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  • Looking for Opinions on 1988 M3

    Would anyone be willing to chime in with their thoughts on this car?

    I came across this ad and it is local so I will be going to look at it soon. I have reached out to all the shops and mechanics he mentioned in the ad and received some additional information too, such as the "EVOIII" engine build, is not an actual EVO III build, its just a 2400cc build with camshaft, pistons, crank, and maybe some other bits. There is rust and all, but that wouldnt completely turn me away from restoring it.


    For sale is my 1988 E30 M3 with 123,000 miles and an EVO III engine conversion (41,000 on new motor). The car is diamond black metallic and tan leather. My understanding is that I am the third owner. I purchased it in 1997 with around 70,000 miles. The car was rarely driven from August 2002 to May 2007. Since then it has been driven around 20,000 miles. It was a Minnesota car -- garaged often -- and is now a Chicago car -- garaged all the time. I've owned the car through high-school, college and now real life (but while living in Chicago and not often needing a car). The reason for selling is limited garage space to keep it and my work requiring something more appropriate for shuttling around clients on occasion.

    The price is $16,900.

    Over the years, but mostly when the engine was rebuilt in 1999 at 82,000 miles, several performance parts and modifications were installed. These include: Comforti chip, Borla exhaust, 16" wheels with 225 wide tires, short through shift, 4-point harnesses for the driver and passenger, stainless steel brake lines, lightweight flywheel with replaceable face, heavy duty clutch, and the EVO III conversion. The EVO III conversion was done by Metric Mechanic (but did NOT include their 'turbulence' header system) to include a genuine EVO III forged crank, forged rods and forged piston heads. The motor was over-bored by a thousandth to accommodate performance use. Paul Dzimian, still the technical advisor to BMW CCA in Minneapolis, mated the engine to the car and tuned it while he worked at Orr Autosport. Paul or Metric timed the motor around 2,250 RPM for performance reasons. Let's simply say the engine is very strong and my suspicion, based on anecdotal info, is that it has around 250 hp.

    At the time of the engine rebuild or since, the following have been replaced: drive-shaft, water pump, oil cooler, radiator, rotors & pads, and alpine stereo. Obviously the fluilds have been changed as well.

    There are of course areas that need work. These include minor items such as a missing screw keeping the stereo and A/C panel flush, dirty floor mats, wear to the passenger seat, wear to the top of the rear spoiler, broken fog lights, and window tint delaminating in one spot. There are more real problems such as door dings, two rust spots (by wiper blade pivot and driver's rear wheel well), rust to the heat shield on the catalytic, a couple of the wheels' finish needing work and the driver's seat bolster having two holes. But the car is mechanically strong and has always been reliable.

    The car has been hit one time during my ownership and never otherwise to my knowledge. My neighbor backed into it while it was parked. The hood was repainted and grill replaced.

    There have been five mechanical issues during my ownership. 1) The engine detonated and needed a rebuild (Metric Mechanic of Missouri did this in 1999 to EVO III specs). 2) The oiler cooler was punctured while driving on the interstate in 2000 (replaced by Field BMW in Northbrook, IL -- though they put it on wrong and I had to re-install it). 3) The A/C broke because when the engine broke, I didn't fix the car right away since I went to college and didn't need a car. The compressor seals went bad. (Orr Auto in Minneapolis had this fixed by a custom A/C shop in 2005.) 4) The water pump broke in 2012 (I replaced it.) 5) The alternator bushings failed which led to belt failure in 2012 (B&D Auto in Westchester, IL repaired.)

    If you're serious about an M3, this one still turns heads, runs great, has an awesome engine and has been cared for by the same person for 16 years. Paul Dzimian in Minnesota and B&D Auto in Chicagoland have both worked on the car. Both are extremely well regarded.



































































    The pictures aren't great but I will be taking more when I see it. If you want to comment and help make an informed decision about an M3, I would appreciate the help. If you don't want to comment, no biggie.

  • #2
    looks like something that is worth looking at. I am not sure about your e30 experience, but this article came in really helpful when i was searching for mine


    http://www.rtsauto.com/e30-bmw-buyin...d-from-german/
    Last edited by albaaboog; 04-05-2013, 06:08 AM.

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    • #3
      Currently I own a 90 325, I do all the work myself and I am a mechanical engineer by trade. I know where the rust hides, and what old components are like, but the valuation of various features is a little foreign to me. In addition, the "EVO III" build....it was $6500 in motor work in 1999, which completely reuined the S14 imo because now I wouldn't be able to take it back to stock, and I have to find parts from the company that built the motor if I ever need anything. Hopefully they don't go out of business!

      Comment


      • #4
        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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        • #5
          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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          • #6
            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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            • #7
              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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              • #8
                Yeah, totally worth checking out as long as you know what to look out for. It sounds like you do.

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                • #9
                  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.
                  I have dyslexia so most the time my writing and spelling looks okay to me



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                  • #10
                    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! :^)
                    Alles Beste!

                    B. Wheaton
                    1989 E30 M3, Owner since June 2000
                    2008 E61 535xiT - The DD and work horse

                    http://www.bayareamotorsport.com

                    Register your E30 M3!
                    http://www.bmwmregistry.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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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                      • #12
                        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)
                        2001 530i
                        1988 M3
                        1973 2002

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                        • #13
                          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 have dyslexia so most the time my writing and spelling looks okay to me



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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?
                            2001 530i
                            1988 M3
                            1973 2002

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                            • #15
                              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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