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Alright, since I’m working on the car today and tomorrow to get some preseason stuff done, I figured I would finally start a boring thread to chronicle this car and have a reference to look back on later. The car: It’s a 1989 325i convertible, automatic, (I know, I know) with a black interior and 192,xxx miles. It was originally purchased by my father about 8 years ago, then sorta handed down to me. It’s been a good car so far, as with all m20’s it can be finicky and a pain sometimes but overall it’s a lot of fun. Pretty much rust free as well. It’s had some recent maintenance work done, including: • Winter 2013-14: Timing belt was replaced, along with the water pump and tensioner. Head was removed and checked as a baseline at this time, I believe that there was also oil seeping from the head gasket so that was resolved as well. Before this, the timing belt was last replaced in 2001 at 140,xxx miles. Scary stuff! • Winter 2015-16: Refreshed rear suspension, excluding rear subframe and differential bushings. I went with all stock/OE quality parts, including bilstein shocks and I believe lemforder rtabs and end links. Wheel bearings and brake lines on the trailing arms were also done at this time. Rear brakes were also done about 6 months before this. O2 sensor replaced at this time as well. • Spring 2017: Broke the outer valve spring on the cylinder 2 exhaust valve, so the head came off at this time. While it was out, it was treated to a new cam, new rocker arms, and new valve springs. All related gaskets and timing belt were replaced at this time. While this was going on, the exhaust was dropped, midpipe to catback hardware was replaced with stainless stuff, and the CSB, transmission mounts and guibo were replaced. Fuel filter and the hoses directly connected to it were also replaced at this time. • Finally, I’m working on the front brakes right now. They’ve never been touched and I had the pads laying in a box for 2 years so I decided to finally get it done. Pics of the mess: First thing I noticed was that it appeared someone had attempted to remove the rotor set screw with a drill. Lucky me. I’m beginning to see why no one wanted to touch the front brakes. Then, when I pulled the caliper off, the pad surface fell out separate of the backing plate. Also fun, but doesn’t really matter since they’re going in the trash anyways. Finally, I’m having trouble getting one of the caliper bracket bolts out. Tried big wrench, nothing. Hammer, nothing. Heating with a torch, nothing. So I doused it in PB Blaster and I’ll come back to it tomorrow and try again, and if that doesn’t work, I’m not sure what I’m gonna do. Maybe get a bigger torch, I don’t know. Anyways, I don’t have specific plans for it right now other than just driving it and maintaining it due to a college budget. Ideally, I’d 5-speed swap it, refresh the front suspension, throw in a z3 or e46 zhp rack, put on some stuff like an x-brace, but for now it’s pretty okay. I’m in the Madison area in the summer and Milwaukee during the school year, so if anyone ever needs an extra set of hands or want to go for a drive or something, shoot me a PM.
Well today I made a trip down to Chicago to pick up this: ^ Crab! Its a red on tan 1992 325i vert with 132k on the clock. Its a 5-speed with a factory LSD and apparently spent most of its life in California so the car is basically rust free aside from one tiny surface rust spot on each door jam. There's a big dent in the driver's fender/door, but otherwise the paint is in great shape! The interior is actually in decent shape too, just really dirty. The drivers seat is trashed but the passenger seat is in great shape, a little splitting at the top of the rear seat, and the top has seen better days, but the dash is crack free! Maintenance hit list: Timing belt, valve adjustment, cooling system overhaul, diff mount and CSB (knock from the rear on acceleration/hard shifts, hoping its not the driveshaft u joint), and general filter/fluid replacement. The main reason I bought the car: It was pretty cheap and came with a nearly complete e30 M3 5-lug swap (only thing missing is the front brake calipers) and includes the m3 4.10 LSD and axles that I'm going to swap onto the 318is.