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Thread: They told me E30s were played out

  1. #51

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  2. #52
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    Hello stanceworks,
    Haven't updated this in quite a while, work on this project has been going really really slow. Every step of the engine building process is a big struggle, a lot of effort (read money) has gone into it so far.

    The engine for this car has become a separate project, which was kind of expected to be honest.
    First, I found out that the m54b30 pistons are not my best option to start work on. One of the main drawbacks is that if we would mill the top of them, there won't be enough meat left from top to the first compression ring - 2mm is too thin. Not being happy with that, further options were explored.
    Me and an E30 friend, who is mostly into turbo cars, debated on the topic and decided we would use m54b25 pistons since they have K|H of 29,7 versus 30,2 for m54b30 pistons AND they have more distance to the first compression ring.
    A quick adjustment to the calculation table I initially created for my engine showed that we need to take off just a bit to lower the compression to 11,5:1.

    Here is our first attempt:




    How it sits at TDC;



    That small bump at the edge was removed, due to fear of premature detonation, which is almost as bad as premature ejaculation.

    Final product:




    Also, they turned out to be very light:



    We then decided we should first test the design out and assembled a spare bottom end my buddy had laying around. TDC:




    Decided to give it a go and torqued down a 325i he also had on a shelf from a previous project:




    Next step was to rotate the engine and disassemble again. We left a piece of the latest technology NASA had to offer, which was supposed to measure the clearance between valves and pistons. Results were very promising:



    Assemble again, this time put everything else on the engine. Pic is "almost done" state:



    Time to fire it up! Same e30 buddy has a dolphin grey facelift sedan e30, which by coincidence was missing a motor. So naturally, we threw it in, wired a MS 2 unit to it and fired it up. It ran good and pulled strong, so we were very happy with the result. Keeping in mind I was going to use a ported head and a much more aggressive cam, estimations were for even better achievement with my engine.

    To our greatest regret, for unknown reasons SAND was present in the oil sump, which caused the oil pump on that engine to slowly crap out and what's worse, distribute sand to all the lubricated surfaces.



    Causing internal damage to the pistons, cylinder walls, rod bearings, crankshaft bearings, crankshaft itself, head camshaft lobes and camshaft... needless to say, the engine had to go out (already replaced with another stock m20b25 ). Unfortunate as this mishap was, it gave is the chance to check out how the combustion worked with those pistons:



    Not perfect, but good enough for me and most importantly - expected.



    That sums it up about the engine we built as a prototype of our idea/concept. Too bad it didn't last long, but the main point is it died not because of a fault in the parts combination and compatibility, but because of an error we obviously made along the way when assembling it. Our theory is sand from the blaster's/powdercoater's remained in the intake and made it's way through the cylinders into the sump and then up to the head....

    Which meant I can go ahead and start assembling mine, but really really carefully and not use any sandblasted parts.
    Easy enough right?

    NO

    I was really sad to find out the bearings for the driveshaft for the oil pump are not only worn out, but fell apart, when I removed the driveshaft. So I ordered a set from an official BMW dealer. The set of 2 bearings arrived and looked as if it was already used. Another one was ordered. I kept the old one just to make sure they don't ship the same crap. But as weird as it is, the new second order of bearings came in the same condition. I don't have a picture of it, but you get the idea, not something you would put in your fresh, clean and DAMN expensive engine! Anyway, mine being by any means reusable, I had to take them out, using an odd combination of tools and a clutch throwout bearing:



    While thinking about what I should do with those two bearings, it was a good time to paint the block. Here's me, masking it with great attention:



    Done, used an old water pump and a cracked front cover:



    Commencing paint, ignore the penis my good friends drew on the masking tape:



    Finished, paint still wet:



    To be fair, it dried off relatively quickly, considering the weather was still cold:




    And that how the block sits currently, patiently awaiting for my decision on the bearings for the oil pump driveshaft.


    On a side note I continued acquiring important stuff to complete this car. Some stuff kept arriving in the mail, first a set of silicone hoses from IE arrived:



    Very happy with the quality by the way, also the price is more than good. Would recommend, this is the second set we get, the other one is blue and applied on the turbo e30 of my buddy.

    Powdercoated some stuff (checked for sand in the tube and cleaned it thoroughly anyway):



    As far as engine management systems go, I am not really a guru. But I know what I want - sequential spark control, sequential fuel nozzle control, at least one knock sensor, MAP, MAF delete, wide band oxygen sensor and electrical fan control. First thing that pops into mind is MegaSquirt 3 - offers all of those and is somewhat affordable, if you do what I did.

    The MS 3 is actually just an add-on to MS2, a socket needs to be changed on the MS 2 circuit plate thingy. Buying the MS3 as a whole can cost up to 1k US dollars, which if we have to be honest is a high price compared to MS2. So, a brilliant plan was hatched and accomplished:

    Step 1: Create your own circuit design for the MS2.
    Step 2: Produce a circuit plate on your balcony using your own design (warning: acids used may cause burns)
    Step 3: Have a friend, who lives in Miami
    Step 4: Order just the MS3 add-on and a wideband oxygen sensor and have them delivered to friend in Miami
    Step 5: Go on vacation with said friend in Brazil
    Step 6: Acquire MS3 and WB O2 sensor from friend

    Now that seems simple enough right?
    But wait! That vacation was planned for March, which is cool, but there are a few facts that I feel obliged to share.

    Fact number one: Should you have not noticed: I have a huge beard and generally look like a hillbilly. Which I probably am.
    fact number two: While on vacation in Brazil, the terrible bombings in Brussels on 22nd of March happened.
    Fact number three: I was travelling with hand luggage only.

    When you combine those facts, how easy do you think my trip back home was and keep in mind I was carrying stuff in my handheld bag that looks like this:




    Anyway, I somehow managed back home and assembled this after a month or so:




    Happy with the result, still waiting on the final casing I am going to use, those are just heat exchanging units. One side is for exits only, other side is for entries only. I'll try to keep it simple and tidy, but that is yet to be done.

    Oh, here's a shot of Rio de Janeiro I took from a helicopter:




    Aaaand I will finish this update with a shot of a very special piece, custom made by a guy in Germanyfatherland. I specifically wanted it looking stock, no red pointers and such, but he still put in the ///M logo on, which I will remove.



    Until next time.
    "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

  3. #53
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    Dear Stance|Works.

    My updates have been horribly slow, due to the fact I am always waiting for something, for someone and it really hurts, when you just want to get your car assembled and drive the $h!t out of it. So, due to those things that set me back on my long journey to the E30 of my dreams, my plans had to change.
    I wanted to have the engine in the car before I send it over to the painter, so that the exhaust can be done before paint. Delay on parts and custom parts however made me realize the car is just sitting there without ANY progress. Which is sad.

    Therefore, I made the big step - send it over to the painter's anyway and try not to screw it up when the time for engine and exhaust comes. So heeeere goooes!

    Back in August, we made an arrangement to start the process of prepping and painting. September came and the workshop was ready to take me in. So we hooked the rolling shell of a car and dragged it to sunlight, loaded her on the trailer. My friend is happier than I am:




    We unloaded her and the painter received final instructions, desires and pleas.
    Several days in and this is what I find when passed by for inspection:







    So, that was good progress for just a week or so. Then, after another week I am facing this marvelous sight:






    That got me really pumped and excited, seeing progress being made on the car.
    Each stop-by was rewarded with a pleasant surprise.
    Here are some pics of painted fender and boot lid. For some reason there aren't any of the painted doors, hood was still being prepped:





    Paintbooth was booked up until mid-October, so we decided the car will be left prepped in a storage right next to it until there is a time window to use the booth.
    Time passed and since I was busy with other stuff I completely spaced out.
    Until one late evening, when I received this on my phone:



    Unfortunately, getting the girl back to my garage proved to be quite the drama trip.... so I don't have any pictures of the bodywork. Those I only snapped really quick before shutting the door and leaving her there for the clear coat to get hard enough to not get scratch just by looking at it.





    I promise I'll get better pictures. Someday.
    Thank god I have that other e30, so I had something to play with during this one year of owning it. Here's the result, thanks to Byron for giving me some info on some strut thingies.







    Far far away from done, and the story is not complete, but as promised, this car will get a thread of it's own.

    Oh, and I'll just leave that here:

    "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

  4. #54
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    Hello to anyone still interested in this.
    Haven't posted in more than a year, due to slow progress and the shame coming with it. Just wanted to share the big step towards completion with you.

    As expected, building the engine for this car turned out to be a project on it's own, which by the way took about 6 months of my free time working solely on it and it still is missing some things like refurbished alternator and a suitable throttle (want something bigger than stock m20b25). Working hard at a new job and losing motivation from time to time didn't help either. What helped was support from GF, family and friends!

    Friends and I moved into a bigger shop about a year ago, where all of us can share the same tools and stuff. That is where I moved the car to almost a year ago and started final assembly. Unfortunately all my pictures from that time got lost with my old phone, which disintegrated.
    Long story short: I got a trailer and moved the car into the big workshop, where work began immediately after the weather got warm enough. First on the list was the headliner (such a HUGE PITA), which unfortunately got ripped on a few spots around the sunroof. Looking back, I regret I didn't have a new liner made but ... such is life I guess, one learns from their mistakes. Next were the windscreen and rear window, pop-out windows and driver's and passenger's side windows. Carpet, seats, dash ... we all know the drill, I'll save you the story about those. Lots of setbacks ofcourse, missing parts and bits, waiting on new ones to be delivered ... that slowed me down quite a bit. Eventually the car was semi assembled and next logical step was start motor assembly. Back in the thread I posted what piston design was to be used. It stayed the same and one glorious day I was able to start the assembly.
    Or so I thought

    First problem were the bearings for the oil pickup drive line shaft thingy. I found out the hard way that they come scratched from the dealer for a reason. And I also found out why they were pulled from the catalog so noone could order them
    1. They are delivered with rough surfaces because once they are pressed into the block, they had to be machined with great precision so that they are not cone and are exactly the required diameter for the shaft to have enough oil but also not to wobble. Great
    2. They were pulled from the catalog due to many claims that these were not installed correctly and BMW found out there isn't a single soul on the world that could do it right. Even greater.

    What I did was gather as many used m20 blocks I could find and pull all of their bearings. Yes, you read correct. I pulled the bearings out of .. don't know maybe 6 engines, until I had a set that was a) in perfect shape b) the correct diameter. Point b) lead to me installing all 3 sets of perfect bearings I managed to source and measuring which one fits best. In the end a mix and match was achieved and the shaft was spinning just right.

    Onto assembly. All was good, I would say m20 engines are no foreign territory to me, so I knew what I was doing. Up to the point where I want to install the crank scraper. It was a copy of IE's crank scraper for the 2.8 stroker. Finding out the mounting holes don't line up AT ALL lead to 4 attempts by me in getting it right. Finally the holes line up and I can measure how much I need to cut out for the rods to clear. Here is where the pictures start!!!!



    After it was cropped, naturally needed to be installed. If any of you have ever tried to seal an m20 pan with the OEM gasket, you know why silicone is used. With the brand new original oil pump



    Then had to throw the headers on and some other stuff. Sorry for crappy pic, light was sketchy



    At some point in time, a flywheel, clutch assembly and gearbox were attached to the eingine as well.



    That ofcourse leads to ... dropping the engine IN!
    First things first, in order to move the car around, the stock manual steering rack was installed. At some point of the assembly process, a z3 1.9 rack was acquired, figured it would be easier to swap that while there is no engine in. So glad I took that route.
    Old manual rack with 4.2 turns lock to lock out



    Z3 1.9 rack with 2.7 turns lock to lock on its way in.



    Some new tie rods were in order



    Getting ready to drop the engine in



    Shortly after, not much difficulties along the way, it sits in the bay!



    Already sitting on the bushings, everything torqued down to specs.



    So basically that's where it's at right now.
    Test fitted the propshaft - it fits nicely. So next on the list is the shifting mechanism so that I can install the propshaft, heat shields and it's off for exhaust!


    Thanks for reading!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by gnmzl; 02-22-2018 at 08:22 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. #55
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    Man, I am glad this thread is still going! Great work!
    Instagram: @Eurow

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyRa View Post
    Man, I am glad this thread is still going! Great work!
    Thanks, appreciate the support!

    I felt guilty for not updating and making the build look like one of those, that never get finished. I promise I'll try to keep updates them coming.

    Forgot to share some other stuff.
    Before I started on the engine install, and before removing the fenders and hood (or wings and bonnet for the people, who invented English) the wheels needed to be test fitted. Didn't have time to mess around with the coils, so it's a bit lifted, but the pictures give a general idea of what it would look like.

    Front passenger side



    View from above, steering is not straight, but it is evident the car will need a bit of camber



    Then rear passenger side



    Daaaamn, that looks good enough to me



    And finally, the side shot



    I have a set of GTA wheels with black centers too, but they don't do it for me for some reason.



    The plan was to run the white ones with the original black center hubs for the Transam GTA. Which would put a nice touch to the whole picture. You get it white car with black trim and chrome bumpers and other chrome stufff, white wheels with polished lips and black hubs.
    When I thought it over, black wheels with polished lips and chrome hubs (from e28) would also look not too bad.
    Any thoughts on that?
    "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

  7. #57
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    i love this and the detail that has gone into it. Rome was never built in a day so don't worry about the time it has taken to get to where it is today! proper garage builds take time.

    personally, i am not a fan of black wheels
    Instagram - Benwalsh91

  8. #58

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    I've read all this thread and I've been late to a dinner with friends because I could not go without knowing how it ended LOL
    Instant favourite for me, awesome tech content and man you are good at telling stories!

    As for wheels, I like the white but I think black will look better with tyres and a chrome center cap than it does now

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benwalsh91 View Post
    i love this and the detail that has gone into it. Rome was never built in a day so don't worry about the time it has taken to get to where it is today! proper garage builds take time.

    personally, i am not a fan of black wheels
    Thanks man, loving your coupe too, and the effort you put into it. Read the thread everytime from start to update, when I see one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    I've read all this thread and I've been late to a dinner with friends because I could not go without knowing how it ended LOL
    Instant favourite for me, awesome tech content and man you are good at telling stories!

    As for wheels, I like the white but I think black will look better with tyres and a chrome center cap than it does now
    Thanks man, glad someone enjoys it, even if late for dinner haha

    As of the wheels ... I also don't like black wheels at all, BUT I share the opinion those will look much better refurbished, with chrome center caps and with rubber mounted though.
    There are two spare TransAm GTA wheels that I have and those happen to be gold... as soon as I mocked them up, I took them down without even taking a picture. It was not good looking at all. Maybe because there is nothing to match colorwise on the car

    I guess we'll have to find out, once the car reaches the point where it needs good looking wheels. First things first, I have to get that sucker firing up, running and inspected. Hopefully that could be achieved within a month or two. The list with remaining stuff that needs done is still painfully long, some highlights:

    - sort engine bay wiring out
    - produce engine wiring harness
    - install various sensors
    - make custom bore throttle body
    - install all air/fuel delivery bits
    - trunk area needs sorting out, literally untouched since reassembly started so need to sort out the wiring loom, central locking bits, taillights, battery tray etc.
    - interior bits like speakers and some missing trim that need to be fitted.

    I'm anxious to get it running and inspected, so most of my spare time will go into this car.
    Hope I'll make it for the start of the season
    "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

  10. #60
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    thank you man comments like that make me want to keep going with it. i had lost a little bit of love for it recently but i will push through!!

    have you thought about trying the wheels with a silver centre?
    Instagram - Benwalsh91

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    First things first, I have to get that sucker firing up, running and inspected. Hopefully that could be achieved within a month or two. The list with remaining stuff that needs done is still painfully long, some highlights:

    - sort engine bay wiring out
    - produce engine wiring harness
    - install various sensors
    - make custom bore throttle body
    - install all air/fuel delivery bits
    - trunk area needs sorting out, literally untouched since reassembly started so need to sort out the wiring loom, central locking bits, taillights, battery tray etc.
    - interior bits like speakers and some missing trim that need to be fitted.
    HA! Joke's on me, I guess! Still not running, haven't tried firing it up yet, but I still got some stuff done nevertheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benwalsh91 View Post
    thank you man comments like that make me want to keep going with it. i had lost a little bit of love for it recently but i will push through!!

    have you thought about trying the wheels with a silver centre?
    As a matter a fact, I have been giving it some thought. Decided I'll paint one of the golden wheels silver to see how it fits. But first it needs to be on the road, then I get to play with height and wheels :/



    So, let me update the status a little bit.
    Proud announcement, that most of the above list has been completed. I wanted to get rid of the central mounted battery tray - when I asked the body guy to make it, this build was more track day car than road trip car and now it's the other way around. Spot weld drill bit did the job, but it was very time consuming, as it was a weird angle and also the spot welds were not from factory, but more plug welds. Ugly mess after removal:



    Seems I've lost the "after pic", but it's all cleaned up, primered and painted, promise!
    Next was the wiring harness, which I don't have pictures of currently. My dad built it for me using the original engine harness plus two spare hacked m50 harnesses to source out the correct cables and plugs. It's 98% complete today, the only thing remaining is the big plug to the MS3 unit in the glovebox. Still haven't decided how I want to mount it, so it's my fault it's not finished yet. But I can share some photos of the coil-on-plug setup. Using cardboard and wood, we made templates and produced these final pieces of aluminium:



    When installed they look like this:



    As you can see, I will run the stock cover for the ignition wires to cover up the new wires going to the coils. Also, the coil for cylinder 6 is a angled differently, because otherwise it gets too close to the firewall. Coil for cylinder 5 is a something between number 6 and 4, as sort of a smooth transition. When all is assembled it looks good enough in my opinion. No pic though, can't find it. Maybe on the next update.

    Next, I sourced a m30b35 throttle to rob from it's throttle plate, disassembled my m20b25 throttle and gave it to the machinist to bore out so it accepts the m30b35 plate. Turned out decent:



    Finally, after 4 attempts the adapting piece for the oil pressure light switch and the oil pressure sender unit fits good enough. Also in this picture, you can see my custom bolt for the oil cooler/filter plate, drilled and tapped to receive an e30 m3 oil temperature sender.



    With that sorted out, it was time to mount the rear bumper and mtech 1 apron. Busted out the mounting pieces and the laptop so I can figure out which goes where.



    Of course, I hit a snag. For vehicles, that got the mtech1 from factory, there is a different part number for the big rubber strip that goes on top of the metal bumper (known as eurobumper in the US). That is due to the difference in stack height the mtech 1 apron causes. For people like me, who retrofit the mtech1 to the other "normal" rubber band, there is a special rubber strip, that covers the gap. Which is NLA, in a true BMW e30 fashion. A solution was found in a silicone rubber strip used in glassing solutions.
    Kind of hard to see in the picture:



    Which brings us to yesterday! Putting the apron on immediately allowed for an appointment with the exhaust shop, that did the exhaust manifold. I cannot stress enough how understanding and willing to help the shop owner is. He made a time window so I can have it towed to the shop immediately.
    So out in the sun it went, for the first time in over a year:







    Chilling with my beater e30 (yes, I bought another one)




    So that's it. Waiting on exhaust shop to fabricate everything from manifold back as well as strut brace front and rear.
    Not a very exciting update picturewise, but progress has been good and steady. When I get it back, plans are to push through the small tasks to fire it up, then assemble the front end and get it insured and inspected. Hopefully all will go well and according to plan. <-- that's just to have something to quote and laugh about in the next update mid-December
    Last edited by gnmzl; 07-16-2018 at 09:50 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

  12. #62
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    Over the weekend I took delivery of the e30 with the exhaust finished. I must say, it is everything the exhaust shop was asked to do and amazing in terms of quality you get for your money. Yet to hear the sound of this beauty, but I am confident it will be as sweet as it looks.

    Overall looks of the stainless steel exhaust system, the factory hangers were used, except for the one on the gearbox. The whole exhaust assembly is VERY LIGHT and the dogleg hanger is sketchy anyway, so we decided not to use it. Can be added later on anyways:




    One of my main requests was to tuck the mufflers and pipes as close to the body as possible. I think they did a great job, given the necessary dimensions of the mufflers and the diameter of the pipes. Muffler after the X-pipe is not lower than the floor pans, as are the pipes going into it. Angle is off, but you can kind of see what I mean:



    At the front, where the headers merge to the rest of the exhaust, it hangs just a tad lower than the front crossmember:



    And the rear axle bend (bitch bend in my dictionary), it is about 10mm lower than stock, which is really satisfactory for me. Again, the picture makes it look way lower than it actually is:



    The real muffler is short and light, but will do the job for sure. Branded with the shop's insignia, they do international orders as well:



    I wanted the tips to represent the stock ones as close as possible and be really centered in the Mtech apron cutout. I think this requirement was well executed:



    Overall looks of the rear end for the time being:



    The same shop was employed in making strut braces to my liking. The rear one was a bit more unusual opposed to the mass used design:



    The front one is more mainstream:



    The welds look really good to me, I couldn't stop staring at those for at least 10 minutes.



    So that's about it for this post. Slowly worked out a list with the basic tasks to be done for this e30 to finally roar into life. Can't wait to try and start it after this task list has been completed.

    Until next time.
    "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. #63
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    This is so good!
    Instagram: @Eurow

  14. #64
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    Really enjoyed reading that :-)
    My BMW E36 318ti Steel Blue Compact build thread -
    http://www.stanceworks.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=88271

  15. #65
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    the exhaust is amazing but damn i love that rear strut brace!
    Instagram - Benwalsh91

  16. #66

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    Amazing job on the new parts, I love how they made your exits from the bumper, and the strut bars look hella professional, really good welds and parts fit

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  17. #67
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    Hello Stance|Works,

    First of all - thank you guys for the nice comments
    Second of all - time for one of my irregular updates.

    Short story: I drove the car. But it broke.

    Long story with pictures:

    When I got the car from the exhaust shop in August, work on the engine wiring harness started, so we can plug the megasquirt 3 and fire it up. My dad did that task, so naturally while he was at it, I was working on other tasks. Like put in the cluster, get the oil pressure sender to work, minor interior assembly, fix my broken map reading light mirror. Also plumb all the cooling, mount radiator, mount SPAL fan etc. I was excited, the completion of this project was right around the corner.
    Sadly, while testing with a megasquirt 2 unit (didn't want to mess up the MS 3 if something went wrong during testing), some 12v where 5v should be jumped through from the O2 sensor controller and fried the cpu of the MS2. No matter, ordered another O2 sensor controller, installed it, tested with a different MS2 unit - all works fine. Plugged in the MS3 unit, a friend messed with the timing a bit and it fired up one late night in October. Not all cylinders firing, rich as hell, so I asked a known local guy, who tunes megasqurt for a living and he came over to see what I got. He pointed out the position of the cam sensor was incorrect and an issue with the firing order wiring. Those were fixed literally the next day and he came over once again, to try and get a good tune. After fiddling for a while, the car started and I got to drive it.
    As promised, some videos.

    You can see the tuner in the backseat adjusting while I pulled over for a while and this guy comes over to ask me move the car a bit so they don't choke to death.

    https://vimeo.com/303699296

    In this one, you can see the fan works fine, also me stalling the car like a noob. Bonus from that - you can hear how good it starts. Or used to start.

    https://vimeo.com/303699122

    One more, what it sounded like idling. So sorry, but they didn't record when I was revving it. Sound was beautiful.

    https://vimeo.com/303698426

    Sooo, all was good, engine was tuned as good as possible during my first drive with this car after more than three and a half years, which lasted 2.1 kilometers.
    Next on the list was get the fenders on, install front valance, put the front apron and bumper on, assemble tiny stuff, switch tires to some that are not bald and go pass the tech inspection.
    I crack on and in a few days, the car is ready to be taken to road inspection. It was fired up once more during that time, to check if a clicking sound was still present after I re tightened the ARP studs and adjusted the valves.

    Some shots from that time Sorry, but I had limited time to work on that car and taking pictures was not my priority at all.
    Found out the valance originally on the car would not work with the Mtech1 apron. My car is the earliest e30 version, Mtech1 works with the later valance for the pre-facelift e30s. So I bought one brand new, but it didn't have the cutouts for the oil cooler and air flow to the radiator. No biggie, made them myself



    Painted and installed



    Test fitting the bumper and mtech1



    Everything installed. Sorry for the bad quality picture. As stated, taking pictures i not my thing.



    All was good. My buddy and I choose a day and go over to take the car to the road inspection - car doesn't start. Like at all, not even a sputter. We take out spark plugs, clean them, dry out the fuel in the cylinders and basically continue to trouble shoot what the hell was wrong. We were thinking, the cold start has not been setup properly in the MS3. We start the car by pushing it down the straight - it starts, but idles roughly and basically runs like a piece of crap. I let it warm up a bit and give it a few pulls - at about 3k rpm it sputters so badly, I shut it off. We decide to go back to my buddy's place and get his laptop. Hooking up the MS3 revealed two facts - it thinks the throttle is always at 250% and the engine temp is always 82 degrees Celsius. Crap, right? Right. We quickly ruled out the TPS and the temp sensor. Took off the MS3 and gave it to my dad for diagnosis.
    He calls during the evening - CPU was fried, all the "entrances". Same thing happened - the O2 controller fed the MS3 12v, where there should only be 5v.

    Needless to say, I was really frustrated and pissed off! Two reasons - I fried the MS3 despite the "precautions". Car does not run now.
    Didn't want to wait on another MS3 to arrive from the US (takes months), so decided we would use a spare MS2 we have. My dad made an adapter for the wiring harness and here we go - attempt number ... don't know which one, but it failed. We didn't know what we were doing, the car shot flames out the exhaust but did not start with the different settings we tried. I grew tired, frustrated and angry with this car, so I said "ef it, not driving this POS any time soon anyways, might as well leave it be until spring". So I did. Put the tarp over it and went home, forgot I ever owned that car and moved on.

    A few days ago, I had to pick up my brother from the airport. He was flying in to visit, since my birthday was yesterday. While on the way to the airport, I got a call from same buddy, who was helping me out the last ... 100 times? to stop by at the shop (which is very close to the airport). I pull up at the shop, put my hand on the doorhandle and I hear this "roooarrrr" inside. WTF? I think - this sounds like my car, but it can't be because it doesn't run. I open the door and see all my workshop friends gathered around my car, hood open and there is this guy I know works magic with megasquirt doing his thing on his laptop.
    What a great suprise! The car runs! Time was extremely limited, so I only exchanged a few words with them and left again.
    Trouble was - cylinder 5 is not firing. They said earlier same evening they hooked it up on a spare ignition coil and a plug - spark was inconsistent.
    So right now, the MS2 unit is sent to a guy who knows them to see what's wrong with it. It's not the wiring harness, because number 5 worked with the MS3 unit. Time and the guy will tell.

    Motivation for this project has never been so low. So many setbacks (I've only mentioned a few in this thread) and I still can't drive this car. It's already snowing and really cold out here, so even if it's fixed, weather will not support a just finished car, that needs an engine broken in and tuned. Such a bummer. Good thing I have my other two e30s to play with.



    Thanks for reading, thread will be updated once number 5 starts doing its job.
    Last edited by gnmzl; 11-30-2018 at 08:53 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. #68
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    England
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    I hope everything gets sorted soon, sounds like you have a lot of bad luck with this!
    Instagram: @ASK83N

    Was previously on here as benVAG for many years, until I forgot my password

  19. #69
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    Oct 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by 83N View Post
    I hope everything gets sorted soon, sounds like you have a lot of bad luck with this!
    Thanks, man. Bad luck has followed me indeed on this build for quite some time.

    BUUT!!

    The cylinder 5 issue was solved, at first it didn't want to start, but switched to a "warmer" set of spark plugs and it fired right up! Did a small test drive and apart from some minor issues, it was good. The minor issues were - the fan didn't engage and the engine almost overheated when idling after the test drive. Need to enable the AFR correction from the wideband O2 sensor. Need to figure out how to get the idle control valve work correctly (maybe switch to a better one).
    So, once those are sorted, the car can apply for the road inspection sticker and be road legal once again.
    No pictures, sorry
    "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

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Lexington, KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    Test fitting the bumper and mtech1

    MMM. Mtech. Yes.

  21. #71
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Sofia, Bulgaria
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    Merry Christmas, Stance|Works!

    @oprahhwinfreyy: before I didn't like the mtech stuff, put it on just because it literally fell into my lap, but it is growing on me fast.

    Time for an UPDATE!
    The previous week we were able to smooth out the issues with the fan and other small stuff (O2 sensor kaput) and did a basic tune:



    As it turns out, miracles do happen on Christmas. I was driving by a local tech inspection shop on my way to feed a friend's cats and saw they were open. Stopped by and made an appointment for later on and after i was done with all the tasks, I went ahead and took the car out of the shop.

    Here it is warming up in front of shop.



    Made it safely to the tech inspection place, waiting for my turn on the brake drums.



    The guy liked it a lot and let me through even with a non-op left high beam (don't know what's up yet)
    Tucked it away in the garage at my place:



    Today, I took it with me to work, here it is at a safe-ish spot in the parking lot.



    I must say, this thing pulls great, even with the tall rear end gearing (2.79) currently installed. I did the recommended method for sealing the piston rings already. Once we get it properly tuned and running smooth, it's proper break in time and hopefully we'll see some dyno numbers, very curious to see what it can make.

    Some bonus shots of current interior situation and engine bay. The oil pressure sender is disconnected in this picture.




    As stated, next on the list is proper tune, hopefully dyno and preparation for going MS3 again.
    Looks wise, I should install the Mtech side skirts and lower it on the GTA wheels. But that will wait till spring.

    Thanks for reading!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "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. #72
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    Oct 2011
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    Hello everyone still on Stance|Works!

    Unfortunately, this car appears to be haunted or something.
    After all the obstacles, I thought all was good. Engine broken in, oil changed to Motul Competition 300, swapped in my Nuke gear in instead of the homemade one I had previously installed, put in a brand new oil pump pulley (read the horror stories about old design ones failing). I though it was ready to hit the dyno. Car though otherwise.

    Just one week ago, on a sunny sunday, I dropped off my gf at her 3d designer's class and just as she left the car, idle drops down to 500 rpm. For a 5km drive to the shop, it dies twice on traffic lights. Limped it somehow and started shit apart. Verified I had the timing correct exactly four times. Checked the CPS twice (more on that later), TPS, temp sensors, MAP and whatnot. Everything checked out, the weird part was all cylinders were firing. Found a PUNCTURED coil boot, must have been me pinching it while installing, there were some subbing marks. Replaced it and it didn't make any difference. Then I did a compression test on a warm engine.

    cyl 1 = 213psi
    cyl 2 = 211psi
    cyl 3 = 213psi
    cyl 4 = 210psi
    cyl 5 = 210psi
    cyl 6 = 210psi

    So, relief of sorts. All pointed to the fuel system. Took it back to my place carefully (didn't want to take up more space in the shared shop with a second car in there) and took the injectors out, since both fuel pumps are brand new OEM Bosch units. Here is a crappy phone pic of WIP:



    A friend was kind enough to help out and take the injectors to a shop with a fast turnaround. Turned out the injectors needed cleaning, all work the same, only one is letting 4% more fuel through. They said it's within spec and is fine. Put it all together again and fired it up - still running not to par. I was ready with a brand new FPR, swapped it in and what do you know, runs just fine! That was last Wednesday. Thursday was race tire mounting on wheels day. Saturday was supposed to be raceday. That of course meant Friday was dyno day, FINALLY!

    So the tuner made an appointment for the dyno, called even earlier to let me know we can start early. All was going well. Strapped her on the dyno and started the initial pulls.



    All good, all good, until when the megasquirt decided not to read above 4400 rpm. We blamed the CPS since it was an aftermarket one. Same friend as before with his kindness blasted off to the workshop and took all CPSs we had, a total of 3. Tried all of them - car doesn't even start now. We swapped the input pins, thinking the aftermarket one was reverse of the originals - no dice. Returned it to how it was with the aftermarket one so I can go home - no start. It was already late and we decided to call it a day. Got a tow to the shop from a buddy with a hardline, made it safe and sound. Left it there and returned yesterday with a repaired megasquirt unit (some chip blew out), ran an OEM CPS cable from sensor to megasquirt, used the best OEM CPS we had (this time tested with an oscilloscope) - she fires right up. Now, I think I have a misfire but not sure. It idles fine, runs almost perfect with the exception it hesitates a bit at 2500 rpm, pulls strong past and before 2500. But it sounds like a misfire, although all cylinders are firing.

    Anyway, not all news are bad. While the car was running, despite the self inflicted 4400 rpm r3vlimiter, I snapped a very crappy pic of the performance for that rpm range.



    I dream of being able to dyno it at it's full potential soon. Of course, the results will be shared.
    Till then.
    "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. #73
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    Oct 2011
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    Hello Stance|Works.

    I thought this thread could use an update.

    After that fail on the dyno, the issue was fixed with an OEM cable for the CPS. The car ran fine and I revved it slowly past 5000 rpm. So far so good. Then I got to the tuner's shop, he got in the car, plugged in the laptop and started driving around. It did rev up to the current limiter of 7k rpm, but there was a slight misfire every now and then when I spun it above 5k. So, suspected were the ignition modules and the need of a smaller spark plug gap. We spent some time investigating this issue, but eventually got tired of this megasquirt shit and made a decision to buy an EcuMaster EMU Classic unit.

    One evening, while waiting for it to ship in, I removed the wiring harness from the engine bay and the MS2 unit as well. While the intake boot and air filter box were out, I took the opportunity to do a little upgrade, or so I thought. Someone may or may have not noticed in my previous pictures that the brake fluid reservoir was rubbing the intake boot. Nothing too bad, but I wasn't confident it would not cause any trouble once the car is taken to the track. So, given the fact the e32 MC and booster have an identical design with the e30 325ix late model ones, it was only logical a brake fluid reservoir from a late model 325ix should fix my issue. Sourcing one in my part of the world took exactly 3 months believe it or not, but I finally got a hold of one. Onto pics

    Before:


    After:


    Anyone spot the new issue I created for myself with this fix? yes, the hose for the clutch master is now too short and under pressure. Never saw that one coming... nevermind, a new hose is in the trunk and waiting the right time to install. Why is not the right time right now, you ask?

    Let's go back to the newly purchased EMU. Once I got delivery of it, work on modifying the wiring harness commenced immediately. Here are a couple of shots how we used my daily driver e30 as a workbench in front of my garage unit.




    That was done fairly quickly, as the guide provided with the EMU is pretty straight forward. Only thing I didn't see coming was that the connectors would not pass through the hole for the harness to go into the glovebox. What we ended up doing is take all the pins out from the connectors not removing the insulating rubber part so they stay arranged and assemble the connectors again in the glovebox. Major PITA but eventually we got it done at 1 am in the morning about a week ago. Here's where the ghost of bad luck comes back on stage. Next evening the tuner comes over so we can start the car or at least attempt to start it. Bear in mind, I never plugged in the EMU, just put the ignition key in the ON position and verified everything worked like relays and such. Before installing the harness I took it to the same tuner to inspect and check if all the connections go to where they supposed to go. All checked out, and there we no issues. So he comes over, we plugged in the EMU and he puts the ignition to ON. Suddenly everything the EMU can control turns ON, fuel pump, fan and whatnot. We stare at it puzzled for a few seconds, the EMU doesn't connect to the laptop and we know something is WRONG. I smell gas and hear fluid dripping. Quickly turn the key to OFF and go to check what's going on. Sure enough - fuel is dripping down from the air filter box.
    Yes, that's right - the injectors were also turned on constantly, combine that with а constantly working fuel pump and you get a flooded engine.
    I tried as quickly as possible to get the air box, intake boot, coils and spark plugs out. We "tapped" the starter motor 3 times to spew out the fuel in the cylinders (what a mess that made on the wall despite my blanket over the spark plug holes) and then spun it for a few seconds without spark plugs to get the fuel out, but apparently I was too slow. There was too much fuel in the oil and it was significantly thinner, over the max mark on the dip stick and reeked of fuel.

    I was devastated. Sure, after that fiasco I unplugged all the sensors and modules and relays and the EMU connected to the laptop, so it was clear the EMU was not total garbage. But I was heartbroken, all that work and money for nothing. Even worse - oil was now compromised. One step forward and five steps back, that's what it looked like to me.
    This mishap made me feel so bad, made me doubt my whole hobby related decisions and for a brief time, I seriously considered getting rid of all my toy cars and parts. I was so full of it.

    Then, a friend gave me a solid push in the right direction. He said, let's at least diagnose what went wrong and find out if the EMU is toast or not and if it needs repairs send it asap over to get repaired. So we sketched out a plan, got some tools and spend a whole day in the garage, checking out every pin, every module, relay and fuse, continuity and whatnot. You get the idea. Troubleshooting wiring problems is not a great experience, but in this case was a great necessity.

    What we eventually found was 4 swapped injector wires, 4 swapped coil pack wires and some other small issues. Reason was the difference in the way MS and EMU are wired. MS requires you to "hardwire" the firing order, as opposed to EMU - it wants you to wire in the injectors and coils in numeric order. None of those would have caused the EMU to freak out and switch everything on though .... Finally, after almost 7 hours of troubleshooting we found the culprit. It was the pin of the ECU ground, when crimping it we must have squeezed the pliers too hard and it punctured the wire itself, dangling on just the insulation. Huge cursing session later, it was fixed.
    After that we were able to verify the EMU was NOT fried at all and engaged all the exits correctly. All was fine.

    Yesterday evening, the tuner came over once again to try and start the car. After some fiddling, it fired up. He battled the idle for a good one hour, but couldn't get it to smooth out. It was late and the car is loud, so we left that for another time and went for a ride. He tuned it a bit while rolling so it can be drivable, despite a bad/wavy MAP signal and we called it a night.

    So, in summary:

    The car now runs on Ecumaster's EMU Classic. Sadly, it's somehow louder than with the MS unit, but I'll wait to have it properly tuned before complaining. I need to install a small filter in the vacuum line to the MAP sensor, so it doesn't pulse. I had installed a brand new clutch fan, as the SPAL wasn't enough to keep the temps down. That new clutch fan is total garbage, so that needs replaced as well. Need to find some time to get down to the tuner's shop so he can play around with the idle.

    That's it. Frustrating as it was, I'm just relieved the car sort of runs now. Maybe after Easter we might be able to do some more work on it.

    Until then.
    "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

  24. #74

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    Dude I'm so sad this keeps kicking your ass like that
    You'll get it perfect, don't give up on it

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  25. #75
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    Oct 2011
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    Thanks man
    Didn't mean to rant, but it was a really frustrating experience. And it still hasn't gone away completely.
    It's close to being dialed in tech-wise, so I'll just keep going at it. Way beyond the point of giving up anyway.
    As soon as there is some development, the thread will be updated.
    "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

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