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G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
3/20/20 8:48 a.m.



The G35 is dead, long live the 325i. Picked up this rust-free E90 the other day to replace my rotten Infiniti and I gotta say I'm impressed. Parts are cheaper, ride and handling is better and the rear seats fold down! Now to fix a few small things (adjust e-brake shoes, replace cupholders, etc.) to get it through inspection. What does GRM think of these N52-powered E90s?

chandler
chandler PowerDork
3/20/20 9:03 a.m.

Nice, these things have come way down in price as well

adam525i
adam525i HalfDork
3/20/20 9:22 a.m.

My Dad, has almost the identical car, 06 330i with 6 speed in the same colours, he doesn't have the sport seats though. Really nice car to drive with impressive fuel economy (these things have an almost complete flat floor). It's got a pile of kilometers on it, lots of oil leaks fixed, alternator, water pump and the other usual stuff replaced but it's still a nice car. I'd love to have the motor and transmission in my E28 when he eventually gives up on it (but not sure I want to put in that effort).

Adam

Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
3/20/20 9:38 a.m.

I have to say I've always loved the E90 interior.  Nice place to spend time.

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
3/20/20 9:40 a.m.

The N52 sounds pretty sweet as you rev it out, though it may tick quite a bit at idle.  Super easy engine for oil and filter changes.

Oil leaks are a problem around the pan, oil filter housing gasket and valve cover.  If you've got one at the oil filter housing, fix it-- oil from there dripping on the coolant hoses is not good for them.

Belt tensioner may only last about 70K, so keep an eye on it.  Easy to replace, and the part is not that expensive.  Might as well do the belt at the same time.

I've been changing the "lifetime" coolant on mine every two years, and have always use the blue OEM coolant.  Don't know if that's why I'm still on the original electric water pump after 12 years and 174K miles.

AC evaporator (or whatever the cabin end of the system is) started leaking refrigerant at about 130k.  Replacing that is not a small job.  The climate control system on Auto (don't know if you would have that or not) has always had a bit of a mind of it's own for fan speed, air routing.  Have had to replace the blower motor, which isn't that bad if you're young a flexible.

You need cupholders to get through inspection?  The ones in the dash are textbook example of overly complex German engineering.

The websites realoem.com and newtis.info are going to be your friends.

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
3/20/20 10:14 a.m.

The rear wheel/tire fitment is something.
 

The only E90 I've been in was an M3 but it was a fine appliance. I think I would prefer this manual 325 though over the flappy M3. The e90 is comfy, easy to see out of, good interior room. I mean, hell, it's as big as an e39!

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
3/20/20 10:16 a.m.

Here to give you a yes for the three pedal BMW. Becoming very hard to find. Looks like a clean example

 

02Pilot
02Pilot UltraDork
3/20/20 10:24 a.m.

Couple of minor additional points:

- Take the accessory belt seriously. If it comes off, it will very likely be wrapped around the crank pulley and sucked through the front crank seal into the crankcase. This is Most Definitely Ungood and will result in you searching for a new engine. Belt, tensioner, and pulleys should be watched closely for any signs of failure.

- The M3 control arms bolt in and will give you a bonus -0.75 front camber, in addition to replacing rubber with ball joints in a couple places. This plus rear subframe bushing inserts (every single E9x owner should do the latter) transforms the handling.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/20/20 10:32 a.m.
Matt B said:

I have to say I've always loved the E90 interior.  Nice place to spend time.

The seats ruin the whole chassis for me.  That weird chin thing on the front of the seat serves mostly to make it uncomfortable to drive.

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
3/20/20 10:51 a.m.

In reply to Karacticus :

Thankfully, this one has a new OFHG and VCG. I'll keep a close eye on the belt tensioner and order a replacement tonight. Apologies for the poor wording on my part, cupholders aren't necessary to pass inspection.

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
3/20/20 10:56 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

As a former Ford 4.6 2V owner, I definitely exercise caution regarding accessory belts. Good to know about the M3 control arms and subframe bushing inserts.

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
3/20/20 11:00 a.m.

Also, positive points if this is not AWD-- makes working on it so much easier.

If you've got it up in the air at some point, might as well change fluids in the transmission and diff.  You'll likely need a suction device for the diff as it probably doesn't have a drain plug.

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
3/20/20 11:25 a.m.

In reply to Karacticus :

Yeah, AWD was on the hard nope list for me. Extra access + steering feel ftw. Picking up trans fluid this weekend.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/20/20 11:42 a.m.

AWD helps hold the engine up when the aluminum motor mount bolts break, though.

 

(BMW was afraid of threading steel bolts into magnesium.  VW did it for decades with no issue.  I don't get it.)

chandler
chandler PowerDork
3/20/20 11:43 a.m.
Knurled. said:

AWD helps hold the engine up when the aluminum motor mount bolts break, though.

Big selling point ^

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
3/20/20 12:07 p.m.

Love the way they drive. Hate the gaskets.

I have never seen a car before or since that spewed oil from the valve cover like blood from a carotid artery.

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
3/20/20 12:15 p.m.

How are these modern BMW's (2007+). They always catch my eye being rwd manual sedan and mostly affordable. I don't care too much for turbo cars but I hear there NA i6 is a good engine. 

 

Though I do kind of have a thing for the 2 door 4series lol

84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
3/20/20 12:22 p.m.

Check and replace bushing and motor mounts.  The polymer pulley shatters on the back side against the motor and eats the pulled and crank seal.  You cannot really see anything but I can assureyou it is expensive.  Otherwise I think the oil leaks, and high pressure injectors are the issues to address.  Very nice car that will feel much nicer with more tire on ine of the nice oe wheels.  Check the bimmerforuns as the oe wheels are super cheap and they go gaga for anything aftermarket.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
3/20/20 12:23 p.m.

Good luck?

fanfoy
fanfoy SuperDork
3/20/20 2:17 p.m.

What happened to the G35? Rust? 

maj75
maj75 HalfDork
3/20/20 2:32 p.m.

Wait till you have to replace the hoses that water cool the turbos...

I love the BMW sport seats with the thigh bolster.  Most comfortable seats for me in any car, ever.  Wouldn't want a BMW without them.

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
3/20/20 3:23 p.m.

^ no turbo on the 325i / N52 motor

G-man, welcome to the club!  I got my E90 this past summer.  Its fun to drive and comfortable too.  Everyone else covered the big points, but I'll add for the cupholders you might be able to fix them.  Check you tube for a video.  There's a coil spring inside that often breaks.  If you do have to replace them, its at least an easy job. 

maj75
maj75 HalfDork
3/20/20 5:20 p.m.
mikeatrpi said:

^ no turbo on the 325i / N52 motor

G-man, welcome to the club!  I got my E90 this past summer.  Its fun to drive and comfortable too.  Everyone else covered the big points, but I'll add for the cupholders you might be able to fix them.  Check you tube for a video.  There's a coil spring inside that often breaks.  If you do have to replace them, its at least an easy job. 

Man, totally missed that it was a 325i.  Fever must be worse than I thought...

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
3/20/20 7:04 p.m.
84FSP said:

Check and replace bushing and motor mounts.  The polymer pulley shatters on the back side against the motor and eats the pulled and crank seal.  You cannot really see anything but I can assureyou it is expensive.  Otherwise I think the oil leaks, and high pressure injectors are the issues to address.  Very nice car that will feel much nicer with more tire on ine of the nice oe wheels.  Check the bimmerforuns as the oe wheels are super cheap and they go gaga for anything aftermarket.

Trans mounts and engine mounts were done with the clutch IIRC. They look great, as does the front drive tensioner (strong spring, no bearing play, no stress marks on the pulley). Could I have bought something that isn't a complete shed? Stay tuned...

Aspen
Aspen HalfDork
3/21/20 7:47 a.m.

My 328i wagon had a vanos sensor die that required removing the valve cover.  Not cheap.

My comfort access door handles died and caused a battery drain issue.  And of course a$ 500 battery.

Blower motor died. There is a recall on the harness.

Otherwise pretty good. Needs another 50 hp.

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