Pete's (Psiddy81) E46 M3 - Underside Restoration & colour change - 166 pics!

Discussion in 'Redish Motorsport' started by [email protected], Nov 9, 2012.

  1. 9 Nov 2012 at 11:55 PM #1
    James@Redish

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    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....... :roflmao:

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

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    Underside BEFORE we start:

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    Cracks & popped spot welds visible with axle in place:

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

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    Initial floor inspection with the axle removed:

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    Axle being separated into individual pieces:

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

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

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  2. 10 Nov 2012 at 12:15 AM #2
    James@Redish

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    Colour Combo:
    Silverstone Blue / Novillo Black
    Parts were taken for blasting and powder coating:

    Blasting:

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    Results:

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    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:
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    It's not amazing, but it does the job and brings most things back to life before powder coating / spraying:
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    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:
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    Here's a close up shot of the left rear floor crack:
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    And the centre punch mark showing the 'ends' before drilling:
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    This is showing part of the spot weld inspection process:
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    And after a quick clean up (but not finished with yet):
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    And a final one showing nearly everything removed:
    (Before scrubbing/welding/painting starts, the brake lines, fuel lines, and carbon canister will be removed)
    [​IMG]
     
  3. 10 Nov 2012 at 12:46 AM #3
    James@Redish

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    Silverstone Blue / Novillo Black
    Some pictures of the powder coated item's arrived back:

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  4. 10 Nov 2012 at 12:52 AM #4
    James@Redish

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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:
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    OSF:
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    Example of OSR process:

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    OSF:

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    NSR:

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    NSF:

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

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

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

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

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    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:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. 10 Nov 2012 at 12:54 AM #5
    James@Redish

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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:
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    Some of the 93 part numbers ordered from BMW, and most part numbers there were multiples of:
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    Pete scrubbed clean all the aluminium heatshields and then painted them with aluminium coloured VHT paint:
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    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):
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    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:
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    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:
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    Fuel vent to carbon canister blue pipe was cleaned up and installed:
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    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:
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    And that's where this update ends:
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  6. 10 Nov 2012 at 12:57 AM #6
    James@Redish

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    The VAC spacer plates for the front support of the diff carrier:
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    Diff carrier being installed and torqued:
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    New front diff bush in the diff carrier:
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    Fuel tank and Diff carrier fully installed:
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    New genuine rubber bushes in the upper control arms (inner joint):
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    Hardrace rear camber arms and Upper control arms:
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    Rear arms installed:
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    New wheel bearings:
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    New upper and lower balljoints in both trailing arms:
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    Trailing arms installed as well as the KW V3 rear shocks:
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  7. 10 Nov 2012 at 1:02 AM #7
    James@Redish

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    Fuel exp tank and pipe work all back together which seals the fuel system tight:
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    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:
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    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:
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    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:
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    Diff cover bolts being torqued up:
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    Diff complete and filled with Castrol Syntrax 75w140 (aka SAF-XJ), and Redline FM additive:
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    Couple of general shots before the diff & drive shafts are installed:
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    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:
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    Diff installed and showing all old propshaft CVJ grease was removed, then new added, along with the very important NEW CVJ gasket:
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    Diff, Springs, ARB, Prop, Centre Heatshield installed:
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    Rear ARB installed with Powerflex bushes:
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    OSR
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    NSR
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  8. 10 Nov 2012 at 1:06 AM #8
    James@Redish

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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 ;)

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    This picture is upside down on purpose - I think the light shows the floor better :)
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    And just to show how it changed in 8 days.....
    BEFORE:
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    AFTER:
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    And the final posing shot before Pete collected:
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    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. :thumbsup:

    Cheers,
    James :D
    www.Facebook.com/RedishMotorsport
     
  9. 10 Nov 2012 at 2:50 AM #9
    Redish Motorsport

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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!
     
  10. 10 Nov 2012 at 6:42 AM #10
    JoePeps

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    Wow!
    Is it sad that I'm actually excited to drop my car off to you and give you money?!
     
  11. 11 Nov 2012 at 10:00 PM #11
    Francob

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    Awesome job and great read, really like your M Pete :thumbsup:
     
  12. 11 Nov 2012 at 10:11 PM #12
    shauny3779

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    Amazing job, great read too! Attention to detail..... And then some!! ;)
     
  13. 11 Nov 2012 at 10:28 PM #13
    jonboy1984

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    why cant I live in the mainland, these are the guys i want to work on my car!!!!
     
  14. 12 Nov 2012 at 1:31 PM #14
    AdyG

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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!
     
  15. 12 Nov 2012 at 1:46 PM #15
    Psiddy81

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    That happends a lot mate :thumbsup:

    Thanks mate.

    Cheers Shaun :thumbsup:

    You could always move mate, bit extreme but would show some real dedication to your M :thumbsup:

    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! :peace:
     
  16. 12 Nov 2012 at 6:52 PM #16
    twentyfour

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    Epic level of effort and attention to detail.
     
  17. 12 Nov 2012 at 9:03 PM #17
    0-60

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    Amazing attention to detail. I will be doing this myself one day.
     
  18. 13 Nov 2012 at 9:43 AM #18
    rumoon

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    Amazing stuff; actually looks like CGI pictures where they colour-code different bits to show their function! :eek:
     
  19. 14 Nov 2012 at 9:36 PM #19
    skippy

    skippy On the path

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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.
     
  20. 15 Nov 2012 at 9:13 AM #20
    Redish Motorsport

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    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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