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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 10-10-2011, 03:48 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:49 PM   #47 (permalink)
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After replacing the starter and still not getting anything to turn over I broke down and took the car down to my mechanic. After several hours of tests he finally tracked down the problem to a loose cable that connects the engine to the frame. The connection was not providing enough voltage to the starter. He tightened the connection and everything was back to normal. I guess it was a good excuse to paint the manifold at least and I only spent $25 on ebay for a used starter plus $75 for the mechanic's help, now I'm going to put it all back together.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #48 (permalink)
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The thermostat housing and hose coupling were caked with dark orange cosmoline. I couldn't just put a nicely painted intake manifold next to filthy parts so I took them off and spent an hour cleaning them with a wire brush and engine degreaser. I picked up new gaskets and a new thermostat for $20 and I realized the coolant temp sensor for the ECU was very old so I picked up a new one for $15 and refinished the other gauge temp sensor with a wire brush. Next up I'm gonna paint the valve cover with black wrinkle high temp paint and I have new carpet going in.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:37 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Jedz123.
Great write up. I have a starter I need to replace on a 1990 325i E30. I am not able to lower the transmission at all. Can the starter be removed without lowering the transmission? I saw some pictures of people having top part of the engine taken off. I am going to be starting Thursday and hope to have it out. I have all day to work on it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:41 AM   #50 (permalink)
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You shouldn't have to do anything with the transmission. Just take off the intake manifold and you can get right to the starter.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:17 AM   #51 (permalink)
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So I can get to both bolts from the top and get it out? Thing is getting to the bolt on the bottom so it will not turn is challenging.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:28 AM   #52 (permalink)
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once the manifold is off there you can get all the starter bolts off really easy. After you've taken it off once it doesn't seem like such a big deal. After the first time I ended up having to remove it again because a coolant hose burst under there. If you have trouble with the manifold bolt studs I would replace them with new ones from napa they are really cheap.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:47 AM   #53 (permalink)
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When you took the intake off, did you reuse the gasket or buy a new one? I am not trying to buy extra parts.that are not needed. Right now I have all off but the intake and heater core lines. A 15 mm fits on the starter nut. The bolt looks a torques head but not sure of the size. I have the bmw on one Jack stand on the drivers side. Looks like an easier way to get the bottom bolt off. Doing this in a unheated garage with a space heater. Also no electricity but my drop cord lol.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #54 (permalink)
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I did all mine out in the open air. I would replace the gaskets if it's the first time you've pulled it off, they will probably tear when you pull them off anyway. The intake manifold gaskets shouldn't cost more than $10. I usually check ebay or google e30 intake manifold gasket and click on the shopping tab to check prices. I also check pelican parts but they should also show up automatically under the google shopping search. I also ended up getting a new throttle body gasket and new bolts and bolt studs. While you have the manifold off it's a good time to spray it with heat resistant spray paint.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:07 AM   #55 (permalink)
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How did you get the bolt from spinning? I just put my long extension on and hooked it to my 3/8 cordless. Turned it slow but the bolt spin with the nut put heat and sprayed pb blaster and tried again. Still spun and even when I gave it all power. I really thank you for helping me. Not sure if I got a pry bar and wedge it to stop the bolt from spinning or if it would stop. The intake does not look fun to take off by the way lol.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Sounds like it's stuck on there. I had a real problem with those old bolts too the first time, the bolt stud threads were rusty and damaged and the bolts were hard to get off. Try taking the bolt stud out of there with the nut on it. If you can't get the stud out of there maybe you could use a reciprocating saw to cut through it if you can get enough room in the gap between the head and the manifold for it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #57 (permalink)
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How would I be able to get the stud out? I was not aware it was a stud. I thought if I could get vice grips on the tip of the bolt/nut side and hold it from moving to get it off. Just put a new bolt/nut on. I will shoot back Saturday on my work.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Just unscrew it out of there with the bolt on it hopefully.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:39 AM   #59 (permalink)
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I am making nice progress. I am stuck on removing the intake. What is the best way on removing this tube? I think its to blow by for the crank case ventilation.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:41 AM   #60 (permalink)
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It sits on a spring, you just pull down on it until you can wedge it out of there.
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