Alright, let me tell you about my little dilemma. I'm 17, still learning about BMW's, and seriously want to become a part of the group, not just because I like the looks of BMW's, because I want to eventually make a powerful machine, either a drifter or a show car that I can be proud of.
But everyone starts some where, right?
About 14 miles away, a military reserve man is selling a Black 1993 318i. The car is in absoloutly flawless condition, not a single dent, scratch, scuff, ding, crack. The interior is new, it's completely lined in WeatherTech mats, has a new $200 CD/MP3 deck, the sport suspension package, prewired cd-changer hookup, a full size rimmed spare (brand new), WeathTech window trim, and overall, is an insanely well kept car. The only owner is a 31 year old military man, who--since the cars first day off the lot-- has kept the car completely flawless, as well as documented and recorded every service and performace related detail in a 70 something page fully organized military style portfolio. He's been part of the BMWCCA, and has made the ultimate effort in having his car BMW maintained every 15,000 miles. Overall, a gorgeous car, right?
But sadly, every good deal has it's Achilles heel.
The car has about 192,000 miles on it, all highway miles as he had commuted often for his reserve time desk job. He wants $5,000.00 for it.
I'm basicly at crossroads here, I don't know what I want. I'd basically be buying this car because it's a bimmer, and i've wanted just the feel of one as long as i've been around cars (not to mention, the clutch on this car is stiff but smooth as a baby). And it's not like it's that slow either, he's done an excellent job of keeping it a small, zippy little car.
Really need some love on this topic, don't know how much longer he's keeping the car. (And yes, I realize that 5000 is a high asking price and plan to talk him down. This is the cheapest BMW with the E36 body style within 1000 something miles, so my options and budget are seriously limited.)
Originally posted by fondu@Dec 8 2004, 02:34 PM I appreciate the input, wish more people could comment on the life of the actual car, since i've heard that babied BMW engines get 300+. What about non-engine issues?
Nice Ride! I just bought my 93 318is from a co-worker for $2500.00. He was the original owner and always mainted the car well... it has 189k on the engine. It past the CA smog with no problem. I only put super unleaded... fuel injector cleaner once per month... and Castrol 20/50. The car is Solid as a Rock. Their are a few bugs to iron out... but basically a piece of cake. Personally I like the TWO door coupe more than the four door... and if I was 17 and looking into a show car to fix up... I would definetly go for a two door 325 or m3. At fourty... I just wanted a nice ride for driving to work.
its a great car, it has the very rare LSD. At 190,000 miles you can expect little things to go wrong, depending of course on what already has gone wrong. You can pretty much know what to expect by looking at the last 100k miles of service in that wonderful folder that you have. Looks like a great car, I wouldn't let it get away form you. A lot of guys will tell you go for the 6cly, but I love my 318i, I don't think you will be disappointed.
For the first week of my 318i 94 i loved it, but its not until you have to go up hills or get owned off the mark at traffic lights until you realise the lack of power. And if ou plan to modify the engine down the track, the 318i isnt the car you are after, you need a 6 cyl to really do any mods,
but the main thing here is, would you be happy with it?? take it for a drive and then decide for yourself, its not us buying the car its you
Even though the general concensus is to spend a "few extra grand" for a 325i+, I'm actually stretching my budget just to afford the 318i. It's not a car I need to go fast, my first ticket (in a G35) was a 12 pointer. I'm lucky to still have my liscence. I'm so attracted to this car mainly because:
1. BMW's are gorgeous, i'm really attracted to the second(?) generation body style of the three series.
2. BMW's have such a strong presence, a BMW is a status equal to its beauty.
3. Even though the G35 has twice as much horsepower, the 318i is still a zippy little mover, nothing too fast but not exactly slow either.
4. Insurance is about 110 a month, nothing I can't handle, as well as lower than all the other cars I had in mind.
5. Looks like a perfect car for learning to keep speed with, curvy roads and perfect shifting can't really be taught in powerful cars. (Hell, this is my first manual!)
I love mine because it drives really awesome - a rare trait in 130k+ mile cars. Mine is 96, so has a 1.9L engine, a bit more power. Stick is definitely a plus. You can easily do minor performance upgrades - install K&N filter, nice Remus exhaust, put a chip and get extra 15HP or so. Once at speed, handling is great and predictable. Installing Billsteins and low-profile tires enhances handling a long way. Car is really easy to mod all the way, and most cosmetic parts are interchangeable between all E36s. Best sources for used parts are Ebay and local junkyards. Plenty of DIY writeups here on the forums. Here's my page with the mods I have done (on quite a low budget at that) - http://220.127.116.11/mostwired/auto.html
I didn't buy my bimmer for speed - I have a bike for that But I got a great deal on my car (on Ebay), and never felt sorry for buying it.
This is my first time posting on the boards, but I've had my 318 for 4 years now. I have a 1992 318i with 159K on it. Its been a great car. I got mine when i was a year older than you (18).
If you want power, youre looking at the wrong car. However, if you want handling and reliability, you wont be dissapointed. I've had no major problems (knock on wood) since ive owned it.
In response to the question, "what do you love about your 318?", i would have to say:
1. I love the handling. I've driven a 1998 M3, 1996 328i (with sport package), and a 2003 325xi. They are all nice and have a ton more power than my car, but they just dont feel as agile. I know people are going to call me crazy for that one.
2. The engine runs smooth and quiet. That little 4 cylinder has been a great engine. Its been bullet-proof, all the way through me learning how to drive manual.
3. The older cars are a little easier to work on. Ive been able to do pretty-much all of the maintenence involved with my car, without major investments in tools.
One option, if youre stretched for cash, might be to look at one of the E30 cars, maybe you can get into a 325 within your budget?
Youre definetly going to want to paint the grey bumpers and sideskirts. And eventually you'll want bigger wheels with low-pro tires.
Either way, enjoy your BMW when you finally get it.
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