19 Chapters
Medium 9781855206786

Chapter 6: Brakes

Andrew Everett Brooklands Books ePub

The braking system on the E30 is pretty straightforward. 316, 316i, 318i and 320i cars without ABS use a disc front and drum rear set up, whilst all other cars use rear discs. 316, 316i and 318i cars used solid front discs with ventilated front discs for everything else. It is the usual split hydraulic system with the usual problems relating to old age but it is not hard to work on. Some cars will have ABS and that can be problematical in old age with many an owner driven to drink by the flashing orange ABS light on the dashboard.

First things first brake fluid should be changed every year. Brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it absorbs moisture. This can gather inside the fluid reservoir and once there is moisture in the fluid it will not show up until the brakes are used hard and get really hot. The water will boil and evaporate leaving air locks in the hydraulic circuit and not much of a reaction from the brake pedal. Synthetic brake fluids will go a long way to curing this, but so will renewing the fluid every year with conventional mineral based fluids.

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Chapter 10: Fuel System

Andrew Everett Brooklands Books ePub

The E30 range uses a variety of different fuel systems with three fuel injection systems, and a couple of carburettors too. Some of these are now getting rare and Bosch Motronic as used on all 1988 onwards cars is the most common.

All M10-engined 316 cars used a carburettor. The early cars in 1982 and early 1983 used the Pierburg 2B which was sort of okay but later cars used the dreaded Pierburg 2BE, the ultimate nightmare carburettor. BMW were forced by emissions regulations to use this carburettor when what they should have done is equip it with an injection system. A horribly complex device, it used various sensors, vacuum control units and was electronically controlled with a Bosch ECU. It really was a terrible thing and when it starts to malfunction, the only sensible course of action is to take it off, throw it away and fit a Weber replacement. Many of the repair parts are no longer available for the Pierburg and there is very little service information around. You would not be the first owner to spend £100 on parts, along with many hours of tearing your hair out, only to give up. If you can find one, you can go the second-hand route and try a different carburettor but there are not many good ones about. Even the 316s ending up in breaker's yards now seem to have had Weber carburettors fitted and, of course, these offer a good saving over new ones. As for buying new carburettor bits to try and make yours work, do not bother. The parts are very expensive and you have absolutely no guarantee that the damned thing will work. ECUs do not often fail but it is not unknown. Before assuming the carburettor is at fault, check all the ignition system, make sure the fuel pump is delivering enough fuel and check all the vacuum pipes and electrical connections you never know, you might be lucky. A carburettor and inlet manifold assembly from an old 2002 or E21 316 can be fitted but again, the age of these parts is against you. If ever there was a reasoned argument to buy a 318i, this is it!

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Medium 9781855209626

Chapter 2: E28

Andrew Everett Brooklands Books ePub
Medium 9781855206786

Chapter 1: E30 - The Models

Andrew Everett Brooklands Books ePub

This is, in E30 terms, the bottom of the barrel although it’s a good car in its own right. Powered by the good old M10 engine, production started in January 1983 and ran right up to September 1988 with the last year’s production being the facelift plastic bumper model. Available in two- and four-door versions, you might even find a rare Baur Cabriolet but they are not worth that much.

Advantages? Many! For a start, they are now very cheap. Fuel economy is pretty fair (you should get 25mpg) and when the carburettor is playing the game, performance is surprisingly good with crisp throttle response and good torque. It is also pretty reliable and mechanically unbreakable. The M10, given an oil change every 6000 miles, just goes on forever. The timing chain will begin to rattle at anything over 100,000 miles, but the simple expedient of fitting a stronger spring in the tensioner will keep that quiet for a bit longer. With only 90bhp available, the mechanical components are very under-stressed.

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Medium 9781855209626

Chapter 1: E12

Andrew Everett Brooklands Books ePub

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