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1989 BMW 325ic Restoration
Submitted By: fixb52s
Date Created: 06-04-2005
Description: I found this car a few years ago when I helped a friend move. Her husband abandoned it, and it sat in their open Louisiana carport for almost 6 years. Many people offered to buy it, but he didn't want to give it up. It was just being used to store whatever they threw in (and on) it. It was dying a slow death. I talked the owner into selling it when he realized that it had to be moved out, and he knew he was not going to do anything with it. (A little pressure from his wife sealed the deal.) I restored it as a driver. . I could have sent it out to a shop, but I am a cheap bastard. Besides, I got the car fairly cheap, and I did not want to sink more into it than it is worth. My goal was to bring this car back to life as a reliable driver, without tearing it all apart for a total professional rebuild. Everything done can be completed by anyone with a general knowledge of cars and tools in any garage or carport. With that said, don't start a project unless you are comfortable with it. I have 32 years of mechanical experience, and this is just basic in my book. Folks have to start somewhere to gain experence, and these projects will give you the practice to dig deeper. If something gets messed up, redo it (unless it is the top, that can get expensive).
Related Projects: (1989 BMW 325ic Restoration)
    Interior clean up
    Electrical/Instruments
    Fuel System
    Body/Paint
    Wheels/Brakes/Suspension
    Convertible top replacement
    Engine/Mechanical
    Drag it home
    Leather Restoration


BMW
I remember the Ultimate Driving Machine commercials when these came out. I owned a 528e before and I thought it was a solid car. I would not call it "ultimate", but it was cool. A convertible would be cooler.

This is what was found when helping a coworker move. Yikes, it is rough, but there is potential here. A real e30 convertible from sunny California, never seeing the salt roads of the north.
Front before


Front after
The paint polished out. The top was replaced and the wheels were replaced. Along with some other work, here is a reliable fun car on a budget.


Top down


Back before
Back view. This thing has not moved in years. Crap kind of piled around it in it's years of misuse. It is funny how sometimes treasured items somehow get forgotten and overlooked. Many cars meet the same fate, only to rot away to the point where it is junk.

A "slight" improvement from before. Days of a storage shed are gone (at least as long as I own it).
Back after


Top down

The interior has seen better days. Besides the dirt and boxes of stuff, there seemed to be no major problems. I did not see any major tears in the seats and the rear seat was splitting at a few seams. Heck, every BMW of this age has seams that tear in the same spot.
Interior before


Interior after
The interior turned out to be in good shape....with a lot of work.

The engine looks a little dirty, and some mice decided to snack on plug wires, but overall, the wiring and hoses looked intact. The owner tried to jump start it, and it turned over fine, but I did not hear the fuel pump, so I knew it was hopeless.
Engine before


Engine after
The engine turned out to be in excellent condition with strong compression and power. The upper cam area had no sludge or varnish at all.

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