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E30 325i Rag-Top

E30 Race Car - Jim Richard's JPS M3 Tribute.

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So the E30 race car is in the garage after a long, hard season for some TLC and a bit of a refresh. I have now given in to the reality that I am never going to be in a position to afford to buy an E30 M3 chassis, let alone a complete car, to build into my race car and so I am going to modify my existing car into an M3 tribute to be as close as possible to an actual car.

More specifically it will be a tribute (not a replica so I can put my own twist on things - Team JTS) to this gorgeous piece of machinery..

JPS M3.jpg

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At this current point the plans for this winter are mostly panel and paint, plus a few other odd jobs. List includes..

- replace rear guards with genuine E30 M3 guards (on order)

- full M3 fibreglass kit for other panels, including the C Pillar extension over the rear window.

-5-stud hub conversion. Got a compact rear, just trying to sort out the fronts.

-overall paint an panel work to tidy her up and paint the black base colour ready for the gold "JTS" decals.

-any other small jobs that I come across on the way.

- carbon air intake for the engine & piggy-back ECU with tune if there is enough money left in the kitty.

 

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sh*t Jon, you're keen putting genuine M3 panels on it.

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Been debating it for a while, and a couple of things swayed me in the end. First the better fit and finish I will get from the original panel over a fibreglass copy. And second because they are steel they will be a bit more "resilient" to damage than glass ones, and you can panel beat steel if/when needed!!

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A friend of a friend up here has done a similar thing. Car was hail damaged insurance paid for the new panels and it was not much different for the m3 parts. 

He has it all on but is still some time from finishing it 

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What engine will it run? 

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Car is running an S14B20 with the Getrag 265/5 dog-leg box. So those parts are pretty authentic. I would like to tune the engine, but probably not enough money in the budget at this point.

will post up some pictures soon as things are starting to move along.

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A couple of quick photos, the car in it's current state of dismantlement, amazing how quick it is to pull an E30 to bits, especially one that has most of the interior missing already! And the first parts have started to arrive. M3 Bumper and front guard mounts, and the guides that slide into them. Running with a fibreglass M3 front and guards last season it became obvious to me that there needed to be a bit of support in this area, as it is very flexbile without it! Rather than try and design and build my own solution, I went down the OE route and will work out how to mount the guide on the new glass bumper - should be much easier.

Apart from that, so far it has been starting to get the car ready for paint, tidying bits up and scraping the underseal sh*t off the front to try and get a bit more weight out the front and the balance back towards the rear. won't make a huge difference, but every little helps!

car stripped.jpg

Brackets.jpg

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Not a lot of progress to report, and have now run in to a couple of lengthy parts delays which has pissed me off no end. Luckily I have not started cutting any metal from the rear side panels as the new ones are now out of stock in Germany, and unlikely to be re-produced until at least 2020. This is after they were showing in stock when I placed my order, this is a huge disappointment as I have been saving up and waiting to buy these for a long while and now they are not coming.

After much chasing of the company in Europe making all the fibreglass bits, they have finally shipped and got a tracking number and ETA to New Zealand. However, this is also a big delay compared to the "parts ship in 10 days from order" that was promised originally. So again a bit of a pisser.

Whilst I have done a few little bits and pieces whilst waiting for the body bits, cutting off any spare bit of metal I can find, treating a couple of little rust spots, scraping off underseal, sanding body panels, lightening door frames, etc. There is absolutely no way I am going to be able to get the car all back together ready for the big race meeting at Hampton on the 13th/14th October if I wait for the parts to arrive.

So the big question is, do I put it all back together again now and then pull it apart again at the end of the season to fit the new  body parts, or just wait and do it once... Can't decide at the moment as I am still so annoyed about the delays that I have lost a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the whole project.

Bought another set of wheels at the week-end, and even that didn't really cheer me up...

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Bummer Jon. Just put it back together & run this season. You will be more pissed sitting it out.

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:(

Yeah, put it back together, run and have fun and then you'll have a great project to look forward too off season with no time pressure.

 

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That is the way I am leaning at the moment, only real issue is the paintwork as I have taken all the decals off and started prepping for paint. So that would be a few more $$$s to get it painted twice, but like you say at least I will be out there racing not just moping around in the garage.

A couple of photos, firstly of the only real progress. Front bumper brackets welded on - not the best welds, but shouldn't fall off any time soon.

IMG_1655.JPG

And a quick snap of the new rims, have now got the same (or very similar) style in both 16" x 7 and 16" x 8 with different off-sets so I can look at a staggered set-up or play around with track, etc. Got a set of Toyo 888Rs 225 x 45 x 16 to go on these just as a starting point. Will give the wheels a bit of a clean up and spray the centres gold so they match the JPS theme.IMG_1656.JPG

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I'd like to say come race, BUT when your new parts arrive will you really want to wait until the end of the season which is May 2019 to fit them.

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