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e30 316 build x2 (m52/m50, turbo, 3pcs bottle caps etc)

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    e30 316 build x2 (m52/m50, turbo, 3pcs bottle caps etc)

    Greetings from Finland!

    I think that here would be some people that are interested of my e30 projects, so I'm sharing my project topic here at r3vlimited also. The first one is my e30 which I bought at fall 2012. The second is my brothers e30 which he bought about year later. But more about that later. Let's start with my project first. I have already written the story to stanceworks forum, so for start I'm copying the stuff from there:

    I have always wanted to build e30, but I didn't found any cheap enough starting point (I needed it to be cheap, because I knew that I'm going for complete rebuild and I didn't wan't to do real restoration). Then it was late fall in Finland and one night I was visiting my friends house, and his father said that some guy has old BMW for sold. Immediately I decided to go look for that, and luckily it happened to be -87 316 e30 which was in fairly good shape. There wasn't much rust, the panels were straight and almost ever part was there.

    (I apologise the poor images in this point. Normally I use my DLSR, but some of the pictures have been taken with old phone.)The price was only few hundred euros so I bought the car. Later I found out that the paper work for the car was missing, and I couldn't get it registered. So I just ended up driving it in closed areas :D

    Later I sold some parts to get my money back. For example my friend bough the old m10 engine because it was virtually like new.

    Of course I still needed new project, so I went and bought this -84 pre-facelift 316 e30. it was the cheapest one i could find, and it shows.

    Of course there was like thousand things that were wrong, there were lots of rust and every fix there was, has been done horribly wrong.

    The reason I went with this old chassis is the Finland's laws. With this I don't need to add ABS brakes when changing the engine to bigger one and the emission standards are much lower.

    Plan is to basically use the body from this and convert it to look like newer facelift one using the parts from the first e30. And of course there is ton of rust repair to do addition to this. And the engine, drive train, suspension and everything will be upgraded.

    Here is some list of the modifications:

    - facelift rear and sidepanels
    - facelift front panel (the version which have vents for air condition)
    - facelift plastic bumpers
    - new doors, bonnet, and trunk lid (because of the poor condition and rust.
    - 325i brakes, trailing arms, stabilizers and struts
    - BC extreme drop coilovers.
    - adjustable rear axle
    - urethane bushes
    - e36 328 (m52b28) engine (+turbo, injectors, megasquirt and other stuff)
    - zf s5d 320z gearbox and e36 328 driveshaft
    - typ 188 rear diff with 2.56 gear ratio, e36 cover and 325e LSD
    - 3pcs bottlecap wheels
    + lot of other modifications.
    Last edited by pazi88; 09-16-2015, 10:41 AM.

    From this time period I don't have many pictures. But I will post the ones I have.

    Everything started by disassembling both of them. At the end i had quite much parts laying around :D

    Then I tried on the facelift front panel:

    Seems to fit quite well. The fabrication work started from engine bay, because it seemed like easiest place to start. First I removed the rusted battery holder and welded some new sheet metal to smooth it out. (I'm going to move the batter to the trunk)

    Some new sheet metal to smooth out the engine bay and fix the rust:

    Backside painted:

    Then a gap in the pictures. In this everything is smoothed out and all the rust has been fixed:


      At this point I started to buy some parts. Smaller brake booster from VW Golf MKII. This is needed because of m52 engine.

      325i struts and brakes:

      325i rear trailing arms and other stuff needed:

      larger e36 328i radiator and some cheap IC from china:

      Oilpan and other needed stuff from e34 with m50 engine.

      Turbo manifold made by finnish guy to. This should work in e30 with m50/m52 engine:

      Parts to make the rear axle adjustable and other OEM parts I will need:

      New front panel with that extra vent and front fenders without blinker holes (BMW original parts of course):

      Test fit in the car:


        Then I made a grill so that the rust work will be much easier:

        Again with the parts. New rear panel:

        Spare connecting rods and engine block from 328 e36.

        As you can see the m52 engine block is made from aluminum here in Europe and it's much lighter than the cast iron one.

        New interior with sport seats:

        Rear seat is in good condition:

        As is the passenger side front seat:

        But I don't know what happened to drivers seat:

        Luckily these came with two extra seats where I can get new fabrics for the drivers seat and other spare parts.

        Then I got this e34 m50b20 engine for free:

        I don't need it but I can sell the parts. For example I removed the head:

        And changed it to e36 steering rack:

        And because this doesn't have VANOS, it has intake cam with more lift:

        I had it machined, so I can fit it as exhaust cam in M52 engine:

        After this I got THE engine for this form England.

        It's the m52b28 engine from 328 e36. And because of the problems thay had with the nikasil coating, this has factory replaced engine block. It's still aluminum but it now has iron sleeves. Just like the later m54 engines.


          At this time I have changed the facelift rear panel and fenders. After changing those I had to spend lot of time to fix the rust inside the wheel wells and make everything fit correctly. As you can see, I also made more room for the wheels.

          I had to remove the rust from spring mounts separately. In this pic they are removed and most of the rust is removed by wire wheel.

          Of course removing the rust with wire wheel isn't even close to being enough. So I used DeoxC to remove remaining rust:

          After one hour, you can see the rust falling off:

          And ready:

          The light coat of zinc paint to prevent these rusting again:

          Again some of the smaller fixes. This is the seat mounting point underneath the car:

          Someone has just replaced it with steel plate. I removed the original mounting from the better chassis and fixed that:

          And welded it in place:

          Same thing with the gas pedal mount:

          There was also hole in the floor, so I had to make patch:

          Then I bought typ188 rear diff. This is from 525tdsa e34, so it has the correct mounting for e30 but wrong cover. Also the gear ratio is 2.65, which is quite good with the gearbox I'm going to use.

          I also got e30 rear cover, which was in bad shape, but I'm going to use 36 cover, because it has two mounting points instead of one.

          This was an open diff so of course I needed LSD unit. Luckily I got one from US and i think this was from 325e e30:

          I also bought e36 328 drive shaft from friend and e30 325 stabilizers. The rear stabilizer is the thicker m-technic one.

          I addition to these I managed to buy cheap s50 oilcooler and oil filter housing:


            In this point it was about one year since i bought the first e30. I had made lot of progress with the bodywork, but I didn't have much time to take pictures. But for example in this pic the floor is almost ready:

            I also made this from sheet metal to go in the trunk to cover spare tire hole:

            Like this:

            Then some rust fixing in front wheel well:

            All the rust cut away:

            There was also rust between the sheet metal (like in every other place also...):

            Everything ready and painted:

            Other side:

            And the drivers side wheel well also ready:

            The paint booth :D

            Last thing for the body was to put new side skirts. In this pic I have removed all the shitty paint from replica part and welded in the reinforcements:

            Then some epoxy paint:

            Test fit. Surprisingly it still fits even after my fixes:

            Lastly I welded and glued those in place:

            And finally after thousands of work hours I got the whole body ready and primed:

            Test fit of the new fenders:


              As for the wheels I bought these original e30 bottlecaps:

              And straight away i cut then into three pieces:

              Then i bought some lips for testing:

              And not some cheap aluminum ones:

              Test fit reveals that these could work:

              Everything looked good, so I welded the valve holes shut.

              And cutted the other wheels also:

              Long time after this, my friend got the centers and had them machined:

              And this is the result:
              BMW bottlecap testing - YouTube

              Again some parts. The s5d 320z gearbox from 330ci e46:

              Unfortunately this was damaged during shipping:

              At the time my friend was in welding school so he fixed the damage:

              Some urethane bushings:

              BC extreme drop coilovers:

              These are LOT SHORTER than original ones:

              PLX wideband:

              New injectors. 870cc Siemens deka:

              Lot of original parts:


                Time to finish the underside of the body. Mounts for e36 diff cover in place:

                All painted and seam sealer in place:

                Spring mounts finally welded in place.

                Bought some 3m 08800 sealer for stone chip protection.

                All sprayed and also primed:

                At this point I needed to start working with the suspension and other parts underneath, so I could testfit everything before final paint. Taking apart the rear trailing arms:

                Had to burn the rubber bushes to get them off.

                Ready for sandblasting:

                And most of them blasted:

                I also welded in the rear axle adjustments:

                Etch primer:

                The rear beam:

                Rear diff:

                Also blasted and painted some smaller parts:

                And larger:

                At this point I also changed seals and other required stuff:

                And bought the new turbo plus other required stuff

                The brakes were quite rusted even after DeoxC:

                So I sandblasted them and sprayed thin coat of zinc paint:

                And some VHT caliber paint:

                Also sandblasted some other parts like brake booster:

                Whisbones and brackets

                Then again some etch primer:

                Also welded the coilover housings into the struts:


                  Then some epoxy primer:

                  And the final paint:

                  e30 rear beam, e34 diff and e36 diff cover. All fits perfectly:

                  Trailing arms assembled with new parts:

                  Front struts:

                  Most of the stuff in place:

                  New brake and fuel lines:

                  New fuel tank, tubing for the exhaust and other parts:

                  Got the bearings in place:

                  Test fitted the engine with that spare engine block:

                  Everything looks good:

                  Planning the mount for fuel filter and pump:

                  Welded the exhaust (3" stainless). The heat shields need some work:

                  e36 mounts because the e30 ones suck.

                  Looks good to me:


                    Now when everything fits, I can start the final paint job. First I sanded down the inside of the car:

                    And some paint. 80% basecoat mixed with 20% of clear to get the factory look:

                    Took everything of underneath:

                    Prepping everything:

                    And finally the paint:

                    The color is same in this pic. It only looks different because of the flash:

                    After this I could start the final assembly to make the chassis rolling. First modified the golf booster to fit in e30 and also used the e30 master cylinder.

                    To fit the 36 steering rack, I needed these:

                    Small spacers go in here. they are not necessary, but in this way I can get more steering angle.

                    The other spacers are needed to fit the rack.

                    And the steering joint is a combination of two not power assisted e30 joints and that billet piece.

                    The I rebuilt the diff. New seals and bearings plus I fitted the LSD unit.

                    And cover on:


                      After I got the chassis almost rolling, I started working with the doors, hood and trunk lid.

                      Even in the better doors, there was rust under seam sealer.

                      Had to sandblast all the rust:

                      Then sanding and filler:

                      Trunk lid had huge dent:

                      And hood had several:

                      First coat of sanding primer:

                      Someone has done dents in new fenders

                      Had to straighten those:

                      More sanding primer:

                      Also the chassis in now rolling after 1,5 years:

                      Started sanding:

                      Test fitting the IC. I had to cut huge hole to get more air for it:

                      Tight fit:

                      All will be hidden behind bumper:

                      Tested also the improved steering angle. Now the stock wheels hit the frame rail so they cannot be used.

                      Also got m-tech2 steering wheels. It needs some fixing but I think it will be okay.

                      Continuing the sanding:

                      Had to do some grinding, because doors were hitting the corner.

                      More primer and sanding:

                      Also got the steel braided brake hoses:

                      And fuel pump:


                        And finally everything is ready for paint:

                        I did all the prep work by myself and i had couple of friends help in sanding. But for the painting I don't have good enough place. So I gave the job to my friend who works in the paint shop. Unfortunately there was lot of problems renting the trailer so had to figure out some backup plan to get the car to the paint shop. So eventually I had to move it by using tractor trailer :D

                        luckily that worked and my friend painted the car over weekend:

                        Coming back from paint:


                        Then started assembling. Every part is new or restored to look like new. Even every bolt and nut is new:

                        Plastic parts are painted matte black:

                        Cleaned up the blower unit. It's old, but looks like new.

                        Installed. Also notice the hole for wiper wiring (originally comes from engine bay)

                        Dash installed:

                        Washer unit is now located in trunk.

                        I choosed the standard lip in front.

                        Perfect :D

                        wiring has to be sorted next:


                          At this point it was time to test fit the bottlecaps, so I can order correctly sized lips and barrels. Enjoy!

                          outer lips will all be 3" (as in those pictures) and inner barrels will be 5,5" and 6,5". (16" diameter). The 3,5" outer lips would have fitted easily, but I don't like the wheels to have too much poke and camber. I also hate pulled fenders. I already have some 215/40 and 195/45 tires laying around, so I will test them first. Maybe then I buy different tires, if those don't fit.

                          Then I painted the headliner black and installed it back in:

                          After that I could install the windows:

                          The windshield was in quite good condition because it was replaced recently. It also had the green stripe.

                          Before installing the windows, I did some polishing. The standard polishing compounds for paint don't remove any scratches in glass, but in that way I managed to get rid of all the dirt and over spray. I didn't do any painting in the same place I kept the windows, so the over spray must be caused by some previous owner.

                          Rear window in place and new badges also

                          Because of the compilation of parts fro different cars the trunk lid didn't fit well. Luckily the BMW sells these shims, even when I haven't seen them in factory made cars.

                          Also got the new plastic parts to the front panel and primed them.

                          The panel to cover up the blower motor is under work. I may still do some smoothing to it. The right one is the starting point.

                          Sprayed some wrinkle coat to IC to make more stealth.

                          And installed it:

                          Also installed the e36 radiator. Fits perfectly with e30 318is plastic mounts.

                          All the rubber seals were quite dirty from 30 years of use.

                          But luckily the very in good condition, so I didn't have to buy new ones. The only needed cleaning:

                          The mirrors required some paint.

                          And I had to replace the connector for door electrics, because I broke it.

                          But after that I could assemble everything.

                          New clips for the mouldings.

                          And mouldings installed. For some reason the on in Door is lighter than the others. I have to do something for it.

                          Then I sprayed some body cavity sealer. I had to tape all the holes, because I didn't want it inside the car.

                          Maybe I sprayed too much :D

                          Then I moved to work with the wiring. There was lot of stupid connections to remove.

                          Made a bracket for fusebox

                          And now it sits inside the dash.

                          I don't want any wires to engine bay, so I made the wires for front lights to go inside front fender:

                          I needed to extend them little.


                          I had to replace the wrapping for wires, because old ones were gone:

                          Everything in it's place. Only need to add lights and grill.

                          Then I got bored with wiring work, so I installed new leather covers for shifter and handbrake.

                          Also took apart the drivers seat and the spare seats and took them to upholsterer.

                          And the last part I have got are the two other outer lips for the wheels. I have already ordered the inner barrels, so I'm now waiting for them.


                            Wow this is awsome work! Love the wheels too :D
                            E30 325ix M50 turbo 7 spd DCT 4wd 840awhp @ 31 psi.
                            E30 M50 6 spd 764whp @ 24psi.
                            E30 M20 6 spd 675whp.


                              I painted last pieces for the body.

                              Also added some clear coat for the headlights. Previously i have tinted those, so that's why they are so dark.

                              The old blinkers were quite moldy.

                              But after some washing they looked much better. I also have new orange covers.

                              There was also some mold or something in the front bumper, so I had to wash it.

                              After some flat black paint, I could assemble the front.

                              Also added main wiring and battery to trunk, so I could test all the electrics.

                              And this is the cover for blower motor in place. It's not different color. There is just dust in engine compartment.

                              Then I got the bottlecap centers from sandblasting

                              Still waiting for the inner barrels.

                              And finally I cleaned, sandblasted and painted the engine. next time I can start disassembling it.