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P_Roloff

Alpine E30 Convertible Running Log

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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:

660FE433-4195-49FB-9A57-F40F7C9C18B3.jpegB6DD5069-BB1C-47A1-9379-763C4D0FF08F.jpegC3888D78-00C1-482A-A54E-7BB72AEFC953.jpeg0DA457BD-39EC-40CB-9B54-A7AA1444C1A1.jpeg

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:

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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.

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Verts are great! Theres something magical about cruising through the canyons (not here obviously) with the top down on a warm clear summer night.

Fwiw I drove my automatic quite hard and it never gave me any grief, so as long as the fluid is fresh, dont worry too much about breaking it.

 

The M20 is a stellar powerplant, dont let anybody convince you otherwise

 

You should consider slamming it on mud terrains

 

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4 minutes ago, El Snapo said:

Verts are great! Theres something magical about cruising through the canyons (not here obviously) with the top down on a warm clear summer night.
Fwiw I drove my automatic really hard and it never gave me any grief, so as long as the fluid is fresh, dont worry too much about breaking it :P

You should consider slamming it on mud terrains

Yeah, it’s a ton of fun driving through the hills and valleys out west of Madison, I especially like it on warm mornings or evenings. The auto is pretty stout it seems, it’ll stay at least until I’m out of college. 

😂 I think I’ll pass on the mud terrains though, I saw that car at the last e30 picnic and it’s not quite my look. 

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10 hours ago, YoungCR said:

Any luck with the bracket bolt?

Yeah, the brackets came off with some heat and a big ass cheater bar. If I get time I’ll try to get the set screws out with an EZ out tonight. It looks like the last person to deal with the front brakes just drilled off the bolt heads and left the threaded portion in there. On the bright side, after this is done there won’t be much left on the car that hasn’t been touched, so I shouldn’t have to deal with rusty bolts as often. 

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8 hours ago, straight6pwr said:

beautiful car - will love to see progress as you go. you in MKE full time?

Thank you! I’m at school at MSOE, so not really. I usually come back to Madison every couple weeks and I’ll be in Madison all summer too. 

 

7 hours ago, AlpineE30 said:

Looking good! Love the white verts!

Thanks so much! Yours looks awesome too, I really like the plastic bumpers on verts. 

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11 hours ago, P_Roloff said:

Thank you! I’m at school at MSOE, so not really. I usually come back to Madison every couple weeks and I’ll be in Madison all summer too. 

 

Thanks so much! Yours looks awesome too, I really like the plastic bumpers on verts. 

I'm in Verona/Madison too.  I think I've spotted you a couple times.

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7 hours ago, AlpineE30 said:

I'm in Verona/Madison too.  I think I've spotted you a couple times.

@P_Roloff & @AlpineE30 - We should meetup this summer. I'd love to check out the cars. I just picked up an 88 Alpine White II convertible that I'll ship here from California in a couple of months. Drove it for a week while out there for work and loved it. Way more analog than my other cars. 

image.png

 

@P_Roloff - If I remember correctly we went on a spirited C&C morning drive last summer. 

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9 hours ago, AlpineE30 said:

I'm in Verona/Madison too.  I think I've spotted you a couple times.

Haha yeah you probably have, I like to drive it as much as possible. Wave if you see me!

1 hour ago, vbhargava said:

@P_Roloff & @AlpineE30 - We should meetup this summer. I'd love to check out the cars. I just picked up an 88 Alpine White II convertible that I'll ship here from California in a couple of months. Drove it for a week while out there for work and loved it. Way more analog than my other cars. 

image.png

 

@P_Roloff - If I remember correctly we went on a spirited C&C morning drive last summer. 

For sure, I’d love to see them as well. That car looks awesome, I’m glad you ended up getting it. And yes we did, if you end up running those drives again this summer I’d love to do it again. 

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On 3/2/2018 at 4:50 PM, vbhargava said:

@P_Roloff & @AlpineE30 - We should meetup this summer. I'd love to check out the cars. I just picked up an 88 Alpine White II convertible that I'll ship here from California in a couple of months. Drove it for a week while out there for work and loved it. Way more analog than my other cars. 

image.png

 

@P_Roloff - If I remember correctly we went on a spirited C&C morning drive last summer. 

That would be awesome! Let's plan it out! By the looks of it my rig will be in the toughest shape of the three. @P_Roloff and @vbhargava y'all have a clean pair of Verts.  

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3 minutes ago, AlpineE30 said:

That would be awesome! Let's plan it out! By the looks of it my rig will be in the toughest shape of the three. @P_Roloff and @vbhargava y'all have a clean pair of Verts.  

Sounds good to me! I won’t be back from school until early June most likely, so it’ll probably have to be after that. And my car is definitely a 10 footer, but thank you!

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4 hours ago, P_Roloff said:

Sounds good to me! I won’t be back from school until early June most likely, so it’ll probably have to be after that. And my car is definitely a 10 footer, but thank you!

Works for me. We should plan a meetup at WI Brewing or something

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Update!

Got the car down and off the jack stands today, I finished up the brakes yesterday. I never got the remnants of the set screws out, so I guess I’ll try again this summer when I have good temperatures and space to move around. 

F2CF5DC0-8907-4BDD-B029-346288138DFF.jpeg2C95C2F2-401E-4E69-97F6-DA433345511B.jpegTook it out for a drive, everything seems alright so far. I’ve got a few things that need to be taken care of, namely the power steering system leaking like a sieve, as well as a tiny leak in the fuel tank at the inlet. 

Also, thanks to @snap for sending me the turn signal lenses, both old ones were cracked and faded out.

Still have to get the idle sorted as well, but I’m probably gonna check the tps and fix the last vacuum leak and work from there. 

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