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Photo Source: Bimmerforums

Last year I put together a list of holiday gift ideas for the e30 lover (or BMW enthusiast) on your list. But a new year welcomes new ideas and so I present my 2013 Gift Guide. Happy shopping!

Gift Suggestions


  1. BMW Fabric Wallets: WalletWerks.com makes simple billfold style wallets in popular BMW fabrics that any enthusiast will recognize and appreciate. The Mtechnic fabric is represented here as well as Alpina. Priced under $60 for a billfold and matching keychain or $20 for a card wallet this gift is classy and budget friendly. There are officially licensed versions available from BMW or Amazon but the WalletWerks billfolds have classic charm and no faux-chrome.
  2. Keychains: BMW leather keychains are NLA (no longer available) from retailers like Turner Motorsport but they can still be found on eBay as reproductions or NOS (new old stock). A search on Ebay for BMW leather keychain will turn up some vintage items. Don’t wait to the last minute to order or your may not get it by Christmas.
  3. Driving Gloves: Last year I recommended cheap gloves which I use myself but this year go all out and get the Lowly Gentlemen gloves.
  4. Diecast Models: There is a limited range of BMW models available but the BMW M3 will be popular with every e30 fan. Check Amazon for other options.
  5. Fender Mat: The real deal with a BMW logo would come from a mechanic who doesn’t need it. They are very rare. But you can make one by ordering a plain black fender mat from Amazon or the Griot’s Garage red fender mat and adding a BMW iron-on patch from an Etsy seller to the bottom corner.
  6. BMW Car Blanket: BMW swag can be hit or miss with the vintage enthusiast but a car blanket is a timeless classic. These are no longer available on Amazon but can be found on Ebay and Etsy. They are probably not officially licensed. BMW club members can buy official licensed picnic blankets through the club shop.
  7. That’s my 2013 list. There are a couple other good ideas on last year’s list so be sure to check that out. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

December 4, 2013 e30, gift, guide, holiday, lover

If you look at photos of the intake manifold on a BMW M20 engine in an e30 you’ll see a recurring spot of wear illustrated in this older photo of my car:

BMW e30 M20 Engine Bay

This is caused by the black fibreglass hood liner which sags slightly and rubs against the manifold. You can barely see it in this photo:

BMW e30 hood liner

Also note the red tape that’s being used to protect the powder coated intake manifold which is at best a temporary solution. The permanent solution is to remove the hood liner:

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The unadorned hood isn’t ugly but it does allow more noise to escape the engine bay and some armchair mechanics postulate that the heat from the motor will cause the paint on the hood to bubble or wear poorly.

There’s two solutions for this:

  • BMW makes black foam insulating panels for some models but enthusiasts report that it falls apart after a few years of use and soaks up oil and grime. Part numbers are not noted on RealOEM but the set is available.
  • The other solution is mylar covered foam.
  • I bought my panels from BMP Design. They have a complete DIY on how to install the hood liner which is helpful.

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    Now a few comments about the product:

    • It’s recommended that you “test fit” the panels before installation. Once the contact cement is applied you really only get 1 shot at installing the panel so plan how you will place it (which end will go in first, etc.)
    • You may find that the panels do not fit exactly. I suggest *returning* them if they don’t fit. I tried to cut mine with a ruler and knife, then scissors and it is very difficult to cut cleanly.
    • Even if your panels fit you will find ragged edges where the mylar has been torn. Clean these up with scissors before installing.
    • The panels come with an adhesive backing. This is not strong enough to affix the panels without contact cement.
    • No fault of the product, but it does tend to show wrinkles if not applied perfectly flat on a surface. The e30′s hood has some bends and curves so some wrinkles are inevitable.

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    Installation was straightforward once I trimmed down the panels:

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    • Cover the entire engine bay in plastic.
    • The Weldwood adhesive is supposed to be workable for about an hour after application – if it’s applied thickly. I decided to apply it thinly using a foam roller which made application quick, although the roller produced some spider-webs of contact cement that had to be tamped down or pulled away from other surfaces. This saved time but also reduced workability to seconds once the panel and the hood were contacted.

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    BMW e30 m20 engine bay with BMP Design mylar hood liner

August 26, 2013 guide, mechanical