Conclusion Post

I feel that the purpose of this blog was to not only track the progress of my car but also to make me more interested in working on my car. In both those ways, this blog has been largely successful. I am very committed to fixing up my car and trying to keep it in tip-top shape.

Here is the one car that I wish I could have more than my own.. The e30 m3:



Upcoming Job: Timing Belt & Accessories

Letting the e30 timing belt break while running is the absolute worst thing a person can do to their m20 engine. The valves will rupture and the head gasket will be ruined.


The timing belt should be replaced about every 40-50k. Mine is due for replacement. I should probably replace this as soon as possible.

It’s about a 2-3 hour job and I plan on taking it back to the same shop that helped me replace my thermostat. Can’t wait for the parts to show up so I can get my hands dirty!

Thermostat: Installed

Well yesterday, thanks to Ben, I was able to take my car into a real shop and get it up on a lift. While we were looking under it, Ben noticed a number of parts that had significant amounts of grime and corrosion on them. So, my check list for parts begins.

Luckily, I was able to install my new Wahler thermostat as well as drain and fill my coolant system in just under an hour to get it running again. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice a huge difference in my temperature gauge. Nevertheless, replacing my 25 year old thermostat was probably necessary.

Possible Intake Upgrade

I plan on installing my new thermostat this weekend, so hopefully I can stop getting a steady 18 mpg and jump closer to 25.

However, I took this week to research a possible “bolt-on” upgrade for my car. Here’s what I found:

1. Miller MAF Pro Induction Kit ($525) (


This unique looking upgrade bypasses the factory airbox intake in m20 engines and claims to show significant power gains (25+ hp).  This performance kit also comes with a customizable ECU chip from Miller allowing the customer to specify their own RPM limit, type of exhaust system, and fuel injector size for maximum performance.

Future Transmission Upgrade…

The 4HP 22 Automatic Transmission comes standard in almost all automatic 6-cylinder e30s. It is a four speed transmission that runs on a hydraulic system. It is significantly larger (%heavier) than the manual version because it includes a clutch. This is what I have in my car.

4HP 22
4HP 22



This, is the Getrag 260 five speed manual transmission that comes standard in all e30 6-cylinder cars. This is what I want in my car more than anything. Unfortunately, I can’t afford it at the moment. But, one day…


Waiting for Parts and Meeting Ben

Well, due to the fact that my thermostat is coming from Germany, it isn’t supposed to reach my house until April… So I spent the past week meeting with an e30 enthusiast, Ben, and having him take a solid look at my car. When I met Ben, I told him about where I bought the car, how much it cost, and all the parts that had been recently replaced.

When he looked over the car, the first thing he told me is that the door had been resprayed and that the car’s driver side door had most likely been in a minor accident. He checked out my front and rear suspension, my steering column, and my engine’s timing & accessory belt that runs the engine. All of which looked to be in good condition. Then, I let him take it on a test drive, and after about thirty minutes of driving, he confirmed that it was “a great little car.”

His main piece of advice for me was to watch my dash thermostat constantly. If there were to ever be a coolant system breakdown in my car, the thermostat would jump up almost immediately, and hopefully I could roll it to the shoulder in neutral before much damage is done.

e30 temp guage

Running “cool”…

When I was picking up my car from the shop, the mechanic warned me that I had a faulty thermostat.

The thermostat to which he was referring looks like this:

m20 thermostat

This controls how much coolant enters my radiator based on the temperature of the engine. Once the system warms to 80 degrees Celsius, this device allows more coolant to enter my radiator.

Thus, having a broken thermostat causes the car to assume that it is colder than it really is and mixes more oil to gasoline than it should. This could be causing my car to have poor MPG.

I will need to install this ASAP!