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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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Old 10-01-2012, 07:59 PM
nedfunnell nedfunnell is offline
Registered User
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 1985 325e
New 1985 325e

Hello all,
I have been DDing my 1985 325e since I got it about a month ago. It is the car featured in this thread by the PO, and the backstory is located there:


Here are some pics:

Driving home from the deal:

Installing the black door panels this evening:

I have plenty that I need to do to it. Here's my to-do list, in rough order of priority:

Replace seats done
Fill star crack in windshield
Shift fix
Valve adjustment
Fix oil leaks
LR doorhandle
SI board
Low exhaust
Instrument cluster- odo gears, bulbs, SI batteries, reflow solder joints
Take out seats and clean carpet (replace w/ black?)
Intake boot
Check fan clutch
Get new key
Install new dash (in hand, install needed)
Seats - upholster bolster
Paint repair
Kick panel
Replace door panels with black ones done
AC conversion

I would like your input on a few of these items. I've done some research (quite a bit, actually) but I still would love some confirmation or correction on some things.

1. Shifter needs help. I have the problem of needing to pull the shifter into the console to get it into reverse, as well as the shifter being very loose. I also hear a once-per-revolution scraping noise when I'm in reverse, or when shifting into 1 or 2 with the lever held to the left. I gather that this is caused by worn out shifter bushings, and I can get those from Pelican. Sound right? $100+ seems expensive!

2. Oil consumption. The car eats a good bit of oil. I got low without realizing it on a recent trip. Where should I check for oil leaks?

3. Valve adjustment. This is simple, but one question- am I adjusting both intake and exhaust valves to .010?

4. Keys. I want a spare key. Where can I just get a key made? Dealer wants tons of money from a VIN-cut key. Also, my ignition is worn out- I have to be careful to put the key in perfectly straight or it won't go. Should I replace my whole ignition? That'd be a chore, I'm sure...

5. How bad is carpet replacement? I know where to get just some rolls of automotive carpet. Can I pretty much just take out the seats and cut to fit?

6. My trunk release button is sticky. How should I lubricate it?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:32 PM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,560
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
as of the shifter, get a short shift kit. theres plenty out there and most them replace all the worn out parts.

oil leak. start by getting a good size cardboard box thatll fit between the front wheels from the radiator to the firewall. top off the oil and let the engine run at idle for 10 minutes. if it drips somewhere the clean cardboard gives you a good reference point. if nothing drips it may be burning oil which means new rings

valve adjustment, yes both are the same gap

key, i had a local locksmith make me a new one, but i would pull/lube the ignition cylinder

carpet, couldnt help you there

a good teflon or graphite spray lubes sticky parts
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:14 AM
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Newman271 Newman271 is offline
That Guy
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 625
Mein Auto: 99' 540i M-Sport
I know about your shifter problem... samething happened to me. Fix that before anything, or else you'll find your self on the side of a highway at 2:30 am on St. Patty's day. Not where you wanna be lol.. I know. If you put the bimmer in the air look directly at the rear of the transmission right above the guibo. You'll see your shifter plate. There's two bolts that bolt that into the transmission to keep it from flopping back and forth. Tighten them up and make sure your rubber isolator is properly installed on the rear of the shift plate to the body. This will get rid of 90% of your problem. Otherwise, you'll shift and hear a pop sound and you won't be able to find a gear anywhere.

Carpet I'd say grab from a clean donor car. You can rent a hand held steam cleaner to get it really clean.

I had my spare key made at a hardware store where I also bought graphite for the locks.
1999 540i M-Sport
Still fresh and Minty

1985 335i
Black on Black coupe 5spd

1979 Trans Am 10th Anniversary
#16 of 5,683 made

KOI Import Parts-- 513-771-7777
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