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Old 12-29-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
BMWnoob
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Help this BMWnoob out please GURU's

Hey everyone,

Been reading and searching around here for a little bit and finally registered. I don't really know much about cars in general have never been majorly interested as long as the car gets me from a to b..

anyway the wifey has always wanted an older bmw. the "boxier" ones.. so i'm thinking e30's and e36's... so i'm looking at all your nice rides and kinda locked it down to a white or red e30 (they have a nice classic appealing look to them). 318, 325 or something... manual, leather, convertible would be cool too i'm planning to only use it in the summer for her and it would be stored in the garage otherwise...

so i guess i'm trying to figure out what's a good price range and how much a year i'd spend on maintaining it... and i don't think i'd be able to DIY this stuff..

i just kinda want it to look nice and work but at the same time i understand that there is some maintenance for older cars..

are we talking $500 a year kinda thing in general or more?

anyone want to find me the "ideal" car lol
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:28 PM   #2
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there is a decent add on craigslist for a white E30 being sold by a BMW tech
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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Good luck trying to "maintain" an E30 for $500/year..You may have to look at other manufacturers if that's the case. With E30's you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and tackle some jobs or else it because a very expensive car to own. Once you take care of the things that need attention however an E30 can become a very nice, nimble enjoyable vehicle. You will have to put some $$$$ into it to get it to that point however.

As for E36s well they're newer, but not that new..The newest E36s rolled off the assembly lines a hair over 10 years ago so there will be things that need attention as well since some models will have a decent amount of mileage. If you can swing an okay E36 saftied and inspected by a reputable shop that specializes in BMW's and everything checks out, then maybe you'll be able to spend $500/year tops on maintenance.

E30 = More of an Enthusiasts/"project" car.
E36 = More of an turn key and go, Comfy car.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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so realistically how much do you guys spend "maintaining" your car... it would be mostly driven to soccer games or visiting family etc..etc..

any additional help on the craigslist search?

also for DIY i'm not a complete idiot i know how to take apart cellphones, computers and what not... so not sure how it could apply to "basic" car maintenance...i don't mind getting dirty
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:15 PM   #5
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Haha...I'm sorta the wrong person to ask that since i spend a LOT more than i need to on my car..

Moderator Mystical has kept a good track of how much you need to keep an E30 going annually. Maybe he'll chime in..
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:16 PM   #6
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Well depends on what you start with. If you have a solid base it will be less obviously. So spending a little more on the initial purchase it might save you a lot in the long run.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:58 PM   #7
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E30's are not that bad on maintenance, but $500/year for a 20 year old car is unlikely. A buddy of mine who's got 2 E30's a 325is and a 325e spends about $2,000 a year including all maintenance and some modification
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:00 PM   #8
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ive found that the most expensive part of an e30 is getting it ready to drive on the road. (that is before safty, emissions, registration)
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gato Liso View Post
ive found that the most expensive part of an e30 is getting it ready to drive on the road. (that is before safty, emissions, registration)
Bingo!
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:05 PM   #10
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$1000 a year seems high, but then I don't really keep track of what I spend. If you are purely maintaining a car, no mods, and are willing to get a little dirty then you'll like an e30. They are simple, easy to work on, and the net is a great resource for DIY for almost anything.

#1 in my opinion: rust. Get as rust free car as you can find / afford (no matter what you buy) and then spend the $ on getting all maintenance items up to snuff, drive it easy and I would say $500 a year from then on is achievable. Add on $100 a year for oil spray, and remember that at any point with an old car, something might break.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:07 PM   #11
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Oh, and if you enjoy taking apart things and putting them back together, then you'll like DIY on an E30. It is very "logical" engineering and jumping from electronics to car DIY was a very pleasant jump for me. I now do everything myself and have the knuckle scars to prove it.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:37 PM   #12
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thanks for all the advice everyone.. so is $3K a reasonable amount? the wife doesn't drive manual.. but is willing to learn.. would if i were to choose auto would it be more troublesome??? probably less fun as well?
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #13
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stay away from the auto. the E30 auto trans sucked, and are more prone to failrue.

5spd transmissions go forever as long as there is oil in them.

you could probably fetch a e30 for that amount.

there is a 91 318i (4-dr) in the maX classifieds right now. 4cyl, good on gas and good kms. might be worth checking out.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gato Liso View Post
ive found that the most expensive part of an e30 is getting it ready to drive on the road. (that is before safty, emissions, registration)
QFT mother ****er!!! I could have boosted the damn thing by now.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by e30_kid89 View Post
stay away from the auto. the E30 auto trans sucked, and are more prone to failrue.
5spd transmissions go forever as long as there is oil in them.
QFT x1000000. I drove an auto 325i.. I can shit faster.
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