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#1 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 08:18 PM
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Thumbs up My 1994 325i project log & fixing diary

I bought an used -94 325i with 260 000km (160 000mi) for 2700Ä ($4K).

At first I didn't intend to get a "project car", but a car I would have to do absolutely nothing about, but it seems I ended up with an amalgam of sorts - a car that runs just fine and looks hella good, but which has all these little things to fix and tweak if I feel like it. In the end, I've come to consider it a good thing. If I don't have the time/energy to do anything about the car I don't have to, and if I have some extra energy/time I can go tweak and fix it like no tomorrow.

The current list of deficiencies includes, by category:

Brakes and suspension:
  • Front ride height lowered by 60mm (gonna get this restored back to original height during this week).
  • The edges of the front brake discs as well as the sheet metal covering them are rusty. Probably the rear ones too.

Electronics:
  • The MID unit clock bulb doesn't get power. The bulb itself is fine.
  • The MID unit doesn't show correct outside temperature. The temperature is stuck at -37 degrees Celsius, probably because of broken/disconnected thermometer wires.
  • The fuel gauge light is out. Probably bulb.
  • Whether or not the retrofitted car alarm actually works is unkown. The LED blinks all right...

Windows, mirrors and interior:
  • A crack in the windshield which has been fixed by drilling to prevent it from expanding.
  • Rear window had a cheap tinting tape on the inside which made the window really blurry. I removed the tape but some of the blur effect remained, probably because of the adhesive. Gotta wash the inside of the window with some solvent to get rid of the adhesive.
  • The right side-view mirror has developed some rust/oxidation on the edges of the reflective material.
  • Slight scratches on the tape covering the glass of the right rear passenger window.
  • The plastic cover of the handle on the inside of the driver's door is missing.
  • Some slight rippage and stainage in the seats and other interior fabrics.
  • The black plastic cover of the left rear passenger's seatbelt lock has come off the actual lock and now just hangs about the lock.
  • The edge of the back rest of the right rear passenger seat somehow slightly overlaps the seatbelt lock, requiring the use of some force to make the seatbelt lock click into position.

Plastics:
  • One foglight's cover is cracked.
  • Rear bumper's attaching screws have loosened a bit, leading to a small gap between the corners of the rear fenders and the corners of the rear bumper.
  • Front bumper is missing some moldings on either side of the license plate. It seems they were removed to make the plate fit better.
  • The rear window is missing some weatherstripping. It's not an issue as the window is still waterproof, but the quarter-inch gaps don't look nice.
  • The BMW logo roundels on the centers of the rims are fading and the covering tape chipping away.

Body:
  • A little rust on edges of body panels in places (barely visible, never bigger than a dime).
  • Small chips on hood paint from flown debris.
  • Paint on right fender cracked after straightening a dent.

Other:
  • Really rusty (all brown) bottom of trunk (where the spare tire is).
  • Trunk lock is full of junk, so can't be opened with the key (not an issue anyway, I always use the remote).
  • The driver's door's door check is broken and, if in the "auto" position, the interior light refuses to go out until the car is shut down and locked.
  • The sport filter needs replacing sometime soon.

That was everything I could think of. I have already fixed the rest of the MID lights (some soldering had oxidized and created a short circuit) and changed the engine fan clutch after the previous one failed.

I will update this thread every time I've fixed something.

Tomorrow I'm going to get some stock springs to the front and get them installed, as well as a wheel realignment.

Link to my Garage. More pictures coming soon!

Attached is the only pic of my car I currently have. Gonna post new ones whenever I have taken some.

If you have any tips for me concerning, well, anything, feel free to share! Also, if you are suffering from some of the same issues, I can share tips whenever I've taken care of the issue in question.

Last edited by Morgion; 08-29-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 08:52 PM
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I reached the 30min edit period and the picture failed to upload so here it is.
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 06:09 PM
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Got some new springs today! Had to pay some extra buck for generic E36 springs instead of 318 or 325 specific springs (in case I haven't told, for some reason the car is equipped with 318 shock absorbers instead of 325 equivalents and I didn't know which car's springs to get), but I wanted to make extra sure they fit and aren't too flimsy or anything. The installation and wheel realignment will happen sometime this week, ASAP.

Got some pictures as well! I especially like the "eyes of the beast" photo as in the parking lights.
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Last edited by Morgion; 08-30-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 11:46 PM
OMFG another one!?
 
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witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice
Very nice thread; thanks for sharing!

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 02:38 PM
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Thanks! This is suprisingly fun and keeps me focused and organized to boot.

Today I took a ride to a local scrap yard to look for some of the missing plastics and maybe other things. I should've kept an eye out for side-view mirrors but forgot entirely. Instead I found new carpets for my car! Got them from a totaled Mazda. After washing the blood off and cutting them to size (making extra sure to cut away any and all Mazda-logos), they looked way better than the old carpets left by the last owner. Also, pics! (Not of the carpets, though.)

The last pic shows how low the front is right now. Driving to a speed bump at anything faster than a crawl will get me a car with one less front bumper. See how the wheel sinks into the infinite abyss of the wheel well? It's like I've got an invisible elephant sitting on my hood!

Oh, I was just kidding about the blood.
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 02:14 PM
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Finally got to meet with the guy who I'm supposed to be changing the springs with. We agreed to postpone the operation to next week to get a whole afternoon for just ourselves and the car. What I did in the meantime was getting some paint in what looks like a nail polish bottle mixed to match the color of my car and started to cover up some of the gravel damage on the hood. 5 minutes later it started raining... After the rain stopped, I went to check whether or not my work was in vain and it wasn't! Some of the paint had washed away but most of it was dry enough to stick despite the rain.

While I couldn't continue covering up the chipped paint until it would be dry enough, I noticed that the right headlight was out. When I went to check, I found out that some of the nearly 20 year old soldering had failed. Fixed that with some fresh solder and it works again.

Gonna wait 'til tomorrow to continue fixing the paint.
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