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E36 M3 (1995-1999)

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Old 01-14-2012, 06:18 PM
willieboy willieboy is offline
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Another opinion thread. 97 M3 sedan

I don't post much here because it's been years since I have owned a BMW. Today I have a chance to be the second owner of a 1997 M3 sedan. The original owner put 109,000 miles on it and now it's up for sale. Silver on black, no accidents and a perfect service history. Never tracked and in amazing shape. The only thing I can find wrong with it is the radio pixels are out. Has the automatic transmission which isn't my first choice but the rest of the car is dead on nice. I wouldn't know what to expect for normal issues with these cars but I have always wanted one and if there ever was a time, this is it. I plan on a PPI but wanted the ask the experts about values. I've done the normal research but you guys know more than edmunds etc. I would have to pay $7,500.00. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:32 PM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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That seems reasonable, maybe a little high for an auto. This will help you with looking at the car in person...

Member #2 of the Boston Green Mafia BMW-CCA #457574

1995 BG M3(sold) 2000 TiAg 4.4l X5(sold)

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Old 01-14-2012, 07:55 PM
willieboy willieboy is offline
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Thank you very much for that reply. A good read for sure. Appreciate it.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:50 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
Location: N.Miss - Memphis,TN Area
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Mein Auto: '05 X3, '02 M3, '91 E30
Originally Posted by willieboy View Post
Has the automatic transmission which isn't my first choice...
If is not really your first choice why settling with an auto? Be patient and wait for the one with the right transmission.
I paid that same amount for my '95 last November. 125k miles, 2 previous enthusiasts, outstanding condition. Drive it every day, couldn't be happier.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough"
-Mario Andretti.

River City Bimmers BMW CCA
2005 X3 3.0i ZPP, Htd seats, Htd strng, Black Sapphire on Terracotta.
2002 ///M3 Coupe, Steel Gray Metallic on black leather, HK, three pedals.
1991 E30 325ic, AW, Black Leather, Black top, Three Pedals.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:18 AM
mikee36m3 mikee36m3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 e36 m3 hellrot dinan
mileage isnt an issue. the tranny is. ive never burnt thru a standard bmw transmission, but ive killed three automatics, all were in an e30 325i. and service the waterpump. these are the weak piont on these cars. change the plastic impeller to a metal one and enjoy.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:41 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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Mein Auto: 335 vert/14JGC/ 17Outback
The ZF 5 spd auto is a good transmission. The only recommendation I would suggest is to drop the pan, change the filter and refill with Esso LT71141. It will take about 5 1/2L. In fact it would be a good idea to change all the fluids.
Do you know how many miles on the water pump, tstat, tstat housing?
Those are items that do fail and it is better to replace them then allow them to fail because the possibility of a head gasket failure is too high.
Regarding your radio you are better off buying a CD43 replacement radio which is a much more superior radio then the one in there and also has the CD player in the head unit.
Nice improvement all the way around...
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:44 AM
jstam jstam is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 X5
I just bought almost exactly this same car last Oct (albeit w/ a 5sp). Price seems v fair. A few things to consider:

- Status of suspension? Original shocks? Rubber/bushings still original? If so, you'll need to replace all or some given that you're at 109k.
- Cooling system - a big + for my car was that the PO had just replaced the radiator, thermostat, expansion tank, etc. It's a weak point as others have noted.
- Valve cover gasket - any oil seeping down the block? An easy fix but will cost you at least some time (maybe more than you think) if you do it yourself, some $ if a shop does it.
- Power steering hoses - prone to leaking - not a difficult fix but can cost you time or $.
- I assume it's a CA car, but if it's lived in any place w/ salt then the corrosion will make most of these jobs harder. That's been the case for me.

I read somewhere that you can either pay >=$12k for a well-sorted e36 m3 that has everything done and is turnkey, or you can pay $7.5k-$8.5k for a good starting point and spend the difference (+/-) getting things up to snuff. This is proving to be my experience, and I have records going back to mile 5.
1985 325e, 70,000 miles [S52 w/ OBD1, H&R/Bilstein Sports/Dinan chip/Euro bumper conversion]
1998 M3/4/5, 109k miles SOLD [TCKline s/a, TCKline camber plates, H&R front sway]
2008 X5 3.0si
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:03 PM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Mein Auto: Dinan BMW M3 e36
I wouldn't buy an Autotragic but that's my 2 cents, FYI there's no tranny dipstick on the automatics so it kinda a guessing game and would be my first service done ASAP

Last edited by DinanM3e36; 02-26-2012 at 10:50 AM.
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