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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 08-13-2004, 09:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alright, here's the scoop. I found a 1994 BMW 325is near DC for $4900. (Dealer) Without even seeing the car, I called up and said that I was 2+ hours away, and if he wanted me to come look at it, he'd have to lower the price by $500. (Bold move on my part, but he did it.)

I got down and checked things out, and I can't say that I was impressed. The front of the car was rusted quite a bit, and the right fender was damaged beyond repair. The rear bumper had been hit, it seemed, so that too would also have to be fixed. (Looks like it just needs to be popped back into place.) The muffler was almost rusted through, so that will need to be replaced as well. One of the foglights was completely busted, and the other was just missing altogether. The last noteworthy exterior detail was that the rear two tires were nearly bald, and the front right had a small nail in it.

We can safely assume that this car had not been serviced yet...

Moving on to the interior. The leather seats are fairly beat, and the center arm rest is very beat. The driver side window makes a clicking noise if you hold down the 'up' button once the window is up the whole way. Same goes for down. Passenger window was fine. The sunroof slid open halfway then stopped. (Not even halfway really, the piece under the actual sunroof slid halfway, so the roof never went back at all.) That's the only thing worth mentioning about the interior.

Despite all of the visual stuff, I drove the car extensively, and I don't think it could have run any better. The engine made no akward sounds, and the clutch felt good.

After all was said and done, I was, but was not impressed. (I loved how it ran, but the visual stuff really sucked.) Before I left, the sales guy asked me what it would take for me to buy the car "as is". I told him I would consider it for 4 grand. I put a refundable $100 deposit on it so he could hold it for me over the weekend while I made a decision.

I have made up a list of the things that I would like to have fixed, as well as did a little research online for the prices. I came up with this:

Hood - $150
Fender - $100
Front "Grille" - $50? (I don't know what part this is actually called. I'll upload a few pics in the next post, you'll see what I mean.)
Tires - $400 (Est.)
Fog Lights - $150 (Est.)
Sunroof Motor - $150? Couldn't find that online...normal window motor runs for $110...)
Muffler - $50-75
Paint for Hood, etc - $400

The total comes out to around $1500, and quite a bit of time.

I would NOT mind working on the car, as I have off until September, but I'm not sure if everything would fit my budget. I'm going to upload the pics next (not sure how exactly to do it, give me a few minutes) and if you all would be so kind, please give me some input as to what to do. I really didn't want to spend more than $4800-5000 for this, and if it comes down to putting more money into the car then that, I'll probably have to back out. Also, if you know of any cheaper prices for any of the things I listed, please let me know.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 08-13-2004, 09:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here they are: (Finally)









Bad shot of the muffler:


Ouch. Sales said an employee hit a curb or something...


Nice rims, though...


Did the previous owner rest his arm here, or just start fires?


Sunroof mechanism...


Engine looks clean to me...I know at least it ran like a dream.



Well that's it. I have a few more, but I think those are the best of a lot. Thanks.
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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in one of those pics it looked like it sat kind of weird! you have to remember when ypoiu get all those parts painted again it wont match your black paint that is on the rest of you car due to black fading easily and the car being 10 years old! you would have to re paint the whole car if you wanted it to look really good again! as for the prices of thoise parts i cant really verify those right now but it looks like a nice project. sketch the sales person drove into a curb haha

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Old 08-14-2004, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Everything fits except that front right quarter panel. They would have to hit a curb pretty hard to do that kind of damage to that section of the car. I'd say no because of that section but if you can have it checked out and the frame is straight you'll be ok.

As for seats. My cusion is ripped. That stuff is NOT cheap to replace. They want 700 bucks for new leather for my seat ghead

P.S. I ended up in the same boat you are. Cosmetic stuff left something to be desired. Interior had a smoke smell, headliner was sagging. Drove the car and man did that sucker love to run.
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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hood is gonna set you down 200 at the LEAST, the fender will cost at LEAST 180, the nose panel is bout 80 bucks, the armrest is bout 80-100. Ebay clear foglights can be had for 80 a pair. Throw on a magnaflow muffler instead of the stocky, it'll make the car sound better, that'll be 80ish +install. For ~550 you can get the best maaco paintjob, just paint the whole car, overspray will be alot anyways. The only thing maaco is bad at is covering up stuff that shouldnt be painted, take off all the stuff you dont want painted before you get there.

I am in the same boat, but mine was a lil more screw up then yours: http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/topic16677.html
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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ehh, you'll be fine with the paint, make sure u bring it to a nice body shop, where they mix the paint through a computer... they could match it up ALLMOST PERFECTLY!! pretty clean engine bay... if u got the money to fix it up!! GO FOR IT!
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Eh...that's the problem. I only have a little more then a grand to work with... so unless I plan on doing all of this over a long period of time, I don't see how it's gonna work.

Tuition is on the rise...
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Old 08-14-2004, 02:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just cant see why the previous owner would let that happen to such a beautiful car..
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Old 08-14-2004, 03:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The prices you listed definitely seem a little on the lower side...And like Kevin said, that is a VERY weird place to mess up used . Anyway, I think you might be getting into a little more than you are prepared to deal with. What about the suspension? How did that feel? Cause if the frame is bent, it would be an expensive mess to deal with.


The engine is a GOOD thing though...definitely have an experienced mechanic check it out though...
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Old 08-16-2004, 03:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One more thing to consider... those parts prices on Ebay... the shipping alone could be half as much as the part.. I was looking at seats.. guys want 3-4 hundred to ship two front seats.. I am thinbging I can ship my motorcycle from nyc to florida in a crate handles with kid gloves for the same amount.. think about that, and think about every project I have ever worked on has ALWAYS run intom more time aggreeavation and expense than the best laid pans have indicated... By the way.. that hood and front panel could be sanded, filled, puttied and painted , maybe even by you if you are any good at that sort of thing. (i personally am a mechanic not an artis so I dont do bodywork, but lots of folks have that touch and get really good results) Just something to consider if you have more time than money
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Offer the guy 3250, or 4000 with a buy back guarantee if anything breaks within a year.
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