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Thread: HSVTurbo "Mac" Build Thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Huntsville, AL
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    95 M3

    HSVTurbo "Mac" Build Thread

    Some of you guys know a little about my m10 turbo powered e30, so I thought I would start a build thread on my e21. This is Mac after I towed him home from Nashville:



    Mac had been sitting in the previous owners driveway over the summer of 2010 and I finally picked him up for $400. The prior owner said it was running well, and had actually replaced the tires when it simply died one day. He towed it home and put it up for sale.

    After getting it home, I started on the clean up:


    I removed the seat and found that the back had been cut out behind the rear seat back. bummer... I think some kids had owned it at one time and stuck some stereo speakers back in the trunk as there was some "monster" speaker cable laying in the floor, under the carpets. I washed the carpets and let air dry, 5-days with fans blowing.

    Can you see why I call him "Mac"?



    After getting Mac cleaned up, my oldest daughter took an appreciation toward him. She likes the vintage look.

    Mac is in good shape, with about 190k miles. Mechanically, he is all stock, complete with I believe the stock exhaust, if that is possible. The reason I say this is that the exhaust has the metal shrouds around the exhaust pipes/catalytic converter.

    With the interior drying, I started looking at the engine and why Mac wouldn't run. The previous owner thought it was fuel related, so this gave me a starting point. Not knowing anything about the k-jet system, I enlisted my wife to help me start the car.

    With the assumption that fuel was not being distributed, I removed a vacuum port off the manifold and had my wife turn him over while I used "WD-40" as the alternate fuel source. Moment of truth, Mac turned over sputtered and coughed and finally caught. He was running but there was something wrong. Adjusting the idle speed by running the throttle with my right hand, and spraying WD-40 with my left hand a strange noise was coming from the engine compartment. It was like a grinding noise. Looking over the engine I was freaking out, thinking, "Oh great, I just bought a pile of junk, that is going to need a new engine". I was not happy, but then I saw the problem!

    I will stop for now. Anybody want to guess what the grinding noise was?
    WOT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    District Fifty
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    17,601
    My Cars
    78 BMW 320i
    Nice score!
    Grinding noise?
    Umm, a screwdiver in the timing inspection hole?


    If you're trying to make me feel better about this scenario, give it up....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    95 M3
    On with the story. Grinding noise:
    So Mac was running using a can of WD-40 as the fuel source. When I looked back at my wife, she was still turning the starter over. She never released the key after Mac started. You can only imagine the look on my face. I gave her the "Kill" signal and the car stopped running.

    Further instructions were given to my wife about what I wanted in the "key" operator. So we initiated another start sequence, really, not rocket science right. Mac started right up, and now is running much quieter, running like a M10 should after approximate 6 month hibernation.

    The next day I looked into why the fuel pump was not running, as this was what I believed was the issue to why no fuel was not getting to the engine. This is what I found to be the issue:


    Looking at the fuse panel, you can see were there has been some "Fuse Explosions". The lower left corner had a blown fuse for the fuel pump. So I replaced the fuse with one I found inside the car. Turned the key and Mac was running on his own. Net cost to get the car running, $0.00.

    After putting the interior back in, I proceeded in contacting the insurance company and started driving it around the neighborhood. The engine was smoking on occasion, but after a day of testing, the smoking quite. Onto the DMV to get him licensed.

    Mac became a 50% daily driver for me to start with. I still like the e30, who wouldn’t, with a turbocharged m10. Heck, I liked the e30 without the turbo. But soon, Mac became my 100% daily driver, due to needing to replace the head gasket on the e30, and then again after my shifter broke on the e30 at the drags.

    To improve the appearance of Mac, one weekend I cut one coil off each spring to lower him. The front struts were totally gone. They had no dampening what-so-ever. So over the Christmas break, I replaced the front struts:



    I also had the front disc breaks resurfaced. However the shimmy is still evident when you hit the breaks????

    Also over the Christmas break, I tore into the interior. The stock e21 seats are so uncomfortable. Because my e30 runs on e85, the engine produces little heat. A disadvantage for cold climate for sure. So I decided to remove the interior in the e30 and install it into Mac.

    I first cut out the “Outside” bracket on the e21. I kept the stock "inside" seat bracket on the car and built my self a new bracket out of 7/8" square aluminum that is bolted down to the chassis floor pan using (3) 1/4" bolts with fender washers. I also used a 6" long chair leg that bolts to the ground out outer bracket as well as some PVC pipe standing on end to provide the correct height for the new aluminum bracket. The carpet folded over nicely over the new bracket as shown also.



    In the above picture:
    1.) Top picture shows the .180" step ground flush. These seats sits higher in the car, so .180" shorter helps.
    2.) Second pic shows the 6" "wooded" chair leg. I used my grinder to cut the angle needed level the new bar/bracket to the stock bracket.
    3.) Lower pictures shows the aluminum bracket. I threaded the bracket so that I could use 3/8-16 unc bolts to bolt the seat's outer rail.





    I still have some work to do on the back seat, as it doesn’t fit up very well as shown directly above.



    The above picture shows the gap on each side near the seat belt tensioner. Also wanted to show how much I cut the back of the e30 back seat’s foam padding. May need to cut more out to complete the fit-&-finish.




    My oldest daughter now wants Mac to drive to college next year. She has never driven a manual before, so after one day of training she thinks she can take her friend for a ride...



    Not sure what the next step in my e21 build will be. Obviously I have the rear seat to work on to fit it better to the body of the car. I plan to keep him stock, as I am not sure if my daughter will be taking him to college. He’s a great dd now that the new seats are in, much more comfortable. Most of my energy will be to get my e30 back together. Have a few mods I am doing to her to get her down the 1/4 mile faster! Goal for 2011 is less then 11.99 second 1/4 mile.
    WOT

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Zanesville,OH
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    198
    My Cars
    97 740i
    Nice build man...i have a little thing for E21's, and that interior that was in the E30 is sooooo clean...i have cardinal sport seats and theyre trash.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    958
    My Cars
    Turbo 3.8L e21 BMW
    very nice man, looks like Mac is in good hands look forward to seeing future progress

    ......... 3.8L V6 + T04Z + 15psi + e85 = 500rwhp - 10sec 1/4 mile - Hopefully .........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
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    95 M3
    Thanks guys. A little update, my daughter just couldn't get the clutch thing down. Guess I will keep Mac as my main daily driver through the winter.
    WOT

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Huntsville, AL
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    95 M3
    Well it's been fun, but the e21 needs to go. Monday of this week I picked me up a new toy, one that will be able to accept a turbo a lot easier then this car.

    So, I am thinking of listing this car for $2200. Has working ac and everything works on the car. Do you think the asking price is too high?
    WOT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    winston,nc,usa
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    170
    My Cars
    320i
    Will your turbo manifold fit on this car?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
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    95 M3
    Quote Originally Posted by hcetretsam View Post
    Will your turbo manifold fit on this car?
    Yes, but will the turbo fit without modification is the real question? I can't tell you one way or the other. Obviously the a/c would need to go. With a small t3 turbo, I believe it would fit. Some minor persuasion with a hammer may be required on the top side of the lower frame to clear the compressor housing.

    I was working with someone with a e21 and offered a full money back guaranty if it didn't fit, but it never went through.

    Heck, buy my car and I will throw in the manifold for 1/2 price.

    So, anybody have any ideas what a fair price for my e21 would be?
    WOT

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Pedro, CA
    Posts
    341
    My Cars
    E21, E34, E39, POS2015VW
    Can you see why I called him Mac?
    She's looking great, and I have one just like her- same color and year. I gotta bust your chops though about naming her a boy's name. English doesn't like genderizing its nouns the way that Spanish, German, French, basically any other Western language does. In fact, the only nouns with gender are planes, trains, boats and cars, all of which take the feminine conjugation.
    So while she may a tomboy and you could name her Mac, you can't change her into a boy.

    In good taste I tease though, and just because you're nifty with grammar doesn't mean the same for spelling. I am so horrible with spelling that I can barely spell my own name lol.
    Last edited by Allenwilson33; 12-21-2014 at 08:20 AM.

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