Thursday, October 27, 2011

BMW 323i, 325i E30 Wide Body Classic more

I was looking though some of our older photos from the late 80's and found these images of a project car we did just prior to our move to Tyler Texas. The car your looking at is a European gray market 323i 1985. 
We purchased this vehicle from a client after he suffered some suspension and oil pan damage after sliding over a curb in rainy weather. Aside from it's recent mishap the car was in great condition. Perfect project car material.

I've always like the e30 body style. This was the car that transitioned BMW from the dependable old school M10 engine 4 cylinder engine that dated all the back to the 1600 in 1968 to the modern 4 valve technology. With the exception of timing belt failures of the M20 6 cylinder models
the e30 had very few issues. And if you owned an 325e, 325i, or 323i with the M20 you learned pretty early on that timing belts were not to be gambled with! Because you will loose!

The E30 M3 was also the first of the 3 series to be fitted with a 200 Horse power 16 valve 2.3 liter engines. Considering the time (1988), achieving almost 100 H.P. per 1000 CC of engine displacement was very uncommon.
Our E30 323i wide body project car ass always needed to be a show case of parts and services the BMP design offered. At the time BMP design and Al Hafner Tuning were located at 1422 South La Cienega Blvd. near Beverly Hills California.

Having a company demo or Show car was always required. This would demonstrate to our clients our capabilities as well as give them a first hand vision of what we could do for them.

Since BMP design was the U.S. importer of Breyton design products it was natural that we select his product for the conversion.

The kit consisted of a complete wide body front bumper spoiler, both left and right front fenders, complete rear quarter panel replacements, a
matching rear bumper skirt assembly, rear M3 style trunk wing, and a set of custom BBS 8X16 front, and 9X16 Rear 3 piece modular wheels.

The kits was constructed of hand laminated fiberglass which was prepped and epoxy primed from the factory.

Front bumper, fenders, and side skirts were pretty much bolt on with minor fitment and adjustment required. Rear bumper assembly, and wing were also direct fit. Rear quarter panels however did require some complicated fabrication. Original rear wheel arches were cut out to the full size of the inner fender wells.

Then the inner fender wells needed to be welded, joined and sealed to keep road debris and water out of the trunk. Keep in mind that rear fenders needed to accommodate 245/45/16 tires.

So the entire wheel well needed to be made larger. Once the factory metal body was modified and sealed to accommodate the tires, the fiberglass 1/4 panels were glued onto the remaining steel body. Attachment required a special 3M adhesive designed for a steel to
fiberglass bond. To secure the fenders during the curing process the 1/4 panels were simply screwed in place and then later the screws were removed, and screw holes were filled. This process assured a tight fit.

Further body modification included rectangular head lights. Although today this upgrade kit does not seem to appeal to may, it was very
popular in the 80's.

Exhaust was a Supersprint 323i, 325i european exhaust system which at
the time we imported direct from Supersprint Italy. (see below)

The BMW E30 wide body kit: The wide body kit we designed and manufactured by Breyton design in Stockach Germany.

The kit consisted of front bumper spoiler, rear bumper skirt, L&R front fenders, L&R rear quarter panels, L&R side skirts, and rear trunk spoiler.

BMW E30 rectangular headlights:
These were very popular in the mid 80's. On a buying trip to the Frankfurt auto show in 1984 or 85 this set up was the rage of the show.

Many of the display cars at various booths sported some version of this square light styling. Although the look was not accepted by some BMW purists, BMP design sold several hundred kits in the coarse of a 5-7 year period.

There were several producers of the kit. The kit you see on our project car was manufactured by "Taifun" of Germany.

We also offered a similar kit for the e21, and e28 body style.  Unfortunately or fortunately the product is no longer available.

BMW E30 Supersprint Exhaust: The exhaust of choice on our E30 wide body was a Supersprint full head to tail pipe system. Keeping in mind this was a gray market vehicle. So the car when originally imported to the U.S. from Germany was not equipped with a catalytic

Once the vehicles are federalized to U.S. specs the car required a full cat system. Since the vehicles was not an official street car, and it spent most of its life in our show room, we converted the vehicle back to European spec.

Performance gains were substantial with the addition of the Supersprint headers item Number 022 782 101, flow through resonator item Number (022 782 402 ) and performance rear muffler, Item number 022 782 406, Sound was perfect not too loud but yet aggressive enough to let the competition know you meant business.

A comparable bolt up Supersprint performance or racing exhaust muffler for a 1987-91 BMW E30 325i, 325is, 325ic would be, Item number 022 782 406, and headers, Item number 022 782 101. However, the 1985 Euro 323i E30, like our project car,  may require modifications to the underpan, or the exhaust bends. Unfortunately resonators are not available for either models.


Engine up grades: For the most part performance upgrades were limited to the standard bolt up components.

Performance racing filter kit: This is a BMP design exclusive that we developed in the mid 80's. We discovered pretty early on that removing the bulky filter housing, and adding a more free flow racing cone filter would not only increase air flow by almost 100% it also reduced the weight of the massive filter box, and it had a great sound when you've got your foot into the throttle.

BMW Performance panel filter: If you prefer a simple reusable panel filter that fits the factory filter housing this is also a great solution for better performance, better mileage, and doing your part for the environment by not using a paper disposable filter.Imagine what happens to our land fills when every car on the U.S. replaces there air filter only once a year.

 Suspension kit: Back in the late 80'S when we built this car the suspension kit choices were limited. You basically had two European brands, (Eibach, and H&R) and one domestic (Suspension technique). Hands down my choice is H&R. I've always felt H&R was a bit more handling and performance oriented. The suspension kit of choice for the project was the H&R sport springs with Bilstein Sport shocks. The package made for great handling, reasonable ride comfort, not too low, considering that the spoiler kit needed to stay off the ground to avoid driveway impact damage.

Complete Bilstein shock  & spring set: 

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