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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 12-13-2006, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Starting to plan the E30 project, would like to discuss it with you guys...

Well, I almost have enough space in my dad's shop to get the Bimmer in there, so I figure I should start laying out my plans so I can begin accumulating parts or at least keep an eye out for them. I've done some searches and research, but there are things I'm unsure about or that I would just like some input on.

The car: 1984 318i, 4 cyl, 5 speed
Goals: Low profile daily driver that can do the occassional track session or autocross

Engine: Sadly, the aftermarket support for the M10 isn't nearly what it is for the M20, at least from what my searching tells me. But I do plan for the basic mods like cone filter w/heat shield and exhaust. Eventually I would like to go more, with a Schrick cam and a VAC performance head. Right now my main concern is the exhaust, the only full system I have found for it is the spendy BavAuto Sterling-coated header back system. I want an exhaust that will have performance gains but isn't loud. What's the best-sounding exhaust, in your guys' opinion?

Suspension: I have heard that the best suspension set up is KW, and if you can't afford that, go with Konis. Are both these setups suitable for a street/track set up? I checked KW's website, they are full coilovers, right? I want to get a sway bar kit, and yes I've heard about strengthening the rear sway bar tabs. Is anyone using stress bars (strut tower bars), are they worth buying or should I just stick with the sway bars?

Exterior: I read that it is possible, but very difficult, to convert 84-87 E30 bumpers to the later year factory plastic bumpers. What about the M Technic II kit? Can it be fitted to the early E30s with little or no modding, or is it another time and $$$ deal? If that options is out, could someone suggest a more aggressive but tasteful kit? I checked BMP Design... : bluh.

Lighting: All of the clear or smoked front turn signal lenses I've come across are for "plastic bumpers only, non M3." 1) Are there signal lenses for aluminum bumper E30s or 2) If I were able to use the M technic II kit, would the said lenses fit? For headlights, I would like to upgrade to HID and get smoked lenses. Is the Hella kit a good one?

Interior: I got bought almost a full interior off a guy for $300, upgraded to black leather from the tan cloth in mine. Is there a place to get the M technic steering wheel for less than the $300+ price? I would also like an affordable pedal and dead pedal kit, could some one suggest one? And for the trunk carpeting, mine is really trashed, is there a replacement or am I better off redoing it myself? Does anyone know of some one who sells carbon fiber interior trim, aside from the shift knob?

OK, had enough questions? :lol: I am very much open to suggestions and imput...

Thank you!
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Doesn't Atlanta Downing have a supercharger for the 4 pot? or is that for the M42?
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ldsbeaker
Doesn't Atlanta Downing have a supercharger for the 4 pot? or is that for the M42?
ya m42
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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oh, that's too bad... I wouldn't mind, later on down the road, trying to build a supercharged engine with one of the smaller Vortech unit. That or turbo... but that's a ways off...

Another question: are the rear drums suitable for track/auto-x use? If not, is it difficult to upgrade to disks?

Thanks guys
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was able to find some CF trim, sorta stumbled upon it. An ebay store called Good_Stuffs_4_U sells CF roundels (not a decal, real emblem), CF M-badged gauge panel, and an affordable M-badged pedal set. A company by the name of MIMOUSA (distributor only, you have to buy from an authorized retailer) sells a 12-17 piece CF interior trim kit for about $150.

The car right now is badly damaged Delphin Grey Metallic, and I was just going to have it repainted that color to avoid having to paint the jambs and the engine bay, but the more I think about it the more I like the idea of black, it might be worth it to go all in out on the paint... Anyone know if an M-technic bumper will fit an early E30?

Thanks
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK, 3rd consecutive post, sorry, but I found some more stuff. According to Abrams (?) Motorsports, the M-Technic kit is for the later style E30, read: plastic bumpers only. So modification would be neccessary... I might just go ahead and do it. I'll see if I can find someone who has done it (anyone know of somebody off the top of their heads?) and then see if I think I could handle it. I just can't get over the M-Tech kit, only e30 bodykit I really like, and I don't want to tuck the bumpers...

I'm scratching the said supercharger option off my future list, I was browsing E30tech and the verdict seems that while the M10 is a crappy N/A motor, it is a fantistic candidate for turbocharging, with a strong balanced bottom end. I think what I might want to do is see if I can find a good running M10, fix up the interior/exterior of the car and leave the motor alone except for mods that could be transferred over, and build the other M10 as a turbo motor. I'll definately be doing a lot more research, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. This way I would have a reason to pull the motor to paint the engine bay...

Tell me what you think:
Metallic black, M-technic kit, no spoiler, smoked lights all around, 16 inch black basket weave wheels with a polished lip and hardware, tinted, lowered about 1", CF badging, blacked out chrome trim...
Black interior with CF and brushed aluminum trim, black leather, M-technic steering wheel, and a clean, well-imaged sound system...
Flat black engine bay, turbo and exhaust all shielded, polished piping, valve cover and select bits powder-coated semi-gloss black (logos kept bare aluminum). Engine has low comp pistons, stronger rods (I hear the stock rods are possibly forged, tho), VAC motorsports stage 2 head with a Schrick cam, custom fabricated exhaust and turbo set up (more research ahead)...

Sound good?

God I can talk forever... I'll go back to looking around
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Write this down in Word, try to find cars similar to yours that have been hopped up like you want. PM them, your opinion might change.
I thought Mtech II was the only way to go, then I did the plastic bumper swap, and have decided that OEM is a lot prettier. (I still need a rear valence..)
I think that you'll find that your project goals will change once you see a lot of tastefully modded E30's...
p.s. check out R3vlimited.com
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks, I will check them out!

Was the conversion difficult? When you say stock is prettier, do you mean the 84-87 bumpers or the later style, compared to M technic? If you don't mind, I'd like to talk to you more about this conversion, thru email, maybe?

You don't like my list? LOL, I'm kidding, each to his own. I know, it seems a bit heavy on the dark, tinted, aggressive look, but I've always kinda liked cars done like that. I have no doubt, though, that things will change as my project progresses...

Thanks
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldsbeaker
Write this down in Word, try to find cars similar to yours that have been hopped up like you want. PM them, your opinion might change.
I thought Mtech II was the only way to go, then I did the plastic bumper swap, and have decided that OEM is a lot prettier. (I still need a rear valence..)
I think that you'll find that your project goals will change once you see a lot of tastefully modded E30's...
p.s. check out R3vlimited.com
no way Mtech 1 FTW! only for the uber rareness of it
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