I’ve wanted to swap in clear lenses since I got this car. The look of the old orange & red OEM signals which don’t really go with blue color scheme of my car, but the clear lenses are a subtle and austere remedy.

Removing the old ones can be done by hand, or if they are stubborn use a flat screwdriver to gently push sideways and pry the old sidemarker out. Also, for re-installation always install the light into the lens housing, then connect it to the wiring harness and snap into place. Otherwise any twisting of the housing may cause the bulb to work loose.

Lens Install


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Clutch Pedal Stuck To Floor


In other news, this morning when leaving to wash the car my clutch pedal would not fully spring back up and I had to pull it back with my foot. Since then the clutch only engages at the very end of it’s throw and it feels like I don’t have much distance to work with when shifting. This only happened once but I suspect my master cylinder is failing. It’s a $70-170.00 part (depending on the retailer and brand name) but there’s some know-how required to replace the part and bleed the system of air.

This, combined with engine and drivability issues detract slightly from my enjoyment of the car but I’m doing my best to keep it on the road but I don’t think I’ll be driving it until I get this sorted out sometime this week or next weekend. I may have to take it to a shop if I don’t have time to deal with it.

BMW CCA GGC Cars & Coffee


Also today the wife and I went to the BMW CCA GGC “Cars & Coffee” meetup to see some friends and make some new ones. Lots of M cars there today and some interesting M1s with engine swaps!
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Related Post:

Clear Side Markers & Turn Signals

Links

Sidemarkers: BavAuto.com (Search for Part “E30/32/34 CLEAR”)
Turn Signal Lenses: AbramsMotorsport.com 

Lights

BMW e30: Clear Side Markers & Front Signals Install

Front Turn Signal Bulb (Clear): Sylvania 7528
Front Turn Signal Bulb (Amber): Sylvania 1157A
Sidemarker Signal Bulb (Amber): Sylvania 2827

Note


The amber front turn signal bulb is lower voltage, but is keyed correctly for the BMW e30 turn signal socket. This may cause the light to burn out more often or run hotter but it works.

January 13, 2013 cosmetic

On Saturday, October 20th I attended BMW CCA GGC‘s Car Control Clinic. This is the second clinic I’ve been this year but this time I wanted to take my little blue e30.

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I got up at 5:00AM, drove over the mountains on highway 17, past Capitola and then to Marina. Once there I filled up the e30’s tank for $17.00, inflated my tires to 38 PSI and parked the car outside Tommy’s Restaurant. It wasn’t 7:00 yet but the locals were already lined up at the door. I picked this place because of it’s 4-start Yelp review. I didn’t realize that it earned each of those stars for price, not necessarily quality. I had the $0.99 “working man breakfast” and coffee. Total bill came out to just over $2.00 and I left a $1.00 tip. The food was not terrible and not salty. But it’s kind of hard to mess up eggs, hash browns and toast. I’d probably go back.

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It was not yet 8:00AM but I drove to the airport and found a spot at the end of an already long line of cars. I introduced myself to other drivers and said hello to the familiar faces from other BMW events. Quite a few people came up to check out my e30 which was the oldest car there. By 9:00AM we had our briefing and shortly afterwards broke into groups for the day’s exercises.

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Skid Pad


This execise is “Steering by Throttle”. I immediately realized that my car is way more capable than I am. Handling, power were all more than adequate for the exercise. The problem was between my brain and my body: the problem was all on me. I ran over and off with 3 cones the first time and 2 cones the second time which earned me a couple “Cone Pirate” stickers. I did alright but I didn’t exactly nail the exercise and needed the instructors to guide me for the first 3 rounds even though I’d done this before in our e39 touring. The touring was much more complimentary for my skill level but the e30 is a different animal. I improved on each run but probably needed a 4th turn to really nail it. But I I still learned something about myself and even more about my car.

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Slalom


Performed alright, still have some room for improvement especially on the 180’s. I need to remember to look at the far gate before initiating my turn about. Had some great instructors on this exercise and this was by far my favorite exercise.

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Braking


Totally blew this, even though I had 4 or 5 runs. For starters, the ABS on my car is not working so even though the car braked as I predicted (from 45 mph to a dead stop in 2 car lengths) my wheels locked up which actaully reduces stopping power and control. Then I was taking the runs too fast, and getting flustered by the signal lights and I ended up going sideways through the cones. This cemented my status as the event “Cone Killer” (see photo below of my trophy). The m20 engine in my car only generates ~150 HP (estimated) but it accelerates fast in 2nd gear and approaching redline. Going a little slower helped me get through the exercise without killing any cones. Again, I learned a lot about both myself and my car.

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I was planning on going to track school in November but with Christmas coming it’s time to be budget conscious. My future plans are to take some high performance driving clinics with the BMW club next year and track school after that.

I had such a good time I may go take another CCC next year just for fun.

October 22, 2012 events

Apologies for the lousy photos. Front end is coming together nicely, cosmetically speaking. Now if I could just fix that scratch by the rondel. It would be nice to make some performance upgrades soon but little cosmetic tweaks are cheaper and easier. Things I did in the last day or so:

  • replaced badly painted black-out kidneys with OEM chrome kidneys
  • replaced light grills with better specimans (sans M badge, which was just false advertising)
  • fog light deletes
  • touched up some of the paint chips
  • put on my BMW CCA badge
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      Next year when it’s time to renew my plates I’ll get new ones that aren’t bent, probably personal plates (a.k.a “vanity plates”). Also made some cosmetic improvements to the engine bay this afternoon:

      • wiped down everything i can see
      • swapped in a cleaner airbox specimen replacing my scratched up airbox
      • finally installed the blue washer fluid reservoir (see my old one in photos)
      • fit washer fluid reservoir with stylish black cap (BMW  61 66 7 264 145)

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September 30, 2012 cosmetic, photos