Does anyone have any advice when buying the all wheel drive e30? Is it better to steer clear of these or are they just as reliable as their rwd counter part?
transfer cases are problematic mainly leaks and joints. If you are looking for one, look for a US model which came with 5spd and 2door coupe... canadian versions only came with auto and 4 doors. Rim offsets are unique with the ix, they have 40+ offset whereas standard e30 (except m3) came with +20 offset, someone correct me if im wrong. I believe the suspension is also unique for the ix as well.
A quick fix for the spine issue is tack welding the shaft to the output flange on the transfer case. will never slip again. the expensive fix is removal of the drive train from the motor back. everything has to come out. tranny, exhaust, drive shafts, diff. $$$$$
oh one other thing. Axle shafts boots tend to tear and lube leaks out eventually causing the cv joint to get dry and knock or chatter. would require replacement.
my ix is very reliable. Regular maintenance of the awd system and it will last just as long as any other e30. I've got over 400k on my dd auto ix, and aside from some rust, its been basically worry free for years. regular maintenance that includes inspecting the front struts, changing the fluids in the transmission, transfercase, and front/rear diffs(fluid change could be ever 3 or 4 oil changes).
Proper lubrication of the front driveshaft splines will keep a good shaft from slipping for a long time.
Front axle boots can be replaced with new grease if they are torn but the joint hasn't failed.
Front struts, steering rack, tie rods, control arms, subframe are unique, but front brakes are the same. Rear suspension is all very similar to rwd e30, but the rear rotors and hubs are unique.
They came in any combination of leather, vinyl, cloth, sport or comfort seats. 5 spd or auto. All of these were options. Most had the cold weather package(heated seats, mirrors, washer nozzles).
They are unstoppable in the winter with even half decent tires. But great tires will give you more confidence than a subaru.
They are marginally slower than a 325i, just due to the extra weight and rotating mass, but its barely noticable.
You can still stroke and boost an ix, just bear in mind the block, oil pump and oil pan are also unique. The rest of the engine is basically the same.
and its a 325ix. no such thing as a 325xi.
I've owned 5, some autos, some 5spds, some cloth sport seats, some leather comforts, they come in all combos.
Testing the AWD is a must though, like Ceeker said.
I beat the piss out of my 325iX for years, the only thing that ended up giving up was the M20.
I'd just add that "marginally" slower may be an understatement. My iX was chipped, 5spd, has some weight savings, etc, and it still much slower than a regular 325i.
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