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View Full Version : Help me find a cure


m3sick
12-22-2002, 06:56 PM
My 2000 e46 328i was totaled this week, by an SUV of course. The good news is that I get to replace it, care of the other guy's insurance company. Here are the symptoms of my "gotta have another BMW" sickness.

I have a 33 mile commute each way to wor along Route 128 outside Boston. About 6-8 miles of that are stop and go. I absolutely loved the 5 speed in my "old" e46, but all that commuting would be a lot more bearable with a slushbox.

I've got the autocross bug badly, and will run 8-10 events next year with the new car. E36 M3's dominate in the BMWCCA events around here and I feel like a second class citizen with "just a base model 3". A couple of driving schools have me thinking an M3 would be more fun at the track too.

Love the classic look of the old e30 m3's - a "real M3" - but hear they can be much more expensive to maintain than e36 M3's.

I dream about the e46 M3 every night.



With about $50K to spend I figure I've got three options:

1. New e46 M3 with SMG II as my only car.

2. Find a e46 commuter with slushbox coming off lease for about $25k. Get an e36 M3 at about $25k for events (which is what I was originally planning to do before the accident).

3. A new e46 at about $38k (with automatic for commuting) would leave about $12k for an e30 m3.


What would you do? Option 1, 2, or 3? Why?
:dunno:

nate
12-22-2002, 07:18 PM
Of your options: 1 for sure.

No slushbox for me, even if it is only commuting. Other than that, a nice hybrid would be a used manual E46 328i and an E30 325is or M3 (if you want to spend that kind of money)

An E36 M3, at least stock, is kind of expensive and soft for track events only, a modified E30 would be more fun and much cheaper. Otherwise, an E46 M3 can do it all.

LilEccentricJ
12-22-2002, 07:18 PM
No doubt E36 M3 if it was me + spend some $$ on mods / hooking it up.

How about a new Toyota for commute?

Glad ur ok.. good luck!

gr8330
12-22-2002, 07:52 PM
I'll pick 4....e46 with a 5 speed and the e30. You will enjoy driving the e30 at the track :thumbup:

Bruce
12-22-2002, 08:03 PM
Hmmmm. Having just a bought a mid-modified E30 M3 for a track car and an E36 M3 for a daily driver, I guess I have been in your boat recently. :-)

I never imagined I would have seriously considered an auto, but traffic is a PITA with a stick. I thought of looking at E39 auto for a daily driver. I wasn't exactly looking but keeping my eye open for a daily driver when the E36 fell in my lap...it was too good of a car to pass up (its a stick BTW). Sometimes I still wish I had an auto, but...oh well.

$12k for an E30 M3 is in the netherworld of E30 M3s. You could get a good car (assuming the owner isn't really current on prices) or you could get a dog. A very general rule of thumb on E30 M3s is "the $15k rule"- which basically says that the difference between $15k and what you paid will be spent in repairs to bring the price up to $15k. You can look for a car in the $15k range and you probably won't have to spend much on it. Its not an absolute rule as there are exceptions to every rule, but something to think about.

As far as E30s more expensive to maintain the E36s?...not really. Just don't jump into the first E30 you find. Engines are not cheap, so make sure you have that checked out at the bare minimum. A complete prepurchase inspection is adviseable.

I leaned toward the E46 M3 with SMG, but already had the E30 and didn't want to sell it. I don't know but BMW increasing the warranty to 6/100 isn't confidence inspiring. *shrug*

option 2 isn't bad...although I paid around $35k for both of my M3s (and I think I got 2 pretty good cars).

option 3- see above about the $12k E30 M3.

adding option 4- find a cheap late 80s early 90s 325i (either auto or stick) for a daily driver...it will cost you $8k-ish? That leave you with $40k for a autox/track car. Make sure you define your desire in that kind of car before you buy it. Setting up a car for autox, while similar to the track, really is different. I myself hate standing around at an autox all day for maybe 5 minutes of fun. Minutes per dollar favors track, but absolute dollars favors autox. There was a really nice E36 M3 race car for sale that would make a great DE/race car, but probably not a good autox car, recently (may still be for sale I am not sure).

HTH,
Bruce

LarryN
12-22-2002, 09:28 PM
m3sick, Sorry to hear about your car. That stinks, but glad you are ok. Was your car a steel grey one too? There was only one 2000 328i at the events last year... If so, nice seeing you here, hope all is well, and welcome to the fest!

I traded in my 87 325es (stick) for a 92 325i (auto) about 10 years ago, for the exact reasons you mentioned. The only difference being that I was going up Rt 3 everyday and in traffic for 10 miles (Rt 128 stinks too). That was my least favorite bimmer I've owned. Since I was used to driving a 5-sp, the auto seemed too much of a compromise, even on long slow commutes. I thought I'd like not getting the tired left leg syndrome, but it became boring at the same time. My wife commented that she didn't like the car either because of the tranny. Strangely, she said it wasn't as fun. :D:D

*Note, this is not a slam to those auto/step drivers out there, just my personal experience.

I'd either:

1.) Get a e30 M3, and still deal with a 5sp on an off-lease e46, as you mentioned. You'll probably miss the 4 doors if you went with the M3 smg coupe.

2.) Get the newly exposed e46 330i HP. It looks to be able to run close to the e36 M3 specs, and you'd still have 4 doors. Plus you'd save $10K or so.

Good luck in your decision making!! All things considered, your predicament is not a bad one to be in!

GSR13
12-22-2002, 10:51 PM
The only piece of advice I can give, is avoid the automatic. My 04 previous vehicles were all manual's and I decided I wanted the Steptronic. Driving my wife's Z3 with the Step I thought it was a great combination. For the first month or so, it was great. Now, all I want is a manual. I LOVE my E46, but everytime I drive the car I want a manual. Every time.

m3sick
12-23-2002, 03:03 PM
Hi Larry, yes its me "Dave with the y2k Steel Gray 328i". Nice to hear from you.

Wow, looks like most of you would go for the new e46 plus e30 M3 option.

Isn't anyone going to speak up for the e36 M3?

Stuka
12-23-2002, 03:19 PM
ARE YOU GUYS INSANE!?:flipoff: :banghead:

Get the E46 M3 for sure.:thumbup: :bigpimp: I have owned two E36 M3's, a two door and a four door. The E46 will blow the doors off the E36 M3's, no if's and but's about it. It is also not limited to 137 by that pesky speed limiter.:thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: And then, there's the 8000rpm in 3rd for 100, and 8000rpm in 5th for 167.:thumbup:

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THE SLUSHBOX. I used to drive my E36 M3 in LA traffic everyday, and never had a problem. In fact, the 1st gear in gear acceleration guaranteed that I oculd make any hole that I d*mn well pleased in traffic.:bigpimp:

Get the stripper E46 M3, I did, and could not have been happier.

Andy
02 M3 CB/Cloth SMG with Xenon, no sunroof, no power seats, no heated seats, no rain sensing wipers, no rear headrests, no armrest, no leather, no HK, no NAV (no good for speed >> 150), and no power rear sunshade.

Bruce
12-23-2002, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Stuka

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THE SLUSHBOX. I used to drive my E36 M3 in LA traffic everyday, and never had a problem. In fact, the 1st gear in gear acceleration guaranteed that I oculd make any hole that I d*mn well pleased in traffic.:bigpimp:

IIRC your first E36 M3 was an auto right? :-)

Stuka
12-23-2002, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Bruce
IIRC your first E36 M3 was an auto right? :-)

Wow, which Bruce are you? And where have I known you from? Suzy's M3 list? a.a.b.?

And yes, the first E36 was an auto. I kept it for 9 month and sold it because I KNEW the second I dove off the lot that I should have bought a 5 speed, and that traffic was a lame excuse.

9 month and many thousands of dollars lost in resale later, I got the proper E36 with a 5 speed.:bigpimp:

Don't anyone make the same mistake that I did, say no to slushie.:thumbdwn:

Andy
02 M3 CB/Cloth SMG

Bruce
12-23-2002, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Stuka
Wow, which Bruce are you? And where have I known you from? Suzy's M3 list? a.a.b.?

I have posted on toadfly for years. I was on Suzy list when I had a 98 M roadster, left when I sold that to go back to school, rejoined when I bought the 95 a month ago.

Pinecone
12-24-2002, 05:35 AM
Well, lots of choices.

The E30 M3 is a great trck car, but not a great autocross car (power band too high up). I haven't really autocrossed our E46 M3 yet, but with the move to A Stock, I plan on doing it. Should be a very good.

So my suggestions are:

1) Get the E46 M3 SMG. Awesome car. SMG is great in traffic, the car is great on the track and should do well in AutoX.

2)Get and E36 M3 daily driver and AutoX car, add an E30 M3 for dedicated track use. You should be able to get a reasonable stock E36 M3, and a good E30 M3 and put cage, suspension, wheels, tires, and other track mods on the E30 for your budget.

LIL RAJA
12-25-2002, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by m3sick
My 2000 e46 328i was totaled this week, by an SUV of course. The good news is that I get to replace it, care of the other guy's insurance company. Here are the symptoms of my "gotta have another BMW" sickness.

I have a 33 mile commute each way to wor along Route 128 outside Boston. About 6-8 miles of that are stop and go. I absolutely loved the 5 speed in my "old" e46, but all that commuting would be a lot more bearable with a slushbox.

I've got the autocross bug badly, and will run 8-10 events next year with the new car. E36 M3's dominate in the BMWCCA events around here and I feel like a second class citizen with "just a base model 3". A couple of driving schools have me thinking an M3 would be more fun at the track too.

Love the classic look of the old e30 m3's - a "real M3" - but hear they can be much more expensive to maintain than e36 M3's.

I dream about the e46 M3 every night.



With about $50K to spend I figure I've got three options:

1. New e46 M3 with SMG II as my only car.

2. Find a e46 commuter with slushbox coming off lease for about $25k. Get an e36 M3 at about $25k for events (which is what I was originally planning to do before the accident).

3. A new e46 at about $38k (with automatic for commuting) would leave about $12k for an e30 m3.


What would you do? Option 1, 2, or 3? Why?
:dunno:

buy our mint condition 96 m3 for under 20k and have money left over for enjoying and doing whatever else you want with the extra $$$.

i say option 2) cuz

1) option one is kewl, but that depreciationg will be painful and insurance will be high.
2) you have 2 nice cars, and your insurance will be not too bad. One car for auto-x and one for driving. no presto chango needed.
right gear for right occasion
3) as much as I love the e30 bmws. They were nothing but a brat. Needed constant attention from the shop and this and that. had one in college and it was more trouble than fun.

LIL Raja