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e30 M3 minor rust repair.

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    now the tricky bit. The pinion shaft on the new rack sits a little bit
    taller than the old one and the result of this is you have to slide the
    splined end of the steering shaft a little further down onto it to get
    everything to fit in place........

    The end result of this is, when fitted, the hole in the steering shaft coupling
    for the pinch bolt to slide though now doesn't line up with that groove
    (it has slid down a little bit past it).........

    It's not the end of the world however, as the bolt will still fit in fine and
    do it's job, it just needs to be screwed in now rather than simply falling in as before.
    The one thing this is mucho importante is that the splines don't protrude to much
    up into the coupling and start to interfere with the free rotation of the upper part
    of the joint.........

    To help with this I loosened the coupling at both ends of the steering shaft
    and made sure the same amount of splines were protruding both ends,
    rather than trying to do it all one end.........

    With everything nipped up tight the steering gets a few locks from side
    to side while checking theres no fouling going on and everythings as smooth
    as it was the day it left the factory. However much of a pain in the arse it is
    to have to deal with problems now, there's a good chance it would be pain all over
    if you start finding problems while thrashing down a country lane.

    With the rack, pump and reservoir now in place all that was left was the hydraulic
    pipes that join them all together........

    The original M3 pipes are all good to go again with one small tweek.
    The low pressure pipes are good to go as is, as being made of rubber
    they easily flex to their new locations. The high pressure pipe however
    needs a little bit of modifying to match up with the slightly different
    angle of the new steering racks inlet port.......

    The "tweek" isn't too complicated, it is however a little hard to photograph.
    Basically the steel end of the pressure pipe needs to be bent a little to
    open up the angle on the pipe as shown below. There's two ways to bend the
    pipe, slowly and gently in the vise, or, quickly and roughly and the resulting
    call to the main dealer to price a new one..........

    The bend shown above is to steer the pipe clear of the engine block
    and engine mounting leg when it's fitted.......

    theres one other slight bend needed and thats to take the pipe away from the
    steering knuckle.......

    although it doesn't look it above due to the crap angle I decided to take
    a photo at, theres a good half inch clearance between the pipe and the knuckle.

    And thats about all that was involved in getting the steering system sorted.

    More as the week goes on..........


      Is it me or do I see some dust in the engine bay!?! Are standards slipping ?!?:)

      Awesome thread


        there'll be cobwebs in it by the time she hits the road at this rate.


          Theres a good few bits and pieces of stuff getting bolted on around the car at this
          stage of the rebuild and a large number of them attach to the shell with the
          aid of screws and spire clips.......

          I'm not a huge fan of spire clips and where ever possible I try to use rivet nuts instead.......

          as due to their design they they don't trap moisture against the bodywork
          like spire clips can and hopefully should keep the rust at bay a little
          while longer..........

          The front crossmember gets a pair of them to mount the engine oil cooler............

          With the cooler and hoses mounted it can be prefilled with fresh
          oil before the fittings are screwed back home onto the filter housing.
          This can take an age to do thanks to the smallish bore of the hose and
          the stubborn thickness of cold engine oil, but your engine will thank you
          for it on that first start up........

          Another little puzzle that needed sorting was to do with the front wheel
          arch plastic liners. The liners are held in place up under the wings with a few
          screws and plastic nuts at various places. One of those places was in the little
          "jacking box" at the bottom of the wheel arch.
          I had a wee problem here.......

          back at the start of the bodywork repairs these were consigned to the bin.

          The solution I went with was a little pair of stainless steel brackets with
          rivet nuts attached.........

          one to be bonded to each side of the floor pan where the "jacking boxes"
          used to be, to provide a new mounting point for the wheel arch liner bottom screw.......

          Next on the agenda was the radiator fan......

          A while before coming off the road for this little "freshen up" I had a fair bit of
          bother with the fan on this car. Sometimes she'd work, sometimes she wouldn't.
          I'd been through all the normal fixes to no avail, (fan resistor, fan switch, fan switch
          wiring) which left me with the impression that something inside the fan motor itself
          was starting to intermittently fail.
          There's very few things in life as sure to frustrate your driving experience as always having
          to keep an eye on the temperature gauge while in heavy traffic, wondering if today's the day
          the fan will totally fail and transform your engine into an expensive kettle.

          According to the service literature the original fan is a "non serviceable part" which
          "cannot be dismantled and repaired".
          Nonsense, it's a plastic bloody fan with a 12 volt motor jammed in the middle
          it's not nuclear physics. So, out with the hammer.........

          Very shortly after this I decided an after market fan would be a nice upgrade,
          can't remember exactly why I came to this decision, but best we move on quickly.

          A quick search of the interweb threw up this baby.........

          A 16 inch Spal pusher fan (VA18-AP71/LL-42S) with curved blades
          to keep the noise down a little.......

          I couldn't find any info on how much cubic feet of air the original Bmw fan shifted
          to help choose the correct size Spal fan, so, I just did what any logical thinking red blooded
          male would do, ordered the biggest fan in the catalogue.
          This seemed like a great idea right up until the fan arrived, I removed it from it's
          packaging, marvelled briefly at it's enormity and offered it up to the front of the radiator.

          Fuck, fuck, fuckidy fuck.

          It wouldn't fit.

          After a short recess to allow blood pressure to return to normal levels it became
          clear that the fan could be made to fit if the front crossmember was trimmed down
          a little (red section)........


            So, happy that the fan could actually be made to fit the next thing to
            sort was mounting it. The original fan was mounted to the bodywork
            but I've decided to mount the new one directly to the radiator itself.......

            Some templates drawn up for the pair of mounting brackets to be used
            and then transferred to aluminium...........

            using the usual selection of cutting edge modern technology.......

            meant that it required numerous hours of ballache to transform this.......

            into these.........

            after which some spacers were added to the brackets to avoid
            the fan munching it's way through the radiator core.........

            before finally getting a splatter of black paint.........

            bolt them up to the fan..........

            and then with the aid of some tubular aluminium pipe spacers, bolt the
            brackets to the radiator.........

            which ends up looking like so............

            and when fitted..........

            I'm confident if this car overheats in traffic in the future it'll be because it's sucked a passing
            cyclist through the grill.

            more as the week goes on............


              dear gawd... cant wait to see more! every time i open this thread i realize again how much i have to learn, wow. keep it up!


                Amazingly done, you make it look so simple! Subscribed!


                  Dude -
                  I fucking love you.
                  -----Zen and the Art of e30 Maintenance - / - Zen TOC - / - Zen Summary


                    Originally posted by Simon S View Post
                    Dude -
                    I fucking love you.
                    Hands off! he's my e30-god-man-crush


                      Can't wait for the next installment!

                      I was wondering something: any particular reason not to use stainless steel when you did the bodywork repairs? Is it harder to fabricate/weld? Does it react with normal steel? Too expensive? All that?


                        I tried using stainless sheeting a long time ago for body repairs
                        and just about managed to walk away from the job without burning
                        the garage down out of rage. As you may have sensed, it didn't go well.
                        I found the metal an awful lot harder to form into the shape of the patch
                        required and after sticking with it and eventually getting that part right
                        it then warped to shit as I was welding it into place.

                        I've since learnt that stainless steel expands and contracts a lot more than
                        the equivelant thickness piece of mild steel when subjected to the heat of
                        welding, which I guess probably explains why it was such a pig to weld the
                        patch in. The interweb reckons it can be difficult to get paint and filler to
                        bond onto stainless as well. I can't personally testify to that, as my one
                        and only encounter with stainless steel patch repairs ended up providing
                        a rust proof liner for the garage bin shortly afterwards.


                          cant wait to see more!
                          E30 buildy things


                            DAMN. I didn't read it all...but one day I'll do all the body work on my car that you jsut did. Get it down to metal, fix every dent, and paint it perfectly. It's at maybe 99% now to the average onlooker, maybe 85% to me, a slight paint mis-match, some fading i have to buff out, and a total of about 14 visible dents (to me). None are deep at all though. They're like the lightest door dings ever, and they're all on the quarter panels behind the doors, but for some reason the paint is a little rippely (not orange peel, it's different) on the doors. Ugh I hate being a car detailer sometimes...
                            The first car I ever rode in was an e30

                            Originally posted by Cabriolet
                            Wish you the best and hope you don't remember anything after 10pm.

                            1992 Mauritiusblau Vert
                            2011 Alpinweiss 335is coupe

                            2002 540i/6 Black/Black
                            2003 GSX-R 750 (RIP)


                              Your knowledge is incredible, and your time seems limitless. You are scary... I love it!!! I cant wait to see the 100% finished product. It amazes me how much attention to detail and how much time you put into each step and process and you use good quality products with 100% proper procedure. Its nice to see you are not skipping steps and doing a "good enough" job. Great job!!


                                Chapter 146
                                How, in the name of all thats holy, is this car not finished yet?

                                Starting this evenings episode off with a little revision of a job that was previously signed
                                off on and thought finished. The item in question? The brake/clutch fluid reservoir.
                                You may remember from an earlier post that I had gone with a universal fluid reservoir
                                and made a little fitting to give it the three feeds out it needed................

                                Well it's been pointed out to me that mightn't have been the best way to go. Unlike the
                                reservoir pictured above the one that was actually supplied with the airbox kit (shown below)
                                has one large advantage, a little plastic chamber divider inside the pot. It's purpose?
                                Should you happen develop a leak in any of the three circuits the reservoir feeds
                                (clutch / front brakes / rear brakes) the little plastic divider ensures there is enough
                                fluid retained to ensure at least one brake circuit remains functional...........

                                I had originally thought this was covered with the old design, but, when I opened a few
                                bleed nipples here and there to simulate leaks what actually happened was the leaking circuit
                                could actually syphon fluid from the good circuits to leave everything f*cked.
                                Takes true genius to come up with that sort of design.

                                Anywho, the results of a few hours head scratching came up with the following as
                                a method of mounting the proper reservoir and manage to avoid the strut brace
                                which seemed determined to get in the way.
                                The little mounting tab which was cut off the power steering reservoir bracket earlier
                                was recalled to active duty.........

                                and once welded to a few other bits of shaped metal it was to form the basis
                                of the new brake reservoir mounting bracket..........

                                bit of filing, sanding, hammering and a lick of paint to get it presentable.......

                                and bolt her up........

                                As God as my witness, if this one gives any trouble the whole lot's gettin ripped out
                                and I'm weldin a compressor onto the engine block and running a bloody air brake system instead.