This fell off my car last August. I found it today while walking from my office to get lunch. I think this is a cheap eBay emblem with a decal instead of engraving and screen printing. It’s not special, but it’s nice to know what happened to it.


e30 this morning:


January 23, 2013 photos

Once in a while it has come up that my Mom and Dad used to drive around in sports cars, go to motorsport events and camp out in the middle of the oval at night. They stopped doing this a long time before I was born and Dad has never expressed any interest in sports cars in my life. But I remember he would occassionally watch F1 races on a Sunday afternoon.

My sister sent scans of a couple photos of my Dad and one of his sports cars, which I think is a MG Midget MKI based on the date stamp on the photo. I’m going to ask my Dad about he car and see if I can get some details, but I don’ t think I’ll bring up the skinny ties he seemed to love.


January 21, 2013 photos

Because cars are supposed to take you places…

BMW e30: Photo Update
BMW e30: Photo Update
BMW e30: Photo Update

January 12, 2013 photos


Drove to Santa Cruz tonight, just for the enjoyment of it. The car is not driving that great lately – CEL (Check Engine Light) is coming on and staying on (but not always) and the only error it generates is a 1222 (Lamba 1… a million possible causes) and may be misfiring, I’m not sure.

Going to start planning my S52 engine swap. I need to find a good engine with some service records and make a list of other parts required.

January 5, 2013 photos


December 2, 2012 photos


I always like to hear what people carry around in their trunks. Here’s mine:

  • spare distributor cap & rotor
  • spare spark plugs
  • spare fan belt
  • spare water pump belt
  • spare fuses
  • spare rear signal bulbs
  • spare relays (main, etc.)
  • brake fluid (unopened)
  • 15w40 oil
  • 2L BMW coolant / distilled water
  • compressed air canister
  • tire pressure guage
  • wheel blocks
  • wheel cleaner spray
  • wheel brush
  • car wash squegee
  • shop cloths
  • microfibre cloths
  • vinylex vinyl and plastic spray
  • oil funnel
  • coolant funnel
  • bentley manual
  • bungee cords
  • work light
  • LED head light
  • ABC fire extinguisher

All that fits in a single plastic tote with room to spare. I also carry a set of basic tools (screwdrivers, wrenches and sockets, voltmeter, etc.) and a gas can. With a list that long you might think the car breaks down all the time but to be fair I’ve never been stranded (though sometimes I’ve chosen not to drive the car because of a drivability issue). I’ve made a lot of little adjustments on the road but never had to make a major repair.


For comparision, here’s what the Bentley manual recommends every e30 owner carry:


November 21, 2012 photos


I got up at 5AM and drove to Santa Cruz. That’s a strange town… lots of 24 hour restuarants and sketchy people out early in the morning. Of course, I look sketchy with this car and my hipster king moustache. I felt conspicuous driving around in the dark but the cops didn’t seem to even look in my direction. Hwy 17 is getting fun now that I know it better. Here’s some photos with lots of lense flare:


November 4, 2012 driver's log, photos

Washed the e30 and took some new photos. Car is bogging terribly on cold starts lately, I know it isn’t a vacuum leak, ICV or plugs so I’m looking into other causes.

November 3, 2012 photos, Uncategorized

When you own an older car there’s more to it than the pride of ownership. It’s about stewardship, and taking something and making it better. It’s about giving a car the life it deserves and letting it make your life better by taking you places, down the road and on an adventure.

Long story short, the e30 survived it’s longest single journey to date but didn’t quite make it home without incident. We drove from Santa Clara, over McKean Rd. and Hecker Pass to Capitola. Then up Hwy. 1 to Half Moon Bay then over La Honda and home. But on the final leg it started acting funny and appears to have a misfire. We made it home, but the e30 has been sitting waiting for me to either figure out what’s wrong or send it to my buddy Ramon for professional help.

I hate it when I can’t drive the car, but this is all part of that stewardship thing. And we had a great weekend together with lots of spirited driving around switchbacks and twisty mountain hops.

I’m sure it will be back on the road again soon. And we had a great weekend together.


October 30, 2012 driver's log, photos

This post aggregates a few recent fixes and updates into a single post. Went to the junkers today, found some good stuff including an uncracked dash which would probably fetch $200 if I was willing to ship it to a buyer. I left the dash behind but may go back tomorrow I’m not sure.


Door Trim 

  • removed all the old door trim
  • removed any damaged clips, some which the PO crazy glued on when they broke (they are $0.35 each, I have found this to be his typical fix for things)
  • touched up the paint around the trim, clips
  • installed new trim, clips

I’m glad the broken and peeling trim is gone but this didn’t make the car look any better. I am going to consider painting the trim, along with my bumper trim, at some point in the future. For now it’s fine even if one peice of trim is not as shiny as the rest (because I had to assemble the complete set of trim from 3 different cars).

By the way, these bits are $1.00 from most suppliers but BMW of South Atlanta sells them for the list prince, usually less than $0.50 each.


BMW of South Atlanta (link)
e30 325i > Vehicle Trim (link)

Part Numbers:

Clip: BMW Part Number 51131876128 (x1 Per Door)
Grommet: BMW Part Number 51121867907 (x1 Per Door)
Cap Nut: BMW Part Number 41335480120 (x1 Per Door) ! This Part Doesn’t Fit !
Clamp: BMW Part Number 51131829904 (Sedan x2 Per Front Door, x1 Per Rear Door)

Accessory Fusebox 

  • like most e30s the small accessory fusebox next to the main fusebox had no lid
  • this box has two wires: red is always hot, green is hot when key is on
  • i’ve seen these boxes full of water, mine was full of dust
  • lid clasp was broken, had to replace the whole box
  • with another box I was able to just yank the wires out, that didn’t work this time
  • tore the box apart with needlenose pliers
  • discovered that if I had a long, thin, narrow peice of metal I could have gotten it apart properly
  • installed new box, lid



e30 325i > Fusebox Diagram (link)

Part Numbers:
Fuse Box: BMW Part Number 61131382196
Lid: BMW Part Number 61131382197
Boot: BMW Part Number Unknown

Smoke Test

  • sent the car to Bavarian Motorsport for a smoke test and pre-CCC checkup
  • vacuum leaks from breather hose, intake manifold to purge valve and idle control valve
  • they replaced those
  • had front brakes and rotors replaced



Bavarian Motorsport (my shop of choice) (link)


  • not something I did today, just an on-going issue: swapped my AFM a few days ago
  • ordered a remanufactured AFM from Advance Auto Parts a few weeks ago
  • had pretty bad luck with another “brand” of remanufactured AFMs in the past but this was cheap
  • part arrived but has no mounting bolts
  • got some 6mmx18mm flange bolts from Home Depot to mount it
  • disconnected the battery for a few hours to reset ECU (supposedly)
  • car bogs a bit on cold start, hunts then seems to run o.k. sometimes, other times losing power but RPMs are fine
  • everytime I disconnect that battery it seems to start all over
  • not sure I’m going to keep the AFM, may return it and go back to my old AFM or have it refurbished, I’m not sure what’s next with this issue


Python Remanufactured AFM at FCP Groton (link) – My Review (link
Remanufactured AFM at Advance Auto Parts (link)

Cabin Lights 


  • replaced all the door switches
  • cabin lights suddenly work!!
  • open a door, lights come on. close the door, lights stay on, then go off. How modern!

Photo update: 


October 28, 2012 photos, repairs

1 2 3 4 5