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Big Al's Revenge: an OEM+ 325e restoration

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    Big Al's Revenge: an OEM+ 325e restoration

    Hey R3V! Been a member for awhile now and a lurker for much longer. I'd like to start by thanking all of you for posting your DIY's, build threads, and discussions as they have been invaluable in learning the ins and outs of my car and planning this project. I've had the pleasure of speaking with, doing business with, and meeting some of you and I've finally gotten around to posting the build thread I've been talking about. I've been sourcing parts since I've had the car, and now that I have about 90% of what I need, it's about time to get started.


    The car:
    1986 325e, Prod Date 1985-12-03
    Zinnoberrot (128) (nice!)
    Automatic (ugh)
    Upholstery  (0156) Pearl Beige comfort, vinyl
    S209A Differential lock 25%
    S210A Dynamic stability control
    S286A BMW LA wheel BMW Styling
    S300A Central locking with antitheft system
    S410A Window lifts, electric, front
    S530A Air conditioning
    S556A Outdoor temperature indicator


    The story:
    The car was originally purchased at Hassel Motors, Inc. in Freeport, LI NY:




    By 1997, the PO had moved onto something newer and nicer, and his wife was driving the car as her daily. They had also moved to my hometown of Stamford, CT by this point. She ends up overheating the car, blowing the head gasket and transmission. As they were not at all mechanically inclined, the car sat in their driveway for about a year, unable to sell it and not wanting to pay to fix it. Enter the 1998 National Lione Little League baseball season with Big Al (my dad) as our head coach. We draft a young up-and-comer who's father happens to have a nice little red car sitting in his driveway. As the season progresses, Big Al notices that the little red car hasn't moved in months. Curious, he inquires about the car and my teammate's father details its issues and his inability to sell it (leaking oil, bad tranny, dent in the driver's rear quarter panel, hole in the carpet from his wife's high heels, etc). Otherwise the car is mint, and Big Al needs a car to whip around town that gets better gas mileage than his Ford F150. My dad offers to take the pet rock out of his driveway for $2000 (in 1998 money), they settle on $2500, and the car is his. Being the handy and well-connected guy that Big Al is, he pulls the head and replaces the head gasket along with some other necessary maintenance (water pump, timing belt, cap, rotor, and the like) and swaps in a low-mileage salvage yard autotragic that he got as a favor. The car has been in our family ever since and is somewhat of a Big Al trademark to those that know him. I ended up actually learning to drive in this car, so it holds a place near and dear to my heart.

    The car has been incredibly reliable with no major issues since we've owned it, the a/c was even ice-cold up until about 2 years ago. It eventually got the dented quarter panel fixed as well as a respray on a few of the body panels, but nothing other than basic maintenance. Summer heat or CT winter cold, the car started up every time. My dad kept it in the garage for the entire time we owned it other than the last year when he sold his business in preparation for retirement.

    When my parents decided to move south and my dad wanted to get rid of the car ("what am I gonna do with the car? I can't take it with us... grumble grumble grumble,") I told him that if he sold it to anyone but me I wouldn't talk to him for awhile. After some hemming and hawing, we agree to split the cost to ship it down to me (now in Raleigh, NC) and call it even. I drive a hard bargain, what can I say .

    Speaking of Big Al, here he is in his day with one of the 5 Datsun 1600's he owned, with me in the Zinno the day it arrived from CT:



    Like father like son as they say. Also note the epic 'stache on Big Al, another of his trademarks. I've literally never seen the man without it.


    The Plan:
    Let's be honest. It's an Eta. And an auto. It's not going to set any land speed records and I have other cars that I can go fast with. For that reason, I don't want to mess with the engine and frankly I want to keep the car what it was initially designed to be: a reliable, torque-y daily driver with some classic '80's style. I want to restore the car to its original former glory with some tasteful OEM+ upgrades. All OEM parts, no cheap stuff or shortcuts. I want it done and done right. Of the intended maintenance and upgrades:


    Basic maintenance:
    • Water pump, timing belt, and tensioner (Done)
    • Camshaft/crankshaft seals (Done)
    • Cap, rotor, wires, sparkplugs (Done)
    • Valve cover gasket, cam shaft end plugs, valve adjustment, valve cover studs and nuts (Done)
    • Engine bay refresh (polish valve cover, intake manifold, degrease, repaint, etc) (Done)
    • Intake manifold gaskets, throttle body gasket, throttle body coolant gasket (Done)
    • Replace all rubber (heater core hoses, vacuum hoses, fuel lines) (Done)
    • Replace all radiator hoses (Done)
    • New coolant overflow tank (Done)
    • Rear main seal (Done)
    • Oil pan gasket (groan) (Done!)
    • Upgrade hex-head head mount bolts to Torx bolts


    Complete suspension refresh:
    • I've already sourced a West-coast, rust-free rear subframe and trailing arms. Strip, repaint, new Lemforder bushings all around (Done)
    • Lemforder control arms (Done)
    • Lemforder e36 M3 control arm bushings (Done)
    • Billstein B8 Sport shocks/struts (Done)
    • H&R Sport springs (Done)
    • BMW front strut mounts (Done)
    • Lemforder rear shock mounts with ECS reinforcement plate (Done)
    • Purchased a 325ic front and M3 rear sway bar from yugonyc, new Lemforder swaybar links, OEM bushings and brackets all around (Done)
    • Lemforder e36 tie rods (Done)
    • Eventual steering rack seal refresh UPDATE: e46 ZHP steering rack swap, Garagistic adapter kit and solid steering coupler bushing (Done)
    • SKF front wheel bearings (FAG were out of stock when ordered) (Done)
    • FAG rear wheel bearings (Done)


    Complete brake system refresh:
    • ATE brake booster (Done)
    • ATE master cylinder (Done)
    • New brake fluid reservoir (Done)
    • Refurbished ATE/Girling brake calipers (Done)
    • Brembo rotors (Done)
    • Cool Carbon pads (Done)
    • Pagid parking brake shoes (Done)
    • ATE parking brake spring kit (Done)
    • ATE parking brake cables (Done)
    • ATE front and rear soft lines (Done)
    • Replace corroded hard lines (Done)



    Fuel system:
    • All new OEM** rubber fuel lines (Done)
    • Spectra Premium gas tank (OEM just too unreasonably expensive) (Done)
    • Bosch high speed fuel pump, both fuel line dampeners (in-tank pump recently replaced by Big Al) (Done)
    • Clean and paint fuel rail (Done)
    • Clean fuel injectors, new filters and O-rings (Done)


    Drivetrain:
    • Already purchased 3.25 lsd via agent (highly recommend) (Done)
    • 5 speed swap! (Didn't initially intend to, but purchased a complete setup from KrautnotRice while making a deal for window glass for a super good price, and the swap parts were from an '85 eta so should be plug-n-play) (Done!)
    • Febi CSB (Done)
    • BMW Giubo (Done)
    • BMW transmission mounts (Done)
    • BMW engine mounts (Done)


    Performance upgrades:
    • Jim Conforti chip (Done)
    • Aforementioned 3.25 lsd (Done)


    Exhaust:
    • Elring exhaust manifold gaskets (Done)
    • All new exhaust studs/nuts (Done)
    • Magnaflow 23553 Catalytic converter (Done)
    • Bosch O2 sensor (Done)
    • Billy Boat Exhaust (Done)


    Interior:
    • Swap in crack free dash (have one) (Done)
    • Replace comfort seats with sport seats, recover in LSeat.com Beige leather UPDATE: Autoberry Natural tan leather covers (Done)
    • Replace carpet (Done)
    • Houndstooth door cards (Done)
    • Upgrade steering wheel. Leaning towards Nardi classic mahogany with matching mahogany shifter
    • BMW premium sound speakers/tweeters (Done)
    • Consider new head unit UPDATE: Purchased VDO Continental TR7412UB-OR, with upgraded amber colored backlight and LED's by earthwormjim(Done)
    • Euro clock vs replace bleeding 6-button OBC screen (Done)
    • A/C system overhaul (It's too damn hot in NC)
    • Bavarian Restoration cluster refresh (also plan on AFM refurb through them) (Awaiting delivery)


    Cosmetics:
    • Refresh all bumper trim, side trim, IS spoiler (Done)
    • New Roundels (Done)
    • Euroweaves Purchased
    • Euro Ellipsoid smileys, purchased from Cacciatore08
    • Euro grilles
    • ES or IS cowcatcher (I have both, can't decide which I like better. Leaning towards ES as would be more original, however the ES air dam needs more work)
    • Need to decide on side skirt/rear apron combo. I like IS sides with Zender rear, but haven't been able to source the diving board Zender rear. UPDATE: MTech1 + Euro bumpers
    • Replace vs polish driver's window (scratched to sh*t from PO removing parking sticker with razor blade) (Done)
    • New chrome lock strips to front and rear windshields
    • Repair rust in driver front fender from sunroof drip tube clogging
    • Eventual complete repaint

    I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things but that should keep me busy for awhile.


    Anyway, here's a pic of how she looked the day she was delivered:





    A little dirty, but otherwise as she was they last time I saw her. I didn't take many pictures early on as I didn't initially intend on making a thread, but after reading a few member's stories I got inspired. I'll do better moving forward with photo documentation.


    My first order of business was to get the car looking presentable, so a wash and wax was in order. While cleaning, I noted how horrible the bumper shrouds and IS spoiler looked (essentially like crushed velvet due to pitting). I figured it best to pick some low-lying fruit as a first project with the car, and I was really pleased with the results. After a few hours of wet sanding with 120, 240, and 400 grit sandpaper, I used some primer/filler followed by 600 grit for what was left of the super deep pits followed by 3 coats of Plasti Dip. A word of advice when using Plasti Dip on anything: keep the spray cans soaked in a bucket of HOT water until just before you spray. Keeps the spray finer and the finish much smoother. I wasted a few hours peeling off layers that turned out blotchy due to the cans getting cold. I also used a headlight restoration kit on the front bumper plastic trim and front air dam.

    I wish I had taken some pics of the "before," they really looked terrible. Here's how we ended up:

    (With my e46 tucked in the background)

























    Hopefully I haven't bored you too much. I've already completed a few projects that I'll add retrospectively over the ensuing days, and am in the midst of my big undercarriage refresh which I hope to complete over the next few weeks. I work a lot so it takes awhile to get solid garage time, but stay tuned and thanks for watching!
    Last edited by Albie325; 08-18-2019, 04:57 PM.
    Albie

    '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

    Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

    #2
    Beautiful e30 and great story! Looking forward to seeing more!

    RICHTER MOTOREN

    1987 e30 325is Zinno - Restoring
    2004 e46 325xi Alpine - Daily
    2003 e46 330ci Topaz - Sold
    1988 e30 325is Zinno - RIP
    2007 Honda Ody - Family Truckster



    '87 325is Restoration Build


    Comment


      #3
      Interesting trick using the headlight restoration kit for the bumper trim, I need to try this on my 87 vert. Did you do anything special or did you just follow the instructions on the box as you would for lights? Amazing job you've done, the car looks great.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Richter
        Beautiful e30 and great story! Looking forward to seeing more!
        Thanks man! Finally got around to it, good to hear from you!


        The car was running great and I was really enjoying driving it around. Everywhere I went I got a compliment on it, a thumbs up here, a wave there. Had a few people come up to me while pumping gas asking about it. People really loved the little red car.

        Around spring time of this year, I started having a problem with surging idle. The car would be fine when cold or under load, however once warm the idle would continually rev between 1k and 3k rpm. After doing a bunch of reading, I decided the most likely culprit was a vacuum leak and figured it was about time to tear into the engine bay.



        Not sure when, if ever the hoses were replaced. Note Big Al's super high-tech way of documenting oil changes on the AFM. I used the 'ol starter fluid test to see if I could find where the leak was coming from and it seemed to be coming from behind the intake manifold, which I had been hoping I wasn't going to have to remove. My reading on the "bitch tube" made me a little less enthusiastic about this project :(.

        The intake came off easily enough which exposed all the heater core hoses underneath. Since I figured I'd never see them again I went ahead and replaced those too along with the heater core thermostat.



        A helpful hint if you ever need to replace the tubes connected to the heater core thermostat: realoem.com lists two separate hoses for items A and B:





        Items highlighted 6 and 9 (giggity) in the above diagram. If you look on the usual parts store sites (FCP, BavAuto, Pelican, ECS, etc), they come up looking like this:

        Part #64218367790: ($30-40! depending on the supplier)


        Part #64218367791: (Around $7-8)


        Should be all good, right? Well if you notice the realoem part #6 has the same diameter inlet and outlet, however part labeled "A" on my old thermostat has a slightly larger inlet diameter. The replacement part fit the thermostat but was too small to fit on the coolant tube on the back of the engine block.

        The reason I mention this is that I wasted almost 2 WEEKS just sending back parts that didn't fit, reordering twice from different suppliers only to find that the new part didn't fit either. Some places listed a picture of the correct part "A" but the realeom part showed up at my door, super frustrating. After some head-scratching and a ton of perusing the parts websites for other options, I found this part: (BMW part #64211380527, selling for about $20)




        If you cut along the dotted line (It's even marked on the tubing), it yields both parts "A" and "B" for about half the cost. Seems like the parts suppliers are taking this part, cutting in two, and selling each part separately at a nice markup. Not a common part to replace, but figured I'd save others the headache (and money) of buying separately. I accept donations to my PayPal Albert.Simeone@gmail.com ;D.

        Engine block degreased and sprayed with VHT high-temp:


        Baking-soda blasted and aluminum polished the intake and valve cover:



        Regarding the Bitch Tube: I read a bunch of articles detailing different ways of getting the intake back on and found a couple different methods. One was placing a wrench between the tube and the intake studs to hold it down:



        While good in theory, every time I got the intake close to fitting the wrench would move and the tube would go flying. I gave it about 3 tries and said screw it. The next technique: small zip tie on the tubing spring:



        This worked like a charm and the intake was back on in less than 10 minutes, just remember to cut the zip tie off before you call it a day or you'll have a nice mess of oil on your floor on startup.

        Mo' betta:




        Also changed all fuel hoses, the fuel line dampener, cleaned the injectors and replaced the filters and o-rings, cleaned and painted the fuel rail, cleaned and replaced the throttle body gaskets, valve adjustment, valve cover gasket and valve cover studs (one of them stripped while tightening, d'oh!). Thankfully, the surging idle stopped. Still need to replace the coolant overflow tank, brake booster and brake fluid reservoir, they look so much worse now that the rest of the engine bay is clean.
        Last edited by Albie325; 04-10-2019, 07:58 PM.
        Albie

        '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

        Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

        Comment


          #5
          I feel your pain on the bumper surround trim. Takes a lot longer than expected. Yours turned out fantastic, and looks OEM. Beautiful car as well.
          Instagram: @dillonmakar

          Build thread HERE

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Rainier
            Interesting trick using the headlight restoration kit for the bumper trim, I need to try this on my 87 vert. Did you do anything special or did you just follow the instructions on the box as you would for lights? Amazing job you've done, the car looks great.
            Thanks for the kind words, it was awhile ago now that I did it but if iirc I just used a drill with the foam polishing ball and went to town until I was happy with how it looked. The plastic for the bumper trim and air dam seemed a little different from the plastic of the bumper shrouds (a little harder and shinier, the bumper shrouds seemed softer and more rubbery in consistency). That's the reason I didn't Plasti Dip those parts. I don't think the compound would have worked as well either on the softer plastic of the shrouds, however did a really nice job on the bumper trim, made the plastic look nice and shiny. If you have really deep pits, you could try some wet sanding first, mine weren't too bad and I wasn't sure how it would work so just went ahead with the headlight kit and was happy enough that I left it alone.
            Albie

            '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

            Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

            Comment


              #7
              the ziptie method on the bitch tube is the best for sure. I don't know how anyone would do it otherwise. I used two zip ties i think and just cut them off with a razor once it was all lined up. worked perfectly.

              Comment


                #8
                Great thread and really nice progress so far! 20 years in the family is amazing. I'm sure you're making Big Al quite happy. I think you'll really enjoy the car even more once you're able to row your own gears! Great call on the 5 speed swap.

                The bumper trim looks incredible.

                Cheers.
                1988 325 Lachs Sedan SOLD

                1989 325i Bronzit Beige 2 Door
                SOLD

                2018 Volkswagen Alltrack SE DSG
                Past:1988 325iS Lachs 5 Speed

                Comment


                  #9
                  The zip tie method, my god that's brilliant.

                  I had to hold mine down, and hang the IM with the other hand.

                  I was not impressed.
                  I do things.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jeenyus
                    the ziptie method on the bitch tube is the best for sure. I don't know how anyone would do it otherwise. I used two zip ties i think and just cut them off with a razor once it was all lined up. worked perfectly.
                    Fo' sho. Super easy, found the recommendation haphazardly on a thread. I haven't really found a good DIY on the intake manifold removal/replacement subject. Isn't too complicated, but the little things like this help a ton.

                    Originally posted by Melon
                    The zip tie method, my god that's brilliant.

                    I had to hold mine down, and hang the IM with the other hand.

                    I was not impressed.

                    Yeah man lifesaver, was shocked how how well it worked. I've been following your build, really enjoy what you've been doing. Strong work, was thinking of finding a local paint shop once all the mechanicals were sorted out but given how well yours came out with a pretty simple paint setup, I'm considering painting it myself. Crazy, yes, but up for the challenge.

                    Originally posted by TFJR
                    Great thread and really nice progress so far! 20 years in the family is amazing. I'm sure you're making Big Al quite happy. I think you'll really enjoy the car even more once you're able to row your own gears! Great call on the 5 speed swap.

                    The bumper trim looks incredible.

                    Cheers.
                    I can't wait to have this car as a manual, it's fun enough as an auto. My other cars are both manual and I love driving them, especially considering it's a dying breed among new cars. Was thinking of keeping this one an auto just so my fiancee could drive it in a pinch, but then i figured I'd just man up and teach her the correct way to drive so I could enjoy the car a bit more.
                    Albie

                    '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

                    Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
                      The car:
                      1986 325e, Prod Date 1985-12-03
                      Zinnoberrot (128) (nice!)
                      Automatic (ugh)
                      Upholstery  (0156) Pearl Beige comfort, vinyl

                      [*]Purchased a 325ic front and M3 rear sway bar
                      Great read. Funny, my son's car is so so similar to yours - '86es, Zinno, auto. We've done a lot of the stuff on your list, including H&R Sports etc. We have an early 5-speed and a new single mass flywheel on the garage floor waiting. We swapped a rack doctor E36 steering rack, and what a difference. We went backwards from you - sold the ES cow catcher and fogs, bought a euro lip. Found a set of replica 15" Alpina wheels in Germany.

                      Question - why that choice of f&r sway bars? I'd like to know more.

                      Thanks!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by LateFan
                        Question - why that choice of f&r sway bars? I'd like to know more.

                        The stock early model (pre-9/1986) Eta sway bars are 18.5mm in the front and 12mm in the rear. Stock 325ic cars have a 21mm front sway bar (but only 12mm rear), and the M3 as well as 325ix cars have a 14.5mm rear (but only 19mm and 17mm fronts, respectively). So basically using a stock "upgrade" for beefier sways.

                        I looked into the aftermarket options, but based on what I've read they are typically so stiff that you need to also reinforce your mounting brackets for fear that they'll rip off under high stress. I didn't want to have to weld/fab up something just for sway bars on an Eta, so next best thing was a beefier stock upgrade.

                        Stock:

                        318i(m10): Front: 18mm Rear: none
                        318is(m42): Front: 20mm Rear: 12mm
                        318ic(m42): Front: 21mm Rear: 12mm
                        325e(pre 9/86): Front: 18.5mm Rear: 12mm
                        325e(9/86): Front: 20mm Rear: 12mm
                        325i(m20): Front: 20mm Rear: 12mm
                        325is(m20): Front: 20mm Rear: 12mm
                        325ic(m20): Front: 21mm Rear: 12mm
                        325ix(M20): Front: 17mm Rear: 14.5mm
                        325ix Touring(M20): Front: 18mm Rear: 14.5mm
                        M3(s14): Front: 19mm Rear: 14.5mm


                        The above list borrowed from this thread: https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=47362
                        Albie

                        '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

                        Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Ok so I've finally had some time off to knock out a couple nice hurdles of the project. After fixing up the engine bay, I ended up getting a German Shepherd puppy in the spring which took up a lot of time (and money) and not a lot of progress was made while I stockpiled parts for the build:





                          Around that time, I acquired a nice rust-free subframe and trailing arm setup from San Diego for a nice price. Not that anything was wrong with mine, I just felt like it would be easier to have a nice new setup prepped and ready to go, drop the old one out, and pop the new one in with a short turnaround. A little dusty, but all intact:






                          All the bushings were still in place so I went about getting those out. Not an easy project, but overall not nearly as bad as I was expecting.

                          First, i picked up this kit on Amazon for about $85. It was invaluable for this project:






                          I also picked up some 1/2" threaded rod, a few grade 8 nuts and various washers. For the subframe bushings, here's what I used:



                          Be sure to put two nuts together on the top and tighten together to prevent the threaded rod from spinning as you press the bushing out:






                          Place a wrench on the top nut as you tighten with the ratchet: (I also heated the bushing with a torch to soften the rubber and make it slide out easier)



                          As I got towards the end, my cup was a little short and the bushing was hitting the end so I had to improvise with some impact sockets for the last little bit:



                          Voila:



                          I used a spacer on the bottom towards the end as the threaded rod got to be too long and was through my socket and hitting the ratchet. In hindsight, I would have just started with the spacer from the beginning.



                          Wash, rinse, repeat for the other side.



                          For the trailing arm bushings, I used a similar setup, however used 3/8" threaded rod and I had to use a 3" pipe coupler as a cup since none of the ones in my kit were even close to being small enough. It worked perfectly:











                          For the wheel bearings, I rented a large bearing separator from Autozone and used two lug nuts to press the hub out. First remove the parking brakes then place the separator between the trailing arm and the hub. Make sure you either use old crappy lug nuts or get some new ones to replace the old ones with as you'll likely ruin the threads on the ends:







                          Tighten each side little by little until the hub is pressed off. I got it about 80% of the way there and used a slide hammer for the rest:





                          Remove your circlip:



                          Then use a similar cup/plate/washer/nut setup to press out the wheel bearing:






                          Bonus: The cup caught all the ball bearings before they ran all over the floor:








                          All in all, this took a few hours over the course of a weekend to complete with a couple runs to Home Depot and Autozone in between. With the trial and error out of the way, this could likely be done in an hour or two tops.


                          More coming soon
                          Albie

                          '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

                          Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Around the time I was doing this, I reached out to Agent about a rebuilt 3.25lsd, his ad should still be up in the Parts For Sale section. I ended up driving out to Virginia to meet his BMW tech, Mark, for pickup and to drop off my core. I couldn't have been more pleased with the transaction and the product. All top-notch work and great communication.

                            When removing my old dif, i saw the dreaded hex head style bolts for the half shafts. I soaked those puppies in PB blast and prayed to god I didn't strip any. Came close once or twice, but all came off without an issue:



                            Dif out, that sum' bitch was heavy:



                            The dif fluid and gears were surprisingly clean despite how corroded the exterior looked:











                            Here's the new 3.25, thanks guys!:





                            Mark even included all new dif cover bolts and tube of permatex to seal the cover.

                            After an hour or so with a Dremmel:





                            I purchased a new dif cover bushing (the one with the spaces in the rubber) but seeing how the original was a solid rubber bushing a la the z4 bushing and still in good shape, I left it alone.

                            Time to strip the subframe:





                            Definitely wear a respirator, eye protection, and some heavy-duty gloves. That aircraft stripper is nasty stuff. Even a little fleck of it on my skin burned instantly.

                            After a first coat:



                            The paint peeled right off with a plastic razor for the most part but there were a few spots that didn't wanna budge despite 3 total coats of the stripper. The heavy wire angle grinder took care of the rest, I recommend doing this part outside as it made quite a mess of the garage. Down to bare metal:



                            Scuffed the Spectra Premium gas tank and prepped everything with Metal Blast:



                            Made a makeshift paint booth which actually worked pretty well:



                            After two coats of Rust Bullet:



                            You can see some orange peel, it was my first time using a spray gun and I tried a couple different settings and spray tips to get the spray pattern right. I was using a 30 gallon compressor so had plenty of air supply and a Devilbiss Finish Line gun. The Rust Bullet is pretty thick stuff. The spray gun recommended a PSI of 23-26, while the paint recommended a PSI of 40-60. I went with the setting the gun recommended, probably should have gone with the higher PSI. Still ended up coming out pretty good for a first try and definitely accomplished the goal of rust proofing everything. At least they're parts that are under the car that I won't be looking at too much. The Black Shell top coat was much thinner and easier to work with:





                            In the meantime, the Parts Fairy came:






                            Still need to press the new bushings into the subframe, seal, fill, and mount the dif, and put it all together. Wanted the paint to cure a bit first.

                            In the meantime, I went to work dropping the old subframe and gas tank (last weekend's project). I'll hopefully get around to posting that tomorrow.
                            Albie

                            '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

                            Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 Feedback | Albie's M4 European Delivery

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Nice progress! That Rust Bullet seems like good thick stuff. Congrats on the puppy!!
                              OBD1 S52 E36 Compact
                              84 318i M10 Zender

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