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    Thread: One year with my E30 (a build thread of sorts, pic heavy)

    1. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:41 AM #1
      Bought this car almost exactly a year ago. Figured you guys like E30's so I thought I'd share my experience

      Got the bug to start looking for one these because of TCL. Browsed Craigslist for about a month and nothing came up worthwhile or was over priced or too far away. Then checking one day a 91 318is pops up for sale local to me, decently priced but had some issues so I went to look at it. A friend of mine conveniently had been bugging me to buy my Cherokee for some time so I gave him a ring. Sold it, took the money from that and went and picked the E30.

      It's a 91 318is, had some light front end damage and somehow I still don't understand, the bumper had fallen off and was pretty badly damaged. Odometer didn't work The paint was badly faded but the interior was in pretty good shape and the engine ran great and there was ZERO rust on the car, a hard thing to find in these. Also had Bilstein sport shocks, H&R springs and a UUC short shifter which was a bonus.


      Here's the day I picked it up




      Front end was in bad shape


      Looking a bit tired. First order of business was getting a new muffler welded up so I picked up a Dynamax turbo muffler and had a local shop weld it up. With the exhaust quieted down I could now immediately hear the droning humming of two bad front wheel bearings I couldn't hear before I started to wonder what I got myself into but had it towed to a friends shop and replaced them. With that sorted I could finally get to what I do best...making a crappy car look nice again.

      First up was paint, it was bad so the whole car go a thorough cut and polish, multiple passes per panel and some were wet sanded.

      That's looking better




      Interior was removed to clean. Seats came out great and only the drivers side has a small crack in the vinyl.





      I started going through the owners manual while cleaning and found then that car was originally purchased in Germany and was over there till sometime in mid 96. Had service records for routine maintenance up through 2002 where it appears to have been sold. Other documents showed the car was in the south the whole time it had been in the states till about 2 years before I bought it when it came to Ohio...likely explaining why it had no rust.

      Even found a German coin under the console.


      Interior all cleaned up



      At this point I started gathering parts to get this car looking decent and running better. A good tune up was done all fluids changed. I picked up a bumper off a forum member over on R3vlimited as well as some trim bits I had been needing. Found Rustoleum Sunrise Red is a very close match and sprayed the bumper, dupli-color trim paint for the trim. Pulled the front end dents out a bit so they're barely noticeable. Also sprayed the lower valance while I was at it.






      Not bad for rattle can!

      Picked up a working foglight off the forums but they were in bad shape. After reading some write I decided I could bring these back to life despite being glass. Hit them with 80 grit -> 120-> 180-> 220-> and then some rattle can clear, wet sanded that, another hit off 220->320-> more clear ->400->600 then finally wet sanded with 800 and buffed. Came out pretty decent.

      This


      To this


      Then Lamin-x


      Finally starting to look like a decent car. And at some point I spray bombed my hood black to hide the damage a bit. Had also picked up a roof rack off a friend.




      Another forum member who was local hit me asking if I wanted a hood for free so I jumped at the chance. It was badly faded but I managed to get it looking decent. It still has some bad imperfections but you don't see them at 10ft.



      Not bad!


      Quite the change from this...


      To this...all while only spending around $150




      At this point I had to move to a small place closer to the city and decided it was time to sell my beloved supercharged SVT Focus. It was sold and I paid off my credit card and decided to buy new wheels for the E30. Picked up a set of Tire Rack's house brand TRM C1 wheels specifically designed for E30's. Went with 15X8 with 205/50/15's. In hindsight I reallllly should have bought 225's, oh well always next time. Also picked up a front lip and a few other bits. Full brakes were done at all corners aswell as a Turner Motorsports chip.

      Now that's finally looking how I wanted it to.








      That was last fall. Since then I picked up some snow tires I barely got to use over winter and have just driven the thing. Over the winter and up until last month I drove it to Cleveland every single weekend, 130 miles each way without issue. It's been a much better car than I anticipated it to be, especially considering the neglected condition it was in when I bought it. Just last week though the Throw out bearing on the clutch went out. Had it towed back to my buddy's shop and had a new TOB, OE Sach's clutch, news transmission mounts and a new flex disc on the drive shaft installed as some preventive maintenance. Have another parts order coming in with new tie rod assemblies, end links and a hand full of gaskets since it does leak a bit of oil. No crazy plans other than drive it and enjoy it. In total I've probably spent around $4k or so as it sits including purchase price, maintenance and mods. The mythical $1500 E30 that needs nothing is pretty impossible to come across. Clean example are selling for pretty good numbers these days. I've never owned a car that draws as much attention as this car does. I get compliments everywhere I go. Probably twice a month I'll have people approach me to buy it and I usually throw some wild number out like $7k and they don't normally bat an eye at the price . I'm not ready to sell it yet, it's too fun.

      Here's a handful of photo's I took this week of it in it's current state. I'm no photographer and make no claims so please don't bash the photo's.

      Just last week also got a set of the OE Hella elips headlights. I can actually see at night now!'












      DERP




      Also picked up a Momo tuner wheel awhile back.










      140ish hp of pure fury.




      Thanks for looking
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

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      04-25-2012 09:49 AM #2
      The car looks great, especially for the small amount you had to invest. Nice work. Sucks you had to sell your SVT though

    3. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:49 AM #3
      Looks great. Nice work.
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    4. Banned JacksSenseOfRejection's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:37 AM #4
      Ib4runningaroofrackmakesyouahipster

    5. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:43 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      Ib4runningaroofrackmakesyouahipster
      I have four bikes. I need it The BMX fits in the back seat, the road and mtn bikes do not.
      Last edited by B3passatBMX; 04-25-2012 at 10:46 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

    6. Banned JacksSenseOfRejection's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:47 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by B3passatBMX View Post
      I have four bikes. I need it
      You and I both know that that doesn't matter.

      The people on this forum that use the word "hipster" don't care. They will use that word no matter how little they know about the definition to describe everything that they don't like or that may mean you don't wear baggy pants and a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.

    7. Member bherman13's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:49 AM #7
      I am fully jealous right now and I don't usually get jealous over an E30. Great job.

    8. 04-25-2012 10:57 AM #8
      You did a great job on brining her back! Are you on R3v?

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      04-25-2012 10:59 AM #9
      Where in Columbus do you live? I don't recognize any of the locations in your shots and I've never seen any of your rides around town (and they are both damn fine rides so I'd notice ).

    10. Member H. Stark's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:05 AM #10
      Looks good man

    11. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:11 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      You and I both know that that doesn't matter
      LOL truth.

      Quote Originally Posted by bherman13 View Post
      I am fully jealous right now and I don't usually get jealous over an E30. Great job.
      Thanks

      Quote Originally Posted by Hufeisen View Post
      You did a great job on brining her back! Are you on R3v?
      Sure am, Nick_S over there.

      Quote Originally Posted by GahannaKid View Post
      Where in Columbus do you live? I don't recognize any of the locations in your shots and I've never seen any of your rides around town (and they are both damn fine rides so I'd notice ).
      Thanks! I live in Grandview now. I worked in Gahanna for a while at Bicycle One, had my SVT then. The graffiti wall is out on the west end of down town, off Rich or Town street. The night shot with the giant metal hammer is right downtown and the rest are at my place.
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

    12. Member .andreas's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:21 AM #12
      pics of bike?

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      04-25-2012 11:23 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by B3passatBMX View Post
      Thanks! I live in Grandview now. I worked in Gahanna for a while at Bicycle One, had my SVT then. The graffiti wall is out on the west end of down town, off Rich or Town street. The night shot with the giant metal hammer is right downtown and the rest are at my place.
      Odd, I just moved from the Grandview area, just off 3rd and Olentangy River Rd. I'm in the Upper Arlington area now though. I used to do my shopping at Bicycle One when Panera Bread was still there, but that was many moons ago and I'm not in the mountain bike scene anymore.

      I'll keep my eyes open for the E30 if I'm ever in the area. Keep us posted on any updates

    14. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:28 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by .andreas View Post
      pics of bike?
      Certainly, I love a chance to whore my bikes

      BMX


      Road


      Mtn


      SS/Bar bike


      And here's a thread from R3V I made awhile back that goes into a bit more detail on my....detailing if anyone is interested.
      http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=212308
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

    15. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:32 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by GahannaKid View Post
      Odd, I just moved from the Grandview area, just off 3rd and Olentangy River Rd. I'm in the Upper Arlington area now though. I used to do my shopping at Bicycle One when Panera Bread was still there, but that was many moons ago and I'm not in the mountain bike scene anymore.

      I'll keep my eyes open for the E30 if I'm ever in the area. Keep us posted on any updates
      Weird, I take 3rd all the time cause I hate driving on 5th. I'm up off 5th by Jimmy V's pub. I ride through UA a good bit so if you see me on my road bike please don't run me over
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

    16. Member TheMunky's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:34 AM #16
      Great read, very nice work. I need to learn how to detail...
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    17. Member portugas's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:59 AM #17
      nicely done so far.

      What about some SVT pictures
      it was looking good to.
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    18. Banned JacksSenseOfRejection's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:09 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by B3passatBMX View Post



      SS/Bar bike
      Remember that Hipster conversation we were just having?

    19. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:38 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by portugas View Post
      nicely done so far.

      What about some SVT pictures
      it was looking good to.
      Certainly. I miss that car, it drove exactly how I think a car should drive. I don't regret selling it but I sure miss it. Had it for 7 years and put 125k miles on it.



      Hmmm this spot looks familiar




      Was a beast in the snow too


      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      Remember that Hipster conversation we were just having?








      Last edited by B3passatBMX; 04-25-2012 at 12:41 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

    20. Banned JacksSenseOfRejection's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:44 PM #20
      God damn you. Every time I click on this thread today, I miss my 318is more and more. I'm sure the SVT was crazy fun and quick, but you gotta admit the rev happy engine M42 combined with the balance of the E30 chassis. So much fun to drive.

      And if you haven't, you should also sign up at http://m42club.com/

    21. Member zaYG's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:46 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      You and I both know that that doesn't matter.

      The people on this forum that use the word "hipster" don't care. They will use that word no matter how little they know about the definition to describe everything that they don't like or that may mean you don't wear baggy pants and a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.
      Pretty sure the three wolf moon t-shirt is a favorite of teenage faux-hipster girls.
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      04-25-2012 12:48 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by zaYG View Post
      Pretty sure the three wolf moon t-shirt is a favorite of teenage faux-hipster girls.
      Maybe for your Portsmouth hipsters it is. I think it's also the official uniform of the OT Anti Hipster Coalition

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      04-25-2012 12:51 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      Maybe for your Portsmouth hipsters it is. I think it's also the official uniform of the OT Anti Hipster Coalition
      I thought the OT Anti Hipster Coalition was baggy hoodies and a mediocre looking wife to hide behind while starting a multi-page attack thread.

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      04-25-2012 12:59 PM #24
      Great looking car Nick. You've done a great job!
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      04-25-2012 01:12 PM #25
      Nice

    26. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 01:15 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      God damn you. Every time I click on this thread today, I miss my 318is more and more. I'm sure the SVT was crazy fun and quick, but you gotta admit the rev happy engine M42 combined with the balance of the E30 chassis. So much fun to drive.

      And if you haven't, you should also sign up at http://m42club.com/
      True, the SVT had nearly twice the power, it was much firmer and responsive but that could be due to the worn out bushings I haven't gotten around to replacing. I do love driving this car, it puts a smile on your face.

      Thanks for the kind words
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

    27. Member Lupo TDI's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 01:20 PM #27
      Nice thread!

      You did a good job, it now really looks like it's been cared for all its life. Enjoy every mile
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    28. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 04:10 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Lupo TDI View Post
      Nice thread!

      You did a good job, it now really looks like it's been cared for all its life. Enjoy every mile
      Thank you! It will be from now on
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

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      04-25-2012 05:36 PM #29
      My god.... I freaking love your e30. I'd trade my A4 for a 318is...in red...you bastard I'll have to keep up with your tread on R3v, I'm nick_t over there.

      Nick

    30. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 09:51 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by nthomas33 View Post
      My god.... I freaking love your e30. I'd trade my A4 for a 318is...in red...you bastard I'll have to keep up with your tread on R3v, I'm nick_t over there.

      Nick
      I'll gladly sell it....for 3 times what I paid for it
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

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      04-25-2012 10:01 PM #31
      Love it. How are you liking those Tire Rack wheels? I've heard they're quite popular with budget racers.
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    32. 04-25-2012 10:14 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      You and I both know that that doesn't matter.

      The people on this forum that use the word "hipster" don't care. They will use that word no matter how little they know about the definition to describe everything that they don't like or that may mean you don't wear baggy pants and a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.
      How tolerant of others you are.
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    33. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:22 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by mellbergVWfan View Post
      Love it. How are you liking those Tire Rack wheels? I've heard they're quite popular with budget racers.
      Under 13lbs for a 15X8 at $100 a piece...and they look good too. What's not to like? Only downside, very popular in the E30 crowd. Seen two others in Columbus with the same wheels. Finish isn't super great but they again, they were $100 a piece.
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
      91 318is M50 Swapped
      93 525iT

    34. Member GTE77's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:32 PM #34
      Nice e30.

      I love the M42 in my e36 318ti.

      Your car looks real nice.

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      04-25-2012 10:37 PM #35
      Nice work on the front end.

      Who's the baller with the bike running electric Dura Ace?

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