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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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  #1  
Old 09-20-2009, 05:12 PM
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goosefoot33 goosefoot33 is online now
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Buying Advice

Hey guys, I have recently been pursuing buying a late 80s e30 (ideally a 325). With most of the mileages being around 150- 200K, are there are any notable things to look for during initial inspection before making the commitment? This excludes any obvious leaks, visible broken components, and regular maintenance items.

I'm looking at one right now with the following issues:
-Rear windows do not go up or down (regulators? Overall not a big deal to me)
-Left rear door doesn't open (again, not a big deal. Will open panel and check latches)
-Power steering doesn't work
-Rear shock needs to be replaced

Other than that the seller says that there is no leaks and no mechanical problems, and the interior is great. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goosefoot33 View Post
Hey guys, I have recently been pursuing buying a late 80s e30 (ideally a 325). With most of the mileages being around 150- 200K, are there are any notable things to look for during initial inspection before making the commitment? This excludes any obvious leaks, visible broken components, and regular maintenance items.

I'm looking at one right now with the following issues:
-Rear windows do not go up or down (regulators? Overall not a big deal to me)
-Left rear door doesn't open (again, not a big deal. Will open panel and check latches)
-Power steering doesn't work
-Rear shock needs to be replaced

Other than that the seller says that there is no leaks and no mechanical problems, and the interior is great. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
1. Press the button that is beside and up by the shifter, it is a kill switch.

2. Good idea

3. The rack is blowen more than likely(easy fix)

4. Normal wear

All in all it depends on the asking price and how bad the body is.
There is lots of nice E30s to be had a great prices, so be picky and the right one will show up
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Originally Posted by MP330 View Post
they looks the same as other coilovers on ebay.....megan,cxracing,bc....one factory,many labels..
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2009, 05:46 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I have time to wait for the right one (score one for me!)... He is offering the above for 1400 OBO, and I will try to talk him down to 1200, is that reasonable??
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2009, 05:50 PM
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if both rear windows wont go up you can check trhe breaker switch. is the power steering belt and all components attached ? alot of people cut the belt for manuel steering. get bilsteins for the rears. the door is probably just the pull bar bieng unattached. with that said sounds like you know what to check for. pictures ?

the price greatly depends on the condition which we havnt seen yet.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2009, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by goosefoot33 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I have time to wait for the right one (score one for me!)... He is offering the above for 1400 OBO, and I will try to talk him down to 1200, is that reasonable??
Above what? the only E30 I see above is my sig.
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they looks the same as other coilovers on ebay.....megan,cxracing,bc....one factory,many labels..
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by E30 F34R View Post
Above what? the only E30 I see above is my sig.
pretty simple... the above e30 he talked about
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:01 PM
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Are you going to lower? If so get Bilstein sports if stock get bilstein HD (heavy duty)

Steve, why would someone cut the belt for that? Only for BHP reasons, but for a DD I am sure that is blowen.
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they looks the same as other coilovers on ebay.....megan,cxracing,bc....one factory,many labels..
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by E30 F34R View Post

Steve, why would someone cut the belt for that? Only for BHP reasons, but for a DD I am sure that is blowen.
you'd be suprised ayt the idiots that drive e30's.
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
you'd be suprised ayt the idiots that drive cars.
fixed.
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:19 PM
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fixed.
1+ there is more idiots that don't drive BMWs. Bmw gives a sense of pride.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP330 View Post
they looks the same as other coilovers on ebay.....megan,cxracing,bc....one factory,many labels..

Last edited by E30 F34R; 09-20-2009 at 08:33 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
you'd be suprised ayt the idiots that drive e30's.
It adds BHP, so for a track car it would not matter. 8mph and above you will not notice, I know because my first E30 had a blown one when I bought it. After I changed it I only noticed it when I was parking and turning at slow speeds. You gain around 5-6 BHP, but it is not worth it for that tiny gain.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP330 View Post
they looks the same as other coilovers on ebay.....megan,cxracing,bc....one factory,many labels..

Last edited by E30 F34R; 09-20-2009 at 08:33 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by E30 F34R View Post
It adds BHP, so for a drag car it would not matter.
fixed
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:50 PM
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fixed
Thanks, forgot that. Downhiller 3.0 spell check! (you are every where doing that)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP330 View Post
they looks the same as other coilovers on ebay.....megan,cxracing,bc....one factory,many labels..
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2009, 08:00 PM
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I'm not trying to be a dick, but F34R, it's blown and sense

OP, many of the common e30 problems are cracked dash, will only lock/unlock from the trunk, oil leaks (esp around the oil filter area), gauge cluster problems (SI batteries), inop A/C, erratic idle, and OBC inop. That's all I can think of now but it's late.

Many of those things are an easy fix but you can possibly use them to talk the owner down.

edit: in MA you should check for rust too.
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The E30 is what all actual driving enthusiasts are after. It's an unpretentious machine, quietly capable of spectacular feats of handling. It's light, simple design is rugged enough to run against $400k rally cars, but on the street it' communicative chassis delights even the most disinterested driver. It really is one of the world's ultimate driving machines
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2009, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bimmerboy08 View Post
I'm not trying to be a dick, but F34R, it's blown and sense

OP, many of the common e30 problems are cracked dash, will only lock/unlock from the trunk, oil leaks (esp around the oil filter area), gauge cluster problems (SI batteries), inop A/C, erratic idle, and OBC inop. That's all I can think of now but it's late.

Many of those things are an easy fix but you can possibly use them to talk the owner down.

edit: in MA you should check for rust too.
I know, I mess them up a lot. No clue why, and your not being a dick
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Quote:
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they looks the same as other coilovers on ebay.....megan,cxracing,bc....one factory,many labels..
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  #16  
Old 09-21-2009, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E30 F34R View Post
It adds BHP, so for a track car it would not matter. 8mph and above you will not notice, I know because my first E30 had a blown one when I bought it. After I changed it I only noticed it when I was parking and turning at slow speeds. You gain around 5-6 BHP, but it is not worth it for that tiny gain.
That is EXACTLY what the seller described. Once you get going a little bit, say above 5- 10mph, he says it turns fine. Only when you are turning out of a parking spot or when just starting up is it "stiff". Here are the pics, I'm going to see it on Wednesday!

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  #17  
Old 09-21-2009, 05:32 PM
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$300-900 max

non-sport
early model
rusty
also a 4 door, not sure if thats what your looking for
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2009, 06:00 PM
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Is that a dent in the drivers door? Inside looks good, no sports is poop. But they can be had for around 150-400 depending on how good of a shape they are in. Rust is an easy fix, not too bad on the rear flares. I would check the rockers and fender insides(wheel well bottom back) If that is gone then you will have trouble getting new fenders on.

It need work but for the extra dime I would find a nice 90-91 325is or a 4dr if you need it. What is he asking btw? If it is over 1k I would move on. I got my '86 4dr for only 1k and it was from cali. So there is really nice E30s out there to be had for a great price.
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  #19  
Old 09-22-2009, 05:26 PM
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Ahh, yes, this is the feedback I'm looking for!
I'm definitely not a fan of the four door, and that's a very good point about it not being a sport model. He is asking 1400 OBO.
Between the things that Bimmerboy told me to look for, and the prices you guys think it should be I don't think I'm buying this one but I will still take a look at it. This is only the second one I'll be looking at, and I plan to look at many.
I'm in no rush to get one so all I have is time. I was in a rush to buy my first BMW and it cost me.
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