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Ey Leute, das hier ist Pamela!

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    Ey Leute, das hier ist Pamela!

    As some of you may know I have a penchant for stalled projects and retired daily drivers. Since I sold my last e30 Dec 30th 2018, I've promised myself not to buy another project car and focus on achieving greater accomplishments in life.

    That lasted all of 5 months

    I knew the moment I saw her, apart and tucked away in a detail shop that one day I'd buy her. (I'm using a feminine pronoun as it annoys my friends)

    2002 BMW M3 6MT Convertible with Hardtop in TIAG with grey leather.

    I resisted buying her until one day a friend of the owner comes over and tries to make a deal with me. He drops the price down to something that piques my interest and I think it over for a few days. A handful of days go by and again I'm close to the shop where this car is located, about 45 minutes away from my apartment. I'm happily wrenching along on another car when something inside me goes... Hey! Go buy that thing!

    So that was that.

    The story behind the car was that it needed a motor. The previous owner who runs a detail shop bought it and, with the help of his friend, partially replaced the motor with a good used one. Somewhere along the line the interior of the car was removed and the project stalled.

    Day 1:
    I asked my friend to get behind the wheel so a few of us could push it out of the detail shop down the parking lot to the Rat Hack Shop where I'd be reassembling her.

    Typically I don't let people smoke in my car but... this was a pretty solid favor considering there was not seat, no power steering and a bunch of junk everywhere!

    Once in the shop I stuck her on the lift and laid out all the parts that came with her.


    I made a quick mental plan on how to tackle the reassembly:
    1. Interior (pull off hard top)
    2. Underside
    3. Front
    4. Motor
    5. Misc.

    Going through the car I found some paperwork. Receipts from Hendrick BMW in Charlotte and NC State inspection! This car is a Tarheel!! I guess it was meant to be, since I've lived in NC for over 15 years.

    Interior in:

    Hooked up a battery charger and got the soft top up (which had a broken glass window). Also pulled all the wheels off to inspect brakes, suspension and tires. Started putting the underside back together:

    More friendly help!

    Picture composition: e46 over a bitter

    About 9 hours later:

    Only part that was missing so far was a front sway bar bushing bracket. Luckily the local dealer (Peter Pan) had one in stock! Breaking several land speed records in my little Fiat we got there a few minutes before they closed for the day.

    The pile left for the next day:

    Day 2:
    This day had a late start as I had to go pull a soft top off a parts car. Being half electronic and half hydraulic It took quite a bit more time than anticipated to remove.

    The car was parked next to a small dealer that was particularly interested in going for a spin in my Abarth:

    So I tossed him the keys and thought nothing of it. 15 minutes go by and the guy returns with a pretty big grin on his face. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER (clickbait-y because it's the internet)...

    He tosses me the keys to this (one of my childhood dream cars, engineered with the help of my childhood hero, Ayrton Senna):

    But that wasn't the best car I drove that day, this was:

    It moved and floated in directions I didn't know existed #archer

    Anyways, I got back to the shop and some friends came over and we got the motor back together surprisingly quickly.

    (Promotional consideration provided by Lagunitas IPA :))

    Filled the motor up with oil and coolant, checked everything over and went for a spin:

    Other than a loose oil cooler line, everything ran great!

    Day 3:
    The goal of day three was to swap the soft top with the replacement and install the aluminum interior trim from the parts car. The later took a considerable amount of time as there are a million plastic clips holding the trim in the armrests. But nevermind that, here it is installed:

    During the installation I ran into... ugh... aftermarket speakers. A quick trip back to the parts car and I got OEM Harmon Kardon front speakers. Which have blown mids :( More on that later.

    oh and here are some german shenanigans

    Top went in with a bit of cursing, patience and help from Chris:

    As you can spot it's not closing all the way because there was a mechanical issue. Never-mind that, I folded it and reinstalled the hard top (mostly to get it out of people's way.

    Afternoon 4/5/6:

    The goal was to diagnose a check engine light which turned out to be swapped O2 sensors (B2S1 was in B1S2's place).

    Once this was fixed I could drive the car and hopefully get it smog'd and titled

    As luck would have it she passed and I rushed over to get the title in my name :)

    The top fix however took a bit more work. Research indicated that the latches for these tops are pretty fragile. Luckily I knew my old ones worked properly so I swapped them. This is a pretty complex procedure and took several hours to complete:

    stupid latches

    And finally, a working power top!

    Since then I've driven Pamela to work and she's been amazing! Couple projects still on the horizon
    1. Install normal size rear tires
    2. Install Factory Radio with Aux In
    3. Fix tiny rust spot on windsheild
    4. Adjust headlights
    5. Replace front leather on seats
    6. Replace Headliner on Hard top
    7. Glue/fix/repair trunk trim
    8. Replace HarmonKardon Mids
    9. Valve Adjustment
    10. Track day bruh

    Stay tuned!
    Last edited by Julien; 06-07-2019, 11:31 PM.
    Build Threads:
    Pamela/Bella/Betty/325ix/5-Lug Seta/S60R/Miata ITB/Miata Turbo/Miata VVT/951/325xi-6

    Nice work!!! Awesome find!

    What did you pay for it lol

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


      Wow, you turned that one around quickly!


        11. Sell in 3 months
        Current Cars:
        -1999 996.1 911 4/98 3.8L 6-Speed, 21st Century Beetle

        Make R3V Great Again -2020


          Nice whip! Coming along nicely.
          90 Bronzit 325is
          16 Black Sapphire 340i M Sport


            What kind of weirdo lusts over a silver on silver convertible M3


              Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
              11. Sell in 3 months


              1991 BMW 318i (Old Shell RIP, Now Being Re-shelled & Reborn)
              1983 Peugeot 505 STI
              1992 Volvo 240 Wagon
              2009 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport 4WD


                Originally posted by E30SPDFRK View Post
                What kind of weirdo lusts over a silver on silver convertible M3
                Right? Da fuck


                  Originally posted by E30SPDFRK View Post
                  What kind of weirdo lusts over a silver on silver convertible M3
                  Originally posted by Danny View Post
                  Right? Da fuck
                  Next time I'll make sure to pick up an SMG
                  Build Threads:
                  Pamela/Bella/Betty/325ix/5-Lug Seta/S60R/Miata ITB/Miata Turbo/Miata VVT/951/325xi-6


                    it's a good car, can confirm

                    have you upgraded to polo shirts yet tho
                    cars beep boop


                      Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                      11. Sell in 3 months
                      That many? :p

                      Originally posted by whysimon
                      WTF is hello Kitty (I'm 28 with no kids and I don't have cable)


                        Matching hard top is perfect!


                          Always in for another Julien build.
                          How to remove, install or convert to pop out windows

                          Could be better, could be worse.


                            This is really cool. glad you got it all back together so quickly!


                              No time wasted!
                              My previous build (currently E30-less)

                              A 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Offroad in Inferno is my newest obsession