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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 10-14-2005, 02:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello all. I just joined this Forum today. I did so because I, in the matter of a month, will be a new owner of a RWD 5 speed 6 Banger 2.7L 1988 BMW E30 M3 325e..Lol Sorry had to spell it all out, and becuase I want to make sure I got others here if I ever need help and to answer my questions and such. I do have a few now. 1st: How much would I expect insurance to cost me? 2: Is it really as hard as I am thinking, to find parts for the car? and are they really Expensive? 3: How reliable is the car? ( One in which I am purchasing has 280,000 miles on it ) Those are the question that I have right now off the top of my head. I am buying it off of a friend for $1,000. He is the car's 2nd owner and says it was babied and everything, in terms of oil changes and tune ups, were done on time. Says runs great, no problems, shifts smooth and has done him good. Stated that the only damage to the car is a dent in fender from minor fender bender and there is a little rust there, which is the only spot i'll find rust on the whole car...What im getting at with this is, lets say, on a scale of 1-10...How good of an investment do you think this is with $1,000 bening asked? I've seen so many of these and theyre sexy as heck and i know that there is alot of potential in this car.

Thank you and hope to hear from you...
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Alright, first off, welcome.
Second, you just listed two cars there used:

"RWD 5 speed 6 Banger 2.7L 1988 BMW E30 M3 325e"

Is it a 1988 325E, or is it a 1988 M3? Obviously, if it's got a 2.7l inline 6, then it's the 325E.....An M3 is a whole different animal both in engine compartment and looks. I don't usually pick apart people's posts, but I wanted to be sure that you realized before you bought it, M3's bring in a good deal more money than your run of the mill E30 325e's. They also handle better, have more horsepower, flared fenders, larger spoiler, and in general look more agressive.

I can't help you with your insurance question, but it shouldn't be bad at all.

parts are no big deal...check out the other areas of this forum and you'll find a great list of on line parts stores with good prices.

280k is a good deal of wear and tear on any car, but if it hasn't been thrashed, and has had regular maintenence, then I'd say it will still make you a good car.

Anyway though, just make sure of what you're getting before you hand over any cash, and if you're friend's the one who told you that you're getting a
"RWD 5 speed 6 Banger 2.7L 1988 BMW E30 M3 325e"
then make sure HE knows what he's talking about. Don't get taken for a ride
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Old 10-14-2005, 12:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotsman
Alright, first off, welcome.
Second, you just listed two cars there used:

"RWD 5 speed 6 Banger 2.7L 1988 BMW E30 M3 325e"

Is it a 1988 325E, or is it a 1988 M3? Obviously, if it's got a 2.7l inline 6, then it's the 325E.....An M3 is a whole different animal both in engine compartment and looks. I don't usually pick apart people's posts, but I wanted to be sure that you realized before you bought it, M3's bring in a good deal more money than your run of the mill E30 325e's. They also handle better, have more horsepower, flared fenders, larger spoiler, and in general look more agressive.

I can't help you with your insurance question, but it shouldn't be bad at all.

parts are no big deal...check out the other areas of this forum and you'll find a great list of on line parts stores with good prices.

280k is a good deal of wear and tear on any car, but if it hasn't been thrashed, and has had regular maintenence, then I'd say it will still make you a good car.

Anyway though, just make sure of what you're getting before you hand over any cash, and if you're friend's the one who told you that you're getting a
"RWD 5 speed 6 Banger 2.7L 1988 BMW E30 M3 325e"
then make sure HE knows what he's talking about. Don't get taken for a ride

What he said
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry about that. I do believe it is just a 325e. When he told me the first time all I had remembered was E30 and not the 325e, I found that out right before i posted. All searches that I had done with E30 had basically came M3 as well, and since I didn't know about the 325e I had not searched for them along with the E30. So basically I just put the 2 together thinking that they were one, I obviously am wrong. As of now, since they're not the same and I know that he said 325e...It is in fact a 325e. Well since my picture and info results came out M3 I thought it did have the flared fenders, since the 325 doesn't have them, does anyone know where I can find a set? "Scotsman" I am glad you picked apart my post because now I was corrected. Since it is not a M3, which I know and even if I didn't I could assume that they are far from similar, how much does the 325 put out? I read somewhere one style has 200hp at 270 Tq...I'm going to assume that that is a M3 style. In general I didn't think parts would be a problem, if were talkin online. And yes he says it was babied and everything done on time so it should be runnin pretty good. Well ok that clears up the posts I have been given so far. I have messaged the guy just to make sure and am waiting on a response, but im pretty sure what I have said in this post is correct. And I'm sure i know what I'm getting into, the car style mix up was my mistake. Appreciate the post and bringing that to my attention and hope to have some more help along the way. <---RHD Car? Shifting with left hand
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotsman
Alright, first off, welcome.
Second, you just listed two cars there used:

"RWD 5 speed 6 Banger 2.7L 1988 BMW E30 M3 325e"

Is it a 1988 325E, or is it a 1988 M3? Obviously, if it's got a 2.7l inline 6, then it's the 325E.....An M3 is a whole different animal both in engine compartment and looks. I don't usually pick apart people's posts, but I wanted to be sure that you realized before you bought it, M3's bring in a good deal more money than your run of the mill E30 325e's. They also handle better, have more horsepower, flared fenders, larger spoiler, and in general look more agressive.
Scots.......there were a few M badged up 325e's.....i have seen em' weird animals to say the least. they have the M with the stripes then 325e after. i don't know if they slapped different seats in them or what. i don't know what warrented the badge, never looked into it.

+2 for the rest of your post though.

a grand is a bit high to me, i would try and get him to take $800 on her, but that's just me.
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the props DJ, and much respect on your engine swap project. I have a quick question...M3 badged 325E's.....did they have the signiture M fenders, or did they just resemble a normal E30? that would be an interesting thing to delve into.

Enthusiast, as far as mounting the flared fenders on a normal E30, you're in for a bit of fun. The trunk is different on the M3's, so I'd say you'd either have to swap the entire body, or do a bunch of fab work. IMO, not worth it. E30's are awsome looking anyway.

On to the rest of your post. The exact HP / TRQ numbers you can find on line or in a decent manual. However, in all of my reading, everything I've come across tells me that the "325I" motor has more HP, BUT less torque than the "325E" motor. This having to do with the length of stroke and cylinder head. the "E" motor was brought out to reduce fuel consumption but retain performance. it's a lower revving motor than the "I" but some people like it better. I guess it depends upon what you're after. Either way, you're buying the ultimate driving machine, and that's all that matters

And I also agree with DJ on the price thing...Kelly blue book lists the car you're describing at around $975 in my area, so I'd push him down to about $800 if I could, since it has a dent or two. hope this helps

Last edited by Scotsman; 10-14-2005 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks, everything you guys are saying is helping me out. First off in terms of the fenders I got better pics of the one I am buying and I can settle fine with the fenders. I will see what I can do, in germs of price...Maybe lower to $900. To inform you guys now I am only 17 years old and this will be my first car, that actually belongs to me. Soo, with that said I am only paying $500 out of my own pocket and the other $500 is coming from mommy for Christmas. Tiz the season. Other then that $500 everything will be payed for out of my pocket. I'll continue my search online for the Hp/Tq online...Now that I know the exact car it will be alot easier, and more correct. I'm not that worried all about the motor, I'm going to sleek it out first! As long as it can beat my buddy's '89/'90 Lexus. Do you think it can beat it? The 325... I hope, I'm talkin' a little smack lol. His is Auto anyway. With Gas prices the way they are now, I'm glad I will have the "E" if it is a car reducing gas consumption. Well OK, I'll worry about engine later, I'll post another thread. As of now lets keep this goin. Thanx again.

EDIT: Wikipedia, Online Encyclopedia states 325e produces 121 horsepower. Does this seem correct?

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Old 10-17-2005, 09:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Enthuz, welcome!
Yeah, that HP number sounds about right, I have an 86 325e (the e is the Greek letter eta, so if I refer to it that way, it is the same thing, just easier to type than 325e!) and a BIG boost in performance could be had by adding an aftermarket ECU (http://www.dsylva-tech.ca/) <--- Mark D'sylva seems to be the most respected chip maker out there, but I actually have a Dinan ECU in mine (www.dinanbmw.com). You could see 20-25 horses and maybe 20 Lb-Ft of torque improvement and the rev limiter is moved up. The eta's have a rev limit of 4400 or 4500 rpm if I remember right, to help save gas, but with the chip, that gets bumped up to 5500, just a little more fun!
The big thing with eta's is they are quick as shit off the line and through the first gear and a half... then the shorter stroke and more open breathing of an i engine would take over and they would pull ahead in a straight line. However, I have read multiple times where people that Autocross their cars (cone racing, you against a clock through a series of "cone gates" where the best time in each category wins) either buying the eta's or swapping an eta engine into their cars because torque pulls you through low speed cornering where as horse power needs room to build up so to speak. I honestly don't think you have much of a chance to beat most Lexus' though, because they are of a much newer ilk and have variable valve timing and stuff, with no real consideration of fuel economy. You could easily take him in first and second I bet, but beyond that, not likely without a significant bit of modification to your car.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Josh W.
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotsman
Thanks for the props DJ, and much respect on your engine swap project. I have a quick question...M3 badged 325E's.....did they have the signiture M fenders, or did they just resemble a normal E30? that would be an interesting thing to delve into.

Enthusiast, as far as mounting the flared fenders on a normal E30, you're in for a bit of fun. The trunk is different on the M3's, so I'd say you'd either have to swap the entire body, or do a bunch of fab work. IMO, not worth it. E30's are awsome looking anyway.
they resembled normal looking e30's. just that they had the motorsport badge infront of the 325e (and it was all one piece). probably just some seats or suspension that was upgraded to warrent the badge.

and personally i would stay away from the flared fenders, there are better areas in which one should be spending one's money.
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The M badge was probably an aftermarket badge just put on by the owner. The ES had different seats and i believe thicker sway bars but it didn't come with an M badge or stripes. The E's have more torque, less hp, the I's haev more hp, less torque. Unfortunatly you will not see 20-25 hp gains from a chip, usualy arround 15hp for a good chip. And of course the limiter raise, and the speed limiter removed.

out of curriosity what kind of mods do you plan on doing first to "sleek" it out?
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't have an exact photo engraved in my head, since I don't drive my e30, but usually the rear quarter panels are all one piece welded onto the frame of the car, so you'd have to do some cutting/welding to put the m3 rear wheel flares on a regular e30. A lot of work but I wouldn't say "not worth it" as long as you were heading in the right direction. With those fenders you could fit some wider wheels in there giving you a pretty large footprint :-)
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank You Thank You...

Thank you for the welcome. I have decided against the fender change. It really isn't that much of a difference and i'll be able to live with it. As for your choice on bigger footprints...For sure. I have another post in here about rims. So check that one out and put your suggestion in there for me. I would appreciate it. Thanx alot all and hope to so see more posts down the line.
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kowalski
The M badge was probably an aftermarket badge just put on by the owner. The ES had different seats and i believe thicker sway bars but it didn't come with an M badge or stripes.
yes the "S" had different seats, steering wheel, thicker sway bars, and a different front air dam and no M badge attached.....

however i did a search and found that there have been other sightings of "M325E" badged up cars but i could not find any info on them (yes i am terrible at searches). one would think you would see badged up I cars with the M too, but that turned up nothing. i know i have seen this grouping in more than a couple of states that i have lived. from what i remember the badge was all one piece and didn't looked "added on".....anyone better at seaches turn up anything?
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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THis message is from an earlier post from Josh (XTatic) really. When I came on last it was like 1:30a.m. and I only read like the last 2 posts missin' this one, ironically the one that woulda helped me out the most. Glad to hear that the little research I did come up with, for the most part, is right. As for the ECU I'll look into that for one of the engine mods I start off with. As I believe I said I wasn't going to go big on the Engine, at first, just make it looks Sleek and Sexy...But now I think I'll stick one of those in there before hand. Now i'm not lookin' to take this car to the track or strip, just something to have a little fun with before I get another car. But I will for sure look at and into the Chip, seems like it can help me a bunch. Yes, I heard pretty close to the same, in terms of rev limiter, when i was reading about the Eta being a gas conserver other then a Power car. Addin' the chip can help me out some, whether its 15 that I just read on another post in here, or 25-30 as you said. As for that lexus, I've ridden in it and it seems like its fast, but honestly its not all that quick...Slow accelleration I think. It's an older version as I said '89/'90. I was asked to look into how much his Lexus puts out and from what I seen it looks to be about 156 over my 121 Stock. With what I have read and what I have been told, I don't think I'll be able to beat him but I know we can have some fun. (We're not gunna go all serious, just a lil playful I pass you, you pass me. Bein' smart and such with other cars and stuff not going wild.) All-n-All your post did help me, Thanx alot I appreciate it.


Off to research some more,

Ryan
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