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      02-18-2014, 08:22 AM   #1
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BMW S65 MT in a 1933 Ford Roadster

As this is an S65 forum and Im moving into the mock-up phase of the performance aspects of my S65 based project, I thought its time to introduce it to this forum. Ive been lurking around this site (and that other one) for the past several months as Ive been thinking forward, while Ive been busy doing the heavy lifting of fabricating motor and transmission mounts, building the rear cradle of the chassis to accept the subframe, etc., all to accept the complete drivetrain of a 14.6K mile wrecked manual trans 2008 e90 M3 into a 1933 based Ford Hot Rod. Have had a buildpage up on the forum documenting progress, a site more targeted to builders (

By way of background, as a 1970s teen, I purchased a 66 Buick Riviera with a 425 nailhead that was wrecked in a head on collision for $75. Spent the next two years, while waiting to get my license, completely rebuilding the car and souping up the drivetrain. Car went super fast, but only in a straight line. When I blew the engine some months after it was on the road, I picked up a Triumph TR-6, 2400 pounds with a straight 6 and dual carbs. I bored and stroked the engine and did a full frame off restoration in my parents garage. The car was fast and with its IRS and large heavily cambered rear wheels could handle curves like it was on rails - - I fell in love with that top down two seater sportscar ride at high speed!!!!!

The result was that for the next three and a half decades I have had the dream of building a lightweight American Hot Rod body matched with a European sports car drivetrain and suspension to get both the performance and look I wanted. Life (career, kids, marriage) intervened and that dream was put on hold. When a few years ago my kids sent me to Skip Barber's formula racing school at Laguna as a father's day present, a long dormant itch was really awakened.

About two years ago, when my youngest went away to school (and long-since divorced), started to think I had the time to do this project and began looking in earnest at drivetrains and suspension packages. Before long I was bidding on Copart on wrecked e9x M3s. Wasnt as sure of the chassis Id use as a starting point, but just after I found a low mileage complete drivetrain at the right price, came across an article on Bret Voelkels Ridetech 1933 Ford Hot Rod beating a Lambo on the track at 204 mph ( and the handling he got from a Factory Five 1933 Ford with its tubular spaceframe chassis and the plan was complete: a car weighing 2100 pounds with an S65, the manual 6 (just more fun in a hot rod IMHO) and the full 5-link 3.85 geared M3 rear in a fenderless 1933 Ford Roadster. Even luckier that the donor S65 already had the Gintani rear exhaust and I was blown away by that sound.

In short, the basic theme of the project is a street legal hot rod that has that traditional hot rod look from 20 feet away no roof, hood, fenders, very sparse racecar like interior, light on creature comforts, monster rear and littler front wheels, etc, with no clue as to its supercar handling and performance. I found a set of HRE wheels on EBAY off a wrecked Lamborghini (same 5 x 120 bolt pattern as BMW) that was OEM matched for 200 plus mile performance with just the right track width for the ff chassis, traction patch and that hot rod look of monster wheels in the back and smaller up front: 19 X 13.5 (335/30/19) rears and 18 X 8.5 (235/35/18) fronts. Have time to decide on tires, but current thought is the Nitto NT05s.

Before I started I had read every post on S65/85 swaps and potential swaps and knew how rare they were, but until I got into it did not have a full appreciation for how every single tab, bracket, attachment point, pulley, etc etc etc would have to be custom built to make the project work. I now have a bandsaw, plasma cutter, 230 volt welder and milling machine in my garage (and thanks to the Artic Vortex this year, a new 80,000 BTU garage heater!) all getting a workout almost every weekend as I fabricate and frequently re-fabricate each and every part until it is just right functionally and aesthetically to my eye (this is after all my project).

While this has become my own private version of a midlife climb to the peak of Mount Everest, no expedition has ever been successful without some incredible supporters, whose roles are invaluable. I was lucky to find a BMW dealer tech on Craigslist who loves the concept and the project and helping out when he can. In addition, Ive been blessed with a group of supporting vendors that are all car guys, willing to provide advice and insight and support that goes way beyond providing parts. You wouldnt climb to the top of Everest without the advice and support of those that have been there before, and the success of this project is no different.

Well-known in this community, Active Autowerke and VAC Motorsports are providing invaluable support and fantastic products, understanding that I am doing the installation myself yet over-enthusiastically providing advice and a sounding board (plus, plus, plus!!!) for all the tweaks necessary for this project to work. This week I am anxiously waiting for the first wave of AAs stage II, Level II supercharger kit, and VACs studs and bearings to be delivered and will be removing the oil pan to ship to VAC for baffling (with much more to come from each of them). Im getting similar fantastic support from the teams at Factory Five and The Driveshaft Shop who is building the custom Driveshaft. Im in the process of finalizing several others who Ill post about later.

As far as the S65 goes, besides the AA SC and the VAC bearings and baffle, I am firming up plans on a Pectel based SQ6 standalone. Milling my own remote oil filter set-up as none are commercially available and I need to get the filter out of the way so I have room for an alternator as the chassis is too narrow up front to fit one in the low OEM position. I will be making my own billet brackets to run the alternator (probably Jones Racing or March) above the passenger side valve cover symmetrical to the Rotrex C38. Made my own aluminum engine mounts and a new crossmember to work with the Vorshlag polys.

A rod with an open engine bay and an 18 wide grille commands equal attention to aesthetics and the challenges that brings. I am super stoked about the look of Actives kit, particularly the plenum. Its being shipped to me raw for the mock-up/get the motor running phase and will then go back to them for their amazing finish work when I tear the project down and send the chassis out for powdercoat. The challenge in the coming weeks is to get the intercooler and radiator and the tubing/piping mocked up so it all has that hot rod look in an installation where there is no place to hide and everything is on display.

Some specs:

Engine BMW S65 with AA gen II, Level II SC, VAC bearings and baffled pan, remote oil filter, standalone ECU. AA kit estimated at 640 hp and 413 lb/ft torque (plus effects of deleting power steering pump, AC compressor and secondary air system and added benefits of a standalone)

Trans BMW Getrag six speed manual

Driveshaft custom by The Driveshaft Shop

Rearend/suspension BMW 3.85 5-link IRS, with OEM subframe and differential mounted with Turners solid subframe and diff bushings in a handfabricated cradle, RuffStuff off-road shock towers, and custom true coilovers

Front suspension Factory Five unequal length a-arm control arms with in-board coil-over shock suspension

Steering - Ididit shorty tilt steering column and Unisteer electric power steering unit

Pedals Tilton triple floor mount with drive by wire assembly

Brakes Wilwood 12.69" rotors with 6p calipers in front, BMW M3 OEM in rear, Tilton .75 dual master cylinders, CNC billet triple Reservoir
Wheels HRE 547Rs, 19 X 13.5 (335/30/19) rears and 18 X 8.5 (235/35/18) fronts

Exhaust 100 cell cats, custom H pipe (chassis wont allow for an X and no ground clearance below), Gintani rear section (pipes modified/shortened)

Seats Kirkey vintage road race

Rollbar/backbrackets/removable sidebars Custom home fabricated with 1 D.O.M. .134 wall tubing

Body Factory Five 33 Hot Rod fiberglass tub, doors and trunk lid. No hood, nose cone, fenders, roof, door glass!

In addition, details on a very long list still to be worked out, but at the moment finalizing custom fuel cell, on-board fire suppression, custom radiator to nest with the intercooler piping, alternator, etc.

Car is being built street legal with a view to lots of track days (more road than drag, but will certainly take it there too to get some numbers) and look forward to seeing many of you at the track.

Here are a few pics of the current state of the project:

Motor mount (with Vorshlag poly mounts)

Trans mount (with UUCs poly mounts and cups):
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      02-18-2014, 08:24 AM   #2
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This is insane. Looking forward to the results!!
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      02-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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Hory shet.

Can't wait to see how this turns out
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      02-18-2014, 09:01 AM   #4
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      02-18-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
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Can't wait to see the finished beast,great work Sir !

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      02-18-2014, 09:38 AM   #6
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You sir, are living a dream. Undoubtedly it's hard work but building a custom vehicle in one's own garage, with one's own 2 hands is the quintessential dream for every car nut. I applaud and envy you.

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      02-18-2014, 09:47 AM   #7
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WOW i'm speechless. The level of awesomeness in this project is very high. I'm personally looking forward to see how that beast will sound with that custom H-pipe.
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      02-18-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Outstanding work, and very unique choice of engine for a project like this. I'm on LI as well (Port Jefferson area) and hope to see this thing in person some day!
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      02-18-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by In33anity View Post
As this is an S65 forum and Im moving into the mock-up phase of the performance aspects of my S65 based project, I thought its time to introduce it to this forum.
Wow! What an unbelievably cool project! It is simply dripping with awesome.

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      02-18-2014, 10:27 AM   #10
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Splendid - in for the final result!
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      02-18-2014, 10:40 AM   #11
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So awesome. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

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      02-18-2014, 10:46 AM   #12
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very cool build
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      02-18-2014, 02:09 PM   #13
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thats going to be something different. hot rod with a high revving euro V8. cant wait to see it
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      02-18-2014, 03:37 PM   #14
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Great read. Very cool project!

I look forward to seeing updates in the future
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      02-18-2014, 04:44 PM   #15
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2008 E92 BMW M3 MR/BB 6MT
|Gintani Supercharged|Gintani X-Pipe|Stack Gauges|Volk TE37SL|BC Racing Coilovers|Hankook RS-3 |BMW Performance Spoiler|BMW Performance Steering Wheel|BMW Performance Side Gills + Grilles|Mode Carbon Variant 2 Splitter|IND Tri- Stitched Shift + Brake Boot|
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      02-18-2014, 05:00 PM   #16
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Subscribed, very cool.
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      02-18-2014, 05:06 PM   #17
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Look forward to seeing the progress on this beast
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      02-18-2014, 05:36 PM   #18
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damn dude, you win the f**king internet today!!! can't wait for updates!
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      02-18-2014, 06:04 PM   #19
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INSANITY ----!!! please update us the whole way
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      02-18-2014, 06:26 PM   #20
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Amazing! Best of luck to the project!
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      02-18-2014, 06:51 PM   #21
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Wow! Very impressed. Nice utilization of a superb engine! Way to not let it go to waste.
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      02-18-2014, 08:45 PM   #22
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Unbelievably cool project. This thing is going to be crazy. Can't wait to see the finished product.

This kind of reminds me of Home Improvement and the hot rod that Tim "The Toolman" Taylor was always working on in his garage.
E92 M3: BPM Sport Stg. 2 | Akrapovic Evolution | Brembo GT 380/380 | Ohlins R&T w/ Vorschlags | RD Sport sways

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