Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The E 30 + 1 Build

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The E 30 + 1 Build

    Some background behind the car & ownership:










    I used to work a job in Beverly Hills and on the weekends I’d always catch this laguna green e31 driving around. One day it was parked up the street so I walked over and checked it out while burning time. You could tell it was a daily driver, which was awesome to see since a majority are garage queens. It was a 840ci with 3 piece Schnitzers, tan interior, and looked pretty clean for its age. Years back I remember seeing them for such insane prices it seemed unobtainable that I never considered searching for let alone owning one. Prior to even searching I did some research on these cars and found a few interesting things. For one, as cool as v12s are they brought about problems and working around them seemed insane. Since I was pretty familiar with the m60/62 due to my e30 project I felt a lot more comfortable handling those instead of the moneypit v12. Two of everything just struck me as breaking my wallet and would be down more than driving around.





    I picked up this e36 off a friend of a friend who was planning to sell it to the junkyard. Nothing wrong with it, just saw it as an old car and didn’t think it was worth anything. It was a 95 325i m50NV 5 spd black on black with 252k on the clock. I purchased it and fixed it up a bit over a couple months, then the throw out bearing begun to go. I started collecting parts in preparation to do the clutch/flywheel since the seller had no idea of its age/miles. Otherwise it was a great car & was extremely fun to drive around as a commuter. Especially on the freeway it felt very light and solid zipping around.
    I found myself searching craigslist one evening after buying yet more parts for this clutch project. I stumbled upon this e31 & don’t believe it had a price listed if memory serves right; but it had a list of cars he wanted to trade for. That list had mentioned an e36, so figured why not give it a shot. The e31 had been sitting for a year, transmission blew out and he just hadn’t been interested in fixing it. I figured this would be a hell of a gamble trading a driving, running car for a mystery flat bed special. So we arranged to meet, brought a buddy & pink slip in hand incase this proved to be a worthy deal. After all the photos were semi-vague even the paint code was hard to make out. *Note this was not the actual clist photo but one that I later found.


    It was 1994 840ci Diamond Schwartz on Black Nappa Leather, how could that combo be beat. Upon inspection the body was very straight and clean, little tiny dings here and there but very good shape. The interior looked decent for its age, and motor didn’t have any major signs screaming out at me. Just looked like it needed some good ol TLC and elbow grease since it was getting up there in miles and age.
    I stumbled across this link/ad a while back after purchase and couldn’t believe that my PO took out the wood trim and what not. One day I might try and source it but finding the veneer without the price gouging will be tough.
    http://findclassicars.com/bmw/41938-...ssion-rwd.html

    We swapped pink slips that night, and I came the following morning with a flatbed to haul it on home. I put together a list in the morning of what typical wear and tear items would most likely need to be replaced. Some items were dirt-cheap e32/e34/e38 stuff & other 8 series specific parts. This made me wonder if this was the right choice to really start with for an semi unknown project car. With it home I began to assess the car better and started poking around noticing little quirky things the PO did to either fix or replace things. A couple of things kind of stood out to me that shouldn’t have been touched by someone inexperienced. More was to come later on the more I dug into the car and left me shaking my head each time.
    Before you begin to think it’s all sounding too good to be true… The transmission pan was leaking like crazy, the owner had a spare filter for it, and a ton of RP ATF in the trunk. I found the cable for the shifter in the trunk along with some other mystery items. The passenger door handle would lift but not engage the latch, common e31 problem I found out later on. The drivers side was soon to follow later that month going from only engaging 50% of the time to failing all together. Alright no big deal, it has 149k miles and had spent a lot of time outside. Paint was burned on the drivers side, and the tail lights were cracking from the sun. He had it in the same spot for about 6-8 months since the transmission failure and the sun took its toll on the paint.
    On the plus side it did have new front arms and sway links installed, along with the tires on the 19” Breyton’s that it came with. The 19x9 / 19x10 combo looked kinda of decent but not my style, and there was a lot of rubbing on the front splashguards. Not sure if I lost one of the lenses for the FTP on the tow home or not since I didn’t notice it that night. Going under the vehicle, I noticed only 4 of 10(?) torx bolts were holding the motor onto the transmission. So I wasn’t sure if he tried to remove it and stopped or not?









    I'm compiling the photos so I will update the following post & continue from there after cleaning up. Figured its about time to just make a thread on this car since its getting pretty deep & its kinda like an e30 right?


    BLUE NOSE - M62 SWAP

    THE E30 + 1 BUILD

    #2








    I went ahead and purchased a 5hp-30 w/120k from an e38 off someone on craigslist in Thousand Oaks. I figured for the price if this was the problem it was the easiest cheapest fix. Dropped the transmission & car off at a shop next to my friends work that morning. Only to hear from them around noon that they removed the old one but that BMW put the e31 shift linkage on the opposite side of the e34/e38s models. Great…. So the seller refunded me luckily & I sourced another from Ebay eventually and had it shipped to the shop. It had 141k miles from an e31 and everything looked identical to the old one so all should be good. Picked the car up later that day and finally got to hear it run & finally drove it home.






    While driving my girlfriend home about a week later I managed to blow the strut mount/wheel lug/spacer leaving me sitting on the tire. With one lug holding the wheel on the car I sat waiting for a flat bed at 1 AM. At this point the car had seen the luxury of a flatbed more than its served time hauling me around. Sat waiting for AAA to arrive I started wondering if it wouldn’t be easier to part/sell the car and work on something else.







    Once I brought it back home again, I started collecting parts and upgraded to wheel studs, bought new brakes, new wheel hub, and other items. The spark plugs at the rear of the car came out as if they were hand tight, which was promising. The wheel hubs require a 44mm socket or a 1 13/64” which I bought locally at a store luckily. I ended up grinding it down to fit inside the hub itself, which wasn’t a big deal and worked great. So off came the broken bits and slapped all the replacement parts on. Upon install noting that my shocks were a little weak I began to search for new ones. E31 specific Bilsteins were insanely priced, e34s I read had worked but required a little fab work, so I began the ebay search. Came across these Stagg ones which had little to no reviews after researching but for the price & at the time my main focus was the e30 so I bought them.













    Now I only have installed the rears just to get an idea of how they compared before the trouble of doing the fronts. The mounts were shot, one sleeve totally broken, so I began looking at making reinforcement plates eventually. Drew these up but I haven’t followed through with having someone waterjet them. I debated just making a strut bar instead since the trunk is almost useless. As large of a car as this is, space is incredibly limited. This became even more apparent once I purchased an e38 for $100 as a daily driver replacement. I think a smart car has more cargo room than the e31s do and that’s not an exaggeration.










    I eventually did the motor mounts which were in horrid shape, spark plugs, timing chain tensioner, cabin & air filter, oil, belt tensioner/belts, pulleys, added HIDs and 55w high beams, ordered Frenched FTP to replace the broken drivers side one. I did have to re use the larger 76mm pulley for the tensioner but eventually replaced that months later.















































    Some time before taking the intake off and doing the drivebelts I replaced both handle rods/carriers. there’s these badass ones made by ________ that I found and luckily the thread dated back years. I contacted him and he still produced them, I gathered some new clips, a check strap for the drivers side, and some exterior gaskets since mine were in bits & pieces. I still need to reseal the moisture barrier since duct tape was the preferred method but that’s for another day. I wish I took more photos of them after I pulled them out but they went right in the trash. The drivers side came off in 3 pieces, whereas the passenger side came off in 5. BMW’s use of pot metal really shined in the use of these hard to reach PIA of parts. I wish I took a time lapse or more photos to provide a DIY but install for the handles but was fairly easy and straightforward. Once I figured out the tricks to the first one the passenger side was a cakewalk.














    I then brought it back home and removed the tint off the rear windows to clean it up a bit. Popped off the rear tail lights and began to goto work on those since the cracks would bother me so much, and considering replacements were about $500-900 pending condition. I went over them with some candy & cleared them, I’ve since re done them for a second time and am much happier. I think originally I rushed the clear flash time so I had a lot of orange peel the first time around. I’ve stripped them down and re done them since, so I’ll update with the photos.

    Once I got my hands on the e38, I went ahead and did the following on the e31 as I figured most items were 20 yr plus at this point. The knock sensors were all trash, the water pump/thermo in poor shape but never an issue, expansion tank had a bad leak, and I resealed the valve cover/intake manifold. Also changed the fuel regulator & injectors since they were the originals. Added an M62 specific intake vent that supposedly was a design flaw on the m60s since it would clog 4th and 8th cylinder up with oil from blowby. Replaced the heater valve & aux pump since the nipple broke & the passenger side was stuck closed. Also the lower radiator hoses on the E31s are NLA and don’t fit at all how a regular e34/e38/e39 would. So I got very lucky finding an OEM one instead of mickey mousing one. Also gave me the opportunity to swap in my powder coated filter housing that was intended for the e30 years ago.





























































    Went ahead and ordered an E36 steering wheel to replace the 4 spoke giant one that came factory. I found the clock spring for $20 shipped, re-wired the horn and slapped it in. I’ve yet to reset the SRS light but that doesn’t bother me too much. Overall this was one of my favorite upgrades since the 4 spoke blocked the visibility of the cluster. Along with my ebay splurge I bought a “Dinan” chip for the engine & transmission. Funny enough after cracking open the 404 ECU there was already one installed, so I proceeded to install the transmission one. It’s a very subtle difference in shifting but really wasn’t WOW special.
    Last edited by DIIRTY-30; 09-08-2018, 09:33 AM.


    BLUE NOSE - M62 SWAP

    THE E30 + 1 BUILD

    Comment


      #3
      The long awaited e31 build thread! Stoked! Simons gonna be amped. Thanks for starting this lol
      1984 Delphin 318i 2 door

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by wworm View Post
        The long awaited e31 build thread! Stoked! Simons gonna be amped. Thanks for starting this lol

        I gave it some thought after both you guys mentioned it, figured its about damn time to just compile a solid thread on it.

        My buddy also picked one up last Sunday & having a thread here will make it easier to backtrack on photos than scrolling through my phone hopefully. Right now I'm working on sourcing another 420G, e34 pedal box, and some other stuff to make it a proper gearbox. Even though the auto is really nice, I feel this car could be so much more with a real transmission & not to mention finding an e31 specific 5hp-30 is really difficult.


        BLUE NOSE - M62 SWAP

        THE E30 + 1 BUILD

        Comment


          #5
          considering how far you went with the e30, I'm really excited to see where this goes/where it's gotten to thus far. I remember finding your build thread like 2 days into making an account on here and being super stoked, so yeah. This is cool lol

          Theres a guy up in rancho cordova who works at a bmw parts dismantler who was swapping an s62 into his e31. I was up there looking for e30 stuff and knew nothing about e31s before that but once I knew about a bmw with pop ups I was sold. These cars are super rad.
          1984 Delphin 318i 2 door

          Comment


            #6
            Fuck yeah! Always had a giant soft spot for these. Subscribed for updates.
            Autobahn Motorsport - Portland, Oregon - restoration + service
            @autobahnmotorsport
            '88 M5 | '89 330is

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by wworm View Post
              The long awaited e31 build thread! Stoked! Simons gonna be amped. Thanks for starting this lol
              Yes... yes he is
              Simon
              Current Car:
              -2003 Mini Cooper R50
              Previous Car Count : 24 ... and climbing...

              Make R3V Great Again -2020

              Comment


                #8
                cool car thanks for sharing


                -
                Project
                Parts for Sale
                Feedback
                YouTube Channel

                Comment


                  #9
                  Subscribed.
                  How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows
                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=297611


                  Could be better, could be worse.

                  Comment


                    #10








                    I drove around without issues for a bit, but started to smell gas on rare occasions; mostly upon filling up a full tank. I first suspected the purge valve for the gas tank at the pass rear, took the splash cover off no luck. I had to drive out to my aunts to check on her dogs since she had gone out of town & one had medical conditions. I came out the next morning to find a small little puddle under my car and I wondered the night prior how I ran through almost $15 worth of gas. Since the drive was only about 35 miles for me one way, this was very strange. I then noticed a little drop from the filters, so I bought those along with new hoses, I lifted the rear seats and found that the O ring for the pump/senders were ALSO leaking along with associated hoses. GO FIGURE AM I RIGHT?






                    Luckily 4 hoses it left me with enough to do the sender & pump on top the tank. Had a small little puddle forming, so replaced those gaskets also. The position of the clamps on the drivers side sender was a PIA where they installed them from the factory but no real way around it. Just kind of sat there blindly hoping it would be tight enough with U joints and prayers. Sealed everything up, drove it around and walah we’re good to go again no gas smell.




                    Somewhere along the lines I ended up changing out the rotors & pads for some ebay slotted rotors & jurid pads. Great pairing so far and haven’t had an issue knock on wood. Eventually will be upgrading to something else or change it up when I powder the calipers but for the time being it slows the 4200lb beast down. I also managed to get my grubby paws on a set of OEM Frenched FTP to replace my jankey missing lens one that would bother me everytime id look at the front of the car. I’ve yet to see anyone else use these and couldn’t find a single photo on google but am super happy with how they came out. I eventually ditched the LED’s and went back to halogen’s since IMHO they looked way better. LEDs kind of gave the yellow a greenish tint which I was not digging at all











                    Driving on the freeway I managed to lose a trim grille next to the FTP. Which didn’t really surprise me too much since the PO broke all the clips and used a drywall screw to hold it on. Took care of that & went ahead after a flooring project made a wood trunk liner for kicks. Pretty content with how it came out and it’s a lot easier to clean up than carpet haha. I didn’t tuck the sides under in the photo but will toss another of how it looks now. Eventually I’ll add hinges to make access to the spare more practical. I also cut off the magnaflows & replaced them with extra 2.5” & tips I had around my garage. I’ve been looking into either borla or vibrant mufflers to replace the temporary set up, which sounds good but quiter would be nice. At least it doesn’t sound like an F 150 driving everywhere along with the awful drone accompanied by magnaflows.



















                    Bringing us to the recent fun time projects; differential, interior lights, and fixing more broken stuff. I took the door cards off once again to integrate the e38 illuminated handles into the e31. Need to break out the DSLR to get some good shots of how it looks. Just a stubble little detail that many might not notice & is hard to take photos of for examples. Purchased an e46 m3 3.62 differential, broke it down and had everything hot tanked in preparation for the swap.














                    Here is the reason why even though its same sized casing (almost identical) the mounting point at the front doesn't match up.






























                    Dropped the driveshaft while I was at it and replaced the CSB & Guibo before reinstalling everything.










                    After getting everything back from my friend, I pressed in the new output seals, o rings for the shafts, and removed the speed trigger from the e31 and tapped it onto the e46 unit. I took all the pieces of the puzzle to Eddie at Ramjet to slap back together. Went and picked it up the next day and was thoroughly impressed with his work! He told me everything looked really good on the gears/bearings and even gave it a nice paintjob bringing the case back to life. I felt guilty reinstalling this gem that no one will ever see to appreciate.














                    Broke 2 of the exhaust bolts that were impossible to remove, so ordered those. Noticed that 1 of the 4 transmission brace bolts were broken, probably from transmission swap install so welded a nut on and replaced the broken bolt. With the differential now in, I repacked the cv joint of the driveshaft, replaced the guibo & transmission mounts. Installed that along with the new exhaust manifold bolts/nuts. Removing the spline bolts was a PIA but MAPP gas made it a decent 10 min job of banging the broken bit out. Installing was pretty simple just used a bunch of washers and hand tightened it down back into place no problem. Put new tie rods in, got an alignment and been driving it daily since. I’ve put about 200 miles on the new-to-me differential and LOVE it. Compared to the stock 2.81 it feels like the perfect ratio for the e31 that should’ve come factory.

















                    Last edited by DIIRTY-30; 09-08-2018, 11:48 PM.


                    BLUE NOSE - M62 SWAP

                    THE E30 + 1 BUILD

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The E 30 + 1 Build

                      That diff swap must’ve totally transformed the car!

                      Any exhaust clips with the new setup??
                      Simon
                      Current Car:
                      -2003 Mini Cooper R50
                      Previous Car Count : 24 ... and climbing...

                      Make R3V Great Again -2020

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sweet

                        E31s never get much attention. Sold my E36 steering to an 850 owner. I am sure you've seen the frankie mfl write up on some of the updates like Bluetooth etc. Here is cali, I see them super cheap....and even 5 speeds...$8k seems where the simi-sorted ones go for...j
                        Last edited by Javier h; 09-09-2018, 12:14 PM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by wworm View Post
                          considering how far you went with the e30, I'm really excited to see where this goes/where it's gotten to thus far. I remember finding your build thread like 2 days into making an account on here and being super stoked, so yeah. This is cool lol

                          Theres a guy up in rancho cordova who works at a bmw parts dismantler who was swapping an s62 into his e31. I was up there looking for e30 stuff and knew nothing about e31s before that but once I knew about a bmw with pop ups I was sold. These cars are super rad.

                          Always appreciate the kind words man! I talked to Mike on IG before he finished up the swap, told him I eventually thought about doing the same swap. He offered to build me the engine harness but all I really need is the pin out, his cars pretty badass though. Pretty soon he'll be tossing in an s85 from what we talked about which will be interesting. I know Frank is also making an e31 s85 swap on his free time along with that e21 s54 swap. Can't say I'm balling enough to pull a v10 swap but I'd def be content with 400hp in this car. Especially as a daily driver & the fact I'm not trying to build a racecar lol.

                          Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                          That diff swap must’ve totally transformed the car!

                          Any exhaust clips with the new setup??

                          It's unbelievable night and day difference. My buddy just picked up an e31 last week that I spent a few days changing the fluids & getting it roadworthy again after 2 yrs of sitting. Driving his around the block with the stock 2.81 vs my 3.62 was amazing to be able to test side by side.

                          I can shoot a little exhaust clip for you though, I think the tone now suits the car a hell of a lot more. Especially at WOT it makes the 4.0L sound like it actually has a bit of power behind it haha.

                          Originally posted by Javier h View Post
                          E31s never get much attention. Sold my E36 steering to an 850 owner. I am sure you've since the frankie mfl write up on some of the updates like Bluetooth etc. Here is cali, I see them super cheap....and even 5 speeds...$8k seems where the simi-sorted ones go for...
                          They really dont, and a lot of people steer clear of them because of the expenses of parts & difficulty. I've skimmed through those write ups but some dont always apply to the early ones and vice versa. So information i've learned isn't very solid compared to e30s or e36s. I've yet to see a manual e31 go up for sale unless its a v12 and cheapest one now is 10k for one that looks to had been sitting for ages.

                          I don't plan on selling this anytime soon, and as with any car owner hope they will be going up in value. I'm just building it to my spec and things that suit my driving and etc. Ultimately gearing it towards what an M8 would have been from the factory had it been offered to the general public.


                          BLUE NOSE - M62 SWAP

                          THE E30 + 1 BUILD

                          Comment


                            #14



                            Always used to drive past this mural and finally saw the parking lot vacant so figured I'd grab a shot, disregard the dirty tires haha.




                            Picked up a set of 750IL v12 rear calipers last week; upgrade 4mm to the braking, utilizes vented rotors which is euro spec 850CSI. Somewhere I read that it also adds 35lbs of clamping force which is pretty awesome for a plug and play application. Tossing around ideas of what color to paint/powder them after I get the rebuild kit/e38 lines together to swap on.



                            Also came across this 420G that has 20k miles on it since it was rebuilt. For the price, I had to jump on it, but wont be swapping it in any time soon till an S62 lands in my lap. The automatic is still shifting pretty smooth and has yet to give me a hiccup but when it does.... that thing is coming right out.




                            These will also be turned into something cool when I find time to make a casting from the stock mirrors. Again for the price, couldn't really pass them up. Aside from the couple little goodies the e30 will be getting some attention very soon.


                            BLUE NOSE - M62 SWAP

                            THE E30 + 1 BUILD

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Agree

                              Oddly enough I was switching channels and yup...mecum auction.....I think it was a white 1995 850 auto hammer at $5500. With fee should be around $7500. Looks as if its mostly all there but who knows.

                              https://www.mecum.com/lots/LS0918-33...995-bmw-840ci/

                              Highlights
                              Only 1 of 789 840ci models made in 1995
                              Same owner for last 8 years
                              4.0L DOHC V-8 Code M60B40
                              5-speed transmission
                              Alpine White exterior Code 300
                              Light Silver Gray Nappa leather interior Code M5SH
                              Driver and passenger front air bags
                              Automatic climate control
                              Power steering
                              Power 4-wheel disc brakes
                              Power mirrors
                              Power locks
                              Power windows
                              Power front seats with memory
                              Electric tilt steering column
                              Automatic day and night rear view mirror
                              Last edited by Javier h; 09-09-2018, 12:37 PM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X