No announcement yet.

I don't like white cars, yet I bought one. Story with pictures of my AW 325e

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Originally posted by kronus View Post
    this thread has a spectacular content-to-post ratio.

    A Ratio I didn't think about until reading this thread. A+ on the work so far mate. :coolphoto:


      Thank you guys, appreciate the comments.

      Unfortunately, the content-per-post ratio is bound to be broken, since we are caught up to present day and as we all know, progress with a self funded garage build can be painfully slow.
      That being said, over the weekend I took delivery of the e30 with the exhaust finished. I must say, it is everything the exhaust shop was asked to do and amazing in terms of quality you get for your money. Yet to hear the sound of this beauty, but I am confident it will be as sweet as it looks.

      Overall looks of the stainless steel exhaust system, the factory hangers were used, except for the one on the gearbox. The whole exhaust assembly is VERY LIGHT and the dogleg hanger is sketchy anyway, so we decided not to use it. Can be added later on anyways:

      One of my main requests was to tuck the mufflers and pipes as close to the body as possible. I think they did a great job, given the necessary dimensions of the mufflers and the diameter of the pipes. Muffler after the X-pipe is not lower than the floor pans, as are the pipes going into it. Angle is off, but you can kind of see what I mean:

      At the front, where the headers merge to the rest of the exhaust, it hangs just a tad lower than the front crossmember:

      And the rear axle bend (bitch bend in my dictionary), it is about 10mm lower than stock, which is really satisfactory for me. Again, the picture makes it look way lower than it actually is:

      The real muffler is short and light, but will do the job for sure. Branded with the shop's insignia, they do international orders as well:

      I wanted the tips to represent the stock ones as close as possible and be really centered in the Mtech apron cutout. I think this requirement was well executed:

      Overall looks of the rear end for the time being:

      The same shop was employed in making strut braces to my liking. The rear one was a bit more unusual opposed to the mass used design:

      The front one is more mainstream:

      The welds look really good to me, I couldn't stop staring at those for at least 10 minutes.

      So that's about it for this post. Slowly worked out a list with the basic tasks to be done for this e30 to finally roar into life. Can't wait to try and start it.
      Promise videos of it, win or fail, as soon as it reaches that stage.
      Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
      '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


        Hello r3v,

        Decided to post an update on this thread. I fail to take pictures while I work, so there is a significant lack of those.
        Short story is: completed assembly, got the car running, but it broke :hitler:


        When I got the car from the exhaust shop in August, work on the engine wiring harness started, so we can plug the megasquirt 3 and fire it up. My dad did that task, so naturally while he was at it, I was working on other tasks. Like put in the cluster, get the oil pressure sender to work, minor interior assembly, fix my broken map reading light mirror. Also plumb all the cooling, mount radiator, mount SPAL fan etc. I was excited, the completion of this project was right around the corner.
        Sadly, while testing with a megasquirt 2 unit (didn't want to mess up the MS 3 if something went wrong during testing), some 12v where 5v should be jumped through from the O2 sensor controller and fried the cpu of the MS2. No matter, ordered another O2 sensor controller, installed it, tested with a different MS2 unit - all works fine. Plugged in the MS3 unit, a friend messed with the timing a bit and it fired up one late night in October. Not all cylinders firing, rich as hell, so I asked a known local guy, who tunes megasqurt for a living and he came over to see what I got. He pointed out the position of the cam sensor was incorrect and an issue with the firing order wiring. Those were fixed literally the next day and he came over once again, to try and get a good tune. After fiddling for a while, the car started and I got to drive it.
        As promised, some videos.

        You can see the tuner in the backseat adjusting while I pulled over for a while and this guy comes over to ask me move the car a bit so they don't choke to death.

        In this one, you can see the fan works fine, also me stalling the car like a noob. Bonus from that - you can hear how good it starts. Or used to start.

        One more, what it sounded like idling. So sorry, but they didn't record when I was revving it. Sound was beautiful.

        Sooo, all was good, engine was tuned as good as possible during my first drive with this car after more than three and a half years, which lasted 2.1 kilometers.
        Next on the list was get the fenders on, install front valance, put the front apron and bumper on, assemble tiny stuff, switch tires to some that are not bald and go pass the tech inspection.
        I crack on and in a few days, the car is ready to be taken to road inspection. It was fired up once more during that time, to check if a clicking sound was still present after I re tightened the ARP studs and adjusted the valves.

        Some shots from that time Sorry, but I had limited time to work on that car and taking pictures was not my priority at all.
        Found out the valance originally on the car would not work with the Mtech1 apron. My car is the earliest e30 version, Mtech1 works with the later valance for the pre-facelift e30s. So I bought one brand new, but it didn't have the cutouts for the oil cooler and air flow to the radiator. No biggie, made them myself

        Painted and installed

        Test fitting the bumper and mtech1

        Everything installed. Sorry for the bad quality picture. As stated, taking pictures i not my thing.

        All was good. My buddy and I choose a day and go over to take the car to the road inspection - car doesn't start. Like at all, not even a sputter. We take out spark plugs, clean them, dry out the fuel in the cylinders and basically continue to trouble shoot what the hell was wrong. We were thinking, the cold start has not been setup properly in the MS3. We start the car by pushing it down the straight - it starts, but idles roughly and basically runs like a piece of crap. I let it warm up a bit and give it a few pulls - at about 3k rpm it sputters so badly, I shut it off. We decide to go back to my buddy's place and get his laptop. Hooking up the MS3 revealed two facts - it thinks the throttle is always at 250% and the engine temp is always 82 degrees Celsius. Crap, right? Right. We quickly ruled out the TPS and the temp sensor. Took off the MS3 and gave it to my dad for diagnosis.
        He calls during the evening - CPU was fried, all the "entrances". Same thing happened - the O2 controller fed the MS3 12v, where there should only be 5v.

        Needless to say, I was really frustrated and pissed off! Two reasons - I fried the MS3 despite the "precautions". Car does not run now.
        Didn't want to wait on another MS3 to arrive from the US (takes months), so decided we would use a spare MS2 we have. My dad made an adapter for the wiring harness and here we go - attempt number ... don't know which one, but it failed. We didn't know what we were doing, the car shot flames out the exhaust but did not start with the different settings we tried. I grew tired, frustrated and angry with this car, so I said "ef it, not driving this POS any time soon anyways, might as well leave it be until spring". So I did. Put the tarp over it and went home, forgot I ever owned that car and moved on.

        A few days ago, I had to pick up my brother from the airport. He was flying in to visit, since my birthday was yesterday. While on the way to the airport, I got a call from same buddy, who was helping me out the last ... 100 times? to stop by at the shop (which is very close to the airport). I pull up at the shop, put my hand on the doorhandle and I hear this "roooarrrr" inside. WTF? I think - this sounds like my car, but it can't be because it doesn't run. I open the door and see all my workshop friends gathered around my car, hood open and there is this guy I know works magic with megasquirt doing his thing on his laptop.
        What a great suprise! The car runs! Time was extremely limited, so I only exchanged a few words with them and left again.
        Trouble was - cylinder 5 is not firing. They said earlier same evening they hooked it up on a spare ignition coil and a plug - spark was inconsistent.
        So right now, the MS2 unit is sent to a guy who knows them to see what's wrong with it. It's not the wiring harness, because number 5 worked with the MS3 unit. Time and the guy will tell.

        Motivation for this project has never been so low. So many setbacks (I've only mentioned a few in this thread) and I still can't drive this car. It's already snowing and really cold out here, so even if it's fixed, weather will not support a just finished car, that needs an engine broken in and tuned. Such a bummer. Good thing I have my other two e30s to play with.

        Thanks for reading, thread will be updated once number 5 starts doing its
        '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


          Europe is like the land of cheap great e30s or what?


            Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
            Europe is like the land of cheap great e30s or what?
            Yeah, there are some gems still popping up over here. The one on the left is the most rust free e30 I've ever seen. Needed some very small holes on the floor taken care of, mostly due to bad weather seals.
            The one on the right is the cheapest e30 I've owned and did A LOT of miles in it. Had to replace a ton of stuff though, due to poor maintenance by PO.

            A small update on the alpine white.
            My friends got me a rear badge and a brand new chrome stripe for the windshield seal as a birthday gift.
            Also, we still don't know what causes the 5th cylinder not to fire .... currently my dad is working on that issue. Got hold of some good winter tires for the right moment though. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.
            '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


              Great thread OP!

              Your section on the exhaust work has me inspired to have an experienced shop build me a dual setup (similar to stock) to replace my rotting cat converter!
              If it's got tits or tires, it's gonna cost ya!


                Thanks, Stanley! Replace it, you know you won't regret it.

                Quick update on the topic:

                The cylinder 5 issue was solved, the circuit board got some interference on the cyl 5 path. My dad fixed that, at first the car didn't want to start, but switched to a "warmer" set of spark plugs and it fired right up! Did a small test drive and apart from some minor issues, it was good. The minor issues were:

                - The fan didn't engage and the engine almost overheated when idling after the test drive.
                - Need to enable the AFR correction from the wideband O2 sensor.
                - Need to figure out how to get the idle control valve work correctly (maybe switch to a better one).
                - Check out a clunk in the rear.

                So, once those are sorted, the car can apply for the road inspection sticker and be road legal once again.
                No pictures this time arround, sorry
                '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                  I really like the rear strut bar brace. I like that it goes up and isn't completely in the way of putting things in your trunk. Looks really good. Sell it to me for 100 doll hairs.


                    Merry Christmas everyone

                    Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
                    I really like the rear strut bar brace. I like that it goes up and isn't completely in the way of putting things in your trunk. Looks really good. Sell it to me for 100 doll hairs.
                    Thanks, it is important to me to be able to fit as much as possible in that trunk.
                    I could arrange the same one made and shipped to you, PM me if interested for details.

                    On to UPDATE!
                    The previous week we were able to smooth out the issues with the fan and other small stuff (O2 sensor kaput) and did a basic tune:

                    As it turns out, miracles do happen on Christmas. I was driving by a local tech inspection shop on my way to feed a friend's cats and saw they were open. Stopped by and made an appointment for later on and after i was done with all the tasks, I went ahead and took the car out of the shop.

                    Here it is warming up in front of shop.

                    Made it safely to the tech inspection place, waiting for my turn on the brake drums.

                    The guy liked it a lot and let me through even with a non-op left high beam (don't know what's up yet)
                    Tucked it away in the garage at my place:

                    Today, I took it with me to work, here it is at a safe-ish spot in the parking lot.

                    I must say, this thing pulls great, even with the tall rear end gearing (2.79) currently installed. I did the recommended method for sealing the piston rings already. Once we get it properly tuned and running smooth, it's proper break in time and hopefully we'll see some dyno numbers, very curious to see what it can make.

                    Some bonus shots of current interior situation and engine bay. The oil pressure sender is disconnected in this picture.


                    As stated, next on the list is proper tune, hopefully dyno and preparation for going MS3 again.
                    Looks wise, I should install the Mtech side skirts and lower it on the GTA wheels. But that will wait till spring.

                    Thanks for reading!
                    Last edited by gnmzl; 12-27-2018, 04:19 AM.
                    '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                      Gorgeous work man!
                      1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
                      the ebb and flow of 325is ownership - In RVA
                      1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW


                        Thanks, paynemw, I'm really trying.

                        Unfortunately, this car appears to be haunted or something.
                        After all the obstacles, I thought all was good. Engine broken in, oil changed to Motul Competition 300, swapped in my Nuke gear in instead of the homemade one I had previously installed, put in a brand new oil pump pulley (read the horror stories about old design ones failing). I though it was ready to hit the dyno. Car though otherwise.

                        Just one week ago, on a sunny sunday, I dropped off my gf at her 3d designer's class and just as she left the car, idle drops down to 500 rpm. For a 5km drive to the shop, it dies twice on traffic lights. Limped it somehow and started shit apart. Verified I had the timing correct exactly four times. Checked the CPS twice (more on that later), TPS, temp sensors, MAP and whatnot. Everything checked out, the weird part was all cylinders were firing. Found a PUNCTURED coil boot, must have been me pinching it while installing, there were some subbing marks. Replaced it and it didn't make any difference. Then I did a compression test on a warm engine.

                        cyl 1 = 213psi
                        cyl 2 = 211psi
                        cyl 3 = 213psi
                        cyl 4 = 210psi
                        cyl 5 = 210psi
                        cyl 6 = 210psi

                        So, relief of sorts. All pointed to the fuel system. Took it back to my place carefully (didn't want to take up more space in the shared shop with a second car in there) and took the injectors out, here is a crappy phone pic of WIP:

                        A member on here, zoomer, was kind enough to help out and take the injectors to a shop with a fast turnaround. Turned out the injectors needed cleaning, all work the same, only one is letting 4% more fuel through. They said it's within spec and is fine. Put it all together again and fired it up - still running not to par. I was ready with a brand new FPR, swapped it in and what do you know, runs just fine! That was last Wednesday. Thursday was race tire mounting on wheels day. Saturday was supposed to be raceday. That of course meant Friday was dyno day, FINALLY!

                        So the tuner made an appointment for the dyno, called even earlier to let me know we can start early. All was going well. Strapped her on the dyno and started the initial pulls.

                        All good, all good, until when the megasquirt decided not to read above 4400 rpm. We blamed the CPS since it was an aftermarket one. Zoomer with his kindness blasted off to the workshop and took all CPSs we had, a total of 3. Tried all of them - car doesn't even start now. We swapped the input pins, thinking the aftermarket one was reverse of the originals - no dice. Returned it to how it was with the aftermarket one so I can go home - no start. It was already late and we decided to call it a day. Got a tow to the shop from a buddy with a hardline, made it safe and sound. Left it there and returned yesterday with a repaired megasquirt unit (some chip blew out), ran an OEM CPS cable from sensor to megasquirt, used the best OEM CPS we had (this time tested with an oscilloscope) - she fires right up. Now, I think I have a misfire but not sure. It idles fine, runs almost perfect with the exception it hesitates a bit at 2500 rpm, pulls strong past and before 2500. But it sounds like a misfire, although all cylinders are firing.
                        Here's a crappy video, if anyone has some pointers (fuel pumps are brand new OEM bosch units)...

                        Edit: video doesn't want to play for some reason. maybe later

                        Anyway, not all news are bad. While the car was running, despite the self inflicted 4400 rpm r3vlimiter, I snapped a very crappy pic of the performance for that rpm range.

                        I dream of being able to dyno it at it's full potential soon. Of course, the results will be shared.
                        Till then.
                        '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                          i saw someone here using Audi/VW coilpacks for this M30. I wonder if they would also work with the M20 talking to the MS setup. Either way, awesome work.


                            They actually do work on m20 with MS setup quite fine. It's just these fell into my lap brand new for a price lower than a set of used. Hard to say no to that. I plan on going with the Audi/VW ones, for the sake of a cleaner look in the bay as they don't need that ridiculous contraption bracket thing to hold them in place. For now, I'll be happy if it's running strong and reliable.
                            '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                              Keep pushing hard, you'll make it work eventually! Car looks amazing, I have huge respect for someone saving shells.

                              (clicky on piccy to get to thread)


                                Thanks man. I personally prefer to save a car if possible rather than scrap it. So far the count is three saves vs zero scraps.
                                Good news on this e30's account: talked to the tuner and we'll check it out later this week to see if I managed to get rid of the troubles and hopefully make it to the dyno once again.
                                Stay tuned.
                                '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build