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New Australian owner - 1st round of questionss

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  • New Australian owner - 1st round of questionss

    Hi fellow M3 enthusiasts, I just bought my first M3 last week , so here I am......with plenty of questions to follow for the gurus!

    By way of introduction, my name is John, and I am a mature enthusiast living in Newcastle, Australia. Have owned a 325i E30 firstly, and now own a 318is M42 which is a great daily driver and now retired track car. (thanks to the new M3)

    So onto the M3....I just bought it at auction in Japan without seeing it so obviously it has a few (anticipated) problems. It has just been shipped to Australia last week, and I am now challenged with converting it from LH drive to RH drive, as that's the way we drive here Downunder.

    The car is diamond black with cloth sport seats and 16" BBS polished alloys. Mostly it all appears really good condition and drives (around the block) without fault so I am happy with it generally. But here is my problems:

    When I bought it, the car was meant to be a Euro version so I expected it to come with the dogleg close ratio box. To my dissapointment it has the standard E30 overdrive box with the 4.1 LSD which I guess makes a US spec.
    So does anyone know if the Euro spec cars, or specifically the ones that went to Japan, come with the US transmission as an option or do you think it has been swapped over by an owner???

    Another odd thing about the car is the cluster has been swapped for a standard E30 one as well. Weird and dissappoiting. So can anyone help out with a proper Euro cluster (8,000 tacho and Km speedo) please?

    Oh, and if anyone from a RHD country has done the RHD conversion, I would be greatful for some advice about the rewiring and the exhaust/steering column probs.
    Thanks guys.:p
    Last edited by johne30m3; 04-14-2005, 10:30 PM.
    87 M3 Euro diamond black
    90 318is diamond black

  • #2
    Hi ya and welcome. I know there are a few guys on the forum from down under that have done the LHD to RHD converstion. You should be able to do an serach and find some good info on the subject. I thinking his sig name is OZ M3 for serach from posts my him. I'm sure that he will be on this thread and should be able to give you some pointers.

    Welcome to the e30 M3 club
    "It's not the mountain we conquer but ourselves"


    • #3
      Welcome aboard!
      Is the RHD conversion mandatory over there??

      ...Mike A.


      • #4
        Welcome to the best forum on the planet. M3Pilot is correct, OZM3 has converted to RHD and also manged to do the same with an M5 or Hartge. I did a quick search and here is the link to the completed conversion with another link to the story!!

        Good Luck and dont forget, this forum is useless without pics!!
        E30 M3 - The Original Inspiration


        • #5
          Welcome. Yes some came with the US gearbox and some with the dogleg. luck of the draw. The cluster swap sounds very suspicious. Can you post a pic of it? I have replied to your PM and hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.



          • #6
            Haven't figured out how to send pics yet, think I'm blocked because I don't have enough posts.

            In Australia, we need to convert cars to RHD unless they are 30 years old.

            OZM3, so you have heard of Jap cars coming with both options then? So maybe mine was factory fitted.
            The cluster is identical to my 318is, but thas the 260km/h speedo instead of 240km/h. All the pointers are white as well.

            I need to know about the wiring harness required for RHD and what to do about the exhaust manifold.
            87 M3 Euro diamond black
            90 318is diamond black


            • #7
              You can email me the photo and I can post them for you. [email protected]

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


              • #8
                Congrats on the buy. The easiest way to host photos is dead simple and can hold tons of pictures.

                As others have said the cluster swap makes me think Mileage fraud, hope not for your sake.

                Good luck with the conversion, I saw pictures when OZM3 did it and it looked like a bomb went off right in front of the firewall.

                Either way, welcome.


                • #9
                  I have a complete wiring diagram for E30 m3's in .pdf file I will send you. It will be easier to explain what things you need to do via msn as I can explain things as we go better than answering one off questions. Have a pen and paper ready when we chat. Dont be put off about the extensive work ahead of you, it is worth it. Having just finished the LHD to RHD conversion on an E34 M5 I can tell you the M3 will be a walk in the park comparing.

                  People here are great and you will learn alot from them.



                  • #10

                    Thinks to your photos are

                    The images are below.

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


                    • #11
                      Nice Car good to see another Aussie on the forums


                      • #12
                        1st drive of M3 ... 2nd round of questions

                        Thanks for the welcome guys, getting some good vibes from the
                        OK, I took the M3 for its one and only drive last night before pull down for LHD-RHD conversion. I fixed my rego plates from my 318is and plonked a mate in the RHS seat to look like there was adriver in the car (as we drive on LHS of road in Australia), and we did about a 50km run.
                        General feeling was the car runs well, no serious noises or vibrations, g/box good.
                        But there are problems:
                        Firstly I was dissappointed with the power, I think my 318is would easily keep up if not pass it, and my mate also commented that his E34 535i would also eat it.
                        Second issue is the rev limiter wouldn't let is run past 6500rpm. Can this somehow be related to the fact that the car has the wrong instrument cluster, as my tacho only goes to 7000rpm as I think the cluster has been swaped out with a std E30 one before I bought the car in Japan.
                        I have had a look at the engine. The plugs were very worn with a very large gap, but their colour is nice and brown so I think the engine is in good shape. Couldn't do a compression check as the plug thread is too small for my compression tester to screw in. Also the air filter was quite dirty.
                        So can anyone say if the taco would affect the rev limit?
                        Also is there a service manual on the web?
                        Thanks OZM3 for the wiring diagram, currently downloading.
                        87 M3 Euro diamond black
                        90 318is diamond black