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E30 from Ausieland

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    E30 from Ausieland

    Greetings R3V,

    My name is Dave and I'm from Brisbane Australia. I Have been a lurker for years.

    I have actually just back from a year living in Canada, and i was in USA for a few months, and since being back ive been on the lookout for a new project...

    I have had various imports and old corollas over the years but have just purchased my first euro machine!

    Always liked the e30 and Picked up this 85' 323i coupe last week. with apparently 159,000kms (around 100k miles).

    I think the mileage is correct, the body and interior seems to suggest it is. It is 31yrs old so its expected that it needs some work regardless of mileage i guess.

    It had been sitting for around 12mths before i picked it up. was running fairly terribly when i got it, but i couldn't say no to the lack of rust, interior condition and the paint quality.

    It's running the ol' L-Jetronic EFI. So I put on a new dizzy cap, rotor, spark plugs, drained the fuel tank and put some fresh stuff in. It seems to run quite good except idle quality is quite low, especially when cold. still idles a bit rough when hot but its considerably better.

    Seems I need to have a look at the coolant operated auxiliary air valve contraption. Found a few crusty old vacuum lines today, and im not convinced they are in the right spot....more research required.

    It is currently Auto, but i have purchased a full manual kit for it, i just need to buy a new clutch and a few bushes.

    Best part is the AC works quite well!

    I've only driven it up the street a bit but it seems to drive well.

    I have purchased some OEM tail lights and some series 2 headlights, just need to sort out some wiring.

    I'm looking forward to hanging around here a bit more!

    Here are a few pics. Appologies that interior photo hasn't turned out great, but you get the idea:)

    Lovely looking car mate! 8)

    The only thing I'd do away with is them rear lights!

    But it's your car your way :up:

    "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
    Project Frankenstein :twisted:


      Originally posted by e30davie View Post
      I have purchased some OEM tail lights and some series 2 headlights, just need to sort out some wiring.


        Looks good! I also have an Alpine Coupe and am in Brisbane :up:
        '90 318is


          Originally posted by e30davie View Post
          I have purchased some OEM tail lights and some series 2 headlights, just need to sort out some wiring

          As you were then :D

          "When Passion and Skill work together..the end result is often a masterpiece. ."
          Project Frankenstein :twisted:


            Nice one. That's one of the most original 323i's I've seen in a while (at least once you fit the factory tails to it).

            The 323i is a fun car - probably the most underrated e30. If you want to really wake it up, fit a 4.10 LSD (small or medium case won't really matter as the 2.3 won't kill a small case - e21s never really had issues) to it and you'll stay with 325i's no problem.

            Stock they had a 3.45 diff.
            My e30: OEM+ with M30B35


              Thanks for the info mate. It is a nice original car that's for sure. I wanted a 325 couldn't justify the prices people ask. Figured a 323 would be pretty fun and this one was waaay cheaper.

              Once I get the engine goin well and the manual in, LSD is certainly on the cards.

              Do you know if the 3.45 is in both the manuals and the autos?


                Ok well i dont seem to post too much, but thought id write an update.

                Has been a rather interesting few months.

                Ended up going through 2 manual gearboxes to get a good one, then bought a brand new clutch to suit a single mass flywheel from a 320i.

                Got the manual conversion completed, and i got it on the road about 2months ago.

                less than 24hrs after getting it on the road my timing belt snapped at around 4000rpm, less than 2kms from home. Made a hell of a mess of the engine. holes in 3 pistons, broke 4 valves off, bent the rest. Engine was completely stuffed. I was amazed more than angry at how much damage it did. all kinds of carnage.

                On inspection of the engine it seemed it hadnt been looked after very well at all.

                Picked up a second m20b23 for cheap as (As everyone goes for the b25). Compression tested it and it came up very good (190 across the 6), but given i didnt know the history and i had a bit of spare time i decided to give it a once over.

                Pulled the head off, got it overhauled, new t-belt, new seals everywhere, essentially a top end rebuild and general tidy up. came up looking brand new.

                Put it all back in and it started first go (still running L-jet).

                Ended up getting a new exhuast made, which is a bit louder than expected but for $400 aud cant complain.

                Have been driving around for around 600kms now and all is well, super fun to drive.

                I installed the late model 60-2 trigger wheel on front of engine in preparation for installation of my haltech e8 ecu. I also got a wideband bung put into the exhaust and i purchased a wideband o2 sensor too.

                Plan is to run in semi sequential mode as the halteh e8 only has 4 outputs. I picked up the e8 for cheap yrs ago and have been looking forward to using it on a project. I will leave the ignition timing on the dizzy for hte time being, but eventually convert it to the GM twin posted coils. Im currently making a loom from an old engine loom.

                Few pics as how it sits at the moment. Is my daily driver now.

                Attached Files


                  I really like the steelies. Thy look pretty cool and utilitarian.


                    Cheers mate,

                    Yer the steelies are cool especially with the centre caps. dont see too many around with steelies and centre caps. they always seem to have black steelies with ugly plastic hub caps.

                    Only concern is that in Australia we are quite limited on decent tyres for the 14". Ideally i would like to put a semi slick such as the Federal 595 RSR on, but they only come in 15". The RSR are great for the price, have used them a few times now.

                    I am tempted to hunt around for some 15" steelies. But then again if i'm going to change wheels id rather go alloy to save some weight.


                      Looking Good!


                        Very clean car!
                        E30 Armo "330i"


                          Thanks guys,

                          So we had a bit of rain on monday, seems i have developed a swimming pool in my rear right quarter area.

                          Ended up syphening it out with a piece of tube, and removing the carpet to let it dry.

                          Googleing the Internets suggests that there is a drain here that is blocked and perhaps I need to look at my taillight seals also.
                          Attached Files


                            Check your boot seal, and the seal on the right rear tail light. These are the most common leaks that fill that side of the boot.

                            Pity about your timing belt - is pretty catastrophic when they break as you found! Looks like things are going well now though!

                            With the diffs, manual 323i's had 3.45, I think autos came either with the 3.45 or a 3.63. A 3.9 or 4.1 will make a big difference off the mark, but a manual 323i is still loads of fun regardless.
                            My e30: OEM+ with M30B35


                              You are right it is quite a fun car to drive.

                              The more i drive it the more i actually dont mind the 3.45 or whatever is in it. Most of my commute to work is cruising at ~70km/h and it just purrs along nicely.

                              The boot seal looks fairly good condition, possibly new at some stage. I think the taillight seal is actually installed a bit poorly based on inspection. will pull it out on the weekend see what i can do.

                              M20b23 is a fun little engine but i think there is more to be had with a good tune, L-Jetronic distributor can only be so good i guess! I think its lacking some ignition advance from say 1500-4000 rpm, feels a bit flat then comes alive after 4000. And for 9.8:1 or whatever it is i think it should feel a bit more lively. But it certainly makes for smooth power delivery which i guess is what they were going for .