- Nov 7, 2018
- DIY 1m
After much lurking on here, I finally decided it was time to make my home here. I come from the mazdaspeed world where, at least back in the day, there was one forum and one forum only. It was easy to find accurate and informative info. Coming over to the n54 world I was a little confused on where to go and who to trust. Seemed like all the forums were dead and using facebook as a "forum" just made/makes me want to slam my head against the wall most of the time... "MHD or JB4" seems to be a daily occurrence still lol. So needless to say, i'm happy I found yall!
Little back story, got my first "sports car" in 2011, a 2008 mazda speed 3. Had so much fun with that car. Went from stock turbo, to bolt on turbo, to gt3076, finally to 6262. oh and a few built motors lol. After blowing the motor for the second time, it felt like it was time to move on but nothing was really tickling my pickle. My good friend Sam Morgan (Brakeboostbill) pushed me in the direction of the 135i but I really thought it was a chick car (it is lol) and I knew how many issues they have (lol). I really lovedddd the 1m but at the price of 50k plus easy, it wasn't going to happen. I have this vivid memory of sitting at a stop light in my 500 dollar mazda tribute beater thinking to myself, how sick would it be to build a rep 1m and single turbo it. I wrote the idea off as unattainable.... but the idea stuck with me. After some time, and a few test drives in e9x m3's I decided that wasn't going to cut it, lets build this freaking 1m.
After a few months of searching I finally landed on the one, a 2008 sparkling graphite metallic 6 speed with 66k on the clock. I drove it around for almost 6 months doing nothing but collecting parts for the 1m swap.
Installing fortune auto 500 coilovers with my buddy who looks homeless aka Audi techs lol
After a few shipments from Germany, I had 75 percent of the parts I needed. My 1 bedroom apartment was chalk full of bumpers and misc 1m parts. My one dilemma was the rear quarters. BMW had discontinued the smaller rear quarter that didn't have the C pillar (these were like $550 a side) and they only offered the full replacement that was something like 1500 a side. So 3k in parts alone for the back... not happening. My other big dilemma was that I wasn't a body guy. I was going to have to pay someone to install them... not cheap. I thought the project was a bust and I really didn't want to do the bolt on options (ex. n5tuner). I finally stumbled across a company called Prior Designs. Long story short I waited 6 months for some overpriced (1k) fiber glass fenders from germany, but the wait was worth it. They fit perfect and it was a job I thought I could tackle myself.
About a year into ownership it was finally time to start tearing into the build. **I don't really have any pictures of putting the end together. Nothing to exciting. Just bolts right up**
Measure once, cut twice.... oh wait, other way around.
Sand, sand, sand, sand...
Driver side did take a little more work to make it fit right. Think it came out pretty good!
All in all, this job was one of the scariest yet most rewarding projects I have ever done to the car. Totally transformed the look of the car.
Right off the bat, I knew I didn't have the $$ to paint the car so I wrapped it. If you have never wrapped a car, it has to be one of the most rewarding/ cost effective projects you can do. The color is Avery light grey. It looks more grey in person. Wheels are Apex FL-5 18x10 +25, nitto nt05 275/35/18 squared on fortune auto 500 coilovers.
I enjoyed this set up for about 6 months. In that time, I added a vicrez rear diffuser and front lip. I also found some halogen LCI headlights, gutted them and swapped the housings to my Xenon headlights. At this time I really was over the wrap life. I had lots of little imperfections where the wrap was starting to lift because 50 percent of the car was unpainted underneath. It was getting real old walking up to the car and only looking for bubbles to push back down instead of enjoying the car. I knew I wanted to paint it back to oem color so I made it happen. This is the only time I paid someone else to work on my car.
You could say I was fully in love at this point lol. Paint shop did an amazing job.
I picked the car up from paint and immediately went to work on the single turbo aspect of the build. I picked up a doc race kit second hand from Sam Morgan a few months prior.
- Doc Race mani
- DBB 6466 with OCD works compressor housing.
- Doc Race intake manifold
- Custom Motive Intercooler made with garret cores (Its huge)
- Motive Boost Box
- MHD (Jake from Motive is currently tuning it)
- Full 3in exhaust with vibrant resonator
At this point with 80k miles, I replaced all gaskets and water pump while I had the car all taken apart.
Working with Jake at Motive on the tune. Waiting on some NTK o2 sensors so we can turn it up. Looking to make low 500s on stock fueling (one 450 intank). Also just switched up to some ARC8. Same 18x10 spec as FL5. Just installed my 1m battery box so I can put an oem muffler on with carbon tips (this thing is loudddd)
My friend works at audi so I always go to flex on them lol
Currently working on sourcing parts for rear end. It is totally stock at the moment and I have already found out it is straight up dangerous in its current form. Going to do all diff bushings and subframe bushings. I have sourced a ford 8.8 rear end (off ebay) and I have purchased a bracket from a guy online (being built now). Going to do DSS axles and one piece drive shaft as well. Didnt want to shell out 6k to ADE and wait an eternity lol. I will need help with what LSD to put into the 8.8 and maybe someone local (Georgia) to install/ refresh the diff. Also will be doing PI eventually. My Doc manifold has all the ports drilled for injectors, they are currently capped off with doc's block off plate.
From here who knows! Hope you all enjoyed! I will post updates when I have some. Oh and some actual professional pics when I get to that too!
I have way more pictures on my Instagram: nswartz125