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Buying e30 M3

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  • AlpineRunner
    replied
    Originally posted by Sean
    Rust under the fuse box is also possible as well as along the bottom windshield seal.
    Yes, also check the edge of the front fender at the edge closest to the window. PM Jake (not JakeB) if you wanna lots of info on firewall rust. I could be wrong, but I believe he has had some major problems with rust.

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  • Sean
    replied
    Rust under the fuse box is also possible as well as along the bottom windshield seal.

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  • Oddjob
    replied
    Well, it's a good looking car. Haggle with they guy and buy it. Even if it costs a little more than you expect you'll still have a good time with it and you'll know the car inside and out.

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  • equate
    replied
    Im in MN, a/c isnt a must have here

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  • Oddjob
    replied
    If you ever hope to have the air conditioning working again be prepared to spend a couple grand on that alone.

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  • equate
    replied
    I know where, under doors and edges of wheel wells, edges of trunk and by the license plate lights. Theres where all mine is now.

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  • AlpineRunner
    replied
    Where can Equate look for rust? I don't know but I know others do. It sounds like this info could be very helpful.

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  • equate
    replied
    Oh yeah, what all goes into a compression test? Whats the compression for a e30 m3 supposed to be? Thanks

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  • equate
    replied
    Yeah, Well he said hes put about $200 into it from the last year and its running fine. He always keeps telling me he has never raced it. Yes you are correct he did have a top end rebuild. But its not leaking and it sounds like he took really good care of it again. He sounds like a good guy and knows that hes talking about and I dont think he is trying to screw me. I did notice the afm looked different, I guess I just assumed that it was a new version or something, I will ask him about that one. This is what he told me btw

    "
    I have never raced it. I had it at Brainerd International Raceway for a drivers school, but never racing.
    The four point harness came from my 1988 VW Jetta. The seatbelt latch on the drivers seatbelt didn't work that great when I bought the car, so I just transferred the four point harness to the M3. Once you get used to a four point harness, it is hard to be in a car with a normal seatbelt.
    "

    As for mileage maintenance yeah Im doing that stuff on my current e30 (replacing gauges and whatnot) and thats not a big deal to me. Those kind of parts are not hard to put in usually.

    Im pretty good with e30s in general for maintenance so I think I can handle a m3 for the most part. I am just REALLY worried about the body condition, up here in MN rust is a huge deal, one of the reasons im selling my e30 now.

    THANKS A BUNCH for the help guys, you really know your stuff and you were a big help, im going up tomorrow (Thursday) to look at it.

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  • jakeb
    replied
    I talked to the owned of this car a few weeks ago..before I bought my car. He said that the head had been rebuilt only..not the entire engine. He stated that the cylinder walls looked good when the head was off.

    just a bit of added info

    Jake

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  • blyguy
    replied
    Originally posted by equate
    But at the same time how the hell could yu put that all in just to maintain it???? What can possibly go wrong to have to make me spend the cost of the car in repairs. Ive seen whole s14 engines with trannys got for like 5 grand that have uner 100k on them
    Hey equate,

    This car looks ok for the price, but it helps to know exactly what you're getting yourself into: Just replacing the motor doesn't "equate" to maintaining the car. :p

    1) This car has been tracked, but that's not a bad thing necessarily. Specific M3 things are the sway bar attachments on the front struts, the control arm bushings and the arms themselves, motor mounts and all brackets inside the engine bay (the S14 likes to shed whatever is attached to it), throttle body gaskets, and exhaust manifold studs.

    2) There looks like a Split Second MAF kit installed on the car replacing the AFM. Not sure if you noticed it, but read up on it if you're unfamiliar with the setup.

    3) You WILL have mileage related issues with stuff you never thought about like gauges, steering components, TB gaskets, exhaust leaks, etc.

    Bottom line: the more knowledgeable you are about what can go wrong, the better you can predict what your costs will be. If you get a car in good shape, the maintainence costs can be very manageable. I learned a ton of stuff after I bought my car w/ 155k miles on it that I wish I knew ahead of time. Good luck!

    Bryant
    Last edited by blyguy; 05-26-2004, 07:46 AM.

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  • aaronmjr
    replied
    ive seen that car driving around east bloomington

    i dont know man, choose your battles carefully. but as some encouragement, i got the same scary speech from the members here when i was thinking of buying my car, and i have spent no where near 4k on maintenance. ive had my car a year now, and havent had to replace anything real out of the ordinary (spark plugs, cap, rotor, wires, o2 sensor, one wheel bearing, tie rods, brake pads, timing chain tensioner and lots of little putsy stuff that didnt neccessarily HAVE to be replaced.) im not super mechanical, and ive done most of the work myself...

    i believe as long as you have no major leaks, your head gasket is in good conditon, and your genuinely serious about taking care of the car, you should manage just fine.

    take the car to Orr autoservice in st louis park, the technician matt, knows e30 m3's inside and out!!

    pm me if you want my phone number, and i could come look at it with you good luck, -aaron

    P.S. my car was allegedly "a problem car" and i only have a part time job... so its doable, dont be scared away.
    Last edited by aaronmjr; 05-26-2004, 05:11 AM.

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  • AlpineRunner
    replied
    You really can't tell much about the condition of the car from those pics. If the engine was rebuilt then you shouldn't have to worry about the major problems that high mileage engines have like rod bearings. However, I'm almost positive this car was tracked because 1. the P/O was a BMWCCA member, 2. those are aftermarket 15" wheels, good for the track, and 3. 5-point harness. As you can imagine, tracking the car adds to the wear and tear of many other components like the sway bar links and bushings, control arm bushings, etc.

    Also the AFM looks like it has been removed but I'm not sure with what, maybe Split Second or Maxx.
    I'd have the car checked out by a mechanic who knows the cars because there is likely things that will be wrong with a 200,000mi car no matter what maintenance has been done.

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  • Sean
    replied
    I got my '88 last year with 170k miles on it. I paid about what you are considering. Cosmetically it was in decent shape with no rust. I think that the rust issue is key considering the mechanical stuff can just be replaced.

    Since October, I have put about $5000 into it. Some was maintenace and some were improvements. I did not, however, do any major engine work or rebuild the trans or other out of the ordinary course stuff.

    Parts are just expensive and needs to be replaced after awhile. I would not shy away from a car with 206k miles, just be prepared to drop some $$$ over the next year or two replacing stuff.

    A lot of guys prefer cheaper cars with higher mileage because they plan to build up a car by picking and choosing different components. Something to think about as well.

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  • equate
    replied
    Wow, I didnt think it was that bad. Theres no way I can afford to put all that into a car. But at the same time how the hell could yu put that all in just to maintain it???? What can possibly go wrong to have to make me spend the cost of the car in repairs. Ive seen whole s14 engines with trannys got for like 5 grand that have uner 100k on them

    Leave a comment:

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