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ok, my turn to do one of these...

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    ok, my turn to do one of these...

    I'm a long time BMW guy (e36, e46, e34,blah, blah) but have always lived uncured of the e30 bug…. until recently. I had to have a manual, had to be black, white or silver and had to have black leather sport seats -- so after 4 years of casually searching (not a huge market here in middle TN, lol), I found this car out in the sticks. A very nice hispanic man (who spoke little English and clearly had no idea what he had) sold me a 1987 325is 5pd in Alpine on Black leather for next to nothing... woohoo.

    I've spent the past couple years bringing it back to life, putting my stamp on it along the way. Or to be more accurate, it sat in my garage for a year and half and i finally started working on it a year or so ago.

    I've done quite a bit but still have a ton to do. So many parts, tips and advice has come from this community --mad props to all of you (more than i could remember to thank --so thanks to all of you).

    At any rate, here's the beginning to now:
    The day i bought the car...








    It ran and drove, but not too well. Even though i knew it would need a lot of love -it was all there and had a lot of potential. So, first i cleaned off the previous 20 years of neglect...





    Make it run well, and then make it pretty. I pulled the head and sent it off for a three angle valve job, sourced 19lb injectors (thanks maksim), a hotter cam (thanks bimmerheads), vac adjustable cam gear, long throw headers and decided to have Kevin from Das German start working on a scratch built twin 2" exhaust (any e30 nut in the middle TN area that doesn't know Donnie/Kevin at Das German, should).





    While i was waiting on the head work, pulled out the seats and spent a couple weeks restoring them. Sourced new side bolster leather (thanks FrankM E30) and did the full leatherique treatment (stripped, reconditioned, dyed, oiled, repeat, etc.)...







    Head came back and started putting it all back together. at that point, it made sense to do all needed maintenance: timing belt, water pump, thermostat, valve adjustment, all belts, hoses, yada yada. A painted valve cover, headers in and starting to look a bit better under the hood...





    Then back to the interior a bit more, I decided to yank the dash after sourcing a much better one (thanks Robert1700)...




    Now it was on to making it handle better. I wanted to go true 5 lug, but faced with geometry issues, i sourced 18 & 20mm adapters from 8380 Labs and replaced the 14's with some 16" style 5's and Dunlop rubber. Talk about 4x4, lol....




    So i sourced a set of Megan coilovers (thanks fatphos) to settle things down a bit. Love these coilovers, the ride is better than my e46 on Konis (granted 19's on the e46 don't help)...




    So now it's time to work on the exterior a bit. I realize some of you guys think it's sacrilege to put plastic bumpers on an '87, but the early valence was busted up, i like the look and it's my car lol....





    A quick test fit...




    After sourcing and installing a sump armor skid plate (thanks Red46) it was time for the shade tree paint job (plan on respraying the whole car as soon as i get the rear bumper sorted)...




    I then added euro grills and oem smilies (thanks nebulous123) and here's where it's at as of a couple months ago....







    I've since replaced the center console, vanity mirrors and glove box (thanks meanEG) and finished up the dash install (some trim missing in the pix above). I'm now looking to source software and figure out what to do about the rear bumper. I'll likely just go with the late model plastic bumper/valance, just not really looking forward to the needed fab work (not my thing). I'll continue to update this thread as I continue to have fun with this old gal.

    Love this car, my e46 now sits in the garage most days -- I TOTALLY get what folks say about the e30. In many ways it's archaic, but I love the raw nature of the driving experience.
    Last edited by jllphan; 01-30-2018, 12:27 PM.
    "A BMW that needs nothing, has an owner that's not paying attention."



    #2
    i would lower it another inch to get rid of the fender gap IMO. your car still looks great though.


    i have no idea what i am doing with my life

    Comment


      #3
      what Headers are thoes?
      sigpic:):)

      Comment


        #4
        WOW just wow. You really turned things around with this car. A+.

        1991 BMW 318i (Old Shell RIP, Now Being Re-shelled & Reborn)
        1983 Peugeot 505 STI
        1992 Volvo 240 Wagon
        2009 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport 4WD

        Comment


          #5
          Man car looks great.


          1989 325is l 1984 euro 320i l 1970 2002 Racecar
          1991 318i 4dr slick top


          Euro spec 320i/Alpina B6 3.5 project(the never ending saga)
          Vintage race car revival (2002 content)
          Mtech 2 turbo restoration
          Brilliantrot slick top "build"

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by dirtbag30 View Post
            i would lower it another inch to get rid of the fender gap IMO. your car still looks great though.
            if were going for the stanced look, totally. But the drop was more a byproduct of the coilovers which were done more for function than appearance -- not to mention the fact that the headers are sitting about 1.5" off the ground as it is. i may go to 17's, but kinda like the weight of these.

            Originally posted by Bmwmotorm52 View Post
            what Headers are thoes?
            one of the very few car parts I've sourced from ebay, lol. recommended by a few forum members -- here.

            Originally posted by freeride53 View Post
            WOW just wow. You really turned things around with this car. A+.
            thank you, agreed. much left to do, but it's officially been saved.

            Originally posted by ThatOneEuroE30 View Post
            Man car looks great.
            Gracias. Your 320 build makes my project look like a couple days worth of work -- I had to patch the section in the trunk under the battery and i thought that was work, dude your in deep, but it's gonna be epic.
            "A BMW that needs nothing, has an owner that's not paying attention."


            Comment


              #7
              Haha thanks. Takes lots of patience and time.


              1989 325is l 1984 euro 320i l 1970 2002 Racecar
              1991 318i 4dr slick top


              Euro spec 320i/Alpina B6 3.5 project(the never ending saga)
              Vintage race car revival (2002 content)
              Mtech 2 turbo restoration
              Brilliantrot slick top "build"

              Comment


                #8
                Great work man. Saved indeed...

                Any issues with the headers or did you need to massage them past the sub-frame?

                form.follows.function IG @mplfoster

                Comment


                  #9
                  Looks great! I love seeing these builds, gives me more motivation :firehop:

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Lookin great! I need to do that bumper swap. Take some pictures of how you do the rear swap. I know there is a DIY thread with lots of pics but it would be cool to see how another person does it. Maybe you will find some better ways to attack it.
                    Cheers
                    sigpic
                    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jllphan View Post
                      if were going for the stanced look, totally. But the drop was more a byproduct of the coilovers which were done more for function than appearance -- not to mention the fact that the headers are sitting about 1.5" off the ground as it is. i may go to 17's, but kinda like the weight of these.
                      being a believer in function > form that is totally understandable. i was just stating my humble opinion. i love the look of style 5s. so ill say it again that your car looks great. lol


                      i have no idea what i am doing with my life

                      Comment


                        #12
                        NICE! Our cars made the exact same change! Nice work!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          very,very nice car. I own a '88 and a'89 325is. I'm soon to get them both running again then the real work will begin.
                          sigpic


                          '88 325is-daily
                          '89 325is-project
                          '84 633csi-its there
                          '00 528i-daily (wrecked)
                          '01 525i- sold

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by MPLFoster View Post
                            Great work man. Saved indeed...

                            Any issues with the headers or did you need to massage them past the sub-frame?
                            Thanks! Massaged is a good word. A few more would be blood, sweat and a few choice words. Nothin' had to be modified to get them to fit, but they don't exactly drop right in. I will say with the exhaust Kevin built, this thing sounds AMAZING.

                            Originally posted by 88BlackS-ETA
                            Great job on the car. Looks so much better. Keep it up.
                            Thanks!

                            Originally posted by davidayeee View Post
                            Looks great! I love seeing these builds, gives me more motivation :firehop:
                            Thank you! Good luck to you and your sister, I'm actually looking for an e30 vert for my gf -- so i too am adding to the 'e'strogen30 pool ;)

                            Originally posted by deutschman View Post
                            Lookin great! I need to do that bumper swap. Take some pictures of how you do the rear swap. I know there is a DIY thread with lots of pics but it would be cool to see how another person does it. Maybe you will find some better ways to attack it.
                            Cheers
                            Will do, one of the local e30 guys has a plastic bumper modified for an early car, so as soon as i source some parts, i'm gonna hit him up to use his as a template. I didn't do a great job photographing the journey so far, but that will change and will post updates here.

                            Originally posted by dirtbag30 View Post
                            being a believer in function > form that is totally understandable. i was just stating my humble opinion. i love the look of style 5s. so ill say it again that your car looks great. lol
                            my bad if i sounded snippy, all good -- and thank you for the kind words.

                            Originally posted by TC|Photography View Post
                            NICE! Our cars made the exact same change! Nice work!
                            Indeed, looks like Donnie/Kevin have some of your money too! Thanks!

                            Originally posted by IzzY_325is View Post
                            very,very nice car. I own a '88 and a'89 325is. I'm soon to get them both running again then the real work will begin.
                            Thank you sir. I bought this car to get better at working on cars and am having a blast.
                            "A BMW that needs nothing, has an owner that's not paying attention."


                            Comment


                              #15
                              Fantastic car/build! Always want a Alpine E30!

                              Megan Coils are kind of a bitch to adjust huh? I have the same set up!
                              1991 325i Calypso Coupe

                              Like Grandfather, Like Father, Like Son
                              BMW

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