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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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Old 05-02-2012, 04:46 PM
brewerkz brewerkz is offline
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Location: Mason Ohio
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: '91 318i
Help buying a 1989 325i convertible


Looking at a 1989 325i convertible on friday with 200K miles....I will do most on the work on the car - except body work...

1. Where should I check for rust?
2. owner reports clutch is shot, what range should I expect to pay for parts to repair?
3. How do I assess the general condition of the engine? compression check, exhaust smoke, etc.?
4. Top is recently replaced - anything to check?
5. any other key things to check

photo attached of the car, but body is not perfect....asking $1500

This will be my first BMW...love this era!


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Old 05-02-2012, 05:11 PM
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GB GB is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 320
Mein Auto: 335d, WRX, 325is, Eurovan
For rust, check the usual areas...shock towers, rocker panels, jack points, door bottoms, rear license plate lights and under the spare tire well. There's plenty of e30 convertibles out there, so if you see any questionable rust I'd move on.

You could get a compression test done--at 200k it might be a few bucks well spent. Then again for a $1500 car it might seem like overkill if it's running well.

Check all the seals on the convertible top to make sure they're intact and pliable. There is also a metal & felt strip on the windshield header--make sure that is there. ALL the seals are expensive to replace. Also make sure the top opens and closes without too much effort. Google 'e30 top problems' if you really want to know about all the quirks. Also check out r3vlimited.com forums for MUCH more Pre-purchase info and advice.


2012 328xiT

Last edited by GB; 05-02-2012 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:42 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,560
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
the clutch is $240 from bavauto.com. the clutch can be fine, but the slave or master for the clutch can be bad. but i dont know much on the car, so throwing out options. if youre able to do most the work, its not that bad. time consuming, beer consuming, angerly spoken swear phrases, those all come with cars. also ask when the t.belt and water pump were last changed.
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 05-07-2012, 09:33 PM
Bummer scott Bummer scott is offline
325 convertible
Location: Douglasville, ga
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: 89' 325i convertible
I agree with the timing belt because if that goes the head is shot but as far as parts go I think bimmerspecialist.com is cheaper if you want oem parts. When my master went I replaced the whole clutch system clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing, pilot bearing, all the seals (including rear oil seal) master, slave and a turner lightweight flywheel witch was like $550 itself but all that was around $900 or $950 but im anal about replacing parts if its apart...oh yea you'll need to buy yourself a set of external torx sockets for the trans bolts, I got mine at napa for like $30
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:30 AM
jeromebassist jeromebassist is offline
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Location: Ocala Florida
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 1989 BMW 325i convertible
Best of luck Bob!
I love my '89 325i!

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Bimmer App
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