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Jon Shafer 06-08-2006 07:16 PM

E30 Resource Thread
The most important and relevant questions and helpful information pertaining to the maintenance, restoration, or modification of the beloved E30 BMW 3 Series gets posted here.

Please chime in.


This thread consists of:

The official Bimmerfest E30 FAQ thread
E30 DIY Links
Sources of Vacuum Leaks


E30 Owners Manual
(to download, right click then "Save As")

Please note: Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Please also allow ample time for this 8MB file to download...


SWISS 06-08-2006 10:05 PM


Originally Posted by Jon
The most important and relevant questions and helpful information pertaining to the maintenance, restoration, or modification of the beloved E30 BMW 3 Series gets posted here.

Please chime in.

Thanks Jon:thumbup: I've noticed we have added a few new members and we seem to be answering ALOT of the same questions over and over again so I asked Jon to give us a sticky for our MOST commonly asked questions (Timing belt DIY,SI batteries). This is long overdue and hopefully will help tone down the amount of threads being posted that are cluttering our board. In the next few days I will be digging up some of the DIY's I have written and posting links here. If you know of a DIY or tip feel free to post them here.

For ABS Light info:
Cluster issues unrelated to SI's:

SWISS 06-09-2006 02:49 PM

Timing belts are found on all variations of the M20 engine. It is Very important to change these around every 50k miles or 2 years. It is also recomended that the waterpump be changed at the same time for 2 reasons.#1.) The life of one is about the same as the service interval for the belt(oddly enough). #2.) It's alot easier to do it when you're already changing the belt and have the covers removed.
Here is a link to a DIY with tons of pictures and good advice on changing a T\belt on an M20.

BahnBaum 06-09-2006 03:06 PM

318is suspension rebuild
These are prices and part numbers from a complete rebuild I did to my one of my previous e30 318is. I'm pretty sure we replaced/upgraded all the bushings and almost all of the supension. This was almost two years ago, so prices may have changed.

Oh, and some pics too:

e30 suspension install

UUC Evo 3 short shifter kit. Bought a new one on ebay for about $180. Huge improvement in positive feeling of engagement.

4.10 LSD. Bought a 325 full size case off ebay for $300. Replaced the small case 4.10 open diff on my 318. Bolted right up.

OEM control arms from Turner Motorsport. PN 31121127725 (L) and 31121127726 (R), $89/ea.

Offset control arm bushings from Turner Motorsport. PN 31129061222, $99.95/pr. Also offset strut mounts from Turner.

Bilstein sports, H&R springs, offset strut mounts, JTD rear shock mounts, Racing Dynamics strut brace, bought used for $500 from a local autocrosser.

Tie rod assemblies from Turner Motorsport. PN 32111125186, $120/pr. Don't forget to order securing plates, BMW PN 32111124540 a whopping $.30/ea.

Front wheel bearing assemblies from Turner Motorsport, PN 31211131297, $140/pr. Don't forget collar nuts ($5/ea BMW PN 31211125826).

H&R Sways (22mm fr, 18mm rear, adjustables) from Turner Motorsport. PN TMSSWAYE30, $319.95.

Adjustable front sway link from Ireland Engineering. Can't locate the PN, but I believe it was about $80.

Urethane motor mounts from Ireland Engineering. PN e30mm318, $98/pr.

Urethane tranny mounts from Ireland Engineering. PN urethanetrans, $80/pr.

Front subframe reinforcement kit from Turner Motorsports. (requires welding), PN RE1777/8, $34.95.

Guibo (flex disc) from Turner Motorsports. PN 26112225624, $39.95.

Driveshaft center support bearing assembly from Turner Motorsports. BMW PN 26121226723, about $60.

Rear subframe bushings (street, not race) from Ireland Engineering, PN e30urethanerear, $80/pr.

Urethane rear trailer arm bushing kit from Ireland Engineering, PN 02REARBUSH, $52.

Rear swaybar bushing reinforcement kit from Turner Motorsports. PN RE1956, $124.95. Take the extra step and through bolt this to the mount, rather than reusing the stock tapping screw.

Brake kit from Turner Motorsports, including front and rear rotors, Metalmaster pads, ATE super blue fluid and stainless steel brakelines. PN E30BRAKEPACK, $299.95.

I think that about does it. Quick notes: this set up appears to have given me about 2.5 degrees of negative camber. Use stock motor and tranny mounts unless you're willing to accept some vibration. And find someone who has a lift.....


mattdk318i 06-10-2006 10:25 AM

Im going to try to address a question we get about once a week. Vibration under the Console. Theres one of many cluprits but this is the most common. The Guibo or Flex Disk can lose parts of the rubber between The bolt holes. Im restoring a Cabrio and when i first crawled under the car i noticed that mine needed to be replaced. :tsk: Heres some pictures that will maybe help. It also smooths out the power transmission to the wheels. Its pretty straight foward. You need a 17mm wrench and socket. Please watch your knuckles. There is alot of unforgiving sheetmetal under these cars. Lack of rubber explains why you get an unbalanced vibration.:thumbup:

mattdk318i 06-12-2006 03:20 PM

Delphini asked about a 5 speed swap. Ive done countless hours of research on this swap over the past few months . I just always had my little 318 with the 5spd. But my 325is wasnt. Now that i have my cabrio theres no choice:thumbup: im going 5 speed. So heres a list of what you will need.

5 speed transmission 100$ (junkyard)
Driveshaft for a 5 speed 25$(junkyard)
brake and clutch pedal 20$ (junkyard)
gear shifter and mechanisms 20$ (junkyard) perfect time to get shortshift kit:dunno:
shift knob ($?depends on preference)
brake fluid resivoir 20$ (junkyard)Most have clippable nipple on the right front side So a replacement might not be needed.
clutch kit 239$(always new)
shift boot 11$
new guibo 40$
new transmission mounts 30$
transmission support (metal part) from 325i or E 15$ (junkyard)

If you have owned your car long enough you will know what all of this is. If you have no idea how to even start. I recommend owning your car a little longer and researching:dunno: This list will help you get up a price list if nothing else. I located a local junkyard over the phone and got this list. My recommendation is to find a complete 5 speed e30 in a junkyard and remove all of the components. Make sure it doesnt have like 240K:tsk:
The automatic transmission has a switch on the shifter. If its not in Park it wont start. So you have to remove that switch and hardwire it. I have heard rumor of the cruise control acting up when a swap is done. I guess ill have to find out and let you guys know

mrdell4150 06-14-2006 07:02 PM

Here is my guide to an aftermarket radio install:

325ic a beer 07-04-2006 11:31 AM

If you are overheating after a coolant change..
You probably have an AIR BUBBLE in the system.
I have my patented method to remedy this:
Make sure that the coolant level is topped up just a bit overfilled.
Get a set of 6 to 8 inch ramps. Drive up onto them. With a cool engine, start the engine in neutral. Make sure the hood is open. Crack the air-bleeder screw and let the engine come up to temp. You will all of a sudden see coolant and air start to bubble out once the thermostat opens. Let it keep bubbling until you see no more air bubbles mixed in with the coolant. Now close air-bleeder screw tightly.
This nose- in- the- air attitude make the air bubble slide up and out the front of the head and engine allowing the coolant to completely maintain contact with the hot metal instead of air.
Thats a good thing.:thumbup:
If you do this proceedure on a flat surface..... you'll keep your air bubbles trapped.
Not a good thing.

SWISS 09-24-2006 06:52 AM

Rack rebuild
2 Attachment(s)
Courtesy of Shane aka Beemer X.

mattdk318i 10-01-2007 06:42 PM

Someone needs to add something to this thread. Its been a Year!!

stategorgeous 11-12-2007 04:49 PM

What common procedures/parts need addressing?

Lanc3r 11-12-2007 04:53 PM


Originally Posted by stategorgeous (Post 2794985)
What common procedures/parts need addressing?

For you, Timing belt would be a major priority.

Fuel filter

rear shock mounts

The Barvarian 12-04-2007 09:12 AM

Looking for e30 HP #'s by model and year.....

my 87 325m-tech 01-20-2008 09:25 PM

you should add wheel and tire info!

HarryN 01-22-2008 09:59 AM

Perhaps some info on sensors and symptoms:
- crank angle sensor
- mass flow intake sensor

turdlecharge 03-04-2008 08:29 PM

Sources of Vacuum Leaks
i think it might be helpful to throw in a sticky for possible vac leaks... maybe it will alleviate some questions

2 good ones i found were

1. o rings on the oil dipstick

2. clutch master cylinder hose off brake master cylinder leaking

has anyone figured out how to make the elbow that goes into the intake from IACV not leak? im thinkn rtv or possibly tappn it and threading it for a brass elbow!

downhiller 03-04-2008 08:32 PM

another good one is the valve cover gasket. had that on my midget, took me about a week to figure that one out.

SWISS 03-04-2008 10:49 PM


Originally Posted by turdlecharge (Post 3061083)
i think it might be helpful to throw in a sticky for possible vac leaks... maybe it will alleviate some questions

2 good ones i found were

1. o rings on the oil dipstick

2. clutch master cylinder hose off brake master cylinder leaking

has anyone figured out how to make the elbow that goes into the intake from IACV not leak? im thinkn rtv or possibly tappn it and threading it for a brass elbow!

JB weld those elbows back into the intake.
Other notorious ones are the oil drain back tube seal, hose fittings on the throttle body, injectors not seated, valve cover.

oldtimer 03-05-2008 04:40 AM

What indication did you guys experience that prompted you to check for leak. Better yet: if the valve cover seal is leaking what indication one can experience. Here's my situation. I replace the TPS and clean the ICV. the engine light still comes on off and on and a steady light. The idles when I come to stop light or sign then it will flactuate. I can tell the ICV is working and is clean because when you first start the car the rpm will be high for a second or two then it drops to proper rpm. Also, when the car is idling and flactuates then pull the tube from the valve cover. the front tube idle will be smooth but high. Can someone tell me what that indicates aside from idling high.

downhiller 03-05-2008 05:21 PM


if the valve cover seal is leaking what indication one can experience
i found mine by mistake, sort of. i had a leaking valve cover gasket, and when i pulled the cover there was a small gap to where the crankcase pressure was released. and after i replaced that, it ran decent until the head gasket went. after i replaced that i have the same syptoms. but as SWISS stated "the oil drain back tube" might be leaking on mine. i kinda found the o-ring on the ground after i put everything back on. and i didnt want to takle that one for a bit.

SWISS 03-05-2008 08:20 PM

Another spot is the oil cap. Pretty much you need to rev your engine and listen for the hiss. My indication that I had a leak came in the form of poor idle and the infamous 1222 CEL code. Idle I discovered was part vacuum leak but more Bosch plat +4 plugs, M20's don't like them. the other was a O ring I forgot on the oil drain back tube when I did the head. And boy is that fun to do without removing the intake....:tsk:

Thrax 03-05-2008 08:46 PM

+ 2 on Swiss and Downhiller but come on Swiss. JB weld...:rofl: I thought you were better than that... Replace, reduce, recycle. Sell your old parts on E-bay and buy new to make up the difference.

oldtimer 03-06-2008 03:57 AM

The last time the valve cover was off the engine was when I painted it but that was a year ago. It was idling normal my idle problem did not start until just recently. I plan on taking the intake off in the near future to combat those vacuum line. I am going to replace them with steal line with as little rubber tube coupling them together to eliminate the worry of any vacuum leak coming from there and of course the hassel of removing the intake just to get the line.

I will investigate the oil filler cap idea.

blubimmer 03-29-2008 07:11 PM

another one
well here is one i found me a can of carb cleaner and sprayed around like everyone else has done before...i was getting the same symtoms idle fluctuates when in i said started spraying around the engine looking for that vacuum leak and just could not find anything at all the vacuum lines that i could see....then just for the sake of it...i sprayed at the bottom of the fuel injectors and lo and behold i had a reaction...found out that the o rings on my fuel injectors were deterioted and was leaking there...changed the o rings and finally got to adjust and time the engine so that it did on rev up and down...hope this help some one out too...:)

Mike_Check 03-30-2008 12:28 PM

I thought this was a sticky...not a q/a forum...


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