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View Full Version : Bought My First E30! Any Advice? Upgrades?


Farintosh
03-31-2012, 09:54 AM
Hey Everyone!

First off, great community you got here! Well, I just turned 18 and finally decided to take the plunge and by my first car (Bought from K. Vella, great experience, he also told me about these forums :p). An e30 was a natural choice, always loved them and it appears they have an amazing following. On a side not insurance for me was half the price of a 06' Civic... and at 18 I'm ready to drop $6k/year (really expensive here in Markham, Ontario).

I bought a 87' Delphin 325i Convertible Automatic w/ Taurusrot leather seats, and I have to admit, I'm in love :D

http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-03-25210330.jpg
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-03-25210520.jpg
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-03-25210529.jpg
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-03-25210745.jpg
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-03-25211309.jpg

There is a squeaking which I suspect is a timing belt so I've decided to change the timing belt and other components which I don't know the history of (don't want to wait and find out).

I'm extremely new to e30s and cars in general but I'm lucky enough to have a full auto shop as my dad restores antique trucks.

Here's a list of some parts I was planning on ordering from Pelican Parts, I really don't know what I'm getting myself into but I don't mind spending some money on the car. I would greatly appreciate any advice.

-Timing Belt, Tensioner, Spring, Guide pin
-Power Steering Belt
-Alternator Belt
-A/C Belt
-Water Pumper & Gasket (Metal Impeller)
-Thermostat 80 Degree, Gasket, O-ring
-Cam Shaft Seal, Cam Flange O-ring
-Fog Light Lenses

I plan on picking up the standard maintenance parts (Oil Filter, Air Filter etc.) from a local distributor.

I'm really stepping into a new world here and any advice such as important upgrades would mean the world to me. Just one thing, telling me to swap to 5-speed doesn't help much, I live in the country on a farm, but I'm off to university next year where I don't really want to suffer through rush hour in a manual.

Thanks again in advance, seems like you have a great community here!:p

Geoff

e30tOny
03-31-2012, 10:21 AM
*smoke*
Welcome wishes from the global e30 community & we wish you good luck with your car/projects!!!

...defaultname's old car*th-up*

defaultName
03-31-2012, 10:33 AM
Hey Geoff, it's Kevin! Good to see you made it to maX!

I'm happy that the car went to someone who is going to appreciate it. Plus I'll get to see it from time to time as well which is great.

In terms of buying parts I have never ordered from Pelican. I'm not a fan of shipping stuff from the U.S. because it takes a while and it sucks to pay duty.

I would always try autopartsway.ca first and also PM Mike at Maranello BMW because he gives a great discount to maX members. I think Maranello BMW has a really good price on a timing belt and water pump too. I may have a coupon code for autopartsway.ca as well to save you a bit of money.

I think I may have forgotten to give you the owners manual with the car because it looks like I have one too many at my house. Let me know if you don't have it and I can get it for at some point.

I also apologize in advance for helping to get you hooked on something that will have you addicted for a very long time! Welcome to the cult! :D

MaxBell
03-31-2012, 10:51 AM
Eww ****...you should definitely junk that interior and get some back leather in there...

Like let me take the door cards off your hands though, since I am stuck with redish cow skin as well.

Farintosh
03-31-2012, 10:55 AM
Hey Kevin,

This forum is certainly an amazing resource! Thanks for the advice, I really wasn't sure how much duty was gonna bite me. I looked through autopartsway, but the prices were nearly double for the exact same parts, which to me negated the duty costs. I'll try to get in touch with Maranello BMW and see what he has to offer.

I downloaded the owners manual so I'm in no rush for a paper copy, tons of great resources out here to fuel my interest for now.

No need to apologize for getting me hooked, best feeling in the world to take pride in something this much, really want to do whatever I can to keep your old car in tip-top shape.

Looking forward to getting involved in this awesome community!

e30tOny
03-31-2012, 11:16 AM
Eww ****...you should definitely junk that interior and get some back leather in there...

Like let me take the door cards off your hands though, since I am stuck with redish cow skin as well.

I might have some for you "coupe"....even tho your a bit of a *flake:D

e30bmart
03-31-2012, 11:35 AM
nice to see someone take pride and give some love back to the e30! But wait, 6000$ per YEAR insurance??????? I pay 250$! So i could be insured 24 years for that price :0 !!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

e30tOny
03-31-2012, 11:39 AM
nice to see someone take pride and give some love back to the e30! But wait, 6000$ per YEAR insurance??????? I pay 250$! So i could be insured 24 years for that price :0
*smoke*
$250:confused: thats seems a tad expensive for QC?? You must not have a very good driving record:D

Farintosh
03-31-2012, 11:53 AM
Yeah, insurance is crazy here in markham (lots of bad drivers) especial for an 18 year old male. I have a clean record and the lowest I could find was $3116 on the e30, and that's with a teacher's discount and group package.

Regarding the interior; I quite like the taurusrot, though the name isn't too appealing... Maybe it's just rationalization, but I think it's here to stay for a good while.

e30tOny
03-31-2012, 11:59 AM
Yeah, I quite like the taurusrot, .
*smoke*
Taurusrot is the German name
Oxblood is the English name
the *flake, just calls it sh*ty red

Ceeker
03-31-2012, 12:08 PM
Eww ****...you should definitely junk that interior and get some back leather in there...

Like let me take the door cards off your hands though, since I am stuck with redish cow skin as well.

yeah that's it..tell the guy to junk the "rare" red interior but you'll take his red door cards huh? nice..LOL.

Keep the red, it makes the car unique and rare with that combination. you can find black ALL DAY LONG!

Farintosh
03-31-2012, 12:40 PM
Haha, gotten a lot of pm's regarding the interior, never planned on changing it, definitely won't now. I enjoy having a car that's a bit different, I think that's one of the millions of reasons to buy an e30; sure you can buy a corolla and have it last forever while never getting anything out of it, or you can buy and e30 and enjoy every hard-earned moment in it.

Ceeker
03-31-2012, 12:44 PM
Haha, gotten a lot of pm's regarding the interior, never planned on changing it, definitely won't now. I enjoy having a car that's a bit different, I think that's one of the millions of reasons to buy an e30; sure you can buy a corolla and have it last forever while never getting anything out of it, or you can buy and e30 and enjoy every hard-earned moment in it.

and.....it will be original. which makes it worth more in the end. good choice!! and from what I can see it is a really nice well kept car.*rockout*

e30tOny
03-31-2012, 12:46 PM
Haha, gotten a lot of pm's regarding the interior, never planned on changing it, definitely won't now. I enjoy having a car that's a bit different, I think that's one of the millions of reasons to buy an e30; sure you can buy a corolla and have it last forever while never getting anything out of it, or you can buy and e30 and enjoy every hard-earned moment in it.

*smoke*
you have the ability to trade for something like this:

Ceeker
03-31-2012, 01:16 PM
awesome work dude!!! *th-up*

Farintosh
03-31-2012, 01:19 PM
Think I'll focus more on the maintenance items before I even think about interior, already love it to bits anyways.
I have to say, E30's truly are amazing, unlike any car I've ever driven, can't wait to get through the stage zero tune up and see how it feels then!

Bullet Ride
03-31-2012, 03:12 PM
Just wait until you drive a non-vert, 5spd E30... then you'll realize how good they really are *shiner*

davericher20
03-31-2012, 03:26 PM
wow lotsa enthusiasm over here!
You'll come to have a love/hate relationship with the car

I've thought about selling mine a number of times while it was in storage (every year it seems lol) Then you take it out for the first nice day and you fall in love with it all over again, you then proceed to smack yourself in the face for ever having the "S" word cross your mind.

Welcome to max

Farintosh
03-31-2012, 03:37 PM
Haha, I hope I'm ready for all that entails driving such a car. Great to be surrounded by such knowledgeable and generous people. I'll be sure to post my progress, mainly just so people can point out what I'm doing wrong :p

Ceeker
03-31-2012, 04:12 PM
wow lotsa enthusiasm over here!
You'll come to have a love/hate relationship with the car

I've thought about selling mine a number of times while it was in storage (every year it seems lol) Then you take it out for the first nice day and you fall in love with it all over again, you then proceed to smack yourself in the face for ever having the "S" word cross your mind.

Welcome to max

LOL!!! is it like being married??? lol

Ceeker
03-31-2012, 04:14 PM
Haha, I hope I'm ready for all that entails driving such a car. Great to be surrounded by such knowledgeable and generous people. I'll be sure to post my progress, mainly just so people can point out what I'm doing wrong :p

the coupe is more solid and less noisy but get the right suspension set up, some nice tires/rims; change all the necessary bushings and maybe a few performance upgrades like a chip and you'll have lotto fun in it!

e30tOny
03-31-2012, 04:31 PM
the coupe is more solid and less noisy but get the right suspension set up, some nice tires/rims; change all the necessary bushings and maybe a few performance upgrades like a chip and you'll have lotto fun in it!
*smoke*
"tony clifton says"
Ultimate transformation of 325IC:
***sorry 4 da big pics!!!:D

e30bmart
03-31-2012, 05:03 PM
Hahaa :p 0 infractions to my name :cool:

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

egye30
03-31-2012, 06:32 PM
*smoke*
you have the ability to trade for something like this:

uhh.. that M-Tech interior is way more rare than the ox blood and better looking in my opinion, and would last alot longer than the leather, i would have taken that trade, but to each their own ;)

welcome to max, looks like a clean ride, if you reallyy fall in love with it madly, do the 5 speed swap, it will be well worth it, i promise.

enjoy the ride *wave*

Farintosh
03-31-2012, 06:43 PM
Wow, lot's to think about. Gonna order all the basic maintenance parts for now, then I'll move onto suspension and exhaust (catalytic rattles atm...).

stinson
03-31-2012, 09:48 PM
man, i would kill to have a full interior that colour! i dig the hell out of it

El Gato Liso
04-01-2012, 10:19 AM
24V swap. **** e30s. they suck asshole.


...but i love e30s. drive them hard, rip through gears...


...then i ****in hate e30s and want to sell it....

...then i see it, and my soft heart gets softer....

...new plans new plans!!....

...****in......

....hate....

...e30.......

...but i love it so much...

...time to mod this bitch s'more...

...u have no idea what you got yourself into...

...but in the end...

...e3o make me smile....

...e30s are shit...

..........the shit.

cormier
04-01-2012, 10:39 AM
Hey nice ride man congrats on the buy

I buy off pelican all the time theyre good to us up here just make sure you ship USPS (Canada post) and NOT UPS (they suck)

Looks like you're starting stuff off right!

MaxBell
04-01-2012, 10:43 AM
I might have some for you "coupe"....even tho your a bit of a *flake:D

Ahh thanks Baron, I've sourced some black leather cards now, so I think that will be alright.

Black headliner, dash and rear parcel shelf will match the cards.

El Gato Liso
04-01-2012, 10:48 AM
1 thing to be aware of...i believe some parts cannot be used on a vert e30 that are on regular e30....i just don't know what. anyone can chime in on this?

Farintosh
04-01-2012, 11:33 AM
Thanks for weighing in, that's one of the things I like about pelican, you have to narrow it down a lot more than autopartsway. I'm still not sure which parts differ on a vert, I was told some of the suspension parts are different, I assume to compensate for the added weight.

e30tOny
04-01-2012, 11:37 AM
*smoke*

1.5 days left on Bluntech's 30%-40% off *SALEhttp://www.r3vlimited.com/board/image.php?u=8939&dateline=1293640435http://bluntechindustries.com/




http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=242591

bmwm5lover
04-01-2012, 12:08 PM
I've ordered from pelican's before, good service, I don't think I got dinged with brokerage, but I don't recall for sure.

Nice car, way cool interior, looks like M3 seats(horizontal stitching). It needs a good leatherique treatment and it will look like a million bucks.

Get rid of those metal bumpers ASAP. I would put a nice set of coil overs on it and some 15/16" oem wheels.
Then Auto to Manual swap?
Stage zero? Do you come from the volvo world by any chance?

Farintosh
04-01-2012, 01:51 PM
I've ordered from pelican's before, good service, I don't think I got dinged with brokerage, but I don't recall for sure.

Nice car, way cool interior, looks like M3 seats(horizontal stitching). It needs a good leatherique treatment and it will look like a million bucks.

Get rid of those metal bumpers ASAP. I would put a nice set of coil overs on it and some 15/16" oem wheels.
Then Auto to Manual swap?
Stage zero? Do you come from the volvo world by any chance?

Thanks for the review.
Sounds good, I'll definitely pick up some stuff from leatherique as well.
defaultname threw in some awesome 15" tsw basket weaves I'll be sure to get on as soon as I pick up some new tires.
The other stuff is a bit further down the road.
Also no, not a volvo person, this is my first car :p, might have picked up the term from one though.

frankie591
04-01-2012, 07:30 PM
Email Steve sales@blunttech.com

Best customer service I've ever had, and the guy is extremely knowledgable about e30s

Farintosh
04-02-2012, 04:34 PM
Email Steve sales@blunttech.com

Best customer service I've ever had, and the guy is extremely knowledgable about e30s

Thanks, I'll shoot him and email. Hopefully I'll send out my order by the end of today.

frankie591
04-02-2012, 04:42 PM
Thanks, I'll shoot him and email. Hopefully I'll send out my order by the end of today.

If you are really lucky, you might get a 'surprise package' inside the box your stuff comes in :D

328IScreamer
04-02-2012, 04:52 PM
wow if he is serious about trading for that kick ass mint tri coloured int I would be all over that!!

Farintosh
04-02-2012, 05:51 PM
wow if he is serious about trading for that kick ass mint tri coloured int I would be all over that!!

Hmm, I`m pretty sure he`s not, at least not the one pictured, saw that in another members build.

egye30
04-03-2012, 01:27 AM
Hmm, I`m pretty sure he`s not, at least not the one pictured, saw that in another members build.

Yeahh thats what i was sayin too.. that m-tech interior is just *mw*

Farintosh
04-03-2012, 08:05 PM
Just got in touch with Steve at Blunt tech. Extremely impressed with his quick reply and knowledge. Talked to him about and figured out what I need to get the car up to snuff. Parts are en-route, can't wait!

e30tOny
04-03-2012, 09:53 PM
Just got in touch with Steve at Blunt tech. Extremely impressed with his quick reply and knowledge. Talked to him about and figured out what I need to get the car up to snuff. Parts are en-route, can't wait!

*th-up*

wow if he is serious about trading for that kick ass mint tri coloured int I would be all over that!!



You have my #*wave*

Farintosh
04-10-2012, 04:35 PM
Finally fixed the kick panel, wrestle off the oil filter and do some basic maintenance.
Parts have shipped, Hopefully I can do some real work this weekend.
Loving the car so far!

mr ilia
04-12-2012, 02:11 PM
ALWAYS: ask seller to ship USPS.
UPS will rape you on the brokerage fees.

egye30
04-12-2012, 02:24 PM
ALWAYS: ask seller to ship USPS.
UPS will rape you on the brokerage fees.

He's deff right about that. UPS is teeeerrrible, im currently waiting on my intake cam to show up via ups and its been stuck in customs for 2 days pretty much, quite interested to see how much they're gonna nail me for.

Farintosh
04-12-2012, 08:56 PM
ALWAYS: ask seller to ship USPS.
UPS will rape you on the brokerage fees.

Haha yeah, my father was quick to warn me about that. The parts I ordered were $250, the seller listed them as a cooling kit and insured them for $33. They went through USPS priority for $53... Not sure whether this is decent or not...
Is this about right?

Farintosh
04-20-2012, 10:21 PM
Parts just arrived, not duty on them.
Changed the air filter, hoping to do all the belts tomorrow.

Farintosh
05-06-2012, 07:00 PM
Progress!
Finally managed to get into the engine and change some parts.
Replaced timing belt, alternator (rebuilt and new belt), power steering belt, water pump, thermostat, distributor cap and rotor, spark plugs, camshaft seals, wheels and some other small things.
Waiting on a few more "while your in there" parts before I start putting everything back together.

The coolant plug on the engine is pretty much in the worst spot possible...
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-05114545.jpg

Trying to stay organized...
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-05193730.jpg

Current state. Tempted to take out the A/C while I wait as it no longer works.
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-06134800.jpg

Radiator... should I take it in to get fixed or buy a new one? If so where (right-side overflow, automatic)
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-06144410.jpg

Have to say everything went a lot smoother than I had envisioned. This is my first time ever working on a car really, loving it and learning a lot!

Anything else I should worry about while I'm at it?

BimmerBoys
05-06-2012, 07:48 PM
Congrats on the e30! Good for you digging in like that. It's great way to learn and is rewarding to do things yourself. As for the rad? They're cheap enough now, just buy a new one!

karmatose
05-07-2012, 10:18 AM
Too bad it's an automatic. If it had a 5-speed, I'd have brought you a rad next weekend. I have the original one from my car just collecting dust since I've converted to the post-facelift cooling setup.

Farintosh
05-07-2012, 11:32 PM
Thanks for the advice! took you up on it and bought a new rad.
Also got the alternator rebuilt as it was on it's last legs. Sand blasted some other parts as well.
Decided to adjust the valve's and change the gasket and rocker shaft plugs before I put everything back together as well.
Got the some new performance tires to throw on my spare rims, no pictures but I can't wait to ditch the bottle caps for these tsw basket weaves (pictures soon).
School tomorrow (grade 12 :() but I'll try my best to get some time in; can't wait any longer!
and yes... I often wish I had a manual, one day, one day.

Amazing what some sandblasting will do.
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-07191301.jpg
New Rad!
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-07191445.jpg
Adjustments all done.
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-07210036.jpg
My work space.
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-07213620.jpg

More to come!

BimmerBoys
05-07-2012, 11:37 PM
Ummm.... You know I was dropping a hint... "buy a rad.... From me" lol

Ceeker
05-08-2012, 12:01 AM
Ummm.... You know I was dropping a hint... "buy a rad.... From me" lol

out of curiosity how much are the rads auto/std and who makes them?

BimmerBoys
05-08-2012, 12:13 AM
200$ to 250$ shipped, usually nissens or behr.

Farintosh
05-08-2012, 12:21 AM
I feel terrible, didnt know you were carrying rads now...
Then again I really wanted to make the most of my long weekend, and I got a great price.
Ill try and make it up to you, might buy a brake kit off you in the near future.
Next on the agenda is to fix the rattling under the car, I had hoped it was the heat shield but it seems its coming from inside or around the cat...

BimmerBoys
05-08-2012, 12:30 AM
LOL don't feel bad bro! Go after the best deal, I was just joking with you! Besides, you've got an e30 so you'll be replacing something every week so I'm sure I'll hear from you soon.

MaxBell
05-08-2012, 01:24 AM
LOL don't feel bad bro! Go after the best deal, I was just joking with you! Besides, you've got an e30 so you'll be replacing something every week so I'm sure I'll hear from you soon.

Funny cuz it's true. I'll PM you later about some engine bitz I need.

Farintosh
05-08-2012, 08:42 AM
Yep, I'm sure you're right on that as well.
I really enjoy changing all these parts which haven't been changed in the past 345,000km. Really curious to feel how the ride changes.

Bullet Ride
05-08-2012, 09:45 AM
Next on the agenda is to fix the rattling under the car, I had hoped it was the heat shield but it seems its coming from inside or around the cat...

Check the flanges where the cat back joins with the cat. I currently have a rattle and it's because one of the flanges split due to corrosion.

InfiniteDice
05-08-2012, 11:13 AM
Not sure if it's a myth, but your fan has a viscous coupling that doesn't like to be laid down for prolonged periods... I hang my spare on a nail on the wall so it sits as it does in the car....

Of course it could be just a myth.

jon.e
05-08-2012, 01:29 PM
Does ur dad restore more than just trucks?

Farintosh
05-08-2012, 06:23 PM
Check the flanges where the cat back joins with the cat. I currently have a rattle and it's because one of the flanges split due to corrosion.

Okay thanks, I'll take a look and see. Don't really trust myself with muffler work so I might just take it in to an expert.

Not sure if it's a myth, but your fan has a viscous coupling that doesn't like to be laid down for prolonged periods... I hang my spare on a nail on the wall so it sits as it does in the car....

Of course it could be just a myth.

Thanks for the heads up, I went and put it on a nail just in case. I imagine 2 days wouldn't do too much damage...

Does ur dad restore more than just trucks?

Restoring trucks is just a hobby for my dad, he runs a farm market so he only has time in the winter. He's got his work cut out for him too, think he has 5 trucks in stock, and he's still working on his 34' Ford he's had since he was 14. Guess that's the downside of being a perfectionist...


Went to the local bmw dealership to inquire about some parts... $280 for a distributor cap!?!? I asked her to double check and she told me she could do $200...
Anyways, back to the shop, hopefully I can get everything back together again by Thursday.

Farintosh
05-08-2012, 11:26 PM
Everything's almost back together again now.
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-08214546.jpg
Tomorrow just filling up coolant and ATF, changing wheels, putting in new spark plugs and taking off the hardtop :P

Farintosh
05-09-2012, 10:53 PM
She's alive!
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-09211237.jpg
Can't believe the difference; idles smoother and revs higher. Lots more umph in general.
Really like how the rims look too.
Just have to deal with this rattling now, haven't found any clear indicators on the cause yet.
After that I'm not sure what I'll occupy myself with, especially with school winding down.

lvan
05-09-2012, 11:37 PM
Looks like decent body. Nice buy dude.

BimmerBoys
05-09-2012, 11:55 PM
next step... drop?

congrats! looks great!

Farintosh
05-10-2012, 08:42 PM
next step... drop?

congrats! looks great!

Hmm maybe, there happens to be a pretty massive wheel gap atm, especially on the front tires. I don't really have any problems with the suspension atm, maybe cause I've never experienced anything else, but I think suspension might be a touch expensive with a muffler and brake rebuild looming.

The tachometer started working again after the repair, but now it's dead again. Any idea on what causing this?

I'll get some better pictures soon...

Farintosh
05-11-2012, 10:26 PM
Finally got the top down! Feels awesome. After an utterly necessary wash I'll fix up the few little things the have been frustrating me and start looking at the muffler and brakes.
http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr210/typhlone/2012-05-11191931.jpg

Farintosh
06-02-2012, 12:37 PM
Ran into a bit of trouble :(
Started the car yesterday morning and there was a loud grinding noise, looked inside to find metal shavings scattered in the engine bay. I was terrified that there may have been interference in the valve train. Took everything apart and found that the cam sprocket had come loose and when it wobbled it had begun to grind. Found the proper torque value for the cam sprocket and hopefully everything is going to work out. The timing belt marks still line up so I'm hopeful. Tomorrow I'll put it all back together and see how she runs.