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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 08-23-2004, 05:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi All,

This weekend I "rescued" an 86 325. I told my wife, "no really, it just followed me home, honest! It's so cute, can we keep it?"

This is my 3rd 3-series (my first was a 98 323is, then an '01 325i, which then got traded on an X5 for my wife ). Anyway, this little 325 has 215K miles on the clock, and although it drips and spurts some oil, it runs like a champ and is mechanically solid. As with many examples of this vintage, the valve cover and the oil pan have a nice caked-on coating of gooey crusty oil. My initial plan was to drop and rebuild the motor, but it's running so strong, now I'm wondering if maybe I don't need to go that far. (I was actually thinking of gutting the whole thing, getting the body repainted, rebuild the motor and trans, etc.)

The coated oil on the motor may be no more than simply changing the valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket, and I'll of course change the timing belt while I'm in there and adjust the valves. And while I'm in there, I'll just decide at that point whether the motor needs to be pulled or not. I did notice it's splattering a bit of oil out the exhaust when it's cold, but it's not burning oil, so I'm guessing that might just be worn valve guides? Would you agree? I'd imagine that it's not too difficult to pull the heads and replace the guides on these motors, the ETA seems to be a fairly simple motor. I'd imagine the lower end of the motor should be in good shape.

Anyway, I was just wondering what the consensus was around here as far as typical things that need to be addressed on these models at 200K miles. Any further things I should be inspecting or replacing? Am I going to need to rebuild the head do you think, and if so, to what extent do you replace things? BTW, surprisingly the idle control seems to be working well, most other examples I've looked at all had bad ICV's (the notorious idle "hunting").

Should I pull the motor, of just do the basics and take it from there? Thanks for any advice, and this is going to be a fun project car I think!
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Old 08-23-2004, 06:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i love project cars...im bout to buy a beater iS and nurse it back to health.. you rock! hah...but if you have the money rip it out and rebuild it...never hurts :P but from my experiance 200k is just the begining if it has been taken care of...
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Old 08-24-2004, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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welcome to the forums.
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Old 08-24-2004, 04:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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just one more eta to add to the list. welcome and all your questions are welcome.
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Old 08-24-2004, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by e30devo@Aug 24 2004, 04:41 PM
just one more eta to add to the list. welcome and all your questions are welcome.
man the eta's seem to be pilling up dont they?!
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1995 BMW 540i/6:
The Calypso Beast Vid 0-70ish
1987 BMW 325es: Face & Butt Lifted/M50tu Swapped*Sold*
1985 VW Scirocco: Too many mods, money pit*Sold*
E34 Plate Filler Wanted!
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