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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 06-30-2005, 12:29 PM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Question Test driving a '94 325i Conv on Sat...what to look for???

Hi,
First time to post here...looks like a great site! Anyway, I've never owned a BMW before...but have always thought highly of these machines.

Here's my question...I'm test driving a '94 BMW 325i Conv (with low miles) on Saturday morning and would like to know what to look for when I inspect this car. Are there some common weaknesses that I need to watch out for?


PS - I paid a BMW certified repair shop to inspect this vehicle today...they reported that they found the following minor concerns:

1) tiny amount of seapage is forming on low pressure power steering hose (indicating a leak may form in the future - not in need or repair now),

2) left front fog light lens is cracked (I am told it is approx $100 for a new lens),

3) Rear shock mounts are starting to wear (not popping yet, but show general signs of wear - I'm told these go for about $15 each)

4) This same shop recently worked on the Conv top (repaired some frayed wires, repaired some stiching on the material or something like that - its supposedly fine now).

Do any of these things raise any RED FLAGS for anyone? Is there something that I should be gravely concerned about???


Thanx for your help in advance!
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2005, 07:54 PM
vintageorange vintageorange is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyboy_esq
PS - I paid a BMW certified repair shop to inspect this vehicle today...they reported that they found the following minor concerns:
The fact that you had an inspection performed is the first big plus, and the fact that the shop has experience working on the car is another plus in my opinion.

Concerns and my opinions on them:
1.) Very common problem, not a big deal unless you insist on a spotless garage floor (tiny drips of fluid at most).

2.) All 94 325s are on there 2nd or 3rd set of fog lenses by now, they light the road well, but are in harms way.

3.) I would recommend fixing

4.) Not a vert expert, but the fact that the previous owner would have it in the shop for something like this makes me believe it has a history of good care.

Minor things I would check for:
If it has the factory radio, make sure it comes with the radio code, this is no big deal but could be a headache in the future.
Check the door and rear side panels carefully for separating material, new panels are expensive, a minor flaw is no big deal and will not necessarily get worse, but it should be factored into the vehicle price.
See if you can keep the car for an extended period of time, overnight if possible, that way you can see how it runs when its cold; is it an easy starter, does it smoke, etc.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2005, 08:17 PM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Thumbs up

VintageO,
Thanx for the tips! I will keep those in mind when I inspect the car/test drive it on Sat.

Happy trails...
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2005, 10:28 PM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
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If you're even remotely handy you can save a little on the fog light replacement. New ones are around $60 from reputable sources, or considering its age, you should consider getting a replacement with matching wear by buying used from eBay or a junkyard.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2005, 08:26 AM
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LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
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Do a search for similar questions regarding E36s. Aside from the convertible top it is subject to all of the same issues as any other E36.

1. Electrics - Make sure they ALL work. Seats, cigar lighter, dash lights, tail lights, etc.

2. Regular maintenance - Does the owner have a service log? Points off if he cant prove how often the oil was chaged.

3. The top itself - Does it go down w/o any assistance from you. These tops WILL go bad eventually. A sure sign that it will be sooner rather than later is if the top needs assistance from you to be put down. Also look for water or rust in the stowage compartment for the top.

Otherwise do a search for more info.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2005, 09:40 AM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibi_mwewe
If you're even remotely handy you can save a little on the fog light replacement. New ones are around $60 from reputable sources, or considering its age, you should consider getting a replacement with matching wear by buying used from eBay or a junkyard.
Thanx for the tips...Do you have any suggestions on a good website to find cheap OEM parts for the 325i Conv?
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2005, 09:42 AM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by LmtdSlip
Do a search for similar questions regarding E36s. Aside from the convertible top it is subject to all of the same issues as any other E36.

1. Electrics - Make sure they ALL work. Seats, cigar lighter, dash lights, tail lights, etc.

2. Regular maintenance - Does the owner have a service log? Points off if he cant prove how often the oil was chaged.

3. The top itself - Does it go down w/o any assistance from you. These tops WILL go bad eventually. A sure sign that it will be sooner rather than later is if the top needs assistance from you to be put down. Also look for water or rust in the stowage compartment for the top.

Otherwise do a search for more info.

Good tips...I appreciate your input.

I'll go make alist of all the items I need to check during my test drive...unfortunately the price is not negotiable, so I guess I'll be looking at these things with the idea that I'll buy the car unless there are just too many little items that need attention (e.g., if it all adds up to too much $$ for repairs).
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2005, 10:27 AM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
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I've been pretty happy so far with Pelican Parts, they've taken the time to identify needed underbody trim parts from photos (don't yet have a Bentley's manual) so they definitely get my support. But for me they're practically local (west coast), shipping might be more for you way out in Texas.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2005, 11:56 AM
maxreco maxreco is offline
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Hi Mike,

No one is bashful here so I'll ask:

How many miles?
Auto or stick?
How much $?
Colors and options?

Now you will get some opinions!

Ciao!
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2005, 01:48 PM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Bibi,
Thanx for the recommendation.

MaxR,
The one I'm test driving tomorrow has:
72K miles (6,500 mi/yr average)
Stick Trans
costs $10.5K plus ttl
6 spoke Borbet rims (not sure of size, but guessing 15")
brand new convertible top
black ext paint with grey leather on the interior (both in great cond)

This will be my first BMW and my first convertible if I buy it...I'm pretty excited about it to say the least. Wish me luck tomorrow!
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2005, 06:05 AM
maxreco maxreco is offline
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Thumbs up

For $10.5, the seller should be able to provide records for maint and details about any body damage or alterations.

The Borbets are a good but inexpensive wheel. Don't pay extra for them.

I suggest that you open and close everything that has a hinge. When you have anything open that is painted, i.e. the doors, trink, hood, boot, run your finger along the inside of the surface just below the crease in the metal where you can't see when the door is closed. What you don't want to feel is a ridge. Tjis indicates a masking tape line, and that there was a partial paint job done. If you find it, and it wasn't disclosed, be very supicious!

Under the hood, look at the top of every screw that holds the fenders and cowling together. You said the car was black, so what you should see is unmarked black paint filling the grooves of every phillips head/socket head screw. If you see that the paint has been chipped, this indicates the part was replaced. Again, ask a lot of questions!

Sit in the driver's seat and carefully and methodically inspect the windshield for any cracks or chips. If you find any, tell the buyer to replce the windshield with OEM glass on his insurance/expense.

Look closely under the leading edge of the front spoiler section for scrapesand cracks. There should be a "belly pan" across the front. It often gets removed. It's a sign of good driving and maint if this area looks clean.

Run your hand arond the outside edge of every tire, feeling for any irregularities that would indicate alignment or balancing. A 4 wheel alignment and proper load force balance will cost $200.

Play the radio/tape/cd LOUD. Remember, you'll be driving with the top down.

All for now. They are the best little car's to own. You'll be paying full price at $10.5, so insist on answers and if it doesn't "feel" right, there will be another.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2005, 09:30 AM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
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Good advice, Max.

I paid $10.3 for mine, sounds pretty similar as it's a 95 with 85K miles, manual trans., black with beige leather, recently replaced top/motor, and absolutely all records (seller was second owner, having bought it in '97 from original owner in Fla.). The seller had been OCD about taking it to the dealer for any little complaint while it was under warranty, so even the little things like the LCD display on the radio were replaced when even the slightest wear showed. So I was willing to pay extra for this sort of maintenance.

And then within two weeks I ran over a deer (see an earlier thread about this)... So considering less than $100 of parts would cost me $430 to get replaced at my mechanics, I'm going to become my own personal mechanic, which I don't mind. And just now I had to replace the battery, but what do you expect for an older car? It's very worth it, driving is fun again with this rig.
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2005, 01:27 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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Sounds good with the inspection and all. If you get the vehicle I'd recommend changing that power steering hose. I replaced mine and it was well worth the money to not have dripping fluids. Also check the control arms and bushings, they are a common failure on E36's. Keep us posted!
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2005, 08:42 PM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Lightbulb

First off, I want to thank everyone above who offered me advice on what to look for when test driving the '94 325i conv. and for the feedback on this vehicle that I was considering buying. I did go for that test drive last Saturday, but was disappointed to find the following things that gave me grave concern.

1) Brand new top did not go down without assistance...the saleslady even pointed out that it was unusual for the top to need assistance and she just chalked it up to the brand new top...she said once the creases form/it breaks in, then it should fold down on its own. I could be wrong here, but I don't believe her. What do you guys think?

2) Right side rear window and side window did not join when rolled all the way up (1" gap at the top). I tried to roll it down and up again a few times, but to no avail. This seemed like it may be an expensive repair or difficult to do on my own...not sure.

3) Driver's seat did not appear in bad shape, but very uncomfortable to sit on during my test drive of only about 5 miles or so. It appears to me that the padding must be worn out b/c there was some kind of bar/support along the left side of the bottom seat cushion and it was stabbing my left leg during the entire ride...not all that noticeable when I first sat down, but darn near painful after a few miles of driving. Moving my leg around did not make any difference. Is this a common problem? If so, approx. how much $$ is it to re-stuff the front seat at an apolstry shop?

4) Lastly, I was less than impressed with its power. I had read that the 325i had plenty of get up and go, especially at 3500 rpms and above. However, for normal driving, I noticed that I barely reached 3500 rpms before shifting gears (this would be my normal day-to-day driving habits). It ran smooth and didn't necessarily feel underpowered or anything drastic like that, but this was a std transmission and I was expecting a much peppier motor. This 1994 325i only has 72K miles on it, so I wonder if its that particular car or do most 325i cars feel that way??? Any thoughts? If so, I may start looking at a bigger model 3 series...like the 328 or M series? Honestly, I don't want to go into debt to buy a used car, so I would rather get an older model (94 or newer) 325i conv. in good shape instead of dropping the big bucks on a 328i or M series conv.

PS - As a result of the above findings and the salelady's position of not negotiating on the price at all, I chose not to buy this car. So I'm still looking for now. There seems to be lots of 3 series conv. on the market, so I'm sure I'll find one I like eventually.

Happy trails...
Mike
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Old 07-05-2005, 07:09 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyboy_esq
First off, I want to thank everyone above who offered me advice on what to look for when test driving the '94 325i conv. and for the feedback on this vehicle that I was considering buying. I did go for that test drive last Saturday, but was disappointed to find the following things that gave me grave concern.

1) Brand new top did not go down without assistance...the saleslady even pointed out that it was unusual for the top to need assistance and she just chalked it up to the brand new top...she said once the creases form/it breaks in, then it should fold down on its own. I could be wrong here, but I don't believe her. What do you guys think?

2) Right side rear window and side window did not join when rolled all the way up (1" gap at the top). I tried to roll it down and up again a few times, but to no avail. This seemed like it may be an expensive repair or difficult to do on my own...not sure.

3) Driver's seat did not appear in bad shape, but very uncomfortable to sit on during my test drive of only about 5 miles or so. It appears to me that the padding must be worn out b/c there was some kind of bar/support along the left side of the bottom seat cushion and it was stabbing my left leg during the entire ride...not all that noticeable when I first sat down, but darn near painful after a few miles of driving. Moving my leg around did not make any difference. Is this a common problem? If so, approx. how much $$ is it to re-stuff the front seat at an apolstry shop?

4) Lastly, I was less than impressed with its power. I had read that the 325i had plenty of get up and go, especially at 3500 rpms and above. However, for normal driving, I noticed that I barely reached 3500 rpms before shifting gears (this would be my normal day-to-day driving habits). It ran smooth and didn't necessarily feel underpowered or anything drastic like that, but this was a std transmission and I was expecting a much peppier motor. This 1994 325i only has 72K miles on it, so I wonder if its that particular car or do most 325i cars feel that way??? Any thoughts? If so, I may start looking at a bigger model 3 series...like the 328 or M series? Honestly, I don't want to go into debt to buy a used car, so I would rather get an older model (94 or newer) 325i conv. in good shape instead of dropping the big bucks on a 328i or M series conv.

PS - As a result of the above findings and the salelady's position of not negotiating on the price at all, I chose not to buy this car. So I'm still looking for now. There seems to be lots of 3 series conv. on the market, so I'm sure I'll find one I like eventually.

Happy trails...
Mike
1) Find a privately owned car that has been well kept.. anyone that trades in an 11-year-old semi-desirable car to a dealer probably has problems with it..

2) 168 HP in a convertible is not a lot.. Convertibles are fairly heavy, and aren't going to be as fast as a sedan.... You'll need to wind it out, if you want better acceleration (which is fine.... the engine is made to rev).

regards,
kyfdx
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  #16  
Old 07-05-2005, 09:13 AM
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LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
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In answer to your questions:

1.

2. You are probably correct. The regulators are probably shot. Not a huge deal and fairly common on E36 and E46 cars. I wouldnt let this stop me from buying a car but it certainly would affect the price.

3. What type of seat was it? Power or manual? sport or standard? I dont think I have heard of this being an issue specific to the E36...But it rasies questions when the seat is worn so badly considering the mileage is so low. Power seats are known to be a problem as they used PLASTIC gears for the backrest and eventually fail. There is no cost effective fix. So if you are looking at a car with power seats make sure the back rest works or is stuck in a position you can live with.

4. The E36 dosent have a lot of low end torque. You need to have it above 3500 RPM to really appreciate the beauty of this engine. As stated that engine also has to work a bit harder to carry the extra weight of a convertible. A later 328 dosent have any more HP than the 325 but it does have a bit more torque. I believe the stock HP for the 325 was 185. YOu can add about 15 - 20 HP with a Conforti chip.

Sounds like you were smart to pass on this one. Keep looking a nice one will turn up.
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  #17  
Old 07-05-2005, 10:58 PM
mikeyboy_esq mikeyboy_esq is offline
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Thanx guys...those are all good points! Also, I had forgotten about a conv. being more heavy than a sedan and how that may play into the power to weight ratio of the car.


UPDATE:
This morning, I decided to take a test drive of a brand new 325i Conv. at my local BMW dealership just so I could compare how well a new 325 drives to the used '94 325i Conv. that I test drove last Saturday. I was particularly interested in how much more power, if any, a new 325i had compared to an 11 year old 325i.

First off, I should point out that the new 325i was an auto trans whereas the 94 model had a stick. That difference aside, I could not tell any significant difference in the power/torque from say 0 to 45mph. Again, I'm not saying the 325 is horribly underpowered or anything like that...but based on the 2 test drives that I've had in the past few days, I must say I was a little dissappointed b/c I was expecting the 325 to be more peppy. Of course, both 325i's that I test drove recently had superior handling and a great ride plus lots of other things that I thought are awesome.

In any case, I may try to find/test drive a used 328i conv. or perhaps a used 330i conv to see if I notice any improvement in low end torque...one of my buddies reminded me that I am probably spoiled by my chevy 1/2 ton truck b/c the V-8 motor provides plenty of low end torque and my subconscious comparison to the 325i is like comparing apples and oranges.

QUICK QUESTION:
Does anyone know if the older model 325i has the same max hp/torque as the new 325i??? I wonder if my impressions about the power being the same is correct?

Also, does anyone know the max hp/torque of the old 328i? How does this compare to the newer 330i?

Happy trails...
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyboy_esq
Thanx guys...those are all good points! Also, I had forgotten about a conv. being more heavy than a sedan and how that may play into the power to weight ratio of the car.


UPDATE:
This morning, I decided to take a test drive of a brand new 325i Conv. at my local BMW dealership just so I could compare how well a new 325 drives to the used '94 325i Conv. that I test drove last Saturday. I was particularly interested in how much more power, if any, a new 325i had compared to an 11 year old 325i.

First off, I should point out that the new 325i was an auto trans whereas the 94 model had a stick. That difference aside, I could not tell any significant difference in the power/torque from say 0 to 45mph. Again, I'm not saying the 325 is horribly underpowered or anything like that...but based on the 2 test drives that I've had in the past few days, I must say I was a little dissappointed b/c I was expecting the 325 to be more peppy. Of course, both 325i's that I test drove recently had superior handling and a great ride plus lots of other things that I thought are awesome.

In any case, I may try to find/test drive a used 328i conv. or perhaps a used 330i conv to see if I notice any improvement in low end torque...one of my buddies reminded me that I am probably spoiled by my chevy 1/2 ton truck b/c the V-8 motor provides plenty of low end torque and my subconscious comparison to the 325i is like comparing apples and oranges.

QUICK QUESTION:
Does anyone know if the older model 325i has the same max hp/torque as the new 325i??? I wonder if my impressions about the power being the same is correct?

Also, does anyone know the max hp/torque of the old 328i? How does this compare to the newer 330i?

Happy trails...
The new 325 convertible has 184 HP... but, it is also a heavier car than the E36 convertible.. I think your assessment of the power is correct.. I don't think the E46 would be much faster than the E36.... Maybe, but not enough to notice.. We looked at a couple before getting our 325i, and I was a little disappointed in the power... Our sedan, in contrast, feels very peppy, even with the slushbox..

Of course, moving up to the E46 convertible will be pricy.. figure at least $25K, even for the oldest, highest-mileage one you can find..

regards,
kyfdx
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:41 PM
andy325 andy325 is offline
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Hi Mikeyboy esq, Limtdslip, Bibi Mwewe, Vintageorgange, Maxreco, BMWcat & Kyfdx.......glad to have read your posts.......I am also looking for a 325i conv. and have concluded from my test drives that I want a manual. I am currently looking at one that shows alot of promise other than it is 600 miles from me so I am counting on the owner's description (original owner and fortunatly not at all savvy about saying the "correct" things about the car). She is not driving it anymore, only just staring it up weekly.....she was suprised recently when the top would not go down (1st it happend), is this typical if not used? The car was repainted and re-topped after being scratched and cut by an enemy of hers, and the rear bumber was replaced after a minor fender bender. Other wise the car is fine except for not being driven. My market is around $7,500 so I know I need to expect some flaws. My plans for the car is long term ownership with preservation/restoration while keeping it my daily driver. This car will replace my mundane (though very reliable) current daily driver a 95' Neon (my wife bought it new).
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:19 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyboy_esq
Thanx guys...those are all good points! Also, I had forgotten about a conv. being more heavy than a sedan and how that may play into the power to weight ratio of the car.


UPDATE:
This morning, I decided to take a test drive of a brand new 325i Conv. at my local BMW dealership just so I could compare how well a new 325 drives to the used '94 325i Conv. that I test drove last Saturday. I was particularly interested in how much more power, if any, a new 325i had compared to an 11 year old 325i.

First off, I should point out that the new 325i was an auto trans whereas the 94 model had a stick. That difference aside, I could not tell any significant difference in the power/torque from say 0 to 45mph. Again, I'm not saying the 325 is horribly underpowered or anything like that...but based on the 2 test drives that I've had in the past few days, I must say I was a little dissappointed b/c I was expecting the 325 to be more peppy. Of course, both 325i's that I test drove recently had superior handling and a great ride plus lots of other things that I thought are awesome.

In any case, I may try to find/test drive a used 328i conv. or perhaps a used 330i conv to see if I notice any improvement in low end torque...one of my buddies reminded me that I am probably spoiled by my chevy 1/2 ton truck b/c the V-8 motor provides plenty of low end torque and my subconscious comparison to the 325i is like comparing apples and oranges.

QUICK QUESTION:
Does anyone know if the older model 325i has the same max hp/torque as the new 325i??? I wonder if my impressions about the power being the same is correct?

Also, does anyone know the max hp/torque of the old 328i? How does this compare to the newer 330i?

Happy trails...
My 328IS has 193HP max. I think the covertible has the same engine. I see a lot of 328I's around Sacramento. They sure look sharp. I'd go with the 328 meself.
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2005, 10:02 AM
maxreco maxreco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy325
Hi Mikeyboy esq, Limtdslip, Bibi Mwewe, Vintageorgange, Maxreco, BMWcat & Kyfdx.......glad to have read your posts.......I am also looking for a 325i conv. and have concluded from my test drives that I want a manual. I am currently looking at one that shows alot of promise other than it is 600 miles from me so I am counting on the owner's description (original owner and fortunatly not at all savvy about saying the "correct" things about the car). She is not driving it anymore, only just staring it up weekly.....she was suprised recently when the top would not go down (1st it happend), is this typical if not used? The car was repainted and re-topped after being scratched and cut by an enemy of hers, and the rear bumber was replaced after a minor fender bender. Other wise the car is fine except for not being driven. My market is around $7,500 so I know I need to expect some flaws. My plans for the car is long term ownership with preservation/restoration while keeping it my daily driver. This car will replace my mundane (though very reliable) current daily driver a 95' Neon (my wife bought it new).
The top could be a couple of things. Did someone pull the red strap located under the left rear seat? (Don't!). If so, the motors have been dropped from the gear reacks and the top can be moved manually. Restting thm can be done with the help of a manual and a friend or an hour at a stealer. Not a reason to avoid the car. Another reason would be that the moters are connected, but the install was botched, and the strps are broken/not installed. Try opening the top by hand and pushing it up about a foot while holding the top down button. If it engages and completes it's function from there, then you have a partially broken roof. Ask for a discount.

My other concern given the "enemy damage" would be to closely question how many miles the car has been driven since the incident. Was anything else don to the engine, gas, oil, brakes?

Good luck!
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2005, 07:05 PM
andy325 andy325 is offline
Peace
Location: Central Pennsylvania
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 63
Mein Auto: '95 325ic 5-spd
I haven't figured out the "quote" attachment.

Last edited by andy325; 07-17-2005 at 08:11 AM.
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  #23  
Old 07-16-2005, 07:10 PM
andy325 andy325 is offline
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Location: Central Pennsylvania
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 63
Mein Auto: '95 325ic 5-spd
Thanks for the information on the top Maxreco. Regarding the "enemey damage", it happend when the car was only 3 years old (7 years ago). I will check with her how many miles she has put on it since then (it currently has 120,000). She has had the oil changed every 3,000 miles.
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  #24  
Old 08-11-2005, 07:56 PM
RubyRed RubyRed is offline
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Location: Cleveland Ohio
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 1997 328i Convertible
Lightbulb

My wife drives a '97 328i convertible (5 speed, Sport Package) and I have a hard time transitioning to agressive driving when I switch to this car due to differences in pedal placement and pedal response. I normally drive an '01 PT Cruiser (5 speed, way too little power) fairly agressively and when I switch to the Bimmer I have to give it more throttle than I do the Cruiser to get it to perform. Does the Cruiser have more power? ASOLUTELY NOT, it's just that I'm more accustomed to the response from the Cruiser's throttle than the BMW's. It takes a few miles for my right leg to get it together before I can get the best response. If you jump into one after driving another make for a while it takes some getting used-to.

As to what to look for in a used BMW Convertible, examine the glove box ( old ones sometimes don't shut right and then the light doesn't go out). That took 2 batteries to figure out.
Door handles and their linkages die an unusually early death (especially in cars stored outside in winter precipitation).
Water pumps should be examined closely (and all their seals and connecting hoses).

The comments about the convertible top that you received were all good but I would like to add this additional one: If the top mechanism won't close properly it may be an indication that the car was once wrecked bad-enough that the bottom no longer is in alignment with the top. The only time we've had trouble with my wife's car's top was after she hit a monster pot-hole hard enough to destroy two right-side rims.
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  #25  
Old 08-11-2005, 09:13 PM
allen85t allen85t is offline
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Location: NJ
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 41
Mein Auto: 93 suckbaron
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyboy_esq
Hi,
First time to post here...looks like a great site! Anyway, I've never owned a BMW before...but have always thought highly of these machines.

Here's my question...I'm test driving a '94 BMW 325i Conv (with low miles) on Saturday morning and would like to know what to look for when I inspect this car. Are there some common weaknesses that I need to watch out for?


PS - I paid a BMW certified repair shop to inspect this vehicle today...they reported that they found the following minor concerns:

1) tiny amount of seapage is forming on low pressure power steering hose (indicating a leak may form in the future - not in need or repair now),

2) left front fog light lens is cracked (I am told it is approx $100 for a new lens),

3) Rear shock mounts are starting to wear (not popping yet, but show general signs of wear - I'm told these go for about $15 each)

4) This same shop recently worked on the Conv top (repaired some frayed wires, repaired some stiching on the material or something like that - its supposedly fine now).

Do any of these things raise any RED FLAGS for anyone? Is there something that I should be gravely concerned about???


Thanx for your help in advance!
For each...

#1 - Take them at their word. When it does start to leak, it's not much of an expense to fix.

#2 - Bogus. An entire brand new foglight kit including lenses, housing, new mounting brackets, clips, screws, a dash switch, the foglight relay, and bulbs is under $200 from bavauto.com. $100 for a new lense sounds absurdly expensive to put it mildly. I just replaced both mine a few hours ago, once you know what you're doing it's a 10 minute job (not counting the switch, but you don't need that, heh).

#3 - If you buy the car, get then replaced anyway. Cheap insurance.

#4 - Ask them if they'll honor whatever warranty / guarantee with you if you buy the car. May not matter much if it's fine, but if they did a shoddy job, they may refuse. If they do refuse, and they did do a shoddy job, take it elsewhere if it develops problems. Worst to worst, if you're mechanically inclined, you can replace the top entirely yourself. I replaced mine on my previous car with no experience whatsoever, took a day. Wasn't factory perfect, had a few wrinkles, but it didn't leak. Call it two days if you want to spend time getting the wrinkles out and learning how to "do it right."
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