Well as most of you know i moved up to Ontario, Canada in Feburary this year.
While I instantly found the public transport system very good (many people here hate it... i guess you always want what you cant have), of course i would never be able to live without a car.
Before i got here, i had already decided or so i thought that i would get something american with a V8 in the front, it would be my last oppertunity do so, Canada and the USA being the last oasis for the V8 engine, with fuel still at $1.30 CAD (not much in it compared to NZD).
I had organised a Ford F150 in Blue, V8 of course, 2016 ex lease that i was going to pickup when i got here. What i didnt realise is that, without a credit history in Canada, i was unable to be approved for the lease, basically because they had no idea who i was. No credit history also caused a few other complications for me too but wont go into all that.
Suffice to say, no F150, and indeed no leasing at all. given that i only plan to be here for about 18 months or so, there is little point buying a car, or so i thought.
anyway, once arriving, one of my first objectives was to find some friends! i joined a few E30 and BMW pages up here, and within a day or two was invited around to a guys warehouse full of E30s. I told my lady before i went round there that i already knew how today would end.
And there it was, a hard top for my E30 cabby back at home. they are onobtanium in NZ, in more than a decade around the traps, i know of only one. made a deal with the guy and had myself a hard top to ship home.
Then i saw another wee beastie collecting dust in a corner. Oh that old thing, its an E30 Touring, very rare over here. Indeed. They were never sold anywhere in North America, and command exceptionally high prices over here.
Might have got the story wrong but it goes something like , it was brought sight unseen in Poland in advertised good condition, and since the guy had Polish Ancestry it was brought, flew over picked it up, and road tripped it back to Toronto, Canada (crossing the Atlantic between the UK and Halifax).
While yes very reliable (havent been able to fault it yet), its never been someones baby so scruffy here and there and needed some significant mechanical work. and the owner, once completing the trip lost interest.
Suffice to say i was interested, put it up on the hoist to see what i was buying and did a deal. sure, a wee bit more than you'd pay in NZ for one in the same nick, but there is probably more in New Zealand than there are in the entire Continent here.
And so became the saga of registering it in Ontario. While they are very lax on saftey here, being no annual inspection and no border compliance etc like we have in NZ, it is difficult in otherways. Insurance is compulsory here, and as i am a 'new' driver by there standards, rates are high. you also need to take it for a saftey inspection (the only time it will ever get checked), although because i already knew of what was needed, it just got a dodgy safety, which is very common here. no body bothers to actually get the car inspected, have heard that from heaps of people!
eventaully all sorted and start driving it.
got its first bath up at the family home a week or so later, so i could see what i had actually brought under the 2 years of dust etc.
youll notice in those pics the rust in the tailgate, as is always the case on Tourings. what happens is the seal at the lower edge of the glass shrinks being 30 years old now, and water gets in and trapped. Also the front valance a bit bent up as well.
interior pic shows various bits of trim missing, fortunately all of the touring specific stuff is present!
and the engine bay. yes its ugly needs a serious clean, but yes that is an E36 M42 swap, which gets the car moving very well. Coilover plug conversion using M52 coils. There is a lot of things in here that is pretty hows your father, it pains me to say though that it is actually reliable as anything, starts first crank every time. I will talk more about the engine in a later post when i get to addressing it
And that last picture is my first tools here, brought for me for my birthday!
Next up, found a job, and while not in the industry i want to be in, it was a real stroke of luck. It is a body shop, part of a chain of 150 or so stores, the biggest in Canada, and owned by an American company which is the biggest auto body chain in the world. what better place to land a job when you have a 30 year old BMW that needs some love!
Another wash. yes i did that a bit. money was very tight before i got a job, as i didnt intend to be buying a car! but good to actually be able to detail it in a proper place with all the resources i needed.
Put my ETHRTY plate in the back window which came over from NZ with me in my case. was intended to go up on the wall here, as i said, never expected to actually buy an E30 here! and of course a BMWCCNZ sticker added to the rear window!
as it turned out, purely by luck, one of the other body guys is actually a BMW guy two, and owns an E30 himself, and also the E39 540i 6 speed you can see in the background there. very cool to be at a workplace and meet someone like that!
He actually liked the black kidneys on my car, which i didnt like. i asked him if his were chrome, he said they were, so at one point, he brought in the silver ones from his car and i swapped them over, so all the photos from here on have silver grills. that was the first mod i did, and more of an anti-mod ha.
Went to a classic car show, swap meet and second hand collectables show (all in one) absolutely enormous event (as is anything here). spent the day and still didnt see everything, but i did manage to pick up these to add to my collection at home. All 4 are North American spec so diving boards etc but interesting all the same. The guy also had E28 E32 E34 and E36 ones as well, i tried to bargin for the lot but he was a tight old prick and i think he was one of those 'f off we are full' types and didnt like my accent. oh well, whatever.
Mid April by now, Finally managed to find a house. unfortunately doesnt have a garage which is a bit of a pain, but Toronto rent is much like any other major city. if you want space and carparks you are out of the city already, and you want a garage to, thats just not in the budget as it turned out.
Time to get cracking on the car ! First order made,
door handles for three of the four doors. never understood why they break over seas and yet never seen that at home before. it was explained to me here its so common because of the cold, the locks frequently freeze, and so the 30 year old plastic breaks trying to release the frozen metal. of course, we rarely get sub zero temp at home so thats why!
drivers door hinge bushings, to get rid of the aweful squeek and slop in the hinge meaning often had to close the door twice or three times. not a job i had done before, but BMW sell a rebuild kit, very straight forward to complete
rear brake pads. the hand brake is also totalled as well but will sort that at a later date.
various interior bits and pieces
pod filter for the engine so it actually has a filter.... those dodgy Poles.
you'll notice the dent in the right rear door as well. after that photo and while the door card was off i sucessfully heated with the missus hair dryer and pushed it out with plam of my hand from the inside, so very happy about that.
also the tool collection as you can see has started to grow....
Took the following photo of what i came back to after i shop at Walmart. lucky no contact to my car, but how the hell do you walk away after parking like that and think boy i really nailed that park. Have look at the X3 to the left, the Volvo in the back ground, and whatever the crossover behing the Pontiac is. also the Pickup and the white car right at the very back. not one of them are parked properly. This is every single day in every car park here. and they are always scratching thier heads why thier insurance is so expencive up here. I thought the standard of driving was shocking in NZ, but its excellent compared to up here.
ohhh i do enjoy when the courier comes
Mostly that is parts for a 2002ti that i have been doing some work on for a guy i met online up here, though there are bits in there for re hosing my fuel tank as it was leaking abover 3/4 full.
It would appear i didnt take any after photos, if i remember right my iPhone died because id been listening to spotify all afternoon, so just imagie the above pics again with all new hoses, pump o rings etc, and also sanded what i could see of the tank and rust covertered it in hopes it wouldnt need a new tank itself. Luckily, i have filled it maybe 3 times since this and its been fine! doesnt leak at all! th biggest leak was coming from an undersized o ring around the pump cradle.
also fitted a tech1 wheel i managed to pickup. needs a refurb, but at least it doesnt twist around the rim like the orginal one did.
skip forward to Mid May,
Right thats enough of nuts and bolts. by now i have been working at the body shop for about 6 weeks and so i asked if i could take some time to paint up some bits and pieces for the car on a Saturday or whatever and pay for the materials. dont be silly they said, call it part of your training! not having to pay for materials and whats more doing it on company time was great! they said they would rather i screw up my own stuff than a customers car anyway. Real priveledge actaully because its a side of the auto industry i know nothing about, and it is totally different to all the other branches.
anyways, first up was the front valence. sourced a 6 cylinder and/or A/C type one with the dual slats. i prefer the look, makes the car look a little higher specced than it is. Paid a pretty sum for it. non-rusty parts are exceptionally rare find here in Canada.
First step, mix up some paint. Found Diamante Schwarz Metallic on the computer and mixed it up from the base colours. interesting to see what it looks like when un mixed!
Didnt take a before pick of the Valance, but basically i sanded it back, and applied rocker gaurd which is a Canadian made product a lot of cars here have applied to them below the lower trim line. not uncommon to see the texture, even on newer cars. basically it is a heavy rubberised coating that semi hardens. think of roughly half way between Plastidip and toughdeck spray on liners for utes.
While that was drying, i was trained how to take my valance off LOL yeah right as though i dont know but hey!
next step is the sealer. unlike all the other steps, it is highly toxic so must be done in full protective gear. this was the only step that was done for me, just for hygene reasons what with only one face mask.
next is three layers of colour (just because i made too much paint, usualy 2 would be fine)
... and then a few coats of clear and bake in the oven for about 20 mins or so.
... and then all installed, with all new hard ware, also clips and iS lip i picked up, and also mounted in the brackets and loom etc for fog lights, not that i have found any yet, but its all there ready to go when i do.
just a pic of the 2002Ti i have been doing work on as well lately, just finished it up Thursday last week.
Caught up with my buddy with the 540i again (he moved on end of April). his mate came along with that yellow Dodge Dakota R/T Super Bee. pretty rare apparently, it is the size of a early 90s 2wd Hilux etc, but with a 5.9L (360) Magnum V8 in it. about 250hp despite such a massive displacement, BMW was getting more than that out of a 4L at the same time ha. still. not my thing but pretty neat little wagon.
Popped by another guy i met onlines place for a yarn. has an E30 and Golf Mk1 in the shed, and also the E21 in the back ground. This 740i possibly the new daily??, not sure yet, all the same thought i would post it up. this is typical of a 90s BMW up here (makes my E30 look great). yep rust just something you have to deal with on a car thats spent 20 years in the snow, and then the other 6 months of the year in the beating down sun (much hotter here than NZ in summer). compare to an E38 in NZ which i have never seen a single one with a spec of rust on it. this isnt even particularly high kms, only 160km or so. Canada weather is very hostile to cars!
Which brings us up to today!
Local ariport saved my carpark for me, when i dropped the missus off this morning.
Then what do you do when you get to work at 4.30am , work on your E30 of course! 3.5 hours to sort out my tailgate in the piece and quiet.
You know the process now from the above run through, just this time with a few body filler steps to full in the rust holes. yes technically metal should be welded back in, but my reasoning is that this gate is so rusty already its not worth spending time saving, just make the most of what you can and hope it lasts for a while. so i will just let the pictures do the talking.
and finally, since as i said above i dropped the missus off at the airport this morning, i have her car till Friday week, yep a very manly machine lol but she likes it and that means i can drive what i like. its actually quite pleasent to drive, just very very under powered, definatley a city car. Anyway, since i have it, it means i will be getting stuck into replacing some stuff under the car in the coming few weeks since it wont be on daily duty. so jacked the car up when i got home, and decided actually, after getting up so early this morning i am too tired to get under it today.
So i came inside to spend two hours posting on bimmersport instead lol.
Thanks for reading, and sorry i cant be bothered to go back through an reread/spell check. its just gone 11pm on Tuesday night so im tired, just powered through typing that last 20 mins ha.
BTW sorry i havent been as active on here recently either, i am always reading!!