stuart in mn SuperDork
March 13, 2010 8:14 p.m.

It's a 1989 coupe, the one on the left. I've had the 1988 on the right for ten years now, and while it still runs strong, advancing rust is going to eventually seal its fate (note the sagging rear bumper, for just one example.) The new one has about 145k miles and is in really nice shape - there's a spot in the lower rear valance that needs attention but that's the only rust I could find. It was repainted a few years ago, the paint looks very good and all the body panels still have the original VIN stickers. It needs a new ABS sensor on one wheel, but otherwise it's good to go and runs strong. It has recently installed Bilstein HD's and a Dinan chip. The interior is clean; a couple small cracks in the dash and the driver's seat cushion has some wear but otherwise it's very good and well taken care of.

The only real detraction is it's an automatic...I haven't made up my mind about that. While it seems to shift well and 90% of its driving will back and forth to work in big city traffic in the snow, I really prefer a manual. I'm contemplating swapping transmissions with the older one, or possibly sourcing the parts elsewhere. In the meantime I'll drive it as is, and see if I can get used to a slushbox.

Also, it doesn't have as many features as the other car - in 1988 the iX came with pretty much all the bells and whistles standard, but in 1989 or later they were 'de-contented' to lower the purchase price. As a result it doesn't have leather sport seats or sport steering wheel, trunk spoiler, etc. but I can swap those parts from the older car easily enough.

It does have the nifty 15" BBS wheels (including the spare), and power windows and locks (including an aftermarket wireless car start/door lock/alarm). The sunroof is manual, but I never use them anyway. There's a decent aftermarket stereo installed.

(that's my 1986 M535i lurking in the shadows in the back.)

aufmitterspiel New Reader
March 14, 2010 12:26 a.m.

very nice car!! I have a friend back in Oregon who swears on these cars to get him everywhere, but he says that parts for the AWD arw not cheap.

mtn SuperDork
March 14, 2010 12:44 a.m.

Awesome man. I've always kinda wanted one of these.

BoxheadTim HalfDork
March 14, 2010 6:01 a.m.

Looks like a nice clean one. We don't see many of those here in the UK and especially not the iX.

JFX001 Dork
March 14, 2010 7:51 a.m.

Nice. I look at CL every couple of weeks just for an ix. I'd say keep it auto and have fun with the older one.

stuart in mn SuperDork
March 14, 2010 10:35 a.m.
aufmitterspiel wrote: very nice car!! I have a friend back in Oregon who swears on these cars to get him everywhere, but he says that parts for the AWD arw not cheap.

75% of the car is the same as a regular e30 so those parts aren't a big issue but the rest (transfer case, front suspension parts) can be expensive to replace. The good thing is they don't fail very often. Outside of a replacement fuel pump a couple years ago, my '88 has been virtually maintenance free.

3Door4G Reader
March 14, 2010 10:40 a.m.

Very very nice. I likes

4cylndrfury SuperDork
March 14, 2010 12:26 p.m.

Shes a beaut! European cars are drop dead gorgeous in Red! Ive wanted an 80s 3 series since...well the 80s Well done!

GPDren New Reader
March 14, 2010 8:26 p.m.

Looks really good. I'm in the same boat as far as the slushbox. Mine is in my E30 challenge car though If I can find a parts car for the right price I'm swapping to a manual.

2002maniac Reader
March 15, 2010 1:25 p.m.

Looks exactly like the one I just sold. I liked it a lot but, it's a heavy car and the auto trans kills acceleration and gas mileage.

I would recommend the 5-speed swap for sure. I'm sure I would have kept mine had it been a stick.

petemc53555 New Reader
March 15, 2010 7:35 p.m.

I love those things! That is one of the increasingly rare clean examples, nice score. My 90iX was indeed overcome with rust (and a bad head gasket) when I sold it 3 years ago to an ambitious young chap in Green Bay who was set on taking my 5 speed mechanicals (and assorted ten years of ownership goodies) and mating them with his clean89 auto chasis. Still in the works I beleive, and hope.

stuart in mn SuperDork
March 15, 2010 8:45 p.m.

From what I've read (from the 325iX registry) they were only about 150 pounds heavier than a regular two wheel drive e30. They are a few tenths slower on dry land, but they'll win every drag race in the snow.

1slowcrx Reader
March 16, 2010 12:54 p.m.

Is that the bottom half of a cobra on top of the 535i?

Nice IX... I've always loved those cars, but I'm scared of the 20year old AWD and my wrench turning ability.

Any more difficult then a regular e30?

stuart in mn SuperDork
March 16, 2010 1:58 p.m.

Yeah, it's an ERA Cobra kit that belongs to a friend.

Outside of changing oil in the transfer case periodically there's really no maintenance required for the all wheel drive bits, so unless something breaks the car isn't any more difficult to maintain than a regular e30. Unlike the later e46 xi cars, the e30 AWD system is purely mechanical, no computers involved.

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

Follow Us to the Nürburgring

3 days ago in News

Follow along as James Clay from BimmerWorld contests his first ADAC Zurich 24-Hour race at the Nürburgring.

Shark Bite: Back in 1997, Hyundai Was Into Rally

3 days ago in Articles

A Hyundai Tiburon as a rally car?

You Need This: Mazda RX-7 Turbo II Roller

3 days ago in News

What would you do with an empty RX-7 tub?

From the GRM Vault: Our First Drive of the Original BMW M3

4 days ago in Articles

We tested BMW's E30-chassis M3 back in 1989. Here's what we thought.

Great Moments in $2000 Challenge History: Minor Gasser

4 days ago in Articles

Here's what happens when you put a Chevy 350 in a Morris Minor.

What’s the Soonest That You Have Raced Your New Purchase?

4 days ago in News

This BMW M3 was wearing numbers 24 hours after getting registered.

You Need This: 2005 Lotus Elise

5 days ago in News

A Lotus Elise looks so right in British Racing Green.

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

5 days ago in New Car Reviews

We're big fans of the Mazda MX-5. Now Mazda went and put a retractable fastback on their fourth-generation car. So, ...

Project Ramp Truck: Installing Sound Deadening

5 days ago in Project Cars

Time to cut down on heat and road noise making its way into the cab.

Eric Foss Sets Fastest Time Ever at the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge

6 days ago in News

47 of the country's fastest cars battled it out for track supremacy.

Who Wants to Design the Next GRM T-Shirt?

6 days ago in News

Blipshift is involved, so you know that it will be cool.

Reader's Ride of the Week: Improving Upon the Ultimate Driving Machine

6 days ago in News

This E36-chassis M3 just keeps getting better.

OUR SPONSORS

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More
r3W39A6kaU5FNq85ZiCB6KjrKDbUxJUw