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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-25-2009, 09:03 PM
nitpilot nitpilot is offline
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Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: Tacoma 4WD, 2000 z3, 2.5
97' z3 2.8l?

Hello all, this is my first post. I'm thinking about buying a Z3 for a second/fun car, and have never owned a BMW. I found a nice one-owner 97' z3 w/67k on it (autotrader.com). It has a 5spd manual with the 2.8L engine, asking $9800. It appears to be very well maintained and all the pics look great. What kind of things should I be concerned with on this purchase? Any advice would be greatly appeciated. Thanks, Steve
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2009, 09:35 PM
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greyish greyish is offline
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Location: huntsville, al
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 555
Mein Auto: 99 z3c
Given the year/mileage you might be able to talk him down a little on price. Though if (and that is an IF) it is super clean and you want it, that is not a bad price. If there are small problems, get the price down.

Here is a very good list of things to look for. Also, if you can get a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) at a mechanic that you trust and that knows something about bmw's, all the better.

Good luck. If you end up getting a Z (that one or another) be sure to come back. This is one of few very good forums/sub-forums.

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  #3  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:08 AM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 497
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
Wildag's thread is excellent. I also have a 97 2.8. The M52 engine is nearly bulletproof aside from the cooling system and is a great platform for perfomance mods if that is one of your interests. Many also like the styling of the of the 97/98 6-cylinder cars (same as the M's) before the facelift that added the "humps" at the rear fenders. The diff mount issue sounds scary but overall is still relatively uncommon as an overall percentage of cars produced. When you have your inspection, make sure the inspector is familiar with the issue (common to other contemporary 3-series cars) and knows what to look for. The car is a blast to drive but the trailing arm rear suspension can make for some tricky handling at the limit. As stated above, there is a wealth of information on this and other BMW forums about all aspects of these unique cars. Z3 roadsters are plentiful. It may behoove you to drive a couple of different examples with varying drivetrains before making your final choice. Good luck
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Last edited by KBH22102; 12-26-2009 at 07:24 AM.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:30 AM
nitpilot nitpilot is offline
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Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
 
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Posts: 12
Mein Auto: Tacoma 4WD, 2000 z3, 2.5
Thanks!

Thanks for the responses! The checklist will be very helpful. Looking forward to putting the top down.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2009, 07:41 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 687
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1324123 is an informative link. Yea, it's about M's but 99% of the info applies to all Z3s.

My best advice is, when you look at the car, be prepared to walk away. Don't let your desire/excitement blind you.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 12-26-2009 at 07:44 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2009, 02:37 PM
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Captain Roundel Captain Roundel is offline
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Location: Northern Californicate
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 538
Mein Auto: 328,Z3, X3
I drive the 1998 z3 2.8l. Its an awesome and fun vehicle. Good luck!!
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2009, 06:38 PM
dave78063 dave78063 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: Z3
I will second the sentiment that they are fun cars to drive. For price reference I just bought a 98 2.8L with 125k mi for $7k. It is in outstanding condition except for the trim around the rear window is coming off. Doesn't leak just looks rough. I would talk him down on the price.
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:35 PM
nitpilot nitpilot is offline
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Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: Tacoma 4WD, 2000 z3, 2.5
97 2.8l

Thanks for the responses from all, I should be going to look at this car in the next two days. It sounds as though high mileage isn't necessarily a drawback if the car has been taken care of? I also plan on test driving a red 97 1.9L with a 5spd manual that is for sale at a nearby Chevy dealer. It has only 28k miles on it. What are your thoughts about the automatic transmissions? I'll definitely talk the price down! Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:58 AM
dave78063 dave78063 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: Z3
Personally I would never have an automatic, some would go so far as to say it is sacrelige.
I would also stay away from the 1.9. I have the 2.8 and wouldn't want any less engine, but then I was looking for more of a sports car. Should be plenty of 2.8s out there.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:01 PM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 497
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
67k miles is not really that high for a 97 (less than 7k miles per year) though it would be nice to know if the car is driven regularly or has sat still for a long time. There are several versions of the auto slushbox. I don't think the 97 auto was a Steptronic but I could be wrong. Whether you want an automatic is really a matter of how you'll be driving. If it is a stop and go driver, the auto wouldn't be too bad; but the combination of an auto with the 4-cylinder will likely result in a pretty languid driving experience. On the plus side, the M44 4-cylinder is a very durable engine. Many examples have gone >200k miles without a hitch.
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