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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 12-07-2005, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Give me your knowledge.... GIVE ME!

Aight... I'm soon to be in the market for a E30... there are requirements to what I want/need.

- Does not eat fuel... pretty much anything is an upgrade from what I currently have...
- Has the best engine all around for the e30 model...
- Good for long distance driving... and a daily driver.
- Will look sick with a lowered suspension and maybe new wheels. Without modifying the body.
- Costs me less than or equal to 3500 bucks.

Hook it up... tell me your thoughts as if you were to go buy another e30 with all of the knowledge you already have from your current ownership.

Thanks,

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Old 12-07-2005, 02:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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IF your lucky enough to get your hands on one, go for a euro-spec 323i Baur TC. Mine looked good, was lowered, no body mods. It was fast as fuck, having no problem getting to 140 MPH and staying there, and mileage was anywhere from 19 to 27, depending on how you drove it.

Engine was an i-6, roughly 150 HP according to all info I could locate. If you've never seen it, here you go
http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/3-s...sed-34857.html

And, it only cost 3500 bucks to start.

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Old 12-07-2005, 02:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You probably already know, but you're looking for my car. I get around 30 mpg, even ramrodding my car around town. There is a downside. Ramrodding in an eta is not very much fun as you are r3vlimited. 4500 rpm redline, that's it. The upside is, gas mileage goes up, engine lasts forever, and torque>hp.
If you get an "is", you'll suffer in gas mileage a bit, but it will be a lot more fun to drive. All of your criteria matches my car, but I don't have the best looking car in the world, and I know that's important to you. (my interior pwns though, you know about that) You might be able to get a pretty nice E30 for less than or equal to $3500, but the lowered suspension and nice wheels are going to cost you an extra $2000, if you do it right. Once you get an E30, I will gladly pass on my knowledge to include a copy of my "bible" of information about fixing, modding, and caring for the E30.
Good luck, Les.
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Old 12-07-2005, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I love my 91 318is!! ~140hp DOHC (the only e30 besides the M3 that has DOHC), 1.8l chain-driven timing, redlines at 6250, I get about 30-34mpg (town/highway). Has a WICKED rear-end (4.11:1 LSD) that winds out a bit on the freeway. Has no problems getting up to 125mph, but I've never tried taking it higher. Aside from the fact that it needs a new timing chain/timing components (125k miles. All the parts to do the timing chain are like 600$ total. The chain makes a lot of noise when it needs to be changed, but it will never break, just stretch. BMW has updated parts for it [chain tensioner, chain guide rails and so on] to make the chain last longer, sound quieter and do it's job efficiently. The job can be done in your garage with some basic tools, and some not-so basic tools, in about 8 hours) and a new thermosdat (30$) it's a great engine. I love to tinker with it on the weekends. I'm always buying parts to keep it well-maintained, as it is my daily driver to and from school (about 40 miles both ways) 5 days a week. I've prolly put about 500$ worth of parts into it, and it runs like a champ, it's great on gas and it's got a little get-up-and-go to it too!

I've owned the car for 3 years, and this christmas I'm going to get some performance stuff for it. With a JC chip, short shifter, performance coils and an intake, it should be at ~160hp and a blast to drive. Besides the engine stuff, I need new paint, new rotors/pads/sensors/master cylinder, some body work, etc. Although I do love the car, I dunno how much of that I'm willing to pay for at this point =(

If you do decide to buy one, make sure that the PROFILE GASKET has been changed on it. If the car has over 80k miles on it, don't worry. The stock gasket fails at about 60k, and results in engine failure, more often than not =(

Hope I didn't get too off-topic =0

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Old 12-07-2005, 05:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your imput... keep going... I need to know this stuff.... I know there are many... many problems with E36s to look out for... as I own one... there has to be more than a profile gasket to look out for...

I want this to not only help me but this e30 forum lacks a ..."how to" buy a E30...

Keep it up people.... thanks again,

Les
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You definetly should get a 325i. In my opinion it has the most rock solid engine for the E30. I gets great gas mileage and has 168hp. It can haul for a little car. The only problems with an E30 are usually in the cooling systems and or the electrical systems. If you can find a car wehre the previous owner took good car of it you can't go wrong. Nothing on my E30 has ever broken down, I have only down preventive work on it. As for performance upgrades all you need for an E30 to look good on the exterior are wheels, lowered, tinted windows, and the paint to be in great condition. Good luck finding one, I hope you can find what you like.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Having owned both a 325e and 325i i would say that the 325i is a better car overall if you plan on keeping it stock. The e does get beter milage and feels faster because of the low down torque but the i IS faster vs feeling faster. The e did destroy alot of civics and other would be victors when they wanted to try me on for size (using a ebay special chip and 91 octane fuel it did feel much quicker yet.. 150hp and 195 trq supposedly).

I prefered the 325i though, which is why that one is still in my carport and the 325e is condemned to fates unknown with its new owner.

Not a big fan of the 4 cyl models, owning a 4 cyl z3 right now its far too much of a dog(same basic motor as in the 318i e30). 0-60 in high 9.6 second range for the manual. Good for gas milage though, I get 28mpg when I'm hard on it alot. My 325i gobbles up gas. Esp now with my mods.

If you want looks and fun for 3500, get a manual 2 door 325ix. Rarest of the rare but a pimpmobile and a half and I'm sure there are at least some out there. Failing that, just a 2 dr 325i/is.

Rock on.
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i think you'v started another 318is, 325is, 325e dispute... this is going to get hecktic soon.

personaly i love my 318is, with the work i'v done to it, it will eat a 325ix 5spd, and that was when she was running rough... still gets 21ish MPG, thats with mostly city driving, an exctreemly heavey foot, and 25lb wheels... the engine is awsome, i'v never had any problems with it, except for the oil pan. if you get a 318 and lower it GET A SKID PLATE.
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks guys... I am rather envious of the e30s... I want one bad... if not for anything but know-how to how things work and problems. Thank you all..

Keep her goin,

Les
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I recenlty purchased my frist e36, after having e30's in 'e, and 'is trim. E30's are really great cars, far simpler than the e36. I am also familiar with the 318 e30's as well. If you can find one, the 325is is the way to go. They have much better seats, a limited slip rear, remote oil cooler, and a little better wheel set up (although it looks as if you'll likely change this). In a car this size you really notice the torque in the six cylinder cars. I know all the 318 guys like to talk about weight distribution, overall lightness, etc. And they're right, which is why the M3 was a four cylinder car. But unless you are going racing the six will be FAR more enjoyable. DOHC? The six didn't need this to make it a relatively quick car. A single overhead-cam four cylinder would never really work, DOHC was a neccesity.

In the meantime I had a 2003 350Z. While truley an awesome car, their is just something about the overall package in the BMW's.

As with any older european car, the previous maintanance history and overall condition of the car should serve as good indicators of what to look for. It's always okay to spend a little more for the right car. The e30's are capable of going many, many miles. If unsure, you'll want to change the timing belt on a six cylinder car.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94ISCPE
I recenlty purchased my frist e36, after having e30's in 'e, and 'is trim. E30's are really great cars, far simpler than the e36. I am also familiar with the 318 e30's as well. If you can find one, the 325is is the way to go. They have much better seats, a limited slip rear, remote oil cooler, and a little better wheel set up (although it looks as if you'll likely change this). In a car this size you really notice the torque in the six cylinder cars. I know all the 318 guys like to talk about weight distribution, overall lightness, etc. And they're right, which is why the M3 was a four cylinder car. But unless you are going racing the six will be FAR more enjoyable. DOHC? The six didn't need this to make it a relatively quick car. A single overhead-cam four cylinder would never really work, DOHC was a neccesity.

In the meantime I had a 2003 350Z. While truley an awesome car, their is just something about the overall package in the BMW's.

As with any older european car, the previous maintanance history and overall condition of the car should serve as good indicators of what to look for. It's always okay to spend a little more for the right car. The e30's are capable of going many, many miles. If unsure, you'll want to change the timing belt on a six cylinder car.

Hope this helps!
the 318's are usualy a 4dr, and the 318is is a 2dr, much different then the one your talking about. 318is's have the sport seats like the 325is, but they are leatherette instead of leather. baskets came with the 318is just like the 325is. LSD was optional in both cars, so find one with one.
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