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Brent613 03-18-2013 11:32 PM

Need help in choosing an E30
I've been saving my money for sometime now and I want to purchase an E30. I don't know if i would be better off buying a fully restored 325is for 6 grand or 3 grand for 325i that runs and has a couple of mods and just a little rust on the rocker panels, and needs a new windshield, comes with alot of extra stuff, including an extra engine, 2 sets of rims and 2 trannies. I know there are a lot of people on here that that would have great opinions that can help me decide.

davericher20 03-19-2013 12:12 AM

I like the fully restored one if it has zero rust.

DIY 03-19-2013 01:20 AM

it all comes down to how much do you want to drive it lol.... or how fast are you at swapping a tranny? but when alls said and done go for the no rust.. because the money you put in will last longer

cormier 03-19-2013 08:24 AM

Go for the less rust. Everything else can be fixed/replaced much easier. Links to said cars?

I made this decision when getting my current car -- had the choice of a clean stock 318 or a semi-hacked m52 325. I took the much better shape stock model and haven't regretted it since. In fact sometimes I wish I had spent more and got even cleaner.

GeMc 03-19-2013 09:53 AM

I have dibs on a mint (cherry) heavily modded ($20k mods) E30, but it's over your budget ($9000 lowest). PM me for further details. I was going to post this up in the spring when the weather is warm enough to take some pictures.

-1988 325is (started as)
-No rust, never winter driven. Always stored indoors.
-HellRot color
-M50 motor swap
-M3 head - ported & polished
-Bored T-body
-E36 M3 Transmission
-Rogue Engineering SSK
-Stainless equal length headers
-Dual 2.25" mandrel bent exhaust
-O'Brien 6-pnt roll cage
-stripped interior with reclinable buckets
-Ground Control Coilovers
-Suspension Technique Sways (adjustable)
-Delrin/Powerflex bushings throughout
-Usual brake upgrades (pads/braided lines)
-Original Breyton body kit (rare)
-Hella smoked ellipsoids
-18" wheels & 14" basketweaves
(this is just a quick synopsis)

Nick_V 03-19-2013 01:40 PM

Be skeptical. "Fully restored" often means the car's had a cheap respray and just enough parts replaced to pass a safety. Hard to say without seeing the cars...

SubDad 03-19-2013 06:54 PM

+1 for no rust.

Don't have a fever to buy a particular or any E30. That's where I went wrong the first time.
Take your time and research where E30s rot. (Hint, outer corners of front floor pan where the factory jackpads are - or weren't in the case of my first E30 :(. The rear strut towers weren't, either)

Even the "restored" one needs a skeptical look at the usual rust places. Hoist it, flashlight and pokey thing.

Roysneon 03-20-2013 10:27 AM

Always choose the one with no rust. Engine swaps are easy and can be had cheap for the basic m20/m42/m50 engines. Body work is expensive and not an easy thing to DIY if you don't have a lot of experience.

jeremy 03-20-2013 03:21 PM

Who restored it?

MaxBell 03-20-2013 05:09 PM

I wanted rust free so bad that I ended up pretty much buying a shell and putting the rest of the car in around it. Totally worth it.

DR.ZED 03-20-2013 08:52 PM

Rust will alway drive you nuts and always get worse. Took me I think a year to patiently find an e30 with no body rust. Extremely minimal areas I had to touch up that's all. Be patient!

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