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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 02-20-2014, 04:40 PM
robbiegreene508 robbiegreene508 is offline
Resident Jack-Ass
Location: Worcester Ma
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: 95 325is
Ditched my e36 for an e30 325ic... General mods/tips/info please?

Okay, so I joined here after I bought my 95 325is, which to say the least was a running project with great intentions, however, I sold due to loss of license with no knowledge of when I'd ever get it back... (sons mother committed suicide 2 yrs ago, and I was still billed child support without a person to pay (other than the state, yeah, f-u), even though I had sole custody, so the state deemed me a deadbeat dad and it took months of ridiculous court proceedings to stop the support order)... anyways, i JUST got that squared away, almost 2 years later... I had gotten so sick of staring at a project I lost interest in because I didn't know I'd ever enjoy it, so I sold it cheap... before it rotted away in my driveway.

Meanwhile, my father bought my mother a new BMW convert this week, so I was "given" the 87' 325ic, mother is the original owner and it was purely a summer, top down car... never saw snow, stored in garage, well maintained, etc...

I'd honestly prefer an e30 to a newer body style, however prior to my 36, I've never been a BMW guy, I've primarily owned Supras as my "toys", one after the other after the other since I was 16 (16+yrs). Since ive only had 1 bmw and it was a 95, my research has been/was focused on the e36 platform and drivetrain...

My hopes are that people will point me into the typical, general mods for this car. Exhausts, intakes, chip, etc; what works and what is useless (like e36, aftermarket intake doesn't do much since factory flows so high, or so I've read). This really will be an extreme budget build/driver for now, so please keep it in mind... any decent shortcuts, tricks, or cheap part swaps really appreciated. Names and possible prices of decent but cheaper parts... basically the best bang for the buck. I'm only looking to have a fun and reliable car (for now), not huge power or torque... possibly this fall after my house is sold and new house is done being built, I'll have more time and money to make this a potentially nice project with larger numbers... for now, it's just to enjoy being back on the road, appreciate the simple bolt ons, teach my kids basic wrenching and such... (btw, I'm fairly mechanically inclined, but I never claim to be the best, I've grown up building and restoring cars in my father's collection)

Thanks guys, hopefully I'll stay around here a while this time... I also apologize for my Grammer, punctuation and length/rant... posting from cell so I'm just trying to be quick and relay the most info...

Thanks again!!
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:25 AM
robbiegreene508 robbiegreene508 is offline
Resident Jack-Ass
Location: Worcester Ma
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: 95 325is
Anyone?? Bueller... Bueller... Bueller. Ha ha, ok then
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:28 AM
downhiller's Avatar
downhiller downhiller is offline
livin large
Location: des moines
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,692
Mein Auto: 2012 hypermotard 796
it all depends on how deep you wanna go. i kept mine pretty much stock besides a flowmaster muffler, drop (PO heated the coils), and better brakes, but besides that, most was oem or aftermarket stock replacement.

first off, maintenance. sounds like the car was babied really well, however sitting can cause fun issues. timing belt a must. see when the last time it was changed. e30s were a 5yr/60k service interval. make sure the belts are up to snuff, check your spark plugs, cap and rotor. change if needed. im always a fan of changing all the fluids once i get a car, so i know when they were last changed. going to synthetics also help with a little hidden power.

for a better stance, little better handling, h&r springs with either koni or bilstiens. springs are bout $400 depending on where you get them, struts havnt priced but both those are the higher end so expect $100-180 per.

brakes, your 2 options, keep it stock or replace pads and rotors. i was told by a few bmw techs not to mix and match due to how bmw designs there brakes. they use softer materials, so if you mix stock with aftermarket, you can wear the oem rotors faster with aftermarket pads and vice versa. i went brembo blank rotors with centric posi-quiet ceramic pads. little grindy when cold, but once theyre warmed, awesome.

performance, chip and exhaust. chips vary in price from company. theres a couple guys on here that know the best bang for buck. i never got that far. but exhaust, you can see prices from muffler only ($50+) to full systems ($1200+). ive seen some catbacks for $400, but i cant remember the brand. intakes as everyone mentions is kinda a waste of time/money since there is really no true benefit besides more noise and better throttle response.

forcefirebirds thread (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=187598) has alot of stuff on there that could help you out. other good build threads that i kept up with for awhile were from fcsteves bronzit FTL, nick323 (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=631265)

now webstores i can remember (had stored on the computer however it went blue screen of death)
I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming

Last edited by downhiller; 02-21-2014 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:28 PM
M-technik-3 M-technik-3 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: VA/DC
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 901
Mein Auto: 5 E30's
Sorry for your troubles with Massatoliet. Been there done that just in a different degree. The liberal side of this state is destroying it.

No mention if it's an auto or manual. Manual I would put a few performance things in like a chip and if the clutch is toast I'd have the flywheel lightened down to about 12 lbs from 18 lbs. Suspension and Massatoliet roads I'd go with Bilstein HD and H&R Sports. Allows some cushion between oil pan and the craters we call pot holes here in state.

I live in western Mass, this was my former E30 325iC with a factory hardtop It was on Vogtlands and Bilstein Sports plus 15x7 BBS RZ378's

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Old 02-22-2014, 05:12 PM
robbiegreene508 robbiegreene508 is offline
Resident Jack-Ass
Location: Worcester Ma
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 35
Mein Auto: 95 325is
Thanks guys, really appreciate the info... sorry I forgot to add that it's a 5 speed. Maintenance wise, just about everything has been done recently, the only thing in question (also one of the most important though), is the timing belt. It's been done twice, but he's not exactly sure how long ago, social thinking that's first on my list of to do's. It also has brand new tires and exhaust as of last November, so I'm torn about even doing a performance exhaust at this time. As much as I'd like to, I'm just wondering if the used/new stock exhaust has any value or demand... maybe I should sell TO BUY a different system? The rear seat also has a minor tear, it's been discretely repaired with black duct tape, and the rear window is yellowing a bit, but the top is in overall great shape. Luckily I know a vinyl material guy that can make one and repair the current top, as I'm not sure... can you buy and replace the window separately?

Again, for now, this will be a daily driver. I love working on/modifying cars, but in my current situation is really making me question to what extent, if any, I should modify. Obviously a little bit is fun, but we all know that once that bug bites you, there's hardly any way of stopping or going back. Maybe I'm just better off enjoying it as is for now. I'm going to have to buy a newer, larger car by the end of the summer anyways. Having a growing family does that, so I'm hoping that I can keep this along as a fun project or seasonal toy...

Again, I appreciate the help and info. I'll certainly be on here more, as well as be posting pictures within a week or two. I still have to travel back to their house to pick it up, so I'm currently making the plans to do so. It's actually killing me to sit here thinking about and discussing it without having taken possession yet. I'm really looking forward to joining the e30 "owners club"!!
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:01 AM
garagistic's Avatar
garagistic garagistic is offline
'Fest Sponsor
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 460
Mein Auto: e30

Start with suspension. You can never go wrong with suspension upgrades until you figure out the direction you want to take the car.

Here is some cliff notes on the e30:

Also we offer bimmerfest members discounts on most of the items we offer for e30s so send us a PM with what you need and we will get your hooked up!

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