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Old 10-03-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
Eurospeed88
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Project Facelift: Early-to-late body conversion

Today (09/23/06), we started on the rear apron, trimming out ALL excess material and cutting it down to nothing more than the external skirt. Here are the pics and info:

The OEM unibody rear apron, cut off of a '92 325i cabrio:



Starting to cut off the excess material from above the determined mounting area:



Cutting around the existing bumper shock mounting points. Since we'll be using the bumper mounting points on my car, these were not needed:



Removal of the material making up and surrounding the existing battery tray. All of this material has to be removed in order for the apron to fit on the rear of the car:



Nearly all excess material removed, almost finished with removal of battery tray material:



All of the material removed from the rear apron:



The $6 Harbor Freight pneumatic cutting tool that did the job:



New wheel on the left, used wheel on the right. We went through only two:



The finished rear apron, with all material removed, awaiting prep, primer and paint:





Tomorrow: Front valence.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:13 PM   #2
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Today (09/24/06), we began stripping the rubberized undercoating off of my late-model front valence. Well actually, we sort of started yesterday. What we had planned to do was soak the paint/rubberized crap with Aircraft Stripper. I was told by several people that this shit would turn the undercoating to goo, and we could just scrape it off with a putty knife.

WRONG! It didn't work, it hardly even softened it up. So what do we do? Go back to Harbor Freight and buy a $5 wire wheel and strip the shit off with a Makita grinder, that's what!

This stuff no workie. Should have guessed, $4 a can at Wal-Mart...



The front valence, before stripping. See at the left of the vents where we tested the grinder. It worked real good...



Andrew going to town on the paint/undercoating. The wire wheel stripped this crap off like it wasn't even there:



One side completed. In the large flat areas, this shit was really thick!



Like I said, THICK. This was after about 3 minutes of stripping this area.



Stripping of the bumper mounting area. About halfway up, the undercoating stopped and it was just paint. VERY easy to remove:



Finished with the lower portion of the valence:



The finished, stripped, smoothed valence. Smooth as a baby's behind. And I should know, I've got one to check it against!



It might not look it in these pics, but this thing is shiny and VERY smooth:

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Old 10-03-2006, 10:13 PM   #3
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Well well well...

What are these two very oddly-shaped boxes that FedEx just dropped off?

LET'S FIND OUT, SHALL WE???





Now the real fun begins...
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:15 PM   #4
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Starting on the bumpers...

The bumper bolt as well as bumper shock holes are slotted to allow for the proper mounting height:



The rear bumper is bolted up loosely to judge roughly how much needs to be cut off:



The ends of the bumper are cut off using a pneumatic cutting tool with a cutting disc, just in front of the trunk vents:



Driver's side section of the bumper cut off:



The bumper is bolted back up to determine the exact amount of material that will need to be cut out:





Test fitting of the driver's side end piece after cutting out of excess material:



Now comes the bonding together of the cut sections of the bumper, using hand-laid fiberglass. The areas of the bumper where the fiberglass is laid was roughed up using the cutting whee, to create a textured surface for the fiberglass resin to bond to.

The 2 sections are lined up perfectly, and held in place by wood strips and pinch clamps:



Immediately after laying the 2 sheets of fiberglass mat over the seams. A layer of resin was applied, then the first section of mat laid down and saturated with resin. Then the 2nd sheet was laid over it crosswise, and again saturated.



Same procedure carried out on the other side, using the same method to keep the 2 pieces aligned:

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Old 10-03-2006, 10:15 PM   #5
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Continuing on...

We used a piece of masking tape to better hold the 2 pieces together while applying the resin, so they woulnd't move around as much.



The 2 sections successfully bonded together, solid as a rock, with no flex at all:



Shot of the outer skin of the bumper, showing the alignment of the 2 sections:



The trim was modified and shortened in the exact same method, and also re-bonded using fiberglass.

Section of trim after cutting:



Cut (not yet bonded) sections of trim attached to bumper to be sure that the length is correct:



The driver's side and passenger side sections of trim cut and rebonded, immediatley after laying fiberglass.



The section at the curved part at the end was a spot that cracked, we simply laid a piece of fiberglass over the crack, fixing it the same way we bonded the pieces.



On Thursday, we will be filling in the gaps in the bumper as well as the trim with Bondo, and sanding it down to a perfectly smooth finish, and prepping the bumpers for paint. With any luck, we will start painting this weekend. More pics will follow at that point!
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:26 PM   #6
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Thats AWESOME.... good work, now i know what Jordan was talking about when he said this was NOT an easy job to do on the rear!


You gonna try to eventually figure out a way to get the later model tailights to somehow fit too?!
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldo
You gonna try to eventually figure out a way to get the later model tailights to somehow fit too?!
I dont think he will. Late model tail looks kinda out of place in the rear of an e30. Its too Bulky. the early one flow with the car much better and if u get boared with them get some startec's. (i got a pair for sale)

Good work on it.
i cant wait to see the finish product.
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldo
Thats AWESOME.... good work, now i know what Jordan was talking about when he said this was NOT an easy job to do on the rear!


You gonna try to eventually figure out a way to get the later model tailights to somehow fit too?!
It's not a hard job, it's just time consuming, and you have to KNOW what you're doing. This kind of fabrication can't be done by someone without experience, that's why my brother in law is helping me.

And no, I won't be fitting the late model tails. That would cost more in body work than the car is worth, and the early model tails look 100x better.
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:07 AM   #9
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tails oh jokes! ... i was gonna say... are you gonna lower the rear arches too?

honestly, what moron had "facelifted" late models with the hideous tails??? i don't think Bangle was around back than
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldo
Thats AWESOME.... good work, now i know what Jordan was talking about when he said this was NOT an easy job to do on the rear!


You gonna try to eventually figure out a way to get the later model tailights to somehow fit too?!
He did it a bit differently than how Jordan did his. Jordan remade the ends of his bumpers (IMO the hard way) but Eurospeed just cut the bumper ends in teh middle somewhat and glued them back together.. its gonna look good man. Props
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:18 PM   #11
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what an awesome project. i plan to have an OEM M-tech II body kit installed on my '86 325es once i drop in a '95 M3 engine. you are giving faith to all those that said it couldn't be done on a late model e30. thanks for the pics. it is really helpful.
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