December 11, 2013 01:12PM
Bought 1992 BMW 325i Convertible in barely passable condition to pass time. Not my first old convertible. "Never leave anything in cabin secured with doors locked; the easiest way in is with a pocket knife. Use the trunk."

Came back from working overseas and my daughter had dispossessed me of my 6 cyl. Saturn Vue. BMW became 'my car'.

I have passed a lot of time with her. This is a 0 -100 thing... Paid 2000, I am at 20000. 30000 will complete 100% rebuild. Will be worth 30000 then and essentially 2500 until.

She has driven me about 25000 local miles and maybe 10000 cross-country. I drove 3500 miles from Chicago to Houston to Annapolis and back to Chicago over Christmas/New Year with no problems. Icy to semi-tropical to icy conditions.

Replaced w/rebuilt: front end and drive train/rear end assemblies with new bushings, etc. New shocks all around.

R&R brakes, cooling, AC, heater. New Battery, Air temp sensor and fog lights will R&R with new front bumper cover and lower valance protector.

Non-BMW Bluetooth 6 speaker stereo w/adj crossover door dome tweeters (no center or bass kicker, so not 5.1 surround) and Telco/GPS stuff.

R&R engine from ground up, crank good (just polish and new bearings), new pistons/1 over rings for cylinder hone, manifold/valves overhaul, etc. General complete engine overhaul.

Auto Trans works on the road well, but sticks in 1st ONLY until warmed up at two different 'eras' (pre-engine rebuild and post-)
Pre- replaced 3 liters in differential case to clean out jets- worked perfectly until Post-
Post- probably means rebuild tranny due to increased torques? Will try flush again first, of course!

Interior w/leather and complete rebuild of front seats mechanical
Top with Zip-Out rear plastic window
Exterior ding repairs and new paint
Most body gaskets and rubber seals, both lower side trim
R&R driver door lock and squeaking window mechanical
New battery in-dash computer, R&R airbag system, door light switches (shorting, but will include in new remote door lock/alarm/start system
Probably a new wiring harness would be beneficial, if I can find one.

Curiosity- Ran mid-grade 89 octane as requested for BMW 90 octane requirement from Day 1 and got 16 MPG consistently. No engine knocks and no dieseling- I was sold. Found 85 octane mid grade at a highway gas station. so used 93 octane premium. Mileage went from 16 to 33 MPG. Informed octane info source of radical mileage improvement at 2400 MAX RPM, 55 MPH TOP SPEED. Slow speed as remedy for massive blow-by on worn rings 5, 6 spitting 1 qt. oil up to intake every 150 miles. Assumption was octane must equal or exceed 90 octane for best performace and my similar 350ci QuadraJet El Camino MPG experience (13 to 21 MPG) made that believable and quite palatable at overall gas discount cost for octane mileage increase. Rebuilt engine, normal driving and 93 octane premium, but MPG back at 17 MPG. Higher RPM and higher MPH, but still... Will test again 2400 RPM, 55 MPH for 100 miles to check engine rebuild settings.
open | download - 325i.jpg (131.9 KB)
December 12, 2013 04:57AM
Good story, and good car!

You can't figure consumption average out of one tank or only 100 miles, unless you had the means to make very accurate measurements...
December 13, 2013 08:47PM
Sounds like quite a project. I have two E-30 convertibles but not a slim bumper style like yours. If you can make it as nice as you describe, it will be fantastic but would be willing to drive it? I find that I rarely drive my "nice" one because I don't want to get it dirty. The one with the most mileage is what I drive every day. I hope I can continue driving it until I cannot drive any more. :biggrin:

Bob in Everett
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