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Stinky: The New DD: Is now the Weekend Car

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    Stinky: The New DD: Is now the Weekend Car

    Apparently I never started a build thread for this car, probably because I never intended to do much with it.

    May 2018

    After my m30b35 convertible got totaled (Dec 2017), I decided that I should get a new daily so I could do fun stuff with the '91 coupe. After a bit of searching, I found this 1989 325i sedan for sale. I think the guy had it listed on craigslist for $1600. It had been listed for several weeks, and by the time I called to check it out he told me he was looking for $1000. I looked it over and wanted to think about it. A few days later I called him and said i wanted it, but it was rough. He said $900 was the lowest he'd go. After a thorough inspection I told him that I was worried about a bunch of stuff that was messed up, and he offered $800 (which is what he paid). I agreed to that plus 2 gallons of gas so I could get to a gas station (it was empty). Easiest negotiation ever!

    Here's the pics from the original ad (notice the condiments, WTF?!?):









    It was a pretty low spec 4-door auto sedan (manual sunroof, 6-button OBC, standard sound, 325i front lip, no trunk spoiler, vinyl comfort seats, etc.) It was missing the rear bumper, the rear valence was bent, the front sway bar was just dangling because the tabs were ripped off the front sub frame, completely worn out suspension, unknown timing belt, dry-rotted brake lines and tires, nonfunctional tach/odometer, generally dirty inside/out, purple-ish touch-up paint on a ton of dents/scratched. The exhaust smelled bad (hence "Stinky").

    The battery was dead and it needed a jump to start. As soon as the PO left, it immediately stalled and I had to buy jumper cables from the gas station. Next stop was getting a new battery and then home:




    Last edited by McGyver; 05-02-2021, 02:13 PM.
    sigpic
    1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
    1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
    1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

    #2
    And the reason why no one else bought the car: No title, dead PO, and expired tags.

    CA people will know this, but for everyone else, buying a car with expired tags can be EXPENSIVE! The new owner will be liable for all the back registration and the associated fines. You can sell the car out of state and then bring it back, or you can let it sit (without being searched) in the system for 10 years and then the DMV will delete it. More on this later.

    The first issue is that some guy bought this at an estate sale with the intent to flip it, and the agent couldn't find the title. Normally the PO can get the DMV to issue a replacement title, but in this case, the PO was dead. Then I went to start looking into things and found out that their was also a lien on the car. After months of work talking to the flipper, estate sale agent, surviving kids, hassling AAA for info, researching, talking to a credit union, and cold calling people in the phone book (when I had no idea if I'd be able to register the car), I finally got it all figured out. A CPA in Berkeley bought the car for his wife in 1989. They paid it off in 1993, but never filed the release of lien with the DMV. The owners got divorced twenty years ago, and the wife never registered it in her name. I was able to convince the bank to send me the release of lien. I also found the CPA that was the listed owner and got him to sign the title transfer paperwork. Finally I had all the documents to register the vehicle.

    The next step was the back fees. I purchased the car for $800 and the DMV wanted $950 in fees. CA DMV Chapter 3 Section 3.080 (CVC ยง9562) for transfer applications states that the penalties may be waived upon payment of the registration fees if:
    1) if the penalties accrued prior to the date of purchase, and
    2) the new owner was not aware that the registration fees were not paid for the current or prior years

    For this to work, you will need to fill out CA REG 256, Statement of Facts. In my case I said that I was not aware the registration was past due, I tried to look it up on the DMV website but kept getting an error message, and I had no way of knowing. A manager will have to approve for the penalties to be removed. I happened to be the last person in line that night and just had to be really pushy. The manager said they couldn't authorize it, and I had to show then the code on my phone and tell them it was literally their job to approve it.

    In my case, I was told me that it was "buyer beware" and that since the tags said 2016 I should have known. I had to push back that there was no way to know that the PO just didn't put the new stickers on, also the PO died and wasn't the register owner. In the end they wanted to go home and removed all the fees and I paid ~$380 for 2016, 2017, and 2018. Unfortunately the guy next to me was not so lucky.
    sigpic
    1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
    1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
    1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

    Comment


      #3
      You guys in CA might have an awful DMW system, but from the looks of things this car is nigh on rust free, which is not something you'd find for $800, or even $1750 on most of the other coast. Truly looks like a great starting point.

      Comment


        #4
        June 2018

        About this time I moved to a new apartment in Oakland, which had a garage:



        So I ordered about $2k of parts, basically one of everything and did the timing belt/water pump, replaced fuel lines, replaced the brake lines, bled the brakes, threw spark plugs/filters/oil etc. at it. I wanted the car reliable for a daily so I could make the coupe more unreliable. I also gor a new rear bumper in AWII!





        First attempt at smog failed and the exhaust smelled terrible (Stinky), so I figured the catalytic converter was garbage. That meant swapping cats at work on a Saturday (I probably shouldn't have done that). The new cat worked perfectly and It was finally registered!



        Scraping off the old stickers revealed the original registration sticker from 1990!







        October 2018

        This was the first road trip in Stinky. For my birthday, my girlfriend, dog, and I drove up the coast and ended up spending the night at a KOA just south of Mendocino. It was a great trip, but the blown shocks and missing front sway bar meant the car was super floaty around all the turns.

        Last edited by McGyver; 05-13-2021, 11:53 AM.
        sigpic
        1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
        1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
        1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

        Comment


          #5
          Love the perseverance to get the title and not pay the back fees. I had a similar situation with a 1-year only Jetta Coupe that I had to have. No title but with enough work, bribes and wishful mailers I one day received a release of liability and immediately had a clean title in hand
          Simon
          Current Car:
          -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
          -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project



          Make R3V Great Again -2020

          Comment


            #6
            ^Thanks, I really wanted this car to work out.

            October 2019

            After driving for a while, the exhaust started getting really loud/annoying. It turns out the cat started tearing away from the rest of the muffler. I welded it once, but it tore again, so I went in with a wide gloppy weld. The second weld has held so far. Turns out I had everything possible wrong with my Mig machine; I bought fluxcore wire that requires gas and I wasn't using any, I also had it set up DECP (like for regular mig welding). I wondered why I never had slag and had to preheat+max out the amps. No wonder I never got good penetration. Oops.





            While in there, I realized the cat doesn't have any material in it. No wonder the car was stinky and failed smog super hard!



            Then I got a horrible vibration, which I assumed was a torn CSB. Nope, the CSB was perfect, so you know what that means? Time to have the driveshaft rebuilt! Spend more money! Yay! I went to Driveline in San Leandro and they did a great job. Upgraded the staked BMW universal joint bearings with some replaceable bearings from a Japanese truck (i forget the brand). That also meant cutting groves for circlips, allowing easier servicing in the future.

            Last edited by McGyver; 05-02-2021, 02:15 PM.
            sigpic
            1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
            1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
            1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

            Comment


              #7
              January 2020

              I ended up driving down to Gilroy to grab a seta engine. The idea was to use the bottom end with my b25 885 head for an easy turbo engine. (Turns out at least 1 seta piston was destroyed) I loaded everything into the trunk and headed out for Oakland.



              I was coming up to a stop light that had just turned green. I assumed the cars would be moving and I looked down at my GPS to figure out where my turn was. When I looked up I realized the car in front of me hadn't moved. I slammed on the brakes, but gravel, old tires, extra weight, no ABS, and not enough time meant that I slid into the Chevy Volt in front of me. Not great.





              I got home to survey the damage; Missing a screw at the edge of the valence, which was a little bent, center of the valence and core support was bent, and my headlight bucket was cracked.







              It was easy to bend the valence back into shape and I ordered some smoked Depo's from ECS or something. The depos came with a bunch of broken hardware, which ECS replaced for free. Got it all put together and looked pretty good! This is one of my favorite shots of my two cars.

              Last edited by McGyver; 05-02-2021, 02:16 PM.
              sigpic
              1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
              1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
              1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

              Comment


                #8
                ๐Ÿ‘
                Projects Hartge,Alpina & AC Schnitzer Builds.http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=280601
                http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=227993
                http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=289362

                DSC04926 by Raul Salinas, on FlickrDSC03413 by Raul Salinas, on Flickr

                Comment


                  #9
                  Back at it! I'm not sure how much truth there is to this but I swear my four door is stiffer than my coupe, stoked to see this one evolve and hope it brings some easier days for ya.

                  I also agree with RogueToaster... there are horribly beat E30s here in TX trying to command $8k for a comparable shell. Sweet starting point.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Quick interlude from July 2019

                    I got tired of dealing with excessive camber from lowing my car resulting in uneven tire wear and drastically shortened tire life. I also figured that fixing the camber would get a larger contact patch, resulting in better grip and faster cornering.

                    I could buy some adjusters, but I also have a machine shop and scrap metal at work, so I made some.

                    First step was to grab some eccentric bolts from the rear end of an e39 (use the long bolts). Each e39 has 2, so you need to find 2 cars in a junkyard for a full set of 4: 4x Bolt (33321095102), 4x Washer (33306786186), 4x Lock Nut (33326760668)

                    I measured up the bolts, modeled them in SolidWorks, and then designed some brackets.







                    Once that was done, I grabbed some scrap tooling that was going to be recycled. And started chopping it up.





                    Made it square



                    Cut a C-Channel



                    Cut it close to the final length (cleaned up the excess from the horizontal saw)



                    Fly cut to final length



                    Milled the slot



                    Final product



                    I made several sets so that I'll be ready for the next car. This was my second time making them and I definitely got faster this time around. That being said, I think my labor to make them was way more than the cost to buy a set. It's a good thing I don't value my time and enjoy this hobby!
                    sigpic
                    1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
                    1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
                    1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      March to April 2020

                      Following the accident, I knew that I needed to get the car a little safer. It was time to modify the rear sub frame, get new tires, and fix the ABS.

                      First though, here's my brand new Depo headlight. They leak!



                      Subframe

                      I pulled the subframe, twice actually. The first toe adjustment location was dead center and left excessive toe-in. So I had to pull everything, cut, and reweld the adjusters to get closer to neutral toe.

                      Everything out (notice the parking brake cables)



                      Adjusters welded for the first or second time



                      Everything cleaned up the first time (notice the parking brake cables). Notice how much room I have to work. I've got the nose of the car inches off the door in the front and it's parked about 12 inches off the wall on the passenger side. That left me with about 24 inches on the driver's side between the storage cabinet and the car. I had about 36 inches between the back of the car and my work cart. It was super tight, but I made it work. That's where I cleaned the diff, welded the adjusters, and ground the eccentric holes in the subframe using a Milwaukee Dremel tool.



                      Rear end all cleaned up and welded correctly. Now on the jack for install (notice the parking cables appeared)



                      Ready to be jacked into position



                      Tires

                      I ended up going with General Altimax rt43 in 195/60-14 for around $80 a tire (plus mounting). I can say with 100% certainty, these are absolutely tires, mostly round, and you can commute on them. That's about it. They're good enough to commute on for cheap.


                      ABS

                      I never took any pictures of this, maybe I'll pull the relay at some point to show you guys. The ABS never worked and the light was always on (versus on with key in run, then out when the car started, then turning on when you started moving). That made me think the wheel speed sensors were ok and that it was an issue with the relay. I found some guidance here on how to troubleshoot. Eventually I came to the conclusion that the fusible link in the ABS relay had burned out and was causing the problem. I bought some cheap fuses and fuse holders off amazon, soldered the fuse holder to the relay, put in a fuse, and tested it. It worked great. So I zip-tied the fuse holder to the relay and shoved it back under the dash.

                      It drives! It's safer! It's a daily! Here it is dropping off two m20 bottom ends at the machine shop, super low!

                      sigpic
                      1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
                      1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
                      1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So were only a year away from being up-to-date... come on!
                        Simon
                        Current Car:
                        -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
                        -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project



                        Make R3V Great Again -2020

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Well, the depos still look pretty good otherwise. It's funny though after all this time (I had a set of Depos back in 2003?) - they still haven't fixed the leaks. And actually, some of the newer Depo lights are *better* quality than the original BMW lights.. lol

                          Are these ones the exact copies of the Hellas, or the newer ones? I know people were re-sealing them right after they bought them. I still have parts from a set I had, they're 100% compatible with my original smoked Hellas, which is nice!
                          Build thread

                          Bimmerlabs

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                            So were only a year away from being up-to-date... come on!
                            Time to total the car and give up on this thread! Just kidding, that happens on page 4!


                            Originally posted by nando View Post
                            Well, the depos still look pretty good otherwise. It's funny though after all this time (I had a set of Depos back in 2003?) - they still haven't fixed the leaks. And actually, some of the newer Depo lights are *better* quality than the original BMW lights.. lol

                            Are these ones the exact copies of the Hellas, or the newer ones? I know people were re-sealing them right after they bought them. I still have parts from a set I had, they're 100% compatible with my original smoked Hellas, which is nice!
                            Thanks, they look great for the price and its really nice to not have them all pitted. I immediately put clear Lamin-X on them to protect the surface. A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about how I work at an optics manufacturing company with all kinds of equipment to manufacture high-end lenses and mirrors. I had planned on refinishing the lenses on the green car, but I guess that's out of the picture. I may still try taking apart the passenger side for a proof of concept and to see how hard it is to grind/polish them to look new again.

                            Anyway, these seem to look like a Hella design, but I feel like there's more plastic (and of a lower quality) than you get with the original parts. They also came with broken adjusters...



                            sigpic
                            1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
                            1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
                            1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Quick interlude from April 2020

                              I had some charging system issues that resulted in a dead battery just a month after the free replacement warranty ended. It turned out to be caused by worn brushes on my voltage regulator. I ended up rebuilding the alternator, I'll post the writeup later, but for now, painting an alternator white is only a good idea until you go to install it in a dirty engine.



                              In order to monitor the car's voltage, I decided to make a volt meter from a spare hazard button. I had planned to make another one for the green car, but that car's gone. I'll probably make another one and make a writeup at some point.

                              Anyway, the generic display from amazon came with three wires; black (ground), red (power), and white (signal). I removed the white wire and bridged the power to the signal. The downside is that the display needs 3-4 volts to work. It shouldn't be too big of a deal since my car won't be able to do anything with 3-4 volts.



                              Decent accuracy, I just wanted within +/- a volt or so


                              It was also useful for a sanity check for how a transistor works (part of my MegaSquirt build project)





                              And the final product with the car off and on





                              And the car outside the garage


                              Last edited by McGyver; 05-11-2021, 02:23 PM.
                              sigpic
                              1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
                              1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
                              1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

                              Comment

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