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  1. #1
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    Member No: 178356 DougG34 is an unknown quantity at this point DougG34's Avatar
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    320i purchase 1st post and 1st BMW!

    I am looking at a 1983 320i. What are the major issues that I should look for? I already see that there is a leak in the trunk, it is a little hard to start, it has rustoleum paint over the original paint (how do I remove that?), and trim pieces that I can easily replace. How much money should I plan to sink into this?

    Thanks in advance!

    Doug


  2. #2
    BG
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    Re: 320i purchase 1st post and 1st BMW!

    Wow, many questions. Major issues, not in any special order:

    1. RUST!! Check for it all over the underside.
    2. Engine running rough or poorly because in the past, vacuum leaks caused poor running and incompetent mechanics attempted to compensate by monkeying with CO mixture or other parts of the fuel injection system.
    3. Electrical problems. This car is pretty robust electrically and minor problems can often be solved by cleaning off all contacts and replacing the battery cables.
    4. Shimmy in front end: check tires and make sure front end is in top condition.
    5. AC may be broken. If original, it used freon R-12.
    6. AC and vent controls don't work. This is a big problem because you have to replace the center control panel, very expensive.
    7. Trunk leaks. replace gasket, look for rust holes, replace light gaskets.
    8. Transmission: The 5-speed is robust. Surely you're not serious in buying an auto?

    I will think of more items later.

    As for how much money you should pour into the car: that is up to you based on whether you have sentimental reasons or really want this model. Even in extra clean condition, a 320i is worth very little. To restore, you can spend thousands. Only you can decide.

    Rustoleum paint over the original paint? Bizarre.

  3. #3
    gofast88635
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    Re: 320i purchase 1st post and 1st BMW!

    Congrats!!! BG said it all...........and you can always do a search on this site to find out valuable information. How much will you have to spend? This is up to you.....I have spent alot because I love the car. Bought most everything off Ebay. There are alot of items that you cant buy from the dealership because they are no longer available, NLA. Passenger side tail light is one.
    I have a source, who store is on ebay, that has a dozen of these cars in Detroit and too many parts. Bavarian is another good source. As BG said, check under carriage for rust issues. If you have any other questions just ask, and the ones who are left on this site will try to answer!

  4. #4
    BG
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    Dec. 2009 UPDATE: tail lights ARE available

    I just ordered the right rear tail light lens for $90. The most reasonable place to order parts now is BMW of Lincoln (Nebraska). If you are a BMWCCA member, you get 25+ percent discount. The parts people there seem to be real enthusiasts.

  5. #5
    gofast88635
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    Re: Dec. 2009 UPDATE: tail lights ARE available

    Well shoot.......my dealership in Ft Wayne, Indiana said they couldnt get them over a year ago. Reinforces my stance on..always get a second opinion!

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