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

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    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.

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

    Comment


      You've got talent
      sigpic

      (clicky on piccy to get to thread)

      Comment


        Amazing, love where this is going!
        '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build

        Comment



          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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          ​​​​​​​





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

          Comment


            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!

            Comment


              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!





















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

              Comment


                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!
                '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build

                Comment


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

                  I was up above it, Now I'm down in it ~ Entropy - A Build thread.

                  Comment


                    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?

                    Comment


                      Massively impressive. Awesome build thread.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by gnmzl View Post
                        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!
                        You're right of course, it just feels like slow progress. Thanks for the encouragement!


                        Originally posted by moatilliatta View Post
                        Don't forget rustproofing the back side of the welds with some sort of Cavity wax or equivalent.
                        Backside of all the inaccessible pieces is painted with weld-through primer.

                        It's probably a good idea to have the cavity wax for extra protection though. I've used the Eastwood internal frame coat before, but it's expensive to get shipped to Canada.
                        Need to find an alternative, thank you for the reminder!


                        Originally posted by Cha Ching View Post
                        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?
                        Good questions. I'm using a Lincoln EasyMIG 180. It's a 240v AC welder with a gas bottle. It has adjustable wire speed and power settings.

                        When butt welding thin sheet metal pieces, you are basically forced to tack weld or you'll blow holes right through the metal. When I have access to both sides of the panel, I tack weld both sides. Usually I can get away with laying small beads on the 2nd side as there is now more metal there to absorb the heat. Then I'm able to grind down the visible side to be smooth.

                        Of course I could be lap welding the joints to make my life easier, but I want to do the job properly and not leave any area for moisture to be trapped.

                        Using an angle grinder for the cuts, and sometimes a dremel for the small areas
                        I actually have three angle grinders set up (cutting wheel, grinder, flap disk) to avoid constantly changing the attachment. They're cheap and it has sped up my workflow quite a bit!

                        Originally posted by zwill23 View Post
                        Massively impressive. Awesome build thread.
                        Thank you for the read! It's been a ride that's for sure!



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

                        Comment



                          Front Subframe Restoration - Part 2


                          Lot of work in this post. Point form to keep the reading short!
                          • POR-15 finished pictures of front subframe.
                          • Removed what was left of driver's side front jack point.
                          • Repaired driver's side jack point/footwell rust.
                          • Repaired small rust hole on top of passenger side wheel well.
                          • Fabricated new lower section of passenger side front fender.
                          • Repaired rust hole in passenger side rocker.
                          • Painted wheel wells. Eastwood rust encapsulator on select spots. Two coats of brushed-on Tremclad oil-based paint.
                            • Some good "Before" pictures are back on Page 3 of this thread.
                          • Reinstalled front subframe, steering rack, and front suspension.





























                          Last edited by Panici; 02-11-2021, 03:13 PM.

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

                          Comment


                            Just went through the thread quickly, but will return for a closer look--amazing work!

                            Comment


                              Yeah, this is still great even after all these years.

                              One of my favorite R3v threads ever.

                              Keep up the excellent work.
                              My previous build (currently E30-less)
                              http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=170390

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

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Panici View Post
                                Backside of all the inaccessible pieces is painted with weld-through primer.

                                It's probably a good idea to have the cavity wax for extra protection though. I've used the Eastwood internal frame coat before, but it's expensive to get shipped to Canada.
                                Need to find an alternative, thank you for the reminder!
                                I blasted the inside and mating surfaces with fluid film when I did my subframe, but something like this is probably thicker and like half the price:
                                https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/r...-0477921p.html

                                I think you're fine using pretty much anything that is going to dry into a gel and not wash away immediately


                                Edit/tangent - I kind of came around on stuff like this when I worked in aviation and saw that everything has a ton of layers to prevent corrosion.
                                Starting with the base Al alloy being Alclad, it's anodized or alodined, primed with some sort of zinc chromate/phosphate or epoxy, then painted with a quality paint.
                                So just a basic sheet effectively has 4 layers of corrosion protection, then any joint or fastener is wet installed with essentially seam sealer to eliminate air gaps so the faying surfaces don't have air to corrode themselves like the subframe-to-frame spot, or any of the spot welds on the e30 chassis.
                                Last edited by Northern; 02-12-2021, 08:24 AM.
                                Originally posted by priapism
                                My girl don't know shit, but she bakes a mean cupcake.
                                Originally posted by shameson
                                Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your e30

                                Comment

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