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Old 01-19-2006, 05:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question questions re 328is for sale

I've been looking for a long while for the right e36. I found one with a few issues I'm hoping you folks can help with.

1998 328is Cosmos Met Black/Sand Leather 72,000 miles

1. For back seat entry, the driver's side door lifts up, but instead of staying up as it should, it falls back down. Any ideas what is the problem and how much to fix? (passenger side works as it should)

2. Previous owner has had some paint and body repair on the hood and front due to sand off a truck on the highway and also a fender bender. Should I be concerned the finish will not hold up as it is no longer original, or that minor accident caused permanent body problem?

3. I know from reading threads radiator is bound to crack soon as it has never been replaced. What is approximate repair cost when this happens?

thanks for your advice.
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I do not have a coupe so I can not comment on the first question.

For the second, get the car looked at by a mechanic, ask for a "Pre-Purchase Inspection". Most will not charge you hoping that you will come back, but a few may charge you as much as $35 dollars to do the insprection. They will be able to tell you if it looks like the car has had any major body work done to it or any mechanical work that looks like it may have a permanent effect on the car. As for the paint, ask where it was done and if they can provide proof of where it was done. Is the place reputable? If it is Macco or somewhere simliar, then do not expect it to hold up for long.

For the radiator, expect a nice chunk of change. Some mechanics are going to want to replace the waterpump, thermostat, and maybe a belt or two while doing this. You can expect this to be maybe $500+ depending on what all they want to do. To put this in perspective, a friend of mine just had this done to his camry to the tune of $8XX from the toyota stealership. Here their labor rate runs about 15% over independant shops and they also replaced the battery and a few other minor things as well as the afore mentioned radiator, water pump and two belts.
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Old 01-20-2006, 09:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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for the seat issue it seems like this is insignificant. Can't you just hold the seat up with your hand for whenever someone gets in the back? Are you gonna be carting 4 people around all the time? And with 72K miles your good for a little while on the cooling system repairs. THe radiator and other related parts are a pretty easy DIY and the parts can all be had for ~$300.. add a little bit more for some tools and your good to go there. May I ask the price of the car? And is it manual or auto?
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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hey thanks for the responses guys.

as far as the seat, it's a convenience thing, as i often need to toss something in the back seat. there's a reason they're designed to stay up in the coupe. the girl that's selling the car is a salesperson and is always hauling bags around. the drivers side didn't work when she got the car and she just assumed only the passenger side was designed to stay up so she always used that side to load her stuff. her expression was funny when i told her both sides should stay up! I talked to a mechanic who said it's part of the cable system and to fix involves taking the seat off. the cable itself is pretty cheap if it needs a new one, but the labor is about $175. is it tough to take the seat off DIY?

re the paint/body, i talked to the shop that did all the work. it's purely cosmetic (no structural worries), but he told me repaint (front part of car) just won't be as durable as original (e.g. more likely to chip, etc.). but it's a reputable place and they did a nice job. i'm just not sure how much to devalue the car since the paint is not original??

car has new tires, new front brakes, new battery.

seats have no worn spots or tears, i think some conditioner will clean them right up. tan carpet has some stains, don't know if they'll clean up or not. nice wood trim. wood shift knob has crack which they all seem to have.

exterior besides the repaint has a few dings,chips, and scratches but paint still glossy.

buying from second owner (both women) with all service records

probably due for level II service at 75,000 miles (3000 miles from now). recent diagnostic indicated only serp belt tensioner needed (?)

car is auto, which is what i want for daily driver. asking price is $11,500 (bluebook for good condition in this area is $11,900). she priced it a little lower because of the dings and the serp belt tensioner.

what do you guys think?? I was thinking about offering $11,000.
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