Jump to content
aramoana

Another decrepit E30 316i coupe being revived (In colour)

Recommended Posts

G'day guys, I come for more advice on a matter beyond me. A 1990 E30 316 manual has come up from a neighbour who says he wants 6-7k for it. Rego on hold, no wof, windscreen has cracked, the front left corner has been smacked into something, the rear muffler has been cut off, the steering squeals like a pig when you turn and the breaks might as well not be there at all (very squishy, foot to the floor to get any braking). But, it appears rust free, particularly in the boot which I know has water issues. The gearbox is smooth as anything and it is a real pleasure to drive. However, Im out of my depth here. I have the blind confidence to assume I can work on this car for the most part, but is the price fair? I know Im going to have to sort the brakes out, the front left light housing and fender, windscreen and the exhaust for a WOF. Is 6k a fair price? 

https://www.carjam.co.nz/car/?plate=PW9797

241056612_161115389406949_7855875336773645973_n.jpg

240968905_1024712531689929_4850763301488486029_n.jpg

240970629_906609383272885_2776364860237051050_n.jpg

240835959_586602269027436_6334687601785811688_n.jpg

240867688_570061320700804_443547200346305116_n.jpg

241059162_369161004738784_7259249675224889216_n.jpg

240963146_209469434410478_238127521930942563_n.jpg

Edited by aramoana
Clarify title
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it’s the car in the photos then that’s a coupe, with only the two doors, which makes a big difference to the value. From what I have seen of the pricing on E30s (see the thread in TradeMe discussion on E30 prices) the coupes are much more desirable than the 4-door sedan / saloon models.

As such I would say that a Facelift manual coupe with a few issues is well worth $6k in today’s market. If you have the ability to fix those issues yourself you could end up with a car worth quite a bit more with little extra spend.

Ok, a 316i is not the most desired engine but swapping another engine into a rust free shell is a lot easier than sorting a rusty 325i imho.

If the car has been sitting for a while the brake rotors probably have a lot of surface rust which will make them work poorly. A clean of the surface and a bleed of the fluid might be all that is needed!

If you have the time and space for a little project car then go for it! E30 for life!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it all looks fixable!  Though expect to fix a lot more than what the previous owner has neglected or butchered.

Lightweight, a poor-man's CSL!  A slicktop 316i coupe is the lightest e30, they have little sound deadening.  In rude health and with good suspension, they're a quick car through the twisties and can hold their own with 325i's (and some much bigger cars too).  Make no mistake, on a straight road with the chance to stretch it's legs, the torque and extra HP of the 325 will eat the 316i.  Horses for courses!

Air Filter: I doubt the cone/pod filter is going to give you any more HP, paper filter elements are cheap and the factory intake will be quieter and give colder air.  Selling the pod might get you some dough for a rear muffler.

Rubber: Essentially you'll find a 30+ year old e30 has probably been pretty well neglected, and you can expect to work your way through every rubber bush and mount in the car, once you've got it on the road.  Engine and gearbox mounts will look okay, but that rubber has lost it's elasticity, and replacing them improves NVH.  Same for rear subframe mounts, RATBs, diff bush.  No need to go to Poly, the OE/OEM rubber solutions are proven, inexpensive, and reliable.  

Check your fuel hoses!  easy to replace under the hood, you might as well replace the fuel filter while you're at it, it won't have been done in years, possibly decades.  Be sure to use EFI high pressure rated hose.

Lubricants:  Time for gearbox oil and diff oil.  I'm running Penrite Synthetic, don't mix them up (get the back oil into the middle and vice versa).  One assumes you've already done the engine oil and filter with quality kit (I like the Mahle)

Brakes:  Slider pins - unless they're badly pitted - can be cleaned up in your battery drill with a scotch-brite pad and Brakekleen.  I like the ATE silicone brake grease.  Brake hoses are cheap, give the existing ones a good look over.  ARB bushes and endlinks are cheap too.

316i has solid front rotors, you can get six cylinder calipers which allows you to upgrade to vented front discs, a little more meat.  Two types of front calipers, both run the same pads.  The racers prefer the ATE calipers which makes 'em more pricey (one can run brass bushings in place of rubber - though for street use not really a consideration); the Girlings are fine.  You can take your time, recon a set of calipers (seals, bleed nipples, boots, sliders, paint) then install with new hoses, pads, rotors.  Bear in mind the six cyl calipers/vented rotors are incompatible with the factory steel wheels if you ever wanted to go back there, once the pads are worn in.  You could always extract some more cash to fund your brakes by selling those D-window steelies and stretched tyres and score some bottle caps for next to nothing, ride the coming fashion resurgence of bottle caps being uber-cool and authentic 80's e30.  

Stay cool:  Give your cooling system attention, replace aging hoses, check thermostat bleed and flush it, replace with BMW Blue coolant and demineralised water.  Check passenger side carpets for glycol, this is the age that those heater matrix are letting go.

 

HTH

 

Edited by Olaf
updates
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS - I see yellow poking out from underneath, perhaps you've lucked out and the shocks have been done front and rear, and they're *not* Monroes! 

Looks like Bilstein yellow, though if you're really lucky it's Koni Yellows and you're in bizzo.  If they've been thorough the shock mounts, spring seats, bump stops, dust boots have all been done as well.

PPS:  Tyres.  So many e30's enter the parts chain after the combination of wet road + short on RWD experience + cheap-ass tyres.  Take the road less travelled, put the best rubber you can find on your e30.  195/65R14 is starting to get challenging; Hankook K415 is reasonable performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're gonna need exhaust hanger hardware too.  Might as well replace your rubbers while you're there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$6k would be good buying in this market, assuming no rust or other hidden gremlins.

Facelift coupe FTW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If its not rusty you should jump on that as a quick easy project to get back on the road. Looking at the state of it, it needs someone to save it from its current owner.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he's bought it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys, I appreciate the feedback. 

Took it through a WOF and a myriad of things came up, but all within my reach. The previous owner bought it with the intention of dropping a newer m42 in it, but was using it as a work vehicle until someone popped the boot and stole his tool. He swapped it for his old mans hilux and left it sitting in the drive way for 3 years until I picked it up. What has been amazing since tearing through it is the complex lack of rust on the car even though it has sat in the driveway for the past 4-5 years. There is a little surface rust, but nothing significant at all. 

The brakes rear brakes didn't work with the pedal, and only the right side worked with the handbrake. Ive since replaced the two rear drum cylinders and taken it all apart and put it back together again and topped up the brake fluid. This has significantly improved the brake performance. After seeing @Olaf's build when he was doing the calipers, I got some VHT caliper paint that will treat the gunky calipers and make them look all shiny and new again. This will be once I get seals and slider-boots so I can rebuild them all in one fell swoop. 

The power steering is leaking somewhere, I haven't figured out where from, but that is a job for after the WOF. A new (to me) 90A alternator and belt with an upgraded 14.5V regulator seemed to fix a lot of the general grumpiness from the car and kept the modern battery charged. 

The drivers side seat was wiggly, which got picked up in the wof. Turned out that it was the outside seat base bracket which joins to the hinge mechanism which had somehow been torn apart, so that was welded up and the seat re-foamed while it was there. 

The passenger side low-beam light had been part of the damaged corner, which the only damage thankfully being that a bracket (bottom right) broke off. I managed to make up a new bracket that I expoxy'd to the housing and then used a dry-wall anchor screw to attach to the original adjustment screw and it works flawlessly. Not the best, but it retains original function. 

The D-windows are too small for the car, resulting in the speedo being out by ~13km, which is really annoying as well as inefficient. I'm looking at replacing them with a set of 16' TSW Hockenheim R's with fairly new Hankooks on them. 

The car is getting a new dynomax superturbo muffler today to dampen it down while retaining some exciting noises. 

The car came with a full set of Bilstein B8's and Eibach springs, however as I came to realise, the front B8 struts need a 51mm housing, where the 316i only has a 46mm housing. Im open to anyone offering a workaround for this, short of trying to hunt down the unicorn that is the 51mm strut housing. 

The engine runs quite poorly though, which is the major thing I'm hunting right now. It idles low, so It's not a vacuum leak that I can tell, however the vacuum cum pipes definitely need replacing when I have the time. Im thinking of getting the injectors cleaned professionally, or ordering new injectors, but I'm not sure which is the best approach. I've check the ICV which is fully functional and replaced the spark plugs with new NGKs, and done the cursory BMW Filter and 5w40 havoline oil. On the list of things to do is 

-Check resistance on the TPS

-Check throttle body butterfly clearance

-AFM?

-FPR? Im not thinking its a fuel thing simply because it runs fine when driving, and based on the reading ive done, a lot of people with the similar issue test the FPR and find that its completely fine. 

-Anything else? Im not quite sure 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aramoana great to hear you bought the car and that another E30 is being rescued and brought back to life.

I have your thread into the Projects section for you now it is also a build thread.

Keep the updates and photos coming!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aramoana pretty sure you can get 45mm struts in high performance varieties (Koni certainly do); look for 45mm Bilstein B8 if you can't find 51mm housings, and you'll sell your 51mm easy enough.  If you're changing housings, you might as well refresh the wheel bearings while you're at it.

Mine was also pretty grumpy when I first got it - esp when cold.  Plugs, cleaning up the leads, coolant temp sensor all helped a lot.

HTH

PS:  pleased to see my project thread is useful, thanks 😀

Edited by Olaf
grumpy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Olaf When I was having a browse through your Grey Thunder build post, I noticed that the time between you mentioning wanting 51mm strut housings and you getting the housings was particularly short. You wouldnt have any guidance on where to source some would you? Besides some rusty sets on Ebay from the UK, I haven't been able to find any. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aramoana it took me more than six months, but then I got lucky.  I’ve been seeing them coming up in Australia.  I only went for 51mm as the shocks I found were 51mm.

@Deano1968 I’d be surprised if a 316i would have ABS?  @aramoana you may have totally lucked-out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, that was fun. I hope you guys are all doing well, and I really hope that I was the only one who cross threaded the strut nut onto the top of my brand new Bilstein B8's yesterday. Definitely put a damper on the evening. 

Dean was very generous in reaching out about the 51mm struts, and after collecting those, I was excited to get the new B8's into the car before it went to get a new windscreen on wednesday morning (the next day). So I took apart the car and started stripping and cleaning everything, and all went well. The B8's came with the car and had locking nuts already on the shafts, so I didnt question it. When I had everything ready, I used the nut that was on the strut, but as I discovered, it was entirely the wrong nut for some reason. I have a suspicion that the bolt that I was trying to force onto the strut was actually a loose bolt from the lower control arm that was also in the boot when I bought it that the PO had incorrectly put onto the shaft. 

After forcing the wrong nut onto the shaft, I also managed to shear out the central allen key pocket at the top because of how much force I put through it, which is all the more frustrating because at the time i though "Hm, it shouldn't be this hard, why is it not going on smoothly" which really should have been the point to test the other strut, which went on very normally and quite easily. 

Right, now I have to figure out if this strut thread can be chased with a die, or if i have made a costly error here. 

The D-windows and tyres with 5mm thread will be coming up for sale if anyone is after them. They have 195/50R15 tyres on it, so a bit smaller than factory. The fronts have a small spacer to clear the brake caliper. 

241983692_540518543719113_7195315747111543606_n.jpg

241885038_221816216631840_2833848842551416944_n.jpg

241821400_202021141994061_7965433720009536687_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aramoana all is not lost.  With luck George Stock & Co will be able to sort you out.  At worst a new piston rod and rebuild.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today was another wet and windy day, so it was back to what I'm supposed to be doing - studying - rather than twiddling with a car. That being said, I was able to do a quick job today which involved resetting the service indicator, which I did with the help of a DIY Service Tool (Bit of wire). Its nice to be able to tick off the smaller jobs. I was meant to be getting a new windscreen today (~$400 wouldnt you believe) but a I was able to get ahold of a local BMW wrecker who had just pulled one out of another coupe, so I'll pick that up tomorrow and get it fitted. 

I got in touch with a local suspension shop in hamilton who directed me to Mashal Transmissions who have the tooling to redo the buggered thread on the suspension as depicted in my previous post. Dropped it off yesterday and fingers crossed I'll be able to pick it up tomorrow. I put the remaining Bilstein strut in the car alongside the monroe shock that came with the 51mm strut housings and by golly is there one hell of a difference. Most importantly, I didn't realise how shagged the struts were in my 45mm housing, and also how firm the Bilstein is compared to the old BMW struts, and the Monroe strut which sits somewhere in the middle. I'm excited to get the second Bilstein in and take it for a spin. 

The to-do list keeps growing. Today I discovered the possibility of doing a purple-tag steering rack swap. 

-Odometer has broken, need to fix that

-Interior dome lights don't work. Would like them to.

-Focus and align the headlights

-Find an M42 to drop it. 

20210916_081324.thumb.jpg.e4d85d37f82d0764da0187023a034b06.jpg20210916_081256.thumb.jpg.e058a3877923538a6d17f4d103dfa854.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news and bad news today. 

Went and had a yarn to the guy at BNT about putting some Redline MTL in the Getrag 240, but after some discussion concluded that my money was better spent elsewhere considering its a street car and struggling to push 90hp. Will probably pick up some Penrite stuff thats on sale at the moment at repco and also hit the 40c per litre fuel saving while Im at it. 

Picked up a BMW windscreen from a wrecker for $150 that pulled it out of another e30, and I asked about purple tags, which he didn't have. But he offered me a Z3 rack for $450 which I thought about for a bit and decided to grab it. Picked up the required jankey M8 washers to space it out 14mm, and will plan on hunting down an early 2000's Holden Barina/Astra steering linkage. Got the windscreen fitted by the absolute gem's at Hamilton Windscreens. When i went to pick it up, they mentioned that they liked the car, which was nice to hear. 

Unfortunately, not all is well with the mangled Bilstein that I managed to cross thread. Got a call today from the shop i'd dropped it off to and they said that the threads were beyond repair. So the plan will likely be send it up to auckland where there is a team who can rebuild and replace the inner cylinder, but thats going to be $300 down the drain. Costly lesson learnt, but a lesson learnt it certainly is. On a more positive side of things, the guy I've been talking to from Autolign has gone above and beyond to help me out, so I'm thinking I'll go drop off a box of donuts at their shop tomorrow morning as a means of thanks. 

To Do list

- Get headlights focused and aligned, then finally WOF time!!

- Burn some CD's or get an aux cord with a USB-C adaptor. Not sure which way I'm leaning at the moment. The PO left a CD in that I've had on repeat since I got the car working. Im enjoying the analogue nature of the CD. 

- install Z3 rack (after WOF)

- figure out why the power steering fluid is disappearing 

- Transmission fluid

--Would like to do trans seals as the output shaft is showing signs of a leak. Mind you, there are a lot of leaks. One thing at a time. 

-Odometer still doesn't work

Dirty Windscreen

20210917_113744.thumb.jpg.f0321e6ea5d2fd8b960afbeb9dc3a8e4.jpg

Clean(er) windscreen

20210917_114435.thumb.jpg.3f4c4c14dbab79fbc9d08fbbeb0ffc37.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gearbox:  1.1l Penrite Pro-Gear 75W85 Full Synthetic.

Diff: ~2 l Penrite Pro-Gear 75W90 Full Synthetic.

Best not to mix them up.

If you're going to replace your diff bush, might as well wait to change diff oil as you'll be pulling the cover to press the bush out.  You'll want the diff cover gasket too.  HTH.

PS:  $300 for shock repair?  Ouch, you can replace it entirely from the USA for that price.  Good to support local!

PPS:  You're going to need to cert after doing the Z3 rack.  Suggest you make a plan, figure out your endgame, and get everything sorted to minimise (or eliminate) your non-compliant time.

Edited by Olaf
postscript and II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Olaf Yes I was wondering about just buying another one. From FCPEuro I could get one landed in NZ for $306, where these guys can send it up to auckland and get a new cylinder for $270 (cant remember if that was including gst or not). Im going to enquire with some engineering shops on monday about rethreading it to a smaller nut so that I can salvage some of my dignity. 

I wasn't aware about the Z3 cert, I had figured it would it fall under the 'like-for-like' category that the E36 rack swaps fall under. Will keep that in mind. I do have a diff bush that needs to go in, but that'll get done when i do the trailing arm bushings, which will get done when the PO drops off the disc brake parts, which will happen when Auckland drops down to level 2. 

Today I picked up some etch primer and gloss black rustoleum to make the strut housings look nice and pretty, while also keeping them from rusting. 

This is a brilliant display of procrastination, I have many exams and assessments coming up for university that would suggest I let the car mature in the garage for a bit. Nevertheless, I'm having lots of fun. 

Took Julius some fresh donuts this morning as thanks for the support and help he has been giving. It's nice when you're green in the field to have someone who knows what they're up to looking out for you, much like all of you helpful folk. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the engine has been on a low idle since I got it up and running, stalling out when first starting it up in the morning. After a cursory browse around the engine bay, I noticed that the fuel line hole clamps were loose but the hose wasn't leaking thank goodness. Tightened those up. 

Having read about people playing with the fuel pressure regulator (FPR), I decided to see what happens if I pull the vacuum hose off the FPR. I was in theory expecting the engine to increase in revs, much like what happens if the fuel return line is clamped. Instead what I found was that with the vacuum to the FPR removed and the line sealed with my thumb, the engine seemed to run better than when it was all connected. I had no idea what to make of this, so maybe one of you good people can offer some insight. 

Given that it is a 30+ y/o engine, i wondered about the distributed, since it sounds like its missing a beat at idle. once I took the cap off, I realised I have absolutely no idea what worn distributor components look like, so I took photos and Im hoping again, you guys can direct me. 

However what made me laugh was when I looked at the rocker cover, and saw that I hadn't put the cap back on properly, letting the manifold pressure drop to atmospheric, making it run terrible. Once I did that back up, it was a hell of a lot better, but the low idle and slight misfire is still curious. Do I need to do anything to my distributor?

20210918_163103.thumb.jpg.6657fe57e8308d0882640e52ce4febb9.jpg20210918_163053.thumb.jpg.2e3b989706d5e6a431f8d7e5381029d1.jpg20210918_163048.thumb.jpg.9ccc682ab28677711303a8490183fc21.jpg20210918_163040.thumb.jpg.a6ad79737e8d778e2cca8552d338bf13.jpg20210918_163034.thumb.jpg.d42c57531725d81b41b244f8bd85b59e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...