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1983 Henna Red 323i

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    I was told you need to sand down as much of the cracks as possible

    as in almost

    removing the cracks entirely (stripping in certain areas)

    before applying any filler

    after applying the filler and dying the leather...

    let the seats in weeks if possible.

    Somehow you would need extra seats to make this possible if the car is a daily driver!

    Makes sense if you think about it. If there are no cracks, how would the cracks come back? Just be careful as you don't want to sand enough that you hit the hide itself.

    But please keep us posted. I dont believe nothing will ever replace new upholstery but certainly this will lengthen your seats life for years before you buy leather and therefore worth it to do.

    I dyed my seats about 8 years ago....and am finally pulling the trigger on new leather.

    What is that gadget on top of the steering wheel hub?

    Btw, your car has to be one of the best in most people's books. Great attention to detail. That Mtech1 versus Mtech2 shot...classic.


    Last edited by Javier h; 07-11-2014, 01:18 PM.


      Cracks are gently sanded before filler - but you totally change the texture if you go too far. I've sanded them back too much in the past - its not the way to go, as you said you end up hitting the hide quite quickly.

      Definitely doesn't replace new upholstery, which is what I'll go for eventually - but I'll hopefully have some recaro LS's at that stage.

      Thing on the steering wheel hub is the mic for a bluetooth kit! Not very retro :D

      Edit - just in terms of your edited post, the dye used is waterbased - it doesn't cure - it dries by evaporation. I know there are other dyes which would cure in the traditional sense, but I'd imagine they're more aimed at professionals.
      Last edited by kdevitt; 07-11-2014, 02:01 PM.
      1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
      1994 Jet Black E36 320i


        Few more updates from today - loom for the washer bottle -

        All plugged in -

        Also bought brand new hoses and clips for the headlight washer jets. The crowd who did the respray just cut them out.

        Bit more tidying -

        Headlight cover in place - needed some modification -

        New pipe from radiator to expansion tank -

        Other headlight cover in place -

        Also needed to relocate the diagnostics plug once more -

        And two last gratuitous engine bay shots before the bonnet went back on

        And this is not a before picture. Car was out for 30 miles or so - sits pretty well with the new engine in place

        1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
        1994 Jet Black E36 320i


          Finally got down to have a look at the finished result. Took it out to see how it felt -

          Hadn't been started in a few days, but still started up straight away. Initial idle was slightly lumpy, but it settled into a nice smooth one pretty rapidly. Pretty strange having a clutch pedal in the car after all these years. Its definitely a heavy clutch - very similar to the E46 M3 I have. Dave told me to keep the revs below 4.5 k, which wasn't an issue.

          So first up - the car is crazy quick. You could probably stick it in 5th gear and drive everywhere without switching cogs. At 30mph and 1k revs it produces enough torque to comfortably overtake without changing down a gear. It is ticking over at roughly 2.5k at 70mph, and a throttle blip took it from 60 to 80mph on the private road I was on :). It definitely sounds meatier than the M20 which proceeded it, but its not over the top loud. Very happy with that, and bearing in mind that there's almost no interior in it, I'd expect it to be slightly quieter in the cabin once all is finalised.

          Not completely sold on the short throw with the E46 M3 shifter in place, so will take a lot of convincing to stop me putting back in an E30 item. I know a lot of people aren't keen, but the long throw on BMW's is something I love.

          Seeing the state of the paint job is dragging it all down for me though - so I think that needs action sooner rather than later.
          1990 Diamond Black E30 320i Touring
          1994 Jet Black E36 320i