stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
3/13/10 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
3/14/10 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
3/14/10 12:44 a.m.

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

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/14/10 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
3/14/10 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
stuart in mn SuperDork
3/14/10 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
3/14/10 10:40 a.m.

Very very nice. I likes

4cylndrfury SuperDork
3/14/10 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
3/14/10 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
3/15/10 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
3/15/10 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
stuart in mn SuperDork
3/15/10 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
3/16/10 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
stuart in mn SuperDork
3/16/10 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.

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