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BMW E30 Club - Thirtieth series BMW - was the second generation of cars of middle class automotive brand from Bavaria. T...
BMW E30 Club - Thirtieth series BMW - was the second generation of cars of middle class automotive brand from Bavaria. These machines have a wide range of engines and body styles. Even during the life of the conveyor this machine has earned the title of the cult. And now having passed the test of time and has a huge range of kilometers and miles fans and avid owners. Our club dedicated to everything that is connected with this model and its numerous modifications. Namely operation, test drives, repair and tuning of course. Tuning E30 is now a whole industry, even say more - it's a real industry and enthusiasm of thousands of fans of the famous thirty. Our community brings together owners and enthusiastic amateur trio of second generation all continents and countries. All communication in our outdoor club is in English as a universal means of communication.

Welcome - E30 with love and forever!

Like the E28 5 Series, the second-generation 3 Series E30 concentrated on the consistent improvement of a successful concept. With improved styling, technology and equipment levels, the 3 Series offered a wide range of engines for all customer demands. From 1983 all models were also available with four doors. In 1988 the 324td introduced the first-ever electronic diesel injection system, and newly developed four-cylinder units replaced the engines that had proven their merits millions of times over 26 years.

1982 – 1991 E30 3 Series Saloon 2 doors and 4 doors

BMW 316, 1982 – 1988 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc 66 kW (90 hp)
BMW 316i, 1988 – 1991 4-cyl. ohc 1596 cc Cat. 74 kW (100 hp)
BMW 316i, 1987 – 1988 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc Cat. 75 kW (102 hp)
BMW 318i, 1982 – 1987 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc 77 kW (105 hp) Cat. 75 kW (102 hp)
BMW 318i, 1987 – 1991 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc Cat. 83 kW (113 hp)
BMW 318is, 1989 – M42 1991 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc Cat. 100 kW (136 hp)
BMW 320i, 1982 – 1991 M20B20 6-cyl. ohc 1990 cc 92 kW (125 hp) Cat. 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 323i, 1982 – 1986 M20B23 6-cyl. ohc 2316 cc 102 kW (139 hp) 110 kW (150 hp)
BMW 325e, 1983 – 1988 M20B27 6-cyl. ohc 2693 cc Cat. 90 kW (122 hp) Cat. 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 324d, 1985 – 1990 M21 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc 63 kW (86 hp)
BMW 324td, 1987 – 1990 M21B24 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc 85 kW (115 hp)
BMW 325i, 1985 – 1991 M20B25 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc 126 kW (171 hp) Cat.125 kW (170 hp)

1985 – 1991 E30 325iX Permanent four-wheel drive, central power divider, viscous locks.
BMW 325iX 1990 – 98 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc Cat. 125 kW (170 hp) 126 kW (171 hp)

1982 – 1990 E30 3 Series Baur Top-Convertible
With the introduction of the new 3 Series, Baur again offered a Convertible model with rollover bar. Then, in 1986, BMW themselves introduced a brand-new fourseater Convertible. The elaborately constructed roof was easy to operate and disappeared completely into a com - partment behind the rear seats.

1986 – 1993 E30 3 Series Convertible
BMW 318i Convertible
1990 – 1993 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc 83 kW (113 hp)
BMW 325i Convertible 1986 – 1993 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc Cat. 125 kW (170 hp) 126 kW (171 hp)
BMW 320i Convertible 1986 – 1993 6-cyl. ohc 1990 cc 95 kW (129 hp)


1988 – 1994 E30 3 Series touring

Another variant in the E30 3 Series was the dynamic and luxurious Touring with the same wheelbase but a completely different rear end. This car came with petrol and diesel engines as well as four-wheel drive.

BMW 316i touring, 1991 – 1994 4-cyl. ohc 1596 cc 74 kW (100 hp)
BMW 320i touring, 1988 – 91 6-cyl. ohc 1990 cc 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 318i touring, 1989 – 1994 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc 83 kW (113 hp)
BMW 325i touring, 1988 – 1993 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc 125 kW (170 hp)
BMW 325iX touring, 1988 – 1993 M20B25 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc 125 kW (170 hp)
BMW 324td touring, 1988 – 1993 M21 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc 85 kW (115 hp)
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  •   Graham Leigh reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    Daniel 1982 uploaded a new video
    RX Automotive S50 E30 BMW Hill Climb
    Fibreglass front bumper created using a mould of a B&H-sponsored Australian Touring Car E30, custom aluminium front splitter, BMW 2002 Turbo-style fibreglass wheel arch flares over the original guards after 70mm had been cut away, taped over and...
    Fibreglass front bumper created using a mould of a B&H-sponsored Australian Touring Car E30, custom aluminium front splitter, BMW 2002 Turbo-style fibreglass wheel arch flares over the original guards after 70mm had been cut away, taped over and colour-coded chrome rear bumper, carbon fibre bonnet and bootlid with pins (replaced by standard steel items for Improved Production racing), Toyota Rukus Voodoo blue paint by Jo Seeger Smash Repairs, colour-coded kidney-grille surround, black plastic wrap over headlight lenses with custom painted chrome rings clipped on, E30 DTM mirrors
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Desert Strike. With 400whp courtesy of a turbocharged M20, this stunning, home-built E30 is a real weapon. Words: Seb de Latour. Photos: Gil Folk y first car was a 1.0-litre #Citroen Saxo.

    It was Admiral blue and the only thing I did to it was fit an air freshener and, as it was the days before technology existed, one of those tape deck adapters that let you plug your Discman into the stereo. What’s a Discman? Ask your parents. Kameron Baker’s first car was this #1989 #E30 #325i and over the ensuing eight years he’s built it up into something rather spectacular. It was thanks to his father that Kameron came to own this #BMW-E30 , as he explains: “My dad worked at a car lot at the time and someone traded the E30 in.

    He brought it home one day and I fell in love with it. Being only $800 it was prefect for a high schooler. It was actually in very good condition. The interior was mint and apart from a small spot of peeling clear coat the paint was great. Also it had less than 100,000 miles on it.” As well as being a bit of a bargain and a pretty sweet first car, it opened Kameron’s eyes to the world of classic BMWs: “This little E30 is what got me into older BMWs.

    Before this I had never been in or even thought of owning one but as soon as I drove it I knew it was something special. The way it handled and the smoothness of the 2.5-litre in-line six got me hooked.” And so another #BMW fan was born. So, you’re 16, you’ve got a bright red BMW and there’s a 2.5-litre straight-six under the bonnet – there’s clearly only one way this story was ever going to go. “This was the first car I ever modified,” says Kameron. “I owned it for less than a month before I started changing and modifying things on it, sometimes things I regretted later but to be fair, I was only 16 at the time. I just kept it clean for a few weeks and then started modifying.

    My first modifications were a cold air intake and cat-back exhaust. Basically the two easiest things you can do to make a car sound better and drive better.” But, of course, we all know that you can never stop with just a couple of mods and Kameron was about to get seriously stuck into his E30 project: “When I first got the car my dad and I always talked about how we wanted to get it down to a five-second 0-60 time. In the ’80s the car’s 170hp M20 ran a 0-60 in seven seconds. My car was also an automatic so achieving that time took a lot of work. The best I got it down to as a naturally aspirated auto M20 was 6.8 seconds; that was with weight reduction, a MAF conversion, long tube headers, and a 4.27 Torsen differential out of a #BMW-Z3 . Back then I would have been happy with 200hp.

    “Before this project I had no real-world experience with modifying cars. Before I turbo’d the E30 I got a 2004 Subaru WRX and that really opened my mind to what a proper turbo setup can do to a car.

    I saw 21 that the car had lots of potential and at the time I’d always be looking up E30 videos on the internet watching the crazy Euro/Swedish/Norwegian E30s that can smoke the tyres at 60mph; it was just something that I wanted to do. I wanted a crazy E30, something that never gets boring and is always an adrenaline rush to drive. It was only after getting out of high school that I could afford to turbo the car. It originally started as a budget build but I just kept on improving the setup and eventually ended up with a 400whp turbo M20 that I could drive everyday without issue. “The car was 100% built by me in a little garage that doesn’t even have a door on it. When you start out that young you can hardly afford the parts so there is no way you can pay someone to install the parts as well.

    I just had to give it a try. My dad helped me until I got the hang of things and I never stopped.” So in a short space of time Kameron went from an intake and exhaust to a 400whp selfbuilt turbo setup; that’s about 470hp at the crank and in a car weighing around 1300kg, that gives this E30 a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of an Audi R8 GT V10, a 5.7-litre V12 Lamborghini Diablo or a Ferrari 599. That means it’s fast with a capital F. “I did all modifications to the engine as well. The first timing belt/head swap I did took around ten hours; I have it down to around five hours now. For the M20 I kept it simple. It ran a Bimmerheads cylinder head with dual pattern turbo cam and HD rocker arms.

    The bottom end was left 100% original and I ran ARP head studs with a Goetze head gasket. I had the turbo build done in around a month or two. It worked so much better than I expected, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I’d never been in a sixcylinder car before so the first time I went WOT with the Holset turbocharger it blew my mind. I was only at 7psi and I couldn’t believe how much faster the car was. At this point the car was still an automatic. This was its weak link and so the auto ’box had to go, although it was very still fast with an auto. The Getrag 260 manual swap followed shortly.” Along with the manual ’box, Kameron added a Stage 3 Spec clutch and a 13lb flywheel. At the rear sits a 3.73 ratio LSD with #Porsche 2.1mm discs. It certainly does the job, as can be seen in Kameron’s YouTube videos (search for Kameron Baker). So, this E30 delivers on the performance front, and then some, but it also looks damn delicious. A red two-door is a great base to start from and Kameron has really put a lot of effort into the styling and made a really unique-looking car that stands out from the crowd and blends OE subtlety with a wild streak perfectly.

    “OEM+ was the goal,” he says, “although I may have lost that look since I had to hack up the body to fit my flares and wide tyres. I just really like the old-skool BMWs and Alpina cars, so going with an authentic Alpina kit was always the goal. Plus my flares are similar to what you’d see on a 2002 turbo so I feel it still has a nice ’80s look to it.” And those wild flares are filled with something that isn’t a crossspoke split-rim, for a change. “I’ve always liked the sportier-looking wheels as opposed to the deep-dish wheels. This means I’ve run wheels including TRM C1s, OZ Superleggeras and now the STR 518s. I change wheels every time I burn through a set of tyres and I’ve gone through three sets in the last year, so goodness knows what wheels I’ll have next. You can always make back a good amount of money selling your old wheels off so I like to try different looks out.” True enough and variety is the spice of life after all, so why not have some fun? The 9x17” 518s look seriously tough in black and tie-in perfectly with the whole black and red colour scheme on the car. Kameron’s also achieved pretty much the perfect stance thanks to a set of Ground Control coilovers, which help the tyres tuckin nicely under the pumped-up arches. The arches are actually Kameron’s own design and are available from his Kamotors store.

    As a result the car just sits so right and looks mean. Despite being modern rims, the motorsport-style of the wheels fits perfectly with the ethos of the whole car and suit the E30 shape. We love the styling of the car as a whole – the black and red colour scheme is really bold and striking and those front and rear Alpina spoilers add an extra splash of aggression, especially with the addition of that custom front splitter. The side skirts come courtesy of #Zender and there are loads of little details that are easy to miss but make all the difference, such as the rear plate filler, Euro grilles, the #Alpina -inspired M20 Turbo front grille badge and the carbon fibre foglight blanks, also from Kamotors. We also love what Kameron’s done on the inside.
    At first glance it looks completely stock, bar the addition of boost and wideband gauges, but take a glance in the back and you’ll notice that it’s been completely stripped out, shedding some weight in the process but without making things uncomfortable for the two people up front. You might think that Kameron’s E30 has reached its zenith but an unfortunate incident gave him the perfect excuse for a bit of an upgrade. “Since this photoshoot I actually ended up swapping out the #M20 for an #M30B35 running a Precision 6266 turbocharger. I actually overheated the M20 whilst having a bit too much fun at around 25psi and the block cracked, allowing coolant to slowly leak up a head stud hole and pollute my oil. I still drove over 1000 miles to Bimmerfest but after that the engine was pulled and replaced with the much torquier #M30 .”

    Every cloud and all that… So, with a new engine and even more performance you’d think that maybe Kameron was done but that’s a case of easier said than done. “I’m not sure what to move onto now,” he says. “I’ve had the E30 for around eight years so it’s hard to stop. I’m thinking of something like a Volvo 240 with a large turbo. Basically I want a collection of brick-shaped cars from the ’80s.” That would be very cool indeed… People have been strapping turbos to E30s for donkey’s years but Kameron’s car really has that special something that makes it stand out. The styling is pretty unique and we love the little personal flourishes and the attention to detail. It’s a real enthusiast’s build and a real performance BMW.

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE: 2.5-litre straight-six M20B25 with original bottom end, Bimmerheads cylinder head, dual pattern turbo cam, HD rockers, Kamotors turbo setup with TD06SL2-20g turbo, 3” charge pipe, 3” exhaust, methanol injection, PNP Megasquirt ECU with wasted spark, 400whp @ 19psi.

    TRANSMISSION: Getrag 260 with Spec Stage 3 clutch and 13lb flywheel, 3.73 LSD with Porsche 2.1mm discs.

    CHASSIS: 9x17” (front & rear) STR 518 alloys with 245/40 tyres, Ground Control coilovers, 22mm front anti-roll bar, Eibach 16mm rear anti-roll bar, #AKG adjustable lollipop brackets, UUC camber plates, polybushes all-round, UUC BBK with fourpiston calipers and two-piece 298mm drilled discs.

    EXTERIOR: Authentic Alpina front and rear spoiler with a custom front splitter, Zender side skirts, Kamotors standard width arch flares, smoked smiley headlights, smoked tail-lights, rear plate filler, Euro grilles, Kamotors carbon fibre foglight delete.

    INTERIOR: Original seats and steering wheel, boost gauge and wideband gauge, rear stripped out.

    THANKS: I need to thank my friends who helped me do things like transmission swaps with nothing more than jack stands and a cheap set of sockets and those of you on the forums who helped me with the build and bought parts from me to help fund the build.
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    DREAM A LITTLE DREAM

    This #BMW fan is living his #E30 #M3 dream and has built a stunning example of the classic icon. Many of us dream of owning an E30 M3, and with its 2.5 engine and choice upgrades, this example is a real dream come true. Words and photos: Tony Saggu.

    Start a discussion about ultimate dream cars and chances are you’re likely to be reaching for an Italian dictionary before long. You may as well pull a post war German history text off the shelf at the same time, and a few volumes of classic English literature won’t go a miss either. They’ll be plenty of talk of raging bulls and prancing horses, Stuttgart will crop up, even Woking will get a look in, but if we’re honest when those lottery numbers come up Bayerische Motoren Werke probably won’t be most people’s first stop. “I’m not going to lie,” laughed La Crescenta, California car connoisseur Mariano Garcia, “I had the F40 and Countach posters up on my bedroom wall when I was kid. But even then I knew they weren’t the cars I really wanted when I grew up.” Don’t get us wrong, Mariano likes supercars as much as the next guy, but his definition of the ultimate driving machine doesn’t include stuff with pictures of farmyard animals stitched into the leather. Our man’s a BMW purist – if it doesn’t have a Roundel it’s not his ride.

    “BMWs are a family tradition with us,” explained the 30-something Beemer besotted bookkeeper. “My father always had one or two around. He had a #1978 Graphite grey #E12 #530i and later bought a #1986 #Alpine white #325e sedan. The 325e was eventually passed down to me and I modified it mercilessly,” he laughed. The Garcia garage was always kept fully stocked over the years. “Later on, he would own a #1995 Calypso red #540i #E34 six-speed, and a tastefullymodified Sahara beige #E12 530i,” revealed Mariano. “My mother has an Individual package Mora-metallic on Kiwi interior #2001 M3, and my brother has an Imola red 330i ZHP. We also have a Polaris silver #1979 #328i that kind of gets passed around the family. All these cars were bought new except the ZHP and the Sahara beige E12.”

    Apparently parting with these cars is not high on the family’s to do list – once a BMW is bought, it’s family. “All of the cars are still in our possession except the 325e and the 1978 Graphite 530i E12 which met premature ends.” The 325e had gotten Mariano off to a good start, a valuable education on the brand and a lesson in hands-on modification. “It’s the car that really got the ball rolling in a practical sense,” he told us. “I lowered it, swapped the engine for an M50, had all smoked Hella headlights, MHW tail-lights, smoked front turn signals, added smoked side-repeaters, tint, and HIDs. I really pushed the boat out and for a kid I didn’t do too badly,” he added. “I updated it to have the plastic bumpers, Shadowline window trim, it was on rare 16” E30 fitment BBS RSs with black centres, a Supersprint exhaust system… just a laundry list of stuff.”

    Having gotten his feet wet tinkering with the Alpine saloon, it wasn’t long before Mariano was in search of bigger and better challenges. “There was only one car I had my sights on,” he confessed. “I’d seen an E30 M3 once when I was a kid, the image of that car was burnt into my brain and I knew I would have to get one, one day.” Finding one of the rare boxy bad boys in acceptable condition is difficult; prizing the car out of the clutches of an almost certain enthusiast owner can prove to be near impossible. Weeks turned into months as the search got into high gear, Mariano admits his patience wasn’t all it could have been: “I just wanted to get my hands on one,” he laughed, “I’d spent my whole life waiting.”

    Garcia’s uncle owned a garage in nearby Orange County, so being well plugged into the local SoCal car scene and the racing community he was roped into the quest. “He had his eyes open because I’d told him that I was in the market for one,” he recalled. “My uncle tipped me off to a customer of a wellknown Porsche tuning shop in the area who was thinking of selling his M3; I was down there like a shot. Originally I was hell-bent on an Alpine white one to go with my 325, but when I saw how the Diamond blackmetallic paint looked in the sun with specks of blue and purple… I committed one of the worst car-buying sins you can and bought the very first car I saw,” he laughed.

    The car put a goodly sized dent in Mariano’s bank account, but the mildly modded 1990 M3 was reasonably clean and had plenty of potential. “It already had a 2.5- litre in it,” he revealed. “The suspension was fairly well sorted with lowered springs, uprated shocks and RD swaybars, the wheels were cool 16” WED racing rims with black centres.” On the downside the engine had been hobbled by a retrofitted “horrendous-looking” #Porsche #944 Turbo single outlet exhaust. The interior was missing its seats as the seller had nicked his previously installed buckets and tossed the rears. “The paint was okay though not to my standard, but it did have a non-cracked dash that sits in the car still to this day.”

    Our man admits the car has been, and will continue to be an evolving project, with almost 15 years of ownership under his belt and no plans to sell… ever, Mariano was in no rush to dive into any overnight makeover.

    “I’m not tooting my own horn but I’m privileged to say that this is the car I dreamt of owning since I was a kid. I never thought it possible that I would be the owner of a car with every single modification that I had planned. At 15, owning the car I see in the garage now was a pipe dream. I still just open the garage and stare at it thinking to myself ‘yes, this is your car, you own it’. I’m still in disbelief. I’m as in love with the car now as the day I bought it a decade-and-a-half ago.”

    Not much has stayed untouched on the car over the years, although the dream car build has followed a tasteful OEM plus route rather than an extreme makeover. The exterior treatment speaks volumes about the Garcia sense of style but the seamlessly blended additions could easily be factory issue BMW Motorsport items. Plenty of custom carbon fibre is the order of the day, which should have spelt a recipe for disaster, but like we said taste can make all the difference. A custom crafted carbon composite bonnet and brake cooling ducts add motorsport flair to the sharp end, and the smoked headlights, tinted indicator lenses and an Evo 3 spoiler lip back up the look. The weave has been used to accent the appearance rather than define it, the sunroof panel, DTM mirrors and Evo 3 rear spoiler punctuate the reshot factory black paint with splashes of carbon detail. “I’ve changed the parts that I though were tacky over the years,” Mariano told us. “For a long while I had a custom black and white M roundel that people would always give me stick about. I insisted that it went with the whole black theme of the car until I don’t remember what happened, maybe it was a maturity thing, I just changed it to the original one. I have to agree it flows better with the overall look.” Evo 3 wheels have made it on and off the ‘to do’ list a lot too, reports Garcia, but the present set of rollers would seem to be impossible to improve on.

    “Those wheels have an interesting story behind them. I had gone to the World Cup in Germany in 2006 to cheer on Argentina… er sorry English fans,” he chuckled. “Anyway, I have a friend over there, Mike Edler, who had a stunning custom painted pearl blue/green/purple Opel colour E30 M3 with these BBS rims on it. He said he could get them all refurbished and customised with whichever caps I wanted; flat, shortened, regular… and the cap sticker inside polished, black, gold whatever. Any hardware, whichever colour centres, just a fully custom built set of wheels to my specs. Well, like most people, in my opinion BBS RSs are the quintessential E30 or ’80s BMW rims so I decided to have at it.”

    The result of the transatlantic vacation and shopping spree were a quartet of fully refurbished #BBS RS 212 rims in 8.5x17” up front and 197, 9.5x17” out back. Slant lipped dishes, Nogaro Silver mesh with polished caps completed the ensemble. Keeping the wheels planted to the pavement is a suspension setup worthy of a track star: “It’s an M3 and I drive it like an M3,” insisted Mariano. “The coilovers are by TC Kline. If I’m not mistaken this was the first TC Kline E30 M3 kit made, I went up to its shop in Ventura to have it installed by the team themselves.” Vorschlag front camber plates assure a perfect contact patch in the bends and Racing Dynamics sway bars take care of the roll. Garcia reports that the Entwiklung Dreissig Zen front and rear strut braces stiffen up the almost 25-year-old shell a treat, and polybushes handle any suspension flex that may have gotten past the other race ready hardware.

    Under that carbon composite bonnet the mix of factory items and tasteful touches continues: “It is all S14,” Mariano said. “I’ve always been a purist about swapping the engines out of these cars, but my stance has softened. With age comes wisdom and I understand why someone would choose to go that route and bank for the buck. The #S14 isn’t the easiest on the wallet to maintain, plus I get how the newer generations crave those silly horsepower numbers.”

    Though one could argue the motor is stock, standard it certainly isn’t, the engine has been treated to a complete rebuild featuring a guest list of greats; this is one Motorsport 3 that can back up its looks. “Yeah it’s packed with all the good stuff,” smiled Mariano, “but my favourite underbonnet piece is the carbon air-box. It makes my inner child imagine that I’m that closer to having a real works DTM Racer. It’s a mod that I had been dreaming of doing for as long as I’ve owned the car… even before owning the car actually,” he laughed. “Under full load, the sound the car makes from the engine bay is orgasmic, especially after about 4-4.2k.” We’re guessing the Group A manifold and full big bore exhaust system don’t hurt the soundtrack either.

    The factory fresh E30 M3 had a respectable cabin out-of-the-box, reviewers even threw around superlatives like “stylish” and “sporty” to describe the interior architecture, but that was a long time ago. Updating a ’90s icon without losing the soul of a classic takes more than a little skill, though thankfully Mariano has the touch. A brace of Recaro SRD-inspired buckets crowned by a subtle, but race-legal Autopower roll bar form the centrepiece of the restyled cockpit. Suede has been the covering of choice, with the velvety leather nap covering the seats, steering wheel, gear stick and brake gaiters, subtleties like the M Sport stitching throughout are easy to miss but go a long way to contribute to the classy feel of the cabin. “Details like the stitching and M Cross Amaretta Cloth Inserts really tie the whole thing together I think,” mused Mariano, “it’s a classical look.”

    We pushed the owner for insights into the future of the dream car build, what tasty trinkets are we likely to see work their way on to the project? “Not a thing,” he insisted “I am completely satisfied with the looks and performance of the car. I’ve seen my contemporaries get the car to a point where everyone said it was good and keep going to the point of idiocy until they ruin the car because they don’t know when to stop. Like an aging rocker you just become a caricature of yourself,” he continued. “I think I have found that sweet spot where the car needs nothing and it is at its zenith. I think it’s at its Dark Side of the Moon pinnacle. Why not stay there? Don’t the English have a saying about ‘gilding the lily’?”

    Left: Interior features gorgeous Recaro SRD-style seats with grey Alcantara, Sport Evo steering wheel and ACS pedals; exterior carbon highlights include DTM mirrors and Evo 3 rear spoiler.

    TECHNICAL INFO

    ENGINE: 2.5-litre four-cylinder #S14B25 , fully rebuilt with 95.5mm bore, OEM Sport Evolution crankshaft, Turner Stage 3 cylinder head, Alpha N/Maxx engine management, carbon fibre Gruppe M air box and snorkel, custom aluminium radiator, 48mm OEM Sport Evolution throttle bodies, VAC Motorsport DTM oil pan, 11.25:1 compression ratio, Gruppe A two-piece exhaust manifold, Supersprint centre resonator, Magnaflow exhaust, M Coupé diff cover.


    CHASSIS: 8.5x17” (front) BBS RS 212 and 9.5x17” (rear) BBS 197 wheels, custom ordered, fully refurbished with Nogaro silver centres and polished centre caps with 215/40 (front) and 245/35 (rear) Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres. TC Kline double-adjustable coilover suspension (500/600 spring rates), Vorschlag camber plates, Koni adjustable shocks, Racing Dynamics anti-roll bars, Entwiklung Dreissig Zen front and rear strut brace, polyurethane bushes throughout, #E36 M3 steering rack, Wilwood six-piston BBK, stainless steel braided brake lines, ATE Super Blue brake fluid.

    EXTERIOR: Respray with Glasurit in original Diamond black metallic paint and clearcoat, carbon fibre DTM Mirrors (nonvented), carbon fibre sunroof, carbon fibre Evo 3 Rear Spoiler, carbon fibre Evo 3 front splitter, carbon fibre brake ducts, carbon fibre ViS bonnet, Hella Colorline DE smoked ellipsoid headlights with city lights, DDM HID conversion, smoked front indicators, Euro grilles, running lights deleted, MHW smoked tail-lights.

    INTERIOR: Sport Evolution suede steering wheel, M illuminated gear knob, suede handbrake boot with M stitching, suede handbrake handle with M stitching, suede gaiter with M stitching, Sport Evolution door sills, Recaro SRD-type seats with grey Alcantara and M cross Amaretta cloth inserts, #E46 M3 grey floormats, Autopower roll bar, #AC-Schnitzer pedals, Innovate Motorsports LC-1 wideband A/F ratio gauge, Autometer oil pressure gauge.

    THANKS: I don’t want to leave anyone out. My mother and father (without him I probably wouldn’t have become such a BMW fanatic). My wife for tolerating me and all our fun trips to meets for 18+ years, my kids who have a blast when in the back of my M3, all the La Crescenta chums who, apart from the car scene, have been there for me in personal ups and downs in my life (you know who you are), Barry Robinson, the lighting of the match which was me going on this forum to find some lights in 1999 and coming out a decade and a half later with lots of lifelong friends that changed the direction of my life, DTMPower. net, r3vlimited, S14. net, Jon Shafer, my OC tUNINGwERKS and Sunday Brunch OGs, all my San Diego friends, Bimmerfest, SoCal Vintage. I really have too many people to mention throughout all these years. Thanks to any of you that I have had contact with because I got something from all of it. RACING CLUB DE AVELLANEDA vamos mi academia carajo!
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    BLOWN AWAY

    So you want big power? Take one #M3-E30 , and add big turbo. It’s all simple, lo-tech stuff.

    There's not a lot of information on #Lotec . A German company in the spirit of Porsche-addling maniac #Ruf , it creates #Mercedes-Benz -engined specials for the autobahn addicts of the Fatherland. But we do know that Lotec created 20 E30 BMW M3s, all benefiting from a simple, non-factory extra, a Garrett T4 turbocharger.

    Ian Knight spent five months looking for an #BMW-M3 #E30 . He must have seen hundreds and could find fault with every one. Each had an un-pukka history, or had been smashed up. The best was white and had been resprayed in blue, and not very well at that.

    Things were not looking good. But he had to have an #M3 , and persevered in his search. His troubles were compounded by the fact that, the more he drove, the more bored he became with the car’s 200 bhp. It didn't give him the kick in the back he needed. Yet. all his life he'd wanted one, and he still had to own a decent example. The Evo Sport, with its 238 bhp, 2.5-litre mill, was as good as he was going to get, so he went to see one that was supposedly the best in the country. It was full of filler and he didn't find it all that quick. Damn.

    Enter stage left #GR-Motorsport of London, a specialist importer of exotic automotive fruit. At the time, the company was chasing down a very rare car indeed. So rare that Ian had no idea of its existence. It was a turbo model, with 350 bhp at its disposal. Was he interested? Docs the Pope preside over the Roman faith? However, apparently the car had no real documentation to speak of, and was white. His interest suddenly waned. GR shouldn't bring it here on his account.

    It didn't. It imported the car regardless of his disinterest, then gave him a call mentioning a price that was five grand under par. Perfectionism aside, Ian's interest was rekindled. It may have had a history with more holes than a colander, but it was a two-owner car, one being a dealer. Hmmm... 350 bhp. He took a chance, and bought it.

    He’s never regretted it even though his first action was to have the turbo replaced. Two years of standing had been followed by a 160 mph autobahn blast on its way back to the UK. and the blower's seals were shot to pieces. The suspension, too, was decomposing. #Eibach springs and #Bilstein dampers soon sorted that out.

    They were designed to give the car a 25 mm drop, but now, he's convinced it’s much lower than that. But there's almost never any wheelarch rubbing, and the car handles faultlessly, so he’s not complaining.

    The #BMW-M3-E30 arrived shod with 8x16 ACT alloys. Wrapped fatly with 225/45 #Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber, they looked splendid, in a cross-spoke kind of way. No reason to change them he reasoned. But, as any cross-spoke owner will know, they're the work of eternity to keep clean.

    Despite Ian having a scam of perfection-ism running through his like a streak in bacon, he found bringing the car up to an acceptable standard of finish very easy. The paintwork was straight so a good cut and polish brought it to life. The bonnet, however, was rusty, necessitating replacement. At the other end, the rear valance was renewed, as it had been mutilated to fit a nasty DTM-style exhaust heat shield.

    Now the car was clean inside and out. It wasn’t concours, but he loved its pace, and that was enough. Until recently, that is. The creeping need to perfect the paintwork means a respray is now due. Everyone tells him it’s unnecessary, but he knows other-wise. It doesn’t help that his best friend, Blue (don’t ask), is a master sprayer, and the owner of the most perfect M3 ever.

    Not without effort, though. Blue's car is mind-numbingly showroom because he’s made it that way. Thanks to his skills, the Lotec example will soon be as-new, too.

    The Lotec conversion is devastatingly simple. And simply devastating, come to think of it. It involves new inlet and exhaust manifolds, a massive T4 turbo, a #Porsche wastegate and an uprated fuel sys-tem. A custom exhaust is also used. The management is tweaked to take all these changes, giving 336 bhp. Ian’s car has received further work, the nature of which we’re not sure about, but it’s likely to have occurred in the ECU mapping department, to give the 350 bhp he enjoys so heartily.

    The standard final drive is retained, but to apply the T4’s slam-dunking torque delivery, the gearbox from an #E34 #M5 obliges. This #Getrag five-speeder has much longer ratios than the stock item, and provides 28 mph per 1000 rpm. This is an #BMW M3 four-pot, remember, so do the maths... the car has a theoretical top speed of 198 mph, before you allow for the detrimental effect of its aircraft-hanger aerodynamics.

    Even counting these, it’s still an extremely fast car. Part of the conversion is to park the windscreen wipers vertically, because at speeds over 160 mph, the arms would be forced off the horizontal by airflow, until the linkage broke.

    If the turbo is brought on song early in a launch, 60 mph can be achieved in well under six seconds. But the downside of the gearbox is that its big old ratio spread extinguishes the standard M3's revvy sparkle. I couldn't remove from my mind, while at the wheel, that if someone wanted a very powerful, long-legged mile-muncher, they'd be better off with an M5, full stop.

    Just as I’ve never understood the #Alpina 3.5-litre conversion, with its heavy engine transplanted under the M3 bonnet, I can't fathom this car, which seems to deny it what it was designed by BMW to be.

    However, Ian has a fiendish plan to have the best of both worlds. Noting that the turbo engine, being very little heavier than the standard item, doesn't knacker the M3’s superb handling, he plans to fit a six-speed, dose-ratio gearbox, to make the most of the rev-happy screamer.

    Above. Compact size of the #S14 four-cylinder meant plenty of room for the turbo installation. Twin-coil ignition and custom-made inlet plenum (left) are part of the Lotec conversion.

    Below. The #Garrett #Garrett-T4 turbocharger runs at 14.5 psi/1 bar with a remote Porsche wastegate. Gearbox is an #E34-M5 five-speed unit.

    Perhaps as a consequence of the grownup gearbox, the car is ridiculously civilised. In certain other applications, read big- turbo Cosworth Fords, the T4 turbo is deeply unsubtle, exploding into life at 4000 rpm causing Essex-man fishtailing as you try to keep the biscuit-tin car on the road.

    Not so here. The M3 feels pleasantly eager at low revs, before the power begins to build. And build. And build. After a certain time, the driver runs out of bottle, road, or both, and lifts off. At which there's momentary lag before the car slows. It’s incredibly grown-up, and astoundingly fast.

    And very, very German. This is the M3, translated for autobahn use meaning, of course, that it really is an M5 in miniature. Inside, factory leather, with the #M-sport colours, sewn in, reinforce the luxury-tourer impression. The previous owner was a lucky man, with the perfect combination of car and terrain at his disposal.

    Except that he wasn't all that fortunate. GR Motorsport's German scout was an acquaintance of his family, which sold the car while mourning his loss. The poor chap got crushed to death at work. Ian likes to think the ghost of Herman the German rides with him, with revs rising and falling of their own accord at idle.

    If Herman was on board recently, he would have had fun. Ian wound the turbo boost up to one bar, which transformed the car. Gone was its urbane nature, replaced by a savagery that shocked and delighted him. It moved the M3 onto a different level. Unfortunately, three laps into a Castle Combe track day, the engine suffered oil starvation, and the bottom end ate itself.

    Ian was lucky. He’d seen a #Subaru-Impreza park itself into the Armco at 60 mph and the only harm was to his wallet.
    He won’t be doing any more track days, once the engine’s rebuilt. The road’s the place for him and Herman to enjoy them-selves. And Curborough sprint days, of course. It was a shame the car removed itself from the track day scene, as he’d just about got the braking system right. Although the three laps were enough to warp a set of new discs, his brake specialist, Jim Freeth of Performance Braking in Monmouth, had turned him on to a blue Pagid pad that was giving brilliant service.

    As you read this, the Lotec will be back on the road. There are two others in the country, but these are resting. Having resurrected his engine, Ian's going to be a lot poorer, but he’s not cowed by the expense. It cost less than ten grand to buy, and gave him two years, or 6000 miles, of wild times before going pop. So he's going to take it on the chin, and console himself with the simple charms of Lotec transport.
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