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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 01-11-2005, 07:15 PM
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Should I get an E30?

There's a 1991 318i convertible with a for sale sign where I work. I'm trying to decide if it's worth getting.

A few questions:

1) The owner is asking $5000. KBB for private party sale for a '91 in excellent condition with 149K miles is $3125. The exterior is cherry -- new roof and rear (plastic) window installed last year, paint is in great shape. Seems to be well-maintained (I would have a mechanic check in any case). Is $5000 too much?

2) Is it going to cost me a fortune to keep an E30 running?

3) Would I be foolish () to use this car as a daily driver?

Probably silly of me to go for this, but I've just always liked to the look of the E30. And this one's a manual.

Whaddya think?
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2005, 07:21 PM
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BahnBaum BahnBaum is offline
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I'm biased. I think they make a great daily driver. Whether a convertible works is really your call.

As far as maintenance goes, they're easy to work on.

And price, toss KBB away. The one you mention sounds pricey, but good examples always go quickly, and for significantly more than book. It does seem that convertibles are more plentiful than 325is's, so that should help on the price side.

Alex
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2005, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BahnBaum
I'm biased. I think they make a great daily driver. Whether a convertible works is really your call.

As far as maintenance goes, they're easy to work on.

What he said.

The prices on E30s really vary. Compare it to other E30 'verts in the area, pricewise. Having it checked out is a very good idea; if it's up-to-date on maintenance to the point where you can just drive it for a good long while, it's worth it.
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:11 PM
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Asking too much. There is a 1 owner, 1990 325i convertible for sale locally. Apparently it is in incredible shape according a former BMW Tech (friend). Asking the same price, $5K
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
owned by a BMWCCA member.
Take that with a grain of salt. That really means nothing. I got royally screwed by a BMWCCA member that had traded his car in at his local BMW Center.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2005, 08:22 PM
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When I was looking at them, I had to prioritize what I did and didn't want to deal with.

I wouldn't touch one with any rust.

I didn't care about the suspension, since I knew I'd want it done a certain way, and the odds of finding one set up as I would want it was nil.

I wanted low mileage with a strong motor and transmission, because it was going to have miles piled on as a daily and I didn't want to mess with a rebuild at any point in the near future.

I wanted a decent interior and exterior. Didn't have to be close to perfect, but both paint and interior were two things I didn't want to have to deal with.


Once you decide that an e30 is for you, take your time, find one that fits YOUR needs and then be ready to move quickly. And don't worry about paying a little more than others tell you it's worth. The cars are cheap enough that 25% more isn't that much money.

Alex
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2005, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
All good advice. BahnBaum is smart!
No matter what you say, I'm not selling you my car.

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  #8  
Old 01-11-2005, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
Dick.



One question I have is what exactly "no rust" means. I've yet to see a car without a slightly rusted scratch/bump/blister somewhere. Does rust free really mean NO rust?
A little bit of surface rust, like you describe, isn't necessarily a problem. But cars with surface rust may have rust issues that you can't easily see. Unfortunately, you and I looked at lots of east coast cars. The one I bought was a California car for most of it's life and happened to end up on the east coast just before I bought it.

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  #9  
Old 01-11-2005, 09:35 PM
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Hey, this thread is scratching me right where I itch

I need a daily driver as well. I'm about to get a 95' Civic EX 5speed for $3500 from a friend.

What do you think about this? What should I watch out for?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...tem=4518228851


I don't really care what it looks like, I just want something to get me from A to B without breaking down.
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
Take that with a grain of salt. That really means nothing. I got royally screwed by a BMWCCA member
What he said. My blown engine liar was a BMWCCA member (albiet membership recently elapsed).

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
they're supposidly heavy as hell, so if you don't really want it, it's putting extra burdon on the tiny little engine.
A little bourbon will fix that.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2005, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
Hey, this thread is scratching me right where I itch

I need a daily driver as well. I'm about to get a 95' Civic EX 5speed for $3500 from a friend.

What do you think about this? What should I watch out for?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...tem=4518228851


I don't really care what it looks like, I just want something to get me from A to B without breaking down.
Mine had that same pinstripe, and the paint has that same faded to orangey brilliantrot look. Nothing that a PC won't take care of. The cloth doesn't have that same armor-like wear resistance as the pleather, so depending upon condition and how much you're going to drive it you may be looking at a reupholster at some point. And like all of these cars, you need the front lower lip valence.

Alex
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2005, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
Hey, this thread is scratching me right where I itch

I need a daily driver as well. I'm about to get a 95' Civic EX 5speed for $3500 from a friend.
Tired of seeing your odometer roll up on the E46, huh? Same thing happened to me when I bought mine....

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  #13  
Old 01-12-2005, 05:57 AM
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What Alex said.

I will add the following:
1. 318iConv M40 engine.
Engine: The M40 engine has had some issues (minor one) with the hydraulic tappets. If you hear any "tip tip tip" sound coming from the engine, it is the hydraulic valve tappets getting stuck. Walk away, as this will mean some $$$ to open the engine and change them.

This engine is pretty economical, but is underpowered at 113bhp. Also, running costs are quite cheap.

Late E30's do not rust excessively, however, if the car was left outside in winter climate for long period, it will rust. Walk away.

Also, repairing a cloth hood can also be VERY expensive. Even repairing the rear plastic window, so walk away from any car that has signs of wear.
They are also known to leak, so if you ever consider buying a second hand conv, pass it from a car wash before, to see if there is a leak.

2. E30 325i. M20 engine.
This engine is quite powerful, at 171bhp, but running and servicing costs are higher.
For the body, same stands as the 31iconv.

Bottom line:

In order to buy a car that old, especially a Convertible, you must do your research, dont jump to the first example and exercise extreme caution.
Also, if you do not have alot of car knowledge, take it to a trustworthy person or garage, who is trusted by you.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2005, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent
What Alex said.

I will add the following:
1. 318iConv M40 engine.
Engine: The M40 engine has had some issues (minor one) with the hydraulic tappets. If you hear any "tip tip tip" sound coming from the engine, it is the hydraulic valve tappets getting stuck. Walk away, as this will mean some $$$ to open the engine and change them.

This engine is pretty economical, but is underpowered at 113bhp. Also, running costs are quite cheap.

Late E30's do not rust excessively, however, if the car was left outside in winter climate for long period, it will rust. Walk away.

Also, repairing a cloth hood can also be VERY expensive. Even repairing the rear plastic window, so walk away from any car that has signs of wear.
They are also known to leak, so if you ever consider buying a second hand conv, pass it from a car wash before, to see if there is a leak.

2. E30 325i. M20 engine.
This engine is quite powerful, at 171bhp, but running and servicing costs are higher.
For the body, same stands as the 31iconv.

Bottom line:

In order to buy a car that old, especially a Convertible, you must do your research, dont jump to the first example and exercise extreme caution.
Also, if you do not have alot of car knowledge, take it to a trustworthy person or garage, who is trusted by you.
The one he's looking at is the M42.

Alex
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2005, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BahnBaum
The one he's looking at is the M42.

Alex
Correct me if I am wrong, but the M42 was fitted only to the E36 models. The E30 models were getting the M40 engine. I think the difference was that the M42 has a chain driven timing and the M40 has a rubber timing belt.
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
Dick.
*checks*


Nope.
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:29 PM
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I you want a fun and nice driving car that you can use at tracks and on regular road I would have gone for an E 30 M3. A friend had this one :


And he was very happy with. You do need to do some maintanece, but if you like that this is imo a good car.
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Roadstergal
*checks*


Nope.
I was waiting for that response. Rumratt's so indiscriminate with those phallic references.
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
Dick.



One question I have is what exactly "no rust" means. I've yet to see a car without a slightly rusted scratch/bump/blister somewhere. Does rust free really mean NO rust?
Cali cars don't gots no rust.

I know mine don't gots rust.
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
So you would exclude the car below for sure, eh?

The more cars I see, the more I decide that you got a sweet deal.
I wouldn't touch that one with a 10 foot pole.

Seriously, there are enough Cali festers that you should have no problem getting one of us to check out a car for you. Mine has no rust, accept nothing less.
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BahnBaum
I'm biased. I think they make a great daily driver. Whether a convertible works is really your call.
Yeah, I don't really care whether the car is a convertible. Only convertible I ever drove was my father's Miata and it was fun with the top down, but not really necessary.
Quote:
As far as maintenance goes, they're easy to work on.
That's good to know. I'm thinking I might try out some of the more routine maintenance.
Quote:
And price, toss KBB away. The one you mention sounds pricey, but good examples always go quickly, and for significantly more than book. It does seem that convertibles are more plentiful than 325is's, so that should help on the price side.

Alex
Grumble, grumble. Is KBB good for anything? Can't even use it to figure your tax deductions anymore!
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
Keep in mind that to make a nice, solid driver, you may need to put about as much money into the car as the original purchase price (suspension, bushings, etc).
I assume you bring down the price on some of those items by doing your own maintenance? Or was that implicit in the 1x of the purchase price?
Quote:
After seeing several HORRIBLE cars, I'm beginning to understand the appeal of buying one with full records owned by a BMWCCA member.
This one's alleged to have complete records through the 2 owners. I hear you.
Quote:
Convertibles are NOT for me. I would never get one (heavy, noisy, leaky, more expensive, etc) but that's just me.
New roof as of last year. I'm hoping that takes care of the leaky part. Heavy? Heck, it's a 318i. It wasn't going to be a sprinter in any case.
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
Asking too much. There is a 1 owner, 1990 325i convertible for sale locally. Apparently it is in incredible shape according a former BMW Tech (friend). Asking the same price, $5K
Perhaps there's a difference between Califonrnia and Tennessee pricing? It's a bit hard to compare the cars I see online with the one at hand, since I can't tell the real condition of the cars online.
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty_Cent
What Alex said.

I will add the following:
Late E30's do not rust excessively, however, if the car was left outside in winter climate for long period, it will rust. Walk away.
The car has always been kept in California, apparently, and in the parts that get winter weather. Well, nothing worse than the torrential downpour we've been enjoying recently.
Quote:
Also, repairing a cloth hood can also be VERY expensive. Even repairing the rear plastic window, so walk away from any car that has signs of wear.
Roof is less than a year old, so I'm hoping I wouldn't have to deal with that issue.
Quote:
They are also known to leak, so if you ever consider buying a second hand conv, pass it from a car wash before, to see if there is a leak.
That's an interesting idea, although taking any car through a car wash just pains me.
Quote:
In order to buy a car that old, especially a Convertible, you must do your research, dont jump to the first example and exercise extreme caution.
Also, if you do not have alot of car knowledge, take it to a trustworthy person or garage, who is trusted by you.
Agreed! Thanks for the insights.
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schumi
I you want a fun and nice driving car that you can use at tracks and on regular road I would have gone for an E 30 M3. A friend had this one :


And he was very happy with. You do need to do some maintanece, but if you like that this is imo a good car.
More car than I need, although that's a nice looking car.
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