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I've always hated convertibles - 1990 325i Vert Build

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    So good! I'm excited for your build!


      That inspection list has to be a joke, in California and Texas they have never checked anything close to that for a state inspection. No ones car would ever pass.
      i love bmws

      Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.


        good work

        At first I thought that was my car, then I saw you are from Maryland.

        Subbed. :popcorn:


          ~Disassembly Continued~

          Ok, it's been a while and I am bored. Let's make a post!

          It's pretty hard to get all my photos chronologically correct at this point, but here goes.

          Took off the alternator:

          Took off the power steering pump, PS hoses, PS reservoir, PS engine bracket, as well as the charcoal canister hose that leads to the switch that lets collected EVAP stuffs into the intake. Starting to really look bare bones!

          View from the other side after removing the charcoal canister as well:

          Starter off too:

          Cleaned up the top of the oil pan where the sensor and ground wire are. The ground wire is a bit gross looking and the oil level sender plastic connector has completely disintegrated leaving only the 3 wires.

          Let's see...... what to take apart next? How about the rear end, exhaust, driveshaft and fuel system???!!!

          Removing the cat back was not difficult at all considering I had just replaced it maybe 6 months prior during my initial tune up.

          prolly should replace that exhaust shield... getting a bit rusty...I feel like I have said this before

          The mid section was a bit tougher as I had never removed the downpipe nuts. Liberal amounts of screw loose helped me out. Mmmmm how moist:

          and out:

          followed by the manifold:

          Cleaned it up a bit and replaced the studs that came out with the nuts - this was around the time my intake and VC came back from the powder coating place:

          .....and my lap top is very low on battery and I of course cannot find the charger. So I'll have to post this so as not to lose any of it!


            ~Driveshaft Rehab~

            At the time, I really had no idea how far I wanted to go with this car in terms of taking things off. The entire reason I purchased this car was so I could have a dedicated project car to wrench on, so I figured I would take it as I felt. I removed things first, and asked questions later. There was not a specific plan or parts list. The parts list was constantly growing the deeper and deeper I got.

            I decided to go ahead and fix up the driveshaft. Here is how I found it safely tucked away behind heat shielding:

            however, as I found out during my initial tune up (or really just getting under the car for the first time) the driveshaft guibo had most definitely been replaced as it looked to be in very good shape (I put the markings to line it all up appropriately - if that's even necessary).

            The center of the driveshaft, however was a bit more concerning. The shaft separates where it is supported by the center support bearing. Here is my CSB bolted up to the body:

            you are supposed to unscrew that capped looking thing on the left side which releases pressure on a plastic toothed gear. Then you are able to easily compress the one driveshaft into the other in order to remove it from the car. Wellllllllll here is what my "plastic gear" looked like:

            that simply will not do! Took the DS out after marking the differential side:

            Here is a picture of the flange/stub that comes off of the transmission and inserts into the center of the DS through a pressed in bushing - didn't see lots of pictures of this online, so hopefully this can help you visualize how your need to essentially pull the DS off of it before pulling down

            here's the tunnel without the DS:

            and this is how the (i think) the differential input flange is secured to the diff itself. Plus, it just looks clean and pretty and besides, I already told you I took way too many pictures!

            remember my "plastic toothed gear" from earlier? yeah.... it was disgusting and hardly plastic more so than general....gunk. This picture is doing it a favor and makes it appear to still be mostly plastic, it is not. You could squish any of those pieces and easily flatten them with just your fingers.

            Here i have scraped most of it off, and elaborated on the stock alignment dots to make it a bit easier to eyeball in order to put it back together later:

            Apart - this metal toothed ring/washer also plooped out - it goes inbetween the plastic toothed gear and the cap of the piece that screws on to create a clamping action.

            in order to get the CSB off, you need to pull it off, but you can't really do that with the housing in the way. So I ripped that off by cutting the rubber piece until I could slide it off:

            next I was able to use my puller to get at the housing that remained, and then eventually the bearing itself. It was not that difficult to carry out, just hard to find the correct approach:

            Here are the parts I grabbed to make everything work. It's difficult to avoid damaging the U shaped dust cover/shield when you take off the housing with the puller, so best to buy another one (it was $30 just for this silly shaped cover....ugh) Also, here is the infamous plastic toothed gear, comes with the cover too. Was $8 from Febi.

            circlip, CSB itself, outer dust cover, inner dust cover, toothed plastic gear, and screw down cover:

            the 30 buck piece of scrap metal -_-

            I used "X-tra Heavy Duty Grease" as it was really all I could find locally. Put everything together, lubed it up and voila. :

            Here are photos of each side after assembled - you can kind of make out the dust shields:

            Ah, I don't have photos of this (that I can locate, I def took them...) but now that I think about it, I didn't just "put it back together." I ended up using two separate sized PVC pipes to hammer on the bearing. I forget why I needed two sizes, but i did, and it worked. Ah! The u shaped dust cover goes on first and needs to be hammered in. then you put the bearing on and hammer that in. I used a squared off 6 inch section of the PVC and whacked it with a mallet, and then a heavier hammer. Had a block of wood between to make it easier to hit.

            Whellllp. just found the photos (saved them in the PS pump folder accidentally) and I dont' feel like deleting what I wrote, so I'll add it on here and see if my explanation did the procedure any justice :)

            square it off:

            Vice the DS up (but not too hard!) probably would have been nice to use soft tip grips or something but I don't have those) it was mostly to keep it vertical, very little sideways force will be apply by the hammer blows. Also I ended up flipping the trash can upside down so the DS wasn't legit hanging, it was resting on the can:

            Put on the 30 dollar dust shield and hope you don't mess it up! Here it is just barely guided onto the flange by hand. You can see it sort of flexing and being a bit uneven:

            Pipe in place after a few blows to bring it flush with the flange:

            then slide the CSB on and fit you larger (or smaller? pipe) repeat until it slips around the dust shield from before in such a way that no dust will get in. That's how you know you have gone far enough.

            this is how far I took it:

            next you slide on the flatter dust cover and then (aha!) you snap on that goofy snap ring to keep the dust cover in place:

            then you put on the toothed gear + collar nut (making sure to take the old metal ring/washer and putting it in the new one - new one does not come with one, someone let me know if they think they don't come with one for a reason....i put it back in and I think that is correct)

            THEN you put it back together and set it aside as you wait for the rest of your car to be completed:

            Next, I think we can get into my absurd subframe endeavor (I would not do what I did again most likely.... perhaps I would... who knows. May just be easier to pay someone to powder it, but shit, that would be like 700 bucks or so for all the pieces.

            Stay tuned! and remember! :coolphoto: It's a struggle to not overkill it with the pictures. In my "driveshaft" subfolder from this project I have....153 photos. So I can always add more :P


              ~Rear End Disassembly~

              Alright, next up is tackling the back end of the e30. Now, as I had said earlier, there was a bit of previous work done. But then again this car had 219k miles when I got it and I only had records back to maybe 190k.

              One thing I noticed right away were the rotors, calipers, and brakes. The PO (one of the EIGHT - god my car is a whore) had put on drilled and slotted rotors, painted the calipers red, and installed stainless steel brake lines (with a cute red covering).

              It was pretty cool to be honest....but kind of unnecessary. This is the same guy that put on the sway bar up front but in doing so nixed the cruise control due to fitment

              firstly this is how it looks from the rear with the rim still on. You can clearly see the passenger side brake pad sensor is disconnected/severed and hanging/tied up to the clip:

              and those sweet calipers -_- with the rotors

              more pictures because fuck you!

              So I took off the calipers (hung them to the side) and the rotors to reveal the parking brake system.

              Shoes off + hardware off:

              I've heard it is difficult to remove the parking brake cables from the hubs and sometimes they gett stuck. Obviously need to try that. First I doused everything in pb blaster. Removed the pin from the lower section on the parking brake cable so I could slide the cable back. Got pliers and pulled from the inside of the trailing arm/hub and it popped right off.


              at this point the caliper is still hanging, the strut and axles are in place, and the parking brake cable itself is out of the trialing arm entirely. I decided to remove the axles. First I didn't want to have the axles extended or stretched (?) without the strut attached for example. Second of all, I felt it would be easier to press the axle out with the rest still being held in place. I decided to address the axle nut and was presented with this:

              I removed the pressed in dust shield by prying it out - this was actually pretty tough to accomplish:

              then I zipped off the nut with an impact gun;

              Of course, to remove the axle from the differential completely I need something to stop it from spinning. So I put the rotors/calipers/brake pads back on and had a friend step on the brakes while I broke each one loose. I took out the bolts holder the inner axles to the differential in order to hang the axles somewhat parallel to the direction I was pressing them out.

              I use this green wire that is apparently rose bush wire () and it works amazingly. Notice the gunky looking rear brake lines:

              Might as well do both sides at this point :)

              Then I took the calipers and rotors again...

              To remove the axles I used this puller/pusher from Standard Auto:

              The problem arises when you try to tighten the presser, the hub simply spins. To work around this I create this set up Notice how the offset wrench head is able to contact both sides of the puller without touching the center threaded piece:

              at this point it came out easily. I made sure to the lube the threaded section with anti-seize.

              disconnect the rear strut and the sway bar end links from the trailing arm:

              When reading other threads I thought I would just remove the subframe as one big piece, but that ended up being a bit unwieldy, so I removed the final drive/differential:

              jack in place + removed bushing through bolt:

              removing 4x bolts that secure the diff to the subframe + disconnect the speed sensor:

              roll it out into the beatiful sunlight and inspect it:

              notice it's an LSD due to the huge S , can't quite read the label at this point though :|


              slightly cleaned up and set aside:

              the next target was the rear subframe. To be honest, this part was quite annoying being that it was a vert and also that one bushing, unbeknownst to me at the time was completely seized on.

              First I disconnected the smaller items like brake lines and abs wheel sensors. and also the calipers:

              I situation the jack in place and unscrewed the major connecting pieces, namely the bolts under the bushings as well as their carriers.

              I removed the bolts by smacking them upwards and taking them out from inside the car. Oh yeah, because it's a vert you need to remove the side door cards to access them:

              inside those little holes through the larger oval opening near the seat belt buckle are where the bolts come out:

              the bolts - pretty neat looking:

              At this point I had also removed the springs. Here was my ever growing collection of rear end parts:

              even with the bolts completely removed, the subframe did not budge.... ok

              So I gave it extra pressure by wiggling around and so forth, pushing down etc. Eventually I couldn't get it down by any means even after blasting it over several days with pb blaster. I additionally tired the bent rod method from above to no avail. I put a tiny jack between the spring area on the chassis and had the jack on the TA and after a couple pumps they popped out. However, one side ended up breaking the metal section of the bushing where it meets the chassis. Oh yeah, and I couldn't get the passenger side parking brake cable off so I cut it in half (no small task).

              finally starting to come down!

              good bushing - notice there is still some seizing and clear corrosion (galvanic activity?)

              bad bushing - yup -

              whatever - perhaps it's just a test. After all this is my project car specifically for messing around on.

              Lowered it all the way and wheeled it out:

              All of the TA bushings are cracking and look like this:

              Separated the trailing arms from the subframe crossmember so I could store them more easily in my garage:

              Last edited by BaltimoreBimmer; 10-01-2017, 01:49 PM.


                Sweet thread.. SUB'D
                any chance you can fix the links on the first 6 posts? pics are down on those
                I BUY/SELL REFURBISHED CM5907s & CM5908s

                DB vert plastic bumpers
                OEM Keys
                MTech1 docs

                88 ix Lach/Card
                91 ic Calypso 3.1
                86 Cosmo 2.7

                OEM+ or bust!

                reelizmpro: I will always be an e30 guy.. I still do all of my own labor
                TrentW: There's just something so right about a well-built M20 in an E30
                e30m3s54turbo: I save my money for tuner parts.


                  Originally posted by bradnic View Post
                  Sweet thread.. SUB'D
                  any chance you can fix the links on the first 6 posts? pics are down on those
                  ah geez....that is annoying they aren't working. Will get them back up.

                  they should be back up now - i changed one picture and then previewed it and all of the pics were working again - in all the posts! Chime in if they ever go down again! I had no idea


                    ~Wrapping up the broken stuff~

                    Ok, so at this point I have the rear subframe off. Woo! ;D However, in the process my drivers side bushing broke off in the chassis. On top of that my passenger side parking brake cable was seized into the trailing arm itself making it necessary for me to cut the cable in half to get the subframe out.

                    So I need to fix that crap, asap!

                    Here is how I went about fixing the subframe bushing issue. First of all, I hit/pried the washer off of the broken mangled stump of the bushing attached to the subframe. Then I started grinding it down a bit b/c I wasn't sure what to do:

                    At this point someone here on r3v suggested I go ahead and tap a 5/16th lag bolt into it and then use that to either tap it out from above, or use it to pull it out from below. Regardless, none of that worked. This shit was REALLLLLLY on there

                    Just to give you a visual on this rod method people are talking about on verts..... it's madness. You need to legit bend the rod so it can fit through the body of the vert. Look at this crap:

                    And here is my lag bolt screwed in, which was also unsuccessful:

                    The next suggestion was to use small drill bits to go ahead and drill out holes in the wall of the bushing in order to weaken it and eventually be able to have it collapse on itself (with the help of a chisel). Oh and the suggestions are coming from THIS THREAD I made regarding my problem.

                    So I found a SUPER CUTE drill bit index of my fathers and went to town (is this thing not cute??)

                    Here are purty holes drilled:

                    Got some carbide dremel bits to help grind it down until I was able to force it out with a chisel. This was a painfully long process that had all of my PPE fogging up or getting wet with my sweat. It was certainly not fun, until I succeeded, at which point I had a nice laugh.

                    FINALLY I WAS ABLE TO CHISEL IT OUT!

                    OK, so I overdrilled on a few goes, but all in all, I ended up getting it out without much extra damage:

                    Here is what the floor looked like after, with all of my unsuccessful attempts and their corresponding tools (and of course that stupid bushings dead guts scattered all over the floor!)

                    OKIE DOKE! Got that one taken care off. Decided to have a go at the other side and clean it up even though it technically "came out with the bushing." No pics of that (I know, I know, HOW COULD I!?!?)

                    next up is addressing this stupid douchebag of a parking brake cable. You are supposed to simply "pull it out" with pliers essentially. Hmmmm. That kind of worked on the drivers side trailing arm but it was no small task. The passenger side however, was a completely different story. Had to break out the carbide bits. So it was basically the same story as the subframe bushing really.... aka a crappy one. It followed the same plot line: cut as much off flush, then drill that sucker out - here are the pics:




                    and out:

                    so there you have it! How to fix the crap you thought would surely delay your progress! (spoiler alert - it massively delays your progress lolol)

                    Next up we could get into fuel tank removal or rear end bushings and so forth!


                      Subscribed. As a fellow vert owner I feel your pain with random broken interior pieces. There are so many movable parts.. Did you do any restoration to your interior or were your seats and panels in that condition to begin with?
                      89 325i Vert


                        The interior was in pretty good shape when I bought it. I took it to a local e30 meet up and everyone was fawning over it haha.

                        I eventually want to redo it in brown leather but that will not be for a long time, assuming I keep her that long.

                        Haven't really been keeping up with thread unfortunately, however I just installed new rear shock mounts as well as front control arms and bushings.

                        Also.....the garage had a significant make over. I'll get into that later on.


                          Originally posted by BaltimoreBimmer View Post
                          more pictures because fuck you!

                          Great thread, and terrific pictures. Sub'd for vert-itude.

                          Is that lift your new digs? Significant garage makeover might be an understatement!


                            Coming along nicely. The rear subframe was biggest pain in the but when I brought mine and did it the first time, WOW i almost gave up too.


                              Not looking forward to doing those rear bushings. I might just have to give that job to a shop.
                              Jon (OO=[][]=OO)
                              1992 325ic white, stock with a 5-speed swap
                              Palm Beach County