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gilber33

1989 325i Project Thread

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On 6/24/2020 at 8:35 AM, m42b32 said:

Interesting... I put synthetic in my car and my rack with allegedly 60k miles started leaking within a year. 

He said the synthetic fluids usually have an stop-leak additive to it. And he said this is fine in transmissions because most of the seals are either sandwiched between aluminum plates or have a metal component to the seal. So as they swell, they get to a point where they can't swell anymore and they stay there. In the steering rack, the seals don't have that, so they swell and continue to swell until they blow out. And he said once one side blows out, the fluid will travel through the gear to the other side and ultimately you get leaks at both ends. He said this is an ongoing issue and have been getting a lot of racks back  that they suspect is because of this. 

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New rack is in and I don’t have any power steering. 😑

I used a Dex/Merc fluid instead of a DexVI because I read people used that with good results. Even if the fluid was subpar, I can’t imagine I would have zero PS. 

Maybe the pump is dead. It ran on several occasions dry because I didn’t know it was empty. I also noticed when I started the car in the air to bleed the PS system, the pump didn’t wine at all. Usually it has a few wines as you go lock to lock and get the system filled up. 

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I think everyone is overthinking the fluid type.  I've used Redline power steering fluid for a long time in many BMWs and other cars with no issues.  It is a high end synthetic, but is also labeled only for power steering so maybe different additives?

The pump won't last long without fluid, they are a rotary vane pump.  I would recommend finding a ZF pump and rebuilding it before you install it.  I've done one and it isn't hard, then you won't have to deal with more leaks later.

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1 hour ago, jc43089 said:

I think everyone is overthinking the fluid type.  I've used Redline power steering fluid for a long time in many BMWs and other cars with no issues.  It is a high end synthetic, but is also labeled only for power steering so maybe different additives?

The pump won't last long without fluid, they are a rotary vane pump.  I would recommend finding a ZF pump and rebuilding it before you install it.  I've done one and it isn't hard, then you won't have to deal with more leaks later.

I'm sure I'm very well overthinking it. Redline PS fluid was another I saw other people using. I replaced the Vickers setup with a ZF pump when I first go the car, so I will look for a replacement ZF pump and rebuild kit. 

Oddly enough last night as I was about to pull the car in the garage for the night the PS started working again, decided to take it for another test drive just to see, and I made it half a block before it stopped working again. Since the steering rack is so mechanical in nature, I'm pretty confident the pump is dead. 

After driving around my wife's 2021 Atlas for a while and not having driven the BMW, I forget how noisy and old sounding the cars are. haha

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The new pump seems to have fixed it. Will confirm after a test drive. 
 

In other news, we started a pretty significant home renovation project this week. Going from a small 2 bed / 1.5 bath home to a 4 bed / 2.5 bath home. We bought the house knowing if we were to stay here we’d have to add on at some point. After buying some land from our neighbor to give us about 1/3 acre and being three blocks from downtown Cedarburg, we knew this is were we wanted to stay. So, here we go. Digging for the new basement started today. 
 

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Although bedrooms and bathrooms for all five of us (eventually six of us) is fantastic, my favorite perk is that the garage becomes my workshop. I’m already in the process of cleaning it up to make it my own space. 

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I’ve been driving it to work for the past couple weeks and the power steering seems to be fine. I bought one of those home alignment kits with the plates and tape measures and got pretty close to a good alignment. Needs some real minor adjustment. But all in all, it’s been very enjoyable! 
 

The night mode on the new iPhone seems to work pretty okay. Have some condensation in one of the headlights, so I’ll have to pull that out and reseal it. Save that for this winter or something.

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We also have some basement walls at our house!

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Some new wheels and tires for the wagon. I was getting that feeling of wanting another car and knew I had to do something to the wagon to keep it feeling different. I’ve owned it 1.5 years which is a pretty significant milestone for me. 

Our basement foundation was back filled this week and they started framing today. And I’ve been driving the e30 to work quite a bit. The solid steering linkage definitely transmits extra vibrations into the steering wheel when I’m on the highway. 

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Did the Overcrest Rally with @The Full Banana over the weekend. Tom did most of the driving since I was technically the passenger and we were supposed to be in his 240. But we both had a blast and the e30 exceeded my expectations and was able to keep up with the 911s in the group we drove with most of the time. Got a lot of compliments on how quick we were on the roads. 
 

After about 400ish miles that made up the rally, the car came home with a significant number of rock chips, a season’s worth of tire removed, and very tired suspension. But it was all totally worth it.

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29 minutes ago, B C said:

Sounds like a great drive! When do you plan to put the car away for the year?

I’ll drive it some more until I have a window to put it in my garage. It’s currently blocked with building material that’s supposed to get picked up soon. 
 

But it ran strong and I think reaffirmed keeping the M20. Now I plan to redo the suspension, exhaust, and BBK. 

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1 hour ago, The Full Banana said:

This was an absolute blast and the e30 did wonderfully. Thanks again for letting me drive it--it was a pleasure! 

Hands down the best automotive enthusiast-related event I've done. 
 

This was going to be my question, what did you guys think of the rally? Worth doing it? Where did the rally route run?

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11 minutes ago, P_Roloff said:

This was going to be my question, what did you guys think of the rally? Worth doing it? Where did the rally route run?

It was 100% worth it. And same as Tom, the best automotive event I've attended. I tend to find most car meets/shows unappealing as I generally don't like the crowds there - I always feel like most people are there to recruit instagram followers. But because of the nature of this event, people were there because they wanted to drive their car. To me, everyone there was great. All the Porsche guys we were following were excited to have us follow along and they loved the e30. Also, the noises made by following a group of air cooled 911s was nothing to complain about. And if we got lost, all we had to do was follow smell of exhaust and burning oil. 

This is the map of Day 1. Day 2 was a little more relaxed, but the same general concept from La Crosse to Prairie Du Chien. 

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17 hours ago, KaiserRolls said:

I sense an autox in your future

To be honest, I think this made me want to do autox less. Back country driving with the windows down is what I have always enjoyed most and this was the epitome of that. I cannot say enough how idyllic the driving experience was. Autox would just be a let down to me. 

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3 hours ago, gilber33 said:

To be honest, I think this made me want to do autox less. Back country driving with the windows down is what I have always enjoyed most and this was the epitome of that. I cannot say enough how idyllic the driving experience was. Autox would just be a let down to me. 

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get that BBK installed so you never miss a good 4-way stop at an intersection 

 

edit - everything I do is sarcastic, don’t take me seriously on here 

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32 minutes ago, KaiserRolls said:

get that BBK installed so you never miss a good 4-way stop at an intersection 

 

edit - everything I do is sarcastic, don’t take me seriously on here 

I'm more concerned about the bikers and walkers after I turn the Ozaukee interurban trail into my personal rally course. 

13 minutes ago, B C said:

Sway bar upgrades reduce the amount of coffee spilled on your lap in a corner.


edit - I'm friends with Kaiser

That'd also help keep my donut holes from rolling out of my lap and onto the floor. 

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Since suspension is on the punch list for the winter - what are some of you running and how do you like it? I know there are some coilover options, but I will likely not be going that route due to the cost and that they're not a direct swap (and the ones that are a direct swap are even more money). 

I'm leaning towards Koni Yellows with Ireland Engineering springs. Something semi-comfortable enough to DD, but can take some punishment. 

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