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Thread: Dlux BMW E23 build

  1. #1

    Default Dlux BMW E23 build

    Lets do this!

    I am stoked to start working on my BMW E23. Its a 1982 733I. This is the first version of the 7 series ever made by BMW. This is the largest car they make. This will compliment my 320I, 3 series, the smallest car they made and the first 3 series they ever made.

    I have actually been working on this for weeks now but I have been so busy in life that I have had to choose what to accomplish during the day. Posting a build just didnt fit in. I am not sure it does now but I will give it a shot and hopefully catch up on the build to where I am at.

    I was looking for an E23 for quite awhile. The E21 I have is all about how it makes me feel when I am driving it. The E23 was all about looks to me. I love a E23 thats dropped low!

    I am in the state of mind that I am sick of projects in life and overwhelmed so I was looking for an E23 that is in great shape that I can simply buy and drive and enjoy with minimal effort. I had been looking for over a year but I found one that was 5 miles away. I took a look at it, it drove, paint was good enough to get by, interior trashed but drove good. He was only asking $2500.... I couldnt do it so I passed. The next day, he called back and said it was really important that the car be passed on to someone who would build it and not just scrap it so he offered it to me for $1k. Well, I am a sucker for a good deal and I got sucked into another project! UGH! At least it will be the way I want in the end and thats important to me.

    Plans now:
    Full interior swap
    Stereo - I have to fulfill the hearing senses
    Air ride
    New tires/wheels. These will be temporary until I can make my "real' ones
    And to fix up all the other odds and ends to get this car up to par.

    I hope this car runs and drives for awhile... Plans in the future are to swap out to a LS1 turbo and that should get this car to where I want it in the end.

    So, here is a pic of my start. I got the 82 733i and I picked up a parts car 83 735i in Bend Oregon for just $100! I will try to make a legit car out of the two...

    The build car:

    The donor car:

    Both with my E21:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Toronto, Canada


    This should be interesting. Always enjoy classic BMW's.
    Project 1--- 1999 Mercedes C230 Kompressor, but converted to Turbo. Attempting to finish it up.
    Project 2--- 2002 Mercedes E320 4matic Station Wagon soon to have an E55 AMG heart... with 4matic! Slowly working on it.
    The Daily---2011 C350 4matic​

  3. #3


    Getting to work on this car, as I had mentioned, the biggest problem with this car was the interior. Seats were ripped up, carpet faded, not much going good other than the front seats.

    I had the new parts car that I picked up and that had a good carpet. I got a rear seat from Steven Henricksen along with some other bits to make it nice inside.

    Tore out the interior and found two minimal rust spots that needed to be fixed...

  4. #4


    E21 build was epic, I can't wait to see what you're gonna do to this one!

  5. #5


    The dash...

    One of the most important parts of driving these cars is the interior and the feel of driving them. I need comfort and I need it to be nice.

    One thing that they all have in common (unless youre super lucky) is that they all have a cracked dash. I cant stand it. Its all I see when I drive, its in plain view.

    On my E21, I bought a dash cover. I expected it to be a pain in the ass but it turned out to be a 1hr job and the results are awesome so I expected nothing less than the same for this car. Well... not so fast. LOL. I put the dash cover in and found that nothing lined up. The dash cover was rasied/elevated off the original and worst yet, its as if the dash cover had shifted to the right. All my cut outs covered everything on the left and exposed too much on the right UGH!

    I thought to myself... "what are my options?". I didnt come up with much. Put on a carpet (no), get a new dash (not that interested) or work this one out...

    So, I got to work. After many, many hours I got it to fit pretty good. It took a long time because the dash cover is really thin and one small mistake and it means that you cut too much and youre not going to put more material back on... It was a careful and tedious project. I would not suggest it to anybody who does not do consistent fab work.

    I used the silicone that came with it and it worked for the most part. Its pretty stressed though so in those stressed parts that still wanted to raise, I used shoe goo. I hope it holds. LOL

    In the end, I think it looks great, I would not want to do it again but I would because of the way it turns out. I would give it 1 star for fitment but 5 stars because I am grateful that they even make it as an option. Without that option, I would have a cracked dash, way more work and money or a dash carpet that I dont like.


    During/bad fitment:


  6. #6


    Thanks man!

    Not near as much to this one, especially right now... Just some cosmetic and suspension..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Sofia, Bulgaria


    Same feelings here, knowing what the e21 build was, super excited to see this one evolve. Good work on fitting the dash cover, hopefully it does stays the way you glued it in.
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  8. #8


    Right here in the build, I am having a hard time with my interior that I have chosen to install... I like the tan parts that I have but my real problem is that I am not sure on the front seats. They are not that comfortable to me. I am getting old and as much as I abuse my body, I need a comfortable seat. I figured I could swap them out to Corbeaus like my E21 but the E23 demands a classic look IMO, plus the Corbeau only comes in black and I dont know if I could deal with a mostly tan interior with just black front seats...

    So, I was looking on Craigs list and saw a E23 locally. It didnt run and the interior looked good. Only problem was that he was asking $2000... Typically, a non running E23 in its condition will go for $500 or so. I decided to go look at it and throw a hail mary. When I went to look at it, I was shocked. The interior was all black and the passenger and rear seats looked like they have never been sat in! I told him that cars like this usually have a hard time going for $300. He countered at $500 and stuck there. I gave him the $500 and towed it home.

    So now I have 3- E23's in the driveway. LOL. This new parts car will be awesome. Everything is in really great shape except the paint and motor does not run. Now I will have my all black interior which has electric seats and lots of other little gadgets that my car did not come with.

    One thing I am sad about is that I had a small pile of door cards and I took some tan backs off and tossed them on black plastic parts and I thought it looked awesome. I will stick with the all black though.

  9. #9


    When was the last time a BMW E23 guy heard.... here is a new product that is coming out for the E23? Decades? Well, I have two today!

    First is super simple. I wanted to have a BMW specific key chain. I love my E21 carbon fiber key chain so it was obvious what I would do for this one, the same thing...

    If you want a key chain for your E23, E36, 2002, E21 etc,. check out my store that is growing with BMW parts...!/BMW/c/31217002

    I am not too sure the first one is anything ground breaking but the next one will hopefully at least be helpful to someone more than me.

    When I pulled out my interior and exposed the floor, I was a bit shocked to see some rust holes. This car is rust free with the factory paint in pretty good condition. On top of that, its just the driver side, nothing on the passenger side and how does a car rust from underneath the floor board but not in the wheel wells or somewhere that dirt and water sits for a long period of time and not on the passenger side also?

    After finding these rust holes, I looked at the parts car E23s. Neither of them had rust but what I did find was surprising... One of the E23's I had sitting here had close to 2" of standing water in the back floor board while being dry on the passenger side! The parts car also had moisture AND my E21 floor boards were wet too! I had no idea!

    This is all hidden because of the thick carpet pad that BMW uses. The foam soaks it up and hides it but the foam holds the water for a really long time and just wears at the sheet metal.

    Where is all this water coming from? Well, I had a great hint because the car I am working on had garbage bags sealing the fresh air vents behind the hood on the cowl. I sprayed just a bit of water over the vents and sure enough, water came trickling in on the drivers side floor board.

    The E23 does have vents blocks for this that are supposed to close, looks like none of the cars I have here actually have a vent that closes though. I am not too interested in fixing them as they are somewhat complex and problematic. On top of that, the area that catches water and supposed to drain it before it gets to the fan/heater core has drain holes. All mine are clear but I guess the volume of rain we get here is just too much?

    So, I made some ABS vent covers. Maybe these will help some others that might have these issues in wet regions of the World? Obviously they will block off your fresh air. There are options for that. You can take them off when there is no rain (2 screws) or in my case, I am not going to use AC anyway so fresh air all comes thru my windows. I wont be missing the "fresh cold air" that runs thru my heater core and is not truly "fresh cold air" LOL. I think the covers make the car look much better too. My vent covers were cracked and faded and looked bad.

    Check this out, I am not sure you can see the depth but there is 2" of standing water in there when you pull back the foam!

    Here is the previous owners fix... garbage bags and duct tape.

    I got a long drill bit and drilled a hole from the vent area into the engine bay just in case my vent covers still leak a bit of water.

    The ABS vent covers I made that contour perfectly to the cowl

    All installed, not noticeable but look better if you look and should keep all the moisture out.

    Last edited by Erik D_lux; 08-06-2020 at 01:18 PM.

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