Chadillac2000's 2008 135i Road Warrior Daily Driver Build Thread

chadillac2000

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Last night I spent some time familiarizing myself with the dual Tial MVS wastegates, MAC solenoid with PNP harness, and stainless lines that ACF provides so I'd know how everything was oriented. I decided to go with the green/white spring combination based on other people's experiences and Payam's suggestion.

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Getting the top of the wastegate installed was no easy task. If my fiance hadn't been able to thread the allen head bolts in while I kept A LOT of pressure on the cap/springs, I would have to resort to a vice.

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Using Payam's pictures, I was able to mock up the included NPT/AN fittings and SS lines to where they'll be situated when installed on the manifold. The two fittings in the middle that aren't installed yet are the straight through NPT/AN that fits to the oil feed on the block, and the 45 degree NPT/AN that fits on the compressor housing.
Not that it matters all that much, but I love how the TIAL MVS wastegates match my existing Tial BOV.

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New hardware starts going on tomorrow.
 

doublespaces

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Its at this point when you realize just how thankful you are that you don't have to put all that twin garbage back on.

For the wastegate, I have a 1 bar spring stack in mine and I managed to put it together myself by just putting it on my carpet, then stepping on it with my bare foot and putting the allen bolts in.
 
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ccbsecu

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I'm sure you will. Even on low boost the car is so much fun, and it's hard not to drive it wide open. The boost turned up pulls likes a freight train. Next time you're in the area let me know, and I can introduce you to our local group of N54s.

@chadillac2000 - we have a couple ST N54's here in Greensboro too, and know @chrisdfv as well. I'm also building my ST 135 (we've talked via PM) and 335d. Maybe when I'm back up and running - we can all meet up...
 
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chadillac2000

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Its at this point when you realize just how thankful you are that you don't have to put all that twin garbage back on.

For the wastegate, I have a 1 bar spring stack in mine and I managed to put it together myself by just putting it on my carpet, then stepping on it with my bare foot and putting the allen bolts in.

I know this thread got out of hand and I have no desire to get back into the discussion, but I can't imagine going back to the twin setup after removing it all, and I haven't even driven this car yet. I can confidently say that I will never be one of the customers going back. I feel like I'd jump platforms before jumping back to two turbos.

@chadillac2000 - we have a couple ST N54's here in Greensboro too, and know @chrisdfv as well. I'm also building my ST 135 (we've talked via PM) and 335d. Maybe when I'm back up and running - we can all meet up...

Absolutely! I should have things up and running here shortly, and all the kinks worked out by the time spring rolls around. Stay in touch.

--------------------------------------------------------

Yesterday brought more progress on the single turbo conversion. Before I began installing any of the hot parts, I wanted to address the windshield wiper fluid fill neck that sits in an unfortunate part of the engine bay for top mounts. At least there's a viable option for relocation with only a little effort. This includes removing the passenger side front rear wheel well to unveil the full neck.

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There's an oval sized hole that feeds up to the cowl drain port, which the filler tube will go up through with some force. Don't do like I did, and remove the filler neck while it's full of wiper fluid. As soon as it came through the engine bay into the wheel well, I was doused in nearly a gallon of wiper fluid. Not a great start to the day.

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Eventually you'll see the filler neck pop up in a much better place for top mount heat, that's still fully accessible.

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And with the cap on. I'll get some more pictures regarding access when the cowl and covers are re-installed to see how easily this will be to fill on the go. Now that I won't ever have to deal with a melted filler neck, it was time to move on to installing some of the smaller, hard to reach items that need to be bolted down before moving on to the larger stuff.

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That included the aluminum coolant pipe (you can reuse your OEM gasket, but I bought a new one for peace of mind), two coolant plug fittings (also bought new o-rings for this, but my old ones looked fine), an oil feed fitting (new o-ring here too), and freeze plug for the rear oil drain. We'll be cutting and reusing the front drain tube (w/new o-ring) from the OEM turbos to use as the drain fitting for the single turbo.

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I started with the freeze plug to cap off the rear oil drain from the OEM twin turbos. I used a very thin layer of max temp copper RTV silicone and found a socket that fit around the outer ring, NOT the inner recessed portion. A few hits with a rubber mallet and the install had officially commenced.

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Working in a clockwise motion, the next up was the old coolant feed on the top left of the crankcase. This is the longer of the two coolant blocks in the kit. I reused the stock bolts, but as I mentioned, used new o-rings all around on these fittings. I used these torque settings for all bolts during this process.

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Next was the old coolant feed on the top right of the crankcase. Same process as the other side. This is the shorter of the two coolant blocks in the kit.

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Then on to the oil drain return for the front OEM turbo, remember, we already plugged the other one. This is where the OEM drain line that we cut earlier will be reinstalled. Again, reused the stock bolt and a new o-ring. It's not included in the picture, but I went ahead and trimmed 6" of the included heater hose in the kit, secured it to the cut oil drain, and tightened the included hose clamp properly so it would be ready to drop the hard oil drain line down into once we get the center cartridge of the turbo installed later.

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Moving on to the center of the crankcase, we use the last of the fittings included in the ACF ST kit for the oil feed. Prior to installing you'll want to install the straight through NPT to AN fitting ialso included in the kit. As I did with all the NTP connections when mocking up the wastegates, use teflon tape to ensure a proper seal.

Once that's installed, the included ACF coolant pipe is installed using 4 new included bolts. It's okay to reuse the stock gasket for this pipe (mine looked fine), but I bought a new one and used it instead.

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Before moving on to the manifold, I went ahead and attached the included heat shielded oil feed so it would already be in place.

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Now on to the heart of this install: Anthony's tubular manifold.

Unfortunately the beautiful welds were no longer visible because I wrapped the manifold and downpipe with DEI titanium heat wrap. This was no easy task using stainless steel clamps. This was my first time using these, and getting them as tight as you'd like is simply not possible. Combined with the hard to reach places in the tight bends, what I thought would be an enjoyable experience of wrapping all the pieces became a frustrating project in itself.

I also grabbed my 6 brand new exhaust manifold gaskets, my 11 new OEM nuts, 5 shorty nuts included by ACF, the v-band clamp for the two manifold pieces, and some max temp copper RTV. And Payam's video for reference on cued up on the iPhone.

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New gaskets on--nice and tight.

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Here are the locations where you'll want to use the shorty nuts included by ACF. All of the other studs will accept OEM nuts with this manifold. Nearly half of the nuts are pretty hard to access, so be very patient with this part. The last thing you want is a stripped nut with no way to get it off, or an installed manifold that isn't seated properly.

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And this is the torquing sequence I used:

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With the subframe out, the front bank 1 manifold fits in easily, followed by the rear bank 2 manifold. Secure a few of the nuts, just so the manifolds don't slide off as we'll want to tighten the large v-band before moving on to the manifold to crankcase connections. Put a nice layer of RTV on the v-band, and tighten it down. Then move on to torquing down the manifold.

A few things here: the exhaust manifold gaskets will seal as they are tightened down, this means some bolts that have already been torqued will need to be re-torqued as they may have gained some additional clearance as others were being tightened. I triple checked every nut--making sure the ones that I could get a torque wrench on were properly torqued down, and the ones I couldn't, were as tight as the others. ALSO, trim your stainless steel ties holding the manifold wrap on properly and fold back on itself so no sharp edges are exposed. I look like I climbed over a razor wire fence this morning because I did not do this.

Eventually you'll have something that looks like this:

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And finally a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.

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I knew space was going to start shrinking quickly, so I wanted to go ahead and see how the DOCRace heat shield would fit. So far so good. Fingers crossed that the big downpipe will squeak through, as it provides a good bit of protection; and looks great installed.

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After checking everything again, now it was time to mock up the twin Tial MVS wastegates that I had mocked up on the table earlier. Using Payam's pictures from his install thread, I situated them accordingly.

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I kept the v-band connections just loose enough to be able to adjust them when installing the dump tubes, but made sure to arrange the v-bands so I could access them for tightening later. I went ahead and got the stainless wastegate lines with AN fittings in place as well.

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While I still had full access, I went ahead and grabbed the ADV o2 sensors and tightened them down. Perfect fit and hopefully will prevent any o2 related issues commonly seen on ST N54 builds.

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I spent the next hour or so fumbling with the open dump tubes only because I didn't have a helper. Not having an extra set of hands made for a lot of frustration trying to fit these. From underneath for example, the long pipe has to be raised up in an area with tight clearance, so getting a v-band clamp on properly and the bolt & nut secured is no easy feat! I pressed onwards however and eventually had both of the dump tube connections seated properly and hand tightened.

Using the old passenger side motor mount assembly to check clearance, I mocked up the dump tubes to impersonate the double barrel shotgun seen in Payam's picture:

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Once I got things to my liking, I got to work on tightening down the 4 v-band connections connecting to the wastegates to the manifold and the wastegates to the dump tubes. I then went back and RECHECKED EVERYTHING AGAIN. This manifold dump tube combination is impressive visually. I imagine it will only look better with the downpipe.

At this point, I'd been at the garage all day, and my dog was ready to leave a long time ago, but I'd gotten too far not to mock up this at least the exhaust housing.

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Before actually disassembling the turbocharger, I knew I wanted to use some of the DEI heat sleeve on the two wastegate lines running between the two wastegates themselves, which are located pretty close to the manifold. Probably not necessary, but again, this car is a daily driver and I'm trying to minimize issues.

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chadillac2000

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After taking off the 1/2 inch bolts attaching the hot side of the turbo to the center cartridge, I carefully pulled away the cartridge and cold side of the turbo and sat it aside. I grabbed the four new bolts included in the kit, the twin scroll gasket I picked up separately, and attached the 0.82 A/R housing. This is smaller than the 1.0 A/R housing used on a lot of single turbo builds, so it provided a bit more breathing room in the tight spaces.

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The clearance between the exhaust housing, inner fender and strut tower should perfectly accommodate the included turbo blanket, as well as hold in place securely.

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I used the rest of the DEI heat sleeving on the hard brake line, and inconveniently located AC line (partly rubber) that will be located just above the downpipe that isn't protected by the factory heat shielding. I have another 6 feet of sleeve that I may use on the bank 2 o2 sensor wiring, as well as some of the oil drain/feed lines. Again, just for added protection, not because it needs it. Payam has been running these top mount kits for many miles using minimal heat protection at all with no issues to report.

Now we just have a straight shot for the downpipe to feed down through.

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I plan on spending another full weekend on the car, so by the end of Sunday I should be getting pretty close to having everything properly buttoned up.
 

suspenceful

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Aug 1, 2017
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Great progress! Did your kit not come with a turbo flange gasket, that you had to buy your own?

Do you have a link to the heat-resistant sleeving you used? How easy is it to install? In other words, will I have to remove all of my vacuum lines/O2 sensors in order to slide it on? Or can it be applied with everything still connected?
 
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chadillac2000

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Great progress! Did your kit not come with a turbo flange gasket, that you had to buy your own?

Do you have a link to the heat-resistant sleeving you used? How easy is it to install? In other words, will I have to remove all of my vacuum lines/O2 sensors in order to slide it on? Or can it be applied with everything still connected?

The ACF kit did not come with a gasket. Payam is a big supporter of just using RTV high temp silicone, but I wanted a gasket on there personally.

Here is a link to the DEI heat shroud I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E267JC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It installs easily and secures with a sturdy velcro strip. If I had silicone wastegate lines, I'd definitely cover them up with some of that stuff. The fact that ACF included these SS lines was the factor that pushed me over the edge versus DOCRace, but as you've pointed out, the ACF doesn't cover all bases either. I would have preferred a brand new oil return tube instead of cutting the stock one, a heat shield, and manifold to exhaust housing gasket, but felt those were easier to source than creating SS wastegate lines with the right fittings.

With the turbo already mounted, it may be pretty difficult to get down in there to apply this stuff properly. Not saying it couldn't be done, but it would have been much easier before you put everything together.
 
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chadillac2000

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Moving right along, it was now time to attach the compressor housing to the exhaust housing that was already mounted in the car, but first it needed some of the included fittings attached. Take note of the hard oil drain line that will be routed down past the manifold and into the OEM drain + heater hose already in place.

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No need for a traditional gasket with this design.

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Oil drain and oil feed fittings installed and ready to be separated from the compressor cover. The heat shielded oil feed line is already attached at the crankcase and routed to the top of the engine bay, ready to be hooked to the compressor housing.

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The most frustrating part of this step was how long it took to tighten all the bolts that secure the compressor housing to the exhaust housing. I had to grind down a wrench to make it thin enough to get to one of the bolts tucked down in a hard to reach place, but eventually it was fully tightened down with the oil feed and drain connected. I also went ahead and fitted the exhaust housing blanket just to get an idea of how tight it would be.

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The drain angles towards the engine, letting gravity do most of the work, and the hardline should keep it protected from the heat.

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Water pump and thermostat back in, with all hoses reconnected except the one rerouting back to the coolant reservoir that I'll be relocating to the driver's side. I went ahead and used some DEI heat shielding sleeve around the 6" or so of heater hose I have connecting the hard line to the OEM cut oil drain so it's also protected from any unnecessary heat.

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Before installing any more hardware I wanted to get the subframe and transmission in place so the engine would be angled properly for final assembly of the compressor housing and downpipe. I decided to use new OEM motor mounts with new bolts and mounting nut when reinstalling everything.

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Some time later and with the help of multiple floor jacks, I had the subframe + motor mounts in place and torqued down.

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The open dumps pipes look mean peeking out past the frame.

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With the subframe back in place, I then turned my attention back to the transmission. The rear main seal was already seated in place, so I grabbed the MFactory steel SMFW, 8 new flywheel bolts, and my lock tool. This is after everything has been torqued down and wiped down in preparation for the clutch. As described, this is noticeably lighter and more simplistic than the DMFW.

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I quickly ditched the included Spec alignment tool for the OEM BMW tool.

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Pressure plate installed and torqued down with 6 new bolts.

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I had also had a few things to take care of with the transmission itself. It hadn't been that long since I'd done a transmission fluid change, but I went ahead and did another with new fill/drain bolts while it was out of the car. Next was to swap out some of the old, dirty hardware.

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Spec includes a new throwout bearing and pivot arm, and I also picked up a brass pivot pin from ECS.

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The last piece to be added prior to reinstallation was the aluminum guibo I purchased to replace my rubber version, however my OEM one looked fine even with the high mileage.

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Multiple hours later, and using the same floor jacks that I used when installing the subframe, the transmission was in place and torqued down properly with new bellhousing bolts. The driveshaft was reconnected, and center bearing support in place. I was thoroughly exhausted after doing this all myself, but it is doable solo with the right tools and some patience.

When I get some more time with the car, I'll continue with the cold side piping and FMIC. The Phoenix Race FMIC I purchased had some unsightly overspray on the front, so I just applied a light coat of black to make everything uniform that's visible. A quick test fit showed me that this massive front mount will require quite a bit of cutting of the plastic shrouding.

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fmorelli

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I have some questions on the aluminum guibo as well. Yours is made by Febi. I like how it has the rubber sleeved bushings. Others make it with polyurethane (something I try to avoid). I wasn't really able to find any write-ups around before/after with this specific guibo, so would like to hear if you have any information to share from your research?

I started a new thread. Please feel free to answer here, but I didn't want to pollute your build with a side discussion on guibos :).

Again ... fabulous level of detail (not too much or too little) and even better photography. Love this thread.

Filippo
 
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chrisdfv

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Awesome update. Looks like you're moving right along. I can't imagine doing all this work without help though. :sweat:
 

chadillac2000

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Any benefits for the aluminum guibo over the rubber one?

love the build
I have some questions on the aluminum guibo as well. Yours is made by Febi. I like how it has the rubber sleeved bushings. Others make it with polyurethane (something I try to avoid). I wasn't really able to find any write-ups around before/after with this specific guibo, so would like to hear if you have any information to share from your research?

I started a new thread. Please feel free to answer here, but I didn't want to pollute your build with a side discussion on guibos :).

Again ... fabulous level of detail (not too much or too little) and even better photography. Love this thread.

I posted this in the aluminum guibo thread that you started as well, but I'll post here for the sake of reference:

I honestly hadn't researched this much prior to buying one. I purchased it used for $65. I know the rubber guibo is considered a wear/tear item with added stress/increased mileage, and I was trying to address every item I could while everything was out of the vehicle.

The aluminum one shouldn't wear out like the OEM rubber one over time, and shouldn't have an ill NVH side effects since it retains the rubber inner bushings (I suppose these could wear out eventually). When you consider how important this piece is in the drive line connection, and as the OP mentioned, for such a small cost, I thought why not? It sounds like a few members here are already running them with good feedback, so glad I installed one. It it's good enough for the 1M and 335is, I figured it would be appropriate for my 135i that will be pushing close to double stock output power wise.

BTW, here are the pictures from the original FS ad showing part numbers of the OEM aluminum guibo used on these cars, as well as an ECS link to the exact one:

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-febi-parts/universal-flex-disc/26117605629~feb/

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Awesome update. Looks like you're moving right along. I can't imagine doing all this work without help though. :sweat:

Moving right along for certain. It's taken some determination to get this far. Not having another pair of hands at times has definitely added some hours to the job, but I also prefer to work alone so I can make sure everything is to my liking. Plus, for others, it's nice to know that you can do something of this magnitude by yourself on jack stands without too much trouble. Looking forward to getting everything hopefully by the end of this coming weekend.
 

chadillac2000

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Great progress! But you NEED to reclock that turbo. Oil feed needs to be on top, dead center.

VERY MUCH APPRECIATED YOU POINTING THIS OUT--can't believe I overlooked that as I was hooking it up. It must have been way too late and I had too little sleep when I mounted that up. Was the last thing I did before heading home late late Saturday night. This is the reason I wanted to be very transparent with this upgrade; so people could point out my mess-ups!

I will remove and reclock properly. The last thing I need is an oil/feed drain problem after all this.
 
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ccbsecu

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On the Guibo and driveshaft in general - did you ever consider a solid one piece drive shaft?

With a higher HP build, I decided to go that route and eliminate the Guibo all together.
 

hassan_hamdan

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@chadillac2000

First I must say Wow! I just sat through my entire class and after in the library reading your entire thread, For someone who purchased the car back in 2016, the amount of work, effort and time to document everything is very impressive. I personally just bought my black 09 135i in spring 2017, and just this winter have I started to mod it, I did the mmp inlets and outlets, and seeing how you had to call in for help to get those on honestly made me laugh as I just did those recently and did the exact same thing with my brother in law (one under the car the other over it trying to get the dam thing into place) about 2 weeks ago. Black being of the hardest colors to keep clean, underwent the same thing last summer for polish and detailing.

I will say, reading through you're thread was a little intimidating at first as in (do i really want to do all this work), but after getting through it to now, has honestly motivated me to keep building it, just every detail was address and its very informative on getting parts and what to look for. I now will officially start keeping a detailed documentation of my build as well.

Good on you, and def will be following this for more updates.