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-   -   Evan's E61: Twin Turbo Wagon Build Log (https://www.n54tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36899)

ucsbwsr 02-10-2016 09:21 AM

Evan's E61: Twin Turbo Wagon Build Log
So I do too many projects to divide them up into separate threads, for the sake of simplicity I decided to start a build log for my E61.

A little background on my style: Aesthetics are important to me but not at the expense of function so I do my best to achieve both, if there is a conflict, function wins. "Clean" is always the goal. I love details; details, details, details. Now that I have a garage I do all of my own work, I really enjoy the challenge of solving problems and figuring things out so a late model BMW keeps me busy on this front. When the wagon is broken, I fix it, when it is running 100%, I look for something to modify or break, I am sure many of you can relate. I love to retrofit things and "make them work." I also love having a 550awhp wagon that can run with pretty much anything on the street, while carrying mountain bikes, a dog, and groceries. Function!

Day 1 of the build (September 2013) up to (February 2016) can be seen in the first 30 pages of this thread: http://5series.net/forums/e61-tourin...ve-all-135223/

This thread will continue where that one leaves off.

For those inclined, my Instagram handle is "hoburger"


Here is a couple introductory pictures of my wagon in current trim:

ucsbwsr 02-10-2016 09:55 AM

Recently I swapped out my beta TBI for the production version.

The braided lines on the TBI got my inspired so I added a 1/8 NPT 4AN fitting to match the 4AN input on my Tial. I never noticed any undesirable performance while running the oem nipple but I like the idea of having a uniform path for the air to travel, that and I get to add a braided signal line!





Previously I replaced that hideous brake booster line with heater hose are routed it under the CP, I improved on the orientation and now it is almost completely out of sight.

Spending some time on RealOEM seeing which parts need to be changed out to make my suspension M5-spec. Since the 535xi is already such a large vehicle most of the suspension is the same as the M5, only the front lower control arms, rear guide arms, and rear integral links differ.

Snagged these M5 arms off eBay. As it turns out the control arms are EXACTLY the same so I will keep them as backups if I have issues with my current ones.

The rear guide arms were slightly different:
LEFT: 535xi

LEFT: 535xi

Speaking of M5 parts, here is a teaser of an upcoming project...

ms335i 02-10-2016 10:53 AM

I see three pedals in the future.

Ocean 02-10-2016 11:11 AM

How did you get rid of that annoying hard plastic oil line that hangs high across the driver side and connects by the oil filter housing. I can't stand that thing and it hits against my front DCI.

Torgus 02-10-2016 11:23 AM

Nice ride!

Manual RWD conversion eh?

E92 420 02-10-2016 11:48 AM

Nice work man. Car looks fresh.

What ID is the heater hose to replace brake booster line?

ucsbwsr 02-10-2016 02:33 PM


Originally Posted by ms335i (Post )
I see three pedals in the future.


Originally Posted by Torgus (Post )
Nice ride!

Manual RWD conversion eh?

Correct, this 6AT is outta here!

Originally Posted by E92 420 (Post )
Nice work man. Car looks fresh.

What ID is the heater hose to replace brake booster line?


Originally Posted by Ocean (Post )
How did you get rid of that annoying hard plastic oil line that hangs high across the driver side and connects by the oil filter housing. I can't stand that thing and it hits against my front DCI.

IIRC the Vibrant heater hose I used was 5/8" I would double check the fittings on your car though.

Simply use a razor and cut the hard line off the the fittings and replace it with the heater hose, route it as you like. All the hose from the HPFP to master cylinder has been replaced.

ms335i 02-10-2016 02:39 PM

If you can do your manual swap successfully. I will pay you good money to do mine haha.

natedog7700 02-10-2016 02:54 PM

Those wheels! . :drool::drool::drool::drool::drool:

ucsbwsr 02-10-2016 09:10 PM

Trans arrived

ms335i 02-10-2016 10:02 PM


ucsbwsr 02-12-2016 08:44 AM

I had a misfire show up in cylinder 5, ironically it first happened when I was running a 991 GT3 on the way to Cars & Coffee in Aliso Viejo (we were neck and neck). Coils are brand new Delphis, plugs are low mileage NGK 5992s, Cyl 5 on the left Cyl 6 on the right. Interestingly I swapped the plugs and coils and the misfire is still on cyl 5, I have not checked the injector yet but it is a -12 with maybe 1,000 miles on it so it SHOULD be fine. :shrug

Some more goodies for the 6MT swap arrived, a big thank you to the companies who are contributing to this build.

MFactory SMFW

Spec Stage 3+ Clutch


Ocean 02-12-2016 08:54 AM

Like Christmas never ends.....

ucsbwsr 02-18-2016 10:39 PM

Count 'Em!


After, I bugs me that it is round peg in a square hole but I will leave it for a bit and see if I get over it or if the aluminum cap gets the axe.

I also retrofitted my headlights ...again.

1st Retro here: https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/for...ustom-orion-v2
2nd Retro here: https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/for...on-eyes-are-in

I really enjoyed the product of my last retrofit, the angel eye delete and white demon eyes was a clean and subtle look I really dug. As much as I appreciate the "look at me" element of angel eyes/DRLS I think the circular design of the rings, whether on or off, is distracting and takes away from the otherwise clean clean/sharp/swoop design of the headlight.

If you recall, my current headlights are the units I refurbished in my second retrofit so they are far from perfect but being my personal headlights I think of them as a test bed for experimenting and trying new things, so in the end it works out. I will be doing some retrofits on BMW 5 series in the near future so this build was to familiarize myself with the headlights once again and test out some new things. One thing I am testing is the durability of the bowls on the 7.0s, they are powered by a 3five 50w ballast.

From my 2nd retrofit, this 3rd revision includes white ---> black demon eyes and MD2S 3.0 ---> MH1 7.0 "main projector." I kept the same MH1 6.0 as my 2nd projector in the quad setup.

I had thoughts to run a Morimoto 70mm xb fogs in place of the MH1 6.0s in the inner shrouds but decided against it as it was easier to keep the 6.0s there. The xb fogs can be located there without too much effort so confirming that while the headlight was apart was a goal in of itself.

The retrofit went smoothly and all I have to do it reseal the units,


MH1 7.0 Before

MH1 7.0m After

Black Demon Eye

XB 70mm fog

It would have worked and been pretty clean but I decided against it

Who mods their LED bulbs? ME!

I already had a D2S sealant/plug installed on the housing, the plug for the H1 bulb was too small in diameter to fit the whole, what to do?

Put the plug in the plug!

It came out super clean on the inside as well (and double sealed)

This is me having a hard time reflashing my Light Control Module

The MH1 6.0 fits like a glove in the inner shroud, the projector actually resides inside that chrome bowl you see and is the perfect length to match up with the shroud(s) that are in the front around the lens

If you look at the inner projector... there is a shroud, a ring, and an inner ring; the shroud and ring and held in place with bolts but the inner ring sits on the projector lens holder like a normal shroud would, it fits so snugly that I won't even bother with JB Kwik to secure it

Black on Black

Doing some final testing before I seal them up, don't mind the crooked intercooler, the wagon still makes 550whp


The MH1 7.0s are a nice upgrade over the MD2 3.0 I had in there before. I was very appreciative of the fact that the 7.0s didn't take much tuning to get dialed, only some bulb alignment was needed to get great results (I still wish this wasn't needed but I understand how sensitive optics are). That being said I am very optimistic for the new MD2S 4.0!

I love the intensity along the cutoff but I am a huge fan of 3G TL and FXR 1.0 outputs where the width is thick and meaty. Projectors like the MH1 7.0 may be technically have a wider output but I don't find it quiet as useful as the other projectors mentioned. That being said the 7.0 is impressive considering it's size (again excited for D2S 4.0)

I thought about adding some foreground limiters since my wagon is pretty low ....and I should have, it would be nice to remove the initial 3-5 feet of intense light on the ground near the front of my car. If I need more foreground I can switch on the MH1 6.0s, their foreground is an additional 1-1.5ft closer.

Output 1

Reverse Light: Love It!

Some color flicker



ucsbwsr 02-24-2016 10:19 AM

Final stages of the retrofit...

I went through with building some foreground limiters, it was my first time and it took me a while. I wanted them to be adjustable so it took me a little bit to design some that could slide up and down without interfering with the lens holder. The other part that took me a while was the alignment since I now have a foreground cutoff and if they were not aligned propoerly (just like a regular cutoff) it would drive me crazy so it was each projector needed to alignments, YAY!

Here were the finished limiters



The hardware work out well as the nuts on the rear were held in the place by the bowl allowing easy one-handed adjustment with a screwdriver from the front side, those adjustment screws can also be accessed when the lens holder mounted. I left some material on the top of the limiter so it is easier to grab during adjustment.

Very limited foreground! After this pic I took the car out for a quick drive to test them, there was a little too much foreground limited and I ended up raising the limiters ~2-3mm

Stock MH1 7.0 foreground

After custom limiters, this was before I adjusted them to allow more foreground.

With the limiters setup aggressively it limited the first ~15ft of foreground in front my car, 7.0s have great intensity on 50w, not sure if the limiters helped this at all by blocking and recycling extra light.

The following shots are after adjusting the limiters up to allow more foreground, now only ~10ft of foreground is limited, this works out great as most of the really intense/bright foreground is gone which was my goal

Impressive output for a MH1

This picture is exactly what I see when driving.

On the road, I wanted to retain as much of the foreground width as possible, I find this light very useful in low speed cornering situations. On the MH1 7.0 this part of the beam pattern isn't very intense so it works well, the light is ample enough to be useable but not too bright where it will hurt long range vision.

All was good so time to seal them up. The BMW E6X housings need to be cut open unfortunately, previously I used straps/tie-downs to hold the leans and housing together while it was sealed. Some packaging/moving saran wrap work great, it can hold nice and tight but also is safe for the lens. I used small dollops of JB Kwik in key areas to help add some structural rigidity the the lens and housing marriage after that was done I laid a bead of 3M Window Weld to complete the seal. I can curious to see how this combo holds up.

So dark with the black demon eyes

All done

Impac 02-24-2016 10:42 AM

Wow this is awsome, these headlights look really good, would you do something similar if i payed you all i need is have them blacked out and install orion V4 ?

My second question is this a custom Front lip!?

Ocean 02-24-2016 10:46 AM

Nasty looking beast. Did you have to delete the auto leveling feature?

I recently added F10 style carbon fiber side markers to mine. And gave the FMIC a skim dusting of black spray paint to make it disappear in the front grille.

ucsbwsr 02-24-2016 12:01 PM


Originally Posted by Impac (Post )
Wow this is awsome, these headlights look really good, would you do something similar if i payed you all i need is have them blacked out and install orion V4 ?

My second question is this a custom Front lip!?

The lip is an "EZ Lip" I couldn't find a lip I liked enough to deal with the inconveniences of scraping and possibly ripping it off. I would love to run a Lumma lip but they are super rare and super expensive.

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post )
Nasty looking beast. Did you have to delete the auto leveling feature?

I recently added F10 style carbon fiber side markers to mine. And gave the FMIC a skim dusting of black spray paint to make it disappear in the front grille.

I retained my AFS feature although it currently doesn't work since my ABS DSC module isn't coded properly and the AFS system relies on that for data input. I have thought about painting my IC but have not executed it as I don't want to deal with paint chips.


ucsbwsr 02-25-2016 10:07 AM

I installed some M5 rear integral links, now all oem rear suspension components are now M5 spec (if not upgraded). The process was fairly straightforward, the EHC needed to be disabled/deflated and it was a little awkward reinstalling the super long bolt that runs through the swingarm, integral link, and knuckle.

TOP: 535xi


Oem oil cap

Aluminum cap, a little bit of a round peg in a square hole but it doesn't bother me enough to change it, so it stays.

New aluminum pedals arrived, count them!

ucsbwsr 03-18-2016 09:50 AM

Bimmerfest is coming up soon (for a procrastinator like myself) so I need to get my ducks in a row and execute this 6MT and M5 Drivetrain swap soon so I can defend my title!

...but in the meantime, feeding time!

VTT hot-side CP vs stock (fvcking stock, get the fvck outta here stock!)

Prepped for install


Gave my inlet system a cleaning

You win some, you lose some. I was hopeful these M5 front lower control arms would fit, no dice. But it's OK, the M5 control arms are beefy since their larger thrust arms are dainty relative to the ones found on the 535xi so I consider the stiffness a wash. Now all possible M5 suspension component upgrades have been made, with the exception of these control arms everything is M5-spec, rather "M5 Hybrid Suspension"

alvinhobh 03-18-2016 01:36 PM

That's one clean car!

ucsbwsr 04-11-2016 05:53 PM

With the rotor off you can see the business end of my rear suspension:
- KW V3 + oem Air
- M5 brakes + SS lines
- M5 front upper guide arm
- M5 integral link
- Oem wishbone (same as M5)
- Bullet-nosed studs, LOVE studs

For my manual conversion I sourced the pedal assembly from an E60 M5, the first unit I bought (with 2 pedals on the left) was damaged during shipping and the mounting location for the clutch return-spring was broken. The second pedal assembly I purchased (right) was supposed to be complete with clutch pedal and master cylinder but as you can see it was brake pedal and sensor only. Luckily between the 2 assemblies I was able to piece together a fully functional unit.

I am a big fan of machined pedals, I ran some on my old M5 and this will be my second set for the E61. I went with a brushed aluminum finish and it looks absolutely tits and should blend into to my interior well.
Oem vs. Brushed

Drilling holes to mount the pedals

Old pedal (raw Al cut for grip) bottom brushed up top

Pedal assembly ready for install

Here is the DIY for stuff like this: Bentley Manual and Google

Picked up a transmission jack for the differential, transfer case, and trans. Test fitting the M5 LSD here

In position

Fits into the non-M subframe without issue

Huge heat-sink wraps around the rear of the subframe

Test fitting with my custom 3" exhaust, close but I will trim the heat stink to give a cushion for diff movement

The E61 has these huge pull rods which connect to the brace my LED reverse light is bolted to and run to the jack points in front of the rear tires. The heat sink will need to be trimmed to accommodate these as well. There are some different pull rod combos for the M5 sedan, M5 wagon, and 535xi wagon, I feel what I currently have is the strongest setup so I will make them work.

I used a Sharpie to mark the heat sink that will be trimmed, all of the black areas will be cut off. I don't plan to track my wagon much if at all so I think the trimmed heat sink will still be fine for my application.

Up next was comparing my 535xi driveshaft (top) to the M5 shaft (bottom). I was originally going to have the M5 shaft customized to mate with the N54 but I want to explore the possibility of configuring a hybrid driveshaft: front half 535i and rear M5. The downside of running a hybrid is the M5 6MT output flange, guibo, and bearing will all be smaller compared to a full M5 spec driveshaft setup. The upside it is would be a bolt-on solution and save some coin on custom fabrication costs. The difference in diameter between the non-M and M5 output shaft and guibo is under around 5% or less so rather insignificant big-picture. It is a long-shot but the M5 bearing may be compatible with the non-M front 1/2 of the driveshaft, once I get the halves separated I can confirm.

M5 knuckles dwarf the non-M

Notice the inner diameter of the bearing, pretty close! This is one reason why I think there may be chance to run a hybrid setup

Comparing bearing diameter

Here are some comparison pics of the non-M AT axles compared to M5

longnvu 04-11-2016 06:50 PM

Keep up the good work. Cant wait to see the finished product!

jtrejo 04-11-2016 08:17 PM

what mount for the tablet are you using? i like it

ucsbwsr 04-11-2016 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by jtrejo (Post )
what mount for the tablet are you using? i like it


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