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might be the new owner of '87 325is! What am I getting into?

Posted by land sea air 
Hello all, I am looking very seriously at purchasing a 1987 325is that I found on Craigslist locally. This is would be my first BMW as I have had Mercedes Benz in the past. I am a fairly confident DIY mechanic and have been able to keep up with the MB maintenance no problem. As I am not familiar with some of the normal concerns for the E30 I figured it would post here BEFORE I buy for sure. Here are some of the things that I noticed in 2 test drives.

the car has 230,000 miles on the clock but seems to be in excellent condition, original paint is in great shape. The only rust I noticed is in a small corner of one of the tail lights. (more on that later) The gentleman selling it has owned the car for 17 years and is the second owner, he has extensive documentation for the work done all of which has been done at the same garage that I know of. Overall I'm not to concerned about the high mileage since there hasn't been any abuse and it's well maintained.

the good: the computer, guages and warning system including the dreaded SI board all appear to be working fine.
Climate control works except for ac, sunroof works (has one of those clear deflectors that I will probably remove.) stereo works but the two door tweeters don't, are there other speakers besides those and the rear deck? Engine starts good and pulls strongly, he says it burns a small amount of oil which I'm not too concerned about, I haven't had a chance to check for driveway spots yet. It DID blow some smoke at near full/full throttle. Gear change is solid with minimal slop, clutch take up is different than what I'm used to but it feels good.

the bad: trunk has a leak, probably through the taillight where it's rusted, I plan to buy new seals for both taillights and use caulk or something similar in the process, I will clean the rust up as much as I can and seal it. If it still leaks then I will work from there.

passenger window doesn't work, switch lights up and when you push it the lights dim but there is no noise from the window. Do the regulators go bad on these or is it usually just the motor or switch?

drivers door handle is slightly loose on one side, should be an easy fix from the junkyard as long as I'm careful until then.

cruise control doesn't work (it has the switch but the guy seems to think it never had CC) From dealing with MB I assume there is the switch, the actuator, and some sort of computer or amplifier, which is most likely to be the culprit?

The car needed an emissions exemption since it couldn't pass (he spend almost $500 trying to get it to pass). I'm not worried about passing emissions since I will be registering it as historic but could this be an indicator of other problems? I plan to do a tune up early on.

The thing I'm most concerned about is a clunk that happens sometimes when shifting, it sounds more like it's coming from the rear but after reading around it's probably the flex disc or CSB. What am I getting into on this?
The cruise control issue is probably the ground on the rear tail light. Yes, the ground for the cruise control is on the rear tail light. If the connector is corroded and exibits any resistance, no cruise control . The clunk at shift could be the transmission mount gone bad.

From what you have described, much of this is know and can be handled without too much hassle.

Passenger window could be as simple as a switch or the lift motor itself.

alan
I suppose the fact that the brake light warning light flickers sometimes would reinforce your thoughts on the ground? Where is it located?
The trunk leak will probably go away when you put in the new tail light gaskets. Mine did and I didn't use any sealant.

The passenger window regulator probably only needs to have the motor disassembled and lubed. That's all mine needed. The shaft was stuck in the bushing at the lower end of the motor.

Cruise control doesn't work goes under the "good" category. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Clunk when shifting might be expensive, especially if it's coming from the rear. It could be the u-joints going bad, which means the driveshaft needs to be replaced. There was a thread on that recently. I'm sure you'll find that and read it. Around 200K miles is about right for needing a driveshaft. It'll cost around $400.00 if that's what it is.

There's only one expensive part on that list. If the car is priced right, that's not a problem.

John
Edit: All my advice is based on the E30 from 1989-91. There are some slight differences between the models that I am no expert on. My words could be helpful, or a tiny bit off. Please apply grains of salt and your own research :-)

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land sea air
Hello all, I am looking very seriously at purchasing a 1987 325is that I found on Craigslist locally. This is would be my first BMW as I have had Mercedes Benz in the past. I am a fairly confident DIY mechanic and have been able to keep up with the MB maintenance no problem. As I am not familiar with some of the normal concerns for the E30 I figured it would post here BEFORE I buy for sure. Here are some of the things that I noticed in 2 test drives.

Being a fairly competent mechanic is all you need to be for these babies!
I should know, I'm slightly less and my car is still running smileys with beer

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the car has 230,000 miles on the clock but seems to be in excellent condition, original paint is in great shape. The only rust I noticed is in a small corner of one of the tail lights. (more on that later) The gentleman selling it has owned the car for 17 years and is the second owner, he has extensive documentation for the work done all of which has been done at the same garage that I know of. Overall I'm not to concerned about the high mileage since there hasn't been any abuse and it's well maintained.

To affirm what you've said: If the car has been treated well enough, it'll go a lot longer. I say this not because "BMWs are like that", but because mine has NOT been treated well and is up around 250,000.

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the good: the computer, guages and warning system including the dreaded SI board all appear to be working fine.
Climate control works except for ac, sunroof works (has one of those clear deflectors that I will probably remove.) stereo works but the two door tweeters don't, are there other speakers besides those and the rear deck? Engine starts good and pulls strongly, he says it burns a small amount of oil which I'm not too concerned about, I haven't had a chance to check for driveway spots yet. It DID blow some smoke at near full/full throttle. Gear change is solid with minimal slop, clutch take up is different than what I'm used to but it feels good.

The electrical at this point in its life will start showing some weird ghost like flukes. But I wouldn't consider it a reason to not buy the car if you know how to use a multimeter and a screw driver.
Besides the door tweeters and the rear speakers, there are also kick speakers down where your feet go. they are NOT in the door, but in the frame of the car. If you look closely, you'll see them. To get to them you have to remove the plastic panels. On the drivers side, this means also removing the handle for the hood release.

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the bad: trunk has a leak, probably through the taillight where it's rusted, I plan to buy new seals for both taillights and use caulk or something similar in the process, I will clean the rust up as much as I can and seal it. If it still leaks then I will work from there.

Also check out the Antenna, as this is a VERY common place for trunk leaks.

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passenger window doesn't work, switch lights up and when you push it the lights dim but there is no noise from the window. Do the regulators go bad on these or is it usually just the motor or switch?

This is likely caused by one of two things, neither of them expensive.
First, if the windows aren't used often, they can seize up. The other is that the switches will get corroded and need to be cleaned out.
If the car lights dim when the switch is pushed, that makes me think the electric motor is getting power, but that the windows are just seized up. Nothing a little work won't fix (just did it this summer after a long winter).

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cruise control doesn't work (it has the switch but the guy seems to think it never had CC) From dealing with MB I assume there is the switch, the actuator, and some sort of computer or amplifier, which is most likely to be the culprit?

Besides what has been suggested, there is also a single wire plug on the back of the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster it's self has 3 fatty cables going into it, which you can't miss when messing around back there. But the little wire for the cruise control is easy to miss. Ask me how I know eye rolling smiley
I'd check electrical grounds first, but if you run out of options, I'd double check it's plugged in.

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The thing I'm most concerned about is a clunk that happens sometimes when shifting, it sounds more like it's coming from the rear but after reading around it's probably the flex disc or CSB. What am I getting into on this?

I hate to say this, but it is unlikely to be the flex disc, and more likely to be either the CV joints (look for torn rubber boots around the joints) or the drive shaft U-Joint.
The drive shaft is easy enough to test. You can grab the drive shaft with your hands and give it a good hard turn either way. BMW says there should be essentially no play. If it looks


like this, you have a problem. On this car you also can't replace just the U-Joint, but the entire axle. This can set you back $400 if you do the work yourself. I just did this as well, so any further questions or clarifications, just ask (or post a new thread).

Cheers!

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




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2009 05:51PM by Earendil.
You seem to know how to check out a car, but since you mentioned possible problems with the drive shaft, I'll note a few more underbelly problems that will set you back a few hundred and a days work...

Check all the protective rubber boots on the axles and suspension parts. If these are torn, the joint could be on its way out. That said the boots on my rear CV joints have been toast for 2 years, but a steady application of axle grease seems to be buying me lots of time so far.

If you can get both front wheels off the ground, do so. Then grab either side of a wheel and try and turn it (pushing in and out). If you can get some play in there and the steering wheel doesn't move, you probably have a number of worn suspension parts. You can also watch the opposite wheel, obviously if the right one moves and the left one doesn't, there is a problem that needs fixing.
You can look under the car at this point and move the wheel again, you can probably see where all the play is coming from. Many parts on my car were pretty new when I bought it, but the control arms, sway bar links, [a part I can't remember right now], and all the bushings were all shot, having no significant rubber or grease left in them.

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

Thanks for all the great advice guys, how difficult is RR for the driveshaft parts if that's what it turns out to be
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land sea air
Thanks for all the great advice guys, how difficult is RR for the driveshaft parts if that's what it turns out to be

With or without the right tools and parts on hand? spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

It took me probably 8 hours total by myself. If I had all the right sockets/wrenches, a buddy, and had to do it all over again, I could do it in 2 hours probably as long as there were no unforeseen problems. I would suggest having a friend along for this one though, or some ingenuity...

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

So here's what I understand so far

to test for the drive shaft U joint I should try and move the shaft by hand, pretty much any amount of play is bad

to test the support bearing I should jack one wheel up and give it a wiggle, a grinding noise would indicate replacement

to test the flex disk I just look at it correct? tattered rubber or the ability to move the shaft off it's axis would indicate a bad one

how do I check the axles?
thanks for the help!
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land sea air
So here's what I understand so far

to test for the drive shaft U joint I should try and move the shaft by hand, pretty much any amount of play is bad

I realise now I wasn't very clear. The drive shaft its self may twist, due to normal play in the transmission and differential. However when looking at the rear U-Joint, just inches from the differential, you shouldn't see any play from one side of the U-Joint to the other. See my video for an example of what to look at/for. You'll probably need a flashlight for this one, and possible a way to jack up the car (safely!).

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to test the support bearing I should jack one wheel up and give it a wiggle, a grinding noise would indicate replacement

support bearing? Not sure exactly what you're talking about here. If you lift a wheel up and give it a spin, a grinding noise from the center of the wheel might indicate bad wheel bearings. Is that what you mean?

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to test the flex disk I just look at it correct? tattered rubber or the ability to move the shaft off it's axis would indicate a bad one

Yes, a visual inspection of the flex disk is all you can do. I doubt you could move the drive shaft in a way that would show you something wrong with the flex disk. If you could, I'd put $20 on it failing the visual inspection in a way that would make you want to cry.
That said, Flex disks are cheap, and replacing them is easier than replacing the drive shaft.

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how do I check the axles?
thanks for the help!

I haven't a clue :-)
Perhaps someone who has seen a bad axle could lend some info?
If you guy has 17 years of history, than you may check to see if they were ever replaced. However the rubber protective boots don't last as long as the axle, so if the boots are intact, I wouldn't worry about the axle.

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

The ground for the cruise control is on the passenger side of the tail light housing. Look for a brown wire. You said that there was corrosion around the tail lights, that could figure into the problem.

alan
Hi,
Check when the cambelt was last done. The 6 cylinders use a belt, and it's an interference engine so you wanna avoid pistons bashing valves! BMW spec is 60k miles or 4 years.

If you do replace it, some people like to do the water pump at the same time just as a precaution. Apparently our M20 6 cyl engines have delicate cooling systems (but I've never had any problems myself, touch wood).

Well done for jumping on this forum and doing your research before buying. It's good to see someone making an informed decision. Sounds like a good buy, hope it turns out well and we see you around here.
@ Nomis: thanks! I had read about the timing belt and water pump replacement with much chagrin until I saw a sticker on the inside of the fuse box saying it had been done late last year, less than 10k ago I'm sure.

@ Alan: I'll have to check that out. Is this the same place where the brake lights themselves are grounded?

@ Earendil: from what I have read the center support bearing is half way along the drive shaft underneath the car, if you hear a grinding or squeaking noise coming from that region while turning one wheel then it could have packed up, also saw a video on youtube (I think) where it was so far gone it had quite a bit of play. Looks like the DS would have to come out if this turns out to be the culprit sad smiley I see what you mean about the drive shaft U joint though and I will check it out pre-purchase. (honestly it might not deter me at this point)

couple questions: does anyone know the differences in the 325is? from what I can tell/read it has the front and rear spoilers, a stiffer suspension, LSD (hoping this is true), and just about every interior option.
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land sea air
@ Earendil: from what I have read the center support bearing is half way along the drive shaft underneath the car, if you hear a grinding or squeaking noise coming from that region while turning one wheel then it could have packed up, also saw a video on youtube (I think) where it was so far gone it had quite a bit of play. Looks like the DS would have to come out if this turns out to be the culprit sad smiley I see what you mean about the drive shaft U joint though and I will check it out pre-purchase. (honestly it might not deter me at this point)

Oh that center support bearing! Of course smiling smiley
The video you saw was probably of my own shot center bearing as well smileys with beer
This is another part that won't set you back much ($40), only time. This one however does involve removing the drive shaft from the car, so could be an all day thing.
You can not visually inspect the bearing without removing at least two protective plates, so an audio inspection might be the easiest route. However you will need to be really close to the source of any noise, because the U-Joint is just 2-3 feet away and can also make squeaking/grinding noises.
And while excessive play can be a sign of a band bearing, the drive shaft has an inch of soft thin rubber between it and the bearing, so even with a new bearing there is a surprising (to me) amount of lateral/side-to-side play in the drive shaft.

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couple questions: does anyone know the differences in the 325is? from what I can tell/read it has the front and rear spoilers, a stiffer suspension, LSD (hoping this is true), and just about every interior option.

I don't think the suspension was any different (others will correct me here if I'm wrong). The LSD I *think* was standard, but even some none 'is' cars had an LSD, and if the differential were ever replaced, it may no longer have an LSD. There are tags on the diff that can be read though. Do a little search around, and a flashlight, flat head screw driver (for the gunk), a rag and some WD-40 or something should get you a reading off the bottom of a diff in no time. If you can get both rear wheels off the ground you can also test it by spinning a wheel and watching the opposite side.
LSD = both wheels spinning the same direction
non-LSD = spinning opposite direction.

Just about every interior option is correct though. Certainly the sound system was boosted, sports seats, etc. I don't know about trip computer/OBC stuff though, that may still have been optional?

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




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/2009 02:17PM by Earendil.
looks like I will be picking up the car on Monday for $1500! I'm sure I will be posting tons of questions as I learn more about the car.
Congrats and I do believe you are way ahead of the average new E30 buyer smileys with beer

For the price you are paying and even if you have to spend another $1500 to make it the way you want; you will have a car that should give you another ten years of reliable and relatively inexpensive service thumbs up
One can only hope, I already have a cart full of maintenance and misc. parts waiting to be ordered from pelican.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2009 09:44PM by land sea air.
No doubt, few cars drive like an E30 and for $1500? No cars drive like a $1500 E30.

alan
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Earendil
If you lift a wheel up and give it a spin, a grinding noise from the center of the wheel might indicate bad wheel bearings. Is that what you mean?

If you want to check a wheel bearing, jack up the wheel and spin it. Now feel the spring. If you can feel vibrations, the bearing is to be suspected.
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Michiel 318iS
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Earendil
If you lift a wheel up and give it a spin, a grinding noise from the center of the wheel might indicate bad wheel bearings. Is that what you mean?

If you want to check a wheel bearing, jack up the wheel and spin it. Now feel the spring. If you can feel vibrations, the bearing is to be suspected.

I've never heard of this method, but I like it!

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

Picked up the car last night, had a good drive home but it was dark so I haven't had a chance to go over the car again. I'll post pics and more info later! Now if I could only locate the source of that clunk
So I don't think the clunk is the U joint, from what I can see there is less than a mm of play. There is half an inch of play in the diff that corresponds to small amounts of axle movement on each side with the wheels on ramps. Do I have to remove the exhaust just to look at the CSB and Guibo?
Attachments:
open | download - 325is angle small.jpg (159.4 KB)
open | download - 325is interior small.jpg (118.2 KB)
open | download - 325is side small.jpg (113.9 KB)
Pretty car!

Yeah, you do have to remove the exhaust sad smiley
If you have a buddy, it's actually a lot easier than you'd think.

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

well it might not happen this weekend but I will most likely have some help.

Is it safe to remove the cat and replace with a pipe? The car won't pass emissions so I am registering it as a historic car.
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land sea air
well it might not happen this weekend but I will most likely have some help.

Is it safe to remove the cat and replace with a pipe? The car won't pass emissions so I am registering it as a historic car.

Safe? Like, will the car turn demonic and kill you? Yes, it is safe. Is it environmentally friendly? No...

Though you aren't likely to see any increase in hp. I believe a perfectly tuned stock setup would see 3hp from a straight pipe all the way through.
Our cars are all a bit less than perfectly tuned these days, and likely have bigger fish to fry than getting air out the pipe.

Of course, When I took my exhaust off this summer my muffler started spitting out pieces of my CAT, which means it's probably toast. I'm not bothering to replace it yet for similar reasons as you.

Cheers,
~Tyler

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

well the car is already environmentally unfriendly because it can't pass emissions so I imagine the cat isn't doing a whole lot these days anyways cep maybe clogging things up a bit. I figured since the O2 sensor is pre-cat then removing it wouldn't effect anything but I wanted to make sure. Exhaust is in great shape so hopefully I can do this without any cutting.
It's true that a cat on 22 year old engine isn't gonna do as much as on a brand new within spec engine. But still it'll do less damage to the air we breathe. Your call...

Anyway, nice looking car. Basketweave rims, niiiiiice, I'm very jealous!
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nomis3613
It's true that a cat on 22 year old engine isn't gonna do as much as on a brand new within spec engine. But still it'll do less damage to the air we breathe. Your call...

Anyway, nice looking car. Basketweave rims, niiiiiice, I'm very jealous!

normally I would agree but considering how bad it failed on every spectrum I think it's probably disintegrated and non- functional, I think making sure the car is in proper tune and taking care of it mechanically will do more good than leaving it.
For future reference, how does one reset the CEL? I started the car without the airbox installed (MAF unplugged as well) and the light came on, it cleared on it's own while driving later but it took a while.
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land sea air
For future reference, how does one reset the CEL? I started the car without the airbox installed (MAF unplugged as well) and the light came on, it cleared on it's own while driving later but it took a while.

I'll admit I'm unsure what you mean by "CEL", but if you mean the check-engine light....than dur, you unplugged one of the sensors that the ECU needs to run the engine, of course it's going to throw up warnings spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Why exactly would you run it without the airbox (I'm assuming filter was gone as well?) and the MAF unplugged?

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

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land sea air
For future reference, how does one reset the CEL? I started the car without the airbox installed (MAF unplugged as well) and the light came on, it cleared on it's own while driving later but it took a while.

Firstly, these cars have an Air Flow Meter which is completely different from a Mass Air Flow meter. Our cars have a flap with a potentiometer on it that moves as the air flow increases. This is crude b7y today's standards.
A MAF measures the temperature change of a hot wire when air passes over it. This is far more accurate and a lot less restricting to the air flowing in the intake.

You can reset the CEL by disconnecting the batter for 4 to 5 minutes then reconnecting it. Just make sure you have your radio 'code' handy if the car still has the OEM radio smiling smiley
So now I'm curious what CEL stands for, as I would have called this resetting the ECU smiling smiley

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

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ducatipaso
CEL = Check Engine Light :smile:


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

Didn't realize people were responding since I've stopped receiving emails, I started the car without the airbox because I was flushing the power steering fluid and it gave me room to work. Sorry I've always shortened check engine light to CEL since it's such a common issue with all types of cars. Thanks for the air meter information Archeo-peteriX!

done so far:
checked valve clearance and all were perfect! replaced gasket
oil change 10w40 synthetic, no noticable leaks yet
plugs cap and rotor, still need wires and 02 sensor
painted valve cover crackle black which looks amazing, definitely recommend this to anyone with a day to spare (to let the paint dry)
power steering flush
tail light and antenna seals (seems to have stopped the leaking trunk but need a good test rain)
fixed cluster lights and flickering guagues (thankfully SI board has already been updated.)
removed the wind deflector and repaired some sticky interior switches

top of to do list:
fix passenger window
figure out that darned clunk, probably replace shifter bushings, trans mounts and remove cat in the process
everything else on my long list is minor or upgrades, I'll post some more pics soon!
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land sea air
Didn't realize people were responding since I've stopped receiving emails, I started the car without the airbox because I was flushing the power steering fluid and it gave me room to work. Sorry I've always shortened check engine light to CEL since it's such a common issue with all types of cars. Thanks for the air meter information Archeo-peteriX!

Shortening is fine, I should be fine with acronyms. I just never thought to reset a light, and assumed it was an eletrical component, or another name for the ECU (Electronic Control Unit). Calling it a CEL is fine smileys with beer

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land sea air
done so far:
checked valve clearance and all were perfect! replaced gasket
oil change 10w40 synthetic, no noticable leaks yet
plugs cap and rotor, still need wires and 02 sensor
painted valve cover crackle black which looks amazing, definitely recommend this to anyone with a day to spare (to let the paint dry)
power steering flush
tail light and antenna seals (seems to have stopped the leaking trunk but need a good test rain)
fixed cluster lights and flickering guagues (thankfully SI board has already been updated.)
removed the wind deflector and repaired some sticky interior switches

I don't suppose you have any pictures of that valve cover job, do you? smiling smiley


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land sea air
top of to do list:
fix passenger window
figure out that darned clunk, probably replace shifter bushings, trans mounts and remove cat in the process
everything else on my long list is minor or upgrades, I'll post some more pics soon!

Certainly while you are under there replace the transmission mounts, though nothing need be removed for that job. It's an easy half hour if you can get the car off the ground enough to slide under it.
Relatively cheap things to do while you have the underside torn apart do include the shifter bushings though! I spent the extra $20 on parts and replaced a bunch of worn (or none existent!) parts under there and it really stiffened the shifter up. Certainly not brand new, but instead of two inches of slop I now only have like 3/4 in. winking smiley
Some people with spare money and the desire take this opportunity to install a short shift "kit", or pull shifters off a number of compatible BMWs (a google search will result in more info than you probably want on this subject).

Also, don't forget the transmission seals, BOTH OF THEM. I replaced the main output seal and decided against replacing the small tiny seal for the shifter linkage. I now have all those hours of work behind me and the entire thing back together, and if I drive my baby hard, shifting a lot, I get a transmission oil leak :X
I'm not about to tear the entire think apart again though....not now. I made the mistake of assuming I knew where the leak was coming from, since the exit shaft seal was so worn, and the shifter seal looked pretty good. *sigh*

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

I'll post pics of the valve cover this weekend, is that what you mean?

if I end up having to do the DS then there will be a host of other things to do while I'm there
I recently became the second owner of an 87 325e, my first BMW. 213K plus miles. The car runs well, but occasionally beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas?

I also get the warning light about rear brake lights, and I figure that's a result of the commonly reported leaks around the tail lights, I've got a couple of new gaskets for them, and when I replace them I will check the grounds around the tail lights when it warms up around here to see if that's the problem.

The driver's side seat is wearing quite a bit as might be expected. Any advice on what's best, replacing the seat or getting it recovered? The original burgundy paint is in bad shape, but the tan interior is in great shape, except for the driver's seat.

Thanks, and I'm happy to be part of the BMW community now! Especially after switching from my Chrysler Town and Country dad-mobile!
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plunkman
I recently became the second owner of an 87 325e, my first BMW. 213K plus miles. The car runs well, but occasionally beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas
The chime under the dash has a number of things that will set it off, one of them being when the outside temperature reads 37F (or 2 or 3C). I think it's supposed to alert you that there might be ice on the road, but mostly what it did for me was to annoy me until I unplugged it. smiling smiley When I first got my E30 I couldn't figure it out either, and your question sounds just like the on I asked, so I'm guessing it might be the same thing.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
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Dave_G
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plunkman
I recently became the second owner of an 87 325e, my first BMW. 213K plus miles. The car runs well, but occasionally beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas
The chime under the dash has a number of things that will set it off, one of them being when the outside temperature reads 37F (or 2 or 3C). I think it's supposed to alert you that there might be ice on the road, but mostly what it did for me was to annoy me until I unplugged it. smiling smiley When I first got my E30 I couldn't figure it out either, and your question sounds just like the on I asked, so I'm guessing it might be the same thing.

The other thing it could ding for is (assuming you have a 13btn computer) a particular speed being reached. This however you have to manually set up, and doesn't have a default value.

Dave, how sure are you it's 37F in your car? Because I am positive it's 36F in mine smiling smiley

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

Thanks Dave_G and Earendil, the temp story sounds like a likely one, especially lately on Long Island!
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Earendil
Dave, how sure are you it's 37F in your car? Because I am positive it's 36F in mine smiling smiley
Not at all sure. If you say it's 36, I believe it. Like I said, I haven't actually heard mine in a long time. smiling smiley

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Dave
'91 325iX
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Dave_G
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Earendil
Dave, how sure are you it's 37F in your car? Because I am positive it's 36F in mine smiling smiley
Not at all sure. If you say it's 36, I believe it. Like I said, I haven't actually heard mine in a long time. smiling smiley

Sorry, I wasn't trying to come across as correcting you. I was actually hoping that they were different smiling smiley

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

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plunkman
beeps at me either once or three times from the buzzer under the dash kick plate, and I can't for the life of me correlate it to anything. Any ideas?
It can be the outside temperature warning, as others have pointed out, in which case the clock display will automatically change to a flashing temperature display. It can be really annoying on days when the outside temperature is hovering near that threshold value. The temp sensor is located in the front valance below the bumper, left side. If you're stopped and idling for a while the heat from the engine can affect the temperature reading, causing the temperature display to raise above the warning threshold. Then as you drive away again the airflow cools the sensor back to the correct ambient temperature reading, and as display drops below +3C it will again trigger the warning beep and flash the temperature display on the clock. That's a nuisance.

There is another possible cause for the warning chime to sound, other than simply because your door is open. Does your car have a six-button clock like this?



The MEMO button, when activated, will cause the warning chime to sound 30-seconds (?) before the top of each hour. It's supposed to alert you in time to turn on your radio and catch the news headlines.

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I also get the warning light about rear brake lights...
The brake light warning in the overhead check panel normally comes on whenever you start the car until you first depress the brake pedal. Once you've lit up the brake lights, and the check system confirms both brake light bulbs are good, then the warning light should turn off. If the warning light stays on, or comes on later while you're driving and pressing the brake pedal, that's a sign that one or the other or both brake light bulbs are not working properly. It's usually a bad connection between the bulb socket and the bulb itself. Try cleaning both up with some sandpaper.
Just wanted to let you know that you might want to take it easy going over speed bumps and small pot holes. I have had to replace my oil pan twice on mine. But that is also due to the fact that they have to build huge speed bumps on the American post over here in Germany.
Yes, I confirmed that the single beep is the temperature warning, and I do have the six button clock. I also thought that the brakes lights are working correctly, but will check again. Thanks for the tip about the speed bumps, I've managed to avoid whacking the pan so far. Thanks for the input!
rkj
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plunkman
Thanks Dave_G and Earendil, the temp story sounds like a likely one, especially lately on Long Island!

Where bouts on the island?

Rick
East Northport.
rkj
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plunkman
East Northport.

Cool, just down the street from me thumbs up
That's a pretty long street if you're in Amagansett! I'm looking for a pair of front fenders for my 87 e30. They have holes behind the front wheel, and I'm assuming they're large enough to warrant replacing instead of patching. Does anybody disagree here, and if you're on Long Island, can you recommend a good place to get parts?

Thanks!

Front Passenger Fender
Front Driver's Fender
The idea most people in Europe have of US roads: only straight on and 90 degree bends.
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