Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Cracked Trunk Lip E30

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by SJAE30PLZ, Mar 27, 2011.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0
    I'm looking at the trunk lip of my perspective E30, and it has a minor crack on the passenger side where it connects to the trunk lid- I'm wondering if I should go ahead and find a replacement or try to repair it. Let me know- (this car also has some front driver side fender damage too- I haven't gotten a price on it but it sure will need some work) Thanks!

    (The front spoiler is lookin pretty bad too, forgot to mention that, all of these exterior cosmetic problems aren't a big deal- but the seller also described to me how the car has a 'massive transmission fluid leak, as I can see the fluid under the car,' and actually if you look close in the pics I think you can see a little of the stain form the car- when I went to see the car for myself -owner wasn't there- I just wrote it off as from the car that had previously been stagnant there- but nope, soon did I find out.. anywho, let me know what you think of this car!)

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0
    Here are a few pics- the damage is the most noticeable in this pic- whatabout the trunk lip? ..a work in progress for sure...
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,820
    Likes Received:144
    Look through the E30 forum here, I think there's several threads with fairly comprehensive discussions about what to check and consider when looking at an E30. This particular car, looks like it'll need a front bumper, (possibly bumper shock(s)), fender, maybe a hood, if that one isn't repairable, and you may have to settle for kluge-ing up some repair for the front spoiler. Short of lucking into a clean used one, I don't know where an 'is front spoiler for the '87-'88's can be found. Those spoilers have some hard-plastic supports that will crack if it takes too much of a hit, but you have to re-use them, replacements only came with a full spoiler kit.

    Looks like the rear spoiler is cracked, not the trunk. Kind of an odd bit of damage - the spoiler is a quasi-flexible material. If it's actually cracked and separated, but not broken off, I don't know if some kind of adhesive could be used or not (Krazy-Glue?). Pretty sure that rear spoilers are readily available.

    'is E30's are getting harder to find - if that's what you really want, it might be well worth it to get it towed to a shop that knows BMW's and pay to get it checked out and get an idea for what all it needs.

    This is covered in other threads, but if the maintenance history is unkown, a timing belt/water pump/needed cooling hoses is almost a must... a realllly good idea, at the least. If the transmission has to come out for new seals, you might as well do a new clutch, short shift kit, guibo, driveshaft center-support-bearing, transmission mounts & engine rear main seal while in there. And new transmission fluid.

    Other things it might well need at this point - rubber fuel lines, both the flexible and metal brake lines might need replacing (metal ones could be rust-perforated, the rubber ones at each corner could well be shot - if so, might as well replace with stainless-steel lines), shock mounts, strut mounts, rear subframe bushings, diff. mount bushing, control arms and control arm bushings, tie rods, motor mounts (good idea to use something beefier than the stock motor mounts, particularly if you ever consider tracking the car) - that's a few things, for instance. Hopefully, stuff like halfshafts, wheel bearings, and brake calipers are ok - obviously depends on usage, condition, and mileage, for everything mentioned.

    Anyway, a lot of that you can't easily get a good look at unless you can get it on a lift, and someone who knows the cars should be able to see things you might miss otherwise. I mention towing because if it's got a bad leak you wouldn't want to drive it if the tranny's out of fluid, and the only way to check the transmission fluid level (assuming it's a manual) is to pull a plug underneath and stick your finger in there.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0
    Wow! That was just about everything my dad was telling me to have looked at on the car! So true how rare they are, I love the E30s in general, but this one I think is the one, in spite of all the work that is going to have to go into it.

    All the hoses are probably going to be the first things (aside from the tranny problems) to be replaced on the car if we do end up buying it (I haven't gotten a price on it yet, the lot that the car is sitting in is actually for a repair shop, I contacted them about the car and they gave me a second number since the car doesn't actually belong to them. The car hasn't moved in about a month, so the more I see it the less I am convinced it actually runs [surprising, right.. :p].

    I am actually considering tracking the car- Ofest this October! YES! However, obviously not in this condition. Going to have sport suspension on it for sure, might as well! About the lip/spoiler, I really want to have it looking presentable before I reveal it to the CCA community in the flesh, which, as you mentioned, will be a challenge with the front end in the condition it is in, I bet I could find an is front spoiler on one of the E30 sites out there, and yep Krazy glue was exactly what I was thinking on the trunk lip :p The plus of this car is the interior is immaculate- hardly a scratch on the leather, (that does me no good if the car doesn't run though...).

    Overall, I really think this car just needs a decent owner who will take care of it. Hopefully that will be me- but I still have to get a price on it. I'm not looking to spend over a grand or two on it in the condition it is in, looking ahead to all of the repairs it will require- it will be worth it in the end I hope!

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0
    (and yes it is indeed a manual- only thing I'd drive!:)
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,820
    Likes Received:144
    If it doesn't run, you might stand a good chance of getting it for less than $1k, but almost certainly less than $2k, I'd expect. Seems like (don't take my word as gospel, do your own searching: autotempest.com) relatively clean E30's go for about $5k, upwards. Between $4-5k, maybe not perfect, but, I'd expect should be running reliably. So, if you can get a deal on the car, the difference from a higher-priced prospect goes to maintenance, and gives you a starting point with knowing what you have, have done, and will need done (all otherwise are unknowns unless you get a car with documented maintenance history).

    If there's an upside, once you get the critical maintenance covered, you should have a long-lived vehicle. For an 'is, you want to verify it has its limited-slip differential (although replacements can be had). Don't expect the air conditioning to be working. A/C stuff is always expensive - many convert to R134a because R12 is so expensive anymore. A minor downside to R134 is it has slightly less cooling capacity, pound for pound, so the a/c system may not quite throw out the near-freezing cold air that a perfectly functioning system using R12 can.

    Ebay can be one source for an airdam - again, don't expect perfect (or to find one in the same color!).

    A clean interior is a plus, particularly if the dash isn't cracked. If the seats are pretty clean, that's also a plus, but, the original leather by this time, unless prior owners were fanatical enough to consistently leather-condition the seats, is probably pretty dried out, and regular usage will have the leather starting to show cracks. Might not be a bad idea to condition the seats (see Griot's Garage, Zymol, or Lexol for products), and be prepared for them to soak up a lot of it. Any flexibility you can restore to the leather will help.

    One reason to make sure you have the limited-slip diff. (lsd) is if you're going to drive it in winter; really helps with getting through snow. Snow tires also help a lot; snow tires and a set of wheels to mount them on aren't too expensive for that car (go slightly narrower than stock for snows, say something like 185/75-14's). Driving a lowered car around (since that sounds like the plan, eventually), you have to watch low clearance - speed bumps, curbs, driveway approaches, scraping the spoiler, etc. And, you have to be mindful when parking not to pull up too close to the curb or parking block, lest you hit the front spoiler. Unfortunately, winter driving means the possibility for rust, ultimately. Something that can be kept an eye on, though.

    You know what the mileage on your prospect is?

    Here's some E30 positives :D http://bmwcca.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3587
    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,264
    Likes Received:5
    I assume you mean "prospective" E30 don't you?

    Not just being nitpicky here, say what you mean and mean what you say. To be fair, a spellchecker would not have caught this, as the word was spelled correctly. A grammar checker would have likely missed it too.

    A perspective is typically a point of view. Something that is PROSPECTIVE in this context is something you are considering for acquisition.

    If you're going to track the car, I'd probably put a lower priority on the bodywork. Brake dust and particles of road debris can take its toll on fresh body work.

    But I digress. You need not pass up this E30 over the bodywork, just be prepared to do the labor necessary or pay to have it done. Best thing to do would be to probably take it to a body shop familiar with BMW's. Don't just blindly wheel it in to the nearest shop. If you're going to pay to have it done, pay to have it done right. A "bargain" shop is no bargain if you keep having to bring it back to correct stupid mistakes in workmanship.

    The damage to the rear spoiler doesn't really look that bad. With some wetsanding and some paint, that spoiler can be restored to like new condition.

    The front spoiler doesn't look that bad, but it looks like it will need a little more work than the rear one. You're probably going to need a new rubber trim piece for the front bumper. Those are widely available too.

    I might also point out that Bavarian Autosport (www.bavauto.com) does sell these spoilers. You can get them painted or unpainted.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,820
    Likes Received:144
    If they do, I can't find it on their website. That spoiler was used on the '87 & '88 325is big-bumpered cars, and as far as I know, is NLA, and no longer produced.

    Seriously?? You're giving a 15-yr. old girl on the forums flak? For that? Geez Weir, leave her alone, who wouldn't know what she meant?
    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,264
    Likes Received:5
    The difference between MGarrison and myself is....

    ...that I am able to educate and inform without losing MY temper or a rise in blood pressure. :D

    By the way, Garrison, not only is the vein in your forehead bulging again, but that foam at the corner of your mouth isn't shaving cream. LOL :p

    Cheers!

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0

    hahaha^ yeah, my bad on the spelling- sorry I didn't catch that, I hate bad grammar, I'm always scolding morons in school- and look here, this is disgraceful. Hopefully you're <(HAHA :p) impression of me is not that of a moron now.. [that's my biggest pet peeve, mixing up your you're/yours.]

    The cosmetics of the car, as I said are not important if the car doesn't run. Since I will be lowering the car, I'm not going to worry about the front spoiler being on before this Oktober, however I think I'm going to jump at the first one I find for when I take on those speed bumps.. As far as I know, there is a little of rust on the rear passenger quarter panel, so I assume there is probably more where that came from.

    I do know that the mileage is about 150k- not too terrible, but it could be better, definitely worth a grand or two+$$$$$ in repairs for that car. I know I can fix it up (my dad will chip in too, he successfully rebuilt numerous engines in his youth, so is not completely dumbfounded with cars). He will NOT be my primary mechanic, however. :p

    The lot that the car is sitting in now is at BMW Excluservice in Bethesda, MD. I have been talking to the office manager of the place and she has been really helpful and assured me they can service the car (I trust them, they are after all only a BMW service center, and not primarily a dealer) I'm going to contact the seller this week to see what they are asking and the specs of the car. (I'm not entirely sure why Excluservice has the car, it belongs to another place called Automotive Essentials.. but they don't even service cars- they just do mods.. ?) Anywho, thank you both for all of you help. If either of you do happen to find that front spoiler or know someone who has an 'is for parts, let me know.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0
    I just checked out bavauto- you're right, they don't have the front spoiler (at least not that I can find) but they do have a rear 'is spoiler. Good to know if the current one takes some more damage.
    • Member

    John in VA

    Post Count: 624
    Likes Received:3
    Lothar and his crew at Excluservice should be able to sort out the car, but they're not the cheapest guys around. Not that you want that - you want it done right, the first time.
    I have a used trunk lid spoiler that will need new paint, or a new-in-box black rubber spoiler that has never been installed or painted.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0
    Yep, I figured they wouldn't be the cheapest.. but right you are, this is some serious stuff that has gone wrong with it and I think excluservice will fix it right.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,820
    Likes Received:144
    Here's one: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1620282

    NOW his sense of humor shows up... well, at least we know it exists, even if at my expense.
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    Sarah welcome to the club and hopefully E30 ownership!

    The car you are looking at is rare in some respect because it is the only model year that the 325is came with that front spoiler. There was an earlier 325es, but that spoiler was slightly different (no central vents for the lack of an oil cooler) and they are even rarer at this point. So long story short, that front spoiler is hard to come by and will be expensive if it is in decent shape. So if you buy the car I would try to fix the one that is there.

    As you have found, the rear spoiler is still available. It is quite easy to replace, just four or six plastic nuts. If you make it black, you can paint it yourself with a rattle can. You might like the contrast to the white car.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,820
    Likes Received:144
    Sarah, check ebay item # 130504905978, high mileage but looks clean from pics - unfortunately isn't anywhere near you to check it out in person.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

    Post Count: 38
    Likes Received:0
    That car is CLEANN! I love it!
    ..it's not my '87, the front spoiler isn't as hot, but I suppose beggars can't be choosers. haha anywho..WOW, perfection! A little pricey for the mileage on it, and I really wish I could go check it out in person. GORGEOUS though.

Share This Page