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Thread: 1989 325ix Restore!!

  1. #1
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    1989 325ix Restore!! - FINAL PICS ATTACHED

    Ok, some of the ix crowd knows this is coming, but I thought I'd throw up a teaser on my 2 year restore near complete.

    Unfortunately I'm relatively new to the forum world and haven't been diligent about everything I've done to the car so I'll give you a quick rundown of things and throw up what few pics I have.

    I bought the car in the summer of 2005 as a an alternative to a rental car while my E46 was having body work done from an unfortunate encounter with a fire hydrant. The car was also to become a daily driver and winter car as my E46 was getting an M-tech upgrade and was already sitting low on some coil-overs.

    Anyways, I overpaid for the car. $1,800 out the door. It looked to be in great condition from what I could tell as a noob at that time. The car is a Diamond Black Metallic with 15" basketweaves and a black comfort seat vinyl interior (interior was mint).

    - I immediately replaced the rotors and pads, did an alignment, and replaced the timing belt. Thing drove like a champ. Also replaced the cluster as the left side was dead.

    - Also had no turn signals. Spliced and rewired and voila!

    - While doing rotors and pads I destroyed my e-brake hardware as it was rusted to the rotors. Replace e-brake line and shoes.

    - I then had a state inspection done. Muffler had to be replaced. Enter Ansa exhaust and center pipe.

    - Then after driving her around for a while discovered a small gas leak, only when 80% full or more. Replaced the gas tank.

    - Noticed there was an exhaust leak where cat met header. Replaced Cat.

    At this time the car was great. No issues whatsoever. My $1800 investment was now of course up to $4000 but I was happy.

    I then decided I wanted to put bilsteins and H+Rs in.

    Took out front shocks and springs and !!!

    My Strut tower housings disintigrated in front of my eyes!!!

    -Ordered two new housings. Had to buy new from BMW. Installed Bilstein and H+R suspension.

    - During install did the CV boots. Wouldn't you know it, right axle was dead. Replaced Front right axle.

    Total Investment $6000. Mind you I know have an IX that drives like a champ and has LOTS of new parts.

    - Also replaced Valve cover and all gaskets.

    - Replaced windshield wiper motor and blower motor (love junkyards).

    So here I am, a happy man. Added a Bav Auto Chip, added an M-tech 2 steering wheel, one piece shift knob/boot and was all good as a daily driver. All of this was done between summer of 2005 and summer of 2006. Drove her through 2006 with no issues, even bought an E36 to drive daily to give this car a rest as now it had turned into a project car and I didn't want more things to break.

    Well, I wasn't content for long. Still had that damn gas leak. Had already replaced the tank, so now I replaced the fill neck. Fixed that issue.

    But wait, my car died about a mile from work. Front sending unit. Replaced.

    And then BOTH front brake calipers went. Replaced.

    Now, finally things are looking good. Valve adjustment, some more service and the things is running WAY better than the day I got it. Time for the body work.
    Last edited by NHskibm; 11-12-2007 at 05:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    So, I brought the car to Brothers Autobody in Londonderry, NH. I know the owners and the son/co-owner is hands down the BEST painter I have EVER seen. His work is amazing. So we talked and decided it was time to start the body restore.

    So, in we go, well in he goes, I had to go to FL for work and haven't been around to help .

    I stopped in on a sat and grabbed a couple shots.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
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    Turns out the car was in ROUGH shape. Both Rear quarters had to be completely replaced. EVERYTHING was rotted out. Based on everything that I had to do mechanically and now bodywise this car clearly sat in a pond or something...

    Here is what was rebuilt - sorry I don't have before pics.
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  4. #4
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    And here are the rest. Car is being painted today!!! I'll have more next week. You can tell by the coloration where work was done in terms of welding and taking car of dings.

    BTW new Sunroof panel, two new (used) doors, fenders we a combination of mine and butchered aftermarket ones. The floor on the drivers side was completely replaced. TONS and TONS of rust cutting, patching and welding. This tested my friend to his fullest.
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  5. #5
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    Please no on the hood vent grills thingys....
    Max

  6. #6
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    And the last pic. The car as you see it is being sprayed today. He is spraying the IX side skirts and flares, the new front and rear valences, the new M-tech lower front valence, the IS spoiler off the car. We are also painting all the trim to its original flat black.

    I'll have more next week!

    Oh and Steve is on the right! He's the painter.

    We are also going to sand blast as much as we can and then I'm going to get some high temp paint and clean up the engine bay as much as possible.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by broke30 View Post
    Please no on the hood vent grills thingys....
    Max
    don't worry, that is just a piece of plastic. The thing is stock as stock can be, well aside from the M-tech valence and rear spoiler.

  8. #8
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    I don't see a restoration. I just see some body work.

    I still see rusted parts everywhere.

    Its not taken apart enough for a restoration quality paint job.

  9. #9
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    While it is not a full restore, i.e. taking it apart down to the frame rails, it is a little more than "some body work." The rust you see is also on mechanical parts that I still intend on replacing, some of which are going to be done before the car is put back together.

    Plus seriously, I'm one excited dude about this because the car was in rough shape and frankly I didn't have to $10,000+ for a true down to the ground restore. But for the $5,000 I'm paying the car is going to look amazing, it drives amazing, and I have had a hand in getting it to where it is (mechanically at least).

    But thanks for being nice about it.

    And by new england standards, that isn't that much rust. I wish I could get the type of cars you guys have in TX.

  10. #10
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    I think your story just scared me away from the 325ix I'm going to look at this weekend or at least make me look twice as hard at trouble spots

    Good luck with the car, sounds like fun and should look great after the paint, looking forward to the pics.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3Sometimes View Post
    I think your story just scared me away from the 325ix I'm going to look at this weekend or at least make me look twice as hard at trouble spots

    Good luck with the car, sounds like fun and should look great after the paint, looking forward to the pics.
    Thanks!

    Mind you I didn't need to do the body work to get the thing inspected. I just went a little nuts. But look closely at the trouble spots. See the other IX thread currently going as a couple of us are answering someone else's questions on what to look for!

    Good luck with your search, feel free to PM any questions on over!

  12. #12
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    cant wait to see it all dolled up.

  13. #13
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    Looks like a very involved project. Why use such a rusted car to start with? Was it just a few hundred bucks?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by VROOMCP View Post
    cant wait to see it all dolled up.
    You and me both!!

    Quote Originally Posted by viaw View Post
    Looks like a very involved project. Why use such a rusted car to start with? Was it just a few hundred bucks?
    Haha. I wish. It looked like it had a couple bad spots when i got it, drove fine and all, but as I started fixing things... well, let's just say I'm about double in $$ where I thought I'd be.

    but I also initially didn't plan on doing all of this. The car grew on me and in turn I started dumping into it. I'm even getting rid of my E36 to be able to keep this car around.

  15. #15
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    OMG. Even by PA standards this was a parts car. Dude, I get it now. This is about love, not time or money. I can't believe the time you have invested in this car. Holy Sh**. Good luck with it man. I'm surprised you didn't put it on the rotisseri. Either that or just dip the whole thing in an acid bath.


    If you are going to do something, do it well.
    And leave something witchy.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHskibm View Post
    by new england standards, that isn't that much rust. I wish I could get the type of cars you guys have in TX.
    I grew up in Bow NH so I'm well and familiar with the cancer that plagues the cars up there. No I don't miss it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986325es View Post
    OMG. Even by PA standards this was a parts car. Dude, I get it now. This is about love, not time or money. I can't believe the time you have invested in this car. Holy Sh**. Good luck with it man. I'm surprised you didn't put it on the rotisseri. Either that or just dip the whole thing in an acid bath.
    Yeah, it was one of those, well I already have $$ into it, I might as well keep going type of things. I've learned many a lesson from this whole project. And yes, it was probably a GREAT parts car but it was deceiving at purchase and then each step of the way.

    I kept thinking, "this is the last thing I need to fix." And sure enough I was wrong, but you are right it is about love and of the 3 generations of 3 series that I have this is hands down my favorite, and believe my I LOVE my E46 too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stück View Post
    I grew up in Bow NH so I'm well and familiar with the cancer that plagues the cars up there. No I don't miss it.
    I'm glad you can relate. Sorry for any harshness towards your original post. I'm just pumped that the thing is nearly complete, whether you call it a restore or whatever, it has been a trip.

  18. #18
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    latest pics??!!

  19. #19
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    i bet your dying to get that back. 2 years??? dam. looks like a good start and with that much work done on it it should look mint. what color are you gonna get it painted? how much longer till its completely restored? we should get a new england ix meet going!!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 325mtech2 View Post
    latest pics??!!
    those pics are from today...

    Quote Originally Posted by davey101 View Post
    i bet your dying to get that back. 2 years??? dam. looks like a good start and with that much work done on it it should look mint. what color are you gonna get it painted? how much longer till its completely restored? we should get a new england ix meet going!!!
    yeah I bought it two years ago.. did all of the mechanical work up through and until about may/june... the car actually was getting painted TODAY!!! Aside from the first two pics the rest were taken today at about 8am...

    Car is going to be Diamond Black Metallic, which was it's original stickered color... I'll have more pics next week and I should have it back within 2!!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHskibm View Post
    Car is going to be Diamond Black Metallic
    Diamantschwarz

  22. #22
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    sorry, I figured I'd translate

  23. #23
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    updated pics

    taken today... Car's back outside cause the shop is busy... And I'm too busy to help out

    Just need to paint IX fenders and side skirts, front valence, trim, and then put her back together!!!
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  24. #24
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    more...

    opps, somehow I managed to flip one of the pics... bimmers don't have the exhaust on the passenger side....
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  25. #25
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    I wish I had enough money for a re-paint like that =(

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