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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 01-03-2015, 08:04 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 528iT 86 325e
An e30 joins the stable.

Bought an e39 528iT sport a couple years ago and love the car!!!

Wife and I have been talking about getting a project car. Bounced back and forth between e30s and e28s.

Found this beauty on a Wisconsin bmw forum but the car was in the Chicago area.


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An 86 325e 5spd
Odo stopped at 295,000 miles.

0211 interior code.
Same owner since 1988!!!

Getting all his paperwork Monday/Tuesday this week.

Been going over the car and driving her a bit today.

Shifter bushings shot!

Passenger door and mirror non functioning
OBC display blank

Hood/trunk/sunroof panel have some halfway spray can touch up paint on parts of each.
Windshield/rear glass trim faded/rusty looking. Side window trim looks good.

Gonna do a total suspension refresh. Doesn't make any funny sounds, shakes, etc but looks like hell.


Gas gauge.....works if I tap the dash. The tapping also makes the speedo jump, the speedo does work.

Odometer non functioning

Drivers seat was replaced with a non matching one......interior code 0211 (grey/black houndstooth). This is gonna be a project to find based on a bit of searching.


Idle fluctuates ever so slightly at idle


Did a quick clay bar, scratch,swirl remover, wax on a bit of the drivers door.

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Factory paint should clean up pretty well.

I'll update as progress comes along.

Shifter bushings first.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2015, 09:53 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: Two 1987 325i, 418K, 211K
You're a brave man. The idle fluctuation might mean a vacuum leak, depending on how serious it is. I got loping idle around 300k on my first car and it was the intake manifold gaskets. Big job to replace those.

If you can see letters or numbers in the OBC display when the key is on and a flashlight shining on it, it's just the lamp, not easy to replace. Possible but not easy. If it's a blur of indistinct light, likely that the little computer that drives the OBC, above the clutch pedal area behind the ABS computer, is bad. Also check fuses 21 and 27. I think 10, 12, and 23 might have some connection. I was told elsewhere but I've not experienced these being a factor.

The odo is more than likely bad gears. Common to these. Threads up about it. Fairly easy to fix.

*EDIT* I should add here that I just now tried to trouble shoot the broken odo in my new E30 and the problem is not nearly as obvious as on my older car, which has the VDO cluster. My new car has a Motometer which I gather here and there is the less desirable of the two. On the VDO, I could see w/o taking anything apart that one of the odo gears had broken in two. Sort of an overly rubbery material that ages poorly. In my Motometer unit, the gears all appear to be fine. I can't turn any of them with my fingers or small screwdrivers which would tend to indicate that they are intact.

Last edited by cmac2012; 01-04-2015 at 09:45 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2015, 06:49 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Hi Doorman - welcome.
Your problems:
1) Shifter bushings - no big deal. Pictures on realoem. 2) Door electrics all down - Probably a broken area in the loom feeding the door or a plug out. Maybe pulled plug because of a fuse blowing fault. 3) +1 on above for OBC. 4)Wind shield and rear window surround is plastic and burns out to brown in the sun. Width is BMW specific BUT some shops can trim generic product to fit. 5) Gauges jumping when taped - loose plug or earth. 6) Oddo - +1 on gears. 7) Idle - This happens on 29 year old cars. You may chase this for many hours and $s. If it is only slight - live with it.
Bank on FULL service being required plus some under bonnet hoses, tubes and pipes. If you are half reasonable with tools it does not sound like a bad buy.
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2015, 06:55 AM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Thanks for all the info gents!!!

PO loved the car. Bought a new accord (wife's wishes) and really didn't want to part with her.
She was his Chicago to Atlanta car for many years.
He's 82 yrs old!!

Timing belt sticker in engine compartment shows 3/2013.

Paperwork on car coming Monday/Tuesday.
He wants to remove his personal info first.

25yrs worth of name/address to cross off/cut out!
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2015, 09:44 AM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: Two 1987 325i, 418K, 211K
Timing belt is likely in decent shape, would be good to know what the mileage was when it was changed. If he doesn't know, he could probably give you an estimate of how many miles he's driven since it was changed. Unlikely he's driven 50K in that time. 4 years or 50-60K are sort of the suggested life span.

On the odo gears regarding mine, closer inspection reveals it is indeed bad odo gears. $15 to $30 for parts depending on brand.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2015, 10:02 AM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Timing belt is likely in decent shape, would be good to know what the mileage was when it was changed. If he doesn't know, he could probably give you an estimate of how many miles he's driven since it was changed. Unlikely he's driven 50K in that time. 4 years or 50-60K are sort of the suggested life span.

On the odo gears regarding mine, closer inspection reveals it is indeed bad odo gears. $15 to $30 for parts depending on brand.

I'll find out more about mileage early this week with the paperwork.


I've investigated the odo gears.

Ordered a shifter bushing kit from Pelican Parts last night. Stopped at Harbor Freight and grabbed 2 more jack stands (4 total now) , a creeper and an LED work light.

Gotta make more room in the garage for her. Touring had to go back in last night.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2015, 10:04 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: Two 1987 325i, 418K, 211K
Oh of course, missed the part about the paperwork. I pulled my speedo apart, or out anyway and the gears looked fine. My previous repair, on my other car's VDO, had been obvious, I could see the little pinion gear broke down the middle and another one partly gone. But the new car's Motometer gears looked fine. But then I found the repair videos and I hadn't spotted the problem because the little pinion gear had somehow vanished, disintegrated apparently. The remaining hub looked like it's own part.

Post #23 on this thread had the pics that alerted me to what I was missing. The small white pinion on top of the others is attached to a long rod that spans the width of the device - on mine the gear wasn't there but the rod was right where it's supposed to be.

Last edited by cmac2012; 01-05-2015 at 10:09 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2015, 03:09 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Shifter bushing kit arrived today from pelican.

I've been checking a few DIYs and noticed one from bav auto where he broke the "bitch clip". Should I order one to be safe?

Was gonna do it over the weekend.....I got sucked into doing an overnight job Saturday night......and it's really cold this weekend. I can heat the garage but it may not keep up!!

She fired up on the second try after sitting outside untouched for a couple days. Idle seems to be fluctuating while she's warning up.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2015, 05:41 PM
BruceJM BruceJM is offline
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Mein Auto: E30 vert, Z4 Si, 330i
If you haven't already take a look at R3Vlimited. Sounds like you like to turn a wrench, that's good. Hopefully since its a one owner car it wont be as abused as most with that kind of mileage. Think you are right to redo the suspension system as preventive maintenance. Depending on the previous owner, the engine and fuel system are probably good candidates as well. I just finished with refresh of my e30. It makes a great DD.
Good Luck
Bruce
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:11 AM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceJM View Post
If you haven't already take a look at R3Vlimited. Sounds like you like to turn a wrench, that's good. Hopefully since its a one owner car it wont be as abused as most with that kind of mileage. Think you are right to redo the suspension system as preventive maintenance. Depending on the previous owner, the engine and fuel system are probably good candidates as well. I just finished with refresh of my e30. It makes a great DD.

Good Luck

Bruce

Definitely a "wrencher" here.

Ordered this part from the dealership.
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Special order!!!

$6.00 even.

Made space in the garage over the weekend and now have both BMWs in the garage!!

Gonna shoot for this weekend for the shift bushing R&R.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2015, 04:22 PM
Speedyvonzalez Speedyvonzalez is offline
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Mein Auto: 1985 e30 325e Coupe
oh geez what a beautiful car gratz man!
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2015, 08:19 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedyvonzalez View Post
oh geez what a beautiful car gratz man!

Thanks speedy!!!

Well.........
Got the e30 up on jack stands and started poking around underneath her.

It appears I have an early model sheet metal shift carrier and not the aluminum shift carrier.

Most of the parts in the bushing kit from pelican should work.
Anyone have any experience/tips in tightening up the bolts in the front of the carrier?

Doing some web searching now and back at it tomorrow.
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:04 AM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Lots of reading last night and comparing parts.

Looks like I have the correct kit.

Dropped rear of exhaust, removed heat shield above exhaust and working on guibo bolts/nuts.
Hoping to remove nuts and slide drive shaft back and let is hang to get access. I marked guibo with some spray paint, all my reading says to reinstall in original orientation.

Gonna try to get the balancer mounted around the guibo off as well.

Back to work!!
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2015, 05:59 AM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Success!!!

Finished up yesterday afternoon.

Car now shifts fantastic! Took her out last night for dinner with the wife and daughter. Wife even drove her for about 15 minutes and she loves it.


I dropped the front of the driveshaft, rear of the exhaust and removed all the heat shields. Cleaned up and painted the trans crossmember and the front heat shield mount as well.

On to the pictures I took.

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Sheet metal shift carrier for early e30s.


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Shifter assembly.
I replaced the lower piece it sits in. Snap ring pliers required to remove shifter out of car.

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Part #1 in the diagram.
Both were completely wasted and the bolts that attach it to the trans were loose enough to take out by hand!

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Top of trans.
All my reading says it is possible to retrofit the aluminum carrier to some early transmissions. You can see the mounting lug above where the linkage enters the trans.

Suspension/wheels and tires are next on the list.

Any input for a sporty/firmer ride appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:23 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Worked on trying to clean up the terrible "touch up" the PO did on the hood.

Been doing lots of reading on the Meguiars forums.


Hood as I bought the car
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Test square on drivers side.
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That was with a Harbor Freight DA polisher, yellow pad and Megs Ultimate Compound.

Figured I'd do a bit more.
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You can see that just compound has been doing quite a bit of work!!!

I still may have to wet sand the leading edge.
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2015, 06:39 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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I don't mean to photobomb or hijack your thread. I'm just going to post these to show you what's possible...

I buffed and buffed on my '84 633, and it got somewhat shinier, but not until I wet-color-sanded it with 1500 and THEN compounded it, it actually shined. The paint was in horrible shape anyway, so it was just an experiment, The paint had been rubbed through in many places by the previous owner, so this was sort of OJT for me, relearning the painting trade I left 40 years ago. We never did color sanding back then. You shot it, and you got what you got.

My black '85 635 was in better shape, and shined up better without the color sanding.

Keep at it, and go easy on the sharp edges. Looking good!
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Last edited by hornhospital; 01-24-2015 at 06:42 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2015, 09:16 AM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: Two 1987 325i, 418K, 211K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman View Post
Success!!!

Finished up yesterday afternoon.

Car now shifts fantastic! Took her out last night for dinner with the wife and daughter. Wife even drove her for about 15 minutes and she loves it.
Congrats. I replaced my shifter bushings a while back when I replaced my rear tranny seals and that there's some tight quarters, eh?

Good looking car.
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Old 01-24-2015, 02:20 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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An e30 joins the stable.

The more info the merrier Horn!!

I know what you mean Cmac!!

Did a bit more detailing on the girl this afternoon

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Passenger door.

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Rear quarter for comparison.

Did more on the hood.....hard to get pics. Results are not that great. Sanding is in my future!
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:00 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 528iT 86 325e
Entire passenger side
Clayed
Meg's ultimate compound
Ultimate polish
Wax

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50/50 shot of roof. Hard to get a good pic.

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Old 02-04-2015, 05:53 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Front suspension overhaul kit from ECS arrived today!!

Damn heavy box too!

Got the kit with tie rods and upper strut mounts also.

Grabbed some trans mounts because the old ones are mushy.

Any pointers on the suspension stuff??
Looks pretty cut and dry.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:19 PM
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Suspension on the E30 is pretty straight forward, as for pointers penetrating oil (PB Blaster and the like) use it liberally, early, and often.

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  #22  
Old 02-07-2015, 12:42 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Drivers side out!!! Took me about an hour and a half including jacking up the car, jack stands, both tires off etc. daughter is napping and wife's at work. I may save the other side for when she gets home......she says she wants to help!! Used my harbor freight ball joint tool for the tie rod and control arm joints. The 3' extension and 4 wacks with a hammer took care of the inner joint. All joints are "mushy" and easily moveable by hand.



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Old 02-07-2015, 06:35 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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All new parts are on the car!!!
I'll get everything torqued up tomorrow.


A couple issues.

Broke a stud in the u bracket that the sway bar link bolts too. I'll grind it off tomorrow and replace the bolt.

Tie rod ends have approx 1" too much thread on them. I'll grab a nut from Lowes or Ace tomorrow and thread it on then cut the extra threads off. I didn't replace the inner part because it has no play and looks better quality then the ones from ECS. Boots are perfect as well.

A bit of dish soap and I pushed and twisted a bit to get the lollipops on the control arms.


What does everyone use to torque the inner control arm nuts?
Crows foot?
It's the one that's up above the subframe.
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  #24  
Old 02-09-2015, 07:00 PM
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Doorman Doorman is offline
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Back together last night.

Took her for a quick spin.
Less "floaty" steering and more like a bmw should be!!

I knew I had a bad wheel bearing.....drivers side front sounds like a bag of rocks when I removed everything. Really noticeable now that all the bushings are new.

Ordered one from Rock-Auto. It's a cheaper one.....we shall see how it is.
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  #25  
Old 02-09-2015, 07:48 PM
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cmac2012 cmac2012 is offline
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Mein Auto: Two 1987 325i, 418K, 211K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman View Post
What does everyone use to torque the inner control arm nuts?
Crows foot?
It's the one that's up above the subframe.
Don't tell anyone but I use the old fashioned seat of the pants for the ones that are near impossible to get a torque wrench on. You sorta know by the poundage specified how manly you should be with it.
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