View Full Version : Is there any reason why...

06-08-2009, 03:04 PM
Is there any reason why I should stay away from the e30 ix as appose to the e30 i?

Some people have told me that it's a nightmare to deal with as far as maintenance goes compared to the i or is .... opinions appreciated!

06-08-2009, 03:44 PM
I pity the fool who thinks the ix is a nightmare for maintenance!

As long as you pick one up that has a working Diff, transfercase........etc, there's no need to worry, when you get one all you need to do is change the fluid. if you don't know the last time it was changed and don't put on a different sized wheel from your other wheels ie: a spare tire when the others are different sized.

The ix is a beautiful car and the only reason the (i) and (is) guys are telling you this is because they are jealous. lol Or they don't know what they are talking about. It is exactly the same as the i and is as far as maintenance goes.

06-08-2009, 04:22 PM
+1, the IX is a great ride. Some guys just don't like the fact that you can't do drifting or ebrake slides, etc, but in the dirt or snow, the car is unstoppable.
The engine is basically identical(aside from a few minor points that only matter if you have to replace the block), the suspension is different but parts can be found all over. There is a strong IX community on e30tech.com and I'm sure if you talk to any of the IXers there they will all say the IX is the way to go.
Some people have had bad luck with cars that were beaten badly with poor maint before they got the car, but if you start with a good one, keep up regular maintenance yourself, its will last just as long as any i or is.
maintenance that is different from the other models, you need to check your CV boots in the front(you should be checking the rears anyways) you need to change the front diff and transfer case fluids, and like dave said, make sure all your tires are the same OD.
If you are looking at buying one, try to start with the cleanest body you can find and be sure to do a test of the TC/VC before you hand over any cash.

There is a little more to it than whats on an IS, but nightmare? I think not.

06-08-2009, 08:02 PM
Can you swap a automatic tranny with a 5speed on the iX the same as you could with the i or the is?

06-09-2009, 01:00 AM
You need a 5 speed specific transfer case also I believe. It's not an easy swap.

06-09-2009, 12:20 PM
doing swaps can get tricky, i believe the transmission is not as big of a deal, but the tcase is a must. Possible, but only do it if you are really committed.
There are a few IX 5spds out there for sale. I just sold one a month ago. It might be easier to find a 5spd than to do the swap($wise)

06-09-2009, 03:07 PM
the only real problem i see with the IX, and the reason why i shied away from it and got an I is the cost and availability of drivetrain parts. those parts arent terribly reliable and incredibly difficult to find. ive seen some pretty high dollar parts for IX such as front axles, front diff, oil pan, T/C, etc. considering that the I doesnt even have any of those parts...

i would only get the IX if you plan to drive it in winter. or else, stick to a the more reliable/cheaper and quicker I.

06-09-2009, 04:29 PM
cost and availability of parts is a little higher, but I would have to argue the reliability comment. The reliability is based squarely on maintenance. An IX cannot be bought and driven all willy nilly. With proper maint, most IX specific parts will last just as long as any other.
When looking at an IX its great to get service history, to find out that its been well maintained through its life. If you're looking for a nice body/drivetrain, you are better to look at the autos, since they won't have been pushed as hard as the 5spds, and more often babied.
And I don't see the IX being much slower than an I. Not in my experience anyways.

And if you see a deal on an IX that is almost too hard to pass up, shoot me the details, I know someone who might be looking.

06-09-2009, 06:43 PM
the only real problem i see with the IX, and the reason why i shied away from it and got an I is the cost and availability of drivetrain parts. those parts arent terribly reliable and incredibly difficult to find. ive seen some pretty high dollar parts for IX such as front axles, front diff, oil pan, T/C, etc. considering that the I doesnt even have any of those parts...

i would only get the IX if you plan to drive it in winter. or else, stick to a the more reliable/cheaper and quicker I.

SO the reason you should stick with the i is because it doesn't have as many drivetrain parts? :idea:
The only reason parts would fail is if you treated it like a woman and didn't change fluids or do regular maintenance like you should have.
My AWD is 20 years old now and it still runs like the day it came off the lot. How do you explain that? the owners took care of it and I continued the tradition. simple as pie.

The i and is are no faster than the ix. the ix and is are the same.

06-09-2009, 06:58 PM
So with the debate still going on...
what should one look to pay for an iX?

Things to consider:
1. Body
2. Auto VS 5Spd
3. Mechanical soundness at the time of purchase
4. Overall aesthetics
5. Interior

-What would be the most important item to consider?

-What would one look to spend on a car that is on the higher end of things on the above noted or on the lower end of things for that matter?

-What things on the list should be considered deal breakers and to what extent?

-Is it true that the iX is more prone to wear and tear as appose to it's other e30 siblings? If yes, should the mileage be considered a factor? (I've always believed that a well maintained car with high mileage is a better car as appose to a low mileage car that may have been neglected...)

Please feel free to add to the list...

06-10-2009, 12:27 AM
oubviously a well maintained IX will last long and not break down as often. my point is, the transfer case, the front diff, the front axles, the complex driveshaft system, etc will never ever break down on an IS because it just doesnt have those parts. so it's 100% reliable in that area. no matter what maintenance you do, an IX can never have a 100% reliable drivetrain.

there is no other way around it, an IX = IS + a bunch of expensive and rare drivetrain parts. i dont mind leaving out the last part of that equation especially if it translates into a lighter, faster and better handling car ON SEALED SURFACES. of course the IX is much better on any slippery surface, and i would love it through all of winter.

IX is slower to 60 because of the extra weight, and the higher drive train loss. it's also a compromise in handling (poor shock tower angle, short front suspension travel) etc.

at the end of the day, if the IX has a special appeal to you, go for it. and i applaud all those that have a well maintained one, you have a much rarer and exclusive car. but for a potential buyer who doesnt care to go either way, i can only recommend a RWD version.

06-10-2009, 11:16 AM
I believe the consideration of the IX has everything to do with year round use. If you intend to have a summer toy, an IX is not likely to be the car for you. If you plan on driving in the snow, dirt, rain and want complete assurance that you will safetly smoke most cars in those conditions, then maybe an IX is for you.
Its also not especially a great track car, due to the weight distribution, but with some weight reduction and some suspension tuning with proper parts(which don't really cost any different from a normal e30 setup) you can have a decent day at the track or autox. But thats beside the point. If you don't plan on driving the bad conditions, look elsewhere, and I think the OP understands that. If that is what you want, an all weather behemoth, then you need to undertand that all AWD cars suffer the same affliction of pricey unique parts(which can often be picked up used from other owners at good prices), but the main difference is that this AWD car is a BMW. The rear biased power split and special suspension and wider stance make this car a blast to drive, even if it can't hold a skid pad the same as an IS stock. Anyways, I will address some things you asked about, even though I am not the most knowledgeable guy in IXes, i know a little.

1. Body - Obviously the cleaner the better, but if you can do body work, that will give you some flexibility as a car with some surface rust will be a lot cheaper than one without. Fenders, doors, hood, trunk, sunroof can all be swapped directly with other e30s so that can be considered, and the IX flare and skirt kit is plastic.

2. Auto VS 5spd - 5spd is always better, but some things to consider, the autos will likely not have been revved as high through their life and thus drivetrain components are more likely to be in better condition(pending maint). They are also a bit better on fuel(from my experience) due to the gearing. The 5spd usually came with sport seats, but all in, the 5spd is much harder to find in Canada, the most common being the elusive 88.

3. Mech integrity - the most important factor here is the transfercase with viscous coupling. A jack test is essential to see how well the VC is working(look it up on youtube). Many other parts can be found used such as struts, axles, diffs(front is very robust) but the TC/VC is the most important. If this is bad, and you cant find a guaranteed good one elsewhere for a good price, pass on it. with proper maint(and its really very easy) the original VC should last the entire life of the car.
If you look at an IX and it has things like torn boots on any axles, or noises in diffs or transmission is popping out of gear, bad clutch ,etc, its either leverage for negotiation or you should pass(unless the price is too good to pass up).
BTW, if you intend to have a garage do all your work, you might want to have a big wallet or shy away from e30s in general.

4. Overall aesthetics - this goes for any e30, but paint condition, interior, tastefullness of any mods, decent wheels(steelies should keep the price down), a short shifter with good bushings is nice, and if you find one thats lowered, be sure to look carefully at the suspension that it was done properly and that the front CV boots are in good condition.

5. Interior - it can be hard to find an interior with no rips, burst seams, etc, but all of my IX have been bought with good interiors. Black leather comfort seats in my DD and grey cloth sport seats in my rallyx car. If the driver or pass seats are ripped up/badly worn, maybe work the price a little, but a good set of seats to replace them can usually be found for between 300 and 600. Look for a good crack free dash as well, a crack changes your whole view from the drivers seat. Some can live with it, some can't. A replacement dash will be 50-120.

Now that I think of it, if you are wondering what replacement parts for the IX will usually cost used, check this out (http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74642)

Eric on e30tech started a great thread on parts costs. I can often find them a little cheaper if I do some homework, but a lot of these are pretty standard.

If you want to know more about the IX in general, look here(e30tech IX buyers guide) (http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74650)
and here(bimmerforums IX history) (http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1077032)

When I was looking for AWD, I looked at a lot of Quattros, Subies and others, and when I took the IX for a test drive I knew I was sitting in my car.
But then again, I don't always drive on paved, well cleared roads.
I prefer the dirt, loose gravel and deep snow because of the the feeling the IX gives me. I take the couple hours a couple times a year to change my fluids and look everything over and it keeps my cars in good shape for little cost. Weigh the pros and cons, but if you are looking for an AWD car, an AWD BMW is not going to disappoint. Some will disagree, but I'm an AWD nut so thats my opinion. If you want to know what a great IX feels like, make friends with FuryriderX and he might let you ride in his turbo IX.