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View Full Version : Calling all E30 experts, need your help to mod an E30 cabrio.


jmalixi
11-10-2004, 04:49 PM
I just bought an E30 cabrio and it needs some work. I've been modding my E46 by buying parts from the U.S. and would like to get parts for the E30 locally, if possible. I would like your suggestions since you know E30s well as to what's a decent brand and the place to get them.

The cabrio has the following immediate issues:
- muffler is shot, so I might as well get a high flowing and nice sounding muffler
- needs tires so might as well get 16" or 17" rims and tires instead of spending money on 14"s

Later, I also need to address the following:
- rides pretty high so lowering springs or coilovers will be needed
- leans too much so stronger sways and a front strut bar might be needed
- roof motor doesn't work
- antenna doesn't work
- needs a short shifter
- probably a CAI and MarkD chip after the all of the above are done

Thanks in advance for your input....

T.Dot_E30
11-10-2004, 08:33 PM
Yup, I recommend a markD chip for sure.

I have 2 front fk springs for an e30 touring. I complained that mine were too low in the rear and they sent me ones for an e30 touring so it would be higher.

I have the rear ones but they are gonna be low

AmaRu
11-10-2004, 08:41 PM
rims:

http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43707

M50E30
11-10-2004, 08:51 PM
Make it look like this! www.davelength.net/car/cabrio.html

Skunk#1
11-10-2004, 09:10 PM
word that white car is pimp, was anyway....

3.0L stroker....mmmmmmmm!

jmalixi
11-10-2004, 09:37 PM
Yup, I recommend a markD chip for sure.

I have 2 front fk springs for an e30 touring. I complained that mine were too low in the rear and they sent me ones for an e30 touring so it would be higher.

I have the rear ones but they are gonna be low

Not sure if I understood you.... so the E30 touring springs are appropriate for cabrio? And you only have the fronts? If anyone has the springs for rear then we have a set and I'd definitely be interested.

jmalixi
11-10-2004, 09:48 PM
Amaru, check your PM *th-up*

M50E30, Thanks for that pic. I would love to make it look like that but we'll see where the budget takes me :)

T.Dot_E30
11-10-2004, 09:59 PM
Sorry I was at work and I was in a hurry when i typed that.

Ok, on all e30s The springs are the same (except iX), But with the different models you will get a different amount of Drop. Depending on the weight. (ie. 318i less drop, bcus its lighter. Touring/Cabrio More drop, bcus its heavier)

My car (E30 325i Sedan) sat really low in the rear, so they sent me a set of springs that were made for an e30 Touring(wagon). I only used the rears, bcus I like the front as it is. This braught the rear up a bit. .

Im guessin the springs for an e30 touring, either is longer, or has higher spring rates, since the touring is heavier in the rear.

Cabrios are a bit heavier, so springs for a touring should match up since they are both heavier than a sedan.

Thing is, I only have the fronts I didn't use. I do have a set of rears, but they were pretty low for me, and they are gonna be even lower for you, bcus of the wieght in the back.

Cabrio owners have used sedan/coupe srpings, they jus get more of a drop. Than they would if it was on a sedan/coupe.

Mystikal
11-10-2004, 10:35 PM
Exhaust: Brullen.

Wheels: Your taste varies, but have a good hard look at the Kopi Alpina replicas (http://www.abrahamsmotorsport.com/wheels.htm). You'll find that almost every wheel will require spacers to work, but these don't, along with a few other notables (Ronal LS and Kosei K1 in 15", for instance).

Suspension: For moderate lowering (most cars you see), look into H&R Sport springs and Bilstein Sport dampers. Nicely controlled ride, good stance. If you want really low, the H&R Cup Kit will slam it, as well as the multiple coilover routes (Ground Control, H&R, KW, etc.). You may want to go with the coilovers just to get the right height, cabrios are tricky,

Sways: There are many setups available, such as Eibach, Ireland Engineering, RD, etc. There is a very good thread on R3VLimited on those (more on that site later).

Short Shifter: The Z4 3.0 rod is the way to go (no need for super-expensive kits like in the E46). Again, there is a very detailed thread on R3V about these.

CAI: No such thing, but a K&N Cone with a heatshield (Eric Lukas makes one, I can pass on contact info for him) will provide a great sound, if not much performance (the AFM is the bottleneck).

Chip: MarkD 91/93 or nothing. *th-up*

Anyways, glad to see you've come over to the dark side, Josel. I highly recommend checking out www.r3vlimited.com, it's the largest collection of knowledgeable E30 guys out there. Flame wars are rampant, but the info is unbeatable.

Have fun!

jmalixi
11-10-2004, 11:07 PM
Thanks Jay for the info. Very helpful as usual *th-up*

paul christians
11-10-2004, 11:27 PM
what motor are you going with???

Bimmer Heaven
11-10-2004, 11:34 PM
Sorry I was at work and I was in a hurry when i typed that.

Ok, on all e30s The springs are the same (except iX), But with the different models you will get a different amount of Drop. Depending on the weight. (ie. 318i less drop, bcus its lighter. Touring/Cabrio More drop, bcus its heavier)

My car (E30 325i Sedan) sat really low in the rear, so they sent me a set of springs that were made for an e30 Touring(wagon). I only used the rears, bcus I like the front as it is. This braught the rear up a bit. .

Im guessin the springs for an e30 touring, either is longer, or has higher spring rates, since the touring is heavier in the rear.

Cabrios are a bit heavier, so springs for a touring should match up since they are both heavier than a sedan.

Thing is, I only have the fronts I didn't use. I do have a set of rears, but they were pretty low for me, and they are gonna be even lower for you, bcus of the wieght in the back.

Cabrio owners have used sedan/coupe srpings, they jus get more of a drop. Than they would if it was on a sedan/coupe.


Hey, how much do you want for the rears!!??? I might be looking for something extra low! i already have fronts that are low enaugh, but need the rear...

T.Dot_E30
11-10-2004, 11:59 PM
Hey, how much do you want for the rears!!??? I might be looking for something extra low! i already have fronts that are low enaugh, but need the rear...

make an offer, hmmm I wont mind if it included one of those new fiberglass under steering cover.

jmalixi
11-11-2004, 12:00 AM
what motor are you going with???
No engine swaps planned (if that's what you meant)... Sticking with the stock 2.5L.

AmaRu
11-11-2004, 12:22 AM
^^check pm :)

Bimmer Heaven
11-11-2004, 12:28 AM
make an offer, hmmm I wont mind if it included one of those new fiberglass under steering cover.

How does $50 and a cover sound?

jmalixi
11-11-2004, 12:35 AM
Eurostyle, how much do you charge for the iS lip? I asume it will fit cabrios.

Bimmer Heaven
11-11-2004, 12:46 AM
Eurostyle, how much do you charge for the iS lip? I asume it will fit cabrios.


I think it should fit...If it has the newer style valence. I sell them for $100...If you have plastic bumpers you might also go for the M-tech 2 "add ons" both front AND rear...

BMW BMXer
11-11-2004, 12:34 PM
Fil you make under steering wheel covers now?

Axxe
11-11-2004, 12:55 PM
Fil you make under steering wheel covers now?

What is that? :confused:

Bimmer Heaven
11-11-2004, 01:16 PM
Yes, check it out in the "For Sale" section....

Bimmer Heaven
11-11-2004, 01:18 PM
What is that? :confused:


Its that part under the steering column thats always missing, or broken, or will get broken soon and start missing.... :D

1BADRIDE
11-11-2004, 02:30 PM
Hey! I am also starting a buildup of an E30 cab...

First mod - remove the roof motors and make it a manual top!

jmalixi
11-11-2004, 03:25 PM
Hey! I am also starting a buildup of an E30 cab...

First mod - remove the roof motors and make it a manual top!
I think I might do the same.

jmalixi
11-11-2004, 03:28 PM
I think it should fit...If it has the newer style valence. I sell them for $100...If you have plastic bumpers you might also go for the M-tech 2 "add ons" both front AND rear...

Check your PM... Need pics of your MTech2 add-ons.

BMW BMXer
11-11-2004, 03:28 PM
I didnt' even know cabs had motors for the roofs on e30s. But dont know a lot.

My under dash thing is still present but pretty shitty, I cut off a lot of it though at the bottom so my feet didnt catch it. (DOn't think it mounts right)

Sorry to jack your thread :D

jmalixi
11-11-2004, 03:35 PM
I found a set of springs at bavauto for $179 USD and it's apparently specific for the E30 Cab. Has anyone here used Bavarian Autosport springs? Are they any good?

On the other hand Eibachs are $252 USD at tirerack. It's $73 USD more but it's at least a well known brand... but then again $73 USD can be used for something else :)

jeremy
11-11-2004, 03:49 PM
What is that? :confused:

it's commonly known as the "kick panel"

JonE
11-11-2004, 05:45 PM
The Bavauto springs combined with stock Boge shock will give you a moderate drop but keep the ride/harshness closest to stock. Many of us that didn't want to stiffen the ride on our E34's but wanted to get rid of the ugly gap in the wheel well would go for the Bavauto springs and Boge shocks.

Mystikal
11-11-2004, 06:06 PM
I found a set of springs at bavauto for $179 USD and it's apparently specific for the E30 Cab. Has anyone here used Bavarian Autosport springs? Are they any good?

On the other hand Eibachs are $252 USD at tirerack. It's $73 USD more but it's at least a well known brand... but then again $73 USD can be used for something else :)

Soft, soft, soft. If you're just going for "the look" and want to keep the cushy ride go for the BAS springs, but otherwise, stay away. Eibach Pro-Kit is also known to be in the softer range for E30's, and can be extremely low over time (more of a statement than a criticism). Personally, I'd go with the H&R/Bilstein setup ($579usd through Turner).

Mystikal
11-11-2004, 06:08 PM
it's commonly known as the "kick panel"

I'd say kick panel refers to the panel along the sides that house the front mids, hence the term "kicks" when referring to front speakers.

jeremy
11-11-2004, 10:01 PM
I'd say kick panel refers to the panel along the sides that house the front mids, hence the term "kicks" when referring to front speakers.


well it was called kick panel when i replaced parts for it..

BS87
11-11-2004, 11:30 PM
No, its more commonly called the "Knee bolster". Kick panels house the speakers.

Nice knee bolster eurostyle, its a pity the older types look so bad compared to the 2 piece Airbag ones.

ara_yaz
11-12-2004, 03:51 PM
Wheels: Your taste varies, but have a good hard look at the Kopi Alpina replicas (http://www.abrahamsmotorsport.com/wheels.htm). You'll find that almost every wheel will require spacers to work, but these don't, along with a few other notables (Ronal LS and Kosei K1 in 15", for instance).


YIKES, they look pretty real. Does the center cap say Kopi or Alpina? What a rip!

jmalixi
11-13-2004, 10:19 AM
Found this rim for my E30 (ASA JS1 16x7 ET25).... With an offset of +25, will I still need spacers?
ASA JS1 (http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/DisplayWheel.jsp?wheelMake=ASA&wheelModel=JS1&wheelFinish=Silver+Painted)

I also found this Ronal LS ACT but it only comes in 15". Looks nice with the lip but definitely hard to clean.
Ronal LS (http://www.ronalusa.com/wheels/ls.html)

Does anyone have either of these two on your E30? I like the Ronal but not sure if 15" is enough. I would prefer 16"s.

Mystikal
11-14-2004, 07:01 PM
Not a big fan of the ASA's (they look cheap to me), but the Ronals are one of the best wheels made for the E30, no doubt.

1BADRIDE
11-14-2004, 09:50 PM
Now if I could only find a set in 17" that look identical to the RONAL LS...

Mystikal
11-14-2004, 11:14 PM
Now if I could only find a set in 17" that look identical to the RONAL LS...

You know 16" and 17" versions were made, about 10 years ago right? I still have the original Tirerack ads (they used to be sold there). Try hanging out at Ebay.de or something, they'll turn up eventually.

ara_yaz
11-15-2004, 08:50 PM
Found this rim for my E30 (ASA JS1 16x7 ET25).... With an offset of +25, will I still need spacers?
ASA JS1 (http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/DisplayWheel.jsp?wheelMake=ASA&wheelModel=JS1&wheelFinish=Silver+Painted)

I also found this Ronal LS ACT but it only comes in 15". Looks nice with the lip but definitely hard to clean.
Ronal LS (http://www.ronalusa.com/wheels/ls.html)

Does anyone have either of these two on your E30? I like the Ronal but not sure if 15" is enough. I would prefer 16"s.

I have a set of the BBS mesh (OEM) in 14". I use them for my winter tires. They used to be my summer rims on my 318...they're a bitch to clean, that's for sure.

ara_yaz
11-15-2004, 08:51 PM
You'll need a toothbrush.

1BADRIDE
11-16-2004, 01:05 AM
No, just use a long flexible duster. They're under $5 at any home related store. Can do a wheel in 3 mins.

SebSter
11-16-2004, 12:06 PM
Hmm... Ive always wondered what a cabrio would look "Jordan style". Rieger front lip with splitter, and just some humble side skirts and rear valence. I think it would look pretty hot.

jmalixi
11-16-2004, 12:19 PM
Hmm... Ive always wondered what a cabrio would look "Jordan style". Rieger front lip with splitter, and just some humble side skirts and rear valence. I think it would look pretty hot.
Sorry for my ignorance but what is the "Jordan style"? Do you mean the dark silver coupe with "E36 like" sideskirts?

I'm more into the stock look but I have seen cabrios with Mtech and Mtech2 kits and they both look good. Unless I decide to get an Mtech or Mtech2 kit later on, an iS lip is probably the extent of exterior mods I will do to it.

ara_yaz
11-16-2004, 12:44 PM
No, just use a long flexible duster. They're under $5 at any home related store. Can do a wheel in 3 mins.

Daily routine though.

jmalixi
11-16-2004, 12:48 PM
ara325, what size rims are on the E30 in your sig?

SebSter
11-16-2004, 01:44 PM
Sorry for my ignorance but what is the "Jordan style"? Do you mean the dark silver coupe with "E36 like" sideskirts?


Yeah thats the one. They are actually oem e36 sideskirts fitted onto the e30, and his rear bumper is also oem e36 m3. It is a stock look, its nothing wild. But yes, mtech 2 would also look killer.