May 27, 2010 7:16 p.m.

As the title says, why don't I want an '84 318i?

Cheap one on CL, and I need a better commuter than my '96 5.0 Bronco and my Foxbody 'vert, both of which are automatics, get about 12mpg, and the Mustang is missing it's rear window panel, making it a no-go when it's wet out.

Seems like the Bimmer'd be a fun little car assuming it's a stick (I won't buy another auto); I see that year was offered with both 4 and 5 speeds and 3 different gear ratios in the diff, is there any correlation between tranny and what it's geared?

Is there a good reason to hold out for a 325i instead? I'm not looking for power, I'm looking for something I can have fun with on my drive to work and not garner too much attention from Johnny Law. Spec-wise it seems pretty close to an AE86 (my favorite of all my past cars), just a little heavier, but with more torque and IRS.

Does suspension interchange with other E30s? Is there any chance it's manual steering (please say yes)? I don't want to get a car I can't mod due to being eclipsed by the more popular I6 cars.

Thanks everybody

carzan Reader
May 27, 2010 7:30 p.m.

I had an '85. Mine had drum brakes in the rear. I loved it anyway.

I have a turbo manifold for it. If it was in my price-range and in decent shape (as well as in my traveling range), you'd be outta luck. I would've bought it already.

fastbmw New Reader
May 27, 2010 7:37 p.m.

The 84 318i is a fine little car, just about every suspension bit will swap over from any other e30 (minus the ix). The 318i has power steering but if you really want, you can just cut the PS belt.....haha

Don't bother with modding the engine, if you are inclinded to, just buy a 325i or even a 325e.

Good luck!

belteshazzar SuperDork
May 27, 2010 8:22 p.m.

I had an 85 318i for a dd. It was awesome & perfect. I'm a fool for selling it.

May 27, 2010 8:40 p.m.

Am I deluding myself to think the 318i would feel at all like my AE86 SR5?

njansenv Reader
May 27, 2010 8:50 p.m.

I'm not sure, but it would be very tossable. Those motors are pretty stout, should you decide to boost it down the road. I've heard of folks running 350whp on the stock motors. I love E30's. I really do.

Nathan

m4ff3w SuperDork
May 27, 2010 9:21 p.m.

Boost the E36 M3 out of it.

May 27, 2010 11:32 p.m.

If I do pick it up, it'll have to stay sans boost due to Cali smog laws.

'side, if I want boost, I'd rather make turn the Bronco into a Lightning-killer (well killer might be optimistic, hahaha).

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
May 28, 2010 7:18 a.m.

Smaller strut tubes (meaning a swap to later units if you want to upgrade the struts), drum rear brakes (just a rear trailing arm swap away), the M10 is gutless.

M030 HalfDork
May 28, 2010 9:11 a.m.

I test drove one this past Wednesday in 100 degree heat. No A/C, black vinyl seats and the windows wouldn't roll down. Other than that it was a blast!

belteshazzar SuperDork
May 28, 2010 9:15 a.m.
ReverendDexter wrote: Am I deluding myself to think the 318i would feel at all like my AE86 SR5?

I've had an M10 E30, and I've had a GT-S AE86.

The 4AGE is more, idunno, zingy? The toyota was a great car.
The M10 sounds a lot cooler in my opinion. I'd rather work on the bimmer, though I can't quantify that thought.

It's an interesting comparison. They each have a very different feel to them. But I'm not sure which is "better". Each handle great and are fun to drive at 10/10ths.

ditchdigger Reader
May 28, 2010 10:56 a.m.

The entire time I had my 325is I never once thought that it could use less torque and HP.

carzan Reader
May 28, 2010 12:06 p.m.
ditchdigger wrote: The entire time I had my 325is I never once thought that it could use less torque and HP.

That's a pretty universal statement, isn't it?

"The entire time I had my insert make/model here I never once thought that it could use less torque and HP"

grimmelshanks
grimmelshanks Reader
May 28, 2010 12:28 p.m.

get the e30 and be happy. trust me, you will be happy

1988RedT2 New Reader
May 28, 2010 12:34 p.m.

You want it.

Marjorie Suddard General Manager
May 28, 2010 1:05 p.m.

I loved mine. Still miss it. Margie

red5_02 New Reader
May 28, 2010 1:16 p.m.

Buy it then pull the M10 and drop in an M20 six. The shorter gears in the rear end will make it pull HARD. Friend of mine did this on his 318. With a little port work, double valve springs and a mild cam that baby hauled!

May 28, 2010 1:19 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote:
ReverendDexter wrote: Am I deluding myself to think the 318i would feel at all like my AE86 SR5?

I've had an M10 E30, and I've had a GT-S AE86.

The 4AGE is more, idunno, zingy? The toyota was a great car.
The M10 sounds a lot cooler in my opinion. I'd rather work on the bimmer, though I can't quantify that thought.

It's an interesting comparison. They each have a very different feel to them. But I'm not sure which is "better". Each handle great and are fun to drive at 10/10ths.

SR-5 = not 4A-GE.

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
May 28, 2010 2:53 p.m.
red5_02 wrote: Buy it then pull the M10 and drop in an M20 six. The shorter gears in the rear end will make it pull HARD. Friend of mine did this on his 318. With a little port work, double valve springs and a mild cam that baby hauled!

Incorrect.

Buy it, pull M10, update suspension with later model pieces.

Then add S52B32.

John Brown SuperDork
May 28, 2010 3:01 p.m.
z31maniac wrote:
red5_02 wrote: Buy it then pull the M10 and drop in an M20 six. The shorter gears in the rear end will make it pull HARD. Friend of mine did this on his 318. With a little port work, double valve springs and a mild cam that baby hauled!

Incorrect.

Buy it, pull M10, update suspension with later model M3 pieces.

Then add LS9

red5_02 New Reader
May 28, 2010 6:54 p.m.

Don't forget the solid driveshafts lol

belteshazzar SuperDork
May 28, 2010 9:24 p.m.
Buzz Killington wrote:
belteshazzar wrote:
ReverendDexter wrote: Am I deluding myself to think the 318i would feel at all like my AE86 SR5?

I've had an M10 E30, and I've had a GT-S AE86.

The 4AGE is more, idunno, zingy? The toyota was a great car.
The M10 sounds a lot cooler in my opinion. I'd rather work on the bimmer, though I can't quantify that thought.

It's an interesting comparison. They each have a very different feel to them. But I'm not sure which is "better". Each handle great and are fun to drive at 10/10ths.

SR-5 = not 4A-GE.

well I DEFINITELY wouldn't pick the base model over a 318i.

2002maniac Reader
May 28, 2010 9:29 p.m.
z31maniac wrote:
red5_02 wrote: Buy it then pull the M10 and drop in an M20 six. The shorter gears in the rear end will make it pull HARD. Friend of mine did this on his 318. With a little port work, double valve springs and a mild cam that baby hauled!

Incorrect.

Buy it, pull M10, update suspension with later model pieces.

Then add S52B32.

Then part it out and get a 350z?

njansenv Reader
May 28, 2010 10:35 p.m.

I'm pretty sure the transmission in that car bolts right to the M30 (3.5L) big six.

I'm just saying....

May 29, 2010 10:11 a.m.
carzan wrote: That's a pretty universal statement, isn't it? "The entire time I had my *insert make/model here* I never once thought that it could use less torque and HP"

Honestly? Ever time I was driving my commute in the Cobra, I wished it had had less power. That way I could've driven it "harder" while still staying at sane speeds. Having to drive like a grandma sucks.

And for the SR5 vs GT-S debate, my SR5 surprised a lot of people. I had removed all the extraneous engine accessories, so the only things the motor was turning were the water pump and alternator. I freed up the intake and exhaust, and when all was said and done, it made more torque than a GT-S (though still a pretty significant hp and rpm deficit). Dyno proven 65hp to the wheels, yo!

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