Dan's 2nd E30 Build

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straight6pwr
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Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:00 am

Well, I figure I should contribute to this site, seeing as I used it to peddle my crap, so I'll do a 'build' thread! If anything, it will remind me to take pictures of everything I do to go along with my records! (I usually forget).

Story:
Got an 87 325is in 2003 and drove it until June 2010. It finally needed major engine work (headgasket going out at 210k miles), and also had a lot of rust, so I figured instead of dumping money into a dying shell, I should find something 'slightly' nicer and dump money into it. Not really logical, now that i think of it, but who cares they are too fun! Here's the last picture I took of her: (of course doing the DD duties like a champ, as always!)

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So in July, I picked up an m50 swapped late model car. Here's how she came to me: (The BEFORE photo)

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Its only a little rough around the edges, but I want to keep this one pretty much full of OEM goodness, so there are a lot of changes to be made. (VOLVO LIP BURN IN HELL)

I then made my 'To Do' list, and sold some of the parts that came with the car that I did not need to fund the fixes!

First, I ditched the ugly Volvo lip, Taurus sideskirts, and multi-lug wheels and put on refinished 15x7 et24 euroweaves and an OEM lip:

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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:15 am

Secondly, I started fixing up the interior. There were more non-oem ugly parts, as well as some non-matching OEM ones. The cupholder, plastic arm rest, and ebrake console w/hole were ditched. I then added a clean ebrake console, leather ebrake boot, MOMO shift knob, and a modified center console. Console: the late 4-door cars have 6 buttons on the center console. Its so messy and distracting to have those extra window kill switch buttons. To solve this I took an early two door console and cut out 2 extra holes. Also, I added an early model window kill switch which is located in the row of buttons above the radio.

Before:
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After:
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The car originally had a gray interior (boring), and one of the POs had put in tan seats. I love tan, so completing the swap to tan was in order! I put in new door cards, black door pulls, and black rear speakers to match. Also found a matching tan vinyl rear seat with ski-hole. It was like winning the lotto to find that locally. Eventually I will dye the carpet/rear deck to black.

Before:
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After:
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:29 am

Thirdly, I did some exterior tweaks. Again, I'm going more OEM with this build so the black out grills, lamin-x smoked headlights were replaced with regular ones. Also, the 'I' lip was added, and all the trim was repainted. I might go back to OEM Hella/Bosch smoked headlights in the future, but it depends how it looks with new wheels.

After:
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Then I added 55w 4500k HIDs in the lows and fixed the broken 3000k fog HIDs.

After:
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Booty action: Tried to imitate the MHW all-red tail lights with some red tinting of the taillights, added a plate filler, and a new roundel.

Before:
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After:
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:39 am

Other stuff in the first couple months:

Dead odometer cluster replaced with a working one.
Subwoofer and 2nd amp removed.
Installed a minty glovebox.
New passenger door lock actuator to try and solve sticky lock. Didnt help.
Installed non-leaking washer fluid tank.
Removed trunk tar.
Flushed power steering fluid to fix 'dead spots' in steering.
Installed new passenger side control arm and control arm bushing due to bad outer ball joint.
Removed ACS throttle body and installed replacement rubber intake boot
Mtech II steering wheel installed.

Installed a Peerless skid plate AND had it save me within a week of installing.

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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby M20_fever » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:41 am

So clean, I dig your style Dan! Love the changes so far, car looks straight as an arrow. What kind of arm rest was in there when you got the car? Lets see some pics of the swap. What did you hit to do that to Robert's skid plate??

Oh, I'll be coming up by you on the 19th or 23rd to meet up with Matt to get some parts, you going to be around at all either of those days?
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:50 am

Current projects! I can work on some of these projects inside during the winter season, but some of these will have to wait till spring. I will take pictures of said items and progress when I get my camera back.

New wheels. Motorsport stamped goodness!
m42 radiator with expansion tank.
Custom LED headlights
Swap 3.73 diff for 2.93 or 3.25

Future projects:
Fix up engine bay, as there is rust all over it. How that happened, I have no freakin clue, but it will be remedied.
Late model rear speaker deck.
Dye carpet and rear deck black.
Rebuild ebrake.
Replace ABS sensors.
Fix rust on rear valance.
?
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:54 am

M20_fever wrote:So clean, I dig your style Dan! Love the changes so far, car looks straight as an arrow. What kind of arm rest was in there when you got the car? Lets see some pics of the swap. What did you hit to do that to Robert's skid plate??

Oh, I'll be coming up by you on the 19th or 23rd to meet up with Matt to get some parts, you going to be around at all either of those days?


Thank you sir! The armrest was seriously the biggest POS ever. It was all plastic, rickity, didnt fit or anything. The guy literally took 4 wood screws and decimated the e-brake console by just sinking them into it to hold the 'armrest' down. Swap pics coming after more tidying up. The skid plate hit a concrete parking curb. It ripped the curb right up from its steel anchor! Disclaimer: I was not driving the car. Needless to say, my oil pan would have been no-more had I not installed the plate.

19th or 23rd could both work pending the timing during the day.
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby M20_fever » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:56 am

haha, sounds like that car lucked out when you bought it. I'll shoot you a PM when Matt lets me know when he'll be in town.
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:03 am

M20_fever wrote:haha, sounds like that car lucked out when you bought it. I'll shoot you a PM when Matt lets me know when he'll be in town.


The car and I both lucked out. The guy I bought it from was not an e30 enthusiast, and the guy who had it before him was a mild-hack.

I'll wait to here from ya.
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby ten2doyle102 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:10 am

Hey Dan! That car looks so pretty! I am very jealous! ;)

I am still trying to pan out what day works better but I am leaning towards the 23rd. I am almost thinking though that maybe we would be better off getting together after the holidays. Tony, I need to get the car for you're steering wheel and Dan, I also need to get the car to get your rear shelf. With this damn snow storm, it really screwed up my plans!
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby M20_fever » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:22 am

Dan, your getting parts from Matt also? That works out perfectly. Keep us posted Matt, we can all meet up for lunch and swap parts. After the holiday is fine with me, I'm in no hurry.
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby ponycarman » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:50 am

Wow that car looks wonderfull! I love the look it has. Awesome!
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby Yoshi » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:15 pm

Whats the story about the plate?
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Re: Dan's 2nd E30 Build

Postby straight6pwr » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:24 pm

Yoshi wrote:Whats the story about the plate?


The skid plate hit a concrete parking curb. It ripped the curb right up from its steel anchor! Disclaimer: I was not driving the car. Needless to say, my oil pan would have been no-more had I not installed the plate. there is no other damage to the car besides the bent plate.
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Headlights

Postby straight6pwr » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:08 am

I will be 'building' two sets of US ellipsoids. First set will be smoked using the OEM technique found on the euro smoked Hella/Bosch lights. Second set will not be smoked, but an amber light will be added to the high beam, and will look much like e36 city lights:

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Started dissembling the lights today:
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I use the technique of baking the lights to loosen the sealant. The best temp/time setting ive found is 200degrees, bake for 15min. That loosens the sealant without melting anything or making the plastic TOO soft. At that point, sometimes the lens will literally fall off. If not, lightly pry around the edge with a screwdriver to pop it off.
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