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E21 (1975 - 1983)

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  #51  
Old 06-23-2020, 02:42 PM
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After a few days of a slow 2A charge, the battery is holding a charge after a day, so far. With any luck it’ll be able to at least get this bing to fire. Going away again for a couple of weeks, so I’ll see what it’s like then.


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #52  
Old 06-23-2020, 11:13 PM
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I haven't owned a single BMW that doesn't kill the battery after a few weeks of inactivity. Best addition I've made to them (and the two John Deeres and my F150) is a battery isolator switch. Leave it for a week or three months and the battery is still ready to go.
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  #53  
Old 06-29-2020, 05:27 PM
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I would have taken it also for the low price of free but I think that example is too far gone. There's just major rust in horrible places.
On the bright side the transmission is highly sought after in the 2002 world (worth between 500-1000 as is).
And if it has a lsd rear end that worth another 500-1000.
I bought a non running 1982 320i with almost zero rust for only 500 here in GA.

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  #54  
Old 07-06-2020, 04:29 PM
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I guess in GA it would be too far gone, up here in NY that’s a slow Tuesday of work When I brought my Olds back to life I had to do far more cutting and welding to the floor and trunk pans than this needs, including rebuilding and mounting the all important seat belt anchors.

Regarding the battery: I left my X3 up here when I went South for 5 weeks for May and some of June. Got home, turned the key and the car started instantly. That battery is over 4 years old, and apparently I have no fuel pressure drop. But I also typically drive 200 miles every time I get in that car (work commute) so it’s got plenty of time to charge. It’s been a week and a half since this 17+ year old battery (no date on it that I could fine, but it’s at least older than 2003) was taken off the trickle charger, and it’s showing 12.2 V. Not great but should be good enough to hook up and see if the vehicle releases the magic smoke. Should be enough to get it running, I personally believe that after draining the tank and blowing the lines, she’ll start right up.

Came home today to find some weather beaten packages on my stoop, holding some goodies.

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I should have some time this week to deal with fuel issues.


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors

Last edited by dukedkt442; 07-07-2020 at 04:15 AM.
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  #55  
Old 07-07-2020, 07:49 AM
ebloom ebloom is offline
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From memory when I owned my 320i ... the battery lasted a long time, and the car was forgiving of a less-than-ideal battery. The engine would crank a little slower, but still reliably start when the battery was getting weak. There's very little active electronics to drain the battery when the car is off - clock and radio is about it. An electrical short somewhere would change things - and this is more likely in a car that's been sitting and has unusual modifications. But once you get the electrical system sorted you shouldn't have any battery problems.
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  #56  
Old 07-07-2020, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebloom View Post
From memory when I owned my 320i ... the battery lasted a long time, and the car was forgiving of a less-than-ideal battery. The engine would crank a little slower, but still reliably start when the battery was getting weak. There's very little active electronics to drain the battery when the car is off - clock and radio is about it. An electrical short somewhere would change things - and this is more likely in a car that's been sitting and has unusual modifications. But once you get the electrical system sorted you shouldn't have any battery problems.

That’s what I figured too. I’m just amazed the nearly 2 decade old battery is taking, and keeping, a charge. When pulled the battery registered (in best Dean Wormer impression) 0.0 volts.

As far as mods, other than the alarm, it has no mods. 1 owner, all service records.

Went to start replacing some hoses after doing the Mickey Mouse flange on the E83 and realized I was missing some hoses; one got sent inexplicably to CA. I’m in NY...


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #57  
Old 07-07-2020, 03:53 PM
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Did some more poking around and found not only a chewed up vacuum line, but something far more ominous:

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Glad I found that before putting power to the lift pump!


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #58  
Old 07-07-2020, 07:25 PM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Hopefully that won't be too hard to trace!
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1999 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 240k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige
2004 X3 2.5i- M54B30 swapped
--Titansilber/Hellgrau
2006 330i N52B30
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  #59  
Old 07-09-2020, 07:19 AM
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Hopefully that won't be too hard to trace!
Nah, fortunately it's all "right there." It's a short fuel line, runs from the filter to the feed pump IIRC.

I haven't put the car up in the air yet, but draining the tanks should be easy peasy, as there is a crossover hose between them (similar to saddle tanks). RealOEM is proving to be invaluable with regards to learning what's what on the car.
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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #60  
Old 07-09-2020, 07:57 AM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
Nah, fortunately it's all "right there." It's a short fuel line, runs from the filter to the feed pump IIRC.

I haven't put the car up in the air yet, but draining the tanks should be easy peasy, as there is a crossover hose between them (similar to saddle tanks). RealOEM is proving to be invaluable with regards to learning what's what on the car.
RealOEM is probably the best way to learn these cars!
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1999 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 240k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige
2004 X3 2.5i- M54B30 swapped
--Titansilber/Hellgrau
2006 330i N52B30
--Alpinweiß III

2000 Volvo V70R Manual swapped, daily driver
1991 Volvo 944 Turbo
1992 Volvo 245
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  #61  
Old 07-09-2020, 10:01 AM
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And discovered a June ‘81 build date!


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #62  
Old 07-09-2020, 04:17 PM
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Scratch that. Took some time to trace the fuel lines, and what I thought was the fuel filter is the charcoal canister.


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #63  
Old 07-13-2020, 05:54 PM
jeepo23 jeepo23 is offline
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Good to see progress on this.
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  #64  
Old 07-18-2020, 09:05 AM
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Got back from a week on the Lake to find more goodies: ignition components, fuel filter, a a very special set from W-N across the pond!

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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #65  
Old 07-19-2020, 03:56 PM
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Picked a great day for work, heat advisory and mid 90s and no AC in the garage. Finished my morning workout pushing the car inside, I figured it was easier than fetching the tractor to push it. After triple checking block placement, finally got the car in the air.

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Once finally underneath, I’m fairly impressed with its state, considering it’d been sinking into the ground for 17 years. Only holes are the spare tire well and drivers floor pan, and I’ve already bought replacement patch panels.

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On to the main event: draining the tanks of an unknown quantity of turpentine. The saddle tank crossover made it remarkably easy. Took out about 6 gallons, with no sediment in the tank! I poured what used to be fuel in my ‘84 GMC, it’ll run on most anything. And yes, I’ve done this before to get rid of old “gasoline,” that old truck doesn’t bat an eye.

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While under there, I figured I’d change the rear diff fluid. It had definitely been changed before, it came out honey colored despite 240k miles. Some tasty Redline 75w-90 went in, a full quart. I didn’t like the old plugs, so I rooted through my drawer and found my worst UBG plugs off my E83 (or possibly the E46?) and used them. Having a gasket I didn’t need to crank them down. Bigger hex is better for removal anyway.

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Put a bar to the crank and got about 180* of crank rotation both ways before stopping. Scoped all cylinders and all I could see was original wall cross hatching, impressive for the mileage and sitting. I’ll pull the VC tomorrow to check for a stuck valve. Dumped a bunch more MMO in each cylinder just to help if there’s a rust ridge, but I saw nothing but silver.

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And of course the reward!
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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors

Last edited by dukedkt442; 07-19-2020 at 06:04 PM.
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  #66  
Old 07-19-2020, 04:39 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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You have single-handedly revived the E21 forum. I'm glad you are documenting your progress here.
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  #67  
Old 07-19-2020, 06:01 PM
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Thanks Horn!


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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #68  
Old 07-19-2020, 08:04 PM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Wow, that's a relief to see! The cylinder walls look really good. I guess sitting in the ground was better than being driven in NY for all these years with the salt. Though it does have some rust, it's really not that bad!
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1999 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 240k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige
2004 X3 2.5i- M54B30 swapped
--Titansilber/Hellgrau
2006 330i N52B30
--Alpinweiß III

2000 Volvo V70R Manual swapped, daily driver
1991 Volvo 944 Turbo
1992 Volvo 245
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  #69  
Old 07-20-2020, 04:10 AM
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Right?!?!

Still puzzled why I “hit the wall” with turning the engine. I can only think of a stuck valve or a rust ridge I can’t see, but all 4 cylinders look so good... I’ll know more when pulling the rocker cover today. Hoping it's just a stuck valve, I don't really feel like pulling the head for exploration at this stage in the game, because that bring's its own series of "might as wells": lap the valves, 3 angle valve job, port-match the head/manifolds, smoothing out the chambers/passages in the head, oversize valves...

Edit: I know I'm really getting ahead of myself, but looking at the old rotted exhaust (original) really has me itching to install a header, get some tubes and make a custom exhaust. Also looking at the floor holes, I could get that done in a day. Biggest PIA of it is pulling the interior out (mostly out of fear of what I'll find!).
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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors

Last edited by dukedkt442; 07-20-2020 at 06:01 AM.
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  #70  
Old 07-20-2020, 07:03 AM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Do it!

I think it may be a stuck valve. Sounds like compression lock, but the plugs are out, right? The car is in neutral (made that mistake before... lol)?
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1999 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 240k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige
2004 X3 2.5i- M54B30 swapped
--Titansilber/Hellgrau
2006 330i N52B30
--Alpinweiß III

2000 Volvo V70R Manual swapped, daily driver
1991 Volvo 944 Turbo
1992 Volvo 245
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmdubya1198 View Post
Do it!

I think it may be a stuck valve. Sounds like compression lock, but the plugs are out, right? The car is in neutral (made that mistake before... lol)?
Yup plugs out and trans in neutral. That's actually the first thing I checked.
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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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  #72  
Old 07-20-2020, 09:08 AM
bmdubya1198 bmdubya1198 is offline
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Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if you just have a sticky valve or something getting in the way.
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1999 528iT Sport M52TUB28- 2-2-1999 240k+ miles
--Alpinweiß III/Sandbeige
2004 X3 2.5i- M54B30 swapped
--Titansilber/Hellgrau
2006 330i N52B30
--Alpinweiß III

2000 Volvo V70R Manual swapped, daily driver
1991 Volvo 944 Turbo
1992 Volvo 245
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:14 AM
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So far today:

Hood off for better access. Clamshell hoods look cool but are stupid for working under. I have all the hardware (except for the one bolt that snapped) soaking in Ospho.

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Radiator out and glad I did! I totally foresee this "change fuel and turn the key, barn find 'will it run scenario' " morphing. I don't like what's in the radiator so I'm already strongly considering pulling the head.

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Because it was out, I hit the tank crossover guard with acid, primer and paint. Couldn't see putting it back on looking like garbage. Not concerned that it's overly pretty, but I do hate rust. Went with industrial grey because I have a bunch of it taking up space.

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Looks like the Olds will have to live outside for a few days!
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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors

Last edited by dukedkt442; 07-20-2020 at 01:06 PM.
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  #74  
Old 07-20-2020, 12:05 PM
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Pulled the AC condenser, ended up just tearing the lower line at the fitting for convenience. AC will not be going back in this car and all lines will be removed, so I don't need the extra weight anyway. The bolts that hold it in are the same that hold the radiator in, and were completely rust-seized, so I went with the easy solution: cut-off wheel on the angle grinder between the bolt's smooth cap (no hex, or anything to grab to keep the bolt from spinning while attempting to loosen the nut) and the condenser brackets, making removal done in seconds.

Had a bear of a time removing the 4 bolts on the fan until I was able to look in through the grill with a flashlight and see the little retaining lock tabs. Bent those out of the way with a screw driver, and the fan came right off, and after a few whacks with a soft deadblow, so did the pulley. Both the pulley and metal fan plate got the Ospho treatment and will get paint before reinstallation. I don't really want to spring for a radiator right now so I'll see if this one can be saved.

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Pulled the electric "push" fan; methinks it is only needed for AC, so I may just leave it off completely. Either that or look into removing the belt driven engine fan and only using electric, gotta free up those ponies!

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While in there, I got a good look at what's left of the lower rad support: my plan is to just cut the entire thing out (along with whatever metal fluid lines are there, which would get replaced), and welding in a piece of angle steel and calling it good. Again, not concerned with "stock" appearance on something like that, as much as I am about increasing strength and functionality.

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With room to swing the breaker bar from above, I pulled the rocker cover. Working the pipe back and forth I looked for valves that didn't move; not seeing that, I put a cheater pipe on my breaker bar and was able to spin the engine past it's "sticking point", and spin the engine several times. I'd repeatedly get to a sticking point (though easier each time, but not by much) and was able to see that each "stick" coincided with a rocker coming up on max cam lift. So, it seems I was looking to fix something that wasn't broke after all! All I was feeling was some intense valve spring pressure! Incredible! When I did the timing job on my 24v Ford 5.4 V8, that engine was easier to turn over with the spark plugs IN than this little sucker with the plugs OUT! And after 240k miles, no less!

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I'm not sure if there's a market for any of the original AC components for these cars/engines, but if anyone is interested, shoot me a PM.



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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors

Last edited by dukedkt442; 07-20-2020 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:22 PM
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dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Mein Auto: 2008 BMW X3
Various hardware, after acid treatment. The two spring plates were the last I’d added and therefore soaked the least; I’ll likely make new ones.

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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
2016 Chevy Silverado 2011 VW Jetta
1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors
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