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Scarab 330ci

BMW E31 840ci Sport Build.

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So, as some of you may know I bought an 840ci sport back in April, always wanted one and was a bit of a spur of the moment thing, it was listed on eBay and seemed a good price and spec so I bid in the last minute and low and behold I won.
My plan was to spend a few grand on the suspension, servicing and paintwork, get it up to really good shape and then keep it as a second car and store it over the winter months. 
I began by taking it to Chris Burton 8 series specialist, what a sight, must have been atleast 15 e31's all in various states of repair, E31 heaven!
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He said I got it for a good price and said he would give it a check over and tell me what needs to be done. 
The list was quite long, lots of suspension bushes, brake pipes, rocker cover gasket, air con not working etc etc, all common on the 8 series. He went on to say the car was still in great shape and worth spending the money. I decided just to get a few bits done so instructed him to do the following.
 
Oil and filter change
Rocker cover gasket replaced
New spark plugs
Coolant change
New pollen filters
New rear flexible brake pipes and new brake fluid
 
My plan was to then take it to another specialist for a second opinion on the suspension. Once I collected the car the windscreen wipers were very dodgy, seemed to have seized and I noticed a strange noise from under the bonnet. So I took it back to Chris Burton cars, he rebuilt the wiper linkage and the noise under the bonnet was the air con clutch so he replaced the compressor with a used part which sorted the noise. Whilst fixing the wipers he managed to crack the windscreen, not such a problem as the windscreen did have a large chip. He paid the excess and windscreen was replaced with a brand new genuine screen. Wipers were then spot on. 
 
I then called barney from "Classic Heroes" (I believe he used to work at Munich legends and now runs "Classic Heroes") I took the car along to him for a thorough check. This was a very professional outfit. The BMWs they had their were very special and expensive!
The results of his check were not good, underside was rusty and would require a full clean rub down, priming and painting, small amount of rust on rear arches and seals along with a few other bits of rust, he said both sides would need repainting which was very exspensive, along with all the suspension work plus an oil filter and gasket change on the gearbox, air con needed new condenser and regasing, plus a few other little things, it mounted up to quite a lot. 
I thought about it for a day or so and with a heavy heart I decided to cut my losses and sell the car. I collected it, paid a small fee for the air con check they did and listed it for sale on eBay with a great description and at a price I though was very fair. Listing was for 10 days in which time I couldn't help myself from driving the car, enjoying the car and looking at it out of the window at any given opportunity. Head was hoping the car would sell, heart was hoping it wouldn't. Low and behold the car did not sell. I think I then owed it to the car to bring it back to its former glory, I know I would probably never see the money back but the car is, to me, the best looking car BMW have ever made, the stares you get from onlookers was worth it alone. Some people stare in admiration. Some stare in confusion and wonder what the car is. The car is special and you just don't get that in a normal, newer, reliable BMW. I decided to begin work and slowly bring it back to life. Hopefully then sell the E46 and use the 8 as my daily driver (I only do around 5000 miles a year) this would save me tax, mot, servicing and insurance on the E46 along with the 6 months storage costs I was prepared to pay for the 8 series each year. So this alone would pay for a lot of the work year on year.
 
I took the car to a reputable body shop. They quoted me £900 plus VAT to repaint the 2 rear quarters and front near side wing, sort the rust on the bottom of the door seals, touch up rust around the sunroof, pull out a few parking dings, touch in any major stone chips and a full mop and polish And wax of the bodywork, this would rectify the rust problems and I thought was a good price and a LOT LOT cheaper than the quote I had to repaint both sides, so I went ahead and booked it in and left it with them whilst on holiday in Aus for 3 weeks.
A few days after arriving back I collected the car and they had done a brilliant job, looked so clean, I only had a few minutes to admire the work before I drove it straight to Classic Heroes to get the mechanical work started, I did manage to take 2 snaps whilst dropping it off at classic heroes 
 
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this list was the original list of problems which were all going to be replaced/rectified at classic heroes....

Rear vertical links joints have excess play

Front jacking blocks missing

Lower sill cover clips broken. 

 

Front anti-roll bar pivot bushes worn

 

Rear suspension trailing arm front bushes worn

 

Lower spring pan arm inner and outer swivels required

 

Replace gearbox sump gasket and filter now. 

 

Poly belts required

 

A/c belt tensioner faulty

 

Rear shock top mounts weak

 

Bleed nipple covers missing

 

Oil filter mounting rubbers missing

 

Handbrake required adjustment and balance

 

EDC  switch faulty

 

ASC cable mounting clip missing

The underside needs cleaning.  Then the surface corrosion to the front panel,  sill edge seems and all jacking points needs rubbing down to bare metal, Kurusting, etch priming and painting.

 

 

Even Barney at classic heroes couldn't believe it was the same car, saying it looked a bit "tired" before but now looks amazing, which was reassuring to hear. He was kind enough to loan me their loan car which was very handy and saved me train and taxi fees to and from, was only a "Y" reg 316i saloon but I enjoyed driving it, I had always discounted the 316/318 models but it had some poke and handled well for a 15 year old car with 150k on the clock. :)

The work took around 2 weeks

On picking up the car they went through what was done and informed me that the air con may actually work, they pressure tested and filled with nitrogen and found no leaks so re gassed it so touch wood thats fixed and saved me around £500! He went through around 40 photos with me detailing all the work carried out on the underside, very professional and looked great, a few pictures below. Underside fully treated and wax oiled up now. He said it was in really good shape underneath and most he sees are all rotten.

 

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There was then a few niggling bits I wanted to sort, gear knob was very worn so that was quickly replaced with a genuine part, the side grills were faded so again they were replaced with genuine parts and the boot struts were very weak so those were also replaced with genuine parts, all of these were simple enough to do myself along with new Bosch wiper blades. 

 

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The car has the rare EDC (electronic damper control) option so can switch between sport and comfort to stiffen or soften the shocks. The fronts were reported to be a little weak by the first garage but they can be sent away to be rebuilt for £250 a corner which is a lot lot cheaper than replacement parts but that can be looked at I'm a year or so, along with a diff oil and seal change. Although barney at classic heroes said the shocks seemed fine,

Now it's time to enjoy the car, shame summer is over! Driving it back I really could feel a difference. Such a smooth, comfortable,  effortless drive. 

unfortuanatly the car is now filthy as I drove back in the rain so a few pictures taken earlier in the year below

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Edited by Scarab 330ci

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I remember when the 8 series was first released and have always loved them.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Ignore last post, can't remove a quote on the iPad....

Cheers for all the positive comments, glad to have kept her and can now enjoy her. Nothing else needs doing for the minute. Maybe a new bonnet badge to finish her off.

My plan now is to sell the 330ci and just buy a cheap run around (like the 316i loan car I had) something for the trips down the dump and supermarket runs that I can just use and abuse. So expect to see it for sale over the coming weeks. 

 

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I don't think there's anything there to dislike! Awesome work, awesome car.

If I had the space, I'd buy an e31 in a heartbeat, I love them!

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14 minutes ago, TriggerFish said:

I don't think there's anything there to dislike! Awesome work, awesome car.

If I had the space, I'd buy an e31 in a heartbeat, I love them!

I'm luckily enough to have a big driveway, (as you can see from one of the photos) so I'm tempted to buy an old shed of an e31 if I see one come up just to use for parts, my drivers side door handle stopped working, classic heroes had it in pieces and saw the metal had snapped, sourcing a new part proved impossible so they engineered a fix but now the central locking doesn't lock the drivers door so have to take it back next week for them to look at, so would be useful having a full car for spares.

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Hey Scarab, the 8 is looking rather tasty. I'm sorry to hear the hassle it's put you through.
I think I may have just got quite lucky with mine in hindsight.

Now that it's up to speed, I don't see you having much problem using it as a daily. I've also been doing 5000 miles a year for the last 2 years.

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1 hour ago, Shabaza said:

Hey Scarab, the 8 is looking rather tasty. I'm sorry to hear the hassle it's put you through.
I think I may have just got quite lucky with mine in hindsight.

Now that it's up to speed, I don't see you having much problem using it as a daily. I've also been doing 5000 miles a year for the last 2 years.

After spending the money on her the plan was to use her as the daily but she's just so big to park etc so I like the idea of an old banger I can just abuse and use the 8 for the enjoyable journeys. Saying that I'll probably want to drive the 8 all the time now. Already etching to go on a Sunday drive tomorrow :)

Edited by Scarab 330ci

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