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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally putting together a thread. Bit of history to start...

Starts with my old B6 S4 Avant 6MT, owned for about 3 years. Nogaro blue exterior+interior, JHM headers to Milltek exhaust, coils then air then coils again. Thing was a beast and I love it to this day. Then my neighbor let me drive his well-modded E46 M3 (ported and polished heads, euroheaders, agency power Ti exhaust, coils, ZCP wheels with proper rubber) one day and my life was changed. I had to sell that Audi.

Sold the Audi on BaT. In between then I dailyed a 2010 A3 Titanium Pack with a 6 speed. Zippy lux GTI, but not for me. Then got an E90 M3 6MT. Blend of both Audi & BMW worlds and greater than the sum of its parts. 13,000 miles turned into 27,000 with Ohlins R&T coils, Eisenmann exhaust, and plenty of wheels over the course of my ownership. Following the sale of the A3, Purchased a touring here from @Dietrich. Already had plans to M-swap and was just finding the right donor car.


Pre-pandemic I decided to buy a house which sunk all of my funds for fun stuff with cars for adult stuff. Then I got hit by a lady in a Hyundai SUV going double the speed limit over a blind crest; insurance totaled the Touring because of frame damage on the front right corner (whoever gets that car in auction is lucky, it still ran perfect driving 40mi home from the accident (Sorry Dietrich :()). Super bummed. Then I stumbled across @ewcmr2 's FB marketplace listing for his S54 touring build. I thought, "This is amazing! I can start fresh and be further along then before!"


As you can guess, I purchased it and had it shipped right before the biggest snow of the winter in NJ, having it arrive and sit in the garage until spring 2021. Full M3 swap other than the bodywork.
Started work with fresh lenses and clear-corners


Then roof-rail delete


Wrapped the interior trim silver from the prior dark wood



KWV2s and 5mm spacers all around


Got my vanity plate and badges sorted, along with clear tails (know you understand the thread title)


Secured some Mtech side skirts


Went a lil crazy and drove from NJ to NC to pick up a set of Impulse Cloth manual M3 seats in need of some love




After dying


Deep cleaning prior to install...


After


And the most recent Rennline pedal install



So what's next?
1. New wheels. Probably a square set of style 68s. Maybe some TE37s or BBS RKs if I can find a set.
2. Short shift kit, most likely AutoSolutions Autocross 20% kit.
3. CSL airbox & tune. Not set on brand yet.
4. Reupholster. I don't have enough fabric from the donor M3 set to do the wagon's panels, so I'm going to sell the partial set and instead do my own take on impulse fabric using contemporary fabrics that are lighter.
5. Body conversion and full repaint.

Will keep you all posted via this thread :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great Stuff! Which part of NJ are you located in?
Central Shore, Red Bank!
it won't be a true M3 until you add the completely nonfunctional side gills.
Don't threaten me with a good time ;) I'm actually working with an engineering friend on how to make those vents functional in tandem with hood or fender trickery. I don't anticipate finding anything worth doing, but it's in consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You just made me wanna do a roof-rail delete, looks great!
Thanks! I have a set of 3D printed plugs from @redneckvtek waiting to go in. Right now they're just covered with outdoor rated black electrical tape.

Also forgot a few things:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How do you like the pedals?
Build quality is 4/5, with some of the finishing and edges being rough, installation instructions 1/5 being probably the worst I’ve experienced ever, usability is 5/5. Toe-toe shifts are much easier to achieve while retaining brake pedal modulation/control. If I could improve the design, I’d make it possible to have only the upper extension as the lower extension is virtually useless for my pedal technique, and I’d imagine for others too since there’s so little leverage at the bottom of the accelerator pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gas cap keeper went, so replaced that, and fulfilled my guilty pleasure of cleaning a place only appreciated by myself and people I share the photos with.
Yucky before


Yummy after


Still need to clean off the rubber cement on every tab location before the new grilles go in, #e46things




Also this frustrating adventure, but I don't have the mental capacity right now to document the full details without feeling annoyed again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This steering wheel rewrap really reignited my love for the car. I'm a big believer in tactile and interaction points being of utmost importance (same reason I'll spend way more on my bike saddle, shoes, handlebar, and gloves than anything else). A little extra thickness fits my hands better. The new wheel is a true 6MT wheel and not the old, gutted SMG wheel (big ups to @VonGeiss for donating it to me before he gets his done with my old SMG wheel playing placeholder).

The craftsmanship for the price is phenomenal, despite any small flaws. Matching shiftboot is amazing, and the e-brake boot needs some breaking in because it's a bit too small right now which results in it pulling up in the unreleased position (not enough to trigger the brake thankfully). I know the non-M colorway will be a point of contention, but given the opportunity, I love going outside of the norm. The inspiration is a combination of the TiGrau paint, interior trim, impulse cloth seats, and this lovely Joseph Noble fabric I got a sample of with intention of using it for upholstering the full interior cushions in the future. You can see the "Gunsmith Grey Voluptu" fabric used in the 12 o'clock marker.





I do love the color-coordination of the E9x 6-speed shifter, but I miss the ZHP/ZCP shape and plushness, so that will be on the list whenever I get around to ordering one of the AutoSolutions shift kits.
 

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That looks fantastic!

I am looking forward to snag a M3 Steering Wheel from Coby Wheels (Black Alcantara w/ Yellow Stitching & Strip) on top of that (Alcantara Shift & E-Brake Boot & Handle w/ Yellow Stitching). His quality looks absolutely stunning, and for the price? can't beat it!

I think the yellow stitching will match well with my yellow calipers, and especially the midnight purple wrap I am planning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Purchased some CF fenders from M3Projekts. Should have them by spring which gives me time to find a front bumper, hood, headlights, and other small things needed. Removing the fabrication element from the front end expedites SO much of the typical body conversion. Will probably go CSL bumper eventually, but short term goals are just full conversion front end for 2023.
 
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