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88 Cabrio - with updates

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    88 Cabrio - with updates

    Hi there,

    I've been lurking on this and other E30 forums for a couple years. Last year I finally did it and bought this:

    Unfortunately it is the only picture I have when I first bought it.
    An originally brozit 1988 Cabriolet with a tad over 200 thousand miles on it. 5 speed, 3.73 LSD.

    I received no vehicle history, but my instincts told me that it had been well maintained until about 2 years before I bought it: It had a fairly new roof, air filter & fuel filter had manufacture dates of recent vintage.

    It had been thieved or vandalized at some point as the driver's side (left side) window had been replaced and there was still some broken glass inside, and the glove box had been broken into.

    Right away I replaced all the interior door handles, rear center console, glove box (original latch was broken, but I mated the OEM handle & lock to an aftermarket latch and it works great), knee bolster, and a Bentley Manual (It didn't say what is was when I ordered it, but Pelican sent a hard cover!).

    It came with a mis-matched set of wheels: two Konig Theory, one bottlecap and one basketweave (anyone want to buy?). A friend gave me the set of wheels that are on it now (he owns the red vert with the Beyern Mesh 17s:

    Next I replaced air filter, fuel filter, all fuel lines, timing belt, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, drive belts, thermostat, adjusted valves, coolant temp sensor, crank position sensor, fuel pressure regulator, replaced leaking radiator, most of the radiator hoses, new front rotors, front brake pads, control arms, M3 offset CSBs, front sway bar end links, brake lining sensors, rubber around fuel fill pipe, engine bay weatherstrip, catalytic converter, muffler hanging donuts, and a bunch of other stuf I am forgetting at the moment (is there anything else really possible besides a 24v swap?)

    Then I came across an early ES spoiler and fogs (had no fogs when purchased), that I rattlecaned with 3 coats of Rustoleum Gloss Black and 4 coats of clear, which cracked badly the first time I scraped it in a driveway (the clear, not the spoiler):

    One fog points inward more than the other. Haven't adjusted yet...

    Oh, and replaced the cracked rear bumper with a good used one...

    Next up is revamping the audio system. It has stock premium sound (I think all verts do), but the head unit is an old worn out Sony cassette unit.
    I ordered a new Pioneer DEH8400 and a vert luke box today, and will cobble together the rest of the bits and bobs to rock that setup.

    Short term plans after that are pretty simple (hey, I'm a simple guy): new suspension, probably H&R vert specific springs & Bilstein Sports, new rims, fix oil leaks, fix a noisy rear end, address a slight hesitation on acceleration, repair the air conditioning that blows 40 degrees at the vent when it is below 65 degress ambient air temperature, but does no cooling when over 65, and all the other bothersome bits that I come across.

    Long term, dreamy eyed, fantasy plans: 5 lug swap, cardinal red interior, coil-over suspension, wings, jet packs, landing lights.

    Last edited by MoreMayhem; 02-05-2013, 09:44 AM.

    All verts have premium sound? Sooo good to know I've ALWAYS wondered that. Lookin good keep up the good work, looks like you're on the right path (maint. then mods).
    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
    1991 Brillantrot Vert

    2002 540i/6 Black/Black
    2003 GSX-R 750


      Welcome get some euro bumpers and some weaves.
      I want a nice set of smoked MHW's (I know, get it line)
      Free Stuff!!:


        Black and tan is a great look. Always more room for vert owners. Welcome!


          Verts represent!


            All vert owners in this thread so far?
            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
            1991 Brillantrot Vert

            2002 540i/6 Black/Black
            2003 GSX-R 750


              nice man....


                Congrats on your cabrio. Lots of potential there. :up:



                  Looks good!


                    New accessories

                    I've spent so much time and money on maintenance items for the car, I finally felt like it was time to dress it up, even if only a little.

                    I got in on the "Factory Seconds" sale that RobertK ran recenty:


                    Even with defects the handles look great, but I thought I'd dress them up a bit. Bought some Model Master metallic black paint, thinned it, and used a syringe to fill the lettering. I may do another coat, but I think they look pretty good:

                    The paint filled in some of the engraving defects, and makes the letters stand out a bit more.

                    Here's a shot in direct sunlight. The effect is a little less pronounced:

                    Also installed Alan Gun leather steering wheel cover. The car has a standard sport wheel, but had no leather on it when I got it. My stitching isn't the greatest, but it came out really nice & it feels good in my hands. Took forever to get though. Ordered it in late December. First one that came had a defect, and the replacement finally arrived the second week of March!



                      A lot of attention to detail, I like. :up:

                      Welcome to the boars guy.........btw, I'm the guy from the meet that was trying to introduce you to everyone when you came around with Renee.
                      @IRON-E30 aka Edwin:D


                        You had the grey (hard to tell under parking lot lights) car with the Borbet type As as I remember? Thanks for introducing me around!
                        Next time I will come solo so I don't feel guilty about bringing my wife & then leaving her sitting in the car with nothing to do. After 20+ years she puts up with just about anything though, which is probably the major reason I can say "after 20+ years"...


                          Next round...

                          I've been driving and enjoying my car for several months without any major problems. Since my work is slow for the next couple weeks, I thought now would be a good time to replace worn items & make a couple upgrades.

                          Here's whats on my mainentance punchlist in no particular order:
                          rebuilt steering rack (e30 replacement)
                          oil pan gasket (composite)
                          oil & filter change
                          tie rods (lemforder)
                          engine mounts (OEM)
                          transmission mounts (OEM)
                          valve adjustment
                          driveshaft guibo (OEM)
                          driveshaft center support bearing (OEM)
                          rear subframe bushings (OEM)
                          trailing arm bushings (OEM)
                          front struts (Koni SA)
                          front strut upper mount (OEM)

                          Here is what I have on my upgrade/fun punchlist:
                          springs (ST M3)
                          wheels (ESM 09 16x7.5 sqaure)
                          tires (Falken 205/45 16)
                          Z3 shifter
                          ZHP shift knob
                          new leather shift boot
                          new leather e-brake boot

                          And here's a few pictures

                          And a bit of bad news: One of the wheels slipped from my grip as I was unloading my truck. It was still in the box, but landed on the front edge of the wheel & put a dent in it. If you look closely, its the one in the picture. The bent spot is on the top, right above the left side of the top spoke.
                          Does anyone know a good shop that can straighten a wheel in Ventura County or the North Valley?


                            Lots of goodies for your ride man. Bad news about that wheel, hopefully you can find somewhere that can help you sort that out.
                            @IRON-E30 aka Edwin:D



                              Hola R3v, after about a month of me taking my time with my car, it's finally back on the road. I am fortunate to have a garage to work in, so I can simply turn off the lights and close the doors when I'm not working on it. I do not miss the days of wrenching on my cars outdoors, on driveways or curbside.

                              This was fun:

                              And the new springs are considerably shorter than stock:

                              Here is my front ride height be-four-by-four:

                              And here it is from about the same angle after:

                              The springs are ST M3 springs.
                              Struts are Koni SA. 325is for the front for the external adjustability, cabrio for the rear.
                              Wheels, as you can see are ESM style 009, size is 16x7.5.
                              Tires are Falken 205/45/16.
                              3mm spacers on the front to clear the caliper brackets.
                              Still have to install the skidplate that is sitting in my garage.

                              Anyway, here's a bunch of pics. My photography skills suck, I would have benefited from a pola filter and/or an ND filter.

                              Hate or love: bring it.