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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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Old 03-14-2006, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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e30 325

hi to all,
am hoping to get an e30, 320 or 325 soon but was wondering if anyone could advise me whether there is any (dis)advantages to an earlier or later model?
also, is there any common problems with these cars - what should i look for from my prospective car?!
thanks a lot,
tommy
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Old 03-14-2006, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The 88 and up are a tad better. Small differences, but it mostly depends on your tastes....
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you like clean styling I would go with the 6/88 and up models.. Body Color Plastic Bumpers, Body Color Mirrors, Nicer Headlights, stuff like that. They also come stock with a bit more performance than the Pre 88 E30s. It depends what you're looking for in a car, and how much you'd like to spend. All of these cars handle great, the main difference is power and looks.

Models with an "s" tend to handle slightly better, has nice front and back spoilers, and have a ton of accessories. Models with "C" are convertibles. And the M3 means it has anything you can ever want.

Here is a little model list:

84-85 318i - 1.8L M10, 101HP, 103LB/FT
Rather slow, kinda boring in my opinion, not much to look at.

84-87 325, e, es - 2.7L M20 (ETA) 121HP, 170 LB/FT
Torquey, Very nice around town, great MPG, still has the huge metal bumpers

1988 325 - 2.7L M20 Super ETA 128HP, 170LB/FT
Revs a bit higher than the Standard ETA

87-91 325i, is, iC - 2.5L M20, 168HP, 164 LB/FT
More Performance Oriented, 88+ Models have nicer plastic bumpers!

1991 318i, is, iC - 1.8L M42, 134HP, 127 LB/FT
Likes to Rev, alittle faster than the previous 318i, Not a lot of low end power

1988-1991 M3 - 2.3L 16v 4cyl, 192HP, 170 LB/FT
Awesome Car, Better Everything, its not much faster than the 325is, but handling, Styling, Braking, everything in my opinion is improved.

If this wasnt enough to swallow, take a look here:
http://strictlyeta.net/technical/differences.html
http://strictlyeta.net/technical/specifications2.html

I hope this helps your decision!
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Last edited by JoeMadoo; 03-14-2006 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks a lot - basically, i'm looking for a post 88 model that shows 6k on the tachometer!
do you know if us and european cars would have the same spec? (from ireland)
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The 1988 325 has the 6k Tack. Take a look at my vbGarage, I got one of ebay for a few bucks. There are a few other models in europe to look at. Actually quite a wide range.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what's the situation with using unleaded petrol in them - can it be used at all in the e30's?
leaded fuel is hard to come-by in my area, would i have to use an additive?

if not, how do you modify engines from leaded to unleaded?!
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think the biggest thing would be to lower the compression of the engine equally across all cylinders to ensure the engine doesn't ping when using Unleaded fuel. I don't know that to be true necessarily, since we haven't had leaded fuel in the states since the mid 80's or so... but the real issue with leaded vs unleaded if I remember right, is that leaded fuel allows you to run higher compression for greater HP, but BMW may not have that issue, since they don't build particularly high compression engines (with the exception of the ///M's of course!).

My guess (and it is nothing more than that) would be perhaps a thicker head gasket would work to increase the volume of the combustion chamber, thereby reducing compression. But again, I am not so sure that would even be necessary. Check with Nukeduster or Starmavin, those guys are wells of knowledge!

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Old 04-03-2006, 07:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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<snip>
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMadoo
Body Color Plastic Bumpers, Body Color Mirrors, Nicer Headlights, stuff like that.

84-87 325, e, es - 2.7L M20 (ETA) 121HP, 170 LB/FT
Torquey, Very nice around town, great MPG, still has the huge metal bumpers
This the model I have. How hard is it to remove the metal bumpers and replace with the lighter ones? My main concern with the car is open tracking it and I'd love to reduce the weight a bit.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's not too hard at all. Infact im going to do that this weekend. There is a crapload of sites that give step by step instructions to do it.

To reduce the weight, you could take out the spare tire in the back, and the heavy plate underneath it, i think its a dampener for the tire. Also you could take out the A/C Compressor, Condensor, and all the other A/C Components. Depending on how hardcore you are about racing, you could take out the back seat, passenger seat, whatever else you dont need .
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh all that is definitely on the list, trust me. This car will most likely not see public roads.

PS> Are those sites you talk of listed anywhere on this site? I think I've only found one quick writeup and it mentioned that I might not be able to do this on my car; something about split tail lights?
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Ireland is one of the civilized countries, so don't be alarmed. You can use unleaded without a second thought. I thought that leaded was only sold in Russia.

Pinging and lead are not connected. The octane level and pinging are. I use 95 octane fuel in my 8,8 compression engine, but will change to 98 octane when using higher compressions.

Fitting bumpers from post 88 model to pre 88 model is not direct bolt-on job. The panels under the bumpers are different and also the rear lights differ. Fitting new bumper and using old lights looks bad. Personally I can't understand why anyone would like to do so... Btw. also the rear lights aren't bolt on changeable, easiest is to change the whole panel lights are attached to, but then you need to weld and paint...

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Old 04-06-2006, 10:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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What rear lights are you talking about? You dont need to change the tail lights to use plastic bumpers, the rest of the world thinks it looks fine.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMadoo
What rear lights are you talking about? You dont need to change the tail lights to use plastic bumpers, the rest of the world thinks it looks fine.
I saw on one of the writeups (as a matter of fact I think it's the only one I found) that if I have the split tail lights the swap won't work. used: I haven't figured that one out, that's why I asked.
Are there any reputable companies that sell aftermarket bumpers that would work or do I have to buy OEM equipment? I'm looking for more functional/light weight at this time than looks.
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Old 04-23-2006, 01:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Pinging and lead are not connected. The octane level and pinging are. I use 95 octane fuel in my 8,8 compression engine, but will change to 98 octane when using higher compressions.
lead was used in fuel as a lubricant for valves, would the lack of it cause excessive wear to the engine?
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Old 04-23-2006, 03:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by land9
what's the situation with using unleaded petrol in them - can it be used at all in the e30's?
leaded fuel is hard to come-by in my area, would i have to use an additive?

if not, how do you modify engines from leaded to unleaded?!
If you car has a catalytic converter it takes unleaded fuel. Meaning any car built since the early 1970's.

This should clear up your questions:

The Unites States and most other countries switched from leaded to unleaded
fuel years ago. The lead additive, tetraethyllead, retarded "preignition"
in gasoline engines. Preignition causes engines to run rough, and to not
shut off when the key is turned off. The suppression of preignition is
measured by the gasoline's "octane rating". A good high-octane gasoline
allows a standard engine to run smoothly. Leaded gasoline also protected
some older car engines from wearing down by covering soft engine parts with
lead-containing material.

There are two major problems with using leaded fuel. 1) Lead is extremely
toxic, and causes mental retardation in children. Lead oxide from car
exhaust accumulates in soil near roads, and children can get it on their
hands from playing outside. They then ingest it, and it causes its damage.

2) Leaded gasoline ruins automobile catalytic converters. As a result of
these two problems, lead in gasoline has been banned in the U.S. Other
additives, such as methyl-tert-butyl ether (which is about to be banned),
had to be used to improve gasoline's octane rating.

The leaded gas adventurers have profitably polluted the world on a grand scale and, in the process, have provided a model for the asbestos, tobacco, pesticide and nuclear power industries, and other twentieth-century corporate bad actors, for evading clear evidence that their products are harmful by hiding behind the mantle of scientific uncertainty.

Last edited by Starmavin; 04-23-2006 at 03:41 PM.
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