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Another noob! And questions about the E30 and the DIY'er

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  • Another noob! And questions about the E30 and the DIY'er

    Hello all! I never thought I'd see the day where I stumbled across an entire webforum dedicated to the E30 M3, but here it is! As a performance car enthusiast and all-around auto-lover, I'm glad that this quirky, rare car has found a niche on the 'net.

    Please forgive the long post ahead. I'm very interested to read your opinions about what I've got to say.

    I've always had a passion for cars, and at present I'm currently taking automotive tech classes in an attempt to expand my mechanical knowledge. Eventually I may want to turn that knowledge into a career, but for now, I'm doing it simply because I'm interested in the subject. Because I have a long commute, I have a "daily driver", but I'm also in the market for something else. The car I'm looking for has these qualities:
    • A blast to drive
    • Relatively low purchase price
    • Relatively lightweight
    • Good-looking
    • Somewhat unique
    • Strong aftermarket support

    Because I have a strong interest in learning more about working on them, the car I'm looking for also needs to be something that I can educate myself with. For the longest time, I've been wanting a 3rd-gen. Mazda RX-7. Those cars are absolutely gorgeous, and I've never heard anything but praise for that car's performance capabilities. The reliability issues with the RX-7, though, added to the complexity of it's rotary engine and twin-turbo system, are somewhat intimidating to me.

    Which brings me to the E30 M3 and this forum. I was inspired to post after looking at the pictures of the owner's beautiful red M3 over at The engine bay on this car seems to be very well laid-out and uncluttered, especially when compared to something like the RX-7. My impression was that this was an engine bay that a willing beginner would have an easy time navigating and learning from. I've also done some searching on this forum, and the general consensus among owners seems to be that the M3 doesn't have any inherent reliability problems or design flaws, and that the car will take care of you as long as you take care of it. Basically, it almost seems as if my particular goals for an automobile would be better met by the M3, rather than the RX-7.

    What do you all think? Again, I apologize for the lengthy post. I've been burned twice before when I purchased sportscars that weren't "right" for me, and this time out I'm taking the time to really do my research and pick something good.
    Last edited by M.Piedlourde; 02-06-2003, 08:25 AM.

  • #2
    M3s aren't particularly hard to work on. But they are pretty expensive to maintain. M3s are one of the most unique cars on the road, when I'm driving down the street, I catch a lot of people looking at me.

    Some cool things about them is that they're rare, but it's still really easy to find parts for them, even when they kinda are old cars.


    • #3
      Re: Another noob! And questions about the E30 and the DIY'er

      Brandon ownes a lot of things (including one perfect M3), but not . I am not only the only owner of this site, but unfortunately the only one developing every byte of it at this time. :( Brandon, Nick and Barry were nice enough to support me by agreeing to help moderate when they can.

      Originally posted by M.Piedlourde
      The car I'm looking for has these qualities:
      • A blast to drive
      • Relatively low purchase price
      • Relatively lightweight
      • Good-looking
      • Somewhat unique
      • Strong aftermarket support

      With regard to your above list, the M3 fits the bill perfectly. May I suggest that you go through some of our 100 something links in search for more general answers. I'm sure we can answer 99% of your questions, but a general all purpose Swiss Army answer is kinda hard..... At least for me it is.

      The E30 M3 is not only THE FIRST, but it is the Most Winningest Tour Car in History. It's a religion to some

      Find someone who owns one and is willing to let you drive it. The E30 M3 is an acquired taste which is only shared by a very few tens of thousands (Providing you factor in test-drives and Previous owners),

      So what about the M3 has sparked your interest?


      Disclaimer: Remember, I know absolutely nothing, but it doesn't prevent me from having an opinion or suggestion. :


      • #4

        A blast to drive
        Funny, because that was my EXACT wording when I bought my car! It is a blast to drive & seems to get better & better with every passing day:p

        I have owned my car since 5/2000. It's still very hard to believe I FINALLY bought one after trolling around the local BMW dealerships in "awe" waaaaaay back when I was a Junior in High School (when the E30 M3's were new), you know-that jaw dropping, drolling, dazed look! I knew someday I WILL own one of these "rare" cars- At last- VIOLA!

        The car is actually very easy to work on. Water pump, alternator, starter, etc. are all very easy to work on/ get at. Some parts are common with the E30 3 series as well (some...). I think the "intimidation" factor kicks in when you buy it, but when you get to tinkering around on it- it's not that bad. Valve adjustments are kinda tricky-

        Good Luck & Congrats!
        Don McAdams
        1988 E30 M3
        "E30 M3 Owner & Enthusiast"


        • #5
          Re: Re: Another noob! And questions about the E30 and the DIY'er

          Originally posted by Magnus
          So what about the M3 has sparked your interest?
          As I mentioned in my first post, I've been a fan of the 3rd-gen. RX-7 (FD3S) since that car first came out. I actually found my way here by way of the One of the members there posted stating that he had about $11k to spend, and was looking for suggestions on what car he should buy. Someone else suggested the E30 M3. Since I'm currently searching for my next performance car after a disasterous experience with an '01 Camaro Z28 (way, way too heavy and underbuilt), and I knew next to nothing about the older M3s, I decided to investigate on my own. So here I am. I'm not a big fan of the looks of the '90s M3 (E36?), and the newest version (E46?) is way out of my price range.

          What REALLY sparked my interest in the car was the picture of the engine bay, oddly enough. I have a very, very strong interest in expanding my automotive technical knoweldge, and the E30 looks like it'd be much more beginner-friendly than the notoriously unreliable, difficult-to-work-on, and finicky RX-7. Since I may try to turn my knowledge of cars into a career someday, I also figure it'd be better to learn about piston engines, rather than pigeonhole myself with a rotary.

          I'm very appreciative of everyone's advice and views.
          Last edited by M.Piedlourde; 02-13-2003, 10:09 AM.