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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 02-02-2004, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
n00b
 
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PushinTheEnvelope is an unknown quantity at this point
Hello all! This is my first post to this list. I don't know a whole lot about bmw's but i'm trying to learn.

Just got a wonderful '87 325i L6 2.5 convertible, black, with 136K miles. drives like a champ. It needs several important repairs, however, and I'm trying to find the best and most economical way to get them done. I don't know enough to do them myself.

The biggest problem with the car is the suspension. Especially on the right side. I hit a tiny bump and it feels like somebody's hitting the car with a ramming rod. I got it checked out and it turns out to need new shocks on the right side, and new inner and outer axle boots.

My problem is: I absolutely must fix the shocks and boots now, or could do more damage to the car. But I've just graduated school and have very little funds!

The local BMW mechanic (BlueRidge MotorWorks, Charlottesville, VA) wants $425 parts&labor for the boots, and $477 parts&labor for the shocks. 85% of this cost is the labor. Now, I found a local mechanic who knows his stuff about bimmers and will do the work for much less...but i've got to find the parts. So my problem is: how can I find reliable, exactly correct parts to deliver to this guy? BlueRidge won't help me out at all. I looked on advanceautoparts.com, under my car model, and found several options at different price ranges and different manufacturers, but don't know enough about it to know what's right, what's wrong, what's good, what's not.

For the axles and boots I found the following manufacters:
Monroe, KYB, Mcquay Norris.

Any advice? Would you recommend just shelling out the extra money to have the dealership do it? Or is there a way to obtain the correct parts, and if so, what should I look out for? Any other websites that I can check out? Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated!


PS: Other problems, in case you're feeling even more generous
radiator (leaking), found this manufacturer:
Go/DAN (= TransPro?)
BlueRidge recommended that I change the timing belt at 4 years or 60,000 miles. It's been 4 years, but only 30,000 miles since it was changed. Am I okay? What should I look out for?

THANKS!!!!!
Dave
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
n00b
 
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toffa182 is an unknown quantity at this point
go with monroe shocks.

you can remove the timingbelt cover and look at the timing belt for cracks etc. i don't know about u.s. bmw's, but here in europe the recommendation for timing belt change is 60,000 kms. and 60,000 miles is 90,000kms. (!) so i reckon you don't have to change it for another year. if it looks good.

you can check bavauto.com for parts too.
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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PushinTheEnvelope is an unknown quantity at this point
thanks toffa! so I looked around and found the following descriptions....confusing!
according to this description i'm supposed to use the Monroe LE20216 until "depletion" and then use the Monroe 73216...

Plus, how do i know if my 87 325ic has a 51 mm strut housing or a 45 mm one?

thanks!

Monroe LE20216 $91.99
Cartridge: Frt.; LIMITED EDITION; (E30 Chassis) Sedan & Coupe; w/Outside Strut Housing Diameter Of 51mm (2 in.) Sport Susp. (M-Technik); Use To Depletion Then Use 73216; This Part Number Is Pair Packed/Priced.; 1 Req. Per Vehicle
Lifetime Limited Warranty Weight: 10 lbs.


Monroe 72871 $64.88
Cartridge: Frt.; MONROE SENSA-TRAC CARTRIDGE; (E30 Chassis) Sedan & Coupe w/outside Strut Housing Diameter Of 45mm (1 3/4 In.) Exc. Sport Susp. (M-Technik); 2 Req. Per Vehicle
Lifetime Limited Warranty Weight: 5 lbs.


Monroe 73216 $39.98
Cartridge: Frt.; MONROE SENSA-TRAC CARTRIDGE; (E30 Chassis) Sedan & Coupe; w/outside Strut Housing Diameter Of 51mm (2 In.) Sport Susp. (M-Technik); Replaces LE20216; 2 Req. Per Vehicle
Lifetime Limited Warranty Weight: 7 lbs.
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
CLW
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For a BMW dealership parts dept who knows & cares try Hendrick BMW in North Carolina. Usually about 20% off list and have the time to help.Other parts often BMW originals at Importecparts.com and Aplusparts.com. - they are very good to deal with and very fast. If there are problems they will resolve to your liking.
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Old 02-04-2004, 05:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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toffa182 is an unknown quantity at this point
only 4 cylinder models have 45mm strut housings, so you have 51mm kind.

use either Monroe LE20216 or Monroe 73216. remember LE20216 comes in pairs, so if you go with 73216, you must but two.
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