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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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Old 06-14-2010, 01:26 PM
mechall mechall is offline
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Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 1989 BMW 325iC
Question Reverse not working

Hello everyone,
I want to see what you think about my situation. I just bought 1983 318i 5 speed. The reverse does not engage. When I tried to put it in reverse, it acts like it doesn't exists. 1st-5th gears works fine but it would not even go to reverse. When I pull the shifter to the left, It only goes to where it should be for the 1st gear. I took it to a mechanic and he's saying I need a transmission. Can this be something else. Like the gear box?
Also, If I decide to change the transmission, do I also need to change the clutch?

One more thing,
I found the same year manual 318i but the car has not been driven for 10 years. Will that be a good parts car to buy. The guy said, the car was running fine before he parked it. He said he was gonna race it but he changed his mind.

I'll appreciate all the help I can get.

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Old 06-17-2010, 03:48 PM
Honolulu1 Honolulu1 is offline
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Location: Honolulu
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 90 E30 73 E9 85 K100RS
Your mechanic is possibly quite right - that's part of why you called him a "mechanic".

But you can do a few things to confirm his diagnosis. Suggest jack it up, support securely, and have someone in the car shift to reverse. Meanwhile, you look at the linkage and see if the input to the shift lever is actually making the linkage move. My expectation is that you will see that it is, but you ought to check.

Did you know the car was in this condition when you just bought it? If so, shame on you and now you've learned something - maybe.

If seriously considering buying another car that hasn't run in a long time, assume that the reason it hasn't been running is because it won't - it has problems. The trans might be okay, and cheaper than replacing or fixing yours, but you have no way to know, and the seller may not tell you. What you need is some kind of conditional guarantee as to the suitability and quality of the trans in the junker. Everything should be negotiable, or you're swimming with sharks.

By the way, "transmission" is the same as "gear box". If you were unaware of this, you are in over your head and should consider having someone you trust (and someone who will explain things more fully) do the work for you. Or maybe you just don't express yourself in writing very well.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:25 PM
mechall mechall is offline
Registered User
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 1989 BMW 325iC
Thanks Honolulu,
I'm learning. I knew the problems it had before I bought it. But I thought it would be an easy fix. And that's what he exactly said. He lifted the car and checked it from the bottom. I found a transmission for $275 and he's gonna charge me $250 to put it in......Other things I need to change is the shocks and control arm. Thanks for your time.
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