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The MR E30 Project Thread

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    The MR E30 Project Thread

    After reading through JackBenny's massive and very detailed project thread, I was compelled to share my story as well.

    I feel as though my E30 is special enough to have its own thread, and I can use it as a source of motivation to get the work done and also use it as a place to ask questions and share my knowledge with others. I live eat and breath E30's, and have been personally responsible for passing the addiction onto 6 of my friends.

    I am not a stickler for perfection, but I am working on trying to get more meticulous about things. I am not the type of guy who cleans every part as I take it off. I repaint things that I deem necessary, but thats not too many things. I am not a looks guy whatsoever, and yes I do realize the paint is in extreme need of some work, but I enjoy the look and think it gives the E30 character. To me its more about the drive, and making everything look like its supposed to be there.

    For now, I am forced to do all of the work to my E30 in a parking lot, and I unfortunately do not have the privilege of having a garage, or special tools to get some jobs done, but I will do the best that I can, with what I have.

    I am going to start at the beginning, and create new posts for the big dramatic updates until I get to how the car sits today.

    *Cracks Knuckles* Here We Go...........

    On August 12th 2009 I put a 1000 dollar deposit on the NV M50 1991 318is. The following day I take the remaining balance to the seller and pick up my first 24v E30. This is my fourth E30, and by far, this is the most modded one to date. I am excited as all hell, and think that its the fastest coolest thing on the road. Here are a few pictures of it, exactly as I picked it up from the PO.

    A list of big things this E30 has to offer.
    - 1992 NV M50 with tranny
    - B&G Coilovers
    - 3.25 LSD
    - Style 5's
    - E36 5 lug, with E36 M3 brakes, front and rear
    - Z3 SS

    After an hour, and a bunch of parts from my previous E30, I get it to look like this.

    I like how its going, the roof rack ties the mean, ratrod look together, and who doesnt love smilies!?

    Though there are a few problems right off of the bat. First off, the rear is way too low, and the exhaust scraps off of the tiniest of bumps. I fix that by simply raising the rear by adjusting the rear spring. Next, that little fan isnt doing jack squat to keep the M50 cool, and continues to overheat even after rigorous bleeding.

    So, I fix that problem by pulling out the entire cooling system from my previous E30. I reinstall the engine fan, and I wire up the stock aux fan to a switch in the cabin. For some reason, even after following the Bentley, I cant get the fan to turn on on its own, so switched it became.

    After all of this, the overheating issue is resolved and I can drive the car without worrying about doing damage on a long drive.

    I drive the car 400 miles to my residence in Phoenix without any problems, and take the car to get smogged. I was kinda worried, but it passed with flying colors. I head over to the DMV and get the infamous MR E30 (which, contrary to popular belief, doesnt stand for Mr. E30, but MR are my initials, and E30 is E30) license plate on the car. Its starting to feel more and more like mine every minute.

    I have a short dry spell without any work. Back in the day I didnt photograph the work I did too often, which I am kinda bummed about now, cause I cant create an accurate chain of events. Its hard to go off of memory only!

    Next up was the dashboard............
    Last edited by MR E30 325is; 05-08-2010, 11:05 PM.
    My previous build (currently E30-less)

    A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession

    The cracked dash was driving me insane, and the interior was pretty clean apart from that. I also had an almost brand new crack free dash just hanging out in the passenger seat. So I decided to go out on a limb and swap this sucker in.

    Mmmm, minty fresh dash.

    I had to have a little fun with the old dash, just to make sure no one else used it after i threw it away.

    I decided to remove the windshield, as I had to do the swap by myself, and it made a lot of sense. Plus it wasnt my first time taking out and replacing a windshield, so I didnt see it as a major inconvenience.

    Out she goes...

    While I was in there I cleaned stuff up and tidied up some wires. After 4 hours of work I had the new dash in. And boy was it a major improvement! I also installed a Mtec 1 steering wheel I picked up from a buddy. Much much nicer.

    While the dash was out I also did some modifications to the gauges. I had the CF and the rings for years now, but I finally decided to install them. The fitment was a little off, but it wasnt too difficult to get it to work. Did the needles up in red also. Though now I think its time for a touch up. But thats for another day!

    Mostly complete.

    There was another dry spell, and finally, after saving my money, gathering parts and doing very extensive research it was time for more power. And this is the part with the S52.......
    Last edited by MR E30 325is; 05-08-2010, 11:01 PM.
    My previous build (currently E30-less)

    A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession


      I love the stance and the way the wheels fit the car. One of my favorite wheels on a E30.


        I wanted that car so bad when it came up. Congrats man.
        - skipping the E36 generation completely -

        Originally posted by Stephen
        Alot of newer cars do nothing for me


          Looks awesome! Btw, thats an Mtech 1 wheel, not Mtech 2.
          My Seller/Buyer Feedback

          Performance Aftermarket Parts & Accessories


            The need hit me on a friday afternoon, as two buddies and I were on our way to bike ride on some mountains. I had three bikes on the roof, and the car was filled with gear and three people.

            A G35 was behind me, and I floored the M50 and gave it everything I could. The driver of the G35 pulled on me and flipped me off, and I felt so crushed. I knew that I could never embarrass my E30 like that again, so the only thing was to do was to grab an M engine.

            I wanted to do S50, due to my own confidence, and the OBDI functionality. But after heading to the junkyard I realized that was not an option. And it wasnt an option, because in that junkyard was a pristine 100k 1998 S52 that I just had to have. It sat there, telling me it needed to go inside of a low and mean E30. So I had to have it.

            I gave a down payment to ensure that it was mine, and waited to pick it up that Saturday when I had a truck available.

            Unfortunately, do a an unforeseen set of events I was not going to be able to pick up the engine on saturday, so I had to pick it up on Wednesday. And the only way I could do that was with my E30. So out came the passenger seat, the map pocket, door pull and ebrake console.

            And after some careful maneuvering it fit in just like a glove. No rubbing issues, and I couldnt feel a decrease in acceleration even though the 500 pound monstrosity was in the car.

            I proceeded to get rid of everything OBDII and start prepping the engine for entry into the E30. I also prepped the M50 to be removed in the parking lot, and I was going to pull it to the auto hobby shop on the other side of base.

            But....... the police had a different idea of how my 3/4 mile trip, maximum speed of 25 mph, should be carried out.

            Apparently, according the idiotic gentleman's thinking, the cars could have become detached and I could have veered out of control and killed a family in another car. Even after explaining to him that I still had full control of my braking and steering he insisted what I was doing was reckless and a major endangerment to society.

            So they waste one whole hour of my swap time, and give me a court date on base to defend myself. They make me pull off into a parking lot and unhook the car.

            But I wasnt going down without a fight. I reinstall the MAF, leaving the exhaust and coolant disconnected, and I drive the car the remaining 1/2 mile to the hobby shop.

            Looking back on it, I should have just done that from the beginning, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20!

            Anyways, on a more positive note, progress was being made. I had the help of the guy who sold me the car more than a year earlier, and he was very familiar with 24v swaps. A comforting touch to a difficult process.

            Various photos of work getting done.

            I am baffled at the reduction in the intake runners for the S52....... So I had to get rid of it.

            The co-worker

            And after 8 hours of intense labor, the monstrosity is at least sitting in the chassis!!

            I will continue to update the thread tomorrow with the trials and tribulations of getting the S52 to start. And for it to be something so simple too!!
            My previous build (currently E30-less)

            A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession


              Originally posted by MrSlacker View Post
              Looks awesome! Btw, thats an Mtech 1 wheel, not Mtech 2.
              Thanks for the info, got it changed.
              My previous build (currently E30-less)

              A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession


                Originally posted by Motorsports View Post
                I love the stance and the way the wheels fit the car. One of my favorite wheels on a E30.
                I have pleasant dreams about my stance at night.

                And I love the style 5's so much that I own two sets.
                My previous build (currently E30-less)

                A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession


                  Nice....I have fond memories of that car.


                    Looks really good. I can't belive you got pulled over for towing a car that way. I see people doing that all the time and at the speed limit. It shouldn't be too hard getting the engine running. I think some euro trim and smoked front turn signal covers yould look great on it.


                      The motor in the pass. seat? Fucking bad ass!
                      Need a part? PM me.

                      Get your Bass on. Luke's r3v Boxes are here:


                        April 24th 2010

                        So, while I was pounding my head into the dirt trying to figure out why the S52 wouldnt start I decided to do some easy work.

                        I had bought the car with a Volvo lip and after having it for a year, and acquiring a very nice iS lip with splitter, I decided it was the time to risk the more expensive lip, and give the car a better look.

                        I did ditch the clips, and held it on by screws, and I put on two safety zip ties as well. And so far it is fine, and hasnt been removed by the road, even though the roads in San Diego are horrid.


                        April 28th 2010

                        I was completely done with pounding my head into the ground pointlessly, and I was starting to get a dizzy head rush kinda feeling. So after rechecking each connection, chasing wire colors and completely replacing the wiring harness with one from a 95 M3 (which had two pluses, I knew it was right, and the previous harness was from an automatic, and had a bunch of extra wires that just looked ugly.) I finally got all my info together and came to the 24v forum.

                        First problem was that the fuel lines were backwards, but that didnt matter, cause I wasnt getting any power to the pump, and the Bentley was of no assistance. I also wasnt getting any spark either.

                        And then it hit me. EWS. In my defense I purchased what I thought was a silver label 413 with an EWS delete chip, when in fact, it was merely a silver label 413 with a speed sensor delete, and a 3.5 hfm feature. This was confirmed when I researched the chip number online.

                        After a week of mopping around, it finally hit me, and it was something so small, and something so obvious. But once again, hindsight is 20/20!!

                        So I go on the search for a red label 413, and i find one the very next day. I get a ride from my buddy and off we went to pick it up.

                        A couple hours later, we get back to base, I install the DME and cross my fingers. I turn the key, and after 10-15 cranks, the S52 stumbles to life!!!

                        I immediately jump out of the drivers seat and start looking things over. Even though I have been quadruple checking everything for the past 4 weeks.

                        Its running pretty rough. So I shut it down and go to sleep with the biggest smile on my face.
                        My previous build (currently E30-less)

                        A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession



                          '90 M50 + M3 Tranny e30 - SOLD
                          '99 528iT (M5 Rep bumper) - SOLD
                          '03 ML350 - For Sale

                          BIMMERLESS at the moment. :???:


                            April 29th 2010

                            So the car is starting when it is cold, but once its warm it wont do crap. Just cranks and cranks. So I deduce it down to the OBDII coolant sensor. I didnt have the equipment to tap the head to install the two OBDI sensors, so I followed a wiring write up online.

                            It turned out to be off by one wire, and after swapping the two around the car ran soo much better. Fired up easier, and started easily when it was already warm. Thats one problem down.

                            Next problem was a weird smell that was emitted under moderately hard driving conditions. Turns out it was just various fluids that came out during the swap getting burned off of the block. So that disappeared after about 50 miles of driving.

                            The car also had a ticking noise, but that was from too little oil. After adding another 2 quarts (8 quarts total!!) the ticking stopped. Which was my major concern.

                            After all those were fixed, I had no more beef with the car. I didnt have a coolant sensor connected, but I did have access to a radar heat gun, and after shooting various places around the block after letting the car idle forever, I was comfortable with the fact that it wasnt going to overheat. Though I was quickly going to tackle that problem.

                            I drove the car about 200 miles on its first roadtrip to take my buddy to pick up a very nice supercharged 1998 E36 M3. I will post pics of our photoshoot in a while. Its really clean.

                            So, after driving it for a while I had stumbled across another problem. At WOT and high rpms, I was getting fuel starvation, and the car would barely accelerate.

                            So I thought that my fuel pump couldnt keep up with the demands of the S52. Which leads me to my first question of the thread.

                            Can a stock 1991 318is fuel pump, feed my fuel hungry S52 at its peak? If it cant, what pump do I use to make this work? I heard Walbro are nice, but a pump model number would be great to have.

                            I also changed my fuel filter for kicks. The new one could easily be blown through, and all the air I blew into it came out the other side. After replacing it, and draining the old one, all the air I blew into it did NOT come out the other side. No air was able to make it through. So I might have fixed the problem.

                            After driving it, I could access the higher RPM's, but it still feels like its starving for fuel at some points. I am beginning to think a new pump is a necessity.

                            Next newest problem

                            The car will start decently when it has been sitting for a very long time. by decently, I mean after 5 to 6 cranks.

                            The car will start well after it has been sitting for a short time (30 minutes or less). By well I mean after 2 to 3 cranks.

                            The car will start horribly after its been driven, but then sat for a couple of hours. By horribly I mean that it wont start the first time I turn the key to start it. It just cranks. Now if I turn the key off, and retry, it will begin to fire, but the engine stumbles to life badly. After it starts it runs fine and there are no other problems with it.

                            What digs?? I am going to go recheck my wires (even though they are soldered together, heat shrunk, and then electrical taped) today. Hopefully there is an easy explanation.

                            This isnt a grounding issue is it? I will make sure I recheck all of those.
                            My previous build (currently E30-less)

                            A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession


                              Much needed *almost* finished swap pics

                              The engine fan is ridiculously close, but it still doesnt hit it. Though I did have to secure it with zip ties cause there was a little bit of play in the stock mount.

                              April 8th 2010

                              I purchased three aftermarket gauges to better track my E30. A coolant temp, oil pressure, and voltage.

                              Now where to mount them. I have seen the usual places, and I knew I didnt want to go with the stupid pod looking things on the A pillar. So as I was looking around the interior, with the help of my girlfriend, I found the perfect place. Why yes, that would be the perfect spot!

                              So off I went. And here is how it was done.

                              Marking the console to cut the holes.

                              Marked, and ready to be cut.

                              Almost done!

                              All three holes are done.

                              And the gauges are mounted and it damn it looks good!

                              Now all I have to do is wire them up and reinstall the console!

                              Today I am going to continue soldering and heat shrinking and officially wrapping up the harness to body connections.

                              On a side note, I am refreshing a bunch of connectors throughout the car as well.

                              I am also working on a little side project that is going to be unique and make the car stand out even more. And it involves those resistors and those LED's. And no its not going to be LED's in my dash. Haha.

                              That brings us up to today. I think I will post a bunch of pictures from various photoshoots to show how the car has changed.

                              Until next time!!
                              My previous build (currently E30-less)

                              A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession