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E21, E30 General discussion and technical help for 1975-1991 3 series cars.

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Old 06-23-2005, 02:08 PM   #1
spiff

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Considering Buying An E30?Upgrades?Differences?

Modified to your conveniance. A good sticky. I recommend this thread to anyone in the search for an E30. Also, a List of sites for your upgrading Needs. Took Me a while, so enjoy

What to Look For when buying an E30
xterior
Check all body panels for damage or signs of repair. Look to see if all the VIN numbers match. Look for anything out of the ordinary. Aftermarket spoilers or bodykits can sometimes be used to hide dents or damage. Check the head and taillights for cracks or pits. Make sure that all the door locks work properly. Check all trim and moldings for signs of overspray from a possible paint job. The hood washers, bumper trim, side moldings, door locks, door handles, and wipers should all be a flat black. If these are painted the body color the car could have a cheap paint job. Ask the owner if it OK to place a piece of making tape on an inconspicuous spot. If the car has the OEM or quality aftermarket paint job the tape should come of with no drama. If the tape takes tape with it, the car has been to a cheap repair shop. Look at the tread life on the tires. Also inspect the rims for damage. I also suggest that you get down and look at the under side of the car. Check for rust on the floorpans, drivetrain, and exhaust.


Interior
Look closely at the seats. If the owner has seat covers ask to remove them. Reupholstering jobs run $ 500- $ 2,000 for the front seats alone, so make sure the interior is in satisfactory shape. Check the dashboard and console for cracks or signs of wear. The carpet should be in decent shape. Ask to pull back a section to inspect the floorpans for rust (The carpet easily pulls back in the rear of the cabin. Make sure all buttons work. See that all the lights on the instrument cluster light up when the key is turned to position 1 or 2, and go dark once the car is started. It is very common for people to disconnect or remove the light bulbs to hid problems. Be sure the radio, power mirrors, power locks, power sunroof, flashers, turn signals, brake lights, fog lights, headlights, interior lights and AC work.

Engine bay and Trunk
Inspect the engine compartment and the trunk for signs of repair (The carpet will need to be pulled back in the trunk). The VINS should be found on both front fenders. The rear fenders do not have VIN stickers. Inspect all shock towers for excessive weld lines as it could be a sign of repair due to an accident or collapsed shock tower. The engine should be relatively clean. Make sure there are no leaks coming from the headgasket. Inspect the dipstick for signs of coolant (this could mean a cracked block). Check the condition and color of all fluid containers.

Test Drive
Check for a rough idle, hesitation, and knocks. The engine should be pretty smooth unless it is modified by performance upgrades like camshafts. Make sure the car can pull to redline without drama. Make sure the shifting is smooth and swift (short shifters can feel notchy). Check for a hard brake pedal and smooth stops. The handling and ride should be up to usual BMW standards (stiff but sweet). Make sure the E-brake is tight and holds the car in place. Don't be afraid to drive it hard! BMW's are strong machines that can take tough love easily if well maintained.

*keep an eye out and stay away from any cars with rust or cracks on or around the strut towers in the engine bay

*broken odometers are pretty common in e30's. ask if the odometer has been replaced if you are suspicious of the mileage.

*check for water in the trunk, especially on the left side where the jack sits. many e30's have developed leaks around the tail lights

Additional Info Provided by E30Tech:
http://www.e30tech.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3726

The Differences in E30's(Should cover most of your questions):

325i/325iS:

engine specs: 6 Cyl 2.5L SOHC, 6500 redline, engine code M20B25

325iS:

Has:
LSD
M-Tech Suspension
Rear Deck Spoiler
iS front Lip(most of the time)
Different Steering Wheel(some of the time)
OBC(on board computer)
Recaro Seats
Leather Interior(most of the time)

325e engine specs: 2.7L SOHC, 4700 redline, engine code M20B27
Has:
More Torque then i engine
Has most of the same opitions as the 325i
Doesnt Have:
as much HP as 325i/s


325eS:

engine specs: same as 325e

Has:
Sport package like the iS
Doesnt Have:
LSD standard like the iS

(early production) 318i engine specs: 1.8L SOHC, 6800 redline, Engine code M10

Has:
Limited opitions as it is a base model.
(late production)318i/iS:
engine specs: 1.8L DOHC, 6800 redline, engine code M42

Has:
Same opitions as the 325i and iS

Doesnt Have:
as much power as 325i/iS, but still has good top speed and acceleration for 4cyl 1.8L engine

1988 325(Super Eta) which is a mix of i and e and other new parts.
I exhaust system and intake system(thorttle body and boot and stuff like that)

new cylinder head shape more hp then e less then i

redline of 5500

some specs on engine's(smiles seperate some specs on cars still kinda hard 2 read i know)
MODEL
1983-1985 318i
1984-1987 325,e,es
1988 325

1987-1990 325i,is,325i Convertible

No. of cylinders 4 6 6 6

Bore mm(in.) 89.0(3.504) 84.0(3.307) 84.0(3.307) 84.0(3.307)

Storke mm(in.) 71.0(2.795) 81.0(3.189) 81.0(3.189) 75.0(2953)

Displacement cc(cu in.) 1766(107.8) 2693(164) 2693(164) 2492(152)

Compression Ratio 9.0:1 9.0:1 8.5:1 8.8:1

Horsopower SAE net @rpm 101@5800 121@4250 127@4800 168@5800

Torque lbs.-ft. @rpm SAE net 103@4500 170@3250 170@3200 164@4300

Fuel Injection System Bosch L-Jetronic Bosch Motronic Bosch Motronic 1.1 Bosch Motronic 1.1

the 1.6 L, 4 cylinders in line, 90hp.

the 2.0 L, 6 cyl. in line, 125 to 128 hp (depends on the building years)

super ETA is 86 and later non lettered cars



Most of the E30 Upgrade Websites(I think i got most of them):

http://www.bavarianautosport.com
http://www.bimmertoys.com
http://www.roadfly.com
http://www.turnermotorsport.com
http://www.mmsport.s5.com/e30.html
http://www.bmw2002.com
http://www.bmpdesign.com
http://www.bmwengine.com
http://www.e30.de
http://www.lowendesign.com (dont recommend this, but its a good site for pictures)
http://www.ronalusa.com
http://www.corbeau.com
http://www.lukasbmw.com
http://www.racingdynamics.com
http://www.sparcousa.com
http://www.uucmotorwerks.com
http://www.bekkers.com
http://www.optionimports.com
http://www.ActiveAutowerks.com
http://www.M3Motorwerks.com
http://www.EuroGarageR .com
http://www.seambmw.com
http://www.racingdynamics.com
http://www.bmaparts.com

Has A lot of Links:
http://www.bmwlinks.com

I hope all this information is useful.
If you have any comments or would like to add anything, please be sure it hasnt already posted.

Before any of you post, i dont mean to be an asshole, but i dont want this thread to get hijacked..i dont think it will need to be locked(to prevent useless posts) but lets keep the random "thanks good post" comments to yourself.

-dan

And lastly:
"you gotta fix the nut behind the wheel before you start fixing the bolts on the cars"

So go to driving school:
www.drivingconcepts.com
www.redlinetrackevents.com
www.jhrkartracing.com
www.bondurant.com
www.bmwworld.com/driving/schools.htm
www.teammiata.com/thunderhill/school.htm

your sweet google search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ol&btnG=Search

Enjoy, Drive Hard, Drive Safe...United We Drive.
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"You've got to fix the nut behind the wheel before you start fixing the bolts on the car"
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:11 PM   #2
witeshark
 
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Rate My Car: 84 / 340
Your Ride: 89 325i 5 speed
Wow what great detail
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:15 PM   #3
spiff

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You auta sticky it
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tougeFaction
"You've got to fix the nut behind the wheel before you start fixing the bolts on the car"
Proud member of The "First 10 Members Playaz" Club
Founder and Proud member of The "Ran from a Cop and Got away" Club (x6, and counting)


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Old 06-23-2005, 03:44 PM   #4
94bmw325i
 
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good job
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Old 06-23-2005, 05:46 PM   #5
spiff

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clearly both of you didnt read the end..ha(enough of the useless posts)
__________________
tougeFaction
"You've got to fix the nut behind the wheel before you start fixing the bolts on the car"
Proud member of The "First 10 Members Playaz" Club
Founder and Proud member of The "Ran from a Cop and Got away" Club (x6, and counting)


I with GotKraut religiously via AIM.
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Old 06-23-2005, 09:38 PM   #6
94bmw325i
 
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drive hard and safe?
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:50 PM   #7
komodo
 
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Location: Athens, GA
Rate My Car: 68 / 340
Your Ride: 1995 M3
Stickied. Awesome thread.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:35 AM   #8
Dr1ve4fun

Name: Dr1ve4fun
Title: Senior Member
Status: Offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: AZ
Rate My Car: 237 / 340
Your Ride: 1985 325e
This is another place for some information...not really about the cars in as much detail but gives history on them and stuff...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_3-Series
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:45 PM   #9
fporro

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Your Ride: 1987 325iC
just a pointer about 325iS suspension.

It is NOT same as M Technic.

M Technic has stiffer springs rates, about 3/4 lower stance and a thicker (14.5mm) rear sway bar.

Those M cars also come with 15 inch rims, a.k.a. Euro Weaves.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:41 PM   #10
pj69pl

Name: pj69pl
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Can I add, that you can look for stuff like dirt under the carpet, in between door seals, in the spare tire bay, in the engine bay or wherever mud can accumulate and not come off with rain or regular driving. This is usually a tell tale sign that the car is a flood vehicle. I know, I found out myself.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:32 PM   #11
e30Vichoz28
 
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Exelent thread... !!!
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #12
karimMsalama

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very nice thread
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:29 PM   #13
kathleenp980

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiff View Post
Modified to your conveniance. A good sticky. I recommend this thread to anyone in the search for an E30. Also, a List of sites for your upgrading Needs. Took Me a while, so enjoy

What to Look For when buying an E30
xterior
Check all body panels for damage or signs of repair. Look to see if all the VIN numbers match. Look for anything out of the ordinary. Aftermarket spoilers or bodykits can sometimes be used to hide dents or damage. Check the head and taillights for cracks or pits. Make sure that all the door locks work properly. Check all trim and moldings for signs of overspray from a possible paint job. The hood washers, bumper trim, side moldings, door locks, door handles, and wipers should all be a flat black. If these are painted the body color the car could have a cheap paint job. Ask the owner if it OK to place a piece of making tape on an inconspicuous spot. If the car has the OEM or quality aftermarket paint job the tape should come of with no drama. If the tape takes tape with it, the car has been to a cheap repair shop. Look at the tread life on the tires. Also inspect the rims for damage. I also suggest that you get down and look at the under side of the car. Check for rust on the floorpans, drivetrain, and exhaust.


Interior
Look closely at the seats. If the owner has seat covers ask to remove them. Reupholstering jobs run $ 500- $ 2,000 for the front seats alone, so make sure the interior is in satisfactory shape. Check the dashboard and console for cracks or signs of wear. The carpet should be in decent shape. Ask to pull back a section to inspect the floorpans for rust (The carpet easily pulls back in the rear of the cabin. Make sure all buttons work. See that all the lights on the instrument cluster light up when the key is turned to position 1 or 2, and go dark once the car is started. It is very common for people to disconnect or remove the light bulbs to hid problems. Be sure the radio, power mirrors, power locks, power sunroof, flashers, turn signals, brake lights, fog lights, headlights, interior lights and AC work.

Engine bay and Trunk
Inspect the engine compartment and the trunk for signs of repair (The carpet will need to be pulled back in the trunk). The VINS should be found on both front fenders. The rear fenders do not have VIN stickers. Inspect all shock towers for excessive weld lines as it could be a sign of repair due to an accident or collapsed shock tower. The engine should be relatively clean. Make sure there are no leaks coming from the headgasket. Inspect the dipstick for signs of coolant (this could mean a cracked block). Check the condition and color of all fluid containers.

Test Drive
Check for a rough idle, hesitation, and knocks. The engine should be pretty smooth unless it is modified by performance upgrades like camshafts. Make sure the car can pull to redline without drama. Make sure the shifting is smooth and swift (short shifters can feel notchy). Check for a hard brake pedal and smooth stops. The handling and ride should be up to usual BMW standards (stiff but sweet). Make sure the E-brake is tight and holds the car in place. Don't be afraid to drive it hard! BMW's are strong machines that can take tough love easily if well maintained.

*keep an eye out and stay away from any cars with rust or cracks on or around the strut towers in the engine bay

*broken odometers are pretty common in e30's. ask if the odometer has been replaced if you are suspicious of the mileage.

*check for water in the trunk, especially on the left side where the jack sits. many e30's have developed leaks around the tail lights

Additional Info Provided by E30Tech:
http://www.e30tech.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3726

The Differences in E30's(Should cover most of your questions):

325i/325iS:

engine specs: 6 Cyl 2.5L SOHC, 6500 redline, engine code M20B25

325iS:

Has:
LSD
M-Tech Suspension
Rear Deck Spoiler
iS front Lip(most of the time)
Different Steering Wheel(some of the time)
OBC(on board computer)
Recaro Seats
Leather Interior(most of the time)

325e engine specs: 2.7L SOHC, 4700 redline, engine code M20B27
Has:
More Torque then i engine
Has most of the same opitions as the 325i
Doesnt Have:
as much HP as 325i/s


325eS:

engine specs: same as 325e

Has:
Sport package like the iS
Doesnt Have:
LSD standard like the iS

(early production) 318i engine specs: 1.8L SOHC, 6800 redline, Engine code M10

Has:
Limited opitions as it is a base model.
(late production)318i/iS:
engine specs: 1.8L DOHC, 6800 redline, engine code M42

Has:
Same opitions as the 325i and iS

Doesnt Have:
as much power as 325i/iS, but still has good top speed and acceleration for 4cyl 1.8L engine

1988 325(Super Eta) which is a mix of i and e and other new parts.
I exhaust system and intake system(thorttle body and boot and stuff like that)

new cylinder head shape more hp then e less then i

redline of 5500

some specs on engine's(smiles seperate some specs on cars still kinda hard 2 read i know)
MODEL
1983-1985 318i
1984-1987 325,e,es
1988 325

1987-1990 325i,is,325i Convertible

No. of cylinders 4 6 6 6

Bore mm(in.) 89.0(3.504) 84.0(3.307) 84.0(3.307) 84.0(3.307)

Storke mm(in.) 71.0(2.795) 81.0(3.189) 81.0(3.189) 75.0(2953)

Displacement cc(cu in.) 1766(107.8) 2693(164) 2693(164) 2492(152)

Compression Ratio 9.0:1 9.0:1 8.5:1 8.8:1

Horsopower SAE net @rpm 101@5800 121@4250 127@4800 168@5800

Torque lbs.-ft. @rpm SAE net 103@4500 170@3250 170@3200 164@4300

Fuel Injection System Bosch L-Jetronic Bosch Motronic Bosch Motronic 1.1 Bosch Motronic 1.1

the 1.6 L, 4 cylinders in line, 90hp.

the 2.0 L, 6 cyl. in line, 125 to 128 hp (depends on the building years)

super ETA is 86 and later non lettered cars



Most of the E30 Upgrade Websites(I think i got most of them):

http://www.bavarianautosport.com
http://www.bimmertoys.com
http://www.roadfly.com
http://www.turnermotorsport.com
http://www.mmsport.s5.com/e30.html
http://www.bmw2002.com
http://www.bmpdesign.com
http://www.bmwengine.com
http://www.e30.de
http://www.lowendesign.com (dont recommend this, but its a good site for pictures)
http://www.ronalusa.com
http://www.corbeau.com
http://www.lukasbmw.com
http://www.racingdynamics.com
http://www.sparcousa.com
http://www.uucmotorwerks.com
http://www.bekkers.com
http://www.optionimports.com
http://www.ActiveAutowerks.com
http://www.M3Motorwerks.com
http://www.EuroGarageR .com
http://www.seambmw.com
http://www.racingdynamics.com
http://www.bmaparts.com

Has A lot of Links:
http://www.bmwlinks.com

I hope all this information is useful.
If you have any comments or would like to add anything, please be sure it hasnt already posted.

Before any of you post, i dont mean to be an asshole, but i dont want this thread to get hijacked..i dont think it will need to be locked(to prevent useless posts) but lets keep the random "thanks good post" comments to yourself.

-dan

And lastly:
"you gotta fix the nut behind the wheel before you start fixing the bolts on the cars"

So go to driving school:
www.drivingconcepts.com
www.redlinetrackevents.com
www.jhrkartracing.com
www.bondurant.com
www.bmwworld.com/driving/schools.htm
www.teammiata.com/thunderhill/school.htm

your sweet google search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ol&btnG=Search

Enjoy, Drive Hard, Drive Safe...United We Drive.
Such a very amazing link!
Thanks you for the post.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #14
ochentaycinco

Name: ochentaycinco
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Your Ride: 01 mazda
Question, so i was looking at a '90 325is and it has 190,000 miles on it, looks like it is in great shape but i just wondering if there were any concern on the mileage. It sounds like alot to me but ive heard that some older bmws go forever.
Any help would be appreciated
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #15
DEATH2000
 
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Title: Moderator
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Rate My Car: 111 / 340
Your Ride: 1998 E36 328i sedan
How does it run? 190,000 can be a lot, but I'd it was properly maintained then they can for a long time. The coolant system is usually the weak point in the engine. Try to get all the service records to see what has been replaced and if their has been any common issues.

My 98 328i has 262,000km on it. And if I hadn't cut down how much I drive it I would probably have 300,000 by now
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