Z3 Roadster (E36/7) Looking to buy a Z3; couple questions - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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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Old 10-20-2012, 09:05 AM
Davewells Davewells is offline
Registered User
Location: NH
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: Motorcycles
Looking to buy a Z3; couple questions

Looking for a 4 wheel equivalent to my bikes, and I think a Z3 will do nicely!
I looked at a 96, and would like some advice:
1. I've read about the differential mounts breaking free from the underside of the car.
I drove this one and it felt ok, but with the car in park, foot on the brake, when shifting into drive, the rear of the car squats or hunkers down a little.Back into park, and it sits up again.
Normal, or indicative of something?
2. It needs tires. Are the V tires necessary?
3. The exhaust has holes in the rear muffler and the "collector"(?) after the cat. Any economical replacements?
In general it's a solid car, it does need the door handles fixed. I am looking for a car just to drive; I don't plan on customizing or going crazy on it.
BTW, 85k for $6300.00. I am not set on this car, so give it to me straight.
Thanks all, and hope to join the ranks soon!
Dave in NH.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:14 PM
JimCameron JimCameron is offline
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Location: Stuart, FL
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 32
Mein Auto: 08 x3(gone) 03 Z4
Equivalent to your bikes? Well, what kind of bike(s)? Based on your description of the Z3 it sounds like an auto trans? You don't have one of those old Hondamatic's do you? If you mean equivalent as in; wind in your hair, then it sounds like it might work out fine.

I'm lucky, there is a great indy shop around here that will give you free pre-purchase inspections of BMW or MB. Even if I had to pay for one, I would have it done as even the cleanest car has some things that will need attention, and this Z3 seems to have several.
A good indy shop will give you an idea of how much $$ it will need.

It is a 17 year old car, and it doesn't sound as if it was maintained by an enthusiast in spite of it's apparent low milage. 85K milage wouldn't bother me, if it was well maintained. But that doesn't sound like the case. Even at $6300 it may not be a very good deal if you have to put 3+K into it.

If my budget was pretty much locked at 6-7K, and potential expenditures were not part of my plan, I would consider a Miata. They are great roadsters, and newer, lower milage cars in that price range are out there. But that's just me.

Best of luck in your car search, and after getting rid of the last of my 9 BMW m/c's I owned over the years, I couldn't be happier with my Z.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:30 PM
ronpolley ronpolley is offline
car poor all my life
Location: New Bern,NC,USA
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 63
Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 3.0i Auto

I would shop around,I paid very little more for a 2001 in Ex cond.and I've still had to put another K in it.Very nice car for us ex moto guys.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:16 PM
Davewells Davewells is offline
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Location: NH
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: Motorcycles
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:37 AM
Z3Droptop Z3Droptop is offline
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Location: Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: 2000 Z3 2.3
IMO a 6 cylinder 5 speed is the only way to go. I have a 2000 Z3 2.3 (2.5L) and it's a great car. The 2.5 runs great but I expected like more HP. Just my 2 cents.

Good Luck you will enjoy it!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:48 AM
Monolith Monolith is offline
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Location: NJ
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 767
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 1.9L DASC Auto
The "squat" is normal. The degree of squat is indicative of how worn the shocks are.

Placing the transmission in "3" will put it into sport mode and hold the shifts longer.

$6300 seems high for the M44 (4cyl) engine, auto with 85k miles especially with it already having noticeable issues. Shop around a little more. Drive the I6 version both in manual and auto and then make your decision. The auto tranny changed from a 4 speed to a 5 speed around 2000 model year. The 3.0 liter 5 speed auto is more economical gas wise than the 2.8 liter versions (usually with 4 speed auto).
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:47 AM
CTHuskyinMA CTHuskyinMA is offline
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Location: South of Boston
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 63
Mein Auto: 2003 Z4 3.0
Another reference point for you, last month I picked up a '98 1.9l 5 speed with 68k, (hard top included) in pretty decent shape, for $6k. This was in Boston, not too far from you in NH. There are so few to choose from in this area, it took me all summer to find this one. I test drove both autos and sticks, and it was a no brainer that this car had to be manual. Good luck in your search.
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