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Project Sleep on EM!


New member
Apr 17, 2019
Vancouver, WA
Hey everyone!

Thought I'd finally introduce myself as I'm the owner of a 1981 245 GLT.

I've owned this car since May of 2018, and it's been treating me pretty well up until I found myself on the side of I5 with a burnt up fuel pump relay. Long story short, I got back up to Bellingham, WA not knowing about the fuel pump relay and a few weeks later I fixed the issue by installing a new in tank fuel pump (waited a week for a new floaty ball to come in since I dropped mine in the tank), and replaced the old FP relay!

I'm starting this thread to share my build with the rest of you as I have hopes to engine swap and boost the 245.

To get everyone up to speed on the wagon, I'll list down below what I've done to the car since first ownership of the wagon.

1981 245 GLT B21F linked to an M46 with OD

1. Swapped my winter tires onto some used all season thread. Got these for free from a friend who worked at a dealership, and had them mounted onto my dracos.
2. Attempted to re-paint some of the trim around the windows. Need to go back and do this again.
3. Changed my turbo grill to a N/A grill that had more of the chrome present.
4. Acquired BMW Style 5 Wheels, two piece ones. Bought adapters, and slapped these on. Drove with the style 5's on with the car at stock height for a few months.
5. Purchased HD Bilsteins for the rear, currently on the car
6. Installed the rear IPD sport lowering springs
7. Cut 1 1/2 coils in the front, and 2 in the rear -> I think, might come back to this later.
8. Deleted A/C
9. Tune Up: Plugs, Wires, Cap and Rotor
10. Installed a new "used" power steering pump
11. Nardi woodgrain steering wheel installed with a cheap hub from Lithuania.
12. Dash Mat to cover up cracks
13. New Air Filter

Parts to install:
1. Front IPD lowering spring
2. Rear adjustable torque rods
3. Timing Belt
4. Water Pump
5. Valve Cover Gasket
6. Array of seals
7. Ball Joints
8. Tie Rods
9. STS Bronze Shifter Bushings
10. Upper/Lower Radiator Hoses

Plans for the future:
1. Continue to Dial in suspension. Coilovers, panhard bar, bushings, etc.
2. Swap in a B230 with a 531 head + T
3. Converting from K-Jet to EFI
4. Re-spray hood and trunk
5. Look into transmission swaps, T5 or ZF.
6. Exhaust
7. Electric fan
8. Shave/Paint Engine Bay
9. Interior? Recaro seats

Here are a few photos from when I first got her, to some in between shots and where she's at now. Looking forward to being an active member of turbo bricks!

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Style 5s and 245s just go hand in hand, looks great. Flathood/grill with your quad lights would be smokin'!
Love the gold, nice score!

The fuel pump relay is a notorious POS, I burned up 3 in a few months somehow. So I wired a 30 amp relay next to it for the pumps, using the fuel pump relay to turn it on, no more problems.
Style 5s and 245s just go hand in hand, looks great. Flathood/grill with your quad lights would be smokin'!

Got all the supplies to polish the lips for the spring time! That would def be smoking.. I've thought about doing an early front end conversion for a while now.
Love the gold, nice score!

The fuel pump relay is a notorious POS, I burned up 3 in a few months somehow. So I wired a 30 amp relay next to it for the pumps, using the fuel pump relay to turn it on, no more problems.

Thank you! It's def a color that stands out here in town. It really is haha. That's why I always carry an extra one with me just in case I burn another one up again haha. I might have to give that a shot if my **** keeps running hot lol
Well, it's been a while since I've posted on this thread! I'm trying to figure out my rear suspension quirks right now.

The rear feels like a boat going over bumps..

Recent things done in the rear - IPD torque rod bars, Bens panhard bar, IPD poly RTAB, Bens rear adjustable perch with eibach springs and Bilstein B6's that have about 3k miles on them. Maybe I need to work on adjustments for the torque rod bars and panhard bar?

I went ahead and ordered a set of S10 shocks, part number 24-014120. I'm hoping this shorter shock size paired with my 225 pound eibach spring will help with the bouncy rear end. Shocks plan on arriving between Tuesday-Thursday, and Friday I head to Leavenworth (I hope it's a direct fit, other then adding a washer or two on the bottom eyelet) Other then that, the wagon gets aligned Monday morning at Trackside, hope to change the timing belt/front oil seals and clean up my wheels. Think that covers all of my Leavenworth prep, probably forgetting something.
Today I was able to fix all the curb rash on the rear wheels! They came out pretty money.. plan on just polishing up the fronts since the first time around I spent more time with those. If I were to do this again, I’d take the tires off.. Will probably sell these sometime in the winter to fund a new set of wheels for next summers show season.

While I had the rear on Jack stands, I went ahead and completely took out the bump stomps on both driver and passenger side. Also took off the diff stop as well.. however, after a test drive I noticed while stepping on the gas while in first and letting off quickly I’d hear a thumping sound in the rear. I did it a few times and kept hearing the same exact sound. Thinking it could be from the diff bump stomp?

I plan on dialing in all of this tomorrow at Trackside. Hope to go lower in the rear. What’s left now is possibly changing the timing belt and oil seals, 50/50 on doing the job might just clean the engine bay and bring an extra belt with me. Polish the front wheels. Clean up the trim pieces. And whatever else pops up last minute, like the s10 shocks lol..
Got my front end aligned this morning at trackside. They weren’t much of a help with the rear end because of it being a solid axle, so I’m guessing the axles pretty centered with the adjustable panhard bar. I’m just glad the wagon drives straight now lol..

Spent the evening bringing back the trim with some sort of Meguiars product! Ultimate black might have been it. Did the front/rear bumper and front turn signal buckets. This easily made the wagon pop, especially with the new 50/50 front turn signals from red block society.

Still on the fence about timing belt/oil seals.. s10 shocks get here Wednesday, hoping it’s pretty much bolt on and will help with the rear end some more.

I’m still seeing a bunch of oil or fluid on top of the steering rack looking down from the pass side of engine bay. Any ideas where this might be coming from? I’m also considering flushing what’s in there since it’s orileys power steering fluid, and use ATF? Thoughts?
I would avoid any big last minute changes before the long trip to Leavenworth.

I've learned that 225# may be on the stiff side, relative to the 325# at the front. With the standard damping of the B6, the rebound will be fast over big bumps. Maybe swap to a 175# when you get back?

Once I get this motor swap done, why don't we do your t-belt and seals in my garage next to the beer fridge?

Only potential oil leak that comes to mind on the passenger front is the oil pressure sender or, further forward, the crank seal or pan. If you pull back the bellows on the rack is it full of oil?

I like bumps stops. I would leave them in.

You would want to adjust the torque rods to get the pinion angle correct. Are you getting any new road speed vibration?

You will want to adjust the panhard to center the axle left to right.
I'm thinking going softer in the rear might just do it! I want to go lower... Over certain bumps on the road, I def hit the front bump stomps but not terrible. I'd be game for that! Maybe check on the rear suspension stuff as well? When I took the bellows off to swap inner tie rods, there was def some oil.. lots of it. Maybe it's time for a new rack?