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      06-18-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
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1991 318is

I was wondering if anyone has any experiences with 1991 318is with the M42 engine:

What are problems to look for when buying one?
What are things to be cautious of?
What problems do they have?
Would you purchase one without a service history?

And please feel free to add anything else of importance that you can think of.
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      06-18-2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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I have an e30 318is!

I have only replaced a few minor things so far...

-Driveshaft support bearing
-Fan clutch

Other than those listed, I haven't really experienced any other problems with the car. The M42 is a very solid engine and if properly maintained it can last a very long time. I'm currently at 183,xxx just to give you an idea.

I suggest you sign up on if you wanna further educate yourself about the e30 world.
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      06-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
Spec 1
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Drives: '91 E30, '05 ZX6-R, '06 300C
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Location: Portland, OR

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I've got one. Had it for 4 years and put over 63,000 miles on it (currently at 161k). It's a fantastic car. I've traded in and out of other cars but always had to keep this one. I've ended up putting over $7,000 of extras into it and it's a hoot to drive. It's been very trouble free as long as you replace things before they break (generally the engine is bulletproof).

The only problems I've encountered are electrical glitches (thermostat, windshield wipers, dash lights)... but that's about it. Perhaps it's noisy in cold startup. I replaced all of the suspension because I wanted something I could track. This is a cult car, very explorable at the limits and fun(!) to drive.

M42 is a solid motor and was also used for a while in the E36. It's considered the most advanced motor put into the E30.

Edit: Oh, and avoid It has some info on the car buried in old threads, but the forum is full of teenage assholes, and a few particular guys who have 10,000+ post counts who make it their life to be dicks to anything/everything. I would advise
'91 M42 E30 - All sorts of goodies.
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      06-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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It's a solid engine for sure, if not just by BMW standards, by global standards as well.
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      06-19-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
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Head Gasket

1988 E28 535is Euro Conversion --- sold
2009 E90 335 6MT --- sold
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