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After a couple of years, I've decided i should try my hand at writing up a build thread. This will be part member intro, part way to capture images but also to try and give back to the forum since it has helped me with my project a lot! Some history about how I came to fall in love with BMWs. I had recently sold a MK4 Golf and didn't have a huge budget which made trying to find a respectable car pretty tough. I had only really dealt with Japanese cars before the Golf (Toyota Surf>Mitsi Mirage>Nissan Skyline 300GT>EG civic>Mk4 Golf) and was always told to stay away from euros for their price of parts and unreliability. My girlfriend however had an E46 and I couldn't believe how much car she got for so little money. I thought I'd risk it and venture out into the realm of old BMWs and see what $4k was able to get me on TradeMe. The 3 series was were I started to look as the 5s, 7s etc were out of my budget or if cheap enough would require a lot of work that my limited knowledge wouldn't cater for. I wasn't keen on E36s as i thought they were too "bogan" or "hori" due to the examples I had seen (completely different story now). E46s were ok, coupes were expensive, sedans were a bit boring but super comfy. I then decided to go older and came across the E30. Holy carp. Those quad headlights. That boxy '80s shape. I researched and researched. Compiled a list of common faults and went out and viewed a couple. My checklist (so I thought) was fairly basic. Coupe, no sunroof due to the potential rust, manual, 4 cyl due to them being cheaper, white, <200kms, but most importantly a straight rust free body. I searched for a couple of months and was starting to get desperate. I had only come across rusty bodies, fiddled wiring, or cars that were just generally pretty badly beaten up. I then saw a post on facebook and headed out that night to view at a mall carpark. The misses and i saw it roll into the carpark and we couldn't help but to grin at the wee car. A quick look over showed that it was in good knick apart from the noisy lifters, ripped seats and gross wheels. I took it for a drive and then decided I wanted this car (June 2016). Some history of the car. Built in June '90 and then sold in NZ by Team McMillan BMW in '91 as a NZ new 316i. Its a Bronzit Beige coupe that was about as poverty spec as it got. Manual, wind up windows, M40B16 engine, no sunroof, unpainted bumpers/mirrors etc, no spoiler, tan cloth interior. "Mr Black" the original owner, took good care of it by the looks with regular servicing carried out at the dealership. It was then sold through the family to his daughter where it most likely served as the boring daily driver. Somewhere along the line it had been purchased by the guy i was buying it off. The car became my daily and I was absolutely in love. It was completely stock but people still stared at it. Then this weird thing happened... strangers were waving to me who happened to be sporting the same old german car. I started looking up club pages and found all the perfect examples for sale I had been looking for! Oh well, I was stuck with my beige four banger and couldn't have been happier. The noisy lifters started to be a bit of pain in the neck and was starting to get so noisy that people were no longer turning to look at the car, but were turning to look for the ticking time bomb. I researched into replacing the lifters but that soon became too expensive for what it was. I saw a build with a M52 but that was going to be WAY too hard and out of my league. Meanwhile the old M40 is starting to get REALLY loud. No amount of oil changes/additives were fixing it. I then looked into doing a M20 swap which seemed like a good idea, so i started down that track. Finding a good example however became quite hard and parts availability was also a concern with the ageing motor. Back to the M52 swap it was and many a night was spent seeing how hard it actually was. Thanks to the help of the forums and facebook I slowly started to accumulate the parts needed for the 24 valve swap. Now I can start talking about the interesting stuff. Stage one was the donor car. I wanted a donor car as that would be the safest way to see the motor running plus i knew I'd be able to cannibalise parts off of it. I came across a cheap E36 328i that had went into limp mode. After some poking around I found that the cause for the limp mode was low transmission fluid due to a trans cooler leak that hadn't been looked at "after it stopped leaking" aka no more ATF. This would be the perfect car to pull apart and I didn't feel bad at all due to the poor interior/exterior condition (November 2016).