jeffbebe

Jooles' E31 project log

644 posts in this topic

Right... New project, new thread. So I've picked up a 1991 E31 850i with 83K miles (approx. 134K kms) on the clock. Overall it's in above average condition. It was originally Brilliant Red but the PO had it resprayed Sapphire Black. It sits on 18" staggered M-pars.

This is it on the day of purchase:

14400018046_a837ee1f46_z.jpg

14400016836_ce7a617ffe_z.jpg

I've got a lot of plans for this car which I'll try and summarise below but the ultimate goal is to completely restore it (including the original colour), upgrade to Msport body kit and convert to S62B50 with manual trans.

Short term (0-6 months):

  • Replace the foul 80s tips and overhaul the exhaust system (replacing with RS4 mufflers and resonator, high flow cats and M3 tips)
  • Lower it by 2-3cms at the front and 1-2 at the rear
  • Fit the correct size rear tyres (PO scrimped for sale and put a pair of Champiro 235/35/18s on there instead of 265/40s)
  • Wheel alignment
  • Any required maintenance (suspension, trans service, etc)
  • Remove oversized sub and aftermarket head unit and replace with OE period head unit (and possibly wire in media link for iPod or similar
  • Design and fabricate some cup holders for the centre console tray (essential for weekend driving - gotta have somewhere to put my glass of bubbles while cruising!)
  • Repair headlining (it's not too bad, just a couple of loose bits so hopefully doesn't require replacing)
  • Replace dead console bulbs (so I can actually see the buttons at night)
  • Replace any broken/missing trim, emblems, etc

Mid term (6 months - 2 years):

  • Source genuine M-sport front bumper spoiler, rear diffuser and wing mirrors, fit and paint
  • Either retrim leather in Lotus white or source original seat skins and door card leather for resto project (desired interior pic below)
  • Steering wheel retrim
  • Tints - not too dark this time, don't want it to look like an RX7
  • Dinan gearbox chip
  • Sort a/c prior to summer
  • Refurbish wheels (they're in pretty good shape, just some minor kerbing)

Long term (2 years+)

  • S62 and manual conversion
  • Full repaint (back to original colour, see pic below)

Target interior:

post-16586-0-86071100-1402876543.jpg

Target exterior:

ca6.jpg

Target gear box:

E31-04.jpg

Target power plant:

04.jpg

Edited by jeffbebe
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will look amaze balls once you've added your touches. Dibs on unused parts if you end up bringing in a munted M5 with good engine :-P

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I love your precise project time frame. Very nice indeed.

Dibs on those tips. ;)

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Schedules are made to be not followed precisely. My schedule is completely wallet reliant and assumes that nothing catastrophic happens to the car in the meantime (although engine/trans failure is an excuse to jump to the long term goals!).

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Its not commom for one to wish for the death of an engine but oh how i wish so.. s62b50 all the way!

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Yeah... But I really don't want to it to break quite yet as I definitely can't afford a new engine right now!

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Sounds like you're yearning for some Toyota reliability, ha ha.

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Yeah Mike, totally.... Oh wait, no.

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Keeping a close eye on this...well when the eyes start working properly again.

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Dibs on those tips. ;)

Damn... I thought they might be mint for my 80's VW van...

Will be cool to watch this Jooles! (And see what comes next) I have a bit of a fetish for finding unusual goodies, and you always seem to be on the hunt for something cool.

Subscribed B)

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Hi Julian,

Congrats man! Being a e31 owner, happy for you to join the club. Guess what? I know your car! I recall it was for sale in Auckland- circa 2008. It was hell red back then and had the unusual pipes. About 6 months later I saw it again (now painted black). Spoke to the owner who said he lived overseas a lot who bought it on a whim and decided he wanted it in black. He lived less than a km from my house in Hamilton. The bizarre thing was at the time there were 3 black 850's and 2 840ci's all living within blocks of each other in Hamilton !

good luck on your future plans! I have seen a few of these engines powering e31's in both the US and the UK. It will be interesting to see how your project eventually fares against a factory 850csi. Keen to know what springs you intend to get.

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Thanks Sanjay... It'll be a long while before the S62 conversion happens and all sorts of things can happen with a 20+ year old car in between that can delay it even further but pretty happy with the car I've found. According to VIN decoder the original colour was called Brilliant Red, which is pretty similar to Hell Red (possibly even identical just an older name). Although the PO didn't remove the engine to paint they've done a pretty good job, even masking the engine and doing the bay, though there's still a bit of red here and there if you look hard. The good news the shell paint is good and seems to be thick so will certainly stand up well until I can afford to return it to its original colour.

Checked today and found it already has lowering springs... Not low enough by all accounts as it sits with about 5-6cms clearance at the front. The rear will be fine once the correct size tyres are fitted. Not sure the brand of lowered springs but guessing Eibach's as I've read the drop on these is a bit Emperor's new clothes. Will probably compress the existing springs initially and see how it rides, if that's rubbish I'll save for a set of H&Rs.

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Not sure the brand of lowered springs but guessing Eibach's

eibach are usually blue i think.

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These could have been blue... Once.

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sounds like mine then!

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Bit OT but the Eibachs I have in my ratty old E36 are gloss black with manufacturer ID an P/N in white. Thought the blue ones are part of the coilover kits?

Nice score Jooles, always thought the E31s looked better on M-Pars than styles 5s :)

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Made a few light purchases to get the ball rolling:

  • Msport rear diffuser: decided a cheap FRP rep is okay for the back as it should be out of harm's way. Will save for a genuine front spoiler I think. Interestingly the car has the msport mounting bracket so I'm guessing it had the diffuser until some bright spark decided to fit a tow bar.
  • Some new genuine wheel 64.5mm wheel cap aluminium stickers
  • A trans service kit - am still debating whether to do this. Have read that sometimes servicing these old 4hp24 gearboxes can do more harm than good... Advice appreciated.
  • Oil and air filters and some new oil - will do a quick service as soon as I get time.

Next items on the list:

  • Exhaust - have picked up some RS4 bits from Mike and will investigate feasibility of fitment. Already have Tristan's old M3 tips which will be a perfect replacement for those uglyass Camaro monstrosities.
  • Lowering (probably just 20-30mm front as I think the rear should be fine with the right size tyres), new rear tyres and wheel alignment - will be using a bit of the cash I've got left from the sale of the sc and 540i to pick up a pair of new 265/40/18 rear tyres to replace the ill-fitting Champiro 255/35/18s that are on there now... If anyone needs some cheap virtually new 255/25/18 tyres, let me know!!

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Im keen on doing the RS4 exhaust on the M62, let me know how you go with this...

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Will do. Space is very tight on the E31 and it will require completely new mounts but hopefully doable. Have been quoted $500 to fit (assuming it does fit), including old resonator with the RS4 one (again, assuming it fits) and adding a set of E9x M3 tips.

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Hopefully I wont have that problem, as ill be removing some of the under body sheet metal in mine haha

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Presumably you're chopping out the wheel well too. Looked into it for my E39. Plenty of room if the wheel well goes.

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At this stage im keeping the wheel well, but slightly modifying to add some more under body space.

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I reckon you'll struggle to fit even a pipe in let alone the big RS box on the driver's side then.

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haha ive cute that whole battery section out, theres about a 15cm gap there now.

ps I see you have a Mazda 6, I have a Turbo Spec Atenza haha

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Yeah, ours is the non-Turbo 2.3L. Never goes wrong. It's the workhorse in the family!

Not sure 15cms will be enough the RS4 boxes are about 35 cms wide.

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