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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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Resurrecting this post from the dead... as there are the shoots of progress starting to come out of the garage.

Decided against putting it all back together to race this season, it was really hard watching the 1 Hour Enduro at Hampton Downs on the long track, but there will be a next time I hope. It would have needed quite a bit of tidying and paint etc. even after I had screwed everything back together from the state it was in.

Good news was that after months of waiting my shipment of panels for the E30 M3 kit finally arrived from Europe.

IMG_1691.JPG

I was a bit concerned about how well it would travel, being as the panels are fibreglass, so a bit on the delicate side. Thankfully, they were very well packaged, with lots of protection which was just as well as there were signs of some rough treatment on the way as I expected.

After finally getting everything unwrapped and un-packed which was a bit of a mission, mainly due to running out of space to put the parts in the garage and space in the wheelie bin to put all the packaging, I had chance to check the parts over for damage and quality. There was only one small impression on one part which should come out with a bit of heat and pressure. Parts are nice and light, which is good for a race car - will see how well the measure up and fit as I go.

Couldn't resist a quick tape them up on the car to see what they look like...

IMG_1700.JPG

If only they were that easy to fix on the car properly... now into all the cutting and grinding on the rear end to get the guards and c-pillar extension to fit onto the body. This will be the most complicated part of the whole thing, plus once that's done I can start prepping the shell for painting.

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OUUUU, lots of late nights and weekends coming your way.

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Yeahup, already started. Now remembering how much I hate working on fibreglass.

Late nights are a bit restricted as apparently attacking an E30 with angle grinder doesn't help the kids get to sleep... whoda thunk it?

So in typical Tyler fashion I have started on fiddling / mucking-about with every single bit at once rather than focus on one thing and get it finished. Also with a lot of beating around the bush and time wasting.. fingers crossed it will all start to come together at some point..maybe?

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whom did you buy it from.

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Got it from Pesch Motorsport in Czhek Republic. I thought from their web-site they were a big outfit, but from dealing with them I get the feeling they are a one man band.

After previous experiences I was just happy that 1) it turned up and 2) it was all there and 3) it wasn't smashed to bits.

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that's where I got all my parts from. I started to get worried after waiting 6weeks and no package but it turned up after 3 months. How much was your DHL tax. mine was $888

 

And your kids should be in the garage with you learning.

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18 hours ago, richard said:

that's where I got all my parts from. I started to get worried after waiting 6weeks and no package but it turned up after 3 months.

What is the fit like?

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a guy in the e21 world brought a set of flares from him and scraped them due to the poor quality. 

grab something hard plastic, a screwdriver handle works well. or nilon. and run it over every corner and edge. if there are air bubbles in the glass they will most likely be in there. you will need to use good pressure as he may have used a thick layer of gel and you want to break this to expose the air pocket. you should not scratch it but if you do, it will be minor and you have to prep to paint any way. 

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2 hours ago, gjm said:

What is the fit like?

most parts fitted pretty good. but still needed a lot of work. not show room quality but race car quality. the price reflected that.

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On ‎11‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 7:58 AM, gjm said:

What is the fit like?

The best way to describe the fit and finish for the parts is probably "variable", some parts are pretty good, some are average and some like the C-pillar extension are pretty poor. As with most things in life, I think you get what you pay for. The main thing for me is that they are fairly accuratedly detailed to the originals and they are light. No point changing to FRP panels if they are 3mm thick and weigh the same as steel panels.

The edge profile of the M3 inner guard is pretty different to that of the standard E30, not just a case of cutting it off and moving it out 20mm as I was hoping. So rather than try to fabricate a modification I have ordered a pair of outer-inner guards for an M3 which should be pretty easy to fit up, and then give a more accurate position to fit the outer guard up against.

So whilst I am waiting for those to arrive, I have started fiddling around with other bits and pieces, including the front lip spoiler / splitter. The supplied part was just a single upper skin that was far too flexible to be any use, so I added a bottom skin from a sheet of aluminium composite and used some expanding polyurethane foam to fill the gap between the two and bond it all together. A bit of old carbon-fibre look wrap on the top and it almost looks like a bought one!!

IMG_1726.JPG

Worked out a slotting fixing system so it can be moved in or out as required for more or less front grip similar to the M3 Sport Evolution. As it has a reasonable thickness I was able to shape the front to act like a proper splitter and should have some proper aero effect, rather than just looks. Here it is in the fully extended position..

IMG_1731.JPG

One part finished, just fifteen to go..

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Are you going to make moulds so you can produce replacement panels in future? #becauseracecar

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