Not the first time here in the forums but I've decided to bring the current situation I am in to BMW owners and see what you guys have to say.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I have come into ownership of an E36 325is that was previous a track/daily car. I am currently driving a 1998 Honda Civic and I'm contemplating between the 2 cars. Since this is a BMW forum, I'd like to ask for non-biased opinion as to which car I should keep. Both cars need work and I like doing most of the work myself where possible but just looking at the sheer difference in the amount of parts on a E36 compared to a Civic is just night and day.
I've already done the math for gas consumption and I'm only paying $0.01 more per km to drive the E36, which is more than acceptable for almost double the horsepower to the wheels. I was going to sell the E36 but after driving it around my neighborhood for a few minutes and comparing it to other cars with similar horsepower and/or drivetrain layouts that I've driven (S2000, WRX, 350z, G35, etc, etc), I'm seriously stuck between the two. I know I can make the Civic just as fast and handle good but that would mean spending anywhere from 3-5k and up, where as most of the modifications that need to be done on the E36 have already been done since it was a track/daily.
The current list of modifications:
- koni struts and some spring/coilover sleeve setup
- beefier sway bars
- Active Autowerke front and rear strut towers
- Active Autowerke c.a.i
- BMW Motorsports X-Brace
- Active Autowerke short shifter kit
- motor/tranny were rebuilt about 30k ago
- carbon fiber hood
- Genuine BMW EDM hid projector headlight housings
And I'm sure I'm missing a few other things.
The current list of problems or things that need replacing that I currently know of:
- exhaust leak (located)
- driver side window regulator
- rear passenger rear bearing
- heater control resistor pack
- cluster is turning on and off intermittently and randomly (needs replacement)
- and of course the typical flush/replacement of all fluids, plugs and filters
- low/high beam do not work
- needs new battery
- needs door and truck locks to match with ignition
So after all that, a few questions:
1. After fixing all the current problems on the car, how much more does it cost to maintain an E36 compared to a Civic?
2. How much harder is it to work on a BMW? For example, do I need special tools?
3. And anything else I need to know please!
Thanks in advance folks!