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To all my friends, and all those who have followed this long thread:
3 years as of today ...

Good to see this was somehow all resolved and Tom's M5 rescued from Area 51 (thoughts of night vision goggles, bolt cutters and tranquilliser guns)

Some photos would be good

Someone remind me, because it's been a while: The tube that comes off the upper rad hose....where the hell does that go? I forgot; it's been a while since I've laid hands on an S38.
It heads over to the front of the head near the water pump

So, Tony, how the hell are you, and where are you? ;)
Back in Jakarta for a few weeks

I spent 5 months in South Australia last year and 3 months so far this year. I've just opened a new company in Australia with my daughter (the next generation) so I'm now an evil multi national. She helps me on the Cessna and is a roll her sleeves up girl, doesn't mind getting her hands dirty.

For the first time in 5 years I have zero projects on. I was recommended on 3 projects in Indonesia, India and West Ghana which didn't go ahead as the aircraft owners took settlements instead of repairs or the airline wants to do the support work themselves.

At the moment building equipment for future projects when in Indonesia and working on my 1967 Cessna 182 hot rod (550 vs 470 cubes) when in Australia.



On mandatory M5 content GA25324 and GA25388 sulking in my warehouse in Jakarta, they will be shipped to Australia once my hangar is up later this year.

I've done a deal with Jacob to buy the white M5 GA25330 (ex Taffy) for use in Indonesia, deposit down and waiting on a big final invoice to be paid from my last project to complete the deal.

,
 

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At the moment building equipment for future projects when in Indonesia and working on my 1967 Cessna 182 hot rod (550 vs 470 cubes) when in Australia.


IO-550 with water injection? Maybe get an STC (if that is something you have to contend with in your location) to get a turbo variant? Would be fun. T182s are great to fly here because its always high, sometimes hot.
 

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IO-550 with water injection? Maybe get an STC (if that is something you have to contend with in your location) to get a turbo variant? Would be fun. T182s are great to fly here because its always high, sometimes hot.
No turbo , it's using a Texas Skyways O-550 conversion but still gets up and goes. Will climb at 1,500fpm with 2 on board.
 

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Someone remind me, because it's been a while: The tube that comes off the upper rad hose....where the hell does that go? I forgot; it's been a while since I've laid hands on an S38.
Small connector on front left side of head, with a short section of hose to connect. WAY easier to reconnect with intake off, by the way. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, it might be easier to put the short tubing on the connector first, and then shove the tube/pipe into it. You will see what I mean...

And this stupid little tube/pipe left me stranded, or the car at least, when a small tweak cause it to break and then basically fall apart due to age and brittle-ness. Check it for flexibility first, it is pretty cheap to replace.
 

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+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
No turbo , it's using a Texas Skyways O-550 conversion but still gets up and goes. Will climb at 1,500fpm with 2 on board.
Plenty of power with that. IIRC that increases TBO and slightly increases fuel flow, an efficient engine. Going with a 3 blade buc?
 

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ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


Plenty of power with that. IIRC that increases TBO and slightly increases fuel flow, an efficient engine. Going with a 3 blade buc?
2,500 hour TBO due to a modified oil system and it will be getting a Hartzell 3 blade Scimitar prop
 

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Thanks, my friends...... (The metal pipe which connects to the top rad hose is M.I.A. ; but I can make that if it can't be purchased.)


Tom's having me replace what needs replacing. Every old rubber fuel hose is now new genuine BMW 8x13 fuel hose, for instance, from the tank to the engine. I have to say how much I love the fact that there's a drain plug in the fuel tank. After all, the injectors just arrived back from RC Injection....we're not going to feed them shellac, are we?


From what I've seen, the Porsche guy has done a very professional job, if we ignore the delays. A couple of very minor "not a BMW guy" errors, but really, everything looks like it's been done with very professional care and attention. While it''s well short of a running car, the signs are excellent that Tom's going to have a truly magnificent machine in the not-too-distant future. New engine has never run, exterior items were in a box.



I flushed hell out of the oil cooler and lines; the cooler was completely clogged. We have lovely Joe Gibbs Break-In oil in store for the beast; Tom ordered it from Summit Racing. New fluids everywhere, nose to tail, of course. 850i lower control arms, poly bushes for sway bars and UCA's, sway bar links and steering arms......R134 compressor and lines and mount, so much more. Tons of new hoses. Oops, haven't ordered belts yet, we'll need those. I am NOT throwing parts, but I'm damned sure asking to replace what's bad (and rubber), and if we're replacing it, we're using nice stuff.



Oh, I've got to say that the "Sterling"-coated stock Inconel headers are just incredibly gorgeous. Stock heat shields hide some of the beauty, but a discerning eye can see. I had nothing to do with this, but I applaud the mod.



Most of all, I've never seen "Macau Blue" before this car, and it's crazy beautiful.


The car has its own lift and corner of the shop, but I still keep it covered when I'm not actively working on it. ;) It stays inside.



Um, I'm unauthorized with my posts here. I'm pretty sure that Tom's going to be just fine with that, though, because he's made it through the tough part, and he's going to have a sweet prize, after all his tribulations.






Tom has just given me permission to post details. I had overstepped, by not asking sooner. I'll be posting pictures, although maybe Tom will enjoy sharing some that I've already sent him.....
 

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The OEM is actually a plastic line that can go brittle , go with metal like you're planning
"And this stupid little tube/pipe left me stranded, or the car at least, when a small tweak cause it to break and then basically fall apart due to age and brittle-ness. Check it for flexibility first, it is pretty cheap to replace."



(from my post above, The "tweak" was from me trying to tighten the radiator-end connection slight which causes a little bending of the tube and it just snapped.)


Yes, the old one lasted 25y, though. I would replace it before that if I had the chance, but you don't know how long it lasts until it breaks, eh? The other pipe that is the same material (the long one from the expansion tank) I also replaced for the same reason but the original was still very flexible, so I have it as a backup. It's not as exposed to heat as the little one...
 

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Discussion Starter #292 (Edited)
Howdy all,

Apologies for the long silence; I stopped posting because it wasn't really serving a purpose any longer other than to add to my anxiety over the situation. On the advice of another professional engine builder, I stuck things out with the fellow I was engaged with and eventually got traction with him, in fits and starts, and after nearly 4 years at his shop, the car finally left in June 2018, destined for Chris, just as I was departing Florida to go live in Montréal for 6 months. I'm there now, and have been in fairly regular contact with Chris via text/email since he received my car.

I've collected all of the photos and some videos from the build and arranged them in chronological order. Here is a link:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JZSg5Kux-v1nuJnAawkUOjoYn5dSpUL8?usp=sharing

All of the more recent photos from Chris will be in the datetime_unknown folder


Please please fix these images! Ive been reading through this for some days now, and it has in general really been lacking in images :blabla: And i would like to see the Area 51 parts.
The Area 51 parts turned out to be Carillo pistons and rods, manufactured to a custom specification; you'll see the Carillo box pictured in a couple of the photos. The pistons are lighter than the off-the-shelf part that one can buy from e.g. VAC, coming in at 367.43g vs 378.4g; there's a photo of one on a scale in the archive, in the datetime_unknown folder. That's another ~66g of rotating mass that, presumably, perhaps excepting race engines, very few or no other S38s will be in operation without.

Seriously? I'll spare you, there was nothing special about these "Area 51" parts. OP hasn't been around to conclude this story, but I wish him the best - even if I also wish he would just expose this sketchy shop.
I'm not inclined to expose the shop; I'm a man of my word and, the ever-slipping timetable aside, the builder finally made good on his promise. Let's say something ends up being fundamentally wrong with the motor and he is not willing to either (to some reasonable degree) rectify it or refund me -- in this case, I will publish my experience and identify the shop in order to attempt to raise awareness for other consumers. Short of that, he has my confidence.

It is a bit of a shame however, because I had to scrub some videos that included identifying characteristics of his business, that depict some interesting items and activities, from the archive. Namely: single-point diamond cutter surfacing of head and block, the actual cylinder boring process, and demonstration of free-spinning smoothness of reinstalled crankshaft post- balance and bearing/cap line-bore.

I kept thinking to myself reading this, who the hell drops 10 Grand to rebuild an S38 to get 100HP/L when you can just get an S54 and dump it in there and achieve the same result?
Either someone who's never driven an S38 or who doesn't understand that the priority of an engine blueprint and rebuild isn't (or shouldn't) be power. Or both.

Oh, I've got to say that the "Sterling"-coated stock Inconel headers are just incredibly gorgeous. Stock heat shields hide some of the beauty, but a discerning eye can see. I had nothing to do with this, but I applaud the mod.
For those who are unaware (probably very few of you): this is a ceramic coating that will insulate the exhaust gases and improve the their laminar flow, increasing power/efficiency. It should also reduce under-hood temperatures overall.


I want to be perfectly clear on a couple of points:

1) I am in no way, nor will I ever be, attempting to justify this build to anyone; the time and the money involved, it'd be absurd to try and defend or rationalize. My only purpose is in clarification, to the degree that anyone is interested, or that seems fair for me to offer unsolicited, to correct erroneous speculation. Having said that, hindsight is 20/20, and I won't use the wisdom of today to judge the choices of my past. It's a different thing entirely to find yourself in mid-flight.

2) I'm not counting my eggs before they're hatched; the engine hasn't run yet. Sure, there's considerable evidence in support of the contrary, but it could all explode in a fiery blaze on first crank, or fail catastrophically 5k miles down the road. Whatever the case, I am confident that I made the best decision possible given the information that I had available. In the final analysis, it was really the only option -- it took me some time to come to understand this fully.


Glad that it's finally with Chris, and happy to answer any other questions anyone might have, to the best of my ability.


Cheers,
Tom
 

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I want to be perfectly clear on a couple of points:

1) I am in no way, nor will I ever be, attempting to justify this build to anyone; the time and the money involved, it'd be absurd to try and defend or rationalize. My only purpose is in clarification, to the degree that anyone is interested, or that seems fair for me to offer unsolicited, to correct erroneous speculation. Having said that, hindsight is 20/20, and I won't use the wisdom of today to judge the choices of my past. It's a different thing entirely to find yourself in mid-flight.

2) I'm not counting my eggs before they're hatched; the engine hasn't run yet. Sure, there's considerable evidence in support of the contrary, but it could all explode in a fiery blaze on first crank, or fail catastrophically 5k miles down the road. Whatever the case, I am confident that I made the best decision possible given the information that I had available. In the final analysis, it was really the only option -- it took me some time to come to understand this fully.


Glad that it's finally with Chris, and happy to answer any other questions anyone might have, to the best of my ability.


Cheers,
Tom

Ive given you grief/armchair QBing in my posts; it simply did not sound like you were getting anywhere with the previous engine builder. Glad things are now on a path that will get you driving this badass built S38 under a macau 89 M5. You started one of the most interesting threads in the E34 M5 forum, it would be a shame not to see this to the end.
 

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The Area 51 parts turned out to be Carillo pistons and rods, manufactured to a custom specification; you'll see the Carillo box pictured in a couple of the photos. The pistons are lighter than the off-the-shelf part that one can buy from e.g. VAC, coming in at 367.43g vs 378.4g; there's a photo of one on a scale in the archive, in the datetime_unknown folder. That's another ~66g of rotating mass that, presumably, perhaps excepting race engines, very few or no other S38s will be in operation without.



I'm not inclined to expose the shop; I'm a man of my word and, the ever-slipping timetable aside, the builder finally made good on his promise. Let's say something ends up being fundamentally wrong with the motor and he is not willing to either (to some reasonable degree) rectify it or refund me -- in this case, I will publish my experience and identify the shop in order to attempt to raise awareness for other consumers. Short of that, he has my confidence.
How about disclosing shop name, so us other mortals can buy the Area 51 pistons? :D

Either way great that it all worked out for ya
 

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I do not expect that our friend Tom is going to share that info, Loupoz. I have his car in my hands, and he's not shared it with me. Nor have I asked. Tom is a man of honor, and he's agreed to some confidentiality, for the Porsche guy. That's just fine with me.



To the contrary, I have asked his permission to document my work, and his gorgeous car's progress, here, in public, for the benefit of all. Different approaches, to be sure, but I'll be the first to say that I've seen no significant mechanical error in his builder's actions....beyond, of course, the absurd delays.



Now, if you really wanted to order some lightweight pistons and rods, I'm pretty sure that Carillo will have retained the specifications for lightweight S38 items beyond their common specs, and neither they nor OTK2 will need to divulge who's purchased them.


I'm just saying, with the greatest respect to all, that we're moving forward.


Let's do that.



For all this to be a wonderful story, all we need is for this car to run magnificently.


I intend to do my very best to ensure that. I'm here for Tom, and for the wonderful car.
 

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Hi Tom

Thanks for your long post and good to see you back

Looking forward to some happy pics of you and Chris with a running M5

Regards

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #298
Thanks for your long post and good to see you back

Looking forward to some happy pics of you and Chris with a running M5
It's good to be back. I hope for the same, and that not long from now, I'll be much more active around here again for advice on further refinements and to document/share the experience of a freshly built motor. Fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter #300
You know, I've been a bit curious about the head, as the builder stated that he noticed a 1994 casting date on it. The previous owner mentioned that the car had B38 cam gears, but nothing about an entire B38 head replacement, and I didn't find any evidence of such in the documentation that he provided me, although he didn't strike me as the most organized guy, or even that informed about his own car. Can you tell me the filename of the photo that you are referencing? The direct link that you used is not working.

In any case, the head has been reworked to accommodate oversized valves, which showed a 9% increase in air flow according to flow bench testing.
 
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