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Project Armo "330i"

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    I returned from my holiday trip to Calgary and San Francisco and finished welding the daily driver for yearly inspection so it was finally time to return to the hobby car. Although I spent half of the time cleaning garage but it sure was nice to work after that. I continued cleaning the area around the driver's side frame beam and cut off the exhaust pipe brackets. There was just sufrace rust under them, nothing nasty. I'll make new brackets according to the E36 exhaust. The frame beam heat shield will need new studs in the frame beam.


    Before I install the rear face I needed to tackle some rust in the rear of the spare wheel well.


    I cut off the rust and replaced the area with new sheet metal. No picture of finished work, though.


    Before I get to install the rear face I need to take off the frame beam rear flange, remove any rust, weld it back on and do some painting. I just need more welding gas and need to figure out the cheapest way to do so since the inspection on the loan bottle I have is out of date and I don't want to pay for the expensive inspection to have it refilled.
    Last edited by Skarpa; 08-09-2017, 12:53 AM.
    E30 Armo "330i"

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      Gas bottle inspections take a long time here so I got a disposable bottle to get on with the job.

      EDIT: Pretty useless bottle. gas only lasts for a very short while.

      I ground down the seams in the spare wheel well repair.




      And then welded screws for the frame beam heat shield.


      I drilled off the end flange of frame beam, tackled all the rust with wire wheel and phosphoric acid, straightened the piece and welded it back on.




      I also removed the storage paint from the rear face and I was going to primer everything but I had to leave the garage before that. Hope it doesn't catch much rust before the next time. (the garage is pretty dry, stuff doesn't usually rust that fast)
      Last edited by Skarpa; 08-08-2017, 11:46 AM.
      E30 Armo "330i"

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        Bravo...bravo! Amazing work!
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          Great job on every aspect :up: Just wondering why did you glue the wheel arches instead of welding? With your skills it wouldn't have been a problem I think. I'm just very sceptical about glueing parts if you need to spackle it afterwards... :)
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            ive had to do what you've done before except to a whole car, tubs, underbody and all.


            easiest way I found was using paint stripper (even on the underbody coating) and flicking it off with a wire brush on an angle grinder.. Cup and conventional style and also knot wire brush as well for the angry stuff. I was surprised to see that the paint stripper just lifted the rubber coating off. smaller tight areas (corners) I would use a long nose style wire brush on a drill and push it around.
            Boris - 89 E30 325i
            84- E30 323i

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              Mm
              Originally posted by Miuge View Post
              Great job on every aspect :up: Just wondering why did you glue the wheel arches instead of welding? With your skills it wouldn't have been a problem I think. I'm just very sceptical about glueing parts if you need to spackle it afterwards... :)
              Thanks! Sure, I've learnt a thing or two about welding during the project but I'm no master. I'm still learning to control the heat distortion when welding. That's why I still feel unsure welding parts that will be visible afterwards and that is the main reason why I used glue on the wheel arches. Most of the time when I've glued parts, It's been because of corrosion prevention but on this case it's to make sure the panels stay straight.

              I believe glued parts should be okay. I will remove all the glue that was left on the surfaces because you can't paint on glue. Then I will apply metal or glass fiber filler in the seam and then do normal preparation for painting. Time will tell how the seams will look in a while but this is not the first car in the world with glued body parts. For example m4kk3's rear arches have been done the same way I did mine:

              Last edited by Skarpa; 08-08-2017, 03:31 AM.
              E30 Armo "330i"

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                Originally posted by bangn View Post
                ive had to do what you've done before except to a whole car, tubs, underbody and all.


                easiest way I found was using paint stripper (even on the underbody coating) and flicking it off with a wire brush on an angle grinder.. Cup and conventional style and also knot wire brush as well for the angry stuff. I was surprised to see that the paint stripper just lifted the rubber coating off. smaller tight areas (corners) I would use a long nose style wire brush on a drill and push it around.
                I haven't actually tried paint stripper on the undercoating. If you say it works well I will probably test it. There are still areas that I need to clean: front tubs, driveshaft tunnel etc. I will do new undercoating and paint the whole underside. There's this black non-over-paintable tar on top of the original undercoating and it doesn't seem to be removable without removing undercoating.
                Last edited by Skarpa; 08-14-2016, 04:41 AM.
                E30 Armo "330i"

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                  Before painting the rear face I wanted to check that everything fits nicely. The original trunk lid was rusty so I replaced it with a better one. The gap on the right side of the lid was a tad too narrow but slight bending on the right rear quarter fixed that.




                  When mocking up the tail light I noticed there was rust on the tail light frame. I cut it off and bent a new piece of steel for the spot. It wasn't very easy one since there are two bends side by side and the whole piece is curved in every way. I managed okay but I should have made it from a few pieces.




                  While I was welding I decided to plug the antenna hole and cut off a small rust hole at the base of the C pillar.






                  I didn't weld the C pillar yet. I need to think about it a bit. It's a tight spot and it will be hard to properly clean the welds from the backside. Also there's a seam of rubbery seal that will burn when welding. I guess there might not be any magic tricks for that spot though. I have some access to it so I'll be able to clean most of it with a straight grinder and then just stab paint in there with a brush. Probably I will then fill in the missing sealant.

                  When I was done with that stuff I painted the bare spots in the body and the rear face. Next time I should be able to install the rear face.


                  Last edited by Skarpa; 08-08-2017, 03:30 AM.
                  E30 Armo "330i"

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                    It's weird how you keep buying things for the project but the end result is always the same: you still need a shitload of stuff. I made a list of all the bits and bobs I still need to buy to have the car running next summer. I ended up with number 3000 euros (equal to $) + painting + 6-speed gearbox I just bought from ebay. Still, I think I should be able to finance it. Besides, this is still a cheap hobby car compared to those turbo monsters. I haven't skimped on the stuff but there are no expensive performance parts either.
                    Last edited by Skarpa; 09-07-2016, 12:06 PM.
                    E30 Armo "330i"

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                      On monday I broke my knee which makes building a car harder. I dislocated my knee cap so now I'm on crutches. Today I decided to see how much of a hindrance it is. Next thing I had planned was installing the rear face. There are no heavy things to lift and you can do a lot sitting down.



                      I didn't take many pictures. Handling the crutches and the tools was already a handful. But in the rear face went.




                      It was a nice feeling to close the trunk lid and feel it snap shut as it's supposed to. For some reason I've always liked the shape of the E30 trunk lid and how it feels in your hands. It's a shame I'll lose some of the feeling when installing the tech 1 rear wing but you can't have it all.

                      Originally posted by Skarpa View Post
                      This is just a mock up but soon I'll be able to actually install the rear face. That will be a day of celebration. It's been almost four years since I cut it off.
                      And as promised:
                      Last edited by Skarpa; 08-08-2017, 03:23 AM.
                      E30 Armo "330i"

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                        I spent an evening at the garage testing my birthday gifts. My brother gave me an A/C condenser with slight transportation damage. Condenser was bought for a large telescopic forklift. I guess it will be enough for a small car. It is quite a lot bigger than the original.


                        Next question was, will it fit on the nose of E30?




                        It is pretty much the same size as the opening in the front frame. If there was no hood lock, the condenser would fit inside of the frame. (with some room made for the hoses). Condenser fits fine in front of the frame between the front valance brackets but that doesn't leave enough space for the fan. I quess I need to buy a parallel flow condenser made for E30. Or mount a sucking fan behind the radiator.

                        The other present was spot on:


                        It's amazing how much nicer it is to weld with this than with the traditional mask I've been using so far. Especially in confined spaces because there's no need to tilt your head to peek from under the dark glass. So I test-fitted the battery tray in the trunk and welded a fastening screw for that.




                        I continued welding with the side seams of the rear valance but then I ran out of gas. Either there's a pathetic amount of gas in those disposable bottles or I've had way too high flow. Difficult to know because a flow regulator doesn't fit the disposable bottle. When I couldn't continue welding I shaped the missing piece to complete the battery pocket floor.




                        Next time I'll be able to glue that in as well as the sidewall of the jack pocket on the other side of the trunk.

                        Last edited by Skarpa; 08-08-2017, 03:15 AM.
                        E30 Armo "330i"

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                          you are one crazy man :D
                          keep up the great work! :up:
                          http://instagram.com/mundieriss
                          my 88' m20b30 HERE!

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                            Originally posted by abit View Post
                            you are one crazy man :D
                            keep up the great work! :up:
                            Thanks, will do.


                            Today I picked up a couple parsels:

                            Chrome rings for the headlights, looking like they are never used before. My headlight rings are extremely faded and have the plastic stoppers for headlight wipers that I no longer have.


                            Zinc chromate plated brake calibers and wheel hardware.

                            I'm actually not quite happy with these. Before taking the parts for plating I checked if the rust is going to be a problem. They said no. Now all the places that had even moderate rust before the process are still rusty. I need to make a reclamation.


                            Then I have a couple of points for consideration:
                            1. I just bought a set of TRX 390 bottlecaps just for the hell of it because they were cheap.
                            2. They do fit in my workplace's new lathe.
                            3. The ends of the spokes match almost exactly on inner diameter of RC090 barrel
                            4. I already have one extra barrel.
                            I wonder where that leads ;)



                            Last edited by Skarpa; 08-08-2017, 03:08 AM.
                            E30 Armo "330i"

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                              The gearbox and the clutch arrived a few days ago. I ended up selecting a 6-speed ZF from E92 330i (GS6-37BZ). Tranny came with all the bits and pieces such as shifter + linkage, transmission mounts and guibo which seems to be in good order.


                              I measured the length of the gearbox to be 635 mm. A fellow hobbyist measured his S5D 320Z to be 530 mm. So I would need to have the drive shaft shortened about 105 mm. Research on the internet led to roughly the same result. 6-speed Getrag is apparently the same length as 6-speed ZF. In his project BeirBrennerE30 measured the required driveshaft to be 1381 mm whereas the stock E36 328i shaft is 1492 mm. About the same difference.

                              http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=120381

                              I will test fit the engine, tranny and differential before having the driveshaft shortened, though.


                              I will use a dual-mass flywheel since I have a brand new one that came with the engine. The engine also included an unused Luk clutch. 5-speed ZF has the same 10 spline input shaft as the older BMWs. GS6-37BZ has a different, 22 spline shaft. (26x29x-22N). I bought a new Luk clutch for E46 330i. It was cheaper than just the friction plate. When viewed side by side the clutches are almost identical. The hole pattern is the same and the dimensions of the friction plate and the pressure plate are the same with the splines excluded. Release bearing is the same. 330i has the self adjusting pressure plate (SAC). I'm not familiar with the system but I'm under the impression that some special tools are required for installation. I need to read on that a bit. If it seems too complicated, I'll use the 328i pressure plate.




                              In the evening I glued the remaining pieces of trunk in place.


                              Last edited by Skarpa; 08-08-2017, 03:04 AM.
                              E30 Armo "330i"

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                                So you finished building the motor already ? Are you just using stock m54b30 internals?
                                1986 LTW M52 (First project 2015- )
                                1998 e36 328ic/5 -
                                Roundie alpina pig cheek’d (1969)
                                1967 2002 parts car
                                1994 318iS junked.

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