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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 11-24-2016, 05:51 PM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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New! And a bit of a noob.. 1990 325i with lots of issues

I recently bought a 1990 325i, and I had no idea what kind of money pit I just picked up. The car has 205xxx miles, and has been decently taken care of. But like almost any old sporty car, you can tell she has been drove. And now needs a bunch of love and $$!. Here's what I know needs to be done, any advise would be apreaciated.
First, the front struts are going. Fast. I already picked up a set of decent struts, but failed to realize how much I actually needed as far as bushings and such. I wouldn't mind stiffing her up a bit and a mellow drop, like <1in. How to do all this is beyond me. Next to go was the rear end of course. Every bit of rubber under this car is rotting away. From the gimbo to the rear diff mount even the rear subframe mounts. That then caused my c.v axles to start going. Not to mention the diff needs love, rather put a ls in it...but funds are low. Here's the best noob move-
Then I never looked up that 'red oil light" ment. It was oil pressure. I've been driving this car around with iffy pressure. Awe-****ing-some. Rebuild or swap? I like the dohc 24v 2.5 or 7 idea...what does that take? Any input would be apreaciated
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2016, 12:43 PM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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Welcome to Bimmerfest! I've moved your question to our E30 3 Series forum, you'll get more help in here. How much money are you ready to dump into your BMW?

Tim
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2016, 01:51 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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TEST the oil pressure sensor and oil pressure. Those sensors are known to fail, showing a low pressure warning when the oil pressure is fine.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:14 PM
tomstin tomstin is offline
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Time to SLOW DOWN. I'm with hornhospital, check the oil pressure with a gauge. It may be a simple as a sensor. Then, before you start pouring money into with a swap, can you do the work yourself? I would get the infrastructure of the car under control, steering, brakes and drive line to make sure the car is safe to drive. With a car this old, rubber parts are for sure going to need attention. Get yourself a Bentley manual and Pelican Parts has good how to articles. A good site for parts direct from BMW is getbmwparts.com
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:32 PM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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I know about all the ruber, every Bushing and such is rotting away. Fixing that along with the rest of suspension/driveline is at the top of my list. Also, I saw this somewhere but the car currently running full synthic so could that also cause the light? Seems to only come on when it's warm out or when it warms up, so maybe a different weight oil? I'll check the pressure and sensor, also look inside my oil filter make sure I didn't just pick up a bunch of sludge and clog it. Also, is there any oil lines or breather lines that could deteriorate or gum up?. I'm ready to dump some serious cash into it, it'll take time though. but a swap is a thought for a little further out. I have yet to try such an involed project but im confident I can accomplish this build with a bit of guidance. I just want a motor that won't take so much $ for such little hp in the end. A dohc motor sounds more apealing. But how much work is that? Would it be smarter for my first build to stick with the simple motor?
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:33 PM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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Thanks Tim
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:34 PM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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My girl
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2016, 06:41 PM
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So, my red oil light started comming on in my 90 325i. Usually when its warm. I figured out that these motors don't like synthetic to much, so thats the first thing Im going to try. What kind of oil do you use? Also gonna take a look inside the oil filter, maybe She just clogged up. Who knows how long she went before I got it and changed the oil. If that's not it, I'll get what I need to check the pressure. Maybe it's just the sensor, seeing how she has 205xxx miles. But my question is are there any oil lines that might have gummed up or deteriorated over time? I'm also going to adjust my values. I want to check for wear, but I'm not too sure where or what to look for. The Value cover gasket has had trouble sealing up, is there a better made gasket or material I should try?
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:38 PM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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This car is beat down, dirty, and quite honestly a heart beat away from a complete melt down. I went to change my oil pressure switch. Since I just moved, I my Bentley book was packed away. So I pulled up a quick youtube video and grabbed my tools. But by the time I realized he was working on a diffent motor, I had half my intake out trying to find it. Not exactly a bad thing, because I found the air hoses were way worse then I thought. I couldn't afford new hoses, and I wasn't going to put them back in like that. I'm not going to tell you how but they are sealed now. I soaked and scrubbed all the plastic. I used some carb cleaner on the the air flange thingi(?) and the pcv vavle (right?) I put it all back together, and put back in. Luckily the guy who sold the car to me left a new air filter. Score. But that luck didn't last long when I found 4 leftover nuts and couldn't remember what they went to. Then boom it hit me....they were the nuts holding the flap thingi to the air box. Haha redo. I finay get to the oil sensor, and realize that I'm going to need a bigger wrench. 24 mm to be exact. Be careful, don't get one to long there's not much room down there. I had to grind my new wrench down to get it to fit around the nut. A shallow wall 24mm socket would be perfect...but I got it off. Some how the clip broke from the wire, so I had to jimmy rig that together to. Which I hate doing btw. I also did a vavle adjuestment. Twice. The first time I did like everyone says, measure between the rocker and thet vavle. No. Do not do that if you have worn eccentrics. Because I did, and when I was finished the tick was way worse then before. She was running rich as ****, and she had more power I feel like But that tick was HARSH. I was heated. I did more research, and found you can do it between the rocker/follower and the cam. The measure is a little different because of the rocker ratio. I took her back down to stock spec. After I did it that way the tick was gone. At least when she's warm. Very small tick when she is cold. I dropped the weight of my oil for the cold. I replaced the breather breatherline from on top of the vavle cover, changed my vavle cover studs to solid bolts and washers, and a new gasket of course. There are a couple of things I found out about the head itself. The stock head bolts used to be regular hexagon bolts. They were weak near the head of the bolt, and some times broke. Mine have already been changed to the e14 star head ones. After I figured that out I found out where the gashes in my head were from. I thought it was from me where I did something wrong on the vavle adjustment. (i only saw them the 2nd vavle adjustent when I was taking more time and looking closer) A couple have broke before. Also explains why my head was so clean, and a cam that looks like it's not even worn a bit. It may have been gone through. I'm no mechanic, but this car has 205xxx miles, and that head looked cleaner then almost any of the ones I saw on YouTube. Still Vavles still need eccentrics, and I need to order those little black pieces at the ends of the head whatever they are called. I have a few tips on vavle adjustment to make it easy and what else you can replace while your there, as well as a list of all the tools you need, tq specs, and etc. Red Oil light is gonr, yellow one remains but that's another project. My car sounds and runs much better. But I think my rings are going out, and that is something I know nothing about. 1st spark plug had some oil, and she burns just a wee bit of white smoke. Little enough you can't see while your driving. Hopefully that can wait till I get my suspension done.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:45 PM
Cheeez_itzz Cheeez_itzz is offline
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It gets better brother!
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2016, 08:57 AM
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Rustneversleeps Rustneversleeps is offline
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especially for a 30 year old car...like my nephew said who's a mechanic at Ford and he says he won't even touch my car,that's the thing about owning a classic it's a hobby so expect to do the the work yourself and I'm no mechanic.
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2016, 12:10 PM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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I figure you learn as you go, just gotta make sure to do enough research before hand so i dont mess anything up
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2016, 06:00 PM
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BigBoy740il BigBoy740il is offline
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You got yourself an old/classic BMW. Research and rehearse your steps before taking on repairs to ensure you have the right parts and tools for job. Get yourself a Bentley manual for guidance, a good strip yard and online source for parts.
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2016, 12:36 AM
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Rustneversleeps Rustneversleeps is offline
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ya i just purchase my bently manual this summer it's like my bible now.I have it right by my side.
Now if i could only figure out how to get at that bolt to rotate the crank so i can do my valves...
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  #15  
Old 12-12-2016, 04:30 AM
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That's easy. You need a 22mm wrench or ratchet to turn the crank pulley. It's not required, but you can also remove the spark plug to make turning the crank easier.
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:55 AM
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Rustneversleeps Rustneversleeps is offline
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the problem i looking at is how do i get my wrench when it so tight...i don't seem to to see that 22mm bolt from the top between the fan and the rad...
Do i have to take the fan shroud off.....
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2016, 10:46 AM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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I had enough space, but the 2nd time I adjusted the vavle s I didn't even touch the crank. If you go to your round ecu thing and put a different paper clip in pins 11 and 14 (if you look close enough they are #). Pin 11 is the starter and 14 is the battery. When you touch the two pin together it'll turn the starter. In turn, moving your cam without having to hand turn the crank. Way easier, and time saving. I still pulled my plugs when I did it this way, and dripped a little extra oil on the vavle train before hand.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2016, 08:09 AM
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Rustneversleeps Rustneversleeps is offline
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isn't the battery suppose to be disconnected when performing this tasks...
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2016, 09:07 AM
turt13 turt13 is offline
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Why? It "should" be. Whenever you work on a car you are suppose to disconnect the battery for "safety". But... I don't see the harm in it.
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2016, 10:17 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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You'll figure it out when you short something to ground and watch the wire melt.

When you're using the service port to bump the engine around, the battery has to be connected of course. That's OK. But doing other things, like working on the starter, there is a great risk of having an always-hot lead strike a ground and weld itself there. Then you risk burning the car to the ground.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot
Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 & New Member Intro Forum Mod/Bimmerfest Misplaced-Posting Tow Truck
BMW-CCA #441426 Which is worse, ignorance or apathy? I don't know, and I don't care!

1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira"; 1985 635CSi "Katja"; 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"; 1987 325is "Odette"

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  #21  
Old 12-18-2016, 02:16 PM
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BigBoy740il BigBoy740il is offline
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@rustneversleeps
No you don't have to remove the rad. You can access the crank bolt from under the front of the car.


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