First of all... I was told there is a spider the side of my hand in there. After the ridicule I received from the other technicians at the dealership for the actual purchase of this vehicle, I was informed of this godzilla sized potentially deadly spider lurking. I looked and have not found it yet. I slip into the driver seat with fear... Anyways...
I took a dip into the Subaru world, and well... That ended up costing more than 10 Canadian E30's.... I also got a E46, which well... It's an E46. My pride and joy is my 99 Plymouth Neon Highline race machine, it let me down once, we had a pep talk and never again will it happen.
But enough of that, I'm back. With the help of our good friend Phil over at Eurostyle, I picked up this...errrr ummmm Gem?
It's not an E30, it's got less rust than one... Kinda... And it's older then me.. Perfect... The underside is pretty solid, no holes and just surface rust.
It's a 83 320i (E21 for those who don't know). It might have 200k on it, pretty sure the odometer doesn't work, along with every non essential gauge. 5spd, M10B18 KL-Jetronic goodness..
First issue that Phil mentioned was the idle. It wouldn't idle when it was hot, it was previously though to be a IAC valve (Or in M10 terms a Air Regulating valve) but after some further diagnosis old school style it was actually a combination of things. As you guys know the M10 is a mechanically fuel injected, for the most part.
It actually has an Oxygen sensor and "Lambda control". It's a series of relays connected to the fuel pumps, air regulating valve, WOT switch, coolant temp sensor and other schnanigans. Basically "gates" in a DME, but much larger, slower, and prone to being a dick.
First thing was, the timing. When I was driving it home after doing some sweet brake stance burnouts. I noticed the car fell off up top and of course, wouldn't idle hot and off throttle. This is a sign that timing is off as it's not advancing enough, or too little at high RPM. It could be more complicated with Dwell settings, vacuum advance, and points. But the I covered the basics and got lucky. Checking the timing is pretty easy actually, you need a timing light, of course, and there is a fancy hole with a dent in the flywheel you need to line up revving the car at 2000rpm with vacuum advance disconnected. I works out to roughly 15 degrees BTDC. It was out by a few degrees and the distributor was actually loose when I went to check it, which may account for it actually being out.
After that was sorted out it still wasn't right. It still didn't want to idle, but it would with slight throttle input. So rightfully so I adjusted the idle screw. Brought it up around 900rpm which is around the spec. I could tell it wasn't running right by the exhaust smell. It wasn't burning clean and it was either really rich, or really lean which is hard to determine without a wideband O2. So I did the next best thing, it has a single wire 0-1v Zirconia Ceramic sensor. What does this mean? Well to put it simply, it will read between 0.1 and 0.9 volts, high voltage means rich, low voltage means lean. So 0.4 should be 14.7:1 AFR. The fuel in regulated by a giant AFM type mechanism that runs off vacuum, as vacuum decreases, the fuel flow increases. At idle rpm it's at high vacuum. There is a lot more to it, but that's the basics. There is a small hole with a 3mm allen key to adjust spring pressure, this adjusts your mixture. So I hooked up a multimeter and measured voltage from the O2, I was looking for 0.4 volts roughly. This wouldn't be possible on a OBD car like an E30 because the voltage fluxuates as the DME try's to adjust fuel.
After fiddling around with idle rpm and mixture I got it pretty dead on. I took it for a boot and it run's a lot better, less popping on decel, and most of all, it idles perfect.
The list of stuff it needs:
Body work (Good thing I have a friend who can help)
RF Caliper rebuild
RF inner tie rod.
Exhaust is broken before the rear subframe.
I plan on putting it on a set of GC coil overs. It's the same setup as E30 except the rear is a Macphearson style like the front. I also plan on doing some sort of brake upgrade, IE makes a wilwood setup for a decent price. Sway bars will be a must and I found the wheels I want. They're wide, require a stretch and the hipsters and VW crowd will love the "HERRA FRUSH" look. But still functional for auto-x. Also I want the EuroMetric full bushing kit. I think that will make a huge difference.
Engine.. It's still up in the air from some DCOE's, megasquirt and FI swap, or a engine swap all together. Fund's will determine this.
I was also looking at doing a dash swap, maybe an E30 if I could get it to fit. And it would be pretty cool. The front seats are fubar'd so some cheap chinese recaro's might do the trick.
I hope to do all that over the winter, but only time will tell.
Also, I'm a attention whore, so don't move this to the classics section.