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New Member needing to network in La Crosse Wisconsin

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by skangboy54, Jul 6, 2013.

    • Member

    skangboy54

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    My name is Randy Mastin and I just joined the Badger Bimmer club. I have a 1985 325e coupe, Red with Black Recaro seats, 153,00 miles Absolutely ZERO rust, apparently these rusted badly but this one is perfect. I have included a pic of it from a few days ago. The car is all original including paint, BMW Riverside.jpg except for the hood. I got this car four years ago . It hit a high fence and crinkled the hood but not the bumper and bent the radiator frame. It didn't run of course and the owner parked it in his garage and it was not driven or moved for 17 years as he was ill. His wife was a co-worker of mine and was selling their house and was going to send it to the junk yard....seriously! I found out about it, looked at the car and decided of course I wanted it as it was just too nice not to save and she gave it to me, free. I have never had a BMW, but I have been involved in auto restoration and cars most of my life. Since it sat for so many years I have replaced most everything mechanically on this car. I bought a parts car that had been rolled but had thousands of dollars worth of new suspension, brakes exhaust and other parts and I transferred them to this car. I also bought and installed a rebuilt block for it as I didn't want to have the engine rebuilt. So mechanically it is somewhat new. It has the original head.
    The reason I joined this club is to network with some people in my area. Despite so many new parts, I have had nothing but problems with this car mechanically. I CAN NOT get it to run well. I took it to a place in La Crosse that is suppose to specialize in BMW and foreign cars and he got it running, sort of. It runs rough, and will stall when it gets warm. I need to either get this running or get rid of it as I am frustrated beyond description. It is a cool car, looks amazing, great features. When I have gotten it running for short periods it is an AMAZING car on the road. Rather than throw in the towel I am hoping through this club I can hire someone COMPETENT to help me get this car on the road finally. My father is involved in a Studebaker Club and there are people all over willing to help and offer good advice, hopefully this club will be the same. I realize an '85 325e is not the most desirable BMW, at least from what I read, so perhaps no one knows much about these. But I figured it would be worth the $48.00 to take a chance. Right now I feel like I'm on a deserted island, no one I know knows anything about these...I just hear "well they are touchy and hard to keep running" from the locals who seem scared to work on it.
    So thats my story. I hope you can connect me with some moral support.I would appreciate any advice or assistance from anyone who would be interested in helping keep one of these on the road. Obviously this is not my main transportation, just a hobby car.
    • Member

    109941

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    Randy,

    I had the same car in Alpine white, but never had any serious engine problems. Try contacting Mike Miller, who runs the tech talk section of the Roundel.

    Oh yeah, welcome to the club.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Hi Randy, welcome to the BMWCCA and the Badger Bimmer chapter thereof, and the forums as well!

    If you just joined, you don't have a Roundel magazine or local chapter newsletter yet - best bet for local contacts is to get in touch with who's in your area via your local chapter website -

    http://www.badgerbimmers.org/Badger-Bimmers/Club-Info/Contact-Info.htm

    Hit up the contacts, they should have suggestions.

    I will IM you Jenny Morgan's number out of the Roundel, she's in Milwaukee and has worked on BMW's forever (well, uh, a long time, anyway). No email listed, phone will have to do.

    The club has other technical service advisors, but Jenny's more local, so she's a good person for starters.

    You probably don't know who Mike Miller is, but he does the Roundel's tech talk section, and the same for Bimmer magazine.

    It's remote armchair diagnosis, but if you have specific questions, he may be able to offer suggestions: techtalk@roundel.org (include BMW model, mileage, transmission type, first & last name, town, & state)

    E30's are great cars, and one of BMW's most robust, durable chassis (barring terminal rust issues - if you want to preserve that very nice example you have, keeping it out of winter and salt would be advised). Your car has the 'eta' M20 high-torque, lower-revving engine, and being an '85, presumably doesn't have ABS brakes. Keeps the braking system simple, you just have to modulate the brakes yourself old-school to keep from locking 'em up if you find yourself emergency braking. I forget the rev limit on an eta motor, but the 'eta' was reportedly a Greek word meaning "efficiency" (you can google up more about all that if you wish). Going to the trouble of an engine rebuild, most of us probably would have suggested some different fairly straightforward options to up the power and performance ante a bit, but, no matter, the eta motor is an extremely durable and long-lasting motor, 250k-300k, 350k, or more, with proper maintenance - and, still fun to drive.

    You probably have a Bentley manual, but, if not, highly recommended for the e30 d-i-y'er. I suspect if you get the right contacts, you or someone will be able to get your car running the way it should and, hopefully without too much hassle.

    Some online resources in addition to here -

    http://www.r3vlimited.com/
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/

    To re-assure you a bit, there are people that know E30's and M20's inside-out, we just need to get you in touch with them so you can get your car's issues resolved, and get you feeling less marooned in La Crosse.

    Here's an old post, perhaps rebuild some enthusiasm (although I can certainly relate to the frustration of chasing seemingly endless old-car problems) -

    http://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?threads/30-great-things-about-e30s.2385/

    others:
    http://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?threads/info-on-the-325-please.1012/

    A tip about E30 fuel pressure regulators:
    http://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?threads/check-your-fuel-pressure-regulator.2481/

    That's a nice-lookin' E30 you have!
    • Member

    109941

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    That part was wrong, but the rest of the answer to Randy was fantastic.

    Eta (h in symbol font) is a letter in the Greek alphabet that is used for the efficiency term in several engineering fields.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    E30 are actually quite simple cars which makes fixing them easy to. Can you describe in more detail what exactly is happening with the engine when it dies? Don't give up on the car they are really fun. Welcome to the club and the car is really clean.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Well, it's all Grεεκ to me...!

    Particularly after dinner, since I η piece of π for dessert! :p
    • Member

    109941

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    Randy,

    I have a Haynes manual for that car. You can have the manual for a promise to repay the postage charge the next time you're at PA exit 161 on I-80.

    Jon

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