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e30mclow's latest e30 Project 
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
Posts: 904
Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Hey Folks,

It has been a few years since I've posted on here, as I moved to the States in January 2016.

When I was last on here I was believe I was driving an e34 m5 as a Daily, but have moved onto a few different cars since. I got bitten by the Audi S4 bug, and have had 2 B5 S4s that occupied my time and wallet. Right now I have a really clean low mileage example that I've recently brought to Stage 3 (bigger turbos and supporting mods).
It is pretty quick and along with now having launch control, no lift shift and anti-lag, it is as far along as I'm going to take it.
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Having competed this, I had a an itch to get back into an old BMW.
I thought I was made when I came across this beautiful 2002Tii -
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I put a deposit on it and booked it in for an inspection. Unfortunately, they found terminal rot on the chassis legs so I had to pass.

Disheartened, I made the 4hr drive home in the rain. As things usually go, I saw this e30 for sale about 2 miles from my house, and bought it there and then.
That was Sept' 21st, and I've since been bringing it up to spec. The plan is to have a road going semi track ready car, centered around handling rather than power.

As I found it:
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The fun stuff:
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Adjustable Subframe Mod
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Rear struts & brace installed
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6 Branch Manifold
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Polybushed Rear End + flushed and inspected the diff (had an LSD, which was a great bonus!)
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New front control arms, drop links and powerflex bushings
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Steam cleaned and painted the inner arches
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That is pretty much where things sit right now, minus a few minor things like z3 shifter upgrade that I put in over the weekend.

I tack welded the front struts and rear beam, but have trusted them to a professional to finish off. Once those are back, I'll start reassembly.
I have new brake discs, stainless lines, fast road/race pads and a few other little things that'll go on at that time.

I'm on the hunt for a z3 1.9L rack to quicken up the steering, then it'll on to the cosmetics/interior.


Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:31 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:27 pm
Posts: 120
Location: Okotoks
BMW: 2010 328i
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
too bad on the 2002! they are hard to find without rust issues.


Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:18 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:43 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: '90 320i Mtechnic
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Alpine coupe looks like a great base for your project!

What coil overs are those?

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'92 Glacier Blue E30 Cabrio


Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:14 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
Posts: 904
Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
rabbitgti wrote:
Alpine coupe looks like a great base for your project!

What coil overs are those?


It is very solid, but has a little bit of rust that needs to be sorted out around the sunroof.

I went with BC Racing Coilovers. I wanted to keep the coilover setup around $1,000USD as between the bushings and camber/toe adjustments, things add up quick. They have good reviews and I've ridden in a few e30s with them.
I'll likely need some stiffer ARBs once I drive it a little, as I'm sure the stock ones will be then be the weakest link.


Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:39 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:53 am
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Location: Calgary
BMW: E30
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
I was wondering what happened to you, Good to see you’re back in a E30 even though that S4 probably hauls ass.

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Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:00 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
24V E30 wrote:
I was wondering what happened to you, Good to see you’re back in a E30 even though that S4 probably hauls ass.


I must admit, I occasionally think of the one ride I got in your e30 the time we did my clutch. I'd love that power in an e30.
The s4 is really quick and surprises a lot of expensive cars, but...it is pretty boring in anything other than a straight line.

S54s are pretty cheap and readily available here, so I'll maybe go that route if time/$ allows.

BTW - the yellow s4 you had the pleasure of pulling the tranny on was stolen between me putting it on the moving truck in YYC and its supposed arrival in North Carolina. That was a whole ordeal lol. It ended up in a ditch 350miles from my house, and I never even got to drive it in the US.
What an insurance battle that was, as they initially called it a "Audi A4 1.8T Tuner Style Car" @ $3,200.

How I last had it VS after buying it back:

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I ended up hiring a private appraiser and getting a solid number. It cost me $1,000 for the appraisal, but I ended up getting it all covered. I'd advise anyone else in a similar position to do the same.


Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:16 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:53 am
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Location: Calgary
BMW: E30
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Holy crap that’s crazy. What a pain in the ass that must have been.

S54 swap would be a good time. Even the M20 with the suspension refresh you’re doing will be a heck of a lot more fun then the Audi even though it’s slower.

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Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:51 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:21 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Grande Prarie
BMW: 2003 E46 M3
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Good to see ya on here Ger, great progress with the E30


Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:57 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Feens wrote:
Good to see ya on here Ger, great progress with the E30


Likewise, Feens. The ole e30owners site is pretty dead these days.

Some updates.

I stripped back and cleaned up the front inner arches and installed the control arms, coilovers and new discs.
I still need to tighten everything up this weekend.
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I also created fire, as I am a man and that's what we do
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Dreaming big and hoping to get the rear subframe all buttoned up this weekend, along with all brakes and new SS lines.
Then it can sit on 4 wheels again.

Regarding an s54 swap....one has popped up for $3,200 with receipts for full service history and bearing replacement. I wonder how much on top of that would be needed to finish the swap.. (gearbox, driveshaft, rad, mounts, aux fan, harness conversion etc etc). So tempting to try and achieve the swap before moving back to Canada, where everything is more expensive.


Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:40 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
A few updates.

I was flip-flopping between wheel ideas, but was trying really hard to avoid my usual "stance" ways. These very nice BBS RXs popped up for sale semi-local, which I think suit the car. They're a conservative 16x7 et35 with sticky tires up front, and slightly larger cheapo ones in the rear - perfect for an e30, as the rear tires shouldn't ever last too long.
I ordered some 10mm spacers and will pick up the wheels this Thursday night.
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Over the weekend I got the rear beam back in, brakes assembled and bled, clutch slave swapped out and bled, strut brace on and got the car on 4 wheels for the first time in a month.

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the existing brake fluid was pretty dirty
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Things that need to be done before getting on the road

Fix this :(
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Buy a gear knob of some sort - suggestions?
Mount wheels and tires
Set the ride height and do a basic alignment
Tighten up all nuts & bolts & mount the underside shielding
The big one - make an exhaust for it

After all that, we'll have an e30 that has had a fortune spent on it, but looks exactly the same as when I bought it :eeps:


Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:02 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:43 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: '90 320i Mtechnic
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
You work fast!

Too bad about the yellow S4, hate dealing with insurance companies.

How are you planning to fix up that cowl rust?

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'92 Glacier Blue E30 Cabrio


Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:15 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
rabbitgti wrote:
How are you planning to fix up that cowl rust?


I'm not quite sure. I'm not looking to make a perfect car, just something to have fun with for a few months.
If I remember correctly, that replacement panel was only something like $120 from BMW...so maybe buy one, chop it up and leave the windshield in the whole time?

That, or weld something in and bondo over it.


Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:44 am
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Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
The windshield is pretty easy to R&R, I think its the wiper arms and mechanism that's a bigger pain to remove and reinstall...

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'92 Glacier Blue E30 Cabrio


Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:21 pm
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Posts: 904
Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
I was uncertain how the staggered tires would look, but I like it a lot! It leaves a lot of room for lock to lock correction and suspension travel up front.

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Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:20 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:27 pm
Posts: 120
Location: Okotoks
BMW: 2010 328i
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
e30mclow wrote:
rabbitgti wrote:
How are you planning to fix up that cowl rust?


I'm not quite sure. I'm not looking to make a perfect car, just something to have fun with for a few months.
If I remember correctly, that replacement panel was only something like $120 from BMW...so maybe buy one, chop it up and leave the windshield in the whole time?

That, or weld something in and bondo over it.


just a few months?? your putting in way to much work for just a few months!


Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:55 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Zorac wrote:
e30mclow wrote:
rabbitgti wrote:
How are you planning to fix up that cowl rust?


I'm not quite sure. I'm not looking to make a perfect car, just something to have fun with for a few months.
If I remember correctly, that replacement panel was only something like $120 from BMW...so maybe buy one, chop it up and leave the windshield in the whole time?

That, or weld something in and bondo over it.


just a few months?? your putting in way to much work for just a few months!


Well, I'm moving back to Canada around July, but don't know where to exactly.
If I'm having to move somewhere where having 2 cars isn't feasible, it'll need to go (either sold in the US or Canada).

I shouldn't lose any money :eeps:


Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:38 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:21 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Grande Prarie
BMW: 2003 E46 M3
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Coming back to us Ger?? ive a nice big garage that it would fit in :)


Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:34 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:41 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: E28 528e 5-spd
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Very cool E30 project, shame about the S4, man what a state that was in!


Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
I haven't touched the car in a few weeks, but should be on the road in the next few days.
The car is now insured and plated, but I've never driven it.

I have been having an awful time getting the 6 branch manifold to seat correctly against the head.

Exhaust is all welded up and looks great, but sound is yet to be heard.
Essentially it is a mish-mash of whatever I had available, none of which makes sense in terms of flow for a measly m20...time for an s54.

6 branch manifold to twin 2", which feeds to a single 3" all the way to the back axle, then into a recycled Audi s4 APR RSC box and twin 2.5" muffler.

Complete and utter senseless sizing, but it'll do for now and was free. It sure looks good from behind through, seeing a 3" pipe snake around the rear subframe lol.

Photos to come.


Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:46 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
First drive!

You can tell by my father's t-shirt that he's an old BMW guy too.
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Car sounds good, if not a tad too much like an old 6 cylinder Triumph more so than a BMW.
Next will be to tighten up any straggling nuts & bolts, then set the ride height and preload on the springs.

Debating whether I drop $400 on uprated sway bars on Black Friday or not..


Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:18 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
Posts: 904
Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Well, the progress has been halted for the next week or so.
With the car on the road, we decided to install the ZHP steering rack on Saturday. This involved reshaping the e30's hard lines and bending a few things.
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The rack went in relatively easily, but upon startup it pissed out the fluid. Unfortunately there was a hairline crack along the rack housing that wasn't visible unless you knew it was there.
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For now the car is up on blocks as the old rack will no longer fit with the modifications having already been made to the lines.

The seller of the rack is having a look to see if he has another one in stock, but it'll be a few weeks before I have time to go at it.
To take advantage of some Black Friday sales, I purchased a pair of front & rear anti roll bars with reinforcements and stronger links. $400 delivered vs around $480.

I also bought a 20gal air compressor and air lines to plump up the garage and help speed things up. That was a great deal, $270 down to $149.

Aaand here is one of the Audi posing on the way to the airport yesterday...you can still hear the banjo music playing on that porch...
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Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:32 pm
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
More work done:
- Quick Steering Rack fitted
- Ordered new e46 steering boots
- New steering wheel arrived, so I'm just waiting on the MOMO hub adapter to fit it
- Aligned the rear swing arms, now that things have settled in (I had fitted camber & toe adjusters)
- Torqued up the tie rods as I was getting a vibration at 60+ MPH
- Fixed the fan resistor, so I now have heat
- Took apart the MAF, all the way this time (opened up the board) and cleaned all of the contacts
- Set the preload on the rear shocks and got the hardness settings in a semi-hard setup that works for me
- The rear subframe retaining nuts (the 22mm nuts on the pins that drop through the floor) were very loose, so I tightened them up
- Bled the coolant system at the head
- Got the power aerial working which is a first for any e30 I've owned, they've always been FUBAR
- Fitted the new clips and put the iS lip on properly, which improves the looks greatly
- Best of all, I found that I was only getting about 80% wide open throttle as the cables needed adjusting. This made a huge difference!

I've been zipping around in it getting a little sideways here and there.
Can't wait for the front and rear ARBs to arrive, as that'll be the chassis/handling department well and truly sorted.

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Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:00 pm
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Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Sucks about the rack, I would've been pissed! :banghead:

Your doing a hell of a lot of work to this car considering your casual about keeping it - looking good though! :clap:

You just needs some euro headlights to finish off the look

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'92 Glacier Blue E30 Cabrio


Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:48 am
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Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Yes, I need some euro lights for sure.
Don't know whether I'll go for smoked or clear...both look good on a white car.

Yeah, it was always the plan to return to Canada, but now I'm being asked to stay on here permanently...so it is fill bore on the e30!

I've installed a new steering wheel, which is a welcome change vs the airbag one.
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Missed out on a tan m3 interior that popped up locally, which hurt. It was mint and only $400!!!!

Shopping for s54s right meowww.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:00 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:14 pm
Posts: 904
Location: Calgary
BMW: Stage III Audi S4
Post Re: e30mclow's latest e30 Project
Well, after shopping around for an S54, I've sort of convinced myself that an LS and T56 is the way to go.

There's a 110k mile 1 owner engine and box combo available a few hours away for $3,500, which seems like a good deal vs an S54?

My theory has always been that someone advertising something generally knows what it is worth, whereas the real bargains are got by finding something someone "isn't" selling. There aren't many scrapyards near me, but I will do some driving around to see what's available before spending money on an advertised setup.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:30 am
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