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

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

    Hello, people of r3vlimited.

    For some years now, I have enjoyed all the great builds and stories this place has to offer. Finally caved in and decided I should share the story of my e30 with the community. Also, I felt guilty for having a thread on StanceWorks and not here. There, I confessed.

    Since I've owned this car since 2011, I'll try and add timestamps while copying over the content from the thread on SW with minor corrections.

    A bit of backstory:

    I like all kinds of cars, as long as they are pre 90's and fun to drive. How did I end up owning the most overhyped BMW of all times then?
    Well, I accidentally bought one back in and ... kind of fell in love for what it trully is, the pure driving pleasure machine they claim it is. Not knowing anything about the model, except there is a pre- and after- facelift version (duuuh), I went ahead and bought a stranded little e30 coupe from a guy for roughly $200 back in 2007. No motor, no interior, no suspension, rotten shell. I was looking for a RWD pre 90's car to build as a DD, so didn't care much about the condition. Took about 6 months to source out the parts, engine, fix the bigger holes, not fix the smaller holes, paint it, and generally screw around until it was ready for inspection and going road legal again. Then immediately after that I took my first long trip with that car and instantly fell in love with it.

    But that's not the car I am going to tell you about.

    I'd like to tell you about the second e30 I decided to buy. Several years had passed since I fell in love with my first one and I decided the engine is simply not enough ( a 4 banger 1.6L M40 ) and started looking into engine swap options. Had to be a BMW engine, reliable, but affordable, possible turbo options for it blah blah, the list with "I wanna" was long enough. I decided I want a m20b27 for it, because it checked the boxes and has good gas milage, and because it was available. Or I thought it was available. Turned out it was not easy finding a m20b27 in my part of the world, which actually made me want one even more.
    An idea slowly crawled through my empty head - buy a whole car, what could possible go wrong. Even if you buy the biggest POS, I could keep the engine and suspension (the suspension in my first e30 was the "sissy" 45mm insert option) and then junk the shell if it's really bad.
    So it is settled, I start looking at some ads from Ze Germanland, I scroll and I drool, but nothing quite does it for me.

    Then one day, October 2011, I see an ad for a white 325e with far too many km on the clock, looking forgotten in a yard, dirty engine bay, no options whatsoever, except for ABS and heated locks/nozzles/mirrors plus a tilt/slide sunroof. Now is the time to point out I personally dislike white cars. And that's why my brilliant brain said it must have it.
    Bought the car sight unseen, even without getting additional photos and my dad helped me sort out the towing of the car all the way from Germany to my sweet homeland of Bulgaria (yeah I know you haven't heard of it) and I had a first actual look at it. You can clearly see me being an amazed balkan monkey inspecting a properly engineered vehicle:

    The engine bay was filthy, and it remained filthy for the next 3 years or so (picture from ad actually):

    When I drove it to my secret concrete safehouse for e30s:

    First inspection showed:

    The bad

    Rear bumper rotten to hell
    Several rust spots on usual e30 places (by the time I already knew them, oh yes)
    Holes on the floor (didn't care)
    No tires (expected)
    Runs uneven (quick fix after removing some stupid eco add-on gizmo)
    Exhaust shot (fell off on the way to road inspection, passed anyway somehow)

    The Good

    Straight body (minor dents on roof and on rear quarterpanel)
    Clean interior
    Billies all around
    Engine pulls strong
    Gearbox shifts smoothly
    Everything works, lights, switches etc.

    Soo I registered it and started driving it for a while, until my brother's car decided to take a dump (don't buy Alfa Romeos in Bulgaria), so I stepped in and let him drive it for about 6 months.
    He was kind enough not to break it, so I actually decided to partially strip it and check what's the condition of the shell.
    Me trying to figure out a ghetto repair (one out of about 459 898) and my dad removing the remains of an epic audio system (I disapprove of loud stereos in cars):

    Started on ghetto repairs, my dad disapproving. You can spot one of my awesome patchworks on the valance. Actually did the trick and held up really well.

    Battled the holes on the floor a bit:

    Got fed up and busted out the grinder:

    Fortunately I don't have a picture of the uglyness I created out of it, but please be patient, later in the thread I will show the result of it.

    All ready, chilling with my DD (my first e30 I started the thread with), notice both have the desired truck status:

    Fast forward some months after those quick repairs, I took it to the city where I work (for our small spot on the map 420 kms are a long drive). Enjoyed it for a good bit, but one day noticed a severe lack of power, when I really step on it. Time to dig into the head, redid the type 200 on purpose. Didn't feel it was time for a 327i, didn't have the parts, nor the cash and time to source them and needed the car on the road (sorry for the crappy phone pics):

    Head cleaned, checked for leaks and decked, valves all done ( 2 were bent, replaced and seated all of them):

    Head assembled, ready to go in:

    Had some problems with rich mixure and small leaks, because I failed to tighten some clamps, but in the end of the day with a help of a friend, I got it running, changed all brake discs with Ate Power Discs, Ate brake pads, new oil, all that superinteresting maintenance stuff and actually started enjoyng my car!

    Sadly, still as a monster truck, but hey I took it to mother nature:

    When I bought the car I quickly realized it is far superior to the e30 I already had, so I changed my focus and decided I want to build this particular car. As much as I dislike white cars, this car has a very special place in my heart. It was the first car I ever bought to deliver pleasure instead of "do the job of A to B".

    What happens next will follow in my next posts. Please be patient, I am moving all the pictures from our local host to imgur and it takes some time.
    Hope you like what's coming.
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-18-2018, 07:51 AM.
    '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build

    I love these deep euro build threads.

    Looking forward to more
    1984 Delphin 318i 2 door


      I promise, it gets better.

      Sorry for the bad pictures, I was never good on that topic.

      By the time the e30 was caught up with maintenance, there was a very good picture in my head of what the car should look like and what the engine should be like, and how it should ride/handle ... I had a dream to build a car exactly to my preferences and do the majority of work myself, outsource only the tasks I am not skilled at. Targets for that e30: no power steering (already from factory), no power windows, no power sunroof, no seat heating, no sound insulation, certainly no sissy air conditioning, stiff as a brick in terms of suspension, as low as I can possibly get it and actually drive it fast, and damn outright mean. All out pure driving machine, nothing to distract you.

      The following events and purchases happened between 2012 and 2015. I'll split into categories, rather than chronological.
      During that period and while slowly figuring out and working on performance mods, I gathered some rare parts for my car.
      I literally stumbled upon a set of genuine Mtech 1 front/rear valance + spoiler in a junkyard. Funny thing is the donor car belonged to the yard owner, he knew exactly what he had but was fed up with the car and junked it anyway. The mtech 1 parts came with a pair of recaro seats with the horrible looking (to me) plaid cloth. Traded the recaros on the same day for a pair of Mtech 1 skirts and cash to finally achieve this:

      Didn't install it right away because it needed work and I couldn't afford forking out the cash for the OEM clips and fasteners, but hid it in my closet. By chance I got my hands on ANOTHER mtech 1 full kit minus spoiler, but with an Mtech 1 steering wheel instead and an E30 M3 style spoiler. The most hideous color you could imagine:

      Sold off the spoiler and made more money I paid for the whole package.
      My intention was to mix/match both kits to complete one perfectly straight and unmolested. Turned out the original one I got was way better than the pink/magenta one, which I recently traded for 3 sets of nice wheels and some other parts I needed. It will go on my buddy's very interesting build ;D

      Next in my scope, a houndstooth recaro seat set appeared (sorry for supercrappy photo):

      Passenger's side is good, but really sun faded. Driver's side is kind of thrashed:

      I had previously bought those sports seats:

      As you notice, I like houndstooth. I flipped the passenger's Recaro LS to be a driver's seat and used the passenger's seat from the sport seats pair and made myself a mixed interior. I am a bit tall and fat in the gut, so the Recaro LS is a perfect fit for me. Plus, it's awesome. gave me opportunity of acquiring a set of the awesome Star Tec tailights, so no brainer. These are MINT. Weirdly, I have 3 full sets of StarTecs and another 3 single StarTec taillights and those being the best condition ware also the cheapest :

      I think this sums up the flashy stuff that the car got till 2015.
      Let's talk some performance now ;D

      Doing the 5 lug swap for me was something natural, mostly because it is so much discussed and stuff, kind of a challenge. I had observed countless options and none of them were cutting it for me. The M3 / e36 parts combo was something I wanted to avoid at all costs, since the wheel position was so nasty.

      So I went ahead and chose my own setup for the hubs and brakes.
      I used a spacer thingy I found on a russian forum to fit an e36 hub onto the e30 spindle, a custom nut deigned by myself to hold it in place and the result was that:

      Spindles with said "russian" spacer:

      My custom "nut" :

      Since I shared that design (I posted a detailed blueprint in one of our forums), various establishments, that call themselves "custom parts shops" stole it and sell it as their own design. Which I find stupid, I'm happy to share my findings, that is not something I do to make money off and after all we are all here to share knowledge among each other. Whatever. If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll deliver the blueprint. I have to point out, that I changed this setup along the way though.

      For the rear I decided on a rather unusual solution, an e87 hub with the whole emergency brake assembly from the same model, modified e30 parking brake lines and custom dust shields. Please, note that only 4 cylinder models e87s have this hub. Later on I found out that also some 4 cylinder e90 models have the same hub/parking brake combo. Also, a small modification to the trailing arm was required, because of the usage of said parking brake assembly:

      Test fit of the whole assembly and trailing arms already powdercoated:

      Designed a custom two piece dust shield, so it is detachable without having to remove the hub and ruin the bearing:

      Now, for the brakes I went with a set of calipers that came off an e34 540i. Front discs are redrilled MB SL500 discs, the moron machinist didn't obviously understand "make it an oval" and just made new holes, resulting in a very poorly executed job, then tried to WELD the hole for the retaining bolt ... which resulted in bent discs. Whatever, I still used them for mockup.
      For the rear I went with a rear disc for an e46 328i touring (interchangable with other e46s as far as I know).

      My adapting plate in the rear to accomodate and position correctly the e34 540i rear caliper:

      So, you may have noticed, I did all of this in my kitchen, mostly in the middle of the night, ignoring the bastard neighbours. It is a common feature here in Bulgaria to live in giant concrete establishments with countless idiots like yourself on both your sides, up and down as well. Nevermind, result for the front:

      Koni Sports adjustable all around, with H&R race springs, supposed to deliver a drop of 60/40.

      I had previously used my daily as a lab rat and managed to get it pretty low for our standards, decided I'd do the same to this car but with all new parts, sold the suspension off the daily so I can afford it. Here's how the daily sat with my first attempt at suspension with used parts:

      But things of course never go as planned. I will tell you more in the next posts, as I try to catch up with the present status of the project.
      Hope you like it so far.
      '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


        At the beginning of 2014, my technical inspection was due and I decided to do that first before installing all the brake and suspension upgrades. While on the brake drums, the hard brake line leading to the back wheels burst and I lost pressure in the system. Luckily the inspection guy is from the local e30 chapter, so I passed somehow. The journey home (15km) was a real rollercoaster ride, not having brakes and having a yapping terrified girlfriend in the passenger seat. Made it home, jacked it up and just squished the brake line with the pliers. That of course meant no rear brakes, figured it should be OK until I swap in the freshly prepared goodies.

        Next day I get my excrements together and assemble the front struts, go to my buddy's shop, because he has a lift and get cracking.

        As previously mentioned, it was all done in the kitchen, on the table:

        Last pic as a monster truck:

        Up on the lift, next to a mint 535i E34:

        You can see my buddy sweeping the floor and in the foreground his caged reace Alfa Romeo 75 with a guilt 3.0L V6 engine. A very quick car, sadly now sold due to property acquisition. The honda is some customer's car.

        Old strut out:

        New one in:

        Adapter plate for the brake caliper and a convertible antiroll bar with Powerflex bushings:

        Fat caliper and temporary messed up discs in place:

        Big calipers usually require big brake master cylinders, so out with the stock:

        In with the famous e32 dual brake booster and bigger master:

        Second foto is a bit foggy, because we took a small break and had some fun with another buddy's m52b28 swapped e30 inside the shop... yeah we are not exactly bright:

        After the smokescreen cleared, adjusting the brake pedal position was in order, finally got it right and took it out of the shop, but the front was higher than expected, even if it hadn't settled yet:

        Gave it some thought:

        1. Brand new top mount bushings are a tad taller than old compressed ones
        2. Too high bump stops, maybe sitting on bumps stops?
        3. Springs not as low as advertised

        Bad thing is, only 20 days until the national e30 meet. I wanted to be ready for that event and track the e30. So what would captain Planet do?

        Of course, win a used set of the lowest static springs ever produced for an e30. They are a custom set of GM -80 front (some long gone company) with a progressive rate and Reuter Motorsport triangle conic (wut?) -60 in the back. While I waited for them to arrive from Vaterland, some of the guys from the local e30 chapter decided we need to drive in the mountains. I said yes, what could go wrong without rear brakes, let's go. So here's some pictures from that beautiful day:

        Awesome twisty roads always put a smile on my face.
        So, shortly after my springs arrive and I get motivation to get the rear end ready on the table:

        Yes, that is an LSD dif I assembled in my kitchen.
        Off to the lift again, sorry no pics of removal, we had only 8 hours to do the swap till the shop opens for business:

        Looking proper now!

        We didn't have the time to install the new springs in the front, so I didn't change the ones in the back either. Well, looks better, but still GAP:

        Rear fitment, blurriest picture ever:

        As you notice, the 16x8 style 5s from an e38 don't fit as they would with an e36 rear hub/axle. That is because the e87 hub narrows the track width by 11 mm, or 5,5 on each side. Explanation why I wanted to narrow the track will follow in my next posts.

        Then I got all excited and actually decided put the lower springs on the car!
        Ofcourse, as any sane person would do, I had purchased a set of e90 hats for the front and changed the bump stops, which would give me a total drop of 95mm. Pictures for comparison, the red spring is the GM -80 next to the H&R -60 ones I had until then:

        And the obligatory shot nex to to a stock front spring, the blue one is the rear Reuter Motorsport -60:

        And the result:

        Finally, what I was going for! Now the exhaust was hanging pretty bad, about one inch clearance at its lowest point. Needless to say, when I got around fixing that just 2 days later I had sheered off flat one of the screws, so we had to cut. No pictures though, because it was a quick repair anyway and looked like crap.

        This post pretty much brings us to August 2014. The next post will sum it up for 2014 and after that we'll get to the interesting part. Promised, it just takes a lot of time to switch picture hosts.
        '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


          Loving it

          1991 325iS turbo


            OK, let's wrap up the summary of 2014, which was great for this e30.

            Just a few days after that awesome drop was achieved, the municipality decided to do some road works, resulting in me not being able to get out of my neighborhood, because it only had two exits, and both were under construction. If any of you has been to Bulgaria, you must have seen how they do roadworks here. They rip EVERYTHING off and leave it like that for weeks, with 3 inch tall, sharp edges. So, for me to be able to actually go to the e30 meet, I had to swap the rear springs back to the H&Rs:

            Forward rake ftw:

            It actually looked better IMO since I kinda like some rake, and drove better as well. So I decided to leave it like that and enjoy it the way it is. And boy did I...

            The meet I am blabbering about was a total blast. We have hundreds of pictures, I'd like share some of them with you. Here's me in my e30 on the track:

            I won my first legal drag race!

            Then lost the second by a mile

            Took one of my mates for a few laps in the passenger seat. Man, what a difference in handling another person in the car made!

            Then gave it a rest, because realized I was alone on the track, the other guys had either overheated or faded their brakes:

            Although I was on shitty tires up front and literally bald tires in the back, I managed to put down a decent time for a stock m20b27 in a street car. Literally the only mod on the engine at that time was a Dinan chip up with a redline of 5100 RPMs .
            After the meet we went to a nearby motel and had one of the funniest evenings as an e30 owner I ever had. Midnight redline revs, burnouts, the lot:

            I was happy, the car was performing very well, my friends and family were all supporting me to continue the insanity, because they liked what I did to the car so far.

            I didn't actually do much to it after that e30 meet, just drove it like that and really really enjoyed it, while figuring out what the next stage would be. Changed the rear tires from 215/40/16 to 215/45/16 and lowered it back again on the -60 springs, but then the battery started moving around the trunk. Cut the rear bump thingies on the spring perch and "fixed" that issue. Small stuff.

            However, since I moved September 2014, I had to find a new garage to rent, had to be near me and since most of them are underground, the car had to be able to get over the ramp without scraping. I found one and quickly made a deal to rent it for a year. Moved all my stuff in there (spare m20b27, spare trailing arms and front struts, the lot). Unfortunately, rainy days came upon us in November and a pipe broke, resulting in me having a flooded garage and some damage to the paint was done:

            I quickly took measures and did the best I could to repair it, polishing and whatnot. Those actions made me take a closer look at the paint and overall condition of the chassis. I had done some repairs in the past, as you can see in the pictures from the first post, but they were all so ghetto, that I am actually ashamed to show to other people. So the natural and logical course of events looked roughly like this:

            1. Move the car to another garage.
            2. Abandon flooding garage. Find an actual workshop with mate andrent it.
            3. Start actual work on car in new workshop.

            So, point 1 was easy to take care of - the new place I got came with a garage, but being low was causing getting in and out of it to be a huge PITA, so I used it mostly as storage and rented the one that floods. Tried with some wooden planks, got in without scraping, so the planks never left the trunk. Good, point one was taken care of!
            Point 2 proved to be a bit tricky. I have a friend, who was at the time renting a garage in the same underground place, where I did. His flooded as well. So we decided to finally move in together . We searched for a workshop with a good location to work on our cars.

            He found a nice place 5 minutes away from where I live, we rented it started painting and taking out trash, when guess what? It flooded as well. So we abandon ship.

            Then he found this other place (actually cheaper then previous one), with 2 separate stalls and something like a storage room above one of them. Perfect. Rented and started moving shit. Which was nice.

            Then I had to go on a business trip in December 2014 and had half a month to think about how and what I wanted to do about the chassis of my car. It needed some repairs badly, even though it didn't show. There are guys in our e30 group who had stripped their cars completely and done things properly from the ground up. In the back of my head, I always knew the same ground up build up had to be done to my e30 and I had actually talked to those guys, about how they've done it. But it was always like you know .... "meeeh, let future me handle that".
            Well, I was now future me and had to start working on that chassis, if I wanted to preserve it and enjoy it in the future. Thanks, past me!

            That brings us to the end of 2014.

            Once stupid winter was over (which took long enough), I washed her and took her out for two last night drives. Filled her up:

            And took my buddy with me to help me burn some gasoline in the night. I knew I was not going to drive this car for a long time and needed a motivational drive (little did I suspect how long actually it would take me).

            On the day I had planned to start the tear down (20th of March 2015 - the 30th birthday of my e30), the car literally started to fall apart, as if it knew and held up until that day - the clutch started slipping and the flywheel was shimming on takeoff, the radiator brackets broke off and it slammed against the fan, a halfshaft burst its boot and made a huge mess, ruining one of the wheels. Also minor other stuff happened like headlight short circuit and the horn jamming on. All in one day, hard to believe!

            Needless to say, I had obviously picked the correct day to start the actual work on my e30.

            Which now brings us to the BUILD part of this build!
            '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


              As all of us know, a ground up build should start with a complete tear down. With the exception of when you buy a stripped shell, that is.

              The tear down of my e30 went pretty fast, since by the time I was already confident in what I do on an e30.
              After work on the day it started to destroy itself, I took the e30 to the garage.
              You can spot some of the flood damage on the back side of the rocker/sill:

              Interior out, carpet out:

              My ghetto repairs are visible on the last picture. As I said, not proud of how haggard they are, but they hold up very well until the tear down. All they were intended to do. Detailed pictures will follow of each spot with the repairs.

              Started on dismantling the front end:

              For some reason, I think this picture is awesome:

              As you can see, rust has taken its toll on my radiator support, on the back side it was worse:

              Got some stuff removed from the engine bay, you can clearly see the wax someone applied back in the day. That's not just the old cosmoline, it's way thicker and stickier. I honestly think its a nice thing to do on a winter car.

              Dash removed as well, not much left:

              Then the windshield was removed, with the help of a friend, since I tend to crack them:

              Backseat ... believe it or not, I once drove a girl home, who WANTED to sit in the back, while the rear seat was out. Go figure:

              Jacked it up to get it ready for pulling the engine and taking off suspension and brakes:

              Me getting ready to pull the engine, trans is already out, I had a friend help me out.

              A few minutes later - out and dangling on the hoist!

              Please note the e28, it belonged to the friend, who helped me out with the motor and later for some dummy jigs, more on it later. He also owned the caged Alfa Romeo 75 shown previously in the thread. The e21 belongs to the friend I share the workshop with. It's a genuine euro 323 with sunroof, now completely restored with a strong m20b28 we built for it.

              Then I took the wings off and put back the hood, so I can work on the sunroof an lining. Steering column is out as well, almost a bare shell now.

              Took the sunroof and lining out, man was that a PITA. I broke some stuff, but who cares, I have spares ready to go:

              Steering rack and front crossmember are on the ground on this picture, my daily e30 with m40b16 in the foreground, now sold.

              After everything was removed from the car, and I mean everything, we decided to make it movable by welding transport cart wheels to some unusable crossmembers. The friend, who helped me out pulling the motor came over once more and started cutting and welding (I can't weld for shit):

              Once done, we put them on the car for like 10 minutes, really easy and rolled it out for the first time in 20 days!

              Camber, as any e30 has some!

              I had talked to an e30 guy back in december about taking the bare shell to him, so he can fix the rust. I visited him while he was working on a friend's e30 to check on his skills, I was very pleased and much wanted my car to be welded by him. I had told him about all the issues I knew about and we had negotiated a price ( well not really, he named a price and I just nodded ). I kept sending him pictures of the rust spots while I was tearing it down to make sure he knows what he is dealing with. He said I had pointed out pretty much all the problem areas and the "surprises" were not a big deal.

              So I talked to a dude, who is into shark BMWs to help me transport my e30 to the body work guy (385 km away) and we loaded her up!

              And so, the journey to a rust free shell began!
              '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                Now comes the part where the duckling gets ugly, so that it can one day become a beautiful swan.

                Once we reached the location, where that awesome e30 guy does repairs, we unloaded the car and mounted it on the jig he had previously put together for his own e30s (4 in total :eyebrows ) and proceeded taking the doors, hood and wings off:

                Then we flipped it to get a good view of the rust damage:

                At that time we discussed some stuff we needed to make clear, mostly what I want and how I want it. Then we got back into the e38 with now an empty trailer and headed back home, leaving my beloved car in the hands of the most capable person I could find. I knew that he is a good welder and he had brought back many e30s from beyond the grave, so I was not worried at all.

                He started work and was kind enough to send me pictures of all the steps he did, I am going to pick the most interesting ones and share them with you guys.

                Let's start with the most notorious rust places on an e30 - footwells. Here is the passenger side:

                Outside, underneath the lower wing side

                Awesome previous repair:

                Cancer cut out:

                Aaand welded new stuff in:

                Outside view of the patch:

                Driver's side was no better, another bad repair from the past:

                What it looked on the outside prior his interference:

                All cut out to clean metal:

                New sheet metal formed and welded in:

                Outside view of the repair:

                And on these pictures you can see what I had previously achieved with the holes in the rear passengers' footwells, I want to crawl into a hole and hide myself forever and ever because of these:

                Thankfully, the welder did a good job repairing my repairs:

                What it looks like from underneath:

                One done, one to go, you can see the difference in quality:

                Driver's side done as well:

                Driver's side from underneath:

                That's all I managed to sort and move over to imgur for now. There's plenty more rust battles to share tomorrow. Thankfully, all were won.
                '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                  Warning, a long and even more picture heavy post approaches.

                  Let's start with the rear right trunk pocket, where usually the battery resides. It wasn't too bad on first inspection, but more careful examination showed severe rust damage.

                  Lower back side, behind the rear right wheel:

                  Back side, under the bumper (it had been previously repaired):

                  Cut the hell out of it:

                  Weld and grind, finished:

                  Cut the part behind the wheel:

                  Weld, grind, prime:

                  While we have the rear right wheel well in our scope, let's check out the other rotted spots. That's where the rear beam would be bolted to the chassis, the outer lip had seen some halfassed repair in the past, the rocker had some rust damage as well:

                  The fender wheel arch's previous repair, it's hard to see, but there were weld beads all over the place, straight pieces of metal welded on random places and then smoothed over with bondo:

                  First patch already in place, that would have been the easy one for this spot, I suppose:

                  What it looked like before welding in the outer skin of the panel:

                  I had acquired legit panels for the body repairs and we had agreed, that the welder would only cut where necessary and cut out the needed piece from the panels as exact fit, so here is the result for that part:

                  Rocker piece also welded in and welds ground down:

                  The rear piece of the outer lip arch to be cut out as well, the inner lip was fabricated using a front wing's lip, the bends and diameter of the circle are the same ;)

                  Welded the outer skin of the arch, cut out to exact match from the new panel:

                  This rust hole is where the power supply cable ran, there is a plastic cover that prevents the cable from rubbing against the chassis and causing a short circuit, but it also preserves moisture for the rust monster, that was slowly eating the car:

                  Patch turned out great IMHO:

                  Mounting point for the tank breather had rotted away:

                  The spot, where the end of the classy eurobumper is screwed onto the rear quarter panel had sadly desintegrated:

                  Replaced with fresh metal:

                  The locking mechanism for the fuel filler door had also been kind enough to held up enough moisture and rot its own mounting points:

                  Let's now move to the left side of the car. The front rocker panel was rotten just where the factory jack point is. The stuff you see inside is hollow space conserving compound :

                  Made template, transfer over to metal, check if fits correctly, then weld, grind, add jackpoint and primer:

                  This spot is right where the external fuel pump is. Luckily, the factory brackets were reusable, already removed on the pictures:

                  There was also a small issue a bit further away, that's where the rear arch and left rocker join:

                  Then we had discovered a really bad spot, it's further back from the factory spring perch, right where the heat shield above the muffler bolts on. The problem was, that the metal there is dual layer , but the superrepairman managed:

                  Inner layer of new sheet metal, with the same thickness as factory:

                  Outer layer welded in and ground down:

                  The rear left wheel arch needed just a bit of love:

                  Inner lip fixed:

                  Outer lip mockup

                  Welded and ground down:

                  Some nasty holes were discovered on the bulk head, where it joins the inner front left wheel well:

                  Easy fix:

                  Yet another nasty previous repair. That is where the AC tubing would usually go through the frame:

                  Look at this shit

                  Once again, cut, weld, grind.

                  Now comes one of the worst rust spots on the car. The holes on the shell were bad enough, but they didn't really distort the function of the car as a whole. This, however, was so halfassed that it disturbed the normal usage of the trunk. The latch was no longer attached to anything and every time the trunk is opened, it smashed against the edge where the trunk seal goes. Someone in the past decided to fix it by drilling a hole over it and welding in a 8mm bolt, that goes through and is once again welded the bolt to the latch itself. Of course, that hadn't lasted long and the welds were long broken. Result was not only flooding trunk, but also that the latch ripped it's support off, where it is welded onto the rear left inner fender. No pics of the support, but it's fixed now. Here's the problem spot:

                  You can see I had previously tried to plug the hole with some metal and pop rivets and RTV, but it still leaked a bit. Anyway, I was really relieved to see it fixed:

                  Some more holes revealed themselves in the front part of the left front inner wheel well, where it meets the sheet metal in the engine compartment, where the ABS pump sits:

                  The front right fender needed attention too, because of my stupid repairs in the past, when I got the car:

                  The last rust nest was located on the lower rad support - it was so rotten it needed replacing. I had sourced a new aftermarket part, but the quality of the upper part was poor, the bends were not correct and the crest where the hood latch mechanism goes was wrong. We decided on cutting up both pieces and making a new support out of the original one and the aftermarket part.

                  Also, took the opportunity to make the rad support removable. Best decision ever!

                  At that point of the build, my goal was a more track oriented car, rather than a road car. Keeping that in mind and adding the fact that I was never convinced the optimal place for the battery was in the factory position in terms of weight distribution, I decided to relocate the battery behind the rear bench, above the differential. Here's the battery tray, that was produced for that purpose and plug welded onto the trunk floor:

                  With all rust repairs done, it was time to lay down some paint. The finish is not perfect, but it was never intended to be anyway.

                  And lastly, in an attempt to be able to accommodate more rubber, the inner edge of the rear quarter panel arches was cut off. I am not a fan of rolling them, since they just become moisture traps. Here's my take on it, primered, painted and seam sealer on top applied:

                  That meant all the metal work on the shell was completed and I had a rust free foundation to start building on. All of that work was done in about 2 months or so, which I consider quick for what I got. And so, once again the shell was loaded onto the trailer and drove it back 385km to start reassembly. The trip home was horrifying for me - heavy rain, roadworks with detours and a semi truck blew a tire right before we passed it ... but we made it in one piece, the e30 was intact and there were no puddles in the shell.

                  '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                    Evident from the previous post, in late summer 2015 I found myself with a completely derusted e30 shell. My e30 shell.
                    Being me and not wanting to do things more than once if possible, I decided to replace the suspension and front 5 lug setup of my car before reassembly.
                    For the answer to the question "why" to make sense, I'll have to provide a bit of backstory.

                    When I drove the car with the konis, I was generally happy with them - great handling, stiffer than billies when at softest setting and straight awesome when set at maximum stiffness. There was only one problem - the bump stop was still being engaged too often. And I know I had left just a tiny bit of it, so that I don't completely trash the konis. But sometimes that would play a bad trick on me in a fast corner, so was looking for options to go lower and yet retain suspension travel. Of course I knew about the IX shocks and shortened struts combo and I must admit the idea is great. However, when I did the math what would cost me to build coilovers myself, it turned out I would be better off buying actual install ready coilovers and call it a day.

                    Fair enough, so there were a few options and I started asking around who did what to their car. I rode some e30s with installed coilovers, among them some truly awesome rides, like a v8 m60/6 speed manual swapped convertible with XYZ coilovers, a n/a 2.8 m20 stroker on Megan racing coilovers, etc.
                    The one that made me go for my choice belongs to a user on here "zoomer" - a twinturbo 2.8 m20:

                    Great guy, who will play a major role in this build later on.
                    Ordered the same suspension as his - BC Racing type R coilovers 6kg/8kg spring rates. What convinced me on those was on the softest setting his car rode as soft as it were on bilstein b8 coupled with a high rate H&R spring for instance and on the stiffest setting it rode exactly like my setup minus the hops.

                    Not super interesting or exotic choice, I know, but I wanted something true and tested. If it has survived the beating in his car (400 whp at the time when pictured), then it should be good enough for me.

                    Let's go back to winter 2014/2015. I have mentioned previously in the thread I narrowed my rear track for a purpose. I wanted to fit a specific wheel in there without any issues. Because of the same wheel I am redoing the front spacer for the front hub, so I can tuck the wheel a bit more into the wheel well.
                    The wheels I had in mind are very common and easy to come by (or so I thought) in North America. Us unfortunate eurofags need to kind of sell a testie to get a set of those and it would be still a hard bargain, because it would be a eurofag testie.
                    I am ofcourse speaking of the Trans Am GTA wheel in 16x8 et 16 and 16x8 et0 dimensions.

                    I swear I tried my best to find a set, I even contacted some guys in the US, who have baldly announced on their sites they specialize in those wheels and refinish them in the whole factory color variety available for the market back in the day. None seemed to have even a single wheel in stock and they couldn't tell me when they would have a set or a wheel. Oh, well. I searched at the same time the UK forums and, ad boards and whatnot. I was lurking the German ebay and ad boards as well.

                    Several months in, I had no luck. Then one day I found an ad from a breaker in Germany, who announced the breaking of a Trans Am GTA, no year specified. I quickly contacted the guy (thank god I speak German) and asked about the wheels, what kind where day, what color and what price. I got a response fairly soon with good detailed picture and an honest description. I struck a deal with the guy and he send the wheels off. After a two weeks wait they turned up and I picked them up from the post office. I must tell you, the guy did a great job packaging them in separate boxes from some other wheels, filled with cardboard and soft stuff. He had also described the wheels accurately, all flaws pointed out (small curb rash on one wheel and some pitted paint).
                    I was happy to have these puppies:

                    In the freezing cold, a test fit had to happen:

                    That's with 15mm spacers, wheel gap is because the rear right tire was flat. Even though I could probably get away with 12mm spacer without touching the brake calipers, it still would take more camber than I want to run to fit those wheels. And I really, really like them!

                    Having just bought the BC type Rs, that was a great opportunity to try something different for the 5 lug swap - redo it without moving the hub outwards. It didn't make sense to disassemble and cut up my old 5 lug swap for the new setup, so the old stuff was traded for a set of e30 struts and some cash. And so my 5 lug swap V.2 started.
                    What I basically did, was machine e piece/sleeve with threads both inside and outside, so it can be screwed onto the stock spindle, receive the e36/e46 hub and have the stock e36/e46 nut screwed onto it. This is the part that got machined:

                    And this is how it screws down, half way on this picture:

                    Please, note there is an additional piece added around the collar where the dust cap goes, so that it can not only accommodate the e36 dust cap, but also the bearing race has a full contact patch.
                    Welded up, needed a bit of work with the dremel so that the bearing race sits flush, but nothing too bad:

                    Next up were the struts, plug welded as well for some added rigidity:

                    After that the struts were off for powdercoating, I've trimmed the dust caps, put the hubs on, beat the crap out of the protective shields to make them fit after the brake disc has been installed, because the new adaptor sleeve brings the disc 5mm closer to the strut and kind of is in the same place the dust shield wants to be.

                    During the fabrication period, I had been slowly working on installing brake hard lines, fuel hard lines, fuel tanks and rear axle. First, I had been unfortunate enough to find out, that the fuel tank was no good. The sheet metal itself was in good condition, but the hose fittings were all rotten. Not a single one was good enough. Especially the pair, where the small S-shaped pipe bolts on. The S-pipe itself was so gone, I knew I had to replace it too. So I made the decision called "everything new" and pulled the trigger on some goodies. I got a sweet deal on a pre-face lift fuel tank, brand new in the box. It came without the connecting pipe, so I picked up the pieces of what was left from mine and headed to a popular brake line/hard line/hose shop and had 4 diferent versions of the S-pipe made with different angles and such. Once they were done, I picked the one closest to the fitting and made it fit perfectly. End result:

                    The primary fuel pump was working well enough prior to disassembly (as a matter of fact still working in my beater 325e), but a brand new BOSCH unit literally fell into my lap, couldn't pass on it. New OEM O-ring as well:

                    The fuel hard lines were bought from BMW, came with the factory seal etc. and STILL didn't fit. Had to made an awkward bend... but it'll do.

                    I don't have a picture of the breather hoses for some reason. Then I had some help from a friend and installed the fuel tank:

                    The installed fuel pump, sender unit and various hoses:

                    This allows for a rear cross member to be installed:

                    Then came the sway bar and the LSD unit:

                    Slapped some trailing arms on, while I was at it:

                    Secondary fuel pump - new BOSCH unit as well as all new OEM brackets and bushings:

                    Assembled next to its predecessor:

                    Replaced the "squeaker" plastic bushing on the steering column, since I was bored of pretending it was not squeaking. Installed the steering column using new OEM snap-off bolts. In hindsight, should have used regular ones, so I can easily remove it, should I need to. Pedal assembly was also installed in it's place, but not before swapping the clutch master cylinder for a brand new one.

                    All brake lines were installed new, it was a PITA to bend the one from the ABS unit to the front right wheel, it has like 10 bends with 5 different angles. But it turned out good. No pics of those, and no pics of installed ABS unit too

                    Time to install the front struts, by the time I made it so far they were ready. That should have been around October 2015, front cross member in along with sway bar, I can see the clutch slave dangling there too:

                    Busted out some new LCAs and lollipops with my favorite PowerFlex bushings, cleaned the original manual rack:

                    Finally, the struts:

                    Decided to put in the wire loom, which was carefully re-wrapped by my dad:

                    Laying it out in the correct position, had my laptop with me to check out the pictures I took upon disassembly:

                    In order for the rear shocks and springs to be slapped on, the fuel filler was powdercoated as well and installed:

                    Since the new 5-lug setup moves the brake disk inwards, new plates for the calipers were machined and zinc coated:

                    My buddy was probably more excited than me to bleed the brakes:

                    On its own feet:

                    At that point, it was already almost winter 2015/2016 and we needed the space in the garage to work on other projects. I had ran out of money anyway, so rolled the e30 out and tucked it away in my private garage for the cold months.

                    Reason for running out of money? By that time I had already sold my other e30, because I discovered the body repair shop, that I had initially employed to have the rot taken care of, had just welded the new metal ON TOP of the rust, which resulted in the car destroying itself from inside out. Not being able to do two ground up projects at the same time, I had decided to part ways with it. Me being me, bought my buddy's e28 and in December 2015 bought this little gem:

                    Italy version m10b18 from 1986, no options at all, not even radio and speakers, but with sports suspension. Slicktop as well, just had to have it. Weighed at just 960 kgs with a full tank and a spare.

                    That wraps up 2015 progress (or lack of). Next on - engine parts and build ;D
                    '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                      cool nice progress. in for more story and pictures


                        Time for engine story and pictures.

                        I have to admit, an engine swap was considered at some point of the build. Swapping a car in our country and making it road legal is a bit of an ordeal. It is illegal to have a different engine in your car in our country. When a car is registered for the first time in Bulgaria, the engine serial number is written on the slip. If you get caught with a different engine, you can face a fine ranging from ~1200 to ~4000 USD. In case your engine brakes, you need to find the exact same motor, buy it with documentation stating that you bought it, not stole it, and then reregister the car. If you put a different type of motor in (i.e. you have a 1.8 car, put a 2.0 engine in it), you HAVE to go to technical inspection, they decide if you did it properly and issue a piece of paper. That of course costs money and there is a big chance that you don't pass.
                        Turbocharged cars do not pass at all, so it's completely illegal to turbocharge a car, that was not produced with a turbocharger from factory.
                        So a V8 conversion, and a legal one, would be possible, but really pricey.

                        There was also another serious PRO point for not doing a swap.
                        One day I got wind from a friend, that there is this guy, who had bought a rotted e28 with an e30 323 engine in it. The interesting part is the gearbox, coupled to that engine - a Getrag 245 Dogleg gearbox
                        We negotiated for months, he wanted to put it up on ebay and make serious cash, I wanted to have it for cheap, or at least cheap for a dogleg. Eventually he agreed to sell it to me for a really good price.

                        So that decided it for me, I will stick with the mechanical marvel, called a BMW m20 engine (fun fact: used to be called m60, that's why some early gearboxes have m60 stamped on them), because I now had a dogleg gearbox to couple to it.
                        Clearly, a stock m20b27 was not going to cut it anymore. A straight forward 2.8 stroker also seemed insufficient. The best that could be done without overboring the block was a 3.0 conversion. potstir

                        Around mid 2015, I started working on the teardown of the engine, measuring cylinder wear, what would fit and what would not, etc:

                        First head off, pistons have a good amount of gunk on them:

                        The shortblock on the stand:

                        A good few hours later, a bare block:

                        Check if the m54b30 crank would fit and spin:

                        Then m54b30 conrods and pistons, they stick about 2mm above block, too much:

                        Obviously, a different piston had to be used. Before I started hunting for parts (again), some small issues had to be taken care of. When the crank is rotated, there is one spot, where the connecting rod meets the lowest part of the cylinder wall.
                        I took the naked block to a trusted guy, who solely does engine blocks and dropped it off for measuring and massaging of the lower cylinder walls, so that the conrods can move freely.
                        The guy did that really well and congratulated me on parts in perfect condition. He really thought I was bullshiting him about the block being 30 years old.

                        To remedy the nasty position of the m54b30 piston, zoomer chimed in and suggested to use a m54b25 piston. He even wanted to do a similar engine build and actually did it before me. Sadly, this engine didn't last enough for him to enjoy due to some mishap with the intake. But it delivered a very important piece of information - those pistons work fine!
                        Here is a link to zoomer's engine thread if anyone is interested:


                        Back to my engine. The conrods were weighed and trimmed down to match, there is also a lightweight flywheel from an early m20 e21 ready to go in and make the rotating assembly even lighter.

                        Increase of displacement and compression ratio usually requires some headwork and a stronger valvetrain. I had been wanting to drive with a 292 camshaft, which Shrick did not produce at the time I was looking for parts. Also, the DBilas one had better charachteristics in my opinion, but they had also stopped producing it. I was going on ebay day after day, week after week, month after month... and still no 292 camshaft. Then one day a tuning shop announced they are selling the 292 DBilas camshaft (DBilas decided to produce it again for some reason). There were also Shrick vavle springs available at a discount if you buy a camshaft from them. No brainer - the order was placed within minutes and in a week a camshaft and valve springs popped up in the mail:

                        Happy as I was, the IE rocker arms were still too expensive for me, since there is tax on imported goods and also tax on shipping of imported goods, so I would have to pay double to get them.
                        Then the endless browsing of adds pays off again - a guy in the UK had some m20 stroker parts he was no longer willing to use due to S50 swap, IE rocker arms among them. I emailed the guy and asked him if he wants to ship. the answer was YES and a deal was struck once again. The rocker arms arrived in their original pack, never opened.

                        That got me thinking, more new stuff is required, so this happened:

                        All new parts, everything needed for the head to be assembled. The valve spring retaining collars are VAC motorsport. Also, although no turbo will be slapped on this engine, ARP head studs were acquired as good measure:

                        So far so good, what about better air flow? The last thing I am is a head porting guy, I have absolutely no idea how it should be done, so I hired someone to fiddle with the head. There were some things we disagreed about, but the final result is satisfactory to me:

                        The intake ports were very mildly increased, the exhaust ports were made to match the seal and the exhaust manifolds.

                        Stock m20b25 exhaust port:


                        This leads us to valves. The stock ones are obviously not going to cut it. And not dimensionwise, diameters are OK in my honest opinion. They are heavy and break easily when you rev up to 8k. So, custom ones were milled down and adonized. They are lighter and stronger.

                        Stock m20b25 intake, custom intake, custom exhaust, stock m20b25 exhaust:

                        A good performance engine relies heavily on proper exhaust. Since most of my car by the end of 2015 still consisted of a pile-o-parts waiting to be fused together by magic, we had to use a friend's 325i as a mockup for my headers as well. The only difference between both pairs is the inner diameter. I had previously visited the guy, who welded the headers together and let him take measurements of the exhaust ports on my head, so he can have a flange ready.
                        With that out of the way, my friend had dropped off his pride and joy, so it can serve as a live jig. Once my headers were finished, they were taken off his car and then his set was created as well and remained on said car.

                        So, onto pictures! This is the photo of my friend's 325i engine bay with the installed headers:

                        Some pictures of while we were figuring out the design:

                        As evident, a cracked head was provided to the welder, so he can play around freely with it. The initial task was create a copy of Racing dynamics notorious exhaust headers, but with slight change in the design and making it more efficient and easy to change spark plugs. The end result:

                        Sorry for the blurry pictures.
                        That was the progress for 2015 so far. Moving on to 2016, in preparations for engine final assembly.

                        I was really sad to find out the bearings for the oil pump driveshaft are not only worn out, but fell apart, when I removed the driveshaft. So I ordered a set from an official BMW dealer. The set of 2 bearings arrived and looked as if it was already used. Another one was ordered, same condition, so it turns out that's just the way the are delivered. Found out the hard way that they come scratched from the dealer for a reason. And I also found out why they were pulled from the catalog so noone could order them
                        1. They are delivered with rough surfaces because once they are pressed into the block, they had to be machined with great precision so that they are not cone and are exactly the required diameter for the shaft to have enough oil but also not to wobble. Great
                        2. They were pulled from the catalog due to many claims that these were not installed correctly and BMW found out there isn't a single soul on the world that could do it right. Even greater.

                        What I did was gather as many used m20 blocks I could find and pull all of their bearings. Yes, you read correct. I pulled the bearings out of .. don't know maybe 6 engines, until I had a set that was a) in perfect shape b) the correct diameter. Point b) lead to me installing all 3 sets of perfect bearings I managed to source and measuring which one fits best. In the end a mix and match was achieved and the shaft was spinning just right. Picture of me taking out a bearing with a tool I made for not damaging any surface in the process:

                        Then the m54b25 pistons were slightly machined on the top, with the final result of this:

                        Test install and head torqued down revealed there was plenty of room for the valves:

                        After zoomer's engine exploded, we took it apart and checked how the same pistons had worked out:

                        Not ideal, but acceptable INMHO.
                        That meant green light for final assembly of the engine, which sadly was postponed for late 2017, due to the above mentioned hurdles.

                        Painted it flat black, so that oil leaks would be easy to spot. Hope there won't be any, but ... it's an m20.

                        I would say m20 engines are no foreign territory to me, so I knew what I was doing. Up to the point where I want to install the crank scraper. It was a copy of IE's crank scraper for the 2.8 stroker. Finding out the mounting holes don't line up AT ALL (being a copy) lead to 4 attempts until I got it right. Finally the holes line up and I can measure how much I need to cut out for the rods to clear.

                        After it was cropped, naturally needed to be installed. Silicone is used to seal the layers. Forked out for a brand new original oil pump from BMW

                        Then had to throw the headers on and some other stuff. Sorry for crappy pic, light was sketchy

                        At some point in time, a flywheel, clutch assembly and the dogleg (completely resealed, filled with fresh oil) were attached to the engine as well.

                        Pictures of head being torqued down are missing for some reason, unfortunately.

                        Somewhere around August 2016, I had started negotiations with a painter I know and had seen the work he had done to some friends' cars. Figured it would be a good step forward to have the car painted while I build the engine for it. Turned out it got painted way before I even started, but still - progress was progress. Late September 2016, the painter called and asked me to deliver the rolling shell to his workshop to start on the body work.

                        Onto the trailer once more and off to the body shop.

                        Unfortunately, not many pictures of the process. Decided the color would remain Alpine White, even though I don't like white cars. Somehow, this white car is special to me and doesn't feel like it deserves to be ruined with a color change. Also, white is a basic color, same as the options on the car :giggle:

                        By the end of 2016 it was painted and it being winter and also us switching shops and moving all the tools and stuff (which is a lot) around, decided to tuck it away again in the small private garage, where it stayed for quite a long time.

                        Now here is a huge gap in pictures. My phone crapped out big time and my camera stopped responding as well. So pictures of almost a whole year's progress are lost. Long story short: I got a trailer and moved the car into the big workshop where we moved to, work began immediately after the weather got warm enough. First on the list was the headliner (such a HUGE PITA), which unfortunately got ripped on a few spots around the sunroof. Looking back, I regret I didn't have a new liner made but ... such is life I guess, one learns from their mistakes. Next were the windscreen and rear window, pop-out windows and driver's and passenger's side windows. Carpet, seats, dash ... we all know the drill, I'll save you the story about those. Lots of setbacks of course, missing parts and bits, waiting on new ones to be delivered ... that slowed me down quite a bit. Eventually the car was semi assembled as was the engine at around the same point, early 2018.

                        Before dropping the engine in, swapped the steering rack for a z3 1.9 unit:

                        Some new tie rods were in order

                        Getting ready to drop the engine in

                        Shortly after, thanks to the removable core support, it sits in the bay!

                        Already sitting on the bushings, everything torqued down to specs.

                        Next, I sourced a m30b35 throttle to rob from it's throttle plate, disassembled my m20b25 throttle and gave it to the machinist to bore out so it accepts the m30b35 plate. Turned out decent:

                        Finally, after 4 attempts the adapting piece for the oil pressure light switch and the oil pressure sender unit fits good enough. Also in this picture, you can see my custom bolt for the oil cooler/filter plate, drilled and tapped to receive an e30 m3 oil temperature sender.

                        Some photos of the coil-on-plug setup. Using cardboard and wood, my dad and I made templates and produced these final pieces of aluminium:

                        When installed they look like this:

                        As you can see, I will run the stock cover for the ignition wires to cover up the new wires going to the coils. Also, the coil for cylinder 6 is a angled differently, because otherwise it gets too close to the firewall. Coil for cylinder 5 is a something between number 6 and 4, as sort of a smooth transition. When all is assembled it looks good enough in my opinion. No pic though, can't find it.

                        Distributor cap delete along with a bung for a camshaft sensor:

                        For engine management, a MegaSquirt 3 unit will be used, along with a wideband oxygen sensor and a knock sensor, installed on the block above the starter motor. Where usually the coolant goes in for the throttle heating (deleted).

                        The stock 325e cluster would have been overwhelmed with all those potential RPMs and speed, so this item was acquired as well:

                        Bold, I know.

                        With that sorted out, it was time to mount the rear bumper and mtech 1 apron. Busted out the mounting pieces and the laptop so I can figure out which goes where.

                        Of course, I hit a snag. For vehicles, that got the mtech1 from factory, there is a different part number for the big rubber strip that goes on top of the metal bumper (known as eurobumper in the US). That is due to the difference in stack height the mtech 1 apron causes. For people like me, who retrofit the mtech1 to the other "normal" rubber band, there is a special rubber strip, that covers the gap. Which is NLA, in a true BMW e30 fashion. A solution was found in a silicone rubber strip used in glassing solutions.
                        Kind of hard to see in the picture:

                        Putting the apron on immediately allowed for an appointment with the exhaust shop, that did the exhaust manifold. I cannot stress enough how understanding and willing to help the shop owner is. He made a time window so I can have it towed to the shop immediately.
                        So out in the sun it went, for the first time in over a year:

                        Chilling with my beater e30 (yes, I bought another one around late 2016 - another 325e in rough condition)

                        That leads us to the current state of the build. I sent the car off to the exhaust fabricator 10 days ago, he says it should be finished in about another week.
                        So far, I only have one picture sent from the exhaust shop.

                        We have agreed upon duel pipe setup 60mm each with two mufflers after discussing what has been done to the engine and what performance is expected. I suspect it will be too loud, but he is a very experienced exhaust builder and I am yet to hear from someone not being totally happy with his work.

                        We are caught up to date now with my build, as soon as I have more progress, I'll be happy to share. Hope it is enjoyable.
                        Last edited by gnmzl; 07-25-2018, 02:08 AM.
                        '85 Alpine Weiß 2-door with m20b30 ground up build


                          damn amazing build!

                          '05 BMW M3 - Silver Grey/Imola Red
                          '90 BMW 325iX - Sterling Silver/Houndstooth sport(5-speed converted)
                          '15 Mini Countryman - Blazing Red/Carbon Black

                          '01 Audi Allroad - Light Silver/Platinum Saber Black
                          '88 BMW 325iX - Diamond Schwarz/Silver sport *Sold*
                          '01.5 1.8TQ - Brilliant Black/Nogaro Alcantara ...after 8.5yrs, *Sold* =(
                          '90 BMW 325i - Schwarz/Tan sport *Sold*
                          '89 BMW 325ix - Diamond Schwarz/Black sport *Sold*


                            Man, you European guys are just a different breed when it comes to projects, awesome dedication and nothing done half-ass. Love it!
                            1990 325iX - sterlingsilber metallic
                            1991 325i - lazurblau metallic

                            Originally posted by delamaize
                            E30 = Lego for men.


                              this thread has a spectacular content-to-post ratio. well done on the project. excited to see it up and about with the new motor!
                              cars beep boop