- APEX PREDATOR 535whp turbo E24 sleeper with an appetite for speed… #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo / #BMW-E24-Turbo / #BMW-E24
It’s impossible to resist the charms of the E24 and with 535whp from its turbocharged M30, this unassuming, power-hungry 635CSi is the ultimate sleeper. The great white shark has no natural predators and with 535whp this turbocharged land shark doesn’t have any either. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Deniss Podnebess.
I hate the E24. I hate it because I really want one, so very badly, but I can’t afford the best examples and fear of rust and potentially eye-watering repair costs puts me off the cheaper ones that I might be able to afford. So I remain in a 6 Series-less limbo and writing about ones like this makes me sad. But not for long because they’re awesome, and this one especially so…
This E24 belongs to serial modifier and 6 Series junkie, Maxim Rakut. This Latvian resident has already graced these pages before, back in our October 2014 issue with his M62-swapped E24 but now he’s back with something a little spicier. But first, in case you didn’t read about his V8-powered Six, a little background. Maxim is the owner of IXT Workshop, which specialises in repairing and modifying BMWs. Cars, BMWs in particular, have been a huge part of his life for a very long time. “I’ve been into cars since school,” he says, “and when I finished school I opened my own garage. I’ve loved BMWs since I was 16; BMWs are made for driving, not for just moving from point A to point B. They are everything I expect of car – fast, reliable and beautiful. My first car was an E30 323i, which I bought because it was accident damaged and the price was cheap, which was important for me as I was a student at the time. Since then I’ve had some E28s, E21s and some more E30s before the E24s.
“I saw this car for sale in Germany, an unfinished restoration project. It had done 173,000km (just over 107,500 miles). It had only had two previous owners and the body and interior were in pretty much perfect condition. I bought the car for €2200 and I’ve spent over €15,000 on modifications. One of the first things we did was have it resprayed – it was originally red before being repainted in Germany in BMW Dunkelblau (Dark blue) but the paint wasn’t in perfect condition when I bought the car so I had it redone in the same colour. I decided to do a turbo project because the car was a good base but didn’t have enough power and the handling wasn’t perfect, even though it’s a CSi.”
The M30B35 is a great place to start a turbo project from, being very well-suited to forced induction and Maxim has put a lot of work into the engine to make sure that it is up to the task. “It took me a week to build the engine,” he says, “and my goal was 500whp with 480lb ft of torque, but we got a bit more in the end.” The engine might not look all that special – there’s no overly clean bay or mirror polishing – but all the work has gone into the inside. The head has been polished, pistons from the turbo M106 have been fitted and there are additional nozzles for cooling them with oil, while 660cc Bosch injectors fed by a 300lph Bosch 044 pump chuck plenty of fuel in. The turbo itself is a Garrett GT45 which sits on a custom equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold. “It was very hard to make the exhaust manifold an equal length. Trying to fit a twin-scroll manifold with two wastegates and a huge turbo in the limited space of an E24 engine bay was not easy,” says Maxim. “The turbo is able to push out 800hp. At the moment it is making 535whp and 590lb ft of torque but it’s good as it is and I don’t want to destroy the engine with too much boost.”
Additional modifications include an oil filter housing and oil cooler from an E34 M5, M52 coils, a Spal cooling fan, an E36 M3 Mishimoto rad (that replaced a completely custom item which was made from the wrong material and kept overheating), and an Emusa intercooler with custom pipework.
Maxim mentioned the handling of the 635 not being up to scratch and sorting this actually proved to be quite tricky. “Finding a good suspension setup was hard,” he says, “as there’s no aftermarket solution for coilovers so I had to combine and experiment with different stiffnesses and heights and make my own custom coilovers using H&R springs, Bilstein B8 dampers and XYZ uniball top mounts.”
The ride height has been reduced nicely and the arches sit down nice and snug over the 18” Rial Daytona Race wheels. The Daytona is a wheel that maybe doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. Here at PBMW, as you may expect, we’re addicted to searching for wheels on eBay and Daytonas keep popping up. We’ve spend far longer than is healthy looking at them. We even came across someone on a forum accusing them of being BBS reps… some people!
The Daytona Race may have that traditional cross-spoke design but this is a seriously sexy two-piece wheel that looks good on just about any BMW it’s fitted to, including the E24. “I had these ones in my warehouse,” Maxim tells us, “and I decided to make some custom lips so they would fit the E24 arches perfectly. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, they’ve made this classic car look really fresh now.” We think they look fantastic on the 635 and the custom lips have taken them from 8” all-round to 9.25” at the front and 9.75” at the rear.
The E24 is one of those cars that looks right and really doesn’t need anything much on the styling front, and Maxim has sensibly not messed with perfection. The #BMW Dark blue really suits that slick sharkshape and it’s actually closer to something like Macau or Carbon black than a simple dark blue hue. “I didn’t consider any other body colour,” says Maxim. “This one is perfect. I love how it changes colour in different light – when it’s dark it’s almost black, when the sun is shining it’s blue and sometimes it’s even a bit green.” Up front there are Hella smoked headlights and at the back what appear to be smoked light clusters are actually custom units made from dark plastic. Inside, things have been left pretty much standard, too, with cloth Sport seats and the original steering wheel.
The only additions are a bank of four retrolooking gauges that keep Maxim informed of water temperature, oil pressure and boost along with a digital AFR gauge. “I like it stock and clean but had to add extra gauges to monitor the modified engine,” says Maxim.
After nine months of hard graft, the 635 was ready and rather than parking it up at shows, he set about actually driving it.
“It was my summer car last year and I had so much fun with it!” he laughs. “The engine is my favourite part of the whole car – when it gets to full boost, 1.6bar in third gear, the car is unstoppable. It’s fun when you are street-racing against a fast motorbike and it can’t catch you. You can’t compare the feeling of driving my 635 with newer cars. Without electronics you feel everything like you are at the centre of everything. It’s different and I love it.”
Unfortunately, as with so many projects, this one is up for sale as Maxim is ready to move onto his next one. “New season, new car. Works for me,” he says. “This summer I will build an E46 335Ci with a twin-turbo N54.” It sounds like it’ll be a spectacular machine but not quite as spectacular or as cool as this. For us, this turbo’d 6 Series is on the next level, the greatest of all sharks.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.5-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #BMW-M30 / #BMW-M30-Turbo , polished head mounted on pyramid ring gasket, #ARP bolts, #M106 / #BMW-M106 pistons, extra nozzles for cooling of pistons with oil, E34 M5 oil filter housing and oil radiator, equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold, 2x35mm wastegates, #Garrett-GT45 turbocharger, #VEMS engine management, #Bosch 660cc injectors, Bosch 044 300lph fuel pump, two #AEM wideband lambdas, M52 coils, Spal cooling fan, #Mishimoto E36 M3 radiator with modified right tank, #Emusa intercooler with custom pipework, blow-off valve behind left foglight, 80mm downpipe, 76mm centre exhaust section, standard rear silencer. Five-speed manual gearbox, #Clutch-Masters Stage 3 clutch, lightened E34 M5 flywheel, 3.15 E46 M3 LSD. 535rwhp and 590lb ft at the rear wheels.
CHASSIS: 9.25x18” (front) and 9.75x18” (rear) two-piece Rial Daytona Race wheels with custom lips and. 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres. Custom coilovers made by #IXT Workshop, using #H&R springs, #Bilstein-B8 shocks and XYZ uniball top mounts, fully polybushed with #Powerflex bushes throughout, E34 535i brakes (front), stock brakes (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full respray in #BMW-Dark-blue-metallic , #Hella smoked headlights, custom dark rear light clusters.
INTERIOR: Four-gauge cluster in centre console, #Innovate-Motorsports digital #AFR gauge, Sony head unit.
It’s fun when you are street-racing against a fast motorbike and it can’t catch you