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1999 M3 Convertible-Advise

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by adoe503026, Feb 1, 2009.

    adoe503026 guest

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    I considering purchasing a 1999 M3 Convertible, automatic, 95,000 miles on the clock. The outside looks immacualte with just a little peeling on the wheels and light cracks on the leather on the drivers side.

    What mechanical issues have any club members encountered?? What should I look for in determing of this is the one?? In the Raleigh NC area wher would anyone recommend or not recommend to have it serviced and possible a prepurchase inspection completed.

    My intention is to drive it about 6000 miles a year. Summertime to work and maybe a beach trip with the family.

    Any insight from current or past owners would be appreciated.

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    Get a pre-purchase inspection, that is always a good idea. Check when the water pump was last changed. 60k on the OEM ones. I just put a stuart high performance pump in my E36 and have been happy with it. It should last longer than 60k, but it is more expense.

    Other areas to check.
    Coolant expansion tank
    plastic thermostat housing (replace with metal)
    Is the top in good condition and does the mechanicals work.
    bushings on front A arms
    brake rotors
    Check the floor where the rear subframe attaches. Make sure there are no deformations, tears, or cracks. Now the M3 has a thicker (reenforced) rear floor, so it should not be an issue, but check anyway.

    I would change all the fluids in the car if there is no record of it. This includes trans, final drive, power steering, motor, brake, and coolant.

    Sounds like a great car and I don't think you will be disappointed with it, as long as you know what you are buying, condition wise.
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    That would make a great summertime cruiser, I think you would love it!

    A couple other things to check out would be upper rear shock mounts (very common failure point on E36's but also an easy fix if you catch it early), rear trailing arm bushings, power steering hoses (I have 3 - E36's and I've had to replace them on every car) and lastly, make sure you don't have any transmission issues. Make sure it pulls away from a stop smoothly and that it shifts without any slippage. That's one item that could be costly if it fails. If the transmission has problems now, new fluid and filter could actually make it worse but if the tranny is in good shape, the new fluid and filter will keep it that way! I bought a '98 M3 automatic a couple of years ago and did a LOT of research on the automatic transmissions before I bought it. As long as it hasn't been abused, a fluid & filter change should keep it shifting smoothly for years to come.
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    • Technical Service Advisor


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    What they said. Definitely a prepurchase inspection by a qualified independent BMW tech.
    I personally would not take my car to Korman. It would not be libelous for me to say that I have had to make thousands of dollars in repairs to cars that had just come from their shop for restoration/upgrades.
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    personally i wouldnt buy an automatic with that many miles; a manual would be my preference. definitely check out the transmission beforehand as that would probably be the biggest expense if it fails

    adoe503026 guest

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    Thanks!! I appreciate your help. The car is actually being sold by a BMW dealer. They have the service documentation. These are grea things to look for. The top itself looks brand new. I'll check the mechanical side.

    johnpvbfl guest

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    My wife drives our '98 M3C and loves the auto. Has only 52k miles, but agree with all the above comments on maintenance items to watch. Should be sure it has the metal thermostat housing...it can go at any time!

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