1983 BMW 3 Series 320i 1.8L 4 cylinder from North America
Cheap, easy to work on, and a blast to drive
Clutch slave and master cylinder went bad at 245000.
Heater core hose split.
A/C never worked (to be expected).
New Bilstein shocks and H&R sport springs.
Thermostat replaced at 250000.
Replaced control arms and tie rods.
Replaced oil pan and gasket after hitting an obstacle in the road, and at 245000, the crank and block looked brand new.
Adjusted valves, and the top end looked brand new!
Original alternator still puts out the stated 55 amps.
We got this car for less than 500 USD; it needed a cap, rotor, plugs and wires. Other than routine maintenance, the car has needed nothing.
These motors are BULLETPROOF and quite peppy. I ran the car into a foot deep puddle with a cold air intake on it, the motor hydrolocked and wouldn't start. Cranked it over for a minute and it fired up and smoked white out the back. It had about 3 or 4 extra quarts of water in the motor, and still limped home! After replacing the plugs and flushing the motor, it stopped burning the little oil it did, and ran way better! THESE MOTORS NEVER DIE!!!
It had the common valve seal leak, but it didn't burn any oil.
It was my first car, and I drove it everywhere; long excursions, races, drove around the city, and car club events.
The seats are very comfortable, and if you get cloth, they breathe very well.
We never did the clutch, and the clutch still has a lot of life left in it.
This car is proof that if you maintain one, they will go forever.
Replacing the suspension is one of the hardest things to do, but even that was an easy job, and after that was done, this car handles VERY well and can out handle cars 20 years newer.
One of the easiest cars to work on, and one of the most rewarding cars to fix up!
Overall, VERY cheap, VERY reliable, and VERY fun!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th November, 2013