No announcement yet.

After a year of searching, an Alpineweiß story

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    After a year of searching, an Alpineweiß story

    Hey guys.
    I purchased a 1987 325e
    I did some minor work to it and I have been daily driving it for the last 2 years.
    Ever since then I wanted another e30.

    I have found a few for sale here on r3v, e30tech, ebay, autotrader, craigslist, bimmerforums. Through local advertisement in papers and automotive catalogs.
    I'm a bmwcca member and have check the classified section of the roundel for an e30.
    I have purchased one way plane tickets to cars that I thought were the one for sure. With something always coming up.
    Yes I'm picky, but its my money an I wanted a nice example of a clean e30.

    I ended up finding one right in the city I live in.

    I was on my way home when I saw an alpinewhite e30 driving on the same street in the opposite direction.
    I immediately made a u turn to go check out when I hit a red light.
    As soon as it turned green I floored it to try to catch up to it.
    I saw the e30 turn into an automotive complex of shops.
    I parked next to the e30 and then went out to find the owner.
    I met the owner and asked him if he was interested in selling the car.
    He politely told me no not at the moment and left in another car.
    He was dropping off the car at a shop to get his fuel filter and some other maintenance done.
    I talked to the mechanic and he put it on the lift for me. I took detailed notes and several pictures of the car.
    I also found out that the this mechanic (eric) has worked on this car for the last 7 years. So he knew a thing or two about the car :pimp:

    I left my name and number with the mechanic to attach to the invoice just in case the owner decided to change his mind and sell me the car.

    I wrote down the vin and license plate to do some hw and research when I got home that night.

    I found that the car was indeed a alpinweib II car with no airbag. Build date 12/14/1988 BMW only made these for approximate 8 months with a clear coat but no airbag.
    It was the reason why I had such a hard time finding an e30.
    It was well worth the wait.
    I also ran the carfax and the car has only been registered in southern California its whole life and shows no accident damage.
    About a month after finding it the day at the shop I got a call from the owner and he said that he was ready to sell.

    Immediately went over to negotiate the car with him
    we came to an agreement and I asked him to go with me to the dmv to get the title transferred I wanted to do it in person.
    Just for personal reason's I didn't want something to come up later on.
    Got the title all squared away got the car insured and went off for a drive down to San Diego.

    The day I found her at the shop.

    Up on the lift for inspection.
    Yes the blue bmw was out of the way when I inspected her.
    When I snapped the shot it was closing time at the shop and the were storing the blue car underneath.

    The day I bought it.

    I drove down to San Diego to open her up on the highway:pimp:
    Getting some 91 octane at Chevron

    Got her home and assessed the condition she was in.

    engine bay
    hot air filter
    cracked intake boot
    cracked idle control valve hose
    cracked valve cover to throttle body hose
    misc wires unplugged and in a mess
    overall pretty dirty
    misc wiring in the battery tray
    valve cover gasket leaking on to heat shields

    checked out the interior in close detail
    Cracked dash
    sony headunit
    misc led's above headunit
    4 spoke steering wheel
    old shifter
    sloppy shift linkage
    torn shift boot
    fluctuating gas gauge.
    missing rear center console
    missing rear ash tray
    cracked ebrake handle
    stains in the carpet
    non oem matts
    sticky passenger seat belt buckle
    sharpie mark in the rear seat back.

    So I started off with the engine bay.
    I wanted to get rid of the filter setup.

    The engine ground strap was in sorry shape:(
    corroded and just looked terrible.

    Yep sure was time to replace

    I had to special order one at the dealer.
    3 days later I got this badboy

    Much better

    I wanted to check if my cps was in spec.
    And although it was I replaced it anyway as the cable was frayed near where it crosses the front of the motor.

    I replaced the throttle body gasket, and I also cleaned the inner part of the throttle body gasket and the inner part on the motor side of throttle body.

    I replace the idle control valve hose, the valve cover to throttle body hose
    and the intake boot cleaned the afm a bit and acquired a used afm from Peerless at e30 motorwerks.

    It came with an old filter so that was immediately replaced with a stock mahle filter

    Installed an upper radiator hose and zip tied out of the way to prevent it getting caught in the clutch fan.
    and here is the before shot of the cap, rotor and wires

    old vs new rotor

    old vs new cap

    I haven't decided which spark plug wires to get here is a thread on that.
    But I'm leaning towards stock

    I wanted to figure out what the extra wires that were in the battery tray were for.
    I traced them back and went from the battery tray across the firewall zip tied to the stock wiring harness and it went into a plug in the firewall near the brake booster.
    I removed the lower dash panel, to see where the wire leads were going to and the wire was cut right there.
    It was fed through the firewall and just cut there.

    I believe the car has an alarm installed by a past owner and the previous owner just cut it out.
    extra wiring in the battery tray

    wiring across the firewall

    wiring at the firewall plug

    wiring removed

    Engine all buttoned up, for now...

    Now that the engine was all buttoned up I went to my smog guy.
    In the state of ca you have to have an airbox or you "can technically" fail visual inspection. Some smog guys don't really care but I wasn't going to risk it.

    O did I mention my smog guy used to track a zinno e30 with a full cage and used to track an e36m3
    now he is tracking a delphin gray shade of gray e36m3, you can see it in the back left of the shop.

    This is the only other person who has driven my e30 since I bought it and Im half way comfortable with it because he used to have an e30 and he has an e36 m3 now.
    Super Smog in Lake Forest Ca.
    Ask for Danny
    track prepped e30 & e36

    getting tested for nox and co2

    his m in the back corner

    The car passed the dreadful CA smog with flying colors!:pimp:

    shot to celebrate passing smog first try.
    Last edited by iwantspeed; 04-09-2010, 03:42 PM.

    Parts for Sale
    YouTube Channel


    Next, It was time to address the interior

    First up, was to replace the led's
    When I removed them they weren't even connected to anything
    I think that they might have had to do something with the misc alarm wiring that I removed.
    Yes I know my obc is fubared:hitler:
    im trying to source a 13 button obc, wiring harness and turn signal stalk.

    with the blanks

    Next up was the dash.

    I used this guide to replace the dash
    getting there.

    dash out

    Crummy duct seal

    Scrapped it with a razor blade and a small flat head screw driver to get the old gasket material off.

    I had a hard time finding the gasket but I made a thread about it and Drew325is found the part number I needed.

    Installed and it fits like a glove.
    I love it when things just go right.

    Either the previous owner or a shop that it was taken to did a hack job on installing the sony headunit.
    I fixed the mickey mouse job and also eliminated the factory fader and ran new wiring to the driver side corner where the speaker wires are fed to go to the rear of the car.

    I also made a plug so i can just plug in the factory antenna once the dash is back in and not have to solder or crimp any fittings later on.

    I soldered everything and heat shrink tubing on all the joints and had wire mesh to bundle up the wiring. I prefer this setup over crimping connections.

    Previous owner hack job

    All tidied up except for the alpine direct cable.

    I went with a Alpine 9881 unit.
    It had the features I wanted
    cd mp3 radio
    3 rca's
    i pod direct control on the head unit
    detachable face plate
    and the best part is that the buttons light up amber.

    I got rid of the 4 spoke steering wheel

    I went with an M-Tech 1 wheel

    I got rid of the ugly tan speaker covers and added mint condition black ones, pics coming soon.

    I had a company that steam cleans carpets come out to my house. I removed the seats and left the center consoles out and had them remove all the stains. They also did the matts that I just got.
    Bavarian Autosport matts.

    Dirty carpet driver side

    Dirty carpet passenger side

    Coffee stain, Thanks previous owner.

    Do work:o

    Driver side done

    Passenger Side done

    ZHP 5 speed cut and weighted shift knob total weight 5.5 ounces
    From bimmerforums, TischerBmw

    I bought this e34 early model(1990) emergency brake handle
    I bought off of Schneller 3er, he was a very good seller and quick shipper

    I also installed akg's delrin shift bushings

    Z3 1.9 shift lever, thanks Sean at Irvine BMW

    old vs new

    I added an early model center console with 2 buttons and no hole for the breaker switch.
    I have the breaker switch wired in underneath and still functions the same,

    I also added an extra breaker switch to function as a garage door opener. and the garage door opener is mounted above the ecu.
    2nd breaker
    Ya i know its upside down I didn't realize till later:loco:

    2 hole center console
    stock shift knob, stock shift lever, stock shift boot,

    stock shift knob height. 5 3/4

    bend the selector shaft

    installed the zhp knob
    Z3 1.9 shift lever
    bav auto shifter boot with trim ring removed & an inch removed from the top to clear the shift lever.
    Final height is a shade under 5 inches.

    I installed mint condition front and rear seats
    I also purchased a Bav Auto dash cover to protect the mint dash
    I also Purchased Bav autosport plush black matts

    I replaced the sticky seat belt buckle that eventually just fell apart with a good working one.

    stock trunk tool kit and one trunk light
    7 series trunk tool kit
    swap tools over


    showing off
    I need more tools
    and purchase a larger foam pad, I think Japanandrew can hook it up.
    I have a 2nd trunk light I just haven't wired it in yet.
    Last edited by iwantspeed; 11-02-2010, 01:17 PM.

    Parts for Sale
    YouTube Channel



      The previous owner has tried to do all red tails mods.
      I like the look of this but the paint had faded so it had to go.

      I sanded both turn signals until the amber showed up and then polished up.

      I'm not entirely happy with results but it will do for now.

      I got a new month and year sticker, so I stripped off all the old year stickers

      and new stickers

      new front license plate bracket,
      new hardware for the front and rear license plates.

      Parts for Sale
      YouTube Channel


        cluster and ecu

        I took apart the ecu
        and I added a Jim Conforti chip
        raised the rev limit
        91 octane
        and a small increase in hp and torque

        close up

        I took apart the cluster
        I replaced all the bulbs and the odometer gear.

        bulb housings all bubbled up

        new bulb housings

        all new bulbs and new odometer gears

        Parts for Sale
        YouTube Channel



          Meet Natalie

          1989 325I
          Alpineweiß II
          Tan Natur vinyl comfort seats
          5 speed
          120k miles

          removed ac
          removed power steering
          fresh air filter
          fresh synthetic oil
          new timing belt,tensioner
          new water pump
          rebuilt head
          new cap
          new rotor
          various vacuum hoses
          various radiator hoses
          new crank position sensor
          Jim Conforti chip
          new hood seal
          Bosch Platinum plus plugs (gaped at 0.03)
          Bosch fuel filter

          crack free dash
          rebuilt cluster
          early model center console (2 button vs 3 button)
          M-Tech 1 wheel large diameter
          e30 m3 ebrake boot
          e34 ebrake handle
          e46 zhp 5 speed shift knob
          bav auto shift boot
          extra window breaker for a hidden garage door opener.
          bmwcca sticker on driver 1/4 panel on the happich window :)
          Bav autosport matts
          7 series large tool kit
          stripped trunk( no sound deadening)
          2nd trunk light(to be installed)
          e30 specific sun-shade
          bav auto dash cover to protect it from the sun while parked

          Sound Improvement
          alpine 9881 headunit
          alpine i pod cable
          Eliminated speaker fader
          Ran new wiring to the speakers
          i pod nano hidden in center console
          Premium sound tweeters(not installed)
          pioneer rear speakers
          stock speakers in the front for now
          swapped the tan speaker covers for black ones

          H&R Touring Sport Cup Kit
          21mm front Convertible sway bar (to be installed)
          Rongineer rear strut bar (to be installed)
          new rear trailing arm bushings
          new rear subframe bushings
          10mm rear spring pads

          Ate rotors(not installed yet)
          Ate pads(not installed yet)
          6x Bimmer world stainless kevlar lines(not installed yet)
          Ate super blue DOT 4 brake fluid(not flushed yet)


          new clutch master cylinder (not installed yet)
          slave master cylinder(not installed yet)
          UUC stainless kevlar clutch line(not installed yet)
          new bmw clutch master cylinder to reservoir line(not installed yet)
          z3 1.9 shift lever
          stock rebuilt shifter bushings
          3.73 open diff

          wheels and tires
          17x7.5 Kopi Alpina's
          4 lug casting
          Continental Extreme Contact tires
          No spacers
          slightly rolled rear fenders
          Last edited by iwantspeed; 04-15-2010, 05:23 PM.

          Parts for Sale
          YouTube Channel


            Looks good, willing to tell how much you paid?
            Real Alpinas or Kopis?

            And I'm not sure if I read this wrong or something, but did you buy the car, and then take it on a test drive and fully examine it afterwards? Seems backwards...


              Originally posted by red325 View Post
              Looks good, willing to tell how much you paid?
              Real Alpinas or Kopis?

              And I'm not sure if I read this wrong or something, but did you buy the car, and then take it on a test drive and fully examine it afterwards? Seems backwards...

              count the spokes, to tell if there real. and real alipina wheels have a key hole in cap.

              sick and last half of pics i see red x's

              Please leave feedback below, thanks




                Parts for Sale
                YouTube Channel


                  What 7 series is that tool kit tray from?


                    Nice wheels ;)

                    Also nice attention to detail. How does the Cup Kit feel?
                    cars beep boop


                      Very nice!


                        Looks good and good story!

                        Looks like your front left/right seat belts are different, and also don't forgot to replace old suspension bushings when you do your h&r cup kit install.
                        Mtech1 v8 build thread -

                        OEM v8 manual chip or dme -


                          You did a wonderful job on her! I think the only thing that sucks is the seats. I had them in mine and they are not all that grand to sit in. Nor pleasing to the eye, are you going for factory? I think a full set is in order, that is only me though.
                          ~ Puch Cafe. ~ Do business? feedback ~ Check out my leather company ~

                          Instagram: @BWeissLeather

                          Current cars:
                          ~ '87 325 M30B35 swap
                          ~ '87 535
                          ~ 01 540 Msport 6spd
                          ~ '06 X5 4.8is


                            Congrats, keep up the good work!
                            Originally posted by Simon S
                            When a dream is a dream for too long - it becomes a fantasy..


                              Hells yeah !

                              Great work and nice documentation !!
                              -----Zen and the Art of e30 Maintenance - / - Zen TOC - / - Zen Summary