I found some cheap but apparently good condition all-red tail lights and picked them up. They have no markings on them and the clear coat seems good. Installed these and a UUC clutch stop this morning.

bmw e30 all red tails tail lights

bmw e30 all red tails tail lights

bmw e30 all red tails tail lights

bmw e30 all red tails tail lights

October 23, 2013 cosmetic

I sold my Ireland Engineering M20 Performance Wire Set and installed my old “spare” set until a set of black Bremi wires comes next week. They are great wires I just didn’t love red that much.

BMW e30 with Ireland Engineering red performance plug wire set

BMW e30 m20 with black ignition wires

October 19, 2013 mechanical

BMW e30 Size Comparison to Dodge Ram

October 17, 2013 status

I went to the BMW Club’s September Autocross event and while I was there I took a lap as a passenger in someone else’s car. When I got in and went to buckle up I found this strange attachment on the seatbelt and asked about it.

It was a CG Lock and after the driver showed me how to buckle up the benefit became immediately apparent: the CG Lock stops your lap belt from slackening or tightening. If it’s tight then you are firmly connected to the car and therefore more aware of what the car is doing.

I ordered one, installed it (it clamps on with only 2 small bolts) and tested it while driving around today: works great, feels good. We’ll see how it really performs at autocross tomorrow.

CG Lock in 1989 BMW e30 325i

CG Lock in 1989 BMW e30 325i

Update


The CG Lock was an excellent addition to my autocross set up and made me feel considerably more “connected”. However, by the end of the day the clamp that attaches the CG Lock to the belt buckle started becoming loose and the whole thing ended up in my glove box. I don’t feel comfortable using it for every day driving but I expect to use it again next time I autocross.

October 11, 2013 interior

BMW and M3 Leather Keyring Keychain

October 11, 2013 photos

If you look at photos of the intake manifold on a BMW M20 engine in an e30 you’ll see a recurring spot of wear illustrated in this older photo of my car:

BMW e30 M20 Engine Bay

This is caused by the black fibreglass hood liner which sags slightly and rubs against the manifold. You can barely see it in this photo:

BMW e30 hood liner

Also note the red tape that’s being used to protect the powder coated intake manifold which is at best a temporary solution. The permanent solution is to remove the hood liner:

IMG_0025

The unadorned hood isn’t ugly but it does allow more noise to escape the engine bay and some armchair mechanics postulate that the heat from the motor will cause the paint on the hood to bubble or wear poorly.

There’s two solutions for this:

  • BMW makes black foam insulating panels for some models but enthusiasts report that it falls apart after a few years of use and soaks up oil and grime. Part numbers are not noted on RealOEM but the set is available.
  • The other solution is mylar covered foam.
  • I bought my panels from BMP Design. They have a complete DIY on how to install the hood liner which is helpful.

    IMG_0802

    Now a few comments about the product:

    • It’s recommended that you “test fit” the panels before installation. Once the contact cement is applied you really only get 1 shot at installing the panel so plan how you will place it (which end will go in first, etc.)
    • You may find that the panels do not fit exactly. I suggest *returning* them if they don’t fit. I tried to cut mine with a ruler and knife, then scissors and it is very difficult to cut cleanly.
    • Even if your panels fit you will find ragged edges where the mylar has been torn. Clean these up with scissors before installing.
    • The panels come with an adhesive backing. This is not strong enough to affix the panels without contact cement.
    • No fault of the product, but it does tend to show wrinkles if not applied perfectly flat on a surface. The e30’s hood has some bends and curves so some wrinkles are inevitable.

    IMG_0812

    Installation was straightforward once I trimmed down the panels:

    IMG_0807

    • Cover the entire engine bay in plastic.
    • The Weldwood adhesive is supposed to be workable for about an hour after application – if it’s applied thickly. I decided to apply it thinly using a foam roller which made application quick, although the roller produced some spider-webs of contact cement that had to be tamped down or pulled away from other surfaces. This saved time but also reduced workability to seconds once the panel and the hood were contacted.

    IMG_0811

    IMG_0808

    BMW e30 m20 engine bay with BMP Design mylar hood liner

August 26, 2013 guide, mechanical

I took the e30 to the BMW club’s Dyno Day hosted at Dietsch Werks to find out what kind of horsepower it gets now that it has a refreshed m20 engine. It was fun to hear and see all the different BMWs, get my car on the dyno and have some good food.

My car was the oldest to run the dyno that day but also the car with the least HP: 121.6. I’m not upset, in fact it puts an extra wide grin on my face when I put my foot down and out-accelerate newer, more powerful cars.

I’d never been to a dyno day before, and I’ve never seen cars spewing black junk from the exhaust pipes before: As I learned, this junk doesn’t accumulate if you hit the rev limiter frequently. Since the dyno day I try to get out on the highway and hit the red line at least three times a week. Since doing that I’ve noticed the car feels like it’s putting down more power at the wheels… and no more black junk.

I made a video of my 3 runs.

1989 BMW 325i e30 Dyno

Above: Dino results of 121.6 HP.

Dietsch Werks Lotus
Dietsch Werks Lotus

Above: Lots of Lotus’.

BMW M5

Above: This M5 was just visiting and didn’t get dyno tested.

BMW CCA GGC Dyno Day
Delorean

Above: Lots of cool cars in the parking lot, like this Delorean.

July 27, 2013 events

June 23, 2013 video

I need to reduce my e30 parts cache so I’m selling some things. I’ve had my OEM tail lights in a box for the last 6 months and decided to put them back on and sell the all red junkyard tail lights.

BMW e30 with red tail lights
BMW e30 with factory OEM tail lights

Here’s the junkyard reds: selling them go for $40.

BMW e30 late model all red tail lights
BMW e30 late model all red tail lights
BMW e30 late model all red tail lights
BMW e30 late model all red tail lights

June 19, 2013 cosmetic

June 12, 2013 driver's log, video

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