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Lookin to buy an e30

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by missmelyssa, Jan 19, 2009.

    z31maniac guest

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    Haha, its the chassis code for the '84-89 300ZX. My first fun car was an '88 300ZX that I bought in high school when I was 16, 1998. I used the screen name on z31.com, so I just use it on all the forums now.

    I love those cars, especially the '87-89 facelift models. Fantastic car to road trip in, could really put away the miles in those. I put something like 65,000 miles on it in 3 years.

    missmelyssa guest

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    My hubby had a 90 or 91 300zx, stick. It was fun and it had power. Had a little over 200k on it and then he got rear ended in traffic by a lifted truck. The truck was so close to his bumper that he didn't see him and proceeded to accelerate. Bye bye car.

    So yes, I did get an 89 325i convertible (ic). Bought this from this kid who bought it from the original owner a year ago. It's actually in pretty decent shape. Has 187k on it and drives well. Bought it for $2200. Others I have seen at that price did not compare. Brought my hubby who works on anything with a motor. We've been researching what to look for and such. And being here in CA, rust is not a problem.

    Because this kid didn't do any maintenance on it that we know of, we plan on changing some stuff; plugs, water pump (which I hear is tricky to get out but then just pops right in), etc. It didn't pass smog, so I'm getting a new cat for it tomorrow. Darn CA and their strict emissions laws. Starting Jan 1 this year, shops had to surrender all cats, and just recently (like last week) were able to order new ones. Apparently the difference is a seal. Guess I'll find out tomorrow. I guess you can say it's my Valentine's Day present.

    But yeah, it's all stock which is what I was looking for.

    Gotta run...have a meeting to go to, ugh.

    z31maniac guest

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    Plugs, water pump, timing belt, accesories belts, rotor and cap are what I would do. The last three are all easy when doing the TB/water pump replacement.

    Clean up the AFM, oil change and filter. I'd still pull up all the carpet in the trunk and check for rust there, and make sure neither the passenger or driver side floorboard get wet after a good rain/wash.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Change the timing belt if you don't know when it was done last. Do it ASAP. You can change the timing belt at the same time as the water pump, but you can do either job without doing the other. If you need any assistance, let me know. If you don't change that timing belt and it snaps, well, I get another BMW for $200 and you will be sad.

    missmelyssa guest

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    Oh yeah, bought the air filter, oil and fuel filter too.

    We asked the kid if he changed the timing belt and tensioners. He tried to tell us it was chain driven. What??? And then bam, right there on the engine was a little picture/diagram of the timing belt.

    Yes, we did notice that many leaked in the trunk....do you know why?

    Actually it rained the day I bought it, and it had been sitting outside so that was a good test.

    We park all vehicles outside, but luckily the e30 is small enough to fit in the garage next to the rest of my hubby's stuff!

    missmelyssa guest

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    Oh yes....I'm totally doing that. On craigslist and vehix we've called several people in hopes of looking at their cars. But many of them had bent valves, or tell you that it needs a new engine, etc.
    This is my baby and project, so I wanna learn all about it.
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    MGarrison

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    Someone else can fill in the what I miss and the specifics on the convertibles - I would think the convertibles would be far more susceptible to trunk leaks because of extra sealing and water-routing issues with the convertible top.

    Very common for the seals around the taillights to leak. I think hard-top E30's have sunroof drains routed through the trunk, if I'm accurate on that, then that's a potential problem area, although obviously there aren't any sunroofs for convertibles. The rubber seal for the trunk-lid could deteriorate, be damaged, etc. Behind the side trunk trim at each rear corner are vents. Don't know if that's a common leak area, but it seems like a place where water could get in on occasion.

    Your neighbors will probably be roundly entertained if they see you climb into the trunk with a flashlight and watch your husband hose down the car, trunk, tail-lights, license-plate lights, rear bumpers, trunk-lid gaps, top, etc. for 20 minutes. :p
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    mooseheadm5

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    Actually, MG, you are a bit incorrect. The trunk leaks are usually from one of 3 places on an E30: tail light gaskets, trunk gasket, and antenna grommet. A less common but possible spot for a leak is a body seam along the trunk gasket channel. I have seen this leak on several E30s, but usually it is sealed (though that may have been compromised if the car has ever had rear body work done. The sunroof drains empty elsewhere. The convertible top does not live in the trunk, though the convertible top storage area does have drains that you need to keep clear.
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    MGarrison

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    ooo!~ I forgot about the pesky antenna grommet! Tho I figured you might fill in the details with more specific insight, thankfully ;)
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    Brian A

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    WOW! WOW! WOW!

    Congratulations. E30 convertibles are great!
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    Elkoholic

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    SOOOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!
    Welcome to the sub-culture! <waves> :D
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    Brian A

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    Note that in California you won't be able to transfer title until the car passes Smog. In fact, it is technically the seller's responsibility to ensure it passes.

    This is a good thing for a convertible. The top costs over $1,000 to replace (NOT a DIY project). Usually it is the window that goes (yellows) first. My advice is to drive it at all times with the top down! ;)
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    Elkoholic

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    ^^Second that.^^ :p
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    az3579

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    Ditto. I'm actually a bit experienced with this... lol
    My trunk seal is leaking water for sure. My tail light gaskets were recently replaced, and I still need to get an antenna grommet. I'm willing to bet 100% that once I get that grommet (it's missing - nonexistant!) and the trunk seal, my trunk will be as dry as the desert sand!



    You convertible freaks on the other hand.... sheesh!
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    Brian A

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    Just set a new personal low temperture record this winter when my demented (ok, 7 year old) nephew wanted to drive with the top down at 37F. Forty minutes later, we were both hypothermic.
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    Elkoholic

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    Brian, I'm so right there with you...except I drive topless (pun intended) in that kind of weather of my own accord...

    And Botond, DON'T BE HATIN'!!! lol, we should start up a model forum just for E30 cabrios...and all of our extreme weather trials and tribulations...
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    CRKrieger

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    Ah, you California weenies! I've ridden my R100RS in colder weather than that - and the only heater I have is one on each ankle (aka 'cylinders').
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    Brian A

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    Oh yeah, well when I was a child, I had to walk 18 miles each way to school in waist-high snow and I didn't have any shoes!

    The problem with driving a cabrio at that temperature in California is that a double mocha low fat latte gets cold within minutes!
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    CRKrieger

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    Well, I understand you don't have a decent cupholder in that thing anyway ...
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    az3579

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    I'm not hatin' one bit. Hell, I wouldn't mind a cabrio if they were allowed on the track. Not gonna sacrifice my track days for a roof that can fold down, not for you, not for ANYONE!!

    Talk about exaggeration! :rolleyes:

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