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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 01-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New to a E30 325is

Okay experts... I probably paid too much but I think it might be a decent deal when all is said and done. Bought it at a shop where the shop owner aquired the car because the previous owner had no money for the hood damage and couldn't pay the storage fees. According to the shop selling the car, it did drive up and ran fine about 6 to 8 months ago.
87 325is in decent shape for $500. Cosmetically with the exception of the hood/bonnet exterior is an 8 with a decent repaint and the interior is a 7 with only seams thread coming out, pipping rubbed off on driver's bolster and typical dash cracks associated with the year.
Mechanically, it's a big ?. My associate and I have fooled with Porsches quite a bit but not much on the BMW side. The radiator was stolen out of it for it's cooper content I guess (rednecks and their meth, they'll steal anything) but all other engine parts are in place. We will do our typical prepping of the engine prior to cranking. (lube cylinders, remove sludge and oil, new filters, new gas, etc.)
Seen decent radiators on Ebay used with all the sensors attached for a good price.
Any thoughts on what we should look for? Other parts that might be troublesome after not running for 6 to 8 months? Anyone got a decent hood and front grill for sale near Nashville, TN?
Thanks in advance for your expert advice and opinions. Oh yeah, 150k on the clock.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i'm in a similar position to you, 89 325is without knowing all the ins and outs of bmw mechanics.... first step i made is to buy the bentley publisher's shop manual, it is awesome! they provide troubleshooting tables and give intuitive instruction for repairs.

I first replaced the timing belt and now i'm replacing the cylinder head and fuel injectors. The timing belt is supposed to be replaced every 60k miles so unless you know for sure when the last replacement was go at that first thing. If you don't make that right you can really screw things up with the valves, cam, and even crankshaft.

Also, something I wish I did right off the bat is to check out the head (the timing belt needs to be removed to see inside). Seeing the cylinders and pistons and head gave me a much better idea of what sort of history the car had, and a better understanding of the project in general.

Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Country, Thanks. Yep, just placed the order for the Bentley Manual at Amazon, used for $24. Also bought the E30 restoration manual to go with it.
Yep, good advice on the timing belt. We are going to replace all the cooling parts too... wp, thermostat, clean the injectors before we attempt to fire it up.

Don
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The stock radiator is a BEHR and you are looking at about $220 brand new. Worth just sucking it up and buying a new one because they are plastic and most old used one's have hairline fracture's and slow leaks.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by eta1987 View Post
The stock radiator is a BEHR and you are looking at about $220 brand new. Worth just sucking it up and buying a new one because they are plastic and most old used one's have hairline fracture's and slow leaks.
Hey, good point, thanks. I had a couple of mercs that had that plastic break too. I saw some new BEHRs on Evilbay for around $130.
I'm looking forward to this project. Sounds like a great car to drive when it's up and running.
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