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My E30's been banged up :-(

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by cj morgan, Dec 2, 2008.

    cj morgan guest

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    I've recently gotten into an accident and I'm trying to decide whether the car is worth keeping or not. I love my E30 and it would kill me to get rid of it but it may be beyond repair.
    So I was coming home from work and my road was snowy. Going about 30 around a corner, I lost control and the back end started fishtailing. I don't completely remember the accident, the damage shows I hit a snowy bank once on the rear end and then again on the front. The basic damage as far as I can see is 2 bent front fenders, front valence panel destroyed, front and rear bumper destroyed, the radiator was pushed back into the cooling fan, preventing it from spinning and now the car obviously overheats. I can see a crimp in the frame in front of the right strut tower and the entire wheel well on the right side has been bent, pushing my left fender over my door so its hard to open. I'm an idiot...I know, but if the frame is okay before the two front shock towers, doesn't that make it repairable? The car has 180,000 miles, i just recently replaced the timing belt, got an alignment, changed the oil and filled the gas tank before the accident. It seems like such a waste of a good engine and transmission to have it just go to the junk yard. The car also has sentimental value....Can anyone lead me in the right direction!?
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    mooseheadm5

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    That is a heartbreaker. I stuffed my E30 2 years ago and just kept driving it looking like crap. I have now swaped the head over to a car I got for $200 that the owner did not heed out advice to change the timing belt. I would personally look for another car, maybe a clean one with a snapped belt and swap my drivetrain over (oh wait, I did that.) IF the frame rails are not tweaked behind the front subframe mount you MIGHT be able to save it, but that is a lot of money to spend on a car like that considering the alternatives.
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    Elkoholic

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    I'm crying a little bit reading this...okay, a lot...

    So sorry to hear about this mishap. Perhaps an iX would do better in the snow? As Paul said above, considering the amount you would have to spend to get her back in dandy shape, you may want to explore other options...:(
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    granthr

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    Sorry to hear about your E30! That is a real bummer. :( I would suggest getting a professional estimate, it might not be as bad as you think. You might be able to get the important items fixed now and then do the rest on your own time.

    If it is real bad, get another E30 and keep yours for parts, swaps, etc! :D

    GR
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    MGarrison

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    Ditto on GR's suggestion - get an estimate or two; If the repair cost is vastly in excess of what you could buy a similar car for, consider buying another E30 and keeping yours for parts - (assuming you can find one - there's less & less 325is's out there these days, it seems, for instance).

    Who knows, someday you might hit the lottery or want to build a race car!

    Sorry to hear about your accident of course, though glad that you appear to have come out unscathed.

    BMBlackmon guest

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    I reacently bought another e30, I had it parked infront of my house and somone came around the turn and hit my car. They ran off the hit moved my car about six feet. The rear end is screwed luckly i have another chassis. So I'm going use that so getting another
    E30 and keeping that one for parts is a good idea, unless it's one of those prised possesions of the family then go for it but it is alot of money to do all of that.

    cj morgan guest

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    OK, so here's what I'm going to do about it. I got a quote for $500 to have the frame straightened so I'm having just that done for the time being. The guy said the whole front end was pushed to the left about an inch and in front of the shock towers...so hopefully everything will be able to be put back into place. I'm going to drive it with two dented fenders, and a busted valence panel and bumber...and eventually replace those parts as I get the money and I'll get the whole car repainted down the road.
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    az3579

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    Uh, it's my understanding that after damage like that is done, it won't drive the same again. I dunno if it's really worth fixing, to be honest...
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    stevehecht

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    I think it's worth it to put out the $500 plus incidentals to see if the car can be driven.

    cj morgan guest

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    well I'm getting her back to tomorrow so i guess we'll just have to see how it drives and everything..it didnt drive that bad after the accident other than the alignment and the over heating issue so idk.
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    mooseheadm5

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    It might be OK. Probably a fine driver's car, since now it has been pre-diastered and you have no fear of scratching it. Take it to a driver's school or track day and enjoy if all goes well.

    cj morgan guest

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    so i got a look at my car today. I havent been able to pick it up yet because I'm waiting for the cash but the guy said he shifted the frame 2 inches to the left or something so it lined back up. I can open the door now and the hood shuts a lot easier. He insisted that it was safe to drive so i'm assuming that there's a main frame that hasn't been touched? I'm not too sure about the anatomy of a car but im picturing a less sturdy body (the outline of the car) sitting on top of a two frame rails? I'm just trying to picture how the car is safe after you shift the font end over 2 inches. But he said it drives as straight as an arrow. So it sounds good. I just hope its not too good to be true
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    MGarrison

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    You might find it helpful to read this.

    I'm not sure if E30's are 100% monocoque/unibody construction, or technically, partial unibody - but I think by and large, it would be considered basically a unibody-type construction.

    On the underside of the car are chassis-reinforcing members that, I'm going to guess, might be considered partial frame rails, but BMW's are not your standard body-on-frame construction. From what you report the guy said, it sounds like what I would commonly call the front frame rails, in front of the front subframe (front axle support on realoem.com] were what got pushed over, and were straightened. If the rest of the chassis behind that point wasn't bent, you're probably good to go. You'll see when you drive it, and you'll probably be able to get an additional opinion when it's aligned.
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    mooseheadm5

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    I'm hoping the frame shop aligned it and found it to be within spec. If it is not bent where the suspension pickup points mount, it should be fine, even if the frame forward of the subframe mount is kinked, it should be OK. Just FYI, all fenders, grills, and hoods for E30 are the same, so keep your eyes on the local salvage yards. The valences differ, though. 84/85, then 86/87, then 88 only, then 90 and up.

    cj morgan guest

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    Finally got my car back! I have to admit that it doesn't drive perfect. Driving down the highway on a farely good road, it seems as if the car is hitting a slight hill on the right side, making the car kind for hobble up and down. Its not terrible but something seems off. I haven't gotten an aligment yet so I don't think I can have a fair test until I get that done, unless that will have no effect of these symptoms? I have some pics of the damage before I took the car to the body shop and i'll soon post some of the aftermath.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7488431@N07/3116391997/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7488431@N07/3117218674/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7488431@N07/3117218674/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7488431@N07/3116386567/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7488431@N07/3116385697/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7488431@N07/3116384489/in/photostream/

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