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Old 09-17-2016, 11:42 AM   #1
mike.bmw
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Alpine White 1991 318is

I have created this thread to track progress on my 1991 BMW 318is.



Table of Contents:



Car Info
Type AF93
Model 318is - USA
Engine M42
Displacement 1.8
Drivetrain HECK
Transmission MECH
Production Plant REGENSBURG
Production Date 5/19/1990
242 Driver Air Bag+series
281 Lm-rad 6 1/2 X 14
300 Zentralverriegelung Elektrisch
410 Window Lifts, Electric At Front
481 Sport Seats F Driver/front Passenger
530 Air Conditioning
556 Exterior Temperature Display
925 Shipping Protection Package
Color Alpinweiss 2 - 218

Engine modifications
Original M42
Bosch 19#, 4 pintle injectors (0280150556)
SSSQuid chip (stage 1) tuned for 19# 4 pintle injectors and 93 octane
Timing case + components resealed/refreshed
Mess under the intake complete refresh
Upper/lower oil pans resealed
Cooling system replaced/refreshed
[strikethrough]Bremi[/strikethrough] Coil Packs

Exhaust
Stock

Transmission
Stock
BG Syncro Shift II 75w80

Brakes
Brembo Blanks with Pagid Pads
Motul DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid

Differential
Small Case 4.10 LSD (and a spare!)
Motul 75w90 Gear 300

Suspension
H&R OE Sport Springs (50404.55) with Bilstein B4s
Fresh control arms, ball joints, bushings, endlinks, mounts, steering rack + tie rods all around

Wheels
Ronal LS (15x7.5 ET 25) with 205/55R15 Yokohama S Drives
Stock basketweaves with 195/65R14 Nexen CP672s

Exterior modifications
Webasto Starlite IV Moonroof (dealer installed ... wasn't my choice to put a hole in a slicktop, but I can dig it)
New OEM front iS lip
New OEM rear iS spoiler
Rockers repainted black
Tint: 50% front, 35% rear

Interior modifications
Crack-free dash swap
Continental TR7412UB-OR
Refurb'd instrument cluster
Keyless Entry
Carpet-out deep cleaning
Front and rear facing child seats

Based on the data above, you may notice it *WAS* originally a slick top. The first owner had an aftermarket moonroof put in at the time of purchase. Doh! The moonroof is pretty cool though and functions 100% as it should. You may also notice it has an open diff. I may put in an LSD at some point.

Recent Photos:











Background / Purchase Story
I started looking for a nice E30 in mid 2015. I test drove a number of local cars that didn't pan out. As time went on my search radius expanded. In March 2016 I had a solid lead on a nice 318is in Atlanta, GA. I got on a plane the next morning, flew to Atlanta, looked over the car, bought it, and drove it 650 miles home (~10 hours). All in the same day. I finally had an E30! A really clean one as well. 132K miles with original paint, original glass, no accidents, and the A/C blows ice cold (R12).

I took a photo of my E30 before driving it home.


Mileage before driving home:


Photo at the South Carolina border rest stop:


Interior:


Toolkit:


Trunk:

Last edited by mike.bmw; Today at 04:46 AM.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:42 AM   #2
mike.bmw
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Day 1 (3/15/2016)
The car did really well on the 650 mile drive home. No overheating. No drama. Sitting in a car for 10 hours will start alerting you to the things you want/need to fix. The gas gauge was a bit off. The speedo cut out once for a few minutes. The driver's seat belt latch had issues. The rear defrost button popped out and onto the floor. The steering had binding and clunking issues. Aside from the steering issues, the other issues I noticed were all minor. I believed the steering issues were caused by bad ball joints on the front lower control arms, which I planned to replaced. More on that later.

Day 2 (3/16/2016)
I took the car to get state inspected, emissions tested, and registered. Everything went off without a hitch.

Day 4 (3/18/2016)
A few days after driving it home I decided to start taking a closer look at the car. I pulled the spark plugs and 3 of the 4 spark plug tubes were completely submerged in oil. All the way to the top of the tube. The plug wire boots kept the oil off the plugs, but as soon as I pulled those I knew I couldn't drive the car until I fixed this. I ordered new plugs, a new valve cover gasket, and all new valve cover bolts and rubber washers. Replacement was fairly straight forward. I put the gasket on dry save for the RTV that needed to go on the "half moon" corners and where the front timing cover meets the head. No more leaks to this day and the spark plug tubes are still dry.

Engine after taking the valve cover off:


Day 10 (3/25/2016)
I decided to have RRT, a trusted local shop, perform a Post Purchase Inspection. I gave them a list of everything I knew was wrong with the car. They looked it over and came back with a few additional things. Thankfully nothing pressing. They said the car was in great condition for it's age and was extremely clean.

Last edited by mike.bmw; 09-18-2016 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:46 AM   #3
mike.bmw
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Work In Progress

Over the next few months either I or RRT fixed the following things. I wasn't great about taking photos of everything.

(I wish I could get the below text to work in [tbl] tags, but the forum doesn't currently support it)

Code:
Date		Mileage	Description
3/18/2016	133450	Spark plugs (nickle antiseize).
3/18/2016	133450	Valve cover gasket, spark plug gaskets, valve cover bolt rubber washers (antiseize).
3/18/2016	133450	Center/rear rubber exhaust hanger replaced.
3/24/2016	133510	Rear defrost switch replaced.
3/27/2016	133607	Flushed power steering fluid with Dexron III ATF (siphon method).
3/27/2016	133607	Driver's side fog light bulb replaced... need to fix electrical connection, bulb not the issue.
3/29/2016	133680	Airbag threads fixed.
4/1/2016	133690	Rebuilt both exterior door handles.  Replaced broken door card clips.  No more rattles!
4/6/2016	133710	Brake + clutch fluid flush, brake fluid reservoir replacement.
4/6/2016	133710	Rear diff fluid change.
4/6/2016	133710	Transmission fluid change.
4/6/2016	133710	Front control arms and bushings replaced. (Note: Steering issues not yet resolved).
4/8/2016	133735	Center (metal) exhaust hanger/bracket replaced.
4/8/2016	133735	Front bumper trim replaced.
4/14/2016	133818	Replaced lower oil pan gasket, helicoiled 4 bolts and retapped the rest, all new OEM bolts. Changed oil.  Fairly easy job aside from the 4 stripped threads in the upper pan.  Thank goodness for helicoil.  I also installed all-new OEM pan bolts (all 16 of them) with the gasket.
4/14/2016	133818	Replaced passenger side door seal.
4/22/2016	134020	New OEM throttle cable.
4/22/2016	134020	New OEM driver seat belt receiver.
5/11/2016	134217	Replaced steering rack, steering u-joint, tie rod ends, and power steering fluid.  Expensive fix, but the steering is spot on now!
5/18/2016	134290	New OEM passenger tail light gasket.
6/3/2016	134550	New OEM speed sensor clip.  Probably the first place I should've looked, but thankfully I hadn't pulled the cluster yet!
6/3/2016	134550	New OEM wiper arm gaskets.
6/3/2016	134550	Replaced air filter.
6/22/2016	134750	Replaced passenger side mirror assembly (from another Alpine White 1991 BMW 318is).
6/23/2016	134750	New OEM plastic undertray and right air/brake ducting.
10/21/2016	135730	Replaced all hoses, fuel lines, gaskets, vacuum hose, clamps under intake manifold.  
10/21/2016	135730	New fuel injectors (Bosch 0280150556).
10/21/2016	135730	Replaced Oil filter housing gasket, o-ring, and filter.
11/06/2016	135990	Trunk seal replaced
11/11/2016	136010	Front and rear speakers replaced with Pioneer TSG1345R.
01/06/2017	136450	Replaced tires with Nexen CP672 195/65R14	
01/21/2017	136545	Replaced SI Board in Cluster
2/1/2017	136700	Replaced driver seat shocks.  Cleaned and lubed mechanisms.  Cleaned and conditioned seat.
2/2/2017	136700	Replaced passenger seat shocks.  Cleaned and lubed mechanisms.  Cleaned and conditioned seat.
2/10/2017	136825	Replaced front lip and rear spoiler with fresh OEM parts.
2/10/2017	136825	Replaced HVAC switch.
2/17/2017	136888	Replaced timing chain tensioner and crush washer (new M44 style tensioner).
3/10/2107	137163	Timing cover gaskets, upper/lower oil pan gaskets, crank seal, valve cover gasket																							
3/10/2107	137163	thermostat + housing + radiator + water pump + radiator hoses																							
3/10/2107	137163	All timing chain guides
4/27/2017	137670	Spark plugs (BGK6EK, nickel antiseize), BMW spark plug wires, ground cable
5/15/2017	137983	AC Belt
5/31/2017	138090	Replaced all fuses
7/9/2017	138457	Replaced Fuel Filter (Mahle KL9) and O2 sensor (Bosch 13108)
10/18/2017	139170	Oil/filter Change - Rotella T6 5W40
11/18/2017	139527	Swapped dashboard with crack-free dashboard
12/23/2017	139800	New hood strut, glove box latch, gas cap, parking brake handle		
4/9/2018	140400	Roker Paint refresh
4/29/2018	140593	Oil/filter Change - Mobil 1 15w50
5/25/2018	140880	Front sway bar bushings (Febi) and endlinks (Lemforder).  Rear sway bar bushings (BMW) and endlinks (Lemforder).																				
7/3/2018	141030	Hood roundel, VDO/Continental head unit
7/27/2018	141189	Front rotors (zimmerman), pads (pagid), sensor, retaining screws
7/29/2018	141189	Rear rotors (zimmerman), pads (pagid), sensor, retaining screws
9/14/2018	141428	Bremi coil packs
9/14/2018	141428	Exhaust mount isolators
9/14/2018	141428	Bled brakes with Motul 5.1
11/07/2018	141940	Replaced springs (H&R OE Sport 50404.55), shocks (Bilstein B4 Toruing), mounts (sachs), bump stops, bellows, and all new hardware																							
11/07/2018	141940	Bled brakes with Motul 5.1																							
12/27/2018	142472	Ronal LS, Yokohama S.Drives
1/6/2019	142571	Oil/filter Change - Mobil 1 15w50
1/12/2019	142600	Air filter (Mahle), Spark Plugs (BKR6EK), Brake pins relube, brake pad sensor (front)
3/9/2019	142690	Stromung exhaust install	
3/17/2019	142800	Replacement OE coil packs installed, ICV cleaned																							
3/24/2019	142880	Keyless entry install
Photos and notes of some of the work mentioned above

- Passenger side door seal. Mine had shrunk and caused a 1" gap in the top back corner. I could see daylight when the door was closed. I ordered an aftermarket reproduction piece from this place: https://vintageautobahn.wordpress.com/e30-parts/ It's spot on and worked perfectly.

- Front bumper trim. Ordered new OEM plastic trim and installed it...


- Tail Light Gaskets.




- Carpet cleaning results. I rented a Rug Doctor. I took the interior out and went on a carpet cleaning frenzy for a few hours. Very happy with the results!


- The battery box had a minor amount of rust. The only rust on the car. I am certain of this because I've had the entire interior out and I've been underneath the car quite a bit. I wire-wheeled this away and had the rest professionally repaired at a trusted shop. Only a 1"x1" piece of metal needed to be welded in in the lower right corner of the rear valence. It didn't even get into the original white paint!

Last edited by mike.bmw; 03-25-2019 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:48 AM   #4
mike.bmw
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Memorial Day Photos:






My E30 and my 2015 328xi M Sport wagon:


Cars and Coffee w/ E30 M3:


Cars and Coffee w/ other E30s:


Cars and Coffee w/ Volvo:


Cars and Coffee w/ Countach:

Last edited by mike.bmw; 09-18-2016 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 09-17-2016, 12:28 PM   #5
kid8
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The car looks great! Keep up the great work and have fun!

I've always wanted to do what you did, and fly out to buy a car and drive it home.
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Old 09-17-2016, 04:09 PM   #6
mike.bmw
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Originally Posted by kid8 View Post
The car looks great! Keep up the great work and have fun!

I've always wanted to do what you did, and fly out to buy a car and drive it home.
Thanks! That's the plan. I'm trying to keep the car as clean and original as possible.

It was my first time flying somewhere to buy a car and driving it home. It was a fun experience!
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Old 09-17-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
MT325is
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that is a clean car. wow
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1989 BMW 325is (SOLD)
1990 BMW 325i Brilliantrot (SOLD)
1992 BMW 325IC (SOLD)
1991 BMW 318IS (STOLEN!)

2017 BMW M2 (WEEKEND WARRIOR)
(GRIGIO TELESTO RESPRAY, FULL BOLT ONS, TUNE-HPFP AND TURBO UPGRADE COMING AFTER WARRANTY IS DONE)
1989 BMW 325IC (PROJECT(
2002 FORD ESCAPE (DAILY)
2001 BMW 330CI (FOR SALE SOON)



"R3v, being a bunch of cheap bastards that would try to negotiate a discount on a free engine,"
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Old 09-17-2016, 07:57 PM   #8
Codym42
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Wow, another 318is with a moonroof! Is it an ASC? That's what mine has.

Did you find this car on Atlanta Craigslist? I think I remember seeing it or one similar.

Looks really clean. Good work so far!
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'91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
'05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
'03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
'91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold
'91 325i auto coupe - Sold
'90 325iC - Sold
'91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:37 AM   #9
mike.bmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT325is View Post
that is a clean car. wow
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Codym42 View Post
Wow, another 318is with a moonroof! Is it an ASC? That's what mine has.

Did you find this car on Atlanta Craigslist? I think I remember seeing it or one similar.

Looks really clean. Good work so far!
Thanks! After a lot of research, a local sunroof/convertible top shop was able to tell me the moonroof is a Webasto Starlite IV. It has no markings aside from "Carlite" on the glass itself, but based on the dimensions and exploded parts diagram (http://techwebasto.com/documentation...arlite-iv.html), it's definitely a Webasto Starlite IV.

The car may have been listed on craigslist. I had contacted the dealership that sold me the car in January 2016 about a different E30. When I called to inquire, someone was already on plane to buy that one so my search continued. The dealership later contacted me in March and told me they had another E30 for sale and hadn't listed it yet. After a couple lengthy discussions on the phone and a lot of photographs, I decided to take the chance and book a plane ticket to look at the car.

I was searching searchtempest (craigslist nationwide), various online BMW forum classifieds, ebay, Facebook BMW classifieds, and a few other avenues multiple times a day during the last few months of my search. Earlier in the year I was prepared to pay asking price for a really clean '87 325is in PA, but the owner of that car ultimately decided they couldn't sell it. A similar thing happened with another '87 325is. Also, a lot of folks just don't want to deal with out-of-state buyers.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike.bmw View Post
Thanks! After a lot of research, a local sunroof/convertible top shop was able to tell me the moonroof is a Webasto Starlite IV. It has no markings aside from "Carlite" on the glass itself, but based on the dimensions and exploded parts diagram (http://techwebasto.com/documentation...arlite-iv.html), it's definitely a Webasto Starlite IV.

The car may have been listed on craigslist. I had contacted the dealership that sold me the car in January 2016 about a different E30. When I called to inquire, someone was already on plane to buy that one so my search continued. The dealership later contacted me in March and told me they had another E30 for sale and hadn't listed it yet. After a couple lengthy discussions on the phone and a lot of photographs, I decided to take the chance and book a plane ticket to look at the car.

I was searching searchtempest (craigslist nationwide), various online BMW forum classifieds, ebay, Facebook BMW classifieds, and a few other avenues multiple times a day during the last few months of my search. Earlier in the year I was prepared to pay asking price for a really clean '87 325is in PA, but the owner of that car ultimately decided they couldn't sell it. A similar thing happened with another '87 325is. Also, a lot of folks just don't want to deal with out-of-state buyers.
Nice, the moonroofs have always been sort of a mystery on 318is cars. There was a guy on the r3vlimited facebook page the other day that had one. He never said what brand it was but it was slightly different than the ASC on my car.

I remember seeing a white 318is similar to yours on CL but it looked like it was from a private party. Anyway, glad to see you made the trip back up to VA with it. I bought a car out of state once and I probably will never do that again (it broke down a couple times) and involved several calls for a tow truck and a visit to the dealership...

Do you plan to modify the car or leave it as is?
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'91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
'05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
'03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
'91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold
'91 325i auto coupe - Sold
'90 325iC - Sold
'91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:24 PM   #11
mike.bmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codym42 View Post
Nice, the moonroofs have always been sort of a mystery on 318is cars. There was a guy on the r3vlimited facebook page the other day that had one. He never said what brand it was but it was slightly different than the ASC on my car.

I remember seeing a white 318is similar to yours on CL but it looked like it was from a private party. Anyway, glad to see you made the trip back up to VA with it. I bought a car out of state once and I probably will never do that again (it broke down a couple times) and involved several calls for a tow truck and a visit to the dealership...

Do you plan to modify the car or leave it as is?
Yeah, aside from a tractor trailer tire blowing out a couple cars in front of me the trip home was drama free.

Modify or leave as is... good question! I haven't entirely decided so here's a very long winded answer. This also plays into my next purchase decision: replace tires on mint OEM basketweaves or buy new track wheels/tires.

I'm a firm believer that cars should be driven. I've always had a thing for track days and autocross. The majority of my experience has been with Subarus. Some of my previous cars include a 2005 WRX Wagon and a 2008 STI. Great bang for you buck. Huge aftermarket. Really easy (and enjoyable) to work on.

'05 WRX Wagon


'08 Subaru STI


I also have a thing for older Volvos. Love the 240 bricks. I spent a lot of time on this one and it was purely for cruising around, nothing track related.



At the risk of sounding conceited, my 318is may be a little too nice for the track. Though I'd really, really love to get it out to Summit Point or VIR.

So *I think* my current plan is to keep the car stock and drive it a few times a week for enjoyment. At some point I may throw a track-oriented brake pad/rotor/fluid combo along with a new wheel/tire package, but there are few more mechanical maintenance items I need to take care of before considering that:

- address oil leak from front timing cover (relatively small)
- replace rear diff bushing
- replace sections of rubber fuel line + new clamps
- replace vacuum hose
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:02 PM   #12
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Oh man, those Subarus are so tempting to modify. My buddy has an '02 WRX hatch that he's dumped way too much money into.

Your e30 probably is too nice for the track! But, I'd say wheels/tires would definitely be a good first upgrade. It would look nice with some 15" Euroweaves or 16" style 5s if you want to keep the OEM look. There aren't very many choices for tires in 14s. Even certain sizes in 15" suck.
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'91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
'05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
'03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
'91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold
'91 325i auto coupe - Sold
'90 325iC - Sold
'91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:18 PM   #13
WestCoastEta
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Insanely clean 318 you have there. Just looking at those carpets, damn

I love that you plan on actually driving it, too. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

My buddy just bought an 05 Sportswagon in red. Wish I could convince him to take it to the track haha
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:59 AM   #14
mike.bmw
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Oh man, those Subarus are so tempting to modify. My buddy has an '02 WRX hatch that he's dumped way too much money into.

Your e30 probably is too nice for the track! But, I'd say wheels/tires would definitely be a good first upgrade. It would look nice with some 15" Euroweaves or 16" style 5s if you want to keep the OEM look. There aren't very many choices for tires in 14s. Even certain sizes in 15" suck.
Thanks!

I'd love style 5s, but I'm not sure how I feel about running adapters. The 15" Euroweaves would be a great choice. I may look into that next year. In the meantime I'm going to focus ($$$) on refreshing some of the wear items on the motor (hoses, lines, clamps, gaskets, etc).

The OEM size tire choices (195/65/R14) are horrific. I've only found a few tires that come in that size. The tires currently on the car are Falken Sincera SN-828s. Not terrible, but not great by any means. I may just get another set of those in the short term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastEta View Post
Insanely clean 318 you have there. Just looking at those carpets, damn

I love that you plan on actually driving it, too. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

My buddy just bought an 05 Sportswagon in red. Wish I could convince him to take it to the track haha
Thanks! The carpets were in decent shape when I got the car. Though one of the previous owners was definitely a coffee drinker. Seeing that there are no cup holders, some of that coffee made it's way into the carpet. Removing the interior combined with a few hours of Rug Doctor machine rental did wonders.

It's too fun not to drive!

Here's to hoping I make a lot of progress! Time is scarce between work and family.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:24 AM   #15
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I can't believe how clean your car is, looks brand new! I like the way you are going with it also, eight years ago I would have said lower it but nowadays a stock E30 like this is seriously appealing. Enjoy it!
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