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1990 E30 320i Touring

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    1990 E30 320i Touring

    Its probably fair to say I like having a car to work on almost all the time - so here we go again. To get a house purchase across the line last year I parted with my E30 323i (build thread for that is here) and E46 M3, leaving me with the family car - an E90, and my E36. A cheap Saab soon joined the fleet, and the E90 made way for a 118i - which I'm a big fan of it has to be said.

    The intention is to eventually replace the Saab with something a lot less practical, but having two sensible cars is now a bit of a requirement, which is a slight issue for me. While several bonkers plans came and went, I started thinking about getting something practical which I could also stick on my classic policy. Mileage isn't an issue for me - combined all our cars currently do less than 10k a year. So the ideal car was something pre-95, which I find interesting, with at least 4 doors. Bearing in mind that one of the reasons I replaced the E90 was that the saloon isn't particularly practical, the focus quickly became finding an E30 Touring.

    I would like to have a story of how I searched and searched for the perfect car, or of how I was passing a house and saw it buried in undergrowth - but it was actually surprisingly easy. One message to DaveG - an Irish forum regular - asking if he had any tourings available resulted in him telling me I had my choice of two.

    The one I went for is an Irish car - 1990 - in Diamond black. Being an Irish car, its light on options - has manual windows front and rear, comfort seats but oddly has the rear view mirror map lights and the speaker fader switch (whether or not that switch is actually connected to anything is an entirely different story).

    Here are some pics from its original for sale thread -









    As you can probably see - its been lowered. Or potentially has no suspension at all. Thats one of the first things to be rectified - am going with my usual combo of Eibach Pro-kit and Bilstein B4's. The Pro-kit has arrived, B4's will be ordered in next month. Also bought a pair of Lemforder front control arms which should be on their way down to Dave at the moment.

    There was a substantial amount of work done by Dave for the previous owner -

    - Gearbox seals
    - Gearbox guibo bushing
    - Exhaust manifold studs (3 of them were fecked)
    - New battery
    - Sump gasket
    - Gearbox spigot bearing for clutch
    - Service (engine & gearbox & power steering oil, drive belts, air & oil filter, spark plugs, coolant)
    - Water pump & timing
    - Thermostat
    - Cabin fan blower motor
    - Speedo sensor

    Essentially all the above work means I have significantly less to do - main things to be done consist of some cosmetics, the suspension, a Tec II kit, some wheels, and a fresh interior. I also want to get electric windows and an OBC fitted - but neither are urgent.
    1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
    1994 Jet Black E36 320i

    #2
    Heres a recent pic, so as you can see, very little has changed.





    Theres a slight dent on the offside rear quarter - should be fixable with some PDR. Also needs a small bit of paint -





    Sunroof skin needs a bit of attention





    Bonnet will need some paint too





    The engine is definitely staying put though - plenty of power for what I need -







    Not sure if US cars are the same, but all E30's over here are prone to rusting. Badly. Generally UK cars will be worse than Irish ones, but they all suffer with it, and I have no intention of chasing rust in a car. Dave put the car up on the lift to see what sort of condition it was in - thankfully its a good one.

    One small hole here -



    And some damage caused by a badly placed jack -



    Otherwise its got a clean bill of health







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

    Comment


      #3
      Look forward to this, your 323i was beautiful. Can't believe you parted with it.
      Continuous For Sale Thread
      323i s50

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Court M3 View Post
        Look forward to this, your 323i was beautiful. Can't believe you parted with it.
        Thanks. I loved it as well - but it really needed a big money respray to have it perfect, and freeing up the cash to get the house made sense. This one can take the kids, and a lot of stuff in the trunk, so its likely to see quite a bit of use.
        1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
        1994 Jet Black E36 320i

        Comment


          #5
          When I did my last E30, I managed to pick up loads of parts for small money - including some gems like a brand new OEM armrest for GBP115. You could basically go on E30Zone or eBay and get whatever you wanted. Seems to be a different story these days - for example the only new armrest I've found is EUR1500, which is obviously stupid money. Likewise the original bodykits have seen their prices go nuts lately, especially if they're complete. Thankfully I came across a full kit, with mounting clips a well, for what could be deemed to be 'cheap'.

          Anyway - bank holidays are designed for this sort of thing - had a 5 hour round trip to collect it yesterday and it seems to be in great condition. It will need to be painted but its one of the main things ticked off the shopping list.











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

          Comment


            #6
            Picked up these wheels for the car a while back. They're BBS RC's, in E36 fitment. So they're not overly dishy, but that doesn't bother me. Will be fitting as wide a tyre as possible to avoid any stretch if possible (probably 215/40/17). Need new bolts and tyres and they'll be off for a refurb. Don't currently plan on a 5 stud conversion - so will be going with adapters.

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

            Comment


              #7
              loving the touring

              Comment


                #8
                Looks very promising, need a touring in my life to!
                Instagram : makeitsnap

                1985 e28 520i

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                  #9
                  Should be quite a few updates on this from here on in. Full front end suspension has been purchased along with the bilsteins and eibach springs as mentioned before. Am probably going a bit further with the overhaul than originally intended, but only plan on doing this once.

                  With that in mind, I got a throttle body and inlet manifold to have cleaned up by vapourblast.ie. If you saw the results on my last E30, you'll know how good these will look when they're finished - but here's a before photo for the moment -





                  Also got a rocker cover and subframe - these are being powdercoated. Am going for a similar finish to the M30 rocker cover I had done - dark metallic grey, and the subframe is being done in satin black.





                  I don't expect these to be the last bits requiring vapour blasting, or powdercoating - but it'll allow the front end of the car to be put together.

                  Also picked up this Tec 1 steering wheel which has been freshly trimmed. Its not actually for the touring - but for my brothers cabrio which I'm going to start working on now as well. That frees up the 370mm tech 2 steering wheel which is currently in the cabrio - this is going over to Royal Steering Wheels in the UK for a retrim.

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

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Tech 2 wheel is out of the cab - should be on its way to the UK for its retrim next week.

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

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Vapourblast.ie got back to me today with the finished results on the inlet manifold. He was able to send an in-progress pic too - some people thought the bits he did on the last M30 build had been painted because the finished pieces looked so fresh.

                      Anyway - so save you scrolling back up, here's the manifold as it was when they got it -



                      Progress pic -



                      Finished result -



                      Will be collecting the rocker cover and subframe this week too, and also managed to pick up a few more pieces, so it feels like progress is being made at last, even if the car itself hasn't been touched.
                      1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                      1994 Jet Black E36 320i

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Collected the rocker cover from Tallaght Powder Coating today. Results might be underwhelming to some, but I wanted it to be pretty subtle so am very happy with the results.



                        Masked it up myself to sand back the raised areas - didn't want any accidents, so went with three layers of masking tape. 120 grit followed by 240, turned out perfect.



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

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Quick shot of the subframe as well - should be in a position to get the front of the car all refreshed now. Need to make my mind up on what to do with the brakes though - not sure they really need an upgrade, so might just go for a refresh of the calipers and new discs and pads.

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

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Got a lovely pair of front seats for this - really got lucky with them. They're from a 4 door - all the bolsters are perfect (in terms of the sponge, only one hole on the drivers seat), and the fire extinguisher is present as well. Even better though - they're heated, so that some more option that the car will be getting. I bought the loom for fitting heated seats a few weeks back, but fully expected to have to buy the elements and have them fitted in the seats.

                            Original plan was to have these retrimmed in leather, but I'm really keen on how they look - not having matching rears is an issue though. Not even sure of the fabric type (think its anthracite or indigo) so imagine it will make it difficult to find the rear seats. Have plenty of time to keep an eye out for them though - a lot of work to get done before then.



                            Dropped the seats and all the other bits down to Dave today, so the work will kick off soon.
                            1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
                            1994 Jet Black E36 320i

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Managed to track down some of the Indigo fabric so I can have the rear seats retrimmed - got a sample sent over, so need to compare it to the front seats before pulling the trigger -



                              Also started buying a few more bits - I availed of a 25% discount code with Euro Car Parts to get new Brembo discs and pads, will probably buy new calipers soon too - its actually cheaper than having the old ones refurbished bizarrely enough. Also ended up ordering new tyres for the wheels - once they arrive the wheels can go off for a refurb.

                              Dave was able to get cracking on the work too - felt like I had a lot more parts stockpiled, but have already been busy buying more parts today



                              The mountings for the new drop links really look scruffy, so new ones were ordered today.





                              Likewise with the front ARB - technically its fine, but it would let things down cosmetically, so ordered a new H&R uprated ARB.



                              Bearing in mind how low the car was sitting, it was no surprise to see the height difference between the old and new springs. I'm guessing the old ones were actually cut -



                              All refitted with the Bilstein B4's and the Eibachs - will revisit these at a later stage and have the struts powdercoated and then fit new hubs and backing plates



                              Engine supported to allow the front subframe to come out -





                              New one in place - I'm guessing I need to do something about cleaning up that sump now too :D



                              Ordered new track rod assemblies from mister-auto.ie, but they have them incorrectly listed as right and left specific. I ordered one of each - but it turns out they're two different types, one is standard and the other for cars with steering damping. Needless to say they haven't been helpful in terms of reimbursement which is annoying. Had to order a new one, which should be here this week anyway.

                              Car was in esteemed company today -

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

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