Need some advice on an E30 purchase - 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 07-02-2003, 01:08 PM
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Well, im moving off to college and my parents have agreed to buy me a car. Their guidlines are that the value must be under $6,000, and that it must be reliabile. Of course, they are not willing to pay for repairs, so the reliability is up to me. I've been looking around at other options (2nd Gen RX-7 N/A, GTi 16v, 240SX), but im a HUGE bmw fan.

What would you all recomend i start hunting for? Is it worth buying a lesser-quality E36 or the nicer E30? Im planning on making this purchase over the next 3 - 4 weeks.

Also, as expirenced owners, what regular maintanance is needed? I have the European Car magazine (with both the 3series and 5series guides to buying a 3/5series BMW) as well as consumer reports via my local library. What things should be LOOKING FOR to show poor wear of a typical BMW? What typical breaks becuase of neglect?

Thanks for your info.. im hoping for any first hand as well as second hand (links) you can provide.

Edit: i just finished reading the previous "Want to buy E30 thread" and a lot of my questions were answered there.. so don't get too mad at me for leaving this alive.
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 01:23 PM
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welcome iceslice! B)

if you want a E30, buy a good condition low mileage e30 for around $3k-4k, then be ready to dump a quick 1k in for initial repairs like timing belt, seals, master cylinder, etc. then you should be set, any well maintained E30 is very reliable, then maybe you could use the extra money for some cosmetic upgrades or performance mods.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 01:24 PM
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:lol: Thats what i wanted to hear. Im picking up the latest auto-trader tomorrow and im going to start shopping around. What upgrades do you recomend, and what sites do you recomend for me to look up said parts? Sure its a little early, but i need somthing to do for a little while...

edit: and while we're on the topic of repairs, are these things do able in my garage? Im an avid mechanic and the timing belt in my friend's supra is a real pain..
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 01:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums iceslice!! MrM3 is the man!!


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#5 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 02:11 PM
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hey, welcome aboard!!! B)

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#6 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by iceslice@Jul 3 2003, 04:24 PM
:lol: Thats what i wanted to hear. Im picking up the latest auto-trader tomorrow and im going to start shopping around. What upgrades do you recomend, and what sites do you recomend for me to look up said parts? Sure its a little early, but i need somthing to do for a little while...

edit: and while we're on the topic of repairs, are these things do able in my garage? Im an avid mechanic and the timing belt in my friend's supra is a real pain..
howdy... yea id recommend (well depending on your age... if your 17 or something follow what i say...) get a K&N and dont bother trying to reroute it behind the fender. Its almost impossible unless you find some collapsable flexible tubing, the oil pump is in the way and theres like 2.8 inches of clearence and you need 3.2 minimum for a good pvc pipe setup. Secondly go out and get a z4 shifter. Ill get the part numbers for you tommarow or later tonight. This is a relatively short install and is well worth the time and price for a shorter and crisper shifter. it should cost you around 60 total for all the parts. its about a 30 minute install if you follow directions i can give you and i got lots of photos of when i did it. And third. If you really wanna go off the deep end get a 3.91 LSD differential from a 318 and the springs and suspension off a m3. By then youll be out around 1000 bux from those 2 and have really killer e30. But now you have a serious lack of traction. I know i have pirellies and they have an extreme awesome grip but still i lose traction like a mofo cause i drive autoX so hard. 195s deffinatley wont cut it. And thats if you get the IS if you get bottle caps you start with like 165s or 175 something like that. Go buy some cheep 17" 4 stud honda wheels that are 7 1/2 inches wide and stick 225s on them. Now if you really want to get serious and do some engine mods i can recommend 2 things. SPlit second MAS because MAF restricts/sucks the big ones, and get some high compression pistons like 10.5:1. personally i want 11.1:1 but i cant find any. This all will be about 2000 bought, and installed. And you wont be able to do the springs or the pistons yourself but the rear diff and mas you will... as long as you can wire decent. Anyway thats my summery, you do that and youll have the best e30 in your state... because no one mods e30s except in europe =]

<span style='font-family:Geneva'><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:red'>Fox</span></span> <span style='color:gray'>the Pirate</span>
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 04:13 PM
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fox has some good points, but i really dont think 225's in 17" will fit. i have 215's on 17x7's and the place i bought it from said that there was no way i could do 225's, even with my friendly et20 offset. as for the induction, a semi popular thing to do is a M30 big AFM swap, then maybe a cone filter would serve more of a purpose, i dont know much about the split second MAS fox mentioned, but that could be a good alternative aswell. and about the 3.91 LSD, thats a good ratio to run on a 325is, but a differential from a 318 wouldn't fit because it has a smaller casing, i wouldnt worry to much about your differential unless your really into auto-x'ing or straight line performance tho. i agree with fox 100% about the Z4 shift lever, its a gerat way to decrease shift throw and is pretty cheap, and i'm sure you wont have a problem installing it if your mechanically inclined.

to me suspension is most important on E30's, get your self a nice shock/spring setup, i have koni adjustable shocks with H&r springs and am very pleased, but if i had the money i would probably go with a koni and ground control coillover setup so i could adjust the ride height as well. after that a sparco strut brace would be a great compliment to the new suspension. sway bars arent really needed, but if you insist on fine tuning the suspension to your exact preferences then maybe u could add a larger rear sway bar for more oversteer, or a front sway bar to cancel out too much oversteer.
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 04:36 PM
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Yea... i meant to hit 215, thanks for pointing that out... didnt see it.

Also the 318 differential wont fit but the crown and pinion gears are the same so they will.
And though it does impend daily driving as to you shift more... it does give a nice increase in torque.

Im not sure if youve ever seen or done the MAF swap... i havnt done it myself but i have a friend who has. And i was there for a large part of it. Its a MAJOR pain in the ass and its a quite a bit of work... for not all that much of a gain.

As for shocks listen to mrm3 i dont know much about suspension except sway/roll bars. I just say m3 cause its cheap and it works.

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#9 (permalink) Old 07-02-2003, 09:21 PM
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Well, im going to try and get a perfect purchase for $4k, plan on dropping $1k max into it for repairs/minor upgrades, and then have the last $1k for the fun stuff. Right now i steal my dads GSX-R600 (sportbike) on the weekends and go blast, and i've learned that power isn't everything. Whatever i have left over will first go to wheels/tires, and then to suspension. I'd love to autocross, and that is probably the way to go for it since i don't need a 150+mph 325 on parking-lot courses.

MrM3: when you say "then be ready to dump a quick 1k in for initial repairs like timing belt, seals, master cylinder, etc. then you should be set," Do you refer to that price as installed by a mechanic, or done my self? I know its a pain in the ass to do your self, but would the savings be worth it?

Oh, and just another random question: Tax Title and License are %10 right?
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2003, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by iceslice@Jul 4 2003, 01:21 AM

MrM3: when you say "then be ready to dump a quick 1k in for initial repairs like timing belt, seals, master cylinder, etc. then you should be set," Do you refer to that price as installed by a mechanic, or done my self? I know its a pain in the ass to do your self, but would the savings be worth it?
for me, i bought my car (325is) for $3100 (130k miles) excellent condition. then my mechanic charged me, labor and everything, a little under $900 to get it up to snuff within the first month. and since then ive had no repair costs, but ive dumped about $2500 in mods :P so to answer your question, if u can do everything yourself, parts probably wont even cost you half of that.
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#11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2003, 02:26 PM
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Sounds good. It seems to me like it would make more sense to get a mechanic to do it becuase there isn't really a set group of things to be done.. but more of having a trained eye make sure everything is good to go.

Thanks all for the input, and if any of you guys can think of anything the others missed, please feel free to add more input!
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