So a guy I know wrecked his 1987 325is coupe last spring.
My car is a 1989 325i 4 door.

There are some really obvious "gotchas" when it comes to incompatible parts. Doors are different, bumpers are different, tail lights are different. Any number of things that on quick inspect prove to be incompatible.

So I have a few questions:
1. What parts if any look compatible, but really aren't? We're talking the difference between an 87 and an 89, as well as 'is' vs 'i'.

2. With front end damage, what are some parts that you wouldn't think would be damaged, but usually are? I have no experience with wrecked cars, or what gets damaged in the event.

Right now I'm sort of looking at the following parts:
Seats (sport)
speakers (front)
afm
icv
tps
fuel pump
entire exhaust system

Thoughts? Any tips from experience (or something you heard once from some guy) would be greatly appreciated!

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

I realized I could get a break down of the entire car from you guys, and that's not really waht I'm looking for :-)
Basically, if I can't pull it in 30 minutes, I'm not looking to buy it (except for the exhaust). If it's not in the engine compartment, or on the inside of the car, I'm not looking to buy it.

I took a few pictures. I'll post them for the fun of it smiling smiley
I'm going to check the car over later, but I found at least 4 wasp nests as big as my fist, all located around where I might like to put my hand.

I'm sure I'll come up with a few more things, but I didn't so much as dare sit in the car until I can rid myself of a few wasps...









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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

the one thing you don't mention is the LSD. i would nab that.

other than that, maybe the steering wheel if its in good shape? trunk spoiler? cruise control? you could probably buy several things you don't need and resell them for a decent profit.


Quote
daniel
the one thing you don't mention is the LSD. i would nab that.

other than that, maybe the steering wheel if its in good shape? trunk spoiler? cruise control? you could probably buy several things you don't need and resell them for a decent profit.

Thank you! I didn't think of the LSD eye popping smiley
What are the chances of the engine getting hit > transmission > drive shaft > diff ? probably the impact wouldn't translate that well... Until I get the hood off, I won't really know how bad the wreck was. I do know that the two passengers didn't go to the hospital and only suffered a bruise or two. I do need to repalce my back axles eventually, so putting a new diff in almost makes it easier...

How hard are the spoilers to self remove/install? I would have thought that was factory attached to the trunk pretty good.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
The spoiler is bolted, easy. When cars get smacked up, even small hits, its anybodies guess what gets bent up. It doesn't take much to bend an axle. A lot of things are different between the early and late 2.5 cars so be careful, they might look the same but there are small differences.
the spoiler is a piece of cake to remove if you have the right socket (10mm?) and maybe a short extension. then if the paint is bad, you can paint it black like i did smiling smiley



Hi,
afm: this is a controversial part! It either bolts straight in, or you need to adjust it depending on which mechanic you speak to (also with the same mechanic, depends which day you speak to them!)
icv: they changed from a straight through to a 90 degree bend design at some point. it'll be really obvious
fuel pump: design got changed from 2 pumps to 1 at some stage. Again this'll be really obvious.

Hope this helps,
Simon
Thanks for the tips, guys!

I went back down to the car again together, this time armed with brake cleaner (kills wasps in 3 seconds, dries in 4!), but forgot the crowbar...dangit.
So I didn't get into the hood, but I did get the VIN number, and spent some time on RealOEM. It looks like the Axles and Differential are exactly the same. But his is an LCD, and his axle boots haven't been cracked for 2 years (unlike mine).

The Sports seats confuse me...
there are 2 levers and a knob on the side. The knob I figured out, and one lever adjusts the angle of the backrest. I can't figure out what the 3rd one does?

I'm assuming that regular Sports seats are a bolt in operation for my car. However does it matter that he has a 2 door and mine is a 4? Outside of having the less useful fold up seat feature, that is.
Actually, I noticed that the seat belt anchors to the floor differently. On mine it goes into the seat, on his it attaches to a bar that allows it to slide forwards/backwards. Anyone know what's up with this? I really want his seats thumbs up

Anyone know how hard it is to install a front windshield vs a back window? I've installed a new back on mine, and though it was a pita, it was doable. How does the front compare? Maybe I'll start a new thread on this one...

His exhaust system looks pretty good, and again OEM shows it as being a direct match.

He has pretty new Bilsteins on the car. But with the wreck I don't know if I want to go there.

There is also a 3 spoke steering wheel I could nab. Mine is a 4. I'd ask which is better, but people would probably tell me it's a matter of opinion. So I'll cut that out and just ask for your personal opinion smiling smiley
Perhaps another thread here is in order... Oh well, it's not like BENN is swamped or anything these days smileys with beer

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Quote
Earendil
The Sports seats confuse me...
there are 2 levers and a knob on the side. The knob I figured out, and one lever adjusts the angle of the backrest. I can't figure out what the 3rd one does?
The rear lever adjusts the angle of the backrest if you pull it up, but it also adjust the height of the seat bottom if you push it down.

The forward lever adjusts the angle of the entire seat, bottom and back together, when it is pushed down.
Quote

I'm assuming that regular Sports seats are a bolt in operation for my car. However does it matter that he has a 2 door and mine is a 4? Outside of having the less useful fold up seat feature, that is.
Actually, I noticed that the seat belt anchors to the floor differently. On mine it goes into the seat, on his it attaches to a bar that allows it to slide forwards/backwards. Anyone know what's up with this? I really want his seats thumbs up
The 2-door seats fit in a 4-door just fine. That's what I have in mine. The seat belt attachment might be a problem, though. I don't know if the belt attachment will also transfer. I suspect it probably would, and given the other goodies in the car, it's probably worth a try.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
hey i mentioned the steering wheel. it is the m-tech 1 wheel. definitely worth more than your 4-spoke wheel, although whether you like it more or not is, as you say, subjective.


rkj
I like the 3spoker wheel, its leather so it's much nicer that way, but it is fat. If you have small hands you might find the standard wheel fits better. When I finally found an E30 hub for my Nardi I was really glad; wood is wonderful B)
I grabbed the 3 spoke wheel and installed (in like 2 minutes flat, that was way too easy).
I like it. I don't have "big" hands, but I have long hands, and the larger grip is nice. The leather also makes palming the car easier, especially when I don't have power steering winking smiley

I'm looking over parts I pulled off today, like the ICV and AMF. If they look good, and test out with the multimeter, I'll probably install them and see how my car runs with this.

The big question I'm still contemplating is the rear diff and axles.
I'm thinking about pulling it off as one piece, and then installing it on my car as one piece. His car has a hundred thousand fewer miles than mine, and his axle boots are in good shape. This also makes the eventual axle swap a lot easier I think. I just don't know what kind of damage these could have sustained in a front end collision...

At least I know the car. If they are damaged I can just hand them back to him. I'd rather not spend a few days swapping parts though if I can help it winking smiley

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Quote
Earendil


The big question I'm still contemplating is the rear diff and axles.
I'm thinking about pulling it off as one piece, and then installing it on my car as one piece. His car has a hundred thousand fewer miles than mine, and his axle boots are in good shape. This also makes the eventual axle swap a lot easier I think. I just don't know what kind of damage these could have sustained in a front end collision...

I don't think you can pull the differential without removing at least one axle. It isn't a big deal, though. The hardest part is climbing out from under the car repeatedly to rotate the wheel and set the parking brake so you can get to all the CV bolts.

I saw the fancy OBC in the photos. You should grab the turn signal switch that goes with it. That's a good part to have anyway, since they get used a lot and eventually die.

How about the wheels? Does it have the BBS wheels? Did any of them get bent in the wreck? Even if it doesn't have the fancy wheels, you might find a really nice bottlecap wheel in the spare tire well. I bought one at the boneyard last week that looked like it hadn't been used more that a couple of times for $26.00. An extra wheel could come in handy if you hit a curb.

John
Thanks for the response. I intend to grab the OBC switch. The OBC I'd only grab if I wanted to resell it because I just upgraded my own to an 11btn this spring.

As for the wheels... I'm no performance guru, so if you mean wheels that "look" like these, than yes.


The thing is they are 4 lug 14" wheels. One of those things I hope to someday do, if I want to go with performance/looks/ease, is to upgrade to a 5 lug hub and put some 15" on there. So the wheels would only be a hold over... Still, I may ask what he intends to sell them for.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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Earendil
The thing is they are 4 lug 14" wheels. One of those things I hope to someday do, if I want to go with performance/looks/ease, is to upgrade to a 5 lug hub and put some 15" on there. So the wheels would only be a hold over... Still, I may ask what he intends to sell them for.

if you want 15's, don't expect to use e36 m3 stuff.


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Earendil
I'm assuming that regular Sports seats are a bolt in operation for my car. However does it matter that he has a 2 door and mine is a 4? Outside of having the less useful fold up seat feature, that is.
Actually, I noticed that the seat belt anchors to the floor differently. On mine it goes into the seat, on his it attaches to a bar that allows it to slide forwards/backwards. Anyone know what's up with this? I really want his seats thumbs up
The outboard end of the seat belt on 2-door cars slides back and forth on a rail. You slide the lower end back to allow people to climb into the rear seat, then slide it forward so it is positioned correctly for use by the front seat occupant.

On 4-door cars the outboard end of the seat belt is fixed, anchored to the base of the B-pillar. The B-pillar is further forward in 4-door cars.

There's no problem taking the sport seats from the 2-door to mount in your 4-door. But you can't swap the seat belts, as the outboard anchorage is different.

The inboard end is the same, the seat belt buckle and stalk, as it bolts directly to the seat. Those can be swapped between cars.

I had sport seats from a 2-door mounted in my 4-door. They fit fine.
rkj
If you're going to take the high end OBC, take the wiring too.
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rkj
If you're going to take the high end OBC, take the wiring too.

After making the mistake of buying an OBC and NOT getting the wiring, I won't make this mistake (or let someone else make it) again.
Thanks though!

Ferd, you were right, maybe.... Depends on if I understand you correctly smiling smiley

For anyone that looks up "Sports seats" on this forum, I did make one observation. When putting the sports seats in my car, I was able to remove the "B-Pillar" bolt on the sports seats, and attach my own seat belt harness to it. It appeared to be set up exactly the same, HOWEVER the sports seats had bolts that were something like 1/4 to 1/2 inch shorter. So I took the bolts from my own seats, which were longer, and used those on the sports seats. The frame of the seat its self looks pretty similar, so I don't think this should be a problem.

I would guess that BMW upgraded the bolt length for good reason though, so anyone doing a similar swap make sure you grab those longer bolts from the 4 door design.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

I think I've taken about all I want from this car. The list so far includes:
Seats
steering wheel
AFM + Airbox
Spark plug wires
ICV
tweeters
turn signal stalk (for OBC)
Misc nuts and bolts that my car has shaken off sometime in the last earth-circumference legs of its life.

I'm still looking into the diff and wheels. The owner wants me to hold of on removing things that make the car a pita to move, since the vehicle needs to be removed from it's current location to a junk yard (or new home) in the near future. He wants to get that plan of action squared away before I move on.

Thanks for all the advice guys!

If anyone wants anything off the car, I can probably put you in contact with the guy. Whether he has time to rip and ship the parts, I don't know. If he's too busy, and my own job offers don't start flooding in, I may be persuaded to do some grunt work for y'all smiling smiley
No promises yet though B)

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
You took the tweets and not the woofs, I love those speakers thumbs up
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rkj
You took the tweets and not the woofs, I love those speakers thumbs up

Yep. The previous owner left me with larger newer speakers in the back, and a base/amp in the trunk. The front kickers are probably still original, are are next on the "new" list, but the tweeters are a welcome addition to the front of the car, since the low and mid range are covered by the back end well enough for me.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Don't forget the steering column cover if you want that OBC stalk to fit nicely.
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