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New Project '87 e30 325i

e21Keith
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New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by e21Keith »

I've had more e30's than you could shake a stick at over the years, everything from the lowly 316 to the M3, I've had over 30 of them!

Just finished my e21 323i, few little bits left to do like the interior and some suspension upgrades, I also have an e30 325i Cabriolet that I've owned for 5 years, had a rolling restoration in that time including all the bodywork, head, clutch, cooling, all the brakes and leather interior.

I just bought an '87 E-reg e30 325i, been off the road for 20 years since an unrecorded accident so need recommissioning plus of course some bodywork at the front. This was a one owner unmolested car before the accident, fairly basic spec, cloth, central locking, electric windows, electric sunroof, no PAS, chrome bumper. Luckily it comes with a donor car with all the parts I need, anyone need bits from a pre-facelift Baur please let me know as I will be stripping the car this week.

Not really planning anything other than a restoration, I'll add the PAS because I have all the bits, I also have a rear sun blind hiding in my stash. I may change the springs as the non-sport cars are a bit soft, 15 inch X-Spokes or Alpina reps. I'm hoping the engine is OK as it was running not that long ago, otherwise I have a kit of parts to build a 2.7.



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Jeroen
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by Jeroen »

Sounds great! Now we want pics haha!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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uwbuurman
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My E21(s): 1978 type 1 323i 5speed dogleg Polaris
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by uwbuurman »

Ha, e30s are great!! :cheers
It's the man next door!

1978 BMW 323i
1980 BMW 528i
1987 BMW 325iA cabriolet
2006 BMW 320d touring High Executive
2015 BMW 320dA touring xDrive High Executive ///Msport

e21Keith
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Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:44 pm
My E21(s): '81 323i Manual

Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by e21Keith »

It's being delivered tomorrow, my partner may kill me for buying another project before I have time to post the pics!

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uwbuurman
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by uwbuurman »

We also can relate to that, I believe. :popcorn
It's the man next door!

1978 BMW 323i
1980 BMW 528i
1987 BMW 325iA cabriolet
2006 BMW 320d touring High Executive
2015 BMW 320dA touring xDrive High Executive ///Msport

e21Keith
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Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:44 pm
My E21(s): '81 323i Manual

Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by e21Keith »

The car was delivered to my home yesterday and luckily my partner didn't kill me, but that's the only positive so far.

I started stripping the damaged front panels and I have discovered that the passenger side (left) chassis rail is bent, the car will need jigging to pull it straight. People who can do this now are few and far between in my area, two of the companies I know that used to do it have sold their jigs as they just do straight panel replacement and painting for insurance work now. The last company I spoke to still have their jig and will come and look at the car at the weekend to give me an estimate. Their jig work is pretty good, they did a Skoda for me many years ago, but they are very slow, it can take weeks and months to get a job completed. None of this really bothers me though, it's an opportunity to get the engine and 'box out for a minor refresh and a tidy up of the engine bay, but the cost of the jig work could be prohibitive.

Lets see what happens.....

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Jeroen
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by Jeroen »

Bummer! Fingers crossed for a decent quote!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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e21Keith
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by e21Keith »

I had a visit from the bodyshop today to straighten the chassis rails, the good news is that the cost is not prohibitive so I shall be sending the car to be repaired in about 2-3 weeks, they say it will be done in another 2 weeks but I know it can take longer.

In preparation I need to remove the bonnet, cut off most of the front panel, remove the engine, gearbox and as much furniture from the engine bay as possible, brake servo, ABS pump etc. The bodyshop will straighten the chassis rails, fit the front panel, align all the panels and repaint the engine bay where appropriate following repairs. I will leave all the front panels in their "donor" colours for now and get the car running and driving with MOT. At some stage when funds allow I will have the whole car repainted.

In the meantime I'm on the hunt for some parts to complete the PAS conversion, namely the U/J in the steering column and the pump itself, everything else I have in my spares stash.

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Jeroen
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by Jeroen »

Glad it's a go Sir!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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e21Keith
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by e21Keith »

The car went yesterday to the bodyshop with the jig to straighten the front chassis legs. The damage became much clearer once I had removed the engine and transmission, the N/S is the worst with a crease just in front of the mounting for the crossmember and smaller ripples along the length, O/S not so bad but still needs a pull.

There are infill panels that close the top of the chassis leg and these were both damaged, BMW provided the N/S one at a very reasonable and the donor car the other side.

I'm told to expect the car ready by the end of the month. ready basically means straight with all panels fitted, I'll then have to repair the engine bay myself.

I have posted in the wanted section for a couple of parts that i need for the PAS conversion

e21Keith
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Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:44 pm
My E21(s): '81 323i Manual

Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by e21Keith »

I was expecting the shell to come back from the body shop at the end of May but it didn't happen, mainly because my car was pushed to one side while they worked on other vehicles, anyway, now 5 months late I will get it back on Wednesday next week, I'm not concerned by the delay, I had plenty of work to do in my day job and of course all the other car projects created by my fleet and that of my 3 children. The chassis legs are straight and the panels all fit with excellent gaps, everything lines up as it should. I also had repairs done to the floor pan both sides at the front.

First job is to paint the engine bay and then fit the engine, once this is done I will have space in my garage to get the engine out of my e21 so that I can rebuild it. Once the e21 engine is done I'll come back to the e30 and do the suspension work and brakes in order to get an MOT.

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Jeroen
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by Jeroen »

OK then, time for some action, nice winter project!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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uwbuurman
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by uwbuurman »

Hope it comes back in a state that you want it to be in...

Looking forward to a lot of project pics!
It's the man next door!

1978 BMW 323i
1980 BMW 528i
1987 BMW 325iA cabriolet
2006 BMW 320d touring High Executive
2015 BMW 320dA touring xDrive High Executive ///Msport

e21Keith
E21 Fanatic
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:44 pm
My E21(s): '81 323i Manual

Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by e21Keith »

Quick update on the project.

The car came back from the bodyshop with all the front panels fitted up and the legs nice and straight.I spent some time cleaning and servicing all the items in the front suspension,did all the brakes, added a PAS rack and painted the engine bay. The fuel tank was beyond help, just full of sludge, looked like condensation had formed and the inside of the tank had gone rusty so I had to fit a new one, together with all new fuel lines. Then I refitted the engine and transmission, exhaust etc. and I was ready to start the engine, so far so good!

I came to start the engine, turns over ok, fuel pump running but no spark! Been through everything I can check and have come to the conclusion that the most likely culprit is the ECU as I have the super unreliable 703 ECU. Upon checking the ECU in the car it has a sticker on it, suggesting that it was tested as faulty, can't tell if it was repaired though. "No problem" I thought to myself, sure I have a spare somewhere, but I was wrong. Eventually I found one on eBay at a reasonable price, now Christmas is out of the way I just need to find some time to make some further checks before fitting the replacement ECU, although of course the new ECU could be faulty as well.

I've never had an ECU fail before but reading up the 703 unit is rather poor and was only fitted for about 2 years.

While the body is at least straight it's far from pretty. Although the shell is solid it's going to need work to the rear arches and the O/S sill. The replacement bonnet is covered in surface rust and has a hole behind the BMW badge (I have another one now with factory paint and no repairs but wrong colour), the front panel isn't pretty (I have a new one) and the O/S wing could do with replacement. The whole car is covered in minor dents and scratches from storage. None of this will affect the ability to get an MOT though.

Not sure what the long term plan for the car is. Do I sell it as a mechanically sound project requiring cosmetics (would be a great project for someone), or do I go the whole hog, do the bodywork and get it painted? I have another e30 325i cabriolet and I'm thinking of selling both the e30s and buying the best facelifted manual 325i that I can get.

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Jeroen
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Re: New Project '87 e30 325i

Post by Jeroen »

Pity it isn't running! Early ones had issues with speed and position senders on the bell housing but yours may be from just after that period with only the combined sensor on the front?
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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