BMW E30 Cabriolet Project

  1. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks W.olly! Your kit car is definitely great project never seen anything like it.


    Now the updates:
    Boot corner welded and part of upper structure separated and cut out:
    DSC_2375.jpg

    Piece back on and rusty part of the lip where boot rubber will sit was replaced with new sheet:
    DSC_2376.jpg

    Semi finished result: This time i used epoxy first to the bare metal and then fiberglass filler in hopes of best corrosion protection and against sitting water. It's now on etch primer but it still needs seam sealant and maybe tiny touch up with body filler.
    DSC_2391.jpg

    Decided to check drivers floor for rust: This kinda explains why floor felt little bit soft :laughing: Sound proofing game off easily with help of heat gun.
    DSC_2377.jpg

    Rust cut off and surface rust on cavity part cleaned with wirewheel and treated with leftovers from old rust converter, primed and spayed with cavity wax after repair.
    DSC_2382.jpg
    Everything welded:
    DSC_2387.jpg
    Seam sealed and brushed epoxy over repair area and treated backsides of previous front wheel housing repairs on same manner and also for non driver side as well:
    DSC_2390.jpg

    Sprayed stone chip on rear valance to create uniform texture for future painting: I considered sanding everything back to smooth, like it was from factory but that would have been huge work and probably would have looked messy anyway.
    DSC_2401.jpg


    It might be that everything is now welded and it's time to put full focus on bodywork and paint prep. Definitely a lot more work before it's painted....
     
    Rig Pig likes this.
  2. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Fuel fill flap primed with 2k filler/primer sanded to 600 wet and painted. Flap hold in place with block of wood:
    DSC_2402.jpg

    Front valance removed, dent from lower center section straightened with hammer and dolly then primed with 2k:
    DSC_2405.jpg

    Redid the body filler on right side arch with longer sanding block. There was slight waves and bulging but now should turn out fairly good. Primed again with 2k epoxy:
    DSC_2406.jpg

    I completely lost the bodyline from below of right tail light when i welded patches to tail light mount. It kept blowing holes and had to extend patch around that area. New bodyline created from fiberglass filler, finished with standard body filler and spot putty. Finished result on epoxy. Also again did some more hammering and body filler to numberplate panel, still upper part/bend area is not 100% but let's see how it looks when epoxy is sanded:
    DSC_2407.jpg

    Boot corner seam sealed and epoxy coated:
    DSC_2410.jpg

    There was some issues of paint peeling off and deep scratches when i removed some old stickers from below of left tail light. Affected area sanded down and feathered out and epoxy coated:
    DSC_2409.jpg



    I had to rethink my bodywork and paint strategy after painting insides of doors and jambs. This color was more demanding for bodywork than i expected and it won't tolerate large color differences on bodywork. So that leads to decision that i will prime all outer panels with 2k filler primer to make it uniform color. Before priming there still is filler work with left arch + minor dents, dings and imperfections all over the car.
     
  3. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,501
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    A mammoth job, what are the mechanical bits like?
     
  4. brokenbiker

    brokenbiker Member

    Messages:
    10,437
    Location:
    Llanbobyll, south wales
    nice looking project. I was working on an e380 325i sport on the weekend, replacing sump gasket and bottom engine mounts. was a relatively easy job which was nice, although it did help that we were lifting the engine anyway, so the sump came off easily
     
  5. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Mechanically this car is now in good working order. It worked reliably when i was driving it quite bit on spring and early summer before starting rear wheel arch repair. Brakes, suspension, steering and engine works fine. Only work that was required for MOT was ABS light was missing from cluster and car didn't have required side turn indicator lights. I'm sure that ABS light was removed intentionally from cluster because it now comes on randomly while driving. It's probably relay or wheel sensor issue that needs further investigation when car is ready for driving again.

    There was several small issues that i brushed away during spring: Windshield wipers were stopping in middle of the glass, passenger seat wasn't moving front or back in rails, brake pad wear sensors were cut out and warning light on cluster was on, front light was wobbling loose cos plastic bushing was failed, handbrake light was not working wire was not connected to handbrake, passenger door lock wasn't turning with key and i rebuild new door lock cylinder, fuel fill flap lock wasn't working actuator was disintegrated from rusty inner arch. Probably forgot something.

    Amount of missing fasteners, nuts and bolts makes good joke: nut from manifold was just about to drop off, tail lights, trunk lock, side mirrors, front inner arch linings and front bumper, front speakers all had/have missing fasteners. Front turn signals will need proper connectors as wires were glued on with some sealant.

    That kind of work doesn't cost much if anything but fixing takes time.

    Fairly clean looking, running and driving car has indeed turned out to be proper project car. If we think is it worth fixing this car i'm sure that no one would get it fixed by professional but price was fair and that gives little headroom for DIY based work like i'm trying to do.
     
  6. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Some work done to the car:

    Front valance painted and front grill painted with matt black. Matt black won't last too long like this, should have used epoxy primer first:
    DSC_2421.jpg

    Center section was pushed in about 1 cm and it was straightened with hammer and dolly. Finished result still shows some imperfections but it's as good as i can get without filler. I wanted to stay away from filler because it would have messed surface texture:
    DSC_2423.jpg

    Boot surrounding got quick paint job:
    DSC_2432.jpg

    Repaired corner came out better than i expected:
    DSC_2434.jpg

    Sanded the car with 6" palm da + interface pad + 320 grit paper. Final quick pass by hand using hard sanding block and 320 grit paper.
    DSC_2440.jpg

    Hood sanded to 320, imperfections scuffed using 180 grit paper and filled with 2k glazing putty. Putty block sanded to 240 grit:
    DSC_2427.jpg

    Hood in primer:
    DSC_2437.jpg

    Stripped front end looks naked:
    DSC_2429.jpg

    Car is soon ready for washing and priming.
     
  7. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    677
    New Zealand
    Nice project. I had a 325 E30 four-door for a few years, nice little car. Always fancied making a 335 E30; go on, you know you want to!
     
  8. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks! E30 is attractive shell for modifications and there's definitely many options how this could be developed. So never know what will happen in future.
     
  9. monkeymark Member

    Messages:
    426
    Co. Durham, UK
    Nice work there, always liked these cars and usually very smooth ride.

    Always fancied a 320/325 for a track car (drift). Sadly money never permits.
     
  10. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    677
    New Zealand
    The European car manufacturers went through a good stage of really nice, clean almost minimalist designs in the 80s; no lines or frills that didn't need to be there and the E30 is a perfect example. For this reason don't be tempted to change the shape too much.
     
  11. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Don't worry shape will stay like it is. I think that body kits rarely fit to BMW's and to my eye only good body kit option would be OEM m tech 1 kit but it's hard to find and especially side skirts nearly impossible when only good fit happens if they come from another convertible.


    Few pictures of the progress:

    Hood dry sanded with 320 grit, 400 and then wet sanded with 600 and finished to 800. Ready for paint:
    DSC_2441.jpg

    Hood painted. Got couple clear coat runs from leaking cap and some impurities landed to fresh paint. Will see how final result will look when it's color sanded and buffed, but at least no dents visible anymore:
    DSC_2444.jpg

    Drain hole in spare wheel well was found to be rusty when i was getting ready to paint the trunk floor:
    DSC_2442.jpg

    Quick patch welded to drain hole and whole floor painted with epoxy. There was some surface rust on floor panel that could be seen from previous photos. Surface rust wire wheeled and rest of the floor lightly sanded to painting. Looks instantly better when it got painted. Underside treated with undercoat and frame structure below plugholes were treated few weeks ago with cavity wax:
    DSC_2449.jpg

    Car sanded and ready for washing with dish soap and scotch brite pad:
    DSC_2454.jpg

    Car primed. I'm sure that i could have used weeks if not months to perfecting all the bodywork, but i must get this thing ready before Christmas. I let the primer sit for few days so that it can shrink and dry completely before sanding.
    DSC_2461.jpg
     
    Springerdinger likes this.
  12. monkeymark Member

    Messages:
    426
    Co. Durham, UK
    Good progress. Wish I knew more about the bodywork and painting side of things.
     
  13. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks! I have learned a lot from YouTube videos. Channels like: diyautoschool, HackNpackShop, DIY How To Paint A Car School, have been huge help as i don't have enough experience to know all the steps that this car has required. I'm learning things as i go.
     
  14. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Hi all!

    Primer got sanded and car is painted now. Here's some poor pictures but i will take better ones when i get the car outside:
    DSC_2473.jpg
    DSC_2481.jpg
    DSC_2482.jpg
    DSC_2483.jpg
    DSC_2484.jpg
    DSC_2485.jpg
    DSC_2490.jpg

    And teaser for future updates... I don't have all the parts to make it run just yet but here's some:
    DSC_2491.jpg


    Next i will start putting the car back together and color sand and buff it.
     
  15. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,501
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    Looking good
     
  16. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Walking towards finished product:

    Car color sanded lightly with following process: 1500 grit wet sandpaper + soft double sided block, 2000 grit Mirka Abralon disc on DA + interface pad, 4000 grit Abralon + interface pad on DA, Mirka Polarshine C20 compound + wool pad on polisher and finished with Polarshine 10 + black waffle pad.

    Few pics from polished car:
    DSC_2495_blur.jpg
    DSC_2498.jpg
    DSC_2500_blur.jpg


    Sills sprayed with black stone chip and top coated with one round of clear coat. Mirrors installed, few trims and clamps short of fully assembled car, little dusty but in drivable condition again!
    DSC_2510_blur.jpg
    DSC_2512_blur.jpg
    DSC_2513_blur.jpg
    DSC_2514.jpg
    DSC_2516_blur.jpg
    DSC_2517.jpg
    DSC_2518_blur.jpg
     
  17. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,501
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    Looks very nice, well done! - so what's next ;-)
     
  18. bauderline New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Cavan, Ireland
    Fantastic work ! I envy your bodywork skills !

    My only suggestions would be to detail the soft top and wheels, better still swap out the wheels for BBS. The smoked rear lights don't work so well and the ride height is a tad high especially on the rear, a 20mm drop would work wonders.

    Wish you good luck to enjoy her !

    P.
     
  19. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks!
    There will be some detailing work when the spring comes. Top needs treatment, actually i did Autoglym treatment but it was before i started bodywork and it got fairly dusty in the process. Interior needs complete cleanup and leather treatment + windows needs to be cleaned better. I have heard about BBS... several times... unfortunately all those classic wheels run at high prices right now and it would be costly update to do, so I'm afraid that it won't happen at least not this year. My original plan for these wheels was to Plasti dip them to white, i did that but it didn't look right so ended up ripping it off. Wheel lips have some oxidation spots and it would be nice to get them cleaned a bit.
    Then there's tail lights and they need to go. Since day one those rear lights have bugged me and in my opinion they look too gangsta. I think that replacements will be either red/clear or red/smoke but haven't been able to make my mind yet (suggestions anyone?).

    Right now car is at winter storage and only mechanical issue is the ABS light / sensor. Warning light still comes on at random times when driving. I checked the sensor wires visually, all looked good but i suspect that one of the sensors might be dropping off due to metallic dirt at the sensor tip.


    Someone might have been wondering about this new color code, it's BMW color 276 Avus Blue Metallic. This color was not available for E30 and i think it was mainly used in E36/E39 M3/M5 models.

    We'll see what happens to the car in this year.


    Lastly few pictures from October 2014 with all the trims installed:
    DSC_2603_blur.jpg

    DSC_2605_blur.jpg

    DSC_2609_blur.jpg
     
    liammcl, Springerdinger and Rig Pig like this.
  20. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    what a great job...very well done...pics look great. I like the wheels and tire option quite a bit...I would like to see just a bit of color in those tail lights......but thats a minor detail when looking at the whole car...

    JP
     
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