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Alpine e30 progress/build thread


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I figured I'd start a progress/build thread for my e30 like I did for the e36!


I posted about the car before but for the sake of completeness: It's a 1991 318is slicktop in Alpine white with an Indigo cloth interior. It was built on April 26th, 1991 which I believe is the very end of production for the e30 coupe so thats pretty cool. It spent most of it's life in Florida so it is basically rust free but like most old southern cars a lot of the plastics are very faded and brittle. I am planning on doing an OEM+ build and just bringing it back to its former glory.


On to the pics!



I tried to get the color of the door panels but the camera didnt pick it up too well, I have never seen this color before but I think it looks pretty cool



After a nice cleaning



The seats have definitely seen better days (the rear seat is trashed) and the carpet is mostly torn out, other than that and a few other little things the interior is actually in pretty good shape. The dash is 99% crack free with only a tiny one in the tray above the glove box. I am planning on removing those white face gauge stickers (hard to see here) as soon as I can as they are impossible to see at night, hopefully they come off easily...




I originally thought it had the standard IS lip in the front as I never looked at it too closely but I highly doubt its OEM, does anyone know what kind of lip this is?? There are no markings and it appears to be made of fiberglass. I kinda like it actually, its subtle and a little different. 



In terms of mechanicals, the engine is in excellent shape with a recent head gasket and timing chain replacement as well as all the related hoses and gaskets, taking care of all of the m42's serious problems for the time being. Everything else is in good shape but the suspension is definitely tired and it rattles over bumps, especially from the rear.


On top of the normal new car maintenance where I plan on changing every fluid, The brakes suck and are past it so I have a full brake rebuild on the way with rotors, pads, sensors, and fluid for all four corners as well as a fan clutch (the temp climbs at stoplights), and a lower oil pan gasket as it leaks...a lot. The drivers side tie rod is shot so I have two new ones coming to fix that. 


Hopefully I can get all this stuff done in the next week and a half because I will be returning to school then and the car will be going into storage when I return in October. 


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Looks good man! Can't wait to see what you do with it! 




Looks great!  RealOEM and pelicanparts.com are your friends


Thanks guys! I am hoping this one will be as nice, if not nicer than my old e36. Pelican parts was my go-to for the e36 and they have already been awesome for the e30, they are the only ones around offering free shipping on brake rotors too. I got free shipping on my order that weighed 60 pounds!

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Also Bavarian Autosport does free shipping on orders over 150 unless something huge like a bumper or exhaust.  Both have very good customer service.  They also sell any parts if you search for OEM part numbers, they just don't list them in their catalog.


They are good too, they did not offer free shipping on rotors though and that's why I went to pelican. FCP Groton can be very cheap too but you have to stay away from their "house brands" as I have heard they are pretty cheaply made

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I favor ECS Tuning over all of the others=)


I love ECS, I ordered the wrong reverse light switch for my e36 because there was an error in their fitment guide (I didn't check RealOEM when I ordered but they said it fit so it was a mutual error) and they overnight-ed the correct one to me free of charge! Heck, I have yet to have anything but great service from all of the online bimmer parts distributors

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Thanks guys! And for those of you who saw it at the brew city cruise night, yes, the nurburgring sticker on the back will be coming off, bummer I didn't get to meet many of you yet again.


No real progress on the e30, I have had absolutely zero time between work, second work, and a family reunion. I did manage, however, to pick up another quart of ATF and finally get my old dodge out for its first drive since I got it (I did a ton of work a few months ago, ran out of ATF just as I was up everything, and then had to leave where I keep it until this past weekend). It drove exactly like a 25 year old, worn out pickup should, like crap haha. I guess that's why its a project. Doesn't matter, drove it!




I have some time this week so hopefully I can really dig into the e30 before it goes into storage! I will keep this updated for sure

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  • 1 month later...

No updates on the car...BUT...I found a set of wheels I might pick up for the car and I'd like some opinions:


They are 15x6.5 Weds Bavaria's, they are 2 piece (technically 3 but the lip and barrel are welded together by weds) and have an offset somewhere in the 30's. They are supposedly very light and strong and they guy selling them doesn't want all that much. They do need a full refinish though which I would actually really like to do.






I was thinking that, if I picked them up, I would take them all apart, polish the lips/hardware, and paint the centers like the classic alpina wheels with the silver spokes and black centers, and throw some bmw centercaps in them (some relatively meaty tires as well)


I am also not sure if they are real Weds so I am waiting on some pictures of the backs of the wheels from the seller as I have never seen any in this offset or exactly this style (Most have more of a step lip).


Personally I really like them and the weds bavaria/enkei 94/etc style is one of my favorite wheel looks. I think the size/offset of these would work really well with the OEM+(ish) look I am going for

What do you guys think??

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Cool wheels and seem to be unique too! I'd say go for it 




Get them. If you do not, let me know because I will. 


That's what I am thinking, I have a huge soft spot for classic multipiece wheels. The seller is going to get me a few more pictures this weekend so I can make sure there aren't any cracks/bends and so I can confirm they are real weds, I will keep you posted! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been home for the weekend and I got the car out of my neighbors garage and decided to tackle some jobs today.


First off, the car wouldn't start yesterday. It was completely dead, even trying to jump start it wouldn't do a thing. So I replaced the battery and it started right up like nothing was ever wrong thankfully, I knew the batter was on its way out but didn't think it would get that bad. 


I then decided to fix the thing that pissed me off the most about the entire car: 10262185744_49930f0a5c_c.jpg

They look like crap and you can't read them at all at night at all so they had to go asap.


So this happened:



I took the cluster apart and removed those stupid stickers, thankfully they weren't hard to get off



The needles were painted red, so I decided to use some nail-polish remover and a q-tip and it took it right off thankfully! I got everything put back together and back in the car and it looks a million times better...and I can finally read them in the dark!


(Blurry picture I know, I didn't notice till now)


While I had it apart I also tightened the brass nuts that ground the fuel and temp gauges (The fuel's nut had completely fallen off and I found it caught in some wires believe it or not) and it completely solved my jumpy fuel and temp readings too, looks like no need for SI batteries for now at least

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Thanks, I wish I had more time to work on the car but I go back to school tomorrow and it will sit again until thanksgiving, such a shame. This summer I will go nuts on it though!



Also, a little side note I forgot to mention, those Weds wheels are mine! It was like pulling teeth to get more information on them but I heard what I wanted to hear and scored a good deal! I will be sure to post pictures once I get my hands on them 

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Got some fun things in the mail today!







Like I posted before they are 15x6.5 Weds Bavaria Fins. They weigh just over 13 pounds each which is on par with the equivalently sized d-force/kosei wheels to my knowledge. One has a very small flat spot in the lip so I may have that fixed but the plan is to refinish them back to like new condition in my free time here at school. I plan on running them with a stud conversion and 15mm spacers to basically emulate the fitment of euroweaves. 


Does anyone know what would be the most cost effective method of taking the centers back to bare metal? I know media/sand blasting would be the best way but that can get pricey, maybe paint stripper?

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