View Single Post
Old 06-24-2008, 08:07 AM
ffej's Avatar
ffej ffej is offline
Tightrope walking
Location: in 2-ton shoes
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,559
Mein Auto: Jackwagon!
Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
Hi, I'm looking at buying a 98 M3, but this thread is making me lean towards an e46 330. Do all of the problems in this thread apply to models of later model years? Also is there anything you guys would look out for in particular on one with 70k miles? Thanks!
I guess that depends (E36M3 vs E46330) on what you're looking for from the car. Having driven both, extensively, I will say that the M3 is a much more engaging car to drive and the 330 is a much nicer car to drive. Both are fast/powerful enough to get you into trouble if you're not careful, but the M3 (stock for stock) turns and stops better than the 330 - if the shocks are still good and the bushings are intact.

At 70k miles, things begin to fail on all E36s - Check this list to see what to look for - I haven't looked through this thread in a while, so I'm not sure what's been covered and what hasn't.

I will say one thing, though, if the car has overheated, stay away. There is a likelihood that the headgasket is blown, which is a $2k job for a good independent mechanic, which isn't an absurd charge for a car as fun as the M3. What *can* happen with that, though, is a warped or cracked head, which means a full rebuild, which can cost upwards of $2k ALSO, including the cost of a used head.

That said, if the car checks out (M3) well from a pre-purchase inspection from a good independent mechanic, and you take care of hazards that (s)he may find, the car can serve you well for a long time. I know two people with almost 200,000 miles on their E36 M3s and know of several more with over 200k.

With the E46 you get a more modern build, an equally reliable engine and similar issues with the car as a whole as you'll find in the link above. If the cost to just get into the car (sale price) is close enough, the E46 might be a better option, simply because of the newness of the car.

Good luck

Building a ZHP wagon... click the pic!!!
Because BMW wouldn't do it for me
For Sale - HUGE part out of 2005 ZHP sedan
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
My input is that ffej knows what he's talking about .
Reply With Quote