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Big Al's Revenge: an OEM+, MTech1 325e restoration

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    So I ended up redoing the covers on the front seat bottoms and backs as well as the rear seats so I could loosen up all the center straps and smooth them out. I then did another few rounds with the heat gun and reconditioned the leather with Griot's garage 3-in-1 conditioner. I'm really happy with how the seats ended up, the final result is about as good as I could have hoped for. Got nearly ALL the wrinkles and creases out, I'm pumped:











    I used the heat gun on the rear seat covers as well, I was really impressed with how well I was able to smooth out the top corners. This was the part of the seats that I thought I did the worst on initially, the results this time were a lot more palatable.

    Before:



    After:





    My OCD got the better of me but I have to say it paid off, night and day difference to how these looked the other day.
    Last edited by Albie325; 05-30-2019, 04:48 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


      Amazing work on those seats! I'll be over tonight to pick them up. Right color too!

      I'm really impressed with your work. I don't think I'd have the patience.

      PO replaced my sport seats with vinyl covers and the driver's side bolster is already cracking badly.

      Can't wait to eventually replace all the seat covers with fresh leather skins.
      90 Bronzit 325is
      16 Black Sapphire 340i M Sport

      Comment


        Looks really good. Nice job!
        1989 325i LS Swap (Money Pit):https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...d.php?t=244933
        COTM Feb 2019: https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...d.php?t=428404

        Comment


          Wow, amazing finish. They look professionally done. How's the M-tech 1 kit coming along?
          1990 Bmw 316i 2 door Alpine Weiß 2
          1990 Bmw 535iA Alpine Weiß 2 (soon to be manual)

          Comment


            Piping?

            Did the oem seats have piping? I believe on earlier models they did but I've been sitting on an E36 too long, I forgot!

            I would imagine yes. Thinking of re-doing my seats with autoberry as well.

            Clearly some of the e30 seats don't.

            Comment


              Man, those seats really turned out great. You want to do another set? :D

              It's on my never ending list of things to do on my iS. I just had the M3 seats done by Stitched before they closed up.

              The manual swap will transform your car!
              1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread
              1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread

              Comment


                Man, I'd hold a fart in, if I was sitting on those seats.
                I do things.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by laidback93
                  Amazing work on those seats! I'll be over tonight to pick them up. Right color too!
                  Ha not after that ordeal at least. As for yours, do it, you won't be disappointed. I hemmed and hawed about doing vinyl covers and am happy I sprung the extra cash for leather.

                  Originally posted by Pootis
                  Looks really good. Nice job!
                  Thanks man! And thanks for the autoberry rec

                  Originally posted by pipeuy
                  Wow, amazing finish. They look professionally done. How's the M-tech 1 kit coming along?
                  Thanks, I'm really happy (and a little surprised) I was able to get them to this level. As for the MTech 1, I haven't done much with it yet. I'm gonna wait to get the last of the interior and mechanical projects done and worry about that when I'm closer to being ready for paint. Hopefully by the end of the year.

                  Originally posted by Javier h
                  Did the oem seats have piping? I believe on earlier models they did but I've been sitting on an E36 too long, I forgot!
                  The seats in your pic are for a vert, and to my knowledge all the verts came without piping and instead came with the stitching pictured. I believe the M cars did as well. I actually really like that look and prefer it to the piping. Not sure about all cars, but most of the non-convertible sport seats I've seen have piping. My old covers did at least.

                  Originally posted by AWDBOB
                  Man, those seats really turned out great. You want to do another set?

                  It's on my never ending list of things to do on my iS. I just had the M3 seats done by Stitched before they closed up.

                  The manual swap will transform your car!
                  I'll do your seats if you'll wet sand my paint and windshield! As for the swap, hopfefully it isnt too much longer.

                  Originally posted by Melon
                  Man, I'd hold a fart in, if I was sitting on those seats.
                  For sure no burritos before long drives:firehop:
                  Albie

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

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

                  Comment


                    So today I ripped out the interior, dash, IHKS and all. Here's what I started with:







                    Pretty clean, but dash was cracked, seats were comfort, and speakers were basic.

                    The seats came out in about 20 minutes. The rear parcel shelf was pretty easy, just slide the 3rd brake light out and disconnect the harness. Unscrew and disconnect the speakers. To get it out past the seat belts, unbolt the belt from the bottom (17mm). The black plastic piece at the top just slides up and out, and then slide the belt out through the slit in the plastic. Then the parcel tray just lifts up and out, slide the seatbelts through.









                    For the dash removal, I won't cover the whole thing as there's a bunch of good writeups. I found this one to be most helpful:

                    http://www.rtsauto.com/45/

                    The only tips I can add that aren't in the above DIY are remove the following:
                    • Upper steering column cover
                    • Windshield wiper stalk
                    • A-pillar trim


                    Removing these will allow yourself more wiggle room to get the dash out as well as to prevent you from ripping the vinyl trim.

                    For the steering column cover, there are 4 phillips head bolts on the underside of the bottom cover. Remove and wiggle the top cover out, it will be a tight fit. Once the dash is unbolted and you can move it a bit it will be easier.

                    For the windshield wiper stalk, there are 2 phillips head screws to remove. The stalk then slides out, disconnect the harness to remove:





                    I was really torquing the stalk until I finally decided to remove it, it's really easy and took all of 20 seconds. The blinker stalk wasn't in my way so I left it.

                    For the A-pillars, there is a metal clip about 3 inches from the top of the trim pieace. First remove the door weather strip. Then use a plastic pry bar from the windshield side and pop the clip out. Then there's a metal clip on the bottom of the trim piece, slide the whole piece up and out.







                    It's possible to remove the dash without removing the A-pillars however the ends of the dash have metal clips that slide underneath them. They're sharp and will easily cut the vinyl, plus having them out makes wiggling the dash out a lot easier.

                    Dash out:



                    My ultimate goal is to remove the carpet, clean and redye it, and install some sound deadener throughout. I didn't want to cut the carpet plus want to clean and refurb the IHKS anyway so it had to come out.

                    I had a hard time finding much info on how to do it. This YouTube video helped a bit:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkSJQ7_usXE

                    Basically, the IHKS is held in by:
                    • One small bracket at the front just in front of the shifter
                    • 4 nuts inside the firewall (see pics). You'll need to remove the blower fan cover in the engine bay behind the intake manifold
                    • 2 A/C lines that hook into the expansion valve on the passenger side of the unit
                    • Two tubes that connect the heater core to the coolant lines in the engine bay on the driver's side of the unit


                    Remove this cover, theres 2 plastic nuts that hold the wiring harness bracket on, 2 phillips head screws for the big wiring harness plug bracket, and several 8mm screws that hold the cover to the firewall:





                    Hmmm that wire on the plastic strap to the left tells me someone's been here before...

                    Inside, there's 2 nuts on the left side and two more on the right side:





                    Helpful hint: if you had the recirculator off prior to turning your car off, the recirc dampers will be open. In this position, you won't be able to pull the IHKS unit out as they will hit the firewall. I almost broke mine before I realized this.



                    To close them, you need to detach the metal rods that connect to the recirc switch motors on either side of the IHKS box:



                    They just pop out:



                    This allows your dampers to close and clear the firewall:



                    Drain the coolant from the car. Now disconnect the two coolant hoses connected to the pipes on the heater core on the drivers side. I recommend putting some rags down inside the car as some coolant will spill when removing the unit. Then disconnect the two AC lines on the passenger side of the box (one is a 17mm, other is a 24mm line nut)

                    There are 3 rubber drainage tubes connected to the bottom of the IHKS box, pop them off. You should be free to wiggle the whole unit out.



                    As you might have guessed, that thang was GROSS



                    Here's where we finished up, not bad for a day's work:



                    I'll take the carpet out tomorrow and get to work cleaning it and hopefully the sound deadener arrives too. I need to do some more detective work on my speaker wiring in order to get the new headunit and premium sound setup to work properly, I haven't found a great DIY for an early model wiring setup with the fader in the dash. If anyone is keeping any secrets, speak up! I'd love the advice.
                    Albie

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

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

                    Comment


                      Great work!
                      1991 318iC
                      1989 325i Field Rescue

                      Comment


                        The seatbelts aren't the same length for the front. The one with the Autoflug tag goes on the driver's side. I made the mistake of installing them backwards, and had to re-do it.
                        I do things.

                        Comment


                          Nice. I used the same DIY for my dash replacement and agree the A pillar trim needs to be removed. Do you have a replacement dash or are you getting yours leather wrapped?

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Melon
                            The seatbelts aren't the same length for the front. The one with the Autoflug tag goes on the driver's side. I made the mistake of installing them backwards, and had to re-do it.
                            Thanks I'll have to keep that in mind. I'm playing with the idea of using Safety Restore to redo all the seatbelts seeing how well they did on yours. I've been using your and Jordan's threads for the IHKS cleanout which I'll do this week as well.

                            Originally posted by mike.bmw
                            Do you have a replacement dash or are you getting yours leather wrapped?
                            I have a really nice replacement dash that I picked up about a year and a half ago that's been taking up a ton of room on my shelf. Happy to finally get to use it, I have way too much extra crap that needs to go in it's spot so I can reclaim a bit of working space in the garage. If this dash ever cracks, leather wrapping will probably be my next move unless they decide to do another run of new OEM ones.
                            Albie

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

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

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Albie325 View Post
                              Thanks I'll have to keep that in mind. I'm playing with the idea of using Safety Restore to redo all the seatbelts seeing how well they did on yours. I've been using your and Jordan's threads for the IHKS cleanout which I'll do this week as well.
                              I'll look tonight and see if I have any extra neoprene foam, if I do, it's all yours.
                              I do things.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Melon
                                I'll look tonight and see if I have any extra neoprene foam, if I do, it's all yours.
                                Sweet, thanks. If not no biggie.

                                So more progress today, got the carpet out. The remainder of the day was spent unwrapping essentially my entire wiring loom trying to track down all my speaker wires to figure out how to wire in the head unit and premium speakers.

                                First, I needed to remove the plastic trim that covers the door weather strip that holds the carpet in place. In order to remove, I used a pry tool to pop out the two most rearward plastic clips:







                                With those two clips off, you can pull the end of the trim piece away a bit. With the seats out, you now have room to just slide the trim piece back and off the remaining clips instead of having to pop them all out where you'll risk breaking them



                                All clips still intact:



                                The last thing keeping the carpet in place was the accelerator pedal. I didn't find a ton on how to remove it, but the one thread I did find mentioned using "a big ass pry bar" to pop it out.

                                I thought he was only kidding around...

                                ...he wasnt.



                                I basically had to destroy it to remove it, it was not easy at all to free up.



                                Ahhh finally, still a little soggy with coolant from yesterday:



                                Here's the PO's wife's high heel destruction (I wasn't kidding about that):



                                I'll end up grafting a piece of carpet from a spare one that I have and glue/sew it in place. I was going to just use the spare carpet as it's overall in better shape, but I don't like the fact that it's cut. I'll end up listing it for sale at some point:



                                The great news is that there was essentially no rust underneath, something I've been a bit nervous about given how rusted some of the undercarriage hardware was:



                                The yellow stuff around the seat bolts is just adhesive.

                                There were a couple really small spots of surface corrosion on on the back seat floor pans but nothing major. I'll take care of that tomorrow.







                                Now for the big wiring tear down...

                                My issue is this: the car has 4 speakers. Each speaker SHOULD have 2 wires (a (+) and (-)) for a total of 8 wires. Should be easy, right?

                                The issues with some of the early model cars with the fader switch in the dash is that there are only 6 wires. Not necessarily an issue if you're running the stock head unit, but when switching to a newer, higher powered head unit you need to wire in 8 wires, basically a separate channel for each speaker with separate (+) and (-). Here's the connector plug for the speakers for my new head unit:



                                So how to get 8 wires from 6...

                                I started by following the wires coming from the stock head unit:



                                In the above pic, the wires are as follows:
                                • White: power to the antenna motor
                                • Purple/Gray & Brown: Power to the unit and ground
                                • White and yellow -> Connector -> Green/Red and Gray/Red: +12V unswitched and illumination
                                • Solid Yellow and Yellow/Brown: Driver side speaker (+) and (-)
                                • Solid Blue and Blue/Brown: Passenger side speaker (+) and (-)


                                I know these are the stock wires because I'm sure that my dad never removed the head unit.

                                Head unit speaker plugs (Solid Yellow and Yellow/Brown, and Solid Blue and Blue/Brown):



                                At the fader switch, the solid yellow and solid blue wires from the head unit plugs (Left and Right (+)) go in, and 4 wires come out:
                                • Yellow/Red
                                • Yellow/Black
                                • Blue/Red
                                • Blue/Black




                                So now, we have four wires coming from the fader (all the (+'s)), and the two (-) wires (Yellow/Brown and Blue/Brown) coming directly from the head unit plugs for a total of 6 wires. The issue starts here: There should be 4 Brown wires (2 Yellow and 2 Blue for a total of 4, one for each speaker). I need to find where the missing Yellow/Brown and Blue/Brown wires are.

                                So now, the general rule with these wires is:

                                Yellow=Drivers side
                                Yellow/red=Driver front (+)
                                Yellow/black=Driver rear (+)
                                Yellow/brown=Driver (-). SHOULD BE 2, one each for the front and rear

                                Blue=Passenger side
                                Blue/red=Passenger front (+)
                                Blue/black=Passenger rear (+)
                                Blue/brown=Passenger (-). SHOULD BE 2, one each for the front and rear

                                This should yield 8, but remember there's only 6 at the fader.

                                So I started unwrapping the harness and tracing down all the wires. From the fader, the 6 wires end up coming into this plug up behind the hood release lever:



                                The same 6 wires go in on one end and come out on the other:



                                From this plug, the 6 wires enter a large bundle of wires that end up running the length of the car along the driver's side door jamb.

                                So then I started at each speaker and started tracing the wires back to the that white plug.

                                From the rear:

                                We have a Blue/Black and a Blue/Brown at the Passenger Rear:



                                These two wires route underneath the rear parcel shelf and are bundled together with the green wires from the third brake light, and eventually on to include...

                                ...the Yellow/Black and Yellow/Brown from the Driver Rear:



                                Ok so now I know that there's a black and brown wire for each of the rear speakers as I would expect.

                                Moving on to the fronts:

                                The tweeter wires for the premium setup were in fact in the door already, taped back. These are Gray/Green and Gray/Yellow, combined into one plastic connector:



                                The Passenger front speaker had a Blue/Red and Blue/Brown with it:



                                Also in the speaker well were 3 unconnected wire ends:

                                The other ends of the Gray/Green and Gray/Yellow from the tweeters



                                And a random extra Blue/Brown... Hmmmm...



                                Sure enough, the driver's side was the same way.

                                Tweeter wires in the door, Gray/Green and Gray/Yellow, however each had their own individual spade terminals:



                                A Yellow/Red and Yellow/Brown hooked up to the speaker:



                                The other ends of the tweeter wires:



                                And a random extra yell... err Blue/Brown??





                                I figured there'd be a random extra YELLOW/brown and that these extras on each side were my missing wires. Nope.

                                So then I followed the random Blue/Brown wires. Turns out, they are both empty ends of the SAME WIRE. Not sure what that's for. They cross under the seats and over the center console here, disconnected on both ends:



                                Okay well fuck me.

                                So now I needed to find how the eight wires from the speakers turned into 6 at the white plug.

                                For the front:



                                The Passenger Front yields 2 wires as before, Blue/Red and Blue/Brown.

                                The Driver Front yields 2 wires, Yellow/Red and Yellow/Brown.

                                Coming from the white plug, there are 3 Yellow wires (Yellow/Red, Yellow/Black, and 1 Yellow/Brown). There are also 3 Blue wires (Blue/Red, Blue/Black, and 1 Blue/Brown) for our 6 total.

                                Past the Driver Front speaker, there are 3 Yellow wires, a Yellow/Black, and 2 Yellow/Browns...

                                From the rear:



                                Here, we have the 2 blue wires from the Passenger Front, as well as 2 blue wires from the Passenger Rear (Blue/Black and Blue/Brown) which come together and form 4 wires, a Blue/Red, Blue/Black, and 2 Blue/Brown as expected. (Actually, There are 2 Blue/Red and 2 Blue/Black coming from the front. One set of Blue/Red and Blue/Black goes to the speakers. The other set runs through the loom and into the trunk and connects to the taillights and I think are for the blinkers).

                                There are also 2 yellow wires from the Driver's Rear, Yellow/Black and Yellow/Brown as expected.

                                The issue is: how do we start with 4 Blue (Blue/Red, Blue Black, and 2 Blue/Brown) and 2 Yellow (Yellow/Black and 1 Yellow/Brown) wires in the rear (as we expect) and end up with 3 Blue (Blue/Red, Blue/Black, and 1 Blue/Brown) and 3 Yellow (Yellow/Black and 2 Yellow/Brown) towards the front?

                                There's two goddamn splices in the wires just to the left of the driver's seat, that's how.

                                Of course I had to unwrap pretty much the entire length of loom tape from the front to get to the yellow splice, and then the entire length of loom tape form the rear to get to the blue splice, only to realize they're about 3 inches from one another :finger:



                                The 3 Yellow wires from the white plug run back as they should, but an extra Yellow/Brown from the speaker is added. Past the speaker, The Yellow/Red for the front is omitted as it terminates at the speaker, yet the Yellow/Black and Yellow/Brown from the plug continue IN ADDITION TO the Yellow/Brown FROM THE FRONT SPEAKER to yield 3 wires past the speaker, which are then spliced into 1 Yellow/Brown for the Driver's Rear.



                                The 2 Blue/Brown from the rear is spliced into 1 Blue/Brown for the front, which Yields 3 total Blue wires for the white plug.



                                UGH that was long winded, but I'm hoping it helps some people out as I found tons of threads with questions but none with very good answers.

                                What I'll have to do to get my 8 wires is:
                                • Unsplice both connections
                                • Resplice the Passenger Rear Blue/Brown to the single Blue/Brown running to the white plug
                                • Run a NEW Blue/Brown from the head unit to connect to the (now unconnected) Blue/Brown from the Passenger front.
                                • Resplice the Driver's Rear Yellow/Brown to the Yellow/Brown at the front that runs into the white plug
                                • Run a NEW Yellow/Brown from the head unit to connect to the (now unconnected) Yellow/Brown from the Driver's Front.


                                DONE.

                                Sorry that seems a little confusing and long, part of this post is for my own reference. I don't want to have to figure this all out again, my brain hurts for something that actually turned out to be so simple. Glad I got that cleared up, now I can continue on with the real work...
                                Last edited by Albie325; 06-04-2019, 08:34 PM.
                                Albie

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

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

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