Jump to content

Andrew's Ratty 320i Touring


Recommended Posts

Yesterday I picked up my beatiful new (old) 1990 BMW 320i Touring. My Dad and I drove all the way from Essex to Cornwall, then back to Essex (600 mile round trip) to bring the beast home.


So she was an eBay purchase. Bargains. She's done 150k and has a 2 litre straight 6. I swear I nearly did a sex wee when I drove her off the guy's drive, that engine sounds SO good!! :drool:

The bodywork on the whole looks tatty. Lacquer is missing everywhere - worst of all is the bonnet (see photos), but it appears there's less rust than my Escort, which is 8 years younger than the BM!





Interior is shabby too. Gear gaitor is mashed, drivers seat cover is fubared, and the radio is the original (rubbish) tape deck. But it's comfy, and strangely homely.






I brimmed her tank in Devon and absolutely shat my pants when it all started dripping out the bottom again! After about 50 miles it had stopped (I think) so it might have been some sort of overfill system? Or just a hole in the top of a connecting pipe. Either way, it isn't an MOT fail!




Some pictures of the other "ratty features"







And to top it all off, I found £2 in the ash tray, and 4 pairs of sunglasses in the glovebox!!! WIN! :D



Known faults:


Washer bottle full, but no water comes through nozzles

2 nozzles were just blocked, one has a pin stuck in it, other I have no idea why. Replacement nozzles have been bought.


Headlamp wash/wipe system doesn't work, leaks everywhere

Unplugged pump, wipers didn't work anyway


Possible petrol leak

Previous owner has replaced tank about a year ago, must just be a connecting pipe, easy fix.


Electric Mirror adjustment broken

Soldering new controls in tomorrow, should work after that. Otherwise, they adjust manually.


Lacquer is gone in loads of places

Leaving this. Adds to the aged look of the car, I love it! Possible eventually painting it in NATO green (like the Army Landies!)


Radio is sh!t, tape deck and speakers pooped

Mate has a spare headunit and 2 6x9's, will be nicking these from him!


Driver's seat ripped up on base

Doesn't effect the comfort, might eventually get a replacement seat if one comes up cheap.



Taking her for an MOT on Wednesday hopefully, with my mechanic friend. Will see whether it passes, or I have bigger problems on my hands!!

If she passes, i'll be selling the Escort in April. Would love to see her go in one piece, but the rust on the arches is so bad, I think it'll get broken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Erm, I can't say I'm seeing the appeal myself :unsure:


Tidy the paint up, drop it on some Alpina style wheels with some M tech bits or something and it could be a cool car though. Can't say I'd want to be seen in it in it's current state :roll:


I absolutely adore E30 tourings. Have wanted one for a long time. Naturally aged cars look great, IMO gives the car a real character. Completely agree with the lowering + wheels suggestion, although ideally i'd get some BBS rims of some kind. One of those "each to their own" situations i guess.


What's with the exhaust pipes? How come it slants like that?


Nothing wrong with them, thats just the angle they come out of the backbox.


Fit for the scrapheap IMO.... What did it cost you?


We'll find out on wednesday if that is so. MOT will be the first time I've properly seen the underside, but what I can see looks fine and rust-free.


How much did that sting you then?


The hose you need for the fuel tank is about £20. You can get the part number from http://www.realoem.com once you've taken a look and confirmed this is the problem. It's relatively common on old BMWs.


What colour is it?


Good luck on the MOT :)


Thanks Sid :) I'm going to the petrol station in the morning to put some more juice in. If some more leaks out I know which pipe it's gonna be.


The colour I think is "midnight blue".


Cost? Not very much. Lets just say less than a PS3, for a LOT more fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice one, I love a bargain (I originally thouht mine was! Oh how wrong!). You could always just get a bar of soap in about the leak as a fix, as changing that pipe is a pain if you've not got girly hands.


I think the car will polish up nicely, and with a new petrol cap and a bonnet from somewhere, you're in business. Quarry Motors is good for used body panels. They're a massive BMW breakers down the road with a fantastic rep.


We'll have to arrange an EVO meet of old BMWs this year, haha.


If you need any advice on parts or the mechanical side of things, just give me a shout. I can't recommend bookmarking that Real OEM page enough though :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, pretty fcuking bad news for the MOT, i'm gutted.

She had over a page of fails, and 2 advisories. None for bodywork or engine though, and nearly a clean bill of health for the suspension too!


The fails were:


Disks and pads - inefficiency and excessive pitting (all round)

Exhaust Mount Loose

Both front ball joints (whole lower arms required)

Both rear Drum plates - Excessive corrosion

Handbrake inefficiency (due to drum plates and brakes)

Both front wishbone "butterfly bushes"

O/S ARB drop link

R O/S coil spring broken

Front O/S headlight aim (pretty harsh considering he fitted the bulb...)



C/V boot

Exhaust - corrosion to mid section.


If I can get her sorted for under £150 (Half the value of the car IMO) i'm gonna go for it, otherwise she's going back on fleabay, or sold as parts :( I'm not holding my hopes up, but it seems that a lot of common MOT fails for an E30 have all hit me at once - not what I needed financially, really.


I'm gutted, but also kind of shocked as she felt so good to drive. Brb whilst I go sulk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Escape, I'd pay more than £150 to keep this on the road, and if you were closer I'd have it off you, lol.


You can buy outer ball joints and press them in, by the way, it doesn't mean a new are... it's just easier (and cheaper) replacing the whole lot.


Intrigued about this ball joint malarkey. As far as I could tell, it was only the ball joints and butterfly bushes that needed replacing, not the whole wishbones themselves. The whole units are coming up at £50 a side, which is a big expense i'll avoid if I can...


And yeah, i'd pay over £150 too if I could, it's just not really financially viable spending more than I paid for the car in the first place. I'll try though - I really do want to keep her going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...