[3 Series] E46 Compact - Mpact in the making

Discussion in '1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series and 8 Series' started by Mpact, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. 4 May 2018 at 10:03 AM #21
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    Having no gaps means nice small welds and no grinding.
    All plates were sprayed on the backside with weld through primer then were TIG welded. Although it takes much longer to Tig weld than MIG, the finished item is much nicer (and you don't get covered in weld hot weld splatter).

    Finished examples,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 4 May 2018 at 10:25 AM #22
    Tris

    Tris Achieved official socks

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    Wow that is crusty! Does your government salt their roads all winter regardless of how cold it is!?

    Awesome work so far and stunning welding. This forum needs more builds like this, keep the updates coming!
     
  3. 4 May 2018 at 12:53 PM #23
    DS25

    DS25 On the path

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    Great write up... and piccies!

    Good luck with the rest of the build, workmanship looks top drawer!

    :thumbsup:
     
  4. 4 May 2018 at 4:11 PM #24
    chepch

    chepch On the path

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    Great start. Looking forward to the progress reports.
     
  5. 8 May 2018 at 4:19 PM #25
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    Haha, i think its a mixture of that and the country roads round here. Certainly was a surprise to see how bad it was.

    Thank you, I would have thought more people on here would be doing builds like this!
     
  6. 8 May 2018 at 4:19 PM #26
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    Thank you, plenty more photos to come yet!
     
  7. 8 May 2018 at 4:52 PM #27
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    With all the mounts/brackets prepared, i then went onto puddle weld them back
    onto the car. All welds were blended so that it still maintained the original factory look.

    [​IMG]

    Made up these little spacers,

    [​IMG]

    All welded,

    [​IMG]

    Next was to do the three steps of the POR15, Degrease, MetalPrep and then the Rust Preventive Paint. I ended up not just doing the corroded areas but everything that was bare metal.

    [​IMG]

    I highly recommend the POR15, i was a bit worried about washing off the MetalPrep with water as it was directly to bare metal and i didn't want to introduce any more rust. But it left an 'etched' zinc finish that couldn't be welded over, two coats of the Rust Preventive paint turned out to be so good that it was a struggle to get a keyed finish so that it could be painted over!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  8. 8 May 2018 at 5:04 PM #28
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    With the POR15 finally to a keyed finish, (i'd use it sparingly next time as it takes such a long time to get the shine off).

    Next it was onto prime the underside of the car, for this i used a roller to apply some black etch primer. Two decent coats and now the floor looks like this,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. 10 May 2018 at 9:49 AM #29
    Tris

    Tris Achieved official socks

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    Looks great, I would never have thought to use a roller and the finish looks spot on so I will remember that tip!
     
  10. 30 May 2018 at 9:11 PM #30
    steve01

    steve01 On the path

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    That looks great! How does the swap affect the handling on something like these? I'd imagine the weight distribution would be affected?
     
  11. 9 Jun 2018 at 12:51 PM #31
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    Thanks, To be honest i don't know until i drive it. The overall weight of the compact isn't much different to the coupe, although the S54 is Heavier than the M54 ive taken out of it so the front end will have more weight over it.
     
  12. 9 Jun 2018 at 2:38 PM #32
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    Next was onto joining all the layers of the boot floor together and bracing the subfame.
    There seems to be many variations of how people do this i.e plates, solid bars, box sections, bonding and cutting perfectly good panels up to gain access.

    Here's how i done mine,

    6mm Drill bit extended and a aluminium spacer turned up, this then goes from the underside into the mounting holes of the subframe bolts. The spacer slides over the drill bit keeping it central and avoids the internal threads getting damaged while being drilled.

    [​IMG]

    After drilling the 6mm hole through each layer of the floor, i then went inside the car and opened the hole up in the first layer of boot floor with a hole saw.

    [​IMG]

    There is a raised bead inside the next layer of boot floor, this is what the threaded section is mounted to. The raised bead is there for structural reasons and shouldn't be flattened to close the cavity gap,

    [​IMG]

    Next I turned two small spacers, one for each side.

    [​IMG]

    With a smaller hole cutter matching the the size of the spacer diameter, I carefully cut into the raised beaded layer and removed it leaving the top of the threaded section on show. The spacer was then fully TIG welded into the hole that was previously cut picking up on the factory MIG welds. This closed any gap and gave a good mounting point for the next stage.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. 9 Jun 2018 at 2:51 PM #33
    Mpact

    Mpact A mere Chipper

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    These little cups were then made up, the three smaller holes in them are for puddle welding on to the spacer that was previously welded in.

    [​IMG]

    With the inside of the cavity and the backs of the cups sprayed in weld through primer it was time to fully TIG weld them in. After that all welds were smoothed off for the clean OEM look.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. 9 Jun 2018 at 9:31 PM #34
    D63

    D63 On the path

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    Interesting build thread thus far :)
     

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