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Bringing back Gabby...1990 Calypso 325I

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    Bringing back Gabby...1990 Calypso 325I

    How fitting for me to start a thread about my E30 then on Christmas day about my 1990 BMW 325I aka Feliz. I've always had a thing about E30s since the mid 2000s when they were much more attainable and much much cheaper for rust free examples. I've owned a lot of different cars and never actually owned a BMW until I had my daughter a few years back. At that time I had a Honda S2000 which is an amazing car but very impractical and wanted something that had rear seats. That's when it started...the BMW bug. I saw a one owner Estoril Blue 1998 BMW M3 Sedan in manual located 10 minutes away 2 days after my daughter was born. It was meant to be. So I went, drove it, paid cash and brought it home. Who cares what the wife says or thinks....


    When I first brought her home. Betty

    Betty next to Angie

    The more I drove the E36 M3, the more I loved it. After racing a WRX on a hwy and coming to a pretty aggressive off ramp, I knew it was time to overhaul the suspension. I'm with the school of "while we're in there" mentality and decided to replace and upgrade everything in the suspension; poly bushings, all the reinforcements you can think of from AKG, new bearings, new ball joints, new GC Serious School Coilovers with race camber plates, GC Camber arms, rebuilt axles, you name it, the bottom half was rebuilt. But it didn't stop there. The interior received a complete refurb as well.

    Then the power bug got me....why the f*&k did US get the weak ass 240hp S52 when the rest of the world received 321hp? After speaking with my good friend Garrett who recently did a swap into his 318ti compact...this happened.


    Long story short since this isn't about Betty but an e30 revival...I fell in love with BMWs. Here are some pics of Betty after her revival.


    Rod Bearings being replaced with WPC treated bearings...bc race car.


    Like a glove....





    At TTFS putting down 345WHP with all the bells and whistles.








    Anyway...enough about Betty, this is about Gabriele aka Gabby (God's able-bodied one)

    So I found Gabby locally on craigslist...and as with most E30s these days, especially on the east coast, it had "some surface rust"...NEVER BELIEVE THAT. This is what I saw when I went to take a look.



    1990 325I autotragic with 60k original mile one owner car....tragically neglected bc the owner passed away 10 years ago and the family kept it running but not maintained on the exterior obviously. Even found receipts of complete overhaul of the M20 during the timing belt change in the glove box.


    Supposedly the only rust on the car...never believe that statement about an E30. NEVER


    Safe and sound in my garage.


    First things first....basic maintenance to make sure its running as it should.


    All 3 of my girls hanging out.

    So I started digging into the rust only to find a shitload more.

    I lifted the carpet and I found this. Couldn't believe I didn't see this in the beginning.



    Amount of rust that fell from just this one spot.

    I called my good friend Danny who's been doing bodywork to come give me some guidance and help w the rust work.

    The more we dug around, the more we found.




    And obviously the battery tray was absolute shit.


    Cutting out the rust and patching some of the panels with new metal.



    At this point fixing the rust and not doing full repainted was out of the question.












    Primered and ready for the booth.



    In the booth, at this point I stopped helping with what I could and let my friend Danny do his magic.










    Last edited by Gotboost79; 12-25-2016, 01:59 PM.

    #2
    Nice thread but how do you have time to work on cars when you have a newborn baby. Just asking because as soon as my daughter was born it seems like all my time is gone.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by efficient View Post
      Nice thread but how do you have time to work on cars when you have a newborn baby. Just asking because as soon as my daughter was born it seems like all my time is gone.
      That's so true man, she's 4 years old now. Time is limited for sure but with what little time I have I work on the projects.

      Comment


        #4
        Love the e36. I bet it's a riot with the s54. Can't wait to see the e30 put back together...Calypso is my fav. Also, good job with the rust repair.


        '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


          #5
          Looks like you did the right thing and went down to the metal. Can't wait to see the end results!

          I am dreading the moment when I tear stuff down and poke around thoroughly for rust. There were prior rust repairs done to mine, and it is from Chicago. I may have to build a rotisserie when I have shop space and time.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by efficient View Post
            Just asking because as soon as my daughter was born it seems like all my time is gone.
            Also money and energy, mostly gone. Then try having a second one that refuses to go to sleep or stay asleep, my project has been on hold for a while now.

            Nice e36 and keep up the good work!
            sigpic
            1991 318is x 2 .

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Fsnow View Post
              Also money and energy, mostly gone. Then try having a second one that refuses to go to sleep or stay asleep, my project has been on hold for a while now.

              Nice e36 and keep up the good work!
              Definitely not easy working on cars when you have a child, can't imagine you guys w 2+.... I try to dedicate one day a week as my car day.

              Thanks for the compliments guys. The E36 M3 is definitely my first love and it is a riot....

              The E30s been rewarding so far and I don't hate the M20 motor right now with the autotragic trans...but it has to go in spring. i have most parts for the manual swap if I don't end up swapping in a different engine setup.
              Last edited by Gotboost79; 12-26-2016, 06:12 AM.

              Comment


                #8
                So I've tried forever black on my E36 M3 with great results but not on my E30. It turned out really shitty with brush marks showing. Instead I ended up getting trim paint and respraying every trim piece including the ugly ass chrome window trim....wtf was bmw thinking.



                I gave it 3 coats and turned out quite nice. If all else fails I'll replace them but I'm not a fan of just throwing money at things when they can be refurbished. Looks good so far.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Chrome window trim is a hold over from the early model with chrome bumpers. It obviously doesn't make sense on the late models.

                  Nice cars.
                  AWD > RWD

                  Comment


                    #10
                    While the car was going thru the exterior overhaul, the next inline is the suspension, brakes to make it handle as it should.

                    Ended up going with the Garagistic's polyurethane complete set, toe/camber kits along with suspension reinforcement kit. Bought this on Black Friday sale and got a great deal!



                    Who knows how old the rubber hoses are...got these from garagistics as well. Blank rotors and semi Metallic pads.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Nice job. I see a larger engine in the future for this car! New paint looks awesome and makes me envious.
                      1987 325i-M60b44 swap

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Nice work!! I can't wait to see the finished product:)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by stealthbeam View Post
                          Nice work!! I can't wait to see the finished product:)
                          Thanks man, its a bit of a slow project but should be a good one.
                          Originally posted by Zacm829 View Post
                          Nice job. I see a larger engine in the future for this car! New paint looks awesome and makes me envious.
                          And yes...in terms of the motor, I have something in my garage that isn't selling for some reason even though I put it up for sale at a very reasonable price tag. I took the listings off and will be keeping the complete drivetrain for this e30 or another possibly. Ended up talking to Frank and will be purchasing his manual if I do go down that route....but you're right, go big or go home..??

                          Comment


                            #14
                            More pics of post paint? How much did you spend on rust repair and paint? I want to do the same thing (hopefully with less rust - but you never know)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Mahalaleel View Post
                              More pics of post paint? How much did you spend on rust repair and paint? I want to do the same thing (hopefully with less rust - but you never know)
                              You're in the south so I'm sure you're much luckier than 99% of northeast cars. These cars are so prone to rust issues or issues that add to the rust problem;blocked drains, bad seals, metal valence. Only if someone made plastic valence that bolts up as a replacement....??

                              Anyway, a good friend of mine did the paint so can't comment on how much it actually was but something of that caliber at a paint shop will run 4-5k. Materials alone were a bit shocking. Rust repair was done by my friend and I. Quite honestly, if I had a welder, I could do it myself next time around. On my Alpine 325is, I'll be doing the cutting and welding for the rust repair once I pick up a welder.

                              Here's my 1990 325is w no engine but rust in usual spots. Will be cutting into it in spring. This one will be all out track car. It's already gutted. Kicking myself in the ass for selling the sport interior for 350....wish I kept it for Gabby.


                              The sport interior...wish I kept it to reupholster


                              Oh well. Can't cry over spilled milk.

                              Did the wet sanding myself at my friend's shop, its definitely a pain in the ass and tedious. This is something anyone can do if they have time and cut a lot of cost associated with a paint job. I read a lot about wet sanding and watched a shit ton of videos on it. Once you start, you get a feel for it. I used 1500 for most surfaces and followed with 2500.


                              Compound and polish...rotary machines are no joke and cut so fast.

                              Smooth as glass and new emblem to put the finishing touch on. Far from over since I still have IS side skirts, front lip and front/rear bumpers to get painted and installed

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