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Thread: The car that stole my life

  1. #1
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    72 + 75 2002's

    The car that stole my life

    I first got into BMWs when I fixed up a 89 735i, and after a few years picked up an e36 m3/4/5 clone that I absolutely fell in love with. Alpine DEFINITELY grew on me, even though first pick would have been a silver or black car. Well about May of this year (2009) I went down to socal to see a show (Showtek!!!), and coming back up made the mistake of letting someone else drive... Yeah, don't worry, won't happen again I promise.

    I woke up to him hydroplaning, and he immediately lost control and spun it into the center divide smashing 3 corners and totalling it. So I picked up a new one, a very beat up, pretty neglected, very stock, automatic e36 sedan for $700.

    I basically tore every single nut and bolt out of the donor frame and I rebuilt the entire car from the ground up. Every nylon-threaded nut, worn out bushing, soft hose, corroded wire, every piece of rubber, anything that could be made new replaced.

    Here's a few pictures before the carnage, and some highlights of the rebuild. Go easy on me, this is my first car I have ever really worked on more then basic maintenance... growing up my dad and I never worked on cars together. Pictures may suck here and there as well.

    Pics from my first e36, right when I got it:

    1915209_100688819955758_7063980_n by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    1915209_100669786624328_4097185_n by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    1915209_100669779957662_6008627_n by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    And then this... it takes a lot to do this, but I am going to reveal my VERY short ricer phase to you all lol. Just going through old photos and these were pretty cringe-worthy. SOOOOOOoooooooo happy with the direction my second e36 in comparison. It's truly my own car, and not some copy and paste boy-racer bullshizzz


    First mod was 2 tone door panels and seat covers. The carpet was beige. It was a nightmare.

    NONONONONO by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    AHHH WTF by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    EWWW by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    Then I found a really nice CF center console, but ruined it with painted bezels and a ugly shift know, also painted:

    Cool console, shitty everything else by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    Sold the CF center console, stripped the paint off. A little better:

    Getting better, still a horrendous knobby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    Car had blacked out tails for a while, again terrible idea. So much attention from cops:

    1915209_100669776624329_6618551_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    1915209_100688796622427_5847511_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    I had angel eyes, just because I thought it was the cool thing to do. I still don't think they ever belong on an e36 no matter what. City lights all day every day fool

    1915209_100669766624330_3815545_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    1915209_100688793289094_227886_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    As heavy as they were, I do REALLY miss my prototype Hamanns. There were only ever 4 sets made for e36 fitment. I heard there were some for Mercedes also, but have never ever seen them either:

    1915209_100669769957663_2326920_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    Last photo that she was ever in, before that a-hole totalled it:

    37330_134497466574893_688198_n by Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    And then the aftermath:

    1915209_100690173288956_7913278_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    1915209_100690166622290_1131808_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    1915209_100690343288939_4656235_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr

    1915209_100690346622272_4771742_nby Spyke e36/e30, on Flickr


    Onto the chassis swap for the parts that were good, then wiring harness swap and all the upgraded goodies!

    Twins by Gregg, on Flickr

    StockInterior by Gregg, on Flickr

    FrontSeats by Gregg, on Flickr

    StockDash by Gregg, on Flickr

    TD1-Interior by Gregg, on Flickr

    TD2-Interior by Gregg, on Flickr

    TD3-DashPulled by Gregg, on Flickr

    1915209_100670689957571_6534967_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    TD3-CarpetPulled by Gregg, on Flickr

    TD1-Backseat by Gregg, on Flickr
    Last edited by Spyke; 02-22-2018 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Fixed missing pics (photobucket sucks)
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  2. #2
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    Last edited by Spyke; 02-22-2018 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  3. #3
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    Last edited by Spyke; 02-22-2018 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  4. #4
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    133560_176960382328601_6859601_o by Gregg, on Flickr

    133560_176960385661934_1559124_o by Gregg, on Flickr

    35988_134544223236884_1777172_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    205880_244732265551412_6733330_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    223049_244732105551428_5675516_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    282026_244732312218074_6856770_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    419638_343493042342000_1112788079_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    261383_234651043226201_4660850_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    268087_234650933226212_359876_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    NewUUCSPCCamberPlates by Gregg, on Flickr

    StrutTowerReinforcements by Gregg, on Flickr

    Eibache36non-MPro-Streetcoilovers1 by Gregg, on Flickr

    Eibache36non-MPro-Streetcoilovers2 by Gregg, on Flickr

    RearStrutMounts-RogueEngineering by Gregg, on Flickr

    FrontSubframePulledCleaned by Gregg, on Flickr

    248917_216759488348690_6026672_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    NewSwaybarsvsStock by Gregg, on Flickr

    NewEatsOld by Gregg, on Flickr

    75061_537699109588058_135502398_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    FrontHubs2PaintedCleared by Gregg, on Flickr

    RearHubs2FinishedRestored by Gregg, on Flickr

    264045_234651013226204_5333975_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    263677_234650966559542_6101075_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    Brakes1AllReadyToBePainted by Gregg, on Flickr

    Brakes3CalipersMaskedAndPaintReady by Gregg, on Flickr

    Brakes6Repainted by Gregg, on Flickr

    1915209_100679356623371_3552176_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    FrontHubsSpacersInstalled by Gregg, on Flickr

    NewvsOldE-BrakeShoes by Gregg, on Flickr

    Oldtrailingarmbushingsoutnewonestogoin by Gregg, on Flickr

    47394_151088818249091_7636491_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    133560_176960378995268_4625787_o by Gregg, on Flickr

    35988_134544213236885_124154_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    VSLAluminumRadiatorRogueEngineeringSiliconeHoses by Gregg, on Flickr

    ZionsvilleAluminumShroudExpansionTankAndSPALElectr icFan by Gregg, on Flickr

    254280_218129214878384_1937425_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    252980_218129241545048_5190339_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    1915209_100679369956703_6868081_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    192571_194717440552895_4050244_o by Gregg, on Flickr

    431626_364075163617121_1121949361_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    247070_218129361545036_4352759_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    255780_218129298211709_4412580_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    41152_147076538650319_3141483_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    267906_233115103379795_5678215_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    251301_216760005015305_372429_n by Gregg, on Flickr

    246625_216760048348634_981399_n by Gregg, on Flickr
    Last edited by Spyke; 02-22-2018 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  5. #5
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    95' e36
    Best thread I've read. Looks like you're now a pro at fixing any problem the e36 has. Congrats

  6. #6
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    wow.. how long did this take you?.. how the f did you figure everything out, if you had minimum knowledge about how everything worked? How old are you? I'm impressed. Great job!
    Last edited by BimmerJM325is; 10-10-2012 at 02:59 AM.

  7. #7
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    1999 M3 coupe
    Incredibly impressive. This is awesome, I congratulate you on you work. You very clearly have a lot of passion for your car and its awesome.

  8. #8
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    That's a lot of work done. I don't want to take the dash off. Ever :P

    How about some sport seats though? You have a momo wheel and harnesses, but flat and unsupportive stock seats. Kinda jarring.

  9. #9
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    Spyke, if I'm ever in NorCal, I'm getting you a beer. Well done, man. Good to see all that love put into your car.
    Protip:
    Used cars are always lemons.
    Especially if I've used them.

  10. #10
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    German E36 328i & M3 cab
    Excellent work.

    And that is what I call a strutbar. Not one of those hinged for-looks-only ones.
    '98 BMW M3 3.2 SMG Cabrio • Alpinweiß III auf Schwarz • Deutschland-ausführung
    IG:
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  11. #11
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    Wonderful job, don't let any one else drive it.

  12. #12
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    Holy smokes!

    I am f'in impressed. Kudos to you, sir.



    JAP

  13. #13
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    95 M3/10 Avy Z71/more
    needs an MM underpanel


    you know how much i love this build!!
    BMW CCA Illini Chapter Vice President
    1995 M3
    - My Favorite DIY's and FAQ's



  14. #14
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    Avus Cosmos Calypso!
    holy wiring nightmare batman! Did you swap the wiring harnesses? Why did you mess with the wiring? Looks insane... Damn good work though Gregg!

  15. #15
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    i see whats going on here. nice work. your back must be killing after taking all the interior out.

  16. #16
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    03 zhp, 97 e36m3, 04 zhp
    Dude, you forgot the carpet!

  17. #17
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    Some of you guys may have seen the original thread in "Rides & Styling"
    I wanted to unclutter that one, and I figured I would just move it to the e36 specific section while I was at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtgreencups View Post
    Best thread I've read. Looks like you're now a pro at fixing any problem the e36 has. Congrats
    Lots to read huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerJM325is View Post
    wow.. how long did this take you?.. how the f did you figure everything out, if you had minimum knowledge about how everything worked? How old are you? I'm impressed. Great job!
    This took me about 2 years roughly, that's working on it off/on when my wallet allowed it.
    I'm really really good with Legos. With a trusty Bentley manual and the forums, you can do anything you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by airforce7882 View Post
    Incredibly impressive. This is awesome, I congratulate you on you work. You very clearly have a lot of passion for your car and its awesome.
    I do, thank you sir. My car treats me good, so I return the love.

    Quote Originally Posted by xlDooM View Post
    That's a lot of work done. I don't want to take the dash off. Ever :P

    How about some sport seats though? You have a momo wheel and harnesses, but flat and unsupportive stock seats. Kinda jarring.
    It's not that bad to remove the dash really. Hardest part is the little screws in the windshield vents. And on the seats, you must have looked at the thread while I was still uploading pics. I upgraded the hell out of the seats!! I still have a bunch to get up still.

    Quote Originally Posted by mobiletarget View Post
    Spyke, if I'm ever in NorCal, I'm getting you a beer. Well done, man. Good to see all that love put into your car.
    I don't drink beer, but I will take you up on something else man!

    Quote Originally Posted by MParallel View Post
    Excellent work.

    And that is what I call a strutbar. Not one of those hinged for-looks-only ones.
    Absolutely. Made by Mason Engineering, beast of a bar that's for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by motion View Post
    Wonderful job, don't let any one else drive it.
    Amen to that

    Quote Originally Posted by Madjap View Post
    Holy smokes!

    I am f'in impressed. Kudos to you, sir.

    JAP


    Quote Originally Posted by Moron95M3 View Post
    needs an MM underpanel


    you know how much i love this build!!
    Has one Eric! Will have the rest of the pics up soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by scooper View Post
    holy wiring nightmare batman! Did you swap the wiring harnesses? Why did you mess with the wiring? Looks insane... Damn good work though Gregg!
    Indeed buddy. The fusebox from my car was smashed, and the donor car I didn't trust. Sooo full wiring swap & the fusebox was rebuilt. Also, the donor car was an auto, and mine was a manual. Rather than hacking up wiring, I did it the right way.

    Quote Originally Posted by DailyE36 View Post
    i see whats going on here. nice work. your back must be killing after taking all the interior out.
    I did a lot on my back, that actually helps when you have the seats out

    Quote Originally Posted by Mless5 View Post
    Dude, you forgot the carpet!


    For any of you with a 92 e36 Beware; the Motion Motor DOES NOT directly fit. I had to modify both the brackets and drill 2 extra holes in the panel to make it work. What I was expecting to be a 20-30 minute mod due to the MM panel getting such high praise, turned into two afternoons in the dark and cold driveway test fitting, marking, test fitting, drilling, test fitting. If I had known it wasn't going to fit the 92 properly, I would have just saved the time and made my own at work... anyways, it's on there now, and the one thing I do have to say is the hardware it comes with is really nice, besides the blind rivet screws and plastic anchors, they are depressingly flimsy. If I were to do it again I would personally use the nutserts used on the OEM X-brace to fasten the brackets to the frame rails, they would be a million times more secure.



    These were the holes I had to use, after slimming down the brackets. They barely fit between the radiator supports and the sway bar attachment points.



    You can see here the factory hole that you're supposed to use for one screw, than drill the second where the other screw falls. Obviously I couldn't use the factory point since it was nowhere near either screw.



    After a lot of cursing and muttering, all done! The front end is ridiculously solid now, and I feel sorry for any little critters that gets hit by a car with this underpanel, they won't have a head after...



    When I got my car, the key light was burned out of course. Finally got around to buying the new bulb, as well as a new battery and boy was I depressed. Even when the key light is working perfectly, it's SOOOooo weak you can barely see it in the dark. Time for a LED retrofit. Came out fantastic, just took a couple days to perfect it, finding the right LED and battery to work, then getting the insides modified correctly. I went with Red since White/Blue takes more voltage to power than I could supply. Very limited room inside the key. If anyone wants a key modded, let me know. I could probably do Amber also, since it's about the same specs as Red.


    IMG_20111201_180113 by greggdrake, on Flickr


    IMG_20111201_180125 by greggdrake, on Flickr


    IMG_20111201_180144 by greggdrake, on Flickr

    *** e36 LED Key Light Retrofit DIY HERE ***

    *** e36 LED Map Light Retrofit DIY HERE ***

    *** e36 Rear Window Defroster DIY HERE ***


    Latest mod: I have had the multi-color LED mod done for a while to indicate different radar threats, but finally had the time to integrate it into the speedo cluster. There's unfortunately not a great way to do it without hacking up a lot of the tach, so I made the modifications as little as possible. Only two cuts were made, and it replaces the MPG gauge. I'm fine losing the MPG gauge since you can still get that info via the OBC.

    Terrible photos!:







    Fixed the headlight switch so it lights up again...


    Mason steel clutch pedal!!!!! Finally got it swapped in, the shorter pedal travel feels so great, it's super solid, no flex, really responsive and quick.


    I like how it brought the clutch pedal and brake pedal to the same plane/level as well...


    Got a Conforti intake & heatshield to replace my Carbonio intake. Covered the engine side of the heat shield in aluminized kevlar rated to 650* continuous and 1000* max. Very happy with the setup, and the heat shield is very snug.





    More little stuff, finally got OEM mud flaps!



    Then I sanded down the horn button on my steering wheel to get rid of the "Momo"



    Also got a new OEM ZHP weighted shift knob, painted over the shift pattern and emblem as well. Didn't know if I would like it, but it's growing on me.



    Made a trade with a fellow member and swapped out my M3 mirrors for the non-M square mirrors. I just think they fit the sedan body so much better. Pretty happy with them now that I got used to the different mirror lenses.



    Took a road trip from San Francisco down to Irvine to pick up these bad boys:







    Tried to make 13 hours of driving eventful, but alas, not a single boob was shown. I blame it on all the hot girls being on spring break.
    Last edited by Spyke; 02-22-2018 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  18. #18
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    Both seats are swapped, they're gorgeous!!

    You may notice the passenger back looks a little matte, I sanded, then wet-sanded out all of the scratches the seats came with, and re-cleared them. Just need to get a hold of a buffer to polish it out.









    Here's the pics of the diamond plate floor pans I made up for the rear. Super happy with how they came out! Looks like I need to scrape some of this nasty sound deadening now.









    Since I recently fixed my rear defroster, I figured I would get that nasty rear window trim/seal redone to finish it up. Boy am I glad I did, such a simple little thing makes the car look so much better!

    Here's all that's needed:
    -Needle nose pliers
    -Windex (or anything that will lubricate the glass, but evaporate quickly)
    -Trim removal tool (or anything plastic that won't scratch/damage your paint or glass)

    This is literally a 15-20 minute job.

    If yours was anything like my donor car, that rear trim/seal is somewhere between 15-20 years old. Yikes. The corners were completely eroded and non existant. Since that's out of the way, go ahead and grab the edge of the top strip with your needle nose, twist up and out to get it started. (That's twisting slightly up above, and to the rear of the car clockwise if you're starting from the driver side.)


    DIY Rear Window Seal Removal 1 by greggdrake, on Flickr

    Continue pulling with the pliers or your hands until the top strip is completely removed. (The sides come out in the same fashion.)


    DIY Rear Window Seal Removal 2 by greggdrake, on Flickr

    Now the bottom strip. Twist backwards and counter clockwise, again, I started from the driver side.


    DIY Rear Window Seal Removal 3 by greggdrake, on Flickr

    Now that all the trim is out, I went ahead and blew all the dirt out, and cleaned out the grooves with a rag on all sides.

    Spray the groove and edge of the glass with Windex or whatever you're using for lubrication. I started at the top edge, driver side. Set it in the groove, make sure to get the bottom lip of the trim set under the glass. I did this across the whole top edge. Then using my non-marring trim removal tool, I pressed the trim into place. Press straight down into the channel, and inwards toward the glass.


    DIY Rear Window Seal Replacement 1 by greggdrake, on Flickr

    Once the top edge was finished, I did the bottom, then went back to the sides. The bottom strip simply slips into place, and does not need to be pressed in. (If you choose to do the top, then sides, then bottom, you're still okay. You can still do the bottom "underlap" with the sides already in place.)

    Looks good! Over the next month or so heat should shrink it in to fit the glass a little better.


    DIY Rear Window Seal Replacement 2 by greggdrake, on Flickr
    Last edited by Spyke; 02-22-2018 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  19. #19
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    OLD photo shoot



    287566_246714205370742_182025885172908_692161_2928 4721_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    174981_246713978704098_182025885172908_692156_3788 84285_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    335089_246713888704107_182025885172908_692154_1181 333591_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    328913_246716135370549_182025885172908_692189_2117 97732_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    287548_246716265370536_182025885172908_692192_7148 91539_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    336927_246716378703858_182025885172908_692195_1498 10177_o by greggdrake, on Flickr



    293635_246720685370094_182025885172908_692246_3576 4514_n by greggdrake, on Flickr



    338752_246717362037093_182025885172908_692206_1230 954007_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    329517_246717422037087_182025885172908_692208_1154 456540_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    325228_246717452037084_182025885172908_692209_7891 53904_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    286897_246715752037254_182025885172908_692175_8703 72249_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    331257_246717785370384_182025885172908_692219_1118 370169_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    289477_246716022037227_182025885172908_692186_1157 069870_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    328395_246716078703888_182025885172908_692187_1871 404617_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    325022_246716108703885_182025885172908_692188_1757 472139_o by greggdrake, on Flickr


    287441_246719338703562_182025885172908_692243_3320 93561_o by greggdrake, on Flickr



    307790_246720758703420_182025885172908_692249_5851 27022_n by greggdrake, on Flickr



    304429_246720732036756_182025885172908_692248_5925 56764_n by greggdrake, on Flickr


    292774_246721018703394_182025885172908_692257_4915 60962_n by greggdrake, on Flickr


    303272_246721182036711_182025885172908_692263_1459 17091_n by greggdrake, on Flickr
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  20. #20
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    02/95 BMW 325is
    What seats are those? Price? Fit a coupe?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerJM325is View Post
    What seats are those? Price? Fit a coupe?
    They are made by Status Racing, they have a few variations. The carbon fiber/leather/suede ones retail at $1,600.00 each I believe, I got them used in classifieds for a great deal though. They would fit a coupe no problem, but they might be annoying for some people in a DD because of the high full bolsters.
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  22. #22
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    1998 328i
    wow...this is very impressive! you have the patience of a saint! I wish I could rebuild my car like this.

  23. #23
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    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    910
    My Cars
    94 325i
    That rear seal is $40 from the dealership here, I need one. That's a brilliant car man, excellent work.
    I like my car.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    SF Bay, CA
    Posts
    5,026
    My Cars
    72 + 75 2002's
    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerReaper View Post
    wow...this is very impressive! you have the patience of a saint! I wish I could rebuild my car like this.
    Patience is something I have a lot of haha, I would not compare myself to a saint however

    Quote Originally Posted by blackongrey View Post
    That rear seal is $40 from the dealership here, I need one. That's a brilliant car man, excellent work.
    Do it! It's super easy and makes the back look so much newer! Thanks
    Current_SeeDee 1972 e10 Luna 1975 e10
    Past___Veronica
    1994 e36 Le-Ah 1987 e30

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Greenville, SC USA
    Posts
    2,489
    My Cars
    e39 M5 & e36 M3/4/6
    one of the best threads ever. hands down. Spyke for president!

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