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Old 03-22-2010, 01:50 AM   #1
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Location: Socal
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After a year of searching, an Alpineweiß story

Hey guys.
I purchased a 1987 325e
I did some minor work to it and I have been daily driving it for the last 2 years.
Ever since then I wanted another e30.

I have found a few for sale here on r3v, e30tech, ebay, autotrader, craigslist, bimmerforums. Through local advertisement in papers and automotive catalogs.
I'm a bmwcca member and have check the classified section of the roundel for an e30.
I have purchased one way plane tickets to cars that I thought were the one for sure. With something always coming up.
Yes I'm picky, but its my money an I wanted a nice example of a clean e30.

I ended up finding one right in the city I live in.

I was on my way home when I saw an alpinewhite e30 driving on the same street in the opposite direction.
I immediately made a u turn to go check out when I hit a red light.
As soon as it turned green I floored it to try to catch up to it.
I saw the e30 turn into an automotive complex of shops.
I parked next to the e30 and then went out to find the owner.
I met the owner and asked him if he was interested in selling the car.
He politely told me no not at the moment and left in another car.
He was dropping off the car at a shop to get his fuel filter and some other maintenance done.
I talked to the mechanic and he put it on the lift for me. I took detailed notes and several pictures of the car.
I also found out that the this mechanic (eric) has worked on this car for the last 7 years. So he knew a thing or two about the car

I left my name and number with the mechanic to attach to the invoice just in case the owner decided to change his mind and sell me the car.

I wrote down the vin and license plate to do some hw and research when I got home that night.

I found that the car was indeed a alpinweib II car with no airbag. Build date 12/14/1988 BMW only made these for approximate 8 months with a clear coat but no airbag.
It was the reason why I had such a hard time finding an e30.
It was well worth the wait.
I also ran the carfax and the car has only been registered in southern California its whole life and shows no accident damage.
About a month after finding it the day at the shop I got a call from the owner and he said that he was ready to sell.

Immediately went over to negotiate the car with him
we came to an agreement and I asked him to go with me to the dmv to get the title transferred I wanted to do it in person.
Just for personal reason's I didn't want something to come up later on.
Got the title all squared away got the car insured and went off for a drive down to San Diego.

The day I found her at the shop.

Up on the lift for inspection.
Yes the blue bmw was out of the way when I inspected her.
When I snapped the shot it was closing time at the shop and the were storing the blue car underneath.

The day I bought it.

I drove down to San Diego to open her up on the highway
Getting some 91 octane at Chevron

Got her home and assessed the condition she was in.

engine bay
hot air filter
cracked intake boot
cracked idle control valve hose
cracked valve cover to throttle body hose
misc wires unplugged and in a mess
overall pretty dirty
misc wiring in the battery tray
valve cover gasket leaking on to heat shields

checked out the interior in close detail
Cracked dash
sony headunit
misc led's above headunit
4 spoke steering wheel
old shifter
sloppy shift linkage
torn shift boot
fluctuating gas gauge.
missing rear center console
missing rear ash tray
cracked ebrake handle
stains in the carpet
non oem matts
sticky passenger seat belt buckle
sharpie mark in the rear seat back.

So I started off with the engine bay.
I wanted to get rid of the filter setup.

The engine ground strap was in sorry shape
corroded and just looked terrible.

Yep sure was time to replace

I had to special order one at the dealer.
3 days later I got this badboy

Much better

I wanted to check if my cps was in spec.
And although it was I replaced it anyway as the cable was frayed near where it crosses the front of the motor.

I replaced the throttle body gasket, and I also cleaned the inner part of the throttle body gasket and the inner part on the motor side of throttle body.

I replace the idle control valve hose, the valve cover to throttle body hose
and the intake boot cleaned the afm a bit and acquired a used afm from Peerless at e30 motorwerks.

It came with an old filter so that was immediately replaced with a stock mahle filter

Installed an upper radiator hose and zip tied out of the way to prevent it getting caught in the clutch fan.
and here is the before shot of the cap, rotor and wires

old vs new rotor

old vs new cap

I haven't decided which spark plug wires to get here is a thread on that.
But I'm leaning towards stock

I wanted to figure out what the extra wires that were in the battery tray were for.
I traced them back and went from the battery tray across the firewall zip tied to the stock wiring harness and it went into a plug in the firewall near the brake booster.
I removed the lower dash panel, to see where the wire leads were going to and the wire was cut right there.
It was fed through the firewall and just cut there.

I believe the car has an alarm installed by a past owner and the previous owner just cut it out.
extra wiring in the battery tray

wiring across the firewall

wiring at the firewall plug

wiring removed

Engine all buttoned up, for now...

Now that the engine was all buttoned up I went to my smog guy.
In the state of ca you have to have an airbox or you "can technically" fail visual inspection. Some smog guys don't really care but I wasn't going to risk it.

O did I mention my smog guy used to track a zinno e30 with a full cage and used to track an e36m3
now he is tracking a delphin gray shade of gray e36m3, you can see it in the back left of the shop.

This is the only other person who has driven my e30 since I bought it and Im half way comfortable with it because he used to have an e30 and he has an e36 m3 now.
Super Smog in Lake Forest Ca.
Ask for Danny
track prepped e30 & e36

getting tested for nox and co2

his m in the back corner

The car passed the dreadful CA smog with flying colors!

shot to celebrate passing smog first try.

Last edited by iwantspeed; 04-09-2010 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:51 AM   #2
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Next, It was time to address the interior

First up, was to replace the led's
When I removed them they weren't even connected to anything
I think that they might have had to do something with the misc alarm wiring that I removed.
Yes I know my obc is fubared
im trying to source a 13 button obc, wiring harness and turn signal stalk.

with the blanks

Next up was the dash.

I used this guide to replace the dash
getting there.

dash out

Crummy duct seal

Scrapped it with a razor blade and a small flat head screw driver to get the old gasket material off.

I had a hard time finding the gasket but I made a thread about it and Drew325is found the part number I needed.


Installed and it fits like a glove.
I love it when things just go right.

Either the previous owner or a shop that it was taken to did a hack job on installing the sony headunit.
I fixed the mickey mouse job and also eliminated the factory fader and ran new wiring to the driver side corner where the speaker wires are fed to go to the rear of the car.

I also made a plug so i can just plug in the factory antenna once the dash is back in and not have to solder or crimp any fittings later on.

I soldered everything and heat shrink tubing on all the joints and had wire mesh to bundle up the wiring. I prefer this setup over crimping connections.

Previous owner hack job

All tidied up except for the alpine direct cable.

I went with a Alpine 9881 unit.
It had the features I wanted
cd mp3 radio
3 rca's
i pod direct control on the head unit
detachable face plate
and the best part is that the buttons light up amber.

I got rid of the 4 spoke steering wheel

I went with an M-Tech 1 wheel

I got rid of the ugly tan speaker covers and added mint condition black ones, pics coming soon.

I had a company that steam cleans carpets come out to my house. I removed the seats and left the center consoles out and had them remove all the stains. They also did the matts that I just got.
Bavarian Autosport matts.

Dirty carpet driver side

Dirty carpet passenger side

Coffee stain, Thanks previous owner.

Do work

Driver side done

Passenger Side done

ZHP 5 speed cut and weighted shift knob total weight 5.5 ounces
From bimmerforums, TischerBmw

I bought this e34 early model(1990) emergency brake handle
I bought off of Schneller 3er, he was a very good seller and quick shipper

I also installed akg's delrin shift bushings


Z3 1.9 shift lever, thanks Sean at Irvine BMW

old vs new

I added an early model center console with 2 buttons and no hole for the breaker switch.
I have the breaker switch wired in underneath and still functions the same,

I also added an extra breaker switch to function as a garage door opener. and the garage door opener is mounted above the ecu.
2nd breaker
Ya i know its upside down I didn't realize till later

2 hole center console
stock shift knob, stock shift lever, stock shift boot,

stock shift knob height. 5 3/4

bend the selector shaft

installed the zhp knob
Z3 1.9 shift lever
bav auto shifter boot with trim ring removed & an inch removed from the top to clear the shift lever.
Final height is a shade under 5 inches.

I installed mint condition front and rear seats
I also purchased a Bav Auto dash cover to protect the mint dash
I also Purchased Bav autosport plush black matts

I replaced the sticky seat belt buckle that eventually just fell apart with a good working one.

stock trunk tool kit and one trunk light
7 series trunk tool kit
swap tools over


showing off
I need more tools
and purchase a larger foam pad, I think Japanandrew can hook it up.
I have a 2nd trunk light I just haven't wired it in yet.

Last edited by iwantspeed; 11-02-2010 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:51 AM   #3
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The previous owner has tried to do all red tails mods.
I like the look of this but the paint had faded so it had to go.

I sanded both turn signals until the amber showed up and then polished up.

I'm not entirely happy with results but it will do for now.

I got a new month and year sticker, so I stripped off all the old year stickers

and new stickers

new front license plate bracket,
new hardware for the front and rear license plates.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:52 AM   #4
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cluster and ecu

I took apart the ecu
and I added a Jim Conforti chip
raised the rev limit
91 octane
and a small increase in hp and torque

close up

I took apart the cluster
I replaced all the bulbs and the odometer gear.

bulb housings all bubbled up

new bulb housings

all new bulbs and new odometer gears
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:52 AM   #5
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Meet Natalie

1989 325I
Alpineweiß II
Tan Natur vinyl comfort seats
5 speed
120k miles

removed ac
removed power steering
fresh air filter
fresh synthetic oil
new timing belt,tensioner
new water pump
rebuilt head
new cap
new rotor
various vacuum hoses
various radiator hoses
new crank position sensor
Jim Conforti chip
new hood seal
Bosch Platinum plus plugs (gaped at 0.03)
Bosch fuel filter

crack free dash
rebuilt cluster
early model center console (2 button vs 3 button)
M-Tech 1 wheel large diameter
e30 m3 ebrake boot
e34 ebrake handle
e46 zhp 5 speed shift knob
bav auto shift boot
extra window breaker for a hidden garage door opener.
bmwcca sticker on driver 1/4 panel on the happich window
Bav autosport matts
7 series large tool kit
stripped trunk( no sound deadening)
2nd trunk light(to be installed)
e30 specific sun-shade
bav auto dash cover to protect it from the sun while parked

Sound Improvement
alpine 9881 headunit
alpine i pod cable
Eliminated speaker fader
Ran new wiring to the speakers
i pod nano hidden in center console
Premium sound tweeters(not installed)
pioneer rear speakers
stock speakers in the front for now
swapped the tan speaker covers for black ones

H&R Touring Sport Cup Kit
21mm front Convertible sway bar (to be installed)
Rongineer rear strut bar (to be installed)
new rear trailing arm bushings
new rear subframe bushings
10mm rear spring pads

Ate rotors(not installed yet)
Ate pads(not installed yet)
6x Bimmer world stainless kevlar lines(not installed yet)
Ate super blue DOT 4 brake fluid(not flushed yet)


new clutch master cylinder (not installed yet)
slave master cylinder(not installed yet)
UUC stainless kevlar clutch line(not installed yet)
new bmw clutch master cylinder to reservoir line(not installed yet)
z3 1.9 shift lever
stock rebuilt shifter bushings
3.73 open diff

wheels and tires
17x7.5 Kopi Alpina's
4 lug casting
Continental Extreme Contact tires
No spacers
slightly rolled rear fenders

Last edited by iwantspeed; 04-15-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:01 AM   #6
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Looks good, willing to tell how much you paid?
Real Alpinas or Kopis?

And I'm not sure if I read this wrong or something, but did you buy the car, and then take it on a test drive and fully examine it afterwards? Seems backwards...
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:15 AM   #7
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Location: Kalama/Vancouver e30: 91 318is w/ M50 1998 e36 m3
Posts: 3,782
Originally Posted by red325 View Post
Looks good, willing to tell how much you paid?
Real Alpinas or Kopis?

And I'm not sure if I read this wrong or something, but did you buy the car, and then take it on a test drive and fully examine it afterwards? Seems backwards...

count the spokes, to tell if there real. and real alipina wheels have a key hole in cap.

sick and last half of pics i see red x's

Please leave feedback below, thanks

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Old 03-22-2010, 02:21 AM   #8
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:24 AM   #9
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What 7 series is that tool kit tray from?
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:57 AM   #10
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Nice wheels

Also nice attention to detail. How does the Cup Kit feel?
cars beep boop
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:07 AM   #11
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Very nice!
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:08 AM   #12
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Looks good and good story!

Looks like your front left/right seat belts are different, and also don't forgot to replace old suspension bushings when you do your h&r cup kit install.
Mtech1 v8 build thread - https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...d.php?t=413205

OEM v8 manual chip or dme - https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho....php?p=4938827
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:09 AM   #13
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You did a wonderful job on her! I think the only thing that sucks is the seats. I had them in mine and they are not all that grand to sit in. Nor pleasing to the eye, are you going for factory? I think a full set is in order, that is only me though.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:29 AM   #14
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Congrats, keep up the good work!
Originally Posted by Simon S View Post
When a dream is a dream for too long - it becomes a fantasy..
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:33 AM   #15
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Hells yeah !

Great work and nice documentation !!
-----Zen and the Art of e30 Maintenance - / - Zen TOC - / - Zen Summary
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