FooBag GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/15/12 6:31 p.m.

I'm looking for an E30 to use for rallycross as well just to have a car to beat on without feeling bad about it. I stumbled across this car for which the owner is asking $1200. My initial thought is that it is a bit high, but then again it does have the LSD, new clutch, timing belt, and apparently an upgraded head. What does GRM think about his asking price?

1986 BMW 325es 2 door coupe. Not a show car, but a fun little sleeper. Keep that in mind. (Think of a modern day rat rod) The goods: The car is very solid. She does have cosmetic rust, but nothing structural. The passenger fender is the worst of it. A bodykit will fix it if looks are your thing. She has the 2.7 liter inline 6, not the 4 cylinder. She has a Getrag short ratio 5 speed manual with a new clutch kit. Runs, drives, shifts, steers, starts, and stops fine. She also has a Turner Motorsports chip installed, Accel super coil, shorty intake, and aftermarket exhaust system. Not raspy, but has a rumble to it. She has had head work done to it earlier in her life. I noticed this when I adjusted the valves. The springs, valves, and cam look like they are from an iX model. She has a lot of torque to boot. The rear end is from a newer 5 series with a LSD 3:55. That's the rear end you want for any kind of fun in these. Yes, she will drift, drag, cruise, and be daily driven. She is reliable, gets better fuel economy then our brand new Chevy Sonic. She is tuned on high octane, but 30 bucks will get you over 200 miles. She has new tires, brakes are high and tight, clean and clear title, good glass, no door sag. Power windows, locks, sunroof, cruise control, factory Recarro seats, Stewert Werner monster tach with shift lite. (The Factory tach only goes to 5k, she'll rev a little past that, and the oem ones are off... You'll see. Sony stereo and speakers. The not so goods: - she needs the coolant temp sensor replaced and the crankshaft position sensor replaced. Yes, I have them and yes they come with the car. I just haven't had time to install, although they are simple to replace. The passenger fender is rusted on the bottom ($75 on eBay). There is surface rust on various spots of the car. The hood is peeling clear coat. The inner passenger door handle needs to be replaced or just hooked back to linkage. Haven't really investigated. Same with the window switch ($6 on eBay). There is NO a/c or P/S in this car!!! It has been removed. The heat works, but the blower motor makes a little noise on high setting. She needs a rear strut mount or a coil over/ cup kit! She clunks over bumps from it. The strut isn't broken, it's just the grommet up top is either loose or deteriorated. Easy install, just no time. It's better to do an aftermarket cup kit or coil overs anyway. No cup holders.... The front bumper is tweaked a little bit, the dash has cracks and missing bits, the drivers seat is torn, she is missing some side marker lights, but signals still work and legal. Burned out high beam on drivers side, wiper motor is shot. Could be a relay. Anyway, I bought this as a project, got her running good, just no time to finish. This a perfect car for a V8 swap, drift car, autocross, street sleeper. She is very quick and doesn't look like it. It surprises everyone. Doesn't leak, smoke, or burn oil. She is very solid and a good runner. I'm asking $1,200 as she is a fun little toy. Rear wheel drive fun. I do drive her daily without headaches. The car is worth every penny I am asking. The backseat is worth half of what I'm asking. Anyway, I did have this posted a few times and a lot of tire kickers. So... No scams, no bs, possible trades for jeep. Price is pretty firm, cash only. I don't care if you have seen these go for a couple hundred bucks, because you couldn't drive those to Cali and back... This one can. Text message only!!!! Pics to serious buyers that can pick up. If you want a show car, keep hunting. Sleepers are the way to go anyway....

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/12 6:44 p.m.

I would be scared of that car. Looks like it was run VERY hard and put away VERY wet many times

sethmeister4 Reader
11/15/12 6:50 p.m.

Looks pretty rusty...

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/15/12 6:51 p.m.

That thing looks like it's a pile...

cutter67 Reader
11/15/12 7:10 p.m.

you cant expect a lot for a $1200.00 e30. if the trunk is ok and the shock towers are rot free it might not be bad but she is on the rough side

OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/15/12 7:12 p.m.

Drive it. Seller sounds confident in its reliability. If it makes good noises and smells ok, and its fun.. Take a chance. It's a grand.

From the photos and the license plate (likelihood of road salt), don't lift the carpets unless you want to see the pavement. And get a tetanus shot.

If it turns out to be much less than advertised, I would seriously consider a road trip down south if you want a solid rallycross/beater.

oldtin SuperDork
11/15/12 7:27 p.m.

Running good and needs crank position sensor and cooling sensor? I see lots of rust and would bet there's plenty you don't see like floors and inner panels behind the fenders. Rockers look suspect too.

On the face of it, I like this one better at $1500

irish44j UltraDork
11/15/12 8:21 p.m.

That's a lot of rust, but of course for rallycross body rust doens't much matter ASSUMING the suspension towers and other structural parts are good (which is a stretch if the rest of the car is that rusty).

Remember, the rust you can see is only a tiny bit of what you CAN'T see.

That said, if you could get it for under $1k I'd say go for it. Mechancially sounds pretty decent. Wonder if it has bilsteins - if so and they're good, that would make it mostly worth it by itself. Chipped ECU is worth $150-200 too.

THAT said, ETAs come up for sale around here routinely for $700ish, in driving condition (though who knows how good), and they usually appear to have a lot less rust than that one.


comparison: I paid $1k for my 1985 M10 318i with very little rust (just two small spots on the floor pans, none on the body/rockers), in good running condition and bald tires. And it came with a set of Euroweaves, and a full SUV-full of spare parts, spare engine, spare tranny, and other crap. Yeah, M10 cars are worth even less than ETAs, but still........

Point being, look around. E30s come up constantly on CL, they're not hard to find under $1k.

Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/15/12 8:22 p.m.

If there's that much rust you can see, there's a lot more that you can't. I'd crawl under it and have a good look before making an offer on it.

I also agree that it's odd that it runs good but needs a CPS. Usually when they die, the car doesn't run because the DME doesn't think the engine is turning over. That's why my car didn't run when I bought it.

motomoron Dork
11/15/12 9:35 p.m.

That car will be light weight.

As it's obviously lost significant body mass through corrosion.

Plus, every fastener on the underside will be seized. You'll go broke on oxygen+acetylene tank refills and Aero-Kroil alone.

I would not do it. It's be cheaper to ship one from someplace not in the rust belt, in the long run.

glueguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/16/12 8:06 a.m.
motomoron wrote: I would not do it. It's be cheaper to ship one from someplace not in the rust belt, in the long run.

No more truth has ever been written

dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/16/12 8:11 a.m.
motomoron wrote: I would not do it. It's be cheaper to ship one from someplace not in the rust belt, in the long run.

+1, and it's much easier work when you don't have to deal with rusty bolts, etc.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
11/16/12 8:15 a.m.

That is a solid $500 e30 but I'd offer $300.

Apexcarver UberDork
11/16/12 8:44 a.m.

I got a running and driving 86 325e (4 door auto) for $600 a few years back.

That thing is worth MAYBE half what they are asking.

DukeOfUndersteer UltimaDork
11/16/12 8:54 a.m.

My opinion.

Keep searching. Deals will pop up.

I found my 91 short bumper for $1500, non sunroof, 4 door.

That one does look a bit too rusty for me.

racerdave600 Dork
11/16/12 9:07 a.m.

A friend built one for an autocross car back in the late '90's, and it was probably the worst car I've ever driven for that purpose. Really, there was no point in revving it past say 3,500rpm. I hated, hated, hated that car. By contrast, the E30 IS cars are among the most fun.

Some people like the eta, but I am not among them. They'd have to pay me to take one, and then I would have a big bonfire to sacrifice it in hopes that next time the car gods would not try to punish me...

docwyte HalfDork
11/16/12 10:06 a.m.

Love the huge tach on a car that redlines at 4500 rpm

benzbaronDaryn Dork
11/16/12 10:28 a.m.

Thats a crusty dog, I wouldn't mess with it. If a guy can go through and modify a car but not change a sensor I'd be a bit worried that the guy doesn't actually know what is wrong with it.

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