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selfmade 320/6 convertible

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arnie
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My E21(s): 320/6 custom full convertible

selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by arnie »

Hi folks,

I'd also like to present my e21.
It's more or less an "accident", because I originally planned to do a selfmade convertible conversion to my E9, which I have round about 25 years now.
As a test if this generally would succeed, I decided to do such an operation to a cheaper car first. 1995 when I did this you got a e21 series for quite a fortune.
At the end it went out more or less well so far, but I didn't want to repeat this process once again. So the E9 (luckily I would call it today) kept it's sheetmeatl roof, btw. restored this one completely a year ago).

Actually the e21 is in my garage to be repaired, restored and improved a bit. It's getting "new" (used original) carpets , some paint repairs and a big improvement to the guiding for the front windows. When you open the door now, the window is sliding down a bit and is moving back to closed position after closing the door. It's just to be able to guide the window in a specific Profile at the A pillar.

Some technical parameters might also be interesting:

170 HP engine from a standard 325i e30,
Hartge exhaust System with kat
servo steering
16' Alpina rims
e30 convertible interieur
electric Roof mechanics

Here are some previews of the car from 2012. Will update them after the actual mods and repairs are finished.


Image

Image

cheers from Germany

Ingo



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Peter V.
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by Peter V. »

That's a very nice one. Did you come to the sharknosemeeting last year? I believe i did se the car over there.
Gr Peter V.

.Some say he eats nuts and bolts for breakfast, all we know is he is called the carburetorman.

BMW E21, 1981 320/6 Ascot grau metallic uit Sicilië.
BMW E87, 2006 130i Titansilber metallic.
BMW E60, 2006 525d Silbergrau metallic

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Jeroen
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by Jeroen »

It sure was, see below! Welcome here! Done this conversion yourself huh, respect!

Didn't look like it needed big things done, or? Oh and more pics are always welcome!

Hope to see you again for this year's Sharknose Meeting and don't hesitate to bring some friends haha!

Image
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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e21-Mark
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by e21-Mark »

I wasn't expecting to like that but it's really nice. Top work! I'd have it a couple of inches lower on split-rims myself but that's just a personal taste thing.

How long did it take you? Was it a hard conversion to do?

arnie
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My E21(s): 320/6 custom full convertible

Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by arnie »

It sure was, see below!
Jeroen, you got me. It was the first sharknose, that I was attending (together with some other fellas from Germany). I liked it and we've had a nice "ralley" around Arnhem guided from a Dutch friend. Great area for a nice ride with perfect weather. Just preper the same conditions this year and we'll come back for sure! :crazy

@e21-Mark: The general conversion to the convertible took about 7-8 month (1995), rather constantly working in the offtimes. Later on I exchanged the drive train and steering and some other details were done. btw: I like the level of the car and it also wouldn't be good to go any deeper, beause the exhaust tubes are going underneath the rear axle and it already left just about 5cm of clearance here .....

Actually it's kind of a medium maintenance. Discovered some holes in the right front floor, some minor paint repairs to do and the funny thing with the front windows. At the same time the interieur needs some intention and a bit of refurbishing.

I'll add some more pics when tis will be done. (End of february I suppose)

Thx for your kind comments so far !

cheers

Ingo

arnie
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My E21(s): 320/6 custom full convertible

Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by arnie »

Was it a hard conversion to do?
I've forgotten to give this a reasonable answer and in the end it's not very easy to jugde, if this is a difficult job.

For sure you can't overview all the upcoming problems when you decide to do it. Major problems at this project in short words were:

The e21 doesn't have a sliding rear window, but instead doors with a frame around the window.
Mounting points for rear shocks are in the way where the convertible roof would like to find space.
e30 roof and its mechanic is roughly 3cm wider than the e21 body
Because I wanted to keep the roof as e30 stock the body of the e21 needed to become a "wide body" in the back, where the roof is mounted and also at the front at the windscreenframe.

These were the major problems, but of course there was also some sort of reinforcement of the chassis necessary. Just an example: The original sills were exchanged by a steel tube, rectangular profile of 100x40x4 (or just 3mm thickness, I can't remember this exatly today :whistle ).
So if you compare this with the reinforcement on an e30 body for the convertible done by BMW, you won't recognize the reinforcement in my car at all. Together with some modified original sheetmetal parts from the e30, the reinforcement is going further inside around the back seats, and also towards the engine support beams and the A pillar. Also the windscreen frame got some extra steel and so on .....

The result looks rather like an original BMW built with some exceptions of course. But it was looking enough original like, that the Lady at the entrance for the sharknose area wanted to deny my car to go inside with the explaination, that my car is NOT a sharknose and she's not allowed to let me in :wha :hammer

After a short discussion it was quite clear, that the basic car is still an e21.

Here are some more pictures, what I'm already aware of, still the same age as the first 2.

cheers

Ingo

Image

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Thegs
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by Thegs »

Had a good look at you're car at the Sharknose meet last year. I think we saw you at the Oldtimer Granprix aswell (at least I told Jeroen at some event I reconised you guys).
Regards, Gerwin

1980 BMW E21 323i in Hennarot
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by drilla »

i love what you have done here...well done
hope you can put up some more pictures and info up for us
1 of a kind that is self made!

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Jeroen
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by Jeroen »

The conversion story makes it even more of a special car! Hope to see you and the car on this year's Sharknose Meeting again then! Just do your best at the entrance, I know, the ladies there can be real bitches :lol: just tell them Jeroen said it was ok lol

More details or photos are always welcome... really thought it was a pretty standard Peters at first!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by mendipdriver »

Hiya

Really interesting conversion - I have a Baur and would like to know where you sourced the front strut brace; I have a Weber conversion and the usual stuff doesn't fit - yours looks to have the correct geometry. Any information would be appreciated.

Ta, Simon.

arnie
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My E21(s): 320/6 custom full convertible

Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by arnie »

More details or photos are always welcome...
Hey Jeroen, I'd put some more after finishing the last enhancements to my E21 on the net (just search in my photobucket libraries)

Image

http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/arnie ... t=3&page=1

and also a short description about what was done over the winter break in the German board:

http://www.e21-board.de/wbb/dies-und-da ... nterwerft/

you dutch guys may probable be able to understand it (a lot better than I'm able to understand Nederlands :-))

For all the others, who are also may be interested, here in short words, what changed in the meantime:

Added a U-Profile to the wind screen frame for guiding the doors window
Therefor a special addon for the windows operating was necessary. Window is sliding down a bit when door will be openend and is moving back to closed position after closing the door again. Just does it in complete closed position. Either side got a combination of four standard relays and one time relay, activated and driven by 4 micro switches. Was a kind of a challange but works simply great now. Window is now complete fixed and the convertible is water proof for the first time after building it 18 years ago !!! Hope to decrease wind noises at the same time. I couldn't check it yet, because it's registrated only from April to November.

After I almost burned the car down while doing a small welding at the right floor Panel last autumn, the already bad (selfmade velour) carpet needed an exchange. Found an original formed carpet in grey/black colour in a rather good condition. Went back to the original plastic profiles for the top of the sills.
Refurbished the leather seats, repaired the heating at the drivers seat. Got a new radio with all the nasty modern functionallities.

The body got some descend paint repairs, the front a chrome kindney and orange covers for the flashers. I probably will also add an Alpina front air dam, but didn't find one for a reasonable price yet. (If anybody would like to sell one, just give me a note)


@Simon: The front strut brace is a self made one like a lot of other things on this car. If you want me to do another, let me know.


seeya in Arnhem (but probably not with the E21) The ladies will recognize my E9 a lot easier as a real sharknose :protest

cheers

Ingo

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e21-Mark
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by e21-Mark »

It looks really good, although it's still very ''e30'' in its styling for me. I'd love to see it lowered on some older style alloys, with single headlights and a deeper front lip. :smoke

arnie
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My E21(s): 320/6 custom full convertible

Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by arnie »

Mark,

original e30 parts are just the rims, head lights and of course the roof. (and seats). bumpers are still e21 and just painted, like former chrome trim also. Not that much of an e30 look for my eyes.

Before I changed to the 16' Alpinas it had the 15' Alpinas on it. I would agree, that the change to the more modern ones wasn't my best decision. But now I don't have the smaller ones anymore and nowadays these are rather rare and expensive :shock
I considered to remove the center caps (never liked them too much), paint the center black and install the smaller black plastic caps (In case they'll fit). I'll try that soon.

The same with the colour. Today it would be definetely "Ascot Grey" or something in this shade. But this is nothing to be changed in just a winter time overhaul.

The front will get an Alpina air dam, but I'll never change the head lights to single :protest

cheers

Ingo

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Jeroen
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Re: selfmade 320/6 convertible

Post by Jeroen »

Thanks for the updates! Can't you take both the E21 and E9 to Arnhem? 8)
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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