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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-10-2013, 12:54 PM
zackattack zackattack is offline
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buying a used car question

Hello. Obviously new here and I have a couple questions. Im looking to buy my first car; a 1997 328is 5 speed for $4250 with supposedly 151k miles.

The reason I say supposedly is because this guy tried to convert it to an m3 with just trim options no engine swaps to make it look like an m3. He says that he replaced the instrument cluster as well. The problem I have is that I don't know if you can take an instrument cluster with say 151k miles and put it on a 300k mile car and have the odo read 151k miles. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

zack
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2013, 01:16 PM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackattack View Post
Hello. Obviously new here and I have a couple questions. Im looking to buy my first car; a 1997 328is 5 speed for $4250 with supposedly 151k miles.

The reason I say supposedly is because this guy tried to convert it to an m3 with just trim options no engine swaps to make it look like an m3. He says that he replaced the instrument cluster as well. The problem I have is that I don't know if you can take an instrument cluster with say 151k miles and put it on a 300k mile car and have the odo read 151k miles. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

zack
Long story short in a OBD2 car you can swap to lower mileage cluster. The people who put in a new clusters to lie about the mileage usually won't tell you they put a new cluster in. Ask him if the dealer synced up the mileage, as you need some computer tool thingy to set the new cluster to the old cluster (the car)'s mileage. Otherwise it has the mileage of whatever cluster he put in.

That said, you would be silly to buy a car for $4250 and not get the autocheck report or carfax. You can easily convince the seller to get it for you for free, I did on the last 2 cars I purchased. These reports generally won't have the most recent mileage, but chances are it would show any major mileage discrepancies.
My 325i carfax: Last reported mileage = 245k.....Actual mileage was 268k
My 328i carfax: Last reported mileage = 168k.....Actual mileage was 173k

My .02

Last edited by Jakobie1086; 01-10-2013 at 01:27 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2013, 01:19 PM
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Double post. My bad

Last edited by Jakobie1086; 01-10-2013 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:40 PM
zackattack zackattack is offline
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So do you think hes asking too little for the vehicle? like a "too good to be true" case?

And thanks for the quick response.
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2013, 01:56 PM
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Step 1, read the sticky on 'Buying an E36'.

Step 2, follow the directions therein.

Step 3, give us a LOT more detail for us to really be helpful.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackattack View Post
So do you think hes asking too little for the vehicle? like a "too good to be true" case?

And thanks for the quick response.
As jonesin mentioned you aren't giving enough detail. If it's rusted and beat up, $4250 is a rip off. If it's insanely good condition, $4250 is a good price. How could we tell if the price is to good to be to true based just off the mileage?

Also as jonesin said, read the sticky. It'll help you.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:36 PM
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If the cluster was swapped and not coded, there will be a tamper dot on the cluster near the mileage. with 151k miles, it better be fantastic condition at 4250. Decent would bring maybe 3k. Good/great I'd offer 3500.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:36 PM
zackattack zackattack is offline
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http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/3532337506.html


Here is the link to his ad. I am only going off of what his ad is saying so I don't know any more specifics of what is wrong/right with the car.

Thanks in advanced for your time.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:39 PM
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First glaringly obvious thing to me:


Quote:
This is a 1997 BMW E36 328is / M3....
The car is 13 years old, so there are a few cosmetic issues
This means one of two things:

1. He's an imbecile.

2. The ad is 3 years old and he just reposted it as is.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:48 PM
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"Lowered differential"
"high-performance brakes"

Dude is an idiot
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:50 PM
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Looks like a nice car. The ad needs updating though. I also noticed that he wrote 'just passed inspection, good for 11-13'. Well, it's 13 now...


Fwiw, I paid 3500 for my car. Had minor rust on it, 172k miles at the time, bone stock. Had a tear in the seat as well but otherwise minty interior. If that car looks as good as it does in the ad, 3500-4k is right where ya wanna be
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1997 328iS... HR coilovers, Brembo F40 calipers, camber plates, it needs a CUMMINS!!

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Old 01-10-2013, 03:13 PM
zackattack zackattack is offline
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@jakobie1086 I was wondering what "lowered differential" meant. What could he mean by that?
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:14 PM
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Well, the main stock diff for a 328 was 2.93:1 ratio. If anything the ratio would be raised to a 3.15, 3.23, 3.38 etc.
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive by72 View Post
Looks like a nice car. The ad needs updating though. I also noticed that he wrote 'just passed inspection, good for 11-13'. Well, it's 13 now...
November 2013 smart guy, registrations are usually good for 1 year.

Car looks pretty good, but the seller doesn't have the slightest idea what he's talking about.

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  #15  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:32 PM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackattack View Post
@jakobie1086 I was wondering what "lowered differential" meant. What could he mean by that?
I was beat to it but the stock ratio for the 328 if I am correct is 2.93 which is the lowest stock ratio BMW offered for the E36. People who run cars that don't cruise on the highway/see the track/wanna go quicker will raise the radio to 3.15, 3.23, etc. People who have 3.15's/etc sometimes lower the ratio if they spend a lot of time rolling on the highway. I've never heard of anyone lowering it from a 2.93, nor would that be sporty. Chances are he raised it and just doesn't know what he's talking about.
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  #16  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:55 PM
zackattack zackattack is offline
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Thank you all for your input. It sure has given me a lot to think about. I'm probably going to have a look at it on Sunday and I'll let ya'll know how it goes.
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