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Potential 91 318is purchase

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    Potential 91 318is purchase

    So I've basically always wanted a bmw, and after buying a turbo outback, throwing the rod bearing, and swapping in a new short block, I'm casually looking for a dedicated race car. I'm going to go look at this guy tomorrow evening. https://cars.ksl.com/listing/6170156?ad_cid=8 Now I've read a bunch over the last few hours. Owner doesn't have any record or knowledge of timing chain or tensioner or the water pump. It's not a slick top. And from looking at vin decoders, it's not lsd. Owner claims radiator was replaced due to a leak. I'm a bit skeptical of it with no engine pictures. You can see they rubbed a pole and obviously the interior is complete garbage. But I ultimately would like to build a stage rally vehicle which means I'd be gutting the interior as is. In the meantime, it would see use at rallyx, autox, hdpe, occasional around town use. I'm not afraid to work on the car, and I'm not afraid to buy it and park it for 6 months. However my outback spun a rod bearing 900 miles after purchase (stranding me in Kansas) and I don't fancy rebuilding another engine in the next year. What else should I look for? I expect bushings to be worn, some surface rust, obviously check the fluids and rust spots by the doors and taillights. I appreciate any help and maybe I'll have a new project car soon. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    #2
    Well I just pulled the carfax which I likely should have done first. Was in so cal until 2015. Salvage title 04, rebuilt title 04, odometer rollback by 75k miles in 13. Moved to utah in 15 and was title washed. We offer both salvage and rebuilt titles so I'm not sure how it avoided that. Seller claims clean title. All this makes me think, run, run, far away. But then I think, maybe I can talk them way way down. Keeping in mind I'm not trying to restore this thing, and I'm going to gut it and probably slam it into a tree eventually. I used to be an auto adjuster. In 04 I imagine these cars weren't really valuable and it could be totaled in a super fiscial side swipe. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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      #3
      If you just want a track car just buy a shell or a ready to go track car. There are just so many abandoned projects out there that can be had for very little, and you don't unnecessarily take another E30 off of the road.

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        #4
        I don't mean to be rude, but we are talking about a 10 owner, 265k mile, salvage title, with a trashed interior. I specifically don't want to take a valuable vehicle off the road but I do want a fun to drive, well balanced, manual, that has a lot of aftermarket support. Even better if it has racing pedigree like the e30 platform, if not specifically the 318, being a group A homologation. And it will still be driven on the road. I don't plan to trailer it everywhere. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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          #5
          Miles are somewhat irreleveant now. and to a certain extent so are Vin decoders. Who knows what parts are in it. Wanna buy a cheap 30yr old car, be prepared for cheap 30yr old car problems, which include 17 owners and go knows who working on it and adding god knows what parts. You do you but really you should be prepared for anything to be break. if you personally haven't fixed it or properly inspected it, then soon enough its going to need fixing.

          The car is on 4 wheels in the photo, and its all the same color, and the majority of the interior appears to be present. Better than alot of cars in the $2700 price bracket.




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            #6
            It actually has two sets of wheels. Both with tires. Yea I certainly don't mind tearing literally everything apart. I'd be happy to get 5000 hard miles or maybe a year before rebuilding the engine. I have a hard time figuring out the value, for a long time it seems the e30 was considered the entry to motor sports. Around me they are going from 2-10k. This doesn't look like a restore candidate to me. I'm mostly worried about things like with my subaru which everything seems to blow an engine. I don't mind a rebuild, I just want it to not happen suddenly. If the m42 is as strong as I read, I'm hoping it's a, get under the car, put hands on everything. If it feels good it's fine. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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              #7
              Check for excessive crankshaft end play. The main bearing that has a built in thrust surface is only 180ยบ and is known to wear into the crank and destroy it. If you pull/push on the crankshaft pulley (may need a pry bar to move it) and it moves back and forth any noticeable amount, you're going to need a new crank. If it checks out fine, put main bearing replacement on the list as one of the first things to do.
              Attached Files

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                #8
                Well I bought it. I got excited (impulsive). Z3 manual steering rack with delrin blocking plate, new cv axles, new radiator, new control arms with rubber bushings, some sort of lowering springs, supposedly h&r maybe race but on what I think is Sachs strut/shocks. Battery in trunk, looks like done properly. Bottle caps and a set of Konig wheels. Bad news. M40 engine. Valve cover leak, oil pan leak, tach doesn't work, missing turn signals, missing license plate lamps. Should have realized the engine didn't look right but didn't know enough to really tell. I thought maybe old bmws maybe had one main coil with leads. But I was wrong. Already ordered water pump, timing belt, valve cover gasket, fan shroud. Cams feel smooth which apparently is a common issue with the m40. Just going to plan to run the engine until it blows and replace it with something better. Also have bilstein b6 on the way with the current plan to go to stock springs. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Nonamedude View Post
                  Well I bought it. I got excited (impulsive). Z3 manual steering rack with delrin blocking plate, new cv axles, new radiator, new control arms with rubber bushings, some sort of lowering springs, supposedly h&r maybe race but on what I think is Sachs strut/shocks. Battery in trunk, looks like done properly. Bottle caps and a set of Konig wheels. Bad news. M40 engine. Valve cover leak, oil pan leak, tach doesn't work, missing turn signals, missing license plate lamps. Should have realized the engine didn't look right but didn't know enough to really tell. I thought maybe old bmws maybe had one main coil with leads. But I was wrong. Already ordered water pump, timing belt, valve cover gasket, fan shroud. Cams feel smooth which apparently is a common issue with the m40. Just going to plan to run the engine until it blows and replace it with something better. Also have bilstein b6 on the way with the current plan to go to stock springs. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  Congrats on the purchase. A few things...

                  If it's a 318is it has the M42 engine, not M40. It's a fun engine.

                  The battery came in the trunk from the factory.

                  Tach issues could stem from a bad SI board in the cluster.

                  The valve cover gasket is an easy fix.

                  The lower oil pan gasket is easy to replace. When you are replacing the lower oil pan gasket check the upper pan bolts are tight (there are DIYs here why this is important). Also check for pieces of timing chain guides in the lower pan.

                  Another source of leaks on the M42 is the oil filter housing gasket and o-ring. Fairly simple to replace.

                  Replacing the timing chain tensioner is relatively cheap and only takes a couple minutes.

                  You'll want to check/replace the majority of the rubber fuel lines in the engine bay. The 2 short ones under the intake manifold are often original and leak onto the starter below.

                  Good luck!

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                    #10
                    Oh it's definitely not a m42. I wish that it was. It's a sohc, distributor (I'm sure there's a better wording), 4cyl engine and it doesn't look to be an m10. The distributor part number matches an m40 and the way the water pump and thermostat housing are visually match the m40 as well. Either way, before driving it, it's getting the valve cover gasket, oil change, coolant flush, new timing (belt or chain or tensioner if I open it up and it's not an m40), oil pan pulled to inspect the upper, a correct sized alternator belt, and water pump. I'll keep an eye on the fuel hoses, coolant hoses, leaks and stuff like that for a moment and have to see what it needs from there. I expect a lot honestly. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                      #11
                      Once it gets running (better) I'll start digging into the si board and making sure that all gets working. Trying to figure out what gauges would be useful in the center vent as there is already no a/c. Was thinking water temp, oil pressure, oil temp. Leaves one more though. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Nonamedude View Post
                        Oh it's definitely not a m42. I wish that it was.
                        I stand corrected! That is not an m42.

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                          #13
                          How the hell did THAT thing get in there? Burn it with fire! You'd be better off with a built M10!

                          That out of my system, this sounds like the perfect start for a track car. Did RealOEM tell you it had an M40?

                          Anyway, use the turd engine to sort out the body, then build/buy a nice engine for it. If you want to race it, an M20b25.
                          If you're really just going to track it hard, M54, built, or S54, stock.

                          just what i'd do,

                          t
                          now, sometimes I just mess with people. It's more entertaining that way. george graves

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                            #14
                            Nah realoem says it has an m42. But at least it runs. So ya I'm going to do basically that, use this engine to sort everything else out and then look into replacing it down the road. I've thought about doing a built m42. I imagine s14 are hard to find. It'll be doing rally cross and eventual stage rally. My understanding for rallyx is the light weight m42 is better for the balance. But the 24v engines better power for stage rally. That said, I just recently found out that spece30, and spec3 were a thing which is really cool. Along with the gts. Maybe down the road I'll need another race car of some sort. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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