VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is the 325e worth looking at?
I know these are low-rpm motors tuned for efficiency, but do these still drive and handle as well as the 325i and 325is?
Motor swaps can be effective if so, I'd think.
325e's go for about $3-5k less than a comparable 325is.
Someone here just bought a 325e, I think. If so, what are your thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (GTIinfuture)

the 325e can be modded to significant power gains, but it isnt cheap to do (i believe the e block is kept and the head from an i is used). It also has more low end torque.
I believe the IS came with a LSD, while the E didnt have any. I believe they both handle pretty much the same. Thre is an ES model, but im not familiar with it.
FYI any car with just a 3.25 on the back is an e, unless it has an i or is after it.
Some good links:
http://www.roadfly.org, goto their e30 section/forums

http://www.e30forum.net, http://www.e30forum.net/technical/137.html

by fredrick kim:
The issue often comes up: So what exactly are the differences between a 325e and a 325i? What does that "s" mean in 318is, 325es, and 325is? Is the 1984-85 318i the same as the 1991 318i? How come some models have an X in their name, like 325iX? What's a 325ic? And why does the M3 look so different than the rest of the E30s? This guide will attempt to explain the differences between all the American E30 models.
The main differences between the 325i and the 325e are in the engine. Although both models have engines from the same M20 family, the 325e had more displacement (2.7 liters versus the 325i's 2.5) but drastically less horsepower. The 325e redlines at a very low 4800 RPM and only had 121 hp @ 4250 RPM but 174 lb-ft of torque @ 3250 RPM and an incredibly flat powerband to compensate. The "e" stood for "eta," which is the Greek letter for efficiency and was the theme for the 325e. It also had a very conservative 2.93 rear gear (2.79 in the earlier models) to allow low freeway RPMs and higher gas mileage; in contrast, the sport oriented 325i had a much shorter 3.73 rear end (4.10 in automatics). Although the "i" models had a smaller displacement engine, it had much more horsepower: 167 horsepower, 164 lb-ft torque and a higher compression ratio (9.7 vs 9.0). As a result of its peaky powerband, the "i" also had a higher redline at 6700 RPM.
As a side note, any model with simply a "325" designation is equipped with the 2.7 liter eta engine. It was BMW's base model from 1986 until 1988 when it was phased out of production in favor of the 325i. In its final year, the 1988 325 (dubbed "Super Eta" by enthusiasts) was equipped from the factory with special pistons, 325i head/exhaust system, and Motronic 1.1 engine management control, bumping horsepower up to 127 and raising the redline to 5500 RPM.
Any model with an "s" suffix, like the 318is, 325es, and 325is, denotes the sport model which only came in two door form. It can be easily recognized by its front spoiler with integrated foglights, rear deck lid spoiler, and 14" BBS cross-spoke "basketweave" rims. It also featured a limited slip differential (optional on the 318is) , bolstered sport seats, thicker swaybars, slightly stiffer shocks and front springs, and 3-spoke sport steering wheel (except '90 on, which used a leather-wrapped airbag wheel). The 325es and 325is came with an on board computer, power sunroof/mirrors/windows, central locking, and premium sound system standard as well. In 1991 there was no official 325is model, although the Sport package with all the aforementioned items was still available.
Based upon the upgraded equipment on the is, i would expect it to be a better handler, only problem is that these cars are old, so if you plan on replacing any handling parts, such as tyres, shocks etc, it probably doesnt matter which car you get.


Modified by profbooty at 1:00 PM 7-2-2003
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (profbooty)

You can add like 20whp with a chip, the Jim Conforti is considered the best. To get much more hp from it you are better off to simply swap motors to the newer M50 (24 valves, timing chain, smarter computer, VANOS on 93 up motors). An i head won't work because of the pistons, you can add 2 more oil journals for the cam, double valve springs, and then put in a more aggressive cam. But from what I hear the head doesn't flow as well and neither does the intake manifold. They are great cars though, only a grand and it will handle extremely well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (cheades)

this is what i was talking about: M20 E to I 2.8 Liter Engine Conversion
http://www.geocities.com/empower99/328i_1.html
ive heard of several people who have done it, but it isnt cheap, not sure how well it works either. ive seen kits sold too.

"8.) How much power are we talking?
It all depends on the setup. A conservative 2.7 liter setup with '88 325 pistons and stock 325i fuel injection, cam, and exhaust may yield around 185-190 horsepower at the crankshaft. Something a little more aggressive, such as a 2.8 liter with custom high compression pistons, larger air flow meter, larger injectors, 524td crankshaft, and mild cam may put out around 210 horsepower. Engines that are wildly tuned with a 2.9/3.0/3.2 displacement, mass air conversion, hot cam, open headers, bored throttle body with ported manifold, ported cylinder head with oversize valves, etc will put out more than 225 horsepower."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,514 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (GTIinfuture)

pick up an M50TU Vanos engine, do the M3 cams, chip, alum flywheel, headers, exhaust, and get a 3.38 ltd slip diff from an E36 M3 automatic and go smoke the crap out of M3's.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,136 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (GTIinfuture)

Pass "e" go directly to "i". I don't believe that there is so much difference in price.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,292 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (USER)

$3-5k less in price?
Unless it's a 325is with 10k miles or something, I'd expect to spend about $3-5k for the whole car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,096 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (profbooty)

Quote, originally posted by profbooty »
I believe the IS came with a LSD, while the E didnt have any. I believe they both handle pretty much the same. Thre is an ES model, but im not familiar with it.

The ES is the same as an IS that included LSD, leather, sport seats, front spoiler (which is actually different from the IS spoiler) BUT with the eta-engine. I recently drove a 325e and was surprised at the amt of torque that it made although it falls on it's face at 4700 rpms.
If you're into finding a cheap but fun BMW E30, find a '91 or '92 318IS - it uses the later twin-cam (16v) 4 cylinder motor so it's better balanced than the 325.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: BMW 325e (TabulaRasa)

I rarely EVER see a manual 325is around here without rust or damage for less than $5k.
There are several 325e's right now advertised for $2200 or less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
i have a 325 and i love it... yeah, it's not as fast as the 325i, everyone & their sister knows that, but there's still plenty to love about my car... handles just as good as an 'i', gets better gas mileage and so on... get the 325i if you want a sportscar with HP and Torque, get a 325/e/es if you want a sportscar with Torque that gets good mileage
oh, and u can find 325's with a LSD... want proof?... i have one & it came from the factory

all eta's also came w/ 2.93 diffs, not 3.25... although u CAN upgrade to one, as i probably will eventually... it's a pretty good upgrade (the '85 and older eta's came w/ super low 2.73 diffs
)
and yes, the eta responds the best to a chip than any other model e30... mostly because it is the most "de-tuned" for fuel economy, since that's what it was meant to be... but it's still a fun car to drive
it's also better in heavy traffic than an 'i' because of the low torque & low idle speed (my car idles at 500 rpm)
just don't bash the ETA... i'm so incredibly sick of the "eta's are slow as hell & suck" attitude http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif (not that anyone did that here, as far as i can tell)


Modified by OreoGaborio at 10:02 PM 7/2/2003
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,458 Posts
Re: (SeattleGLI)

Here's the biggest difference I could FEEL:
Quote »
It also had a very conservative 2.93 rear gear (2.79 in the earlier models) to allow low freeway RPMs and higher gas mileage; in contrast, the sport oriented 325i had a much shorter 3.73 rear end (4.10 in automatics).

I used to own a 325e with the 325is rear-end. I would take this combo over a 325is for AutoX / Daily Driver use. Mine had the body kit too, with integrated fog lights, side sills, and rear diffuser. 5 spd, cloth interior, and full function trip computer. If I ever come across another one again.. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,962 Posts
Re: (PsyberVW)

So what sort of difference does the 325is rear end make?
I just bought an '87 325 (it's still an e, but they dropped the "e" label in '87 I believe). I'm surprised that someone called it "gutless". Not only does it hit 60 in about 8.5 seconds, it feels quicker than most cars that post the same number, as the torque curve is flat as hell. And between 55-85 or so, the car accelerates very nicely. Everyone that rides with me comments on it. Also jets away from stoplights nicely, and I don't have to be mean to the clutch to make that happen. Just engage, then hit the gas and off you go!
Yes, the redline is a measly 4750 rpm, but it's all in your head. It still goes just as fast in every gear as any other car in its class, and pulls up to redline just as nicely. I don't see what the actual number has to do with anything.
My only real complaint is that the gearchange, especially first to second is too reluctant and fragile feeling. However, the synchros are strong, and I'd imagine that with 242k on the clock and counting, a linkage rebuild would take care of that. Steering could be a little quicker too.
But all in all, this car seems like and is a premium car. No rattles, no squeaks, triple digits with ease. Great mpg, timeless design, PERFECT driving position, thoughtful layout and durable! I'm not trying to talk up my own car or anything, after all it's just my daily beater, but this thing is one great little car. It's not the sportiest of the lineup, but think of it as BMW with a pinch of Volvo. I'd get an "is" if I could, but I'd have to sell the Spitfire, and for 1400 bucks, there isn't anything that comes close to this combo of quality, utility, economy, and sport. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
54,769 Posts
Re: (OreoGaborio)

Quote, originally posted by OreoGaborio »
just don't bash the ETA... i'm so incredibly sick of the "eta's are slow as hell & suck" attitude http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif (not that anyone did that here, as far as i can tell)

ahem
Etas... are slow.... as hell...
and suck.

actually, my car is chipped, and Pete's car is chipped, and off the line (well merging into traffic) he kept up with me to about 50, then we hit traffic
of course with me and my girlfriend in the car I had a weight disadvantage...
even without my girlfriend I weigh nearly twice what Pete weighs...
Im trying to stick to my Weight Watchers... Honest
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
Re: BMW 325e (GTIinfuture)

I'd say that handling-wise, they feel generally the same. Everything's slightly heavy and requires appropriate effort but at anything close to the limit, the e doesn't handling anything like the is. But that wouldn't stop me from getting the right one for the right price. Everything else being equal - mileage, condition, records and color, I'd probably pop another $2,000 or $3,000 for an is over an e... probably not $5,000. Just often times the is cars are kept in better condition.
There are several guys over on roadfly.org that have swapped in the top end from an i or is and the computer... don't know what all's involved but it can certainly be done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,458 Posts
Re: (VWteknik)

Quote »
So what sort of difference does the 325is rear end make?

Off the line & corner exits. It was't "bad" before.. But after.. WOW. You'd think there were 20 extra ponies. It just felt like a better match in TQ and Gearing. But it still drove like you say. Strong pull through 80, just gets slower in the extreme top end (+/-110s) But it gets there and holds it there well enough. Besides, you don't need all that all the time.
In the 1-2-3 gr AutoX courses, it's great. You can leave it in 2 for most of the tracks (sometimes 3rd on long straights). No need to hit 1st so often. I also didn't like the 1-2 shifting and avoided ever going all the way down to 1st, or would skip 2nd on the way up sometimes.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top