1988 325 to try or not to try? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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#1 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 04:05 PM
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1988 325 to try or not to try?

Hello all, new to the forum. With questions.

I am in no real need of another car, but love them the same..
I have located a 1988 325.. this car is clean. Automatic, 2door, cloth interior. There are a few questions that have popped up in my head now that I like the car.

1. On any old Ford or Chevy there is never a worry of not having the 'records' should I be concerned that this paticular car does not have any past maintance records? If said car does not have records, should I run scared, allowing that the timing belt probably should at least be looked at, although the car appears to be in tremedous shape, paint, engine etc.

2. What is the difference in a 325, 325i, and 325e.. I didn't know until I saw this car that it would not have a letter of some sort after the 3xx. It does have a moon roof from the factory but cloth interior so; is it a plane jane ho-hum ride?

3. The car has 121K on the clock. Starts and runs smooth.. they are asking 2500 bucks for it. If I do buy this car after going through you all's expert (I hope) Opinions, it will be a weekender... fun traveler auto. So what are the expected MPG out of these 325's?

Thanks. Stig.
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 04:24 PM
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stig.......first up welcome.

i wouldn't be worried about no maintence records. i would however recommend highly having a timing belt done if you have no idea when the last one was done (ie no records, and no snazzy sticker under the hood about when it was last done). it is cheap insurance. new timing belt, tensioner, water pump every 50k will be far less costly than yanking that head if you were to break that belt. i highly recommend anytime you get one of these belt motors and you don't know it's past at all just do it. if you can wrench on it, parts are cheap....and if you don't, it's not that costly of a job for a shop to do it.

and yes there are those 325 with no letters after em'........how do i know? cause mine is that way, except i have a moonroof and vinyl seats. consider it an "E" by classification. it will have the E motor for sure. so yeah basically it's a basic "ho hum" ride.

and i don't know of the MPG with the auto's.......my manual gets me approx in the 30's on the freeway, but i haven't gone on a long trip for awhile. i think last figure i was at 32 MPG and i was mostly cruising like 80 or so.

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#3 (permalink) Old 09-15-2005, 09:25 PM
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not sure what to say about the maintenance records. I also have a 325 with no letter after it. same as the 325e. e stand for the greek letter eta which means efficiency. i have an auto and get 30 to a gallon on the high way maybe more. ;look at the tachometer and see if the car redlines at 4500 rpm. if so then it is an eta. good luck. take care of it and it will last a long time.
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-16-2005, 08:02 AM
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Question After driving it........

Well I drove the car yesterday. More questions..

I had noticed the 'button' under the go pedal before.

I took off normal chatting with the salesman just driving, I was like 'geez this thing is a dog' but also thinking well, it is a lower HP type of vehicle, So i just figured it was slow.. but after driving I was like "holy crap this is slow" thinking tune-up or something was needed.. Then I did a U-turn and punched the little button... The thing bolted, hit second and scrached the tires..:lol: and used: So I did it again and well? Is it a MPG thing?

And the valve train sounds a bit loud to me, the oil indication was in the yellow and there was a drop of oil off of the oil pan plug. Other news was the top of the engine was very clean, the bottom half of the block and the front not so clean with years of seaping oil maybe? Didn't smell of burnt oil though.. Do the seals go on these much? And on the exhaust manifold side there was fresh oil after driving it on the second to last (from front) valve cover bolt.. :/

And DJ I did find the 'fancey' sticker of timing belt change.. the last time a dealer did it anyway was in 1996 at 70xxx.. it was hard to make out but not other indication of when it was done. That was my initial reason of going back and ended up driving it haha.

thanks for putting up with my questions.. I am still searching about the site and looking for insite from you, the owners..
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-16-2005, 08:14 AM
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she is overdue for a timing belt change. so keep that in mind when you get her....and your oil leaking things.....first up drain plug. probably been to a jiffy lube where they don't replace the drain plug washers as they should, easily fixed.....and the valve covers tend to leak, and if you were hearing valve train noise good bet it has been awhile since those valves have been adjusted. also the cam seals tend to leak at the front of the motor (good thing to do while doing the belt) and those two things could be the source of your leaks. and the oil indicator thing is just a thing for service and more often than not those circuit boards don't work correctly (and there is a trick with a paper clip to reset those things anyways, in the event it does work like it should)

i recommend having a shop check it out, the two hours of diag time is well worth the money.

and for the auto button, couldn't tell you what that is, i haven't had an auto ever. never even worked on any of em' (the e30 cars that is).

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#6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2005, 08:12 PM
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325

that button under the gas is called a "kick down." it automatically puts your car in third gear. for example if you are driving on the highway at 65 mph and hit the kick down, the transmission will shift back into 3rd gear and give you that extra boost. after you have had enough accel. let off the kick down and it will shift back into 4th gear. good luck.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 09:06 AM
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Red face I agree....

Yes, It is indeed time to replace that timing belt! I was assured by the previous owner that mine had been done, so I let it slide for six months due to winter garage conditions. When I finally got around to it, I was horrified to find that I was still running the original factory belt at 140K miles. It could have toasted the engine! Before I bought my 325IC (convertable) I drove a 325e also. It was a reliable comfortable car, and I had very, very few problems with it. The solid lifters are famous for ticking. Not much you can do about it, and don't try to set them tighter in an attempt to silence them, the engine needs the aspiration, and too tight can result in less valve dwell time on it's seat, causing it to burn. 121k is nothing for the robust 2.7 engine, just keep the oil clean! Good luck! Jim

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#8 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for the replies.
The car is still at the lot haunting me.. lol. Bottom dollar is 2400 bucks. I am still pondering on the purchase or not. used:
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 12:15 PM
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Another question. The 325e. Does it have the 2.7ltr? And isn't that engine a lower horsepower engine? Like 130 or 120hp?
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 12:35 PM
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yes the 325e has the M20 engine ( i believe) which is a 2.7 and has 120-130 i think.

I also have the 325 (no letter) 87, ran great after i did a timing belt/ water pump change.

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#11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Rocket
yes the 325e has the M20 engine ( i believe) which is a 2.7 and has 120-130 i think.

I also have the 325 (no letter) 87, ran great after i did a timing belt/ water pump change.

ahhhhhhh... That would explain why it seemed sooooooo freakn slow to me. In comparison to my modded Explorer Sport, and my V8 Explorer along with my girls Mazda3s, it seemed REALLY REALLY slow.. so that makes sense, it seemed dead off of the line then once it got going it was ok. In not knowing much I assumed it was a 167hp car, but this makes much more sense!! Thanks.
I may have to drive it again in this new light.
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#12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 01:16 PM
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325eXTATIC is a glorious beacon of light 325eXTATIC is a glorious beacon of light 325eXTATIC is a glorious beacon of light 325eXTATIC is a glorious beacon of light 325eXTATIC is a glorious beacon of light
The e or eta is a mid 80's attempt to make an efficient but still fun to drive car that keeps mileage reasonable. The engine in an eta is an M20B27. Basically a 2.7 liter stroked version of the i engine with a few minor changes to intake, timing, fuel control, rev limit, and exhaust. Put a good quality aftermarket chip in it (like a Dinan or similar) and it will REALLY open up the engine significantly. I have a Dinan chip in my eta, and even though I bought it with the chip already installed, and even with almost 200000 miles on it, it is significantly faster than a "stock" eta.
With a more open exhaust from the exhaust manifold all the way back, you can really bring these things to life!

Just a thought!

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Not currently on the Bimmer kick. Drivin' a 2003 Silver Civic at the moment, but I am STILL the Founding Member of the "325eXTATIC You're my hero" club.
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Originally Posted by <b>superdeadman</b><br>Josh W. IS my hero!

Originally Posted by <b>JoeMadoo</b><br>325eXTATIC, you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>Moosepuck</b><br>Oh yeah... 325eXTATIC...you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>e30dream</b><br>325eXTATIC....youre my hero.
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#13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 01:20 PM
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^^ Indeed.. I do the intake/exhaust thing to almost everything I own.. Good to know these react well to modifications..
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#14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 02:00 PM
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Not so much on the intake to be honest. The stock airbox seems to be pretty good at its job. If you are not going forced induction, the only real improvement I can recommend would be a K&N filter. I don't know anything about it, but some people do a Mass Air Flow (MAF) conversion. That is no small undertaking if I understand, but it does yield some significant improvements, especially if you turbo or supercharge the car. Like I said, I personally know NOTHING about that conversion or the costs involved in the conversion, but do some searching, never know what you might come up with! Check www.e30tech.com for some advanced power building options!

Hope these get you going in the right direction!

Josh W.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by <b>superdeadman</b><br>Josh W. IS my hero!

Originally Posted by <b>JoeMadoo</b><br>325eXTATIC, you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>Moosepuck</b><br>Oh yeah... 325eXTATIC...you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>e30dream</b><br>325eXTATIC....youre my hero.
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#15 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 02:55 PM
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i believe all the 325's have the m20 engine code the models just end with B25 or B27 but tell me if i am wrong. one thing i have never understood is why there is a "325" with no letter if it is exactly the same as the eta...someone explain please

325
325e
325i
325iC
325iS
M3

those are all the models right? other than the 316/318 blah blah

the m3 is dopest raced out 3er

the 325is is next in line for being the quickest and it has some cooler body parts than the others

the 325ic has the same m20-b25 but its a convertable no cool body parts like the "iS"

the 325i has the same engine as the latter 2 but no cool body parts and its a hard top

the 325e has the m20-b27 witch is the doggy economy engine...

the 325.....? lol wtf is it.


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Last edited by BMW Lover; 09-27-2005 at 03:03 PM.
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