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Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
3/25/19 1:09 p.m.

Thanks for the recommendation about the S-drives.  Every time I research ordering a set they look like the best tire available in that size.  I just need to find wheels that I like a little better.

 

 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
3/25/19 1:32 p.m.

I guess I should clarify that will be my second set of the S Drives for the E30, but we also just put a set on my wife's Elantra GT and she too has fallen in love with them. If I were you and it's possible a set of 15x8s would be a good purchase. If not for my Euroweaves I would have went that route.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
3/26/19 2:11 p.m.

Pretty sure I have a line on a set of wheels.  The Yokohama S Drives  are on sale at TireRack for the lowest price I've seen...$95/each.  It's starting to come together.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
3/26/19 2:50 p.m.
Hoondavan said:

Pretty sure I have a line on a set of wheels.  The Yokohama S Drives  are on sale at TireRack for the lowest price I've seen...$95/each.  It's starting to come together.

Yep. My new set just rolled in yesterday from them, and it was the lowest price plus the free road hazard warranty or something similar.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
3/31/19 8:15 p.m.

I went out to an SCCA SOLO autocross event at the FIRM this weekend.   I ran 80th out of 100 on raw time, which sounds pretty disappointing. With that said, I was faster than 7/9 of the Novice class drivers and I'm still running cheapo economy tires with camber wear.  I'm also a lot less less interested in rank than I am with getting better (though 80th place does sound pretty bad).  I did get quicker with every run and was bouncing off the rev limiter in a couple sections of the course.  I made plenty of mistakes, but did have some redeeming moments.  Most cars were either heavily modded, or had 2-3x the horsepower of mine.  I think with a bit less body roll and new rubber it'd be plenty of fun.  Fun enough that I'm back in the "better keep it for a while" camp.

I did have some issues with fuel starvation on right-handers.  I consciously only filled to 1/2 tank thinking the extra weight would slow me down.  There were two corners where once I set up for a right-hand turn, I'd lose power for a split second.  Lesson learned.  Other than the fuel starvation issue the car ran flawless.

 

 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
4/14/19 6:15 p.m.

I met the 2nd removed owner of my car on friday.  Super nice guy and a definite e30 nut. He's restored a handful and mine was his first restoration.  His teenage son drives an e30.  He sold me a set of borbets at a pretty good price.

I participated in another autocross today.  My driving has been improving, and my son is now old enough to ride along, so it was a fun day.  I'd live some race springs and a front swaybar.  

The best thing is that that'll be my last event on those crappy tires.  I sold my old wheels (for the same price I paid for the Borbets) as soon as I got home...so they're gone.  The Borbets came with mismatched tires, so I'll definitely be getting new rubber soon.  The only issue is the Borbets run spacers in the front.  I found a few good alternatives...but they were all +5hours away.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/6/19 8:52 a.m.

I bought a used set of Dunlop Z2s from an autocrosser and had them installed last week.  They're a few years old, but given my car and how it's classed, and my skill...I don't really care that much about having the "best" of everything.  They're a 200 treadware rating, so not gastropod eligible.

I'd seen the guy I bought them from launching his MR2 at every event I've attended (different tires) and he demonstrated an extremely high attention to detail...even measuring and marking the tread ware.   I suppose if you're buying used tires, he's the guy to buy them from.   

Unfortunately, the Daytona event was rained-out (lightning) before I got to run...so I couldn't test them.  There aren't many things more disappointing than wrenching until midnight, waking up at 6AM for an autocross, working the course, and getting home at 4PM without running a single lap.  I suppose this is why I soured on autocross ~15 years ago.  There was a big SCCA showdown event, so it was kind of neat to be on the Daytona infield (on the go-cart track) while actual racing is happening on the track.  I will never tire of watching Miatas bump-draft on the banking.  It's also easy to find good company at a racetrack.

Suspension:  I've been looking to switch to different springs.  The B&G set that came on my car are literally the cheapest E30 springs you can find online.  The springs must be sagging a bit...because once I replaced my old 195 series tires with these 205s, something was rubbing when turning and driving up my driveway.  I've been looking for used race or sport springs, but couldn't find anything local in time for the weekend so I decided to install the thicker spring pads I ordered a few months ago.  I'm still surprised there aren't more use H&R race springs available since SpecE30 converted to coilovers. 

FYI: The breaker-bar I bought from harbor freight is awesome. Best advice to a noob mechanic would be - go buy a super big ratchet or breaker-bar.

The brake calipers came off easily.  Of course, one of my discs is missing the retaining screw.  I'll have to fix that later.  I was  hoping the brake pads were worn, but they have a ton of life left.  I'll probably upgrade the pads next time I take the front end apart.  I also plan on replacing the rubber brake lines.

All the bolts/nuts on the suspension came off easily.  The generic tie-rod/ball joint press i bought didn't fit, so I rented the pry-bar fork from AdvanceAuto.  The boots on the tie-rod and ball joint were looking a little dried-out and the fork did do some damage to the rubber, so I'll probably plan to buy a front-end kit.  BavAuto (RIP) had a nice video clip using an E30-specific tie-rod press, which was only $40 bucks or so.  I'll plan to buy one of those at some point, That'll make it possible to disassemble the front-end without tearing the boots. 

Once I had the struts removed I used a rented spring compressor fro Advance.  I was super sketched about using the two-bolt design, but they worked fine.  Getting the top-nut off the strut was a major pain.  The shaft of the shock turns while you try to loosen the locking nut.  I duct-taped the grippers on my vice-grips but it still wouldn't loosen.  I eventually figured out that that the vice grips would hold enough if I used my cordless impact driver to break the nut loose. They're self-locking nuts.

I did finally use the opportunity to replace the torn steering rack boot.  I'm glad I finally have that done.

I also found one of the welds on the middle exhaust hangar had broken, so I fixed that too.

Everything went back together just fine and torqued to spec. 

The new top spring pads are 10mm, which is just enough to put the top of the tire at the fender line.  It's high enough that I could drop my son off at school and pull into my office parking lot without scraping...but not high enough that I can make it up my driveway and under my house without dragging the exhaust. 

 Now that i know how easy it is to remove the front struts, I may start looking to pull a separate set of struts/springs for rally-x. 

 

 

 

 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/17/19 11:46 a.m.

I've had some success finding in parts in Junkyards recently.  A few weeks ago I found an OEM "Slider" radio (CM5908) so I grabbed it.  I also found a mint AC button and a window switch, so I grabbed those as well.    On a whim I poked my head in an E46 on the way out of the lot and realized it was a Harman Kardon equipped car.  I grabbed all 4 speakers.  The fronts are a direct fit replacement.  I was hoping I could mount the 6x9 boxes (include a 2 inch tweeter as well) underneath the parcel tray, but there's no way to fit them without hacking things up, so I may use them to upgrade my garage sound system if I don't find a buyer quickly. 

Apparently, these radios are super-desirable, since there's a kit to convert to Bluetooth.  Even radios with bad LCDs sell for $75 - $150.  Unfortunately, the LCD screen on this one was toast, and I really need to spend my time on mechanicals.  Rather than diving into stereo repair I  found a local buyer, so I can mentally consider all the other parts I bought "free."  

The speakers in the rear do sound a lot better than the $10 wall-mart speakers I threw in there temporarily, but I'll need either a more powerful head unit, or an amp.  The screen does fit nicely over these speakers (wouldn't fit over the cheap wall-mart speakers).  I'll keep looking for a period correct head unit and a suitable amp.

I also found a set of Hella projector lights.  They were poorly spliced into the E30 I found them on.  I haven't checked the part numbers, but I also grabbed the pigtails, bulbs, and the mounting plates.  They could have come from an E38?  

I did some research and it seems projector retrofits may blow fuses if you don't set them up to stay lit when the high-beams are turned on?  The sylvania lights in my car currently won't adjust and don't throw off much light.  I probably won't do much with this in the near-term.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/21/19 9:18 p.m.

The e36 M42 bracket I pulled from the junkyard doesn't line up.  The e30 and e36 downpipes are the same, so I thought they should fit.  Unfortunately, they were off by at least an inch.

After a bit of thinking, i realized ths bracket on the transmission is offset.  I removed and reversed it.  Then when i flipped the exhaust bracket things lined up close enough, with a little bending.  

 

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
5/21/19 9:53 p.m.

I retrofit projectors from a newer e30 on my ‘87. Fuses do not blow, but it sucks that they turn off when you flash the high beams. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/21/19 10:10 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

Thanks, i'll plan to put them in and see how it goes

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/22/19 7:42 p.m.

Maybe this explains the rear end "clunk."  The diff bushing didn't help.

I'm pretty shure there should be a rubber bushing here.

 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
5/22/19 10:09 p.m.

In reply to Hoondavan :

the bushing is actually pretty deep, so it may still "be there" to some degree. In any case, it may be a pain in the ass to get out. Anyhow, strongly recommend a Condor UHMW bushing there. No significant NVH increase (IMO, and my car is totally gutted), and the "wind up" feel of the drivetrain under hard acceleration is reduced/gone. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/23/19 10:10 a.m.
irish44j said:

In reply to Hoondavan :

the bushing is actually pretty deep, so it may still "be there" to some degree. In any case, it may be a pain in the ass to get out. Anyhow, strongly recommend a Condor UHMW bushing there. No significant NVH increase (IMO, and my car is totally gutted), and the "wind up" feel of the drivetrain under hard acceleration is reduced/gone. 

Good to know it may still be doing its job (to some extent), It looks like a major project to remove and replace those bushings.  That'll  probably be a good time to replace the trailing arm bushings and that axle I've been putting off.   Good tip on the Condor bushings, it definitely makes sense to upgrade bushings while I'm taking it apart.    I'll have to look into buying/making tools to remove and press bushings.  I think I may do the front control arm bushings first though.

 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/28/19 10:32 p.m.

Hoarding or good long-term planning? 

I glanced at FB over the weekend and saw a local guy I've met at auto-x offer up 7 bottlecaps for the low sum of $50.  I responded within minutes and now I have them.  He also threw in rear shocks and springs from a 325e and a set of rotors.  I now have 1/2 my rally-x setup.  I still need front struts/springs, but I'm pretty sure I can find some in the next few months.  I'll also need tires, and some skid plates/protection.  

Some wheels have been resprayed,  but appear in decent shape at first glance.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
6/3/19 11:05 a.m.

99% of the population wouldn't notice I've upgraded from sealed beam to ellipsoid headlights.  I haven't driven in the dark yet, but I do like the way they look (it's sooooo euro, bro).  

I'm actually really happy with the results from the exhaust mount I fitted last week.  The rubber bushings have significantly reduced the NVH.  

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
6/3/19 7:43 p.m.

They look great!!

Do you need the complete front struts with the shocks or just the housings? I can check tomorrow, I think I have an extra set of housings/hubs that you can have. 

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
6/3/19 8:27 p.m.

I just checked and I do have a spare set of strut housings. They are in south Florida, you can pick them up next time you are down this way or I can check how much shipping costs. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
6/4/19 8:43 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

That's great.  I need the whole housing + spring + shock, but the housings would be a good enough place to start. I'm sure I can make it down to South Florida some time this summer.  I'll send you a PM once I make plans.   Front springs are a bit tougher to find, but I'll start looking. If I do find a whole assembly in one piece sooner (at the right price), I may pull the trigger.  

I figure with a whole strut and hub assembly I can switch between auto-x and rally-x in an afternoon of prep. 

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
6/4/19 11:12 a.m.

I have the springs but given they are the factory ones from the car, I want to keep them. There are 3 cars at the LKQ by me, if I go one of these weekends I will let you know. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
6/4/19 1:01 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

Thanks!  They have one at the yard by me and I regret not getting there last weekend while it was 1/2 off. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
6/17/19 8:33 p.m.

One more autocross under the belt.    Good tires were a big improvement. Much less understeer, and even some lift-off oversteer.  10x more fun.

I've actually been driving the e30 daily for the last +2 weeks.   My commute is 100 miles round trip. So I've probably driven close to 1.5k miles. SWMBO'S jeep is down so she's been driving my DD VW. 

Aside from a driveline vibration over 75mph, there's not much i'd change about this car for daily duty. 

 

 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
6/19/19 1:16 p.m.

Of course, i spoke too soon.  The main exhaust hanger wore through the rubber bushing and started vibrating metal on metal. The noise was almost unbearable.  I'm still shocked to see how little the auto stores keep in stock...zero hooks or brackets that will work.  Luckily I found a set that should work on Amazon with next-day delivery.  

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
6/22/19 10:01 a.m.

I thought I had fixed the exhaust after replacijg one hanger and repositioning it.  After one mile it shiftednand now it's hitting the side of the bumper.  I need to shift it an inch or so sideways.  With the hanger location, i can't shift it...i'll need to bend it.  I'm wondering if I can make a jig of some sorts using clamps or something.

I tried to use the string method to check the alignment.. but realized that just won't work if it's windy 

Doggo says "i told you this wouldn't work."

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