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1991 318i sedan project - Saving a sedan!

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    1991 318i sedan project - Saving a sedan!

    Picked up a '91 318i sedan 5-speed, Diamond Schwarz on black last monday (7/27/09). Came with some nice leather sport seats and H&R springs with Bilstein Sport shocks. Girl I bought it from wasn't paying attention and ran into someone. Thankfully it was very low speed and they hit a fiberglass body car, so damage isn't too bad! A little bit of straightening, but mostly just pull bad parts and replace them with good parts.

    Plan for the car is to build a nice daily driver. At this point I'm not going too far into aftermarket or upgrade items (unless I have to replace something anyway). Later on I will likely do some other bits to the car.

    Here is what showed up to my garage last Monday:





    Most of the impact seemed to be on the passenger side. To my surprise that frame rail was just fine!


    Also to my surprise was that the driver side had some damage.


    Besides pulling damaged parts off... this was the first thing to go ;)
    Last edited by s_ribs; 08-06-2009, 11:26 AM.
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    1991 318i Sedan Project

    #2
    More stripping of parts






    You can see that there was a repair here at some point in the cars life. Whoever did it should not be doing bodywork! This will get fixed as we're working on the car.


    Previous crappy repair cut out, new donor piece tacked into place.

    Last edited by s_ribs; 08-06-2009, 11:28 AM.
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    1991 318i Sedan Project

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      #3
      Nice find! Lots of cheap mods you can do to that car without breaking the bank. EV6 injectors, remove the hose mess under the intake manifold, electric fan, PS delete, taller 3.73 differential etc. Good luck with it.

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        #4
        Car was running just fine prior to the accident, and was started and moved after impact. Now it won't start! 2 things I noticed: 1) spark plug for cylinder #1 was toast (and noticed later on that the coil for cylinder #3 was badly corroded); 2) Crank position sensor is covered in oil. I cleaned it off but it may still be non-operative.

        Rather than spend $150 on new wires, I went the coil on plug route. Not sure his user name on here, but Rob E30 one M42club (he's also on bf.c with a similar name) is who I purchased the kit from. There are plenty of guys selling just the plate but I wanted a full kit with all the hardware and NEW coils. Can't say enough about the transaction with Rob and the quality of his kit!






        Clearly I still need to clean up the wiring, but I now have spark! My only complaint with the kit (and it has nothing to do with the kit, rather the limited space between plugs) is that you have to remove one coil bolt in order to attach the harness. Oh well.
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        1991 318i Sedan Project

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          #5
          Now for some fun stuff!

          Test fit of the sub/box I had built for my Lexus LS400:


          Fits great! I'm still undecided if I will keep this set up. For now I'm trying it out and will give it a chance. I did remove the rear speakers so it will hopefully get into the cabin enough. If not, I will have it firing directly into the cabin via a sealed hole in the back seat (there's a nice thread on a 318 stereo build in the stereo forum if you want to see what it would look like). Sub set up is the newest Exile 12" (forget the model number) with a Kicker ZX750.1 amp.

          Factory speakers aren't gonna cut it for me. Picked up some Phoenix Gold RSD6.cs component speakers to run up front.



          Test fit - no modification needed to mount in the stock location!!


          Comparison with stock speakers



          Tweeters-




          Installed-






          I screwed up here. Well, maybe. I didn't think to check clearance when the door is closed! They fit no problem but are closer to the dash than I think would be optimal. Again, I'll run it as is for now and make a decision later. Trim rings will be pulled off and painted black.
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          1991 318i Sedan Project

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            #6
            First order of business is to order a new plate for the car. :D

            I sort of vaguely remembering a member post that car before .........forget his name right now.....the guy who bought the antfarm M3 maybe ??

            E30 M3 / E30 325is / E34 525iT / E34 535i

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              #7
              Got the power cables run yesterday as well. What's left is RCA cables, remote turn on, figuring out where to mount the crossovers, and running wires to the front speakers.





              Front speaker amp is going to be mounted under the passenger seat. Why? I like things hidden.




              When I was running the power cable under the carpet I noticed that it was kinda wet under the carpet. I'm guessing some water got in during the 6 months the car sat prior to me getting it. So, I'll probably remove the carpet so it can dry out. Makes it easier to run wires anyway.

              I'm not sure, but I may order up some sound deadening mat to install while it's out. Also, I haven't decided what deck to go with yet either. Decisions, decisions...
              Last edited by s_ribs; 08-06-2009, 11:31 AM.
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              1991 318i Sedan Project

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                #8
                Originally posted by Teaguer View Post
                First order of business is to order a new plate for the car. :D

                I sort of vaguely remembering a member post that car before .........forget his name right now.....the guy who bought the antfarm M3 maybe ??
                Not sure who that would be. Plates are definitely going! I can't be rocking the "HER E30" plates!
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                1991 318i Sedan Project

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                  #9
                  I have a few goodies that will be showing up in the next few days. :D

                  But... you'll have to wait til they're here to see em.

                  One thing I'm undecided on right now is the differential. Has an open 4.10 currently and I really hate open diffs. Question is go with the 4.10 in the LSD variety, or something slightly taller to improve freeway driving? Again, I'll see what I think as soon as it's on the road and being driven, but if you guys have any input I'd appreciate it!
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                  1991 318i Sedan Project

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                    #10
                    If you plan on doing a chip then I would say don't think twice about installing a 3.73lsd.
                    Really stretches out the gears and can still pull easily with a chip.
                    Other mods that really help out are the M20 flywheel and opening up the exhaust.

                    E30 M3 / E30 325is / E34 525iT / E34 535i

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                      #11
                      nice project !

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                        #12
                        Yes, definitely going to replace the stock muffler with something aftermarket. No rush on it since I bought a welder last week! :D

                        One BIG thing I have left to pick out is the paint. I'm sticking with Diamond Schwarz, just need to figure out what brand to go with. Need to keep this more on the budget build spectrum of cost but I refuse to use something that will have bad results and wear out in 5 years. Sounds like PPG's Omni is ok but Dupont's Nason is better. Those are the only brands that stuck out to me in my google search. Vlad, I may pm you about this since you're the expert! Paint is a touchy subject and there are LOTS of opinions but little hard facts I'm finding.

                        EDIT: Will be doing a full respray on the car, not just painting the front end. Car was repainted when the previous fix was done - big surprise their paint sucks as much as their idea of body work!
                        Last edited by s_ribs; 08-06-2009, 11:25 AM.
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                        1991 318i Sedan Project

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                          #13
                          Nice one, Mine's two rusty to bother saving it's gonna be a winter bomb.
                          https://www.facebook.com/BentOverRacing

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                            #14
                            Glad I could play middle man on this deal Seth, do I get a finders fee? :)

                            I remember doing the suspension on this thing like 2 years ago. Man its seen a HARD 2 years. How many miles are on it now?

                            Dont lie Seth, the HER E30 plates are really yours huh? ;)
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                              #15
                              i am also working on a Diamond Schwarz 1991 318i 4 door..M50 soon to go in,as soon as I find a SINGLE MASS FLYWHEEL...I have the M42 engine that is apart more or less.Let me know if you need anything from it...help a brother out! :)
                              NASA
                              BMWCCA member
                              PCA member 25yrs




                              1991 318IS slick top
                              1997 M3 sedan
                              2001 325CI DD

                              “whoever turns the wheel the least, wins"

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