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'88 318i Coupe - "While I'm here I'll just do that too"

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    '88 318i Coupe - "While I'm here I'll just do that too"

    Long time lurker of the forum while I've been on the lookout for the perfect base for my E30 project.

    Back Story
    I've been into cars for quite a while with a few imports and euro's, however, I made a deal with my partner to take 5 years out of modifying cars to buy a house and be an adult. The deal ends on my 30th birthday which is later this year.

    To tie into the whole thing I decided I wanted to find an '88 series 2 coupe in manual, no sunroof and had to be black, grey or dark blue. I've been looking for the last 12 months or so to find the right car.

    Last week I found the perfect car for the project on eBay, was listed at around 11PM and sold to me at about 8AM the next day, an '88 manual coupe in dark blue, sweet! The car was around 4.5 hours away from me and apparently in a driveable state.

    So my friend and I caught the train, took the car for a spin and brought it up. The car actually drove pretty well, however, the body and interior is pretty rough, though not surprising considering the car was literally in a field for the last 3 years.


    Last edited by NORBY; 10-02-2019, 03:54 PM.

    So as I said in the last post, this is a long term project because of how busy I am with work! Anyway, when I bought the car the guy said it was in great condition which was kind of true, until I started sanding the car down

    The passenger's side rear fender was completely full of bog!!!

    The car has clearly had a small kiss with a pole / tree at some stage. The damage isn't too bad, but definitely needs some more work.

    I also managed to get some BR coil overs, and some Fifteen52 Tarmac style wheels (these are actually now for sale)

    I just like this photo

    I was a bit stuck on what to do about the fenders - I kind of always wanted to build an M3 replica so I went off and purchased fenders and sideskirts from pesch

    The fitment on these are actually OK, but the rear fenders need quite a lot of work.

    I spent quite a lot of time getting this all to fit nicely and then decided i couldn't see myself driving around in a fibreglass car - fast forward to 3 months of global eBay searching

    Some steel fenders popped up in the UK, I happened to have a colleague there for work who could bring them back for me, success!!

    While I was bored with waiting for things to pop up online for the M3 I started working on suspension and brakes

    Some e38 Brembos which I also got from the UK. I've decided to run with the IRP kit to fit them up -

    Which also means time for a 5 stud conversion, the scope of this just keeps growing!


      How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows

      Could be better, could be worse.


        well damn. an 88 with bumpers converted already for you! This is great.


          Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
          well damn. an 88 with bumpers converted already for you! This is great.
          I'm in Australia so we got no diving boards here, it's also in the first batch of S2's in Australia, the build date is September 18 1988 (3 days after I was born!)


            That's awesome! Once upon a time I could see people's locations on this forum.


              For the last few months I have been tossing up an M52 turbo setup or an m60b40 setup, looks like fate decided that for me. I was looking around on facebook marketplace and a guy two streets over from me had a low km's M52B25 for sale at a really cheap price

              I'm off to pick it up this weekend!

              To get a roadworthy certificate here in Australia I will have to initially register the car with a N/A M52 and then look to do the turbo conversion

              While I have the engine out, what would be worth doing? I was thinking of doing a VANOS rebuild, change the water pump over, refresh the gaskets, spark plugs etc. Any other suggestions?


                There's been lots of buying of things over the last few months, trying to get the car ready to go

                First up, wanted to make sure the Brembos I purchased were in good condition, trying to find the right parts in Australia was hard, or even finding someone to ship. Ended up reaching out to the guys at CapriSport in the UK and they managed to get something across to me after about 3 months.

                Next up was some new pads and disks, ended up with some Zimmermann 330ci rotors which are a meaty 325mm And to finish off the brake rebuild so EBC Redstuff Pads

                I've also got some Febi Bilstein LCAs and SuperPro LCA Offset Bushings to put in

                Now I just need to get my coilovers welded up and get it all back in the car!

                Last edited by NORBY; 05-07-2020, 04:19 PM.


                  exciting buying all the things! car is going to be a great project.


                    It's been a busy couple of months with the car. All the things I have purchased have started to be fitted to the car, there is some upside to this COVID business I guess!

                    First up, the brembos. As you can see on the right they were in really crappy condition with lots of weird pitting. I got the wire wheel out and went to work for a couple of hours on each side. THen replaced all of the seals. I had a bit of an issue getting the pistons out, so I replaced those as well on both sides. These have been a poor investment, with the amount I have spent I should have just gone with the Wilwood setup.
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                    But they do look really pretty when they are on the car
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                    Overall I am really happy with how they all fitted up, just need to order some new hoses and replace the hard lines - I swear they are impossible to remove without stripping the nut :(

                    In true "While i'm here" form, I ended up replacing the front subframe with a powder-coated and re-inforced setup from a local Aussie guy - Hillside Motorsport. I have bought a few things from these guys and they have been great. This picture really highlights how neglected the car was. My beautiful subframe and control arms look so shiny in comparison!
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                      As I said a few posts backs, the Fifteen52 wheels I never really loved, but I got them cheap. Given I have no gone 5 stud I needed to get something else. I ended up going with Kansei KNP wheels in 17x9+22 - The IRP kit ends up adding +5 so the effective offset was more like +17 - I have just ordered one wheel to make sure they cleared the brembos, which they did! There are some reports of them not fitting over Evo Brembos so I was a little worried. As you can see from the pictures, there was an issue with them not clearing the collars on the suspension, so I have ordered some 5mm spacers. I never realised how dirty my garage was until I post these pictures!

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                        How did I miss this thread...?

                        Looking like good progress now you're an adult.
                        E30 320i vert
                        But daily drive is Volvo V60 Polestar