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View Full Version : Buying a 1978 320i


AdamPHatch85
10-12-2009, 03:13 PM
I was just hoping a few of you would chirp in and tell me how reliable a 30 year old car could be. It has very little rust and only 120,000 miles. Anyone have any cursory opinions?

unicorn
10-22-2009, 03:04 AM
It's a great hobby. Yes, they are known to be quite reliable. They also have been known to attract rust.
I like the styling. I currently have a 1983 BMW 320is that I purchased used 23 years ago.
I had a 1978 BMW 320i I bought used. I do like the styling, it was designed by the Italian Pinin Farina design studio.

CALWATERBOY
10-27-2009, 05:06 AM
I currently have a 1983 BMW 320is that I purchased used 23 years ago.

Drove my '83 320is 150K mi - sold late '86. Buyer cut the top off & installed a convertible - saw it around awhile. No problems other than the rain 'twitch.' Did an honest 110 mph no mods.

77 320i
11-12-2009, 07:46 PM
i am sort of in a similar situation that you are in...flew out to california earlier this summer picked up my '77 320i with well over 200k on the odometer...got 50 miles from home blew a head...i knew there were engine problems and thought we could make it...and we nearly did...only 50 miles...thank God for friends with tow trucks...

i have done a little research on the internet and in 2 books from amazon and it appears as though both the 4 cyl and 6 cyl engines are near bullet proof...the racing history of these cars is robust to say the least...drive chains seem rock solid as well...read some things about clutch problems mostly master cylinders and slave cylinder issues...

unlike a jaguar there seems to be few electrical issues...but on a 30 yr old car grounds are what they are...seems that for some undiscovered reason the hazard switches are somewhat problematic...RUST is a huge issue...mine lived its entire life in southern california and had no rust...when i pulled the drive train for rebuild i sprayed "tintable" truck bed liner under the entire car to protect it from the likelihood of pennsylvania rust...that was a good move for my money...

i found that for the engine parts...the guys at ireland engineering (http://www.iemotorsport.com/) were more than helpful, and mechanically competent...they understand these cars...however, they are as any business with a solid business model...BUSY...this required some patience on my part...and honestly the wait was well worth it...i could have bought else where and i was SERIOUSLY tempted to do just that...but like i said...they are worth a serious conversation...

good luck on the rebuild...we will all keep an eye out for the pictures...you can follow my progress at . . . http://the320i.blogspot.com/

77 320i
11-12-2009, 08:15 PM
i am sort of in a similar situation that you are in...flew out to california earlier this summer picked up my '77 320i with well over 200k on the odometer...got 50 miles from home blew a head...i knew there were engine problems and thought we could make it...and we nearly did...only 50 miles...thank God for friends with tow trucks...

i have done a little research on the internet and in 2 books from amazon and it appears as though both the 4 cyl and 6 cyl engines are near bullet proof...the racing history of these cars is robust to say the least...drive chains seem rock solid as well...read some things about clutch problems mostly master cylinders and slave cylinder issues...

unlike a jaguar there seems to be few electrical issues...but on a 30 yr old car grounds are what they are...seems that for some undiscovered reason the hazard switches are somewhat problematic...RUST is a huge issue...mine lived its entire life in southern california and had no rust...when i pulled the drive train for rebuild i sprayed "tintable" truck bed liner under the entire car to protect it from the likelihood of pennsylvania rust...that was a good move for my money...

i found that for the engine parts...the guys at ireland engineering (http://www.iemotorsport.com/) were more than helpful, and mechanically competent...they understand these cars...however, they are as any business with a solid business model...BUSY...this required some patience on my part...and honestly the wait was well worth it...i could have bought else where and i was SERIOUSLY tempted to do just that...but like i said...they are worth a serious conversation...

good luck on the rebuild...we will all keep an eye out for the pictures...you can follow my progress at . . . http://the320i.blogspot.com/