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

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Old 07-31-2005, 12:55 AM   #1
defkon99
 
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Smile Buying a E30 but what Model?

Hello all my bro is looking into buying an E30 to Drop money into and no i dont have $12,000 for am E30 M3 ok...

I was looking into the 325Is 2.5L or 325e 2.7L or a 2.8L but i want choose the right Model that Aftermarket Companies make the most parts for ( Suspension,turbo, Exhaust ETC..)
So if anyone out there can show me the Light on choosing the best Model it would very much be appreciated.
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Old 07-31-2005, 01:13 AM   #2
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E30s have 3 different engine sizes... 318, 325, or the M.
Have him get a 325is.
dont get a 325e (super eta)
i recommend an 89-91 so you have plastic bumpers
as for after market stuff...
suspension is key
have him do shadowlining(painting the chrome/silver side trim black)
other than that...
if he had a few grand, he could get a stroker kit
a lot of people turbo those cars too
or even drop a e36 motor in

suspension would be my first mod
e30s are solid cars, made better than e36s
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Old 07-31-2005, 10:25 AM   #3
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The 325e isn't the Super ETA. That's a completely different car.

The early 318i is M10 powered; the latter 318i/is is M42 powered. The 325is was avaible from 87 on, and you can't get them for the model year 91. There was only the 325i with the sport package.

I'd personally look at the 318is or the 325is. They take the less work to put them where you want them. The 325e is cheap, but it's going to take more work. Truth be told, I wouldn't look at the early 318i unless you're going to do some serious work.

Metal bumper cars can get the M-tech 1 kit with the smaller european bumpers, but the plastic bumper cars look good from the start.

That's a very very basic lineup. I'm not going into the 325es or the Super ETA. I'm assuming you don't want a cabriolet, but if so, just ask and I can tell you somethings about them.
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:55 AM   #4
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well so far im pretty much set at the 325Is 90-91 not too sure what major differences there are between those 2 years. Any ideas?

Im currently looking into this one
1990 BMW 325is 5 spd, air, full pwr, mnrf, alloys, lthr, must see, 1 owner, #R54021, $1,999 obo
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:57 AM   #5
hamann318is

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That price seems low. Make sure that car is tip top.
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Old 07-31-2005, 12:03 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

yea, will brien got me some stickys for buyin one so i will use those too.
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Old 07-31-2005, 05:25 PM   #7
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I dont know if anyone said this yet but the 325e is an economey version with smaller valves. It has less power the a 325i and "is." They didnt probuce a 328 in E30 form.

Heres a little run down so you dont get confused.
318i produced in 1984-85and had the M10 engine which is a 1.8
318i/is/iC which were produced in 91-92 had the M42 which was also a 1.8
325e/es was 85-88 and had a M20 2.7L engine
325i/is/iC/ix were produced 87-91 and had a M20 2.5L engine
And the M3 was 88-91 with a S14 2.3L engine. (4 cyl though)


Also whats the milage on that thing? Soemthing around what 120K?
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Old 07-31-2005, 05:40 PM   #8
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There are actually more versions.
316i, 318i (M10), 320i, 323i, 325i (M20), 318iS (M42), 320iS (destroked S14). The South African 325 (actually 2.7l) and a 333i.

If you want the best one for horsepower mods, take the 325e and slap the High compression head from the 323 on it. This was what Alpina did in SA for the 325i (2.7l).

If you want a car that handles from standard, look at the 318iS. It is gutless initially, but if you spend enough money, you can get 300hp from the S42 motor (sport version of M42). The 318iS, 320iS (Italian) and 325iS all have the same body and suspension.

Personally, the 318iS is the rarest of them, but the 325iS is the one that is most fun to drive outside of the really windy stuff.
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Old 07-31-2005, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cainchapman
There are actually more versions.
316i, 318i (M10), 320i, 323i, 325i (M20), 318iS (M42), 320iS (destroked S14). The South African 325 (actually 2.7l) and a 333i.

If you want the best one for horsepower mods, take the 325e and slap the High compression head from the 323 on it. This was what Alpina did in SA for the 325i (2.7l).

If you want a car that handles from standard, look at the 318iS. It is gutless initially, but if you spend enough money, you can get 300hp from the S42 motor (sport version of M42). The 318iS, 320iS (Italian) and 325iS all have the same body and suspension.

Personally, the 318iS is the rarest of them, but the 325iS is the one that is most fun to drive outside of the really windy stuff.
You do know the S42 lasts about 24 hours before needed a complete rebuild? The M42 isn't gutless, it has no low end. After 3.5k, it's worlds of fun.

America only saw the 318i, 325, 325e, 325es, 325i, 325is, M3, 325ix, 325ic, 318ic.

There was no '88 325e. The '88 325 is the Super ETA.
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Old 07-31-2005, 08:12 PM   #10
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Not true about the S42, it that state of tune driving it flat out, you can get 40 hours of racing.



You can get a very streetable motor from the M42, by modding it with S42 bits.



And yes, I do know a little about these motors.

My picks for E30's are M3, 320iS, 325iS/318iS (the last 2 tied). The 318iS is the best handling (non M) car in the range. You just need to tweak the motor to get it really hauling. And M parts aren't cheap. So it is a lot cheaper to fit the High compression head to the standard motor in the 325i for real performance gains.
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:36 PM   #11
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the m3 is a pain in the ass to work on... just doing an oil change on it sucks... the placement of things is just, gahh, but still, it is really sick.. too much money for his bro though...

325is is your best bet, and i will stick to that.

ahh, ya, the 325e is the older carbed engine..
so, isnt a 325 (no letters) super eta? am i right now?
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:18 AM   #12
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I wouldn't call S42 bits exactly cheap. My point about the S42 was that it is a short life race motor, which only shares the block (sort of) with the M42.

But again, it's very hard for Americans to get our hands on 320 bits.

I would love to get a 320 though, too bad our market is crap compared to yours.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brien4787

ahh, ya, the 325e is the older carbed engine..
so, isnt a 325 (no letters) super eta? am i right now?

No, the 84-87 325e is a 2.7l M20 with 121hp, 170lbft and a redline of 4900, with motronic 1, not carberated. The only carbed engines in the e30 were the 316, 318 in europe with the m10. the 88 325 (aka super eta) is still a 2.7l, although it shares more parts with the 325i, it also has the more advanced motronic. If you can only afford an eta, look for the 88, as you can swap the head from the 325i on to make a 2.7i stroker.

However, the best choices in e30s are the 325i/is/ic/ix or the 318is. The 325i has good power (168hp, 164lbft) stock and revs to 6900. With a 4.10LSD it hauls ass. The 318is with the m42, is not as powerful, but it is much lighter. For a track car the 318is is better balanced.

I think it is best to look for a later model 325is/318is as they look the best and are the fastest for the price. My convertible is soon to have a bit of a makeover, with the late model bumper swap and a full repaint, as well as chip and cams and a 5 speed swap and a 4.10lsd. However, it is still a fuin car to drive as it is right now.

to sum up:

go for the 325is or the 318is

oh and also e30tech.com has tons of info on tuning and maintenance.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:20 PM   #14
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so 325is 90-91 right? Im goin for that e30 look

thansk for your reply bex
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:27 PM   #15
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1989 is pretty much the same thing as 90-91

though SOME 91s have airbags i think
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