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    New guy

    20 years late to the party here. I've been reading your forum for about a year and have learned a lot about these great cars. I appreciate the huge pool of experience here.

    My son and I are buying an '86 ES this weekend as a father-son project. Two-owner (EDIT - NOT), bone stock, easy use (?), sport seats - just needs an alternator and a 5-speed swap. I think I've located a decent kit with 120k nearby.
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    We've looked off and on for a year. Looked at a lot of ratty cars, half-finished swaps, wrecks, mystery cars, garage queens. Kissed some toads. Spent some money researching far away cars.

    I'm an uncured motorhead, and have been tinkering and reading about great cars most of my life. I have a '67 Alfa spider I bought in 1986. I always loved the 2002 (roundie tii!) and the E30 is a beautiful, modern evolution of that car. Just a classic shape, and so tough. We looked at 1.8T Golfs, but way out of our budget. Then it occured to me - an E30!

    Almost bought the blue car in Denver - didn't work out. 130k. Color change. Expensive. Far away.
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    Last night a guy in my neighborhood called me after I left a note on his windshield. Yes, it's for sale he says - '86 ES, nice houndstooth sport seats, white, manual, $500(!).....with a broken rod. I'd have to ship an engine from CA or Seattle and what else is wrong with it if an E broke down with only 180k?

    The red ES has 175k and was driven for 20 years by the wife of a body shop owner (EDIT - NOT), who put a timing belt in and painted it in 2010. A local family then bought it for their daughter. It doesn't start, it's in the way. Charging circuit problem - jumps and runs fine, new battery. From searching your forum, it's likely a positive cable, an engine ground strap, an exciter wire from the dash to the alt, the voltage regulator, or the whole alternator. I'm sure I'll be back with questions.

    We'll get it running well, do the maintenance, change all the hoses and belts, look at the suspension bushings and driveline, then maybe some sport springs. Seats need help soon as well.
    Last edited by LateFan; 06-06-2013, 04:52 PM. Reason: those pesky facts

    #2
    Welcome. looking forward to it
    Bought parts from me before? leave your feedback here

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      #3
      Thank you! He's excited. He's a good kid and deserves this. We don't have much budget room, but if you think about it, my first project car was less than 10 years old and cost $800. Now it's 25 years old and $1200 (and a way cooler car)

      We like the idea of sports purpose, like an R Gruppe 911. We'll start with running and safe. Here are some clean looks we like....

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        #4
        welcome, good start
        sigpic

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          #5
          OK, so this is finally working out. I've looked in 3 states and we find one 45 miles away in a small town.

          '86 ES, $1000(!) Updated facts.............FIVE owners, CA car, dealer maintenance stamps in the book up to maybe 120k, moved here at 150k, now has 175.

          Nice Zinno paint by the previous bodyshop owner 2010.

          Alternator shot, battery shot, runs a bit hot - we will pull the cluster and re-do all that after we get it running. Water in the trunk, but the car is straight and dry. Looks like an is front spoiler with the extra slots, no? So somebody must have hit it long ago.

          Seller's daughter ran it too hot with a broken belt, so they put a used head on it in late 2010 including a Conti timing belt. I tracked down the mechanic, who was quite thorough and has all records. He said it was a freak casting flaw above the spark plug holes and when stressed it leaked out the side...weird, no? So, new used head - decked, vac checked for leaks, new gaskets, etc. No water pump, so I'll do that.

          I have an alternator in my hand, and we go get it Monday. Safety stuff first - brake lines, starting, tune, etc. Then a 5 speed! We're excited to get going and enjoy the E30 world.

          Thanks for all the great info and support here.

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            #6
            Glad you finally found one! Nice start! Way to keep car enthusiasm alive with your son.
            just doin track stuff :-P


            "When was the last time you drove an e30 without a smile on your face?"

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              #7
              Thanks! Nice haircut, Will!

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                #8
                It's home! Put in an alternator and battery in a NAPA parking lot.

                Looks better in person and clean. Paint is beautiful. Needs some suspension and tune-up work.

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                  #9
                  Congrats!
                  Lorin


                  Originally posted by slammin.e28
                  The M30 is God's engine.

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                    #10
                    My father got me into cars just before I turned 15. Best thing that ever happened to me and kept me out of a ton of trouble through the years. I found myself headed home on weekends at college to work on cars rather than hit parties.

                    Good for you and best of luck! Hopefully the forum can lend a hand.

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                      #11
                      Thank you! It already is a help - I'm learning a great deal here.

                      He is so SO excited. We drove downtown with no plates to get it titled this morning. Sunroof open. Sounds like a tractor with a hole in the exhaust. He just texted me that it stumbled and quit...uh oh....it begins.

                      Mom's rule was "You're not bringing anything home that isn't under it's own power!" So far so good.

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                        #12
                        thats awesome.. i wish my dad was into e30's when i bought my first one in '08.. now 5 years later i just bought a second one and he's starting to like bmw's... talked about selling his '68 GTO to restore a 2002... good luck to you guys.
                        sigpic

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                          #13
                          My dad was not a car guy at all... air filters, maybe... but he was a great guy.

                          I bought a '69 Bronco with a worn out 289 and learned from scratch and leaned on all the neighborhood car guys who I think were sick of me and my questions!

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                          I like the Jeep springs it came with! Has some idle control issues, needs suspension bushings, hole in the muffler, seats are pretty sad. But it's beautiful - even his mom likes it. I joked that I need one now.

                          And he wants to learn to do everything himself, instead of me diving in there, so...bonus...less work for me!
                          Last edited by LateFan; 06-12-2013, 04:53 PM.

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                            #14
                            I like your vision for the car and you can't beat $500!

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                              #15
                              awesome dad is awesome. i credit my father with my obsession.. thanks dad! haha.


                              good luck with the little fixes!
                              buy my m20/g260 parts

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