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Old 01-29-2015, 01:56 PM   #1
Sh3rpak!ng
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Bronzit E30 - OBDII S52 shaved bay - weekend/autox toy - Journey

Background: Moved to Socal October 2013, brought my AA stage II supercharged e36 convertible with me. E36 is too nice, too fast, too expensive to DD to work every day (100 mile round trip). Awesome - perfect excuse to buy an e30 - Socal is loaded with them.

The e36








Searched for two months - looked at a few cars - lots of crazy people asking crazy prices for cars in poor shape. E30 came up on CL at a good price and seemingly decent condition, next day I take a look, buy it on the spot. Got a good price, body was okay, but mechanically (which is where it counts) there was NOTHING wrong with it. Not a single mechanical issue. Even the OBC/check lights work perfectly. Nothing broken, all lights, windows etc all working.


Brought her home









The small issues I wanted to take care of right off the bat:
-Shifter was SOO loose and the throw was like rowing a boat
-Interior was dirty, PO smoked in the car
-I need music - all that driving for work is painful without good sound

Got some initial supplies




Rat's nest wiring to the aftermarket radio which didn't work




PO tried to fix the shifter by stuffing bits of paper+gum wrappers in the ball joint???




Better




All the crap that came out



Started cleaning the carpet (sorry didn't have a "before") - it was nasty



Took the seats and everything out. It was a good idea. There was ash and "dirtyness" underneath everything






Supplies for valve adjustment




New shift boot




Had a nice day, so I detailed the e36.... the e30 will get its chance to shine... later




More supplies to add to the new radio and shifter




Z3M shift lever - it was too short for the e30 and led to a super short shift but an increase in "engagement effort"
solution: put the Z3M lever in the e36 and the e36 lever in the e30
result: both cars got a shorter shift and feel awesome!! especially the e36






Had to remove the weight thing around where the DS connects to the trans




SHIT











Comparison of the Z3M and e36 levers




Here is what came from the boxes






New oil sprayer bar - I was told this was the last one in stock in the US at the time lol - luckily it wasn't too far to drive and get it






What's the best thing to do with a stock e30?? ROAD TRIP

Drove through Death Valley with a friend from school before he departed to hike the Appalachian trail















Removed all of the tar heavy stuff from the trunk. It was easy. But maybe that was because it was cold. It literally came out in a couple chunks. Took me 5 minutes.






This is why the tar in the trunk came out








I built my own sub box with some rough specs I found of the "lukebox". No intention to rip off another forum member's hard work - I have the utmoast respect for that. He (stereoinstaller) actually posted some rough dimensions for someone else, so being the avid DIYer, I couldn't bring myself to pay for something I thought I could make myself (I will eventually buy a lukebox anyway as I am sure it will sound better considering I know nothing about sound engineering and acoustics)






Got a new reupholstered back seat








FINALLY the rest of my tools and stuff arrived from NJ - what a mess. I have too much stuff






Looking much better




Sub and box installed




Maintenance supplies.
Sidenote: don't touch my tools




Yea, it was worn out






Amp mounted. It's not perfect, just functional. I will make this look nice later.




Ohhhhhhhhh YES finally new seats to replace those god-awful/uncomfortable/ugly/broken/no side support OE seats




Stored the old stuff




Looking better




The corbeau seat brackets don't tilt the seat back enough
Solution: cut, modify, and weld so the seat is a little lower and tilter back a little bit






Be nice on the welding, it was my first ever attempt. And with an arc/stick welder




This is for "situational awareness" - should have bought one ages ago






That is all for now. I have more photos to upload, maybe I will to them later. And then I have a ton more on my phone. This is about 8 months behind reality, so there will be some more exciting progress posted up shortly.

This thread will deliver.

Last edited by Sh3rpak!ng; 05-10-2016 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:39 PM   #2
BurakB
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Nice car mate. Just curious about your sub box, is their any noticeable rattle from it? And how's the sound quality from the stereo upgrade? I ask as I've got a bunch of audio equipment extremely similar to your stuff. Cheers mate and good luck with the rest of the car!
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:46 PM   #3
Sh3rpak!ng
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurakB View Post
Nice car mate. Just curious about your sub box, is their any noticeable rattle from it? And how's the sound quality from the stereo upgrade? I ask as I've got a bunch of audio equipment extremely similar to your stuff. Cheers mate and good luck with the rest of the car!
No rattle at all. Its designed to direct the sound into the cabin rather than the trunk. Sound quality from the stereo is excellent IMO. I really like the whole system. It was a huge upgrade and makes the long drives much more enjoyable. I tried to keep it on the cheap side, hence the inexpensive amp and actually I think the pioneers speakers int he deck were on sale at bestbuy for $15... on eof them is going bad now but ti lasted ~10 months so I'm not upset.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
BurakB
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Originally Posted by Sh3rpak!ng View Post
No rattle at all. Its designed to direct the sound into the cabin rather than the trunk. Sound quality from the stereo is excellent IMO. I really like the whole system. It was a huge upgrade and makes the long drives much more enjoyable. I tried to keep it on the cheap side, hence the inexpensive amp and actually I think the pioneers speakers int he deck were on sale at bestbuy for $15... on eof them is going bad now but ti lasted ~10 months so I'm not upset.

That's good to hear, yeah I know about not having audio in a car for medium to long drives!
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
Sh3rpak!ng
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I have been busy. These posts are about 6 months behind. LOTS has happened between then and now. I'm trying to organize the photos and slowly post them up.

I did a lot of maintenance. The motor was leaking a bit of oil in a few places, plus I wanted to kind of give it a baseline point from which I knew everything was fresh and I wouldn't have to worry if wear parts were close to failure.

Parts:

zimmerman rotors
oem ate pads (spares)
stoptech street performance pads
ate type 200 racing fluid
timing belt kit
AC belt
PS belt
PS reservoir
water pump
thermostat
oil pan gasket
royal purple ATF

And I forgot if I mentioned before, I replaced the rocker eccentrics, bolts, nuts, ignition wires, coil pack





Gross thermostat housing. I cleaned it up after the photo. Nice shiny water pump

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Old 04-03-2015, 02:36 PM   #6
Sh3rpak!ng
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Now the fun begins

Wheels: klutch republik SL1 black/bronze 16x8 et18 square setup
Tires: bf goodrich sport comp 2 - 205/50 r16
Coilovers: megan racing (I know, they aren't the greatest, but they do the job, and honestly they feel pretty good. Also at this time, my goal for the car was a reliable daily driver with good looking wheels and an appropriate drop)
F: 62mm ID; 200mm length; 8kg/mm
R: 62mm ID; 135mm length; 8kg/mm










I absolutely LOVE the way these wheels look on the car. Offset is perfect with no spacers. Cut the inner lip out of the rear to make more space, rolled the front a tiny bit.








Spotted a porsche 918 returning from willow springs testing for an auto magazine (I forgot which one). I randomly bought a magazine at the airport and saw the article about a month later.

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Old 04-03-2015, 02:50 PM   #7
Sh3rpak!ng
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Took the car to willow springs for my first ever on track experience. It was a blast. Had the track mostly to ourselves. It was a small group. The car had some clunking/squeaking in the rear which got worse as the day went on. I am still chasing that - more later.



Got some depo smoked headlights, they really change the look of the car. Also added the IS spoiler lip




Then I started removing the front subframe to change the oil pan gasket. I knew the suspension bushings etc. all needed replacement, but I didn't realize how bad they were.

Swaybar endlinks



Control arm ball joint



FCABs



e36 steering rack



It was very very dirty



Work in progress



Everything getting degreased



Subframe reinforcements. No, I'm not good at welding. Never taken classes, using a HF 115v stick welder - this was like my third time ever welding



Parts are clean



Ready for reassembly



Glamor shot

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Old 04-03-2015, 02:51 PM   #8
Sh3rpak!ng
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What is that engine block in the garage?? How did it get there? What does it mean? (hint - it's not from the e36)

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Old 04-03-2015, 03:02 PM   #9
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winning all the way. good work.
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:47 AM   #10
Sh3rpak!ng
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winning all the way. good work.
Thank you sir! Keep an eye on this, when I get a chance to post more pictures, the build really takes off. I got carried away haha
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:26 AM   #11
Sh3rpak!ng
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Built more shelves in the "garage" to hold more stuff





Picked up a battery tender to keep the e36 charged during the week since I don't drive it too often. I think my old battery (BMW brand) died prematurely because it would sit too long - it was replaced less than 2 years ago...






Finally gave the car some much needed attention in the detailing department. It made a huge difference. The paint went from dull to glossy. Though the clearcoat is failing on the roof, trunk and hood, it looks MUCH better than it did before. A repaint is basically at the very bottom of the list, so I'm happy for now.























I made a gas pedal extension to help with heel-toe shifting. Cost me $12 vs ~$90 from vendors?





Snapped some photos in the parking garage at work early before anyone was there so the place was empty






Ophelia meets Big Foot, my uncle's sportsmobile 4x4 converted ford e350 with a 6.0L diesel. This thing is quite a beast. It's got all the options. Pop top bed, bench seat converts into another bed, fridge, toilet, stove, sink, canopy, winch on the front, lots of lights, air ride for extra ground clearance if needed etc etc.








Replaced all the gaskets, seals etc in the intake manifold area. Painted the manifold too.





Replaced seals on the injectors





Gas station shot







That's all for now. I need to organize my photos and upload more.

Enjoy
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:26 AM   #12
yodman
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Your garage makes me happy.

Once I have my own, it'll be that organized as well.

Hard to believe my car was once that shiny. The paint is so bad on mine.

Props to all your hard work. Your cabrio is beautiful.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:26 PM   #13
Sh3rpak!ng
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Originally Posted by yodman View Post
Your garage makes me happy.

Once I have my own, it'll be that organized as well.

Hard to believe my car was once that shiny. The paint is so bad on mine.

Props to all your hard work. Your cabrio is beautiful.
Thanks!! I can't get any work done with a mess around, not enough room to have stuff lying around.

The paint may be shiny now, but it's still in poor shape
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:41 AM   #14
Sh3rpak!ng
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Took her to her first autox. Only mods at the time were the megan coilovers, 16x8 wheels and e36 steering rack. It was a blast! Can't wait to tear it up with the rest of the suspension refreshed, s52 and LSD.








Nice and new parts!!! Lemforder only.










Got the car up.







Condor RTABs, FCABs and diff bushing







Making a mess.







All the bushings were in poor shape.







Diff bushing in







Bought a subframe with posi lock style toe and camber adjusters already welded in, as well as poly subframe mounts already clearanced for wrench access to the toe adjuster bolts. Got it for a great deal.











RTABs were kinda a PITA. Wound up using a big C clamp and 2 large sockets, one larger than the bushing, one smaller, to press them out. Also used a torch to heat the sleeves and they popped out pretty easily. But it only took me several hours to figure out the winning combo. After that they all popped out.







Finally started disassembling the old M52 from the e36 and pulled the head off - something's happening......







Went home for Christmas, left the car at an airport parking lot. When I got back, they said the car battery was dead but it was no problem, they would jump it and bring it around (you bring the car up front, and they park it in their lot). Then the guy says they're having trouble jumping it. I ask if they know where the battery is, they say yes. I go with them to take a look at the car. It's cranking but not starting. Car has an aftermarket alarm which I never messed with because ti never caused an issue. The guys there happen to be enthusiasts - they liked the car and try to help me figure it out. We suspect the alarm system has some issues when the battery dies

Long story short. I spent like 7 hours there testing and taking shit apart. No go. Finally call a towtruck, he comes and refuses to take the car because its "too low". I go home and leave the car there (it was liek 12 midnight). Got the car towed home next day (thank god I had the foresight to get AAA premier - smart decision owning 2 20yo cars).

I was pissed so I didn't even try to fix it for several days. Got a multimeter, started testing. It was that damn fuse in the trunk. The guys at the lot tried to jump the car from the power block under the hood and probably touched the 2 posts together which popped the trunk fuse. Grrrrr but I was glad it was an easy fix. All the more reason to get the S52 project moving!







Picked up some parts from the machine shop!








That's all for now. Enjoy.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:21 PM   #15
rzerob
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Awesome build, subscribed.
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