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I guess I'm a new thread....

Discussion in 'E21 (1977-1983)' started by constanh, Jun 14, 2009.

    constanh guest

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    Hi. I'm new to the BMW club, but not to the cars themselves. I've purchased 4 in my life, but one is nearest to my heart. My 1983 BMW 320IS, which I still have. Two other BMWs have come and gone, but I'll never part with my first.

    I bought my car through Harloff BMW, in February of 1983, in Encinitas, CA. Spending the extra money on the S package seemed like a way to get the best car I could, since '83 was the last year of the 320 model.

    I got Bronzit Beige, new that year. I was told (probably not true!) that only 3,000 320i's would be painted that color (and only S's), since Bronzit was meant soley for the bigger BMWs. Anthracite interior, BBS wheels, Recaro seats...etc.

    My car is original, and has 118,000 miles. No crashes or door dings. No rust, garaged, and always covered if outside. My interest is to keep my car original. May I ask some questions?

    The aluminum (?) frames around the windshield and rear window need to be replaced. They're not pitted as much as discolored. Kind of mottled. How is that handled?

    I just the clear coat removed from the front bumper, because there were "pits" in the finish. (Not the metal itself.) The guy had a hard time getting it off, but it looks decent, but he couldn't strip the "leading edge". Can you tell me how to do that?

    My driver's door latch has a piece missing that the BMW dealerships swear never existed. It's a white plastic kind of C-shaped thing that kept the door closed. It fell apart one day when I opened the door. I even saved the piece. They still said it wasn't from my car. Without that piece, though, the door closes but isn't really latched. Even though it LOOKS closed.

    My radio is original, and needs some new parts, I think. (The speakers sound like they're 27 years old. Oh, wait. They ARE 27.)

    How do I fix the black stuff on the lower side rock guards? (I think that's their name)

    How can I dye the package tray material so it looks charcoal again, like the seats' color?

    Thank you for reading this. If you let me know who can help, I'd so appreciate it.

    Constance Hageman #419559

    Oh, my other car is a 2007 525.
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    I believe those are plastic lock strips, originally chrome plated. Check with your dealer for new ones. Or paint them black to blend in with the rubber, as many do.
    No good ideas here ...
    Check the diagram on RealOEM. Your latch looks the same as my E28 latch and I cannot imagine what piece you're talking about. There is the (unlabeled on the E21 diagram - it is the little half-round part directly below Part #8) door latch 'buffer' that serves this function on an E28 as well as on the older Bavaria and 2002, so I expect it's the same part for a 320i. They cost under $1 each and look like grey plastic corn kernels that slip over the 'thumb' part of your door latch. They get brittle with age and shatter, especially when it's cold.
    Replace the speakers. Anything else that fits there will probably be better because the originals were basically junk. If that doesn't help, there are lots of folks who can help you pick out a state of the art head unit to replace yours.
    Clean up what's there, mask it off, and hit it with some spray-on truck bed liner. Probably better than the original stuff.
    A job for a spray-on dye, but I don't know fabric dyes as well. Ask around an upholstery shop.
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    Brian A

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    If you are a DIYer, try Crutchfield.com. They have everything for everything and know everthing about everything. Their website is very good, but talk to one of the techs who can pull up all sorts of technical data and save you bucks. Another well regarded place is Bavsound.com (they advertize in Roundel). Updating/upgrading the stereo is pretty easy.

    You two are refering to the black stuff sprayed on "rocker panel" area, correct? I have the same problem on my 1987 convertible. Thanks (I think) for the tip.

    BoostedE21 guest

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    Hey OP, I might be able to help you out with the speaker issue. In the stock location, you can only really fit 4x3's, pointed straight up. They're rally not great under any circumstances, and to insert anything bigger, you'd have to cut up your rear deck and the metal below it.

    I'm selling a tan rear deck lid that just plops into place, and is locked down by the rear seat. Easy peasy. takes about 10 minutes to get your old stuff out, and 5 to get this one in - and it greatly expands your capabilities by allowing you to put in much bigger speakers (double the size). The ones in there now work great. Here's my thread:


    If your suspension is original from the 80's, you might want to look into new shocks as well, and I think I'm being pretty fair by selling all four corners in as close to new condition as you're going to find with the dust guards for less than the cost of one shock.

    Let me know if you're interested.

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