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Any advice in buying an e30?

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by 129794, May 12, 2009.

    BIMMIR guest

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    That's up to you my friend. As some have said, you can convert any car to what you want, but what is the price you start with, and the price you finish with?
    You're the one who has to be happy. This is why it's more difficult with older and more specialized cars. In the end, they are worth what they are worth to you and only you.
    It's all about the trip not the destination.
    You'll never make money at it, but hopefully you enjoy it.
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    stevehecht

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    I have a 325i that is now pretty much the equivalent of an 'is' minus the lip spoiler and stuff. You can stiffen the suspension, put in some sport seats, sharpen the steering up with an E30 M3 rack or '95 E46 M3 rack or something like that. That's what I've got (plus the 4.10 LSD to waste gas) and it's fun enough with decent tires on it. If you get the AT and do the swap too, that all adds up.
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    granthr

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    The one great thing about E30s is if you are handy with a wrench then you can do most of the work on them yourself. Thus saving you lots of money when things do go wrong. At $60 to $100 an hour it really adds up if you can do it yourself.

    z31maniac guest

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    There are three E36 options on the rack:
    1.9L Z3 = 2.7 turns lock to lock
    '95 M3 = 3.0 turns lock to lock
    All other E36s = 3.2 turns lock to lock

    I went with a '98 328 rack, just because I got it cheap from the yard when I bought the S52/trans/etc.

    Even just the 3.2 rack is 25% quicker than the normal E30 rack at 4.1 turns lock to lock.

    And you can use your E30 tie rods on your E36 rack. Just have to modify the steering knuckle.

    z31maniac guest

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    K, glad you pointed it out. All that stuff sounds typical for a 20 year old car.

    I've done alot of that stuff as well. The driveshaft really sucked, the damage happened about 7 weeks after I got the car, a flex disc bolt broke which through it out of balance trashing the flex disc/CSB and u-joints in the driveshaft.
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    CRKrieger

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    For an E30 that looks that good, I certainly would. You can always add 'is parts later. Heck, you can even change out that gearbox, if you're motivated enough.

    BIMMIR guest

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    You guys are going to talk me into buying it afterall. :)
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    granthr

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    The carpet in that car looks like it is brand new! If it is a very clean car, then it is the perfect starting point to create the E30 of your dreams. The in the long even if you had an 'is' you would probably upgrade the suspension anyway. So really the only 'extra' on this car would be the tranny swap. Seriously call Chris from BMW Wholesale, he is reasonable. Just so you know what you are looking at in terms of final price. http://bmwwholesale.net/

    No I don't work for Chris, but he is a great guy, honest, and is very passionate about BMWs, especially E30s.
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    eam3

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    Tell me about it. We had an '86 325, '87 325e, '88 325 and my '90 325is. I wish I'd kept the '87 (5 speed) and my '90.

    On my '90, I had the chrome trim around the windows painted black, replaced the lights with H4&H1s, Jim C chip, BMW armrest (with cupholder), 16x7 BBS RS with 205/50ZR16s, H&R springs, Bilsteins and a nice, very complete Alpine sound system with all the speakers hidden behind factory grilles. It was bright red and the paint was flawless. The front spoiler was intact and with the lowered suspension it looked stunning. It drove perfect and was as reliable as any car could be. Like a moron I sold it to my brother-in-law, so he could give it to my nephew. He totaled it within a year of getting it :(.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    E30s forever!

    When I was in Reno recently, replacing just about the entire rear suspension in my E30 325iX---hey, if I can do it, ANYBODY can do it!---I ran across a lovely white iX that was allegedly for sale. Now, I am down to just one, the venerable Bad Dog, since I sold my white one and my navigator used up the Red Rat in a kamikaze assault on Bambi---but I can tell you that if you fall in with the E30 cult, YOU ARE DOOMED!

    How else would I find myself in the Silver State Challenge with a 20-year-old car which has cost me a bazillion dollars over the years, averaging 115 miles an hour for 90 miles?

    It's a cult, I tell you. :eek:

    And yes, you CAN get 350 reliable horsepower from an M20 engine all day long on regular gas. Just deposit your car at Mister Dinan's House Of Pain and start writing checks.

    If you want me to follow up on that iX, I can probably do that. If I recall, it's a four-door, which means it's at least an '89. Four-doors make good rally cars because you can toss all your rally crap in the back seat. But post-'88, it's hard to find an iX with sport seats or the other comforts that came standard in 1988. :)

    By the way: 100,000 miles for the M20 is nothing. The Bad Dog blowed up real good at 200,000; the Red Rat was strong at 240,000 when Bambi struck. The white car went away at over 250,000. Stout little motors---and you CAN change the timing belt yourself. :D
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    Elkoholic

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    Don't get me started, Satch ;)
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    az3579

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    Satch, you never fail to amuse me when writing like that. :D
    "...and my navigator used up the Red Rat in a kamikaze assault on Bambi"
    lmao

    If it makes you feel any better, my own red rat is racking up the miles for yours. It felt bad, so it's doing the mileage in yours' honor. ~325,000 strong baby! (And that's 325k of which I know about [odo broken when bought]) ;)

    cognoscenti guest

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    I just love reading the posts here. What a bunch of colorful enthusiasts! It's something that is often missing on the other forums.


    :)

    Autohaus guest

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    Wow, been a while since I posted on this topic. The light blue E30 looks great but for $5K it better need nothing. You can do a manual swap down the line time but for now you can add parts such as basketweaves, tweeking the suspension/brakes until you do the tranny swap (if you want to go that route).

    allenbmw guest

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    i bought this little gem from an individual in independence, mo.. be diligent by checking all the possible sites you can.. e-bay, craig's list, cartrader, newspapers, bmwcca, etc!
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    az3579

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    Wow, that is C-L-E-A-N! Any more pics?

    farute guest

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    Need advice on buying an E30 325es

    Hi all - I have been a member since 2005 but this is my first time using a forum. I am looking for some advice on purchasing an '87 325es from my neighbor who is the original owner. The car is well maintained and I would not hesitate buying from him. He is a car guy and BMW guy but not a club member. The car has 260K miles, auto trans, no major rust issues other than some surface rust on the hood around the roundel. Interior is a 9 out of 10. Car runs well but obviously would need some work done including tires and possibly some suspension work. The crazy thing is I could probably buy it for around $500. While this seems like a no brainer, I don't want this to become a money pit either.What do you think? This would be a car I would probably let my teenage daughter drive around town and not primary transportation. Thanks for your help.
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    az3579

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    I wouldn't buy a car with an auto tranny that has that many miles. The auto trannies are known to fail at or before that mileage (at least according to all the stories I hear about peoples' auto trannies dying in E30's).

    Otherwise, for $500, it sounds like a steal!
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    Brian A

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    $500!?!!? Gooooooo for it!!!!!

    If it irreparably blows up in 2 months, you will have still spent less than 2 months of new car lease payments.

    If nothing else, in those two fun months you will learn just how cool E30s are to drive. Suddenly cost will not matter. But parts are cheap for an E30. Tires? ... $70/each from Tire Rack. Suspension parts: Control arms: $200. Shocks: $500. Tie-rods: $150.

    The only downside is that you are buying the most gutless sucked out version of the E30 made (Enter an indignant Botond, Stage Right), but its still an absolutely great car. One of our hot shot autocross racers humbles us monthly by beating most of us in his 1988 325e.
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    az3579

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    *Ahem*, M10 318i -- hello???

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