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Any advice in buying an e30?

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by 129794, May 12, 2009.

    • Member

    granthr

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    Yea, I think we could work something out. No cash though! ;)

    The M10 is a fun engine. It comes on cam just like more powerful BMW motors at about 3,500 rpm. It does like to rev.
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    stevehecht

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    stevehecht

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    129794: You probably are already well aware of what I'm about to say. I bought a very nice looking E30 in Florida a couple of years ago. I even had it checked out by an indie BMW mechanic, yet I still got burnt for some big bucks over the next couple of years for repairs. I spent $5200 for a '90 black coupe (pictured) that had several nice modifications and 125K miles, but have had to put $6K into repairs subsequently plus $2400 for a new/used engine because of a spun bearing. I really love my car, but it's been a painful process. (I know, I coulda had a M3! But hey, ce la vie.)

    I made the mistake of trusting BMWCCA owners without seeing any repair records. I can't say that they did or could have known about the problems I encountered, but I wouldn't buy a car this old from anyone without adequate records. I would highly recommend taking it to a BMW dealer for their 150 point inspection rather than trying to save $100 or so by taking it to an indie shop in a faraway town where you don't know their creds. And don't invest yourself in a car emotionally up front to the point where you can't say no when you have to.

    PS--I agree that Grant's M3 is the cat's meow. Es perfecto!
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    az3579

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    No Grant, I will NOT give you a foot rub, if that's what you were thinking! :rolleyes:

    z31maniac guest

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    I don't really agree with that, I bought my car sight unseen. It did come with a huge stack of records, but still burned up an exhaust valve with only a 128k on the M20.

    You just have to accept that the youngest E30 is 18 years old, mine is 21. They are an expensive german sport sedan and take money to fix and maintain if you aren't willing to do the work yourself.

    I've found E30 parts to be reasonably priced and they aren't too tough to work on either.

    I'm curious what happened to you?
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    129794

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    Thanks for all the replies folks!!
    We're still looking and I feel that we will be for a while.We pretty much know what were getting into and that were probably gonna have to do work to it. I just recently traded in my 1995 325ic that although it only had 58k on it when we got rid of it it was still nickle and diming us. So we know older bimmers are expensive to own. We just want a car to have fun with on the nice days not a daily driver or a land rocket (My 135i does that just fine!!!:D)
    Again thanks for all the help!!!

    cognoscenti guest

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    I would respectfully point you in the direction of mine, but it looks like you want something that is a little less "complete", so you can work on it more for fun. As an owner of many BMWs over the years, I can completely understand!

    In case you care to look regardless, click my sig picture.

    Happy E30 hunting!
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    stevehecht

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    Buddy, I don't know what you mean here.
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    eam3

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    The best advice I can give on buying an E30 is that when you find the right one and you have it all sorted out, for the love of all that is good, do NOT sell it. I made that mistake with my 325is and have regretted it every day since. Happy hunting!

    z31maniac guest

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    You were talking about big repair bills and not trusting a CCA member on a car without records.

    So I was curious what it was that happened to your car.
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    129794

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    We are really open to anything. We just wanted a 325is. BUt I must say yours looks incredible. Can I have a little more information????:)
    • Member

    granthr

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    +10000000000 I have never sold an E30 and I don't think I could!!!! :D That is why I now have three! :D

    First came the M3, it was all down hill from there. Bought a 318i to keep the M3 out of daily use. The 318i was the focus of tuning because I wanted to keep my M3 stock and I wanted the 318i to handle like the M3. Now I bought a 325ix because I wanted an M20 i motor and I like how rare the ix is, not to mention the fender flares!!! :D So the addiction continues!

    I am preaching to the choir here! Please turn your hymnals to 2002 or in this case 318 or 325. :D

    z31maniac guest

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    I can't wait to buy another E30 to turn into a comfy DD/road trip car.

    You know add sound deadening, not so extreme suspension/wheel/tire setup, etc.

    Oh and I'd like to have a V-8 under the hood to make effortless cruising.

    BIMMIR guest

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    Another nice one, low miles, euro bumpers, unfortunately an automatic. It is a southern car, from Nashville. A couple of months ago I was shopping for my daughter and I offered them $5,000 (asking $6,988) and they jumped on it. (too quickly) We decided against it, because my parents sold their one owner camry and I put my daughter in that instead, due to front wheel drive, Maine winters and she's 16, first car.

    They offered to pick me up at the airport. I bet they'd take mid 4's....

    http://www.freelandchevy.com/VehicleDetails/1157846154
    • Member

    granthr

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    Nice looking car. Don't be afraid of autos. Can you say tranny swap! CRs BMW Wholesale in central Penna does them for a reasonable price. He uses only BMW parts and replaces things like the clutch, slave cylinder, shift linkage, etc with new parts.

    He is currently swapping the tranny and transfer case in the ix I just bought. I can't wait to get it back, it will probably be another week or so. His is also going to put a Z3 shifter in for me. So that with the new bushings it should shift pretty nicely.
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    az3579

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    I wouldn't mind buying an auto if it was dirt cheap and the car was mint. The problem is that at $5k, you'd expect the E30 to be mint AND be everything you want. At that price point, a tranny swap would make the total cost of the car very unreasonable.


    If the car was $2k then I'd consider it, but otherwise, the labor and parts alone will be well over a grand on top of the purchase price (hell, I think the labor alone would be over that).


    You should take that into consideration if you want a 5-speed (which you should!).
    • Member

    stevehecht

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    Either you're a sadist or I'm a masochist, but here goes:

    Year one of ownership
    --wheel bearing
    --brake pads/shoes
    --low beam headlights (Hella)
    --tie rod assemblies
    --driveshaft(!!) (refurbished)
    --driver's door lock (new)

    Year Two of ownership
    --odometer (rebuild/repair/reset)
    --PS hoses & reservoir
    --lower steering coupling
    --front sway bar linkage
    --AC/heater blower motor (new)
    --engine mounts
    --antenna motor (used) & mast
    --sunroof seals
    --axle assemblies
    --hoses & belts
    --body work (rusted out battery holder & attached panels) ($600)
    --driver's seat frame re-welded ($200)
    --new aftermarket carpet, installed ($550)
    --heater core (new)
    --air flow meter (new) along with--
    --used engine with <100K miles ($2400 installed) (spun wheel bearing)

    Most of the work was done by a BMW certified tech indie shop at $95/hr. I could have saved some bucks getting some of the parts used instead of new. Most of the stuff is not unexpected on a 17-18 year old car with 125K miles, but the driveshaft and the engine were unwelcome surprises. The good news is that since last September the car has run flawlessly through the winter.

    BIMMIR guest

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    Great points!

    This is a clean car, but only perfect if it's perfect for the one buying it. That's probably why it's been sitting there for months. Most people not appreciating BMW's won't pay the money for a car that old. And enthuesiests (sp) want a stick. So, there it sits.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Don't forget Street Survival®!
    • Member

    129794

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    We've also looked at that car but its an auto and also no an "is." Should we be looking at not "is"s too??

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