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Getting Read to Pull the Trigger...

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by JDiazAmador, Jan 14, 2010.

    • Member

    JDiazAmador

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    As you may know from my previous posts, I have been looking for an E36 M3 for about two months. The money is finally coming together, and my need is more urgent (I've relocated to CA and I'm renting a car).

    I test drove the first "candidate" yesterday. It's a 96 coupe, decent paint (violet), worn interior (dove gray), high mileage (192k). The LF fender has been replaced (and I think the left door as well) Everything seems to work, I drove the car and it seems OK, and the seller has a stack of receipts. It seems that most of the major E36 items have been replaced.

    The seller is 20 years old and works at an auto parts store. He seems to be very knowledgeable about the car and about what parts have been replaced.

    An AutoCheck report seems to confirm the sellers story, and there are no issues with the title. It seems to have always been a CA car.

    How much do you think a car like that is worth? My concerns (assuming the car checks out mechanically) are:

    1. How much effort will it take to recondition the interior (vaders are worn, lacing on the 4 spoke steering wheel is frayed, etc.)

    2. How much will the resale value of the car be impacted when it rolls over 200k, which would happen in about 6 months

    Also, can anyone recommend a BMW shop in the North Hollywood/Burbank/Glendale CA area for the pre-purchase inspection?

    Thanks,

    -Jorge
    Hollywood, CA
    • Member

    connorb850

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    Assuming the car needs nothing mechanically and is in good overall cosmetic condition, I would probably pay in the $6k range.

    If the seats are extremely worn, it might be best to find a good used set. If they aren't too bad, you could try to re-dye the leather. I have no experience with this, but there are plenty of write-ups about this online. As for the steering wheel...you could probably find a good used one for $150, or find someone who can repair yours.

    High mileage cars are harder to sell and usually aren't worth much to most people, but they can be a great deal if you find a good one. A well-maintained E36 with almost 200k will likely already have the expensive stuff replaced (cooling system, suspension, clutch, etc..), so it might be a good buy.
    • Member

    JDiazAmador

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    Thanks for the info. I made the owner an offer based on what I thought his car was worth (he can negotiate me up to your 6k figure), but he seems to not be motivated to sell. Unless he finds the E46 he's looking for, and decides he needs the money quickly, we may not have a deal.

    I'm having a tougher time than I thought finding a good E36 M3, even in Southern California. Too many automatics, salvage titles, weird modifications, etc. A lot of the ads (especially craigslist), don't respond to e-mails so they are probably sold.

    I'm still needing a recommendation for a good local BMW repair shop.
    • Member

    granthr

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    Go to http://www.bimrs.org/ to find an indie BMW Tech.
    • Member

    connorb850

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    Have you considered an E36 328i/is, or are you just set on an M3?

    I don't know your budget or your condition expectations for a potential purchase...but it should be easier to find a really nice 328 in the $6-7k range than a good M3 in that same price range. Unless you are prepared to spend at least $8-9k, I think you might have a hard time finding a nice example of an M3.

    I wanted an E36 M3 sedan when I was looking to buy my first BMW over 3 years ago, but the good examples were more than I could afford. I would rather have a very good 328 than a cheaper/not great M3, so I bought a nice 328i and I'm happy with the decision.

    bimmerdreamer guest

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    Alright!!!

    1. Im really happy that you moved here already, I live in Fresno(200miles north) and i come to La a lot!!!
    2. I forgot ur price range, but i would stay away from that car myself, unless u plan on spending $$$ on maintenance.
    3. I know the best shop there is dedicated purely to BMWs and the guy is a great friend of mine, and i actually bought my e36 M3 from him( which i am about to put on the market) the place in is Glendale. its called Hamlet's BMW Service and is located on 518 W Colorado St Glendale, CA 91204 (818) 547-3959 ... He should be able to take care of you and is also a CCA member himself. and might have a car or two himself that u might like!!!
    4. I know this might sound racist, but be cautious when you are buying a car from an Armenian(other then Hamlet) i am Armenian myself, and know what a lot of them do down there with there cars... If u do, take it to Hamlet and have him look at it, even if it has a clean title it can still be jacked up, mine is salvage, but is in better condition then most clean tittles.
    5. I am almost 20 myself, and have driven the M3 rarely in a manner that would get me a ticket, but, other then that, I love these babies!!! meaning im not the only one, maybe he did take care of it really well, but with that high mileage, im pretty sure that s52 has been revved a lot! i mean mine has 100k less miles and im gonna put it up for 11 or 10k.
    6. Span your search in CA, dont just stick to south CA... there is no better way to drive your baby for the first trip, then the trip home! unless ur cruising on the coastal 1 hwy haha.

    hope i can help u with your search... oh and the 328is is not a bad idea what so ever!

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