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Info On The 325 Please

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by Doug 87L98, May 12, 2008.

    jmalter guest

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    That $650 sounds a good deal, that included replacing the timing-belt, right?
    'S true the 325/e/es models have de-tuned motors and rear-gear ratios meant to increase mpg, also, they were adverted to have plenty of low-end torque. I won't argue w/ that, but my motor's always had an annoying 'dip' in its acceleration response-curve @ ~2250rpm.
    Where I got into a Dinan ECU chip right away, which increased the rev-limit to 5250rpm but requires 91-octane fuel. What was interestin', was that their e-motor chip provided a higher-percentage horsepower increase than the chips they had on offer for other models at the time (1987 iirc).
    wrt to the ride-quality, i'd put that down to the E30's semi-trailing arm rear suspension, which i've always preferred to the later 3-series' 'multi-link' rear suspensions, as being both more predictable and easier to modify.

    E30 Cabrio guest

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    I would go for the 325i or 325is, but if you go with an "E" go for a 325es as that is the "Sport" model and has goodies like the Sport Suspension, BBS Basketweave wheels, Front Air Dam, Rear Lip Spoiler, "Premium" Sound System, Sport Seats, Mtech1 Steering Wheel, Power Mirrors, Power Windows and Power Sunroof, Full 13 button OBC, Maplight Mirror, Leather Shift Knob, etc...

    Also, the ETA motor responds well to an aftermarket chip, but does require 91 or higher octane, but a "chipped" "E" is a nice compromise between the stock 325 "ETA": motor and the "I" motor as the "ETA" motor has a little more torque, but about 50 less HP then the "I" motor.

    A chip should get you another 15 HP, although most chip sellers claim 20-25 HP, I think 15 HP is more realistic.

    I believe the "ETA" has a 3.25 rear axle and a nice upgrade is a 3.73 axle or even a 4.11 rear axle, although hiway MPG will suffer a little bit.

    Personally, I think the "i" would be a little much for a young kid and he might get himself in trouble with it. While they are not superfast cars, they are fast enough to get a young guy in trouble.

    And yes, avoid the Auto Transmission as they take a lot of the fun out of the E30 driving experience, and are costly to rebuild when the internal clutches wear out, which they eventually will.

    Also, look for a car that has service/maintenance records as these cars can get to be expensive if the basics were neglected. Personally, I wouldn't buy an E30 without some service history.

    A well maintained E30 will easily go to 250K miles.

    I've owned both a 325es and my current car, a 325i Cabrio, and I much prefer the "i" motor although as mentioned above, a "chipped" "E" motor is not a bad compromise.

    These cars are a blast to drive, easy to work on, fairly inexpensive to maintain and parts are cheap and plentiful.

    My local BMW dealer has parts in stock for my car and it is 20 years old, and eBay always has parts as well.

    Timing Belt is important as mentioned. If you don't know when it was last changed, I would probably avoid the car as the previous owner neglected the car, or change the belt right away.

    It's not a difficult job, and it's a good learning experience.

    [IMG]

    E30 Cabrio guest

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    Your "Brake Light" on your Control Panel being displayed is likely due to a failed circuit board in your 3rd Brake Light. Your 3rd Brake Light will still work when this PC board fails, but it will trigger the light on your overhead Control Check Panel to stay lit.

    You can either replace the PC board. It's about 1.5" x 1.5", or you can bypass it. Keep in mind that if you bypass it and your 3rd Brake Light fails, it won't notify you on the Check Panel.

    Another cause is if you have any type of rust/corrosion in any of your brake light sockets.

    Remove your brake light bulbs and clean them up with some mild sandpaper or steel wool.

    Also use genuine BMW parts here as some of the generic bulbs have been known to cause the Check Panel to falsely display the Brake Light.

    [IMG]

    Doug 87L98 guest

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    Thank-you E30 Cabrio.

    The search for one of these cars is starting to get long. I thought I found one yesterday as I drove by an import used car dealership. There was a beautiful 235is sitting in the garage bay. When I stopped in to look at it I saw TWO more in the other two garage bays! Turns out that the dealership is also a mechanic shop and the 3 325's were in for maintenance and not for sale. :( They did have an 85 630 available.

    On a good note. After talking with the salesman, I think I found a good shop to take a newly purchased E30 to have the timing belt and water pump replaced.

    I think my Son will be ok with the car. He has been on the auto cross course quite a few times with his Z28 Camaro. After taking a class that the SCCA offered he has a healthy respect for what can happen in a car at relatively low speeds.
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    az3579

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    Sorry, I feel I must correct you.


    The 2.91 in mine is more than plenty and at highway speeds is always in its specified torque range in high gear. No need to be revving about a thousand more RPM more at 75 seeing as this car barely revs to begin with. :p





    If your son has got a Camaro, then the 325is should be no problem for him. Maybe a bit more controllable and fun to drive.

    E30 Cabrio guest

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    Is yours an Auto?

    My 325 es had the 3.73 swap and it didn't really rev all that high at 65-70 MPH

    Maybe I was just used to it.

    These motors really don't have much low end torque like an L98 (I used to have an 87 Corvette Convertible) does and they don't really "wake up" until you hit 3K RPM

    Unless the car is going to see a lot of hiway miles, the 3.73 swap really livens up an ETA motor.

    But back to the original subject, I would opt for a 325i or 325is
    If you decide to go for the "ETA" try to find a 325es as that had all the goodies, chipping the ECU is a nice compromise between the "i" motor and the "e" motor, and if you want to take it a step further, a rear-end swap to a 3.73 will put you closer to an "i" motor / car but your MPG will suffer a bit.

    Doug 87L98 guest

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    That's what I have now, cept mine is a coupe.


    He is pretty set on getting a 325is now.
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    FurryOne

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    Automatic Transmissions?

    I don't know if I'd say some of the auto transmissions BMW used are poor quality, but the 1985 318i used the ZF 3HP22 - the same type that my 1981 Peugeot 505STD used - and both had to be replaced. That doesn't say much for ZF's design, and BMW's choice.
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    BMWCCA1

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    At what mileage and with what maintenance schedule followed? Data, please. :rolleyes:
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    FurryOne

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    Both car were bought used. The '85 318i had about 175K, bought in 1995 from a 3rd party wholesale, but I guessed that a salesman owned it. We had the transmission rebuilt locally by a reputable specialist. It's my Wife's, and only used occasionally in Summer, so its gone only another 11K since. (It has the M10 engine) I (we) bought an '81 Peugeot 505 TurboDiesel in 1984 from a local Mercedes dealer. It had about 70K on it. I'm not sure when the 3HP22 in it started acting up, (maybe a year later at about 85K) but I noticed erratic shifting about a year later, and we swapped it out with one from a local junkyard. That trans lasted until I junked the car in 1995 with about 130K on it (salt decay)

    I'd picked up an 85' 325e in '94, and continue to run that in the Summer (standard trans)
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    az3579

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    Nope. Manual. Revs about 2500-2700 at 75 (can't remember exactly) and exactly 3000 at 90. It's got two pickup points; the torque picks up at 2100 and then again at about 2500 and pulls great from there all the way to about 3500-3750.




    If he can get a good one, by all means, go for it! It's hard to find a 325is around here.
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    Elkoholic

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    And PLEASE hold out for a manual transmission! It's the best way to get the entire vintage bimmer experience! My '87 325i cabrio is my first car, let alone my first BMW, and my first manual learner--can't think of any better way to learn to drive stick. But I'm sure your son's familiar with three pedals if he's experienced autocross events...

    E30 Cabrio guest

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    Oops, I meant 4.10 rear axle, not 4.11

    I'm thinking of replacing the 3.73 on my 88 325i cabby to a 4.10

    z3pilot99 guest

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    I have a 1991 325ix (AWD) with 317k miles. It runs extremely well. I would recommend one if you live in snowy areas of the country. They have a couple more issues being AWD but still use a great deal of the same parts as the normal E30.

    Normal areas beyond what has been mentioned are the front control arms and rear wheel bearings. Listen for a humming or rumble from the rear. That will tell you the rear wheel bearing(s) may be bad. I do almost all of the work on my car myself. They are really not bad at all to work on. Check out www.e30tech.com for more info on common issues and how to repair things. I would say they are overall very reliable cars. A good history would be best but they are getting so old now that E30s with a good history are very hard to find. I would also say that they are very inexpensive to own if you learn to do the work yourself. If you have to pay to have everything done then I would probably recommend a Toyota or Honda, especially if he is headed to college. I do not think that the 325is would be too much for a young man. I did not see where anyone said that the "325is" models also have a limited slip rear diff. The limited slip will help with control. My freind has a 1989 325is-manual and a 1991 325i-Auto. The auto will chirp the tires going into 2nd, and sometimes 3rd. I believe this is due to the lack of the LSD. The 325is will turn them over in first but barely in 2nd. It has a LSD.

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