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Old 10-18-2011, 12:45 AM   #156
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Springfield OH
Posts: 740
My Ride: '00 323i + '75 2002
I was also able to get back into the shop over the past weekend and work on welding up the transmission tunnel.

When I left her last time I got the shifter mocked in place with some rod stock and an old shifter linkage. While it held it in place, I figured I should probably box the darn thing in.

What I started with:

It was necessary to rip out the tunnel due to the G260 (e30 5-speed) being so much larger than the old G240 (2002 4-speed). Some people have been able to just beat the crap out of their tunnels with a BFH and get it to wedge in there, but due to my engine placement (as far back as possible) I just didn't see it happening. That and this way I knew I would have clean, rust free metal going in there.

I started off by boxing in the shifter itself:

Then I started to frame in the tunnel. I used some rod stock again to frame it out so I could make sure everything would clear the transmission, even under full engine load/shift). Here you can see the rod frame with the right and top metal pieces tacked in place:

For the drivers side I wanted to add a little something extra to help with bleeding the clutch. So I cut a frame out of 1/8" (the rest of the tunnel is 18g) steel and welded some acorn nuts on the back to help keep the water out. Then I framed around my window with the 18 gauge and this is what I ended up with:

Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out. I should be able to handle bleeding out the system as a one person job now. I'm also contemplating adding a second window right in from of the shifter on the top of the tunnel. Pretty much where the pliers are in the picture below. This would let me reach the shifter assembly and adjust/replace things as needed without getting under the car. It would also normally be covered by the center console I'm going to fab up, so it wouldn't be an eyesore.

The tunnel from behind:

Next on the list is to get into the engine bay and mount the radiator and other engine accessories. Once all of those are in and finalized I can take the mock engine out and finish welding/sealing the underside of the car. I will also clean up the front subframe and then work on modifying the e30 rear one to fit.

Tinker Engineering - 2014

Mica - 2000 BMW 323i - The one that started it all
Fiona - 1975 BMW 2002 - The Definition of Project Creep
Heidi - 1988 BMW M5 - The piece of BMW history
Silvia - 2013 Subaru WRX - Stock, for now
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