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1986 325E Preservation

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    1986 325E Preservation

    The car:

    1986 2-door 325E Auto. Maroon Metallic with pearl beige interior. 89,000 original miles.

    From 1986 until 2002 (16 years) and 62,825 miles the car was in Palmdale, CA. The original owner then moved to Connecticut and brought the car with him. I learned from the shop that performed all the work on the car here locally that the original owner sold/transferred the car to his son in February of 2017 with 86,600 miles when he became too old to safely drive. The son sold it shortly after in March of 2017 to the owner I bought it off with an accurate 89,000 miles.

    The car has impeccable maintenance records from 2002 until the present getting brakes, drive belts, timing belts, coolant flushes, new radiator hoses, regular oil changes, new exhaust from the cat back, cam seals replaced, main seal replaced, new cap/rotor/plugs and Beru wires. The shop told me they could provide me with over $8,000.00 in receipts for work done.

    The Good:
    - 2-doors
    - Low miles
    - Absolutely ZERO rust
    - Crack free dash
    - Perfect door panels. Not a bit of delamination.
    - Perfect original bottle cap wheels
    - New tires
    - Manual sunroof works smooth as butter
    - All tools present minus the allen wrench and window tool
    - A mint rear parcel shelf

    The not so good:
    - The paint is faded. The car really deserves a proper all windows out, stripped of everything repaint. A cut and buff just won't be enough.
    - The pearl beige interior. For me it seems too light. I'm thinking a darker brown like nutria or black may look less "old man" But, I'll live with it a bit.
    - Comfort seats. I'd like sports as, IMHO,they are more comfortable and just look better.
    - Auto transmission. A 5-speed swap is not a priority right now.
    - No radio. I will source an original unit.
    - Non working radio antenna
    - Bottle cap wheels are not very sporty.
    - Has a hunting idle. I'll start by cleaning the ICV and check the fittings going into the throttle body and go from there.
    - No history of a transmission service. Easily rectified.
    - Diving board bumpers but, that's only esthetically.

    My biggest reservation on the car was the hunting idle but, I know this is a common E30 issue and can be sorted out with enough patience. The second is the pearl beige interior. I love the maroon color but, combined with the pearl beige interior it really does, imho, make it look as non sporty as you could make an E30 look which I understand the buyer of an automatic 325E back in 1986 was probably buying this car as the perfect car for him. The hardest thing is that the seats, door panels and every other piece is in perfect condition. I will be asking for opinions on what interior color goes well with the maroon. Black would probably be the easiest but, I was thinking a darker brown may look ok.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by MSGGrunt; 11-24-2017, 06:41 PM.
    1986 E30 325E
    1989 E30 325iX
    2003 E54 X5.
    1993 Mercedes W124 300E
    1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
    2009 VW Touareg
    2007 Porsche Cayman S

    #2
    One of the interior.
    Attached Files
    1986 E30 325E
    1989 E30 325iX
    2003 E54 X5.
    1993 Mercedes W124 300E
    1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
    2009 VW Touareg
    2007 Porsche Cayman S

    Comment


      #3
      Complete tool kit and even the original first aid kit is still in place. How often do you find a 31 year old E30 with these?
      Attached Files
      1986 E30 325E
      1989 E30 325iX
      2003 E54 X5.
      1993 Mercedes W124 300E
      1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
      2009 VW Touareg
      2007 Porsche Cayman S

      Comment


        #4
        Original break-in instruction sticker on original pit free windshield. I have never seen this before, not that I am an expert in E30's.
        Attached Files
        1986 E30 325E
        1989 E30 325iX
        2003 E54 X5.
        1993 Mercedes W124 300E
        1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
        2009 VW Touareg
        2007 Porsche Cayman S

        Comment


          #5
          Engine compartment after a good cleaning and a new radiator overflow tank, vacuum hoses, PCV hose and other small details.
          Attached Files
          1986 E30 325E
          1989 E30 325iX
          2003 E54 X5.
          1993 Mercedes W124 300E
          1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
          2009 VW Touareg
          2007 Porsche Cayman S

          Comment


            #6
            The paint looks better in the pictures than it does in person. The hood and roof are very sun faded.

            No matter what I do to the interior it will be 100% reversible. Any modifications will be done on different door panels and swapped in sport seats that way if and when it is passed on to a new owner it can be done so in 100% original condition, even down to the 14" bottle cap wheels.

            The "E" is, in many enthusiast's opinion, kind of the unloved E30 from everything I have read. You go on Bring a Trailer and you hardly ever see and E30 325E for sale and lots of times when you do it has had the motor swapped out. This makes me wonder if the car will eventually regain some collector status much the same way the, until recent years, unloved 65-69 Porsche 912s? Regardless, I would bet any unmolested original E30 will only rise in value as more and more succumb to rust, accidents, drift cars, etc.
            1986 E30 325E
            1989 E30 325iX
            2003 E54 X5.
            1993 Mercedes W124 300E
            1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
            2009 VW Touareg
            2007 Porsche Cayman S

            Comment


              #7
              As clean as it is I did find a few things that need taking care of.

              - Interior lights don't come on when the door is open but, they do work when you manually manipulate the switch.
              - Needs a new driver's side door seal.
              - Needs a new period correct radio and the factory wiring fixed. Whoever did the previous radio install just cut everything. And I will need a new antenna.
              - Driver's seat does not fold forward. No issue, I am putting in sport seats.
              - Handle/extension on transmission selector not working easily. In fact I can pull straight up on it and it easily pulls right out of the transmission selector mechanism.
              - OBC not working. Already replaced with the Euro clock.
              - Speedometer not working
              - Driver's door lock doesn't lock/unlock the passenger's or trunk.
              1986 E30 325E
              1989 E30 325iX
              2003 E54 X5.
              1993 Mercedes W124 300E
              1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
              2009 VW Touareg
              2007 Porsche Cayman S

              Comment


                #8
                Butchered radio wiring.
                Attached Files
                1986 E30 325E
                1989 E30 325iX
                2003 E54 X5.
                1993 Mercedes W124 300E
                1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
                2009 VW Touareg
                2007 Porsche Cayman S

                Comment


                  #9
                  I fixed the hunting idle issue. Even after cleaning and hearing the ICV working it still must have been bad because the hunting idle instantly went away with the new ICV. I am very happy with that.

                  After driving the car back and forth to work this past week I have a few minor things to attend to.

                  - I will need a new AC switch
                  - The overhead check panel always shows that I have a brake light out but, they are all working correctly. I even swapped out the panel with no change.
                  - A few of the backlights are not illuminating things like what gear you are in, the temp control knob, and the middle center vent slider control.
                  - I have a clunk in the rear that may be a worn out guibo. It does it coming on and off power.
                  - The speedo gears have been replaced but, am still waiting on a new speed sensor to arrive in hope that that fixes the issue. Other than the speedo, everything else on the cluster is working properly.
                  - Missing fog lights are on their way.
                  - Need to fix a messed up brake pad wear sensor harness.

                  I have replaced all the brake pads and rotors.
                  Put in a new radiator overflow tank and replaced vacuum hoses.
                  1986 E30 325E
                  1989 E30 325iX
                  2003 E54 X5.
                  1993 Mercedes W124 300E
                  1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
                  2009 VW Touareg
                  2007 Porsche Cayman S

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I picked up a 1985 325e, 5-speed, sport seat equipped parts car for $500.00 today. I hate to part out a nice car but, this one had been sitting under a barn for several years and the rust is beyond practical repair.

                    It has nice sport seats with all of the adjustments working surprisingly smooth that will be the base for the new leather interior I have on the way. Other things I can use are a straight front bumper, spare carpet, rear parcel shelf, and good door panels and of course all the 5-speed bits though the automatic isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

                    Bonus are some 15" BBS wheels.
                    1986 E30 325E
                    1989 E30 325iX
                    2003 E54 X5.
                    1993 Mercedes W124 300E
                    1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
                    2009 VW Touareg
                    2007 Porsche Cayman S

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Parts car has already donated a working AC switch.

                      I fixed the non lit HVAC panel, as simple as replacing a burnt out bulb.

                      The speedometer is still not working and has me baffled. I've tested the wiring from the rear pulse sensor to the dash and that shows 12 volts at the dash when I apply 12 volts at the rear wiring. I have replaced the sensor with a new one and still the speedo isn't working. I was thinking that the issue could be the circuit board in the instrument cluster but everything else, gauges and warning lights are working properly. Thoughts?
                      1986 E30 325E
                      1989 E30 325iX
                      2003 E54 X5.
                      1993 Mercedes W124 300E
                      1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
                      2009 VW Touareg
                      2007 Porsche Cayman S

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I went ahead and order new leather upholstery front and rear from Lseat.com.

                        I ordered the darkest brown they sell.

                        $299.00 for the front and another $299.00 for the rear. My cost was a bit more as I opted for the piping.

                        https://www.lseat.com/categories/gen...ather/bmw.html
                        Attached Files
                        1986 E30 325E
                        1989 E30 325iX
                        2003 E54 X5.
                        1993 Mercedes W124 300E
                        1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
                        2009 VW Touareg
                        2007 Porsche Cayman S

                        Comment


                          #13
                          In preparation for the new leather upholstery I went ahead and stripped the back seat of its original vinyl. I am hoping this will be a satisfying project. I also stripped on of the sport seats. The back seats were quick and simple, the front sport seat, though not overly complicated, have A LOT of hog rings that need to be clipped. I was sure to take lots of pictures and mark all of the wires and where they go. I am hoping I can pull off a decent install of the front covers. I found this video series to be very helpful and very detailed.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrdwCoTy1i0

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUuhdw4ZEcY
                          Attached Files
                          1986 E30 325E
                          1989 E30 325iX
                          2003 E54 X5.
                          1993 Mercedes W124 300E
                          1995 Mercedes W124 E320.
                          2009 VW Touareg
                          2007 Porsche Cayman S

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Honestly wouldn't have changed a thing on the car with the exception of the new paint, and general maintenance.
                            Continuous For Sale Thread
                            323i s50

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I love that color.

                              We also have an '86 E.

                              Comment

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