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Strict budget, slow restoration. *Now with moar budget*

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    Strict budget, slow restoration. *Now with moar budget*

    Got the car about 6 months ago.


    Was my friend's gf's, she didn't take good care of it.

    No idea when the timing belt was done last
    Two spots of rust on the hood, one big spot just underneath the windshield seal.
    Trim is all faded to crap
    One of the sealed beams was twisted (beam pattern is sideways)
    Squeaky belts
    Huge vacuum leak
    153 was on its way out
    Tach and econogauge didn't work
    Odometer was broken at ~180k
    Radio didn't work
    Heater/AC didn't work
    OBC didn't work
    O2 sensor on its way out, got an intermittent CEL
    Sunroof was out of sync (stopped twice while rolling it back)
    Rear window didn't roll down
    Needed front brakes
    Windshield wipers and cruise control didn't really work
    Steering wheel wasn't centered
    Paint worn through on the roof and sunroof
    Struts are probably blown
    Four different brand tires in iffy condition
    Front sway bar to subframe brackets were missing

    The good:
    No rust that I saw other than what I noted.
    Pulled pretty strongly to redline
    Interior was in good condition although the seat springs weren't working
    OK stereo (head unit only) with 6 CD changer

    Here she was when I first got her.

    First thing I did was fix the damn sealed beam (twisted it back)

    Then the next weekend I did timing belt, water pump and all accessory belts.

    Quickly after I replaced and relocated the SI board batteries
    Replaced fuses to get OBC, radio, heater/AC, tach and econogauge working
    Recentered steering wheel (yes it's centered on the rack, it's not just my alignment that's off)
    Pulled apart the steering column and tightened a few bolts to get the cruise control and wipers working well
    Replaced the front pads with Textars, still haven't drilled out the rotor retaining screws to put the brembo blanks on but it still stops well for now.

    Then I put the S3.73 in

    While I was testing the LSD out the glove box hinge decided to take a dump and the glove box fell on the floor (no pics)

    After awhile I got some smilies and euro grilles

    Output comparison shots:

    low beam

    high beam

    Car looks a bit better.

    I got some tires, Federal Formoza FD1 195/60R14, they were like 44 bucks apiece picked up.

    Then I took a break, got a can of SEM trim paint and started painting some stuff to see how it would turn out

    Still waiting to do the rest of the trim and shadowline it.

    I was at kragen's getting some VR1 and decided to tear apart the headliner and resync the sunroof motor, it's nice not having a sunroof that stops in 17 wrong positions and none of the right ones.

    Finally got a 173, mark d 19# chip and some injectors

    I "tested" the LSD in some dirt

    So I decided to wash it for the first time ever (yeah, 6 months)

    Still got a ways to go, but it's coming along slowly. :) Sorry in advance for the phone pics.
    Last edited by Wh33lhop; 05-23-2017, 12:11 AM.
    paint sucks

    first..coming along, little more time and a little more $$$ and you're there.
    Shoot, move, and communicate...

    ......Semper Fidelis.....


      Originally posted by Wh33lhop View Post

      Then I put the S3.73 in

      I love this pic. Swapping diffs curbside at night ftw! :up:


        hardcore diff swap at night, coming along nice


          My crank pulley bolts have become loose over the past few weeks, and recently started to rattle pretty badly (which is when I noticed it).

          I had to pull off the damn radiator and get 6 new bolts, whoever put the bolts in there before put some god damned SAE shits in there, probably why they worked their way loose. I found some grade 8.8 M8 1.25 thread pitch bolts at home depot, they weren't tempered (should I go for tempered bolts and swap them out?) but they worked. The rattle went away and the car started running better than ever, pulling strong to 7k.

          I also put the stock front sway bar back on it, it's easier to kick the rear out now (whereas it was damn near impossible with the cabrio front sway and stock rear). Obviously there's more body roll but I like the car's behavior better.
          paint sucks


            plans for the car?

            good to see a car being saved.
            Originally posted by Indecline06
            For some reason, when I get super duper ultra stoned... The M30 motor reminds me of big bird from sesame street.


              Thanks for the comments :) yeah the diff swap ended at 2AM with nothing but a flashlight. I have no workspace so I usually just do stuff out on the street, and I don't like leaving my car undrivable as it's my only mode of transportation, so I typically don't give up on a job until it's done.

              As for the plans...
              The short-term plan:

              Pay off credit card
              New rear brakes
              Shadowline the door trim and repaint the rest of the exterior trim
              New RSMs and a tie rod replacement
              Hopefully some IE sways (with reinforcement)

              The long-term plan so far (just the idea, very subject to change):

              Continue to pay off credit card
              New Cirrusblau hood (no rust), cut out the spot of rust below the windshield and bondo/paint it up, then new windshield and rear windshield surrounds
              Polish what paint is salvageable and get the roof and sunroof repainted
              Late model front valence
              Retrofit (FX possibly)
              H&R sport or race and koni or bilstein sport
              15x8 and something 225/45 and sticky hopefully
              Some long tubes and maybe a scorpion zorst :)
              Maybe even a Schrick 272 or 284 at some point
              Last edited by Wh33lhop; 06-29-2009, 07:19 PM.
              paint sucks


                Originally posted by Disaster Inc View Post
                I love this pic. Swapping diffs curbside at night ftw! :up:
                def. hardcore LOL.. I'm too much of a lazy SOB these days to do work on the street - those were the days though I tell ya!

                keep it comin' OP!
                Evolution of My E30 M3Recent PicsSC*AR


                  I'll do the best I can ;)

                  I also got some E36 window switches, but although they were advertised as large white base they are small white base (one-touch), so I haven't gotten them to work yet. I got them for pretty cheap so I can't really complain.

                  Anyway to make up for the lack of new pictures I'll just post some random old ones up

                  Parked next to the world's only ///M528e :p

                  More of the dirty 30 before I washed it

                  That should do for now ;)
                  Last edited by Wh33lhop; 06-06-2016, 11:54 PM.
                  paint sucks


                    Shadowlined half the trim today ;)

                    After 20 minutes (I masked the door seals too, which you can't see)

                    After an hour

                    After 2-3 hours

                    Then I started painting

                    I painted the door handles too

                    I like how it came out but I didn't do a good enough job masking the trim (plus unless you do it with the doors open you can't do it perfectly without taking the trim off), so I'm just going to redo it the right way when I get the chance.

                    Anyway I only did half the car, so here are the comparison shots (sorry, they're grainy--forgot to lower the ISO)

                    and the side molding



                    Turned out pretty well I think

                    But again, just take the damn trim off if you're doing this. I'd partially mask it off and sand it while it was on there (much easier when it's secured) then remove it and paint it.
                    paint sucks


                      good start to a build. looks like that paint will buff out nicely too. db's definitely need to be polished tho

                      98 540 MSport
                      89 325 ix


                        Has it chipped in any way yet? I want to try the SEM trim paint instead of the plasti dip.


                          Originally posted by e30rida View Post
                          Has it chipped in any way yet? I want to try the SEM trim paint instead of the plasti dip.
                          Hasn't chipped yet, but then again it hasn't even been a month since I painted it.

                          It's still asymmetric--one side's shadowlined (or rather, black, technically it's not shadowline) and the other's faded chrome. Still finding the time and will to rip the trim off and do it the right way. :p
                          paint sucks


                            Meguiar's Wheel Brightener will do wonders for your bottlecaps.


                              Originally posted by Bimmerista View Post
                              Meguiar's Wheel Brightener will do wonders for your bottlecaps.
                              My bcaps paint is chipped, unfortunately. I think they come out looking pretty good when I actually wash them though. ;)
                              paint sucks