Is this car worth salvaging? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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#1 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 09:57 AM
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Is this car worth salvaging?

Hey, all newly joined...

I don't have a BMW, but my brother-in-law has a '94 325i convertible, in pretty sad shape. He had tail light problems (which I have since found the recall), and took it to a local shop that screwed something up, and now the car won't start. It's pretty rough. Needs a top/back window, new windshield, new wheels (aluminum wheels are badly corroded), has some pretty bad hail damage. Interior isn't anything to brag about, nor is the rest of the car.

I tinkered with it a bit, and found that #5 spark plug hole has all the threads stripped out.

He doesn't have any money to work on this car. He's going back to school, and just became a father Thursday. He doesn't want to part with the car, but knows he should.

I've worked on many US and Japanese cars, but never any German cars. I've often heard they're difficult to work on, and parts are expensive... Any truth to this?

Is it worth trying to get this car going, or should he just sell it for whatever anyone wants it for, or possibly just part it out?
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 10:02 AM
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They're not difficult to work on at all. If anything, things are in much more logical places, and unless you're dealing with one of the V12 models there's plenty of room in the engine bay. Parts aren't cheap, but not as bad as you might think. If you're the kind of guy who's just willing to tinker with it until you've got it right, and you've got the tools to do that, then by all means tinker away. You'll like what you've got when it's eventually fixed up.



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#3 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 11:57 AM
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everyone said my benz was LONG past gone and now its in great condition i'd say tinker away! mbe if the motor is bad swap a s50 or s52 into it?

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 09:37 PM
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i agree.. try to fix things up. engine, windows, interior, paint job, it doesn't have to be done in a matter of a week or 2.. take your time and try to find nice cheap parts off eBay and such.. find a local shop around your area that will help you with what you need.. and i am pretty sure people around here will help you a lot too..

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 11:10 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm hoping to get a chance to talk to him about it this weekend. We live about 100 miles apart. I'm not sure what he's wanting to do now that he has a new baby...
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 09:27 AM
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Just an FYI. My wife talked to her brother the other day. He said if I want the car to bring the trailer and get it moved.

So, whenever I get it back to my place I'm going to start tinkering, see if I can get it running. I know for sure I'm going to be needing at least a new coil, and probably a new head, since it has spark plug threads stripped out...

Gonna check the classifieds and ebay. any thoughts?

thanks!
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 02:45 PM
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Nice to see your still going at it! yeah just take a bunch of pics right when th car arrives so you have alot of Before and fter Pictures!

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1996 Chevy Lumina LTZ Rep 3.4L
1992 318i Coupe parts car
1992 325i Ls1 swap with a T56 6 speed 12.2 quarter mile
1976 Mercedes Benz 300D with a Ford 5.0L Fuel Injected soon to be Modded
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 07:49 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by closer9 View Post
Just an FYI. My wife talked to her brother the other day. He said if I want the car to bring the trailer and get it moved.

So, whenever I get it back to my place I'm going to start tinkering, see if I can get it running. I know for sure I'm going to be needing at least a new coil, and probably a new head, since it has spark plug threads stripped out...

Gonna check the classifieds and ebay. any thoughts?

thanks!
Save the $. helicoil the spark plug hole until you have her on the up-and-up... then, think about the head. ;-)
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkhorse737 View Post
Save the $. helicoil the spark plug hole until you have her on the up-and-up... then, think about the head. ;-)
That was my first thought, but I'm a little worried about trying to set one in an OHC head. I'd have to have an extension for the tap... Or am I being stupid here. I guess since it would probably be a temporary thing, I could pull the head and install from the chamber. Normally I wouldn't since I don't like to tap all the way through. That allows the coil to thread on through if the plug threads should catch. But I guess I could do it that way, and just booger up the bottom of the threads, huh?

Have you ever done one with the threads that deep in the head?
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 10:00 PM
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Lightbulb

ain't no different from a regular helicoil job. just have to work ur way by feel. i suggest u go easy and do it one turn or two at a time though. back off and use cotton balls to take up the debris. then work ur way turn by turn using lots of wd-40 or suitable lubricant

*make sure ur #5 piston is at top dead center- just in case ;-) you'll kill urself if the tap falls in - hehehe.

when you are ready to helicoil... measure out how deep u have to go and have lots of light so u can see what's happening down there.

** like i said, it's a temp fix - get the car running first so u know where it's a keeper or otherwise. head will cost at least $300 + cost of gasket + labor. Helicoil cost $12.00, some TLC(say 1 1/2 hour labor) the effectis that u would have saved some $400.- to do what other things u need to make ur "new baby" purr

and NOOOO... dont install from the chamber.

Last edited by darkhorse737; 06-09-2008 at 10:03 PM.
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#11 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 08:26 AM
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Yeah, what the heck. I'll give it a shot. I figure even if I can't get it running, the project isn't dead. I've always thought these were cool cars, so I'll just find something else to drop in there. LS1 sounds really cool, but I'd prefer to keep it all BMW...
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#12 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 08:42 AM
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Talking

i suggest you take out the valve covers when you do the helicoil.

I can't picture how the 94 325i head looks like just now, but if it's just a tube enclosure around the spark plug hole, chances are a little wiggling is all you need to take it out. and then VIOLA!... it'll be an easy job ;-)

Or, maybe... taking off valve cover is all you need to expose your #5 hole ;-)

Have fun Good Luck!

**LS1 .... hahaha. There's a fellow in the forum trying to fit an M3 engine into a 316(or was that a 318). He should see you post *woot
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#13 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:56 AM
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^ LS1's are pretty easy to get high HP out of.... and aren't TOOOOO hard to install....(i have experiance with these things)

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#14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 02:06 AM
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sorry...what's an LS1?


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#15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 07:35 AM
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A Corvette engine, its a pushrod V-8 350 ci with about 350 horsepower.

btw, i say tinker. A free car is a free car, and it is always worth it, no matter how sad the shape. just be careful. Don't get a single aluminum shaving into the cylinder. Maybe use a vacuum cleaner with a very long thin nozzle.

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