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'86 325e Barn Find

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    '86 325e Barn Find

    Hello everyone!

    I'm relatively new to the forums, so bare with me on this one.

    I recently picked up an '86 325e from a guy that I knew in town, and was able to bring it back with me to Charlotte last night. The car has been sitting for 12 years (noticeable from the pictures) and hasn't run since then.

    The best part about it are the filthy (but clean) 15" Moda Sports that were on it...

    I took the initiative to run to a do-it-yourself wash before heading out of town, and was completely satisfied with the way things looked underneath 12 year old grime.

    With no trouble on the road, I got it right into the garage last night and began taking a look at things. It's sitting right beside my '90 vert, so they should be able to make friends soon.

    Gave it a 5 minute clay bar, polish and wax on a part of the hood. I'll let you notice the difference...

    At first, my dad was skeptical about the $400 price tag on a car that's been sitting. I figured the car was worth more than $400 in weight! I was able to get a good battery in it last night and power up all the accessories and even turn the starter for a split second. Today, I'll be draining the disgusting gas, giving it some much needed oil and a filter, and I'll turn the key to see what happens.

    If it starts, I'll be cutting it off and walking inside to order my timing belt kit.

    My goals for this project are to get it back to where it should be. As far as swaps, drift, tracking...that's off the radar. I simply want another daily driver that didn't cost me more than a nice set of coilovers. I work full time and this will be a weekend project, so bare with me as I may only post from time to time. Headed out right now to start for the day...Enjoy!

    Looks promising. With a little bit of elbow grease you should have a pretty wicked before and after comparison. Anymore pics of your vert?

    Instagram: Reichart12


      Originally posted by Reichart12 View Post
      Looks promising. With a little bit of elbow grease you should have a pretty wicked before and after comparison. Anymore pics of your vert?
      Honestly, I need to take more pictures of the vert! These are nearly the only two that I have on my phone. I'll be at a car meet tonight and will grab some more.


        So yesterday I got to my friend's house around 10am and began working to get the thing running. We jumped right into it.

        The night before, I had finally gotten power to the front and the starter was turning. We went ahead and drained the 12 year old gas (which smelled awful) and replaced it with about 5 gallons of premium. I drained the oil, replaced the filter, and added some Mobil 1 High Mileage synthetic. Only thing left was to turn key...

        The car turned over for quite a bit with no sputtering at first. I had the valve cover off and was happy to see everything working properly (no broken timing belt!). After an hour of poking around and turning the key, the thing finally began to sputter up and shut off.

        I went down the road to grab some food, and when I got back I sat down and decided to turn the key again. The car started and ran (so long as I gave it gas to keep it above idle). It now runs (roughly) and won't idle on its own just yet.

        I do have a knocking that sounds as if the valves may be sticking. I've heard of methods such as Seafoam and even getting a little PB Blaster down into the valve stems and springs to loosen up all the gunk. Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? I'm open to suggestions!

        Last night, I spent some time cleaning a bit just to see how it would turn out. I need to remember to take more pictures as I go...

        And here's a picture of the Modas on the vert. I wanted to run them around town for a bit, but 12 years had something to say about that. There were all kinds of small leaks in the Yokohamas.

        I'm heading over to mess around a bit today. I'll be out of town for about a week, so when I get the chance I'll post again. Thanks for looking!


          very nice find

          Sounds like you got a very nice project for 400.00! Looking forward to more pictures.


            Man ton of neglected car projects showing up this month, good luck saving it OP that paint looks to be coming out great!

            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

            1992 M tech 2 Convertible - S50 Swap
            1992 e34 Touring- S50 Swap
            1992 325i-S50 Swap (SOLD)

            1995 e36 M3 Mugello Red - S50 (SOLD)
            1991 325i Convertible Laguna Green (SOLD)
            1987 325i (SOLD);1992 M tech 2 Convertible (SOLD)
            1988 325i Convertible Alpine White (SOLD)
            Brilliantrot Convertible 80k Miles (SOLD)
            1992 325i Convertible Schwarz (SOLD)
            1992 318i Convertible Project-Finished (SOLD)


              That car cleaned up great, awesome purchase.

              '88 325is-daily
              '89 325is-project
              '84 633csi-its there
              '00 528i-daily (wrecked)
              '01 525i- sold


                very nice
                1986 LTW M52 (First project 2015- )
                1998 e36 328ic/5 -
                Roundie alpina pig cheekā€™d (1969)
                1967 2002 parts car
                1994 318iS junked.


                  Nice! I have those same wheels, couldn't find center caps for them so I had to go a different route with that. I have two full original cap setups if you are in need.


                    Its going to clean up really nice! Those little areas you touched look great.
                    Originally posted by 87e30
                    First of all: calm the fuck down; second of all; cool story bro.


                      Reminds me so much of my schwarz eta barn find. Nice work keep it up!


                        Hey guys! It's been awhile since I've posted but I've done some stuff to the 325e.

                        The car runs, but knocks a bit. Its either not getting oil to the head or the valves are sticking a bit. I haven't taken the time to take the valve cover off and fix the problem. So instead, I've been picking at the interior and exterior. Besides, I'm more motivated to get it running after the car is cleaned up than to drive a running car that is full of mold and mildew.

                        I picked up a good battery from my dad. He had it laying around after putting an Optima Red Top into his '73 2002.

                        I pulled the sunroof because there was so much debris and gunk in the way of opening it. I actually broke the crank when I first tried to open it, so I'll be ordering one of those soon. Everything has been cleaned out and it works great now!

                        The interior is nearly completely disassembled. The only thing I have left is the upper part of the console and the back part of the back seat. The passenger seat needs a good cleaning, but I'll be replacing the driver seat with one in good condition soon. The carpet will be coming out and I'll be using my buddy's extractor soon.

                        The entire center console was disgusting. After sitting under trees for 12 years, mold and mildew had grown and taken over. A little dish detergent and some very hot water did the trick and will save me some money.

                        This is the best part. While I had the sunroof out, I got a little curious about the paint underneath. I had this perfect, small panel to test out and really see how the paint was underneath. The only thing I did was take a buffer to it with some Turtle Wax Finish Restorer and a spray wax to get it to shine. It almost looks like black tinted glass or that there is nothing even there, but I assure you its there.

                        Here's another angle to see the difference. I feel like the 12 years of grime actually protected some of the clear coat!

                        Although the clear coat is peeling in quite a few spots, I still believe I can get a good shine on the car overall.

                        That's all for now. Hopefully tonight I can get over to the car and get the carpet out. Thanks for reading!


                          Wow great find and that interior door shot what a difference!!
                          I'm wondering if you have had any update on the engine/sticky valve issue.
                          I am experiencing the same thing with my "garage find" that was sitting for 8-9 years.
                          Can you tell me if it sounds similar to my car and if you have been able to get the valves to move smoothly?

                          Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.


                            Originally posted by e30patalohas View Post
                            Wow great find and that interior door shot what a difference!!
                            I'm wondering if you have had any update on the engine/sticky valve issue.
                            I am experiencing the same thing with my "garage find" that was sitting for 8-9 years.
                            Can you tell me if it sounds similar to my car and if you have been able to get the valves to move smoothly?

                            I apologize for just now getting back to you. I've been quite busy with work and haven't been able to put the time into my car that I would like.

                            Mine sounds similar, but it's actually the exact reverse issue of yours. Mine sounds fine while the starter is turning, and then I get a loud knock once the car is actually running. One guy told me because the timing belt is old, it could be slightly stretched and therefore causing the timing to be off ever so much that it causes the tick (perhaps the valves tapping the pistons).

                            I'll be moving in with my friend where I currently keep the car in August. This will give me tons more time to work on it since I won't have to drive 20 min to do some work.


                              Also, for anyone taking a look at this, the Moda Sports will be for sale soon. The tires are completely dry rotted and shot, so I'll have them removed and thrown out. I'll be putting a good cleaning and polish on them before I post them officially on the forum.

                              DM me if you are interested ahead of time and I'll work quicker to get them cleaned up ;D

                              I'm in the Charlotte, NC area, but make frequent trips to Asheville as well.