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

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  • Melon
    replied
    I'll be in TN @ The Tail of the Dragon in mid-May and last week of July.

    I'll leave you a note at the overlook.

    Leave a comment:


  • Staszek
    replied
    Originally posted by Albie325 View Post


    Staszek, I ended up just ordering directly from their site: https://www.lamin-x.com/precut-film-...sid=MWts7buayQ

    I plugged in my model/year but you can adjust at the top, they should all be the same for the euros. Also, make sure you order the euro spec covers (obvi) as the US spec covers are a little different. They also sell various sized plain sheets of material, I ended up buying an 8x8in piece to cut for the fogs when I eventually get around to putting those on.
    Good idea because I have new glass on the fogs too! Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • Albie325
    replied


    Staszek, I ended up just ordering directly from their site: https://www.lamin-x.com/precut-film-...sid=MWts7buayQ

    I plugged in my model/year but you can adjust at the top, they should all be the same for the euros. Also, make sure you order the euro spec covers (obvi) as the US spec covers are a little different. They also sell various sized plain sheets of material, I ended up buying an 8x8in piece to cut for the fogs when I eventually get around to putting those on.

    Leave a comment:


  • Staszek
    replied
    Where did you buy the laminx covers? Great idea i have new glass and want to protect it1

    Leave a comment:


  • rzerob
    replied
    All I can think of is step brothers: "Did we just become best friends?"

    Leave a comment:


  • Albie325
    replied
    Originally posted by Tzantushka
    Quality, quality work as usual....
    Originally posted by 2mAn
    Love the updates. This car will be phenomenal when its done!
    Originally posted by paynemw
    These are the jewels of R3v. I can find info about the TPS and lowering springs all day, but small things like that are harder to find. I think the harder to find information is what brings people back to quality build threads.
    Thanks guys, I often find myself mid-photo or mid post thinking "who the hell wants to see this boring stuff?" I've omitted a few things this way but may now reconsider. Anyway, I took a hiatus up in CT for the holidays so am out of the garage until after the new year, hoping to have a busy few weeks of sanding upon my return.

    Originally posted by 808ETA
    I learned about Photobucket fix from Victell. I use this one on Chrome https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...bifiaedg?hl=en or try to google for which ever browser you use
    Hmm I'll have to check that out, thanks man

    Originally posted by Melon
    What paint are you going to end up using?
    Single stage is fine if you keep the car garaged, and properly protect the paint with quality sealers and waxes.
    The guy at the shop seemed to really like U-tech for the "bang for the buck" factor, however I think that he was trying to keep budget in mind. I, on the other hand, have already blown WAY past any potential budget I may have had in mind for this car and am already under the impression that I'll be "saving" a ton of money by going single stage rather than 2K. I want to go with as high-quality as I can within reason. Funny how the mind convinces you that spending a nice chunk of change in the name of progress on your 30+ year old pile is a "bargain," but I digress. I need to talk to him a bit more when I get back in town, but I was thinking a urethane paint from PPG, Sikkens, or Lesonal depending on what he has to say. The fact that it's a flat color and a very specific color red, he said that certain brands color match better than others but that all are really high quality offerings.




    Off topic a bit, but a few months ago a new neighbor ended up moving in and taking the garage next to mine at the apartment complex. He saw me outside tooling around on the E30 one day over the summer, I think I was in the midst of the manual swap and I was naturally coated in grease and grime. He's apparently a gearhead as well and used to work for one of the Porsche dealerships in Maine along with a smattering of VW experience. He did a turbo build on an MK1 Golf that I'll have to get him to send me a photo of to post up here. Anyway we got to talking and he kindof pulls his pants up like a proud dad and is like "cool E30, I have an F80 that I did a euro delivery on last year one bay over" and pops the door to the garage to show me his beautiful yas marina blue over Shakir orange M3, competition package and 6 speed manual as well so I was already impressed with the guy. With a shit eating grin on my face I'm like "Nice! I did a euro delivery on an F82 that's in the OTHER other bay" and popped the garage door to mine. I think he was a bit stunned to say the least but needless to say we were fast friends. Turns out we picked up our cars about 2 weeks apart last year, pretty cool. Ended up grabbing a beer the day before I left for CT to plan a little weekend out at the Tail of the Dragon in NC for an M-car get together in June. Should be a great time, and not too long after the Vintage! Two trips out to the mountains in two different cars should be a blast, will be interesting to see which I like driving out on the twisties more.



    Last edited by Albie325; 12-26-2019, 07:05 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • 808ETA
    replied
    Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
    Short update:

    I went to one of the local pick-n-pulls that had what was once a really nice E28, MTech spoiler and all. It had been listed that day and I jumped off the couch to head over to it but the spoiler got snagged before I got there. I was also hoping to find a nice large tool kit, but it was also warped and rotted out. I did however find a cassette cleaner in the glovebox, thought it was kinda '80s cool so I grabbed it:





    And also found this relic:



    I didn't take it but you could tell this car was once top of the line, had all the bells and whistles. It was oddly sad to see it sitting there. Ended up grabbing some switches and things that I could use along with some of the easier to grab interior bits and left the rest for someone else.


    I also visited a local paint supply shop, the road it was on was appropriately named, I took it as a sign that I came to the right place:



    I spoke for almost a half hour with the owner, he's been painting cars for over 30 years. He came out and looked over the car and loved it, and agreed it didn't need all that much body work. He did however strongly advise me to go with single stage paint. I had my heart set on a 2K system, but after a lot of reading on the subject I agree with the expert for a few reasons:
    • It will give me the best possible chance to achieve a really nice finish with my limited experience, especially after color sanding/buffing
    • The car originally came with single stage, so would be more period correct
    • Over time, I think the paint would be easier to care for and won't have to worry about clear coat failure/spider webbing
    • The car is going to be garaged about 90% of the time when not driving it anyway, so the supposed diminished durability often attributed to single stage vs clear coat will be negligible
    • I will probably end up spending less than half as much for a premium quality single stage vs a comparable 2K system
    I've also been going back to some of my bookmarked MTech threads, and lemme just say FUCK photobucket. So many important photos and posts that I had planned to reference are all blurred out or missing altogether. Super frustrating. I had also found a really good website with all the drilling templates for the sideskirts, the most challenging part I've come to find out for mounting the kit right, only to find that the website is also dead. I ended up just test mounting some of the kit and figured out where to make the holes for the OEM brackets and such:



    Last, I found out that the headlight covers in the engine bay for my car no longer fit with the ellipsoids as the new lights are way bulkier than the sealed beams:



    Ended up ordering the later model ones, notice they have a little bit of an indent where the headlights sit:



    Had to trim the passenger side one a bit to fit over the a/c drier and put my Pukar Designs a/c charge sticker on, not a bad match to the original:



    It was kindof a bitch to get the drivers side in as there was only like 2mm or space between the ABS pump and the light:






    Not the sexiest post but sometimes the little details make a big difference
    I learned about Photobucket fix from Victell. I use this one on Chrome https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...bifiaedg?hl=en or try to google for which ever browser you use

    Leave a comment:


  • Melon
    replied
    The devil is in the details. Car is coming along great.

    What paint are you going to end up using?
    Single stage is fine if you keep the car garaged, and properly protect the paint with quality sealers and waxes.

    Leave a comment:


  • paynemw
    replied
    Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
    Not the sexiest post but sometimes the little details make a big difference
    These are the jewels of R3v. I can find info about the TPS and lowering springs all day, but small things like that are harder to find. I think the harder to find information is what brings people back to quality build threads.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2mAn
    replied
    Love the updates. This car will be phenomenal when its done!

    Leave a comment:


  • Tzantushka
    replied
    Quality, quality work as usual....

    Leave a comment:


  • Albie325
    replied
    Short update:

    I went to one of the local pick-n-pulls that had what was once a really nice E28, MTech spoiler and all. It had been listed that day and I jumped off the couch to head over to it but the spoiler got snagged before I got there. I was also hoping to find a nice large tool kit, but it was also warped and rotted out. I did however find a cassette cleaner in the glovebox, thought it was kinda '80s cool so I grabbed it:





    And also found this relic:



    I didn't take it but you could tell this car was once top of the line, had all the bells and whistles. It was oddly sad to see it sitting there. Ended up grabbing some switches and things that I could use along with some of the easier to grab interior bits and left the rest for someone else.


    I also visited a local paint supply shop, the road it was on was appropriately named, I took it as a sign that I came to the right place:



    I spoke for almost a half hour with the owner, he's been painting cars for over 30 years. He came out and looked over the car and loved it, and agreed it didn't need all that much body work. He did however strongly advise me to go with single stage paint. I had my heart set on a 2K system, but after a lot of reading on the subject I agree with the expert for a few reasons:
    • It will give me the best possible chance to achieve a really nice finish with my limited experience, especially after color sanding/buffing
    • The car originally came with single stage, so would be more period correct
    • Over time, I think the paint would be easier to care for and won't have to worry about clear coat failure/spider webbing
    • The car is going to be garaged about 90% of the time when not driving it anyway, so the supposed diminished durability often attributed to single stage vs clear coat will be negligible
    • I will probably end up spending less than half as much for a premium quality single stage vs a comparable 2K system
    I've also been going back to some of my bookmarked MTech threads, and lemme just say FUCK photobucket. So many important photos and posts that I had planned to reference are all blurred out or missing altogether. Super frustrating. I had also found a really good website with all the drilling templates for the sideskirts, the most challenging part I've come to find out for mounting the kit right, only to find that the website is also dead. I ended up just test mounting some of the kit and figured out where to make the holes for the OEM brackets and such:



    Last, I found out that the headlight covers in the engine bay for my car no longer fit with the ellipsoids as the new lights are way bulkier than the sealed beams:



    Ended up ordering the later model ones, notice they have a little bit of an indent where the headlights sit:



    Had to trim the passenger side one a bit to fit over the a/c drier and put my Pukar Designs a/c charge sticker on, not a bad match to the original:



    It was kindof a bitch to get the drivers side in as there was only like 2mm or space between the ABS pump and the light:






    Not the sexiest post but sometimes the little details make a big difference

    Leave a comment:


  • Albie325
    replied
    Alright, I've finally got the Euro Smiley's installed and buttoned up. I made some plug and play adapters la Jordan, and also wired the lows to come on with the highs internally within the fuse box, details below.

    Started by installing all new adjusters and mounting cups:



    And all new bulbs using the Osram Night Breaker Lasers:



    In order to get the chrome trim rings to mount properly, I had to cut a small slit in them in order for them to fit into the little mounting tab on the light housing:







    Finished with some Lamin-X covers to protect my investment:



    All done and ready to mount:







    Next I moved onto the wiring. I made some plug and play adapters so I wouldn't have to cut any of the original wires, was very easy and all worked nice and neat:





    As has been documented countless places, the old sealed beam highs have only 2 wires leading into the connector (Power and ground, actually there are 3 wires, however 2 power wires are connected to the same pin), while the low-beams have 3 (Low beam power, high beam power, and ground).

    High beams (Pins in the left and right positions, empty middle position):
    • White/blue and white/violet = power
    • Brown = ground



    Low beams (Pins in all 3 positions):
    • Yellow = low beam power
    • White/Violet (Driver) and White/Blue (Passenger) = High beam power. Notice these wires are the same color as the high-beam power wires, since they all originate together from the high-beam relay output. This will be important later
    • Brown = ground



    The sealed beams are dual-filament, the euro ellipsoids are single filament. Having a low beam power and a high beam power to the lows is what allows the lows to remain on with the high beams on despite the unloader circuit within the fuse box relays (more on that later). The new high beam pigtails are self-explanatory, however you'll have to test the lows to see which power wire is the low power and which is the high power, you'll only need to make a pin for the low-power. Mine were both in the horizontal position, leave the others spot blank as you'll no longer use the high-power.



    For the city lights, I wired them into the front side marker wires as I wont be using them anymore once I put the euro bumpers on. Instead of cutting the wires and splicing, I found these pin connectors that plug in perfectly with the existing connector. I bought these and all the other crimp terminals through TE Connectivity, I highly recommended, they have literally any kind of connector housing or spade/pin connector you can think of and all are OE quality.







    All done:





    All smiles here :



    Now for the high/low wiring. A lot of people will just stop here, however with the stock US spec fuse box setup, installing the euros will cause the low beams to turn off when the high beams are activated, which isn't how it was before. The highs and lows should both go on with the high beams activated. This is due to the unloader circuit within the fuse box and is due to the dual filament bulbs in the old sealed beams.:



    The keys here are K3 (high beam relay) and K4 (low beam relay). The pins based on the ETM diagram are as follows:

    K3:
    • Pin 30 = Power input, from C101 (Constant power in On or Run)
    • Pin 85/86: Switched power, activates the relay power when the high beam switch is flipped on
    • Pin 87: Power output (to the high beam bulbs)
    • **Pin 87a**: A power gated switch with output to either Pin 30 on the low beam relay (K4) OR Pin 87. With the low beam switch on and high beams off, we see that pin 87a allows power from C101 and pin 30 on K3 to be transmitted to Pin 30 on K4 (the low beam relay). When the high beam switch is flipped on, 87a flips power from pin 30 on K4 to power pin 87, allowing the power to be transmitted to the high beam bulb. The lows STILL STAY ON however due to that extra third wire (White/blue or white/violet on the low beam plug) for the dual filament bulb which originates from the output of K3. With the new single filament euro bulbs, we have no connector for the white/(blue/violet) wires (the problem).
    K4 (essentially the same layout as K3 and nearly all the other relays in the fuse box):
    • Pin 30 = power, originates from pin 87a of K3
    • Pin 85/86: switched power, activates the relay power when the low beam switch is flipped on
    • Pin 87: Power output (to the low beam bulbs)
    So the issue we have is that now when we flip the high beams on, the high-beam relay K3 pin 87a turns power OFF to the low beam relay K4 pin 30, and we no longer have the high-beam power wires (white/(blue/violet)) to the dual filament low beam. Therefore, our low beam lights turn off when the highs turn on. One way to fix this is to connect pin 30 on K4 to pin 30 on K3, allowing K4 to have constant power, it looks like this:



    While this will work I don't like having exposed wiring within the fuse box, I think it's asking for trouble.

    I did some investigating and found that Pin 87a of K3 is connected to Pin 30 of K4 using a simple dual quick connect splice wire within the fuse box itself. Before starting, disconnect the battery.





    In order to remove the unloader circuit from the K3->K4 connection from 87a to 30, remove the short section of wire connecting the two pins by sliding a paperclip or small pin along the side of the spade terminal and pull the wire out. There's a little tab that holds the spade connector into the fuse box.



    Note that the allen head screw in the above pics mounts to to several different connectors which receive constant power with the key in On or Run, this includes C101:



    Now make a new wire with one female spade terminal and one ring terminal:



    Now unscrew the allen head screw (3mm allen) and put the ringed end on the screw along with C101 and the other constant power connectors and tighten the screw back up:



    And connect the spade connector into the slot for K4 Pin 30:



    This effectively connects C101 to Pin 30 of K4, giving constant power to K4 and allowing the lows to stay on full time independent of the K3 relay.

    Put the fuse box back together, reconnect the battery, and let's see if it works:

    City lights:



    Lows:



    And Highs:



    Alright! All good, and nice and neat wiring. A couple things to note: yes, the city lights remain on throughout the park/low/high positions since they are wired into the front marker lights. I was initially concerned about this so naturally I checked with our resident expert Jordan since the euro wiring diagrams seem to be unavailable. The euro cars don't have side markers BUT have the same wires in their place. The front wires on the euro cars are wired into the city lights and connected in to the parking light circuit as I have done here. The rears are connected to (I believe) the rear fogs on the euro cars, but I may be mistaken about this. Therefore, the city lights are SUPPOSED to remain on at all times, even with the lows and highs on. Many people don't seem to like this and wire the city lights into separate switches within cabin to have control of the city lights to act as daytime running lights independent of the parking light switch, I decided against this although it wouldn't be that hard to do. Also, you'll notice that my fog lights remain on when the highs are on, they are supposed to turn off when the highs are on as apparently it is against the law to have fogs on with lows and highs both illuminated.

    Here is a very detailed DIY on how to overcome this: http://users.rcn.com/nifftylion/head...=greatinternet

    This document goes into WAY more detail as to why I had to wire things up the way I did. As for the fog light issue, fixing it involves wiring in an extra relay into the K9 position in the fuse box (intended for rear fog lights in euro cars, however left blank on US cars). It's not that hard to do, but I honestly don't care about having the fogs turn off with the high beams activated so I didn't bother.
    Last edited by Albie325; 12-09-2019, 09:25 PM.

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  • Melon
    replied
    Weather is everything, I painted my car in the worst heat of Louisiana summer. Didn't effect the paint, but it was torture for me. 70 and dry is about perfect.

    When I paint again, I'll invest in a quality turbine system. I was really impressed with the ease of use, and I have no use for a proper compressor, since all my tools are electric. Since you have one, roll with it.

    Dent puller is an excellent idea. I still have a few small dents on my car I wish I had seen before I painted it. Sanding and prepwork isn't bad honestly, just time consuming. I did about 95% of mine with a Ridgid orbital sander. I only blocked and wetsanded the filler primer.

    Just don't be too hard on yourself. I was almost in tears when I finished mine. The paint is meh up close, and if/when the time comes to sell it, I'll repaint it, at least shoot more clear on it for the best possible finish. But, I was sitting outside, rather forlorn, with my girlfriend for about two hours before I started removing the paper and all that stuff.

    ​​​​​​Orange peel is fixable, but I have crap in the clear, sweat drips, it's too thin in areas. Jordan probably lays awake at night wondering what's wrong with me. But, the car looks good, and I learned a lot from my mistakes.

    Fuereorange isn't expensive, just don't go waterbased PPG. Yowza, that shit ain't cheap.

    I probably spent about $5,000 on paint and supplies. That includes SprayMax for smaller items (Suspension, engine bay, etc.) If I were to do it again, I could knock about $2,000 off of that, and that's with buying a $1,200 Turbine spraying system.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albie325
    replied
    Originally posted by Melon
    Buy good spraying equipment.
    Make friends with your local paint supply company, they can offer you much better priced paints than I went with.
    Melon, you're basically who I was referencing, one other member recently repainted his vert and did a really nice job as well. I've gone back and reread through your thread a bunch of times here lately to make sure I have an idea of what I'm getting myself into. Hoping that Zinno will be slightly cheaper than feurorange . Hoping to sand and bodywork the car here in the colder months and get ready for primer/paint once the weather starts getting warm, I only have a space heater in the garage so don't want to paint with the weather below 60-70F.

    I have a DeVilbiss Finish Line system (separate base/clear and primer guns) with a 30-gal compressor and I've already invested in some of the necessary tools (DA sander, hammer and dolly set, Dura Blocks, etc). As for paint, I'm deciding between PPG and Dupont Cromax, will all depend on pricing. I planned on getting in touch with you about the process once I get some prices.


    Thanks for the kind words, guys. It's definitely going to be a big undertaking and a learning process for sure. Over the last 2 years and especially over the last month or so since finally deciding to really do this myself, I've probably got a few hundred hours worth of autobody, dent repair, paint, and buffing DIY videos and blogs under my belt. I hope to have some good content and a pointer or two along the way, hope I don't disappoint!


    Leave a comment:

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