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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 03-04-2013, 02:07 PM
Couch Couch is offline
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How much to pay for 1988 352i Convertible?

I'm looking at an '88 E30 cabrio this weekend, and want to know what you all think is an appropriate price. Details:

new top, new clutch, new leather interior, 5 speed, 96k miles

Having it inspected this weekend for mechanics. Looks good.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2013, 07:52 PM
87bmw e30 87bmw e30 is offline
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96k miles? Sounds good, i would say no more than $5500- 6000
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2013, 08:00 PM
Couch Couch is offline
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Yeah. He's offering $4,500. We've tentatively worked out a plan to trade my 2000 Buick Regal LS (worth ~$2,500) plus $2,000 cash. What are the biggest things I need to be looking for when I inspect the car? I'm new to BMW...
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2013, 08:18 PM
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fcsteve fcsteve is offline
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it's an early model vert which is less desirable, verts are already the least desirable e30.

because of the new parts i'd say $4-$5k is reasonable, but only if the maintenance is up to date and there is no rust.

you really want to make sure the timing belt is up to date and does not to be replaced.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:28 AM
Couch Couch is offline
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What is a vert, an why is it the least desirable E30? Any more advice is welcome!
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2013, 09:27 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Vert= convertible, aka cabriolet. They are the heaviest chassis of all E30s, they are less rigid than any other E30 (affects handling), and the tops do not hold up well, leading to leaking and wind noise. Also, a lot of people think the E30 convertible with the top up is rather ugly (and I tend to agree, although I'd still like to have one). "Least desirable" is painting with a pretty broad brush. Mostly has to do with personal preference. Many would say an 84 318 would be the least desirable, because it's deathly slow. I say any E30 in good condition is desirable.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2013, 09:41 AM
Couch Couch is offline
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I see.

Can you guys enlighten me as to the big ticket 100k mile mark repairs or costs that come with the e30s? I read elsewhere that water pump is likely.

Thanks!
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:05 AM
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fcsteve fcsteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Vert= convertible, aka cabriolet. They are the heaviest chassis of all E30s, they are less rigid than any other E30 (affects handling), and the tops do not hold up well, leading to leaking and wind noise. Also, a lot of people think the E30 convertible with the top up is rather ugly (and I tend to agree, although I'd still like to have one). "Least desirable" is painting with a pretty broad brush. Mostly has to do with personal preference. Many would say an 84 318 would be the least desirable, because it's deathly slow. I say any E30 in good condition is desirable.
enthusiasts still want the 84 318 because it is light and perfect for a swap. for that reason i say the vert is the least desirable.

i watch CL almost daily. busted up coupes/sedans sell for 1000-2000 within a few weeks of being listed. i've watched super clean verts sit on CL for months at $1500-$2000 before the owners lowered the price even more and then they finally sell. when i see a super clean vert, i always think its such a shame it wasnt a coupe or sedan in that condition, because i'd buy it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Couch View Post
I see.

Can you guys enlighten me as to the big ticket 100k mile mark repairs or costs that come with the e30s? I read elsewhere that water pump is likely.

Thanks!
there isnt any 100k service repairs. you need to look out for the timing belt(like i said before) thermostat, water pump, plugs and distributor.

the timing belt is a very important thing to check. if it fails you will likely ruin the whole motor, at minimum you will destroy a few valves and dent some pistons. the timing belt is rubber and has a miles/year replacement point. it needs to be replaced if it is 60,000 or 4 years old. even if it only has 500 miles on it, but its been 4 years .. you need to replace it. if the owner can't prove when it was last changed, you NEED to replace it as soon as possible.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:16 PM
87bmw e30 87bmw e30 is offline
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100k miles is really not that much. My 87 325e has 235k and has never had anything major done, just change your oil every 3k, adjust valves every 20k or so and change the timing belt every 40-60k (60k tops). Treat her good and she will treat you good.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:35 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsteve View Post
i've watched super clean verts sit on CL for months at $1500-$2000 before the owners lowered the price even more and then they finally sell. when i see a super clean vert, i always think its such a shame it wasnt a coupe or sedan in that condition, because i'd buy it.
I think that's a mostly regional phenomenon, Steve. A clean vert at $2k wouldn't last a week here, mostly because we have 9+ months of "vert weather". When a third plus of your year's weather is vert unfriendly, it's a lot harder to convince someone they need to think 'top-down' when there's a foot of snow on the ground. The going rate for a nice vert here is ~$3500 and they don't sit for long at that price.

Good point about the '84 318 as a swap base, but I was talking unmolested stock to be left as such.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2013, 08:28 AM
Couch Couch is offline
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When you say that the tops don't hold up well, are you referencing the original tops? Or, are you saying there is a design flaw that leads to top problems (even when they are replaced)?

Is the heavier/less firm chassis only noticeable with hard cornering? Will I notice sub-par handling in normal driving situations?

When the mechanic takes a look at this car, what should I ask him to look for (besides what I've gathered from responses: Timing belt, water pump, thermostat+gasket, distributor, plugs)?
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:52 PM
als e30 als e30 is offline
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Couch. I have been driving my 1987 325Ic For about 7 years now. I owned a coupe years befor that. Not a day goes by when I drive it top UP or DOWN that I say, Wish I had my coupe back. Except during a storm. Ask any convertable owner.
Trick is to Beef up the suspension, buy a short shift Z3 shifter and hang on. Its not a track car but it's a lot of fun on the street. leaves me smiling every time.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2013, 03:41 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
I think that's a mostly regional phenomenon, Steve. A clean vert at $2k wouldn't last a week here, mostly because we have 9+ months of "vert weather". When a third plus of your year's weather is vert unfriendly, it's a lot harder to convince someone they need to think 'top-down' when there's a foot of snow on the ground. The going rate for a nice vert here is ~$3500 and they don't sit for long at that price.

Good point about the '84 318 as a swap base, but I was talking unmolested stock to be left as such.
same here. convertibles here change hands for about $4-6k, around $3200-$5000 of your money. Wagons are even more again. certainly not the least desirable

4 doors are worth nothing here.
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2013, 01:02 PM
Jajjaaj Jajjaaj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Couch View Post
I see.

Can you guys enlighten me as to the big ticket 100k mile mark repairs or costs that come with the e30s? I read elsewhere that water pump is likely.

Thanks!
fcsteve is right. If the guy cannot prove the timing belt has been changed, make sure that it is the very first thing you do. It was an expensive lesson for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by als e30 View Post
Couch. I have been driving my 1987 325Ic For about 7 years now. I owned a coupe years befor that. Not a day goes by when I drive it top UP or DOWN that I say, Wish I had my coupe back. Except during a storm. Ask any convertable owner.
Trick is to Beef up the suspension, buy a short shift Z3 shifter and hang on. Its not a track car but it's a lot of fun on the street. leaves me smiling every time.
You are right about that. Everywhere I go, there are craned necks watching my vert drive down the street. While we do not have 9 months without snow here, I still receive high offers for my 325ic, one was 6.5k.
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