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Bringing my dad's car back to its former glory and beyond

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    Bringing my dad's car back to its former glory and beyond

    Originally posted this in my regional forum but it's coming along to the point that I feel like it should get its own dedicated build thread...

    (Nov 2, 2014)
    My dad purchased his 1990 Sterling Silver Metallic 325i back around 1992 and claims it was the first car he'd ever purchased that he ended up getting everything he wanted. I spent a ton of time in that car with him on road trips, learning how to drive in it when I was 16, etc. Basically many memories and lots of love.

    My dad passed away this summer, and when he I inherited the BMW. It now has 370,000 miles on the odometer but has been very well maintained and had the engine replaced around 260,000.

    My automotive experience is centered mostly around 2nd generation Ford Probe GT's (which Im sure I will get no love for ;)) and I plan to use my e30 as my lightly modified daily driver. It is bone stock at this point but will receive some light exterior modification and suspension work, but will mainly just be getting a lot of maintenance.

    Anyways, Im long winded, obviously. On to the pictures.






    Just purchased parts to repaint lower valence, replace fogs and add yellow laminex covers, replace front turn signals with smoked clears, replace front side reflectors with smoked clears, and install the missing lower grille.



    Last edited by dadsbmw; 11-24-2016, 08:47 AM.
    2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
    1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
    1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

    #2
    (May 11, 2015)
    So I've been doing some work and wanted to update and figured I might as well just do it in this thread.

    Started off by trying to get the front valence cleaned up as it was chipped to death and the fog lights were absolutely destroyed. Purchased some color matched spray paint, ebay fogs, yellow lamin-x covers, and the valence lower grill insert as it was missing. Also took the liberty to black out the side markers and turn signals with some night shades and remove the front license plate. Turned out pretty damn good if I do say so myself!

    A reminder of the damage on the front end



    Front license plate removed and turn signals blacked out... looking better



    Valence being painted



    All put back together minus the lower grill insert. Still need mounting hardware for that... anyone know how its mounted and what I need to buy?



    And with the lamin-x covers installed. I was unsure when I ordered them but now that they're installed I absolutely love them!



    Gratuitous (and extremely dirty) shot of the weekend driver as it sits in the garage getting the Megasquirt wired up



    Next I moved on to the tint. This stuff has to be at least 20 years old, purple, and bubbling up. Initially planned to get it redone, but now thinking I may stay tintless for a more classic look.
    Before:



    After:



    Next project... The black paint on the rockers is nasty, as will happen. I decided that in lieu of just painting them back to black, I would try them out body color and see how I feel about them. I think body color is the right choice!



    Still have to do the rear and the drivers side as well, as I've been busy with another project...



    Im fairly sure that most of the suspension is original, meaning 380,000 miles old! I know the drivers rear spring was replaced about a year ago as it broke in half, and Im thinking they may have replaced both sides with stock springs, but Im pretty sure thats about it. It's been suggested that since this will be a daily driver that I go with H&R sports with koni shocks, which is basically what I had been planning on doing. However a few weeks ago I bought some H&R OE Sports off craigslist for a very good price, and figured it couldn't hurt to test fit them and see how they look/perform. Looking at pictures online I didn't really like that the front sits much higher than the rear, so I also opted for e90 front drop hats as well. This weekend I got around to installing. Compare to the picture above to see the drop.



    I think the drivers side is a bit lower in front that the passenger side though... loving the look



    Gratuitous pic


    I'm very happy with the results and plan to stay at this height for some time... at least as long as I'm DDing the car.
    Last edited by dadsbmw; 04-21-2019, 10:49 AM.
    2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
    1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
    1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

    Comment


      #3
      (Today)
      Got new wheels. I made a slightly better lead in to this post but it got erased.

      They are Emortal 16x8 et25 RS (knockoff's). There are a few reasons why I chose these wheels in particular...

      The first is that the spokes seem to be slightly thicker and have less curvature than a lot of RS styles, be they replica or genuine. The Second is that a lot of the replicas have a center cap that is secured with an alley key, which looks completely out of place. These have a center nut that screws into the wheel to hold the face of the center cap in place.



      The last reason is the lack of concavity in the face of the wheels. When I went to the shop to buy them I noticed that a lot of the other versions all had slight to extreme concavity that looks strange at an angle... these are basically completely flat.



      On to the installed pics...












      And lastly a question. The wheels came with center cap emblems and I bought some emblems from the dealership as well. I definitely like the idea of the BMW caps best, but upon comparing them I actually quite like the coloring of the Emortal caps... Opinions?
      Last edited by dadsbmw; 06-17-2015, 09:18 PM.
      2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
      1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
      1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

      Comment


        #4
        Wonderful E30 my man. and sorry for your loss. it's good to see your doing things right with your father's car. I'm not a fan of yellow fog lights, but that's me. maybe smoked if anything but not yellow. that says "jdm" in my humble opinion sir.
        I suggest putting the bmw emblems on the wheels. makes it look more original. again, my opinion.
        subscribed!

        Comment


          #5
          Car looks great for having that many miles, your father obviously cared for it. I'm sure you will be keeping it around for a long time! I personally like the bmw centercaps, breaks up the all silver look.

          Keep up the progress.
          1987 325i-M62b44 swap

          Comment


            #6
            What a cool story and even more awesome car! This hits kind of close with me because my dads IX was the car I grew up with, worked on, and learned how to drive on. Very cool, keep the updates coming.
            1991 325i Calypso Coupe

            Like Grandfather, Like Father, Like Son
            BMW

            Comment


              #7
              I'm sorry for your loss. My dad's 89iX brought us together loving these E30s. He drives it whenever he can. Your car looks amazing and I love the passion you put into it.

              Sent from SPACE using Tapatalk 2
              FS NY: two Audiobahn A235HC amps and audiobahn 1farad capacitor
              Saab/GM tech2 programming
              My for sale thread
              1990 325iX for sale or part out
              Did you buy something from me? Please leave feedback!



              Originally posted by K20RI_211
              And I have to ask if you make a hobby out of thread-bombing with retarded questions?

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for all the compliments guys. I'll be putting on the BMW emblems later today...
                2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

                Comment


                  #9
                  Worthy!! Keep us posted!!
                  FEEDBACK:
                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316212

                  BMWCCA #398608
                  IG @yagayo38

                  "The Best E30's were built with two camshafts four cylinders and sixteen valves!".

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Great progress and story. It is all the better knowing you are enjoying the car just like your father did over the course of many, many years of ownership.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      do the MW caps, breaks it up in a good way

                      Comment


                        #12
                        cool story - nice car.

                        Def BMW caps.
                        91 DS S52 Slicktop, 91 Calypso M42, 89 Royalblau M20, 84 Bahama Beige 323i, M535, Euro e24, ap1

                        www.RenownUSA.com
                        ig @RenownUSA / @rude.scott

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Great story and nice car!
                          E30: '91 318is - M52/ZF320 | Azev A 16X7.5 | H&R Race/Bilstein | Completely refreshed suspension/brakes/drivetrain


                          An Associate/Bachelors degree is America's most overrated product

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Glad to see you are cleaning her up. I think the bmw logo would look weird on those center caps, personally.

                            As far as the grommets to hold on that front air grille thing, you want this part #- 51711927439
                            http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=51_0721

                            I cant remember how many you need, I think you might need 3. Realoem doesnt list the number needed.

                            Good luck :)
                            Current:
                            1989 325i
                            1988 M3
                            1987 325ic
                            Past:
                            2001 330ci
                            2001 M3

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Couple small updates:

                              Got the required hardware to install the lower valence grille insert (for all of like 50 cents) and installed it...
                              Before:



                              After:



                              Although for the most part the interior is in good shape, the tops of the rear seat backs have seen better days and had several rips in them that were painfully obvious when looking through the rear window.



                              I found someone on craigslist selling grey "leather" rear seats so I picked them up. The car has grey cloth interior, but my dad has consistently had sheep skin seat covers on the front seats since the day he purchased it. Although theyre not my style, I plan on keeping them on for at least the forseeable future. So the fringe benefit of this is that although the rear seats technically don't match, you'd never know.

                              New "leather"


                              They actually look really good installed and match the rest of the interior really well, but they do also point out how sun bleached my rear parcel shelf is.

                              And yeah, that is a brown shift knob in a grey and black interior... it shall be replaced at some point in the future. Not a huge priority.
                              2003 Z4 3.0 6-speed- Silver, 19's, daily driver
                              1990 Silver 325i- Lowered on H&R OE Sports, e90 drop hats, KYB shocks, color matched rocker panels, 16" Emortal RS wheels on 205/50/16 tires... Currently getting a full refresh including an S52 swap!
                              1997 Black Ford Probe GT- Stripped to 2220lbs, MS3X, Forged motor in midst of assembly... Dyno results and 1/4 mile times pending

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