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Chris's Journey to find.. "The One"

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  • #31
    welp.. things changed quick
    sold the black oz racing wheels
    got a set of oz racing wheels again, this time in a proper 996 fitment
    18x8.5 +40
    18x11 +63

    fedex decided to only deliver 3 of the 4 wheels and ive literally been waiting for one wheel to put the car back on the ground

    i took that time to order new motor mounts, roll my fenders and hunt for tires.

    purchased Wevo poly motor mounts. They are huge in the aircooled world add little to no NHV, while significantly increasing engine stability. They are also not stiff enough to cause knock sensor issues.

    While doing the motor mounts, i tried to adjust one of the exhaust tips only to find out the clamp holding the tip was seized and rusted out. Order two new clamps, though i only changed one side since the other was fine.

    FYI.. motor mounts for a 996/7 are literally a 15 minute job. i genuinely spent more time putting on music and gathering tools than i did actually replacing the mounts.

    and here's that exhaust clamp that i had to cut off.

    see that rubber sticking out of the original motor mounts? that's how far down my engine was sagging from oem. those mounts were pretty damn worn out. i guess it's expecting for the mileage of the vehicle. btw.. easy way to tell if rear engine porsche is in need of new motor mounts.. look at how far the exhaust tips are from the bumper. the further away.. the more sag it had. a lot of owners will get custom exhausts made and have the tips looking perfect... then change their motor mounts only to have their exhaust tips getting shoved into the bumper.

    i had to modify my fender roller and enlarge the holes to accept the 5x130 pattern. this was very time consuming and rolling the rear fenders is very tricky because of how inners are designed.

    luckily i didnt have to do much other than a simple roll. i may go back and roll them a bit more in the future if i notice any rubbing.

    finding tires was a huge issue.. or at least finding tires that i liked and were within my $1000 budget.

    245/40r18 and 315/30r18 is what i was aiming for. it's the closest to 996 cup sizing without jumping into slicks

    ideally i wanted Falken RT615k+ or their new RT660.

    the 315/30 660's havent even been received/made by falken themselves so that went out of the list right away. they said they could be anywhere from one month to six months out from getting their hands on them and shipping them out.

    i could not find a pair of 315/30r18 in stock anywhere for the 615's.

    only other 200tw option i really had were the yokohama a052's
    new tire.. heard great things.. $1400.. out of budget unfortunately

    looking around.. i ended up with Nankang AR1's since a lot of locals seemed to praise it. I did not want to run r888rs simply because of how loud they are and other options were out of budget.

    i plan to run these until the falken rt660's arrive. ill likely purchase a second set of wheels in similar specs and use those for the street, and keep the red OZ's for track things

    Today i finally found an alignment shop that i trust who had an open slot that wasnt 2 weeks out.

    took the car out for a spin... wow. those engine mounts really make a huge difference in how things feel. I had forgotten how touchy things felt in the m3 when i had poly mounts. the car feels alive. engine actually makes a nice grunt now when accelerating.. alongside other worry-some noises haha

    after doing the motor mounts i can really feel how worn out the clutch is. it's on it's last legs. not a good thing since im not financially ready to do IMS bearing job right now..

    oh well.. we'll see how long i can survive with minimal driving lol


    • #32
      small life update:

      i participated in one of those instagram car raffles

      won a 1997 integra type r

      the car is well... its not a good example of what an ITR should be

      it has a JDM ITR motor which makes it very hard to register in california.

      it's also an out of state title and vehicle with a salvage title due to 2 accounts of theft(lol) and one account of vandalism.

      car's been resprayed before and all the interior CF pieces that an ITR should have are gone(likely stolen)

      i cant help to admit it's a blast to drive despite the worn out suspension bushings everywhere and trashy lowering springs.

      it made me miss my s2000.

      im currently working on getting the car registered in california(you cali folk know exactly how tedious this process is)

      i will likely sell the car once i fix a few odds and ends and put the money toward some debt and into the 996.

      ive already removed the straight pipe exhaust and fitted an OEM type-r midpipe along with a Comptech axleback.

      on the hunt for an OEM CARB legal cat at the moment.

      I've also fixed the fuel gauge(car has a JDM cluster) and nearly fully wired up the headlights(jdm front end). only thing i have not wired up are the fog lights

      more to come soon(i hope)


      • #33
        hi all.

        it's been a while. ive been MIA for the most part dealing with a lot of work related things.

        there's a lot of updates.

        1) ITR sold.
        2) used ITR money to get the 996 borescoped and qualified for an IMS Solution
        3) Found minor bore scoring on the bottom of cyl #5. Found timing chain rails completely disintegrated. Car required the engine to be pulled, split apart, and timing redone. Even after doing all that, the bore scoring issue will only get worse with time. It was an extremely tough decision that took a lot of mental and emotional strength to do, but i sold the 996, because spending $10k-$15k on a timing job and IMS Solution on a motor that is bound to fail eventually didnt add up. Sleeving the block requires a full rebuild, about $25k+labor($10k). Flat 6 Innovations has about a 1 year waitlist on engine rebuilds.

        So..... it was either sit on the car for a year or watch the motor kill itself. The 996 is a genuine dream car of mine and I will own another one day.. but at my current point in life it didnt add up to drop $35k on a 996.

        While searching for a new platform i drove a 981 Cayman GTS on track and was thoroughly impressed. It felt extremely balanced and a bone stock car performing like that blew my mind,

        I was on the hunt for one, as a 981 Cayman S can be purchased for around $35-45k. Long story short, financing a car didnt end up working out, as i put family first and decided to help my parents purchase a (dream) vacation home for their retirement. It was a tough call, but it was something i would rather do. Theyve done so much and I couldn't even begin to thank them enough. They deserve it.

        Enough sob story bs i know yall are here for cars.

        I just picked up a swapped, BAR'd e30 325i

        It's not perfect and i feel i may have overpaid, but it's almost a perfect combo of shitbox and quality... not to mention that BAR sticker is worth some $$$

        quick info:
        clean title
        163k miles on the chassis
        unknown miles on the motor. im just gonna tell myself 120k miles on the motor to make myself feel good.
        legal "s52" swap(BAR'd as an s50 somehow. i dont ask questions.)
        MCS 2-way coilovers
        BBS RS(ooo fancy)
        Corbeau seats(theyre pretty comfy)
        AC and heater do work.
        Shitimoto Radiator
        straight pipe hotboi exhaust
        parts of the car needs to be resprayed due to chipping paint

        enough talk. here's the car

        The swap itself was done by Castro Motorsports here in SoCal. I called to confirm, and he assured me he did the swap, but he does not remember if he had the vehicle BAR'd or if one of the previous owners did all the work for the BAR legalization.

        Either way i will be visiting him because he offers a BAR legal exhaust for this swap that doesn't sound like complete doodoo.

        As far as a current future plans list goes:

        Stewart Racing Water Pump
        CSF or Koyo Radiator
        Secured Oil Pump Nut
        New wheels(as much as i love BBS RS... i cant track on a set of wheels that could buy me half the things on my to-do list lmao)
        rear toe/camber adjustments
        update spring rates to my liking.
        Front control arms and bushings
        New steering rack boots(right side is ripped)
        new tie rod ends(they are worn out)
        CAE Shifter w/ stiffer motor/trans mounts
        chassis reinforcements on pretty much any known weak point of the e30

        More to come! im glad to be back into a bmw. remember kids(and adults).. a cheap porsche is the most expensive porsche youll ever own.. learn from my own mistakes.. i should have kept that cursed e36 and saved me a bunch of headaches, time and money. ill buy another 996 one day..


        • #34
          E30 looks good man.


          • #35
            Originally posted by TexaZ3 View Post
            E30 looks good man.
            Thanks man! It's definitely been a blast so far.

            So i didn't realize how low the s52 sits in the e30 until i took a quick peak under and scraped the thick skid plate on a small imperfection on the road.

            Doing more research, i found the front tire size to be a much smaller diameter than it should be.
            It's a 205/45 when it should be a 205/50. Now usually that's not a big deal for the stance guys... but i plan to track the car and until i find another set of wheels, im sticking with these.

            I raised the front end of the car about 25mm overall to gain some ground clearance, plus with the proper tires it should raise up another 10mm.

            Oddly enough, the MCS coilovers are almost maxed out up front.

            I referenced the Hyperco Spring part # and found it to be a 6" spring instead of MCS's recommended 7" spring.

            Time to toss Springs on the list of things to order lol.

            I forgot to mention... i had to remove those BBS wheel caps and i didn't find the tool anywhere in the car. I found a .stl file online of someone who had created one. I took it, modified the design a bit to fit into my 3D printer and printed one up real quick.

            i also replaced both tie rod ends and the passenger side steering rack boot today with Mevotech units. I added a Resistor to the airbag plug and hope it will solve the SRS light issue when i get it reset.

            Lastly... i noticed a small oil leak near the back of the motor/front of the trans. im betting a lot of money it's a rear main seal haha. When i take the car into Castro Motorsports for the exhaust in 2 weeks, im going to have them look at it while it's on a lift and might even have them replace the rear main seal if it's the issue.


            • #36
              A friend of mine had a Phoenix Yellow DC2 ITR that I drove a couple times, always wanted a white one with the JDM front end. Shame to hear about the outcome on the 996 but looking forward to the E30 development.

              Past: '99 Hellrot/Dove M3/2/5 | '97 S14 1JZ | '06 Triumph Daytona 675 | '01 330I M-Tech I | Current: '96 Estoril/Black M3/2/5



              • #37
                Originally posted by Mike0032 View Post
                A friend of mine had a Phoenix Yellow DC2 ITR that I drove a couple times, always wanted a white one with the JDM front end. Shame to hear about the outcome on the 996 but looking forward to the E30 development.
                my buddy is actually selling his Pheonix Yellow DC2R! Theyre definitely fun little cars.

                small e30 update:

                a common e30 issue... shrinking door seals.
                coupe door seals are ungodly expensive for a 30 year old car. an easy trick is to use cut/splice a 4dr seal.

                pop this evil door sill off the car. this thing is actually made by the devil himself. some say he forged it the clips that hold it down out of his own horns. I used a combination of 8 different interior trim panel removal tools to remove the door sill and only managed to break one clip. i consider this a major success.

                after that door sill is off, you make a cut in the seal right along the middle under the door sill. now you can move the seal into the proper position, exposing a gap right where you made the car. That gap is how much your seal shrank over the years.

                now measure that gap, and cut a piece from the 4dr seal about the same length.
                pop it right into that gap.
                Once you put the door sill back on, you wont see anything other than 2 very small slits.
                it's not a permanent solution, but it definitely works as a temporarily long term solution to quiet up the interior and seal the door.

                here's the gap that most e30's experience

                after cutting and inserting a portion of the new seal, youll end up with something like this

                i was angry at the door sill, so i didnt take any pictures of it before or after it was installed

                end result is a sealed door. it's not perfect, but it works, stops leaks and prevents any excessive wind noise

                i later removed the renown steering wheel and replaced it with my work's bell quick tilt and my old momo steering wheel until i have money to pick up something else.
                there was nothing wrong with the renown wheel, but i dislike most deep dish steering wheels.

                and finally my ikon motorsports "is" style lip showed up.
                what i like about this rep is that is retained the OEM mounting method. also good to note that EVERYTHING lines up perfectly. I dont even think my buddy's old OEM lip lined up this well on his car lol
                unfortunately when putting it on, just about every clip broke. i guess i cant expect much for plastic that's 30 years old and has been outdoors under the sun most of it's life.
                new OEM clips have been ordered.

                more to come! it's unfortunately a waiting game nowadays with covid and the holidays. shipping is taking what feels like forever.


                • #38
                  happy new year!

                  i should update that:

                  i got the lip on. i had to fight it a little bit due to how it warped during shipping/packing, but it snaps in tight with brand new clips and hasnt flown off yet!
                  I also found out how mangled the lower valance of the front bumper is due to how low the car used to be. i straightened it out as best i could and it looks pretty decent. when the car gets the full respray, ill have the shop pull it off and really straightened out the lip mounting points to get it as oem-looking as possible

                  i also got rid of that god-awfully loud exhaust. Castro Motorsports did a PHENOMINAL job. It took a bit longer than i expected. the holidays meant shipping took a few extra days. He orders the catalytic converters after you drop off the car because he wants to ensure he's getting the correct one.

                  It's a full BAR legal setup now. 2 CARB approved cats, a resonator right after and his muffler in the back.

                  sounds great. it's loud enough to enjoy but tame enough to now attract unwanted attention

                  While the car was there, i had him perform an oil change, flush the trans fluid and look into the leak.

                  He claimed that the 3 days the car was on his lift, not a single drop of oil was on the ground. He clearly saw the saturated area between the motor and trans. He degreased the area, cleaned it all up and pretty much told me he'd rather not charge me to inspect something that may end up being absolutely nothing. He's thinking i must've run over something and it happened to splash in that general area.

                  so far i've seen nothing on my garage floor, so he may have been correct.

                  Since Christmas just passed... i decided to treat myself.

                  I found what seems to be a rare Hartge spoiler for sale out in Amman, Jordan. The spoiler is essentially a tamer version of an e30 m3 spoiler. it matches the non-m e30 body a lot better and looks natural. It's not very pretty and needs work, but im excited for it to arrive. this is all you guys get for now

                  and the last thing ive done since the last update is replace the OEM e30 shift knob with my oem shift knob out of my old e36 m3

                  while doing so i inspected the main shifter bushing and saw how worn out it is. i'm currently waiting for AKG to get a few parts in stock before making an order with them to use the AKG shifter that came with the car. oddly enough, even with the worn out shifter, the shifts feel very tight and notchy.. maybe this is a sign of the dreaded worn out detent pins? no clue. ill roll with it for now.

                  and now for some beauty shots. peep the euro plate up front! i was missing a front plate and am waiting for the DMV to allow customizable plates to be ordered. I decided to get a euro plate made with my license plate numbers. is this legal? no. will it get me out of a ticket? i hope so.

                  As far as my wheels go... BBS RS are great... but what's better? TE37's of course! TE37 the world!

                  ill be ordering TE37's this coming week.

                  I will also be in contact with a couple shops to get a bunch of reinforcement plates welded on all over the car. This year will hopefully be good to me and this project.

                  I'll hopefully update you guys again very soon!


                  • #39
                    E30s are great cars. Glad you're making the most of this.

                    Get some european trim and delete those bumper reflectors!
                    1988 M3
                    WTB: E36 M3/4/5


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Desert M3 View Post
                      E30s are great cars. Glad you're making the most of this.

                      Get some european trim and delete those bumper reflectors!
                      Thank you!

                      I plan to do the euro trim when i have money to spare. trying to focus on some more important aspects of the car for now haha.

                      So the Hartge spoiler came in a lot quicker than i expected it to!

                      this thing is HEAVY. i was expecting some 5-7lbs lightweight fiberglass piece, but this thing weighs at least 20lbs and can likely be used as a weapon if need be hahah

                      quick mock up

                      the gap near the quarter panels are a bit uneven, but it once bolted down it shouldn't be an issue.

                      I'm going to have a body shop repair the 50 million holes on the bottom of the mounting surface and fiberglass/epoxy some studs in place.

                      Ill also have them paint the wing, fenders, hood and bumpers all black to match the car. This is something that will hopefully be done sometime this year. Hopefully by summer time?

                      I have placed an order for TE37 Sonic SL's.. theyll be here sometime around May.

                      I have also placed a fairly large order from AKG which includes pretty much every bushing and reinforcement plate they offer for the e30, along with motor and trans mounts.

                      And lastly, i have ordered myself a pair of QuickJacks. Ill be dropping the rear subframe once all the parts and QuickJacks arrive to install the diff bushings, rear trailing arm bushings, rear subframe bushings, front control arm bushings and the motor/trans mounts.

                      the RTAB are temporary and im only changing them because im already dropping the subframe to do the subframe bushings. I'm trying to find a shop willing to replicate the DTM fully adjustable rear trailing arms for me. Seems many are either far away and require the car to be there(for good reason) or simply dont want to take the project on.

                      I've been considering contacting ProtoMachine to see if theyll do it, along with the reinforcements and a half cage. ill likely ask them once my bank account is no longer on fire lol


                      • #41
                        Baby update:

                        First order from AKG arrived!
                        its a small one. Just a shift knob, some hardware and a DSSR.

                        Im currently waiting for them to get motor mounts in stock so they can ship out the larger order.

                        The QuickJacks have also arrived!

                        Initial set up takes a while. Took me about a solid 2-3 hours to assembly all the lines and bleed the system.. though i should note i was taking my sweet time and was working with sprained wrist. I also spent about 20 minutes searching the garage for a valve core. one of the valve cores on the cylinders was broken out of the box. ive read up on this and it seems to be a very common issue. no biggie... i ended up stealing one from a space mountain bike wheel. I've read that the newest models(late 2020 builds) come with extra valve cores. my build date shows mid-2019... thanks Costco! 🙄

                        each platform weighs probably about 75lbs. they have wheels at one end to roll it around. It makes moving it a lot easier.. but its still a pain in the butt if youre in a tight space

                        this next picture is the car sitting on the first set of locks/stops. its a great height for basic jobs like brakes/suspension.

                        The next picture is the car sitting at the second and tallest set of locks/stops. perfect if you need to drop a trans, drop subframes or do a bit more intensive work under the car.

                        Overall.. i would recommend them and i havent even used them to their potential.

                        Ive had the car sitting on the lowest locks for a whole day now to test things out. its holding up great.

                        i plan on starting the removal process of the rear subframe this weekend.

                        lastly... a pic of my buddy and I from this past weekend. This same day, the car started and died on me. no clue why. When i managed to get it started, it was running rough and wanted to die. Held throttle open for a few seconds and everything felt normal again. no codes were thrown.

                        I need to double check the fuel gauge accuracy. i was nearing up on the 1/4 full mark when it happened. maybe its inaccurate? weak fuel pump? car has been running normal since then.

                        more to come!