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Newbie Advice

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  • Newbie Advice

    Hi all. My name's Leo and I've just about found the right M3 here in Taiwan. I've recently found a '88 Alpine Weiss with about 80k miles on it, and hopefully it will be mine soon. Afte searching through the archives and posts, I still have a question.

    Is there anything else I should watch out for in a hot and humid country like Taiwan? I'm trying to follow everyone's advise here, and I did do a visual check for rust and did find some here and there, but nothing I'm too concerned about for this country. I've ran the plates on the car to see if it's ever been in an accident (one of the perks of working for an insurance company) and scheduled a meeting with a mechanic who knows his M3's (another perk). Is there anything else I might have missed? Thank you.

  • #2
    Here are the pictures of the car. Any suggestions?



    • #3
      Tasty looking car.
      If you are concerned about rust then you must protect the areas of the car that are at risk.
      The front cowl where the wipers are mounted up to the front glass.....make sure any stone chips or paint damage is covered up.
      Take a plastic blade and lift up gently on the rubber surround of the front glass to look for paint damage caused by tools during front screen replacement.
      check the rear tiedown loops, the rear jacking pads. the rear liscense plate lights, the lower perimeter of the rear lights,
      the body behind the front tyre treads( tyre rubbing).



      • #4
        THank you for your pointers. I am also very concerned about the condition of the engine. Even though it only has 80k+ worth of mileage, it is a 17 year old car. I have asked the current owner regarding what parts he has changed on the engine. The list looks something like this:

        O-ring on the throttle body, engine stand, transmission stand, spark plugs, A/C, chassis urethane, oil pan protector and some other things. I just want to know that the engine won't blow up on my at 100k. Where else should I look? I read about the vibrations, and the idle, is there something I might be missing?

        Thank you.


        • #5
          Just visually the radiator might need replacement soon. but maybe that's just surface dirt

          - Tire is the other control arm bushing.


          • #6
            Update the timing belt tensioner to E36 3.2L M3 part #11 31 405 081.
            Renew all the coolant hoses and thermostat
            The S14 DME does not like airleaks.
            A potential loss of engine can occur when the large crankcase ventilation system elbows on the plenum (one at the firewall and the other by the TPS) become loose and allow unmetered air into the already calculated air/fuel ratio.
            thes elbows should be permanently bonded to the plenum using a screw, pin and some metal cold weld compound or welded in place.


            • #7
              Car looks to be in nice shape. It looks to be a U.S. spec car due to the tow hook covers, and MPH speedometer. You might be able to carfax the VIN# to see if there's any car accident history on the U.S. side.

              Issues to note:

              Front spoiler could have been painted at some point due to the lack of the black tape runner across the bumper cover.

              Note location of speakers by dead pedal on driver side and passenger side. If speakers drilled into floor, make sure no rust is in the areas where they drilled into the floor. The climate in Taiwan can start rust quickly if the metal is exposed.

              Looks like the placement of the ///M3 badge is a bit off on the trunk lid as well. So the rear deck could have been painted as well.

              Just some things noticed via the pictures. It's great to see a car like that in such nice shape in Taiwan. I spent a few summers there and never did see one...

              Good luck with the purchase!
              1989 E30 M3 Cabrio - Nogaro Sliver / Black - 1 of 786
              1990 E30 M3 - Sterling Silver / Black
              1991 E30 318is - Sterling / Black (Mtech II project)


              • #8
                Thanks for all of your inputs.

                I realize that the radiator is kinda rusted here and there, but it's actually a custom radiator to fend off the heat here. Think will have to redo it eventually.

                Timing belt tensioner: Great help! Thank you. Will write that down too. Coolant hoses and thermos! A MUST here!! Old European cars tend to overheat here a lot!!

                Trunk Badge: That one slipped by me. Might have to take a look at that trunk again. I'm actually ok with the lack of the black sticker on the front bumper as your bumper will be scratched in the small parking spaces here. Generally people ask the insurance companies to pay for a new pain job on the bumpers.

                The current owner is going to take out the speakers and the stereo system, so those speakers by the pedals will be gone. I just hope they haven't drilled anything... Drilling anything here = rust.

                From trolling around on the websites in Taiwan, it seems as if there were only 20 officially imported M3s here and they were all US spec. Ofcourse, after WTO some people imported them also, so exact figures are unknown right now.

                With the current exchange rate, I'll be paying something like US18k for this car... so I guess I'm in that range... but then cars here pretty much cost double what you pay for in the States anyways.