BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General BMW News and Cars Discussion > S50 e30 touring

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      06-15-2013, 05:59 AM   #1
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S50 e30 touring

In 2009 I came across this 325i e30 touring in Western Canada:

It was for sale and I had always loved the tourings.
It was originally sold in Japan, but was euro spec (LHD) and had an automatic transmission (apparently extremely common in Japan). The owner had imported the touring in 2004 but had barely driven it, and said that it was in very good condition.

Although I had not personally seen it or driven it, I put my faith in the vendor and crossed my fingers that I wasn't buying a heap of trouble and sent the cheque.

From the pics it appeared that one of the ACS type 1's was missing:

However, it was in the spare wheel well when it arrived (yay a full set!).

The interior was looking very good, although boring. The car only had about 80,000km on it and it showed.

When the car arrived we gave it a good tune up, installed an alpine head unit (ditched the weird Japanese one that didn't seem to be working properly) and outfitted it with a full compliment of infinity speakers and a bass works sub-woofer in the back. The only real issue with the car was that the paint was very tired in places, likely from the acidic rain in Japan I am told. However- no rust at all. BIG plus. I didn't like the faded paint since everything else was so mint, so I got a respray done in the oem Lazurblau colour. It is a really interesting colour, as it changes from a light purple to a black blue depending on the lighting.

Shortly there after I got a set of all red tail lights, clear indicators, and a Reiger infinity front lip to clean up the exterior a little. I loved how it looked from the outside and decided that not much else would need to be done.

Although my favourite wheels on e30s are the BBS RS's, in person the ACS type Is just suited the car so well I couldn't bring myself to swap them out.

A few pics were taken:

In the mean time, Dad purchased a e91. I was surprised how close in size they were, despite everyone complaining how swollen the 3 series has gotten:

In 2011 a friend of mine who owned a mint e36 m3 sent me an email telling me that he had hit some black ice and wrapped his m around a pole (passenger side door area). He told me that while he would love to keep the engine, he was moving away and so had no use for it. He asked if I was interested...

I had always planned on doing a swap in the touring at some point. Something about an unassuming wagon that can haul serious ass really appealed to me. While I was hoping to wait until I had the time and resources to attempt a s54 swap, I couldn't pass up this opportunity, especially since I knew how well cared for the car had been. The M had 147,000 miles at the time of the accident, but was in immaculate shape, with lots of service records and preventative maintenance. I was satisfied.

This is what was left over after gutting the donor car:

I didn't have the time, tools, or ability to do the swap myself so I was at the mercy of local shops to try and tackle this job. I bumped around a few places hoping someone would take it on and be reasonable with the price.

I had a shop lined up, but after having the donor car at their place for 6-7 months they told me they couldn't take it on. They did however put me in touch with a guy who is really into American drag cars (specifically dodge) and who may be interested in taking on a project in his own garage in his spare time. I went a met with him and after seeing his self built 800hp 1972 challenger, I knew he was my guy. While the euro scene wasn't his thing, he was very open to my vision and I think actually came to like it... maybe just a little.

And so it began....

It felt weird pulling out a perfectly good m20 with only 120,000km on it, but I knew it would be worth it in the long run (currently sitting in my garage- maybe it will find its way into our 1976 2002?).

In the mean time a mtech II wheel was acquired and re-wrapped in grey alcantara by Coby Wheel. When I contacted Mike at Coby he let me know that he really focuses on e46 wheels. I sent him some pics of the wheel and he told me he would give it a shot. I think it turned out great, especially considering it was his first go at this style wheel.

Things progressed over the winter...

Some other cool bits were waiting to go on as well:

The e36 Borla exhaust actually doesn't fit that bad!

In the mean time I redyed the faded recaro logos. Came out pretty darn good!

Now.... it is done! Few last things to do are to swap in a e36 4 bolt driveshaft and ditch the e30 one with adapter I am using (it works fine, but just squeaks and vibrates), and to put in a different ratio diff (currently has the auto diff from the 325 at 3.91). The ratio that is in it is hilarious with the ZF 5 speed from the M3, but not very friendly for a car that I want to be versatile. Yesterday in the wet the rear got squirrelly shifting into 4th haha. The Infinity spoiler also needs to be repaired (had a disagreement with a driveway) and reinstalled. Also, We are going to paint the valve cover back to stock as well.

As soon as we get a nice day and I get it properly cleaned up I will do a proper photo shoot and post the pics.

Hope you enjoy the touring and the story!
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      06-15-2013, 06:31 AM   #2
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Wow very nice! Any plans for the suspension?
There are no impossible deeds, only incapable men.

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      06-16-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Nice project. Looking good so far.
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      06-18-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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Drives: 2014 328i Touring
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very cool!
2014 F31 328i Touring (current)
2008 E92 M3 6MT (sold)
2011 E90 335xi (lease up)
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      06-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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Pics aren't available anymore, can you re-post them?
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