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      06-02-2020, 03:10 PM   #1
nsogiba
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'09 Interlagos M3 Coupe Progress Thread

Ah, it feels so good to be back in a BMW and writing a fresh progress thread.

My name is Norb, a mechanical engineer from WNY working in the aerospace industry. I've been out of the BMW game for some time, but finally in my first ///M car - and a hell of a machine at that. It's an '09 Interlagos M3 with a 6 speed, but the story of my appreciation for German iron (aluminum?) really starts back in around 2012-ish, and takes many detours along the way.

I tend to be long winded and enjoy documenting my automotive journey/adventures, and that is even more true given the current pandemic situation - so grab your favorite beverage and enjoy.

I'll sprinkle in some of my past build threads/journals here and there if anyone is interested.

In 2011 I was a freshly graduated engineer working for a mechanical contractor/design firm driving an '06 Sentra SE-R Spec V - a fun car in its own right, but somewhat didn't fit into my new lifestyle. What it did teach me via various brake jobs, wheel bearing fixes, and bolt-on installs, was that working on cars was not difficult and actually enjoyable. It also saved me a ton of money, which freed up funds to feed my automotive passion.



So, with the desire for something more comfortable and sophisticated while still being fun to drive, I dove head first into the German car world and bought a 2001 BMW 540i Sport. 6 speed manual, 4.4 M62TU V8, fun options like rear sunshade, heated seats, etc. It was a great car and I drove it basically stock while replacing the cooling system and getting it back to decent mechanical condition.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=588590



It did okay burnouts for an open diff. I installed an exhaust cutout and fell in love with V8s.



After about a year of driving it stock, I got the itch for more power and decided to go nuts.

https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversio...-bmw-540i.html









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      06-02-2020, 03:37 PM   #2
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Lol! Biggest plot twist I've seen on this forum in a while. Looks like a fun car and a surprisingly clean swap. Looking forward to seeing more of your journey!
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      06-02-2020, 03:41 PM   #3
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I ended up owning the E39 for about 4 years and lost count of the hours spent wrenching. Eventually I came to the point where I realized that I wanted more power yet again, but doing so on the E39 would mean forced induction, and many more dollars and hours put into the car. I had been working on the same car for nearly half a decade and was frankly ready for some fresh scenery. So, once the 560i was sold, I picked up a 2000 C5 Corvette Fixed Roof Coupe, or FRC. This is the predecessor to the infamous Z06, and paved the way for the revitalization of the Corvette image from old man cruiser to ass-kicking performance machine.

Keep that acronym in mind - it's going to come up later!

https://ls1tech.com/forums/corvette-...ss-thread.html

This was a long term owned, higher mileage car that was driven by the same female lawyer for 14 years in nice weather. It had 104K miles and needed some minor mechanical work - perfect, since I was already familiar with the LS platform.



Somewhere along the way, I realized that I was sick of laying on concrete and the jackstand life, so I installed a MaxJax lift in my home garage.





I told myself I was done taking on big automotive projects every year, and just decided to enjoy the Vette.



I installed some bolt on breathing mods but ultimately the itch for easy power was too great, and I installed a cammed L92/LS3 and rebuilt the remainder of the drivetrain.







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      06-02-2020, 04:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Fox View Post
Lol! Biggest plot twist I've seen on this forum in a while. Looks like a fun car and a surprisingly clean swap. Looking forward to seeing more of your journey!
Lol, hold on to your jimmies, more to come
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      06-02-2020, 04:03 PM   #5
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I drove the C5 in this configuration for another 2 years and spent some time on other "bucket list" cars, which were short term ownerships but very fun.

A 2009 ex-State Police Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (still miss this one).





A 1998 E36 323i 5 speed vert that ended up actually being a pile of crap. The steering column was clunky, the power top needed work for it to operate normally, and it needed the whole front suspension rebuilt. I still had fun cruising with the top down all summer in 2018.

Not my photo, but identical.



The E36 was painfully slow and I was itching for another fun project, something that I could not care about and just abuse. Enter the Sloppy Silverado...



4.8 LS V8, 2WD, short bed stepside, regular cab. Rusty and ready for action.



While the Corvette was in storage, I spent the winter of '18-'19 working on the truck fabbing up a turbo kit, installed a rebuilt 4L80E, and modified a Mustang 8.8 axle to fit.







Still one of the most fun yet scary vehicles I've driven. It would light the tires up at most speeds and was terrifying above 70mph. The goal was to just built a POS that did burnouts and I could go on beer runs in. It did awesome at that.







With the turbo LS itch scratched, I sold the truck and focused on getting a new daily.
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      06-02-2020, 04:16 PM   #6
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I had spent close to a decade in various Subaru wagons and a Pathfinder as my reliable winter vehicles, but was still thinking about how much fun I had in my old E39 when it was bone stock. I missed the precision of the shifter and the general refinement of the car. So, another BMW was in order, and the N54 happened to be on the bucket list...

It's a 2009 335Xi with a rare 6 speed, in Space Grey over Saddle Brown interior.





I vowed to keep the E90 bone stock, and of course that turned into an MHD flash, some springs, DCI, and some M-Parallels.



After nearly 5 years in the Corvette, I grew tired of the harsh ride, imprecise steering and heavy clutch. It was (is?) a brute of a car with tons of power in a light chassis but was a chore to drive. My wife didn't enjoy riding in it, and once we found out she was pregnant, it really got me thinking. Since I wanted to share my automotive passion with her and our little one, the Corvette wouldn't do - no back seat for the baby and not pleasant for the wife. It was bittersweet to sell it, but ultimately the right decision.



So for the first time since 2011, I was down to owning just one car, the 335. I was ready for something a little more refined, with a backseat for the baby, and still fun to beat on when I would be driving it alone. The hunt for an E92 M3 began, and now that you know who I am and how I like to party, you can see the why I wanted the bonkers V8 with the old school German refinement.

More updates to come tomorrow!
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      06-02-2020, 06:11 PM   #7
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come on now. where is the E92?

definitely enjoying the read so far.
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      06-02-2020, 08:45 PM   #8
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That Corvette sounded incredible and that truck is just hilarious. Great stuff so far.
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      06-03-2020, 09:06 AM   #9
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With the Corvette gone and my lust for the E92 M3 in full swing, I began looking around for cars that fit my needs:

1. The right color in the following order of preference:

Interlagos Blue - just love this shade in the sun, very uncommon
Alpine White - classic, but to me is sometimes a bit boring
Space Grey - Understated and strong, but I already have a Space Grey E90
All the other colors like Melbourne Red, Jerez Black, etc just didn't do it for me.
I vowed to never own another (jet) black car again as the upkeep is just too painful.

2. 6 Speed manual. DCT is a great transmission, but the entire point of this car is to enjoy the analog feel of what makes BMWs great, so the DCT was out.

3. Well cared for, not beat on/abused, and mechanically unmodified. No accidents, paint work, no stories/BS.

4. Sunroofs were not an issue for me. CF roof is sexy, but this is not a track car, so the benefit of having the wind in my hair outweighed the negative of the extra bulk on the roofline.

I initially looked at a white E92 M3 in Pittsburgh but the combination of grey Novillo interior and lack of must-have options like PDC and Keyless go steered me away.

One evening a buddy sends me a link for an Interlagos Blue car with 61K miles about an hour away being sold at a small family owned dealership. It's got the tri-color painted grilles and painted reflectors, which indicates it was probably owned by an enthusiast at some point. Now, this may be a good thing, as enthusiasts are usually more sensitive to the needs of a performance car; however, they also tend to drive cars harder than Average Joe, so a PPI is even more important.

Regardless, the color and mileage were right, price wasn't awful, and all the options were there so I jumped in the 335 with my wife and took a ride to see it.













Besides the awful grilles and some dealer applied stickers, it was very clean inside and showed almost no wear anywhere besides the shift knob. I had a PPI done with indicated some front tire wear, but no other mechanical problems. Sweet! There are some other small issues with the car, but should be easily remedied:

-Driver's seat belt extender doesn't grab the belt. Looks like a broken clip inside.

-SOS Assist is inactive. Don't care, will disable. The warning is annoying.

-Having some trouble connecting my phone to the Bluetooth system. When I try to activate the bluetooth system, it just spins and thinks forever. Long term I'd like to figure out a system where I can play music through my Android through the car.

I had a good understanding of what the car was currently, but was curious about its past especially seeing the cosmetic modifications. On a whim I was Googling the VIN to see if there was any info out there, and the name and number of a random person popped up next to it. The information lined up with the original purchase location listed on the CarFax, so I rang them up and left a VM explaining that I was looking at the car and was wondering if they had owned it at some point. I went to bed not thinking much of it.

The next day I get a call from a polite older gentleman who had not only owned the car, but was the original owner and owned it for most of its life. We spoke at length about how he enjoyed the car, had babied it and garaged it, and had never modified it or tracked it. He actually expressed regret at trading it in since the 911 that replaced it for him couldn't fit his golf clubs like the M3 did. Most reassuring was the fact that it had been maintained at the same dealer most of its life.

He was ultimately curious as to where the car ended up, and didn't know who had it between him and I - my best guess is that someone bought the car as a fun toy for a couple years, enjoyed it, and decided to move on to something newer.

Having that peace of mind really sealed the deal for me - I drove back out and purchased the car last weekend. E90 and E92 side by side:





We took the long way home up by Lake Ontario, and of course it poured rain the whole way which put a damper on opening up the taps on the car.

Initial impressions:

The steering is telepathic, the NVH is almost nonexistent, and the lack of torque between 1000-3000 rpms is tough to get used to after coming from a 6.2L LS

The sound of the motor singing past 6000 is life changing, albeit a bit quiet for my tastes. We'll have to see what we can do about that.
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      06-03-2020, 09:23 AM   #10
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With the car safely back home, it was time to do a quick mechanical inspection.





This car is super clean underneath considering it lived its entire life in the Northeast. I can't find any corrosion, which supports what the original owner said about keeping it garaged and out of the bad weather.





I had some supplies waiting for both cars...





Off came the airbox cover, which revealed something that I actually laughed out loud at...





Check out that date code!


The airbox was fairly dusty and gritty too, so that got shop-vac'd and wiped down.



Yikes.



Much better.



As a whole the engine bay is pretty dusty but not grimy or oil at all. I'll do some before/afters of when I detail the bay.

Unfortunately FCP forgot to include an oil filter in my package, so the car has been draining oil out of the 2 sumps for a couple days now. It'll be ready to rock tomorrow.

This brings us up to speed to the present. I still can't get over how nice the car is - it is truly special to drive and couldn't feel any more different than my E90 335.

Stay tuned as I continue to go through the fluids and generally clean up the car!
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      06-03-2020, 01:20 PM   #11
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Since I'm waiting on an oil filter, I knocked out a quick job today on lunch by cleaning up the exhaust tips with Wheel Cleaner and some a scotchbrite pad, followed by polishing with some mag/aluminum polish on a Powercone in a drill.





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      06-03-2020, 03:15 PM   #12
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Yaaay. Great find/pick up. Love the color. Sheesh it was filthy sitting there on that lot. Going to look great all cleaned up.
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      06-03-2020, 09:36 PM   #13
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Great thread and welcome back to BMW! I recently "strayed" away from BMW and my progression with previous BMW's is somewhat parallel to yours:

97 E36 M3 (Techno Violet, 5MT) --> 01 E39 540i 6MT --> 06 E90 330i 6MT

I made a similar decision to return to BMW via E90 M3 and for the 1st time with DCT instead of manual, and to say I'm thrilled to be back is an understatement

2011 E90 LeMans Blue purchased from 2nd owner who bought it from EAG When you look up "meticulous" in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of the 2nd owner

Congrats on the car and looking forward to your future posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by nsogiba View Post
Ah, it feels so good to be back in a BMW and writing a fresh progress thread.

So, with the desire for something more comfortable and sophisticated while still being fun to drive, I dove head first into the German car world and bought a 2001 BMW 540i Sport. 6 speed manual, 4.4 M62TU V8, fun options like rear sunshade, heated seats, etc. It was a great car and I drove it basically stock while replacing the cooling system and getting it back to decent mechanical condition.
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      06-04-2020, 02:53 AM   #14
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Just don't modify it.

Was it really that well maintained previously if the air filter was never changed?
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      06-04-2020, 07:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by br2wdc View Post
Great thread and welcome back to BMW! I recently "strayed" away from BMW and my progression with previous BMW's is somewhat parallel to yours:

97 E36 M3 (Techno Violet, 5MT) --> 01 E39 540i 6MT --> 06 E90 330i 6MT

I made a similar decision to return to BMW via E90 M3 and for the 1st time with DCT instead of manual, and to say I'm thrilled to be back is an understatement

2011 E90 LeMans Blue purchased from 2nd owner who bought it from EAG When you look up "meticulous" in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of the 2nd owner

Congrats on the car and looking forward to your future posts
Looks like you've had a fun journey, I'll be sure to follow your progress. Blue is the best color.

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Just don't modify it.

Was it really that well maintained previously if the air filter was never changed?
I do plan on installing an Alpine tune and test pipes (with v-bands on the test pipes and cats), so that I can revert back to stock if I like. Perfectly reversible modifications. Cosmetically I'm not touching it, I don't even think it needs to be lowered.

The filter had me scratching my head too. I'm not sure what the factory interval is for the air filter. Regardless, it's fixed now.
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      06-04-2020, 12:20 PM   #16
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Nice M3! Love the E39 with the LS swap and the crown vic.
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      06-04-2020, 12:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Nice M3! Love the E39 with the LS swap and the crown vic.
Thanks!

The Crown Vic had aspirations for an LS with a turbo, but I thought it would be easier to buy a vehicle that already came LS swapped (Silverado). I ended up leaving it stock but had a ton of fun bombing around on the highway.

The E39 is with another enthusiast now and looks nothing like it did when I had it. Not my taste, but he loves to drive it, and that's all that matters.

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      06-05-2020, 04:47 PM   #18
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This was a wild ride and I love it. You definitely have put in the work to make it look effortless on some of those past builds. Well beyond my skill. Nice looking car!
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      06-08-2020, 06:31 PM   #19
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nice pick up ! car looks great. I recently picked up a E92 M3 in IB as well.

was Lemans one of the colors that was out of the question for you?
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      06-09-2020, 07:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
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nice pick up ! car looks great. I recently picked up a E92 M3 in IB as well.

was Lemans one of the colors that was out of the question for you?

Thanks, I have been following your thread as well.

I like Lemans as well, but couldn't justify the extra expense on the newer models (2011+?) as they mostly had a lot lower miles. My goal on this car was to avoid any financing and just buy outright, and that worked out for me here. They're both stunning colors in my eyes.

This week I am working through diagnosing an odd issue that was known when I bought the car - SOS System failure, no USB/AUX port in console, and no Bluetooth connectivity. Some quick research shows a break in the MOST fiber optic network somewhere, so I have a MOST connector bypass on the way to do some troubleshooting. I'll document my findings here and over in the Electronics section so that it hopefully helps the next person.

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      06-12-2020, 10:03 AM   #21
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Congrats on the new car!! Loved the old cars too (will be reading those build threads as well)

Keep us updated on it!
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      06-12-2020, 10:44 AM   #22
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Great car journey! Thanks for sharing. Interlagos is

Can't wait to see how the car progresses.
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