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From digest.v6.n270 Mon Feb 24 16:09:21 1997
From: "John Bunda" <>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 12:43:02 -0600
Subject: Re: 325 vs. 325i??

Michael J. Kobb asked about the difference between the '87 325 and 325i.

The simple answer is the 325 *is* a 325e, i.e. it has the eta motor (same as the 325e). This is the 2.7L lower-rev, higher-torque engine. The i-motor has a shorter stroke, higher revs, and about ~30 more hp. As you probably know, the eta motor also has a different head, softer valve springs, and if memory serves, fewer main bearings.

In '87, the 2dr eta-motor car was called the 325, with the 325e designation going to the 4dr (I think - there may have been 2dr 325e cars available too). For a sporting ride, the 325i (and of course the 325is) are much more desirable. The eta cars are "more economical", but doggier. Not bad, mind you, but drive them both and you'll see what I mean. Like all e's, gearing is tall, I think the diff is 2.73 or something like that. Unlike the i, you don't have to rev it past 4000 to get power (in fact redline is 5500!).

In '87 there was no 4cyl E30 offered in the US, and the 325 was I think supposed to appeal to what would have been 318 buyers. Because of this, many, like mine, are "stripper" models - vinyl seats, no cruise, no OBC, manual sunroof, etc. Not much in the way of power mods available for this car, if you're into that sort of thing. Chassis is of course straight E30, so suspension is no problem. (And, hee hee, of course, you could always buy one of those little i's and stick it on. Sorry, I just *could not* resist!)

'90 M3 (still sick)
'87 325 (110K - old reliable)

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