dinan setup, so needs to be re-modified to accept stock flanges). Really just down to the small items now. Just want to go listen to the S38 sing the song of my people...
cek
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by cek »

Good story. I like the plot and characters. Rooting for the protagonist.
ahab
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by ahab »

Great story, despite the heartache along the way. Looks like you're well on our way to a running car again. Best wishes for getting her to 5erWest. Curious if you got a second DME harness, and would my old one be available? I'd be interested in buying it back for one of my projects.

Edit: I have an E24 airbox that you could borrow while you search out the correct airbox. It drops in and works, but not a super tidy appearance due to a slightly different form to fit the E24 inner fender slope.
austin8753
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by austin8753 »

ahab wrote:Great story, despite the heartache along the way. Looks like you're well on our way to a running car again. Best wishes for getting her to 5erWest. Curious if you got a second DME harness, and would my old one be available? I'd be interested in buying it back for one of my projects.

Edit: I have an E24 airbox that you could borrow while you search out the correct airbox. It drops in and works, but not a super tidy appearance due to a slightly different form to fit the E24 inner fender slope.
Aaron, I am planning to have two complete engines, at the end of all this, so unfortunately, I'll need the harness I got from you. If that changes, you'll be the first to know.

Would definitely be interested in your E24 M6 airbox, at least it'll get the car complete for the time being. Let me know what you'd like for that!
tschultz
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by tschultz »

I can't get over the green color. :dunno:
austin8753
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by austin8753 »

tschultz wrote:I can't get over the green color. :dunno:
You aren't the only one - at least you don't have to look at it daily.
austin8753
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by austin8753 »

It lives! Fired up on the first click. Had a few minor bugs to work out this morning, but was able to limp it over to bkburnout's place (open headers FTL), so he could re-modify the stock midsection to accept the stock US spec manifolds, as it was formerly setup to accept the turbo downpipe. I bought a B&B muffler, which we installed at the same time (took a lot of work to make it work, so much for being a "direct, bolt on replacement".) Has a very nice sound, of which I am happy with.

After getting to drive it around this afternoon and learn it's personality better, it made the many thousands of dollars totally worth it. I look forward to bonding with the car further - next job is a full suspension overhaul. It's horrible!

See you folks at 5er this weekend.

AB

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edit: going to finish polishing it tomorrow morning and take the damn tape off - so sick of looking at all the yellow. maybe it'll be a respectable looking car someday.
muleskinner
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by muleskinner »

Looks fucking great. Converting to euro bumpers would take it to the next level of badassness.
Bonsaibacker
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by Bonsaibacker »

Great story and exceptional tenacity. Looking forward to seeing where you go from here. If the challenges you've faced haven't stopped you yet, I imagine this will be an exceptional rebirth for that car!
Spen
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by Spen »

I like the green color and when polishing fails or takes too long the best guy I know isn't hesitant to grab the paper and get to sanding in stages. He's polished and finished I'd guess 3000 cars by now. I'd say 1500 on the tops of the doors and ctop of the car and 2000 on the areas that see less wear and repolish and it'll look like a champ. Looks good now.
austin8753
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Re: "An Emerald in the Rough" - 12/1986 Dinan M5 - 2019 upda

Post by austin8753 »

Long but successful weekend. Car performed wonderfully. Finished polishing the car and reinstalled the trim. So weird to think that it's the same car I started with. Excited to start driving it more frequently. It sure makes beautiful noises.

Next up is a suspension overhaul. While I like the ride height (I must be getting old), the shocks are pretty terrible and the front control arms are wasted. I have a full Spax kit that I will probably install, but I fear it'll be a little low for what I am after with this car. We will see.

Here are some pictures...

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