Another "whats it worth" type thread :) feedback please! [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Another "whats it worth" type thread :) feedback please!

06-13-2008, 04:16 PM
I've come across a 1997 M3 4 door 5 speed. 1 owner car. Silver over gray/offwhite - ie a two tone interior. Dash is gray, doors gray and off white, seats off white) 71K miles. All records. Recent clutch replacement. Lightly optioned (has cassette deck & no cd for instance; not sure what else could have been available though); original break-in stickers on winshield. Sunroof, leather. mismatched tires. Tiny 1" ding near gas filler door. Otherwise looks very nice. It belongs to a family friend who recently moved on to a 535I. He's thinking "low to mid teens" but we didn't directly discuss price.

Considering buying and using as a Daily driver (about 15-17K miles/year) and occasional AX car.

What's a car like this worth? Besides tires, what other immediate items might need replacement/reconditioning?

Are there other "worthy" places to check out to learn more about the E36 M3?

06-13-2008, 04:20 PM
Low to mid-teens for sure, I would venture to guess somewhere in 13-14k range based on description.

06-17-2008, 01:45 PM
The recent clutch replacement just saved you $2,000. If he can show you the brakes were done not long ago you just deferred another $1,800 and won't have to deal with that expense for around 50k miles. If he ever had the radiator, water pump and thermostat and housing changed that saves you another $1,800.

I'd ask those questions first and if all three of those issues have been addressed then I'd feel good about starting the negotiations at 13k since he said low teens and personally, I might go as high as 14k or 15k for a one owner cream puff with the right service records and a clean car fax.

Absent a recent brake job and/or cooling system upgrade including new radiator sometime during his tenure of ownership, I'd bring these issues to his attention and ask politely if he would consider 11k or 12k since you know you are going to have to do the brakes and overhaul the cooling system sometime in the near future at a cost of around $4,000.

If two out of three of the major bugaboos have been done recently then it's up to you to decide if the low teens is a good price. I'd be less worried about the brakes than the cooling system because the cooling system is going to fail on that car if it hasn't already and you are right in the sweet spot of when it usually happens. I have a 99 M3 and just had to replace my entire system and it cost $1,800. The cooling system is an achiles heel of the E36. The seller probably knows this and if he knows you know it too he might be impressed enough with the validity of your argument to reduce his price.

Read the very first post in this section regarding common maintenance issues with E36 M3s. The information in that thread is invaluable and right on traget and should be very helpful to you in determining how much one M3 is worth verses another especially if an owner can show you the service records.

Good luck.

06-24-2008, 05:58 PM
Strut/shocks/brakes/ cooling system all need to be replaced at around that mileage.

That sounds like an excellent car and I would do the cooling system first the brakes on condition and the struts and shocks also on condition.

If you replace the cooling system parts or have them replaced by a good BMW wrench not anyone else then you need to consider replacing:
water pump- $40 to 190 depending if you want OEM or a Stewart pump
t-stat- $15
t-stat housing with an aluminum model $20
radiator $180
belts $35
Hoses are good to 150K miles

I would expect that a good wrench would add around $330-400 to this job so an estimate of $1800 is twice what it cost in reality.

I have done more of these then I can remember so this is based on experience doing this job.

You will need to replace rotors and pads, brake sensors plus flush the system with new DOT 4
Front BMW rotors are $200-300 depending where you get them
Rear BMW rotors are slightly cheaper
BMW pads maybe $120
Alternative pads that have similar brake modulation but less dusting (speaking ceramic) about the same price
Sensors if you replace both around $30
Brake fluid DOT 4 $15

A good BMW wrench can do this job in about 3-4 hours tops not rushing, if experienced 2-3 easy.
I would expect that this job would cost you $900 if you pay someone. It is not a hard job by the way and neither is the cooling system overhaul

Struts and shocks
You have a couple choices but mainly Boge the OEM which last 60-80K tops to Bilstein which have a life time replacement and seem to never wear out

Boge would be around $500
Bilsteins are around $650
Installation is another $300-400

You might save a little bit of money doing both brakes and struts/shocks at the same time

Again only the cooling system needs attention and not immediately but maybe before fall.

This sounds like a sweet car to me and one worth strong consideration. All other things apply meaning that everything works.

Hope this helps some.
I think the range of price being asked is fair...