- Post is under moderationThe Everett Fleet / #BMW-318i-Convertible-E36 / #BMW-318i-E36 / #BMW-E36 / #BMW /
Of the various cars in the fleet, the Touring, Convertible, E32 730i and the 318iS track car are on the road. Starting with the green Touring, a few things have happened in the last six months. A weird growling noise turned out to be the bearings in the original 160,000 mile water pump so this was swiftly replaced. A Z3 gear lever with a new white plastic bush has sharpened up the gearshift whilst I splashed out £250 on a set of new Goodyears when it became clear that new 225 section 15s were no longer available anywhere – I went for five new Efficient Grip 205/60x15s to include the ropey spare. That and a split in the original intake boot have been the main things with this excellent old bus, and it sailed through the MoT without an advisory. The front struts were getting a bit tired so I fitted a pair of new Bilstein B8s I’d bought years ago but never used, and a set of new Eibach springs. Even so it sat a bit lower on the front than I’d like so I replaced the original top mounts with a pair of alloy E46 ones (they’re an inch taller) and it sits just right now.
Before the #BMW-318i-Convertible was put back on the road in April, it received a good black leather interior with the comfy sport seats – £150 and three hours well spent to get rid of the miserable cloth. The old front doorcards are now on the track car to replace the horrid ones, whilst I donated the old seats to a spectacular bonfire at a do hosted by a local farmer. Before the MoT I spent a couple of hours underneath it, removing any flaky underseal and treating any rusting bits but overall it’s pretty good. It sailed through the MoT and to match the freshly painted passenger side (the driver’s side was done in 2015) I located an excellent bonnet in Orient blue to replace the tidy but far-from-perfect original.
Couple that with the new rear window I had put in after the splits in the original suddenly got much bigger and it’s now a very tidy thing indeed.
Here’s a tip for removing the wrinkles in a new rear screen after the hood’s been down in warm weather: with the hood up, pour decently hot but not boiling water on it and the ‘glass’ straightens out instantly.
The track car has blotted its copy book somewhat. Despite running perfectly in 2015, this year it’s been a pain. Starting with the MoT in February, it developed a dreadful misfire/spluttering that I just couldn’t cure. It wouldn’t talk to diagnostics so by a process of elimination I started to replace bits – ECU, coil, all the engine sensors, air flow meter, fuel pump, filter… I thought I’d cured it but no – on the morning of my annual trip to Cadwell Park I got five miles up the road before the spluttering came back. Returning to base I tried everything before throwing in the towel and replacing the engine loom – perhaps there was a broken wire in there? The loom came from my old M reg 316i – the #M42 and #M43 looms are virtually identical. With it all connected up… it wouldn’t start. I mean nothing from the starter. A process of elimination and another set of eyes located a loose earth strap on the engine mount so this was unbolted from the (fractured) earth lead lug on the arm and bolted to the front of the engine via one of the 13mm timing case bolts. With that it burst into life and 45 miles later, hadn’t missed a beat. What’s the betting that earth strap caused all the trouble? With a cleaned set of injectors and new inlet gaskets to cure a rough idle, I’m hoping that it’ll behave now. I fitted Eibach rear track control arms last year, and used the 15-inch #BBS alloys from a 525i E34 I broke for parts as a set of spare wheels, now shod with a new set of 205/50x15 Uniroyal Rain Sport tyres. Should the car make it to Croft and it’s wet, these will be getting a good workout.
Finally the 730i starts on the button after 313,000 miles and goes where I need it to. It still cleans up well and I need to actually use it this year and put some miles on it. I bought the car in 2003 with 204,000 miles, so I’ve had my money’s worth from it – I used it every day until 2011 and even now it’s remarkable how comfy it is but at 22mpg overall it’s just a bit too thirsty for everyday use.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBrightwells June sale / #BMW / #1992 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-318i-Convertible / #BMW-318i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-318i-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / BMW / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio
Brightwells had a glut of BMWs on offer at its June sale and this #BMW-E30-Cabriolet was one of three 318i examples it had up for sale and the only one that sold. Its mileage might have been on the high side at 136k but there was plenty of history with the car showing it had been loved during its life. At £4500 it looked like reasonable value for money but as an investment the 325i sold by ACA looked to be a better bet.
SOLD FOR: £4500Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTHE 1993 #BMW 318i Convertible £8995 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet
One of the last E30s built, this four-pot drop-top has done fewer than 59,000 miles. Russ Smith checks its credentials.
We’re told that this 318i has always been a babied second car, and you get enough of a sense from the impeccable full history – which supports the car’s low mileage reading of 58,849 – to believe that. Though choosing the smallest engine available, the original buyer certainly went to town on the spec, opting for electric hood and mirrors, leather interior and power steering, which remarkably still wasn’t standard then. The bumpers and mirrors have been colour-coded, probably in period, and the finish remains an excellent match for the rest of the original Laguna Green. This remains good, with just three or four touched-in stonechips on the bonnet, and the front valance appears to have been repainted, probably after a parking knock because there’s still a slight waviness around the middle of it. The only other exterior mark is a light scuff to the rubber on the offside rear corner. The BBS cross-spoke alloys are unmarked, though they do wear three brands of tyres – but all with plenty of tread remaining. The original soft-top is still good with just the odd fold mark, and it goes up and down as it should; all electric windows work quickly and smoothly.
After relatively little use, the interior is also good. There’s some light wear, as usual, to the seat side bolster where you get in and out, but it only needs recolouring with a leather restorer kit. The original carpets remain unworn under overmats; two sets of them in the front. Only the door pockets have yellowed a bit with age, there’s a bit of shoe scuffing on the plastic sill covers, and a modern Sony CD stereo has been fitted. The boot is spotless and still contains the toolkit and first-aid kit.
The engine bay hasn’t been detailed so, while there’s nothing wrong with it, there is room to improve its presentation. Oil is clean and to level; no leaks were evident. The engine starts and runs well too, with a lot more go than the 1.8’s lowly position in 3 Series hierarchy might lead you to believe. That spec does mean there’s no oil pressure gauge to check, but the temperature never strayed above the quarter mark during our test-drive. There’s a nice middling clutch bite, all the gears shift as easily as you’d expect from a BMW five-speed manual gearbox, the brakes are without fault and the steering is smooth, not over-light, and there are no knocks or clonks from the suspension at either end of the car.
Once you get over the nagging disappointment that there isn’t a six-cylinder engine, this E30 convertible has a lot going for it. All E30s are getting hard to find in this kind of original and unmessed-with condition, and the top-level specification and long-term care it’s had make it a real pleasure to drive. So while the price might look high, the quality is there to back it up.
C HOOSE YOUR E30
When the E30 3 Series replaced the E21 in 1982 the only convertible versions remaining were those produced (with factory approval) by Baur incorporating a roll-over bar. Any model in the range could be converted this way.
BMW launched its own Convertible in 1986, an ingenious design by Shaer Wachter that folded out of sight under a panel in the rear deck and had strengthened screen pillars instead of a roll-over bar. At first it was available only as a 325i. During 1987 the Convertible line was extended to include the 320i. Baur conversions continued to be sold until at least 1989.
From 1989 the soft-top option was finally made available on the four-cylinder 318i and the hot-shot M3, though only 32 of the latter would eventually be sold in the UK. After the new E36 3 Series was introduced in 1990 the #BMW-E30 convertible remained in production for another three years to fill the gap until a soft-top version of the new model could be produced.
SPECIFICATIONS TECH DATA FILE #1993 #BMW-318i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-318i-E30 / #BMW-318i / #BMW-318i-Convertible
Contact Epping Motor Company, Stanford Rivers, Essex (eppingmotorcompany.com, 01277 365415)
Engine 1796cc, inline-four cylinder, sohc / #M10
Power 115bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 122lb ft @ 4250rpm
Performance Top speed: 117mph;
Fuel consumption: 35mpg
COMPREHENSIVE, 5000 MILES PER YEAR, GARAGED CALL: 01277 206911
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