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Panici's '87 325is E30 - Restomod - M52, Standalone ECU, Shaved Bay

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    Continuing from the last post, here is today's progress in fixing the fuel vent rust.

    This was my first time working with thin sheet metal, and I learned a few things in the process:
    • Don't use a reciprocating saw for fine work.
      • If I had brought my jigsaw along, I could have removed less good metal on the body and made a smaller patch panel.
    • Butt welding here was unnecessary, and made things more difficult.
      • Lap joints would have been preferable.
    • Don't try to fill in air gaps between your patch panel and the body. It'll just blow through (or you'll have to stack some welds very carefully).
    • If butt welding, your patch panel must be the exact shape of the missing metal.
    • Shop rags are flammable.


    In summary, the situation is almost remedied. Another coat of paint tomorrow evening, and a quick cut of the rusted tube inside the car should see it resolved.

    I'll update this post with some better finished/painted pictures tomorrow.




















    My Build Threads:
    '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
    '90 Mazda Miata NA
    '04 Jeep TJ
    '05 Yamaha R6

    Comment


      Further progress today on my fuel system.

      I started by test mounting my (cleaned & degreased) fuel pump and filter on the new mounting bracket I bought from a r3v member.

      With regular fuel line the bend radius of the pump to filter line is on the limit. I will see how this fits on the car, I can buy the BMW spec'd hose if needed.

      I then mounted my new bracket and installed the fuel pump.

      Next, I mounted my three new fuel hardlines, replacing clips where necessary. This task ended up being a lot harder then expected considering they are pre-bent lines.
      As they had likely been sitting in storage for years in Germany, they were all slightly out of shape. Combine this with confusion over which pipe is the "top" near the engine bay, and which is the "outside" while traveling down the chassis, and I spent what felt like a few hours bending and test mounting.

      Finally, I strung up my new gas tank and brushed on a coat of black paint. As a new tank was well over $1000 from BMW, I opted for an aftermarket unit. The paint on it was silver in colour and paper thin.

      I also put a second coat of paint on my rust repair from yesterday.
      To finish up the paint can, I coated the metal cover for the wheel well gas tank vent hose. I don't expect this to last, as it is quite heavily rusted.













      Last edited by Panici; 04-20-2018, 04:54 PM.

      My Build Threads:
      '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
      '90 Mazda Miata NA
      '04 Jeep TJ
      '05 Yamaha R6

      Comment


        Simplified EVAP System

        It's time to explain how I've modified the Expansion tank / EVAP / fuel vapor / fuel overflow system.
        The usual route that most folks take is to remove the overflow tank and charcoal canister, and vent any lines to atmosphere.

        The main goal of this fuel system refresh was to eliminate the smell of raw fuel from my garage. Obviously venting the gas tank directly wouldn't do the trick.

        It's also not possible to cap off the vents for three reasons: Air needs a route to escape when filling the gas tank to prevent "burping", air needs to enter/exit the tank as the system heats and cools, air needs to enter the tank as fuel is consumed to prevent pulling a vacuum on the tank.

        I decided to eliminate the overflow/evap tank above the rear passenger wheel, connect the main tank vent directly to the fuel filler neck, and connect the secondary vent directly to the charcoal canister.

        This setup allows the tank to breathe as necessary, without the smell of raw fuel from the vehicle. It also means I only need to run a single hose through the rear wheel well to the filler neck.

        The main disadvantage of this approach is that the gas tank can no longer be brimmed (filled to the top), as the liquid fuel will travel up the vent to the charcoal canister. In other words, it's no longer possible to fill the tank until the pump clicks off, and you loose a few liters of fuel capacity.

        The OBC has a hidden function to show a digital display of how much fuel is left, I will need to check this and fill appropriately when at the gas station. This is my usual habit anyways, as previously the fuel system would leak when full (originally liquid fuel, and then vapor only as I fixed the fill hose a few years back).

        Here are a couple of helpful diagrams. The original venting system (euro model) VS my modified approach:







        Here is the single vent hose running through the cabin. This is top quality Gates fuel hose, which is actually intended for liquid fuel in a carburated system and thus is more robust then a typical evap hose. The entry/exit points into the car were waterproofed with seam sealer around the hose.



        -

        EDIT: Seam sealed at both ends. Drove through some rain and it's waterproof on both sides!
        -


        -

        Freshly painted replacement fuel tank with pump installed (new gaskets) and hoses attached, ready for transplant into the car.



        -

        Fuel tank installed with the help of my fiancée!

        Looped vent hose as shown in the diagrams. Gates liquid fuel hose was also used here, which necessitated a larger bend radius (compared to thinner EVAP hose) to avoid pinching.



        -

        Fuel filter installed, fuel soft lines installed. (Ran out of larger hose clamps)



        -

        I didn't transfer the rear heatshield hanger mounts from the old gas tank (they were rusty & mangled), so I wrapped the offending section of exhaust to prevent heating the fuel tank.
        You can also see the fuel tank joining hose I sourced from http://www.specialclassicparts.de/. After exchange and shipping, it was half the price of the OEM piece.





        -


        Finally the car is on it's own four wheels for the first time since January! After swapping the supply/return fuel hoses in the engine bay, the car fired up and runs without issue.



        -

        Went for a half tank of Shell 91 (no ethanol) which went perfectly. No fuel smell or leaks to be seen.


        -

        When I got back home, I re-aimed the new headlights. What an amazing improvement over the sealed beams!

        Last edited by Panici; 05-12-2018, 09:30 AM.

        My Build Threads:
        '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
        '90 Mazda Miata NA
        '04 Jeep TJ
        '05 Yamaha R6

        Comment


          Food for thought for mine, though the capacity would definitely be noticed with the smaller tank
          sigpic

          (clicky on piccy to get to thread)

          Comment


            Originally posted by econti View Post
            Food for thought for mine, though the capacity would definitely be noticed with the smaller tank
            Counterpoint:
            Besides simplifying the system, I saved about $350 in parts compared to replacing the expansion tank and associated pieces.
            Last edited by Panici; 05-10-2018, 07:44 AM.

            My Build Threads:
            '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
            '90 Mazda Miata NA
            '04 Jeep TJ
            '05 Yamaha R6

            Comment


              E28 535is Pfeba Heckspoiler

              Finally got around to my E28 spoiler that I've had since 2016.
              I think you'll agree it's a significant improvement over the factory iS spoiler!

              Mounting required a new set of holes, which I ended up slotting to fine-tune the fit (the E28 trunk is a different shape). Seam sealer was used on all the holes (old and new) to waterproof the trunk.

              Sanded the old paint, sprayed colormatched acrylic, and then 2K clear. I was pressed for time, so I only applied two coats of the clear. I then lightly cut and finished to remove some of the texture.
              I could definitely take another pass to get an improved finish, if I am careful to not burn through the clearcoat.


              Rear suspension sitting a little high in these pictures, rear seat is still out until the seam sealer cures.





















              Last edited by Panici; 05-03-2018, 12:30 PM.

              My Build Threads:
              '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
              '90 Mazda Miata NA
              '04 Jeep TJ
              '05 Yamaha R6

              Comment


                1987 325iS Air Dam

                Another item checked off the long-term to-do list!

                If you check the first post of this thread (almost 4 years ago!), you can see the previous owner provided a half-original airdam for the car.
                The other half was plastic welded on but never finished.

                Bent up some brackets out of aluminum (working off a picture of the originals), sprayed an entire can (many coats) each of high-build flexible primer, acrylic colormatched Lachssilber, and 2K clearcoat. Then I cut/finished with the same product I used on the E28 spoiler.

                I'd say my paint job is a 7/10 all things considered. I painted outside on the windiest day of the year (there were wind warnings with gusts up to 60mph). When I started painting in the morning it wasn't too windy, but by the time the last coat of 2K clearcoat flashed off, I barely managed to get the air dam and sawhorse into the garage!

                I would have benefited from some flexible bondo type material, to fill in some of the rough spots where the bumpers were plastic welded together.
                Since the air dam is mounted so low and tucked under the bumper, the imperfections are hard to notice.

                I got all of the bolts hand tight and then rushed out to take a few pictures before the sun went down. Tomorrow I will finish up the mounting.

                Eventually I will either make some blockoff plates for the foglights, or otherwise black out the metal valance behind the air dam.








                -

                -











                Last edited by Panici; 05-07-2018, 08:11 PM.

                My Build Threads:
                '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                '90 Mazda Miata NA
                '04 Jeep TJ
                '05 Yamaha R6

                Comment


                  A few cosmetic changes go a long way. Looking good!

                  Instagram: Reichart12

                  Comment


                    “This was my first time working with thin sheet metal, and I learned a few things in the process:
                    Don't use a reciprocating saw for fine work.
                    If I had brought my jigsaw along, I could have removed less good metal on the body and made a smaller patch panel.
                    Butt welding here was unnecessary, and made things more difficult.
                    Lap joints would have been preferable.
                    Don't try to fill in air gaps between your patch panel and the body. It'll just blow through (or you'll have to stack some welds very carefully).
                    If butt welding, your patch panel must be the exact shape of the missing metal.
                    Shop rags are flammable

                    if I could suggest a steel garbage can with a steel lid in your garage/shop.

                    I always throw out any rag/paper towel that has been used for oil/ spray cleaner/gas clean up in the steel can. I then make sure the lid is on when I leave the shop.
                    If they self combust, the steel can will hold up and lid will starve it of O2.

                    This was a tip from a fire fighter friend. Makes perfect sense.
                    And cheaper than the deductible to rebuild your shop and all the toys within.

                    Hoping the self immolation of your rags didn’t cause any damage!!
                    Last edited by pondhopper; 05-08-2018, 07:38 PM. Reason: Highlight item

                    Comment


                      Subscribed! I have a very similar 4 door lachsilber 87 325i and have done alot of similar work to you! as soon as I get a set of wheels I am planning to make a thread. Great work!

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Reichart12 View Post
                        A few cosmetic changes go a long way. Looking good!
                        Thank you! Now that the car is 90% mechanically sorted I figured it's time to work on the appearance.
                        It looks like a different car compared to last year. Headlights, spoiler, and air dam made a big difference.
                        Originally posted by Ausatz View Post
                        Subscribed! I have a very similar 4 door lachsilber 87 325i and have done alot of similar work to you! as soon as I get a set of wheels I am planning to make a thread. Great work!
                        Thanks! Truth be told Lachssilber isn't my favourite color, but it's been growing on me as I add more black accents.
                        Let me know when you make a thread, I'd like to check it out.
                        Originally posted by pondhopper View Post
                        Shop rags are flammable
                        if I could suggest a steel garbage can with a steel lid in your garage/shop.

                        Hoping the self immolation of your rags didn’t cause any damage!!
                        Great tip, I will pick up a metal can for the garage. Cheap insurance as you've said.

                        No damage from the (small) fire. Welding sparks ignited a nearby cloth rag, which was right near the (open) garage door. I felt a little heat and was surprised when I pulled off the welding mask! I had a fire extinguisher right beside me if things got rough, but ended up pushing the burning cloth outside with my boot as a first measure.

                        -
                        -------------
                        -

                        Speaking of fire, my latest update is the install of my Amerex Purple-K 5lb Fire Extinguisher.
                        The Purple-K formula is basically your best bet for a vehicle fire. It's more effective then a standard extinguisher, and not quite as corrosive.

                        The 5lb extinguisher is quite large, and therefore difficult to mount inside the car in the usual places (under the seats, etc).

                        I fabbed up a support for the metal vehicle bracket to mount the unit above my battery.

                        The top handle of the extinguisher fits perfectly in the recess of the tail light bulb holder. It almost looks like it's designed to fit in this spot.








                        Last edited by Panici; 05-21-2018, 10:28 PM.

                        My Build Threads:
                        '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                        '90 Mazda Miata NA
                        '04 Jeep TJ
                        '05 Yamaha R6

                        Comment


                          SPAL Electric Pusher Fan


                          In the past i've rarely driven my E30 in hot weather heavy traffic.
                          On those days I noticed the coolant temperature steadily rising when stationary.
                          On one hot summer day, I narrowly avoided overheating by blasting the heat on full and cycling the car on-and-off.


                          Any forward movement gives enough airflow through the rad to prevent the temperature rising.

                          My aftermarket VDO water temperature gauge gives me an accurate picture of my coolant system. I can clearly see when the thermostat opens, when the radiator saturates with heat while stationary, and how it cools when moving.

                          I've concluded that my mechanical fan clutch is in need of replacement.
                          A new fan clutch is quite expensive, and for almost the same money I purchased a 16" SPAL Pusher fan (30101517) to mount in front of my rad.
                          This will remove some parasitic load from my motor when I remove the mechanical fan, and also will be used when I (eventually) swap to the M52B28.


                          The fan came with some brackets, and I was able to modify them for my application.
                          I actually managed to mount the fan without removing the front valance or radiator.
                          Unfortunately this meant using a single self-tapping screw into the bottom support. I would like to remedy this in the future when I buy a rivnut tool.



                          As the SPAL fan is single-speed, I connected it to the high-speed aux fan circuit Red (+) & Brown (-) to make use of the heavier gauge wiring and 30A fusing from the factory (Compared to the low-speed side).
                          Normally this would allow the car to get alarmingly hot (98c / 210f) before starting the electric fan, however I swapped the Black/Brown & Black wires on the Dual Temperature Switch connector so that the high-speed circuit energizes at (91c / 196f).


                          It took a half-hour of idling in ~(12c / 54f) outside temperature to get the car hot enough to test the electric fan.
                          Even with the mechanical fan still in place, the SPAL unit cooled the car from 196f down to ~180f in just over a minute.
                          This outstanding performance was surely due to the cool ambient temperatures, and I will update this post in the future when I have some real-world testing completed.


                          Check out the video below if you want to see this first test run in action!

                          -

                          BMW E30 SPAL Electric Fan Test:
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVZE4X-OhKg



                          -









                          Last edited by Panici; 05-11-2018, 10:21 AM.

                          My Build Threads:
                          '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                          '90 Mazda Miata NA
                          '04 Jeep TJ
                          '05 Yamaha R6

                          Comment


                            Minor Front End Cosmetics

                            While I had the front end half apart for the SPAL fan install, I tidied up a few other items.
                            • Removed AC dryer & engine bay lines (-3.6lbs)
                            • Added (previously painted) headlight trim rings
                            • Replaced front bumper with a newer one (no cracking or paint peeling)
                            • Made a 2nd attempt at a front license plate delete.


                            I haven't yet decided if I like the headlights with or without the trim rings. You be the judge.
























                            My Build Threads:
                            '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                            '90 Mazda Miata NA
                            '04 Jeep TJ
                            '05 Yamaha R6

                            Comment


                              Bump to next page (too many photos on this page).

                              My Build Threads:
                              '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                              '90 Mazda Miata NA
                              '04 Jeep TJ
                              '05 Yamaha R6

                              Comment


                                Bump to next page

                                My Build Threads:
                                '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                                '90 Mazda Miata NA
                                '04 Jeep TJ
                                '05 Yamaha R6

                                Comment

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