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Old 9th November 2012, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default Pete's (Psiddy81) E46 M3 - Underside Restoration & colour change - 166 pics!

Pete's car has probably been seen by most people now (it stand's out with those wheels!), but those of you who haven't, here is the 'Redish Motorsport Underside Restoration' which incorperated a colour change at the same time.

-------------------------------------------------
(On all floor/subframe repair & reinforcement threads I will supply a quick detail of the car at the start for data collecting purposes):

Model: M3 Coupe
Year: 2003
Mileage: TBC
Mounts effected: Left rear and Right front
No. of cracks found: 4
Reason for repair @ Redish Motorsport: BMW rejected due to having 'too many modifications'
Repair method: Redish Motorsport Floor/Subframe Repair & Reinforcement

-------------------------------------------------

Pete had some Hardrace camber arms fitted originally and during that install we got talking about his plans for the car and how he wanted to reinforce the floor pan (subframe).
We discussed options and I mentioned to Pete about the Underside Restorations I'd carried out on an E30 M3, E36 M3, E30 320i, E36 328i, and E46 M3.
Pete wanted to go all out and go for a different colour combo to the usual black/white/silver which was great to hear.

Pete dropped the car off:
It all started from there.......




We had another Silver Grey in too so a few comparison shots to start:








Underside BEFORE we start:






Cracks & popped spot welds visible with axle in place:








My custom made rear-axle & fuel-tank Jig in use:








Initial floor inspection with the axle removed:


















Axle being separated into individual pieces:










Undertrays covered in wax protection (and 8/9 years of dirt):






Close up pictures of the items that are being shot blasted (to show how horrible they look)!:


























Last edited by [email protected]; 10th November 2012 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 10th November 2012, 12:15 AM   #2
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Parts were taken for blasting and powder coating:

Blasting:




Results:








Because we are on a strict 1 week deadline, we couldn't have the shot blasters holding up the process if they had LOADS of little brackets to do as well as the main axle hardware.
So we bought a mini shot blast cabinet to do the smaller items ourselves:




It's not amazing, but it does the job and brings most things back to life before powder coating / spraying:



We also made another 21 line order of genuine parts - on top of Pete's already purchased 72 line order - (self taping screws, heatshield nuts, handbrake cables, wheel bearings, hub nuts, prop CVJ, and more which I can remember right now, as well as new brake lines across the rear axle and front to rear to replace these
They're not too bad, but we'll never get a better opportunity than now:





Here's a close up shot of the left rear floor crack:


And the centre punch mark showing the 'ends' before drilling:





This is showing part of the spot weld inspection process:








And after a quick clean up (but not finished with yet):



And a final one showing nearly everything removed:
(Before scrubbing/welding/painting starts, the brake lines, fuel lines, and carbon canister will be removed)
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Old 10th November 2012, 12:46 AM   #3
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Some pictures of the powder coated item's arrived back:



















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Old 10th November 2012, 12:52 AM   #4
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So once the cracks had been identified, centre punched, and drilled, I was able to weld over them to contain the crack and strengthen that area before the VAC reinforcement plates went on:

NSR:


OSF:





Example of OSR process:












OSF:








NSR:










NSF:






Also, one of the chassis mounted undertray studs (approx 5mm) had rusted and snapped:



So rather than leaving it, I drilled it out and then cut to length an M5 stud and welded it on in place:




Whilst I was doing that, Pete scrubbed the living death out of his inner rear arches
But to be fair, they came up really well so we decided not to underseal these:






And here's the end of that day's process.
Floor cracks weld repaired, reinforcement plates welded, etch primed, sealered, double etched primed:



Then the rear half of the car was painstakingly cleaned, scrubbed, air dried, and then sheeted and protected to allow the underside to be fully etch primed for added protection before the underseal:

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Old 10th November 2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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Once the Etch primer had dried on the underside floor, the whole floor was undersealed.
The 4 reinforced area's were left overnight for the sealer to go off, then were also undersealed after:















Some of the 93 part numbers ordered from BMW, and most part numbers there were multiples of:



Pete scrubbed clean all the aluminium heatshields and then painted them with aluminium coloured VHT paint:



Heatshields & exhaust rubbers installed:
(On installation we realised the exhaust rubber(s) were split, so replacements were sourced but I don't have a picture of them):







BMW steel brake lines which are powder-coated are immensely strong - much better than general copper lines.
So we ordered the 3 BMW brake pipes, both front to rear and the 'over axle' one as well.
They come straight so they have to be bent to shape:





Goodridge braided lines could then be installed with new spring clips and AP 13.5mm ID washers. Very anal but makes the job worth while:



Fuel vent to carbon canister blue pipe was cleaned up and installed:


Notice that it's actually installed in the wrong clipping point. This was swapped around straight away but again I don't have a picture of that:



And that's where this update ends:
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Old 10th November 2012, 12:57 AM   #6
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The VAC spacer plates for the front support of the diff carrier:


Diff carrier being installed and torqued:


New front diff bush in the diff carrier:


Fuel tank and Diff carrier fully installed:


New genuine rubber bushes in the upper control arms (inner joint):


Hardrace rear camber arms and Upper control arms:


Rear arms installed:






New wheel bearings:


New upper and lower balljoints in both trailing arms:


Trailing arms installed as well as the KW V3 rear shocks:


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Old 10th November 2012, 01:02 AM   #7
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Fuel exp tank and pipe work all back together which seals the fuel system tight:


Diff rear cover.
Bushes arn't available from BMW (although I believe them to be the same as the E36 type 188 medium case items), so they were decided to be powder coated over and see how they came out.
Sealing surface had some over coat on it which was removed before assembly:


The BMW recommended Loctite 5970 gasket compound.
It used to be a paper gasket from the factory, but they've superseeded it to Loctite 5970:


Lightly spread over the sealing surface then the excess was removed (not pictured), then approx 5mm internal clearing was also removed to help avoid any fall out:


Diff cover bolts being torqued up:


Diff complete and filled with Castrol Syntrax 75w140 (aka SAF-XJ), and Redline FM additive:


Couple of general shots before the diff & drive shafts are installed:




I also noticed there was quite a bit of slop and play in the gear selection linkage. Pinpointed to the white pivot ball as well as the common 'foam pad' inside the selector knuckle.
So the gear selection assembly was taken apart and refreshed with new consumable parts:




Diff installed and showing all old propshaft CVJ grease was removed, then new added, along with the very important NEW CVJ gasket:


Diff, Springs, ARB, Prop, Centre Heatshield installed:






Rear ARB installed with Powerflex bushes:


OSR


NSR
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Old 10th November 2012, 01:06 AM   #8
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So this is the final set of pictures from Pete's 'underside restoration'.

Not much text needed - hopefully the pictures will do the talking











This picture is upside down on purpose - I think the light shows the floor better
































And just to show how it changed in 8 days.....
BEFORE:


AFTER:




And the final posing shot before Pete collected:


It's been a huge job, but due to Pete's excellent planning & prep work and our commitment to this job, it was completed in 8 days.

A really enjoyable project and one which I won't forget in a hurry.
Thank-you very much Pete for your business and I look forward to seeing it again when it's in for it's next service.

Cheers,
James
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Old 10th November 2012, 02:50 AM   #9
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Great post mate, one thing tho....you do realise that we now we have the new and MASSIVELY improved chassis plates we're gonna have to do it all over again! This time we'll strengthen the front in prep for evolves E46 SC kit!
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Old 10th November 2012, 06:42 AM   #10
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Wow!
Is it sad that I'm actually excited to drop my car off to you and give you money?!
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Old 11th November 2012, 10:00 PM   #11
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Awesome job and great read, really like your M Pete
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Old 11th November 2012, 10:11 PM   #12
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Amazing job, great read too! Attention to detail..... And then some!!
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Old 11th November 2012, 10:28 PM   #13
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why cant I live in the mainland, these are the guys i want to work on my car!!!!
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Old 12th November 2012, 01:31 PM   #14
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Great write up and pictures, thanks for sharing. I love the colour coding on the suspension parts and the way it matches the wheel centres!

I would be worried about get the underside of the car dirty now... summer dry use only from now on!
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Old 12th November 2012, 01:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePeps View Post
Wow!
Is it sad that I'm actually excited to drop my car off to you and give you money?!
That happends a lot mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francob View Post
Awesome job and great read, really like your M Pete
Thanks mate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shauny3779 View Post
Amazing job, great read too! Attention to detail..... And then some!!
Cheers Shaun

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboy1984 View Post
why cant I live in the mainland, these are the guys i want to work on my car!!!!
You could always move mate, bit extreme but would show some real dedication to your M

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdyG View Post
Great write up and pictures, thanks for sharing. I love the colour coding on the suspension parts and the way it matches the wheel centres!

I would be worried about get the underside of the car dirty now... summer dry use only from now on!
Thanks mate, it's all about the attention to detail with my car, my OCD won't have it any other way.

The car is driven daily mate, the underside has been protected so it's easy to keep clean, it gets washed off every time we get it on the ramp anyway!
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Old 12th November 2012, 06:52 PM   #16
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Epic level of effort and attention to detail.
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Old 12th November 2012, 09:03 PM   #17
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Amazing attention to detail. I will be doing this myself one day.
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Old 13th November 2012, 09:43 AM   #18
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Amazing stuff; actually looks like CGI pictures where they colour-code different bits to show their function!
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Old 14th November 2012, 09:36 PM   #19
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Great work, very impressive.

What work did you do on the exhaust mid section?

Have you tried the e36 bushes in the e46 diff cover? Would be interested to see/hear the outcome.
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippy View Post
Great work, very impressive.

What work did you do on the exhaust mid section?

Have you tried the e36 bushes in the e46 diff cover? Would be interested to see/hear the outcome.
Thanks mate.

The Mid section was coated with a VHT Silver Paint, it looked pants compared with the rest of the system!

The E36 bushes are similar, but not the same, they aren't as deep and don't apear as strong.

PowerFlex now make these bushes so we've gone with them instead.
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