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Looking for Opinions on 1988 M3

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  • Carfantiti
    replied
    That car has allot of rust pass on it you will find a better one.I bet you find one no rust or only one spot .I had two small rust spots on cowl cut out welded in .best to you on hunt you will find the right car.

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  • inastrangeland
    replied
    Having bought cars that showed little to no rust, I can speculate that this one has a lot going on that you cannot see. Be prepared to completely strip the engine and interior, including carpet. With that much rust showing at the cowl, you'll need a new cowl piece and a competent body shop to replace panels. Also will need to remove the brake booster as the firewall is most likely toast. If you can put up with all the work, the car would be a good deal in the 12-13K range. Rust is probably the biggest issue that most people don't appreciate. I've fixed several cars, that had rust issues no one even suspected, and none of them looked this bad on the outside.

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  • benyen soljax
    replied
    Some detailed pictures of the rust spots




























    The rust by the windshield looked just like his picture, but you can see the stuff around the bumper doesn't seem to have spread much at all. Some told me to look at the footwell for signs of water damage, and I would guess by the condition of the rest of the car, that the firewall is probably mostly intact, although it is dirty.

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  • benyen soljax
    replied
    Clean title. Seller negotiated with the insurance when it was damaged to make sure the title wasn't salvaged because they valued the car at almost nothing when in reality these cars have always held a decent portion of their value.

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  • 300whpGTI
    replied
    Originally posted by Carfantiti View Post
    it has clean title? I would pas on it unless you could get it for 10k if salvage title justt pass no matter what.
    I did not read that it has a bum title, did I miss something?

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  • Carfantiti
    replied
    it has clean title? I would pas on it unless you could get it for 10k if salvage title justt pass no matter what.

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  • 300whpGTI
    replied
    Sounds like you know what you are looking at.. If I were you and felt good about the car I would start negotiating at $14k (I'm basing this solely off the pictures provided and the notion that it drives well) and would hope to not pay much more than $15k. This would leave you with some budgeting room to fix the necessary items and be able to get it up to the current $20k standard fairly easily.

    Good luck! (PS, get rid of those silly harnesses as soon as you buy it)

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  • benyen soljax
    replied
    Originally posted by Carfantiti View Post
    Some times I don't get rebuilds so low miles? I have 198 k on my engine no rebuild and my motor looks much cleaner than that rebuilt.
    The seller blew up the engine. He bought the car in high school around 1997 and admittedly drove it hard when he was younger. He got a rebuild with bigger bore and stroke because the engine builder convinced him he needed the build to be able to run it hard without rebuilding all the time.

    The car has been fixed from a front end collision but it looks to be hood and fenders and bumper that were damaged, as the car was parked.

    There is rust above the license plate too, but the car has been garaged a lot, so most of the rust doesn't seem to have eaten into the core metal very far.

    This one is a tough case, the service items have not been properly maintained, but the car has been cared for, it is just a used 25 year old car.

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  • Brandon
    replied
    Given today's "$25k rule", a car selling for $16,900 in need of $8,100 in repairs to bring it to near concours quality sounds about right. If you can do most or all the work yourself, it will bring a near perfect car well within reach to you for maybe $20k all in? The bonus is that if you do it yourself, you know it's done correctly! :^)

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  • Carfantiti
    replied
    Some times I don't get rebuilds so low miles? I have 198 k on my engine no rebuild and my motor looks much cleaner than that rebuilt.

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  • Mick
    replied
    Yeah, totally worth checking out as long as you know what to look out for. It sounds like you do.

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  • benyen soljax
    replied
    I should add that when I say "I do all the work myself" on my current E30, it is not my DD and I do it because I enjoy the shit out of every minute with the beast.

    What I am a little wary of is the rust factor, mainly because of all the specialized equipment and the space required for body work, or the high price of having another person do it. Not to mention doing it right involves stripping the car down to nothing and starting from scratch.

    I plan to take a look at it, but I agree that starting with as little rust as possible is the most ideal.

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  • Mick
    replied
    I know you said that you can deal with the rust. But from my experience if you can see that much rust on the outside the problem is extensive. The only way you're going to kill that rust is to dismantle the car. Make sure you take a good look way up under the dash behind the cowl. I bet the firewall is swiss cheese. Look for signs of water in the front foot wells.
    Last edited by Mick; 04-05-2013, 09:23 AM.

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  • nvestor88
    replied
    Before buying, I would definitely consider paying more for a turn-key car vs a car that needs work. Its pretty simple, do some quick math...If a car needs mechanical attention, plus paint and bodywork, all this adds up...Before you know it, you could of purchased a nice turn key or documented car for the same price. Unless you want a car to wrench for yourself, and slowly build it to your taste. In the end, it all adds up. For sure I will start with an original, unmolested rust free car. Good luck, im on the prowl for one myself.

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  • 02fanatic
    replied
    Car appears to be well used, but the write-up by the seller is well presented....dealing with an honest seller is very important. I'd probably at least take a look at it if close by, and then go from there.

    Good Luck,

    John

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