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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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Old 12-10-2016, 05:52 PM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 15
Mein Auto:
1990 BMW 3251 "Daily project"

I recently purchased a money pit. Its a 1990 325i, 5 speed and all seemed good on the surface. Sorry for the length of this post, I'm playing catch up for this build. And i put in a lot of detail, at least try to. The car has next to nothing for rust, a few dings and dents, a cracked dash (otherwise flawless interior) and high miles. With $2-3k recently put into the ignition, fuel lines, fuel pump, spark wires, injectors, timing belt, upgraded brake rotors and etc by the seller; I thought I stumbled across a decnt ' go fast' project. Its clean for being a 20 year old car, and the basic maintenance was always kept up on. I didn't know what it would take to save this car from the junck yard, and I may have walked away from it if I had known. I'm glad I didn't because ive already learned so much from this car. And I'm excited to see how this build is going to turn out.
The one main problem with this build is she is my only running and legal vehicle. The most down time I can have is over the weekend. The main direction of this build is to take this 206xxx mile car, fix the major issues, make her safe and reliable, all while keeping her on the road with a very small budget. Whooa! Let's get it.
My first order of business was new tires. The old ones were dry rotted and the rear two were bald. I decided on a set of fallken tires. The size of these tires were a little taller and a wee bit skinnier then the ones I had. Why? One. The old tires were an off size. Two. Traction. With a taller tire you have more traction for in line acceleration, meaning a better launch off the line. I missed the old, smooth fat tires but don't get me wrong, the newer size handled better. I Just found out last night that this made my speedo read 2-3mph slower then my actuall speed. Add that fix to the list.
The 2nd thing was figuring out the "brake lining" light that was on my check pannel. I bought a set of pads to be installed. The front rotors are drilled and slotted, the back just plain rotors. Still, not stock for this car iirc. I took it over to my mechanic, along with a vavle cover gasket. The old one was leaking, and I had a top end tick I was worried about. He replaced my brakes, they didn't even really need them. It was just that "brake lining" sensor, which he replaced for me. As far as the head, he said the new gasket should be good to go. And as far as the tick..he said it was just my nosiy injectors.I was skeptical, but figured he was right. They were new, what if They upped the size/lbs? Made sense.
I also got a set of front struts to be put in. That hasent been done yet because I didn't know at the time I needed a bunch of other bushings to do this right. I also wanted to put a little stiffer springs so I decided that project could wait.
I went to change the oil, and man was that a nightmare. The oil that came out was decent, but I saw a little metal. No chunks, more like flakes or specs. That made me nervous. The oil filter wouldn't break lose. At all. It took about 3 hrs to wrestle that bitch out. I put in royal purple synthihic 10w-30, iirc. I still had a feeling that tick was vavles.
During this time I found a smallet intake leak in the icv hose. With out $$ for new parts, I simply sealed it for the time being.
The gasket didn't seal. And I finally took the time to look up what the red light was comming off and on in the cluster. Oil pressure. ****. That could mean a whole rebuild. I'm far from ready for that. to top that off she started running rougher and rougher. No bueno.
Oh by the way, I haven't even checked tranny or diff fluid...3k miles later of rough driving I finally have it on next weekend's project.
I went to do replace oil pressure sensor and try my luck with adjusting the vavle s. With the wrong info while looking for that sensor I took off my most of my air intake. Good thing I did because she needed to be freshened up. I soaked and scrubbed all the hoeses and air box inside and out.I used carb cleaner in the afm and icv, cleaning out old dirt and crud. Recently found a mod for better connection on the afm, and a "refresh for the connections.' that also was added to my to do list.
found the hoeses were crackd and leaking. Still couldn't afford new parts so I sealed them...eh. At least no air will be leaking. I got to my sensor, and fought to get that off because my 24mm wrench I bought for this was to big. Even grounded the wrench down to fit down around it. Barley...but it worked.
I adjuested the vavles, between the rocker and vavle like everyone says to do. I went to stock cold spec of .010. After turning the crank by hand to turn the cam, constant up and down and tedious work I put got it all done and back together. The moment of truth came when I put my keys in the ignition and turned her over. She fired, red light stayed on and the tick was WAY worse. ****.
Good thing I was brave enough to try this before the new gasket came in, now I still have a new gasket. I found a way to do this between the can and follower. The measurement is a little different,.07 I think, but if you have worn eccentrics like I have then the other way will make it way open and lose. More vavle lash. Also, if you jump pins 11 and 14, the starter and battery, it will turn the cam for you. This saves so much time. After this adjustment, I put in half new bolts to replace the old stud and nut on the vavle cover. Dont forget the rocker arm shaft plugs. Unfortunately I did and now my new gasket is leaking. Hopefully when I replace this my motor will finally be sealed again. I replaced the oil breather hose from the vavle cover to the throttle body. Still the tick was virturally gone. I also learned more about the head, and this one looks like it trew a head bolt and tossed it around the head. Mine are the new ones. And My head looked super clean and My cam like new. Might have gotten lucky after all. She still idles finen. But I think I hear a tiny vac leak. Or my 2nd thought is in one of the drivabilty sensors are going/gone. To do list.
I want to run a compression test, and leak down test. I have a feeling my 1st piston rings are starting to go. Im hoping a motor rebuild can wait a while. Next update ill put in a price and part list, some pics and show you the suspension. That is where it gets really sketchy.
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:16 AM
Rustneversleeps's Avatar
Rustneversleeps Rustneversleeps is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: New Brunswick,Canada
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 114
Mein Auto: 1988 BMW 325iC
Hello and welcome to bimmerfest...great write up and hope all your problem are fixed..
88 325iC,16 Nissan Pro 4X,13 Honda TRX420,07 Volano 50cc
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