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Olaf

Grey Thunder - 1990 e30 316i

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Yesterday she flew through a WoF ūüôā. ¬†Happy days, and my thanks to @Autoglym¬†for assisting.

I fed her $40 of Mr BP‚Äôs finest 98 octane, whereupon the guy behind the counter reckoned I‚Äôd get at least $20k more than I paid for her. ¬†‚ÄúThanks, she‚Äôs not for sale‚ÄĚ.

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No trouble for helping out

I think Grey Thunder is a bit of a stretch!!

Drives really nice with all the suspension mods, sort the windnoise from the drivers door & shes a beaut!!

I need to take you for a spin in the 30 year old Virgin

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4 hours ago, Autoglym said:

I need to take you for a spin in the 30 year old Virgin

Game on! ¬†We can reposition those wiper arms while we‚Äôre at it ūüėČ

Edited by Olaf

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4 hours ago, Autoglym said:

I think Grey Thunder is a bit of a stretch!!

That was always a bit tongue in cheek.

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Got a VDO cluster.  Want a rev counter.  And I need to eliminate the dry joint that brings up brake pad warning light.  And I guess it's the right time to sort out the SI board.

So now to research cluster refurbishment, and how to change it all over.  And get an analogue clock/heater control surround.

PS:  I suppose I should replace the odometer gears and cluster lights while I'm in there.

Edited by Olaf
PS
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Decal.  As viewed in a gloomy garage.

IMG_1307_1600_300dpi.thumb.jpg.8e0e2fdf2436006879877237f17efae2.jpg

From ETSY.

And for those who've not seen the documentary film:

 

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and then, this happened...

IMG_3129_LR_1600_300dpi.thumb.jpg.162f2774e97c99b12f72359a1b6b923b.jpg

traffic was busy for a time, so I was 1 km late on the snap.  260k not out!  In 9 months I've put a little over 2000kms on Grey Thunder, and she's getting better (stronger) all the time.

On saturday morning we took an early run up to Paraparaumu to run an errand, and I enjoyed every kilometre.

I'll need to get back to the workshop, and get those wheels sorted.  And suss out the stereo.  And prep the guages for cluster recond (RPMs, new lights, rebuild and remote SI board batteries).  More on that stuff soon.

Edited by Olaf
plans.

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i will be interested to see what wheels you end up with.How is the room in an E30 for a not so flexible 190 cm er?(ie me)

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28 minutes ago, kiwi535 said:

i will be interested to see what wheels you end up with.How is the room in an E30 for a not so flexible 190 cm er?(ie me)

I bought 14" crossspokes a while back, can transfer over the 14" rubber I have.  Ideally I'll find some 15" crossspokes to get me in the realm of better rubber.

Soon I'll be talking with my little sister. ¬†"Hey sis. ¬†What do I want for my birthday? ¬†well, you could scour the local ads to find me a 4.10 small case limited slip diff." ¬†I mean, there are probably some left in Germany, eh. ¬†I might need to go and visit, bring it back (drained) as carry-on.¬†ūüėā

Space for a tall man? ¬†I'm not sure mate, I'm just 174cms after I've been to the Chiropractor!¬†ūüėĀ¬†¬†Next time we catch up and I have the e30 with me, you're welcome to try it on for size and we'll take a drive.

Edited by Olaf
space

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It's been a bit busy lately, and focus has been on work or the other vehicles in our fleet.  I have managed to get out a few times in Blue Thunder, and have enjoyed every moment.  Regardless, there are a couple of things bubbling along.  While I get started with the wheel refurbishment, I'm looking at a couple of interior items.  Sound and Vision, if you like, with a nod to Mr D Bowie.  Or more precisely, the car stereo, and getting a tacho and small analogue clock installed.  

To this end, I've picked up a cluster, which I am researching before proceeding, in order to avoid it transforming into a cluster f%#k.

And, I've also acquired - courtesy of one of our number here - a Bavaria C Reverse.  And later, I bought a harness - which doesn't fit.  

So here's some car stereo images.  

My to-do list:

  • Get the *correct* harness
  • Get some front door tweeter pods (to go with those rear speakers and amp I picked up a while back).
  • Install it.
  • Record some 80's music onto cassette. ¬†From vinyl, and CD.

SWE_9620_1600_300dpi.thumb.jpg.5551d60ddaf590261cdb6057348f0336.jpg

BMW Bavaria C Reverse RDS, this morning.  
I like cassettes, I do.

 

SWE_9617_1600_300dpi.thumb.jpg.b3271bb3696e9f5d68e7b2426f6ed43c.jpg

Question:  Does anyone know what the correct harness is called?  This is the rear connector on the Bavaria C Reverse RDS.

 

Beautiful harness out of the USA, but sadly the wrong one!  Probably brilliant for connecting to what's there.  I guess I should pull the current Blaupunkt that Shelley BMW installed back in April 1990, and see what's in there.  I may be lucky and find exactly the plug I need.  Though as the Blaupunkt uses non-standard connections, my hopes are not high.

SWE_9621_1600_300dpi.thumb.jpg.cf8acd9206883cf2f45468d28cbc2c6e.jpg

 

SWE_9622_1600_300dpi.thumb.jpg.2c254439547676f5f60a0239d601d8c9.jpg

Oh.  That looks rather like the one on the stereo.  Bugger.  Detail shot of the BW-01B harness.

Cluster images in a future post.

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More updates for the to do list, before e30 Mega Meet (in no particular order):

1. Stereo (above)

2.  Horns (have parts, need to wire in).

3.  Fog lights (need lights and switch)

4. Cooling System - replace all hoses and clips, new coolant (again).  Query thermostat housing.  Have all the hoses, clips, and coolant are waiting and ready to go.

5. Wheels.  New hubcap badges have arrived, Paint is ready to go.  Just need time.

6.  Wind roar driver’s door

7.  Cluster (refresh and tacho), analogue clock for Centre.

8.  Dashboard?

9.  Align wiper arms.

10.  Front iS lip.  Paint bumpers and mirrors body colour.

11.  Acquiring parts for rear disc retrofit (after Mega Meet I reckon)

12.  Upholstery refresh (I've given up on finding e30 sport seats in need of refurb).

13.  Strut Brace

14.  Small case 4.10 LSD

15.  15" basketweaves with 205's.

Edited by Olaf
added more items to the list

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Well that went by quickly!  I renewed the insurance yesterday.  Has it really been a year since Andy and I went up to the Krazy, Kool, Kapiti Coast to check out this 'almost barn-find e30 316i'?   I was reflecting on how it drove back then, when I was driving it last Sunday.  I came back from the market with my fresh fish and veges to find some thirty-something women admiring the car.  I just smiled.

I think it's nearly time I got a valuation and upped the insurance.  I politely declined the insurer's suggestion that the value had dropped $450 over the last year, and instead maintained the value originally insured at.  I figured it wasn't worth trying to up it on the phone, and that a valuation would be most efficient.

So, "happy anniversary Grey Thunder".  Here's to the next year, and figuring out the items on the list above!

 

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HiFi thinking.

 

Head unit:

Existing Blaupunkt is basic, past it's best-by date.  The backlight is broken, the polarising filter on the front is adrift, and the cassette deck is stuffed (suspect stretched belts).  

Speakers:

Standard factory front and rear speakers.

What I want to achieve:

- decent fidelity.  Not super-boom, not 'shimmering highs', not SPLs.  I like fast, tight, tuneful bass.

- prefer cassettes (I still have a couple of Nakamichi decks, and am happy to record from CD and Vinyl).

- relatively inexpensive.  I don't want thousands tied up in in-car audio.  So I've got to keep it real.

- should probably get a modern mechless stereo, with bluetooth integration etc.  It would have to have red/amber lighting and not look garish and out of place in my e30.

New world:

I read a loooooot of this thread.  The guy certainly knew e30 audio!  I'm not up for building my own sub yet, it's all down to time, and weight.  And I already have the Fusion (thanks Barry!).

Rear Speakers:  I have Premium hifi speakers for the rear.  These are said to be 'the bomb', essentially.

Front Speakers:  I need (either) BMW tweeters for the front doors to work with the existing speakers, or (if I have to) a pair of Focal ISU130 (components) or a pair of Focal tweeter to integrate with the factory speakers.

Amps:  I like Neal's idea of using a modern 4 channel amp for front, using the crossover functions.  And I'd use a 4 or 5 channel amp for the rear.

Sub:  I have a sub, which is an unknown quantity.  I'll see if I can modify the Fusion bass tube to be fast and tuneful, with a little bass reinforcement rather than doof-doof.  I really don't want a disco in my car.  Just enough to follow John Taylor's basslines when I'm reliving the 80's with Duran Duran's eponymous album, or Dave Allen when I'm listening to Shriekback.  You get the idea. 

The amps I'm thinking of are said to be good value for money, and sound reasonable too.  Planet Audio AC1800.5 and or Planet Audio AC1600.4 will come in cheap enough (I'm not so serious for JL Audio).

So then I get to... oh, so if you do a quality install of this kit (as you'd expect, I'm a former telecommunications tech) and ensure it's well cabled, there's attention to detail, and it's reliable... have I made a "mullet" car audio system for an old BMW Cassette head unit?  Should I use something like a Kenwood KMM-BT305, as it has three pairs of RCA-outs, and inbuilt equalisation and all that fun fruity stuff?

What are your thoughts?

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Well there's a full set of the e30 audio gear including tweeters just popped up in For Sale......

 

Why play around with tapes when you could download onto a dedicated ipod (or whatever)? I have stockpiled a few Alpine amps from the late 80s/early 90s for a play at some stage. They are cheapish, reliable and er, period correct? I have 4/5/6 channel amps. What about the underseat flat subs if you're chasing bass fill, not doof doof?

 

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Yes, I agree.  I like the sound of cassette; a great source (like a Linn LP12), recorded well (with say a Nakamichi cassette deck) sounds great.  There's a bit of nostalgia there too.  Though I agree, it's all a bit of a faff when one can just drag files from one's NAS onto a memory stick and play them back on a modern head unit.  I think the modern head unit is probably the go.  You get handsfree phone integration and all that malarkey, too.

Modern Amps eclipse the old stuff, cleaner, and they're cheaper too.   According to folks whose ears I trust.  

I'll only go with Focal front speakers if I can't get my hands on factory tweeter sails for the front doors.

Wonder if I need to put in a little Dynamat in the rear parcel shelf?

The guy who wrote the thread in my earlier article reckoned factory wiring is the go.  As I'm probably going aftermarket, I guess I'll need a couple of kits.  

I'll need to find out what sort of paint to use for the back parcel shelf, and get some vinyl dye to repaint the rear speakers.  I think this could take shape pretty quickly.  At least, after the wheels are done.

Perhaps I should relocate the battery to the boot; get an e46 touring battery cable to sort that.  Aparrently they're the go for e30's, a little more length, and more plentiful.

Edited by Olaf
Battery relocation to boot?

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I think these are my amps (as in, this is what I'll get).  My Scots heritage at play!  https://www.planetaudio.com/product/car-audio-sound-system-auto-4-channel-amplifier-planet-audio-ac1600-4/ 

AC1600.4_RIGHT.thumb.JPG.9e3ec85b47cd45ba316bbe737c935fa6.JPG

Plenty of crossover adjustability, yesterday.

The subwoofer is a Fusion 10" driver Bass Tube EN-AT1100.   

Edited by Olaf

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Personally I like the older amps for sound quality.

I use alpine amps from the 80's and 90's too, back when they still made quality.

There are even some class A alpine amps around.

Focal fronts sounds like a good idea.

Personally I would be using a higher quality headdeck with rca outputs.

Alot of the quality older stuff can be had second hand for a reasonable price.

The only thing I would definitely buy new is speakers.

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I used a C43 in my Mtech. It is in my opinion the best original looking head unit for an E30. Looks as if it came factory but a cheap Bluetooth unit plugs in and having RDS is just pure class. There is a small amount of fiddling to get one to fit but its worth it. The Bluetooth works surprisingly well in mine.

CD43's have better sound quality apparently but then you get the CD slot which just looks wrong.

Loving this 316i too. I've got two myself and my dream is to M42 one as the ultimate little run around.

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@zero Nathan, my concern is 'which are the decent ones', 'I'll need to replace 30-year old capacitors', and 'they seem bloody expensive for what they are on Trade Me'.  

@slideways Chris, hmmm C43 is pretty much unobtanium yeah?  They're from the e36?   Thanks, yeah I'm enjoying it too.

@Neal what do you reckon of my rag-tag 'plan'?   Is my thinking flawed?  I'm now thinking my way through power distribution and cable runs...

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Yes I had to get my C43 from The States. The ones we got here are the Phillips ones I think which don't have RDS. I just kept an eye out and found a deal. Still come up for sale over there with guys pulling them out of their E36's. Remember that you need the code.

ECS even show they have them: https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-bmw-parts/c43-rmfd-radio-e36/65128375950/

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The early alpine stuff can easily overwhelm the factory alternator / electrics which is what I found with a multi amped setup in an e30.People are into 80/90s class ab nostalgia but I found that my old high end PG amps (e36 system) that the likes of modern sound stream ( Philip board actually) had similar sound quality at 1/3 red the price.

Reminds me  I still have my amps and equaliser from my late 80s system. Reminds me that I should sell these at some stage.

Modern amps so much better, psu’s  are far more efficient and they have every kind of protection and modern smd components means the old days of matching components is almost gone in relation to car audio. Anyway , this stuff is IMHO.

I like your idea of running active up front. Just put a capacitor across the tweeter to protect it from accidents in tuning or setting crossovers.

It the unit has speaker out only open it up and mod it. Grab the audio stage after the OPamps or preamp transistors and put some RCAs out the back . Should give you a cleaner audio section and get the best out of those tdk90s which from memory handed the heat better than maxwells and did a reasonable transfer.

Speaker choice is a very personal thing and knowing your standards nothing really to add other than if I were to replace mine and one lotto I’d put Focal utopias into mine. With Angs CX-5 I’m looking to put https://stereointegrity.com/product/tm65-6-5-woofer/ and matching tweeter in. This brand is one guy who designs speakers with amazing mechanical abilities which punch well above there price tag and a few top end comp Hilfi cars are running these.

 

Power wise looks like your heading to towards 4 gauge cables for the amp(s) Amp power on could be as simple as connecting to your power antenna . Just check the operation of the head unit to ensure antenna stays up in tape mode.

This was the brand of distribution block that I showed you. Nice as small profile. Might have got mine via trade me.

http://www.tspeconline.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=5

sub wise I’ve go a box calculator bass box pro so if you find the sub too boomy we could design a box with a bass q more to your liking. Could build something that bolts up to the ski pass area and punch out the panel. Bass will fire straight thought back seat cushion on e30s.

other thing I did on my e30 was put the biggest battery that would fit in the front (mine was 323i)

Other thing to consider is doing the big three which is to put a larger gauge alternator charging wire and bigger earth cable. Helps with electric stress and light dimming if pounding the system.

 

 

For the rears speakersI run mine at -30db compared to front. I still feed mine with a 100rms but head unit ( warning , running head unit amp for rears can cause ground loops sometimes)  or a micro class d amp.

Sub wise go class D simply to give the car electrics an easier time. My current combo of 4x100 ab with 1x600d doesn’t kill the charging system and battery voltage in the way my 4x25rms  (cough) PG amp with bridge rear channels run sub did. ( mind you that amp peaked at 95 amps at 13.8volts) so someone was lying about its modest power output.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Neal
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Thanks @Neal, very helpful.  

I'm thinking I'll start active in the rear (two way premium speakers).  I'll make power distribution provision for the second amp for the fronts, add that later.  Where would you put a front amp in an e30 - under the passenger seat?  (13.5"L 10"W 2.4"H).

Head unit - I've decided to keep it simple and start with a modern mechless.  Yes it's not period correct; my TDK-SA and AD will have to wait a little longer.  Modding a period unit can wait until after I've got speakers and amps sorted.  The benefit of the Kenwood KMM-BT305 is it has 3 sets of 4 volt pre-outs, built-in time attenuation and equalisation, and all sorts of setup features.  Handsfree, bluetooth, plays WAV, FLAC, Spotify... and all for under a ton!

Thanks for the link to T-Spec, looks like well-made stuff.  I'm now learning that all 4ga cables are not born equal.

Thanks also for the offer of help with a sub box design.  I'll bank that, get started with the Fusion and go from there.  

Big battery and 'big three' noted, looks like I'll get that underway.  Now, question is how easy is it to relocate battery to the rear?  Oh, here it is... https://www.e30zone.net/e30wiki/index.php/Battery_In_Boot I guess I might as well do that as run custom cables from front to back for amps.  Has anyone got an e36 kit to sell me (see link)?

 

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Sorry you did say you’d got the kenwood. Time alignment made a big difference in my system. Easier to centre music.  With the kenwood what about running a USB ( if it has a rear one) to an ashtray dock)  Location works well for hand free calls. 

Below if for iPhone but easy to put a phone cable instead 

https://www.instructables.com/id/Ashtray-iPhoneiPod-Dock/

amp mounting works well on the side of the boot. I’d be worried about underseat as I ran my alpine front amp that way. The power cable became shorted out by feet of rear passenger. There was a bit of smoke as a result. Since that I’ve only done boot installs and made sure power areas into amps are well protected. 4 gauge is good for a dangerous 120amps before a typical slow blow fuse will go.

 

 

Edited by Neal

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Could you get the e36 cable out at Pickapart? I had a 540i battery in my e30 that was an easy fit.

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