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Archive for the 'Project E30' Category


Project E30: Sale Away?

I’ve done it.  I’ve put Concorde up for sale.  Concorde?  Well, yeah, because an E30 in this condition is a borderline one-off; well certainly on my budget anyway.  Why have I done it?  I’m still not sure.  I guess it’s a mixture of the constant worry of running a car this clean and possibly, now I have the Herald for general retro play, I want something a bit more mundane for the daily grind… No, I’m not convinced either and will probably end up with something less suitable if it goes through.

I took some pics to make me feel better though.  This has only helped to talk me out of it.

Please don’t buy my car.

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Project E30: Roll on

This car just keeps rolling, seriously, it makes the Roadster look high maintenance.  I put petrol in one end and motorway disappears out of the other.  Amazing.  That was until last Friday when when the exhaust rear box snapped; I was kinda expecting it though as it was a bit rusty when I last poked it at Christmas and replaced the front section.

Now it has a complete new system from the manifold back with an OEM slash-cut tail pipe

Super clean underside…

Despite the stack of paperwork it was about 10k away from needing the cam belt doing, so I thought I’d get in early and make the change

This is the easiest car I have ever worked on…ever.  It has roughly three moving parts.  Swapping out the belt took a couple of hours max!

New belt and tensioners

Good thing I changed it when I did..It looks like, despite having 2 new belts in its life, none of the pulleys and tensioners had ever been changed.  Check out the state of this:

Bullet dodged.

Still, despite all this hard work I’ve left it parked under a cover safe and sound.  I just can’t stop driving the ’68 Herald.  Maybe it’s the weather and all the Bank Holiday but currently there is nowhere I’d rather be than cruising around in it: 9 days on the road and over 600 miles covered!


Project E30: RSVP Rollers

Self indulgent I know, but here’s a few rollers of the E30 shot by my wing-man Rog.

Thanks to Rog for coming out to play and Rach for manning the camera car (and the subsequent steak dinner!).  I really can’t wait to get out over summer and play cameras more!


Project E30: Tanks for the Memories

OK, so nothing for a couple of weeks then this?  Yeah, I’m sorry.  Things have been kinda slow, but the one thing I have got done is swapping in a new fuel tank on the E30.  The old one has been leaking since I got it (in fact, if you look at the first pics I posted of it you can see a puddle under it in front of the RH rear wheel!).  I’ve been living with it and only half filling the tank, just waiting for some time off work and better weather.  It’s not a massive job (just exhaust and prop off really), but you know how these things usually go, especially working on 22 year old cars!

My garage camera broke too, so all I have is a few mobile phone pics….I know:  must try harder.

Anyway, (after fighting a few bolts to get it out) here’s the damage on the old tank.

Despite having been waxoiled every year since it rolled out of Germany, the small area above the filler had gone.  I’m pretty sure the seam was losing some too.

I needed to swap over this link pipe…yeah, that was never going to happen, so I ordered a new one from BMW…£32.80!

BMW parts: full of tinsel I will never be able to afford.

New pipe:

New tank with the pump and sender swapped over:


Job done.  It won’t be quite as exciting to drive now, as I don’t have to worry that I might be on fire every time the sump guard hits the deck and showers the tank in sparks.  Still, putting it through the engine is better than pouring it all over the floor, especially at it’s only getting more expensive!

Oh, yeah, did a service and changed some belts and stuff.  ‘Citing.

I’ll try to do something exciting soon…Is it summer yet?


Project E30: Spark, Crackle & Pop

OK, so these old Motronic injection engines do like a good vac leak and I’m pretty sure I had the beginningS of one; the odd splutter when cold and stuff.  I didn’t want to take any chances so pulled off the inlet manifold and replaced anything that looked like it was cracking or had gone hard.

ICV valves are also prone to filling with gunk so I blasted that out with a load of carb cleaner too.

While I had it in bits I wanted to paint up the cam lid as it was rough and still covered in the factory wax:

I was a bit keen and managed to pull the end of one of the ignition leads when taking it apart, so I threw a new set in; it needed doing, so not a bad thing I guess…

I was running out of space in the garage so used a little masking paper to paint the cam lid on.

I added a little crackle to the paint for that OEM-style finish

If you’ve ever wondered what the hardest job on an E30 is, it’s fitting the leads back into the plastic carrier…seriously I got shouty with it, but that didn’t help.  Still, it’s back on now…

Looks a lot better (though still not as good as an S14 M3 Motor…).  I noticed the dizzy cap has a big split in it,  In fact I don’t know how the car is even running with it like that, but it does, which is good  for now as I can’t get one until Tuesday!



Winter Mode – Driven Daily


Project E30: Plus Five

New spacers came.  Final offsets are: ET 0 rear x ET +5 front.


Project E30: Wonderland

OK, so I’ve dropped the car another 15mm now it’s settled and I have some bigger spacers coming in the post…

The sump guard is pretty much on the floor at this height. Rides nice though.

I’ve really started to love this car now.


Project E30: Down and Out

Fraught.  That’s how the last few days have been.  Having spent the last 3 weeks collecting all the bits I needed to get the Bimster on the ground I booked 2 days off work so I had a long weekend to get it done.  In 4 days this should have been easy.  Nothing about this was easy.

After work on Friday I took the car down to my folks place so at least I had some shelter if it started raining.  With the car in the air I did some measuring.  This was the start of the misery:  The coilovers I had been sent were for 45mm struts, despite the 1/2 hour phone conversation I’d had with the supplier confirming that yes, while it was a 316i, it did have 51mm M-Tec struts like the 325i sports and tourings.  With a 3-4 week lead time I figured it would be quicker to get some 45mm struts and modify them rather than send the coilovers back.   Then I got sick.  Really sick.

After no sleep on Friday I got up and managed to fit the sump guard.  I modified the original plastic under shield so it could still be fitted under the guard.  It covers quite a large area from the arches right back to the front of the engine to keep the crap out so it had to stay.  What I did do was cut matching holes in it so air passed through the sump guard and shield to cool the pan.  Then I went back home to bed feeling very sorry for myself.

Having called a load of places and searched what felt like the whole interned I couldn’t turn up a set of struts close enough to collect and time was running out.   I then called in a favour.  A massive favour, from my good friend Ryan.  Ry spent some time rolling around in a 320i a good few months/ years ago, but since it ran out of MOT and a monster commute took over its sat on his drive dreaming of the day he turns it into a race car (this will happen).   A quick measure and Ry confimed it had the 45mm struts of my dreams.  On the promise of receiving my 51mm struts in exchange for his to keep the car rolling I was on the 25 mile drive to his house.  By now it was getting dark.  I started stripping the car, but as you’d imagine everything was seized and nothing wanted to part company with its original home.  Long story short I couldn’t get one of the hub nuts off so took the strut and headed home.

I pulled a late one getting the struts converted and building the final 51mm up for Ry’s car.   Welding done and paint left to dry, I headed to bed.

I got up a 6am the next day to head up to Ry’s for first light so I could get his car together and get home to get started on mine.  Happily this went well and within the hour I was on my way back.  Everything went together on mine pretty well too, bar the wheel bearings falling to bits and a moment of horror on reading “to remove the rear springs remove the exhaust and drop the diff”.  NO CHANCE!  With the dampers off, a pry bar and some spring compressors they were out without even disconnecting the anti-roll bar.

Finally I could drop the car on the ground on its new rims and live happily ever after.  Nope.  The rims touched the coilover collars.  5mm spacers?  Nope, still touched.  10mm?  Nope, I didn’t have long enough bolts.  I ran back to my house to rummage around the loft; I had 10 long bolts from my E36 – Result!  At least now I could get it on the floor and rolling.  Still, I had to drive it to work in 36 hours so another favour was called in:  Dave-O was called for the loan of some long bolts and 15mm hubcentrics.  A two hour round trip later and I was golden.

Stop/Sleep.  Drop.  Roll (wash post drop) and shoot.


I can’t thank Ryan enough for going above and beyond and Dave for bailing me out at t he last min; I love it when a plan comes together and better still, mates come together to help get your car together.  Thanks guys, I owe you.

These pics were just after I drove it 4 miles down the road.  It will settle more, and then I will lower it more.  Expect me flooding this blog with pics of it soon; I’ve suffered for this and I’m going to whore it out.


Project E30: Special Delivery

It’s been quiet on the E30 front for the last couple of weeks, but the parts have been rolling in:

I’ve had the car three weeks now and it’s still not low…my reputation is in tatters…I certainly won’t be admitting to enjoying driving a car with suspension…Because I’m not, OK.  It’s horrible being comfortable and able to drive everywhere I want.  Honestly.

Oh yeah, wheels are ordered and should be dropping any day now.  Next weekend is going to be busy!


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