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1988 BMW (E30) 325iS

1988 BMW (E30) 325iS

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Details

Price: $9,800

Mileage: 202,700 Miles

Engine: M20B25 2.5-Liter Inline 6-Clyinder Engine

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Alpine White II Exterior (218)

Interior: Black Leather Sport Interior (0203)

VIN: WBAAA1309J4142342

Additional features:

K&N Cone Filter

Miller 3-Inch Intake / MAF Conversion

Miller Tune

19-Pound Fuel Injectors

Electric Cooling Fan

Mishimoto Aluminum Radiator

Tri-Flow Cat-Back Exhaust

H&R Sport Springs

Bilstein Sport Shocks

22mm Front Sway Bar

18mm Adjustable Rear Sway Bar

Adjustable Sway Bar End Links

Reinforced Rear Sway Bar Attachments

Treehouse Racing Solid Control Arm Bushings

Plastic Bumpers

Crack Free Dash

Projector Headlights

M Tech I Steering Wheel

Z4 Shifter

Flip-Up Center Cup Holder

Alpine CDE-1478T Headunit w/ Matching Illumination

Bluetooth

Alpine amplifier

Infinity Front and Rear Speakers

Alpine 8” Subwoofer

Euro Blind Spot Driver’s Mirror

Euro Rear License Plate Filler

Euro Grills

Varrstoen 16x8 Inch Wheels

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Tires

Extensive Maintenance History

Florida / North Carolina / Colorado Car

Clean Carfax

Background

1988 BMW (E30) 325iS exterior photo

The 1984-1991 BMW 3 Series, known generationally as the E30, is the one model more than any other that earned BMW the Ultimate Driving Machine reputation. E30s are one of our specialty vehicles at Glen Shelly Auto Brokers. I have restored, rebuilt, and sorted a dozen E30’s over the years and currently own three 1989 E30’s including an IX, an IS and a Touring. 1988 was a unique model year for the E30. It was the intermediary year of a major life cycle impulse that the E30 underwent featuring late-model front and rear valences with earlier style metal bumpers—except for the last few production months. The changeover was 6/88 and later production dates, which this car is. In 1988 the M20B25 “i” engine was reserved for 325iS models only. In addition to a new late-model style front spoiler, the “iS” featured sport seats, an M Tech 1 steering wheel, 13-button onboard computer, and a limited slip differential. 1988’s also featured projector headlights and many came with the very desirable map light mirror. A post-6/88 production date 325iS is one of the best E30s there is. Properly sorted, excellent condition examples are like this one are extremely hard to find. This example needs to be seen to be appreciated, but I’ll do my best to describe it in words.

Summary

 exterior photo

I am selling this 1988 325iS on consignment for a friend and BMW enthusiast. It belies its age and mileage presenting like a much younger, lower mileage car. It has no major cosmetic issues and an exceptionally clean crack and tear-free interior. I cannot understate that it MUST be seen to be appreciated. It has also benefitted from excellent ownership pedigree and comes with an exceptionally well-documented maintenance history. E30s are like airplanes, age and mileage are relevant, but not as important as maintenance history and the replacement of common wear items that they all eventually need. I have a three-ring binder filled with records dating back to 2001. It shows that all major service items have been done in the last four years. The result is a properly sorted car which is made better by tasteful upgrades that every E30 should have including: a Miller MAF conversion, Miller performance chip, electric cooling fan, Mishimoto aluminum radiator, Tri-Flow exhaust, H&R sport springs, Bilstein sport shocks, and beautiful Varrstoen 16 x 8 inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires. When I build an E30, this is nearly the exact build I follow. It does not compromise the original DNA of the E30 just improves it incrementally. It was dyno tested this year at 148 wheel horsepower and 166 ft/lbs of torque. I have priced it accordingly, well below what it would cost to build into its current state from scratch.

This is a properly sorted, properly documented, and properly cared for E30 325iS. Like any E30, it will need continued care and maintenance, and it deserves to be well-cared for by its new owner. We would like to find such a person who will enjoy it for years to come.

Exterior

1988 BMW (E30) 325iS exterior photo

I am extremely critical of our cars and strive to describe them thoroughly—good and bad. The Alpine White II paint is in very good condition and presents fantastically. Most people are astounded when they see the actual mileage of the car after looking at the paint condition. The only paint imperfections are very minor chips on the leading edge of the hood and lower front valence. This E30 has always lived outside of the rust-belt and is rust free as a result. All common areas like the front fender seams, battery and jack trays, floorboards, and lower windshield are all clean. The only spot that shows any rust are few small ¼” bubbles in the sunroof panel (a common area). I have a clean panel that I will include with the sale, although it would need to be painted to match. I would not describe this flaw as glaring either; it could be lived with for sometime before replacement is necessary. The left rear quarter panel has been repainted, but I have no indication as to the reason why. It is a perfect match, I only noticed due to the VIN and tire pressure tags missing. I had it inspected by a high-end body shop I work with and they confirmed it was a very high-quality job that has clearly withstood the test of time. There is one small dent on the left rear quarter, and another on the bottom edge of the rear deck lid. All remaining VIN tags are in place, the body and panel gaps are perfectly straight and the Carfax is clean. All black-work and trim are present and intact. The projector headlights are in excellent shape with no cracks or pitting. The fog lights are crack-free. The marker and taillights are in excellent condition. The retractable antenna works, except for it stops about 1” from complete retraction. The Varrstoen wheels have no bends or glaring defects. The only imperfections are very minor curb rash on the passenger side wheels. The Michelin Pilot A/S tires have over 50% tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

The interior is in excellent condition. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no tears or stains. Clean E30 sport seats are hard to come by and these are in very good condition. The seat leather is in excellent shape for its age. The front sport seats have no excessive bolster wear or failed seams. The only glaring imperfection is a tear on the driver’s seat cushion bolster. All seat adjustments work, including the rear shocks, i.e. they lock, but they do require help lifting into the desired forward position. The rear seats are in similar condition except for a few blown out seams on the seat bottom cushion. The dashboard is crack free, extremely rare for any E30, much less one of this age and mileage. The map light mirror was an original highly desirable option and both lights work on command. The M Tech 1 steering wheel looks great, although the leather has been removed. A three-spoke leather Nardi steering wheel could be swapped out if you don’t want the M Tech 1. All instrument cluster functions including the odometer work correctly. The records show that the instrument cluster was removed and had the odometer gears preventatively replaced and all soldiers re-flowed. The 13-button onboard computer has correct backlighting and all functions work. The Alpine CDE-1478T stereo is a very nice upgrade with matching illumination, aux and USB inputs, and Bluetooth. The weighted stock shifter is very nice and faux leather boot is in good shape. All speakers have been replaced with Infinity speakers powered by an Alpine amplifier. The center console cup holder looks to be old-school Bavarian Autosport vintage. The front cup clamps are missing, but the rear works great. It is a must have in any E30. The window and sunroof switches work, as does the central locking system.

Mechanical

 engine photo

The most important element in any BMW purchase is the previous owner’s stewardship. This E30 comes with an excellent ownership history pedigree. The stack of records is organized in a two-inch binder categorized by owner. A spreadsheet of all records is available via email.

The records show that every owner of this car maintained correctly and thoroughly. All of the common E30 issues have been addressed at some point—nearly every mechanical component has been replaced at least once. While all owners appeared to be competent DIY’ers for the smaller jobs like oil changes, there are ample parts receipts and documentation of more complicated jobs being done at Independent BMW specialist shops. The most recent oil change was within the last 1000 miles, along with new performance Magnacor spark plug wires and NKG spark plugs. The timing belt service was done was done 20,000 miles ago at 182,431. Here is a partial list of relevant items that have been done in recent history:

  • Front control arms (Lemforder)
  • Front control arm bushings (Treehouse Racing M3 billet steel)
  • Front hub assemblies (FAG brand)
  • Front upper shock mounts
  • Front rotors
  • Front right brake caliper
  • Performance Friction Brake Pads
  • Remanufactured steering rack (ZF OE from rackdoctor.com)
  • Inner ball joints
  • Outer ball joints
  • Front End Alignment
  • Power Steering Reservoir and Filter
  • Power steering line
  • Rebuilt Power Steering Pump
  • Steering Knuckle Flex Disc
  • Water Pump
  • Timing Belt Kit
  • Coolant Hoses replaced (OEM)
  • Accessory Belts
  • Distributor Cap and Rotor
  • Spark Plug Wires
  • Spark Plugs
  • Exhaust Manifold Gaskets
  • Intake Manifold Removed and Tanked
  • Throttle Body Cleaned
  • Intake Manifold and Throttle Body Gaskets
  • Refurbished Instrument Cluster (Odo gears, grounds cleaned, circuits re-flowed)
  • Clutch Slave Cylinder
  • Flex Disc (Guibo) and Hardware
  • Remanufactured Balanced Driveshaft and Center Support Bearing
  • Limited Slip Differential Checked for Lash and Play
  • Rear Half Shaft
  • Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Sender
  • Rubber Fuel Lines
  • Fuel Filter
  • Fuel Injectors (19lb)
  • Rear Shock Mounts
  • Rear Shock Mount Reinforcement Plates
  • Rear Spring Pads
  • Rear Brake Rotors
  • Right Rear Brake Caliper

The result is a turn-key 325iS that needs nothing. The biggest mechanical gripe I can find is a leaking cam seal. It doesn’t warrant replacement yet, I would wait until the next timing belt service to do it. I would describe it as a very small leak. The idle varies slightly when warm, likely due to MAF conversion, tune, and fuel injectors, but it is entirely tolerable, even for an E30 specialist like myself. I’ve driven it on 100-degree days, in stop and go traffic with the air conditioning running full blast, and the temp gauge never crept above twelve O’clock. The engine pulls super strong to redline and the power difference is noticeable. The drive train is quiet with no excessive whine or vibrations. The shifter feels tight, not the spoon in a bowl of spaghetti that so many E30’s have if not rebuilt. The suspension is firm yet compliant, with no creaks or noise. H&R Sport springs with Bilstein Sport shocks are the perfect combination of ride quality and performance.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBAAA1309J4142342
  • Type: AA13
  • Model: 325i – USA
  • Development Code: E30
  • Chassis: LIM
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: M20
  • Displacement: 2.50
  • Power: 168 Horsepower
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Color: Alpine White 2 (218)
  • Upholstery: Black Leather (0203)
  • Production Date: 6/30/1988

Options

  • 209 Limited Slip Differential
  • 281 LM-Rad 6.5 x 14 Inch “Basketweave” Style 5 Wheels (not included in sale)
  • 324 Front “iS” Spoiler
  • 401 Power Sunroof
  • 410 Power Windows
  • 481 Sport Driver and Passenger Seats
  • 530 Air Conditioning
  • 540 Cruise Control
  • 551 (13-Button) On-Board Computer
  • 562 Map Light Mirror
  • 675 BMW Premium Sound
  • 708 M Tech 1 Steering Wheel
  • 835 Tourists Version