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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 12-21-2005, 08:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Words of wisdom needed for '88 325ix..

hey guys,

First i just want to let you know that this is a semi long post so be ready. If you can read it and help me out i would be very thankful because i'm really looking to buy this car. I posted up on bimmerforums and barely anyone has helped me out. here's the link to bimmerforums: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=456564

Anywhere here is my post:

Hey guys,

I know you probably get a lot of threads like this and i definitely searched but my situation is a little different.
I've already posted up a thread about a valve ticking/tapping issue about the car here:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=455493

Anyway, more information:

Car has 187k-190k.
All electronics work(except power antenna)
interior is in very good condition

exterior is good for it's age. Tiny rust spots on the passenger side door on bottom, small spot on sunroof, and trunk. No major dents, dings

Jacked the car up to check for a leaking transfer case and other parts. Looks clean of tranny fluid. There seems to be oil on the passenger side axle and misc parts (under oil filter area)but it's not fresh..more on this..

Shifter feels like it's mounted in jello. There's something disconnected because even when it's in gear you can move it all the way from side to side

suspension and steering feel very good. The car "feels" great besides the horrific shifter. I believe it's lowered on m-technic(? can't remember exactly) springs with bilsteins in the back and some other brand in the front.

There seems to be oil puddled up near the oil filter, exhaust headers on some kind of mounting plate. It's actually slighty above and to the side of the oil filter/headers. I'm not sure where this came from but i'm thinking it's from lazy oil filter changes when taking it off and spilling it. I'm thinking(hoping) the oil i saw underneath was from this as well. Ideas? Any why the hell is the oil filter mounted underneath the headers?!? lol

The valve tapping/knocking issue. The owner prior to the one selling me the car has kept all the service records from when he owned the car. The current seller was nice enough to give me his phone number since he was very involved with this car. I asked him about it and he told me the valve adjusters are worn and cause this knocking noise. Even when adjusted the noise will come back within 2k miles. I was told in the previous post that this is common. What is involved with changing these? is it better to just find a used head off a junker?

Checked the oil dipstick about 3-5 minutes after i had the engine running. DOH! there's some white streaks in the oil. I'm definitely thinking Head gasket issue. I called the previous owner on this topic and he said he never had any loss of coolant or white smoke out the pipe issues. He did mention that since the car is rarely driven and just sits(which is true, the new owner has put maybe 2-3k miles on it since may 05. That was in the first months that he owned it and the last couple is has been sitting in cold weather), that possibly water has has developed in the oil pan because it never is heated up all the way. The car does just sit there and is not started very often and not heated up all the way. Regardless of that theory, i plan on changing out the head gasket if i notice more severity.

Now between the valve issue, head gasket, and shifter issue this guy is asking too much money IMO. Add to that the timing belt is due for replacement(previous owner claims 30-50k ago which means i change right away if i buy). I plan to change the head gasket, head studs, timing belt, tensioner pulley, water pump, install a rogue or UUC shift kit, new valve adjusters if it makes sense, and miscellaneous tune up parts. All that added up with doing the work myself= i have no idea. What would these parts run me? The engine does feel good and seems to have all the torque/power that it should have. Just the coolant/water on the dipstick and valve issue are really buggin me.

I shot out an offer of 1500 and he turned me down and i said arrivederci. But the car keeps calling me for some reason and i'm thinking about calling him back to see what his offer is. My opinion is the car is worth no more than 2000. I'm assuming i'm going to have to spend another 500 in parts to get it in proper running order so that would bring it to 2500 which is what the car would be worth. I'm not sure if that's a proper ballpark or not which brings me here.

I would like to hear your advice and what you think is the best thing to do for each issue i mentioned and how much you would spend. What is the best route to take. Remember i will be doing all the work myself.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i wouldnt give him more than 1500 for it

mines an 87 and the only things wrong with it when i bought were that it needed a new timing belt, water pump etc. and the a/c didnt work and i got it for 1900

that guy must be smoking dope if he wants more than 2000 for it
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^^^Agreed. I like that your interested in the car, but if this guy wants mad bank for it, and if all these problems are as bad as they sound, he's been to mexico and drank the water man. I'ld say offer him $1800, TOPS.

Keep us posted,
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He's going to know you're interested if you keep popping around. This can either work for you or against you. Also, there are other people who might be more than willing to pay what you want. So the question is:
How bad do you want this car?
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply guys. I couldn't agree with you guys more, trust me. If you really want to know what he's asking, so you can get a good laugh, he asking 3500 neg on the for sale sign in the window! : Let me get some of that rock, bud! He's nuts.

I believe one reason why he's asking so much is because the odometer in the car reads 102k. Luckily i'm not a moron and i carfaxed it and realized there was a serious discrepency. I had to call the previous owner to get the exact mileage which is 187-190k. I think this guy is trying to shaft someone right in the rear. Doesn't suprise me...

But the valve issue and water in the oil are really 2 things i'm not 100% certain about. The previous owners swears he drove the car for thousands of miles with the valve ticking due to just having the worn valve eccentrics and never got around to changing them. Seems this is common on the M20 according to internet knowledge.

The water in the oil issue i guess could be what the previous owner mentioned. By having the car sitting there in the cold(unregistered, uninsured), started up sporadically, and not fully heated up could have something to do with it. I did check the oil filler cap and there were no signs of the tell-tale white goo cheese of a bad gasket or warped head.

And trust me, i'm definitely not peeping my head around. I was there 3 days ago which was only the 2nd time i was there, told him straight up that the car is worth no more than 1500 and he didn't accept. He did take my phone number just in case so right now it's a game. I know no one else is looking at it and no one in their right mind would buy it at more than 2500 let alone 3000!!! : Even all the spanish alien dudes around there that he's trying to fool aren't going to fall for it. I will check in on him next week.

I'm also looking at a 88 325is at the moment as well. But the AWD is calling my name since i'm partial to it. My current car is a modified 04 STi that i absolutely love. That is my track day whore!

Thanks for the replies,

Tom
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know about the water in the oil, but the valve ticking is a common problem in the M20's. I drove mine for about 2k before having them re-adjusted, and thru a certified mechanic, it only cost me $87. Now, you're out in Long Island, and i'm here in the sticks of Nebraska, but there shouldn't be that much of a discrepancy.

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Old 12-24-2005, 07:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If the interior and exterior aren't that bad I would say 2 grand is a good cut off. Remember an Ix is a rare bird compared to other bimmers so your gonna pay a little more. If you want an all wheel drive its well worth it. It goes like a truck in the snow and even though the awd slows it a bit it more then makes up for it in cornering. I love the way I can just feel all 4 wheels diging in when I'm cornering!
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Old 12-24-2005, 07:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Btw..just so you get an idea of what the prices are. We have a guy here in York that only sells bimmers..benzs or volvo's. When he has an e30 on the lot it looks like it just rolled out of the show room. He had an 89 4 door ix he was asking $8900 for and had no problem selling it.
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Old 12-24-2005, 07:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I can speak to two of the problems. Noisey valves are common to these engines. Mine was no exception, and careful adjustment did not help the problem much. At 200k, I did a valve job (myself) and found two cracked valves causing two dead cylindrers. As a matter of course I replace the valve guides and seals (jobber) and voila! not more clicking. With 3k on the newly rebult engine, the noise has not returned!

Water in the oil pan is always a problem, however the blocks of these cars are very robust, and it is rare to find a crack in them. I suspect you are correct in assuming the problem to be with the head, or head gasket. FYI: the cost to completely rebuild my 2.5 head was a staggering $62.05 !I supplied four new valves. (around $100.) Yet my friends with jap-junk tell me that Bmw's are too expensive to repair! Go figure!

I agree that you need to set a price in your head of what the car is worth to you, and stick to it! If the seller won't recipricate, then the car is not the one for you. There's probobly another one just around the corner

Good Luck!

Jim
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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no more than 2G's and buy a used head and new gasket.
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Old 12-26-2005, 11:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply guys. I'm actually looking at an IS right now because that guy isn't bugding on his ridiculous asking price of 3500 negotiable. He's on crack.

I will keep you guys posted and thanks again.

Tom
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