BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Folks,

So most folks here probably don't know me, but I am the organizer of Southeast Sharkfest - an annual gathering of E9, E24 and E31 big coupes that would have celebrated its 18th anniversary this year if not for COVID. Since my introduction to BMWs, I have always had a thing for big coupes. I have owned several E24s and have always loved the E31. For a while now, I've watched as people have repeatedly stuffed S62s into E39 wagons and E38 sedans (as a wagon lover and e38 owner myself, both great options), however, I've always wanted to do the same with an E31. I've seen this done a few times, but the time has come to execute my own vision.

One of my best friends has a full lift equipped garage at his house and with help from my brother, we decided to embark on a mission to build our very own M8. Initially my thought was to equip with an ESS supercharger and go for power, but I'm leaning away from that in order to create a build more in line with what BMW might have done with a production V8 M8 (yes, I'm aware there exists a V12 M8 prototype). I'm trying to assemble a quality build with a more aggressive and responsive suspension, bolt on modifications (maybe a little bit more depending on how things go), a proper tune, and aesthetic accents from the euro market that were not available on the US cars.

A month ago I acquired a Calypso Red Metallic 1996 840Ci with 71k miles. It is in overall good condition with some light refinishing needed, particularly the front drivers side fender which the previous owner booped into the side of his garage. Oof. A week ago, the other half of the project was delivered - a 2000 M5 with 131k miles and a failed bank 1 VANOS.

Our project will involve removal of the S62, inspection & leakdown to insure integrity, a full refresh and replacement of rod bearings, gaskets, chains, guides, relevant sensors, and accessories (and of course, VANOS as needed) at which point the heart transplant will begin.

Instagram BigCoupeZinger - I'm going to start adding photos and stuff as we go along and I'll post updates periodically here as well. Wish us luck.

948359


948360
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Initial disassembly. Saw some things we didn't like from some past shops that obviously did not know what they were doing. Thankfully... gonna fix all that. :)

948362
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Subscribed!

If you don't mind me asking what did the E31 run you? I've wanted one since I came across an ad in Playboy magazine back in the day! :LOL:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Subscribed!

If you don't mind me asking what did the E31 run you? I've wanted one since I came across an ad in Playboy magazine back in the day! :LOL:
I'd rather not disclose for the time being. At some point I may publish the full cost of the build, but for now, money numbers will be on the DL. :) Let's just say the late M62 E31's have pushed upwards a bit.

This one wasn't perfect, but it was an excellent base.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,947 Posts
And CSI's even more...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
And CSI's even more...

Yes. That one in particular is an outstanding example - it was brought to my attention by someone in-the-know in the E31 community - though even I (and I suspect he) didn't expect to see numbers like that so early on. I hope the trend continues.... maybe it'll pull the rest of them up with them. Deals can still be had out there - during my search, I came across some rougher but still perfectly serviceable E31s out there for 10-11k. I suspect that will not last much longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Is it a factory manual or will you be converting it?
Manual 840s were never available in the US. I actually was ignorantly under the impression that there was no such thing as a factory manual 840Ci, but I was proven incorrect by a E31 owner in Malaysia a few weeks ago. You learn something new every day.

It will receive the transmission from the M5... also refreshed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #11

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Very cool project - always liked E31. Will follow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: xing6666

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ha I'm gonna have to borrow that phrase
I can't claim credit for that one. I got it from another user who picked up an M5 that someone "booped into a guardrail." It made me laugh, so I use it now.

It's the little things. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Definitely following. Looking forward to the end result.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Following this as well. Agree that an S62-powered E31 would probably have been a more realistic/feasible project had the M8 gotten the approval from BMW's C-Suite in period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
Following! same reasons as others here. Gorgeous shell for an S62!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Success! So when we got the E39, it was throwing VANOS bank 1 & 2 and misfires on all cylinders. Major sadfase.

948536


Previous owner said they had "repaired the VANOS" but could not figure out what was going on with timing. Turns out 3 of the 4 cams were a few degrees off, so no shocker on the codes. Once we got everything set right, VANOS bank 1 was still throwing codes. It would idle fine, and then the moment throttle was applied, everything would go to hell. It was noted that while everything was initially set in the fully retarded position, upon shutdown, the intake cam was stuck fully advanced. We removed the VANOS board to inspect and found that one of the four solenoids was clogged (by using the ultra-scientific and super disgusting "put your mouth on it and try to blow through it while simultaneously ingesting oil" methodology). A lack of ability to flow oil would certainly explain the inability for the solenoid to operate correctly.

948528


In his infinite wisdom, Eugene, my M8 build guru decided to remove the solenoid and make an electrical rig to pulse it.

948531


He subsequently immersed it in a ultrasonic cleaner box with a blend of diesel and injector cleaner. After about an hour we saw some improvement, once again utilizing our "blow-flow?-go!" test. We left it overnight with the other solenoids from the board and in the morning, after a relaxing spa session, they were all perfect.

948532


Upon reassembly and proper timing he took it for a drive and voila!! Awesome power through the band, no CEL and ZERO codes.

948533


Obviously we will have to rebuild the VANOS once again with new seals, but what an awesome way to save a bunch of cash. The solenoids are all immaculate and completely re-soldered, and after replacing the seals and gaskets it should be like new.

Now that we have a fully functional powerplant, the next steps will be to compression/leakdown test, then pull and refresh it properly.

It took us literally days to compile a list of new parts to refresh the engine and build a "shopping cart" with our online parts house of choice. I finally just finished and executed an order for a distressing sum of money. Included is a full timing chain/other chains/guides/top end/seals kit, bottom end refresh kit, complete with rod bearings and new rubber to replace every inch of the disintegrating vacuum, coolant and other hoses, miscellaneous vents and valves, new shiny bolts and clamps to make it pretty... oh so pretty... etc etc etc.

Stay tuned.

948535
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top