Happy Friday! It feels like spring is finally here! We can hope so anyway! The weather forecast calls for 85 degrees on Sunday! Doesn’t that sound more like summer to you?
We’re getting closer and closer to finishing the super cool 1986 BMW 325 swap project! This has been a week when things have just been coming together nicely. We got the body panels back from the paint shop. We’ve crossed more items off the to-do list. It feels good! Really good! The owner’s birthday is tomorrow – Happy Birthday, Brandon!
After installing the front strut brace, Reggie fabricated a bracket to hold the dip stick in place:
Checking things off the list! What’s next? Installation of the fuel filter!
If this bimmer were a 1987, the fuel filter would have been here in the rear of the car. In 1986, the fuel filter would have been under the hood, so we’re relocating it to the rear of the car, to keep things smooth and clean under the hood.
Old fuel filter on the left, new one on the right:
BMW no longer makes the bracket to relocate the fuel filter, so after a little bending and shaping of a bracket achieved a perfect fit for the fuel filter:
Fuel filter, check!
And this morning, Reggie got to work on installing the newly painted fenders, valence, and more:
Reggie and John put the valence in place:
More to come on the final details of the car! To say we are excited to see this bimmer finished would be a grand understatement! Brandon, I think it’s safe to say that there will be quite a few people who are envious of your 325!
As we mentioned last week, Reggie was working on a sharp brillantrot e30 cabrio. Let’s take a look!
Reggie removes parts from the front of the engine so that he can change the timing belt and thermostat:
The owner wasn’t sure of the timing belt history, and thought it would be a good idea to have it replaced after putting 30k miles on the car himself after buying it. We couldn’t agree more!
The owner mentioned that the heat wasn’t hot, and that the temperature gauge wouldn’t go up. From that information, Reggie knew there had to be something wrong with the thermostat. Sure enough, it was broken! This is was surprising since it was a BMW thermostat!
Here’s the new thermostat (left) showing how that piece sticking up (right) is supposed to be connected:
Reggie removes the distributor rotor:
The belts were not in too bad of shape, but they were dated 2000 and not of good quality, so it was a very good decision to replace them.
This cabrio is just an all-around nice car. And with after being refreshed, it will be more than ready for some spring driving!
New spark plugs!
Reggie re-installs the airbox:
Reggie installed new seals in back of the transmission, so he had to disconnect the shift linkage. Here, he’s putting the shift linkage back together before reinstalling the drive shaft.
Re-installing the heat shield, which is thicker on cabrios to take up more of the body flex:
Once the heat shield is back in place, he can re-install the exhaust:
This rusty exhaust bracket was replaced:
Tightening bolts on the front end of the exhaust:
A wheel sticker was in need of replacement. So Reggie removed the old sticker and glued a new one in place:
A little German glue does the trick:
Then it was time to button things up under the hood, such as this rubber cap which protects the ignition coil from moisture.
This car has been pretty well-maintained over the years. We’re pretty sure it still had its original fuel filter and radiator hoses! These items were replaced with new parts.
New valve cover gasket:
Filling up the coolant and pressure testing the cooling system. The system passed the test! No leaks! The other thing that can be checked with the same device is the condition of the head gasket. When starting the car, the pressure is set to zero. If the car pressurizes to fast, that means that the head gasket may be ready to fail. Luckily everything tested great on this bimmer!
It’s normal for new gaskets to smoke a little bit upon starting the car:
We’re happy to report that the owner loves his refreshed cabrio, and said she “drives like a dream!” That’s the rewarding part of all our hard work, and we love it!
Thanks to John, our metal and body work guru, things are moving right along on the 1987 BMW 325! The rust has been chased away.
Here’s a quick slideshow of the progress on the rust removal process so far:
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on this project and others, so stay tuned!
Have a great weekend!