Archive for the 'Project E30' Category


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!


Project E30: M-Tech Tracksuit

I’ve had the car a week now and all is well.  I’ve started ordering parts for it, but more on that later…I know it’s boring, but I’ve mainly been doing service stuff and finally getting a few pics:

Current wheels are 15×7 et 13 Fondmetals which are alleged to have come on it from the factory; there is a lot of cool history with the car and some of the other parts fitted point towards either someone being big buddies with the manufacturing plant or spending a lot of money on the options list…

Got tapes?

Stereo remote

OK, I’ll come clean…depite the iS front lip, SE skirts, Shadow line pack, boot spoiler and wheels…it’s…it’s…a…..316i

I looked at loads of these cars and they were either destroyed or rotten.  This car is immaculate, even better than the pics show.  I actually feel bad getting it wet.  I figured it was better buying the best car I could and then, if the urge takes me, throw an M42 in it.  To be honest I thought it would be slightly slower than driving something steam-powered.  Happily it’s not that bad; it will cruise at 80 in silence without revving its head off and is even good on fuel.   For what I need it to do right now it’s perfect.

Service time:

Yeah, that’s genuine NOS BMW underseal.  OEM+

My compressor regulator broke, so I ended up spraying it at 100psi.  At least I know it’s got everywhere!

Hopefully my parts will start to come in over the next couple of weeks and I can get the old girl closer to terra firma in a big way.


Project E30: The New Daily!

So, after what seemed like the longest week ever, Friday rolled round;  I got myself a Polo and a Pilot and headed North to collect my new wheels.


Traffic.  Lots of traffic.


Industry (Yeah, OK, there was a lot of traffic and nothing to do but hang of the car with my camera and talk cars…)

The car is only two owners from new and both of then were in the RAF.  The car actually still lived just down the road from an RAF base.  It was weird seeing all the military buildings, training units and families houses…The surroundings were, erm, plush to say the least.

Actual aircraft in real life:

So we made it, check the car over, thew some money about and headed home (with fingers crossed that there was enough petrol in it to make it to the first station we could find).

So what is it then?

Yeah you guessed it: An E30! (I bought the car blind and just hoped that the fact, like the Roadster and the KP, it had “86” in the plate was a good was!).

I’ve wanted one for ages and the right one came up at the right time…more to follow.  A lot more.