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Project Frankenstein. . My journey with my E30's

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    Project Frankenstein. . My journey with my E30's

    Hi guys New to R3V but not new to E30's as I've been a member on the E30Zone for many years and thought I would check out this site as I always hear good things about it!

    I'll start from the beginning..of how my love for E30's came about and show you the progress I have made for myself..So sit back and enjoy the ride!

    I was about 6 years old when my dad went out one morning and returned with this..



    From that moment on I was in love with this machine!
    I loved everything about it from the howl the engine made to the all famous "E30 smell" (which funny enough EVERY E30 i've been in since still smells the same! :D )

    He sold it many years later and eventually bought another which was a baur convertible..


    My uncle in Cyprus had spoke to my dad and decided he needed an E30 in his life too and bought a 325i Sport:


    As you can see E30's were in my blood and soul from a young age..and from the day I sat in that black and chrome beauty I knew I would one day own one!

    Fast forward a few years to the day when I finally had enough money to go out and buy my own Bmw E30. Due to insurance and my budget the 325i that I wanted was a no no so I went with a 318is instead.
    I'm happy I did in the end as it was the perfect introduction into the E30 life, just enough power and a hell of alot of fun!

    Here is the day when I first bought it and the journey it took me on:








    Overhauled the "loose rear end" ;D (what a pain in the arse this job turned out to be! I had seized everything! and i mean everything! but got there in the end)








    Sitting correct at the rear now ;D


    also replaced the backbox to a scorpion Dtm as the standard one was well past its use by date!





    Now we move onto "Project Frankenstein" The story with this car is I bought it cheap as an already converted E30 with an E34 3.5i engine and gearbox installed..

    I Use the term converted VERY loosely these guys didn't have a clue!! :loco:



    The amount of bodgery that awaited me was shocking :-x






    I had found oil in the coolant and coolant on the dipstick so i set to work to see what horrors awaited me:





    So I got to work removing the cylinder head:









    Took it to the engineers and gave it a 1mm skim ;D:loco:





    Cleaning up the block










    Back together'ish


    Clutch Problems!!!
    When i first bought the car the owner told me the clutch had "gone" and it felt like how the the brake pedal would feel when the car is off. So I took the box off (Which was only held on with 4 bolts i shit you not!) to see what was the problem. This is what i was greeted with:





    All this due to the wrong flywheel clutch set-up being in there! :-x

    Correct dual mass on the left single mass (from an E23 i later found out) on the right!


    So i got that problem fixed and tried to insure it..Now bear in my I was 21 at the time trying to insure a heavily modified E30 with a 3.5i engine under the hood.
    The quotes I was getting killed my hopes and dreams..£5,000 and the lowest i could find was £4990 :loco: Made me wonder why I didn't check this before embarking on this journey

    So time passes and i get a new Job working for BMW themselves (Very proud moment in my life :oops: ) Only problem was it was quite far from my house with 80% in heavy traffic and the 318is was returning some seriously dreadful mpg so reluctantly it had to go :(




    So now the IS was gone I gave the 3.5i a bodywork inspection and due to it being sat idle for so many years the underside had more holes than a hookers tights on a Saturday night

    So I had a dilemma. Reshell the engine putting right all the wrongs these clowns managed to do...Or send the whole thing to the body shop for some serious welding.

    After weighing up the costs I decided to re-shell it and set about looking for a clean shell Preferably PRE - facelift as I've always liked the rear lights better :oops:

    After a bit of hunting I came across a pre facelift convertible which the owner claimed to be spotless due to being in a heated garage for the last 7 years.. Now it was a convertible and I have always seen them as pointless in the UK as we get about 2 nice days a year but I thought what the hell it wont hurt to go and take a look. .

    It was so clean and drove so nice with no rattles or knocks that bought it on the spot :eeek:
    the only bad bits were that it was a 320i Auto (which didn't really matter to me anyway as i had no intention of keeping that engine in their)
    The hood was in desperate need of replacement!
    Also it had been lowered way more than I was comfortable with driving on UK roads..looked good but wasn't very practical.

    Here it was when i got it home:










    In the daylight:








    So the next day I got it up in the air at work to check how clean it really was and man was I happy with what I saw!















    We also had a Z8 in for some work so i took the oppurtunity to get a few pics with it!






    I next removed the carpet as it was wet from the water getting in from the hood being torn and i wanted to check the usual rust spots E30's suffer from:








    All in all no nasty surprises! Well apart from the speakers :eeek:


    Then i got started on cleaning out the arches to see if any of the dirt was hiding anything..
    Evidence of how low this car was..heres a comparison of my old jack n the new one I bought specially for the beast!



    And heres a look in the arches before dirty / after jetwashed pics 8)

















    Inside the front arches:


    brake pipes still good


    Nice!


    I came to a point where I was happy the shell was perfect and I could start the conversion.

    Relieving the 3.5i from its rusty tomb 8)





    Hmm..getting it out took minutes compared to building the crane up lol


    There we go :D



    and here we go. . .



    Easy does it..



    My arse was well and truly twitching here! :eeek: :loco:



    On the home stretch! !


    Thats how you do that...Word of advice for anyone doing this conversion in the future..this engine is HEAVY! Like seriously heavy..



    as she stood, ready for a strip down / clean up and spray job!



    I started off with the Rocker cover (I went for a "hammered" paint which makes it look slightly dimpled and not smooth):



    halfway:



    Finished



    I then moved onto the Inlet manifold:
    (I was considering doing it the same as the rocker cover after the result i got but I wanted a bit of contrast in the engine bay so I switched the colours)








    and a couple of them together :D





    Next up was the oil filter housing which had seen better days!
    Got to degreasing and scrubbing all that old crap off
    Before:


    After:




    I then got to degreasing then wire wheeling the block of all the old paint.
    Before:

    After:


    I then moved on to the thermostat housing, the end part had seen better days and the bleed screw was finished so I decided to get a new one!



    Also sprayed the rest of the housing to go with it:





    Also noticed this on the bottom pulley :loco:

    So i made it right :D


    When removed I was made aware that the exhaust manifold was from an E28 and would not fit without battering the bodywork which these fools actually did :


    and this


    I was informed i needed E34 m5 manifolds so the internet came to my rescue once again!
    Before:

    After:

    So the time had come to remove the 2.0i to make way for its bigger brother:


    So the day has come to remove the M20..and what a PAIN IN THE ARSE THAT WAS! :eeek:
    This was harder to remove then the M30 was, most definitely due to the auto box! :-x
    In the end it took me My brother AND my dad to prise it out of there!

    Didnt get as many pics as id liked to have but it will have to do!

    How the day started.. Removed the prop, exhaust, bonnet and got to work in the engine bay!




    and after a lot of struggling, swearing, lifting, pushing...it...was...out! :D:D




    Then I got to work cleaning up the engine bay ready for its new heart!
    Before



    After





    Then I removed Brake servo which had seen better days
    Gave it a rub down and spray:




    After (I forgot to take pics of it before refitting and realised when it was too late :oops:



    Making it a manual transmission:

    [/quote]


    She now has the correct amount of pedals!


    I then moved onto the clutch side of things:
    New pipe mating up to the original metal pipe from the old car which was still in good condition:




    I then cleaned and fitted the Clutch fluid reservoir


    Fitting the M30
    I decided to make my life a bit easier and put the engine and box in separately also to avoid any kind of damage to anything!





    Engine went in nice and smooth and the box was tough to fit on the floor but with my jack and pure willpower i got there in the end ..
    Fresh chrome nuts to compliment its new paint job


    Fitting the inlet manifold / oil filter housing / thermostat housing / tidied up the wiring:







    Fitted the gear linkage and retaining bush/ slave cylinder



    Radiator and fan set up.
    The M20 radiator wasn't up to the job of cooling this enormous engine so i sourced an E28 radiator and went about using an old BMW fan i had lying around:
    I then moved onto slimming down the Bmw fan im going to use:

    Before:


    After:



    Used a bit of rust prevention while the radiator was still out:





    I used headlight securing clips and screws to secure the radiator in place:





    A bit of precision :roll:


    Then I noticed the gap inbetween the panel and the radiator and had a look to see if the original mounting bracket would fit



    Nope..I still didnt like the way the gap looked so i got the spare one i had and made a slight modification


    Much better! :D


    I then moved onto measuring up the fan









    Plumbing it in.
    The pipes were coming up short as they were made to fit for the M20 rad! :-x
    So i did a bit of a temp fix and used a bit of pipe I had lying around until I could source some pipes..






    Replacing some of the old and rubber:




    You didnt think the bodgery was over did you? :-?



    The 2.0i had this backbox and because I wasn't going for the DTM look again I did a little modification:



    Fitting the downpipes and exhaust..





    replacing the diff as I didn't think the original small case 2.0i Auto diff was up to the job lol






    And in!



    Freshened up the brakes..I considered painting the calipers but not planning to keep this brake setup for too long so didn't see the point!




    Replaced the front springs as the car was sitting low enough as it was without the big M30 in there..last thing i wanted to do was crack the sump after all this work!




    While they where drying i took the struts out and removed the lowered springs



    While the struts where out i gave the turrets some rust prevention treatment




    Replaced the steering rack gaitors


    Replaced the wheel bearings


    Back on the springs




    Found a seized caliper (which I later replaced)





    and also a Seized outer balljoint for good measure :-x


    So I replaced these with some new wishbones and M3 eccentric bushes



    These had definantly seen better days! :eeek:


    Getting them on the wishbones




    Replaced the Anti Roll Bar Link arms


    And on the car :D





    Tidied up the interior:



    Replaced the steering wheel:
    Before: (When I first bought it)


    After:


    Replaced the speakers:



    5 Years after I started the M30 adventure the time finally came to take her for a spin 8)
    It drove like a dream!
    It was a struggle keeping it in a straight line with the 14" BBS'



    Now I was happy with how it was driving it was time for some cosmetics!!
    Firstly the hood:








    Took it for a little spin in the country lanes 8)


    Gave it a good wash and polish..Not bad for a 25 year old car.. ;D






    Then of course I finally put the hood down and took it for its first spin topless as an M30 and wow what a difference that engine makes to the enjoyment of topless driving!!




    Then I decided to treat it to a Mtech1 Rear spoiler which needed a bit of work:





    Removing the snapped bolt and making it right:



    Next I thought id try a bit of black silicon to patch up the crack:



    The smooth lines of the spoiler-less boot actually looked better then I thought it would



    After a bit of measuring / a bit more measuring / then some drilling this was the end result 8)
    (Also replaced the BMW badge)




    Went to a couple of car shows that weekend with some of my friends..Dont let the mini's fool you they are on some serious steroids! :eeek:






    I decided to personalise the car Like I've always wanted with a private Number plate:



    I finally sorted the eye sore in the engine bay which was my makeshift pipe! Turns out I bought the last one in the country 8)


    (Much better)


    Replaced it bled the system and gave the engine bay a good clean 8)



    Then took a nice drive to the seaside for some fish and chips :D


    This is where I am with the car right now..It is by no means finished and I doubt i ever will finish it as there is always something to do or change!

    Anybody still interested?! :yawn:

    Theres still plenty more to come. .


    Last edited by cypriotgeeza; 06-17-2015, 07:28 AM.

    "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
    Project Frankenstein :twisted: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=359297

    #2
    Killer.

    Seems photos have vanished for last half.
    ACS S3 Build / Dinan 5 E34

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by TimeMachinE30 View Post
      Killer.

      Seems photos have vanished for last half.
      Thanks!

      Have they? They are still showing up on my screen..i think i overloaded the server :oops:

      "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
      Project Frankenstein :twisted: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=359297

      Comment


        #4
        dedication, nothing wrong with an engine pull in the snow

        Comment


          #5
          ITB's!? :)

          Like where you're headed. Welcome. m30 FTW.

          Comment


            #6
            You certainly do know E30's...nice work! And welcome!

            form.follows.function IG @mplfoster

            Comment


              #7
              Wow!

              Great work and quite the story over the years. Sub'd to follow where this heads.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by scoobydo View Post
                dedication, nothing wrong with an engine pull in the snow
                Its true..If done right! These guys weren't serious! lol

                Originally posted by wannaBMthree View Post
                ITB's!? :)

                Like where you're headed. Welcome. m30 FTW.
                Thanks man! Wherever I'm headed its damn fast! :twisted: :D

                Originally posted by MPLFoster View Post
                You certainly do know E30's...nice work! And welcome!
                Thanks man! What can I say its in the blood :D

                Originally posted by GDA View Post
                Wow!

                Great work and quite the story over the years. Sub'd to follow where this heads.
                Thanks man, I hope I don't disappoint!

                "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
                Project Frankenstein :twisted: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=359297

                Comment


                  #9
                  WOW, that's one hell of a first post. First off, welcome! Second, beautiful topless m30 you have there :)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by CorvallisBMW View Post
                    WOW, that's one hell of a first post. First off, welcome! Second, beautiful topless m30 you have there :)
                    Thank you! :oops:


                    Like they say you only get one chance at a first impression so I thought I would do it right :D

                    Yours isn't looking so bad either my friend I am looking forward to reading through your build thread! :D

                    "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
                    Project Frankenstein :twisted: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=359297

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Looking good!

                      I like the time you took to clean and paint everything while it was apart. It makes a big difference in the end product.

                      Also I love that Big Six sound! Make more videos if you can.

                      Looks like you picked the right shell, barely any rust! I'm jealous! My car is one of the least rusty I've seen in my area (they use a lot of road salt in the winter) and I still have multiple rust holes. :(
                      My Build Threads:
                      '87 BMW E30 325is Turbo
                      '98 BMW E36 328i
                      '90 Mazda NA Miata Turbo
                      '04 Jeep TJ
                      '05 Yamaha R6

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Panici View Post
                        Looking good!

                        I like the time you took to clean and paint everything while it was apart. It makes a big difference in the end product.

                        Also I love that Big Six sound! Make more videos if you can.

                        Looks like you picked the right shell, barely any rust! I'm jealous! My car is one of the least rusty I've seen in my area (they use a lot of road salt in the winter) and I still have multiple rust holes. :(
                        Thanks man! :D

                        Yea if anything my exhaust is too loud atm, so I'm considering a custom job soon..Hopefully going 50mm diameter pipe all the way through M3 style.
                        Yea more videos will be on the way as I'm getting a SJcam (go pro style) and plan to use it going to meets etc

                        From the moment I bought that car I knew I had to get the engine out and give it a good clean / change all the gaskets / then spray it, i just didn't realise it would then be going into a new shell lol but hey life is unpredictable!

                        I look forward to reading through your build thread too man :up:

                        "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
                        Project Frankenstein :twisted: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=359297

                        Comment


                          #13
                          So this arrived today! 8-)







                          I finally have my hands on a E46 clubsport rack!! Can't wait to fit it now! Just need the pipe work and the washers and its ready to go!

                          I've already bought these in preparation for it:


                          "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
                          Project Frankenstein :twisted: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=359297

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'm not familiar with an 'e46 clubsport' rack, what's different about it?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by CorvallisBMW View Post
                              I'm not familiar with an 'e46 clubsport' rack, what's different about it?
                              It has a quicker lock to lock ;D

                              Here is a chart of racks which can be fitted to an E30:


                              "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
                              Project Frankenstein :twisted: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=359297

                              Comment

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