This was quite the winter for rescues. My buddy Dan told me about a ’92 325i Cabriolet, and I was also called upon to rescue a ’91 318iS.
Let’s do the Convertible first, shall we? The ‘vert is the final version of the E30 available in the United States, produced until 1992 or so. It survived the coupe and sedan models for a few years, eventually being replaced by the updated E36 chassis (early 1994?). This one is a bit rare – as the final model of the Convertible, it has both the updated bodywork (plastic bumpers, integrated fog lights, large taillights) and electro-mechanical automatic top. This one was the top model trim, with a leather interior and the higher-performance motor. It was also a handsome car. Lagoon Green over a natural leather interior is an attractive combination. The sport seats weren’t totally destroyed, and it was more-or-less as it left the factory. It was also fitted with a manual transmission.
Problems were mainly due to improper storage. The fuel hadn’t been drained nor stabilized. The old fuel pump was seized – choked with rust & sediment from the fuel tank. A cheap replacement fuel pump got the car running. The car ran and drove well, but the clogged fuel filter was choking the motor at high revs. A new fuel tank & OEM pump would be the best fix. It also badly needed a rubber flex disk. These flex disks are affectionately known as a “Giubo.” Proper pronunciation, much to my surprise, is ‘jew-bo.’ It’s an Italian brand name – an amalgam of the inventor’s name and the type of part. It acts as a vibration damper and provides a flexible mechanical interface. Happily, it’s totally rust-resistant and easy to install. Unhappily, it’s vulnerable to age, UV, & ozone. Like most vinyl parts (and BMW high-pressure cooling systems) it should be replaced every hundred thousand miles or ten years, whichever comes first.
The convertible also came with BMW’s lovely M20 SOHC inline-6 motor. This is the higher-performance M20B25 version, and it simply sings when it’s happy. To keep her that way I performed a timing belt change. Once replaced (along with the water pump and v-belts), she proceeded to earn my trust. Unhappily, garage space at The Iconic BMW is very limited. Rescued (but still slightly imperiled), this girl is ready for a new owner. On to CL she went…and after a few missed opportunities she found her new owner in April 2016.