Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Bimmerfest - BMW Forums (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/index.php)
-   M Series (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   So I drove an E30 M3 tonight... (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21952)

Jetfire 02-25-2003 07:59 PM

So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
...and man, it's a fun car to drive. :D I'll share my review here, but I'll give you a spoiler -- I haven't decided what to do yet. A rambling review follows, and the summary is down at the end if you're lazy.

The technical details: It was an '88 M3, Lachsilber with red leather interior. The car had about 155k on the non-digital odometer and was stock except for a Borla exhaust, UUC short shifter, some 17" wheels with "winter tires," and some other minor/unimportant items. The owner said that he much preferred the stock 15" wheels with Falkens for grip.

Overall the body was in excellent shape -- the paint looked just as good as mine and there wasn't a hint of rust. Not bad for 15 years of use. The upholstery was creased of course but not torn anywhere, and the cushions were still in great shape. One of the headlights had burnt out and the check control's "WASHER FLUID" light came on during the test drive, which the owner thinks is due to a leak somewhere. The engine bay was clean and everything in there looked tight.

The first thing I did after starting the car was to familiarize myself with the shifter. I rowed through the gates a few times to familiarize myself -- it felt different from mine, yet vaguely familiar. I then played with the clutch and was surprised at its lightness. I was starting to doubt the whole idea until I let out the pedal in gear. The feel was amazing! The clutch on my car is much more direct and communicative than the E46, but the clutch on this car was fantastic. I could tell exactly where the clutch started to engage and when it was fully connected. Plus, there was none of the slipping clutch syndrome from very fast shifts at high RPM.

After a brief warmup period (which we measured by watching the oil temp gauge, located where the ergonometer is on most Bimmers) I started to drive more aggressively. At first I was underwhelmed by the car's performance. I was expecting a lack of low-end grunt, but this seemed unreasonably slow. I was again about to give up...until I realized that I was barely applying half throttle. Apparently the gas pedal nearly hits the floor on the E30 M3. The off-the-line performance then became much more agreeable. Where the engine really shines, however, is at high revs. The engine really starts to sing around 5000 RPMs and it pulls hard up to redline. The acceleration in that range was awesome.

I was struck by how quickly the engine revved and how quickly the revs dropped with the clutch disengaged. It seemed to be instantaneous -- I'd stab the pedal and the tach would swing right up to 4000, then drop back to idle. Much faster than my S52US engine, which itself is the fastest to rev and fall that I'd seen until tonight.

After getting used to the straight line characteristics, I took to the curves to check out the car's handling (like I said, this car's suspension is stock). I took an onramp at moderate speed, followed by a trip through some twisty backroads at progressively higher speeds. It was dark so I didn't really push it, but the car felt very sure-footed and balanced. The lightness of the car made a HUGE difference in the way I drove it, and the fabled feel was there in spades.

Speaking of feel, I can't say enough about it. The car's suspension felt softer than mine -- perhaps due to age -- but I've never felt more in touch with the road. I desperately wished it was brighter outside because I really, really, wanted to push the limits in this car.

I want to drive the car again in the daytime, and I want to drive an M3 that's been modified. The darkness and my unfamiliarity with the E30 made me too nervous to drive as hard as I would've liked.

So what's the verdict? This is a tough one. First of all, read my subjective opinions with the knowledge that I am a performance-oriented enthusiast. I cancelled an order for a brand new 330Ci because I drove an E36 M3 and fell in love. And now I'm facing an interesting choice: Is my car better than this '88 M3, or is the E30 a better platform FOR MY NEEDS?

First, an indisputable fact. The E36 M3 is much faster than the E30 version and the torque makes a HUGE difference in normal driving. In my car, I can hit the gas in nearly any gear, at any RPM, and pull away rather well. My car really shines from above 4000 RPM to redline but I can do just as well from idle. In contrast, the E30 M3 really needs to rev before it feels powerful. From 5000 RPM to redline (~7200), the car pulls very hard. I don't know if it pulls harder than the E36 -- I doubt it.

Another fact: The E30 M3 is easly 300 pounds lighter than the E36 M3, and it shows. There is a BIG difference in tossability that can only be explained by the weight difference. While the E36 is no pig, the E30 is a waif by comparison.

The E30 is much less refined and much less comfortable than the E36. While the seats seemed cushier in this '88 M3, remember that my car doesn't even have 25000 miles on it. The cushions are practically brand new. Other than that, the shifter buzzes at around 4000 rpm and I understand that this is a common E30 M3 ailment. The exhaust makes PLENTY of noise in the cabin (remember that this car had a Borla, but still) and the cabin vibrates slightly from the noise. The interior, while familiar to any 3-series owner, is not as cushy as the E36. And we all know how the E36's interior compares to the E46.

Now for the subjective stuff. To me, the car really does have the edge in feel. I want more time behind the wheel, but in my half-hour test drive I could tell that the chassis is far more communicative. That should translate to more confidence in corners, but again I didn't have the chance to push it. The feel through the clutch was awesome, which I didn't expect at all. The engine, while less powerful, feels much racier than mine.

I also feel that in capable hands, the E30 M3 would be very hard to beat on the track. The weight and suspension on the car make it more tossable than the E36, and I feel like it's more of a no-nonsence racer. Its lack of power is offset by the ability to carry much more speed out of a turn. And anyway, with some money put into engine mods, it's possible to create the 2.5L engine from the European M3 Evo Sport. Think roughly 230 hp in a 2800-lb package. :D

I don't think it's possible to say that either car is better than the other for all people. For every day commuting, I would have to say that the E36 is the better choice. It's the best way to have a reasonably practical car that can also kick ass at traffic lights or on weekends at the track/autox. The torque is always on and the car is relatively comfortable.

For dedicated sport driving, however, the E30 has the edge. It lacks horsepower but is a much rawer (is that a word?) experience than the E36. Its agility can't be matched by the E36 without mods, and even then its light weight gives it an edge that the E36 simply can't match.

I'm not sure where that leaves me. I need to spend more time behind the wheel before deciding to ditch my car. But for now, I'm very impressed! I wasn't too happy when I started the drive, but the details that make the E30 so wonderful made themselves evident one by one. More impressions as I get more seat time. For now, I'm starting to think that the SUV/E30 route makes a lot of sense for me. And I won't miss the comfort of the E36.

·clyde· 02-25-2003 08:51 PM

Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
For now, I'm starting to think that the SUV/E30 route makes a lot of sense for me. And I won't miss the comfort of the E36.
Have you already forgotten about the "comfort" of the SUV we rented? :rolleyes: Yeah, so you'd probably go for something with more redeeming qualities than an Xterra rental. ;)

So which gets parked outside? The E30, the SUV or your wife's Civic? Just keep the E36 M3.

BTW, what's the number of the guy selling the E30 M3? :neener:

Jetfire 02-26-2003 06:23 AM

Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Clyde@work
Have you already forgotten about the "comfort" of the SUV we rented? :rolleyes: Yeah, so you'd probably go for something with more redeeming qualities than an Xterra rental. ;)

No, I still haven't finished processing all the curse words I had to say about that damned Xterra. Of course, that thing really seems to be most at home off road. The latest issue of AutoWeek has a story on a local Xterra club around Nacogdoches that got together to look for shuttle parts. The Exploder I'm considering is fulltime AWD and I know it's more comfy inside than the Xterra. It won't be seeing many CCA autocrosses any time soon, though.

Quote:


So which gets parked outside? The E30, the SUV or your wife's Civic? Just keep the E36 M3.

The SUV of course. I plan to wash it occasionally, Zaino it once, and otherwise beat it to hell. If it were waterproof inside, I'd just open all the doors and let loose with the garden hose. And for the money, I can't find a decent wagon that fits my needs.

Quote:


BTW, what's the number of the guy selling the E30 M3? :neener:

:violent:

Actually, the guy's car is not for sale. I test drove it to see how I'd like the E30. The problem is that I like it. Now I need to decide what to do. :banghead:

Jetfire 02-26-2003 06:41 AM

Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Clyde@work

So which gets parked outside? The E30, the SUV or your wife's Civic? Just keep the E36 M3.

I love my E36 M3, but I have a couple quibbles with it that aren't related to the car's quality. Basically, it's the perfect example of the Ultimate Compromise Machine:

-It's a very nice car, too nice for me to drive it super hard without feeling guilty. It's also very civilized, almost too civilized.

-when significantly modded, it becomes difficult to live with in and around Pothole City U.S.A.

-It's my only car. When I break it, I walk until it's fixed.

-It's relatively expensive. The monthlies and insurance are not a problem, but track time, autox time, and mods start breaking the car budget. Still not a problem, but not what I really want to do. The car budget is closely watched by the boss (aka wife).

So, for 2/3 the price of my M3, I can have a useful car and a fun car. The useful car is nowhere close to my M3 in terms of performance and fun-to-drive potential, but it positively dwarfs the M3's potential for hauling people and animals. A 4-door M3 might make this a more debatable point if it weren't for the animal. The fun car is not half as comfortable or civilized as my M3, but it's not intended to be plush...it's intended to be DRIVEN.

We'll see how it goes. I want to drive a few more and maybe even switch cars with someone for a weekend. I want to feel comfortable with the car before I make the choice, because the car I have now is really quite excellent.

nate 02-26-2003 06:56 AM

Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
I also feel that in capable hands, the E30 M3 would be very hard to beat on the track. The weight and suspension on the car make it more tossable than the E36, and I feel like it's more of a no-nonsence racer. Its lack of power is offset by the ability to carry much more speed out of a turn.
I can think of several cars off the top of my head that could beat it in feel. If we are talking about lap times, I wouldn't be suprised if a 2.5L E46 could pass one. I'm sure the M3 would be more fun though...

Nice write up, I would like to drive an E30 M3, or any M3 for that matter...

pdz 02-26-2003 10:22 AM

Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
...and man, it's a fun car to drive. :D I'll share my review here, but I'll give you a spoiler -- I haven't decided what to do yet. A rambling review follows, and the summary is down at the end if you're lazy.

The technical details: It was an '88 M3, Lachsilber with red leather interior. The car had about 155k on the non-digital odometer and was stock except for a Borla exhaust, UUC short shifter, some 17" wheels with "winter tires," and some other minor/unimportant items. The owner said that he much preferred the stock 15" wheels with Falkens for grip.

Overall the body was in excellent shape -- the paint looked just as good as mine and there wasn't a hint of rust. Not bad for 15 years of use. The upholstery was creased of course but not torn anywhere, and the cushions were still in great shape. One of the headlights had burnt out and the check control's "WASHER FLUID" light came on during the test drive, which the owner thinks is due to a leak somewhere. The engine bay was clean and everything in there looked tight.

The first thing I did after starting the car was to familiarize myself with the shifter. I rowed through the gates a few times to familiarize myself -- it felt different from mine, yet vaguely familiar. I then played with the clutch and was surprised at its lightness. I was starting to doubt the whole idea until I let out the pedal in gear. The feel was amazing! The clutch on my car is much more direct and communicative than the E46, but the clutch on this car was fantastic. I could tell exactly where the clutch started to engage and when it was fully connected. Plus, there was none of the slipping clutch syndrome from very fast shifts at high RPM.

After a brief warmup period (which we measured by watching the oil temp gauge, located where the ergonometer is on most Bimmers) I started to drive more aggressively. At first I was underwhelmed by the car's performance. I was expecting a lack of low-end grunt, but this seemed unreasonably slow. I was again about to give up...until I realized that I was barely applying half throttle. Apparently the gas pedal nearly hits the floor on the E30 M3. The off-the-line performance then became much more agreeable. Where the engine really shines, however, is at high revs. The engine really starts to sing around 5000 RPMs and it pulls hard up to redline. The acceleration in that range was awesome.

I was struck by how quickly the engine revved and how quickly the revs dropped with the clutch disengaged. It seemed to be instantaneous -- I'd stab the pedal and the tach would swing right up to 4000, then drop back to idle. Much faster than my S52US engine, which itself is the fastest to rev and fall that I'd seen until tonight.

After getting used to the straight line characteristics, I took to the curves to check out the car's handling (like I said, this car's suspension is stock). I took an onramp at moderate speed, followed by a trip through some twisty backroads at progressively higher speeds. It was dark so I didn't really push it, but the car felt very sure-footed and balanced. The lightness of the car made a HUGE difference in the way I drove it, and the fabled feel was there in spades.

Speaking of feel, I can't say enough about it. The car's suspension felt softer than mine -- perhaps due to age -- but I've never felt more in touch with the road. I desperately wished it was brighter outside because I really, really, wanted to push the limits in this car.

I want to drive the car again in the daytime, and I want to drive an M3 that's been modified. The darkness and my unfamiliarity with the E30 made me too nervous to drive as hard as I would've liked.

So what's the verdict? This is a tough one. First of all, read my subjective opinions with the knowledge that I am a performance-oriented enthusiast. I cancelled an order for a brand new 330Ci because I drove an E36 M3 and fell in love. And now I'm facing an interesting choice: Is my car better than this '88 M3, or is the E30 a better platform FOR MY NEEDS?

First, an indisputable fact. The E36 M3 is much faster than the E30 version and the torque makes a HUGE difference in normal driving. In my car, I can hit the gas in nearly any gear, at any RPM, and pull away rather well. My car really shines from above 4000 RPM to redline but I can do just as well from idle. In contrast, the E30 M3 really needs to rev before it feels powerful. From 5000 RPM to redline (~7200), the car pulls very hard. I don't know if it pulls harder than the E36 -- I doubt it.

Another fact: The E30 M3 is easly 300 pounds lighter than the E36 M3, and it shows. There is a BIG difference in tossability that can only be explained by the weight difference. While the E36 is no pig, the E30 is a waif by comparison.

The E30 is much less refined and much less comfortable than the E36. While the seats seemed cushier in this '88 M3, remember that my car doesn't even have 25000 miles on it. The cushions are practically brand new. Other than that, the shifter buzzes at around 4000 rpm and I understand that this is a common E30 M3 ailment. The exhaust makes PLENTY of noise in the cabin (remember that this car had a Borla, but still) and the cabin vibrates slightly from the noise. The interior, while familiar to any 3-series owner, is not as cushy as the E36. And we all know how the E36's interior compares to the E46.

Now for the subjective stuff. To me, the car really does have the edge in feel. I want more time behind the wheel, but in my half-hour test drive I could tell that the chassis is far more communicative. That should translate to more confidence in corners, but again I didn't have the chance to push it. The feel through the clutch was awesome, which I didn't expect at all. The engine, while less powerful, feels much racier than mine.

I also feel that in capable hands, the E30 M3 would be very hard to beat on the track. The weight and suspension on the car make it more tossable than the E36, and I feel like it's more of a no-nonsence racer. Its lack of power is offset by the ability to carry much more speed out of a turn. And anyway, with some money put into engine mods, it's possible to create the 2.5L engine from the European M3 Evo Sport. Think roughly 230 hp in a 2800-lb package. :D

I don't think it's possible to say that either car is better than the other for all people. For every day commuting, I would have to say that the E36 is the better choice. It's the best way to have a reasonably practical car that can also kick ass at traffic lights or on weekends at the track/autox. The torque is always on and the car is relatively comfortable.

For dedicated sport driving, however, the E30 has the edge. It lacks horsepower but is a much rawer (is that a word?) experience than the E36. Its agility can't be matched by the E36 without mods, and even then its light weight gives it an edge that the E36 simply can't match.

I'm not sure where that leaves me. I need to spend more time behind the wheel before deciding to ditch my car. But for now, I'm very impressed! I wasn't too happy when I started the drive, but the details that make the E30 so wonderful made themselves evident one by one. More impressions as I get more seat time. For now, I'm starting to think that the SUV/E30 route makes a lot of sense for me. And I won't miss the comfort of the E36.

am glad you got a chance to drive an e30m3!!!!

it is one of my favorite cars of all time and the feel is peerless these days in the automotive world and balance, too.

the only thing that scares me about the e30m3 is that parts are becoming really, really scarce in the US and most of the e30m3's have been crashed or abused so the legion of wellkempt cars are finding it difficult to get parts, even run of the mill bits and pieces.

that said, i know you'd like to go into that e30m3, but i would caution you to ponder a couple of things first before you do that for your e36m3:

have you lightened your flywheel or gotten rid of the dual mass unit? it makes a huge difference in the e36s; both in terms of clutch grip (obviously i upgraded the clutch while i moved to a LTW flywheel) and revability.

second, i find that while the two cars have similarly good handling, the e30 still has some squirrely behavior when the rear comes to its limits and kicks a little bit into positive camber (STA characteristic of this rear end) and while it does not have enough power to get you in trouble, it's unsettling.

third: it does not take much to lighten up your M3 and keep the power and the cubic inches. i would rather do that than go with the high revving four.

just my thoughts, i really appreciate both generations of car, though. i would still be, honestly, in my e36m3 if it hadn't been creamed by a soccer mom.

Nick325xiT 5spd 02-26-2003 10:49 AM

Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by pdz

just my thoughts, i really appreciate both generations of car, though. i would still be, honestly, in my e36m3 if it hadn't been creamed by a soccer mom.

If you ever want to go back, and Jetfire sells his, buy it! Blair has one of the finest examples of the E36 on the road.

TD 02-26-2003 10:52 AM

Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
If you ever want to go back, and Jetfire sells his, buy it! Blair has one of the finest examples of the E36 on the road.
And it already has the x-brace, SSK and ellipsoids.

Hell, the seats don't even show any wear.

Jetfire 02-26-2003 11:02 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by TD
And it already has the x-brace, SSK and ellipsoids.

Hell, the seats don't even show any wear.

Yup. That makes the decision even harder. Aside from a few cosmetic issues, my car is about as pristine as it gets for a regularly driven 4-year-old M3. (To be fair it was hardly driven in the previous owner's hands -- maybe 19000 miles from 4/99 through 7/02) I'd hate to see what would happen to it in a less fanatic owner's hands.

nate 02-26-2003 12:09 PM

Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by pdz


third: it does not take much to lighten up your M3 and keep the power and the cubic inches. i would rather do that than go with the high revving four.

Or you could get an E30 M3 and lighten it :p

A instuctor/racer with one told me that removing 300lbs+ of trim is possible. :)

Jetfire 02-26-2003 12:12 PM

Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by nate328Ci
Or you could get an E30 M3 and lighten it :p

A instuctor/racer with one told me that removing 300lbs of trim is possible. :)

I've heard of people who've managed to put their E30 M3s on
diets and take them down to 2500-2600 pounds. :wow:

What to do, what to do...if my current ride was in bad shape, the answer would be obvious.

nate 02-26-2003 12:16 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
I've heard of people who've managed to put their E30 M3s on
diets and take them down to 2500-2600 pounds. :wow:

What to do, what to do...if my current ride was in bad shape, the answer would be obvious.

Or, you could just get an E46 M3 and take it down to ~2900lbs like that guy on roadfly.

That would be a beast :p

Jetfire 02-26-2003 12:23 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by nate328Ci
Or, you could just get an E46 M3 and take it down to ~2900lbs like that guy on roadfly.

That would be a beast :p

Got any for $12,000 or so? :D

pdz 02-26-2003 01:03 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
Got any for $12,000 or so? :D
or track down a 1995 M3 LTW that you know has an especially strong, factory-certified engine which is closer to 240hp than it is 225hp.

and run around with that.

Jetfire 02-26-2003 01:16 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by pdz
or track down a 1995 M3 LTW that you know has an especially strong, factory-certified engine which is closer to 240hp than it is 225hp.

and run around with that.

Yup, another viable option. Unfortunately, finding one of those lovelies is arguably harder than finding a good E30.

pdz 02-26-2003 01:24 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
Yup, another viable option. Unfortunately, finding one of those lovelies is arguably harder than finding a good E30.
i just had my car tweaked and it runs so f*cking well now it's outrageous.

there is absolutely nothing in the world like driving a sports car that makes you grin just to run through the gears. i hope you find whatchyer lookin' for but i swear, it wouldn't take much to make your own e36m3 the screamer.

i mean, if you are out of warranty on your m3 and targeted $4000 in intervals.....man......i'd swap in a slighter higher rear-end to maybe a 3.46 or 3.38 (is this about $1200? dunno, but i know metricmechanix has cores for this purpose), remove the rear seat (free), remove the stock seats and go lighter ($800-1400), and then go for the LTW flywheel plus HD Sachs clutch setup.

just my thoughts. you'd be amazed at how much a flywheel does for acceleration and heel/toe downshifting on the e36m3s.

Jetfire 02-26-2003 01:29 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by pdz
i just had my car tweaked and it runs so f*cking well now it's outrageous.

there is absolutely nothing in the world like driving a sports car that makes you grin just to run through the gears. i hope you find whatchyer lookin' for but i swear, it wouldn't take much to make your own e36m3 the screamer.

i mean, if you are out of warranty on your m3 and targeted $4000 in intervals.....man......i'd swap in a slighter higher rear-end to maybe a 3.46 or 3.38 (is this about $1200? dunno, but i know metricmechanix has cores for this purpose), remove the rear seat (free), remove the stock seats and go lighter ($800-1400), and then go for the LTW flywheel plus HD Sachs clutch setup.

just my thoughts. you'd be amazed at how much a flywheel does for acceleration and heel/toe downshifting on the e36m3s.

Thanks for the advice. :) Part of the problem is my desire for some fiscal restraint. Perhaps I'll consider getting a '95ish M3, which would free up a lot of spare cash for tweaks.

JST 02-26-2003 01:33 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
Thanks for the advice. :) Part of the problem is my desire for some fiscal restraint. Perhaps I'll consider getting a '95ish M3, which would free up a lot of spare cash for tweaks.

http://www.bmwfest.com/forums/showth...threadid=21026

pdz 02-26-2003 01:40 PM

i think i had fiscal restraint once. but then i got caught in this steep slippery slope into fiscal hell.

oh well.

i learned.

:rofl:

i basically had outfitted my M coupe to have almost everything Dinan had (performance wise) on it short of becoming the ISR3/ISC3. that was a fun car. not a great handler, but fun.

but it was prohibitively expensive. but i learned a lot in that little journey about which modifications are worth it and which ones aren't.

one thing you can barely ever tune out without even bigger dollars is weight, though. hence my dismay at the current e46m3 curb weight.

Jetfire 02-26-2003 01:44 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Saw that. The price is a bit steep for my target, but it's in fantastic shape. I would think that any E36 M3 under $15k or so would be a relative basket case, although I could live with interior issues (Recaros etc.).

pdz 02-26-2003 01:53 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So I drove an E30 M3 tonight...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Jetfire
Saw that. The price is a bit steep for my target, but it's in fantastic shape. I would think that any E36 M3 under $15k or so would be a relative basket case, although I could live with interior issues (Recaros etc.).
there are some e30m3s that ask as high as 17,000 with "low" miles in the back of roundel sometimes.

but most seem to be in the 9800-12,000 range. the issue i'd have are: at this age, wear and tear items flat out need replacing because of heat cycling plus age. gaskets for sure, hoses, shocks, bearings.....it's a hidden (well, not so hidden) nightmare in cost. it would take at least $7000 to get it into reliable, hi-po form. and you'd be spending most of that money just checking compression and getting valves, seats, valve guides and ports into shape.

yuck.

e30m3 people are brave people.

Jetfire 02-26-2003 05:51 PM

The E30 M3 community has come up with a "$15,000 rule" when it comes to their cars. Basically, you will end up spending about $15k to get a car in good shape. Most of the higher-dollar cars are already in good shape due to diligent maintenance and important repairs, and the cheaper ones will require a little TLC to get them back in good order.

It seems to work out. The more expensive M3s out there have lower miles and have had a lot of the significant work done to them.

Michael330 02-26-2003 05:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Great review! I'd love to be able to finally drive an E30, not to mention an M3 E30. Some of your observations are similar to the ones in this old comparison article of E30 325is and E30 M3. The author also seemed to have found M3 a little soft off the line. Actually he points out that 325is develops more torque at a lower rpm. Maybe you should consider getting a "regular" E30 as a track only vehicle and make some race modifications to it and keep the E36. This would definitely be cheaper and E36 is a much more practical everyday car. I also hear that inline 4 in M3s were not as realiable as inline 6 found in 325is. Anyway, just my 2 cents.

Michael330 02-26-2003 05:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
page 2...

pdz 02-26-2003 06:07 PM

yeah, i definitely think the straight six has more things going for it than the high strung M motor. i betcha the M motor also needs valve adjustments every 5k miles or 10k miles?


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:22 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms