This is a project that's been on the list for a while, but recently I saw several prople on the forums and reddit looking for something like this, so I decided to go ahead and bump it to the front of the E30 Update project list.
If you know anything about the E30, you probably know out pre & post-update versions. Before 1988, the US models shipped with the endearingly nicknamed "Diving Board" bumper. A big, bulky, impact regulation-meeting aluminum beam. Some people replace them with the Euro bumpers if they've got the kachinga, which, not gonna hate on that, they do look nice. At the very least they get tucked, which is a nice compromise and definitely one of the mods I'm thinking about for my car. Either way, while generally considered an inferior design to what was sold in Europe and the rest of the world before the 1988 update, I think it has aged, kind of like a fine cheese; a little stinky, but still, a delicacy to the seasoned pallet :p
So I thought it was time to give the "Diving Board" a little deserved attention.
What would that be? Well the issue is the US front plate frame. Some states require front plates, but many don't. So adding to the somewhat inelegant presence of the US spec bumper, is this dangling hunk of plastic which, may or may not need to be there. But if it doesn't need to be there, you can't really remove it, or else you're left with the bare aluminum beam revealing the license plate frame brackets and some holes, including the tow hook hole. And nobody is going to do that unless they just don't have it anymore. Which, many cars don't. Even if they did, they don't have any real way to mount a Euro-style plate like you could with the '88 and on bumpers. Now there are a couple other guys out there making a similar part, but it doesn't look quite "stock", and it doesn't have a "designed in" way to mount the Euro plate.
So I made the E30 Diving board trim strip to solve all these problems. If your state doesn't require you to have a front plate, you can take the US plate frame off and streamline the look of your "Diving Board". And if you like the Euro plate look, it's got the Euro plate holes too. Even if your state does require a front plate, you can mount it over the Diving Board strip if you use longer screws. So you don't have to you know, zip-tie it on or something like that... I've seen your pics bro!
What you see here is the first prototype, but I made a few tweaks before I putting it on the site. First, I designed it a little tight, so I reduced the overall width by a few millimeters. Then I got a DM from a guy about the reddit poll I did for this project, and that's when I realized that you could still mount a US plate on this with longer screws, so I added leveling around the US plate mount holes. That way if you do want or need to mount a US plate it doesn't angle up awkwardly. Lastly, I added the tow hook hole with a little twist-off beauty cap. I also made a couple other little tweaks to make it a little easier to install which you'll be able to see in the pics on the shop page. This part is made from professional grade MJF (Multijet Fusion) process plastic, and should provide many years of classy 80s impact resistance trimming!
So here's the deal! For the first 10+ orders, I can get the price down to $129. Because I'm small time & don't spend money on Google ads & keywords & stuff like that I'm going to put a 30 day "Deal Period" on it. After that, the price will go up to the one-off price. So if I only get 9 orders in 30 days, nobody gets the discount, and if I get 99 orders in 30 days everyone gets the discount! So I'm pretty sure there are 99 E30s out there that need this... (mine did!). So if you've got a diving board E30, go order a front bumper strip at e30update.com! If you do, I'd love to see some pics of it installed! Post it on reddit or insta or wherever and let me know!
I had an idea for a new part a while back, and then a few weeks later I noticed a few people looking for that exact part on various social media platforms. So I decided to go ahead and make it. I knew it was going to be a bit on the expensive side, but when I got the quote back, I knew it would be a hard sell to the E30 community.
While it's a cool idea, it's apparently not that cool according to the poll results on the E30 Reddit.
In the 70s and 80s, US crash protection regulations began throwing car manufacturers into a proverbial spin to design around the new impact safety requirements. As a short-term result, hideous, giant bumpers began growing out of the front and rear ends of almost all products of the era, and BMW wasn't immune to this phenomenon. They did the best they could, but the "Diving Board" bumpers are still considered an inferior design compared to the European version of the same models.
In addition to the less than elegant bumper design, many US states require a license plate to be mounted on the front of the car. The way BMW designed the plastic front license plate bracket, is rather than making it a separate part that mounted over the trim, it simply replaced that section of trim. As happens with many old car parts, over time they become old, brittle, break, get lost and leave an unsightly gap in the bumper - as can be seen in the image above. Not that having the plate bracket on looks that much better. But not all states require a front plate.
For the "Series 2" E30s introduced in 1899, BMW had a more elegant solution for the bumpers; a more modern, "integrated" bumper with an ABS plastic shell. One nice thing about the updated bumper clip was that it accommodated both US, and Euro plate designs. So many enthusiasts living in states that don't demand a legal front plate will opt to affix a euro front plate for th "cool factor" - like I did on my previous E30. And if you didn't want or have a plate to put there, the black strip continued cleanly across the front of the bumper.
So as you have probably already guessed, the idea is to design a replacement strip for the pre-update, "Diving Board" bumpers that will accommodate the Euro spec plates (and US too with longer screws). The design is completed and quoted, and now I'm just trying to figure out if anyone would actually buy one.
What do you think? Reply in the comments, or if you see this before the Reddit poll closes go put your vote in! Maybe it will be in the shop soon! Remember, if you become a 325es patron, you'll get to see WIP updates and get discounts on your purchase! Give a like and subscribe to the little YouTube channel while you're at it!
The update is up! See how I fixed the broken glove box latch on my 1987 325es.
OMG I can't believe I'm a YouTuber now. Well, here goes! In this first video, I "break into" my 1987 BMW 325es glove box. I finally get it unbolted and loose, but that's just the beginning of the story. The solution spawned a YouTube channel, a website, half a dozen products and many more product ideas. Find out how it all unfolds in part two. If you like and subscribe it will help keep the web site up, and the new products coming! And if you have an E30, replace your glove box latches with these sweet replacement parts!
Michael's first car out college was a Brilliantrot 1990 BMW 325is coupe. He was in love. He was going to drive it for the rest of his life, but then tragedy struck. The car was destroyed in a traffic accident in 2018. After test driving several E36es and E46es he finally found a 1987 "325" es. It was then he realized; he truly was an E30 guy. This blog captures some of the adventures with his example of the car knows as "God's chariot".