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View Full Version : My 325iX thread + stupid south dakota missions + lots of e30 questions


propr'one
08-06-2008, 09:43 PM
First post is story, questions post 2


So as many of you know, i bought a 1990 bmw 325ix on ebay. Despite what everyone told me to do about buying a cheap 325ix, i ignored them, and, with the help of many friends from max, got up the balls to buy one. Regardless. The car was located in Rapid City, SD. The car had some known issues (paint = bad, occasionally fouled ECU (on its 3rd), etc), but the price was good so i bought it. Unfortunatly, the closest DAS centre to rapid city is 500 miles away in denver colorado. But as many of you know, other than selling HID's i dont really do anything with my life, so i figured what the hell, i'll just go there and drive it back. My girlfriend felt like coming with me, god knows why, but i was thrilled she wanted to come, so last thursday (31st july) we caught a ride with her brother to buffalo at 4PM, caught a 6:50 PM bus to cleveland, and crashed at my grandmother's house in cleveland, where, as many of you know, my cars are stored when they are not used. The next day, at noon, my mom (who was there visiting my grandmother), drove my girlfriend and i to the bus station. 7 hours later we were in chicago, in the worst greyhound station i've ever seen. 2 people got arrested, and someone was actually shooting heroin, right infront of me, in the mens washroom (use a ****ing stall, crackie). from chicago, we caught a bus to minneapolis, MN. Got there at 6AM, 7AM we got on the last bus we needed to transfer. Noon we got to sioux falls, and by 5PM we were in rapid city. Lots of crazy adventures on the way, but this thread will be long enough without adding every detail. The guy who i bought the car from is in the military, and was deployed, but his wife came and picked my girlfriend and i up from the bus terminal. 20 minutes later, i, for the first time, saw my first e30. It was pretty much in the shape i expected, paint was pretty rough, one quarter was resprayed, and the hood/front bumper have more rock chips in them than any car i've ever seen. However, i started her up, she ran ok, looked over a few things, paid for the car, and set out. The only thing i wasn't thrilled about, is i was told the car had H7 headlights in it, turns out they were H1 (ugly ones with angel eyes). So i couldn't install the HID's i brought. Didn't really matter, didn't plan on driving much at night.
So my girl and i left rapid city at about 8PM to go see mount rushmore (will post pics). It was great, we hung out for an hour and started heading back to rapid city to get on the highway. On the way to the highway, disaster.
Temperature gauge starts climbing, climbing climbing. I caught it right before it got to red, crank the heat. No heat. ****. I can't even pull over, cause i'm on twisty mountain road, right outside of rapid city. I limp the car back to the outskirts of rapid city, temp gauge seering hot, get to a rest stop, pull over. At this point i'm furious. Not only did i overheat the car, but when i poured water in it, it started leaking out from somewhere around the waterpump. Its saturday night, at 11pm, i'm in the middle of the american midwest, figuring i need a waterpump for a 18 year old german car, which i just overheated the shit out of, and even if i get a waterpump, who knows if it will still run. I fill up the coolant tank to be sure, climb under the car, and my girl points out to me that its leaking from the bottom passenger side of the rad. My heart skipped a beat, and i reached under the coolant hose right over the a/c compressor. A break in the line. Long story short, thanks to the wise words of tomek (Bring tools, duct tape and hoseclamps) and furious (who gave me a big ass box of hoseclamps) an hour later the car is running. No overheating, some squealing from the motor. I have 2 choices, give up on the car and take a bus home, or risk a 1300 mile trip in a e30 i didn't know anything about, other than the fact i just roasted the motor. Those of you who know me, know exactly what i did. However, what i didn't know, was there's a motorcycle rally in sturgis this past weekend in south dakota. This short highway run to get as far east as i could, and get a hotel room, ended up being a 400 mile drive in the middle of the night from rapid city, sd, to sioux falls, sd, where we arrived at 6am. The whole way there we were stopping in hotels trying to find a room, nothing. Even in sioux falls, the rooms were all booked up, but i bribed the woman at a super 8 to give me a room someone with an early flight had already checked out of, and some sheets. She agreed provided we were out of there by 12. By 7am, my girlfriend and i were sleeping for the first time in 2 days. At noon that same day, we got up, had breakfast, and started driving east. It was pretty boring for the first 2 hours, i was driving 5 over the limit, cause in the states, 20 over = wreckless endangerment (JAIL, immediatly) and i was worried the car wouldn't make it, cause i had overheated it. 2pm some guy in a passat turbo wagon with BC plates pulled up next to me in the middle of minnesota, gave me a thumbs up, and punched it. What the ****, its an e30. Tomek keeps rambling on how indestructible these cars are, lets find out. For the next hour or so, the cruise control was set at 100MPH, flying through the american countryside. For the first time since i got the car, i was enjoying myself, even though it was 35 degrees and the a/c didn't work. The rest of the trip was much less eventful. We stopped in chicago to go shopping, and then headed back to cleveland. E30 is in cleveland right now, waiting for winter. Despite my worst fears, AWD works great
Here is a map of what i drove (alone, my girl doesn't drive stick)
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=rapid+city,+sd&daddr=sioux+falls,+sd+to:aurora,+IL+to:cleveland,+ OH+to:toronto,+on&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&sll=42.720495,-92.457135&sspn=16.393687,39.375&ie=UTF8&ll=42.714732,-91.010742&spn=16.393687,39.375&z=5
last leg was in the civic, not the bmw.

Big thanks to everyone who helped me out with this ordeal, supernaught, furyriderX, crazy azn, tomek, chris de la cruz, mirek, jay, everyone who answered my questions. I had a chance to test a lot of stuff on the car, almost everything works with the exception of ABS.

propr'one
08-06-2008, 09:59 PM
e30 questions. I'm gonna number the questions, if you have an answer, please try to put the number so i know which question you are answering.

1) My car has an armrest, but the top of it is all cracked. I may re-cover it with leather myself, but can i find used armrests in good shape? (just the pillow, assembly is fine)
2) Brake lining light is on, its my understanding that this is either frayed line, bad sensor, or brake pads are low (checked pads, they're fine) Could it be anything else?
3) ABS doesn't work. Speed sensor, what else could it be? I understand that the speed sensor can be a bitch if its rusted, there's no rust on the car though, so this should be relatively easy (right?)
4) The motor is not running perfect since i overheated it. I dont know that i did damage to it, however, i dont know that i didn't. Every once in a while, above 4500RPM, it lets out a squeal, kindof sounds like a belt squeal. Any ideas?
4B) It doesn't look like there's any oil in the coolant/coolant in the oil. Is there any other sure fire way of checking that there's no HG issues (i dont want to spend 150$ sending my coolant to a lab)
4C) What else could overheating the motor do? I'm told the block on the iX's is cast iron, so its pretty unlikely that the block got damaged on a brief overheat. Head could be completly ****ed, right? If the car passes a compression test well, does this rule out needing to replace the head?
4D) If i am replacing the head, what should i do for a little more power? 272 cam, what else? I'd love to get the motor to rev to about 7000, so i could put 4.10 front and rear diffs in, i know rocker arms are an issue on the m20's. What else needs to be done? (has to be practical, i'm not interested in a 3K head build)
4E) The car has 19lb injectors and a m30 maf right now, and is running a stock 173 ecu. I found a used MarkD chip for the 173 ECU in the states for dirt cheap, its the 91 octane one. Is this worth it? I love the idea of running 87 on the winter car, however, if its absolutely worth it to chip the car, i'll pay the higher gas prices
4F) Any other motor suggestions? I know m20 heads aren't too pricey, and i dont mind replacing mine if i warped it, but i want to know i'm doing the right thing. Any ideas are appreciated
5) Where do i get the grease for the driveshafts on a ix?
6) Where does the washer fluid reservoir go on e30's? Mine's missing (lines in the hood are there, just no actual washer fluid res)
7) Is there any way to remove the angel eyes from depo e30 headlights with ae's?
8) Long tube headers are supposedly a good idea on m20's, will cheapie ebay ones fit on a iX?
9) The car's check engine light isn't on when the car is running, but when i did the kick test, it spat out some sequence of number (dont know what). Does this mean it has a CEL?
10) Why does the manual sunroof trim peice (plastic) get stuck and bend to allow the knob to rotate?
11) Do the rear windows actually not open?
12) Talk to me about steering wheels. Budget, about 150$, and for that much i'll probably get a 320MM momo.
13) Is there a non-smoker centre tray trim peice?
14) How hard is it to wire up a remote start on e30's? I know the remote open/close is rediculously easy in the trunk.
15) passenger side seatbelt doesn't return all the way, do i need to replace the spring?

parts i need:
-The arm that holds the hood open
-Washer fluid assembly
-Driver side dome light mirror
-

Gamite
08-06-2008, 10:02 PM
cliff notes anyone?

propr'one
08-06-2008, 11:03 PM
Just skip first post.

jello_g
08-06-2008, 11:20 PM
I sold my ix on eBay couple of years ago. Wished you were in the market back then.

Quack
08-06-2008, 11:56 PM
interesting trip there Ivan, at least you made it back in one piece.

supernaught
08-07-2008, 12:16 AM
hey, guess what.. I was in Sioux falls SD all that week with all my tools! My work sent me there Mon-fri. Wish I knew you were there, I would have gave you my number. Sounds like you made it ok. Oh, and if you need parts, I've got a block and head coming up along with all my other gear.

craz azn
08-07-2008, 12:47 AM
1) Just redo it yourself, unless you find one in good shape on ebay or r3v.
2) I remember replacing all this sensor crap on my black e30 and the light was still on. In my frustration after all that work + money for the sensors, I just took out the light. Some people bridge it, but I thought the light removal trick was easier
3) Mine doesn't work either, I know its a wheel speed sensor, but too lazy to fix it. Meh.
4) :confused:
4B) Maybe do a coolant pressure system test and see if it holds pressure?
4C) Depends, and probably leaning towards no.
4D) Budget at least 2k for a higher revving head. New rockers may prolly be okay for awhile at 7k, but I wouldn't push my luck. Also I'd wonder about the valve springs and their age at that point.
4E) MarkD chip is definitely worth it, but in your case for a winter car, I'd say no, unless you want a higher redline :P
4F) *shrugs*
5) *shrugs*
6) iXs go in the battery tray area on the passenger side, behind the shock tower.
7) *shrugs*
8) I would guess they would fit... Maybe Greg may have more of an idea.
9) Ya its got a CEL.
10) Not sure what trim you are referring to. Sorry man.
11) Some cars don't have pop-out windows. Mines ghey and doesn't either. *thmbsdwn*
12) For 150$, should be able to pick up a used hub and wheel setup.
13) You want to remove the ashtray? Nothing that I know of to replace it.
14) Remote start? oooo... baller. Talk to Jays electronics guy.
15) No ideas, I would be too lazy to mess with it, just get another belt assembly from a parts car. Easy to change.

Greg has a washer fluid cannister from his parts car kickin' around. Give him a shout.

FuryriderX
08-07-2008, 03:07 PM
cliff notes anyone?

325iX bought on ebay. rejoicing!! car is in rapid city.
greyhound bus to chicago, crack shooting dude in bathroom.
car is in decent shape, but HID's dont fit. AL#@($*#$(!!!
burst rad hose, fixed with duct tape and hose clamps.
no hotel rooms anywhere, bribed a super 8 receptionist to use a room. first sleep in 2 days.
raced a passat turbo wagon.
cruise set at 100mph after that.
very enjoyable trip! 35degrees, no a/c. but driving an e30!!!

FuryriderX
08-07-2008, 03:20 PM
you'll probably ask me more on MSN, but w/e.

1. armrests cost $$$. get an upholsterer to make you a new pillow.
2. frayed wire, definitely. that circuit is pretty foolproof.
3. i bitched at one of mine for a while before it came out. but on my uncle's e36, it came out in several pieces. yay fun. shouldnt be too hard.
4A-F. Its your winter car. Don't spend money on it you don't have to. The squeal at a certain RPM could be a shot bearing in the a/c compressor, mine used to do that. If your looking to keep reliability (always a must in a winter car) then i'd keep engine mods on a need-to-do level. everyone wants their car to go fast. the 4:10's will help, but i think you might be happy with the engine as-is.
5. I'm looking into this. should be able to get you some, as apparently one tube is enough to last a lifetime. its made by dow cornell.
6. the iX reservoir goes right by the firewall on the passenger side.
7. smash the hell outta them, then get OEM smileys. hehe.
8. MAYBE. there's a guy on e30tech whos selling a stahl header that apparently fits fine.
9. does the CEL turn on when you turn the ignition ON without starting the car? the bulb may be burned out.
10. no idea.
11. some do, some don't. both of my 2doors' do. apparently its not worth the effort.
12. get whatever you like. steering wheels are a personal thing. ebay!
13. nope. i ripped out the little metal pieces on the sides, and use it for a change holder. holds about $150 in loonies and toonies lol
14. easy, i did it on my buddys. i could do yours too.
15. just get a new assembly, like rudy said.

plus i think i have all the parts you need, and some you dont know you need yet :P

Arash
08-07-2008, 03:24 PM
burst rad hose, fixed with duct tape and hose clamps.


That sounds like Polski was involved lol

congrats on the purchase!

propr'one
08-07-2008, 03:42 PM
Thanks for all the kind words, and all the answers to the questions. Pretty much all the questions i had originally asked had been answered.

more questions
16) How do you remove all the a/c components? More specifically, do i need a different serpentine belt? Can i just wrap it differently? or is there a seperate belt for the A/C.

propr'one
08-07-2008, 03:49 PM
Because, and only because this is my beloved e30 thread, i will make an exception to my rule about posting pics of girlfriend online
http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/8985/dscf3504il6.jpg
http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/769/dscf3522fd6.jpg

i look like a jackass:
http://img503.imageshack.us/img503/3659/dscf3541jz1.jpg
http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4504/dscf3598gg6.jpg
how i fixed it:
http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/3827/dscf3600br1.jpg

Boots R
08-07-2008, 04:05 PM
omghi2u ivan's girlfriend!

supernaught
08-07-2008, 04:23 PM
a/c is seperate belt, cut it.
once you have the ac lines properly drained, with the use of a full body biohazard suit, everything comes apart easy, there should be a procedure online somewhere.

BMW BMXer
08-07-2008, 04:27 PM
Later model e30s could very well be different, but my eta has a seperate ac belt, mine is currently off.

As for the rear windows some have pop out some don't. The pop outs are known to slam themselves shut at highway speed anyway.

propr'one
08-07-2008, 04:34 PM
Can't i just assume there's no refrigerant left cause the a/c's not working? :(

Thanks dave. I could've sworn i looked and couldn't find the latch to open them

also.

17) Car has chrome trim. I hate chrome. can the trim itself be removed for painting? writeup?

SamE30e
08-07-2008, 04:39 PM
e30 questions. I'm gonna number the questions, if you have an answer, please try to put the number so i know which question you are answering.

1) My car has an armrest, but the top of it is all cracked. I may re-cover it with leather myself, but can i find used armrests in good shape? (just the pillow, assembly is fine)
2) Brake lining light is on, its my understanding that this is either frayed line, bad sensor, or brake pads are low (checked pads, they're fine) Could it be anything else?
3) ABS doesn't work. Speed sensor, what else could it be? I understand that the speed sensor can be a bitch if its rusted, there's no rust on the car though, so this should be relatively easy (right?)
4) The motor is not running perfect since i overheated it. I dont know that i did damage to it, however, i dont know that i didn't. Every once in a while, above 4500RPM, it lets out a squeal, kindof sounds like a belt squeal. Any ideas?
4B) It doesn't look like there's any oil in the coolant/coolant in the oil. Is there any other sure fire way of checking that there's no HG issues (i dont want to spend 150$ sending my coolant to a lab)
4C) What else could overheating the motor do? I'm told the block on the iX's is cast iron, so its pretty unlikely that the block got damaged on a brief overheat. Head could be completly ****ed, right? If the car passes a compression test well, does this rule out needing to replace the head?
4D) If i am replacing the head, what should i do for a little more power? 272 cam, what else? I'd love to get the motor to rev to about 7000, so i could put 4.10 front and rear diffs in, i know rocker arms are an issue on the m20's. What else needs to be done? (has to be practical, i'm not interested in a 3K head build)
4E) The car has 19lb injectors and a m30 maf right now, and is running a stock 173 ecu. I found a used MarkD chip for the 173 ECU in the states for dirt cheap, its the 91 octane one. Is this worth it? I love the idea of running 87 on the winter car, however, if its absolutely worth it to chip the car, i'll pay the higher gas prices
4F) Any other motor suggestions? I know m20 heads aren't too pricey, and i dont mind replacing mine if i warped it, but i want to know i'm doing the right thing. Any ideas are appreciated
5) Where do i get the grease for the driveshafts on a ix?
6) Where does the washer fluid reservoir go on e30's? Mine's missing (lines in the hood are there, just no actual washer fluid res)
7) Is there any way to remove the angel eyes from depo e30 headlights with ae's?
8) Long tube headers are supposedly a good idea on m20's, will cheapie ebay ones fit on a iX?
9) The car's check engine light isn't on when the car is running, but when i did the kick test, it spat out some sequence of number (dont know what). Does this mean it has a CEL?
10) Why does the manual sunroof trim peice (plastic) get stuck and bend to allow the knob to rotate?
11) Do the rear windows actually not open?
12) Talk to me about steering wheels. Budget, about 150$, and for that much i'll probably get a 320MM momo.
13) Is there a non-smoker centre tray trim peice?
14) How hard is it to wire up a remote start on e30's? I know the remote open/close is rediculously easy in the trunk.
15) passenger side seatbelt doesn't return all the way, do i need to replace the spring?

parts i need:
-The arm that holds the hood open
-Washer fluid assembly
-Driver side dome light mirror
-

1. They usually go for 50-100 on r3v
2. Could be low pads, or bad circuit, or the person did the brakes and didn't change the sensors
3. Most likely the speed sensor, could be the ABS computer. (Under the dash, driver side, remove the kick panel, big orange thing)
4D. 272 cam, mark d chip, change out the rockers for new stockers and headers.
5. no clue
6. Passenger side, behind the headlight
7. Yep
11. If it's a 4 door, then yea they do haha, 2 door the have to have the hinges and latches, depends on if the car came with them or not.
12. Momo Monte Carlo 320mm with adaptor or MTech I
13. Gauge panel, bav auto or turnermotorsports, other then that, no.
14. Remote start, it doesn't have a clutch starter switch so if you accidently press it, you're cars movin. Remote locks, REC-45 ebay it, 30$ shipped and you have remote locks, I have it, works like a charm.
15. Get the assembly from a parts car, it's easier.
17. Yea you can remove it, but it's easier just to mask it off, because sometimes it likes to come off and not go back on easily.

And for the A/C Check if the pump is seized, chances are it is, reach down with the engine off and try and turn the outside of it closest to the pump by hand, if its super hard, it's ****ed.

Do yourself a favor and sign up for r3vlimited and e30 tech.

Bmwstylz
08-09-2008, 10:57 AM
car must have been cheap? like what a $100? ;)

How much did it cost you when all was said and done (Recall letter, gas, hotel costs, RIV bullshit etc etc)?

BMW BMXer
08-09-2008, 12:47 PM
My ac is out too. I have some old school cans of refrigerant but now one will put it in :(

Dr. Flyview
08-09-2008, 01:58 PM
****, I love road trips!!! Your gf reminds me of my ex hahah sighhh

Hope you had fun.

propr'one
08-09-2008, 01:58 PM
car must have been cheap? like what a $100? ;)

How much did it cost you when all was said and done (Recall letter, gas, hotel costs, RIV bullshit etc etc)?
1500$USD for the car. 350$ for bus tickets (2 people), 400$ in gas, 300$ in hotels, 800$ in juicy couture, micheal kors, polo, dooney & burke & other shit to keep my girlfriend happy.

I haven't imported the car yet, its still sitting in cleveland waiting for the e36 to get stored. I wont need a recall letter, or any "riv bullshit". The whole RIV program only applies to vehicles under 15 years old. This one was manufacturerd 01/90.

bmwm5lover
08-09-2008, 05:06 PM
I haven't imported the car yet, its still sitting in cleveland waiting for the e36 to get stored. I wont need a recall letter, or any "riv bullshit". The whole RIV program only applies to vehicles under 15 years old. This one was manufacturerd 01/90.

I had to get the letters. They sent me letters threatning to come and take the car away in XX amount of days if the dealer didn't send them the letters.

Might want to double check that.

propr'one
08-09-2008, 05:13 PM
so they let you import the car, and then wanted recall letters?

Lol. If they let me import it, they can come "take away the car". I'll be waiting sitting on the hood with my gun. I ****ing hate this country.