This is Emma on the day I brought her home. Yeah, I named my car.
I brought her home in February of 2014 then she spent 6 months in storage while I went to California for an internship. It was bittersweet.
I feel dirty because I cheated on her by driving her tropical twin, an e30 convertible! I got REALLY lucky with car rental.
Right upon my return, I performed all the necessary basic maintenance. This included various new belts, water pump, spark plugs, various filters, and an oil change.
There was still a quite bit to fix but this took care of the items required to keep the car driving reliably. One week after putting the car back on the road, I had a tragic accident involving a deer. Why they decide to run onto the street, then stop to stare at oncoming cars is still a mystery to me. Anyways, this ruined my hood, drivers side fender, front support, and headlights. A few days after this, my alternator also decided to die, so there goes another $300. Maybe she found out about the other e30 I drove?
I figured instead of buying 30 year old used headlights, it’s be a better value to buy DEPO replicas then retrofit an bi-xenon HID system into it. I couldn’t find a decent used fender in my area so I took the old fender to my University’s workshop and just cut the damaged section off. As you’re going to see in the following pictures, duct tape is my best friend.
I don’t have access to a garage or even a driveway when I’m at school and it was getting cold and dark really early so I didn’t have time to fix the front support and aim the headlights properly so right now, one is pointed too high and the other is pointed too low. Also, a turn signal light is out. Ghetto, I know. After a while, I figured at least all this terrible luck is forcing me to work on the car. I drove the car in this state over the winter of 2014/2015 and surprisingly, had zero reliability issues even through negative 20-30 degree weather. I’m Canadian so those are in Celsius, not freedom units.
Fast forward to today, and this is how Emma sits right now.
A tire popped two weekends ago so I put on the full sized spare from the trunk. Unfortunately, the spare also turned out to have a slow leak. It was still better than a popped tire so I swapped it and have to refill it every other day for three weeks until I was able to drive to my parent’s house and swap my all-seasons back on. Before I get chastised for using all-seasons, they came with the car. I can’t wait to get summer tires then do a massive burnout until the old tires catch of fire. HA, like I could even do that with 150~ish HP. A light bulb in the dashboard is dead so I can’t see how fast I’m driving at night. I don’t think the popo will take too kindly to that as an exuse for speeding... The transmission also sticks in first gear every time the car is driven after cooling down (it’s a slushbox). I have to rev the sh*t out of it to get it to shift. It goes away after a minute but man, it stresses me out to redline the engine right after a cold start. I’m not going to fix it though since I’ve started piecing together a manual transmission swap. Other issues include a rear left door that unlocks when it feels like it and the coolant warning light turns on even though the cooling system is fine. My engine badly needs a valve adjustment, and lastly, the car takes anywhere from 1-15 seconds to start, even though it always starts up first try.
Even with all these issues, I consider this an extremely lucky find. I guess love is painful. The body has a little bit of rust at the bottom of the front fenders and a slight bit on the frame beneath it, but that’s it and this is Canada so that’s pretty rare. Oh, also a little bit under the battery. That may as well have come like that from the factory though. I bought a battery vent kit (BMW wanted $20 for the little plastic elbow... The guy at the parts counter looked, laughed, shook his head and said “man... F*CK THAT, I’m giving you a discount” and I got 40% off! Still expensive but better than no discount...) to hopefully slow down the damage back there.