help buyin an e30 - 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 06-13-2004, 03:22 PM
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Im new to e30, but i really like the body style of the car and stuff. Im goin to buy a 85 325e tomorrow and i want to know what to watch out for, typical problems that could be fix, and what to run away from.. thnx in advance.
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 04:48 PM
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my dad is the mech, im no mech, but Im not stupid, he told me to look for these things when I went to check out my car(you may know some of these, but Ima just say em anyways):

1)make sure all the vins match(if there is one missing, the car was in an accident, or had fenders replaced)
2)check for rust
3)give the car a good bear palm on the trunk corners and give it a little push, see how the strength is
4)start it up, and look at the engine, and check for any odd sounding noises
5)take for a test drive, and go on a straight road, and let go of the steering wheel, see if it turns(if it starts to turn on its own, it needs an allignment)
6)check the sloppyness of the shifter, if you have to find where to put it in gear, you need to bushings, it isnt a req', I needed new bushings, and my shifter was all over the place, but youlearn to drive fine with it.
7)see how the air or AC runs(if it has AC), if no cold air is running, you need a freon recharge
I cant think of any more, but those are the basics for A car, for a BMW, I cant think of any right now. its a car, so look for things that would cause the cost to go down, things of that nature. I hope this helps? let us know what you decide to do.

oh, and give it some gas in neutral and see how the throttle response is. take itup to 4k and let the rpms go back down on their own, and see how it reacts(if it starts to stutter at 600rpms, or if it holds just fine)

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#3 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 05:41 PM
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that was sweet spiff.... STICKY!!!!!

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#4 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 06:02 PM
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you really think its helpful? Im glad it is for you schnieder. it helped me a lot. and can definetly affect the cost of a car. sticky? meaning make it stick to top so you cna always see it? heh, I feel so proud now. lol.

oh, and :

8) definetly pay 20$ for a carfax report, those can help a lot.

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#5 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 06:04 PM
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I updated the first post a little.

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"You gotta fix the nut behind the wheel before you fix the bolts on the car"
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 08:03 PM
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im a noob mech i work at a gas station.. i know to check out car before u buy and stuff but i want to know more specific about e30 common problems to look for.. but that was a good easy steps on how to check on cars if u're thinkin about buying one spiff
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 11:01 PM
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Starmavin is a jewel in the rough Starmavin is a jewel in the rough Starmavin is a jewel in the rough Starmavin is a jewel in the rough
The most common problems that the e30 body style that I have found are:

1. Lower control arm outer ball joints, they aren't hard or expensive to replace but often go bad.
2. The odometer has little plastic gears that break easily and won't work.
3. Water in the trunks batery and jack pockets.
4. The VDO instrument cluster's inspection light board has batteries that sometimes go bad and the inspection light won't reset.
5. The stock A/C expansion valve offten goes bad.

Mostly just stupid stuff.

Other than that, the M-20 motor is damn near bulletproof. However the magic bullet that will kill these motors is the camshaft drive belt (Timming belt) and/or tensioner. Change these as soon as you get the car. Unless it was changed less than 20k miles ago. I change mine every 60K miles (much cheaper that a rebuild + parts or motor).

Good luck with your first E-30 BMW.
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 11:16 PM
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There's a couple things I didn't see mentioned here:

1. MOST IMPORTANT... Save yourself a lot of hassle and headache, and make sure the car you are buying has been maintained. I would insist on maintenance records.

2. EQUALLY IMPORTANT... Falls under number 1 up there, but make sure that the timing belt has been changed on the regular intervals (every 60K miles for most E30's). NOTE: Some E30's have a timing chain. The chain models are preferrable, as the belt-equipped models are 'interference' engines, which means if the belt breaks, so does at least half of your engine.

Hope this helps!

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#9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2004, 05:04 PM
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check for valve noise....check for leaks (oil filter housing gasket, rear engine seal)...check the steering rack and all surrounding boots for crack...rust....check the seats if they recline/slide...check the gauges; chances are you'll be getting those bouncy needles on them....take the car to normal operating temperature and let it sit to see if it overheats...press on the clutch and release; if it makes a rattling noise then throw-out bearing needs replacement...but all-in-all, M20s are good engine and will last a long time...oh yeah, maybe a head gastket replacement is needed on that car as well....hope this helps!!
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-15-2004, 07:24 PM
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good posts everyone, I actually just did most of those checks on my car today.
this is a good thread, lets not ruin it with other stuff. by other stuff, I mean things other then technical problems with an E30 specifically.

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