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HELP! Driver side rear upper spring perch rust

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    HELP! Driver side rear upper spring perch rust

    Hello all! Long time BMW enthusiast, first time posting here for some advice. I have a 87' 325is that I picked up a few months ago, the car is from ND and has its fair share of rust. It hasn't seen any track time since the purchase, just some hooning around town.. The car came with an aftermarket set of wheels; when I jacked it up to swap the wheels I found a completely rusted upper perch down into the frame. Does anyone have experience with this type of repair? Is it too far gone and I should salvage/part out what I can and look for another e30?. My total investment as of now is about 3500. engine and trans are strong, 200k miles but strong. Plenty of bits to part out. Here is a listing from bring a trailer that should help answer any questions. The scary thing is... we dove this back to cali... no problems!!! and believe me when I say: I drove it like I stole it. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1987-bmw-325is-76/

    #2
    Well this is something! I just did this exact repair on my '87 325iS this past May (quarantine project while put of work/school). Car lived it's whole life up here in MA, salt country. As for the repair, there is likely no saving any part of that perch, and it's also likely that the rot extends a little further than you can see. HOWEVER, I don't think it's wise to throw out the whole car over this--- I certainly was not prepared to in my case. I was lucky enough to have sourced two rear spring perches off of a friend's wrecked e30 two years ago, anticipating this repair. I drilled out the spot welds holding the perch on, and ripped it off, cut the rotted frame section, patched that with 16ga steel, and welded the spring perch from the donor car onto that (I will attach a pic of me holding this piece). Don't make fun of my ugly, but STRONG welds! I believe one of the overseas body part suppliers like Valcas Garage or E30 Garage Norway sells the perch, so you won't need a donor car, otherwise you will have to fab something up yourself--- I've seen it on YouTube (search: e30 rear spring perch repair, or similar) Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
    Last edited by 15Michaeljoseph; 01-03-2021, 08:03 PM.
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      #3
      Here are the pics of the finished product. The lumps in the finish are from getting a little over-zealous with seam sealer. In addition to both spring perches and associated rear end body rust, I refurbished a spare subframe and such to go in as well--- a really satisfying job. The car is my daily so if it weren't for the whole lockdown month and all I probably wouldn't have gotten to take my time and do it all right. If there is any information I can share with you to help, I'd be glad to. I hate to see another e30 end up a casualty just for some rust. The '87 iS is definitely a special model/year combo as far as these cars go. It is a big job but with some spare time it's doable. I'll look for a link to the aftermarket spring perch too. Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
      Last edited by 15Michaeljoseph; 01-03-2021, 08:00 PM.
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        #4
        Sorry for the small pics-- not sure how they'll show up for you but you get the idea. Here's the link to that video, guy made his own perches in lieu: https://youtu.be/t1dRYm-YHzI Can't seem to find that whole perch as I remembered listed on any website at the moment but: ---E30 garage Norway (sells just the upper "eyelid" part) --- special classic parts (sells the lower round plate) https://www.specialclassicparts.de/e...Products/KA007 Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
        Last edited by 15Michaeljoseph; 01-03-2021, 09:01 PM.
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          #5
          Wow, that is really something! The enthusiasm and aftermarket support for these cars never ceases to amaze me.

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            #6
            First off, thank you for the reply, I did not think I was going to get a response so soon. Second, WOW!! that is very impressive and inspiring! I don't have any welding experience, but I feel very confident in being able to do most of the prep work. I will have to call around and find someone to weld it all up.

            I am going to send some messages out and see if I can get a pair of those reinforcement plates/perchs on order from those pictures. In the meantime I am going to grind out all the rust and do as much prep as possible.Thank you so much for the information on those parts!! I will post some pics as things progress..

            Note: This is going to be the most difficult repair I have ever attempted on a car so I am going to have some questions that are probably obvious to some, please don't judge me too harshly.

            First question: Is it best/required to remove the rear subframe for this repair, or is that just creating much more work?

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              #7
              Originally posted by ConradM3 View Post
              First off, thank you for the reply, I did not think I was going to get a response so soon. Second, WOW!! that is very impressive and inspiring! I don't have any welding experience, but I feel very confident in being able to do most of the prep work. I will have to call around and find someone to weld it all up. I am going to send some messages out and see if I can get a pair of those reinforcement plates/perchs on order from those pictures. In the meantime I am going to grind out all the rust and do as much prep as possible.Thank you so much for the information on those parts!! I will post some pics as things progress.. Note: This is going to be the most difficult repair I have ever attempted on a car so I am going to have some questions that are probably obvious to some, please don't judge me too harshly. First question: Is it best/required to remove the rear subframe for this repair, or is that just creating much more work?
              That's the spirit, go for it! As long as you have someone to help with the welding you will be good to go. I bought a cheap flux core welder a few years ago and have figured out how to finesse quite a bit of body work out of it (aka: angle grinder and flap disk), but this was the most involved job I have ever done to any vehicle. I was really intimidated at first. As for your repair here: you don't HAVE to remove the rear subframe, certainly with the spring out of the way you will have some room for cutting tools and the like. However, removing the subframe will give you infinite access to the area making the whole repair easier AND the opportunity to give some 34 year old bushings a refresh. You will also be able to access the two inner soft brake hoses which are likely original if the subframe has never been out before. Start with a wire wheel (preferably on an angle grinder), get the area cleaned up and bare so you can see just how far the rust extends. Take pictures of everything, and mark any cuts you're going to make with a sharpie beforehand. Also-- I made sure to leave myself a few points of reference for welding the new perches on in the right place. How you want to do this is up to you, but that support channel that runs between the perches along the width of the car is a good reference, as is marking the frame rail above where the center of the perch goes. Keep in mind that you're dealing with a few different layers of metal here, the frame rail itself, the trunk floor lip, and the skin of the inner wheel well. I'll attach a pic of my car so you better see what's what. I wasn't sure how far the rust extended up into the overlap seam, so I drilled out a few of the spot welds with a cheap spot weld bit, made two shallow cuts in the wheel well skin and just bent it up so I could clean up the little bit of rust under there. Once I got the frame patched and new perch welded in, I simply bent this piece back down and welded it back as it were. You may or may not have to do something similar. Also--- weld-through primer is your friend!! Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
              Last edited by 15Michaeljoseph; 01-04-2021, 11:03 PM.
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                #8
                Also, I apologize for my uni-graph huge block of text responses. For some reason the Tapatalk app doesn't seem to recognize paragraph breaks. Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
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                  #9
                  Been there done that!




                  No seriously, it's definitely doable repair. I made a jig that took reference from the other perch (+ some measuring), so the position was pretty close as original










                  almost 3 years later and it's still holding up fine :)
                  1990 325iX Touring - November 2018 R3V Car Of The Month

                  1980 Volkswagen Golf mk1 1.1
                  1974 BMW 2002 Touring

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by D.Martijn View Post
                    Been there done that!
                    That's awesome work! Making a jig is a great idea-- honestly never thought of that before. Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
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                      #11
                      Sent messages to e30garage and specialclassicparts inquiring about the perch plates and the reinforcement brackets, hopefully there will be a response soon. Once I start the repair the car will be parked for awhile as this is something I will be doing after work in my spare time. For that reason I do not feel comfortable starting the work until the parts are at least on order. As the car sits now its not safe to drive but I can move her around when needed. I have recently ordered some parts for my 2002 from Germany and with covid/customs DHL is average 3 weeks shipping. So it may be awhile before there is any progress.
                      Last edited by ConradM3; 01-06-2021, 12:43 AM.

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                        #12
                        Were you able to get the parts? I didn't realize it at the time but I bought an e30 that had air suspension that I want to convert to springs so I need the same parts.

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                          #13
                          For those interested: I saw an update on Valcas Garage instagram page, appears that the complete rear spring perches and the evap hose tube will both be available from them soon. Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
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