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


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!

Related Post:

Clear Side Markers & Turn Signals


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


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


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


  • 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

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

Installed LED trunk, license plate and interior lights. In the process discovered that I need to solder a resistor onto the trunk LEDs otherwise they cause a false positive on the check panel and that the switch in my glove box is broken. Always something to fix… more photos to come when I set up a tripod for proper night-time shots.


Part Notes:

  • License Plate LEDs: Error Free LEDs on Ebay (which I should have bought)
  • License Plate, Trunk and Glovebox LEDs: 3710 LED at Superbrightleds.com
  • Cabin Dome Lights: 6451 LED at Superbrightleds.com


Ordered the eBay LEDs which even fit inside the bulb housing better due to the shape of the resistor. They don’t generate an error unless I restart the car the without also turning off the lights (i.e. stall it), in which case the trigger the check panel light.


October 13, 2012 cosmetic

Picked up and installed some used sidemarker sockets and new bulbs (part number 63217160797). All but one of the car’s sidemarkers has been disconnected and burned out since I got the car. Some day I’d like to put clear lenses (read: make) in my markers and front turn signals but that will have to wait.

On that note, here’s a few of my non-mechanics rules to buying a used e30:

  • if someone can’t be bothered to replace a burned out bulb they probably couldn’t be bothered to do the required maintenance either. burned out bulbs are a sign of neglect.
  • avoid custom painted cars: replacement body parts cost extra because they will always need to be painted and fasteners and clips may be painted over or missing entirely.
  • almost any car looks good wet. be suspicious if someone hoses down their car before you look at it.

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October 7, 2012 mechanical, repairs