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Considering an IX - would love some pointers

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    Considering an IX - would love some pointers

    I’m considering an E30 IX. I have owned a few E30s but never an IX.

    I live down by Denver, so I watch that Craigslist. Looks like most of them at this point have between 150k and 250k miles. Is this too many miles now? As in, how long do these cars, IX’s specifically, really last?

    Are spare parts a problem? What parts are the biggest issue to locate?

    What should I pay for a top-tier IX these days? I’m looking for a manual transmission, and preferably 4 doors, or maybe a Touring if one is out there. Could use some info on realistic 2019 pricing.

    Thank you!

    Hi there,

    iX specific spare parts are getting more expensive, such as control arms, the front drive shaft guibo, front axles, etc. Be sure to test the viscus coupling in the transfer case by performing the jack test. I haven't had any problems finding parts using this form, ebay, or pelican parts.

    Saying what's too many miles is difficult to answer since vehicle condition is a function of other variables including rust, maintenance history, etc. My iX has a bunch of miles, but its spent the last 20 years in the Nevada desert, I'm current on preventative maintenance, and I've fixed a bunch of stuff.

    I think most of us keep these cars because they have personality and we enjoy working on them. I personally wouldn't buy one as a daily driver, to haul my stuff and kids around, etc.

    I can't answer your question on current values.

    I hope this helps.


      Very helpful, thank you.

      Are there any NLA parts that are a problem to get?


        Parts are indeed getting scarce (but I still have a cache if you need some). Many parts are going NLA for the E30 in general and perhaps a bit worse for the 325iX. It is still doable though. I would look for one that has been maintained well more than a "time warp" car with low miles that has been sitting. The miles will not hurt it as long as it has the TLC ongoing. Look at the front drive shaft splines - they wallow out if not lubed on a schedule. Prepare to maintain front axles as they are getting scarce and should be serviced and not left to "fail and replace." Rear subframe bushings are critical to avoid rear driveshaft u-joint failure - jack the rear subframe up slightly on both sides to make sure the bushing rubber is still adhering to the inner aluminum part of the bushing.


          Thank you. Where do you look for rust on these cars? Behind the flares?


            It really depends on how much money you want to sink into an old BMW. I've had to get extremely creative when it comes to replacing parts. Inner ball joints haven't been available for a while now so you have to buy an entire control arm (which themselves are getting hard to find). They go for 300-400 ea. Viscous couplings are scarce, I cut my apart and replaced the sealing rings and silicone fluid, welded it and put it back in because I couldn't find a good used one. Rear driveshafts almost always need to have the rear ujoint replaced and the shaft balanced (a shop in AZ can do this). The list goes on and on. With that being said I still love to drive both of my iX's daily but it is a true labor of love to keep these cars on the road.


              They are fairly bulletproof if maintained and monitored before things fail. I bought mine in 2008 with 226,000 miles. Front Axles are expensive and should be maintained with genuine BMW CV Boot Kits. If the car is lowered or lifted, axled angles at the CVs will not be ideal so pay close attention to them during Oil Services, etc. Other then that, most the maintenance is the same as a standard E30. Keep in mind costs to maintain the front Differential, and Transfer Case. Tires need to be within 3/32nds of one another to avoid damage to the AWD system.

              Some might argue about my notes, but this is just my experience with my iX over the years.
              Move with a purpose.
              - 1991 325iX 4dr/5spd
              - 1976 2002 SlickTop/2.7i M20/G260
              - 2000 323i AT
              2016 Mazda CX3 Sport AWD


                Replacing a transfer case chain is a big deal, and the chains are expensive & hard to find. Check your transfer case oil regularly. As long as you keep up with the oil, the chain should last.


                  In Denver here too. I got my 1988 325iX just about a year ago. Like others have mentioned above, the main things to keep an eye on are the transfer case and front differential. The majority of the remaining spare parts are relatively easy to located and reasonably priced especially when compared to a modern BMW.

                  As for price you'll see these all over the board, but most nice ones sell in the $7500 to $11000 range. but like I said there is a lot of variability here. When looking at older cars, the best advice is to buy the nicest one you can afford. You'' end up saving money in the long term.

                  My car had 187000 miles on it when I got it. You would never know by looking at it. If these cars have been well cared for then they last a long time. I wouldn't worry too much about mileage provided the car has been cared for. In winter this is my favorite car to drive. The snow we had just before Thanksgiving was nothing this car couldn't handle. The 325iX with good tires makes snow driving fun.


                    New to the forum here and live in Colorado springs, just picked up a 91 iX for $2500 in Pueblo and it is in pretty darn good shape. Just keep your eyes open for deals, found mine on facebook marketplace, the gentleman passed away and his nephew was selling it.