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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 09-22-2004, 06:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I just bought my first 3 Series. It's a white '89 E30 325i automatic with 115K on the odo (it's a California car, if that's any help). It runs great, but here are a few observations I'd like your help on. Thanks.

1. The white paint in the engine bay is discolored with a yellow film. It's pretty baked on, so I presume it's burnt oil vapor. Which brings me to my next points...

2. The hot engine smells of burnt oil.

3. There's a lot of black oil crud on the baffles between the bottom of the head and the exhaust manifold.

Do these point to an oil leak or gasket problem? Or is it something that you just have to live with on a car of this age? (I drove an MG for a month with a broken throttle cable, so dealing is something I can live with.)

4. The tachometer, MPG guage, and temperature guage don't work. I think it's just the fuses, where can I get a fuse box diagram?

5. Where can I get an original drivers manual?

6. How much should it cost to replace the timing belt in California? (I have no idea when it was last done, so don't want to risk putting on too many miles driving around in ignorance.)

7. Can I get a generic replacement windshield, or should I stick to genuine BMW parts?

If you've got any answers, I'd really appreciate your help. If you need more info, I'll try and get it.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. The white paint in the engine bay is discolored with a yellow film. It's pretty baked on, so I presume it's burnt oil vapor. Which brings me to my next points...
*I believe that is just a coating of petrolium they use to prevent rusting in salty storage, sometimes they dont remove it and it cakes on.

2. The hot engine smells of burnt oil.
* If it smells like burnt oil that means its most likely dripping on the headers.
That would have to leak through the Valve Cover Gasket. Common leak.

3. There's a lot of black oil crud on the baffles between the bottom of the head and the exhaust manifold.
* They start black and then accumulate dirt, the dirt is then baked on. You can wash the crud off.

Do these point to an oil leak or gasket problem? Or is it something that you just have to live with on a car of this age? (I drove an MG for a month with a broken throttle cable, so dealing is something I can live with.)
* First off clean out your engine bay. Get rid of any oil marks or streaks, this way you can see where a leak might be coming from. Then go ahead and tighten the nuts on the valve cover. I believe there are TWELVE 7mm nuts.

4. The tachometer, MPG guage, and temperature guage don't work. I think it's just the fuses, where can I get a fuse box diagram?
* This is a fuse. I believe its number 12 or 15.. dont remember

5. Where can I get an original drivers manual?
* Ebay

6. How much should it cost to replace the timing belt in California? (I have no idea when it was last done, so don't want to risk putting on too many miles driving around in ignorance.)
* Around $300 i think.

7. Can I get a generic replacement windshield, or should I stick to genuine BMW parts?
*
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I live my life one quarter mile at a time, and for those 23 or more seconds I'm free.
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fox@Sep 22 2004, 09:29 PM
1. The white paint in the engine bay is discolored with a yellow film. It's pretty baked on, so I presume it's burnt oil vapor. Which brings me to my next points...
*I believe that is just a coating of petrolium they use to prevent rusting in salty storage, sometimes they dont remove it and it cakes on.

2. The hot engine smells of burnt oil.
* If it smells like burnt oil that means its most likely dripping on the headers.
That would have to leak through the Valve Cover Gasket. Common leak.

3. There's a lot of black oil crud on the baffles between the bottom of the head and the exhaust manifold.
* They start black and then accumulate dirt, the dirt is then baked on. You can wash the crud off.

Do these point to an oil leak or gasket problem? Or is it something that you just have to live with on a car of this age? (I drove an MG for a month with a broken throttle cable, so dealing is something I can live with.)
* First off clean out your engine bay. Get rid of any oil marks or streaks, this way you can see where a leak might be coming from. Then go ahead and tighten the nuts on the valve cover. I believe there are TWELVE 7mm nuts.

4. The tachometer, MPG guage, and temperature guage don't work. I think it's just the fuses, where can I get a fuse box diagram?
* This is a fuse. I believe its number 12 or 15.. dont remember

5. Where can I get an original drivers manual?
* Ebay

6. How much should it cost to replace the timing belt in California? (I have no idea when it was last done, so don't want to risk putting on too many miles driving around in ignorance.)
* Around $300 i think.

7. Can I get a generic replacement windshield, or should I stick to genuine BMW parts?
*
[snapback]197227[/snapback]
Thanks, that's awesome help.
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy Clitheroe@Sep 22 2004, 10:33 PM
1. The white paint in the engine bay is discolored with a yellow film. It's pretty baked on, so I presume it's burnt oil vapor. Which brings me to my next points...
It's called cosmoline; search the forums to find ways to remove it. I think Brake-Kleen is mentioned.

Don't forget to get a new valve cover gasket.

--Chris
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Old 09-25-2004, 04:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nihilator+Sep 22 2004, 11:52 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Nihilator @ Sep 22 2004, 11:52 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Jimmy Clitheroe@Sep 22 2004, 10:33 PM
1. The white paint in the engine bay is discolored with a yellow film. It's pretty baked on, so I presume it's burnt oil vapor. Which brings me to my next points...
It's called cosmoline; search the forums to find ways to remove it. I think Brake-Kleen is mentioned.

Don't forget to get a new valve cover gasket.

--Chris
[snapback]197310[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

Brake-Kleen will work, so will some other things.

Check out this thread for more discussion - http://www.e30tech.com/forum/viewtopic.php...light=cosmoline
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