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325i Mtech-II Euro import *Turbo Project*

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    325i Mtech-II Euro import *Turbo Project*

    Hi all,

    Been a long time lurker on the forum and seeing as I owe the majority of my E30 knowledge to this place, I figured I'd make a build thread for my latest addition - this Diamantschwartz metallic Euro import factory Mtech 2 Coupe.

    Some background info on me: I recently moved to Canada after living in the UK my whole life and as soon as I got here figured I needed an E30 to sink my teeth into. This came up pretty soon after I moved here last year October in Ottawa with one of the worst adverts for anything I think I've ever seen:

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    Although the pictures looked promising, the advert lacked most of the major details in what I'd usually like to know before going to buy a car, especially one that's over 5 hours away from a place I'd just moved to. After asking for more photos of the car from the seller, he sent me very little of value, half of them showing more of his thumb over the lens than the car itself.

    So knowing little to nothing about not only the way car purchases worked in North America, but also the car itself, I made arrangements with the owner and a short while after found myself getting a train to Ottawa with booking confirmation for several U-haul reservations. Only a day before leaving for the trip had I exchanged my UK drivers license for its Ontario equivalent, which come to think of it, goes to show just how little preparation had gone into this decision. In my defence, I really didn't expect to find a better deal on what appeared to be a very rare spec car for what is usually found in NA.

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    Et Voila! Before I knew it, I found myself questioning my sanity as I stood holding the keys to yet another project E30 (following my recently completed Alpina project in the UK) which needed more than a little TLC to get it where I wanted.

    First impressions of the car were generally that it needed a lot more work than I anticipated. The M20 was tired and definitely needed refreshing, with mysterious knocking sounds coming from the front half under heavy braking (more on that later).

    An aftermarket off-brand steering wheel and comfort interior were amongst the list of things that stood out straight away for prime candidates to change ASAP; the seats had been replaced and retrimmed at some point to a half-leather half-alcantara comfort set which I'll admit was comfy, but not the look I was going for.

    The highlights of the exterior: A chipped and dented black kidney grill, one smiley headlight mismatching the other, wood screws sticking out of the front bumper and a shoddy satin black paint job over the entire lower front valence and other spots around the car where the car had sustained any wounds....nothing major but definitely things I was dying to change.

    On the upside, I hadn't realised that the tail-lights were genuine MHW's from the early 90's - a touch which I couldn't personally justify the value of; and so my budget for the project increased ever so slightly.

    Here are some closer up pics taken at a friend's place where I stored the car while getting it registered for the road:

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    In the process of getting the car registered and figuring out just how sh*tty the overly complex Ontario registration system is, I let the Canadian weather get the best of me - and so began the search for projects I could do indoors within the confines of my downtown apartment. I was at least happy to have got the car to my part of the country just in time for first snowfall. Here's a pic next to my buddy's Scirocco VR6 Project:

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      I'm sure the car is a little rough in person, but the pictures look great! Congrats!

      I'd much rather deal with mechanical issues and fix the interior than deal with excessive bodywork/paint issues. I'm looking forward to seeing more about this!
      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]


        Cheers! Yep definitely was a bit rough around the edges but a great base for a project.

        I'm looking forward to learning about the mechanical more in this as I'm more used to bodywork. I've since done lots to the car just trying to find time to write the posts! Will update soon.


          Looks like a good pick up! Big fan of the colour. Hows the rust situation? What are the turbo plans?

          I assume you're in Toronto? Let me tell you, ServiceOntario is leaps and bounds above Quebec's SAAQ... I moved here from out of province I can only get an appointment for a new license in April 2024 lol


            @Andy348‚Äč Cheers! The body's definitely seen better days and rust in the usual places (e.g. front 'jacking points' & trunk pockets) but nothing beyond repair.

            Car is already turbo'd, trying to add posts to this thread to show the progress but been a busy week so far. Stay tuned :)

            Yeah, I've heard rumours from friends about how bad things are over there, but April 2024 sucks! Do you have an E30 in Quebec?


              wow that's a nice one


                Seeing a break in the Canadian winter I decided it would be a good opportunity to bring the car downtown where it would have to wait for the better part of three months before the weather decided to get better:

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                Side note: I really hated these wheels, the offset on the rear was horrible and I was dying to get something that filled the arches a little better. The winter hunt for some E30 goodies began.

                The first thing I came across on Kijiji was a set of black 2 door Sport Seats, although the usual drivers side bolster wear made them look 10x worse than the seats I currently had. Luckily enough, a single passenger side seat came up for sale for cheap so I took to disassembling the two in my apartment living room to try and salvage something from the pieces.

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                My first time pulling seats apart or doing any form of E30 'upholstery'. With the power of youtube and a few hours after work, I had one pretty good looking drivers seat.

                As I sat wondering what to tick off the to-do list next, a friend shared a deal I couldn't resist and a short while later a package turned up at my door.

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                Last edited by alpinaseeone; 11-24-2023, 08:58 PM.


                  The next challenge I set myself (at arguably the worst point in the process) was to clean up the front and rear of the M-Tech kit. As I said before, the PO had really neglected the bumpers and any cracks / larger stone chips were sprayed over with black paint and left. I was given the permission to use a corner of a heated underground parking garage as my 'paint shop' away from any cars that people would be upset about getting overspray on. My 'makeshift' workstation:

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                  As you can clearly tell I wasn't looking for perfection here, but at this point anything was better than what I had before.
                  I took my time to let the primer set and sanded as much as I could by hand over a few days before giving it a final coat of 2K lacquer. A few other pieces needed a touch of paint so I figured I'd try do as much as I can with the same set of cans I had picked up locally. Namely the C pillar trims which had also been painted flat black

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                  I was pretty happy with the end result, the paint match was really good and the lacquer super high quality for a rattle can job. (excuse the ghetto paint stand setup)

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                  Last edited by alpinaseeone; 11-24-2023, 09:16 PM. Reason: Photo formatting


                    alpinaseeone Currently looking for another E30, hoping to pick one up this week if everything goes according to plan.

                    Bumper looks great, and well done on the seat. Looking forward to following along.


                      nice job on the bumper.


                        Thanks for the kind words!

                        Andy348 Did the plans work out? Keen to see what you picked up in Canada


                          Update no. 5:

                          Figured I'd number these to try and keep track of things going forward, who knows how long this thread will be but whatever..

                          The time difference between this update and the last was a fair amount longer, mainly due to the fact that the winter and no designated 'garage space' stopped me from doing any major work. Thankfully, this gave me time to recoup some funds and think about longer term plans. More importantly though, I could finally get a different set of wheels & tyres for the car.

                          Living in an apartment, these sat under my bed for the best part of three months before seeing daylight again:

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                          I opted for some aftermarket ESM wheels; not for the faint of heart and I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I loved the aggressive 16x9 et15 square setup and AC Schnitzer style that they used. Original 3-piece AC's never came in a 4x100 which is how I justified to myself getting reps lol. I wrapped them in a fresh set of 224/45/16 Toyo Proxes R1R, opting for these over the R888R's for durability.

                          As soon as the tyres arrived in the mail, I grabbed the wheels and adding to the DIY apartment build, used my building's bellhop cart to load everything into my car and head to my buddy's shop.

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                          In the process, I threw on the rear coilovers. The rear install was far easier than the front and I knew the rear shocks were on their way out. I figured I could redo the front when I took the time to overhaul the rest of the front suspension. Please excuse the donk-esque look I adopted until I had time to do the front:
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                          Not the prettiest, and in this photo, still missing the front valence - HOWEVER, now starting to look a bit more like a car.
                          Last edited by alpinaseeone; 11-30-2023, 01:45 PM.


                            Figured I'd update this again after the busy festive period:

                            After throwing the wheels on and eventually, the front valence after the mounting clips arrived from Germany, I figured I'd ride the monster truck around a little and enjoy the good weather and show season. *Insert pics of the car looking cool amongst other cool cars*

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ID:	10111681 I have to say, in spite of the monster truck front end, the car was looking pretty damn good! Low lighting definitely helped hide some minor imperfections too.

                            I then went back home to the UK for a while and had the chance to catch up with some of my closest buds - the people who started this all off for me. I timed my trip to make the BMW 'Mega meet' which was hosted in Gaydon with over 1000 new and old cars in attendance. I have to say, it was quite incredible seeing the vast number that showed up!

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                            From left to right: Alpine white 323i Baur on air, Suuuuper clean 325i Baur, my Alpina C1 2.3, 2.7 Stroker with itbs and M3 interior, all red everything 325i touring on air.

                            If you look closely you can spot the inspiration for my Canadian car's wheel setup on the red touring. His definitely looks better on air but maybe one day I'll follow suit.


                              Nice stash spot.

                              I was up above it, Now I'm down in it ~ Entropy - A Build thread.