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I have an opportunity to buy an e30...has high mileage but straight body and interior is great....I have never owned a BMW but have always loved the e30. Anyone owned one have some tips on any big issues with this car? I know since it will be a project car it will cost money but just want to hear others experience with the car.

thanks :)
 

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great choice

I've owned my e30 for the past 22 years, and it's still my daily driver. I love the car--it's a 325i with a couple of upgrades to the engine/drivetrain (chip, air intake, higher rear diff--3.73) and a great stereo, and that's it. Maintenance is simple, and the car runs well after 184K miles with the original clutch.
 

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I have had 3 e30s. 84' 318is (first car), 87' 325e and a 89' 325is. 2 of the 3 had over 200K when I sold them. Combined, I probably put around 150K miles on them and never had a major issue. Aside for mods, I never had to put much money in them other than servicing. I miss them, and have been thinking about picking another one up. Post pics up of the one your looking at if you can!
 

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I've had two. They're great cars and I wouldn't mind owning another someday. I ended up making money on both of mine when I got rid of them.

First was a 1989 325i that I bought for $1,000 as a beater car when I was daily driving an S2000. I got rid of the S2k pretty quick, but the e30 ended up staying in my fleet for three or four years. It's the one in my avatar. It cost me around $1,000 in repairs/maintenance over 30,000 miles or so that I drove it, but 1/3 of that was in a new set of tires I bought for it. Cash 4 Clunkers came along and I sent that car to the crusher for a $4500 credit towards a new Civic. It was a dick move, but financially it was the right thing to do.

The second was a 1991 318is. It was a pretty nice car that had a recent repaint and black 16" rims. It was part of a deceased person's estate and had been sitting for about a year. One tire was almost flat, someone had snatched the stereo out (breaking the dash panel in the process), and it was leaking oil like crazy from the oil pan. I paid $400 for it, jump started it, drove it to the gas station for air in the tires, and drove it home. The oil pan gasket was fine, but the bolts had backed themselves out and some were even missing. $1 and 20 minutes of labor took care of that. The dash part was $35 on eBay and I slapped in a CD player I already had on a shelf in the garage. It already had an amp and 6 nice speakers. I took out two of the speakers (6"x9"s in boxes) and added a sub that I already had in the garage. Drove it about a year, got tired of it, and sold it for a nice profit.

I don't think I'll buy another beater e30 though. When I get another I'll probably find a well sorted one with nice aftermarket parts from someone who knows their way around them and just pay the premium for it. I just don't have the energy to wrench on anything other than my boat these days.
 

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Even in stock form they're a blast to drive. They are very light and have great weight balance. A good set of shocks/springs/bushings makes the handling really come alive. They're great fun for the price.
 

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i have an 89 325 is. 191K was beat to shit its whole life (former owner raced it) i have done new plugs and brakes only in 2 years and still runs like a champ and still takes a beating from me. Not the fastest car on earth, but man is it fun to drive!
 

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I've actually considered buying a E30 and try to use it as a track toy/learning tool for working on cars. I've heard they are pretty easy to modify as well.
 

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Buy one, do lots of suspension work, swap in an S52 call it a day.

They're great little cars, as everyone has already said. I have a few friends driving them now with well over 200k miles and no major issues.
 

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You cant go wrong with e30s.
Almost no rust, reliability is outstanding, rear suspentions needs some care after a while.
Fun starts with the 318IS. Without power steering they are proper men's cars, not easy to drive but very rewarding when you put in the effort, just like a good car is supposed to be. The clutch is ridiculously easy but the steering angle is awful- somehow in a good way tho.
 
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