A tale of 2 E30's.

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Nsquared97
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A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:56 am

So I promised pics and a build thread when I joined, took me a while but here we go. You pic whores should be pleased.

Anyways, this build started off almost exactly a year ago with not 1, but 2 E30's. A friend of mine and I went in on them as a project, we met a guy through autocrossing (he was running an 89) that had 2 more that weren't running, and he would get rid of them for cheap. The plan was pretty simple, he had an 87 325ic and an 87 325is. The is had a blown motor, but mostly clean/rust free body (completely unheard of for an 80's car in Upper Michigan), and the ic had a running motor when it was parked 2 years prior for other issues, but rusted chassis. Plan was to take delivery of the ic first, strip it down to nothing, scrap the shell, get the is home and swap the motors, dash, and anything else desirable, selling extra parts to cover costs.

So lets get some pics going here. car after its 260 mile journey to its final home:
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Extremely dirty, car had sat for 2 years in the PO's garage, and something got at the softtop, tearing it to shreds.
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In the driveway where the teardown began
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Interior was nasty. Dirty as hell, which annoyed the hell out of me as I am anal about clean car interiors. And it reeked of cat piss, well because the PO's cats had their way with it when it sat in the garage...
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Engine bay:
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Trunk was first to receive the teardown treatment
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Remember what I said about rust?
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Battery alongside the 'brick' that BMW had bolted into the battery tray in the trunk... Were they seriously this concerned with weight distribution?
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Interior was next to go
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More rust
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Even though we were tearing everything out, I couldn't stand the dirty carpet any longer. After a little quality time with the shop-vac, cleaned up much better than I was expecting.
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Sport seats all cleaned up, and after some WD40 all adjustment working properly again. Not the prettiest things in the world, but the ones in the is are in much worse shape, so these will due for now.
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Removing everything to get the good, non-cracked dash out
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Removal of some exterior pieces
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Rear diving board looks more like a park bench at this point!
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Dash completely removed
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Last edited by Nsquared97 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:56 am

So at this point it was realized that we would need a place to store the car, as we are not allowed to park on city streets after October 31st due to snow removal. We also needed somewhere flat to remove the engine. Speaking of which...
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Quite the mess!
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More stripping
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Completely gutted interior
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Found some more rust holes along the door sill
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Engine bay pretty well stripped of everything useful. Looking at the pic again I just now noticed the little braces the 'verts have connecting the tops of the strut towers to the chassis, pretty neat.
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Getting ready to tow her to her final destination
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And yes that is my Subaru Justy in the background, then and still current DD.
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What a mess!
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At the scrap yard, front subframe removed, rear ended up being a PITA and didn't want to come off.
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Lat we ever saw of the car, a somewhat said moment to see her taken away, never to be driven again. For anyone wondering, the weight of a bare 'vert shell plus doors, trunklid and top is 1060 lbs.
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Last edited by Nsquared97 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:57 am

So now its time for you guys to meet Sabine! Not the most actractive Bavarian babe, but cosmetics will come in time (And yes for anyone wondering, she was named after Sabine Schmidt).
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PO had a slight incident with a deer, rather minor damage for a car deer incident. I have straightened some of the interior bits, but I plan on working on the exterior over time once the car is running.
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Not quite as trashed as the interior of the last car, but still not pretty.Image
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Naaaaaasty rear seat...
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B-E-A-utiful cracked dash
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Mmmm M-sport shift knob!
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Goodies left in the trunk from PO
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Now isn't this just a gorgeous tool set?
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Engine bay in serious need of TLC
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Last edited by Nsquared97 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:57 am

So at this point we got the IS up to the storage unit, where she sat for most of winter. Being early November, we had little motivation to work with it getting pretty cold out, plus the unit has no lights/heat/power. Along with that school and work was taking priority, leaving little time for poor Sabine. We did however try to work on smaller projects that could be taken home, the front lip was completely stripped of paint as it looked like it had been repainted 5 times and had a bondo fab job for the side mounts. I also worked on this;
Just a reminder of the valve cover as we got it:
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All cleaned up
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Taped off and prepped for paint, Just an FYI I would never do it this way again, that tape was a huge PITA to cut out, and it didn't want to stick to the sides of the raised areas, which made the final product not quite as good as I wanted.
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And the final product
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Still very happy with how it turned out, it should dress up the engine bay quite nicely.

Around this time I also worked on getting the cracked dash out of the car. As you can see I was thrilled to get it out :lol:
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Last edited by Nsquared97 on Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:36 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:02 am

So 5-6 very cold, very snowy months go by, and its finally time to work on the car again. First up the interior was mostly re-assembled, then it was time to start on project 'yank that M20, take 2.' Just a warning, sometime during winter my trusty Kodak point and shoot decided it had had enough of my abuse and decided to stop working, so just about all of my pics from here on a crappy cell phone pics, so I am sorry for the poor quality and much reduced quantity. Anyways, on with getting the useless broken lump out!
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E30, now with monster truck tire gap.
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Next up I decided to give the engine bay a thorough cleaning. As it looked when the old motor first came out:
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Passenger side all cleaned up:
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GoPro Fisheye view:
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Both sides done:
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At this point, I went through and cleaned the crap out of the good engine. The head itself cleaned up pretty nice since it is aluminum, but the iron block needed a lot more work than I really wanted to spend on it at this point. A new timing belt, tensioner, and water pump were installed. Then I went through and transferred everything from the front of the motor over, as I have no idea where all of the pulley's, pumps, etc were stashed when my partner originally took them off the good motor. Most of this stuff was quite dirty, so I made sure to clean it all up before it went on. Decided I didn't care for how nasty the fan looked;
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So I took it apart and cleaned it up, only to realize once it was back in the car that nobody, not even myself, will ever see it. Oh well...
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Next up was swapping the transmissions. The bad motor from the is was bolted up to a tranny that has been rebuilt not long before the car died, along with a new clutch. Had a bit of an issue getting the old clutch off, my roomate somehow managed to strip an allen head, although to his defense the bolts all seemed a bit pre-rounded from previous use. My solution to get it out:
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Worked like a charm too! Kinda doubt I will ever get that bit out, but oh well. Next up, clutches side by side, quite a difference! Definitely glad I took the time to swap them.
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After the clutch and tranny were bolted back up to the motor, it was finally time to get it in the car. Everything all cleaned up and ready to go;
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And finally back in the car! Making it to this point was very gratifying. Its been almost a year with this project, and it can get difficult to work on a car that you have never even driven. But I feel like now I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, and can really realize the progress that has been made with the project.
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Got the exhaust all bolted back up, along with a few other things in the engine bay, figured it was time for me to try and be a bit artistic, kinda a mute point with a camera phone, I know.
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Justy waiting patiently outside while I work on her sucessor
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Oh look, the exhaust doesn't hang to the ground anymore!
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Well this is pretty much where the car sits currently. My main goal is to get the car running and back on the road before the end of summer, and hopefully get to at least 1 autoX with it yet this year. The guys I race with keep giving me crap about the mythical BMW I keep promising will be at the next event that they never get to see lol. Hope you guys enjoy the thread, took me a couple hours to get this all together!
Last edited by Nsquared97 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby ponycarman » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:27 pm

Nice start man! Your "is" looks almost like where my "es" started. Looking good so far man. Keep up the good work. It will all come together in time. I like the valve cover. Im trying to clean one up and make it similar to sell. Might end up using it though hehe.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:47 pm

Thanks! Yeah I actually painted the cover off the bad engine, and swapped it over right before the engine went back in the car. The cover off the good engine is in much better shape, so i will most likely try and paint that one up too, maybe do something a little different/fancier, we'll see. Getting the car running and back on the road takes priority right now though.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby ponycarman » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:14 pm

Cool. I completely understand about getting it running. Mine runs well but it has a very strange problem Im having to figure out. Just havent had much time too or money too rescently hehe. For the cover Im working on, Im trying my hand at polishing. Im polishing the fins and the BMW writing and probably going to powdercoat it gloss black or something.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby M20_fever » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:41 am

Looks like a nice build, one from two is always fun. Looks like your making good progress too, what are your plans for the car?
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:16 am

M20_fever wrote:Looks like a nice build, one from two is always fun. Looks like your making good progress too, what are your plans for the car?


Originally it was going to just be a toy/track/autoX car. Now since its just me, I want to get it on the road, reliable, and eventually become my DD. I would love to keep my Justy for a winter beater, but I can't see being able to afford 2 cars, and as much fun as my little Subaru is, I would rather keep the BMW. Just hope its driveable through our winters... :shock: Then next spring maybe start working on things to improve it, I plan on prepping it to autoX in D-stock, maybe STX in the very distant future. As for other plans, I'll keep them a secret til they happen, I have had an idea that should really help the look of DB cars like this that isn't done too often.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:28 am

Well i have been kinda slacking in posting updates. Not a whole lot to show, just been trying to hook things back up, which has been rather difficult, mainly because as I stated this started out as a joint project between me and a friend, but now it's just me. Wouldn't be a big deal had he not decided it would be a brilliant idea to disconnect just about everything in the engine bay without labeling a damn thing... :evil:

Anywho, got sick of doing nothing but mechanical work, wanted to do a bit of cosmetic stuff for a change. Swapped the faded black plastic bumper surrounds for body colored ones from the ic, definitely think it looks a bit cleaner like this. Drilled out the bumper shocks while I had it off, just need to get the car running so I can find a brick wall and finish the job. Driver's side is tweaked a bit from the accident damage, I will eventually look into fixing that.
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Back to getting the car running, here's what the engine bay looks like now:
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Now I'm really hoping you guys may be able to help me out with a few questions. First off, I have this plug on the pass. side of the block, just below the oil filter unit. Pretty sure its an oil level sensor, but I have no idea where the wire/connector is for it, how is that wire routed through the engine bay?
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Other thing I have no idea about, two wires that come out of the harness at teh same point. One had the connector stripped off, other has a connector I can't seem to find something to plug it into. Looks like this:
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Other thing I had a question about is the two crank position sensors (the one off the harmonic balancer, and the pulse sensor thingy off the plug wire). They both wrap around the front of the engine and plug into clips on the driver's side do they not? Any way to tell which sensor goes with which plug?
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Court M3 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:26 pm

keep up with the progress, looks like you are coming along nicely
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Yoshi » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:31 pm

Thing in the block is the oil pressure sensor. 1 wire goes from it, around the front of the engine, to the under intake manifold harness.

The wires lying around... no idea. What color combo are they?
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby M20_fever » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:55 pm

not a great pic, but looks like those wires are for the coolant level sensor. Yoshi right about the oil pressure sender.
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Re: A tale of 2 E30's.

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:27 pm

Coolant level sensor is the one that plugs into the side of the rad, correct? I have those figured out.

I actually think the stripped wire I was wondering about is for the oil pressure plug. Checked my other wiring harness and it makes sense. You guys are saying that it's supposed to be routed around the front of the motor? looks like it fits better going under the thin section of the oil pan. The other wire that still has a connector on it looks like it went to the AC compressor, which I won't be running anymore so I'm not worried about it.

I think pretty much the last thing I need to figure out before I am ready to turn the key (after triple checking everything) is a small outlet on the bottom of the thermostat, really have no idea what it would go to. I'll try and get a pic of it. I can't seem to find a cooling diagram for the earlier style setup with the resivor on the passenger side like mine, even Realoem only has the later style diagram.
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