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Well fellows...

Posted by Andrew 
January 28, 2009 11:42PM
I've decided that I am going to try to sell my current car, I honestly don't think its worth it to invest anymore of my money into it. The real only reason is RUST. Since it came from Ontario this is to be expected I suppose, right now the rust is worse directly under where the drivers feet rest, on the undercarriage of the car. The passenger side was bad too but it has obviously been fixed. Rust really pisses me off, there is also some bubbles underneath the paint on the rear fenders, and screw holes for the rear license plate. Money could be spent I suppose to get rid of it, but from what I understand it will always come back once its started (correct me if I'm wrong), It bothers me a lot to see it, and it is apparent in many small places, like the bolts of my front seats for example, and other little bolts and hardware throughout the car. There are some little issues that I would like to fix but am beginning to think its not worth it. For example the guy that sold me the car took out the 14 button OBC or whatever and installed a 9 button OBC with missing pixels. The ASC on the car will more and more rarely stop working. I believe the alternator bearing needs to be replaced or maybe my alternator needs to be replaced (can a bad bearing affect the performance of the alternator?) because of the noise that comes from it and my electrical components are very affected by each other, or should i say affect my rpms more than it should. One of my washer jets needs to be replaced, the drivers seat needs to be tightened because i can feel it shift a tad when cornering. Oh ya, and recently I had a short with the central locking system, it kept blowing a particular fuse, and I assumed it had something to do with the remote starter that was installed, so I took it back to the guy who installed it, and when I got the car back, and looked at the fuse box, the fuse was gone....... YEP you guessed it, the dumbass hard wired something so now it doesn't need a fuse. When remembering things it dawned on me that it must have all been caused by a short in the trunk lock, because I remembered that it seemed weird it wasn't locking with the rest of the doors, but wasn't sure at the time if it ever did that anyways. So now my locks work fine, except for the trunk lock of course. I was even going to install new shocks and springs...

Bottom line is, is its a 95 325iS with 185,000km, fully loaded except for the downgraded OBC, the interior of the car was re carpeted at some point and is in excellent condition, all black and leather heated seats, the exterior of the car is in ok condition, there is a sharp ding in the driver side door, and some other minor dings, but no scratches, and no rust is actually showing, car also has very new looking OEM rims. I even tinted the windows. Its a damn sexy car in my oppinion, and it drives great, the steering wheel feels nice and tight (but why does the contour of the road make it pull the wheel so easily?), I put in the clutch stop from my old car, and its perfect, the clutch catches as soon as you release it and still shifts great. I'm a very picky person, and rust really bothers me, I'm paranoid about it, and its hard for me to feel completely satisfied with my car when I know it has rust, it just worries me. So right now, I would like to sell it, and I've fallen in love with E36's, (unless someone tempted me with an E30 M3 >grinning smiley<winking smiley I would look for one exactly like mine, black on black, iS, little OEM spoiler on the trunk, same wheels, same everything, BUT it could be newer, 97 or 98 if they made E36's in 98, and I found out that they made a 328 E36, and I think I would love that.

So tell me, am I silly? or can this decision be justified? Sadly I've looked on ebay, and even with prices aside, I haven't found what I want on either ebay, or all the provinces in Canada on kijiji. (I really don't want to pay to import a car, or lose my hair in the process) but I was looking at all places on ebay, not just Canada. Let me know what you all think, unfortunately i don't have any pictures of the rust. If i got answers for my questions that are in brackets, it might help me to weigh the pros and cons of this situation. I hate bombing the board with these long posts, I appreciate your time if you've read this far. Cheers :smile:
January 29, 2009 10:52AM
...its a 95 325iS with 185,000km

I did not know that you could get an E30 in 1995. I thought the latest they made the E30 325is was in 1990 and in 91 you could get an i coupe with sport options, but it would not be labeled as an "is". I also thought that 92 and 93 were the last years for the convertible in the E30 body...so if you have a 95 E30 325is I would repair all the rust and sell it as a collector's item because you have the only one!
January 29, 2009 01:52PM
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wodcutr
...its a 95 325iS with 185,000km

I did not know that you could get an E30 in 1995. I thought the latest they made the E30 325is was in 1990 and in 91 you could get an i coupe with sport options, but it would not be labeled as an "is". I also thought that 92 and 93 were the last years for the convertible in the E30 body...so if you have a 95 E30 325is I would repair all the rust and sell it as a collector's item because you have the only one!

It is an E36. You have all the other dates correct. The last E30 was produced in Jan 1993, and it was a 325iC.


January 29, 2009 04:42PM
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daniel
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wodcutr
...its a 95 325iS with 185,000km

I did not know that you could get an E30 in 1995. I thought the latest they made the E30 325is was in 1990 and in 91 you could get an i coupe with sport options, but it would not be labeled as an "is". I also thought that 92 and 93 were the last years for the convertible in the E30 body...so if you have a 95 E30 325is I would repair all the rust and sell it as a collector's item because you have the only one!

It is an E36. You have all the other dates correct. The last E30 was produced in Jan 1993, and it was a 325iC.

I guess I am a bit confused as to why someone would post a lengthy love-fest about an E36 when this is an E30 forum. I am sure that you could go on to an E36 forum and find a suitable car to buy, if that is what you are after. I too would like to drive a 99 M3 just to see how it compares, but everything I have read points me to putting an S52 into an E30 because nothing handles like the E30. That being said, sell the POS rust bucket and get an E30. A 325is E30 will blow away any stock E36 328. IMO you're on the right forum, just love the wrong car!
January 29, 2009 05:33PM
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wodcutr
why someone would post a lengthy love-fest about an E36 when this is an E30 forum.
Just like Ove, Andrew used to own an E30 and was a long time member of our BEN community before "upgrading" to an E36.
January 30, 2009 12:30AM
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wodcutr
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daniel
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wodcutr
...its a 95 325iS with 185,000km

I did not know that you could get an E30 in 1995. I thought the latest they made the E30 325is was in 1990 and in 91 you could get an i coupe with sport options, but it would not be labeled as an "is". I also thought that 92 and 93 were the last years for the convertible in the E30 body...so if you have a 95 E30 325is I would repair all the rust and sell it as a collector's item because you have the only one!

It is an E36. You have all the other dates correct. The last E30 was produced in Jan 1993, and it was a 325iC.

I guess I am a bit confused as to why someone would post a lengthy love-fest about an E36 when this is an E30 forum. I am sure that you could go on to an E36 forum and find a suitable car to buy, if that is what you are after. I too would like to drive a 99 M3 just to see how it compares, but everything I have read points me to putting an S52 into an E30 because nothing handles like the E30. That being said, sell the POS rust bucket and get an E30. A 325is E30 will blow away any stock E36 328. IMO you're on the right forum, just love the wrong car!

He posts here because he used to post here in the past, and feels comfortable sharing his car woes with us rather than some e36 forum where he doesnt know anyone (of which there really isn't an e36 specific one, most people just use bimmerforums which is HUGE).

if someone wants to ask a non-e30-specific question here in the technical section, they are more than welcome to, but they can't expect to get a solid answer from people who know primarily about e30s. with that said, this particular thread is more of an advice thread, not a technical problem thread.


January 30, 2009 03:31AM
Haha well, I'm glad we got some clarification on things... I'm surprised by the "hate" for an e36 lol, have you ever driven an E36 wodcutr? You might like it. Personally I think my E36 325iS performs better in every way compared to my 88 325, I guess thats not a fair comparison though since my 325 wasn't an iS, and the shocks couldn't have been worse lol. I'm surprised by what you said about one blowing a stock 328iS out of the water, and interested to know what "upgrades" could be done to the 328iS to change this. I suppose if you're talking about cornering speeds its just simple physics and the lighter car will always have more potential for that, unless there are significant differences in the width of the car, and width of the tires etc. Driving an e36 has kind of opened my eyes a bit, just because I use to feel like E30's were the bomb and everything else was shit. After driving one for a while though I noticed like you will with any BMW the attention to detail and began to see the newer car as just that, a newer car, a progression of technology and continued development. Even the body style which I though to be quite plain and boring at first really grew on me. I will always love E30's, and their classic style, I really love the separated head lamps, and the size of the kidney grill, an E30 M3 will always be my favourite. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the dash in E36's, I think they took design a little too far, and sacrificed some practicality..... For example, I really miss the robust, and consistently sized air vents that migrated from the driver to passenger size. Damn thats another thing, I don't think my blower performance is what it should be, but I only say that because the blower in my E30 was very strong, in comparison to most cars my blower is fine. Could someone tell me though why there is no difference between my 1 and 2 setting? The other thing I have a BIG complaint about is how in the E36, the feet, window, and dash fan control is ONE knob, this really limits your possible combinations, but is not as limiting as GM cars where recirculate only works in certain positions GRR! but for example I can split, window and feet, window and dash, and feet and dash, that is it. In the E30 you can control the out put independently for, feet, window, and dash, meaning you can make any possible combination your heart desires, SO i consider this a considerable design flaw in the newer E36. I appreciate how my rear seats fold down though, and I appreciate my front seats having 5 different adjustments, having a constantly charged BMW light in my glove compartment is a nice treat too, but I'm sure many of these things I am talking about were available in the newer E30's.

Maybe I will go to an E36 board, I've been kind of feeling like an outsider here, no offence intended, but I can't expect to have serious conversations about an E36 on an E30 board, its asking a lot of you guys.
January 30, 2009 09:56AM
Andrew - I hope you have not been offended by my posts. I just assumed it would be fairly difficult for you to get much help from the people that frequent this forum on any E36 issue as we are not familiar with those cars. That being said I actually like the looks of the E36 body better than the E30 except from the front. I have never driven an E36, but from what I understand they are clumsy feeling compared to the E30. This is probably due to the increased weight and size of the car as well as the pollution restrictions on the motors. That is why an E30 325is can blow away an E36 328 even though the 328 has more HP. I know this because I have gone head to head with one and was very surprised that it couldn't keep up. The interesting thing is that my car is an automatic and the only thing I have done to it is put a Dinan chip in it. I also have read numerous times that people that have owned an E30 and "upgraded" to an E36 have been greatly disappointed for having done so. This may not be the case with you, but the reason is because the E30 is a real enthusiasts car in that it is so well balanced and the feel of the road is transfered to the driver in such a way that the car almost tells you what it wants. My only complaint with the E30 is that in some situations it is under powered. I think this is why there are so many people that do motor swaps with these cars. The E36 just doesn't feel the same on the road. Yes, the E36 may be a bit more refined, but that is not what I am really looking for...I want to feel the road and hear the noise. It is part of the experience! The other thing I like about the E30 is that it is not so mechanically complex that I am able to wrench on it. I once had a looksy under the hood of a 328 and could not believe how they crammed that motor in there. What a nightmare to even change a spark plug. I am not trying to convince you to go back to the E30 as this may not be what you really need, but for me my toy is just that, a toy, and every time I drive it it puts a smile on my face. If I had to drive it every day I might want something a bit more refined, but for now my 325is gives me great pleasure and if I ever do put an s52 in it I will probably regret doing so as my license will be suspended! Anyhow, my sport seats adjust six ways too and they are not electric which means quick adjustments and no motors to fix. I hope you can find a solution for your problem. Right now is a great time to find a good deal on a car...not a good time to sell though. I hate rust too, so what ever you end up doing make sure that it is rust free. Later!
January 30, 2009 12:09PM
The e36 suspensions are more advanced than the e30 suspensions. for example. the e36 has a fully-independent rear suspension instead of the trailing arms that the e30 has. i would bet that a stock e36 stays a lot flatter around corners than a stock e30, due to different springs and bigger sway bars. steering racks in the e36 are 20% to 25% faster than e30 racks. those things will definitely change the feel of a car.


January 30, 2009 02:22PM
I'm not even here for the E30 info, I'm staying because of the people and the atmosphere on the forums, even though we have to change them once in a while.
January 30, 2009 02:27PM
Looks like we share the same likes and dislikes for the E36.

A thing that is not available on the E30's is the recirculation, but I would only use that in tunnels, which I usually don't encounter on my journeys.
January 30, 2009 03:41PM
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Michiel 318iS
Looks like we share the same likes and dislikes for the E36.

A thing that is not available on the E30's is the recirculation, but I would only use that in tunnels, which I usually don't encounter on my journeys.

I guess maybe that was an option...I have the 'recirc' button right below the snow flake. Maybe it was part of the A/C option?
January 30, 2009 06:05PM
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Archeo-peteriX
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Michiel 318iS
Looks like we share the same likes and dislikes for the E36.

A thing that is not available on the E30's is the recirculation, but I would only use that in tunnels, which I usually don't encounter on my journeys.

I guess maybe that was an option...I have the 'recirc' button right below the snow flake. Maybe it was part of the A/C option?

i do too. i don't know when i am supposed to use it, though.


January 30, 2009 06:08PM
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Archeo-peteriX
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Michiel 318iS
Looks like we share the same likes and dislikes for the E36.

A thing that is not available on the E30's is the recirculation, but I would only use that in tunnels, which I usually don't encounter on my journeys.

I guess maybe that was an option...I have the 'recirc' button right below the snow flake. Maybe it was part of the A/C option?

Could be, I have never seen one without it, but I don't know if they ever even offered a non-AC car in the US. I have certainly never seen an e30 in the US without AC. I have seen e21s though.

Anyway, the e36 is nice, and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how much fun the '99 M3 was. I drove a '95 and was very unimpressed (however, I think the clutch may have been slipping) so I had very low expectations for the '99 when I drove it. Plus I was getting out of a 545i that I thought would have made the '99 seem slow, but it still felt great. Pulled hard, handled well and was a lot of fun to drive.

BTW, with e36's you need to check the rear subframes as they have a tendency to loosen up and will either become distorted or tear completely out of the body. If you drive them hard you need to get under there and torque them once in a while to prevent this. Always check it when purchasing. Also, the coupes have a healthy appetite for window regulators and the screens on the OBC have a tendency to fail.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2009 06:09PM by Andy 90 325i.
January 30, 2009 06:54PM
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daniel
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Archeo-peteriX
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Michiel 318iS
Looks like we share the same likes and dislikes for the E36.

A thing that is not available on the E30's is the recirculation, but I would only use that in tunnels, which I usually don't encounter on my journeys.

I guess maybe that was an option...I have the 'recirc' button right below the snow flake. Maybe it was part of the A/C option?

i do too. i don't know when i am supposed to use it, though.

When you are stuck behind an old Hyundai Pony or a VW Rabbit diesel...the recirc closes off outside air from the ventilation system.
January 30, 2009 06:55PM
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Andy 90 325i
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Archeo-peteriX
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Michiel 318iS
Looks like we share the same likes and dislikes for the E36.

A thing that is not available on the E30's is the recirculation, but I would only use that in tunnels, which I usually don't encounter on my journeys.

I guess maybe that was an option...I have the 'recirc' button right below the snow flake. Maybe it was part of the A/C option?

Could be, I have never seen one without it, but I don't know if they ever even offered a non-AC car in the US. I have certainly never seen an e30 in the US without AC. I have seen e21s though.

Anyway, the e36 is nice, and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how much fun the '99 M3 was. I drove a '95 and was very unimpressed (however, I think the clutch may have been slipping) so I had very low expectations for the '99 when I drove it. Plus I was getting out of a 545i that I thought would have made the '99 seem slow, but it still felt great. Pulled hard, handled well and was a lot of fun to drive.

BTW, with e36's you need to check the rear subframes as they have a tendency to loosen up and will either become distorted or tear completely out of the body. If you drive them hard you need to get under there and torque them once in a while to prevent this. Always check it when purchasing. Also, the coupes have a healthy appetite for window regulators and the screens on the OBC have a tendency to fail.

Rick and Ove are/were suitably impressed with their E36 Ti models thumbs up
January 30, 2009 07:08PM
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Andy 90 325i
BTW, with e36's you need to check the rear subframes as they have a tendency to loosen up and will either become distorted or tear completely out of the body. If you drive them hard you need to get under there and torque them once in a while to prevent this. Always check it when purchasing. Also, the coupes have a healthy appetite for window regulators and the screens on the OBC have a tendency to fail.

i've heard this only effects the 92-95 model e36s.


January 30, 2009 07:44PM
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daniel

i've heard this only effects the 92-95 model e36s.

Could be, I'm not really sure. Or maybe they are just a lot more common in those years because they are older...
rkj
January 30, 2009 10:44PM
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Andrew
I've decided that I am going to try to sell my current car, I honestly don't think its worth it to invest anymore of my money into it. The real only reason is RUST. Since it came from Ontario this is to be expected I suppose, right now the rust is worse directly under where the drivers feet rest, on the undercarriage of the car. The passenger side was bad too but it has obviously been fixed. Rust really pisses me off, there is also some bubbles underneath the paint on the rear fenders, and screw holes for the rear license plate. Money could be spent I suppose to get rid of it, but from what I understand it will always come back once its started (correct me if I'm wrong), It bothers me a lot to see it, and it is apparent in many small places, like the bolts of my front seats for example, and other little bolts and hardware throughout the car. There are some little issues that I would like to fix but am beginning to think its not worth it. For example the guy that sold me the car took out the 14 button OBC or whatever and installed a 9 button OBC with missing pixels. The ASC on the car will more and more rarely stop working. I believe the alternator bearing needs to be replaced or maybe my alternator needs to be replaced (can a bad bearing affect the performance of the alternator?) because of the noise that comes from it and my electrical components are very affected by each other, or should i say affect my rpms more than it should. One of my washer jets needs to be replaced, the drivers seat needs to be tightened because i can feel it shift a tad when cornering. Oh ya, and recently I had a short with the central locking system, it kept blowing a particular fuse, and I assumed it had something to do with the remote starter that was installed, so I took it back to the guy who installed it, and when I got the car back, and looked at the fuse box, the fuse was gone....... YEP you guessed it, the dumbass hard wired something so now it doesn't need a fuse. When remembering things it dawned on me that it must have all been caused by a short in the trunk lock, because I remembered that it seemed weird it wasn't locking with the rest of the doors, but wasn't sure at the time if it ever did that anyways. So now my locks work fine, except for the trunk lock of course. I was even going to install new shocks and springs...

Bottom line is, is its a 95 325iS with 185,000km, fully loaded except for the downgraded OBC, the interior of the car was re carpeted at some point and is in excellent condition, all black and leather heated seats, the exterior of the car is in ok condition, there is a sharp ding in the driver side door, and some other minor dings, but no scratches, and no rust is actually showing, car also has very new looking OEM rims. I even tinted the windows. Its a damn sexy car in my oppinion, and it drives great, the steering wheel feels nice and tight (but why does the contour of the road make it pull the wheel so easily?), I put in the clutch stop from my old car, and its perfect, the clutch catches as soon as you release it and still shifts great. I'm a very picky person, and rust really bothers me, I'm paranoid about it, and its hard for me to feel completely satisfied with my car when I know it has rust, it just worries me. So right now, I would like to sell it, and I've fallen in love with E36's, (unless someone tempted me with an E30 M3 >grinning smiley<winking smiley I would look for one exactly like mine, black on black, iS, little OEM spoiler on the trunk, same wheels, same everything, BUT it could be newer, 97 or 98 if they made E36's in 98, and I found out that they made a 328 E36, and I think I would love that.

So tell me, am I silly? or can this decision be justified? Sadly I've looked on ebay, and even with prices aside, I haven't found what I want on either ebay, or all the provinces in Canada on kijiji. (I really don't want to pay to import a car, or lose my hair in the process) but I was looking at all places on ebay, not just Canada. Let me know what you all think, unfortunately i don't have any pictures of the rust. If i got answers for my questions that are in brackets, it might help me to weigh the pros and cons of this situation. I hate bombing the board with these long posts, I appreciate your time if you've read this far. Cheers :smile:

Hey Andrew

Glad to see you here smileys with beer

Rust is always a tough thing to keep up with, sometimes It is easier and wiser to start fresh rather than staying with a non stop project. There is a difference between normal floor rust and structural members that are getting unsafe though. My advice is to go over that car of yours with a pointed hammer and make sure you tap test around spring perches and structural ares like that and make a real and honest call on the car first.

I bought a 1997 318ti stick for my daughter and we fell in love with it (I'm a long standing lover of 2002's and have owned many, one tii also). While looking for her car I got a chance to drive a few E36 325is cars, I liked them very much too. Non of them sat as nice as the thirty but I'm sure I could fix that! with a good recaro seat...

As far as ebay is concerned Its always going to be a crap shoot there, I'd much rather buy a car from a private party (with a car fax) and be able to look the car over in person. It sounds like your car is still viable for the short term so if you determine the rust is overwhelming that will give you a chance to find something clean. One good trick is a small magnet wrapped in a cloth to test for plastic on perspective buys, you don't want it too powerful or its too hard to tell whats under the paint!

In any event it is neat to see you back and hope you'll stick around no matter what you drive smiling bouncing smiley

Cheers, Rick
January 31, 2009 07:51PM
Personally I like this board because it does not have 10,000 members...

wodcutr:
I can't say that I feel any more clumsy in my car then I did in my E30, I think part of the reason I'm so impressed with the one I have now is because before I just had a 88 325, not an i, so now, I drive a car that sits lower to the ground, and has 65 more hp. but alas I still here the road lol, I would prefer not to hear the road really, I'm sure if I re did all of the doors rubber it would make a difference. I do agree about the motor though, it fills up the engine bay much more than the motor in my E30 did, but it is a dohc motor, and I like seeing BMW's efforts of pushing back the motor as far as possible. I haven't actually even looked at where I would change my spark plugs. Now you said maybe they drive bulkier because of their weight. I think if you drove one you would be surprised to see how similar the cars are in size, and weight. About a E30 325i smoking an e36 328iS, I guess I still don't understand, if you look at published specs it actually does a faster 0-60 time, and higher top speed. I think they are close enough to be competitive, I guess I just have a problem with "blow away" but i guess you did go head to head with one and I should probably take that as more concrete evidence than some silly numbers, which is too bad because I also read that the e36 has a closer 50/50 weight ratio.

All else:
Unfortunately its winter, i don't think I'll be tapping my body with a hammer anytime soon, until it warms up lol. I gave up on finding an E30 before I got the one I have now, because the guy that i was going to buy it from flaked out on me, also people are too attached to E30's and want too much money for them, and its pretty much impossible to find one in the price range I'm looking in that has under 150,000miles and thanks for the advice Andy and Rick, its much appreciated.
February 01, 2009 12:20PM
Andrew - To be "blown away" is obviously not a definable viewpoint based on an individuals personal biases. That being said to go head to head with another car that is supposed to be superior in every way to the one I am driving can be blown away if beaten by only a car length IMO. That was not the case with my so called race as I was at least five car lengths ahead when I reached 100 mph and let up. As we all know drivers can make a big difference in how a race turns out too. Maybe the guy in the 328 did not max out his rpm's sufficiently or get a good start or maybe he just didn't have the balls to push it I can not say. All I know is that the 328 was slower than my E30 at that point. I can not discuss how an E36 drives or feels as I have not had occasion to get behind the wheel, so trying to convince each other that one is superior to another at this point seems futile. I also looked up some specs for each vehicle and derived that the 328 has only 7 more HP than my chipped 325is. The E30 weighs in about 500 lbs less than the 328. I suppose that if we had raced a longer distance the 328 would have been able to catch up with its higher top speed, but I let up. I guess the thing I like the most about my cars are that they are more affordable than the newer ones. I can have two nice E30s for the price of a nice E36, not that I need two cars (I have 4 E30s). My point is they are half the cost and a better value IMO. I could be wrong, but I believe that cost is a huge factor when deciding to have affordable fun. Any how it is good to hear your POV and interested in what you end up doing. If you are wanting a good E30 maybe I can let one of mine go!!!
February 04, 2009 11:19PM
Well unless you've dyno'd your car I guess you don't know what your actual HP gain from a chip is, and I think it would be more fair to compare your car to a chipped 328iS, I would never do it because I don't want to pay for premium gasoline, or even gasoline additives to make it a higher octane. I wasn't trying to convince anyone that an E36 was better, but I have a problem with someone saying an E30 is who hasn't driven an E36. Tell me more about your car that you say you might be able to let go smiling smiley
February 05, 2009 10:05AM
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dwonda
Well unless you've dyno'd your car I guess you don't know what your actual HP gain from a chip is, and I think it would be more fair to compare your car to a chipped 328iS, I would never do it because I don't want to pay for premium gasoline, or even gasoline additives to make it a higher octane. I wasn't trying to convince anyone that an E36 was better, but I have a problem with someone saying an E30 is who hasn't driven an E36. Tell me more about your car that you say you might be able to let go smiling smiley

My car has not been dyno'd, but I think that a reputable chip maker like Dinan wouldn't lie about their chip and publish false numbers of cars they did dyno. Besides the HP gain is only 15 so IMO that is pretty conservative compared to what other chips claim. As far as paying for premium fuel I believe you should be putting that in anyway, especially in the summer and on a higher mileage engine. I think that for three extra dollars per fill up it is worth it...skip the coffee for a day and invest in something good for your car. Also, I do not think you would be interested in any of my E30s so I won't waist my breath or time telling you about them. It sounds to me that you are convinced the 328 is the way to go and I support you in your endeavour. I am curious as to why you have two user names - dwonda and Andrew? Am I talking to the same person?
February 05, 2009 10:34AM
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wodcutr
As far as paying for premium fuel I believe you should be putting that in anyway, especially in the summer and on a higher mileage engine. I think that for three extra dollars per fill up it is worth it...skip the coffee for a day and invest in something good for your car.
There is nothing inherently "good" about higher octane fuel. Higher octane fuel is needed to prevent pinging in high-compression engines, or if timing is advanced (as in an aftermarket chip). If your engine does not ping with lower octane fuel, paying for premium fuel is doing exactly nothing for your car. You might was well take that extra three dollars and throw it in the street, or better yet buy that coffee.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
February 05, 2009 11:08AM
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Dave_G
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wodcutr
As far as paying for premium fuel I believe you should be putting that in anyway, especially in the summer and on a higher mileage engine. I think that for three extra dollars per fill up it is worth it...skip the coffee for a day and invest in something good for your car.
There is nothing inherently "good" about higher octane fuel. Higher octane fuel is needed to prevent pinging in high-compression engines, or if timing is advanced (as in an after market chip). If your engine does not ping with lower octane fuel, paying for premium fuel is doing exactly nothing for your car. You might was well take that extra three dollars and throw it in the street, or better yet buy that coffee.

I have a high compression snowmobile motor that I just burned up because I was stupid and did not add high octane race fuel in with the premium pump fuel. The designer of the motor said that although the motor was designed to run on straight premium pump gas, it is always better to have at least 20% of the race fuel just in case. Now I know that our E30s have a computer that can compensate for lower octane fuel, but I say that I am not willing to run the risk of doing damage to a motor, especially when it is 100+ degrees outside in the summer. I am also willing to bet that if you conducted an experiment on your own car that you would get better gas mileage with the premium than with regular. I think it is very interesting that I am getting 25 mpg consistently on a chipped car and most everyone else gets 21 or 22. That being said our E30s do not have knock sensors to even allow the computer to adjust for pinging. It is the same concept as using synthetic oil instead of dino juice. Are you going to tell me that I am waisting my money using Mobile one? The added protection is worth the money and so is premium. Give your old tired out motor the octane it deserves. The Bavarian Fire God will smile down upon you!!
February 05, 2009 12:17PM
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wodcutr
I have a high compression snowmobile motor that I just burned up because I was stupid and did not add high octane race fuel
The key is "high compression". I have friends with race cars that only use leaded 110 octane race fuel for the same reason. That has little to do with our E30s, though.
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I am also willing to bet that if you conducted an experiment on your own car that you would get better gas mileage with the premium than with regular.
I would win that bet. I've done it in my E30, and it did not affect mileage at all.
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It is the same concept as using synthetic oil instead of dino juice. Are you going to tell me that I am waisting my money using Mobile one?
Apples and oranges -- It's not the same concept at all. The oil in your crankcase has nothing to do with the octane of the fuel in the cylinders. I'm not going to tell you you're wasting money on Mobil 1, because I use it myself, for the same reason as you.
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Give your old tired out motor the octane it deserves. The Bavarian Fire God will smile down upon you!!
"Deserve" doesn't enter into it -- the engine either knocks or it doesn't. If it knocks, use higher octane. What damage do you believe will happen to a motor running on 87 octane that will not happen to one using 91 octane, when the engine is running at the same temperature, and is not knocking?

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
February 05, 2009 03:47PM
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dwonda
I wasn't trying to convince anyone that an E36 was better, but I have a problem with someone saying an E30 is who hasn't driven an E36.
A friend of mine liked my 86 325e so much that he went out and bought a similar 85 325e. The problem was I'd already spent a lot of money on mine in bodywork, replacing springs, shocks, suspension bushings etc. His still needed all that, and it was quite rusty in spots, and he couldn't afford to fix everything. So he eventually got rid of his E30 and bought an E36 328i instead.

The 328i has a much stronger engine than the 325e, which only makes about 120hp on a good day. But the E36 feels like a much bigger and heavier car than the E30.

The power and stability of the E36 probably makes it a much better highspeed track car, but it seems to lack the agility and nimbleness of the lighter E30 which is what I really like about my car.

I'm convinced my E30 would walk all over an E36 on winter rally roads using non-studded tires. But I'm equally convinced the E36 would beat me on most dry track race circuits.
February 05, 2009 03:49PM
Dave - the idea here is to not give the motor an opportunity to knock. If your motor starts knocking then there is damage being done. Most people have their music turned up loud and would be totally oblivious as to whether or not the motor is knocking. I will admit that the higher the temp outside the greater the probability for knocking so winter is not totally necessarily premium time. As far as my high compression snowmobile motor burning up not being a relative matter, I say that the high compression had nothing to do with melting the piston and it had everything to do with a fuel mixture being too lean. A higher octane fuel not only burns cooler but also cleaner and helps disperse the heat better within the combustion chamber. There is a difference between 85 and 91 octane fuel. The computer has to adjust to burn each one properly. If there wasn't a difference then why make premium? I guess it is just another ploy that the oil companies use to sucker us for a few bucks more. I don't think so. If you want better performance from your motor use premium. The computer adjusts to give you better performance. As far as you testing for better mileage it needs to be done for at least a month so you can average out your dally trips better. One tank will not give you much of anything as your computer is still adjusting during that time frame. I know you think I am a fool discussing this matter. I have read many such discussions from the old BEN forum and I can only tell you that this is my personal experience. I could be wrong, but I can not argue against what the past has shown me. If I did, I would go insane. That is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Experience is everything. I am of the mindset that prevention of a problem is better than treating symptoms. Knocking is a symptom...91 octane fuel is prevention!
February 05, 2009 04:35PM
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wodcutr
There is a difference between 85 and 91 octane fuel. If there wasn't a difference then why make premium?

Octane rating is a measure of the fuel's resistance to self-igniting. If subjected to high enough pressure and/or temperature the fuel will flash into flame all by itself, before the spark plug fires. That causes a very sudden spike in the cylinder pressure which will very likely damage pistons or connecting rods, as opposed to the normal smooth buildup of pressure resulting from firing the spark plug at exactly the correct moment to achieve a controlled burn.

Engines deliberately designed to run at higher cylinder pressures/temperatures, either because of higher compression ratios or supercharging, require the use of higher octane fuels to prevent "knocking" or "pre-ignition". These engines make more power because of their high-compression design or high pressure turbocharging or supercharging. The use of higher octane fuel permits these high compression engines to run without fear of pre-ignition. It is not the higher octane fuel that is creating the extra power, it is the higher compression ratio of the engine that's making more power but requires high octane fuel to prevent knocking.

Low compression engines designed to run happily on 87 octane fuel experience no power benefit whatsoever from running more expensive and higher than necessary octane rated fuels.

A poorly tuned engine though with too much carbon buildup in the combustion chamber, or an engine with the cylinder head shaved down too much, or a "chipped" engine running advanced spark timing, will be operating at higher than designed cylinder pressures and will experience engine knock, pinging, pre-ignition, or detonation, all of which can be "cured" by using higher octane fuel.

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The computer has to adjust to burn each one properly.

Modern engines with knock sensors will automatically adjust fuel and ignition mapping to accommodate fuels of different octane levels. If you run a Subaru STi on low octane fuel, it will automatically retard the ignition timing and richen the fuel mixture to prevent knocking. In that case, yes, there is a very noticeable drop in engine power and an increase in fuel consumption when running a too low octane fuel. Similarly there is a noticeable increase in power and improvement in fuel mileage when using the proper highest octane fuel.
February 05, 2009 06:08PM
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Ferdinand
The use of higher octane fuel permits these high compression engines to run without fear of pre-ignition. It is not the higher octane fuel that is creating the extra power, it is the higher compression ratio of the engine that's making more power but requires high octane fuel to prevent knocking.

In the case of my snowmobile motor the higher octane fuel also helps keep the piston cooler by burning at a lower temperature, but at a higher compression. The reason the motor burned or melted a piston was not from pre-ignition, but rather a too lean mixture caused by cold intake air temperatures resulting in more oxygen available to burn and not enough fuel to keep the piston cold enough to not melt it. The higher octane fuel means less is required in the mix to get ignition. I could be wrong on this as I am not an expert on two cycle motors, but I believe that that is what is taking place.

Low compression engines designed to run happily on 87 octane fuel experience no power benefit whatsoever from running more expensive and higher than necessary octane rated fuels.

I am not talking about the benefits of power so to speak, that is why you need to chip a car to take advantage of any potential power in the fuel. The advantage in running premium is the anti knock characteristics of the fuel. An old tired engine has looser tolerances than a new one and therefor is more prone to knocking.

A poorly tuned engine though with too much carbon buildup in the combustion chamber, or an engine with the cylinder head shaved down too much, or a "chipped" engine running advanced spark timing, will be operating at higher than designed cylinder pressures and will experience engine knock, pinging, pre-ignition, or detonation, all of which can be "cured" by using higher octane fuel.

Agreed!

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The computer has to adjust to burn each one properly.

Modern engines with knock sensors will automatically adjust fuel and ignition mapping to accommodate fuels of different octane levels. If you run a Subaru STi on low octane fuel, it will automatically retard the ignition timing and richen the fuel mixture to prevent knocking. In that case, yes, there is a very noticeable drop in engine power and an increase in fuel consumption when running a too low octane fuel. Similarly there is a noticeable increase in power and improvement in fuel mileage when using the proper highest octane fuel.

So what you are saying is that because there are no knock sensors in our motors the ECU does not adjust the fuel mixture or retard the timing. I believe it does, just not to the extent that a more modern engine would. What I am getting at is that our computers certainly do have the capability of adjusting fuel consumption for better or worse economy based on the input from the O2 sensor. Too rich and it leans out the mixture increasing mileage. Higher octane fuel does make the mixture richer does it not?
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