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damned 15k rule... how did everyone else do?

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  • damned 15k rule... how did everyone else do?

    Just wondering how much you guys had to initially spend to get your car into good shape. This of course doesnt count the countless mods or anything like that. Just what it took to buy your car and address any problems.

    And now here's my personal section:

    I'm asking this because when i bought my car a couple months ago, i got a prepurchase inspection and thought that I would be able to beat the 15k rule by quite a bit.

    I got quite a bit of work done already and I thought I was close to being finished. i took my car into a shop yesterday (dynospot) for some strut sway mount welding and control arm bushing pushing/pulling and I found out I have even more work to do on the car!

    In addition to the original work that needed to be done, i need new engine mounts and exhaust hangers, the subframe mounting point has stress cracks, the fuel hose from pump to regulator is cracking, and theres an oil leak from the upper timing cover or valve cover gasket. And I still need to change out the tie rods.

    In an effort to try to save money and learn more about the car, I'd like to do as much of the work as possible. But my mechanic skills are limited; i can change oil, fluids, exhaust, radiator, hoses, stuff like that. i'd prefer to let a shop change anything dealing with the engine like the gaskets for the oil leak. so my question is how difficult will it be to get the other work done on my own?

    I'm thinking the exhaust hangers arent a problem. Are the tie rods hard to do? I hear they can seize and be a b*tch to get out... dunno much about the other work. For the engine mounts, I probably need some sort of lift to raise the engine, right? And I probably need new subframe bushings and some welding for the cracks...

    If I do get a shop to do the work, how many hours of labor should I expect them to charge?

    I'm kind of dissapointed that the shop I initially went to for the inspection didn't catch some obvious things that dynospot caught yesterday. Thinking about calling them up to complian; they charged me a LOT for the inspection ($150), but the seller would only go there since it was close. I went to Berkeley Motor Works in the SF Bay Area... anyone had experiences there? I guess from my experience, i would definitely NOT recommend them...

    Well, please respond to the initial question about how you did with respect to the 15k rule. And of course, please help me assess my situation a bit and give me some advice.

    thanks guys

  • #2
    Suffice it to say that I bought my M3 for 13k CDN and now have it appraised at 40k CDN.

    To answer your question, I bought the M3 at 13k CDN and had it reasonably sorted at 18k CDN.

    This car can and will suck your wallet dry. Just make sure you enjoy it enough to get your money's worth.

    /// M3NTAL Kev


    • #3
      Got my 1989 M3 2 years ago for what Kelly Blue Book listed for. Owner was unaware of its collector value and history. Guess I got a good deal.

      Completely stock, only issues were the need of new tires, a good tune-up, shift buzz and small rust spots in the sunroof and rear licene plate lights. And the usual dings here and there.

      To date with the exception of the mods, maintenance has been pretty normal after 9,000 miles into it.

      Oil changes, belts, hoses and fluid changes.

      Other parts that I had changed were the worn guibo, crack in one tailight and coolant tank reservoir.

      The car stalled me once for the need of cleaning the plugs due to carbon build-up but since then, it has been running fine.

      To summarize, spent about $3k for all mods and about $ 1,000 on maintenace after 2.5 years of ownership.



      • #4
        I beat the 15K rule. Got the car for $7800 (77K), painted it for 1600, dumped a few hundred into oil pan gaskets, intake gaskets, fluid changes, plugs, baffle, offset control arm bushings, temp/pressure switches, Aux fan resistor, coolant res cap, etc. Luckily the car was just neglected and not abused. All depends on what you initially buy the car for, how much work it needs and how much it costs you to get stuff done. I do whatever I can myself...the M3 isn't a hard car to work on. As a starting point, i suggest getting a Bentley manual. Although it isn't E30 M3 specific, there's a lot of info on how to do certain jobs. What's not in the book you can find here. BTW, tie rods are very easy to replace.

        88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
        85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ


        • #5
          I forgot, I would say I am in the $11,000+ rule right now with all mods done and maintenance.

          My friends just got a 1990 one owner with minor issues for $ 5,200 with high miles in NJ last week, I'm sure he'll beat the $15k rule as well.


          • #6
            I'd think most people would say it's slowly becoming the $15-20K rule.
            My website - Ebbworld- Life, Love, and Why

            "All praise, honor, and glory to the One who has ransomed us from sin and death, Jesus Christ, our Savior."


            • #7
              Bought it for $9k, 8 track days and nearly 7k later, I'm at $10,200 in about 4 months.
              Increasing the value of E30 M3's everywhere - one shunt at a time.


              • #8
                Paid 9K, bought a new muffler.......$9400.

                Spent $,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$.00 since.



                • #9
                  Erm..... I'll get back to you on this.... someday....maybe...


                  • #10
                    P.O. had kept my car up well except for oil leaks.

                    94,000 and he was the original owner. I got it from him for $4000. Spent about $9000 in mods and service, it does help alot to do this yourself. I figured I saved myself $4500 in labor, using dealer labor times.

                    Yes, this is an expensive addiction.

                    Alos remember, you drive it like a race car you will have to work on it like a race car.


                    • #11
                      $14,5 and it was sorted.

                      Until the engine let go, which was my fault.


                      • #12
                        Well, when I got mine, you could not find one for under $20k.

                        I paid $22k for mine back in 1995, and dumped more then I care to count into it.

                        Do not click
                        At least it's German


                        • #13
                          Ok, I guess I don't feel TOO bad... Seems like some people paid a lot more, and some paid a lot less. I guess it depends on when you bought it and also where you live/bought the car from.

                          so it seems like the exhaust hangers and tie rods are DIY, what about the engine mounts and fuel hose? seems like ill need a shop for the subframe repair and engine gasket/oil leak stuff.


                          • #14
                            Wow, I'm suprised at how cheap a lot of people were able to buy their cars for. I'm with Mark on this one, I paid 11.5k 3 years ago, and there is no way I'm adding it all up!
                            Bryan K.
                            Texas A&M Formula SAE


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by marsfire
                              so it seems like the exhaust hangers and tie rods are DIY, what about the engine mounts and fuel hose? seems like ill need a shop for the subframe repair and engine gasket/oil leak stuff.
                              Once you do tie rods, you need an alignment. I would suggest removing the subframe at the same time, and then while that is out you can replace the control arms (or has it been done already?). Fuel hose and motor mounts are easy, you will need some new tools like a jack (if you don't have a nice floor one), but after a few jobs, you get all the necessary tools.

                              Valve cover gasket is one of the easiest things to do. Take off all the acorn nuts and washers, remove the cover, remove the gaskets, replace, put cover back on, and torque all the nuts back down. Once you start on little things, it gets easier and easier to do bigger more difficult things. Good luck!
                              Bryan K.
                              Texas A&M Formula SAE