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Old 11-25-2010, 01:36 AM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 9
WTB: E30 what should i look for...

Hi everyone im just seeking for some help in maybe looking for my forever dream car, an E30. I just want to find out more about its mechanical flaws and such. Also what should i look for kilometers wise? I found a 325ix with that too much for a 20yr old bimmer? Are things going to go wrong after a certain stage...?Also would a 318 run as fine and as long as a 325 despite its smaller size and number of cylinders? My budget is pretty limited(max $4000) so i just want something to be running for now and later to have something to invest into...

Appreciate it!
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:08 AM   #2
black and blue
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: 2 storey 3 bedroom 1 car garage
Posts: 3,595
Any E30 will give you many years if you buy the right one.
no specific e30 is better than the rest as far as maintenance goes. For fun factor on pavement go with an IS model. for winter domination go with an IX
Search helps too, this has been discussed at length.
E30 buyers giude is a sticky in this forum., I suggest reading it before you purchase.

Originally Posted by JINT View Post
Some people have serious track experience from the cruise, so what is fast to you, isn't fast to them.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:19 AM   #3
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Location: Ontario
Posts: 15,635
Like stated many times before, the major issue with any 20+ year old Canadian car is rust. Any half well maintained 318/325 will give you 300-400K+ km with no problems. Just look for something as original as possible, solid body, that will be worth investing into!
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:03 AM   #4
14 Years with the E30
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: St. Catharines
Posts: 1,152
Check under the body just behind the front wheels, the lift points are a spot many cars have rotten.
Check behind the passenger side rear tire, behind the shock, gas leaks here wash away any rust protection and there are usually holes there.
Check the area under the battery location in the trunk, check this area from the underside of the car.
Check the Licence plate area, and the entire area of the licence plate lights. If you can remove the interior cover and look from inside the trunk as well.
Check the rocker panels just ahead of the rear wheel arches. Rust here is a pain to fix. Also check the wheel arches as well. I'd use a magnet in a sock so it won't scratch anything.

Lastly if you want to be really picky check the bottom of the rear subframe for any heavy rust or cracks, and the front subframe for holes rusted through the sides. I've also seen trailing arm spring perches almost rusted off, likewise for the upper perches.

If the car has holes where the front jack points are, or in the rocker panels where the rear subframe mounts to the car, or through the rear upper spring perches it is then a $500 car in my opinion. Commonly these are rust areas that become extremely difficult to repair and makes the car nearly worthless to the average buyer. If you are a welder or your best buddy is a welder, it could be worthwile to buy, but like I said... I wouldn't spend more than $500 at that point unless the car has some really useful parts.

Performance one step at a time.

Last edited by InfiniteDice; 11-25-2010 at 03:07 AM.
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