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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 05-22-2013, 10:38 PM
oste0174 oste0174 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1987 BMW 325
'87 325 a few questions for a noob

I just purchased an '87 325. It is in pretty nice condition all around but still has a few issues I need to address. I've been doing my research and getting informed but I do still have some questions. If you have an answer to any of them I would appreciate the help.

1. My ball joints are very loose. Is it common practice to replace the tye rods and sway bar when I replace the control arms?

After reading a few threads I was able to get all the lights turned off on the dash, but I still have about four on the cluster by the mirror. Replacing the old sensors will most likely solve most of them.

2. How do I get the "brake light (!)" led to switch off? I checked all my taillights and they all light up. Does the oil indicator in that cluster mean the oil level and the oil pressure is on the dash?

3. The antenna wasn't extending, then I noticed it wasn't hooked to power. I hooked it up and then it still didn't work but got really hot. Is that common? Should I just get a new antenna motor?

4. The key I have was made from a broken key and will start the ignition but not the locks. Will any locksmith cut a key from a vin or do I need to go to the dealer?

5. My speedometer and odometer aren't working I saw threads about the odo gears is the speedo coupled with those? I thought the speedo was electric...
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2013, 10:36 PM
oste0174 oste0174 is offline
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And a couple more

6. If I have the engine idling in neutral there is a knocking sound that will go away when I depress the clutch pedal. Thoughts on what this could be?

7. Does the '87 325 have a LSD? Is there an easy way to find out other than dumping the clutch to see if both wheels spin?
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2013, 04:17 PM
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woodenbmw woodenbmw is offline
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Mein Auto: 1987 BMW 325
Re: '87 325 a few questions for a noob

Welcome to the 'fest. I think the easiest way to answer a majority of your questions is to tell you to get a Bentley e30 manual and start reading. I have found it to be extremely helpful and quite accurate. Also, check out the site sponser's page and look around, I have only owned my car for a little over a year and I can't begin to mention how informative this site has been.

1987 325e automatic sedan
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:26 PM
GothE30 GothE30 is offline
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Last edited by GothE30; 05-24-2013 at 09:03 PM. Reason: delete/merge post
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2013, 08:46 PM
GothE30 GothE30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oste0174 View Post
1. My ball joints are very loose. Is it common practice to replace the tye rods and sway bar when I replace the control arms?

2. How do I get the "brake light (!)" led to switch off? I checked all my taillights and they all light up. Does the oil indicator in that cluster mean the oil level and the oil pressure is on the dash?

5. My speedometer and odometer aren't working I saw threads about the odo gears is the speedo coupled with those? I thought the speedo was electric...

6. If I have the engine idling in neutral there is a knocking sound that will go away when I depress the clutch pedal. Thoughts on what this could be?
1. Mainly the control arms + C.A. bushings. But sure, tie rods are good too, if you can afford to get all done @ the same time. Probably don't need to replace the sway bar itself, but do check the brackets + bushings for it. (very cheap to replace; very -loud- if broken!)

2."brake light" I have no idea (mine's perma-lit too)... Oil LED=level, yes.


5. Mine both work intermittently now, and not necessarily @ the same time, so not really sure if the odo & speedo are coupled? I -do- know the odometer plastic gears can break if you push the trip mileage reset while moving, tho' (as I found out on my previous E30).

6. More than likely throwout bearing. (same exact thing on my '87 325, being fixed at this very moment)

Welcome to the forum, and congrats on your 'new' E30

Last edited by GothE30; 05-24-2013 at 08:52 PM. Reason: merge posts
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2013, 09:42 PM
oste0174 oste0174 is offline
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Thanks Woody I've only been reading on the forum for less than a week and I can tell the sense of community around e30 owners. I had already ordered the bentley manual and it arrived today with a few small parts I had ordered as well.

I put the new gear shift boot on today, as well as the new strut for the hood so I can finally work on the car without breaking my back or propping it open. More parts are in the mail and I"ve been compiling a list of parts yet to get.

I decided I'm going to change out the sway bar fittings and bracket while replacing control arms and bushings. On that topic, if I use the m3 offset bushings should I get the m3 control arms too or stick with stock?

Let me know how the throwout bearing replacement goes. I am going to have to add that to my list of to do's.

I noticed my fuel pump starts making a significant buzzing sound after running for a little while regardless of fuel level, is this a fix it now problem or can put off for a few more weeks. The C.A.'s and new rubber for the wheels are the major purchases for this round of upgrades.

If anyone has a glovebox assembly they are willing to part with I know a good home for it. I found one online but don't want to pay $200 for it.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:55 AM
GothE30 GothE30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oste0174 View Post
I've only been reading on the forum for less than a week and I can tell the sense of community around e30 owners.

if I use the m3 offset bushings should I get the m3 control arms too or stick with stock?

I noticed my fuel pump starts making a significant buzzing sound after running for a little while regardless of fuel level, is this a fix it now problem or can put off for a few more weeks.

If anyone has a glovebox assembly they are willing to part with I know a good home for it. I found one online but don't want to pay $200 for it.
I have the M3 offset bushings, on regular stock control arms.

My fuel pump buzzes, too. Not a problem, far as I know, just normal. New fuel filter is always nice, especially if you don't know when it was last done.<---On that note, 2 words: TIMING BELT. -Now- (or a.s.a.p.), and every 50-60,000 miles (or estimate if odo. is broken), no joke.

$200 for glovebox assembly??!? Should be one for less, in E30 parts classifieds on here, or Bimmerforums or R3VLimited (or even ebay)...For new OEM parts, reasonably priced, I'm a loyal fan of BMA Parts (mainly 'cause they're 10 minutes from my house; but their shipping is also very fast) and Autohaus AZ is good too

As for the sense of community amongst E30 owners-- yup, totally agreed
And a wealth of valuable info & tips being shared, too.
Stuff like:
**Put the control arm bushings in the freezer for 15+ minutes--SOOoo much easier to pop them on!** and
**get a small tube of graphite lube & puff some into the keyhole of stubborn door locks, especially after rainy days; can make all the difference**
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  #8  
Old 05-25-2013, 05:15 AM
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woodenbmw woodenbmw is offline
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Re: '87 325 a few questions for a noob

I have the same buzzing sound, but it's not the fuel pump. There is a fuel pressure/vibration damper that can be deleted with some 3/8 line and hose clamps. Or at least that's what I was told. Grab hold of the hose that goes across the intake to the idle control valve, if you feel vibration, then that's probably what the noise is. I used the stock control arms and bushings, along with the tie-rods and sway bar links. Hopefully, someone else can chime in on that and help you out.

1987 325e automatic sedan
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:37 AM
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'87 325 a few questions for a noob

Quote:
Originally Posted by oste0174 View Post
I just purchased an '87 325. It is in pretty nice condition all around but still has a few issues I need to address. I've been doing my research and getting informed but I do still have some questions. If you have an answer to any of them I would appreciate the help.

1. My ball joints are very loose. Is it common practice to replace the tye rods and sway bar when I replace the control arms?

As mentioned before the control arm bushings could be replaced too alog with the tie rods i you would like.

2. How do I get the "brake light (!)" led to switch off? I checked all my taillights and they all light up. Does the oil indicator in that cluster mean the oil level and the oil pressure is on the dash?

The brake light is probably due to a previous owner not paying the extra dough to get the brake pads with the wearnindicator leads on them. If you pull off the wheel and look at the brakes/strut housing there will be a two wire plug there. There normally would be a lead from the brake pads the connects there but there probably is not. Youcan simply jump the two wires together on all four corners of the car or wait until they go bad and replace them with the correct pads.

If the oil pressure light is on while the engine is running, that indicates a problem with low oil pressure. Or the sensor is faulty. Your pressure switch is the mounted connector pointed down towards the block, about halfway back on the exhaust side, with one wire coming off it.

3. The antenna wasn't extending, then I noticed it wasn't hooked to power. I hooked it up and then it still didn't work but got really hot. Is that common? Should I just get a new antenna motor?

Yes that motor is probably done for.

4. The key I have was made from a broken key and will start the ignition but not the locks. Will any locksmith cut a key from a vin or do I need to go to the dealer?
Try locksmith first then dealer

5. My speedometer and odometer aren't working I saw threads about the odo gears is the speedo coupled with those? I thought the speedo was electric...
You will need to replace the plastic gears inside the cluster with new ones
I answered everything inside your quote take a look.




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Last edited by First time; 05-25-2013 at 07:40 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2013, 08:56 PM
oste0174 oste0174 is offline
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For an update.
Still loving the car.

I have ordered the control arm's/bushing/brackets/etc. and will hopefully get them all replaced this coming weekend. I just gave it new oil, belts, filters, and a couple of trim pieces that were bothering me.

However, after 3 days the new faux leather gear shift boot is already flaking apart and will in no time deteriorate to a point where I will need to upgrade to a real leather version.

I was able to get a new key cut from the dealer for $50. There is such a large difference from the key I had been using and the new one it's astonishing it works at all.

As always, finding the answers to questions only brings up more questions. So I have three new ones for you.

- I looked at purchasing replacement odo gears and realized there are many different gear ratios. Is there a way to tell which mine will need without pulling out the old ones and counting the teeth?

-I am planning on putting new tires on it this week, driving out of town about 200 miles, then replacing the control arms this weekend. Should I bring the car in to get the wheels aligned before driving back the 200 miles?

-As far as the timing belt goes. I've never replaced one before nor am I overly confident in fiddling with such an integral mechanism. I was quoted $780 to have it done. Granted this was at the bmw dealership so I figured it would be a high estimate. I was there getting a new key so I thought I would ask. What kind of prices have you seen shops do it for?
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:25 AM
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Garagistix (on this forum) will help you with the shifter boot & speedo gears
50 Bucks for a Key and 780 for changing a timing belt
Don't you have a chamber of commerce or police department to report these guys to ?

You will have to do Wheel alignment after working on your suspension/steering system.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:21 AM
LBBeemer LBBeemer is offline
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Sir what you need is a good ole fashioned mechanic. If you go to an "Import" specialist shop you will get rung out. I used to work as an ASE cert mechanic for GM and they would charge more for Caddy repairs then they would for a Pontiac or Olds and they have are very similar in parts and sometimes the exact same part. When I can't figure something out I take my rig to a guy down the street who has been in business for 40 years, he has a small but clean shop and has a Snap On Scanner. A timing setup is a timing setup they can only vary slightly. There is a chain, or 2 then gears and tensioners, and sometimes V.V.T. Any mechanic worth his salt can do that no problem and I have never seen it cost over $400.00 even on a Northstar V8
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:45 AM
lngfish lngfish is offline
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This knock may be the input bearing on the trannie knocking. Sort of normal I have read. Mine did it too. My 5 speed has ATF in it. So I changed the ATF and added to it 8 oz of Lucas Oil stabilizer ( usually put in engine oil but you can mix with ATF, according to Lucas) and my knocking went away alltogether. Dextron II if you can find it or suitable ATF.
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2013, 11:02 PM
GothE30 GothE30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oste0174 View Post
Let me know how the throwout bearing replacement goes. I am going to have to add that to my list of to do's.
Well, the throwout bearing/clutch replacement went *AWESOME*. Work done-- @ lightning speed-- by Shant (a.k.a. Myster-E Performance). Converted my twin-mass flywheel to a lighter single-mass, with new clutch disc & pressure plate, etc. Seriously, now the clutch feels better than any other I've ever owned

...and yes, that knocking sound is gone.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:05 AM
letsgomattmoore letsgomattmoore is offline
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The timing belt isn't too difficult to do. The Bentley will tell you everything you need to do. The only thing you might have to get is I think it's a 22mm open headed wrench or something like that. But you don't want your belt to break mine broke when I was driving and I had to replace the head. That was expensive.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:44 AM
oste0174 oste0174 is offline
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another update

Quote:
Well, the throwout bearing/clutch replacement went *AWESOME*. Work done-- @ lightning speed-- by Shant (a.k.a. Myster-E Performance). Converted my twin-mass flywheel to a lighter single-mass, with new clutch disc & pressure plate, etc. Seriously, now the clutch feels better than any other I've ever owned
That's great. Definitely a future investment that I will also need to do.

For the most part I've been pretty successful with the repairs I've done. I got the new control arms, bushings, brackets, etc. on the car and it immediately felt a lot better.

My speedo/odometer issue is still not quite resolved. I took the instrument cluster out and apart and unfortunately all the gears were in great condition. Its only unfortunate because that wasn't the problem. I checked out the connection to the speed sensor on the diff as well and that didn't fix the issue either, and the fuse is fine too. So I am either going to have to chase the wires looking for any issues or its a faulty sensor. Any thoughts?

My fuel pump was still occasionally making an aweful buzzing sound, and I"ve noticed some fuel delivery issues. I checked out the relay and the relay was literally taped together. It was also not quite plugged in all the way. So I shoved it back in and am going to get a new relay that isn't held together with tape. I haven't had any issues with the pump since, but I only just looked at it yesterday and since the pump's issue was intermittent anyway I'll just have to wait and see.

The interior is starting to come together. I got an M Tech I steering wheel off good ol craigslist. It had some signs of wear but after cleaning off all the grime from someone elses hands and using some kiwi shoe polish it looks fantastic. I also was able to get a glove box for cheap ($30)

I'm going to keep my eye out for a leather shift knob and e-brake handle to make it a little more posh, and I'm debating whether I want to swap out my 6 button OBC with a broken screen with a 13 button or a euro clock. I like the look of a euro clock a lot better but the 13 button is easier to come by.

Has anyone out there painted the exterior plastic trim? (cowl vents, grill, bumper trim, etc) I was curious to how well it work/lasted. I was looking at picking up some SEM spray paint. I talked to one e30 enthusist and he said that the best way to restore its luster was to use cum on it. That sounds not only exhausting but also my gf didn't appreciate the idea of keeping a mason jar next to the bed...

I still haven't done the timing belt yet, but its on my list of to-do's, which gets more items added to it just as fast as they get checked off the list.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:08 PM
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woodenbmw woodenbmw is offline
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Re: '87 325 a few questions for a noob

You'll want to knock out the timing belt and water pump asap, if you don't know when it was last changed.
As far as the plastic trim goes, I used Rust-oleum professional high performance enamel in gloss black. Prep work was minimal, a good washing to remove dirt, oil, and anything else, a light sanding to help the paint adhere to the plastic. A few light coats will do the trick. I used a flat head jewelers screwdriver to remove the plastic rivet things to take off the chrome rings on the center grill. I did pretty much the same thing on the cowl vents. That was about a month ago and it has held up well.
I haven't had a go at the other trim bits just yet, but they definately could use some attention.
I have issues with my speedo as well, although the odometer works fine. I've found that flicking the gauge cluster will jar something and get the speedo back on.

That e30 enthusiast, in my honest opinion, may be slightly too enthusiastic. I find it tiring enough to put a coat of wax on the car.

1987 325e automatic sedan

Last edited by woodenbmw; 06-21-2013 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:56 PM
oste0174 oste0174 is offline
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Well its been few months since the last update.

The car has been running better and better. I've replaced quite a number of things since the last update, but they have been mostly little things that don't effect the engine at all (i.e. burned out bulbs EVERYWHERE, a new door brake, painted the grill pieces, and will get to the rest of the trim eventually..., and some new rubber on the wheels)

There have only been a few repairs that didn't go the way I was hoping. The new roundels turned out to be cheapo emblems w/ the one the incorrect size, neither one made it on the car so message me if you want some crappy flea-bay ones.

The bigger disappointment was changing out the cold start valve and having my car run extremely rich. I'm not sure if the valve is stuck on or the thermo-time switch. I know its an easy test to figure it out, I just happened to be by myself so I didn't have anyone to start the car for me while I watched the valve.

I just recently have developed a whooommp whoommp whomp whomp wompwompwomp from the rear. I'm sure its a wheel bearing going out. I was hoping for the new tires to be out of balance and they were, however it didn't fix the problem. So I guess I'll add that to the list of repairs to be done.

I do have one question for yall. When I'm driving and while it is in gear, lets say 3rd, if i let of the gas for a bit and then I give it a load of gas it kind of stutters for a few seconds until i let off the gas and ease back onto it or it just sorts itself out. I'm presently at a little bit of a loss as to what the cause could be. Any insight or opinions are always appreciated.
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
I give it a load of gas
Let's me presume that your TPS does not see full throttle and does not enrichen acordingly.
Easy to test with a AVO, as the TPS only has 2 switches: Idle & WOT
Let's hope it is that & then you can open & clean it, till you can afford a new one for about a 100 bucks from Bosch.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:23 AM
oste0174 oste0174 is offline
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November update

Here's the latest on what I've been doing with the car.

I got rid of the irritating wobble sound with a pair of new wheel bearings. Now I'm rolling around smoothe again.

New wiper assembly is installed and I am definitely glad I paid a shop to do that repair. They ended up having to give me a loaner because it ended up being such a hassle. Unfortunately because it is a nice affordable shop the loaner was a 1990 toyota camry

The stuttering issue I was having turned out to be an issue with my pressure regulator. It made a huge difference for how easy a repair it was. Well other than getting sprayed in the face with gasoline. I would suggest wearing a face sheild.

The valve adjustment was also a success. I didn't get rid of all the valve clatter but I did make it substantially better. How quiet can you get it?
I understand it is a metal on metal collisions so you won't get rid of it all, I just am not sure how quiet you can get them.

I pulled out my oil level sender and cleaned it out. I was hoping that getting rid of some oil sludge would bring it back to life. Not the case though.

As for the projects I have planned in the near future here's what I've got:

-Upgrade to premium sounds speakers. I have them all just need to be put in.

-Upgrade to a 13 button OBC

-replace the cold start valve and thermo time switch. Is it completely necessary to drain the coolant to take out the Thermo switch? I know I'd lose some coolant since its in the block but I thought if I park facing downhill I would minimize the loss. Thoughts?
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