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The Journey of Linda and Friends - 3.1L M20 Stroker Build

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    The Journey of Linda and Friends - 3.1L M20 Stroker Build

    She's a 1990 325iS. Brilliantrot. Named Linda.

    I have always wanted a RWD version of my red iX, but could never find a clean one up until this point.

    Let alone an iS. It's the e30 that got me into e30s.

    I was not even remotely wanting to buy a car, but this thing just popped up on here 2hrs from me for the perfect price, I drove down the day after I saw it online and gave the man his asking price.

    My plans for it, are to just enjoy a car for once. I never have, still to this day. I want to drive it.

    I am going to do a top end towards the end of the month of July (not driving it in the mean time just to be safe).

    I'll be replacing every bushing and suspension component on the car, slowly cleaning **** up, cleaning up the bay, steaming the underside and wheel wells, doing a slight functional drop (not wasting $2500 and a month of my life building coilovers again, probably spec e30-esque H&R Race and Billy Sports), 16x8 ESM RS reps with a 225/45, slight roll on the fenders, RX7 front brake upgrade, and be done with it. Minus the wheels my excel spreadsheet with parts is only around $2K, with added things like trim, roundels, plastic pieces, interior bits, etc.

    I'm just excited to have a car that I like. I've always wanted this exact bimmer.

    I have a mountain bike E30 road trip in the works with my brother out to the PNW down the coast and back, and would also like to start going out to Vintage every year. I'm going to put some miles on this thing. And that is my plan.



    Last edited by AWDBOB; Yesterday, 02:27 PM.
    1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
    1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

    #2
    Looks solid. .how's the interior?
    '91 318i (Alpine) - daily
    '88 325ix (Zinno) - drive here and there!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by fresh_TD View Post
      Looks solid. .how's the interior?
      The interior is very clean! The main issue are the mismatching sports seats. I will be looking to get them redone in the future. But for now, they work great!

      Dash is cracked, but I like that, so I don't have to worry about it cracking on me.

      It's got premium sound, map light rear view, 13 button OBC, tape deck center console, etc. It's pretty cool!
      1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
      1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

      Comment


        #4
        Establishing a Game Plan

        I got a chance to spend a few hours today familiarizing myself with the car a bit more.

        First, I must say- I am extremely pleased with the exterior of the car. I don't want a perfect car by any means, nor is this car anywhere close, but I always find myself putting money into projects that, in the end, really need a full exterior restoration (paint and rust repair both), which is not in my immediate skill set. Thus, after much time, effort, and money is spent, I end up selling them off.

        That is not the case for this car.

        I am uncovering a few small dings and dents, but they feel merely characteristic- adding personality.

        I am impressed with the matching body panels, all but the OE DOT replacement drivers front. The underhood insulation is in perfect condition, and the tool kit in the trunk is fully intact.

        I'm trying to spend time with the car to really get a feel for what I want to do, what needs to be done, and what I will actually do.

        I don't want to get overwhelmed with this car to where I don't enjoy it, so my goal will be to tackle different areas each at their own time/pace, rather than having projects within projects within projects.

        One thing I have noticed with the car is that the "weather preventing elements" need to be gone through, which I think out of preservation, should be tackled first, as monotonous as it is. The door seals have shrunk a bit, the trunk seal doesn't work the best, the rear molding clips/gaskets are broken, antenna seal, sunroof seal, etc. I need to dig up the part numbers and add them to my spreadsheet.

        Next on the plate is the suspension.

        I am torn between doing springs/struts, or holding out and building a set of Ground Controls; my heart tells me the latter. But maintenance wise, it needs tie rods, control arms, offset CABs, endlinks, subframe and TA bushings, and a diff bushing, among other things, so I would prefer to tackle it all at once, along with brakes, wheels and tires. A used GC kit would really help my decision making, but at the same time they are hard to come by.

        Wheels are going to be 16x8 ESM002s (polished lips, gunmetal faces) with 225/45 Direzza ZIIs. Square, sticky, and functional.

        Brakes are in need of a refresh. If I could find a set of brackets, I would do FC RX7 calipers, but I will likely just end up doing the IE slotted/ceramic brake kit with stainless lines and rebuilding my stock calipers.

        Engine wise, I have no desire for modification. Maintenance wise, it needs a timing belt, tune up, and I would like to pick up a nice cat back/M30 MAF/93oct chip to give it a bit more pep.

        When I have it all apart I'm going to steam the engine bay, wrinkle/polish the valve cover and intake manifold, and generally reroute and clean things up.

        Interior, she really just needs a fresh set of leather front sports seats and it will be exactly where it needs to be, other than a full cluster rebuild.

        This text is more for me so I can paint a picture and have a plan for the car, so I apologize in advanced for that.

        Anyway, onto pictures after I cleaned it up a bit more tonight!






        1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
        1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

        Comment


          #5
          Welcome back bob, Nice to see some updates with some e30 action in it. I would go H&R springs with bils/koni's. Shouldn't be to hard to sell them later when you want to upgrade to ground control...They will drive great and handle fine.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by fight4life28 View Post
            Welcome back bob, Nice to see some updates with some e30 action in it. I would go H&R springs with bils/koni's. Shouldn't be to hard to sell them later when you want to upgrade to ground control...They will drive great and handle fine.
            Thanks, man!

            The determining factor will be what I find used. Since I finally do not have front axles to worry about, I would really like to see what a GC is like when I can fully utilize it! But I just don't know if i can justify the price.

            I'm not in a hurry with this car, I just want to take it easy and get it done right, slowly over time.
            Last edited by AWDBOB; 07-25-2016, 07:47 PM.
            1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
            1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

            Comment


              #7
              I've got the full ground control coilovers with koni struts and shorten front end by 1.5inchs and its pretty good. Too stiff for daily driver for sure. I am trying to remember the spring rates but definitely too stiff. Definitely worth the extra $$.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by fight4life28 View Post
                I've got the full ground control coilovers with koni struts and shorten front end by 1.5inchs and its pretty good. Too stiff for daily driver for sure. I am trying to remember the spring rates but definitely too stiff. Definitely worth the extra $$.
                I've had a GC setup before, just never on a RWD E30, which is what I am excited for! ie not dealing with constantly popping axles out and ripping boots.

                Funny you mention that the GCs were too stiff. I found that the superior valving of the Konis in the GC setup matched with proper suspension travel out-rode my Billys/H&Rs by a LONG shot. They rode like shit compared to the GC setup (insert teeth chatter here).
                Last edited by AWDBOB; 07-25-2016, 07:47 PM.
                1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
                1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

                Comment


                  #9
                  Linda hasn't gotten much attention at all because I am having a hard time deciding on what to do for parts before I order everything for the car.

                  My main fight is this: coilovers or springs and struts?

                  I am not going to be competitively racing this car. It is going to see many miles and will do local AutoX events for fun- not to win.

                  I am not trying to spend a ton of unnecessary $$ on the car- just want to do things simple and right.

                  So it's either IE3s, Konis, drop hats, and IE Camber plates totaling right under $1000.

                  or

                  I get the Ground-Control kit with camber plates and shortened housings for $1809. I've built my own GCs before and it wasn't any less $$ doing it myself.

                  While $800 doesn't seem like much, it's the exact amount I need to buy all of the other maintenance items I need to get it back on the road. Also included is the down time and shipping costs for sending out strut housings and waiting on them being built.
                  1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
                  1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'd go GC's and adjust the dampening to your liking. Beautiful car btw.


                    1991 325i
                    flickr
                    @sambhaskins

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                      #11
                      go with coils, find an extra pair of strut housings and send them out for rebuild.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sam_ View Post
                        I'd go GC's and adjust the dampening to your liking. Beautiful car btw.
                        Thanks, man.

                        Originally posted by iXguido View Post
                        go with coils, find an extra pair of strut housings and send them out for rebuild.
                        That's two votes for coils! Anyone say otherwise?
                        1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
                        1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Beautiful car, I guess my choice would be the GC's to!
                          Instagram : makeitsnap

                          1985 e28 520i

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                            #14
                            Meh, if you aren't going to be tracking the car or don't care about ride height adjustability, what's the point of spending the extra cash on the GCs?

                            Why not just get BC Racing coilovers and only spend a few extra hundred over the springs/struts setup?

                            OBDI M62B44/6 swap
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                            - jpod999

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by bostonvert View Post
                              Beautiful car, I guess my choice would be the GC's to!
                              Thanks, man! That's everyone for GCs thus far.

                              Originally posted by jpod999 View Post
                              Meh, if you aren't going to be tracking the car or don't care about ride height adjustability, what's the point of spending the extra cash on the GCs?

                              Why not just get BC Racing coilovers and only spend a few extra hundred over the springs/struts setup?
                              Your first part is why I find myself pondering which route to go. With every set of coilovers I've owned, I adjust them once when the car gets set up and don't touch them after that. So my question is almost developing into this: "those with IE3s and Konis do you wish you had GCs for handling reasons?"

                              Reason for the no BCs: I've always steered clear of BCs (pun intended). I don't trust the long term integrity of the product, and I also don't trust the valving for some reason. They were really shotty in the Evo community and have always been the "get low cheap" coil. So if I were to get coilovers, it would purely be for the handling benefit, rather than the adjustable ride height benefit, if that makes sense.
                              1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread
                              1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread

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