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Old 12-14-2011, 03:11 AM   #1
anassa
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Default As green as the mountains.

So since there is no area to post ongoing projects - - - I'll make one right here.

First; hello everyone, first post here and looking forward to learning new things meeting cool people and maybe passing on what I know to others.

It wasn't till after I bought the ti that I found out it was the black sheep of the BMW family, at first I was going for a e30 318i or 318is, but then stumbled on a good deal for a 1997 ti and decided to take the dive . . . .


. . . . Sit back, grab a beer and enjoy the story . . .


Now let me start by saying that this is my very first BMW and i come from the land of wannabe JDM imports , my first car was 1991 crx si - which I loved dearly and is actually what my ti will be a evolution of - then I went to 1g crx's with a 85 dx and 85 si (quick side note for those wanting to learn more about 1st generation crx 1984-1987, its a totally different animal then your typical 88+ civic and crx, go look at a awesome site called redpepperracing.com) had a 91 integra with a b16, then moved to RWD with a 89 s13 240sx hatch, and now finally to the ti.

I was looking for a good reliable, potentially fun, and economic car. I found in a San Diego Craigslist the listing of a 97 ti with 119xxx miles, clean title and one owner, for 2850. Heck ya! Most I have ever spent on a car was 2200 but I had never had a car that had all at the same time: airbags, radio, ABS, full interior, and A/C, cruise control, a cool thing to show me the temp and avg mph/mpg so this was going to be by far the most civilized and new car that I would have owned. I took the 2hr drive down checked it out and bought it, the ti was also the initially most sound mechanically car that I had bought. Of course I say initially because i tend to start playing with things and make it worse.

Some pics of the car at first:




Now the pictures are a little deceiving I found that the right front had a some damage to the bumper and the pictures don't show the oxidation that was happening pretty badly to the hood and roof.

First order of business was suspension, the rear shocks were pretty much shot, and the car handled like a boat, it just felt heavy and fat.
Lucky I found some ground control coilovers + koni shocks from a e36 m3 for about 270, so even though I knew the rear was probably going to be too tall at least it would be better then what I had then.

Comparison of stock front shock/spring and GC coilover:

Some of the parts on the ground:

Do it!


(*All pics taken with a good old cell phone camera!!!)

**Disclaimer: (I am NOT cool enough or know enough to do it all by myself, I happen to be lucky enough to know a guy that is knowledgeable about cars and charges me very reasonably for work done.)

I drove it that way for a while and it was amazing in comparison to the stock setup, the front springs were 450lbs and rear 550 ?? (didn't have a number or way to figure out exact rate), we had to raise the front as high as possible and put the rear as low as possible to try to have it as horizontal as possible, but even then the front was a little lower then the back - but the rear still dropped around 1.5" and the front around 2"

Next was front brakes, which were starting to wear out.

I got some brembo blanks and Hawk HPS pads to do the job:



Afterwards the paint!! I have never for any of my previous cars done paint or anything for looks, it was all function, if the bumper was on solid I was happy, I just wanted it to drive well through streets and canyons. So this was a first.

I also wanted it to look a little more aggressive so I found a m3 replica bumper for 80.

Sanding!!!


Then I brought it to a awesome place that did the paint for it for 200! (http://economy-paint.com)

Then it was time to straiten out the suspension, so I contacted ground control and came to the conclusion to put the 450lb springs in the rear and bought new 375lb eibach springs 130 (both). Got replacement front and rear shock/strut mounts - rear Meyle HD mounts with a supporting plate. And got a pair of bilstein sports from a e30 with 8k miles for 75

Comparison of the e30 rear shocks and e36 m3 koni rear shocks:
As you can see the koni's are a lot beefier but also way too tall.

On with the new suspension parts:


I LOVE the setup now, its a tiny bit bouncy (rear bilstiens), but for what I am using its a perfect balance, if I ever go with more power I will probably go with stiffer springs, but now it hold corners wonderfully!


"Fancy" pics of the car as it sits currently with new paint, m3 bumper, and more balanced suspension.




Well that was long winded.

Hope you guys like it and there will definitely more to come, but this is my daily driver so it will be slow progress.

Feel free to ask any questions!
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:25 AM   #2
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welcome to the org!
nice start...your car looks great
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:12 AM   #3
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Very nice. Like the color. I also have the same michelins. Great tires.

One suggestion though. Put the jack stands UNDER the car while working on the car.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by familytruckster View Post
Very nice. Like the color. I also have the same michelins. Great tires.

One suggestion though. Put the jack stands UNDER the car while working on the car.

I was wondering when someone would notice - I actually have one under the cross member as the main support.

(Now I'm just waiting for someone to notice that the emblems have been sprayed over and mention that )

I gotta say though my biggest problem is finding a efficient and fast way to put up the car, its always a PITA.

Anyways thanks for the compliments. Color is jaguar green, I would have payed extra for boston green so I went with cheaper way, turned out great though, I actually like it better.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:48 AM   #5
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Welcome
So where in SoCal are you from?
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ralliart10 View Post
Welcome
So where in SoCal are you from?
Rancho Cucamonga, off Carnelian.

Last edited by lazoh; 12-14-2011 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by anassa View Post
Rancho Cucamonga, off Carnelian.
Really close to my house, let's try to meet up one of these days!!!
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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that looks great!!!
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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off to a good start already
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lazoh View Post
Really close to my house, let's try to meet up one of these days!!!
Sounds good!

Also thanks tiFreak and BMW_Hatchback! The car has definitely grown on me!

Yesterday I explored a few new roads:


(notice the signs, lol, there were no other cars up the roads though, perfectly quite)


It was wonderful! who would think Southern California would have such natural beauty!

I really wish I had a good camera because with it being the wet season and everything growing, the mountains look amazing. Best thing is that its just about 45min from my house!
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:14 AM   #11
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looks great. I am partial to green, especially the darker ones.

You need better rims now.. maybe something off of the M3
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anassa View Post
I was wondering when someone would notice - I actually have one under the cross member as the main support.

(Now I'm just waiting for someone to notice that the emblems have been sprayed over and mention that )

I gotta say though my biggest problem is finding a efficient and fast way to put up the car, its always a PITA.

Anyways thanks for the compliments. Color is jaguar green, I would have payed extra for boston green so I went with cheaper way, turned out great though, I actually like it better.

LOL, well...Need at least 2 to support it safely. I jack one side and toss a stand under the frame, then go to the other and jack/toss a stand under. It's a PITA, especially with how low these cars are after a drop.

Hmm, thought they were just blacked out emblems... Looks better than my dead emblems... The cheapo replacements don't last long.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familytruckster View Post
LOL, well...Need at least 2 to support it safely. I jack one side and toss a stand under the frame, then go to the other and jack/toss a stand under. It's a PITA, especially with how low these cars are after a drop.

Hmm, thought they were just blacked out emblems... Looks better than my dead emblems... The cheapo replacements don't last long.
2 ??? Hmm I was told one would be enough

I havn't lowered my car too much yet - gotta replace some suspension components before I go real low, so I don't have too much problems yet with getting the jack under it.

Ya I'm pretty happy with how the paint job came out with painted emblems.


Now for a quick update,


I found THIS for my little sister:


First car for her, and best twenty five hundred spent IMO. Only two owners with maintenance records and has no problems, very clean!

Of course I'm going to be benefiting from this too ....
.
.
.
This is where I'm gunna get: xbrace, 3.46 LSD (clutch type), short ratio steering rack, sway bars (gotta confirm the size though to see if it is better), and a shorter shift. Its not like she needs it anyway.

Other then that I got some fluids still to replace - tranny, diff, coolant and some bushings to repair, and I think a few seals to replace too. I think that plus, z3 parts will make it pretty fun. I wonder how ASC+T and LSD will work out apparently only 95 m3 came with both ? Anyways, fun stuff!
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazoh View Post
Really close to my house, let's try to meet up one of these days!!!
Shoot me a pm or something if you got something going on!
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad-Machine View Post
looks great. I am partial to green, especially the darker ones.

You need better rims now.. maybe something off of the M3
Well actually, I have been thinking about that.

These wheels weigh 7,52kg or 16.5787621lbs (according to google). Thats pretty light and I can fit 225 on that which is enough rubber for the power I have now. I have been looking at the Kosei K1 17x8.5 wheels at 16.8lbs. Not bad IMO, just a little heavier and a lot more rubber. Kinda expensive though so we will see.
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