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E36 M3 w/salvage title... advice? things to look for?

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by cwerley, Jul 7, 2009.

    cwerley guest

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    So my husband has caught the bug and decided he wants an older M3 to use as a backup daily driver... and track car . He's been out perusing Carig's List, cars.com, etc and came across what he thinks might be a good find. A 97 M3 with 96K miles ($8K), BUT it has a salvage title. He talked to the guy last night and it was salvaged after being rear-ended. It's had frame work & body work looks good, at least from the photos. He said something to my husband about a canister in the back with the wires being cut & needing repair to pass emissions? And also mention of dash wires needing fixed.

    So I look to you experienced E36 owners to see if you have any sage advice on things that typically go out versus gotchas that would end up costing us more than it's worth in the long run. Like I said, it will be spending some time on a track and he's planning several upgrades to ready it for that (brakes, shocks, I'm sure a fortune could be spent)... but what's the bare-bones minimum we should start with to ensure a solid and safe car? One thing I thought of was seeing if the guy selling it would let us take it to the local dealership and ask & pay for a Used Car Inspection...

    Also any advice you have an salvage titles and what that means for the value of the car (is $8K a fair price)?

    many thanks!
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    granthr

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    IMHO that is too much for an M3 with a salvage title. Now if the accident was truly minor, then maybe it is not a big deal. But to know the extent of the damage you will have to pull back all the interior trim in the trunk and take a look. You might even have to pull the bumper to truly see if it was repaired properly. If you are serious about this car, get a four wheel alignment done before you buy to make sure it checks out true. Also get a mechanical inspection done on a serious contender you might buy.

    I would say sit tight and find the car you are really looking for. It is worth spending a little more and finding the right car. There are a lot of E36 M3s out there, as long as you are looking for a two door. If you want a four door, then it will be a longer search.

    If this is the first car you have looked at, then definitely look at a few more cars before you make a decision, you will be glad you did.
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    az3579

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    If a '97 M3 was salvaged, then there had to be extensive damage. It isn't that easy to total a car that's still worth about $7k...


    And if he plans on tracking it, then I would definitely pass, unless the price is unbelievably low.
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    mooseheadm5

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    My friend just bought a very nice 99 M3 with a clean title for $7500. Tell him to look harder.

    M3Driver guest

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    Agreed. I'd probably stay away from this one.
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    EuroWerkz1

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    Run, don't walk away from a car like this. Salvage title cars always look like the sure way to a good buy but never are. There are NO bargains when it comes to desirable cars A Salvage title is like luggage, it's forever. Ask yourself why does BMW and every aftermarket warranty company automatically exclude cars with salvage and or rebuilt titles?

    And this is especially true for a track car? Do you really want to test the high speed limits of this sort of car at the track? A car that has already had it's uni-body damaged and stressed? Not to mention that it is a rare severly damaged car that can be brought back into spec well enough to be set-up correctly for competition, so what does that tell you?

    Seriously, if you cannot afford the best of what you want you will be much better off going down a few rungs and buying the best of say a nice older 3 series.

    Happy Hunting!

    cwerley guest

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    we passed...

    Thanks everyone for the advice! I had to do a few searches of my own to show him there are other, MUCH better cars out there worth considering... but we're definitely passing on this one!

    M3Driver guest

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    Don't forget the classifieds in Roundel! There are some nice E36 M3's in there on a fairly regular basis and most of us club members are fastidious to the point of anal (yeah, me too :rolleyes:) in how we keep our cars.

    Good luck on your search. :)

    BlueAngel M3 guest

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    My advise is leave it alone! I used to buy salvage cars and had bad experiences with all of them. I'll never do it again not to mention its a nightmare trying to find a buyer for it. Couple of extra cash for a clean one is a long term investment and headache free! Good luck!
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    hcaleman

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    8k for salvage title. I guess that means I should ask for 12 for mine with a clean title and great condition. The guy is ridiculous to even consider an 8k salvage M in the first place. Offer them a few grand and use it for parts.

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