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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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  #1  
Old 05-23-2012, 11:57 AM
stucklife stucklife is offline
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Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1989 325i
e30 noob here looking for advice

hi guys,

so here's the back story. i bought my first e30 in '09 its was an 89 325es that was just beat to crud, so i didnt want to drop any money into performance mods or cosmetic add ons.. but that didnt matter, i fell in love with the car, so much i just got back from bimmerfest at the rose bowl and i got really inspired.. I just recently got my 2nd e30 thats in pretty damn good condition in my opinion (except i just got a gas leak :/) and i feel its ready to start putting some money into it, but here's my problem, i have no clue where to start!! my knowledge on e30 on a scale from 1 to 10 is about a 3 lol... im just looking for pointers into which direction i should start. i was thinking cold air intake but it would be awesome to get some other oppinions.

here are the specs:
1989 325i coupe
engine: 2.5L 168 hp I6
5-speed manual
200,XXX miles
Champagne paint
beige leather interior

shoot away guys!
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:30 PM
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Newman271 Newman271 is offline
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Mein Auto: 99' 540i M-Sport
Ls-1 swap for more power.. how much you lookin to spend?
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:11 PM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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Intakes on the M20 don't really add much power, but they do provide a pretty awesome induction sound.

As for what I'd start with, I'd go with suspension upgrades. One of my personal favorite suspension set ups on the E30 is the H&R Sport Cup kit, it's what I ran on one of my old E30s. The shocks are paired nicely with the springs providing a great ride. You can check out that set up HERE. Now if your on a budget we have a couple of lowering kits found HERE that may interest you which pair H&R and ST springs with KYB shocks, and a set up from FK that will "slam" an e30 just about as low as you'd ever want to go.

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  #4  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:47 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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suspension and wheels first. then go to a drop in k&n and a exhaust. then maybe a chip and new injectors. then turbo.
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2012, 08:03 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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An E30 with a boosted M20 = insane amounts of fun but also you'll have a lot of blood sweat and tears in the car before you end up with something like this (the photo is of a good friends amazing well put together e30)

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  #6  
Old 05-24-2012, 08:14 AM
7pilot 7pilot is offline
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If you have a leaky fuel line , I would start by replacing all rubber lines and hoses.
Then I'd do the timing belt and a tune up if there are no records.
Then I'd start looking at replacing tie rods, FLCAs and their rear bushings if there are no records.


m.
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2012, 03:12 PM
stucklife stucklife is offline
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Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1989 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newman271 View Post
Ls-1 swap for more power.. how much you lookin to spend?
eventually the motor swap is the end goal.. but for right now im just looking to spend anywhere under $1000. i already have a pair of old BBS wheels im going to swap from my old e30, so wheels arent much of a concern.. some one told me intake/exhaust is always a priority so the car can breathe.. i also want to start with mainly performance upgrades and shy away from cosmetic upgrades...

thanks!
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2012, 09:00 PM
pjoa09 pjoa09 is offline
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Mein Auto: 318i E30 1992 (M40)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stucklife View Post
eventually the motor swap is the end goal.. but for right now im just looking to spend anywhere under $1000. i already have a pair of old BBS wheels im going to swap from my old e30, so wheels arent much of a concern.. some one told me intake/exhaust is always a priority so the car can breathe.. i also want to start with mainly performance upgrades and shy away from cosmetic upgrades...

thanks!
I heard that a cold air intake has no performance gain on the M20. M20 breathes as much as it can.

Get a chip at best.
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  #9  
Old 05-25-2012, 08:31 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjoa09 View Post
I heard that a cold air intake has no performance gain on the M20. M20 breathes as much as it can.

Get a chip at best.
its about throttle response. a couple simple tweeks to the stock intake can get you the same as a CAI
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2013, 01:20 PM
stephenp95 stephenp95 is offline
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Location: Port Saint Lucie Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 87 325i convertible
Re: e30 noob here looking for advice

Just yank the stock filter and that stock box creates a pressure zone. Creates a nice deeper whistle when u floor it. Replace the fuel filter too. Mine was never changed, had 180k on it. I swear i got 5hp from changing the damn thing.

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  #11  
Old 11-01-2013, 10:02 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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Location: des moines
 
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so youre not running an air filter?
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2013, 10:38 PM
stephenp95 stephenp95 is offline
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Re: e30 noob here looking for advice

Only when i wanna race

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  #13  
Old 11-02-2013, 10:28 AM
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Newman271 Newman271 is offline
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Mein Auto: 99' 540i M-Sport
I did my M30B35 swap for less than a thousand bucks.. it took 3 or so seconds off my 1/4 mile time. Easier swap and handling doesn't suffer. I'm planning on my black e30 to be a twisty track queen soon .
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1985 335i
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2013, 12:24 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Going fast is good. being able to turn and stop is better. My way is start with a basic tune up (for reliability) then start on brakes - handling - engine mods in that order. Crashed cars don't go well no matter how much power they had......
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  #15  
Old 11-03-2013, 11:59 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
Re: e30 noob here looking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
Crashed cars don't go well no matter how much power they had......
Quote-worthy, that!

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  #16  
Old 11-03-2013, 02:31 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Location: Berkeley, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1987 325i, 410K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newman271 View Post
I did my M30B35 swap for less than a thousand bucks.. it took 3 or so seconds off my 1/4 mile time. Easier swap and handling doesn't suffer. I'm planning on my black e30 to be a twisty track queen soon .
That is the swap that appeals to me, were I to go that route. The engine fits with no problem? That's the SOHC right? Not sure I'm crazy about going with a twin cam. Everything I've heard is that they're more fragile. I like speed but not at a sacrifice to reliability. I'm guessing you used a tranny that was originally mated to it.

All of this said, any engine swap strikes me as major, major work. I'd have to be comfortable financially that I am now to attempt it.
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  #17  
Old 11-03-2013, 02:36 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Last edited by cmac2012; 11-04-2013 at 01:54 PM.
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