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View Full Version : BMW NOOB got a few questions


shaolinmonk
04-24-2006, 02:35 PM
Hey BMW guys,

Looking to buy a nice cheap used oldish BMW...talking about 10k or less i think...
is this a good idea? are the maintainace and repairs that i'll go through really gonna kill me? I'm not a car junkie, so Do it yourself isn't really an option. Just one of those things that i've always wanted i guess and the timing is kinda right.

anybody got some good experices to share?

would mainly be a weekend car... or running around doing errands on the weeknights.. so i don't think i'd be adding major clicks.

I'm guessing a cheapo 3 series?

Complete noob here so please all comments and suggestions welcome

propr'one
04-24-2006, 02:56 PM
You can buy a early e36 318 in good condition for less than 7K, repairs will eat away at the rest of the 3k in two or so years. Bmw's are great cars, with places like shantarham used bmw parts, the sponsors on this board (temp for used parts, various other sponsors for new ones) and reliable and inexpensive shops like bimmersport and RMP motors, bmw ownership isn't as bad as people claim it to be. Careful what you buy though, i paid just over 10K for my 328, and to get it in good enough condition to satesfy me was like 3K ontop of that. Also, beware of mods, they eat up money.


If you want to go e34 (older 5 series), honestly, ask someone else, i know 0 about these cars.

e30's are fun cars. Fun to drive, not as expensive as e36's (in most cases) to repair. The fun/cost ratio on a e30 is insane:D however they do look dated, even moreso than e36's.

pick a car you like. bmw's are different from one model to another. even within the production models, a 92 318i auto and a 99 m3 are entirely different cars. You looking for power? flash? reliablility? 4dr? vert?

just wanting a bmw isn't enough man, you gotta have an idea of what your bmw looks like, and then start looking for it.

it took me 18 months to find my car. Dont buy the first car you see, buy the right car

shaolinmonk
04-24-2006, 03:21 PM
thanks for the reply

i've been looking in the classifieds here and these interest me.

http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70221
http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69454
http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53926

I've done some reading on the forums on the e36 328's look the nicest too me. It sounds kinda bad for you enthusaist but i'm not really into the performance aspect of it. i just want it to look nice and run well, 4 door sedan style is preferred a little bit of flash is good too.. but i'm not looking to shine her up and put it in a car show.

white black or silver and leather interior

also when looking for a used car what are the main things i should be concerned with?

i've had a few used cars before but they were mainly used ****boxes for $1500 that were used to last a winter or something coming for a friend.

so i dont' have any really experience in the used car sector.

again many thanks!

Gamite
04-24-2006, 03:52 PM
328 is a good safe bet. Descent power, no major flaws.

AMG_POWER
04-24-2006, 04:09 PM
Yes 328 is the perfect choice.

propr'one
04-24-2006, 04:23 PM
you guys are too kind:)


328's aren't bad, its sooooooo tempting to start bolting stuff on to keep up with m3's though

thinair
04-24-2006, 07:46 PM
you guys are too kind:)


328's aren't bad, its sooooooo tempting to start bolting stuff on to keep up with m3's though
Don't fight the temptation

BMW_7
04-24-2006, 08:47 PM
In your case I'd get a e34 540i if it's a weekend car :)

http://www.kindel.com/bmw/album/M-Parallel%20Cropped.jpg

propr'one
04-24-2006, 09:00 PM
Don't fight the temptation
nelson, i meant keeping up with e36 m3s. not e46.*shiner*

shaolinmonk
04-25-2006, 01:22 PM
In your case I'd get a e34 540i if it's a weekend car :)

http://www.kindel.com/bmw/album/M-Parallel%20Cropped.jpg

well it's not "just" a weekend car.. i just don't have to commute with it anywhere... and it would be used pretty much only at night time and weekends

price range ?

how about this?

http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70221

BMW_7
04-25-2006, 01:38 PM
Maybe that picture is a bit decieving, it's got M5 bumper and Sport option (M5) wheels as well...

But this car can be usually found for up to $6,000 on Autotrader. If you want a manual transmission be prepared to look forever because they are quite rare. Also the 540i's had their own share of problems, particularly the Nikasil problem, where the Nikasil coating on the cylinder walls reacted with past sulfur gasolines. You might wanna check it out, because some were Some engines were replaced unedr warranty and some weren't.

If you're interested in the 540i be advised that you gotta look out for the little elctrical problems that will pop up and these cars need some TLC to keep them running good, since it's not in the simplicity range of the 3-series. Also be on the lookout for rust.

I like the look for e34's a lot, and I think they look classier than e36s. I'd probably buy one as a weekend car, and keep my 318 as a beater if I had some extra $

Nascar318is
04-25-2006, 01:39 PM
I'll say this again and again, 318's are ok. But if you are looking for the power stay away. At first I thought it was cool and what not, for fun factor. But now it just lags and I need a jump. If I can get a permanent job somewhere, I'm definately going to think of a E36 M3 or possibly a E46 M3, we'll see when that time comes. And to be honest for repairs, lets just say my BMW is cheaper to repair then my 96 Ford contour....

shaolinmonk
04-25-2006, 05:12 PM
I'll say this again and again, 318's are ok. But if you are looking for the power stay away. At first I thought it was cool and what not, for fun factor. But now it just lags and I need a jump. If I can get a permanent job somewhere, I'm definately going to think of a E36 M3 or possibly a E46 M3, we'll see when that time comes. And to be honest for repairs, lets just say my BMW is cheaper to repair then my 96 Ford contour....

are 318's just slow or are we talking bad overall performance... i'm used ot driving econonoboxes... neons, civics etc..etc... (4 bangers my whole life) so power isn't that big of a deal. unless you're saying that it'll putt along worse then one of those...

Nascar318is
04-25-2006, 06:05 PM
Slow yeah, but if you are used to neons and civic's...you'll like the 318 IMO. Mine wich is the M42 engine is rated at around 140 HP. Top speed of around 210.. So 318's should not be a problem for you then, especially the E36. Then you can S/C that puppy with a DASC for $3400US but if you think you are going to go that route later on get a 325 minimum.

SpudBoy
04-25-2006, 08:40 PM
For a weekend BMW driver you have to get the I6 motor. No offence to the 318 guys but a bimmer without torque would be just another car to me. My car has plenty of ftlb's but I'm still looking for a little more. Spinning the tires freely in third would be nice. E36 328 sedan or coupe is a fine ride and I think the styling still screams class.

Gamite
04-25-2006, 08:47 PM
are 318's just slow or are we talking bad overall performance... i'm used ot driving econonoboxes... neons, civics etc..etc... (4 bangers my whole life) so power isn't that big of a deal. unless you're saying that it'll putt along worse then one of those...

ok, no offence to all the 318 guys on here, but if you're going out to buy a used car, 318 prices aren't that far off from 328. You definately wanna go with the 328 over a 318.

shaolinmonk
04-26-2006, 12:31 AM
anybody got a good deal on a 328?

propr'one
04-26-2006, 12:35 AM
there's a gorgeous one on craigslist for like 16K

$500bimmer
04-26-2006, 12:46 AM
i like the power from the 325 its not bad....not great but for eveyday use its good....and i agree when they are done right they scream class but thats imo everyones is different

shaolinmonk
04-26-2006, 04:20 PM
i like the power from the 325 its not bad....not great but for eveyday use its good....and i agree when they are done right they scream class but thats imo everyones is different
sorry what's the difference between the 325 and 328?

Hound
04-26-2006, 05:48 PM
325 has less torque, around 180ft/lb's if im not mistaken maybe 190. whereas the 328 has around 200-210 lb/ft horsepower wise, the 325 has 180hp i think and the 328 has 190. so as you can see it's the torque that makes the cars that much more different, and torque is the thing that is gonna give you the fast 0-60 times. horsepower is related to the top speed of the vehicle.

thinair
04-26-2006, 06:01 PM
189hp and 184ft-lbs for the 325
190hp and 206ft-lbs for the 328

The 328 has a taller final drive, so in the end they're not too far from each other

Hound
04-26-2006, 06:34 PM
thanks Nelson, glad i wasn't too far off :P :D

$500bimmer
04-27-2006, 12:59 AM
*th-up* still a fun car tho...