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Discussion Starter #101
Looks awesome man, keep that baby alive!
That means a LOT, my friend, especially today. Thank you!

I went to dial the coil overs up and found the spring perches stripped, so that's cool... I won't be driving it until I get the rushed shipping KW spring perches. Hope they work, these are pretty old model coil overs!
 

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Hang in there Brent!

I'm in the middle of attempting to make my E30 M3 a driver again after it's sat for ~4 years, and I'm stuck at removing the oil filter as it is very seized on. The filter is inaccessible from under the car, tucked under the intake plenum, and can only be accessed between the two oil cooler lines. I've lanced the filter with a big screwdriver, and now I can't rotate it enough to break it loose. Removing the oil cooler lines would be the next step, but the nut rotates with the lines.

In other news, I'm finally getting around to fixing the saggy muffler on the E36 it's had for the entire time I've owned it. Replacing the tired (at 80,000 km) stock exhaust with a brand new Supersprint performance exhaust. I'm also getting ready to tackle a sudden issue with the E34 that has the battery no longer charging. We managed to shoehorn the car into the garage, though!

I'm taking a sanity break from it today before I go at the oil filter again tommorow... probably going to have to remove the entire front bumper to remove the oil cooler line... :confused3
 

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Looks awesome man, keep that baby alive!
That means a LOT, my friend, especially today. Thank you!

I went to dial the coil overs up and found the spring perches stripped, so that's cool... I won't be driving it until I get the rushed shipping KW spring perches. Hope they work, these are pretty old model coil overs!
The things that makes you say, "you can't make this **** up", makes you love the car even more when it's totally fixed (relative term for these cars, haha) -- hopefully the new perches are good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #104 (Edited)
Hang in there Brent!

I'm in the middle of attempting to make my E30 M3 a driver again after it's sat for ~4 years, and I'm stuck at removing the oil filter as it is very seized on. The filter is inaccessible from under the car, tucked under the intake plenum, and can only be accessed between the two oil cooler lines. I've lanced the filter with a big screwdriver, and now I can't rotate it enough to break it loose. Removing the oil cooler lines would be the next step, but the nut rotates with the lines.

In other news, I'm finally getting around to fixing the saggy muffler on the E36 it's had for the entire time I've owned it. Replacing the tired (at 80,000 km) stock exhaust with a brand new Supersprint performance exhaust. I'm also getting ready to tackle a sudden issue with the E34 that has the battery no longer charging. We managed to shoehorn the car into the garage, though!

I'm taking a sanity break from it today before I go at the oil filter again tommorow... probably going to have to remove the entire front bumper to remove the oil cooler line... :confused3
Ooooooooooooof, speaking of getting hit in the mouth! I think this hobby is particularly painful and unfair when it's something as innocent as an oil filter removal that grounds you. Been there, done that for sure.

I LOVE the Supersprint on my 540iT, by the way. Never heard one in person on an M3, much less an S50B30 Euro, but I will need well-mic-ed video!!!

The things that makes you say, "you can't make this **** up", makes you love the car even more when it's totally fixed (relative term for these cars, haha) -- hopefully the new perches are good to go.
Agreed man, on both points--they are never "done" of course! Just followed you on IG, as a side note.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
I had one front wheel rubbing on the lower spring perch, and after some testing found out that one of my 9J M Systems is indeed an ET19 E31 wheel! That's a relief all things considered, since I would rather use an asymmetrical spacer setup (3mm extra on the ET19 wheel) than deal with a bent strut tube, wheel bearing, or any other possibility.

But I still had a stripped lower spring perch on the driver side KW, so out came the driver coil over once I had figured out the wheel rub thing.

I'd ordered a few spring perch parts somewhat blindly from KW, who do not have the best online interface or customer service, in the hopes that one would fit this old kit. Also a DSSR, which I will install later.

dssrnperches by brent gaudette

I have the E34 strut removal down to under 30 minutes including beer drinking and getting the car on stands, and was relieved the top nut on this guy was very removable with hand tools. This was also the side that required a replacement strut mount/camber plate bolt, and my patch job on that held up well. It just requires me to hold the bolt in the fender with an allen key while I wrench the nut off on the tower, not too bad.

kwdisassemble by brent gaudette

Being older KWs, they use interlocking metal spring perches, not the later plastic single ring with set screws. I like this interlocking setup better! Except when they strip, which I chalk up to East Coast and being aluminum. You can see the threads that fell out on disassembly. The strut threads (steel) cleaned up nicely at least.

kwstrippedperches by brent gaudette

Unfortunately, none of the KW replacement perches would thread on. The spares all had bigger thread pitch than these strut bodies. I ruined one KW spare part but will try and return the other 3 ($100 there), and after much Google-fu, measuring, and asking around, have ordered some interlocking spring perches that should fit (not KW parts, funny enough). If these parts work, then basically any BMW coil over spring perch will work on these old KWs, except for modern KW spring perches. Hmm.

They arrive tomorrow by EOB, and I will hopefully get the car back on it's feet tomorrow night after a softball game.

Side note is that 72.6mm hub bore is pretty ideal for 12oz beer cans... that's a 3mm spacer (now that I know I need 18mm total, I will get an 18mm solid spacer to avoid running two on one hub) and then I'm throwing 25mm on the rear axle

cruxhubbore by brent gaudette
 

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Discussion Starter #107
kwfix by brent gaudette

Thank. The. Lord.

So I've learned that modern KW coils use some proprietary shock body size and that their modern collars/perches etc won't thread onto their own older shock tubes. That pair of silver locking beauties is the standard M52x1.5 coil over spring perch and locking ring, from Bilstein, which will fit Bilstein, H&R, Moton, you name it (and apparently older KW!).

I spent a solid hour rectifying the issue on the strut tube threads that caused the old perches (they are all aluminum, basically) to fail: a million bent and damaged threads. I hand-chased all 19 feet of them with a small, strong screwdriver, making sure to clean the threads up if the spring perch encountered any resistance whatsoever. I have no idea how the strut threads were so beat up (honestly, most of the damage would be inside the springs, so... wut?), but someone had just forced the old spring perches over the damaged threads and each point of damage stripped a little more aluminum thread off the spring perches. It just takes time to do things correctly, most of the time.

I'll get the front end back together and check if I raised the front ride height enough, which was why this entire struggle even happened :nerd
 

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Discussion Starter #108
No news is good news!
Nothing to report. As in, the car is running great after getting the coil overs sorted, just having rolled over 247k miles. I have had time for exactly zero projects on it, but have accumulated lots of parts for a big install party/week/month.

-Full black interior swap (I think I'm just lacking the rear carpet and black door seals)
-Most of what I need for a TSX projector retrofit (just need to pick bulbs and ballasts, and solder some LKM connections)
-DSSR and bushings, as discussed
-Greg BBK for the front axle
-Volve 850 e-fan assembly
-Fresh A/C compressor (also from Greg, ha)
-Blower motor resistor
-Couple body panels to replace unsaveable pieces (see electrical tape in photos below )

These things need to happen before I embark on the inevitable, which is selling my Touring to pay for the M5 resto (paint), and house projects.

I'll probably take the M5 off the road once we're moved into the new place, so I can send some critical parts out (driveshaft, injectors) for refurbishing while I work on the other stuff.

Even with the sh!t interior, bad lights, rough exterior, etc, I've been driving it way more and loving it. 300k miles is the goal in the next few years!

Fifteen52 diversion
Last year, I jumped on a Fifteen52 sale (buy three in-stock wheels, get one fo free) and ran 17x8 ET35 (+ big spacer) front, 18x9.5 ET22 rear Tarmacs on the Touring. The double stagger was cool, but the front wheel just needed too much spacer. With BBKs on the horizon for potentially both of my E34s, I ended up selling the 17s and then had Fifteen52 build a pair of custom-offset 18x8.5s in ET15, 20mm lower than their off the shelf model. Now the stagger is in width only, 8.5J and 9.5J, and I run 235/40 and 265/35 Michelin PSS on these.

For kicks, I threw them on BK06091, knowing I would soon install a 345mm rotor and large Brembo caliper under them. Particularly with the camber on this car, the lower offset was key--and I can still run a 20mm spacer under them!

I was going for a DTM look, but I'm not sold; the white wheels contrasted well with the Oxford touring, but they are just enough off of my faded Alpine white that it clashes. I've still received a share of looks and thumbs, but we'll see. These may end up another color or back on the wagon. The wheels are fun and a great design (though not M5board friendly), but heavy: one day I'll commission a forged set of Fifteen52s and not use a wheel like the Tarmac for anything but snow tires.

I still have 9" M Systems all around with Hankook RS3s if I'm feeling frisky.





 

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Discussion Starter #110
Did you install the DSSR yet? What do you think of it, if so?
Noper, I've not had a free second to tackle the above list. I probably won't touch the shift linkage until I take the car off the road long enough to send the driveshaft out for rebuild, since access is much easier w/ out exhaust and driveshaft.

I'm confident the DSSR is worth it, though, based on trusted sources and other applications.
 

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Discussion Starter #113
I let this thread die right as Angry *** ramped up! But, time for an update, and this one is semi-final.

In May this year, at a rural intersection with a somewhat blind corner, I struck another car that appeared in the intersection I was passing through (T-bone situation, other driver coming from the blind corner). I had only enough time to divert slightly, and avoid a true 90 degree head-on. I was not distracted, and I do not feel I could have avoided this entirely - but I am focused on being grateful that all parties involved were ok. Cars are replaceable things.

The M5 held up its end of the bargain, considering I was traveling just under 50mph, and hit an SUV right at the rear wheel/hub (where there is not much give). There was zero intrusion into the cabin, and even the windshield (a brand new OEM BMW unit
) only cracked later! The body is quite tweaked, but the power plant is salvageable, and the durability was admirable.

The carnage:







I'm keeping a few pieces, like the hood, for sentimentality's sake, but the car has gone to a friend and local fellow gearhead. The S38 has but 30k miles on the fresh, stock head rebuild/head gasket, and will be united with another Alpine '91 M5 with near 200k miles, which is complete save for a beating six cylinder heart.

The car was in fine fettle, almost to 258k miles and due to take my wife and I to The Vintage the week after (very bummed to have missed out on that trip). I had just installed bright TSX-retrofitted headlights (ex-UnrulyGrace), our Angry *** SAP-replacement tensioner (pumping ice cold A/C through a fresh motor blower), our Angry *** Street front BBK, and many interior upgrades on the horizon. The car still had a ratty overall interior, crusty surfaces, and lots of previous-owner niggles, but I was ready to blow past 300k miles without pause. That is something I will always feel I missed out on, because at 220k this car was a quick decision away from being parted out with a 535 interior, shot suspension, and blown HG. Every mile we put on it after it was mechanically sorted, was a sort of blessing - not to get too cheesy :)

Anyway, I've moved onto something better and am content that no one was hurt. It brings me solace that the engine will live on to bring another of these special cars back on the road. And with any luck, content in this thread will help some Google searcher on a regular basis. If not, I'll go back and read through it from time to time :beer

I'll close with one of the last photos I took of the old thing, my 4x season daily since 2014:

 
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