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Thread: Dlux BMW E23 build

  1. #26

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    Still on the interior...

    Everything major is installed. Here are some pictures of the finished door cards as promised.







    I had a horrible time finding the little chrome caps for the arm rests. If you can find them in good shape (which I couldnt), they are pretty expensive IMO, about $30-$40 ea and they are just a plastic piece with a chrome sticker type covering. So, I decided to try covering them myself with some chrome wrap. I think they turned out pretty good. You can buy the chrome wrap on Amazon. Here is the link.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    Before, crinkled and worn out





    Sanded it down with 220g



    Applied the wrap (before cutting off excess)



    Finished product


  2. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    54

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    Awesome thread, I love a low big body. I have a static E32, but I've always wanted to build an E23 on air just like this.

    My 750 needs a lot of interior love, this is some good motivation!

  3. #28

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    Let there be lights!

    Living in a rural area where there is little light and many opportunities to hit wild life, I wanted to upgrade the lights from the sealed beams. Man, it sure is nice to have a bolt on option rather than the E21 where I had to do a bunch of modifying...

    I got some replacement housings that take a H4 bulb. They drop right in but I thought I would take a trick that Steven Henricksen used and place a flim over the head lights. I love my Hella black lights on my E21 so I was going to copy that theme.

    I placed some smoke tint over the lights and I just couldnt get into it. I think its the lighter paint color that throws it off? I ended up taking it off and just going clear. I really liked the blue from the bulbs reflecting on the housing at the right angle too. Unless youre not at that angle, they are just clear which I also like.

    Shot of the tinted on the left, natural on the right.


    Both natural... as I left them...



    Since I had the tint, I decided to give the rear taillights a shot also. I am REALLY liking the way they turned out! I will be keeping these tinted.

    Before tint


    After tint


    I really dont like amber turn signals so I set out to get some clear ones. I think a lot know this but the early turn signals need to be either US or Euro spec to match your housing and then I guess if you have late turn signal housings, you can use either.

    I bought some Euro spec lenses and found out they dont work on my US spec housings. I got some Euro spec housings but soon after I was searching FB market place and found some US spec lenses for cheap. I stuck with the US spec because I think they are completely awkward (just like the 80s!). In the future I may rework the Euro housings and try out the Euro lenses also.

    You can see a pic of them installed above with the headlights.

    Left to right
    US amber early
    Euro clear early
    US clear early


  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by stanhayward View Post
    Awesome thread, I love a low big body. I have a static E32, but I've always wanted to build an E23 on air just like this.

    My 750 needs a lot of interior love, this is some good motivation!
    Thanks!

  5. #30

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    Still finishing up the interior...

    I really like my aluminum shifter knob in my E21. I got it from someone in Europe who used to consistently post in the BMW groups. I am a sucker for hand made and hopefully slightly flawed goods. This go round, I decided to just make it myself.







    I also really like my 7075 aluminum parking brake handle. I just really enjoy the feel of metal over plastic whenever available.

    My parking brake knobs like to rattle around in their handle. I **** rattles so I figured out you can put an o ring around the knob and it wont rattle anymore...




  6. #31

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    I was going to keep the stock steering wheel but once I started seeing all the wood work and aluminum, I had to change it out. I found the perfect wheel. I didnt spend much time finding an adapter as I didnt think it existed so I set out to make my own.

    The hardest part to make is the spline for the column. Knowing this, I took a stock steering wheel, cut it up and used the splines out of it.




    I cut off all the unnecessary parts





    Made the adapter...













    Bolting the adapter to the stock spline support.







    That lead me to this.... this is how its looking assembled. Now to make a cover to make it look like 1 pc...







    Here are some shots of the final install. I am loving the look of this wheel!





    The last thing I got done was a mount for my air management. Just need to install the front and rear euro bumpers, button up some other things and this is on the road!






  7. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Posts
    268

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    Now that steering wheel completes the interior really nicely. Great job on the whole car! Can't wait to see pictures of it in the sun and aired out.
    "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. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    N.Ireland (Norn Iron)
    Posts
    324

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    Love all the custom fab work, really enjoying this thread
    My BMW E36 318ti Steel Blue Compact build thread -
    http://www.stanceworks.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=88271

  9. #34

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    One of the final pieces for now are the Euro bumpers. It seems as though no built classic BMW can go without them. I actually dont mind the US bumpers too much but the Euro bumpers sure to make a huge difference on the E23.

    Looks are the most important part of the US to Euro bumper switch but I also found that you lose a significant amount of weight by switching also.

    US front bumper 51lb
    Euro front bumper with US bracing - no data yet
    Euro front bumper - no data yet

    US rear bumper 53lb
    Euro rear bumper with US bracing - 49.2lb
    Euro rear bumper - 25.4lb

    I dont have the data yet on the front bumper because I am still waiting for a good front rubber trim piece to complete my front bumper. I will update it when I weigh it all. Its significantly lighter though. I suspect it will come in about 25lb like the rear did. If so, thats about 50lb off the whole car from the switch.

    Front US complete


    Front Euro - US bracing..... minus the 23lb of the rear Euro bracing, the scale would not measure the front by itself. So, approx 9lb for bracing.


    Rear US complete


    Rear Euro - US bracing


    Rear Euro complete


    I did a semi restoration of the front and rear Euro bumpers by cleaning them up, adding new hardware and trying to bang out some of the dents. They came out really nice with the exception of the rear accordion rubber bits, they could use some help but at $260 ea, I will hold off and wait to find some others. They just are not that bad.

    I need to button up a couple things mechanically and this should be outside and I can get some pics and drive!








  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    Now that steering wheel completes the interior really nicely. Great job on the whole car! Can't wait to see pictures of it in the sun and aired out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_318ti View Post
    Love all the custom fab work, really enjoying this thread
    Thanks guys! I really appreciate it.

  11. #36

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    After rebuilding the front end, fixing a bunch of minor issues and installing the bumpers, I got this thing pulled out of the shop and driving!

    This car is so fun to drive! I love it!

    IMO, this is one of the sexist cars ever made. This car is all about looks to me. The comfort and interior touches are just a huge plus.

    I just need to fix a leak in my air bag and put on the front bumper rubber strips when I get them and phase 1 will be done. (Phase 2 would just be motor/trans swap)

    I hope the motor stays together long enough for me to enjoy it before I can find the time to swap everything. I will need some time as I shoudnt even have done this project with as much as I have going on.

    Here are a couple of shots of the exterior. I will take some more along with some interior shots ASAP.






  12. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Posts
    268

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    Man, this is gorgeous. I think the valance (BBS?) really completes the looks. Sorry if missed it, but have you disclosed the drivetrain swap plans yet?
    "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

  13. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    Man, this is gorgeous. I think the valance (BBS?) really completes the looks. Sorry if missed it, but have you disclosed the drivetrain swap plans yet?
    Thanks buddy!

    Eventually I am thinking of LS swapping. Higher HP, maybe 700ish?

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Posts
    268

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    That would be sweet, would love to watch you swap an LS into this car. Personally, I think it's the best swap for the money, so jelly we don't have a ton of LM7s in our junkyards like in the US...
    "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

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    9,845

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    last shot is my favorite. car is looking so good dude, though i'm not digging the colored lights. Great work on the interior too!

  16. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnmzl View Post
    That would be sweet, would love to watch you swap an LS into this car. Personally, I think it's the best swap for the money, so jelly we don't have a ton of LM7s in our junkyards like in the US...
    Yeah, the LS swap is super cliche but for a reason. It just makes sense....

    Quote Originally Posted by Miroteknik View Post
    last shot is my favorite. car is looking so good dude, though i'm not digging the colored lights. Great work on the interior too!
    Thanks man!

    The lights are not actually colored. They are clear. Its the Xenon bulbs that reflect off the housings at specific angles that make them look blue.

  17. #42

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    Working out some of the small bugs on this car but this thing is so, so fun to drive! I am loving it!

    One thing I dont get is how people drive these cars if you have even a normal sized foot. I know my foot is big but it cant be that great for regular sized shoes even? I had to bend the brake pedal out of the way so my foot would fit.

    Before:


    After:


    Bent pedal, just like the E21...


    And as promised... pictures of the interior, which I am loving...











  18. #43

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    I've always had a soft spot for bagged E23, looks really good now! BBS RT's are not my favorite ones but in your case it fits perfect !

  19. #44

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    Thanks!

    I personally like the Style 19 wheels on the E23. I think they are one of the best looking wheels for that car. I get that a lot dont like them though... They are not the final wheel that will be on here. I am going to make TRX wheels work, I just need more time so these are a temp wheel that I am very happy with.

  20. #45

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    I have been driving this car for a couple weeks now and I am more than enjoying it. Its such a fun car and super comfortable.

    I have had issues come up that I have had to deal with. I suppose its just working the bugs out... I hope that it all ends, I dont like having to deal with maintenance on a regular basis. I am giving this car a break because it looks to have been neglected.

    Replaced every single vacuum hose
    Replaced upper and lower radiator hoses
    Replaced both coolant sensors
    Replaced Air Flow meter (that was fun to troubleshoot)
    Replaced spark plugs
    Replaced turn signal switch
    Replaced HVAC switches (not as bad as I thought..)
    Replaced many relays/switches
    Air bag was leaking so I had to replace a O ring.
    Still need to replace the power steering pump..

    So, lots of maintenance. Hopefully its over.

    I did figure out that you can use a post face lift turn signal stalk on a pre face lift car. Mine was worn. The brights were hard to turn on, you had to find the perfect spot to push them forward. The left hand turn signal would not turn off after turning.

    All I did on the post face lift turn signal stalk was cut the connectors off and solder on the similar colored wires. Everything worked out great except the momentary brights when you pull back towards yourself. Since the brights work, I am assuming its the actual switch thats not working? If anybody has a clue, I would like to hear. I couldn't find a schematic online. Momentary brights are not a big enough deal to me to worry about. It made me curious to why you even need them. I guess to signal someone, I never really use them myself though and figure if I had to, I could just turn the lights on if I am that desperate?

    Early connector on top, late on bottom. Side note I think early had many different types of connectors also.



    Attached similar colors and all worked out good. There is an extra power that I didnt use along with two inputs. Not sure what they were used for on the early cars. You can see them in the bottom of the picture.




    I fixed the air bag O ring and while I was there, I wanted to try out the non adjustable camber plates I had made. As suspected, they dropped the car about another inch. My adjustment was pretty good also as I am around 3* camber in the front. Since this car is more about the look than performance, I actually left them since I like them so much. Its simple, lower and functional. When I sell them, its going to be a lot cheaper also.

    Top plate



    With the top plate making the car lower, I am now barely on the ground with my control arms and it also brought the ride height down in the back so my muffler is on the ground. I think what I am running now is close to perfect for me.







    I am seriously trying to work on pictures of the car. Life has been overwhelming to say the least. I also got my front bumper situated with the new rubber trim so I am really close to where I want to be with this car at the present moment. Just two more small fixes and I think I will be there.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Posts
    268

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    Good work on bringing the car closer to ground. Are these solid mounts, there seems to be a rubber piece (the stamped ring part around the hole) but I think the picture is deceiving me.
    About the momentary brights - the early connector you had appears to have 2 pins more than the late one, were they wired? It could be something small ... I was chasing the same issue on my e28 - while the low beam is on, turn on high beam by pushing outward and it works like a charm. Pull inward to "flash" - nothing. In the end, it turned out the car was one of very few produced in a different way - while no lights are on, pull inward to "flash" and the low beam flashes instead of the high beam. It was wired differently, with different color wires (white instead of yellow iirc) than the usual wiring diagram through a relay just above the brake pedal mounted on the firewall. Also, while parked and car turned off, if you turn on the signal, instead of the parking lights, the signal would turn on as if the car was running. Found out there were two wiring diagrams for that production year.
    I'm not saying this is the case for you, because it obviously worked as expected before you changed the switch, just sharing some experience that it could be something simple that is wasily overlooked.

    Excited to see pictures with the new trim and more lows.
    "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

  22. #47

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    The mounts have rubber trim around the shock shaft to allow for flex.

    The early connector actually has 3 pins more. 1 power, 2 inputs. They were all wired. Not sure to what and I didnt think to test before cutting.

    I am sure it is something like you described. My problem is that I have a different switch now so if the switch is not capable of what the car is, thats just how it goes. Nothing I can do to wire it different. I dont really care much anyway. It works as needed. Thanks for the thoughts and input.

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