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Thread: Rusty's Build Thread [250+ Photos]

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars

    Rusty's Build Thread [250+ Photos]

    This is Rusty's build thread. There's a lot missing, and in due time, I'll fill in the blanks.

    December 16, 2007

    It's the night I got the car. I traded an e30 I owned at the time for it- an '89 325i. I traveled to South Carolina to get the car, which was a 26-hour round trip drive, everything said and done. We went through snow on the way home, which sucked, and it broke down about 20 miles from home... Off to a good start.

    But I got it home, fixed the spark plug that came out, and took a photo.

    Of course, the first thing I did was put the type A's I had at the time on it.

    January 5, 2008
    By this point I had sorted out the kinks and cleaned the car up. Mandatory euro plate was put on and nicer pictures were taken.

    May 18, 2008
    I didn't do much to the car for several months. Hell, I didn't do anything to it. I spent most of the time playing with my white E28 I owned at the time.
    Come may, I decided I wanted to try my hand at making an exhaust.
    It was done horribly, but hey, it sounded really good.



    July 25, 2008
    I made a special order with Ground Control. I ordered a custom coilover setup. They had done a few before, but no one had called asking to "set the car on the ground". Well, I guess that still wasn't clear, because that obviously didn't happen, but it sure did go low. Lower than any other E28 I had seen, that's for sure.

    I took my front struts off to have the housings shortened. I took 'em to treehouse to have 'em welded but Jon advised against shortening them... so we didn't.

    Installing the coilovers sucked ample phallus. The spindle nut on the driver's side refused to move. Of course, I wanted everything done in time for Import Alliance that year, so I made things hard on myself. We stayed up all night trying to get the nut off, and resorted to renting a 1" electric impact hammer. Busted it off, got the coils on, and finally brought the car down to earth.




    I also put the bumper on the car.

    So I putted around for a while, rocking the look. I knew I needed spacers but never did much with it.


    So browsing the depths of the internet, I came across this car....

    I've always been a rat-rod guy, and loved the way he tied old and new together. I had bought a silver parts car quite some time back, and it's hood was already quite rusty...

    [I'll find a pic for this later...]

    So I decided I'd do something similar.

    September 9, 2008

    I posted photos online claiming this would be the last time anyone saw the car looking anything like this...


    A week or so prior, I made a game plan. I had a parts car at the time with terrible paint on the hood, and the hood had already started rusting in the middle of it... I tried grinding the metal off and letting it sit in the rain. It did this, which I was unhappy with:


    So I spent several days trying to come up with a "rusting solution".

    September 13, 2009

    I had finally concocted what I thought was the ultimate rusting solution. I gave it a whirl, and the results I could not have been more happy with.


    I wanted to run a colored valence since I really liked the way this mk1 pulled it off:

    So I tried this:

    I wanted something more maroon, as it came out a bit too purple... so I did the next best thing and went for olive drab.



    So I had the rusty hood game on lock down. I hadn't shown the car to anyone yet though.

    It was time to get trendy....
    Last edited by SpasticDwarf; 10-03-2010 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    September 18, 2008

    Next on the "How to make a VW" list was a roof rack.

    I started by buying Austin's Yakima roof rack.


    I bought two oak dowels for the cross bars and several planks of poplar for the slats, and stained them with a "cherry" stain of some sort... I forget what it was.




    September 19, 2008

    Now, in between rusting my hood and making a roof rack, I had spotted a set of wheels.... Wheels I regret selling to this very day.

    17x9.5 et -6 and 17x10.5 et +5 HRE 504s...

    A buddy of mine in Atlanta had them and was willing to split with them... so I snagged 'em, and paid more for them than any set of wheels I had at that point (which, looking back, wasn't very many). $1800.

    Roof fitment:

    Front fitment...

    Rear fitment....


    Hella lip:

    Those who I had asked told me it would be impossible to fit 'em.. but man, I was stoked.

    So I put 'em on, with 215/40s up front a 225/45s out back. It was my first step into the stance game, to be honest.

    I spun those coilovers on down...



    September 27, 2008

    September 27, 2008 was the day that "Rusty", although not his name at the time, made his initial debut. I'd like to think it was the day the BMW game changed a little bit. We put a dent in the fresh paint finish known as Bimmerforums, going against the grain and bringing some VW flair into the BMW world. I'm sure I wasn't the first to do it, just the first to be public about it.








    In retrospect, it was nothing fantastic. I guess I was just the first to hop in with it, and perhaps the first to execute the look "right" although I'm sure that's debatable.

    It was an important day for me for another reason as well. Aside from "trying something new" and doing what I wanted for myself, I got my first magazine feature offer...

    Louise at Performance BMW Magazine emailed me, saying:
    Hi Michael,

    I hope you're well. I saw your thread on VW Vortex and I'm very interested in featuring your car, if you could get back to me it would be really appreciated.


    Louise Woodhams
    To say I shat myself is an understatement. I had always dreamed of such a thing, but for my E36. If you had told me what I was doing would lead to this, I'd have laughed in your face. Honest to God. I had no idea such things would happen....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    October 20, 2008

    So Louise and I yapped back and forth, talking about what was next, and I went out and shot the feature.




    And while it's not a mag shot, I'm including an ever-elusive interior photo...


    So those familiar with getting your car in a magazine, you know there's a serious wait.

    So I waited.

    I shot some photos of the car for a class project on Ilford Film. The teacher thought it was weak.

    And some others:





    December 4, 2008

    Still waiting for the magazine, I decided to put the hood up, and swap the old one back on.
    I also bought some snazzy rimzziz


    I rocked 'em for about a week, then swapped the HREs back on:

    It was far from perfect, but that was probably the car's prime.

    And then my world changed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    January 30, 2009

    January 30, 2009 was a bitter-sweet day. It was the day my magazine feature landed.

    It was also the day I let a friend borrow my car, and they slammed it into the side of a semi-truck.

    I got a large insurance check for it, put it in the back of the driveway, and forgot about it. I stripped it of the suspension and goodies for my replacement 6-er...

    Fast forward...

    April 24, 2009

    I remembered I had "rusty" sitting down in the driveway...

    So I got to work...
    I had that silver parts car. It clicked that I had the parts to put the E28 back together... so I pulled the fender and got out the tools, and eventually got it to line up to some far off extent..


    But the problem was it was now black, silver, and a rusty hood.
    When I had rusted the hood, I wanted to rust the whole car, but couldn't murder my car like that. After all, it's like a delayed lethal injection.

    Well, there I was... I had an E28 that had put money in my pocket and was either going to go to the junk yard, or I could give it one last hurrah....

    I'm sure you already know what I did.



    April 27, 2009

    It took 3 days and a LOT of paint removal pads... but I got 'er done.


    I whipped out the same concoction I used to rust the hood, and gave the car a dousing... unfortunately, it didn't work as well.


    I went back to the drawing board, figured out an even better solution, and within 4 hours, I had a rusty E28.

    Rusty was born.





    I hit the car again with the solution and really got the rust to darken down a bit, to what everyone saw. I also yanked the RSs from the 6, and lastly, I chopped those springs to hell.





  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    May 10, 2009

    On May 10, 2009, we turned the BMW game upside down.

    A few days later, I returned with no hood at all:



    A few more photos:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    I'm sure you know what happens next...



    I've got build pics of the trailer somewhere but I can't find them.
    What we did was cut the rails off of the perimeter of the trailer, removed the axle, and flipped the trailer.
    We welded the railings back on upside-down, and mounted the axle to the top (previously the bottom) of the leaf springs.


    Dumped trailer.

    Up next? California!

    July 31, 2009

    Andrew and I went on our "epic" road trip to California.
    Get the whole story here, because its worth reading... but I'll post some important parts of the "build" here.

    Before we could leave, we had to roll the fenders even more. Rubbing was constant with the trailer.


    The trailer was packed up:

    We had lots of issues. Dead fuel pumps, dead tires, falling exhausts, etc.

    So One awesome Foster family, two fuel pumps, a cap and rotor, and two new tires, later, we were able to get on the road.


    The exhaust also had to be re-done.



    DJ Neeko helped us patch it up and put a skidplate on it.



    The patented "Neekflow" side exit was super gangster.

    But in a single week we dominated it again, so rusty became exhaustless.



    October 14, 2009

    So we got back from Cali a month later, at the end of August. Fast forward a month and Ben Terry calls me inviting me to Stance of the Union.
    Well, I did the cross-country thing once, and decided I needed more light this time.

    The main issue was that the wheels were cracked. I'm not sure how, but it happened... so to get the car to TX, I swapped to 17s, which of course, dropped the car even more.

    Meanwhile, while I was in TX, magazine feature number two hit shelves in S3 Mag.

    November 16, 2009

    I had started to grow tired of the orange rust, so I switched it up a bit.

    Webb and I sanded the car partially down. Enough to knock the top layer of rust off, but not quite all of it. We followed that with a glaze of Naval Jelly over the entire car. We wiped it all off, then coated the car in fresh motor oil.

    Add some P40 mustang graphics, hand painted by yours truly (and my momma!) and keep the 17s on and you have the 2nd iteration of Rusty.

    I didn't do a whole lot to the car for a while. Here are a few other pics after the oil dried.

    And my favorite photo of the car to date.

    Last edited by SpasticDwarf; 10-03-2010 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    February 5, 2010

    Driving the car coast to coast and much much more takes its toll on a car that bashes into anything in its way... and so does getting hit by a semi truck. From something, whatever it was, the car began to fall apart. The end seemed near. Rusty's outlook was bad.

    We decided to pull the motor and begin stripping it. It had lived a good, long life.

    The final photos:

    Engine, wheels, suspension out:

    The beast, 500,000+ miles.

    But of course Rusty could never die. You should have known that.

    Parts began to arrive.

    First, I bought a euro front end. Austin's to be exact. Austin's beast lives on....

    Next was suspending the engine to make engine mounts.

    Not much room...

    Jerry of course helped me order every damn thing I needed.

    IC showed up:

    Test hanging:

    Those towhooks gotta go....

    And so they did!

    Motor mounts done, engine in...

    Jerry went beast-mode on the wiring. Shit never woulda happened without him.

    The man, the myth, the god.
    Last edited by SpasticDwarf; 10-03-2010 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    March 16, 2010

    Oh hey, look what showed up thanks to Rotiform..

    Test fit...

    So I got tires mounted, and ish slowly came together.


    Once we got it driving, during a test drive, the driveshaft U-joint in the back exploded. The driveshaft wrecked everything, and shot about 12 feet in the air after tearing a 14" hole in the floor of the car and killing everything else down there.

    And these showed up, thanks to Open Road Tuning and BagYard...

    I didn't take pics of the install and whatnot, because I was in a super rush. Sorry.

    April 10, 2010

    Rusty rises from the dead, 1JZ powered and on air ride. It didn't sit much lower, but of course, that was to come...

    The car drove wonderfully from Nashville to Atlanta... all thanks to Jerry once again.

    So I rocked it.... for a while.

    Two more of my favorite pics of the car.

    Louise saw the car again, and loved it, so feature number 3 arrived.

    And one last photo, which was supposed to be the mag shoot.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    May 30, 2010

    Rusty's transmission explodes.

    The car sat. I pulled the engine out to put the new trans in, but the trans didn't go in for quite some time.

    But the heat of the trans exploded welded the DS to the transmission, so she was stuck pretty good.

    July 13, 2010

    While Rusty sits with no engine and trans, I get a call from brian at Rotiform telling me he got a set of 5x120 Ronal centers in, but he thought I was the only one who could rock 'em. I asked why, and he sent me this photo...

    Challenge accepted.

    It was serious motivation to bring Rusty back... but just gold wheels wasn't going to work.
    Something big needed to be done.

    I decided to blacken the body with the diesel oil.

    Black and gold, what better combo, right? Well, something was still lacking, but I didn't know what yet...

    Brian sent me the ronals set up as 16s, which was the original plan. I mounted 'em up.

    If I were static, it would have been perfect.. but aired out, they wouldn't tuck as it was. They'd hit right there, and the car would sit too high for my liking...

    So Cory and I took to the fenders....

    If you've ever rolled E28 fenders, you know our pain. Well, you don't, but you think you do.

    August 16, 2010

    2 nights of rolling got the rear to where we thought would work... but they were 16s. By this point, I knew I wanted to stay with 17s... so we tested with the ACS and some super spacers...

    It was sick... but the car still didn't squat down like it should. Realistically, we had a loooong way to go.

    August 19. 2010

    I decided to strip the interior completely. I was tired of the nasty blue garbage that was in there.

    August 23, 2010

    We had talked about chopping the top on rusty an entire year earlier. I had done countless photoshops of it, and had talked about it at length.

    I realized that it was time.

    I called up my friend Chuck Yoder, and we made plans. Bigger fenders, chopped top, the whole 9 yards...

    So we took Rusty to his new temporary home in chuck's garage and got to work.

    We decided to tackle the fenders first.

    The inner fenders had to be removed entirely for clearance.

    We had to cut into the door frames for the tire to have a spot to go. Believe it or not, this made a HUGE difference.

    Chuck did the fenders with a ball peen hammer. That's it.

    So what next? Well, I guess its time to cut off the roof.

    Bracing for the chassis, since it will flex when the roof is cut off.

    Making measurements, tape lines..

    Cut number one... no turning back...

    That looks like a roof...

    We initially chopped 3" out of the top... and put the roof back into position. We decided it needed more chop, as the look wasn't changed enough from original.

    Next set of cuts partway done!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    September 1, 2010

    Skip forward a few days of un-photographed work.

    A total of 5" chopped out of the pillars. Front halves in place.. rear not so much.

    We decided not to angle the pillars more, so we had to cut the roof into four equal pieces. One for each corner. Then we had to patch everything in between.

    Now, before the rear pieces of the roof could go on, we needed to redo the rear strut towers. I wanted to drop the car enough to set it on the ground.. shortening the rear struts wasn't so much an option, so we modified the car.

    Completed with the rear end aired out...

    September 9, 2010

    We've still been working every night. The car sits low....

    But not low enough...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    September 10, 2010

    Roof is coming together. Ratty donates the center sections...

    Over the next few days, the car slowly comes together..

    Now back to that front suspension... How do we get it lower?

    Well, A) we shorten the front struts and inch. We did so by removing the struts from the car and then removing the shocks from the strut housings. From there we shortened the internal spacer and put it back together.

    Cutting the strut...

    Shortening the Spacer in the bottom... the right way.



    And the finished product:

    And notch the frame rails.. in 3 spots on each side (only one shown)

    And cut out the tops of the fender supports...

    It's comin' down.. but it needs a little more.

    So we made our own strut hat/mounts.. I need to find pictures.

    Frame rails and control arms on the shop floor:

    Floorpan resting on the ground...

    -10* of camber

    September 13, 2010

    Rusty gets antique tags!

    Front end on, coming together..

    September 15, 2010

    More roof segments done..

    Gotta lift the center..

    Also, this showed up:

    I had to remove the gas tank and spare tire well, as they were hitting the ground.

    Not even aired all the way out... the diff hovers above the ground. Look at the angle of the axles...

    Oh.. and brian sent me this pic... my completed 17s, the only set in the world.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    September 18, 2010

    Roof nears completion

    It was time for the motor to go in. We'd put it in and out of the car probably 10 times, but this was the first time with the new trans.

    For those who don't know, one issue with this swap is that the driveshaft has to go in at the same time as the engine, as both ends of it are "slips". The rear goes through the subframe before bolting to the diff. The front is a slip yoke that slides into the trans, so the engine must be lowered into place, sliding over the driveshaft, and then bolted down.

    It's a PITA.

    Engine going in:

    Then making the 3rd driveshaft for the car, so it can go in and we can get the motor into place..

    We had to remove the gas tank and the spare tire well since they were dragging... so here's rodney cutting out the old well...

    Trunk is done:
    15 gallon fuel cell and a walbro 255 fuel pump.

    As a whole:

    Got my gauge panel for the interior done:

    September 24, 2010

    The night we're supposed to be leaving for H20... The entire engine power wiring harness melts.


    I stayed up all night to make a new harness from scratch.

    It fires up, we dance, we rush to finish.

    Windows in:

    Demolish front fenders:

    Load 'er up and head to H2O!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    September 27, 2010

    Rusty is revealed once again, this time with a 5" chopped top, 4" more drop, new, one-off gold-plated 17" ronal racing splits, a diesel-rubbed body, and a fresh new interior.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    My Cars
    Meh, but that e38 in the earlier pics looks good.

    Seriously man, awesome job.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Toronto canada
    My Cars
    91 Bmw 525
    sick work, but should have stopped before the 1JZ swap. it went downhill from there imo.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Marion, Iowa
    My Cars
    93 525i, 87 325i
    I never post on here, but that is severely badass! I love it man!

    Great build, everything just seems so artistic to me.

    One of the most entertaining threads I have seen... I'm not even sure why...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    My Cars
    Holy thread that was awesome!!

    As much as I appreciate where Rusty is now, I will always love Jules on the HRE's more.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    kalamazoo, michigan
    My Cars
    99 M Coupe, 99 528iT
    nice to see the full story and all the pics in one thread, thanks!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    My Cars
    No more BMWs :(
    It is crazy the amount of work needed to go as low as you are with this car. I saw it at H20 and loved every second of it. Great build thread.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    San Diego
    My Cars
    "stock" 95 M3, 97 318ti
    My god.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    My Cars
    06 MR
    i really enjoyed that, def a piece of art..

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    My Cars
    07 Mazda 3s 5dr
    I really loved it pre-damage, all black with the gold pinstripe. No played out VW mods. It was great with the gold centered wheels (not the ronals) and the black ones too. I even liked the first two renditions of rusty, but when it went 1jz I just started hating it.

    Now I see how much work you put into it and I respect that. Have fun driving it into the ground man

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2010
    San Diego
    My Cars
    2000 740i M Sport
    One word...... God Damn thats alot of work!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    San Rafael, CA
    My Cars
    1995 AlpineWeiß 525i
    1st page. Spot for sale. Paypal preferred.

    srsly, this car is awesome. I can't imagine what will come next.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Houston, TX
    My Cars
    95 M3, 99 528i M, 98 e39
    Just wow!!!!

    1995 M3 Vortech Supercharged

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