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The Red Cabrio Barn Find Project

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    The Red Cabrio Barn Find Project

    As if I didn't have enough e30s already, I stumbled on an ad that said "engine trouble" and couldn't resist. After a few emails and phone calls I made a deal with the owner to come buy this 98k car that had a broken timing belt.

    Planning the trip to WV was not that bad. Enterprise rented me a Dodge 4x4 w a Cummins Turbo for $85\day plus only 5c/mile which was great since I had over 700 miles to cover. The trip was fine but as I got close my GPS had me take a beeline through 12 miles of 1 lane back roads...pulling a uhaul car carrier. It took 2 tanks of diesel and the total cost to bring it home was right around $400.

    This is what the guys house looked like. It was all really like something out of a movie..and I was hoping it wasnt Deliverance.

    I pulled around back and there she sat
    You cant quite see it but the bottom of the front fender is rusted out. That and a small tear in the drivers seat were the only surprises..but I had already invested a bunch in the trip so just took it all in stride.

    Fortunately it sloped away from the barn so we could turn her around and get a good rolling start to get her on the the trailer.

    Nothing like a truck that will pull at 85mph and still have lots of snap. Made it home on one piece..and the project begins
    Last edited by jeffnhiscars; 11-11-2012, 07:47 AM.
    Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

    Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
    https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
    Alice the Time Capsule
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
    87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

    #2
    Of course the top was bad but that didnt stop me from putting it down that first to let the car air a bit. It had sat in that barn long enough that it was permeate with Eau de Chevaux.more commonly know as horse manure. It's better than cow but still.

    Unfortunately the top did not survive being lowered even once as the fabric was literally falling apart so all the seams split open. I duct taped it together until I could install the replacement top that I had wisely bought the day BEFORE I went to get the car.

    If you've read up on swapping out top frames you know you have to measure from the body sides to the shims with a straight edge. This requires removing the rear interior.

    The idea is to measure down to the 2 shim packs after lifting the deck gasket so the level can sit on metal. You want to be 181mm to the front shims and 149mm, to the rears. After doing all of that I realized that since the shims were set at the factory, there should be no reason the dimensions would change if the car had not been hit or twisted somehow...so I wound up leaving them exactly as they were after confirming that the guys in Germany got it right 25 years ago. The fore aft shims do need to be adjusted as the new top doesnt quite sit in the front latch as I would like it to.

    Bottom line though, it that this top is tight, looks better than the beige one anyway and it does not whistle or flap inh the wind like the one on my white Cabrio.
    6 bolts later

    Mission accomplished.
    Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

    Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
    https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
    Alice the Time Capsule
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
    87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

    Comment


      #3
      Nice find. That was an enjoyable read. Great foundation, can't wait to see where you take this thing.

      Comment


        #4
        Congrats on your Purchase!

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks guys. I've actually had this a couple of months but am just now getting around to uploading everything. The hard part was not knowing what damage the broken timing belt did. I knew I would be in for head work but was hoping the pistons survived.

          Initially it looked like any old M20 with an old TB sticker.

          Questions began to get answered when I finally got the valve cover off and found this

          We are talking about 6 broken intake rockers to start...and this car onbly has 98k which was supported by the autocheck. The PO was executive chef to a very wealthy family (with a household name) and they kept this at the summer retreat in Florida. He drove it for a couple of yearrs until the belt snapped and he parked it. That was about a year before I bought it.
          Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

          Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
          https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
          Alice the Time Capsule
          http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
          87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

          Comment


            #6
            dag yo
            good luck with this

            Comment


              #7
              interesting story so far
              E30 buildy things
              http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=195286

              Comment


                #8
                How much for the car?



                Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

                Comment


                  #9
                  I paid $1000 for the car & by the time I got it home and swapped the soft top I was in to it for right around $1700. All the money, especially if I have block issues but then this is a 98k car..and a roll of the dice.

                  Again, the big concern was the pistons for obvious reasons. Here's what I found once I got the head off. The head gasket didnt look half bad. It cleaned up well and none of the piston damage traveled over the edge.

                  and fortunately neither did the block.

                  The head was quite another story. Not only were all 6 intake rockers broken, but all 12 valves and 1 rocker shaft were bent causing the rear rocker support tower to crack. Time for a head hunt.

                  It was also interesting to see that the timing belt had not actually broken but had merely been stripped of its teeth..lol. Not that it mattered but it does show you what a 10 yo belt can do even if it does have low miles
                  Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

                  Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
                  https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
                  Alice the Time Capsule
                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
                  87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

                  Comment


                    #10
                    To give you an idea how bad the one rocker shaft was, I reinserted it up to the cracked support tower (you can actually see the crack just next to the oil hole pointing to 3 oclock) and that is not an optical illusion. The shaft was a good 1/8" out of alignment. The towers can be welded but with basically one good shaft, a cam and a set of valve springs, it was time to find a replacement.
                    Last edited by jeffnhiscars; 11-12-2012, 03:59 PM.
                    Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

                    Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
                    https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
                    Alice the Time Capsule
                    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
                    87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

                    Comment


                      #11
                      OK it's been a little while and I know you are all lusting to see where this goes...so now for some talk about head.

                      I posted my WTB and checked all the usual places then came across an ad here for some 885 cores FS. After a few IM's I made a deal for a bare head that was decked and pressure tested. The seller also included a kit with replacements for all the damaged parts I needed as well so this turned out to be a score. A special shout out to Dave Markert of Markert Motor Works. Dave is a standup guy who is more than fair and I highly recommend him...in fact I did to my amigo locknload,who scored an M50 head from Dave.

                      Here is the old head and the core on arrival. I'll let you decide which is which (hint: you can still see the crack on the strut tower.



                      I was also fortunate to get a referral from the local dealer to the machinbe shop they have been sending their heads to for decades. I called to make sure it was ok to just stop by and to get directions..which was good because there was no sign on the door and the local dealer's truck was just pulling out...this was my kind of place..lol...and yes Im driving one of my e30's :-)



                      and the inside matched..with Ray in the background...thick glasses, had trouble walking as he needed knee surgery..but he sure knew his BMW engines.


                      He looked it over & checked the guides for play. He stuck a valve partially in a few guides to check for side play and said it was about .020 or more. Spec is, I believe .006-7. Now in all the head rebuild threads I dont think Ive ever read about someone swapping guides, but it had to be done so I gave Ray the go ahead for guides, guide seals, seats and faces. I also love how he ran his finger nail over the cam lobes and said "you have another 90-100k in this so I'll polish it up for you".

                      We spoke about head gaskets and he said he'd check with his distributor to see what he could get for me.
                      Last edited by jeffnhiscars; 11-25-2012, 08:44 AM.
                      Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

                      Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
                      https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
                      Alice the Time Capsule
                      http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
                      87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Same thing with the machine shop I use. Old timer that builds race engines, charges only 275 for a complete head rebuild.
                        ~ 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

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Now this is the part we all love even more than Xmas....when UPS brings our parts.


                          This was an autohausaz order and if you don't recognize everything here, go back & repeat e30 101 :-)

                          The one thing I will highlight is that roll of FI hose. It's 5m, cost about $31 & is enough to do 2 1/2 cars. Since I have 4 I went around and refreshed any suspect hoses and I strongly encourage everyone to do the same..for safety sake (end of public service announcement & new parts fondling).

                          While the head was in the shop I set about doing cleanup and a few other little jobs..the kind you will never ever do unless you are bored and waiting for your head to get finished.

                          Here is my basic cleaning supply kit:


                          First thing was the oft neglected injectors. Besides the usual orings I decided to grab a kit from MrInjector.com that included pintle caps, washers and the filters that I never knew existed. The kit was $25 delivered which was not bad considering orings can run $1@ depending on where you buy them. These were viton not rubber and Bill was very responsive and informative so another recommendation


                          I started off by removing the filters as per the video Bill provided which involved a custom engineered, precision built filter removal device:

                          Yes, thats a wood screw through a 2x8. The injector threads on then you yank. Very hitech.

                          Reinstalling the filter involved a firm tap with a soft faced mallet to get it home & the rest of the refresh was very straight forward..and no I did not have them sonically cleaned and flow tested which is not a bad idea if you have issues. Since I hadn't even seen this car run, this was enough..well and this:

                          I mean who the hell paints their injector bodies...lol
                          Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

                          Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
                          https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
                          Alice the Time Capsule
                          http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
                          87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by F34R View Post
                            Same thing with the machine shop I use. Old timer that builds race engines, charges only 275 for a complete head rebuild.
                            The shop bill was $365 and that included an Elring HG, bead blasting the head, supply & install guides, grinding the valves & seats, install guide seals & valves plus a bottle of assembly lube.
                            Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

                            Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
                            https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
                            Alice the Time Capsule
                            http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
                            87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Nice job on the injectors! and no, I painted my injector bodies too ;)

                              UPS is the brown boxy sleigh!
                              ~ 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

                              Comment

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