• Articles > Restoration B3 3.0 #079
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  • AutoZeitung 2/2018 Restoration 3.0 CSL B2-S Restoration B3 3.0 #079
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    Late 2007 I was longing for a new project! My wife and I had just bought a new house with a great 2 car + small workshop garage. Only problem, the garage was empty…
    Since we were expecting our first child that summer I realised that a 4 door saloon would be the most appropriate car to have. So, after looking around for a while I found this 1994 B3 3.0 at a well known Alpina-dealer here in Sweden. It´s a German import and has tag number #79 out of 350 made.
    The car was in a sad condition body-wise but the chassis & engine felt nice and tight. No problem there, I was looking for a project car and this one needed a lot of attention.
    I drove it all summer of 2007 to get a good feel for it and realising what had to be done.

    Pictures just after I bought it. Notice the two-tone Diamantschwarz / Silver paintjob and the gold metallic wheels!
    Early autumn 2007 I decided that this year’s season was over and drove the car in to the garage not really realising it would stay there the next 18 months..
    The car had a lot of surface rust due to poor maintenance and the salty Swedish winters.

    All 4 doors had rust under the sealant between inner and outer sheet metal so I decided to find new ones instead of repairing the original doors. Luckily I found a used set of doors at the local scrap yard in next to perfect condition! Front fenders I bought new and the rear wheel arches were also replaced with new.


    I decided to build a simple device so that I could spin the body around to make it much easier to work on the undercarriage of the car. But before that the body had to be stripped; engine, suspension parts, interior, and all other bolted on accessories were removed from the car.

    With the car standing 90 degrees on its side my work started with removing all of the old original undercoating. After a number of years there are always damages in the undercoating, especially around the lifting points, and then rust starts eating the uncovered sheet metal.

    The pictures below show the worst places. It takes a lot of time fixing these issues permanently and I wanted to make sure all the rust was removed and replaced.

    All the undercoating was removed and all rust and damages were fixed, I turned the car over and did the same thing on the other side. A lot of welding, grinding and sandblasting were followed by coating with yellow epoxy-primer and new grey body-sealant for all seams.

    Right from the beginning I decided that the car would be re-painted in Alpinweiss III and I wanted the underside of the car to have a nice finish as well. With all the rust and old undercoating removed and fixed, the underside of the car got a layer of Teroson terotex bodycoating and on top of that a layer of Alpinweiss III was applied.


    Since the engine bay is a bit tricky to paint I decided to do that myself to be able to mask up everything to ensure the paint comes were it is supposed. I managed to do a pretty decent paintjob and was satisfied with the result.

    Last job before going to the paint shop was changing the sheet metal between the rear lights.

    I decided to paint the luggage compartment myself as well. Notice my homemade ventilation system.

    The car is now on the trailer on its way to the paint shop. Fenders, doors and other removable sheet metal has been installed on the car but everything will be painted separately. While the car is being painted I will be working on the engine , suspension parts and a million other small jobs.

    With the garage nice and empty, I started working with the suspension parts. All the bushings had to be removed before sandblasting and powder coating. The finish is satin black. The alloy rims were sandblasted and painted flat black.


    Since I enjoy driving on track days and similar events, I really wanted an LSD differential which my car did not have as an original option. I actually was really lucky when I found a 25% LSD differential from a scrapped Alpina B3 at the local car dismantler! It seemed to be in good condition, judging from the outside look and the back-lash felt tight. I cleaned it with a wire brush, painted it , glass blasted the differential cover, changed all the gaskets and re-assembled it with new bolts, hardware and bushings.

    The engine was my next project. It was running really nice and there were no leaks or strange sounds coming from it, so I decided to leave the internals alone. But the outside and all accessories were filthy and looking sad. I stripped the engine of all bolted on accessories and cleaned the block with some nasty chemicals. Thereafter I used the wire brush on an angle- grinder to remove rust and deposits from the block. Thereafter the engine block was painted with special heat resistant lacquer; black of course. All of the bolt-on accessories and brackets were sandblasted to remove oxide, then glass blasted for a nice look. All external gaskets and –o-rings were renewed. The exhaust manifold was sandblasted and plasma-coated with aluminium to make it look and stay nice!

    Big day up next! The body was ready from the paint shop! It really looked nice and it was a scary / happy feeling loading it on the trailer with destination home garage again. I remember it taking almost a week before I even dared to start working on the newly painted car again.
    The paint shop made a real nice job and also made sure that my painted undercarriage was thoroughly masked so that this was not damaged.

    First job on the body was making new brake & fuel lines. I used the old ones as a template and tried to keep everything nice and straight. With this done I could then reinstall the fuel tank, after a good cleaning first of course. The powder coated hardware for this finished things off. New steel-braided hoses were used instead of the rubber ones.


    With brake lines and ABS unit back in the engine bay, it was time to put engine and gearbox back in the car again. I was a bit worried doing this alone since I didn’t want any scratches in the new paintwork but the job was very simple. I felt pleased when everything was bolted in. After that came all the work with the electrical connections, hoses and all the other small jobs that take such a long time in the end.

    Suspension was up next! I bought a Bilstein PSS 14 height adjustable coilover kit and a HR Front adjustable anti-roll bar. All bushings, links, joints and so on were replaced with new OEM or better parts.
    The braked were replaced with BMW E46 330i brakes front and rear (325*25 front/320*22 mm rear). The front callipers and rotors were simple bolt-on to the B3 3.0. The rear ones was a bit more work. The E46 330i has bigger parking brake shoes and mount differently to the trailing-arm. To make this work on my E36 I had to weld the inner section of the E36 shoe (with the friction material removed) to a modified E46 shoe (where only the outer part with the friction-material was used). Brake dust shields are E36 325 standard but modified to allow the 320 mm discs. Carbotech XP8 front pads and Carbotech Bobcat rear pads were used.
    Discs are Zimmerman Sport for E46 330i.

    Starting to put all doors, fenders, etc back in place. I can tell you this was a tricky job alone. But I managed it without any big scratches or dents!
    Wheels are back on and the car is rolled out of the garage for a quick wash to remove all dust from months of hard work. This was a good day! Still a million thing to fix but now it´s starting to look more like a car again. Putting a new sticker with the new Alpinweiss III paint code on the suspension tower makes me feel that we are getting close to the end!


    I built a new exhaust system from the catalysts back with a single stainless rear silencer. All electrical wiring in the engine bay was finished and hooked up. New oil, coolant, powersteering hydraulic oil, gearbox oil and differential oil was added.
    It was finally time for start up!
    Long story short… after a few electrical issues were resolved with a bit of fiddling…
    It started!!! Sounds pretty nice with the new exhaust, not too loud but with a nice aggressive tone!
    Too excited to take any pictures that day, sorry!
    After putting all the interior bits and pieces back in the car, which took a few days with cleaning and everything, I was hoping to be the finishing touch on my interior. I wanted to have a Sparco race seat, since the car also is going to be used for a few trackdays, however with the original Alpina fabric! I was lucky enough to find a scrapped B3 3.0 with the correct fabric material in a car dismantling shop in Sweden. I bought the rear seat from this car and with help from a specialist I was able to make a centrepiece section with the correct material made to fit the Sparco seat.
    The Sparco seat was restored with new foam and also painting the shell of the seat flat black.
    A lot of work but the finished product made it all worthwhile it I think!

    My goal was to have the car road legal for the 1st of April 2010 and I achieved this with a few days to spare. Car was presented to the annual technical safety inspection and was approved without any problems! A visit to the local workshop to have the wheel alignment done and my car was finally ready to run again! The April weather was really nice and it´s hard to describe the feeling those first few days!
    But, the finishing touch exterior-wise was still to be accomplished. Already from the start of the project I had the vision to finish the car of with the classic green/blue Alpina stripes used in the 1970´s on E21, E9 etc. A special E9 coupe really inspired me and the picture in the link below has kept my spirit going during the project.

    The stripes are probably “love them or hate them” and I think you understand which category I belong!

    Many thanks to Kees and all the kind forum readers at Alpinaboard.com & Rejsa.nu that have followed the project and inspired me to keep going!
    Please feel free to contact me on colson28 (ä) gmail.com if you have any questions!