My '73 Bav

73 E3

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First time showing this on here. I was given the car by my grandfather before he passed away a few years back. The car had 67,000 original miles on it before I started working on it. It had been in dry storage for the last 20 years. I started doing a rolling rebuild back in May and this is how the car currently sits. Here's a quick list of what I've changed.

-Rebuilt the stock Zeniths
-Rebuilt the factory starter
-Rebuilt the factory alternator (now puts out 75 amps)
-New Fuel Pump
-Pertronix flamethrower coil
-Bavarian Autosport 8mm ignition wires
-New rotor and dizzy cap
-Every coolant and vacuum hose replaced
-Re-cored factory radiator (High efficiency core)
-New Thermostat
-New Water pump
-New Belts
-9 Blade fan with later style clutch
-All new fuel lines
-Braided stainless brake lines
-New Clutch master cylinder
-New Brake master cylinder
-Brembo rotors
-Ceramic brake pads
-KYB GR-2 front strut inserts
-KYB Gas-A-Just rear shocks
-Suspension Techniques springs (A bit lower, and notably stiffer)
-New strut mounts and bearings
-Removed front strut spacer rings
-New control arms/ball joints (both sides)
-Repainted factory steel wheels (trim rings and hub caps were virtually new)
-Had seats re-padded with hi-density foam to replace horse hair
-E21 Sport steering wheel
-New Yoko tires (great deal on tirerack)
-New downpipes
-NOS Supersprint exhaust (my uncle had lying around in his garage)
-H4 low/highs, 100W H1 highs
-Blaupunkt 6.5" coaxial speakers front and rear
-Blaupunkt MP54 Bahamas Receiver

And much more that I'm probably forgetting. Now on to the current situation. The car was Ziebarted back in the 70's and was treated
everywhere, inside the doors, undercarriage, engine compartment, etc.. There are no signs of rust anywhere except for the tail edge of the LF fender where something must have been run over. The car was repainted in the early 80's with an enamel paint with clear coat mixed in and is still in very good condition.

Now on to the bad...

The car ran when it was parked 20 years ago, but it was never started while in storage, the engine got stuck from sitting. Before I did anything on the car, I removed the spark plugs and liberally used Marvel Mystery oil in the cylinders to free the rings up. I put a breaker bar on the crank and was able to free the engine up. It was frozen solid and required a breaker bar with a 3' pipe extension to get the leverage needed to break it loose. I have yet to do a leakdown test (that is next on my list), but the compression test I did came back decent. I had 149 psi in one or two cylinders and the lowest was around 135psi.

After getting the carbs set up the engine fired right up on the first attempt, albeit with some valve noise. I put fresh oil and a filter in it before attempting to start the engine. I ran it for a few days and then adjusted the valves to .0012 IIRC when hot. Valve noise went away, but the problem I'm currently having is oil usage. Now I know it's normal for these engines to consume a quart per every 3K miles, but this thing is drinking oil at a quart per every 100 miles, a bit excessive. It does not smoke at idle, but does smoke blue while under load or under deceleration. I'm sure its either a broken ring(s) or dried up valve seals.

I'm currently away at college, and my plans are to pull the engine over winter break and rebuild the engine. I was initially just going to re-ring and do a valve job. But I'm thinking of doing a complete overhaul. I purchased a M30B35 with a Getrag 262CR last fall that I had planned on putting in the car initially, but decided to try the car with the stock drivetrain at first. I do not know much about the condition of the 3.5L other than I was told it had ~100K miles on it, it has triple Mikuni sidedrafts on a Korman manifold, and I was told an Alpina headgasket. The carbs are in need of a rebuild. I'm thinking of selling this engine and tranny to fund the stock rebuild. My other thought is to rebuild the 3.5L and use the Zeniths and all accessories off my 3.0L. What kind of $$$ can I expect to shell out for a rebuild, just parts (I will be doing the labor). I'm not looking to spend an arm and a leg, I just want a reliable, smoke free engine.

Any comments are welcome.
 

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HB Chris

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Rings

t is entirely possible that given another 200 or 300 miles the rings might, just might, reseat themselves. Spence at Mesa Performance here in the OC has told me this as I have `69 2002 that hasn't been run since `89 although my engine turns freely. I will be trying to get it started in the next few months.
 

73 E3

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I've gone through about 6-7quarts of Rislone over the course of the 1000 miles I've put on it so far. The smoking doesn't seem to be any better or worse when the engine is hot or cold. I've been using 20W-50 Castrol GTX. I've tried the italian tune up. Engine braking whenever possible. I'll do a leakdown before I go pulling the motor. But my thought is that if I rebuild the 3.5L I can leave the stock engine in the car until I'm ready to swap engines. This way I can minimize down time for using the car.
 

Tierfreund

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Thats a very good looking E3. Congrats:

Now a few suggestions:

Forget about running the Zeniths with the 3.5. You´ll never get them running properly on anything other than the engine they were made for.
The Zentiths are to carbs what a "grande complication" is to watches: Wonderfully complicated multi paramter devices that do a very good job (unless you´re looking for max power) on the engine they were made for. When in really good nick, they´ll do just about everything apart from making coffee.
But: Even trying to get a Zenith from a 3.0 running on a 2.8 or running to rear zeniths or two fronts or whatever will only leave you frustrated. On a Zentih, you shouldn´t even use anything than the stock air filter, or you´ll upset the beautifull balance.

So, if you go for the 3.5, you´ll need to go with the ijection it was meant for.

Tripple sidedrafts can be fun and very effective depending on what you ask them to do. But having a fixed choke per cylinder (the Zeniths have a staggered setup) means you either get everything spot on from idle to 4500rpm but no more power than with a Zenith or you get a fantastic engine from 2500-6000rpm with great response and power but will have to live with a compromise below 2500.
No matter what anyone tells your, that´s just the physics of it. The compromise can be a good one though.

The best option though, especially on the M30 is injection. D-Jet is very simple and robust but will not work with the 3.5, L-Jet or Motronic ist probably the only real-life option for a 3.5 allrounder

So, if I were you and if I were sure that the Zeniths were really in excellent shape, I´d go for a rebuild of the stock drivetrain.

The bavs are sweat cars and very sophisticated. They can be wonderfull cruisers with the stock drivetrain. And still plenty fast.

Which leaves one more thing: The stance of the car is odd. Overall it looks so nice and very original. I love the factory steel wheels and hubcabs. Very period. But the lowering simply doesn´t go with it. It looks like the springs are broken or somebody put cement in the floor.

I´d go back to the stock springs (don´t worry, you won´t loose out on cornering, it may feel slower on stock springs because it rolls more, but it´ll be just as fast, the limit on these cars comes from the tires, not the chassis)

OR, if you feel the need for mods: Go a bit further: Go for 7x14 ET11 Alpina style wheels (or the BBS Mahle). They´ll get the wheels more out and make the package more homogenous
Would be a shame about the hubcabs though, those are the cleanest I´ve ever seen.
Please do not go for bigger diameter wheels though: too many E3s have been uglified with them If you feel you need wheels with more than 14 inches in diameter, you really need a younger car. This baby needs high profile rubber (both technically and visually)

Again congrats on a beautifull ride. I wish mine were in as good shape (despite your engine troubles that are easily fixable)
 

73 E3

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To be honest the car does not feel underpowered in stock trim. I purchased the 3.5L before I had driven the car, anticipating wanting to go faster. I think I'm going to stick with the stock engine and rebuild it. Then come spring I will bring it to one of two local independent BMW shops and have them sync the carbs professionally and dial in the air-fuel mixture. I figure I can sell the 3.5L, the carb setup, and the tranny and put the money towards the rebuild.

As for the suspension. The springs were only supposed to be 1" lower than stock. I never measured before and after but I believe it does sit a tad lower than that. The front spacers under the strut towers had to be taken out because the new strut mount had shorter studs that wouldn't accept the spacers. With fresh dampers and the firmer springs the car is notably more agile. I had plans to throw a set of 16" wheels from a later 5 or 7 series since I already have a set of new 16" tires in the correct size. Now that you mention sticking with a 14" wheel, it seems logical and tires are dirt cheap. I'd like to go with something a bit wider than the stock 6 inchers.
 

Tierfreund

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On the E3, the very best wheel and tire combo as the 7x14 ET10 or ET11 either factory Alpina lookalikes, Alpina Open Lugs or the BBS Mahle.

Combined with 195/70R14 Tires or, if you must, 205/70 R14

The stance will be much improved to due the wider rims the tires will stand wider and due to the lesser offset (the steelies you now have are ET22 at 6Jx14), the track will be widened significantly.
It looks great despite still looking period correct, is a factory approved combo with no rubbing and clearance issues (allthough your lowering may be harmfull) and handles just like these old barques should handle. It´s way more fun to outhandle a modern hatch while rolling heavily and cornering on the doorhandle. Feels awkward but is much more fun than trying to make a modern car of an old one.

That´s both visually and technically the best combo. Anything with lower profile and you´ll probably upset the gearing, certainly the ride and the handling will be a poor combination of a sharper turn in from the tire and then a flexing chassis. Plus, the chassis will wear much faster with lower profile tire (heavier rims, different angles of the resulting forces going in directions that the chassis isn´t made for.

I´ve had my wakening when I bought my second E3. It was a 73 3.0Si in pretty bad overall condition. BUT it had 200 smoking horses, a LSD, front and rear sways (stock on the Si) 7x14 ET11 Alpina lookalikes on old 195/70R14 rubber. When driving it felt like an old ship.

But then the previous owner drove it to it´s new home (mine) while I was following in my 2005 BMW 330i. I had to seriously wring that E90 using all the revs and cornering much faster than comfortable just to stick to the E3. And the PO was no Michael Schuhmacher either. It´s just that while these old cars feel unstable because the roll and flex more (especially in the high profile of the rubber), the still stick mightily and beeing so light (lighter than a new 3series), they still go like stink with the 3.0liter inline6.
It´s only when you go over 100mph that the age shows (in noise and really really poor aerodynamics)

Btw, synching and setting the Zeniths is actually a real breeze. IF (and that´s a big IF) the are in absolutely perfect nick. If they are not, no tuning in the world will get them running properly. Actually, while the synch between the two carbs is relevant for all running conditions, the mixture adjustment only works to about 1500 rpm Beyond that the mixture is determined by jets. And the sync linkage only syncs the main stages, the secondarys can only be synchronous if the carbs are in such good condition that they individually open them at the same rev/load condition.

Thus, never ever shortcut carb issues and hope to make up for them with "adjusting". All you can ever "adjust" is idle...

To get a carbed engine running well the right order is:

1. engine (compression, Leaking, Valve clearances etc.)
2. Ignition (flawless operation)
3. Manifolds, Intake, aux air etc. No leakages proper troughput, all waterways and electrics correct and functioning etc.)
4. Fuel supply (high throughput LOW pressure!)
6. Correct air filtering (stock is ALLWAYS best)
8. Linkages without play, proper springs, nothing bent

7. CARB CONDITION ! Must be perfect!

8. Only now are there very slight adjustments.

In fact if every thing else is perfect, You just mount the freshly and professionally reconditoned carb, set the mixture screws to a basic setting, do a basic synching by eye and the engine will start and ilde smoothly. The actual adjustments are a mere finetuning and easily done in less than 30 minutes.
 

30csl

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Got to say, love the look of these, agree that they look really good on the 7 x 14" alpinas. I'm surprised at the oil usage despite the lay up - does it seem to go well - i.e. have the power you expected?
 

73 E3

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It seems to get out of it's way just fine...albeit with a trail of smoke. The smoke has gone down since it was first fired up back in early July, but it's still pretty noticeable.
 

73 E3

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I just purchased a leakdown tester, and I'll be performing a leakdown test sometime Columbus day weekend. I will be relieved if most of the smoke is coming from worn/dried out valve stem seals or guides. But with how stuck the engine was before I was able to free it up, I may not be so lucky. The engine has zero visible smoke/vapors coming from the valve cover vent.
 

Stan

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4 tires

I have a set of 4 Michelin 204 x 14 that I will let you have Cheap!!!
And I am in NH so close (?) to you
Stan
 

73 E3

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A small update,

I took Tierfreund's advice and purchased a new set of shoes for the Bav. I actually picked up a set of 14x6.5 BBS Mahle wheels for free that I'm going to refinish myself. I also picked up a set of wheels off eBay that are very similar in design to the Alpina open-lug wheels. However there is a bit of a difference in that the face of the spokes is flat and will be polished along with the lip of the wheel. The picture is their current state prior to refinishing. They're 14x7"s. I believe these will give me the look I'm going for.


And Stan, here's a quick pic that I snapped back at the BavAuto Show N' Shine in October.
 

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73 E3

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As you know the job is never done. I've already got a new list made of all the things I have yet to do.

-Pull the head off and either swap it out with a rebuilt one, or rebuild the stock one (probably needs new valve seals and guides)
-Re-ring the pistons
-Replace the KYB's with Bilsteins
-Ditch the points and go with a breakerless ignition
-Replace the BavAuto ignition wires with Bosch ones
-Refinish and mount up the new wheels (I'm very excited for this one)
-Put on the C-pillar chrome trim (boy was it fun locating these)
-Install my new rear bumper (old one had a slight twist)
-Re-install the front strut spacers
-More that isn't coming to mind at the moment

It's never ending, but then again if it was 'finished' I'd get sick of it :lol:

I do have a question for you guys. Can the rings be replaced with the engine still in the car? Or does it look like I'll be pulling the engine to do it?
 

blumax

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Your E-3

Why would you want to re-instal the spacers?

They were a requirement of our all knowing DOT in those days--the bureacrats wanted the headlights of all cars to be at the same level. There is no other engineering reason known for their existence for all BMW's of that era--2002's, Bavarias and Coupes--I have one of each now and have removed the spacers long ago--and have as yet to receive a non-compliance notice from DOT!!
 

73 E3

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Thanks Murray, I know I sound crazy actually putting them back in. The Bav' is already lowered with the ST springs. I find it is a tad low for my taste. I'll probably be doing it for tire clearance more than anything. We'll see in May when I get around to turning some wrenches again.
 

velocewest

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X2 on Murray's advice -- use the spacers for a ring toss game, don't put them back on the car.

Don't let anyone scare you away from Zeniths. They're more than up to the job of feeding a 3.5, and there's no magic to setting them up. I'm continually amused by all the noise about how finicky they are. I rebuilt the Zeniths on my e9, spent less than an hour tuning them, and didn't touch them again for 5 years.

And, as an e3 owner, you are cosmically obligated to join the Senior Six Registry and gopostal mailing list. Send an email to duckfat@ioa.com and beg for inclusion. Do it now!
 

CookeD

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Yes, with the head off, you can remove the pistons with the engine in the car.

However, I highly suggest you drive the car and put some miles on it before you plan to crack the engine open. If it has sat for a considerable amount of time, the rings will need to scuff themselves back in, and may need to work themselves back into the ring grooves of the pistons.

Also, valve seals and guides may be needed, but if you're smoking on over-run, it's probably the rings.

After your first 500 or so miles, change the oil and give the car the "Italian tuneup" each time you drive it. Specifically, long 3rd and 4th gear pulls that really load up the rings should do it. It will be fine.

All this is a mute point if you have to get in there and give her the once-over. In that case, keep us N.E. folk posted, and good luck!
 

73 E3

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I just got my new wheels back from the refinisher ( RIMPro of Tewskbury, MA). Here are a few pictures before I mount up the tires this afternoon. After some late night eBay scavenging over the past few months I've pieced together a complete set of brand new Bilsteins for $160 including shipping costs. This past week I had to pull my new water pump out because it was leaking through the shaft. The pump had 900 miles on it so I wasn't too happy to have to pull it out so soon. But Jim @ Mesa was quick to get me a replacement so the car wasn't down for too long. The wheels are made by 100+ of England. On page one is a picture of the wheels in their unrestored state.
 

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