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    Differences between early and late models

    Hey guys,
    Sorry for the n00b question.

    Up until yesterday, I thought I knew the difference between pre-facelift cars and the facelifted versions.

    Pre-facelift:
    Smaller tails
    Metal bumpers (North America diving boards)
    Higher rear arches

    Facelift:
    Larger tails
    Plastic bumpers
    Lower rear arches.


    That was until I saw an e30 up for sale with larger tails, lower rear arches, and Metal bumpers (diving boards)
    [see attached pics, also I'm not interested in buying this one, but was intrigued by the bumpers]

    Was this combination ever offered? Or is this a custom/collision shop special?

    Cheers!

    P.S - Are there any mechanical or structural differences between early and late?
    I know gas tanks are different, airbags on some cars.
    Attached Files

    '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
    '90 Mazda Miata NA
    '04 Jeep TJ
    '05 Yamaha R6 (trackbike)

    #2
    Most likely that was an 88 (9/87-8/88 production). It is in between the early and late models.
    The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen.
    Jim Levie, Huntsville, AL

    Comment


      #3
      Oh, and don't ever look at a 'vert, period. They have their own... pattern...

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

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Panici View Post
        Hey guys,
        Sorry for the n00b question.

        Up until yesterday, I thought I knew the difference between pre-facelift cars and the facelifted versions.

        Pre-facelift:
        Smaller tails
        Metal bumpers (North America diving boards)
        Higher rear arches

        Facelift:
        Larger tails
        Plastic bumpers
        Lower rear arches.


        That was until I saw an e30 up for sale with larger tails, lower rear arches, and Metal bumpers (diving boards)
        [see attached pics, also I'm not interested in buying this one, but was intrigued by the bumpers]

        Was this combination ever offered? Or is this a custom/collision shop special?

        Cheers!

        P.S - Are there any mechanical or structural differences between early and late?
        I know gas tanks are different, airbags on some cars.
        Yeah, definitely an '88. Cool fact: there are five 4dr 1988 E30s with that colour combo in North America (at least, five were made). I own one other.

        You'll notice the valances are also different, identical to the plastic-bumpered cars. Late models also have a different intake boot, headlights (interestingly, the 1990 had the shittier early-model sealed-beams). Obviously the plastic splash shields are also different.

        Comment


          #5
          Interesting!
          So these in-between models came from BMW this way. :o


          I did notice the facelift valance, and was very confused to see it under a metal bumper.

          '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
          '90 Mazda Miata NA
          '04 Jeep TJ
          '05 Yamaha R6 (trackbike)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Panici View Post
            Interesting!
            So these in-between models came from BMW this way. :o


            I did notice the facelift valance, and was very confused to see it under a metal bumper.
            Yes. The 88 had everything late model but still used diving board bumpers.
            BimmerHeads
            Classic BMW Specialists
            Santa Clarita, CA

            www.BimmerHeads.com

            Comment


              #7
              Pop out windows?

              Comment


                #8
                For coupe and sedan 325i, 1989 was the final "most-desirable" year. It came with no airbag, elipsoid headlights, plastic bumpers, horizontal-style tailights, low rear-arches, late-model valences/lips, and pop-out rear windows. 1988 e30s had everything the the 1989 came equipped with except US aluminium bumpers. E30s further produced for the 1990 and 1991 model years were converted to airbag systems (as per new safety regulations at the time), were reverted to sealed windows and sealed beams as cost saving measures, but kept the late model revisions (taillights, valences, etc.)

                1988/1989 can be regarded as "early"-late-model while 1990/1991 are considered "late"-late-model. 1990/1991 don't come as fully equipped as 1988/1989; however, the 318iS was only produced in 1991 and was the only 318i offered as a coupe in 1991 (bar convertibles).

                ALL e30s 1987 and prior had sealed beams, high rear-arches, early model valences/lips, pop-out rear windows, vertical-style taillights, and US Aluminium bumpers.

                Convertibles continued the "early-model trend" until 1991 where convertibles produced for the late-1991, 1992, and 1993 years came with the updated late model systems and plastic bumpers. Only convertibles were produced in 1992/1993. The standard e30 coupe/sedan ceased production in 1991.

                Gas tanks were different early vs late aswell, but I don't remember the exact numbers that go along with that (13 gallon early/15.5 gallon late?)

                I think that about covers it for the American market
                Last edited by JinormusJ; 05-16-2014, 05:49 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I don't know about sedans, but i know that the front windows between early/late are not interchangeable.
                  sigpic
                  1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
                  1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
                  1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by TSI View Post
                    Yeah, definitely an '88. Cool fact: there are five 4dr 1988 E30s with that colour combo in North America (at least, five were made). I own one other.
                    How could you possibly confirm that?
                    1989 325is - 2000 323it - 1990 M3 - 1973 2002 - 1975 CB550F

                    Troll my Instagram feed: m.carey

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I dont think anyone cares about pop out windows and 26 year old headlights these days... condition is a better indicator of desireability than stuff like that. I never particularily wanted a 1989, a nice 90 or 91 is just as appealing.
                      Build thread

                      Bimmerlabs

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I like the 89 due to no airbag.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mkcman17 View Post
                          How could you possibly confirm that?
                          Production data from BMW factory :)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by 5ickride View Post
                            Pop out windows?
                            yup, the 88 coupes had em
                            If it's got tits or tires, it's gonna cost ya!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by nando View Post
                              I dont think anyone cares about pop out windows and 26 year old headlights these days... condition is a better indicator of desireability than stuff like that. I never particularily wanted a 1989, a nice 90 or 91 is just as appealing.
                              I love pop outs. Every time regnu or dilsnik pull up I'm all like you ain't got no pop outs.....
                              Also, if you own a pre88 metal bumper, you can use 88 shocks to tuck them instead of playing the lets back into a wall game...
                              Yours truly,
                              Rich
                              sigpic
                              Originally posted by Rigmaster
                              you kids get off my lawn.....

                              Comment

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