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Old 02-19-2017, 11:26 AM   #16
Bullet Ride
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So what happened next...

The OEM replacement panel that came with the car was a US spec tail panel. For those of you that know these cars, this is a bit problematic because US spec tail panel is different than the Euro tail panel in order to fit the shocks and the bigger bumpers.

You can mount Euro bumpers to a US spec tail panel and it looks ok...



But it doesn't look proper because there ends up being a big gap between the bumper and the rear valance... something like this...



The easy solution would have been to just sell the US spec tail panel to someone else who needed it and buy an aftermarket euro spec tail panel from Wallothnesch... I was already ordering patch panels from them anyway. Unfortunately I was too cheap to want to pay more for shipping and risk having the panel arrive damaged. After looking at the tail panel for a while I figured that I should be able to make it work.

Then more parts arrived... New front fenders, rocker patch panels and Euro rear valance side panels...all from Wallothnesch...



After cocking about with the new parts for a while I got back to work. I decided to drop the rear subframe out because it'd make it easier to work on the under body... and because it was going to be torn down and refinished anyway...



However I still wanted to be able to move the car around the shop so I needed to come up with something. A quick trip to princessauto and I came home with a couple of 1000lb moving dollies (one for the front end later). With the car stripped down I figured they should be more than adequate seeing as the car when assembled wasn't a whole lot more than 2000lbs dry anyway...

A couple of measurements and some wood scraps lying around from building the shop and I came up with this...





How is that supposed to work you might be wondering?

Like this...



Basically it clears the spare tire and rests on the frame rails. Works like a charm...



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Old 02-19-2017, 11:00 PM   #17
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where did you get the panels from? are they OEM or aftermarket? may need link for the e12 resto.
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:36 AM   #18
Bullet Ride
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Read much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet Ride View Post
New front fenders, rocker patch panels and Euro rear valance side panels...all from Wallothnesch...
Quote:
Originally Posted by E36is View Post
where did you get the panels from? are they OEM or aftermarket? may need link for the e12 resto.
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Last edited by Bullet Ride; 02-20-2017 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:35 PM   #19
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After that the front end got the same treatment.

Once you drop an engine and trans with a hoist you can't go back, it's so much easier...



The set-up I used to wheel it out from under the car...



Success



After some more carpentry I decided to start breaking down some mechanicals... anything to avoid doing body work lol



After getting the old crusty exhaust manifold off I test fitted the 4-1 header that I bought from Tubular Automotive (the company that use to make the long tube headers fro Bavauto). Should hopefully sound tasty with a nice cam, resonator and muffler...



After making engine noises with my mouth into the headers for a while I got back to work and broke things down further...



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Old 03-04-2017, 12:49 PM   #20
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Then I went after the rear subframe...



One beer later...



Fortunately at the time I was working at a place that had an industrial sized conveyor media blaster for cleaning structural beams. A couple passes through and my sub frames came back in pretty good shape...



After that I tried to tackle breaking down the rear trailing arms. The castle nuts... which I should have attempted to crack loose while the car was in one piece... even though I doubt I would have been able to... proved to be quite the challenge. I ended up making a quick fixture to hold them solid for some hamfistery...



After copious amounts of PB Blaster and heat were used... and after buying a bigger breaker bar and shearing a 3/4 to half inch reducer I decided that the nut needed to be destroyed...



We ghetto-rigged it onto a milling machine and proceeded to mill down the side of the nut...



We milled it down until we were about two C-hairs from the threads, at that point a simple tap on the side with a cold chisel and we busted a nut. The process then had to be repeated on the second trailing arm

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Old 03-06-2017, 11:24 PM   #21
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I am sure you are much more ahead in the project... but just curious if you gave it any thought to retrofit an entire E30 rear end into the car?
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:26 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craz azn View Post
I am sure you are much more ahead in the project... but just curious if you gave it any thought to retrofit an entire E30 rear end into the car?
Not as ahead as I'd like to be...

The main thing that the E21 guys do is graft the diff mount from the E30 onto the E21 subframe so that they can use the E30 LSD, then weld brackets onto the body for the diff bushing. Two years ago I had a subframe that I had to cut up to get the trailing arms off of... I wish I had kept what was left of it now

Currently I don't have any motivation to do that, but in the future it won't be difficult for me to do if I need to.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:34 PM   #23
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Getting back to the body work...

After examining the rear panel weldment I found that the valance was a separate piece, so drilling out all of the spot welds allowed me to do this...



And when combined with the Euro rear valance side panels it looked something like this...



Not too shabby! It would just require a little bit... or a lot...of finesse to match everything up, a couple of patches to close off the holes where the bumper shocks would come through and then figure out the mounting locations for the Euro bumper brackets. Seems simple enough

The rest of the tail panel seemed to fit in ok as well, the brazed joints on the rear quarters were a pain to carve all of the old material out of though...



Then I wanted to see how the bumper would roughly fit up and get an idea of where the valance would sit, so I used the jack, jack stands and a few more clamps...



This is what things look like underneath with the Euro bumper and the US trunk...



And here you can see where the bumper mounting bracket sits, just a little bit past the back of the bumper. I figured that I could box off the frame rails where the shocks use to mount, weld an extension and tie it into the valance to give it some rigidity to help support the bumper...



After that I worked on getting the top half of the tail panel fitting properly to tie the rear quarters together as they are pretty flimsy when the tail panel is cut out. Once I got it fitting to my satisfaction I tacked it in place and checked to make sure the tail lights fit. I also put the trunk lid and latch back on to make sure that it would align and close properly but never took a picture of that...



So far so good at this point
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:02 PM   #24
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So after getting the tail panel welded in I started getting lazier at taking pictures.... so I am missing some details... but what I do have pics of...

I had to do a patch on the bottom below the rear left light...




I had to braze the joints above the tail lights... probably easy on perfectly clean steel... but a MF on 30yr old steel that's way to tightly shaped to prep perfectly...I got 'er done though...




Then I closed up those ugly rear side markers...



In order to execute my plan for the rear valance the trunk needed to be closed in. Some sheet metal and a bunch of spot welds later... and the boot lid makes a reappearance...




Then I let the old girl get some fresh air on that booty while I gave the shop a much needed sweeping...

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Old 03-23-2017, 09:08 PM   #25
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So... unfortunately when it came to the rear valance I didn't take many pics of the process...

Since the side patch panels have a lip that overlaps with the lip on the fender they are pretty straight forward to install, you just need to drill some holes for spot welds.

Once I had the side patches tacked in place on both sides, I tacked the valance in place to figure out where to trim the patch panels and blend them into the valance. There is a stamped profile in each part so they need to be cut in the right spot to get things to match up.

To double check valance placement I zip-tied the bumper back in place to do a rough check...




Everything looked reasonable, so pulled off the valance to prep it.
Getting bored of body work once again I started wondering what wheels I'd want to run... E90 fitment?



Kidding... too big and heavy for an E21

E30 style 10's in Chevy Orange? ...



After a beer I got back to work... and patched the bumper shock holes in the US spec valance...



And by the light of the moon I got the rear valance done-ishhhh



It's about 90% complete at the moment. I still need to do a little bit of welding and grinding on it, finalize the bumper fitment and figure out licence plate mounting.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:33 PM   #26
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:51 PM   #27
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So I've been a pretty busy lately...unfortunately not with working on the car... life gets in the way sometimes

Anywho... so since the rear end was mostly complete I started picking away at the rusty rockers. Due to closeness to the beer fridge the passenger side is the side I chose to work on first. The pinch seam appeared to be the worst part of the rocker, so I started off with some exploratory cuts along the bottom so that I could visually inspect inside of the rocker. I found that a lot of the spot welds were pretty high up the pinch seam which made them harder to drill out. I ended up just cutting along the pinch seam as closely as I could manage and then just ground down whatever was left until it was cleaned up...




A rare picture of the animal in his habitat...



Since the rockers looked clean on the inside above the pinch seam I decided that rather than cut out the whole rocker to put the patch panel in, I'd just cut what I need out of the patch panel. In order to apply this patch I'd either need to weld on a backing strip or do an overlap joint. A backing strip would involve drilling a bunch of spot welds in both the rocker and the patch. An overlap joint would be easier, but I'd have to come up with a way to form a step in the rocker for the patch to sit in so that it'll sit flush. I could buy some fancy autobody crimping tools... or I could just do this...



What will that do you ask? Well... it'll do this!...



With some patience and a straight line to follow, the tool was able to crimp a nice straight step...



After that I cut all the crap out of the pinch seam and welded in a new strip of thicker steel. This should add some more rigidity to the new pinch seam as these seem to get pretty flimsy over time.



I also started cleaning up the rear subframe mount while I was at it... it ended up being pretty crusty too...




Shouldn't be too difficult to patch though.

That's all for now folks.
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