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Mike's Alpine White 1991 318is

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    Sport Steering Wheel Install - 4th time's a charm

    Wow. A steering wheel finally worked out. After buying a leather airbag wheel that had major issues, and buying a nicely wrapped Mtech 2 wheel that had crash damage, and buying a vinyl airbag wheel that had sheered airbag wiring, I have installed a steering wheel that I like (and didn't have major issues)! Props to fresh_TD , the enabler, for sending me a link to this wheel.

    Story time. Almost exactly a year ago this wheel was sold by Adrenaline Junkie to another R3V member that lives in North Carolina (not sure of their username). That R3V member never installed it and recently listed it for sale on FB Marketplace. fresh_TD saw it and shared it with me. It's a standard "sport wheel" from what I've gathered. It was available on E30s (mostly verts) and E28s. Whoever did the wrap did a great job. Thumb pads were added. I really like the mix of perforated leather, non-perforated leather, and the colored stitching. It's all very solid. Best of all this was CHEAP. Shipped to my door it was cheaper than what it would cost to have the wrap done by itself. Likely because it's just a "sport wheel". Regardless, it's 100 times better than the crappy airbag wheel that was in the car. I like it a lot.

    Tech tip time. There are plenty of DIYs detailing how to install a non-airbag wheel in an airbag-equipped E30, so I won't go into all that. I will say that I have confirmed if you remove the lower knee pad under the steering wheel and disconnect the 3 connectors going to the orange box (the SRS module), you will not have a blinking SRS light. Also, this method prevents any faults from being stored in the SRS (because it's unplugged). If I reinstall the airbag wheel at some point I'll just need to reconnect the whole system before hooking up the battery again. Yes, there's an SRS reset procedure (referenced earlier in this thread in fact) that can also be used to clear the SRS fault codes.

    Picture time.

    DSC_0492 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr

    DSC_0496 copy 1 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

    DSC_0499 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr

    DSC_0508 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr

    DSC_0503 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr
    Last edited by; 02-27-2020, 11:44 AM.


      While I'm not the biggest fan of perforated leaher steering wheel in an E30, to me it looks too modern for an E30, that wheel definitely looks nicely wrapped!

      Now to find a matching shift knob
      Last edited by D.Martijn; 02-27-2020, 12:12 PM.
      1990 325iX Touring - November 2018 R3V Car Of The Month

      1980 Volkswagen Golf mk1 1.1
      1974 BMW 2002 Touring



        Finally, a wheel worthy of that interior! Looks good Mike

        '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

        Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery


          Well, that wheel looks familiar, like how it looks in your e30


            Originally posted by Adrenaline Junkie View Post
            Well, that wheel looks familiar, like how it looks in your e30
            Haha, yep! By chance I happened to come across the old For Sale post on R3V after speaking with the seller. Did you rewrap it yourself? I really like it. Very solid.


              No, my good friend do the rewrap, I'll tell him you like it, thumb pads were my idea on this particular wheel


                It has only been a couple weeks since my last update, but I've had a few irons in the fire over the last few months so now is the time to fill in the gaps.

                National Capital Chapter (BMW CCA)
                A couple months ago I was asked to be the co-editor of the National Capital Chapter's der Bayerische magazine. I am very excited about this. Starting last September, I have written a few articles for the magazine. I guess they liked my writing style and enthusiasm enough to ask me to be the co-editor. Responsibilities include editing articles (obviously) in addition to budget, sponsors, marketing, writing articles, and more. I've started a new article series that debuts next issue that I'm pretty excited about.

                Bimmerlife Magazine
                I received my copy of Bimmerlife yesterday. To my surprise one of my photos was used!

                20200313_140445 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                Original Photo:
                DSC_0755 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                Garage Lighting
                My garage was built in the early 1970s. The lighting was probably installed around that time. Over the last 8 years I've had to replace some of the original lighting ballasts and fixtures. Recently two more died and one was making a horrible noise. I decided to completely replace everything. I picked up 6 new LED fixtures on amazon for $125 shipped. The new fixtures operate off a plug (not hard wired) and can be chained together, so my plan was to install an outlet in the ceiling and chain the fixtures off that outlet.

                Pulling down the original fixtures was a surprise. They weighed over 40 pounds each. They were held in place by drywall screws, but only a few of which found their way into studs. They were also connected to each other with some hidden machine screws. So after removing only a few luckily placed drywall screws, these things ripped themselves out of the ceiling and crashed to the floor. I opened the boxes to find melted wires and burn marks on the fixture housings. I should have replaced these a while ago.

                The new LED fixtures are secured into studs and hung using a chain. They provide MUCH more light than the originals. They all operate off the same light switch as the originals. I may add two more above the work bench and shelving (I can chain up to 4 in a row, currently only chaining 3 in a row). Eventually I'll find a better way to secure the cabling to the ceiling and I'll paint the ceiling.

                20200307_111841 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                20200307_154850 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                Yearly State Inspection
                Because I drive my E30 more often than not, I haven't applied for Vintage tags which put restrictions on certain types of driving (errands, commuting, etc). Regular tags require a regularly yearly state inspection in Virginia. The Sunoco station down the street used to have a few E30 guys that worked there, but they have moved on within the past year. The current inspector takes his job seriously, which is a good thing. My car passed without issue.

                20200302_133938 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                Garage Helpers
                Winter setup swapped for summer setup on the F31. Despite the fact the wheels weigh more than either of these kids, they were champs and helped quite a bit. Jack placement, threading/unthreading lug bolts, and filling the tires with air.

                20200313_121023 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                They also helped give the E30 a bath. It had been a couple months since the last full wash.

                20200310_132241 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                Home Addition
                Not really, but I did spend 14 hours over the course of a week turning a pile of wood into a playset. Seeing that schools are off through April 10th I imagine we'll be getting a lot of use out of this thing.

                20200225_143359 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                20200307_115408 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                Random Photo
                DSC_0544 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                DSC_0534 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr


                  The pictures of the kids makes me smile. Important to keep them close and express gratitude to be with your family. Thanks for this share.


                    Steering wheel looks great Mike! Adrenaline Junkie 's friend does great work. Below was the Mtech2 wheel he wrapped for me...ironically I got the bare wheel from fresh_TD

                    1991 318is
                    2004 330ci
                    2011 335d


                      A little off-topic, but how do you like the Advan Flevas? Thinking about getting the exact same set..


                        Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
                        The pictures of the kids makes me smile. Important to keep them close and express gratitude to be with your family. Thanks for this share.
                        Thanks! :)


                          Originally posted by dmanb2b View Post
                          Steering wheel looks great Mike! Adrenaline Junkie 's friend does great work. Below was the Mtech2 wheel he wrapped for me...ironically I got the bare wheel from fresh_TD
                          Thanks! That MT2 wheels looks amazing. I'm still very happy with mine. fresh_TD knows how to find a good steering wheel and Adrenaline Junkie 's friend has some skills!

                          Originally posted by gregs325is View Post
                          A little off-topic, but how do you like the Advan Flevas? Thinking about getting the exact same set..
                          If it's about E30s, it's on topic. :-) Here is some feedback I gave on the tires in a different thread. I still like the Flevas and they come in the correct 205/55R15 size that I required. They are a great street tire, they see occasional spirited driving, and will eventually see some HPDE track time. Given the limited options in this size, I think they are the clear choice.

                          Originally posted by View Post
                          I can give some feedback regarding the tires. For the past year I ran the S.drives on my Ronals in 205/55R15. I'm now running the Advan Flevas on my RS001s in 205/55R15 (because like you said, the S.drives aren't available anymore). Initially the Advan Flevas felt a little soft to me compared to the S.drives. However, after driving around on them for a week I realized this was due to tire pressure. I had been running 36 psi on the S.drives and only 32 psi on the Advan Flevas. Yes, it's only a 4 psi increase, but it did make a noticeable difference. The Advan Flevas are fairly quiet, which is nice. They provide a good amount of grip. Turn-in is sharp (running 36 psi). Overall I'm happy with them. The S.drives seemed have have more blocked/square shoulders, but that's likely due to running 205s on a 7.5" wide wheel (Ronal LS) vs 205s on a 7" wide wheel (RS001).
                          Last edited by; 04-03-2020, 01:46 AM.


                            Mike, thanks for linking me your thread (originally for injectors) but I've read through the whole thing and am thoroughly impressed! What a beautiful car and exquisite attention to detail and documentation. I hope to come close to a shadow of your car!
                            '91 318is


                              Mike, I just wanted to thank you for your detailed thread. I picked up a 318is back several months ago from the original owner and the information you have provided has been greatly appreciated as I have taken on several of the same projects you have detailed and the information has been invaluable! I just addressed the “mess under the intake” and your description was a great help. I also addressed the oil filter housing gasket and o-ring while I was in there.

                              My car has 112k miles, but sat for 5 years in the Florida. I had to replace the fuel tank and lines due to rust and corrosion. The PO knew the intake vacuum leak was an issue since they had all the vacuum hoses in the trunk. Car is running great now. I have to address the brakes next.

                              Thanks again for all the great info.



                                G FORCE and redrumm3 , thanks! I'm glad you found my thread (unhealthy obsession?) useful.

                                While I'm sure a lot of folks are finding time to complete automotive projects, I've been enjoying my days with my kids (school canceled until the fall) and trying to fit in a 40 hour work week when they are asleep. Not much time for the E30 these days. This evening I did manage to setup this shot though (#bmwccagaragegoals #griotsgarage contest):

                                bmwccagaragegoals by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                                DSC_0508 copy by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                                While I love my new steering wheel, the horn button had some scratches. Ebay to the rescue (less than $20 shipped for a replacement):

                                20200327_141407 by mike.bevels, on Flickr

                                The Vintage has been postponed, but I was able to rebook my room at the Clarion for the new dates. The new venue looks ridiculously awesome, so I'm even more excited now. Hopefully I'll find some time to knock out a few projects in the coming weeks and months. Hopefully I'll get to put a lot of faces to R3V usernames as well. :)