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Mikan

Atlantisblau e30 318i

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Managed about five months without an e30 after swearing off them 'forever'. 

A combination of

1) taking a prius up to New Plymouth for an e30 megameet that I had booked non-refundable accommodation for, and

2) an E12 that my family refuses to ride in

meant I was missing the fun, comfort and simplicity of e30s, with their plentiful parts, support and community. 

Idle trademe browsing over the Christmas break turned up a presentable looking jap import fl 318i. A handsome blue, interior mainly intact, and an oil pressure warning light that may as well have been wired directly to ignition. Cheap as chips though, and the aircon was reportedly icy cold. 

Drove it home between Christmas and New years on a lovely summer day and watched NZ lose the boxing day test on the ferry home.

Fun little mission, marred only by the stereo not working and a relentless pirate-ship creaking coming from the front suspension... 

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I was pretty confident that the creaking would be the front shock mounts. I had a similar issue with the e39 that was eventually resolved through replacing them. 

Luckily, I had just such a thing in the cupboard, courtesy of unfulfilled good intentions from my last e30. 

All-round good bloke @adro very kindly offered to lend me a hand with this, so I creaked over to his gaff and we tore into it.

A morning's work quickly turned into a morning, afternoon and evening. @adro had some msport springs in his horde that we thought we'd throw in to see how it looked (it looked much better). We also got rid of the no-name wheels it came with and threw on some mint condition bottle caps that Adrian had on hand.

It's so much nicer wrenching with a mate, particularly one who cracks on with the job after you leave for the afternoon ?

Car looked and felt great, and I couldn't be happier. Except for the creaking from the front suspension. 

 

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what a beauty!!  and you can come to e30 Mega Meet this year, too!  bonus.

Hell, as you were in NPL last year, should have joined us for a quiet beer or two anyway!

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Bit of a round-up, so apologies for any continuity errors. 

To drown out the creaking I decided to do something about the stereo. Went for a modern (but middle-school looking) blaupunkt and some tweeters inside a pair of premium sound tweeter pods. Thanks @Rob HB1! Keeping the original kick-panel and parcel shelf speakers for now - I want to get the premium rear speakers in too, but need a better condition parcel shelf to house them. 

A couple more appearance things - popped on a mtech 1 steering wheel (cheers @Contrails) , and got it tinted to make it bearable for the two year old who faces directly out the rear window. 

The tint was about 20 years too late to save the poor sunfried interior, so I replaced it with a lovely set from an SE courtesy of @BMTHUG

I replaced the lollipop bushes (as they were polyurethane) in the hopes of curing the creaking, but it wasn't til my swaybar bushes finally arrived via the dealership that I finally achieved blissful silence. Not surprised they were complaining - they were pretty munted. 

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Edited by Mikan
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It's looking mighty fine, CJ!  What should my budget be if I'm planning on tinting mine (+/- $50)?  And how dark are yours?

 

PS - wow, your ARB bushes datestamped 1989 - never changed previously!

Edited by Olaf

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Thanks mate! 35% tint. It was $480 from Window Magic (opposite Spotlight, just off Hutt Rd). They turned it around in a lunchtime.

I have had great results from Wrap Innovations in Grenada North too, but they couldn't fit me in at what was reasonably short notice this time. 

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A looming track day and diminishing self-control led to some browsing (and ultimately buying) over at Demon Tweeks.

Tried not to do too much soul searching but there are quite a few opinions on e30 suspension combos and the forums are a bit of a rabbit hole. In the end I went for a shock that I have found very driveable in the past and a spring that would give me the height I wanted while being solid for daily use (if useless for anything more). 

Bilstein b4 and eibach pro-kit. Pretty happy with the ride, although I haven't really been able to drive it because of a comically bad vacuum leak. Will be even better once I get time to install a 325i swaybar I've been waiting on brackets for. 

Also excited to bolt up some acs wheels that I bought before lockdown 2.0 but have only just managed to get shipped down. Hoping for fine weather this weekend! 

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Thanks! In the seldom-seen 15" size too.

On that note, if anyone needs re003s for their basketweaves (or other 15x7 e30 wheels), there are now eight of them left in the country. Bridgestone had to beg mine off a Tony's in Gisborne. 

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Got it out on the track at Manfield yesterday - a lot of fun with the Constructors/MG car club. 

Very happy with the new suspension and wheel/tyre situation. I do wish I'd got the rear swaybar sorted in time, and I could hear a new clunk on the drive home, but had a very enjoyable day with great company. 

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Photo: Jarod Carruthers

Edited by Mikan
Adding photo credit
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are you missing a rear swaybar?

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Just haven't got round to installing one yet! Had to wait 6 weeks for brackets through the dealer and then the bushes I had didn't fit them - by then I was out of time. 

 

Some more photos from @adro - backing up his hotlaps with pool photography duties. 

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@Mikan I reckon we're well-overdue for a project update.  What's been happening with the blue beauty over summer?

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Haha, weeellllll overdue. 

Okydoke. I got Jon to manual convert it, with parts from Nick Weitz at Weitz Industries.

There were a couple of issues with both the box and the diff that came out of the donor car, and Nick went above and beyond to replace the parts.

Really made me realise how little margin must be in used parts when a vendor has to source a replacement diff (that just happens to be the highly sought after race series ratio) at his expense. It's tough out there for an honest bloke, and I can't give Nick enough credit for putting his customers first. 

I also got Jon to put a towbar on. Part of the use case for the e30 was that it could do things our other car couldn't, and the mark 2 prius is explicitly forbidden by the owners manual from towing. The old m40 put in a great shift over summer hauling trailerloads up to the dump. Certainly more pleasant to back a trailer in than the e39 touring was! 

I had been collecting parts for an m42 swap at some unspecified point. Got a good deal on a low kms engine that had had some attention to the head and then been pulled shortly afterward. I also got an ecu with ews removed, and got a harness adapter made by Greshm Performance (like this one). 

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It's rare that you get a start-up or driveaway warranty with used parts these days so Nick has clearly done you a solid. The margin is actually offensively large if you don't include that risk, covering that risk is expensive though.

But if it can't break? I was quoted between $120 and $140 for a rear parcel shelf for an E87, now that's just taking the piss.

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Momentum on the engine swap really stalled after our summer road trip however. 

We were planning on taking the prius, but due to the shocks being dangerously cooked and Toyota's OEM parts pipeline being slower than anything I'm yet to experience with BMW, we took the e30. 

I was harbouring some anxiety about the engine - I mentioned the low pressure light ages ago, and I've never gotten on top of it - have managed some improvement, but if the engine is warmed up, and you're idling at a long red light, that warning will pop up. 

2000km later up to and all round the Bay of Islands and I needn't have worried. Was really pleased and pleasantly surpsied with how smoothly it all went. I'd honestly written the m40 off as an engine, but it was fine! The car was absolutely loaded down with luggage too. The Brynderwyn Hills Road was the one place I fancied a bit more power to get past those trucks with a bit less effort and planning, but it would have been much worse in the prius. 

The only problems on the whole trip was a ball joint that decided to start creaking about halfway up the island, and a fuel issue that was eventually resolved by a filter change. 

It was a great trip, an awesome part of the country and a bonus adventure that I felt glad to have the e30 for. 

 

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As sure as night follows day, an optimistic post on bimmersport is followed by a public disappointment with the car. 

The engine shuddered to a halt while I was trying to even up a park in the CBD (of course, the CBD), and despite me flattening the battery trying to coax it back, wouldn't catch for me. 

After we had both cooled off waiting for roadside assist, we did manage to start it again, but there was a horrible clacking noise at idle from somewhere in the head. I have tried to attach an audio clip for anyone who's interested. 

Fun start to the long weekend! 

 

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what's this lovely noise.m4a

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RIP M40

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3 hours ago, adro said:

RIP M40

Made it a lot further than expected. 

Also very pleased it cashed up in Wellington rather than Paihia or somewhere while we were on holiday. Lucky really. 

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bummer.  time for you to make a ritual sacrifice to the gods and/or bark at the moon.  I've no previous correlation established between optimistic posts here on BS, and public disappointment with my cars, nor should you!

 

 

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