E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Possibly purchasing an E30, known issues?
View Single Post
Old 01-20-2012, 10:08 PM   #38
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SE Michigan/NW Ohio
Posts: 2,040
My Ride: 323Ci, 89 325i ETA
Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
I'm going to chime in here a bit. I have owned or still own several E30s. I have had an 1984 318i, a 1985 318i, a 1987 325e, a 1989 325ix and a 1991 318is. The small 4 cylinders in the 1984 and 1985 318is were no power houses, but were pretty bullet proof, good drivers and got decent gas mileage. The 1987 325e was a bit quicker than the 318i's and you had to change the timing belt just like the service manual said. The 1989 325ix is a great car in all weather, heavy, but handles well and no snow will stop it with 4 good snow tires. The 1991 318is is a more modern 2002, the cult car. It was the lightest and the M42 dual overhead cam 4 cylinder made 132 HP stock, more than enough to move the car quite quickly (quite fast from 0 to 60). If you did some engine, exhaust and suspension and brake mods, the car was even quicker and even more fun to drive, especially on windy roads. Look for water in the trunk wells, all 3 of them, water in the tail lights, see when the timing belt was last done, if you can, pull a compression test on all cylinders. Common for the OD gear(s) to break (easy fix cause you can buy the gears for both models of speedo used), also common for dash to crack (can replace or put a cover over it). If the car really needs nothing, $1500.00 isn't bad (if you can live with the cracked dash), and still not too bad if you want to make it a project car as long as it has no rust (you might find rust on the rear facia on the passenger side between the tow hook and the corner where the battery lives) and you might find rust on the lower fronts of the doors and rear lower part of the front fenders. It should have the color coded Euro bumpers front and rear.
The owner did state the speedo/fuel gauge goes out a few times since hes driven it. He said it frequently stops for a little bit then works again. I have read its just as simple as the circuit board going bad. Possibly the battery or gears like you stated? The car has no rust at all. Seats are mint just needs some carpet cleaning. First thing I have to buy is a new battery because he said it was dead and get an alignment. I'm not looking for a mint e30 because I don't want to spend the time looking and it will be way out of my price range. I wanted a project car to begin with. If I do end up purchasing it, it will get maintenance first, new paint, wheels, coilovers ect. Thanks for all the input

E30 in progress.

Last edited by bimminge46; 01-20-2012 at 10:09 PM.
bimminge46 is offline   Reply With Quote