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View Full Version : late 80s bmw 325i for drift


fearless
11-29-2003, 12:22 PM
what do you guys think of a late 80s 325i, has anybody ever drove one of these what do u think about the handling and the power, ive been looking for a ae86 or a s13 for a while and cannot find a decent car that is not way overpriced i can actually find 325 5 speeds cheaper than the others in my area,

Akira714
11-29-2003, 10:15 PM
Arn't they FWD? My friend has an 89' 325i. They're pretty small but decent.

mpc
11-29-2003, 10:54 PM
that would make a great drifter, i think 'Chapel' on this board drifts his E30.

all bmws are rwd or awd. only fwd bimmer is the mini

Gelo
11-30-2003, 01:49 PM
Hey fearless,

I have an e30 1989 325is. I would say they make great drift cars. They are RWD and have a 3.73 lsd. Forget what others may say about their weight; sure, they're heavy but it's easy to get them to slide. I took my 325is to Drift Day 8, but unfortunately blew out the clutch after only 3 runs. With the inflation of ae86's and s13's, I decided to get a modded 325is for relatively cheap. Hope this helps.

Gelo

http://www.thecrackerfactory.com/gallery/Drift8/aad

fearless
11-30-2003, 02:18 PM
cool i was looking for a 240 but their becoming hard to find and when u find them their way overpriced, and i havent even seen an ae86 around my area, i think alot of them have been crushed or junkyarded, but the bmws seem a lil more affordable than the nissan or toyota(Kinda backwards isnt it) anyway thanks for the help, does anyone know of any sites that carry the suspension and performance parts that i would need to make one drift worthy




thanks again
mark

Gelo
12-01-2003, 01:53 PM
Bavarian Autosport (www.bavauto.com) carries an extensive line of performance parts for the e30 325i(s). I highly recommend Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks (either the HD-Heavy Duty or the Sports), and getting an upper tower strut bar (both front and rear). Other shops include: www.bimmerworld.com, turner motorsports, and www.bmpd.com (they actually built an e30 track car for one of their projects). You can find other companies by searching through www.bmwlinks.com. Hope this helps! Good luck on your project!

Gelo

fearless
12-01-2003, 03:52 PM
thanks gelo,



now to get rid of my 3000gt and my camaro and find the bmw

Xise
06-15-2004, 12:41 PM
I drive an E21, (1983 320is) My bimmer came with a 3.9.1 LSD. This car is very lightweight compared to the E30s, which I also own a 85 325e....that doesn't run. but anyway, from what I have experienced it is incredibly eassy to initiate a drift in the E21, accel off seems to give the most initial traction loss but the car does have a tendency to understeer if you don't give it enough gass going into the drift. An E21 is very similar to the AE86 in that they are both underpowered understeerers. I think that it would be a good car to learn with except it doesn't have ABS or power steering so it is actually very difficult at first to master the ammount of countersteer needed. Another plus is they are very cheap, I bought mine for $1500 and have only put about $2000 into it for upkeep (not counting money spent on performance stuff) right now i think my car is perfect with almost 240 horsepower at the wheels.

clay payton
06-15-2004, 01:30 PM
from a power and handling standpoint, you should get either a 318is, or 325is. basically the "is" cars have the stronger engines and better suspension, which means less upgrades to get you started.

I did a few street drifts in a completely stock 1994 325is.

it is a heavy car, and I could really feel the weight car through, and then rebound. but, if it's gonna be a dedicated car, you can lose a fair amound of weight.

the biggest downside in my opinion of modding a bimmer is that aftermarket and factory parts seem to cost more than say, some nissan or toyota parts.

Wickdmarz
06-15-2004, 02:23 PM
I think it'll be a fine drift car, I've been wanting to do the same thing since they're so cheap. But I think the worst would having to buy engine parts...I imagine parts for the stupid car would be outrageously price no matter what the age is.

Xise
06-15-2004, 08:58 PM
the car I drive (320is E21) is a sports edition of the 320i E21, It has recaro seats, LSD, and a sports suspension package. You can usually differntiate between the 2 because the 320is has no rear "320i" emblem and has the alloy basketweave wheels. both use the M10 4cyl engine but the is has about 25 or so horsepower more that the standard model. If you want a cheap drift car to learn with this would be it, it has no power steering so you get trained to make fast hand motions with the wheel with high resistance, this makes it so you can make hand motions on the wheel of a car with power steering very easily. You could use a car like that until your skill level improves to where you need more power

Chapel
06-15-2004, 10:13 PM
http://home.comcast.net/~chapel976/chapjdm.jpg
makes a great, reliable starter drift car, thats for sure
325iS even has a LSD :)
if you want more info, see me at forums.mwerks.com on the e30 board

MrodDrft
06-15-2004, 10:34 PM
HEY A MA DRIFTER :) !! Im right next door in Lynn.. Howdy

GRiDRaceTech
06-15-2004, 11:11 PM
This thread makes me laugh. Especially the fwd part... so damn funny it's not even, well, funny.

An e30 is not the greatest drift car out there... the wheelbase is a bit too short. It's really nimble and a great autocross and track car, but there's a reason you don't see many of them drifting. However, if you want to try to drift one, go ahead... it's been done and I've done it myself. (I drive one. And it's for sale.)

Here's a quick primer on what you'll need: a timing belt change if it's older than 3 years old and has anything more than 45k miles, bushings (upgrade the control arm bushings with e30 M3 offset bushings), tie rods, valve adjustments every 12k miles. The rear subframe bushings are a pain in the arse to get out and put in, so figure $600-800 for those. The rear shock mounts will probably need replacement, so go with Ground Control upgraded. The front of the e30 is MacPherson strut, so get Ground Control camber plates to dial in some negative camber. Take out the trunk tar and interior sound deadening. Ditch the AC and get a fiberglass hood to even out the weight distribution. Get a non-sunroof model, as I have helmet clearance issues with my sunroof. Get a cone air intake and run some piping from the driver's high-beam bucket to it... looks trick and gets a little ram-air effect going. Buy a 4.10 LSD and run crappy 195s out back. You'll want a performance chip and maybe a M30 AFM. My car is fun as all hell... understeer is alleviated with lift-throttle and on-throttle oversteer is quite easy to provoke and relatively progressive. (The progressivity is more a factor of the Azenis Sports than anything else, I suppose.)

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

Chapel
06-16-2004, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by GRiDRaceTech
An e30 is not the greatest drift car out there... the wheelbase is a bit too short. It's really nimble and a great autocross and track car, but there's a reason you don't see many of them drifting. However, if you want to try to drift one, go ahead... it's been done and I've done it myself. (I drive one. And it's for sale.)

I'll agree, its not the greatest drift car out there. It's similar to an AE86. You really need to get on it to get it sideways and keep it sideways. However as for 'not seeing many of them drifting'... Watch any european drift contest... E30s are always the champions of european drift events, be it in Sedan, Coupe, Wagon or M3 form. I've seen E30 Wagons beat E46 M3s in drift contests. Yes the wheelbase is short, but if you can make an understeering car drift, you'll have no problem with the e30.
My car understeers on throttle, so what you need to do is break the rear end and then you can actually keep it on the break with the throttle and its pretty accurate with steering, just don't give it too much countersteer or it will just right itself.


Here's a quick primer on what you'll need: a timing belt change if it's older than 3 years old and has anything more than 45k miles, bushings (upgrade the control arm bushings with e30 M3 offset bushings), tie rods, valve adjustments every 12k miles. The rear subframe bushings are a pain in the arse to get out and put in, so figure $600-800 for those. The rear shock mounts will probably need replacement, so go with Ground Control upgraded. The front of the e30 is MacPherson strut, so get Ground Control camber plates to dial in some negative camber. Take out the trunk tar and interior sound deadening. Ditch the AC and get a fiberglass hood to even out the weight distribution. Get a non-sunroof model, as I have helmet clearance issues with my sunroof. Get a cone air intake and run some piping from the driver's high-beam bucket to it... looks trick and gets a little ram-air effect going. Buy a 4.10 LSD and run crappy 195s out back. You'll want a performance chip and maybe a M30 AFM. My car is fun as all hell... understeer is alleviated with lift-throttle and on-throttle oversteer is quite easy to provoke and relatively progressive. (The progressivity is more a factor of the Azenis Sports than anything else, I suppose.)

Ok, well first, it depends on the car. I assume we will just focus on the 325i and 325iS and just forget about the 318iS (which is actually more like an AE86 than you think! :D)
The 325i weighs about 2800lbs. Stock it makes about 170bhp. With a chip and exhaust it makes nearly 180bhp (mine did 175bhp with just a chip) The cars are built like tanks. They are the definition of 'overengineered'. Their weak link, as stated, is the timing belt. timing belt needs to be done at 50k, 60k as the most. You dont need to do ANYTHING to even out the weight distribution. The 325i and 325iS is 50/50 stock. You can get it more Rear biased by removing the AC and relocating the HUGE windshield washer reservoir (which is in FRONT of the passenger wheel). A carbon fibre hood is a good buy because the stock hood is VERY heavy (it's counterweighted so it doesnt need a hood prop)
Valve adjustment isn't required that often. It's only about an hour job and involves turning an eccentric on the rocker arms.
Rear shock mounts in an E30 arent that bad. I suggest getting the Turner Motorsport rear shock mounts. They have an easy screw in/out bushing that does not require removing the suspension to get to the bracket. It's $100 for the pair. Replacement inserts are $15.

Rear subframe bushings arent that bad. Find a qualified mechanic and it'll cost you about $200-300... or do it yourself if you are handy with a wrench

Good luck getting rid of the sound deadening... it's a BMW, so its got ALOT. Particularly in the 325i.
Finding a 325i without a sunroof is not going to be easy. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a 325i on the US shores without one. The only ones without a sunroof are the base 325s and even some of those have roller roofs. Your best bet for more headroom clearance are Recaro seats with modified brackets to lower them.
Dont bother with Cold air intakes. Underhood temps on the high side normally. You are better off with a good drop-in and leaving the snorkel in. I've found that the stock Mahle Paper filter actually flows better than a CAI or even a K&N drop in. Plus its like $5. Ram air effect only works if you are going straight... if your car is sideways, no real use there except sucking highspeed rocks into the engine bay.

4.10LSD is a bit much. I've found that the stock 3.73 LSD is just fine. 4.10 would make the car annoying for daily use. I've found that a 3.64 LSD is actually a great compromise because you can hold 2nd gear longer. with a 4.10 you'd be shuffling between 2nd and 3rd too much.

M30AFM does nothing without injectors (at least 17# injectors) and proper software. You'd need a Motronic 1.3ECU to really get the M30 AFM + Injectors upgrade to work, the 1.1ECU is too slow to accept the changes. the M30 AFM/Injectors upgrade will work fine with a 173 ECU and a JimC chip. It should be good for around 190bhp with an exhaust

You left out a major upgrade: M3 rear sway bar. You can get them used for about $50. It's a great upgrade. I suggest a 205/50/15 for the front with a VERY hard sidewall and a softer 195/60/14 for the rear or a 195/55/15 if you want to run all the same rims.

I suggest the KMAC camber plates. They are cheap and they work great. These are available from Turnermotorsports as well (all suspension stuff should be bought there if possible)
I suggest Bilstein Sport Dampers and H&R Sport Springs.

As for brakes. Try to get a softer compound brake pad. I use an EBC red and it's not really suited for drifting. You really need to heat this pad up to get it to bind. The EBC Green is a better choice for this.

I suggest getting the UUC Evo Shortshift Kit with the Cartridge bearing upgrade as it really keeps your shifts tight and accurate.
I also suggest a smaller steering wheel with a spacer to get it closer to your body if you are over 6' tall.

If you can spare the cash, go to diffsonline.com and have them modify your stock differential with up to 75% locking. 50% would be fine for drifting though.

If you want to do a project car, buy an EARLY 325e (1986ish) and do an engine swap and equip the car with european body work (bumpers and front valence). Engines I've seen in E30s range from a later 24v straight six to an SR20DET to even a 1JZ-GTE.
If you are from california, you can probably do an SR20DET swap with an S15 6 speed for about $8000. An S13 SR20DET swap with a 5 speed would be about half that. Or if you want to stay normally aspirated, get a 2.5 24v out of a pre 95 E36 325i. With M3 cams, valve springs and software, you can get almost 240bhp. You can also upgrade to a 3.2L bottom end, but keep it OBD1 as that head flows ALOT better.
An SR20DET equipped early 325 with euro body work weighs under 2600lbs.

I dont know what else to say about the car. It's built like a tank. My car has over 200k miles and Im on the stock original clutch and it's still fine. The engine runs like a top and the car is capable and stable at speed up to 150mph. The cockpit is very driver oriented with pretty much everything angled at the driver.

If you want a rollbar, Vintage Sports and Racing sells a great one that fits as tight as a custom welded one. It's about $500 painted. http://www.vsr1.com/

I dont know what else I can say though.
With some minor bolt ons it can make 180bhp, with some minor suspension upgrades its a fully capable track car.

GRiDRaceTech
06-16-2004, 12:54 PM
Chapel... are you the one and the same Chapel as on bf.c/e3s/r3vlimited? (I forgot which) Nice post... much longer and more in depth than mine. :D

Yes, I know about the euro drift contests and the e30's greatness in them. (Four doors seem to do better than two-doors) There is one 325i that usually vies for top spot.

The e30 is 53/47 factory. If you remove the trunk tar, spare, and rear seat, that goes to about 55/45. The factory hood is 44lbs and an Ireland Engineering fiberglass race hood is 12lbs. That's a 1.5% weight cut right there.

I can vie for the e30's tank-ness... I've flipped mine and still drive it. They're STRONG.

For e30 information, visit: bimmerforums.com and r3vlimited.com. For parts, go to Turner Motorsports, Ireland Engineering, Bavarian Autosport, and there are a couple more.

Chapel
06-16-2004, 01:06 PM
yeah, Im the same
Im more of 'Mwerks' fame though :D

Xise
06-16-2004, 03:44 PM
All this talk about the E30 drifting really makes me want to drift mine. I bought my 325e E30 for $700 with the linkage all F@cked up. It only shited into 1st, 3rd, and 5th with 200k+ miles. I only got to drive it for a few days while my e21 was down with a bent control arm....from letting understeer get the better of me.

I want to get the E30 up and running so bad now but I jsut don't have the money to do it, seeing how I am only 20 and working at a shitty grocery job I can only really afford to have one car on the road, plus I am saving up for a 240hp E30 M3 engine for me e21.... man that engine in that car...I think i could out drift anyone around where I live which is in Rhode Island. So far me and a few of my friends are the only ones I know of interested in the sport. so If thre are any more RI drifters or even from Mass or Conneticuit, send me an email or something I would love to hold a drift meet sometime, I know of a windy road with some awsome corners and no cops even a few hairpins towards the hilly area.

Chapel
06-16-2004, 07:16 PM
Ive been trying to organize one with the BMWCCA and some local shops as of late. our last Drift Day at Foxboro was cancelled.

Xise
06-19-2004, 12:03 AM
I was actually looking to try and do some racing. I would like to see how I'd compare to the talent you have in Mass, If you are familiar with rhode Island you can take a look at roads like Wakefeild street in west warwick, fodering farm road in Naragansett. There is another one in Narragansett but I only know how to get there by driving i dont know the name of the road. Only a few are actually completely downhill most are both up and down hill. Not many hairpin conrers only about 5 throughout all the ones i mentioned. They are mostly Mid speed corners but they could be easily mastered if you already have had some practice.

as of right now my car is being overhauled as far as the suspension, because they were still origional from factory and are about 20 years old, I also need a new clutch. My car is also a bit old so i think i am going to put in a roll cage and reinforce the chassis a bit due to some rust. actually let me just list the things i need to replace just to pass inspection

-Rear Axles/ Differential
-Clutch
-Front and Rear Brakes (entire System)
-Shocks/Springs/Tires(always need tires)

I am probly missing some other things but those are the main things i need soon.