Things to look for when buying an E30

Buying an E30? Do your home work before spending your hard earned money! We are going to go over a few things to look for when buying an e30.

 

Alex R tracking his e30
Alex R tracking his e30

To start off, you want to get in the car and open up the hood. This is where you can do a detailed inspection of the engine. The first place to really look would be the valve cover. The gasket does deteriorate over time. Not to expensive and takes about half an hour to install.
The next place to check would be all the intake lines, as well as the air filter. These do break down, as well as the intake boot (super common!), because it is rubber and will dry rot. These can be big issues for intake leaks and can cause the m20 to idle up and down (other wise known as hunt for an idle).
While you’re in the engine bay, you also want to look at the air conditioning unit. This system runs on R12 refrigerant and is not easy to find or fix. These systems are better left alone than to retrofit with R134A, but if you need it you can do it. It’s just a very, very expensive job.
The last place to check in the engine bay is the power steering unit. These systems are notorious for leaking. Although alot of people delete them for racing application, its not to expensive either route. Power steering deletes can be found here:

E30 power steering delete
E30 power steering delete

Now, we’ll get under the car and check underneath the transmission. Make sure that there is no oil around the rear main seal. This is a big job and will  involves taking out the shifter, the drive shaft, and the transmission. Don’t get one of these e30s with a broken rear main seal.
While you’re checking for a broken rear main seal, you also want to check if it has any exhaust leaks. The pipes before the cat converter can be pretty expensive, as well as the catalytic converter.

The door handles and glove box go bad often in these cars. They are brittle at this age. Cracks in the dash and a  broken odometer common. The odometer gears found here will fix your mileage counter.

E30 odometer gears
E30 odometer gears

If the speedometer does not work then check the speed sensor in the back of the differential. It’s about a ten dollar part and will take you maybe five minutes to install.
Last but not least, you want to check the body. California and Arizona cars are usually clean but still check. East coast cars often have fenders rotted out, as well as parts of the rocker panel. Another common spot is the sunroof.
Another thing to look at when buying an e30 is the rear shock tower mounts. Cars that are lowered on stiff suspenion car rip the metal out of the trunk so be sure to take a peak under the carpet in the trunk. If that needs repair our rear shock tower reinforcment kit can be bolted or welded into place.

 

BMW rear shock reinforcment
BMW rear shock reinforcement

 

That’s just some of the very basic things that are wrong with these cars. Please keep in mind these are are almost 30 year old. But with our garagistic products you can be sure that we will help you keep these little e30s running forever. All products can be found here.

 

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