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General BMW Model Discussion
All non E46 BMW model questions in here. Look below for E36, E90 and F30 specific forum. For additional model specific forums check out bimmerfest.com!

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Old 01-19-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
bimminge46
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Possibly purchasing an E30, known issues?

I finally found a non rusted e30. It is a 1989 325i coupe with a I6 2.7L 5 speed manual with 130k miles. New parts the seller replaced were fuel filter, shocks/struts and H&R sport springs. The car needs a battery and has a leak in the rear tire. The car is originally from Florida. The car definitely needs a new paint job since the clear coat is peeling on the roof. (not an issue plan on a respray) The interior is clean with a few small cracks on the dash. The seats are in mint condition but the carpet needs a little cleaning. Obviously I will be looking underneath the car for leaks/rust/damage of any kind. Opening the hood and checking all the fluids/hose lines for leaks etc. I am taking this car for a test drive this weekend and was wondering if there were any specific issues to look for? (subframe?)
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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known issues... hmm...
the ODO is extremely easy to roll back. like a 10 year old could make the milage zero in 30 min. so keep that in mind.
the ODO breaking is a common issue.
power steering leaks is common. you have the option to delete the power steering (cheaper) or fix it (more expensive)
cracks in the dash are VERy common. might not bother you but it might. it'll cost $150-$300 for a good one and a weekend.
locks being sticky can be common. it's common for people to rebuild the locks because they don't work for some reason. check to make sure all locks and central locking works the way it should. google how it should work because it's slightly confusing. there's a double lock feature which will permanently lock everything but the drivers door until deactivated.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #3
AlexTe46
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a know issue lately is that that have become over priced they are turning into a "classic car"


not to say i dont like them though
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexTe46 View Post
a know issue lately is that that have become over priced they are turning into a "classic car"


not to say i dont like them though
Ive noticed this also when ive searched for them online. There are a lot for sale at the cheap price they should be at but some are like the price of the e36's which is ridiculous in my opinion. But people are finding out these are sought after by enthusiasts like us
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bimminge46 View Post
It is a 1989 325i coupe with a I6 2.7L 5 speed manual with 130k miles.
No 89's had 2.7L, and no 325i ever had 2.7L. Something is wrong here...

Pics?

Now to the "what to look out for list":
  • Timing belt
  • Water pump
  • Rear subframe bushings
  • Rust, like hell
  • control arm/control arm bushings
  • cracked dash
  • Broken ODO
  • ICV go bad, and even the ECU portion can go bad.
  • Coolant temperature sensor
  • Tail light gaskets
  • Clutch fan
  • Guibo
  • Shift bushings, for sure
  • Inside door handles break

No subframe nonsense or anything like that. And M20's are fairly stout, just don't overheat them
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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M20s rock. Slow, but solid. Overheating is never good for any engine, however I've driven m20s well into the red and beyond.
No rust
No major body damage
no m10

just about everything else fixable.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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its a 325e i've had one, it was slow. 318's are just as fast and a better motor to boot. what you really want is a 325is. I have owned a few e30's, If i could get a clean 325is i would trade my e46 in a heartbeat best car I have ever owned.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:14 AM   #8
bimminge46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil1138 View Post
No 89's had 2.7L, and no 325i ever had 2.7L. Something is wrong here...

Pics?

Now to the "what to look out for list":
  • Timing belt
  • Water pump
  • Rear subframe bushings
  • Rust, like hell
  • control arm/control arm bushings
  • cracked dash
  • Broken ODO
  • ICV go bad, and even the ECU portion can go bad.
  • Coolant temperature sensor
  • Tail light gaskets
  • Clutch fan
  • Guibo
  • Shift bushings, for sure
  • Inside door handles break

No subframe nonsense or anything like that. And M20's are fairly stout, just don't overheat them
The owner said it had a I6 2.7L he might not know what model it is but the year is a 89. I thought the same thing. He said the odometer goes out sometimes. He wants $1800 for it so its not like this will break the bank. I am looking for a project car I can fix up. Thanks for the list neil.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:42 AM   #9
Brinkley
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sounds like its an eta, which isn't that bad, particularly if you are willing to put on an "i" head you'll get a good car. An 1800 eta needs to be pretty clean though.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:03 AM   #10
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The only issue is that pretty soon, your e46 will be for sale.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:09 AM   #11
fgump
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Known issues; addictive to drive!

I sorely miss my '91 318is. So tossable. Bulletproof. Less needy than the E46, but not nearly as many creature comforts.

Issues I had;
  • broken odo gears
  • cracked dash
  • needed new timing chain/gears/tensioner at 100k
  • water pumps
  • radiators
  • control arm bushings
  • power steering lines
  • front oil seal
  • ignition coils
All in all, it was a lovely car. It was a slicktop (no sunroof), no central locking, no cruise, manual sport seats, and I LOVED it. Now why'd I sell it again?
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:14 AM   #12
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Wait, did they even offer the 325e in '89? I think your seller might not know what he's talking about. That, combined with the fact that he's only done a fuel filter as maintenance, makes me very skeptical about the condition of this one.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:15 AM   #13
bimminge46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assbag View Post
its a 325e i've had one, it was slow. 318's are just as fast and a better motor to boot. what you really want is a 325is. I have owned a few e30's, If i could get a clean 325is i would trade my e46 in a heartbeat best car I have ever owned.
I think the 2.7L is the largest motor they made? He said it either has or can have a I head and it will output 190hp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
Wait, did they even offer the 325e in '89? I think your seller might not know what he's talking about. That, combined with the fact that he's only done a fuel filter as maintenance, makes me very skeptical about the condition of this one.
He just bought the car before thanksgiving 2011. He drove it from Florida to Michigan. Since then he replaced shocks/struts/springs changed coolant for winter and changed the oil. If it were $2500+ I wouldn't buy it but since its so cheap why not? If I wanted something nice I would spend 5k on a clean one.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #14
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318i = M10 1.8, great engine
318is ('91 only) = M42, sh!t engine
325e or es = m20 2.7L, economy engine
325i or is = m20 2.5L, the one you want

The 2.5L is superior in every way to the 2.7L. The head flows better, period. The block is supposed to be slightly more robust, although the difference are minimal.

People put the 2.5 "i" head on the 2.7 "e" block to get a 2.8L stroker engine with low compression. This is great for boost, but would still be slower than a stock 2.5.

None of these engines are going to make 190whp without some serious modification. I mean SERIOUS modification. Like, custom intake manifold, standalone management, straight exhaust, etc. The money you'd spend getting there would be better spent on forced induction.

Sounds like your seller is an idiot, or full of it, or both. The fact he bought it 3 months ago tells me he wants to flip it for profit, or it's got some major gremlins.

$1800 is not cheap for an e30, unless it's a minty low-miles 325is. I paid $4K for mine with 90K miles and Megasquirt installed. An eta should never be more than $1500 even in perfect condition--they're too slow!
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:12 AM   #15
fgump
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Why the hate on the M42?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
318i = M10 1.8, great engine
318is ('91 only) = M42, sh!t engine
325e or es = m20 2.7L, economy engine
325i or is = m20 2.5L, the one you want

The 2.5L is superior in every way to the 2.7L. The head flows better, period. The block is supposed to be slightly more robust, although the difference are minimal.

People put the 2.5 "i" head on the 2.7 "e" block to get a 2.8L stroker engine with low compression. This is great for boost, but would still be slower than a stock 2.5.

None of these engines are going to make 190whp without some serious modification. I mean SERIOUS modification. Like, custom intake manifold, standalone management, straight exhaust, etc. The money you'd spend getting there would be better spent on forced induction.

Sounds like your seller is an idiot, or full of it, or both. The fact he bought it 3 months ago tells me he wants to flip it for profit, or it's got some major gremlins.

$1800 is not cheap for an e30, unless it's a minty low-miles 325is. I paid $4K for mine with 90K miles and Megasquirt installed. An eta should never be more than $1500 even in perfect condition--they're too slow!
Yes, it was low hp, but it was also in the lightest E30! Above 4000 rpm it was a hoot to drive! Chipped even more fun!
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:22 AM   #16
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Oh yeah, slicktop 318is is to die for. Easily the most desirable e30 shell.

The M42 is just a pile. No power, and timing chain and headgasket issues. Hard to seal the two-piece oil pan gasket? I dunno, I'm just regurgitating what I've read on r3v and e30tech. I'd take an M10 over that thing any day.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:06 AM   #17
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timing belt for sure, they tend to rot off. Most everything else is bullet proof.


http://www.angelfire.com/blues2/bimm...imingbelt.html
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:45 AM   #18
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Oh yeah, slicktop 318is is to die for. Easily the most desirable e30 shell.

The M42 is just a pile. No power, and timing chain and headgasket issues. Hard to seal the two-piece oil pan gasket? I dunno, I'm just regurgitating what I've read on r3v and e30tech. I'd take an M10 over that thing any day.
I love my m42. Its the most advanced engine to go in an e30. Sure it doesnt have much power, but it makes more then the m10
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:13 PM   #19
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once you put an s52, it will be faster than a e46 m3(NA ofcourse, my old e30 pictured above )
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #20
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http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/an...796397571.html

You should check out this car i found the other day!!!!!!
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