Reassembly, paint, lighting, electrics

The rear wings, tub and spare cover are back from for some touch up work and removal of all the stone chips on the wings! The wings were starting to look more stone chip hole than paint on the front. To protect the wings this time I purchased some 3M VentureShield from – I made a pattern using paper first then cut out the 3M stone chip protection film and applied. It took a lot of soapy water and work with the squeegee to get everything stuck down.

After fitting the stone chip protection film, I installed the new 3D printed light covers:

Wiring updated for the new inner LED lights:

Stuck the rear tub back on, this time using A316 stainless ‘A4’ nuts and bolts, these shouldn’t go rusty as easily as the previous 304 stainless ones. Got the nuts and bolts from

Decided to use vinyl wing piping from instead of the rubber trim that’s been on there since 2005 (that had started to go solid). The texture on the trim is very nice.

Next it was time to tackle some electrical, this tool from (via is an invaluable tool for dealing with 12v car electrics. It will tell you if you have a ground, or a positive (and how many volts), plus you can use the switch to send a ground or 12 volts to the item your are connected to. A good way to test relays, bulbs, LED polarity etc.

Reconnected the 4 pin water proof connectors and tied up the excess cables out of the way of the tyres.

These are new two pole Lucas 403 bulb holders and a very cool set of LED lights that output both white and red light spending on which pins you connect up. They cover reverse and fog, which means I can run twin fog / twin reverse lights! The old Lucas 403 holders were starting to look a bit rusty so the new ones were good to get anyway.

Finally, an extra cross over cable is needed to bring the 12v+ fog/reverse to both sides of the car:

Reverse on!

Fog on!

Finally, due to the indicators now being LED they ran in super insane broken bulb mode. As such the flasher relay needed to be swapped out. I had gotten an LED flasher from S-V-C it’s pin out is reversed from the BMW flasher relay and the ground is on a wire from the top. The flasher relay comes with a polarity swapping attachment so it goes right into the same connector as the stock flasher. The ground I’ve attached to the same location as the horn and other steering wheel wiring grounds.

Finally, some assembled shots:


Varex exhaust build part 4

As I was busy Richard sorted the wiring out for the control box:

Wiring, inside the tub running along the tank with the rest of the rear loom

Wiring running along transmission tunnel, protected by a piece of fuel tubing to stop stray debris from damaging it.

Behind the fuse box, hooked in via 7.5amp fuse to an ignition feed

Located the control box in the same area just off the centre console.

Everything back in place under the dash

Just needs the rear putting back together again.


Under scuttle and dash wiring

Cleaning up and finishing the internal wiring, a much bigger and time consuming task that you would think! Cleaning up and finishing the internal wiring, a much bigger and time consuming task that you would think!

and on the next gallery page:

Dash wiring, bit of custom wiring on speedo and rev counter – the light bulbs are wiring for always on, so we’ve take of the tags that wiring internally and attached wires directly to the bulb holder. Now those dim along with the rest of the dash when the light switch is twisted.

Dash installed

Glove box now housing the fuse box which is lockable.

Mirrors – these are chrome bullet mirror which will be replaced with cheapo Halfords ones for the test – these won’t pass SVA.

Shot over the bonnet at the mirrors


Dash & Nose Cone

As promised here are a some better pictures of the dashboard taken in the light:

And some better pictures of the heater speed control:

And the back of the dashboard – by redoing the sponge part we were able to scretch the vinyl over the back and glue to the dash. This means there will be no bumps or gaps between the scuttle and the dash / trim.

Finally some body work, cutting out the holes on the nose cone , these are quite big but the bigger the holes the more cold air can flow in to cool the engine.:

and on the next page:

Holes are now rounded out and the grille placed behind – grille still needs to be cut down and mounted.

All it needs is the spotlights remounting, grill mouting and the front end will be complete.


lights & interior

All the lights are now working! Blew the 7.5amp fuses though. The current on the high beams + spots peaks at 11amps (possible spikes higher) so 15amp fuses are going in for those. We’ll see how it behaves with those.

A smallish job we’ve been putting off for a long time. The 6 branch manifold gets quite close to the brake master cylinder and pipes so we’ve put in a shield to try and reduce the amount of heat around it. Keep brake fluid cooler can only be a good thing!

Big thanks to Mike at Car Audio for sending this pack of Damplifer out so quickly so we could do this over the weekend! Sound deadening such as Damplifier or Dynamat is used in the car audio industry to reduce rattly panels. On the plus side this stuff will dampen vibrations through the floor as well as heat shield it.

3 sheets plus half a sheet of Dynamat we had left over from a bulk pack covers both floors, the lower half of the firewall and part of the side of the transmission tunnel. Which should be enough to protect our feet from heat. 

Also added extra bolts to the seat runner brackets that go through the brackets, floor and chassis.

More dashboard work – installed the switches around the steering wheel – yes those holes on the right are in the wrong place! – oops 🙂 Luckily the whole dash will be covered so its not and issue.

Bottom to top: Main light switch (from the E30), fog light, interior light, speedo LCD switch button.

The main light switch is the one from the donor E30. You can spin the button to change the brightness of the dash lighting.

Installation is made easy by using part of the E30 dashboard screwed to the back of the Sportster dash.

Glove box attached to the dash, had to chop a load off the scuttle so it would fit in nicely.

Finally the beginning of an initial template for the boot floor.


Gauge Wiring

The final gauge wiring is now complete, everything has been connected.

The dash lights on, at the moment the rpm & speedo lights turn on with the ignition, the light bulb holders will need to be modified so the bulbs can be wired into the same circuit as the other dash lights.  This will allow them to be dimmed from the light switch.

The fuel tank was filled with 25liters if fuel to test the gauge. Success, the gauge shows half full, we need to see how accurate the gauge once we have the car on the road.


Body adjustments and wiring

The striker pin plate re-enforcement is complete on both sides. Each has a rivnut in place to help secure the front of the tub in place. It helps pull the passenger side in which naturally sits slightly wrong.

The counter sunk bolt and cup washer really finish it off nicely!

Also done loads of fine tuning and clean up on various fibreglass bits like the scuttle panel (to make it easier to put the front bolts in and the rear tub.
As a part of this week decided to rivnut the rear wings on. This means they can be taken on or off without the tub needing to be taken off the car – a good feature should the worst happen and the wing needs to come off for repair. The rivnuts are fibreglassed at the back to reduce the chances of one spinning free and stopping the bolts form coming out.

Finally a more wiring! This time we’ve installed door jam switches for the interior lighting and as part of the security system:


Wiring, and a few small things

Lots of wiring done under the bonnet :

Bumpers bolted in – the nut is welded to the top so the bumper can be taken out from the bottom. There is also a bolt in the side to stabilise it.

Additional bracket added to the striker pin plate to make it stronger. Its bolted at the bottom and held to the striker plate with a rivnut – this should serve well in pulling the bottom of the fiberglass tub into place on the passenger side.


Wires, bodywork and parts


We’ve made excellent progress with the wiring, pretty much everything is in place now ready to go!


Rear lights are in and the tank filler hole is drilled. The wings are not the same, the left one is longer than the right one. Makes for an interesting task lining up the lights. Rear view is nearly done, the real lights still need to go in (rather than the reflectors) the fog lights need to go on. As do the number plate lights!

Also started removing the flash lines from the tub, what a PITA job!

Finally a bit of future tuning news:

This is a crank from a BMW M52B28 engine, with a spacer at the front end this will drop right into the M20 block. Combined with 130mm conrods from a M20B20 and the pistons from the M20B25 this will result in a 2.8 ltr stroker engine. The parts been put in the box ready for rebuilding the engine at some point in the future.


Wiring Continued

Back to the wiring jungle 🙂

After the success of getting the engine running
the rest of the wiring needs to be completed. The headlight wiring was first on
the list. We have decided to use the light switch from our donor. The switch
works very well and has a dimmer function for the dash & instruments
lights that we want to incorporate into our Sportster.

For the light switch testing a front light was
mounted on the car, this made the testing much easier as the results were
instantly visible and no need to hold a multimeter up to each connection.

As with the rest of the wiring the first part was to study the BMW wiring
diagrams. It became clear that the wiring diagrams did not match the wiring
from our donor. So to start with the diagrams were put to one side and the
wiring from donor was used as a guide to wire the light switch. The result was
that lights did not function correctly, when the light switch was moved to
position 1 the low beam came on, this should only be the parking light. Low
beam should only come on at position 2.

With all of the confusion the multimeter came out and the switch was analysed,
with the help of the wiring diagrams the switch was successfully wired. The
light switch functions just like in the original car.

We will also wire up the spot lights to the high beam. Originally we planned to
used the spot lights as front fog lights however in this part of the country
front fog lights get very little use. With the spot lights on high beam
will give us more light for driving in the dark (and help to blind rude drivers
🙂 )

Light Off

Parking Light

Low Beam

High Beam & Flasher

Max showing us how headlights are supposed to work! 🙂 click image for a larger version.