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CubbyChowder

A Distraction of Sorts: My 1991 BMW 318is

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I figured I would post this up here too since some of you will appreciate it. I'm copying it directly from another site, so it might seem a bit confusing since I'm cramming 5 or 6 separate updates into one post. Enjoy!

A part of me is saying that I should've never bought this 318is in the first place, strictly because it takes focus off my other BMW, a '73 2002 Roundie which is up at my dad's house completely disassembled, awaiting labor and love.

My other half tells me this was a great decision, for a few reasons. Not only does my 1998 Honda Civic (which I bought mainly as a commuter while I build the 2002) provide zero sense of pride in what I drive, it completely misrepresents me as a person. The faded forest green paint, accompanied by "altezza style" tail lights and "JDM style" headlights (which I can confidently assume were purchased off eBay categorized under "price+shipping=lowest"), as well as oversized tires and a CD player that was probably manufactured before I was even born just don't really mesh well with me. Don't get me wrong, it's been dead reliable since I bought it 6 months ago and is ultra efficient, but something is missing.

it's also a perfect candidate for me to gain some experience in automotive painting. I plan on repainting this e30 myself in preparation to paint my 2002 sometime in the near future. I will stick with the original DiamondSchwarz Metallic color, which happens to be one of my favorite BMW colors.

Anyways, here it is. Near mint black vinyl interior (minus a cracked dash) and a healthy engine/drivetrain. Since it will be my daily driver, I want it to drive comfortably. I plan on replacing all the suspension bushings, rebuilding the shifter, performing general/preventative maintenance and I want to eventually build a set of coilovers and get a nice set of wheels to finish it off. Enjoy!

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Shea Butta snuck in on the last shot

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I called my local paint supply shop and they have a pretty killer kit deal running right now, $225 for a gallon of base coat and a gallon of clear coat. I'm going to buy the "upgraded" clear which apparently yields better results, so it'll be about $260 total. This is about half of what I was expecting to spend, so I was pleasantly surprised by this. The guy said mixing the original DiamantSchwarz Metallic color will be no problem, and that the color will match nearly perfect. I'm stoked! I can't wait to repaint this thing.

I'm also awaiting my odometer gear repair kit, should be here within the next few days and I'll have a working odometer again. The odometer went out 3 months ago at 170k, so I want to get it fixed so it'll stay closely accurate. It's seen maybe 2k miles since it went out.

Yikes, I'm rambling.

Anyways, this is first real purchase I made for the car. A keyless entry system by German Engineering with the flip blade key fob's. I'm a former MKIV Volkswagen owner (which use the exact same flip blade design), so these fobs hit home. I had to have them. Can't wait to get this kit installed!

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My new odometer gears from Garagistic came in the mail:

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So I got to work, removed the instrument cluster:

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Took it apart:

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Removed the speedometer assembly:

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Those are the gears that are getting replaced:

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Gear cover off:

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Old soft gears removed (brass bushing hasn't been removed yet in this picture):

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New gears installed (the original bottom green one is ok to reuse apparently because a new one isn't included in the kit):

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Gear cover back on:

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And all back together! Glad to have a working odometer:

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Scored these e38 16x8 Style 5's for cheap yesterday while I was down in Ventura. They are in really good shape, I'm pumped on them. Ordering 42draft designs adapters today and will try to find some tires for a reasonable price.

Also waiting on a few packages full of new suspension refresh goodies.

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Small update. Nothing has really changed with the car yet, I'm just gathering everything I need while I have the money. I bought all new suspension bushings, control arms and swaybar linkages. Can't wait to install everything and feel the difference! I decided against polyurethane in favor of stock rubber.

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Got 205/45/16's mounted on the Style 5's and I'm really happy with how they look. Can't wait to see them on the car. Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, I totally spaced on bringing my camera with me today. The wheels are really dirty in the pics too.

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I don't normally run wheels before suspension, it just looks beyond goofy to me, but I want to sell my weaves as soon as I can to buy more parts and whatnot so I figured I'd just do it. It's only going to look like this temporarily, still waiting for GE kits to come back in stock. Then I made a terrible photoshop of how I basically want the car to look when it's finished, minus a few things that I don't have the skills to add. Check out my sweet ass crosshairs :D

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I should also add that this build is going to be a bit different from my other builds. Instead of heavily documenting through photo's and posting them up, I decided I'm going to document every step through video as of today. When it's all done, I'm going to make an edit of the whole build from step 1 to when it's finished. Just thought it'd be kind of cool. I'll still post up photo's of progress but not as thoroughly as my other builds.

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Alright so I started building a custom roof rack yesterday. I wanted one bike tray, and have the rest of the rack be a wooden platform to haul stuff around on considering the e30 isn't really the most spacious car, especially since the seats don't fold down.

So I went to my local metal supply shop, got 20ft. of 1"x1" metal tubing, had them cut it into four 5' pieces and headed up to my dads.

From there, I made some measurements, cut some stuff, welded stuff together, ground some welds down on the surface and ended up with this frame. It's kind of hard to tell in the pictures, but the legs are a bit longer on one side to make room for the bike tray:

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So this is how it sits with the bike tray installed:

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Made a Home Depot run:

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Spent the next few hours making precise measurements so everything is proportional, drilling into the wood, and drilling into the metal on my kitchen floor with shitty drill bits. Drilling through the metal sucked and I'm so happy it's over...

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And here's where I'm at right now. I'm staining the wood a dark walnut color and painting the metal frame and carriage bolt heads black so everything goes together nicely. I'm really happy with how it's turning out. I'll probably weld on a couple hooks throughout the frame to attach tie downs/bungee straps etc.

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Wow, you should be happy with the way it turned out! Very cool

What kind of wood did you use?

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Wow, you should be happy with the way it turned out! Very cool

What kind of wood did you use?

Thank you!

And yep, ziff73 is right. It's poplar.

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The rack and car look great. I put my alpine 318is in the rental storage yesterday. On the way a couple on the road praised the 318. Guess they are a distraction to others as well.

Heres a pic before the IS side skirts

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What side mounts did you use for the roof rack? I would be completely interested in doing this for my '90 325i.

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