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

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  • zwill23
    replied
    Massively impressive. Awesome build thread.

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  • Cha Ching
    replied
    I'm curious about welding the replacement pieces in. What welder do you use? Is it different than the welder used to tack pieces in place? I know you the guys on TV always say they tack pieces in because they don't want to distort the metal, but how do you keep that from happening when you lay your beads?

    Also, how are you cutting out the rusted areas? Grinder or plasma cutter?

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  • moatilliatta
    replied
    Don't forget rustproofing the back side of the welds with some sort of Cavity was or equivalent.

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  • gnmzl
    replied
    I think you are doing a great job, and the while in there bug can be good - you'll have piece of mind. Keep going at it!

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  • Panici
    replied
    Originally posted by mjweimer View Post
    From my experience repairing old body shop work, make sure they plan to use an appropriate primer on the freshly installed parts prior to using any seam sealer. I have spent far too much time grinding/digging seam sealer out of small gaps to address rust issues that crept in behind repairs. If they would have initially used the appropriate methods I would have never needed to do that work.
    Good tip, thank you! I can't remember if I applied primer before seam sealer on the couple rust spots I addressed. I'll keep it in mind for future repairs.


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


    Front Subframe Restoration - Part 1


    While we're waiting for paint, I decided to take off the front subframe. This (and the dashboard) are the only parts of the car I've never removed.
    Once I got the subframe off, I was surprised to find some of it rusted through!

    I was lucky, my local E30 facebook group had me a replacement within the same day.
    It was quite the process to strip all the old undercoating off the new subframe, but I broke it out over a few days to make the job easier.
    I did find one spot on the side of the subframe that was rusted, but the welder made quick work of that.

    I welded in reinforcements for the front swaybar and motor mounts. Then I stripped the entire thing to bare metal and prepped for POR15, which subsequently took about a week to cure.

    Now I turned my attention to the chassis side of the rust problem. Some cut & weld and the frame rail was fixed!
    Used my new air hammer to remove what remained of the driver's side jack point, and welded in a patch panel for the holes that were ripped by the air hammer.

    The "while you're in there" bug struck and I spent multiple days stripping the aftermarket undercoating out of the front wheel wells. Check out the PILE of the stuff on the ground (green pen for scale). Would have been nice to have the car outside so I could powerwash the stuff off, but since there is no front suspension, this will have to suffice.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was only one rust hole in the wheel wells, on the passenger side where I removed one of the old brackets. The metal was pretty thin, and the factory undercoating had peeled off (i'm assuming from the heat of the grinder). Quick patch and it's good as new.


    I started working on this January 4th, and it's the 20th today. Going to let things dry overnight and get to painting the chassis tomorrow.
    The POR15 on the subframe came out nicely, pictures of that in the next post!




















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  • mjweimer
    replied
    Making great progress. No doubt the body shop will make easy work of straightening the unibody and affixing the new quarter panel.

    From my experience repairing old body shop work, make sure they plan to use an appropriate primer on the freshly installed parts prior to using any seam sealer. I have spent far too much time grinding/digging seam sealer out of small gaps to address rust issues that crept in behind repairs. If they would have initially used the appropriate methods I would have never needed to do that work.

    Hope you also have a wonderful Holiday!

    Leave a comment:


  • Panici
    replied

    Originally posted by econti View Post
    You've got talent
    Kind of you to say! I think I am doing decent work for an amateur.
    Originally posted by gnmzl View Post
    Amazing, love where this is going!
    Thank you! Hopefully it just keeps improving.




    Paint Prep Round #3 - Rust Repair Finished, Straight Rear Bumper.

    I'm now finished with everything I wanted to do before paint. She's ready for the bodyshop now.
    Pretty happy with how the passenger door rust repair turned out!

    Although I would like to attempt the rear quarter panel myself, I know a bodyshop will do a better job then I can with my limited bodywork experience.

    Finally got a straight rear bumper (which cleaned up pretty nicely after some cutting compound for the clearcoat), trim, and bumper shocks.
    The straight pieces show how much that rear corner is still messed up. Driver's side of the bumper sits about 3/4" further in then the passenger side. I am planning on having the same shop (that pulled the quarter out) take care of the quarter replacement and paint, hopefully they can sort it out.
    I'll get in touch with them in the new year. I believe they're quite busy, so the car may be down for a little while.

    Did a test fit with both sets of painted front diving board trim, decided the darker set fits nicer. I'll have to get some shorter 'vert bumper shocks to finish up the look.


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


    Since this will be my last post of 2020, I want to thank everyone for following along with my E30 adventures this year. It means a lot to have a place where I can share all the little details of my car, with people who understand the passion that's behind it!

    Here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    See you in 2021


    ------------------​​​​​​​------------------














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  • gnmzl
    replied
    Amazing, love where this is going!

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  • econti
    replied
    You've got talent

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  • Panici
    replied
    Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
    Hey I recognize that rear valance! Was wondering if you ever planned to install it or had sold it.
    It was so long I actually forgot where I got the valance! Thanks for the reminder


    Paint Prep Round #2 - More Rust Repair, Another Trim Set


    Continuing on with the theme, I tackled some more rusty areas.
    Felt good to fix these spots, as I've been looking at some of them since I got the car six years ago.

    Driver's side rocker, passenger side under rear bumper surround, and the trunk all needed attention.

    Thankfully I had a donor damaged trunk to cut a patch piece from, which made that job easier.


    I also picked up another set of painted trim. I was mostly interested in getting a straight rear DB trim piece so that I could line up the rearend trim when fixing that quarter panel.
    Unfortunately I forgot that all 'verts use the lower rear arches, so I won't be able to use the rear DB side trim pieces. I will have to make due with the set I have.

    The new front trim pieces fit really well, except for the middle where they appear to rise up. I will put the front bumper back on and see which set of trim fits best.

    I started on the passenger side door rust spot today (under the door moulding). I got all the rust cut out, next job is to fab and weld a patch!
















    Last edited by Panici; 12-15-2020, 05:46 PM.

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  • Albie325
    replied
    Hey I recognize that rear valance! Was wondering if you ever planned to install it or had sold it.

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  • Panici
    replied
    Originally posted by gnmzl View Post
    Wow quite a bit of progress! Excited to see the next stage of the quarter panel repair, the new piece seems to be in very good condition.
    Why the engine out though? Engine bay shave?
    Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
    Pumped you found what looks to be a really nice rear quarter, looking forward to seeing you get it installed
    Originally posted by econti View Post
    So so so glad to see you're fixing it properly. This is great
    Thanks guys!
    Unfortunately the new piece wasn't all that great once I tore into the rotted lower section. May still be able to use cuts from the panel though.


    Engine is out to prepare the car for paint! Changing the colour, so naturally wanted to match the engine bay.






    Paint Prep Round #1 - Colourmatched Trim, Quarter Hood, Rust Repair, Rear Valance


    Picked up a set of prepainted trim. Going to have these colourmatched to the body, figured it would be less work for the bodyshop rather then smoothing out the black plastic pieces. I can also go back to the black trim if I don't like the matched trim.

    Grabbed a spare hood at the same time, and proceeded to make it into a quarter hood. Great way to show off the engine bay without spoiling the lines of the front of the car with the rad support.
    Will obviously be painting the original full hood as well so I can switch back as needed. Shaved the roundel on the quarter hood.

    Filled the license plate mounting holes, one of which was rusting out. This was especially annoying as the thin 24ga metal kept blowing through.


    Finally got to mounting the rear valance I've had for at least a few years. I drilled some mounting holes where the piece is supposed to sit on euro-bumper cars. Also modified my DB trim pieces to fit.

    I stepped back and decided that I didn't like where the valance was sitting, it didn't even hide the spare tire well. So I drilled a new mounting hole on the driver's side and took some more pictures.
    Unfortunately when I attempted to drill out the new passenger side mounting hole, the drill bit crunched through some rust I didn't even know was there!
    I guess it's a good thing as I can fix the spot now before it gets worse.

    Since I dropped the mounting location, my carefully cut DB trim now doesn't line up at all, has a couple big square holes in the front.
    I've ordered a plastic welder/hot stapler to attempt a fix.

    See the composite picture below for the difference in mounting locations. Top two pictures are the original spots, bottom two are mocked up at my new desired location.











    Last edited by Panici; 12-08-2020, 04:07 PM.

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  • econti
    replied
    So so so glad to see you're fixing it properly. This is great

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  • Albie325
    replied
    Originally posted by gmzl
    Why the engine out though? Engine bay shave?
    Was thinking the same thing...

    Pumped you found what looks to be a really nice rear quarter, looking forward to seeing you get it installed

    Leave a comment:


  • gnmzl
    replied
    Wow quite a bit of progress! Excited to see the next stage of the quarter panel repair, the new piece seems to be in very good condition.
    Why the engine out though? Engine bay shave?

    Leave a comment:

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