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I have created a monster...is it a good thing?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by kgmoodyz3, Mar 25, 2013.

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    kgmoodyz3

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    My 14 year old son was talking about getting his first car. I mentioned a good father-son project would be to get an E30 that needed some work and start on it. This would give us time to have it complete before he got his license. He sends me texts throughout the day and night with ideas for engine swaps. brake upgrades and paint schemes.
    At least me son wants to talk to me, so I am starting to look for cars with him!
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    charlson89

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    That sounds like fun, my dad didn't want to work on cars unless he had to.
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    MGarrison

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    Don't know why not, as long as nobody gets hurt - sounds a lot better than "Hey, dad, I've made a few connections in Latin America and could use your help with some smuggling."

    Just as a practical matter, if it were me, I would shy away from too many high-performance mods from the get-go (ie. substantially upping hp), on the surface it never seems like a great idea to plant a brand new inexperienced driver in something that has a performance envelope way beyond their ability to manage it. We've all seen and heard of the countless stories of teens driving way over their heads, and even more tempted to do so by being in something, uh, zippy. E30's are great project cars though, if you can find a reasonably clean shell without terminal rust; just about everything else can be dealt with, most relatively straightforwardly just by parts swapping - maybe a 325e, or 318is from 90-91 (good luck finding a '84 318i). Perhaps one aspect of such a project is your son will be heavily invested in personal time, effort, and interest in the vehicle, and loathe to chance risking damage with premature over-zealous driving.

    Saw what looked like a not-too-bad 318is on a Louisville Craigslist ad lately.

    We will assume
    [IMG]

    will be on your checklist at the appropriate time. ;)
    • Member

    kgmoodyz3

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement and advise. Tonight he sent a text asking how much work it would be to add a turbo! Like you said, it could be worse. I remember working all summer on a car before I got my license. I took care of that car, knowing what it took to get it in shape. I agree that a there is no need for something fast or anything that will add to the expense. Louisville is somewhat close to home, I will look into that one.
    Certainly some driving course will be in his future. I taught a similar course at my hometown police department before I retired and moved to a slower paced job. He will attend that course and if the Street Survival is avaliable, that one too.
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    MGarrison

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    If I had a place or time for it, I'd be mighty tempted - but..

    http://louisville.craigslist.org/cto/3687492467.html

    I'd probably stick the airbag wheel back in for a young'n - one question is whether the profile gasket's been replaced, I recall hearing about them as a problem on those engines. Might be one of the projects on it to tackle, although I kinda doubt anyone relishes cylinder head r&r. Might be quite the learning experience, though.

    Go to bed!! ;) :p
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    It sounds like an excellent chance to get into performance driving. Start with Street Survival and any other car-control clinics your chapter may offer. And get into autocrossing. That will change his focus from turbos to proper suspension tweaks. It will also develop an appreciation for performance parameters within a rules structure; start with a stock class. E30s are terrific for an autocross education!

    Then track schools when he can afford it. But basically, you have to be able to drive the car at 100% of its capacity before you start thinking about increasing that capacity. And the most effective modification will always be adjustments to the nut behind the wheel.

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