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Ollie's E30 M3 - Second Time Around

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  • #46
    Not sure if I'd posted this previously, but I decided to have the standard dogleg box gone right through. Luckily Iain knows a man with a gearbox fetish on the Isle of Man, so it was dropped over there a couple of months ago to be rebuilt and tarted up.

    Chuffed to bits with this, he's done an outstanding job on it for sensible money. I need to fit a new reversing switch to it, as whilst it was in the back of the car it tipped onto it's side and bent/broke the tabs. I've got a Febi replacement to pop in now, most likely the cheapest part of the car so far at about 7. I've also ordered new OEM green tint front & rear windscreens & trims etc (car was running lexan rear and front was smashed when I bought it), and a load of bumper gaskets, towing eye covers etc before they go NLA again. That bill hurt as it happens, thick end of a grand.

    Pictures of the lovely rebuilt g/box;

    I've also realised there's no way I can resintall my driveshafts with them looking like this, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I've found a nice firm in Wolverhampton called Des Shelley Shafts ( who for small beer will strip down, tart up and completely rebuild these. They're getting dropped off this week.

    Gratuitous before picture showing the rusty & broken dust shields - yuk.

    Cheers for looking.



    • #47
      Gearbox is looking really good, my advise is over fill with ATF oil now and when installed remove the bung on the side to correct the level.

      E30 M3 1987
      Mini Clubman GT
      BMW E36 323 Msport
      Toyota Corona
      KTM 200EXC
      Honda CB50 (1979)


      • #48
        Simply wonderful!

        Man would I love to have that dogleg gearbox... I must say I'm not a big fan of the unit we got here in NA. Mine kinda drives me to despair at times...

        We would all LOVE to be doing the same to our cars... :-(


        • #49
          Thanks for the kind words guys, it's coming together now slowly :-)


          • #50
            Re the driveshafts, are they doing anything with the outer CV ?
            This space is a sanctimonious shit-free zone.


            • #51
              how are you getting on Ollie? Mine is well and truly underway!!


              • #52
                BMG - they can't do anything with the outer other than clean up & repack etc. They're back now and look brand new, pictures another time as I've forgotten to take any.

                Last few weeks have been very busy on the car, the underside is now complete, as is the inside & the engine bay/boot. An insane amount of work has gone into this shell now, god knows how many phone calls, emails, parts ordered, head scratching. It's there for this part now though, and the car is officially LHD once more (as God intended). All remnants of it's seedy RHD past are gone for ever, without leaving a trace.

                Kudos to the bodyshop man, he's been very thorough and corrected a few things the cage guys missed. Enormous thanks to my friend Iain over on the island too. After every stage or significant event he's been over the shell with a fine toothcombe to sign it off. A more picky, obsessive, annoying (for the bodyshop guy) inspector you will not find - cheers dude.

                My wheels have also arrived, over the moon with these. Lovely and light, nicely made, and should look just right.

                Onto the pictures, the exterior of the shell should be painted by this weekend, then it's panels left to go.

                Pedal box all in and working

                Mag wheels

                Underside finished

                Diff pickup points

                Seam sealer in engine bay

                Inside painted

                There has been a matting agent added to the paint on the interior and the boot at my request. As these are heavy contact areas, I think it should show the marks less easily. The engine bay is full Alpine White 1 gloss however.

                Stay tuned, the exterior paint photos should be good. I will also ask the painter to buy a decent camera phone, as his existing one is shocking and it looks creamy in poor light - it is white, honest!




                • #53
                  Looks fantastic! Great progress.
                  1988 DS
                  1988 Lachs
                  Bay Area M3 FB group


                  • #54
                    Cheers guys, it's getting closer to being a car again.

                    Now in primer as of last night, and awaiting flatting.

                    Getting excited now, really looking forward to seeing it all white.


                    • #55
                      So we're still cooking on gas.

                      The shell is now done, and ready to be polished. 3 base coats of Alpine white 1, and 3 coats of lacquer to permit it to be polished to death.

                      Now that's that monumental task done & out of the way, work has started in earnest on the panels. Some of which are in great shape, whereas others not so.

                      The doors have been completely stripped, every piece of trim, nut bolt etc has been removed and they've been prepped and painted inside out leaving a pair of mega minty fresh E30 M3 doors. No rot on either of these to repair, just a tiny scab on the leading edge of the d/s which was easily sorted. There was 5 layers of paint on there however, so the bodyshop man took them back to bare metal, and filled a few small dents.

                      Yummy stuff.

                      The front wings were in very good shape after the repairs to the lower section (I say repair, I ought to say chopped off & completely remade!), but were also taken back to bare metal inside & out, with a good dollop of Upol Raptor splattered around the inside for good measure.

                      The bonnet however has caused some problems. When I bought the car it had a poorly fitting (and fitted) fibreglass bonnet. I'm all for a spot of weight reduction, but that's not the primary goal for this car. I'd bought a non rotten and used bonnet (can't remember where from now) and had it blasted at the same time as the shell months ago (last year I think). Turns out, this was a crap idea. As this is an individual panel with no real structural integrity, it's affected it badly. Essentially it's all got a bit hot, and created some pockets in the steel and just generally gone a bit wibbly wobbly. This is obviously not ideal. To give the bodyshop man his due, he's persevered with it and managed to get it about 98% right, just not quite perfect. This has bugged everyone involved here, as everything else has been a balls out, f*ck the budget no compromise effort.

                      BMW currently only have 2 x new bonnets in stock, both of which have been damaged during transit somehow and been repaired by their manufacturer at some stage. I'm loathe to pay top money for an already repaired part from them, so we've decided to get the bonnet painted, see if it's okay and go from there. I may replace the bonnet with a new OEM item in time, once they've got some proper new stock in again. That's quite a lot of waffle all about a slightly sh*tty bonnet, but it's all part of the story and the level of effort that's going into the car. I could get another used bonnet, but then it's a ferry trip (250) over to the Isle of Man, and two days free time gone. I'll see how it turns out.

                      The offending bonnet (shame, as it was MINT before blasting)

                      The bumpers, bootlid and skirts are next to receive some love. The bootlid is mint (it's plastic so it can't rust), the skirts are mint, the back bumper is very good, but the front bumper is currently a horror story. It's been chopped into many times, and had various quick release fixings screwed into it over the years, and is just generally a bit broken. The bodyshop man will need to apply all his skill & patience to bring it back to life. I'm hoping he can, as a new OEM skin is 900 + VAT from BMW currently. We'll see how it goes, I'm not prepared to compromise on this part, so it'll either be perfect, or I'll get a nice bill.

                      It's all getting a bit close now, so I'm reminded of the first job to be started on as soon as the car is back home - the wiring loom. It's horrendous. Happily I have a man with a plan, and he's on standby.

                      It's nice, as this build chapter is coming to a close now, but I'm conscious another very big one is about to start. I'm going to start panicking about whether my S14 will throw a rod on first start soon, or whether my ancient wiring loom will burst into flames the first time it's connected to a battery - all good fun.

                      Cheers for reading.



                      • #56
                        Front bumper skins are around 450 Euro new for a stock non-Evo Euro I bought one a year or so ago via Cotswold BMW and paid about 350 ish at the time. The 900 one is probably an Sport Evo bumper, but then again, that might be what you want ?

                        There looks to be 2 different ones available.
                        Stock Euro front bumper p/n 51111967803 453 Euro
                        Evo 2 listed bumper p/n 51112238243 1081 Euro

                        This space is a sanctimonious shit-free zone.


                        • #57
                          good stuff, looking forward to more.


                          • #58
                            Ferry is booked to go and collect the car on the Friday of next week - very exciting.

                            All painted and ready to come home.


                            • #59
                              It's back 8)

                              Had to rent a monster trailer in order to get it back home with no glass (didn't want it filling up with water).

                              Paint finish is absolutely first class. There's been some serious man hours gone into this, and it shows. The shell is now as good as any out there I'd wager, and certainly better than most :lol:

                              Now comes the fun of bolting all the fun bits back on, lots to do still but hopefully will be running by Christmas. The "goal" is to compete in the Isle of Man in April of next year, so don't need to rush the important stuff.

                              Did fit the Sport Evo splitter & undertray this week though, as was fed up of tripping over it at home!

                              Massive trailer.

                              Coming home.


                              Airbox was refinished whilst in the Isle of Man too, now looking brand new.

                              A big thanks to Dave the painter in the Isle of Man for doing such a nice job and for being very tolerant of my fussiness, and an even bigger thanks to Iain for overseeing it all on the island, the various 1am finishes on it fitting it up and just generally being an all round good egg. Cheers dude.

                              First jobs are wiring loom, fuel lines and brake lines.




                              • #60
                                Car is now finished!

                                My friend Bal got the car running having spent literally two weekends trying to connect to the Alpha N. Many visits to Maplin involved trying to find the right cabling that would talk to the engine management equivalent of a Amstrad.

                                Car being mapped at Chipwizards - very stressful. Early start to get up north in the snow & ice, followed by a trailer failure 2 miles out. Got it there a bit stressed out, and then sat in a waiting room for 8 hours listening to it screaming its head off. Not fun. Top tip, if you're planning on having a car mapped, drop it off and leave. Don't stay and listen to it being tortured. Didn't blow up though which was nice, but I didn't get home till gone midnight having had to get the E30 recovered. Trailer is still stuck up north as I type.

                                Now complete & detailed engine bay.

                                Arch liners, front bumper and SE undertray now all mounted. Finally got some dirt underneath it too.

                                And up in the air having been steam cleaned outside and waxed, glass cleaned etc

                                Finished! Ta da

                                Now sat under a cover waiting for a MOT.