Above: Photo by Previous Owner.

BMW e30 M20 Clean Engine Bay

The above photos chronicle my e30 engine bay from it’s condition under the previous owner to now. I’ve learned a lot from working on this car (doing work myself and payers others to do what I can’t) but I wouldn’t do it the same way again. But I can say with pride that this is finally becoming the car I wish I’d bought in the first place.


  • Replaced K&N air filter with stock air box to pass smog and plug vacuum leaks
  • Replaced radiator with e36 radiator
  • All new hoses, belts and gaskets
  • Replaced leaking AFM to throttle body boot
  • Cleaned throttle body
  • Replaced air flow meter with remanufactured unit
  • Painted washer fluid container
  • Replaced distributor cap, rotor, wire set and ignition coil
  • Replaced 235,150 mile m20 motor with 75,864 mile m20 motor
  • Installed powder coated valve cover and intake manifold
  • Engine bay and accessories cleaned, paint freshened
  • Donor motor cleaned and painted

April 24, 2013 photos

BMW e30 M20 Crinkle Coated Valve Cover

April 23, 2013 photos, status

According to many the stock BMW Mtech I steering wheel is the cheapest, best steering wheel for any e30. It’s period correct, sized so that it does not block the driver’s view of the dials and has 3 horn buttons which can be pressed without ever taking your hand off the wheel. It’s perfect for everything including city driving and spirited back road hoonage.

For all those reasons I put off, and put off, buying a new steering wheel. But on May 4th I’ll be participating in the BMW CCA GGC’s HPDE and I felt it was time to update my wheel. The biggest motivator is that there is not enough room for my leg between the wheel and gas pedal when heal-toe braking / blipping the throttle. I’m only 6’1″ but I have to twist my leg in a weird way that just barely works and is generally clumsy. As well my old wheel has no leather texture left and is unpleasant for long drives without gloves.

Admittedly I bought a new steering wheel based on looks and community opinion of the manufacturer. I’m becoming a rally racing fan and the yellow center marking on the Momo Mod 7 has big appeal. Because I was already placing large orders for M20 parts I decided to just add a wheel to my already huge order, save a couple bucks on shipping and just go for it. I put the wheel on this morning and drove to work only once but I can already feel that the light weight and smaller diameter makes the wheel easy to turn and grips nicely.

The BMW horn button is after-market and hard to find. Initially I was searching enthusiast forums but found an inexpensive plastic version with the perfect fitment on Aamzon for less than $20. Links for all items are below the photos.

BMW e30 Momo Mod 7 with BMW horn button


BMW e30 Momo Steering Wheel Installation Instructions
Momo Mod 7 Steering Wheel
Momo e30 Hub Adapter
BMW Horn Button for Momo Steering Wheels on Amazon

April 22, 2013 cosmetic, guide, interior

bmw m20 with powder coated valve cover and exhaust manifold
1989 BMW e30 M20 325i

April 22, 2013 photos


April 22, 2013 status

April 21, 2013 status, video


Source: Eric Berger.

April 21, 2013 status

Delrin shifter bushings.


New power steering hoses.

The donor motor.

Paint under washer fluid tank.

Photos from m20 transplant and clutch job.

April 21, 2013 photos, status

The BMW 2002 is definitely on my list of desirable cars. Check out this post for more car videos.

April 19, 2013 video

Eric Berger posted a time lapse video of the m20 motor being pulled from my e30. I can’t believe how fast Eric and his dad Don get the motor out! I’m not in the video but I make an appearance in the second video “Travis Subframe Time Lapse” when I arrive around 00:35 to borrow an engine hoist.

April 15, 2013 status, video

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