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1981 320i E21 Ballin' On A Budget- Weekend Makeovers

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    1981 320i E21 Ballin' On A Budget- Weekend Makeovers

    So I buy and sell/part out old Bimmers as a side job. I have a lot of fun doing it and make decent money. This means that I am constantly dragging in old beaters that don't run and tearing them apart.
    Lately I have been buying E21's, Portland seems to be awash with them. The first was the beautiful bone stock Alpine that I promptly resold to Adam (Twelvism on the forum). Then I drug in an Ascot Gray 5 speed moldy non runner, and just two days ago this interesting little Schwartz 5 speed ended up coming home with me(real cheap). The seller (a very attractive female) said it needed a fuel pump and she didn't want to pay to have one put in. I tossed a new pump in it when i got home (by tossed I mean laid on my back with my neck twisted into an ungodly position for a couple hours muttering expletives) and it fired right up. Hot damn I now have a nicely running E21
    I decided it was high time for me to keep one of these and build one. I have a bunch of junk laying around from the various E30's I have parted and a complete E21 parts car at my disposal so this car will be built super budget style, using alot of the crap I already have. Another theme with this car will be "weekend makeovers", projects that don't take longer than a weekend while I have the time off work. Here is the first installment :p


    -I buy and sell lots of old cars
    -I decided to build a cheap E21 out of stuff I have laying around
    -The seller of the car was super hot
    -I am trying to keep all the projects weekend length

    Picked up the car from the shop downtown where the girl left it

    Got it home to check it out

    My dog wanted in on the action

    Both doors and the hood have a fair amount of damage

    The interior is pretty clean, save for the sex toy shift knob :loco:

    The hazard switch doesn't even have a toothpick stuck in it

    Here she is waiting to go into the shop. I was moving the shell of the latest E30 out while my brother stood there and smoked a cigar

    My parts car had a set of semi trashed Recaro's that will fit the theme of this project perfectly. I cleaned up the frames and sprayed them real quick

    I also had this old Grant wheel out of the parts car. I took it apart and stickerbombed the center :D

    Took the old seats out, vacuumed out a ton of old debris, including a tiny clump of what looked to be pot under the seat

    Swapped the cracked side marker lenses (right) for a nice clean set (left)

    Slapped a sweet sticker on the window

    And got the new steering wheel and seats in. It sure is fun to drive now, these seats hold your butt in place like no other

    The nice thing about this car is that it was her daily driver until two days ago when the fuel pump went out. That means all the lights/turn signals/switches work. It also has brand new tires, fresh oil change, and the original owners manuals and info, including the window sticker and maintenance records since it was purchased new at Rasmussen BMW (here in Portland). I cant wait till next weekend rolls around to do some more work to it

    Next on the list:

    -Finish cleaning the interior
    -Wash the exterior and clean all the nooks and crannies
    -I have a shit set of XXR wheels and tires laying around, I think I will test fit them
    -Hopefully some basic maintenance, then I will get this thing on the road!

    Bahama Beige E23 Project
    Bluebird Bus Conversion
    New Oregon Trail

    great start! cant wait to see more updates
    E30 325I > SOLD
    E30 318IS > SOLD
    E39 530I > SOLD
    EP3 > SOLD
    95 M3 > SOLD
    97 M3 > DD


      Thanks! I will probably end up spending all my free time on this, not just weekends lol. Although working 40 hours a week doesn't leave a ton of free time...

      Bahama Beige E23 Project
      Bluebird Bus Conversion
      New Oregon Trail


        Pretty cool, pics of chick?
        Yours truly,
        Originally posted by Rigmaster
        you kids get off my lawn.....


          This looks like a promising thread. Do like.
          M Coupe


            Ah I wish I had some to share with you guys

            Bahama Beige E23 Project
            Bluebird Bus Conversion
            New Oregon Trail


              sweet stickers man, that is baller.

              i kid, sorta :)


                I wouldn't even bother with the Sportmax's, I really like the look of those stock alloys. Anything you can do with the bumpers?
                For all things 24v, check out Markert Motorworks!
                Originally posted by mbonanni
                I hate modded emtree, I hate modded cawrz, I hate jdm, I hate swag, I hate stanceyolokids, I hate bags (on cars), I hate stuff that is slowz, I hate tires.

                I am a pursit now.


                  subscribed. im starting to digg e21's now. are you looking into a motorsport/euro bumper?


                    I've always wanted to flip BMWs! I bet you have so much fun tearing into each new project/job. I'm sure you can flip them pretty quick, it looks like you have nice taste.

                    I love the whole car but the sticker bombed wheel and recaros really did it for me. Looks sick.
                    Originally posted by 87e30
                    First of all: calm the fuck down; second of all; cool story bro.


                      Awesome! Maybe I'll get to see it sometime if we ever come over to your shop again. Looks like a great find. Maybe you can find a new hood for it. There's an abandoned e21 near 185th right on the MAX tracks. It's in a camper storage area in a trailer park. I see the poor old e21 everyday on my MAX ride to school in the morning. It looks like the hood is open a little and like it's been there for a while.

                      Maybe I can try to snap a picture as I go by.

                      "The Camry is an appliance, not a car. It attracts folks who have the same regard for driving that they have for washing dishes,
                      i.e. it's a necessary but somewhat unpleasant chore and they want something to make the task a little easier and insulate them from the process."
                       - my friend, Número Veintiséis


                        I see that e21 all the time riding the max, but my favorite max passer by was the red 635csi that was in the back lot at the ford dealership in Beaverton.
                        oh and steven you should go check out the two e28's next to my house in hillsboro they have been for sale for a while both are 528e's.
                        1988 325ic Bronzit Metallic.
                        1987 325issold
                        1987 325es Lemons
                        1984 533i 135k R.I.P
                        1998 subaru legacy GTsold


                          Ooo I love it, thanks for all the tips on cars guys! I will have to follow up on those.

                          As for the bumper I definitely need to do something, a bumper delete looks cool, but so does a tuck/trim. I will have to look into it further to find the best option.

                          And I just bought one of those $30 roof racks :D

                          Bahama Beige E23 Project
                          Bluebird Bus Conversion
                          New Oregon Trail


                            Mmmmm.. car pot.
                            -----Zen and the Art of e30 Maintenance - / - Zen TOC - / - Zen Summary


                              I like it! I love E21s, would love to find a clean one someday and really do it up properly.