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New build! E90 M3

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I had my first track day in the car today at Blackhawk Farms Raceway and ran in the intermediate group.  This is my 4th track day in 3 years and it's amazing how quickly you get to know people by atte

This week has been crazy for me at work and I haven't had a chance to update everyone on the full story of this car.  It's been a roller coaster but everything turned out alright in the end! I've

My daughter was born on April 1st so my time has been finite lately.  I was able to sneak away tonight after everyone went to sleep and install my H&R sport springs and ECS spacers.  The specs are

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11 minutes ago, SteelBlue said:

Bring it next time you're in Appleton, interested to see how it feels now compared to when I drove it last week.

*If it's not put away for the winter by then.

I'm coming up tomorrow if you're back from Batavia by then but it's looking like rain all day long so that'll be a game time decision.

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I went to change the oil about two weekends ago before putting it away for the winter and upon re-inserting the rear drain plug on the oil pan I found that it wouldn't tighten to the required 18ft/lbs.  Righty tighty became righty losey.  I pulled the plug back out and examined the threads to find some alloy bits left on the bolt and the pan had some semblance of threads left but obviously not what it was supposed to look like.  I'm the only one who's changed the oil since I bought the car and I have always used new plugs, copper o-rings and torqued both plugs at every oil change so I was confused and frustrated.  I hit the google machine and found that it's a fairly common occurrence on the S65 with steel plug/aluminum pan.  I also looked up the cost of the upgraded pan from bimmerworld... about $1100 and I'd get no core because of the damaged pan.  That's still cheaper than a new OE pan for about $1300.  The prospect of spending 8+ hours laying on my back to drop the pan was a scarier thought than buying the pan with a dipstick.

I decided to try a time sert first so $115 later I had it ordered.  After getting it I called up Turner looking for some validation and their service department was pretty helpful.  They said this happens and they've used these to do the repair before with success and consider it a permanent fix.  I bought some red loctite and gave it a shot on Saturday.


For those like me who had no idea what a Time Sert was and why it's better than a helicoil here's my take.  The Time Sert is a full set of steel threads with no gap in between the threads.  This gives it strength and ease of installation with little to no change for it to pull out where as a helicoil is a wire type insert that lacks the strength of the Time Sert.


The Time Sert was far easier to install than I expected but the prospect of possibly ruining my pan further was terrifying.  The kit includes the required drill bit, counter bore, tap, tap guide, driver and inserts.  It did NOT include loctite or any T handle/tap adapter and I found that the drill bit and tap were slightly larger than any drivers I had or could find at a store so I used my drill on it's lowest setting.  Also, by this time my oil had been draining for about a week so there was no oil dripping out at all which made the install cleaner.  Since I was doing this on my back I made a guide for the drill bit by drilling a hole into a 2x4 and holding that against the pan for a guide.  I then counter bored the hole and tapped it for the insert.


I put a little red loctite on the insert and used the driver to install the insert.  I followed the directions and kept turning the insert past the point of it getting hard to turn until the insert stopped moving.  I let it set for about 30 minutes then put the plug in and torqued it.  The plug tightened to the proper torque with no fuss so I filled it up with a few quarts of oil and drained that out to try and get any shavings out.  A couple came out but there wasn't much material removed to begin with so I wasn't expecting much.  I reinstalled the drain plug, torqued it and added all of the Liqui-Moly 10w60 and let it sit for a little bit while I stared at the drain plug.  No leaks yet so I started it up and let it run for about 20 minutes while I intently stared at the oil pan.  No leaks!  I took it for a short drive, re-examined and still no leaks.  Took it for another drive, said a small prayer to the BMW gods and ran that tach to 8k RPM.  No explosions!  Did it a few times and brought it back home to inspect and found no leaks at all!


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Those thread inserts are excellent.  We used them at the Hormel shop frequently when threaded holes were needed in plastic or UHMW parts so that the threads wouldn't tear out.  They are much better than a helicoil for things that get disassembled frequently, like a drain plug.  Now it will be stronger than new.  Please torque to 150 ft/lbs for science.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

I drove the car every day last week and nobody has given me the finger once yet!  I have some DCT maintenance stuff on hand to change that fluid out, some bushings on order and some exterior parts on order so far. The oil plug repair is holding strong with no signs of any leaking so I feel safe to say that's fixed.

I need to do new struts/shocks but still deciding on coilovers vs OEM+ Bilstein set up with my H&R springs.


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23 hours ago, B C said:

The Bilstein PSS_ setups look like a great Ron Popeill set it and forget it solution but they have very poor corrosion resistance from what I have seen. 

great pic!

I had Bilstein on my 335i and I really liked them.  The Bilstein's are very nice it's just a matter of spending almost $2k on coilovers vs B8 struts/shocks with my H&R springs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Minor update that's been annoying the shit out of me.  New emblems!  The flag on the M3 emblem was faded and the front had some minor things going on.  The rear emblem really didn't need it until I took a chunk out taking it off but it made sense to just get all of them right away.PXL_20210430_174857565.jpgPXL_20210430_180403337.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a few parts ordered or here already!  I have a set of aeroflow dynamics side skirt extensions sitting in my garage, a GTS lip should be showing up Friday and a new set of Conti Extremecontact Sport's ordered.  I'm still deciding on Bilstein B8 vs coilovers but really leaning towards the B8's at this point.

I also free'd up some space in my garage so I'm going to pull the trigger on a Maxjax lift soon!

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