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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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#1 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 12:06 AM
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Hi all

I am targeting purchase of an early 90's BMW sedan, well taken care of, and do expect it to have some mileage. My use would primarily be commute, 30K miles a year, but want something I won't be embarrassed driving. Oh, I also am looking for a huge bargain. I figure I'll take my chances with the rest.

Found a nice looking 93 325i w/132K miles for $5K (northern calif). Good, clean car and title. I may be able to negoitate down (kbb is about $4K/$5K good/excel). It looks like these cars are good for many miles beyond that. Any opinions.

The other one I am considering is a 94 525i w/156K miles. At $4.4K its a much better value in terms of blue book, but I'm concerned about the higher miles, more interested in personal use longevity, and less concerned w/resell value.

Any opinions on these cars, which would be a wiser choice for my purpose, or whether I should be targeting something else would be welcome and appreciated.

Thanks!

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#2 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 12:44 AM
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very simple: if you take care of it and maintain it, it will run for 250k+. A lot depends on too how it was taken care of before you. I'd buy the 93 and spend an extra thousand and have all sorts of common parts that fail replaced. would be well worth it.

also welcome and I bet you like beer? :P

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 01:10 AM
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Thank you for your input!

The one thing that is compelling about the 525i is that I know 15K ago the heads were machined, head gasket replaced, as well as water pump and radiator. Sounds like a bunch of things I wouldn't need to worry about for a while.

Again, appreciate all your thoughts.

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 08:56 AM
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I bought a 93 325i 124K mi back in sept for $4000. Awsome car, love it to death. Expect to drop about a grand on a tune up and preventative maintence (considerably less if your a do-it-yourselfer). And personally I wouldn't buy a car that has had a "head job" done- Unless you are getting a crazy deal on it. And besides the E36 style is priceless..

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#5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 10:33 AM
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I agree with "93 325i". I personally wouldn't buy a car that had major engine work done on it, as it could be a weak build from the factory. And while the 5 series is beautiful, I'm partial to the E36 3-series looks.

I'm sure there are other deals out there, and I would keep looking. (I assume you've already tried autotrader)

With cars, especially bmws, they become part of you. It's important you shop around and find one you're truely happy with, and don't have to worry about... even if it means spending a bit more money. Take it from my experience, any bmw you purchase will be well worth it, and after you go bimmer, you'll never go back.

Happy hunting!
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by komodo9@Jan 19 2005, 10:33 AM
... Take it from my experience, any bmw you purchase will be well worth it, and after you go bimmer, you'll never go back.
[snapback]274773[/snapback]
Very true..I went from a 318i to a honda prelude and couldn't wait to get back into a bimmer.. Sold the Prelude after 3 months and found my sexy european girl- 325i

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 04:26 PM
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I also bought a 93 325i for 5k with 116k. What a rock solid car.
But yes, make sure you do put the money to change all small parts that break and also the meantance, i would greatly recommend to change all filters, gaskets and fluids..

In case youre interested, i have original bmw suspension buhsings and several parts, i can sell them yo you trought ebay, in case you want the safety. but if you need someting, let me know have several parts that i ended up not using.

Also, if you plan to do some work on the car, get a bentley manual.

I spend other 5k on parts for the car, that included parts to rebuild suspension, interior placstics, sunroof mechanis and a bunch of little things that where making noise, not woking properly.. etc.. Im not saying you have to do this, im anal..

But do spend the money on a good and deep tune up and if the suspension is shot, fix it. an e36 with a good suspension feels great..

When i got mynes the suspension was long gone, the car felt ok. but only after rebuilding the whole suspension is that i really noticed how this car really drives and why is so loved by all..

welcome to the forum and to the e36.

If need of parts of help dont hesitate to ask..

You are a BMW driver when you become part of the "Ultimate Driving Machine"

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 12:33 PM
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Hi All

Thank you for all your generous thoughts and inputs.

I passed up the 525i based on the headjob concerns. The more I studied it, it appears the pump froze and it overheated, blowing the head gasket. That having been said, I suppose it got hot enough to perhaps do some other damage.

The 325i I was looking at sold but I'm still looking and all of the input you provided was very valuable in both my search and ability to estimate my costs of ownership. Thanks

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