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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 03-29-2013, 03:03 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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Here we go...

Hi guys, this is my first post here and hopefully the first of many!

I just got my hands on an E30 for 1300EUR (roughly $1,666.41), that I can't even describe as it has undergone so many changes that I have no idea what it actually started out as...not to mention the problems it came with. Never the less, I don't tinker much with my daily driver (a little Maruti 800), so I needed to get something nice to play with.

Starting off with the changes it seems to have had. It's a RHD 1984 E30, that I am sure of because it shows on the registration papers. Assuming it is a UK spec since it has a MPH speedo and RHD, we drive RHD cars here. It has post-facelift rear and front lights as well as a BMW 1.6 injected engine (as opposed to the MANY E30s in Malta driven by 2.0 Toyota diesels), which if I'm correct has only been issued post facelift when the 316i was released. The badge on it says 316i, but I wouldn't really go with the badge anyway.

The rest of it, it's in a colour which I have forgot the exact name of, but I have been given a tin of extra paint with it so I could get the name later, it's a shade of maroon. The exterior is mostly fine, just a few minor scuffs....3 (after market?) arch fenders in chrome. Original wheels with no BMW badges and a horrid black paint job. There's some rust in the arches and the underside of the rear, but that was to be expected. Sadly they fit what I can only describe as a 4" fart cannon.

Interior seems decent apart from some rust on the seat rails, dash ha no cracks, electric windows work, electric mirrors...well, one of them works with lots of noise and the other gets the switch click but no motor movement. Central lock is fine, PAS is fine as well. Ventilation does not work at all. Sunroof crank handle has electrical tape on it and misses the knob. Brakes need changing, the brake pedal has dipped down and the brake lights work inversely. Reverse lights don't work at all.

Basically a long read without photos because I have not taken any yet!

The question is....where do I start? My intention is to keep it as factory standard as possible for now, with possibly the future engine swap to a (sacrilegious) SR20DET. And can anyone shed a light on what it is I'm actually driving, considering all the changes?
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2013, 06:46 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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some pictures would be good.

if it has facelift taillights, its very likley to be a facelift chassis too as they are not a bolt in/on swap like the front is. otherwise someone has gone to a lot of work to make them fit
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:38 AM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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Unfortunately I had some hiccups today. Went to fill her up with some petrol and ran out on the way (thanks to it being rather empty when I got it). Got that sorted, took it for a drive, got back to the garage and the starter motor died. However I did take a few photos.






















Last edited by N-Gen; 03-30-2013 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:57 AM
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Can you please take down those picture, resize them and and post again? Those things are massive.

Edie: I see you're working on it. Thank you!
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:12 AM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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Yes, sorry about that. Imageshack was being silly, luckily photobucket is being a good boy. Seems like there's more work related to the engine that I thought there would be.

I've seen the coolant level was low this morning before my starter motor died, so I put in around 2.5 litres of distilled water. However the temperature gauge crept slightly above the middle marker, say about 60%. I'm attributing this to the really hot day we've been having though.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:37 PM
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looks better than your original post suggested. looks reasonably tidy. but filthy engine bay, needs a good clean!

it is UK/Australia/New Zealand specced car, so will have been imported from one of those three countries. other RHD markets have different specs.

i suggest starting with doing the timing belt if it hasnt recentely been done (80,000kms or 4 years whichever happens first). also replacing most or all of the cooling system. then maybe ignition system if you still have change left over, but that itsnt detremental to an engine if it fails.

makes me miss my 316i
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:42 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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We abide by UK road legislation here, being an ex-colony, so it was probably sold by a dealer locally since importing wasn't so common here back then. Need to get the wiring sorted slowly to see what was messed with it, which seems to be quite a lot.

Is that underside of the dash attached below the steering column something factory fitted or should I get rid of it completely?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N-Gen View Post
We abide by UK road legislation here, being an ex-colony, so it was probably sold by a dealer locally since importing wasn't so common here back then. Need to get the wiring sorted slowly to see what was messed with it, which seems to be quite a lot.

Is that underside of the dash attached below the steering column something factory fitted or should I get rid of it completely?
yes, NZ and Australia are both ex colonys as well

that dash panel is factory fitted, but almost all of them are broken these days. even parts cars at a wreckers are likely to have broken ones. i usually remove it because i get my feet caught under it and put it back when i sell it
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:48 PM
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I'll remove it then, it gives me that same problem although it fits quite well. My daily has a really bare stock dash and I like the good leg room I get rather than being really restricted. It seems to have a dial which I'm assuming to be the headlight trim adjuster? Doesn't seem to work anyway.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N-Gen View Post
I'll remove it then, it gives me that same problem although it fits quite well. My daily has a really bare stock dash and I like the good leg room I get rather than being really restricted. It seems to have a dial which I'm assuming to be the headlight trim adjuster? Doesn't seem to work anyway.
yes thats exactly what it is, and i have never seen a working system on an E30 these days, only in promotional videos. and only seen one E34 system still working.
its water filled of all things, so if you decide to cut the white lines coming out the back of it be sure to have a drip tray or small container handy.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:10 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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Is it quite a hassle to get the trim adjuster all sorted? I reckon it's a bit far fetched since I'd probably need to source some decent quality parts.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N-Gen View Post
Is it quite a hassle to get the trim adjuster all sorted? I reckon it's a bit far fetched since I'd probably need to source some decent quality parts.
well put it this way. its designed for when you are towing and/or have a full car and boot for touring. are you likely to be doing this?

In my first E30, a 320i i did an M52B28 swap to, i just cut it out and deleted the system, and put a non-headlight adjust panel in. Same as the 316i i had only a few months ago sold it a few weeks back. its a stupid system that doesnt work, and really is pretty useless
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:15 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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That's a fair point, it's 99.99% not likely to do anything of the sort. I'll get the dash panel and the adjuster right out of the way then and hide them somewhere in a box...just in case.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N-Gen View Post
That's a fair point, it's 99.99% not likely to do anything of the sort. I'll get the dash panel and the adjuster right out of the way then and hide them somewhere in a box...just in case.
if you dont want to cut out the adjuster just zip tie it up out the way
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:22 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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I'm assuming there should be some sort of pump for it as well? Or isn't it the case?
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:22 PM
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nope. there is the adjuster in the cabin that moves the water in or out of the headlight piston things.

you might be able to find a diagram of the system on realoem.com
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:19 AM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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I guess the Haynes manual should point out the whole thing.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:48 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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My VIN returns the details I'll post below. It seems there have been some changes including the engine and transmission. What I can't figure out is why the VIN search returns the colour as silver yet the suspension turrets have stickers saying Calypsorot.

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Old 03-31-2013, 03:07 PM
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im going to say you either wrote the vin wrong, or its been cut off another car and put onto your one.

your car is definitely facelift, from the both ends to even having the lower rear guards. it is NOT a 1984 built car.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:11 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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Must have been a change of the VIN then. Car logbook shows that VIN as well as the car itself, as shown in this photo.

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Old 03-31-2013, 03:15 PM
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im sure of it. the convesion is just TOO good for it to have been converted to a facelift.

AC62070 comes up with an almost correct car thouhg, its conceivable this is a 318i that just has a 316i boot lid, and has also been manual converted at some stage. but then it says its a coupe and this car definately isnt a coupe
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Last edited by _Ethrty-Andy_; 03-31-2013 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:17 PM
N-Gen N-Gen is offline
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Are there any physical locations where the real VIN could be? In other words a location that would be hard to swap the number in and out of.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:58 PM
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bottom corner (maybe left) of front windshield (dont know on RHD), firewall, rear fenders, ecu, and i forgot the rest. theres about 10 locations on some cars after the whole chop shop era.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:15 PM
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ECU would be the easiest. they wont have swapped that because M10 and M40 arent cross compatible.

none on the window in RHD E30s
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:39 AM
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Well, took some stuff apart today, found the ECU was misplaced as I believe it should be in the glove compartment (I believe). It had a number on it, which I think could be the actual VIN. A non-operational alarm was found in the location the ECU should have been in. Removed the bottom driver side dash panel and the headlight trim adjuster since it's non-operational at all. Attached to the bulb electric cables for said feature, I did find a sticker which said 28-05-1990, so I think we probably all know what that means.





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