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Ollie's E30 M3 - Second Time Around

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  • Ollie's E30 M3 - Second Time Around

    Guys, forgive the rather familiar tone of some of the details in these posts, essentially it's copied & pasted from another UK forum I have been on for years.

    Essentially this is my second E30 M3. I sold the old (also Lachs) car years back having hit engine & bodywork problems all at once, and have been itching to get back on the horse since. I've had a string of E36, E46 & E92 track & road cars since, but have been waiting for the chance to get back in a proper one.

    I thought some of our international E30 M3 community might enjoy my story with this one, and it's journey might raise a smile or two.

    So, here we go again.

    Essentially I sold the E46 M3 track car for a good price and got a well campaigned E30 M3 track car in return. I don't really know why I sold the E46, other than I could see it being fairly sought after given the specification and the build quality etc, coupled with an unshakable urge to get back into an E30 M3 before the values go any further into the stratosphere (I paid £8K for mine 6 years ago, now that car in that condition would be £25K). So very much a kind of a "now or never" type scenario. The E46 was and is the most badass car I've ever been fortunate enough to drive, fiercely fast, wonderfully screwed together, but ultimately something I could really, really hurt myself in. That was not the reason for sale though, but the fact that whilst I do okay, I simply don't have the budget nor the talent to go racing.

    After that realization, continually doing track day after track day just seems a bit silly. Having been previously required due to circumstance & lack of budget to sell my old E30 M3 years ago, also really, really upset as those who know me well will testify, so given the chance to get in one again at a better time in life was a no brainer. I am really, really into E30 M3's in a really odd visceral/obsessive/almost romantic kind of way also, so knowing I have one right now even though in a million bits just makes me a better person to be around

    How I came to own this M3 is a bit of a story (naturally!), so apologies in advance to anyone who nods off. I'm lucky enough to live close to Nigel Moseley (of E30 M3 fame) so from time to time will drop by to drink tea, talk rubbish and generally mooch about the workshop and oggle over the odd interesting motor knocking about. A couple of months back over a cup of garage tea, I happened to mention that I was in the market for a car again. Nigel told me that a guy had rang recently with a brief spec to have his valued, as he hadn't use it for years ad probably ought to get rid. It was not strictly for sale however, as he had owned it since 2001 and had bonded with it like superglue and a pair of dry index fingers. Anyway I got the guys number, and gave him a call with a figure in mind.

    Headline spec was;

    E30 M3 2.3
    Lachs Silver
    TD Pro Race 1.2's on Dunlop Slicks
    KW Coilovers with GrpA top mounts
    Full weld in roll cage
    Lexan all round
    265bhp rebuilt S14 with Schricks, carbon box/alpha N etc
    3.91 LSD
    1988 Grp A Gearbox with super long 1st gear (60mph) - more valuable than a Spanish bank, but more on this later
    AP Brakes
    ATL fuel cell
    Fully polybushed
    Evo 3 rear wing, Evo 2 front chin spoiler
    Fully stripped
    Bit cosmetically tired, but not completely rotten
    Pair of Sparco buckets with Schroth harnesses

    I get up to view the car, and the guy isn't sure he wants to sell even, but is nonetheless happy to see me. I'm very careful around him, as he's clearly every bit as attached to the car as I'm likely to be as soon as I see it, and he doesn't need the cash necessarily. He just thinks it could (maybe) do with a new home given that it's not moved for years. I'm asking lots of questions about the history, his ownership, where has it been and what has it done. Everything and everywhere, it transpires. Most UK circuits for years, Nurburgring, Spa, you name it, it's been there making noise and polluting the o-zone. I'm getting sweaty and I haven't even seen it yet.

    He opens the doors to the unit, and there it is. Covered in an good centimetre of dust, looking a bit neglected but still mean as hell. I decide right there and then (as all obsessive ///M car chaps should!) I'm having it. End of, it's coming home with me.

    The doors open with the sound of a car that hasn't been touched in years, and inside the drivers door is a 'Ring lap card (dated 2011 I think) and a stopwatch. The windscreen is covered in track event stickers and noise test certificates. Yep, this car has seen some action. It looks like it quite literally got home from the 'Ring, was parked up, fast forward 5 years and I'm there trying to pry it from the current owners hands.

    I'm pouring over, under and around the car looking for any horror stories, and there's nothing major other than a bit of standard E30 grot in the usual places, and a few very trick parts that are making me increasingly moist. Fuel pump fuse was pulled, some fresh fuel dumped in the cell and turned over a few times to get some oil circulating before it's first start in years. Fuse back in, fingers crossed as right now I'm in dangerous position, it could sound like total dogsh1t, but because I'm a mongoloid about stuff like this (remember the GT?) I'd probably still have bought it.

    Happily it fires right up, and settles down nicely to a remarkably quiet idle for an S14. Left ticking over for a while, I'm fighting the urge to jump from foot to foot and make monkey noises. I have money burning a hole in my pocket, and there's a stripped out E30 M3 in front of me with a carbon box ready to make lots of noise. I practically had a religious & sexual experience right there and then.

    Oil temp is now up a bit, and the engine can be given a few blips in an otherwise deserted industrial unit - the air is filled with memories of watching "DTM - The Golden Years" on repeat on Youtube. This thing sounds mean as hell. I want it badly, and must have it.

    We start talking numbers and the owner looks like he might have a meltdown and pull out on the deal on the spot. I re-emphasize that it's going to a very worthy home, and that I will cherish it until death do us part etc etc (stop giggling at the back, I might even keep it for 18 months!).

    A deal is agreed, and we shake hands. I'm happy with the numbers (it'd break for more than I paid, at least that's what is keeping me sane), and he's content (ish).

    I drive away, check my phone and have lots of missed calls from close friends who knew about the possible deal and want to know whether I've got it. I arrive home stammering on the phone like a fool, massively excited and get drunk whilst watching "DTM - The Golden Years" on Youtube. I now have a 10 day wait to sort my logistics out, hook up the trailer and get my ass up there and drag it home.

    It's a long 10 days.

    Saturday arrives and I bring it home. The plan is to get it home, spanner check it, chuck an MOT on it and tool about in it for a few weeks/months whilst I formulate a plan for it. It didn't quite work out that way :lol:

    First picture of what is probably already far too "wordy" a journal.Back home and on the trailer, see the dust?!

    First order of the day is a quick wash, so we can see what we're working with.


    This car leaks, I mean really leaks, all the various "modifications" are letting water in like you would not believe, I'm talking wet vac on the floor pan and wheels wells kind of affair. That might be a bit of a challenge in the rain then. Also, the fuel system is downright shonky & dangerous. All the connections sweat fuel vapour at best, and leak fuel out at worst. Hmmm, this might not pass an MOT after all. My ambitions of tooling about in this quickly are shrinking, rapidly. The seat mounts are made of tin foil, and with one swift kick to the side of a seat it would surely fall off and roll around the cabin. The roll cage, is questionable at best, (I knew this bit well to be fair) and looks like in an accident it would cause more harm than good! Bugger. This may get serious quite quickly then.

    Kul & Bal pop over to mine, we throw some fresh oil in and new set of plugs, and just generally stand around it in the garage and smile. Grunting noises are made, lots of them, and a good time had by all. It feels really fcuking good to have the first (in my mind) iconic ///M car again, and my name on the V5.

    I start fretting though like I usually do, and decide fcuk it, I'm going to rip into this thing right now and get on it. I won't be happy with it pissing in water, seats being unsafe, and the fuel system being dangerous. I'm not hugely risk averse, but the thought of piloting this thing down a back road on full chat with a leaking fuel cell, and a live battery right next to it doesn't fill me with optimism regarding the next few years of my life. I'm going to bite the bullet now, with a view to the sooner it starts, the sooner it can be finished.

    The car is taken down to Moseley Motorsport, and orders issued. Start stripping it on Monday, and don't stop until it's a bare roller.

    Down at Moseley's running and driving for the last time in it's current incarnation.

    Two or three days later, I get the call. "It's stripped, parts are boxed and it's down to a rolling shell. What do we do next? Bring some money."

  • #2

    I go down, drink tea, poke rust and am generally just very excited to be cracking on with this now. Yes it's a bit rusty and has some shonky repairs done in the past, but not too bad for an 27 year old E30. I make a call to Hockly Motorsport (who did the boss cage in my E46)...

    "Hi Hockly's? Yep, me again. Yes I've sold the E46, great, I have another pile of crap for you to sort out now. You'll take the job on? Great, see you in a week, yes I'll remortgage the kidneys again beforehand. Bye"

    A plan is hatched.

    Hockly's will receive the shell and cut the horrible old cage out, slowly and respectfully. They will then make good the rot (properly I might add), but not before having bead blasted the shell so we can see the extent of the grot. They will also cut the sunroof skin off, and replace it with a non sunroof skin. A new scuttle will be fitted as mine is dreadful, and they'll attend to the multitude of other problems that crop up along the way. Oh, and there's also the small matter of converting the car back to LHD (as the Messiah intended for all his chariot's) and make it impossible to tell that it has ever spent anytime as a converted RHD car. Don't forget that bit.

    Once those few 5 minute jobs are done, they'll get on with the job in hand - build & fit me a new roll cage. I want this thing strong, safe, and stiff as an ironing board, but must also comply with current MSA Blue Book regulations so I can go on a jolly to the Isle of Mann again and pretend I can afford to do this sh1t more than once a year. Simple, really.

    And so off it went. I must say my £1000 trailer has already paid for itself with this and the E46. Anyone into old rusty tat should definitely invest in one.

    So fast forward a few weeks, and I pop up to Newtown (Welsh border town, middle of nowhere) to see how this very serious motorsport outfit are getting on with my old shed. The cage is out, and it's not looking any worse than was expected (I chose my words carefully there! They've been kind to the shell whilst getting the old climbing frame out, and are keen for me to see progress each time I visit. It feels good even at this stage, as we're making progress and getting on with things.

    The current pictures of the shell now the old climbing frame is out;

    All that is left to do now is to wheel the old girl into the blasting booth, hit it with some media and see what's left over. I'm due to go up there this Friday 7th October to see how it's turned out. Will there be anything left other than the roof skin? Or will it be not too bad in the grand scheme of things? Stay tuned to find out. Regardless it's in the right place, and the project is progressing quite fast for something like this.

    There is a fairly general vision for what I want the car to be/look like etc, and it will naturally be pushed & pulled a little as things move forward. That said, it's going to have an OEM carpet set, glass all round, and nothing too crazy cage wise. I need to be able to use this thing, and not get out after 10 minutes searching for the nearest spinal board. The urge to go "full retard" is there lurking, but it will be resisted. Probably.

    Along the last couple of months various parts have been ordered, deals done on some dope schizz rims and all sorts. Hopefully it should be quite a boss thing when it's finished and with a spot of luck, I'll still have hair on my head and some brain cells left functioning.

    Thanks for looking.



    • #3
      Right then, so it was with a little trepidation that I set off to Hockly Motorsport last Friday to have a look at the car's progress. These boys truly are in the back end of nowhere, I couldn't resist taking this photo to try and illustrate just how rural and remote their site is. They are however very well established and really know their stuff. The road out there is full of rolling hills, lonely truck stops and smoking chimneys - just my sort of place.

      Arriving on site

      With pictures like this all over the walls, visitors should be under no illusion that these boys have been doing this not only since I was born, but also really know how to build a cage.

      Anyway, on to matters at hand. The shell has yet to be blasted, as some poor sod has spent the last 5 days with a zip wheel and various other tools scraping every scrap of sealant off the underside of the car before blasting. Apparently the blasting media just bounces off sealant, so this has to come off first so they can see what they're working with. Starting to look rather serious, and irreversible :shock: Is it too late to just hit it with some hammerite and other comprehensive reconditioning products?

      On a spit and in the torture chambers, it has to look worse, before it can look better.

      The floor is absolutely covered in sealant and filth, I genuinely felt a little sorry for whoever has been doing this for the last week. The general state of the shell is actually very good so far (except where it isn't). The state of play as of right now is:

      Rear of the car - mint except for the battery tray which is ruined, standard stuff.
      Sills - bit frilly at either end, but generally very good.
      Floorplan - mint.
      Bulkhead - Full of holes from it's time as a left & right hooker, but good.
      Lower bulkhead/jacking points - ruined, and with more plates than a Freemason's dinner party.
      Front end - mint.
      Wheel wells front - mint, except for where there's rusty holes from the old cage
      Wheel wells rear - mint, except for the areas at the base where the bumper meets, where they are fairly ruined.

      So overall, so very nice bits, some horrid bits, and some just generally frilly bits.

      The next stage which is blasting will really expose the extent of any repairs that need doing, and then they can crack on and cut the old plates out, and start letting some decent metal in carefully. It should be being blasted quite literally as I type this, and I'm due to pop up again on Thursday 20th.

      Here are various photos of the state of play:

      Hockly's are mega impressed with the state of the shell, given that it's knocking on for 30 years old.

      My new (old) roof has been blasted and is ready to be chopped up now. If you look carefully you'll see the yellow/gold brazing marks where BMW attached the skin to the frame at the factory back in the day. Hockly's are going to be brazing this on to my shell too ultimately, as the braze allows for a little flex (not that there should be an awful lot with a fairly chunky cage in situ).

      Anyway, I have to wait now until next week to get some more progress photos after blasting. But, I've been busy in the garage...

      The S14 is rather handily dumped on a pallet, so I've removing various bits and bobs to either replace, or tart them up. It's all very showfag esque, but I don't care. Everything has received a thorough scrubbing, and as it's been relatively recently been rebuilt it's all coming up rather nicely.


      • #4
        These 48mm throttles have been sent off for soda blasting, as they do look a bit ropey.

        Now my engine has had some work done in the past. It's sporting a suitably expensive pair of Schrick cams (284/276 for anyone who's interested), Schrick valves, and has had "some" headwork which is visible when you peer down the ports. But, I was keen to replace a few gaskets that were visibly weeping, presumably due to the rubber going hard from standing for a few years. So it's had rocker cover, spark plug, distributor, coolant rail, inlet cap, and coolant rail gaskets & O rings all replaced whilst it's resting up on the pallet.

        I've also checked the valve clearances and thrown a few shims in there. There was initially a bit of confusion surrounding what the appropriate clearance should be, given that they aren't factory cams. After a couple of sleepless nights and having taken some advice, I've set them as per the Schrick data sheet. The internet is full of bad information and personal preference, so in the end sticking to the Schrick numbers seemed like the best way forward. I borrowed the appropriate tools from Moseley Motorsport on a Saturday morning, popped the kettle on and took my time over it.

        Cam cover off, looking very nice and clean under there which is awesome.

        Feeler gauges out, and time to draw a little diagram to record the clearances as they are now.

        All the inlet clearances were too tight at 0.20mm. I wanted to get them as close to 0.25 - 0.30mm as possible, as per the Schrick datasheet.The exhaust were all spot on with the exception of one which got swapped out.

        So out with the magic bucket depressing tool, and pop out the current shim. Use a micrometer to measure it currently, then go rooting through boxes of shims in order to find one that when inserting in it's stead, would give me the clearance I need.

        Quick check again with the feeler gauge to make sure it's right, record the results and move on to the next shim. Once they're all done, one final check with the feeler gauges just so I don't wake up in the night screaming, and tools are packed up and we're done.

        This took me really rather a long time, as I'm not the best mechanic on here (or even in my street, probably!) but I actually really enjoyed doing this. Going very steadily and carefully took me about 4 hours with a few tea breaks.

        Whilst I'm waiting for the shell to get sorted out, I'm trying to maintain a state of relative organised chaos in my garage/shed. This means checking all the parts that have come from the car for condition/upgrade possibilities, and just generally nerding around.

        One of the best parts of E30 M3 ownership is the fact you get to have a gurney flap. Who could not adore an adjustable, proper motorsport derived rear spoiler?!

        I did get temporarily very excited when confronted with some OEM BMW stampings both on the flap, and on the spoiler. I then realised that my fibreglass copy (just like every other one in existence) has just been taken from a mould of an OEM item, hence the poor definition in the markings on mine. Nevermind :lol: At least it's a genuine fake.

        I'm retaining the OEM brake servo/pedal box setup in this car, and it needs to remain "streetable". So the brake servo got hit with the etch & reconditioning spray, as it was particularly nasty and a bit rusty beforehand. I'll probably be a total bummer and order a reproduction of the blue ATE OEM sticker to go back on it in due course too.

        Finally the gearbox & shifter combination that was fitted to my car was always a bit interesting. It's a replica Group A shifter assembly, rose jointed with double sheer selector rod, which is bolted to the turret. Quite a nice thing in itself.

        But, the gearbox it was attached to is something else;

        Anyone spot the rather unusual pipe on the top of the box and the lockwire?

        Basically when I bought the car, the previous owner told me that the gearing in the car would permit you to do 60mph in 1st gear. :shock: Yup, you read that right, 60 miles per hour - in 1st gear. Having experienced this for myself, I can confirm it's utterly bizarre. Some investigations ensued, and it's transpired that this gearbox was bought back in 2003 from Moseley Motorsport, which was very much during the time when these cars weren't worth an awful lot. That said, this box was still £1,500 even back then. To put that into perspective, in 2005 you could buy a perfectly together and up and running complete E30 M3 for £5,000. So it was bloody expensive.

        This gearbox was actually removed in 2003 from an Italian AC Schnitzer GrpA race car, that Moseley had imported from Italy. So it's a proper, bona fide touring car GrpA gearbox, which is worth a right few quid. The thinking is that in a race situation, you engage first on the starting grid, then can hold it in first until you've cut your way through the pack and hopefully make it to the front, before dipping the clutch and snatching second, therefore not breaking your acceleration whilst trying to make up a few places straight off the start line.

        It's not really suitable for me however, for several reasons;

        1. If it has a problem, I don't fancy ringing up BMW Motorsport in Garching to get parts for it. They would want one of my organs in exchange, and Hockly's already have first & second charges registered on most of them.

        2. It does 60mph in 1st gear, isn't suitable for anything other than absolutely flat our screaming use all of the time.

        3. There's some big money tied up in it (£thousands), which I can free up to fund the rest of the build.

        I've pulled off what I think is the deal of the century with a thoroughly nice Kiwi chap in Gloucestershire who is more into these cars than anyone I have ever met.

        He gets the GrpA box, (but I keep my rose jointed shifter) and in return I get a standard E30 M3 dog leg box, plus a set of brand new re-manufactured "BBS" E50 wheels, in 8J ET20, in 5x120 flavour. Gold magnesium (fcuking magnesium!!! 8) ) centres, silver barrels. Now this guy manufactures these wheels, as BBS don't make the E50 anymore and haven't for some time. This chap has spent a lot of time and money in making sure this are exact replica's of the originals, and I think they look absolutely stunning. The size my wheels are being made to are the exact spec of the early 87-89 Group A cars, but mine aren't going to be centrelocks despite my best efforts to go full retard. Here's a few photos of the wheels themselves and the manufacturing process;

        For me these are the ULTIMATE E30 M3 wheel, and one I have lusted after solidly for the last 7 years. They are period correct, magnesium (fcuk yeah!) and very light at 7.5kg each. My only regret is that they aren't centre locks, but it really wouldn't make any sense to go down that route with this car. Lead time on the wheels is lengthy at around 12-16 weeks, but actually that will hopefully tie in well with the work taking place on the shell. I'm very, very excited about these.

        That's it for now, I have a load of stuff to collect from powder coaters, platers and vapour blasters which I'll waffle on about once it's all back and reassembled.

        Cheers for looking.



        • #5
          Went up to Hockly's to have a butchers at the blasted shell a week or so ago.

          It's actually looking pretty good now all the paint & remaining sealer has been removed. There are 7/8 nasty bits, but all relatively easily accessible whilst the car is like this, and they'll have been cracking on putting them right already since my last visit up there. Their brief is simple - "If it's broken, fix it, and if it's been badly repaired previously then do it right this time around and make it look factory".

          The roof should be off now, so that once the shell has been repaired they can get on with the cage.

          I've made a decision on the cage too. An exact replica of a 1988 Group A cage is being made to the original diagrams, except out of T45 so it'll be a little lighter. I'm leaving out (but still having made, will keep them safe, maybe for a later date) the dash bar so I can run the OEM heater box though.

          On to photos;

          So we're moving on nicely. :thumb:


          • #6

            I've spent a lot of time and effort on my throttle bodies. Having had lots of these soda blasted previously for me and others, I was adamant this set would be bit special.

            A quick before shot to remind you of the condition;

            The throttle body housings were soda blasted along with all the link bars, and then everything that could be removed was plated silver. Carefully reassembled yesterday over a couple of cups of tea with the help of Bal's E30 parked outside my shed for the inevitable "oh fcuk, where does this washer go?" moments.

            Then bolted up to my S14 (now sporting freshly painted engine block (thanks Bal & Andy!) along with a box full of silver & gold plated brackets, engine mountings and a reconditioned PAS pump & Injectortune refurbished injectors.

            I've repainted/powdercoated etc my cam cover several times now, and I'm still not happy with the finish. So I still need to sort that out. The alternator has been stripped down to its individual components, the housing vapour blasted, the regulator replaced, and Bal is kindly putting it all back together for me. Once alternator & cam cover are mounted, Butler Motorsport are going to be throwing some new shells & ARP rod bolts in it for me. It's not expensive, and given that I intend to thrash this thing I'd rather know it's right. I'll probably not be able to resist the temptation to have the sump & bell housing soda blasted too. It's shame I can't smarten the head up more, but there's no way I'm pulling that off when it ran so well before.

            It's been a lot of fun so far, progress being only limited by available time in the garage 8)

            That's it for now.




            • #7
              Right then, on to the next update. Sh1t's been getting done. Much fornication, rubbing and scrubbing has been taking place in my garage/shed with the help of Bal, Kul and occasionally Salad Fingers when he can be arsed to make an appearance, whilst over in Newtown they have been busy cutting, scraping, welding & grinding.

              I'll keep the words to a minimum as hopefully the pictures illustrate the work that's been taking place at both locations.

              Cam cover reinstated with new gaskets etc. I had a religious moment at this point. Shame the head looks like a manky bit of snot on an otherwise fairly mint engine but hey ho.

              Alternator has been fully stripped down to a bare casing by me (broken in the process), taken for soda blasting, then fixed & reassembled by Bal very kindly. Looking very sexual now.

              Large & stupid carbon fibre gurney flap added to rear wing for good measure - because when you've got fcuk all power, just what you want is some drag... smart eh?

              Onto matters more significant, the roof has been cut off. I must be fcuking nuts. I did promise myself to keep well out of the way during this bit, but couldn't resist going for a mooch given that the new rook skin isn't going on until the cage is fitted. Scary sh1t. Hockley's seem relaxed about it however, which is encouraging.

              They've really, really cracked on with the remedial shell work to give them their due, and I'm due up there towards to the end of this week to sign off the shell and hand it over to their cage man in a different part of the building. Exciting stuff. A whole heap of pictures with the car looking a lot less colander like.


              • #8


                • #9

                  The next update should be in a couple of weeks time once the bulk of the cage work has been completed, and the underside is being prepared ready for return of the axles which have been blasted and powdercoated. Then it can be made a roller once more and loaded up for it's journey off to the Isle of Man.

                  Lots of little detail jobs are popping up now which is a bit of a pain (I'd much rather just order & fit shiny bits) like how the fcuk do I want my seats mounted etc, but there's a list and it'll get worked through.

                  Cheers for looking and thanks to all who've been helping me.


                  • #10
                    So having been very happy with the remedial metal work that had been done on my previous visit, Hockly's were given the nod to move on now and crack on with the climbing frame. It's going to be a very basic & historically faithful cage design, so happily shouldn't take too long to turn around. I'm hoping that by mid January '17 the cage will be in, and the roof firmly back on the body.

                    The car is then going down the road on a trolley to get hit with the etch primer stick, and have some stonechip thrown in the general direction of the underside. Once that's all done, the axles can be slung back on and it's back rolling again. So far, all going to plan which is ideal.

                    I've very nearly reached the point in the garage where all of the easy quick cosmetic wins have been dealt with, all that is left is the soda blasting of the sump and some ARP rod bolts throwing in, and we're stuck in the land of cleaning window & door seals. I may be a massive gheylord, but even I don't consider that fun. Needs must however so I dare say I'll get on with some of that over the Christmas holidays.

                    I've had a couple of little jobs to do which have kept me in the garage and out of trouble.

                    Having become a bit obsessed with the lovely finish soda blasting provides, I've been eyeballing scabby looking alloy parts and wondering what else I can easily whip off. The bellhousing did look a bit ropey, so that got done.



                    I bloody love soda blasting.

                    I've had the diff kicking around the garage shed for a while now, and like most BMW diffs it resembled something dragged from the bottom of a salt bath. I got some cheapo wire wheel attachments for my drill, and spent a while shaving off all the rust. Hit it with the refurbishing black hammerite stick, and dropped the back plate off to be soda blasting, and ordered new bolts, plugs and washers. The speed sensor cover was eye wateringly expensive at £60 from BMW, for such a small thing this really did make me grimace like I was sucking on a lemon. Still bought it though :lol: Threw in a Z3M diff bush for good measure, and we're done. Doesn't look half bad I think, ideally I would have liked a Z3M back plate with the jumbo sized cooling fins, but they're really expensive, and I plan to just steal Bal's when he's not looking.

                    Finally I couldn't help but feel whilst the engine now doesn't look bad at all, the crusty brown manifold still lets it down. I've spoken to a few of these ceramic coating firms in the last few weeks, and found one in Oxford who can coat it black, and warrant their work up to something hilarious like 700c. They were very reasonable too, whilst Zircotec wanted £400 + (they can fcuk off), these boys are doing it for £140. Much better, so the manifold was duly whipped off and posted off to them.

                    In other news I found myself going a little mental without a car toy that make engine noises currently, and with the E30's completion still some months away, set about finding myself another hunk of 80's crap to smoke about in, and compete in the Isle of Man in 2017 hill climb event I did last year.

                    Step forward, the Lancia Delta Intergrale Evolution 1.

                    It's a rather lovely old thing, quite a nice together example and happily (like the E30) one that I am not likely to lose my shirt on financially due to their rising values. It's currently having a set of camshafts fitted which will see the output nudge 250bhp, and has had a boatload of cash thrown at it in the last few years.

                    It's lovely, very pleased. Various Evo Triangle and Welsh weekend runs planned for it once it's back from having cams. Not sure how long I'll keep it (probably end of summer '17), but I'm currently the proud custodian of two pieces of 80's Motorsport history*

                    *80's crap

                    I've been flagellating myself each night for buying Italian junk, like the monk from the Da Vinci Code, Bal has threatened to never speak to me again, but fingers crossed it'll hold together long enough to do the 3 day event in the IOM in April, and won't try and kill me/burst into flames/leave me stranding more than twice on the M40.

                    Hope you all have a cracking Christmas, thanks for looking.

                    P.S It's not really a new daily driver, that would be daft as it's likely to break down every second turn of the key.



                    • #11
                      Great Story, Thanks for sharing!


                      • #12
                        I'm not even halfway through the first post but I have to come down and say that this is already an awesome read! I'll save the link and read the rest after work...
                        1989 Lachs
                        1988 Lachs - sold
                        1988 DS - sold
                        Bay Area M3 FB group


                        • #13
                          Wow so much attention to detail and good job cleaning everything up, looks fantastic.


                          • #14
                            Great story, details, and humor, keep it up!


                            • #15
                              Loven' this post! Thanks for taking the time to tell the tale...

                              Disclaimer: Remember, I know absolutely nothing, but it doesn't prevent me from having an opinion or suggestion. :