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Old 01-17-2017, 03:34 PM   #1
paynemw
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325is Auto that became a 327iS Manual and is going back to 325iS Manual...

So I purchased this gorgeous 1988 535is a couple of months ago and it turned out to be a lemon. Way too much rust around the rear subframe, and near the frame rails. So I parted it out and prayed I could find another clean e28 for the right price -> NOPE! So I came looking for a clean e30. I only found coupes in the Norfolk Area worth looking at, then finally upped the price range and found this 2.7 Stroker built 325is. The guy I purchased it from had ok documentation, and I looked at it with my pops, turned out to be a rust free car and a solid base to start. More solid than the e28 (RIP!). So here's a few pics of the 535is I parted and got rid of yesterday:



Anyways, it was very painful taking it apart. However, after selling the interior and some other small bits, I'm back into the green on total $ spent. I still have some interior pieces, the OBC, cruise control, ECU & harness, M30B34 & accessories, Getrag, driveshaft and 3.25LSD from the e28.

So anyways, looking at this e30, it was pretty nice. The car started as a 1987 BMW 325is Auto! Whomp whomp. The PO purchased it with a blown engine, went and snagged a 1988 Super ETA M20B27 block and sent the M20B25 head off the the machine shop then built the engine into a 2.7L "Stroker" and threw in a 173 ECU. He painted the engine/trans and threw on a bunch of new accessories. He also installed an aftermarket R134 A/C with some weird bracket so it blows cold even at idle (unlike converting to R134 later). Suspension all around are H&R OE Sport Springs with 1in drop. Koni STR.T Shocks up front and rear. Not sure what RTABs are in there, but I think the PO said they were stiffer than OEM. I need to confirm, but the PO also installed Racing Dynamic Sway Bars - definitely need to confirm and use my micrometer to get sizes front & rear. Here are some pics!


I don't really like the black on black - I might be able to swap out some unpainted basketweaves from the PO.



Who wants to buy this euro clock? I think I'm going to put the OBC back in - this thing is for tracking, not looking sexy. Def getting an Alpine head unit. I need to fix the bottom right hand corner of the facia, it doesn't stay pressed into place.


Dude bought some aftermarket seat covers, works for me! They look pretty cool.


Unfortunately the rear seat was not originally black and was dyed, and it doesn't look good up close and it feels crusty. I think I MIGHT get a matching upholstery set from the same company. This is definitely a long term goal.


Now to the fun! PO did a 1988 Super ETA block for the 2.7L "stroker" build with a B25 head. I need to do more investigating on exactly where this puts me in SCCA and NASA classes.


2.7L gearheads, anything knowledgeable I can gain from this picture? I'm new to the BMW game so I'm drinking from a fire hose right now. Help!




To conclude, here's a passenger side shot.

So far things I know I need to work on:
1. Driveshaft - I can tell the U-Joints are going bad, and the CSB is probably almost dead. What are people's thoughts on the Turner Motorsports driveshaft with rebuildable U-Joints?
2. Guibo
3. Z3 1.9L short shifter (really I just need to put new bushings in) but why not when the driveshaft is out right?!
4. With 200K on the body, I def think the LSD needs to be serviced, and probably receive new clutch disks. If it's shot, I'll throw in my e28 big case LSD. Yeup, tracking the flanges and rear case cover swap, anything else?
5. Ebay headers, high flow Magnaflow CAT & muffler - unless someone has a high performance suggestion that isn't $600 for just some bolt on exhaust kit.
6. E36 steering rack - nope not doing Z3 just for that smidge of better turn Lock to Lock over the e36, plus from my understanding e36 racks are less $$. This e30 steering takes FOREVER.
7. The window switches are a pain in the butt, but I have left overs from the e28 - hopefully they have the same plugs. And the driver's side window doesn't ride on the track well - guess I'll check out the regulators.
8. Keys! FML! I need to re-key all cylinders to match the ignition cylinder. Thank the lord my good buddy is a locksmith. Get that shit right quick.
9. Take that gawd awful rear window tint off.
10. Ditch those bumpers, but prior to doing that, verify which class I'll compete in. Anyone rock a pre face-lift e30 without bumpers?

I mean look at that ass! I think my true love is the e28, but I'll settle with my e30.
11. Sell that iS Spoiler and build a removable one like the above picture. Who has a black non IS trunk who wants to trade in the Hampton Roads/Richmond, VA area?

Give me some advice, help with racing, etc.

Last edited by paynemw; 11-27-2017 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:14 PM   #2
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Saw this guy up on Craigslist. Thought about contacting you to try and get that spoiler and manual trans (but I saw you were keeping it).

Looking forward to pics of the e30. Are you planning to m30 swap it?
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:46 PM   #3
paynemw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VBe30 View Post
Saw this guy up on Craigslist. Thought about contacting you to try and get that spoiler and manual trans (but I saw you were keeping it).

Looking forward to pics of the e30. Are you planning to m30 swap it?
I'll sell you the Getrag. Would love to M30 swap it, but that would require too much work and wouldn't let me race it. I mean I had a BLAST with the M30B34 during the Pungo AutoX, but from my understanding it would be too much work to get the firewall massaged, source the e30.de mounts, do the whole driveshaft dance, etc.

I'll keep it as a 327is for now, maybe chip it with some exhaust and call it a day. I want to drive the shit out of it at AutoX and road courses.

Do you track at all?

Edit: Looks like I'll be running D Street Prepared or D Modified? Any input?

Last edited by paynemw; 01-18-2017 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:12 PM   #4
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So a few updates:

I noticed that the car has drastic idle surge between 500-2000RPM when the engine is cold. I can still see very small surge at operating temperature of less than 100 RPM. At first glace I don't believe I have a vacuum leak based on inspection & receipts from 2015. The PO said he thinks it is the crank position sensor. I watched the Salt City Euro's video that talked about not using OEM sensors. I was wondering, do you guys buy your sensors from bavauto or BAP GEON? $150 is expensive for a guess!

Another problem I've found is that it smells like gas from time to time, but there's no apparent fuel leak from underneath the car or along the fuel rail or at the fuel pressure regulator. The PO did say it needs a new fuel sending unit - the fuel gauge doesn't read correctly. Maybe the gas tank seal is bad?! and you can smell the gas from the access panel under the rear seat? Also, I have to pump the pedal to get the car to start, so I'm also thinking fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, and what's that thing that looks like a fuel pressure regulator right past the fuel filter near the back edge of the driver's side door near what looks to be the fuel filter?!

Rainy day issues. So I'm pretty sure the sun roof drains are clogged, the antenna grommet is shit so naturally what do I find when it rains outside? Water!! You guessed it! Err! Time to source a new grommet & shorty antenna and clean out the sunroof drains.

Lastly, I need a wheel and tire set up for the track! So far I've found very good advice from this dude's comment on a 15, 16 or 17 in Wheel thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emre View Post
I'll answer this just to save you the heartache.

For best on-track performance with stock fenders, you want 225/45-15 tires on 15x8" wheels with an offset of ET25 or so. The smaller overall diameter will shorten your gearing a bit, which is good for acceleration.

If you want to drive around on the street (therefore care about keeping the speedometer reading accurate), then 225/50-15 will be better since the overall diameter is closer to stock.

If you can't find a good 15x8" wheel, then you can try 15x7" wheels. In that case, 225 mm tires are actually a little too wide, which makes the car feel a bit sloppy in transitions. In my testing, when I had 15x7" wheels on my E30, I actually had about the same grip with 205 mm tires. Again, in my testing, I found a 9"-wide wheel was necessary to really get the most out of a 225 mm tire.

205 mm tires also have the advantage of being lighter and usually cheaper (spec Miata size, so frequently on sale). So, I wouldn't rule out a 205/50-15 if you decide to run a 15x7" wheel. Grip levels will not be far different in either case.

As for larger wheel sizes, they don't make sense on the track for a typical E30 with stock fenders. Avoid 16" wheels at all costs, as the selection of race rubber is close to zero. You might think 17" is a good choice, but the overall diameter will generally be too big...which messes up your (already not-so-great gearing). Besides, you really don't need to go wider than 225 mm on an E30, so there's really no benefit to the 17" wheel. If you were running 245 mm or 255 mm tires, then you could argue that 17" makes sense. But you don't need that on a regular E30.

SUMMARY...
  • Best performance for pure track use: 225/45-15 on a 15x8" (or 15x9") wheel
  • Compromise for mixed street & track: 225/50-15 on a 15x8" wheel
  • Good alternative in either case: 205/50-15 on a 15x7" wheel
  • Do not buy 16" wheels for any reason
  • Avoid 17" wheels unless you have a specific reason to do so
I'm thinking 15x8 Enkei Compe's in White with an ET of 25. What do you guys think?!

These are 16x8 and I don't think that 17's would look attractive - so 15's because a lighter tire set up is more important than looking sexy with 16's and no tire options...

unless someone can find me some 15x9's that aren't absolutely hideous for under $500

Oh, grabbed some ebay headers from the PO for $50. What are people's solutions on header to cross over piece and cross over to exhaust, Vbands?
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1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
1987 BMW 325is 2.7L Track Build & Grocery Getter - Back in RVA driven by my pops
1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:14 PM   #5
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While I was packing up the racecar for the trip up to RVA, my pup Cosmo just sat back...

Can anyone guess what type of vehicle that is?

Did some work to the e30 this weekend. Let's just say #bushings ... I purchased the powerflex bushing kit for the e30 with offset Front Control Arm Bushings, Rear Trailing Arm Bushings, Subframe Bushings, and a Diff Bushing. I also picked up some RevShift engine/trans bushings from the shop manager of The Shop in RVA and I had some parts left over from the e28 (Garagistic braided brake lines).

So taking the subframe out is just like EVERYONE suggests. A royal PAIN IN THE BUTT! I mean it's not terribly complicated. In fact, it's pretty straight forward as long as you prepare for it, but those OEM bushings, err. How bout you meet me outside... I had to heat up a old flathead screwdriver to burn through the driver's side subframe bushing because it was stuck to the body & the fuel filter/line are literally 1 inch away - preventing direct heat application... That went well until burning napalm dropped onto my wrist (which happened to be uncovered just at that moment). And as I went to wipe it off as a reaction - I spread the burning rubber up my arm - groovy!

Parking Brake Cable
Anyways, the one place I had a hickup was pulling the parking brake out of the back of the backing plate. However, there is a solution. Use a dental tool to scrape any dirt/grime away from the crease & spray penetrating oil. Then rotate the hub until one of your lug bolt holes is aligned with the cable hole. Use a thin metal dowel to punch the sleeve out. This will prevent you from ripping the rubber sleeve off of the metal & this way you won't have to push the cable back up into the sleeves that run in the transmission tunnel.




Bushing removal!
So I will admit, I did use fire, BUT, I didn't burn any bushings out. I used a torch to heat a screwdriver to punch through the driver's side subframe bushing while the subframe was still stuck to the body. That helped brake apart the bushing allowing me to push the subframe off the body (while controlling it's descent). Then I used a torch to heat up the subframe bushing housing allowing the sleeve to be punched out. I did NOT have to cut the sleeve, I just used a cold chisel to bend over the edge inward, then heated up the outside to the point of visual melted rubber, then I pushed the sleeve out. Lastly, I used this method (found on youtube) to mechanically push the RTAB bushings out.

Finished product


And prior to re-installing the driveshaft I pulled the shifter carrier bracket to find this:

no wonder my shifter felt so sloppy. Now I have a nice poly bushing in there - soo tight! I 'm stoked to get my Z3 shifter. Garagistic had a fowl up with the shipping label, so I'm just waiting on parts. Errrr...
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I Live in Stuttgart, DE now!
1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
1987 BMW 325is 2.7L Track Build & Grocery Getter - Back in RVA driven by my pops
1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:50 AM   #6
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Sub'd for a local build! Let me know if you need any parts. I got a crap load of e30 stuff and trying to sell everything off, lol.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:22 AM   #7
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if you're still looking for a non IS black trunk lid let me know, mine is clean and I would swap with you. im in NOVA but im sure we could work something out.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:21 PM   #8
paynemw
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quick update:

threw the Z3 short shifter in today. It went really well. On the other side, I noticed my cluster was acting up today, pulled it - the circuit board was fried between the yellow plug and blue plug - so nothing works on the tach/fuel efficiency gauge. And when I put my speedo sensor plug back into the speedo sensor on the diff - the speed was all over the place.

After doing some research, it seems like the late '86 received an update to either have VDO or Motometer clusters, however based on some other thing's I've found I'm not confident the PO knew what he was doing when he replaced the cluster. I have a feeling he probably put a pre-86 cluster in there, and what I've read says that's a no-go. Any input on this?
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1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
1987 BMW 325is 2.7L Track Build & Grocery Getter - Back in RVA driven by my pops
1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:00 PM   #9
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Quick update with some priorities on the whip:

The cluster is low on the priority list because the odometer still works & the speedo has calmed down - still no tach & temperature guage. I put all of the new the new bushings in on the car sans the Front Control Arm Bushings.

Comprehensive List:

1. Offset Front Control Arms Bushings - should go in this weekend
2. Front brake lines & ATE Type 200 flush - should go in this weekend
3. pick up some Konig Hypergrams maybe?! 15x8.5 25mm offset - $122 a piece

4. Need advice on a good autoX and track tire to pick up with only a 1in drop - input greatly appreciated!
5. Install my eBay headers and get new exhaust without cats - in the next month?!
6. loose the bumpers?!
7. fix my cluster or replace & get my speedo correct
8. replace rear passenger ABS sensor and hopefully run down any problems with the system while I think of a way to delete it?!

Ok, whatcha guys think about this as a motivational rear end?




Ordered some more parts tonight:
Garagistic front & rear strut bars
billet aluminum throttle cable bushings and some Bimmerworld stud kit.
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I Live in Stuttgart, DE now!
1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
1987 BMW 325is 2.7L Track Build & Grocery Getter - Back in RVA driven by my pops
1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW

Last edited by paynemw; 02-24-2017 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:59 PM   #10
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Ended up ordering 15x8 ET0 Rota Classic's in Bronze because they were $600 shipped and the best deep dish I could find. The BimmerWorld wheel studs arrived, waiting on Garagistic Front & Rear Strut braces to arrive. Anyone have advice on a good street/autox tire that's decently priced for 15s...?
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I Live in Stuttgart, DE now!
1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
1987 BMW 325is 2.7L Track Build & Grocery Getter - Back in RVA driven by my pops
1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:11 PM   #11
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So it was SO painful waiting for my wheels to arrive, but they came in around 4PM Friday. I got Falken Azenis RT615K RF in 205/50ZR-15 for around $95 bucks a tire - I couldn't really afford to bust out some nice track/autoX tires yet, but if I grab another set of wheels I might go crazy on some nice stickies.

I also installed my BimmerWorld Wheel stud kit with some high temperature thread locker.
Back tires were easy, had to wait for a friend to come over to hold the brakes down to do the front - 60 ft/lbs while holding the rotor doesn't work...


tires for days... I'll throw these basketweaves up on on CL soon.



The wheels are Rota Grid Classics 15x8 ET0 - they require atleast 5mm spacers up front to clear the caliper bracket. I also grinded the bracket down a little bit too. Wish I knew about that before so I coulda ordered them at the same time, but oh well. Patience is a virtue, but racecar is life.

I should get my Garagistic Strut Bars in this week and I might try to install my ebay headers and get a new exhaust this Saturday before the first AutoX event.

Also made a battery tie down system without welding or anything. I'll take some pictures of it, I used two pre-existing holes and in the lost a nut inside of the frame rail in the process. Err!
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I Live in Stuttgart, DE now!
1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
1987 BMW 325is 2.7L Track Build & Grocery Getter - Back in RVA driven by my pops
1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:31 PM   #12
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Good start. I've been thinking long and hard to step down to 15's from 16's and still on the fence about it.
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:40 PM   #13
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more pictures:


Front tire with 8mm spacers - waiting on nice 5mm spacers to arrive this week


back tire's fit great! 15x8ET0 with 205/50R15... perfection
I even threw the car around on some on/off ramps and no rubbsssss


Ghetto battery tie down set up that doesn't require any modification to the trunk panels... it was painful to get the flat bar into the whole and thread the nut on the inside of the frame rail
see...


Underside of the car in one of the OEM drain holes.

Here you can see how I bent the threaded rod to go around the battery tray and that water exit thingy mabob. This is literally looking down the far side of the battery

oh and ebay headers with some stainless v-bands tested for fit!


I'll build a Y-Pipe so it'll be 2" to 3" and a single 3" all the way back to the muffler.


I want it to be quiet but low restriction, anyone have suggestions? Do I really need a resonator as well?
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Paynemw
I Live in Stuttgart, DE now!
1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
1987 BMW 325is 2.7L Track Build & Grocery Getter - Back in RVA driven by my pops
1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:59 PM   #14
stonea
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Spotted a picture of your car on the VB C&C Facebook page.

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Old 03-13-2017, 03:39 PM   #15
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Cool build!

On my car I have eBay headers to a 2.5" back. Vibrant rear muffler and a Borla XS Pro as a mid. Both are straight through mufflers so pretty free flowing. Very little drone as well and pretty quite under 3400, but after that it sounds awesome.


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