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Adventures of goldE

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    Adventures of goldE

    Hi everyone, I've been on the forum for a bit now, but don't usually post much. I thought I'd share the adventures of bringing this e30 back to life after being harassed by my friend zwill23 to do so.:roll:

    The back story:

    I was looking around the marketplace and saw this e30 on the market, got in touch with the owner and went down 2 days later to see it. Here's a couple pictures from the add.







    This is a 10/88 build date 1989 Bronzit 325i sedan.
    I purchased it from the original owners back in August. My initial intentions were to get it running quickly and cheaply to keep another e30 on the road and save it from the junkyard, possibly making a small profit to help fund some parts for my other project.

    It hadn't been registered since 2003!



    It wasn't running when I bought it, but was told it just needed a new fuel pump. It cranked over fine at their house so I figured we'd give it a go as it was super clean and unmolested. I'm a sucker for originality.

    zwill23 came with me to help get it home, couldn't have done it without him! When we went to get it loaded, we couldn't get the right rear wheel free and figured it was due to automatic transmission. We tried putting it in neutral but the selector wasn't doing anything. Not knowing much about automatics, we decided to undo the axle from the diff so we could let it free. Knowing what I know now, I could have just crawled under the car and moved the selector rod myself. Live and learn, never dealt with an automatic before. It turned out that the parking brake was seized to the hub anyway, and didn't break free until being dragged several feet with the come-along.

    After a couple hours of messing around, we finally got it loaded up on the trailer and headed back to my house! Big thanks to the previous owners for providing us some water, it was damn hot! It was an emotional day for sure, they were very sad to see it go, they had a lot of memories with it and told us some great stories. They were a really cool couple for sure!




    So we got it home without any issues other than it being a pain getting into the garage as it wasn't wanting to roll that easily. Big thanks to my wifey for letting me kick her car out of the garage and hold both the e30s! She's damn awesome.




    She's so awesome, she said she wanted to keep it and make it hers! This threw a wrench into my plans for a quick fix/flip. If she was going to drive it, I wanted to make it safe and reliable. All the rubber was trash and needed replaced. So I started to look it over and figure out what it needed and what it didn't. This is one of the cleanest e30s I've ever seen. It is as stock and original as can be, the diff even still had safety wire from the factory on it, I didn't even know they did that. The underside was like it rolled off the factory, albeit like it sat in the desert for 10 years. Everything is caked in dirt.





    Zwill23 called it from the get go, saying the gas tank was going to be a rusty mess and probably the cause for the fuel pump dying. He was correct, it was a mess! So, I ordered up a new tank and pump and once they came in, zwill23 helped me drop and install the new tank.





    Replaced all rubber with new as it was all trash and installed a new fuel filter as well.








    Hauled away the old tank to the recycler with the wagon



    While I had the tank out, I decided to drop the subframe to replace all the bushings. Cleaned everything up too while it was out.







    Shortly after buying goldE, I took a new position in my company that takes up much more time than my old one. It's definitely cutting into the project time and we also went on vacation out to Portland. It ended up turning into a road trip down the 101 as the forest fires were raging at the time. Luckily we turned it into a good time and saw some great sights on the way down to one of our favorite cities, San Francisco! It was a great time.


    Stopped at an air museum out of pure luck. They had the damn Spruce Goose!





    Drove through a tree



    Stopped at Crater Lake, it almost looks fake




    Heading back to Portland



    Cool B5 "s3nd it"



    When we got back from vacation I eventually got back to it, but it's been a slow process. More updates to follow!

    #2
    Looking good so far!

    Comment


      #3
      Bronzit brotherhood
      '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD
      Shadetree30

      Comment


        #4
        Send all the E30's to rehab! Can't wait to hear this ol'bronzit start... let's wrench :devil:

        Comment


          #5
          great start! gonna be a great car.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by alistairolsen View Post
            Looking good so far!
            Thank you!

            Originally posted by Sh3rpak!ng View Post
            Bronzit brotherhood
            Charlie, I could only hope it to look as nice as yours!

            Originally posted by zwill23 View Post
            Send all the E30's to rehab! Can't wait to hear this ol'bronzit start... let's wrench :devil:
            Save them all!

            Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
            great start! gonna be a great car.
            Thank you, I think you're right!

            Comment


              #7
              So after getting back from vacation, I had most of the parts acquired to rehab this thing where I'd feel comfortable enough to have the wifey in it. However, not too long after, she told me she changed her mind and would feel better in her current vehicle as it has more safety features.

              The new plan now is to sell it once I'm done and hopefully break even after buying all these parts!

              Lots of parts...




              Worst case, I'll keep it for a bit and just enjoy it. I've never really had a stock e30 before. I pretty much just jumped into a s52 swap on the other car from the get go. It'll be interesting to see how a stock one drives!

              So in hopes to sell the car a little easier, I'm going to swap it from an automatic to manual. I found a local with a complete swap and also a 3.73 lsd which will be much nicer than the 4.10 open it came with.



              Cleaned up the LSD and changed the oil.




              Changed out all the soft brake lines with new rubber.




              Pulled the rear hubs to install new bearings. It's a breeze with the right tools. I just rented them from Autozone.




              Pushed out the old.







              Cleaned it up and pushed in the new FAG bearings with new clips.






              Cleaned up the hubs, before & after.




              Put in new Bilsteins with upgraded RSMs and cleaned up the stock springs.





              Put the rear subframe back in and mounted up the rear shocks. It's so easy with 2 jacks! I recommend everyone doing this to borrow a second jack if needed. Only takes about 5 minutes this way.





              I forgot you needed spring compressors for the rear springs when they're stock. What a pain!



              Next I replaced the rear calipers with some reman units and put in new pads/rotors and the pad wear sensor.






              As always, thanks for stopping in! More to come in the coming days.

              Comment


                #8
                Man this is almost identical to my last e30, Looks killer so far man nice job

                1988 ~ Lacey ~ 325iS

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by kid8 View Post
                  So after getting back from vacation, I had most of the parts acquired to rehab this thing where I'd feel comfortable enough to have the wifey in it. However, not too long after, she told me she changed her mind and would feel better in her current vehicle as it has more safety features.

                  The new plan now is to sell it once I'm done and hopefully break even after buying all these parts!

                  Worst case, I'll keep it for a bit and just enjoy it. I've never really had a stock e30 before. I pretty much just jumped into a s52 swap on the other car from the get go. It'll be interesting to see how a stock one drives!
                  Really nice work on the maintenance. Nice to see people still buy cars and take care of them instead of going straight for the stance and wheels.

                  Prediction: after you put all this work into making the car a solid and fun daily, you will keep it. I didn't realize how much "e30 character" the car loses when you go 24v race car mode all over it :p I kinda miss the original e30 character mine used to have and didn't realize it until I drove around in my brothers mostly stock ix a while ago.
                  '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD
                  Shadetree30

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I went straight to "stance", but havent forgotten maintenance. New rubber feels awesome. Nice work OP
                    Simon
                    Current Car:
                    -2003 Mini Cooper
                    -1968 Datsun Roadster 2000
                    Previous Car Count : 23 ... and climbing...

                    Make R3V Great Again -2020

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by vtechnik View Post
                      Man this is almost identical to my last e30, Looks killer so far man nice job
                      Originally posted by Sh3rpak!ng View Post
                      Really nice work on the maintenance. Nice to see people still buy cars and take care of them instead of going straight for the stance and wheels.

                      Prediction: after you put all this work into making the car a solid and fun daily, you will keep it. I didn't realize how much "e30 character" the car loses when you go 24v race car mode all over it :p I kinda miss the original e30 character mine used to have and didn't realize it until I drove around in my brothers mostly stock ix a while ago.
                      Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                      I went straight to "stance", but havent forgotten maintenance. New rubber feels awesome. Nice work OP
                      Thanks guys! I have a feeling that I'm going to want to keep it also once it's all said and done. I can't have 3 cars though, so something will have to go and that would leave the Touring. I don't know if I'm ready to give that up yet. I'd also lose out on my classic insurance as the e30 would be too old to qualify for a daily with Grundy.

                      Picture of the touring, just because lol. It's a true M-Sport, and it's just so practical. But goldE is a 4 door, so that's practical too.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Sh3rpak!ng View Post
                        Really nice work on the maintenance. Nice to see people still buy cars and take care of them instead of going straight for the stance and wheels.

                        Prediction: after you put all this work into making the car a solid and fun daily, you will keep it. I didn't realize how much "e30 character" the car loses when you go 24v race car mode all over it :p I kinda miss the original e30 character mine used to have and didn't realize it until I drove around in my brothers mostly stock ix a while ago.
                        Interesting position...do you think it was simply the drivetrain swap or the other things associated with it?
                        BMWCCA #389756

                        Comment


                          #13
                          OP- Great looking Touring...I miss my e39T almost weekly!
                          BMWCCA #389756

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Time for another update. I've been working on goldE for a few months now and wasn't originally going to make a build thread, but zwill talked me into it. I've bounced around a bit, but I'm trying to make the thread flow better while continuing with the progress I'm making.

                            I usually only work on it on the weekends when we don't have plans, but I know I won't be able to this weekend and wanted to get some work done. So tonight I finished building up the front struts. Nothing too exciting, but progress none the less.

                            It was cold as hell today, so I turned on this little guy, made life in the garage great.



                            I removed the old struts



                            Removed the springs




                            I tried taking the old struts out with a tongue and grove plier, but the strut nut wouldn't budge. So I threw it in the vice and hit it with heat real quick. This broke it free and I removed it without any trouble with the same pliers.




                            Old struts



                            Emptied the strut housings of the old oil as the replacement struts are gas filled.




                            New bump stops and covers- not pictured here



                            New spring pads and top mounts




                            Old vs New



                            Put everything back together, make sure to use the correct spacers and bring over the old grease cap from the old mount.



                            Torque down the top nut to ~48 ft lbs. Nifty little socket makes it easy.



                            All done with both sides!



                            Like I said, not very exciting, but it makes me feel like I'm moving forward

                            Here's a sneak peak of what's to come!

                            This is my "paint booth." The lights were to help the wrinkle finish setup. Used that and the heat gun. It worked pretty damn well if I do say so myself.



                            Here's the intake manifold. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it and it's much better than what I started with. I may go back and touch it up some as the wire I used to hang it stopped some coverage.




                            And the valve cover...yes that's the head, not on the block. Somehow zwill talked me into replacing the head gasket on goldE.




                            Here's a reminder of the before.



                            For a few hours of prep and paint I'm very happy with the results. Maybe I'll touch up the intake manifold, I haven't decided yet.

                            And since I know this forum loves Emma, this one is for Dj Buttchug and his epic build thread.



                            Well, the plans are to finish up the front suspension work so I can have a roller again. Then I'll move onto the engine.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I'm not sure what your definition of "perfect" is, but your intake manifold and valve cover look damn near close! You've got an extraordinary attention to detail.

                              I'd be careful with those Emma gifs, your build thread may take a turn pretty quickly ;)

                              Comment

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