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Had a photo op

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, May 27, 2008.

    • Member

    az3579

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    Monday was a beautiful day and I realized that I had, in total, taken about 3 pics of my car since I got it almost two years ago. So many things have been done and I've been promising my family overseas I'd send them photos of my first car a long time ago but never got around to it, so off I sent it. I thought I'd also share with you guys who are also high on bimmer. :p


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    • Member

    az3579

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    [IMG]

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    Any suggestions for aesthetics? Looking to keep it cheap or DIY but don't want to ruin the original design...
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    Brian A

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    Looks great as-is!

    Personally, I think it looks great as-is!

    If the roundels in the wheels are still original, its cheap to get replacements from the dealership. Likewise, the hood and trunk badges.

    Consider posting the photos (and more) in the Member's Gallery.

    Vicksburg guest

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    Nice ride. Ya know, the longer I have mine (1988 325ic - bought it 6 months ago), the more I like the stock wheels which are just like yours. When I bought it the tires were undersized. I went back to stock rubber and they have really grown on me. I've been thinking about the angel eyes. They look very cool on your car. Nice job!
    • Member

    az3579

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    Well almost two years and I still don't like the bottlecaps. I was thinking 16" O.Z. Ultraleggera's on 205/50-16 tires but spitting out over a thousand bucks on something that's mostly aesthetics is a bit steep. I've got some Kosei K1's but they're on R-compound rubber and buying new tires is quite a way out (still got plenty of tread left).

    I still can't get it in my head that the ones I have are perfect for the environment this car treks through (pothole hell) yet I still want to get something not so... "economy"...


    Is there a way maybe to have the shark fin antenna so I don't have to worry about it breaking or falling off when going through the car wash? Mine doesn't retract for some reason and the rubber grommet is missing as well. Was thinking of getting another antenna but if I can get a shark fin for a similar price then I might as well... wouldn't look completely out of place would it?



    Oh, and if you do decide to get the 'eyes, then I have to say that the picture caught it in its most "lit" state; usually you can't see it at all if the sun is shining and in the shade (with the sun shining) you could only see the four points from where the light originates. I don't know how much brighter the ones from Umnitza are, but these are pretty weak. Really cool when it's raining through.


    Have I reached a barricade as to what else can be done without sacrificing original styling?

    Vicksburg guest

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    My antenna motor was still humming when I would turn the radio on, so I ordered a new mast and grommet. It goes up and down most of the way. I guess I'll need a new motor to get it to fully retract.

    Bark guest

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    Nice car. How did you do the shadowline trim?

    Since you're asking for suggestions, I'd ditch the sunroof wind deflector. The car has much cleaner lines without it. Next priority would be to fix the antenna. I would keep it stock, I think a shark fin would look a little goofy. But then again, I don't like them on any car, so I suppose I'm just biased. Do you really want to drill through the roof sheet metal and pull out the headliner though? Seems like a nightmare to me. I've fixed my antenna before, it's easy and not too expensive.

    Larger wheels and a suspension drop would be a night and day transformation for this car, but you're looking at $$$ there.
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    az3579

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    I've toyed with the idea of suspension before, but if I do suspension (lowering) then I want to get larger rims as well, and all of that is $$ right up front. I can't go with a lowered car on stock bottlecraps, it just doesn't look right. It might look OK if I get the rims first though.

    The shadowline was a cheap one-day spray paint job I did at home. It's truly quite crap; the paint is chipping off in certain sections and the (sanded) "chrome" trim is showing through in a few spots. I'm thinking I need to redo it but apply multiple layers this time. I sprayed one layer over it thinking it would be enough but I was wrong, big time. I've tried blackout tape but it's crap as well; it wrinkles. I thought it would something like a wrinkle-free kind of tape but once again, I was severely disappointed. What's worse is that I applied a little bit of tape and when I pulled it off, the black paint started to come off, so I was forced to leave the tape on if I didn't want the chrome bits to show. It's really ghetto looking now.

    I thought about it and the fin would look really stupid, now that I think about it. I at least need an antenna that can be fully retracted OR if that's not possible, need one that's a lot shorter.

    The sunroof wind deflector I need. When the sunroof is open, it allows the cabin to be relatively quiet on the highway. After the car was resprayed in April 2007, the guy who painted it forgot to put the deflector back on and I drove around like that for a while. To me, the car didn't look right, and when the sunroof was open, the wind noise was unbearable. I literally suffered over an hour to put the thing back on just to get rid of the noise. Besides, I looked up how much one of these would be to buy if I was to ditch it and need one again, and I don't feel like shelling out a load of cash for what is essentially a piece of plastic.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Bavauto shows the antenna grommet for $4.95 - if you buy one less gallon of gas this week (ha, ha) you could take of that water ingress spot. They have a chrome mast replacement antenna/motor for $60, and a black mast replacement for $54, which require some nominal modification to make fit. Antenna masts only - $45. An oem replacement - $160; most expensive, but a pop-out, pop-in, replacement.

    You could goop up the grommet hole and plug it w/ silicone caulk - but then you'd have to get it all off when you opt to do something proper about it.
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    az3579

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    Alright, but if I run out of gas, I'm coming after you. ;)


    What I'm looking for is an antenna that is manually operated, one that I have to push in/out. I never touch the one I have, partly because I can't push it in for some reason and partly because I never need it to retract. My aftermarket radio has a connection for power antenna but I don't think I installed it as mine doesn't work. At the time I didn't entertain the idea of replacing the mast but I now realize the risk of it breaking off in the car wash.

    If I'm going to replace it, it has to be manual and I would consider it a big plus if it's black to match the black/red theme I have going on. I looked at the results on BavAuto and have found that most of them don't meet my need of it being manual. They were all electric (if I read correctly) and the only black one that's manual requires modification. What kinds of modifications are required? If it's electric, does it still allow manual operation or will that kill the motor?
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    MGarrison

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    I'll pm rather than sidetrack your thread further :)

    Bark guest

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    I'd go the other way around with the suspension and wheel/tire upgrades. I'd do the suspension first. I've seen lowered e30s with bottlecaps, and they do not look bad. A stock suspension with larger rims/tires on the other hand, looks pretty goofy. They sit that much higher off the ground and look like weird off-road projects.
    • Member

    az3579

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    I guess that's a matter of taste because I personally do not like the look of lowered bottlecaps. I'd have to do both lowering and rim swap if I want to do either one. Some guy in my neighborhood has a Mark III Golf and has 17's on his car but he didn't do anything to the ride height. I laugh at him every time I pass because he thinks he's all that and he look just stupid in that car the way it is.

    Is the suspension stuff cheaper than I think it is? (about a grand)
    I don't know what I need in order to accomplish this.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Depends on what you want to do, or what the goal is. Lowering only - springs, but sport shocks would be recommended to go with 'em. You want to improve handling further - larger front/rear swaybars w/ poly swaybar bushings. But, once you do that, you need to reinforce the mounting points for the rear swaybars especially (the stock 'ears' eventually can't handle the added stress)- The fronts will hang in for a long time, but may eventually need some beefing up.

    Additional neg. camber for improved handling? Offset strut mounts, camber plates, or adj. camber plates, or adj. strut mounts, and/or E30 M3 rubber, poly, or solid offset control arm bushings. Need the rear adjustable? slot the rear subframe tabs or go w/ offset trailing arm bolts and poly bushings. Rear subframe bushings shot? Replace w/ poly or solid for less or no flex, at the expense of increased rear diff. noise in the cabin.

    Firm up the body and steering response with front and/or rear shocktower stress bars. Want to go further? Weld bars tieing the shocktowers together and to the firewall.

    Most lowering spring/sport shock combo's will substantially stiffen ride quality - I don't know what Dinan has for E30's, but from what you read about their other cars, they seem to engineer suspension systems that provide an excellent combination of ride quality and handling grip. You also lose ground clearance, so you have to be more cautious and aware of any debris in the roadway (and ready to try to dodge it), as well as pulling in/out of driveways, ramps, speed bumps (there are speed bumps I can't really clear without scraping something on the bottom of the car), and so on.

    You change stuff - you're gonna gain some things at the expense of others, or vice-versa. :)
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    az3579

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    Well I don't want it to be "extreme extra medium no center of gravity super cool l33t" low, I just want it to look less goofy than stock ride height. I still value having some clearance to get over tough spots. How embarassing is it to go somewhere you've never been before and not be able to pull into a driveway or parking lot because you can't clear the entrance? Not cool.

    The current ride is okay, but a bit too squishy for my tastes, so I wouldn't mind a slightly stiffer ride. I don't want "hit a bump, send your ass through your head" ride stiffness; that would drive me nuts. I want a setup that is 95% everyday usage and 5% track usage. I'm not going to be hardcore track-worshipper just yet, at least not with the current car I've got. Maybe a few years down the road when I have an E30 M3 or something else worth dumping insane amounts of cash into.

    I'm all for giving the car extra strength, but there needs to be that perfect compromise between everyday usage and "watch me survive this!" usage. If this was purely a track car, I would probably go for that negative camber and all that good stuff you mentioned, but that ain't happening, not on a 19 year-old's salary. ;)

    What is a good amount to lower the car by? I don't want the car to look like a ton of very heavy people are sitting inside, which I have seen previously in a Grand Am and was not pretty.



    My rear "whatever you call em's" need to be replaced. Every time I go over a bump, something in the rear suspension squeaks, as though it's worn out. Would that be shocks? Whatever it is, when I replace it, I want it to be a performance part to take its place, one that gives me that balance I seek.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    could be a lot of things - any of the rear bushings, the rear shocktower mounts (stock ones don't last forever), some part of the suspension - that's one of those things that can be difficult to identify. If your shocks are shot, they'll stop damping the suspension motion. If the back end of your car just bounces after going over a bump, the shocks would be shot - this would be pretty noticeable however, if they're totally gone.

    I think most performance springs that aren't coil-overs will lower by 1.25"-1.5" inches. I'd suggest progressive rate springs, although these days, that's probably all that's commonly available. I had a fixed-rate sport spring on my 320i, you could feel every single imperfection in the pavement. Another option would be Bilstein HD shocks and stock springs - actually, if for the forseeable future at best 1 driver's school/year or 1 or 2 autocrosses might be in the plans, you might be as well off to leave it pretty stock for ride comfort.
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    joe30

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    Do you have a picture of the angel eyes with the projectors on? I have a similar set that I have not installed yet.
    • Member

    az3579

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    No, but I'll snap a pic for you later today, assuming I will still have enough gas to get to a decent spot.

    The ellipsoids look a lot better during the night than the day because you get to see more of the slight blueish hue they have to them from certain angles. It's the perfect balance between "see where you're going" and "blind other motorists". ;)

    Vicksburg guest

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    Bark,

    I like the combo of wheel size and lowering I see in the picture of your white 89 convertible...What, exactly, do you have going on there?
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    CourtM3

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    looks pretty good. Just needs a drop

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