Within the final Challenge STW instalment, I launched you to the considering behind this mission, the place the concept got here from, and a bit inspiration for the completed product.

Virtually six months has handed since then, which appears insane. 2020 flew by within the blink of a watch, however my E36 construct has continued to develop.


I had supposed for this to be a summer season construct: suppose enjoyable evenings outdoors with a beer, shaping arches and listening to music. The fact shortly turned darkish evenings, chilly climate and icy rain. Fortunately for me, my inactivity on the mission coincided with buying a Volkswagen Transporter, full with interval awning, which made for an excellent makeshift workshop.


You’ll discover I do have a workshop, however that was stuffed to the rafters with different mission elements and a 996 partially dismantled. Whoever mentioned juggling a number of tasks was straightforward was mendacity.

I’ve put in a lot of Air Elevate Efficiency methods previously and realized a couple of methods alongside the way in which, so I used to be eager to maintain the E36 system easy and sturdy. My E39 Alpina B10 utilised a system with two tanks, two compressors and a number of water traps, and it was completely dependable all through the time I used it. So I used to be curious to see if I might replicate that reliability on a smaller scale for Challenge STW.


This time I used a single compressor, single tank, and Air Elevate Efficiency’s 3H, height-sensing, administration. Apparently, the 3H manifold will be configured to be used as 3P (strain sensing) to get you up and working, and the peak sensors will be put in later. This makes it very easy to get your automotive on air, test for leaks, after which improve the administration when you’re pleased.

As with all suspension installs, the important thing to a great air set up is consideration to element. Reducing all of the traces sq., working wiring with out chaffing, and taking care is paramount. I made a decision to base the set up on an MDF board within the spare wheel effectively. Putting in air isn’t rather more tough than a primary audio set up and effectively throughout the capabilities of most dwelling lovers.


The boot construct required some rolling round on the bottom, so I moved into the workshop. My set up utilises the manufacturing unit carpet and the traces are run alongside the brake traces below the automotive. Brake or gas traces are a great route to repeat as they’re often very effectively remoted from hazard.

Except for the controller tucked below the armrest, the one visible clue for it being on Air Elevate Efficiency are the purple camber prime mounts below the bonnet.


You’ll discover within the system format picture a bit additional up that I’ve made the air ‘climb’ up out of the tank into the water entice, and the Air Elevate Efficiency manifold is raised in relation to the tank outlet. This is a crucial element and is an effort to attempt to restrict the quantity of water that makes its approach into the manifold by means of the compressed air.

In the event you’ve ever used air instruments with a poor water entice you’ll know the way damaging moisture in air traces will be. A dry manifold is a contented manifold and periodic emptying of the water entice and tank will imply a protracted service life. It’s one thing individuals usually miss however is printed within the Air Elevate Efficiency set up booklet. Air Elevate Efficiency provide directions for the luggage, struts and the administration, and it’s nice to have vehicle-specific tricks to information you alongside the way in which, even should you’re an skilled installer.


I used to be uncertain whether or not to drill and grommet the wheel effectively of the E36, however after some analysis I discovered that folks had been having success with bulkhead fittings. This allowed me to mount the air traces excessive in opposition to the physique of the automotive and out of the way in which of the rear differential and driveshafts. Any break within the air line is a threat of leakage, in order a rule of thumb I attempt to hold them in a single piece, however these fittings solved extra issues than they created for me. After testing they appear to carry air very effectively, which is good.

With the air set up full I used to be capable of drive the automotive and make ultimate changes to the wheel arches. It’s vital for me that the experience peak is as little as doable as a way to hold the STW look alive. As quickly as you elevate the automotive too excessive, that look is completely misplaced.

Each the entrance and rear arches permit ample wheel clearance, even at full drop. It’s truly the chassis rails that restrict car motion whereas aired out, not the wheels touching the arches. This implies it may be pushed at any peak, as long as it’s marginally off the ground.


In fact, I’m not an expert bodywork skilled. However I’ve been capable of obtain an inexpensive end contemplating the pressure required to separate the rear 1/four skins, and create sufficient clearance for the automotive to roll as little as doable. I dread to suppose how lengthy I spent with a hammer and dolly beating these arches to form, but it surely’s undoubtedly longer than any sane individual ought to.


No prizes for guessing that I wasn’t going to try to color it at dwelling. I do have some limits. Fortunately although, I’ve a great pal in Alex Wright from Vivid Vinyl. You’ll recognise his Mk1 Golf from this previous feature.

I’ve identified Alex for what has received to be virtually 15 years now, and it was nice to provide you with some concepts for this mission collectively.


I’ve seen Alex produce some magic turnarounds with paint-like wrapping strategies, so I had excessive hopes for Challenge STW. It additionally seemed fairly good in his unit, even on this pre-wrapped state.

This picture offers a perspective on how low-slung the E36 is subsequent to Alex’s Mk1. It’s humorous to suppose that the wheel within the arch is 18 inches, which is principally the place the top of the bonnet is. You actually should crouch to get into the engine bay on this automotive.


I believe we’ve captured the STW spirit with this automotive, what do you suppose?


We lately posted a reel to the Speedhunters Instagram and it appeared like lots of people fully missed the purpose of the mission. That is about protecting an previous automotive on the street, creating a brand new function for its life, and simply having fun with creating a glance.

Generally we neglect that it’s not all the time about having 1,000bhp or $1,000,000 builds. Automotive tradition is about personalisation, being impressed by others, and cracking on and creating one thing for your self. Lengthy dwell the grassroots, DIY, punk angle.

In the event you’ve put one thing collectively your self this 12 months, present me within the feedback, I’d like to see!

Ryan Stewart
Instagram: 7.nth 
[email protected]

This story was delivered to you in affiliation with Air Elevate Efficiency, an official Speedhunters Provider