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1991 318i in Brilliantrot

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    1991 318i in Brilliantrot

    Hey all,

    I've been lurking for a while so I felt it was time to put up a post about my E30.

    Here it is in its current state:




    And here it was almost three years ago:








    One of my girlfriend's relatives had it for the last two decades and had kept it in fairly good condition during that time. However, recently, it had been sitting in the garage because of this:






    The PO didnít feel the need to keep the car around so one day, after dropping a few hints about wanting it, I was able to bring it home with me.




    For the most part, mechanically, it was in good shape. However, I soon realized that Oregon doesn't really do the whole smog thing. So after changing out spark plugs, the O2 sensor, replacing a cracked vacuum hose, and doing a quick oil change, the car passed smog and I was able to get the car registered in California.




    This was also around the time I got my tax refund and bonus, so that means it was time to address the whole crushed door thing. I was able to find a shop in the area who would do it as well as a full respray. Here's some work in progress pictures:



    Original doors pulled off





    Side sill pulled out and b pillar replaced





    Paint being put on the sills and doors





    Donor doors fitted, car being sanded down






    And right after I drove her back home from the shop:





    Now that the body was in pretty good shape, it was time to address the rest of the car. One of the first things I did was repair the foglights. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures but imagine me taking out the old, cracked glass, replacing it with new glass, then Frenching the lights with some LaminX.

    I also took the time to replace the old sealed beam headlights with the Hella H1/H4 replacements.





    I also cleaned up the grille and blinker covers and applied some 303 to bring some life back into the parts.





    The center console area was looking a bit worn and plasticy so I replaced the cracked shifter boot with a new boot off of eBay.




    And the e-brake got the leather treatment as well with a new e-brake boot and handle cover from an E36.




    It was around this time I learned that my shift knob was broken as well. This only came to light as I was in traffic and the whole knob came off while shifting. Fun stuff. So I replaced the old shifter with the ZHP weighted shift knob. However, I wasnít a fan of the M badge on the shift pattern, so I took the shift pattern off my old knob and placed it on to the ZHP knob for a cleaner look.




    I decided to replace my stock steelies & hubcaps and ďupgradeĒ to bottle caps. I sourced a few rims for a full set on the cheap and repainted them to hide some of the scuffs and scratches.






    Went to Tire Rack and got them wrapped with some new rubber.




    Compared to the old hubcaps, these looked much better.




    Since I only had 1/4 center caps, I found some generic plastic center caps, got a couple of cheap Chinese BMW logos, slapped them on the rims and called it a day.






    Made the car look just a bit tidier.




    I felt that the back of the car looked prettyÖ blank. So I got a Euro plate filler from marc55 and slapped it on the back of the car. It made the back end look a little better put together.




    I was fairly lucky and the shift wasnít too sloppy since, I assume, the previous owner wasnít too crazy with the shifter and kept it fairly well maintained. But I felt that there was still some room for improvement. So put in some new Redline transmission fluid. Strangely enough, the Getrag 240 takes D4 ATF, so thatís what I gave it. I also threw in a Z3 1.9 shifter so shorten the throw. Overall, Iím happy with the new shift setup. Itís smooth and feels good. Some time in the future, Iíll probably throw in a DSSR and some new bushings, but Iím happy enough with the current setup that itís not high on the list of things to do.





    At this point, I was pretty happy with how it sat and it ran reliably. It was a great daily driver.



    neighborhood cat



    Unfortunately, as winter approached, it started having issues starting. Instead of starting right up, it took a few more cranks to get it going. Eventually, it just wouldnít start. I tried to diagnose the issue by replacing the coil pack with new Bosch coils and putting in new spark plug wires.




    Eventually, I just took it to a shop where they found it was the crank position sensor that had gone bad. With a new OEM replacement, the E30 was back on the road again.




    During the carís downtime, I started to collect parts. The sport seats were unfortunately way too gone. The only salvageable things were a few foams and the headrests. The frames had rusted and broken in a few places and the cloths covers were all torn.




    I had also contacted Sskoda around this time and got a set of Euroweaves from him. The rims on the other hand were in pretty good shape for 30 year old rims. A very tiny bit of curbing and the paint looked a bit tired, but nothing too bad.




    I took the rims to a powder coater and got them refinished. They came out looking amazing.




    Got a set of Yokohama S.drive in 205/55R15




    Had a tire shop put the S.drives on the Euroweaves and slapped it onto the E30.






    The Euroweaves look great, but did make the car look a bit lifted as it was still on stock suspension. But it was nothing compared to the RaptorÖ




    As for the center caps, I took them apart in order to send the metal parts off to the powder coater to get them refinished. However, after hearing the quote for powder coating them, I decided to passÖ




    So I ordered a can of Wurthís silver wheel paint. I heard this was pretty close to the OEM color so I figured this was the best option to go with.




    Sanded, primed, then painted the centers.








    A coat of clearÖ




    After all that, I would say itís pretty close to matching the rims. Not perfect, but close enough.




    I purchased new emblems, then reassembled the whole center cap.




    And here they are on the rim. In some lighting, itís easy to see that the centers have a brighter shine to them. But overall, it doesnít bother me too much.






    Since I didnít want to keep the monster truck ride height, I decided it was time to look into lowering the car. I thought about the tried and true H&R/Bilstien combo, but I didnít like not having the adjustability. Then I looked into coilovers. Thatís when I learned that Ground Control was about 25 minutes away. So I paid the shop a visit and picked up some new suspension.






    Based on the suggestion of one of the Ground Control employees, I had John at HMB Motorwerks install the Ground Controls on my car. John has a hell of a shop with a lot of cool stuff in it. If anyone in the Sacramento area needs work done on their BMW, I would recommend his shop.






    Hereís some of the pictures John took of the progress:










    And here she is right after John got it all dialed in




    The first time I saw it with the new suspension, I was like, ďDamn, is this really my car?Ē I had to do a little amateur photoshoot with a few of my buddiesí bikes afterwards.














    The muffler was a bit droopy so I had the original muffler replaced with a 18Ē Magnaflow.






    A video clip of the muffler can be found here: https://flic.kr/p/FYod3x


    Pretty happy with this stance.




    I was also blessed with a new E30 buddy at work.




    After daily driving this around a bit, I wasnít too impressed with the Hella H1/H4 headlights that I had put in. So I decided to put in some Depo smileys to try and get some better throw on the lights (and for the looks).










    hello again neighborhood cat




    The stock head unit that came with the E30 had some issues since I had got it. The volume knob didnít work well, the slider was finicky, and it didnít have enough power for the speakers at higher volumes. So after looking around for a bit, I saw that Matt Farah had put in a Clarion M508 into his Porsche. I liked how clean it looked compared to a lot of other stereos, so I decided to use that to replace the old head unit.






    I also threw in some Polks in the front to see if it would improve the audio quality. It kinda sorta did, but it didnít really blow me away. I did leave the stock 5.25Ē speakers in the back though since itís hard to find any modern 5.25Ē speakers with decent bass.




    Hereís how the M508 looks like when itís installed. It blends in well with the dash, but it does stick out a bit and the LEDs are white, instead of amber/orange. Besides that itís a great little head unit.




    I had also been looking to replace the stock comfort seats with some sports seats. A buddy mentioned one day that there was a parts car for sale the had decent looking sports seats in them. So I picked that thing up. It was a 1985 325e that had gotten into some pretty bad front end accident.




    It almost made it to 300k milesÖ




    However, it did have sport seats in them and a bunch of nice little E30 goodies.








    And the sport seats in question. In fairly good condition, but it seems the shocks are blown and the ratcheting mechanism is a bit gummed up. Iíll see how everything else is once I take it apart.




    After seeing a post here on R3V where someone placed some stickers onto their plate to emulate the late 80ís/ early 90ís California art plate, I wanted to do the same. I found a seller on eBay who manufacturers replicate plates out of metal, so I purchased some from them.




    A bit of re-drilling of the mounting holes and I got the plates on the car. (By the way, if needed, AAA will give you the month sticker for your license plate for free)




    For now, Iím pretty happy with where the car is. There are always improvements to be made to the car (such as replacing the bushings, getting a quicker steering rack, etc.) But all I want to do now is drive the thing.

    Last edited by taiwanesekid05; 02-21-2019, 12:05 AM.

    #2
    Nice post and the car looks great!

    Comment


      #3
      Nice solid car. The M42 is my favorite engine.

      Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
      '91 318i (Alpine) - daily
      '88 325ix (Zinno) - drive here and there!

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for sharing. A really nice save and transformation!
        My Cars:
        -1991 BMW 318is - August 2018 R3V Car Of The Month
        -2015 BMW 328xi Wagon

        Comment


          #5
          Awesome and classy restoration!

          This cat looks like it's about to drop a fire mixtape ;)

          '91 "318is" slick top M50 turbo
          '97 Dodge 3500 12v Cummins
          '12 Mini Cooper S
          '89 318i Chump Car Project

          Comment


            #6
            Nice work man, glad you saved her.


            1992 M tech 2 Convertible - S50 Swap
            1992 e34 Touring- Currently Building.. S50 Swap
            1995 e36 M3 Mugello Red - S50
            1991 325i Convertible Laguna Green (SOLD)
            1987 325i (SOLD);1992 M tech 2 Convertible (SOLD)
            1988 325i Convertible Alpine White (SOLD)
            1991
            Brilliantrot Convertible 80k Miles (SOLD)
            1992 325i Convertible Schwarz (SOLD)
            1992 318i Convertible Project-Finished (SOLD)

            Comment


              #7
              Looks great! I love the euroweaves!

              OBDI M62B44/6 swap
              Transaction feedback
              - jpod999

              Comment


                #8
                Awesome - nothing like a rescue, especially when it's a 1991 318i :-) Are you in the Bay Area? I'm also rescuing a 91 318i that previously had side damage, my repairs (done by a PO in the 90s) were rather shoddy, so I'm going to have to tackle it again when it goes it for body & paint.

                Your Euroweaves look like they came out great. Does the shop also do wheel repairs? I need to get my Euroeweaves refinished, but also need to have some flat spots repaired.

                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


                  #9
                  Great looking car, very well done. I'm usually not a fan of red car's but this one is a gem for sure.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Wow, nice job! I like the OEM+ route you're taking with it.

                    Take a look at the thread below about the sport seat mechanisms.
                    https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...d.php?t=349576
                    Mine still aren't perfect but work better than they used to.


                    '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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by freeride53 View Post
                      Awesome - nothing like a rescue, especially when it's a 1991 318i :-) Are you in the Bay Area? I'm also rescuing a 91 318i that previously had side damage, my repairs (done by a PO in the 90s) were rather shoddy, so I'm going to have to tackle it again when it goes it for body & paint.

                      Your Euroweaves look like they came out great. Does the shop also do wheel repairs? I need to get my Euroeweaves refinished, but also need to have some flat spots repaired.
                      Yeah, I'm in the Bay Area, though a recent transplant. A lot of the work I had done to the E30 was done in the Sac area. As for the refinishing, I went to a shop called Precision Wheel Works up in Sacramento. They do do wheel repairs (they did some work to round out the wheels).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Awesome turn out! Im in San Jose area, I have practically the same car as you. Picked mine up last year from someone in SoCal. Who did your bodywork and respray for you? Curious on how much that cost you. I really wanna get mine resprayed. It's so beautiful when new.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by taiwanesekid05 View Post


                          After seeing a post here on R3V where someone placed some stickers onto their plate to emulate the late 80ís/ early 90ís California art plate, I wanted to do the same. I found a seller on eBay who manufacturers replicate plates out of metal, so I purchased some from them.




                          A bit of re-drilling of the mounting holes and I got the plates on the car. (By the way, if needed, AAA will give you the month sticker for your license plate for free)


                          these have to be totally illegal.... but I want.

                          I tried to order those "driving while awesome" stickers but they are sold out right now.

                          Can you PM the info about the plates? or post it here
                          Simon
                          Current Cars:
                          -1986 BMW 325e & 1968 Datsun Roadster 2000
                          Previous Car Count : 21 ... and climbing...
                          Originally posted by Melon
                          Let it be known to all. Simon fucking keeps it real.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            pm me the info to or post it here. Super interested in the plates.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              looking good homie!
                              FEEDBACK:
                              http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316212

                              BMWCCA #398608
                              IG @yagayo38

                              "The Best E30's were built with two camshafts four cylinders and sixteen valves!".

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