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modz

E30 coupe M54B30 zf recaro 5 stud build

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Posted a how to guide on restoring E30 grille's here:

 

 

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A couple of jobs really took HOURS longer than they should've so I'll cover them to save others the ballache.

1) Recaro seats

2) Radiator hoses

3) Power steering pump

4) LCA's

I'll start at the bottom, LCA's.

I know there is a tonne of rumour and mis-information quoted as gospel online now, so I tried it myself as part of the 5 stud conversion.

I'm running:
E36 lower arms, new ball joints all round
E36 adjustable suspension, E30 top hats (for now)
E36 Hubs (328i)
E36 290mm brakes and callipers

Originally I tried rubber offset LCA's, then Condor offset solid bushes but while that got me much closer to centre, the wheel wasn't quite right.  Talking to SRS concept and a mate who installed his recently I bit the bullet and bought the *revised* SRS offset bushes.
From my measurements, and pending an alignment, these centre the wheel in the arch damn near perfect.   As I say, pending alignment but I'm super happy with them.

While I was under there I also replaced the rotten drop links with new ones.  Not a big job, tip is to use a G clamp to keep tension on the new joint while you do up the lower bolt.

Also put on the new brake rotors and pads.  Minty fresh.

 

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Recaro's were next up.   I picked up a set of Mitsi GSR (evo 4 shape) recaro's a while back. Pulled them out of storage, gave them a hell of a wet vac then had the driver's seat repaired also using fabric from the donor car's rear seat.

To install them, I used SCARLES sliders (took the NZKW ones back, they were absolute rubbish), and some floor brackets I'd picked up a while ago.

3 hours later I had them in the car. To be honest, I'm still not happy with how they fit in the car as it's very tight up by the centre console.  They could sit slightly further out toward the door; even though they are on their mounts as far over as possible.
I may take them out again once the car is running and see what I can do to remediate.

If I were to do this again I'd just use the EuroTurbo / recaro adapters to E30 seat rails as this would also mean not having to fart around with tunnel mounted seatbelts (see later post).
 

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Steering linkage

I've done a fair few of these in the last few months.  Basically grafting the E30 top onto a Holden Barina XC base.  I have the process down pat now which is good, it's a very fiddly job.
 

I do offer this as a service, so if interested PM me.

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I'll come back to Radiator hoses as they're a work in progress, along with the fan.

I did get the steering wheel on, boss kit on and the 6 cyl gauge cluster chip installed also. Much nicer than stock!
 

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Edited by modz
added pics
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Short shifter

I bought one of Aaron's short shifters ages back - this was his first E30 version.  Played around with an E36 style mount then later changed to an E30 specific one which fits much nicer.
Also opted for the taller shifter which I'm stoked with.

Working out how to get a shift boot onto it without ruining the look.  Watch this space.

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To make the short shifter work,  solid trans mounts are key so there is no movement in the gearbox to falter shifts.

I did have blue / 85a poly bushings in there, so swapped them out for solid delrin on E21 style cups.

Chucked in a new fuel filter while I was under there.

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Interested to know where you got your gearbox mounts from.

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Nice work man.

 

The e30 recaro seat adapter brackets are definetly the way to go with the seats as the headaches with tunnel mounting your buckles and passing cert is a nightmare. Definetly do it.

Good to see you jumped on board with the SRS bushes, the only way to correct it enough to get it centered.

 

Looks like you making some good progress man. Should be a weapon

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Cheers! Looking forward to hearing it start up after all this time.

Yeah I've had my cert guy check out my trans tunnel seat belt anchors and they're up to spec so no problem there; the job itself was the painful part, they're tricky to install.

Tip for anyone else doing it, the hole for the seat belt anchor lines up with the adjuster bolts on the handbrake.  Trace that down on the tunnel and you get about mid-point on the seat.  Too much further back and it hits the flip forward mechanism on the seat.

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Sooooo a long time ago (ahem, 8 months or so) I cut all the rust out of the car.  This meant a rather large hole where the battery tray / well once was in the boot.

As with all other areas of the car, someone had already had a go (see pic 1) which involved patching using some street signage!  F****n awesome work there.  So my fix would always be far better and more structural than how it was.

After much procrastination I decided to tackle the hole over the weekend.  Much measuring, trimming and cleaning of both the car's panels and the donor panel, before splitting the donor panel so I could actually weld the sections  into the car nice and tightly starting on the inside. 

As with the other rust fixes on the car,  before welding the panels were wire wheeled on the edges inside and out for good penetration, weld through primer used to ensure rust doesn't come back and after welds have been ground back, seam sealer and underbody will be re-applied to mirror the factory finish.

Over 8 hours of prep meant under 2 hours of welding.  Job is coming out much nicer than expected.  I'll post some pics of the finished product next week. 

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I also started / finished wiring up the engine in preparation for its first start up.   A good mate had supplied a patch harness, so with that in hand, a spare accel pedal and the ECU I began to wire it all in.

Once done I trimmed the E39 530i loom back to remove the rear O2's (coded out on DME) and the auto trans components of the loom. 

I'll tidy the loom further and tuck in behind the M3 wiring hardness covers (sitting on the windscreen) once the engine is running.

Also put more assembly lube on the cam lobes in preparation and (SHOCK) oil in the sump.  Winning.

 

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Once again time has got the better of me.

Long story short, I spent a few weeks diagnosing why the car wouldn't start.  Got frustrated with not getting far, put most of the car (rapidly) back together so it could go on a tow truck to visit the kind folk at P&S Automotive.

In the meantime I've found a certifier close to home who will do a cert when it's ready.

And remembered where I put the exhaust and rear bumper....

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Spoiler alert.   IT RUNS!  Very happy and glad I made the choice to take it to P&S' workshop as there were a myriad of electrical gremlins resolved (including replacing the E39 engine loom).  

  • While there it also received
  • Wheel alignment - now within E30 spec for cert
  • General check over
  • Exhaust fitment
  • Shifter re-fit (I hadn't had time to finish properly).

But again, big shout out to Peter and the team at P&S in East Tamaki

Hoping it comes home this week so I can finish the panel work, replace tyres and get on with the cert.

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Ahh bingo! Now the penny drops. Saw your car when I called into see Peter & Sam the other week, looked very cool.

Didn’t recognise the car with the wheels on it,Now I have put the two together and realised it yours. 

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On 8/9/2020 at 7:02 PM, modz said:

Hoping it comes home this week so I can finish the panel work, replace tyres and get on with the cert.

Woohoo!!  Nearly there Mark, it's looking great.  I can't wait to see it in the metal.  Hope you're planning to come to e30 Mega Meet in April 2021 😀

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Been keeping busy on the last remaining tasks before wof and cert in the coming weeks.

I’m refurbishing the m3 wheels this week and fitting the 16” pusher fan.

In the meantime here’s some pics. Pretty happy with how it’s turned out :)

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Also finished the lower rear quarter so I could finally fit the rear bumper and battery in the boot.

For the mess that it was it has come up really well. Glad I replaced the whole section.

Post welding the section was sprayed with zinc etch primer and filled before having textured finish sprayed on to match factory.

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