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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-24-2013, 01:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Which model to buy for my 2nd ever BMW?

In 1999, I bought my first BMW. It was a 1982 328i. I bought it for $800. It had issues and I resold it for $1,600 a few months later.

Fast forward 14 years.

I REALLY want an M3. I only have $4,000. I know that a $4,000 M3 is going to cost me $6,000 in repairs and I'll end up owning a 200k mile salvaged title M3 that I paid $10,00 for. So that option is not a good one.

I'm a 36 year old father of four working in outside sales spending a lot of my day in the car. I have owned all kinds of cars in my day from Toyota commuters to muscle cars to even mini-vans. My wife doesn't understand why I tell her that my old BMW and my 91 Mustang GT 5.0 were my two favorite even though we have owned several nicer cars! She doesnt get it when I say "driving an M3 is exhilarating like I'm on a race track in traffic".

If you were in my shoes with $4,000 to spend and maybe another $150 a month in "car fund" what would you do?

Option A - Save my money until I can afford a $10,000 M3 or something else and buy a $4,000 Toyota/Honda commuter that is very "economical" yet makes me sad while I drive.

Option B - Purchase the best $4,000 BMW 3 Series I can get and maintain it really well and when the time is right...upgrade.

If you were to choose Option B - What model would you go for that will be the most reliable daily driver with the least amount of "maintenance" costs, yet fun/sporty/luxury?

Is Option B a real option? Or am I fooling myself?
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think, You can search for a used BMW M3 of your choice you can find it is less amount. Just check it for the conditions. For this you have to search a little. Maintenance can be high for that but you can use your money to get the best car of your choice.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I dont think they had the 328i in 1982...

Ive had my 1998 328i since May 4th, 2005. I purchased it with 154,000km on it and as of this morning is sporting 266,850 km on it. In that time I have replaced the water pump, thermostat, fan clutch (x2), tie rods, brake rotors/pads, all four struts, hood release cable, three door lock actuators, power steering resevoir, valve cover gasket, spark plugs, fuel filter, and not to mention the countless oil changes.

This may seem like a lot reading that, but that is through NINE YEARS of ownership and 112,000 km. The most expensive of that list was the struts, followed by four rotors and pads ($750).

It is entirely possible to get a $4,000 M3. A friend of mine bought a 97 M3 Sedan for $3,900 recentley (Canadian Pricing mind you, probaly $3,000 US). So far has removed the tacky shit the previous owner had done, replaced the spark plugs, valve cover gasket, and fuel filter and has a decently running M3. Its not in the best shape, but hell its still an M3 and pulls like one. And you have it better then us because you dont have to worry about rust as much as we do.

You do need to remember your buying a 15 year old car. Even a brand new Ferrari has problems. Ive seen a 4 year old Ferrari in the shop because the transmission blew up costing $13,000 to fix. Ive seen an 06 Ferrari 360 Modena need to be towed 300 km because its transmission shit the bed. People dont keep Ferrari's past 80,000 miles. People keep BMW's past 200, 250, 300,000 miles for a reason.

Theirs a guy on Bimmerforums that has a 325i with 600,000+ miles on it. Ive seen the odometer picture.

Honestly, try to scoop that black M3 Sedan. It looks in good shape minus a few things, but none if it is huge. All of it can be fixed in time with some patience and money.

I will probably never own an M3, or an M5. My next BMW is the only one that can outrun the E39 M5 in the standing mile....


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Old 09-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would say save another 4k and get a really nice M3 for 8k
In my area the only 4k M3s you will find have been ragged out and have nearly 200k on the clock. Not my preference for a car that is often ridden hard and put away wet.
YMMV
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