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The sleeping E30. Bringing it back to life after almost 10 years!

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    The sleeping E30. Bringing it back to life after almost 10 years!

    I picked up my first E30 last weekend, a 1987 325is! I have been interested in these cars for quite a while, and things happened to fall into place when I found out that a friend of mine had one at his house. It belonged to his father who has passed away. His father had always wanted the car, and around 10 years ago he got one. Unfortunately, shortly after getting the car, he stopped driving it because he was given a company vehicle to drive to work daily, and he worked too much during the week to really give the car a chance to be used. So for the majority of the car's time with the family, it sat in the driveway.

    Here's few pictures of the car right before I picked it up.










    For the most part, the exterior seems to be in good shape! One major area of concern is a rust bubble that sits just below the passenger rear window. The paint has separated from the body of the car. I did not see any other spots that needed immediate attention. The interior is in worse shape. There is mold on the back seat that has spread to some of the dash as well as the shifter and steering wheel, and a bit on the driver's side door and the back of the driver's seat headrest. There is also sitting water in the trunk where the jack and the wheel chock sit. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the water sitting in the trunk.













    I picked up the car a week after taking a look at it. Luckily I live only a few miles away from where it sat so it was not much of an issue getting it home. My uncle has a car dolly that made transport easy. Both tires on the passenger side held air after they were inflated again, but the driver side is a different story. The driver's side was hit by the sun during the time it sat without a cover. The rubber was badly cracked and rotting away. I had to use the spare in the trunk to get the car home. It looks like the spare has never been used on the road, it's mint! I plan to get it back into the trunk once things have dried out and I clean it up.





    I'm super excited to get this project started. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm ready to dive right in.
    2002 WRX - VF30 w/ supporting mods and now with a 6 speed!
    07/1987 325is restoration project

    #2
    awesome! give it a good cleaning and then work from there. gonna be fun!

    Comment


      #3
      Wow, that's a solid car.
      Pressure washer and some elbow grease and she's a looker.

      1991 325iS turbo

      Comment


        #4
        thats going to be something sweet when done!

        the water in the trunk is most likely the antenna seal that is probably totally gone. replace that, drain the water and you might be good to go. chances are all the other seals should be replaced also. the tail light seals and trunk seal are the only other ways that water (usually) gets into the trunk
        Simon
        Current Car:
        -2003 Mini Cooper R50
        Previous Car Count : 24 ... and climbing...

        Make R3V Great Again -2020

        Comment


          #5
          The following day, I began looking over the car with much more detail. The water in the trunk was taken care of quickly with a shop vac. Once the water was gone I removed as much of the trunk trim pieces that I could. Part of the trim is secured with the plastic clips that attach from behind the rear seats. Because of the mold issue, I didn't feel comfortable with hanging around inside the car for too long wrestling with seats and panels without a respirator. Found one for a decent price on Amazon since Lowe's did not have the one that I was looking for. While at Lowe's I also picked up one large tub of DampRid as well as two smaller, refillable tubs. The large tub is going to live in the trunk until all of the pellets are saturated and it needs to be tossed. The other two containers are sitting in the cab. Here is the trunk as it sits right now.



          Luckily the area where the spare sits is hardly rusted. It should clean up easily enough. The jack and wheel chock have a lot of rust but it is mainly surace rust - the metal has not deteriorated too much. I'm thinking that being submerged in water may have saved those pieces to some extent. There is lots of rust between the very rear of the trunk and where the tar covering starts. I need to remove the tar to see how badly it has spread.

          The engine bay was like a storage container for acorn shells! The car must have made for a great stash for some squirrels. The windshield wiper fluid reservoir is broken and there are mice droppings on the inside. I also find a mouse nest in the trunk when I was cleaning it out. Most of the hoses and wires in the engine bay look to be intact so I'm hoping I'm not in for a lot of trouble with that. Looks like my exhaust manifold has a pinhole from rust. The sitting water in the engine bay behind the wipe fluid reservoir seems to be because the car is sitting on a slight incline, so the water avoids the drain holes. The strut towers don't seem to have any rust which is good, but the mounts definitely need to be replaced as they are cracking. I am also missing part of the air intake system. I believe the part I am missing is called the suction tube? It is the cone part at the front of the intake according to this parts diagram.
          http://www.pelicanparts.com/More_Inf...4-612-BOE#tab1













          The last thing I have been able to do while waiting on my respirator to arrive was to wash the car. I only did a quick wash to see how it would look a bit cleaner. While the car was still wet, it looked great! Once it was dry and in the sunlight the next day it was faded again. A good polish and plenty of coats of wax should have the car looking awesome.







          Is it just me, or does the front bumper seem to be sitting a bit crooked? The front spoiler is hanging low a bit on the driver's side too. I think the clips are broken.
          2002 WRX - VF30 w/ supporting mods and now with a 6 speed!
          07/1987 325is restoration project

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the compliments!

            Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
            thats going to be something sweet when done!

            the water in the trunk is most likely the antenna seal that is probably totally gone. replace that, drain the water and you might be good to go. chances are all the other seals should be replaced also. the tail light seals and trunk seal are the only other ways that water (usually) gets into the trunk
            I'm thinking that the antenna seal is the culprit as well. Last night I went to take a look at the trunk to check on things since it has been raining on and off the past few days. It looks like not too much water has gotten in from the antenna seal. Beneath the seal was dry to the touch last night and there are not really any signs of rust right there.





            I think you're right about the other seals, too. There are rust spots behind the tail lights that shows where the water flowed as it traveled to the lowest points in the trunk. I'll take a picture of those spots tonight. I've cleaned out the gutter area around the trunk seal as well - it was full of bits of leaves and dirt. It probably wasn't very effective with all of that crud in the way. The rubber still feels soft to the touch and it does not look like it is cracked anywhere. It might be good to go, now. I'm going to look for the part numbers for the tail light seals as well as the seals that go around the air vents that sit lower down in the quarter panels.

            Also, here is a close up picture of the rust below the rear passenger window.



            My first box of supplies for this project showed up yesterday evening! Mold respirator and extra filters, plus some more DampRid but with charcoal that will hopefully help with the odor in the car as well as the moisture. In the bag is some more microfiber rags to use when cleaning the exterior. For the interior I'm going to use some disposable rags until I'm positive that the mold is taken care of for good.



            The current plan is to start taking apart the interior this evening. The goal is to have the interior mostly removed so that I can begin cleaning it as best as I can. It will be much easier to attempt that without the seats and carpet in the car. Headliner might be coming out too, as well as part of the dash. To clean up the mold, I am going to using some white vinegar first. Stronger solutions may have to be used but I want to start with trying something a bit less abrasive first. I'd like to save the seats if possible, at least the fronts. The bolstering still seems fine based on how they felt. I really doubt that I'll ever have anyone riding in the back of this car, so if the rear seat is too far gone with the mold, I don't think I'll be that upset if it needs to be tossed.
            2002 WRX - VF30 w/ supporting mods and now with a 6 speed!
            07/1987 325is restoration project

            Comment


              #7
              That interior can be saved if you work on it now. In a year it'll be cracked beyond repair. I used leathermagic.com's kit and so far I'm really happy with it. Soak those seats with leather conditioner every day for a week, then use the kit to seal the bigger cracks and redye the seats. They'll look as fresh as the wet paint. http://i.imgur.com/h1kqeY5.jpg That's my interior freshly redone.

              If you're local to DC in MD, I can help you with the interior.

              Really nice base for a project btw!
              AWD > RWD

              Comment


                #8
                Im feeling like this is going to be real good. Im confident in OP. Looking forward to more updates.

                I'll save you the trouble on the taillight gasket part #, realoem is your friend

                63-21-1-370-679

                http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=63_0193
                Simon
                Current Car:
                -2003 Mini Cooper R50
                Previous Car Count : 24 ... and climbing...

                Make R3V Great Again -2020

                Comment


                  #9
                  Good stuff. I have an 87 is same color and pin stripe even that I will have owned for ten years in August. Looks fantastic!
                  Jah bless! :pimp:

                  Comment


                    #10
                    :)

                    This will be one sweet car when cleaned up. You got a good project, and when you are done you will really know your car well:)
                    Will be watching, always fun to see how a car goes from the field to dd!
                    jm

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Update of the work done last night. Removed as much of the interior as I could. Headliner, carpet and dash remain. The carpet is wet behind the driver's seat and in front of the passenger seat. Not a good sign. I've heard the carpet is a pain in the ass to remove in these things so I'm really not looking forward to it.





                      I think the car was in an accident. I found chunks of broken glass underneath the rear seat. There is also a clear difference between the insides of the two quarter panels that can be seen once the interior trim is removed.

                      Driver's side quarter



                      Passenger's side quarter. That dust towards the top of the wheel well cover looks just like body filler dust...



                      More bad news is that the rust bubble beneath the rear passenger window has pitted. Looks like its time to cut it out and make a patch. Had to seal it up with duct tape for the time being. I don't have anything else on hand that I thought would be good enough to seal it off. Looks terrible, but if it gets the job done for a little while I'll let it slide.





                      Found water sitting in the spare tire compartment when I first opened the car yesterday. It's sitting in a weird spot. Doesn't really look like it flowed down there on it's own. Maybe the trunk seal is leaking right above it? Not sure.



                      Not a big deal though, because I removed the tar in the trunk and will be order the tail light gaskets very soon. That tar weighed a lot more than I thought! Lots of rust lay underneath which was the main reason of removing it. There's been so much moisture in this trunk that it all needs to be gone over.



                      Looks like the passenger side tail light is leaking the most. Water flows right down that seam.



                      The water sitting in the trunk by the jack and wheel chock is mostly gone. Damage doesn't look too bad right there.



                      What really scares me is the plastic on the inside of the door trim panel. Both doors are a breeding ground for some disgusting black mold. Thinking there might be a bit of water in the doors. Maybe a drain is clogged? That respirator was a good move. Yikes!





                      Most interior pieces look ok. The only questionable piece is the bottom cushion for the back seats.



                      And here is how things sit now. A few parts need to be order. The trim panel under the steering column was ripped when I bought the car, so it's gotta go. Shift boot has a large hole in it and the shift knob is torn and disgusting. I didn't break many clips while removing panels but I'll order some of those as well.



                      I forgot to mention that I found an awesome poster in the trunk while I was first cleaning the car out! My friend's father was a Subaru salesmen so he must have picked this poster up years ago and forgotten about it in the trunk. The good old bugeye wrx and Prodrive rally car! Same model that I daily. These things are great and lots of fun.





                      That about covers everything that was completed last night. Tomorrow should be spent cleaning these interior pieces. Vinegar first and then I'll step it up where the mold and dirt is more persistent.
                      2002 WRX - VF30 w/ supporting mods and now with a 6 speed!
                      07/1987 325is restoration project

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                        Im feeling like this is going to be real good. Im confident in OP. Looking forward to more updates.

                        I'll save you the trouble on the taillight gasket part #, realoem is your friend

                        63-21-1-370-679

                        http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=63_0193
                        Thanks for the link! Real oem will be great. There are lots of pieces in this car that I'm not even sure are complete, just like the air intake system. This website will be an awesome tool.

                        Originally posted by Kershaw View Post
                        That interior can be saved if you work on it now. In a year it'll be cracked beyond repair. I used leathermagic.com's kit and so far I'm really happy with it. Soak those seats with leather conditioner every day for a week, then use the kit to seal the bigger cracks and redye the seats. They'll look as fresh as the wet paint. http://i.imgur.com/h1kqeY5.jpg That's my interior freshly redone.

                        If you're local to DC in MD, I can help you with the interior.

                        Really nice base for a project btw!
                        Thanks Kershaw, I'll take a look at the leathermagic kit. I'm almost an hour south of DC. I'll try out what you suggested and go from there.

                        I'm hoping progress is somewhat steady. Should be a nice thread. I'd like to have it running this summer.
                        2002 WRX - VF30 w/ supporting mods and now with a 6 speed!
                        07/1987 325is restoration project

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Those posters are awesome!!

                          Looks good, it does look like that quarter was replaced, that probably explains the rust patch by the window and the rusty seam under the taillight...

                          Carpet isn't too bad to take out, you can take it out without pulling the dash...Remove the console, both rear and the front part around the shifter, take a box cutter and carefully cut the carpet around the climate control unit under the dash. Remove the gas pedal and the plastic trim at the bottom of the doors and front kick panels, it'll come right out.

                          Looks like it fell into good hands. :up:
                          -Christian

                          '02 ///M3 CarbonSchwartz 6MT daily beast
                          08/91 Mtechnic II 325IC alpine/lotus
                          318iS, slow build/garage queen...
                          '37 Chevy pickup, the über project
                          Originally posted by roguetoaster
                          Be sure to remind them that the M42 is one of the best engines ever made, but be sure to not mention where it actually falls on that list.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Not a whole lot more to report thus far. Still working on the interior, only thing left to remove is the headliner.

                            Carpet removed. It was soaked behind the driver's seat and in front of the passenger's seat. The foam has dried up pretty well after being left out in the sun for a few days.



                            During the removal of the carpet I accidentally cut a few wires near the shifter :curse:



                            Discovered that most of the lights on the dash have been taped over. This makes me a bit suspicious. Not sure how I didn't notice this before.



                            Don't have a picture to show, but I've cleaned the interior bits with a vinegar and water solution that worked out pretty well. I ordered the leather magic kit that Kershaw suggested. I might have someone that does interior work who can stitch up the tear in the driver's seat.

                            Also took some time last weekend to remove the spark plugs to try to get a peek inside the engine. As far as I can tell, I'm seeing plenty of carbon with some oil seepage from what looks to be a leaking valve cover.

                            Quick picture of the spark plugs. Spark plug for cylinder 6 is on the left, and cylinder 1 on the right



                            Also, here are the shots of the spark plug holes. All pictures in this thread have been taken with my cell phone so the quality is not the best.

                            Cyl 1:



                            Cyl 2:



                            Cyl 3:



                            Cyl 4:



                            Cyl 5:



                            Cyl 6:



                            Before trying to turn this engine by hand, I want to lubricate the pistons a bit. Used Marvel Mystery Oil and a funnel to get a few drops in each cylinder. I will likely do this a few more times before trying to turn it.

                            Only professional tools used here!




                            Goals to be completed by the end of this coming weekend:

                            - Headliner removed
                            - Hook up a battery to test if the sunroof still works
                            - If I can get the sunroof to move, I'll check for any rust damage and clogged drains
                            - Begin sanding down rust spots on the floor pans and in the trunk and then coat the bare metal. I'm thinking of using Rustoleum for this? Don't need anything fancy since most of it will be covered back up. Just need something to protect the metal.

                            I'm working on creating a parts list to order very soon to begin work on getting this old girl started. I'm not focused on getting it moving yet, but I do want to get it to the point of running and idling smoothly. Here is a snapshot of a current shopping cart that I have:



                            Still looking at different timing belt kits out there. I was going to go with the Level 2 kit from ECS Tuning

                            https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E30-32...2.5L/ES260767/

                            However, I'm thinking that the radiator will need to be replaced as well. Surely the coolant has gone bad at this point, and there is likely lots of corrosion within the radiator and the hoses. I have been looking at replacement radiators and I stumbled upon both users and stores mentioning both early and late model cooling systems. From what I have gathered so far, the late model systems use a few different components such as hoses and possibly a different water pump? If parts from the late model systems are easier to get, it would probably be wise to convert to this late style system while I'm replacing so many other things under the hood. I might have to piece together a timing belt 'kit' of sorts on my own.

                            The gasket kit in my shopping cart does not include head bolts. Research in this area revealed that there has been a head bolt update. I'm guessing now would also be the time to switch to the newer style head bolts while I'm changing the head gasket.

                            I'm a bit stumped at the moment with trying to figure out the proper solution for my cooling system. I've also been going through the Bentley Service Manual for diagrams of various bits to see what else might be worth replacing while I'm tearing this thing down.
                            2002 WRX - VF30 w/ supporting mods and now with a 6 speed!
                            07/1987 325is restoration project

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Time for a huge update!

                              Thanks to a few helping hands, the car is currently sitting in the garage with the engine and transmission removed. My friend and I separated the two and began replacing a few things. So far I've changed out the oil pan gasket and head gasket, and changed to the torx head bolts. Timing belt has been removed and new water pump is on.











                              Engine is very clean inside!









                              Also took the time to replace the steering rack with a remanufactured rack from an E46 330i with the purple tag. Used a steering rack spacer kit with spacers on top for clearance and a urethane steering coupler from IE. Had to use a grinder and dremel to stop the u-joints from binding on the steering shaft. Had to cut a bit of rubber out of the firewall too.







                              Also bought my first bit of euro parts




                              More updates to come soon, hopefully!
                              Last edited by Ay Ron; 05-07-2020, 08:12 PM.
                              2002 WRX - VF30 w/ supporting mods and now with a 6 speed!
                              07/1987 325is restoration project

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