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Project Armo "330i"

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    I switched the employer and my previous employer suggested that I use my annual vacation at the end of the employment since things are a bit slow. So I've had quite a lot of hobby time but nothing to work on since the car is at the paintshop. For starters I cleaned and organized the workshop and arranged a bit more working lights, tables and such and hanged some of my tools on the walls.



    The shop is not my own and I'll probably need to leave it at summer so I didn't see too much effort in decoration but now It'll be much more comfortable to put the car together. Next I took pretty much all the parts to the shop, checked all the boxes, organized stuff better and went through everything cheking I have all the bits and parts that I need. I still found some things I need to buy. I also bought various tools, accessories and chemicals.






    (I'll need to clean up that plastic inner guard)


    I splayed out most of the parts one group at a time and checked side by side with the online spare parts catalogue checking that I have all the things I need. While doing that I bagged all screws and fixings related to the part group in question and wrote down the tightening torques where needed so it should be relatively quick to put together. (well, quick in relation to the normal glacial pace of this project, anyway) One of the air guide plates of the gas tank was cracked and I got a new one but it was in metal so I painted it black to match the other side while I painted some other parts.



    For ages I've had a Walbro 255 lph fuel pump for the project. I wasn't worried about possible switching to E85 either because when I bought the pump the Walbro's stand was as follows: "Walbro fuel pumps are designed with components that prevent pH from being a problem, making them truly 100% ethanol compatible. This means not using copper commutators, for example." Later, Walbro has issued actually E85 proof pumps and the 255 is no longer considered E85 compatible. Some people have used them with ethanol for a long time with good results but I've also read about worse experiences. Replacing the fuel pump sucks so I decided to invest in peace of mind and replaced the Walbro with AEM's E85 pump.



    Another thing that was nagging at me was the poor condition of the M-tech 1 front valance so when I was offered one in excellent condition, I went for it. The valance includes the bumber and most of the M-tech-specific trim and accessories and even the color is the correct so it was a lucky find. I'll just need to check it matches with the other parts.


    Too bad that this valace didn't come with the brake air ducts. I've been missing the left one. I think they were NLA for a while and I've been trying to find a used one with no luck but they seem to be available again so I ordered a new one. Now everything is getting ready for the body to come home and the painter sent me happy news with perfect timing:







    Now I'll just wait for a good dry cold winter day and get the car home and start assembling.
    E30 Armo "330i"

    Comment


      Paint looks great! I can't wait to see this start coming together. Hopefully you get a perfect day to get it home.


      MJ

      Comment


        Originally posted by mjweimer View Post
        Paint looks great! I can't wait to see this start coming together. Hopefully you get a perfect day to get it home.


        MJ
        Thanks! This week it's actually great weather in Finland. Cold sunny days after a long period of warm rainy weather. Will pick the car up on thursday.
        E30 Armo "330i"

        Comment



          So last week I picked the car up from the painter and started the assembly by gluing sound deadening to the body. I followed the original placement patterns. I scratched my head for a minute on why is there a hole in the sound deadening behind the throttle pedal. Then I came to conclusion that it's to prevent water seeping down from drivers shoe from creeping under the sound deadening and corroding the floor. There's also a water drain hole near the drivers heel.




          I think I'll add patches of sound deadening to the panel behind the back seat. It feels kinda like a drum skin.
          Last edited by Skarpa; 02-14-2020, 09:14 AM.
          E30 Armo "330i"

          Comment


            The car is coming together little by little. I went around the whole car tapping on every panel and added pieces of sound deadening on all the panels that sounded "boomy". Hope that brings down the noise slightly. I have no interest in plastering all surfaces with soundproofing.






            After that I went through all the threaded holes in the body with a tap to make sure there's no paint and emptied four spray cans of rustproofing oil and wax in all the body cavities etc. Then it was time to move on to more rewarding stuff ie. bolting stuff on.



            The firewall heat shield needed to be slightly reshaped where I made extra space for the exhaust manifold. Also, the prefacelift and facelift seem to have a slight difference in the position of the body screw above the exhaust manifold so I had to drill a new hole to the heat shield. It would surely be better to have it farther away from the exhaust manifold so if I had noticed this in time, I'd had moved it when doing body work.


            The firewall insulation has some model year differences as well. Apparently the facelift has body screws at the side edges of the insulation, next to the wheel wells as the insulation has holes for them. The prefacelift does not. Still, the insulation is held in place quite all right without them except on the driver's side where I needed to cut it up quite a lot because of moving the brake booster. I'll need to come up with some additional fixing there or remake that section of the insulation completely. I also need to come up with some insulation for the passenger's side where I cut off the battery tray. If you have tips of some good insulation products, I'm eager to hear. The specs are as follows: Thickness of about 10 mm. It should be self adhering and the top side should be neat without large manufacturers logos etc.





            I bent the rear brake line into shape except I still need to drop the rear axle to get the rear end into correct shapel


            I also fitted the battery accessories in the trunk.


            There's a minor setback as even the new wheel well panel doesn't seem to to have the body screw for the main power cable cover and I didn't think of adding it wihen doing body work. I sure don't want to start welding now so I'm thinking of welding this together and gluing it in place with panel adhesive:


            I'll need make a few more right away. The underside of the fuse box was so badly rusted that I didn't even realize that there was supposed to be two body screws above the driver's feet for a relay bracket. Although, at the moment I'm living a MIGless life as I neede to say goodbye to stuff like MIG, air compressor, engine hoist, mill and lathe when changing the employer. I'll need to borrow or rent a mig from somewhere. Currently all my spare money goes into the remaining parts purchases for the project so at the moment I cant buy a MIG unless I come by a good used one on the cheap.
            Last edited by Skarpa; 03-06-2020, 08:01 PM.
            E30 Armo "330i"

            Comment


              Nice progress and I really like your idea of only placing the sound deadening material where it is needed. Most folks don't realize a well placed piece of this material will dampen an entire panel (and save money and time vs. covering the entire panel).


              For my E21 restoration I used this insulation on the entire firewall within the engine bay:

              https://www.deipowersports.com/produ...e-heat-barrier


              I used the self-adhesive version and it installs similarly the sound deadening material you used...a small roller presses it into place. I don't know if you can get this exact product overseas but you should be able to find something similar.


              Your idea for using a panel welding product to set the body screws seems like it will work well - great idea.



              MJ

              Comment


                Originally posted by mjweimer View Post
                Nice progress and I really like your idea of only placing the sound deadening material where it is needed. Most folks don't realize a well placed piece of this material will dampen an entire panel (and save money and time vs. covering the entire panel).


                For my E21 restoration I used this insulation on the entire firewall within the engine bay:

                https://www.deipowersports.com/produ...e-heat-barrier


                I used the self-adhesive version and it installs similarly the sound deadening material you used...a small roller presses it into place. I don't know if you can get this exact product overseas but you should be able to find something similar.


                Your idea for using a panel welding product to set the body screws seems like it will work well - great idea.



                MJ
                Thanks! And thanks for the tip on the insulation.
                E30 Armo "330i"

                Comment


                  All I can say is you should be extremely proud of your work and this is what loving a car is all about , this is a huge inspiration to us car guys and gals, definitely my favorite project car I have read.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Mkcustoms88 View Post
                    All I can say is you should be extremely proud of your work and this is what loving a car is all about , this is a huge inspiration to us car guys and gals, definitely my favorite project car I have read.
                    Wow, thanks for your kind words!
                    E30 Armo "330i"

                    Comment


                      Great work, truly an inspiration!
                      You can safely glue the studs in, I had the exact same issue as you, when doing the bodywork didn't know there was supposed to be a stud. What I did was slightly beat the round piece of metal into a bowl-like shape, then make a hole for the screw, which was a countersunk one, put the screw in the hole, soak the "back side" of this product in body glue and slap it on. Alternatively you can beat a suitable big washer into a bowl shape. I did this one the battery cable cover holding stud (same location as you need one), one for the bracket that holds the connectors for the accessories (under the dash above the clutch pedal) and one for the heatshield above the rear muffler. None of them has shown any signs of failure or cracking.
                      '85 Alpine WeiƟ 2-door with m20b30 ground up build

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by gnmzl View Post
                        Great work, truly an inspiration!
                        You can safely glue the studs in, I had the exact same issue as you, when doing the bodywork didn't know there was supposed to be a stud. What I did was slightly beat the round piece of metal into a bowl-like shape, then make a hole for the screw, which was a countersunk one, put the screw in the hole, soak the "back side" of this product in body glue and slap it on. Alternatively you can beat a suitable big washer into a bowl shape. I did this one the battery cable cover holding stud (same location as you need one), one for the bracket that holds the connectors for the accessories (under the dash above the clutch pedal) and one for the heat shield above the rear muffler. None of them has shown any signs of failure or cracking.
                        Thanks, It's good to know that the system works.

                        Last week I did quite a lot of work on the car and the project took a big leap forward. After considering it for a while I dropped the axles from the body and gave the wheel wells a coat of black U-Pol Raptor. It sure gave the wheel arches a sharper look. I like it.





                        Then I bent the rear axle brake lines into shape. When I reached the end of the long line from the engine bay to the rear axle, I was left with extra 40 centimeters of pipe. The pipe turned out to not belong to an E30 but rather an E34 or some other bigger car. Impossible to say anymore as I already scraped off the the label. The guy I bought the gas tank from gave me a bunch of unused original brake pipes saying there were all the pipes for an E30 with ABS and I had no reason to question him but on closer inspection not all pipes are for E30 and there's actually more than needed. That doesn't really matter for me as the stock pipes in the engine bay don't fit my project anyway because of relocated ABS pump. A local parts shop shortened the pipe and pressed a new end into it.




                        The female thread studs for the brake and fuel lines in the body were rendered in-openable by rust save one. When doing bodywork I replaced them m5 screws and fixed the lines with domed nuts and an ample measure of anti-seize. Last weekend my brother came to my help and we worked on the car for the entire Saturday and Sunday. A while ago I realized that when assembling the rear axle I didn't think of removing the paint from flange surfaces so my brother went through the rear axle and removed the paint from the grooves of of camber and toe-in adjustment bolts and the flanges of the diff case and the rear subframe. Now I don't need lose sleep over the bolts coming loose because of paint. Meanwhile I installed the gas tank expansion tank and breather hoses. Then we wrestled the rear axle back in place.






                        I'll install the plastic wheel well cover as soon as I'll get one missing bracket from the dealer. Next I installed the hand brake cable brackets to the rear trailing arms and my brother cleaned and installed the wiper mechanism, new fresh air grilles and the hand brake lever. Also he threaded the body wire loom into place.









                        I still have a lot of wire loom work left but now the loom is spread out with the major branches in correct places. As a final job of the day my brother did most of the preliminary work for the engine installation. Meaning that he removed the mechanical fan, reinstalled the power steering pump with a correct length of belt to drive it and installed the shifter assembly and the transmission support. Originally I planned to use stiff solid rubber mounts from an E21 for the transmission but opted for much softer ones from an 328i instead to keep the drive line noise down. I'm not using a mechanical fan so I don't need stiff transmission mounts to keep the fan from hitting the radiator. Meanwhile I installed the front sway bar. Looking back at it, I didn't really do all that much assembly work on Saturday. My contribution was mostly having planned the work beforehand and finding and handing correct parts to be installed. In the evening we tested the seaside sauna at my garage. It's been mostly unused for a long time and turned out to have a great view but a pretty much rusted through stove with bad draft. Still the sauna felt great after a long day. The Sunday morning we started installing the engine. We lifted the engine onto the front subframe and bolted it there. The engine mounts are the box shaped green mounts from an E28 M535i. I can't remember if they are left side or right side mounts.



                        We brought the engine in from the bottom so we put it on rolling platforms and lifted the front of the car high enough to roll the engine under it.





                        When the engine was in place we lifted it up using the engine hoist on the front lift point and a floor jack at the transmission cross member. This is because the rear lift point of the engine is in a pretty tight spot once the engine is in place and it also has a heater hose connector inconveniently just above it. We had the floor jack on rolling platforms as well to make it easy to move it sideways when positioning the engine. In retrospect, it would have made it a bit easier if we had lowered the car back into original height once the engine was under it because then we wouldn't have needed to lift the engine quite as much.





                        But there she is. Doing it this way rather than lifting the engine in from the top means you don't need all that much height in the garage and you can do a lot more assembly work on the engine before installing it. Also, there's much less chance of scraping the freshly painted engine bay.






                        Lastly we reinstalled the front struts. It's looking a lot more like a car than on Saturday morning.
                        Last edited by Skarpa; 03-23-2020, 11:40 PM.
                        E30 Armo "330i"

                        Comment


                          Great job.
                          How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows
                          http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=297611


                          Could be better, could be worse.

                          Comment


                            Awesome work!

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                              Fucking incredible!!

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                                Originally posted by rzerob View Post
                                Great job.
                                Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
                                Awesome work!
                                Originally posted by pandaboo911 View Post
                                Fucking incredible!!
                                Thanks a lot!
                                E30 Armo "330i"

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