I’ve got an appointment, stand by for photos of the new plates on my car in about a week’s time.

Update: Couldn’t make my DMV appointment, postponed pickup for a week.

March 17, 2013 photos, status


  • spent half my vacation sick
  • tried to talk about stuff other than cars
  • noticed that VWs are the Euro car of choice in Canada
  • drove a VW Passat. it was a mellow ride, didn’t like the way it sounded.
  • Petro Canada sells 94 octane!
  • e39 touring had a dead battery when we returned
  • now a pro at extracting battery from powerless e39 touring
  • e30 was filthy from 2 weeks of Caliornia rain
  • washed it today, needs another wash to get really clean

Side Marker Drainage Holes

The front sidemarkers on my car were crappy: one was always falling out a little, the other was collecting water. Replaced both, drilled a hole in the bottom of each so any moisture can drain.


January 1, 2013 cosmetic, status

I don’t know how it got here, perhaps it hitched a ride from it’s home country of Deutschland to the new world or maybe it found the car here in the USA but it seems every e30 has a little gremlin that makes mischeif.

  • car was unlocking itself last weekend (info here), then suddenly issue goes away
  • replaced my AFM a couple weeks ago, car didn’t really like the new AFM that much and had low RPMs on cold starts
  • car developed a misfire which I fixed by replacing the plugs
  • for the last week the car has been bogging and stalling once on cold starts, generally have low power until it warmed up
  • suspect another vacuum leak, thinking car needs another smoke test, poked around the engine but found no cause
  • today problem suddenly goes away and car seems to run great
  • Links:

    e30 Central Locking FAQ (link)

November 10, 2012 repairs, status


I received this crinkle-finish powder coated valve cover and intake manifold 2 weeks ago from Guten Parts. I have literally dreamt about how beautiful my engine bay would look with these in it. But the voice of reason has given me the sound of advice that I should not invest any more money in my m20 motor because it’s burning oil. If my motor wasn’t pure stock m20 and an engine swap wasn’t already in my plans then perhaps things would be different.

My options:

  1. Install anyways and sell at a substantial loss when I part out the motor (post engine swap sometime next year)
  2. Save parts for some other e30 that I don’t yet own. My wife might not like that
  3. Sell to someone else and put the money in the swap fund

Putting out a feeler for #3: Paid $275, would like to recoup as much of that as possible. Will deliver within 25 miles of Santa Clara. Contact me at

November 2, 2012 cosmetic, status

My car is fine! My mechanic even had difficulty getting it to overheat: He threw blankets over the engine bay in order to get the engine temperature up to 92C and that was after driving it hard. Aux (electrical backup) fan came on as it should, everything else is working as it should. The coolant overflow I noted was what could / would / should happen if someone opens the reservoir when the system is hot and still under pressure.

Shortly after I got the car the thermostat went, and then the fan clutch went. So I won’t learn what “normal” is until I drive it some more and stop making changes (read: fixes) to it. The e30 thermometer is flaky and prone to bouncing around – it’s a real thermometer so any fluctuations in temperature are represented on the dial. As long as it’s not into the red then the engine should be fine. I might install an aftermarket thermometer so I have some other, more accurate view of what’s going on. We’ll see if I can handle the crazy readings or not.

Thankfully the engine is fine and I can proceed with my other plans with some peace of mind. Since it’s at the shop now I’m going to leave the car there until next monday to have some greatly anticipated upgrades and repairs done. It will feel like a new car when I get it back.

August 28, 2012 status

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