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  • Help identify my car please

    Hello E30 M3 Gurus, I'm hoping someone on this forum may be able to help shed some light on my recently acquired 87 M3.
    I've been dreaming about owning one for many years, and after many other E30's, I've finally found a Japanese import locally in Australia where I live.
    I'll admit I've little experience with E30 M3's, and my limited knowledge has only very recently been acquired with the car.
    When using the many VIN decoders, my car always comes up as an AK01 built in December 1986, but the engine designation also always comes up as a 165Kw (220 HP) model.
    My understanding is that this engine was only available on the later 1988 model EVO 2. Is this correct?
    When originally looking at the car, the photos showed that the engine cover and plenum were finished with the Motorsport painted scheme. When I finally got to view the car in real life prior to purchasing, the owner told me he thought it looked "tacky" and had it painted back to the original wrinkle finish black. I should point out that he was not an M3 enthusiast, and knew nothing about his car that he could pass on to me, and had owned it for 6 years and added only 200km to the overall low km car.
    All of this information has left me confused as to what I actually have, and what it originally was.
    The car is in pristine original condition, with very low mileage and looks generally unmodified beyond wheels and exhaust, so I'm super happy to own it, whatever it is.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    E30 M3 1986
    E30 Alpina C2 convertible 1986
    E30 325iS 1988
    E30 318i M50 SC swapped
    E46 M3 convertible 2004
    BMWS1000RR

  • #2
    Hi and welcome,
    Interesting about the online vin de code I just checked my 87 M3 type 1001 and some sites had it correct other sites said 1005 and the 147 kw was boosted to 158 kw.
    I think best to contact BMW Aus ( you need to get past reception and talk to in a technical department) and ask for a print out which should show all the spec’s and customer ordered factory options, I did the same when I brought My M3 and BMW were able to tell me where in Japan Mine was sold.

    The engine number is stamped on the block at the starter location you should be able to compare that with what BMW says to confirm it is original engine I suspect 147KW with catalytic converter.
    If all that works out that would point to PO painting the valve cover.

    I think BMW will clear up the HP question.
    Dave

    E30 M3 1987
    Mini Clubman GT
    BMW E36 323 Msport
    Toyota Corona
    KTM 200EXC
    Honda CB50 (1979)

    Comment


    • Rob M
      Rob M commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Dave. The car is missing all of its books, so details are hard to come by.
      Did they ever offer the 162KW engine with the early 1001's? That's what it says mine is, on every site.
      I'm away at present, but will be in contact with BMW Australia when I return home.

  • #3
    No Vin sticker on side of engine head?
    88 M3 Henna
    95 M3 Orange
    97 M3 Techno

    Comment


    • Rob M
      Rob M commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not with the car.
      What is it I should be looking for?

  • #4
    Drivers side of head, right below valve cover.
    Click image for larger version

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    88 M3 Henna
    95 M3 Orange
    97 M3 Techno

    Comment


    • Rob M
      Rob M commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not sure if I have that one, but I have my complete VIN.
      My main interest is that when the VIN is decoded, it specifies the 162Kw (220 hp) engine, which I thought was not available until 1988.

  • #5
    I think only US cars had VIN stickers on the engines and body panels, so it may not be there.
    Ron ///Man

    • '91 Gr-A Former CiBiEmme / Ravaglia - Sold
    • '90 M3 Faux EVOII Alpineweiss 36K Orig Owner - The Queen
    • '91 M3 Faux EVO III Brilliantrot Euro Driveline - The Rocket
    • '91 M3 Faux Gr-A Club Racer DM - The Alter EGO
    • '89 M3 M3T / ITR Club Racer
    • '94 Spec E36 - Eh....
    • '09 M3 - Tarmac Terrorist
    • '04 330Xi Sport 6 Speed - Snowmobile
    • '07 530 Xi - Highway Star
    • http://www.imwcarparts.com/e30-m3-parts.htm


    Comment


    • #6
      My point was rather than just looking at chassis Vin, find a number on engine to trace.
      88 M3 Henna
      95 M3 Orange
      97 M3 Techno

      Comment


      • Rob M
        Rob M commented
        Editing a comment
        Ok sure, I understand. When I return home to the car, I'll chase it up. Thanks.

    • #7
      The chassis VIN is also located on the firewall of the car. It's stamped into the metal. When you open the bonnet / hood, it should be located on the center of the cowl.

      Only US spec cars had VIN stickers as per requirements of the DOT.

      Welcome! Enjoy!!

      1989 E30 M3 Cabrio - Nogaro Sliver / Black - 1 of 786
      1990 E30 M3 - Sterling Silver / Black
      1991 E30 318is - Sterling / Black (Mtech II project)

      Comment


      • #8
        I work at a BMW dealership as a tech so I have access to the BMW vin tool which breaks down what your car is. It is similar to the online vin decoder which is easy to access.

        My car decoded as 220hp also but I know it's not. Mines the USA 2.3 spec so 195 or 192hp. So the online tool is incorrect.

        Comment


        • #9
          The motorsport valve cover and plenum would belong to an EVO2 but could easily be swapped onto a regular M3. According to BMW registry the EVO 2s came only in 3 colors and none of those were Alpine White. I'd think the ECU number could help confirm the motor (if you don't get anywhere with the VIN).


          I am in the process of purchasing a new ECU/DME for my car and just want clarification before making the purchase. I have a green label 071 ecu in my car, and the seller has a red label ecu. He believes the only difference is the part# of the chip inside the ecu. I just want to make sure before moving forward. I tried


          Comment


          • Rob M
            Rob M commented
            Editing a comment
            Many thanks, I think this information will answer everything for me.
            Is it at all likely that a Japanese delivered car from 1987 was optioned with the 162Kw engine? Was it available at that time?

          • ethirtym
            ethirtym commented
            Editing a comment
            BMW Registry: 'What distinguishes an E30 M3 Evolution II? The E30 M3 Evolution was followed by the E30 M3 Evolution II, 501 of which were built in the Spring of 1988.'

        • #10
          Whoo hoooo! I just got 30 more free horsepower! I just checked my Vin in a few of the free decoders..... My us spec 88 apparently has the Evo engine too! (NOT)

          Don't believe the online tools.....
          88 M3 Henna
          95 M3 Orange
          97 M3 Techno

          Comment


          • Rob M
            Rob M commented
            Editing a comment
            As stated, I'm new to the E30 M3, and not being with the car currently I'm trying to identify it purely by the numbers. I can see now that this is not a precise method, and more needs to be done to uncover the original information. BMW do some strange stuff that isn't always as per the books, especially with export models. I've had some export model E30's with interesting, and undocumented options.I'm happy with whatever the car is.

        • #11
          Originally posted by mlytle View Post
          Whoo hoooo! I just got 30 more free horsepower! I just checked my Vin in a few of the free decoders..... My us spec 88 apparently has the Evo engine too! (NOT)

          Don't believe the online tools.....
          It would be cool if you really got extra HP. Getting different results here from online tools.

          Comment

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