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gravityfed
gravityfed New Reader
12/18/09 7:32 p.m.

got it for 1000 bucks. hella faded red, but otherwise in decent shape. seats are kinda toast...a few other minor issues. Can anyone brief me on these things?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
12/18/09 7:52 p.m.

OK, lets start with the basics. Change the timing belt, water pump, t-stat and front cam seal tomorrow. They need to be done and if the last owner said he did it but does not have conclusive proof he is lying.

Get a good look at the cap, rotor and wires while you are in there.

Change the oil and plugs.

Check all the rubber bushings and replace if necessary with quality aftermarket Nylon or urethane.

Rebuild sloppy shifter with new OE parts (use a Z4 lever on 87+ [build date] to get a sweet SS kit).

Refill the diff & trans with good juice. Mobil1 75-90 is good.

Check the hoses, flush and fill coolant.

Check the PS hoses. They are leaking... probably just the crappy clamp from the factory at the reservoir needs to be replaced with a hose clamp - but its definitely leaking.

Replace springs & shocks to suit.

Replace the E36 M3ty, cracked seats.

Flush the brake juice. Rebuilt the rear calipers. They are probably blocked/frozen and you will notice while bleeding them.

You just spent $1500 for a total of $2500. Go beat the piss out of it for another 200k miles in any way you see fit. It will take it.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
12/18/09 8:08 p.m.

Buy a Bentley e30 repair manual. http://www.amazon.com/BMW-E30-Service-Manual-1984-1990/dp/0837603250

Irish1
Irish1 New Reader
12/18/09 11:40 p.m.

Check out R3Vlimited.com and E30tech.com forums: full of 325is wackos. I've had six 325is' and always think I'm over them but sell one, miss it, and end up with another. I'm just now restoring an 89 325is. NOT uber-powerful, but with a bit of suspension tuning you can scream around corners. Subtle, rorty cars. I have a Z4 Coupe 3.0si Coupe also, and prefer the old 325is. Bimmerforums in the E30 section is pretty good also, and the Suspension Tuning section of BFC is helpful to de-wonk the lift-throttle oversteer. If you're rich check out Jim Rowe's engine and differential builds on Metric Mechanics. He's THE E30 Guru, and a great guy: he'll talk you through problems with a phone call. Great cars.!!

gravityfed
gravityfed New Reader
12/18/09 11:58 p.m.

the p/s doesnt work all together. has slop in the center of steering while driving down the road, wheel kinda shimmys a bit. havent had the chance to look into it further.

also, the car hits like a rev limiter at what the tach is indicting to be 5500, 1000 short of where it should be...any thoughts>

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
12/19/09 6:23 a.m.

Numbah 1 on the hit parade: replace the timing belt! On those motors if the belt lets go it doesn't just bend valves, it destroys the head. Ask George Walton (olde tyme local Chucktown GRMer). Once you know that won't happen then it's time to futz with the other stuff.

On the steering, check the usual suspects: worn inner tie rod ends, worn rack mount bushings etc. I think that one uses a rubber coupler at the bottom of the steering column, if so check it carefully too.

Dunno about the 'rev limiter' problem, I am not that BMW savvy.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/19/09 6:39 a.m.

The rev limiter should kick in right around redline. You may have a lazy tach. The cluster has a battery that powers it, and (big surprise) these can go bad over time. There is a replacement retrofit you can do to them. If you take it out, remove the bulb and LED panel for the "check" and service indicator lights to make your future more pleasant (useless, annoying lights for stupid people is all they are).

Don't try to install a cold air intake. They don't do anything that the factory setup won't do. Do check the intake boot for splits, very common and the part is cheap.

Pelican and Bav Auto are the two preferred suppliers.

Fantastic cars. Lower, stiffen, abuse as needed. Don't try to make it faster, just make it corner better. They respond nicely to hard driving and are easy at the limit with a good suspension setup.

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
12/19/09 7:13 a.m.

Buy my complete OBD-I S52 drop in kit.

I will supply everything needed (except the brake booster) to turn your E30 into a 270hp monster.

gravityfed
gravityfed New Reader
12/19/09 9:51 a.m.

its my daily, not trying to go crazy with things. perhaps one day when i get bored.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/19/09 10:32 a.m.

Suspenion bushings could be causing your shimmy. Otherwise, these guys already said everything I was going to.

I would add that you should resist the urge to go nuts with a header, exhaust, cam, and other go-fast goodies. Maybe a cat-back and a chip, but you'll be much happier with cornering goodies than with expensive HP mods that shift the torque peak up and only get you modest power gains. The stock 170 hp is just fine for that car.

H&R sport springs with bilstein shocks are a nice way to up the ante. I had those on my 87 cabrio with michelin pilot XGT-H tires and had no trouble stabbing the throttle on the exit ramps. It was a well-sorted combo. Just be warned that a simple lowering spring will add a bunch of camber that isn't easily corrected - fine on dry roads, a bit squirrely on wet.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
12/19/09 1:25 p.m.
z31maniac wrote: Buy my complete OBD-I S52 drop in kit. I will supply everything needed (except the brake booster) to turn your E30 into a 270hp monster.

Talk to me... I need a motor for my race car. Its going to take longer than the first race of the season for me to finish building the one I have at the machine shop. walter.gator@gmail.com

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
12/19/09 1:28 p.m.

you didn't accidentally get a 325e did ya? lol

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/19/09 1:50 p.m.

How about you just give it to me. I will save you all the troubble of having to repair it, update it and what not.. . . LOL Great purchas but you know that with out photos it is just.. . . Well words on the screen I guess, LOL

digdug18
digdug18 New Reader
12/19/09 2:33 p.m.

so he should just randomly post photo's of a car that he find on google pics? any car right?

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/19/09 3:27 p.m.

Hook up with your local BMW club, good info and contacts. I got a chip for mine for $50, more hp you can feel seat of the pants, and the red line went from 4300 to 6200.

Pictures?

gravityfed
gravityfed New Reader
12/19/09 5:18 p.m.

unfortunately i dont own a camera, but i could probably make a youtube vid. (i have one of those flips)

gravityfed
gravityfed New Reader
12/19/09 11:53 p.m.

pretty much im doing an on going side by side to make a final decision on which chassis i want to use for a stage rally car, rx7 or e30. the rx7 from what i have determined would be a great car but im 6' tall so its a tiny bit cramped in there. The bmw is more spacious but things tend to be more expensive and performance is usually at a premium.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/20/09 5:31 a.m.

There's that absurd theory again...that BMWs cost more to fix. An E30 is not going to be any more expensive than an RX7.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
12/20/09 6:51 a.m.

Along these lines: what are the big differences between a 325i and a 325is? I see 325i cars for sale all the time, rarely a 325is. Is it reasonably easy to turn an i into an is?

minimac
minimac Dork
12/20/09 7:42 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: There's that absurd theory again...that BMWs cost more to fix. An E30 is not going to be any more expensive than an RX7.

Or almost anything else, for that matter.

gravityfed
gravityfed New Reader
12/20/09 11:50 a.m.

how cheaply can i find different final drive ratios?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
12/20/09 12:00 p.m.

Rear differentials with different ratios are fairly easy to find, but those with desireable ratios and limited slip are obviously going to be more expensive. Get involved with the BMW CCA, the various BMW boards and/or local clubs.

Jensenman wrote: Along these lines: what are the big differences between a 325i and a 325is? I see 325i cars for sale all the time, rarely a 325is. Is it reasonably easy to turn an i into an is?

An iS has sport seats, a chin spoiler and trunk spoiler, different wheels and some other minor differences (I think they came with power sunroof, power windows, etc. standard.) There's a bigger difference between the eta cars and the i / iS.

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
12/20/09 2:30 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote:
z31maniac wrote: Buy my complete OBD-I S52 drop in kit. I will supply everything needed (except the brake booster) to turn your E30 into a 270hp monster.
Talk to me... I need a motor for my race car. Its going to take longer than the first race of the season for me to finish building the one I have at the machine shop. walter.gator@gmail.com

I have emailed you goodly sir.

gravityfed
gravityfed New Reader
12/20/09 8:19 p.m.

well see which way i got for the rally project. i have some time to think about it. in the mean time i hope to enjoy this car as my daily (and my FB as the other toy)

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/21/09 7:44 a.m.

J-man, the "is" is mostly appearance/interior upgrades. There is no advantage from a driver's perspective of buying an "is" over an "i" for track duty. The LSD was standard in the "is", optional in the "i". That's about the biggest, most important difference. The seats are much more sporty in the "is" but they don't seem to hold up very well over time (bad cows or something).

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