Deal or No Deal - 1999 BMW M3

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Fritzo, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Insomniator

    Insomniator Diamond Member

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    God that's a beautiful car... just wouldn't want to repair it.

    Nicest looking M3 ever made imo.
     
  2. Pacfanweb

    Pacfanweb Lifer

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    THIS. Run far, far away from any German car that old, particularly a BMW.

    If it hasn't started already, it's going to eat you alive with repair costs. They start to fall apart after about 7-8 years. Not necessarily the motor, but the rest of the car.

    Not to mention that they cost an assload more in just maintenance to begin with.

    Maintenance cost on a super-hot stripper would be much less.
     
  3. hans007

    hans007 Lifer

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    wow i didnt even know they made an automatic e36 m3.

    i think those older m3s had ~240 hp. since its the convertible it weighs around 3600 pounds. i'm pretty sure the new 328i would beat it around hte track, not to mention a lot of other cars.

    $12k isn't super cheap, you could probably get a e46 for that , thought maybe not a convertible. my coworker sold his e46 m3 for $12k a couple years back, 2001 model i think. so i'd imagine that would be a better idea unless you have to have a convertible or an e36
     
  4. exdeath

    exdeath Lifer

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    I want to see the V destroy one of these while towing an oxcart around the track now.
     
  5. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    Let's not have another 'old euro cars are money pits' thing...

    I'll say that frankly, I like the prospects of this over the Merc in the other thread. Would I still say that it's probably best avoided as a daily driver? Yep. But I'm sure it'd be a damn fun car, and not TOO terrible to fix, since it's less about luxury and more about performance. The biggest things to look for are probably engine-related issues and maybe a little general electrical. Definitely know the common problems, and if you can fix them yourself/for a reasonable price before buying.
     
  6. power_hour

    power_hour Senior member

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    Auto M3 ? Are you serious? C'mon, go find a manual coupe. By the way cars that vintage demand you have a freaking great mechanic you trust. BMW repairs will hurt when they come.
     
  7. satyajitmenon

    satyajitmenon Golden Member

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  8. ballmode

    ballmode Lifer

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    great car but they don't age well.

    Bushings and suspension components need replaced. It's as quick stock for stock as the S2000. Unless you need the sedan I would always recommend the 330i ZHP and G35
     
  9. BUTCH1

    BUTCH1 Lifer

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    Yea, I would be leary of trusting a 13yr old auto tranny in a sports car, I'll bet if it croaked you would spit out 5-6K easily getting it replaced..
     
  10. OmegaSupreme

    OmegaSupreme Member

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    I have all of them saves on a disk somewhere. They were awesome!
    I have no idea what you're smoking, but this is utter bullshit. Even my old '80's Mustang GT's, with a tiny bit of tweaking to the factory parts, would EASILY hand an M3 or a Carrera its ass.
    Exactly, and I don't even like Chevy's.

    However, I can't agree with the reliability statement. I've worked on a lot of them and they're very reliable. They have no different problems than any other car with their age and mileage.
    Steering and suspension components do wear out, but in the time you'll replace one set on a BMW, you'll have replaced 3-5 on an American car. Same with the suspension.

    From what I know about the E36's, shock bushings wear out and clunk in the rear, tie-rods wear out at around 130k (depending on your driving habits), springs have a tendency to break in the rear, and the displays on the dash and radio fail. Oh and rear wheel bearings too.

    Now these aren't really too bad, however, even if you DIY, the parts are expensive and BMW's especially require lots of special tools. Moreso than even Mercedes.
     
  11. quakefiend420

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    1984 300zx had a 5 speed, and I'm sure there's older than that...

    M3 was introduced in 86, iirc
     
  12. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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  13. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    Right, most American cars need a front end rebuild every 50k, tops... :rolleyes:

    Apparently, you'll even argue in the areas where you have the least footing. Luxury cars tend to wear suspension parts (especially bushings) faster, because they're intentionally made more compliant for a soft ride. An M3, however, should have pretty stiff, durable parts...that still fail. Much like you.

    Seriously, you've gone beyond 'BMW's and Mercedes are as reliable as/cost as much to maintain as any Japanese/American car' (silly) to now apparently saying they're more reliable/cheaper (incredibly silly).

    Good god, go back to the mother country and stop posting your silly jingoist 'knowledge.'
     
  14. BUTCH1

    BUTCH1 Lifer

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    Dude I drove a lowly Escort for 11yrs/185K miles and never replaced a single suspension component, not one.
     
  15. exdeath

    exdeath Lifer

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    In my experience, cars with the stiffer parts will wear out faster on crappy city streets because they take more of a beating.

    But someone already used to a car that was soft and floaty when new isn't going to notice as much when it's worn out.
     
  16. OmegaSupreme

    OmegaSupreme Member

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    Where exactly do you live? Here in Michigan, our roads are probably the worst in the whole country. Speed bumps on the freeway, potholes the size of small craters are pretty much the norm. Suspension components DO NOT last here. Not to mention all of the salt that is used here tends to make cars wear out even faster.
    And in your short-sightedness, you fail to realize that while the upfront cost for repairs may be less, with American cars, it tends to be more frequent.
    For example, my folks had two Tauruses. After they hit 100k, I would go through both cars Literally once a year replacing ball-joints, inner and outer tierods, hub assemblies (wheel bearings), sway bar links and front rotors and pads. Not to mention I had to replace the springs twice on the rear of both cars. For Michigan, this is typical on these cars. So if you're going to tell me that German cars wear parts faster than this, you're seriously fucked in the head.
    Sure they'll wear those same components because those are wear parts, however, the rate at which this happens is CONSIDERABLY less.
    So OVERALL cost of operation is less. It's kind of like using premium fuel (in a car that can run it properly) as opposed to a regular. Sure the upfront cost is more, however, you get better mileage (note: this only applies to higher compression engines).

    And your assertion that soft components wear faster is utterly wrong. Soft components are usually paired with relatively tall tires (60series or taller), and thus, the TIRE absorbs much of the impact as opposed to the suspension.

    The more I pick apart your bullshit, the more I realize that you really don't know very much.
    And where do you live? If you lived here in MI, that 185k escort would've probably been in the junkyard 50k ago. And I guarantee, the suspension would've been replaced more often than Mitt Romney flip-flopped.
    Bingo. The more road shock is transferred to the car, the faster the components, not to mention the chassis, wears.

    Nice termy BTW. :cool:
     
    #41 OmegaSupreme, Nov 11, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  17. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Once a year replacing ball joints, tierods, hubs, sway bar links .. that is not typical, even in severe conditions. Most of those parts are basically identical whether or not they're made in asia, europe, or the US anyway. We're talking old designs that haven't changed much in years in terms of manufacturing and materials. Also, why would the original components last 100k miles and then need completely new parts annually? It doesn't make sense, unless you were using some magic third-party vendor that sold parts made from used chewing gum wrappers.

    German cars, just like any other, vary wildly in quality from make/model/year in terms of reliability and component quality. In terms of a suspension lasting, the most common denominator I can think of is the weight of the vehicle (excepting leaf-springs in trucks). I can't tell you how many old BMW 7-series, Merc S-Class, big fat Caddys/Buicks, etc, I see driving around with obviously worn suspensions, it seems a lot less common with Civics, Focuses, Proteges, Corollas, etc.

    Your original quote was :

    "Steering and suspension components do wear out, but in the time you'll replace one set on a BMW, you'll have replaced 3-5 on an American car. Same with the suspension."

    I don't agree with that at all. I'm a former BMW owner, and I will probably pick up another one at some point in the next few years. But the idea that you'll have to replace suspension components 3-5x faster on American cars vs. BMW is insane, and I think that's where people are having trouble reconciling that with reality. In your post right after the '3-5x' comment, you say that E36's typically need X, Y, and Z around 130k miles. By the 3-5x logic, that means a new US-made car would need parts at around 43k and 86k miles at the minimum before the 130k mark, on the worst-case 5x scenario, at 26k, 52k, 78k, and 104k before then. Makes no sense.
     
  18. OmegaSupreme

    OmegaSupreme Member

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    I know it doesn't but most "typical" cars are serviced with third party parts that are a lot less expensive than their original counterparts. Unless you go to the dealer, that's exactly what they're going to be serviced with. If serviced with factory parts, American cars are no less expensive than the German cars to service.

    I've serviced lots of cars with these substandard parts, but it's because the economy requires it. People don't want, and can't really afford to pay a lot to have their cars repaired, so that's what they get. However, even the OE parts wouldn't meet the specs of foreign manufacturers.
    My ex's father worked at NSK. NSK makes bearings. He was telling me that when the Japanese manufacturers gave their specs of the components, they had a hard time meeting their requirements at first. What would be considered out of spec on a Honda/Acura/BMW/Merc is considered still good on an American vehicle.

    When I was married, my ex's family was all part of the UAW and in 2007 we leased a Jeep Compass. At 27k miles, the Jeep needed a new strut, 1 balljoint, an inner tie-rod and both tie-rod ends. Pretty awesome huh?

    Now look, I'm not anti-American in any way. Out of the 20+ cars I've owned only 2 have not been American made. 1 Honda Civic that was given to me, an now my E55. The Civic was a piece of shit, but this Merc is just awesome. Even at just under 100k it still drives like it's new. Quieter than most new cars I've been in......and that's on a car that's over a decade old. o_O The loudest thing on my car......the tires.

    Regardless, it's not any less expensive to service an American car with factory parts than it is a BMW or a Benz. If you think it is, then you're not really comparing apples to apples.
     
    #43 OmegaSupreme, Nov 11, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  19. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    Might be a diminishing returns kind of thing. Really, though, I always thought it was everything ELSE that suffered on a car with stiff suspension. More subject to harsh jolts, general vibration and the like.

    Take, say, a control arm bushing, for example-

    Luxury car: The bushing is made of soft rubber. There are voids between the inner and outer shells to decrease the harshness of bumps. The rubber usually tears or otherwise detiorates the quickest.

    Econocar: The bushing is rubber. There is a solid mass of rubber between the shells. More shock is transmitted, but the bushing takes more abuse before major damage occurs.

    Performance car: Made like the econocar bushing, but out of a stiffer urethane. Hardest to damage...perhaps more easily taken out 'all at once' by a bad pothole or something, though? Hard to say.

    Anyway, that's just kind of my line of thinking. What's certain is that a suspension that is generally more compliant (and complex) in order to increase ride quality, generally last less time than something designed under KISS principles.
     
  20. ballmode

    ballmode Lifer

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    my poly urethane squeaks over bumps if its under 45 degrees
     
  21. jteef

    jteef Golden Member

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    I would pay around $8000-8500 for that car depending on what's been done to it and what the PPI says. It has low miles but not super low and it's old and from the north and an auto.

    I've daily driven a 97 M3 since 2003 and while I may never sell it; it's quite a pain in the ass at times. Since I hit about 90K miles (115 now) i put about $2500/yr into maintenance. It's left me stranded a few times with jobs I wasn't equipped to deal with to the tune of $140/hour at the stealer.

    They are wonderful cars to drive, especially for their era, but kind of outclassed these days. My 97 M3 is far more confidence inspiring than my 1M, although the 1M is significantly faster. They have incredible enthusiast support; particularly bimmerforums.com has a huge E36 section. Definitely look for water pump, rear shock mounts, rear trailing arm bushings, radiator (my latest headache), the VANOS system (has timing chain not belt, but a lot of things go wrong with VANOS), rear diff bolt, guibo).

    In the past ~18mos, my pilot bearing has unseated?, hvac fan stopped, radiator exploded, headliner has fallen down, exhaust hanger stud broke, and an O2 sensor went bad. They are pretty easy to work on, brakes take about 15 mins / wheel, oil changes are super easy, the radiator took about 30 minutes. But I had to spend about $1300 at the dealer for the pilot bearing nonsense.
     
    #46 jteef, Nov 12, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012