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Sammo

Lachssilber 1989 E30 M325i

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After about 18 months of failing to get an E30 out of my head, I managed to secure my affordable dream car.

A 1989 (Built Sep 1988) M325i in Lachssilber. This is the exact colour and spec car that became etched in my brain 20 plus years ago when a well-off school friend's father had one in the mid-late 90s. Before I owned my E46 I had always assumed old BMWs were prohibitively expensive to maintain.

Car popped up on Facebook, I got lucky and called the seller within 5 minutes of the post (was the 2nd caller) , built a bit of rapport and did the deal a few hours later.

The previous owner is a great guy who has owned and loved it 20 years, although in the last 5 or so it's seen limited use so is in need of a bit of a birthday.

I have to say however, for 33 years and 389km it is in good shape.

In addition to all the standard M325i goodies it has a spicy Remus exhaust, Dobi / Koni suspension, 22mm and 16mm whiteline swaybars and a short shifter - things I would have done anyway.

I still need to get under it and have a proper nosey, but have pulled together a to do list for the next 6 months:

Maintenance

  • Cambelt / Waterpump  / Tensioner / Coolant / Drive belts
  • Valve adjustment / Spark Plugs / Valve cover gasket
  • Oil and filter / Gearbox and Diff Fluid / Fuel Filter / Air filter 
  • Rust treating for few small surface areas / clear sunroof drains / replace elephant drain
  • Sort intermittent ABS light before my next WOF
  • Fuel Lines / Vacuum Lines
  • New tyres - 15" RE003 or 16" PS4 depending on wheel choice
  • Steering coupler / Control Arms (with Powerflex offset M3 CABs) / Tierods 
  • Shocks / Springs / mounts  - Will likely get a matched ST Suspension set - 50mm / 40mm with thicker rear spring pads for saggy butt
  • Strut brace - I'm guessing a car this old and used could benefit?
  • Engine mounts and transmission mounts

Exterior

  • DIY repaint mirror + rear window trims in meantime
  • Full paint correction and detail 
  • Replace all faded / blacked out badges / decals with new OEM
  • Exterior Trim refresh - front grills and kidneys / door handles / B pillar trims
  • Euro plate 
  • Refurbish Basket weaves (or more likely get 16" Alpina / 16" Weaves reproduction wheels - undecided)
  • Finish detailing engine bay and restore a few parts cosmetically
  • Tackle rust gremlins - sunroof tray and few small bubbles in roof skin / boot and boot seal
  • Respray roof / boot / drivers door and rear right quarter after rust work - other panels are excellent

Interior

  • Refurbish Mtech 1 380mm wheel inc new badges
  • New plush floor mats
  • Condor 'Shorty' Gear knob and Stitchboots shift and brake boots in Anthracite Uberkaro
  • Bluetooth stereo in 'period correct' style - BMW Radios Reverse RDS customised with text / bluetooth / mic / pre-outs
  • Refinish interior plastics and parcel tray / carpet
  • Re-upholster full interior including door cards - Anthracite Uberkaro
  • Re-foam and rebuild drivers seat with new shocks etc
  • Needs odometer gears so will tart up the cluster while I'm in there
  • Mtech 2 370mm wheel and restore that

2023 and Beyond

  • RTABs / Diff carrier / Subframe bushes
  • Shifter rebuild
  • Beat on the M20 until it needs a rebuild and stroker 🤣

Looking forward to driving and improving this beauty!

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Edited by Sammo
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I was drooling over the E46 but I’m also drooling over this. 🤤

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8 minutes ago, adro said:

I was drooling over the E46 but I’m also drooling over this. 🤤

Haha - Cheers! Still can't believe I found an M325i, even if she's due a little love.

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20 minutes ago, Sammo said:

Haha - Cheers! Still can't believe I found an M325i, even if she's due a little love.

It was obviously meant to be, and perfect it needs some love, you ( and us)  would get bored otherwise. How good is the engine noise!

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7 minutes ago, adro said:

It was obviously meant to be, and perfect it needs some love, you ( and us)  would get bored otherwise. How good is the engine noise!

So good, a little sewing machiney sometimes which I'll get used to, but theres an underpass not far from my house that sounds insane with the Remus screaming at 6500rpm

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Looks very good for just under 400kms! Would never have guessed.

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8 hours ago, qube said:

Looks very good for just under 400kms! Would never have guessed.

Yup, aside from the seats she’s doing well!

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Sick. This is the one to have! 

As an ex 300km e30 daily  driver, I'd suggest replace every rubber hose.

Clear front and side markers?

I've heard the Mtech steering wheels are very expensive. Why not a period Momo/Sparco ? 

image.png.49dc437ff642e63786a664757ce8d542.png

Will you be daily-ing? 

Look forward to the updates

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@m325i Ahhh yes - per your username!

Will be semi-daily-ing - i.e. driving 2-3 times in week then otherwise for fun whenever I want - I work from home 70% of time now-days and rarely sit in traffic.

Could go clear markers - cheap to see how it looks anyway.

370mm Mtech wheels seem to be in the $800 plus range, yeah, although once you add a boss kit not much difference to a Momo or Nardi.

Without airbags, I'm thinking an Mtech 2 wheel looks like a nicer place to smash my face into than a exposed metal wheel haha

 

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Very nice! Great that you found what you wanted, and great that another E30 is going to be given some love.

Imho Lachs is one of the very best E30 colours but then I’m biased! 
The seats look well worn, but pretty solid, so can be sorted - not sure if that cloth can still be found, I know some of the classic BMW stuff is still around.

Is your Tech I steering wheel original, I thought all the FL M-Sports had the Tech II wheel? If you do change it out you should get a good amount of $$$ back selling the Tech I.

Looking forward to your updates, and seeing in the flesh at a future meet.

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Very nice! Some potential there for sure. 

These BMWs were really peak BMW. The glory days! 

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13 minutes ago, E30 325i Rag-Top said:

Very nice! Great that you found what you wanted, and great that another E30 is going to be given some love.

Imho Lachs is one of the very best E30 colours but then I’m biased! 
The seats look well worn, but pretty solid, so can be sorted - not sure if that cloth can still be found, I know some of the classic BMW stuff is still around.

Is your Tech I steering wheel original, I thought all the FL M-Sports had the Tech II wheel? If you do change it out you should get a good amount of $$$ back selling the Tech I.

Looking forward to your updates, and seeing in the flesh at a future meet.

Yeah, love the colour - the benefits of silver but with a little more depth / interest to it.

Seats could benefit from a little more foam TBH, also a bit 'wobbly'.

I don't think the wheel is original to the car - per the build sheet came with:

 708 - M Technic Leather Sport Steering Wheel II

So will probably refurb the leather on this one (have already ordered a fresh BMW badge and coloured trim piece) in the meantime and put that towards a refurbished 370mm MT2.

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On 12/6/2021 at 8:31 PM, Sammo said:

After about 18 months of failing to get an E30 out of my head, I managed to secure my affordable dream car.

Looking forward to driving and improving

Sammo I think I just made an accident in my nether regions haha this thing is beautiful! Not much to do to get it up to good condition. The maintenance items are all very doable and very affordable :) I do recommend changing your rear trailing arm bushings and diff bushings also, also the front control arm replacements are cheap and well worth the money in terms of how much of an improvement they make having new balljoints and new front rear control arm bushings to boot! these are all things that will make it handle a lot better. With regards to the shocks and springs, the b8 kit coupled with Eibach springs are always a winner! Let me know if you need anything done dude, always happy to help! Also I would replace all your fuel lines whilst you're at it, the rubber would be brittle as at that age if it hasn't been done! 

Edited by E30 325i Rag-Top
Humongous quote reduced
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41 minutes ago, BMTHUG said:

Sammo I think I just made an accident in my nether regions haha this thing is beautiful! Not much to do to get it up to good condition. The maintenance items are all very doable and very affordable :) I do recommend changing your rear trailing arm bushings and diff bushings also, also the front control arm replacements are cheap and well worth the money in terms of how much of an improvement they make having new balljoints and new front rear control arm bushings to boot! these are all things that will make it handle a lot better. With regards to the shocks and springs, the b8 kit coupled with Eibach springs are always a winner! Let me know if you need anything done dude, always happy to help! Also I would replace all your fuel lines whilst your at it, the rubber would be brittle as at that age if it hasn't been done! 

 

6EFC65BD-8B4F-4204-8948-9C719501699D.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, Sammo said:

 

6EFC65BD-8B4F-4204-8948-9C719501699D.jpeg

You will love the rewards you reap from driving it and somehow the financial side won't matter that much :D

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56 minutes ago, BMTHUG said:

Sammo I think I just made an accident in my nether regions haha this thing is beautiful! Not much to do to get it up to good condition. The maintenance items are all very doable and very affordable :) I do recommend changing your rear trailing arm bushings and diff bushings also, also the front control arm replacements are cheap and well worth the money in terms of how much of an improvement they make having new balljoints and new front rear control arm bushings to boot! these are all things that will make it handle a lot better. With regards to the shocks and springs, the b8 kit coupled with Eibach springs are always a winner! Let me know if you need anything done dude, always happy to help! Also I would replace all your fuel lines whilst you're at it, the rubber would be brittle as at that age if it hasn't been done! 

I'll add them to the 'To Do' list

Going to tackle a little DIY over Xmas break (cambelt / valve adhustment) and will bring it to the workshop in the New Year so someone who actually knows what they are doing can give it a once over :)

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4 hours ago, Sammo said:

I'll add them to the 'To Do' list

Going to tackle a little DIY over Xmas break (cambelt / valve adhustment) and will bring it to the workshop in the New Year so someone who actually knows what they are doing can give it a once over :)

This sounds like fun! just let me know when dude :) Make sure the car is sitting overnight when doing valve adjustment. Has to be ice cold ;)

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8 hours ago, Sammo said:

 

6EFC65BD-8B4F-4204-8948-9C719501699D.jpeg

That was the buying part. E30's are cheap to refresh. You may as well drop the whole rear subframe and do all the bushings and brake liines. Weld in eccentric plates\bolts for the subframe are a worth while addition to correct toe out and neg camber from being lowered.  Will certainly pay for its self in time by reducing your tire bill.

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13 hours ago, Eagle said:

That was the buying part. E30's are cheap to refresh. You may as well drop the whole rear subframe and do all the bushings and brake liines. Weld in eccentric plates\bolts for the subframe are a worth while addition to correct toe out and neg camber from being lowered.  Will certainly pay for its self in time by reducing your tire bill.

oh yeah this too Sammo! I've got those kits for toe and camber correction! they're handy 

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12 hours ago, BMTHUG said:

oh yeah this too Sammo! I've got those kits for toe and camber correction! they're handy 

Do you know if they require certification? This is something I need. 

Edited by Cammsport
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11 hours ago, Cammsport said:

Do you know if they require certification? This is something I need. 

as far as I'm aware, no cert is required but I shall double check with LVV today bro 

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11 hours ago, Cammsport said:

Do you know if they require certification? This is something I need. 

Just spoke to my cert guy and his words were "If you can't see it in a wof then you don't need to cert it " hahahahhaha wow. So much for clarification! But he did explain that if there's any cutting of the subframe involved then they wouldn't even cert it but because we're basically just welding a bracket on each side of the existing bracket and dremmeling the existing hole and putting in an eccentric bolt then no cert would be required,. His Words 

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First update after a week or so of ownership and a few 100kms...

First few goodies arrived - A Condor 'Shorty' Shift knob and my new Euro Plates - went with silver 'wings' and really happy with the look at the front, although against the black rear plate frame the lack of contrast on certain angles just looks a bit white - we will see - looks better IRL than in the pictures - its just a lighter silver than I had hoped.

Took her out this morning for a proper country drive out Helensville / Makarau way - it was drizzling and the suspension is tired and tires old so I didn't go nuts but had loads of fun.

Observations:

  • LOVE this exhaust / engine note - Loud raspy wail above 4K / great undulating burble at idle, blipping downshifts sounds fantastic and pops on upshifts and deceleration if you provoke it - so good.
  • Unknown short shifter is nice, got a new shifter cup on way but no need to fiddle here
  • Love the feedback through the wheel and happy with the slower rack (for now at least?) coming from a purple tag E46
  • 100% need to do a suspension refresh - ride is quite hard and bouncy - happy with how flat it is through bends however, so will keep the sways and just change the bushes, maybe add a strut brace given the age
  • More civilised than I expected on the motorway, aside from aforementioned bouncy ride - presumably due to dampers being past it
  • Fixed a bad rattle in drivers door (was worn door hinge pads - a bit of electrical tape and it feels like a bank vault now) - flappy glove box is only other rattle of note now - not bad for such high kms
  • Will also get drivers seat re-foamed when I get it the interior reupholstered and change the seat shocks - too much movement.
  • Stupid easy to get the rear to step out on greasy roads - need a driver upgrade now - almost made a fool of myself in an intersection giving a touch of throttle mid corner - need to learn how an LSD feels?
  • Will leave the old Potenza's on through summer and take it easy in wet - they don't seem bad otherwise, but will leave them for now as need to decide if I'm going to go to 16" or not after I do the suspension.

Stoked with my decision even though the car needs plenty of improvement - feels somewhere between an NA MX5 and the E46 which is exactly what I had hoped.

 

M325i Dec 21-7.jpg

M325i Dec 21-8.jpg

M325i Dec 21-9.jpg

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