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1990 E30 320i Touring

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    Awesome progress. Always love watching an e30 be brought back to glory.


      Originally posted by Matt-B
      hey does anyone know anyone who gets upset and makes electronics?


        I haven't dropped the new brakes down to Dave to be fitted yet - but its fair to say they're required. Quick game of spot the difference -

        Bit of focus on the rear of the car today - new top mounts, shocks and springs. Quite a bit had to come out -

        One of the speakers needs replacing anyway!

        Old top mounts v new ones - order went in yesterday afternoon, arrived first thing this morning

        In place -

        Old springs and the new Eibachs - I went for the pro kit, which isn't actually available for a Touring oddly enough. The cabrio spring rates are the closest, so thats what I went for.

        The old shocks and covers were particularly ratty looking -

        Fresh shocks and some rattle can black and they're looking much fresher -

        1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
        1994 Jet Black E36 320i


          Few more updates today - never good to receive a message from the mechanic to say there's a problem, but thankfully this one was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. Not quite sure why someone decided to do this - but mounting a seat properly would have presented a problem:

          The remains of the old mounting were removed -

          And a new one welded in -

          Rear shock was then mounted, and the car could come off the lift

          Suspension is definitely sitting a lot more to my liking now - lots done, more to do!
          1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
          1994 Jet Black E36 320i


            Am guessing that a previous owner did a bodge job fitting some non-standard seats in the past. The passenger side had the seat mounting points missing as well!

            Drilled out again, before new mounts being welded in -

            New seats are in - want to see them in the flesh before a final decision on retrimming the rears.

            Wasn't planning on investing in an exhaust so soon, but this came up for sale over the weekend and did a deal for it pretty rapidly. I collect it on Sunday. Its an unused, brand new Larini exhaust - out of production years now, so won't be easy to find another. Has the exact tailpipe design I was after too, so am pretty happy with the purchase all things considered.

            1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
            1994 Jet Black E36 320i


              No real progress over the last few days - but the bank balance has still taken a hit. The wheels are pretty obviously one of the very last things I need to get sorted, but I like wheels, so took the plunge on getting them sorted. First up, I ordered a set of tyre's for the BBS wheels. I dropped the tyres and wheels over to today for their refurb - have told them to really take their time as I'm not in a rush.

              Second last thing I really needed was the exhaust - so naturally that's sorted now too. I'd be surprised if another one of these exists in brand new condition - so couldn't let it go. As mentioned before its a Larini stainless steel exhaust. Everything I've read has said that they're a quality piece of kit - and that definitely seems to be the case. Its a stainless steel exhaust based on the standard exhaust - including sound level. Also included was the full fitting kit and gaskets, so really delighted with the purchase.

              Also picked up an oil cooler in exceptional condition - was another part I couldn't let go.

              Last bit not least is the full OBC kit. The dash will need to come out at some stage as its cracked, so fitting this might wait until then -

              1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
              1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                Few more updates to keep things ticking over -

                Put an order through with BMW Classic for a variety of minor bits, included all the parts for a refresh of the shifter mechanism. Any order over €75 has free shipping - still amazed they managed to send a small order through in 8 separate parcels though.

                First up was the install of the new H&R front ARB. Its a 20mm adjustable bar - comparison between old and new ones

                Fitted up -

                Next to be tackled was the brakes - but progress was stumped with the brake disc retaining bolt shearing

                Dave is extracting the bolt, and will fit up the brakes - will eventually overhaul the front anyway, new hubs, backing plates and have the struts powdercoated - the list of jobs to do is growing though, so that's not currently a priority.
                1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                  Turns out the sheared bolt wasn't the only issue with the brakes - the nearside front one had a solid disc, which I was aware of - but I was didn't realise that the caliper was different as well. I'd intended on putting new calipers all round on the car - a recent quote on having the existing ones refursbished was actually more expensive than buying brand new ones, so that's an order which is needed sooner that expected.

                  Dave was able to fit up the rest of discs and pads though - comparison of old and new

                  Checking runout on the front offside disc -

                  Rears fitted up -

                  Dave also got the old exhaust off - won't be fitting up the new one until the gear linkages have all been done

                  Will be ordering a new heatshield as well - the existing one is well past its best

                  In terms of the fundamental mechanicals, its just about there - which means in terms of the project its just really beginning!
                  1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                  1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                    Dave kicked off work on fitting the cleaned up rocker cover, inlet manifold and throttle body. There was a bit of a delay because it made sense to put in a few new parts while the manifold was off - put in another BMW Classics order for some injector o-rings, gaskets some new brackets and an inlet elbow and a few other bits.

                    Off with the old manifold -

                    With the rocker cover off, Dave took the opportunity to adjust the tappets

                    The rocker cover had quite a bit of powdercoat on the sealing edge, so all that had to be sanded back -

                    There was also a good bit of residue left on the inner surfaces from where the cover was blasted - so that was cleaned out -

                    New elring gasket for the rocker cover -

                    Rocker cover fitted back up -

                    Old inlet manifold beside the cleaned up one -

                    Things took a turn for the worse when Dave went to fit up the throttle body. Looks like the courier who dropped it off for vapour blasting literally dropped it. Checked the pics on the day and it was fine - but one of the pieces has broken off, so need to get another one cleaned up.

                    Anyway - injectors were fitted with new O-rings and fitted up to the inlet manifold

                    Some of the new brackets for the inlet manifold and the finished item -

                    Thankfully there were no hiccups with the new shifter parts. Ordered all new bushings and shifter rod, along with an E46 M3 shift lever. It has a shorted throw than the standard one, but not severely so. Had the same combo on my previous E30, so all in all it should really tighten things up.

                    Also got the new heatshield fitted up. This was one of the main things I needed in my last order - and of course I totally forgot to order it, so Dave kindly loaned me one of his own touring until my fresh order arrives.

                    As I mentioned before, I hadn't intended buying an exhaust yet with so much else left to do, but when this one came up for sale locally I grabbed it. I had been considering another Eisenmann exhaust, or a Supersprint - but both have the pipe slanted towards the side, which I don't love - and both cost roughly €700 for a backbox alone. This Larini exhaust is long out of production, but brand new and unused, and is a three piece system. It also ended up costing less than either of the other options. It also came with a full fitting kit including all brackets etc, so all in all it was a good deal.

                    Given their reputation, I figured that it would be a pretty simple install for Dave, which hasn't turned out to be the case.

                    First issue was pretty obvious - the bracket was way too big for the back box. Dave tried the bracket on the exhaust which came off the car, as well as a scorpion one he has, and it fitted perfectly - so seems the Larini unit is smaller.

                    Few adjustments made and it fitted fine -

                    Dave offered up the exhaust and it wouldn't fit beside the wheelwell, so had to modify the brackets again. It then became apparent that the mid section didn't fit great, so he had to heat it up to get a half decent fit.

                    At this stage it was sitting smack bang against the rear beam, and the back box was hanging about 2 inches lower than it has to be to fit

                    A gas upgrade was needed at this stage!

                    The box was more in line now, but still not right

                    A lot more heat, bit of inspiration and plenty of perspiration - and its almost there.

                    1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                    1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                      Got a call from Wheel Wizards earlier in the week to say the wheels were ready for collection. They weren't in particularly poor condition to start with, but am delighted with the transformation.

                      No point having fresh wheels with old centre caps - got these new from BMW Classic.

                      Finished result -

                      1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                      1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                        Few more updates at last. Have been ordering a few bits and pieces, but the car hasn't been a priority for a few months. Finally managed to drop off everything to Dave last weekend.

                        Combination of some BMW Classic parts - and the new calipers from Eurocarparts. Unfortunately they sent me two right hand calipers, so that needs to be resolved.

                        Also ordered the PCD adapters for the wheels. A 5 stud conversion on an E30 is always a compromise unless the M3 setup is used imo - and these are for aesthetics only, so happy enough to run the adapters for a while. If I'm not happy with the wheel setup I'll go for the 15 inch original BBS wheels.

                        That said - they didn't go on without some effort. The rears wouldn't go on all the way as there is a chamfer on the inside.

                        Ground down the hubs -

                        Supplied bolts were also a bit too long - so they needed to be cut down

                        Wheels were bolted on for the first time. Sits just right at the rear - seems a bit high at the front. Still needs to settle back down - but will get something sorted anyway.

                        1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                        1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                          How did I miss this thread?!

                          Love it.
                          -89' 320iT, Brilliantrot
                          -15' 320i, Glacier Silver Metallic


                            The engine isn't getting any work - just a tidy up of the engine bay. New expansion tank fitted - have a few other bits to go in such as the clutch reservoir. Will replace any clips I can and do a full clean before seeing what else needs to be replaced.

                            Also had new scuttle grills fitted -

                            Out in the sunlight

                            Put in yet another BMW Classics order today - new brake backing plates,bushings, and a few other bits. Need one more order and then we'll rebuild the full rear end of the car. Will also do the front and have the subframe and front struts powdercoated.

                            Also ordered an intelligent wiper module - this will allow me to set the interval time for the wipers when they're set to intermittent. Also gives a wipe of the screen after a blast of the washer fluid. Ordered from the E30 Innovative Goods thread on here - arrived pretty quickly too.

                            Building up a list of things to fit once I get the car back from Davewaffles- but lots to do before then.
                            Last edited by kdevitt; 03-16-2017, 03:35 PM.
                            1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                            1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                              The additional order from BMW Classics and Eurocarparts was mainly required due to a decision to make this less of a light resto, and more of a full on 'everything gets done' resto. Thankfully Dave is the patient type, so a lot of the work that's been done has kind of been reversed - exhaust off, brakes off, suspension off. The whole rear end has come off for powdercoating, along with the front struts. This obviously means the parts order has been pretty hefty.

                              Front strut off -

                              All stripped -

                              Pressing out the rear subframe bushes -

                              All ready for powdercoating -

                              Having the rear subframe off will make it easier to fit the new brakelines the car needs. Most of these are available direct from BMW Classics, but the larger pieces aren't - so need to get them from the local dealer. Also need to order the matching rear H&R ARB.
                              1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                              1994 Jet Black E36 320i


                                18 months on and we're looking to get a move on with this. Progress got halted when I ordered new front calipers - Eurocarparts sent on two drivers side ones. I left it a bit too long to return the extra drivers side one, and then they went out of stock. Without it the front couldn't be put back together really, so it was left for a while.

                                Eventually got them ordered as well as new front hubs - which meant Dave could kick off on it again. When I got the rear subframe bits powdercoated, Dave sent off spare parts he had so that the car was still mobile.

                                The old subframe is perfectly usable, but just a bit on the dirty side.

                                Taking it all apart - diff it being retained, I'd ideally like a medium case LSD, but they're going for silly money now.

                                So Dave just cleaned it all up - ready for re-use

                                All the bits and bobs ready for reassembly -

                                Having the rear subframe off exposed a bit of nastiness which Dave swiftly fixed up. Being an original Irish car, its in fantastic condition considering the age - but it wouldn't be an E30 if it didn't have some rot lurking.

                                There was also some damage caused by a jack at some stage -

                                With fresh brake lines in, the refreshed subframe could go back on.

                                Exhaust back in place -

                                And voila, one complete mechanically overhauled E30.

                                Time to start on the cosmetics and other toys now :)
                                1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                                1994 Jet Black E36 320i