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When one moves on, another appears

Posted by Earendil 
November 30, 2010 05:14PM
Or may appear. My parents are looking at a 91 ix that is for sale in the area. Looks like a fixer upper, but that means they are getting a good deal on it. Don't know much yet, but I'll keep you guys updated smiling smiley

Now to go find out the differences on the ix so I can make a proper inspection for them...

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

rkj
November 30, 2010 10:03PM
Quote
Earendil
Or may appear. My parents are looking at a 91 ix that is for sale in the area. Looks like a fixer upper, but that means they are getting a good deal on it. Don't know much yet, but I'll keep you guys updated smiling smiley

Now to go find out the differences on the ix so I can make a proper inspection for them...

And there are things to know, I think Dave has the skinny on a lot of what you need to check for and to know. I always run a carfax too.
December 29, 2010 03:42PM
The seller, not wanting to touch the car in anyway shape or form, decided to just sell it to me for real cheap. I'll fix it up and sell it to the parents after some routine maintenance. May end up doing my first wheel bearing job on it! I'll make a full report later. For the time being I'm on my way to Seattle to buy a bimmer for myself! See otherthread for details smiling smiley

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

January 04, 2011 02:30PM
Sounds like fun! Sorry I missed this thread when you started it. The best source for iX-specific info on the web is the small but fairly active BMW 325iX Club. There's a lot of good info there. Most of the car is the same as a regular E30, except of course for anything related to the front suspension, which is similar but with all different parts.

Wheel bearings is one of the jobs I always take to someone else. smiling smiley Good luck with it! One of the nice things about the iX is that the front wheel bearings are easily replacable.

The big issue with most old iXes (and let's face it, they're ALL old now) is the condition of the viscous coupling in the center diff. Over the years a lot of them have been towed with two wheels on the ground, which melts the center VC. The only way to test it is to jack up the rear of the car with a floor jack, and try to drive it a few feet with the front wheels alone. If the car doesn't move, the VC is shot. If it moves but the rear wheels spin fast, it's mostly shot. If the rear wheels turn the same amount as the front wheels, it's good. Here's a video of mine (which is in pretty good shape):






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Dave
'91 325iX
January 04, 2011 03:59PM
We picked up the ix last night. I had tested the mid diff by shacking up the rear. The front were able to drag the car a few inches while the back wheels didn't spin an inch more than the front.

Dave, when you say that you leave the bearings to others, is it due to the prohibitive cost of the tool, or the difficulty/time? It could be that the parents are willing to buy the tool and parts and have me do the work, as long as it comes in less than a mechanic. I'd get to keep the tool when done, and I do love tools smiling smiley
I can't imagine that I'd find a mechanic that'd do a set of bearings for less than $350.

I ordered $150 worth off Pelican that'll get here soon. Most of it "spring maintenance" that hasn't been done in years, like filters, cap & rotor, spark plugs ect. I'm not about to do the timing belt outside in the weather wear having here in the northwest, unless of course the local mechanics want an arm and a leg, than money may persuade me otherwise.

I can think of one question for you right now. I'm going to be replacing the front valance on the car, which requires removing the bumper. This E30 has a driver airbag, which I do not want to trigger, but don't know how it is triggered. Do you know anything about E30 airbags and front bumpers? AFAIK the '91 was the only E30 with an airbag, and not many of us around here have a '91 smiling smiley

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

January 04, 2011 05:06PM
Quote
Earendil
Dave, when you say that you leave the bearings to others, is it due to the prohibitive cost of the tool, or the difficulty/time? It could be that the parents are willing to buy the tool and parts and have me do the work, as long as it comes in less than a mechanic. I'd get to keep the tool when done, and I do love tools smiling smiley
I can't imagine that I'd find a mechanic that'd do a set of bearings for less than $350.
It's mainly that I don't have the big press that's needed to make it easy, and to me it's not worth buying one. The last wheel bearing I had done was the front left on my iX. I already had the strut out, so I brought it into my local shop along with the bearing (about $50 online). They charged me $30 labor and I was done. (Having the strut already out was a huge money saver. When the same shop did a rear bearing a couple years ago, the labor was $186.)
Quote

I can think of one question for you right now. I'm going to be replacing the front valance on the car, which requires removing the bumper. This E30 has a driver airbag, which I do not want to trigger, but don't know how it is triggered. Do you know anything about E30 airbags and front bumpers? AFAIK the '91 was the only E30 with an airbag, and not many of us around here have a '91 smiling smiley
I can't remember where the air bag sensor is, but you won't trigger it. It takes a pretty good hit to trigger one of those things. (That funny YouTube video of the old lady setting one off with her shopping bag is completely impossible.) If you want to be certain, disconnect the negative battery cable before you start, and wait a while for the system to discharge. I just replaced the valance on my iX, and the sensor wasn't anywhere near where I was working. It's a pretty easy process. The plastic bumper is held on with two big Torx screws that go in through the bottom. Once the bumper is off (and you'll need to remove the plastic grille pieces too), the valance is held on with a bunch of screws that are mostly easy to see and reach.

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Dave
'91 325iX
January 05, 2011 10:51AM
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Dave_G
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Earendil
This E30 has a driver airbag, which I do not want to trigger, but don't know how it is triggered. Do you know anything about E30 airbags and front bumpers?
I can't remember where the air bag sensor is, but you won't trigger it.
The airbag sensors are mounted in the engine compartment on top of the fenders just ahead of the strut towers. They are the orange boxes you can see in this photo, on the near side at the tail of the washer fluid bottle, and far side just ahead of the power steering fluid bottle.

You don't need to worry about the airbag when working on the bumper. Like Dave said, safest is to disconnect the battery. NEVER power up the car with any of the air bag circuit disconnected or it will trigger an airbag warning light in your instrument cluster that only the dealer can reset.


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