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Old 02-24-2019, 02:54 AM   #1
Tzantushka
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Location: Melbourne Australia
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320i convertible – Malachitgrün machine from Australia

Hi,
Quick intro after lurking for a few months.

I’m in Australia and just picked-up an ’88 320i convertible as our weekend ‘fun & cruising ’ car. My DD is a Volvo V60 Polestar wagon. With 350hp from a 3L turbo 3 inline six – that’s enough speed for me.
Always loved the E30, timeless style, easy to work on, built like a BMW should be… You know the drill.
I’m a mid 40’s father with wife and a 5 y.o. son, so spare time is my biggest issue. I’m realistic what I can get done in the weekends and an after work.

The car is original and unmolested and car is true to original specs:
Prod. Date 1988-02-15
Type 320I (EUR)
Series E30 (3 Series)
Body Type CABRIO
Steering RHD
Engine M20
Displacement 2.00
Power 95kw / 129hp
Transmission Automatic
Colour MALACHITGRUEN METALLIC (205)
Upholstery Natur (0295)

Driver Assistance And Lightning
S520A Fog Lights
S530A Air Conditioning
S540A Cruise Control

Wheels And Drive
S219A Sport Leather Steering Wheel 380 Mm
S286A BMW LA Wheel BMW Styling

Other Equipment
S370A Softtop Black
L810A National Version Australia

Yes it’s a 320 – would have a loved a 325, but there are hard to find in good condition especially verts. Because it’s original, the timing belt, tensioner, water pump & belts will be the first mechanical work done.
I’ll build the list of jobs over the coming weeks.
In the meantime enjoy the pics.











Oh, and I broke my first rule – ‘…get the critical and important mechanical work done before the cosmetics…’
Always liked verts with basketweaves. Spotted a set 14” basket weaves for very reasonable price and had to buy them.

As it turns out the seller was a true gentleman and E30 aficionado. Tyres were Michelins and 90%, rims were in great condition. Some Iron-x, claybar and painting of the centre caps they look awesome. Also hit them with a ceramic coating to make cleaning easier down the track.

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Last edited by Tzantushka; 02-27-2019 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 02-25-2019, 02:04 PM   #2
lukeADE335i
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Welcome! Great looking convertible.

The 320i's are very smooth cruisers - the 2.0L M20 is probably the smoothest of all of them. If you find you need some more grunt in the future, they make excellent swap candidates too as Australian delivered ones tend to have most of the 325i driveline & brakes (just with a small case diff).

Your basketweaves look very neat!
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:50 PM   #3
Tzantushka
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Thanks!

I'll assess how 'healthy' the current engine is before tipping too much coin into it. Engine swap is still a viable option.

When I saw a mint condition same colour E30 in the UK I thought the green needs the basketweaves!

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Old 02-27-2019, 02:12 AM   #4
econti
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Such a beautiful colour. I'd love a green one at some point.
Take care of it!
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:28 AM   #5
Tzantushka
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Well, was a productive long weekend.
Was able to clean & degrease the front end after 30+ years of grime.
Pulled the fender liners and was surprised with no major rust.
Even with the RH front fender linder missing the lower section.

Really happy that the car is good shape.
Apart from a leaky PS reservoir, the first lot of critical work is complete:
- new conti timing belt, tensioner & w-pump (lucky as the timing belt had many small cracks)
- new accessories belts
- new tie rod ends & boots (febi)
- no thermostat installed - on order
- new plugs (NGK)
- cleaned the air flow meter & intake piping (filter on order)

Suspension wear components are buggered.
I'm building the shopping list...

A minor annoyance is the original cassette head unit cuts in and out.
The system has fader in the dash and tweeters, but no amp in the trunk.
That's odd.
Looks like I have some reading to do in the audio subforum.

Speaking of trunk...
Minor surface rust from scratches (the orange colour is from the sun through the tail light).
The PO replaced the auto antenna with a manual, no leaks which is good. Tailight gaskets have been coated with brush on silicon and are water tight

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Old 03-27-2019, 02:24 AM   #6
Tzantushka
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Nothing significant to post - apart from the mass of spare parts accumulating in the study.
- Front & rear shocks, mounts & bumpstops etc
- Control arms & lollipops, swaybar links
- Coil, dizzy cap & rotor and plug leads
- PS reservoir, oil & air filters
- seat shocks

Ended up swapping all the 30+ fuses over and a few accessories started working again (e.g. Cruise Control)

New blower resistor, cleaned and re-lubricated the blower motor bearing (no more crickets in the klima box)

Also had the OE radio repaired (re-flow solder joints on FM tuner) so the radio works and I can play my RAD mix tapes from the 80's.

For our fellow Aussie R3V-ers:
Alpine Electronics Australia still have an old school Service Dept.
Rick is the man to see and is familiar with the CM5905, CM5907, CM5908 head units.
Great service with a two day turnaround!
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:34 PM   #7
Tzantushka
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Been a while since posting - have been beavering away on weekends getting a few things done and just driving the car...

- Rear glass side window weather strips (inside & out)
- Door weatherstrips
- New air cleaner, coil, plug leads, rotor & dizzy cap (that made a difference!)
- various trims, clips and interior bulbs
- Passenger side seat shocks & tilt cable and re-painted seat rails

Electric window switches were also tired after 30 years.
Bought 4x cheap Chinese switches on eBay for <$20.
As others have reported the complete switch assembly is garbage.
Some switches require a hard press to work, others the spring tension is too much.
New OE switches are bloody expensive and second hand switches have reliability issues.
Ended up pulling apart the chinese switches and using the chinese buttons & metal contacts with the original housing and spring. They fit perfectly and function as good as a new switch. Has the OE spring feel with the look & reliability of new buttons.

Also sold the father in laws '85 318i sedan.
I could rescue a few parts from his car - including a functional Hirschmann antenna, and even an unused 33 year old cigarette lighter & ashtray...



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Old 04-29-2019, 08:57 PM   #8
Tzantushka
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Headlight cleaning

Also, wanted to share the results from a Euro mini-headlight refurbish...

All of the headlights had a milky / cloudy / foggy inner lens.
As these are 30+ years old and the plastic is brittle - wanted to clean them without open heart surgery (i.e. heat-up and separate the lens from the housing).



For the low-beam Ellipsoid, that was easy.
Unscrew the projector housing & wipe the projector lens with IPA.
Spray some IPA into the headlight lens, stuff a microfiber and wipe the inside.

The high beams were harder as I could only access the inside of the lens from the H1 globe hole.
Ended up tearing a 1" wide strip of flannel from an old sheet, pouring in some IPA (and wax & grease remover for stubborn stains) and stuffing the strip into the inside of the lens. Making sure you have the cloth strip hanging out so you can pull the cloth out.
Used a bamboo skewer to help swish around the wet cloth to wash & wipe from the inside.





Rinse with some IPA to rid any remaining fluff.
Let dry and reassemble.

A clean lens and new upgraded H1 bulbs make a huge difference!



I'll take keyhole surgery anyday.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:22 AM   #9
econti
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Did it take long? I need to do this too
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:00 AM   #10
Tzantushka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by econti View Post
Did it take long? I need to do this too
After the headlight is removed, the low bean ellipsoids only took 15 mins.
Pro tip:
Need to mark the projector housing relative to the lens body.
Easy to screw-up your headlight set-up as there are two adjustment points for RHD and LHD - more info here.

The high beams take the time, about 40 mins.
As I learnt if you jam too much cloth in there, it the cloth won't move around when you shake the headlight (lens face down).

If you don't have enough cloth in there it will take too long and leave 'unwiped' bits.
It's the combination of the cleaning solvent and the wiping of the cloth that does the work. Solvent on it's own isn't as effective.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:49 AM   #11
jgilber0
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Beautiful car!
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:23 AM   #12
Tzantushka
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Productive weekend with the driver's seat removed on Friday night and ready for re-install on Sunday night.

Leather seats were recovered back in 2016, but had very little love since then - plus the Australian climate and lots of open top motoring to the beach had taken it's toll.
Driver's seat was the worst. Dirty, hard leather, blown shocks, sticky tilt mechanism and the backrest wouldn't stay-up.

Disassembly was straight forward, although one of the two backrest screws had come loose (explains the wobbly seat back!).
Shocks swapped, brake cleaner fixed the recline mechanism plus a new tilt cable and cleaned & painted the rails.

I was sceptical about Leatherique on coated leather.
But my leather had lots of hairline cracks in the protective coating. The first treatment brought the dirt out.



And lots of it.



After using the rejuvenator oil and pristine clean a second time, the dirt kept coming and the leather became softer and softer. Final treatment was the oil with cling wrap on the top and a hairdryer. No more dirt, but the leather was good as new.

[/IMG]

After 30 years - time for a new seat belt receptacle.



But the seats look like a million bucks and I don't have to re-cover them.

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Old 05-13-2019, 12:53 AM   #13
gnmzl
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Wow I can't believe these are not freshly reupholstered. Awesome results!
Also, I love the car, it's really appealing. Good job
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:02 AM   #14
Tzantushka
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Did the rear suspension & painted the wheel arches during the weeknights.
Wheel arches were tidy, a good scrub, scuff degrease and brushed on the Rustoleum satin black. Pics to follow

Let's be realistic, as it's an auto 320i convertible...
Kept the stock springs and went with Bilstein B4, OE spring perches and Meyle HD mounts & sway bar links.

After 195k km (120k mi.) the original shocks were buggered.
The shaft dropped down into the shock body like a sack of potatoes.
Mounts were equally toast.

After installing these, went for a quick spin - awesome!
No squeaks, no rattles - I can't wait to do the fronts.

Few things I noted.

No need to drop the diff to replace the springs
Just be careful with the trailing arms.

Remove the shock & anti-roll bar drop link.
Jack up the trailing arm, fit the spring compressor, lower the trailing arm, tighten the spring compressor & remove the spring.

Fit the rubber perches to the spring and reassemble the spring inserting the bottom first and then the top.
Check everything is seated & unwind the the spring compressor.
Loosely install the fully assembled shock from the top, jack up the trailing arm and & reattach the shock to the trailing and reattach the anti roll bar drop link.

I did follow the Bentley manual and torque the anti-roll bar drop link bolt when the car was on the ground.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:58 PM   #15
Tzantushka
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Not much progress as I’ve had some surgery.
Been able to knock off a few small fiddly & time consuming things like repainting the wing mirrors.

800 wet & dry, clean with wax & grease remover, mask, prime with Duplicolor plastic primer and several light coats of Duplicolor bumper & trim satin black.
Replaced a broken mirror motor with a 2nd hand one.

Like new:



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