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Diamantschwarz Forever: An E30 Love Story. Re-shell & Restomod

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    Very sorry to hear about your aunt. That's rough. :(

    Some of the M42 timing components are crazy expensive. I remember seeing the prices for the chain guides last year and thinking it was a mistake.

    Good luck with the motor decision. I think finding a decent M42 replacement will be easier in both the short and long term. If you have the time for it, you could perform a refresh while the replacement engine is out of the car.

    Love those photos and backdrops as always!

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      Sorry to hear about your aunt. Also sorry to hear the m42 quit on you as well. The same thing had happened to mine with the timing chain guide failing.

      If you end up replacing the m42, it might be worth your while to find a later 94-95 engine, as it'll have the updated timing case, along with the serpentine style belt setup. You'd have to swap over the e30 intake, oil pan, & exhaust setup, but it'll give you the chance to refresh all the gaskets.

      The 24V swap does liven up the 318 quite a bit though, even in m50 form. If you go that route, nobody can blame you, however I may be a bit biased ;)

      Comment


        Sorry about your aunt and the m42.

        It's probably best to find another m42 and swap it in unless you really want more power. I recently swapped to an m52 and it was $$$ to do it right. By the time you add a/c, custom exhaust, refresh the engine, wiring harness, and other misc parts... it adds up quick.


        '91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
        '05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
        '03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
        '91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold :sad:
        '91 325i auto coupe - Sold
        '90 325iC - Sold
        '91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold

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          Time to blow the cobwebs off this thread. As noted in Page 12 (and over 9 months ago), the car was taken off the road due to what we initially thought was a bad timing chain guide. This caught me a little bit off guard after just over 1 year and nearly 40,000 miles of uninterrupted hooning the E30 around Southern California, Northern California, Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. I thought I had combed through just about everything and there couldn't possibly be anything that could wrong with it.



          Thinking the motor was shot, I started searching for S50s, S52s, and even some cheap M42's. After a month of looking around, I realized that I wouldn't have the space to store all the parts and do the swap, so somehow succumbed to finding a reliable daily. After a couple of months of searching, I found what I had initially wanted prior to my previous E30 shell getting wrecked. A unicorn 2009 4Runner SR5 Sport 4WD with.....50k miles and Toyota CPO warranty. Bought it in Flagstaff, AZ and had it shipped to my house in LA. Here it is right after I got it.



          And here it is some time later, after I "had my way" with it with a few little things and transferred over the E30's roof rack system



          Installed a factory hitch and Thule bike rack to haul my bikes



          Then came up on some 18" 4Runner Limited wheels (took a while to find 'em)



          Will need to get some new tires for them, thinking of KO2's (RUFFLZ is peer-pressuring me to get some)



          Also, while the E30 was down, got my Peugeot back from my LA-based specialist who spent 6+ months ironing out some weird French gremlins.



          Took it down to San Diego



          Then back in April got a yob in SF and finally moved back to the Bay Area after 8 years. Took the Peugeot to RadWood in June



          Started working really long hours for my new yob, and one random/late night, decided that I needed to do something about the E30, which I had just left at my uncle's house with no real plan. So I did some research, and because the car's M42 had strong, even compression in all 4 cylinders, I decided that I couldn't let it die a fate common to most M42's. Took advantage of an FCP Euro sale and bought their comprehensive M42 Timing Refresh kit. Drove down to LA from SF during Labor day weekend, and had the car, along with all of the parts I had accumulated, towed to a local LA BMW guru's place.



          A few weeks later, the discovery was made that the damage was a little bit worse than originally thought...



          Common early M42 failure: the timing chain idler sprocket had managed to break off of the timing case. However, the chain had miracoulously held tension and stayed in place, somehow averting disaster.



          So then, we got to reading. And LOTS of communication with Will (bmwman91) and Nick (balleristic31) - both bonafide M42 gurus. These two along with Ian (e30335i) who uncovered the underlying disaster were BIG saves. Owe these 3 guys big thanks. Concluded that the early M42 timing cases were prone to failure, so tracked down a super clean timing case, taken out of a low-mile E36 318ti. Thank to Double02 Salvage in Hayward, California for hooking it up.



          Got a new oil pump and just about everything else "while there"



          triple-checked all other parts needed for the conversion



          Voila - E36/late model M42 converted timing case w/ all the fixins'



          All buttoned up with a new P/S pump (also from Double02 Salvage) to replace the leaky/screaming old one...



          First drive in 9 months - euphoric. Also no-hood hot boi status



          All cleaned up and back in Diamond Bar









          Flying down tomorrow to spend the next few days in LA for work. An old buddy is flying out from NYC Friday and we're going to take the Pacific Coast Hwy (Hwy 1) from LA to SF on Saturday. It'll be a more in-depth shakedown test, but also a very sentimental drive. That same buddy and I took the PCH from San Diego to San Francisco, in December 2014, in my old E30 (old shell, RIP).



          However on that drive, we "encountered" a mini rock slide which broke the oil pan, subframe, steering rack, etc and left us stranded in the middle of the Los Padres National Forest, 2 hours south of Big Sur on a cold December night without cell signal, food, etc. I hitchhiked, eventually finding a one-armed tow truck driver with a stick-shift flatbed who rescued us and drove us back to Monterey, CA, where we called AAA and got home to Oakland 21 hours after leaving San Diego.



          Hopefully that doesn't happen this time but stoked beyond words.

          Sina

          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


            I've been looking forward to an update for a while and what an update! Crazy (and very fortunate) that the timing chain held tension like that and the valves didn't smash into the pistons. I bet that the updating timing case and components gives great peace of mind.

            40K miles in a year! Impressive! What's the grand total on the engine?

            The 4Runner and Peugeot both look great. I'd like to see some photos of the 240. ;-)

            Good luck on your drive on PCH!

            Comment


              Safe travels Sina. Glad you got it sorted. I thought your post was gonna end with your M42 car being a gonner, but glad you decided to save it.
              sigpic
              January 2012 COTM

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                yaaaaaas queen!

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                  Didn't have the chance to update this in over a month, but the pick-up and coastal drive from Los Angeles back to San Francisco went off without a hitch, and have put over 1,500 miles on the car with the refreshed M42.

                  Quick stop on the way home from LA to SF, stopped at Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach



                  Got a little carried away, doing what I later realized was illegal (so I stopped).



                  X marks the spot where me and my buddy drove over a small rock-slide in the Los Padres National Forest coastline, PCH south of Big Sur in 2014. Celebratory/anniversary shot:



                  Instantly regretted driving over saltwater on the beach so promptly had my undercarriage, engine bay, and all crevices thoroughly steam-cleaned at a professional shop in San Jose. The results were incredible - have NEVER in my life seen the underside of my car so clean.



                  Getting all in the crevices...



                  Back home in Oakland


                  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


                    Man, this car makes me want a diamond schwarz e30 so bad!

                    That steam cleaning service is awesome! I have never seen or heard of anything like that here in Georgia.


                    '91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
                    '05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
                    '03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
                    '91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold :sad:
                    '91 325i auto coupe - Sold
                    '90 325iC - Sold
                    '91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold

                    Comment


                      So you've got the underside of the car cleaned but have no pictures to show us the end result..? :roll:

                      Great updates none the less!
                      1990 325iX Touring - November 2018 R3V Car Of The Month

                      1980 Volkswagen Golf mk1 1.1
                      1974 BMW 2002 Touring

                      Instagram

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                        I saw the beach photo and immediately thought of salt water. Then I saw the steam cleaning photos and breathed a sigh of relief. I'm going to see if we have any steam cleaning places in my area. Definitely something I'd like to do!

                        Glad to hear the road trip went well!

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Codym42 View Post
                          Man, this car makes me want a diamond schwarz e30 so bad!

                          That steam cleaning service is awesome! I have never seen or heard of anything like that here in Georgia.

                          It's pretty crazy - this family-owned op is the only one of its kind in Northern California, and I think there can't be more than a handful down in Southern California. In our state, I think it's because of the strict environment laws, and these guys have built a system that traps (or recycles?) run-off. Seems like a high barrier to entry to the niche service.


                          Originally posted by mike.bmw View Post
                          I saw the beach photo and immediately thought of salt water. Then I saw the steam cleaning photos and breathed a sigh of relief. I'm going to see if we have any steam cleaning places in my area. Definitely something I'd like to do!

                          Glad to hear the road trip went well!

                          Ha - yes those sorts of thoughts were running through my head for the remaining 5 hours of the drive :(



                          Originally posted by D.Martijn View Post
                          So you've got the underside of the car cleaned but have no pictures to show us the end result..? :roll:

                          Great updates none the less!

                          LOL I don't know why I forgot to post them. Here are the photos I took while it was up right after the service was performed:





                          Does anyone know if I'm missing a round piece in the center of the passenger floor pan?






                          Under the engine bay:





                          Engine pay, with some peeling cosmoline






                          Otro lado



                          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


                            where and how much was that steam cleaning sina, my jeep needs some cleaning lol
                            Last edited by ohthejosh; 12-28-2018, 10:14 AM.
                            SO MUCH MORE TO DO!!
                            IG: ohthejosh

                            LEGIT CHECK ME BRUH
                            BUYER FEEDBACK THREAD

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                              ^ also interested in the steam cleaning service, where and how much. Now that I've got a car again I think I'd like to get that done before venturing underneath for suspension work...
                              1984 Delphin 318i 2 door

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                                There’s a place down here in OC that does it for $250... I’ve considered getting both cars done but I have yet to do either
                                Simon
                                Current Car:
                                -2003 Mini Cooper R50
                                Previous Car Count : 24 ... and climbing...

                                Make R3V Great Again -2020

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