So, how deep do you want to go?

So, how deep do you want to go?

"In this Special Series, I document my complete paint & body restoration along with the exterior upgrades to CSL specifications. 

In this entry, the engine gets dropped, and the engine bay gets stripped and sprayed - but first, we have to talk about what OEM paint means in this context, and I answer the paintman's question. 

"So, how deep do you want to go?"
- Jonathan 

In collaboration with my long time friends at @exclusivautomotiv, we hope to cast light into the world of custom paint & body."

The anchor gets dropped.

In chronological order, this is where it started. The car was first at InnovAuto for Phil & Tom to get the engine out.

With the right tools..

[...] and experience dealing with rusty cars 

My E46 was never driven in snow, so it's relatively easy to work on. 

[...] and boat loads of talent

These guys eat, sleep and date BMWs.

The engine was out by noon.

5 hours total man hours  - Phil was mad they didn't do it in 4.

Blame my prototype driveshaft without pry bar slots on the CV.

The production units have them. 


The car was on a flatbed and off to ExclusivAutomotiv, the same day. 


This is where the rabbit hole starts.

"So, how deep do you want to go?"
- Jonathan @exclusivautomotiv

I've known the guy for too long and seen too many projects get sideways not too know what he meant.

"How deep in your pockets do you want to dig?"
- A friendly translation.

Let's do it OEM+. 

... and OEM isn't what you think it means. 

Paint is expensive, extremely expensive. 

The cost in chemical paint supplies alone for my job ranges close to 2,000$ - we'll do the tally at the end.

We're doing it somewhat old school: we'll be spraying a lot more coats than BMW to get the finish level beyond OEM. 

There's a lot to explain when it comes to paint. More details on this later. 

BMW has been cutting corners on paint forever on its top of the line M models. 

The E60 M5 is famously left on primer behind the hood insulation liner. 

The E46 M3 was better there: it was yellow underneath.

..but the engine bay didn't have much in the way of clear coat: the paint was matte. 

What OEM means

Within the context of how far I want to go: everywhere BMW sprayed and oversprayed PY, there will be San Marino.

There will be a few exceptions where we do more, and do less. I will document and explain my rationale when it happens. 

[...] and the + means.

Plus means more: more eye candy, and more work. 

I'm getting a properly sprayed and clear coated, ultra high gloss engine bay. 

The bay's stripdown.

We removed the steering column , DME and brake booster assembly. 

The ABS hard lines stayed.

So did the venting elements below the windshield.

[...] and dropped the entire subframe. 

Where the stripping ends, the taping begins. 

We entirely taped off the vent elements

There's a lot less paint than you think here - there's light overspray from the factory. 

[...] and all the ABS hard lines

[...] along with any gaping holes 

[...] and other miscellaneous things.

It's focused, time intensive work.

Shout to my fellow OCD'er: Pascal. 

When the taping ends, the spraying begins. 

The engine was thoroughly sanded down prior to spraying primer, base coat and clear coat.  

I had to leave at this point and came back the next day to this. 

It's too late now 

[...] and I don't care

[..] because I'm most excited about the future.

Whether we etch out the paint for the VIN to pop is to be determined. The sticker will make an updated comeback for sure.

Must do while you're in there's. 

As you know by now, my car has been poorly resprayed previously. There was overspray over most inner chassis components. 

The front chassis supports.

We sanded and resprayed all of these parts in a single stage matt black paint.

Including the rusted away aluminum carrier supports used for the CSL bumper. 

The wheel liners. 

We'll dive into what we're doing with the underbody in further details in future entries. 

I'm only putting this picture up for now.

Up next: it gets scalped, and we go bald.

We're doing the carbon roof swap. 

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