When we received an enquiry regarding a BMW e30 needing the exhaust changing to accommodate a new rear bumper, we booked it in on an agreed time and date. We got quite the shock when Kemar Roofe the Leeds United Striker pulled up to the workshop in a 1988 320i.
During the inspection it became quite apparent that the e30 had been well used over the last 30 years, with the metal work requiring some attention as well as a new exhaust. The e30 also appeared to have a welded diff. We discussed these issues with Kemar, he saw a vision of the potential the e30 had and as ever relished the challenge of making this a reality. The enquiry for an exhaust had become a recommission project.
First on the list was the exhaust
The e30 was in limbo, it was booked in for painting, but the original exhaust was impeding the fitting of the rear bumper. At some point in its life the e30 had lost its spare wheel well, this gave us a huge space to manufacture and install a Valvetronic system on this classic (possibly a first on a e30!). As a straight pipe just wouldn’t cut it, we started the valance repairs and the e30 was fitted with quad tailpipes welded to the rear valance. The picture above was taken midway through the welding process. To allow us to get a good result we had to weld in small sections at a time to avoid the new metal warping! We knew the 30-year-old manifold studs would be a challenge. But we had a stroke of luck and all 4 came off without a fight. We installed a mandrel bent manifold to rear system.
The result was a M3 style growl when the valve was open and a silent tone to keep the neighbours happy when the valve was shut. The only thing left to do then was to weld the tailpipe. As we new the e30 was coming back to us we agreed to do this after painting was complete, little did we know this was just the beginning………
When the e30s returned from painting we advised Kemar that the e30 would be improved by fitting an open diff. But once we started to remove the diff we got quite a shock to find that not all of the 4 mounting points on the rear sub-frame where holding the welded diff. The sub-frame was corroded, the diff had been hiding the damage to the sub-frame. We had to find an e30 rear sub-frame that was in good shape. Fortunately we found a used unit and while we had the frame on the floor it made sense to powder coat the unit and replace the bushes and before we knew it we had practically over hauled the complete rear suspension of the e30.
Then the interior
Next on the list was a complete interior strip down, with 30 years of dirt it can get quite grim and this was no exception. We stripped practically the full interior down to enable Jamie @ Focused On Reflection to carry out a deep clean every component, this resulted in a fair bit more work than you would anticipate. When we assembled this also allowed us to check the quality and function of all components.
once she was back together there was one last thing on the list a good road test 😀 , Kemar kindly let us use the e30 for the northern retro show at Crossland moor airfield (September 2018),it took a place on our stand and needless to say the car drew a crowd, as a life long Leeds united fan I took great pleasure in speaking to the terriers fans about the car, they may not of been quite as complimentary if the new who it belonged too !
Kemars Bmw is back home and ready to be enjoyed for years to come, is this the end of the story for the e30 ………….we will see… the words v8 conversion may of been mentioned once or twice we…..we will see what the future holds