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Thread: 1991 E30 BMW 325i The Ultimate Daily Driving Machine project

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  1. #1
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    1991 E30 BMW 325i The Ultimate Daily Driving Machine project

    For the people that followed my Road Trip thread, you will remember that I picked up a E30 in South Carolina while relaxing in California. My brother found it on Craigslist being sold by an aircraft mechanic. Couple of messages and phone calls back and forth and the car was mine. The drift tax was low that day so I picked up the car for $2600. The E30 is originally from Arizona so so it has zero rust. What needs to be changed soon is the automatic transmission.

    My goal for this car is to make a fun daily driver. First this first, I need to source a manual swap. From there I will decide what else I want to do to the car. Sport seats and M-Tech II steering wheel are high on the list. This will be a slow build for now since I have my STI project going.






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    Did the front control arm ball joints since they are completely worn out and a valve adjustment since the previous owner never did it. The engine started to work quieter after the valve adjustment. Also bled the brakes since I didn't like the pedal feel, the brakes had some air and felt better after. I found that some calipers were rebuilt very recently. Thanks to TCL, I learned a new trick. While bleeding the brakes, I tapped a couple of times on the caliper with a sledge hammer which saw more air come out. As everyone can see, the automatic transmission is leaking but that should be fixed soon.







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    Well, plans are moving quicker than I expected, found a perfect donor 3 hours away at an auction. 1990 325i with a manual transmission. Won the auction at $464. Started the engine and it runs good, transmission works also. The bonus is that the front valance is perfect and color matched. I will be swapping all the good parts, leaving all the parts I may need incase my E30 breaks sometime in the future(fuel pump, ecu, etc) and throw the rest of the car on Monday. Did some work after work and took some of the car apart. This weekend will be business. No swap yet, I need to order all the necessary parts before I dig in.




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    I am just happy this weekend is behind me. The whole weekend was wasted at taking the donor E30 apart. The E30 drew blood and ate one of my flip flops but that didn't stop me.






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    What I did during my lunch break yesterday and then some more work after work. The E30 has been repainted and by the looks of it, the painters didn't care enough to take off the trim or even take their time to mask it. I decided to start cleaning everything up. First, I scraped off the paint and then used nail polish removal to take off the buffing residue, this really brought the trim back. Took the front end apart since my donor car had a better condition valance that I will swap unto my E30. I am also fixing all the small things that annoy me, like broken oil cooler brackets and zip ties.. Now I am starting to reap the benefits of a donor car since I can fix all the issues without spending money nor looking for certain small parts on forums.









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    A minor update. This is the reason I love having a donor car.. I saved all the clips, bolts and spare parts I thought I may need. Got the following done.

    - Oil change at 192,161 miles - 20-50W
    - Replaced the oil cooler and oil cooler brackets, donor car special
    - Replaced kidney grille since old one was cracked and had overspray, donor car special
    - Replaced headlight grilles since old ones had overspray, donor car special
    - Replaced the front metal valance since mine has some dings, donor car special
    - Replaced passenger side lower fender liner since mine was cracked, donor car special
    - Installed passenger side brake duct since mine was missing, donor car special




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    Not much of an update. Put the E30 together and washed it. The door moldings will need the overspray removed and foglights will need new lenses before I put everything back on. For the weekend, the car went into storage since I need to put in some work with the Subaru. Oh and I need to source a manual driveshaft for the transmission swap.


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    wna go fast and turn left Kevin A. Parra's Avatar
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    Damn pav 4 project cars. Haha you make me feel lazy I can't commit to one.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin A. Parra View Post
    Damn pav 4 project cars. Haha you make me feel lazy I can't commit to one.

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    I think I have a problem. 😂

    What are you thinking of getting?

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    wna go fast and turn left Kevin A. Parra's Avatar
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    I have a few on my head, forester xt, Nissan 350z, Honda s2000. Or be cheap get a civic or del Sol and save the rest for my dream r33 gtr. What would you pick??

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin A. Parra View Post
    I have a few on my head, forester xt, Nissan 350z, Honda s2000. Or be cheap get a civic or del Sol and save the rest for my dream r33 gtr. What would you pick??

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    Easy. S2000 if you want a great car now or EK Civic now and R33 GTR later.

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  12. #12
    wna go fast and turn left Kevin A. Parra's Avatar
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    Any specific reason why you are saying the EK? I'm partial to the EG.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin A. Parra View Post
    Any specific reason why you are saying the EK? I'm partial to the EG.

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    I would do an EG too. My first car was a EG 1992 Civic with Black Widow bodykit and Integra LS engine. This was back when I was 15 years old. $900 salvage Civic while I was making $43 a week as a dish washer in a restaurant.

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    wna go fast and turn left Kevin A. Parra's Avatar
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    Yes. that does sound awesome. What the hell do you do any way Pav? Besides russian contract killer. haha. I have also never owned a toyota. Possibly a mk1 mr2 with a Celica 2zz swap. Or a lexus Is300 with just some coilovers and wheels and bolt ons.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin A. Parra View Post
    Yes. that does sound awesome. What the hell do you do any way Pav? Besides russian contract killer. haha. I have also never owned a toyota. Possibly a mk1 mr2 with a Celica 2zz swap. Or a lexus Is300 with just some coilovers and wheels and bolt ons.

    Sent from my HS_10DTB12A using Tapatalk
    I sell things on ebay. lol

    At least in my opinion, I would go with something light like EK, EG, S2000, MR2.

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    Not much of an update. Replaced the glass lenses on the foglights. Major pain because the aftermarket glass lenses didn't fit perfectly but everything worked out.




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    Had a little time to work on the E30. Applied lens protectors, installed the foglights and adjusted them. Also replaced the door mirror switch so now the adjustment motors work.




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    Pictures from the drive today. Great car to enjoy some scenic cruising without needed to go fast.



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    If you need any help let me know. I've done quite a lot to cams e30 over the years.

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    Thanks. Hopefully I will get to it sometime soon. To much shit going on in life.

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    After washing my M3 and daily driver GTI in 30 degree weather, I had a couple of hours left to work on cars so I decided to change the FCABs(front control arm bushings) on the E30. Instead of going with stock 325i soft bushings, I went with the upgraded M3 bushing that have more and stiffer rubber. They are better for cars handling and their life is longer.




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    PAV do you sell used auto parts on eBay?
    Hyundai it's the Rodney Dangerfield of the automotive world.
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanMR2 View Post
    I'm too afraid I would masturbate furiously while watching it and feel bad. I hear that is typically what happens.

  23. #23
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    Yep. I a one of the guys that runs the store.

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    Bought for future plans of E30. S52 from a 1997 M3 that had 117k miles.



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    Saw that someone need a M20 engine on a local fb group. I posted that I had one I will be selling later. The guy wanted it asap, I gave him a price and he agreed. Now that the M20 is gone, I started working on my S52 and the ZF transmission. First step is to refresh the transmission.






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