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Thread: E30 320i Touring

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Having the rear subframe off exposed a bit of nastiness which Dave swiftly fixed up. Being an original Irish car, its in fantastic condition considering the age - but it wouldn't be an E30 if it didn't have some rot lurking.

    There was also some damage caused by a jack at some stage -

    With fresh brake lines in, the refreshed subframe could go back on.

    Exhaust back in place -

    And voila, one complete mechanically overhauled E30.

    Time to start on the cosmetics and other toys now

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    I booked the car in for an NCT, and decided to drive it back home a few months back. It became apparent pretty quickly that the car wasn't ready for the quick NCT I was hoping for - few electrical niggles with the indicators and brakes, tracking way off, and a fuel hose that's flowing more petrol across my road than into the injectors themselves. All in all nothing major at all, but the NCT was quickly cancelled and I set off working on the car as soon as it arrived home.

    First up was the eyebrows - a job I'd been looking forward to since first setting eyes on the car. I even managed to sell them after removing them.

    I needed to start stripping down the doors and dash for some retrofits. Was initially curious about the quality of the pioneer speakers that the door had been butchered for -only to realise that there were no speakers there, just the grilles. Was the beginning of the trend of non-functioning parts fitted to the car. Also transpires that the stereo fader switch was connected to nothing, and the map light mirror was the same.

    The headunit wasn't working either - it powered up, but there was no sound at all. Once removing it, the reason why was pretty clear - I think the 12+ switched line was literally the only one that wasn't cut off

    I removed what was left of the loom and speaker wiring, and soldered it up to a new ISO block connector.

    Next up was removing a heap of relays and crappy wiring put in place for the tow bar and various old alarms.

    The wiring block at the ignition switch was chopped, so it was tidied up as best I could. A connection was had also been made inside the C101 plug to the ignition wire which just fell apart on contact. Would have been a nightmare for me to diagnose had it gone of its own accord, so was the perfect time for it to break.

    Removed the dash next which was pretty handy to do - its cracked in a few spots and needs some work

    At this stage I took the carpet out and started dying it - more on that at a later stage. Main benefit of having it out was to allow me to run the cabling for some of the retrofits properly, rather than running them behind the dash.

    I picked up the four electric window regulators and looms - but as I rapidly found out, the window loom isn't separate from the rest of the loom, and it was slightly daunting on first sight.

    Didn't take very much time at all to sort it out. Used tesa cloth tape to tidy up each section -

    Fitting it up was all pretty straightforward - I snipped off the existing connectors for the back doors, and soldered in the new one from the loom with the electric windows. For the front I removed the pins from the new loom for the windows and just inserted them into the existing door plugs. Fitting the regulators for the front results in a few scratches - but it worked more or less first time. Took about 2 mins to realise that it needed a relay added to the fusebox, but it was all good after that.

    Took the opportunity to also fit up cruise control - just need to pass one connection through the bulkhead to finish it off.

    Moving into the engine bay momentarily, the engine wasn't idling great - especially when its cold (probably doesn't help that its got a fuel leak) but the intake boot was long past its best. Had ordered an OEM replacement a while back, but it was for a newer M20 and no use. Eventually got a new one in place over the weekend.

    New one in place -

    I wanted to start fitting up the Tec II kit I have for it - mainly because its taking up space. Removing the old rear bumper turned into a nightmare - the mounting point came off so some brute force was eventually needed.

    Unfortunately it meant I needed to pick up a new bumper just so I could get the carrier off it. I also picked up the proper bumper shocks.

    Some other bits were also sorted out - picked up a set of the original BBS wheels from eBay and had them delivered straight to Lepsons for a refurb. The finish on them is amazing - have the new centre caps ordered too. Tyres were sourced from Pro-Parts - went for a set of Falkens.

    Also had the steering wheel redone - including the horn pad. Came out great, but will be a while before its fitted up.

    Currently the car still looks like its fit for scrap - but with all the wiring more or less sorted, I can start putting it all back together shortly.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Some more minor updates -

    There is currently no dash, carpet or interior trim in the car - so am trying to squeeze in every retrofit I want now, rather than even contemplate ever removing bits of the interior again.

    The maplight mirror that the car came with was connected to nothing - but thankfully it still had its connector in place. Was able to buy a reproduction loom for it - it connects in by the passenger side speaker in the footwell. The connector was pretty badly oxidised so I was a bit concerned it mightn't work, but some electrical contact cleaner and a bit of abrasive action had it looking better. Thankfully it all worked first time.

    Also salvaged some OEM tweeters from my brothers cabrio before it was sold - they were never connected up properly in his car, so I have no idea what they sound like. I'll be buying some Rockford Fosgate component speakers for the footwells which have the built in crossovers and additional connectors for the tweeters like the original BMW premium speakers would have had so connection should be easy. Still undecided as to whether or not I'll remove the actual tweeters from these and connect in the new ones which will arrive with the new speakers - sounds quality would definitely be better, but its low down the list of priorities.

    With the electric windows all fitted - I could stick some doorcards back on. Its important to have the weather proof membrane back on the doors - so I ordered some from a VW specialist on eBay. I used butyl tape to secure it as recommended.

    The doorcards are being kept - but they'll be getting a retrim in a while.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Another small job sorted - the OBC I bought had a very dim screen. Depending on who you ask, the problem is either the bulbs in the lightbar on their way out, or the LCD screen giving up. I've no intention of dismantling this car again, so decided to replace both. I sourced an LED lightbar from the US, installation is a case of just clipping the new board in place of the old circuit board.

    New lightbar -

    Old bulbs in place -

    LEDs in place -

    Taking the OBC apart is simple enough - you'll need a mini screwdriver set, some brute force, and some patience.

    Up until recently, your only hope for a new screen was a used one. Partsworks in Germany have started supplying brand new screens now for a variety of the OBC's (6 button, 13 button etc). Cost around €35 delivered and arrived well packaged with fitting instructions.

    First attempt at installation was not a total success. All fitted up fine, but on clipping the back of the OBC back on, there was an audible cracking noise.

    Not ideal - am not entirely certain what went wrong, but after an email to Partsworks they supplied a new unit for postage costs only, which was unexpected to be honest. New screen fitted up easily enough, I was very careful tightening up the screws for the screen holder in case that caused the initial problem. Fitted it to the car and worked perfectly - nice and bright. Temp sensor is still to be fitted

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Picked up a set of genuine foglights which were in need of some cosmetic work. There are loads of aftermarket fogs for sale on eBay for very small money, but they have plastic lenses and I'm happier going with the OEM ones. One of the lenses was cracked, but the other way fine - just grubby. Bought a set of glass lenses from eBay - seller neglected to mention that the holes for mounting and adjusting them weren't actually drilled out though.

    The issue with the hole was only discovered after I'd bonded the new lenses on - so had to drill them in place.

    Thankfully the glass didn't explode once the drill hit it - carefully removed the outer seal from the original lenses before removing them and bonded them on as well. Makes a nice improvement anyway.

    Being a fan of Bavarian Restorations' work - I decided to make a subtle change to the instrument cluster. Overall - the existing cluster was in great condition -

    Bought some satin silver gauge rings from eBay -

    Split down the cluster and fitted the rings -

    Sprayed the whole lot in satin black trim paint -

    And reassembled -

    Finally, started fitting some of the trim pieces back which I've been having retrimmed - these have a plastic vinyl covering from the factory, so went with a newer equivalent. I could have spent extra on real leather for these parts, but its not really necessary - very happy with how they turned out. Just waiting to get my headliner back before fitting the rest of them.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Have one an absolute mountain of work with this since the last update - but don't have much to show for it. First up was the headliner - thankfully the touring has a solid headliner like an E36, so fitting it not a windscreen out job like the 2 door / 4 door. I had it trimmed in standard black headliner material - its foam backed and has a nice quality finish to it.

    With the headliner in place I could put in the B pillar trim - and the new seatbelts. Had these custom made in the UK to match the interior which will be going in.

    Managed to get some very good quality floor mats in similar style to the OEM country mats - got a boot mat while I was at it too.

    Boot carpet had seen better days...

    I removed the wooden backing from the old mat and glued it to the new one -

    The parcel cover was also totally scruffy - so ordered some marine grade canvas, as well as an E46 touring cover handle -

    At this stage I discovered the roller blind mechanism was shot - I managed to get a replacement one from Germany. Its working better, but not perfectly as the blind is quite heavy and the new blind is only rated to 1.5kg, so I need to load the spring up properly again and see if I can get it working properly. If not I'll end up ordering a good used one.

    When I arrived home in the car initially there was a stink of petrol off it - turns out both the inlet and outlet fuel hoses were perished to the point that fuel hit me in the face when I popped the bonnet. Got both replaced, which meant I could test the instrument cluster. Turned out it didn't work - also turns out the alternator had died. The alternator being gone generally explains the lack of rev counter or temp gauge so I got Brian (aka Xworks) to do the alternator - as usual it was an amazing job. Connected it all up at the cluster still didn't work.

    Took it out and tested the batteries and they were dead. So a new set were ordered and fitted - but being a bit hasty meant I failed to charge them before having them soldered in, so the cluster still didn't work. Got a new set again - and they worked perfectly first time. Also made an executive decision to go with red dials at this stage

    Moved to the outside for a while - the Tech II kit needed to be fitted up. When I bought the kit it came with the drilling template for the side skirts, which is a must have. Unfortunately only the nearside template is available - so once the nearside skirt was fitted up I made my own template for the offside skirt.

    The dashboard was completely destroyed from cracking - and uncracked ones have gotten stupidly expensive, like most E30 parts - so I opted to have the dash retrimmed. Very happy with how it worked out.

    Having the dash back in meant the steering wheel could finally go in -

    Needed to alter the steering trim to account for the new cruise control stalk - having a dremel is a prequisite

    And last but not least - the seats could go back in (again) meaning I could test the heated seats, and thankfully they worked first time. The E30 is a joy to retrofit bits to - they all just plug straight in, and the heated seats are no exception.

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