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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 01-03-2008, 10:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! Grey Market Question.

I am looking at bringing in a BMW from Nevada that originated in the Netherlands (Holland). The Vehicle was first brought in to the states to Texas, then to Nevada where it has remained ever since.

I just need to know what I have to inspect on the vehicle to make sure the Communist State of California will let me tag it. I believe that it has a cat and O2 sensor. And due to it's age, it may be exempt from certain current import laws.

The vehicle is a 1985 323i. So this vehicle was never produced in the states. It has colored euro glass, and lacks 5mph bumpers.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I have some time since I was going to pick it up in Reno. But I refuse to trailer a car back due to the coming storm.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dvmotorsports
I am looking at bringing in a BMW from Nevada that originated in the Netherlands (Holland). The Vehicle was first brought in to the states to Texas, then to Nevada where it has remained ever since.

I just need to know what I have to inspect on the vehicle to make sure the Communist State of California will let me tag it. I believe that it has a cat and O2 sensor. And due to it's age, it may be exempt from certain current import laws.

The vehicle is a 1985 323i. So this vehicle was never produced in the states. It has colored euro glass, and lacks 5mph bumpers.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I have some time since I was going to pick it up in Reno. But I refuse to trailer a car back due to the coming storm.

Thanks in advance.
local DMV would be able to answer those question no? I know epa laws are very high standards out there in cali!
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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local DMV would be able to answer those question no? I know epa laws are very high standards out there in cali!
Yeah I figured. But it takes an act of congress to get DMV to answer the phone, And I work five 10's so I have no time during their business hours. So hopefully somebody has some experience with this.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know what you mean working the long hrs I work 5 12's sucks no time to look into that type of stuff! I have to look into that myself moving over there next month!
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah Cali sucks smog wise
you shouldn't have many issues if the car passes Califonia smog..... and if it doesn't smog will just cost a little bit more if you get what i mean
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Go to NHTSA.gov. They have all the info you need. Now, if the car is in the states, see if it has a US title. If it does, they can't tell you nothing since the car had to be imported and allowed by NHTSA into the states. NHTSA will not let you bring a car into the US if it doesn't pass all the safety standards set for US cars. No state DMV has anything to do with you importing your car into the States. They only ensure that the car gets registered in that state and have nothing to do with the federalization of the car.

The Magic number for cars being imported from abroad is 25 years. Although I have heard that they do give waivers depending on the situation. This I am telling you because I am currently stationed in Germany (Army) and before I extended to stay here until Summer of 2010, I was planning to bring back a 1988 325i (German Specs) with full Mtech II kit and other goodies before I got my hands on my 89 325i (US Specs). If you need more info you can shoot me a pm and can pass you all the info I have.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by elsabor67
Go to NHTSA.gov. They have all the info you need. Now, if the car is in the states, see if it has a US title. If it does, they can't tell you nothing since the car had to be imported and allowed by NHTSA into the states. NHTSA will not let you bring a car into the US if it doesn't pass all the safety standards set for US cars. No state DMV has anything to do with you importing your car into the States. They only ensure that the car gets registered in that state and have nothing to do with the federalization of the car.

The Magic number for cars being imported from abroad is 25 years. Although I have heard that they do give waivers depending on the situation. This I am telling you because I am currently stationed in Germany (Army) and before I extended to stay here until Summer of 2010, I was planning to bring back a 1988 325i (German Specs) with full Mtech II kit and other goodies before I got my hands on my 89 325i (US Specs). If you need more info you can shoot me a pm and can pass you all the info I have.

Well that is good info, but.........

It's an emissions question as opposed to a safety question. I know there will be no issues on the safety inspection. The only problem is that I looked in ETK (BMW Parts Catalog) and there isn't even an option for a catalyst or O2 sensor on that vehicle. I cross referenced all major part numbers from the engine and exhaust system. No numbers match except the crank. So unfortunately I can't interchange.

So any further insight into this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I see now. Let me do some more digging because that was also discussed when I was doing my research. Give me a couple of days(at least 2) and I will do my best to get you an answer.
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I see now. Let me do some more digging because that was also discussed when I was doing my research. Give me a couple of days(at least 2) and I will do my best to get you an answer.
Hey man, much appreciated
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Old 01-05-2008, 03:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok, after a couple of advil's() I found this on the EPA website,

Importing Vehicles and Engines | US EPA is the main page where you start the journey and has the following links that might give you the info you need.

4. BMW Environmental Eng. Montvale, NJ (201) 573-2082 , because you might have to get a letter from them stating that the vehicle is over 21 years old.

Overview of Vehicle Import Requirements | Importing Vehicles and Engines | US EPA has a statement where if the vehicle has over 21 years of age, it doen't need to meet compliance. I will try to see if I can find something from California.

Additional Imports Documents | Importing Vehicles and Engines | US EPA has other additional info on documents and such.

Hope this helps. I will try to see if I can find out more later on.
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice find do you have any pictures of your 323i?
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by elsabor67
Ok, after a couple of advil's() I found this on the EPA website,

Importing Vehicles and Engines | US EPA is the main page where you start the journey and has the following links that might give you the info you need.

4. BMW Environmental Eng. Montvale, NJ (201) 573-2082 , because you might have to get a letter from them stating that the vehicle is over 21 years old.

Overview of Vehicle Import Requirements | Importing Vehicles and Engines | US EPA has a statement where if the vehicle has over 21 years of age, it doen't need to meet compliance. I will try to see if I can find something from California.

Additional Imports Documents | Importing Vehicles and Engines | US EPA has other additional info on documents and such.

Hope this helps. I will try to see if I can find out more later on.
Wow. Great find and very much appreciated. Now the next thing I have to figure out is, given the age of the vehicle, does that mean it doesn't have to conform to California emissions compliance. I couldn't find it there. I'll probably have to call.

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Nice find do you have any pictures of your 323i?
I haven't purchased it yet. I am in limbo until I find out whether I can tag it in California or not.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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^ you should be able to if it has a us title.....
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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^ you should be able to if it has a us title.....
Sorry, i was pretty vague in my post you quoted. What I meant to say was pass smog. That is what is holding this deal up.

And......I just found out the Truckee levee in Reno, NV broke last night. 800 homes under water. I just hope this car isn't in that neighborhood.
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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.....ask for a discount if it was........ hopefully it wasn't.... smog in cali isn't to hard to pass they dont really do a visual.... as long as it looks stockish you should be fine.......
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