Show prep is killing me. I’ve reached the home stretch, the reassembly, which should be all downhill from here. Somehow, I have this sinking feeling it isn’t going to be that easy. With more parts on the way and my E30 still up off of the ground, I’m starting to feel a real crunch for time. At the time I am writing this, I have exactly five weeks to have my E30 perfect for a 16 hour drive and its first presence at a show for the 2019 season for European Experience 2019 in Savannah, Georgia.
If you’ve been reading along, I have listed everything my E30 has received in this most recent round of restorative maintenance work and upgraded bits. What began as a fairly routine spot of maintenance has ballooned into a full drivetrain restoration, complete with all fluids, seals, gaskets, bushings, bearings, brakes, and more. Much of this had been replaced when I originally built the car, but hard driving for a few years certainly took its toll. It was definitely time for me to redo some things and most certainly time to do some services I had procrastinated.
Namely, the differential and transmission services. When I first put the car together, the open differential was sealed up tight and made no distinct noises. I decided for the sake of time, I would leave it in the car until I decided to switch for an LSD. The transmission had low mileage on it and shifted fine, so I opted to skimp out there as well with my initial build. Fortunately, I actually got around to deciding I needed to take care of that service before anything happened.
Upon removing the old open diff and popping the cover off, I found a surprisingly clean, leak-free, almost new looking set of gears. This gave me a bit of confidence in the condition of the transmission, but unfortunately, the diff wasn’t going back in. To replace it, the 3.73 LSD I picked up a few moths back would be sitting in between the rear wheels. The diff I bought had E28 outputs and a cover, so it needed to be all reassembled with my E30 parts.
With the new LSD apart on a table, I was able to inspect the ring gear and pinion, replace the seals and o-rings, and reassemble everything. Fresh RedLine gear oil and new plugs rounded off the service, meaning my LSD would now sit comfortably in its place for years to come, provided I put it all back together properly.
Up front, more RedLine fluid and new plugs for the transmission will happen this week once the rear end is put back together. As it sits, the rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, axles, and brakes have all been assembled on the ground. Now, it’s time to put it all back up in the car. Once done, my car will have received a full refresh at every corner and inside all the hard to reach parts most people avoid.
The big question is why would someone do this? Yes, I could have spent the money on new hotboi wheels, or a turbo setup, air suspension, or myriad other upgrades for my E30. At the end of that project, though, I may have a gorgeous car to look at, but what about how it drives? Living without the LSD, driving on worn out bushings, bearings, axles, and mounts, and wondering how my transmission is doing entirely detracted from my experience with the car. Yes, much of it was new before this bout of service, but those parts almost everyone avoids until they absolutely need to service them were in dire need of attention.
This is where I start preaching. Like you, I want to prioritize my car expenses with ‘bang for my buck’ performance and or looks. However, if the bones of my car aren’t there, what’s the point? If I don’t have an LSD, why put on track parts? If the bushings are shot, why install new suspension? If I want to drive the car, and enjoy it, I need to address all those places that most people pretend don’t exist. So I did. And I will be happier for it. Maybe next year I can put some different wheels on the car, but this year, it received some much-needed pampering.
If you don’t remember the last time you did your transmission fluid, differential fluid, and suspension bushings, you should probably stop procrastinating and get out there under your car. Check out our selection of OEM and Aftermarket options for your car right here at ECS and snag some RedLine Gear Oil for that guaranteed quality and protection your car deserves.