First I am glad to see the site back up and running again. It's been awhile since I have been on and quite frankly after seeing the previous forum down for so long I thought it had vanished for good. So I am glad to be back and see it's up!

Now to my '84 325e (128k)... I have had my car for about 8 years now and I still enjoy driving it today as I did when I first bought it. The only real problem with the car is it's paint. The body itself doesn't have any serious rust albeit a few minor spots... Mechanically it has been great, although it does burn some oil (no noticable smoke and doesn't smell bad when running), but nothing worth repairing and actually it burns about the perfect amount now so I don't have the change the oil, just add oil & replace the filter. smileys with beer The Rack just started leaking, so unfortunately at some point I will be replacing that. I have seen the E36 racks in the E30, but I plan on replacing it with a rebuilt E30 rack. In the meantime I have cut the v-belt for the power steering so it won't leak as bad and really the manual steering isn't bad at all.

There is probably a few links out there, but some have not answered a few questions I have so I figured I would put them all in one topic. I plan on keeping this car as close to stock as possible.

The black door trim has been removed from the car and I plan on restoring them as much as possible after it gets painted. I have taken off the trim on the sides and plan on taking the trim off around the diving boards. My plan is to attempt to restore the black trim and chrome as much as possible. I will say I have been surprised by how much of a shine I have been able to get out of the chrome around the windows and on the trim. I am using MAAS & Eagle One NEVR-DULL, but if anyone out there has other suggestions please do share. I think the MAAS is better than the NEVR-DULL. Should I remove the trim on the bottom of the window prior to getting it painted and the rear window for that matter? If so how hard is this to remove. I heard it can be removed by putting the window down, then using a piece of wood to shim in there and it should pop up. Keyword is probably to be gentle when doing it like with any trim you take off.

Windshield (Front and Rear) Black Seal. I believe these are still around $70 bucks a pop. I intend on keeping the old in place, scuffing them up and hitting them with black paint, then taping them off and painting around them. If the seals were cheaper I would consider pulling the seals and taping the windshields, but for $140 I don't think it's worth it and I am not sure what the process is for replacing those seals. I am assuming they are just to keep water out and are not holding the windshield in place. Thoughts?

Black Trim around Bumpers - Here is another problem. The Front bumper (Driver's side) black trim has warped pretty bad, so if anyone has any laying around and will sell them for a decent price please do share. My passenger side piece is actually in pretty good shape. The black trim on the REAR bumper has not warped from the sun over the years and it's actually pleasantly surprising to see just how good of shape it is still in. I plan on hitting these with the same black paint as I am the rest of the black trim on the car. Speaking of this paint, does anyone have any suggestions on what paint seems to last the longest and the best way to prep the trim for painting.

Restoring the aluminum Bumpers to get a little shine? Any suggestions on how to bring some life back to these? I am assuming an extremely fine grit sandpaper or steel wool with some metal polish and after a few days/weeks (smiling smileyo) of rubbing up on them they might shine a little? They are a little cloudy at this point, but only have a few knicks that will not come out. I am not planning on taking the bumpers off when I get it painted.

Black Wing/Fin on the back will be repainted black as well. Like so many of these over the years the sun has done some damage to this, any methods for painting it so there aren't as many seams/cracks?

Side View Mirrors will be removed and painted black.

Sunroof Trim - Should I remove this or keep that on when I take it in? My big concern here is I have never had a leaky roof and don't want for that to start now. Also I am keeping the car painted the same color and do not plan on having the doorjams (sunroof jam?) done

Black Door Pillar between windows will be roughed up and sanded black again.

Prior to taking it into the shop I am going to also repaint the black along the bottom and in the wheel wells. I was thinking something like a Truck Liner spray. I guess the first step would be to prep the old Black on the bottom, rough it up with green scotchbrite pad? I have also heard of folks rolling this on? I think I will be using spray paint so I can hit up the wheel wells too. Just about every piece of black on my car will be painted black when it's all said and done, so if anyone out there has experience with this please do share.

This is new to me so any suggestions are certainly welcome! I am not going for show car quality, but just something that will last around 5 years and shine when I am done washing it. The paint is in such bad shape now I can't see my face in it or even the silhouette of my head for that matter!

Thanks for your time and assistance. It's great to be back on!

shawn
rkj
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whit81
First I am glad to see the site back up and running again. It's been awhile since I have been on and quite frankly after seeing the previous forum down for so long I thought it had vanished for good. So I am glad to be back and see it's up!
smiling smiley Glad you made it back

Quote
whit81
Now to my '84 325e (128k)... I have had my car for about 8 years now and I still enjoy driving it today as I did when I first bought it. The only real problem with the car is it's paint. The body itself doesn't have any serious rust albeit a few minor spots... Mechanically it has been great, although it does burn some oil (no noticable smoke and doesn't smell bad when running), but nothing worth repairing and actually it burns about the perfect amount now so I don't have the change the oil, just add oil & replace the filter. smileys with beer The Rack just started leaking, so unfortunately at some point I will be replacing that. I have seen the E36 racks in the E30, but I plan on replacing it with a rebuilt E30 rack. In the meantime I have cut the v-belt for the power steering so it won't leak as bad and really the manual steering isn't bad at all.

smiling smiley These cars do use a little oil naturally, and when the oil gets some mileage on it the oil consumption will be more

Do you have the manual steering now; just wondering how hard it is.


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whit81
There is probably a few links out there, but some have not answered a few questions I have so I figured I would put them all in one topic. I plan on keeping this car as close to stock as possible.

The black door trim has been removed from the car and I plan on restoring them as much as possible after it gets painted. I have taken off the trim on the sides and plan on taking the trim off around the diving boards. My plan is to attempt to restore the black trim and chrome as much as possible. I will say I have been surprised by how much of a shine I have been able to get out of the chrome around the windows and on the trim. I am using MAAS & Eagle One NEVR-DULL, but if anyone out there has other suggestions please do share. I think the MAAS is better than the NEVR-DULL. Should I remove the trim on the bottom of the window prior to getting it painted and the rear window for that matter? If so how hard is this to remove. I heard it can be removed by putting the window down, then using a piece of wood to shim in there and it should pop up. Keyword is probably to be gentle when doing it like with any trim you take off.
smiling smiley I tried marvel mystery oil once and it worked great on the stainless moldings around the windows. The outer door/window wiper and molding will come up with a wedged shaped piece of wood gently tapped along the distance a little at a time, after the outer mirror is off. Go slowly and just get it to move at first then go back to the starting point for more lift. The wood piece should be a lath type looking piece; 2 in wide, 1/4-3/16 thick and 4-5 inches long- Beveled on the end that will strike the molding but have a blunt end....not sharp like a chisel. I use a semi hard wood like mahogany.


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whit81
Windshield (Front and Rear) Black Seal. I believe these are still around $70 bucks a pop. I intend on keeping the old in place, scuffing them up and hitting them with black paint, then taping them off and painting around them. If the seals were cheaper I would consider pulling the seals and taping the windshields, but for $140 I don't think it's worth it and I am not sure what the process is for replacing those seals. I am assuming they are just to keep water out and are not holding the windshield in place. Thoughts?
smiling smiley If their not all cracked out sure, tape them off and paint them semi-gloss black (satin). Wipe them with alcohol first then sand them with 180 open coat paper. These expander strips pop right out of the window weatherstrip but get very brittle with age.


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whit81
Black Trim around Bumpers - Here is another problem. The Front bumper (Driver's side) black trim has warped pretty bad, so if anyone has any laying around and will sell them for a decent price please do share. My passenger side piece is actually in pretty good shape. The black trim on the REAR bumper has not warped from the sun over the years and it's actually pleasantly surprising to see just how good of shape it is still in. I plan on hitting these with the same black paint as I am the rest of the black trim on the car. Speaking of this paint, does anyone have any suggestions on what paint seems to last the longest and the best way to prep the trim for painting.
smiling smiley A suggestion here; clean and prep and paint the rockers after you get the car painted, just tell your painter to mask it and you'll attend to it later. The same paint works well here (satin black) but I brush the rockers giving them two good coats, that usually lasts for a few years or more... Bumper plastic gets the same as the window expander (sprayed) but it sounds like you'll need to reattach them at a few points and removal is needed for this as the clips need to be R&Red on the back side.


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whit81
Restoring the aluminum Bumpers to get a little shine? Any suggestions on how to bring some life back to these? I am assuming an extremely fine grit sandpaper or steel wool with some metal polish and after a few days/weeks (smiling smileyo) of rubbing up on them they might shine a little? They are a little cloudy at this point, but only have a few knicks that will not come out. I am not planning on taking the bumpers off when I get it painted.
smiling smiley These bumpers are clear coated and getting it off is a real drag, howbout painting them the same color as the car, it looks rather nice if the plastic trims are blacked like original. Taking them off Is a good idea; they're so easy to come off. One bolt on each side and pull (wire plugs pull out too)


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whit81
Black Wing/Fin on the back will be repainted black as well. Like so many of these over the years the sun has done some damage to this, any methods for painting it so there aren't as many seams/cracks?

Side View Mirrors will be removed and painted black.
smiling smiley I like painting these the same color of the car too, just looks neat and tidy. Must be a good job though.




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whit81
Sunroof Trim - Should I remove this or keep that on when I take it in? My big concern here is I have never had a leaky roof and don't want for that to start now. Also I am keeping the car painted the same color and do not plan on having the doorjams (sunroof jam?) done
smiling smiley Leave the sunroof, just tape off the weatherstrip.

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whit81
Black Door Pillar between windows will be roughed up and sanded black again.

Prior to taking it into the shop I am going to also repaint the black along the bottom and in the wheel wells. I was thinking something like a Truck Liner spray. I guess the first step would be to prep the old Black on the bottom, rough it up with green scotchbrite pad? I have also heard of folks rolling this on? I think I will be using spray paint so I can hit up the wheel wells too. Just about every piece of black on my car will be painted black when it's all said and done, so if anyone out there has experience with this please do share.
smiling smiley Scuff pad works well on the rockers, just make sure they're clean of tar and oils.


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whit81
This is new to me so any suggestions are certainly welcome! I am not going for show car quality, but just something that will last around 5 years and shine when I am done washing it. The paint is in such bad shape now I can't see my face in it or even the silhouette of my head for that matter!
smiling smiley It sounds like the perfect scuff and shoot car. Those bumper plastic pieces come up on ebay often.
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whit81
Thanks for your time and assistance. It's great to be back on!

shawn
Cheers, Rick



perseverance furthers



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2009 06:03PM by daniel.
Rick,
Thanks for your insight, I will be keeping that in mind when I paint it. I am very much considering your thoughts on painting the bumpers to match the car. I am assuming it's best to take the black filler out when doing this or is it easier to tape it off? Also you mentioned ":smile: A suggestion here; clean and prep and paint the rockers after you get the car painted, just tell your painter to mask it and you'll attend to it later. The same paint works well here (satin black) but I brush the rockers giving them two good coats, that usually lasts for a few years or more... Assuming you can pick up black auto paint in a can to paint with a brush at a parts store? Bumper plastic gets the same as the window expander (sprayed) but it sounds like you'll need to reattach them at a few points and removal is needed for this as the clips need to be R&Red on the back side." R&Red?

Do you have the manual steering now; just wondering how hard it is?

I do not have the actual manual steering unit in the car, I have the stock rack in it still, but I just ditched the belt so now it feels like a manual unit. The steering on it hasn't changed significantly at all at highway speeds. When going under 20 mph, it is noticeable BUT it still isn't that bad (can still use one hand). Backing up from a parking spot can be a little bit of a bear and I find it best to use two hands for that! I was surprised that it still occasionally drips fluid (at the tie rod boot), even with the belt off. Granted it's not as much as it was with it attached, but just an FYI. I plan on replacing the rack in about 6 months or so. I am actually probably going to try my luck with the local chain parts store on the rack...
just my own opinion:

i don't think the metal bumpers look good when they are painted body color, unless the car is black, and even then i'm not too keen on it.

it sounds to me like you have a decent budget for all this. have you considered getting european bumpers instead of repainting the diving boards? it would cost a bit more, but it would improve the look of your car, especially since you are painting the rest.


rkj
Quote
whit81
Rick,
Thanks for your insight, I will be keeping that in mind when I paint it. I am very much considering your thoughts on painting the bumpers to match the car. I am assuming it's best to take the black filler out when doing this or is it easier to tape it off? Also you mentioned ":smile: A suggestion here; clean and prep and paint the rockers after you get the car painted, just tell your painter to mask it and you'll attend to it later. The same paint works well here (satin black) but I brush the rockers giving them two good coats, that usually lasts for a few years or more... Assuming you can pick up black auto paint in a can to paint with a brush at a parts store? Bumper plastic gets the same as the window expander (sprayed) but it sounds like you'll need to reattach them at a few points and removal is needed for this as the clips need to be R&Red on the back side." R&Red?

Do you have the manual steering now; just wondering how hard it is?

I do not have the actual manual steering unit in the car, I have the stock rack in it still, but I just ditched the belt so now it feels like a manual unit. The steering on it hasn't changed significantly at all at highway speeds. When going under 20 mph, it is noticeable BUT it still isn't that bad (can still use one hand). Backing up from a parking spot can be a little bit of a bear and I find it best to use two hands for that! I was surprised that it still occasionally drips fluid (at the tie rod boot), even with the belt off. Granted it's not as much as it was with it attached, but just an FYI. I plan on replacing the rack in about 6 months or so. I am actually probably going to try my luck with the local chain parts store on the rack...


Hey Whit81


Yes, if you paint the bumpers take the plastic fillers off, that way you can black them while they're off and reattach them properly.

I've had great luck with rustoeum satin black in the spray can or the brush type, you should be able to get both in enamel. I've found the brush on method works better on the rockers because you can go thick and it stands up but spraying would work too; just tape off the choose you paint and blast away. Painting the door frames and such is a little more of a careful job but you should leave everything in place and tape it off and spray them nicely, don't rush your coats and watch your film thickness. To much paint applied too fast will crack out.

If you paint the bumpers and do the plastic parts in black I think that can look nice if done well. I don't care for the look if you paint the plastic the same color; that looks like a poser job. Bav used to have the euro bumps in stock and they look the best of all of them, even the later model cars with plastic bumpers I think. I use the alloy bumpers so I can run a certain tow hitch for the motorcycles (the kind you can pull out).

I think the guys who run their cars with dry racks drain the fluid but I'm not 100% sure on that. I just replaced my wife's cars rack with a rebuilt from BAV, its the only way to fly. If you choose a jobber rack just make sure of the warranty period. Bav gives you a year, I would say 6 months would be a minimum. My rebuilt started seeping at the input shaft (steering column shaft) at 8 months and they gave me a new one no questions asked, they even paid the shipping both ways.

I had to eat the labor though sad smiley such is life on the high sierra.

Rick
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rkj
I think the guys who run their cars with dry racks drain the fluid but I'm not 100% sure on that

i just helped a friend do this on his e30, and he filled the rack with PS fluid before sealing it off. i think this is the best way if you want to prolong the life of the rack.


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daniel
just my own opinion:

i don't think the metal bumpers look good when they are painted body color, unless the car is black, and even then i'm not too keen on it.

it sounds to me like you have a decent budget for all this. have you considered getting european bumpers instead of repainting the diving boards? it would cost a bit more, but it would improve the look of your car, especially since you are painting the rest.

Daniel,
I agree with you 100% on ditching the diving boards; however everything I have read has said that you can't convert pre '87 3 series with the Mtech kit. It can be done, but serious modification is typically required to make it look good. If you know of a kit that can be installed relatively easy as a direct fit on my '84 325e please do share! hot smiley
Quote
rkj
Hey Whit81


Yes, if you paint the bumpers take the plastic fillers off, that way you can black them while they're off and reattach them properly.

I've had great luck with rustoeum satin black in the spray can or the brush type, you should be able to get both in enamel. I've found the brush on method works better on the rockers because you can go thick and it stands up but spraying would work too; just tape off the choose you paint and blast away. Painting the door frames and such is a little more of a careful job but you should leave everything in place and tape it off and spray them nicely, don't rush your coats and watch your film thickness. To much paint applied too fast will crack out.

If you paint the bumpers and do the plastic parts in black I think that can look nice if done well. I don't care for the look if you paint the plastic the same color; that looks like a poser job. Bav used to have the euro bumps in stock and they look the best of all of them, even the later model cars with plastic bumpers I think. I use the alloy bumpers so I can run a certain tow hitch for the motorcycles (the kind you can pull out).

I think the guys who run their cars with dry racks drain the fluid but I'm not 100% sure on that. I just replaced my wife's cars rack with a rebuilt from BAV, its the only way to fly. If you choose a jobber rack just make sure of the warranty period. Bav gives you a year, I would say 6 months would be a minimum. My rebuilt started seeping at the input shaft (steering column shaft) at 8 months and they gave me a new one no questions asked, they even paid the shipping both ways.

I had to eat the labor though sad smiley such is life on the high sierra.

Rick

Thanks once again. The bumpers are my biggest dilemma on my car. I like my 84 325e a lot, but I love the look of the e30 with the non diving board bumpers... What I don't like about those cars is they are damn hard to find in good shape and most of the time they have been beaten pretty hard by folks who probably didn't maintain them the best. Also I hate to get rid of my car because it only has 128k miles and I put 45k of those on it. Also worth pointing out my car isn't worth much at all, I have some nice wheels on it 15" MSW basket weave type but there are so many of these cars on the market...Decisions decisions! Aside from a few deployments overseas, it has been my daily driver for the last 7 years and I can't just ditch the car because I want the nicer bumpers (and honestly dropping $1200 on fiberglass bumpers that don't directly install and risk breaking from a rock that hits it on the interstate) on the later models!? Still gets 28 mpg too. My wife has heard me say I am going to get it painted so many times that she probably doesn't believe me that I will actually go thru with painting it. The good news of the paint job is my brother is very talented on body work and I am going to prep it with him, then get it painted at a local shop...I think! smiling smileyo ...Sorry for getting on my soapbox, I am sure there are a few out there who understand the dilemma!
rkj
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whit81
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daniel
just my own opinion:

i don't think the metal bumpers look good when they are painted body color, unless the car is black, and even then i'm not too keen on it.

it sounds to me like you have a decent budget for all this. have you considered getting european bumpers instead of repainting the diving boards? it would cost a bit more, but it would improve the look of your car, especially since you are painting the rest.

Daniel,
I agree with you 100% on ditching the diving boards; however everything I have read has said that you can't convert pre '87 3 series with the Mtech kit. It can be done, but serious modification is typically required to make it look good. If you know of a kit that can be installed relatively easy as a direct fit on my '84 325e please do share! hot smiley

Well, the only thing is your car is a street car that actually needs bumpers occasionally- those Mtech thingys are just a plastic facade that don't do much if someone nudges you in a parking situation and such. The alloy bumpers are not my favorite things but at least they afford you a small amount of protection on a road that is filled, mostly, by idiots... Paint em and move them in a little and they'll look a lot less like a sore thumb.

You can put the later model plastic bumps on the older cars but the rear is a job and a half...

Rick
rkj
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whit81
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rkj
Hey Whit81

Thanks once again. The bumpers are my biggest dilemma on my car. I like my 84 325e a lot, but I love the look of the e30 with the non diving board bumpers... What I don't like about those cars is they are damn hard to find in good shape and most of the time they have been beaten pretty hard by folks who probably didn't maintain them the best. Also I hate to get rid of my car because it only has 128k miles and I put 45k of those on it. Also worth pointing out my car isn't worth much at all, I have some nice wheels on it 15" MSW basket weave type but there are so many of these cars on the market...Decisions decisions! Aside from a few deployments overseas, it has been my daily driver for the last 7 years and I can't just ditch the car because I want the nicer bumpers (and honestly dropping $1200 on fiberglass bumpers that don't directly install and risk breaking from a rock that hits it on the interstate) on the later models!? Still gets 28 mpg too. My wife has heard me say I am going to get it painted so many times that she probably doesn't believe me that I will actually go thru with painting it. The good news of the paint job is my brother is very talented on body work and I am going to prep it with him, then get it painted at a local shop...I think! smiling smileyo ...Sorry for getting on my soapbox, I am sure there are a few out there who understand the dilemma!

I think, in general, americans take care of their cars the worst way possible compared to the rest of the world (I've been in the car bidness for 44 years or so), there are people like us who care, both driving and maintenance wise, but for the most part people here run em hard and never think to even check things! Not much of a connection in any real way. If you've found a clean Eta (no rust) that gives you good service keep it and give thanks to the Bavarian gods every chance you get- Eta's are one of the best cars that ever hit this side of the pond... Rick
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whit81
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daniel
just my own opinion:

i don't think the metal bumpers look good when they are painted body color, unless the car is black, and even then i'm not too keen on it.

it sounds to me like you have a decent budget for all this. have you considered getting european bumpers instead of repainting the diving boards? it would cost a bit more, but it would improve the look of your car, especially since you are painting the rest.

Daniel,
I agree with you 100% on ditching the diving boards; however everything I have read has said that you can't convert pre '87 3 series with the Mtech kit. It can be done, but serious modification is typically required to make it look good. If you know of a kit that can be installed relatively easy as a direct fit on my '84 325e please do share! hot smiley

I'm a little confused by this post. do you currently have an M-Tech I kit on your car? If so, you already have the euro bumpers. if you have the large metal bumpers, you can convert your car to euro bumpers, or to euro bumpers w/ the mtech I kit.

The difficult conversion is to convert the rear of an early model to the rear of a late model, adding plastic bumpers. this is because the rear valence of the 88+ cars is connected to the rest of the car, and doesn't just bolt on. in order to have the mtech II kit, you must have plastic bumpers first.

i think you may have been confusing euro bumpers with plastic bumpers, and possibly the euro bumpers with the whole mtech I or II kits.

euro bumpers:


euro bumpers + mtech I


plastic bumpers


plastic bumpers + mtech II


technically speaking, you can do any one of these setups on your car. if you are wanting plastic bumpers, it requires welding for the rear valence if you want to do a solid job.


Daniel,
Thanks for the clarification. I like the second one down the most "plastic bumpers", but where do you find these? So you are saying that the front bumpers are just about a direct fit but it's the rear end that will cause some heartache. I have to say that's at least better than having to worry about the front and the back! If I could find these for a decent price I would surely go with it.

Rick,
Agreed.



...It's great to be back on BEN.
Shawn
the third ones down are the plastic bumpers. the second one down is the mtech I kit with euro bumpers.

the easiest conversion for you to do would be the euro bumpers, but it wouldn't be the cheapest.


there is one alternative method to doing the plastic bumpers in the rear, and that is to not weld on the rear valence from another car but instead to get the mtech II rear valence (or replica), which you could custom mount to the rear:


compared to the rear of a normal plastic bumpered car:


i think they all look good. and they all look better than the diving board bumpers. my preference for the early model cars though is the euro bumpers by themselves.


Daniel,
I was checking out a few online auctions and it's pretty challenging to locate any of these bumpers. I would take any of the ones you listed, but I prefer the 558892496_jUXbq-L.jpg look on the back and I like the euro bumpers + mtech I for the front. The second preference would be the Euro Bumpers alone on the front and back (Pic: 557896726_kuvH8-L.jpg) Do you know of any places where you can get these?
well, you can buy them new if you want, but it will be pricey. the other option is to look on ebay.uk or ebay.de and see if you can find someone who will ship to the US. you could also check out the very active classifieds at r3vlimited.com.

they are hard to find because the euro bumpers were never sent to the US... ever.

i think it would be a little weird to have plastic bumpers in the rear and mtech I in the front. i have definitely never seen that. and again, for your car that would require cutting the rear valence off another car and welding it to yours. also, the mtech I kit looks best (in my opinion) with the matching sideskirts and rear valence.



After thinking this thru a few days, I think I am going to just go with my original plan! Don't get me wrong I like all the options, but unfortunately there is no way it can be done without dropping an exorbitant amount of time and money into it with no guarantees it will look good when complete. I am going to prep it over a weekend and paint it to it's original color of Beige Bronzit.

Thanks for the comments and all the feedback. My goal is to be complete with it by the end of August. I will probably post some before and after pics...

Thanks again.
heh, are you sure there isn't a color other than bronzit that you would prefer?

i know its your car, but in my opinion bronzit is probably the ugliest e30 color available, and during a repaint you have a chance to change that. i'll end my criticism there. smiling smiley


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