First Bimmer! 1987 325is! Electrical gremlins. - BMW Forum -

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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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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First Bimmer! 1987 325is! Electrical gremlins.

Hello, forum. I just purchased my first BMW a little more than 5 days ago. It's a 1987 325is with 200K+ miles. For the problems it has, I don't think $1000 was too bad of a deal.

The Goooooood:
-Very strong engine with no idling problems when I test drove it. Previous owners seem to have taken good care it.
-Brand spankin' new tires
-Brakes are in decent shape. PO said the pads are probably around 50% by now.
-Grills look new
-No cracks in windshield or any windows
-The sunroof and power windows all work
-Guy threw in a free CD player :roll:
-Despite some paint scratches on the back spoiler, a gross, rusty blemish behind the door, a dent next to the right headlight and a few little dents on the hood, the care is in good condition after obviously being mistreated cosmetically.

-O2 sensor needs to be changed and I don't know how long it's been since the PO last did it.
-The interior is in absolute shambles. three or four huge cracks on the dashboard, driver side seat is a mess. Foam coming out and ripped leather.
-Driver side seat belt receptacle is broken (anybody want to sell me one for cheap?)
-Guy put on an ugly aftermarket front spoiler and one of the cables from the fog lamps is ripped out after he hit a speedbump too quickly or something.
-Some electrical problems which I will now go into detail describing because they are pissing me off and I don't know a single thing
about car electronics aside from cleaning out sockets and replacing bulbs (which fixed the blinkers )

The wipers....are so annoying. They work well enough, but they DON'T PARK. When they're on continuously, everything is in fine working condition. But when I stop them, they park upright and not in the down position. I can even turn off the car when they're parked in the proper condition, turn on the car, and the go back to being parked upright. I've taken the wiper arms off and watched the screws turn back and forth, and they don't seem to want to go back down when I turn off the wipers.

Rear driver side brake light, tail light and front driver side running light doesn't work. Blinkers work fine, but when I pull by headlight knob, and the parking/running/whatever you want to call them lights come on (I'm going to just call them night lights) the driver's side doesn't illuminate. Driver side rear blinker is working, but no tail light or brake light on that side. Already exchanged bulbs, but I haven't taken a volt meter to it yet. Any ideas? A friend said to check my grounds, first.

Reverse lights due to the switch on the transmission being either shot or poorly connected to the wiring. A question. I took a look at it, and the wiring is in horribly frayed condition. Is there a part number for a new plug for the wiring?

EDIT: A note on why I purchased this thing. 1.) I've always liked the 80's BMWs (but really just BMWs in general). My godfather had one, my best friend has a 325Ci and a family friend of ours had a black 325i throughout the 90s. 2.) I needed a car for school because the bus just wasn't cutting it (though I'll be taking it until I feel really safe driving in snow in that thing. Living in Colorado Springs, hills, ice, snow and 23-year-old BMWs do not good bedfellows make) 3.) It was only $1000 for what is essentially a car in decent working condition. 4.) I want to increase my knowledge of auto repair. BMWs in particular. 5.) C'mon, everybody likes to see the smiles on other driver's faces when they see your old-school whip

As such, the interior is the least of my worries at this point. Electrical issues are what I need to fix right now.

EDIT2: Oh, it needs a new muffler. It looks like it has leprosy. Gross.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 10:57 AM
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Welcome to the Werkz, I see you have your work cut out on this one!!

I would say its probably the wiper relay that's at fault.

Lights could be the switch, but bad grounds and connection seem to be the way to go, as you say multimeter time.

As for the reverse lights from the sound of it you need to sort the frayed wiring out,check it with meter, here's a parts identifier: Online BMW Parts Catalog

If you put the last 7 digits of your VIN in it will bring up your car and you can go from there, there is an archive section for older models.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 11:01 AM
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Welcome to the Werkz....... I love the E30 also, my brother owns one & I have done a lot work to it! Do it yourself is the way to go!

Here are a couple of links to help you along:

BMW E30 DIY (Do It Yourself)

BMW E30 - Do It Yourself (DIY) Archives


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