Joey's iS by JinormusJ

By diyauto
( 1 )

Joey's iS 

Compliments of JinormusJ @


Following my last e30 I sold, my prized 1990 325i, I thought I'd lay off e30s for a while. I wasn't really looking for an e30 after this one cause of life circumstances. Enough with the monolog..! PICTURES JOEY!!

Funny how you stumble across the exact thing your looking for when you stop looking. After my friend and board member e30ruben told me about an e30 for sale in Redwood (about 130 miles from my house) on Sunday, Monday night we already made preparations to see it. $700 later, $120 for a new battery, and two aspirins for the headache, I was driving myself a project on the brink of the grave; my 1989 Lachsilber 325is

Right off the bat, you can tell its not terrific, but for 7 big ones, I'm not complaining

I've got 99 problems and a bumper makes one

Bondo on my fog light..??

Paint is a little faded in the rear left quarter

IS trunk lip has gone to crap

Looks like they haven't been cleaned in YEARS

Interior is pretty ratted out as well.. It was horribly dirty and had the nastiest seat covers over the front sport seats.. Ugh. Cleaned out the papers and tore the covers off only to find:


Passenger isn't terribly bad..

Carpets are every color of the rainbow. Definitely not tasting that junk..

My biggest pet peeve... Trash down here.. Mind you, this is AFTER I cleaned most of it out


Speaking of the dash

All good baby, all good


Gonna replace that Brake Lining bulb eventually.. ODO gears busted, and the fuel temp gauge does some crazy zjeg, but overall everything else is good cluster-wise

My e30 has a nipple! Remnants of a crappy aftermarket alarm system

Premium Sound and Pop-Out windows make me happy

Overall, it's looking like a fixer-upper.. Engine-wise too. Basic m20, it's got some oil stains for the valve cover and such; Oil pan is spotless bone dry though. Can't say the same for all the ghetto-rigging in the bay though..

What the freak? I don't even. LOL
The torment continues upon inspecting the rest of the engine

Zip ties!!

Random Home Depot tubing and wires for the Radiator Coolant overflow line. Fantastic!

Bypassed heater core! YIPPEE!!!

Spark plug wire supports are completely broken

Ghetto Aftermarket Alarm is Ghetto
...and broken

WTF is this???

Not milkshake... But.. Rusted water possibly..? Judging by the upkeep and ghetto mess, I wouldnt doubt the PO put straight up water in the cooling system

This battery was gone; look at the residue on that contact.. YUCK!

But hey, at the end of the day, these guys make it worth it:

Got quite the project ahead of me, but I'm happy about it. With all it's messes and imperfections, its the exact year, model, and color I wanted.

Oil change today, then taking a much needed vacation; coolant and heater box woes to come


New parts!

Getting the whole interior air functioning right
Heater core
Blower resistor coil pack
New Heater valve with piping

Gonna fix that hacked washer bottle, and Vivek threw in a few parts on my visit over the weekend. New fluids are priority number one! Work will inhibit me from any work until Wednesday however


Had a few minutes this morning and I decided to swap out the washer bottles. Cleaned up my valve cover while I was at it. Found out my washer fluid motor is toast, so it doesn't shoot fluid at my windshield. Finding more things to put on the list daily..!

While I was messing around on the inside, my glovebox magically popped open. I was hoping for a million dollars, but I guess I'll have to make due with all the BMW goodies inside. Extra parts, service manuals, radio books, radio code, BMW brand paint touch up pen in my color, Cassette deck cleaner. Its a good day

Does anyone know what chip this is? I put in the part number and it only spat out the ECU code, but no information about the chip itself


Finally got to sit down and finish work on this little guy.
Friday I officially started to fix my heater problems; everything went swell expect for the fact I didn't buy new o-rings, so my pipes started to leak

For ANYONE buying parts in California, Patrick at BMA Auto never fails to come through.

Got my O-rings in today; fixed those leaks, even got my new resistor in on my blower motor; tried to tackle my heater bypass; those tubes are destroyed; gonna order new OEM ones after the holidays.

Anyone know where 1 and 2 go on the engine?


New hoses arrived the other day; after messing around and playing them like a didgeridoo, I put them away in wait for the weather to clear up

Looking over some past discussion here on the boards, I think I'm ready to tackle the bypass mess the PO left for me.
As a side note, and for future reference by me and anyone else that may be looking on this thread: the spider hose goes to the top, where the valve is connected, the head flow hose goes to the bottom, which is the pipe without a valve. Switching these will give you permanent heat, even with the temp gauge on cool. Spider hose (#2) connects to the thermostat housing, the flow hose (#1) connects to the head near the firewall

So, final notes


So it was about a week in the making, starting, then stopping to order new parts, then starting, then stopping again, but eventually I finished the heater and blower problem in the e30!

First, EVERYTHING must come out!

Exposed heater core

Valve and piping (This was before new o-rings; as you can see by the drops of water from the pipes and on the carpet)

After giving up on the heater core for the meantime while my o-rings arrived, I worked on the hood latch as that was completely broken. Threw away the old one without taking a pic

Once the O-rings arrived a la BMA Auto, I installed those and my heater core was leak free. Replaced the fuse for my valve and everything was operating smoothly (no pictures of that progress as that would essentially be more of the same lol)

Decided to finally tackle this baby. As you can see the small metal elbow pipe next to the booster; AKA ghetto-fabulous heater FA-RAZE bypass

Decided to take things slow and take the whole connection out including the spider hose, just to kinda get a better idea of how the coolant lines operate
As you can see, and what I will explain to you in just a moment, I ordered the wrong hoses. I, at first, thought the whole ensemble pictures earlier was the complete bypass (because in my defense, it looks really ghetto, and RealOEM confused me with the schematic). Honestly, the thought that the coolant does need some sort of a bypass line (the midget looking hose connected the the bigger hoses by means of fork bypasses) for when the heater isn't on and the valve is closed didn't even cross my mind. I am a silly man.
On top of that, I even ordered the wrong spider hose. Luckily, the old hoses were still pretty new, and I only ordered new ones because I thought I had the wrong ones. $25 down, but whatevs

Luckily, my buddy John with his 88 325is and another e30 guy guy named Abel with his 4-door Bronzit showed up and helped me out a bit; we shot the breeze, and afterward I helped change their oil and give them some e30 pointers while i checked at John's heater hose setup and they watched me work. Swag swag swag

Headbutting the intake manifold trying to take the coolant drain plug off


Enjoying the heat after a nice long day of getting yelled at by dealerships, thermostats, coolant, hoses, oil, and SF drive til 5AM last night


Compression test today after a buddy let me borrow one of his testers. Starting from front of the engine to firewall side:
156, 154, 153, 150, 147, 150

Not bad number for a previously neglected e30 honestly. Not as good as my last one, but definitely good

Finally took my valve cover off today, only to find...

Exhaust rocker #6 isn't even on the valve....

The oil pickup tube is bent and rubbing again intake rocker #5

After fixing it all up

Took the rocker clip off, moved it over and adjusted it as best I could (hey, its better now than being completely off!)

However, my car still suffers from incredibly sad low torque, even sadder top end power, a massive knocking/valve tick sound (misfire..?) that seems to be coming from Exhaust rocker #6 area, and of course, horrible exhaust leaks.

Don't mind my inherent struggle to inhale life-giving air; I'm sick and my nose is plugged. Mouth breathing at its finest.

Anyone know what these problems could be potential signs of?


Valve adjustment today;

Valve cover gasket in the mail; surprise on its way as well; ordered a few things that I've been wanting for a while now


Found some sweet BMW floormats at the junkyard last trip

I think they cleaned up pretty nicely!

Keeping with the whole factory option theme; slowly accumulating all the awesome 90's nastolgia items one peice at a time

Oh, and I'm just going to leave this here for future developments

Foud out my water pump leaks a little bit; guess its that time again!


Ladies and gentlemen! Ah, who am I kidding, we just have gentlemen

Only ever seen it in pictures, but now seeing a wrinkle black valve cover in person, I really like how it looks


The valve adjustment didn't do much on power, but for daily running it did great; it runs a lot smoother now, and not having valve lash while driving is so much more comforting

New water pump hasn't gone in yet; I have a box of parts that have been sitting for about a week now. I'm putting it off waiting for the last bit of parts to arrive. Planning on doing timing belt and everything while I'm in there

I guess I might as well clue you in on all the little happennings that have been going on with the e30
(Dont expect much however; Iphone quality picture content)

I guess the most obvious improvement was the e32 trunk liner and tool box retrofit. Its simple, but the liner takes forever to get a good fit, and even then its not perfect; came out much nicer than my last one though. Now on the hunt to find the rest of the tools to finish the e32 toolbox

Did a dual trunk light retrofit just like the last one e30 because you cant do a trunk liner without dual lights. Learned from my mistakes last time and wired it clean and simple this time around. Came out pretty nice I like to say

Then doing little things here and there to revert all the free farm-fixes the OP decided to do on this thing:

New overflow hose and OEM clamps

New unbroken spark plug rail (those little spark plug bastards are hard to correctly fit into the rail!)

Never posted up a picture of how the wheels came out after a good detailing. They're a little dirty in the picture, but loads cleaner than the last time you guys saw them. Ended up going to a local part out and getting a good deal on 5 centercaps as well

Which is loads better than

Poking around the engine a little more has revealed the following:

Torn intake boot

Bad breather hose

Parts already ordered and on the way. As the car sits now, it is not being driven; I want to fix the timing belt and water pump first before I drive another mile with this thing. Just tidying up loose ends here and there and getting the small things done for now. once all the parts arrive, I'll take a day off to tackle all my maintenance at one time


Got work done:

Garagistic Motometer gears finally came in
DjGenius's cluster rings came in
Red paint and paint brushes came in

Anyone know what that means? Yeah, you guessed; a drop kick of awesomeness.

Last glamor shot before transformation:

Taking the steering wheel off:

BMW emblem pops out with a simple flathead


After removing the dash cover, two screws in the center, two up top, and 2 on the sides; it comes off

Gone, for now

No wonder my temp gauge flopped around! Trip down to the hardware store fixed it all up

Let's open me up!

Faceplate detaches after unscrewing the 9 hexagonal top screws in the back of the cluster

Garagistic gears installed. Lookin sweet!

All prepped up

Was crunching for time, so I had to skip pictures, but here are some pictures of the finished product. Didn't come out exactly like I wanted, but I'll take another whack at it when I order my plasma gauges and do an e34 needle retrofit

Fixed my brake lining bulb in the process, so now that that's over,I see my brake lining is on, and that I have even more to fix. Sweet!

Also did some engine bay simplification; think the 318 wire harness cover looks right, and while it's a tight fit, it squeezes in no problem

If anyone is doing the Cluster rings, order them from DjGenius (BF.C; djgenius10 on eBay). His rings are original and are direct fit clip ins, without any need to glue, etc. I learned the hard way and screwed up a pair of rings because I thought Dj's rings needed glue, so now I need to order a new set because I want to do it right. All other manufactures are Chinese knockoffs and won't fit as nice as Dj's and you'll have to use glue (aka, it WON'T come out as nice as just clipping in)


New bumpaaaahhhhh

Peices are slowly falling into place


So I've had this box from BMA sitting for the better part of a month

All sorts of goodies inside
Opted for the more expensive good stuff as well cause well.. It is an iS ( )

GRAF Water Pump
INA Timing Belt Tensioner
Continental Belts (Timing, AC, Power Steering, Alternator)
Behr 80* Thermostat
Genuine BMW Coolant
New OEM Breather Hose
New OEM Intake Boot
Red Rocket Labs OBC Temp Sensor
Bosch Spark Plugs

(Installing the last two at a later time)
You guessed it.. IT'S TIMING TIME!

Rise and shine! (7:30AM)

Splash guard out.. FILTHY!

Hoses out! radiator out!

Belts out!

Mechanics, aka monkeys with wrenches, love to over-torque these dang fan clutches. WHERE THE HECK IS IT GONNA GO??? It has a reverse thread for petes sake!
This has happened to my last e30, so i followed suit like i did last time by ending up removing the whole water pump assembly with the fan clutch still attached, then taking it off outside the engine bay

Some mental swearing, brow throwing, and about 30 more minutes later, VIOLA!

Then I stripped those dang Allen key bolts on the rotor

Luckily, I had my extractor sockets that I ended up buying for my 5-speed swap when we stripped the starter bolts. Tools really do pay for themselves don't they?

Another 30 minutes later of hammering away in tight clearances

Cut 'er loose cap'n!

After that, everything went smoothly; timing belt n, tensioner in, water pump on, pulley on, bottom crankshaft on.

Then we got to the rotor. Had to custom grind some 8mm bolts I picked up at the hardware stor from down the street. By no means pretty, but better than those Allen key bolts. Screw you BMW; Screw you.

Perfect for when I have to replace that rotor soon

BM-Freakin-W Blue bling swag coolant

In it goes

All buttoned up and ready for another 60k miles


So finally got around to installing the Red Rocket Labs (George Graves, AKA e30 Master Electrician) temp sensor

Needless to say, I was very pleased with the results:

But, I couldn't get over the way it.. "looked"

That's no fault on Greg or the Company, it functions as it should, but I wanted a more OEM look. I still give their product a 10/10

So I did something about it

Gutted out the existing wires on the old sensor, and drilled out the inside rubber with a power drill and vice

I like how it came out, fit like a glove

The end sticks out just a hair, but it still fits within the whole rubber boot of the old sensor

And it didn't interfere with any of the readings

"looks OEM, nothin to see here folks!"

So it turn out what I THOUGHT was the temp sensor was actually the temp sensor connector.
I've messed up, but will enjoy the working temperature gauge until I can piece together the parts for repair. So far, all I need is the brake duct and I can troubleshoot from there



So, my OBC light was burnt out. And I'm pissed when it's burnt out.
Wanted to order one from the guys of the forums, but I'm too impatient to wait a week for turnaround now that I had my OBC fully functioning.

So, I had a minty junkyard OBC I wanted to swap in with a light bar core...
Guess what happened?

My dad, AKA Main Electrician Bawuce, drew me up a semantic of the stuff (don't ask me what it means, I still don't have any idea lol)

He said that because of the 2 7.5V LEDs, any resistor under 500 ohms would cause it to fry over a long period of time and burn way to bright. I dont want to change this anytime soon, so I listened to him. My 510ohm resistor would dim the LEDs enough to match stock lighting perfectly

So I starting stripping

Soldered up the main module. As you can see, the white/cream color in the middle means the LEDs are white

Gettin it DONE!

Ghetto testing, but it works


Final product

Once more for good measure


More than pleased, came out even better than I expected

All buttoned up + Minty OBC swap


This is a mini update

Decided to get crafty once more yesterday and upgrade my original e30 key light to work with a white LED and more powerful battery. Wrote a decent DIY for anyone who wants to give it a shot


So I decided to fix my nasty trunk spoiler the other day

I ended up using Rustoleum's heavy duty multi-surface Primer+Paint Camouflage paint and Krylon's outdoor Satin finish clear coat. Both these are rated to dry in 2 minutes or less

I was able to slap on 2 small coats of paint, 3 heavy ones, and 3 heavy coats of clear in less than 30 minutes. it was dry within an hour

Old one off.. Dirty!

New one on

The new one is still slightly pitted, but the full black looks much nicer than the deteriorating Lachssilber one. Honestly, I'm content for the time being


Took the old girl to the sniffer today

Ended up failing NOx in 15MPH

So I decided to fix my exhaust leaks

Run some Seafoam Intake Cleaner

And finally changing my spark plugs

As you can see... DIRTY!
This was the cleanest one

Better yet, good old OP used Platniums. Everyone knows e30s take Copper!! Super Plus or GTFO.

Even fixed up my rough starts

Buddy dropped of a smog-passing exhaust, so hopefully we can drop mine and put his up in tomorrow and resmog. Tomorrow tomorrow


The other day I spray painted my US and kidney grilles, and the whole front end looked really awkward since the top black looked so much newer than the trim/cooler grille

So I decided to get busy again and went out an bought some of this stuff

I heard it was great, and after the first initial test on the bumper trim, I am a believer

Just to show you guys, this is the oil cooler grille (usually ALWAYS faded if it was never resprayed) without using the treatment

The right half done

The finished product; bad picture, yes, but you can see the shine off of the grille.


Took it to the sniffer again today

Started around 11AM after class with unbolt img my exhaust alone
Got it out around 1

DIS NIGGA aka Joshsabes showed up to help me bolt on the new one around 1:45

Got it bolted up around 2:30
Good cat!

Drove it like we stole it

And it ended up passing pretty decently

Next is registration!
Woo woo!


Finally found work, so work is being done
That means more "work" can commence!

Put in my order today for a can of Lachssilber "touch up" paint, AKA my future iS lip paint. Exciting times shall soon come ahead indeed. I have never used Paintscratch before, but I have heard raving reviews, so I thought I really have nothing to lose. A portion of next periods paycheck shall be devoted to shipping a lip from Levent an finally getting my front end cherry


Lachssilber came in today; looks slightly dark from the paint spray sample, but it will look completely different on the car. So far, it's not bluish like the paint chip on Paintscratch suggests, so it should look cherry once I order the iS lip this Friday.

This is what comes in their kit for $51 shipped

Old Spice odor blocking Deodorant and Man-dle not included

And of course............
Try guessing what this means in the near future?


Been doing stuff here and there; haven't taken pictures, but I guess I can get you guys up to speed by the weekend

Got new interior for a stealing deal
Retrofitted an airbag knee bolster to a non-airbag car
Cleaned her up here and there

Updates with pics soon to come


Finally was able to bite the bullet; ordered an iS lip from Blunt yesterday, and it should be arriving on Friday. Should have it paint and mounted early next week.

Also tried out my Lachssilber paint scratch, and I gotta say; I'm impressed. The color matches fairly well, but is still slightly off (Lachssilber has just a touch of blue tint to it, while the Paintscratch version is completely silver).
However, it is still a fantastic match; you can hardly even tell unless you really really really focus in from a foot away. It's definitely a decent solution for people who need touch up paint. I think I'll order another can so I can finally delete the bottom "black-out" trim around my car.

I'll post pictures soon


This came straight from Blunt today


M20 is dying.

Every day I feel like its putting out less and less power. Yesterday I just filled it up with 1.5 quarts of oil at 4000 miles (which, coincidently, I'm due for an oil change sometime soon anyway). My previous M20 only burned oil at .5 quarts every 6000, which means im burning oil like a mother(or at least, at a rate I am not happy with). Cold/morning starts are something my current m20 is not a fan of and will stutter/bog whenever power is put down for the first few moments of taking off; midday cold starts are no problem, but stone-cold starts suck. Plus, I have to floor it just to keep up to a Corolla; my previous m20 took Corollas all day. (and had extensive engine work done with receipts to prove legitimacy of proper maintainence)


Thinking about refurbishing a budget 2.7i build and swapping out this tired m20. If I have to live with this m42-like power in an m20 weight car, I will not be enjoying my future with this e30. Sorry to blow you m42 guys out of the water, but 100whp sucks, period. I have to romp my car just to keep up in traffic. I'm thinking a 2.7i build wouldn't be too expensive as I'll be do the work myself/know people that would hook me up and can be an attainable swap by next spring.

This isn't my "final" swap I have for this car, but I can't live with this dying m20 anymore, so I will be swapping it soon. I figured a 2.7i would be a decent budget swap that will give me a little more power to satisfy me until I reach the final goal.

What I've gathered so far (basic knowledge of a 2.7i build) is the one option that would be the way to go for a $1k budget build:
2.7i block
2.5i head
2.5i intake
173 ECU

From what I understand, the only difference in a 2.7i from a normal 2.5i m20 is the eta bottom end. I am assuming a 2.7i is exactly the same as a 2.5i m20 except for the complete eta bottom end. I'm assuming the rest of the engine is 2.5i build. The more I research this topic, the more the answer becomes less and less clear cut because there are so many options. I'm finding it hard to get a definitive answer without asking questions from my understanding.
Any thoughts r3v?


So I finally had time to pass by my buddy's shop to get my lip painted with the Lachssilber Paintscratch.

Test fit

Yoska ended up having these cool goodies in his shop (sorry for the horrible pictures, my camera is all scratched up on my iPhone)




Came out pretty well. Paint isn't an exact match, but its pretty close, and my valence is super faded and old, so the paint is pretty different than stock aswell. Need to find time to bang out the valence and get all the waves out of my lip


Slowly but surely
I'm sourcing the last bits of my 5-speed; it WILL be done by the middle of August. After that, I can start looking for some coilovers and looking for some of the BBSes


Oil change today

Decided to get a little unconventional and use diesel oil for the extra ZDDP additives that our old m20 e30s desperately crave.

Used Dino (Conventional) Mobil Delvac 15w40 with a the Bosch 3421 filter.

Compared to the grime that was in there fr the PO, I instantly felt a difference in the engine performance on start up, idle, and WOT. Would recommend using Diesel Oil/Amsoil over leading Mobil 1/Valvoline oils. I've used all of them, and I've got to say, this has been the most dramatic oil change I've had so far. The former all have at least 1600 PPM of ZDDP which is almost double the amount any other oil company has, including Valvoline VR1 which comes in around 800 (which is still more than most brands, but is still mediocre compared to Diesel Oils/Amsoil)

With Mobil Delvac coming in at $17 for 5 quarts, you almost can't beat it

Gotta get dat ZDDP!


Also fixed my brake lining light and ABS light. Officially cruising without lights on my dash. EVERYTHING WORKS!

For the brake lining, there is a resistor located within the cluster itself that is located behind the temp gauge (inside the cluster itself) that is the Brake lining resistor. Because the brake lining resistor carries a lot of current, the solder joints inside the cluster tend to crack with age and vibration from the car. All you need to do is reflow the joints, and, as long as your sensors are good and you don't have any shorts, your brake lining light will regain normal functionality.

To demonstrate, here is an extra cluster backing I have sitting around:

The green circle represents where the temp gauge is located.
The red circles demonstrate where the two solder joints need to be re-flowed. As you can tell, the joint in the circle to the right is completely cracked, a common cause of pre-mature Brake Lining light appearing

For the ABS sensor, I saw this write up, and fair enough, when I took my ABS relay out, that little disable link was blown.

So following the essence of the writeup, I wired an external fuse holder found at any AutoParts store for about $3

Instead of wiring the pegs together INSIDE the relay, I mounted the wires and Fuse holder outside of the ABS Relay and drilled holes in the main metal housing to mount it externally. I used a stock 7.5a BMW fuse to top it off, and fair enough, when I first wired in the modified relay, the fuse blew due to a short, proving my system works better than the stock relay. A few modifications to the solders and a new fuse means my ABS light is off, and I am enjoying functioning ABS

A picture before:

And after:

(in ignition)

(after starting)

Oh, and an airbag-bolster-in-a-non-airbag-car-retrofit for the ladies

(+New black sport seats that actually work, fall, and rise)


And so it begins...

Non destroyed rear bumper trim! (FINALLY!)

New fogs!

5-Speed Swap!

Thanks again to my good friend Dustin (rede30) of Redlands CA for the huge hookup. Wouldn't have been possible without him! Just dropped a good chunk of change for some refurbishing parts as well

135k Miles
1987 325e Getrag 260 (Late model Getrag)
Red Label (ATF if is!)
3.73 LSD

So, current budget is at around...
$500 for full swap (Including Flywheel, 3.73 LSD, and low milage clutch kit)
-$250 for 4.10 LSD that will be sold after
$98 to Blunttech for misc. flywheel/clutch Bolts and Z3 Short Shifter
$25 to Topgaiters for Shift Boot
$39 to Pelican Parts for misc. Shifter Components
$16.09 to Garagistic for their Derlin shift carrier bushings
$misc.95 to (insert popular autostore/hardware store here) for fluids and/or last minute bolts, etc.
Which puts me around $430 at the very moment. expecting it to go higher, but not over $500 for this swap for sure. Valvoline ATF and some Redline for the LSD shouldn't be more than $50, and $10 should cover miscellaneous bolts here and there that I know I'll need.
The 4.10 LSD is going for sale straight after the swap as well, so if you're looking for one and have the patience/need to save up cash, hold tight!

Also, if anyone is looking to upgrade to a Z3 1.9 SSK (Which I HIGHLY recommend), you can make your own for less than $80 if you piece it together yourself separately. You can get that and all the bushings to refresh everything for less than $90 depending on what you want to buy new!

Below is a list of what I bought and from where for the best prices:

Pelican Parts
25 11 1 220 439 - Yellow Plastic Connector Rod Washer $1.25 x2 (I bought 3 because these can break easy if not careful and they're super cheap. why not?)
25 11 1 469 397 - Shift Lever Bushing $5.00
25 11 7 501 309 - Shift Linkage Gear Selector Knuckle $15.25 (Not needed if yours is in good condition, mine was destroyed and buying one from anywhere else besides Pelican Parts is $$$)

25 11 1 434 148 - Z3 1.9/2.5 Shift Lever $56.67
25 11 7 571 889 - Circlip $1.18 x2 (I bought 2 since old ones are reusable if you accidentally break a new one somehow)

Derlin Shift Linkage Transmission Bushing $16.09

Progress and Cool stuff?
The people have spoken


M10 power never sours


Spent all of 3 hours today and all day yesterday running around the yards and house doing stuff for the swap/e30.

My transmission didn't have an output flange, but luckily a friend and I went uarding together and found a 5-speed with a flange that was ripe or the picking. We had to grind down a 30mm deep socket to fit in the tight clearances for the output lock nut, and on top of that, jam a huge beam into the pistons of the engine to stop the crank/tranny from moving so that I could put enough torque down to break the nut loose

20 minutes of WD-40 soak and 15 minutes of using my leg on a breaker bar; success

Spent 3 hours today cleaning the disgustingly dirty tranny. Aswell as replacing my output seal and slipping on the output flange and torquing down to 25 ft/m. Got most of the crud off, and put all my parts together (Garagistic pushing a, z3 shift kit, random bolts and nuts).

Redline 75w90 came in the mail for my 3.73 and Valvoline Dexron III ATF for the tranny (it has a red label).

Soldered up a crack in the reverse light wiring and got it ready to go

Also wired up some e36 switches the other night
Tomorrow I will be modding an early console to fit the e36 switches; still debating if I want to do this again, or delete the window breaker (wiring the wires together permenantly) completely.

Sorry, No pictures, so try to use your imagination
I was incredibly dirty, sue me


5-speed swap done. Using this guide:
I was able to make my swap plug and play. Cruise works, and after making a custom wire harness (the stock one broke) for my reverse light switch, Back-Up lights work too.

Replaced rear transmission seal with Elring
Barring previous warnings about this seal I bought this anyway, and now my rear seal is still leaking 10-20 drops every trip. Ended up buying a new OEM dealer one, and a rear shifter shaft seal from BMW for $35. I know, its a lot, but its dealer parts and I've never heard anything go wrong with dealer tranny seals. Cant wait to toss this OE junk to the curb and drive this thing

Rear Tranny seal ordered
Shift Seal ordered
MT90 on its way too (Had 2/3 of a quart leftover from my last swap in the garage; just enough to get by by only ordering 1 new quart)

Looking for a local shop to do this work for me as I am not mechanically confident in this area, and would like to get it warrantied. Car is not being driven much in its current state, and is turning into the money pit so many e30s have known theirs to be


5 speed swap pic dump
(Sorry about the pics, they're not mine!)

Getting her up and ready; at this point, just finished the diff swap to the 3.73 and was starting on the driveline

Old tranny coming off, bucket for excess ATF spillage, 6+ year old velcro Vans, awkwardly staring into the camera pictures of someone who is not me a-go
(I'm homeboy under the car)

Getting the exhaust off (OP welded the catback to the fore-pipe, so I had to take it off and pit it back on as a whole unit! UGH!)

Admiration by Beats?

Pedal Box check
clutch fluid check
clutch hydralics check
war-paint, check

The peice de resistance

And a completed tool box
(Just need an e34 tow hook)

Slowly but surely...


So carrying on with the thread:

I found a nice Z3 that Massi at Saab and Volvo Dismantling let me pick something off of:

Z3 2.7L/L Linear Steering rack

Isn't she pretty?
Pulled from a 1999 Z3 2.8 with 61k miles that failed because of electrical problems.
Just replaced a few O-rings and this beauty is good to go; ready to mount

Here is the part plate; these racks have been discontinued by BMW and have been replaced by e36 racks with 2.7L/L. They won't have the same travel distance because they have been cut short. If you want an original Z3 Rack 2.7 L/L with the 54.5mm travel, you need this part number!

It reads 1 092 031
BMW complete part number reads:
32 12 1 092 031

Just need to find new tie rods; should order my spacer set from AKG within the next few days.


Ordered my AKG steering rack kit; should be here by Thursday. Super excited


Here's a picture of the glorious Z3 rack before being pulled just to null you all over (it's the only pic that seems to work ATM)

(And yes, I did replace that tie-rod)

I have to say

OMG-HOLYCRAP this rack is awesome


Think it was finally time to get to steppin and start cleaning everything.

Turned out I smashed my oil-pan, so I pulled a new one from the yards. It's got a small hairline crack, so I sent it off to my weld-guy to get it repaired for about $30; weld and seal.

I ended up finding an OEM tranny skid-plate/road shield, which I thought was pretty ballin. Dirty, but ballin.


You can KINDA see the crack in the bottom left of the pan at the very "front" of the pan (which is the place it would scrape should the e30 have been dumped: which it was on sme Tokico 5004 that I was thinking about picking up off the car at the yard)

Tranny shield cleaned up FLAWLESSLY

Also cleaned up the Lachs hood hinge, picked up some flawless Lachsilber paint match from a local paint supply, and detailed the soon to be new radiator/core support

Here's the formula for absolutely flawless Lachsilber paint match


Spent the day doing sssstttufffffff

Dropped the destroyed pan; razor bladed mounting surface for a smooth mate with the new gasket; bolted up the new (repaired) pan. Mounted everything back up, got some new motor mounts in there. Twas about a 4 hour job because I decided to go in a little crazy with the Purple Power and clean virtually EVERYTHING. Forgot to drain the tranny to put in some Redline MT90 instead of the ATF I'm running now, but.. Eh... I'll do it eventually. It's not exactly on my need-to-do list


Blew the engine.

Found out that it was blown about an hour after taking the above picture.

Snapped it; got all my lines hooked up. Poured coolant.

BAM; head gasket weeping coolant onto my exhaust like a mofo. Not a totally expensive fix, but an annoying and time consuming one

More incentive for my 2.7i swap I was thinking about?


Let's just say she won't see the road in a good long while.. There's too much I have to worry about with my whole work situation now, so she's going in storage. Luckily the house we are at right now has RV access and we have a huge covering that is used to house boats on the side of the house. We don't have a boat, so that's where she's gonna sit for a few months; least she'll have some shelter in the mean time

Shucks... I'm super depressed about it.. But thats life, what can you do
Still super excited and hopeful for the future though



Nice seeing her parked somewhere that's not hardparked on my sidewalk or in front of my friends shop



I've been neglecting this thread for school and work for a while now. Been busy, but that doesn't mean the e30 has been as neglected. I've been making lots of progress.. Especially withing the passed 3 days: working about 5-6 hours a day the passed 3 days.

Scrubbed the weaves till they bled black, yellow, and red. Purple Supremecy does work

Got LOTS of paint and bodywork done. Glacier bumper is now Lachs. The crappy Lachs hood I picked up has gotten some repaint: it's not a high end job (backyard rattle-can job), but it works. Got the side-skirt and rear valence black undercoating has also been paint matched. All my trims have been reprinted, including my grilles, kidneys, and cabin air vents; iS wing is getting painted tomorrow as well as the rear trims and side trims. Ran out of Lachs and SEM Trim paint halfway through, so tomorrow, my quarter panel, iS lip, front bumper, and rear bumper will be getting a paint and a needed buff


Just a few artsy shots from my work day yesterday

Shots provided as courtesy for your enjoyment by Irfaan Haroon Photography

Backed up where the M3 once sat

Messing with some angles

Getting a iPhone background shot of the before

Getting to work on that horrible hood

It's raining sanded paint

Two things are obvious: I have no idea what I'm doing and Irfaan is x1000 a better photographer than I

More to come tomorrow after I pick up more Lachs paint!


Decided it was time to pay these guys a visit

Getting loose ends tied up here and there

Decided it was time for a midnight photo-shoot now that my paint is pretty good on all 4 corners of the car

We mobbed 3 deep that night

Irfaan showed up and showed love for his SETA

Andy decided to roll out with his Turbo-Teggy. 600fwhp, dynotuned: puts down low 12s and sounds like an animal

And of course, obligatory shots of my POS

Don't ask me why the pictures are coming out weird. Tapatalk working its crap.. May just reupload through photobucket


I tossed the original engine out; it was long gone and my mechanic said that the 5th and 6th cylinder walls were warped/scraped from the impact; head was done too

I picked up a fresh engine locally from a recycle yard under warrantee: 124k mile engine pulled from a auto 325iC.

Left the head gasket as it was but replaced the oilpan gasket, main seals, and cam seal, as well as doing timing belt and a few other things to refresh the engine.

6k miles later and it's running fine, except the used fan clutch, valve cover gasket, and oil cap could be refreshed to solve the last few issues


And a little teaser shot courtesy of IH Photography


Obligatory "I just got a roofrack so now I'm part of the hardparker's club" shot

And really just another chance to show off the front end versus what it was about this time last year

For those of you just tuning in; had the car for about 2 years; last year this happened:

And it's been a year since the rebuild. Driving the e30 around this time of year feels surreal; pretty emotional experience considering where the e30 was then and where it is now.

Makes me smile


Hardparkers eat your heart out