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Old 05-12-2009, 10:07 AM   #1
Janthony
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((((( Buying 1987 E30 -- having last minute, nagging doubts )))))

I am having much the same nagging doubts about actually completing the purchase of this car as I would with another make, but, because I know so little about Bimmers, I have a few extra reservations.

My mechanic is selling a 1987 BMW E30 that he bought, and shipped from Japan. I had it for the afternoon yesterday, drove it around, and had another mechanic friend of mine check it out and drive it.
The car has never winter-driven, and as such, the latter mechanic, after checking it out, says that the body is "mint." The speedometer doesn't work, nor does the odometer, although on the most recent safety inspection (this month), it was listed as having 110,000 kms on it. Finally, it idles quite low, and I was told by the seller that he put a bigger cam(shaft?) than it requires, and that it's not an issue, except that it will idle low.

*My main concern is whether I can, first, still run a VIN check on it if is from overseas, and if I should worry about it being a 22 year old car, albeit one with no rust on the body, and 110,000kms on it. I am attracted to this car because the asking price is within what I want to spend, and, living in New Brunswick, I love the fact that I can buy used, and get into a car with such a great body.*

As with my previous cars, I know that I'll always have maintenance costs, and the like, and it doesn't bother me -- part of buying used.

Am I overthinking this?

jim
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:08 AM   #2
Janthony
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The seller (an import mechanic) would like $4500 for the car.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
Trouble65
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110,000Kms and it's from Japan sounds about right to me. I believe Japan has a law that after 70,000Km the engine of the vehicle has to be completley rebuilt. Therefore lots of people just sell them.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
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He shipped a normal E30 from Japan to New Brunswick?

Other than the many things wrong with the above, if the body is truly clean (look underneath and in all door jambs, look for DOT-R stickers), it's probably a good deal. These are simple cars and easy to work on. It WILL need to be fixed, it's an old car but nothing will be terribly difficult or expensive - and nothing you can't replace used for cheap if you can't afford new.

Run the gamut of reports, carproof (FIRST), carfax. Get a used vehicle report from the ministry. Make sure it's not just a New Orleans flood car with a mint body and little else.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
Fel
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Just be prepared to learn to work on it. A car that old will always have problems no matter what. The trick is, a lot of them will be minor and stuff you can fix yourself if you're so inclined. If you have a mechanic do each and every litle thing, it'll cost you in the long run.

Here, read this thread. It might help out with the decision:
http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32438
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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Don't do it
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:18 PM   #7
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Don't do it
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:42 PM   #8
Janthony
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x2.





Can you explain? What are the cons, to you, from your experience?
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:03 PM   #9
Janthony
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What about an m 320i of the same year? What would you expect with the same body and mileage?
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:37 PM   #10
moscowpete
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87, steel bumpers, not working odometer, sounds a bit odd.

Save your money and buy something newer, honestly.

Pete
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:15 AM   #11
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Unless you have all records from day one, forget about the odometer reading! It takes 10 min to make it have 50K km!

If the body is excellent, and doesnt have too many small problems, i say try to get it for $3500. The parts are cheap, car is super easy to work on, LOTS of help you can get online...If you do things right, this will cost you less then maintaining a 5 year old car!

Bring the price down and go for it! (if you like the styling)
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:56 PM   #12
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What about an m 320i of the same year? What would you expect with the same body and mileage?
320i is too damn slow when compared to the 325i. I have both and can tell you the difference. My wagon is a 320i and my coupe is a 325i. If it was my choice, 325i.

Any pics?
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:07 AM   #13
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320i is too damn slow when compared to the 325i. I have both and can tell you the difference. My wagon is a 320i and my coupe is a 325i. If it was my choice, 325i.

Any pics?
Maybe its the weight! The 2 door is< 4 door< Wagon...I have a 320i coupe in Europe, for a summer car, and its not even noticable between the 325i/s here
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New inventory daily. 50+ cars in stock!

Last edited by Eurostyle; 05-14-2009 at 01:11 AM.
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