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TiAg323i 12-07-2008 05:03 PM

Any Advice?
So I am thinking of getting a 1996 328i that was involved in a front-end collision for a "project car." The guy wants $1,600.00 for it and at minimum it needs the following repairs: new bumper, fender, radiator, grill, headlight assembly, strut, wheel, etc. The damage is only to the front passenger corner. The car has ~125k and is supposedly a single owner car. Has anyone on here ever attempted a salvage car? What is the life expectancy on the 328i engine? (it's an automatic) This would be to fix up in my spare time and maybe do some nice mods to (I already have a 1999 323i daily driver). :eeps:
thanx :)

E36 Phantom 12-07-2008 05:32 PM

The engine is bulletproof, as long as it wasn't overheated. Being all-aluminum, if they overheat they're pretty much just paperweights from there on out. Other than that, you won't have trouble.

Tranny is your basic GM-built 4 spd. It'll go for a while longer, but who knows how long. It's American built, which means it's the equivalent of a ticking time bomb just waiting to grenade itself.

Bumper, fender, grill, headlight, wheel, etc will all be EASY to source. I know it doesn't take much to salvage an E36, but be sure to look into the suspension assembly closely. Chances are good it's gonna need a lot more than just a strut if it severely damaged the wheel, and you want to make sure none of the mounts or anything are bent, or you'll have a hell of a time chasing down ghost issues.

Basically, depending on the condition of the suspension there in the corner, it could be a good buy or it could be a complete headache. See about having it towed to a mechanic if you're not so inclined and have them check out the geometry and what other issues could be lurking.

e30e 12-07-2008 07:12 PM

Have you been able to see if the frame has any damage? How mechanically inclined are you?

bimmerking 12-07-2008 07:32 PM

Don't know about you guys in the US but in the UK prices on Bimmers are dropping like anything. I mean i'm finding 328i's between 600-800 in totally fine working order. With the credit crunch and all, you might wanna just hold on a little longer 'till you find a better deal maybe? As I said, don't know much about the US market so if the price is good for the US, then I guess it'd be good. Am itching to get a 328i myself and started some research on it and am loving it already, so bet you'll have a hell of a ride once you're done with it.

TiAg323i 12-08-2008 07:27 PM

Thanks for the advice guys...especially E36 Phantom :)
I will be going to look at the car in person later this week I hope; dependent on my diesel F-350 getting fixed so I can take it home if I decide to buy...

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