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      08-08-2015, 09:35 PM   #1
uberschnell
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Latest 1M conversion - splicing 1m flares approach

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Wanted to share my DIY 1M conversion, po boy style.

A few years ago switched from 335i to the 135i. Then I fell in love with the 1M. I considered getting the 1M, but lack of availability and the fact that the 1M is and instant classic that it better belongs in a garage then a Daily Driver I decided to go for it.

Norcal sucks for shops willing to do extreme modifications, unlike Socal. And the cost for full quarter panel replacement was prohibitive without Insurance covering it. So after thinking about it I decided that I could probably do the conversion myself.

A little about me. I don't have auto repair experience, but I've worked sheet metal as an aircraft mechanic. Using some of the same repair techniques I found a way to do it in a way that created a strong panel. The plan was to cut out the flares on the original 1M panels at the point they match the 135's then cutting out the 135 flares, flanging the edges and attaching with 3M panel bond and stainless counter sunk blind rivets.

I know a few conversions have been done already, and the help from guys like IlikeBMXbikes and Venom has been huge, but I think this will be original in that it's the first Monaco Blue conversion and the first one done in a driveway.

My full mods list:

Brembo GT front brakes
M3 Suspension conversion + Megan Adjustable Control arms
M3 Strut brace
Wavetrac LSD
AST coilovers and Swift Springs
Dinan Camber Plates
Whiteline SFB
AFE Intake
COBB Tuning

And what it looks like as a 135i:


So here is a photo of the car before and after:
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Last edited by uberschnell; 08-29-2015 at 09:32 PM..
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      08-08-2015, 09:42 PM   #2
uberschnell
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First stop was ordering parts. I managed to get the parts list together and ordered while prices were low.

Insane shipment, straight from Germany.

Also picked up a hood. Seibon, and fitment was meh. Needed to do Aerolatches to get it to fit better.
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      08-08-2015, 09:50 PM   #3
uberschnell
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One of the best things about the 1M is the great selection of exhausts, so a full exhaust conversion was in order.

Always looking to cut costs, so I welded up some 3/8 rod for hangers. The 135i battery was too big, so I went with a smaller Interstate set up which saved me 20+ pounds. I had to weld up a new carrier for the battery, and it ended up working really well.
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      08-09-2015, 04:27 AM   #4
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nice, bring it to the treasure island cars and coffee!
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      08-09-2015, 09:14 AM   #5
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Sounds great. Have you done any drafting to figure the rear arch work?
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      08-09-2015, 06:04 PM   #6
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Looking forward to your conversion.

It would be great if you could detail the steps from a DIY perspective. Plenty have shared the parts list which is awesome but for those who want to have a go at some of the bolt off bolt on parts some photo steps would be great.
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      08-09-2015, 07:32 PM   #7
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cant wait to see more build pics as it progresses
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      08-09-2015, 07:45 PM   #8
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Can't wait to see more of this!
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      08-10-2015, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe View Post
Sounds great. Have you done any drafting to figure the rear arch work?
Yes, I've been using a profile gauge to measure and compare the profile at fixed points around the arch. Within 12 inches of the edge of the opening the 135i and the 1m share the exact same profile.

I cut with the 3/8 overlap for the flange portion.

Yes, those large containers have resulted in this
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Last edited by uberschnell; 08-10-2015 at 08:37 PM..
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      08-10-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
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And you can see here how well it fits
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      08-10-2015, 10:17 PM   #11
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very nice... surprised no ones mentioned a "quick make a mold and mass produce"
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      08-11-2015, 12:56 AM   #12
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Nice project. This is actually how I would approach the rear conversion. I always thought it would be the most economical way. If you can get a clean cut, just butt weld the two. Spot/tack weld in intervals to not warp the panel. Then grind smooth.
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      08-11-2015, 08:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJetE90 View Post
Nice project. This is actually how I would approach the rear conversion. I always thought it would be the most economical way. If you can get a clean cut, just butt weld the two. Spot/tack weld in intervals to not warp the panel. Then grind smooth.
I'm not going to weld, the metal is thin and warping is my concern, although I will do some spot welding on the edges. Instead I'm going to overlap the sheets by 3/8 and then flange the receiving side. I'll then use 3m panel bond along with 1/8 counter sunk stainless steel blind rivets to bond. It will actually be stronger then welding and wont have the same risk of rusting down the road.
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      08-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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Been waiting since the original guys did this work for someone to do it this way. Best of luck to you, thanks for being the guinea pig!
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      08-11-2015, 05:32 PM   #15
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How is the other side? Will the cut run into the gas door?
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      08-14-2015, 02:13 PM   #16
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The big day. There is this funny feeling you get when you realize you are about to cut up a perfectly good car. The answer was to drill a hole in the side of the car, now I couldn't back out.

On to the great news;

My measurements were right on. This shows that the 135i and the 1m fenders begin to flare at the same place, only the 1m flares continue on to a more extreme curve where the 135i flares flatten out.

For example, the gas cap door in the 135i and the 1m are the exact same profile until about 3 inches below the door, where the 1m flares out more.

The skirts and the bumper are lining up perfectly.

Based on this I believe it would be easy to create fiberglass molds of the 1m quarter panels that would then line up perfectly on a 135i.

Hope this is some help to someone out there.
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      08-14-2015, 02:21 PM   #17
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The combo of panel bond and rivets made for an extremely strong and rust proof bond. There is a slight transition between the flare and the panel. A little sanding and bondo will make quick work of that.
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      08-14-2015, 02:28 PM   #18
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I found a body shop in Belmont that will do quality custom work and at very reasonable price. I outsourced the finishing work and paint.
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      08-14-2015, 02:35 PM   #19
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Beyond exited to see the progress. All those days of planning and I'm finally seeing the pay off

Should have it back by this weekend
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      08-14-2015, 02:36 PM   #20
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side profile - Although it's tough to see in the prep state, it's oem smooth
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      08-14-2015, 03:47 PM   #21
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oh wow... thats awesome man.... cheap alternativ indeed....
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      08-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #22
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Welp now I know how I'm doing my rear arches. Fantastic work and research.

How about the inner wheel well? How are you extending that? Or did the body shop take it from there?
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