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Old 12-12-2008, 11:08 PM   #1
blastedM3
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Buying an E36 M3...What to look for

I am planning on buying a 98 E36 M3 Sedan.It has a rebuilt tile but it looks pretty good,repairs wise

What sould i look for when i am buying this car?I owned an m3 but i got mines from my bro and didnt have to worry about any problems or anything.

I havent seen it yet but i'm going to see the car on sunday.What should i pay attention to more than othes.I am getting a good deal on the car. i dont want a perfect car either for the price,but i also dont want to get ripped off.

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Old 12-13-2008, 12:50 AM   #2
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Vanos noise
Timing chain rattle
Lifter Noise
Overheating

Are some important ones besides all the normal things such as rust perferation, weird smells, wondering feeling from the rear, or sloppy steering etc.

Foot the bill for a PPI if all that checks out, There are just some things you can't see that might make you regret grabbing and spending the money on that car

Quiet nice, My uncle had a Yellow 4 door m4 a while back when they like first came out.

Good luck and hope it works out.

If you happen to grab it and swing it by Ryerson some time let me know, I'd like to see more Bimmers down there.
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Old 12-13-2008, 01:26 AM   #3
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Let me guess; black sedan, 5spd...? Thats been for sale for some time now? Price is right, only if the car is good tho. Things to look for at US car; milage...Lots or roll backs for out of province imports! Get it checked buy a good body shop...see how much damage was done when the car was a write off...It can be from minimal, to "dont want to tuch this car" damage...
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:19 AM   #4
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yeah, rebuilt titles are given to very little damage for cars in the states, when my bro bought his e36 m3 it had a tiny dimple in the frame and it was 'rebuilt'.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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Watch All 3 videos posted by "Fiveightandten" . All cover ton's you should check out and in good detail. Nick made great video's here for people looking at purchasing and for people who own to go over their cars at times as a check. I think this should thoroughly cover much of what you need.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1093495

BTW, if it is that Black one that Fil references to above, that car has been for sale for quite some time with no luck. It was even taken down lastyear and put back up months later.

Best of Luck..... E36 M3/4/5 > E36 M3 Coupe lol (IMO)
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:00 PM   #6
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Just want to stress taking it to a shop for a PPI.

My car seemed okay with a few little issues, but when I had the owner take it into the shop they found $2800 worth of neglected maintenance/repairs. Negotiated with that in mind, and bought the car with no surprises.
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:18 PM   #7
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^^ Mystikal is right. Don't just go with what you think looks good by looking at it. Take it to a mechanic that really knows what they are doing and has a history with BMW's. Thats your safest bet if you really wanna buy the car.
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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^^+1 for what jay said. RMP or bimmersport, have them look over it top to bottom.

If the car was rebuilt in canada, demand to see before/after pics, (they do have them, legally, they have to provide them to get a rebuilt title, and if they're lying and wont give them to you, walk away.)

If the car is a US car, and is not yet registered here, but has a rebuilt title, walk away, not worth the headaches.

Otherwise, look over the suspension and brakes carefully. Check all the panels to make sure they line up ok. Obviously, do the stupid things. Make sure all the switches work. Make sure the OBC works, cluster/heat/ac etc. Check under the doors (run your hand along the bottom) for rust. Check that the transmission is in good shape, and the clutch isn't worn to shit. Make sure the car has a LSD diff (people sometimes swap em out on rebuilt cars). Make sure the sunroof works, and doesn't leak. Scan the OBD2 port for codes, make sure that the check engine light works, and is off, or if its on, you know exactly why its on.

make sure the steering feels tight, check the treadwear on the tires(VERY IMPORTANT). if the car was hit, and not fixed right, and is wearing unevenly it can be
-alignment (no biggie)
-bent frame (biggie)

I'm sure i'm forgetting stuff, people will chime in.
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:39 PM   #9
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Don't bother...

You might have noticed some recent talk about the economy in the US- and indeed the entire world- not being super hot right now. Because of this, new car prices are at historically low levels, which drives the prices of used cars down also.

With the price of pristine E36 M3s from the Southern US now coming down to the $9-11K price point, from rust-free places like Arizona and Texas, there's lots of cheap, well-maintained, enthusiast-owned, cherry cars out there. Visit M3forum.net if you haven't already, and take a look around there. Do a search for "buying an M3" in the E36 section, and see what comes up.

Don't kid yourself though- even pristine examples of these cars will still need some TLC. Mine was just about perfect, with a new clutch, good brakes, new cooling system, and most of the big maintenance already done. Plus, I bought it from my best friend (in Houston), and I've still spent $2500 on it this year, on maintenance and repairs. On top of that, I have another $1500 to spend in the next year or so, to get it into truly tip-top shape.

And I consider this to be one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned!
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:34 AM   #10
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Thanks to all..

^^^Thats what i was told by a friend.I am in no rush but i am in the market for one in the near future. I have looked at afew but didnt like any ofthem as it wasnt maintained properly or the seller was hiding something. I will plan a trip to the us and see what i can find from the hot zones.

But for now ill stick to my e30 and make the best of it.

Bigfellar:did u bring ur car over from the states? I heard and read that it was a headache dealing with us cars and bringing them over.

sami
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M-TRD3 View Post
Watch All 3 videos posted by "Fiveightandten" . All cover ton's you should check out and in good detail. Nick made great video's here for people looking at purchasing and for people who own to go over their cars at times as a check. I think this should thoroughly cover much of what you need.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1093495

BTW, if it is that Black one that Fil references to above, that car has been for sale for quite some time with no luck. It was even taken down lastyear and put back up months later.

Best of Luck..... E36 M3/4/5 > E36 M3 Coupe lol (IMO)

Thanks for the videos...They area life saver.I havent watched all of it cause my connection is slow but i am and will watch all 3 of them.

And for sure before i buy the car i will have it taken to bimmersport to have it checked out. I heard alot about the boys at bimmersport but havent really been there.

Look forard to dropping by with my new E36 for them to have it checked out.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:38 AM   #12
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Getting a Mint E36 M3 in 9 Easy Steps...

Hi Sami,

The process I'm outlining here is specific to BMWs, and aside from the normal process (which you may read about at carburner.com(, involves three steps, after you've purchased/ paid for your car. Remember to check the RIV website for admissability. You can't import a '95 M3 for example.

Once you've found the US car that you want to buy, and have run a CarFax on it, had it inspected, etc, the following steps will get it into your driveway. It might seem daunting, but it's really just a checklist of things to do, and people to pay.

Step 1- Obtain 'letter of admissability' from BMW Canada ($350) which you must present to Canada Border Services at the border. Note that the letter of admissability will highlight exactly what is necessary to bring the car into Canadian compliance, and stipulate that only an authorized BMW dealer may perform the repairs.
Step 2- Bring car into Canada (after following the US Export procedure, which as mentioned, you may read about on Carburner.)
Step 3- BMW Canada takes your money, and completes necessary modificatioons to bring the car into compliance (in my case it was $500+ to have them change a relay to activate the DRLs). They will then send an email to the RIV indicating that the necessary mods have been made.
Step 4- Pay BMW $500 (plus GST) for the Recall Clearance Letter, which will take 2-3 weeks to arrive.
Step 5- Wait for recall clearance letter to arrive
Step 6- Once recall clearance letter arrives, take all paperwork to RIV office, play RIV fee, and pick up inspection form 2.
Step 7- Take car to Canadian Tire for RIV Inspection (this cost me $7)
Step 8- Get car certified and E-tested.
Step 9- Take all paperwork to MTO and get new plates and registration.

All told, for my pretty mint, rust-free, accident free, well-maintained, no-story '97 M3, this process cost me;

Car- $11,000
Duty- $660
GST- $550
Excise Tax- $200
RIV Fee- $250
PST- $880
DRL mod- $500
Recall letter- $500
Letter of admissability- $350
Cert and E-test- $90
TOTAL: $14,980

And this was before the downturn and an extra year made these cars $1500-2500 cheaper.

Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:14 PM   #13
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^^^Thanks for all the useful info.i appreciate it. I am planning on going to the states by the end of march. I will be looking at other bimmer forums for cars for sale to see if i can find one.

Is there like an auto trader for the us that i can see cars for sale?
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:50 PM   #14
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I got my 95 M3 from Arizona, no rust anywhere. Having said that I had to replace most of the rubber. Arizona sun eats the plastic. If you are buying an M3 from USA try to look for an 95M3. Canadian insurance company has no clue how to rate this vehicle and they catagorize it under "Specialty Vehicle" which means you can mod the car and not get harrased by the insurance company.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:55 PM   #15
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'95

Don't get a '95. As of this writing, they are "inadmissable" to Canada. Check the RIV web site for more details.
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