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E21 owners and their cars

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Blue-ish/Silver-ish 320i US Spec
Owner: uberpanzer
In registry since: Friday, Apr 18th 7:18pm.
Year: 1983
Location: San Diego, CA USA

A car destined for greater things, which I'm going to help it with...

Modifications and tuning front contol arms w/urethane bushings, 15x7 OZ Racing wheels (unknown type), 205/50 Falken Azenis Sports, Valentine One hardwired, Sony head unit (tape deck), JBL Fronts and Fosgate Rears with a 8in Bazooka Tube in the trunk, rear interior/all carpet/center console gutted and tossed in trash, Bride seats (grey suede), Front Bumper removed (area to be painted eventually), AC deleted (including all hard lines and interior hardware), 120mph speedo, TEP rear shock tower brace/battery relocation bar using the cabling and power block from other BMW's to run up to the front.

Motorcycle battery mod (only weighs 15lbs!), some well needed suspension work (overhaul), tint.

Motor Plans:
I'm either going to build a monster M10 (with boost!) or swap out to something else.

A good friend (BMW buddy no less) called me up and asked if I would come with him to look at a friend's car. It had been sitting in the guy's front yard for the better part of 2 years, totally neglected. It made a fellow BMW owner sad to see an e21 not getting ANY attention, let alone love. Since I had one, he figured we could get it running and I might even be interested in making the guy an offer on it (since I had made noises about getting another e21 to replace my rusting beater).

We got there and the car looked so sad sitting under a tree. Take a look at the third pic to the left to see what I mean. Got the low down....the clutch master cylinder was said to be going, so the owner parked it in fear of it giving out at the wrong moment, but also not willing to pay to fix it. So it sat and sat. We charged the battery a bit, started it up (took a few cranks and a cloud of dirt finally came out the intake bellow as it fired), and I made the guy an offer after driving it around the block. Got the car for $400. Overall not too bad for a car like this, even with the mileage it has.

It had been resprayed every 3 years or so up until the 'parking' since the owner had some friends at a local paint/body shop and they did it cheap. The horizontal surfaces show the neglect of sitting, but the vertical surfaces (doors, fenders) are fine. All the rubber needs to be replaced, and will be in time. Seats were toast, but I had fronts from my e21 'project' and rears are useless to me in this car.

After living with the car for a while (and driving it from San Diego to Bimmerfest), it seems the clutch issue is the clutch itself. It is old and getting ready to go. But that will have to wait until I decide what motor will be in the car in the long run....

EDIT: OK, looks like the clutch master cylinder IS having issues. I have pulled the carpet and now there is a puddle of fluid just under the clutch pedal. Oh well, looks like the guy's mechanic wasn't wrong and I have a messy job in front of me.

I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping the M10 motor in the car, so the clutch is not a far off guess anymore. But since I have an e30 M3 I can use some parts off of, I believe the clutch will be coming DIRECTLY from that (it is still soft enough that I want to replace it).

I have now gotten the car into more of a 'autoX' spec than 'daily driver' trim, so it is usually parked in the garage. But now that I've re-installed the stereo (for my own comfort), I'll be taking it out more often then I was before.

I'm getting some parts off of a few other e21 people (thanks Rob and Nic from AZ), so a bit better stuff is in the works for the car. I'm trying to keep the overall 'budget' down for this car, but Joe's CF hood group-buy is going to shoot that in the foot.

Gotta love the new pics!!! I've been autoX'ing the car with the local BMW CCA chapter. Great fun, and I GUESS it is safer than going out and blasting down the local canyons (but I still do that too....). I have so far taken one first place and one no-show. I had radiator issues and spent the day replacing it in the paddock instead of driving for times. But all is good again now (minus the master cylinder issues), and I'll be blasting by cones next season!!!

Update 2 years later:
A lot has changed, although the paint is still bad. I've moved a few times, so the car is back outside (only 2 garage spots, 1 for the M3 and 1 for the g/f's M Roadster), so the paint is only going to get worse. BUT, the clutch master cylinder has been replaced and a BAE turbo kit has been installed. Got it (and a questionable M10) from a local BMW wrecking yard. They called ME to ask if I wanted it. :) I need to get back out to autoX the car some more, but will need new tires and plan on doing coil-overs first.

Pre-Bimmerfest '08 Update:
Coil-overs and from camber plates are installed, new Falken Azenis RT-615's on the wheels, and the exhaust is getting a do-over since the muffler tried to fall off at the last autoX. I've done 2 autoX's this year, taking 2nd in class at the first but not placing in the second. Also about to install some Cibie headlights to get something better than the sealed beams. And I may start daily driving it soon, since I've sold my e30 318is and am trying to sell my Jetta as well to get ready to buy a 135i. Daily driving an e21 on 10psi of boost, stock internals, and totally gutted. Yup, I think I cando that. :D


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