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e30 M3 minor rust repair.

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    It's so fucking tiny.

    It's like fapping to images in the 56k days when it was still loading.
    Originally posted by george graves
    If people keep quoting me in their sig, I'm going to burn this motherfucker down.


      Originally posted by Beach Bum View Post
      It's so fucking tiny.

      It's like fapping to images in the 56k days when it was still loading.

      Fapping is fapping, and I'm doing it


        i think you should make a signature with a paypal DONATE button. everybody here, and elsewhere on the web, OWES you bigtime. i can't begin to tell you how much i have learned from this thread and how many 'mysteries' you have unveiled.

        you don't just do a good job on your work, you are an excellent teacher as well. one place you succeed where all the other manuals fail is avoiding the "reassembly is the reverse of removal" easy way out. that's huge. seriously. i will refer to this thread for nearly any major repair going forward. FIRST. if for nothing else just to get my head straight!

        i actually had the 'pleasure' of painting part of MY car. it was a nightmare. after reading your writeup, i would still be a nightmare, but i would feel a lot more comfortable. i don't think people realize how much time you spent prepping that car. prepping your area. sanding without exposing bare metal. feathering edges properly. making the body creases perfectly straight. cleaning and sanding every crevice of that airdam. EXCRUCIATING work, but simply amazing. oh yeah, and then a little tranny rebuild for dessert. good gawd.

        i haven't posted to R3v in years i don't think. but i couldn't let this pass me by without expressing my gratitude. thanks from me and everyone else who has ever loved an S14, M20, M30, E30, E28 or any of the myriad early BMW's to which all of these lessons apply.


          Originally posted by Russianblue View Post
          i think you should make a signature with a paypal DONATE button. everybody here, and elsewhere on the web, OWES you bigtime.
          Yep! I approve this message.


            Wow, just finished reading this thread. I am ashamed of how much I neglect my car.
            REMEMBER: Be safe and have fun is Rule Number 1.

            The Epic Unbuild of Clint Eastwood


              Well, it's taken what feels like an absolute eternity to get to this stage of the build,
              but, finally, the engine is ready to be reunited with the chassis........

              there was a few little things to take care of before the engine could be lowered
              into the bay. Once the engine was off the stand the flywheel and clutch needed
              to be refitted. In keeping with the theme of the rest of the engine build I've gone
              with a lightweight flywheel. The flywheel weighs in at 5.3kg and is supplied by

              With the flywheel in place the clutch could then be fitted. The clutch was
              only fitted to the car shortly before it came off the road for this little make over,
              and as a result has very little mileage on it and is good to go again......


                The clutch disc is sandwiched into place by the pressure plate which is
                bolted on by six little bolts, shown below........

                the important bit being to make sure the splines in the centre of the clutch disc
                line up with that little spigot bearing in the centre of the crankshaft..........

                as when you go to throw in the gearbox later on, the splines on the
                input shaft (red arrow) need to slot into the splines on the clutch disc,
                and the little piece on the end of the input shaft (yellow arrow) needs
                to slot home into the centre of the crank spigot bearing..........

                So you can see it's worth spending a few minutes now to make sure the clutch
                disc is lined up correctly, rather than busting a ball later trying to fit the gearbox into
                place when things don't line up. If you find yourself in the same position I do,
                with both engine and gearbox out of the car, it can make sense to mate the two
                of them together outside of the car briefly just to make sure things line up.

                With the clutch fitted the final item to go on before the engine is lowered into place
                is the gearbox bellhousing.......

                (picture borrowed from google images)

                As the bellhousing is detachable from the getrag gearbox it can be a lot handier
                fitting this to the engine now while it's out of the car, and then when everythings
                back in the car you've 4 nice studs sitting out the back of the bellhousing to
                lift the gearbox onto, rather than fumbling around trying to get bellhousing to
                engine bolts started.

                With all the soundproofing and heat sheilds fitted to the engine bay the
                way was now clear to shove it back in.....

                And then with a wave of the magic wand and quite a bit of foul language
                the engine and gearbox magically find their way home.........

                more to follow as the week goes on.........


                  such a great thread :)

                  How many people will die when this car gets its first scratch, rock chip, or ding?


                    Originally posted by Sagaris View Post
                    such a great thread :)

                    How many people will die when this car gets its first scratch, rock chip, or ding?
                    he said earlier in the thread that he doesn't care because he's still going to drive the car like it's supposed to be instead of garaging it for the rest of its life.


                      My friend this is an unbelievable thread. If i was the CEO of BMW M Division i would call you for the first ride officially in Germany.Thank you for all the details of the rebuilding.


                        Originally posted by Sagaris View Post
                        such a great thread :)

                        How many people will die when this car gets its first scratch, rock chip, or ding?
                        I direct you to this post:

                        Originally posted by xworks View Post
                        Was asked the same question on another forum a
                        short while ago and the answer is when it's done,
                        it's going into a carcoon humidified cover and carefully
                        parked up in the garage so it'll keep it's future value
                        as a collectors item hopefully. I may take it out for
                        some car shows, but only during the summer months
                        when the weather is sunny. Might drive it to the odd
                        show instead of trailering it all the time to keep things
                        from seizing up, but it would be heart breaking to get
                        any stone chips on it.

                        BOLL*CKS TO THAT CARRY ON,
                        I plan on driving the door handles off it 7 days a week
                        till fossil fuels run out. There's no way I could put this
                        much effort into a car only to keep it "garage queened" for the
                        next owner to enjoy. Sure it'll get stone chipped and scratched
                        as time goes on, but I guarantee you I'll enjoy every mile while
                        collecting them.
                        Originally posted by george graves
                        If people keep quoting me in their sig, I'm going to burn this motherfucker down.


                          With the engine now back in place focus could turn to some of the item's that
                          would need relocation thanks to the bulky addition of that new airbox.
                          First on the list was the brake fluid reservoir..........

                          With the new airbox proudly now sitting in the space where the old reservoir
                          pictured above used to be, a plan needed to be hatched.
                          Common wisdom suggests that a good sized hammer can almost always make
                          two objects occupy the same space at the same time, however, since the airbox
                          "kit" I had purchased came with the bits to relocate reservoir, I decided to
                          save the hammer approach as "Plan B".
                          Below is a picture of the reservoir that came with the kit.......

                          theres absolutely nothing wrong with it and I'm sure it works fine, for reasons
                          still unknown to me I decided to endure a lot more hardship to make the
                          reservoir below work instead.........

                          The one slightly large difference between the two reservoirs above is the
                          "kit" one has the required 3 outlets (2 x brake master cylinder feeds, 1 x clutch master
                          cylinder feed) and the one I had decided to use had a big, useless, threaded lump
                          of an outlet.
                          So, the threaded fitting was removed for the reservoir and an hours worth of beating,
                          drilling and brazing had it looking a bit more functional........

                          After which it was a simple matter of fitting the two supplied elbows to
                          the master cylinder.......

                          and then connecting everything up with the correct spec. hose.......

                          What the above picture doesn't show to well is the feed from the reservoir
                          down to the clutch master cylinder, which travels down behind the brake servo.
                          I had actually taken a separate picture of this, but, due to my continuing startling
                          incompetence with a camera, it came out pitch black.

                          One thing probably worth mentioning before we move on is about the
                          hose used to carry the brake fluid. I can't remember the part number for the
                          Gates hosing used here,( it's late and if I go searching the net for it I'll just get
                          distracted by porn sites or cheap shiney shite on e-bay), but if you find yourself
                          doing a similar job it's worth spending a few minutes checking the manufacturers
                          website to see if it's compatible with the type of brake fluid you intend to use.
                          Some hoses have difficulty containing synthetic brake fluid and will slowly weep
                          it all out over your nice clean engine bay. Which is fun.

                          With the reservoir plumbed up all that was left was the small matter of mounting
                          it somewhere. Small bit of stainless steel cut and bent to the correct shape..........

                          and a few holes drilled and taped into the underside of the strut brace......


                          more tomorrow.........



                              Next on the list of things needing to find a new home was the power steering reservoir.
                              Like all e30's it's normally bolted to the turret, however with the addition of the new
                              airbox this is no longer possible.
                              The new site was to be a little lower down on the front inner valence using these two
                              original studs for mounting............

                              the original reservoir mounting bracket needed a little modifying before it was
                              good to go again. With the spot welds drilled the mounting part could be removed
                              and tossed........

                              to be replaced with this instead........

                              once welded on the bracket was bolted up to check I hadn't welded it arseways,
                              which seems to happen with alarming regularity.......

                              all good, so a quick lick of paint........

                              and nail her on for good..........

                              There was one other slight mod done to the steering system and it was
                              carried out a while back when the driveline was going in and that was
                              to change the steering rack.
                              If your the kind of person that likes to let the car steer from the rear every
                              now and then, more than likely you'll have noticed how slow the steering
                              is on e30's. A fairly common "upgrade" is to fit a quicker ratio steering rack
                              from some of the more modern BMW's and this is what I've chosen to do.
                              However, sourcing the correct left hand drive rack in a country full of right
                              hand drive cars proved fairly challenging. Thankfully a good friend came to
                              the rescue with what you see below, a reconditioned E46 compact steering rack,
                              I think.......

                              the reason I say "I think" is because there's no BMW or ZF identification numbers left on
                              the rack after it was reconditioned. Nothing too suspicious in this, I've bought a few
                              reconed racks in the past from TRW and they were all the same.
                              However it does leave you with a little bit of a conundrum. How do you know if
                              this rack is going to be any faster than the one already in the car?
                              The answer is fairly straight forward, measure the movement.

                              With the rack on the bench like below one of the dust boots is removed
                              from either side and then by turning the input shaft lock the steering all the way to
                              one side.
                              Then, turn the input shaft exactly 1 complete turn in the opposite direction and
                              measure how much the rack moves.........

                              The standard steering rack in an e30 M3 moves the rack 38mm for one
                              complete turn of the input shaft. So any more than this is going to give you
                              a quicker steering rack. As you can see above this rack moves 50mm for
                              one turn which is quite a bit "quicker" than the old one.
                              The only other rack I've ever had the chance to measure was the rack
                              from a Z3 BMW which is a popular choice, and it measured 53mm,
                              which I think maybe the quickest BMW rack that will fit an e30.

                              So, happy that the rack I had was going to quicken up the steering response
                              the next job was to get it ready to bolt in. The first thing that needed to be done
                              was to swap out the inner track rod arms, as the ones that came fitted to the new
                              rack where the male threaded variety, whereas I wanted to retain the e30's
                              female threaded ones............


                                The ball joints of my original inner track rods were still in perfect
                                nick so a quick clean up, a lick of paint and some fresh grease in on
                                the ball joints and they were ready to go again.........

                                When these inner track rods were fitted to the e30 steering rack they
                                had a little washer with two bendable tabs to prevent them ever unscrewing,
                                however these washers aren't compatible with the new rack, so instead
                                they're getting a dab of loctite to keep them secure........

                                The last things that were needed to complete the rack were the outer track rods ends.
                                The balljoints on the old ones were showing signs of wear so a fresh pair took
                                their place..........

                                With everything buttoned up the rack was now ready to bolt into the subframe.......

                                To do this requires a pair of little spacers as the mounting tabs on the new rack
                                come up a little short between the mounting lugs that hold it on the subframe.........

                                for now a little pair of spacers 13.5mm high were made up to go between the
                                top of the rack mounts and under the subframe lug as shown by the arrow above.
                                The height and number of spacers may change a little down the line when we get around
                                to measuring front suspension bump steer, but for today those 13.5mm one's will do fine.

                                Final piece of the jigsaw is the steering shaft. The original was cleaned up,
                                fitted with a new rubber guibo and is good to go again with no noticeable
                                wear in the joints........

                                the splines at either end get a wee dab of grease so you don't need to
                                swing the hammer quite as far when battering them into place.......