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1991 BMW 318iS

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Location: Barrington, Illinois, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: BMW
  • Model: 3-Series
  • SubModel: 318iS
  • Type: Coupe
  • Year: 1991
  • Mileage: 143,000
  • VIN: WBAAF9312MEE72091
  • Color: Red
  • Engine size: 1.8L M42 4-cylinder
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Power options: Power Locks, Power Windows
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Black
  • Safety options: Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver Airbag
  • Options: Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

1991 BMW 3-Series 318iS Description

Sweet classic low-mileage BMW coupe, rescued from a storage unit. Great project car with a ton of potential. There aren't a whole lot of unmolested, low-mileage E30 318iS still running around, and that's a shame. They're tough little cars with modern engines that are a blast to drive and don't cost a lot to maintain. If you're not familiar with these cars, they were only offered for one model year, in one combination - a DOHC 4-cylinder engine with a 5-speed manual and a short 4.10 diff ratio. Take it from me, they are a joy to drive.
This is the better-looking "facelift" model, with plastic bumpers, sleeker front fascia and larger taillights. The car is more or less the same as it left the factory. It still has most of the specific sport options, including blackline window trim, all five 14" BBS 'basketweave' wheels and the rear trunk lid spoiler. These cars were also offered with firmer springs and sway bars.
The low-mileage M42 runs OK and stays cool. Gauges and warning lights all look good, even the odometer and oil change indicator work. An aftermarket stereo is installed, I can also include a stock head unit if you'd like one. All four wheels still have their hub caps, and the original plastic BBS 'socket' for removing them safely is included. Manual crank sunroof, power windows and six-button OBC (on-board computer) round out the options list. A/C is installed but it's not functional. Front lip spoiler is missing but the hard-to-find fog lights and brake ducts are all there and in good shape.
I've installed a brand-new battery, and I have some documentation from the previous owner. Among other things, the radiator, expansion tank and seals had been replaced before the car was stored. Tires look OK, but they are at least ten years old according to the date stamp I found. The original full-sized spare is included, but the tire is bad. The only significant problem I found was the brakes. They are very soft, feels like the vac booster has failed. Please keep in mind that while the car will start and drive, it barely stops. There are no fluid leaks, clutch still works, and the reservoir is full.
While the car does start and run, it is definitely a project car. Idle is rough, it'll stall occasionally when it's cold. I'd drive it, but not at high speeds and not for hours at a time. Please don't expect to find a daily driver - I'd assume it needs all the usual E30 stuff.
Since I'm a BMW enthusiast (and an honest guy), I'll be totally up-front about all the problems I've found. Clearcoat is wasted across the roof and down the pillars. The original tan vinyl BMW "sport" interior has been replaced with the standard black vinyl "comfort" seats & matching rear bench. All are in decent shape. The frame rails are clean but there is some cosmetic rust on the driver's rocker panel. There is a perforation behind the door and a little bubbling in front of the the rear wheel. I don't think a body shop would have much trouble with it, rocker repair panels are still available from BMW, among several other vendors. The spare tire well and trunk pockets are solid, but there is evidence that the taillight seals failed. I'd was told that the seals were replaced. The trunk, tire jack pocket and tire well have both been dry as long as I've had it. I've noted a DOT-R replacement hood and evidence of bodywork on the driver's side behind the door. Front driver's fender is crinkled, bumper covers are both cracked. Dash is cracked too. Driver's inner door release is broken. Sunroof crank has fallen off. Rear exhaust section is cracked behind the resonator flange and the hack job muffler is held on with flex pipe and baling wire.
This car is also for sale locally, so I reserve the right to end this auction at any time. Thanks for checking out my listing, please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
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