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Spoona's 81' E21 "Tracy"

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Well, Today was my birthday so my parents decided to surprise me with somethin interesting... and quite the surprise it was.

Everyone in my family pitched in a little to help get me this 1981 BMW 320i (my little bro even tossed in a good amount of money to help) A car i have wanted since i was around 12ish. Anyway, here are some pics.

^tail light was cracked but i do have it^

^only problems with the interior is a small tear in the rear seat and a few broken switches^



^very dirty  :| need some clean up, will do next week^


TO DO (Not in proper Order):
-Find new and/or fix ALL broken lenses
-Find new Power Mirror switch
-Find new Hazard Switch
-New Bulbs
-Find tires and make sure to get proper lug bolts for new wheels(E30 Basket-Weaves)
-Figure out why it won't fire(need to learn more about the Bosch K-Jetronic EFI)
-Clean and paint Bits of the Engine Bay



That's about all I can think of now.

Hopeful End Goal:
-Nicer wheels(will figure out later)
-For now just a Static drop, eventually on Air
-Alpina Front Chin Spoiler
-Clear lighting All around
-Roof Rack
-Projectors w/HID's

Anyway, that's what I got, hope to have it completely on the road in a few weeks.



AND YES IT IS STAYING AN AUTO! building a cruiser/daily out of it. not a track monster... (tha'ts what my 620 is for)

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First Day of having it and i Was able to get some work done already. needed to do rear brakes, so i was able to get that dealt with.





Sorry bout the bad pics but my friend was takin the pictures, and when your beast friend is only a Freshman, can't expect too much  :P

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So got some more work done on the car today, laundry list of small things

-Rear brakes adjusted
-Brakes Bled
-New Brake switch
-New Hazard switch
-Sorta fixed my Mirror switch
-New Low Beams
-New corner marker bulbs
-New Injector Seals
-Test fitted the E30 Basket-weaves
-New Fuel Filter










^what was left of the old injector seals^


^car was sitting for about 12 years  :sick:  ^




^test fit of the BAsket-weaves^


^replacing Low Beams^





^didn't realize BMW was trying 3-piece Headlight technology!!!^

ANyway, still won't fire, need to check the in tank fuel pump. we aren't getting any fuel to the Injectors.

Tested the Basket-weaves, and because the Offset for the E21 is almost 0, and the E30 rims have too high of an offset i will need some spacers for them. as of now they would rub the Tie-rods bad up front and the Rear Control arms. Kinda blows but they will be on someday

Anyway, thats all I have for today, hopefully Next weekend we will be at least a little closer to getting her to Fire.



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All in all she's in great shape for her age. The good thing about owning VWs, the injection systems are the same. We'll get her figured out. Almost all of the electrical issues are now worked out with the exception of the mirror, heater fan and the quads come on with the key. I gotta read the diagrams and see what I can come up with.

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So yesterday, we tore apart a few bits to get this fueling crap figured out.
-thought it might be the fuel Dizzy, so we tore that apart... or attempted too....


^the Rabbit Dizzy grabbed to use just in case^

While i was doin that, pops was tearin apart the rear seat area to pull the old in tank fuel pump to see if that was the problem.... too say the least... it is....



there is only 1 of 2 wires on the pump to the connector...

Also, my lights were being all weird and shit. like, my headlights, all 4, would turn on with they key, and my markers didn't work, were able to narrow it down to a bad headlight switch, so we tried to fix it.... that failed. when we apply pressure to the front 4 connectors all the lights work as they should.


also tried to find out what was goin on with  my heater, so we pulled the cowling off to inspect, and i have a bad blower motor. so another thing to fix.


and in the process of that, we broke the Distributor cap....

so, now onto the fun things! went to the junkyard and grabbed some fun stuff out of a few  5's, 6's, and 7's.

-2 new headlight switches out of a few e24's
-2 new mirror switches(mine is broken...) out of an e23 and an e24
-a new auto shift knob out of an e28, as mine is broken....
-a new lug wrench from an e28, mine was missing.....
-and a flashlight out of an e24







Anyway, thats what i have for today. at least we were able to figure out what the hell is goin on, and hopefully in another 2 weeks or so i can finally drive her home!

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Nice project! I've owned.2 of these e21's over the years. The first was a '78 320i ,had cloth interior,stock steelies,&a 4 speed. The 2nd was an '82 320iS. It was black,with BMW motorsport pinstriping,like they used on all the M3's, M5's,etc. It had black leather Recarro interior,& a 5 speed. It also had BBS mesh wheels,which are similiar to Enkie meshies. I suggest you track down a set of these,instead of the e30 basket weave wheels. God,i LOVED that car! It was very fast! I'd get it out on the freeway,& just fly. Anything that would be bothering me would just fade away like the scenery passing by in my side windows.

Unfortunately,I'm not very good with keeping track of important dates. I forgot about a court date,by 2 weeks,missed my insurance payment by the same aproximately 2 weeks too. I was coming home at 3am on the 4th of July,pulled into my parking space,got out of the car just as an Oregon City cop car pulled up. The had ran my plate,& I came up suspended for missing court. They towed my car,for that& the missed insurance payment. I couldn't afford to get it out of impound,after paying all the tickets,& renewing my insurance,so it went to auction. I've been watching for another 320 iS to come up for sale ever since. There is one identical to my old one in Canby,but the older guy that owns it isn't selling it.

Congratulations on yours!! There is a BMW guru in Wilsonville,on Boones Ferry rd. Peter's Hobby shop( formerly Salzmann motors),look them up,they're great & guys will have anything you need for yours.

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Thanks for the stories and info man! always nice to hear stories of past endeavors as such =)


If i happen to find another 320, or 323 for sale up here for cheap, i'll let ya know. hell, still haven't driven it, but the e21 legion alone makes it worth it!

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well... shit...

k. so we got her to sputter this weekend with the new fuel pump. on Ether...

but i learned my gas tank has almost as much rust as my truck.... and that fucking sucks. so i really need to take care of that before it decides to clog the system... and eat my injectors up... and rings... and cylinder walls... and you get the point...

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so these were taken from my build thread on another forum so if it doesn't make sense... sorry =/



So here with updates from me with pics! not many... but some...

SHE LIVES!!!!!!!

or well... for like 30 seconds she did.... 

anyway, put the engine bay back together, and did a compression test, I don't remember the #'s, but i wrote them down, so on my next update they will be up.

so here was the engine bay 97% back together....

Fired her up and then we had a problem... busted hose.....

so we got that torn off and today new hose was picked up for that.

and now here are some random pics

New stickers on!



New rug for the back deck  :fyea:

Test fitted some old Enkei 92's


And now some truly random picks of the car.




So thats what I have. I am horrible at taking pics, so I will try to do better this next time. hopefully we can get the tanks dropped and cleaned this weekend. If all goes as as planned....... We will drive her home this weekend!!!!!!!!



Now on with MY update.

List of replaced parts that I bought.

in tank fuel pump (needed)
fuel filter (maintenance)
headlight switch (needed)
headlights (needed as one was broken, low beam only)
spark plugs (maintenance)
cap and rotor (I broke the cap.)
injector seals ( worn out and cracked. vac leak.)

Replaced parts that came with car.
rear brake shoes and wheel cylinders. (needed to STOP car once its driveable)

what absolutely needs to be repaired/replaced before driving......
air bypass hose from Idle valve to manifold (broke while putting it back on)
fuel tanks cleaned
a 1 foot section of fuel hose from accumulator to main fuel line (massive fuel leak from said hose.)
trans service
oil change
diff service
rad cap
2 tires in the rear, fronts are almost new

Things it needs still but can be gotten whenever
heater blower motor
side marker lenses
corner light lens
ONE tail light lens
fog light lenses
shift knob that fits (we have one to modify but havent gotten to it yet)
fuse box cover (cracked but covers)
trunk seal

All in all not bad for a car that has been sitting 10+ years. It SHOULD be in worse shape but being an original Cali car its rust free. Except in the tanks anyway.

Any more updates are Jays to do. Unless I have anything more to add.




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  • 2 weeks later...

so this is the basic of what happened.

-Oil change
-Fixed the shifter... ish....
-finished putting the dash together
- pulled and cleaned the fuel tanks
-replaced a couple fuel lines

Anyway... here is the pics.

what caused the fuel leak the last time we were out


New Hose


Old filter out!

New filter in

The helper in all this

old filter and shit... eww....


and then the fun part began... Siphoning out the 11 year old gas....



Found out, i have fairly new Cat-back exhaust!

and tanks out


and now comes the gross part... alot of rust flakes in the tank, which isn't a good bit......




so this is a 33 year old car... you would expect rust out the ass... YOU WERE WRONG!!!!!!!!!



the car wash... to the car wash... yeeeaaaahhh!




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and a Ghetto fix of the column clam-shell

Another ghetto fix, shift knob work. this kinda gets it to work


a hole in the tank we ended up filling with a Well nut. doesn't leak, so for now we are fine.

and what was in the hole......  :troll:

so long story with no pics, While we were getting the Well nut to fix the hole in the tank it started raining... and we left everything open.... :aykm:

so we rushed back, got everythin cleaned up, tanks hooked back up, everything ready to go.. as it stopped raining....  :yuno:

the, we got it started... and another ful line boke so we had to go fix that. they didn't have the exact size line, DAMN YOU GERMANY ND YOUR 10MM FUEL LINES!!!!!!

so we got that fixed, WE GOT HER TO FIRE! AND DRIVE!!!!!! with so much fucking smoke you would swear someone put a smoke grenade in the fucking pipe, too much water out the exhaust pipe, and shit smelled like coolant... AND! she won't go any faster than 20mph....

So we HOPE it is just a head gasket, so within the next moth.. the head is comin off, and an inspection of the head is happening.

Too say the least, the reason I didn't do the update on Saturday,  was not too happy...

Anyway, that's what i have.

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so today we did a little work

Replaced my Radiator cap and, Tested the pressure in the cooling system... and there was none :sneaky:

and i found myself a new key chain. I think it fits the Old Man Vibe I want form her.

and if you wonderin why i have a key blank attached to the ring., my old key is SHIT and i want to get a crappy blank cut in better shape, see if it works, THEN cut the 35$ blank off the crappy new copy. it's just not top on the priority list.


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  • 2 weeks later...

So, we were able to get more work done on her.

What we did:

Our temporary fuel tank fix FAILED! no big deal, it was only a temporary fix. and the up side is we didn't have to worry bout draining the old fuel out!  :w00t:

so we picked up this stuff to fix it.


Which was a fail... so we got some Quicksteel to fix it right.

winch was a success! no more leakage, so now we are getting fuel all the way to the injectors with no leaks!  :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t:

now on to the last wiring problem.... NO HEATER FAN!!!!!!!!!



tore everything apart, and found we had no power to the switch. looked at the diagrams, and realized that in that cuicuit, the Heater fan comes before the switch, so no power to the fan... no power to the switch. we jumped tthe fan to make it work, and the switch worked!


so now there is a single lead from the fuse box to the fan so that it works. once I get the time, i will fix the factory broken wire.

Also learned that our silly spring fix for the shifter.... didn't work.... oh well, twas worth a try  :P

so with all that fixed, we tried to get her to start... AND SHE RAN!!!!!!!!!!

but she was smoking a little, so we decided to check the oil...


so now we get to yank the head and hopefully. it is just a head gasket. Anyway, since we are having problems with the shitty key that we have, we pulled one of the locks to lube, and get a new blank cut.




and some random pics of the car during the day.




Busted Cypress Hill tape, makes a nice drift charm  :devil:



So, on the next installment... HEAD GASKET! I really hope thats all it is... i know this car is goin to reek Havok on me for the next few years due to sitting... but what are ya goin to do.

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  • 5 months later...

so it has been a while. but....

NEW PARTS!!!!!!!

nothin too special just some parts i picked up at the bone yard today, from a 78'


finally picked up some crack free, unbroken corner markers and lenses. or well relatively crack free.  :loll







New UNBROKEN bumper reflectors was goin to shave em, but couldn't pass up these one of them has a SMALL crack but barely noticeable.


a new screw for my tool kit, as i lost mine in my trunk cause it broke.... 


ANOTHER new headlight switch as i can't get them new at my local parts houses. they only carry E30 switches and argue with me it is the right one....


my Sun visor clips were broken so i got a new pair of unbroken ones. were they all white for every E21?




anyway, thats all I have right now.

Hopefully Soon to come!
-6mm spacers (possible)
-E30 Basketweaves (Possible)
-Painted hood
-woodgrain gauge cluster
-New Keys, inclubing my BMW blank
-Head set with new head bolts.
-MK1 VW GTI US spec front lip painted black
-NEW STICKERS! for my friends Imaging Company http://www.precisionimagecapturing.com/


oh, and my first Tattoo =D


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