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Thread: They told me E30s were played out

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absorbantnut View Post
    Very cool thread. I really like all the attention to detail & parts that you made!
    Thank you! Then you should love it, when I get to the mechanical stuff - suspension and drivetrain.

    Quote Originally Posted by kneums View Post
    Wow. i wish i had metal working skills like that... very impressive work!
    Don't we all ... I drool every time I witness someone good at their own witchcraft and whisper to myself "wish I could do that!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Meeve View Post
    well that shell will be good as new!! Curious how much all that bodywork will cost you!
    It's pretty solid indeed, and keeping in mind this toy isn't going to see winter anymore, it should last at least another 30 years! She's a 1985 and I actually started the tear down on her birthday, call me OCD

    Cost in terms of money hasn't really bothered me that much, since I am willing to pay for quality work. But for the sake of it - just the metalwork had cost me so far roughly 1100 USD, including the parts, sheet metal and chemicals used. I also have the hauling costs, which are about $250 and a short block m20b27
    In our part of the world, that is considered expensive, but as I said, quality and craftsmanship are important to me.
    However, that part of the build has put more gray hair on my head than my ex-gf.

    Quote Originally Posted by tajjj View Post
    Interested to hear as well, and particularly, if you're sticking with E87 hubs or what you decide. Overall, I very cool build thread so far! I completely envy the body-working abilities of your buddy, he makes it look easy. Can't wait to see the end result!
    Thank you, he does make it look easy, doesn't he?
    I am sticking with the e87 hubs in the back, the rear end is going to be unchanged in terms of trailing arm/brake setup. I am just redoing the front 5x120 adaptor/spacer, because I had a better idea from the start, but not enough time to make it happen. I am working on that right now, but will explain it once I get the thread up to current date and/or finish it.


    Now let me entertain you with some minor chassis mods, which are really not that big deal, but are going to make my life easier.

    First, the radiator support. You may have noticed, it was badly rotten on the underside and needed replacing. I had sourced a new replacement, but the quality of the upper part was poor, the bends were not correct and where there was from flowing into another form, it was all twisted, as if it were hand bent by some HULK. We decided on removing the rad support, cutting both pieces and making a new support out of the two parts.

    Naturally, we made it detachable, so engine install/removal is as easy as it can get.

    Rad support removed:



    Franken-rad-support in place:




    And a lick of paint, the finish is not showcar-like, but I never intended it to be.





    I don't know if any of the e30 guys have noticed, but the behavior of a coupe with the battery in the engine compartment is a tad better than a coupe with the battery in the trunk, as 325i and 325e came out of the factory. This is mostly noticeable, when the trunk is empty and the spare wheel is missing - when you do a hard left turn, the back end swings more easily and it feels like a pendulum. I know these are a few conditions, but I wanted that annoyance out of the way. So we made a new battery nest, with two basic positions for different battery types. It is spot welded, so that mod is easily reversible, if I don't like it. The idea is to move the battery weight between the axles and somewhat centered.

    First mockup:



    Shaped and painted with the trunk floor:



    Since the paint gun was out and the floor in the cabin was prepped too, why not?



    Now, since it's the Stance|Works, we need to be able to fit some wheels in those arches, right? For some reason I am not a fan of rolling, because the inner lip just becomes a moisture trap. So I did what any decent person would do - cut it out! Then some polyurethane was applied to achieve maximum moisture freeness



    I will show you how we brought her home in my next post.
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-20-2018 at 06:02 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  2. #27
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    And this, young grashoppers, is how progress is made
    Lucas
    Daily: 2004 Audi A4 B6 1.8T BEX Avant S-line. . . . . . . . . Daily Econobox: 2010 Audi A1 1.4TFSi S-tronic
    Quote Originally Posted by LCG View Post
    High 21! It's like a high 5 but includes both hands, both feet and a boner.

  3. #28
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    I should learn how to weld...

    Beautiful e30! There's a reason they're 'played out' -- because they're the best!

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by loekaaz View Post
    And this, young grashoppers, is how progress is made


    Quote Originally Posted by foxster View Post
    I should learn how to weld...

    Beautiful e30! There's a reason they're 'played out' -- because they're the best!
    Thanks, man. I didn't believe them anyways, those conformist bastards.

    Let me tell you about the trip back home. We departed with an empty trailer (duh) :



    Right after we loaded her on the trailer it poured like hell for about 20 minutes and flooded the cab. I was really unhappy at that point. You can spot the welder's super clean wagon, an edition model from the early 90's. Seriously one of the cleanest e30s I've seen.



    We headed back to the capital city and were horrified to find out, that while we were loading the car up and grabbing some snacks, wild roadworks had appeared and we were forced to take a detour through some really bad roads, which were literally made out entirely of pot holes.



    Yeah I travelled the whole time like that, until we cleared the detour. My neck was hurting.
    We stopped at a gas station to fill up the e38, we used again to pull the trailer. And my friends were being dicks, as usual:





    We reached the workshop at a very late hour and unloaded her from the trailer. I was relieved that no water was present in the cab, it was all swept away by the wind. No photos though, sorry.

    And that's pretty much how she sits right now, alone, waiting for me to sort out some stuff and start the assembly.

    The plan is:
    1. Phase One: put suspension on, put wire loom in, put engine in, take it for exhaust fabrication, take it to painter's, final assembly
    2. Phase Two: ?????
    3. Phase Three: Profit

    In my next posts I will start revealing wheels/suspension plans, so you don't die of boredom.
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-20-2018 at 06:12 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  5. #30
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    This post is about the suspension/wheels plan.

    When I drove the car with the konis, I was generally happy with them - great handling, stiffer than billies when at softest setting and straight awesome when set at maximum stiffness. There was only one problem - the bump stop was still being engaged too often. And I know I had left just a tiny bit of it, so that I don't completely trash the konis. But sometimes that would play a bad trick on me in a fast corner, so was looking for options to go lower and yet retain suspension travel. Ofcourse I knew about the IX shocks and shortened struts combo and I must admit the idea is great. However, I knew I would want to build coilovers out of that setup one day and when I did the math it turned out I would be better off bying actual install ready coilovers and call it a day. OK, so there were a few options and I started asking around who did what to their car. I rode some e30s with fitted coilovers, among them some truly awesome rides, like a v8 m60/6 speed manual swapped convertible with XYZ coilovers, a n/a 2.8 m20 stroker on Megan racing coilovers, and the one that made me go for my choice - a twinturbo 2.8 m20 stroker:



    Damn beast! Most importantly - on the softest setting it rode as soft as bilstein b8 coupled with a high rate H&R spring for instance and on the stiffest setting it rode exactly like my setup minus the hops. So I was sold on that choice and ordered the same combo. Yep you guessed it:



    BC racing coils in 6kg/8kg rates.



    I know, it's not something exotic or mind blowing, but I am at a point, where I don't want to expiriment more than I have to. And I am going to, when I get to building the motor.

    Let's rewind 9 months back. I have mentioned previously in the thread I narrowed my rear track for a purpose. I wanted to fit a specific wheel in there without any issues. Because of the same wheel I am redoing the front spacer for the front hub, so I can tuck the wheel a bit more into the wheel well.
    The wheels I had in mind are very common and easy to come by (or so I thought) in North America. Us unfortunate eurofags need to kind of sell a testie to get a set of those and it would be still a hard bargain, because it would be a eurofag testie.
    I am ofcourse speaking of the Trans Am GTA wheel in 16x8 et 16 and 16x8 et0 dimensions.

    I swear I tried my best to find a set, I even contacted some guys in the US, who have baldly announced on their sites they specialize in those wheels and refinish them in the whole factory color variety available for the market back in the day. None seemed to have even a single wheel in stock and they couldn't tell me when they would have a set or a wheel. Oh, well. I searched at the same time the UK forums and ebay.co.uk, ad boards and whatnot. I was lurking the german ebay and ad boards as well.

    Several months in, I had no luck. Then one day I found an ad from a breaker in Germany, who announced the breaking of a Trans Am GTA, no year specified. I quickly contacted the guy (thank god I speak German) and asked about the wheels, what kind where day, what color and what price. I got a response fairly soon with good detailed picture and an honest description. I struck a deal with the guy and he send the wheels off. After a two weeks wait they turned up and I picked them up from the post office. I must tell you, the guy did a great job packaging them in separate boxes from some other wheels, filled with cardboard and soft stuff. He had also described the wheels accurately, all flaws pointed out (small curb rash on one wheel and some pitted paint).
    I was happy to have these puppies:




    Despite being freezing cold, I still went down to the garage where the car slept and did a test fit:






    That's with 15mm spacers, wheel gap is because the rear right tire was flat.
    Now, I will gain 5 more mm because of the new 5x120 combo for the front, and I only need about 12 mm for the wheel to clear the calipers, so I should be good with a bit of camber. I intend to run 215/40/16 in the front, because I liked it that way with the previous wheels, which were also 16x8.

    I am not a fan of white wheels on white cars, but am willing to try it out, once I assemble the car and put her on the road once again. If I don't like it, I can always switch to mayan gold

    In my next post I will tell you about my daily and what happened there.
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-20-2018 at 06:42 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  6. #31
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    Awesome chassis work dude! Loving the attention to detail can't wait to see it with the wheels mounted and on the ground

    @fackinsteve ; fackin build thread :
    http://www.stanceworks.com/forums/sh...ill-build-E36s

  7. #32
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    oh lord have mercy
    Ruining cars since 2006 yo

  8. #33

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    Looks great man, that lip doe!

    I've had several E30's and they're always a blast. I'll most likely build another some time in the near future.

  9. #34
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    Човечееее ти си изрооод! Поклон , поклон и пак поклон! 30-ката е тотална лудница! От София ли си ? Много ще се радвам да се видим и да обменим идеи Пиши на лично ако имаш желание да си спретнем среща. Аз карам това:

  10. #35

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    Почнаха да изплуват качествените български коли тука :d

  11. #36
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    Благодаря, пичове!

    Quote Originally Posted by fackinsteve View Post
    Awesome chassis work dude! Loving the attention to detail can't wait to see it with the wheels mounted and on the ground
    yeah, me neither. Unfortunately there is still a lot to be done and I don't really have that much time recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubber&Iron View Post
    Looks great man, that lip doe!

    I've had several E30's and they're always a blast. I'll most likely build another some time in the near future.
    Thanks! Build one ASAP and enjoy it


    So, as promised, I will all let you in on what happened with my daily. Back in January I got bored of monster truck stock suspension and looked around the workshop. I had all the suspension parts I removed from the white e30 laying around - almost new ATE power discs, vented brake calipers, rear trailing arms with new-ish discs and brake pads .. all four billies as well. Found an old crate with lowering springs and got to work. I bought a polyurethane set for the rear beam, trailing arms and the diff bushing. I figured I might as well swap in the type 188 LSD unit I had as a spare.

    We got cracking, I had already replaced the struts and rear shocks, before these pictures were taken. We figured we would swap the rear subframe and brake calipers in a day (previously done on other e30s with success), that's why the car was left halfway out of the garage:






    Here's where I stopped taking pictures, because:

    1. Rear beam came off with a part of the inner rocker and left a huge gaping hole
    2. Part of the left rear beam bushing broke off and remained stuck in the hole for the fresh one
    3. I found a hideous amount of rust underneath, which had evolved over the last 10 months.

    When I first put together my daily, I left it at a body repair shop in my home town to patch the huge rust holes in the trunk, change the rockers, etc. Turned out they just welded the new metal OVER the rust, without cutting it. As a result of that genius move, the car ate itself from inside out... I was genuinly sad about that .

    That day I stayed up until 2 AM in the freezing winter cold (door wouldn't shut, car with no rear axle halfway through it), beating the shit out of the freaking part of the bushing that got stuck and trying to install the other rear beam I had prepared and he trailing arms. It was a tough fight, I had a friend come over at about 10 pm and help me out. Without his help, I would probably have stayed up all damn night.

    Anyway, after I put the freaking thing together and had gotten a pretty good picture of the car's actual condition I decided I would just have fun with it until it dies. So I bought some steelies in an attempt to make banded steelies and slam it to the ground:





    Those are 16x6.5 et49 wheels off of some Renault soccer mom van. After the temporary banding it was 16x10 et0 and fits pretty decent IMO. For the front I was going to do 8.5 et20, but unfortunately I never got to finish that little project of mine, because:

    1. The exhaust fell off
    2. A halfshaft exploded
    3. The engine crapped out

    So with heavy heart I decided to part myself with that car about a month ago and put it up for sale with these pics:






    Literally 5 minutes after I put up the ad, a guy from our e30 community called me up and said he'd buy it. I was like, dude, at least have a look first and drive it around. Nope, he wanted to buy it.

    So I swapped all the rare parts with regular ones (LSD, M3 interior mirror, star tec tail lights) and made the deal on the next day, got exactly what I asked for

    And there I was... miserable and daily-less. What do?
    Remember that e28, that belonged to my buddy earlier in the thread?












































    That's right, I bought it
    He was selling all car related stuff in order to fund a proprrty deal he was willing to do and called me up to tell me all his cars were up for sale. There was a guy, who wanted to buy it, but since that guy was a douche, my friend offered the car to me for almost half the price he was asking "because it needs to have a good owner"
    That's how I got it:



    Exterior is pretty bad, peeling clear coat because of a half assed spray job in the past, dented right fender, crooked hood because of same accident, that dented the right fender, dented rear left door, some rust on the rear valance and around the tail lights, but not rotted through. Interior is pretty good, apart from the cracked dash, AC works but needs a refill, all gauges work correctly.
    The most important part is, that the underbody and structural parts are completely, absolutely RUST FREE. I swear, that e28 is the best I've encountered in terms of rust.

    At first when I drove it around like that I was horrified of it and parked it for almost two weeks. Then I read on the internet that front e30 springs would work on an e28. Coincidence? I think NOT!
    The same friend that saved me from the freezing cold whilst working on the black e30 was parting out his e34 and hooked me up with a set of rear lowering springs for it.

    So one friday after work I loaded the e28 up with the front H&Rs from my first attempt to lower the white e30 and the e34 rear springs and headed for the workshop. While on my way I called another of our local e30 guys, who I knew was selling his BBS RCs with tires in the correct dimensions, 205/40/17 in the front and 215/40/17 in the back. We made a quick deal and he stopped by while I was already swapping the front springs. Perfect timing. Needless to say I had to stay up again until 2 am in the workshop, because I had never worked on an e28 before and it was unexplored teritory for me. But I managed to put it back together and drove off home happy. That's how it sat the next day, when I took it for a spin:





    At the shop, with a friend's clean e12 in the background:



    Another of our e30 guys spotted me while sitting in traffic and took a spy foto:



    Since then I had bought new tires for the front, so I can lower it some more. When I get to it, I will show it off.
    Hope you enjoyed the post as much as I did.

    In my next post, I will tell you about the engine plans for the main charachter in this thread.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  12. #37
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    Hello again!
    It's been almost 2 months since my last update, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on the car.

    I wanted to tell you about the plans for the engine, but that will have to wait. I have been dealing with various issues on that front and met some great challenges along the way. SO the post about the engine will have to wait until I sort all the stuff out.

    Instead I will share with you the progress until now.
    First, I had been unfortunate enough to find out, that the fuel tank was no good. The sheet metal itself was in good condition, but the hose fittings were all rotten. Not a single one was good enough. Especially the pair, where the small S-shaped pipe bolts on. The S-pipe itself was so gone, I knew I had to replace it too. So I made the decision called "everything new" and pulled the trigger on some goodies. I got a sweet deal on a pre-face lift fuel tank, brand new in the box, a buddy of mine works for a big parts importer and sorted that out for me. The tank came without said pipe, so I picked up the pieces of what was left from mine and headed to a popular brake line/hard line/hose shop and had 4 diferent versions of the S-pipe made with different angles and such. Once they were done, I picked the one closest to the fitting and made it fir perfectly in just 2 hours of measuring, careful bending and cursing. End result:



    Next was the inner fuel pump. For those of you who don't know, some of the early euro spec cars were fitted with 2 fuel pumps - one in the fuel tank, sharing the same hole ( ) with the level sensor and another one underneath the rear left passanger's ass. My pumps were working OK, no noises no nothing, but I had a brand new pair sitting from another sweet deal I couldn't pass up, both BOSCH. So on with the new stuff:



    Before I could put in the fuel tank, the fuel lines and hoses plus the breather hoses for the tank needed to be installed. So I bought some new stuff and got to work. The fuel hard lines were bought from an official BMW dealer, came with the factory seal etc. and STILL didn't fit. Had to made an awkward bend... but it'll do.





    I don't have a picture of the breather hoses for some reason. Then I had some help from a friend and installed the fuel tank:



    The installed fuel pump, sender unit and various hoses:



    Next was ofcourse the rear crossmember:



    Then came the sway bar and the LSD unit:



    Slapped some trailing arms while I was at it:



    The external fuel pump had to go in before I do anything more, so I unwrapped the OEM brackets, bushings and began the assembly after I gave the brackets a few coats of paint. The factory finish was peeling easily.



    Finished assembly:




    Then I decided to turn my attention to the steering column and pedal box. The steering column has a plastic bushing, which starts squeaking when it gets old. So on with a new one:



    Installed the column, using the same bolts, which snap off their own heads when torqued down to the needed Nm. Then slapped on the pedal box with a new master clutch pump:



    Installing the brake servo and master cylinder was a walk in the park, when there was no motor in the bay



    All brake lines are new, it was a PITA to bend the one from the ABS unit to the front right wheel, it has like 10 bends with 5 different angles. But it turned out good. Then I wanted to install the ABS pump, but noticed it was badly rotten on the underside and had a huge crack in it! It had never leaked whatsoever, but I wanted to put a better one in. Made a call, a friend sent me his spare and I got it yesterday from the delivery office in the neighborhood. So that's pretty much where I stand now, picked up some more parts from the dealer yesterday, si I think I might be able to install the front cross member and suspension soon enough.

    Thanks for reading, I am off to the shop to put in some more work!
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-20-2018 at 08:10 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  13. #38

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    Страшно е bmw-то ! Браво на теб ! Абе българите тука показвайте си колите. :d :d :d

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by G&G View Post
    Страшно е bmw-то ! Браво на теб ! Абе българите тука показвайте си колите. :d :d :d
    Благодаря!

    So, I promised somewhere in the posts, that I will tell you about the new plan for the 5x120 swap in the front. Since I had the previous struts assembled and ready to be used and abused, it didn't make sense to me to disassemble them just to get the hubs. So I sold them on to an e30 buddy, who wants to go down the same route in the future and bought another set of hubs. I then realized I actually had to fulfill my plan .

    The idea is to keep the original offset as close to original as possible, so I had a sleeve with threads both inside and outside, so it can be screwed onto the spindle, receive the hub and have the stock e36/e46 nut screwed onto it. This is the part that got machined:





    And this is how it screws down onto the stock e30 spindle. Notice there is an additional colar made around the surface where the e30 dust cap sits. It is not there only for the e36 dust cap, but so that the bearing race can have the intended surface to rest on. The e36 dust cap however is a bit taller than the e30 one, so once in place, it needs a bit of trimming with the dremmel, nothing frustrating.



    Then line all the gear up and measure what's what before welding.



    A buddy who actually knows how to weld and owns a TIG welder was kind enough to do the job:



    We noticed the coilover sleeve had a little play when snug onto the chopped spindle, so we borrowed an idea from the drifters' forum. We made some holes and plug welded them.






    After that the struts were off for powdercoating, I've trimmed the dust caps, put the hubs on, beat the crap out of the protective shields to make them fit after the brake disc has been installed, because the new adaptor sleeve brings the disc 5mm closer to the strut and kind of is in the same place the dust shield wants to be.
    The struts are assembled and actually ready to go, but somehow both my camera and phone decided to have an empty battery at the same time. So I'll have to snap some picture for you guys later.
    I hope to have the car on wheels by the end of the weekend. Cheers!
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-20-2018 at 07:27 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  15. #40
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    I'm back with a small update from the past few days.
    Got some motivation while looking at some friends' rides and decided to actually put some work into my car.
    Had to massage the dust caps before putting in the hubs, they were protruding slightly and prevented the hub bearing from sitting properly:



    Put the hubs on:



    Screwed down the nuts:



    Shiny and ready to be assembled!



    Put the front crossmember in, as well as the sway bar:



    Prepped the lollipops with some powerflex goodness and unpacked the control arms:



    After those were installed, cleaned the steering rack really good (about 4 hours total) and slapped it on:



    Then the struts were installed, pretty happy with them actually:




    Plan is to leave it high, until paint and exhaust are sorted.
    Then there was some spare time to put in the wiring loom:




    Unfortunately dumbass me never thought I'd make it this far during this weekend and didn't bring the laptop with the photos from the disassembly. So I had no idea which goes where and just left it like that. I'll try and make sense of that cable mess in the next few days.
    I am still waiting on my adaptor plates for the front brakes, as well on brake fluid.Once those arrive, I can bleed the brakes and put the e30 on the ground.

    Until next time.
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-20-2018 at 07:41 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  16. #41
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    hey, stanceworkers, it's me again.
    I've been slacking around not updating this thread, I admit. But hey, there is not much to tell, so this should be a quick read.

    So, after the fron suspension was nearly done, I moved to the back and assembled the rear. Put in the springs and shocks and slapped in the fuel tube, which was powdercoated for extra bling.





    Since I redid the front 5x120 setup, the adapt-o-plates for the front calipers would no longer work, new ones were required. Had those babies machined and zinc-coated in 2 days total!



    Once that was done, we were ready to bleed the brakes and clutch slave pump. If you need to bleed the pump when there is no trans/motor, here is my Top Gear Top Tip: use a connecting rod foot with long bolts+nuts. Woks like a charm.
    Also, an enthusiastic friend is required to help you out bleed the brakes:



    That could only lead to one thing - settling on her own wheels for the first time in about 6 months!




    Time to stop jerking around and sort out the wire loom

    Left side, slowly progressing and getting there:



    And done:



    Right side was eaisier:



    After that I put in the battery cable going to the trunk, but forgot to take pictures for some reason.

    A few days ago, I called up the same buddy, who took her to the bodywork dude and we made a plan to take her to her garage to stay over the winter, because we need to use the workshop now, since it's cold outside and we need to work on other cars as well.
    There she is, rolling out on her own for the first time after the assembly had started:



    I don't have a picture of her on the trailer, it was too dark. When we arrived, we uploaded her and I stepped inside. The guys pushed me to the slope, where the entrance to the inderground garage is and I used the inertia to make the U turn at the entrance. It was awesome, I almost drifted

    Here she is, all cramped up in the small garage:



    So that's where she is at now, checked an hour ago. She will stay there over winter, while I work on other stuff like the heater core, sliding roof and engine.

    Ooooh right riiiight, I was going to tell you about the engine.... well, I will, but in the next post

    Let me tell you about the other cars in my life first.
    I was not planning on doind anything major to the e28. So I kept myself busy with simple suff. Like finding a replacement taillight, mine was broken badly. The steering wheel was seriously pissing me off, so I remembered there was this steering wheel from my old Lada. Found it in a box at my parent's summer house and was surprised to find out it was a genuine Astrali wheel with PCD 6x100. Not gonna bother explaining what an Astrali is, found a genuine hub on the UK ebay for 20 pounds and snagged it:



    I love how it feels. Some say it's ugly and inappropriate, I say f*** em.
    Gaining confidence with the e28 I went to he annual e30 meet with it like a boss



    Unfortunately, winter is coming, so I braced myself and drove to my parent's summer house (420 km away) for the second time. Swapped the stock wheels back on not to mess up the new tires, while the e28 sits in hybernation over the winter in the warm garage:




    She looks so sad
    Anyway, once I made sure she will be safe during winter (3 mouse traps around her plus a device, which uses magic to repel mice) I locked both garage doors and hopped into my top secret car, which I had done some maintenance in total secrecy over my summer paid leave. Seriously, it's top secret, some of my friends didn't even know I own a ****.
    But it has proven itself reliable and cheap to maintain/travel, so I've kept it over the years, although it was not used for many years.
    Wanna know what it is? Naaah, maybe in the next post.

    Let me tell you another story.
    When I realized I will not drive a BMW (decided the e28 is worth saving and not being driven during the horrible winters here), a hunt after a cheap BMW on it's last legs begun. I was looking and looking, drove several times to remote locations only to be staring at a pile of junk, that wouldn't even make the trip home. So, like usual, life happened.
    A friend of mine from my home town had to go into surgery and stay in the city I currently live in for about 5 days. I was happy to have him and we had a good time considering he was just out of surgery. So on the 5th day he left and I was still at work, when he texted once he got home, saying that his brother has an offer I can't refuse.
    We exchanged a million texts, but you will be bored, so the short version:
    My buddy's brother will let me have his car for the winter, because he is not driving it anyway and will not have the time for it in the next 6 months. Because he is building some new BMW, which I hardly find interesting. Who cares about a convertible e46 m3 with a turbo. Pfffshhhh
    The catch is I have to drive BACK to my home town to get it, also perform minor stuff on it while in my possession. Like change front control arms, swap the LSD unit into a non-screaming and screeching dif and complete overhaul of the engine.
    Needless to say I was excited. I drove back in my secret **** car with my parents, who would stay over the weekend anyway and left it with them. I drove back on the next day in the early morning in this:




    It's a 318i with a K-jetronic fuel injection, 323i front end swap, e34 525i front brakes, LSD dif and coilovers
    Motor runs like crap, spits, shakes and whatnot. But I made it home and surprised people on the highway


    I promise, I'll tell you about the engine stuff in my next post. I promise.
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-20-2018 at 08:49 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Posts
    190

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    OK, today I am off work, so no more postponing. Engine time!

    Most of the people reading this would probably think I am doing an engine swap, S50, S38 or a V8 from the BMW range. Or that I would go back to the original idea of turboing the m20b27. And they wouldn't be off completely.
    However, several events lead to my final decision. There had been far too many issues with the law lately. It is illegal to have a different engine in your car in our country. When a car is registered for the first time in Bulgaria, the engine serial number is written on the slip. If you get caught with a different engine, you can face a fine ranging from ~1200 to ~4000 USD. In case your engine brakes, you need to find the exact same motor, buy it with documentation stating that you bought it, not stole it, and then reregister the car. If you put a different type of motor in (i.e. you have a 1.8 car, put a 2.0 engine in it), you HAVE to go to technical inspection, they decide if you did it properly and issue a piece of paper. That of course costs money and there is a big chance that you don't pass.
    Turbocharged cars do not pass, so it's completely illegal to have turbocharged car, that was not produced with a turbocharger from factory.
    So a V8 conversion, and a legal one, would be possible, but really pricey.

    Then one day I got wind from a friend, that there is this guy, who had bought a rotten e28 with an e30 323 engine in it. The interesting part is the gearbox, coupled to that engine. Yes, it was a Getrag 245 Dogleg gearbox.
    We negotiated for months, he wanted to put it up on ebay and make serious cash, I wanted to have it for cheap, or at least cheap for a dogleg. Eventually he agreed to sell it to me for a really good price.

    So that decided it for me, I will stick with the mechanical marvel, called a BMW m20 engine (fun fact: used to be called m60, that's why some early gearboxes have m60 stamped on them), because I now have a dogleg gearbox to couple to it

    OK, doglegs are seriously awesome, but no good in a weak ass stock m20b27. So I need to do something, and not just your average 2.8 stroke. No sir.


    Bottom end

    When I was earlier deciding what type of engine I want in the car I am buying, I had made a very good choice, not knowing I was going to make things easier for myself in the future.
    So thanks, past me!
    m20b27 engines are notoriuos for running forever, when taken good care of. I feared mine was not really taken care of, so only one way to make sure. Disassemble everything!

    First head off, pistons have a good amount of gunk on them:



    Then I realize it's way easier for a single person to use the engine hoist and be able to position the shortblock on the stand.



    A good few hours later, all is off:



    Now we get to the good part, is a complete m54b30 rotating assembly going to fit in an ETA block?

    We can clearly see, the crank fits and rotates freely:



    Time to put the rods and pistons in. They stick about 2mm above ...



    Nothing that cannot be handled by any respectable machine shop.
    There was a small issue with the block casting though. When the crank is rotated, there is one spot, where the connecting rod meets the lowest part of the cylinder wall.
    I took the naked block to a trusted guy, who solely does engine blocks and dropped it off for measuring along with the rotating assembly and massaging of the lower cylinder walls, so that the conrods can move freely.
    The guy did that really well and congratulated me on parts in perfect condition. He really thought I was bullshiting him about the block being 30 years old.

    So, now I am at a point figuring out what exactly needs to be done to the pistons to achieve a compression ratio of 12:1
    As soon as I figure it out, I am sending them to the machine shop.

    The conrods will be weighed and trimmed down to match, there is also a lightweight flywheel from an early m20 e21 ready to go in and make the rotating assembly even lighter.

    On to more good stuff!

    The Head

    As we all know, the head of the engine is where the horsepower is summoned from another dimension.
    Needless to say, a 885 unit is going to be used on my engine. I had been wanting to drive with a 292 camshaft, which Shrick did not produce at the time I was looking for parts. Also, the DBilas one had better charachteristics in my opinion, but they had also stopped producing it. I was going on ebay day after day, week after week, month after month... and still no 292 camshaft. Then one day a tuning shop announced they are selling the 292 DBilas camshaft (DBilas decided to produce it again for some reason). There were also shrick vavle springs available at a discount if you buy a camshaft from them. No brainer - the order was placed within minutes and in a week a camshaft and valve springs popped up:




    Happy as I was, the IE rocker arms were still too expensive for me, since there is tax on imported goods and also tax on shipping of imported goods, so I would have to pay double to get them.
    Then the endless browsing of adds pays off again - a guy in the UK had some m20 stroker parts he was no longer willing to use due to S50 swap, IE rocker arms among them. I emailed the guy and asked him if he wants to ship. the answer was YES and a deal was struck once again. The rocker arms arrived in their original pack, never opened.

    That got me thinking, more new stuff is required, so this happened:



    All new parts, everything needed for the head to be assembled. The valve spring retaining collars are VAC motorsport. Also, although no turbo will be slapped on this engine, ARP head studs were acquired:



    So far so good, but such a big increase in the displacement would require some better air flow. The last thing I am is a head porting guy, I have absolutely no idea how it should be done, so I hired someone to fiddle with the head. There were some things we disagreed about, but the final result is satisfactory to me:






    The intake ports were very mildly increased, the exhaust ports were made to match the seal and the exhaust manifolds, which are being manifactured as we speak.

    Stock m20b25 exhaust port:



    Mine:



    This leads us to valves. The stock ones are obviously not going to cut it. And not dimensionwise, diameters are OK in my honest opinion. They are heavy and break easily when you rev up to 8k. So, custom ones were milled down and adonized. They are lighter and stronger.

    Stock m20b25 intake, custom intake, custom exhaust, stock m20b25 exhaust:



    That's where I am at right now. Started assembling the head yesterday evening and am proceeding very slowly, so I don't f*c* anything up.

    Cheers, till next time!
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-23-2018 at 03:55 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bulgaria
    Posts
    137

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    Евала , продължавай брат! Ако решиш да продаваш окачването свиркай

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Newport Beach
    Posts
    2,418

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    Awesome car, and good job doing things the correct way.

  20. #45

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    Man! what an amazing build thread! narrated and illustrated excellently..
    Your attention to detail on this car is top notch, and I have no doubt the end result will be awesome.

    I echo your opening verses about e30s being so intoxicating to drive, they really are one of the all time great cars.

    It is annoying to hear about the retarded new rules in your country, fuck governments!
    You would think there are more important things to sort out in the world by some government office faggot, like famine and refugees, instead of 'lets make a whole massive system that makes normal people messing with 25 year old cars have the exact same engine number if they ever want or have to change the engine on they're own property'.
    On the other hand it has led you to building this awesome engine so you can still 'rebel against the machine'

    I am suprised though that you did not paint under the car and inside the arches after all the fabbing was done before you started assembly..

    Looking forward to following this build to the finish

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Posts
    190

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    Awesome car, and good job doing things the correct way.

    Thanks man, coming from someone who knows what is behind a simple build like mine, i't a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by alantw-15 View Post
    Man! what an amazing build thread! narrated and illustrated excellently..
    Your attention to detail on this car is top notch, and I have no doubt the end result will be awesome.

    I echo your opening verses about e30s being so intoxicating to drive, they really are one of the all time great cars.

    It is annoying to hear about the retarded new rules in your country, fuck governments!
    You would think there are more important things to sort out in the world by some government office faggot, like famine and refugees, instead of 'lets make a whole massive system that makes normal people messing with 25 year old cars have the exact same engine number if they ever want or have to change the engine on they're own property'.
    On the other hand it has led you to building this awesome engine so you can still 'rebel against the machine'

    I am suprised though that you did not paint under the car and inside the arches after all the fabbing was done before you started assembly..

    Looking forward to following this build to the finish
    Government sucks right? Those are actually old rules from some years back, nobody wants to change them. And I can see why, there is a lot of auto theft going on here, and if they overthrow that rule, it wil lbe like GTA paradise up in our country.
    Anyway, to your question: there is a very good reason I didn't paint the underside of the car or the wheel wells. Someone had applied some time ago a layer of thick waxy-like thing everywhere, even in the inside of the car. It has preserved sheet metal extremely well, so I decided not to remove it, just scrubbed it down where it was pitted and replaced it with white polyurethane, which is visible on some of my photos.Some areas with edges wre affected, but where straight sheet metal exists, there was no issue at all. So using the old german style - don't ruin a working thing.
    Cheers!
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Posts
    190

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    Merry Christmas, Stance|Works!

    And as it is Christmas, and miracles DO happen, one actually happened to me as well.
    I few days back I got a call from a freind of mine (an e30 friend), that our exhaust headers are ready and I can collect mine in a few days, when he is back from holiday. Happy, jolly day!

    Now, you may have noticed I wrote OUR headers. That's because we decided to use the same design and make two pairs at the same time. Since most of my car still consists of a pile-o-parts waiting to be fused together by magic, we had to use his 325i as a mockup for my headers as well. The only difference between both pairs is the inner diameter. I had previously visited the guy, who welded the headers together and let him take measurements of the exhaust ports on my head, so he can have a flange ready.
    With that out of the way, my frined had dropped off his pride and joy, so it can serve as a live jig. A sacrifice in the name of progress on my car, which I highly appreciete, thank you so much, Kosio!

    Once mine were finished, they were taken off his car and then his set was created as well and remained on said car. The exhaust system was previously made by the same guy, all stainless stell and sounds awesome!

    So, onto pictures! This is the photo my friend sent me to tell me the headers are reality.



    I was at the office and nearly fled at the site of those.
    After some begging and various threats he then sent me pictures of his engine compartment with the installed headers:




    Isn't that ponr!
    My boss made me go change my pants and clean off all the manjuice I produced after seeing those.

    Then I had to wait two miserable days for him to go back from holiday - he picked up his car and my headers from the welder and blasted off to some ski resort. I was fed only 2 more pictures taken while figuring out the design:




    As evident, a cracked head was provided to the welder, so he can play around freely with it. The initial task was create a copy of Racing dynamics notorious exhaust headers. The plan changed slightly due to some facts I don't like about Racing dynamics headers:

    1) Not all runners are equal lenght, the difference is too big among them, i.e. runner #6 in the original design is way longer than #5 and #4.
    2) One must detach the 4-5-6 header in order to change a spark plug.

    So after a discussion with the welder, we agreed upon changing the design and making it more efficient. The end result:






    Sorry for the blurry pictures, I was fapping with the other hand.

    If any of you guys is insterested, the guy who did them is a very famous exhaust maker, I cannot praise him and recommend him enough. He has done the exhaust (headers and straight pipe) on my firend's track Alfa Romeo 75 among all the other stuff. If anyone wants to check out his website, PM me and I'll send it over, I don't want to advertise public.

    So when the car is back from paint and somewhat assembled with an engine and other unimportant stuff, it;s going over there for the rest of the exhaust .












    Anyhow, there must be a pattern here, because every now and then when I update this thread I tell you guys about some other car in my life.
    This time is no different, *grandpa voice* let me tell you a story...


    Remember the E21 I got from a buddy's brother to drive around and fix up during winter and how I was driving around the country in a desperate search of a "winter beater"? Well, the story for the E21 doesn't end well, because the guy backed out, when I called him and gave the numbers for the repair the engine needed. Fair enough, everyone decides for themselves. But that is not the point.

    While I was searching for a winter beater, I drove to a village about 170 km away. I had made at least 5 phone calls with the owner of a dolphin grey e28 with an m20b27, which I wanted to buy, drive over winter and then use as a parts car for my e28. We made an arrangement me and my buddy would go over and buy the car on a certain day. We had taken days off work, the lot. So the owner knew there were two fools driving 170km to get the car. So we wake up early, hop onto my still secret other car I've been keeping a secret from you and take the trip to the remote village to buy an E28. Just as we arrived, literally before my eyes another guy bought it. I was so pissed I couldn't even curse!
    So we sat in my secretmobil and asked ourselves what do now? My buddy used his overhyped Windows phone and read through the local car listings, but there was nothing that cought our eyes. Now, I am not going to lie, I had done my research and knew about a car I thought worth seeing. I show it to my buddy and we say "ok, let's at least go take a peek".

    I drive using my mental map of the area (not totally unfamiliar) and after some time we arrive at the location. You guessed it, it was an E30. Some pictures from the listing:






    It was a bit over my price range ( read more than twice above it), didn't start because of some stupid immobilizer crap someone installed in Italy, exterior in very rough shape, small accident upfront, some hailstone damage, dented driver's door and damage on the driver's seat.
    But the chassis ... ohmygodohmygod!!! NO RUST. And I mean it... apart from some spots, no rust damage at all. I will share the pictures of all the rust I could find on the entire car, when it gets it's own build thread. And you know it will

    So there I was, found the perfect preface E30 shell and I don't even have half of the asking price on me. Sadness. I spent about an hour looking around it, spent half an hour underneath it examining the common rust areas and not believing my eyes. I kind of wanted to find rust, so I can walk away. But there wasn't any. You can imagine how my heart felt when I was walking away without even starting a negotiation about the price.
    Kind of like this guy:




    Somehow I managed to keep a straight face and drive away. Then I got the E21 and had a toy for a while. But the dolphin was still there, remained listed, popping up everytime I browsed the classifieds, mocking me ... "buy me...buy me...buy me".

    Ofcourse, one day I caved in. Called the guy and started with a lowball offer. he just hung up the phone. With a tear in my eye hit redial, swallowed my pride and started a reasonable negotiation. Finally the guy settles at something I can afford and also lets me know they managed to get rid of the italian contraption and the car starts and runs just fine. Needless to say, there we were again in my secretmobil, blasting on the highway, heading to my latest E30. There it was, sitting as we left it a month ago. Popped a battery in and she fires right up! Drove it around a bit, made sure everything works OK and went back to pay the seller. Loaded her onto a truck and hauled her back home. Got it registered on the same day, passed MOT too



    Weekend came in two days, so the necessary maintenance stuff was acquired:



    I have to say, that's my first M10 motor and it's a really easy one to work on. Slow in a car, maybe it was made for a gocart, who knows. But I don't mind it, since there is no radio in the car from factory I intend to keep it that way - it is REALLY quiet in the cabin, the M10 is almost unnoticable!

    Here are some photos I took yesterday, sorry I am not much of a photographer:






    So that's pretty much where we are today. I am so happy about this E30 and have so much more to say/tell about it, but that will be in another thread, when it gets it's own.

    In terms of engine for the white E30, me and another E30 friend are debating on how the pistons should be modified in order to keep compression ratio high and avoid detonations in the chamber. When we get it right, the thread will be updated soon. Until then, feast your eyes on some gaskets and bearings I bought for the m20b30:




    Man, I suck at taking pictures...

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-23-2018 at 04:02 AM.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  23. #48
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    197

  24. #49

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    To say that you are an BMW addict would be an understatement.

    My only problem is that you have so many cars yet not one is "finished" lol Either way, nice to read your stories and that last E30 is something I would be willing to buy. That is the only BMW I would ever own. Keep the updates coming!

  25. #50

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    a truly enjoyable thread. i wish u well with the projects.

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