What's davintosh? Mostly just the random ramblings of a hopelessly distractible… Hey, what's that?

BMWotD — 1988 M3 with S50B32 Swap

Filed under: Uncategorized — dave @ 2:04 am 2015/01/01

I don’t ordinarily gravitate toward e30s, but this one is quite special, and I would certainly make an exception. If money were no object.

An e30 M3 in Hennarot, with a European S50B32 motor in place of the original 4-cylinder. Don’t get me wrong, a car like this with the original 4-cylinder is no slouch, with 192 hp behind a ~2,800 car. But that S50 engine puts out in the neighborhood of 320 hp, which would make this car a rocket. The purists might will most definitely freak out about the departure from the original configuration, but even the most diehard purist would have a tough time finding fault with the quality of this swap.

88′ Hennarot M3 with a S50B32 Euro motor.
191,0xx miles on the chassis, approx 79k miles on the motor/transmission.

I purchased this car in the spring of 2013 from a gentleman in CA who had done most of the mechanical work on the car, and really made it into the wonderful driving car that it currently is. From my understanding the car was largely stock when he bought it several years before my ownership, from that point he focused on maintenance that the car needed. I have a binder containing some of the documentation from the previous owner.

The motor swap is obviously the biggest change over stock. I’ve been told by two separate and independent shops, that the swap was very well done. The engine is very strong, and runs extremely well, I had a compression/leak down done on the car before my purchase and all cylinders checked out perfectly. In fact, the company that sold him the motor wrote ‘superb engine’ on the valve cover while they were testing it. I’d estimate that engine has been in the car for about 6000 miles. When I took delivery of the car I drove it home 1300 miles, it was a great drive, and the car didn’t miss a beat. About half of the miles that I’ve put on the car since I’ve owned it where driving it home, I just don’t get a chance to drive it much. I never had any intention of selling this car this quickly, but I’ve started a E28/LS1 project, and have an E30 touring project lined up behind that. I’m in no hurry to sell it, but I need it needs to be driven and an enjoyed more than I am able to do.


Exterior Modifications:
– OEM Evo2 front splitter with replica Evo3 splitter
– Evo3 rear spoiler and carbon fiber flap
– BMW Motorsport door handles
– Euro smilies

Drivetrain/Engine Modifications:
– Genuine carbon fiber airbox with OETuning tune
– AKG S50/S52 E30 motor mounts (less than 2000 miles old)
– Z3 steering rack
– E28 M5 coding plug (so the stock RPM gauge is accurate)
– Sparco strut bar
– E36 Euro M3 radiator
– ZF 5sp transmission (less than 2500 miles old)
– Autosolution SSK
– Treehouse control arm bushing
– E36 M3 Eisenmann muffler with catless custom exhaust
– Massive Rally BBK (6 pistons front, 4 pistons rear)
– Ground Control S/A coilovers
– Ground Control camber plates
– Ground Control rear shock mounts
– Ground Control 650#/400# springs (less than 1000 miles old)
– E28 3.25 LSD (rebuilt by Diffs Online about 2500 miles ago)
– 17” OZ Superleggera wheels (no curb rash)
– Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 215/40/17 (less than 5000 miles old)

Recent Maintenance (oil changed every 3000 miles):
– Brake fluid flush (less than 7000 miles old)
– New spark plugs (less than 5000 miles old)
– E36 ’96+ offset front control arm (less than 4000 miles old)
– New front wheel bearings (less than 4000 miles old)
– Various belts and gaskets replaced (less than 4000 miles old)
– New battery (less than 4000 miles old)
– New fuel tank and fuel pump (less than 2000 miles old)
– New thermostat (less than 500 miles old)
– New sway bar end links (less than 500 miles old)

Interior Modifications:
– NRG quick release hub – thin version
– Momo Champion steering wheel
– Recaro SR3 seats (new less than 1000 miles old)
– VDO cluster gauges (oil temp, oil pressure, water temp)
– BMP instrument console (for the VDO gauges)
– Custom ///M floor mats (less than 500 miles old)
– Alpine head unit (note: there are no cracks in the dash)
– ZHP weighted shift knob

– Dot-r front left fender…..parking lot mishap with a previous owner
– The rear bumper was painted at one time
– There is a small amount of rust repaired below the windshield on the driver side (see photo)
– The driver side E-brake shoe assembly is missing (e-brake still works fine)
– No a/c, heater core (note: the lines are still intact)
– Corners of the bumpers stick out slightly (common)
– The spare tire well is riveted shut
– I personally like the patina on the front bumper, others may think it needs a repaint.
– The exhaust is slightly crooked, and if desired could be rehung

There isn’t much to nit pick on this car, you can get in and drive it across the country, or to work everyday. It has major and expensive upgrades that arguably make it a better car. Better in the sense that it has a power train that is more reliable than the S14, it creates more power, brakes harder, and turns faster.

As you can see from the pictures the paint is in fantastic condition for a 25+ year old car. If you have never seen hennarot in person, it’s a gorgeous color, and also quite rare, I believe only about 300 M3’s were produced in this color. I am happy to answer any questions serious buyers have, I’ve tried to be as thorough and forthright with the condition as possible.

The following photos were taken by Brian Lewis of SpeedFreak Detailing after he did a complete paint correction to the car in November. The car has primarily been stored away since.

A Banshee on eBay?

Filed under: Cars!,Favorite Things,Fun!,Uncategorized — dave @ 11:32 pm 2010/09/14

Look what showed up on eBay… half of the Pontiac Banshees in existence. (Well, yeah; there were only two built…)


So far the price is up to just over $85,000 (reserve not met), but I predict it’ll go much, much higher in the five days left in the auction. I might throw a bid in there, knowing I’ll get out-bid, just so I can say I was THIS close to buying that car…

But really, I’m surprised to see this car on eBay; it would likely do much better in an auction house like Barrett Jackson. But the seller didn’t ask me I guess.

Pontiac didn’t ask me if they should’ve built them back in the ’60’s either, but that’s just as well because I was just a dopey little round-headed kid back then. But seriously, this car should’ve seen production. It was designed to go head-to-head against the Mustang, and as it stands I think it would’ve kicked the Mustang’s butt in the market. But then again these were concept cars, and the production version probably would’ve had a back seat, which would’ve added to the roof length and thrown the visual balance of the car way off…

Maybe it’s best that we just have these two. Or in my case, just the photos.

eBay Link

1964 Pontiac XP833 Banshee Concept Car Coupe

Title: 1964 Pontiac Banshee Firebird Corvette Concept Show Car
Mileage: 1,498 miles
Location: Milford, CT

Vehicle Information
VIN: 66L23060
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Title: Clear
Condition: Used
For sale by: Private seller

Body type: Coupe
Engine: 6 – Cyl. Cylinder
Exterior color: Silver
Transmission: Manual
Fuel type: Gasoline
Interior color: Red


Created by John Z. Delorean – then General Manager of Pontiac
Built by the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors
Debuted as a Banshee Prototype in 1964

**This car is the original one-of-a-kind prototype Pontiac Banshee Coupe**

History of the XP-833 Banshee

The early Ford Mustangs were so popular that Pontiac’s brass decided to build a Mustang competitor while DeLorean wanted to offer a two-seat sports car as a Corvette alternative to compete with the Mustang. Secretly, the XP-833 project was born. DeLorean declared the XP-833 Banshee a Mustang beater after the concept prototypes were built.

The XP-833 prototype was a preview of future GM designs to come. Long nose, short deck, swooping “coke-bottle” profile, broad grille with chrome bumper surround, raked windshield, bulging fenders, triple slit taillights and hidden headlights with a suggestive power bulge on the hood.

However, the design of the XP-833 was so far ahead of its time that GM’s top executives became worried that it might be too much of a threat to their prized Corvette so they stopped the project. To compete with the Mustang, in 1967 Pontiac ultimately came out with the Firebird that shared both chassis and sheet metal with the Chevrolet Camaro.  In 1973 John Delorean left General Motors and formed the DeLorean Motor Company to create his dream sportscar the DeLorean, which was later featured in the movie “Back to the Future” and the rest is now history…

Unfortunately, the Banshee never reached production, but most exterior angles of the redesigned third generation 1968 Corvette interestingly mirrored the XP-Banshee prototype except for the distinctive Pontiac grille and Firebird style tail panel.

There’s so much Corvette influence that a Banshee prototype was shown at Bloomington in 1990 and this car was even invited to be displayed at the Meadow Brook Hall Concourse d’Elegance in 2001 as a legend of automotive history.

Amazingly, the two drivable Banshee prototypes (a coupe and a roadster) avoided destruction by being hidden in shipping crates after the project was canceled by GM. Eventually, the cars were spared death by the crusher and sold by GM to employees that were closely involved in the XP-833 project.

Bill Killen received this prototype coupe directly from GM and the Killen family has owned the car until it changed hands a few years ago. The car has less than 1,500 original miles on it with most of the miles coming from the early developmental days while at Pontiac. The car is a true unrestored survivor as it still is the way that it was when shown to the GM management over 40 years ago including the original paint, interior and drivetrain…

The Banshee prototypes and their legacy remain a huge part of automotive lore and have been featured in countless automobile history books and car magazines over the years. Now that we have seen an end to the Pontiac marquee, this historically important Pontiac will surely be a much sought after car by collectors and enthusiasts into the future.

This car is a one-of-a-kind prototype and was built with the following features

Silver exterior with a red interior
  • Unique solid-body construction of exterior fiberglass with Steel underbody
  • Special hinged roof/top that flips up for easy access
  • Specially-built cross flow head OHC inline six engine (155 horsepower)
  • Four-speed manual transmission
  • Solid live rear axle
  • Cooling air intakes under its long nose
  • Fixed seats with adjustable – movable pedals
  • Stylish sport car dash
  • Large 120mph speedometer
  • Large 8,000 RPM tachometer
  • Gauge pack (temp, oil pres, oil temp, water temp, amps, clock)
  • Wood sport steering wheel
  • Pontiac radio
  • Rally II style wheels
  • For additional information or to set an appointment to see this car in Connecticut, call Mark at (949)226-7053**

    I Guess Things Are Different Now

    Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dave @ 4:10 pm 2009/07/29

    Funny how things are different for President Obama when the legislation is something he wants vs. something championed by his political opposition…

    Here’s a YouTube clip containing an audio interview with Barack Obama following his election to the US Senate in 2004. Take note of what he has to say following about the 0:50 mark…

    BARACK OBAMA: …When you rush these budgets that are a foot high and nobody has any idea what’s in them and nobody has read them.

    RANDI RHODES: 14 pounds it was!

    BARACK OBAMA: Yeah. And it gets rushed through without any clear deliberation or debate then these kinds of things happen. And I think that this is in some ways what happened to the Patriot Act. I mean you remember that there was no real debate about that. It was so quick after 9/11 that it was introduced that people felt very intimidated by the administration.

    … And compare that to his current push to get his health care ‘reform’ legislation passed before the August recess. Thankfully it now appears that the Bluedog Democrats have been able to delay the vote on the bill to after the recess. I’m sure that’s going over big in the White House. Likewise with the drive by Let Freedom Ring to get Senators & Congressmen to pledge to not vote on the legislation unless they read it first, and unless it has been available for the public to read for at least 72 hours. Sounds like something that ought to be required for all legislation.

    The Most Amazing Man Alive

    Filed under: Uncategorized — dave @ 9:49 am 2009/06/21

    The media guys played this at the beginning of our church service this morning; it’s a hoot! (YouTube link.)

    “He once counted to infinity… Twice!” “He’s both left-handed, and right-handed…” “He uses Tabasco Sauce instead of Visine.” “He is not afraid of the dark; the dark is afraid of him.” Yeah; that pretty much describes me.

    Why Is Cloning A PC Drive So Difficult?

    Filed under: Uncategorized — dave @ 10:46 am 2009/01/19

    One of the desktop machines at work had an alert come up a while back — Disk in Predictive Failure — so I made preparations to replace it. From what I’d read, when the SMART status on a disk tells you something like that, the drive will be toast; it could be an hour or it could be a year, but sooner or later it’s gonna bite the dust.

    Having done this numerous times on Macs, the process of replacing a drive ought to be the same, right? So first things first, I installed Retrospect Client on it (we use Retrospect for backing up the company servers, and have unlimited licenses for clients) and backed up the whole drive, then bought a replacement drive. The machine is a Dell Dimension, and it had the original Seagate 160GB SATA drive; I didn’t think it was important to replace it with an identical drive, so I bought a Hitachi replacement of the same size. I wasn’t excited about the whole reinstall-from-scratch prospect, so I asked around for recommendations for a good Windows disk cloning solution — Norton’s Ghost is probably the industry leader, but I heard good recommendations for Acronis as well, so I downloaded a copy of their Migrate Easy software to try out.

    The first go didn’t go well; Migrate Easy seemed to clone the disk alright, but when I pulled out the original drive and tried booting from the new it errored on something or other. I tried it again, varying the settings a bit to see if I could work through the problem; same result. One more try; ditto. I checked the Acronis support page, but found no help there other than an email submission form. I filled it out, describing my problem, then put the machine back together with the original drive, and left it as is; I didn’t have any more time to mess with it that day. I still haven’t heard anything back from Acronis.

    Things got really busy at work after that, plus the machine’s user seems to be there every day but weekends (I hate working Saturdays, and won’t work Sundays) so procrastination set in. Thankfully the drive kept humming along, and I was able to work on it when I chose. I wanted to be able to set aside at least a couple of hours so that if I had some success I could make sure the job was complete and everything was working. Well, days turned into weeks, and before I knew it more than a month had gone by, and my trial version expired before I got back to it. Wanting to see if I could work out the issues I had with Acronis, I spent the $40 or so to buy a license and took another stab at it a week ago, but got much the same results. I went through the clone procedure a number of different ways and still came up with the blue screen when it was booting up. Crud. If it’s duplicating the disk block-for-block as I’m assuming it does, why is it that there is something obviously wrong with the OS on the new disk that keeps it from booting properly?

    Last weekend — another Saturday, of course — I jumped on the project again, and finally completed it. What ended up working was to use Acronis to duplicate the disk, then boot up from the OEM installer CD and reinstall the OS. I was hoping the installer could just repair the installation, but nope… so I just had it install a clean OS (which was of course XP Pro SP 2, whereas the machine had been running SP 3.) Once I tracked down the NIC drivers & got them installed, I was able to get on the network and install the Retrospect Client software. When that was done I configured the machine as a client on the server that did the backup, and told it to restore the disk. In spite of some warnings from Retrospect against restoring an OS that’s newer than what’s running, everything went great.

    After Retrospect finished, I rebooted the client, and Retrospect did a little housecleaning, then automatically rebooted again and ran its cleanup utility, again. But it sure seemed to be a solid running machine. It still had the second Windows install folder, so that got trashed, then I ran a defrag on the hard drive… So far, so good.

    But I’m still left wondering why the whole procedure had to be so difficult… On it’s own, Acronis failed. I read something online about Acronis not being fond of cloning to a different type of disk; maybe I’d have had better luck if the replacement disk was the same brand/size. I dunno. I probably should’ve done the whole thing with Retrospect and saved myself some hassle; it still would’ve involved installing an operating system the new drive, but it wouldn’t have duplicated the two hidden partitions on the drive. I guess I won’t know if Norton would’ve done the job without getting Retrospect involved unless another machine gives the same problem and I try it, or I test it just for fun.

    What I do know is that the same job on a Mac would’ve been much more straightforward; using Carbon Copy Cloner, the job would’ve been done the first time around. And if it were in OS 9… No 3rd-party utilities needed; just hook up the new drive to the machine, format the drive & let the Finder copy everything over. So much easier. But like cockroaches, Windows boxes are pretty well entrenched, and they aren’t going away any time soon. Sigh.