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Old 07-11-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
Grandad
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An old Canuck thinking about coming home

Hi everyone,
First post so be gentle please.

My real name is Jim and yes, I really am a Grandad. Five times over.

I was born in Barrie, Ont and lived there for 5 years. Moved to Montreal for another five. Moved to Australia in 1960 and returned to Barrie is 1963. Back to Oz at the age of 17 and been here ever since. I'm now 61 yrs old and a diehard E30 vert owner. My car is my pride and joy.

Now, I'm seriously thinking of coming home.
The single most heartbreaking part? I'm going to have to leave my E30 behind.

But, I've been looking at Canadian car sale site and guess what? I can buy what looks like pretty clean, rust free example over there for anything from $5000 to $7000. That top price is do-able if the car is right.

Here's what I've found out so far that I hope you guys can confirm.
Over here is NO rust. None what-so-ever. No winters = no salt on road. ANY rust what-so-ever would spell the end of the cars life.
But, the sun beats the crap out of them. Almost every dashboard is cracked. A perfect dash is rare and costs BIG money.
I notice every dash I've seen there are good. The seats don't seem to be sun affected at all. Lots of E30's with good interiors. Is this correct?
I'll bet the little plastic pocket that hold the soft top info on the sunvisor are still there too. Ours are all long gone. Brittle sun damaged plasic crumbling away.

Next, almost every E30 I've seen in Canada is a 325. Are there no 320 verts? Like the idea of a 325 anyway.

Almost every car has a 6 button OBC. Are the proper 13 button OBC's rare there? Should I bring one with me?
But most of your cars have ABS and cruise control. Pretty rare here.

Now, the main reason for posting.
Almost every car I see has those damned diving board monstrosities. I'm sorry, but whoever thought those things were a good idea should be shot.

Chrome bumpers are the ONLY bumper an E30 should wear. If I were to buy one there, those diving boards have GOT to go.
So, first question. What parts should I bring with me to perform this swap please?
Next, you guys talk about Euro grills. All our cars are Euro with what they call BMW call Option 810 "Australian Export" Never been sure exactly what that includes. What's a euro grill? Should I bring some with me?

Also, I've seen no Mtech2 steering wheels? Should I bring mine?

I've gone to a LOT of modifications to put in a super premium sound system in a vert and make it look factory fitted. 4" woofers in the stock rear positions and high performance midrange in the footwell and tweeters in the mirror sails. Which side of your cars has the bonnet (Hood?) release? Ours in on the left side. Your drivers side. I can bring my custom bits with me but that bonnet ....no, you DO call it the hood don't you? The big thing that covers the engine, not the softtop hood. Oh, and which side of the car has the softop cover release? Left side still?

Let me see if I can post a pic here.

Yeah...it worked.
That's my car. I LOVE it to bits and not having one is almost enough reason to stay in Australia. I said ALMOST.

Look forward to some conversation about the differences in E30 verts here and there. Any Aussies here? if so...g'day mate. Clue me in will you?

Cheers
Jim
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:32 AM   #2
BigD
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Welcome to Max, Jim! And welcome back to Canada, in advance!

Love the car, no wonder you're so infatuated with it! Yes, bring those bumpers, they're very hard to find here. Someone may be able to give you a more precise explanation but if you look on e30tech or r3vlimited, there will be writeups for swapping diving boards for euro bumpers, and you can use those as a guide for what to bring. My hunch would be that you just need the physical bumpers.

I don't think there are any 320s here, we only got the 2.5 and 2.7 M20s.

No problem finding an Mtech2 but if you have one in great shape and you have luggage space, bring it.

I personally wouldn't bother looking for a car locally when you come here. Clean cars fetch an insane premium now but if you look a few states south into the US (say Tennessee and south), a rust-free E30 is just an E30, not a rare jewel. There are detailed threads here for importing the cars, it's very easy and cheap. You'll have a much wider selection for way cheaper.

For the record, I used to be in the same boat as you about diving boards but now I wouldn't change them for anything. I think they look great on a lowered car, plus the allow me to fit my giant intercooler

Pre-turbo:







In progress, clearance afforded:



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Old 07-11-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
Grandad
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Someone may be able to give you a more precise explanation but if you look on e30tech or r3vlimited, there will be writeups for swapping diving boards for euro bumpers, and you can use those as a guide for what to bring. My hunch would be that you just need the physical bumpers.
Thank you. Just spent a pleasant couple of hours looking around both those sources. So frustrating when the post is an old one and the pics are gone. However, got there in the end. It would appear bumpers and front valances are required, and nobody mentioned it, but I'd say the irons as well. That's do-able.

Quote:
No problem finding an Mtech2 but if you have one in great shape and you have luggage space, bring it.
At this stage, I'm looking at bringing a container over. At first I was going to sell everything I own and buy new in Canada. But from what I can see so far looking on places like eBay.ca some of the antiques I have here are worth huge money there to replace. There's a lifetime of collecting here so a small container looks like a good option. So tucking a bumper bar or two in or a steering wheel shouldn't matter much.

Quote:
I personally wouldn't bother looking for a car locally when you come here. Clean cars fetch an insane premium now
Are these current examples of cars for sale in Canada what you would call premium prices?
A red one HERE
Looks good in the pics and has a hardtop which are like rocking horse poo here.
Or THIS one.
Not really my style as its been pimped out but price looks fair.

To do the maths, my car would sell here for roughly AU$5000. A rough guide I've had to ship it over would be min AU$3000
Then, I'm looking at converting to LHD.

I can't find anything on the net regarding a RHD to LHD conversion, but several the other way around for LHD M3's coming to Oz. Consensus of opinion seems to be don't try. $10,000 up for a pro job and far too much effort for DIY.

It did cross my mind however as how hard could it be to DIY. I have a doner car here that I've happened to removed the near perfect dash so I could have a look-see.
Here's a pic


At first glance, it would seem the basics are all there. The ABS module and Motronics are in the same places as there, and the two main steel supports for the column are on both sides. Closer inspection however reveals there are significant differences.
I intend to continue stripping this car so I'll pay very close attention to what has to be moved and how it might be done. But at this stage the $ just don't add up when I can sell my car for say 5K, save a further 3K min giving me 8K to buy one there. And its all done. Complies with whatever Canadian regs it has to comply with etc etc.

Quote:
For the record, I used to be in the same boat as you about diving boards but now I wouldn't change them for anything. I think they look great on a lowered car, plus the allow me to fit my giant intercooler
I accept your point, but will have to ever so humbly disagree for myself.
It's a bit like a Canuck moving to Oz. Yes, you can get used to not having that white stuff on the ground. Real quickly actually. I timed it for myself.....3.5 seconds it took.
BUT....no matter how nice it is to have a 30 deg centigrade day on Xmas day and no matter how good the bar-b-q is on that day, and even after 45+ years....It's just not right to not have snow at Christmas.
Similarly, I can't see myself ever getting used to diving boards on cars.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Jim
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #4
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If you don't want those bumpers for yourself, I'm building a car right now that I'd like them for.

Have you looked into shipping your car here? Must be less than $5000-$7000?
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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If you don't want those bumpers for yourself, I'm building a car right now that I'd like them for.
Is it worth grabbing some extras to bring with me?
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
El Gato Liso
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why not bring the car here?
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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the "euro bumpers" are rare here. If you wanted to leave the car remove the bumpers and the front valance/fogs assembly. You can swap that over easily to a NA car. To find a "rust free" specimen is rare indeed. even the cleanest may have surface rust that is fixable.the dashes here are for the most part crack free but are increasingly getting harder to find.plenty of OBC's here too. the condition of the leather seats are generally poor. Prolonged sun exposure and temperature change has taken it's toll. Primarily visible on the top rear seat with the hardness and splitting of the leather. you can find decent cars but definitely paying a premium.

the other option is getting it shipped over. container is probably around 1500-2000 depending on port I believe.
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I think I've had 14 bmw's in 4 years.
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4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:08 AM   #8
Grandad
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the "euro bumpers" are rare here. If you wanted to leave the car remove the bumpers and the front valance/fogs assembly. You can swap that over easily to a NA car. To find a "rust free" specimen is rare indeed. even the cleanest may have surface rust that is fixable.the dashes here are for the most part crack free but are increasingly getting harder to find.plenty of OBC's here too. the condition of the leather seats are generally poor. Prolonged sun exposure and temperature change has taken it's toll. Primarily visible on the top rear seat with the hardness and splitting of the leather. you can find decent cars but definitely paying a premium.

the other option is getting it shipped over. container is probably around 1500-2000 depending on port I believe.
Ceeker, I do apologise. I completely missed your post. My bad!
Thank you for some excellant first hand observations.
Temperature change is something I hadn't considered.
Would you mind educating me just a little further please?

You're from Toronto, just an hours drive down 400 from where I intend to live so you're in a good position to tell me what I'm in for.
My recollections of cars in Canada from my teenage years is my father taking his car to a panel shop every spring for a thorough inspection and repair or paint to keep it looking like new. Mind you, he wasn't exactly a working class man like me so could probably afford to do that.

My nephews in both Barrie and Sioux St Marie tell me they are in the habit of buying a "Winter" car each year. Just an old beater that they scrap come spring.

Is it in any way feasible to drive an E30 vert 12 months of the year and keep it in one piece?

Do they still put salt on the roads? or has that practise stopped?
They used to have places pop up every autumn where you could drive your car up some ramps and they'd spray some kind of gunk under it to protect it. (I'm going back to the late 60's here.)
Is this still common practise?
Can you understand the kind of things going through my mind?

I was born there, and lived there as a kid.And apparantly, despite my Australian citizenship I'm still a Canadian citizen as well.
But my knowledge of day to day life in Canada is way too old and I'm just a tourist in my own country, so try to educate me please?

What's it like to own what I think of as a classic car in Ontario?

Cheers
Jim
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandad View Post
Is it in any way feasible to drive an E30 vert 12 months of the year and keep it in one piece?

Do they still put salt on the roads? or has that practise stopped?
They used to have places pop up every autumn where you could drive your car up some ramps and they'd spray some kind of gunk under it to protect it. (I'm going back to the late 60's here.)
Is this still common practise?
Can you understand the kind of things going through my mind?

I was born there, and lived there as a kid.And apparantly, despite my Australian citizenship I'm still a Canadian citizen as well.
But my knowledge of day to day life in Canada is way too old and I'm just a tourist in my own country, so try to educate me please?

What's it like to own what I think of as a classic car in Ontario?

Cheers
Jim
The E30 is going to be just like any other car in the winter here. It will slowly rust and fall apart. Chances are it's not rust free, so the winter will only accelerate the issue.

Yes, we still use salt on the roads. Ottawa isn't as bad, but the Toronto area roads are quite literally WHITE with salt stains by the end of the winter.

Many people do undercoat their cars. One of the more popular is a company called "Krown", who have created some patented mixutre they spray around the frame and undercarriage. It is often still done on cars, and usually is mostly successful. My mother's 2003 Camry is just starting to get a little rust here and there, after being rust coated every 2-3 years.

My experience with an E30 in the winter tho, was largely negative. Although they do well in the snow with the LSD and their heaters are exceptionally warm, they are not meant for winter driving.

My white 4 door only became worst over 2 winters. My coupe is almost rust free now, and I'll be storing it in the winter.

You get some attention, but E30s certainly are not rare around here. More like, "uncommon". I think I see around 20 per year, as I drive around the city.

I hope this isn't too much blabbing.

Too Long; Didn't Read: E30s are good summer cars. They certainly CAN drive in the snow, but it will slowly rust and fall apart. Get a Ford Focus for the winter, and enjoy your BMW in the summer.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:53 PM   #10
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Welcome! I would say bring your car over! If that's not feasible, as mentioned above there's loads of cleaner examples in the states that wouldn't be hard to get over the border. There are clean cars here too you just may have to wait a while to get one that you want

Ps I <3 diving boards too you're outnumbered so far :p

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Old 07-11-2012, 11:29 PM   #11
Grandad
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...........there's loads of cleaner examples in the states that wouldn't be hard to get over the border. There are clean cars here too you just may have to wait a while to get one that you want
Time is on my side so something I'm already starting to research from here.

Quote:
Ps I <3 diving boards too you're outnumbered so far :p
I've been outnumbered for most of my life. Hell, I still take my hat off when speaking to a lady so I'm often considered an out and out oddball.
But........Like they used to say in Montreal....viva la difference

Cheers
Jim
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:32 PM   #12
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BTW...I also discovered the answers to my other questions while searching those suggested links.
The hood release is on your drivers side, as is the release for the soft-top compartment.
Good. Means I can bring my custom ICE modules with me.
Now...just have to find out if my GPS locater will work over there. Just need a Canadian SIM card I think.

Cheers
Jim
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:44 PM   #13
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Just thought I'd add something you may find interesting.
In the photo of my donor car, look at the rust on the floor of the RHS, our drivers side.
That rust would be SO insignificant to you guys. Am I right?
Well that rust killed that car. It can never be repaired enough to re-register unless I was prepared to cut the whole floor out and weld in a new floorpan and get it inspected by an engineer to certify the welds and sound deadening etc are as good as factory. Cost is prohibitive.
That car has one or two other rust spots but that one is the worst. It goes right through the bottom of the firewall.
That's a UK car, privately imported. Thats why it has rust.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:51 AM   #14
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Wow! Nice vert! Bring the bumpers/grill/kidneys/steering wheel, if you don't put the bumpers on the car you end up buying they are worth their weight in gold here. If you absolutely love the car you pick up, drive something else for the winter. Though it can handle snow well if it has lsd, the weather/salt takes a big toll on the body. (We are talking about a 5k car though, is it worthless? No, but its not a ferrari.
And ill be about 20 min south of you in Bradford.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:31 AM   #15
Grandad
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Thank you to both MaxBell and davericher,
Message received.
Save new E30 vert for summer only driving.
Copy that!

Bring grills, bumpers and kidneys.
Roger!

Dave?
Do most E30's there have LSD?
That's a very rare option here.
And your car.....ix? That's the 4wd version isn't it? Unheard here. Never sold here, never heard of anyone bringing one into the country.
I SO want to see one.
And, yeah, I know EXACTLY where Bradford is. Used to date a girl from there. She worked at the Cookstown branch of the same chain I worked for in Barrie.
That big highway stop on the 400. Do you think I can remember the name? Nup!
Anywho, the big truckstop. Had a sitdown restaurant, a takeaway food bar and petrol....sorry, Gas pumps.
The Wayfare!!!! Memory came back. Not sure if the Cookstown one had the same name or not. I think it did.
Now...what was HER name?
Wanda somebody.
Buggah! Never mind.
Cheers
Jim
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