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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 02-04-2007, 06:03 AM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Mein Auto: 1986 327is
New to BMW's

New to the site and BMW's although I am an avid car enthusiast. Just picked up this 1986 325es with just over 75k miles as an anneversary gift to my wife for $3500 (a little over book, bit worth it IMHO). The only rust found throughout the car is on the corners of the differential case and the inside corners of the exhaust bends. The only mechanical problem seen so far is the fan clutch which I picked up yesterday and will be installed soon.
The bimmer was added to the collection (my friends call my driveway a "used car lot,lol) which contains a mint 1990 Firebird w/88k mi (in the process of being turbo'd), 1998 F150 (work truck), 2000 Excursion w/80k miles (for the four kids), and the 2002 Lincoln Navigator (the only one for sale).
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I'm just curious if there are any inherent problems to look for in these cars (aside from the timing belt). I am very mechanically inclined, have lots of tools/equipment, and have no problem doing the work myself (jeeze the parts are expensive enough).
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So enjoy the pics, hopefully I will be an asset to your site and look forward to corresponding with other enthusiasts.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2007, 06:31 AM
Court M3 Court M3 is offline
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nice find!! I'd also do a general tune up to include all belts, fluids
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2007, 06:37 AM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Originally Posted by Court M3 View Post
nice find!! I'd also do a general tune up to include all belts, fluids
Thanx, and done. Just didn't know if there are things to look for besides the obvious mechanical issues that ALL motors/chassis seem to have.

Last edited by ForcedFirebird; 02-04-2007 at 06:44 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2007, 09:12 AM
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mrdell4150 mrdell4150 is offline
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wow. we basically have the same cars. Nice looking ride. Looks solid. Your engine is slightly cleaner than mine though. I like!
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2007, 10:16 AM
Paul Christian Paul Christian is offline
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very clean 86 325es you gotten your hands on,and on the plue note you have (is) spoiler to boot........nice....you will injoy this car alot too........
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2007, 10:33 AM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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very clean 86 325es you gotten your hands on,and on the plue note you have (is) spoiler to boot........nice....you will injoy this car alot too........
Thanx, front air dam needs some TLC. Also the spioler is cracking, fixable or replace?
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2007, 01:27 PM
Nomade30 Nomade30 is offline
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very worth it can anyone find a crack in the dash cause i can't!!! Nice job finding it. In general that is not over book that's actually a little below book cause it's in almost perfect condition
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:08 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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The highest book value I found with that mileage and condition is $2700USD. Where have you seen otherwise?
.
No, there are no cracks in the dash. The few things keeping it from perfect is :
1. Three "door dimples" on the pass side
2. Chips on the lower air dam
3. Antenna stays out about 6"
4. Cracks in the spoiler
5. Drivers seat spring is gone, so when you go to adjust the back - it drops to the rear seat
6. Oil service light blinks
7. Check Engine light blinks after starting
8. Fan clutch is gone (will be fixed in a couple of days)
9. Needs alignment
10. Driver's side door lock is missing plastic cover

As a perfectionist these are the thing I saw wrong with this 20yr old car.
.
How available is the rear spoiler? Does anybody know where I can get one?
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:51 PM
Hamfisted Hamfisted is offline
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Easy stuff to fix...

That's a beautiful car for it's age and looks to be pretty well cared for or at least garaged most of it's life. The antenna mast has the typical nylon tracked cord inside it that breaks or the teeth strip at a certain point and stop it's movement. You can buy just the replacement mast and it'll come with the new track cord attached. The antenna comes apart to replace it. Pretty easy fix. This is a very common failure with these cars.
In the trunk, make sure the battery is properly vented (vent tube attached and routed to exit the bottom wheel-well area under the battery. Otherwise you'll get a rusted out trunk if the battery vents inside it.
Look at getting one of the Peake diagnostic tools (R5/FCXII) (You'll need the early style adapter...) for reading Check Engine codes. Is it the Check Engine light? Or just the "Check" light flashing after startup? (it wants you to tap on the brake pedal so it can check the brake light system...).
Looks like the wiper arms are adjusted up pretty high, unless you had them on and just turned the key off when they were in that spot?
I used the Weather Tech heavy rubber floormats, they're bulletproof.
There's a sunroof cavity drain hole over on the front righthand side of the sunroof cavity you might run a length of wire down it to make sure it's clear, otherwise you'll get water inside the car.
Anyway you'll have fun tinkering with the car and getting everything perfect. Good luck.





-Mike

Last edited by Hamfisted; 02-04-2007 at 09:04 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2007, 05:20 AM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Thanx for the heads up, Mike. Yes these are easy things to fix, as my challenge right now is finishing up the turbo system in my Firebird. As far as the battery, I guess I'll be going with an Optima sealed cell battery to eliminate that problem totally. The wipers could go a little lower but they are about 1" from the bottom of the glass at the lowest point (could have been raining prior to taking the pics).
The things like the tip on the sunroof is the kind of information I was hoping to get here.
That Peake your talking about, is it BMW specific?
And yes I sure do like to tinker, have tons of tools in the garage including big equipment like a drill press and welder etc.
You're in Ft.Lauderdale, practically my neighbor here in Coral Springs .
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2007, 08:50 AM
Nomade30 Nomade30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
How available is the rear spoiler? Does anybody know where I can get one?
bavauto.com and search for part number 51 71 1 945 710
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  #12  
Old 02-05-2007, 01:06 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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bavauto.com and search for part number 51 71 1 945 710
Thanx Nomad

I changet the fan clutch today, wasn't too bad. Took about 20min, a 1 1/4 open end wrench, and a 10mm socket.
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2007, 02:17 PM
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BmrrCpl BmrrCpl is offline
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hey, nice car and welcome to the FEST! I was just wondering, my friend just bought a 91 318is and im having as hell of time taking off the fan to change the waterpump. i have done this before to my 325ic but this lil car is becoming the pain in my neck. well anyhow, i see you used a 1 1/4'' open end wrench. what else did you use to get that darn fan nut off the waterpump pulley? or was is pretty easy like my 325ic? i know they spin clockwise... thanx
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2007, 03:01 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Yeah, the threads are reversed. I just put a wedge in the alternator and gave the wrench a good "pop". You could also use a ball peen hammer to use like an impact (by tapping on the end of the wrench). Once it was broke loose I just took the shroud loose from the radiator and pulled the fan and shroud out together. I did it without removing anything else.
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  #15  
Old 02-08-2007, 01:27 PM
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BmrrCpl BmrrCpl is offline
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yeah, thats how i did it on my 325ic but for some reason my friends 318is is giving my some problems with this dumb nut. i got a crescent wrench on it and i kept the pulley on for the pressure (keeping the pulley from spinning when i wrench) but its still just spinning. my only problem is how to keep it from spinning. im gonna try to put a wedge on the WP pulley and see if that works. i went out and bout some expensive nut breaker spray stuff that is supposedly really good for this dang thing. i know there is a specific tool for it too, one that is like a wrench but it goes against the pulley and has pins in the right spot to grab hold of the pulley just right and still give you room to get at the nut with your wrench. i just cant find it no where.
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  #16  
Old 02-08-2007, 02:38 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Originally Posted by BmrrCpl View Post
yeah, thats how i did it on my 325ic but for some reason my friends 318is is giving my some problems with this dumb nut. i got a crescent wrench on it and i kept the pulley on for the pressure (keeping the pulley from spinning when i wrench) but its still just spinning. my only problem is how to keep it from spinning. im gonna try to put a wedge on the WP pulley and see if that works. i went out and bout some expensive nut breaker spray stuff that is supposedly really good for this dang thing. i know there is a specific tool for it too, one that is like a wrench but it goes against the pulley and has pins in the right spot to grab hold of the pulley just right and still give you room to get at the nut with your wrench. i just cant find it no where.
The wedge should work. Did you try tapping it with a hammer like I mentioned before?
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2007, 03:18 PM
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BmrrCpl BmrrCpl is offline
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yeah, ive tried killing it with a hammer and a mallet and ive grabbed a hold of the belt with a glove on and tried to hold it that way. i'll try it some more today maybe. $50 bux aint really enough motivation to spend too much time on it!
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2007, 05:58 PM
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omw41 omw41 is offline
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Sawzall
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2007, 10:35 AM
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BmrrCpl BmrrCpl is offline
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lmao. you know what? if i cant get to it, i just might. then all id have to do is drill through the threaded part of the WP thats still in the fan nut and get that darn thing out and i'll be done. very extreme case scenario but maybe, just maybe...!
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  #20  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:26 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Well, I know it's been a while since i posted here, but in the last 2.5 years or so, the car has been through hell and is on it's way back



Still no mechanical problems, but that pesky antenna mentioned earlier was snapped off by a neighborhood kid, the radio stopped working after a battery change and couldn't get the code to work, so I dropped a Blaupunkt CD player in (reception isn't that bad with no antenna surprisingly lol).

But that wasn't the worst of it...

Still only has less than 90k miles, but I'll let the pics tell the story.

First the wife came home crying and told me she didnt have the guts to look, but the tire was rubbing the fender, went outside to find this...



She was driving a Navigator for several years and had no problem, but the job she was working had a parking garage and she parked next to a pole. Perhaps she wasn't used to the tight turning radius?

Then this...



Another story where she called me all upset. A cat had run in the road and it tore the air dam off She came home with that in the back seat.

Then I started driving it daily as my truck had blown a head gasket and she has been driving the Excursion since. One morning I woke up to this (I leave earlier than she does for work, so I parked it in the road)...





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  #21  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:34 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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SO!

As I said, it's on it's way back from hell...

Got a new fender (evilbay aftermarket)...



Traded some head porting on a GM big block for this...



Then had the same guy that did the bodywork, block the car down and get most of the imperfections out (missed a few lol). Then he painted it Bimmer Delphin, and even shot the bumper fillers, mirrors and shaved off the pin stripes, 325es badge and took the sunroof deflector off...







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  #22  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:41 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Then I scored an '885 top end, sandblasted the manifold and put numerous coats of "Super High Gloss Black" on it...






Went to the junk yard this week to grab some stuff for another project and nabbed a valve cover to get the same treatment.

Next on the agenda is to get some new shoes for it, locate and install some better bumper fillers (keeping the diving boards and they will get polished), drop it 60/60 and do a GM ECM swap so that I can datalog and tune easily. I have the equipment and knowledge to burn PROM's for the Motronic '027 ECM that's in it now, but don't like the idea of tuning without being able to datalog. The air dam is repaired, just needs to be filled, sanded and painted - and am interested in this Taurus side skirt modification others' are doing and they will go in the paint booth along with the air dam.

Sorry I haven't been around much, but the Firebird motor got blown, rebuilt, blown and is now under the knife again getting twin t04e's this time , but since I have been driving the Bimmer, why not fix 'er up a little?
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  #23  
Old 08-07-2009, 03:40 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
Then I scored an '885 top end, sandblasted the manifold and put numerous coats of "Super High Gloss Black" on it...






Went to the junk yard this week to grab some stuff for another project and nabbed a valve cover to get the same treatment.

Next on the agenda is to get some new shoes for it, locate and install some better bumper fillers (keeping the diving boards and they will get polished), drop it 60/60 and do a GM ECM swap so that I can datalog and tune easily. I have the equipment and knowledge to burn PROM's for the Motronic '027 ECM that's in it now, but don't like the idea of tuning without being able to datalog. The air dam is repaired, just needs to be filled, sanded and painted - and am interested in this Taurus side skirt modification others' are doing and they will go in the paint booth along with the air dam.

Sorry I haven't been around much, but the Firebird motor got blown, rebuilt, blown and is now under the knife again getting twin t04e's this time , but since I have been driving the Bimmer, why not fix 'er up a little?
welcome back! you look like you know what you are doing! definately needs a drop!
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  #24  
Old 08-08-2009, 12:11 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Thanks.

Attended a wake this morning that's located kind of close to a junkyard and couldn't resist. Got the Taurus skirts ($11.80ea haha)and will modify those at the same time the lip is getting filled/sanded and have my buddy spray them to match the car, we still have 1/4 can of Delphin left from spraying the body

Also, all the e30's were missing the corner markers, but I lucked out and took some from a 7 series (didn't check the year) and they snapped right in, awesome for $2.18ea! I also found a nice set of front bumper fillers, but didn't grab them today. Hopefully there will be enough paint to hit them as well. Then I will be happy with the body ('cept maybe a rear apron).

Then we will move on to the suspension and tuning, then the "i"swap yay!
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:43 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Even though it's unpainted and fogs are absent, I forgot how good the valence looked!




Got the side skirts started as well.




Mocking them up.




Quite a bit of damage, but just have one more sanding session before paint

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