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Daily Driver s52 Sedan. The Silberbullet.

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  • Link
    Car was sold a few months ago to a family in Portland. My wife had our first child on May 1. All is well. My e30 story has come to an end. Good luck to all you enthusiasts out there. Keep the cars pure and simple. German engineering cannot be outdone.

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  • Link
    Final Pictures from the Car of the Month posted here:

    As of December 30, 2020 the car has been sold... again. This time for good. A changing world around me has left me past the days of being able to spend so many hours working on various cars. I hope the new owner enjoys the car. A man bought the car for his wife. I think they plan a some maintenance and a PAINT job. I told them they could 'hijack' this build thread to continue the story.

    For the record this was the for sale post:
    A brief story to begin... I traded a 1990 325i Coupe for the car in 2014. The 318i was in poor condition (no interior, blown motor). However, the trade came with a 1998 totaled m3 with a low mileage drivetrain. I spent several months doing a fairly complete overhaul on the car. Once up and running the car became my daily driver for one year. At this time I decided to sell the car to a man in Seattle. He drove the car off and on for 4 years before selling the car back to me (upon my request which he kindly granted as he had not planned on selling the car).

    Once I had the car back in my ownership I redid some things that I had not been happy with to get the car in near perfect order. Below is an overview of what has been done to the car in the last 18 months.

    When the interim owner had the car he replaced the rear end suspension bushings (I was happy to skip this job!). Other than that he did regular maintenance but left the car unchanged. When I bought it back 18 months ago I replaced the springs and shocks with H&R Race Springs and Bilstein shocks. I replaced the e28 motor mounts with the swap specific poly mounts (much better IMO). I replaced the entire front end suspension components with factory parts and even replaced the entire front subframe with a reinforced one because the swaybar mounts had bent. I upgraded swaybars front and rear and added a front strut bar. I replaced the power steering rack with the z3 steering rack to maximize turning performance (at this time I also replaced all the hoses with a variety of factory and aftermarket to maximize fitment). I replaced the whacky intake setup I had originally designed using factory parts with the beautiful intake now on the car. During this period I replaced filters and did other minor improvements (many of which I am forgetting at this time but can be viewed in my build thread

    I replaced the factory headlights and grills with the Euro ones. I sourced a set of Euroweave wheels and put brand-new tires on them. I sourced a set of excellent condition sport seats to replace the worn out ones I had salvaged years ago. Hmm.. I think that covers my basis on what has been done to the car since the swap was completed. The 318i had well over 200,000 miles when I first became the owner. The m3 had close to 100,000 miles when totaled. The cars odometer still ticks like it did in 1991 and reads over 300,000 miles. The drivetrain and interior do not show the mileage. The paint does. The paint is the con of this car. The paint is by no means in horrible condition, but it is not a show quality paint job either. The paint is great for a daily driver or a weekend warrior sleeper edition.

    I should mention that my car was featured on this months (November) Car of the Month found here
    As it reads there:

    Factory options: Power windows, fog lights (keyless entry installed and functioning)
    Color: Silbermetallic
    Interior color: Black Leather
    Engine modifications: s52 swap
    Exhaust: 3in hack job done in my garage (works fine but not the prettiest thing)
    Transmission: 1998 m3 5 speed manual transmission
    Differential: 3.25 LSD
    Suspension: H&R Sport Springs and Bilstein Shocks, e90 lowering hats
    Wheels: Euroweaves 15x7 et24 European Factory Wheels
    Exterior modifications: Truck Lip, Eurosmilies, Euro Grills
    Interior modifications: M-Tech 1 Wheel, Cup holders, Houndstooth Door Panels, black sport interior, premium rear speakers, analogue clock


    Paint as mentioned above (paint is not show quality but plenty pretty for daily driving or sleeper weekend warrior status.. or maybe Autocross? I have never raced the car)
    Minor rust/rot in rear battery tray, no other rust or rot issues found on this car (Carpet has been replaced and floor was thoroughly cleaned, painted and sound deadened with no rust issues)
    Front seats shocks do not work well (I have replacements but have not had time to install)

    The part everyone is waiting for... price: $12,000 (Fairly firm though I am open to reasonable offers.. "if you don't ask the question the answer is always no")

    At this time not very interested in shipping the car... never have dealt with that and don't really like the idea.

    Title is CLEAN (never wrecked or any other issues with the title)

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  • Link

    A heater hose had a crack that would occasionally begin to leak. Fixed now. A loose wire on the alternator caused ALL my electrical issues. My brother helped me diagnose the issue using wire diagrams (professional mechanic).

    After several weeks parked I have determined the transmission is not leaking, simply grimy from in between owner and in need of a good cleaning at some point. The diff leaked from the speed sensor which has been replaced and no longer leaks. A tiny tiny tiny leak comes from the oil pan drain plug.

    The car is also for sale now... I know I know I can hardly believe it. I am recently married and have a child on the way. I cannot justify keeping the car as it has just been sitting in my garage and needs to go to a home where it’ll be driven.

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  • Link
    Update: Car went out on the road today. I am getting an alignment currently. Then onto solving mechanicals.... no power to the window, no power to the AUX fan, and oil leaks from the motor... the transmission.... and the rear diff. Bummer list of mechanicals... BUT it is close to being able to be daily driven again! I ordered a OEM Replica front 'i' lip for the car (I do not like the bigger IS lip). Photos to come in the next few weeks.

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  • wworm
    this thread is rad

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  • ATL_E30
    Nice progress! Good to see some older threads getting bumped! Make R3V Great again 2020!!!!

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  • 2mAn
    This should get moved to either the members rides or project thread for more exposure... more eyeballs need to be on this

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  • Link
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  • Link
    I also replaced the e28 engine mounts with the AKG ones. New sway bars front and rear. e90 drop hats in the front. I put euro smilies on the car. And an original e30 shift knob with the rubber acordian e-brake handle. OEM+ look. Trying to make the car shine as it did when it first hit the streets 29 years ago.

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  • Link
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    Well I tried to post photos back in September but was unable too. I worked on the car over the summer giving the car a nice refresh. I replaced all the front suspension and most of the rear suspension. I put a new carpet in the car and some fresh front sport seats. I added a cup holder. I added a set of euroweaves and new fog lights. When I finally had the car ready for a test drive I lost power to the windows and the fan. Then I sprung a water leak when the car gets up to temp. I had to head back to college and left the car at home. I will fix the minor electrical issues this next summer. I will fix the water leak. I will have a fresh exhaust put on the car. I want to put a 2.5 inch exhaust on the car to make it as quiet as I can without over restricting the s52. I am very excited to have the car as a reliable daily driver again.

    Last edited by Link; 02-18-2020, 07:57 AM.

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  • e30austin
    Congrats to you, sir. Welcome back.

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  • Link
    Where to begin (or continue)… the car is mine again. I tracked down orangechicken who owned the car for the last 5 years and 50,000 miles. He was willing to part with the car after months of persistent requests.

    The car came home and needed some quick love. I spent the last two weeks tearing apart the interior and suspension to freshen the car up. It got a new carpet and better set of sport seats from a donor car I bought to daily while the Silberbullet under went operations.

    I'll be sure to post pictures here soon. I have a set of new wheels for the car in the mail along with more goodies. It has felt like the holidays here with endless packages arriving.

    I am having an electrical issue... posted about here

    I sure would appreciate any help. I am a very happy person to have my old project back.

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  • Link
    The Silberbullet is mine again...
    Last edited by Link; 06-30-2019, 12:24 PM.

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  • orangechicken
    The vibration was definitely in the driveshaft. I took it to Drivelines NW to have them rebalance it and learned that two u-joints were shot so I instead got to have them rebuild it ($550 vs $100… blergh).

    Unfortunately, they must've got the wrong CSB or else it's a manufacturer defect, because the carrier is the correct orientation but the rubber mount part is backwards. So now the vibration under acceleration in 1st and 2nd is back! The vibration between 45 and 65 is gone, so at least I can drive it until I get a chance to take the driveshaft off and back to them again…

    I'm hoping that once that's fixed that I'll be done with driveshafts for a while. I just had to replace the front driveshaft on my wife's Land Rover Discovery II. Thankfully that one's both cheaper ($350 on sale) and easier to access and swap (all of 8 bolts).

    Then it'll be onto solving that CEL. I think it's the timing (since the BMW code being thrown is Mechanical Jamming…)

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  • Link
    Sounds like you are slowing chasing down all the little problems I was learning to live with for the time being. I hope to someday get a ride in the Silberbullet again, she is a champion of a daily driver.

    Is the vibration in the steering wheel or the seats/car itself?

    As far as car price I will leave that up to the new owner to disclose if he wants to, I'd say he got one hell of a deal for the time/money/work put into the car.

    Reading this thread brings back so many memories.

    Keep up the good work though, and add some pictures here and there!

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