Ok to explain I say may have, because it was my girlfriend's father's car... but he passed away recently. He was in the process of fixing up the 5-speed but was basically waiting for winter to end so it'd be easier to work on. I'm the only other one that's even sort of part of the family that's gifted with cars, so it looks as though I may have the honor of continuing where he left off with the car.
So let me say I'm new to the BMW scene so if I say something really stupid.... forgive me. But here's what I'm working with: 1984 silver (original) 318i coupe, 5-speed. the rear wheel wells appear to be a bit rusted out at the bottom, as well as the original springs, and shocks that are in there. Other than that the only rust is a few spots on the front left fender. Other body damage include a fist-sized dent on the right front fender. The car had about 173k miles on it, but the odometer doesn't work so we may need to add a *bit* to that. The fuel gauge doesn't work, however it does light up when it gets low. There's an "Inspection" indicicator lit up on the dash. The brakes feel a bit soft. One time when driving it, I heard a buzzer go off when I went over 4k RPM's in some, not all gears.
That's all that I can think of that's wrong with it... When I visited them in February (they live in CT) I asked if I could drive the car and he said "sure if you can get it started"... well it had been sitting for 5 months and started on the first try in 20 degree weather. So seems like I have a pretty good base to start with at least. Now for my questions!
1) Considering the mileage and output of the motor that's in there... I was thinking about maybe doing an M20 swap from another E30... a 325iS would be nice. Is that pretty doable? Same tranny/drive-shaft or no? I've read about the M50 swap but that seems a bit involved and I don't want to turn this classic into some immobile project car heap.
2) The 318i came with factory rear drums, whereas the 325e came with 4 wheel discs. Are these pretty easy to find and swap? I'd really like it if I could get the parts new or rebuilt.
3) I was going to swap out the gauge cluster so that I could get a working odometer, tripmeter, and fuel gauge. Still sticking to the E30 chassis are there year ranges where there would be changes that I should avoid? I found one on e-bay just browsing, I think it was around 87 or maybe later and looked identical...
4) And of course if anybody notices any of these problems that I've described and knows they're common problems, then let me know!
Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any contributions.... probably should have broken this up into smaller posts as I went but if I still have questions when I get there then I will