ArthurDent
ArthurDent New Reader
8/31/08 7:06 p.m.

Well I've found a $200 '84 BMW 325e. Its two door, 5spd with the torque/ecomony inline six engine. 319k kms / 198k miles on it and hasn't run in a couple of years. Body is rust free but faded paint. A good polish should get it looking decent. Shocks seem ok. Any thoughts? Might need new tires (been sitting) - I think they have a 100mmx4 bolt pattern so maybe some junkyard rims with good tires would work.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 Reader
8/31/08 7:29 p.m.

You don't own it yet? Even if it doesn't turn out as well as first appearance, it'll scrap out for more than that. I imagine it's a secret where it is.

914Driver
914Driver HalfDork
9/1/08 7:38 a.m.

I bought mine for $400 from a college girl whose boyfriend replaced the fuel filter with a clear plastic one with a paper fiter, like you would use on the tractor. It couldn't take the pressure of fuel injection; duh.

I gave it a hum & a buff, new lower progressive springs and bought a chip from a guy with the local BMW Club. [search your area, great resources there]. The chip gave me oogatsoo more power and raise the red line from 4200 to 6300 rpm. When my license became in jeopardy I sold it to a guy hitting male-menaupause for $2700.

Great car, you can't go very wrong.

Dan

Rigmaster
Rigmaster New Reader
9/1/08 9:36 a.m.
914Driver wrote: The chip gave me oogatsoo more power and raise the red line from 4200 to 6300 rpm. Great car, you can't go very wrong. Dan

If you redline a 325e at 6300, it's not gonna last very long. I don't think any mass-market aftermarket chip would bump it up that much. They may bump the redline up ~6-700 rpm, NOT 2100 rpm.

I agree with the last statement though.

Be prepared for a gunked up fuel system- you might need a new fuel pump or two (there's one in the tank and one under the left rear side, in front of the rear wheel), and the brakes + clutch hydraulics should be bled and/or might be seized/sticky. Try to find out when the timing belt was last changed, and if you can't find any records, or it's been a while (~60k), you need to change that FIRST before you drive it.

Other than that, there's not much that can go wrong.

mel_horn
mel_horn HalfDork
9/1/08 7:47 p.m.
If you redline a 325e at 6300, it's not gonna last very long.

Mayhap it had some head work and the valve springs were replaced at some point?

Anyhoo, good find.

IIRC the softer (stock eta) valve springs are not even availalble from the aftermarket...

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
9/1/08 9:07 p.m.

The "i" I bought for a race car had been sitting for a year. No problems with the hydraulics. The in-tank pump is just a transfer pump. It will run on just the external one. Other than the heavy torque/low hp engine it's an E30 with all the goodness it brings. They make great commuter cars.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar Dork
9/2/08 11:37 a.m.
mel_horn wrote:
If you redline a 325e at 6300, it's not gonna last very long.
Mayhap it had some head work and the valve springs were replaced at some point? Anyhoo, good find. IIRC the softer (stock eta) valve springs are not even availalble from the aftermarket...

the eta has the same outer valvesprings as the 325i. The 325i benefits from the addition of an inner valvespring. Seems like you could just add the inner springs.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver SuperDork
9/2/08 4:27 p.m.

there are also more bearings on the I head IIRC.

I have an 86 325e 4 door auto.

If you end up parting it i would happily buy all the parts to change mine to a stick for more then you bought the car for.

im using mine to get to school right now. Im still hunting a midrange drivability problem, but it is wonderful under full throttle. actually surprising how well it merges when you launch it out of the onramp turn right. (uphill and merge at 75+mph)

for my drivability problem im replacing the plugs wires and o2 soon and i have a E36 M3load of techron flowing through right now. the parts arent that expensive really (the o2 there is a mustang one that is the same but $80 cheaper just a wire connector difference)

belteshazzar
belteshazzar Dork
9/2/08 5:15 p.m.

dead sure you don't have a vacuum leak?

Apexcarver
Apexcarver SuperDork
9/2/08 7:11 p.m.

ive looked it over numerous times and pulled the flapper door to intake tube to be sure its not split. 95% sure that there is no vac leak.

seeing as the O2 sensor had a big dent on it i am pretty sure that its toast and leaving the neighborhood it dropped to 5cyl and pulling the plugs and reassembling brought it back up to 6.. (funny fit on them and unknown age=replace)

I think i need to make a cam adjustment on it as well. unknown when that was last done.

T-belt was done a few years ago, so thats in order.

the frustrating thing is that the lights on the dash to the left of the "inspection" light dont work so i cant do the OBD1 trick to read any codes through the check engine light. i need to troubleshoot that at some point. (or just get a code reader)

all i know is that part throttle it dosent run the best and full throttle it runs like a raped ape (and sounds glorious through the cracked exhaust, gotta pull it and weld up the cracked seam)

njansenv
njansenv New Reader
9/2/08 8:36 p.m.

I flat out LOVE my 325 (e). I put e36 sport seats in it, did the basics (brakes, tune up) and just drive it. I got 32mpg on the last tank, with most in the 30+ range. Highly recommend one: IF you can find one relatively rust free. They ARE old cars. (Yeah, I'm in the rustbelt) In my experience, pull the plug on the O2 sensor: if the car runs better (mine did) the O2 is probably gone. Nathan

nasaregistrar
nasaregistrar Dork
9/3/08 11:27 a.m.
Apexcarver wrote: the frustrating thing is that the lights on the dash to the left of the "inspection" light dont work so i cant do the OBD1 trick to read any codes through the check engine light. i need to troubleshoot that at some point. (or just get a code reader) all i know is that part throttle it dosent run the best and full throttle it runs like a raped ape (and sounds glorious through the cracked exhaust, gotta pull it and weld up the cracked seam)

Pull the cluster and replace the burned out lamps.

The throttle issue is almost guaranteed to be a bad Throttle position switch located under the throttle body.

Get a Bently and test the switch per the procedure.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar Dork
9/4/08 10:38 a.m.

no. it's not. that switch sends one of two signals, either idle or wot. it just LOOK like a throttle position sensor, you did call it by it's correct name of "throttle position switch"

so if the car won't idle, it could be that switch not telling the ecu that it's time to do so. or if the afr is way off on wot, same scenario. anything in between, and that switch isn't doing jack.

nasaregistrar
nasaregistrar Dork
9/4/08 11:44 a.m.
belteshazzar wrote: no. it's not. that switch sends one of two signals, either idle or wot. it just LOOK like a throttle position sensor, you did call it by it's correct name of "throttle position switch" so if the car won't idle, it could be that switch not telling the ecu that it's time to do so. or if the afr is way off on wot, same scenario. anything in between, and that switch isn't doing jack.

I understand what you are saying, but I have seen strange behavior where the switch was bad. Did you test it, hear it clicking when you crack open the throttle plate? and again at WOT?

If the switch sends idle signal during part throttle operation, then what?

belteshazzar
belteshazzar Dork
9/4/08 11:57 a.m.

That would suck, but I've never seen one fail that way. It either stops sending one of it's two signals or I suppose it could stop sending both, though people tend to replace them before that.

ArthurDent
ArthurDent New Reader
9/4/08 11:02 p.m.

Well I passed on it (its in Lethbridge, Canada - no secret) because I think I've got the chance at a 61 VW Beetle for $500. Practically no rust but a few dents.

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