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."

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, and boat loads of talent, we had the engine was out by noon. 

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

These guys eat, sleep and date BMWs.

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 the paint shop on the same day. 

"So, how deep do you want to go?"

This is where the rabbit hole starts. 

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. There will be a lot more to explain when it comes to paint later on.

BMW has cuts corners on paint across its top of the line M models. The E60 M5 is famously left on primer behind the hood insulation liner. 


The Plus means more: more eye candy, and more work. Within the context of how far I want to go: everywhere BMW sprayed and over-sprayed PY, there will be San Marino Blue Metallic.

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

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

It first starts with getting a properly sprayed and clear coated, ultra high gloss engine bay. 

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

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

We removed the steering column , DME and brake booster assembly. The ABS hard lines stayed.

So did the venting elements below the windshield.

We dropped the entire front subframe. 

We entirely taped off the vent elements. There's a lot less paint than you think here - there's light overspray from the factory. 

The ABS hard lines were taped and holes plugged. 

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. 

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

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

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

Including the rusted away shock absorbers used for the CSL bumper. 

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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